Sea Legs: The Best of The Week
Run The Jewels, Photo: K. Par
Last week we saw more shows than it felt like all year. I wish I could tell you that things are slowing down, but they aren’t. This week we have stellar acts like Run The Jewels pictured above rolling through town. Houston, let’s get this week started.
Wednesday you can start off the week over at Phoenicia MKT Bar, when Buxton bassist Chris Wise drops a DJ set. These events are always intriguing if not only to hear what the guest DJ’s decide to play. The all ages evening starts at 7:00, runs until 10:00, and is 100% FREE.
You could trek down to Clear Lake to catch the speed ska of California’s Voodoo Glow Skulls at Scout Bar. I saw these guys on their first tour in the nineties when they were supporting their debut, “Who Is, This Is?” Since then I’ve seen them two more times, and they rarely disappoint. Their most recent release is 2012’s “Break The Spell,” meaning that something new should be right around the corner. San Antonio four piece and tour mates, Pinata Protest will be on as direct support. These guys are the end result of Spanish punk with an accordion, yet so much more than that. High energy and chaotic live sets are what they’re known for, and 2013’s “El Valiente” is more entertaining than I could ever describe. Oakland five piece The Phenomenauts will also be on hand to bring their blend of doo wop, space rock, and proto punk to those who attend. Last year they dropped an album called, “Escape Velocity” that’s pretty damn rad. Japanese three piece The China Wife Motors will also be on hand to bring their brand of punk to all, while Houston’s Refinery Coast opens things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $14.00 and $17.00.
Eastdown Warehouse will be hosting the NYC punk rock of The Jukebox Romantics. This three piece plays a mix of old school and new school punk, and their latest, “Transmissions Down” from this year is pretty tight. They’ll have the Austin punk of All Opposed on as direct support, while Houston’s Shut Out goes on prior. They dropped a single this year called, “Finally Break This” that reminds me of Skatenigs mixed with Descendents. The pop punk of Houston’s Action Frank will open things up, and they’ll bring the energy from their 2013 release “So Much For That” to life. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and is $5.00 for 21 & up, $10.00 for everyone else.
Manchester Orchestra, Photo: Lindsay Tompkins
Thursday you can get the night started at House of Blues for the second wave emo of Brand New. The Long Island quartet has been garnering critics and making fans left and right since forming back in 2000. They have a slew of hits, and this year they dropped a new single with “Mene.” The always entertaining and energy heavy jams of Manchester Orchestra is on as direct support or possibly as a double billed act. Last year they gave us the highly charged return to rock sounding “Cope,” only to follow it with an acoustic version with “Hope.” The always engaging and beautifully crafted tunes of Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band will be there as opener. In 2013 Devine dropped two albums on the same day with the rock heavy “Bubblegum,” and the softer “Bulldozer.” I can tell you that he’s seriously amazing, and he’s been dropping singles lately, most recently with “Devinyl Splits No. 3.” This show should sell out, as all of these bands are a force to see live. The all ages show has doors at 6:30 and tickets between $36.99 and $42.00.
Out in the Woodlands, you could check out the alt pop rock of Counting Crows at the Woodlands Pavilion. I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t seen these guys before and I was seriously impressed. I still jam their second album, “Recovering The Satellites” on occasion. Their most recent album, last year’s “Somewhere Under Wonderland” falls in line with their previous works. DC singer/songwriter and all around indie darling Citizen Cope will be there as support. His latest album was 2012’s “One Lovely Day,” but I’ll say that he’s pretty great to see live. The country tinged classic rock of Hollis Brown will be there to open things up on the all ages show with gates at 7:00 and tickets between $39.50 and $69.00.
Walters will have a film screening of the film, “The Dicks from Texas,” on Thursday. The Dicks were one of our state’s best punk bands ever, and I was lucky enough to hang with them when they reunited about ten years ago to do a run of shows in Austin. They were so much more than punk, with an openly gay singer who opened more doors for people in the eighties than you can imagine. After the screening, live sets from Houston’s Screech of Death, Poor Dumb Bastards, as well as sets from Austin’s Black Irish Texas and Scorpio Rising will all take place. To sweeten the deal, The Dicks’ lead singer Gary Floyd will be in attendance. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and you can RSVP the event here.
Fidlar, Photo: Paradigm
Warehouse Live will host the always entertaining punkish sounds of California four piece, Fidlar. Known for a crazed energetic show, these guys have been grabbing attention since they got their start. Their newest album, “Too” from this year is pretty damn good. Australian three piece and stoner themed garage punks, Dune Rats will be there as direct support and opener. Their new release, this year’s “Dune Rats” is pretty entertaining, and I’ve heard good things about their live shows. The all ages show in the studio has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $17.00.
