The Walkmen, Milo Greene & White Arrows @ Fitzgerald’s

10:45 pm by

The Walkmen, Milo Greene & White Arrows @ Fitzgerald's

The fall music season is in full swing, and with a bounty of festivals in our area fast approaching, I can almost smell the patchouli in the air. With the onslaught of festivals come tours, and the amount of bands hitting Houston is certainly swelling from our late summer drought. This last weekend served as somewhat of a kickoff to my favorite time of year when Fitzgerald’s hosted The Walkmen and Milo Greene upstairs and White Arrows down. There were several other great shows going on around town, so I was expecting it to be a bit under attended, but as soon as The Walkmen came on, the building was nearing capacity.

Read all about the show and check out some more pictures after the jump.

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Beach House @ House Of Blues

2:34 pm by

Beach House & Dustin Wong @ House Of Blues

Beach House came to town on Wednesday night, to the biggest venue yet for them in Houston, House Of Blues. I’ve seen them all over Houston and Austin at much smaller venues like the Orange Show and Walter’s on Washington, so it was a bit odd being surrounded by hundreds more people. It was definitely noticeable once Beach House were into some of their quieter songs, with the chatter level reminding me of a few years ago when Houston crowds were notoriously terrible in the department of paying attention. All didn’t matter, as it seemed like Beach House decided to combat the talking with louder more aggressive takes of some of their tunes, which made the entire set just that much better. Their latest record, Bloom, is on my regular play list, so it was nice to finally hear all of the new songs live. Match that with a huge list of old tunes, and it made for one hell of a set. While we originally planned on seeing Blondie and Devo at a venue across town, I’m glad we made the decision to head to HOB for the Beach House show. What a great time!

I took a bunch of pictures from the show, which you can check out after the jump.

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Akron/Family & Hello Chief @ Fitzgerald’s

2:37 pm by

Akron/Family & Hello Chief @ Fitzgerald's

Akron/Family and local openers Hello Chief hit the upstairs stage at Fitzgerald’s to a smaller than usual crowd, but had no trouble keeping everyone that made it to the show fixated on what they were offering. I hadn’t seen Akron/Family since they hit Walter’s a few years back with Warpaint and local heroes Buxton, so I was excited to see what they had to offer after putting out a few new albums since then. Openers Hello Chief, from just down the road in Beaumont, I’d heard of before, but had never listened to or seen. I walked in a few songs into their set, and was very surprised at what was coming from the stage. A trio of kids, that I’m not sure could buy a drink yet, were pumping out some very experimental tunes that perfectly fit with what Akron/Family has released over the years. They were what Animal Collective should sound like. Akron/Family, while starting out pretty slow, put on one of the most intense performances I’ve ever seen. I loved every minute of their set, which saw them performing both on and off of the stage for a good 90 minutes. Playing both new music which they are now currently recording in El Paso, and adding several more classic cuts from earlier efforts, the trio effortlessly twisted and turned their way through quite an entertaining set of music. From what I heard that night, their new record should be pretty aggressive, and I couldn’t be happier at the thought of that.

I took a bunch of pictures of both bands that night, which you can find after the jump.

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UTOPiAfest 2012 Preview

2:50 pm by

If you’re looking for something to do at the end of the month, and love great live music, camping in the Texas hill country, and hamming it up with 1800 like-minded people, then UTOPiAfest is the right place for you. Bringing the likes of Dr. Dog, Jimmy Herring, Victor Wooten, The Wheeler Brothers, Toubab Krewe, Ben Kweller, Mexican Institute of Sound, Charles Bradley and White Denim among a bunch of others to a gorgeous plot of land outside of the quaint town of Utopia, Texas, it is assuredly going to be one hell of a time. We took the trip from Houston last year, and will now never miss another UTOPiAfest. The kind people who put on the festival are a pleasure to be around, and definitely know a thing or two about keeping their guests entertained throughout the entire weekend. With the ease of camping wherever you want, either close to the concert field, or up the hillside in the trees for a more secluded experience, you are still only a short walk from all of the action. Adding even more attractions this year, like a late-night silent disco, a host of great dining options and a merchandise tent run by the famed Austin record store Waterloo Records, 2012’s event is sure to be a great time.

With all that said, I’m mostly excited about the stellar line-up from the first bands on Friday afternoon all the way to the final notes of music on Saturday night. With a varied assortment of musical styles being represented, from Afro-beat to indie rock, Latin electro to bluegrass and roots music, jumping from stage to stage should be a great experience all weekend. Dr. Dog is obviously my biggest draw, but by far not the only reason I’ll be in attendance. Check out my picks for most anticipated sets of the weekend after the jump.

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Grandfather Child: Edythe Bates Old Chapel

6:09 pm by

Last weekend, Houston was treated to the release of the long anticipated full-length debut from one of their favorites, Grandfather Child. Let’s just start out by saying the record’s great, and that if you don’t have a copy yet, head on over to your favorite local independent record store and pick up a copy. I’ve been jamming it on the regular for a few weeks now – like almost to the point that I’m annoying everyone else around me. Just today, to help push their new record, they’ve released a video of a recent performance in an old empty church an hour north of Houston in Round Top, Texas. I got a sneak peak of this video over a month ago, when the band received the first edit from the filmmakers, and I’ve been excited to see the entire thing ever since. My anticipation was well worth it, with the video’s glorious 16+ minutes being some of the best and prettiest footage of any band I’ve seen online in some time now. Included in the video are sexy album opener “Can’t Seem To Forget,” all out rocker “Gonna Have Ourselves A Vision” and the Zeppelin-esque “New Orleans” – three great tunes that will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day (rest of your life). Check it out.

I’ve had the chance to see Grandfather Child play music a few times over the past month, including their tour kick-off at Warehouse Live at the beginning of August and their latest performance at Fitzgerald’s for their record release. I took a bunch of pictures at both – you can see the latest ones from the Record Release show over at Houston Press’ Rocks Off Blog about the show, and a handful from the tour kick-off after the jump.

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