Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton
Dosey Doe, August 7
According to her bio, Lisa Fischer clapped so hard upon hearing that Patti LaBelle had won the 1992 Female R&B Performance Grammy for “Burnin’,” a song Fischer had sung backup on, that she almost didn’t notice her name had also been called for “How Can I Ease the Pain.” (It was a rare Grammy tie.) One of the stars of the Oscar-winning 2013 documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom, Fischer has also sung with Luther Vandross, Tina Turner and Sting, but her main gig since 1989 has been one of the Rolling Stones’ touring backup vocalists; she brings the arena or stadium to a standstill during “Gimme Shelter” every time. On this rare tour as lead singer of her group Grand Baton, of course New Yorker Fischer is singing that song (she almost has to), part of a repertoire that stretches from “Satisfaction” and “Wild Horses” to selections by Amy Grant and bluegrassy Jersey jam band Railroad Earth.
Opposite Day, Lick Lick, the Dead Links
Continental Club, August 7
Single-handedly keeping Austin weird since 2001, Opposite Day treats their music like a giant blender, tossing in bits of funk, metal, pop, jazz, punk, children’s songs, yielding several albums of head-scratching genius through this year’s Space Taste Race Part 2. On paper, it leads to such creative self-descriptions as “math-pop” or “educational art-rock for animals,” but onstage it’s just great fun, pure and simple. Joining them Friday are Austin neighbors Lick Lick, who might be even more eccentric than Opposite Day (OK, maybe), and Houston’s the Dead Links, who are set to debut a handful of new songs. That’s good news for anyone who enjoyed the group’s 2013 debut, High As It Goes, which showed off a stylistic range spanning Pink Floyd to the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Bayou Doom Fest
Fitzgerald's, August 8
If there's one thing better than a cold beverage to beat the August heat, it's one of Texas' best summer metal fests to get the blood pumping. It works, we promise, even if you're wearing all black. OK, you're just going to have to trust us on that one, but if you're at all serious about sweating the summer heat out of every pore you've got, you need to be at Fitz Saturday night. Presented by the Houston Doom Brigade, the third resurrection of Bayou Doom Fest enlists H-Town's mighty Helstar as upstairs headliners, over guests including San Antonio's Las Cruces and Deguello, Corpus Christi's Switchblade Jesus, Dallas' Kin of Ettins and Fort Worth's Dead Hawke. Representing Houston's ample metal community, meanwhile, will be Oceans of Slumber (wrapping up the downstairs dirty deeds), Sanctus Bellum, the Dirty Seeds, Funeral Shroud and quite a few more – an unlucky 13 bands in all – for only $13. Impending doom never felt so good.
Raekwon & Ghostface Killah
House of Blues, August 8
Released in 1995, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx was a Raekwon solo album in name only, because his frequent tag-teaming with fellow Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah instantly established them as one of the great twosomes in rap history. If it was hardly the first album to sync up the NYC rap game with Don Corleone-style mob culture, its intricate detail and testosterone-fueled swagger makes it one of the few that is totally convincing. The lines really do whiz by like bullets in a truck heist or back-alley shootout, as RZA’s booming production reaches the scale of a blockbuster like Bad Boys; Wu-Tang’s debut Enter the 36 Chambers sounds like an art film by comparison. Raekwon and Ghostface’s names have been linked ever since, and the duo kicked off the tour celebrating Cuban Linx’s 20th anniversary in high style at this year’s Coachella festival. With Dillon Cooper and PSYCO SID.
5 Seconds of Summer
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, August 8
While not the biggest "boy band" in the world, 5 Seconds of Summer is rapidly becoming one of the biggest groups of boys who actually play their instruments onstage. After having visiting Houston a few times opening up for actual biggest "boy band" One Direction, 5SOS get their own headlining show with all the screaming fans that come along with it. Imagine everything you liked about '90s pop-punk — think your Green Days and Blink 182s, with a dash of The Offspring — but cleaned up, polished and completely defanged, and you get 5 Seconds of Summer. Sure, they look like what Hollywood teen films think punk rock is, but their songs aren't bad and they've got good energy onstage. Every generation deserves a Monkees to call their own. With Hey Violet. (CORY GARCIA)
Firehouse Saloon, August 8
Arabella Jones could easily be an undergraduate somewhere, spending the summer volunteering or studying abroad. Instead she’s just released another single, “Runaway Rush,” and is dedicated to proving her music can be every bit as fun as the radio’s army of bro-country boys…if not more. This weekend the local country ingenue steps into the role of Saturday-night honky-tonk queen armed with a brace of tunes from her recent free acoustic EP, Lighters. Besides the 2015 HPMA Best Country nominee's own rockin’ “Let’s Roll,” it’s loaded with outside-the-box covers like Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” — both of which actually work thanks to Jones’ sunny demeanor and adventurous spirit — as well as Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” which also works because Jones has the good sense to play it totally straight.
FOUR MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
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Marco Antonio Solis: Mexican superstar with 11 No. 1 Billboard Latin albums (a record) pays tribute to his birthplace on live CD/DVD Por Amor de Morelia. (Toyota Center, August 7)
Deep Cuts: Astute HPMA Best Pop nominees (that's indie-pop, naturally) release their new 7-inch “While the House Fills Up” with guests Young Mammals, Austin's Big Bill, Mantra Love and a DJ set by Children of Pop. Come fall in love. (Fitzgerald's, August 7)
Wonky Power Summer Bash: Dengue Dengue Dengue brings a little Peru to H-town, while Gio Chamba, FLCON FCKER, Jerk and Bombon DJ Navo supply the local flavor. (Walters Downtown, August 8)
6400 Reunion Party: Dance like nobody is watching; simulcast on Cypress Radio 103.5. (Numbers, August 8)