Houston Concert Watch 1/25: Del Castillo, Al Di Meola and More

Guitarist Al Di Meola will perform on Tuesday at the Heights Theater.  Shows from the Del Castillo Trio, Jackopierce, Two Tons of Steel, and Flock of Seagulls are also on tap this week.
Guitarist Al Di Meola will perform on Tuesday at the Heights Theater. Shows from the Del Castillo Trio, Jackopierce, Two Tons of Steel, and Flock of Seagulls are also on tap this week. Photo by Andreas Lawen. Creative Commons.
Joining such advertising icons as Joe Camel and the Frito Bandito, the anthropomorphic waking, talking M&M mascots are now officially out to pasture. Reports indicate that the chocolate-filled spokescandies are victims of the “culture wars.” But don’t get outraged just yet. Some believe that this is a faux controversy, leading up to some sort of big Super Bowl reveal. Let us not forget that Mr. Peanut was killed off during a Super Bowl commercial a few years ago, only to reincarnate as “Baby Peanut.” We will, of course, keep you posted on this developing story.
A couple of good ones this week at the Dosey Doe. On Thursday, SMU alums Jackopierce (Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce) will take the stage at the Big Barn, acoustic guitars in hand and harmonies at the ready.
Two Tons of Steel will pull into the Barn on Saturday with its mix of hardcore country and punk. If Two Tons’ cover of “Ice Cream Man” doesn’t get you, then their rendition of “I Wanna Be Sedated” will. And if neither one does the trick, then there’s something wrong with you. Really.
If you are of, as they say, a certain age, you may occasionally get a restless feeling, an urge to go back to those carefree days when MTV was the soundtrack of your young life and a dude with some wild-ass hair was on the channel every few minutes singing a song called “I Ran (So Far Away).” Well, the dude in question is Mike Score, and he is still leading the band Flock of Seagulls, who will perform on Saturday at the House of Blues.

When I was working at a music store in Kansas City during the latter part of the ‘80s, Score would visit once in a while, lank blond hair hanging down to his shoulders, ready to be sprayed and coiffed into his infamous Seagulls ‘do should the need arise. I believe he had a girlfriend in town or something like that, so he would come in and hang out in the keyboard department, evidently not having much to do or – at that point – a record contract. We didn’t want to like him, but he turned out to be an OK guy. Not like the members of the Cars, but that’s another story for another time.
The Del Castillo Trio — guitar-playing brothers Rick and Mark del Castillo, along with vocalist Alex Ruiz — will be at the Mucky Duck on Saturday with an acoustic version of their unique cross-cultural sound. If you haven’t caught Del Castillo live, you may have heard their music in the movies. Fellow Austinite Robert Rodriguez has featured Del Castillo tunes in several of his films, including Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Machete. Also, their song “Malagueña Salerosa” showed up in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 2, playing over the closing credits.
When guitarist Al Di Meola burst onto the jazz fusion scene as a member of Return to Forever in the early ‘70s, he was something of a mystery. Phenomenal chops, musical influences from around the globe, and a technical proficiency beyond his years. My music geek friends and I figured he was probably from Italy, maybe Spain, probably raised in some sort of guitar monastery. As it turned out, he was a kid from Jersey. No matter. He crushed it then, he crushes it now, and he will be crushing it on Tuesday at the Heights Theater. (How’s that for some conjugation?)
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Contributor Tom Richards is a broadcaster, writer, and musician. He has an unseemly fondness for the Rolling Stones and bands of their ilk.
Contact: Tom Richards