Live Music Now
While shows by local artists might not be the biggest of the week, they are important to note because a healthy local scene always means good things for the city of Houston as a whole.
Michelle Miears performs under the name Miears, producing Kate Bush and Chvrches inspired synth-pop with beautiful atmospherics. After paying her dues in the synth band BLSHS, she'll be releasing her excellent solo debut, Hanging On, at Axlerad (1517 Alabama St.) this Friday, February 28, at 7 pm alongside fellow sound artists Ancient Cat Society and Tee Vee, proving that the Bayou City synth scene is going strong right now. The best part, the show is free.
CultureMap's other best, biggest, and most notable shows of the week include:
Joseph at House of Blues
Oregon sister trio Joseph has steadily gained a following with their folksy pop sound, akin to Sweden's First Aid Kit. They signed with Dave Matthews' ATO label and reached the charts with their 2016 debut, I'm Alone, No You're Not. They're back on the road behind the well received 2019 album, Good Luck, Kid, incorporating more pop and rock stylings, veering closer to another sister act, Haim.
Joseph is at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Tuesday, February 25. Deep Sea Diver opens. Tickets start at $25 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm
The Motels at House of Blues
Ah, the '80s, the gift that keeps on giving — at least in the music sense. Sirius XFM Totally '80s is sponsoring this blast from the past with The Motels, the California new wave act that scored two top 10 hits with "Only the Lonely," and "Suddenly Last Summer," helped along by a small music cable network called MTV.
They'll be joined by "I Want Candy" stars, Bow Wow Wow, a one-hit wonder and a name out of lead singer Annabella Lwin, who was only 16 when the song rose the charts in 1982. When In Rome (the second iteration without original singers Clive Farrington and Andrew Mann) of the still-great "The Promise" fame rounds out the line-up.
The Motels headline House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Thursday, February 27. Deep Sea Diver opens. Tickets start at $25 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
PUP at White Oak Music Hall
What's with all the Canadian bands touring as of late? Perhaps they are sick and tired of the winter back home and are spending time down south akin to music playing snowbirds? Whatever the case, the plethora of Great White North talent in Houston is a boon for music fans.
Add PUP to the list, the hugely buzzy and superbly high energy Toronto punk act that seems to get bigger and bigger with each release. Their third is Morbid Stuff, produced by Dave Schiffman who produced albums by Vampire Weekend, Weezer, and The Mars Volta after being touted as the next big thing by the New York Times, Pitchfork, and SPIN. No big deal.
PUP performs at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Friday, February 28. Screaming Females and Drew Thomson Foundation open. Tickets start at $20 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Sloan at White Oak Music Hall
At one time, record labels were so keen on finding the next Nirvana that it took them to the city in Canada's ocean playground, Halifax, Nova Scotia. There they found a quartet of songwriters named Sloan, whose first album, Smeared, led to a bidding war, eventually landing them on the Seattle game-changing act's label, Geffen Records.
But, their second album, Twice Removed, a Canadian classic of Beatles-influenced songs didn't fit the grunge label, immediately lead to them being dropped. It was the best thing that happened to them as they were free to write the music they wanted to make.
Sloan has turned that into a 30-year career and their output has been nothing less than excellent, running the gamut of indie, alt-rock, radio friendly singles, and straight-ahead '70s rock. The legends from north of the border will play much of the latter when they run through the entirety of their superior 1998 album, Navy Blues, featuring the first-class singles, "Money City Maniacs," "She Says What She Means," and "Keep On Thinkin'" followed by a set of their hits, including "If It Feels Good Do It," "The Good In Everyone," and "Underwhelmed."
CultureMap show of the week: Sloan performs at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St, on Saturday, February 29. Tickets are $20 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
Reverend Horton Heat at House of Blues
Talk about a killer Texas band lineup. Not only do you have headliner and the best psychobilly act ever in Reverend Horton Heat, but throw in accomplished guitar player and rootsy singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo and Tex-Mex San Antonio punk band Piñata Protest for a relatively cheap 20 bucks, and that's value, my friends. While these acts play Houston on the regular, it's a great chance to hear a wide range of what makes Lone Star State music great.
Reverend Horton Heat lights up House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Saturday, February 29. Alejandro Escovedo, Pinata Protest opens. Tickets start at $20 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Back to Back to Black Amy Winehouse Tribute at Bayou Theater
Tribute concerts don't get a lot of play in this column space, but seeing as Amy Winehouse hasn't been with us for some time now, we'll make an exception. Especially when it features talented performer Remember Jones, the R&B and soul singer whose latest album, Tranquilizer, was produced by Andrija Tokic, who's worked with acts such as Alabama Shakes.
Jones will play the immortal U.K. diva's 2006 Grammy Award winning album Back to Black with help of a 12-piece orchestra and band in addition to a set of originals. That — and a $10 cover charge — is definitely worth the drive down to UH-Clear Lake.
Remember Jones performs Back to Back to Black, A Tribute to Amy Winehouse, at Bayou Theater, located at 2700 Bay Area Blvd., on Friday, February 28. Tickets start at $10 plus fees. Show starts at 7:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Tennis at White Oak Music Hall
Few bands are as unique as Denver based Tennis, the husband-and-wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, who filter '70s AOR Carpenters pastiche through a modern indie-rock lens. They've run in similar circles as The Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, and Spoon and they don't sound anything like those bands but are just as good, producing atmospheric and lilting songs with a keen storytelling sense.
Their 2017 album, Yours Conditionally, was their best yet, but this year's Swimmer, changes up their sound slightly, keeping it fresh but still distinctly Tennis.
Tennis performs at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Monday, March 1. Tickets are $18 plus fees. Molly Burch opens. Doors open at 7 pm.