Merchandise. Photo: Drew Reynolds/Ground Control Touring
Well, we’re all around SXSW this week meaning that the next two and a half weeks will be stocked with plenty of touring bands rolling through town. Merchandise, Thundercat, and Leggy will be here alongside locals like football, etc., Black Kite, and many more. Houston, here’s how to navigate the next seven days.
Wednesday you can start off at The Clinic when the black metal of San Antonio’s Haunter will be in town to perform. The music this three-piece makes kind of scares me, but that’s probably the point as their latest release Thrinodia is as throaty as it is heavy and dark. The post rock intensity of Venezuela’s Zeta will also be on the bill as direct support. The intense emo math-laced noise of Houston’s MOTHS will be on hand as well and the all ages show will get opened up by the post metal sounds of Houston’s Sleeping Ancient. The show has a $6 cover with doors at 7 pm.
Son of Bitch. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Over at Under the Volcano, you can get your swing on when the Appalachian bluegrass style of Houston’s Son of Bitch plays. This three-piece with more intensity than a steamroller plays without amps and still goes hard. Their last album, 2013’s Venus and the Cat, proved that this kind of music can still impress. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
Satellite Bar will have the electronic sounds of Houston’s distant worker by to drop a set. With elements of post punk factored in, their early 2016 release Animal Data sounds like the dreams a newborn would have based on the new world around them. The synthwave of Florida’s TIME will be on as direct support while the modular synths of Pfaffenberg will go on prior. Things get started by the hip hop of Deus Lee for the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and a $7 cover.
Black Tiger Sex Machine. Photo: Uncredited/Kannibalen Records
Stereo Live will have the electro dub house sounds of Canada’s Black Tiger Sex Machine. In so many ways I’m over artists that rock illuminated masks when they perform, but damn if this trio doesn’t drop some catchy jams. They’ll be here in support of their latest drop, the catchy single “Hell Motel.” The electro soul of Toronto’s Dabin will be on as direct support while the dubstep hybrid jams of Boise’s Kai Wachi will open the 18 & up show with doors at 9 pm and tickets for $10.
Thursday you can get going over at Rockefeller’s for the always impressive blues roots of Houston’s The Mighty Orq. This guy has the ability to play tunes that have weight without feeling too heavy while he uses a fret board like a gambler with a pair of dice. This edition will feature special guest Milton Hopkins and the 21 & up show has doors at 5 pm and it’s 100% FREE with the printed ticket before 7 pm.
Down in Clear Lake at Scout Bar you could get your throwback fix when the legendary hard rock of British band UFO swings by to headline. I mean, do I need to sell this show? Songs like “Rock Bottom,” “Doctor Doctor,” and “Lights Out” should be enough reason to attend, and theoretically this could be your last chance to catch them play live. Speaking of legends, British heavy metal pioneers Saxon will be on as direct support while things get kicked off by the blues rock of LA’s Jared James Nichols opens the all ages show with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $33 and $38.
Over at Walter’s, the hardcore of Austin’s Drip-Fed will be out in all of their glory. These guys make some intense punk that’s hard to walk away from, and their latest release, Under The Wave Blanket from this year, is as intense as it it impressive. The noise hardcore of Austin’s DSGNS will be there as direct support while the punk of Houston’s Matter of Trust will go on prior. Sparse will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
Holy Wave. Photo: Allison Scarpulla/Force Field PR
Garage psych five-piece Holy Wave will bring their multi-layered sound to Satellite Bar. This El Paso-formed band has the ability to remind you of bands like Ride if they lived with Timothy Leary. Now residents of Austin, their latest album, Freaks of Nurture from last year, just proves they can take things to a deeper place. Houston’s Mantra Love will bring their trippy sound on as direct support while the post punk shoegaze of San Marcos’ Glaze will go on prior. The garage pop of Austin’s brother sports will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
On Friday you could begin with the French Cultures Fest at Discovery Green. Featuring live sets from multiple bands, the pop heavy jams of France’s Laurie Briard will be on hand for all to see. You may not know her name but if you check out her new single “Dreams,” you might become a fast fan. The blues heavy sounds of Quebec’s They Call Me Rico will also be on hand as will the all female blues garage sounds of Austin’s The Bluebonnets. The all ages event gets going around 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
You can get your laugh on with Houston comic Rich Williams over at The Secret Group for his Spring Break Comedy Show. Williams has been grinding for years now in the Houston scene, he has TV credits, and he could easily be one of the next comics to pop off out of our city. Sets from Derrick Cakley, Mike Worm, Daniel Strong, and “Jus Jaden” will all occur next to a set from Rich himself. The all ages event has doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $20 and $40.
