Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Tron Sack + Peloton + Bonobo + Flatbush Zombies + OG Ron C + Shlohmo + The Blind Shake + More

3b336fb699cbaef2db3f564e8e72376cOkay, so tonight’s a little odd, in that there is a lot of good-sounding stuff going on, but a lot of it’s stuff that, um, I can’t think of much to say about other than, “hey, it’s good!” So I’ll try to scrape the top, as it were, and mention the ones that I can actually say something semi-coherent about. Cool? Good; here we go:

The Tron Sack/The Electric Knives/Peloton @ Rudyard’s
This bill up at Rudyard’s tops the list for two dead-simple reasons: #1. Bryan-based band The Tron Sack is made up of Kelly Minnis of The Ex-Optimists and Matt Shea, aka Atarimatt, both of whom I’ve liked quite a bit in their other forms; and #2. Peloton is opening, and they fucking rule.

Details: The Tron Sack is apparently Kelly & Matt’s attempt at melding colossal-sounding, doom-y/stoner-y metal heaviness with messy, noisy drones and old-school prog synths, and yes, it sounds exactly like what I just typed, and that’s badass. Actually, what it also sounds like is the soundtrack to some under-recognized, B-grade horror flick involving an abandoned space colony, giant mutated devil-monsters, and the sonic weaponry which is the only thing that can repel them. But that may just be me.

As for Peloton, while they’re similarly heavy and loud, the resemblance pretty much ends at the amp settings. This quasi-supergroup has steadily mutated and evolved in the best way possible, to the point where their most recent EP, Unnatural Affection For Hornets, is a stomping, snarling, noisy-yet-focused chunk of post-punk awesomeness, one that points towards The Jesus Lizard, Unsane, The Pixies, and Barkmarket(!) while forging ahead in their own crazed direction. You should really, really, really love them. (Really.)

And hey, also playing is new(?) band The Electric Knives, which includes Shaun Kelly of Sad Pygmy/Rotten Piece, Scott Ayers of Exterminating Angels, and Bob Lederer, also of Sad Pygmy & Poor Dumb Bastards; I have no clue what it sounds like, but with those three people involved, it’s bound to be interesting, to say the least.

Bonobo/Chet Faker @ Fitzgerald’s
I was only recently introduced to Bonobo — taking a listen in part because of the name — and was pleasantly surprised at what came bubbling out of the headphones/speakers. Firmly in the downtempo camp, Simon Green‘s music makes me think of the ’90s electronica wave, reminiscent at points of Underworld in particular but also of folks like Portishead and Massive Attack. It’s fragile and delicate but always in motion, like a quiet, well-maintained, yet utterly mysterious machine running in a darkened room somewhere.

6453b65fd6821a94db22638570fa62bcGet on up to Fitzgerald’s tonight, close your eyes, and stand and sway, getting lost in the world music-tinged, chilled-out, head-expanding sound.

Flatbush Zombies/Bodega Bamz @ Warehouse Live
Hrm. Okay, so Action Bronson was supposed to be playing this show over at Warehouse Live, but he had to cancel out of his Texas dates due to health reasons — Day & A Dream, naturally, has the info over here. Kinda disappointing, but I can’t fault the guy for trying to take care of himself, y’know?

And hey, as a consolation prize, you could definitely do worse than Brooklynites Flatbush Zombies, who craft some uniquely weird, horror-influenced beats. They’re not Gravediggaz, no, eschewing the horror lyrics in favor of more basic street-story lyricism, but they pull it off really, really well, with a delivery that’s somewhere between the aforementioned group and Mobb Deep’s flat-out aggression; they’re quickly climbing to the top echelon of my own personal little hip-hop pantheon…

Shlomo and XXYYXX/OG Ron C & The Chopstars @ Fitzgerald’s (sold out!)
Alright, so yes, this show, on the other floor of Fitz from the Bonobo show mentioned up above, is sold the hell out. Because of course it’s sold the hell out, people — OG Ron C and The Chopstars are freaking playing, for crying out loud. I don’t see Ron C on the schedule real often (although I’ll admit that I’m way less up on that part of the H-town scene), so this looks like a pretty rare thing. And a good rare thing, at that — Ron C is a damn fine producer and DJ, one of the all-time icons of music in this city.

On the other hand, I’d never heard of headliner Shlohmo before, but now that I’ve been able to take a quick listen to his latest EP, Laid Out, I’m pretty damn impressed; he’s got a breathy loverman vocal thing going on, and he makes it work really well, floating out over beds of dark, murky synths and paranoiac beats. Hell, he’d probably fit better with Bonobo, to be honest, but eh

The Blind Shake/Cop Warmth/Cool Piss @ Mango’s
And then, over at Mango’s, there’s a nice, nice bill full of messy, bassy, lo-fi-as-fuck noise-punk, from right here in our backyard and from points abroad. The headliners are a band from Minneapolis called The Blind Shake, and they do a cool, gritty, street-level kind of garage-punk that makes me think of our own dearly-departed band Monocles, with lots of rough-edged guitar, shout-along vocals, and a general punch-you-in-the-face sensibility.

REDBULLWhich is kind of a funny thing, because opening band Cool Piss is the newest project from Jon, former guitarist of The Monocles, and it, too, doesn’t fall too far from that original tree. It’s not quite as punkish or raw, mind you, but instead aims for a more melodic, Ramones-ish sweet spot, hitting the mark most of the time. Fans of early pop-punk, The Points, or the first couple of Something Fierce albums, this band’s for you. And as an added bonus, they’re playing with fellow locals Cop Warmth, who I thought were dead & gone — glad to see they’re still alive & kicking.

Red Bull Play & Destroy, featuring a bunch of different people @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
In the teeny-tiny side room of Warehouse Live, there’s another show that sounds, um, intriguing, if nothing else, so much so that I feel compelled to mention it; it’s not a “real” show, or even a mic battle, but rather an iPod battle. Yeah, you read that correctly. This is a college-vs-college “battle” where students queue up their “hottest tracks” and try to beat out the other school’s team (I guess there’re teams? It isn’t real clear on that…) in terms of crowd reaction.

Tonight’s Red Bull Play & Destroy is UH vs. Rice, my own alma mater, but I’m kind of scratching my head & wondering just how many kids will actually make the trek up to the edge of downtown for this. In my day, I could barely get friends to come out to Emo’s or Rudz with me, but hey, you never know.

Runners-Up:
Houston vs. Austin: BLUEorange Contemporary Anniversary, featuring Damon Allen @ BLUEorange (1208 W. Gray; 6-9PM)
DJ Baohaus/Poor Pilate @ MKT Bar (1001 Austin)
Lunara @ Walter’s
Misfits @ The Concert Pub North (2470 FM 1960)
KMFDM/Chant @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Rich Hopkins & The Luminarios/Bubble Puppy/Little Joe Washington @ The Continental Club
Eyes Behind The Wall 4, featuring Nervous Corps, Intended Malice, Painful Vigil, The Godless Girl, Thewhitehorse, Folter, Ballerina in the Blood, Naked Girl Killed in the Park, & Struggle Session @ galleryHOMELAND (2327 Commerce; $8)
Art of Music, featuring Hash, Hayden Jones, The Dirty Seeds, Space Rhino, & “Downer” @ Eastside Social Center (4202 Canal)
Morgan Page/Audien/Maor Levi/Surain @ Stereo Live
Blaggards @ R&R Sports Bar (Friendswood)
Jaston Williams & Joe Ely @ The Grand 1894 Opera House (Galveston)


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