Last weekend was a good one for Houston sports and music.
Not only did our hometown Houston Texans pull out a thrilling overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills, but one of CultureMap's favorite singers, Kam Franklin of The Suffers, blessed us with her great version of the "Star Spangled Banner" before the game. Not a bad way to start off 2020 for the Gulf Coast soul singer.
As for the week ahead in live music, touring acts are generally still in winter hibernation following the holidays, but there are several exciting shows at some fine local clubs worthy of your attention.
CultureMap's best, biggest, and most noteworthy shows of the week are as follows:
CultureMap recommends: Gladys Knight at Arena Theatre
Known as the Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight has enjoyed a decades-long career enthralling audiences worldwide, first with her band, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and then later as a solo performer. She hit No. 1 twice with the immortal "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "That's What Friends Are For." She's also racked up numerous R&B No. 1 songs, is a seven-time Grammy Award winner spanning from the '70s to her later gospel work in the early-2000s, and is generally looked at as paving the way for all modern R&B acts, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In other words, she brings it and this show should be fire.
Gladys Knight performs at Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy., on Thursday, January 9. Tickets start at $35 plus fees. Show starts at 8:30 pm.
Selena tribute at White Oak Music Hall
We're not sure when it happened, but Selena Quintanilla, the long-deceased Queen of Tejano, is having a big comeback. No, she's not on a hologram tour - although we're not sure how it hasn't been a thing yet - but her spirit and music lives on through numerous tribute acts that are thriving the last couple of years. The evidence came at last year's RodeoHouston, where a handful of artists, including rodeo opener Kacey Musgraves, performed a cover song by the beloved singer during their sets.
Simply put, her fans will do "anything for Selenas," her 1995 murder at the hands of the head of her fan club only serving to keep her memory alive for new generations of Latin music lovers. One of those act's Monica's Bidi Bidi Tribute features members of The Suffers and Los Skarnales, meaning their Friday performance will be a good place to relive hits such as "I Could Fall in Love," "Como La Flor," and of course, "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom."
Monica’s Bidi Bidi Tribute goes down at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Friday, January 10. Tickets are $12 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Hamilton Loomis at McGonigel's
One of the more underrated musicians on the local scene, Hamilton Loomis has been plugging away for years on the Texas regional circuit, and has become a mentor of sorts to younger musicians, most notably Sarah Grace of The Voice fame, passing on the torch like his heroes Joe Hughes, Johnny Copeland, and Bo Diddley did. Loomis is an exciting performer in his own right, mixing blues and rock alongside his deft guitar playing, making him a great live act. The intimate confines of McGonigel's Mucky Duck make this a show that all-ages (over 21, that is) can enjoy.
Hamilton Loomis performs at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, located at 2425 Norfolk St., on Friday, January 10. Tickets start at $25 plus fees. Show starts at 9:30 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: 11th Annual BowiElvis Fest at the Continental Club
Speaking of tributes, one of the most unique parties to celebrate two legendary singers goes down each year at the Continental Club. Music legends Elvis Presley and David Bowie were both born on January 8. Even before the British rock star passed away due to cancer in 2016, the annual BowiElvis Fest celebrated the divine day in musical history with performances by local acts, combining the untouchable tracks from The King, such as "Jailhouse Rock," "Love Me Tender," and "Suspicious Minds," with classics from the space boy, including "Let's Dance," "Ziggy Stardust," "Space Oddity."
The 11th annual event will include eight different bands, DJs, live burlesque dancers, and local chefs serving up grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. And in line with the two huge legends, costumes are welcome and encouraged.
11th Annual BowiElvis Fest is at the Continental Club, located at 3700 Main St., on Saturday, January 11. Tickets start at $15 at the door. Doors open at 7 pm.
Local faves (and an ATX guest) at Rudyard's British Pub
A slow touring slate means it's a great time to check out smaller venues and thriving local acts. Those who rely heavily on synths will showcase their skills this weekend at the scrappy Rudyard's (check out their fantastic food menu while there). Two acts on the bill put out some of the best music by Houston artists in 2019.
Multimedia duo Space Kiddettes released their fantastic mix-tape Deadspace, recalling the best of LGBTQ '80s acts Bronski Beat, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, with a dash of old school Depeche Mode. Tee Vee, a one-woman project by the uber-talented Teresa Vincinaza, released the gorgeous, ethereal Tempest, produced in part by local uber-producer John Allen Stephens. They'll be joined by Austin synth act Heavy Stars and local act Miears.
Heavy Stars, Tee Vee, Miears, and Space Kiddettes are at Rudyard’s, located at 2010 Waugh Dr., on Saturday, January 11. Tickets start at $8 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.