The Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Patty Griffin, Something Wicked, Maxwell, etc.
Photo courtesy of New West Records
Patty Griffin Warehouse Live, October 25
Patty Griffin's voice has a tendency to bring on a churchlike hush over any room the she's singing in -- Texas Monthly recently dubbed it the "Patty Griffin effect" -- which could make for an interesting evening Friday, when the Austinite goes up against a ballroom full of Houston's notoriously talkative concert patrons. But if anyone can shut up a Houston crowd, it's her.
Since arriving with arresting 1996 debut Living With Ghosts -- an actual demo that A&M Records released untouched -- the Maine-born Griffin has released several albums that freely mingle rock, pop, folk and gospel (that's 2010's Downtown Church). This year she has greeted fans with both American Kid, inspired by her father's life, and now Silver Bell, a 2000 recording that had been sidelined by record-company consolidations until now, but that contains two songs that gave Griffin plenty of mailbox money when covered by the Dixie Chicks on 2002's Home. CHRIS GRAY
Annika Chambers Warehouse Live, October 25 It's tough to sing the blues if you've got nothing to sing about. Annika Chambers did an eight-year hitch in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. Problem solved. Her life experience helped Chambers win a 2013 Houston Press Music Award for Best Female Vocals, and now she has a calling card to go with it in debut CD Making My Mark, 12 soulfully solid tracks like "Let's Get Down to Business" and "That Feel Good."
She sounded fine indeed opening for Shemeika Copeland at Discovery Green last week, but Friday night in Warehouse's Green Room looks to be Chambers's real coming-out party. CHRIS GRAY
Something Wicked Sam Houston Race Park, October 26
Much can be said about the depth of talent that promoters Nightculture and Disco Donnie Presents have lined up for the second year of Something Wicked, including big names like Adventure Club and Wolfgang Gartner, but for many fans it's going to come down to one name: Tiësto. One of the most popular DJs on the planet, Tiësto was actually supposed to headline last year's festival before he injured his back and had to take time off from touring. As long as he stays healthy, expect one of the biggest - and spookiest - dance parties of the year. CORY GARCIA
Clan of Xymox Numbers, October 26
Ronny Moorings' Clan of Xymox is one of the most important post-punk electronic acts in history, particularly in the development of the sinister subgenre known as darkwave. Dutchman Moorings founded the clan all the way back in 1981, and their chilly, atmospheric synth-pop eventually caught the ear of influential UK label 4AD, which made them a U.S. underground favorite with the albums Medusa and Twist of Shadows.
In the '90s and into today, Moorings has steadily upped the BPMs while retaining the shadowy allure that makes Xymox the platonic ideal for the Halloween edition of Numbers' monthly macabre soiree Underworld. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Maxwell at Toyota Center, October 2009
Photo by Groovehouse
Maxwell Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, October 26
Eight years is far too long of a hiatus for an R&B sex symbol like Maxwell to undertake. After 1996 debut Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, the singer-songwriter became one of main artists of the '90s' neo-soul movement behind a sweltering voice and monogamy-praising bump-'n'-grind that set him apart from the day's more hip-hop-influenced soul singers.
However, he dropped off the map following 2001's Now and the world was forced to go Maxwell-less until 2009, when he resurfaced to drop fourth studio album BLACKsummers'night. Luckily for us, that album (still his most recent) was the first in a supposed trilogy of albums, which means there should be plenty more of Maxwell's rush-to-the-sheets baby-makin' music to come. ANGELICA LEICHT
Blues Traveler Dosey Doe, October 27
Wanna know something cool about Blues Traveler that doesn't involve John Popper's runaway harmonica of their 1995 breakout hit "Run Around"? Sure you do: the NYC blues-rockers are so nerdy-cool that they named their band after Ghostbusters' head demon, Gozer. Perhaps Slimer was a little too metal; still, Popper's harmonica and the Traveler's inability to stay home have kept them rockin' well past those massive mainstream days, up to a whopping 11 albums now. ANGELICA LEICHT
SIX OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Skyrocket!: Help us wish House of Blues a happy fifth anniversary with Austin's ultimate '70s and '80s cover band. (House of Blues, October 25)
Dale Watson: Nothing but hardcore, "Quick Quick Slow Slow" honky-tonk from Austin's Silver Fox, now pushing this year's El Rancho Azul (Blanco's, October 25)
Sevendust, All That Remains: Hard-rock/metalcore veterans breathe some Bay Area Air. (Scout Bar, October 25)
Optimo Radio Fourth Birthday Party: The last word in H-town Internet rap radio salutes lasting an entire leap-year cycle with K-Rino, Point Blank, Roosh Williams, Kyle Hubbard, the Terrorists, DJ Chill and a shit-ton of special guests. (Last Concert Cafe, October 26)
Danzig With Doyle: The dark prince of ghoul-rock celebrates 25 years in the biz with ex-Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, who joined the horror-punk pioneers at age 16. Get there early for Denison-based ass-kickers Texas Hippie Coalition. (Warehouse Live, October 26)
International Blues Challenge Regional Finals: A full docket of Houston talent, both solo and duo/group -- John Egan, Silas Feenster, Henry D. Jones, Guitarzza, Henry Jagdeo, Mighty Orq, Brad Absher & Swamp Royale, Ezra Charles Band and Michael Heyman -- vies for a chance to advance to the IBC Finals in Memphis in January '14. Starts at 2 p.m. (Continental Club, October 27)
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