Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Sara Van Buskirk + Wandering Bufaleros + The Growlers + Not In The Face + We Were Wolves + Billy Ocean + More

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UPDATE: Okay, so apparently I posted too soon about B L A C K I E‘s tape release show being cancelled; it would appear, instead, that it’s been moved over to The Doctor’s Office at 1301 Nance. Very cool to hear…

Alright, folks — let’s do this thing. It’s Friday, October 11th, and lo and behold, there is magical musical magnificence at which we can all gaze/listen in wonderment and awe (or something).

First, though, a couple of notes on things that aren’t happening. I was psyched to see B L A C K I E‘s tape release & tour kickoff “show” up at Mortar pop up a little while back, but as of today he says the show’s cancelled; something about people giving information about the show to the cops. Um. I guess that’s bad, right? It is for us, at least, because he’s a badass, but oh, well…

In less-local news, it also seems that this Sunday‘s Tricky show has been cancelled again — I’m guessing The Tricky Kid is still being plagued by the visa issues that forced him to postpone this show from this past summer to begin with. Dang.

Anyway, fret not, for there is more going on; here we go:

Livestrong Benefit, featuring Haywood (reunion), Sara Van Buskirk, Fire Moth, The Wandering Bufaleros, Whitney Mower, Tommy Lynch, & Jeremy Grisbee @ The Continental Club (6PM-2AM)
This one, I’ll admit, blindside me somewhat — I had no idea it was happening ’til, well, today. sigh. This is what happens when I don’t check the email all that regularly… But hey, despite this nearly passing me by, it sounds like an awesome show.

Kitchen-sink folk-country-rock project The Wandering Bufaleros (which seems to feature a revolving cast of people from every other folk/country-ish band in town) are great, for one, as is what I’ve heard from Fire Moth and Whitney Mower. And then there’s Sara Van Buskirk, who is hands-down my favorite singer/songwriter from this here city (and up in the shortlist for the Universe as a whole); her work with Finnegan is amazing, but so is her solo stuff, especially “Halfway” and “The Place Where You Are.” She sounds like what I always wanted people like Melissa Etheridge to sound like (no offense, Ms. E, but I gotta call it like I see it).

There you go; get on up there & enjoy excellent music for a great cause…

598852_10151669173146235_75609717_nThe Growlers/Gap Dream/Cosmonauts/together PANGEA/Curtis Harding/The Zoltars @ Fitzgerald’s
Let me start with some honesty, here: the one time I’ve seen The Growlers, I was pretty unimpressed. The Costa Mesa band came highly recommended, but when I finally got to see the five-piece at Free Press Summer Fest a year or two ago, I found myself shrugging and wandering away. It wasn’t that they were bad — they’re not — but that they seemed jumbled and confused up there in the blistering Houston summer heat, and the songs never really seemed to come together.

Listening again with the benefit of distance and air-conditioning, however, I’m wishing I’d stuck around. The band’s a mess, to be sure, a shambling car-crash of surf-rock, jangly pop, organ-heavy psych, and drugged-out folk-soul, and it’s definitely not for everybody, but damn, I’m liking it this time around. They apparently like to label themselves “Beach Goth,” and okay, I get that — it’s gloomy and fuzzy and watery, all at once.

They’re playing, by the by, as part of the “Burgerama Caravan of Stars Tour,” which features a whole slew of people also on Burger Records, most of whom I’m not familiar with at all, like wavery/noisy electro-haze outfit Gap Dream, or rambling, rumbling pop-punk troubadours together PANGEA (who aren’t bad), or sleepy-sounding Austin garage-rock dudes The Zoltars (who I’ve at least heard before). It’s a damn full plate of music up at Fitzgerald’s tonight, that’s for sure.

Not In The Face/We Were Wolves/The New Mercies @ Rudyard’s
If you’re up for something a little heavier, well, Rudyard’s is the place for you, my friend. The headliners tonight are Austin band Not In The Face, who are heavy and hazy and overfuzzed as all hell, stomping and swaggering their way down a road that winds between the bluesy, swampy wilderness and the gritty, sleazy city streets. Take a gander at the Southern-bred rawk of “Brass Tacks,” right here:

1375063_294213207386134_970912977_nBetter still, they’re accompanied by H-town’s own We Were Wolves, who do a similarly heavy-yet-bluesy breed of rock awesomeness, and who I probably like even more than their Austin compadres. These guys are raw and raucous, roaring and howling like that perfect distillation of Rock God fury that doesn’t need any damn qualifiers; this is just lots of guitars, thundering drums, and plenty of yelling, and it’s freaking great. Lastly, the opener tonight is The New Mercies, a band I’ve heard of recently but haven’t actually heard yet — it’s apparently the new band from Lucas Gorham of Grandfather Child, and that right there should convince you to show the hell up.

Billy Ocean @ Warehouse Live
Nope, not even kidding. Billy Ocean, whatever you may think of the man in general, formed a massive chunk of my childhood soundtrack, despite the fact that I’ve never owned any of the dude’s albums. I mean, come on — if you can tell me with a straight face that you don’t like “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going,” from Romancing the Stone, “Caribbean Queen” (which my best friend Gary and I dissected at great length back in 5th Grade), or “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car,” you have no joy in your soul.

Runners-Up:
Picture Book/The Brunson Theater @ The Dirty Bay (Baytown)
Cassette Tape/Journey Agents @ Last Concert Cafe
Gilbert Alfaro @ The Big Top
A Skylit Drive/For All Those Sleeping/Wolves at the Gate/I The Mighty/Pvris/Fear and Wonder @ Walter’s
Red Cat Jazz Festival, featuring Ronnie Laws, Marva King, Joey Sommerville, Tom Browne, Alex Bugnon, Maurice Brown, Mike Phillips, Kevin Toney, Brian Best, Theresa Grayson, Jeanette Harris, & Chris Mitchell @ Beach Central Park (Galveston)


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