Suicide Doors: The Best of The Week
Photo: Christina Bargel
Last week had plenty of options, and more than enough happening to keep us all happy. This week is a little thin, but only because it’s a holiday weekend. That being said, there’s still plenty happening as we start to slide into December. Here’s how to get away from your family.
Wednesday Over at Discovery Green, they’ll have “The Ice” out and ready to skate on. Even though the ice made its debut on Tuesday, I’ve found that our hot/cold, hot/cold weather; usually means that by day two it’s a little more acclimated. They limit your skate time to an hour and a half, but it’s still pretty fun. The only downside are the range of hours and what they call a school holiday or not. Prices range between $13.00 or $25.00, depending if you want to wait in line or not. I think on Wednesday, it opens at 11:00 am, and closes at 11:00 pm.
One of four comedy shows on Wednesday, Traffic Premium Lounge will co-host a Pre-Thanksgiving Day show with Laff Town Comedy that Features the hilarious comedy of Judd Jones. Judd has been making the rounds at Rich Williams shows, Ku Egenti’s show, and he’s opened for a bunch of touring comics. He has a very “off the cuff” style that’s mixed with a hint of self deprecating humor. It all adds up to funny and I promise you’ll laugh pretty hard while he’s on the mic. The show will also have Beta Bracket runner up Lena Silva, the silly antics of Jermaine Warren, and the observatory and lyrical break downs of Zach Dickson. The entire show will be hosted by the funny Victor Tran. Things get going at 9:00, I’m guessing it’s 21 & up, and the tickets are only $5.00.
Bayou Music Center will bring the throwback dance pop rock of Manchester’s The 1975. I feel like a couple of bookers in this town owe me money on whether or not these guys would blow up. Their latest album, full of hit singles; “The 1975” is getting bigger by the day. The pop rock synthy goodness of Philly’s Cruisr will be on as direct support. Cruisr just dropped an EP, “All Over” to great fanfare. Even though director Kevin Smith is possibly the most famous person from Red Bank, New Jersey; that could all change if Young Rising Sons keeps garnering fans. They’ll open things up with songs from their latest, this year’s poppy yet catchy “Young Rising Sons.” The show has since sold out, but you may be able to roll the dice on some tickets being released at the box office. Things get started at 8:00.
Out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, Houston’s Slade Ham will start the beginning of a three night residency here in his home base. Ham isn’t here much due to a hectic touring schedule. As part of The Whiskey Brothers collective, Ham has a quick wit and a sharp tongue, that have garnered him fans from coast to coast. Four years past his last of three albums, I’d guess he’d be working material from what may be his next album, or possibly that of the upcoming Whiskey Brothers Comedy Special. You can hear his last release, “Three-Legged Unicorn” or The Whiskey Brothers Podcast to gauge his humor. Due to Thanksgiving, there will be a Wednesday show, no Thursday show, and two shows on Friday and Saturday. One of Houston’s funniest comics, Barry Laminack will be performing in the feature slot. An ESPN Radio co-host, Laminack has the ability to make you laugh until you cry, then laugh some more. One of Houston’s better up & coming comics will host the show as well. The Wednesday show has doors at 8:00, while the Friday and Saturday shows have doors at 8:00 and 10:30, and all carry a $16.00 cover.
Mango’s will have the psych garage rock of Austin’s Twin Vision. To Me, these guys sound like a mix of The Cramps and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They recently dropped an album called “Ice Cream,” that really brings their sound to life. The overly garage based sounds of Austin’s Nilo Bronco will open the all ages show with doors at 9:00 and $7.00 cover.
Rudyard’s will have some comedy going on, when the brutally honest and prolific humor of Slim Bloodworth performs. Slim has been entertaining audiences the world over since she got her start at the legendary Laff Stop in the late nineties. She is easily one of the strongest comics you’ll see in a long time, and due to her constant touring schedule; she’s not around much. She’ll have another road dog and one quarter of The Whiskey Brothers, when the hilarious Sam Demaris features. Sam has been in Maxim magazine, he’s toured around the world, and he’s opened for some heavy hitters including Joe Rogan. The music of Howl and Bravo Jazz Funk Band will get things started, The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 8:00, and the cover is a measly $8.00.
