Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Wanda Jackson + Iva Dawn + Sara Van Buskirk + What Made Milwaukee Famous + A. Sinclair + Young Girls + The Lotus Effect + More

10414443_918497734832379_3729474342803270409_nIn a wee bit of a rush this evening (Friday, August 8th, for those without calendars), I’m afraid — promised to take Munchkin #1 to see Guardians of the Galaxy tonight, so y’know — but there’s some cool, cool stuff going on, so I’ll try to mention it as quick as I can. Here we go:

Wanda Jackson/Mike Stinson @ The Continental Club
First on the list comes rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, who’s blowing through The Continental Club and whom I’d dearly, dearly love to see live. She’s quite a lady, melding country, blues, and rock together like nobody else, really, beyond The King himself (seriously, listen to “I Gotta Know” and try to tell me that comparison doesn’t fit). Viewed from a distance, she combines Elvis’s snarl and rocking groove with Patsy Cline’s careworn, countrified melancholy, and yes, that’s awesome. Seriously, Ms. Jackson’s a gem.

Iva Dawn (farewell show/single release)/Cavern Hymnal/Sara Van Buskirk @ Walter’s
Kind of a sad occasion, it’s true, but still one worth checking out — it’s apparently the final Houston-area show for Whitney Mower‘s band Iva Dawn, not to mention their single release party, before Mower leaves these parts for, um, I’m not sure where, honestly. Sad to see her go, because she’s one heck of an impressive singer/songwriter, although I’d never heard her in the Iva Dawn incarnation ’til now, unfortunately. Check her out below:

Also playing are Cavern Hymnal, about whom I’ve heard awesome things, and the ever-awesome Sara Van Buskirk, who’s up there in my personal pantheon of Favorite Female Vocalists Ever (and if she’s not in yours, you need a head-smack, at least virtually…). Get there early to see her, trust me.

10366315_10152492929184000_4731264827244941878_n (1)What Made Milwaukee Famous/A. Sinclair/Young Girls @ Fitzgerald’s
Then, if late-’90s-ish indie-rock is your thing (and oh, yes, it is mine), there’s this cool-ass trio of folks up at Fitzgerald’s tonight. The headliners are fine, fine Austin band What Made Milwaukee Famous, who bring to mind the best of Spoon and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but with a classic-rock tint a la fellow Austinites Bright Light Social Hour, and who I keep meaning to see live, dammit (one of these days…).

Then there’s A. Sinclair, who you might know/remember from their previous name Frank Smith; frontman Aaron Sinclair‘s opting to go by at least an abbreviated version of his own name, these days, but the music’s just as good. Hell, maybe better, even — there’s more of a sharp edge to the band these days, balanced out by some awesomely swirling, half-psych sounds. And opening the bill is the don’t-Google-at-work Young Girls, who grab hold of sweetly melodic, bouncy indie-pop and run it at triple speed, then wash it in a psychedelic haze; think Surfer Blood if they were from the Texas coast instead of the Florida coast.

Back 2 School Bash, featuring Reckless High, The Lotus Effect, Running to Embrace, & Children of December @ The 19th Hole (The Woodlands)
Last but not least, there’s a nice-sounding benefit out at The 19th Hole in The Woodlands; it’s being put on by the guys in Reckless High, whom I have yet to hear, but they’ve recruited excellent alt-rock dudes The Lotus Effect to play, as well, and I’m a big fan of those guys. If you haven’t checked out new songs “Totality” and “Window Panes”, you really ought to do so, right over here.

Of course, like I said, this is a benefit, and it’s a worthy one — the aim is to get folks to donate school supplies at the show, including folders, pencils, paper, rulers, and other stuff kids need to start the school year. School supplies don’t grow on trees, and a lot of kids have to go without each year; help ’em out if you can.

Runners-Up:
Lil Jon (DJ set)/Butch Clancy/iLL LiaD/Seb & Valko/Street Scheme @ Bayou Music Center
Supergrave/Sabbath Crow/No Resistance @ Rudyard’s
Dannic/Surain/Vance Lawrence @ Stereo Live
Metalachi/Alvin & the Slickpunks/The Flamin’ Hellcats @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)


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