The 5 Best Shows In Houston This Week: Rosie Flores, Otep, Mission of Burma, Etc.
Photo courtesy of Bloodshot Records
Rosie Flores, the Austin-based "Rockabilly Filly" and onetime L.A. cowpunk scenester who played the Continental Club with Mike Stinson in late July, circles back around to celebrate her birthday Tuesday at KPFT's monthy free-show series "Troubador Tuesdays" at Natachee's Supper & Punch.
Back then, Flores told Rocks Off's own William Michael Smith about her work getting the music of Janis Martin -- the late rockabilly singer known as the "Female Elvis" -- released after nearly 60 years, as well as her own upcoming album Working Girl's Guitar and one not-competely-unsuprising reason why she never quite fit in in Nashville: "They took the punk and rock and roll parts out of me."
Dictionary.com defines "atavistic" as an entity that exhibits the characteristics of atavism, the sudden reappearance of traits of a distant ancestor that have disappeared in subsequent generations. Primitive, in other words, or throwback. Last year L.A.'s Otep titled their sixth album Atavist, and we're guessing it wasn't a coincidence.
Front woman Otep Shamaya, whose vivid lyrics advance both her leftist causes and occult spirituality, is certainly one of the most outspoken and unusual front women to emerge in the 2000s, in metal or any other genre. Her goth-inflected band's music neither asks for nor gives no quarter, even tacking on a cover of the Doors' "Not to Touch the Earth" to the end of Atavist. Otep plays Scout Bar in Clear Lake Wednesday with Butcher Babies, One Eyed Doll and Adamantium.
One of Austin's hardest-working, top-drawing groups for almost 20 years now, Mingo Fishtrap inaugurates the fall season of Discovery Green's Thursday-night free concert series, now sponsored by Green Mountain Energy. As most recently heard on 2011 LP In the Meantime, Fishtrap plays an endurance-testing, horn-heavy blend of rock, soul, R&B and the oft-maligned "jam-band" designation. They're partial to the second-line sound of New Orleans' finest like the Meters and Rebirth Brass Band, but they like Stax and Motown too, and their live shows are a workout.
Joining Fishtrap is local rocksteady wonders and reigning HPMA Best New Act the Suffers. For the past few weeks, the group's Twitter account has been clogged with terse reports from their album in progress; Pink's Pizza figures heavily. This free show starts around 6:30 p.m.
Boston's Mission of Burma took the sneering aggression and art-spastic manner of Wire or Gang of Four and clamped it on the late-'70s/early-'80s New England rock scene like a hammerlock. The quartet was also one of the first to include a sound engineer as a full-fledged member, and Martin Swope's innovative use of tape became a key element in MOB's sound. Another was sheer volume, the proper means to express the disgruntled sentiments of landmark albums Signals, Calls & Marches (1981) and Vs. (1982).
Then, after nearly two decades while guitarist Roger Miller battled tinnitus, the group reunited in 2002 -- minus Swope, but with Shellac's Bob Weston on tape duties -- and has now surpassed MOB 1.0's output with with four LPs, the latest of which is this year's tempestuous, relentless Unsound. Thursday at Fitzgerald's with the Gary and locals Black Congress.
Since the days of Deep Blue Something, the Metroplex has had a much better track record of launching conventional pop/rock bands into the mainstream than Houston has. Make of that what you will, but Green River Ordinance claims to have sold more than 20,000 copies of its first two releases, the LP Beauty of Letting Go and EP Way Back Home, and it's hard to imagine a current local band that can match those kinds of numbers. (So far our kids tend to be too heavy, too quirky, or both.)
With a dash of U2 and a hint of Matchbox 20, Green River Ordinance plays unapologetically earnest and catchy anthems-in-waiting that easily explain why they have already toured with Blue October, Collective Soul and Bon Jovi. Thursday they're headlining at Warehouse Live with Red Dirt rockers John David Kent, not a person but a trio that includes the person John David Kent, who was once in North Texas alt-rockers Radish with Ben Kweller.
As always, this list was put together using our recently upgraded and super-convenient Houston concert calendar. Check it out yourself.
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