Continental Club, June 5
Lafayette's Feufollet mixes in plenty of honky-tonk and Americana with vintage Cajun music and zydeco, and experienced a second wind on this year's Two Universes, their first album since the arrival of new singer and fiddle player Kelli Jones-Savoy. Now the group founded a decade ago by Chris Stafford and Anna Laura Edmiston (who left amicably in 2012), hoping to help preserve traditional French-sung Cajun music, is at the center of an unlikely revival of Cajun culture in their hometown that they helped bring about. “I think people really yearn to have something that’s authentic and specific to their area,” the North Carolina-raised Jones-Savoy told the Oxford American earlier this year. “When you live in an area like we live, there’s so much to find that all of us can be proud of. Now everybody has tattoos of the state of Louisiana on them.”
Free Press Summer Festival
NRG Park (Yellow Lot), June 6 & 7
Before its flood-spurred move to NRG Park, Free Press Summer Fest's goal this year was to be remembered for any other reason than that 2015 is the year R. Kelly played. Although the controversial Chicago R&B star remains in the lineup, the considerable backlash seems to have chastened the festival somewhat, supposedly leading to anti-sexual-assault PSA videos before every single performance. You probably won't see that at almost any other event of this kind, which is sort of the point. You also probably won't see the brilliant art-pop of St. Vincent alongside latter-day Texas guitar hero Gary Clark Jr. and the arena-worthy EDM dynamics of Skrillex and Steve Angello very often either.
Now in its seventh year, FPSF has found a mostly comfortable balance of graying extreme music (Mastodon, Rocket From the Crypt), also graying indie royalty (Belle & Sebastian, Decemberists), Americana underdogs (Charles Bradley, Sturgill Simpson), civic-pride boosters (the “Welcome to Houston” rap showcase) and can't-miss throwbacks (Weezer, Tears For Fears) to go with whatever the kids are into these days (pretty much everything else). But it also makes room for beyond-the-pale acts who are nowhere near prime-time-ready (Goatwhore, Diarrhea Planet), and locals getting their first awestruck taste of a big-time festival experience (Moji, Deep Cuts, Guilla, Catch Fever, Second Lovers). For better or worse, FPSF is Houston to the marrow, which as we all know means putting up with an unpleasant odor every now and again.
Accordion Kings & Queens Festival
Miller Outdoor Theatre, June 6
German, Mexican, Creole, even Western Swing — if there is some dancing going on in Texas, there's probably an accordion nearby. For the past quarter-century and change, invaluable nonprofit Texas Folklife has helped preserve authentic Texas folkways by, among other things, sponsoring the annual Accordion Kings & Queens contest for the state's best young squeezebox players. As you might imagine, the finals held each year at Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre turn out to be a helluva party too. This year's winners – Elizabeth Kelley (Cajun/zydeco), Brandon Hodde (polka) and Rito Pena (conjunto) – will be joined by the Cajun/country hybrid Debra Peters and the Love Saints, Jerome Batiste and the Zydeko Players, and Max Baca's Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs, releasing their brand-new CD Americano Groove; plus special Augie Meyers and Flaco Jiminez of the Texas Tornados and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and David Hidalgo. (Wow.) This evening of accordion mania is funded in part by a panoply of discerning sponsors who appreciate Texas culture and great music, including the Houston Press.
The Beaumonts, Poor Dumb Bastards
Rudyard's, June 6
What a perfect pairing: Lubbock’s own cowpunk hillbilly bad boys, the Beaumonts, and Houston’s own longest-running upraised musical middle finger, Poor Dumb Bastards, at Rudz. The Beaumonts, who sought notoriety with their last album when they penned the provocative “Toby Keith (Is the Ugliest Woman I’ve Ever Seen)" in hopes of a publicity windfall – via a cease-and-desist order from Keith’s team that never materialized – are back with Get Ready For the Beaumonts, another set of bad jokes, insults and uncomfortable tales of sex, disease, pestilence and drugs. If irreverence, hijinks, KY jelly references, and songs titled “Big Fake Boobs” aren’t your musical cup of tea, you best skip this one. It will be brutal. (WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH)
Black Barbie, June 7
Even though they’ve only been playing since 2013, Austin’s post-punk supergroup Institute have already emerged as one of the state’s most exciting bands. Featuring members of Glue, Wiccans, & Back to Back, the band spent 2014 putting out releases on Katorga Works and Sacred Bones. This coming Tuesday, their debut LP comes out on Sacred Bones, so they're celebrating with Sunday's record-release show at Black Barbie. The night will also feature a special appearance from Back to Back, who recently uploaded two demos from their forthcoming LP. Back to Back bassist Hank Doyle will be opening the show with his noise project, Maramuresh, and announced this will likely be his last show in Houston before moving to Los Angeles. Local post-punk group The Gast will be opening the show as well, rounding out a lineup people won’t want to miss. (DAVID SACKLLAH)
FIVE MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
The Damnwells: After scattering to the four winds after 2011's No One Listens to the Band Anymore, rebooted Brooklyn major-label refugees are a little wiser on brand-new LP The Damnwells. Also playing 3 p.m. Friday at Cactus Music. (Fitzgerald's, June 5)
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Jon Wolfe: Throwback country singer (think George, Clint & Garth) who first made noise with 2010's “It Happened In a Honky-Tonk” now burnin' up the highway plugging new LP Natural Man. (Firehouse Saloon, June 5)
Bowling For Soup: Denton smartasses played the early-2000s pop-punk sweepstakes and are still cashing dividends on “Girl All the Bad Guys Want,” “1985” and more. (House of Blues, June 5)
Ringworm, Theories, Turbokrieg, Krvshr: Doom/stoner/sludge feast for the senses. (Walters Downtown, June 6)
Sepultura: Sao Paolo's mighty metal warriors — and Brazil's most successful musical exports — celebrate their 30th-anniversary tour. (BFE Rock Club, June 7)