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Festivals Out Your Ass!, Pt. 3: It Ain't Westfest Yet, But It's Getting There [10/12/2007 10:38:00 AM]:
Time for Pt. 3 of our upcoming-festivality coverage, again for this coming weekend (er, tomorrow, that is):

Sat., October 13 -- Free Press Westheimer Block Party @ 300-500 block of Westheimer (Numbers/Avante Garden/La Strada/Mangos)
Man, that crazy Free Press Houston crew just won't quit; gotta love 'em for it. They're bound and determined to resurrect the much-missed Westheimer Street Festival from the H-town musical/cultural boneyard, and they've done it by giving the finger to all the ridiculous politics surrounding the "real" Westfest and creating their own thing, the Westheimer Block Party (oh, it's not a "street festival," no; of course not, Mr. Officer, sir...). Rather than taking the whole damn street like Westfest used to, these days they just book the venues on either side of the 300-500 block of the street -- namely, Numbers, Avante Garden (née The Mausoleum/Helios), and Mangos.

I was able to drag the midget down to the last Block Party they threw, and yep, I did indeed enjoy it, even though I couldn't stay long (the wee one gets hot/tired quicker than I do). Caught Guns of August, Suspenderman(!), and part of what I think -- if my addled memory's not playing tricks -- was John Evans' set inside Numbers. I also ran into my old boss Cliff, who now does the MyCityRocks thing & somehow manages to take pictures of every freakin' show that comes through town, which is cool...

The one real downer to the last BP was, honestly, the turnout. The crowd was pretty big over at Mangos, but across the road next to Numbers, it was sparse (and inside Numbers was even worse; is there, uh, any way to turn the house lights up a little bit this time? Walking from a bright & sunny afternoon into a pitch-black, mostly-empty club was a little disconcerting...). Which is a shame, because there were a ton of really good local folks playing. Maybe it was because it was supposed to rain all weekend? Fuckin' Weather Channel.

At any rate, the Party's back again, so if you missed the last one, you're one lucky bastard & get a second chance, eh? It runs from noon 'til 9PM, there're something like 50 bands playing, and it's absolutely-frickin' free. And while I can't guarantee it for this go-round, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to walk five miles with my daughter on my back to get from where I parked up to Westheimer.

By the way, if you (like me) happened to pick up a printed copy of the schedule for the Block Party recently, you might want to double-check it against the updated schedule on the FPH site. I noticed a couple of changes to the lineups -- The Gold Sounds playing the Avante Garden instead of Dirtyberd, for one, and The Hates added to the inside-Numbers lineup -- and I'm not looking real closely at the actual times & whatnot.

So, after looking at the revised schedule, here're my picks for the day:

12:00-12:30 The Gold Sounds Avante Garden
12:45-1:15 Rustler Numbers-Inside
1:30-2:00 Hearts of Animals Numbers-Inside
3:00-3:30 Sabra Laval
Peekaboo Theory
Avante Garden
3:45-4:15 Balaclavas Avante Garden
4:30-5:00 The Takes Mangos
5:15-5:45 Prodigal Sons
Cop Warmth
Avante Garden
6:00-6:30 Spain Colored Orange
Basses Loaded
6:45-7:15 Golden Axe
The Rudyments
7:30-8:00 Tha Fucking Transmissions Numbers-Outside

Hrm. Looking back over that, it occurs to me that that's, um, a pretty full day. Damn -- unfortunately, I just can't do the whole "stay at a festival 'til it ends" thing these days; my weekends are for doing yard work, repainting things, and playing with the midget. Ah, the joys of being a homeowner/dad...

I am hoping to head over there for a little while in the early afternoon, though; I'd really like to check out The Gold Sounds at noon, and I've got to catch Rustler at the 12:45 slot. I have yet to see them live, but on disc they sound absolutely incredible. And then, naturally, I can't miss Hearts of Animals, right after. I'm prob'ly gonna have to skip out on the mid-afternoon-or-later stuff, which sucks, because I've been curious to hear Prodigal Sons for a while now (ex-John Sparrow/Sore Loser/etc.), would really like to see what Balaclavas and Golden Axe are like, and love what I've heard of The Takes to death. Guess I'll just have to see how it goes...

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