Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Second Lovers + Adam Bricks + Shellee Coley + New York City Queens + The Lotus Effect + BLSHS + Bang Bangz + Final Fest + More

1497732_647077625357156_57899597_nYes, I realize that it’s Icemageddon outside, at least according to our gleefully-chortling local Houston weatherpeople (who seemingly spend their days waiting anxiously for moments of dramatic bad weather like this to give their lives meaning). Even still, though, there’re plenty of reasons to venture out onto the frosty roads tonight (just drive carefully, alright?), Friday, January 24th. Here’s what looks/sounds cool to me:

Second Lovers/Shellee Coley/Adam Bricks @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
Niiiiice. Three of my favorite local rootsy/folky songwriter-type folks/bands, all on the teeny-tiny Green Room stage over at Warehouse Live. I truly like Adam Bricks most recent album, the aptly-titled City Songs, which sees Bricks rambling down the back alleyways both of his previous home (NYC) and his current one (Houston). He’s a folksinger, but not of the countrified variety, not really; he’s far, far closer kin to the ’60s folk icons who populated the Village in New York, or maybe to more recent protest-folkies like Billy Bragg. If you like music with jangly guitars and a sharp wit, check Bricks out.

Then there’s Shellee Coley, who also dwells in the “folk” realm, just in a very different neighborhood. She is more of a countryish troubadour, and in her case that’s no bad thing. She plays a fearlessly-smiling breed of country-folk that’s as warm and inviting as it is down-to-earth, and I can’t help but love it, seriously. She’s got a new EP on the way, by the by, Songs Without Bridges, so hopefully she’ll be playing songs from that tonight.

And then there’s Second Lovers, a band I’ve come to love more & more the more I hear ’em and the hosts of this little party. The band’s got a new-ish EP out, New Mexico, and they’re reportedly about to start recording some more very soon, so this’ll be your last chance to catch the band live for a few months, at least. Don’t miss out, because honest, they’re awesome. The first album could be a bit of a downer, I’ll admit, but it was a beautiful downer, and the new songs take that some gorgeous roots-pop thing and make it cheerier. Take a listen:

1551512_779410458741128_1644525925_nNew York City Queens (tour kickoff)/Purple/Roses/Deep Cuts @ Fitzgerald’s
And then, there’s the competition — and yeah, it’s pretty fierce. Fitzgerald’s has two floors of mostly-local awesomeness going on tonight, with the first of the two being the tour kickoff show for another of my favorite bands, New York City Queens. Over a remarkably brief span, those NYCQ kids have grown from yet another promising indie-pop band into one of the best thing’s this city’s got going, at least pop-wise. 2012’s Burn Out Like Roman Candles was phenomenal, easily blowing the band’s also-good debut out of the water. Here’s hoping they keep it up with Album #3…

Extra-special high-five for other folks they’ve got playing with ’em tonight; Beaumont band Purple is flat-out badass, loud and raw and woozy while remaining somehow intensely tuneful, and locals Deep Cuts are on my short list of Bands I Desperately Need to See in 2014 (which, given the pile of bands I need to catch live sometime soon, is no small thing).

d0ed9f83e40f926b053839a47bc15cd1Saturate/The Last Hour/Six Gun Sound/The Lotus Effect @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
For those down on the southern side of H-town (or who aren’t too scared to drive), I’d highly, highly recommend making your way down to the NASA ‘hood to catch tonight’s lineup at The Scout Bar, because it’s damn good.

Make sure you get there early, though, because if you miss openers The Lotus Effect, well, you’ve missed the best damn part. I’ve been a fan of this tightly-knit crew of alt-rock dudes for a while now, but I recently got to check out their first new song in a few years, “Totality,” and…holy fucking shit, y’all. With one song, these guys have managed to explode everything I thought I knew about the band in all of about six minutes. They’ve always shown a lot of promise, sure, but now I’m seriously psyched to hear the forthcoming album.

