HPMA Showcase: The 12 Best Artists of 2012

Rocks Off asked the writers we had covering Sunday's HPMA showcase downtown to pick out one or two of their favorites among the 50 or so performers.

Bangz GH Aug 6.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse
SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase - The Bands

SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase - The Crowds

Bang Bangz: Bang Bangz set up a mellowed dreamscape for their audience, culminating in tunes that transported to a sound directly off The Postal Service's Give Up. This reference goes directly to the last few tunes, which were most explosive with a "z". In other wordz, those tunes had whatever possible flair the added "z" in the band's name means , plus more.

Their stage setup was simple, free of props or a lightshow, which did not add to or detract from their sound, being good enough all on its own. Also, having seen Bang Bangz three times beforehand, this was their best performance yet. Here's wishing they only get better. ALEXA CRENSHAW

Chango GH Aug 6.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse
Chango Man: Scene veterans Chango Man never disappoint, but they were really feeling it Sunday night as they rocked one of the larger small-venue crowds with a toasty set of Latin-flavored rock and roll.

This seven-piece ensemble laid down a wicked barrage of guitar licks and Mex-ified percussion, but took it up one step further with a "live, onstage band practice," delighting the crowd with a wicked impromptu version of Ray Charles' classic "What'd I Say?" that was as hot as anything I heard all day. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

Female Demand 2  BS Aug 5.JPG
Photo by Barry Sigman
Female Demand: Even though I only watched them for a few minutes, I'm going to go ahead and say Female Demand, because I've been trying to see them for a while now and nothing ever quite lined up. Then there they were playing in the corner of Dirt Bar and it was like, "What took me so long?" Bass and drums only, aka awesome.

When a band doesn't even bother to recruit someone to play guitar, keyboards or any other more "melodic" instrument, it's usually an indicator that they're only interested in creating as much woozy, crashing, fucked-up racket as two human beings can pound out. Female Demand didn't disappoint. CHRIS GRAY

Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Reserve 101

1201 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Phul Court Sports Bar

1311 Leeland, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar

1201 Fannin, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Dirt

1209 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge

1201 San Jacinto, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Ben's Beans

1302 Dallas, Houston, TX

Category: General

Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Lucky's Pub

801 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Nick Greer is so goddamn good that sometimes I can't stand it.


I second Female Demand -- jaw-droppingly amazing set. It ruined me for the rest of the evening...

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