The Five Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Doughbeezy, Peter Murphy, Steve Martin, etc.
Give John Egan credit for taking chances. The longtime solo Houston bluesman's new album, Amulet, is in some respects the polar opposite of its 2012 predecessor, Phantoms. Besides bringing in a few side musicians and respected Americana producer R.S. Field (Billy Joe Shaver, Webb Wilder), Egan has expanded his songwriting reach to include Latin-tinged jazz and melancholy pop, showing he's less reliant on his Resonator guitar's unforgiving tone but comfortable keeping the instrument as his anchor.
The end result is a softer mood than Phantoms, whose songs sometimes showed visibly bared teeth, but Amulet's overall disquieting feel suggests Egan has done little to ward off the same tormentors who were after him last time. CHRIS GRAY
Released in February and now nominated for a Local Recording of the Year HPMA, Doughbeezy's third mixtape Footprints On the Moon understands its nature. It's a showcase for the lyricism and wit that's now expected of the young Houston rapper known as the "Southeast Beast," but without attempting to create an even more potent syrupy mix. Unlike punchline-heavy debut Reggie Bush & Kool Aid and the darker moments of sophomore tape Blue Magic, Footprints understands that the songs -- not just the handful of quotably hot lines -- will make it stand out harder. BRANDO
After a 2013 tour behind his back catalog that showed definite signs of goth fatigue, Peter Murphy sounds totally rejuvenated on last month's Lion, his first album of original material in three years and best in quite some time. On tracks like "I Am My Own Name" and "Compression," the 57-year-old singer sounds as gloomy and foreboding as he ever did fronting Bauhaus, but elsewhere Killing Joke evil genius Martin "Youth" Glover's aggressive industrial-rock production reaffirms Murphy's status as one of the pillars of alternative music with an exclamation point.
Oozing dark beauty, ominous mystery and twilight grandeur, Lion gleefully sinks its fangs into all the wannabes who -- even 35 years after "Bela Lugosi's Dead" -- still aren't fit to carry Murphy's cape. With My Jerusalem and the Abyss. CHRIS GRAY
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5731 Kirby, Houston, TX