Psychedelic Furs House of Blues, July 19
Thanks to albums like sensual eponymous 1980 debut and 1981's poppier Talk Talk Talk, Psychedelic Furs helped define alternative rock in MTV's early days even before John Hughes named his 1986 film Pretty In Pink for one of their best-known songs.
Front man Richard Butler was certainly one of the era's most seductive crooners, but it was that robust tenor sound that gave the Furs the kind of sax appeal -- played for many, many years by mighty-mite Mars Wiliiams -- most of their post-punk peers lacked. Pardon the pun, but it's as irresistible as the slinkier moments in the band's well-stocked catalog, whether "Sister Europe," breakthrough pop hit "Love My Way" or "Heartbreak Beat." With the Technicolors. CHRIS GRAY
Rock Baby Rock It Continental Club, July 19 & 20
Every year on "The Island," Rock Baby Rock It is one of the centerpieces of the Continental Club's calendar, and this weekend returns for lucky No. 13 with bright red and yellow flames painted on both fenders. The three-day celebration of all things rockabilly and hot-rod kicks into high gear Friday with a visit by Orange County rockabilly-swing stalwarts Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys (celebrating their 25th anniversary tour) and Dallas-based big bopper Mack Stevens.
Saturday, stroll among all the custom cars in the Continental parking lot all day, before an evening bill of London-born Stray Cats contemporary Levi Dexter, El Paso's Star Mountain, Houston's own Luxurious Panthers, the Octanes and lots more. RBRI 13 promises to be an exhausting weekend that should leave you running on fumes. See more information at rockbabyhouston.com, and stay tuned for a more extensive guide later today. CHRIS GRAY
Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 19
Kid Rock, best known for claiming his trailer-park roots with pride, is back on tour with his longtime DJ Uncle Kracker, delivering the catalog of Southern rock-styled hits that earned him the title of Soundscan's No. 1-selling male solo musician of the early '00s. Kid toned down the sound over the years, refining his style from the rowdy "Bawitdaba" to the more blues-inspired singles of the recent years, but he's still got plenty of that Southern pride to go around. ANGELICA LEICHT
Ed Hall, Brown Whorenet, Gorch Fock Rudyard's, July 19
One of the flagship bands of storied Austin underground-rock label Trance Syndicate, Ed Hall created a thunderously trippy racket that was almost equal parts Gary Chester's psychedelic guitar, Larry Strub's throbbing bass and Lyman Hardy's earth-quaking drums, served with a side of Butthole Surfers-like gonzo film projections and reams of Day-Glo body paint. (They were also exceedingly nice guys, which tended to get lost in all the volume and paint.)
Dormant since 1998 LP La-La Land (save the odd reunion gig), Ed Hall revisits one of their favorite Houston proving grounds Friday with two of their direct Austin descendents: speed-metal/klezmer crew Brown Whorenet and sailor-obsessed, trombone-tooting Gorch Fock. CHRIS GRAY
30FootFALL Fitzgerald's, July 20
Even those who missed out on the band's late-'90s heyday have heard tell of countless sweaty 30footFALL Christmas shows at Fitzgerald's, where the band has been holding court every December since the Clinton Administration. Saturday, 30FF returns to its traditional holiday roost in the Heights to celebrate 20 years together.
It's a major milestone that few groups reach, particularly in the weird and wooly world of Houston punk. Last week, Rocks Off talked to 30FF bassist and founding member Rubio Cisneros about Saturday's big reunion. NATHAN SMITH
One Direction Toyota Center, July 21
The epitome of a boy band, One Direction is best known for lightin' up lives, synchronized dance moves and, of course, making girls swoon. The UK group has taken the pop charts by storm with hits like "What Makes You Beautiful," a sugary-sweet pop ballad that only the under-18 crowd can recite.
It's PG-rated rock at its finest, and trust us, your daughters will thank you. Just make sure you take earplugs; the decibel at which those girls will be screaming is enough to shatter glass. ANGELICA LEICHT
FIVE MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
Jaime Richards: Local honky-tonker known for "Last Call" has a new single climbing the Texas Music Chart, "Never Gonna Hear It From Me." (Blanco's, July 19)
Toology: Love Maynard's pre-Puscifer "Prison Sex" band? Rocks Off has two pair of tickets to tonight's installment of the Houston Press' Cocktails & Covers concert series for the first two people who want to go. Email music at houstonpress dot com, and please make sure you can pick up the tickets by 5 p.m. today at our downtown offices. (House of Blues -- Bronze Peacock Room, July 19)
Gritsy Anniversary Party: Houston's top dub-and-bass devotees scratch that seven-year itch with a "SWOB Edition" featuring Tempa representa Youngsta, Back to Chill founder Goth-Trad and Cali's Matty G. (Warehouse Live Ballroom, July 20)
Downfall 2012: Welcome our newest member of the Rocks Off 100, releasing their Everyman for Himself: Volume 2. (House of Blues, July 20)
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J Paul Jr. & the Zydeco Nubreeds: Right outside Crosby, $5 buys a Saturday-night dance featuring a whole lotta zydeco from one of the area's top acts, and a 2013 HPMA nominee. Starts 6 p.m. (Box E Pavilion, 421 Winkin Ave., Barrett Station, July 20)