Trivium, Devildriver Warehouse Live, November 18
Across six albums, Florida's Trivium has refined an aggressive blend of thrash and metalcore generally too heavy for rock radio, but with enough melody for them to cultivate a sizable and devoted underground following. Last month they released Vengance Falls, whose production by ex-Disturbed mastermind David Draiman suggests they may crack the airwaves yet.
Touring companions DevilDriver are out behind Winter Kill, the Santa Barbara outfit's sixth album of power-metal that reaffirms their nickname as the "California Groove Machine" was not given in jest. Also with After the Burial, Thy Will Be Done and Sylosis.
DJ Sun The Flat, November 18
Now that some of the well-deserved publicity surrounding DJ Sun's first-ever full-length release, One Hundred, has subsided a little, his true accomplishment on the disc seems even more impressive. In the span of 70 minutes, he pours his 20-plus-year career as one of Houston's most in-demand DJs into a seamless work that never lulls, never lags and maintains an unshakably mellow groove throughout.
But then, One Hundred's intricately laid-back latticework should come as no surprise to anyone lucky enough to have met the man. As 2013 starts winding down, it's looking more and more as a worthy Local Album of the Year contender. Among his multitude of weekly gigs, Sun's long-running Monday residency at the Flat is probably the most chill environment to glimpse this true turntable craftsman at work.
Willie Nelson Stafford Centre, November 19
The Honeysuckle Rose keeps on rollin', bringing Wille Nelson to the Stafford Centre for his second Houston-area appearance of 2014 after an Arena Theatre concert in March. It's been a banner year for the Red Headed Stranger befitting of his 80th birthday: the release of two more of his umpteen albums (this decade) -- standards collection Let's Face the Music and Dance and To All the Girls, a cross-generational duets collection that debuted in Billboard's Country Albums Top 10 last month -- a publishing contract for a memoir scheduled for 2015, and a role in upcoming Christmas movie Angels Sing as a mysterious man named Nick who may or may not be Santa Claus. Of course he would.
More shows on the next page.
Moon Taxi, Quiet Company Fitzgerald's, November 20
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Nashville's Moon Taxi have kind of restless, adventurous sound that has won them fans in both the indie-rock and jam-band camps. The five-piece debuted on 2007's Melodica, wearing out their van tires around the Southeast until they were picked up by BMG and won spots at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Hangout.
In September they released third studio album Mountains Beaches Cities, which won Moon Taxi a spot performing "Running Wild" on Letterman last week. Wednesday they're paired with another band with a big, bold sound that has grown its fanbase through old-fashioned word-of-mouth and relentless touring, Austin's Quiet Company.
Celtic Thunder Bayou Music Center, November 20
That bizarre Riverdance phenomenon of the early 2000s is now a thing of the past, but in its wake are acts like the wholesome, lilting airs of Celtic Thunder. The Dublin-based six-man vocal group debuted in 2007 to almost instant success, capturing the title of Billboard's top-selling World Music artist in both 2009 and 2011; seems the sentimental melodies and high-spirited instrumentals of traditional Irish folk music still retain loads of contemporary appeal.
Houston certainly can't get enough of this stuff -- even as Thunder's Bayou Music Center date looms, their (unofficial) female counterparts Celtic Woman have already announced a Hobby Center date for April 2014.
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DJ Jim Bricker MKT Bar, November 20
Of course we couldn't resist a plug for one of Rocks Off's own writers and photographers, Jim Bricker, as he takes over MKT Bar's popular Wednesday-evening all-vinyl events. Come check out what's in his crates.
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