Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Iron Maiden + The Small Sounds + Coheed and Cambria + The 71’s + Black Coffee + Illegal Wiretaps + More

phew. So far, this weekend’s not turning out quite like I’d thought it would — spent a stressful morning making an offer on a new place to live, for one thing, which I hadn’t figured we’d be doing just yet. But thankfully, tonight (Sat., August 18th) there’s plenty of good music-related things to see you through, eh?

Iron Maiden/Coheed and Cambria @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Maiden, man, Maiden! To be honest, I was never much of an Iron Maiden fan as a kid. Not sure why; it may’ve been more of a timing thing than anything else. Older kids I knew were into Maiden, but at the same time I was into Metallica and not a whole lot else. In my dotage, though, I’ve come to appreciate ’em, and their most recent album, The Final Frontier, is pretty damn entertaining.

Plus, they’ve brought along quirky, too-smart-for-their-own-good prog-metallers Coheed and Cambria as their opening act, and I like those quite a bit; how can I not like a band that not only writes storyline-heavy concept albums, but then creates comic books and freaking novels out of ’em? Top that, Rush & Queensryche.

Kevin McKinney/The Small Sounds (CD release) @ The Continental Club
And holy crap, apparently today is “Release Day” around our not-so-fair city, starting with local roots-rock guys The Small Sounds; their second full-length, 12, has actually been available for a couple of months now, but this is the band’s “official” release for the CD, and I’m glad to see it. They play far, far too infrequently, these days, and partly because of that, the band is one of the most unjustly overlooked roots-music groups in town — the music they play rides the line between Son Volt, Iron and Wine, and more straight-ahead rock, and I happen to think they’re pretty great.

Admittedly, the new album’s a bit of a stylistic shift for the band, with several songs that are more on the non-countrified side of things — one song’s pretty much a New Wave track, actually — but they still work, for the most part, and despite the fact that they’ve all(?) got da jobs and kids and stuff, the band plays like they just can’t imagine doing anything else.

The 71’s (album release)/Black Queen Speaks/Roomsounds @ Fitzgerald’s
Release Show #2, this time for The 71’s, a band I keep meaning to pay more attention to; I caught them once a few years ago at Fitz, and they were surprisingly good, breaking past my initial preconceptions and leaving me fairly impressed. They’ve since released at least two more albums, including new one We Are The Seventy Ones, which comes out officially tonight, and along the way have made a name for themselves somewhat for their oddball videos; check out this one from last year, for “Get Up and Dance”:

Black Coffee (7″/cassette release)/Noguey/South Texas Car Crash @ Walter’s
On the rawer, less-poppy end of things, tonight’s also the release show for the new 7″/cassette by Black Coffee, which is the old-school punk/hardcore “project”/band of Halston Luna, also of Peloton. Expect lots of feedback, distorted vocals, misanthropic lyrics, and menacing guitars, the likes of which you’ll rarely find outside of an old Barkmarket album. Go, listen, get punched in the neck.

Poetic Mental Aggression/The Illegal Wiretaps @ Notsuoh
Okay, so this one’s not technically a release show, but The Illegal Wiretaps got in touch earlier this week to let SCR know that they’ve released yet another EP (for free, naturally), The Inevitable Goodbye via their Bandcamp page, bringing the grand total up to 22. Wait, what? Holy crap. It’s some strange, unsettling stuff, to boot, marrying text-to-speech voice reciting lyrics about a doctor who’s learned he’s going to die to warbling, hypnotic noises and keyboards…

Runners-Up:
Come See My Dead Person/Blaggards @ Union Tavern (Webster)
Reds, Whites, & the Blues, featuring Mojofromopolis, Eugene Moody, Texas Johnny Brown, & Trudy Lynn @ Warehouse Live
Poor Dumb Bastards/The Hickoids/El Pathos @ Rudyard’s
Poopy Lungstuffing’s Leo Party, featuring Language of Light, The Grass Skirts, Muzak John, Bald Eagle Burger, Caleb Fraid, & Midnight Norma Lane @ Super Happy Fun Land


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