Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Eastern Sea (Rev’d!) + Young Mammals + Belle Manoir + Fat Tony + Close Your Eyes + More

Holy wow, y’all. It’s Friday, July 6th, which means the weekend’s started, and damn, it’s a busy, busy, busy one, in the best possible way. Before we dive into it, though, I just want to give a heartfelt thumbs-up to The Tontons, who’re currently featured on the front page of CMJ today. I’m sure the mag/site’s influence has waned a little bit over the years, but I still remember dreaming of making it into any part of CMJ with my own little band; I’m pretty sure I thought that’d be even cooler than making it onto the cover of Rolling Stone. So congrats to the band; y’all deserve it!

And with that out of the way, here we go:

The Eastern Sea/New York City Queens/Vox and the Hound @ Mango’s
Yes, yes, yes. I’m being exiled from the house tonight so the wife & her friend can crochet in peace without yours truly watching nerdy sci-fi TV shows, and this is where I’m going to be, seriously, rocking out at Mango’s to Austin’s The Eastern Sea.

Over the past couple of years, The Eastern Sea has become one of my all-time favorite bands of, well, pretty much ever. They’re honestly amazing live and on their handful of EPs and brand-new full-length, Plague (see the review of that right over here), and frontman Matthew Hines is one of a small, small number of songwriters that can literally do no freaking wrong, in my eyes. He’s up there with John Samson of The Weakerthans and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, and that’s pretty august company.

So truly, if you haven’t seen/heard this band, do yourself a favor and come on out. The play a great, beautiful, layered, and absolutely intense kind of indie-pop that you really have to experience to fully comprehend. The last time I saw ’em play in a club (as opposed to at Summerfest), half the audience ended up onstage with ’em.

As an added bonus, they’re playing with one of my favorite gangs of young music-makers in town at the moment, New York City Queens, whose debut I still shamefully need to review. Get out early to see ’em, eh?

Oh, and I almost forgot — if you hurry, you can catch The Eastern Sea over at Cactus, too; they’re playing a short (I’m guessing), free set over there at 5:30PM

Young Mammals (7″ release)/Extra Life/sIngs/Sandy Ewen @ Walter’s (1120 Naylor; $8)
And then there’s the runner-up. This one’s enticing not only because it’s been years since I last saw Young Mammals — hell, I was afraid (again) that they’d just quietly broken up, seriously — but also because they’re playing with excellent post-indie-rock band/project sIngs and experimental/improv guitarist Sandy Ewen, both of whom have impressed the crap out of me in the past.

The show’s a release party for YM’s new 7-inch, btw (sweet!), which you can hear half of for yourself right here:

It’s got more of a raw twitchiness to it than their old stuff, definitely, but damn, I’m liking it.

From Indian Lakes/Crimson Arrow/Acadiana/Belle Manoir @ Mango’s
And hey, if you’re out and about really early, get over to Mango’s anytime after, um, right now to catch some cool-sounding young bands who’re doing an early set. One of ’em, Belle Manoir, I talked about not too long ago, after they won a spot at the Warped Tour stop here in H-town through that Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands thing. I like what I’ve heard of ’em, and Cory over at the Houston Press seemed mightily impressed by their performance last weekend

Emery/Sleeping Giant/MyChildren MyBride/Close Your Eyes/Hundredth/The Great Commission/Gideon/A Bullet for Pretty Boy/Your Memorial/To Speak of Wolves @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Most of the bands playing Warehouse Live don’t elicit more than a shrug from me, honestly, but I can’t help but love Close Your Eyes. At first blush, I’d pegged ’em as just another cookie-cutter Christian post-hardcore band, but last year’s Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts blew me away with its hold-tight-to-your-ideals positivity and strength, the kind of thing I’ve heard far, far too little of in modern-age hardcore.

Brown Whornet/Lick Lick/Muzak John/Re:Action/Nonsense Music Band @ Super Happy Fun Land
Whoo, yeah. If you’ve never run across ’em before, Lick Lick are the “new” band (“new” as in “a decade old”) band of Matt Kelly, who oldtimers may remember from his time fronting both Middlefinger & Sprawl, two of the best damn bands I’ve ever seen play anywhere. No idea if Kelly’s slowed down at all in the intervening years, but from Jonathan Kanick‘s review of new album Good Touch/Bad Touch, it sure doesn’t sound like it…

Fat Tony/Tom Cruz (mixtape release)/10Nille/DJ iPod Ammo @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
Dammit, dammit, dammit. I’d really hoped to have more of a chance to check out the new Fat Tony/Tom Cruz mixtape, Double Dragons, that they’re releasing tonight up at Warehouse Live, but I flat-out ran out of time…sigh. What little bit I have heard ain’t bad, with plenty of quirky video-game-sounding electronics and snarky, laugh-in-your-face rhymes, both of which are things I fully expect when it comes to anything Fat Tony does. Download it for yourself here: http://www.complex.com/music/2012/06/mixtape-premiere-fat-tony-tom-cruz-double-dragon.

Center Stage, featuring noori @ Cullen Performance Hall (Univ. of Houston campus; 9PM)
Just wanted to mention this one because I think it’s a very cool deal — this is part of the Center Stage series of shows, which is an effort sponsored by the State Dept., of all things, to promote cross-cultural awareness of music from places like Pakistan. Tonight’s the first show I’ve heard of for the series, featuring Pakistani rock band noori.

Runners-Up:
Potbelly (CD release)/Deep Ella/Suite 709 (CD release)/The Soldier Thread/Castle Lights/The Soapbox Revolution @ Fitzgerald’s
Ready Rocksteady!, featuring The Suffers, The Bandulus, & DJ Moonstomp @ Rudyard’s
Hamamatsu Tom/Blackie Dammett/Taylor Lee & The Swamp Sessions/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Modern Day Escape/Dr. Acula/The Bunny The Bear/From Atlantis/Abolition Formula/This Names Temporary @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Vertigo Blue/The Band Foster/John Lefler (mem. of Dashboard Confessional)/Sounds Under Radio/Handsome Ransom @ Fitzgerald’s (free!)
Arthur Yoria @ Cafe Brasil
Donkey Kick/The Wrong Ones/Abduktion/Versklaven @ Dean’s Credit Clothing
The Beans/La Migra @ Avant Garden
Come See My Dead Person/The Mighty Orq/DJ Japandemic @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe (Galveston)


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