NOFX House of Blues, December 13
It's pretty obvious that NOFX is legit when fellow oi! legends Rancid cover their songs, like they did on the BYO Split Series, Vol 3. But even without that validation, NOFX would still have some pretty unimpeachable street cred, given that 1994's Punk in Drublic is now heralded as one of the classic '90s punk albums.
Tracks like "Please Play This Song On the Radio" helped hammer the band's anti-commercial, politically charged mindset home, and they're just as true to those roots today. After all these years, they still won't sign to a mainstream label -- can't get any more punk than that. With Dillinger Four and Implants. ANGELICA LEICHT
Nelson Mandela Celebration Emancipation Park, December 14 (10 a.m.)
Between the mass gathering of heads of state and celebrities, President Obama's selfie and the sign-language interpreter's bizarre behavior, Nelson Mandela's memorial service this week was one of the more memorable world events in recent memory. Saturday Houston's South African community gathers in this historic Third Ward park to salute the global avatar of freedom. Plans call for official proclamations, a cultural ceremony by Impande Ye Africa, artists, poets, and a musical performance by Houston's Neutral Sister Kyra Noons, among others. CHRIS GRAY
Hope for Haiyan Stereo Live, December 14
Last month's Haiyan was one of the most destructive typhoons in history; at least 5,200 people are confirmed dead in the Phillipines and damage estimates across Southeast Asia have exceeded $10 billion. That kind of devastation can be hard to fathom, but with one of the largest Filipino communities in the South (and the largest in Texas), Houston has hardly been shy about aiding the relief effort.
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Many Filipinos here are concentrated in southwest Houston and the Alief area, so Stereo Live makes a natural spot for Saturday's fundraiser that aims to lighten people's spirits as much as their wallets. Scheduled to perform are former American Idol Season 9 finalist Andrew Garcia, Jeremy Passion of "I Don't Care" YouTube fame, and the MosWanted men from America's Best Dance Crew, among many others. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Rock the Shelter Toy Drive Continental Club, December 15
Every December for the past several years, Houston's stoutest Irish rockers have put their considerable Thin Lizzy/Pogues muscle toward a most worthy cause. Most of the year the hard-touring Blaggards are one of Houston's most boisterous bands, with whiskey always in the jar, but if you want to glimpse their sentimental Irish side just watch as the donations start piling up at this relatively recent holiday tradition.
Joining Blaggards -- currently looking for a fiddle player if you know anybody -- at this matinee are one of the area's more popular cover/tribute acts, Dog Party Band, and the Salvation Army Light Harbor Choir. Cash is always welcome, but no cover if you bring a couple of suggested items from the Salvation Army's "wish list." Doors open at noon; see blaggards.com for details. CHRIS GRAY
Houston Blues Society Holiday Party House of Blues (Crossroads stage), December 15
It's the Houston Blues Society's 20th anniversary this year, so naturally it's throwing its annual holiday party in style, a banquet of bluesy sounds featuring some of the local scene's top names. HBS linchpin the Mighty Orq sets the table with an appetizingly acoustic opening set, before the buffet-style main course anchored by Eric Demmer & the Holiday Bash House Band, with guests Tommy Dardar, Jonn Richardson, Eugene Moody, Mark May, Trudy Lynn and James "Boogaloo" Bolden; the latter two are touting hot-off-the-presses albums Royal Oaks Blues Cafe and No News "Jus' the Blues," respectively.
Reservations for a limited number of booths and tables are available, and a silent auction benefits the Jimmy "T-99" Nelson scholarship fund. See houstonbluessociety.org for more info. CHRIS GRAY
SIX OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
L.A. Guns: Sunset Strip sleaze-metal merchants have been there almost from the beginning; now they're out preaching last year's Hollywood Forever. (Concert Pub North, December 13)
Dar Williams: Northeastern singer-songwriter often hailed as one of the top names in contemporary folk music, known for her wry insight and forceful melodies, visits behind tenth Razor & Tie album In the Time of Gods. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, December 14)
Cold: YouGenious of Gorealah Soul crashes a party of a different kind -- a R&B musical about homelessness Rocks Off told you about in September. This is opening night. (Aerosol Warfare Gallery, December 14)
Brian Setzer Orchestra: Santa's swingin' sleigh ride returns in annual Christmas spectacular. (Arena Theatre, December 14)
Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll: Ghostland Observatory is on a break, so its most funky falsettoist has a new gig; with Britpop expatriates Nic Armstrong & the Thieves. (Warehouse Live, December 14)
The Wood Brothers: Blessed by T-Bone Burnett, rootsy fraternal duo that includes the Wood of Medeski, Martin & Wood (and a drummer) shop their latest Southern Ground/Warner Bros. LP, the engaging The Muse. With Austin-based regional Americana bigwig Seth Walker. (Fitzgerald's, December 15)
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