Bowie Elvis Fest: Celebrate The King & The Thin White Duke, Tonight at The Continental & Big Top

10151800_1111282548896946_2359192213200070495_nYeah, yeah — technically speaking, Elvis Presley and David Bowie were born on January 8th, not January 9th, but what the hell, right? I seriously doubt either man would disapprove of all the good people who’ll be celebrating their joint birthday tonight, the 9th, up at The Continental Club and The Big Top. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d both get a good chuckle out of Bowie Elvis Fest, now in its 7th year.

After all, what better way to celebrate two freaking legends of rock music than with an full-on slate of excellent, excellent bands and musicians? This year’s Fest has quite a lineup, emceed by the ever-entertaining Mills-McCoin (who’s somehow become Houston’s go-to mustachioed presenter, weirdly…) and all doing a mix of Elvis songs, Bowie songs, and their own originals.

It’s headlined by Pecos Hank, aka Hank Schyma, formerly(?) of the Southern Backtones and these days out wandering his own peculiar, murky, Goth-tinged version of the American West. If you haven’t yet listened to his debut album from last fall, El Reno Blues, you really, really should, because it’s pretty great, a melding of Ennio Morricone-esque Western themes, tropicalia, old-school country, and boogie-ready blues-rock.

Also playing are roots-rocker John Evans, ’60s-gone-’20s pop-rocker and all-round good dude Chase Hamblin, sweet-voiced indie-rock band Dollie Barnes (yes, it’s a band; Haley Barnes is the name of the band’s frontwoman), steampunk-themed alt-rockers Marquis of Vaudeville (who I’ve never seen but about whom I’ve heard good things), quirky kids Espantapajaros, Space Villains* (about whom I don’t know much, sorry), and burlesque troupe Dem Damn Dames.

Plus, tonight’s one of the first shows by a new supergroup-ish Houston band, The Houston Craze, about which I’m really psyched. It features Aaron Echegaray, once the guitarist for Knights of the Fire Kingdom and more recently a critically-acclaimed actor, along with former Hands Up Houston/Super Unison honcho (and member of more goddamn bands than I can count) Ryan Chavez, bassist Chris Goodwin, and guitarist Mike Whitebread.

It’s cool because it merges Echegaray’s worlds of theater and music so you almost can’t see the seams — see, the band was actually formed for a play, One Man, Two Guvnors, that ran this past fall at the Alley Theatre. Oh, and they’re a skiffle band in the play, with Goodwin on stand-up bass and Chavez on the washboard. Holy cow, y’all. The play’s over, but the band lives on, and that’s an extremely cool thing, because they’re a lot of fun.

You can listen to and grab a free download of their first-ever single, a cover of “Twenty Flight Rock,” right over here:

Beyond that, there’ll be peanut butter ‘n nanner sandwiches courtesy of Lone Star Sandwiches, a costume contest, and probably a bunch of other stuff, too. Go show your love, alright?


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