Although this week is not without a bit of Christmas spirit, the next seven days really belong to the rebels. Just because we’re mere weeks away from Christmas doesn’t mean that everything has to be pure holiday cheer. Treat yourself this week to the times that are a bit rougher before you go cleaning yourself up to see your family.
Pick of the Week: Ministry
12/13 - House of Blues
Are you less than happy with the state of the world these days? Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen is right there with you, and Ministry’s latest record rails against many of modern society’s ills, including but not limited to the alt-right and terrible people who spend all day online. If you’re looking for a night of escapism from the hell that is the modern world, find a different show, but just keep in mind you’re going to miss “N.W.O.,” and that would be a shame.
The Best of the Rest:
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
12/12 - Jones Hall
It would not be the holiday season without a visit from former Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer and company. Did Setzer see that future for himself when he first picked up a guitar? Maybe, maybe not, but working the holiday circuit is not a bad gig if you can get it. Jones Hall should play a fine home to this performance, and Setzer should feel blessed to be among those rocking acts that get to play on that stage. If you’re not sick of holiday music yet, this is the show to beat.
12/12 - Warehouse Live
Fear is celebrating over 40 years of punk rock madness, and congratulations to Lee Ving — still the best name in punk rock — and his cohorts for surviving four decades. You don’t often get the chance to see a band that was a part of a landmark television moment, but how do you talk about Fear without at least mentioning that time they smashed things up on Saturday Night Live? At last, finally a show where the band doesn’t have to beg the crowd for a circle pit.
12/15 - White Oak Music Hall
Some bands are just head and shoulder above everyone else in their genre. There are a lot of great stoner rock bands in music history, but Sleep feels like another beast entirely, and their body of work casts a shadow over everything that comes after it. No, you don’t have to be stoned out of your mind to appreciate the riffs they bring to the table, but if you’re heading to this show, assume that everyone is pre-partying pretty hard. Plan accordingly.
12/16 - Scout Bar
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Scout Bar has had a couple of bad breaks with canceled shows recently, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything happening in Clear Lake worth the drive down. Consider Stabbing Westward. Sure, they may never have reached the highs of some others who took industrial mainstream but pull them up on Spotify and you’ll be amazed how well their singles have held up. Plus, ‘90s kids who stayed up late probably have a fond memory of the music video for “Shame.”
Bonus Road Trip Option: Generation Axe
12/13 - Austin
Apparently, someone thinks that Houston doesn’t like guitar