+ Saturday, 2/24/18 @ 4:00pm
Waterparks Acoustic Performance AND Wristband Meet & Greet
+ Friday, 3/2/18 @ 6:00pm
Nipsey Hussle Wristband Meet & Greet
Join us as we celebrate Waterparks’ newest release “Entertainment” with an intimate in-store performance followed by a meet & greet signing with the guys. The performance is open to everyone to attend, but you will need a wristband for the meet & greet signing. To obtain a wristband just buy a copy of “Entertainment” either on cd or vinyl here at Cactus Music to get a wristband.
As they wrote and recorded their second full-length album Entertainment [Equal Vision Records] out January 26, 2018, a wise prophet’s words stuck with Waterparks… “Tina-motherfucking-Fey once said, “Everything that’s good comes from honesty’,” repeats lead singer and guitarist Awsten Knight. “When you’re being that open, others connect. We’re not vague and subtle in our songs. I want everything to feel colorful and real. This band embodies that idea.”
Since their emergence in 2015, the Houston trio—Awsten, Otto Wood [drums], and Geoff Wigington [guitar, backing vocals]—have kept it real and catapulted to international renown as a result of a signature style that seamlessly slips-n-slides between rock, pop, and alternative. Their full-length debut, Double Dare, earned a rare 4.5-out-of-5 star rating from Alternative Press and spawned the hit “Stupid For You,” which generated over 4.6 million Spotify streams and counting.
On the road, they tore up venues everywhere alongside All Time Low, Good Charlotte, Sleeping With Sirens, State Champs and more in addition to selling out their first UK jaunt and 14-out-of- 23 dates on a US co-headliner. Among various accolades, Awsten graced the cover of Alternative Press for the Warped Tour issue, and the entire band covered Rock Sound. Not only did they play the Alternative Press Music Awards, but they took home the award for “Breakthrough Artist” and garnered “Best International Newcomer” from Rock Sound. In the middle of this whirlwind, they hunkered down and created Entertainment. For the first time, they switched up the writing process and traded H-Town for Los Angeles. Awsten holed up in a North Hollywood Airbnb, but he wasn’t alone…
“The place was totally fucking haunted,” he recalls. “There would be random door closings. One night, I literally heard a couple of female voices whispering in my ear, ‘It’s okay. Come with us.’ It felt super demonic. Then, it was all quiet when I got up. I was like, ‘Fuck this.’ I stole some Holy Water and sage from a Catholic church, but I said a prayer and apologized since I needed it. It was definitely a different creative process.”
Having exorcised the living quarters, the bandmates hit MDDN Studios with producers Benji Madden [Good Charlotte, 5 Seconds of Summer] and Courtney Ballard [5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low] behind the board, reuniting the Double Dare team. “It was nice to get out of that haunted ass Airbnb,” laughs Awsten. “It worked so well the first time with Benji and Courtney, so it made sense to do it again. It’s such an easy process with them. They trust our songwriting.”
The boys introduce Entertainment with the upbeat, up-tempo, and undeniable anthem “Blonde.” Palm-muted guitar kicks off the verse before building into a stadium-size refrain, “I think the blondes are done with fun. At least it’s all about you.”
“It’s the closest thing to Double Dare,” he explains. “I wanted to come out with a fucking smasher that’s fast. It captures all of the elements fans liked from Double Dare and puts them into one song. As far as the lyrics go, they discuss the stresses and pressures I’ve felt from touring. I try to disregard them as much as I can as they wear on you. This is the first release where anybody is paying attention and watching. I quit looking at comments online because I don’t want to see good or bad mentions. That many opinions one way or the other never helps.”
Elsewhere, “Not Warriors” builds from eighties-style synth swells into a hypnotic and hard-hitting refrain. “Again, it was written around a time of heavy touring,” he goes on. “My girlfriend is an actress, so she’s often gone as well. It’s about having a small amount of time together and wanting more. It’s bittersweet. I get to do what I want, but I miss her.” “Crybaby” embraces more sampling and programming, illuminating the group’s growth. Meanwhile, “TANTRUM” (purposefully in all caps “because it’s loud”) stands out as a full-on rocker that “borders on hardcore.” At the same time, there’s the ebullient “Lucky People,” which Awsten calls “The most Michael Bublé, Jazon Mraz-ass song ever! If I was a ukulele guy, that would’ve been a ukulele song…”
They’re not ukulele guys though. They’re just Waterparks, and that’s more than enough at the end of the day.
“I want fans to hear Entertainment and know we’re just being real,” he leaves off. “We don’t want to be pigeonholed. We can make rock, we can make heavier music, and we can sound pop. It’s who we are. Ultimately, it all comes down to the hooks and songs. These are the biggest and best we can write. I know every band says that, but fuck it. I’m being honest.”
Come to Cactus Music and get a small taste of the sounds of Latin America. We’ll have acoustic performances by Kiko Villamizar, El Fandanguito, Robert Kuhn, Elyze, and Bradley Basker Espantapajaros.
Check out the complete lineup for Saturday’s event at The Continental Club and Big Top here:
SUR FEST 6
The Continental Club – Big Top
The one-of-a-kind festival is back and bigger than ever for its 6th edition!
Sur Fest presents works of the Latin scene in music (ranging from folk to rock), poetry, dance, and photography. This year, we are proud to have the participation of Houston Latino Film Festival and fair fashion by Todo Fresh.
The organic growth of the festival through the years brings us to the perfect space for it where the talent can be displayed on three different stages (The Continental Club, Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top, and the Pachinko Hut) to provide a fitting frame to each act and make for a memorable experience that can be shared by people of all ages and from all places.
Our headliner this year is Kiki Villamizar, an Austin Resident from Colombia.
We also have Elize, Espantapajaros, Lupe Olivarez (Bomba Chica) Robert Kuhn, El Chaman Candombe, Mas Pulpo, Myrna Garibay, Nico, Kronika, Arthur Yoria, Lucien& Signo elemental Bradley Basker,El Fandanguito Gonzalon Andre etc.
Also Tango and Flamenco PerformanceS. FOOD, EVERYTHING!!!!
Get immersed in the sounds, sights, and warmth of Latin America.
The new additions to the line up are DEM, Free Radicals.
Giant Kitty continues the tradition of strong female voices in punk while bringing along eclectic influences, diverse backgrounds, and a comedic sensibility. This four-piece combines elements of punk, new wave, hard rock, and riot grrrl to make both relevant and irreverent songs full of energy and sharp lyrics. Their sound is often described as a mix between the Runaways, Bikini Kill, and Blondie.
Known for their intense live shows, Giant Kitty is just as at home opening for national and international acts like Shonen Knife, Dressy Bessy, Girl in a Coma, and Peach Kelli Pop as they are in festivals like Dallas’ Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Houston Whatever Fest, and headlining therepubliqfest 2016 SXSW showcase. They conducted an actual wedding between band founders Cassandra Quirk (guitar, background vocals) and Trinity Quirk (drums) officiated by Miriam Hakim (vocals) in the middle of a show and helped organize an Inauguration Day show called “We Belong: Houstonians of Muslim Descent Dissent” which raised nearly $2000 for the ACLU of Texas and was covered by every major Houston news outlet and the Huffington Post.
Their debut album, “This Stupid Stuff,” dropped January 2016 and addresses topics from the serious to the ridiculous over energetic, aggressive, and danceable music. Produced by Spin Doctors bassist Mark White, the album was recorded by Joe Omelchuk, mixed and mastered by two time Grammy nominee Roman Klun, and distributed by Brooklyn label Innsbruck Records. The first single, “Don’t Stop That Bus,” was named one of the best songs of 2016 by the Houston Press. Its music video garnered over 15,000 views in the first week alone and was made entirely out of paper puppets and sets. The second video, “This Stupid Stuff,” chronicles daily activities of a variety of people while they are plagued by post-it notes with slurs and insensitive remarks. Striking a chord with many people, the video premiered on Colorlines and Spark Mag and within a week spread through the Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine, Bustle, Take Part, the Ladies Finger, and even Kathleen Hanna’s twitter account.
