How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
Dr. Seuss’ timeless tale hits the stage with Max the Dog narrating as the ruthless Grinch attempts to sabotage the Whos’ Christmas celebration by stealing gifts, decorations and even the Who Hash. Featuring cherished songs from the TV special (including “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas”), magical set design and playful costumes inspired by Seuss’ original illustrations, the musical promises to “transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville.” Originally created by three-time Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien, the national tour lands at the Majestic with direction by Matt August and choreography by Bob Richard. $31-$96, 7pm Thu, 2pm & 7pm Fri, 11am, 2pm, 5pm & 8pm Sat, 11am, 3pm & 7pm Sun, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. –Ainsley Caffrey
Islands & Tigers Day After Christmas Fest
Let’s face it–the day after Christmas can seem like the very embodiment of letdown; a mountain of anticipation imploding into boredom and nostalgia. Local upstart pop-rock outfit Islands & Tigers have got you covered this year. The group is throwing a festival featuring more than 10 local acts to celebrate the release of its sophomore EP Best Wishes, to raise funds for an upcoming tour and to help the show-going public through the malaise of the post-holiday daze. Arrive early and catch all the acts on this bill, but make sure not to miss Islands & Tigers’ set. The relatively recently formed group is one of Saytown’s finest, with a sound that’s equal parts electric garage swagger and sunny pop charm, somehow both derivative of your favorite bands and wholly (awesomely) original. $5-$7, 7pm Thu, The Korova, 107 Martin, (210) 995-7229, facebook.com/thekorova.
In less than a year, local artists Louie Chavez and James “Supa” Medrano have established their Plazmo Contemporary (a collaborative venture named in honor of “the sound of shapelessness”) as a destination for irreverent, eye-popping work. Exemplified by Chavez’s own lo-fi adventures in fashion, graffiti and video game iconography (“Future of the Future”) and Laredo-based David Berrones’ “pop-inflected, dialectic visual experience” (“Algorithm”), the gallery’s offerings fuse graphic eye candy and street culture into a “multi-sensory experience” with a refreshing sense of humor. From the looks of it, Plazmo’s “Cold Waves” is no exception. Featuring Medrano alongside Audrya Flores, Justo Cisneros, Jose Fidel Sotelo and Shek Vega, the group show plays with motifs spanning from Pre-Columbian times to the golden age of Disney—with a dose of psychedelia thrown in as a seasonal palate cleanser. According to Chavez, the common denominator is work that serves “as a medium between the contemporary aesthetic and the social relevance of a culturally heavy art community.” Free, 7-10pm Fri, Plazmo Contemporary, 1101 W Woodlawn, facebook.com/PlazmoContemporary. —Bryan Rindfuss
Deer Vibes Tour Kickoff
Shortly after visiting San Antonio for the first time in late 2010, producer Gordon Raphael (the Strokes) was flabbergasted by one particular local group. “I saw a band called Deer Vibes last night,” Raphael wrote on his Facebook page. “It was one of the most enjoyable concert experiences I have ever had
They rearranged my mind, in the most delightful way.” That’s high praise coming from anyone, but when it comes from the producer of some of the most acclaimed and influential albums in modern rock history, it becomes gold. Three years later, Mikey Vibe’s troupe is a powerhouse about to start a winter tour (they will release a full-length in 2014). After a series of fundraisers, this is the official tour kickoff, with support from Brandon Cunningham and Julian Gill. $5-$8, 11:30pm (doors at 6pm) Fri, The Ten Eleven, 1011 Avenue B, (210) 320-9080, theteneleven.com. —Enrique Lopetegui
Snowball Winter Bash
It’s been a huge year for Big Freedia, and she’ll start wrapping it up here on December 28. The verified Queen of Bounce continued her quest to introduce the entire world to the beat-driven, rapid-fire hip-hop style she’s been dedicated to for most of her professional life. While Freedia, born Freddie Ross in New Orleans, started making a dent in mainstream culture back in 2009 for her outrageous performances and unforgettable song “Azz Everywhere,” in 2013 the dance styles she dominates, namely twerking, hit the big time. In fact, the No. 1 “What is” Google search question this year was, “What is twerking.” Here’s the four-word answer: Shaking lots of ass. Aside from the infamous Miley Cyrus performance on MTV’s Video Music Awards show, you may have seen the following twerking on your television set this year: Rihanna, the cast of Glee, Duck Dynasty’s Willie Roberts, Victoria’s Secret models and even Morgan Freeman, who sadly didn’t twerk, but read the definition aloud in celebration of the word’s inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary. While you may have noticed 90 percent of the names above belong to white folks, Big Freedia was there, too, and burst out of the background at exactly the right moment. After dismissing Cyrus’ VMA efforts, Freedia successfully claimed the Guinness World Record for assembling the most people twerking simultaneously (358 ass-shaking dancers ages 8 to 80 in New York City’s Herald Square) and launched a reality show on Fuse TV titled Queen of Bounce, doggedly reminding people exactly where this dance and its musical culture originated. Big Freedia headlines the inaugural Snowball Winter Bash in La Villita's Maverick Plaza featuring Neon Indian (DJ set), Glitoris, DJ Mel, Leonard Trujillo, Extended Play, DJ Pulp and Adam Madrigal, plus “real snow” and a laser light show. $20-$50, 6:30pm Sat, Maverick Plaza, La Villita, 418 Villita, sanantoniosnowball.com.
