Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: mr. Gnome + David Ramirez + Sing Your Life + Weird Weeds + Great White + More

Rolling on into the weekend… It’s Friday, November 16th, kicking off a couple of days packed full of cool, cool stuff to do, so I definitely didn’t want to drop the ball on tonight’s installment. Here we go:

mr. Gnome/Baker Family/PuraPharm/Strange Weapons @ Rudyard’s
I’ve seen Cleveland band mr. Gnome a couple of times now, over the course of three or four albums, and they remain one of the quirkiest, most arresting bands I’ve ever seen — the duo (Nicole Barille on vocals & guitar and Sam Meister on drums & backing vocals) play this intense, dark, somehow creepy-as-fuck music that dances across the line between raw, heavy, headbanging rawk and strange, fey, almost baroque pop. It’s hard to explain, really, but trust me, it works.

Be warned, as well, that mr. Gnome are hands down the loudest band I’ve ever witnessed at Rudyard’s. Barille’s piercing shriek and bass-heavy guitar roar will echo down into your soul, I swear…

David Ramirez/Noah Gunderson/Quadraphonic @ The Continental Club
I’m going to make a declaration, here: David Ramirez‘s Apologies is hands down one of the best roots-rock/folk albums of this year, period. It’s gritty and downtrodden, with a Waits-ian talent for telling stories and a delivery and lyrical sensibility that makes me think — in a great, great way — of the legendary Steve Earle, and it sinks deep into your soul. Ramirez sounds like a man who knows he’s lost his way and is trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of his life (damage he himself has done, most likely) the best he can. And it’s awesome.

Take a listen/look at the video for “Stick Around,” one of the highlights of the album, and you’ll see what I mean:

See him live, y’all; you won’t regret it.

Sing Your Life Acoustic Showcase, featuring Gilbert Alfaro, Frank Freeman, Dylan Bryson, Jennifer O’Brien, A Sundae Drive, David Lascoe, Dwight Taylor Lee, Adam Berry, Adam Bricks, Tom Lynch, Jeremy Grisbee, & Blake Shepherd @ Avant Garden
Wow; that’s quite a lineup, right there. It seems like these Sing Your Life showcases just keep growing and growing, and tonight’s slate of performers up at the Avant Garden is proof positive.

Not only is mainstay/Spain Colored Orange frontman Gilbert Alfaro on there, but there’s also Dwight Taylor Lee, who plays with both The Literary Greats and Finnegan (both of which rule, and he’s a large part of why), troubadour Frank Freeman (who I need to hear more of, honestly), the impressively bearded David Lascoe (who also plays as part of Poor Pilate), H-town-by-way-of-Brooklyn singer/songwriter Adam Bricks, and awesome, neat indie-popsters A Sundae Drive (who also happen to be just all-round cool people, too). phew. Just looking at that list makes my head spin, frankly. Go check out some of the best folk-y singing and guitar playing you’re likely to ever hear…

Weird Weeds/Plutonium Farmers @ Fresh Arts ARC (2101 Winter St.; 10PM, $5)
I was fortunate enough to catch Weird Weeds a few years back, after having heard about them for a while before that; I wasn’t really expecting to like what I heard, honestly, but I ended up utterly and completely bowled over by the Austin/Houston-based group, particularly drummer/singer Nick Hennies, guitar-experimenter Sandy Ewen, although guitarist Aaron Russell and bassist Lindsey Verrill were damn entertaining in their own right. The songs they play are intriguingly offbeat and quirky, like jazzy folk-pop tunes more than anything else, and the musicianship’s astounding.

Great White/Black Queen Speaks @ House of Blues
Awww, yeah. Call me cheeseball if you want, but I can’t help but love Great White — they’re one of the most iconic bands of the hair-metal era, to me, and a band I’ll forever (happily) associate with my metalhead youth. That said, I’m a little bummed about the infighting within the band’s original members, not to mention the two versions of “Great White” currently touring the country. This one’s just “Great White,” and it includes pretty much the original band minus lead singer Jack Russell, who has his own band, “Jack Russell’s Great White.” facepalm. On vocals for this version of the band is Terry Ilous, formerly of fellow hair-metallers XYZ (holy crap; hadn’t thought about that band in a while…), who can definitely sing, at least, but it’s probably still not going to be quite the same. Damn. You can’t go back, apparently…

Oh, and as a side note, local boys Black Queen Speaks are opening, and I’ve been increasingly impressed with ’em of late — definitely get to the HOB early enough to see/hear them, too.

Glish/Moths/Cordial/excuseMesir @ Notsuoh
Rusko @ Warehouse Live
WAX, featuring V.R.S. & Screwed Anthologies (Lucas Gorham/David Dove) @ Cardoza Fine Art (1320 Nance; 7-10PM)
Bagheera/Kelly Doyle Trio @ MKT Bar (1001 Austin)
Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art Opening, featuring Derek Jones, Josh Zulu, & Jaekim @ Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (6-9PM)
Wayside Drive/Yello Echo/Battle Between/Category 9 @ Dean’s
Child Bite/La Migra/The Beans/Moe @ Mango’s
Fistful of Soul DJs @ The Big Top
Jacqui Sutton @ The Capitol At St. Germain (705 Main)

One Response to “Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: mr. Gnome + David Ramirez + Sing Your Life + Weird Weeds + Great White + More”

  1. amanda on November 20th, 2012 at 7:20 am

    hey space city–i’m waiting to read your GW/BQS at HOB review from last friday night! of course, we thought it was a pretty tight show, but would love to know what you thought about the BQS set.

    and mark your calendar for Beer Fest in June, where BQS just accepted a good time slot.

    thanks! amanda

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