2011-09-01/30 Monthly LOVIEE

September is here, school’s back in session, and all that jazz. I realize it’s a bit sparse right now but I do plan to add more events by the beginning of the week. I am way behind on posts for this blog (as usual) and I also have new sites I’m launching. I do remain committed to Quinn’s Big City living up to the tagline “The best of Houston’s arts, events, and happenings!” To me, it’s not just a tagline, it’s what this blog is about, and there’s little reason for it to exist if it’s not about showcasing the best of what the city has to offer.

Friday 09-02

2600 Magazine meeting, The Galleria, Ninfa’s Express next to Nordstrom’s (in Galleria IV), 6pm-?. Gathering of computer and technology enthusiasts centered around the magazine’s readership. Z-14 / 11-M09-1

Monday 09-05 and Monday 09-12

iPerform by Continuum, Spacetaker ARC, 2101 Winter Street #B11, 7-10pm. A series of performance art workshops hosted by Houston performance art troupe Continuum. 11-M09-2 / 11-M09-3 / 11-IPERFORM

Saturday 09-24 and Sunday 09-25

Houston Press Best of Houston BestFest, Midtown Superblock (900 McGowen, between Main and Travis), Sat noon-10pm, Sun noon-8pm, $40 (GA)/$150 (VIP). A music, food, and arts festival showcasing national headliners alongside local bands. Music acts include: CAKE, Toadies, Hayes Carll, Against Me!, Chamillionaire, Deer Tick, Bun B, Slim Thug, Carolyn Wonderland, Buxton, The Tontons, Little Joe Washington, and Wild Moccasins. 11-M09-6

Sunday 09-25

Your Amsterdam, Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, $9 in advance (tickets available online at aftonshows.com)/$12 at the door. 11-M09-7


Recap: Canned Acoustica IV (11-M08-3)

Before I really get into the meat of the recap, I want to go ahead and summarize my thoughts on the night as a whole. This was perhaps the most surreal and most memorable Canned Acoustica of the three I have attended (1, 2, and 4; I was unable to make the third one due to a scheduling conflict).

I arrived well into (actually, near the end of) the second or third artist’s set (I think this was Springfield Riots). This, despite best intentions to arrive much earlier given that I was also a bit late to both Canned Acoustica 1 and 2. So I got to see Screwtape, Nick Gaitan and Umbrella Man, Los Skarnales, Venomous Maximus, and The Literary Greats. (I think that’s in proper order; my apologies if I left anyone out.)

I had never seen any of these bands perform before. Most of these are bands I would not normally go out of my way to see, but if you know me, I take advantage of every chance I get to support a charitable cause, especially when there’s something in it for me as well. While neither part of the name Canned Acoustica seems to apply to the more recent events (it’s no longer a canned food drive, and it’s no longer strictly an acoustic/”unplugged” show), that doesn’t mean I won’t attend the next one. If anything, I see the expansion in both ways as a good thing. I’ll get back to this towards the end of the article…

Anyway, I don’t remember a whole lot of Screwtape. I was kind of not fully “tuned in” at this point. If I remember right, they were kind of a folk-meets-rap act, and I’m not a huge rap fan. (The few rap albums I have copies of, are primarily for other reasons.)

I noted that Nick Gaitan and Umbrella Man had merchandise for sale (CDs and T-shirts). If their set at this event didn’t move merchandise, I’m honestly not sure what will. I have been on a bit of a zydeco kick lately (actually, just expanding my musical tastes in general), so maybe I’m biased a bit.

The most memorable highlight of the evening was Los Skarnales. I was pretty tired, bordering on outright exhausted, by this point. So I was kind of just sitting down taking in what I could, obscured view and all. Anyway, after Los Skarnales finished their set which included a number where some guys dressed up in soccer jerseys, and some wound up taking off their shirts and dancing. I don’t remember the name of the song, and I don’t know Spanish so I could not understand the lyrics or anything. What I could understand was the volume level almost certainly set a Canned Acoustica record (my unofficial noise meter reading was “two notches below earsplit”), Mills McCoin calling for a mop over the PA, and kicking myself for not having a camera with me to photograph the spilled beer and sweat covering about 50 square feet of floor in front of the stage. While I’m not really a fan of Tejano (in fact, outside of J-pop and K-pop, I really don’t do much non-English music), I do admire the talent of a band with this kind of stage presence and following that can have a truly wild set with that kind of audience participation.

