I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I've been out of the loop on the whole Secret Saturday Shows deal for the past month or two -- while I dearly love the idea, it gets a little hard to plug something where the participants are meant to be a surprise each week, y'know? "Hey, everybody, come see this great weekly show...um...except that we can't tell you who's playing!" You get my meaning; love it, but it's somewhat difficult to promote. Normally the most I can tell you is that it's at The Shady Tavern up in the Heights (1206 W. 20th), some bands will be playing, and they'll be playing from 2-5PM. Anything more, and you've gotta go see for yourself.
This week, though, a well-placed insider has leaked the news that this week's installment of SSS will include one of the more promising bands I've heard of late, Alkari, who do a nicely melodic-but-still-defiant pop-rock thing that brings to mind The Flaming Lips and Lucero-esque roots rock in equal parts (well, at least to me). Oh, and the vocals remind me in a cool way of the Archers of Loaf's Eric Bachmann, and that's never a bad thing. I'm sure I've said it before, but I'm still bowled over by Myspace tracks "The Code" and "If I Could," and "Quality" ain't bad, either -- haven't seen the band play live yet, but I'm going to have to soon. (Hrm. Maybe I can somehow drag the wife & munchkin out tomorrow afternoon; the wee one does like "rock songs"...)
Said insider has also let it be known that Dentonites Oso Closo will also be playing, after which they'll head over to another semi-secret deal, Paadzzi's, which is technically Alkari's rehearsal space but is also where the band puts on shows every once in a while. I've got no clue where the place actually is, other than it's somewhere up on the northwest side of town -- if you want directions to the place, you've got to become the "venue"'s Myspace friend. The Paadzzi's show'll start at 8PM, and Oso Closo will be playing with Kenny Bernal, The Soarce, and Low Man's Joe (no Alkari, unfortunately). Should be good.
While I'm at it, don't forget that this Saturday is also the Free Press 5th Anniversary Show, which should also be really good. Ramon's got the details up here, and you've really gotta go if you can. Reasons why? How 'bout: Piano Vines are incredible; I hear Studemont Project are great (even if they screwed me when I tried to buy their CD); Ceeplus is a hell of a DJ, and The Sideshow Tramps are quite the party people; and the Free Press is an awesomely cool paper I don't get to read nearly as often as I'd like.
Granted, you may not even get the chance to see the Free Press show, since the bands playing at Rudyard's tonight (Fri., 2/22, for those without calendars) will be so fucking heavy the bar is likely to collapse into a gigantic sinkhole, trapping about half of Houston's music scene beneath large chunks of rubble. I dunno Potbelly except by name, but Kvalla play some badass, heavy-as-hell metal that makes you feel as if you were drinking flagons of mead with Odin and the rest of the Aesir (or something), and I was very impressed by Awake's gloomy, tidal-wave-like dirges when I caught 'em last weekend; they're kinda like Earth and kinda like Arbouretum, both of which are good things to get compared to. Oh, and I think the fact that not one but two Jonx side project bands are playing back-to-back in one night (drummer Danny is in Kvalla, while bassist Trey is in Awake) may well cause the universe to implode. Just so you're prepared if that happens, instead of the whole sinkhole thing.
You have many, many options this weekend -- these are but three. If you wanted to go see Cobra Starship on Saturday, by the way, you missed the boat, 'cause it's sold out. From where I'm sitting, though, you're in luck; wouldn't you much rather see some fine-quality bands like the ones mentioned above than pay way too much money to see a half-assed joke band nobody's gonna remember a decade from now? Consider yourself fortunate.
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