Houston’s concert scene brings plenty of action, but do you know about the under-the-radar shows as well as the monster acts? In this regular series, PaperCity’s Matthew Ramirez cuts through the noise to find the best things to do around town. Let’s get to this weekend’s top options.
Star Wars and John Williams, Friday, January 8 @ Jones Hall
Fresh off the news that the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, is now officially the highest-grossing movie ever in North America, the Houston Symphony brings alive some of the most iconic film music this weekend with performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Jones Hall. John Williams, who also composed the iconic scores for the original Superman, as well as numerous Steven Spielberg films and the Harry Potter movies, is the composer behind this gigantic-sounding space opera music. Michael Krajewski conducts.
Mike Stinson, Saturday, January 9 @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Stinson has bounced around locales known for different flavors of Americana: born and raised in Virginia, Stinson arrived in Los Angeles in the ’90s to perfect a combo of country-rock inspired by legends like Gram Parsons and George Jones. Off of 2002’s Jack of All Heartaches “Late Gate Golden State” became his signature tune, eventually covered by the equally enigmatic Dwight Yoakam on his Population: Me record.
After a stint playing with Lucinda Williams, Stinson made Houston his home, and he takes the stage at the Duck with Pamela des Barres.
Young Mammals, Saturday, January 9 @ Satellite Bar
For a city as large as Houston, the indie-rock scene can often feel claustrophobic, even a bit same-y. But after years of kicking around town, Young Mammals have built a name for themselves as one of the city’s best local bands, a mix of indie-rock with punk intensity spilling out during live shows.
After some down years, indie-rock is as good right now as it was when the Mammals first hit my radar, in 2010 or so, so here’s hoping some hip blog puts them on and they reel in new listeners. The Lories, Woozy Helmet and Birthday Club open at the new hip east downtown venue Satellite Bar, formerly known as DIY dive spot The Shop.
Madonna, Tuesday, January 12 @ Toyota Center
I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a Madonna song since her 2005 release Confessions on a Dance Floor, but there’s no denying she set the table for every modern pop-star, down to her most recent collaborator Nicki Minaj. Touring behind her 2015 record Rebel Heart, Madonna has reached a period in which any opportunity to see her must be considered, because any of her concerts is a rare chance to see a living legend, and who knows which tour could be her last.