10 Can't-Miss Acts at Houston Whatever Fest
I know some people who were converted by Cheap Girls. Not just a fun sentence to write, but a true occurrence from recent local show. This Lansing, Mich.-based trio must be starting to feel like Houston is a second home. By my count, this will be at least their second trip here (third?) since the new year.
Earlier in 2014, they swept through with their friends Laura Stevenson and Against Me!, some frequent tourmates and longtime supporters of Cheap Girls' fundamentally solid indie-rock. Check out "Her and Cigarettes," from 2009's Find Me a Drink Home, for just one lovely example of what these guys do. (4 p.m., EaDo Party Park Space City Vodka stage) JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Back in the early '00s, Andrew W.K. was part of a nearly nightly concert occurring in my two-car garage. My wife and son built a quarter pipe where our Toyota Camry should have been and he and his friends would shred the skate ramp to the sounds of CKY, Sum 41 and Mr. W.K.
Getting to see the full-time party rocker and part-time motivational guru perform "Party Hard" and "Ready to Die" live is gonna feel like a throwback, but also a look to the future, hopefully a bright one for Whatever Fest. If the party is all brand-new, Andrew W.K. seems like the right guy to get it started. (5:45 p.m. EaDo Party Park Bud Light Stage) JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
THE HOLD STEADY
Hold Steady lead singer Craig Finn may not have the most beautiful singing voice or rock-star looks, but what he lacks he makes up in his storytelling lyrics and putting his heart and soul into all of his narrative tunes. Though their songs may not be uplifting and joyous, there's something magic in the way the band connects with their fans.
HWF is one of the Hold Steady's stops in support of latest album Teeth Dreams, but make sure you're there to here Finn sing about "Your Little Hoodrat Friend." (6:45 p.m., EaDo Party Park Space City Vodka stage) JACK GORMAN
REBIRTH BRASS BAND
In a lineup bursting with left-field acts, the band that stands out from the bunch is New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band, but in the best way possible. Long after The Hold Steady blows you away, Andrew WK forces you to party and MuteMath prove why they're at the top of the bill, Rebirth will be that breath of fresh air to the stragglers keeping the all-day party alive. If you happen to stick around, which a lot of you probably will, you'll soon discover that "ain't no party like a Rebirth party, 'cause a Rebirth party don't stop!" (11:45 p.m., Warehouse Live Rise Up/Youngblood Booking stage) JIM BRICKER
One can't help but wonder if this newbie festival is ready for what kind of depravity Hewhocannotbenamed and his crew of reprobates will wreak. Will the San Fran-based punk perverts' perpetual quest for "Blood, guts and pussy" be thwarted just because HWF will be looking to make its best first impression? What do you think? (4:15 p.m., EaDo Party Park Space City Vodka stage) CHRIS GRAY
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