Live Music Now
The concert season is in full-swing with plenty of local, national and international acts swinging through town. This week, it's the line-up of ultra-talented female singers that impresses with other notable shows by the fellas that will make for tough choices for music fans in the Bayou City.
Best show for the multimedia art aficionado
Eric San, also known as Montreal’s Kid Koala, is one of the most gifted, if not artistic turntablists on the planet. Yes, he has the scratching skills to go up with the best DJs around, but what makes him brilliant is his ability to blend different forms of media — video, graphics, and sound — into an exhilarating display. The musical genius, recently featured on the Baby Driver soundtrack and a favorite of Radiohead and Arcade Fire, will bring out his full arsenal at a rare Houston show.
The Society for the Performing Arts features Kid Koala performing next to Oscar-nominated production designer K.K. Barrett at Jones Hall, with a theatrical rendition of Koala’s graphic novel, Nufonia Must Fall. This event will include a live-adaptation of the book that features puppets, the strings of Afiara Quartet, and multiple screens and stages.
Kid Koala creates his own world at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana St., Friday, February 9. Tickets start at $34 but use the promo code ROBOTS for half-price tickets. The show starts at 7:30 pm.
Best place to hear the second coming of Elliot Smith
Los Angeles-based, 23-year-old, singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers plays a headline slot Friday hot on the heels of one of the best albums of 2017, Stranger in the Alps, after opening for Noah Gunderson at the Heights Theater last November. Bridgers, who has been writing music since she was 11 years old, has gained the attention of some of the best songwriters in the country, including Ryan Adams, and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst. The latter appeared on one of the most heartbreaking songs of the past year, “Would You Rather.”
If you ever wondered what Elliot Smith’s love child would sound like if she was raised in Laurel Canyon bohemia, this is the show to catch.
Phoebe Bridgers sings sparse songs of beautiful melancholy at White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St., Friday, February 9. Soccer Mom opens. Tickets are $13 in advance, plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm. Bridgers will also play a free in-store set at Cactus Music at 2:30 pm Friday afternoon.
Best modern day femme fatale
What a strange trip it’s been to follow Lana Del Rey’s career. First came the transformation from mediocre singer-songwriter Lizzie Grant, into her current incarnation as the chart-topping, pouty-lipped seductress that she’s known for today. Then, there was the cringe-worthy appearance on Saturday Night Live. Not to mention, the sexually violent Marilyn Manson video. Then this past week, there was a kidnapping attempt on her by a stalker.
Throughout it all, she’s been producing high-profile exercises in well-produced, breezy pop music filtered through the lens of the Twin Peaks soundtrack, speaking to multitudes of Millennials who have aped her fashion sense and embraced her romanticism of youth culture. That she’s playing a basketball arena on the back of last year’s No. 1 Lust For Life speaks volume to her power in the American musical landscape.
Lana Del Rey holds court at the Toyota Center, 1510 Polk Street, on Saturday, February 10. Kali Uchis opens. Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Best chance to see a future megastar
Say what you want about reality TV mogul Simon Cowell — he’s generally right when he gushes about a future star. Grace VanderWaal, then a spritely 12-years-old, captured the hearts of viewers by winning the massively popular competition series America’s Got Talent. Now a wise-old 14 years, she’s following Taylor Swift’s playbook of starting off with a a pleasant, acoustic-driven pop record of her own songs in 2017’s full-length, Just The Beginning.
Soon enough, she’ll have fake celebrity boyfriends and a musical empire to run. Until then, be one of those who can say you saw her at the beginning when she hits Warehouse Live.
Grace VanderWaal performs an intimate, sold-out at Warehouse Live Studio, 813 St Emanuel St, on Monday, February 12. Check out Warehouse Live’s ticket exchange for a chance at admission. Doors open at 6 pm.
Best show for busting out your flannel shirts
One of the more melodic alt-rock bands to hit the mainstream in the grunge-era, Gin Blossoms hit the big-time with 1992’s New Miserable Experience, a still pretty-great album that mixed ’80s jangle-pop with heavy guitar chords of the ’90s. That album produced hits, “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” and “Until I Fall Away.”
The following single from the Empire Records soundtrack (much better than the actual movie), “‘Til I Hear It From You,” kept them on the radio for years, but the band’s legacy is firmly tied to a time when Friends was must-see TV on Thursday nights. This show will either be a fun nostalgia trip or a reminder of how old we all are getting.
Gin Blossoms flashback to a time when guitar band topped the charts at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St., on Tuesday, February 13. Tickets start at $30. Doors open at 7 pm.
Valentine’s Day dates for varying tastes
Are you and your bae fans of late-’90s/early-2000s, lo-fi indie-rock, and looking for something special to do this Valentine’s Day? Then check out the return of David Bazan’s cult-project Pedro The Lion at Rockefeller’s, who produced some of the most critically acclaimed albums of the aughts in the vein of Sebadoh and Pavement.
Feeling a bit friskier and looking for something more bump-‘n’-grind? Popular rapper G-Eazy has you covered at the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. He’ll be showcasing his huge radio hits, “Me, Myself & I” and similarly titled “Him & I” alongside a big line-up of hip-hop acts as part of the Beautiful & Damned tour.
Pedro The Lion plays Rockefeller’s, 3620 Washington Ave., on Wednesday, February 14. Marie/Lepanto opens. Tickets start at $20 plus fees. Doors at 7 pm.
G-Eazy hits the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, 18111 Lexington Blvd., on Wednesday, February 14. Trippie Redd, Phora and the Anthony Russo Band open. Tickets start at $29.50. Show starts at 8 pm.