The Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Psychedelic Furs, 30FootFALL, Gritsy, etc.
Thanks to albums like sensual eponymous 1980 debut and 1981's poppier Talk Talk Talk, Psychedelic Furs helped define alternative rock in MTV's early days even before John Hughes named his 1986 film Pretty In Pink for one of their best-known songs.
Front man Richard Butler was certainly one of the era's most seductive crooners, but it was that robust tenor sound that gave the Furs the kind of sax appeal -- played for many, many years by mighty-mite Mars Wiliiams -- most of their post-punk peers lacked. Pardon the pun, but it's as irresistible as the slinkier moments in the band's well-stocked catalog, whether "Sister Europe," breakthrough pop hit "Love My Way" or "Heartbreak Beat." With the Technicolors. CHRIS GRAY
Every year on "The Island," Rock Baby Rock It is one of the centerpieces of the Continental Club's calendar, and this weekend returns for lucky No. 13 with bright red and yellow flames painted on both fenders. The three-day celebration of all things rockabilly and hot-rod kicks into high gear Friday with a visit by Orange County rockabilly-swing stalwarts Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys (celebrating their 25th anniversary tour) and Dallas-based big bopper Mack Stevens.
Saturday, stroll among all the custom cars in the Continental parking lot all day, before an evening bill of London-born Stray Cats contemporary Levi Dexter, El Paso's Star Mountain, Houston's own Luxurious Panthers, the Octanes and lots more. RBRI 13 promises to be an exhausting weekend that should leave you running on fumes. See more information at rockbabyhouston.com, and stay tuned for a more extensive guide later today. CHRIS GRAY
Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 19
Kid Rock, best known for claiming his trailer-park roots with pride, is back on tour with his longtime DJ Uncle Kracker, delivering the catalog of Southern rock-styled hits that earned him the title of Soundscan's No. 1-selling male solo musician of the early '00s. Kid toned down the sound over the years, refining his style from the rowdy "Bawitdaba" to the more blues-inspired singles of the recent years, but he's still got plenty of that Southern pride to go around. ANGELICA LEICHT
One of the flagship bands of storied Austin underground-rock label Trance Syndicate, Ed Hall created a thunderously trippy racket that was almost equal parts Gary Chester's psychedelic guitar, Larry Strub's throbbing bass and Lyman Hardy's earth-quaking drums, served with a side of Butthole Surfers-like gonzo film projections and reams of Day-Glo body paint. (They were also exceedingly nice guys, which tended to get lost in all the volume and paint.)
Dormant since 1998 LP La-La Land (save the odd reunion gig), Ed Hall revisits one of their favorite Houston proving grounds Friday with two of their direct Austin descendents: speed-metal/klezmer crew Brown Whorenet and sailor-obsessed, trombone-tooting Gorch Fock. CHRIS GRAY