Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: False Idols VU Tribute + Balaclavas + Plants and Animals + Peloton + SHFL Stage Benefit + More

Whoa. Tonight, Saturday, May 26th, is a full, full night of cool stuff, so much so that I’m having a hard time picking a favorite show. Damn. Here’s what I’m liking:

29-95.com False Idols Tribute to the Velvet Underground, featuring Linus Pauling Quartet (as the Velvet Underground), Muhammad Ali, & Future Blondes (as Lou Reed/VU/etc.) @ The Continental Club
First & foremost, there’s this one, which is the latest in the “False Idols” series of tribute shows put on by the {29-95.com} crew (I believe Joe Mathlete, in particular, is behind this show, and kudos to him for that). This time out, the bands in question are paying tribute to the Velvet Underground & Lou Reed, which is always cool by me, with the awesomely cool/goofy psych-rock gang the Linus Pauling Quartet playing as VU, noisy post-punkers Future Blondes as Lou Reed, VU, and who knows what else, and Muhammad Ali playing as, well, their own raw, wild-assed throwback indie-rock selves.

This promises to be a hell of a lot of fun, and the bands are reportedly trying to make it a real show, even more than their usual respective spectacles (I’m told there’ll be baloons). There’s also something about the LP4 playing VU songs being the first of the seals of the Apocalypse being opened, so there’s that. And hey, it’s all free, free, free, which makes it even cooler.

I’ve heard a rumor, by the by, that if you want to win tickets to Summerfest, well, here’s one place where you could maybe win ’em…

Balaclavas/The Young/sIngs @ Walter’s (1120 Naylor)
Holy hell yes. I’ve only managed to catch Balaclavas live once since they’ve been around — partly because I don’t get out that much these days & partly because they don’t play out that much these days — but it was an utterly mindblowing experience. The band plays like a dark, dangerous force of nature, with frontman Tyler Morris snarling and howling in a barely-restrained fury as he attacks his guitar, while bassist Brian Harrison winds these rubbery, dub-y basslines in and out and around the guitar squall, and drummer Chaz Patranella thunders and stomps, relentlessly moving along like a masked serial killer in a horror movie. Seriously, it’s awesome to witness. They’re playing with sIngs, too, who impressed the hell out of me a while back with their sharp-edged, melodic-yet-misanthropic indie-rock, so that sweetens the pot even more.

(Oh, and the band reassures fans on their FB page that no, they’re not breaking up, which is definitely good news.)

Plants and Animals/Vestibule @ Fitzgerald’s
Heard a bit of Canadian band Plants and Animals recently, and have found their most recent album, The End of That, growing on me. It’s an odd bird of an album, with the band coming off like a ong-lost set of Bob Dylan outtakes more than anything else, all rough-edged, rambling, throwback folk with a hazy, “rounded,” ’60s-ish feel to it, and while I was resistant at first — not the biggest Dylan fan, sorry — I’m liking it quite a bit now.

Plus, there’s also newcomers Vestibule, which is the new project from ex-members of Kid Fantastic, and which is nicely fist-pumping, anthemic rock with just enough emo tunefulness to make it irresistible. Going to have to listen some more to those guys…

Peloton/Project Grimm/Muhammad Ali @ Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark (7PM; free!)
What could be better than skating to the sounds of epic, menacing, monster-sized metal (Peloton), smart, fuzzed-out stoner-psych rock (Project Grimm), and crazy, beered-up (yet still insanely catchy) indie-rock (Muhammad Ali)? Answer: not much. And what if it’s free? Well, hell, that’s damn near unbeatable.

Super Happy Fun Land Summerfest Stage Benefit Show, featuring Poopy Lungstuffing, Black Leather Jesus, Future Blondes, Rusted Shut, Muzak John, The Grass Skirts, Darwin’s Finches, Clockpole, Jody Seabody and the Whirls, The Escatones, & Demonic Hen @ Super Happy Fun Land
Nope, them Summerfest stages don’t come cheap, and the Super Happy Fun Land folks need some help to fund their stage at this year’s fest; help ’em out however you can, eh? Plus, Future Blondes are cool, as are Darwin’s Finches, Rusted Shut are always fun in a break-everything kind of way, and Jody Seabody and the Whirls are pretty great, too.

Runners-Up:
Hub City Stompers/Conflikto/The Dead Rabbits/Los Gritos/Fuska/Always Guilty/The Freakouts/DJ Simmer Down @ Mango’s
Black Cobra/Gaza/Lord Dying @ Rudyard’s
Slim Thug/Future @ Arena Theater
Space City Beat Battle Episode VI: Empire Strikes Back, featuring Jett I. Masstyr, Black Rose, DJ Arsnik, DJ iPod Ammo, & a ton of producers & rappers @ Fitzgerald’s
The Robert Cray Band @ House of Blues
Free Radicals @ Phul Court (1311 Leeland; free!)
Texas Johnny Boy @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Fresh Music Festival, featuring Keith Sweat, Doug E Fresh, Guy, SVW, K-Ci, & JoJo @ Reliant Arena
Nerd Wars 2012, featuring Bro-Bot, Richie Branson, The Whackiness Patrol, Dirk Strangely @ Numbers


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