Tell Your Friends: The Best of The Week
The Weeknd, Photo: Rex Shutterstock
Last week it felt like all seven days were stacked from start to finish. Well, this week isn’t much different while we inch closer to the holidays. Bigger names like The Weeknd will be rolling into town alongside plenty of smaller acts and local shows. Houston, here’s where to spend your holiday savings.
Wednesday you could start off over at Warehouse Live, when Detroit’s The Black Dahlia Murder performs. These guys drop melodic heavy metal like no one else, and their time signatures are insane. They’re here in support of their latest album, this year’s fast and crazed “Abysmal.” The black metal of Louisiana’s Goatwhore will be on as direct support, while the thrash metal of Virginia’s Iron Reagan will be on the bill and will mow over everyone with their nutty riffs. The metal tech of Entheos will also be on the show, and Long Island’s Artificial Brain will open the all ages show in the studio. The doors are at 6:00 and the tickets are $20.00.
If that’s just too harsh for you, then you could head to The Boot to catch the alt country Americana of Houston’s Ruckus. These guys have a nice energy when they perform, they’re tight, and their songs are better than most new country acts going. The show runs from 7:00 to 10:00 and is 100% FREE.
Wild Chile, Photo: Courtney Chavanelle
On Thursday you should consider heading to Walters to catch a set from Austin’s Wild Child. The seven piece plays power pop mixed with bar blues, and has thus ushered in a bunch of clones to come out of Austin in hopes of the same success. Their live show is always on point, and their latest album, “Fools” from this year showcases the band’s more hook heavy side. Performing the duties of direct support and opener will be the rockin’ twang of La Porte’s Buxton. If you’ve never seen these guys perform than I at least hope the rock in which you live under is a cozy one. They released one of the most beautiful and diverse albums I’ve ever heard this year with “Half A Native,” and they’re always great to catch live. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
If you’d rather get some psych jams in your life, then you can go to The Nightingale Room and check out Houston’s Rivers. Last year these guys released “Fables In Slang,” and then basically stopped playing live shortly thereafter, or at least stopped playing regularly. That means that if you’re a fan, you might not get to see them again for a while. They’ll have the rock pop blues sounds of Austin’s Daniel Eyes & The Vibes on the bill as well. The doors are at 7:00, it’s 21 & up, and it’s 100% FREE.
You could get your laugh on over at Improv when Pittsburgh’s Steve Byrne performs. The comic has been pretty much everywhere on TV that has comedy including The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show, Chappelle’s Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. That’s before mentioning that he’s had an hour long special on Comedy Central, as well as Netflix, and he’s toured the world over and even opened for bands like SPOON and Modest Mouse. This guy is truly a force you have to see live, and his latest album, “Champion” from last year is pretty damn hilarious. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as feature act and host. The Thursday show has doors at 7:15, the Friday shows have doors at 7:00 and 9:00, and the Saturday shows have doors at 6:15 and 8:00. All of the 18 and up shows have tickets between $20.00 and $30.00.
If you like Free comedy, then you could head to Al’s Sports Bar to catch Last Comic Standing comic, Sadiki Fuller. Fuller is known to be a funny comic who grinds harder than most. He’ll have support from Victor Tran and John Nguyen, two of Houston’s funniest comics going. There’s also sets from Roxy Haze, Mal Mallucci, and Ricardo Mendez. The 21 & up show starts at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Friday you could make it over to Warehouse Live for the metal core of Pennsylvania’s August Burns Red. The riff heavy five piece is in town in support of their new album, this year’s “Found In Far Away Places.” The metal of Buffalo’s Every Time I Die will be on as direct support, and will bring their new EP “Salem” to life. Seriously, give it a listen as the late nineties rockers bring new life to Nirvana’s “Tourette’s” on the release. The screamo sounds of California’s Stick To Your Guns will also be on the bill, while Plano’s Polypia will go on prior. Florida’s Wage War will open the all ages show with doors at 5:30 and tickets between $22.00 and $25.00.
Rose Ette, Photo: Michelle Yue
If you ever went to The Shop on Harrisburg, well it’s under new owners and everything and it’s called Satellite Bar now. To my understanding they have a proper booze license and proper sound as well. They’ll be hosting the United Waves and Rose Ette split 7” party, headlined by United Waves. These guys play an endearing drone wave rock sound that you need to see sooner than later. Of course, if you’ve somehow missed Rose Ette then I guess you don’t go out much. The female lead four piece makes these dreamy noise rock songs that are all over their debut album, “Jungle,” and their live shows are always engaging and on point. The infectious indie pop of Houston’s The Lories will be on the bill as well, while newcomers Life Size Gods will be there to open things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a measly $5.00 cover.
