The 10 Best Concerts in Houston This Weekend: Los Rakas, Gareth Emery, Lily Allen, etc.
Los Rakas Warehouse Live, September 12
Equally competent remixing Wiz Khaifa's "We Dem Boyz" as they are grooving a smooth reggaeton love jam, Panamanian cousins Raka Dun and Raka Rich are as cool and colorful as their adopted city of Oakland, Calif. Their major-label debut, this year's El Negrito Dun Dun y Ricardo, is a triumph of Latino Pride and adventurous movimiento. Their live show is full of positivity, dance circles, and seemingly unlimited energy.
This concert is the third stop of the ¡Pachanga! Tour, a joint venture between Red Bull Panamerika and Rich Garza's Austin-based Pachanga Latino Music Festival. Co-headliners are Colombian alternative electro-tropical quartet Bomba Estereo, with Houston's own Bombón DJ Collective joining the tour in Houston and San Antonio. MARCO TORRES
Gareth Emery Stereo Live, September 12
Some observers go to pretty creative lengths in order to assign a name to every last microniche of dance music, so at least Gareth Emery's doesn't extend beyond the limits of logic. As heard on songs like "Firebird" and "Isolate," the 34-year-old L.A.-based Brit's style combines elements of trance and progressive house. Hence, "trouse," though Emery himself is said to prefer the term "simples." Nomenclature aside, Emery's fans have propelled his 2012 single "Concrete Angel" all the way up to 17 million YouTube views. Appropriately, he comes through Stereo Live Friday on a road trip to introduce Houston to the expressive, wide-ranging EDM of his latest album, Drive.
Bang Bangz Cactus Music, September 13
Bang Bangz should be brimming with stories to tell from their recent weeklong tour of several Mexico City-area venues, and perhaps an update or two from Mario Rodriguez and crew's burgeoning Wonky Power empire over on Navigation Boulevard. Now up to a quartet, Bang Bangz is all about atmospherics and seduction, but their dreamy nocturnal electronica is so irresistible it'll even work in a crowded record store at three in the afternoon. CHRIS GRAY
Yes Indeed Festival Continental Club, Big Top Lounge and Alley Kat Bar & Lounge, September 13
Weekends that go by without another multi-stage festival setting up shop somewhere in Houston are getting pretty scarce, but Yes Indeed has a definite leg up due to its track record and homegrown appeal. For its third edition, the nine-hour event relocates to mid-Main and expands to a nine-hour, four-stage musical feast unfolding at the Continental Club (plus patio), Big Top and Alley Kat, all within stumbling distance of one another if need be.
Out-of-town guests this time include Toronto garage-blues mashers Black Pistol Fire, Baton Rouge electronica brothers England In 1919, and a pair of Austin face-rockers in Otis the Destroyer and Megafauna, demonstrating how the fest's reach continues to grow. But Yes Indeed's backbone remains Houston's vibrant indie scene, an umbrella term that in 2014 covers sweaty hard rock (We Were Wolves, Another Run), bubbly electro-pop (BLSHS, Counting Colors), Americana folkies (Keeton Coffman, Robert Kuhn) and some 18 other acts. See our highlighted rundown of the festival elsewhere on Rocks Off today. CHRIS GRAY
Panda Bear Fitzgerald's, September 13
I've been wanting to see a Panda Bear set for many years. In my humble opinion, his solo releases are as strong or stronger than any and all Animal Collective efforts to date. Hipsters be trippin', so I might get some flack for that, but I stick to it. JIM BRICKER
Lily Allen House of Blues, September 13
Lily Allen got people's attention when her 2006 debut Alright, Still, and 2009's It's Not Me, It's You solidified her spot near the top of music's leading ladies. Unlike most female pop artists, however, Allen relied more on her proficiency for clever lyricism than her figure, face or femininity.
And at what was arguably the peak of her career, when she was expected to tour relentlessly and ride the wave of fame, she instead took a break to focus on being a mother. Thankfully she returned to music earlier this year with Sheezus (of course a nod to Kanye West's Yeezus album), proving beyond a doubt that her wit is as sharp as ever on singles like "It's Hard Out Here For a Bitch." MATTHEW KEEVER
More shows on the next page.
Photo by Todd Cooper/Bloodshot Records
Lydia Loveless Fitzgerald's, September 14
Self-admitted Replacements fan Lydia Loveless is not above getting violent with her equipment onstage, with outbursts that generally stem more from excitement from anger. Loveless seems barely able to contain herself while wrestling with emotions every bit as tempestuous as her guitar riffs.
Informed by X's Exene Cervenka and Patti Smith as much as Neko Case, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter's Somewhere Else (Bloodshot) is only her third full-length release, and has been a top contender for year-end honors among both alt-country records -- and those made by twentysomethings in general, for that matter -- almost immediately since its release back in February. CHRIS GRAY
The Sour Notes
Photo by Georgina Kross
THREE MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
The Sour Notes: Austin psych-pop veterans come back to plug new album Do What May, with Houston's Wheel Workers, Jealous Creatures and Guess Genes. (Mango's, September 12)
Bobby Bare Sr.: Country great behind "Detroit City" and "Come Sundown" pays a call on Stafford. (Redneck Country Club, September 12)
Junior Brown: Mr. "Highway Patrol" cruises the Mucky Duck. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, September 13)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS