Bayou City

Shows of the Week: Sik Mule, Catch Fever and La Sien Seize Their Moments

Raven Tower, May 27
Texas has no shortage of paleo-rock bands à la Honky or Amplified Heat, but there's always room for one more. Enter Sik Mule, the Houston trio (by way of Chicago and San Antonio) that has been stomping a mudhole in local stages since late 2014. Friday marks the release of their self-titled debut release, which is stuffed like a sausage casing with satisfying fuzz-rock tunes, most of which are beefy enough to break the six- or even nine-minute mark. Sik Mule sprinkle dashes of psychedelia over their Sabbath-rooted rock, whether offering a few choice words for the smartphone-obsessed (“Selfie Nation”) or praising a certain Pulp Fiction character (“Winston Wolf”). Houston has a pretty good track record with power trios, so let Sik Mule kick out the jams. With Handsomebeast and A Tribute to the Sun.

Raven Tower, May 28
With a name like Catch Fever, your band had better specialize in getting people excited. Luckily that's not a problem for Catch Fever on their sophomore release, the 100 percent crowdfunded EP You Have All You Need. Following up 2013's Shiny Eyes, the five-song effort captures Josh Wilson and Taylor Huffman adjusting to life as a duo, changing instruments the way some people change outfits while getting ready to go to a party. Actually, the way they bounce from upbeat electro-rock to heartsick emo-pop and chilly atmospheric post-punk, that's not a bad way to think about it at all. Consider You Have All You Need a must-have for Bloc Party, MUTEMATH or White Lies fans looking for a local addition to their party playlist. With Mobley, the Beans and Kay Weathers.

Warehouse Live (Studio), May 28
La Sien is one of those hidden treasures within the local music scene not enough people are aware of, especially non-Spanish speakers. The seven-year-old quartet don't make a lot of noise on social media and aren't always tapped to open the hottest shows, although they have for top rock en español acts like Zoe, Kinky and Molotov. Saturday La Sien will release their second album, titled La Sien like their 2012 debut; with special guests Muddy Belle and Girl In a Coma's Nina Diaz, the night has the potential to be a fantastic — if overdue — coming-out party for the band. It takes only a couple of listens to this latest La Sien, which builds from the acoustic flourishes of “Lo Que Quiero” and midtempo numbers like “La Furor” to the hard-rocking climax of “No Escaparas” and “Pequeño Cerebro,” to understand why they deserve to be heard by rock fans of any language.

Arena Theatre, May 28 & 29
Pop music has lost more than its share of visionaries this year — Bowie, Prince, Guy Clark — but Erykah Badu is still with us, and thank God for that. Thanks to one of the absolute must-read Twitter accounts on the entire Internet, the 45-year-old Earth mother/possible alien/singer/creator/DJ/overall badass is often in the news thanks to what our sister paper the Dallas Observer terms her “extracurriculars”; entertaining as those may be — last month, for example, she showed up unannounced to serenade a high-school cafeteria in Newark, New Jersey — they tend to distract attention from what a talented performer she really is. (She's like Sinéad O'Connor, only much less scary.) More recently Badu and Houston native Robert Glasper collaborated on a remix of “Maiysha (So Long)” from Everything's Beautiful, Glasper's recent companion album to the Davis biopic Miles Ahead. A second show Sunday was added last week because of high demand, so make sure to check the venue's website for ticket availability. With Ro James.

White Oak Music Hall, May 29
White Oak Music Hall has now hosted a handful of shows on the Lawn, most of which have sold out, but Sunday's “Memorial Weekend Blowout” may be the first real chance Houston fans get to see its true potential. (It's hard to know what to make of a venue until you spend all day there.) Oklahoma space oddities the Flaming Lips, old friends of White Oak's proprietors since their epic set at Free Press Summer Fest 2010, are an ideal choice to headline – playful, tuneful and as freaky as they want to be. The rest of the bill is equally stacked, an accurate reflection of Pegstar's ambition and eclectic interests: Memphis soul-punks Lucero; Pennsylvania hard-emo quartet Title Fight; Texas psych-rock elder Roky Erickson; and Body/Head, Kim Gordon's post-Sonic Youth duo with Massachusetts guitarist Bill Nace. Earlier in the day, look for spacey Brooklyn troubadour DIIV; '90s power-pop holdovers Nada Surf; Nashville “country-goth” Adia Victoria; shoegazy Austin trio Moving Panoramas; and, last but not least, Houston's Lost Element and We Were Wolves. Fire up the barbecue.
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray