Real Friends, Neck Deep Scout Bar, November 14
Had they existed in the early '00s, it's likely a lot of people in their late twenties or early thirties would have Real Friends lyrics tattooed on their body. The Chicago group's new album, Maybe This Place Is the Same and We're Just Changing, is full of quotables that tug at the heartstrings and is basically a perfect pop-punk record -- sad, but not necessarily pessimistic, full of songs that are begging to be screamed out loud in concert.
Add to that Neck Deep and the perfection that is "Silver Lining," and you've got a night that's going to be all sorts of emotional. With Cruel Hand. Note: this show has been moved from Walters Downtown. CORY GARCIA
The Perfectly Violent Dream Fitzgerald's, November 14
Before returning to some semblance of normalcy on this year's Morning Phase, Beck put out Song Reader, the alt-rock mad scientist's 2012 album released not on LP, CD or MP3, but notes-on-a-staff sheet music. Houston musician Bradley Dean Whyte, leader of psych-pop outfit The Perfectly Violent Dream, has the distinction of staging the Reader's world premiere at Austin's Mohawk not long after its late-2012 release, and has now recruited popular local musicians Kristine Mills and Chase Hamblin for the Houston show, as well as Broadway alumna Becca Ayers (The Addams Family).
The songs on the Reader are said to be a typically eccentric sampling of 20th-century styles from Tin Pan Alley on down, so expect an interesting evening to say the least. White will also play a set of original songs drawn from the Dream's new album, SpazCandy. CHRIS GRAY
The Black Keys Toyota Center, November 15
The Black Keys sounded huge even when they were playing basement dives with broken plumbing. Now that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are playing arenas, they sound as gritty and sweaty as they did back then, only with much better sound engineers. The duo's ninth album, Turn Blue, is one of the biggest-selling records of 2014, evidence that '70s muscle-car riffs multiplied by '60s garage and soul 45s can still work at the cash register. With Jake Bugg. CHRIS GRAY
Eli Young Band House Party Minute Maid Park, November 15
It's getting late in the year for a music festival, but hey, the Astros weren't using Minute Maid Park anyway, right? (You might even argue they barely use it during baseball season too, but that would be mean.) But Saturday, Eli Young Band expands their House Party to Houston after successful test runs last year and last weekend in Arlington.
Besides EYB, still stretching this year's 10,000 Towns LP into extra bases, also in the dugout are Texas country sluggers the Josh Abbott Band and a pair of long-relief specialists, Thomas Rhett and the Cody Johnson Band, in the bullpen. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks sold separately. CHRIS GRAY
Hip-Hop For Hunger Awards CT | Legacy Church (9701 Almeda Genoa), November 15
Right there in plain sight, Houston has become the epicenter of "inspirational rap," the spot where the Good Word meets "word up." You couldn't pick a better spot to start finding out about this thriving, uplifting scene than Saturday's Hip-Hop For Hunger Awards, hosted by CW39's Ky Meyer. Scheduled to perform are some of the leading "Holy Hip-Hop" names in the Greater Houston area, among them Pyrexx, JT, Raw, Reconcile, 2 Crunk, Trevor Lee, AJ McQueen and World Rejects. These acts will have your head nodding even if you haven't been to church in a while.
In a way, that's kind of the point -- host church Legacy's congregation is headed up by Pastor Vaughaligan Walwyn, aka Von Won the rapper (who will also perform). Bring five canned goods and admission is free. See hungerawards.com for more. CHRIS GRAY
Galactic House of Blues, November 16
I could never live in New Orleans or else I'd flood my liver, but I sure do enjoy the culture, food, people and especially the music of The Big Easy. Any time Galactic, a Crescent City band I've seen more than most, comes back to Houston it calls for a party. Featuring one of the best drummers of our time in Stanton Moore, Galactic will bring their energetic funk, soul and blues-laden sound to a packed House of Blues. JIM BRICKER
More shows on the next page.
Sturgill Simpson Fitzgerald's, November 16
It's not often you find an album on Bandcamp and the Top 10 of iTunes, but you will with Sturgill Simpson's second album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music. The Kentucky native and latter-day Waylon soundalike (just don't tell him that) has turned the heads of country-music haters left and right, and turned plenty more country-music lovers who had nearly tuned out right back on. Metamodern enough for you? CHRIS GRAY
THREE MORE SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
Wayne Hancock, Flamin' Hellcats: Pomade and Dickies a must when rockabilly meets vatobilly. (Scout Bar, November 14)
The Whispers, Stephanie Mills: Relive those disco days with these smooth '70s/'80s soul stars. (Arena Theatre, November 15)
Eric Taylor: Master troubador returns to Houston's mother church. (Anderson Fair, November 15)
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