Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Second Lovers + Invincible Czars + The Wheel Workers + Ishi + Star Trek + Catch Fever + Hub City Stompers + More

10488207_730993643632220_6491020629104224667_nYes, folks — it’s Friday, July 18th, so once again into the mouth of madness (er, sort of) we go. There’s a lot going on and not much time to talk about it, so here we go:

Second Lovers/Adam Bricks @ Fitzgerald’s
Top of the pile is this cool, cool show at Fitzgerald’s, where always-awesome roots-folk-pop band Second Lovers will be headlining the night — as well they should, seeing as they’re bar none one of the best dang bands in town at the moment. They’ve revved up the jangly, depressive roots-folk displayed on their debut album, Wishers, Dreamers & Liars, and last year’s two-song EP/7″/whatever, New Mexico, is joyous and wide-smiling and full of life. I’m truly, truly excited to hear their forthcoming new album, apparently entitled New American.

In honor of tonight’s show, the band’s released a cool little video for “New Mexico,” which splices together footage from a recent show at the House of Blues and the band’s recording sessions for the to-be-released full-length. It’s pretty damn endearing:

Second Lovers at the House of Blues from Michael Berner on Vimeo.

As a nice added bonus, they’ve got urban folkie Adam Bricks opening for them; he’s a darn good singer/songwriter in his own right, kind of halfway between Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Lou Reed, and he’s got an impressive way with words…

10428302_801784983174143_7948742549017426403_oThe Invincible Czars/The Wheel Workers/Poon/Little Joe Washington @ The Continental Club ($10)
Coming in a close, close second is the lineup at The Continental Club, where Austin-bred oddballs The Invincible Czars are bringing their klezmer-jazz-ska-punk-classical fusion into town. Not sure what they’ll be playing tonight, honestly, but on past visits they’ve done stuff like, I dunno, played their own quirky-yet-earnest version of the entire “1812 Overture”.

They’re playing with burgeoning local heroes The Wheel Workers, which makes me happy beyond what words can express. I’ll be the first to admit that yeah, I was initially skeptical of Steven Higginbotham and his gang of insanely erudite, serious-but-fun, politically-progressive popsters, and I’ve kicked myself ever since, because boy, was I wrong. Their 2013 effort Past to Present, was one of the best things I heard all year, damn near a masterpiece of thoughtful, catchy pop goodness.

They recently released a sweet, sweet deluxe vinyl version of the album, by the by, which is a double-LP in blue and red (naturally) and which has some ridiculously cool extra tracks (“Listen”, “At One Time I Was A Person”, and “Want” and “Drone” remixes). The band was kind enough to get yours truly a copy, and holy freaking crap is it pretty. Wow. Thanks, y’all!

Mixers & Elixirs: COMIC-CON!, featuring Ishi @ Houston Museum of Natural Science (5555 Hermann Park Dr.; 7-10PM)
Whoa — this one seriously crept up on me, and I’m still kinda stunned it did. It’s the latest in the Houston Museum of Natural Science‘s “Mixers & Elixirs” series of show/party shindigs, and it looks like yes, they’re hoping you’ll come dressed up as your favorite superhero (or other Comic-Con person, I suppose).

The best part, though, is that the musical guest this time is Dallas-based electro-party gang Ishi, who I was fortunate to see at FPSF last month. They are one hell of an entertaining time, bumping and grinding and bouncing the crowd along like some band dropped through a hole in time from 1983 and handed the latest in funky electronic noise-making equipment. Oh, and they wear costumes themselves, so there’s that. Get on over there now, y’all.

10269172_10203706050188810_8168652520775204265_oStar Trek, featuring The Houston Symphony @ Jones Hall
Not sure if there’s still time to get to this one or not, but what the hell… The Houston Symphony is doing a live showing of the J.J. Abrams-rebooted Star Trek tonight up at Jones Hall, with the musicians playing the score (I’m assuming?) to the movie live as the film unspools. I’ve seen/heard bands do that with silent films in the past, but never with a big-name ‘splosions-and-lensflares extravaganza, and that sounds like it could be pretty cool.

