Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: KTRU Outdoor Show + Scale The Summit + The Ocean + The Dead Rabbits + Blackmarket Syndicate + Jake E. Lee + More

ods_2014_banner_new_1000x364Saturday now, March 15th, and despite the off-and-on rain today, there’s a ton of good stuff happening. Without further ado, here we go:

23rd Annual KTRU Outdoor Show, featuring Blouse, The Suffers, New York City Queens, The Outfit, TX, Young Mammals, A Sea Es, Mikey & The Drags, FLCON FCKER, & Steve Cox’s Beard @ Rice Memorial Center (Rice Univ. campus; 12-10PM)
How in the hell did this sneak up on me — heck, nearly sneak past me? sigh. Slipping, y’all, well and truly… Today’s apparently the annual, awesome KTRU Outdoor Show over on the Rice University campus, and it’s a festival-type deal that’s near and dear to my heart, being pretty much the first “music festival” I ever went to in my younger days. I believe the Dum Dum Girls were originally scheduled to headline, but they’re not on the bill anymore; see the schedule for the full list of set times.

The lineup this year is pretty heavily weighted towards the locals, but hey, I’m good with that, seeing as the locals are all uniformly awesome. I truly, truly love sharp-edged, starry-eyed popsters New York City Queens, and I’m heartily glad to see indie-rock dudes Young Mammals are blasting their buzzing guitars out of speakers once again. Then there’s rocksteady “collective” The Suffers, who are flat-out amazing live (and getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately), electronics-masher FLCON FCKER, garage-pop guys Mikey & The Drags, and quirky oddballs A Sea Es, all of whom are damn good, as well.

e718ec5e00e525d14b3224323f7785dcOh, and the festival’s moved indoors due to the weather, it seems; it was going to be outside on the Quad, but now it’s in the basement of the Rice Memorial Center (aka the Rice Student Center, to oldtimers like me). It’s going on right now, so get on over there…

Scale The Summit/The Ocean/The Atlas Moth/Silver Snakes @ Fitzgerald’s
Later in the day, Fitzgerald’s has an awesome lineup going, too, with ultra-technical instro-prog-metal crew Scale The Summit — who call Houston home but actually don’t play here all that often — up at the top of the bill. If you’re at all into technical guitar work or instro-metal, you really need to check ’em out; last year’s The Migration was pretty great.

Plus, they’re playing with aquatic-themed German instro-doom-metallers The Ocean, who are similarly awesome — and who also don’t play here often, so go see ’em while you can — and L.A. band Silver Snakes, whose 2012 release Pictures of a Floating World, impressed me quite a bit with their ’90s-tinged post-hardcore sound.

The Dead Rabbits/Skeleton Dick/Blackmarket Syndicate @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
This is a nice pile of bands — all locals, this time — up at Warehouse Live, too, I think for some kind of pre-St. Patrick’s Day-type deal. I may just be thinking that’s the case because of headliners The Dead Rabbits, though, because they’re a rollicking mishmash of punk rock, booze, and Celtic folk, all rolled in together, like the Dropkick Murphys with less of a hardcore-jock vibe (and more drinking, believe it or not).

1798505_10152066879918370_1281152512_n (1)They’re pretty badass, and so is opening act Blackmarket Syndicate, who are decidedly un-Celtic punk but awesome besides. They’re one of the best roots-punk bands I’ve ever been fortunate to see/hear, frankly, pulling together the working-class Americana of Springsteen with the political bent (and scratched-up voice) of The Clash or Rancid. Get there early to see ’em; seriously, do it.

Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel/Victim/MadSons @ The Concert Pub North
Last but not least, there’s this show out at the Concert Pub North, with guitar wizard Jake E. Lee. I almost missed this completely, but the name was nagging at me for days until I realized where I knew the guy from; once upon a time, long, long ago, he fronted a bluesy metal band called Badlands, whose song “Winter’s Call” I seriously loved. Their self-titled debut was the very first CD (I already had records and cassettes) I ever bought, and I had it for a long, long damn time. It finally got picked up in a cleaning-crap-out run to Half Price Books, and I’ve been kicking myself about that since. sigh. Badlands is long dead, as well, but I’m glad to see the guy still making music.

Runners-Up:
Comeback Kid/Backtrack/Xibalba/Downpresser/To The Wind/Live Without @ Walter’s
Reuben and the Dark/NO/The Darcys @ Fitzgerald’s
Freedom of Expression II: A Benefit for Montrose Proper and The Houston Free Thinkers, featuring This Time I Brought Bombs, Run CT and Architect, Maninkari, & Shawn “breakbeat King” Bigdeli @ Montrose Proper (1505 Westheimer; $6)
The Mowgli’s/Second Lovers @ House of Blues
South-By-Satellite Showcase, featuring Funeral Horse, Kose, Forever Miles, Pink Eye, Irene, The Heroin Kids, Houston Sux Comedy, & Hakeem @ Skyline Hall (1503 Chartres; $10)
SXSW Overflow Fest 2014, featuring Secondary Modern, Wolf-face, Zefrina Bomba, Lost In Atlantis, Spirits and the Melchizedek Children, & Happy Lives @ Super Happy Fun Land (8PM-2AM)
Saving Abel/Blacklite District/The Lotus Effect/Fighting Gemini/Amongst The Living/Theory of Thieves/Awaken The Siren/Space Rhino @ BFE Rock Club
Houston Whiskey Festival, featuring Dem Damn Dames, Christina Williams and Fuzion, Justin Van Sant, The Hustlers Brass Band, DJ Bizz, & DJ David Cruz @ Julia Ideson Building (550 McKinney)
S.X.F.U., featuring Wild Throne, 72Names, Griffin Swank, & Kay Weathers @ Mango’s ($10 for 4-day pass)
Runaway Sun @ The Continental Club
Omar & The Howlers @ Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar


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