Arctic Monkeys at The Woodlands, 10/30/2014

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Arctic Monkeys
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
October 30, 2014

Once this whole Ebola thing dies down a little, there are worse ways the Centers for Disease Control could spend taxpayer money than investigating the likely spike in the birth rate between now and the late-2013 release of the Arctic Monkeys' latest album, AM. These blokes might be dangerous.

OK, not really. But that the UK rockers could inspire such a thought, based solely on their Woodlands performance Thursday night and the crowd reaction it inspired, speaks volumes not only about the band's charisma onstage, but the almost overwhelming amount of sensuality in their songs.


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The Melvins & Le Butcherettes at Warehouse Live, 10/30/2014

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Photos by Jack Gorman
The Melvins, Le Butcherettes
Warehouse Live
October 31, 2014

The legendary band that has influenced many other legendary bands stopped in Houston Thursday on their way to play New Orleans' Voodoo Fest. Now joined by former Butthole Surfers bassist JD Pinkus, lifelong Melvins Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover played with vigor and seemingly renewed energy in support of their latest album, Hold It In.

The trio took the stage and simply jammed for the first 20 minutes or so. Their mellow sludge primed with feedback lulled the crowd into a false sense of safety until the crew changed the pace, suddenly crunching their guitars and battering away the drums. One thing that stood out was seeing how the three-piece worked together so fluidly. They had no set lists, using only looks at each other and then a change in the drumbeat. Buzzo may have been communicating like bees do with their hive -- by using the waddle dance -- as he wore a figure-8 pattern into the stage floor, tracing the same steps over and over before stopping sporadically to put his guitar in fans' mesmerized faces.


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The Rocking Dead: Six Musical Zombies Who Survived Their Own Deaths

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Photo by Groovehouse
Ozzy Osbourne at the Woodlands, 2013
Rock and roll can be a scary thing, and not just on Halloween. The music industry is populated by more sunken-eyed ghouls than a dozen haunted houses, and most of them will not hesitate to fuck your girlfriend. Some of the best of 'em die way too soon -- and all too often. Others, like Keith Richards or Lemmy, keep coming back for more like a horror-movie slasher, seemingly impervious to decades of drugs, alcohol and STDs. Whatever these people are, they aren't human.

But there's a certain class of rock star that's even more disturbing. These are the men who have stared death in the face and made the Reaper flinch. They've crossed over to the other side, sometimes more than once, and somehow made it back again to tell the eerie tale. They are the guitar-slinging undead: Real-life rock and roll zombies.

How do they do it? Hard drugs and 911, in most cases. The reasons why any of these people remain amongst the living when so many haven't is anybody's guess. But it's hard to escape the notion that somebody, whether in heaven or in hell, is a fan. So gaze upon these living corpses with wonder and awe, but beware! For given a half-melted spoon and a defibrillator paddle, you too could share their fate:


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Meet Three Bands Who Love Playing Houston

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Photo courtesy of Marla Strange
Marla Strange
Houston's music scene is arguably experiencing one of its most sumptuous moments ever. Local acts showing great promise are as voluminous and interesting as our town's food trucks and, similarly, have whet Houstonians' growing appetites for live music. We're out there sampling more morsels of good stuff than a famished shopper at Central Market.

That thrilling hunger isn't just good for local musicians. It's attractive to out-of-towners, too. An informed music community makes Houston a destination for bands out there grinding it out to make a name for themselves. But don't take our word for it: this trio of acts who frequently visit the city will tell you why you rock, Houston music fans.


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The 35 Best Houston Concerts Left in 2014

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Metal Blade Records
King Diamond
House of Blues, November 5

Go ahead and start comparing prices on quality earplugs, because King Diamond, the top-hatted, face-painted ghoul with the cochlea-shattering falsetto, is returning to Houston at long last in November. The Danish metal icon isn't skimping on the production values this time around, either: The King has promised to bring his full European festival stage set to our shores in order to deliver the biggest, most ambitious North American production in the singer's long career.

A coterie of sadistic doctors and corrupted ministers will probably be running around willy-nilly on stage amidst all the pentagrams and inverted crosses, but KingDiamond's deathless shriek ought to ensure that no one gets confused as to who the star of the production really is (Satan, duh). NATHAN SMITH

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The New Foo Fighters HBO Series Is Pretty Great

Categories: TV Party

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Photos courtesy of Nasty Little Man
Dave Grohl sees his new HBO series Sonic Highways as "his "love letter to American music."
It makes sense that the first two episodes of the new HBO series Sonic Highways, chronicling the recording of eight songs in eight separate cities for the Foo Fighters' forthcoming album of the same name, would take place in Chicago and Washington D.C. Both represent a sort of homecoming: the former a metaphorical one for fans returning to (or visiting for the first time) the city that incubated the blues, the roots and soul of America's complicated relationship with homegrown music; the latter a literal one as Foos front man Dave Grohl visits his hometown.

The ambitious project, conceived by Grohl while filming the documentary Sound City about the life and death of the iconic California recording studio, is more than just a look at a rock band making a record. In fact, strict fans of the Foos will likely be disappointed by the fact that music from the band occupies only small portions of each one-hour episode.

This series is something much more, a look deep into the DNA of this country's music through the eyes of one of its most successful bands. Grohl calls it, "a love letter to the history of American music."


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The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Discoween, Hogleg, Bleachers, Lemonheads, etc.

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Photo by Jay Lee
Disco Expressions
Discoween
Continental Club, October 31

Halloween falls on a Friday this year, and I have the perfect costume: I'm going as Sia, so look for me wearing a platinum-blonde wig and standing in a corner with my back to everyone at the Continental Club, where Disco Expressions and the Allen Oldies Band are performing. They'll time-trip us back to the 1950s, '60s and '70s with covers of both the hits and long-forgotten songs from those decades.

Both bands feature some excellent Houston musicians, so I probably won't be standing in the corner for long -- I'll be on the dance floor shaking it with Elsa and Anna from Frozen and all those Orange Is the New Black prisoners celebrating girls' night out. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

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Six Must-Play Songs About Halloween

Categories: Lists

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Heather Franks via Flickr
It's the time of year when lots of people are putting together a playlist of songs for Halloween and Halloween parties, and plenty of spooky tunes to choose from. But rather than just throw on a bunch of novelty songs like "Monster Mash," it might be more fun to try to find tunes that are played less often.

For some reason, even though Halloween is gaining on Christmas in popularity, there are a ton of Christmas songs, and not so many paying tribute to the darker holiday. Yet we can always hope for more.


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The Flaming Lips' Shtick Is Getting Stale

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Photo by Mark C. Austin
Let's have a talk about the Flaming Lips. The Oklahoma City band made their name in the '90s alt-rock scene with "She Don't Use Jelly," but they were nothing like their contemporaries. Their history was checkered with intense experimentation, and that song was an outlier in their catalog.

This sort of teeter-totter balance between accessible, mainstream rock music and vast sonic experimentation has continued unabated as the Lips have become one of the most successful bands in modern music. But as they've gotten more famous and more financially stable, the whole thing might be growing stale.


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All the World's a Stage for Gogol Bordello

Categories: Listen Up!

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Photo courtesy of Red Light Management
For Gogol Bordello, every day is Halloween.

Leading up to Friday's Halloween-night performance at Warehouse Live, front man Eugene Hütz says that his band of misfits doesn't have anything specifically spooky planned, but that it would be out of character for them to bring anything less than their very best.

"We're kind of a band that never developed a routine," he says. "Anything celebratory, we're kind of a natural fit for it."


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