Waking To Winter: The Best of The Week
Photo: Paris Visone
Well, hopefully you all survived the craziness of New Year’s Eve and you had a safe and happy holiday season. It’s a new year full of new shows and plenty of goings on. This week you’ll have a couple of can’t miss shows mixed with some great laughs and plenty of local things as well. Here’s how to beat the Winter chills.
Wednesday Mango’s has a pretty cool show, when Austin’s feminist punkers, Feral Future performs. Early last year, the four piece released their bombastic debut album, “Haematic” which opened eyes to the band’s ability to really “bring it.” They’re known for a pretty entertaining live show that’s always full of energy and heavy riffs. The artsy punk of Houston’s No Love Less will be on the show as direct support. This group has this really avant garde vibe mixed with early era Talking Heads. They’ll have the psych post punk sounds of Houston’s Vacation Eyes on the show as openers.. The four piece made up of John Baldwin of Wild Moccasins, Jenny Hoyston of Erase Errata, Mlee Marie of Hearts of Animals, and Mars Varela of The Busy Kids; is known to put on a really fun live show. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 with a $7.00 cover.
On Thursday, you can make your way out to Joke Joint Comedy Showcase for comedian Tim Pulnik. Pulnik has been in the comedy game for quite some time, and in that time he’s appeared on various festivals as well as made a name for himself in the world of voiceover actors. Appearing in films like “Lost & Found” as well as providing a voice for Madden 2011; Pulnik is a comic of many talents. As per all of the shows out at Joke Joint, one of Houston’s better comics will serve as feature act, and this week it’s Barry Laminack. Barry is a host on ESPN radio, and his humor falls between that of hilarious and side splitting, as he covers everything from relationships to reality television. Hosting the show will be FPH Sammy Winner, and Beta Bracket Comedy Competition Winner, Ashton Womack. Ashton is charismatic, he has great comedic timing, and he could be one of the brightest stars to come out of Houston in a long time. The Thursday show is at 8:00, while there are two shows on Friday and Saturday; both at 8:00 and 10:30. All carry a ticket price of $16.00.
If you’re a fan of playing Nintendo on a giant screen and you want to help others, then the Rainbow on Ice event at Discovery Green is where you should be. The Rainbow on The Green party will make it’s way to the ice for a huge LGBT party. There will be DJ Joe Ross dropping beats, Violet S’Arblu(as Queen Elsa of Frozen), and even the Houston Gaymers group all on hand to keep the party going. The Houston Gaymers will be offering Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros.” to be played on the big Discovery Green screen. There’s a huge raffle for a prize that you can also be entered into if you bring a new unwrapped toy for Texas Children’s Hospital. The event is 100% FREE and it goes from 7:00 to 10:00.
You could make the trek up to the Dosey Doe Music Cafe in Conroe to catch the energetic and entertaining sounds of Austin’s Whiskey Shivers. The large coupling just dropped a “S/T” album last year that showcases their mix of bluegrass and hill music that they affectionately call “Trashgrass.” These guys are barefoot, fast, and something like you’ve never seen before. The show has doors at 8:30 and the tickets are $10.00.
On Friday, you have more than enough things that you could be doing, starting off at Discovery Green, as they show the classic film, 1971’s “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.” Nothing against the Tim Burton one, but this might be one of the creepiest, amazing, and drug induced films ever made. We all know the story, and aside from the special effects; this could easily be a contender for on of Gene Wilder’s best films. Bring the family, bring the dog, and bring a blanket, as the all ages affair gets going at 7:30 and it’s 100% FREE.
You could also venture over to Phoenicia’s MKT Bar for another night of comedy provided by Beta Theater. This week, the film commentary based show, “Film Richards” with comic Vic Shuttee will be renamed to fall in line with the clean rules of the room. Shuttee has a ton of credits to his name for a guy so young, and his “MST3K” style show is one of the funniest things you’ll see in a long time. This week, he’ll be riffing with a guest on the nineties classic, “Wayne’s World.” As always, a great special on 8th Wonder Beer will be a part of the show that’s all ages, starts at 9:00, and is 100% FREE.
If you’re in that area, then you could also make your way down to Continental Club for the new wave indie pop rock of Pong. It’s hard to describe Pong’s sound away from saying that it’s like DEVO. These guys that formed from the remnants of Ed Hall are pretty entertaining to see live and always a trip to see. Speaking of Ed Hall, they will actually be opening the show. This is a treat to anyone who’s been a longtime fan, as this doesn’t happen much. Ed Hall always reminded me of Jesus Lizard in their approach on their 1988 album, “Albert.” The show is 21 & up, it should get going around 10:00, but call to be sure, and the cover is $10.00.
