The 20 Best Local Concerts Before Halloween
Photo courtesy of CSMDP
Come See My Dead Person Rudyard's, September 5
Arguably one of Texas' most interesting and eclectic acts, Come See My Dead Person are well-known for a gypsy-punk party that melds multiple musical styles with an insane amount of energy. If you can't make tonight's Rudz show, good news: they're playing Galveston's Cowboy's Cajun Kitchen the following evening. SELENA DIERINGER
No Limits CityFest Discovery Green, September 6
What better way to start off the fall (or mid-summer, as we like to call it here), than with a trifecta of some of our best local bands? Discovery Green, which has proven to be an ample festival grounds, is hosting what is being dubbed the No Limits CityFest, featuring three bands you've probably come across in at some point on some stage in Houston. Veteran artists Los Skarnales, the Suffers and Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man - all of them HPMA winners many times over -- will be holding it down at this weekend's earlier-than-normal festival that runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. JIM BRICKER
Artificial Head Records Meets the Phantom of KISS Fitzgerald's, September 6
Local record label Artificial Head Records is putting on this KISS tribute show, featuring some of Houston's best locals performing the music of the legendary rock band. The big attraction here is headliner Jody Seabody and the Whirls, a garage-punk band who have been in the scene for some time and always rock it live. Also on the bill are Linus Pauling Quartet, Clockpole, the Freakouts, Funeral Horse, Hell City Kings, Cornish Game Hen, the Ex-Optimists and the Swamps. The show is free if you're over 21, so you officially have no excuse to skip this. COREY DIETERMAN
Mike Stinson Under the Volcano, September 10/October 1
A craftsman of a songwriter capable of both great wit and poignancy, Mike Stinson has raised the bar for local troubadors since moving to Houston in 2009. Last year his latest LP, Hell and Half of Georgia, put a rockin', radio-friendly sheen on some damn fine turns of phrase and was named 2013's No. 42 album by former Washington Post critic Geoffrey Himes in Paste magazine; it also helped Stinson take home a 2014 Houston Press Music Award for Best Country Act. After some recent dates in the Northeast and his old Virginia stomping grounds, next week Stinson returns to the Under the Volcano residency that started it all. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Jason Wolter
Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 11
As often as they're mentioned in the same sentence, and as much as they've meant to Texas music these past three decades, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen don't play together in the area all that often. They'll do Galveston's 1894 Opera House once in a while, and Lovett walked onstage to join in on "That Buckin' Song" during Keen's set at Sam Houston Race Park's CCA Conservation Concert last year, but a full double bill by the fellow Aggies is something to be savored any time it comes along. Both men's latest releases are a couple of years old, so this hopefully not-too-hot September evening at the Pavilion should be long on fan favorites, self-deprecating wisecracks and, if we're lucky, a few impromptu duets. CHRIS GRAY
Bang Bangz Cactus Music, September 13
Bang Bangz should be brimming with stories to tell from their recent weeklong tour of several Mexico City-area venues, and perhaps an update or two from Mario Rodriguez and crew's burgeoning Wonky Power empire over on Navigation Boulevard. Now up to a quartet, Bang Bangz is all about atmospherics and seduction, but their dreamy nocturnal electronica is so irresistible it'll even work in a crowded record store at three in the afternoon. CHRIS GRAY
Fat Tony The Summit (3536 Navigation Blvd.), September 13
After taking up partial residence in Brooklyn, Houston's own slightly-in-shape Fat Tony has returned, turning his talents into a Red Bull sponsorship and recent performances at MFAH's Mixed Media monthly showcases. So, in a true Tony-ism, a party/show is the best way to announce you're going on the road for awhile. Before you see him with the likes of Mobb Deep's Prodigy and a host of others, he'll be at the Summit with the BomBón DJs, DJ Good Grief and Rai P on Saturday. Drinks are complimentary thanks to St. Arnold's, Remy Martin (the tour sponsor) and Topo Chico. 21 and up only; buy tickets here. BRANDO
Yes Indeed Festival Continental Club/Big Top Lounge/Alley Kat Bar & Lounge, September 13
Weekends that go by without another multi-stage festival setting up shop somewhere in Houston are getting pretty scarce, but Yes Indeed has a definite leg up due to its track record and homegrown appeal. For its third edition, the nine-hour event relocates to mid-Main and expands to a nine-hour, four-stage musical feast unfolding at the Continental Club (plus patio), Big Top and Alley Kat, all within stumbling distance of one another if need be.
