Bayou City

Shows of the Week: A 'Return of the Dreads' Not Necessarily About Hair

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 3
Hilariously billed as “Return of the Dreads,” this summer outing by two ‘90s hard-rock heavyweights sounds like something excavated from the psychic crevasses of aging Gen-Xers’ nightmares — or, more to the point, out of one of Rob Zombie’s demonically well-crafted horror flicks. Zombie’s new album titles always make subtle hints at what fans might be in for live, in this case The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration. As for Korn, founded in 1992, they’ve held steady as one of rock’s heaviest acts while adding and subtracting elements of electronica and hip-hop through their most recent album, 2013’s The Paradigm Shift, which marked the return of founding guitarist Brian “Head” Welch to the fold after a decade. One thing is certain: between Zombie’s strip-club-in-hell scenarios and Korn’s H.R. Giger-inspired set design, Wednesday’s show will be a macabre feast for the eyes as well as the ears. With In This Moment.

Walters Downtown, August 5
Nothing takes the edge off the summer heat better than an evening of refreshingly loud, estrogen-charged indie rock. Headlining is Dressy Bessy, the veteran Denver trio whose first LP in eight years, KINGSIZED (Yep Roc), bounces off the walls with garage-y energy and Farfisa-laced sass. Houston’s Giant Kitty, meanwhile, are in the middle of a breakout year thanks to their LP This Stupid Stuff, which mixes whimsy and on-point social commentary around old-school swagger and wickedly catchy riffs. Rounding out the show are Galveston’s El Lago, who evoke prime ‘90s dream-pop on 2015 Bandcamp loosie “Tell Me How It Ends”; and Rose Ette, the local mixed-gender combo who released the buoyant, hooky EP Jungle last fall.

Continental Club, August 5
Once hailed by SPIN magazine as “undeniably the South’s greatest rock band,” Dash Rip Rock has done precious little to discourage such a lofty designation in its 30-year career. Founded and piloted from the get-go by Bill Davis, a former music critic whose cheeky wit spills abundantly into his songs, the New Orleans trio brings their leader’s gleeful irreverence to bear on energetic rock and roll equally inspired by Cheap Trick, the Ramones and Jason & the Scorchers. After wrapping up a deal with Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles that began with 2007’s Hee Haw Hell — their must-listen “Dante goes to the bayou” concept album — and wrapped with 2012’s Black Liquor, the ever-industrious Davis most recently cranked out a Billy Joe Shaver tribute LP and last year’s Wrongheaded, which breezes through trademark tongue-in-cheek tunes like “Awesome,” “Loser” and “Swamp Pigs” with ease.

Cactus Music, August 6
As the openly gay singer for seminal Texas punks the Big Boys, Randy "Biscuit" Turner was a living avatar for “Keep Austin Weird.” His fertile singing style was an often fluid layering of hoarse punk barks, venom and demented howls, soul-music smoothness, skate-rock exhortations, and go-go funkiness. He effortlessly married worlds together – black and white, Motown and hardcore, art-infested New Wave and Go-Go music. Few singers matched such ambition, style and freedom. Biscuit, who passed away in 2005, was a kaleidoscope, a seeker of the wild side, a true mutant forging a genuine, homegrown East Texas uniqueness that resisted the frustrating, hollow clichés that brand homosexuality, punk rock and the Lone Star state alike. Saturday, the author — Biscuit’s former editor and drummer — presents a two-hour celebration of his life, featuring giveaways (including a colored-vinyl, double-LP French-imported Biscuit Bombs/Cargo Cult release); DJ-spun soul, punk and funk; and free beer. DAVID ENSMINGER

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 6
Before they got so symbolic, the Dixie Chicks were already one of the most exciting groups country music had seen in a generation, combining loads of charisma and killer chops with a sharp song-picking ear on tunes like 1998 breakout hit “Wide Open Spaces.” And they were from Texas, which is why Natalie Maines’ infamous 2003 comments about George W. Bush stung so many people around here so badly. What happened next — the CD bonfires, country radio’s cold shoulder, and even accusations of treason — is one of the uglier episodes in recent music history, opening wounds that took a long, long time to heal. That they eventually did, and that so many fans are embracing the Chicks’ return to the summer-tour circuit after once turning their backs on them, is grounds for hoping this reunion lasts long enough for the Chicks to record and release some new music — because we all know they must have a lot to say.

Warehouse Live, August 8
Doughbeezy has set fire to the Warehouse Live stage on numerous occasions; now, along with recent partner Q. Guyton, he’s set to headline HoustonTREND’s Cold Summer Jam Sunday evening. The concert is the final piece of an elaborate promo run for the duo, who premiered the short film Cold Summer to a sold-out house at AMC Studio 30 last week. Dough's rapid-fire flows and wordplay have won people over since 2010 mixtape Reggie Bush & Kool-Aid; next Sunday represents his first major show since the release of its sequel earlier this spring, and the first since Dough almost lost his life last year. Preceding them onstage will be a literal all-star team of Houston artists — Dante Higgins, Bigg Fatts, Undergravity, Jon S, Jay-Von & Rosewood Thiez will be asked to bring nothing but hard-hitting raps, while rising R&B singer Denaron will inject some smoothness. To headline at Warehouse Live is one thing. To headline easily the most loaded local rap lineup in quite some time is another. BRANDON CALDWELL
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray