Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: New York City Queens + A Sea Es + Brand New Hearts + P-Funk + Summer Street Fest + Craig Kinsey + More

18bf4753f61f5922fb36bfe4644158c8Busy, busy day coming up, on into Saturday, May 3rd — there’s a ton going on, so much that I’m not going to have time to really talk about even most of it. But hell, let’s hit the highlights; here’s what I’m thinking looks & sounds cool:

New York City Queens/Hello Chief/Pageantry/A Sea Es @ Fitzgerald’s
It’s a tough one for tomorrow, I have to say; this top handful of shows are hard to pick from, but dangit, I’m gonna make the call for New York City Queens, this time out. This band’s young and desperate but catchy as all hell, and every damn time I hear ’em, I find myself liking ’em even more.

I keep wanting to say they’re one of the most “promising” bands in town, but that makes ’em sound like they’re not already where they need to be, and that’s definitely not the case — last year’s Burn Out Like Roman Candles came awful close to cracking my top 15 albums of the whole year, and given the competition, that’s saying something. They’re sharp but warm, like Houston’s answer to The Strokes if that band still had any real relevance; they’ve got a distinctly “city-life” sound to ’em, but a defiant heart beating beneath.

Plus, they’re playing with excellent Beaumont guys Hello Chief, who I was fortunate enough to catch last fall; they’re different, to be sure, a lot more on the prog-pop end of things, but still damn good. And opening is A Sea Es, who I’ve finally gotten to take a listen to — they’re strange, yet alluring, with an entertainingly modern, kitchen-sink, almost Talking Heads-like approach to electro-pop, and I’m liking it quite a bit so far. So yeah, Fitz wins by a nose, this time.

Cinco de Mayo-palooza, featuring Springfield Riots, Knights of the Fire Kingdom, We Were Wolves, & Brand New Hearts @ Mango’s
And here’s the competition — and yeah, it’s tough competition, for sure. I mean, this show’s got literally four of my favorite bands in recent years, including cool-ass, hard-rocking crew Knights of the Fire Kingdom, who put on one of the best live shows I saw all last year; they’ve been on a serious tear recently, and for good reason.

Then there’s We Were Wolves, a band of ex-Beaumont dudes who’ve been steadily building a foothold here in town and who just flat-out rawk, without any hyphens needed, and the happily-resurrected throwback fuzz-pop of Springfield Riots. And starting off the night, there’s excellent old-school Houston supergroup Brand New Hearts, which is a bunch of old friends from Ultramagg, Bright Men of Learning, Lucky Motors, Panic in Detroit, & Bring Back The Guns, all joining forces to make some of the best indie-pop/rock you’ve heard in quite a while.

Fans of GBV, Cheap Trick, Ultimate Fakebook, Buffalo Tom, Moods for Moderns, or early emo, this is for you:

Like I said, this one was a tough pick, and it’s made no easier by the next one on my list…

305724_10201087913348561_48379065_nGeorge Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic @ House of Blues
P-Funk. It’s insane to think that this is the band — and the guy, George Clinton — who are probably most responsible for creating funk as we know it, play the House of Blues. Nothing against the venue, mind you (although I am surprised they’re playing there again, after getting shut down last time), but dammit, this band should be playing the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion every damn time. If you can’t get down to “Give Up The Funk,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Mothership Connection,” “Flash Light,” “Chocolate City,” “Bop Gun,” “Up for the Down Stroke,” or “Funkin’ for Fun,” then you have no soul and we are not friends. (Sorry, but it’s true.)

2nd Annual Summer Street Arts Festival, featuring J.W. Americana, The Boulevard Nights, Always Guilty, Crashing Colors, DJ Courtney Shay, [Insert Credits], Chic Remix, J.Oddio, Chris Meshak, Mez Data, GoREALah Soul, Craig “BBC” Long, Rebel Crew, & a bunch of cool artists & fashion designers @ Summer Street Studios (2500 Summer; 2PM-2AM)
A very cool all-day deal going on at Summer Street Studios, the 2nd-ever Summer Street Arts Festival has pretty much something for everybody — there are artists and craftspeople selling their wares, fashion shows by local H-town designers, art installations by local artists, free drinks, and yes, plenty of music. The latter’s courtesy of some excellent folks, including ska-punk guys Always Guilty, guerilla love-rappers GoRealah Soul, garage-pop outfit The Boulevard Nights, and quirky electro composer [Insert Credits]. Stop on by & check out the festivities.

A Gypsy Camp with Craig Kinsey, featuring the Craig Kinsey Band (DVD release) @ The Artery (5401 Jackson; 8:30-10PM; $15/$20)
I missed the last one of these, and it sounded like a damn cool time, so I’m excited to see that local troubadour Craig Kinsey is at it once again, this time to actually release the live DVD they filmed last time up at The Artery. Anybody who attended the last Gypsy Camp performance will apparently have a free copy of the DVD waiting for ’em this time, and there’ll be a longer performance by Kinsey and his band this time around. The $20 donation ($15 presale) includes an open bar and food, and the whole thing’s gonna sell out, ’cause there’re only 150 tickets on sale.

Here’s a little taste from the last Gypsy Camp, with Craig & the band playing “Lady Vodka”:

525438_520186268038715_988355109_nNeon Moon: Dirty 33 1/3, featuring DJ Craig Hlavaty & DJ LJ Walker @ The Big Top
Finally, over at The Big Top Saturday, we’ve got a pair of local-celeb DJs, ex-Houston Press rock dude Craig Hlavaty and expat H-towner/writer/musician Lance Walker (and hey, come to think of it, didn’t we interview him recently?). The duo will be spinning some of their favorite tunes, which may or may not fall into the category of “hunkytonk” and may or may not include lots of old-school hip-hop and punk. Your guess is as good as mine, honestly, but it’s bound to be fun.

The Dwarves/The Queers/Flat Tires/Hell City Kings/The Freakouts @ Fitzgerald’s
Devil Killing Moth/Cassette Tape/PuraPharm/Some Bird @ Rudyard’s
2013 Houston Roxx Street Festival, featuring Lance Herbstrong, Liberated Soul, the last place you look, Liquid Peace Revolution, Henry and the Invisibles, D.R.U.M., 10yr, & Sarah Reem @ 1902 Washington (2-10PM)
Flametrick Subs/Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys @ The Continental Club
Take Offense/Downpresser/The Greenery/To The Wind/Killer Ape/Live Without @ Walter’s ($10)
MFAH Mixed Media, featuring Young Girls, GoREALah Soul, Xander Harris, Ceeplus Bad Knives, DJ Joe B, & DJ Cuba Gooding Jr. @ Museum of Fine Arts Houston (1001 Bissonnet)
Texas Bands, Brews, & BBQ: Benefiting Ronald McDonald House Houston, featuring The Dirty River Boys, The Rankin Twins, & The Guzzlers @ Houston Farm & Ranch Club (1 Abercrombie St.; 5-10PM)
40oz to Freedom (Sublime tribute)/Cassette Tape/Potbelly @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Lisa Loeb @ Dosey Doe (The Woodlands)
45th Annual Blessing of the Fleet, featuring Hourglass, Myrna Sanders with Slide Effect, David Schwope, Robin Kirby & Friends, & Wood N Wind @ Kemah Boardwalk (Kemah; 12-9PM)

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