Franz Ferdinand House of Blues, October 4
In the post-Britpop era, Franz Ferdinand was once neck and neck with Arctic Monkeys for the title of the British Isles' top alt-rock export. Debut single "Take Me Out" seemed to take out everything else on the airwaves upon its 2004 release, welding jangly guitars to a ramrod-stiff bass-and-drums backbone and establishing an instantly identifiable sound.
If sharp-suited Franz came off as posh next to the relatively blue-collar Monkeys, that wasn't expressed in their in their raw live shows. Now coming off a four-year layoff that reportedly had the Glasgow quartet thinking about folding, Franz's brand-new Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action (Domino) luckily picks up their nervy art-rock attack without even a thread out of place. With Houston's own Young Girls. CHRIS GRAY
Ca$h Out Warehouse Live, October 4
Yes, a lot of rappers can wear icy condos 'round their necks and wrists, but how many of them can claim that LeBron James helped their song skyrocket up the charts? Just one, and his name is Ca$h Out. The Atlanta native had already begun to make waves when his first mixtape, I Got It, dropped in early 2012, but when the video of Miami Heat star LeBron James rapping along with his track "Ca$hin' Out" while celebrating the team's NBA championship victory went viral, it elevated the super-infectious party anthem -- and the rapper -- to new heights. With Yo Gotti, Zed Zilla and Shy Glizzy. ANGELICA LEICHT
Earth, Wind & Fire Bayou Music Center, October 5
Do you remember? How could you not? Thanks to jams like "September," Chicago-spawned Earth, Wind & Fire helped define the '70s by turning their infectious blend of jazz, soul, funk and rock into a pop juggernaut. Although EWF both predated and outlasted disco per se, horn-heavy jams like "Boogie Wonderland" and "Let's Groove Tonight" still stand among the top singles of the disco era.
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Although founder Maurice White had to step away in 1994 due to Parkinson's Disease (he remains EWF's chief arranger and producer), core members Verdine White (bass, Maurice's brother), Ralph Johnson (percussion) and Phillip Bailey (vocals) have kept the group going strong. This year EWF released their first album in five years, Now, Then & Forever, and was profiled in a recent episode of CBS Sunday Morning. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Fidlar Fitzgerald's, October 5
If you haven't seen the Funny Or Die video for the Fidlar's track "Cocaine," go watch it. Now. Its anti-establishment mentality and rowdy antics make the L.A. quartet and their rowdy, damn-the-man music everything a good skate-punk band should be. Noisy, raw and manically adorable onstage, Fidlar is now gaining some notoriety for "Cocaine" despite their relatively new status on the national scene.
But even if they weren't as rambunctious as they are, we'd cut 'em a bit of slack because that video sure is ballsy -- in more ways than one. With The Orwells. ANGELICA LEICHT
John Paul Keith Big Top Lounge, October 5
In the same line of great Memphis garage-rockers like Jack Oblivion and the late Jay Reatard, John Paul Keith is less sloppy than either one, which allows both his facility for both power-pop and rockabilly to come to the fore. After making a name in Southern circles with his band the One Four Fives, two weeks ago Keith released his first album under his own name, Memphis at 3AM, on Fat Possum-distributed Big Legal Mess Records.
He even cut the record at Memphis' Sam Phillips Recording Service, on the same kind of 2" analog tape Elvis, Johnny Cash and the Killer used to use. If it ain't broke... CHRIS GRAY
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