Madness on Main Street, This Saturday (Rundown, Pt. 1): Nathan Quick + LaTasha Lee and the Black Ties + dUNE.TX + Keeton Coffman + Deep Cuts

madnessonmain1Now, just because there’s lots of blathering going on about FPSF, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else awesome and festival-y coming up. In fact, I’ve been horribly, ridiculously remiss ’til now by not mentioning the excellent-sounding Madness on Main Street Music Fest, which is coming up this Saturday, May 10th.

It’s being organized by Jason Smith (who, in the interest of full disclosure, does indeed write and take photos for our little site) and Phil Peterson (aka Bassman Pep, who books shows around town as AR*V, or “Acous’mix Re*View”), the same pair who brought us the also-excellent Yes Indeed! Fest these last two years, and this time they’ve moved their multi-venue, neighborhood-wide music festival down to one of my favorite little pockets of Houston, the Mid-Main area. The fun will cover four stages along the Mid-Main, at The Continental Club, The Big Top, The Pachinko Hut, and The Alley Kat Bar & Lounge (better known to some of you diehards as much-beloved former venue The Mink).

The whole thing runs from 4PM-2AM, and there’ll be vendors, cheap beer, and (obviously) a crap-ton of amazing bands scattered across the various stages, including personal favorites like The Wheel Workers, Keeton Coffman, Glass the Sky, Electric Attitude, & Second Lovers, among others. All together, there’re 30 different bands/musicians, all for the measly price of $10 in advance (okay, $12 with the service fee) — get your tickets over here — or $15 if you buy ’em at the door. Damn cheap for the people playing, if you ask me.

Anyway, with this coming up quick, I figured we’d do the randomly-picked rundown of as many of the people playing as possibly can; I dunno if we’ll get ’em all, but we’ll sure as hell try. Here we go:

Nathan Quick
First in the pile is rootsy troubadour Nathan Quick, who I honestly hadn’t ever heard before now but am already pretty impressed with. He’s countrified, to be sure, but not in a big-belt-buckle kind, and at the same time, he’s not some ironic hipster indie-folkie, either; the closest analogues I can come up with are fellow Houston-area natives Robert Ellis and Folk Family Revival, and that’s pretty darn good company to keep, if you ask me.

latashalee1His voice is nicely rough-edged and warm, not unlike a higher-pitched David Ramirez, and his lyricism’s awesomely downbeat and melancholy, and the man’s no one-trick pony — alongside the folkier stuff, he also revs up into ’60s-esque rock (see “Running,” which is CCR all the way) and gets more modern and atmospheric at times, to boot. Take a listen for yourself below, eh?
[Nathan Quick plays at 8:45PM at The Big Top.]


LaTasha Lee and the Black Ties
Alright, I’m not gonna lie on this one: Austin’s LaTasha Lee and the Black Ties is one of the bands I’ve been most looking forward to checking out, hands down. With Lee’s husky, scratched-up voice, bouffant hairdo, and soulful backing band, it’s impossible to get away from the Amy Winehouse comparisons, but hell, who cares? This woman can sing the roof off, and the arrangements are pure Stax awesomeness, with a layer of Phil Spector slathered over the top of it. It’s gritty and shiny at once, melding funky soul with ’50s-ish pop, and Lee herself is sultry and dangerous and streetwise all at the same time, to boot. If you can’t like this, well, we can’t be friends. (But hey, check out the video below for “Win Her Heart,” either way.)
[Latasha Lee and the Black Ties plays at 10PM at The Continental Club.]


Ah, dUNE.TX, still kicking after all these freaking years. I can’t be positive about it, but I’m fairly certain Chris Sacco and his cohorts were already playing regular shows around town when I first moved here, and that was just shy of 20 years ago, now; through the intervening decades, Sacco’s insistently popped up again and again, blasting out that overfuzzed, wide-smiling, kinda-grooving alt-rock like he just doesn’t give a damn about anything else. And hey, I’ve got to respect that, y’know?

