by Brigitte B. Zabak
There was a long, long period of time where all I could do was bitch about how all the good bands skipped Houston. If we’ve ever hung out and you’re also a fan of music, chances are we’ve had this very same conversation. Repeatedly.
And although several of the bands that I love and adore are still choosing Austin or, ugh, Dallas stages to grace versus our own, it would appear that now Houston has hit the live music jackpot in recent months. Instead of a dearth of shows, we’ve got too many options to choose from and it’s forcing many of us to make some tough choices. Where once there were no viable options, our calendars are packed full.
We really got what we asked for Houston, and it’s freaking exhausting to keep up with. So, here are just a handful of the gigs that are worth noting for November.
Iron & Wine
Oh, Sam Beam. You make the prettiest music, and your decision to add more than just your voice and an acoustic guitar to your live set was a wise one. I’m sorry I was so loud and obnoxious at the last show you played in Houston at Rudyard’s in 2004. It’s such a small room and there’s a bar and I can get kind of loud after a few trips to said bar. I promise to be more respectful this time around. Pinky swear.
Beam’s 2007 release The Shepherd’s Dog was quite a departure from previous albums. Where before we had Beam, raw and somber, now we have Beam backed by a band that fills the spaces with texture and depth and intensity. The other musicians help amplify Beam’s vision and the songs are simply stunning. Beam is set to release his fourth album in early 2011, which means we can probably look forward to a lot of new material on this tour. Iron & Wine will be performing at Fitzgerald’s on Sunday, November 21. 9 pm. All ages. $25
Another band that hasn’t been in Houston in quite awhile is the New York-based trio Blonde Redhead. The ethereal threesome released their eighth studio album Penny Sparkle back in September of this year. The band worked with Swedish producers Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid – a duo that has worked with the likes of Massive Attack and Bats For Lashes – to bring Penny Sparkle to life. The album is teeming with throbbing sonic beats, electronic plunks and Kazu Makino’s penetrating, melancholic voice. There’s also a noticeable integration of synth sounds into the new songs. It’s subtle enough that it adds another layer of complexity to the music without overpowering the crucial components of Blonde Redhead’s signature sound. Blonde Redhead will be performing at Warehouse Live on Monday, November 28. 8 pm. All ages. $16
Other Shows You Should Probably Pay Good Money To See:
My Education – Friday, November 19 at Rudyard’s. 21+. 9 pm.
Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Saturday, November 20 at House of Blues. All ages. 8:30 pm. $25-50
Nitzer Ebb – Friday, November 26 at Numbers. All ages. 8 pm. $20.
The Posies w/ Brendan Benson – Saturday, November 27 at GroundHall (formerly The Engine Room). All ages. 7 pm. $20.