Otenki/Catch Fever/Southerland Nights/Karma Points/Spencer Fort @ Fitzgerald’s
Speaking on cool, on the other floor of Fitz tonight from the aforementioned Second Lovers show is a cool-looking set of bands that all kinda-sorta dwell in the realm of poppy, anthemic, emo-ish alternarock. The show’s headlined by Otenki, who I’ve only seen once but who definitely aren’t bad, and by Catch Fever, who’ve quickly become one of my favorite new bands in town; their album Shiny Eyes is awesome. Plus, there’s Southerland Nights, who I ran across a while ago and was surprised by — well worth checking out.

Hub City Stompers/Broken Heroes/Rude King/No Resistance/Ryan Scroggins’ Green Lion @ Eastdown Warehouse
Heading out to the northeast end of Downtown, you can hit the Eastdown Warehouse for a full, full night of knees-up, foot-stomping ska and Oi! (or streetpunk, or whatever The Kids are calling it these days). I hadn’t realized the Hub City Stompers will still around ’til I saw this bill, but I’m glad they are, definitely; the NJ band’s apparently renamed itself “Inspecter 7”, broke up, and reformed as HCS once again, so maybe I wasn’t far wrong, actually…

84402780d0a97e922ce0603c448de9580Either way, it’s good to see some trad-style Oi!/ska still going in this here city. I dunno fellow NJ band Broken Heroes real well, but apparently they’re more on the Oi! side of things than the ska, so get there early for them. And hey, get there early for local streetwise punk snarlers No Resistance as well, not to mention Ryan Scroggins’ Green Lion, which I have yet to hear but assume is the new project of the frontman for Ryan Scroggins and the Trenchtown Texans. Niiiice.

Beyoncé/Jay-Z @ Minute Maid Park
Yeah, you know about this one, and if you’re going, I guarantee you’re already there, right? Still, though, I wanted to tip my hat to Ms. Knowles, because I wrote her off pretty much immediately back when Destiny’s Child were still around, and she’s ended up surprising me with how good some of her songs are (in part due to hearing other people, like Jonah Matranga, perform ’em). So yeah, I’ll say it: I’ve become a Beyoncé fan. There you go…

Runners-Up:
Another Run/Otis The Destroyer/ Sick/Sea /Sunrise and Ammunition @ Rudyard’s
Notsuoh’s Songwriters Roundtable Vol. 3, featuring Kenyon White, Paco Estrada, Ryan Holley, Charles Peters, Distant Lights, & Johnwayneisdead @ Notsuoh ($5/$10)
Tesla @ House of Blues
Mark Jones & Twenty Paces/Shellee Coley @ Main Street Crossing (Tomball)
ATLAS Music Festival, featuring Your Greatest Obsession, Written Hearts, Quite Frankly, Prophecy, Beg To Breathe, Killing The Stereo, Second Last Breath, Slow Life, Caine Dolo, & MC2RAW @ The White Swan (4PM)
Perseph One/Giant Kitty/Kose/Gio Chamba/Whit @ Alley Kat Bar & Lounge
The Offenders/Spazm 151/Landfill @ Walter’s
Tension/Happy Pill Trauma/IPV/Teeth Grinder/Cervical Mucus Meltdown @ The Nance House (1503 Nance; 10PM-5AM, $5)
A Fistful of Soul @ The Big Top
The Mentors/Hel-Razor/Garbage Dump/Licker @ Mango’s
EDTS: ElectroDubTrapStep XVII, featuring Surain, Parker Clark, Vance Lawrence, Elemir, Edwin G, Monstar, BRKLW, KB-Nasty, Nonc3nts, Mateusz, Leerx, Gus Trevino, Tim VZ, & Pig Penn @ Stereo Live
Barrio Dogs Fundraiser & Community Awareness Event, featuring Zenteno Spirit @ D&W Lounge (911 Milby)
Crucial Matter: Tour De Taco 12 & One Year Anniversary Party, featuring DJ Yung Slutty @ Underdogs Sports Pub (6:45PM)


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