Houston’s concert scene brings plenty of action, but we want you to know about the under-the-radar shows as well as the monster acts. 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 picks.
RUSALKA, FRIDAY, JANUARY 29–FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7 @ WORTHAM THEATER CENTER
In the midst of the Houston Grand Opera’s two-week run of the universal Marriage of Figaro is an underknown opera that is just as worth checking out, from the Czech composer Dvorák. One of the inspirations behind Disney’s The Little Mermaid, this is a story about mermaids and features what is perhaps Dvorak’s most popular piece, “Song to the Moon.”
From the HGO website: “Be transported to a mystical world of water sprites, witches, and wood nymphs. In exchange for love, Rusalka will relinquish not only her mermaid magic, but also her voice.”
VANESSA CARLTON, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 & TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 @ McGONIGEL’S MUCKY DUCK
Carlton burst onto the music scene at the start of this century with a mega-hit that became synonymous with safe, radio-friendly adult-contemporary that set the blueprint for all the Ingrid Michaelson’s of the world (it also inspired the best Vine of all time). Carlton is in the midst of a late-career rejuvenation, and her 2015 record Liberman has picked up some cool cosigns and is a surprisingly dark, complex collection of songs, more Natalie Prass and Nina Nastasia than Michelle Branch and Sara Bareilles. Skye Steele opens.
BULLY, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 @ WALTER’S
Out of the ever-fertile Nashville punk scene comes Bully, masterminded by the multitalented (songwriter/guitarist/singer/producer/engineer) Alicia Bognanno. Something about Nashville’s punk scene has always appealed to me: Perhaps it’s the inclusiveness that defies the typical boys’ club of most cities’ punk scenes.
From Be Your Own Pet to JEFF the Brotherhood and now Bully, the scene seems to go through ebbs and flows, and Bully is at the peak of a new movement. I saw them in Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival — it was a blast of youth-oriented fun. Diet Cig opens.