Mucky Duck will welcome the return of Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Colin Gilmore. If you only know Jimmie Dale from his role in “The Big Lebowski,” that’s cool, but he’s also a Texas storyteller through song and he never disappoints. His son Colin keeps that tradition alive, and with 2013’s The Wild and Hollow, he forged his own path while reminding us all of his father at the same time. Catching these two together is a rarity and one night only event. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $25 and $27.
Sneaks. Photo: Nina Corcoran/Ground Control Touring
The political punk of Providence’s Downtown Boys will be back at Walter’s. This band, now signed to Sub Pop, has been turning heads with charged performances and politically themed punk for a good while. With 2015’s Full Communism as their most recent release, who knows what we’ll hear from them now that Trump is president. The spoken word meets rhythmic beats of DC’s SNEAKS will be on as direct support, and you should definitely get there to catch her perform. Houston’s Giant Kitty will bring their punk sounds on as openers like only they can for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $8 and $10.
The Waughford will bring the progressive alterna rock sounds of Houston’s Rogues Among Us. The four-piece plays technical jams that are impressive to see live, and the screamier elements of their album Analysis Paralysis EP from this year are worth lending an ear to. The bluesier leanings of Houston’s Clay Melton Band will be on as direct support, and I’d be lying if I said he was an act you could afford to miss. No Rehearsal will open things up for the 18 & up show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
White Oak Music Hall will host Flynt Flossy & Turquoise Jeep upstairs. I mean, I liked Turquoise Jeep, but I’m not the biggest fan of Flynt on his own, so hopefully this set is better than his last one here. However, Yip Deceiver will be on as direct support, and they’re a band that everyone needs to catch at least once. The glam influenced disco jams of these guys who are also members of Georgia’s Of Montreal are crazy live and their latest Take A Bow/Crush from 2015 is a jam all by itself. Houston’s iLL Faded will bring his good time rap on as well while Hiram will open things up as only he can with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $13 and $15.
George West. Photo: Marcelo Quinones/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Saturday you can start off at Cactus for an in-store performance from George West. The chillwave producer and performer has been dropping jams for a good while now, his live sets are chill enough to groove to, and his latest release, Palmetto from this year, breaks his usual mold while driving him into a more progressive space. The 100% FREE all ages event gets going around 1 pm with gratis beer for the adults.
At Satellite Bar you can catch up with Houston’s football, etc. when the band returns for a set. While I can’t offer up too much information on their new album out this summer, I can tell you that I’ve heard it and it’s pretty stellar. Add to that their killer live shows and this should be a great set as always. The indie rock noise pop of New Orleans’ Pope will bring their intricate sounds on as direct support while the new wave punk of Houston’s Ruiners will energetically go on beforehand. Austin’s Honey & Salt will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
Thundercat. Photo: Eddie Alcazar/Paradigm Talent Agency
In the studio at Warehouse Live you can get funky with the jazz heavy R&B jams of Thundercat. The accomplished bassist, lyricist, and producer never disappoints when he performs, and his latest release Drunk from this year is his most progressive album to date. Zack Fox will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $25 cover.
Over at The Armadillo Palace you could catch the always engaging tunes of Libby Koch. Koch is no stranger to hard work nor is she an artist you should sleep on. While she performs around town plenty, catching her in this iconic venue is pretty neat, and her latest album, Just Move On from last year, should make the room sound amazing. The 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm is 100% FREE.
Continental Club will bring the Tejano-meets-punk insanity that is San Antonio’s Pinata Protest. Possibly one of the most original and energy-heavy groups going, these guys sing in English and in Spanish while they tear up the stage in the process. Their latest album, 2013’s El Valiente, is pretty great and they should be as impressive as always for the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and a TBA cover.
