Hot Tunes, Summer in the City

Houston Press Music Awards Showcase 2002

Faceplant
Best Metal

The rap/rock/funksters of five-year-old Faceplant have had a busy year. In February, the Abyss veterans and southside natives signed a publishing deal with industry giant EMI Music. Since then they've been taking their Chili Peppers-meets-311 sounds all over the country; this showcase gig is sandwiched between shows in Chicago and New York. Their frenetic live shows and the attendant spectacle (often involving giant bongs and band members dressed as walking vaginas) have led some to compare them to metal monsters GWAR. -- J.N.L.
7 p.m. Verizon Wireless Theater

Flying Fish Sailors
Best Celtic

The subjects of this band's original songs range from the Loch Ness Monster and UFOs to lima beans, U-Haul trailers and the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918, but the FFS isn't just a joke group. Each member is an expert at his instrument and an amateur scholar of centuries-old English, Scottish, American and Irish folk songs. The multi-instrumental/multivocalist lineup includes Greg Henkel, Jay Lee, Joseph Linbeck, Mitch Lawyer, Jim Bedinghaus and sometimes Greg's brother Jim. A favorite at the Renaissance Festival and Garden in the Heights, FFS has also gigged at the Continental Club. Think of a van carrying the Austin Lounge Lizards smashing into one bearing the Chieftains, and you're close. -- B.R.
6 p.m. Live Sports Cafe

Fondue Monks
Best Funk/R&B, Best Bassist (Rozz Zamorano)

Unlike their cloistered counterparts, these Monks certainly know how to party -- and they don't even wear those brown robes and strange haircuts. Consisting of Denver Courtney (vocals), Steve Olson (guitar), Rozz Zamorano (bass) and his brother Ronnie (drums), FM has spent the year widening its geographical touring circle. The Monks' sound -- a combination of rock, blues and jazz with the heavy stench of da funk -- has also proved profitable, helping them collect $10,000 in equipment as the winners of the Shiner Bock/Guitar Center Battle of the Bands and earning them the opening slot at the Bocktoberfest concert at the Spoetzl Brewery. No word on how much of the host product found its way into the band's equipment cases for the ride home. -- B.R.
7 p.m. The Hub

Free Radicals
Best Jazz

This three-time Best Jazz winner has long been trying to sell itself as a distinctive band, which it is. The Radicals even won over The New Yorker a couple of years back, when the magazine said the band "has as many influences as there are items in the Houston pawnshop in which they honed their sound during all-night jam sessions." Performing a rather trippy form of jazz/funk/ska fusion, front man Nick Cooper and his elaborately eclectic crew try their damnedest to blow your mind in a unique way. But they can't help but be compared to other equally distinctive artists. So how about this: At its finest, Free Radicals sounds like what would've happened if Sun Ra, Toots Hibbert and Captain Beefheart had gone on a coffeehouse tour during the early '70s. Trust us, that's a compliment. -- C.D.L.
6 p.m. The Hub

Grady Gaines
Best Horns

You want some really old-school H-town funk? Then this saxophone-honking bandleader is the man. After all, he was there at the beginning, when early R&B began to spawn rock and roll. In the 1950s, while still a student at the Fifth Ward's Wheatley High School, Gaines hit the road to blow tenor for Little Richard's original barrier-breaking band. And while still in his twenties, he worked with jump blues stylists Big Walter Price and Gatemouth Brown as well as classic soul singers Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson. Though he retired temporarily, Gaines has led the Texas Upsetters for the past two decades. This veteran ensemble mixes the old and new in a high-spirited, horn-heavy celebration of timelessly soulful music. -- R.W.
6 p.m. The Mercury Room

Global Village
Best Funk/R&B

Global Village has been tearing the roofs off clubs throughout Texas and beyond for a dozen years now. While the band has seen more than its share of lineup changes, it remains the city's most consistent traveling groove party. GV started out as a cover band known for funking up the classics, but over the years it's grown into a more unique entity. Consistent winners in the funk and world categories of the Music Awards, these guys are no strangers to our city's night crawlers. Chances are you've caught them live at least once, whether you intended to or not. And when you did, you know you got on down. -- M.S.
9 p.m. The Mercury Room

Groceries
Best Indie

Houston's preeminent indie rock outfit might also be the city's most cunning thrift-store shoppers. After all, the clothes make the band. The great thing about Groceries is that there's a good deal of substance under the low-budget look. The music flips from catchy to dissonant, prog to pop -- often in the course of a single song. Too broad to pin down as a more straightforward version of Pavement, Groceries keeps it in the garage where the machine gets the grease -- it's as if this music were working itself out mechanically, shifting gears. Of course, if you'd rather not concentrate, just check out the fashion. Singer Matt Brownlie sports one hell of an Anglo Afro. --T.S.
8 p.m. BAR Houston

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