The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Anvil, Dick Dale, YG, etc.
Debonair Lounge Cafe 4212, April 14
Since approximately Labor Day 2013, the only way to get each week off on a good foot has been at this Museum District oasis of cool. Debonair Lounge has already welcomed a who's who of Houston's hottest young hip-hop and R&B performers -- this week features Jonathas, Silvanus LaToison, Nadia and, as always, "Pan Fried" DJ Motai and that smooth-ass Debonair house band -- strutting their stuff for one of the most stylish audiences in town.
Hosted by local scenesters Tay Mitch and Brad Gilmore, whom Channel 39's Newsfix called "ebony and ivory at its finest," these few hours will have you looking forward to every Monday...just not Tuesdays. The party never stops on Instagram at @DebonairLoungeHTX, too. CHRIS GRAY
Anvil Fitzgerald's, April 15
Most rock bands don't last 36 days, let alone 36 years. But that's exactly how long Canada's Anvil has spent recording and touring -- mostly in complete obscurity. Despite ample opportunity, Anvil refused to quit, and in 2008 filmmaker/former Anvil roadie Sacha Gervasi shone a light on the band's never-say-die pluckiness with the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. If your cable package includes VH1 Classic, chances are you've seen it.
It's not hard to understand why the heavy-metal trio has never cut their hair or hung up their high-tops: these guys can play. On ancient cuts like "School Love" and newer thumpers such as "This is Thirteen," Anvil displays a talent and energy that's got to be difficult to put on a shelf and leave behind. NATHAN SMITH
Little Joe Washington Boondocks, March 11
Out of a Third Ward blues-guitar school that has now graduated to the great beyond Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Johnny Guitar Watson and Joe Guitar Hughes, Little Joe Washington is the last man standing. And he's hardly standing still: he's also pedaling his Schwinn from gig to gig, Fender strapped to his back, doing things with it you've never heard before and never will again, and then passing his hat around for tips. After Joe's hospitalization for liver and kidney trouble last fall, he's back playing gigs... again. JOHN NOVA LOMAX/CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Dick Dale at the Continental Club, April 2012
Photo by Jay Lee
Dick Dale Continental Club, April 17
One of the loudest and most recognizable guitarists in the world, both from his headband and his reverb-soaked guitar tone, Dick Dale is an icon of both surfing and music. Seasoned enough to have appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show alongside the Three Stooges, the 76-year-old Californian renewed his cool credentials when Quentin Tarantino used 1963's "Misirlou" in the title sequence of 1994's Pulp Fiction, enchanting Generation Xers the same way Dale had their parents on early singles like "Let's Go Trippin'" and "Surf Beat."
As many surfing metaphors as have been used to describe his unique sound - a good bit of which comes from his Lebanese ancestry - Dale himself probably put it best when he once told Guitar Player, "I think more of animals when I play. Like the power of my tiger, or the whine of my mountain lion, or the rage of an elephant." CHRIS GRAY
YG House of Blues, April 17
Already touted by some as the hip-hop album to beat thus far in 2014, YG's My Krazy Life is introducing millions of young Middle Americans to the priapic joys of ratchet music. Imported from the South to South Central L.A. around the turn of the 2010s, ratchet is an especially hedonistic brand of street/club rap marked by sticky bounce beats and lyrics fixated on sex, particularly the oral variety.
It's blunt and effective, and on songs like "Toot It and Boot It," "Who Do You Love?" and "Left, Right," the 24-year-old Compton rapper is quickly emerging as ratchet's first breakout star. With DJ Mustard, Dorrough and Fat Pimp. CHRIS GRAY
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.