Numbers will host Austin’s Mr. Kitty, appearing for the first time in Houston. Super synthy and throwback in sounds, Mr. Kitty has the kind of sounds that appear to have come from thirty years ago. His latest release, “Time” falls in line with his previous efforts. The Kraftwerk meets early eighties sounds of Houston’s Provision will also perform, as will a DJ set from Millennial Grave. Things are opened up by DJ Angiesliste, DJ Damon Allen, and DJ Franki Franki. The doors are at 9:00, the show is 18 & up, and the tickets are between $10.00 and $12.00.
Improv will also have a comedy show featuring the brilliant comedy of Ali Siddiq, with his The Original Jive Turkeys show in it’s seventh year. Siddiq has been on a crazy string of live shows coupled with tv appearances and comedy specials. Couple that with four albums and on the tip of everyone’s tongues, and you have a comic that gets bigger by the second. The show will also feature the humor of Marcus Wiley. Wiley is the co-host of the popular Yolanda Adams Morning show, as well as a professor at Texas Southern University. There’s also comedy from Terry Gross, as well as BET’s comic view and Steve Harvey writer Dave Lawson. Co-host of the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Kier Spates will also be on the bill. The doors are at 8:00, and the tickets are between $20.00 and $30.00.
If you’re just a huge fan of jazz music, and you like the legends of jazz, then you should head over to Avant Garden when they host From-To-From. The group that features drummer extraordinaire Alvin Fielder, will perform two sets. The group also features Damon Choice, David Dove, Jason Jackson, and Damon Smith; but together they form a cohesive and amazing experience. The doors are at 8:00 and the cover ranges between $7.00 and $10.00.
Thursday is Thanksgiving, which really means your options on what to do are rather limited. Though FPH writer Michael Bergeron usually handles the cinema side of things; I doubt he’d be too upset if I recommended that you go to the movies on Thanksgiving night. I don’t go to many movies much anymore, as I feel like it’s a hodge podge of things that should never have gotten greenlighted. That being said, I hear great things about “Birdman” starring Michael Keaton. As I recall, he had great things to say about the film here.
Friday you can start off your “Black Friday” over at any local record store for the Record Store Day festivities. This link here, will tell you about all that may or may not be available at your favorite shop, due to the fact that the stores actually have no idea what they’ll receive. I’ll be at Heights Vinyl because I like their RSD set up the best. I know that they’ll have plenty of FREEBIES, alongside some great live performances from two strong up and coming artists here in Houston. Moji will get things started at 2:00, and will bring her jazzy and soulful sounds to life. When I wrote about Moji here, I know that she and her band were lightning in a bottle; and they’re definitely an act you should check out. At 3:00, the soulful R&B swagger of Kristal Cherelle will perform. Thanks to a benefit at Last Concert Cafe, Cherelle hopped on my radar. She just dropped a pretty great album called “Fighter,” where she dabbles in the lost art of true soul music by often performing acoustic guitar and varying other instruments to compliment her great voice. Things get started at the shop at 11:00 am and should continue into the evening, and it’s 100% FREE.
Walter’s will host the emo pop screamo sounds of Sacramento’s Dance Gavin Dance. The five piece with dual and sometimes triple vocals returns to town on the heels of their newest single, “Pussy Vultures.” The post hardcore pop rock of San Diego’s Secrets will also be there as direct support. Secrets has been on a steady pace of releases since their debut in 2011. Their latest, “Fragile Figures” falls in line with their quiet/scream/quiet song structure. They’ll have Oregon’s Alive Like Me on prior with their screamy sounds. They just dropped their debut album “Only Forever” to some pretty high praises. Portland’s Defeat The Low opens the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $17.00 and $20.00.
Over at Mango’s they’ll have a barn burner with the trippy and prog rock collective of Houston’s Enloom. Enloom kind of sounds like what happens when you get stuck down the rabbit hole. That’s not a bad thing, as it’s nice to hear a band that’s proggy and psychedelic actually live up to those monikers. One of the most diverse acts I’ve heard in a long time, Austin’s The Human Circuit will also be on the bill. This group dropped a psyched out and trippy album called “Circuit Tree” that’s filled with more bizarre twists and turns than an M. Night Shyamalan film. The Cypress three piece of garage rock lo-fi goodness known as SILS will open the all ages show with doors at 9:00 and a $10.00 cover.
