The 5 Best Shows In Houston This Week: Blondie/Devo, Uncle Lucius, etc.
Devo at Warehouse Live, March 2011
Photo by Jay Lee
Houston's football, etc., who package the spidery and poignant guitar passages of '90s bands like Mineral and Rainer Maria into a super-crunchy outer shell, went to the UK this summer and released a three-song split with Square Business in July. Monday, see if you can talk the trio out of a T-shirt when they play at Mango's with San Antonio's Yes Inferno, New Jersey's Dads and H-town's Hoofprints, who share Mercy Harper with the headliners.
Of all the bands created in the backlash against brain-dead, technique-obsessed '70s arena-rock, which sired both punk and New Wave, Houston gets both the brainiest (Devo) and sexiest (Blondie) Wednesday at the Arena Theatre on their "Whip It to Shreds" tour. In our recent phone chat, Rocks Off discovered founding Blondie guitarist Chris Stein (who went to the same high school as Woody Allen), to be a pretty no-nonsense Brooklyn sort of guy, but he did get at least a little nostalgic about the camaraderie at CBGB: "Everybody was pretty close and friendly," he said. Look for a CBGB movie next year starring Malin Ackerman as Blondie siren Debbie Harry and Alan Rickman as the Bowery dive's owner Hilly Krystal.
Not sure we'd call the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band a "blues" band. To us, they're more like one of those hillbilly medicine-show troupes whose frenetic live shows resemble Pentacostal tent revivals (similar to Houston's own Sideshow Tramps), which would at least explain why the Indiana ensemble now records for punk-rock label SideOneDummy. But the BDB's brand-new album, last month's Between the Ditches, bowed at No. 1 on iTunes' Blues chart and hit No. 2 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums, so blues it is. Enjoy the above video for Ditches' "Devils Look Like Angels," starring the meanest-looking toddler we've seen in some time. Wednesday at House of Blues' Bronze Peacock Room.
Uncle Lucius, arguably the hottest roots-rock band in both their native Austin and the entire southwest, are finally starting to reap the benefits of years of serious van duty. The quintet just sold out Antone's latest album, And You Are Me, is fast becoming their breakthrough behind Stax-friendly first single "Pocket Full of Misery" -- the video is now in some kind of CMT rotation -- and is already in serious Album of the Year contention, Texas and otherwise. Houston has three chances to see them this week, which may not happen again for a while: Wednesday at the Main Street Crossing in Tomball, 5 p.m. Thursday for a Cactus Music in-store (free as always) and then later that evening at McGonigel's Mucky Duck.
What's happening to Uncle Lucius now could happen soon enough to Houston's own Folk Family Revival, who spent last weekend in the Metroplex playing a radio festival in Fort Worth and the Texas-mad restaurant/venue Love and War in Plano. (In other words, why hasn't New West signed them yet, George?) FFR has actually been all over Texas in the past month, but Thursday is the Magnolia boys' biggest gig yet: Co-headlining Discovery Green in the Thursday-night Green Mountain Energy free concert series. Joining them is Houston's own Grandfather Child, still trotting out their piping-hot eponymous New West debut and back from their post-CD-release tour.
Also Worth Mentioning: John Egan (Monday, The Big Easy); Owl City (Tuesday, House of Blues); Female Demand, FLCON FCKER (Thursday, Mango's); Rise Against, Gaslight Anthem, Hot Water Music (Thursday, Bayou Music Center)
As always, this list was constructed using our new and improved Houston Concert Calendar. Check it out yourself at your earliest convenience.