In 2017 Giant Kitty goes back to the studio to record their second album, “Rampage.” The album appears on Roologic Records in June 2017 and will be accompanied by multiple music videos and a national tour with the Kominas. Four songs from “This Stupid Stuff” will be featured in the 2017 short film Acid Test by Jenny Waldo which has been accepted for distribution through platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Video. Additionally, the song “No Home” will be featured in 2017 horror film “Party Time.”
A Trio Of Two Brothers And One Longtime Friend Who Personally Produce, Perform, And Passionately Conjure Up Dark Alternative Pop Punctuated By Rock And R&B, Australia’S Chase Atlantic Blur The Lines Between A Nocturnal Aesthetic And Primal Bliss On Their 2017 Self-Titled Debut For Warner Bros. Records.
This Delicate Balance Quietly Transformed The Group—Mitchel Cave, Clinton Cave, And Christian Anthony—Into A Veritable Sensation Down Under While Still In Their Teens. Since Forming In 2011, The Boys Have Packed Multiple Headline Tours Across Australia, Amassed An Impressive Digital Footprint Of Followers, Released Two Successful Independent Eps, Dalliance  And Nostalgia , And Spawned A Viral Single With “Friends,” Which Garnered An Incredibly Large Count Of Spotify Plays.
However, Their Shared Ambition Always Exceeded The Confines Of The Bedroom Studio Where They Initially Recorded. “While All Of Our Friends Were Doing Gap Years And Finding Themselves, We Were Working On Getting The World To Notice Us,” Admits Mitchel. “We Made This Agreement Within The Band That We Weren’T Just Going To Stay In Australia. We Wanted To Sign To An International Label, And We Wouldn’T Stop Until That Happened.”
“What We Were Doing Was Different For Australia,” Adds Christian. “It Felt Like We Were The Only Ones Putting Out Music That We Produced And Made Entirely By Ourselves. That’S The Process. It’S Real.”
That Spirit Caught The Attention Of The Madden Brothers During 2015. Multiple Meetings In Australia Followed, And The Three-Piece Signed With The Industry Icon’S Music Company, Mdn. In 2016, Chase Atlantic Flew To Los Angeles Scoring A Deal With Warner Bros. Records.
“The Maddens Locked Us Away In A Burbank Studio For Three Months And Threw Away The Key. We Really Got To Preserve That Organic Sound,” Says Clinton.
Without Outside Influences, The Three-Piece Produced, Played, And Recorded Every Note, Including Saxophone. Along The Way, They Honed And Fine-Tuned A Definitive Style Equally Reverent Of Tame Impala And Skrillex As It Is Of The Weeknd And Travi$ Scott.
“To Us, Production Is The Most Important Thing,” Mitchel Goes On. “It’S The Most Critical Element Of Creativity. We Push Ourselves To Further What We Can Do Every Day, Whether It’S Producing Or Playing. We Really Found Our Musical Identity This Past Year.”
Now, Chase Atlantic Roars To Life On The First Single “Church.” Glitchy Synths Blip In The Background As Mitchel’S Breathy Voice Haunts And Hypnotizes. Bells Ring While The Hook—“I’M About To Take You Back To Church”—Simply Seduces. “It’S Very Forward, Sexual, And Aggressive,” Explains Mitchel. “The Lyrics Are Sexualizing Religion In A Way, And The Song Ends Up Being The Complete And Total Opposite Of What Church Really Means To Most People.”