Phoenicia’s MKT Bar will host another Comedy Night from Beta Theater. In celebration of the holiday, the show will be a “Black Friday Comedy Competition.” To make it just a little more difficult, the comics who perform will be doing clean material only. The first prize is $100.00 and will consist of three minute sets. As per all of these shows, 8th Wonder Brewery will provide an EXCLUSIVE beer that can only be purchased at this event. The comedy gets started at 9:00, it’s an all ages affair, and as always, it’s a great way to catch some of Houston’s comics for 100% FREE.
If you’re old enough, then you can catch a FREE show over at Fitzgerald’s when Wrestlers perform downstairs. Hot on the heels of a pretty epic 2014 that’s included an appearance at Lollapalooza; the group is celebrating the popularity of their latest drop, “Say Anything.” The song that features Twin Shadow & D’Angelo Lacy has been blowing up and just means that we should expect bigger things from these guys in 2015. The synthy throw back to the era of ABC & OMD sounds of Austin/Houston’s Night Drive will also be on the show. These two are dropping songs this year like they’re going to die tomorrow. Their latest “Young Rivals” is just one of the many. The glitch visual master and Red Bull Bass Camp/Synth genius FLCON FCKER will open things up. What other things can you say about a guy who played Bonnaroo without ANY representation and who has more collaborations going than someone with twice his time in the game? The show is all ages, it’s FREE if you’re 21 & up, $5.00 if you aren’t, and the doors are at 8:00.
Of course, no one will blame you if you really just want to catch some burlesque, and if you do; then Numbers has a show for you. Dem Damn Dames will return with their monthly show, that this time highlights the boys of burlesque more than the women. The show, titled Dem Damn Dudes, will feature the talents of male burlesque extraordinaire, Paco Fish. So, aside from the fact that he’s in the midst of a year long burlesque tour of North America, Paco has won the 2014 King of Southern Fried Burlesque Festival, the 2014 King of Southern Carolina Burlesque Festival, and more accolades than you can count. He’ll be joined by Stephan, the 2013 King of the San Antonio Burlesque Festival. The show will also feature Houston performers Nick The Vegan, JD Hickock, Marcus, and Desmond Heart. Keelin Christopher and Pelvis Costello of San Antonio will also be on board; while San Antonio’s Dino Foxxy Blue Orchid hosts. The doors are at 7:00, and tickets range between $15.00 & $30.00. As per all of these shows, your ticket will include FREE entry into Classic Numbers, the historic dance night that takes place after the show.
If you’d rather bang your head, then you can head down to Scout Bar to catch Powerman 5000. Until I read this listing, I had forgot that they were a band too, but they just released an album called “Builders Of The Future.” Minneapolis’ American Head Charge, a band started and ended on drugs; the band has returned after disbanding in 2007. Last year, they dropped their first new music in a long time with the “Shoot” EP. The riff heavy sound of Wolfborne will also be on hand, as will Houston’s Pulse Rate Zero. The multifaceted and heavy rock of Houston’s Seldom will blow attendees away with their energetic live show when they open up the show. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $20.00.
There’s also a good chance that you’ll wanna’ dust off your cowboy boots and two step. If you do, then Arena Theater is the place to be when they host the country twang of Dwight Yoakam. Rounding up a touring schedule in support of his last album, 2012’s “3 Pears.” Unlike many of today’s country music “stars,” Yoakam has an insanely large back catalog of hits to fall back on. Aside from that. he’s also one of the best live performers you’ll catch in or out of country music. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but the tickets are between $45.00 and $75.00. The doors are at 9:00.
