Free Press Summer Fest 2012

7:39 am by


The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! The fine folks behind Houston’s annual music soirée, Free Press Summer Fest, have finally dropped the full line-up, and boy is it a doozy. Leading this year’s list of bands are bluegrass roots rockers The Avett Brothers, famed rapper and dope smoker Snoop Dogg, Texas country legend and equally famous dope smoker Willie Nelson, DJ extraordinaire Afrojack, bass heavy funksters Primus and a return from 2010 headliner The Flaming Lips who will be performing Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety. I’m pretty sure no-one saw such a strong list of entertainers heading to Eleanor Tinsley Park come June, but Omar, Jagi and all the other fine folks that work for both Free Press Houston and Pegstar have truly outdone themselves for their fourth year of the festival. Also playing the multiple stages over the course of June 2nd and 3rd are The Descendents, Major Lazer, Young The Giant, Portugal. The Man, Morris Day & The (mutha fuckin’) Time, Best Coast, Two Door Cinema Club, Turquoise Jeep, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Robert Ellis and a whole heaping helping of more great bands.

Check out the full kick-ass line-up after the jump!

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Reptar @ Fitzgerald’s

1:22 am by

Reptar @ Fitzgerald's

Last week, I headed up to Fitzgerald’s just in time to catch a headlining set from Athens, GA based indie dance group Reptar. They first came on to my radar last summer when I heard the lead single from their debut EP Oblangle Fizz Y’all, “Stuck In My ID.” They had that same Foster The People sound, but something told me I wouldn’t grow old of them immediately like I did with FtP. They came through Houston a few times in the past year, but I never had the chance to see them until I headed up to Fitz that night. I walked in right in time for “ID,” and danced my way through the entire rest of their set. They played their entire EP, as well as a host of new songs from their upcoming first full length LP, Body Faucet, set for a May 2012 release. While I’m not in love with the new album’s title, I’m certainly enamored with the content that will be released come May. They finished the set with a super high energy new track called “Sweet Sipping Soda” that left the crowd screaming for more, while not moving an inch away from the stage. They came back out for another tune, but you could tell they saved “Soda” for the end as the encore song didn’t carry near the energy as it did. While it seems as if the encore is slowly dying away in this day and age, this night they definitely deserved the call back.

I took a video of “Sweet Sipping Soda,” and a bunch more photos which you can find after the jump.

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Steve Aoki @ Verizon Wireless Theater

11:55 am by

With the release of his debut studio album, Wonderland, Dim Mak Records founder Steve Aoki has embarked on his 2012 North American “Deadmeat” tour. Aoki kept the energy alive and kicking throughout his late night set in Houston last week.

Check out the rest of the review and more photos after the jump.

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Main Street Block Party In Photos

4:36 pm by

Main Street Block Party 2012

Last Saturday, we headed down towards what is informally known as “The Island” for the second annual Main Street Block Party. Taking place inside and out of the Continental Club, Big Top, The Mink and Natachees, tons of bands graced the stages throughout the entire day and night. We caught a great headlining set from What Made Milwaukee Famous which featured an on point cover of Paul McCartney’s “Let ‘Em In” as well as a host of new songs which will be released on their up-coming album. We also witnessed top notch sets from the likes of Tax The Wolf, The Literary Greats, Caddywhompus, Prairie Cadets, Chase Hamblin Band, Featherface, Poor Pilate, Empress Hotel, The League Of Extraordinary G’z and a bunch more. It was a pretty solid day of music full of new discoveries, plenty to drink and a bunch of friendly conversations. I had a really good time at this year’s event, and am looking forward to seeing how they can make itl even better next year.

I took a whole bunch of pictures and a few videos from the event, check them out after the jump.

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MUTEMATH @ House Of Blues

2:19 pm by

Mute Math @ House Of Blues

Last weekend was a great one for music, starting Thursday night at House Of Blues when Alt-Rockers MUTEMATH took the stage. I’d seen MUTEMATH once before when they performed at Voodoo a few years back, but among all of the other great acts playing that weekend, they weren’t one that stood out above the rest. Going into this show, especially with such an early start time, my hopes were not too high. Those low hopes were immediately diminished as soon as they walked in the front door of the venue with instruments in hand, headed through the crowd while playing before ultimately taking the stage from the very middle. As soon as they jumped into their first song, I was sold. I had the opportunity to photograph the band for the first three songs, and while the energy was super high as it usually is at the beginning, it didn’t let up one bit after I left the pit. Actually, for over two straight hours, the band never let up. I’m not sure how a band could go for so long with such high energy, but they managed to do it that night – and while this was the first night of their tour, I have a feeling this is how it is at every single show. They were on the stage, off the stage, in the crowd, on top of the crowd, on top of a drum in the crowd, on top of a glittery, light-up air mattress on the crowd, and just about everywhere else besides the balcony and the bathrooms. The music was great too – mixing elements of 90’s alternative, 00’s jambands, and 10’s indie-dance rock, MUTEMATH had people sweating the whole performance. I had a great time at this show, and I can rest assured knowing that a band this good is making a huge name for themselves because of their ability to put on a great show, both musically and theatrically.

