Ape Machine’s name is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker for the heavy-hitting quartet as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment. The Portland, Ore., rock band plays Thursday at House of Rock with Switchblade Jesus and The Burning of Rome. Doors are at 9 p.m.
With a heady mix of animal aggression and technical precision, Ape Machine’s music carries an organic depth and warmth that recalls rock’s glorious early years while infusing modern sensibility. The group shows and earth-shaking ability to rock and has been called “a rock ‘n’ roll band with a finger on the pulse of the ’70s and their asses firmly in the present” and “real heavy-psych for the iPhone generation
Corpus Christi’s Michael O’Connor and Taylor Pie return home with special guest Jeff Plankenhorn for a song swarm show Sunday at House of Rock. Doors are at 5 p.m. What is a song swarm? O’Connor explains the format: “A song swarm is not like a song swap when you go to see a concert with three songwriters sitting on the stage, two of them with guitars folded in their lap, looking bored or drinking their beer while the third sings his song only to have the whole thing rotate and start over with the other two looking. No, a swarm is not like that. There are three songwriters on stage, but we have all written songs together and we perform together and back each other up as instant sidemen, like a band … only it’s not a band because bands break up. It is something very special and very cool when I get to spend time with Plankenhorn or Pie, even better when we can all get together in the same room at the same time.”
This will be O’Connors first time back to Texas since relocating to Colorado. Pie, born in Jacksonville, Texas, moved to Corpus Christi in teens and was a founding member of the Pozo Seco Singers folk group in the 1960s. Her songs have been covered by Tanya Tucker, Bette Midler, Forrester Sisters, Mickey Gilley and Terri Hendrix. Plankenhorn is a multi-instrumentalist who has played with everyone from Ray Wylie Hubbard to Ruthie Foster to Slaid Cleaves and more while releasing his own solo albums.
SATURDAY: THE CONTORTIONIST
Warped time signatures, percussive mathematics, spider-fingered fretwork, dazzlingly atmospheric keyboards and immediately arresting vocals collide as The Contortionist plays Saturday at House of Rock. They will be joined by Intervals and Polyphia. Doors are at 6 p.m. The Indiana based prog-metal alchemists conjure the kinetic texture of Rush, the cinematic musicality of Dream Theater, the heavy but heady metallic might of jazzy death wizards Cynic and the studied experimental precision of Between the Buried and Me while simultaneously fashioning an overall sound uniquely their own.
FRIDAY: DREADTIME STORIES SCREENING
Just in time for Halloween, STX Media Studios is presenting a free screening of its “Dreadtime Stories,” a horror anthology by executive producer Sal Hernandez and directed by Jacob Grim on Friday at House of Rock. Doors are at 7 p.m. “Dreadtime Stories” is a film consisting of 10 tales of terror. Full of nightmarish monsters and dastardly doings, STX Media promises that you will be sleeping with the lights on after you see it.
Zero Platoon will celebrate its first anniversary with a party Thursday at House of Rock. Doors at 7 p.m. The Sunshine Collective, Fader Friend and DJ Johnny Hotcakes. Mike Henneberger is a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi graduate and Army veteran who helps servicemen and women who are diagnosed with depression adapt to military life through music. Henneberger created Zero Platoon in October, recording musicians where they are, sometimes in the back of a car, while they perform acoustic songs and talk about how music has helped them through difficult times in their lives and posts the videos on YouTube.”I saw a lot of kids struggle with leaving their home, family and getting into this life where you leave being your own person behind,” Henneberger told the Caller-Times. “It was a struggle for me and I was 25. Music always helped me get through problems in my life, and I wanted to give these kids who are going through the same thing a little bit of hope.” The first 25 people will receive Zero Platoon T-shirts and the first 50 will receive stickers. Giveaways will be held for tickets to events at Concrete Street Amphitheater, Chuckles Comedy Club, Brewster Street Icehouse and Friday Night Haunted House.
FRIDAY: TRIBUTE TO STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
John Cortez Band will be honoring Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bushbullit will be honoring ZZ Top on Friday at House of Rock. Doors at 8 p.m. John Cortez Band has been recreating Vaughan’s music faithfully for quite some time along with their own blues/rock originals and covers. ZZ Top has long been a Busbullit staple as they play their own Latin-inflected, Texas blues/rock originals and covers.
SATURDAY: THE TOASTERS
The Toasters return to House of Rock with The Attack on Saturday at House of Rock. Doors at 8 p.m. The Toasters, enjoying their 33rd year, are one of the longest-serving third wave ska bands. Robert “Bucket” Hingley started the band in 1981 after seeing The Beat perform in NYC. The Englishman has been the lone constant member in a group that fuses ska, pool soul, reggae and punk rock with lyrics that deal with themes of love, unity and sociopolitical topics in high-energy live performances.
The Heroine kicks off a tour that takes the San Antonio band out west with a show Thursday at House of Rock. Doors are at 8 p.m. Their original hard rock sound has been described as Motorhead meets Thin Lizzy with Kiss theatrics.