If that’s not your thing then you could swing by Rudyard’s to catch the indie rock jams of Houston’s Dollie Barnes. I say indie rock, but there are undertones of seventies rock and country twang occasionally on her songs, and if you’ve never seen her live then you’re missing out. The show will also host the folk psych rock of Austin’s Milezo who have become known for mixing in multiple elements found all over their latest, this year’s “Heads On Holiday.” The garage rock of Austin’s Pollen Rx will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $8.00.
The genre mixing sounds of Houston’s Space Villains will be on full display over at Fitzgerald’s. These guys mix R&B, rock, jazz, and punk in a way that’s as intriguing as it sounds, and their album “Asterism” is worth checking out. Gio Chamba will also be on hand to bring his energetic and crazed digital cumbia set to the crowd. This guy goes hard when he performs, and his album, “Chamba” is insane. The hip hop duo of Dirty & Nasty will open, and they’ll drop jams from their “Sons of The Queen” release for the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $5.00.
You could mix up night at Southern Goods, when Austin’s Blue Healer starts an “every Friday” residency. I don’t know what you call these guys genre wise..maybe electro-folk or folk pop. However the main reason to go is to get there to check out two of Houston’s better acts with Chase Hamblin as direct support. Chase is one of our city’s most gifted songwriters, and his single “Way Back” from earlier this year proves how strong a tune he can write. The eclectic and soulful sounds of Houston’s Moji will open things up. This three piece redefines what a band can sound like, mixing jazz, rock, and soulful vocals to create a whole new subgenre. Their EP, “Desert Son” is seriously amazing. The all ages show starts at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Get A Life, Photo: Mark Anthony Garza
In one of the other rooms at Fitzgerald’s you can catch Houston’s Get A Life perform. This band, lead by Chase DeMaster is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Aside from the fact that DeMaster drops guitar science in this band, their 2014 album “As If Emoji” is really good. Austin psych rockers The Warplanes will be on in the middle. The psych dream shoegaze of Houston’s Mojave Red will open the all ages show with doors at 9:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.
Alley Kat will host a lively set from Orlando’s The Wooly Bushmen. Blending sixties garage and fifties doo wop pop, this three piece is known for mixing it up when they perform. Their latest, this year’s “Sky Bosses” just proves how electric they really are. Speaking of fifties doo wop meets sixties garage, the power trio of Houston’s Cleen Teens will be on as direct support for this show. Check out their demos and see for yourself, the Mikey Drag lead group is pretty great. Houston five piece Mind Shrine will also be on the bill, while the psych of Silver Blueberry will open the 21 & up show. There’s also sixties jams from DJ Eleelandc with doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.
Slapshot, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Saturday you can start off at Walters when they host legendary 80’s punks Slapshot. Though this is part of a three day event called Houston On The Map, on the last night of the event this essential band performs. These guys formed in Boston and play hardcore like it was meant to be played. Last year they dropped a self titled album called “Slapshot” that’s on point for punk. The hardcore of Connecticut’s Forced Reality will be on as direct support, as well as a ton of other bands, with the details here. It’s all ages, it’s $20.00 or $35.00 for the three days, and the doors are at 6:00.
You could trek down to Scout Bar for the always entertaining sounds of Chicago’s My Life with The Thrill Kill Kult. Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy have been making drug induced and satanic imagery based tunes since 1987. They just re-issued one of their classic albums with “Confessions of A Knife,” and last year’s new release “Spooky Tricks” kept the fire of the legendary band burning. The industrial electronica of Houston’s Underground Netwerk Intelligence will be on as direct support, while the understated intelligent jams of DJ Damon Allen will open the all ages show. The doors are at 7:00, the music starts at 8:00, and the tickets are between $16.00 and $20.00.
The inaugural night of The Waughford will see a party for the ages called The Red & Green Party, with music to be headlined by the entertaining and energy heavy Gio Chamba. Gio is like watching a guy go crazy for his set time, and his percussionist Coffee Guzman might be the only guy who can keep up with him. I’ve seen Gio tire out dancers on stage with him before. A set from Nikkhoo & PLXTX will also be on the bill, while a newly reformed Whit is also set to perform. The intense electronica of XLO will be there as well as a DJ set from LSDJ on the night with all kinds of goodies in store for those who attend. It’s 21 & up with doors at 8:00, it’s $7.00, and all of the details are here.
