Hello, Houston!

Noise breaks down the months of live music ahead

House of Blues (1204 Caroline): House of Blues's tide of tribute bands has momentarily receded somewhat, save one ringer: Adler's Appetite, featuring original Guns 'N' Roses drummer Steven Adler, performing Appetite for Destruction in its entirety with backwoods barnburners the Texas Hippie Coalition (May 21). Tributes to Motown (Souled Out, May 30), Led Zeppelin (Zoso, May 8) and the Beatles (Getback!, May 9) are on the way, as are several bands who now exist, more or less, as tributes to themselves: UB40 (April 29), Live (May 14), Better than Ezra (June 6) and Third Eye Blind (June 9).

Otherwise, John Lee Hooker Jr. follows in his dad's boogie-chillun footsteps (Thursday), George Clinton lands the P-Funk Mothership (April 30), Latin chanteuse Ximena Sarinana enchants (May 1), Snoop Dogg barks (May 6), Paris and Dead Prez spit some hard truths (May 15) and the following grade gets bumped to B+ if stacked-heel pre-punks the New York Dolls are indeed booked for June 4 like Noise has heard. Grade: B-

McGonigel's Mucky Duck (2425 Norfolk): Houston's premier acoustic listening room welcomes honey-voiced Missouri songbird Iris Dement (Thursday), old favorite Jimmy LaFave (Friday), roots-rock wordsmith Randy Weeks (Saturday), hometown gal Trish Murphy (Tuesday) and blue-eyed soulman Dan Dyer (Wednesday) to round out this month. Coming in May are local jazz siren Kristine Mills's Bossanovafied CD release (May 2), potential Americana 2009 MVP Slaid Cleaves (May 9), ex-New Grass Revival bassist John Cowan (May 26) and two of Austin's hotter young rootsy acts: Suzanna Choffel (May 12) and the Belleville Outfit (May 28). Grade: C

Meridian (1503 Chartres): All metal all the time at Meridian...or is it? Well, it mostly is, but good metal: Napalm Death (Monday), Dredg and Torche (April 30), Isis (May 23), all the original members of British steeldrivers Saxon (May 23) and Houston's own King's X (May 30). There's also vastly different takes on the blues from Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials (May 1); "Frankenstein" himself, Mr. Edgar Winter (May 15, the Houston Press Music Awards nomination party); and Bob Log III (May 27).

The rest is literally all over the map: psychobilly from Mad Sin (May 7), progressive bluegrass from the Duhks (May 28), the femme-friendly pop of the Veronicas (June 18) and hammerin' hardcore with Anti Nowhere League (July 11). And, because it's Meridian, the odd fetish show (May 16) and burlesque revue (May 27) thrown in to keep things from seeming too...normal. Grade: B+

Well, that should be enough to chew on for one week. Next week Noise will run down the rest, from the Mink to Warehouse Live. It'll be fun. CHRIS GRAY

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