The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Buxton, Kongos, Rakim & EPMD, etc.

Photo courtesy of New West Records
Buxton come in from the cold Friday at the Mucky Duck.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, January 30

As entrenched a band as can be found in Houston, Buxton has now notched more than a decade on local stages as their delicate, eerie style of indie-folk has continued to mature and evolve. In early March the band will release Half a Native, their first album since 2012's Nothing Here Seems Strange and second overall on New West Records. Adding a little more rock to their acoustic-based Americana on songs like "Good As Gone" and "Miss Catalina 1992" -- for which they've also created their own brand of coffee(!) -- Native nonetheless retains that core of imperiled innocence that is essential to Buxton's sound. This early set at the Duck is a preview of the album's official launch next month at the Continental. CHRIS GRAY

More »

The Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Fred Eaglesmith, Yonatan Gat, Cannibal Corpse, etc.

Photo by Tweten's Photography/Courtesy of Shock Ink PR
Fred Eaglesmith
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, January 27

Being 57 might seem a bit old to be out bouncing around in a bus with a handful of people half your age and staying up all night, but Canadian songster Fred Eaglesmith flips that on its back. "You know, at 35 when you're doing this, you look around at your friends and they're lawyers or they're plumbers and their life is a lot different than yours and you maybe question the path you've taken," he told us last year.

"But then when you get to my age, your plumber friend has back pain all the time and he realizes he spent his whole life repairing toilets or unstopping drains and maybe you realize he envies you your life," added Eaglesmith, whose most recent album is 2013's Tambourine. "We did 230 dates last year, and I still love doing this rock and roll touring thing." WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

More »

The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Lera Lynn, Metacrisis, Artopia, The Suffers, etc.

Photo by Gina Bickley
Lera Lynn
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, January 23

Suggesting both Norah Jones and Gillian Welch, Lera Lynn's music is rootsy and refined, homespun without pouring on the twang. The young Nashville-based singer-songwriter -- who was actually born in Houston and grew up in Georgia -- stirred up lots of "one to watch" talk, and eventually landed herself on David Letterman, with 2014's The Avenues. Recorded with a cast of top L.A. session players, Lynn's second proper album exudes a wan melancholy tone that suggests staring out a rain-streaked window after midnight, waiting for the phone to ring, and watching a candle burn down to the nub.

More »

30 Concerts in 2015 That Look Half-Decent

Categories: Playbill

Clutch: Only the strong survive.
Clutch: Per last year's Earth Rockers, powerhouse D.C.-area veterans ask no quarter; give even less. (House of Blues, January 7)

Pong, Ed Hall: Keeping Austin weird (and Houston interested) for 20 years and counting now. (Continental Club, January 9)

More »

The Best Concerts in Houston This Week: John Egan, Libby Koch, Mike Stinson, Clutch, etc.

Photo courtesy of South Central Music
John Egan's Big Easy residency has been going strong for more than two years now.
John Egan
The Big Easy, January 5

Give John Egan credit for taking chances. The longtime solo Houston bluesman's 2014 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.

More »

The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Gary P. Nunn, Bun B & Too Short, etc.

Dave Hensley via Flickr
Gary P. Nunn (left) at the Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville, Tex., in April 2012
Gary P. Nunn
Firehouse Saloon, January 2

Best known as the voice behind "London Homesick Blues" ("I wanna go home with the Armadillo..."), the tune heard for years and years at the opening of every Austin City Limits episode, Gary P. Nunn is the perfect performer to get your honky-tonkin' 2015 off on the right foot. The the 69-year-old singer is a walking encyclopedia of Austin's progressive-country sound of the '70s, and a top-shelf Texas travel guide to boot. The only thing that beats the eagle-eyed imagery of "Terlingua Sky," "My Kind of Day on Padre" and "Guadalupe Days," to name but a few, is being there yourself.

More »

10 Solid Music Picks for Houston's New Year's Eve

Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/Shore Fire Media
Should be quite a party over at HOB tonight, featuring the Josh Abbott Band in the Music Hall.
Josh Abbott Band: Newly signed to Atlantic, the Idalou-raised Texas Country stud has a soft spot for fellow South Plains oddballs like Terry Allen. Lots of crazy stuff in HOB's other rooms, too -- disco, drag queens, Thunderpants, etc. See for details. (House of Blues, 7 p.m.)

Mike Stinson: Houston's best songwriter spins his country yarns of tenacity and deceit in the local venue that perhaps best suits his gift. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 7 & 9 p.m.; second show is SRO)

More »

The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Shakey Graves, Propaghandi, Spoon, etc.

Photo courtesy of Big Hassle Media
Ladies love Shakey Graves...
Shakey Graves, David Ramirez
Fitzgerald's, December 29

Shakey Graves, the musical alter ego of Austin's Alejandro Rose-Garcia, is fast becoming the name to drop among the scruffy aspiring singer-songwriter set. As heard on the 2011 debut Roll the Bones, Graves' DIY patchwork of folk and blues - accentuated by a kick-drum fashioned out of an old suitcase - struck a chord with hipsters and older roots-music aficionados alike.

Released in October, new LP And the War Came keeps the charge going, recently sending the single "Dearly Departed" into AAA radio's Top 10. Come early for David Ramirez, whose own material works through the same interpersonal issues, albeit in a somewhat mellower key.

More »

Houston's Five Best Concerts This Weekend: Wild Moccasins, Hearts of Animals, Ishi, etc.

Photo by Julie Worsham/Courtesy of Wild Moccasins
Walters Third Anniversary
Walters Downtown, December 26

Walters Downtown has had an eventful year, losing its founder Pam Robinson in October and transitioning into the hands of her son Zack Palmer, so the venue's third anniversary party looks to the future while anchoring itself to one of Houston's most beloved bands. The Wild Moccasins began 2014 optimistic about the release of sophomore New West LP 88-92, and the indie-pop favorites are ending it by enjoying the accolades of esteemed outlets like NPR, who praised singer Zahira Gutierrez as a "glammed-up force of nature" echoing Debbie Harry and Kate Bush in the band's "Gag Reflections" video.

Joining them are a couple of new bands on the scene, Rose Ette -- featuring members of Young Mammals and Giant Princess -- and Black Kite, something fresh from the mind of LIMB's James Templeton. Funk scholar DJ Flash Gordon Parks keeps it sticky between sets. CHRIS GRAY [Note: this paragraph has been edited after publication.]

More »

The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Two Tons of Steel, Grand Old Grizzly, etc.

Two Tons of Steel released their latest album, Unraveled, in August 2013.
Two Tons of Steel
Main Street Crossing, December 22

If you like your Christmas music served with a healthy side of swing, Two Tons of Steel might be just the ticket. Their jiving version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," ought to be enough to get you up and twirling on the tiny Main Street Crossing dance floor; it may not be Brian Setzer's Christmas spectacular, but it'll sure get the job done. Even when it's not Christmas week, though, the San Antonio rockabilly veterans are always worth coming out to see.

More »