Blue Bear is an indie/folk band from Austin, Texas. Not just another indie/rock band from Austin, Texas however. Comprised of six members: Jeremy Holmsley, Casey Arthur, Khoury Moore, Jared Shaw, Daniel Cole, and Reno Tandy, Blue Bear has a “warm yet urgent vibe,” combining rockabilly licks with Americana-esque harmonies. At any given time during a Blue Bear set, there will be 3-6 guitars rattling off respective renditions of the melody at hand. This depth soothes while it volumizes, like a nice cucumber-based conditioner, I guess. Made with the finest indie rock roots side of the Mississippi, a dash of Fleet Fox, and a cup of future promise, Blue Bear will leave your scalp feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Joining Blue Bear are special guests Walker Lukens and his five-piece backing band: The Sidearms. Lukens released his most recent album, Devoted, in April 2013. Since then, he’s been hitting the show circuit with The Sidearms and making a big buzz on the way, sharing stages with big names like Band of Horses. While bridging the gap between indie rock and indie pop, and with full support from The Sidearms, Walker Lukens is at full potential in concert settings. Confident yet graceful, bold yet breezy, Lukens is guaranteed to make you feel some kind of way. Come see a show.
This week is a big week for the Grand Stafford Theater, so with the power invested in me as intern, (which actually renders me powerless) I am unofficially officially declaring this week as: “The Big Week.” Tickets for the following events are available online and at the door unless otherwise noted.
THE WEEKS W/ RANCH GHOST, THE DOCS & CHIEF SCOUT • February 12, 2014
In two months, The Weeks will release their Serpents and Snakes Records debut album, “Dear Bo Jackson,” to the world. In two months and one day, the world will be drastically different. Kids are going to start growing their hair out, drinking 40 oz malt liquors in the forest, and dancing around like wet noodles. Baseball games will begin with the singing of the World anthem, “To Kingdom Come” by The Band. Top fashion designers will put their names on trucker hats and pastel button-ups. New World Order will reign supreme, and The Weeks will sit atop it all. To be honest, I can’t freakin’ wait. The Weeks are a band of amazing energy and presence, and I would be happy to serve them. You can catch a glimpse of the Southern Rock future this Wednesday!
photo courtesy of The Rolling Stone
Doors @ 8:00 pm
EL TEN ELEVEN W/ BRONZE WHALE • February 13, 2014
When you hear El Ten Eleven through headphones, you are taken on a musical magic carpet ride. The sheer musical talent of this four-to-eight-piece progressive rock band seems to jump out from the speakers and massage your temples with its weird anthropomorphic-soundwave fingers. When you see El Ten Eleven perform, you punch yourself in the face because you realize that this maverick of melody known as a band is a straight up power duo. That’s it. Two guys. Granted, with the amount of pedals on stage, it’s not hard to understand where the variety of sound comes from. What doesn’t make sense is how the hell two guys and three instruments can make such good music. It’s hard for most people to express themselves with words, but El Ten Eleven creates music of incredible depth, enriched by the convictions of their very souls and vibrant to the core. These guys are nothing short of amazing off stage, but on stage is a damned phenomenon the likes of Haley’s comet. With 12 years of self-produced records, their songs featured on countless TV shows/commercials/movies, and theater shows, it speaks volumes to their humility that members Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty are still playing intimate show settings. Watch magic happen Thursday night.
Doors @ 8:00 pm
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW BY THE SHADOW CAST OF CEPHEID VARIABLE• February 14, 2014
You could spend your Valentine’s evening hopelessly romantic-ing with wine and dine and chocolate and teddy’s and blah, or you could spend it with Riff Raff, Dr. Frank-N-Furter and the shadow cast of Texas A&M’s very own Cepheid Variable. What better way to celebrate the beheading of St. Valentine than pelvic thrusting into the night in a room full of drag?! Everyone’s a character in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, come join in the fun with the shadow cast in acting out of the most influential international cult movies of the last century. Strongly encouraged to buy tickets in advance. (Strongly encouraged to come fully dressed up in costume! Prop bags will be sold at the venue by Cepheid Variable, if you bring your own props, DO NOT BRING: liquids, food or candles (open flames). This film is rated R, not suitable for under 18.)