Nashville artist, and wild card in that scene, Adia Victoria will grace the stage over at Rudyard’s. Victoria keeps getting called country music, but I’d say that she’s more like a mix of blues and folk with country accents. She’s been dropping singles left and right, the most recent being “Howlin’ Shame.” She’ll have another wild card on as direct support, when Houston’s Moji provides direct support. This three piece mixes genres like a bartender at Anvil mixes flavors for a cocktail. Rock, blues, soul, and R&B are intertwined within their sound, found all over their “Desert Son” EP. I feel for any act that has to follow them as they have this bombastic nature where their drummer and guitarist go off on these little ditties while Moji herself draws notes that sound like the earth coming to an end. The indie folk rock of Houston’s Cactus Cats will be there as opener. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.
Mucky Duck will have a one off solo acoustic performance from the always engaging, Robert Ellis. So, if you missed Ellis at Rice U last week drop a set of all new material, then this is your chance to see him in a more intimate setting. I feel like he’s a guy to see now before he blows up, and last year’s “The Lights From The Chemical Plant” will have a follow up next year. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:30 and tickets between $25.00 and $28.00.
Friday you can start off over at Vinal Edge when Buoyant Spirit drops a set. For those who aren’t in the know, the three piece contains two members of Deep Cuts, but basically sounds the exact opposite of them. Their darkwave and experimental mixture is pretty intense, and their new release, “Buoyant Spirit” is a trip. A band called Guice will open up on the FREE show starting at 7:00.
BLSHS, Photo: Navi Pon
If that’s not your thing, then you could make it over to Discovery Green to catch Houston’s BLSHS on the Chipotle Music & Movie series. For those who don’t know, this is the last BLSHS show of the year while the three piece gears up to drop two EP’s next year. If you missed their single this year, “In And Out,” get ready for a different sound. Gone is the eighties synth pop of last year’s “Abstract Desires,” and something more contemporary with Michelle’s haunting vocals peppered throughout. Their set will be followed by a screening of the film “Hannah Ranch,” and chipotle will hand out 500 Buy One Get One coupons on the show. Things start at 7:00, it’s all ages, and 100% FREE.
Over at Walter’s you can catch the dreamy electro pop of BORNS. The Michigan performer drops these falsetto driven pop jams that mix electronics with R&B pop elements. His latest releases this year have all been singles, six to be exact. “Electric Love” has been tearing through the charts and getting this guy all sorts of new fans. I’d suggest getting to this show early to catch opener, Avid Dancer. Pretty much the bulk of the music press says this five piece is one to watch with their pop rock sounds. Their full length from this year, “1st Bath,” has gotten tons of attention, and they’re rumored to be great live. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $15.00 and $17.00.
Rudyard’s will bring the rock when Golden Sombrero brings their REM meets Replacements sound to life. I say that, but they also have hints of Husker Du and Crazy Horse thrown in. This year they released “Replacement Level” that cemented them as an act worth checking out. They’ll have the high energy of Houston’s Since Always on board as direct support. Somehow this band got what first wave emo was all about, and their sound is like part Mineral, part Knapsack, but with these engaging female vocals that echo Tanya Donelly. Their debut album, “Consequences,” is definitely one of my favorites from this year. Houston four piece Mothertone will open things up on the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00 cover.
Alley Kat will have a barn burner when Houston four piece Slow Future plays their blend of indie rock. The band just finished recording and has their new stuff for free download here. The seventies rock sounds of Houston mainstays, Project Grimm will be on as direct support. Opening things up will be the three piece who sounds like a five piece, Only Beast. I feel like you’re doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t seen this band live. They’re like getting punched in the mouth with crazy high energy. Their 2013 self titled album, “Only Beast” is a tour de force, only to be followed by a live album this year, “Live at Notsuoh.” The 21 & up show has doors at 8:30 and tickets for $5.00.
The final weeks of the twelve week Beta Bracket Comedy Contest are in full swing over at Phoenicia MKT Bar. Upping the stakes, comics in this round will have to perform 10 minute sets, meaning that the stakes are higher this time. The contestants in this round are Rich Williams vs Antoine Culbreath, Greg Deal vs Stephen Brandau, and Christopher Riddle vs Bret Whitacre. Three of these comics will move on to the semifinals for their shot at a whopping, $3,000.00 grand prize. And since it’s audience vote, you can help decide someone’s fate on the all ages event starting at 10:00. As always it’s 100% FREE with Free parking as well.
