The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Watsky, Heart, Jason Aldean, B.o.B., etc.
Watsky House of Blues, October 21
Last year, the most badass statistical analyst you've ever heard of, Matt Daniels, released something called the Hip-Hop Flow Chart, which ranked several popular rap acts by vocabulary size. I pored over the results like a rap geek and wondered how could Daniels have missed this prolific word-monster. This year, Daniels' version 2.0 of the chart rightfully included San Francisco-based Watsky, and counted 5,651 unique words among the first 35,000 he rapped.
That slotted him alongside some of the very best, names like Aesop Rock (still reigning champ), Sage Francis, Immortal Technique and The Roots. Watsky's new album, All You Can Do, which features more smart and empowering raps from the San Franciscan, who always seems genuinely grateful to be able to do what he does. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Heart's Nancy Wilson at House of Blues Houston in 2012
Photo by Jason Wolter
Heart Stafford Centre, October 22
A Heart concert is as satisfying a rock-show experience as can be had, and Seattle's godmothers of grunge deserved a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame years before their 2013 induction. Between Ann's commanding vocals and Nancy's versatile guitar skills -- she's equally adept at bludgeoning riffs like "Barracuda" or the intricate fretwork of "Dog & Butterfly" -- the Wilson sisters have been a bulwark of Zeppelin-style rock epics for more than 40 years, mingling fantasy, sensuality and sturm-und-drang mythology in a way matched by few but those Houses of the Holy-dwellers themselves.
Unusually for a "legacy" act, Heart has also managed the unusual feat of releasing worthwhile new albums in the same decade as their RRHOF nod; though it's unlikely more than one or two tunes from 2010's Red Velvet Car or 2012's Fanatic will make Tuesday's set list, they'll hold up against all the classics and beloved deeper cuts -- and yes, even the mid-'80s hits from Heart's prime power-ballad period -- just fine. CHRIS GRAY
Be.Witched Wednesdays Numbers, October 22
Houston's only night to hear the most sinister subgenres of alternative music all in one place, Be.Witched Wednesdays is a lot more than Siousxie & the Banshees, the Cure and Bauhaus -- not that they'd ever skimp on such cornerstones, either. DJs Damon Allen, Kris Hex, FrankiFranki and their guests touch on goth, industrial, post-punk, darkwave, EBM, New Romantic, synth-pop, and a lot more besides, meaning all the greats (Skinny Puppy, Clan of Xymox, Sex Gang Children) among plenty of legends and just as many acts you'd nearly forgotten. (Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, anyone?) The chills commence with an upstairs screening of American Horror Story at 9 p.m., followed by dancing until well past the (be)witching hour. CHRIS GRAY
Story continues on the next page.
Florida Georgia Line
Photo courtesy of Sweet Talk Publicity
Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, October 23
The Woodlands Pavilion closes its blockbuster-country season with two pillars of the oft-derided "bro" movement now making tentative steps toward maturity. For Aldean, his Alabama-referencing bedroom jam "Burnin' It Down" represents an opportunity to shed some of that party-boy persona, and has already gone No. 1.
Likewise, as the biggest duo to hit Nashville since Brooks & Dunn, Florida Georgia Line are out to show they're about more than just gettin' their shine on with "Dirt," a ballad that, if not quite an ode to settling down, makes it clear they've got their priorities straight. Good thing, because neither Aldean nor FGL are likely to disappear from the top of the charts anytime soon. With Tyler Farr. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Hannibal Matthews/Atlantic Records
B.o.B. Warehouse Live (Ballroom), October 23
One of the first rappers to break big in the 2010s, Atlanta's B.o.B. has shown an uncommon flair for veering outside the hip-hop mainstream that easily dovetails with his preacher's-son charisma. He originally made a big splash with 2010 debut B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, which featured an eclectic roster of guests (Bruno Mars, Paramore's Hayley Williams, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo) and a pair of smash pop singles in "Airplanes" and "Nothin' On You."
Still only 25 years old, B.o.B. duetted with no less than Taylor Swift on 2012 sophomore LP Strange Clouds; if some critics thought he went a little overboard with the materialism on last year's followup Underground Luxury, he still produced a couple of bulletproof party jams in "Headband" and "Throwback," a duet with -- yikes -- Chris Brown. With Kevin Gates. CHRIS GRAY
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