The Suffers' lead singer Kam Franklin remains one of the strongest voices in music, not just in her hometown of Houston. And we all should listen up.
The outspoken, charismatic performer took to Twitter last week to drop some knowledge out about a variety of things while at Americana Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, but two key elements stood out — the lack of diversity in music and understanding boundaries in a male-dominated industry.
The first came when Franklin was mistook for Yola, the black, British country-soul singer several times in one day. The second came when one of those mistaking her for the other singer initiated unwelcome contact with Franklin and her party and was promptly told to take a hike (and rightfully so).
Both are lessons anyone in the industry should learn — don't assume you know someone and if you mess up, be polite, and respect their personal space.
Dear Nashville, If someone asks you to stop touching them, please stop. If someone asks you to stop talking to them, please stop. If you recognize someone and they say they aren’t that person you recognize, please leave them alone.— Kam Franklin (@KamFranklin) September 13, 2019
If you don't already do so, Franklin is worth the follow.
Let's practice some common courtesy at this week's concerts. CultureMap's biggest, best, and most noteworthy shows of the week are as follows:
Tank and the Bangas at WOMH
Electric multi-genre mash-up New Orleans act Tank and the Bangas returns to Houston after opening for the Reverend Al Green back in April for a well-deserved headline slot. The group gained fame by winning NPR's Tiny Desk Concert competition back in 2017 from over 6,000 entrants.
Since then, they've been a band to watch, mixing R&B, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and soul into a kinetic, high energy mix with charisma for days, most notably from lead singer Tarriona Ball. They are on the road behind this year's critically acclaimed Green Balloon, their second album. They'll be joined on other Texas dates by Houston's own The Suffers in what would have been a hell of a lineup to see in Houston. But, alas...
Tank and the Bangas headline the White Oak Music Hall lawn, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Thursday, September 19. Alfred Banks opens. Tickets start at $20, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends, Pt. 1: Jeff Goldblum at Jones Hall
Did you know famed quirky cult actor and modern renaissance man, Jeff Goldblum, is also an accomplished jazz pianist? The Jurassic Park and Thor: Ragnarok scene-stealer has been playing for years when not on a movie set, but it wasn't until last year that he released his first album, The Capitol Studios Sessions, a collection of jazz tunes that promptly went to No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts.
After a couple of high-profile performances at summer festivals, including a much lauded turn at the granddaddy of them all, Glastonbury in the U.K., he's now on the road with his Mildred Snitzer Orchestra and is set to kick off the 2019-2020 for the Society of Performing Arts Houston. Check out the CultureMap Q&A here.
Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra is at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, located at 615 Louisiana St. on Friday, September 20. Tickets start at $29, plus fees. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Barns Courtney at HOB
A singer-songwriter on the rise out of the U.K., Barns Courtney runs in circles with British luminaries Ed Sheeran and The Libertines' Carl Barat, both of whom he opened for before scoring a record deal. Courtney is mix between Sheeran's croon and Mumford and Sons' early sound with a nice dose of rock, as evidenced by popular singles "Fire" and "You and I." If uplifting tunes not afraid to employ plenty of "whoa-oh-ohs" is your thing, Barns Courtney is just the man for you. His new album is 404.
Barns Courtney plays House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Friday, September 20. The Hunna opens. Tickets start at $20, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap show of the week: Carrie Underwood at Toyota Center
Country songstress Carrie Underwood is back. The Nashville-based superstar took a scare after a fall at home led to a broken wrist and 40 stitches in her face in 2017. But after some time off, the Sunday Night Football theme song singer and American Idol winner is on the road to promote one of the best albums of her career, Cry Pretty.
Of course, there'll be the numerous hits, including "Jesus Takes the Wheel," "All-American Girl," and "Something in the Water." Oh and she's married to a Canadian hockey player, so that's definitely worth something.
Carrie Underwood takes over Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St, on Saturday, September 21. Tickets start at $49.50, plus service fees. Maddie & Tae and Runaway June opens. Doors open at 6 pm.
Morrissey and Interpol at WOMH
Stop us if you heard this one before. Morrissey, famed singer of The Smiths and a successful solo artist, says something controversial in the music press. Unfortunately for fans of the Moz, his comments have become increasingly brazen, echoing sentiments of the alt-right in the U.K. and U.S. It's forced his legion of mope-embracing diehards to question their love for the melancholic lyricist whose songs influenced generations of outcasts and misanthropes.
