The Cro-Mags at Walters, 7/10/2014

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Photos by Jack Gorman
The Cro-Mags, Die Young, Black Coffee, BLUNT, H.R.A.
Walters Downtown
July 10, 2014

When the Cro-Mags arose from the streets of New York City in the mid-'80s, punk and heavy metal were hardly the best of friends. If there's one thing that singer John Joseph and company have proved over their tumultuous career wrecking stages together, though, it's that the tight bonds of friendship aren't necessarily a prerequisite to do some groundbreaking damage.

After more makeups, breakups and lineup changes than anyone cares to count at this point, the 'Mags have reemerged as proud hardcore elder statesmen in the 21st century, recognized far and wide for their thrashing, crossover sound's indelible influence on both sides of the once-deep punk/metal divide.

On a rare stop in Houston on Thursday night, the band drew a crowd ready to show out for the scene legends who wielded such a heavy hand in crafting the modern underground's sound and aesthetic.


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Hearts of Animals' Mutation Poses a Beautiful Puzzle

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One of my favorite things about reviewing music in Houston is that you don't just appreciate or criticize the music the city produces. You solve it like a video-game puzzle...if you're lucky. How can someone really stand up and try to do a conventional review of a P.L.X.T.X. album? That's not dancing about architecture, it's more like trying to describe the beauty of a butterfly to a blind water snake by putting it in one of Jigsaw's traps.

Case in point: Mlee Marie Mains and her wild band, of which she is sometimes the only member, Hearts of Animals. The woman is brilliant, and so is the music on her latest album, Another Mutation.


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The Tall Texan's Jukebox Is Not a Toy

Categories: Night Life

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Photo by Larami Culbertson
Los Skarnales singer Felipe Galvan (right) and friends at the Tall Texan in 2010
"And I'm hungry like the wooooolf..."

The music from the jukebox blares throughout this tiny bar on North Main. Although pleasing to our ears, the cheesy '80s rock has sparked a rumble of laughter from the regulars splayed across the crooked counter.

It's not often that someone comes into Alice's Tall Texan Drive Inn (4904 N. Main) and takes over the jukebox so abruptly. This old saloon is generally full of mustachioed regulars, some sporting cowboy hats. Others flash crooked smiles and Hispanic Heights charm. Usually the regulars have full run of the place.

Until some silly young bucks step in, anyway.


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Here's Where Houston Whatever Fest Came From

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andrewwk.com
Scheduled HWF performer Andrew WK already gives the new festival a big thumbs-up.
If you happened to head down to Lucky's Pub during the height of this year's World Cup action, you probably noticed the district around BBVA Compass Stadium, the several apartment blocks in the area and Warehouse Live has become one of those thriving urban pockets that so-called "livable city" advocates always talk about. Turns out it's even got its own nickname, the "EaDo Party Park."

Wednesday afternoon word started circulating on social media of a new music festival in this Party Park, which longtime Warehouse Live talent buyer Jason Price confirmed to us Thursday morning. Dubbed "Houston Whatever Fest," the two-day indoor/outdoor event is scheduled for August 9 and 10 at a most reasonably price: $55 for a two-day pass.

The HWF lineup currently features some some thirtysomething performers, predominantly hard rock, punk, indie and electronica, with outliers like female rapper Kreayshawn, New Orleans funkateers the Rebirth Brass Band and a reunion of popular Houston DJ crew the Boys and Girls Club. But plans also call for HWF to put almost as many comedy acts onstage, making it a kissin' cousin to Austin's popular Fun Fun Fun Fest.


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The 10 Best Shows in Houston This Weekend: Zomboy, JT, Ian Moore, Sheryl Crow, etc.

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superbwallpapers.com
Zomboy
Stereo Live, July 11

One thing you learn seeing Zomboy is that he doesn't play around when it comes to trying to crush your body with waves of bass. The man born Joshua Jenkin starts things off intense and it pretty much stays that way the entire time; forget zombies and ordinary monsters, we're talking kaiju-level sonic destruction. It's a noisy, chaotic, wild, but ultimately entertaining experience.

