Baseball is back in Houston, meaning that the World Champion Astros are high on the priority list of many residents of our fair city. But there are plenty of options outside Minute Maid Park that involve a variety of musical offerings. And hey, according to a new study, live music just might make you live longer. So do your health and longevity a favor and consider these concerts in the week ahead.
The power of '80s nostalgia
More than any decade, the '80s live on through the power of nostalgia in the form of club nights, cult movie classics and on the merit of the songwriting itself. One of the bands to benefit from a trip down memory lane is Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, whose synth-pop gems garnered attention of American audiences through the Molly Ringwald 1986 vehicle, Pretty in Pink, with the hit “If You Leave.” But it’s the deeper cuts that are worth exploring, with plinky keyboard riffs and Kraftwerk drum beats recalling early Depeche Mode that are as endearing as they are as progressive for their time. The duo, comprised of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, will bring back a simpler time when music was good and fashion was questionable when they appear at the House of Blues this week behind their well-received 2017 album, The Punishment of Luxury.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark will relive the synth jams of the '80s at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Saturday, April 7. GGOOLLDD opens. Tickets start at $25 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
A beloved indie-rock wunderkind
It takes a certain amount of belief in one's own talents to announce your exit from one of the most beloved and acclaimed indie bands of the 21st century to pursue your own musical vision, much less be successful with the subsequent output. New York City-based singer-songwriter Rostam did just that when he departed from Vampire Weekend in 2016 — after producing or co-producing their best albums.
He worked on several side projects and served as producer and songwriter on a handful great albums, most notably the 2016 release, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine with the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser. He followed that with the fantastic 2017 solo album, Half-Light, that closely follows in the vein of Vampire Weekend’s bright, multi-genre mash-ups.
Rostam plays at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Saturday, April 7. Sam Buck opens. Tickets are $17 in advance plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Loud, literate rock from the Garden State
Brash and uncompromising, New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus are critically acclaimed indie vets who have spent the better part of the last decade on the road, plying their special brand of rock that’s at once literate as it is in your face. The group, led by charismatic lead singer Patrick Stickles, is touring behind this year’s release, A Productive Cough, influenced by the Garden state’s most celebrated son, Bruce Springsteen.
Titus Andronicus performs at the White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Sunday, April 8. Rick Maguire from Pile opens. Tickets are $15 in advance plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Acclaimed, melodic dream-pop
The brainchild of Philly-based Michelle Zauner, Japanese Breakfast quickly drew the notice of national music publications for her dreamy, shoegaze-tinged songs of loss and wonder. Last year’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet was one of the year’s best, mixing lo-fi production with breathless vocals and sumptuous melodies.
Japanese Breakfast performs at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Monday, April 9. Football, Etc. opens. Tickets are $13 in advance plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
A French keyboard wizard brings the lights to Sugar Land
An early pioneer of electronic music, especially in the areas of ambient and trance, keyboardist Jean-Michel Jarre is internationally known for his ethereal soundscapes, selling over 80 million albums worldwide and performing some of the biggest shows in history, including to 2.5 million in Paris and 3.5 million in Moscow.
His 1986 Rendezvous Houston concert is still cherished locally for its dazzling display of lasers and lights in downtown, and its homage to space shuttle Challenger astronaut Ron McNair, and the other shuttle crew members who perished in the disaster. (Many critics raised an eyebrow when Jarre picked The Bayou City skyline over more well-known cities, at the time.)
Despite playing a string of festival shows in recent years, the highest selling French artist of all time plays the more intimate confines of the Smart Financial Centre, but one can be sure he’ll bring a hell of a light show with him that will draw audiophiles of all types to see the wizard create his magic live on stage.
Jean-Michel Jarre performs at the Smart Finanical Centre at Sugar Land, located at 18111 Lexington Blvd. in Sugar Land, on Tuesday, April 10. Tickets start at $69. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
A heaping helping of Southern hip-hop
The Heavy is the Crown tour rolls through town as Big K.R.I.T., also known as Justin Scott, brings his brand of Southern hip-hop to town. The Mississippi-born rapper and producer has ties to the HOU as local rapper (and CultureMap Tastemaker Awards host) Bun B has appeared on his tracks. His work has found its way onto the charts, with three top five Billboard albums, including last year’s banger, 4eva is a Mighty Long Time. If you need better credentials, K.R.I.T. has worked with hip-hop’s best, including T.I., CeeLo Green, Raphael Saddiq and Lupe Fiasco.
Big K.R.I.T. performs at Warehouse Live, located at 813 St. Emanuel St., on Thursday, April 12. CyHi Da Prynce and Childish Major opens. Tickets are $27.50 in advance, plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.