Elsewhere On The Record, The Airy “Into It” Tempers A Downtempo Groove With An Unshakable Refrain Before A Jazz-Y Saxophone Solo Takes The Spotlight. “It Represents The Transition Into A New, More Intense Lifestyle,” Says Christian. “You’Re Acknowledging That This Something You’Re Into And Can Roll With. It’S Our Story.”
Meanwhile, “Right Here” Urges For A Carpe Diem Moment Within A Relationship. “It Basically Says, ‘Fuck Everybody Else. It’s Just You And Me’,” Mitchel Reveals. “All That Matters Is The Two Of Us In This Moment.”
Ultimately, Chase Atlantic Forge A Lasting Connection Through That Honesty.
“The One Thing We Want People To Take Away From The Music Is This Element Of Really Feeling Themselves,” Mitchel Leaves Off. “A Song Can Make You Go, ‘Fuck Yeah,’ And You’Re Thinking About It And Singing It All Day. You’Re Not Left Underwhelmed. You’Re Overwhelmed. We Want That.”
“And World Domination,” Agrees Clinton.
WHO IS CHARLY BLISS?
If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to some other time and place, then Charly Bliss—an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover—can pretty much turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.
Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids. Dan Shure and I dated when we were in our early teens and he and Spencer went to summer camp together. Dan and I broke up years ago, but eventually he’ d become our bass player. The reason we all get along so well has to do with the fact we share this ridiculous history. We are all deeply embedded in each other’s lives.”
After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP (2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass Animals, Darwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club, Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt. Even though the band had amassed a sizable fanbase and a reputation as a truly formidable live act, the goal of making a full-length record proved to be a fraught series of false-starts. Given their propensity for making hooky, ebullient pop songs, the band often felt out of step with what was happening around them in Brooklyn. (“We weren’t weird in the right ways,” says Sam). They eventually set about recording an album on their own—and then recording it twice—before figuring out what had been staring them in the face the entire time. “We basically had to come to terms with the fact that we are, at heart, a pop band,” recalls Spencer. “Before, it was always trying to decide which of the songs would be more ‘rock’ and which would be more poppy, but we eventually realized we needed to meet in the middle, we had to create an ecosystem where our loud, messy rock sounds could co-exist with these super catchy melodies and pop hooks. It was really about realizing what we’re best at as a band.”
The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of their strengths—a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyper-enthusiasm of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with sing/shout-worthy lyrics and earworm melodies is a testament to the band’s commitment to the art form of pop songwriting. Opening track “Percolator” sets the tone—all power riffs and yo-yo-ing melodies playing against Hendricks’ acrobatic vocals, which veer from gentle coo to an emphatic squeal:
I’m gonna die in the getaway car! I would try but it sounds too hard! It’s a vibe that carries throughout Guppy, a record that shares an undeniable kinship with 90’s alt-rockers like Letters to Cleo and That Dog—bands that balanced melodicism, sugary vocals, and overdriven guitar turned up to 11. It’s an aesthetic that Charly Bliss both embraces and improves upon in tracks like “Ruby” (“We actually wrote the guitar solo by sitting in a circle and passing the guitar around, each of us adding our own notes,” says Fox) and “Glitter”, the record’s first single. “I wanted to make a song about being romantically involved with someone who makes you kind of hate yourself because they are so much like you,” says Hendricks, “A fun song about complicated self-loathing that you could also dance around your bedroom to—that kind of sums us up as a band, actually.”
“Pop music can actually be very subversive,” she continues. “The lyrics that I’m most proud of on the record are me existing both in and out of this overgrown teenybopper feeling—feeling like everything I was going through was the most extreme thing that had ever happened to anyone ever. The songs are often about being totally in the throes of this stuff, but also being able to step out of it and make fun of myself. It’s possible to write songs that really get at all of these dark feelings while also just being really fun to sing and dance to. You can be serious and also sing about peeing while jumping on a trampoline.”
