Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Latch Key Kids + Chris Gray Day + The Eastern Sea + The Sour Notes + Lisa’s Sons + More
Alright, folks — here we are. It’s Saturday, January 14th, and tonight is definitely the biggest night we’ve had in a while in terms of shows. Seriously; for a few days there, it seemed like I was hearing about one awesome-sounding show after another, and they were all on the same night, tonight. Here we go:
Latch Key Kids/The Buzzkillers/Dead to the World/The Hates/Llorona @ Fitzgerald’s
Shameless Plug Time: yep, SCR is sponsoring this show, because we love the Latch Key Kids — back in the day and now, both — and because, well, they asked. So yes, I’m kind of biased (although severely torn, at the same time, but we’ll get to that in a minute), but I don’t have any kind of “real” stake in things; I just love the band, and I think it’s going to be a great show.
If you’re a fan of mid/late-’90s punk with melodies, yell-along choruses, sorta metallic-sounding guitars, and hardcore-speed drums, well, this is pretty much where you need to be tonight. The Kids were among the leading lights of the punk scene back when I was a youngster, and they sadly broke up right when it seemed like they were going to break out of our underappreciated musical backwater city.
They were playing high-profile shows with big-name bands on all the right labels — Bad Religion and NOFX, for two — and remember, this was at a time when there was next to no respect for the Houston scene, even within our city. The only papers that even bothered covering local punk bands were the Houston Press (and then, not all that often) and the venerable Public News, and if a Houston band made any kind of an impact outside the city, well, they usually then packed up as quickly as they could and skipped town. It was a hard time to be in a band, but it sure looked like these guys were poised to finally hit the (relative) big time.
And then they just went away. Poof — vanished, like that. At pretty much the height of their popularity locally, they broke up, went to school, grew up, got jobs, and started families, and that was it. I interviewed the band a few years ago when they seemingly spontaneously decided to reunite, and singer/frontman Tim Guerinot basically said they didn’t actually break up, technically, but just had other stuff going on.
But hey, they’re back now, tighter and faster and more mature (and I mean that in a good way, not in a, “yeah, we’re gonna play some mellow songs now” kind of way). I just reviewed their new EP, Democracy: The Art of Maintaining a State of Fear — see here — and it’s pretty awesome, like they picked up right where they left off. It’s good shit, esp. “Back in the Day” (which you can hear on the mixtape over there on the right).
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to catch these guys since they reformed, but dangit, that all changes tonight; Fitzgerald’s is where I’ll be this evening, rocking out and trying not to look like the oldest guy in the room. Come join me, eh?
Oh, and check out Jef With One F‘s verra nice interview with the guys in the band, from earlier this week in the Houston Press — he asks far smarter questions than I did back in 2007, and even follows up on an offhanded comment at the time from Tim about somebody in the band being a semi-professional fencer. I’d thought at the time that Tim was joking, but apparently not…
From The Heart: A Benefit for Chris Gray, featuring Horseshoe, the last place you look, The Handshake, Pale, Buxton, Poor Pilate, The Mathletes, The Wild Moccasins, Electric Attitude, Benjamin Wesley, 4 Barrel Ramblers, Jealous Creatures, Jean Caffeine, Changoman, Spain Colored Orange, Paula Nelson Band, Miss Leslie, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, A dream Asleep, Allison Fisher Band, Texas Tycoons, Orange Is In, Chase Hamblin, Bright Men of Learning, Zydeco Dots, Young Girls, Flying Fish Sailors, Jesse Dayton & Friends, Matt Harlan, Governor’s Chair, Paul Ramirez Band, John Egan, Texas Johnny Brown, Little Joe Washington, The Umbrella Man, David Beebe 3, The Allen Oldies Band, Hayes Carll, & more @ The Continental Club, The Big Top, & The Pachinko Hut (weather permitting)
sigh. And then comes the pain. See, the Latch Key Kids show came first, or I’d have been seriously torn about whether to go to that or the whole Chris Gray Day/From The Heart benefit thing taking place in Midtown today. You can get more info on it from this post from the past week, and hey, then you can get on over there right freaking now and join in the festivities. Per the most complete schedule I’ve seen, Young Girls, The Flying Fish Sailors, and Bright Men of Learning are coming up soon-soon-soon…
I just want to reiterate again, btw, that Chris is bona-fide Good People. Sure, maybe he didn’t talk about your band as much as he’d wanted or didn’t make it out to your CD release or whatever, but fuck it — that’s how it goes in music journalism. You can’t be at every show and write about every band; I’m telling you this from experience, believe me. The reality, though, is that Chris is one of the reasons the music scene in Houston does get some attention nowadays, as opposed to the way things were back in the Bad Old Days, even over at the Press. The man’s done more for music in this city than 99.9% of the population ever will, and he needs our help.
