Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Whigs + Alkari + Flamin’ Hellcats + A Sea Es + B.E. Godfrey + Ugly Beats + More
The Whigs/Alkari @ Fitzgerald’s ($13)
This one’s the biggie for me, although it’s not because of the headliners. No offense to The Whigs, mind you — the Athens band are damn cool in their own right, coming off like the lovechild of Wilco and Spoon with all their warm-sounding, rootsy-but-not-country guitars, steady rhythms, occasionally scratched-up vocals, and sneakily catchy melodies. They swing and ramble along like they should be playing some band of cooler-than-you, pot-smoking dudes in a Cameron Crowe movie, the guys all the kids look up to and want to be like.
Take a listen to “Staying Alive,” off the band’s latest release, Enjoy The Company:
Like I said, though, The Whigs aren’t the main draw, at least not for me. That’d be H-town’s own rock underdogs, Alkari, a band that shrugged off seemingly being ignored by most of the scene & media here and instead went to Kickstarter, raising nearly double their goal, and then proceeded to make one of the best damn straight-up alt-rock albums I’ve heard in years.
With Blackout Falls, Alkari merge prog-rock, Brit-rock, and rootsy, Twin/Tone-style proto-punk to make something that’s hard to define, something that’s epic but down to earth, soaring and fiery while staying catchy as hell; think Doves jamming with Bakesale-era Sebadoh and Paul Westerberg, and you’ll kind of get the idea.
Listen in over here:
The Flamin’ Hellcats @ Rudyard’s
Well, they may not have released anything new in a decade now (that I’m aware of, at least; if I’m wrong, somebody please hook me up, eh?), but that doesn’t stop The Flamin’ Hellcats from continuing to roar on down the highway, drinking from the bottle while stomping hard on the gas and howling out their patented “Vatobilly” tunes.
For me nothing tops “Go Straight to Hell, Baby,” off long-ago magnum opus Speedfreak, but some of the more recent stuff — from the early 00s, I believe — is damn cool, too, especially “Guitar Skool”. And hey, how can you not like a band that’ll bring Scarface up on stage to play guitar on a rockabilly song?:
A Sea Es/Walker Lukens/B.E. Godfrey @ Fitzgerald’s (free!)
The more I listen to scene newcomers A Sea Es, the more intrigued I become, honestly; every time I think I get it, they step in and throw a curveball. And hey, that’s cool by me — it beats being bored, after all. So I’m liking the bands murky, swirling, electronic-yet-organic breed of darkly-realized pop, which blends nu-Afropop sounds with more straightforward electropop-isms and, yes, a hefty dose of screw-it-all noise to make something that’s damn cool, nimble, and beautiful. There’s some here that reminds me off Freelance Whales and some here that makes me think of Ambassadors, and the rest just makes me scratch my head & smile.
Then, of course, there’s listenlisten frontman B.E. Godfrey, who’s stepped sideways from his “other” band in recent months to make music that, while still folky and somewhat melancholy, dwells a whole lot more in the present-day real world than the music he’s made with the group tends to. It’s bleak and poignant and sweet, and hell, I’m loving it. I know I’ve put this up here before, but dammit, “The Wild” deserves to be heard:
The Ugly Beats/Muck and The Mires/Mikey & The Drags/The Mavens @ The Continental Club
And then, over at The Continental Club, we’ve got Austinites The Ugly Beats, about whom I’ve heard many, many excellent things over the years. And hey, guess what? They were true; holy shit. The band bumps and rolls along like a wide-grinning retro-’60s garage-pop band that’s less concerned with seeming cool and tuff and more about playing music that’s awesome and bouncy. Ain’t not a damn thing wrong with that, y’all.
Plus, they’re playing with Mikey & The Drags, who also play like they stepped out of a timewarp from the ’60s, only they’re so stoned they don’t have a clue where they are…and don’t even care, as long as they can set their amps on fire and rawk the fuck out. Wow.
Rollin’ Texas Oi! Fest, featuring Forced Reality, Broken Heroes, No Resistance (record release), Dog Company, The Booked, The Broadsiders, Conflikto, & Roots of Exile @ Mango’s
Kurraka/Iskallt Regn/Abduktion/Garbage Dump/The Vipers @ Notsuoh ($5)
Fistful of Soul DJs @ The Big Top
Houston Press Presents Craft Beer Hop-py Hour, featuring DJ iPod Ammo & Adam Bricks @ MKT Bar (1001 Austin; 4-10PM)
Blaggards @ R&R Sports Bar & Grill (Friendswood)