Weekend Music: Help Save the Houston Music Scene

With a record number of Houston artists accepted into SXSW this year, sold-out crowds at shows like Hootenanny at the Mink and Bun B at Warehouse Live, and everyone from Fatal Flying Guilloteens and Karina Nistal to Hearts of Animals and Indian Jewelry raising eyebrows well beyond the Harris County line, the local music scene seems like it’s in pretty good shape to me.

But not everyone sees it that way, so Sunday afternoon at Fitzgerald’s, local club owners, booking agents, promoters, managers and other behind-the-scenesters will gather to discuss matters like the smoking ban, dwindling audiences at local shows, recent club closures and more. The meeting, scheduled to start around 3 p.m., is free and open to the public, and food and drinks will be available.

Lord knows there are enough shows this weekend to suggest the scene is in fine shape. Tonight, Wilco (Verizon) and Silverstein (Meridian) are both sold out, but Chicago’s “Black Godfather” Andre Williams brings his Redd-Foxx-meets-James-Brown song stylings, backed by the Allen Oldies Band, to the Continental Club. Locals the Front Porch Society and Sugar Bayou cover the folk-rock waterfront at the Big Top and Mucky Duck, respectively, while McAllen indie shoegazers Dignan visit the Forum in La Porte with B., Sea Surrounds Me and Jeff Hull.

If you’ve ever wanted to roll out of bed straight into several hours of ear-splitting metal, boy are you in luck Saturday. Meridian opens its doors for Texas Metal Fest 2008 at the truly evil hour of 9 a.m., with more than 30 bands – Lone Star Massacre, PinHed, 36 Crazy Fists, Necro Faith, Divine Heresy, Devil Driver and the one and only Napalm Death, to name a few – prepared to open the gates of hell. See www.meridianhouston.com for ticket information, plus a full lineup and schedule.

If indie rock and DJ wizardry are more your speed, head into the Warehouse District for the Risky Bizness party at the Thunderdome Warehouse, 3020 Garrow. Paris’ musical bloggers the Fluokids join locals Spain Colored Orange, Satin Hooks, O Pioneers!! and the Factory Party (who also play a free 3:30 p.m. in-store at Cactus Music) on guitars and amps, while Damon Allen, Fixture, Michele of Spinnin’ Kitties, Juan the Terrible, Elron Hubbard, Dayta and Witnes are among those climbing behind the decks. For information/directions call 832-221-3331.

Elsewhere, the Black Math Experiment pranks the Mink’s Backroom, Paul Wall headlines his own rap-rock birthday party (with Grit Boys, Young Redd, Another Day, Three Fantastic, the Mighty Orq and more) at Warehouse Live’s latest Hometown Showdown, ‘90s smooth-soul group Mint Condition pulls into the Arena Theater, onetime Del Fuego turned kid’s-music superstar Dan Zanes cuts up at U of H’s Cullen Theater and Sister Sister y los Misters bring their rockin’ Latin soul to Bohemeo’s.

Sunday, Cleveland’s Bone Thugs-n-Harmony turn Warehouse Live into “Tha Crossroads” with their tongue-twisting ghetto eulogies, Mr. Bungle splinter cell Secret Chiefs 3 weirds out Walter’s on Washington with Awake, Ian Moore gives everyone who missed Saturday’s Continental show a second chance at his 2 p.m. Cactus instore and someone named Hannah Montana has apparently sold out Reliant Stadium. Sorry, but we have no idea who this is. – Chris Gray

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