Nothing screams dance party like a three-piece rockabilly combo with a stand-up slap bass and a genuine sanctified howler screaming out some sex-ified vocals from behind a Telecaster while that gargantuan wooden thump machine locks it all down. Rockin' Lloyd Tripp has been at this truly American art form for as long as anyone can remember, even before he arrived in San Diego from London and, baby doll, he's got it down.
Don't look now, but Houston may have just as many good thrashy rock bands as San Antonio. And you can put powerhouse four-piece combo American Fangs near the top of the heap.
There isn't a single song by these rockers that doesn't sound like it was made with rock radio -- a la The Buzz -- in mind. What separates the Fangs from most others in the crowded genre are their lyrics. Filled with smart, memorable hooks, the band could take some of the manic music off their tunes and they'd still be attention-grabbers.
In a city where hotspots can be as fleeting as good weather, we've always wondered why more Houston venues don't take to the pop-up nightclub concept. They're frequently popping up in cities like L.A. and New York in unassuming locations like dim sum parlors, office buildings and abandoned warehouses. Some stay open for a month or season, and some just for one night.
Tonight, Gigi Huang, owner of Gigi's Asian Bistro in the Galleria and no stranger to elaborate parties, is hosting a pop-up after-party following Fashion Houston's Fashion Week. Appropriately, the event will be held in the original Tootsies in Highland Village. The store which once impeccably displayed the fashion greats is now an empty industrial shell.
Joan Jett, the GoGos, L7, Blondie, the Pretenders, Houston has always taken to girl bands and females with attitude, so make ready for Hunter Valentine. Originally from Ontario, the band has relocated to the friendly confines of Brooklyn -- where it seems every CMJ-oriented band eventually winds up nowadays -- and has been working wider circles with each tour.
Fronted by charismatic founder Kiyomi McCloskey, the band is touring in support of its just released album Collide and Conquer. Like all bad girls in rock, the band takes cues from Chrissie Hynde; they're more modern alt-rock than punk, although they project that punky riot girl swagger wherever they go, whatever they do.
You can almost see the ganja haze around K. Phillips and his six-piece band the Concho Pearls as they strut their way through his often smirky, cynical, sly, smartass tunes. We're not quite sure what this says about higher education at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, where several band members coalesced around the mercurial Phillips -- who (gulp) bears a curious resemblance to Jesus.
A self-taught musician, Phillips traded various forms of contraband for piano lessons in Seguin before matriculating to Austin to try his luck in the Live Music Capitol of the World. The San Angelo native didn't exactly fit the Austin mold, with his Stax vibes and point-blank lyrics like "Honey, I didn't come here to talk / I came here to fuck" from his raucous, swaggering tune "Rambler" (according to Phillips, "my grandmother's least favorite song").