Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Dax Riggs + Lucas Gorham + Singer/Songwriter Showcase + Black Joe Lewis + Ookami Kids + Letters to Voltron + More

557918_687570454593064_1974399879_nYes, yes, yes. It’s now Friday, August 30th, which officially marks the start of Jeremy’s Birthday Weekend, which will mostly spent playing laser tag, eating cupcakes, and watching movies — because, dammit, I don’t do nearly enough of those things in everyday life, and I get to do what I want when it’s my birthday. Right?

Unfortunately, I’m somewhat stuck for tonight, which sucks, because there’s some truly cool stuff going on that I’d very much like to get out & see. Here’s what I think sounds cool:

Dax Riggs/Lucas Gorham @ Fitzgerald’s
Argh. Crap, crap, crap. If this were any other night, I’d be all over it, but things have been planned, so I can’t. And that hurts, because I dearly, desperately want to finally see Dax Riggs live and in-person, to see once and for all if he lives up to the murky, churning, hell-gone-to-the-swamp rock sound he puts down on his albums. I seriously love the man’s 2007 release, We Sing of Only Blood or Love, because it’s a big, loud, dark as hell mess of violence and death and sex and God knows what else, all mashed up together and channeled through speakers. The more recent stuff I’ve heard’s been a bit quieter, it’s true, but it’s still damn dark, and I’m liking it a lot.

tumblr_ms87mcXL1R1qgpw33o1_500And hey, he’s got local slide-guitar monster Lucas Gorham opening, which is no bad thing at all in my book; with his wild-ass playing style and bluesman’s howl, the man’s freaking incredible fronting Grandfather Child, and I’ve heard good (albeit different) things about his solo shows, too. Recommended.

Singer/Songwriter Showcase Night, featuring Lindsay Harris, Tom Lynch, Keeton Coffman, & Nathan Quick @ Avant Garden
On a more low-key note, the Avant Garden plays host tonight to Acous’mix Re*View & Mania Management‘s Singer/Songwriter Showcase, and while things will undoubtedly be considerably turned-down from the noise up at Fitzgerald’s, it promises to be damn good, as well.

I don’t know everybody playing, it’s true, but I’ve heard some of Keeton Coffman‘s solo stuff since he shelved his old band, The 71’s (which was a shame, truly, considering they’d just released their best album to date), and it’s mesmerizing. It’s somber and downbeat and gorgeously layered, all at once, and it makes me feel the pain of the aforementioned band passing just a wee bit less. Check out his song “The Magician” to see what I mean…

Then there’s Nathan Quick, who’s in more of an alt-country vein, rambling along gently with a sound that’s countrified but not honky-tonk, more like The Jayhawks or David Ramirez than anything else I’ve heard lately. He’s a hell of a songwriter and a darn good singer, to boot. Take a listen to “You Were The One,” right here:

 

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears @ Cactus Music (7:30PM)
It’s coming up fast, I know, but if you hurry, you’ll hopefully still make it over to Cactus Music in time to catch Austin heroes Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, who are flat-out soul-blues-rock badasses. Now, the reason this is a rush-rush thing is because you get your ticket (wristband? Not sure…) to the show — which is the only one the band’s doing in Houston this time out — by going to Cactus and buying a copy of new album Electric Slave, and from what I hear, they’re nearly sold out of ’em. So if you want to be able to see Lewis & his crew play later this evening, you need to hit the store soon, or you’re likely to be out of luck.

1233618_667676789911750_843776662_nEse/The Swamps/The Hates/Los Gritos/Ookami Kids @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar
Believe it or not, venerable blues-rock bar Dan Electro’s has a full slate of H-town-style punk going tonight, and it’s a nice change-up to see. They’ve got legends (both locally and otherwise) The Hates on the bill, which is always awesome — Christian is the coolest, most down-to-earth guy imaginable, despite fronting the longest-running punk band in Houston (and hell, maybe even in Texas as a whole) — as well as longtime scene-dwellers ESE, garage-punks The Swamps & Los Gritos, and new-ish streetpunks Ookami Kids. I’ve heard good things about all of the latter bands, and I really want to hear something soon from Ookami Kids, in particular.

To Whom It May/Good Job Underground/The Vehement Burn/Fire Moth/Letters to Voltron @ Fitzgerald’s
Now, for the last on tonight’s shortlist, there’s this show on the other floor up at Fitz… I must shamefacedly admit that I don’t know much about most of the folks playing tonight, it’s true, but I do like the opening bands, Fire Moth and Letters to Voltron, a fair bit. The former used to be called Blackie Dammett, and they’re nicely rough-edged roots-rock, from what I’ve been able to listen to so far, while the latter are strange as fuck but still pretty intriguing, mashing together death-metal growls, high-pitched yell-singing, stories about outer-space robots and Tammy Faye Baker, and elements of punk, metal, and pop into something weird and uniquely their own. Get there early to see/hear it for yourself.

Runners-Up:
The Cult/White Hills @ House of Blues
Buddy Guy/Jimmy Vaughn @ Arena Theater
Shake & Bake, featuring Panchitron, Shooknite, Leckie, & GR808 @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
Trial By Bourbon/Jimmy Pizzitola/Little Outfit @ Rudyard’s
Hamilton Loomis @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Got Wood Benefit: Fundraiser For An Insulin Pump for Scott York, featuring Silence Unknown & more @ Hawg Stop (11335 Sheldon)
John Mayall @ Dosey Doe (The Woodlands)


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