The kids are back in school, St. Arnold's Oktoberfest is being consumed in mass quantities again and many of us are waking in the dead of night, in a cold sweat, with the numbers "2-14" flashing in our subconscious brains like a bad dream. It's football season again!
The best time of the year kicks off at noon Sunday when our hometown heroes, the Houston Texans, take on the Washington Those Guys at
Reliant NRG Stadium. My prediction? A score of "0." That's how many live bands I expect to see playing on the Reliant NRG Stadium lot during tailgate festivities this weekend.
But why? This city is loaded with great musicians. Sadly, many of them get less face time than Jerry Jones' crotch.
So, here's a proposal, fellow tailgaters: this year, try booking a Houston band to come play a live set at your pre- or post-game party. If I've learned anything about local musicians, it's that they'll reduce their fee if your party has plenty of beer, food and eye candy. Here are a few acts you adventurous tailgaters might consider:
ALIMANAS My unscrubbed, tattooed punk of a son has been to a few tailgates, and gets the same "you don't belong here" looks that opposing defensive linemen give Texans tackle Derek Newton after manhandling him. But don't look for punk rockers at Texans tailgates. For one, most punks don't care about sports, and the ones who do can't afford a $100 ticket to the game. But that's precisely why we need a punk band to play on the lot this season.
My vote would be for the thrashing insanity known as Alimanas, who have been around for years. Houston's punk followers know their battle cry, which is just the band's name screamed out into a prolonged "Aliiiiimaaaaaanaaaaaaaas!" The group sings in Spanish, so they would be a perfect antidote for the tired mariachis and Tejano bands that have made music on the Texans' Hispanic Heritage Day a cliché. Admit it: you want to see a mosh pit after a big Texans win, don't you?
REVERBERATION DJS Tailgaters have been known to crank up "Cupid Shuffle" and "Wobble" to celebrate big victories or dance away the blues following losses. Those songs are fun, but if we're going to throw our asphalt dance party back to better times, why not the '60s and 70s? The Reverberation DJs specialize in hits and obscurities from those days.
In fact, until they come out to the lot with a funky pop-up tent, some turntables and bins full of wax, I plan to pluck some selections right off their Facebook page to load up my tailgate playlist, starting with Junior Wells's "Snatch It Back and Hold It" -- that one's funkier than the Texans' collective jockstraps.
BUN B I know there are many rappers in Houston not named Bun B, whom I know are frequently lauded in various Rocks Off articles. But this isn't just name-dropping. I doubt Houston's rap community has a bigger Texans fan than the Trill O.G. And these days, you're almost more likely to hear him on sports radio than the music stations.
For instance, Bun was recently a guest on one of the sports-talk shows, giving his prediction for the Texans' 2014 season; he foresees a 9-7 finish. Good, but not better than the Colts, who he thinks will win the AFC South. Bun B keeps it real. One interviewer asked why the home team's fans must be subjected to halftime acts like Vanilla Ice and the home opener's visiting one-hit wonders, Smashmouth, when we have a Hall of Fame rapper in the stands every weekend. As always, he said if he needed to step to the plate to rep his city, he'd do it if asked.
Honestly, I prefer Bun play out on the tailgate lot, doing an impromptu show for lucky fans. Not even a staged show, just kinda cruising around from one party to the next, anyplace there's music and a mike he can freestyle with. If this sounds appealing at all, Bun, please stop by and see us at Blue Lot Section 21.
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HAKEEM Some things I have personally witnessed at Houston Texans tailgates:
- A full-size ice block, with various liquors being poured down it, cross- contaminating Fireball with Tito's
- A bunch of sailors getting drunk under the table by a woman half their size who was really, really good at Flip Cup
- A brawl that featured someone getting a beer bottle smashed over his head, just like in the movies
- A car set on fire (OK, that was at my tailgate -- no worries, it was a rental)
- A lot of football fans who prefer to not get too rowdy and simply chill at these events
If you're one of those fans, God bless you. If you need some music to suit your Sunday-morning situation, I submit HAKEEM. The duo produces the kind of experimental, sample-based grooves that soothe the savage beast. Even if you can't encourage them to perform live on game day, their Soundcloud page is filled with tasty stuff that will have passersby stopping to ask what you're listening to.
HOT DOG FRIENDS Perhaps against my better judgment, I'm going to endorse this upstart band as one that should appear at a Houston Texans tailgate blowout this year. A couple of weeks ago, like a man who can't father a child, they started dribbling out their creatures of love one song at a time. Now, the whole wad can be found on their Dropbox page under the working title Condimentally Retarded.
In essence, the band is a revamped lineup of HaHa 90!, the pop-punk pranksters who featured brothers Josh and Micah Raught and pseudo-brother Danny Aschenbach, all of whom went on to play with the Dead Rabbits. It's unclear who else joins them on this project, except a man of mystery simply known as "Crusty Chuck" to friends and bouncers who have tossed him from various bars.
The Friends' new music is funny, offensive, rambunctious, a little sexy, drunken and at times just makes you stop and think that we simply shouldn't take everything so goddamn seriously all the time. Come to think of it, those also happen to be the best elements of a perfect tailgate experience.
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