Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Beer Fest + VegFest + Noah and the Whale + John LaMonica (MP3!) + Liberty Station + More

It’s Saturday, June 11th, Day #2 of the weekend’s madness, and there’s still a ton of stuff going on. First up (in my book, at least), is the inaugural Houston Beer Fest up in Hermann Square Park — I don’t really like beer very much, I have to admit (I’m more of a whiskey guy, personally), but I think it’s awesome to see something like this, with all these beers (more than 170, apparently) available to try out & buy, especially smack-dab in the middle of downtown (right in front of City Hall, actually).

Besides that, there’re some awesome bands playing throughout the day, like rootsy punks The American Heist, cool, cool alternarock dudes The Lotus Effect (who I happen to like a lot), and hip-hop outfit The Niceguys, who are honestly some of the best rappers in town. Look on over here for the full schedule. Tickets ain’t cheap, unfortunately, at $25 for general admission, but hey, if you’re a beer head, I’d say it’s well worth it. It kicks off at 2PM this afternoon and runs through 10PM tonight.

Beyond the first-ever Beer Fest, there’s also the first-ever VegFest Houston, held by the Vegan Society of PEACE and focusing on — yep, you guessed it — being vegan. Okay, that’s not strictly accurate; the festival’s mission statement is actually “Promoting an ethical, compassionate and sustainable world for all,” which covers quite a bit more ground…

At any rate, there’re lots of speakers, vendors of food & other things, and music, to boot; I dunno everybody playing, but Chase Hamblin‘s jangly, ’60s-tinted retro-pop is pretty great, and I like Tyagaraja quite a bit, too. Oh, and this one starts early, as in 10AM, and runs through 4PM, so plan accordingly.

If you’re up for something a little later in the day, there’re two cool shows going on tonight up at Fitzgerald’s; they’ve got Noah and the Whale, who are pretty cool, on one floor, along with Bahamas.

Then there’s the show on the other floor, with San Marcos’ This Will Destroy You, who I’ve heard really good things about, ex-Polyphonic Spree member John LaMonica, and fellow San Marcos band Equals. I’ve been listening quite a bit to LaMonica’s debut(?) full-length, Volunteers, and it’s cool — all skittering, insanely layered electro-pop that’s equal parts Radiohead & The Postal Service.

Check out a track from Volunteers right here:

Up in the so-called “Washington Corridor,” new-ish bar Liberty Station is having its one=year anniversary and, somewhat surprisingly, considering the area, they’ve picked some very cool local bands to help ’em celebrate. They’ve got destructo-hip-hop hero B L A C K I E and neat, prog-y rockers Tax the Wolf playing, for two, and they’re both well worth seeing.

Rudyard’s also has a cool-sounding show tonight, with Inner Lights — who I’ve been meaning to check out for a very long time now, plus grunge-y rockers Rivers and promising newcomers Infinite Apaches. And hey, Warehouse Live has Nico Vega tonight, along with headliners She Wants Revenge.

There’s more, but my brain hurts; here’s the full list:

Houston Beer Fest 2011, featuring Dimitri’s Rail, Matt Reeves and the All Americans, DJ Tantrum, The Niceguys, Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers, Windsor Drive, Maximus, Tax the Wolf, VerseCity, DJ Sno White, The Lotus Effect, The American Heist, Alex C, Skeleton Dick, DJ Sparks, Disfrutalo!, Westbound, Dunville, DJ Nimbus, & DJ Big Reeks @ Hermann Square Park (downtown; 2-10:30PM)
Liberty Station One Year Anniversary Party, featuring BLACKIE, Tax the Wolf, Lower Life Form, Stepbrothers, & Ceeplus Bad Knives @ Liberty Station (2101 Washington)
Inner Lights/Infinite Apaches/RIVERS @ Rudyard’s
Noah and the Whale/Bahamas @ Fitzgerald’s
VegFest Houston, featuring The BluuNotes, Chase Hamblin, Tyagaraja, Poopy Lungstuffing, & Hare Krishna Jiv Jago @ Pecore Hall & St. Stephen’s Campus (10AM-4PM)
The Unzipped/Idiginis/The Ghost Storys/Ryan Scroggins and the Trenchtown Texas/The Bandulus/Bryan Tucker @ Mango’s
She Wants Revenge/Nico Vega @ Warehouse Live
This Will Destroy You/John Lamonica/Equals @ Fitzgerald’s
Free Radicals/Zwee @ The Continental Club
Alimanias/Fight Crime/Cop Warmth/Anti-Climax/Conflikto @ Super Happy Fun Land
Gritsy, featuring Plastician, Juxta, Mad Classy, Knome, Full Effect MC, Kam, & Da Monkeys @ 2016 Mainstage

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