Do we all know people who are excited to take their kids trick-or-treating in a neighborhood other than their own this weekend? If you stupidly ask why, you’ll be informed that the preferred neighborhood has the good stuff. You know, M&M’s, Butterfinger and Fun Dip. At home, the neighbors might be more likely to pass out the generic pap that comes in industrial-sized bags that retail for a few bucks at Big Lots. No thanks.
So, what musical neighborhoods do you plan to haunt over the weekend? As Bushwick Bill once famously croaked, this year Halloween falls on a weekend and it seems everyone has his light on, waiting for you to visit. Sometimes the only way to go is with a roundup of the places passing out the good stuff, lest you knock on the door and get that hard marshmallow peanut in your bag. So, think of this less as a list than as a bitchin’ neighborhood where everyone is celebrating, and think of us as gently nudging you from the sidewalk toward all the right doors. And remember to set your clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. Saturday – you won't be extending Halloween by another 60 minutes, technically, but after all this, we bet you'll need the extra hour of sleep. Happy Halloween!
** Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (top left), former guitarist of New Jersey-spawned '80s horror-punk icons the Misfits, will be leaving a trail of mayhem in Houston's outer bands this weekend. Now in much more of a metal mood, tonight he breathes in the salty Galveston Bay air at San Leon's 18th St. Pier Bar & Grill with his band, simply titled Doyle, in support of new album The Abomination; lines like “I dream of dead girls” are par for the grisly course. On Halloween night, Doyle et al. — as in openers Hatchet, Calabrese, Witness to the Fallen, Lotus Effect, Never Quite the King and Unknown Brothers — move it on up to BFE Rock Club for a black mass that starts at the horrifically early hour of 6 p.m.
** By the way, as for the actual Misfits, Jerry Only is still kicking open crypts from sea to shining sea, and will be at Concert Pub North next Saturday, November 7, playing classic 1977 debut Static Age in full. Not only is Doyle Jerry's brother, but Jerry Jr. recently joined his dad's band. Sharing the bill are SID 17, Houston's the Guillotines, Shaw, She Demons and Godless, who are...wait for it...a Danzig tribute band. Oh, the irony.
** What is Halloween if not a chance to transform into something or someone you’re not? That’s the partial premise behind DJ Simmer Down’s Halloween Bash, a repeat celebration on Eastdown Warehouse’s annual calendar. A pair of the acts will be doing “performing as” sets. Members of Action Frank and Fuska will team together as Mr. Chainsaw to do an Alkaline Trio tribute set. Then, Eastdown will do the time warp again and take us back to 924 Gilman Street circa 1990 with Junkies Runnin’ Dry. Members of 30footFALL, Patterns, Bury The Crown and Dead to the World will perform Operation Ivy’s Energy in its entirety. Hearing “Take Warning” live should be like knocking on the local dentist’s door and getting a one-pound bag of Reese’s Pieces in your plastic jack-o-lantern with the flimsy black handle. Additionally, Los Hot Boxers will be making the trip from San Jose to show us how California does Halloween rocksteady style. Fellow out-of-towners Be Like Max and The Holophonics open the show, which ends with a special treat in Houston's the Suspects. The all-ages show’s admission is $10, and there will be the obligatory costume contest with a $100 grand prize.
** No better time for a record-release party than Halloween eve, especially if you're local stoner-metal trio Funeral Horse. Help Jason Argonaut, Paul Bearer and nickname-deprived drummer Chris Bassett launch third LP Divinity for the Wicked (telltale track: “A Bit of Weed”) Friday at Rudyard's with Austin's Bellringer (featuring Mark Deutrom of the Melvins) and deadhorse/30FootFALL mashup Baron Von Bomblast.
Houston Floydian scholars Pigs on the Wall's "The Lunatic's Ball" Friday at Last Concert Cafe gives partygoers the rare opportunity to listen to Pink Floyd’s hits performed live while also dressing up as Syd Barrett’s weirdest hallucinogenic nightmare. The HPMA 2015 People's Choice-nominated act features human light shows, hula-hoopers and classics from albums like Animals, The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. The all-ages show will feature a contest with a $100 gift certificate for best costume. Tickets are $10 at the door, but just $7 purchased in advance.
** Not only is the show no cover (tip generously), the Big Top's Halloween-night “Mid Main Massacre” is a prime opportunity to catch the groups responsible for two of 2015's finest local releases: rawk overlords Knights of the Fire Kingdom (Knights of the Fire Kingdom) and whip-smart pop-rockers Jealous Creatures (The Night Goes On For Days). Opening are interstellar psych-rock/R&B pirates Space Villains, whose debut release, Asterism, deserves all the black light you can give it.
** The Cult is in town Halloween night. This means people are going to lose their shit when they hear the opening riff to “She Sells Sanctuary,” and that House of Blues' security staff will deserve triple whatever they're being paid.
** At the risk of coming off as stalkers, we’ll share that we saw Fat Tony in the shower this week. No, it wasn’t like that scene from Psycho; it was simply a Facebook post of the “Sushi” lover practicing his singing in the shower. The song choice was “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” which was appropriate, since Tony will be teaming with Snooty Garbagemen to form End of the Century, a one-off Ramones cover band at Saturday's "The Halloweening II" bash at Walters Downtown. If that doesn’t sound tastier than candy corn, maybe you’re just the type who likes getting pencils or loose change while trick or treating. Everyone gets to be someone cool since the acts are covering punk bands like Green Day (Kose and Pitter Patter), The Vaselines (Hearts of Animals) and Good Charlotte (Cop Warmth). A pair of billed acts — Blink 281 and Gwarissey, (a GWAR/Morrissey mashup!) — are made up of parts unknown, like a very hip Frankenstein’s monster. The whole shebang is hosted by comics Dusti Rhodes and Brian Zella, and costume-wearing is highly encouraged. Admission is free for 21 and up and $5 otherwise.
** MKT Bar does Halloween Wonky Power style with early performances by George West, Mario Rodriguez (Bang Bangz/Tax the Wolf) and DJ Klandestino, plus live video projections, "spooktacular" food specials such as roasted squash tarts and cocktails like "Vampire Blood" (just drink it); DJ Tempty keeps this "Get Your Ghoul On" party going until 1 a.m.
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** Poor Unfortunate Souls, surely the Bayou City's only “metal Disney tribute band,” headline NotsuoH's free “Disney Halloween Party” Friday, so don't even think about skipping out on a costume. Luckily, per the Facebook invite, “I guess since Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars, now you can dress in those costumes as well.” Joining them, perhaps disguised as pop-culture totems themselves, are local alt-pop trickstresses Vanilla Sugar, plus Houston newcomers Hello Planet and Austin surf-rockers the Baffles.
Even though AvantGarden's free Halloween show will feature some of Houston’s most beloved hip-hop artists, there’s no way it can deliver on everything it’s promising, specifically because the event page suggests it will bring us evasive things like “epiphanies” and “Meek Mill’s dignity.” However, if it can at least come through with cheap beer, a taco truck that serves lengua and the billed acts (Mannequin Mishap, Biz Vicious, NIKKHOO, etc.), then you need to get in the Mystery Machine and go investigate, Scooby Doo. A lot of these acts have skin in the game, so rap fans — particularly adventurous ones who show hometown love — will have seen some of them. If you’re unfamiliar, don’t expect much chopped and screwed from this group. You’ll get more chopping and screwing from watching a Friday the 13th flick. If you’re interested in crazy rhyme skills and inventive beats, this is your Halloween show.