These ten Houston artists opened our eyes and made us roll off the couch or out of the cubicle to go see them this year, health or sleep be damned. Craig's Hlist's two favorite things are sleeping and drinking, and thankfully these bands play where alcohol is served.
It's been a fun year so far and we are sure 2011 will be even better, with new albums from Buxton and Robert Ellis currently in the queue, along with the usual line of new seven-inches and split singles that are sure to be on our turntable. Craig's Hlist gets excited when we hear about bands going to into the studio to lay down some songs.
Also, we heard that Omar Afra and Pegstar are bringing the Rolling Stones and ZZ Top to Summerfest 2011. We can't reveal our source, other than to say he was high and wearing a fedora. Some of these we slept on in 2009 and didn't get a proper introduction to until this year, for which we apologize.
We are sure that we have missed a few of your favorites, about which we are sure you will berate us in the comments section below. Be gentle, for Craig's Hlist is a mere man, of man-boy as it were.
These are in no particular order, so all of you conspiracy theorists can go back to watching clips from the World Trade Center bombing.
The Mahas: Remember early Hives, before they opened for Maroon 5, like when they were right out of Scandinavia on the Burning Heart label and they sounded like The Saints on speed? That's the Mahas, and we are lucky to have them in Houston.
//TENSE// (right): This duo's (sometimes trio) shows are grimy and leather-ridden affairs with lead singer Robert Lane howling into the darkness. This fall they supported industrial vets Nitzer Ebb on a national tour.
Omotai: This trio's debut, Peace Through Fear, was only five tracks long but it planted their flag into the Houston grind and sludge conversation.
Rivers: These kids are pretty much brand new, but we hear plenty of Mudhoney, Jack White, and even Wolfmother in their sound. We snagged their demo at a Reduxion show at Walter's on Washington and it stayed in our car stereo for a week.
The Burden: The Burden played Rocks Off's first Reduxion show in August as Black Flag and unleashed hell for a little less than an hour, mixing Flag songs and their own stuff in the set. Snaky and lean, The Burden is hopefully here to stay.
The Cutters: We walked into Big Star a few weeks back to see some friends and walked into a set from The Cutters. This weekend they play the two-day Temporary Insanity Festival at Notsuoh on Saturday. Git sum.
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ill Liad He started a "FUCK THE MERIDIAN" chant when he opened up for Wu-Tang Clan with his partner-in-crime Jon Black, instantly winning over the Wu-hungry crowd. 2010 proved that punk rock and hip-hop in Houston are starting to blur the lines between each other.
Weird Party: The ashes of Fatal Flying Guilloteens, Welfare Mothers, Sugar Shack, and These Borders came together to make some of the year's best scuzzed-up rock and roll. "Sarah Palin" will not be used in the former Alaska governor's 2012 presidential run, we promise you.
All At Sea: You may not know these kids very well, but you are missing out on some prime and mighty Murder City Devils-style movers. They don't gig enough and that should change.
Tax the Wolf: These shaggy-headed Radiohead and Pink Floyd devotees were everywhere this year, even winning the award for Best Progressive Rock at August's Houston Press Music Awards. They aren't hard to notice in a crowd either.