Cactus Music, September 25
Today Cafe Tacvba could have gone to NASA, like many other bands faced with some down time in Houston — here’s its between shows of their two-night stand at House of Blues — but instead the Mexican alternative-rock veterans have decided to pay a call on Cactus Music. At 1 p.m. they’ll be on hand to meet fans, who in turn are invited to pick up pre-signed copies of the Grammy winners’ first studio album in five years, this spring’s Jei Beibi. All sales will go to Houston Astros shortstop/future MVP Carlos Correa’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Houston Children’s Charity, who hope to raise $500,000 to buy 5,000 beds for Houston-area children who were displaced by the storm. (Donate here.) “They are awesome and actually reached out to us because they love Houston and record stores,” says Cactus GM Quinn Bishop. “They let me pick the charity, which could have proved daunting, but CC's deal is cool.” Watch Tacvba signing copies of the album at Cactus below.
THE WAR ON DRUGS
White Oak Music Hall, September 29
The War On Drugs mastermind Adam Granduciel seems uprooted from a more careful and considerate age, but his sprawling, texture-rich songs have resonated with modern audiences like few other rock acts in recent memory. Already famous for the painstaking process he uses to construct both songs and albums, lyrically Granduciel turns that same exacting gaze onto human relationships in a manner that has already earned him all the comparisons to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen any songwriter needs in one lifetime. Though it would be wrong to call any War On Drugs song “typical,” they generally bloom from the ground up and float off in unpredictable but exhilarating directions. As polished as Granduciel’s work feels — breakout 2014 single “Red Eyes” is a fine example, or “Holding On” from last month’s A Deeper Understanding — it’s beyond rare to encounter an artist whose music feels this transcendent and down-to-Earth all at once. Believe the hype. With Land of Talk.
PARAMORE, BEST COAST
Smart Financial Centre, September 29
Of all of the pop-punk acts of the '00s to achieve mainstream success, Paramore have aged the best. Panic! at the Disco are fine enough and Fall Out Boy can be good, but still have to atone for that terrible “Ghostbusters” cover; Paramore is simply the good stuff. Yeah, they've doubled down on the pop side of that equation, with their most recent release After Laughter indulging in all that is New Wave. The transition into a new sound works largely because of singer Hayley Williams, who seemingly can elevate any hook; it's a genuine surprise she's never gone all in on a solo career at this point. With Best Coast in the opening slot, this will likely be one of the brightest, breeziest shows of the year. CORY GARCIA
MATCHBOX TWENTY, COUNTING CROWS
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 30
Pop-rock in the '90s was a real thing, and it was anchored by Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows. The Crows came through the Woodlands last year with Matchbox front man Rob Thomas as the opener, but this time, both bands are getting together for a night of '90s nostalgia. You will hear tracks like “3 AM” and “Hanginaround” and you will not be disappointed, if last year’s Crows/Thomas double bill was any indication. With Rivers and Rust. CLINT HALE
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COLD WAR KIDS
White Oak Music Hall, September 30
L.A.’s Cold War Kids have been crafting blues-influenced indie rock since 2004, but their biggest hit came a decade after the band's inception. 2014's "First" analyzed the duality of relationships with Nathan Willett's warbling vocals sounding authentically heart-wrenching above explosive instrumentation. It remains their most recognizable song to date, but they’re no one-hit wonders. With six studio albums and eight EPs to their name, Cold War Kids have been quite prolific over the past 13 years, even if their music hasn't always caught the ear of the music industry at large. Nonetheless, they’ve developed something of a cult following over the years. Tacked on to a bill with Young the Giant, their performance at White Oak Music Hall should be well-attended and even better received. With Young the Giant and Joywave. MATTHEW KEEVER
THE BROTHERS GRYMN
Rudyard’s, September 30
Like kerosene and a lit match, mixing hard-rock guitar riffs and old-school rap beats is a guaranteed way to get a crowd to go off; just ask any Kid Rock or Cypress Hill fan, if you can convince them to put down the 40/blunt long enough. Or investigate the doings of Houston’s Brothers Grymn, who are fond of calling their combo of dope rhymes and positive energy “Texas Funk,” and welcome a robust crew of both HTX and ATX rhyme-slingers — including MC Overlord, Hoag and Bonesaw of Full Service, Dee Willa of CB Kings, John Roo, Cody Ray, Mendo and Nyge — on recent sophomore release Summer Sessions. Available via Bandcamp, in truth these Sessions feel more like a party. Expect as much on Saturday, when Brothers Grymn slide between longstanding Pasadena skate-rock troublemakers Faceplant and Kyle Hubbard, the genial and quick-witted MC who appears on the Summer Sessions track “Boys of Summer.”