The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Buxton, Kongos, Rakim & EPMD, etc.
Buxton come in from the cold Friday at the Mucky Duck.
Photo courtesy of New West Records
Buxton McGonigel's Mucky Duck, January 30
As entrenched a band as can be found in Houston, Buxton has now notched more than a decade on local stages as their delicate, eerie style of indie-folk has continued to mature and evolve. In early March the band will release Half a Native, their first album since 2012's Nothing Here Seems Strange and second overall on New West Records. Adding a little more rock to their acoustic-based Americana on songs like "Good As Gone" and "Miss Catalina 1992" -- for which they've also created their own brand of coffee(!) -- Native nonetheless retains that core of imperiled innocence that is essential to Buxton's sound. This early set at the Duck is a preview of the album's official launch next month at the Continental. CHRIS GRAY
Railroad Earth House of Blues,, January 30
Founded in New Jersey in 2001, Railroad Earth is a Northern bluegrass-y band (they use drums) that is now beloved in the Deadhead/jam-band community. That's why their upcoming calendar includes not only an episode of PBS' Bluegrass Underground series, but headlining this year's Dark Star Jubilee, the annual three-day weekend in central Ohio that celebrates all things Dead. Their rare visit to Houston comes to a venue a sight more intimate than Colorado's famous Red Rocks Amphitheater, which Railroad Earth is fully capable of selling out. With the Shook Twins. CHRIS GRAY
TicketsFri., Dec. 9, 8:00pm
TicketsTue., Dec. 13, 8:00pm
Kelsea Ballerini - The First Time Tour
TicketsWed., Dec. 14, 7:00pm
MIX 96.5 Not So Silent Night with Train and Fitz & the Tantrums
TicketsThu., Dec. 15, 8:00pm
Flosstradamus - Hi Def Youth Tour 2016
TicketsFri., Dec. 16, 8:00pm
Kongos Warehouse Live, January 31
Accordions are scarce on the radio these days, but Kongos squeezed a huge hit from "Come With Me Now," an enticing little number that wound up rivaling only Bastille's "Bad Blood" and Arctic Monkeys' "Do I Wanna Know" for alternative-radio saturation last year. Their backstory is even more interesting than their signature instrument, too.
Now based in the Phoenix area, the four brothers are the sons of John Kongos, the South African musician whose early-'70s hit "He's Gonna Step On You Again" resurfaced as the foundation of Happy Mondays' 1990 Madchester anthem "Step On." Setting Kongos even further apart, much of the heavily rhythmic sound on their 2013 album Lunatic can be traced back to kwaito, a heavily processed South African variation of house music. With Sir Sly and Colony House. CHRIS GRAY
Rakim & EPMD Arena Theater, January 31
After Bun B and Too $hort got 2015 started off right, the Arena keeps its classic-rap game super-tight with this pairing of Long Island lyrical heavyweights. Both acts rank among the essential artists of hip-hop's "Golden Age" of the late '80s and early '90s, and only a few album and/or song titles are necessary to get the rhymes (and memories) flowing: Paid In Full, "I Ain't No Joke," "You Gots to Chill," "Jane," Strictly Business, "So What Cha Sayin," "I Know You Got Soul," and oh so many more. Expect Boom 92 listeners to be out in full force, clad in only their finest tracksuits and dookie chains. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Cult of Youth Mango's, January 31
Between the negative effects of climate changes, warnings from religious groups, and even the scientists who operate the Doomsday clock, there are plenty of reasons why one might think the end of the world is coming sooner than later. New York band Cult of Youth crafted their latest album, the great Final Days, as a concept record about the aftermath of this impending apocalypse. Sean Ragon and his band make riveting folk-punk in the spirit of controversial acts like Death in June, and do it very well. On record, they make stark, militant, industrial songs that are often as cathartic and celebratory as they are filled with a sense of dread.
Luckily for Houston, they have a reputation for being as engaging and demanding live as they are on record. Rounding out the bill is the experimental noise group Hive Mind, Houston noise-rock legends Rusted Shut, and a few others. Those looking for a great concert out of the ordinary won't be disappointed. DAVID SACKLLAH
FIVE MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Seether, Papa Roach: This pair of post-grunge veterans is still slugging it out in the metal-tinged trenches; this week P-Roach released seventh album F.E.A.R. (Face Everything and Rise). (Bayou Music Center, January 30)
Jonn Del Toro Richardson: Local six-string bluesman known for working with mandolinist Rich Del Grosso steps out for a solo gig. (The Big Easy, January 30)
Moji: Brand-new Houston trio is rooted in jazz and blues, and elevated by vocalist Moji Abiola's dynamic vocals. (Cactus Music, 1 p.m. January 31)
White Arrows: L.A. indie-psych youngsters are tearing up the blogosphere with new LP In Bardo. (Fitzgerald's, January 31)
Underworld: All your goth/industrial/EBM faves from DJs Mina and vvJames. (Numbers, January 31)
Like what you read? Or think you can do better? We'd love for you to join our team.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.