Tonight: Two From Back in the Day, with Blueprint & The Tie That Binds (Plus The Inverters & Narrow Head, Too!)

Holy shit, people. Yeah, yeah — I’m well aware that Morrissey is playing tonight, Friday, April 14th (Or is he? Who can say, really, especially after canceling Wednesday’s San Antonio gig?), this time down in Sugar Land at Smart Financial Centre. But really, I’m gonna wave my hand that direction and say, “Nah, man.”

For me, at least, there’s only really one show that’s got me psyched, and it ain’t Moz. (I’m sure he’ll be crushed.) Rather, it’s a too-infrequent reunion of two legendary bands from Houston’s emo-tinged musical past, Blueprint and The Tie That Binds.

When I first started to seriously pay attention to music in this town, those two bands (and predecessor band Badger) were goddamn icons. They were The Suffers of their day…if The Suffers never got any airplay and scant press, even locally, that is. Still, though, among folks involved in the scene, Blueprint and TTTB were heroes.

They rode the line between straight-up melodic punk and late-’90s/early-’00s emo, sorta-kinda, even though they themselves may not have realized the latter half of that combo at the time. My own lame-ass little band owes its existence in no small part to seeing and hearing these guys play and thinking, “wow, I want to do that.” (Not that I could, y’know, but hey, it got me to give it a shot.) I used to scour record bins for their 7-inches; they were (and are) some of my most prized musical possessions.

Plus, both bands were notable because they each spawned something like a dozen other bands after their respective breakups; Blueprint, in particular, is a ridiculously central locus for the ever-expanding map of bands-that-begat-other-bands. If you don’t believe me, look here — they’re in there, um, somewhere (okay, I’ll admit it — it made my eyes hurt, so I gave up searching).

It’s not a stretch to point to these guys and say that they’re at least partly responsible for the Houston music scene as it stands today. Beyond that, they’ve all been ridiculously nice, down-to-earth people when I’ve met ’em in the past.

All that is to say that it makes me happy as hell to see both Blueprint and The Tie That Binds up there on the bill together. They’ve each reunited a few times over the past couple of decades, but I don’t think they’ve done it at the same time in quite a while, so this qualifies as a pretty sweet-looking treat.

No clue what the Blueprint dudes will be digging up, but I’m told the TTTB crew will be playing their 2001 release, Half Past Heroes, and yes, you should really hear it, if you haven’t already, especially if you’re a fan of Samiam, Face to Face, or Sunny Day Real Estate.

Opening the show will be Austin band The Inverters — fronted by H-town expat Al Shire — and more recent locals Narrow Head, both of whom are freaking excellent themselves.

The Inverters do old-school ska, which always holds a special place in my heart, and young’uns Narrow Head skate between My Bloody Valentine-sized shoegaze and face-punching, Deftones-level space-rock, hitting their marks damn near perfectly on both fronts (seriously, listen to new single “Stuttering Stanley”; holy crap…).

And hey, as Added Nostalgia Bonus #1, I think Narrow Head’s singer & guitarist, Jacob Duarte, is actually the son of one of the guys from The Tie That Binds. Whoa. Now I feel fucking old.

As for Added Nostalgia Bonus #2, the show tonight will be up at the reopened Rockefellers, where yours truly pretty regularly went to see bands play back when the headliners were first doing their thing.

Put it all together, and I’m starting to feel like I’m in a timewarp…except that I’m kind of okay with that. Get on out there, y’all.


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