Ms. Lauryn Hill House of Blues, December 9
One of the biggest question marks coming into this past Free Press Summer Fest, Ms. Lauryn Hill emerged instead as one of the weekend's biggest surprises with a Sunday-afternoon set many fans said was one of the weekend's best. The ex-Fugee and multiple Grammy winner's 1998 masterpiece The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill remains a hip-hop/pop/R&B lifestyle manual for loads of young women, and although she's lost a little of her loose-cannon live reputation, it's safe to say Hill will never be accused of being boring onstage, either. CHRIS GRAY
Analog Blitz! Clutch City Squire, December 10
DJ Danny Chingersen spins an eclectic mix of garage, New Wave, funk, protopunk, soul, dirty blues, glam and more every Wednesday night during Analog Blitz! at friendly downtown bar Clutch City Squire, located in the happening Market Square area. Play the bar's Tommy pinball machine while throwing back the night's drink specials, $3 Karbach cans or $5 Old Fashioneds, or just try one of the bar's many signature drink creations named after celebrities like Frances Farmer, Christian Slater and Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice. Expect a loyal industry crowd to show up late in the night. DAVID ROZYCKI
Andrea Bocelli Toyota Center, December 10
Even in an age dominated by YouTube and smartphone screens, the magnitude of Andrea Bocelli's talent would make him a star in any era. First appearing in the early '90s after the sponsorship of Luciano Pavarotti, this 56-year-old son of Tuscany has become one of the very few household names to emerge from the classical realm since the Maestro himself. Bocelli's first Toyota Center appearance in four years finds him joined by the Houston Symphony and Chorus, and comes after a particularly productive patch that produced, among other projects, 2013's Mediterranean-themed Passione and a full-length recording of his starring role in Puccini's Manon Lescaut. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis McGonigel's Mucky Duck, December 11
The so-called "First Couple of Texas Country" owe their title in no small part to their annual December tour that gets more popular with each passing year; as far as Lone Star holiday traditions go, it's closing in fast on the likes of Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas From the Family" and A Tuna Christmas. Houston is blessed with two nights at the Mucky Duck instead of one date at a larger venue a la Austin's Paramount Theater or Dallas' Kessler, all the better to enjoy the sparkling banter and fireside warmth of Bruce & Kelly's versions of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "Santa Baby" and lots more. CHRIS GRAY
RL Grime Warehouse Live, December 10
You can't really escape trap music these days. Part hip-hop, part dance music, it's one of those genres that teens and young adults flock to because it's familiar and it's easy to dance to, even if you have no clue how to dance. In the trap world, RL Grime is one of the kings, and got there by being consistently great.
Throughout his still relatively young career he's put out banger after banger after banger, be they originals like "Tell Me" or collaborations and remixes such as his epic take on Kanye West's "Mercy." With Lunice in the opening slot, expect things to get wild. With Branchez. CORY GARCIA
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