Midnight Train: The Best Houston Music of the Week

Sam Smith will bring his soulful voice to Toyota Center.
Sam Smith will bring his soulful voice to Toyota Center. Photo courtesy of CAA

This week while we brave the heat there's more than enough entertaining options happening around town. Sets from Sam Smith, Counting Crows, Blue October, Beach Fossils, Ricky Skaggs and more will be here while locals Swimwear Department, Get A Life, Yaupon and more round things out.

Tonight you could get your blue-eyed soul fix at Toyota Center when Sam Smith swings by to perform. Smith has made waves since he began in 2010. Tracks like "Midnight Train" and "I'm Not The Only One," are part of what he does best, and his latest drop The Thrill Of It All is impressive. The country pop of California's Cam will be on as direct support and opener for the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $35 to $125.

Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, the somehow popular joke rap of Danny Duncan will be on hand to more than likely disappoint. Look, I don't know why he's so popular, unless not being able to rap is a new popular trend. Maybe his set will be funny at least, while there's no word of openers for the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $25 or $100 for a meet and greet, which is also hilarious.

Over at Under The Volcano, the rockin' sounds of Dan Stuart will get the house moving. His latest release Marlowe's Revenge should get loud at the small space room. No word of openers for the 21 & up show. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets TBD.

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Chicago's Retirement Party make infectious indie rock like Superchunk meets That Dog.
Photo by Sarah Beidatsch

the indie rock goodness of Chicago's Retirement Party will be over at East End Barber. supporting their last release Somewhat Literate, this band should if nothing else make plenty of fans at this show, as this record is pretty amazing. Houston's Groundhog Day will be on as direct support while Redhead will go on prior. New formed band featuring members of Cool Moon and Ruiners, Z.I.T.I. will get the all ages affair started. Doors at 7 p.m.; $5.

Over at Satellite Bar, the fuzzy indie rock of The Rememberables will swing through. This DC based outfit reminds you of Dinosaur Jr meets Archers of Loaf all over their latest release, The Rememberables and should play a solid set. The dark synth of Baltimore's Blacksage will be on as direct support while Cupid will get the all ages show started. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $7.

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Beach Fossils will bring their pop rock to White Oak Music Hall.
Photo courtesy of Ground Control

Over at White Oak Music Hall, the indie pop jangle of Beach Fossils will be on hand to perform. The Brooklyn trio has been giving people infectious tunes for a minute now, and their last release Somersault from last year keeps that continuing. Austin's Temple of Angels will be on as direct support while Jaya will get the all ages show started. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $16.

On Friday at The Redneck Country Club, you might consider catching Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters. The 21 & up show doesn't have openers, but Billy and the band's last single "Raisin' Cain" might make you a believer in their sound. Doors at 6 p.m.; tickets $20 to $240.

At Warehouse Live, The Cover Letter swings by to perform their folky indie rock sounds swith their latest single "Lies."  The rock of Rozy will go on prior while Oliver Penn will open up the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $7 to $10.

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Tightn' Up is a band you need to see sooner than later.
Photo courtesy of Tightn' Up!

Continental Club
will host an early show in the backyard of the venue, when Houston's Swimwear Department plays their album release party. The show will only be that much better when the energetic and downright stellar funk of Houston's Tightn' Up perform prior on the 21 & up show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $10.

Mucky Duck will hold plenty of notes when Hamilton Loomis drops by to perform. Loomis has become known for his gap bridge between roots and blues. It doesn't hurt that his last release Basics is a guitar groove epic that's hard to deny. No openers for the 21 & up show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $20 to $22.

The Glassell School of Art & the BBVA roof at MFAH will host the Mixed Media show. Featuring performances from Dam Funk, Wild Child, Say Girl Say, Two Star Symphony, DJ Gracie Chavez and many more. The 18 & up show gets going around 8 p.m.; tickets $22 to $25.

Of course, in celebration of Trae Tha Truth Day here in Houston, you can catch the man and the myth in the ballroom at Warehouse Live. The rapper has definitely been grinding for a good while now, his skills are impressive, and his last drop 48 Hours Later is pretty wonderful. The openers haven't been listed yet for the all ages show. Doors at 8 p.m.; Sold Out.

