The Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Free Radicals, Kurt Vile, Lupe Fiasco, etc.
Free Radicals is both Nick Cooper's revolving-door ensemble that at any given moment could be playing free jazz or Latin funk, and also Cooper's ongoing testimonial to how much he digs being a member of the Houston music community. He has so much experience at this point that he has very much become a one-man hub of that community.
In 2012, Cooper brought that same kind of musical civic pride to the Radicals' first albumin several years, The Freedom Fence, and then in July watched it win a well-deserved Houston Press Music Award for Local Album of the Year. The group's weekly jam, wherever it may be, is a true local-music institution. These days it happens to be at AvantGarden, a local-music institution of its own, and follows David Dove's avant-music showcase They, Who Sound -- still another. CHRIS GRAY
Contagious choruses are hardly anything new to the music industry; they're almost the heart of it. Three-piece band Two Door Cinema Club makes climbing the charts look crazy easy even without straight pop hooks. Its genre-bending fusion of pop, indie-rock, and dance makes it stand out from the rest of the radio stuff. CHRISTINE BORGES
Kurt Vile & the Violators
Walters, November 6
An East Coast rock-and-roll street poet in the Lou Reed tradition (R.I.P.), 23-year-old Kurt Vile has taken full advantage of the DIY-recording revolution of the '90s and '00s. Releasing new material at the pace of his prolific lo-fi heroes like Pavement and Smog, Vile has crafted a style that is both dreamy and drowsy but not averse to blasts of electric-guitar feedback, either. After 2011's Smoke Ring For My Halo became Vile's first album to chart on Billboard, he returned this year with the equally compelling Wakin On a Pretty Daze. With VBA, Beach Fossils and Merchandise. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.