Smoke Break: The Best of The Week
Chance The Rapper. Photo: Courtesy of Live Nation
This week acts like Chance The Rapper, The New Pornographers, Mitski, and The Weeknd will all be here while local acts like Los Skarnales and Rough Sleepers fill in the gaps. Houston, here’s how to map out the next week.
Wednesday you can begin at Discovery Green for the Party on the Plaza with the always amazing energy of Los Skarnales. These guys have been playing with intensity for long enough to have reached legendary status, and their latest release, Another Day, Another Borrachera, is like a party for your ears. The funky blues mixture of Houston’s Muddy Belle will open things up for the 100% FREE all ages affair that gets going at 7 pm.
San Fermin. Photo: Denny Renshaw
You might not think that a seven-piece orchestral electro pop band would be intriguing, but you’d be wrong, which is why you should head upstairs to White Oak Music Hall to see Brooklyn’s San Fermin. I would say that any band this committed to a sound should be commended and they’re seriously getting bigger by the day. Their album from last year, Belong, is a mix of catchy pop and gorgeous undertones. The immense and deep electronica of Iceland’s Low Roar will be on as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm with $15 tickets.
On Thursday the iconic sixties British rock of The Zombies will be over at Heights Theater. These guys have hits like “Time of The Season,” “She’s Not There,” and “This Will Be Our Year,” amongst so many more. I shouldn’t have to oversell this show, as these guys are pretty amazing, and scientifically, this could be your last chance to see them if you’re a fan. There’s no support or openers because they’ll play a lengthy time for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $44 and $336, the latter being a VIP seated option with four tickets total.
Waxahatchee. Photo: Jesse Riggins
Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, the indie rock meets pop sensibility of Canada’s The New Pornographers will perform. Aside from the fact that Neko Case is in this band, they’re one of the strongest live acts you can see today. Their latest, Whiteout Conditions, is their best to date, and since they don’t tour much, you might want to make it out. The indie folk rock of Waxahatchee will be on as direct support and opener, and with a new album coming up, you should hear some of her new material. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $29 and $33.
Over at Walter’s, the indie pop rock of Chicago five piece The Walters will swing by to play. That’s right, a band with the same name of the club they’re playing at is actually happening. Aside from that, these guys make catchy tunes and their new track “She’s Gonna’ Leave You” is as hook heavy as their last album Young Men. The beach pop of Austin’s Summer Salt will be on hand as direct support while the lush and gorgeous indie rock of Galveston’s El Lago will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
Satellite Bar will have the intensity of Finland’s Foreseen over to probably break some things. These guys make thrash that sounds like what DRI always wanted to sound like, and their latest album Grave Danger is pretty epic. San Antonio’s Bloodhound will be on as direct support while the death metal of Houston’s Skourge will go on beforehand. The hardcore punk of Houston’s United Races will go on prior, and Erupt will open the all ages show with a $10 cover and doors at 8 pm.
The Secret Group will have the Draughts and Laughs show hosted by Stephen Brandau. While Stephen is a funny guy, this inventive comedy show has a new beer every month for you to take on a test drink, as well as plenty of funny comics. The 21 & up show has a $12 cover that includes a souvenir pint glass and two drafts of 11 Below Brewery beer for this month’s show.
Webb Wilder. Photo: David McClister
Continental Club will host the entertaining mud rock of Nashville’s Webb Wilder. Wilder plays country-tinged and blues-minded throwback rock, he’s known to be a force to be reckoned with live, and his latest album Mississippi Moderne is like if Hank Thompson made an early Beatles album. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and a $20 cover.
Chicago’s NE-HI will bring their indie rock to life upstairs at White Oak Music Hall. These guys make pop-influenced indie rock that’s all over their new album Offers and they’re rumored to put on an impressive live show. Houston’s Young Girls will bring their energy heavy indie rock on as direct support and Since Always will open things up with their new wave indie rock for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Friday, you can get started at Nightingale Room for the Cinco de Mayo celebration hosted by Marco Torres. If you don’t know this guy, you’ve at least seen his photos of bands, or maybe he’s in front of you at a taco stand right now. That’s not a slight on him as he was involved in the stellar book Tacos of Texas and he can tell you the best tacos in every Texas city. He’ll host DJ sets from Gio Chamba, Gracie Chavez, and Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales. The 21 & up event gets going around 5 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Tanya Tucker. Photo: Jeremy West
Out in the Woodlands at Dosey Doe, one of the Queens of Country, Tanya Tucker, will be at the Big Barn to perform. Tucker had her first hit when she was 13, she’s a legend in all aspects, and with hits like “Delta Dawn,” “Love Me Like You Used To,” and “Texas (When I Die),” you shouldn’t miss this set. Sonia Langham will open things up for the all ages show with doors at 6 pm. Tickets range between $108 and $178 and include dinner, served from 6 pm to 7:30 pm.
Rockefeller’s will host the EP release for Genesis Blu‘s latest album, Bluming Season. Blu is one of the best new rappers in Houston and she’ll be on fire at this show with a live band backing her. The show also has surprise guests with doors at 7 pm for the all ages and 100% FREE show.
Civic TV will have the album release party for Rough Sleepers while the show will get headlined by LA’s Behavior. Behavior is one of those bands that’s a mix of no wave, post punk and traditional punk that’s hard to ignore, while their album 375 images of Angels is something you need to hear for yourself. Rough Sleepers will be on as direct support for the release party of their album Savage Dream, which should blow the minds of everyone in attendance. Blue Dolphin opens the all ages BYOB show with doors at 8 pm with a $7 cover.
White Oak Music Hall upstairs will host the album release for funk of Houston’s Brothers Grymn. Their album, Summer Sessions, is pretty tight and funky and should sound impressive live. Houston’s Kyle Hubbard serves as direct support with his intense mic skills. Doors are at 8 pm with tickets between $8 and $10.
Out at Redneck Country Club, Los Lonely Boys will be on hand to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo. These guys are pretty amazing live, they definitely don’t come here enough, and their last album Revelation still holds up. The poetic tunes of Lisa Morales will be on as direct support while the country twang of Gilmer, Texas’ Curtis Grimes will open the all ages show with tickets between $30 and $70 with doors at 8 pm.
John Evans. Photo: Brandon Holley
Rudyard’s will have a barn burner when the never disappointing twangy rock of Houston turned Austin transplant, John Evans will be on hand to perform. Evans’ last album, Polyester, was one of my favorites from last year, his live shows are incredibly fun, and he’s one of Houston’s best acts. The classic country fun of Opie Hendrix will be on as direct support and opener for the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover,
On Saturday over at Toyota Center you could stop by to catch R&B jams of The Weeknd. This guy is so impressive that I’ll just say that his latest Starboy is like Michael Jackson without sounding lifted, and his live shows are just as impressive. There’s no word of support or openers for the all ages show with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $39.50 and $150.
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes. Photo: Eryn Brooke
Mucky Duck will host the return of Austin’s Charlie Faye and the Fayettes. Complete with doo wop overtones, this group brings you back to the ’60s, as if Carole King made a Motown album. They’re known for intimate performances and their latest release, Charlie Faye & The Fayettes from last year, is one you shouldn’t miss. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, you could get your doom fix when Austin’s The Sword make their return to town. Here in support of their latest two releases, High Country from 2015 and Low Country from last year, these guys have always swung the doom hammer harder than most. The roots sounds of Austin’s Croy and The Boys will be on as direct support and openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $19 and $23.
Holy Wave. Photo: Allison Scarpulla
Over at Walter’s you could get groovy with the psych rock sounds of Austin’s Holy Wave. These guys are always a trip to catch live and their latest release, Freaks of Nurture from last year, is their strongest so far. The psych sounds and beats of San Francisco’s Al Lover will be on hand as direct support while Houston’s Mojave Red will bring their bluesy chillwave psych sounds on as openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $10.
Satellite Bar will host the legendary metal goodness of The Obsessed. With Wino on vocals, this reunited version of the Maryland-based band feels like they should be in a much bigger room while their new album Sacred is a nice return to form. The stoner rock of Karma To Burn will be on hand as direct support while the stoner doom of Ohio’s Lo Pan will go on prior. The doom metal insanity of Houston’s Doomstress will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $20.
Nikki Hill. Photo: Intrepid Artists
I’d recommend swinging by Continental Club however to catch the soulful sounds of North Carolina’s Nikki Hill. Backed by musicians from all over, including Houston, Hill toured across the globe in support of her raucous album Heavy Hearts Hard Fists while earning a reputation as a force to be reckoned with in a live setting. Austin’s Tomar & the FCs will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm with a $15 ticket price.
On Sunday, you could make the trek to the Woodlands Pavilion to catch the enigmatic sounds of Chicago’s Chance The Rapper. This guy has seriously blown up all without the support of a label, his live shows are intense, and his latest Coloring Book is really amazing. Rumor has it that the show is sold out, but if there are tickets available, they’ll be between $30 and $139.95 with gates at 7 pm.
Tuesday you could make it over to House of Blues to catch the hip hop of DC’s Wale. Known for being one of the strongest rappers in the country, this guy sells out most of his shows while his latest drop, The Album About Nothing from 2015, is about as immense as it is catchy. There’s no word of openers or support though that may change before the show itself with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $30.
Mitski. Photo: Ebru Yildiz
You could also head over to Walter’s for the massively popular sounds of Mitski. Defying the rules of the music industry, Mitski does her own thing with an almost DIY ethic while selling out shows across the globe. Her latest release, Puberty 2 from last year, proves that truly independent based indie rock can still strive. The intriguing electro experimental music of Helado Negro will be on hand as direct support while the bedroom garage pop of Edinburgh, Texas’ Jesika will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $12 and $15.
That’s about all happening around town this week. No matter what you do, please remember that drinking like an adult is best for everyone, so choose the safest way home, please.