Letters to Voltron Rudyard's, August 9
If you haven't heard Letters to Voltron, then you are missing out. It's like... how can I put this? Imagine if every second-rate, coked-up joker you knew from your club days was also a brilliant metal musician. That's Letters to Voltron, all cackling hyped-up snide remarks and pseudo-philosophy delivered with a kind of garage-thrash that feels like a punch to the head.
How can you not love a band that calls a song "All Your Dreams Will Come True (When You're Dead)?" They're like the Billy Nayer Show on crank. I love it. JEF WITH ONE F
Runaway Sun Continental Club, August 10
The music world suffered a big loss in Oklahoma-born J.J. Cale, who passed away July 26 at age 74 but will forever be remembered for smoldering classics like "Cocaine" and "After Midnight." Certainly Cale's legacy is not lost on younger musicians like Runaway Sun's Andrew Karnavas, who also understands the value of letting a song simmer. Runaway Sun has actually been a little scarce around their native Houston since the quartet's second full-length, the bluesy Let's Run, was released in May 2012.
It turns out, Karnavas reports, they've been making serious inroads on the "beer and BBQ circuit." Also last week, Karnavas recorded a solo session for the popular Daytrotter Web site, where he debuted the track "Wedding Day." With Tody Castillo and John Egan. CHRIS GRAY
Ours Fitzgerald's, August 11
The brainchild/baby of New Jersey native Jimmy Gnecco, Ours trafficks in grandiose, uplifting modern rock very much in the same vein as Muse or U2. Once people were able to get past Gnecco's marked similarities to the late Jeff Buckley, Ours has proved to be influential in their own right among younger bands like Houston's Recovery Room, though Gnecco doesn't seem to mind making fans wait for new material.
After 2008's Rick Rubin-produced Mercy... Dancing For the Death of an Imaginary Enemy, Ours finally released new album Ballet the Boxer 1 in June, venturing further out on the prog-minded limb sprouting from Radiohead's OK Computer. With Luna Arcade. CHRIS GRAY
TEN OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
The Smites: No need to ask "How Soon Is Now?" with the next best thing to Morrissey's Manchester mopers, as the Houston Press Cocktails & Covers series draws to a close. (House of Blues -- Bronze Peacock Room, August 9)
Josh Abbott Band: Lubbock-bred rockin' Texas Country unit is back in the Texas Music Chart's Top 10 with "She Will Be Free." (Mo's Place, Katy, August 9)
Bob Schneider: Must have been a few weeks since the ever-popular Texas troubador was in town, still pushing his new LP Burden of Proof. (House of Blues, August 9)
Darwin's Finches, Jody Seabody & the Whirls: Loud local alt-rock, and lots of it. (Notsuoh, August 9)
Mindless Behavior, OMG Girlz, Coco Jones: Teenage riot at Reliant Park! (Reliant Arena, August 10)
The All Stars Tour: Buffalo metalcore outfit Every Time I Die, who were just here in February, headline another all-day HOB moshfest over Chelsea Grin, Veil of Maya, Iwrestledabearonce and several others. (House of Blues, August 10)
Crystal Bowersox: American Idol aspirant turned fledgling folk-rocker teamed with Los Lobos' Steve Berlin for 2013 LP All That For This. (Dosey Doe, August 10)
America: Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with the laid-back "Ventura Highway" duo; here's Part 1. (Stafford Centre, August 10)
Chris Knight: Sharp-witted Kentuckian (RIYL James McMurtry, Steve Earle) brings the steely songcraft of ninth album Little Victories to Sharpstown. (Firehouse Saloon, August 10)
Carolyn Wonderland, Potroast, Joint Chiefs, Horseshoe: Some of the biggest names in '90s Houston music reunite to remember fallen Horseshoe guitarist Scott Daniels. (Last Concert Cafe, August 11)
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