Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: The Winery Dogs + Red Fang + American Sharks + Little Hurricane + Oil Boom + Journey + Steve Miller Band + More

10295135_10203124469644923_8247768104797123528_oYep, here we are — it’s now Friday, May 23rd, and while tonight’s not as busy-full with cool shows to see/hear as a lot of Fridays, there’s still a respectable pile of excellent things going on. Here goes:

The Winery Dogs/Oceans of Slumber/Charm City Devils @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
First things first: this show right here is where yours truly will be tonight. Yeah, believe it or not, I’ve been cajoled into making the trek down to The Scout Bar in Clear Lake, a place I haven’t actually been to since the late ’90s when it was still a plain-old sports bar. I’m doing it for a damn good reason, though, because The Winery Dogs are pretty great.

The trio is a supergroup of sorts, featuring ’90s guitar hero Richie Kotzen on guitar and vocals, ex-Mr. Big/David Lee Roth/Talas member Billy Sheehan on bass, and member of too many damn bands to name (mostly familiar to me with Dream Theater) Mike Portnoy on drums. Weirdly enough, though, the band sounds little like anything else I’ve heard from these guys — what they are, really, is a straight-ahead hard-rock band with a heavy blues influence, Chris Cornell-esque vocals, a bit of metal, and a whole lot of proggy technical skill sneaking in around the edges. And yes, they’re good:

(Oh, and I know, this is kind of a big thing for me in recent years: two shows in two nights. Whoa. I may not be able to walk by Saturday…)

10330258_10201755885126570_5589335534313427929_nRed Fang/Big Business/American Sharks @ Fitzgerald’s
Of course, the night I plan to see a show would have to also be the night one of my favorite bands comes through town. sigh. I’ve seen Portland stoner-metal dudes Red Fang twice before, however, so I’m going to go with The New this time around (and plus, I already got Scout Bar tickets). Still, it stings, because I freaking love these guys — they’re loud and heavy without being cheesy about it, sludgy and dark while still keeping their sense of humor, and the pit that explodes every time they play “Prehistoric Dog” is pretty goddamn epic.

Oh, and in case you’re not convinced already, watch the band do what they do best: drink a shitload of beer, kill zombies, and rock the fuck out. (With a little help from Fred Armisen, naturally.) Enjoy:

To make things better, they’re playing with fellow sludge-stompers Big Business, who I keep meaning to give a better listen to, and Houston/Austin boys American Sharks, who are a hell of a lot of fun in their own right and kinda hew to the same sort of stoner-y metal/rock sound.

1610012_10200738392740949_2060599130_nLittle Hurricane/Oil Boom @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock Room)
In the caught-off-guard category, there’s a cool little show going on at the House of Blues tonight, one I hadn’t really been looking at at all. And now that I have, I’m kicking myself, because headliners Little Hurricane are nicely bluesy and gritty, a throwback duo (I think?) that sounds like what might’ve happened to The White Stripes if they’d just turned down and gotten stoned more. It’s retro-ish and moody and gorgeous and haunted all at once, and that’s no bad thing.

Then there’s Dallas band Oil Boom, about whom I’ve heard good things — all of which turned out to be accurate, at least based on the lone single of theirs I’ve been able to hear so far. They’re also fairly retro-sounding, sounding like a ’60s pop band that left the garage to hit the highway and never looked back; some of it’s countryish, some of it’s Phil Spector pop, and some of it’s vintage Sonics. Nice…

Journey/Steve Miller Band/Tower of Power @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Coming in last-but-not-least tonight, then, is this amalgam of classic stadium rock waaaay up there at the CWMP. Say what you will, but dammit, I still love Journey — cheeseball though some of the songs are now, they hit that nostalgic nerve in just the right place. Plus, I’ve always secretly wanted to witness The Steve Miller Band doing “The Joker” live, so y’know. (I think, BTW, that that means I’m officially getting old. Crap.)

Runners-Up:
Rivers/Slow Motion Rider/DJ Old Scratch and The Hoodoo Meat Bucket @ Warehouse Live
French Horn Rebellion/Hey Champ @ Fitzgerald’s
Vision, featuring Brandon Duhon (Night Drive), Ceeplus Bad Knives, Max Xandaux, & Gin Martini @ Alley Kat Bar & Lounge
The Mercy Brothers/The Jones Family Singers/Little Joe Washington @ The Continental Club
Warhead/Termination Force/Metalloyd/Dysmetria/Toxic Steel @ Mango’s ($5)
Def Perception (album release)/Tape Mastah Steph/TEWZ/Lower Life Form/Tabu & Joey Flaco @ Rudyard’s
Mulatto Thunders/Hardon Collider/Pulse Rifle/Sandy Ewen @ Super Happy Fun Land
Texas Johnny Boy & Milton Hopkins @ The ReHab Bar On The Bayou (1658 Enid)
Captain Ron’s BDay Bash, featuring Gods of Death Screw, The Black 13, Supremacy, D.R.E.A.D., & Randabis @ The 19th Hole (The Woodlands)


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