Yr. Week, Pt. 3: Gogol Bordello + Something Fierce + Shovels & Rope + By the End of Tonight + Handguns + More

1507909_10152391656215658_6475918325215058517_nOh, wow. There is so freaking much going on tonight, Friday, October 31st, that I can scarcely wrap my damn brain around it, seriously. Unfortunately, seeing as I’ve got to man the door against the horde of undersized candy-grabbers soon to descend upon our unsuspecting neighborhood, I’m only going to be able to cover a few of ’em; here’s what I like best:

Gogol Bordello @ Warehouse Live
Yes, yes, yes. I’ve seen Gogol Bordello twice now, and both times it’s been well, well worth it to gape in open-mouthed, disbelieving awe at the sheer spectacle of it all. Eugene Hütz fronts less a “band” and more a sideshow carnival set to music, with bizarro costumes, gigantic mustaches, crazy stage antics, a ridiculously multicultural cast of characters, and a distinct sense of theater. They’re a hell of a lot of fun, and best of all, the songs are amazing, these gypsy-style celebrations of life and love and whatever else out on the road. It’s damn near impossible to not join in, honest; just watch:

Something Fierce/Hog Leg/Donkey Punch/The Guillotines @ Rudyard’s
Rudyard’s tonight will be somewhat more low-key, it’s true, but no less awesome, with an all-too-rare performance by truly great punk/power pop band Something Fierce. They’ve emerged from the cave where they’ve apparently been hard at work on their next album, AUTO ICONS, which will be released once again by ever-cool Dirtnap Records…although the band’s now licensed by none other than Sub Pop. Holy crap, y’all.

If you’ve never seen the band, trust me, you seriously should — they play punk like ’twas played over in the UK back in the early ’80s, by folks like The Boys, Stiff Little Fingers, or The Buzzcocks, and they throw their hearts and souls into it like you wouldn’t believe. Oh, and they can write some badass songs, too. See them while you can; trust me on this.

Shovels & Rope/Willie Watson @ Fitzgerald’s
Over at Fitzgerald’s, South Carolinans Shovels & Rope will be rolling on through, and if you don’t check ’em out at least briefly, you’re missing out. The duo plays gritty-yet-pretty roots music, veering seamlessly from fragile country-folk to testifying gospel to White Stripes-worthy blues stomp without skipping a single step.

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent‘s vocals, in particular, are just rough-edged enough to grab hold and beautiful enough to make you swoon; these two sound like they could kick about three-quarters of Nashville’s ass without hardly trying. Think The Civil Wars if they holed up in a cabin for the winter to listen to a whole lot of downhome, murky blues and decided to go electric, and you’ll be in the ballpark. See what I’m talking about:

808daec5c5c538bec8d01b8f870db69fTera Melos/By the End of Tonight/Sunrise and Ammunition @ Fitzgerald’s
And now we take a sharp right turn, heading on over into Math-Rock Land on the other floor of Fitz tonight; if you’re looking for the former show and end up at the latter, yeah, you’re gonna be fairly confused, because rather than gentle Americana, you’re going to get smacked full in the face with jagged prog/emo riffs, stop-start time signatures, and a whole lot of yelling. I don’t mean that in a bad way, mind you — I happen to love stuff like that, and these three bands in particular. Tera Melos is the one I’m least familiar with, but I’ve listened quite a bit to last year’s X’ed Out and have been liking it a lot; they’re math-y but friendly and warm rather than aggro, and that’s a nice change of pace.

Better still, though, is resurrected Alvin-bred band By the End of Tonight, who burst to life here about a decade ago, burned bright as fuck, then shattered into a dozen or so shards of awesomeness, burrowing their way into and through the Houston scene and leaving a damn near indelible mark. I was only lucky enough to see ’em once live, but it was mind-blowing to witness, with people climbing speaker stacks and thrashing around like they were possessed while the music exploded out of the amps and deafening volume.

They’re joined by their spiritual descendents, Sunrise and Ammunition, who mine a line of proggy, jazzy rock that’s closer to Tera Melos but with plenty of that same energy BTEOT always seemed to have. I saw ’em a while back and had to pick my damn jaw back up off the floor by about halfway through.

State Champs/Handguns/Forever Came Calling/Front Porch Step/Heart To Heart/Brigades @ Walter’s
Fans of guitar-heavy alternarock, rejoice, because tonight’s show at Walter’s is solidly in your lane. There’s Jimmy Eat World-/Taking Back Sunday-ish emo-rockers State Champs and Forever Came Calling, both of whom I like, but at the top of my list sits pop-punks Handguns, who play smart, personal, sharp-edged, yell-along-worthy tunes that bring to mind Dynamite Boy at their best. Get out & see ’em.

Runners-Up:
The Velostacks/Zipperneck/Texas Mod Crushers @ Heights Vinyl (7PM; free!)
Julian Casablancas & The Voidz/Team Spirit @ House of Blues
Halloween Horror Show, featuring Future Blondes, Pleasure 2, Ioman, Darktown Strutters, DJ Bad Bones, DJ Record Money, & Pffangberger @ Civic TV Collective (2119 Dallas)
Gritsyween, featuring The Bug, Manga, Banxx, Baud Optics, Hannya, Loud Flavor, Suraj K., MC Gray, & Full Effect MC @ Eastdown Warehouse (850 McKee)
Zombies & Monsters A Go Go: A Halloween Horror Party, featuring DJ Fredster, Senior Jukebox, Gio Chamba, DJ Black Stacks, DJ EPZ, DJ Klandestino, Elyse, & Tr3n @ The Big Top (free!)
Red Elvises/Austin Lounge Lizards @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Vampire’s Ball, featuring MAKJ, Shift K3y, Surain, & Sam Thompson DJ RN @ Stereo Live
Halloween Bash, featuring Jeremy Carswell & The Nymphs, Keno Sims, Villainz Dubstep, Ryan Tribe Hill, & AP Stark @ Jet Lounge
Spirits & Skeletons, featuring Molly & the Ringwalds, DJ Gracie Chavez, & DJ Dame Hype @ Houston Museum of Natural Science (5555 Hermann Park Dr.; 8PM-12AM)
Grady Gaines @ The Big Easy
Super Scary Fun Land Halloween Party, featuring Symphony-McKnight MissEyes Capri, Evita Longoria, Tsunami S’Arbleu, Tamagaywa, & Oldline @ Super Happy Fun Land
ERASEtheVIRUS/Born From Ruins/The Abyss @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)


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