Salad Days: The Best of The Week
Mac Demarco, Photo: Jenn Five
Can you believe that we had so much entertainment last week? Well, this week is similar with ACL occurring for weekend two. Artists on the rise like Mac DeMarco pictured above will be rolling through town, while plenty of great local shows pepper the week. Houston, here’s where you should spend your paycheck this week.
Starting the week off on Wednesday, you could get your screamo post hardcore groove on, you could head to Fitzgerald’s for The Amity Affliction. The Australian four piece has a massive following, and is supposed to be an intense live act. They’re here in support of their latest, last year’s “Let The Ocean Take Me.” Utah six piece deathcore act, Chelsea Grin will bring their brutal sounds to life as direct support. Their newest album, last year’s “Ashes To Ashes” is pretty screamy and heavy. San Diego’s Secrets will bring their post hardcore sound to the audience as well, while Maine hardcore act, Cruel Hand will be on prior. Ohio’s The Plot In You will be there to open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $18.00. More information and a ticket link is available here.
Ben Kronberg, Photo: Comedy Central
If you’d rather have a laugh, then you can head to LaffTown Comedy to catch Denver’s Ben Kronberg. Kronberg has gotten tons of critical praise, and he’s been everywhere from NBC and Comedy Central, to MTV and in the New York Times. There’s no word of an opener yet, but the 21 & up show has an extremely limited number of available tickets. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are $10.00.
In the studio at Warehouse Live they’ll have the Californian R&B sounds of The Internet. Affiliated with Odd Future, this six piece has been grabbing all sorts of attention while they pop off with some pretty dope jams. Their new full length, “Ego Death” is pretty tight, and should make for a great live show. Jazz infused soul trio, Moonchild will be on the bill as direct support. These three drops sexy jams that are mixed with electronica. Their latest release, 2012’s “Be Free” is as funky as it is pretty. Atlanta soul pop duo, St. Beauty will be on as well, with Houston’s R&B/hip hop sounds of Bobby Earth on as opener. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $25.00.
Another edition of the High Bar comedy shows over at Midtown Bar & Grill is probably the best way to close out your evening. Hosted by Greg Deal and Bob Morrissey, this show will be headlined by Kath Barbadoro. The New England born and Austin based comic is known for being one of the funniest in the Austin, and she’s appeared on Fun Fun Fun, MoonTower, and Austin Sketch Fest as well. The show will also have feature sets from Gabe Bravo, Dale Cheesman, and Cindy Theodosis. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a paltry $5.00 cover.
At The Nightingale Room, the first of several after parties for Red Bull’s Flying Bach shows will occur. This one will be headlined by Houston’s birdmagic, who has been on a tear since making Houston his home. Dropping an EP with “Forget,” remixing tracks for Guilla, joining black kite, and now dropping a new single with “Just Call My Name.” Going on prior will be one of our city’s most overlooked artists, Jawwaad Taylor. Taylor has been grinding in the music industry since he was about 15, and he’s made albums with MF Doom, he’s crafted next level jazz music with The Young Mothers, and he’s dropped a new project called BLVCK FETISH. I don’t really know if you’ll get hip hop, impromptu jazz, or electronica on this set, but whatever it is it should be amazing. Opening things up will be Houston’s glitch visual master, FLCON FCKER and he should drop these tripped out jams that have their own electronic genre. The 21 & up show has doors around 9:00 and is 100% FREE.
Thursday, I’d recommend starting the night off over at The Nightingale Room again for the bluesy genius of Houston’s The Mighty Orq. Okay, so I haven’t really championed this guy much, but it’s not because I’m not impressed. Aside from the fact that the band gets tours all over the globe, aside from the fact that they feel like the torch bearers of Texas blues; the reality of it is that they don’t play here much. Multi-instrumentation, Americana roots, and pretty much the kitchen sink is what you’ll find when you give them a spin. Take a listen to their stuff here and judge for yourself, but you’re foolish to miss the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00. The show is 100% FREE.
The Octopus Project, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
If you were heading to Numbers for the always engaging sounds of Austin’s The Octopus Project, the show has since been cancelled. You can hit up the people at Pegstar for refunds or rescheduling information.
