Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Haute Wheels + Smoking Popes + Art Institute + Middlefinger(!) + Crawfish Fest + Venomous Maximus + More

UPDATE: Dangit, I knew I was going to forget something. I’ve already posted about it already, but I wanted to re-mention the benefit going on today out in Katy for the family of Melissa Owen Pratorius (which happens to include the band Jealous Creatures) — details are here. Oh, and I remembered belatedly that Middlefinger was one of the first bands ever interviewed for this here thing (which was a real-live print zine, back then), waaaaay back in Issue #2, which was in the early 2000s. Check it out here

It’s a busy, busy Saturday (May 14th, to be exact) upon us, y’all, and there’s a ton of stuff going on…

Since it’s a freaking gorgeous day outside, it’s the daytime-type things that are the most appealing to me, I’d say, like the neat-sounding Haute Wheels Houston Food Truck Festival, which is actually somewhat in my ‘hood, over at the HCC West Loop Campus on 610 south of 59 & the Galleria. 20 or so different gourmet food trucks will be there — or, rather, are already there, since the thing started at noon & runs through 7PM tonight — showing off all the awesome mobile food Houston currently has to offer.

Now, I’ll grant that there are a few things that irk me a bit about the festival — at $16, the ticket price is a little steep, for one thing, especially since that only get you in the door and a handful of drink tickets; if you want to actually try the food, you have to get in line & pay at whatever food truck you’re at, just like you would on a normal visit. And while there’re some decent-looking Mexican and Tex-Mex trucks, it seems a little elitist to not include some of H-town’s longer-running, possibly less “gourmet” food trucks in the mix.

But eh, that’s just me. On the plus side — and it’s a biiiig plus — the organizers have brought together an excellent bunch of bands for both today & tomorrow (it runs on Sunday, too). Today’s festivities feature oddball classicists Two Star Symphony, resurrected garage-rock gang The Kimonos, brilliantly sultry/funky psych-soulsters The Tontons, and jaw-dropping, all-out glam-rockers Roky Moon & BOLT!; see here for the actual schedule of who’s playing when.

That’s not the only outdoor-ish, daylight-hours thing going on, mind you — I’ve already talked a bit about the Houston Peace Festival that’s going on from 1-7PM today, which looks very fun (and which the fam and I may attempt to make it out to, if Midget #2 doesn’t wake up from his nap covered in green slime or something). That’s up in the Heights, at the Live Oak Friends Meeting House, should you feel like celebrating peace with music & such.

Further out of town, though, there’s the 25th Annual Texas Crawfish & Music Festival going on in Old Town Spring; there’re some excellent folks playing there, too, like Hilary Sloan, Tyagaraja, & Come See My Dead Person, plus folks like Mason Lankford & The Family Folk Revival & Castle Lights, about whom I’ve heard good things.

Heading on into the evening, at the top of my list there’s the show at Fitzgerald’s tonight with Chicago icons The Smoking Popes, San Antonio grrrl-rockers Girl in a Coma, and local old-school punk dudes The Energy. I’m pretty bowled over by The Energy’s latest, Get Split, and I’ve been a fan of GIAC for a while now, but truthfully, it’s the Popes that make me twitch when I think about this show.

I’ve loved that damn band since college, was heartbroken when they called it quits back in 1999, and have been cautiously hopeful since they started back up again in 2006 — I have yet to see ’em live, however, since about, oh, 1995. Whoa. The band’s new album, This Is Only a Test (out now on Asian Man) beat the hell out of my expectations, I have to say, even with its slightly odd POV (it’s written from the viewpoint of a high-school kid). I don’t think singer Josh Caterer‘s voice has ever sounded this good, on any Popes release, even the classic ones from back in the day.

And hey, I was able to interview Caterer for a bit, which was pretty awesome even if I after a little while of talking I felt totally tongue-tied and couldn’t think of a damn thing to ask. Argh. Check out the interview on over here, eh?

