Cage the Elephant Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, November 2
Kentucky-bred Cage the Elephant has emerged as one of the more successful alt-rock bands of the 2010s, as well as one of the quirkier and most eclectic. (Coincidence?) The Bowling Green quintet first turned heads with robust but radio-ready singles like "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked" and "Shake Me Down," fashioning a sound out of a curious '90s melange (Stone Roses, RHCP, Pixies) that became fresh air to the stagnant modern-rock airwaves.
Cage's winning streak continues on this year's Melophobia, their third studio album, which flexes muscular rockers "Spiderhead" and "Black Widow" even as it flirts with Flaming Lips-style psych-pop on "Telescope" and "Take It Or Leave It." They're definitely one of the standouts at Buzzfest XXXI, which also features Stone Temple Pilots with new front man Chester Bennington, Blue October, the Dirty Heads, 10 Years and more. CHRIS GRAY
Acidic Scout Bar, November 2
Acidic's name is often spelled in all caps, so once you get past thinking "AC/DC" and listen a little, you can get straight to thinking "Jane's Addiction." Like the psychedelic L.A. surf-rockers of a generation ago, Acidic plys an ocean-size but laid-back brand of hard rock that flirts with funk, metal and reggae but retains a sticky-sweet center.
Released in March, Acidic's third album, Copper Man, has begun turning the right heads, including not one but two "Sixx Pick of the Week" nods on Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx's nationally syndicated radio show. With Smile Empty Soul. CHRIS GRAY
Rusted Root Warehouse Live, November 2
Pittsburgh funk-rockers Rusted Root have been been getting down with their jam-happy selves since the early '90s, gussying up their Grateful Dead-influenced songs with percussion from Africa and the Middle East. The result is a sound as trippy as their album covers -- the art for 2012's The Movement might blow your mind -- and some pretty infamous live shows. Even cooler, a collection of rare Rusted Root bootlegs from the mid-'90s is out there waiting to be discovered. ANGELICA LEICHT
More shows on the next page.
CocoRosie Fitzgerald's, November 3
The French sisters who make up the freak-folk band CocoRosie -- nicknamed "Coco" and "Rosie" since childhood -- are quite the interesting duo. From proclaiming '70s drag queens to be their patron saints to dressing up in costume (often complete with penciled-on mustaches), they've embraced the fringe wholeheartedly. CocoRosie's music follows suit on releases like this year's Tales of a Grass Widow (Transistor Recordings); nothing about their sound is conventional, as they freely incorporate poorly tuned instruments or even animal noises. It works, though, even with the faux 'staches. ANGELICA LEICHT
EIGHT OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Green River Ordinance: Dallas-area feel-good pop-rockers are celebrating ten years as a band with new album Under Fire. (House of Blues, November 1)
Jamey Johnson: Hope Nashville's long-bearded Last Outlaw Standing follows last year's Hank Cochrane tribute album soon. (Nutty Jerry's, November 1)
MFAH Mixed Media: San Antonio EDM luchador Ernest Gonzales headlines the award-winning collision of beats and bohemia; also with Ceeplus Bad Knives, Ms Body Music and Brotha Jibril. (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, November 1)
SOJA: Jacob Hemphill's D.C.-area crew is one of the better reggae bands out there right now. (Warehouse Live, November 1)
Young Mammals: Houston buzz-pop crew releases a new 7", "Odd Hours." Hear it on SoundCloud. (Mango's, November 2)
Dia de los Muertos Party: Killer local Latin-rock triple bill of Espantapajaros, La Sien and Chango Man. Don't put away that Halloween costume just yet! (Continental Club, November 2)
Selena Gomez: Ex-Disney pop princess goes the grownup route on this year's well-regarded Stars Dance. (Toyota Center, November 2)
Negative Approach, The Casualties, Krum Bums: Hardcore blitz by UH-Downtown. (Walters, November 2)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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