Tonight: Fitzgerald’s, Reborn! (+ Drive-By Truckers + Henry Clay People + Jukebox the Ghost + Hooray For Earth + More)

Okay, so the really big news for tonight (Thurs., September 23rd) is that it marks the reopening/rebranding/re-whatever-ing of venerable club fixture Fitzgerald’s, which was sold a while back by owner Sara Fitzgerald to a crew of folks that includes Omar of Free Press Houston (who, as I’ve warned before, is well on his way to owning this city, yo) and Jagi of booking gang Pegstar.

No idea what, if any, difference there’ll be to the actual physical building — I’d hope, honestly, that they’ve rebuilt it a little bit, at least, ’cause god-damn, that place was a hole. I can remember going to the men’s room, standing at the urinal, and realizing I could see the street outside through a fairly big hole in the wall. And try being on the second floor when The Suspects were tearing up the stage and the place was packed with dancing kids…whoo, boy. Talk about taking your life into your own hands…

Even if there’s not much rebuilding going on, though, the schedule is pretty ridiculously awesome, right from the start. The new Fitz folks already have awesome, awesome people like CocoRosie, Aesop Rock, Iron & Wine, The Dresden Dolls, Warpaint, Freelance Whales, The Futureheads, The Appleseed Cast, and — oh, hell yes — Polvo lined up, with plenty more sure to come. The future of the new Fitz promises to be pretty damn bright.

And hey, it’s a fairly busy night for a Thursday besides; here’s what looks cool to me:

Fitzgerald’s Opening Night, featuring The Drums, The Young Friends, Black Congress, Weird Party, Leg Sweeper, & Cosmic Sound @ Fitzgerald’s (RSVP!)
Aaaaaand here’s the kickoff, y’all. Quite a bill they’ve got set up for tonight, seriously — I like what I’ve heard so far by The Drums, who do a nicely bouncy, slightly Vampire Weekend-ish type of pop, but it’s the locals playing that are the real draw, in my book. They’re uniformly stellar, from the in-your-face, Touch and Go-y post-punk snarl of Black Congress to the flailing, garage-tinged indie-punk of Weird Party to the quirky analog synth-ness of Ghost Mountain dude Stephen‘s Cosmic Sound project.

And hey, if you’re 21-and-up and you RSVP (pretty damn fast, I’m guessing), you get in free-free-free. Of course, it’s cheap enough besides — $5 for the young and un-RSVPed. This’ll be a damn good one, I swear.

Drive-By Truckers/The Henry Clay People @ House of Blues
Yep, I can’t deny it — the Drive-By Truckers pretty well rule. They’re not quite as high up on my list of country-rock bands as, say, Lucero or Son Volt (older SV, anyway), but they impress me pretty consistently, and even if that weren’t the case, I’d wanna hug Patterson Hood for making Bettye LaVette‘s long-awaited return happen. You rock, sir.

Then there’s The Henry Clay People, who’re pretty impressive themselves — they’re a little different from their tourmates, but hell, it still works. The People do a smart, sharp-edged kind of late-’90s indie-rock that makes me think of Poster Children or Sonic Youth, but with sung/shouted, almost Craig Finn-esque vocals. And yes, it’s good.

Jukebox the Ghost/Hooray For Earth/Via Audio @ House of Blues
I mentioned this show a while back while sifting through the insane pile of MP3s that lands in my Inbox every freaking day, but I wanted to point back to it once again & give another thumbs-up, ’cause it looks to be a cool show. Headliners Jukebox the Ghost play this sugar-sweet, shamelessly-grinning pop that comes off like Ultimate Fakebook or a de-electronicized Freelance Whales, and it’s really ridiculously catchy. Fans of Cheap Trick or The Stereo, you need to take note.

Plus, there’s also Hooray For Earth, who’re no slouches, either — what I’ve heard has been nicely fuzzy-edged, warm-yet-digital electro-pop party music with distant-sounding vocals, rem. of Say Hi, and it’s nice stuff. Take a listen:

Hooray For Earth – “Surrounded By Your Friends”

Download & enjoy…

Runners-Up:
Krunkquistadors (CD release)/Footpie/Kyle Hubbard/DJ Lizard @ 2016 Mainstage (2016 Main)
Houston Press Reduxtion @ Walter’s (free!)
Shark Attack/35 MPH/Thread Belly @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)


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