Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Stars + California Wives (MP3s!) + Holder + B L A C K I E + Wheel Workers + David Ramirez + More

Dang, y’all — late as usual, I’m afraid, but there’s still lots going on tonight, Friday, October 12th. I’ll forego the chitchat, given the untimeliness of this; here we go:

Stars/California Wives/Diamond Rings @ Fitzgerald’s
Already blathered some about this show earlier in the week, when we gave away a handful of tickets, and if anything, it looks better now than it did then. I’m still bowled over by Stars‘ latest, which is just freaking great, but now I’m almost equally blown away by openers California Wives, whose recent Art History I finally cracked open too damn late this week.

I’m kicking myself for it now, that’s for sure, because the album takes the best elements of ’80s pop and drags them forward to the ’10s, where they can bask in the primary-colored spotlights and glitter and shine like you never thought they would (or could, for that matter) again. It’s damn, damn good; I can’t help but like it. Check out “Marianne” & “Purple,” right here:

California Wives – Marianne by Vagrant Records

California Wives – Purple by Vagrant Records

Expect a (late, admittedly) review soon…

Holder/Hoofprints/Pswingset/Life As Lions @ Mango’s
And now, the runner-up (although yeah, it’s a tough call, tonight), with a trio of H-town emo “supergroups,” of a sort. Headliners Holder, aka “The Latest Band from those Duarte Brothers Who Used To Be In The Tie That Binds and Radio Pioneer and a Billion Other Bands,” are awesome — at least, from the songs they were kind enough to send as a teaser a little while back (thanks, guys!) — in a seriously old-school emo/indie-rock kind of way. Think Seaweed, or maybe Samiam or Knapsack, and you won’t be far off.

Then there’s Hoofprints, which I have yet to hear but includes members of Little Compass/Stadium, Earnie Banks, Golden Cities, and football, etc., all of whom are bands I love/loved at one point or another. Holy fuck. And lastly (of the three, anyway), there’s Life as Lions, some of whom used to be in the sadly-departed almost-icons Thee Armada; haven’t heard them yet, either, but that’s not a band pedigree, right there.

Take note, btw, that despite what the flyer over there says, this is the second show tonight up at Mango’s — I dunno who the first is, but I’m told the Holder show doesn’t start ’til 9:30PM, while the earlier show’s going on now. Just FYI.

B L A C K I E (last show of 2012!)/Stephen Farris/Muhammad Ali @ Notsuoh ($5)
Ooh, yes. B L A C K I E, downtown, in a half-decrepit former shoe store, making the city sidewalks rattle and groan with those jackhammer beats and shattering storefronts with his frantic yells/howls/whatever. Fuck, yes. And hey, throw über-’90s-indie-rock dudes Muhammad Ali in there for fun; can it get any better, for drunken, jaw-dropping mayhem? Not a chance.

Eyes Lips Eyes/The Wheel Workers/Winter Wallace @ Walter’s
On the somewhat quieter end of things — but still in downtown, at the “new” Walter’s (which finally has at least a basic freaking Website, thank Bubba) — there’s this show, which features husky-voiced songstress Winter Wallace, who’s pretty darn cool, in the opening spot, followed by The Wheel Workers, a band I’ve got to see live at some point, and soon. I swear, the more I hear of their smart, jangly, quasi-political, rocking-but-not-rough sound, the more I want to hear.

Dunno much about headliners Eyes Lips Eyes, I’m afraid, but the video for “Pretty” is both addictive and downright creepy (and I’m still trying to figure out how they did the kneeling-in-midair thing):

David Ramirez @ Dosey Doe Coffee Company (The Woodlands)
Lastly, out in The Woodlands at Dosey Doe, there’s Austinite David Ramirez, whose new album Apologies hit me hard, right in the center of my chest, and hasn’t let go since. It’s also getting some well-deserved acclaim right now, so trust me, check this guy out while you can still afford it. Fans of Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, or Son Volt, you all need to pay attention, dammit.

Runners-Up:
Sundown Audio/The Boulevard Nights/Racing For Red Lights/AThousandColours @ Dean’s
Andrew Bird/Here We Go Magic @ House of Blues
Moon Duo (mem. of Wooden Shijps)/Hamamatsu Tom @ Rudyard’s
Fat Tony (DJ set) @ MKT Bar (1001 Austin)
The Weeknd @ Bayou Music Center
IWrestledABearOnce/Oceano/Vanna/Within the Ruins/The Plot in You/Surrounded by Monsters @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Gareth Emery @ Stereo Live
Lisa Morales @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, featuring Kyle Park, Wayne Toups, Folk Family Revival, Slim Bawb, Bayou Roux, Cody Johnson Band, Lost Country, Double R Nothin, & 33 1/3 RPM Mobile Music @ Downtown Conroe


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