If you had a dollar for every year it's been since John Prine has played in Houston - OK, maybe $2 or $3; the point is it's been a long time - you could easily afford a ticket to see the wise, sardonic master singer-songwriter at 8 p.m. tonight at U of H's Cullen Performance Hall (4800 Calhoun), so we'll count that as "cheap." Since Texas' own Alejandro Escovedo is bound to put on a songwriting clinic of its own, it definitely counts as "cool." Find tickets at Ticketmaster.
Just a reminder that tonight's visit by NYC rockers the Walkmen, who always put on a great live show, has been moved over to Fitzgerald's with Milo Greene. The band is now signed to Mississippi's Fat Possum Records, and have injected a dose of sunshine into well-reviewed new album Heaven, which came out in May. Does anyone else remember Jonathan Fire*eater?
This week talked to Houston rapper Nosaprise, probably one of the nicest local musicians we know, about We Give a Jam, the event he's helping put on 1 p.m. Saturday at the Break Free Community Center (9191 Winkler). Now in its seventh year, We Give a Jam aims to highlight the more family-friendly side of hip-hop, featuring graffiti artists, a B-boy battle and music by HPMA winners Free Radicals, Hollywood FLOSS's new crew T.H.E.M. (Houston's Elite MCs), and DJs the Krackernuttz and Comp1. It's free, but please bring $10 in school supplies for some local kids you know will put to good use. "Last year, actually Dead Prez came to check it out, because one of the guys in Dead Prez lives in Houston," says Nosa, whose next album Book of the Dead is scheduled to drop on Day of the Dead (November 1).
Christopher Gaddis of the Down Syndrome Association of Houston called in Thursday to tell us about a free acoustic night he's putting on Saturday at the Sheraton Brookhollow Hotel, 3000 N. Loop 610 W. On the bill is talented local singer-songwriter Clory Martin and Samantha Leal, visiting from Fort Worth. (Rootsy!) Gaddis stresses that this is a free show, not a fundraiser, but of course donations are most welcome. He's got a good ear, too: Nicole Johnson and Paulina Cerella, who performed at Gaddis' show a few months back, are both about to appear on an upcoming episode of NBC's The Voice.
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Here's another one we just found out about Thursday: Saturday night's Continental Club reunion of Twenty Mondays, the Houston alternative-pop band comparable to INXS or Talk Talk that made it all the way to a deal with Spindletop Records, the L.A. label where late SXSW Creative Director Brent Grulke worked briefly as a manager. The album Twist Inside was released in 1991, and features both Toto's Jeff Porcaro and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers helping out on drums. (How about that?) According to the band's Ken Sheppard, Saturday will be the first time the original lineup has performed in 19 years, and celebrates the 20th anniversary of Twist Inside's release. And just in case you needed more local music history as a reason to show up, opening are the Dead Links, the new project by former Pain Teen Scott Ayers.
Ummm... ahhh... Fishbone is playing Fitz on Sunday. For free (21+ only; $7 under). Fishbone! Plus beloved locals Los Skarnales and American Fangs, part of Fitz's 2nd Grand Reopening Party. With Fishbone!