Westheimer Block Party, Houston, TX

Houston may not be known so much for its rock scene, but no one got around to telling these guys. 50+ bands on six stages over a Saturday all on a single block — it’s a lot to stomach, let alone remember. Instead of trying to give a lowdown of every single goddamned thing going on in Houston at the moment, here’s a shotgun spattering of photos and notes.

First thing to notice about the block party is that there’s no age restriction, though there’s plenty of beer. Infants, toddlers and a healthy cross-section of slutty pre-teens all walked the streets with the 20-somethings and formerly-20-somethings, competing for who can have the stickiest hair or the shortest shorts. Note the curbside lolitas:

As well as the elderly. Honestly, the only way to judge the age of many of the locals is to count their tattoos.

The block party covered three venues, each with an inside stage and an outdoor one in the parking lot, complete with vendors, art sellers and the usual show-related crap. “Free stickers, free lighters, light someone on fire, start a revolution.”

Avant Garden (or, Helios) has your usual bar downstairs but upstairs is a little seating area big enough for a stage and a bunch of windows, accessible via stairs inside or this incredibly precarious two story spiral staircase. Try to make sure no one’s coming down when you’re going up. Also make sure they’re not drinking.

Come See My Dead Person

I don’t know what the hell these guys were about but it was the first time I’ve ever heard anything that could be decribed as Mexican-death-punk-klezmer. Note the violin in the background, the acoustic guitar, and the big dude screaming. Probably the most unique thing I heard that day, and had I not been on duty maybe I’d have grabbed another Negro Modelo and moshed along.

Antarctica Starts Here

Echoey pop stuff with lots of licks repeated over and over in some attempt at shoegazing. I personally was gazing at other things. The singer, when you could hear her, was nice and moany.

Mechanical Boy

I’m not ashamed to say these guys were hot. Maybe it was the way he humped the bass like it was a strap-on hooker.

Dunnock’s Ill Advisory

I don’t know why, but this guy was just weird enough to be cool. Like a electronics-toting, genesis-quoting nerd-looking prophet of doom. Or a less squeaky Daniel Johnston.

Piano Vines

Honestly I wasn’t paying attention to what she sounded like. Could you blame me?

Death Hell Battle Tank

With a name like Death Hell Battle Tank…

I don’t know exactly what I thought I might witness when going into a show called Death Hell Battle Tank, but I think somewhere in my mind I might have come up with exactly these guys. Duct taped battle helmets, fat old guy scowling into the mic.

AND THEN to add insult to hilarity a random guy in a spiffy jacket comes out and starts vamping.

Poopy Lungstuffing

’nuff said.

The Takes

Latino speed punk. Rock. At one point the guitarist dropped his pick and an audience member picked it up and managed to successfully pass it back to him while he was strumming in a feat of timing worthy of a space shuttle docking. Then he falls backwards onto the floor with a thud almost audible over the noise and continues playing.

Thee Armada

If there’s one demographic we at Impose seem to be missing out on, it’s pre-teen girls. But look at these guys, they’ve got pre-teen girls in spades! The entire front of the stage, half the whole audience, chock full of more than enough jailbait to gyrate one’s genitals at. And gyrate they did. Also they were prancing, cooing, humping, and doing other such things that appeal to tweenies.