Hot Shows

Whoa, Nelly, it's that time again, the summer concert season. You'd think that more bands would be forward-thinking enough to come visit us in the winter, rather than come sweat with us in the summertime, but every year they come, dragging us into the muggy streets to dance with them. At any rate, as you can see, summer is already shaping up to be quite entertaining. Support your local and touring concerts, because without you, they just can't happen. And then what would we do, read?

June 1 - Stereo Total, Carter Brown

This minimalist Berlin duo mixes their homemade-trash-garage sound with underground, authentic, amateurish and ironic political pop to create one of the most mind-blowing musical blends of the 21st century.

June 1 - The (International) Noise Conspiracy
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

Their new album, Armed Love, produced by Rick Rubin, is the band's heaviest effort so far, and that's saying a lot. They jam punk rock played like '70s hard rock, or the other way around, with lyrics straight from the heart and straight to the point.

June 1 - The Constants, Three Fantastic
(Super Happy Fun Land)

Drawing inspiration from Pink Floyd and the early, more psychedelic Yes records, the Constants explore ambient melody, odd-metered syncopations and rise-and-crash dynamics to create a punk rock version of '70s psychedelia.

June 1 - Peter Cincotti, Chris Botti
(Verizon Wireless Theater)

The New York Times called 21-year-old pianist-singer-songwriter Peter Cincotti a "proud pop-jazz throwback." That's "New York journalist" for "a little edgier than smooth jazz." His 204 release on Concord Records, On the Moon, included infectious twists on such classic pop and jazz standards as "I Love Paris," "St. Louis Blues" and "Some Kind of Wonderful." Critics across the country gave the album rave reviews.

June 3 - Downset, Ramallah, Blacklisted, Death Before Dishonor, Demean
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

It doesn't get more hardcore than this. Tonight come by Fat Cat's to stomp or get stomped.

June 6 - Collective Soul
(Verizon Wireless Theater)

After a four-year hiatus, Collective Soul seems to have recaptured the hunger and determination of an indie band just starting out, rather than an act that had 19 different singles reach the Billboard charts during a seven-year span. The band released its latest album, Youth , on its own El Music Group imprint.

June 7 - Internal Bleeding, Strong Intention, Bodies in the Gears of the Apparatus, Kill the Client
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

With names like Internal Bleeding and Bodies in the Gears of the Apparatus, these bands need little introduction. They're metal in its most extreme form.

June 7 - Acoustic Alchemy

Entering its 20th anniversary year, smooth jazz pioneers Acoustic Alchemy have a transatlantic membership and wide-ranging influences that make them a conduit for a myriad of sounds and textures.

June 8 - The Living Dolls
(Engine Room)

Rats, the debut CD from the Living Dolls, contains eight songs about broken hearts, relationships gone bad and letting go. Close your eyes and let yourself go, but be careful -- you never know when a winged, fire-breathing kitty cat is going to swoop down and incinerate you, or what a rat will whisper in your ear. Or so says their utterly confusing bio. Actually they are a pop-punk-psych band who really aren't that doll-like.

June 9 - The Roots, Floetry

Ten years ago, the Roots set hip-hop on its ear by actually doing the live band thing right. These days, they're still trudging along on the road, pushing boundaries and rocking huge crowds. Their last show at Numbers was huge, with Jean Grae and Skillz sharing mike duties with vocalist Black Thought. Who knows what they'll pull out of their collective bag this time around.

June 10 - Mae, Jamison Parker, Days Away, The Academy Is...
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

Mae, an acronym for Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, is basically a semi-technical metal band with short-haired members who wear suits and tour with bands like A Simple Plan and Coheed and Cambria. On this, their day to headline, expect a full live show of musical madness coming at you from all angles.

June 11 - Electric Frankenstein, Drunken Thunder, the Black Novas
(Engine Room)

This high-energy punk-rock-n-roll show is a must-see for fans of real, raw, aggressive sounds that hark back to the musical heyday when rockers rocked and didn't have to be all pretty about it.

June 11 - Of Montreal, Tilly and the Wall, 8 Track Charade
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

Of Montreal's latest CD, The Sunlandic Twins, was recently released by Polyvinyl Records and is an indie pop masterpiece. Hailing from Athens, Georgia, a city with no shortage of indie popsters, they could be the next hip thing in rock and roll.

June 12 - Gipsy Kings
(Jones Hall)

The Gipsy Kings are largely responsible for bringing the sounds of contemporary flamenco, called sevillana in Spain, to the world. They combine their traditional songs with sounds from the Middle East, Latin America and North Africa, a hint of rock and loads of fun. And they're a powerhouse live.

June 13 - Low, No Wait Wait
(Engine Room)

Possibly the slowest of the slow-core rock bands of the mid-'80s, Low is still making the rounds. Steeped in the tradition of our own H-town hip-hop legend DJ Screw, Low takes instruments and sounds that should rock you into oblivion into a complete other direction, down a spiral staircase into your own personal opium den.

June 15 - Kasabian

Kasabian mixes a bit of the Stones, Happy Mondays and Primal Scream with DJ Shadow-influenced electronics. Named after Linda Kasabian, Charles Manson's getaway driver-turned-state witness, Leicester's Kasabian brings a new sound to the table.

June 16 - Old 97's

One of the most popular bands in the alternative-country movement's rock-and-roll wing, Old 97's hail from Dallas and draw inspiration from classic country, rock, early punk and power pop.

June 16 - The Moody Blues
(Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)

One of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion, the Moody Blues are better known for their forays into psychedelia. These days they may look like a Las Vegas lounge act, but they still pack a mean punch behind their classics "Steal Your Heart Away" and "Go Now."

June 17 - Keane, Regina Spektor
(Verizon Wireless Theater)

Hailing from Battle, East Sussex, England, Keane is leading the new British invasion. They cite Oasis, U2 and the Beatles as major influences, and you'll hear pieces of them all in their tunes.

June 23 - Skinless, Misery Index, With Passion
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

Longtime New York grindcore (that's death metal times ten) purveyors Skinless are still stomping away after 13-plus years of grinding out some of the heaviest of metal. Another stomper.

June 23 - Fishbone, Slightly Stoopid
(Engine Room)

The hottest, most innovative ska-punk band of the '80s joins forces with the goofiest parody of said music to come out in the '90s. At any rate, this could be the most fun show of the summer, as both bands really know how to get you on your feet.

June 24 - The Varukers, Clit 45, Scarred for Life
(Mary Jane's Fat Cat)

Mary Jane's Fat Cat is a metal club?! This summer it seems it just may be. The Varukers play punk-influenced, snot-nosed metal with an attitude. Once again, you might get stomped.

June 24 - Marc Broussard

The son of Boogie Kings guitarist Ted Broussard, Lafayette, L.A.'s Marc Broussard was destined for a life as a music man. Combining an affinity for R&B alongside the traditional Cajun sounds of his home, he draws equal parts Otis Redding and Brian McKnight, alongside a sound similar to John Hiatt's or Dr. John's.

June 25 - Vans Warped Tour '05, featuring Avenged Sevenfold, the Explosion, Matchbook Romance, Strike Anywhere, the Offspring, Atreyu, From First to Lost, Dropkick Murphys, Hidden in Plain View, A.N.I.M.A.L., Bedouin Sound Clash, Fall Out Boy, the Starting Line, Plain White Ts, Senses Fail, Billy Talent, All-American Rejects, the Unseen, Silverstein, Hawthorne Heights, Another Damn Disappointment, Honchie, J4, Max Cady, Zero Syndrome, MCR, Same Day Service, the Bled, Murdocks, Minority, No Use for a Name, Mourning Maxwell, Stutterfly, Strung Out, the Transplants, Tsunami Bomb, the Fabulous Rudies, MxPx, the Twenty Twos, Underoath, Thrice, Valient Thorr, the Matches and more
(Reliant Park)

Punk-rock it on down at the football field. Don't worry about descriptions for all these bands. Basically you're gonna power punk yourself right out at this one.

