The Growlers. Photo: Big Hassle
Now that another festival has released its lineup, we can start marching towards the inevitable overflow of SXSW in March. This week you have a ton of options from locals as well as a sold out set from Isaiah Rashad, The Growlers, and Power Trip. Houston, your next seven days are all planned out.
On Wednesday you could swing by Walter’s for the album release from Houston’s Talking Forever. The four piece, makes music closest to that of Modern Baseball meets Balance and Composure, and should be worth making it out for. The shoegaze emo sounds of Donna Hayward will be on as direct support while the highly charged fuzzy garage rock of Moth Wings will go on beforehand. The alt pop of Rome Hero Foxes will also be on the bill and things will get opened by the indie rock of Phantompains with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $6 and $8 for the all ages show.
The Experimental Action festival kicks off in multiple venues on Thursday, but an artist meet & greet with a special menu will be on display at Cafe Brasil. While this will be a chance to meet all of those involved with the fest from around the globe, this will also be your last chance to grab a $30 pass before the price goes up. More information is available here for the all ages and FREE event that gets going around 7 pm.
Over at House of Blues in the Foundation Room, you could catch an intimate performance from Houston producer and songwriter Lee Lonn. Lonn has made quite the name for himself with his smooth R&B grooves, and a live set that’s pretty impressive. A set from DJ 4k will also be on the bill for the 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $5 and $10.
Under The Volcano will have the British born and Austin transplanted country tones of Sophia Johnson. After receiving praise for her live shows, last year she dropped the catchy and twangy One Year complete with enough hooks to start a bait & tackle shop. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
Jawwaad Taylor. Photo: Svetlana Selezneva/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Thursday you should start off at the CAMH for the always inspired and enigmatic sounds of Houston’s Jawwaad Taylor as part of the museum’s 20Hertz series. Jawwaad is easily one of the best artists in Houston, he dropped one of the best hip hop records ten years ago with Jneiro Jarel called Craft of The Lost Art under the name Shape of Broad minds, he’s toured the world performing with his jazz group The Young Mothers, and his style is like no one else. What he has planned for this show should be nothing short of mind altering for the all ages event that gets going around 6:30 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Experimental Action starts in full over at Notsuoh and the multiple venue festival featuring local and international festival is something everyone should consider checking out. Performers from Spain, NYC, China, Serbia and more will be at the three day festival that will be at The Secret Group on Friday, and at Walter’s on Saturday. The hours are from 8 pm- midnight each night, the tickets are between $12 per night or $30 for all three days, and the all ages event has all of the details available here.
The Broken Spokes. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Over at Big Top you can two step the night away with the honky tonk sounds of Houston’s The Broken Spokes. Playing old school country with the ease of the greats, these guys have a mix of Western Swing and pre-pop country that’s hard to ignore, and their 2016 album The Broken Spokes is like going back in time the good way. The 100% FREE show with doors at 10 pm is 21 & up and definitely worth putting your boots on for.
Friday you could get started at Numbers for another tantalizing performance from Houston’s Dem Damn Dames at their cirque show, Cirque du So Weird. Magic, silks, burlesque and more will be on hand as performances from LA’s Caramel Knowledge and Chicago’s Claira Bell will occur next to performances from the Dames themselves and many more. The 18 & up show has an opening magic set from Urial Gwydian with doors at 7 pm. Entrance to Classic Numbers immediately following this show is included with your ticket, with prices between $15 and $30 for VIP seating.
Power Trip. Photo: Southern Lord Records
At Walter’s you can make it out for the trash sounds of Dallas’ Power Trip when they host their record release party for their new album out on Southern Lord Records. These guys are like getting smacked in the face live, and their last drop, 2013’s Manifest Decimation should be enough reason to come check them out. Direct support from Virginia’s Iron Reagan is nothing to deny, while the metal of Houston’s Skourge will go on prior. The thrash metal of Houston’s Omerta will also play and the crazy and insane punk of Sexpill will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $15.
