Badass Weekend Walters/Houston House of Creeps, February 15 and 16
The first annual Badass Weekend is spread out over two days and three stages at Walters, Houston House of Creeps, and the adjoining Ballistic Skate House, and is sure to give you lonely and wild hearts something to do over Valentine's Day weekend. Not to mention, it will be a grimy respite from the glitzy, jockish NBA All-Star parties going on all over town (see below).
Two dozen local metal, thrash and punk bands will only set you back $25 for a weekend pass, with individual day passes also available at each venue. The aftershows are only $5, so you don't even have an excuse for going home early. Acts scheduled to appear include Drop Dead, Pretty Little Flower, War Master, Black Coffee, Hatred Surge, and more. See Facebook for a full schedule and more. CRAIG HLAVATY
Tift Merritt McGonigel's Mucky Duck, February 15
Actually a native Houstonian, Tift Merritt became a name in North Carolina's competitive Americana scene even before her acclaimed 2002 debut Bramble Rose put her on the national radar. On each of her six successive albums through last year's Traveling Alone, she has steadily ascended the alt-country ranks until today she's up there alongside Gillian Welch and Kasey Chambers as one of the premiere female singer-songwriters of her generation.
Drawing equally from Joni Mitchell's folky introspection and Emmylou Harris' honky-tonk toughness, Merritt sings her carefully considered songs in a soprano arguably purer than either one's. Shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. CHRIS GRAY
Flogging Molly House of Blues, February 17
Flogging Molly concerts in Houston are a feast for the eyes and the liver, a chance for aging local punks and crazies to get their rocks off to the band's trademark sad-bastard Celtic-rock anthems that have made Molly one of the most beloved singalong acts in the land. Forming in the L.A. rock scene in 1993, Dave King's crew celebrates 20 years of service this year, and shows all the signs of being lifers. With Skinny Lister and Dave Hause. CRAIG HLAVATY
SIX OTHER SHOWS YOU MIGHT CONSIDER
Burned Out IV: Locals Craig Kinsey, the Suffers, Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man and more attempt to breathe new life into some songs that have worn out their welcomes. (Fitzgerald's, February 15)
Soulhat: Austin funk-rock veterans open up a can of party on Mid-Main. With Thunderado. (Continental Club, February 15)
Texas Johnny Brown: All class, Texas Johnny is Gulf Coast R&B royalty. (The Big Easy, January 16)
Giant Battle Monster, Por Mis Pistolas, We Scare Coyotes, Cordial, the Roosevelt House Band: Here comes trouble. (Mango's, February 16)
The Escatones, Jody Seabody & the Whirls, Darwin's Finches, Jon Black: Free local show. (Fitzgerald's, February 16)
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R. Kelly: Just a few months after Jones Hall, Kells returns on the "No More Drama" tour... riiiiight. (Arena Theatre, February 17)