Built to Spill Fitzgerald's, November 22
After years of staying away, Built to Spill seems to have decided that it likes playing Houston after all. We've lost count, but Friday will be at least the third time Doug Martsch's laid-back guitar army will have been here since their most recent album, There Is No Enemy, came out four years ago. Not only is the Boise-based group responsible for some of the touchstone indie-rock albums of the '90s and '00s, like Perfect from Now On and Keep It Like a Secret, but they have an almost Phish-like well of covers to draw from if they so choose.
Listen for obvious ancestor Neil Young's "Cowgirl In the Sand," New Order's "Age of Consent," or a wealth of other well-known tunes that could spiral off into protracted psychedelic freakouts at any moment. With Slam Dunk and Genders. CHRIS GRAY
A$AP Ferg Warehouse Live, November 22
Even before Ham Heights rapper A$AP Ferg was a recording artist, he was part of the New York rap scene. Inspired by his now-deceased father's Harlem boutique that screenprinted shirts for big names like Bad Boy Records, Ferg tried his hand at clothing design and won big on his brand of high-end belts, which wound up on the likes of Chris Brown and Diggy Simmons.
He's since dropped that gig to join the ranks of the guys who used to sport his stuff, and just in time - Ferg's 2013 debut album Trap Lord won him "Rookie of the Year" at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. ANGELICA LEICHT
Chance the Rapper Warehouse Live, November 23
In February, Chicago's Chance Bennett (or simply Chance the Rapper) released "Juice," the lead single to his Acid Rap mixtape. It featured a jack-in-the-box windup-style intro, a freeform expression from the rapper and eventually became the staple for his breakthrough tape. Nine months later, Acid Rap remains critics' choice for the best free rap release of the year thanks to its revelations about Chicago and Bennett's scatterbrained thoughts, which make the best kind of free-association.
Bennett has made waves with his raucous live shows and trademark nasally "na-na-na" and has literally become a king among the youth in hip-hop. Sold out. BRANDO
More shows on the next page.
Chvrches House of Blues/Cactus Music, November 24
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Chvrches didn't make anything easy for themselves. After all, you set the bar pretty high for yourself when your first single is a synth-pop masterpiece like "The Mother We Share." With debut LP The Bones of What You Believe, Chvrches lived up to the promise that their first single showed by putting out a fantastic collection of catchy, synth-heavy tracks; you'll probably see it on a lot of Top 10 lists in the next month.
Anchored by Lauren Mayberry's sometimes-haunting, sometimes-charming vocals, the Scottish trio returns to the States for another round of touring, making it hard to believe they've only been doing this for two years. Sunday night's show is now sold out, but Chvrches also plays a Cactus Music instore at 4 p.m. Get there early; Basecamp opens the HOB show. CORY GARCIA
SEVEN OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
Rusko: Mad Decent's bad boy of dubstep brings his "Lift Me Up" tour to Houston. (House of Blues, November 22)
Joe Pug: Come to Chicago alt-folksinger's gig and like it, and he'll burn you a free CD of the soundboard mix on the spot. (Fitzgerald's, November 22)
Joe Diffie: '90s country funnyman deserves better than being the punchline of Jason Aldean's recent "1994" hit; remember "If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets"? (Dosey Doe, November 22)
Dead Confederate: Hairy Athens crew's psychedelic slowcore recalls Denton's great Bedhead. (Rudyard's, November 22)
Steve Vai: More shredding than a Salad Shooter. (House of Blues, November 23)
Charli XCX: UK EDM vixen has one foot in hip-hop and can afford to fly first class after writing Icona Pop's "I Love It." (Fitzgerald's, November 23)
Grupo Fantasma: Austin cumbia kings will play for a while. (Continental Club, November 23)
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