Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Balaclavas + American Fangs + Featherface + RIVERS + Robbie Fulks + Cancellations + More

Coming into Day 1 of the weekend, Friday, May 13th, and there’s a decent-sized pile of good stuff going on, I have to say. Of course, it may also be that I’m just cheery today after finally getting to visit Bernie’s Burger Bus and discovering the best freaking burger I’ve ever eaten. ahem. Sorry about that. (But seriously, it’s good.)

A bit of bad news before I go into what all’s going on, though — it seems like there’s been a rash of shows cancelled or moved in the past several days, and I wanted to point ’em out somewhat. The Guitar Wolf show that was scheduled for Warehouse Live the weekend of Summerfest (June 4th or 5th, I can’t remember which it was) has been, well, incorporated into Summerfest (which is kind of cool); no idea what you do if you’d already bought tickets for the WH show.

Also on the “moved” side of things is the upcoming Ninjasonik show next month, which I saw originally listed as being at Numbers — it’s now on the Fitz list, instead.

Then there’s the Bamboozle Roadshow, which was supposed to be hitting H-town tonight, actually, up at the House of Blues, was cancelled in mid-April. The Dazed & Confused Music & Art Festival I saw listed a few places for today/tonight has been called off, too, which sucks, ’cause it looked like a good lineup. Oh, and South African band The Parlotones will no longer be playing the House of Blues on June 9th.

Last but not least, I heard the news today that post-punk icons Killing Joke have cancelled their North American tour…which included a stop at Summerfest. Ah, fuck. I was seriously looking forward to finally seeing the band in person, but now it’s looking like that’s not going to happen, since I seriously doubt they’ll fly across the ocean just to play for little ole Houston. sigh.

Alright. Sadness out of the way, on to the good news. Top of that pile of goodness, at least for me, is the show at Mango’s tonight, which sees awesome, mind-blowing, angular post-punk outfit Balaclavas step out of hiding, at least briefly. These guys simply do not play enough, I swear, and both times I’ve managed to see ’em so far, they’ve been jaw-droppingly good. Last year’s full-length, Roman Holiday, came closest to capturing the way they are live, but even that didn’t quite get the mesmerizing, trance-inducing glory right. Maybe nothing can, I dunno.

Second place on the list is a tough one, honestly; I’m torn between Walter’s and the Avant Garden, and two shows packed full of some of the best of the crop of young-ish rock bands currently in town these days. Walter’s has the amazing, genre-defying American Fangs, along with Born Again Virgins, who’ve stunned me in the past with how good they are.

Then down in Montrose, the Garden’s got psych-rock explosion Featherface (who I must see live, and soon) and newcomers Rivers, whose debut, Mind Your Mind, I happily reviewed on over here recently. Good, good, good stuff. Be warned, though, that this may be the turned-off version of said bands — the show’s being called “It Comes Acoustic”.

On the quieter end of things, the witty-as-hell Robbie Fulks will be at the Mucky Duck tonight, proving that he can really write pretty much any kind of song he wants and make it incredible. See here for proof.

Oh, and there’s an interesting-sounding deal over at the Big Star Bar tonight, too; Soul Sauce is playing, and I’m told it’s a new jazz-funk outfit that includes none other than heavy-music maven Beau (of No Talk and about a billion other bands) on bass. Should be different…

Full list of good things, right here:

Balaclavas/I Love You/Tech-Noir/Twisted Wires @ Mango’s
Robbie Fulks @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Born Again Virgins/American Fangs/SaySaySay/Bearfighter @ Walter’s
Featherface/RIVERS/The Dead Revolt/Papaya @ Avant Garden (downstairs)
Cop Warmth/Alimanas/White Crime @ Late Night Pie
Soul Sauce @ Big Star Bar
The Canvas Waiting/Courrier/Gatlin Elms/David Ramirez @ Fitzgerald’s
James McMurtry/Jonny Burke/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Metal Madness, featuring Protest the Protest, Annihilist, Overdose, Legion, Witness to the Fallen, & Kleos @ The White Swan

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