Waxahatchee Mango's, April 4
Right now acoustic folk is a sleeping giant within the music industry, but Katie Crutchfield (who works under the stage name Waxahatchee) is one name to have on your radar. If you're a fan of acts like Screaming Females, Hop Along and Laura Stevenson, you'll likely find something to like here. ALYSSA DUPREE
Chromeo House of Blues, April 6
Many Houstonians were introduced to Chromeo when the '80s-inspired dance duo shook all the sweat out of the main-stage crowd at FPSF 2011. The Canadians' overdue return to Houston is a welcome one, assuming you like vocoders, heavy bass, Hall & Oates and boogieing your ass off. JIM BRICKER
Arcade Fire Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, April 9
Arcade Fire are a polarizing band; either you love them or think they're hipster trash. But they're also the type of band whose live presence and sheer talent can change people's minds. Touring in support of 2013's double-length Reflektor, the Grammy-winning group has requested that concertgoers show up looking sharp unless they dress in costume. Either way, wear your dancing shoes. ALYSSA DUPREE
The Goddamn Gallows, Come See My Dead Person Walters, April 10
Hobocore kings The Goddamn Gallows have a member named Fishgutzzz and one named Baby Genius, and are arguably best-known for the little ditty "Ya'll Motherfuckers Need Jesus." They may have a folk vibe, but are sure to have one of Walters' wildest -- and possibly smelliest -- mosh pits in recent memory, since all the crust kids will be there. Additionally, the soulful siblings of Come See My Dead Person will be playing, which is always a good thing. JESSE SENDEJAS JR
Third Annual Mills McCoin Rock N' Roll Circus April 12, The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art
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From a strictly musical standpoint, this show will feature some of Houston's hotter acts you may not have heard yet (The New Mercies), and veterans such as headliner B L A C K I E. But the atmosphere alone should be enough to convince you to go. Ringleader Mills McCoin will provide ample sideshow freaks in between acts and generally lurking about the grounds; a perfect vibe for the Orange Show's arts-and-crazy ambiance. JOHN SEABORN GRAY
Devin the Dude Warehouse Live, April 18
It's nearly 4/20 again, so it's no surprise that Houston's favorite stoner uncle is set to smog out Warehouse Live. This year, Austin (sigh) gets Devin the Dude on the holiday itself, but the state capitol will likely still be sucking our fumes secondhand by then. The Dude has taken to performing with a big band for his big Warehouse shows in recent years, so if you've ever needed to join a room full of tranquilized homies grooving to a hip-hop vibraphone run, here's your shot. NATHAN SMITH
Warpaint Fitzgerald's, April 24
The last time Warpaint played Houston was supporting Grandfather Child. Now that Pegstar has upgraded from Mango's to Fitzgerald's, the psych-y L.A. four-piece can finally have a proper headlining date behind new album Warpaint. If you missed them then, your loss, but don't miss them again. ALYSSA DUPREE
Texas Crawfish & Music Festival Old Town Spring, April 25-27 & May 2-4
This year's lineup sounds great, but if I'm only there one day it'll be May 3 for Shakey Graves. If you don't know, you better ask somebody and do it quickly, because the Austin singer-songwriter is getting busier with bigger and better gigs daily -- like FPSF and Newport Folk Festival. Here's he'll be up close and personal alongside Ben Kweller, Bob Schneider, The Tontons The Suffers and many others. Plus -- crawfish! JESSE SENDEJAS JR
Mogwai Fitzgerald's, April 25
Last year I got heavily into Mogwai when I discovered that listening to music with words distracts me while writing. The Scottish band's skill at creating suspense with subtle, atmospheric notes and then exploding into a mushroom cloud of post-rock thunder is unmatched among their peers, and they still haven't peaked. Their album from earlier this year, Rave Tapes, is proof. JOHN SEABORN GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Wild Moccasins Fitzgerald's, April 29
It's exciting seeing how much hype the Wild Moccasins have accumulated over the years, and their self-released debut EP Diamonds for Constellations remains a local favorite of mine. I loved watching their brand of electric colorful pop music, but have only heard their newer stuff through outlets like Noisey. I'm looking forward to seeing more of how they've evolved. ALEXA CRENSHAW
Tycho Fitzgerald's, April 29
In a perfect world, Tycho would score my entire life. There's something about his music that's both cinematic and timeless, fitting music to play over Instagram-filtered memories of the past. It's the perfect blend of ambient electronic and post-rock, and here's your chance to hear the sounds of a million summer road trips in person. CORY GARCIA
Woods, Quilt, Hamamatsu Tom & the Gone Pecans Mango's, May 1
This one mostly goes out to Hamamatsu Tom and his revolving band, who are always fun live whatever their sound turns into. I also see that the folk-tinged sound of Woods and Quilt have drawn some positive reviews from the likes of Pitchfork. ALEXA CRENSHAW
Ghost B.C. House of Blues, May 2
Your favorite metal band's favorite metal band, mysterious Swedes Ghost B.C. (just plain Ghost to the rest of the planet) have captivated audiences worldwide in recent years with their striking blend of classic proto-metal and occult gimmickry, led by skull-faced singer Papa Emeritus. Looking and sounding something like an undead, Satanic Blue Oyster Cult, they're coming to convert your children this May. Don't skimp on the lamb's blood. NATHAN SMITH
Trampled By Turtles Fitzgerald's, May 2
Bluegrass is sadly underrepresented in Houston, so when a group like Trampled by Turtles comes around every year or two, they fill a craving that borders on mania. The Minnesota folksters have already played to some pretty packed rooms here, and with a new album in the works produced by Low's Alan Sparhawk, I doubt that will change at Fitz. JIM BRICKER
Tom Jones House of Blues, May 4
Even at 73, Tom Jones is one sexy motherlover. I dare you fans who first fell in love with him in the '60s to toss your granny panties onstage. If you did it unison during "She's a Lady," it would look like a group of paratroopers floating around a Welsh god. Next - so many hits, from "What's New, Pussycat?" to "Sex Bomb." Finally, I promise to YouTube any or all of you attempting "The Carlton" during "It's Not Unusual." JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Say Hi Fitzgerald's, May 8
Formerly calling themselves Say Hi to Your Mom, Say Hi is known for eccentric lyrics and indie-pop highlighted by vibrant electronic parts. The Seattle-via-Brooklyn group has perfected this near-abandoned style in a way that's kept them relevant long after the electronica craze died out. If your inner goth-nerd is looking to dance, this is the show for you. ALYSSA DUPREE
More shows on the next page.