Dom Kennedy, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Warehouse Live will have the hip hop of LA’s Dom Kennedy in the ballroom. Kennedy has been popping off since he started, and his latest release, “By Dom Kennedy” is pretty legit. The gangsta rap of Jay 305 will be on as direct support, while the heat seeking sounds of PELL will be on prior. The popular tunes of Sauce Twinz will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $30.00.
Fitzgerald’s will host the Austin punk of Riverboat Gamblers. These guys have been around for a minute, but their live shows are always top notch. Their newest release, “Time To Let Her Go” is as good as their previous works. Austin’s Broken Gold will be on as direct support and will play tunes from their new EP, “Turning Blue.” These guys have plenty of energy, and this EP was produced by Stu Sikes, the same guy who did “Elephant” by White Stripes. The full throttle punk of Houston’s Dead To The World will be on as well and will bring their latest, “War” to life to those who attend. Roadside Union will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $14.00.
Golden Sombrero, Photo: Race To the Moon
Alley Kat will have some rock when Houston’s Golden Sombrero performs. These guys dropped a pretty solid album this year with “Replacement Level,” and their live show is one you should catch sooner than later. They’ll have Houston’s Race To The Moon on prior, and these guys are definitely a band to keep a watch on. Their album this year, “What A Time To Be Alive,” proved that the four piece has grown immensely since last year. The slow build of emo indie rock act Newport American Dream will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:30 and a $5.00 cover.
MKT Bar is hosting a Christmas themed Karaoke party, that if last year was any preview, could be more fun than you’d think. People who make moves around town are sure to be on hand and butcher some of your favorite holiday tunes with mediocre singing voices. It starts at 9:00, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE.
You can end Saturday over at Grand Prize when Andy V and Luz drop a DJ set. Both of these guys have become well known as ambassadors of the needle drop, and add to that a DJ set from Houston’s Children of Pop; and you have a great evening closer. The 21 & up event gets going around 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Sunday I’d guess that most of you will be heading to Toyota Center to see the massively popular tunes of The Weeknd. This year’s “Beauty Behind The Madness” has been on a ton of top lists, and the Canadian singer has been called amazing by pretty much everyone who’s seen him perform. There’s no word of an opener on the all ages show with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $39.50 and $199.00.
Over at Dean’s you can catch an intimate set from singer songwriter Kristal Cherelle. If you’ve never heard her before, then this is your chance as she sounds like a mix between a modern day Tracy Chapman and Solange. Last year she dropped the album “Fighter,” and she should be playing a mix from it alongside new material. the 21 & up show runs from 8:00 to 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
D&W Lounge will debut a new series that will feature multitrack audio sound, with this edition hosting The Mighty Orq and John Egan. Both of these guys are stellar artists, and both are ones you should see sooner than later. It runs from 8:00 to 10:00, I think it’s all ages with an adult accompanying you, and it’s FREE.
Myq Kaplan, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Monday Warehouse Live will have the hilarious antics of comedian Myq Kaplan. This guy has been on a tear since appearing on Last Comic Standing. He’s dropped several albums, he’s been on Comedy Central as well as the bulk of the late night talk shows, and his new Netflix special is a riot. That special is also his latest album, “Small, Dork, and Handsome,” and he’s a comic you need to catch in person. The hilarious Chase Durousseau will be the feature act on the show, and should leave everyone in stitches, while a set from Andrew Youngblood will occur prior and get everyone in the laughing mood. The show’s host duties will be performed by the entertaining antics of Houston comic on the rise, Zahid Dewji. The all ages show has doors at 7:00, it’s in the studio, and the tickets are between $12.00 and $15.00.
If you’d rather get some ear bleeding in, then you could head to Boondocks to catch the metal of Oakland’s Saviours. These guys bring British heavy metal even though they’re from the US. Their new album, “Palace of Vision” is the album you wished that The Sword would have made. Chunky riffs and fast playing is what they’re known for and their stoner vibes are supposed to be amazing live. The always engaging metal of Houston’s Venomous Maximus will be on as direct support, while the newly formed and “greatest band name ever” sounds of Houston’s The Satanic Overlords of Rock N’ Roll will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
That’s really about it this week while we gear up for the holidays. No matter what you decide to do, please do it in the safest way possible for everyone’s sake.