Saturday you can get started at White Oak Music Hall for the Bad Reputation Fest. With sets from L7, Eagle Claw, The Cops, Doomstress and more, it should be a barn burner to say the least. The all ages show has a full lineup here. Doors at 3 p.m.; tickets $15.

Blue October have new tunes for Houston.
Photo courtesy of Paradigm

At Woodlands Pavilion, the Bud Light Roast will get going with a headlining performance from Blue October. These guys can sell a ton of tickets, their live shows are emotive and fun, and their most recent drop, the yet to be released I Hope You're Happy is on point. Sets from AWOLNATION, Robert DeLong and more will be at the all day affair. Gates at 3:30 p.m.; tickets $15 to $65.

At Dosey Doe, the one and only Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder will bring delight to all who attend. Skaggs has had a ton of hits, he can play a ton of instruments, and his last solo release Music To My Ears is extraordinary. There's no word of openers for the all ages show that includes dinner with your ticket. Doors at 6 p.m.; tickets $108 to $168.

At Satellite Bar, LA's TV Girl will be around to drop a set. Supporting the infectious and fun sounds of their latest release Death of a Party Girl, the indie pop group should bring smiles to their always fun set. The bedroom pop of North Carolina's Infinity Crush will be on beforehand while Houston's Get A Life will get the all ages show started. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $12 to $14.

Over at Mucky Duck, the always unmistakable good times of Jesse Dayton will be on hand. Dayton has been doing things his own way since he left Beaumont, and his performances are a mix of storyteller and showman. His new album The Outsider is a cohesive mix of blues, rock, and country proving he's still worth checking out whenever he's in town. The 21 & up show has no openers. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $23 to $25.

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Yaupon brings plenty to the table on their debut release.
Photo by Katie Huehlefield

At Rudyard's, you can get up and personal when Houston's Yaupon plays their E.P. release party. Yaupon plays music that's like if Big Star and Bob Dylan were making music together, and their recently released single "Life of The Party" should let you know about their splendid sound. Houston's Second Lovers will go on beforehand and Jealous Creatures will open the 21 & up show. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $8.

On Sunday you can head to Woodlands Pavilion for the alterna-rock of Counting Crows. Here for their 25th anniversary tour, the NYC group has had lots of hits over the years, and their second release Recovering The Satellites is a wonderful and overlooked release. Their last album Somewhere Under Wonderland is also pretty good. The most boring live act of the nineties, Live will be on as direct support and opener for the all ages show. Seriously, I caught them twice 20 years ago, and I still wish for those moments in time back. Gates at 5:30 p.m.; tickets $29.50 to $119.50.

Monday at White Oak Music Hall, the ambient sounds of Dallas' Black Taffy will drop tuneage for all to chill to. While there's plenty out from the producer, his single "Geraldine" is pretty potent. The instrumental hip hop of Austin's Botany will be on prior, while the trippy sounds of New York's Christopher Tignor will go on before. Houston's Children of Pop will get the all ages night started with a DJ set. Doors at 7 p.m.; $12 cover.

Jeff Beck will make a guitar scream at Smart Financial Centre.
Photo courtesy of CAA

On Tuesday you could get your classic fix when Jeff Beck headlines Smart Financial Centre. The guitar slinger has had quite the career with the Yardbirds and as a solo artist. His latest release Loud Hailer was a tour de force, and his shows are always energy heavy. Paul Rodgers of Bad Company will be on to co-headline while Ann Wilson of Heart will get the all ages show going as opener. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $24 to $99.50.

If that's not your thing, then over at Satellite Bar, the metal intertwined electronica of Portland's The Body will get the walls of the venue hot enough to melt. These guys bring plenty of heavy riffs to their sets and their latest release I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer is a mix of darkness and electronica infused bleakness. There's no word of openers yet for the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $10 to $12.

That's about it for this week. No matter what you decide to do, remember that drinking like an adult is in everyone's best interests.
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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.