Culture / Entertainment

Houston’s Crawfish Blowout and Under-the-Radar Concerts Galore

The Weekend Guru’s Top Pre-Summer Event Picks

BY // 05.18.17

Houston’s weekends are packed full of events, but how many of them are truly worthy of your time? PaperCity’s Weekend Guru Matthew Ramirez cuts through the clutter to give you the best options in this weekly series.

Hoop Dreams
Indiana’s Hoops just released their full-length debut album, Routines, on Fat Possum records, and it’s the perfect hazy mixture of Mac DeMarco meets Real Estate meets chillwave. The record is perfectly suited for the summer, all layered guitars, faded drums, and dreamy vocals. In other words, it’s my thing.

I’m looking forward to having a Lone Star or three while this plays outside at some point this summer, and this is your chance to catch them before they get into larger venues (they’ve already received accolades from The Fader and Pitchfork). Thursday at White Oak Music Hall‘s upstairs room. Doors open at 8 pm; tickets $12. Parts is the opening act.

The Black Angel’s Death Songs
Austin’s Black Angels have close ties to Houston, which means every time the stoner-metal band releases a new record, there’s a guaranteed sold-out show at the Houston tour stop. The Black Angels are fresh off their most recent full-length, April’s Death Song, a spruced-up and tightened version of everything the band does well (byzantine song structures, layered, heavy compositions with psych touches). Thursday downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, with doors opening at 8 pm and tickets starting at $22. New York City’s underrated A Place to Bury Strangers opens.

Zulu Nation
PR maven and prominent figure in the Houston arts scene Tina Zulu hosts a very special event Saturday at the Cindy Lisica Gallery. Her Kimono Zulu trunk show (dubbed “Floating World‘) is a response to her Filipino roots and the result of a carefully cultivated collection of vintage kimonos that date back to the 1920s. Further, Zulu’s tapped locally sourced but nationally renowned artists and designers to refine and reimagine the garments into wearable art, including Selven O’Keef Jarmon, Dandee Warhol, Christy Karll, katsola, and many more.

The one-day-only trunk show will be on view from 10:30 am through 5 pm Saturday, with a reception and artist talks from 6 to 8 pm. The event is free to attend, but you must register here if you want a chance to win a kimono valued at $150.

We’re entering the home stretch of Gulf Coast crawfish season, which means now is the best time to get out and enjoy some while you still can (at the optimal time of the year): the fourth annual Bayou Jamboree & Crawfish Boil hits the Historic Market Square Park in downtown Saturday, from 3 to 7 pm. The outdoor fun features boiled crawfish, in addition to red beans and rice, gumbo, and crawfish etoufee from Treebeards, plus live music from New Orleans-based Rebirth Brass Band and The Journey Agents. There’ll be plenty of beer, refreshing treats, and a Family Fun Zone for kids (hosted by Young Audiences of Houston). The event is free to attend.

Goin’ Thru It
I first discovered Philadelphia’s PnB Rock on Kodak Black‘s excellent 2016 mixtape, Lil Big Pac, tunefully crooning a “remember the good old days” hook on “Too Many Years”. Later, I saw social media master Keke Palmer grooving to “Plans” in one of her notoriously unfiltered dance videos, and instantly Googled the song lyrics to find out who was behind that catchy little hook. His voice — a double-take Ty Dolla Sign register, but without the husk or “I’ve done too many drugs” scratch — is often manipulated through Auto-Tune, creating a distinctly modern sound for his R&B/hip-hop sound.

Where Ty gets by on the character of his imperfect voice and fellow Philly colleague Lil Uzi Vert sings like an emo vocalist, Pnb Rock stretches his voice to new limits with technology, and his debut album, Goin Thru the Motions, is a winding collection of off-kilter pop rap. Sunday at White Oak Music Hall; tickets start at $17, with doors opening at 8 pm.

X Tour Life
The legendary California punk band X has endured four decades of existence, with a classic 1980s run of records (spanning their blistering 1980 debut, Los Angeles, through at least 1985’s Ain’t Love Grand) and long, successful solo careers from lead vocalists Exene Cervenka and John Doe (who just had a memorable solo show here at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck). The group has always been one of my favorite first-generation American punk bands, with their unique fiery mix of classic punk, Americana vocals and songwriting (via the country-inclined Doe), and a post-modern appreciation for 1950s rock and roll.

They’ll hit the newly restored and recharged Heights Theater Monday, with doors opening at 7 pm and tickets starting at $22.

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