Sadly, I can’t make it out today — I’m sitting here typing while the two-year-old sleeps, and then I’m headed up to Fitz tonight, like I said — but I’m still going to try to figure out how to make a donation to help Chris with the sure-to-be-massive medical bills, and I’d encourage everybody who loves music to do the same.
The Eastern Sea/Marmalakes/The Sour Notes/Darwin’s Finches/Co-Pilot/Vipers @ Fitzgerald’s
Whoa. Um. Hrm. Okay, so…anybody know if one wristband’ll get you into both the downstairs and upstairs at Fitz? ‘Cause holy crap, this is a badass lineup, too. Austin’s The Eastern Sea have grown to become literally one of my favorite bands ever, in the whole fucking Universe, and I’m awaiting their next release, the long-delayed full-length Plague, with bated breath. I’ve seen the band a handful of times now, and they’re one of the few in recent memory that never, ever disappoints; they may play intricately-put-together pop songs, but they still play the shit out of ‘em, in the best possible way.
Then there’s The Sour Notes, a band comprised in part of ex-Houstonians Jared Boulanger and Elaine Greer (actually, now that I think of it, Matt Hines from TES is also a native Houstonian; maybe this is less the “Austin Invasion” and more the “Houston-By-Way-Of-Austin Invasion”?), whose album Last Looks from this past year is a great, great, great pop album in the vein of The New Pornographers. They’ve got a new split-7″ out with Marmalakes, too, but I unfortunately haven’t gotten to put it on yet…sigh.
Last but not least, there’s high-flying atmospheric rocker dudes, Co-Pilot, whom I utterly love. They were somewhat of a late addition to the bill, I think, but they’re adding to the odds of me possibly attempting to hit both floors of Fitz the same night. Tomorrow morning’s gonna hurt, y’all.
The News Can’t Wait/Lisa’s Sons/Deep Cuts/Olajuwon @ Houston House of Creeps (807 William St.; 8:30PM)
Dunno most of these folks, and it very nearly flew by under my radar — thanks to Bru over at H-Town Rock for the heads-up. Once I heard about it, I couldn’t let this one slip past, since lo and behold, excellent/goofy electro-pop duo Lisa’s Sons are playing, apparently, doing their first show in way, way too long. Honestly, I thought they’d broken up ’til I got word recently that they had three new songs up (from forthcoming album Losing Skull) on their BandCamp page — glad to hear they’re still around.
And hey, check out the new songs:
All Dread Set, featuring art & music by Coxcombs, Tina Forbis, Jon Read, Ken Wiatrek, & Lucas Gorham @ Cardoza Fine Art (1320 Nance; 8PM, free!)
Talked about this one a bit already over here, but wanted to point it up again — fans of strange/experimental music and/or artwork that doesn’t really fit at a lot of galleries in this town, hey, here’s your show. And it’s free, which beats everything else going on tonight…
Visual Vitriol 2012 Kick-Off, featuring Revolt 45, The Drafted, Biscuit Bombs, Here Holy Spain, No Love Less, Say Revenge!, & Sparrowhawk @ Super Happy Fun Land
Little Big Town/Folk Family Revival @ Nutty Jerry’s (Winnie)
Bun B/Tela & Do Or Die/Marcus Manchild/GT Mayne/Propain/Sentury/Young Thee @ House of Blues
Eric Taylor (CD release) @ 14 Pews (800 Aurora; 8PM)
MLK Celebration, featuring Z-Ro & Jeremih @ Arena Theater
“All Cried” Video Release Party, featuring Thurogood Wordsmith @ Sole Purpose (4PM)
The Bi-Peds/Tribal Lily Belly Dance Troupe @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar
Melovine/Trancend/Downfall 2012 @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Gnar World Order/A Spanish Disposition/Landfill @ Brew Brothers (Galveston)