Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Alkari + A Sundae Drive + The Maine + Featherface + Kam Franklin + Error Forest + More

1010806_458430407585766_1705155234_nGot family in town, so I’m a little behind with the show rundown (yeah, like that’s unusual) tonight, Friday, July 19th. And there’s plenty going on, too, although I’m going to have to skim it somewhat… Here we go:

Alkari/A Sundae Drive/The Escatones/Madd Comrades @ Big Star Bar (1005 W. 19th)
This one wins both in terms of awesomeness and rareness — three of the four bands playing tonight just don’t play that often, unfortunately, so you definitely need to catch ’em tonight while you can.

Alkari tip the scales, in particular, because despite releasing one of my absolute-favorite albums of last year, Blackout Falls, they play an average of one show every six months or so. And if you’re at all a fan of straightforward, genre-less guitar rock that owes debts to both Twin/Tone bands like The Replacements and Soul Asylum and Britpop bands like Snow Patrol, you really, really ought to see these guys.

A Sundae Drive are no slouches, either, ambling their way through shoegaze-tinged, Pixies-ish (or Meryll-esque, if you remember that under-recognized Austin band) indie-pop that’s friendly and warm and smart all at once. And I can’t forget dirty-surf-rawkers The Escatones, who take Dick Dale and runs him through the sludge-filled, neon-glowing pipes in a Lake Jackson chemical plant so he comes out a slobbering, green-faced, slimy beast. (And yes, I mean that as a compliment.)

The Maine/A Rocket To The Moon/This Century/Brighten @ Fitzgerald’s
Second-place is a tough call tonight, but Tempe band The Maine wins by a hair, mostly because I’ve been addicted to their new album, Forever Halloween, for the past couple of weeks. I went into it expecting yet another “wet”-haired post-emo band that I’d hear and then forget five minutes later, but what I got was a band that channels the best of Counting Crows, Cotton Mather, Blackpool Lights, and The Replacements (yep, again) into a ball of fiery, nicely-crafted alt-roots-rock. Check out the review over here; I’ve got no clue if this is what the band’s always sounded like, but I’m gonna have to find out.

Featherface/Sick//Sea/Whitman @ Walter’s ($5)
Number three by a slight, slight margin tonight is this show, up at Walter’s; I love, love, love Featherface, in a biiiiiig way, and every time I see or hear ’em, I fall for ’em harder and harder. I know that sounds cheeseball, but they’re seriously that good, the kind of band you see and go, “holy fucking wow, that was incredible.” They play music I can’t even fully describe, honestly, but it blends their psych-rock spaciness with a serious prog-rock bent and some awesome indie-pop melodies. If you missed their album from last year, Actual Magic, you really need to take a listen.

1003137_10152564568557316_1894507094_nKam Franklin/DJ Angie Audio/Jackie Venison/Here Come The Girls @ MKT Bar
Up at MKT Bar tonight, there’s a cool bunch of DJs doing stuff, including Kam Franklin, the irrepressible frontwoman of The Suffers (and pretty much a scene hero, these days). She’ll be spinning lots of her favorite hits, as will new girls-only DJ crew Here Come The Girls, and beyond that there’ll be artists and jewelry-makers(?) and a bunch of other stuff, to boot. Brave the wetness & check it out, eh?

Error Forest, featuring Robert Pearson, Sandy Ewen, Jonathan Jindra/Marisa R. Miller, & more @ El Rincon Social (3210 Preston)
This one’s already started, unfortunately, but it’s got a while to go yet, so get on over to El Rincon Social soon to witness some of H-town’s coolest, most unique experimental musicians. I’ve seen Robert Pearson play the keys before, and it’s damned neat, and Sandy Ewen‘s guitar-mangling is downright mesmerizing, and I keep meaning to check out Jonathan Jindra for a while now, too…

Runners-Up:
Wild Child/Whiskey Shivers/Holiday Mountain @ Mango’s ($8)
Ed Hall/Brown Whornet/Gorch Fork @ Rudyard’s
Ensane/Dayglo Produce/WolfeBlitzer/Nikkhoo/FLCON FCKER @ Fitzgerald’s
Rock Baby Rock It!, featuring Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys & Mack Stevens @ The Continental Club
Versus Ascent/Two Dollar Pistol/Black Kennedy/The White Flags @ Dean’s ($5/$10)
Cosmic Bug Loaf (CD release)/Handsomebeast/Muddy Belle @ Avant Garden
Jimmie Dale Gilmore/Butch Hancock/Butch Morgan @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe (Galveston)
The Soapbox Revolution/A Bitter Season/Vanilla Sugar/To Whom It May @ The 19th Hole (The Woodlands)


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