Last Concert Cafe will have the trippy psyched out sounds of Austin’s Golden Dawn Arkestra. While the group claims Nigeria as home, Austin is where they’re from now though that shouldn’t really matter. One of the most intriguing acts you can catch going, this band consisting of at least eight members brings it when they perform their mystical caravan of song craft to life with each set. Their latest, last year’s Stargazer echoes the likes of Sun Ra while falling into an LSD laced rabbit hole. Houston’s The Heights Funk Collective will provide direct support and Austin’s The Warplanes will go on prior. The funky goodness of Soul Creatures will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and a $12 cover.
Rudyard’s will usher the return of Matt Pryor, the prolific front man for Chicago emo group, The Get Up Kids to perform a solo set. While Pryor has been here many times, coming on the heels of this year’s Memento Mori could be the best time as it’s his most solid solo effort so far. Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio will be on as direct support and opener for the 21 & up show with doors at 7:30 pm and tickets between $13 and $16.
My Education. Photo: Kat Alyst/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Satellite Bar brings back the cinematic indie rock of Austin’s My Education. If you want to get schooled, this is the band to give you a lesson. Their live shows are insane and their latest album Schiphol out on March 3rd is produced by famed producer Mike McCarthy. San Antonio’s Levees will be on as direct support where the lushly arranged and gorgeous tones of My Twilight Pilot will go on prior. The electromechanical sounds of Houston’s The Thief and The Architect will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a measly $7 cover.
If you’re up for a drive, you should consider heading out to Sugarland to the Smart Financial Centre to catch the legendary songs of Sting. Sure, he formed The Police only to turn his back on them before cashing in for a more adult contemporary sound, but the guy is pretty impressive live. He’ll be here in support of his latest release, last year’s 57th & 9th. San Antonio’s Joe Sumner and the Last Bandoleros will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $54 and $154.
Isaiah Rashad. Photo: Top Dawg Entertainment
In the ballroom at Warehouse Live, if you were lucky enough to grab tickets, you could catch the hip hop of Tennessee’s Isaiah Rashad. After the heat behind his album The Sun’s Tirade, this rapper blew up and should wow all in attendance. Lance Skiiiwalker will be on as direct support while Jay IDK will open the SOLD OUT all ages show with doors at 8 pm.
House of Blues will host the popular sounds of Austin’s Emily Bell in the Foundation Room. Bell has criss crossed styles for a while now, but that really just proves she can sing pretty much whatever she wants. However, if her latest single “Can’t Talk Back” is any indicator of her upcoming EP, then we should be in for a real treat at this show. The all ages event has doors at 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Charlie and the Regrets. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
On Saturday things could get started when you find yourself over at Cactus catching an in-store performance from Houston’s Charlie and the Regrets. Lead by Charlie Harrison, I’ve said for a while that this band could break out at any moment, and their new album “Rivers In The Streets” due out on 02/25 through Sony distribution should be pretty killer. The all ages show has gratis beer for the adults, it gets going around 1 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Alley Kat will host the fifth edition of Sur Fest featuring a slew of Latin artists. Sets from La Sien, Mas Pulpo, and many more will be on hand as well as photography, poetry and visual artists. There’s more information here for the 21 & up event that gets going around 1 pm with a $15 ticket price.
Dillon Trimm+Gabe Bravo. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Instagram
The Secret Group will have a benefit for Girls Rock Camp Houston at the What’s It? show. Two stages, sets from King Finn, Another Run, Dillon Trimm+Gabe Bravo, a solo set from Justin Nava, and LA’s True American headlining among others. There’s also a tribute to former King Finn founder Alan Huynh and so much more. The all ages show has doors at 5 pm and tickets between $10 and $15.
Out at Dosey Doe in the Big Barn, Houston legend B.J. Thomas will swing by to perform. Sure, he wasn’t born here, but he was raised in and around our city, he was a member of the Triumphs, and he’s also sold a ton of records. His latest release, The Best of B.J. Thomas(Re-Recorded) is definitely proof he hasn’t slowed down either. The all ages show includes dinner served between 6 pm and 7:30 pm with tickets between $98 and $158.
