Sigur Ros Bayou Music Center, April 9
Iceland's Sigur Ros has been one of rock's most influential acts for the past decade and change since their second LP, 1999's Ágætis byrjun, hit the ears of adventurous indie listeners and became the winner of the U.S.'s first Shortlist Music Prize.
Singing in a language that seems to have been ripped from an alien plain, vocalist Jonsi has a register that can at once soothe and motivate. Expect a swelling, ambient, ethereal evening on the Bayou (Music Center, that is). CRAIG HLAVATY
Grizzly Bear House of Blues, April 9
Perhaps no other band represents Brooklyn's ascension from backwater borough to indie-rock capital of Planet Earth more than this one. Cerebral, haunting and inscrutable, Grizzly Bear can venture about as far out as a group can get within the rubric of pop music as we know it, but their famously dense harmonies usually cushion any sounds that threaten to become excessively experimental.
To that end, last year's Shields proved a considerably easier ball of yarn to unravel than 2009 predecessor Veckatimist, and was named by Pitchfork as one of 2012's best albums. With Owen Pallett. CHRIS GRAY
Anthrax House of Blues, April 10
This edition of the Metal Alliance Tour is almost too face-melting to bear, with Anthrax performing 1987's immortal Among the Living in its entirety, and four horsemen of the metal bro-pacalypse beating the audience's ears into submission for starters. Anthrax and Exodus are old touring mates, as are Municipal Waste and High On Fire, and none have been strangers to Houston stages.
This one starts relatively early for a metal show, so you should start feigning diarrhea right after lunchtime and leave the office early so you don't miss any of the pit action. With Exodus, Municipal Waste, Holy Grail and High On Fire. CRAIG HLAVATY
Esben & the Witch Fitzgerald's, April 11
In Danish folklore, Esben and the Witch is a story about the youngest of 12 brothers who resourcefully outwits the titular crone and rescues his ungrateful siblings from false imprisonment. What that has to do with this young band from Brighton, UK, is anyone's guess, but the trio has the same sort of chilly electro-pop glaze that has made their countrymen The xx such an indie sensation as of late.
Esben's first full-length album, last year's Wash the Sins Not Only the Face, is a hazy and beguiling throwback to the Cocteau Twins at their best. With Heliotrope. CHRIS GRAY
Hudson Moore Big Texas Dance Hall & Saloon (Webster), April 11
Frankly, Hudson Moore's rising stock in the Texas country scene seems like a pure accident. Even apart from his quarterback good looks, the 22-year-old Fort Worth native's music is much closer to pop troubadors like Jason Mraz than cowboy-hatted hunks Bart Crow or Josh Abbott.
With an abundance of frisky guitars, B-3 organ and even horns, his 2012 debut Fireworks has plenty of snappy tunes, just not a whole lot of twang. No matter, though - Moore is undeniably a star, he just happens to be a little misplaced at the moment. Don't expect him to be playing dance halls much longer. CHRIS GRAY
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.