Saturday will either be the test to see how much more of your family you can stand, or a great night to get started over at Rudyard’s when they host Doomsgiving III: Psychotic Supper. I think by now I’ve told you how much of a “team player” for the Houston music scene Doomstress Alexis is; but if you weren’t aware, she is and this show proves it. Utilizing photographers, bands, and pretty much everyone she’s worked with in the last year, Doomstress is a shining example of what it means to create a scene in a city. Her band, Project Armageddon will headline the evening and will bring their doomy metal to all in attendance. I would guess that you’ve heard their latest album, 2012’s “Tides of Doom.” I know that they’re working on new material, but even with an album that’s been out for a couple of years, that doesn’t stop them from inciting neck pains from the heads banged at their shows. The sleaze rock of Houston’s Vanity Crimes will also be on hand to bring their guitar fueled sound to life. I feel like this is one of those bands that might require a tetanus shot after they play, but that’s what it’s all about, right? The hard rock meets classic rock of Ganesha will also be on the bill. Houston’s all female three piece of ear bleeding rock, Giant Kitty will open things up. Aside from the fact that they do a killer cover of the Devo classic “Gates of Steel,” Giant Kitty is a band that immediately demands respect that you’ll immediately give them or they’ll mow you over with their ferocious sound. The show also promises an interactive art display from Chuyz Beard alongside photography from Goon 73. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 8:00, and the cover is a measly $8.00.
Continental Club will have The Hollisters over to honky tonk their way into your hearts. I would guess that you would know who The Hollisters are, but in case you don’t; they’re a four piece Americana Country act from Houston. They’re easily one of the better acts left in the world of country music, and you can catch a glimpse of their Texas swing sound here. The show doesn’t have an opener, but you don’t really need one with these guys. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 9:00 and the tickets are $15.00.
If you’re in that block, but you’d rather catch one of Houston’s more eclectic acts; then I’d suggest heading over to The Big Top for Only Beast. I can’t express how impressed with the sound of this band. You have a drummer and a guitarist who also plays simultaneous bass…seriously, and a singer with more vocal range than anyone you’ll hear in a good while. Together, the three piece creates a much larger sound that’s apparent on their 2013 release, “Only Beast.” In a live setting, you might not find a more bombastic act where a drummer beats the kit with accurate precision and a guitarist adds inventive riffs and stabs. This is all before calculating a singer who uses 99% of the stage and who quickly makes you forget that she’s not playing an instrument. The riff heavy sounds of Houston’s The Dirty Seeds will open things up. The Dirty Seeds sound like a mix of The Sword and Fu Manchu, which is to say it’s definitely stoner rock. They dropped a four song EP this year called, “King Kush” that’s as muddy as the Rio Grande river. This show is 21 & up, the cover is $5.00, and things get going around 9:00.
Down at Scout Bar, the true rockabilly gospel of The Reverend Horton Heat will come to life. If you live in Texas and you’ve never seen this icon of rockabilly, then I feel sorry for you. I’ve seen this guy no less than ten times and he never disappoints in a live setting. He’s here in support of his latest masterpiece, “Rev.” On it, he seems to relive the sound he had on “Liquor In The Front,” while still keeping his sound fresh and inventive. In true Reverend fashion, he has another killer band on the show with him; and this time it’s Supersuckers. Geez, I saw these guys when I was in high school back when Houston had an Emo’s, and they were pretty damn amazing. I caught them again when Didjits guitarist Rick Simms was in the band, and they were great then too. They’ve always kept that “booze, blues, and Satan’ thing going, and it’s alive today on their latest, last year’s “Get The Hell.” That should be enough of a “sell” on this show, but they’ll also have the Bay Area’s The Grizzly Band on the bill as well. These guys sound like a grizzled version of Social Distortion, and that’s best displayed on their 2014 album, “Lost and Found.” The punky bluegrass of Alvin’s Blackgrass Gospel will open things up. This eclectic blend of performers really sounds like a perfect mix for this show, which doesn’t seem to occur on shows much anymore. The show is all ages, the doors are at 7:00, and the cover is between $20.00 and $24.00.
McGonigel’s Mucky Duck will play host to Texas singer/songwriting legend James McMurtry. McMurtry has been dropping albums for over twenty years, and most of them have been pretty amazing. His latest drop is actually a single called “How I’m Gonna’ Find You Now.” There’s not an opener, not that he needs one; and he’s one of those guys that everyone should see at least once. There are two shows, one at 7:00 and one at 9:30. They’re all 21 & up and the tickets for either are between $28.00 and $30.00.
