Tonight: Rock Out for Literacy with Charity Gigs (and Only Beast, A Sundae Drive, Fire Moth, and Brand New Hearts, Too)

10432484_723734297689479_6196353895953949134_nFor it being a measly Thursday (July 17th, specifically), there is a whole hell of a lot of cool stuff going on — The Crystal Method are at Stereo Live tonight, for one, The Neighbourhood is at Bayou Music Center with White Arrows, and The Wiggins and Deep Cuts are playing at Walter’s alongside Marmalakes.

To me, though, the most interesting thing happening tonight is absolutely what’s going on over at Rudyard’s. This evening marks the second-ever show (missed the first, sorry!) by a new nonprofit-slash-booking outfit called Charity Gigs, which was founded by Scott Sofer of local surf-Goth-Western rockers The Tyburn Jig for the admirable purpose of raising money and awareness for some truly deserving local charities.

I think it’s a great idea, and I’m psyched as hell to see it starting to take off. Tonight’s Charity Gig goes to benefit Literacy Advance of Houston, a local nonprofit that focuses on helping adults and families learn to read and write (or improve their existing reading and writing skills). Being literate is utterly crucial to survival in modern-day America, and I wholeheartedly support any group that takes on adult illiteracy, so I feel this one’s especially worthwhile.

Of course, great causes are awesome and all, but who’s gonna come out and support if the music sucks, right? Charity only extends so far, y’know.

Thankfully, that isn’t an issue here. Sofer has recruited a quartet of seriously awesome bands for this evening, a pile that includes a whole bunch of people I love quite a bit. The headliner (I think?) is Only Beast, which sounds like what might’ve happened had Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker gone on to front an alternately bombastic and murky alt-prog-rock band after the breakup of S-K; frontwoman Danielle Renee is one hell of a singer, and I don’t make comparisons to Tucker lightly.

Then there’s A Sundae Drive, a personal favorite of mine for their fuzzy-edged, warm-yet-loud indie-rock/pop sound, the kind that brings to mind the ’90s in the best way imaginable and smiles at you while doing it. Think Seam, Copeland, and Teenage Fanclub all rolled up into a loosely-tied knot of noise, and you’ll be close.

I’m a relatively recent convert to Fire Moth, it’s true, but after hearing debut album Oil Paintings & Gold Chains earlier this year, I’ve been sold on the band in a big way. They’re a blues band if you squint a little bit and look at ’em from one side, and a roots-rock band if you shift around and look at ’em from the other, and both sides are badass. Thick, overfuzzed guitars, stoner-rock stomping, and wild-eyed desperation makes for something awesome, trust me.

Last but in no way least, there’s Brand New Hearts, who collectively burst out of the long-gone Hall of Houston Music Heroes to form a gigantic (yet friendly) Voltron of power-pop awesomeness. As I’ve blathered about multiple times now, the BNH guys are all stalwarts of the scene here since I was in a band (and that was a long damn time ago), and they’re ridiculously good. Last year’s self-titled, cassette-only EP was barely a taste of what they can do, but it was amazing nonetheless. Hoping for more soon, right, guys?

Anyway, that’s the lineup — add that to the warm fuzziness you get from helping people less fortunate than yourself (and, um, maybe some beers from behind the bar up at Rudz, but y’know), and there’s no way this show won’t be excellent.


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