Over at Walter’s they’ll have the DIY pop of Seattle’s IJI. This five piece that uses no less than eight people to record with makes these soft spoken jammy tunes that are just as fun as they are pop laced. Their new album, “Whatever Will Happen” from this year is pretty easy going while still keeping your attention. The Gulf coast jams of Houston’s Deep Cuts will be on as support. Lately these guys have been adding extra percussion and really crafting a fuller sound that makes last year’s EP “Love Grows” sound fuller with each note. Going on prior, the indie rock of Houston four piece, Rose Ette. I feel like you’re doing Houston wrong if you haven’t seen this band yet. Sweet and harmonized female vocals, pop hooks, and an overall sound that’s between The Julie Ruin and Mary Timony, their “Thunder” single should become your new jam. The John Baldwin, Andrew Lee, and Joe Folladori band, DBSTP [UK] will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
Rudyard’s will have the popular producer, NYC’s Computer Magic. Making music since the age of fifteen, this one woman act has made quite the name for herself over the past four years. Her most recent release, this year’s EP “Dreams of Better Days” is full of lush analog synths coupled with her sweet yet often monotone voice. There’s no word of an opener yet, but that could easily change. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
At Fitzgerald’s the hip hop of Houston’s Guilla will be on full display. Guilla has been working on about five separate projects, making the follow up to last year’s “Rap, Trap, & Drums” a little harder to come. His live performances are always intense, and he’s definitely an act to catch. Going on prior will be the blues funk collision known as Handsome Beast. These guys really give a guitar a workout when they play live, and this year’s “Sexy Face Reaction Time” is worth lending an ear to. Opening things up will be the electronica of Rex Hudson. This year he dropped some jams worth hearing, and he’s known for a tight live set. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and it’s FREE.
The Red Bull Flying Bach after party for Thursday will be over at Cle. So, aside from the fact that I rarely venture into midtown, this set up with Wrestlers dropping a DJ set could make me head that way. Sure, Cle is primarily white people wearing more expensive jeans than my entire wardrobe, but maybe these two will bring out some diversity. They just dropped some dope new stuff and their DJ sets are always entertaining. Going on prior will be DJ Dayta. Dayta just got back from NYC, he has his own night at Boondocks, and he’s one of our city’s best DJs. The doors are at 9:00 and the jams start at 10.00. It’s 21 & up and 100% FREE.
Aziz Ansari, Photo: Benjamin Norman
On Friday you should strongly consider heading out to Woodlands Pavilion for the Oddball Comedy Festival. This year the lineup is pretty killer with the always hilarious Aziz Ansari headlining. Aside from the fact that he’s filling stadiums all over, his latest album, this year’s “Buried Alive” is a killer. The show also has the hilarious star of the “Inside Amy Schumer,” show, Amy Schumer on the bill. In 2011 Schumer dropped a comedy album called “Cutting” that’s pretty damn funny. The comedy of Bridget Everett will be on hand, and she’ll bring laughs from her new album, “Gynecological Wonder.” TJ MIller will also be on, as well as Anthony Jeselnik, Jeff Ross, Nick Kroll, Nick Thune, and Ashley Barnhill. If you want to get your laugh on, this is your event. The gates are at 5:30 and the tickets are between $29.75 and $99.75.
You could have your mind a little blown over at What Have You when they host the ACID art show featuring the works of Houston’s Fernando Ramirez. Ramirez will display new artworks that have only been viewable digitally. This stuff is super trippy, and his works are between a nightmare and an evening on LSD. The event is 100% FREE, it’s all ages, and it starts at 8:00.
Over at the Museum of Fine Arts, you can catch the MFAH Block Party featuring Austin DJ Chicken George. This guy drops jams in what’s called jazztronica where he mixes genres in a fresh new way. I’ve seen him and all I can say is that he’s a true force to catch on the decks. Houston’s DJ Sun will also be on hand, and if you were unaware, he’s also a force to be reckoned with. Sun has the ability to criss cross genres of soul, funk, jazz, and early hip hop in a way like you more than likely haven’t experienced before. And since he doesn’t drop a needle as much as he used to, this is a treat to see him work his magic. Things will get kicked off by DJ Melodic. The event is all ages, entry is first come, and the 100% FREE show has doors at 8:00.
Fat Tony, Photo: Bearded Gentlemen Music
Safehouse in conjunction with Roologic Records will host a double billing with Houston’s Kyle Hubbard and Fat Tony. Both of these guys have been grinding in and out of Houston for a good while, and both are part of Houston’s better kept secrets in hip hop. Hubbard just dropped a comeback album this year with “Majestic Hotel,” and he’s stronger than he’s ever been before. Fat Tony defines the consummate performer, and goes leaps and bounds over what a traditional rapper would do on a live set. His most recent, a single with Asher Roth called “Sushi” just proves that he’s not going away anytime soon. Getting feet moving and opening things up will be the hip hop jams of DJ Baby Roo. Roo has really been at this for longer than most can remember, and aside from appearing in the new DJ documentary “This Thing We Do,” he’s one of our city’s best on the decks. The entire evening will be hosted by Def Perception’s MC, Raymond A. There are more details here on the show with doors at 9:00 and very limited tickets between $20.00 and $30.00.
Phoenicia’s MKT Bar will have the Beta Bracket Comedy Contest, which will be weeding out those who will be in the finals. Why should you attend? Because it’s audience vote, it’s good for the city, and the grand prize of $3,000.00 is the largest amount given away in a Houston comedy competition. This week Son Tran will go against Michael Paras, Hoja Lopez will battle Kazeem Rahman, and Zach Dickson will do battle against Victor Tran. The all ages affair gets going at 10:00, there’s free parking in the attached garage, and as always it’s 100% FREE.
You can end your Friday with the Blackout crew over at Boondocks. This edition has the crew of Hyro, Act Badd, and Leckie joined by Bombon’s Gracie Chavez. Chavez has been behind turntables for longer than most and she still finds a way to keep her sets fresh and inventive. The show is 21 & up, the visuals are from Tim_VFX, and it’s FREE with RSVP found here. If you don’t RSVP, it’s $3.00 after 11:00.
Saturday you can start off over at the HUE Mural Festival happening all over the city. Twenty five walls, ninety artists, and 170 hours of tours showcasing local, national, and international artists. It’s all ages, it starts at 9:00, and more details can be found here on the 100% FREE event.
At 2600 Navigation, you can get a ton of entertainment at the East End Street Fest. The day long festival has music from Houston acts like Los Skarnales and The Wheel Workers, as well as national artists that should get you moving. There’s more info here and a portion of the proceeds go to help the BAFL team, the East End Eagles. All of the lineup and parking info is available here. Things start around noon, it’s all ages, and the tickets are under 12 years old FREE, $6.00 pre-sale and $8.00 at the door.
The Beans, Photo: Daniel Jackson
The Karbach Brewery will be having a show in celebration of Oktoberfest to be headlined by the bluesy rock of Houston’s The Beans. Two years ago this four piece dropped their debut album, “The Beans” and they’ve been making waves ever since. Known for a crazed live show, they play the kind of music that should make anyone who hears it want to get naughty. Austin’s Slomo Drags will be on hand with their indie rock jams, while Deep Cuts will be on hand to add their blend of Gulf Coast jams. Psych rockers Rivers will also be there, and a DJ set from Children of Pop will kick things off on the more than likely 21 & up show. The doors are at noon, the music starts at 1:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Flash Gordon Parks’ documentary, “This Thing We Do” will have a very limited screening event over at the African American Library at the Gregory School. The film is about Houston DJs, and features names like Gracie Chavez, Baby Roo, 5,000 Watts and more. The mixer and screening starts at 6:00, and the film starts promptly at 7:00. It’s FREE with RSVP, but seating is limited. There’s more details here.
Market Square Park is celebrating their 5th year, and they’re having a party to mark the occasion. A DJ set from Houston’s Wrestlers will kick off the evening followed by a performance from Houston’s Moji, and some sort of talk show improv thing from Antoine Culbreath and Mills McCoin. It’s a FREE event that’s all ages, and it starts at 7:00 with the entire schedule available here.
Of course if you really want to laugh, then you’ll make it to Warehouse Live to catch one of the funniest comics going, Tom Segura. Over in the ballroom, Segura should pack the house with his irreverent humor. He’s been on Conan, Comedy Central, and pretty much every comedy fest in the country. The all ages show doesn’t list openers, but that could easily change. The doors are at 7:30 and the tickets are between $20.00 and $25.00. Because this is a seated show, it could easily sell out.
Erase Errata, Photo: Luiza Su Davis
Walters will have the FINAL Performance EVER from San Francisco’s Erase Errata. The all female three piece has decided to call it quits after sixteen years of mind blowing punk performances. I caught them a couple of years ago and I was a little blown away by their crazy show. Their most recent album is last year’s “Lost Weekend,” and their entire catalog will probably get some play over the set. Indian Jewelry offshoot, Pleasure 2 will be there as direct support, and they’re definitely an act to see live. Experimental and trippy, imagine Indian Jewelry with hints of pop hooks while doing shrooms. The dark electronica of Houston’s black kite will also be on the bill. This three piece is something that I feel like you’re doing Houston wrong if you miss. Though their last release “Bird” was from 2013, I know they’re set for a new album next year and their tripped out live show is something else. The bizarre and difficult to explain experimental sounds of Ak’chamel will also be on the show, and though I sound like a broken record, they too are an act you should check out. They’re kind of like the screams of someone who just cut off a thumb, and their new album, “The Man Who Drank God” is insane. DJ sets from Biz Vicious under the name DJ Queermo and Millennial Grave will open things up with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00 on the all ages show.
You could head to Stereo Live to catch the producer Cashmere Cat. This guy has been dropping jams since 2006 while he held down being one of Norway’s top DJ’s. Since then he’s garnered hordes of attention, and his latest release “Adore (with Ariana Grande)” has been topping the charts. He has one of my favorite artists on as direct support, Seattle’s Sango. Part of the Soulection crew, Sango brings his a game when he performs, and this year’s “2009-2012 Mixtapes” is straight up nuts. The trap/house/jazz tracks of Masego will open the 18 & up show with doors at 9:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.
The Red Bull Flying Bach after party to close out the week will be over at F Bar. The event is 21 & up and 100% FREE.
You can get down at Boondocks when NYC’s Designer Drugs drops a set. Mixing house and other genres, the producer DJ should bring the house down in style. Going on prior will be Houston’s GRRRL Parts, with DJ Act Badd opening things up. It’s 21 & up, it starts at 10:00 and it has a $3.00 cover.
On Sunday you can catch the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentation of producer Mac DeMarco in the ballroom at Warehouse Live. That is, if you already have tickets, because it’s sold out. If you do have tickets, the doors are at 7:00 and be sure to catch both Canadian openers Alex Calder and Walter TV.
JR JR, Photo: Warner Bros. Records
In the Warehouse Live studio, you could get down to the pop electronic sounds of Jr Jr. Previously called Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, the newly named Detroit duo has been gaining steam for some time now, and their new album “JR JR” is getting all sorts of attention. Minnesota indie pop rock four piece, Hippo Campus will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets are $15.00.
Walters will be bringing in the electrifying blues rock of Amplified Heat. Really more of a stoner throwback act, these guys are loud and energetic, and they’re always impressive live. The three piece that comes harder than some five pieces will be jamming tunes from 2010’s “On The Hunt.” Of course the nonstop party of We Were Wolves will go on prior, and they should bring their breakneck rock with them. This year they dropped the “Ruin Your Weekend” EP, and proved that they’ve grown as a band while keeping their core sound intact. The psych metal of San Antonio’s The Man-Eaters of Tsavo will go on prior, while the murky bluesy rock of Houston’s Fox Parlor will open things up. You should get there early to catch Fox Parlor, as their 2014 album “Hell Or High Water” was a true force. The all ages show has doors at 7:45 and cover for $7.00.
Monday you can spend your evening with Portland stoner rockers, Red Fang in the studio at Warehouse Live. If you were unaware, Red Fang is pretty killer live, and their blend of throwback rock mixed with stoner sludge is pretty epic. Their most recent release, “Whales and Leeches” from 2013 is magnetic. They’ll have Atlanta sludge rock trio, Whores on as direct support. I caught these guys a while back and I was pretty impressed with their crazed live set. Their most recent release was from 2013 with “Clean.” Washington’s Wild Throne will also be on the bill, and they’ll bring their prog meets doom metal sounds to all who attend. They just dropped a new album that’s seriously a trip called “Harvest of Darkness.” Houston’s We Were Wolves will be on hand to open things up as only they can. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $17.00.
Over at Alley Kat you can get your punk fix, when Talk Sick Brats headline the evening. If you’ve missed these guys before then I don’t know how many more times I can say that you’re missing out. They play with intensity and energy which is the best kind of punk to see live. Florida’s Wet Nurse will be bringing their pop garage punk to the masses as direct support. The four piece plays the kind of pop punk that sounds like it was fronted by Kim Deal. Their latest, this year’s “So It Goes” is pretty jammy and worth checking out. Houston pop punks, The Turnaways will also be on the bill, while Reno’s Boss’ Daughter will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a paltry $4.00 cover.
Tuesday you should make your way over to Walters to see one of Houston’s most elusive artists, Jandek. Since the late seventies he’s released over seventy albums and he rarely plays live. His outsider versions of bluesy folk songs are something you have to see for yourself to appreciate. If it helps, famous musicians the world over have been fans. Kurt Cobain once said of Jandek, “he’s not pretentious, but only pretentious people like his music.” I’ve found that Jandek is a true gem, that you don’t have to be pretentious to appreciate his stuff. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $5.00 and $8.00. He starts at 9:00 sharp.
Dom Kennedy, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Warehouse Live will have the hip hop of LA’s Dom Kennedy over in the ballroom. Kennedy has been going strong since starting in the late 200’s, and he’s made quite the name for himself with simple lyricism mixed with epic narratives. His new drop, “By Dom Kennedy” is already gaining steam and he’s worth checking out. LA rapper and former Odd Future member, Casey Veggies will be on as direct support. Veggies just released a new album, “Live & Grow,” and it’s been popping off in the small time that it’s been out. South Central LA’s Jay 305 will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $30.00.
That’s about all that’s happening, though still a ton of options. No matter what you do and where you go, please do so in the most responsible way possible.