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Mastodon returns to Houston at White Oak Music Hall.
Mastodon returns to Houston at White Oak Music Hall.
Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

Scorpion Breath: The Best Music of The Week in Houston

Well, the summer tours are rolling in even though it's not yet summer. While we've lucked out with weather that's been pretty enjoyable lately, this week will heat up with sets from Mastodon, Helmet, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Unknown Hinson will all roll through town. Of course, that doesn't mean the locals won't be on hand to help with performances from The Cops, Turnaways, Ruckus, and many more.

Tonight you can get started with Mastodon over at White Oak Music Hall downstairs. Touring in support of last year's Emperor of Sand, the Georgia based four piece hasn't really slowed down over the years, and their live sets are always memorable. Plus, with tracks like "Scorpion Breath" and "Ancient Kingdom," they don't sound like they're winding down. All Them Witches will be on hand as direct support while the all ages show will get opened by Dallas' Mothership. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $29.50.

Of course, if that's not your thing then you could catch a different type of metal over in the studio at Warehouse Live, when Helmet returns to town. It's hard to believe that these guys are right at 30 years together as a band, as Paige Hamilton has never really relented with the piercing sounds he makes. While you might know the band best for their hit "Unsung," their last release Dead To The World proves they're getting better with age. The industrial metal of Prong will be on as direct support and openers for the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $22 to $25.

Thursday you can get your jazz fix when North Carolina's Squirrel Nut Zippers perform at the Heights Theater. Together twenty-five years now, this collective of about nine people make some of the most infectious sounds you'll hear. While their 1996 album Hot will always be a favorite, their latest release Beasts of Burgundy proves they aren't slowing down any time soon. Ginny Mac, formerly of Brave Combo will open the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $24 to $36.

TAME will bring his mike skills to Notsuoh.
TAME will bring his mike skills to Notsuoh.
Photo by Cheeba Cruz

Things are pretty stacked at Notsuoh when Chicago's Rich Jones stops by to give his hip hop jams. Supporting his latest Light Work, Jones is known for a crazed style. Denver's Curta will be on as direct support while Houston's TAME will drop jams beforehand. Sets from The Regal People, Danny Watts, FlygerWoods will all happen as well. The 21 & up show is opened by Jake Jobs and hosted by OG Shyne. Doors at 8 p.m.; Free.

Rudyard's will get loud when The Satanic Overlords of Rock N' Roll drop by to play. If you're a fan of bands like Dwarves and Black Sabbath, then this is the band for you. while they have raucous live sets, that doesn't mean they can't back it up with tunes, and their latest single "Demon" is pretty solid. Atlanta's Gunpowder Gray will be on as direct support while Houston's Killer Hearts will go on beforehand. Hell's Engine will get the 21 & up show started. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $8.

Big Top will get groovy when Motion Potion swings by to play your favorite sixties jams. While this band is made up of musicians you already know from other projects, that just means you're guaranteed to get those sixties favorites played better than usual. Get out your dancing shoes for this 21 & up show. Doors at 9 p.m.; Free.

Houston's Steph Cooksey is a name you should keep an eye on.
Houston's Steph Cooksey is a name you should keep an eye on.
Photo by Nicolle Roberts

Friday at the Heights Theater, the soulful folk of Washington's Tyrone Wells will be on full display. Wells has been making catchy songs for a good while, and his latest release The Whatamagump is pretty solid. Not to be outdone, Houston's Steph Cooksey will bring her soulful tunes on as direct support while New York's Gabe Dixon will open the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $22.

Over at House of Blues, Canadian rapper NAV will swing through to drop a set. Supporting his latest drop, last year's Perfect Timing, the Toronto based rapper has been popping off lately and should make for a solid performance. Canada's 88Glam will be on the all ages show as direct support and openers. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $26.75.

