Update (1:56 p.m.): According to Katial, Summer Fest is scheduled for two days in 2011 and the listing on Pegstar is a typo.
Although several of the shows have been listed on their promoters' Web sites for a while, the new owner-operators of Fitzgerald's released the club's first live-music calendar Monday evening on the Hands Up Houston message board. So far the Free Press Summer Fest team of Omar Afra and Jagi Katial seems to be making good on its vow to give the Heights nightclub an indie-friendly makeover.
Highlights include Fitz's grand reopening Sept. 23 with New York indie-poppers the Drums and locals Weird Party and Black Congress (free to 21 and up with RSVP); Aesop Rock, lord of the rap underground, Sept. 25; remix-enabled Sub Pop Brits Foals Oct. 8; Alaskan oddballs Portugal, The Man Oct. 11 and lo-fi L.A. rockers Best Coast with reunited '90s math heroes Polvo Nov. 6; and another folk-flavored weirdo, Ariel Pink, Nov. 7. Local shows on the first calendar include Golden Axe headlining Sept. 24, Sideshow Tramps Oct. 1 and the return of Robert Ellis & the Boys' "Whiskey Wednesday" residency Sept. 29.
"We are stoked about the schedule, and more announcements will trickle in," says Afra, who with Katial bought the rights to the Fitzgerald's name and took over the lease to the historic Houston venue from its owner of the past three decades, Sara Fitzgerald (who continues to own the building and the property), late last month.
Besides the promoters' sites - most shows at Fitz's are handled by either Super Unison or Katial's Pegstar - Afra says ticketing will also be handled through Fitz's new Web site, www.fitzlivemusic.com, which will be live in a few more days.
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Renovations on the nearly 100-year-old building have been going on for the past four to five weeks, Afra adds: "We are mostly focusing on structural reinforcements for now, but will be moving on to aesthetics once the doors shut on Sept. 12."
At the same time, Afra and Katial have already begun to plan next year's Free Press Summer Fest, which Pegstar's site lists as happening Saturday, June 4, again in Eleanor Tinsley Park. Afra says Summer Fest will announce its 2011 lineup earlier than it did this year, which was in February, and a "crazy cheap" blind pre-sale will begin soon.
However, Pegstar already has an active link to a Summer Fest 2011 Fancy Pants Presale for $32.50 via Ticket Storm. Rocks Off did not give up our credit-card number, but it looks legit.
"I have a headache," Afra adds.