Notsuoh has the psych rock of Dallas’ Monoculture over to perform. The four piece plays songs that teeter totter between college indie rock and psych, and their latest single “Absurd” sounds pretty tight. The high energy of LA’s No Parents will provide their good time punk while The Prettybads will also swing by to play their brand of punk. The indie rock of Since Always will open the 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm for the 100% FREE show.
The Mahas. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Big Star Bar will have the punk rock goodness and crazed onstage antics of The Cops. Not to be confused with actual cops, these guys are definitely a band you need to see sooner than later. The Mahas will return with their garage rock sounds while things will get opened by the garage punk of Idiot City. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If you like true dance hall ska, then you should head to Rockefeller’s to catch Austin’s The Bandulus. Straight up, one of the most impressive ska bands I’ve ever heard, their album The Times We Had is like going back in time through sound. The rock steady ska of LA’s The Steady 45’s will also be on as direct support where the always inventive sounds of Houston’s kind of Gulf Coast swagger, Nick Gaitan will go on prior. Tejas Got Soul Sound System will open things up with a DJ set for the all ages event with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $15.
Urban Pioneers. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Continental Club will have a barn burner in the truest sense of the words, when Albany, Texas’ Urban Pioneers drop by to offer up their blend of hillbilly and roots music. Seriously, you don’t know fiddle until you catch this trio live, and their latest release Feast or Famine from last year is a delicacy for the ears. Magnolia’s Folk Family Revival will be on as support and openers for the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and a TBA cover.
Sunday over at The Secret Group they’ll host a new show series from the team behind the Goddammit shows called Night Brunch. Live music, comedy, and FREE food are all on hand for the diverse new show. The doors are at 5 pm and it’s 100% FREE, and completely worth checking out.
One of my favorite local artists, The Wizard of Barge has a show over at Insomnia VGC. This guy makes some kooky stuff so it only makes sense the the show would be titled Cosmic Kooks. Forty plus unseen paintings will be up at this show, an opening reception music and drinks are all part of the experience for the all ages show with doors at 6 pm for the 100% FREE event.
Of course you can head to the big room downstairs at White Oak Music Hall for the garage rock leanings of The Growlers. The garage rock on the lo-fi spectrum that this band once embodied is now traded in for a more hi-fi psych pop sound. Of course that doesn’t mean that they can’t still bring it in person and their massively popular new album City Club should sound great in a live setting. There’s no word of support or openers, but that could change for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $27.
Continental Club will bring Santa Monica’s Red Elvises over to play their blend of surf rock and rockabilly. While the band was originated in Russia, they’ve since moved stateside and really bring their “A game” to each and every live set. Their last album, 2011’s Live In Montana should give you an idea of their strengths. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and a $15 cover.
On Monday, Walter’s will have New York’s trippy and pop infused sounds of Landlady. The instrumentation of what this group dos alone, is enough reason to make it out for this show. Possibly one of the most interesting things you’ll see, their newest album The World Is A Loud Place from this year is one of the most interesting albums I’ve heard in years. It’s like Zappa is being channeled in each and every song, but more serious in overall tone. Houston’s Deep Cuts will bring their reformed and good times sound to the bill as direct support and openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
Flower Politics. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Tumblr
At Satellite Bar you can see if you think two is better than one when Carolina two piece Naked Naps drops by to play. This duo brings a garage tinged indie rock to the table and their last release the middle is pretty impressive and different. The acoustic bedroom pop of Houston’s Flower Politics will open the all ages show. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard Flower Politics or not, but you should know that the mostly solo artist just dropped their 22nd album in three years. The doors are at 8 pm and there’s a TBA cover.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you decide to do, remember that making it home safe is in everyone’s best interest, and that a safe ride home is just an app away.
World Unglued: The Best of The Week This was reposted for my personal reading use