The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: A Fistful of Soul, Untapped, Numbers' 36th, etc.
Photo by Brittany Burke
Deep Cuts Fitzgerald's, September 19
Deep Cuts have gone from first band of the night to last band on the bill in an impressive amount of time; less than two years by our watch. Honed by many, many shows in between (including a FPSF 2013 spot), Chase Harris and Zach Alderman's indie-pop partnership has finally yielded something ready to pass along in digital and physical form, the Love Grows EP.
Setting out to capture their Gulf Coast surroundings in five songs, Deep Cuts conjure surf and sand, their beloved Tex-Mex cuisine, and a sinister undertow in the sun-kissed guitar tones of Love Grows' five songs. Mission accomplished; put this in your "Causeway" playlist. With Young Girls, Limb, The Caldwell, Mikey & the Drags and Lisa's Sons (emcees). CHRIS GRAY
Conor Oberst House of Blues, September 19
Conor Oberst was wise to be a little leery of all the "voice of a generation" accolades that began cropping up when his Omaha-based band Bright Eyes first appeared in the late '90s; then again, he could have been too busy pouring out his soul to even notice. His hyper-confessional style, wedded to an equally emotive brand of folk-rock, made Oberst a pivotal figure in indie culture's mid-2000s absorption into the mainstream-pop universe.
As prolific as his album titles could be verbose (2002's Lifted has a 12-word alternate title), the 34-year-old Oberst has released 12 Bright Eyes LPs to date, plus several more with various side projects and under his own name, among them this year's self-assured Nonesuch debut Upside Down Mountain. CHRIS GRAY
A Fistful of Soul Fifth Anniversary Big Top Lounge, September 19
Since the turn of the decade, the collective of DJs who call themselves A Fistful of Soul have become one of the Houston music scene's true feel-good success stories. What began as a small group of collectors who enjoyed seeking out rare soul/R&B 45s , which they played for their friends in the old Mink's miniscule front room, has now long outgrown the Big Top and regularly packs the Continental Club's spacious backyard.
The only concession the DJs have made to the monthly event's runaway popularity are throwing a few more "golden oldies" into the mix, but any sticklers are too busy dancing to even notice. Fistful deserves a spot high on any "best place to bring people from out of town" list there is, and should pull out all the stops for its fifth anniversary. Please enter through the Big Top, as always. CHRIS GRAY
Nails, Twitching Tongues, Code Orange Walters, September 19
Holy hell, what a lineup this is for hardcore fans. Twitching Tongues and Code Orange are two of the most exciting bands in the hardcore scene today; a few SXSWs ago, the band formerly known as Code Orange Kids put on a stunning live show reminiscent of bands like Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan. But as a massive bonus, Oxnard, Calif.'s Nails will be headlining for the Texas dates of this tour only, bringing the heaviness like only they can. With Die Young. COREY DIETERMAN
Untapped Houston Discovery Green, September 20
A sure sign that Houston's standing in the hipster world only continues to improve, Untapped returns for an encore at Discovery Green with another full flight of acts that pair well with not only the 200-something beers on offer but the hordes of twenty- and thirtysomethings who will consume them. Fort Worth's ferocious Toadies top the bill, winding down a big year celebrating the 20th anniversary of their Texas alt-rock touchstone Rubberneck, but plenty of Houstonians may be more interested in the return of Robert Ellis, the prodigal son who has been scarce in these parts since releasing sophomore New West set The Lights From the Chemical Plant in February.
Rounding out the talent is Manchester Orchestra offshoot Bad Books, Arcade Fire compadre Owen Pallett and a Houston complement that offers people's champs the Suffers, the mellow men of Featherface and electro-pop trio BLSHS, hands down the local scene's rookies of the year. Gates at 2:30 p.m. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Photo courtesy of Magnum PR
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist House of Blues, September 20
Hardcore hip-hop history buffs practically creamed their Pumas when it was announced earlier this year that select pieces from the 40,000-record vinyl collection of genre pioneer Afrika Bambaataa would be making their way across the country this fall. Rather than display these records behind glass, however, mixmasters DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are putting them to work, curating a traveling performance illustrating the spark of a musical revolution.
The HOB show promises to include six turntables, two mixers, a drum machine and plenty of vintage gear from the late '70s and early '80s. Get ready to dust off that Kangol and step inside a body-rocking time machine. NATHAN SMITH
Numbers 36th Anniversary Numbers, September 20
Some things never change, and...oh, who are we kidding? Numbers is still mourning the loss of its beloved Robot, the Montrose nightspot's owner who passed away in July 2013. But the club has shown an admirable amount of resilience in its determination to press on and keep things the way Robot would have wanted them.
It has reopened the dance floor to signature nights like Classic Numbers and Underworld, and ushered in a new chapter by unveiling a spiffy new outdoor mural full of alternative-music icons like Morrissey, Ian Curtis and Siouxsie Sioux, as well as welcoming goth/darkwave-themed night Bewitched Wednesdays over from Barbarella as of next month. For Saturday's 36th anniversary party, Numbers is hoping DJs Wes Wallace, Carmina, vvJames and Hideous will entice a whole new crop of Houston clubgoers over to the dark side. CHRIS GRAY
Porter Robinson Stereo Live, September 21
Porter Robinson was primed to be the great wunderkind of EDM, so the fact that his new album Worlds has been labeled post-EDM is at least a little funny. Post-EDM is a terrible descriptor for a great album that at times sounds like M83, Chvrches, Daft Punk and/or Skrillex, depending on the track. Basically, everyone else making electronic music is trying to make bangers and Robinson is on a different level trying to build art. It'll be interesting to see if the audience follows him on his journey. With Giraffage and Lemaitre. CORY GARCIA
TWO MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING By Chris Gray
Luke Bryan: Crash his party anytime -- Lee Brice and Cole Swindell are. (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 19)
Burned Out: Craig Kinsey exhumes the '90s, with help from Hayden Jones, Second Lovers and Thrill. (Fitzgerald's, September 20)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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