Rudyard’s will have the bombastic rock n’ roll sounds of Houston’s Holder performing. Last year they dropped a demo that sounded like RFTC minus the horns, or in all honesty; a lot like Seaweed. They’re known for their intensely energetic live shows, so they should be entertaining to see. They’ll have Austin’s Honey and Salt performing on the bill as well. This three piece is a little mathy, a little proggy, and a lot bits old school emo. Their latest release, “Akrasia” is something you should totally check out as it’s worth listening to again and again. Houston’s Brand New Hearts will be opening things up. This four piece has the tightness of a band that’s been together a decade, and their self titled ep from 2013, “Brand New Hearts” is pretty great. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets for $8.00.
Over at Fitzgerald’s the emocore legend of Mineral will live on. For many of you, there’s a good chance that you either a. weren’t old enough to see these guys the first go around, or b. you have no idea the influence they had on modern music; but as someone who got to see them early on..I’ll just say that this is a real treat. Bands like Into It. Over It., Football Etc., and You Blew It wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for these guys. Though their bio says they’re from Austin, they actually started in Houston. Two records in and a deal inked with Interscope that never came to fruition; they were gone as emocore came to an end. Those two records, “The Power of Failing” and “EndSerenading” still hold up today, and their set at Fun Fun Fun recently was one of the best I saw. Texas singer songwriter Josh T Pearson will be on hand as direct support. Pearson has a very heartfelt way to how he performs, and his 2011 album, “Last Of The Country Gentlemen” is something everyone should hear. The garage rock of Dune Tx will open the things up. I’m pretty certain that this show could sell out or get really close, so be warned. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are between $16.00 and $20.00.
In one of two shows, one on Friday and one on Saturday, country legend Ronnie Milsap will be performing out at the woodlands in the big barn at Dosey Doe. So, when I was a kid and every country western star had a variety show, the most entertaining guest they’d have on was Ronnie Milsap. Milsap mixed country and pop in a way that gained him a massive following. His hits like “Smoky Mountain Rain,” and “(There’s) No Gettin’ over Me” were all over radio and television in that time. I caught Milsap about a decade ago, and he was pretty entertaining. He’s not as young as he once was, so if you’re a fan you might want to catch one of these two shows. He has a new album called “Summer Number Seventeen” that mixes his old sound with his epic voice in a swing band sort of way that’s really great. The pop styles of Brooklyn’s Risa Binder opens the show. She’ll be here in support of her 2011 album “Paper Heart.” With all of the big barn shows, dinner is included in your ticket price, and dinner is served between 6:00 and 7:30. Tickets run between $158.00 and $218.00, and the music starts at 7:30; and the details are the same for the Saturday show.
Traffic Premium Lounge in midtown has a comedy show that features Houston comic Nia De-Bose. Nia is one of the sharpest comics Houston has to offer, and her rapier wit is just part of her hilarious act. She’ll be joined by Adam Bob, Orlando Villarreal, Dave Yates, and the riotous humor of Warren Wright. The entire show is hosted by Al B. and is presented by Laff Town Comedy. The show has doors at 8:00 and the comedy starts at 9:00 for the 21 & up show. The cover is $10.00.
Saturday, you can kick off the day by heading over to Cactus for the Come & Take It Comedy Festival Preview Party. The party will feature some sort of beverage on the house, and will host just a sample of the massive list of comics that will be on the fest. The show will have the hilarious Bob Biggerstaff of Last Comic Standing, voice actor and riot Ty Mahany, the self hating humor of Gabe Bravo, the graphic jokes of Bob Morrissey; and the NYC turned Texan humor of Zahid Dewji. The entire party will be hosted by one of Houston’s best and underappreciated comics, Reed Becker, and should be a great way to break the monotony of your usual Saturday. Things get started at 3:00, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE.
Fitzgerald’s has a pretty good punk show from the guys in Pennywise. So, these guys have been around for longer than I figured, but they always put on a great live show. The California four piece will be in town in support of their latest, last year’s “Yesterdays.” Speaking of punk rock holdovers from the nineties, Pittsburgh’s Anti-Flag will be there as direct support. These guys have been playing their brand of bombastic punk since the early nineties, and their last record from 2012, “The General Strike” stays in line with their traditional sound. The gritty punk of Massachusetts’ A Wilhelm Scream will also be there, though the real story is with Houston’s Dead To The World on the show as openers. Last year, these guys dropped an album called “Dead To The World” that echoed a mix of old school punk with the fast paced sound of modern punk music, minus the pop. Get there early, as these guys are definitely worth checking out. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $25.00 and $27.00.
