UPDATED: The Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Jason Isbell, The Reivers, Wild Child, etc.
Photo by Michael Wilson
UPDATE (Friday, 11 a.m.): Sadly, Billy Ocean has cancelled.
Jason Isbell, Dawes Warehouse Live, October 12
After beating back the sort of demons that often beget great art - a drinking problem that ultimately got him bounced from Drive-By Truckers some years ago - Alabama native Jason Isbell sobered up and made this year's brilliant Southeastern, an odds-on Album of the Year candidate in most roots-rock/Americana circles.
The kind of record that sounds both lived-in and fresh, Southeastern takes the brash and burly sound of Isbell's former band the 400 Unit to a completely different level of maturity, but it still rocks. Hard. Joining him Saturday is the equally acclaimed Dawes, the young L.A. quartet that continues updating the classic California-country sound of the Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby Stills & Nash on third album, Stories Don't End. CHRIS GRAY
The Reivers Continental Club, October 12
A significant underground-rock success in the late '80s that never quite broke through nationally -- though the nascent Hootie & the Blowfish were big fans, believe it or not - Austin's Reivers (nee Zeitgeist) were once the toast of that city's "New Sincerity" scene as their sharp-witted, R.E.M.-ish jangle-pop won them a deal with Capitol Records that yielded the albums Saturday (1987) and End of the Day (1989).
Front man John Croslin went on to become a top studio hand for the likes of Spoon, Mates of State and Guided by Voices, and the other Reivers quietly passed into civilian life. But, civilian life being what it is in Austin, the Reivers were never really that gone, and earlier this year returned with new album Second Story, which the Austin Chronicle said "ultimately contributes confidently to [their] legacy." With the Wannabes and duneTX. CHRIS GRAY
Photo by Todd V. Wolfson
Wild Child, B.E. Godfrey Walters, October 12
One of those young male-female collectives decked out in cutesy vintage threads, Austin's Wild Child look so precious you almost want to strangle them. Luckily, the group anchored by Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins has plenty of pleasant pop-folk songs to match the outfits; their Ben Kweller-produced new LP The Runaround should prove most palatable to fans of She & Him or Houston's own Wild Moccasins. In the middle is B.E. Godfrey & Co., glad to be back onstage after his scare at last weekend's Grand Prix of Houston; locals the Wandering Bufaleros wander on first. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
EIGHT OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
*** Matt Nathanson: Hey, we were just writing about this Boston-born singer-songwriter's new video "Kinks Shirt," from his ninth album Last of the Great Pretenders, the other day. Check it out again. (House of Blues, October 11).
*** Sarah Brightman: She's an odd one, but the British pop-classical diva might just steal your heart away with songs from her new album Dreamchaser. (Bayou Music Center, October 11)
*** Band of Heathens: Rustic Austin roots-rockers go extra Americana with this free concert under the bandshell, anchoring "A Night Out at Market Square." (Market Square Park, October 12)
*** thelastplaceyoulook: Back from their tour opening for Blue October, TLPYL bring fellow local hard-rock heavyweights Downfall 2012 and Nothing More down to Fitz. (Fitzgerald's, October 12)
*** Lionel Richie: See Rocks Off's interview with Mr. "Dancing On the Ceiling" from earlier this week. Nice guy. Second-generation New Orleans funkateer Ivan Neville and his band Dumptaphunk open. (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, October 12)
*** Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey Birds: Ex-Cramps and Gun Club guitarist gets garagey with Weird Party and the Wind Ups. (Rudyard's, October 12)
*** Kelly Willis: Translated from Love by Austin's top country songbird. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, October 12)
*** Praia Urbana: DJs at Last Concert's fall techno bacchanal include Alex Clavijo, Bobby Blyss, Steven Towers, Nathan Swift and JC Vanegas. (Last Concert Cafe, October 12)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS