The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Monster Magnet, Juicy J, Justin Timberlake, etc.
Photo courtesy of Freeman Promotions
Monster Magnet Fitzgerald's, December 3
They don't make too many rock bands like Monster Magnet anymore, but maybe they don't need to. Such clear descendents of Deep Purple you can almost see the smoke on the water -- though we bet "Highway Star" is more their speed -- Dave Wyndorf's New Jersey-based marauders love good drugs, fast women and (strangely enough) science fiction. No matter the subject, though, Monster Magnet hammers their songs home with some of the tastiest, most righteous hard rock of the past 20 years.
You probably remember them from 1998's "Space Lord" (motherfucker), but after a period off exploring other galaxies, Monster Magnet is right back in your face with brand-new Napalm LP Last Patrol. With Royal Thunder, Anti-Mortem and Venomous Maximus. CHRIS GRAY
Bri Bagwell Dosey Doe, December 3
You won't find many boys clubs less receptive to a woman's touch than modern Texas Country, except maybe over in Nashville. Be that at it may, tall blonde Las Cruces singer-songwriter Bri Bagwell has become a rare and welcome exception to the relentless testosterone of past few years.
Feisty enough to be "Banned In Santa Fe," also the title of her 2011 album, Bagwell is equally adept at tearjerkers like "Whiskey" or "So Wrong," both from her 2010 EP Midnight Hour. Lately she's been enjoying a run in the Texas Music Chart's Top 10 with "Hound Dog," stating her opinion of caddish behavior in no uncertain terms. CHRIS GRAY
Paul Ramirez Band Continental Club, December 4
A weekly gig is about the best way for guitarists to hone their craft, and Houston's Paul Ramirez has done just that Wednesday nights at the Continental Club for more than a year now. It pays off in debut CD Sex With a Dragon, released about this time last year, which throws in a little Santana and New Orleans R&B into Ramirez's stick-to-your-ribs Texas blues-rock and shows some salty reverence towards Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Justin Timberlake Toyota Center, December 5
The premiere song-and-dance man of his generation, Justin Timberlake (or just "JT") combines the crooning skills of Frank Sinatra with the hip-hop drive of pal Jay Z and slick dance moves of idol Michael Jackson. In short, he's as close to a total pop-star package as 2013 has got because unlike that other Justin, it's obvious he doesn't take himself too seriously.
Both halves of Timberlake's first album in seven years, The 20/20 Experience, have been chart-topping smashes, brimming with both state-of-the-art production and old-fashioned songcraft in omnipresent singles "Suit &Tie," "Mirrors" and "Take Back the Night." Throw in those hilarious SNL shorts -- he'll be musical guest again December 21 -- and there's almost nothing JT can't do. CHRIS GRAY
Juicy J Scout Bar, December 5
Katy Perry's recent radio hit "Dark Horse" may be the first time that the tween set has heard the name Juicy J, but he's old hat for hip-hop fans. Well before the Memphis native was spitting rhymes on pop songs, he was stayin' fly and sippin' syrup as a founding member of Three 6 Mafia.
His brother and constant collaborator is enigmatic rapper Project Pat, and Juicy's Three 6 Mafia fame has led him to much less pop-centric team-ups with rappers like Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, who helped him create massive 2012 hit "Bandz-a Make Her Dance." ANGELICA LEICHT
The Dead Milkmen Walters, December 5
Early U.S. punk bands were not especially known for their senses of humor, but then, what did X, Black Flag or Minor Threat really have to laugh about? Philadelphia's Dead Milkmen bucked that particular trend with satirical songs that could be sophomoric in the extreme, but were also undeniably smart.
Formed around fake-named singer Rodney Anonymous in 1983, the Milkmen produced the college-radio hits "Bitchin' Camaro" and "Punk Rock Girl," which showed no subject was above a good roasting -- least of all the Milkmen themselves. Despite the 2004 suicide of guitarist Dave Blood, the Milkmen have regrouped and lately have been as active (and juvenile) as ever, self-releasing new album The King In Yellow in 2011. They haven't been through Texas in forever, though. CHRIS GRAY
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.