Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Iceage + Balaclavas + The Energy + Invincible Czars + Illegal Wiretaps + More

Damn, there’s a lot going on this weekend, and yep, a lot of that pile’s tonight, Friday, July 15th. Houstonians, you’ve got some hard choices ahead of you for the evening (and the weekend as a whole), no lie.

Before I get into that, though, just a little note to fans of both Def Leppard and Heart; per the {29-95.com} folks, the show originally scheduled for next weekend, Fri., July 22nd, has been postponed to Fri., September 23rd. Apparently Leppard frontman Joe Elliott‘s dad passed away, and so the band’s had to cancel its dates here in Texas and in New Orleans.

At any rate, for tonight my top pick’s up at The Mink, where local boys Balaclavas and The Energy are opening up for Danish post-punkers Iceage. I’ve heard good, good things about the latter, and what little bits I’ve actually listened to so far have been cool (take a gander/listen here), but it’s the openers that have me psyched, I have to say.

Balaclavas don’t play very often (meaning once or twice a year, it seems like), and they’re fucking incredible live, I swear to whatever deity you hold dear. They’re utterly hypnotic to watch, but dangerous and murky at the same time, like you’re being mesmerized by some exotic breed of deadly snake a la Kaa in The Jungle Book. Before you know it, they’ve pummeled you into submission. (And yes, I finally added these guys to the Featured Bands list; check out the little profile-type thing over here.)

The Energy, on the other hand, are full-speed, fuck-everything punk rawk from back when it was all about making as loud a noise as possible, partying like tomorrow didn’t exist, and generally fucking shit up. Think early Black Flag, think the Stooges, think Mudhoney, and you’ll get close; then add singer Arthur Bates, who looks like a cross between Stu from The Hangover and Guttermouth’s Mark Adkins, and hey, there you go. Throwback punk that doesn’t give a shit what you think, as long as there’s plenty of cheap beer involved. See a writeup of the band’s latest full-length, Get Split, over here

If you’re in the mood for something not quite as rough-edged and abrasive, head on over to the Last Concert Cafe, instead, to witness Austin’s The Invincible Czars take on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (you know, the one with the cannons?). They’ve reworked it with not only classical-sounding strings and horns, but also electric guitars, rock-out drums, and a bunch of other stuff; it should be pretty impressive to witness live.

Here’s an audio bit of the band performing the Overture, from their forthcoming CD of the same name:

These folks do some neat stuff; it’ll be pretty cool, trust me…

Over in the same neighborhood, Super Happy Fun Land‘s got a cool-looking lineup, with protest-folk-punk kids Days N Daze, who I’ve liked quite a bit in the past, and snarling/sneering, quasi-Gothic post-punk rockers The Illegal Wiretaps, who have impressed me a lot in a short span of time. Gonna have to pay more attention to that one…

Cool-ass post-emo dudes the last place you look are playing tonight, too, waaaaay down in Webster at the Union Tavern — if you live in that neck of the woods, definitely check these guys out. They’re still pretty much the best heavy “emo”-like thing I’ve heard in five years or so.

Rudyard’s has a noteworthy show going on this evening, with the reunion of long-gone country-rockers Horseshoe, who — holy shit — were already around & doing their thing when I moved to Houston around 20(!) years ago. Damn. I can’t claim to’ve been a big fan when they were around — I had yet to discover Son Volt by then and was fully into my most belligerently anti-country phase — but I’m psyched to see they’ve stepped back into the spotlight, however briefly it lasts.

Mango’s has a good one, as well, with squalling, spazz-out progcore gang Giant Battle Monster (who I’m glad to see survived their recent drummer-less-ness) playing alongside more-ambient GBM side project outfit MOTHS (which includes one member of GBM, as well), Austinites Boyfrndz, Baton Rougies Twin Killers, and fellow locals Sunrise and Ammunition (who I need to check out, actually) and Disfrutalo!.

What else? Hrm. Well, Fitz has perennial dudes-we-like {Art Institute} tonight, playing with Knifight, from Tyler, Austin’s Ichi Ni San Shi, and H-towners {Vipers}, formerly known as Outer Heaven. Get on up to the Heights for that one…

Here’s the extremely full list:

Iceage/The Energy/Balaclavas @ The Mink
The Invincible Czars (performing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture) @ Last Concert Cafe
Knifight/Vipers/Ichi Ni San Shi/Art Institute @ Fitzgerald’s
The Illegal Wiretaps/Days N Daze/Ghostbeard @ Super Happy Fun Land
the last place you look/South/Good Job Underground @ Union Tavern (Webster)
Giant Battle Monster/Boyfrndz/Moths/Twin Killers/Sunrise and Ammunition/Disfrutalo! @ Mango’s
Horseshoe (reunion!) @ Rudyard’s
Outlaw Dave’s Music for Life Showcase, featuring From Guts to Glory, Pale, The Lonely Scones, Kelly Austin Curtis, Trey Gadler and Dead Man’s Hand, Paris Green & more @ All-American Sports Bar & Grill (Pearland; 10PM-1AM)
The Umbrella Man/Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Mixers & Elixirs, featuring The Fab 5 @ Houston Museum of Natural Science (7-10PM)
The Journey Agents/Pelviq Thrust @ Avant Garden (upstairs)
Assassinators/Buzz N Bangs/The Delta Block/Talk Sick Brats @ Vinyl Junkie
Soul Sauce @ Big Star Bar (free!)
Hot Night: Helmut Newton at the MFAH, featuring Ceeplus Bad Knives & Mr. Castillo @ MFAH (9PM-12AM)
Fistful of Soul @ The Mink (front bar)
The Allen Oldies Band @ The Big Top
John Evans Band/Lincoln Durham @ Firehouse Saloon

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