Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Frog Hair + The Tontons + Young Mammals + Islander + Satin Hooks + Penny & Sparrow + My Twilight Pilot + More

14141689_531247810402158_6133932656731326442_nSo. I stopped doing these little weekend-preview things a while back, because honestly, it was eating my life and giving me a nervous breakdown; I kept running out of time to do ’em, which meant I had to scramble, and that stressed me out, and y’know, other stuff needed to get done, right?

Lately, though, I’ve been missing it. It’s weird, really, but I look at the shows list, and there is so much good, good stuff coming up, that I just don’t want any of it to fall through the cracks, y’know?

So let’s not, then. I’ll be attempting to get back into posting these, but in case I don’t make it in time, or I miss stuff, you should also be checking out David Garrick‘s best-of-the-week rundowns over at Free Press Houston (actually, you should already be doing that, but consider this a reminder).

Here’s the stuff that looks cool to me for tonight, Friday, September 23rd:

Frog Hair (album release)/Pleasure 2/Gerritt Witmer and The Unknowns @ Walter’s ($10)
This one shouldn’t be a major surprise for anybody, really, considering that we here at SCR have made it known multiple times just how much we love (and when I say “love,” I mean “obsess about”) Frog Hair. Hell, earlier this week Joshua Starnes said lots of film-guy things about the band’s new video for “My Best Foot Forward” (and I’ll admit that I only got about half of the references).

I’ve gotta say, though, that I firmly believe the Frog Hair-love is well and truly justified. The band’s pedigree notwithstanding, it’s the music they make that’s grabbed onto meet and doesn’t want to let go. It’s poppier than you might expect, at least in recorded form, with a rootsy, whiskey-roughened texture to it that doesn’t let it get too shiny or pretty, even when the melodies are. Some of the songs make me think of old-school ’50s pop songs, which is nice, but then there’s a lot that makes me think of ’90s alternarock, too; it’s a pretty intriguing, alluring mess, all helmed by J.J. White (formerly of Drillbox Ignition, Dizzy Pilot, Spain Colored Orange, and probably another dozen local bands besides), who’s finally found the right venue, I think, for what he can do.

And hey, just for fun, here’s another video from the band, for “Cannonball”:

c0c66176fd18bde1004b1c9a9ea119eaThe Tontons/Young Mammals/Us. @ Raven Tower
Next up is a nicely-realized slate of three of my favorite bands/musicians from right here in this city, all over at the Raven Tower. There’s Us. (or is it -Us.? I’ve seen it both ways), the musical alter ego of Avery Davis, who’s stepped out from behind the Wild Moccasins drumkit to show off what he can do on his own, and it’s damn impressive. I’ve only caught him live once, but it was cool…

Young Mammals have grown up a bit in the past several years — they’re not the young, crazy, candle-burning-at-both-ends kids they used to be — but that’s no bad thing, and 2014’s Alto Seco showcased the band’s calmer, more thoughtful side while hanging onto a lot of that awesome energy.

And then, there’s The Tontons. Every time they go quiet for a little while, I’m afraid that means they’ve called it quits, and it’ll be a sad, sad day when that happens, because they’re one of H-town’s most unique, most seasoned, most talented bands. Their music takes sultry pop, psych-rock, throwback soul, gritty funk, and jazz and combines it all into something you’re not likely to hear from anybody else. Also, I’m told tonight they’ll be playing some brand-new songs off their forthcoming(?) new album. Go see ’em; it’ll be worth your while.

Islander/Palaye Royale/Bad Seed Rising @ The Secret Group (2101 Polk)
And on a totally different note, there’s this show. Palaye Royale are interesting, kind of an attempt to update ’80s/’90s gutter-glam, and while I was skeptical at first, they damn near pull it off. The result is something like a combination of fellow Nevadans The Killers, vintage Guns N’ Roses, and The Libertines.

Shifting somewhat from there are headliners Islander, who I completely expected to hate — nu-metal isn’t generally my thing — but whose 2014 release, Violence & Destruction, I find myself coming back to over and over again. They’ve got a heavy Deftones influence, which I’m good with, but an interesting bit of an Emmure-sounding deathcore influence, too, and I’m liking that, as well. I’m not as keen on the new album, Power Under Control, which sounds a lot more like generic alt-metal to me, but I’ll still go back and listen to the older stuff…

Islands & Tigers/Satin Hooks/Markell Gibson Band/John Egan @ The Continental Club
Oh, yes. Okay, so I dunno a thing about most of the people playing at The Continental Club tonight, it’s true, but I’m psyched to see an all-too-rare appearance by Satin Hooks, aka Kerry Melonson. Back In The Day, Kerry and his crew were fixtures around here, and for good reason; he’s a heck of a songwriter and has quite a talent for making music that’s jagged and sharp-edged and soulful at the same time.

44ff6f6217aea0debd21b695ed0e0b75The Oh Hellos/Penny & Sparrow @ White Oak Music Hall
I’ve been listening lately to Austin duo Penny & Sparrow‘s Let A Lover Drown You, and it’s pretty good, in a very Glen Hansard-esque way; a lot of the songs on there sound like they could’ve easily fit on the Once soundtrack, and I’m absolutely good with that. Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke don’t have quite Hansard’s intensity, mind you, but the songs are gorgeous and fragile in the best way imaginable.

The Oh Hellos are no slouches, either, playing nicely jangly, sweet-hearted indie-folk; I’ve heard less of them than I’d like, unfortunately, but what I have heard of recent album Dear Wormwood has been pretty impressive.

Empty Shells/My Twilight Pilot/Inators @ Rudyard’s
Last but definitely not least, over at Rudyard’s we’ve got My Twilight Pilot (or MYTWILIGHTPILOT, if you do it old-school), who’ve been around, off and on, since the late-90s, if my addled memory serves. I haven’t seen them live almost since then, which truly sucks, but back then I was bowled over by their roaring, murky, almost space-rock-ish sound, kind of like a proto-My Education, if you can imagine it. Plus, I’m told these days they’ve got Lisa Gallo Roth, formerly of Jealous Creatures and the long-departed Big Top, on bass, and that’s always a good thing.

Women Who Rock, featuring Nina Diaz, Mind Shrine, Paty and the Cakes, & texture: Yellow @ Fitzgerald’s ($10)
Toadies/Rich Robinson Band @ Warehouse Live
Ray LaMontagne @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Layer/Eroda One/Hakeem/Brkchk/Briefcase Brad @ Satellite Bar (free!)
Jonathan Byrd/Kinky Friedman @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck

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