10 Acts to Watch at Madness On Main This Weekend
Photo courtesy of Pure Peach Marketing/Madness On Main
THE BROKEN SPOKES
All Seeing Eyes Stage, 4:45 p.m.
Named after the South Austin dance hall that has drawn two-steppers like flies for a half-century — and successfully fought back hungry developers for the past decade — the Broken Spokes could have easily been plucked straight off that hallowed honky-tonk’s hardwood dance floor. These Spokes have been bringing their hardcore trad-country — served with generous sides of Texas swing and savory steel guitar — to local joints like Rudz and the Big Top for a couple of years, but have only recently released their first recording, a nifty little eight-song self-titled debut. It’s all worth a spin around the floor, but best of all are tunes like “Moved Into a Bottle,” where the wordplay is as sharp as the guitar licks. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Scott Barber
KNIGHTS OF THE FIRE KINGDOM
Frank’s Pizza Stage, 7 p.m.
After you’ve had a few beers and grown a little weary of the more precious tunes on display at Madness on Main, head on over and catch Knights of the Fire Kingdom. They're possibly the hardest-rocking local group on the festival bill, and the Knights’ music often sounds like it’s blaring out of a motorcycle tailpipe, and we mean that as a compliment. If you need a quick distortion fix in the midst of all the sick beats and indie stylings on Saturday, these guys have got just what you need. NATHAN SMITH
Photo by Jason Smith
GLASS THE SKY
7:30 p.m. Lynchpin Audio Stage
If your favorite part of any micro-festival is finding a musical act to help you sink into the pillowy depths of your own brain, swing over to Big Top and give Glass the Sky a try. The Houston quintet’s spacey guitars recall Bends-era Radiohead, but that group never attempted the complex vocal harmonies that Glass the Sky pulls off. It’s guitar rock at its prettiest, draped over fat and gentle backbeats — the perfect gateway drug to the harder stuff to come later on in the day. NATHAN SMITH
Photo by Bubba Hightower
LINUS PAULING QUARTET
Frank’s Pizza Stage, 8 p.m.
One band that’ll be itching to play Madness on Main is Houston stoner-rock stalwarts Linus Pauling Quartet. The long-running group put out a new album last year called Ampalanche — a tribute to the sonic majesty of four booming 12s hooked up to some dank vacuum tubes. But thanks to the annoying quirks of real life, LP4 hasn’t been able to crank out their music at full volume since before the record was released, limited in their ability to book shows because of scheduling issues. On Saturday, they’re planning to flip all the knobs to 11 and unleash a true Ampalanche at last. Bring earplugs…and maybe a joint or six. NATHAN SMITH
Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
8th Wonder Stage, 8:30 p.m.
Many bands would pale at the notion of opening for the legendary likes of Los Skarnales, but Skatastrophics isn’t one of those bands. This outfit has been delivering its rocksteady-reggae-ska mix long enough and with enough aplomb to settle into such a role quite nicely, thank you. It’s able to do that because everything about the band is cool, from towering, sunglassed front man Billy Munoz to a song selection that includes a mix of covers like “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” and The Melodians’ “It’s My Delight” with originals like “Stumble & Fall” and the heavy, heavy monster earworm “Rude Boy Dialect.” We recommend catching them here and then again May 12 at Walters when they support NYC third-wave ska hellions Mephiskapheles. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
SAY GIRL SAY
All Seeing Eyes Stage, 8:45 p.m.
Like everyone else, Say Girl Say had lots to say on the subject of the incredible women of Houston music in this week’s Houston Press cover story, but we only had so much space. So, with this additional opportunity to allow them to speak, we’re going to do so. Before we do, all we’ll say is you’ll be cheating yourself of some breathtaking moments if you miss their ethereal voices teamed with powerful percussion from Luke Odom and alluring dance interpretation by Y.E. Torres, all under the stars at Pachinko Hut.
“The way the band started was a very natural process. We like to embrace that through our music and how we function as a band at times,” says SGS’s Brigette Yawn. “I think overall people are feeling connected to our music, and that’s incredible. But we also work really hard, so the combination has a lot of power and potential. The band has exceeded our initial intentions and expectations, and it continues to do so. So, we just keep going.” JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Photo by Violeta Alvarez
8th Wonder Stage, 9:30 p.m.
Will Los Skarnales deliver a set with crazier energy because it’s Cinco de Mayo weekend, someone I know wondered. Are they going to turn the mutha out with extra picante since they have been away from home, touring westward, over the past month? The answer on both counts is no, probably not. Los Vatos Rudos don’t need any added incentive to give audiences their best. They just have it in them, sealed into their hearts like a pacemaker that’s built from parts found over 20-plus years of performing. Following the band is like watching a really cool serial movie from the 1940s, like The Green Hornet or Junior G-Men of The Air, only this one features sharp-dressed men and a soundtrack that no ‘40s composer could have fathomed. The last time we saw our heroes, they were honoring the great Archie Bell with a killer set at a packed Eastdown Warehouse. The best thing about the continuing adventures of Los Skarnales is you don’t have to catch every episode. They all end the same, with you shaking your ass on the dance floor. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
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