UPDATED: The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Heart, Bruno Mars, The Leavers, Bill Kirchen, etc.
Photo by Jasmine Lee Richardson
UPDATED (Monday, 11 a.m.): Removes Tianna Hall, who is not playing Sambuca this evening.
DJ Sun The Flat, April 1
Now that some of the well-deserved publicity surrounding DJ Sun's first-ever full-length release, One Hundred, has subsided a little, his true accomplishment on the disc seems even more impressive. In the span of 70 minutes, he pours his 20-plus-year career as one of Houston's most in-demand DJs into a seamless work that never lulls, never lags and maintains an unshakably mellow groove throughout.
But then, One Hundred's intricately laid-back latticework should come as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to have met the man. Among his multitude of weekly gigs, Sun's long-running Monday residency at the Flat is probably the most chill environment to glimpse this true turntable craftsman at work. CHRIS GRAY
Heart Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 14
With some of the best hard-rock ballads known to man, Heart has been proving the legitimacy of women in rock since the '70s. The Seattle band began its rise with gigantic power ballads like "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man," as sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson held steadfast around an ever-revolving lineup for 40 years, right through envelope-pushing 2012 album Fanatic.
Earlier this year, the Wilsons welcomed back some former members to help celebrate their long-overdue Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, busting out a thunderous "Crazy on You" at the New York ceremony. And you were just hoping for "Barracuda," eh? With Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience. ANGELICA LEICHT
Photo by Marco Torres
Bruno Mars, Ellie Goulding Toyota Center, August 15
If you missed Bruno Mars during his RodeoHouston jaunt in March, you've got another shot at seeing him sing the hell out of those high notes and dance his cute little ass off. He'll be bringing along Ellie Goulding, whose radio megahit "Lights" was not only one of the better electro/indie-pop hits to surface recently, it's also been remixed by Skrillex into a killer dubstep version that even staunchly anti-electronica purists can handle. ANGELICA LEICHT
The Leavers Continental Club, August 15
A brand-new discovery (for us), the Leavers are South Austin proud, and have the dubious honor of mopping up after Bob Schneider's longstanding Monday-night residency at the venerable Saxon Pub. They put forth a considerable claim on their Web site -- #austinmusicsoundslikethis -- but manage to back it up on their first album, Once Upon a Time.
Stream the record, which includes covers of Band of Heathens' "Miss Ohio" and Concrete Blonde's "Joey" to go with knotty, guitar-drenched originals like "Halfway to Houston" and "Let the River Run Dry," at theleavers.com. CHRIS GRAY
Bill Kirchen McGonigel's Mucky Duck, August 15
A virtuoso of the Fender Telecaster, Bill Kirchen is not only a stellar songwriter, player, and performer whose oeuvre extends from Bakerfield truckers' twang to rockabilly, he is widely acknowledge as one of the top practitioners of his craft and has spent part of his career teaching guitar.
He was part of the twang supergroup the Twangbangers, formed in 2001 with Redd Voelkaert, Dallas Wayne, and Joe Goldmark. See Rocks Off's full interview with Kirchen Wednesday morning. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH
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