Masks, while no longer mandatory, are still strongly encouragedPhoto by David "Odiwams"Wright
Welcome to the Houston Press' streaming concert watch. This week, I've highlighted a few artists who put out new music during quarantine — one of whom wrote, recorded and released an entire album - alongside some recurring favorites.
As always, if you're a Texas musician planning on live streaming a concert between May 27 and June 2, I hope you reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter with details. In the meantime, you should keep wearing masks in public places even if it isn't required.
Haim 7 p.m. CST – May 20
Perhaps best known for their retro sound, Haim boasts an aptitude for quite a few other genres as well. Sisters Este, Danielle and Alana incorporate elements of rock and roll, R&B and even synth-pop into their beguiling tunes, which have drawn favorable comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac. Late last month, the Haim siblings released a music video for “I Know Alone,” the first single off their upcoming album Women In Music Part III, which is due out on June 26. Fans eagerly anticipating the band’s third studio album can watch them perform via live stream tonight.
Norah Jones 3 p.m. CST – May 21
Norah Jones became a household name in 2002 with the release of Come Away With Me. The former Texan's debut earned her five Grammy Awards and went on to be certified Diamand by the RIAA. In the 18 years since her first album launched her into the mainstream, Jones has put out another six records, and her latest — Pick Me Up Off The Floor - will be released on June 12. In anticipation of the new record and in lieu of a supporting tour, the University of North Texas graduate has scheduled recurring performances from her home. Fans of sophisticated vocal jazz can watch Jones perform tomorrow night.
Broken Social Scene 3 p.m. CST – May 23
Broken Social Scene's music is both simple and catchy, speckled with intricacies. It manages to be indie enough for even the hippest of hipsters to enjoy and melodic enough for virgin listeners. If you've heard at least a handful of songs from any of their five studio albums, you may very well be an admirer; if you've seen them live, however, there's no question about it. You're a fan. During their live performances, it's almost impossible not to get swept up in the energy BSS gathers together among its members and shares with the audience. Fans can find out if this phenomenon can be duplicated via live stream on Saturday night.
Ben Folds 6 p.m. CST – May 23
Ben Folds is classically trained and irreverently witty, capable of lifting his fans' hearts through comedy on one song, then bringing them to tears on the next. In 2014 and 2017, the California native performed alongside the Houston Symphony Orchestra with the express goal of introducing younger fans to classical music. His songs are both cheeky and endearing, at times boasting glib lyricism alongside and underlying affinity for humanity. Instead of rockin' the suburbs, Folds - like the rest of us - is rockin' his own home these days, and he will be live-streaming another performance this Saturday. Just don't ask him to play "Free Bird.”
Charli XCX 2 p.m. CST – May 24
Singer/songwriter Charlotte Aitchison, better known by her stage name Charli XCX, cut her teeth writing tracks for the likes of Selena Gomex, Iggy Azalea and Icona Pop before making a name for herself as a solo artist with 2013's True Romance. Since then, the Cambridge native has been on a tear, collaborating with the likes of Carly Rae Jepson, Lizzo and Rostam Batmanglij, formerly a member of Vampire Weekend. Recently, the British electro pop artist wrote, recorded and released an album during quarantine. See her perform tracks from how i’m feeling now today, tomorrow, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Grace Potter 8 p.m. CST – May 25
Most fans knew that Grace Potter & The Nocturnals weren't going to continue making music after Potter and drummer Matt Burr finalized their divorce in 2017. But that wouldn't be the last we heard from the Vermont native, whose powerful voice has drawn favorable comparisons to the likes of Tina Turner and Janis Joplin. Free of the input of any band mates or labels, the singer-songwriter began working on some of the most intimate songs she has ever written, 11 of which were eventually compiled together for her second solo outing, Daylight. Following her first release in four years, Potter released two singles — "We'll Be Alright" and "As The World Falls Down" — during quarantine. She will host a recurring live-stream performance from home on Monday.
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business.
Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.