Houston Calling

Free Press Summer Festival preview: Sylvan Esso

May 30th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Sylvan Esso–Amelia Meath from Mountain Man and Nick Sanborn from Megafaun–has a hell of a buzz right now, so it’s great that we get to see them in Houston this weekend at 2014 Free Press Summer Festival. The duo’s album recently premiered on NPR’s First Listen, where it was called “2014′s most intoxicating debut,” and the band plays an interesting brand of electronica that will undoubtedly play right into the eclectic mood of FPSF. Can’t wait to check out the set.

Here’s the video for “Play It Right”:

Listen to an interview on NPR Weekend Edition here or a live performance here.

Sylvan Esso plays in Houston at Free Press Summer Festival on Sunday, 6.1.14, at 12:50pm on the Neptune Stage.

More information may be found on Facebook or Soundcloud.

→ 1 CommentTags: Music · Show listings · Summer Fest

Free Press Summer Festival: what to bring, what not to bring

May 30th, 2014 · 1 Comment

More information may be found here, but below is a list of what you can and what you cannot bring to the nearly sold-out 2014 Free Press Summer Festival, which starts tomorrow morning (May 31st) in Eleanor Tinsley Park on the edge of downtown Houston. Please pay attention and don’t hold up the lines for the rest of us — thanks.


  • Sun-friendly items such as a swimsuit, cover-up, sunblock, sunglasses, hats, personal umbrella.
  • You may bring an empty water container to fill at the fest, such as a CamelBak.
  • Backpacks (will be searched)
  • Personal cameras are allowed, and the rule prohibiting detachable lenses has been lifted this year so bring them at your own risk. The promoters reserve the right to use photographs taken at the event in promotional materials.
  • Towel or blanket for sitting (no chairs).
  • Cash (small bills) and credit cards. Cash will be accepted for food, drinks, and memorabilia, and in some locations credit cards will be accepted as well. There is no need to purchase food/drink tickets first. ATMs will be available throughout the fest grounds as well.


  • As per requirements by the City of Houston, no water or any other liquid or food is admitted. There will be plenty of water available for free and for sale. Empty camel packs or reusable non-glass water thermoses are allowed and can be filled once in the fest, but must be proved empty upon entrance. Again, no outside food or drinks, including no water or water bottles, sealed or unsealed.
  • No pets of any kind allowed.
  • No coolers.
  • No canopies, tents, or other big pointy obstructions.
  • No motorized vehicles.
  • No weapons.
  • No professional photography, video, or audio recording equipment.
  • No unauthorized vending, sales, solicitations, or promotions.

Note that festival security will be checking bags and confiscating prohibited items at gate.

Also, given the weather situation, I’d suggest a towel or two for the ride home.

Free Press Summer Festival is held May 31-June 1 in Eleanor Tinsley Park in downtown Houston. Remaining passes are available here.

→ 1 CommentTags: Miscellaneous · Music · Summer Fest

Free Press Summer Festival preview: The Chain Gang of 1974

May 30th, 2014 · No Comments

photo by Shane McCauley

The Chain Gang of 1974, which plays at this year’s Free Press Summer Festival–held tomorrow and Sunday (May 31st/June 1st) at Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park–is the dark electropop band of former 3OH!3 bassist Kamtin Mohager. If you’re a fan of 80s danceable pop, with a dark bent, then look no further. Should be an interesting set at this year’s festival.

Here’s the official video for “Sleepwalking”:

The Chain Gang of 1974 plays at Free Press Summer Fest on Sunday, June 1st, at 3:30pm on the Mercury Stage.

More information may be found at thechaingangof1974.com.

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The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen plays tonight at The Mucky Duck

May 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Alex Dezen (The Damnwells) is currently on tour with Salim Nourallah and Billy Harvey and plays in Houston tonight (Tuesday, 5.27.14) at the Mucky Duck. Dezen recently released the second in a series of EPs he’s calling The Bedhead EPs. You can download them from the usual online outlets or at thedamnwells.bandcamp.com.

Here’s a recent video:

More information on Dezen and The Damnwells may be found on Facebook.

