Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: The Wheel Workers (Rev’d!) + Alkari + Harold Borup + Escatones + Rivers + More

First “real” day of the weekend today, Friday, June 29th, and while it’s not quite as jam-packed as last night was with good stuff, there’s still plenty going on.

Before I get to that, though, just wanted to note that apparently tomorrow night’s Jaheim show over at the newly-rechristened Bayou Music Center has been cancelled; no idea why. I’m kinda meh about it, myself, but I’m sure somebody out there’ll be crushed, if they didn’t already know…

Anyway. On to tonight:

The Wheel Workers (7″ release)/Sunward/Boy + Kite/Alkari @ Fitzgerald’s
My personal favorite of the evening, in part because I’ve never gotten to see The Wheel Workers live — they were only before I got to FPSF this year, sadly — and because it’s been too damn long since I last saw Alkari live.

Both are good, good bands, and the latter, in particular, floored me early this year with new album Blackout Falls; they’re just a straight-up rock band, with no goofy metal overtones and a relative minimum of prog-rock-isms. The album’s damn near perfect, like everything’s exactly where and how it should be, and that’s an insanely rare thing to hear.

The headliners, of course, are no slouches themselves in the release department, having re-released their debut album, Unite, on ZenHill last October (I believe?) and now releasing new versions of a couple of the tracks on the full-length on a brand-new 7″.

I was thrown off initially by reviewing a pair of songs that, well, I’d basically reviewed before, but there are some differences lurking in there, most notably a real cohesiveness of the band as a whole. Check out the full review here, then make plans to get on up to Fitz tonight.

The Tyburn Jig/Harold Borup/Shadow Hound/Major Major Major @ Mango’s
Alright, so I’ve talked quite a bit before about The Tyburn Jig & how much I love ’em, so I won’t go into too much detail, except to say that I really like their darkly-imagined spaghetti Western/Cormac McCarthy-esque sound quite a lot.

They’re playing with some other intriguing folk tonight, as well, namely the utterly baffling Harold Borup, who don’t seem to stick to a musical style for more than a track at a time, bouncing between overfuzzed noise-rock and proggy/jazzy instrumentals with barely a shrug.

Then there’s Shadow Hound, who hail from Kingwood and play rough-edged power-pop with a serious Britpop fixation, coming up with some not-bad songs in the process, and Austin band Major Major Major, who are shiny and warbly and surprisingly Jam-like on some tracks (and who I’m thinking I need to hear more of, actually). Overall, this one should be good.

The Escatones/Poor Pilate/Snake Island!/Rivers @ Fitzgerald’s
I keep meaning to see three out of these four bands, dammit, but I keep missing the boat. Okay, technically I have seen Poor Pilate before, and I really liked their country-folk-y stylings, but I definitely want to see/hear ’em again, so there’s that.

Plus, I like what I’ve heard of The Escatones‘ rambling, surfy, hazy-yet-friendly psych-garage, and Rivers‘ one release so far, 2011’s Mind Your Mind, was pretty awesome in its heavy/messy, Mudhoney-revisited kind of way; “Spirit Child” still simultaneously rocks the fuck out and is creepy as hell.

DJ Father Sean Horrigan @ Leon’s Lounge
No, I’ve never met Father Sean Horrigan, myself, but I have to mention his guest-DJ spot up at Leon’s Lounge tonight, because not only is it a charity event for the San Jose Clinic, but Father Horrigan is also connected to a couple of people I know. Basically, he went to college with and is good friends with one of my coworkers, and — completely separately — was the priest who married another of my coworkers. This is a small, small town, people.

Brothers Grymn/Racing For Red Lights/AThousandColours @ Dean’s Credit Clothing
I dunno the latter two bands, but I wanted to say again how much I’ve been liking {AThousandColours}, and only on the strength of two measly songs, “make your amends.” and “Your Crippled Tongue” — they’re both gorgeous, heartwrenching little gems, the kind that make me long for the days before “emo” just meant “stupid mopey kids in Goth makeup” and want to break open my old Jimmy Eat World and Elliott albums. Hey, ATC guys: more songs, please? I seriously need ’em…

Runners-Up:
School Boy Q/The Niceguys @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Blaggards @ Ashford Arms (13308 Westheimer)
Soup/Only Beast/The Journey Agents @ Rudyard’s
D.R.U.M./DJ Zion 808/Bigga Staar @ Last Concert Cafe
Metal Masquerade/Grey Hours @ BFE Rock Club (11528 Jones Rd.)


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