June 25 - Pansy Division, Rachel Sage, Sarah Pinkster & the Stalking Horses, Sophie B. Hawkins
(Houston Pride Festival)

With selections way more hip than a lot of our other festivals around town, the Houston Pride Festival seems to be bringing something for everyone. The power-pop punk of Pansy Division meets the singer-songwriter musings of Sophie B. Hawkins. Wow.

June 26 - Buckwheat Zydeco
(Hobby Center for the Performing Arts)

He's Buckwheat, dammit! Respect that. Houston is no stranger to this zydeco accordion pioneer from the swamps of Louisiana, who is guaranteed to rock the house.

June 29 - Alanis Morissette, Jason Mraz
(Jones Hall)

Something tells us that tonight is gonna get real emotional. Think light rock with an expressive edge.

July 4 - Clint Black, LeAnn Rimes
(Buffalo Bayou Park)

Clint Black kicked off the mass-market popularity of commercial country music back in the early '90s, but we won't hate him for that. He's actually one hell of an energetic songwriter who eschews all rules and brings equal parts pop and rock into his mix.

July 5 - Eisley, Lovedrug, Pilotdrift

Eisley is one of the hottest bands in the Dallas area. The Tyler, Texas, natives won Best New Band in the 2003 Dallas Observer music poll and have toured with acts like Coldplay and Ron Sexsmith.

July 8 - David Allan Coe
(Sam Houston Race Park)

One of the pioneering artists of the outlaw country movement of the '70s, Coe is a country-music cult figure.

July 9 and 10 - Alkaline Trio
(Engine Room)

This power-punk trio is gaining steam and getting big enough to merit two nights at the Engine Room.

July 15 - Cross Canadian Ragweed
(Sam Houston Race Park)

One of the hottest alt-country-rock bands in Texas, this relentless touring machine returns to Houston, one of its favorite cities, to rock the Sam Houston Race Park. They'll make you forget about all the money you lost.

July 16 - Easy Action
(Engine Room)

One of the hardest rock bands on the planet, Detroit's Easy Action is a raw, trashy combo. They're fronted by former Negative Approach/ Laughing Hyenas vocalist John Brannon, and you'll want to bring earplugs, as his primal scream has been known to pierce brains.

August 1 - Jack Johnson, Matt Costa, ALO
(Verizon Wireless Theater)

A former pro surfer, Hawaiian native Jack Johnson plays a lazy blues/folk/hip-hop mix in the tradition of G. Love and Special Sauce.

August 5 - Hiroshima
(Verizon Wireless Theater)

Smooth-jazz pioneers Hiroshima integrate traditional Japanese instruments into their charming musical blend.

August 7 - "Guitars & Saxes" with Jeff Golub, Mindi Abair, Warren Hill and Wayman Tisdale
(Verizon Wireless Theater)

What's up with the smooth jazz at Verizon and the metal at Mary Jane's this year? Two huge jazz joints in one week will be a great way to soothe your tensions as a hard, hot summer gets even harder and hotter during its final month.

August 13 - John Legend

It's unfair to label John Legend as merely R&B -- he's so much more. He has an original but classic style that harks back to some of the original pioneers of the genre, while always looking forward. He's not some overproduced sap intent on keeping you dancing -- he's got something for the mind and the dance floor.

August 16 - Avril Lavigne, Gavin DeGraw
(Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)

She's the mouthy punk-rock chick your parents tried to warn you about but didn't understand. She's really a cool person, really. An intelligent alternative to the Britneys and Jessicas of the world, and a hellafied performer. This will be one hot back-to-school event.

August 21 - Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago
(Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)

The classic '70s soul sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire and the smooth rock sounds of Chicago from the same era should prove to be one hell of a combo tonight under the stars.

August 27 - Ozzfest 2005 with Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Shadows Fall, Mastodon, Black Label Society, A Dozen Furies, the Haunted, In Flames, Arch Enemy, the Black Dahlia Murder, Bury Your Dead, It Dies Today, Soilwork and Trivium
(Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion)

Oh, man, it's Ozzfest time again -- a time when some of the most aggressive metal bands of our time team up to try to outdo the original metal pioneers, Black Sabbath. Unfortunately, even though Ozzy and Co. are pushing 100 years old, they still outperform every other goofball act on this bill. Black Sabbath is not to be missed, kids.


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