Photo: Creative Commons
Well, we had a great week that saw Kiki Maroon sell out her festival, and saw some of us getting to catch a Grammy winning DJ at an intimate setting. It really proved that you have no idea what can happen in this great city. This week there are just as many to do’s that should entertain you more than you would think. A whole host of comedy, a festival, and plenty of local talent make this one for the books. Here’s where you’ll have to decide which option to choose, so choose wisely.
Wednesday you can make it over to House of Blues to catch comedian John Mulaney. You more than likely know Mulaney from his mediocre at best show, “Mulaney.” However, you should know that show isn’t a great representation of his comedy. He made an album in 2012 that represents him better, called “New In Town.” The show doesn’t seem to have an opener, but that may change. The doors are at 6:30 and the tickets are between $25.00 and $27.00.
You could also head to MKT Bar to catch Rick and Chris from BLSHS drop a DJ set. I say DJ set, but it’s really just Vinyl Night over there. So, if you think it’s gonna’ be some mix mad crazy thing, you might not be disappointed. That being said, I know that these two have very different and eclectic tastes that range from hardcore punk to current electronic acts. Things start 7:00, it’s all ages, and 100% FREE.
On Thursday, you can make it out to Conroe to catch the insanely talented acoustic sounds of Mason Jennings at the Dosey Doe Cafe. Jennings has the type of sound that you can’t deny the power of. It’s the type of stuff that makes you think of dancing in your kitchen with a loved one to. His latest album, 2013’s “Always Been” just continues the happy go lucky meets heartfelt tradition of tunes he’s become known for. Austin’s folky singer songwriter Dana Falconberry will open things up with her eclectic sound. Her 2012 album “Leelanau” is one you that should convince you to show up early. The doors are at 7:30 and the tickets are $25.00.
Over at Stereo Live, they have a pretty cool gathering of artists and musicians for the Visionary show presented by RAW. If you’re an artists who is on this show, then it’s a really big deal. There’s a film screening, a fashion show, and a multitude of various artists. One of those artists is Houston’s own, Kabuloglu. Originally born in Mexico City, she’s seriously one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. She does everything from crafting little creatures to album cover art. She is just one of the amazing names that will also feature DJ Athenz, and photography from names like Amaceying, Mike The Truth, and more than I can name. The event has doors at 7:30, and the tickets are $15.00 for the night that recommends “cocktail attire.”
At Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, they will have the talents of comedian Dave Williamson. Williamson has been at a host of comedy festivals, he’s had a spot on Nick Mom, and he won the best comic in Miami award. His brand of humor covers what it’s like to have a family, and he’s a funny guy with universal themes. His 2012 album, “Thicker Than Water” should give you a good idea of what his humor is like. The feature act this week will be Houston’s Judd Jones. Judd is a great comic who can make any room laugh, and he’s a great feature for this show. Ashton Womack will host the Thursday and Friday night shows, while the hilarious and rapid fire humor of Houston’s Kazeem Rahman will host the Saturday night show. There is one show on Thursday at 8:00, two shows on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, and two on Saturday also at 8:00 and 10:30. All have a cover of $16.00.
On Friday you can kick off the weekend over at Discovery Green, for the screening of the classic film, “Edward Scissorhands.” One of the better films made with Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton, the film teaches all who watch it that it’s okay to be different. It’s a family and dog friendly affair that asks you to bring a blanket & grab some turf to watch the film. Things get started at 7:30 and it’s 100% FREE.
Since you’ll be in the area, you could also venture over to Phoenicia’s MKT Bar for a night of comedy presented by those at Beta Theater. This week, it’s an Un-Official Pre-Party” for the Come and Take It Comedy Festival. The show will feature some great comics like Rich Williams, Jaffer Khan, Matt Han, Zach Dickson, and Zahid Dewji. The comics will also have NO FEE tickets for the festival on hand to be sold for cash, and a lucky person might even win a pair of tickets as well. There’s always a killer special on 8th Wonder Beer, it’s a “TV Friendly” style of comedy, it starts at 9:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Downstairs at Fitzgerald’s, you can catch some speedy rock from Austin’s American Sharks. This fuzz rock trio originally got their start here in Houston before heading to the overcrowded landscape of our state’s capitol. They released an album in 2013 called “American Sharks” that represents what you’ll see if you go to the show. To me, they’ve always sounded like Electric Frankenstein. The doom of Houston’s From Beyond will also be on hand to cause some headaches. These guys dropped a pretty good album in 2012 called “The Color Out Of Space” that sounds like The Sword meets Soundgarden. The stoned out drone of College Station’s The Tron Sack will also be there, while Moonrazor opens things up. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and the show is FREE if you’re 21 & up, and it’s $10.00 if you’re under 21.
