Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Tontons + The Suffers + Lee Fields + The Sour Notes + Glass The Sky + Deep Cuts + End Of The World Fest + Molotov + Noisefest + More

10818417_10152910741318578_2947963191037933771_oHey, all — it’s Friday, December 19th, and yes, we’re heading on into another busy, busy weekend as the holidays ramp up. There’s a decent-sized pile of excellent stuff going on; unfortunately, I don’t have time to talk about ’em all, so I’ll have to pick a small handful. Here goes:

Lee Fields & The Expressions/The Suffers/The Tontons @ Warehouse Live (free w/RSVP)
Top of the pile tonight, ironically, is a show that, um, you may not be able to get into, if you haven’t gotten a ticket already. See, it’s a free show that’s part of the Red Bull Sound Select series, which means you have to RSVP in advance over here and then get your ass over to Warehouse Live early-early-early (like, right now) to get a place in line. Even after you RSVP, it’s still first-come, first-served.

With all that, though, trust me, it is worth it. The show pairs up two of H-town’s best bands, hands down, the psych-tinged soul-pop of The Tontons and the grooving rocksteady fire of The Suffers, both of whom also happen to have two of the best singers in this town, Asli Omar and Kam Franklin, respectively. I’ve seen ’em both live and they’re both utterly mesmerizing; their recorded stuff is great, but their live shows are leaps and bounds beyond that.

Plus, they’re opening for the awesome Lee Fields & The Expressions, fronted by the man who’s probably the closest thing to James Brown that we have left in the world. Fields is one of a small, small number of R&B/soul artists to sink into obscurity for 20-plus years and emerge to finally build the career they deserved all along; hell, the only other person I can think of who’s anything like him is Bettye Lavette. Seriously, Fields and his band are phenomenal.

10640984_967485166599742_6115908288930912327_nThe Sour Notes/Wonderbitch/Glass The Sky/Deep Cuts/Whit @ Walter’s ($10)
Walter’s has an excellent show tonight, too, with one of my absolute-favorite Austin-dwelling (but Houston-bred, at least in part) bands, The Sour Notes. They’re one of those pop bands that can apparently do any damn thing they feel like trying, from bright, sunshiny jangle-pop to synth-heavy electro-pop to murky, gloomy, pseudo-Goth-pop, and they somehow make it all work. Jared Boulanger and his seemingly ever-shifting cast of bandmates are pretty amazing no matter what they’re into at any given time.

They’re playing with two excellent local bands, too, namely Glass the Sky and Deep Cuts. The latter impressed the hell out of me this year with their Love Grows EP, where they dance blithely between Afrobeat, surf-rock, and shoegazery coolness, while the former I finally got to see last spring and was thoroughly blown away by. In the upstairs room out back of The Alley Kat, the band played songs that were glacial and gorgeous beyond belief, and they closed with a four-part harmony so tight I can’t even imagine how they pulled it off, esp. since one of the guys in the band said he could barely hear the others.

End Of The World Fest III, featuring Helstar, Toxic Holocaust, Bowel, Oceans of Slumber, Mothership, Relayer, Switchblade Jesus, Project Armageddon, Blood Royale, Apocalyptic, The Dirty Seeds, The Scourge, Toxic Steel, & Crusher @ Fitzgerald’s (4PM)
Metalheads, this one’s for you. End Of The World Fest III spans two venues Fitzgerald’s and Warehouse Live) and three days, and brings together a huge-ass cornucopia of badass metal goodness.

I haven’t heard a lot of the folks playing tonight, but I do like local dudes Oceans of Slumber quite a bit, and I was fortunate to see Helstar recently when they opened for Queensryche. I had pretty high hopes, but James Rivera beat ’em down easily; despite having been doing this since the early ’80s, the man can still sing insanely well, and he’s quite a showman, to boot. When they started playing, I saw a lot of skeptical faces — by the end, though, everybody was smiling like there was nowhere else they’d rather be.

10645317_10152927286347697_2064724364859028472_nMolotov/Espantapajaros/La Sien @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Having at long last ventured down to The Scout Bar a few months back, this show seems a little bit odd for the venue — it’s a pretty straight-up metal bar, honestly (although, now that I say that, I’m remembering that they do book a lot of hip-hop shows, too), and not the place I’d expect to see a lineup of Spanish rock. But then again, Molotov aren’t exactly your typical Rock en Espanol band, incorporating a lot of metal influences and prog-rock into their sound. And hey, I’m all good with that, even though I can’t understand most of the lyrics.

I really like local boys La Sien, by the way, as well; they’re a lot poppier than the headliners, but there’s still a strong prog thread running throughout, and the songs on the band’s currently-only release (I hear they’re recording right now) are damned interesting. Worth checking out.

1219_Phantogram_500x700Noisefest, featuring JT Whitfield, Grandpa Lies Again, Breakdancing Ronald Reagan, T.E.F., Protists of Nebula, Uncle Meat, Sandy Ewen, Muzak John, Mugwump, & The Annoysters @ Super Happy Fun Land
And lastly, for those among you out there who prefer your music with air-quotes around it and like to feel woozy and kinda-sorta ill (and possibly deaf) while listening, there’s the annual Noisefest over at Super Happy Fun Land, which features a whole slew of noise-y people, including folks I like like Muzak John and Sandy Ewen. Make it a merry weird Xmas, y’all…

Runners-Up:
Seven Deadly Sins Album Release & Multimedia Performance, featuring Two Star Symphony & ms. YET @ 14 Pews
94.5 The Buzz Presents BuzzFestivus, featuring Phantogram, Bad Suns, You Me At Six, Twin Atlantic, & VerseCity @ Bayou Music Center
Adam Bricks @ Absolve Wine Lounge (920 Studemont)
Chase Hamblin (DJ set) @ Leon’s Lounge
The African Children’s Choir @ First United Methodist Church (Missouri City; 7PM)
Amazing Lights/Surain/LeerX/Vance Lawrence/Elemir/Edwin Galdamez/RIP/DJ Monstar/Mateusz @ Stereo Live
Onyx/Jon Black/Nosaprise/Noon/DJ Nando 1/Just Cause/Rainflowa/2 Pat/Hyplektro/Lalo/Run CT/Atom/Beonk/Cire/De Marcus Rashad/D’ology/Eddie Conner/Isis Rage/Murda/Sid of Arc’/Shrey Day/Street Intelligent @ Eastdown Warehouse (850 McKee)
Lumpy & the Dumpers/Mystic Inane/Generation Suicide/Detestados/Back to Back @ Mango’s
Blackout Xmas Edition, featuring Squincy Jones, Hyro, Leckie, Act Badd, & Ape Drums @ Boondocks
Space Villains/Fussing & Fighting/The Ex-Ohs @ Rudyard’s
The Demonic Hen/Nathan Quick/Shotgun Funeral/The Panhandlers @ Alley Kat Bar & Lounge
A Fistful of Soul/Von Hindenburg @ The Continental Club
Houston: We Want Next Hip-Hop Concert Vol. II, featuring Shawny Boy, Abstract DJ, & more @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
The David Beebe Three @ The Big Top


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