H-Town Venue News: Satellite Bar Is A Go, The Raven Tower Opens Soon, & Fitzgerald’s As Neighborhood Bar

12466028_935167453237615_2271725902177133892_oFirst off: yeah, I know it’s been a while. This whole past year feels like a giant wave that washed over yours truly and never let up, and because of that, SCR has taken a definite back seat to a whole lot of other things. The plan, though, is to turn that around and get shit moving once again.

Part of the reason why I’m dying to get things back to an even keel, I should note, is because there’s so much damn cool stuff going on right now in Houston’s scene. It’s a pretty incredible thing to witness, and I’ve been kicking myself lately for not getting on top of it.

One interesting thing to see this year has been a whole crapload of changes going on in terms of H-town venues. The past year and change saw a few new (or, at least, new to me) places to go see bands play, like The Nightingale Room, Black Barbie, and Barbarella.

Beyond that, if you’ve paid any attention at all to the Shows list lately, you’ll see some more new names you may not recognize. Here’s what we’ve heard/received recently about new (and not-so-new venues) in our fair city…

Fitzgerald’s:
No, Fitz is most certainly not new. It has, however, had a hell of a year, with the Pegstar folks moving out, Transmission Events moving in and then back out again, and all kinds of rumors and grievances swirling around in-between.

Happily, the place seems to’ve settled down a bit, and they’re even expanding their hours as a real-live bar. For me, anyway, Fitz has always been a venue first and foremost — it’s never been a place where I’d go just to hang out when a band’s not playing, like, say, Rudyard’s or Notsuoh.

Apparently the folks running Fitz want to change that, though. As of this week, from Monday through Saturday the downstairs bar (which folks my age may remember as Zelda’s, pre-facelift) will be open from 2PM-2AM, regardless of whether shows are happening or not. They’ll also be having drink specials for those who drink and food out on the back patio for those who eat. Per talent buyer Courtney Walker, the goal is to make Fitz “the living room of the Heights,” which sounds like a cool idea to me.
 

Satellite Bar
These guys seriously hit the ground running. No sooner had I heard the name than the place appeared to be booked solid, and with cool-sounding shows, no less. Owner/booker Scott Doyle — formerly of Houston House of Creeps and long-ago ska-punk heroes O’Doyle Rules — proudly proclaims the Satellite Bar a “dive bar,” and I have yet to go by to see if that’s true, but I’ll take him at his word on that one.

It’s nice to see, actually, because these days it feels like those un-fancy, neighborhood-hangout-type venues are becoming fewer than they used to be. And seeing as Doyle’s filled the calendar with a ton of my favorite locals — Young Mammals, Knights of the Fire Kingdom, We Were Wolves, Deep Cuts, B L A C K I E — and cool-ass people from elsewhere like Brooklyn’s Big Eyes, Canadians Kill Matilda, personal faves The Eastern Sea, Ringo Deathstarr, & The Lucky Eejits, I’m pretty psyched. Definitely going to have to stop by and hang out.

(Oh, and Scott says he wants to fill the whole damn calendar, so bands, if you wanna play, drop him a line at “satellitehtx” at “gmail dot com”.)
 

The Raven Tower
Last but not least, it’s the latest venture from the Pegstar crew, who I swear to God must never actually sleep. (Seriously, how in the hell?) Nope, I’m not talking about the much-anticipated White Oak Music Hall, which promises to be a gleaming bastion of full-volume music awesomeness when it (cross fingers) opens this spring, but about The Raven Tower, aka “That Weird Flight-Control-Looking Tower Already on the Property”.

Well, kinda. Turns out the actual Raven Tower is that weird ’70s-era apartment that sits atop a four-story concrete pillar above what used to be an old warehouse; while the apartment will remain its Houston landmark self, it’s the warehouse below that’ll be the real venue. Pegstar and cohorts W2 Development Partners are planning for the Tower to be the lower-key, more laid-back sibling to the big, bright, headline-level shows going on at the Music Hall, with an outdoor deck over Little White Oak Bayou, plenty of sports on the TVs, and outdoor games.

As for the music, Pegstar’s planning on booking mostly smaller shows there, with a fair helping of free shows and shows with only local Houston bands playing, although their kickoff sounds fairly impressive even for that “smaller” scale…

The first official show will be on January 19th, and they’ve got Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit playing as part of his Texas “residency”, along with badass Americana-rock dudes Grand Old Grizzly, Clouseaux/Three Fanastic/Les Saucy Pants/other assorted bands guitarist Kelly Doyle, DJ Fredster, and a mysterious surprise guest.

 
Alright, so that’s what I’ve got for the moment; more to come soon…


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