I took a bunch of pictures and a few different videos which you can find after the jump.

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Main Street Block Party

12:56 am by

The second annual Main Street Block Party is set to take place this Saturday, January 28, at what is informally known as “The Island.” Featuring a slew of bands playing across six different venues at Main and Alabama streets in Houston, Block Party will be the place to be all day. What Made Milwaukee Famous will make a rare Houston appearance, or rather a rare appearance for them at all these days. The rest of the line-up mainly consists of an upcoming wealth of Houston-based talent as well as some regional acts that’ve been gaining steam as of late. B L A C K I E, Tax The Wolf, Caddywhompus, Empress Hotel, The League Of Extraordinary G’s, The Handshake, Bang Bangz, The Prairie Cadets and The Literary Greats are all set to perform, as well as a ton of other great, upcoming bands.

I had the best of times at last year’s event which I was also shooting for the Houston Press. Check out my shots of the bands from 2011’s Block Party here and of the crowds here. Before that, though, check out the full line-up, including set times after the jump.

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The Mountain Goats @ Fitzgerald’s

4:23 pm by

The Mountain Goats @ Fitzgerald's

It had been a long time since the last time John Darnielle had stepped foot in Houston, some 6 years ago when The Mountain Goats played at Mary Jane’s Fat Cat, a former Houston staple that has long since been closed. That was very apparent throughout their Friday night headlining show at Fitzgerald’s when Darnielle mentioned numerous times how sorry he was for denying Houston an appearance. He more than made up for it that night, though, as he brought an unbridled energy throughout the entire set.

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

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Buxton EPK & Driveway Sessions

2:25 pm by

You can stream Buxton‘s new album, Nothing Here Seems Strange, over at Paste Magazine‘s official site. Also, check out a bunch of tour dates and video of them performing stripped-down versions of their own “Blown A Fuse” and “Lynchburg Ferry” for Austin Harkey’s Driveway Sessions after the jump.

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Langhorne Slim @ Fitzgerald’s

5:57 pm by

Langhorne Slim @ Fitzgerald's

It’s been a pretty great 2012 for live music in Houston, but last week had to have been the best week yet. One of the main reasons was because of Langhorne Slim‘s long awaited return to Houston last Wednesday. With my parents in tow, we headed towards Fitzgerald’s to catch a rousing set from the Pennsylvania native. The downstairs crowd was thick enough to warrant energy from the band, but wasn’t as packed as I’ve seen it which made for better sight lines and less of a muddy tone to the sound. Opening his set with “Cinderella” from his latest LP Be Set Free, he continued throughout the entire show with constant high energy, even during the slower songs. The crowd was really into it, especially with songs like “Rebel Side Of Heaven,” “Hello Sunshine,” “Spinning Compass,” “Back To The Wild,” and particularly during “Worries” which has found a great deal of popularity with its inclusion in a recent, highly played insurance commercial. Closing the show with a rambunctious version of “And If It’s True,” that was highlighted by a ripping banjo solo mid song, Langhorne Slim and co. left the crowd sweaty and in need of more. Unfortunately we didn’t get anymore, but with the good turnout, and what seemed like good sales at the merch table, I’m sure it wont be long before we see him again.

I took a bunch of pictures while dancing along, and also captured “And If It’s True” on video – check them out after the jump.

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Chris Gray Day In Photos

4:41 pm by

Chris Gray Day

This past Saturday, I headed down to the Main Street “Island” around 6 in the evening to enjoy some solid local music, hang out with a bunch of good friends and to help support my good buddy and boss at the Houston Press Chris Gray. I got there just in time for the start of Hayes Carll‘s set, who chose to perform stripped down with only an acoustic guitar and his voice box for a 45 minute romp of originals and covers. After Hayes finished up, we converged to the patio where we took over a table and started in on some good conversation. I jumped around inside Continental Club and Big Top to snap some pictures of Spain Colored Orange, Changoman, Electric Attitude and a host of other bands mostly playing a bunch of covers, but continually made it back out to our table of rotating cast members. After a while, we took to Big Top to catch great acoustic sets from both Benjamin Wesley and Joe Mathlete before the Wild Moccasins rained down their brand of indie dance pop on the growing crowd in the Continental Club. By the time Buxton hit the stage after the Moccasins, the crowd had surged, their energy being instantly transferred to the group onstage. They served as somewhat of a headliner that night, so it was fitting for them to round off their set with a cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” which was the perfect dedication to the man we were all celebrating that day.

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

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