2012 Houston Press Music Awards, Right Around the Corner (i.e., This Sunday)
Yes, folks, it’s happening this very weekend — this coming Sunday, August 5th, to be exact. I’ve been sadly, sadly remiss in mentioning it, but the 2012 Houston Press Music Awards is indeed looming close.
And while I’ll admit I griped a bit about this year’s ballot, hell, the Showcase is looking very, very cool. I’m glad to see it back in Downtown, for one thing, and more centralized than it’s seemed to be in years past — although I still think the absolute-best setup was along Main, with the train to ferry people back & forth — with the hub centered basically around that Houston Pavilions area over near the House of Blues, and a handful of “satellite” venues further afield like the Jet Lounge and Warehouse Live. They’ve even got some deal set up for free cab rides to and from the venues, although you need to have this Hail a Cab app on your iPhone to take advantage of it (or be with somebody who does, at least).
(Minor Gripe Time: Why are nearly all the venues 21+? The only ones that aren’t, per the schedule, are Warehouse Live, Ben’s Beans, and the HOB Crossroads Stage. I always figured part of the point of a music showcase like this was to pull in the kids, the young folks who want to see and hear bands that are good that they’ve never run across before. Hell, I was hoping to take my 15-year-old nephew along so he could check out all the bands, but he can’t even get into 70% of the venues, so there’s really no point…)
The lineup of nominees playing the showcase is pretty great, too. I’m psyched to see thoughtful, keyboard-tinged alternarock band Alkari on the bill — they truly deserve that Best Album nod for Blackout Falls — and I’m always, always glad to see emo-ish rockers the last place you look, honky-tonk queen Miss Leslie, and noise-groove-stomp duo Female Demand, for three more.
Plus, there’s a good-sized pile of promising-sounding folks I dearly need to see live, like cool-ass reggae/ska supergroup The Suffers, similarly supergroup-like country/folk trio The Grievous Angels, darkly atmospheric electro-pop gang Bang Bangz, sharp-tongued rapper Thurogood Wordsmith, downcast roots-pop band Second Lovers, hiph-op crew The Niceguys, and fantasy-/booze-fueled metal dudes Venomous Maximus.
And hell, who knows? The beauty of the showcase format is that you roam with your ears open, and sometimes you stumble across bands you never knew you’d love. That’s how I heard Miss Leslie in the first place, at an HPMA Showcase many moons ago, now, not to mention Tyagaraja forerunner Million Year Dance, Satin Hooks, & Young Mammals. It’s an astoundingly easy way to discover brand-new shit, seriously.
Oh, and make sure you check out the Houston Press‘s ridiculously comprehensive rundown of each and every person playing. There was a time in my misspent youth when it felt like I waited all damn year just to read that particular issue of the Press, I swear…
Best of all, at $10 for an all-evening wristband (the showcase runs from 5PM to roughly 10PM, with doors at 4PM and some DJs and the actual awards ceremony going on after 10), you’re not going to break the bank by going. $10 is a large pizza; it’s a freaking bargain for the chance to see 50 damn bands. (Actually, that works out to a measly $0.20 a band, which makes it seem even cheaper. Wow.)
At any rate, you can see the most up-to-the-minute lineup over here, but here’s the most recent schedule I’ve seen; print it out, read the HP, and head on Downtown on Sunday, alright?