Shows of the Week: Reggae's Sacred Trickster Alights In Houston
Courtesy of The Secret Group
LEE "SCRATCH" PERRY
Fitzgerald's, August 18
A Lee Perry show in such an intimate venue as the Secret Group ought to be a kind of reward for a successful vision quest. As prolific as he is visionary, Perry has had his hands on so much music over the past 60 years that it’s a wonder any of us have ever passed a drug test. Perry taught Bob Marley how to reggae, because Perry was one of the inventors of reggae as well as dub, its weirder mystical cousin. He’s traveled so far inside sound early that contemporary music hasn’t really caught up to him 50 years later. His experimental approach to studio production combines a profound understanding of the hidden possibilities of state-of-the-art technology with shamanistic techniques like blowing marijuana smoke over magnetic tape to convey its essence, and burying live microphones in the earth. As luck would have it, this world ranks music somewhere below used styrofoam cups, so tickets are available and affordable to catch this living legend — now 80 and touring the world with his band Subatomic Sound System in support of a reissue of his 1976 classic, Super Ape. Whatever your take on live-album reenactments, the album is so slippery and atmospheric, so saturated in reverbs and ganja, and Perry is such a trickster, robed in cryptic talk and fueled by mischief, that anything could happen. [Reminder: this show has been moved to Fitzgerald's.] TEX KERSCHEN
OUTTA THIS WORLD 2016
Toyota Center, August 18
According to Toyota Center's website, this tour has been postponed, and all tickets will be honored at the as-yet-unannounced new date.
HEART, JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS, CHEAP TRICK
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 19
It’s somewhat hard to imagine your everyday classic-rock fan owning a Heart album and not at least one or two by Cheap Trick and/or Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and vice-vice versa. That’s what makes this tour, sponsored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and dubbed the “Rock Hall Three For All” such a perfect fit: each band has developed a distinctly recognizable sound, but all three come from the same mold. Cheap Trick (inducted in 2016), Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (2015) and Heart (2013) all hail from one of rock’s regional capitals — Chicago (via Rockford, Illinois), New York City and Seattle, respectively — and all of them can claim a higher than normal degree of respect from their fellow rockers, as well as two and now maybe three generations of t-shirted fans. All three bands have also been lucky enough to reach the very top of the pop charts, but what put them in the Hall of Fame is simple longevity: all three have been at it, with relatively few interruptions or major lineup changes, for about 40 years. They’re all true lifers, with the deep and rewarding set lists to match.
WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL OPENING WEEKEND
White Oak Music Hall, August 19-21
The owners of White Oak Music Hall have invested nearly three years and a significant amount of money into elevating Houstonians’ live-music experience, and this weekend is their moment of truth. With stages both upstairs and down and an overall capacity nosing past 1,300, the Hall jumps in with both feet offering a three-day bender of a lineup that might make calling in sick on Monday a necessity. Friday’s marquee act, sinister Austin psych favorites the Black Angels, should push the downstairs stage’s lighting and sound systems to their furthest limits, while the upstairs bill promises to shake the building’s very foundations with the Houston/Austin hard-rock explosion of Oceans of Slumber, Venomous Maximus, American Sharks and the Satanic Overlords of Rock and Roll. Saturday welcomes the outlaw-country swagger of Cody Jinks and Whitey Morgan downstairs, plus the Fort Worth bruisers known as Quaker City Night Hawks; upstairs rolls out the alluring and totally free indie triple bill of Night Drive, Bang Bangz and Young Girls. Save a little gas in the tank for Sunday, though — between majestic ATX instrumental sculptors Explosions In the Sky on the White Oak lawn and the thumping power-boogie of their neighbors, Ghostland Observatory, downstairs in the Hall, the weekend won’t end until Houston’s newest venue has stamped its footprint on the scene with authority.
SNOOP DOGG, WIZ KHALIFA
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 20
The billowing clouds of smoke enveloping the buses from city to city could easily turn this “The High Road Tour,” sponsored by online cannabis cornucopia Merry Jane, into a modern-day version of Peanuts. Rap’s favorite OG pop star, Uncle Snoop, and his equally lovable but even more wigged-out nephew Wiz Khalifa — at long last a household name after Furious 7 smash “See You Again” — could one day make a more inspired buddy-cop pairing than even Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, but for now the summer’s most smoked-out tour will more than suffice. The trek is also turning out to be one of the season’s most perilous; fans have been either hospitalized or arrested in a handful of markets, the most serious incident being a collapsed railing in Camden, New Jersey. But such unfortunate headlines also speak to the kind of enthusiasm brought on by these two ganja lovers, especially these two together. So as long as everyone remembers to chill (which shouldn’t be that hard), everything should be OK. With Kevin Gates, Jhene Aiko, Casey Veggies and DJ Drama; gates at 6 p.m.
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