10 Cool & Cheap Weekenders: November 9-11
Glass the Sky Fitzgerald's, November 9 Glass the Sky has been around about a year, but consider Friday's show a coming-out party. According to bassist and vocalist Michael Mazzella, the five local musicians had been playing in other bands for years and gradually realized they were going through the motions. Three of them started jamming together, the spark was rekindled, and they recruited two more, which also allowed them to add four-part harmonies as a somewhat unexpected bonus.
Like the band, the songs on their forthcoming EP were all born as improvisations; Mazzella claims they were inspired by Radiohead, Minus the Bear, Appleseed Cast and Grizzly Bear, and the songs' unusual intricacy and intensity certainly bears that out. The untitled EP's cover art will, notes Mazzella, no doubt ensure it becomes known as "The Dome EP." CHRIS GRAY
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Bayou Music Center, November 9 Noel Gallagher, late of iconic Britpop powerhouse Oasis, branched out as a solo act after he and his brother Liam decided to part ways creatively. They hate each other's guts too, but that comes with being a Gallagher. His new enterprise, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, released a self-titled debut last fall that was met with heaps of praise from Noel and Oasis fans alike. Don't worry, this Gallagher does play a few songs from his old band, with cuts like "Don't Look Back In Anger" and "Supersonic" making appearances on set lists here and there. CRAIG HLAVATY
Freddy Steady 5 Continental Club, November 9 Before he became Texas's first homegrown rock and roll star since Buddy Holly, the late Sir Douglas Sahm of San Antonio was a steel-playing guitar phenom said to have once impressed Hank Williams Sr. himself. Through his psychedelic San Francisco years and later return to Texas, Sahm clung to that honky-tonk soul to the last, cutting The Return of Wayne Douglas a scant three months before he passed away in November 1999.
It happens to be one of the best stone-country albums to ever ride up from the south 40 and, happily, has just been reissued on vinyl by Austin's Steady Boy Records (groovy cover, too). Friday, Steady Boy owner Freddy Krc's Freddy Steady 5 slips down to the Continental to salute Wayne Douglas in person with Houston's Mitch Jacobs Band and Austin singer-songwriter Emily Grace Berry. CHRIS GRAY
Creeperfest Houston House of Creeps (807 William), November 10 Creeperfest looks scary. Truly. Promising 30 bands on five stages and a bottomless free keg, it sounds like the kind of party most people left behind when they got their diploma. But the lineup is stuffed with so many noteworthy local bands that Creeperfest should be counted as a success even if half of them drop off: Hell City Kings, New York City Queens, The American Heist, the Ballistics, RIVERS, an O'Doyle Rules reunion and more.
Further sweetening the pot are out-of-towners like Austin's Black Cock and New Orleans's Mahalya, a backyard home-brewing class and the local premiere of Better Than Something, the new documentary about late enfant terrible musician Jay Reatard. Besides House of Creeps proper, Creeperfest is scattered among its neighbors in that obscure corner of downtown near Last Concert Cafe: Greg's Rat Skate Stage, Ponde Rosa and J.D.'s Bar. Pity them all Sunday morning. CHRIS GRAY
The Island Reunion Walters, November 10 Recently the Houston Press's David Ensminger did two articles on our Rocks Off music blog about the place punk rock and New Wave sprang up in Houston, a scrappy and resilient little club near 59 and Main known alternately as Paradise Island, Rock Island and then simply The Island. It had its good points (the sound) and bad points (the ceiling tended to cave in), and stayed open long enough to welcome R.E.M., Echo & the Bunnymen, Dead Kennedys, Butthole Surfers, and a teeming little local scene in its own right.
An impressive representation of that scene will gather to remember the Island Saturday at Walters, arguably its closest modern counterpart (sorry, Fitz). A few groups on the bill -- MyDolls, and Anarchitex and the Hates especially -- have remained more or less active since the Island was open, while hoping to shake off a few more cobwebs are Doomsday Massacre, AK-47, the Degenerates, Bevatron and Gary Yokie. CHRIS GRAY
Face to Face Fitzgerald's, November 11 One of the most influential acts of the '90s, Face to Face comes to Houston Sunday for an acoustic gig, quite a change from the band's wall of pop-punk noise. F2F will be playing songs from 1999's Ignorance is Bliss, paring down the lineup to just singer/guitarist Trever Keith and bassist/singer Scott Shiflett. The Bliss material is somewhat of a black sheep in the F2F family of albums, so the duo has decided to give the songs a more intimate presentation live. CRAIG HLAVATY
FOUR MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Pamela York: One of Austin's most-respected jazz singers goes toward the light on new disc Lay Down This World: Hymns and Spirituals. (Dowling Music, 2615 Southwest Fwy. at Kirby, 7 p.m. November 9)
Seldom-glimpsed locals -- these days, anyway -- Black Congress and Young Mammals get loud, obnoxious and indie up in the Heights with Fletcher C. Johnson. (Big Star Bar, November 9)
Remember that Springboard South music festival back in May? It's having a kickoff party for the next one Sunday, featuring local roustabout Chase Hamblin. This would also be an excellent opportunity to check out longtime Houston DJ Outlaw Dave's new joint if you haven't already done so. (Outlaw Dave's Worldwide Headquarters, 6502 Washington, November 10)
Blues for Food: Anyone who's anyone in the Houston blues scene -- like all of these people -- performs for the Houston Food Bank at Sunday's annual food drive. Bring a canned good or cash donation. (The Shakespeare Pub, November 11)
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