Next came Venomous Maximus. I am a new fan of this act as well. They embraced the concept of doing an unplugged set, which is good because a heavy metal band after the Los Skarnales mayhem might well have caused the roof to come tumbling down. I like what I saw and heard; they brought candles with the band’s logo, and had the lights dimmed for most of the set, which was a nice touch.

The real “sleeper” act, though, would have to be The Literary Greats. I’m not sure who the lineup was, exactly; I know Sara Van Buskirk was there on backing vocals and hand percussion. If she’s not a permanent member of the group, she should be; I remember her musical talents from the first Canned Acoustica, and she fit in well with the rest of the band this time around.

There were a couple of minor disappointments. First, the number of people talking during the performances seems to have gone up; Josh Applebee and Mills McCoin should not have to keep asking people to take the conversation outside for those trying to actually get into the music. Seriously folks, if you want to just hang out and talk and don’t care about the music, Lucky’s is next door. There’s no telling just how bad the recordings were as a result of the excessive conversation noise. For some of the sets, I was sitting close to or in front of the microphones and it wasn’t too bad; for another I was standing about the same distance from the stage as the microphones and I definitely heard conversation from behind me at a level high enough to interfere with my enjoyment of the music.

The second disappointment had to do with the food options. The first Canned Acoustica had two food trucks, which Mark Austin described as affordable and I concurred with. The second time around, we only had cupcakes. I was absent from the third Canned Acoustica, but this time around, we had The Modular. Pricing of their offerings started at $6 (two different I was hoping to find something for $5. I had the $6 offering, a chicken hot dog with pickled onions (no mustard or mayo; I can’t stand either), which was the $6 offering. Drinks were only sold at the bar, however, and I can understand why Warehouse Live would insist upon this. I do think, however, that $3 for a soda is a bit much (and I even tweeted about this at the time). I had planned to pay $2 and then tip the remaining $1. With the price being $3 instead, I leave it as an exercise to the reader how much I had left over to tip.

(To be fair, it could have been worse. I recall an incident at House of Blues in the summer of 2009 where the soda was $3.50. I had a bartender then snip at me with “we don’t take loose change like that” when I tried to pay with three $1 bills, a quarter, two dimes, and a nickel. I finally found a second quarter; what annoyed me was that it shouldn’t have been necessary to dig one up to begin with. But that’s another rant for another day…)

All in all, I had a blast, and even the disappointments would not be enough to keep me from making it to Canned Acoustica V.


2011-08-22/28 Weekly LOVIEE

School’s back in session, and finally, we hope, Houston starts seeing some relief from the ridiculous record-breaking heat wave of 2011. Again, most of the events this week are indoors.

I will be making small changes to how event locations are listed in the LOVIEEs, as announced on the Facebook page and Twitter earlier this evening.

Opening Thursday 08-25

Houston 175: 1836 Through Now, Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol #120, opening reception 5:30-7pm, free admission. An exploration of the city’s built environment, with photographs organized into ten clusters: First (early history), Sacred, Civic, Shelter, Beautiful, Culture, Modern, Tall, Shop, and Exotic. Parking is available in the Hobby Center parking garage. After the opening reception, the exhibit will be open Mon-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-3pm, and October 29 (Sat) 10am-3pm. 11-W34-1 / 11-HOU175

Friday 08-26

Canned Acoustica IV, Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 7pm-2am, school supplies donation for admission (any two three of: loose leaf notebook paper (>80 sheets), Spiral notebooks (70-page, single subject), pencils (package >24 count), facial tissues, markers: fine point and regular (>2), multi-colored construction paper (>30 sheets)). See On The Horizon feature for details. 11-M08-3

Fall for Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Miller Outdoor Theater, 8pm-10pm. DWDT kicks off another season with a free show at the Miller, featuring Walsh’s own Time out of Line. 11-M08-4

