The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Indian Jewelry, New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band, ZZ Ward, etc.
Walters Downtown, August 28
Indian Jewelry seem to enjoy manipulating their audience’s minds as much as the instruments they use to create their utterly unique brand of Houston noise. For a solid decade, the group headed up by spouses Tex Kerschen and Erika Thrasher have been dunking impossibly dense psych-rock, immersive dream-pop, and free-ranging electronic rhythms into a jacuzzi at some ultra-decadent party that could be located in either the Hollywood Hills or Fifth Ward ex-rice mill The Silo, take your pick. Next week will see the release of Doing Easy, their first LP since 2012’s Peel It; to lube up fans’ brains a little, they’ve already issued “Nightsweat,” a nice and thick slab of heebie-jeebies that wastes no time revealing Indian Jewelry are already back in the zone — or, more accurately, that they never left. With Vockah Redu and DJs Bad Bones & Andy V.
BONUS: Dara Puspita Exhibition Opening
Sig's Solid Gas Gallery N' Gifts (3708 Main), 5 p.m. August 28
The '60s did crazy things to people, and not just here in the U.S. From Southeast Asia to Sig's Solid Gas Gallery N' Gifts – a new shop upstairs in the Continental Club building – comes the story of Dara Puspita, the Indonesian girl group that took their cues from the Ronettes and the Shangri-La's but were provacative enough that then-president Sukarno reportedly called them “insane” and put them in the crosshairs of his attempt to cleanse the country of Western pop-culture influences; not for nothing have some called the group the Pussy Riot of their day. After that government was ousted by a friendlier regime, Dara Puspita became stars for a few years before breaking up in 1972. And thanks to one fanatical collector, an exhibition of Dara Puspita-related paraphernalia has now made its way to the States, reminding us all once again how one group of spirited rock and rollers can not only cross over cultural boundaries but remain captivating more than 50 years later.
Pegstar’s Last Blast at Fitz
Fitzgerald’s, August 29
Change is coming to the Houston music scene, and the first wave arrives Saturday as Pegstar prepares to relinquish the lease to Fitzgerald’s after five beyond-fruitful years. What lies ahead for the Houston promoters’ under-construction White Oak Music Hall on North Main remains to be seen, but first they’re opening the stage to a plus-size bill of musical friends and neighbors as a sort of victory lap. (Fitz itself will remain open as a bar until September 15, then temporarily shut down for renovations.) In the pole position are indie-folk veterans Buxton, here putting on their oversized Talking Heads suits; the return of Rev. Craig Kinsey’s vagabond troubadors, Sideshow Tramps; neo-New Wave delights from Wild Moccasins; power-pop mainstays dune TX in their umpteenth Fitz appearance; the electro-pop seductions of Telephantom, Night Drive, Bang Bangz and Dallas guru Ishi; and finally Lucas Gorham (as “Hevin Spacy”), FLCON FCKER and a DJ set by Kult Dizney keeping it weird. Pegstar deserves a lot of credit for what they’ve done with Fitz, so stop by Saturday to say thanks and wish them well in the future.
New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band
That Bar Houston (13655 Bissonnet), 6 p.m. August 29
Ten years on, Houston's widespread adoption of the Hurricane Katrina refugees continues to yield unexpected blessings like this simple fact: this city is a funkier place than it was a decade ago, thanks in no small part to the contributions of NOLA expats like the New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band. Malcolm Hubbard and his crew set up shop in Houston pretty early on and have led their second line everywhere from the Big Top to Jones Hall and all points in between. Plans are to go all night for Saturday's ten-year “After Party” at Alief's That Bar Houston, featuring a second-line contest, plenty of delicious New Orleans delicacies, and the Hustlers' special guests DJ Cruz, the Unfaded Brass Band and Who Dat Nation. In the spirit of the occasion, hopefully any Saints-Texans trash-talking can wait until Sunday afternoon.
House of Blues, August 29
With as good a name as ZZ Ward, she almost had to be an entertainer. The 29-year-old singer and songwriter is equally perfect — she grew up bouncing up and down the West Coast in her father’s band while soaking in both her brother’s rap and dad’s blues records. That’s certainly the tone of her 2012 debut, Til the Casket Drops, which is certainly easy on the ears but rootsy enough that — to her benefit — it stops short of trying to go full-on pop star. The day before her HOB show, Ward will release a new EP, Love and War; her new single, “Love 3X,” gives a slinky jazz-kitten twist to an otherwise gushy radio-pop crush song. With Marc Scibilia and The Young Wild.
Zipperneck, with Mel Hell at right
Photo by David Ensminger
Avery Pearl Benefit
Rudyard's, August 30
Avery is the child of incredible ladypunk Mel Hell of Zipperneck, whom I recently profiled in the Houston Press and suffers from a chronic pain condition, who was recently diagnosed with severe onset Type 1 Diabetes. The family is under financial stress and could use your help with bills and medications and supplies that insurance just won't cover. So if you can't attend the gig – featuring 14 confirmed bands so far, including the Guillotines, Killer Hearts, Dead Roses, Supergrave and Mel herself performing with the Texas Biscuit Bombs – maybe you can donate to the Go Fund Me link. Blessed are the rockers with a conscience! First band starts at 3:30 p.m. suggested donation is $10. (DAVID ENSMINGER)
FIVE MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Jamie Richards: Oklahoma-born honky-tonker can turn a phrase, be it on “She's as Cold as the Beer She's Drinkin'” or Kevin Fowler co-write “Loose, Loud & Crazy.” (Firehouse Saloon, August 28)
Keyshia Cole: No-nonsense Bay Area R&B singer-songwriter pulls no punches on last year's Point of No Return; with Rico Love. (Arena Theatre, August 29)
Seldom: Local alt-rockers look inside the Black Mirror on new EP; with Saturate and To Whom It May. (Warehouse Live, August 29)
Gretchen Peters: Nashville songwriter behind “Independence Day” and “Chill of an Early Fall” has left Americana lovers' collective jaw on the floor with new album Blackbirds. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, August 30)