Want to expand your musical horizons for the new year? Check out these indie bands set to play the Bayou City in the next month.
No Age at Fitzgerald’s on Wednesday
I admit that I first got into them at an especially tipsy SXSW ’09 because I thought the singer was a babe. (And he is. Or at I think he is; I don’t know that night's still fuzzy.)
There’s more to this duo than eye candy though. What started out as a fiery explosion of noise has been tamed down to a steady rumble, which isn’t to hate on their first album. On the contrary — the 2008 debut, Nouns, opened up lo-fi to a wider audience. Songs like "Things I Did When I Was Dead" and "Teen Creeps" prove that garage rock is just as hook driven as it is messy. Sophomore album Everything In Between doesn’t disappoint, either. They stay true to their roots with an added layer of sophistication.
Girl Talk at Verizon Wireless Theater on Thursday
I don’t dance except at family members’ weddings or a Girl Talk show. Anyone who can combine James Taylor’s "Your Smiling Face" with The Pixies is worthy of dancing.
As if his mash-ups weren’t impressive enough, did you know Girl Talk’s Gregg Gillis is a biomedical engineer? He gave up the career to bend copyright laws on the fittingly named record label Illegal Art. (I’m still not sure how he dodges lawsuits, may need to brush up on my fair use law.)
Note: Though House of Blues lists Girl Talk as an upcoming show, it has been moved to Verizon.
Peter Wolf Crier at Fitzgerald’s on Jan. 27
Attention M. Ward and Bon Iver fans — add this to your list. This guy (well, guys as the band is the brainchild of Peter Pisano but definitely benefits from drummer Brian Moen) has talent. Story has it that Pisano emerged from an artistic drought to write the folky 2009 debut album in two days. Later Moen helped him piece it together in his basement with vintage recording equipment.
Although Pisano isn’t new to the scene (he played in Wars of 1812), he’s certainly someone to watch in 2011.
Download Peter Wolf Crier’s Crutch and Cane free here.
Darwin Deez at Fitzgerald’s on Feb. 4
This one-man show looks like a curly Devendra Banhart and sounds like a calmed-down Julian Casablancas. I was sold as soon as I heard "Bad Day," in which he sings to an anonymous frenemy, “If you drop your keys/ I hope there’s a sewer very nearby,” and “I would like to be your girlfriend/ so that I could dump you.”
He’s not bitter or wishing death on an ex (that’s sotired). Instead, he just hopes a certain acquaintance of his leaves the windows down when it rains. I’m reminded of New Zealand-based comedy duo Flight of the Conchords’ "The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)." Vocalist Jemaine sings to a girl, "You’re so beautiful/ You could be a part-time model/ But you'd probably still have to keep your normal job.”
But Darwin Deez has other songs, too; I swear."Lights On" from the 2009 self-titled album is a messy, guitar-heavy tune that sounds like it was recorded on someone’s answering machine (in a good way).