Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: The Skatalites + The Toasters + Mono + Gardens & Villa(MP3s!) + More

sigh. Sorry, all — spent yesterday dealing with a sick kid, so I’m afraid I dropped the ball pretty completely with last night’s rundown of shows. Apologies for that; just happens sometimes, y’know?

Tonight’s (Sunday, October 14th) lineup is a little more sparse, but it’s still pretty darn good:

The Skatalites/The Toasters/The Failed Attempt/LA Skandaloza/Eagger @ Walter’s
Crap, crap, crap. When I first saw the listing for this, I swear it was at Mango’s, not at Walter’s — so now I have to apologize for listing this one incorrectly. sigh. Again, sorry, all.

It makes sense, honestly, because I had no idea how a band like legendary ska icons The Skatalites, not to mention Third-Wave ska heroes The Toasters, would fit inside Mango’s. Don’t get me wrong, I like the place — it’s just that the last time I saw The Skatalites, the fire marshall shut down Fitzgerald’s because there were too many people, and when I last saw The Toasters, they were playing to a packed house at The Abyss.

Anyway, Walter’s seems like a much more appropriate venue for tonight’s show, which sounds flat-out awesome to an old-school ska fan like myself. What I got to hear all those years ago of the Skatalites — before The Man pulled the plug and kicked us all out into the street — was great, great, masterfully played ska & rocksteady, and while I must confess that The Toasters haven’t ever been my favorite Third-Wave band, they’re damn good in their own right. This show (and tour) is essentially the two biggest bands of two different eras playing together every night, and that’s freaking incredible.

Happily, they’ve got some cool local ska/reggae bands on the bill, too, particularly The Failed Attempt, who I like from the admittedly-little bit I’ve heard so far. Get there, well, right now, so you don’t miss out.

Mono/Chris Brokaw @ Fitzgerald’s
And then, for people who want their music with more closed-eyes head-nodding and less skanking, there’s this show up at Fitz. Japan’s Mono are legends, too, but this time in the realm of moody, atmospheric, post-punk instro-rock. Every damn song unspools like the theme music from a film you’ve never heard of, simultaneously delicate and powerful, and yeah, they’re just about all great.

If you’re looking for music to mosh to, this probably won’t be for you, no, but if your idea of a good time — and yeah, it’s mine — is to stand and sway and bliss out to perfectly-orchestrated film-score music, this is where you need to be tonight. Check out the video for “Follow The Map” if you don’t believe me; it’s haunting and ethereal, like a melancholy Explosions in the Sky minus the bombast:

Gardens & Villa/Sacoustico @ Rudyard’s
I’d heard good things about Gardens & Villa previously, but I’d honestly never heard ’em ’til this week. Now that I have, though, I’m kinda kicking myself for waiting so long; they’re like what The Knife might sound like if they weren’t quite as insane, all murky electronics and dark-yet-gorgeous melodies, and yeah, I’m liking it quite a bit.

Here’re a couple of tracks to check out:

Runners-Up:
Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, featuring Buck Yeager Band, Joel Martin Project, Trudy Lynn, Jared Zolli & 5th of Blues, Lee Johnson & Texas Squeeze, Rod Brothers Band, Hayley Kay & The Trinity River Authority, & 33 1/3 RPM Mobile Music @ Downtown Conroe


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