The group of carpenters/contractors and an avionics technician has been going since 2002 but got its big break in 2008, making the final six of Guitar Center’s Make Rock History contest and playing a show at L.A.’s Whiskey A Go-Go for a chance to play with Motley Crue. The group didn’t win but has released three albums of soulful, high-energy, Southern rock ‘n’ roll, including 2012’s “Playing for Keeps” and 2013’s “Songs from the Southland” EP.
Killamora, Black Lung Conspiracy, Count Your Dead, Lucid Haven, Deaths Embrace, Until the Grave, Funeral Ash, Votan, No Questions Asked and Bomb Hoarder are the lineup for this year’s Dillofest on Saturday at House of Rock. Proceeds from the 14th annual showcase benefit kids with cancer. Doors are at noon.
A festival that started with only five bands has grown in its existence. Dillo started his career in the music industry by working the ins and outs of stage and production manager. His resume includes Concrete Street Amphitheatre and Ozzfest to name a few.
While attending festivals such as Lollapalooza and The Clash of the Titans Tour, Dillo came up with an idea of bringing a music festival to Corpus Christi and that is exactly what he did.
The Independents are touring in support its new album, the horror-punk band’s first in six years. They’ll be joined by Tricounty Terror, Avenue Rockers and NQA on Friday at House of Rock. Doors are at 9 p.m. The Florence, S.C., band formed in 1992 and was championed and produced by Joey Ramone. The group continues its hard-rocking ways with “Into the Light,” the band’s latest release.
SATURDAY: ROADKILL GHOST CHOIR
Roadkill Ghost Choir has emerged from the desolate heart of Central Florida to make unsettling, powerful American rock — Tom Petty by way of Radiohead and Cormac McCarthy. The folk/rock group plays Saturday at House of Rock with The Eastern Sea and Modern Explorations. Doors are at 8 p.m. Set against a ghostly steel pedal, singer and main songwriter Andrew Shepard triumphantly conjures an allegorical American landscape of drifters, specters and violent saints. The group released its full-length debut album “In Tongues” in August.
Kansas City reggae band Jefferson 77 kicks off a weekend of laid-back music at House of Rock, taking the stage Friday with Flatbroke, Audic Empire and Jahseed Band. Doors are at 9 p.m.
Jefferson 77 is an alternative reggae/rock/soul band that has relied on a DIY mentality and heavy touring to build a successful following. The group has released five albums and one EP since forming in 2006, landing two albums in the iTunes reggae top 10. “Let Me Know,” the group’s latest release came out in July.
Texas rock band Fire in the Kitchen is up next, headlining Saturday at House of Rock. They’ll be joined by Ma and God and Hope & Hostility, which is celebrating the release of its new EP “Heart/Aches.” Doors are at 9 p.m.
Fire in the Kitchen, based in Austin, started in 2012 and after changing its lineup has successfully transitioned from a fledgling Americana group to a determined rock ‘n’ roll force producing music for wonderers and wanderers. The group’s latest release is the EP “Kingdom is Dead,” which came out in July.
Taj Weekes and Adowa finishes the weekend with a second dose of reggae Sunday at House of Rock. They’ll be joined by Tribal Theory and Indiginis. Doors are at 7:30 p.m.
The band hails from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and blends acoustic roots rock and afro-folk simplicity to unite a true social consciousness with an unforgettable reggae groove. Weekes’ music poetically speaks of the suffering of others while being defined as anthems for justice and peace. Weekes and Adowa released “Pariah in Transit” in 2013.
Pachanga first launched as a Latin-themed music, cultural arts and food festival in 2008 on Austin’s East Side. Now it’s a traveling show as The Red Bull Panamérika Pachanga Tour, featuring Bogota’s Bomba Estereo and Oakland, California’s Los Rakas, stops at House of Rock on Thursday. Doors are at 8 p.m.
Vocalist Liliana “Li” Saumet and founder Simon Mejia rock out in equal parts electronica and traditional beats, such as salsa and cumbia. The band launched in 2005 and has played at South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival as well as Coachella in California.
Bilingual hip-hop duo Los Rakas features Panamanian-American cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun. A West Coast dance club sensation, Los Rakas has enjoyed mainstream exposure when the act was featured on the track “I Screwed Up” on legendary new wave act Blondie’s 2014 release, “Blondie 4(0) Ever.”
The Red Bull tour is playing four Texas cities on this first run: El Paso, Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio.
Alternative rock band Icky Hollow takes the stage Friday at House of Rock. The recently reformed band, originally from Louisiana, has made a fresh start in Houston and is making a name for itself as it has landed a recording contract with a label in England and has headed out on its own headlining tour.
Mud River (hard rock band from Laredo), RESZ (original rock band from Corpus Christi) and Dr. No (six-piece rock cover band from Corpus Christi) will join them.
Skrewface (five piece, thrash/metal band from Corpus Christi) plays Saturday at House of Rock. Doors are at 9 p.m. Black Lung Conspiracy (5-piece, hardcore/thrash/cross over band from Corpus Christi), Numb to the Blow (five-piece southern metal band from Corpus Christi) and Defiled Creation (five-piece death metal/thrash band from Corpus Christi) are also on the bill.