Sam Smith Toyota Center, August 14
There’s not even that much debate over whether Sam Smith is the most gifted soul singer to come along in a generation; a voice like his is so pure it almost defies the laws of nature. The 23-year-old London native’s trajectory from obscurity to superstardom has come at a 21st-century pace, touched off by his appearance on UK EDM duo Disclosure’s single “Latch” in late 2012, but the lovelorn modern hymns of his 2014 debut LP In the Lonely Hour — particularly megahit “Stay With Me” — are spring-loaded with staying power. Smith’s long, long-awaited Houston debut represents a chance for him to set things right with local fans after his show last fall at House of Blues got scratched last-minute due to throat problems. Turns out that might be for the best; the rafters are much better at Toyota Center anyway.
Lone Star Beer Texas Heritage Festival Silver Street Studios, August 15
Roomy, concrete and echo-y, Houston’s Silver Street Studios may be the best live-music venue in town that isn’t regularly used as such, but Saturday presents an excellent chance to check it out — especially since admission is free as long as there’s room. The lineup reads like an all-star team of contemporary Texas acts drawn from a typically wide range of genres: astute and robust alt-country (Old 97’s); twisted psych-rock (The Black Angels); wicked Latin funk (Grupo Fantasma); honest-to-God honky-tonk (Dale Watson & His Lone Stars); and classic soul (Latasha Lee & the Black Ties). Houston’s contribution to this melting pot is fiery young rockers Purple, who are actually from Beaumont, but no one who has heard their 2014 LP 409 will begrudge them the 90 miles further east. Tickets are available at lonestarbeer.com; entry will be first-come/first-serve and all proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank. Another reason to thank the fine folks at Lone Star Beer, not that we really needed one. Doors open at noon.
Biscuit Pop-Up Show Cactus Music, August 15 (3 p.m.)
There was nobody like Randy “Biscuit” Turner, and there will never be another one. Flamboyant" would be too reserved by half to describe the larger-than-life personality (and larger-than-life frame) of the member of the Big Boys, Swineking, Cargo Cult and Texas Biscuit Bombs, whose 2005 passing left Texas a lot less colorful. Biscuit's means of expression could hardly be confined to the stage; he was also a gifted visual artist, unorthodox in the extreme. "Biscuit took cues from former volatile art punks like Exene Cervenka from Los Angeles, various avant-garde art movements that dared to disrupt conventions and norms, and the keen mishmash style of local poster makers," says punk-rock academic and Press contributor David Ensminger, who is curating Saturday's pop-up show at Cactus featuring all manner of Biscuit's art. "In doing so, he forged a genuine, homegrown East Texas surrealism that spoke volumes about being a true outsider." On display will be all manner of Biscuit's creations — original art, letters, poems, flyers, etc. — and DJ Sonic Reducer will be spinning some choice Biscuit cuts, as well as some of his favorite tunes.
SEVEN MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
The Dead Daisies: Ex-members of G'N'R, Thin Lizzy, Motley Crue, et. al. recently became one of the first bands to record in Cuba post-detente and have returned with the rockin' Revolucion. (Concert Pub North, August 14)
TXDS Summer Slam 2015: Full day of metal and mayhem featuring Bloodline 713, G.O.D.S., Seal the Abyss, Funeral Shroud, and many more; starts 6 p.m. (BFE Rock Club, August 15)
Sylvain Sylvain: New York Dolls melody man loves rock and roll. And he loves to talk.(Fitzgerald's, August 15)
Moses Guest: Specialists in Southern groove. Solos can go on a while. (Continental Club, August 15)
Blaggards: Stout Irish-Texan rock by the Seawall. (East Beach Pavilion, 1923 Boddeker Dr., Galveston, 3 p.m. August 16)
Eric Johnson: The Austin New Age/rock guitar shaman in an intimate acoustic setting with pianist Mike Stern. (House of Blues, August 16)
Neurosis: A Steve Albini favorite, veteran Bay Area industrial/noise crew most recently ground the gears on 2012's Honor Found In Decay. (Warehouse Live, August 16)
Fifth Anniversary Party: DJs Scott Butt, Seize the Beat's Andy & Jason, Arnie Guisada and more help the Museum District tavern stay rowdy. (Grand Prize Bar, August 16)
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