Deerhoof Walters, November 5
San Francisco's Deerhoof is the kind of band that will either drive you crazy or capture your heart, probably both at the same time. Greg Saulnier's crew mixes experimental racket with sharp-toothed pop smarts, becoming a favorite on the oddball circuit over the past 15 years. (Has it really been that long?) This year's Breakup Song boxes up squelchy synth-pop and sugary-sweet indie-rock for a 30-minute thrill ride you can screen for yourself on YouTube. Liam Finn, the next generation of New Zealand's Split Enz/Crowded House kiwi-pop royal family (he's Neil's son), opens. CHRIS GRAY
Dysrhythmia Walters, November 6
Proggish Brooklyn instrumentalists Dysrhythmia tore a hole through the infant indie-metal scene in the early '00s with a handful of challenging, nourishing albums. A good starting point is 2003's Pretest, whose jazz-inflected sound no doubt helped pave a path for listeners to explore more adventurous musical passages in the metal realm. In fact, you can hear the band's stamp on locals like Scale the Summit, Co-Pilot, and Tuesday's openers Cavernous. CRAIG HLAVATY
Jackson Browne Bayou Music Center, November 7
Jackson Browne's songs are sort of like professional sports: A very grown-up version of a kid's game. A charter member of the group of musicians that headquartered itself in Southern California's Laurel Canyon in the late '60s and early '70s, Browne used to crash naked pool parties at Monkee Peter Tork's house. Although he had already played with Nico and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band by then, Browne arrived for good at age 23 with the eponymous debut that spawned "Doctor My Eyes" and "Rock Me On the Water"; that same year, he co-wrote the Eagles' hit "Take It Easy."
In 1977, he released Running on Empty, still the best single album about the life of a touring musician. Browne's harmonically rich, laid-back, quintessentially Californian songs conceal feelings that are far from peaceful and easy. With Sara Watkins. CHRIS GRAY
R. Kelly Jones Hall, November 7.
A few years removed from being trapped in the headlines, R. Kelly is now an author, recently penning Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me. Furthermore, the Chicago R&B master's new album Write Me Back is more a tribute to the likes of Barry White and Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson than a means of convincing the ladies to remove their unmentionables.
But Kells has earned the rest; in the past two decades, no other singer has come up with more creative ways to describe pleasuring the female anatomy and the lengths to which he will go to do so. In fact, he already has another album, Black Panties, that will be supposedly dropping soon. That's right, I said it. CHRIS GRAY
The Octanes Blanco's, November 8
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Adam Burchfield's hard-rockin', bass-slappin' rockabilly cats may not live in Houston anymore, but they haven't gone far - just to Austin. Listen for tunes from 2011's fine album Roots, Rock & Romance. CHRIS GRAY