Christian Kidd (left) with Mel Hell of Zipperneck (center)
Christian Kidd (left) with Mel Hell of Zipperneck (center)
Photo by David Ensminger

Shows of the Week: A City Unites to Assist One of Houston Music's True Good Guys

See Below, June 12-18

According to David Garrick, a minimum of arm-twisting was required of the musicians he asked to participate in one of the most ambitious projects this city’s music scene has seen in a good long while — seven different benefit shows at seven different venues, featuring more than 30 local acts, including Los Skarnales, B L A C K I E, Dollie Barnes, Black Kite, Another Run, Mydolls, Rose Ette, Ruiners, The Cops, Frog Hair and the reunited Flamin' Hellcats. As with last month's "Rock For Light" fundraiser, all the proceeds will go toward helping Christian Kidd, front man of H-Town punk mainstays The Hates, in his battle with cancer.

“Most people in this town are nice,” says Garrick, the chief music writer of Free Press Houston. “When they heard about it, they said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll do that.’”

Despite the complex logistics of such an undertaking, Garrick says he pulled together the schedule in about three weeks — in spite of his FPH writing duties, straight job and keeping perhaps the city’s busiest concert-attendance schedule (follow him on Facebook or Instagram to see what we mean). That he simply credits to wise time management and knowing the right people to approach, namely venue owners and booking agents he’s already been dealing with for years; plus sponsors Topo Chico and Lone Star. Mostly, though, Garrick says booking the benefit week was easy thanks to the many favors the Mohawked singer has done for his fellow musicians throughout The Hates’ nearly 40-year span, himself included.

Kidd (right) and The Hates at Houston's Parade club, 1980
Kidd (right) and The Hates at Houston's Parade club, 1980
Photo by Ben DeSoto/Courtesy of David Ensminger

“When I was 17, 18 years old and I was in a crappy little band, Christian was always nice to all of us,” says Garrick. “He’s been the gateway for most people starting in at least punk music for a long time. I mean, Linda [Younger] from Mydolls told me that their first show came from them. The Hates and Christian are kind of like a public utility — they’ve been here forever. You know what I mean? And he’s such a sweet guy.”

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Beyond his own personal connection to Kidd, Garrick says he wanted to reach out to more than just Houston’s punk scene — and indeed, as seen by tonight’s free poster exhibition at Insomnia Gallery, into its art scene as well — as a way of showing that given the opportunity, most Houston musicians will do the right thing and step up when one of their own needs a hand. (See here for ticket links and other details about this week’s shows.)

“Someone told me one time that it was sweet that I was optimistic about how the industry could operate," says Garrick. "I think what they meant was that people could get past their differences and just go, 'We’re musicians and we should unify as musicians.' That’s kind of what this is.”

Shows of the Week: A City Unites to Assist One of Houston Music's True Good Guys
Poster by Brandon Bowers-House of Eyes/Courtesy of David Garrick

Monday, June 12 — Insomnia Gallery (708 Telephone): Poster show featuring the art of Chris Oddo, Ack!, David Garrick, HoneyBones, House of Eyes (Brandon Bowers), more. (7 p.m., all ages, free)
Tuesday, June 13 — Continental Club: Los Skarnales, Flamin' Hellcats, Tax the Wolf, A Sundae Drive. (8 p.m., 21 & up, $15)
Wednesday, June 14 — Rudyard's: Dollie Barnes, Bang Bangz, Arthur Yoria, Chase Hamblin, Adam Bricks. (8 p.m., 21 & up, $10)
Thursday, June 15 — Walter's Downtown: Another Run, Mydolls, Rose Ette, Talking Forever, Birthday Club, The Daphne Blue (Formerly Valens), Sergio Trevino. (7:30 p.m., all ages, $10-$15)
Friday, June 16 — The Secret Group: Trillblazers, Black Kite, Guilla, Tee Vee, Kyle Hubbard, Pitter Patter. (7 p.m., all ages, $10-$13)
Saturday, June 17 — Rockefeller's: The Satanic Overlords of Rock N Roll, The Cops, Ruiners, Funeral Horse, Frog Hair, Turnaways, Since Always. (7:30 p.m., all ages, $12-$15)
Sunday, June 18 — Big Star Bar: B L A C K I E & Moths. (7:30 p.m., all ages, pay what you can)

More shows on the next page.

