Free Radicals AvantGarden, November 4
Free Radicals is both Nick Cooper's revolving-door ensemble that at any given moment could be playing free jazz or Latin funk, and also Cooper's ongoing testimonial to how much he digs being a member of the Houston music community. He has so much experience at this point that he has very much become a one-man hub of that community.
In 2012, Cooper brought that same kind of musical civic pride to the Radicals' first albumin several years, The Freedom Fence, and then in July watched it win a well-deserved Houston Press Music Award for Local Album of the Year. The group's weekly jam, wherever it may be, is a true local-music institution. These days it happens to be at AvantGarden, a local-music institution of its own, and follows David Dove's avant-music showcase They, Who Sound -- still another. CHRIS GRAY
Two Door Cinema Club Bayou Music Center, November 5
Contagious choruses are hardly anything new to the music industry; they're almost the heart of it. Three-piece band Two Door Cinema Club makes climbing the charts look crazy easy even without straight pop hooks. Its genre-bending fusion of pop, indie-rock, and dance makes it stand out from the rest of the radio stuff. CHRISTINE BORGES
Kurt Vile & the Violators Walters, November 6
An East Coast rock-and-roll street poet in the Lou Reed tradition (R.I.P.), 23-year-old Kurt Vile has taken full advantage of the DIY-recording revolution of the '90s and '00s. Releasing new material at the pace of his prolific lo-fi heroes like Pavement and Smog, Vile has crafted a style that is both dreamy and drowsy but not averse to blasts of electric-guitar feedback, either. After 2011's Smoke Ring For My Halo became Vile's first album to chart on Billboard, he returned this year with the equally compelling Wakin On a Pretty Daze. With VBA, Beach Fossils and Merchandise. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Flux Pavilion Stereo Live, November 7
Where Flux Pavilion goes, foundations are sure to rumble. He's toured the world bringing his massive dubstep sound to all corners of the Earth. "Bass Cannon" is a song, but it's also an apt description for what speakers become once he plugs in. Need a cosign in the form of two of the biggest rappers in the game? Fine- check out "Who Gon Stop Me" from Kanye and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne record, which samples Flux Pavilion's "I Can't Stop." Yeah, that massive bass sound came from the English producer and no, you can't stop him. With Skism and Roksonix. CORY GARCIA
Lupe Fiasco Warehouse Live, November 7
Rapper Lupe Fiasco certainly does his best to live up to that whole "fiasco" moniker. Whether he's courting controversy by way of his firm political beliefs - his performance at the 2013 presidential inauguration was little more than his own personal protest -- or by releasing an album full of conceptualized ideas and loud opinions (such as the two Food & Liquor volumes), he certainly knows how to get his point across. Luckily, Lupe's opinions - and his music -- are interesting and thought-provoking enough to keep fans in his corner. ANGELICA LEICHT
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