Houston’s concert scene brings plenty of action, but we want to make sure you 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.
LIFT EV’RY VOICE, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 @ HBU MORRIS CENTER
In a special Black History Month tribute, the Houston Symphony has teamed up with four local choruses to bring a survey of a wide representation of African-American music to the Houston Baptist University campus: the CityWide Grassroots Chorus, the HBU Schola Cantorum and University Singers, and the Brentwood Baptist Church Chorale. Soloist baritone Reginald Smith Jr., winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will be featured.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 @ HOUSE OF BLUES
Four years after “Call Me Maybe,” the Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen steps into Houston supporting her great (and woefully underrated) 2015 record EMOTION. As with 2012’s Kiss (which featured the worldwide smash “Call Me Maybe”), EMOTION is a deceptively powerful record, steeped in pop music but brimming with exquisite details – an obviously ’80s-indebted saxophone here (“Run Away with Me“), a beautiful guitar tone from Blood Orange‘s Dev Hynes there (the devastating “All That”), a giddy, shimmering tribute to Madonna (everywhere).
Rather than pander to rockist tendencies, Jepsen has fully embraced her pop star status, and the result is a record that sustains repeated listens because it’s so much fun – and emotionally resonant. Cardiknox open.
A member of Houston’s historic and influential Screwed Up Click (aka the S.U.C.), Yungstar has at least one solo classic in “Knocking Pictures Off da Wall,” flew side-by-side with Lil Troy on the national hit “Wanna Be a Baller” and had the best verse on Mista Madd‘s regional staple “Down South” which also featured a hungry young artist by the name of Slim Thug. A sleepy precursor to contemporary artists like Curren$y and even Wiz Khalifa, Yungstar’s appeal was always in his ability to rap really well and keep a low-key profile —which was true of all the best Houston artists from the turn-of-the-century heyday.