Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Tontons + Us. + PUJOL + Mike Doughty + Brand New Hearts + Project Grimm + Ex-Optimists + More

10636762_10152801242193578_5481732439948395355_oAlright, getting this up late, but there’s still plenty of good stuff going on tonight, Friday, October 24th; here’s a quick rundown of the stuff that I think’s particularly cool:

The Tontons/Ume/Buckamore/Us. @ Fitzgerald’s
First up is this one, pretty much a star-studded deal headlined by none other than the ever-awesome psych-soul crew The Tontons, who’ve been getting a lot of well-deserved attention as of late. Yours truly (finally) reviewed their latest album, Make Out King and Other Stories of Love, and yes, it’s damn good — check out the review over here.

Now, to the “star-studded” part, they’ve got truly badass Austin/Houston rockers Ume, who are utterly mesmerizing live, like watching a hurricane made of raw, heavy sound and blonde hair. I dunno much about Buckamore, I’m afraid (although I need to hear him, and soon), but then there’s newcomer Us., which is a very cool new one-man-band kind of electro-pop; take a listen below:

PUJOL/Screaming Females/Spare Bones/The Ancient Gods @ Walter’s
Next up is a loud squall of a very different kind, with rough-edged rawk poet PUJOL, whom I love a whole heck of a lot; his sound merges together The Sonics, Guided By Voices, and The Hold Steady into a tightly-wound ball of spiky, fuzzy garage-pop noise, but with lyrics that are downright genius when you’re able to dig down to ’em. The band’s had a rough time of it lately, by the by, with their personal stuff getting stolen while they played in San Francisco — thankfully, the kinder side of The Interwebs prevailed, and they managed to raise enough $$$ through GoFundMe to get back on their feet. Awesome to see, seriously.

1534938_772396269487525_7533104603655055409_oMike Doughty @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Ah, Mike Doughty — honestly, it makes me happy just to see the guy’s still making music, long after they heyday of the now-seemingly-forgotten Soul Coughing, who I’m convinced were one of the best bands of the past 20 years or so (and I will brook no dissent on this). I’m happier still, though, to see his drifted somewhat back towards his roots with new album Stellar Motel. Don’t get me wrong; the acoustic covers & whatnot on 2012’s The Flip Is Another Honey were cool, but Motel is a lot more like what I always figured Soul Coughing might someday morph into, and it’s very cool to hear.

That said, tonight’s apparently a “Question Jar Show,” where Doughty picks both questions and song requests out of a jar and then plays whatever the hell he gets. Considering the guy already has a 20-plus-year career, doing that kind of thing is no minor feat; go witness it.

Project Grimm/Brand New Hearts/Dead Mineral/The Ex-Optimists @ Rudyard’s
Finally, Rudyard’s has a great big mess of awesome going tonight, pulling together both relatively new bands like excellent power-popsters Brand New Hearts and rockers Dead Mineral (formerly known as Novox) and more seasoned oldsters like College Station’s Ex-Optimists and old-school H-town dudes Project Grimm.

I’ll admit to not being biggest Project Grimm fan back in the day, but heck, tastes change, and nowadays I like these guys quite a bit (and Cramer‘s a good dude in general, so there’s that). As for the rest, supergroup Brand New Hearts blew me away right out of the gate with their Posies-/Jellyfish-/Ultimate Fakebook-esque brand of guitar pop, the Ex-Ops blaze a great, seriously ’90s-influenced kind of indie-rock, and while I’ve yet to hear Dead Mineral (sorry!), I’ve heard very, very good things. Get on up there now, alright?

Runners-Up:
Brumes/Stuck Lucky/Moral Monsters/The Bad Drugs @ Eastdown Warehouse (850 McKee)
The Museum of Carnal Possibilities Live Document 2, featuring Astrogenic Hallucinauting, Martyr of Sores, Glasgow Smile, White Gloves & Party Manners, Grey Cell, Reality, & Endless Blinding Sunshine @ Sound Exchange (1846 Richmond; 7PM, free!)
A Flock of Seagulls/Provision/DJ Tiger Jones @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Electric Fridays, featuring Rusko, Vice Club, Endgame, We Walz, Bizz, Lost Prophet with Frankie5x, Vortex, Markeezy, & Gustavo “Disco” Perez @ Limelight (2401 San Jacinto)
Rubblebucket/Landlady/NGHT HCKLRS @ Fitzgerald’s
Snit’s Dog & Pony Show @ The Big Top
SPELLBOUND: a possessed party, featuring Cop Warmth, Millennial Grave, Pfaffenberg, JT Whitfield, Mr. Castillo, & Jaycee @ The Summit (3526 Navigation; $5)
Shelley King/John Evans @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Ape Machine/The Burning of Rome/HoneyHoney @ The Continental Club
Rudy’s BDay Bash, featuring Kosé, Dreams of the Forgotten, Valeluna, Danny Watts, DJ Angiesliste @ Jet Lounge


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