Out-of-town guests this time include Toronto garage-blues mashers Black Pistol Fire, Baton Rouge electronica brothers England In 1919, and a pair of Austin face-rockers in Otis the Destroyer and Megafauna, demonstrating how the fest's reach continues to grow. But Yes Indeed's backbone remains Houston's vibrant indie scene, an umbrella term that in 2014 covers sweaty hard rock (We Were Wolves, Another Run), bubbly electro-pop (BLSHS, Counting Colors), Americana folkies (Keeton Coffman, Robert Kuhn) and some 18 other acts. CHRIS GRAY
Story continues on the next page.
Photo by Lauren Holshauser
Deep Cuts, Young Girls, Limb, The Caldwell, Mikey & the Drags Fitzgerald's, September 19
Just a short few years ago, most of these bands weren't even bands. Now they're winning HPMA's, playing gigs to packed houses all over town, gigging regularly out of town and are generally considered among the Bayou City's bigger indie bands. While none of the five are similar in style -- like, not even close -- they all pretty much kick a whole bunch of ass. Deep Cuts are there to make you dance, Young Girls are there to make you jam; Limb is there to kick your ass, The Caldwell are there to make you swoon, and Mikey & the Drags are there to take every last bit of energy out of your soul in the best way possible. JIM BRICKER
BLSHS Untapped Festival, Discovery Green, September 20
The 2014 Houston Press Music Award winner for Best New Act, BLSHS will be joining several other Texas favorites at the Houston Untapped Festival, also featuring the Toadies and the Suffers, just to name a few. Fans of bands like CHVRCHES and Phantogram will love this local synth-pop trio if they don't already. Bonus: lead singer Michelle Miears is not only incredibly nice, but she really loves tacos. She's good in my book. SELENA DIERINGER
Numbers' 36th Anniversary Numbers, September 20
Some things never change, and...oh, who are we kidding? Numbers is still mourning the loss of its beloved Robot, the Montrose nightspot's owner who passed away a little more than a year ago. But the club has shown an admirable amount of resilence and even grace in its determination to press on and keep things the way Robot would have wanted them.
It has reopened the dance floor to mainstay nights like Classic Numbers and Underworld, and ushered in a new chapter by unveiling a spiffy new mural full of alternative-music icons like Morrissey, Ian Curtis and Siouxsie Sioux, and just this week announced that goth/darkwave-themed night Bewitched Wednesdays will be migrating from Barbarella next month. For its 36th anniversary party, it's promising even more surprises, hoping to entice a whole new crop of Houston clubgoers over to the dark side. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Jim McGuire/Shore Fire Media
Mary Sarah Firehouse Saloon, September 25
On Bridges, her remarkable album released back in July, 18-year-old Houston singer Mary Sarah goes well beyond holding her own against some of the greatest talents in country-music history -- Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill and the late Ray Price, to name a few -- and pretty much steals the show. But this is no stunt record. Just about anyone who has been to a karaoke bar knows how easy it can be to screw up a song like "Crazy," but the young singer delivers that tune, and others even more difficult to sing, with real musicianship that matches that of her elders.
