New Blue Feeling: The Best of the Week
Photography by Mark Seliger
It seems just like yesterday that New Year’s eve was just around the corner; but believe it or not, April is here. Not to be outdone by the past smattering of rock solid weeks that February and March held, the primary week in April is no slouch by any means. Below is what you should be doing, where you should be going, and who you should be seeing.
I can say without most doubt, that I don’t hear things very often where I say, “wow!” But, when I heard Boyfrndz, I actually did just that. The Austin based group has steered away from the recent rise of psych rock that seems to have come outta’ nowhere with a more original sound. I mean, sure, there’s some form of organ on last year’s release, “Natures,” but it’s just part of their sonic landscape. It’s different in the good way. They will be bringing their sound, possibly with borrowed gear to Warehouse Live on Wednesday April 2nd. Joining them will be trippy synth sounds of Houston’s Vega Neue and the entertainingly rock prog sounds of Sunrise and Ammunition, also from Houston. The literal bass and drum screamo of Houston’s Mannequin Mishap get things started in the green room with doors at 8:00 and a $7.00 cover for this all ages show.
If you were at the Holiday Hangover show in December, then you more than likely caught the pop dreaminess of Austin’s Wild Child. Last year, they dropped a great album called “The Runaround,” that should easily be part of your record collection. On Thursday April 3rd, they return to Warehouse Live as openers for the immensely talented Robert Ellis. Ellis just released another solid album with this year’s “The Lights From The Chemical Plant.” Both acts are definitely worth seeing live, over in the big room at Warehouse, the doors will be at 8:00 with a $14.00 cover.
Of course, if Americana meets pop isn’t your thing, then over at Fitzgerald’s downstairs, you can catch some serious pop goodness with Arizona’s Lydia. Their fun and energetic sound will be joined by North Carolina’s dreamy and sonically landscaped sound of HRVRD. Go early, as Salt Lake’s own Golden Sun should make for an interesting opener with their interestingly hooked fueled sound. Their 2012 self titled EP had traces of Archers of Loaf mixed with an almost Girls Against Boys vibe; definitely worth checking out live. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets run between $12.00 and $16.00.
You know that saying about the ease of performing in front of people by picturing them in their underwear? Well, that’ll be done in reverse at Beta Theater on Thursday April 3rd, for Joe Pettis Presents: The Underwear Comedy Party. You can see Lisa Friedrich, Beta Bracket Champ Bob Morrissey, and the hilarious Joe Pettis all perform stand up in their undies. Things get started at 9:00 and like most Beta events, it’s a pay what you can price with some form of BYOB or refreshments as well. I always say, be cool and pay at least $5.00, cause the arts can’t survive on change; but that’s really your call.
Also on Thursday over at Mango’s is the horror rock sounds of Arizona’s Calabrese. If you’re a fan of Misfits and Ramones, with a touch of AFI thrown in, then you should check these guys out. There’s something entertainingly intriguing about bands who list their influences, and then basically copy their look and sound too. The angry scream fueled sounds of Houston’s Johnny Raygun will hopefully be balanced out by the blue collar sound of Houston’s own We Were Wolves. The doors are at 9:00 and the cover is $10.00. The show is 18 and up, which is weird as Calabrese seems like a band that would appeal to the youthful Hot Topic shopper; but maybe I’m wrong.
On Friday the 4th, Fitzgerald’s downstairs is hosting the garage rock throwback sounds of Kadavar. The Berlin trio has that Cream meets Zeppelin type of sound, and after seeing their picture, I just wanna’ know how to grow a 1970’s beard of my own. Seriously though, these guys could be the next Wolfmother, or surprise us all with a hell of a live presence. The sweaty sounds of Texas’ own Mothership will be getting things started in the fashion of Lynyrd Skynyrd meets The Sword. The doors are at 8:00 and tickets range between $12.00 and $16.00.
Over at Big Top next to Continental Club, The Suspects will be playing. If you like ska music, and you remember when most Fridays in the 90’s were a bleak scene for Houston music; then this is the show for you. The best part of seeing these guys perform again is that they had such an immeasurable energy, that the odds are high that’s what you’ll see. The show is 100% FREE for 21 & uppers, and the stylings of DJ Bill Suspect will be dropping rocksteady classics to start the evening. Doors are at 10:00
In the Green Room at Warehouse Live on Friday, you can catch local heroes Another Run bring their swagger to town. Their usually energetic live show will be joined by the layered and pop sounds of Houston’s King Finn. One of the three bands from the US called Attica will be playing as well, though I’m fairly certain it’s the San Antonio one. Tulsa’s Society Society get things started with a 7:00 door time and a $10.00 cover for all ages.
In the Studio at Warehouse Live, also on Friday, Austin’s Quiet Company will bring their full and melodic sound to town. Their 2013 release, “A Dead Man On My Back: Shine Honesty Revisited” was not only one of the longest titled albums of the year, but also one of the better things from Austin since Homeslice Pizza. The chaotic and always energetic guitar driven sounds of Not In The Face will be on board as well. The always interesting Without a Face will make Houston proud with the Surf rock sounds of The Tyburn Jig opening the night. The doors are at 7:00 and the cover is a miniscule $8.00.
On Saturday, over at Fitzgerald’s the guys from Austin’s White Denim will be back in town on the heels of two solid releases. The epic and Jeff Tweedy produced “Corsicana Lemonade” was almost in my best of 2013 list; and easily one of the better “turnaround” albums I’d heard in a long while. A far stretch from their Brit rock beginnings, the album proved that bands can still grow and find their sound. What’s left is nothing short of an old school rock masterpiece complete with that alternative country twang of early Wilco albums. Not to be outdone, the band followed up with “The Pretty Green” EP, that adds to the allure of their ever changing existence. Not to be outdone, the soulful sounds of Cass McCombs will be opening the evening. McCombs has always had this amazing folk meets country, meets punk idealism kind of sound, and as his most recent release “Big Wheel and Others” proves; that equals good stuff. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets range between $15.00 and $17.00 and are worth every penny.
Downstairs at Fitz on Saturday, you can catch all the hipsters who won’t publicly admit to liking White Denim, as BE Godfrey kicks off his tour with his quirky folk sounds. The quirky pop synth of A Sea Es and Deep Cuts are on board as well. I am seriously sick of bands removing vowels from their names, and then getting upset because you can’t pronounce it correctly. So in that vein, whatever TWNAB/TWNBE is, will be playing with the entertaining sounds of Children of Pop opening things up. It’s free for 21 & up, and $5.00 for the youngsters with an 8:00 door time.
Over at Warehouse Live on Saturday, the venue will be hosting a comedy show that carries a “pay what you can” policy. The show that will feature Andy Huggins, Jaffer Khan, and Dale Cheeseman will benefit the Houston Peace Festival; and should be billed as a way to catch some of Houston’s finest comedy for a good cause. I would guess that there will be more comics added, but these three alone are definitely worth making it out for. The doors are at 7:30.
Your Sunday should start at Rudyard’s, as well all bid adieu to Mike Simms, as he leaves Houston behind for Seattle. For this he’ll be having one last hoorah when Venomous Maximus, Bowel, Born Liars, Poor Dumb Bastards and others throw him one more big party. Things start around 4:00 and it’s FREE.
If you’re a fan of pop throwbacks, then the Chromeo show at House of Blues should be up your alley. Not to be outdone, the beat heavy sounds of LA’s Tokimonsta will be opening up the show on Sunday the 6th. The doors are at 7:00 and the show starts at 8:00 with tickets ranging between $22.00 and $30.00.
Over at Warehouse Live on Sunday as well, Sleigh Bells will bring their “Reign of Terror” back to Houston. Hot on their latest creation “Bitter Rivals,” the duo will definitely drop some A game when they play the Ballroom. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t jammed “Bitter Rivals” at least once a week since it dropped last year. The all ages show will more than likely carry local openers, and the doors are at 8:00 with a $23.00 ticket price.
On Tuesday the 8th, Brett Dennen will bring his folky sound to the studio at Warehouse Live. His most recent release, “Smoke and Mirrors” has that awesome Tom Petty meets Neil Young sound he’s become known for. The all ages show will definitely be a nice way to start the week off with doors at 7:00 and a $20.00 cover.
While I can’t guarantee that there will be May flowers, it looks like the first week in April will shower us with entertainment. Another week full of great touring and local bands mixed with comedy make this a great way to start welcoming the heat.