Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Brand New Hearts + Poor Pilate + Kopecky Family Band + American Fangs + The Lotus Effect + More

2014-03-09-the-cold-start-poster-v2[UPDATE: Argh; it was just pointed out to me that I talked at the Brand New Hearts show as being at Mango’s, when it was actually at Walter’s… Sorry about that, y’all — fixing it now…]

And the third time’s an, um, not-charm? sigh…running late yet again on Sunday, March 9th. Still, though, as with the past two nights, there’s still time to get out & about and catch a fair number of cool, cool things; here goes:

Brand New Hearts/The Cold Start/Poor Pilate @ Walter’s
It’s a tough call tonight, but yeah, this show up at Walter’s wins the fight, for sure. For starters, the opening act is Poor Pilate, who come off like the house band at some backwoods joint way, way back in the Appalachian foothills and hollows, the kind of place where half the people there at any given night are related to one another in some way; the one time I’ve seen ’em so far, they were raggedy-edged and loose, melding hillbilly guitars and saloon piano into something awesomely rootsy and warm.

Not familiar at all with middle band The Cold Start, sadly, except that I know they’re a gang of London expats currently living in Orlando, Florida, of all places, but it’s the headliners that really grab me. See, the band playing last tonight is a relatively new one, the supremely awesome indie-pop explosion Brand New Hearts, which is comprised of ex-members of Ultramagg, Bright Men of Learning, Panic In Detroit, and a half-dozen other iconic Houston bands of yore.

And yes, they’re really, truly great at what they do, which is straight-up, guitar-heavy power pop. Think Cheap Trick, think Ultimate Fakebook, think The Stereo, think The Posies, think The Lemonheads, and you’ll be in the general ballpark. If you’re at all a fan of any of those bands, you need to hear these guys now.

Switchfoot/Kopecky Family Band @ Warehouse Live
The runners-up tonight come with a caveat, and yeah, it’s kind of a large one: I don’t really care for headlining band Switchfoot. Don’t dislike them in any active way, really, but they’re just kinda meh to me, I’m afraid.

Their openers, however, are Nashville indie-rockers the Kopecky Family Band, who I caught at FPSF this past summer, and I fell almost immediately for the band’s shambling, wide-smiling, pastoral-but-not-country sound. As they stood up there on the stage in the almost-setting sun, they were grinning like giddy fools, playing like they’d never been happier to play for anybody else in their whole damn lives…and before even that first song was done, yeah, I was grinning like a fool, too. Take a listen:

1797428_635492413172259_92560670_nThe Texas Buzz, featuring American Fangs, Recovery Room, & The Lotus Effect @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Really? Whoa. Two of my absolute-favorite no-subgenres-needed rock bands are playing down at The Scout Bar in Clear Lake tonight, for the quasi-weekly Texas Buzz showcase, and it’s a very cool thing.

If you’ve yet to see either band, you seriously owe it to yourself to go and rectify that right freaking now, at least if you’re a fan of loud, heavy (but not really “metal,” per se), guitar-fixated rock. American Fangs have been getting some press nationally, and I can attest to the fact that it’s well, well-deserved. This band is one of the best live bands I’ve ever witnessed (and yeah, that’s a big list), playing with an energy I wish I could bottle, and impossible not to watch frontman Gabe Cavazos rampage and swagger his way across the stage. Check out our review of last year’s final full-length right here

Then there’s The Lotus Effect, who are less well-known as of yet but who — if there’s any justice at all in the universe — on their way to getting a lot more notice very, very soon. They’re equally loud and heavy, albeit with a much more thoughtful, prog-rock bent to it, and new single “Totality” is ridiculously sublime, bringing to mind Coheed and Cambria, At the Drive-In, and Deftones all at the same time. (Oh, and keep an eye out for the new video for the song, due out this month; it sounds pretty great.)

Listen Up Showcase, featuring Corduroi, Children of Pop, Vega Neue, Android Genius, David Upp/Greatest View, Fox & Cats, Nikkhoo, P.L.X.T.X, Josiah Gabriel, Brad Basker, & FLCON FCKER @ Houston Food Park (free!)
SXSW Overflow Fest 2014, featuring The Televibes, Mothercoat, Fresno, Monokino, Dumb Waiter, Sandbox, The Sun Flights, Oh Dear!, Justin Martin, & Kamikaze Pilots Manual @ Super Happy Fun Land (5PM-2AM)
The Colourist/Night Terrors of 1927/Max And The Moon @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock Room)
The Stylistics/Heatwave/The Emotions/Blood Stone @ Arena Theater

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2 Responses to “Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Brand New Hearts + Poor Pilate + Kopecky Family Band + American Fangs + The Lotus Effect + More”

  1. CJ on March 9th, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    You’ve got the Walter’s show described as a Mango’s show.

  2. Jeremy Hart on March 10th, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Ah, crud. This is what happens when I attempt to multitask… Thanks for the catch!

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