“Totality” is raw and ferocious like the best heavy rock you’re likely to ever hear, albeit with a prog influence lurking in the background, and frontman Dre Giles injects a great sense of melody, to boot. More than anything else, I keep thinking of those early Deftones albums, or maybe fellow Houstonians the last place you look, and neither of those are bad comparisons, to me. Hear for yourself:

BLSHS (EP release)/Bang Bangz/Recovery Room @ Fitzgerald’s
Here’s Part (er, Floor) #2 of tonight’s Fitz coolness, with some stylish, chilled-down electro/synthpop sounds to slowly melt the frost from your bones (or at least replace it with a different kind of iciness). The headliners tonight are BLSHS, a band I’ve only gotten to hear a little bit from so far but who do a nicely ’80s-ish kind of keyboard-heavy pop with distant, starlit female vocals; it’s not generally the kind of thing I like, truthfully, but the band does a damn fine job with it.

1017136_10202880608796174_2094897358_nTonight’s the band’s EP release show, BTW, so everybody through the door gets a download copy of the band’s about-to-be-out EP, Abstract Desires; the IRL version will be out January 28th, it seems…

And hey, to make things even better, they’re playing with fellow keyboard lovers Bang Bangz, whose Red City lived in my subconscious for a large, large chunk of last year. It’s a little more in my musical wheelhouse, with a serious love of M83-style atmospherics, lush synths, and a generally dark, late-night vibe I can’t resist. They’re at their absolute best when they marry all that to co-frontman Mario Rodriguez‘s droney, echoey guitar lines; that’s when I just want to drift off in the dark with the headphones on.

Final Fest, featuring Blood on the Strand, Mannequin Mishap, B L A C K I E, Gnar World Order, Houston Sux Comedy, EVAK1 & Babel Fishh, Four Hour Letter, & more @ The Vanishing Point Cafe (Galveston; 5PM-2AM)
Lastly, waaaaay down in Galveston, tonight marks the first night of what’s being called “Final Fest,” which is apparently a big blowout to celebrate/mourn the closing of The Vanishing Point Cafe down there.

I’ve never been to the Strand-situated hangout, sadly (and now I won’t get to, it seems), but it sounds like a neat place, and they’ve got a truly excellent lineup scheduled for their final days. Tonight includes awesome noise-rapper B L A C K I E — who may or may not’ve influenced Kanye‘s latest album (sorry, but B L A C K I E did it better) — cool/quirky/smart fellow rapper {Babelfishh} and his cohort EVAK1, and the HTXSUX podcast guys doing some comedy; I haven’t caught their show yet, but I’ve heard it’s good, so there’s that…

Runners-Up:
Reggie and The Full Effect/Dads/Pentimento/Lisa’s Sons @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
The Blasters/The Whiskey Shivers/Little Joe Washington @ The Continental Club
Streets of Rage II, featuring COMExCLEAN (final show!), Black Coffee, United Races, Curb Biters, & Leather Daddies @ East Side Social Center (8PM; $5)
Focusyn/zeroheros/Super Thief @ Notsuoh ($5/$10)
Johnny Raygun/After the Blackout/The Medicine Years @ Mango’s
Free The Streets: Benefiting Alief Homeless Outreach Project, featuring Psillysubbin, Lion Among Men, Three Birds and a Stone, & BrokenQuote @ Bohemeo’s ($6)
Kristine Mills/Bagheera @ MKT Bar (1001 Austin; 5-11PM)
Shut Up Sidney/Room 101/Anger House/Fitzgerald Scott/Mugrero/The Turnaways @ Super Happy Fun Land
The Ugly Beats/Bipolaroid @ The Big Top (free!)
Electric Fridays, featuring Cedric Gervais, SSEMPASA, DJ Bizz, & DJ Tager & Funk @ Limelight (2401 San Jacinto)
13th Annual Trinity Jazz Festival, featuring Everette Harp & Pamela York @ Trinity Episcopal Church (1015 Holman; 8-10:30PM)
Electric Frankenstein/Swingin’ Dicks/The Bulemics @ Rudyard’s
Kathy Dare & the Bad Luck Charms/Hear You Me @ Last Concert Cafe ($5)


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