Odd Pairs: Ten Upcoming Nights of Music Bring Wild Variations

Diversity is a big deal in H-Town. In fact, our cultural diversity creates such a wide variety of musical styles, it is hard to figure out just what kind of music town we are. In places like Memphis, Nashville, Seattle and even Austin, it's fairly easy to recognize the sound that informs, if not completely identifies, an artist band with his home town.

Here, we have a little bit of everything. Blues, jazz, Latin, country, rock, metal, r&b and hip-hop are all a part of our music scene, which is what makes it more difficult for us to define ourselves musically, at least in part. Make no mistake, this is a strength, but it can also be a frustrating source of angst for a city that often suffers from a collective self-esteem problem.

When glancing through the glut (and it is a glut) of upcoming shows, we noticed that many upcoming evenings play directly to the very diversity that makes us who we are. Our sister blog, Eating Our Words, does a regular feature called "Odd Pair," focused on putting two strange food items together and seeing what happens. Ten times over the next month, Houston music will have some odd pairs of its own.

Thursday, April 14

The Avett Brothers - Verizon Wireless Theater Dokken - Numbers

This is just the first of what could easily be deemed the "then and now" concert series, with '80s hair band Dokken and modern indie-bluegrass-pop outfit The Avett Brothers. The venues seem appropriate, although in the '80s, the poor goths wouldn't have known what to do with Don Dokken and his crew. Maybe weep softly in the corner.

Winner: The Avett Brothers

Pete Yorn (House of Blues) and ReBirth Brass Band (Warehouse Live) are also in town that same night. Talk about diversity.

Friday, April 15

Ronnie Misap - Grand Opera House (Galveston) Toadies - Warehouse Live

We love us some old-school country. In fact, we got the chance to see Ronnie Milsap at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo back in the '70s when we were just wee tikes. Trying to imagine him paired up with Dallas grunge rockers Toadies is like trying to imagine Tammy Wynette hooking up with Kanye help me, Jesus.

Winner: Toadies 

Catch Milsap at the second show on Saturday and everybody wins.

Saturday, April 16

Hard Drive Tour Featuring Saliva - Verizon Wireless Theater Lil' Wayne - Toyota Center

Main Street around midnight should be a very interesting place to be on this night. The Hard Drive Tour makes its stop in Houston with some angry rockers like Saliva, who will "Click Click Boom" your ass back to the stone age. On the other side of downtown, rapper Lil' Wayne hopefully will avoid the "drank" while hanging in H-Town, since he was residing on Rikers Island just last year. Ironically, if it were Limp Bizkit at Verizon, it wouldn't shock us to see Fred Durst and Lil' Wayne doing a duet on top of the Houston Pavilions.

Winner: Lil' Wayne

We'll take some smoke and sizzurp over a pissed-off dude juiced on Red Bull and adrenaline every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Saturday, April 23

The Psychedelic Furs - Warehouse Live Ricky Martin - Toyota Center

So close and yet, so far, the Furs and Latin pretty boy Martin will be separated by only mere blocks, but it may as well be an ocean for all they have in common. The '80s new wavers are just one of a number of acts from the shoulder pads-and-parachute pants era to grace Houston in the next few weeks, Duran Duran chief among them. Martin will continue to live the...we swore we wouldn't break out the "la vida loca" puns and we stick by that. If nothing else, the traffic in that area should be very interesting.

Winner: The Psychedelic Furs

Hard to resist our youth on this one. Plus, we'll be worn out from that rockin' James Taylor show the night before.

Tuesday, April 26

Rooney - Warehouse Live Tony Bennett - Jones Hall

One is considered by manyto be the classic crooning voice of a generation. One has a front man whose cousin is Sofia Coppola and who appeared on The OC as himself. Oh, how things change. Rooney is actually not a bad power pop band, and they may have been one of the few artists not to duet with Bennett, which is really a plus for them. Bennett, God bless him, never had the voice of Mel Torme or the charisma of Frank Sinatra, but damn if he doesn't keep on keeping on.

Winner: Tony Bennett

If those aren't weird enough for you, you can catch George Thorogood or Charlie Sheen instead. Did we mention the night before is Yanni? What the hell, universe?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke