Heights Theater, March 1
Valerie June's latest release, The Order of Time, is an understated, masterful melange of Southern music. The singer blends together country, blues and classic Americana to create an album that is mournful, reflective and somber, yet ultimately bright. The single "Astral Plane," the product of a failed effort at writing a song for Massive Attack, is particularly moving, with a slow swing of chords coupled with the wistful twang of June's voice. June has something to offer just about every Houston music fan, and her striking and powerful singing is sure to reverberate through the intimate halls of the Heights Theater tonight. Add on the delightful Australian indie-pop duo Oh Pep! as an opener, and you've got a show that's going to set the bar for the month of March high. KATIE SULLIVAN
THE INVERTERS, THE SUSPECTS
Satellite Bar, March 4
A two-tone-style ska outfit out of Austin, the Inverters boast oodles of breezy horn work and hearts of gold: Founded on spreading a message of “unity + tolerance,” according to their website, the band also proudly supports the “Hoodies For the Homeless” campaign. The five-piece's songs call for plenty of dancing as they strike just the right balance between swaying and skanking underneath singer Al Shire’s convincing crooning, be he attempting to weasel his way out of jail (“Hey Mr. Officer”) or saluting a fallen comrade, “Kevin.” We hear a lot of English Beat in the jaunty tunes on the Inverters’ eponymous 2016 LP, as will other fans of a certain Houston band that starts with “Su”: the Suspects, now reunited with original singer Chris Kendrick and closing out what should easily be Houston's Saturday-night ska party of the month. CHRIS GRAY
BRING ME THE HORIZON
Revention Music Center, March 10
Bring Me the Horizon was first characterized as a "deathcore" band, fusing elements of death metal and metalcore on its debut album, Count Your Blessings. But that changed as the group began incorporating more melodies to hone in on their new sound on 2015's That's the Spirit. Their fifth studio album was both the most accessible and the most polarizing in their discography since it marked a departure from their early sound in favor of big choruses and anthemic verses. Many longtime fans have since abandoned the group, but even more have bought into what BMTH is selling, which blends their screamo background with the kind of synth-rock popularized by Linkin Park. It's not for everyone, but it was the closest the band has ever come to a No. 1 record so far in their career. MATTHEW KEEVER
Walters Downtown, March 10
In these parts for SXSW doings, the Rhode Island political punk band makes what is fast becoming an annual pilgrimage to Walters. Downtown Boys were already being lauded as "the most relevant band in America" last year, before "Twitler" actually somehow won the presidency. "The whole time this band has existed, it's been a very dire political moment," the band's co-founder, Joey De Francesco, told the Houston Press last year. "With everything we do, we try to make it very anti-nostalgic and very much about what's happening right now." There's a hell of a lot happening right now, so expect fresh takes on this surreal American life, told with a depth of insight and punchy songs. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
White Oak Music Hall, March 13
Potty Mouth exemplifies just how good punk music can be when we stop letting men (Julie) ruin it. Heavily inspired by '90s riot-grrrl acts like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney, the Massachusetts-based band made a splash with critics on their 2013 album Hell Bent. Potty Mouth's music bursts with grit and attitude, drifting through throaty bass lines and wistful, rage-y lyrics in tight, three-minute punches. While other groups in this genre fall victim to redundancy, Potty Mouth keep their music fresh with unrivaled authenticity. Their upcoming White Oak show is the right place to go if you need to dance out some aggression, or if you just love C, G and F chords. It doesn't matter if it's on a Monday — any day is a good day to rock. KATIE SULLIVAN
Super Happy Fun Land, March 13
In a year that had plenty of standout shorter releases (Nine Inch Nails, Cappa and Fjord among them), there wasn't an EP that I enjoyed more than pronoun's There's No One New Around You. Alyse Velluro crafted four songs that are catchy and emotional, songs that really belong on every breakup mix you make moving forward. By keeping them simple (but never boring), these songs of frustration and hurt just get stuck in your brain; “just cuz you can't” is arguably the best pop song you didn't heart last year. pronoun hits Houston on the way to SXSW, thus saving you a drive to Austin to see one of the most exciting bands to come out of last year. CORY GARCIA
METAL BLADE RECORDS 35th ANNIVERSARY TOUR
House of Blues, March 14
With a variety of death-streaked metal flavorings (deathgrind, blackened death, technical death), the venerable metal label’s traveling showcase offers an excellent sampling of fan favorites. With nothing but heavy hitters on the lineup — Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore, Necromancing the Stone and Allegaeon, all opening for reigning metalcore kings Whitechapel — this is easily the hottest metal show of the month. KRISTY LOYE
Revention Music Center, March 17
About a month removed from the release of his fourth studio album — his second to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — Big Sean will bring his celebrity to a city whose love for hip-hop is insatiable. The California-born, Detroit-raised rapper has developed quite the following over the past half decade, much of which can be tied back to his signing with Kanye West's GOOD Music label. He has since collaborated with the likes of Ye himself, John Legend, Common, 2 Chainz, Nas, Drake and fellow Detroit legend Eminem, among others. His latest album, I Decided., sees Sean at his most introspective. It follows an elderly Big Sean giving his younger self advice in hindsight, making for quite the contemplative tone despite some of the more accessible beats. MATTHEW KEEVER
Warehouse Live, March 17
If Ryan Adams and Dave Grohl were one person, they would be Conor Oberst. Like Adams, Oberst seemingly puts out a new indie album every six months, but like Grohl, Oberst has about 87 side bands and ongoing projects. So who knows what to expect when Oberst takes the stage at Warehouse Live. Expect a little bit of the new stuff, maybe some Bright Eyes for good measure, and, what the hell, maybe even some Monsters of Folk. CLINT HALE
FOR THE COMMUNITY 13
Eastdown Warehouse/Last Concert Cafe/Notsuoh, March 17-19
If you're one of those people who champion the Houston music scene strictly based on visits to a handful of trendy venues to see only the best-known acts in town, here's a personal invite to try For the Community 13. Some of the bands you're now drooling over cut their teeth at previous installments of this event, which is always free and always stacked with on-the-cusp talent from Houston and beyond. The three-day extravaganza also features visual art and food/product vendors, but its calling card is the incredibly diverse music curated by organizers Visionary Noise and the Houston Free Thinkers. There's nothing wrong with bandwagoning for Houston's best, but if you want to see who you'll go gaga for tomorrow, come get your ya-yas out at FTC13. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
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House of Blues, March 22
One year removed from their first release in five years, The Hand of John L. Sullivan, Flogging Molly will return to Houston with British folk outfit Skinny Lister. The last time I witnessed their live antics was two years ago, when the band tossed Guinness dry stouts into a sweaty crowd at FPSF. For nearly an hour, Dave King and his merry band of Irish-rock gents kept fans' heart rates as high as their spirits despite the unforgiving heat emanating from the pavement of NRG Park. It was a sweaty mess of fast-paced tunes, aggressive drinking and Celtic appreciation. If you'd care to experience something similar with central air-conditioning in the mix, this HOB show won't be one to miss. MATTHEW KEEVER
Walters Downtown, March 31
If you possess any ability left to hear sound after Metal Blade's sensory beating two weeks prior, make your way to Walters’ website and purchase tickets for March's other great metal show, this one featuring the Dallas-based stoner-doom metal boys in Wo Fat. The entire lineup is another solid pick, with our own local boys Blues Funeral; Bayou City newcomers Warlung; and Austin-based sludge merchants The Well. Get your down-tuned fix. KRISTY LOYE