The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: The Airborne Toxic Event, Paul van Dyk, etc.
What happens when you layer dynamic, symphonic arrangements, painfully guttural vocals, and a wicked viola player? You wind up with The Airborne Toxic Event, the L.A.-bred indie-rock band known for its rich, lyrically moody folk-rock. Driven by novelist-turned-front man Mikel Jollett's prose, Airborne touches on the serious side of life with nods to empty relationships, world turmoil, and everything in between.
Think of them as a solemn man's rock band, and ATE's music as a cathartic purge of the deep emotions that spring from facing life's adversity. ANGELICA LEICHT
Singer-songwriter Matt Costa released his fourth album in February on Brushfire Records, a label owned by surf-folk daddy-o Jack Johnson. Costa isn't as spare at Johnson, layering his pop movements with tons of strings, reverb and vintage flourishes that drastically set him apart from the sunburned-dreadlocks crew around him.
Imagine if Marc Bolan traded in his space boots for a nice pair of Reef sandals and a thrift store button-up, and had stars in his beard. Costa's latest and self-titled disc leads off with "Loving You," which should be coming to a wedding compilation near you soon. CRAIG HLAVATY
Little Joe Washington
Boondocks, April 30
Out of a Third Ward blues guitar school that has now graduated to the great beyond Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Johnny Guitar Watson and Joe Guitar Hughes, Little Joe Washington is the last man standing. And he's hardly standing still: He's also pedaling his Schwinn from gig to gig, Fender strapped to his back, doing things with it you've never heard before and never will again, and then passing his hat around for tips. JOHN NOVA LOMAX