Houston is getting ready to have the craziest week of live-entertainment options we've seen in a good while; or at least since last week. Stacked with performances from The War On Drugs, The Flaming Lips, Paramore, and Pears, we'll also see locals like Fat Tony, A Sundae Drive, and Rose Ette fill in the gaps. Houston, here's how to map out the next seven days.
Tonight you can begin at Smart Financial Centre for the hip-hop soul of Ms. Lauryn Hill and NYC rap god Nas (above). While Hill hasn't released anything in a long time, her sets are always memorable. Nas, meanwhile, dropped Time Is Illmatic in 2014, as well as several recent singles; a new album is due sooner than later. Chronixx will open the all-ages show. Doors at 6 p.m.; tickets $41.50 to $131.50.
Walter's will host the return of the energetic and sugary melodic sounds of San Francisco's Deerhoof, here supporting their latest release, this year's Mountain Moves. This band is like watching an explosion onstage. Thor & Friends, featuring Thor Harris of the band SWANS, will provide direct support, preceded by the chill sounds of Christina Schneider's Genius Grant and Houston indie-rockers Rose Ette opening the all-ages show. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $12 to $15.
Thursday at White Oak Music Hall upstairs, get your punk fix when L.A.'s The Bronx brings their insane live show back to town. These guys have made some killer albums, especially The Bronx (IV), and their last show at Raven Tower proved they haven't slowed down by any means; plus they have a new one out, Bronx 'V'. The alt sounds of California's Plague Vendor acts as direct support while the insane rocking sounds of '68 will open the all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets between $18 to $22.
The emo-tinged indie rock of New Jersey's Pinegrove will make their way over to Walter's. Last year's Cardinal and this year's live release Elsewhere should convince you not to miss these guys. The mesmerizing indie folk of Brooklyn's Big Thief will be on prior while the beautiful sounds of Texas' Lomelda will open the all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $16 to $20.
If you'd rather laugh until it bleeds, head to Improv for the first show of a weekend with Anthony Jeselnik. You'll probably get offended, but he's a riot live (seriously); his latest, Thoughts and Prayers, is comedy gold. More than likely, two of Houston's better comics will serve as host and feature act for the 18 & up show. Doors at 7:15 p.m.; tickets $25 to $35.
On Friday, White Oak Music Hall downstairs hosts the always-intriguing The War On Drugs. These guys have made a name for their stellar shows, and most recent release A Deeper Understanding takes listeners further into their melodic world. Canadian indie-rockers Land of Talk will open the all-ages show. Gates at 7 p.m.; tickets $31 to $36.
Australian EDM artist Alison Wonderland will bring her infectious jams over to House of Blues. One listen to 2015's Run should convince you to catch her live; she drops tunes that could make anyone want to get down. The pop-infused electronica of Elohim will open the all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; $20.
Smart Financial Centre presents the indie-pop jams of Tennessee's Paramore, whose latest release After Laughter is as catchy as ever; their live sets are always fun, too. L.A.'s Best Coast will open the all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $38.50 to $65.
Revention Music Center will have a real barnburner on its hands when The Flaming Lips headline the downtown venue. If you've never experienced the bombastic energy of these Oklahoma legends' live show, this is your chance. The album they're touring behind, Oczy Mlody, is their most progressive in a while. The laid-back rock of New York's Mac DeMarco will open the all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $40 to $45.
At Rudyard's, loud College Station's The Ex-Optimists come through to take typical indie-rock guitars to a whole new place. Their latest, Phantom Freight, is pretty amazing. The lovely A Sundae Drive will go on ahead of the endearing Hearts of Animals, who open the 21 & up show. Doors at 8 p.m.; only $5 cover.
The Continental Club has the refined garage-rock of Denver three-piece The Patient Zeros, whose blues elements might fool you into thinking they're Southern. Their latest album, Born Again, is worth lending an ear. The indie-folk of Sam Turner & the Cactus Cats goes on beforehand, and the surfy sounds of The Swimwear Department will open the 21 & up show. Doors at 9 p.m.; $10 cover.
White Oak Music Hall upstairs hosts the British indie rock of fraternal trio, The Cribs, promoting self-explanatory new release 24-7 Rock Star Shit. Not to be outdone, energetic Glasgow emo-indie rockers PAWS will open the all-ages show. Doors at 10 p.m.; free.
On Saturday, get going at the Lawn at White Oak Music Hall with Young The Giant. The California quintet has made quite the name for their live shows, and latest album Home of The Strange is their best to date. Charming rockers of Cold War Kids will be on as direct support and New York's Joywave will open the all-ages show. Gates at 6 p.m.; tickets $32 to $40.25.
Get your laugh on when comedians Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher perform back-to back headlining sets in the Ballroom at Warehouse Live. Esposito set the world on fire with her album Same Sex Symbol, and is back with a new one called Marriage Material, which is just as epic. Butcher has been making her name just as known with appearances pretty much everywhere, and last year's Butcher was a crowd favorite. The all-ages seated show has doors at 7 p.m.; tickets are Free & subject to capacity.
Mucky Duck hosts a special evening in which Radney Foster will drop a book and a new album together. The veteran Texas singer-songwriter's solo career has been plucking along since the early '90s, and has a devoted H-Town following. The album, For You to See the Stars, is pretty grand, and the book should be just as great. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $35 to $40.
All indie-rock, all night at Satellite Bar, headlined by the catchy and often dreamy sounds of Austin's The Sour Notes. Though the DIY group hasn't dropped an album since 2014's Do What May, their live shows are always an energy blast of fun. Houston's Cool Moon will be on as support, while the experimental sounds of Mourning Bliss will get this free, 18 & up show going. Doors at 8 p.m.
At Rudyard's, get your rock on with Pasadena's Faceplant, headlining over the alt hip-hop of Houston's Brothers Grymm. Not to be outdone, the stellar mike skills of Houston's Kyle Hubbard will be on hand to open the 21 and up show with selections from his latest, All Good Things Come. Doors at 8 p.m.; $8 cover.
Sunday, arrogant folk-rocker Father John Misty will be on the Lawn at White Oak Music Hall. While this guy can be pretty infuriating and opinionated, his live shows are always solid and his latest release, Pure Comedy, doesn't disappoint. The multi-instrumental sounds of Weyes Blood will open the all-ages show. Doors at 6 p.m.; tickets $35.
The New Orleans-based punk of PEARS will bring their full-throttle energy over to Walter's These guys make hardcore with catchy undertones and they're known for a crazy live presence. Last year's Green Star, was one of my favorites. NYC punks Big Ups take the direct-support slot, following the crossover punk of New Mexico's Russian Girlfriends. A Houston band TBD will open the all-ages show. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $12 to $15.
Monday, L.A. electro-pop duo Coast Modern will get their groove on downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, supporting the catchy jams of this year's Coast Modern. The New York-based, Colombian-raised dance pop of Salt Cathedral will open the all-ages show. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $15 to $19.
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On Tuesday, you can get all close and personal when Houston's Fat Tony returns from L.A. over at Walter's. Tony has been on a tear since moving out West and his latest drop, MacGregor Park, is his best to date. Add to that a crazed live show and this should be a worthwhile homecoming and then some. The heavy bars of Indiana's F L A C O will open the all-ages show. Doors at 8 p.m.; $10 cover.
That's about all that's happening this week. As always, remember that acting like an adult is in everyone's best interests.