Rock Baby Rock It
Continental Club, July 24-25
Rock Baby Rock It 2015 comes just a week after the Continental’s 15th anniversary party, and predates its present home by about two years; it actually started at the long-gone Fabulous Satellite Lounge. Today it is arguably the centerpiece of the club’s summer schedule, a zoot-suit riot of hot rods, hair grease, sharp threads and vintage tunes. This year’s headliners are singer Robert Gordon, longtime vocalist for “Rumble” guitar-man Link Wray, and Bobby Brooks Wilson, son of “Lonely Teardrops” soul great Jackie Wilson and said to be the spitting image of his pa. But this shindig also brings in some of the hottest rockabilly groups from across the state, like Fort Worth’s the Rhythmaires and Corpus Christi’s Matt Hole & the Hot Rod Gang this year; while Mikey & the Drags, Sean Reefer & the Resin Valley Boys, the rarely-glimpsed Luxurious Panthers and the Dem Damn Dames burlesque troupe represent the home team. (DJs Big E and Black Slacks rev it up between 2-4 p.m. Saturday, too.) Whether this is your first time or fifteenth, it won’t take very long at all before you understand how Rock Baby earned its well-deserved reputation as one of Houston’s most happenin’ weekends.
Fitzgerald’s, July 25
Jealous Creatures is a solid rock and roll band who play gigs as their schedule permits, and with two records (2011’s Little Heaven Big Sky and 2013’s Bazooka) to their name thus far. Sometimes it seems like they don’t get enough credit within the local ranks, but they deserve a lot for new LP The Night Goes On For Days. Alternating bold rockers like “Man and the Wolf” and “As I Fall Apart,” both of which blast forth the sunspray guitars of prime ‘90s Britpop, with moodier numbers like “Tamed” or “You Can Trust Me,” the album is well-rounded and stocked with memorable tunes. Lead singer Sarah Hirsch’s vocals have a certain knowing, haunted tone — a hint of Natalie Merchant in her 10,000 Maniacs days, maybe — that gives The Night… the kind of depth some of Jealous Creatures’ peers struggle to reach. A winner. With Second Lovers, Spain Colored Orange and Fear the Poet.
Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 25
Do you remember? How could you not? Thanks to jams like "September," 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 songs like "Boogie Wonderland" and "Let's Groove Tonight" still stand among the top singles of the disco era. 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. EWF's Windy City jazz-rock neighbors Chicago have become a favored summer touring companion in recent years, each performance ending with the combined bands onstage in a mass of horns and positive vibes.
Warehouse Live, July 26
He’s no rookie anymore, and by now Miguel has put together a track record that makes him one of R&B’s top bohemians. His debut single, 2010’s throwback-sounding “All I Want Is You” (feat. J. Cole), was an immediate attention-grabber and laid the groundwork for followup “Sure Thing,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart. Three years later the even steamier “Adorn” became one of 2013’s biggest hits and netted Miguel a Grammy for Best R&B Song, while his subsequent duet with Mariah Carey, “#Beautiful,” was an even bigger success. Last month he released Wildheart, his third LP that balances bodice-ripping bedroom jams with more introspective moments and a club track or two, plus guest appearances by Kurupt and Lenny Kravitz. With Dorothy.
SIX MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Otep: Occult-ish L.A. metal band brings its “Art of Fury” tour to Clear Lake. (Scout Bar, July 24)
Fall Out Boy, Wiz Khalifa: We talked to FOB's Pete Wentz about this “Boys of Zummer” tour. He doesn't hate rock and roll. (Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, July 24)
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Will Play For Food Vol. 4: One mother of a food drive to benefit the Galveston County Food Bank, featuring Refinery Coast, Blackgrass Gospel, Cassette Tape, Second Lovers, the Grizzly Band, Southbound 45 and a dozen or so others. Doors at 6 p.m. (Scout Bar, July 25)
Grady Gaines: 7 p.m. Book-signing for the Houston R&B sax great's recent memoir, I've Been Out There. (Sig's Lagoon, July 25)
Adam & Eve Summer 2015 Bikini Fashion Show: With a promised pillow-fight finale, music almost seems like an afterthought, but a slew of hard-rocking locals (Aramite, Carmeci, Hold On Hollywood, Hounds of Jezebel, etc.) will be on hand to help set the mood. (Warehouse Live, July 25)