Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Balmorhea + Meryll (MP3s!) + listenlisten + The Spits + TV Ghost + Eisley + More

Yeah, yeah, yeah — I know, I know, the big news this weekend is the Summerfest that’ll be unfolding the next two days in all its sweaty, muddy, eardrum-destroying glory, but hey, that doesn’t mean everything else just stops, right? Definitely not.

And tonight, Friday, June 3rd, is definitely proof of that. It’s not the busiest night we’ve had lately, no (I suspect a number of folks, myself included, will be resting up in preparation for tomorrow’s insanity), but still, it ain’t bad.

At the top of my list is the show at The Mink in Midtown, where local murk-folk heroes listenlisten — who, as anybody who reads this blog should know, I freaking love and think need to be ruling this galaxy — will be playing with Austin boys (er, boy?) Meryll and headliners Balmorhea.

Balmorhea are new to me, but I’m pretty impressed; they apparently do all instrumentals, and in spite of the rootsy instrumentation they tend to use (banjo, double bass, cello, & melodica, for four), they’re less roots-folk and more Chicago post-rock gone rural, like the members of Tortoise if they threw away all their possessions and went into the woods to build a commune with their bare hands. I can also hear a resemblance to strings-heavy spacerockers My Education, and an intriguingly gamelan-sounding element, too.

As for Meryll, well, I freaking loved the band’s 2007 release, Happened, with its wistful, pointing-back-at-high-school vibe. It swoops and meanders beautifully but remembers to burn and roar when it needs to, too, coming off like an emo-ified take on rootsy pop.

Check out a track from each for yourself:

Beyond that, there’s a cool-sounding show on at Rudyard’s, with touring bands The Spits and TV Ghost. I’ve heard really good things about both, and I’m digging the bits & pieces I’ve heard so far; scraping, raw-edged garage-punk seems to be the order of the day. Then there’re the locals, namely newcomers White Crime — who I have yet to hear, sorry — and band/performance art project Cop Warmth, who’re always entertaining as hell.

If you’re looking for something a little quieter/mellower, you’ve got a couple of options… Over at Warehouse Live, Eisley happen to be playing tonight, and I like ’em quite a bit; with those gorgeous harmonies, cracked fairy-tale lyrics, and lush arrangements, they’re about as far as you can get from garage-rock.

Then, over at ECHO/Jet Lounge/whatever it’s called these days, there’s a band called Hero Pup playing that I’ve heard good, good things about; they’ve reportedly moved to the Houston area recently, and I haven’t yet heard anything of theirs myself, but the person doing the recommending has good taste, so…

And finally, I can’t forget the Bell Biv Devoe show tonight at the HoB. Oh, yes, people — how is it that I can barely remember my network password at the office, but I can instantaneously throw out lyrics from “Poison” without even thinking about it? Sad, sad, sad.

Anyway, here’s tonight’s list:

Balmorhea/listenlisten/Meryll @ The Mink
Eisley/The Narrative/Christie Dupree @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
The Spits/TV Ghost/White Crime/Cop Warmth @ Rudyard’s
Bell Biv Devoe @ House of Blues
Hero Pup @ Jet Lounge/ECHO
Slobberbone/duneTX/Changoman @ The Continental Club

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