The Secret Group, June 15
Rooted in both Houston and Austin, Night Drive evokes moody, synth-driven ’80s greats like Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and Gary Numan, but can stand at the head of the class of latter-day practitioners like Com Truise, M83 and Twin Shadow as well. Fresh off a performance at FPSF 2017 (one of the relatively few acts who actually did), Brandon Duhon and Rodney Connell loop around The Secret Group the eve of the release date for their eponymous LP. Anointing Night Drive its Artist of the Month for June, Austin’s KUTX praised the duo as “modern and foreboding,” noting an “energetic debut [that] seems cloaked in mystery.” With MNYNMS and YUNGINTERNET.

House of Blues, June 15
It’s already easy to tell that Prince’s death in April 2016 will go down as one of the decade’s defining moments. Not just music but all of pop culture lost one of its great unifiers — everyone loved Prince, or it sure seemed like it — and it’s been a difficult few months as we’ve all struggled to come to terms with a world now considerably less funky. Doing their part to soothe his throngs of heartbroken fans, his original backing band, the Revolution (also known as Wendy & Lisa, Dr. Fink, Bobby Z and Brownmark), has reunited for a summer tour to honor their fallen leader in the most purple way possible. Best remembered for their scintillating accompaniment and a bit of backstage comedy in 1984’s Purple Rain, the Revolution was the rare group of musicians who managed not only to meet Prince’s lofty standards but to make a little magic of their own, and word is they’re inviting a selection of each host city’s most talented artists to help them out onstage.

McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, June 16
After Robyn Ludwick released her debut album, For So Long, in 2005, her fan base has grown largely by word of mouth rather than radio play or other wide media exposure. Four records later, she’s earned a reputation as one of Texas music’s most down-to-earth and realistic singer-songwriters and, perhaps criminally, still one of its better-kept secrets. To a degree, anyway; 2011’s Out of These Blues inspired No Depression to call her “the queen of modern Texas country-soul.” (She’s got the genes for it, as the younger sister of Bruce and Charlie Robison.) Believers should be even easier to come by after the Wimberley-based Ludwick’s latest LP, last month’s unflinchingly honest, buoyantly resilient This Tall to Ride. A must for Patty Griffin and Eliza Gilkyson fans, and anyone else who appreciates first-rate songwriting laden with real-life regret and wistful humor, the album relays the kind of experiences better put into song, one imagines, so the rest of us don’t have to live through them ourselves.

Walter’s Downtown, June 16
Girlpool emerged in 2014 as indie-rock wunderkinds. Founded by then high-schoolers Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, the duo embraced the simplicity of a bass and a guitar to create their quintessential sound. Their music captures the uneasy vulnerability and confusion of youth with stark-naked maturity. Songs like "Slutmouth" and "American Beauty" wrestle with the hostile ambivalence endemic to modern girlhood, one that demands ready access to a young woman's sexuality yet loves to hate her for it. Their latest album, Powerplant, marks an evolution for the group. By introducing a drummer into the mix, Girlpool departs from their early investment in minimalism, imbuing their raw reflections with more depth and maturity. The sophomore effort proves that this band has more to offer its audience, and Houston audiences would do well to catch them while they can. Hat-tip to Walter's: Y'all sure do know how to book ’em. With Snail Mail. KATIE SULLIVAN

Walter’s Downtown, June 17
You can’t talk about American punk-rock music without mentioning Alice Bag. As a young, feminist Chicana outcast from East L.A. in the 1970s, Bag was the epitome of punk. Her Mexican influences brought a distinctive sound to the typical all-white, male-dominated scene, while her post-glam bedlam stage persona made The Bags a staple in the genre. Throughout the years she’s been in countless numbers of bands, including the Castration Squad, The She*Riffs and Cholita, and after 40 years in the game continues to push against the grain. The 58-year-old dropped her self-titled solo debut, Alice Bag, just last year; that’s after bouncing off a book tour for her 2011 memoir, Violence Girl, as well as teaching gigs (she’s also noted to be a pastry chef). Talk about resilience. With FEA, Screech of Death and Mydolls. VERONICA ANNE SALINAS

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, June 17
The ten-piece Gulf Coast soul band The Suffers has barely slowed down since the release of their 2016 self-titled album, but after a whirlwind world tour, our hometown heroes are finally back in Houston and back in the studio. Of course, we're hoping their June show will give loyal fans a first listen to some of their freshest material. But even more so, we're excited to hear the band play alongside the Houston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke. The Suffers are already known for their tight instrumentation and genre-blending compositions, but the move to collaborate with HSO shows they're still evolving and eager to take the next step. There's endless, unimaginable potential to be had bringing together these two sonic powerhouses; catch this show and witness their musical magic firsthand. KATIE SULLIVAN

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