Over at Improv, they’ll have the annoying and abrasive humor of Miranda Sings. The Youtube sensation uses a clueless demeanor alongside a mispronunciation of common words to make anyone who sees her laugh at the absurdity of it all. The character is actually the brainchild of comedian Colleen Ballinger, and it’s definitely one of those shows everyone should see once. If you doubt the popularity of this character, the show at 2:00 is all ages and is Sold Out. They might have some tickets at the club, but call ahead.
The Vine Wine Room will have a show happening with the soulful sounds of Houston’s Kristal Cherelle. Cherelle made one of the most unique and sincere albums last year with “Fighter;” and she’s really impressive to catch live. She will have the expressive songs of Stevie Menjivar opening things up for her where it’s 21 & up, 100% FREE, and things starts at 7:00.
Continental Club is hosting something they’re calling The Bowie Elvis Fest. The show, which is to be headlined by Dallas’ Marquis of Vaudeville, is a mashup of the two artists celebrating their birthdays. Pecos Hank, of the band Southern Backtones will also be there, as will the entertaining and magical burlesque of Dem Damn Dames. There’s much much more including a fashion show and prizes given to those who look most like one of the two iconic artists. The entire event is hosted by John Mills-McCoin and Shaun Brennan. Things get started at 6:00 for the 21 & up show that has a TBA cover charge.
If you’re a fan of thrash metal, then over at Mango’s they’ll have the original lineup of Houston’s Krullur. These guys dropped an album in 2013 that has a demonic sound to it’s chaotic overtones called “Grounds For Termination.” The thrash of Houston’s Oath of Cruelty will also be on hand, as will the metal of Metalloyd. The black metal thrash of Peasant will also perform, and the hardcore of Houston’s Sketch/Driven will blow everyone away as openers. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and cover for $8.00.
Sunday, I’d strongly recommend that you venture over to the Museum of Fine Art Houston, to check out their current exhibition from Claude Monet. The exhibit, “Monet and The Seine: Impressions of a River,” is one of fifty painting taken from private collections that span the life of Monet’s career. The exhibit is in the second floor of the law building and is only here until February 1st. The tickets are between FREE and $28.00, depending on your age and whether or not you want the headphones for the audio tour.
Monday, you can head to Natachee’s Showroom to catch the heavy hearted and expressive singer/songwriter sounds of Tulsa’s John Moreland. Moreland has had his songs featured on television, and his voice has this “I’ve had it rough” kind of vibe. His latest album, 2013’s “In The Throes” is one of those albums you should own sooner than later. Nashville’s Aaron Lee Tasjan will bring his weary soaked tunes to the show as well. Tasjan has been receiving press for his recently released album, “Crooked River Burning” where he sings about the New South alongside relationships and travels bound. North Carolina’s Caleb Caudle will open things up with his road worn songs. Caudle is another guy who has received much praise for his albums, and last year’s “Paint Another Layer On My Heart” just adds to the praise. This is a really great bill, especially on a Monday. As far as I know, it’s a 21 & up show, nut you might want to call ahead. The doors are at 7:00 and the cover is $10.00.
On Tuesday, I feel like the only place you’ll wanna’ be is over at Walters for King Tuff. The power pop garage rocker seems to only get better with each of his releases. I caught King Tuff a couple of years ago, and it was pretty electrifying. His latest, last year’s “Black Moon Spell” falls in line with his guitar heavy sound. He’ll have his work cut out for him, as Ex Hex will be opening up for him. Geez…talk about raising the bar on what a rock album sounds like. Mary Timony made the kind of album that makes guys like me who already loved her in Helium and Wild Flag just love her more. That album, “Rips” might be one of the best albums you’ll hear in a long time, and the band has a pretty awesome live show to boot. But, in case you’re the kind of person who needs to be sold harder, then maybe catching Houston’s Young Mammals opening the show will be good enough. Young Mammals made their best album to date with the recently dropped “Alto Secco,” and we all know that they put on a great live show. So, this show might sell out, so I’d suggest getting tickets early. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $10.00 and $12.00.
Well, that’s a pretty hefty week for sure. Don’t forget that if you don’t see your event here, then you can always add it to our FPH Event Page found here. No matter what you do this week, please be mindful of those around you in this new year.