(Sing this to the tune of "Let It Snow.")
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but these shows are so delightful. So as long we can rock n' roll. Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.....
Looking for some warmth as Houston's abbreviated version of winter lowers the mercury? Try any one of these shows. In addition to quality entertainment, each should draw enough live music junkies to raise the temperature via body heat. Kiss should even provide enough pyrotechnic fire to roast marshmallows.
Stay warm and enjoy.
Ginuwine (Dru Hill & K-Ci & Jojo) at H'Town's Arena Theatre
It's great to see the cozy, arena theater back in business and doing what it does best. Even better, it's great to see it booking some hip-hop and R&B packages with current radio clout like Ginuwine, Dru Hill and K-Ci & Jojo.
I'm not saying that the usual retro shows that pair Club Nouveau with an early rapper like MC Lyte or disco delight Shalamar aren't a hoot. That's the music of my childhood.
But Ginuwine is a complicated, brooding modern man whose new album, "A Man's Thoughts" shot to the top of the R&B/hip-hop chart last summer. He moves between two worlds. One is swaddled in the love he finds at home with his rapper wife, Sole, and their four children. The other is haunted by the suicide of his father and the premature death of his mother. These are serious issue not to be taken lightly. Houston singer-songwriter Bryan-Michael Cox has helped the singer navigate this bumpy terrain on the album's lead single "Last Chance."
Combined with past flirty radio hits "In Those Jeans" and "I Need A Girl (Part Two)," Ginuwine's show is an emotional roller coaster, but highly entertaining.
Dru Hill has been out of the game for a few years, but this might be a chance to hear some tracks from his upcoming comeback release, "InDRUpendence Day."
Kiss at Toyota Center
There is one very important aspect of this Kiss show that separates it from the many they have played in the Houston area: rock 'n' roll's favorite Kabuki dolls actually have new music to showcase.
A couple months ago founding members Paul Stanley(vocalist/Starchild) and Gene Simmons ( Bassist/Demon), along with current band mates Tommy Thayer (guitarist /Space Man) and Eric Singer (drummer/Cat Man), released "Sonic Boom," the group's first album of new studio work in over 11 years.
What they probably didn't expect was that the album would shoot to No.2 on the Billboard 200 album chart (the Detroit City Rocker's best chart position since they started recording 35 years ago) and become an international sensation. This unexpected originality is reported to have brought whole-sale changes the bands entire show. New outfits, new stage props and a set list that won't be simply based on past glories like "Deuce" and "Rock And Roll All Night." Expect one of the new singles like "Modern Day Delilah," and "Say Yeah" to freshen up the night.
Note to members of the Kiss Army: There is no need to worry that things will change too much. Stanley will still scream double entendres in his hysterical falsetto between songs and Simmons will, no doubt, belch blood. I wouldn't count on hearing "Beth" though. That song was original drummer Peter Criss' moment in the spotlight and probably left the band when he and original guitarist Ace Frehley were ushered out the door for good a few years ago.
Jay Reatard at Walters on Washington
Like Van Gogh, Brian Wilson and Billy Corgan before him, I am fascinated by Jay Reatard because he seems slightly insane. I don't mean this to sound derogatory. I have always thought the best artists are the ones that are battling themselves and Reatard seems to be at war with everything around him... including the man in the mirror. He's the type of artist that must tear everything he's created down just as the masses are starting to take notice.
Reatard originally gained notoriety in a band called The Lost Sounds which created it's experimental music in a synthesizer lab and employed both male and female vocalists. He has claimed that the Lost Sounds was his original music love which means that an inevitable messy divorce from those bandmates had to happen. It came in 2005.
Lately, Reatard has put all his energy into new solo album, "Watch Me Fall." The lo-fi rock album is a screaming, paranoid delight and definitely some of his best work. This sort of public approval doesn't come to Reatard without controversy, though. His band reportedly quit on him mid-tour in October which should make reproducing multi-layered album an interesting trick.
It will be worth showing up at Walter's on Washington to find out how he does it.