Five Festivals to Tide You Over Until FPSF

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Earlier this week, we told you about the dozen or so music festivals taking place around Texas between this weekend and Memorial Day. Much fun is in the offing, no matter if your destination is Denton, Austin or El Paso. But what if you don't like to travel, or, just as important, can't afford to? It is income-tax season, after all.

Luckily, there is no shortage of events in town that can keep the Bayou City's music fans entertained until the crews start setting up in Eleanor Tinsley Park in early June. Most of them will even leave you with some leftover cash to spend at FSPF. Enjoy!

Super Happy Fun Land, now through March 20

Surely one of the greatest examples of pure musical potluck anywhere on the planet, Super Happy Fun Land's 12th annual SXSW Overflow Fest has been under way since Wednesday; with passes for the whole thing going for a mere $24, you have to love those odds. But this is also a chance to discover local talent that may not get much play at the city's better-trafficked venues. Tonight, for example, you can sample Houston MC Haiti; Brooklyn folk-punk troubadour Rue Snider; and Cure-ish local rockers Brainstorm For Tuesday. Half the fun of Overflow Fest is the genres SHFL assigns to the artists, of which “Punk Creepnoise Dumpsterpunk Enema Noise Trash” or “Hip Hop Trance Grind” are but two of the more colorful examples. The other half is finding out what these acts actually sound like live.

Discovery Green, April 1-3

And here you thought next month's Final Four was about basketball. The games are merely a byproduct of the real main event, which is rivers of advertising dollars flowing into the NCAA's coffers. As a diversionary tactic, Discovery Green will be branded within an inch of its poor grassy life during the three days of free music known as the "March Madness Music Festival." Fans can choose the corporate sponsor of their choice: the AT&T Block Party (Friday); Coca-Cola Music (Saturday); and Capitol One JamFest (Sunday). Don't worry that Maroon 5 is the only act to be announced so far – if pretty-boy pop-rock ain't your bag, those companies all have some seriously deep pockets to spend on talent, so there's bound to be something you can tolerate. Watch for updates after the brackets are revealed Sunday evening.

Last Concert Cafe, April 2

Praia Urbana can be counted on to bring in some interesting house and techno DJs from all over the world – a company that this year includes Butch (Desolat Music Group), Harvey McKay (Glasgow) and Supernova (Italy) – but the real joy is in the people-watching. Celebrating its tenth anniversary next month, Praia has been a popular Houston event since long before “EDM” became a household term. Sample a preview by one of its resident DJs, Bobby Blyss, at this link.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, April 22

“I Love the ‘90s” is here to meet all your nostalgia needs with a hip-hop package tour that already looks like a hell of a lot more fun than that Full House reboot. Along for the ride are Salt N’ Pepa; Rob Base (R.I.P. DJ E-Z Rock); All-4-One (“I Swear”); Tone Loc (“Funky Cold Medina”); Color Me Badd (“I Wanna Sex You Up”); Young MC (“Principal’s Office”); and Kid & Play (the House Party movies). Arguably, Kool Moe Dee (“Wild Wild West”); Rob Base (“It Takes Two”); Young MC (“Bust a Move”); Kid & Play (“Rollin’ With Kid & Play”); and Salt N’ Pepa themselves (“Push It”) did their most significant work in the ’80s, but let’s not split hairs. It’s just nice to see Salt N’ Pepa in something besides a GEICO commercial.

Continental Club, May 7

Never to be confused with the March Madness Music Festival. If you missed out on the first two editions of this Mid-Main musical bazaar and are wondering why bother with another festival, shame on you. Look no further than who is headlining this year: Quintron & Miss Pussycat, the New Orleans groove merchants who can turn any venue into the trippiest of discotheques, and who sometimes turn their videos into puppet shows. Next down the bill is one of the few bands that can match Quintron in sheer dance-floor mania, not to mention a local institution: Los Skarnales. The rest of the lineup grazes just about every genre there is, enveloping stalwarts (Another Run, Dead to the World, Linus Pauling Quartet, Keeton Coffman, Doeman, Knights of the Fire Kingdom, A Sundae Drive, Glass the Sky); emerging acts (Dollie Barnes, Trippy Cholo, Camera Cult, The Houston Craze); sound designers (Daed; -Us.; Vodi); and lots more. Trust us: The folks behind MOM are so tuned in to local music it verges on ESP, plus the price is right. Tickets are now on sale for $20, service fee included, at this link.

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