Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Young Mammals + Only Beast + Southern Backtones + Craig Kinsey + Interpol + Cavern Hymnal + Grisbee + After The Burial + Texas In July + More

10616063_753788164684589_8073436114656591763_nOkay, so there’s not a huge list of cool shows going on tonight, Friday, October 3rd, but what’s there is definitely good, and you should get the hell out of the house and enjoy this gorgeous-ass weather while it lasts. Because, let’s face it, it never does, amirite? Anyway, here goes:

Coog Radio 5th Birthday Bash, featuring Craig Kinsey, Southern Backtones, Young Mammals, & Only Beast @ Lynn Eusan Park (Univ. of Houston campus; 6-11PM, free!)
First up is a relative latecomer to the list, seeing as I only learned about it today (thanks for the heads-up, Danielle!), but it ranks the highest in my happy little head by virtue of bringing together a full slate of excellent, excellent bands from this here fair city, and for free, no less.

There’s knife-sharp rockers Only Beast, for starters, who play with equal parts high-wire tension and desperation, rumbling and snarling like Northwestern-bred post-punk/post-grunge (think Sleater-Kinney, in particular, especially in terms of the vocals). They’re smart and threatening and dark and still occasionally bluesy despite the jagged edges, and they’re well worth checking out. Then there’s longtime local indie-rockers Young Mammals, who’ve returned from The Great Beyond in recent months, first dropping a sweet, sweet 7″ and now releasing a brand-freakin’-new full-length, Alto Seco, which finally capitalizes on the band’s promise, delivering a full dose of those addictive, hazy melodies they’ve been lighting afire for years now. (Look for more on that soon…)

0D309FF4-AF7F-7A0D-C01F7B02CBAE9FE2Further up the bill, there’s darkly-tinted, moody Western rock dudes Southern Backtones, who last year re-released their long-gone 1998 debut, Los Tormentos De Amor, on ZenHill Records — that’s a damn good thing, too, because I’d completely forgotten how much I liked that album. “Blue In July” was the first thing I ever heard from these guys, and it turns out it’s still awesome, this perfect mashup of Nick Cave Goth and Riders of the Purple Sage country. And to top it all off, there’s Craig Kinsey, the king of Houston roots music himself, whose latest, American Roots and Machines, is pretty great, just this dark, deep-thinking chunk of rough-edged Americana. Trust me, you’ll want to stay ’til the end…

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that yes, this is actually the 5th anniversary party of cool folks Coog Radio, the excellent online radio station run by University of Houston students. Happy birthday, y’all!

Interpol/Rey Pila @ House of Blues
It’s been a while since I’ve paid much attention to Interpol, I’m afraid — I liked some of 2007’s Our Love To Admire, but the bulk of my exposure to the band remains their earlier stuff. Not sure why they fell off my radar, really, other than I got pretty tired of nu-New Wave retreads for a while there, and being the frontrunners of that particular pack (in my mind, at least), the band got shuffled off to the side.

That said, now that I’m listening to Interpol’s latest, last month’s El Pintor, I find myself glad that they’ve stuck to their guns, stylistically speaking. They might’ve drifted somewhat in the decade or so since I seriously listened to ’em, but as they roll through tracks like “Anywhere” and “All The Rage Back Home,” it feels like they haven’t missed a step. Sure, there are some oddball moment, like the samba-ish groove of “Same Town, New Story,” but at its core the band’s sound is still that glacial, distant, yet somehow energetic and vibrant, New Wave-inflected pop-rock. And I’m good with that.

Adam Bricks/Grisbee/Cavern Hymnal @ Rudyard’s
Rudyard’s has a nice, somewhat lower-key lineup tonight, too, with headlining guy Adam Bricks, about whom I’ve raved repeatedly over the past year or so, primarily on the strength of last year’s City Songs. I’ve talked less about the other folks playing, however, like Cavern Hymnal, who belie their metal-sounding name by playing delicate, almost fragile, quiet-as-mice folk that’s gorgeous and melancholy. They remind me of Hem more than anything else, with a touch of the Cowboy Junkies for good measure, and neither of those are bad things; they’re very cool.

3071c26e0c11434f2bdd5ad6e28046ddThere’s also newcomers Grisbee, who I’d never heard of but who includes a few names I recognize, like frontman Jeremy Grisbee and cohort Jeremy Nuncio, the latter of which I last saw playing with Chase Hamblin, as I recall. The music they make is similar to Cavern Hymnal’s in that it’s quiet and delicate, with a homey-sounding warmth (goddamn, that’s some nice lap steel), but also to fellow Houstonians Finnegan; they both live in that realm of rootsy music that’s not strictly folk, not strictly country, with elements of rock and pop thrown in for good measure. Gonna have to keep an eye on these folks…

After The Burial/Texas In July/I Declare War/Reflections/Come The Dawn @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Last in tonight’s pile is by far the loudest, with a big-ass pile of heavy-as-fuck metal bands taking over Warehouse Live with sheer titanic-sized volume. I’m not familiar with everybody playing, but headliners After The Burial do a pretty damn decent deathcore-style thing, with alternately Cookie Monster and screamo vocals and guitars that sound less like instruments and more like machinery; think a less “street” Emmure, and you’ll be close.

I’m a bigger fan of second-from-the-top band Texas In July, however, I’ll admit — they do some very cool stuff with guitars, going far beyond the usual chugging and crunching to incorporate what sound like some serious prog influences, kind of like Animals As Leaders if they happened to be a death metal band. And yes, that’d be a very good thing.

Runners-Up:
Turquoise Jeep/Yip Deceiver/Hakeem/DJ Baby Roo @ Walter’s
Vehement Burn/Distant Lights/Super Thief/Good Job Underground/Mother Ghost @ Fitzgerald’s
Hayden Jones/Since Always/Broken Quote @ Notsuoh ($3/$8)
We Do It For The Love, featuring Sasha Braverman, Henry Chow, & Noey Lopez @ The Alley Kat
TWELVE Project, featuring Jamie Lin Wilson @ 1892 Bishop’s Palace (Galveston)


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