The 10 Best Shows in Houston This Weekend: Flamin' Groovies, John Legend, Tom Jones, etc.
It seems like Houston has remembered it even has a history only very recently, so it must be making up for lost time now. Less than five years since the Lightnin' Hopkins Texas Historical Marker was erected on the grounds of Project Row Houses in Third Ward, the Texas Historical Commission has announced another for the El Dorado Ballroom around the corner. Erected in 1939, the El Dorado hosted the top touring names in jazz, blues and R&B during its heyday from the '40s through the '70s -- Ray Charles, Ike & Tina Turner, Etta James and many more -- but remains a working venue and important neighborhood gathering spot even today.
Friday, that old El Dorado magic will materialize thanks to Houston traditional blues duo Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown, while the dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday will be followed by another concert in nearby Dupree Park featuring local progressive-soul group The Hue and DJ SoulOne. There's even a SLAB parade, because H-Town knows how to do these things in style. See projectrowhouses.com for more details. CHRIS GRAY
Hosting three of the most dynamic women in roots music on three consecutive nights seems like it must be part of some kind of festival, but in this case it's just a happy coincidence. Leading off is the return of North Carolina R&B spitfire Nikki Hill, whose March appearance behind debut LP Here's Nikki Hill is still being buzzed about on Mid-Main.
It's been a little longer than that since Candye Kane has been through here, and the jazz-blues diva (now bravely battling pancreatic cancer) went the '40s route on last year's Comin' Out Swingin', recently earning a Blues Foundation nomination for Contemporary Female Artist. Rounding out the weekend is Dallas native Kim Lenz, auburn-haired doyenne of the '90s rockabilly revival who last year did her best Veronica Lake on the cover of her first album in four years, Follow Me. CHRIS GRAY
More or less the flagship band for Little Steven's Underground Garage, San Francisco's Flamin' Groovies have been flying the flag for unruly, melodic, fuzz-clouded garage-rock for almost 50 years. Though never even close to breaking through to mainstream rock audiences, the Groovies left a profound mark on solo musicians (Dave Edmunds, Jack White) and bands (the Stooges, Cheap Trick) alike.
Fading into legend by the early '80s, the Groovies were jump-started last year when founding members Cyril Jordan and George Alexander reunited with longtime Groovies singer Chris Wilson (who replaced original howler Roy Loney) and drummer Victor Penaloa to give it another go, which led to this unlikely tour and new music on the way. With Muck & the Mires and Mikey & the Dragz. CHRIS GRAY
When they appeared in the early 2000s, the Faint almost seemed from a different planet. Their all-black Anne Rice getup was better-suited for some London or L.A. goth club than their native Omaha, while their arch synth-rock was way out of step with hyper-earnest Saddle Creek labelmates like Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley.
Still, 2001 LP Danse Macabre became an important record in the then-burgeoning post-punk revival - which led to bands like Bastille and Imagine Dragons - and the Faint lasted most of the decade as avatars of an especially icy brand of hipster cool. Largely silent since then, this month they re-emerged from whatever crypt they had stashed themselves with ambitious new album Doom Abuse. With Reptar and Solid Goldberg. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
3700 Main, Houston, TX
813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX
4800 Calhoun, Houston, TX
1204 Caroline, Houston, TX
9889 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX
6400 Richmond, Houston, TX