Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Omara Portuondo + The Wheel Workers + Light Pollution (MP3!) + More

Whoa. I know we’ve had some busy weekends lately, but tonight (Friday, October 8th) seriously takes the cake. There is so damn much going on this evening that I really, truly don’t know where to begin…especially since I’m short on time at the moment, unfortunately, so they’re all going to have to get just a quick little glimpse.

Oh, and before I get to that, just an FYI: when I saw a few weeks back that Front Line Assembly was scheduled to play at Warehouse Live, I initially got kinda excited. I’m not a huge fan or anything, but I always thought they were one of the more interesting of the industrial acts going back in the day… My quasi-excitement was short-lived, sadly, as I saw last night that the band’s show (set for Nov. 10th) has been cancelled. Ah, well…

Anyway, here goes for tonight:

Omara Portuondo @ Jones Hall
Holy crap do I wish I were going to this show, honest, I do. I was blown away by Cuban diva Omara Portuondo back when Buena Vista Social Club came out, enough that I almost immediately hunted down her self-titled album and was very glad I did. She’s an amazing performer, by all reports, and tonight’s apparently also her 80th birthday, so it promises to be a pretty special show.

The Wheel Workers/Chase Hamblin/Espantapajaros @ Walter’s
I remember hearing of The Wheel Workers a few years(?) back, I think, and I was impressed at the time by what I’d been able to listen to by ’em…but then they vanished, seemingly disintegrating overnight. poof.

Apparently the band went on hiatus for a while, but they’ve now been resurrected, thankfully, by frontman/main songwriter Steven Higginbotham — which is a good thing, because I’m liking the heck out of the gang’s sweet-voiced, thoughtful, driving indie-folk-pop. They’re reminiscent of fellow Houstonians Holy Fiction, or maybe Canadians Ketch Harbour Wolves, with a bit of an ’80s tinge to the music (mostly thanks to Higginbotham’s up-front vocals). Tonight marks their first headlining show, so be sure to stick around to the end…

Oh, and Chase Hamblin pretty much rules, too, especially if your heart bleeds paisley and/or you think the Byrds and the Beatles should’ve combined to form some kind of awesome über-supergroup to deliver shiny-jangly pop to the world at large.

Light Pollution/Prince Rama/Sleep Over @ Fitzgerald’s
I’m not super-familiar with the folks in Light Pollution, I’ll confess, but I happened to listen to ’em recently and found myself enjoying the Chicagoans’ nicely-layered, almost Arcade Fire-level epic/baroque indie-pop quite a bit. Check out an MP3 right here:

Light Pollution – “Oh, Ivory”

It’s good shit, and it does its thing and gets out quick, without messing around; I always appreciate that in a band…

Runners-Up:
Foals/Esben And The Witch @ Fitzgerald’s (10:45PM)
The National/Owen Pallett @ House of Blues
Help Cure the Pedal Foot Blues Benefit, featuring Hightailers, New Jack Hippies, PJ Flowers, T.C. & the Cannonballs, & Cornhole Dukes @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar
Death is Not a Joyride/Insert Credits/O.U.N./The 24th/Components of the Modern Age @ Super Happy Fun Land
Devendra Banhart and The Grogs/Twin Sister @ Warehouse Live
Baker Hotel/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Two Cow Garage/Grizzly/The Wayward Sons @ Rudyard’s
Blaggards @ R&R Sports Bar & Grill (Friendswood)


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