The Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Robin Thicke, Scott H. Biram, Steve Aoki, etc.
Photo by Barry Sigman
John Egan The Big Easy, March 17
Solo bluesman John Egan sings in a tone that suggests someone is constantly walking over his grave, and his lyrics are loaded with bad mojo like nature gone haywire and apocalyptic visions. All he needs live is his National Resonator, one of those shiny silver guitars that sting and snarl, and has begun mastering the followup to 2012's spare and sinister Phantoms. In January Egan advanced to the semifinals of the International Blues Challenge's solo competition for the second year in a row, vying with bluesmen and women all over the planet. CHRIS GRAY
Photo courtesy of Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
Robin Thicke Reliant Stadium, March 18
Robin Thicke has been goin' through some thangs lately, as the Growing Pains scion has learned how steep the bill for superstardom in the music biz can be. No sooner did the 37-year-old R&B singer reach the pinnacle of his career with the Pharrell-assisted, oh-so-smooth "Blurred Lines," one of the 2010s' definitive singles thus far, did the widespread allegations of misogyny (for both the song and video) and plagiarism (from the heirs of Marvin Gaye) start flying.
Not long after that, Thicke got caught in the wake of Miley Cyrus' VMA hurricane, and more recently his marriage to actress Paula Patton wound up on the rocks (though they may have since reconciled). But if he learns even a few simple lessons and refracts all that drama back into his next record -- like Marvin himself, and so many others before and since -- Thicke could finally eclipse Justin Timberlake once and for all. CHRIS GRAY
Bayou City Good Old Boys Continental Club, March 18
Early rock and roll, rockabilly and boogie-woogie may have all but disappeared from non-satellite radio, but the sounds of yesteryear are alive and swingin' Tuesday nights at the Continental, as played by a group of youngsters who couldn't have been born before the Reagan administration.
But for the past several months, first at Mango's and now on Mid-Main, the Bayou City Good Old Boys have been bringing the sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ritchie Valens and the pre-Sgt. Pepper Beatles to a crowd that would otherwise only recognize "Fat Elvis" as ex-Astro Lance Berkman's old nickname. Attendance has been steadily picking up, helped no doubt by no cover charge, but do the Boys a favor and slip them a well-deserved fiver or two. With the Broken Spokes. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Photo courtesy of Flash Gordon Parks
DJ Flash Gordon Parks Alley Kat Lounge, March 19
If you see Flash Gordon Parks around a set of turntables -- which can Wednesday at the Big Top's tiny next-door neighbor, the Alley Kat Lounge -- it's better than even money you're in for a funky good time. Parks pours an encyclopedic knowledge of soul, funk, jazz, hip-hop and more into sets that will make you think as much as they make you sweat. That's no easy feat, but he makes it sound that way. CHRIS GRAY
Scott H. Biram Continental Club, March 20
One of the funniest, most profane and irascible Texas musicians working (and he works a lot), Austin's Scott H. Biram is something like the soul of a first-generation bluesman poured into a trucker-hatted lone-wolf Texas rocker. The singer-songwriter has billed himself as the "dirty old one-man band" since well before he took it as the title for his 2005 Bloodshot Records debut, and it makes even more sense after you watch him kick the bejesus out of his stompboard in concert a time or two.
Four more albums have followed, all of them overflowing with whiskey, women and the evil deeds that combination can lead to, but his brand-new Nothin' But Blood is bug-eyed enough to directly evoke both feverish tent-revival preaching and old-school '80s thrash-metal. With Larry & His Flask and Whiskey Shivers. CHRIS GRAY
Steve Aoki Stereo Live, March 20
Steve Aoki is one of the most recognizable faces in EDM, literally. In a genre in which people are more often known by an alias and rarely recognized, this producer/label-owner/businessman is a true superstar. Although his beats bang and he's worked with everyone from Rivers Cuomo to LMFAO to Kid Cudi in the studio, it's live where Aoki dominates.
His shows turn the stimulation knob up to 11, and he can be seen jumping off trampolines, showering the audience with Champagne, and tossing cakes. Real birthday cakes. If you're going to be up front, don't wear anything you want to keep clean. CORY GARCIA
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter