Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Quiet Company + Without a Face + The Brunson Theater + The Suspects + Only Beast + Waxahatchee + Knights of the Fire Kingdom + More

10151354_10152378108324052_1793761775_nHoly crap, y’all. It’s now Friday, April 4th, and somehow, there’s a massive number of excellent, excellent shows going on tonight. I feel bad because I’m really only able to touch on a few of ’em specifically, but I figure that’s better than nothing, right? (Right?) Anyway, here goes:

Quiet Company/Not In The Face/Without a Face/The Tyburn Jig @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Dammit, I can’t help but put these guys at the tip-top of the list. Since first hearing Austin band Quiet Company‘s 2011 album We Are All Where We Belong, I’ll freely admit that I’ve been a rabid, starry-eyed QC fan. There’s only a handful of bands I’ve ever heard that affect me the way they do, whether it’s live on in recorded form, and each time I’ve seen them, I’ve walked away stunned and amazed, with a big, goofy grin plastered across my face. The music they make is smart, intense, desperate, thoughtful, and densely layered, all at once.

I’m told the band’s undergone some changes recently, bringing aboard new drummer Evan Smoker and keyboardist Bill Gyrta, and they spent the earlier part of this year recording a brand-new album, which has me really freaking excited. And then…well, hell, see for yourself:

I can’t leave out the openers, mind you; I caught singer/songwriter dude Without a Face a couple of years ago at FPSF, completely out of the blue while I was attempting to recuperate from sunstroke in a shady spot, and he impressed the hell out of me, playing songs that were quirky and clever but heartfelt all the same. And there’s also early-early band The Tyburn Jig, whose spaghetti Western/murder ballad/surf style is truly, truly great; I’ve only seen ’em live once so far, but it was well worth it…

538038_671095322936296_1982361519_nIron Skillet/The Brunson Theater (CD release)/Band On The Run/Picture Book @ The Continental Club
Okay, so there’s one band I’m particularly interested in for this one, over at The Continental Club this evening, and that’s The Brunson Theater. I first heard of the band a few months back and was immediately pretty damn excited, in large part because it includes not only the impeccable Chase Hamblin but also Ryan Guidry and Andy McWilliams, both of whom did time as part of The Scattered PAGES, a stellar band of pop heroes who came and went too damn fast back in the early ’00s.

And sure enough, now that I’m able to listen to The Brunson Theater’s debut album, We Land Soon (which came out last month), I can absolutely hear echoes of those three musicians’ previous work. The band comes off — and beautifully so — like The Beatles as filtered through mid-’90s indie-rock, with bits poking through that bring to mind Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, and Fountains of Wayne, among other things (or maybe like Cotton Mather’s followup to Kon-Tiki). It’s flat-out stellar, honest, and I’m psyched as hell to hear more, and soon.

Oh, and if you need even more encouragement to go see ’em, check out their video for debut single “Comatose,” apparently done as part of last year’s 48 Hour Music Video Project (and goddamn, that “Anti-Muse” character is creeping me out):

Brunson Theater – Comatose from Ubaid Seth on Vimeo.

The Suspects @ The Big Top
Over at The Big Top, they’ll be packing people in pretty tightly, I’m betting, for when Houston’s own ska heroes The Suspects take the stage for their semi-annual return. Maybe it’s because I heard them early on in my ’90s love affair with ska, it’s true, but to me, there’s honestly no band anywhere that more exemplifies third-wave ska. When I hear ska in my head, it’s The Skatalites, The Specials, or The Suspects, period. They’re it, at least in my mind.

22-2-800x1024And listening back now to Ninety-Nine Paid or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Ska (both of which you can now snag in digital form from the band’s Bandcamp site, BTW), yeah, it allllll comes flooding back. And I catch myself smiling, and chuckling, and bobbing my head, and I’m gone. Damn.

Only Beast (live recording)/A Sundae Drive @ Notsuoh (free!)
Nice, nice, nice. Up at Notsuoh, bluesy/proggy rockers Only Beast will be performing tonight and recording the thing in both audio and video form, creating their first-ever live album and music video, which is damn cool by me. Hell, you can even join in the filmic festivities by bringing your own video camera and recording part or all of the show, but even if you don’t want to go that route, I’d still recommend checking this one out — what I’ve heard of the band so far has been damn good (think a bluesier, scratchier Sleater-Kinney, and you’ll be kinda close), and I keep meaning to catch them live.

Plus, they’ve brought fuzzed-out indie-pop/rock folks A Sundae Drive in from the outskirts of town to crumble the walls down before the OB folks even get to the stage (it’s okay, don’t worry, because the ASD’ers will do it with a gentle, sincere smile). Go, plant yourself in front of a speaker, and get ready to nod your head, bliss out, and howl along. (Oh, and this is free, so what more do you want?)

Waxahatchee/Radiator Hospital/Spare Bones @ Mango’s
I’ve been meaning to check out Waxahatchee for a little while now, since I missed them opening for Superchunk a month or two ago, and now that I have…well, I’m pretty glad I took the plunge. Frontwoman Katie Crutchfield sounds like Cat Power’s Chan Marshall with more life, sweet but bitterly sharp, and the music she plays shifts easily between gently rhythmic folk-pop and rougher-edged, Merge Records-sounding rock, and fuck, that hits about half of the bands I’ve ever loved, right there. Gonna have to hear more of her most recent album, Cerulean Salt, and quick.

Vehement Burn/Black Queen Speaks/Knights of the Fire Kingdom @ Rudyard’s
A late addition to this list, I’m afraid; there was a different band on the bill the first time I added this show to the shows list, and then when I checked again late this week — wait, what? How in the hell did I now know Knights of the Fire Kingdom were playing? It makes sense, honestly, at least from what I’ve heard — and liked — by Black Queen Speaks; both bands play loud, raw, unfiltered rawk ‘n roll with no apologies necessary, although BQS tends to be a bit bluesier (to my ears, at least) while KOTFK are full-on throwbacks to the Dischord/Rocket From The Crypt/Drive Like Jehu school of post-punk rock. See/hear them both, alright?

Runners-Up:
Jean Jean/Sunrise and Ammunition/Giant Battle Monster/Fox & Cats @ The Nook Coffeehouse (4701 Calhoun Rd. #150)
Mary Kate Spawn/Adam Bricks/Darrin Bradbury @ Heights Vinyl (3122 White Oak; 7-9PM, free!)
Sevendust @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Another Run/Attica/Society Society/King Finn @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
Alpha and Omega/Bent Life/Malfunction/Dress Code/!Blunt! @ Walter’s
Ballister (Fred Lonberg, Paal Nilssen-Love, & Dave Rempis) @ Khon’s (2808 Milam)
The Manatees/Talk Sick Brats/Basketball Shorts/Silver Blueberry @ House of Creeps 2 (807 William St.)
The Hue/DJ Good Grief/DJ Big Reeks/DJ SoulOne/T.Piper @ The Alley Kat Bar & Lounge (3718 Main)
Cazzette/Spencer Brown/Bizz/Oz De Funk/Poe Junior @ Limelight (2401 San Jacinto)


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