Talking Bird: The Best of The Week
Death Cab For Cutie. Photo: Jedd Lopez/One Nation
It’s definitely starting to look a lot like the Fall is coming upon us. Traditionally this means that many tours will roll through town, while the locals keep things moving above pace. Bands with massive followings such as Death Cab For Cutie, Crystal Castles and Garbage will be here, with many other touring acts making this a week full of decisions. Houston, here’s how to spend the next seven days.
Wednesday you can get going over at Improv for a one night only set from Dallas’ Paul Varghese. Varghese is probably best known for being on Last Comic Standing 2, but he’s much more than that show. His 2013 album Paul & Oates is a laugh a second, and he’s been all over the country as well as appearances on Comedy Central and Showtime. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s best comics will perform the duties of host & feature act. The 18 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $25.
Peelander-Z. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Bandcamp
Fitzgerald’s will bring back the always entertaining music of Japan’s Peelander-Z to the upstairs room. Though now based in NYC, these costumed punk rockers always bring their a game to any performance they play. Their latest release, last year’s Live at Red 7, should give you an idea of their sound, though their visually engaging show is harder to describe and shouldn’t be missed. Houston’s P.L.X.T.X. will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $15.
Big Top will have a special Wednesday set from Las Vegas’ The Delta Bombers. Clad in denim and playing the kind of rockabilly that sounds like old school and Stray Cats style, their 2014 album The Delta Bombers is pretty damn solid. Last year they dropped a live album as well, and they’re known for their raucous shows. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and a measly $8 cover.
Thursday you could begin at Walters for the popular hip hop of NOLA’s Dee-1. The LSU graduate has been popping off for a good while now, but 2015 was a banner year for him. He’s dropped a ton of tunes, including the 3’s Up EP in 2015 and a remix track with Lupe Fiasco & Big K.R.I.T. this year. He shoudl have a lit show, though there’s no word as to openers yet. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $12 and $15.
Robert Ellis. Photo: Dusdin Condren/New West Records
Out at Redneck Country Club you can get your alt country fix when Lucero brings their popular sounds to the Stafford venue. The seven piece from Memphis has been around since the late nineties, and their latest album All A Man Should Do from last year is pretty solid. Hometown hero Robert Ellis will be on hand as direct support and opener, and should delight all who attend with songs from this year’s Robert Ellis. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:30 pm and tickets between $20 and $45.
On Friday you’ll have to contend with deciding where to go, starting with a set from alt electro rock group Garbage at Revention Center. You can laugh at these nineties holdovers all you want, but they’re pretty intense to see live and their latest release, Strange Little Birds from this year, is full of pop hooks. The ambient pop of Brooklyn’s Cigarettes After Sex will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $35 and $45.
George West. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If you’d rather get your dance on, then you can catch the bizarre but entertaining electro pop of Austin’s Sphynx at The Red Light at Springbok. Though these guys look like they were coughed up by a seventies arena rock band, they’re kind of the opposite in sound and their latest single “Strange Emotion” is a trip. The pop chillwave of Houston’s Whale Bones will go on as direct support, while George West will bring his down-tempo jams on as opener. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
Walters will be bringing the magnetic sounds of Houston’s Rosewood Thievz over for their EP release party for, 3 For The Tre. If you’ve never seen these guys before, they blend vocal harmonies with R&B flavor to create a soulful sound that you can’t hear anywhere else. They’ll have direct support from the hip hop of Dirty & Nasty, while Big Fatts will go on prior. DJ Gracie Chavez will get feet moving as she usually does for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm at cover between $7 and $10.
In the smaller room upstairs at White Oak Music Hall, you can catch the blues rock of Houston’s Nathan Quick. Promoting the release of his latest single, “The Sound,” Quick will bring his tone heavy vibes to all who attend. The sexy blues rock of The Beans will provide direct support, and Jazz Radio will bring their indie rock sound to all as openers. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
The Kills. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
The big room downstairs at White Oak Music Hall will host an electrifying set from the always entertaining duo, The Kills. These two definitely take full advantage of a stage when they perform, they’re full of energy, and their new album Ash & Ice is a breath of fresh air for them. The garage rock of LA’s Kim and The Created will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $23.50 and $28.
Notsuoh will bring the demonic sounds of YouTube legend Satan’s God to town. The one-man band armed with a distorted vocal growl and a bass guitar plays the kind of music that bands like Slayer wished they could. Cokerr will also perform as well as the crazed cyberpunk of V1lla1n. Andrew Sainz’ solo project Dybbuk will open the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and a TBA cover.