At Boondocks you can end your Friday with a show presented by Blackout. This show will have DJ sets from three killer artists here in town headlined by Angiesliste. I’ve been telling you for a while that she rips a set like no one else going right now, and her recent shows have proven that she can put feet on the floor. The immensely creative and always busy tunes of android genius will be on prior, and should make for an interesting set. Genius has been dropping collabs lately with all sorts of people, and we might get lucky and hear some jams from his newest project. Compilations like The Heuristic Collective, an EP with “Niraya,” and remixes for Guilla have proven that this guy is sick. Getting things started will be the the acid induced dance jams of BRKLW. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
On Saturday you should get going at the Karbach Brewery for the blues rock of Houston’s Sik Mule. They’ll also have tunes from Houston funk and blues rockers, HandsomeBeast. This year they dropped the funky sounding, “Sexy Face Reaction Time,” and they’re pretty crazy on a live set. Things will get kicked off by DJ Tronix, though I’m guessing this isn’t one of the DJ Tronix’ from Australia or Switzerland. The 100% FREE show gets going at noon and I’m guessing it’s 21 & up.
4202 Screen Printing Gallery will be hosting a one time event that has a horde of artists creating one off Rocky Horror Picture Show tees, as well as hosting a strong lineup of music. There’s also crafts and arts vendors, beer from St Arnold’s and more and food trucks. The music will have DJ Damon Allen spinning jams all night, as well as some sets starting off with A Girl Named Tiger. The electro indie pop four piece lead by Carnival Talk’s Molly Gavin dropped a trippy set at the Hank & Cupcakes show, and their single, “Midas Tongue” is as beautiful as it is catchy. Houston shoegaze four piece, Empty Shells will go on after, and bring their energy heavy show to all in attendance. It’s hard to believe that a shoegaze act has this kind of energy, but listen to their soundcloud to hear them for yourself. The darkwave of Millennial Grave will end the evening on the all ages show that starts at 6:00 and is 100% FREE.
Mavis Staples, Photo: Courtesy of Anti records
If you don’t mind a drive, you could make it out to the Big Barn at Dosey Doe, for Mavis Staples and Joan Osborne. I shouldn’t have to sell you this show, as Staples by herself is a true soul legend. Part of The Staples Singers, she had the massive hit “I’ll Take You There,” and she’s known for her amazing live shows. Her latest is 2013’s “One True Vine,” and she’s had a ton of hits on her own. Adding Grammy winner Joan Osborne who you’ll know from her hit, “One of Us,” this should be an amazing show. Your ticket price includes dinner and a drink, and dinner is served from 6:00 to 7:30. The tickets are between $138.00 and $198.00.
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, they’ll have an evening with Austin’s Monte Montgomery. Considered one of the best guitarists going, Montgomery has been gaining fans the world over with his bluesy country tunes. His latest album, 2012’s “Tethered” falls in line with his string of jammy tunes. There’s no word of an opener yet on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $25.00.
At House of Blues they’ll bring the pop rock of Canada’s The Tragically Hip to town. Though they’ve been around since the early eighties, and they’ve had success in Canada, they’ve never really had commercial success in the states until recently. They’ve garnered a cult status since, and played at places like ACL and garnered the slow boil to success like Wilco has. Their most recent release was a reissue last year of the 1992 album, “Fully Complete.” That album is what they’re rumored to be performing in its’ entirety. There’s no word of an opener on the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $42.50 and $55.00.
Lord Huron, Photo: Billions
In the ballroom at Warehouse Live, you can catch the ever growing popular sounds of Lord Huron. Though only around since 2010, this four piece gets critical acclaim and has played some of the bigger US festivals. Combining singer/songwriter elements with folk and indie pop, they’re pretty great to catch perform in person. Their latest release, this year’s “Strange Trails” has more of a country theme, but it’s still pretty amazing. Houston three piece Say Girl Say will be on the bill as direct support and opener. I don’t know if this gypsy infused blend of acoustic guitar, ukulele, and crazed percussion can be described; but their dual vocals are mesmerizing to say the least. This year they dropped a full length called “Say Girl Say” that’s organic and trippy. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $25.00.
At 1401 Sterret Studios, you could catch the shotgun studio opening from Houligan Collective, headlined by the indie rock of Belvoir. They’ll be playing songs from their new release, “This Will Only Take A Second,” from earlier this year. The indie fuzz rock of NOLA three piece, Yuppie Teeth will be on the bill as well. The guitar heavy sounds they make on their latest, “EP II” is pretty infectious, and could make for a rad set. They’ll be bringing power pop rock three piece, Grotto Girl also from NOLA with them. These guys kind of sound like Husker Du mixed with Pavement, and last year’s “Besides,” is pretty catchy. The folky indie rock of Civeta Dei will be there to open things up with their Bright Eyes meets Cursive sounds. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are a measly $5.00.
