New York Dolls, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, House of Blues, June 4: "What we got last night at the House of Blues was an hour-long set of sporadic and confounding re-workings of their bedrock material, and a whole helluva lot of middle-of-the-road bar rock from two dimming heroes and some rag-tag session men." Craig Hlavaty Better than Ezra, House of Blues, June 6: "Waiting outside the venue for the show to begin, there seemed to be a consensus like 'the show is sold out? Better than Ezra'? It's a weird thing to think about, really - a band with only marginal success at its peak can sustain a constant following of cult-like consumers." Brandon K. Hernsberger Third Eye Blind, House of Blues, June 10: "This didn't seem to be the same band that lit up modern rock radio almost a decade ago. They almost seemed like a band with something to prove - strange, in front of a crowd was treating them like returning heroes." Craig Hlavaty Susan Cowsill, Discovery Green, June 10: "It was a lazy Houston kind of night, full of peace, love and Beatles." William Michael Smith
Wild Moccasins, Mango's, June 11: "It was a great show - not grading-the-local-band-on-a-curve great, but this-band-could-have-been-from-anywhere-and-I-would-have-been-impressed great. Afterwards, there were a few too many shirtless dudes running around for Aftermath's taste, but that's just a personal thing." Chris Gray Yanni, Toyota Center, June 13: "Words like pageantry, wonderment, and spectacle aren't used very much in the Aftermath lexicon. It's hard to divvy out those special labels when we are covering bleeding dudes in bondage gear half-raping each other onstage, the weekly parade of washed-up alt-rock groups making another run at the brass ring, grizzled Americana crooners, or the indie flavor of the past five minutes." Craig Hlavaty David Byrne, Jones Hall, June 15: "Incorporating bits of Afro-beat, post-punk funk and steel-drum calypso, it was rootless roots music that effectively captured the lyrics' (and the evening's) aura of blissful - and often fatalistic - disorientation." Chris Gray
Santigold, House of Blues, June 17: "What does it mean when underground goes overground without once addressing the death of irony? Santigold is too raw for this venue, too bacterial for a stage made of Purell." Brandon K. Hernsberger The Krayolas, Cactus Music, June 20: "Krayolas originals such as zippy breakout late-'70s single "All I Can Do Is Try" and the Little Steven-endorsed "Catherine" were just as energetic, the product of San Antonio boys listening to, alongside all that Sir Doug, an awful lot of British power-pop and pub-rock (Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe) in their formative years." Chris Gray Double Dagger, Muhammadali, Black Congress, Super Happy Fun Land, June 23: "Double Dagger and lead singer Nolen Strals broke down the metaphorical fourth wall of traditional performance. Strals flailed and squalled over his band's simple bass and drums assault and invited [the audience] onto the stage. The effect of having Strals in your face screaming his band's introspective ideas directly at you made each song feel like a conversation with a unhinged friend, telling you all his damning secrets and realizations." Craig Hlavaty Talib Kweli, Meridian, June 23: "Talib Kweli is one of the few rappers that takes his fans to a place of questions, confusion and doubting everything they knew hip-hop to be. He asks them to ask themselves what is wrong with this picture when they listen to other records or even read the news." Kim Douglass
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Roky Erickson, Continental Club, June 24: "There was nothing trippy, or noodly, or even remotely hippie-ish about nightmares come to life like wailing opener 'Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)' or the glowering 'Bloody Hammer.' Wednesday was less a rock show than an exorcism." Chris Gray Heartless Bastards, Warehouse Live, June 24: "Still, bandleader Erika Wennerstrom has a quiver in her voice that falls somewhere in between Janis Joplin and PJ Harvey, and at some somber instances feels like Antony Hegarty's asexual arias. When her voice aches, and those sadly innate tones that only a woman like her can utter, all pretense drops to the ground and its pure emotional viscera [is] laid bare." Craig Hlavaty Jenny Lewis, Warehouse Live, June 24: "The only faux pas of the evening came from rhythm guitarist Johnathan Rice, who chastised the crowd for not being 'as cool as Austin' when Lewis aborted one of her quieter numbers due to crowd chatter. Pretty bush-league. But Lewis bounced back and finished strong." William Michael Smith
Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, Toyota Center, June 24: "while neither man has ever been overly demonstrative in concert - only Winwood uttered a few words the entire night - they didn't need stage mannerisms to utterly captivate the audience." Bob Ruggiero Sunsett Stripperz, Coffee Groundz, June 27: "If you know anything about Sunsett Stripperz, please hit us up. We will be quiet and discreet. Your privacy is of our utmost concern. Wait, that came out wrong, we think." Craig Hlavaty White Rhino, Boondocks, June 29: "The longer White Rhino played, the more metal it got. The dogged riff and methanized bassline of 'Certain Death' came off like Thin Lizzy meets Nirvana, with some gloomy bell-tolling Bauhaus bass and an avalanche of feedback in the bridge." Chris Gray