- Maren Greene
- Local bluegrass outfit Grass It Up has a gig on April 20 at The Side Door, but we aren’t going to bore you with a “grass” joke.
Well, folks, we’re living in a very special time... a year when 4/20 falls on a Saturday. And as you might expect, there’s a whole slew of local music happenings in celebration of this momentous occasion. A lesser music writer than I might say something like, “These shows, they’re sprouting up like weeds” or “Go get your tickets now, they’re going up in smoke” and then give you a knowing wink, indicating that said person is extremely hip and not at all an undercover cop. To be clear, I’m not actually saying these terrible jokes; this is purely a little thought experiment to get you warmed up for the huge roster of performers coming through for the week. There is certainly an array of genres, many “strains” of music, one might say, to choose from.
One thing is certain — the event with the flat-out largest lineup is easily the third annual Stoner Jordan Fest, which will be held at the Royal Castle Lounge on April 19 and the Zodiac on April 20-21, and feature upwards of a hundred performers when the dust settles. Headliner and tour mastermind Stoner Jordan is an Arizona-based emcee who boasts an extensive catalog of well-received mixtapes and has shared stages with Tech N9ne, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Krizz Kaliko and Snakey McVay, just for starters.
The festival obviously features a lineup too large to print here in its entirety, but along with Jordan, the proceedings are hosted by Karma, DJ Menace Roddman, DJ Payola and DJ Rowdy Jesus. It also functions as part of Jordan’s ongoing Verbal Kombat tour, which features performers from the stable of Jordan’s own promotion company OGmusic, and is being documented as part of his ongoing “Tour Life” series, touted as the “first ever reality series based on independent touring hip-hop artists.” So, as you can see, there are a lot of elements at play, and doubtlessly many online “rabbit holes” of indie hip-hop that should be explored by attendees, even after the festival.
Of course, that’s not even remotely all of the hip-hop going on this weekend. The Temple of Higher Consciousness has the right initials for the occasion, and they’ll play host to both April 19 and April 20 celebrations featuring, respectively, headlining performances by Judah Priest and Affliction (a duo consisting of D-Stylz and High Key). Also performing are D’Battles DB, CRX/CROSS, MAC Frenzi, Amber Cano, Shara the Real, Bleezus Khrist, DJ Frank Spinz, and yet more.
Meanwhile, if 4/20, to your tastes, means heavy, guitar-based music, there’s plenty of that to be had, too.
At Sunshine Studios on April 20, you can catch the return of Texas Hippie Coalition (hey, there are those initials again!), the Denison, Texas-based purveyors of “red dirt metal.” The band is in the midst of a tour celebrating their latest LP, High in the Saddle, and will see support at their Sunshine stop from He Kill 3, Letters From the Sun, Seven Days Lost and Destruction of Eros. In a similar vein, you can head to Peak 31 on April 20 and catch Las Vegas metal act Hemlock with Fall From Silence, Roadside Therapy, Cleanse the Destroyers and No Amnesty in tow.
At the Black Sheep on April 20, doom metal fans would do well to check out the “420 Extravaganza” taking place, featuring Dust Lord, Boar Worship, Stone Disciple and Sun of Grey. (Hey, it beats sitting at home and putting on Sleep’s Dopesmoker; you can do that anytime.) Dust Lord is a relatively new local entry into the stoner/doom metal scene, but the crushing riffs on the two tracks recently posted on their SoundCloud page, “The Bletonist” and the nearly eight-minute “The Bog” indicate great things to come in the future.
Redheaded Zombie Show’s second curated concert of the year should satisfy indie-rock fans, acting as another welcome hometown appearance from Dear Rabbit and also featuring Rough Age, Timmy Vilgiate and more.
Finally, April 20 at The Side Door means an evening with Grass It Up. Go ahead and make your own “grass” joke here; I’ve punished you enough already. The local bluegrass quintet likely needs little introduction, having shared stages with luminaries such as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Oak Ridge Boys and Doug Kershaw. But on the off chance you haven’t already worn out a copy of their 2016 live album Borrowed Time, recorded at Western Jubilee Recording Company, do yourself a favor and check it out.
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