The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Panic! at the Disco, Suzanna Choffel, etc.
DJ Sun at the 2014 HPMA ceremony
Photo by Marco Torres
DJ Sun The Flat, August 18
On last year's One Hundred -- amazingly, his first-ever full-length release -- DJ Sun pours his 20-plus-year career into an album that, although it was hardly the only reason, resulted into his induction into the Houston Music Hall of Fame earlier this month. One of Houston's most in-demand DJs, Sun and a host of friends and collaborators delivered a seamless work that never lulls, never lags and maintains an unshakably mellow groove throughout, with intricately laid-back latticework that should come as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to have met the man.
Among his multitude of weekly gigs, Sun's long-running "Rocksteady Mondays" residency at the Flat, where he is now managing partner, is probably the most chill environment to glimpse this true turntable craftsman at work. CHRIS GRAY
Panic! At the Disco circa 2009
Megan Westerby via Flickr
Panic! At the Disco Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 19
Panic! At the Disco looked a little late to the emo party when they debuted in 2006 with stadium-rock ambitions and clever if cumbersome song titles like "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage." But the nucleus of Brendan Urie, Spencer Smith and Dallon Weekes have not only outlasted almost all of those guitar-bashing sad bastards but have thrived in our most rock-unfriendly era by adding splashes of EDM beats and '80s synth-pop legends like Erasure to that battle-tested pop-punk sound, while developing stage shows that are probably over the top even in their hometown of Las Vegas. Panic! most recently returned to the charts with "Miss Jackson," an affectionate nod to OutKast's 2001 babymama-drama classic that stops just short of owing Andre 3000 and Big Boi royalties. With Walk the Moon and Youngblood Hawke. CHRIS GRAY
Paul Ramirez Band Continental Club, August 20
Versatile Houston blues-rockers the Paul Ramirez Band's sets are mellow enough for a late-night lounge vibe, only pocked with heavier, Cream-like moments of pure jam and sometimes a cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2" that heads straight to the planetarium. Now working on a followup to 2012 debut Sex With a Dragon, on which the Santana-esque "Gypsy Woman" was a highlight, the group balances a keyboard-heavy Latin-jazz groove with Ramirez's probing guitar solos, some of which can get pretty far out there. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Nick Greer at this months HPMAs
Photo by Marco Torres
Nick Greer & the G's The Corkscrew, August 21
"Everybody should be able to relate to these songs and not feel like there's some hidden message," Nick Greer told the audience at the listing party for new album Heart on Fire back in April. "And I hope the album speaks to people, because I can't be the only one who's this angry." Pain and anger notwithstanding, Greer was not lacking in gratitude. Both to his company on on his record, he expressed graciousness and even humility, consistently eschewing any self-flattery and instead acknowledging everyone else's hard work on the album.
Greer described his group's last album as a powerhouse blend of funk, blues, soul and hip-hop. Heart on Fire possesses similar characteristics, but it's bigger; it sounds more grandiose, and combines the disparate elements into a triumphant, unique sound. "We put out a record last March, and it was good," Greer said, "but this one...this is better." MATTHEW KEEVER
Suzanna Choffel Main Street Crossing, August 21
An eclectic, undeniably sexy performer and singer-songwriter, Suzanna Choffel first turned heads outside her hometown of Austin with a stunning performance of Florence + the Machine's "Dog Days are Over" on Season 3 of NBC's The Voice in fall 2012. Now based in New York, Choffel had already become one of Austin's most popular young talents behind her albums Shudders & Rings (2006) and Steady Eye, Shaky Bow (2011); last November she released the soulful and confident album Archer. Thursday's performance is part of Main Street Crossing's "Songtelling," a series that precedes a concert with artists discussing the songs they're about to play with an interviewer. CHRIS GRAY
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