Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Lucero + Frank Turner + My Education + Co-Pilot + Hell City Kings + Robbie Fulks + Matt Costa + More

Damn. Tonight’s another busy-as-hell Friday (November 19th, to be precise), and there is a ton of stuff going on, a lot of it awesomely good. Here goes:

Social Distortion/Lucero/Frank Turner @ House of Blues
The biggie of the evening, and not just for the headliners — I dearly love Social D, have since high school (which was a long damn time ago now, frankly), and they’ve been great each time I’ve seen ’em, but personally, I’d be going to see this for roots-rock heroes Lucero and, better still, British folk-punk troubadour Frank Turner.

Lucero blew me away at this past year’s Summerfest, beating even my fairly high expectations, and Turner is like Billy Bragg used to be back when he was young and had that fire in his heart. (No offense, Mr. Bragg, but the last couple of albums have been kinda tame.) Every time I hear “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous,” I want to pump my fist in the air and hit the pub to find Turner’s colorful cast of characters and get a round in of my own.

Unfortunately, unless I’ve been greviously misinformed, if you don’t already have tickets to this show, um, you ain’t getting in. I’m told it’s been sold out for a few weeks now, at least. Damn…

My Education/Co-Pilot/Some Are Gods @ Rudyard’s
Aaaaand here’s #2 for the night, at least for me. I dunno Some Are Gods, sorry, but Austin’s My Education well and truly redeemed themselves when I saw them at the second Lost In Space fest, roaring up into the sky from the roof/parking garage of Khon’slike the instro-rock gods they truly are — the previous time I’d seen them, at the first LiS Fest, they’d played indoors (out of the freezing-ass cold), and while they were decent, they felt penned-in, locked-down. Turns out they just needed to fly…

And hey, I’d be truly, horribly remiss if I didn’t mention Co-Pilot, a band I’ve loved quite a bit for several years and who are seriously coming into their own lately. Their latest EP, The Course of Empire, sees the band grabbing hold of the whole Red Sparowes/Pelican/ISIS instro-metal thing and grafting that heavy, thundering noise onto their already jaw-dropping spacerock. They’ve been heavy as hell live for as long as I’ve seen ’em, but now they’ve embraced it fully, and it’s something to behold.

King Louie & The Missing Monuments/The Cutters/Talk Sick Brats/Hell City Kings @ Vinyl Junkie (7PM)
Ignore the flyer over there, y’all — apparently The Secret Prostitutes couldn’t play, so now The Cutters are on the bill, instead. Still promises to be a great show, though; I like what I’ve heard so far from Talk Sick Brats, and while Hell City Kings‘ full-length didn’t quite hit it for me, their subsequent EP, The Wolf, sure as fuck did (and does). Besides, this is a loud, raw punk show at a bare-bones record store; what could be better than that?

Robbie Fulks @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
I’ll be honest: I really, truly don’t know much of Robbie Fulks‘ music. And yet, I have immense respect for the guy, pretty much solely because of his awesome, nail-on-the-head parody of modern power-pop songwriting, “Fountains of Wayne Hotline.” It’s hysterically funny and a truly gorgeous, wonderfully-put-together track, all at once. If the rest of his music’s got anywhere near the wit and musical skill, hell, he’s bound to be pretty incredible live.

(If you want to hear it, btw, I’ve posted it up here before — go check it out. And Mr. Fulks, please don’t sue. I posted it out of love for the song. Okay?)

Matt Costa/Everest @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock Room)
Kind of a dark horse pick, to be sure… I happened to see Matt Costa open for Jack Johnson a few years ago (yeah, yeah; the wife wanted to go, and hey, it was fun, in an ultra-mellow way), and he managed to overcome my cynicism and leave me feeling pretty impressed with the performance. Nothing ground-breaking, no, just singer/songwriter-type pop songs, but those definitely have their place in the musical world, and Costa’s aren’t bad. (Oh, and he also apparently used to be a pro skateboarder, if you’re into that sort of thing. Me, I just shrug.)

Runners-Up:
Death On Two Wheels/Ragged Hearts/The Wrong Ones @ The Mink ($5/$8)
Alejandro Escovedo/David Pulkingham @ Listening Room (NiaMoves, 508 Pecore)
Bonobo/Yppah/Electric Attitude/DJ Sun/Dayta @ Groundhall
Honky/Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Stars/Geographer @ Fitzgerald’s
Junip (feat. Jose Gonzalez)/Sharon Van Etten @ Fitzdown
Bob Ostertag & James Magee @ 14 Pews (800 Aurora St.; 8PM)
Fistful of Soul @ The Mink (front bar; free!)
Festival del Musico, featuring El Tlazho, Locos Ajenos, Maria de Negro, Ultimo Instinto, & Yokomono @ El Rey’s Sports Bar (9357 Richmond)


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