Sludge metal? Doom-core? Whatever you want to call this veteran Melvins-meets-Carnivore powerhouse, there is no doubt this is guitarist/vocalist Kirk Windstein’s baby. Lineup changes aside, New Orleans’ Crowbar has been getting louder and meaner (though not necessarily slower) since 1991’s Obedience Thru Suffering, a stunning debut they may finally be able to top next year with the release of their first full-length since 2011’s nicely titled Sever the Wicked Hand. Windstein thinks this is the band’s best lineup ever and promises to re-release most of the Crowbar’s back catalog and a new live album (and two full-lengths) via Housecore Records. “I’ve lived a thousand lifetimes over the course of the last 24 years, but this old dog’s got a lot more than you think left in the tank!” he’s said. With White Light Cemetery, Iron Liver and The Crowned. $15, 8pm Monday, Tequila Rock Bar, 1305 E Houston, (210) 229-1988, frontgatetickets.com.
Mariachi Vargas Art Exhibit & Competition
The Lone Star state’s oldest and largest festival of its kind, the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza comprises workshops, competitions and jam sessions leading up to a December 7 concert at the Lila Cockrell featuring competition winners alongside the world-famous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán ($29-$200, 7:30 p.m. at 200 E Market). Centro Cultural Aztlan rises to this musical occasion by inviting visual artists to contribute mariachi-themed works to a multimedia exhibit and contest. In the process of visually translating “the spirit of mariachi,” participating artists (which have previously included the likes of Israel Rico, Raul Servin and Carla Veliz) often capture unique angles of the Alamo City—such as Martin E. Rangel’s colorful painting Mariachi de las Misiones (pictured). Free, 6-9pm Tuesday, Centro Cultural Aztlan, 1800 Fredericksburg, (210) 432-1896, centroculturalaztlan.50megs.com. —Bryan Rindfuss
"The Future of Being Human"
Two years ago, Italy’s Style Magazine featured Houston-based neuroscientist David Eagleman on its cover, presenting him as a “rock star” of the science world. Wrapping one’s head around the wide-ranging projects that have placed Eagleman in the spotlight (Texas Monthly, The New Yorker, The Colbert Report, etc.) could require a bit of “brain plasticity,” one of the topics he’ll likely address at his Mind Science Foundation lecture on Tuesday. While Texans are more likely to know Eagleman as director of Baylor College of Medicine’s Laboratory for Perception and Action, the handsome 40-something is recognized on an international level as the bestselling author behind Sum, an afterlife-themed work of fiction available in 27 languages. $5-$20, reception at 5:30pm, lecture at 6:30pm, Q&A at 7:15pm Tuesday, Pearl Stable, 307 Pearl Pkwy, (210) 821-6094, mindscience.org. —BR
South Texas Jazz presents Holiday Swing!
Brent “Doc” Watkins is nothing if not ambitious, as anyone who caught his summer tribute to Oscar Peterson can attest. Now the pianist, bandleader and arranger returns to the Empire backed by some of SA’s finest players for Holiday Swing!, a program of classics ranging from “Jingle Bells” to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, all thoroughly jazzed up courtesy of Watkins’ arrangements. The Doc is a fine soloist with a great ear for melody and songcraft, capable of getting even the most ardent jazz hater’s toes tapping. He’s also a consummate showman, evidenced by his regular gigs with the South Texas Jazz Quartet. Factor all that in with the added power of an 18-piece band, and expect Holiday Swing! to get your halls decked and bells jingled beyond the usual Christmas concert fare. $30-$50, 7:30pm Tuesday, Charline McCombs Empire Theater, 226 N St. Mary’s, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. —J.D. Swerzenski
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses - Second Quest
Before you roll your eyes about this symphony based on a video game, take a moment to consider why The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses - Second Quest even exists. Inspired by Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s childhood adventures in the Kyoto countryside, the franchise (which boils down to green-tunicked hero Link saving Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule from the evil wizard Ganon) plays out to fantasy-driven compositions by Koji Kondo. In conjunction with the game’s 16th entry (Skyward Sword), Nintendo released a 25th anniversary CD that sparked a concert series now in its second incarnation. Often drawing cosplayers and suits alike, these events feature a four-movement symphony performing highlights from Kondo’s catalog while clips illustrate the game’s history on a screen above the stage. $37.50-$103.50, 7:30pm Tuesday, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. —BR
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