Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Bright Men + Handsomes + Freedom of Movement + The Manichean + Miss Leslie + More

Welcome to Friday, y’all (January 28th, for the calendar-impaired), and be aware that there’s a crapload of cool stuff going on. Which, honestly, seems to be a near-constant state, these days — Houstonians, trust me when I tell you that live here in a ridiculously good time for all things musical, arty, and whatever else. These are good times to be in H-town.

Anyway, here’s what I like for tonight:

Fired For Walking/Side Arms/Bright Men of Learning @ Fitzgerald’s
This one’s my favorite of the night, pretty much hands-down. It’s partly because, yes, I definitely like headliners Fired for Walking and Sharks & Sailors side project Side Arms, but mostly because I’ve been listening to Bright Men of Learning‘s Fired a ton lately, and it blows me away every freaking time.

Seriously, the album is pitch-perfect rough-edged, slightly rootsy indie-rock, the kind I almost never get to hear anymore, and it lives in my car’s CD player because of that. BMOLers, y’all had better not do anything crazy like break up, you hear me?

The Handsomes @ Antique Bar (formerly The Gallant Knight)
Sweet…glad to see these guys are doing more shows, and that the stuff over the holidays wasn’t just a one-off. I’ve apparently missed an album (EP?) in the intervening years since I saw ’em last, but it doesn’t sound like The Handsomes have really missed a step in that time. Haven’t been to this place since it was called The Gallant Knight, mind you, but if you’re up for funky, ska/reggae-tinged rock, this band’s honestly one of the best I’ve ever heard.

Freedom of Movement, featuring Free Radicals, Cypher, Havikoro, Kalunga N’Golo, & more @ Fitzgerald’s
This sounds like a very cool deal; it’s not only a bunch of bands playing, but also some live breakdancing and capoeira performances (think martial arts that look a heck of a lot like dancing, for the latter). And hey, I always like the Free Radicals; those guys are damn near an institution in town, these days…

Young Empires/The Manichean/Webby Appleton @ Groundhall
Dunno Young Empires at all, I’m afraid, but anybody who reads this site probably knows that I dig The Manichean quite a dang bit. They’ve reportedly been playing some new music from their upcoming full-length, so definitely be sure to check ’em out.

And yes, OK Sweetheart were supposed to play the show, too, but they’ve since dropped off the bill and have been replaced by Webby Appleton, who showed up recently as one of the remixers on The Manichean’s Lacerus Rising remix EP (which is very cool, by the by).

Miss Leslie/Wayne Turner/Ricky Davis @ Heights Live (8-10PM)
Wow — Miss Leslie is honestly pretty much everywhere this weekend. She’s playing tonight up at Heights Live, and then tomorrow she’s playing from 1-5PM at Natachee’s Supper ‘n Punch and again at night at Goode’s Armadillo Palace. So there’re plenty of opportunities to check her out, and you really, truly need to take one of ’em & hear the lady play. She does the very narrow niche of old-school country I actually like, kind of like a revved-up, pushed-into-the-present Patsy Cline-style country, and it’s flat-out awesome. Really.

Runners-Up:
The Fox Derby/Auroravore/Broken Harps/Jealous Creatures @ Echo
Female Demand/Moths/two stories high @ Ponde Rosa (1503 Nance; $5)
Asylum!, featuring Provision, Art Institute, Ceeplus Bad Knives, Mr. Castillo, & Jeffrey Thames The King of Grief @ The Mink
The Happen-Ins/The Preservation/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
The Ballistics/No Resistance/Roots of Exile/All At Sea @ The White Swan
D.R.E.A.M./Will Schorre/Ben & Ciaran @ Super Happy Fun Land
Blaggards @ Brian O’Neill’s
Dane Sonnier/Darwin Prophet/Dan Bern @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar
The Escatones/Jimmy Lee Deen @ Last Concert Cafe


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