Speaking of written-type stuff, there’s an excellent show tonight at ECHO (or Jet Lounge, or whatever it’s called this week; the name seems to vary depending on who’s booking the show), with aptly-named art-punks {Art Institute} playing alongside Dallas bands Knifight and PVC Street Gang, both of whom I’m told are really, really good. I was finally able to find the second EP those Art Institute guys sent me a little while back, btw, and have reviewed it right up here — it’s definitely different from that first scrappy, raw-sounding demo (although it does still sound fairly rough-edged), but it’s still very cool.

Then there’s the show at The Continental Club, a somewhat weird bill for the place that pairs up metalheads Venomous Maximus with country-rockers Sean Reefer & the Resin Valley Boys. I’ve grown to seriously love VM in recent days, by the by, mostly on the strength of their grown-on-me 7″, “Give Up the Witch” — see over here for a somewhat late-coming review of that.

Last but not least (for this list, anyway), tonight marks the triumphant return of Middlefinger to the stage. Holy fucking shit, y’all. Back when they were around the first time, I saw them several times, and they were always, always, always utterly amazing. You never knew what’d happen at a Middlefinger show, seriously, especially with frontman Matt Kelly — he went to the hospital after at least one show I saw.

They’re playing with Austinites Opposite Day and Kelly’s “other” band, Lick Lick, who’re both pretty awesome in their own right. It’s a damn good night tonight at Fitz, upstairs or down…

Here’s the full list:

The Smoking Popes/Girl In A Coma/The Energy @ Fitzgerald’s
Middlefinger/Opposite Day/Lick Lick @ Fitzgerald’s
Haute Wheels Houston Food Truck Festival, featuring Two Star Symphony, The Kimonos, Roky Moon & BOLT!, & The Tontons @ HCC West Loop Campus (5601 W. Loop S.; 12-7PM)
J. Period/BlackThought/BURNTmd/D.fishgrease.Murray/Snap/John Dew/Tawn P/DJ Nimbus/ThatKidNamedCee/BBC @ Groundhall
Art Institute/Knifight/PVC Street Gang/Animal Farmacy/A Sundae Drive @ ECHO
Houston Peace Festival 2011, featuring Young Mammals, Brandon West and the Black Hats, Zin, Zwee, Ben & Ciaran, Poopy Lungstuffing, Edmund Evans, & Erin Reck Dance Project @ 1318 W. 26th St. (1-7PM)
Benefit for Melissa Owen Pratorius Memorial Fund, featuring Jealous Creatures, The Horse and Dagger, & The Silverado Band @ Bryant’s Ice House (Katy; 2PM-12AM)
Spaced Out Danse Party, featuring Walter Jones, Eleven Eleven, La Catrin, Divorcee, Ceeplus Bad Knives, Cuba Gooding Jr., G-Wizz, Stephen Farrell, & more @ The Mink
Venomous Maximus/Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys @ The Continental Club
The Hip Hop Takeover, featuring Richie Roc, Chane, Franchise & Yung, Byron Bank, Cooley Kimble, D-Risha, & Nasty Nique @ Mango’s
Caveman Electric/Society of Bandits/A Hospital In Texas @ Rudyard’s
25th Annual Texas Crawfish & Music Festival, featuring Roger Creager, Leon Chavis & The Zydeco Flames, Dimitri’s Rail, Castle Lights, Brad Randell & The Zydeco Ballers, John Evans, Pauline Reese, Fred Rusk & The Zydeco Hi Steppers, Sundance Head, Mason Lankford & The Family Folk Revival, Ryan Beaver, Country Jim, Come See My Dead Person, Tyagaraja, Kenny Courville, & Hilary Sloan @ Old Town Spring
Bon Ton Louisianne, featuring Cowboy Mouth, Le Roux, River Road, Bayou Roux, & Zydeco Dots @ Stafford Centre (Stafford)
Symphony X/Powerglove/Blackguard/Futures End @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)

One Response to “Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Haute Wheels + Smoking Popes + Art Institute + Middlefinger(!) + Crawfish Fest + Venomous Maximus + More”

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Mustard Plug + Caroline Sessions + Haute Wheels + Ivan & Alyosha (MP3!) + Ragged Hearts + More on May 15th, 2011 at 12:15 am

    […] of the Haute Wheels Houston Food Truck Fest, which promises to be about the same as Day 1, which I posted about earlier, only with different music playing. This time around there’ll be performances by awesome […]

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