Rudyard’s has a mixed show that has the Americana Punk of Houston’s The Grizzly Band headlining. These guys sound like if you took Mike Ness’ solo work and mixed it with a fuzzier version of Lucero. The Americana meets folky wanderer of Jason Bancroft & The Wealthy Beggars will also be on the bill. The Houston trio has that Chuck Ragan kind of vibe, and they’re known to put on a pretty great live show. The mixed part of the show comes from the fact that two Austin comics will open the show. JT Habersaat will be here, though I feel like he’s been here a bunch lately. He’s part of the Altercation Comedy Tour. He’ll have Mike Wiebe of Riverboat Gamblers fame opening things up, also doing comedy. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 9:00, and the cover is TBA.
Bayou Music Center will have one of the funniest comics going right now, when they have Brian Regan in town. Regan is a force to be reckoned with, he has amazing comedic timing, and his clean material makes this a show that’s okay for your fifteen year old to see. Regan’s most recent album, 2010’s “All By Myself” is a pretty heavy load of comedy, and proves why he’s so strong. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that may change. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are between $39.75 and $49.75.
Over at Warehouse Live in the studio, The Willy Collins Band will have their album release party. If you haven’t heard these guys, they mix no less than three genres into their sound. Imagine if Tom Petty played guitar in a band that sounded like Warren Zevon, with a singer who echoed the vibe of Zevon and Tom Waits…that’s them in a nutshell. Houston’s Adam Bricks will also be there to drop some of his old soul in a young body songs. Bricks has this ability to remind you of the past, while not sounding dated. His 2013 album, “City Songs” should let you in on his sound. He’ll have the Americana meets alt country of Houston’s Second Lovers perform prior. I heard a demo recently from their latest recordings that tells me their new album is going to be amazing. The experimental dream pop of Australia’s Naked Maja will open things up. They dropped an album last year called, “The Vagrant” that proves why you should get there early. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and the tickets are $10.00.
If you were a big fan of the TV show, “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” then you should head over to Improv. That show’s star, Mark Curry will be headlining at the iconic club this weekend. Curry is a triple threat in entertainment, and his stand-up is pretty funny to catch live. As per all of these shows at Improv, two of Houston’s better up and coming comics will perform the feature and host duties for the show. There are two shows on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, two shows on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and a 7:30 show on Sunday. All carry a ticket price between $20.00 to $30.00.
Continental Club will have the Buck Owens type of honky tonk of Austin’s The Derailers. I used to catch these guys all the time when I lived in the capital city, and I can attest to their prowess as a live band. They’re like going back in time when country acts had showmanship away from fancy stage rigs. Just the music here can make anyone a fan of country music. Their last album of originals came out in 2008, but “Guaranteed To Satisfy” truly lives up to its’ name. The show is 21 & up, the tickets are $12.00, and the doors should be around 9:00.
You should start this Saturday at the biggest thing happening this weekend, the Come and Take It Comedy Festival. Utilizing the grounds of Warehouse Live, the two day event will feature some of the biggest names in comedy under one umbrella. The Saturday show will start off with the mesmerizing beauty and talents of Houston Burlesque troupe, Dem Damn Dames over in the ballroom, while newcomer and Houston native Anthony Colicci will start off the stand-up in the studio at 4:20(don’t giggle). You can catch the popular Moth performance at 5:00 or the stand-up of Duncan Trussel. The day zigzags like this pretty much nonstop. The highlights of Saturday will be Brooks Wheelan, The Whiskey Brothers podcast, Maria Bamford, Whitest Kids You Know, and Todd Barry. There’s much more than I’m mentioning here, and when you scroll to Sunday, you’ll see what’s happening then as well. The all ages event is great for the Houston comedy scene, the doors are at 3:00, and the single day tickets are $35.00, while the two day pass is $55.00.
Upstairs at Fitzgerald’s, The Suffers will be performing their album release party. The four song release is one that many have been on the edge of their seats for, and anyone who has seen them live knows that they bring it in full force. They’ll have to bring it, as the electronica and smooth sounds of Ishi will be on prior to their performance. So, Ishi dropped an album in 2013 called “Digital Wounds” that has a dancey vibe, but is also pretty beautiful. Houston’s Rai P will be there as well, while Austin’s trippy vocal electronic trio Keeper will get the show started. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are between $12.00 and $17.00.
If you’re in the mood for some metal, then there’s a doozy of a show over at Mango’s when Project Armageddon headlines the Summoning The Ancient Ones event. So, Project has been working hard on a new album that will be the follow up to the doom heavy “Tides Of Doom” from 2012. What you have to dig about any show that this band puts on, is that the bands they bring in are almost always top notch. Couple that with Project Armageddon’s intense live set, and you have a great event. They’re bringing the heavy drone meets sludge metal of San Antonio’s CURSUS to town to play prior to them. CURSUS dropped a song in 2013 called “Hex Offender” that should let you know real quick how hard they are. One of my favorite newer bands from Houston, Funeral Horse will be there to open up the show. These guys dropped a really great album last year called “Sinister Rites Of The Master” that showcases their riff heavy sound. They remind me of early eighties metal before someone handed them all a can of Aqua Net. The all ages show has doors at 9:00 and cover is $7.00 for 21 & up and $10.00 for under 21.
