10 Cool & Cheap Weekenders: November 2-4
Photo by Carol Sandin
UPDATED (9:30 a.m.): Per @FitzLiveMusic, Rakim has canceled due to Sandy-related travel difficulties. :(
Indian Jewelry Walters, November 2
Houston is a better place for Indian Jewelry still being here. They could have moved somewhere hipper long ago and been welcomed with open arms, but Tex Kerschen, Erika Thrasher and their accomplices have never cared a lick about being hip. For a decade now, the group has been a dependable source of electronically addled but intricately crafted mayhem that often conceals a devious melodic gift.
Their first album in two years, the brand-new Peel It (Reverb Appreciation Society), could be a lost artifact from the old Wax Trax! days, but that only scratches the surface of something much more sinister and bizarre. Careful you don't step on something sharp. With the Wiggins and Bed Moves. CHRIS GRAY
Public Image Ltd. Scout Bar, November 2
Allow Public Image Ltd. to reintroduce themselves. Following 1992 LP That What Is Not, the irrepressible John Lydon became a best-selling author with 1993's childhood/Sex Pistols memoir Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs; was sued by a former bandmate on Judge Judy; reloaded an approximation of the Pistols; and appeared in a butter ad on British TV. (Among many, many other things.)
His hilarious, sometimes unfortunate media eruptions, while not all that different from the kind of postmodern pranks Lydon regularly pulled in PiL, eventually clouded public memory of how important they had been. Apart from Gang of Four, no band fused rock with insurrectionist politics and the coming tide of electronic dance music more successfully and influentially, so much so that Lydon and various PiL alumni effortlessly skip over that 20-year gap on sleek and cheeky brand-new LP This Is PiL. CHRIS GRAY
Fitzgerald's, November 2
Rap needs its own hall of fame, if only to induct people like Rakim. Beginning with albums with DJ partner Eric B such as 1987 landmark Paid In Full, the former William Griffin Jr. (a devout Muslim since age 15) has used language the way John Coltrane and Charlie Parker used their swooping and diving saxophone riffs: to brag and boast, and blow your mind with his astounding agility and dexterity.
This is the man who swore "I Ain't No Joke" on the first song of Paid In Full, later promised "I hold the microphone like a grudge," and has meant it ever since. Since splitting with Eric B. following three more albums, Rakim has gone on to a successful if sporadic solo career, most recently with 2009's The Seventh Seal. CHRIS GRAY
Converge Fitzgerald's, November 3
Converge's new disc, All We Love We Leave Behind, has been bathing in major raves from metal, hardcore and even mainstream music critics alike. The praise is justly deserved, as it's another stellar set of what can only be described as Converge music: Aggressive, intricate, barreling, and harrowing. The title track and "Coral Blue" are masterful latticeworks of riffage and looming doom. Look for Fitz to get turned on its side by the time Converge walks offstage. CRAIG HLAVATY
Taking Back Sunday House of Blues, November 3
Taking Back Sunday is on the road behind 2002's Tell All Your Friends, an album that thrust the group from relative Warped Tour anonymity and into the daily lives of emo kids at the turn of the century. Songs like "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut from the Team)" and "You're So Last Summer" made it onto most every compilation and mixtape at the time, and the sound launched thousands of other pretenders. After a decade influencing the pop-punk masses, the album has aged rather gracefully, as has the group itself and ever-energetic lead singer Adam Lazzara. CRAIG HLAVATY
FIVE OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Crooks: The spirits of Hank Sr. and the Man In Black burn bright in this fast-rising Austin band that ought to make headliner Max Stalling nervous. (Firehouse Saloon, November 3)
La Sien: HPMA-nominated alt-rock en espanol band with a sweet spot release their debut EP; Pop Pistol and the Trimms open. (Walters, November 3)
Hip Hop the Vote: Chingo Bling, Uzoy, Doughbeezy, and guest speaker Willie D stump for last-minute early voting. (Lynn Eusan Park, University of Houston, 12 p.m. November 3)
Marc Broussard/Gabriel Kelly: Double bill of rootsy, moody singer-songwriters. (House of Blues, November 4)
Jabo: Dance yourself silly -- and hopefully celebrate another Texans win -- at the Big Easy's weekly Sunday-night zydeco party. (The Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club, November 4)
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