Rudyard's will get loud when Houston's The Daphne Blue swing by to play their brand of indie rock. Kind of like Replacements, these guys are on the verge of dropping a stellar new album, but if you really need to hear what they're about then you can check out their 2018 Demo. The proggy sounds of Treehouse Project will be on as direct support while Sancho Smith will get the 21 & up show started. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $8.

Unknown Hinson returns from beyond to Continental Club.
Unknown Hinson returns from beyond to Continental Club.
Photo courtesy of artist

If you've ever wondered what happens when a 400 year old hillbilly vampire sounds like, then you should head to Continental Club for the always intriguing tunes of Unknown Hinson. Hinson doesn't release a ton of music so let's say his last drop was 21 Chart Toppers, but as the voice of Early Cuyler from the show "Squidbillies," you should see him sooner than later as his live shows are really fun. Missouri's Jack Grelle will open the 21 & up show. Doors at 9 p.m.; tickets $18.

You can get your funky shoes on when DJ G Funk swings by Big Top to drop jams. Tunes from soul to funk to R&B will all get spun at the 21 & up set. Doors at 10 p.m.; Free.

On Saturday you could trek out to the Woodlands at Dosey Doe to catch the always graceful twang of Asleep At The Wheel. While the band's last release was a holiday album, their 2015 album Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys is pretty amazing. If you like Western swing like it's meant to be played, this is the show for you. The all ages show doesn't have an opener. Doors at 6:30 p.m.; tickets $88 to $148 and includes dinner.

Rockefeller's will get a pop injection when Cleveland's The Lighthouse and the Whaler swing by. These guys make pretty infectious pop folk, and their latest single "Into The Unknown" is super catchy. The critically acclaimed sounds of Philadelphia's Vita and the Woolf will be on the all ages show as support and openers. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $12 to $40.

Ruckus will remind you why you love Texas guitar.
Ruckus will remind you why you love Texas guitar.
Photo by Maddie Richards

Upstairs at White Oak Music Hall, the guys from Ruckus will swing by to drop the twang hammer. These guys play a mix of Texas blues infused with country twang that would make Billy F Gibbons proud, and their latest single "Say You Will" is as strong as Americana gets. Nathan Quick will bring his bluesy sounds on as direct support while Charlie Harrison will get everyone going as opener on the all ages show. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $5.

If you'd rather get down, you could swing by Continental Club for The Suspects. Mixing dance hall ska with ska punk, these guys have always sounded stellar in person, and their last release How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Ska is pretty splendid. The tongue in cheek punk of The Cops will be on as direct support while Thrill will get the 21 & up show going. Doors at 9 p.m.; $5 cover.

Sunday you might want to head to White Oak Music Hall upstairs for the indie vibes of Turnaways. Celebrating the new release Hard Dreams, the Houston trio is always worth making it out for. The electro-pop of Camera Cult will be on as direct support while No Rehearsal will get the all ages show started. Doors at 6 p.m.; tickets $8.

BABYMETAL will bring all the intensity to Revention Music Center.
BABYMETAL will bring all the intensity to Revention Music Center.
Photo Wikimedia

At Revention Music Center, the dance moves and crazed guitars of Japan's BABYMETAL will be on full display. Sure, it seems like a slap in the face to the genre, but it's also pretty entertaining and their latest release Metal Resistance should hold your attention. The progressive metal of Skyharbor will open the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $35.

Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, the rock of Philadelphia's Dr. Dog will be back in town. Supporting their deeper sounding release Critical Equation, and their live shows are always entertaining. Son Little will be on as direct support and openers for the all ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $26.

On Tuesday at White Oak Music Hall, the indie rock of Pennsylvania's The Wonder Years will return to town. These guys make music that's hard not to like, their live shows are always fun, and their latest release Sister Cities is their best to date. Tigers Jaw will be on as direct support while the indie sounds of Tiny Moving Parts will go on prior. The all ages show will get opened up by Brooklyn's Worriers. Doors at 6 p.m.; tickets $22.

That's about it for this week. Remember that no one wants to deal with you when you've had too much to drink, so drink like an adult and get home safe for everyone's sake.

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