Megan Thee Stallion at White Oak Music Hall last DecemberPhoto by Carlos Brandon
I recently told my sister-in-law that, at this point, I'd be willing to attend a timeshare presentation if it included live music. And while I truly hope the recent decrease in both COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations will be the start of a trend, most music venues remain closed for the time being. That being the case, I've put together another streaming concert watch list to tide us all over until the likes of Rudyard's, White Oak Music Hall, the House of Blues and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion can finally reopen. In the meantime, keep buying local and tipping gratuitously, if you can.
Ellie Goulding 2:30 p.m. CST – August 26
For the better part of a decade now, Ellie Goulding has been writing some seriously catchy pop music. The British vocalist’s debut Lights combined folk-minded pop with electronic undertones, and she eventually doubled down on the synth and dance elements a few years later with 2015's Delirium. Goulding has since come to be known as the “Queen of EDM,” a title that is a bit of a disservice to how varied her talents are. In lieu of a supporting tour for her latest release Brightest Blue, the Imogen Heap-inspired songwriter will live-stream a performance from Victoria & Albert Museum in London on Wednesday, supported by “a special ensemble of live musicians and a very special guest.”
Brandy Clark 6 p.m. CST – August 26
Even if you haven’t heard Brandy Clark’s name, chances are good that you’ve heard her music. The Washington native has has penned quite a few hits for the likes of Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry and even the current queen of country Kacey Musgraves since she graduated from Belmont University. Clark has also received four Grammy nominations since 2013, though wins have escaped her. Still, her star continues to rise among country and singer-songwriter enthusiasts. This week, her recurring live-stream – aptly titled “You Can’t Come Over (But You Can Come In)” – will feature Liz Rose, who has co-written a number of Taylor Swift’s biggest hits, including “You Belong With Me.” See them both perform on Wednesday night.
Lil Uzi Vert 5 p.m. CST – August 27
After gaining traction within Soundcloud circles with 2015’s Luv Is Rage, Lil Uzi Vert – born Symere Woods – launched into the mainstream the following year with a feature on Migos’ "Bad And Boujee." The up-and-coming rapper, whose flow has been compared to that of Lil Wayne, has distinguished himself from his peers via a penchant for the satanic, including a fondness for shock rocker Marilyn Manson, whom Woods has cited as his “greatest inspiration.” Earlier this year, the Philadelphia native released his second proper album, Eternal Atake, to widespread acclaim. Fans can see him perform on Thursday night.
Megan Thee Stallion 5 p.m. CST – August 29
Not many people knew who Megan Thee Stallion was in early 2019, but the Bayou City native became a household name after an unforgettable “Hot Girl Summer,” thanks in no small part to a cosign from the one and only Nicki Minaj. Shortly thereafter, Megan released a remix to another successful single, “Savage,” which showcased her ability to trade bars with fellow Houstonian Beyoncé, an artist who needs no introduction. In recent weeks, “WAP” – featuring Cardi B – has solidified Thee Stallion as a force to be reckoned with in the industry, potentially for years to come, much to the chagrin of conservative pundits. Fans can watch her live-stream this Saturday.
6 p.m. CST – August 30
Michael Franti is known for being doggedly optimistic. In 2011, during a performance at Houston’s now-defunct International Festival, the California native told the crowd, "Everyone deserves music. Even our worst enemies, Lord. They deserve music, sweet music." Nearly a decade later, this message continues to resonate amid the ongoing divisiveness and acrimony that has seemingly consumed the world (or at least social media). With uplifting lyricism being just about the only constant, Franti’s wide-ranging musical catalog offers a little something for everyone, encompassing everything from rap and R&B to reggae, funk and rock. In his own words, the musician describes it as "rock and roll with a whole lotta’ soul." Fans looking for a dose of hopefulness can watch him perform live from Bali on Sunday.
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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.