Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Benjamin Wesley + Smithfield + Timothy Qualls + Black Joe Lewis + Hank Schyma + More

Just posted about a few of the benefit-ish shows going on this weekend, but there’s plenty more besides, starting today, Friday, September 10th. Here’s what I think sounds good that’s happening today/tonight:

Benjamin Wesley/Tax the Wolf/Somosuno @ Groundhall (1515 Pease; $5/$7, 9PM)
Benjamin Wesley‘s one of my absolute favorite musicians in town these days; he’s just flat-out amazing to watch, the kind of guy you drag protesting friends out to see and then proceed to grin and nod at ’em the whole way through, like “See? You get it now?” He puts even other multi-instrumentalists to shame, although the last time I saw him he unfurled his laidback, raw-boned, rough-voiced grooving pop songs not by using the actual instruments all at once but by building looped sample after sample and stacking ’em on top of one another ’til they formed an incredible, mesmerizing, nearly hypnotic whole.

The Cynics/The Ugly Beats/Weird Party @ Rudyard’s
Sedition Books Benefit Show, featuring Butch (30footFALL), Joe Ray, Adam and the Ancient Gods, Kim Champion!, & Radio Flyer @ Sedition Books (901 Richmond; $5 donation, 8PM)
See here for info on both of these shows, and trust me, they’re gonna be good. Both worthy causes, as well…

Smithfield/Timothy Qualls/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Read good things about new band Smithfield recently over at Houston Calling, and as usual, David’s right on the money; even with only two recorded songs as proof, they’re already seriously promising, at least to me. What I’ve heard so far’s somewhat sharp-edged pop-rock with a bit of an art-rock thing going on, kind of like what NY supergroup Obits does, and it’s already digging its way into my brain. Which really shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the band’s made up of ex-Sleeping Rubys & Twenty Mondays members, but hey.

Also playing is newcomer {Timothy Qualls}, who I swear must have a crack team of fans he can mobilize for things like, say, this year’s Houston Press Music Awards. I’d never once heard of the guy before this week, and yet he took home the “Best New Act” honors this year. Either I absolutely missed something (which is possible, definitely), or the guy’s got hardcore followers.

Dave Matthews Band/Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Caveat/FYI Time: the only reason this show’s listed here is because, well, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears rule. Sorry, but I’ve loathed the Dave Matthews Band since they were first big back when I was in college, and I still loathe ’em now. Prediction Time: Joe Lewis will blow Mr. Matthews & co. off the stage.

Johnny Falstaff/John Evans/Hank Schyma @ Heights Live (Heights Presbyterian Church, 240 W. 18th; 8:30-11:30PM)
It makes me cringe to admit it, but I’ve never seen Johnny Falstaff or John Evans live, sadly. What I’ve heard in recorded form’s been pretty cool, though, a lot closer to the old-school country/bluegrass I tend to like, and I have heard Hank Schyma of the Southern Backtones solo, and he’s a damn entertaining musician, even on his own. He always makes me think of Nick Cave, for some reason, even though the music’s about as far as you can get from Cave’s…

Runners-Up:
Life As Lions/The Fox Derby/Keiko/The Canvas Waiting/Mechanical Boy @ Warehouse Live
The Ugly Beats @ Cactus Music (5:30PM)
Herschel Berry/Albert Storo & The Soul Hustlers @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar


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