Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Golden Sombrero + Brand New Hearts + Excision + Electric Six + Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Sounds of Scotland + More

Hey, folks — it’s the start of a busy-as-hell weekend, looks like, so I wanted to at least mention a handful of cool-sounding (to me, anyway) shows going on tonight, Friday, May 24th. I’m a bit under the gun today, though (yeah, like that’s abnormal), so if I neglect mentioning your band/show specifically, um, sorry?

Anyway, here we go:

Golden Sombrero (album release)/Brand New Hearts/Astragal @ Rudyard’s
I’ve been hearing good things about local dudes Golden Sombrero for a little while now, but hadn’t been able to dig my way over to listening to ’em until now, and dammit, I’m wishing I hadn’t put it off for so goddamn long. They’re a rock band of the best kind possible, with a countrified soul and a rowdy heart, bringing in influences from The Replacements to Son Volt to Drive-By Truckers to Japandroids (no, seriously) to even long-dead Houstonians Bright Men of Learning. Think rough-edged-yet-tuneful songs, whiskey-soaked vocals, and just enough heavy to give it a punch, and you’ll have the right idea. And it’s damn good.

The BMOL comparison is funny, actually, because openers Brand New Hearts have a much more distinct BMOL tie, seeing as guitarist Ben Murphy and drummer Jeff Senske used to play for that there band. They’re cut from a different cloth from Golden Sombrero, mind you, heading down much more of a straight-up power-pop path — not a bad thing, mind you. They’re like the best parts of The Posies and Teenage Fanclub and Moods for Moderns all melted down and hammered into something beautiful and shiny and tough, all at once.

Excision/Cookie Monsta/Barely Alive/Dion Timmer @ Revention Music Center
It’s strange to me how ubiquitous dubstep’s become these days; it seems like you can’t watch TV, even, without seeing a half-dozen commercials where the music rips at least a teensy bit from the likes of Skrillex or Datsik or Borgore. And really, I’m okay with that, because I like a lot of the dubstep/brostep/post-dubstep that’s floating around out there; it drives my wife nuts, and it’s one area where my daughter and I can kinda bond musically (still working on getting her to listen to indie-rock, sadly).

Plus, it has to be said that not all dubstep is created equally. A lot of it is just plain garbage, trite Skrillex ripoff brostep that’s not really worth bothering with; then there’re folks like Canada’s Excision. If you think Skrillex is hard on your ears, well, Jeff Abel is here to damage you further, dragging the sound closer to the EDM-assault glitchiness of early Aphex Twin or Squarepusher. It’s raw and messy and subverts the now-traditional bass drop in some nice ways, keeping the listener on their toes and blasting through their trite expectations of what dubstep is “supposed” to sound like. And that I am totally good with.

Electric Six/Residual Kid @ White Oak Music Hall
So, Electric Six are one of those kinds of bands where, if you like, them, you really, really like them, but if you don’t like them…well, the appeal seems pretty unfathomable. For me it was a struggle, at least initially; I was put off somewhat by the band’s over-the-top antics, because that’s just not my thing, generally speaking.

I have to hand it to them, though: they’ve hooked me in. They’re like the aural equivalent of a John Waters movie, alluring and disturbing at the same time, with all the ugly lurking beneath that made-up, polished-smooth surface. If that sounds like it’s up your alley, well, you may find yourself in that first category I mentioned earlier.

Sounds of Scotland, featuring Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School @ Smart Financial Centre (Sugar Land)
Last but not least, I include this one because, hell, I love Scotland; it’s where a large chunk of my dad’s family hails from, and I’ve always been fascinated by the country and its music. So this event down at Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land sounds very cool to me. The whole thing’s performed by students at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School, who are part of the school’s Scottish Arts program — no, I’m not kidding, and that’s awesome. There’ll be dancing and bagpipes and drums and kilts and bonnets, the whole deal.

As an added bonus, proceeds from the show go to benefit the aforementioned Scottish Arts program, so going to this will help out the next generation of STE students explore the heritage and culture of Scotland. Do it, alright?

Kay Weathers/Mojave Red/Tipsy Kitten @ The Continental Club
Mayday Parade/Knuckle Puck/Milestones @ White Oak Music Hall
SXSW Overflow Fest, featuring Silence The Witness, Arkangela, I am Callope, C4, & Flower Politics @ Super Happy Fun Land
Shawn Mullins/Matt the Electrician/Rick Brantley @ The Heights Theater (319 W. 19th)
I See Stars/Echo @ Walter’s
The Ongoing Concept/Hearts Like Lions/Capstan/Infinite Series/Four Letter Language @ The Secret Group
Hamilton Loomis/Mark May @ Rockefellers
Kiki Maroon’s Burly Q Lounge, featuring Vaudevillian Variety Show & Burly Quties @ Warehouse Live (Studio)
Guy Forsyth @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Katatonia/Caspian/Uncured @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)

That’s all for now; keep checking back…

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