Jeezy Arena Theatre, May 17
A self-proclaimed hustler on the mike, the Atlanta rapper known as Young Jeezy has grown up quite a bit since his 2001 debut album dropped under the name Lil J. Rising through the ranks via his several independently released Dirty South mixtapes, he's now sittin' pretty under the umbrella of industry giant Def Jam, working alongside 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, and Ne-Yo, and even earning a Best Rap Performance Grammy nod for 2012's "I Do."
Jeezy has stayed true to that Southern hip-hop sound, though, and still reps his membership status in the United Streets Dopeboyz of America while using producers like The Renegades and Warren G on more recent mixtapes. ANGELICA LEICHT
King's X Scout Bar (Clear Lake), May 18
Boy, is it good to see King's X down this way again. The hard-rock trio has scattered somewhat since their days as an exclusively local act, but that's no reason to welcome them home anyway. Saturday will be the first King's X show in the area since drummer Jerry Gaskill's February 2012 heart attack; since then Gaskill's New Jersey home was wiped out in Hurricane Sandy and now bassist/singer DUg Pinnick has announced he needs a hernia operation after their current tour. (Sheesh.)
But if any band has some good karma coming to it, it's this one. Early King's X albums like Out of the Silent Planet and Gretchen Goes to Nebraska were touchtones for some of the biggest bands of the '90s, especially Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. If they're still rocking after all they've endured recently, who's going to stop King's X now? With Recovery Room, Raging Apathy and Stone Pusher. CHRIS GRAY
CCA Conservation Concert Sam Houston Race Park, May 18
After the Preakness is over Saturday, you can not only enjoy a Triple Crown of Texas' top singer-songwriters but the tight-trousered goodness of their California kinsman. Dwight Yoakam's 2012 album 3 Pears was arguably the behatted star's finest album in two decades, mixing an abundance of juiced-up honky-tonk with plenty of sad, sad music.
Meanwhile, neither Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hayes Carll nor Robert Earl Keen should be any stranger to Houston audiences - not only does one of the three have a gig in town every other weekend (it seems), but each is a twangy raconteur of the highest order, from "She Left Me for Jesus" to "The Road Goes On Forever" and "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother." All proceeds from the concert go towards the Coastal Conservation Association; see ccatexas.org to see how you can help. CHRIS GRAY