The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Bad Religion, Datsik, Slim Thug, etc.
Bad Religion's Greg Graffin at House of Blues in 2013
Photo by Amanda J. Cain
Bad Religion House of Blues, April 3
Since 1980, before their future nemesis Ronald Reagan even set foot in the White House, Bad Religion has been one of the main standard-bearers for L.A. punk, confronting all manner of societal ills and weathering endless shifts in popular taste to emerge bloodied but unbowed, and more beloved than ever. Springing to life at about the same time as Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, the barrel-chested crew led by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz (founder of Epitaph Records) has exerted an immeasurable influence on generations of punk fans via albums such as 1989's No Control and 1990's Against the Grain. And lots more: the band's entire staggering discography is streaming on their Web site, all the way through two 2013 LPs, True North and Christmas Songs -- the latter a bit of holiday levity that proved Bad Religion aren't so humorless after all. With Off! and Dead to the World. CHRIS GRAY
Talib Kweli & Immortal Technique Warehouse Live, April 3
This double bill featuring two of New York's most vigilant MCs, dubbing themselves "The People's Champions," should be a feast for lyric-lovers. Versed in Che Guevara and Malcolm X, Harlem's Immortal Technique put himself on the map with the two-part Revolutionary album-suite in the early 2000s but has since largely preferred the stage to the studio; his tracks are either harshly critical of the powerful or fiercely advocating for the voiceless, but always threaded with nods to his Bronx and South American roots.
His tour partner, Brooklyn native Talib Kweli, has been awing hip-hop fans with hyper-intelligent rhymes from his Black Star days with Mos Def through latter-day albums Prisoner of Conscious and Gravitas, whose A-list guests run from literary lion Neil Gaiman to Kendrick Lamar. With Chino XL, Niko Is, CF and Hasan Salaam. CHRIS GRAY
Datsik Stereo Live, April 3
It's pretty easy to keep your travel costs down if you're a DJ, if that's what you're into. A laptop, a flash drive or two, a change of clothes and a backpack can have you pretty much set for a weekend of flights and shows; let the clubs worries about confetti. And while that's fine, it's also nice to know that there are DJs like Datsik who, along with producing some of the sickest beats in dubstep, are interested in putting on productions; his "Vortex" stage setup is one of the fiercest in the world of EDM. Good on him to give his ninjas (that's what he calls his fans) a right and proper show, rather than just being a guy and laptop up onstage. With ETC! ETC! and Bear Grills. CORY GARCIA
Ray Wylie Hubbard Cactus Music/Redneck Country Club, April 4
Simultaneously good-humored and cantankerous as all get-out, Ray Wylie Hubbard is the most genuine Texas groover since the late Sir Douglas Sahm himself. On his last few records -- since about 2006's reptilian Snake Farm, let's say -- the 68-year-old Oklahoma native has elevated his game so far that not many musicians in either his age group (or the next few down) can touch him when it comes to playing from deep in the pocket.
Hubbard is also a caricaturist of the highest order who loves to celebrate the female form in song, and brand-new album The Ruffian's Misfortune offers up two more prime examples in "Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'" and "Jessie Mae." Hubbard appears at Cactus for a 2 p.m. in-store, and at the RCC with openers Walt & Tina Wilkins. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Slim (center) on the City of Houston's official Slim Thug day, February 2014
Photo by Marco Torres
Slim Thug Numbers, April 4
Slim Thug has been one of Houston's most charismatic and entrepreneurial MCs for a long time, but the Boss of All Bosses arched one eyebrow toward the history books on 2014's much-loved Throwback Thursday 2 mixtape, another link in the chain of free-association freestyles dating back to his earliest Swishahouse days. This year calls for a triple album and accompanying documentary, both entitled Hogg Life, that further convey his saga in intimate detail, from how he "started from the bottom like Drake" and kept grinding until reaching the H-town Platonic ideal of kush, females and drank.
On Pt. 1: The Beginning, assisted by longtime foil Z-Ro and hot newcomers the Sauce Twinz (among others), Thugga drops hints left and right how young Gs might follow in his footsteps, but he's such a likable and unique storyteller that it's tough to see how anyone really could. CHRIS GRAY
A Sundae Drive Rudyard's, April 4
Occupying an especially sweet spot between dream-pop and noise-rock, A Sundae Drive soothe as much as they squall. On last year's The Senseless & the Sound, the Houston four-piece's first full-length to go with 2011 EP You're Gonna Get Me, unhurried tempos and feathery vocals give way to forceful guitars and cloudbursts of drums. It's music that's easy to get lost in, until it shakes you awake and makes you get up and dance. With Sky Acre and Golden Sombrero. CHRIS GRAY
The Supersuckers in May 2014
Photo by Jack Gorman
FOUR MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
Supersuckers, Flamin' Hellcats: Eddie Spaghetti & Jaime Hellcat's crews serve up some delicious cowpunk and vatobilly. (Scout Bar, April 3)
Chelsea Norman Benefit: Fundraiser for the family of the young Montrose cyclist killed in a December 2013 hit-and-run, featuring the Wheel Workers (listen up for their new LP next month, Citizens), Giant Kitty, Jody Seabody & the Whirls, Jealous Creatures and Space Villains. (Bohemeo's, April 4)
8-Ball & MJG, Lil Keke: Memphis Comin' Out Hard duo and Houston's king of the Southside make an A-plus classic Dirty South double bill. (Arena Theatre, April 4)
Pleasure 2: Members of Indian Jewelry do electro-pop the atmospheric, digitally enhanced way. Free show presented by Psychic TV and Psychic Claw; wth Millennial Grave, Pfaffenberg and AK'Chamel. (Fitzgerald's downstairs, April 4)
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