As Halloween looms, it's hard not to think about how Thanksgiving and winter holidays are quickly approaching making us ask, "Where has this year gone?" I guess we've just been too busy turning up at concerts like Metallica and Janet Jackson. Or shows at Paper Tiger like Big Freedia, and House of Kenzo's Snack Ball. Yeah, it's been a crazy year for shows here in the Alamo City, so we're doing you a solid and letting you know which concerts you need to check out before we bring in 2018.
Iron and Wine
Thursday, November, 2
“Naked As We Came” and a lot of Iron and Wine’s catalog, represented a time in the early-to-mid 2000s when “indie” music was beginning to become more popular and was creating a shift in the singer-songwriter aesthetic. Artists like Iron and Wine, Jose Gonzalez, Joanna Newsom, and Sufjan Stevens (when he wasn’t writing full on orchestrations) approached songwriting with simply an instrument and a melody, allowing audiences to focus on the timber of these artists’ voices and how they interacted with their instruments. $40.25, 7pm, The Aztec Theatre, 104 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 812-4355, theaztectheatre.com.
Friday, November 3
I was 18 years old when I bought Youth, the debut LP from then-Hassidic Jewish rapper Matisyahu. While I was listening to a lot of different types of music in the early aughts, there was something just fucking weird and alluring about this dude rapping/singing/beatboxing in an full-on Orthodox Jew ensemble talking spirituality and using a Jamaican accent. And even if you didn't get down with Jehovah, or even listen to reggae, Matisyahu was able to blend in elements of hip-hop and indie rock for a sound that garnered him international recognition and a Grammy-nomination for Best Reggae Album in 2006 for Youth. With a new album out, Undercurrent, the artist is proving that even though he may not share the same sentiments as he once did on earlier albums, there’s always room for spiritual and artistic growth. $29-$89, 8pm, Empire Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-5700, majesticempire.com.
Saturday, November 4
When Lizzo released her 2016 EP Coconut Oil, it felt like the entire music world paused and was like “wait — what — who is this?” It’d been a long time since a new artist was able to transcend the underground R&B world to the bleeding edge of pop whilst keeping her personality and lovable character at the forefront of her music. With songs about loving yourself (“Scuse Me”) and a hilarious track about misplacing your phone after a night out with the girls (“Phone”) it was a breath of fresh air to see a #thicc R&B chick bring it as hard as dare I say Beyonce (fight me). With Doja, $18, 8pm, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary’s St., papertigersatx.com.
Saturday, November 10
If you’re not familiar with the psycho-sexiness of Ariel Pink, you’re missing out on life. Ok, maybe not life, but definitely an amazing artist who has some dope tracks and a stellar live show to bring those tracks to life. The artist’s expansive discography includes dreamy tracks like "Life in L.A." off Worn Copy, to the experimental sounds of Thrash & Burn, to the poppy sounds of Pink's most recent album, pom pom, and of course, a fan favorite, Before Today (technically Ariel Pink's haunted Graffiti, but still a classic). Former Current music editor Matt Stieb reviewed the 2015 show saying “Pink is a master of the skit, throwing voicemails and cell phone conversations into his Jeff Koons pop. For "Black Ballerina's strip club scene, Pink, the bikini-drummer and keyboard player Jorge Elbrecht traded off on lines, dropping gems like "Hi Billy, how do you like the number one strip club in L.A?" and "Uhh... I like your areolas baby" before returning to the body of the song.” You can guarantee to see us at this show for sure. $21.75, 8pm, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary's St., papertigersatx.com.
Saturday, November 11
Moon Tooth might be one of the most important up-and-coming metal acts of this generation. Combining heavy grooves with vocals reminiscent of 90s alternative bands like, dare I say The Spin Doctors and Gin Blossoms, Long Island’s Moon Tooth have a sound unlike any I’ve encountered in the endless realms of metal’s ever expanding universe. It’s a return to the grooviness of nu-metal minus the corniness that the genre eventually evolved into. The guitars and drums dance back and forth in weird polyrhythms making for a weird blend of smart, sometimes thrash, groovy ass metal that absolutely should be listened to. With Husbandry, $12, 7pm, Alamo City Music Hall, 1305 E Houston St., alamocitymusichall.com.
Sunday, November 12
In the first of hopefully many shows to catch in SA from the tragic cancellation of Sound On Sound Fest, The Aztec Theatre has swooped up headlining industrial metal act Ministry. That’s right – good 'ol Al Jourgensen (who’s now 59) and the boys are headed to the Alamo City to deliver their grinding industrial tracks to a city that’s been pretty supportive of the group since their rise to fame in the mid-’80s and early-’90s. And even with the continued lineup changes, death of guitarist Mike Scaccia, and Jourgensen's battle with drug addiction (he’s been sober since checking into rehab earlier this year), Ministry is one of the few bands from industrial early-'90s peak that has continued to stay relevant. $29-$98, 7pm, Aztec Theatre, 104 N. St. Mary's St., (210) 812-4355, theaztectheatre.com.
Periphery + Animals As Leaders
Friday, November 17
After being popularized by bands like Meshuggah, the “djent” movement, (which is basically rapid, palm-muted staccato guitar jabs, over heavy grooving metal beats) sort of peaked around 2011-2012 with bands like Periphery and Animals as Leaders leading the pact. In November, both bands will make an appearance at Alamo City Music Hall. Even though the genre has become less popular over the years, the technicality and musicianship of both Animals as Leaders and Periphery surpasses all those who try and imitate their sound. $25-$27, 6pm, Alamo City Music Hall, 1305 E. Houston St., alamocitymusichall.com.
Saturday, December 9
Founded by Rafael Reyes and Dave Parley, Prayers is a Chicano electronic rock duo based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2013 the group are credited with coining the term cholo-goth to describe the genre that they play which is sort of a mix of 80s synth pop and darkwave and have lyrics that explore gang and street life. Perfect for a dance party in a graveyard on the east side, Prayers has a vibe that honesty sounds like it came straight out of San Antonio. $15-$17, 7pm, Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary's St., papertigersatx.com.
Saturday, December 16