Public Enemy Warehouse Live, December 27
Last seen holding their own alongside LL Cool J and Ice Cube on this summer's Monsters of Rap tour, Public Enemy doesn't know the meaning of the word "mellow." Onstage, Chuck D and Flavor Flav are more combustible than ever, and although DJ Lord has replaced Terminator X as the source of PE's Strong Island beats, rest assured they're still louder than a bomb. Warming up for an early-2014 Australian jaunt, their soul on a roll welcomes Houston to the terrordome Friday for a tasty post-Christmas feast. CHRIS GRAY
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Toyota Center, December 27
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become synonymous with Christmas, thanks to some infamous YouTube Christmas light shows set to their tunes. But even post-Christmas, TSO is still reigning masters of the rock opera, warping everything from Beethoven to Pink Floyd into a mysterious, dramatic bit of musical theater. Their live shows pack enough lasers in the light show to take out nearly everything in sight, a big reason TSO ranked among the top ten ticket-selling bands of the 2000s. Shows at 3 and 8 p.m. ANGELICA LEICHT
The Holiday Hangover Hell Yeah Show Warehouse Live, December 28
Ex-Press photog and Convoy Group jefe Mark C. Austin is not one to let a late-December void in decent local shows go unfilled, not least when a number of his acts hope to use Saturday as a launching pad to a big 2014. That definitely includes the Tontons, whose LP The Make-Out King and Other Stories of Love, should be in stores around Valentine's Day. New music is also due from everyone's favorite ska-soul ensemble the Suffers, and perhaps Britpoppy local boys Featherface as well.
Not content with all that, though, he's also invited two of Austin's best newer bands -- broad-strokes rockers Quiet Company and charming indie-pop collective Wild Child -- to join him, and local vatos rudos royalty Los Skarnales to close out the whole shebang with a flourish. The hipster-electronica of Dallas' Ishi and Houston's Bagheera help set the proper mood, and pulling the whole thing together as only he can are the DJ talents of H-Town's one and only Fat Tony. CHRIS GRAY
SIX OTHER SHOWS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER By Chris Gray
Robert Ellis: Former Houston golden boy turned Nashville picker preps for his sophomore New West effort due in February, the complex The Lights On the Chemical Plant. (Fitzgerald's, December 27)
Robert Earl Keen: Merry Texas Christmas from the fam-o-lee, y'all. Just keep the crowd noise to a dull roar, please. (House of Blues, December 27)
Uncle Lucius: Scruffy Austin rockers go the (relatively) unplugged route. (McGonigel's Mucky Duck, December 27)
Creepy Christmas Party: 33 Bands, three stages, ten bucks, starts 4 p.m. Free kegs while they last. You read that right. (Houston House of Creeps, December 28)
The Freakouts: Local glam-garage goodness. (Fitzgerald's, December 28)
Steady Boy Records Presents: Texas roots, country and '60s rock featuring Chase Hamblin, Freddy Steady, Emily Grace Berry, Mitch Jacobs and Al Staehely. Starts 2 p.m. (Natachee's Supper & Punch, December 29)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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