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.
TicketsFri., Dec. 9, 8:00pm
TicketsTue., Dec. 13, 8:00pm
Kelsea Ballerini - The First Time Tour
TicketsWed., Dec. 14, 7:00pm
MIX 96.5 Not So Silent Night with Train and Fitz & the Tantrums
TicketsThu., Dec. 15, 8:00pm
Flosstradamus - Hi Def Youth Tour 2016
TicketsFri., Dec. 16, 8:00pm
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.
Photo by Trish Badger
Frank’s Pizza Stage, 11 p.m.
This veteran band has produced quality music, played sweet gigs and been lauded among Houston’s best for a long time, so it may seem odd to suggest that it's presently hitting its stride. That’s how it feels, though, and it’s exciting to witness. Maybe the addition of new guitarist AJ Martinez gave the band some additional momentum, or perhaps joining the roster of L.A.-based promotional team The Planetary Group is already paying off. Whatever the reason, Another Run seems laser-focused these days. When they take the stage at MOM, it’ll be the second date of a spring tour that has them playing awesome venues (Stubb’s in Austin; Odell Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado) with cool bands like ATX's Wonderbitch, all culminating with a spot at FPSF. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
DEAD TO THE WORLD
Lynchpin Audio Stage, 11:30 p.m.
When Madness on Main’s organizers promise a cross-section of Houston music, they deliver; note Dead to the World’s inclusion in the requisite fest mix of hip-hop, indie rock and dance music. Having an actual punk act on the roster is inspired madness. The band has earned the opportunity to mine fans outside its chosen genre at an event like this, from hard work and constant gigging with compatriots like Against Me!, The Hates and Skeleton Dick. If you’re interested but unfamiliar, check out the video for “War,” the title track to their 2015 EP. Shot by Brandon Walsh of Punk With a Camera, it’s an in-your-face frenzy, which gives you some feeling about what it’ll be like to see this booming act in the close quarters of the Big Top. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Photo by Marco Torres
Lynchpin Audio Stage, 12:30 a.m.
For years now, Doeman has been perhaps the best and brightest hope for Latino hip-hop in Houston. The young rapper from the hardscrabble southeast side of the city was raised on a steady diet of classic ‘90s rhymes and beats by his father, and you can hear that in his music — it makes him sound much older and wiser than his 21 years. He’s gotten into the festival rotation this weekend by doing things the old-school way — like hand-delivering his own mixtapes to customers rather than putting them on SoundCloud. He’s small of stature and unassuming in demeanor, but he’ll be easy to find at Madness on Main. Just listen for the ecstatic screams of young ladies. Girls love this guy. NATHAN SMITH
FIVE MORE PICKS FOR GOOD MEASURE
Trippy Cholo — 8th Wonder Stage, 4:15 p.m.
A Sundae Drive — Lynchpin Audio Stage, 6:30 p.m.
Dollie Barnes — All Seeing Eyes Stage, 7:45 p.m.
Keeton Coffman — All Seeing Eyes Stage, 9:45 p.m.
Quintron & Miss Pussycat — Frank’s Pizza Stage, 12 a.m.
Frank’s Pizza Stage (Continental Club)
All Seeing Eyes Stage (Pachinko Hut)
Lynchpin Audio Stage (Big Top Lounge)
8th Wonder Stage (Art & Craft Beer Garden, across Main from Double Trouble)
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