Doors @ 10:00 pm
MATTHEW MAYFIELD W/ DANIEL GONZALES • February 15, 2014
Matthew Mayfield’s infatuation with “songs, swagger and spectacle” began at 11 years old. His Superman was Jimmy Page, his Batman was Stevie Ray. 8 years later, he dropped out of school to pursue a life on the road with nothing but a guitar and some licks. In 2005, a record deal with Epic taught Mayfield what he really wanted.
After turning in his contract for a DIY deal with self, he began to reconstruct his vision. By the end of 2010, he had self-produced and released 7 EP’s, had a song featured on Grey’s Anatomy, and had topped the iTunes singer/songwriter chart more than once. It’s been a ride for Matthew. He’s driven and he’s ridden, but he’s never ceased to pine for something more. Join Matthew Mayfield in finding himself Saturday night.
Doors @ 8:00 pm
THE BRIGHT LIGHT SOCIAL HOUR W/ THE TONTONS & OTIS THE DESTROYER
• February 16, 2014
In 2011 The Bright Light Social Hour won Band of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year, Best Bass Guitar, Best Keyboards, and Best Record Producer at the SXSW Austin Music Awards. Are you excited yet? You should be. The Bright Light Social Hour is an explosion of rock’n’roll everytime they hit the stage. As a focused and mature band, they know how to build a house up before they bring it down. They also opened for Aerosmith one time, which is pretty badass IMO. The Stafford stage is set to be graced by The Bright Light Social Hour, as well as special guests The Tontons. Asli Omar, Tom Nguyen, Adam and Justin Martinez make up what is undoubtedly one of the most unique and pleasing sounds this side of the Nacogdoches. Plus, they’re from the land of the players and pimps, so you know it’s real.
With six musicians from six different backgrounds of music, Fear and Wonder is ready to show the world of post-hardcore how far they’ve come in so little time. Formed in October of 2012, after each member left their previous bands due to creative differences, the sextet metal band has been fueled by train-engine publicity garnering over 7,000 likes on their music video, “Like A Movie,” four days after it’s release. Fear and Wonder is influenced by many well-known metal bands of the last decade, acts such as: A Day to Remember, Parkway Drive, Pierce the Veil, Asking Alexandria, etc. In a sub-genre so saturated with cookie-cutter bands, Fear and Wonder is a breath of fresh air. As frontman Albert Gonzales puts it, “We are different in that we add a lot more electronic/digital arrangements to our music than most of those bands. We want to take everything we do to the next level.”
February 11, 2014 7:00 pm
Doors: 6:00 pm
Tickets available online and @ the door
Picture, if you will, the year is 2007. You and two of your friends from college have been playing in a band together for about one year, and you’ve secured a spot on the lineup at South by Southwest, amongst over 1,400 other acts. At the show, you open for a group of five bands, and a whopping seven people are in attendance for your set. No sweat, right? Everybody’s gotta start somewhere. After the show, BAM, freakin’ Jerry Harrison (guitarist and keyboardist for the Talking Heads) is all up in your grill offering to produce your first LP at his personal studio in California. The LP drops in 2008 to critical acclaim. After some more touring and maturing, your band is awarded: Best New Band, Song of the Year, Best Rock Band, Bass Player of the Year, and Producer of the Year all at the 2009 Austin Music Awards. Now it’s 2014, and you’re playing at the one and only Grand Stafford Theater in Bryan, Texas. Okay, admittedly, maybe things didn’t haven’t happened quite that quickly or easily for The Black and White Years, but, aside from the five years not mentioned above, the details ring true (sorry, you’re not actually in an awesome band, but it’s fun to pretend.)
The Black and White Years were formed by Scott Butler, Landon Thompson and John Aldridge in 2006. Since then, they’ve been joined by official drummer: Billy Potts, played hundreds of shows, established a decent fan base, and built up a discography exemplifying the meaning of quality over quantity. Surprisingly, despite their hard-earned success, The Black and White Years are still struggling to find their niche in the musical world. This is due in part to what Houston Press has deemed “a lack of touring and production over the last few years have somewhat held them back,” which is also a probable explanation for the gap in between releases of studio material.