Less surprisingly, she also gives many songs a pronounced youthful zip that once or twice rescues some pretty dated material from the old-folks' home. After a busy summer where she drew a fair amount of national attention, Sarah's homecoming gig at the Firehouse should taste extra sweet. CHRIS GRAY
Sounds Like Houston! Discovery Green, September 25-October 23
It seems like Discovery Green's free fall-concert series gets a new presenting sponsor every year, but that's OK. Considering how many people have moved to Houston since the autumn of 2013, it might as well be new anyway. But the subtle changes from year to year (what is it, four or five now?) take nothing away from what has always made the event so great: by presenting some of Houston's finest performers in an all-ages, no-cover environment, it allows them to escape the bar/nightclub milieu and win an entire new crop of fans in downtown's front yard. This year's class includes Americana ringmaster Craig Kinsey, blues legend Milton Hopkins and garage-rock wunderkinds Mikey and the Drags; Wild Moccasins and Buxton sold separately elsewhere. CHRIS GRAY
Story continues on the next page.
Photo by Marco Torres
Doeman, D-Risha Eastdown Warehouse, October 1
If you're seeking openers for KRS One, you're going to need some lyricists on the bill. Doeman has been making certain people see his face since releasing The Gold Blooded LP earlier this year, whether by pulling his power to perform at local high schools (he's a minor sex symbol) or just jumping on whatever show will have him. D-Risha apparently won't stop until he performs on the same bill as every Golden Age rapper ever. He already crossed off Rakim in July, so he'll probably land on an EPMD show in 2015. BRANDO
Mannequin Mishap (tour kickoff) Fitzgerald's, October 1
The first time I saw Mannequin Mishap, their rumbling sound was barely being contained by The Compound, a southside D.I.Y. venue that looks like a survivalist's stronghold. It felt like an appropriate setting for the bass-and-drum combo, which sounds like an arsenal of explosives detonating all at once. This show is billed as their tour kickoff, but I don't know where they're headed and don't care. I'm just happy that bassist Tony Bautista and drummer Manny Trey Lopez are going to fly by some cities and drop bombs, H-town style. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Wild Moccasins, Buxton Discovery Green, October 2
Two of the best-established bands in Houston's indie-rock scene, both Wild Moccasins and Buxton. have achieved a measure of fame with a handful of releases on New West Records. After doing their thing around the country, this will be a big hometown show - it's free in the park, which is one of the best places to see some local live music on an autumn evening. Buy a beer and chill out to the Moccasins' good-vibes rock and first-time HPMA winners Buxton's heartstring-tugging Americana. COREY DIETERMAN
Grindfest 2014 Acadia Bar & Grill, October 18
There aren't too many bigger backers of Houston-area metal out there than Tommy D. Kat and his Grind Radio Show. In October, he'll be broadcast live all day (like, all damn day) from Acadia Bar, where a punishing lineup of local fiends will bash away indoors and out until the mighty deadhorse takes the stage to cap off the whole shebang. Along for the ride, as well, will be Pasadena Napalm Division, the fast 'n crunchy supergroup featuring members of deadhorse and D.R.I. front man Kurt Brecht. Try not to mosh yourself unconscious before they hit the stage. NATHAN SMITH
Photo courtesy of BB Gun Press
The Tontons, Ume Fitzgerald's, October 24
The Tontons and Ume are two of Houston's biggest and best exports. Without a label, the Tontons have made a name for themselves through their brand of soul/R&B-infused indie rock and pure hard work, touring the country and playing their hearts out. Meanwhile, Ume may have moved away to Austin, but we still love them, and their recent work like 2014 LP Monuments has won them major acclaim in the hard-rock world thanks to the the guitar-wailing theatrics of front woman Lauren Larson. COREY DIETERMAN
Disco Expressions, Allen Oldies Band Continental Club, October 31
Halloween falls on a Friday this year, and I have the perfect costume: I'm going as Sia, so look for me wearing a platinum-blonde wig and standing in a corner with my back to everyone at the Continental Club. That's where two fun bands, Disco Expressions and the Allen Oldies Band, will be performing. They'll time-trip us back to the 1950s, '60s and '70s with covers of both the hits and long-forgotten songs from those decades.
Both bands feature some excellent Houston musicians, so I probably won't be standing in the corner for long. I'll be on the dance floor shaking it with Elsa and Anna from Frozen and all those Orange is the New Black prisoners celebrating girls' night out. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
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