6 Cool & Cheap Weekenders: Dinosaur Jr., Some Stones, Big K.R.I.T., Optimo Radio, etc.
Dinosaur Jr. may be one of the most underrated indie-rock acts of the past 25 years. They weren't as sexy as Pearl Jam or as populist as Nirvana, but the music dripping from the instruments of the criminally-unsung J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph has always been fuzzy, influential gold. Take your pick from Bug, You're Living All Over Me, or Without a Sound, and you will be sure to find a groove to latch onto. The new I Bet On Sky is no small shakes, either. CRAIG HLAVATY
Tonight, Picture Book and a bunch of special guests like Snit's Dog & Pony Show, the Keefs (ha) and Brussels Affair throw a very special birthday party for the Rolling Stones who, in case you haven't heard, are celebrating their 50th anniversary of making music this year. Houston fans are still waiting on the Stones' real present - a new tour - but this ought to do for a Friday night. CHRIS GRAY
Ziegenbock Music Festival
Saturday, Sam Houston Race Park (gates open at noon)
The area's biggest fall country festival celebrates its tenth year with more beer-drinkin', hell-raisin' honky-tonk than a roomful of lawyers can sue to stop. This year's big headliners are Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, Cody Canada & the Departed, Jason Boland & the Stragglers and Kevin Fowler (and his own damn self), plus Bleu Edmondson, David Nail, Roger Creager, Reverend Horton Heat, Houston's Robert Ellis, Dallas's Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights, and a damn sight more. Wear (very) comfortable boots. CHRIS GRAY
Saturday, House of Blues (with Slim Thug, Jon Connor & Mookie Jones)
After years of honing his craft on the mixtape circuit, Mississippi's Big K.R.I.T. officially became one of the South's most formidable MCs when his Def Jam debut Live from the Underground dropped in June. Basically a mixtape on a fat-n-sassy Def Jam production budget, Underground finds the kid (born Justin Scott) who grew up idolizing UGK and the Geto Boys rhyming alongside Bun B himself on "Pull Up." (Wood wheel? Check.) Elsewhere, he does some "Hydroplaning" with Devin the Dude, helps 2 Chainz and 8Ball & MJG beat ZZ Top to the "25 Lighters"-saluting punch with "Money on the Floor," and leaves Underground with a sweet soul aftertaste via duets with Anthony Hamilton and B.B. King. Yes, the B.B. King. CHRIS GRAY