Mydolls, Vacation Eyes, Hearts of Animals Walters, March 22
Although they lost guitarist Kathy Johnston to leukemia in 2011 -- an illness that prompted the band to record the song "Don't Fucking Die" -- there's always reason to smile when the Mydolls book a gig. The band started by Trish Herrera and Dianna Ray (and joined soon enough by Linda Younger), sprang up around the same time as fellow Houston punk legends Really Red and the Hates, but the Mydolls' songwriting leaned less on hardcore in favor of the more amorphous sounds of the burgeoning post-punk movement. Just this week, the Mydolls were granted their own Wikipedia page!
Enormously influential within the local scene, especially since reactivating for keeps about five years ago, MyDolls are among the best mentors younger Houston musicians could ask for. Speaking of, Friday's show also marks the debut of Vacation Eyes, the brand-new band formed by Wild Moccasins/Teenage Kicks drummer John Baldwin and Erase Errata's Jenny Hoyston; Baldwin describes the sound as "at times very psychedelic and post-punk." Also welcome back to the stage one-woman experimental-pop outfit Hearts of Animals. CHRIS GRAY
Blackberry Smoke House of Blues, March 22
An ideal alternative for anyone who thinks the Black Crowes have eaten too much granola over the years, Blackberry Smoke could also be seen as proof the Good Lord created enough room for two first-rate Southern rock bands to peacefully coexist. Since 2000, the Atlanta-formed Smoke has been tearing up both the Interstate highway system and their own fingertips, pausing occasionally to document their countrified, high-octane rock and roll in album form.
Full of swagger and soul, last year's The Whipporwill (Southern Ground) is probably their best album thus far. BBS also plays a Cactus Music in-store at 5:30 p.m. Friday; watch for an interview with singer/guitarist Charlie Starr later this morning. CHRIS GRAY
Bang Bangz Fitzgerald's, March 23
Houston trio Bang Bangz fulfills the promise of 2012's self-titled EP on brand-new full-length Red City, a midnight-colored, stupidly sexy synth-rocker. Produced, mixed and mastered by BB guitarist/singer Mario A. Rodriguez, Red City ratchets up the EP's swirly, sinewy atmosphere to M83 and Cults-like heights. The album should be on more than a few local best-of 2013 lists, which us dutiful music scribes are already compiling just to keep ahead of everyone else.
With A Sea Es and The Suffers; watch for a review of Red City later this morning. CRAIG HLAVATY
SEVEN OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
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- Sleeping With Sirens, Conditions, Dangerkids: Big ol' emo/metalcore bill on the "Take It or Leave It" tour. Expect a crowd. (Warehouse Live, March 22)
- Mike Stinson, Amanda Jo Cevallos: Houston honky-tonk heavyweight welcomes Austin songstress (and Houston native) plugging her CD I'll Never Honky Tonk You. Be booted. (Continental Club, March 22)
- Ferry Corsten: Holland-born DJ/producer brings his signature "Dutch trance" style to Houston's primo danceteria. (Stereo Live, March 23)
- Mark Chesnutt: Here's Bubba again, still shootin' that damn jukebox. (Mo's Place, March 23)
- Butch Hancock & Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Two-thirds of the holy Lubbock trinity -- enough to treat like a Saturday night, for sure. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, March 23)
- Guy Clark: And here's another Texas songwriting immortal, this time in Conroe. (Crighton Theater, March 23)
- Mother Falcon: Young Austin collective takes the symphonic approach to indie-rock, blows minds in the process. (Orange Show, March 23)