Whether you're the type to dance until your feet give out or just want to stand around and simply survive the onslaught, Zomboy will give you a lot to love. Just consider bringing earplugs; your hearing loss won't come back from the dead. With Cookie Monsta and Eptic. CORY GARCIA

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Whatever: Houston's Getting Another Music Fest Next Month

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Is Houston ready to sweat out two more days of music barely two months after Free Press Summer Fest, only this time with a little more laughter?

We may be about to find out. Wednesday afternoon, a new festival calling itself Houston Whatever Fest popped up online and on social media, promising music and comedy (and more) on August 9 and 10 somewhere called EaDo Party Park. Not sure if that's a thing, but the Facebook event page lists the same address as Warehouse Live.


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Queen + Adam Lambert Doesn't Add Up for Either Party

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Photos by Jack Gorman
Queen + Adam Lambert
Toyota Center
July 9, 2014

Put yourself in these two situations:

A. You're a member of a Hall of Fame-level band who wrote some of the most famous, popular songs in rock music. Your lead singer was perhaps the greatest of all time, but he's no longer with us. You can still play and, more importantly, you still want to play, but no matter what you do, the shadow of your fallen front man will always be there.

B. You're a singer with an amazing voice, good looks, and a charming personality. You should be a megastar, but you just haven't found the right songs yet. You have fans, but you need something to push you over the hump that separates pop act and legit star.

If you look at these two situations and think, "Well, why not put A and B together?", congratulations for picking the path of least resistance. The good news is that this solution will make both parties some serious money.

That's pretty much where the good news ends for Queen and Adam Lambert.


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The Rocks Off 200: Mlee Marie Mains, the Heart of Hearts of Animals

Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.

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Photos courtesy of Hearts of Animals
Who? Another Mutation is a funny title for Hearts of Animals' third full-length album. No two of its lo-fi, sweet but melancholy songs are quite the same, but all are recognizably the work of the young woman who offstage goes by the name of Mlee Marie Mains. Mlee/Hearts of Animals (pronounced "Emily" and "Hearts of Animals") has been a dependable presence in Houston's indie scene since 2007, when just about every music-loving site in town including this one flipped its collective wig over her self-released short LP/extended EP Lemming Baby.

Driven by the almost country-ish "Hearts Break" (hard not to think of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval on that one) and Casio-punk "Lostinthetranslation," Lemming was eventually remastered and released on iTunes last February. In the interim, Mlee recorded and released a second album, Cave Lights, in 2009. (That one is only available on Bandcamp, she says.)

She has also collaborated and guested live with a host of locals -- including a notable lead vocal on "Rust," from Linus Pauling Quartet's 2012 LP Bag of Hammers -- as Hearts of Animals has grown from a frequent solo act to a full-fledged band now also featuring her brother Joey.


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Displaced by Fire, Funnyman MC Reko Trill Says #BurnDownForWhat

Categories: Only In Houston

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Photos courtesy of Reko Trill
It was a hot and humid Thursday afternoon last week when local MC Reko Trill left his apartment to grab a bite and pick up a few items in anticipation for the 4th of July weekend. A summer thunderstorm rolled through that evening, dropping rain and booms of lightning all over the Houston area.

One such lightning bolt touched down at La Mirage Resort Apartments in West Houston, causing a 2-alarm fire. The Houston Fire Department responded with almost 100 firefighters, and fought the blaze for two hours. Thanks in part to Dennis Hood, the security guard at the complex, everyone was evacuated safely and the only injury was a firefighter's minor burns.

But 16 apartments were lost in the flames, among them was Trill's home. When he returned to the complex after running his errands, he was met by the chaos of sirens, fire and water hoses. Trill took to social media to let his friends know he was okay and to vent.


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My Next-Door Neighbors Are Peeping Toms. Help!

Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!

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Photo by Mario Jaramillo
WHY DO SMOKERS STAND RIGHT OUTSIDE OF DOORWAYS TO SMOKE?

Dear Willie D:

I have a healthy contempt for smokers who have no regard for the rest of society. If I was a smoker you would never catch me smoking cigarettes right outside of the doorway or in the direct path of nonsmokers. I mean seriously, if you want to kill yourself go right ahead, but don't take the rest of us out with you.

Smoking is hazardous to your health. As such, if a smoker causes a non-smoker to come into contact with smoke fumes they should be charged with assault, the same as any other person who causes bodily harm to an innocent person. Why do smokers have to stand right outside of doorways to smoke?


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