The Five Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Weird Al Yankovic, Incubus, Deftones, Bluebonnets, etc.
Photo by Robert Trachtenberg/Courtesy of RCA Records
Weird Al Yankovic
Revention Music Center, August 18
From Michael Jackson and Nirvana on down, Weird Al Yankovic’s signature combo of whimsy and total squareness has sucked the hot air out of plenty of music’s biggest egos, and the list of artists foolish enough to challenge his parodies of their work is a very short one indeed. He created a minor stir when last year’s Mandatory Fun debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, causing more than one showbiz watchdog to expend valuable column inches wondering how things had come to this. It’s not that hard to figure out, really, as self-important hits like “Happy,” “Fancy” and “Blurred Lines” were crying out for the Weird Al treatment since the moment they came on the radio. Besides, Yankovic’s first trip to Houston in half a decade is a timely reminder of the real secret to a Weird Al show — you may come for the satire, but you’ll come back for the polka medleys.
Big Ass Blues Jam
The Hideaway On Dunvale, August 18
At this point The Hideaway On Dunvale's weekly Big Ass Blues Jam, hosted by Rick Lee & the Night Owls every Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. sharp, at this west side tavern has become a Houston institution; a lot of great local blues musicians show up to jam with Lee, who gets things started with his impressive guitar playing, singing, and over-the-top showmanship. Lee usually winds up playing his guitar with the leg of a chair he has picked up, a beer bottle and even his tongue. (DAVID ROZYCKI)
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 19
Genre labels are, at best, a flawed but necessary shorthand, and there will always be acts they get lumped in to certain genres because of timing more than talent. Which is to say that while they might have been part of the same genre as Limp Bizkit, Korn and Disturbed, Incubus and Deftones were always better than nu-metal. They were better than the genre ages ago, when they toured around the same time that Incubus' "Pardon Me" was starting up the charts and Deftones released their masterpiece, White Pony, and they're still better. As nostalgia keeps nu-metal bands out on the road way, way past their prime, this is one tour you don't have to feel embarrassed about. With Death From Above 1979 and the Bots. (CORY GARCIA)
Under the Volcano, August 19
Every rocker needs a good denim jacket, and the Bluebonnets adorn theirs with patches representing rock’s best decades — ‘60s garage, ‘70s punk and glam, ‘80s New Wave and ‘90s grunge. Founded by native Austinite and Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine several years ago, the Texas-proud Bluebonnets have been her only gig since a less than amicable split two years ago. With Valentine and Eve Monsees, Gary Clark Jr.’s childhood sparring partner, on guitars and the rock-solid rhythm section of Dominique Davalos (bassist/lead vocals) and Kristy McInnis (drums), the Bluebonnets put the hammer down in the same no-frills fashion as Iggy Pop or Joan Jett. A pair of recent Houston gigs have even sparked some talk that Valentine’s crew might even be the best live rock and roll band in Texas right now. Consult 2014’s Play Loud, the band’s second album and first in four years, for further research.
Graphic by Monica Fuentes
Houston Press Music Awards
Warehouse Live, August 20
At this point the easiest way to get into this year’s HPMAs may be to be nominated for one. With hundreds of nominees in almost 40 categories, even Warehouse Live’s roomy Ballroom can fill up pretty quickly. Last we checked, a few VIP tickets were available (for only $25, too), so there’s still a chance. Those lucky enough to get in will get a chance to rub shoulders with the heart and soul of the local music community, as well as watch performances by Best Song nominees Hearts of Animals, the Wheel Workers, Children of Pop, Buxton, Say Girl Say and the Suffers (among all the speeches). Closing out the night is a set by Hayes Carll, hopefully with a preview of his in-progress followup to KMAG YOYO (And Other American Stories) — the Americana Music Association’s 2011 Album of the Year — and himself a long-ago HPMA winner for Best New Act. See Ticketfly for ticket availability.