Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Austin Rhoads Benefit + Muhammad Ali + The Wiggins (Video!) + Hearts of Animals + More

I’ve been a bit on the distracted side this week, trying to catch up from my time away — for some reason, I’d assumed I’d have lots of time on my hands in the evenings while up in Cambridge, and that didn’t happen, which was very cool, but means I didn’t get stuff done like I thought I would. Whoops.

Anyway, tonight’s Friday, September 28th, and believe it or not, it’s a relatively quiet/light night — apparently the bands of this city are saving up for the utterly insane explosion of music that tomorrow looks to be. But hey, there’re still a few cool things going on, like so:

Austin Rhoads Benefit, featuring Muhammad Ali, Darwin’s Finches, Giant Battle Monster, Funboys, The Escatones, PAPAYA DMT, G.W.O., Mockingbird Brother, Clockpole, & The Princesses @ Dean’s/Notsuoh ($3)
Let me be up-front about this: I don’t know Austin Rhoads at all, and I don’t know a thing about the circumstances of his arrest/incarceration/whatever. Is he guilty, or is he being railroaded and deserves help from all & sundry? Dunno; I’ll leave that to people who know the situation better than I do.

What I do know is that he’s got friends who are in some awesome, awesome bands, and they’re all gathering tonight up at the Dean’s/Notsuoh Nexus of Awesomeness to rock the fuck out and try to raise money for the dude. Muhammad Ali are the big draw for me, to be sure — I just can’t help but love the band’s half-drunk, wide-eyed resurrection of the sprawling, no-rules early indie-rock I adored back in college (okay, yes: I still adore it, even now). They play loud, rough-edged rawk that’s somehow both tuneful and sarcastic as hell, and they do it like kids who’ve just discovered electric guitars and want to do nothing but bash away at them at full speed. And I’m totally good with that.

Plus, there’s also Giant Battle Monster, who are H-town’s answer to all those proggy/noisy spazz-rock bands but do them all (that I’ve heard, at least) one better by making their music actually interesting to listen to. Seriously, this stuff isn’t normally my thing, but I’ve seen GBM live before, and it’ll floor you. (And yes, probably them, as well, by the end of it.)

Then there’s Darwin’s Finches, who I’ve been liking more & more lately, promising Galveston-area crew The Escatones, Funboys, about whom I’ve heard good things, and Mockingbird Brother, which is apparently a side project with one of the guys from GBM and maybe one of the guys from Irene (not entirely sure on that). It’ll be a damn good show, honest, and a measly $3.

The Wiggins (record release)/Wicked Poseur/Hearts of Animals/Fiskadoro @ Walter’s ($5)
Now we swing east, over to Walter’s, where Jon Read, aka The Wiggins, will be releasing his/their latest record, The Myth of Man.

Now, I could blather on about Mr. Read — and yeah, I probably will, in just a second — but for now you’re probably better off running on over to the Houston Press where Jef With One F has a cool two-part interview with the guy up, here and here.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to it all yet, but I’ve seen the video for single “Golden Age,” which features an epic battle between an intrepid crew of heroines and a weird, retro-’80s street gang/cult that look like collectively goofy rejects from The Warriors.

There are knife fights, sinister rituals, freaky transformations, and fire (fire!), and through it all Read pounds out this raggedy, thumping, scraping chunk of ’60s retro-garage, the kind that I’m guessing plays in your head when you eat some bad shrooms and proceed to get the shakes.

Check it out:

The Wiggins + Golden Age from Ella Egg Films on Vimeo.

Read’s not welcoming this slab of vinyl into the world alone, mind you, but has brought along a who’s-who of H-town freak-pop to help, including oddballs Wicked Poseur, delightfully broken popster Hearts of Animals (whom I love quite a bit; glad Mlee is still playing), and Lake Jackson-living tribal-noise-rockers Fiskadoro, whom I have got to see one of these damn days, I swear.

A mere $5 gets you into the whole shebang. Go, and be amazed/terrified/elated.

Oh, and a side note, for completeness’ sake: if you’ve been carefully watching the shows list, you might’ve noticed that once upon a time, Indian Jewelry were going to be playing this show, too. Sadly, they had to shift things to November 2nd, but I think tonight’s lineup more than makes up for the change…

Making Movies/Espantapajaros/Changoman @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar
D.R.U.M. @ Last Concert Cafe
James McMurtry/The O’s/Little Joe Washington @ The Continental Club
Blaggards @ Ashford Arms (13308 Westheimer)

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