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The Rundown, Part 1: Fierceness + Ume + LP4 + Toys + More (+ New Reviews/Interview!) [12/19/2008 11:47:00 AM]:
Damn, this weekend...the sheer size of the pile of Good Shit going on is a little daunting. Not that that's abnormal, really, lately -- the supposed lack of Pitchfork-loved bands coming through H-town notwithstanding, this year's been a banner year when it comes to shows, and that's partly due to the number of truly good local bands currently doing their thing is this city. Santa Claus, if it's not too late to make a Christmas wish, could you maybe keep bands like Something Fierce, Sharks and Sailors, & The Mathletes from skipping town for more music-friendly climes?

We'll see how that one goes, but for now, I'll run through the noteworthy stuff (what I think is noteworthy, anyway) going on tonight, Friday, December 19th, 'round these parts.

We've also got a bunch of new reviews up here, including writeups of the new Something Fierce, XX Teens, Ume, The Starlite Desperation, The Eastern Sea, & more. And since I've neglected it pathetically this last week, now's probably a good time to mention the cool interview I did a week or two back with Something Fierce's Steven Garcia. I think it came out pretty well, I have to say -- I seriously need to chat up more deserving local folks, I swear.

Anyway, here's what all's going on...

Something Fierce (CD release)/Teenage Kicks @ Walter's on Washington
I've been eagerly awaiting the next Something Fierce release since first checking out Come For The Bastards a year or two back, so new one There Are No Answers (review up here!) is the perfect freaking Christmas present, I swear. Raw and fierce (duh), yet melodic & sweet & heartfelt at the same time, it's like a flashback to the absolute best of all the UK power-pop & punk I got exposed to (late, I know) back in college. Wreckless Eric, The Adverts, Stiff Little Fingers, plus a bit of The Ramones for good measure -- it's all in there.

Which means the fact that the SF kids are playing their CD release show (actually, it's a joint release show with the new CD and the long-delayed Modern Girl 7") tonight with fellow power-pop afficionados Teenage Kicks extra-special cool. Between the two of 'em, the bands pretty much encompass all those Ryko "D.I.Y." CDs, with Teenage Kicks taking on The Undertones, The Boys, etc. Sharp, socially aware, and melodic as all hell -- spending some time up at Walter's tonight is a good bet, honest, especially since the Garcia, Niki Sevven, & Red Rocket aren't slated to play H-town again for a few months. Show starts at 9PM, & I dunno what the cover'll be, but it's bound to be inexpensive.

Toys For Tots Toy Drive, featuring The Riff Tiffs, The Wild Moccasins, Elaine Greer, B L A C K I E, Brett Taylor, Giant Princess, News on the March, Buxton, Paleo, American Sharks, Death by Texas, & Wicked Poseur @ The Mink
Even before I became a dad, providing toys for kids whose parents can't get 'em their own was one of the causes nearest & dearest to my heart. Ergo, tonight's Toys For Tots indie extravaganza at The Mink wins on both counts -- badass bands + badass charity. 'Tis the season, yo. And yes, the bands playing tonight are among the cream of the Houston crop -- The Wild Moccasins rule, I hear (still haven't caught 'em, which makes me behind every damn publication/blog in town, apparently...argh), Elaine Greer writes & sings some incredible songs, Buxton & B L A C K I E leave me stunned, I hear American Sharks & Wicked Poseur are good, Giant Princess blazed at Numbers the one time I saw 'em, & my current New Favorite Band (Local or Otherwise) News on the March makes me grin a big, goofy grin.

Details time: doors at 8PM, and to get in you've gotta slap down $10 (for the kids, man!) or a toy, provided you didn't beat up a kid to get it. Your choice...

Ume/Linus Pauling Quartet/Red Leaves @ Rudyard's
One of Austin's best & brightest + one of Houston's best & brightest = holy fucking shit. Add the "free" part, and hey, here's the closer show of the evening, folks (since shows at Rudyard's tend to start late, y'know). I dunno Red Leaves, sorry, but I recently witnessed the whirlwind spectacle of Ume and got to check out their just-released (I think?) new EP -- review up here! -- and I'm thoroughly sold on these folks, despite the late conversion.

And of course, there's the Linus Pauling Quartet, who absolutely rule the sludgy, sun-stroked world of stoner-rock here in the Space/Smog City. They play like they could give a fuck, which is made all the more cool by the fact that they're actually really, really effortlessly good. If you're lucky, maybe Ramon will do the spider-monkey thing on one of his bandmates...

The Last Place You Look/The Vettes/Mechanical Boy/Hey Hollywood/Floorbound/Dead to the World @ Fitzgerald's
A Tribute to Bianca, featuring Ky-Mani Marley, Timberlee, Papa Reu, Soulsis, Kyra, Mikey Faith, Supa Neil, Blaccsheep, Major Riley @ Bar Rio (6400 Richmond; 9PM-3AM)
Battle Rifle/Chocolate Crucifix/Assholes/DJ Bill Fool @ Leon's Lounge
Lower Life Form/Duo @ Cactus Music (5:30PM)

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