Opening Friday 08-26

iPerform by Continuum, Spacetaker ARC, 2101 Winter Street #B11, 7-10pm. A series of performance art workshops hosted by Houston performance art troupe Continuum. Future performances will be on August 29, September 5, and September 12 (the following three Monday nights), 7-10pm. 11-W34-2 / 11-IPERFORM

Saturday 08-27

The Go-Gos, House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, doors 6pm, $40/60/75/140/215 (+fees), tickets available at livenation.com. Also featuring local blues-rock band Runaway Sun and San Antonio-based Girl In A Coma. 11-M08-5

DiverseWorks FUNdraiser, 1117 East Freeway, doors 7pm, party starts 8pm, $10 minimum donation. DiverseWorks celebrates the end of another hot and humid Houston summer with one last party before the fall arts season. Featuring performances by The Wild Moccasins and The Wiggins. 11-M08-6

Sunday 08-28

Houston’s 175th Birthday Bash, Market Square Park, 5-8pm. A live jazz band and performances by Interactive Theater highlight the festivities. Food and drinks (including beer wine) will be available at Niko Niko’s, as well as special 175th Birthday-edition cupcakes from Frosted Betty, Angie’s Cake, and Cupcakes a GoGo. You may also bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. 11-M08-7

Opening Sunday 08-28

Sticky, East End Studio Gallery, 708 Telephone #C, 4-7pm. An exhibit featuring artwork made entirely from sticky notes. Opening reception features refreshments and food from Natachee’s Supper and Punch. Artists Participating: Julie Zarate, Lizbeth Ortiz, Vincent Fink, Jeremy Walker, Mason Starkey, Anthony Gay, Joseph Walker, Catfish Perez, Leosapien, Matchu Rogers, Julia Salazar, Lowbrow Pilgrim, Stephanie Guajardo, Stevie Rae Guajardo, Carolina Wackerle, Chasity Porter, Armando Castelan, John Cramer, Jennifer Eli, Kyle K Cool Clement, Janeth Salgado, Jourma Westrup, Willa Wylde, David L. Weaver, Kristi Gonzalez, Margarita Zuniga, Brennan Burch, John Luna, Jordan Sills, Khloe Morris, Michael Rodriguez, Janeth Salgado. 11-W34-3 / 11-STICKY


2011-08-15/21 Weekly LOVIEE

Houston’s summer heat can be brutal. All of the events this week are either indoors or after sunset, providing a much-needed refuge from the sub-purgatory temperatures that define Houston summers. I’m ready for fall to get here, how about you?

Tuesday 08-16 through Thursday 08-18

Movies at Miller, Miller Outdoor Theater, 8pm all three nights. The Back to the Future trilogy comes to the Miller! Tuesday night is Part I, Wednesday night is Part II, Thursday night is Part III. A great chance to see the movies if you’ve never seen them before, or just want to see them again. 11-M08-2

Wednesday 08-17

Sam Silva and the Good CD Release, Dosey Doe Coffee House, 25911 I-45 North (The Woodlands), 8pm, $20 (with CD)/$10 (without). 11-W33-1

Run Over Twice, Baker St. Pub & Grill Willowbrook, 17278 Tomball Parkway, 9pm. 11-W33-2

Thursday 08-18

CAMH Video Jam, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose, 6:30pm, free.
Filmmakers Carlton Ahrens and Ford Gunter discuss and show clips of their
feature-length film Art Car: The Movie. 11-W33-3

Run Over Twice, Baker St. Pub & Grill Katy, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. (Katy), 9pm. 11-W33-4

Cultured Cocktails presented by Spacetaker, Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar, 307 Fairview, 5-10pm. Benefiting Via Colori, the annual street art festival presented by Center for Hearing and Speech. 11-W33-5

Friday 08-19

Run Over Twice, Baker St. Pub, 5510 Morningside, 9pm. 11-W33-6

Saturday 08-20

Come See My Dead Person/The Dead Rabbits, Union Tavern, 435 El Dorado Blvd (Webster), 9pm. 11-W33-7

Sunday 08-21

Bette Gordon Films from Anthology Film Archives, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Main, $10 (free for Aurora Picture Show members with RSVP). A collection of the independent filmmaker’s early shorts from 1973 to 1977. Film archivist Andrew Lampert will be in attendance. 11-W33-8