Ledisi Bayou Music Center, May 16
Though a true breakthough into the mainstream pop world has thus far eluded her, New Orleans native Ledisi (born Ledisi Young) has clandestinely become a star among fans who love little else than to dim the lights and turn up the grown-folks music. (She also has a pretty influential fan in her corner: First Lady Michelle Obama.)
Now based in Oakland, the fortysomething singer-songwriter recently notched her fourth straight Top 10 debut on Billboard's Hot R&B Albums chart with The Truth, which again shows off how fluidly Ledisi can move between jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul and classic R&B -- look for more on this talented spirit elsewhere today on Rocks Off. Opening are Houston native and HSPVA alum Robert Glasper, whose group the Experiment has the prime support slot on her spring tour, and Shaleik. CHRIS GRAY
Jimmy Eat World House of Blues, May 16 It's been a spell since emo had its day in the mainstream sun, but if you're the type who still gets nostalgic for breakup mixes and regrettable Livejournal posts you'll be happy to know that Jimmy Eat World still rule. In the decade since 2004's Futures (which, for the record, is way better than Bleed American) the band has released three albums, all of which have added to their canon of "great songs to sing out loud in concert."
Though the group currently lacks a record label, their shows still feature the songs that got them their brief period of early-'00s MTV rotation, including the "Don't Stop Believing" of emo, "The Middle," alongside fan favorites like "A Praise Chorus" and "23." So yes, you probably still know all the words and yes you should still sing them all back. Nostalgia won't let you down. With Stagnant Pools. CORY GARCIA
Eels House of Blues, May 17
Alt-rock staple Eels are as much a collaborative project as they are a proper band. The only permanent member is multi-instrumentalist and front man Mark Oliver Everett, aka E; the other personnel fluctuates as Everett's vision for Eels changes. Eels' mainstream success has ebbed and flowed since the band's mid-'90s inception, with 2005 LP Blinking Lights And Other Revelations bowing to little fanfare but 1996 debut Beautiful Freak and last year's Wonderful, Glorious enjoying better receptions. It's tough to tell where Eels' 11th album to date, last month's The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett, will fall on that continuum, but Everett seems equally content either way. ANGELICA LEICHT
More shows on the next page.
Dos 14 Pews, May 17
Time-tested by stints in underground heroes Black Flag and the Minutemen, as well as the dynamism of marriage and divorce, the "world's smallest supergroup" -- the Mike Watt and Kira Roessler duo known as Dos - wears resilience like a second skin. Enigmatic music both curiously probing and mellow, it nevertheless falls within the rubric of punk.
Tunes like "Taking Away the Fire" and "Diogenes" feel akin to artful meanderers Sonic Youth, while recent instrumental "Number Eight" is playful, ambient and melodic. Never kowtowing to trends and styles, Watt and Roessler have become masters of unique, seminal, one-off music. No wonder Nameless Sound and Girls Rock Camp Houston have joined forces to bring them to town for workshops and gigs to inspire the next generation. "Dos is the entire package," says firebrand musician and GRCH cofounder Anna Garza (who proudly sports a Black Flag tattoo), "a dream come true." DAVID ENSMINGER
Lucinda Williams Warehouse Live, May 18
Waiting for a new Lucinda Williams album can sometimes be tempting to invoke the word "Godot," but would you tell a Swiss watchmaker to step on it? Owner of a parcel of Grammys and a handful of essential Americana albums (Sweet Old World, Car Wheels On a Gravel Road, Essence, etc.), Williams has earned the right to take her sweet time several times over.
Last week, though, her Facebook page announced that the followup to 2011's Blessed is in the final mixing stages. Considering she spent some of her formative years as a songwriter and performer right here in Houston, Williams probably doesn't come through town as often as she should, but she moves at nobody's timetable except her own. CHRIS GRAY
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.