At Alley Kat you can get your rock on, when the newly reformed Giant Kitty performs. Going from a three piece to a four piece, the band is set to release a new album sooner than later. The indie pop rock of Jody Seabody and the Whirls will be on in the middle slot. This melodic four piece is known for their engaging live show, and 2012’s “Summer Us” is filled with all kinds of guitar jams. Opening things up will be Houston four piece, Jealous Creatures. I’d hope you’d have caught them before, as they play eighties infused rock that’s pretty catchy and their newest release, “The Night Goes On For Days” is a great representation of their tight live show. The doors are at 8:30, it’s 21 & up, and the cover is a paltry $5.00.
Sunday you might find that you wanna draw beautiful people, and if you do, then you should head to The Corkscrew for another edition of Sketchbook Saloon. The theme this time is space and they’ll have props and what not to help with the illusion from Rudy Campos of RCC Creations. The models this month are burlesque dancer Bunny Galore and martial artist Jordan Sifu Kolar. Hannah Bull and Honey Moonpie host the entire event that gets going around 2:00. It’s 21 & up and the tickets are $10.00 for members, $15.00 for new members, and $20.00 for photographers.
Over at Fitzgerald’s they’ll be hosting the doom metal of Austin’s The Sword. If you missed these guys drop the metal hammer at FPSF this year, then this is your chance to see them do their thing. Their most recent album, “High Country” from a couple months ago is different from their previous stuff; but I said the same about “Warp Riders” and I love it now. One of the best shows I saw at Fitz downstairs last year, German blues metal psych rockers Kadavar will be on as direct support. These guys look like they took a time machine from 1978 and their Black Sabbath meets Hawkwind sound traveled with them. Their new album, “Berlin” is like a blast from the past, and I promise you’ll love catching them live. Nashville four piece garage meets seventies metal act, All Them Witches will be on as openers. These guys remind me of how The Sword sounded to me the first time I heard them when they were getting their start, and they should be great to see live. Their newest album isn’t out yet, but they’ve dropped some singles from it, the most recent being “Open Passageways.” The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
House of Blues will have the no-fi skuzzy pop sounds of San Diego’s Wavves. This four piece has been making waves, no pun intended since they started. They used to be more of a garage psych pop sound, but now they’re more fuzzy sounding. Their latest release, this year’s “V” is pretty infectious and they’re supposed to be a really good live act as well. Boston no wave four piece, Steep Leans will be on as opener on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $18.00.
Tuesday you have some tough decisions to make starting off over in the studio at Warehouse Live, when Telekinesis performs. The Seattle based one man band has been through the musical ringer and came back out with their best album to date, the recently released “Ad Infinitum.” Dropping pop laced synth jams, Telekinesis is known for a great live show and one of those bands that everyone needs to see live at least once. The slacker guitar pop of NYC’s Say Hi will be on as direct support. Say Hi has been making quite the name for themselves over the past 13 years, and this year’s “Bleeders Digest” is catchy and inventive in its’ simplicity. Imagine if The Strokes methodology to songwriting had more pop elements. The jangly indie rock of Houston’s Cactus Cats will be on the all ages show as openers. The doors are at 7:00 and tickets are between $13.00 and $15.00.
Flying Bach, Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull
Over at Wortham Center, Red Bull will present the Flying Bach Tour. When I first heard of this show, I didn’t know what to think of the idea of people breakdancing to the music of Bach. Then I saw video and I was freaked out by the acrobatics and beauty of it all. The seven male breakdancers of the infamous troupe, The Flying Steps, will be joined by Swedish ballerina Anna Holmstrom to mix beauty and technique in a way like you’ve never experienced. The opening night is on Tuesday, and there are shows 10/14, 10/15, 10/17 and 10/18. The shows on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday have doors at 7:30 while the Saturday performance has doors at 8:00, and the Sunday is at 1:00. The all ages show has tickets between $40.50 and $70.50.
At Revention Center you can relive the nineties when Garbage returns to town. I think most people would have been on board with this show if they were here supporting a new album, but instead they’ll be here playing their debut album in celebration of it turning 20 years old. In that vein, they’ve also re-issued and remastered the album, “Garbage” in two versions. There’s no word of an opener, it’s all ages, and the doors are at 7:30. The tickets are close to selling out between $35.00 and $40.00.
Of course, I’d guess that many of you will be trekking to House of Blues to catch the massively popular hip hop of Run The Jewels. These two are on a roll and getting bigger by the second. Their debut album was tight, then last year’s “Run The Jewels 2” was even tighter. This year they have a remix album that’s cat themed called “Meow The Jewels” that believe it or not, is also tight. They’re a force to catch live and always entertaining to watch. They’ll have the infamous producer behind Beyonce’s fifth album, Jordan Asher aka BOOTS on as opener and direct support. BOOTS makes these trippy fuzz pop jams that are pretty amazing, and his latest single “Bombs Away” is pretty intense. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 with tickets between $20.00 and $25.00, and will more than likely sell out.
That’s about all there is this week, but all in all not bad. No matter what you do and where you go, please do so in the safest manner possible.