Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: The Suspects + Blaggards + Houston Free Thinkers + Tyagaraja + Folk Family Revival + FlyFest + More

And on we go, to Saturday, May 19th, when there’s still plenty going on across our fair city; some of it’s earlier in the day than the rest, so get out there early. Here’s what looks/sounds good to me:

Blaggards/The Suspects @ The Continental Club
This bill makes me both smile and shake my head, at the same time. See, I’m a fan of both bands — Irish folk-rockers Blaggards are a hell of a lot of fun, especially if you (like me) are into The Pogues and/or Thin Lizzy, and The Suspects are freaking ska icons in this city, not to mention a band I’ve loved for, um, close to 20 years now (damn, I’m old) — but the pairing’s a little bit of a weird one, to me.

Both bands are great, great, great, sure, but I worry with stuff like this that as soon as Band A gets off the stage, unless they already know they like Band B, all of Band A’s fans — particularly if they’re older folks w/kids & whatnot, like a lot of Suspects fans are these days — will jump back in their cars en masse and hightail it back to Conroe or Katy or wherever. Heck, that happened twice the last time I went to The Continental Club: the Beetle diehards stayed only until that band finished their happy-hour-and-beyond set, and then when “real” openers The Literary Greats left the stage and headliners The Orbans started setting up, the place emptied out completely. It was depressing and frustrating, frankly, to see that even fans of TLG, who should by all rights also dig the Orbans’ music, too (the Dallas band was phenomenal, btw, even playing to about eight people, bartenders & Greats band members included).

So that’s my worry with stuff like this. But hey, Blaggards have played the Continental many, many times before, so hopefully they’ll have their own gang of diehards there to even things out; I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. Whatever happens, it’ll be a great show.

HFT: For the Community Pt. II, featuring Justice All Ah, Another Run, Blackmarket Syndicate, PuraPharm, Krullur, Perseph One, A dream Asleep, Mirror The Humans, Cutta, Fuska, MOTHS, Wayword, Skeleton Dick, Radio Flyer, PAPAYA, Altered Minds, Lion Among Men, Shadow Hound, Journey Agents, Say Girl Say, Inzurgo, Cassette Tape, White Crime, Jupiter Skyline, EndIsNow, Babel Fishh, Evak-1, excuseMesir, Goldar, Analyst, Jody Seabody and the Whirls, Downer, ProjectBenz, iLL LiaD, Disfrutalo!, KB Nasty, Tosh, HypElektro, Monstar, & Christopher Zane @ The Compound (2305 Wheeler; 1PM-3AM)
This sounds like a neat one on all fronts, at least to me. For one thing, it’s a festival put on by the group Houston Free Thinkers, which is a cool, grassroots-level bunch of activists & citizen journalists who’ve made it their mission to get news out there that the mainstream, corporate-owned media won’t touch; as somebody who can’t freaking stand the “objective” news in this country right now, I respect and applaud their efforts. They’re good, hard-working, brave people.

Beyond that, well, the HFT’s managed to pull in a bunch of folks I like quite a bit, particularly hard-hitting rapper Perseph One, fists-in-the-air punks Blackmarket Syndicate, quasi-psych rockers Jody Seabody and the Whirls, smart, sharp-tongued hip-hop dude iLL LiaD, and the ever-elusive Babel Fishh, who’s Houston’s answer to cLOUDDEAD (if anybody is, anyway). For all my grumbling above about shows that shoehorn together very different bands, okay, I’ll admit it, I do like it when organizers do stuff like this, bridging the gap between punk rock and hip-hop like it was never there in the first place.

Last but not least, there’ll be non-musical stuff going on, as well, like henna tattoos and hula-hoopers (I’m told), plus plenty of drinks and whatnot. And hey, it’s free, so how can you go wrong? Head over there & check it out.

Heights Vinyl In-Store Performance Series, featuring Tyagaraja @ Heights Vinyl (free!)
Sadly, I keep missing seeing Tyagaraja live, solo or with the full band, either one; the last time I saw the guy live, he was still fronting his old band Million Year Dance and going by his birth name. I’ve kept up with him & his gang of cohorts in recorded form, however, and he remains an awesomely intense musician and singer, a performer who so obviously pours his heart & soul into everything and really, truly believes in it that I walk away feeling like a jerk for always being a cynic. The man’s for real.

.38 Special/Blackberry Smoke/Folk Family Revival @ Sam Houston Race Park
.38 Special? Meh; couldn’t tell you the name of a single song, sorry. Folk Family Revival, on the other hand…holy fucking wow. Take a listen to title track “Unfolding,” off last year’s debut full-length, and if you don’t get chills, well, I’m sorry, but you’re clinically dead (in your soul, at least).

FlyFest II, featuring Sean Price, ESG, Guilty Simpson, Killa Kyleon, Jackie Chain, K-Rino, Doughbeezy, Hollywood FLOSS, D-Risha, Kyle Hubbard, Dirty & Nasty, Rob Gullatte, Tawn P, Roosh Williams, Kab Tha Don, Renzo, Jon Black, t.h.e. MisFit Crazy8, Twenty Eleven, Bishop Black, Ensane, Franchise N Yung, The Forces, Alibi Rankz, Loz Tha Lyricist, R.I.M., Harkore, Marcel P. Black, Drama Tha King, Noon, Muerte, & more @ Numbers (12PM-2AM)
I dunno a lot of the folks playing at FlyFest this year, sorry, but I do know a handful of ’em — there’re a fair number of this city’s most promising up-and-comers in the pile, folks like Kyle Hubbard, Twenty Eleven, and Alibi RankZ, and they’re all well worth checking out. If you think H-town hip-hop begins with The Geto Boys and ends with Slim Thug, here’s your chance to have your eyes opened.

Runners-Up:
Muhammad Ali/Fox & Cats/Shotgun Funeral/Old Old Jesus @ Rudyard’s
Metal Summit 6, featuring War Master, Spectral Manifest, & Bound in Flesh @ Sound Exchange (8:30PM; free!)
Benefit for Jacob Luis Rodriguez, featuring Fuska, El Desmadre, Always Guilty, Ese, Conflikto, Oscuridad Social, & Los Desconocidos @ Mango’s
The Drafted/No Love Less/Zipperneck/Lazer Cun-zz/500 Megatons of Boogie/The Shadow @ Super Happy Fun Land
Loretta Lynn @ Nutty Jerry’s (Winnie)
Phul Court Grand Opening, featuring Castle Lights @ Phul Court (1311 Leeland)
Without a Face/Handsome Ransom @ Fitzgerald’s
Channel 3/The Stitches/Lower Class Brats/The Wrong Ones @ Walter’s (1120 Naylor)


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