Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Knights of the Fire Kingdom + Tyagaraja + Los Skarnales + Wreckless in Texas + Craig Kinsey + Square and Compass + More

379706_494443203930426_486948379_nYep, yep, yep — rolling into a heck of a promising weekend, starting with tonight, Friday, March 1st. I’ve gotta keep it brief, so here we go:

Knights of the Fire Kingdom/The Ex-Optimists/Strange Weapons @ Rudyard’s
This one’s the biggie for me, at least, with a full slate of straight-ahead, guitar-heavy rawk knocking down the walls up at Rudz this evening. Headliners Knights of the Fire Kingdom are flat-out awesome live, a blazing ball of distorted, Drive Like Jehu-esque thunder that’ll make you want to throw your fist in the air and howl along — check out the interview we did with singer/guitarist Jeoaf Johnson over here.

Then there’s College Station band The Ex-Optimists, who channel Sonic Youth-style ’90s drone-rock in the best damn way possible. They play hazy, overfuzzed rock that’s noisy and beautiful at the same time, sometimes without you even realizing it. Fans of ’90s indie-rock, take note… In the early spot, too, there’s Strange Weapons, which is the latest project of Joel Hoyle, ex-Fired From Walking and about a bazillion other bands. It’s heavy, bluesy, and classic rock-tinged, and it works damn well.

Bless The Orange Show, featuring Tyagaraja, Alaap Parikh, Gunjen Mittal, & Monica Villareal @ The Orange Show ($10)
For the more spiritually-minded, you can head over to The Orange Show for their annual kickoff party-slash-blessing, which features the ever-awesome Tyagaraja, that eternally-smiling, ridiculously peaceable guy who also happens to have one of the best, most powerful voices of any musician in this damn city. Seriously, try to listen to his As Is acoustic EP from last year and try not to feel a little choked up; it ain’t possible:

Houston Dynamo 2013 Season Opening Dancehall Party, featuring Los Skarnales, The Bandulus, Kumbia Sabanera, DJ Moonstomp, & DJ Rico Hooligan @ Fitzgerald’s
Soccer season’s upon us again, and dammit, I swear I’m going to take the midgets out to see the Dynamo play… To celebrate the start of the season, there’s a full pile of ska-/Latino-sounding bands rocking Fitz tonight, including legends Los Skarnales, Austinites The Bandulus, & DJ Moonstomp (whose name I always get a kick out of, for some reason).

525701_521587704559948_558907595_nWreckless in Texas, featuring In Vain, Feign, Carry Your Ghost, Rex, Glass Realms, Widow, Short Circuit, & Beaten to the Punch @ Walter’s ($10)
Hoo-ah. Hardcore kids, this is where you (most likely) need to be tonight: up at Walter’s for “Wreckless in Texas,” which promises to be an all-out melee of modern-day metalcore. I can’t claim to know all the bands playing, not by a long shot, but I do like what I’ve heard of Carry Your Ghost, in particular, and several of these other bands sound pretty promising, too.

Peter and James/Craig Kinsey Band @ MKT Bar (5-11PM; free!)
This one’s a nice happy hour-ish thing, over at MKT Bar; I’ve never heard Peter and James, sadly, despite their long residency over at The Big Top, but I have heard Craig Kinsey, both solo and with The Sideshow Tramps. He’s a damned impressive guy, a man-out-of-time troubadour whose music is murky and dark and folk-bluesy all at the same time (to my ears, anyway). Keep an eye out for forthcoming new album American Roots and Blood, coming soon…

Mike Truth & The Replacement Killers/The Follow Through/The Blackout Heist/Square and Compass @ The 19th Hole (Spring)
Finally, for the north-of-town crowd, head on up to The 19th Hole — which, yes, I’ll admit that I’ve snickered at for far too long — to catch a cool-looking lineup of punk folks. Dunno the headliners, but I’m hearing good stuff about The Blackout Heist, and I freaking love those dudes in Square and Compass; listening to them drags me right back to those years in the ’90s when I listened to damn near nothing but emo, and I’m totally good with that.

Runners-Up:
xx-xv, featuring Weatherbox & Fox & Cats @ The Doctor’s Office (1301 Nance)
Otenki/Roosh Williams/AThousandColours/The Soapbox Revolution/Bel-Ami @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Alejandro Escovedo @ Dosey Doe (Spring)
Wheeler Brothers (CD release)/Wild Child @ Fitzgerald’s
Southern Backtones @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe (Galveston)
Cozy Blankets/Dark Spark Rays/The Dead Kings/Category 9/Hazy Ray @ Dean’s
skyblue72/Chenoa Farrell and the Trustees @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
The DML Cartel/Castle Lights/Lion Among Men/Twelve Years Driven/Listen/Ashley Franklin/Kameron/For Another Mile/We Happy Few/3rd Denial @ Jet Lounge
JD McPherson/The Bellfuries/Picture Book @ The Continental Club


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