On Sunday Insomnia will host another art show, this time with the immensely talented photographer Jordan Asinas at the Stories To Tell show. While Asinas is becoming better known for his photos of bands, his images of city and architecture are like nothing you’ve ever seen before, capturing the beauty of what he shoots within. The all ages event gets going around 6 pm and there will be plenty of extra goodies on hand as well.
You can get groovy with the indie rock of Missouri’s Ha Ha Tonka over in the bronze peacock room at House of Blues. This five-piece mixes atmospheric rock with folk undertones and indie rock riffs, and their latest single, “All With You,” is pretty and entertaining. There’s no word of openers or support for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm with a $12 cover.
Since Always. Photo: Dwayne Cathy
The lo-fi indie psych of New Zealand’s Kane Strang will be upstairs at White Oak Music Hall. After becoming a critical darling the world over, the singer songwriter has been going hard with the full length Blue Cheese from last year and a new single called “Oh So You’re Off I See” released this year. The indie rock of Houston’s Cleen Teens will provide direct support while the indie emo songs of Since Always will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Walter’s will host the solo sounds of Cindy Wilson. You might know Wilson from her other band, the iconic B52’s, and her newest solo EP Supernatural is a trip. Far from The B52’s, this solo record is like what would happen if Blondie made a modern electro new wave pop album. Houston’s MIEARS will provide her dark electronica as direct support as well as opener the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $20 and $35, the latter being a meet & greet option.
On Monday you could have fun upstairs with the ever growing popularity of Massachusetts’ three-piece Potty Mouth at White Oak Music Hall. The all-female indie pop group with punk leanings has gotten bigger and bigger with each release since forming in 2011, and their latest single “Smash Hit” is bigger than their 2015 Potty Mouth EP. LA’s PARTYBABY, featuring members of 30 Seconds To Mars and Portugal, the Man, will bring their garage rock intensity on as direct support and openers for the all ages show with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $12 and $13.
Black Kite. Photo: Daniel Jackson
Satellite Bar will bring back the bubblegum punk of Ohio’s Leggy. Seriously, this three-piece makes catchy, fun tunes that are hard to deny, and their latest release, Leggy from last year, is a mix of garage, punk, and indie pop rock that’s hard not to like. The fuzzed out electro pop of Toronto’s Twist will be on as direct support while the dark electronica of Houston’s Black Kite will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a paltry $7 cover.
Over at Walter’s you could get up close and personal with the fuzz indie pop of Sad13. Of course, the group is actually the solo project of Sadie Dupuis of the band Speedy Ortiz, but oh what goodness she offers up on her debut Slugger. Full of pretty melodies and pop hooks, the show should be great based off of the album alone. Detroit’s Stef Chura will bring her lo-fi sounds on as direct support while the NYC based riot grrrl punk of T-Rextasy will go on prior. Houston’s Pearl Crush will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm with a $10 cover.
Tuesday you might find yourself at Walter’s for the never ending changes of Florida three-piece Merchandise. I don’t think there’s been a band since PIL who has changed their sound more per album than these guys, but their live shows are always a trip and their latest album, A Corpse Wired For Sound from last year, is their best to date. Canada’s Tim Darcy of the indie rock band Ought will be on as direct support while the smoky vocals of Austin’s Molly Burch will go on beforehand. UK shoegazers Chain of Flowers will also be on hand to perform, and Brooklyn’s Operator Music Band will open things up with their intriguing art pop sound. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $12 and $14.
Devil Killing Moth. Photo: Barton Garmon/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Satellite Bar will host the indie pop of California duo DTCV. Featuring a former member of Guided By Voices and a French born singer, these two make songs you can get groovy with and their latest release, Confusion Moderne from last year, is definitely worth checking out. The inventive indie rock of Houston’s Devil Killing Moth will be on as direct support with the psych of Pennsylvania’s Grubby Little Hands on before them. Houston’s Satin Hooks will also be there to bring their energetic sounds to life while Babelfish goes on before, and the all ages show gets opened up by Atlanta’s CHEW. The doors are at 8 pm and tickets are $10.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you do, please remember that drinking like an adult is in everyone’s best interest and that a safe ride home is just an app away.