Concert picks of the week: Snoop Dogg, English Beat & Fishbone, Cowboy Mouth,Mariah Carey
I hope that all enjoyed Super Bowl XLIV. More importantly, I hope everybody got up to stretch, nosh, chit-chat, crawl to another pub or simply change the channel during that awkward and uncomfortable halftime performance by the still-living (and, after that display, I use that term loosely) members of The Who.
Don't blame Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. These are two guys in their mid-60s being asked to sing snippets of every hit song they ever had, without taking a breath, and with enough chutzpah to satisfy a sold-out football stadium and 105 million-plus viewers on television.
Blame Janet Jackson. Or, better yet, blame the FCC.
If only Ms. Jackson ("If you're nasty!") hadn't "accidentally" let one of her lady lumps out of its underwire at the end of her performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston six years ago, and the FCC totally not overreacted and made it a fineable offense to say "daggumit" in prime time television on the aftermath... we might actually be watching somebody young and edgy at halftime instead of yet another live re-creation of "The Founding of British Rock 'n' Roll" that gets dusted off each year for television's biggest stage.
Next year, when Super Bowl XLV is hosted by the new Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, it would make sense to have someone like George Strait or Willie Nelson at halftime.
But I'm sure the NFL is in negotiations right now with Herman's Hermits or Donovan to play the gig.
Fortunately, the masterminds who book talent in Houston's live venues are fairing much better. Check out this crowded week of shows which includes something for the Valentine's lovers as well as those football fans who want to continue celebrating with the national champion New Orleans Saints right through Mardi Gras.
Snoop Dogg, 8 p.m. at House of Blues
It takes a talented tongue, a brain for beats and the gift of rhyme to become a Grammy-award nominated and universally recognized rapper.
Only Snoop Dogg, however, has figured out how to parlay success in the studio into a lifetime of traveling around the country being hip-hop's equivalent of the late-great Paul Lynn in the center square on the old game show Hollywood Squares.
In truth, Snoop doesn't even need to make albums anymore to make a handsome living. Like Paris Hilton or Diddy (or is it Puff Daddy again? Sean Jean? Who can keep track?), all he has to do these days is show up with his goblet of "yack" in one hand and a blunt in the other. As long as his eyes are spinning like pinwheels, his smile is Cheshire Cat-wide and he's speaking in his self-created "bizzle-dizzle" language... fans and concert producers are glad to throw money at him.
On this trip to the House of Blues, however, the Dogg should be howling on some old hits like "Gin and Juice" and "Lodi Dodi," as well as spittin' a few new tracks from his latest album, Malice N Wonderland.
The English Beat & Fishbone, 8 p.m. at Warehouse Live
There are those who like to work out to techno grooves, high-energy dance loops and even metal. To those people I say, "Step up your game."
There is no genre of music that will make the heart pound faster and the lungs burn more in pleasure and pain like the unencumbered thump of 2 Tone and ska.
And there are very few original creators of that late '70s/early '80s scene still touring actively, which makes a double-bill of The English Beat and Fishbone on Valentine's Day a true holiday.
Lovers should come ready to pogo to "Mirror in the Bathroom" with The Beat and skank to "Party at Ground Zero" with The Bone.
No reservations necessary.
Cowboy Mouth, 7 p.m. at House of Blues
A Cowboy Mouth concert is the live New Orleans rock equivalent of a midnite showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In the role of Dr. Frank -N- Furter is wild-eyed lead singer/drummer Fred LeBlanc, banging out hits like "Everybody Loves Jill" and "Hurricane Party," while simultaneously entertaining and scaring the crowd.
Instead of the good doctor's fishnets and red lipstick, Leblanc prefers overalls cut-offs and a pool of sweat. Should he try to hug you during the show (and he's been known to do such things) his moisture becomes a horrifying (yet disgustingly lovable) issue.
And, finally, there's props. Make sure to bring some red plastic spoons to throw on stage during "Everybody Loves Jill" (the Mouth vets can tell you when).
For those who didn't get enough partying, Big Easy-style, this show will be Mardi Gras' final encore.
Mariah Carey, 7:30 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Theater
Until Lady Gaga says otherwise (and that could take a few years), Mariah Carey is still the reigning queen of the pop charts and has been for the last 20 years.
She has sold more than 175 million albums, singles and videos combined around the world and when her 2008 hit, "Touch My Body," hit No. 1 she surpassed Elvis Presley for number of total chart-topping songs with 18. From first single, "Vision of Love," in 1990 to her recently released 12th studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, her career has been a model of success.
Even her biggest failure, 2001's Glitter soundtrack, would be a career-maker for most artists—it sold 636,000 copies.
Fans will probably never get a chance to see Mariah Carey in this sort of intimate setting again so, if you love you Mimi, be at this show.