Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Wheel Workers + Lila Downs + New York City Queens + She Has Hope + Vestibule + More

5ef517c5713824a45d70a88e4e5da758Yeah, it’s looking like a pretty damn good weekend, folks, starting with tonight, Friday, April 5th, and rolling on from there. Here’s what I happen to think looks cool:

The Wheel Workers/Good Field/Placid Blue/Quiet Morning & the Calamity @ Fitzgerald’s
At the top of the pile, there’s our good friends The Wheel Workers, who’ve grown these past couple of years from a solo-ish project of frontman Steven Higginbotham, which showed a lot of promise but felt a little scattered (to me, at least), into a fully-formed powerhouse of mid-tempo, thoughtful, politically-conscious indie-rock.

They released new album Past to Present about a month ago, now, and it fulfilled all that aforementioned promise and then some, bringing to mind everything from Radiohead to Midnight Oil to The Decemberists and doing it all with a sly smile and wink. If you can hear cheery-yet-terrifying pop tune “Chemicals” and not start singing along, well, I’m not sure I want to know you, yo. (Oh, and the band’s promised they’ve amped up their light show even more than what they had for the CD release, so there’s a little extra incentive for you…)

Lila Downs @ Cullen Theater
This one’s a nice surprise; if you don’t know who Lila Downs is, well, you really should (not least of all because she won a freaking Grammy this year). The Oaxacan-born singer is phenomenal, and when I first heard her, on the soundtrack to Frida, I was utterly bowled over. She’s got an powerful, powerful voice, seriously. I don’t care whether you venture downtown to see her or buy an album or what, but you need to hear this lady, and soon.

Belaire/Deep Cuts/New York City Queens/Josiah Hall/Kyle Scomette @ Houston House of Creeps (807 William; $7)
Over at the Houston House of Creeps, then, there’s a show that’s bound to be a bit, erm, louder and wilder, and hey, that’s no bad thing from where I sit. I’ve heard good stuff about Deep Cuts and Belaire both, but the band that really gets me for this one is the excellent, excellent New York City Queens.

They’re young, to be sure, but they’ve been phenomenal each time I’ve seen ’em, and with each release they put out, they seem to grow by leaps and bounds — put last year’s Burn Out Like Roman Candles up against 2011’s Something Different, Something New, and you’ll get what I mean. Hell, I still can’t get “Tell Me All About It”‘s speeding, pleading hook out of where it’s dug into my skull, and given the amount of music I listen to, that’s saying something.

Plus, frontman John Stephens apparently got injured at the Future of Music Showcase at SXSW last month and kept right on going, despite bleeding profusely from the head. Fucking rock & roll, right there.

Peace Gospel International “She Has Hope” Benefit Concert, featuring David Courtney & Srinivas Koumounduri @ Rockefeller Hall (3620 Washington; 7-10PM)
Up at the once and former Rockefeller’s tonight (currently Rockefeller Hall), there’s a very cool-looking benefit being put on by Peace Gospel International, for their She Has Hope program. The program helps victims of human trafficking who live at a home for girls (mostly teenagers, apparently) in Kathmandu, Nepal, where they live after being rescued from brothels in India and where they receive education and medical care, among other things. Frankly, I’m not sure I can think of a better cause than that.

Anyway, tonight’s benefit also includes local percussionist David Courtney and sitar player (sitarist?) Srinivas Koumounduri, who’ll be playing Indian music for the event. There’s also a silent auction and crafts for sale; help out however you can.

Vestibule/Chris Marcha/Lionel Frankenstein and The Combat Babies/Absent Shadow/SkylineFiftyFour/Brainstorm for Tuesday/DJNASTYNARDO @ Jet Lounge
And last but not least, there’s this massive pile of bands playing at the Jet Lounge this evening, a lineup that’s now being headlined by local guys Vestibule, whom we like a fair bit over here. I must cringingly admit to being way, way, way behind in my CD-listening, so I still need to check out the band’s self-released first album, but I like what I’ve heard so far from this loud-but-clean alternarock crew. Worth seeing, definitely…

Runners-Up:
Skyrocket!/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Trial By Bourbon/Locate/Tump @ Rudyard’s
Blaggards @ Ashford Arms Pub
Metalachi/Cassette Tape @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Pearland Crawfish Festival, featuring a bunch of cool blues & zydeco folks @ Highway 288 between FM 2234 & Broadway/FM 518 (Pearland)


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One Response to “Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Wheel Workers + Lila Downs + New York City Queens + She Has Hope + Vestibule + More”

  1. Tim austin on April 5th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Hey Houston!! Anyone who comes to jet lounge tonight and mentions spacecity rock to me (lead singer of vestibule) gets a free beer unless you are under 21 and you can have something else..

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