You might be up for some twang, and if you are then Notsuoh is where you should head. They’ll have the twangy country blues of Fox Parlour. The group will be playing tunes from their loud and ferocious 2014 album, “Hell Or High Water.” The country swagger and multi-instrumental sounds of Quiet Morning & the Calamity will also be on hand. If you’ve never caught this group, then I beg you to go see them. They might be one of the tightest bands going with more happening in one bar of music than anyone else in town. Grand Old Grizzly will also be there to drop their mix of Creedence meets Glen Campbell. It’s time for a follow up to their 2012 album, “Grand Old Grizzly,” so maybe you’ll hear some new stuff. San Antonio’s Cactus Cats will open things up with doors at 8:00. It’s an all ages show that’s $5.00 for 21 & up, and $10.00 for under 21.
Over at Last Concert Cafe, they’ll be judging some stache heavy contestants that would make Nick Offerman proud with the Texas Showdown Beard & Mustache Competition. Everything will be up for judging from zero to six inch beards, to a contest for women. Those over at The Houston Facial Hair Club would love to see you come out and support their scene, that a guy like me who has trouble growing a mustache; had no idea existed. DJ Damon Allen of Numbers will be providing the tunes. Things get started at 6:00, and the entry is $20.00 for competitors, and $15.00 for everyone else. If you want to compete, you can register here; and may the best beard win.
Walters will have the tripped out dreamy pop of Houston’s Mojave Red. These guys kind of have this psych sound that reminds me of early nineties stuff from across the pond. It’s great music to watch the tracers to. The indie pop rock of Houston’s Belvoir will also be on hand, as will a band called Gallion. The garage rock of Houston’s A Tribute To The Sun will open things up with doors at 8:00, and $8.00 for under 21, FREE for 21 & up; on the all ages show.
Sunday, you can start things off with day two of the Come And Take It Comedy Festival. The second day gets going with Punk Rock Circus in the ballroom, while Al B. will lead the stand-up in the studio. The studio room has Austin’s Chris Cubas, while the ballroom will host the four piece hilarity known as The Whiskey Brothers podcast. The bearded humor of Mike Lawrence will be in the studio and so will the Todd Barry podcast, as this is how it will go all day with plenty of great national and touring acts. The day is highlighted with a set from Kids In The Hall co-founder Kevin McDonald, while SNL alum Norm Macdonald will finish things off. The doors are at 3:00, things start promptly at 4:00, and tickets for single days are $35.00 while two day passes are $55.00.
Downstairs at Fitzgerald’s, you can get your rock on when Masked Intruder performs. The four piece pop punkers from Wisconsin live up to their sound as part of the Fat Wreck Chords family. Last year, these guys dropped a great pop punk album called “M.I.” where they have fast guitar and sing song vocals. The pop punk of Illinois’ The Copyrights will also be on the bill. After years of dropping 7 inches, these guys dropped a proper album with plenty of intensity called, “Report.” The garage rock goodness of Houston’s Modfag will be there to impress with their impressive live show. Currently working on the follow up to their debut, “Paradisio,” Modfag is definitely worth making it out for. The pop punk that reminds me of Lookout records era Green Day, Houston’s The Turnaways will be there to open the show up. Last year, these guys dropped a four song release called “Came Quick” that has the feel of when pop punk was virgining. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $11.00.
Monday at Natachee’s showroom, Seattle’s Dylan Jakobsen will bring his brand of country music to town. More than much of what I’ve heard, Jakobsen reps the Seattle country scene pretty well. A hint of twang in his voice, the singer songwriter put out “Dylan Jakobsen” last year which feels like current Nashville mixed with Nashville of the past. The Kingwood brothers known as The Powell Brothers will also be on the show. These guys have toured and can drop some pretty good sounds with their multi-instrumentation. The Alvin duo of Rose and Ben will open things up with doors at 8:00 and cover at $5.00.
On Tuesday, Fitzgerald’s will host Cleveland’s pop songstress, Kate Voegele. Voegele has been making music since the age of fifteen, and due to her popularity as an actress, this show might sell out. Her latest, last year’s “The Wild Card,” EP showed a deeper side to her music. Not to be outdone, the acoustic pop of Leroy Sanchez will be on hand to open things up. The downstairs show has doors at 7:00, it’s all ages, and tickets are between $10.00 and $13.00.
No matter how you see it, that’s a pretty hefty week this early in the year. Whether you choose to attend any one thing, or nothing; please be responsible and watch out for your fellow Houstonians. The only way this city stays cool is if you do your part to make sure we all get home safely.