Category: Reviews

Bonobo, Yppah @ GroundHall 11/19/10 (video)

groundhall from Gary Clawston on Vimeo.

The night started off with me listening to my good friends, Yppah, outside the front door to Groundhall. Why? Because I didn’t have cash and the credit card machine was down, so I couldn’t get in. Boo. From what I heard, Yppah sounded great although, sadly I can’t comment much further than that, for the aforementioned reasons.

Eventually I was able to get in, thanks to the kindness and generosity of my devilishly handsome friend Metal Adam (thanks again – I owe you one!). Bonobo, with their deep basal tones, playful keys and nonstop horns, combined with Andreya’s raspy voice make this 7 piece the type of band you can’t help but bob your head, no matter what mood you’re in. Drum & sax solo with distortion on the sax! It’s not nearly as lame as it sounds. In short, Houston loves Bonobo and I think the feeling’s mutual.



Feather Face: It Comes Electric EP release

Out of nowhere these guys came out with an album that is honestly undeniably one of the best albums of the year. Am I exaggerating?  NO! Feather Face is Steve Wells, Kenny Hopkins, Jake Harris and Travis Peck and together these guys from a storage room somewhere in Houston have recorded, produced and released an album that captures that sound that so many are looking to achieve. This is there second  EP but already has set the bar high for what we can expect from theses guys.

It Comes Electric strikingly begins with a soft build. Sneaky and winding right into a burst of chaos just enough to keep you on your toes.  By far though, the song that caught my attention the most was Youthful Offender.  A layering of keys a snarky guitar riff , vocals just a step below perfect giving it a rough edge taunting you to listen as they break into a spastic foot stomping hook. Its hard to just comment on a single song as I like everyone on this album but I will leave you with one more, Foxing. It is the kind of song you would listen to on those songs that are listened to on rainy Houston days as you know your plans to go to zoo or beach are ruined and you are stuck indoors. A bit Radiohead like but still stands on its own two feet delivering a uniqueness that Feather Face has seemed to instilled in this entire album. The only issue I had with this album is it was a bit choppy on the transitions. Some songs hit a bit harder than you expected as I went from one track to the next but well done.

These guys are scheduled to release the album this Saturday at Fitz. I for one am excited to see these guys for the first time. I hope their live performance can live up to the expectations their new album has left me with. Good job guys. I look forward to what you guys have to come.

Feather Face – Youthful Offender (The Men We Will Be)

Feather Face – Foxing


Exclusive: Junip @ Fitz

So I got the chance to catch Junip Friday night. I’ve been listening to these guys for a bit now but their album does not do them justice, they are spectacular live. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I got there. I mean, album is very relaxing,  a very mellow listen and as most know those shows can honestly go either way. I was more than exciting to know that these guys are true performers. A xylophone solo?.. COME ON!! Thats bad ass. Needless to say if I these guys come back to town I will surely be there and for of those who were not there this time I seriously recommend you not miss it. Enjoy the video I caught of them this past Friday night.


IndieHouston Goes to Fitzgerald’s to see Freelance Whales

Freelance Whales performed at Fitzgerald's on Nov. 10, 2010

NOV. 16, 2010

Last Wednesday I went to Fitzgerald’s one of Houston’s oldest and finest venues for two reasons: to experience Freelance Whales – a band that has received much media coverage over the past year; and, of course, to see Grandfather Child with Robert Ellis & the Boys perform the songs that have made both bands local legends.

Based in Queens, N.Y., Freelance Whales is comprised of 5 people all of which are multi-instrumentalists. The muted drums, harmonium, banjo, & xylophone were all nice touches and I believe is the main factor that sets this band apart from others. Their synthisized tones and vocals, though, reminded me of The Anniversary, which, if you haven’t heard of before – I highly recommend. Although Freelance Whales reminded me of one of my favorite groups, their energy simply wasn’t present – it seemed to me as if they were deflated or perhaps exhausted from the tour. Even the audience, despite cheering and yelling requests for Broken Horse and The Great Estates, also seemed unenthused and didn’t really dance. I say that with the caveat that Houston audiences generally seem unenthused and don’t dance (tsk tsk).

I understand this isn’t a band that you’re going to rock out too – they are much more mellow – the type of band you listen to on a rainy day. Their sound is so soft and sublte, the build ups they had were nice but still anti-climactic. Maybe that’s what they’re going for, but I think you can still be a somber band and put on a great live performance that leaves the crowd pumped and talking about what a great experience it was. In fact when the show was over, and as I walked with the crowd down the stairs, I really didn’t hear much banter about the show. People didn’t linger, they just left Fitz – don’t they know Robert Ellis & the Boys are playing?!?! Seriously, if you haven’t seen them or Grandfather Child you’re missing out.
I asked a couple of people in the crowd what they thought of Freelance Whales, here are their responses:
Nathan like Freelance Whales because of their “thriving 4/4 rhythm and airy melodic tunes”
Austin came to the show because he “heard one song [online] and there wasn’t shit to do on Wednesday night.”

Iris Weeden


And They’re back…… Mathlete’s New EP

I remember a clumsy awkward man on stage, guitar in hand, belching lyrics of strange and yet familiar love and hopes that were never quite reached. This was a few years ago and that man was Joe Mathlete front man and driving force behind the Mathletes. (Think Freaks and Geeks) Well Joe has become one of our good friends but it all began as us being one huge fan of his. Over the years i have caught many of his performances and seen him play in our home, so yeah it was a little disappointing to hear that there would be no more Mathletes. Kinda took me by surprise. Thank God Joe is a FILTHY LIAR!! The Mathletes are back and have just released a new EP and have pending a full release next year.

London Calling XP is exactly what we hoped to hear, atleast I did. Wrapped in this album are some songs I don’t think he has ever put down in an album but has played live. (I hate Math) Im glad to hear that his extensive catalog is finally making onto an album. For of those of you who may have never heard The Mathletes, they are what you can call nerds who learned to play instruments, and  I say that in the most complimentary and endearing way, who seem to always know how to say what you feel or think(“My favorite pop songs are not that popular and if they ever where now they are just cliches”). Welcome back guys. Can’t wait for the next album.

The Mathletes – I hate Math
The Mathletes – Hey There 21st Century!

Download the Free Ep here



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