Rancid House of Blues, September 4
Although Rancid was one of the major players on the punk-revival scene of the '90s, they never saw the same kind of mainstream success of peers like Green Day - and honestly, thank God for that. Even to this day, they've stayed true to those ska-heavy, socially-aware roots. East Bay through and through, Rancid formed in '91 as a post-Operation Ivy collaboration by Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, guys who already had a bit of street cred but would only continue to build that rep as the years and the albums mounted.
Armstrong's throaty, sometimes unintelligible growl is the quintessential punk voice, and couldn't be more perfect to spout off about his disdain for the current political climate or more personal anecdotes about his struggles with alcoholism. ANGELICA LEICHT
Scout Niblett Mango's, September 4
PJ Harvey-influenced UK singer-songwriter Niblett, who debuted with 2001's Sweet Heart Fever and leapt to gritty indie Drag City for The Calcination of Scout Niblett a decade later, makes a rare visit to Houston at a room that should appreciate both her DIY ethic and rough-edged songcraft. See Niblett's wicked cover of Janet Jackson's "Nasty" above. CHRIS GRAY
Marc Anthony Toyota Center, September 5
Although Marc Anthony has had his share of crossover hits during his 20-year career, he's really known for his ability to make one heckuva salsa song. It's a pretty far leap from where he started off, recording club hits and house music as a session vocalist; he even seen a short stint as a backing vocalist for Menudo. Fortunately for us, despite his relucance to venture into salsa, Anthony found his footing in Latin music.
Yes, songs like "I Need To Know," Anthony's 1999 Top 5 English-language single, are bound to be more widely known than his Spanish material, but Anthony shouldn't have been too hesitant to go that route. He's already earned the title of the top-selling tropical salsa artist of all time, which is a pretty big deal considering all of the heavyweight competition in that genre. ANGELICA LEICHT
Blood On the Dance Floor Fitzgerald's, September 5
Taking their name from the first single from Michael Jackson's 1997 remix album, Orlando self-professed "screamo" duo Blood on the Dancefloor is so au courant they have a song called "Sexting." This show has all the makings of a hipster orgy -- we haven't seen hair like that since the guy in Tokio Hotel -- but if you have even a little voyeur in you, it's probably worth going for both the ultra-processed electronica and people-watching opportunities. CHRIS GRAY
Alejandro Escovedo Dosey Doe, September 5
Alejandro Escovedo is one of Texas' most gifted and versatile singer-songwriters, with the soul and background of a punk rocker, the work ethic of a tradesman, and the undying faith in rock and roll of two of his closest contemporaries -- also men of uncommon emotional range and teeth-gritting tenacity -- Bruce Springsteen and Joe Ely.
Escovedo might show a slightly softer side Thursday at Dosey Doe than at the Continental back in February, where he and his three-piece band the Sensitive Boys gave a bravura, hard-rocking 80-minute performance we said was "highlighted by Ricky Ray Jackson's ghostly, haunting pedal steel work." CHRIS GRAY
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