I’ll admit to not being dUNE.TX’s biggest fan back in the day, but listening back now to tracks off 2002’s Goldenarm and 1999’s Machowagon, I’m finding myself grinning and bobbing my head along. Those songs are sweet and goofy like vintage Fountains of Wayne or Cheap Trick but with a distinctly Texan accent to ’em, like sadly-overlooked ’90s band Tripping Daisy, and yeah, I’m liking ’em more than I remembered from the olden days. And just for fun, here’s a video from the band’s early 2000s heyday, for “The Kids”
[dUNE.TX plays at 10:45PM at The Big Top.]


keetoncoffman1Keeton Coffman
It’s a pretty rare thing, really, for me to like a band, enjoy their music, etc., etc., and then, when said band breaks up, hear the former frontman/frontwoman out on their own and like what they’re doing more than I ever did the original band. Not sure why, but that’s just not how it works, generally speaking. But then along comes Keeton Coffman, stepping out of the spotlight as the over-the-top lead singer/guitarist for rockers The 71’s to nonchalantly release a slew of songs — his own and covers — that damn near blow away most of what his former band ever did.

Alright, so I may be exaggerating just a teensy bit, but you get the gist: I liked The 71’s quite a bit; and I absolutely love Coffman solo, without the band. I’ve been listening to last year’s Stumble On Love EP a lot lately, and the more I hear, the further my jaw drops to hit the pavement — Coffman comes off like a cleaner, younger Springsteen, one with an axe to grind and a big sack of bitterness to carry around, and yeah, it’s pretty phenomenal. I’m pretty damn determined to finally see this guy live. Here’s the aforementioned EP, if you want to give it a listen; check out “The Prayer,” in particular, a song that’s on my top-ten list of songs from last year.
[Keeton Coffman plays at 9:45PM at The Big Top.]


deepcuts2Deep Cuts
I’ve been hearing of Deep Cuts for a while now, but somehow hadn’t actually gotten to ever take a listen, and now I’m regretting that somewhat. Because, well, they’re really very intriguing, and totally not what I’d expected. They call themselves “Tex-Mex-Wave,” a made-up term that makes me twitch somewhat but which actually turns out to be sorta accurate — they play sharp, bright pop music that jangles and rings like the guitars in a narcocorrido, albeit with English lyrics and a Western-surf vibe to it all.

They’ve only got one song online at the moment, a single called “Slow Descent”, but dangit, I want to hear some more. And good news: they’ll soon be releasing the single (along with flipside “Alchemist,” apparently, on limited-edition vinyl with the cool-ass dudes from the Treaty Oak Collective, so keep an eye out, alright?
[Deep Cuts plays at 12:45AM at The Big Top.]


Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now — more to come, and soon, so check back…

(Photos [top to bottom]: LaTasha Lee; dUNE.TX; Keeton Coffman; Deep Cuts. dUNE.TX photo by Jason Smith; Deep Cuts photo by Amanda J. Cain.)

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4 Responses to “Madness on Main Street, This Saturday (Rundown, Pt. 1): Nathan Quick + LaTasha Lee and the Black Ties + dUNE.TX + Keeton Coffman + Deep Cuts”

  1. Jason Smith on May 8th, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Let me echo Jeremy’s enthusiasm for Latasha Lee. This will be Houston’s first chance to see Latasha and her band. They are killing audiences in Austin and will alone be worth the price of admission. As if that wasn’t enough, Sphynx, Antiques, and Whiite Walls are also driving over from Austin to join the show. Don’t sleep on this one.

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Madness on Main Street Rundown, Pt. 2: Children of Pop + Whiite Walls + Devil Killing Moth + Tom Lynch + Sand Dollar Swing + Muddy Belle on May 8th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    […] of previews for this coming Saturday‘s Madness on Main Street Music Fest, which — as previously noted — promises to be a badass, laidback night of music along the Mid-Main strip that contains The […]

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Madness on Main Street Rundown, Pt. 3: Electric Attitude + Cosmic Bug Loaf + Glass the Sky + Antiques + The Docs + Sphynx + Satellite D’Homme + The Wandering Bufaleros + More on May 9th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    […] folks — back again with installment #3 of the previews (see installments #1 and #2 over here and here) for the rapidly-approaching Madness on Main Street Music Fest, coming up this Saturday, […]

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Toadies + Supersuckers + Art Car Ball + Institute + Back To Back + Loretta Lynn + Nathan Quick + More on May 9th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    […] Street previews, I now know Nathan Quick somewhat, and like him, as well. If you didn’t read the preview, let me just say that Quick plays raggedy Americana that makes me think of Robert Ellis, Folk […]

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