There's plenty of places to play in Houston, but one of the more unconventional places that's been hosting comics lately is 8th Dimension Comics and Games. In general they pick up a more specialized crowd such as chiptune artists and other acts that appeal to the geek demographic, but tonight they'll have the comparatively mainstream Eliza Rickman.
The multi-instrumentalist and singer -- she'll be bringing everything from a toy piano to handbells to a glockenspiel for the performance -- is on her way to New Orleans to work on another set of her excellent and innovative music videos, hitting up cities for shows on the way. She played the more conventional Warehouse Live her last time through through, but thought that the comic shop was a better fit this time around.
"Why wouldn't I come play in a comic shop?" says Rickman. "A fan emailed me saying that they hosted shows, and since my show is very adaptable and involves a lot of humor it seemed like the perfect fit."
Recently Rickman entered the comic world herself. She's teamed with Dame Darcy to turn her tour diaries into a regular comic, and the result is almost better than the actual music. Currently her site is hosting one about a past trip through Austin.
Rickman had inadvertently come into contact with something she was allergic to, and by the time she reached the capitol her face was a swollen, itchy mess. The host she'd contacted about staying with -- and with whom she'd been flirting online -- was less than impressed with her in person in her condition, and proceeded to pointedly ignore her for her two-week stay and didn't even bother going to her shows.
She also ended up attacked by five giant flying tree roaches that ended up trapping her in the kitchen when they took up positions in the corner. Oh honey, we have all been there.
Despite that adventure, Rickman is excited to be bringing her act back to Texas.
"In California, where I'm from, people have this ignorance about how Texas actually is," she says. "I've always found it so warm and welcoming."
Though it's an odd setting, just a cursory listen to Rickman's remarkable music online is proof enough we're glad to have her in any format we can get. I mostly know her through her music videos, which you really should check out; she's tied with Rebekka Karijord and Bunny Michael for consistent and amazing quality.
And just on its own auditory qualifications, her music is something special, even if does make me miss what artists like Tori Amos used to be able craft back in the day. Rickman might be the perfect inheritor of that legacy.
Eliza Rickman plays tonight at 8th Dimension Comics, 8475 Highway 6 N.
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