Guppy is a record that doesn’t so much seek to reinvent the pop wheel so much as gleefully refine it. “People forget sometimes that expressing joy is just as important as examining despair,” says Shure. “People need joy, especially right now. We’re all about writing tight pop songs, but also giving people this super enthusiastic release. These songs are kind of the sound of expressing something that you can’t really contain. These are songs you play really loudly when you need to freak out.”
Every so often a miracle comes a roaring out of the Golden Triangle- the soup and the humidity and whatever is in the water down there coagulate and conspire to create a band or an artist that will live forever. Janis Joplin and Edgar and Johnny Winter-they were formed and fashioned from this strange south Texas alchemy. Blues and black gold and heat and humidity and trouble will do that.
That thunder you hear, that rumble in the dark Beaumont sky is what’s next-Peace and the Chaos a three-piece power rock trio with something to say and a thousand ways to say it. Together, they are the next life form in the musical evolution of three strangers who met one night in a dimly lit rehearsal hall and found love and brotherhood and that once-in-a-lifetime feeling in your bones when you know what you’re doing is different and special.
All three-Guitarist and singer Billy Beaumont, Drummer Ken Turner, and Bassist Len Sonnier- are seasoned veterans and songwriters who cut their teeth on a wide variety of the best music ever made. They know exactly what “timeless” means and they have no intention of settling for anything less. Their early recordings together are strong. Each song is undeniable evidence of an old-school love of great songs and great singers and performers, combined with a modern sensibility and crazy musical excellence. Together they are better than any of them can be separate.
They’ll tell you that finding each other was a Godsend. Now, there is important work to do together. Miracles don’t happen that often. You should listen.
Like many singer-songwriters, Lisa Morales started penning tunes as a way to express her emotions addressing the complex landscape of relationships through music and verse. Her perspective now is that of a woman who’s gone through many storms and witnessed their sometimes-beautiful aftermaths as well.
With Luna Negra and the Daughter of the Sun, Morales sought to reach even more deeply into her soul. Drawing from a creative palette informed by the rhythms, colors and flavors of the Southwest — from the painted-desert skies of her native Tucson, Arizona, where she and cousin Linda Ronstadt grew up, to the sea-salted air of Houston, where she moved at 18, and the history-filled city of San Antonio, where she now lives — she’s crafted an album of maturity, sensitivity and strength. On each of its 11 tracks — all but one of which were written or co-written by Morales — she confirms that she is a woman in touch with her emotions and inner power. Lyrics, sung in English, Spanish and Spanglish, also convey the promise of new beginnings.
The album is produced by Michael Ramos (the BoDeans, Patty Griffin, John Mellencamp) who plays accordion and keyboards. The album features guitarists Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma, Prince) and David Garza (Juliana Hatfield, Fiona Apple). Los Lonely Boys bassist Jojo Garza and Los Lobos drummer Cougar Estrada round out the core band. Both Garzas also provide backing vocals. On “Avalanche,” a standout duet with the late Jimmy LaFave. and on “Strong Enough,” folk icon Eliza Gilkyson helps lift up the inspiring anthem of female empowerment with backing vocals.
On the album’s sole cover, “Pena, Penita, Pena” Morales taps into the pain of losing her mother, whose poetic influence permeates every song — especially those Morales sings in her mother’s native language. The song features lead guitar by David Pulkingham with Morales on classical guitar and Michael “Cornbread” Traylor on bass. Though Morales, who discovered the song while her mother was dying of cancer, imbues it with sadness, she makes it sound like a gentle sunset serenade — and reports proudly that when she played it for her cousin, Ronstadt responded, “I would have definitely recorded that!”
Morales recorded six albums as one-half of the duo Sisters Morales before releasing her solo debut, Beautiful Mistake, in 2012
Lisa has also worn producers hat with highly acclaimed production on Hayes Carlls’ “Flowers & Liquor; co-wrote “Waiting For the Stars to Fall” with Hayes Carll on his CD “Trouble In Mind”.
Joe Mazzari and Dixie Deadwood, a duo based out of the Northeastern USA, draw upon their own personal musical influences, their combined passion and need to create a style of music all their own — one that’s influenced by the urban streets and the restless spirits of the Mississippi Hills. Each had honed their own sound through years on the road: Mazzari with his poignant lyrics, melodies and rock guitar, Dixie with her bare-knuckled approach to drumming. Together, Joe and Dixie mix steamy grooves, razor-sharp dynamics and high energy to create what they refer to as “gritty and primal rock ‘n’ roll.”
Joe brings his gutter-rock guitar, gritty vocals and strong stage presence fostered through his years touring and recording with Johnny Thunders, Walter Lure and Jerry Nolan of Heartbreakers and New York Dolls fame. He fronted a handful of his own original bands: The Daughters, The Two Saints, and The Joe Mazzari Band. Joe also had the privilege of recording with Jimmy Miller, producer of The Rolling Stones, Traffic and Motorhead, and with John Peel of BBC fame. Influenced by John Hiatt, Bob Dylan, Link Wray, Rory Gallagher and various Delta blues musicians, Joe began writing roots-rock music in his 20s. Caught up in the Boston rock scene in the 1980s, he recorded a handful of albums and singles and toured the US and the UK. Joe has performed at The Rat in Boston; CBGB‟S, Irving Plaza, Peppermint Lounge and Maxwell’s in NYC; The Mayfair in Scotland; The Cavern Club in Liverpool; and the Marquee Club in London, among other venues.
Dixie played drums behind famed bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch for years and has performed at more than 20 festivals and venues in the US, Europe, and Africa. She is featured in a documentary on Welch, “Late Blossom Blues: The Leo Bud‟ Welch Story,” released in January 2017, and on Welch’s Mississippi Blues Trail Marker as his drummer. Dixie also played in the All Night Long Blues Band for four years and recorded three albums of Mississippi Hill Country blues. She is sponsored by Peridore Custom Sticks and SoulTone Cymbals and plays TAMA Silverstar drums.
How would you define a sound that’s a cross between Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, REM, and Glenn Frey?
It’s a trick question. A sound like that defies genre.
That’s exactly the goal of Houston’s hottest new band, Londale. Veterans of the Houston music scene, they’ve connected to create unique music that’s heartfelt, edgy, and laid back. The result – an eclectic sound reminiscent of the aforementioned legends. It’s an unexpected combination, but once you hear it, it just feels right.
For group co-founder and lead vocalist Willy Collins, Londale’s creation was a fast metamorphosis. An attorney by day, Collins formed his first group, the Willy Collins Band, in 2012. Known for its indie-Americana sound that incorporated country-inspired twang, the Willy Collins Band released three albums before briefly evolving into the Black Top Junkies. But when BTJ went into the studio to record its first album in 2016, they had a revelation: the name of their group didn’t fit their sound. Something special was happening in that studio. The music they were creating was taking them into new territory. Collins and group co-founder/lead guitarist Joshua Lee Hammond were blown away by this unexpected evolution. They realized their music was a throwback to the scratchy, low-fi sound of the transistor radios popular in the 1960’s, with a rock edge reminiscent of the 1990’s.
“When transistors first appeared, music wasn’t so pigeonholed. You could hear Led Zeppelin and Sinatra on the same station. Our songs are a mix of genres like early radio, and my first transistor, a ‘Londale,’ came to my mind,” Collins says.
Collins and Hammond renamed the band Londale as an homage to the old-school portable radio. Many of their songs even have a transistor-type quality, as if they’re playing on a Londale radio. The result — a sophisticated listening experience that captures our society’s demand for the modern and simultaneous nostalgia for simpler times.
For the guys in Londale, this retro-fresh album isn’t about the past – it’s a nod toward the future. And just like that first day in the studio, the band will let their songs dictate their sound and see where it takes them.
“Sure, there will be the distinctive ‘Londale’ guitar-centric sound,” Collins says. “But we’re excited to try new things and let the magic of being in the studio dictate what is and what can be.”