Midtown Throwdown

Your guide to our very first Houston Press Best of Houston® BestFest.

BUXTON: The nicest guys you'd ever want to meet, Buxton can be scary-good. On the verge of releasing New West debut Nothing Here Seems Strange, the band has honed a flinty roots-rock edge while maintaining the ethereal folk beauty of 2008's A Family Light. That side continues undiluted in offshoot Ancient Cat Society. Gray

HAYES CARLL: One sharp cookie, Hayes Carll took his scruffy Americana to the movies (Country Strong) and outer space on this year's KMAG YOYO, an odds-on favorite for Album of the Year. Now all he has to do is lie back and let the awards (and royalties) start rolling in, but he's too much of an itinerant road dog ever to let that happen. Gray


Dear Tick
Photo by Jason Wolter
Dear Tick
Bun B
Photo by Marco Torres
Bun B

Location Info


Midtown Superblock

2800 Main
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Community Venues

Region: Montrose


Houston Press Best of Houston® BestFest

Noon Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25, at the Midtown superblock, Main & McGowen,

RYAN SCROGGINS & THE TRENCHTOWN TEXANS: Tattoo artist Ryan Scroggins and his rock-steady Trenchtown Texans have become a weekend Continental Club favorite, rubbing country, bluegrass and blues into some deep reggae and dub grooves. This summer's two-fer of albums, Folk Devils and Move to the Country, is a winner. Gray

LITTLE JOE WASHINGTON: Both living legend and local treasure, Little Joe Washington embodies Houston blues. Whether rocking back and forth in a steady shuffle or contorting like he just stepped on a power cable, Little Joe is a real live wire. Gray

CAROLYN WONDERLAND: Never one to sit still, Carolyn Wonderland returns to her hometown behind Peace Meal, her excellent new album of rootsy blues-rock and gospel cries. See "Chatter," p. 48. Gray

DEER TICK: These Rhode Island indie-punk roots-rockers have made an album a year since 2009, and next month drop Divine Providence, a love letter to their hometown. Lead singer John McCauley's voice encapsulates all the heartache of being young, blitzed and cursed with romanticism. Hlavaty

CAKE: They have never been flashy or even fashion-forward, but Cake proves that all you need to build a strong career is quirky songs and a taste for the absurd. Since the early '90s, the Sacramento group has been operating an assembly line of instantly recognizable pop singles, from 1996's "The Distance" to "No Phone" from 2004's Pressure Chief. Showroom of Compassion, their sixth disc, came out in January. Hlavaty

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Wow, you guys should pay Free Press royalties for this lineup, almost a rehash of summerfests past...


Nice music line up. My two cents on areas for improvement:

1) the name BestFest makes me think i'm going to get ripped off at every turn with $8 light beers and long lines for tiny food. The existence of a VIP area doesn't improve my outlook.

2) the bulk of your promotion period has been in the middle of a death heat wave from hell. at this point i only have faint memories of weather that makes me want to spend the day out in the sun. while this year has been exceptionally bad, i don't think Aug/Sep is ever going to be a good time to promote an outdoor festival.

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