By David H
Photo By Travis Tyler
I’m sorry, but the fact that there are recently more than one or two options of “to do” on most nights in this town, is pretty awesome. I can’t remember another time in the history of this city, where you had some hard decisions to make on what you were going to do on a night, because there were several options. This weekend is another great example of how Houston is always changing and evolving, for the better.
I would guess, that most people who buy albums by indie acts today, would know very little about the lo-fi movement of the early nineties. Bands like SPOON, Guided By Voices, and even Beck have all released albums that fall under the lo-fi name plate. In the Summer of 1995, a close friend of mine turned me onto one of the better lo-fi acts called Sebadoh. Their early releases like Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock and Bubble & Scrape are still some of my favorites from that era. Last year, Sebadoh released one of the better albums from the year with Defend Yourself. This Thursday, they make their way back to Houston with their melodic and pop infused sound at Fitzgerald’s. Pretty much most of the indie rock world wouldn’t exist without Sebadoh’s soft & heartfelt emotional lo-fi sound. The bulk of their back catalog which includes amazing works like Harmacy and Bakesale; are definite must haves, and both of which were the better fare of the nineties. This is easily a show not to be missed for any fan of indie rock. And, if you’re lucky, you can ask lead singer Lou Barlow about Dinosaur Jr., as he’s their bassist as well. The experimental garage rock of San Diego’s Octagrape get things started downstair’s at Fitzgerald’s with a measly $12.00-$16.00 cover charge, and an 8:00 door time.
Also on Thursday you can catch Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Lion depending who you ask. If you missed Snoop’s epic performance at FPSF in 2012, then this is definitely for you. I’ll say this, Snoop can bring it live with such a great back catalog of hits and tunes that get you on your feet. Not to mention, that his most recent album, Reincarnation was a good mix of hip hop and reggaeton. But don’t worry, as people will still get a contact high off of Snoop’s show whether he’s performing reggae or hip hop. Lucky for you, he’ll be performing both at House Of Blues. The doors are at 8:00, the show starts at 9:00, and the tickets are a lil’ pricey ranging between $35.00 and $79.50.
If you don’t have plans for an overpriced Valentine’s Day dinner at a restaurant with a stripped down menu on Friday, then you should make it over to Fitzgerald’s for The Sword. The Sword won’t smother you with kisses, but they will remind you why there’s a metal genre in the first place. I don’t think there’s a bad album by these Austinites, and they certainly blow most bands off the stage when they perform. With a mix of seventies era metal and a singer who channels Black Sabbath era Ozzy, The Sword’s latest album Apocryphon, returns to the sound from their earlier work from their first two albums. Big Business, featuring two members of The Melvins, will bring their stoner metal goodness as an opener. Atlanta’s mysterious and almost prog-rock metal act O’Brother will also open , with Houston’s own From Beyond starting things off around 8:30. The doors are at 8:00 and tickets range between $18.00 and $22.00, and it makes a really great gift if your love is into metal.
On Saturday, you can venture over to Scout Bar if you’re feeling nostalgic, for some Bone Thugs N Harmony. Houston’s own Wayne Brezz gets things started with 8:00 doors and a 9:00 start. Tickets are kinda’ crazy ranging from $25.00 to $76.00, making me wonder if it’s worth an extra $50.00 for a meet and greet; but that’s your call.
Also on Saturday, you can check out The Bright Light Social Hour over at Fitzgerald’s. The jam based nature of the band that mixes with their psychedelic overtones makes this a show worth seeing. One of the more recent bluesy and easier to swallow acts from Austin, they put on an energetic live show. Opening the show, is one of Austin’s best new acts in recent memory, Walker Lukens. Mixing pop and heartfelt piano, Lukens released Devoted last year to mass critical acclaim and should put on a great show in his own right. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets range from $12.50 to $17.00.
Rounding out the week, actually on Monday, is a movie screening. Over at Warehouse Live, The Red Bull Music Academy is putting on a FREE screening of their film about making music called, What Difference Does It Make?. What makes this a cool event, is the film features heavy hitters from the music industry like Brian Eno, Giorgio Moroder, and Q-Tip to name a few; discussing making music and shot on hand-held cameras. It’s an RSVP ONLY event, that has an 8:00 door time and is 18 and up.
It should go without saying, that many of us remember when we had no choices on what to do here. It’s really a cool time to be living here, where the worst part of your week, is trying to decide what cool thing you’re going to. This is another week, where it might take longer to decide than to attend.