Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Daniel Johnston’s B-day + Sara Van Buskirk + Venomous Maximus + S.P.E.A.K. II + More

Weekend coming down, and there’s plenty to do & hear, despite the freezing-ass cold. (Seriously, y’all, we’re Texans. We’re adapted to survive the blistering, soul-melting heat of the Houston summer, not bitterly cold winds and weather that makes you have to wear a jacket in the office. Gah.)

Anyway, here’s what looks cool to me for tonight, Friday, January 14th; have fun:

Daniel Johnston’s 50th Birthday Bash, featuring Daniel Johnston, Spain Colored Orange, Roky Moon & BOLT, The Mathletes, The Bright Light Social Hour, Tax the Wolf, Electric Attitude, The Examples, Ceeplus Badknives, & Fredster @ Fitzgerald’s
Daniel Johnston @ Cactus Music (5:30PM)

Oh, yeah. The biggie of the night, for sure — it’s the 50th b-day show of quirkily entertaining, influential psych-folk-pop guy Daniel Johnston, who lives not too far from H-town, as I recall, and it’s very, very cool that he’s doing it at Fitz tonight.

I can’t claim to be that big of a fan of Johnston’s music, to be honest, but he’s a neat guy, even so. And I’m glad to see he’s gotten more & more recognition from younger musicians in the past few years (well, that’s what it looks like to me, at least). Check out Andrew Dansby‘s excellent, poignant writeup over at {29-95.com} for details on Johnston’s live & struggles.

He’s got a great bunch of people helping him celebrate, namely Roky Moon & BOLT, Spain Colored Orange, Tax the Wolf, Electric Attitude, & very Johnston-influenced, happily-resurrected band The Mathletes. It should be sweet, y’all.

And as an added bonus, Johnston was going to just be doing an in-store appearance at Cactus Music this evening (at 5:30PM), but now he’ll actually be playing a show at the store, too. Very cool.

Come See My Dead Person/Hilary Sloan/Sara Van Buskirk @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
I like what I’ve heard of Come See My Dead Person, definitely, with their strange, country-psych-folk-funk weirdness (think Citizen Cope fronting an alt-country band with lots of mescaline), and Hilary Sloan was pretty great when I saw/heard her with I am Mesmer.

Right now, though, I mostly want to point an excited finger yet again at Sara Van Buskirk, who’s my current favorite folk-y performer in town these days. Her Brandi Carlile-ish voice is nicely rough-edged and desperate in a Melissa Etheridge kind of way, and the songs she writes slip past all the barricades erected in my brain against cookie-cutter, post-Lilith Fair folkiness.

I have yet to hear a whole album, sadly, but a handful of her songs live on my iPod, and every time “The Place Where You Are” or “Halfway” come on, I have to check & see who the hell that amazing voice belongs to. Oh, and her live cover of Radiohead’s “Let Down” is crushingly heartbreaking.

Venomous Maximus/Gypsyhawk/Green and Wood @ Rudyard’s
Ah, dammit. I didn’t see this show at Rudz ’til today, which means that I’ve yet again dropped the ball on reviewing Venomous Maximus‘s new(-ish, now) 7″ on Cutthroat. Which is annoying, ’cause I like it more each time I listen; the old-school metal vibe plus burly, rawk-dude vocals is growing on me in a big way.

Plus, they’re playing with Californians Gypsyhawk, who write songs with titles like “Commander of the High Forest” that sound like, well, pretty much what you’d expect: hair-swinging metal with twin guitars, swords-and-sorcery themes, and an infectious swagger. Well, that, and a tendency towards goofy, glam-metal-y breaks that make you go, “what the hell was that?”

S.P.E.A.K. II, featuring HasHBrown & Jett I. Masstyr, Hollywood Floss, Ricquo Jones, Dirty & Nasty, Ensane & That Purple Bastard, John Dew, & Twenty Eleven @ Walter’s
Yes, yes, yes. Want to get a glimpse of what’s coming ’round the bend in terms of cool, genre-defying hip-hop? Well, this is where you need to be. Granted, it’s not everybody (no Fat Tony or The Niceguys, for two), but still, Jett I. Masstyr & hasHBrown are worth it all by themselves, and {Hollywood Floss} are no slouches, either.

Runners-Up:
Jud Johnson Band & Strings/Dimitri’s Rail/The 71’s/Brad Sayles & Divisi Strings @ House of Blues
Party Monster!, featuring Le Hibou, Stephen Farris, Kim Bassinger, & Living Shred @ The Mink
Skyrocket!/Picture Book @ The Continental Club


2 Responses to “Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Daniel Johnston’s B-day + Sara Van Buskirk + Venomous Maximus + S.P.E.A.K. II + More”

  1. Bru on January 17th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    The only problem with this – “but still, Jett I. Masstyr & hasHBrown are worth it all by themselves”

    Dude is the same guy. One of the only things that truly bugs me about a very talented person.

    Seriously, he gives his producer self shoutouts via his MC self. I understand the philosophy behind wanting to separate your production work from your rapping, in a marketing sense. But don’t thank yourself on a track.

  2. Jeremy Hart on January 17th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Whaaaaat? Okay, *that’s* just weird — I’ve never seen them (er, him) in person, so I honestly had no clue that was the case. Doesn’t make me *like* him any less, but damn, that’s strange. Thanks for the heads-up…

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