Culture / Entertainment

Houston’s Most Underrated Events — Weekend Must Attends from the Guru

BY // 06.09.17

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.

Powerful Man
Philadelphia’s Alex G, (real name Alex Giannascoli, but he now goes by Sandy), is a revelation. When I first discovered his music through 2014’s DSU, my initial thought was this lanky, shaggy-haired dude was another young slacker in the vein of Mac Demarco, but the reality is so much more. Giannascoli’s talent as a guitarist, instrumentalist, and bedroom composer call to mind artists as disparate as John Frusciante, Elliott Smith, and Grizzly Bear.

Fresh off collaborating with Frank Ocean, his most recent album, Rocket, is his most polished, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe or predictable. It means the songwriting is sharpened (“Proud“), the gothic Americana influence is prominent (the sorrowful “Bobby”), and his experiments are more rewarding (the punkish “Brick,” the blissful chillwave-vocoder ballad “Sportstar”).

Rocket is one of my favorite records in a long time and this is one of my most anticipated shows of the summer. Friday, June 9, upstairs at White Oak Music Hall; Japanese Breakfast and Cende open. Doors open at 7 pm; tickets $18.

This Station is Non-Operational
For a young rock fan coming of age at the turn of the century, At the Drive-In were a life raft. In the midst of the oppressive, ugly nu-metal reign, ATDI was an emo band from El Paso consisting of unapologetically young Mexican and Latino men who destroyed every stage they stepped on (see their epic Late Night with Conan O’Brien performance under a Puerto Rican flag).

The grainy “One-Armed Scissor” video that materialized on MTV during the wee hours was something worth staying up for. Yet almost immediately after their 2000 breakthrough Relationship of Command, dropped, they broke up, splintering off into The Mars Volta and Sparta, two groups that never approached the apex of what ATDI delivered. Regardless of this spring’s spotty, underwhelming reunion record in*ter*a*li*a, —their first album in 17 years — the enigmatic musicians behind At the Drive-In are a rare sight to behold, and this is the first chance many fans will have to see them.

Saturday, June 10, at Revention Music Center; tickets $30.

Let’s Collab, Fam
White Oak COLLAB is a community arts initiative open to submissions earlier in the spring — artists and dreamers with a vision were granted an opportunity to apply to use the state-of-the-art White Oak Music Hall as they see fit, free of charge. The very first COLLAB project takes over White Oak Music Hall this Saturday, June 10.

It’s dubbed “Open Source” and DJ Hiram Trevino seeks to deck out WOMH’s upstairs confines as a free-floating, outdoor experience indoors (complete with trees). An array of DJs, producers, and musicians will take the audience on an interactive ride through music, all meant to be livestreamed and experiential. Open Source’s motto is: “You won’t recognize all the music you hear, and you’re not supposed to.” Doors open at 8 pm; tickets just $7.

Bitches Brew
Throughout every weekend in June, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is presenting its fifth annual Jazz on Film summer series. Peter Lucas takes up duties as returning curator for eight films, and this weekend’s highlight is via French director Louis Malle — best known for My Dinner with Andre, The Lovers, and Au revoir les enfants, as well as a series of documentaries (lovingly compiled by the venerable Criterion Collection) — and his debut film, Ascenseur pour l’echafaud, or Elevator to the Gallows. With Jeanne Moreau who was soon to be an international star, and cinematography by Henri Decae, the noir-esque thriller arrived in 1958, right at the nascent stage of the French New Wave.

However, it is the mostly improvised score by Miles Davis that’s made the film endure as a stepping stone for hardcore Davis and jazz fans. Sunday, June 11, at 5 pm.

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