Last month marked the end of a four year long material absence from The Black and White Years, which is to say that their new album, “Strange Figurines” (released Jan. 21, 2014) is the first we’ve heard from the group since 2010’s “Patterns.” “Strange Figurines” delves farther into The Black and White Years’ affluence for the past than any previous LP. Synthesizers (funky and grimy alike,) dark sunglasses, dancing, probably cocaine, and the velvety soothe of Butler’s vocals all coalesce into a project that can’t be described in just black and white. Think soft purples, mellow yellows, orange euphoria, and glimpses of the whole color spectrum instantaneously. It seems as though The Black and White Years are inching out of the comfort zone, little by little, with each track. And it’s working out fantastically. This electronic-pop-punk concoction is here to stay, or get bigger, and it looks like the only route from here on out is up.
Come experience The Black and White Years and songs from their new LP, “Strange Figurines,” this Saturday at the Grand Stafford!
Doors @ 8 p.m.
$10 tickets available online and at the door!
By: Dylan Huddleston
Tumblin’ down from the heights of the Sawtooth Mountains, Micky and The Motorcars hit the Stafford stage Thursday night to commence their Texas tour. Led by frontman Micky Braun and his guitarist brother Gary Braun, The Motorcars are coming to kick up some grade-A Americana dust. Music is just part of the brothers’ blood, as it has been for the last few generations of Brauns. Micky and Gary make up half of the Brauns brothers; their older siblings, Willy and Cody Braun, head the increasingly popular and genre-similar band: Reckless Kelly, who just so happened to edge out Jay-Z and Metallica for a Grammy award in Best Record Package last month. Collectively, Micky, Gary, Willy and Cody have been performing on stages since before they were teenagers. At a young age, all four brothers toured the nation playing alongside their father, Muzzie Braun, in his family Texas Swing band. Muzzie showed the boys what road life was like, touring across the nation and even appearing with them on stage at The Grand Ol’ Opry and twice on The Tonight Show. Given a work ethic twice the size that most people have before they were even allowed to drive, it’s no surprise that the Braun brothers have come so far with their respective musical accolades today. Micky and The Motorcars have been touring Candada, the UK, and the states consistently for the past eleven years, averaging about 200 shows per year (which, by my calculations, is about 2 gazillion shows in the last decade, but I’m no mathlete.) In any case, it’s blatantly obvious that this five piece country rock band knows how to play. They’ve seen numerous records hit the Top Ten singles mark on the Texas Music Chart, and even spent an amazing seven months on the Americana Chart. Micky Braun handles most of the songwriting (brilliantly, at that), but it is the seemingly endless talent and ambition of the group as a whole that has given them a sound all their own and paved the way for a legion of fans worldwide. The two Braun brothers are joined by guitarist Dustin Schaefer, bassist Joe Fladger, and drummer Bobby Paugh. Each member has brought their own musical background and influence into the mix. You can literally hear the accent of rock’n’roll, electric blues, jazz, and even a little soul in their music. Toss in some country, a dash of folk, wrap it up, package it, and find it tied up in an Americana-sewn bow right in front of your very eyes this Thursday at the Grand Stafford Theater.
Doors @ 8 p.m.
$10 general admission available at the door and online
Stafford faithful, get ready for metal. Deadhorse, the founding members of Houston’s underground metal scene during the late 1980′s are “BACK AGAIN” and ready to cash checks, snap necks, melt faces, and pretty much cause as much musical annihilation as possible, in a good way. Deadhorse is like a tornado made of fire and kick drums, picking up measly pop-punk guitar riffs just to disembowel them, swallow the remains, and regurgitate it into a full on rampage of axe-shredding licks. Actually, forget the tornado and replace it with a live volcano. Or a temperamental three headed dragon with a splinter stuck in its foot. Whatever image of pure metal you can think of, just know that your imagination will never lend full justice to the kind of energy and performance emitted by this legendary thrash metal band from Houston, Texas: land of the players and pimps undead and damned. These guys are so metal that metal isn’t even a worthy term. “Horsecore” is more like it, wherein “it” is a mix of lightning fast drums, heavy bass, cinderblock riffs, drop-D, and an all-out brutal assault on your cochlea (don’t worry it’s a good thing.) The band is well known for incorporating all things Texas into their music, including traces of good ol’ country music, so really, what’s not to like? All things considered, this isn’t your momma’s metal; this is Texas bred, in-your-face, thrashcore that is 24 years in the making. When you hear it, you can taste the determination that has tailored this group to the likes of “legendary.” Deadhorse hits the stage this Friday along with Lou, Signal Rising, and ASS (accurately self-described as the kind of band you skate a bowl to.) It’s gonna be a heavy night, so come prepared to rock your own spine out of alignment.