Bayou City

Shows of the Week: Deadpan Stoner Boogie Straight Outta the '70s

JEFF the Brotherhood in 2015
JEFF the Brotherhood in 2015 Roberta via Flickr
The Secret Group, June 7
JEFF the Brotherhood have the same relationship to garage-rock that the Steve Miller Band had before them to blues-rock in that each has always placed its songs before any restraints of genre. Though their band name suggests bare feet and patchouli, JEFF the Brotherhood’s songs owe more to the wholesome ‘70s stadium-rock tradition, sounding now and again like Sabbath’s Supernaut, or a dingier Ramones or Over the Edge-era Cheap Trick. They’re technically legit, they’ve got the tunes, they boogie and they deliver it all with a deadpan stoner style. TEX KERSCHEN

Warehouse Live, June 8
Hard to imagine now, perhaps, but rock radio was once such a warm and inviting climate that even certified oddballs like Oklahoma’s Flaming Lips could have a hit single. That is the world Tripping Daisy stumbled into when, after their whimsical but raucous psych-pop worked up quite a buzz on DFW radio with their 1992 LP Bill, Island Records’ investment paid off in spades thanks to I Am an Elastic Firecracker singles “I Got a Girl” (one of the biggest rock hits of 1995) and “Piranha.” Sadly, followup Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb, which some fans argue is even better, got swallowed in one of the mergers that have since laid waste the entire major-label system. The band shuttered shortly after guitarist Wes Berggren’s untimely death in 1999, leaving their in-progress self-titled album as an epitaph the next year; fans took some consolation in knowing that two of the 2000s’ more noteworthy Texas-spawned bands, Polyphonic Spree and Secret Machines, were started by Daisy alumni, but it wasn’t the same. That is, until the reunion-happy 2010s worked their magic last month at Dallas’s Club Dada and Fort Worth’s Homegrown Festival. The overwhelmingly positive response convinced Daisy to tack on a few more Texas dates, and who knows what might happen from there? With Motorcade and Frog Hair.

Warehouse Live, June 8
Hot-footing, New Orleans-style, involves a lot more than just dancing; it’s a way of life. Despite their tribulations, the people and artists of New Orleans have always kept a handle on an especially lively, and often raunchy, strain of joy. That joyfulness is the foremost element in the hot jazz marching band traditions and hip-hop variations of the Hot 8 Brass Band, as well as in the high-energy bounce performances of Vockah Redu and the Crew, whose out-of-this-world dancing and high-energy toasting remain one of the Big Easy’s most generous contributions to Houston. TEX KERSCHEN

OLD 97’s
House of Blues, June 9
Alt-country statesmen but also one of the most kinetic rock bands Texas has ever seen, in nearly 25 years the Old 97’s are one of the very, very few groups with such longevity to have (arguably) never made a bad record, or indeed even a mediocre one. At least two of their early albums, Wreck Your Life and Too Far to Care, rank as late-century Lone Star classics; several others, say, power-pop thrill ride Satellite Rides or their panoramic Grand Theater suite of 2010-11, almost meet that lofty standard. Call it a second wind if you must, but after a few years of tending to reissues, their families, Rhett Miller’s intermittent solo career and such, the Dallas lads hit a real groove on 2014’s Most Messed Up and carried that momentum straight into February’s Graveyard Whistling (ATO), which whirls cracks like “Jesus loves you more than I do” around a boiler-stoking train beat steadier than ever. With Shooter Jennings.

Saint Arnold Brewery, June 10 (4 p.m.)
Not only is Saint Arnold perhaps Houston’s most delicious brand, founder Brock Wagner (also a partner in Cactus Music) and his staff’s musical tastes are as keen as their nose for hops and extracts. As much will be on display across two stages Saturday, as Saint Arnold celebrates its 23rd anniversary with nearly a dozen homegrown acts as flavorful and unique as any of the brewery’s sudsy concoctions. Headlining are hip-hop mayor Bun B, nocturnally oriented indie-rockers the Tontons and, in the wake of guitarist Chris LaForge’s sudden passing on May 29, H-Town punk-rock royalty 30footFALL; a portion of Saturday’s proceeds will be set aside for LaForge’s survivors. The rest of the lineup doesn’t let up, either: John Evans Band’s laconic roots-rock; both the returning Buxton and even folkier offshoot Ancient Cat Society; adorably acoustic oddballs Say Girl Say; fierce femcee Genesis Blu; whip-smart songsmith Arthur Yoria; red-meat blues-rocker The Mighty Orq; and tooth-and-nail rockers We Were Wolves. For economizers, the $35 “Saint Package” covers admission, two beers and a commemorative pint glass; otherwise a $10 general-admission ticket still buys a spot at easily one of the biggest blowouts Houston will see all year.

Revention Music Center, June 10
You’ve got a few days now to get yourself back into your tightest jeans as the MC5 of emo, At the Drive-In, comes back for another reunion tour. Call it a victory lap, for the years have been kind to El Paso’s favorite sons, whose subsequent groups, including The Mars Volta, Sparta, Bosnian Rainbows and Antemasque, encountered a great deal of success without deviating from their own idiosyncratic paths through prog, fusion and rock en español. With Le Butcherettes. TEX KERSCHEN

football, etc.
Rudyard’s, June 10
So this is how it goes: On June 10, football, etc. will be celebrating the release of their new album, corner, over at Rudyard’s. A few weeks later, they’ll head across the sea for a string of dates that will hit Italy, France, the UK and Germany before bringing their brand of emo-indie to fans across the United States. Those fans have a lot to be happy about, because corner is a great record, one that will absolutely be in the discussion at the end of the year when it comes to best Houston releases. football, etc. have always been a good band, but even on first listen, corner impresses with how it feels as if the band has become even better. The melodies are fantastic and Lindsay Minton's singing just kills the entire time. In a city full of great artists, football, etc. don't always get the shine they should, but corner proves we should all be paying attention. With Ruiners, Yorick, and Greg Cote and the Real Life. CORY GARCIA

NRG Stadium, June 11
Thrash metal's most beloved and arguably most important act is back in town Sunday. Whether you're team new Metallica or old, Metallica has long held the crown of metal's break-out, accessible and most recognizable liege of speed and growls. While other Texas dates feature Illinois natives Local H, the winner of their "Hit the Stage Contest,” Houston will instead welcome Danish hard rockers Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold. It's been nearly nine years since Metallica has entertained a Houston audience, and if their 2015 set at Austin’s X Games is any indication of what they’re capable of nowadays, count on hits from every record, lots of audience engagement, and no time wasted on unpopular material. Metallica is a band with its finger on the pulse of its fans’ tastes, and sensitive to the needs of its demanding audience. There will be no letdown in energy or missed expectation of favorites songs played. Metallica will not only be the hottest ticket of the week but, rest assured, the don’t-miss show of the summer. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. KRISTY LOYE
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray