Weekend Festival Madness (Pt. 1): Untapped Houston Brings Together Good Beer & Good Music

594d8816-d32e-4987-954d-4a9efbe9d50eDammit. This was supposed to get posted last night, but yours truly actually passed out on the couch and blew it — it’s been a long-ass week, I’m afraid. Sorry about that…

But hey, you’re not completely out of luck, because Untapped Houston kicks off this afternoon at 4PM (3:30PM for VIP pass holders, I believe) at Discovery Green, in downtown. And as with past installments of the festival, it looks to be a damn fun time.

Now, I’m not a beer guy — or an any-kind-of-booze guy, really, beyond an occasional Bailey’s or a small glass of Irish whiskey. It just doesn’t do much for me, y’know? Nonetheless, I’m fascinated by the whole brewing process, and am kind of in awe of the people who make craft beers and the like (we’re actually attempting to make our own hillbilly-style muscadine-grape wine right now, ourselves, which hopefully won’t kill us when we drink it).

So it’s cool to see all the new breweries that’ve popped up all over Houston these past few years; the H-town brewing scene has seriously exploded. And this year’s Untapped Houston has damn near every one of ’em for beer-lovers to check out, plus a whole bunch from elsewhere in Texas and even further afield. The full list of beers you can try is over here.

Of course, for me, the draw’s not solely the beer, but the music. The Untapped folks — both in Houston and in general — have a knack for picking some excellent, surprising bands and musicians for their lineups, and for including locals despite the relatively limited space (this isn’t some two-day music fest or anything, y’know, but just an afternoon and evening), and this year’s no exception.

I’ll admit that I’m not real familiar with headliners retro-indie-psych-rock dudes Dr. Dog, unfortunately, but I do like Neon Indian quite a bit; they play music that’s got electronic elements but isn’t dancey, really, instead more about just laying on the grass in the sun and chilling with a big-ass smile on your face. Which, looking outside, seems damn near perfect music for our current weather, so take advantage while you can, right?

Then there’s Still Corners, a two-person project based out of London, who I’ve only recently gotten to hear. It’s still early on, to be sure, but I’m liking what I’m hearing so far of the duo’s fragile, cinematic, shoegazer-y sound. Better yet, there’s Catch Fever, a band of local guys that I’ve been a fan of for a while now — they’re electro-tinged alt-rock that’s radio-friendly while retaining a murky, menacing edge to it that I dig completely.

By the way, they’ve got a new album out now, You Have All You Need, and it’s very cool; here’s the video for “Love Lost”:

Starting off the day are a bunch of fellow locals, the much-lauded DJ collective The Waxaholics, who seem like they’ve been around for a long damn time despite only doing their vinyl-only DJ shows for a handful of years now (of course, a handful of years equals forever in DJ time). Get early to see/hear them, too.

That’s it for the moment; get on out, drink some beer, bliss out in the sun, and enjoy the weather while it lasts…


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