New Monsoon Last Concert Cafe, May 9 & 10
Bay Area jam band New Monsoon has been steadily touring since the early 2000s, always making it a point to stop in Houston for a show or two or three or four. Eventually they built up a strong local fan base that was eventually nicknamed the Texas Tribe. Among the faithful was promoter Gary Hartman of Tapir Productions, who became New Monsoon's manager in 2008 but sadly passed away unexpectedly when he was struck by an aneurysm only four years later.
For their return to Houston, New Monsoon have reunited with their original "three-headed crew" of percussionist Rajiv Parikh and drummers Marty Ylitalo and Brian Carey, and will be joined by Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone (fiddle) and ALO's Dan Lebowitz (guitar) at "GaryFest," the second of hopefully many more events to come. Not to be missed. JIM BRICKER
Toadies House of Blues, May 9
Don't we all have a copy of the Toadies' debut album Rubberneck stuffed away in a box somewhere? How could you possibly have been a Texan teenager in the '90s and not want to see them perform the whole thing live, front to back? JOHN SEABORN GRAY
Avicii Toyota Center, May 11
Remember when Avicii was mostly known as the wildly successful guy everyone picked on for writing "Levels"? Well, he's now mostly known as the wildly successful producer of those weird country/EDM hybrids storming the charts. When was the last time you saw a DJ playing a venue as big as Toyota Center? And now that it's been a few years, admit it: "Levels" is pretty fun. CORY GARCIA
Jimmy Eat World House of Blues, May 16
Jimmy Eat World is my favorite band, so you're damn right I'm excited about this show. It's been a minute and change since they've been in town, so if you haven't heard anything off Damages live yet, get excited. And don't act like "The Middle" didn't speak to you at one point in your life. CORY GARCIA
Eagulls Fitzgerald's, May 22
Aside from Eeagulls' notoriety over an adolescent note on their blog complaining about various people and the music industry, I've heard that this UK post-punk quartet out of Leeds has a ridiculous energy live. Their sound is stripped just bare enough to remain fuzzed-up and melodic, so I'm intrigued. ALEXA CRENSHAW
Stephen Marley House of Blues, May 22
Son of fertile reggae icon Bob Marley -- also sire of Damien, Ziggy, Ky-Mani and Julian -- Stephen Marley has modestly racked up five Grammys, including Best Reggae Album in both 2008 and 2012. For his first Houston show in a couple years, "Raggamuffin" Marley will assuredly bring both his and his dad's hits. JIM BRICKER
Journey, Steve Miller Band, Tower of Power Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, May 23
My wife hates these nostalgia tours, but we have an old friend who insists on dragging us once a year. He chose this show for 2014, and I'm actually looking forward to it because of the Steve Miller Band. Setlist.fm says he'll open with "Jungle Love" and never slow down on music every one of you has heard at least a snippet of. By the time he plays "The Joker," I'll have drunk enough beer to sing about the pompatus of love. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Old 97's, Lydia Loveless Fitzgerald's, May 27
I've been a huge Old 97's fan since my brother went to interview them in Austin while they were touring on Wreck Your Life and I tagged along. I've seen them live numerous times and they always blow me away, and are not slowing down with age at all. Opener Lydia Loveless has one of the better twangy guitar-pop releases in recent memory with this year's Somewhere Else. A reliable veteran and a fiery newcomer always means a hell of a good time. JOHN SEABORN GRAY
Houston Beer Fest Sam Houston Park, June 7
Even if 200 or so regional and national craft beers aren't enough to instinctively draw you downtown, the organizers of Houston Beer Fest have put together a pretty smashing (or just smashed) musical lineup to entertain folks waiting for refills. Salty, earth notes from local twangers like Second Lovers and the Dead Rabbits will be followed by the full, bitter flavors of big-time rappers including Rick Ross, Juicy J and Action Bronson. Get ready for a highly quaffable couple of days outdoors. NATHAN SMITH
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