The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Gary Clark Jr., Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, etc.
Photo courtesy of Action PR
High on Fire House of Blues, November 25
Wrenching Motorhead's classic speed-thrash into new dimensions of brutality and doom, High on Fire also packs its songs with nasty imagery like pestilence, plague, vermin and "Bastard Samurai" to go with the spectacular album art. Across five albums, the Oakland trio founded by Matt Pike (formerly of stoner-metal gods Sleep) has developed into one of metal's most formidable acts, with a demonic live attack to match.
"Slave the Hive," a relentless battery of double-kickdrum aggression that marks HoF's first new music since early-2012 LP De Vermiis Mysteriis, will be available as a limited-edition 7-inch single on this tour. With Kvelertak, whose lead shrieker Erlend Hjelvik spoke with Rocks Off Friday. CHRIS GRAY
Debonair Lounge Cafe 4212, November 25
For the past few months, the only way to get each week off on a good foot has been at this Museum District oasis of cool. Debonair Lounge has already welcomed a who's who of Houston's hottest young hip-hop and R&B performers - Ashley Imani, Tawn-P, Phill Wade, Lee-Lonn, Nick Greer, Jack Freeman, etc. - strutting their stuff for one of the most stylish audiences in town.
Hosted by local scenesters Tay Mitch and Brad Gilmore, whom Channel 39's Newsfix called "ebony and ivory at its finest," these few hours will have you looking forward to every Monday... just not Tuesdays. The party never stops on Instagram at @DebonairLoungeHTX, too. CHRIS GRAY
Peter Case McGonigel's Mucky Duck, November 26
Somewhere between grizzly perdition and taut no-frills punk lies the complicated genius of Peter Case. His under-the-radar music slips from categorization, effortlessly blurs genres, and trumps every hack trying another spin on power-pop or brooding folksinger persona.
After recently mining the Nerves catalog and touring digital-era America, gigging in Australia with Blue Oyster Cult and the Buzzcocks, and hitting the rails with Dave Alvin and Chris Smither's King of California train experience, Case is back in the creative driver's seat. He still writes incessantly, and arrives at Mucky Duck ready to unsheath the faves and off-the-cuff tunes that make each performance a cliffhanger. DAVID ENSMINGER
More shows on the next page.
Photo by Marco Torres
Gary Clark, Jr. Warehouse Live, November 26
Every bit as good as you've heard, better than you remember, Gary Clark Jr. is the real deal. Anointed by guitar elders like Eric Clapton (among others) as electric blues-rock's Next Big Thing and Last Great Hope, Clark comes by his credentials honestly. Still only 29, Clark apprenticed at weekly residencies at legendary clubs in his native Austin that included the Continental Club and Antone's, where he was practically adopted by the late Clifford Antone himself.
His national coming-out party, though, was last year's Warner Bros. debut Blak and Blu, a retro-yet-contemporary synthesis of Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield, Lenny Kravitz and a dash of '90s new-jack R&B. Hotshot guitar gunslingers are a dime a dozen, especially around these parts, but nowadays Gary Clark Jr. is the one they all want to be. With the Moeller Brothers. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Marco Torres
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Reliant Arena, November 27
Perhaps Ben Haggerty, better known now as Macklemore, should have kept his original moniker of "Professor Macklemore," because he's certainly been schooling folks in tolerance, thrifty spending, and really decent Seattle hip-hop. When "Thrift Shop," his irresistible ditty with producer/partner Ryan Lewis, took over the airwaves earlier this year, there may have been a few naysayers (us included), but the duo has won them over thanks to some catchy-ass beats and one-love, food-for-thought rhymes. Even our original disdain for Macklemore's white furry coat couldn't hold us; we like what these dudes are about. ANGELICA LEICHT
Jonathan Richman Continental Club, November 27 Jonathan Richman's turn as the whimsical singing narrator in hit 1998 Farrelly Brothers comedy There's Something About Mary was a facile but more or less accurate microcosm of a career now stretching into its fifth decade. the Boston native channeled teenage thrills into Velvet Underground-derived art-punk with his '70s band the Modern Lovers, whose anthems "Road Runner" and "Pablo Picasso" were instrumental in shaping what became known as "college rock."
Since striking out on his own, Richman has become a sort of rock and roll vaudevillian, releasing some 20 albums of striking variety (country, Spanish, doo-wop) held together by his singular delivery. A typical Richman show is never typical, but count on goofy humor, romantic swooning and complete sincerity alike -- and, as always, stone-faced snare drummer Tommy Larkin (and no one else) alongside him onstage. CHRIS GRAY
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