Read Callie Enlow's full story "Big Freedia Everywhere (Including San Antonio) here.
Sometimes the fates align to bring us a perfect show. Since its doors have opened, 502 Bar has consistently (and rightfully) been referred to as the local venue with the best sound. This fact, of course, isn’t likely to mean much if the place is filled with folks who came to drink and could care less about the music. Nor is it likely to be important to an act that is imprecise about its sound. For a group like local psych-electro astronauts Something Fiction, however, perfection in sound quality is an absolutely essential element in translating their gorgeously meticulous recorded sound to the live setting. If you’ve never seen the trio live, this is your best opportunity. Their sound, full of crawling voices and haunting visions, is mesmerizing and generative of transcendental states–if you let it work its magic on you. $5, 9pm Sat, 502 Bar, 502 Embassy Oaks, (210) 257-8125, 502bar.com. —JC
In 2007, Tacoland alums Snowbyrd released a self-titled debut Texas Monthly summed up as “hard-driving, chugging guitar rhythms, melodic songs with off-kilter Phish/Meat Puppets/Grateful Dead (pick your generation) harmonies, a flair for weird turns, and, of course, a proud lo-fi aesthetic.” In 2009, the group won Best Indie Band in our 2nd Annual Rammy Awards (now the San Antonio Music Awards), several months after the passing of drummer and San Anto Cultural Arts founder Manny Castillo. As an annual tradition, the quartet assembles a solid lineup of friends for its Holiday Meltdown. Promising to “warm up your holidays,” this year’s happening takes over the delightfully divey Mine Shaft with top-notch partners in crime including Los #3 Dinners, King Pelican and Fear Snakeface. Free, 9pm Sat, Mine Shaft Saloon (Magic Time Machine), 902 NE Loop 410, (210) 828-1470. —BR
The Temptations Review
Brown/Black unity didn’t start with San Antonio’s Third Root. Historically, Tex-Mex artists have always looked up to Motown, and African-Americans have often joined Chicano acts in order create some great music that went beyond racial barriers (think of War’s “Low Rider,” to name just one). Now, Dennis Edwards (who was with the Temptations in 1968-76, returning in 1980-84, 1987 and 1989, before he joined splinter group The Temptations Review) headlines a bill that includes Tejano legends Little Joe y La Familia for a Motown funk and soul party partially benefitting the San Antonio Food Bank ($1 from each ticket sold goes to SAFB). The Temptations Review features Edwards, David Sea, Mike Pattillo, Chris Arnold and Paul Williams Jr., son of the original Temptations member. $25-$80, 8pm Sat, San Antonio Event Center, 8111 Meadow Leaf Drive, (210) 803-9460. —EL
From one perspective, TSO is an ensemble/conglomerate co-founded by a record executive to produce the prog-rock-lite versions of Christmas carols department stores start blasting ad nauseum sometime around mid October (and a concept album about Beethoven considering a Faustian deal on his deathbed), all of which get the most mileage by pulling well-known works from the public domain and giving them the full Rick Wakeman. Live concerts feature laser light shows, cheesy narration and the kind of vocals Neil Diamond would deliver if he were somehow even less self-aware. From a different perspective, well yeah, OK, but doesn’t that sound perversely fun? If you’ve got about $50 to drop on pure spectacle (with the ever-popular “portion of proceeds” reportedly going to charity), watching TSO do their damnedest to drag the Christmas spirit out through the weekend on their appropriately Hallmark Channel-sponsored tour (which somehow continues through December 30 with the “band” claiming to be in two places at once most days) is probably your best bet unless Styx reunites with Dennis DeYoung for another Kilroy tour. $42.50-$72.50, 3pm & 8pm Sat, AT&T Center, One AT&T Center, (210) 444-5000, attcenter.com.
There are one-man bands, and there is Shakey Graves. The Austin-based low-fi folk/bluesman (born Alejandro Rose-García) is the complete package: subtle, tasteful fingerpicking, solid percussion using both feet, a whisky-soaked voice, amazing stage presence and two albums (2011’s Roll the Bones and 2012’s Donor Blues EP, containing 2009 home recordings) with enough good songs to prove he’s a lot more than just a novelty act. His performance at this year’s South by Southwest was one of the festival’s most buzzed about events with even The New York Times’ socks being knocked off. His reputation as a live act is so strong that the dude even has his own official Austin holiday (February 9). He’ll be opening for acclaimed country/bluegrass/folk guitarist Robert Ellis, whose third album, The Lights From the Chemical Plant, comes out February 11 (check out first single “Only Lies”). $12-$15, 8:30pm Sun, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson, (210) 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com. —EL
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