The Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Panic! At the Disco, Snoop Dogg, Sebadoh, etc.
Photo by Sarah Reid
Free Radicals AvantGarden, February 10
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 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. For a while it's been at AvantGarden, a local-music institution of its own, and follows David Dove's avant-music showcase They, Who Sound -- still another. CHRIS GRAY
Panic! At the Disco House of Blues, February 11
This Las Vegas band's glammy, hyperbolic emo-pop is often criticized as schticky, but you might overcompensate too if Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz was your boss. Famously signed by Wentz's DecayDance label before they had even played a live show, Panic! justified his faith by scoring a Top 40 hit their first time out of the gate with "I Write Sins Not Tragedies," and followed that with the Beatles-loving 2008 LP Pretty. Odd.
Since then the trio has steadily added heavier electronica and techno influences culminating in last year's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, piling on the sounds of Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby and Trent Reznor without lessening any of their previous theatrics. CHRIS GRAY
Big Ass Blues Jam The Hideaway on Dunvale, February 11
We got to partake in the pleasure that is the Hideaway on Dunvale for steak night one Tuesday, home to the "Big Ass Blues Jam" starring one Rick Lee & the Night Owls. Lee and his band do ZZ Top, Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King covers; the leader has been known to play his axe with the leg of a chair and lick his guitar strings at one point. It was a good night for everyone, and we're sure the guitar had no complaints either. CRAIG HLAVATY
More shows on the next page.
Snoop Dogg at House of Blues in 2011
Photo by Larami Serrano
Snoop Dogg House of Blues, February 13
You have to give Snoop Dogg credit. Last year he could have basked in the pungent aroma encircling the 20th anniversary of Doggystyle, his 1993 solo debut that made him a household name even more than his appearances on Dr. Dre's The Chronic the previous year had. Instead, he changed his name to Snoop Lion and released both a reggae album and documentary film entitled Reincarnated.
Despite a Grammy nomination, the album's reception was lukewarm at best, and Snoop himself will probably be the first to admit he's not quite the second coming of Bob Marley. He'll always be the Doggfather, though, which is more than enough -- especially when he drops a surprise show like this one, announced just last week, on his fans. CHRIS GRAY
Sebadoh Fitzgerald's, February 13
Sebadoh is one of the quintessential indie-rock bands of the '90s, whose heritage is strongly linked to the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Helmet and Sonic Youth. The Boston-area group's nucleus was Lou Barlow, a onetime Dinosaur member himself, but bassist Jason Lowenstein and drummer Eric Gaffney each contributed their fair share to Sebadoh's shambling but pop-savvy lo-fi aesthetic.
Beneath all the fuzz, glimpses of real songwriting genius (by Barlow especially) were evident on songs like "Willing to Wait," from 1994 Sub Pop LP Bakesale. Then Barlow really flipped the script and stumbled onto a legitimate hit single, "Natural One," from his side project Folk Implosion, one of many by the band members at the time. Sebadoh was never quite the same after that and eventually went their separate ways a couple of albums later, but reunited in 2012 and attempted to pick up where they left off with last year's Defend Yourself. CHRIS GRAY
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