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Free Press Summer Festival preview: A Fistful of Soul

May 26th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Local DJ collective A Fistful of Soul has been educating Houston crowds for more than half a decade. Playing 45s of old soul and R&B songs–some of which you may know, many you will not–A Fistful of Soul knows the perfect soundtrack for nearly any occasion, and this year kicks off the second day of Free Press Summer Festival with a set on the Mercury stage. I have always enjoyed the morning DJ sets that begin each day at past Summer Fests, and this year promises much of the same.

Last year, Houston Press asked the guys for their “top 25 solid gold tracks,” which you can read about here.

A Fistful of Soul plays the third Friday of each month at The Big Top Lounge and performs at the 2014 Free Press Summer Festival this Sunday, June 1st, on the Mercury Stage at 11:10am.

Follow them on Facebook.

→ 1 CommentTags: Music · Show listings · Summer Fest

Lee Alexander celebrates new release with free show today at Cactus Music

May 24th, 2014 · No Comments

Lee Alexander, Children Of All Ages

Local musician Lee Alexander draws inspiration from his day job as a teacher for his latest album, Children Of All Ages, and celebrates its release today (Saturday, 5.24.14) with a free in-store performance at 11am at Cactus Music. Alexander promises a lot of fun for kids and adult alike (including a coloring book, popcorn, punch, maracas–and maybe a magician) and his goal for the new album was to make sure that both parents and children would enjoy the songs (a tough feat, to which any parent can attest).

You may recall that Alexander was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, won the “Best Male Vocalist” award in the 2009 Houston Press Music Awards, and was a semi-finalist in the “Songwars” songwriting contest, among other things. He’s been writing and performing songs in the area for more than 10 years. Local writer Jef With One F (Houston Press) wrote an article on Alexander’s early work on the album in 2010, which you can read here, and has updated information on Alexander’s latest effort here.

Purchase Children Of All Ages at today’s show at Cactus Music or online via Alexander’s website, www.leealexandermusic.com.

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Failure reunion tour hits Houston’s House of Blues

May 23rd, 2014 · No Comments


Failure, one of the many unsung bands of the 1990s, is currently touring (!) and stops at House of Blues in Houston on Wednesday, June 11th. Tickets are available online from LiveNation.

This will be an excellent show. To refresh your memory, check out AllMusic’s write-up of the band’s excellent Fantastic Planet album. You can hear and purchase the band’s new song, “Come Crashing,” on Bandcamp. This song marks the Failure’s first new music since 1996, and is also included on a tour-only EP, titled Tree of Stars, which includes live recordings of “Let It Drip,” “Frogs,” Sergeant Politeness,” and “Heliotropic.”

More information may be found on Failure’s Facebook page.

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Free Press Summer Festival ticket prices go up this Friday at 10am — get yours now

May 21st, 2014 · No Comments

Prices for the remaining passes to the 2014 Free Press Summer Festival increase this Friday (5.23.14) at 10am. Buy yours now.

More information at the Free Press Summer Festival website (www.fpsf.com).

→ No CommentsTags: Miscellaneous · Music · Show listings · Summer Fest

Free Press Summer Festival preview: New York City Queens

May 19th, 2014 · No Comments

Houston New York City Queens is a band from which I continually look for exciting new things. Their music, especially the song “Roman Candles,” always makes me do a double take when it comes on. The band’s 2012 album, Burn Out Like Roman Candles, is full of lush, catchy songs that bring to mind early Coldplay and mid-period Radiohead, and that are intricate enough to make you stop and actually listen.

Here’s a video of the band performing “Roman Candles” live:

You can read more about the band in a recent Houstonia magazine article.

Watch the official video for “Waited For You”:

New York City Queens plays at Free Press Summer Fest on Sunday, June 1st, at 11:30am on the Neptune stage.

More information may be found on Facebook. Buy the band’s music on Bandcamp.

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B.E. Godfrey’s official album release show, free in-store at Cactus this Saturday

May 16th, 2014 · No Comments


Local musician B.E. Godfrey‘s official album release show for the Robert Ellis-produced Wild Desperation is tomorrow night (Saturday, 5.17.14) at House of Creeps. He also plays an in-store show at Cactus Music at 3pm tomorrow.

Also on the bill are Future Death (Austin), Sergio Trevino (of Buxton), Houston’s Mad Maude & the Hatters, and Houston alt-country band Black Cove.

Read more about Godfrey’s latest music in Magnet and Earbuddy.

Buy the album at the shows or pre-order online.

More information may be found on Facebook. You may remember Godfrey from the band listenlisten.

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