Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Canned Acoustica + Amon Amarth + Dead to Me (MP3s!) + Bun B + No Hidden Meanings + More

Yes, yes, y’all, it’s the weekend, once again. Specifically, it’s Friday, August 26th, and it’s a busy one, to be sure…

The biggest on my personal list is the latest installment of the Canned Acoustica series put on by photog/scenester Mark C. Austin (damn, that guy stays busy); “Numero Cuatro,” tonight over at Warehouse Live, is aimed at gathering donations of school supplies for needy kids, and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, definitely.

Obviously, though, the bands are the real selling point here, charitable reasons notwithstanding — I’ve yet to catch one of the shows, unfortunately, but I’m intrigued by the idea of having various talented people playing acoustic, especially ones like, say, growly/doom-y metal dudes Venomous Maximus, who generally do their thing with enough volume & distortion to peel paint. I’m glad to see the VM guys are up for the challenge, and the same goes for Latino ska icons Los Skarnales, sweet-and-drifting psych-pop guys Springfield Riots, insanely great folk-pop outfit The Literary Greats, Nosaprise‘s side project Screwtape (whom I have yet to hear, sadly), & the rest of the lineup.

Best of all, it’s free if you bring the aforementioned school supplies. To get in, show up with any three off this list:

  • Loose leaf notebook paper (>80 sheets)
  • Spiral Notebooks: 70-page, single subject
  • Pencils (1 pckg >24 count)
  • Kleenex
  • Markers: fine point and regular (>2)
  • Multi-colored construction paper (>30 sheets)

Good and for a good cause…

Admittedly, people looking for something heavier, louder, and rawer may have to look elsewhere this evening, like over to the House of Blues, which will be rumbling and shaking to the monumental Viking-metal sounds of Amon Amarth. I was skeptical about these guys, at first — even a fantasy/history nerd like myself has limits, y’know, and songs about fire giant king Surtur and the rainbow bridge Bifrost edge close to that line — but the music’s ridiculously tight and appropriately thundering, especially on fave track “Twilight of the Thunder God”.

BTW, I still for the life of me cannot figure out how this band got so completely stiffed by the movie Thor — surely the fight with the frost giants would’ve been just that much more awesome accompanied by galloping guitars and bearded dudes roaring about Odin? I’m thinking it would’ve. shrug.

Then up at Fitzgerald’s, they’ve got Austin-by-way-Denton rockers Riverboat Gamblers, who pull off that raw, sleazy, punk-tinged rawk thing pretty damn nicely, I have to say. They’re playing with horribly overlooked Bay Area punks Dead to Me, whose 2008 Little Brother EP was/is flat-out awesome, channeling all the social consciousness and righteous fury that’s missing from 90% of punk these days. Think Anti-Flag with more warmth, and you’ll be close.

You can grab a handful of MP3s right here, courtesy of label Fat Wreck:

Also playing are Off With Their Heads, about whom I’ve heard incredible things, and — hell, yeah — rejuvenated old-school pop-punks Latch Key Kids, who I’ve got to get out & see again sometime. I loved, loved, loved that band back in their mid-’90s heyday, and was sad when they disintegrated, so I’m happy as hell they’re alive & kicking again these days. There’s also JT Habersaat, who’s apparently, um, a “punk stand-up comic,” and Massachusettsians The Fake Boys. Get on up there…

And hey, while you’re there, you can also meander to the other floor to check out Bun B‘s performance. The guy’s pretty awesome on his own, one of the Gulf Coast’s leading-light MCs and one who does it while keeping things intelligent and sharp (he’s teaching a class at Rice, for crying out loud), but even better, this time he’s got phenomenal crew The Niceguys with him, and gifted rapper iLL LiaD along as backup. Niiiiice.

Heading on down to The Mink, there’s another damn fine lineup, this time with murk-folksters listenlisten rattling the bones, and then over at a place I’ve never heard of called the Obsidian Art Space, SugarHill Studios head honcho (and all-round nice guy) Dan Workman will be playing with the strange-yet-awesome Two Star Symphony quartet, whose recent Titus Andronicus soundtrack utterly floored me (and had me reading college textbooks again, which is no mean feat).

The collaboration’s being called “No Hidden Meanings” — although, ironically, I’m not sure what the heck that means — and is apparently inspired by the work of artist Wayne Gilbert. I’m not entirely sure what it’ll sound like, but given the people involved, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be something worth hearing/seeing. You can still get tickets to the 9PM performance tonight (it looks like the 7PM‘s sold out) over here.

That’s all I’ve got for now; here’s the list:

Riverboat Gamblers/Off With Their Heads/Dead to Me/JT Habersaat/Latch Key Kids/Fake Boys @ Fitzgerald’s
Canned Acoustica Numero Cuatro, featuring Los Skarnales, The Literary Greats, Springfield Riots, Venomous Maximus, Nick Gaitan, Frank Freeman, Screwtape, & Brandon West & the Black Hats @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
Amon Amarth @ House of Blues
No Hidden Meanings, featuring Dan Workman & Two Star Symphony @ Obsidian Art Space (3522 White Oak)
listenlisten/The Dry Season/Delayed Reaction/Binary Marketing Show @ The Mink
Bun B/Youngest N Charge/The Niceguys/iLL LiaD @ Fitzgerald’s
Tody Castillo/Milk Bomb @ Rudyard’s
D.R.U.M./Bigga Star/Jimmy Lee Deen @ Last Concert Cafe
Espantapajaros/La Sien/Velorio/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
SPIN7: Look Forward Exhibition/Dance Party, featuring DJ Gracie Chavez @ Houston Center for Photography (8-11PM)

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