And his comments, along with a long history of cancelling shows, finally seemed to be catching up with him with tickets selling poorly in several markets on the current tour. The bigmouth strikes again, indeed. At least we'll get a sweet opening set from NYC's Interpol, which put on a great headlining show in the same venue a year ago.
Morrissey and Interpol are at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Saturday, September 21. opens. Tickets are $59.50, plus fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
Peter Frampton at the Pavilion
It's the end of the road for the artist behind one of the highest-selling live albums of all time. Peter Frampton will say goodbye to touring after being diagnosed with Inclusion-Body Myositis, a rare degenerative muscle disease.
He bravely booked one last tour to conclude a legacy that started and ended on the road. Frampton didn't have many hits in his early days, but his 1976 live album, Frampton Comes Alive! and its single, "Baby, I Love Your Way," catapulted him to the top of the charts, selling more than 11 million albums. While the album eventually made him the butt of every hard rocker's jokes, his credibility as a great guitarist and showman made a comeback in the late-'90s as a younger generation discovered and championed his music.
Peter Frampton plays the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Saturday, September 21. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening opens. Tickets start at $29.50, plus fees. Gates open at 6:30 pm.
Other than Metallica, it's hard to think of a more popular metal act than Iron Maiden. Led by the multi-octave voiced Bruce Dickinson, the band inspired many a metalhead to sew its logo onto their jean jackets and scared the crap out of their square parents with its ghoulish cover art.
But underneath the shock is one of the most accomplished group of musicians to drop a low-E on guitar, influencing generations of metal and hard rock acts with singles such as "Run to the Hills," "The Number of the Beast," and the idyllic-named "Bring Your Daughter...To the Slaughter." The group's last, The Book of Souls, came out in 2015, but 45 years of back catalog will mean this show will be a fan's delight, with dozens of hits to draw from.
Iron Maiden slays the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. in The Woodlands, on Sunday, September 22. The Raven Age opens. Tickets start at $39.50, plus fees. Gates open at 6 pm.
UB40 at Revention
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's least favorite band, the British act UB40 aptly celebrates 40 years on its latest tour. Formed in the dreary steel mill town Birmingham in 1980, the band group broke ground in the '80s with its multiracial lineup and penchant for taking cover songs and turning them into massive reggae-inflected hits. That includes Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine" and Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love." The group honed this skill to the tune of 70 million worldwide album sales. The band's latest album is this year's For the Many.
UB40 drinks some red, red wine at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Monday, September 23. Joyous Wolf opens. Tickets start at $24, plus fees on the resale market. Doors open at 5:30 pm.
CultureMap recommends, Pt. 2: Charli XCX
One of the most progressive pop stars in the world, Charli XCX gained a firm hold of the American lexicon, first as a songwriter for stars like Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, Will.I.Am, Iggy Azalea ("Fancy"), and Icona Pop ("I Love It").
She's gained a ton of notice in the music press recently for her innovative sound that is years ahead of its time and stylish look, reaching the top 10 with the 2014 single "Boom Clap." Her latest album, Charli, features hotter-than-the-sun Lizzo ("Blame it on Your Love"), as well as indie sensations Christine and the Queens ("Gone") and Sky Ferreira ("Cross You Out"). It would be hard to hear any current mainstream pop without hearing Charli's influence.
Charli XCX is at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 N. Main St., on Monday, September 23. Tommy Genesis opens. Tickets start at $35, plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Deep Purple at Revention
For a younger generation, any fan of the Playstation and Xbox game Guitar Hero or Rock Band will know Deep Purple. For an older generation, it will bring to mind muscle cars, long hair, tight bellbottoms, and hazy concert venues. The opening riff of "Smoke on the Water" is one of the most distinctive in rock and roll history.
The U.K. band and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is still a going concern 50 years in, pioneers for heavy metal and hard rock music. The band's legacy can't be denied, joining Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin as radio mainstays from the '70s, selling more than 100 million albums in its career. This tour is listed as "The Long Goodbye," but in rock music, that rarely means forever.
Deep Purple performs at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Monday, September 23. Joyous Wolf opens. Tickets start at $59, plus fees on the resale market. Doors open at 7 pm.