Saturday you can start off at Warehouse Live in the studio for another edition of Kiki Maroon’s Burly Q Lounge. The burlesque meets vaudeville show features comedy and music alongside some sultry performances. The 18 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $25, the latter being a seated option.
If you’re all about FREE pizza, then you could go to Eastdown Warehouse for the Pop-Punk Pizza Party. The show will feature tribute sets from Kemo For Emo as Green Day, The Medicine Years as NOFX, Four Letter Language as Fall Out Boy, and many more. The free pizza is first come first serve for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and a $10 cover.
Porches. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
I’m guessing that many of you will be heading to Walters to catch the electro pop indie sounds of New York’s Porches. This guy has dropped two albums this year, first with Pool and more recently with Water, both elegant and beautifully jammy in their own right. The beautifully understated indie pop sounds of Philadelphia’s Japanese Breakfast will be on as direct support, while the soulful bedroom pop of New York’s Rivergazer will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $13 and $15.
At Rudyard’s you can get your blues groove on when Richard Cagle & the Voodoo Choir play a rare set. You might not know that Cagle is not only a hell of a record producer, but also the former owner of Montrose Music and the guy who launched the careers of Carolyn Wonderland and Deadhorse, to name a few. The guy has worked with Johnny Winter if that tells you about him, and this band is known for an electric live show. Their latest album Texas Voodoo Blues gained worldwide notoriety. A reunion set from Houston’s Under The Sun will be a part of the show, while the highly energetic sounds of Clay Melton Band will open things up. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
Young Girls. Photo: ATH Records
Continental Club will bring the indie rock goodness of Houston’s Young Girls over to perform one of their energy heavy live shows. Seriously, this three-piece has had an injection of raw power this year, and their new album Party Blood is one of the best releases this year. The shoegaze post rock of Raceway will be on the bill as well, while the mesmerizing and multilayered indie rock of El Lago will open the 100% FREE 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm.
Disconnected electro noise duo Crystal Castles will be headlining over in the downstairs room at White Oak Music Hall. After a tumultuous and bumpy breakup two years ago, the group is back with a new singer and a bizarre new album titled Amnesty (I). This band has always been odd, but their live sets have always been engaging, though I’m not sure what this new incarnation will be like in a live setting. There’s no word of direct support or opener for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $20 and $27.
On Sunday you can head over to Satellite Bar to catch a solo set from Buxton’s Sergio Trevino. Sergio finds a way to encapsulate all his projects together when he plays solo, so this set is a real treat. The alt country folk of Austin’s Real Live Tigers will be on hand as well as the ambient solo sounds of LRN GRN of Austin’s Mirror Travel. The all ages show has a $5 cover and doors are at 7:30 pm.
Vodi. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If that’s not your thing, then you could travel over to Walters to catch the on again off again indie pop of Avi Buffalo. Even though Buffalo renounced touring, he still booked this tour meaning this could be your last chance to catch him. I’m not sure if it’s a solo or band offering, but 2014’s At Best Cuckold was pretty damn awesome. The energized rock of Chicago’s The Kickback, who remind me of Superdrag will be on as direct support. Houston’s VODI will open the all ages show, and they’re seriously an act you need to catch sooner than later. The doors are at 8 pm and the tickets are between $10 and $12.
Tuesday you can get all of the feels when Death Cab For Cutie performs at Revention Center. I shouldn’t have to oversell this show as the band has a great back catalog of tunes. Last year’s Kintsugi just proved that you can’t keep a good band down. The amazing and energetic sounds of Nashville’s Bully will open things up. Seriously, this female fronted bands is one of the best live bands you’ll catch, and last year’s Feels Like is a really solid album. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $35.
Pujol. Photo: Saddle Creek Records
If that’s not your deal then your rock fix when Houston’s We Were Wolves headlines a set at Satellite Bar. These guys not only bring the party when they play, they are the party and last year’s Ruin Your Weekend showed that they’re not slowing down anytime soon. The amazing garage rock of Nashville’s Pujol will be on the bill as well, while the tongue in cheek indie rock of Houston’s Get a Life will open the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
Walters will be bringing in the tough new wave punk of Berlin’s DIAT. This band is pretty damn awesome, they’ve never played Houston to my knowledge, and their mix of Crisis meets Killing Joke-era punk is all over their debut full length, Positive Energy from last year. The hardcore of Seattle’s Vacant Life will be on hand as direct support while the trippy techno of Maramuresh will go on prior. The intense and sheer hardcore power of Houston’s LACE will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you decide to do, please mindful of everyone’s safety, as well as your own.