Interpol House of Blues, October 3
After 2010's self-titled release was met with a collective shrug and following the departure of longtime bassist/co-founder Carlos Dengler, Interpol looked like it might be down for the count. But after a short hiatus and two solo albums from vocalist Paul Banks, the NYC rockers regrouped and found enough inspiration to release what might be their best album since 2002 debut Turn on the Bright Lights. The first two singles released from El Pintor were enough to blow Interpol's eponymous release out of the water, and a once-over of the entire record via NPR confirmed these suspicions. [Note: this show is sold out.] MATTHEW KEEVER
Iggy Azalea Bayou Music Center, October 3
A most 21st-century diva, Iggy Azalea has become one of the world's biggest pop stars almost overnight, but without losing touch with the streets. The 24-year-old Australian emigre and sometime model spent the late 2000s and early 2010s living in Miami, Atlanta and even Houston, where her experiences were mixed: she was swept away by the sounds of of local label Swishahouse but got mixed up with Jefe Wine, the rapper she is now suing for releasing some early demo recordings he allegedly downloaded from her computer without her knowledge.
While that drama plays out in the legal system, Azalea's mini-dramas like "Fancy" and "Black Widow" - songs that pair her swag-dripping flow with state-of-the-art studio sounds - have hit Billboard's Top 5 and have her debut LP The New Classic well on its way to becoming one of 2014's biggest-selling albums. Top that, Nicki Minaj. CHRIS GRAY
Sam Smith House of Blues, October 4
Until the inevitable occurs and Adele returns to change our lives once more, Sam Smith currently rules the land when it comes to downtrodden British pop-soul music. The 22-year-old broke major ground by appearing on Disclosure's "Latch" last year, and his own solo moments have reduced many to tears or wondering about their own status in life.
"Stay With Me" registers as one of the year's most stirring performances based on Smith's vocal range alone, which he has in spades. His first Houston appearance comes in with a penciled can't-miss tag, as he's one of the lone males on the R&B circuit actually singing about love and heartbreak. [Note: this show is sold out.] BRANDO
Bury the Crown Fitzgerald's, October 4
See elsewhere in these "pages" today for an interview with locals Some Nerve about their recently released politically charged, agit-punk self-titled album, which we expect to have everyone storming the barricades (or writing their congressmen) immediately after Fitzgerald's. However, the newest plate by a member of Saturday night's bill is The Proletariat, the steel-trap sophomore release by Bury the Crown, previously known (give or take a member or two) as A Dream Asleep. A sort of twisted tarot deck of songs like "The Heist," "The Gigolo" and "The Campaign," Proletariat smashes hell-for-leather Black Flag-ish hardcore into Pantera-esque riffage with appropriately gruesome results. Get ready to get nasty. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Micky & the Motorcars Firehouse Saloon, October 4
Austin's dependable Micky & the Motorcars play straightforward, rockin' country music tempered by countless nights peering through a neon haze, and have never pretended to do anything otherwise. Micky and Gary Braun's group forms the youngest branch of a family tree along with their older brothers in Reckless Kelly and patriarch Muzzie Braun, with whom the whole clan appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show when Micky was all of 8 years old.
This month marks the tenth anniversary of Ain't In It For the Money, the album that would become the Motorcars' first of five (though not counting the obligatory Live at Billy Bob's LP) through this year's Hearts From Above. Released in July, Hearts has already sent the title track to the Top 10 of the Texas Music Chart and contains a number of other singles-in-waiting: the radio-ready "Once In a Lifetime Girl," Joe Ely-ish "Hurt" and a solid cover of Alejandro Escovedo's "Sister Lost Soul." CHRIS GRAY
Jimmy Cliff House of Blues, October 5
Many people know little of reggae beyond Bob Marley or, more specifically, his still-selling Legend. While Bob's imprint on reggae is undeniable, that world was and continues to be packed with an amazing amount of equally talented singer-songwriters who have been churning out one meaningful tune after another for decades.
Toots Hibbert, Bunny Wailer, Gregory Issacs, Burning Spear, and many other artists have made reggae much more than that one "greatest hits" record that Marley probably never even wanted to release in the first place, but Jimmy Cliff may be the first among equals. As heard in concert and on his 2012 album Rebirth, Cliff's music is full of positive vibes and even better people. JIM BRICKER
FOUR OTHER SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Turquoise Jeep Presents: "Lemme Smang It" posse brings much swag in the form of Flynt Flossy, Whatchyamacallit, Pretty Raheem, Yung Humma, Yip Deceiver, Hakeem and DJ Baby Roo. (Walters Downtown, October 3)
25 Years of Uncle Charlie Art: One of Houston's elite poster artists (to put it mildly) cleans out his attic; expect works from the Axiom, Vatican, Emo's, "and possibly a clown who tells dirty jokes," he says. See here for a map and more. (3710 Main (old Sig's Lagoon), 5 p.m. October 4)
Peace, Love & Rescue: '60s-themed fundraiser for our four-legged friends features happening Austin cats the Ugly Beats. Very groovy, baby. (Hyde Park Gallery, 115 Hyde Park Blvd., 6 p.m. October 4)
Paolo Nutini: Scottish soul singer melts some hearts. (Warehouse Live, October 4)
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