Warehouse Live will have their Hip Hop Anonymous show that’s hosted by Guilla and Leckie. Earlier this week, Guilla dropped some new music this week that pretty much proves that he could be the future of houston hip hop. This installment of the show will feature performances from Poochie, James Curtis, and The Mad Men Crew. As always, these shows are pretty intense and worth making it out for. The all ages show gets started around 8:00, and tickets $10.00 to $12.00.
On Sunday, Walter’s will have a pretty cool show, when the emo punk of Philly’s Modern Baseball comes to town. These guys dropped a pretty great sounding album in 2012 called, “Sports.” They literally just released a new album called, “You’re Gonna’ Miss It All,” where they seem to grow and move forward. They’ll have the pop punk of Chicago’s Knuckle Puck. Knuckle Puck just put out a pretty strong record this October called, “While I Stay Secluded.” New York electro poppers Crying will also be on the bill, and they’ll bring their hyper pop sound to life. Their latest, this year’s “Get Olde Second Wind” is like playing video games hopped up on Mountain Dew. Boston’s Somos will open things up and play songs from their new album, “Temple of Plenty.” The all ages show has doors at 6:00 and the tickets are $15.00.
So, I won’t bore you with the details of how I met Jack Blades, but believe it or not, Night Ranger will be here Saturday at Concert Pub North. Actually, maybe that makes sense. I was never a big Night Ranger guy, and I still don’t understand the lyrics to “Sister Christian;” but they also sold a boat load of albums. I would guess that if you have a mom in her forties, this is where she’ll be Saturday night. They’ll be here in support of their latest, this year’s “High Road.” So, there doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that may change by show time. The tickets are a little bizarrely price with 21 & up tickets for $25.00, 18-20 at $35.00, and a VIP package that includes a reserved area and some form of buffet food for $75.00. The doors are at 7:30.
If you have kids, then you’ve probably heard of Yo Gabba Gabba. The live Yo Gabba Gabba show is pretty awesome, as I took my god kids to see it last time. The shows, because there are two, are over at Bayou Music Center. Obviously it’s an all ages affair with a show at 2:00 and a show at 5:00, and all carry tickets between $35.00 and $59.00.
Monday, you can head over to Fitzgerald’s for the Coldplay meets Counting Crows sound of California’s Augustana. Complete with pop hooks and heartfelt melodies, Augustans has been wowing crowds with their easy to swallow sounds. Their newest release, 2014’s “Life Imitating Life,” has been gaining plenty of steam since it was released. British alterna rockers, Scars On 45 will be there as well to serve as the show’s opener. Expanding into dual vocalist territory, Scars just dropped their sophomore release called, “Safety In Numbers” which expands on the band’s already diverse sound. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and the tickets are between $18.00 & $22.00.
If you want to go see popmaster Justin Timberlake over at Toyota Center, and you don’t have tickets; then you’re screwed because it’s sold out. I caught Timberlake once and I’ll be honest when I say that he’s pretty great live. He’s here in support of his latest, last year’s “The 20/20 Experience.” You might luck out and the box office may have tickets available the day of. If that happens, the tickets fall between $49.50 & $175.00. The doors are at 7:00.
Tuesday, you have some decisions to make starting off over at Warehouse Live, when Common comes to town. Common has been around since the early nineties, and has always stayed true to his R&B inspired hip hop, even when gangsta rap was the way to go. The Grammy winning rapper returned this year with a strong album called “Nobody’s Smiling.” The all ages show doesn’t appear to have an opener, though that usually changes by the show day. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $25.00 and $30.00.
On the other side of the music spectrum, Melissa Etheridge will bring her raspy voiced folk rock to Bayou Music Center. Etheridge has been performing for over twenty five years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Her latest album, this year’s “This Is M.E.” has more pop structures than her previous efforts, but still contains her signature sounds. California’s power pop rocker Alexander Cardinale, also known as Xander, will open the show up. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are a little crazily priced between $53.00 and $118.00.
That’s not a bad week considering that it’s a holiday week. Please, have an awesome holiday but don’t be an idiot and drive irresponsibly. We all get annoyed with our in-laws, so please be responsible to your fellow Houstonians, no matter what you do.