Emo's not dead
Remember when bands like Taking Back Sunday and Braid were all the rage in the ’90s? Houston’s Square and Compass embraces that sound while maintaining a forward-thinking edge. The band will celebrate the release of its angular and emotional “How to Escape.” But don’t worry. The music is plenty upbeat and engaging enough to detract from any emo moments that may occur. With Chemistry, Broken Satellite, Spastic Fit, the Last Humans and Growing Pains. When: 9 p.m. Friday; Where: Mango’s, 403 Westheimer; Tickets: $5.
Double bill at MKT Bar
DJ Dave Wrangler and Ben Jarrad: Dance and roots music collide inside Phoenicia downtown at this double bill. Wrangler is a popular Houston DJ known for his remixes and genre-bending mash-ups. Jarrad has done everything from psychedelic bluegrass to hip-hop, both with bands and on his own. Here’s hoping for an onstage collaboration. When: 5 p.m. Thursday; Where: MKT Bar, 1001 Austin; Tickets: Free.
Get your stompin' boots on
Clang! Bang! Crash! The novel attraction "Stomp" features a team of high-energy performers who turn everyday objects — trash bins, brooms and sinks — into percussion instruments and dance props. The result is a dynamic blend of movement, percussion and visual comedy that has been a long-running off-Broadway hit and has toured the world nonstop for the past 20 years. When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Where: Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana; Tickets: $35-$80.
The rest of the week
Sleepy LaBeef :There aren’t too many of the old rockabilly legends left. While Jerry Lee Lewis is the living king, Sleepy LaBeef is likely the biggest, at least physically. The 6-7, 77-year-old musician is a slow-moving jukebox of American music history. And though he was born in Arkansas, he found his musical feet many years ago when he was living in Houston. So this show will be a homecoming of sorts. He’s joined by the much-loved, high-energy honky-tonk group the Wagoneers, whose reunion from a year or so ago seems to have become a permanent thing. When: 9:30 p.m. Friday; Where: Continental Club, 3700 Main; Tickets: $15.
The Shadow, Sheila Swift, Beautiful Disturbance: Females front this night, which goes from rock to pop to metal. The Shadow is led by sultry singer Raquel Refuerzo; Swift is a vibrant pop singer whose last EP was released in 2010; and Brenda Flores rages atop the metal riffs of Beautiful Disturbance. When: 9 p.m. Friday; Where: Rudyard’s, 2010 Waugh; Tickets: $7.
God-Des & She: The Austin-based duo got a big lift when it appeared on Showtime series “The L Word,” resulting in bigger gigs and healthier album sales. Public Enemy bassist Brian Hardgroove produced 2009 album “Three,” which expanded on the group’s hip-hop and soul sound. New record “United States of God Des and She” is due Feb. 4 and burrows deeper into the signature God-Des & She sound. When: 9 p.m. Saturday; Where: Dan Electro’s, 1031 E. 24th; Tickets: $10-$50.
Blackout with DJ Wayne G: As Donna Summer (a popular choice at this gruff dance club) once sang — dim all the lights, sweet darling. The lights will indeed be out for this 21 and older event, headlined by U.K. DJ and producer Wayne G. He’s making his Houston debut and has remixed club hits for Cher, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguliera, Celine Dion, Deborah Cox, Whitney Houston and even Dolly Parton (“Peace Train”).
Longtime local favorite JD Arnold spins early. When: 9 p.m. Saturday; Where: Eagle Houston, 213 Milam; Tickets: $10.
Bill Frisell : For 30 years, the very prolific Bill Frisell has made varied and complex albums that get filed under “jazz” because the only alternative would be to call his genre “Frisell.” He’s a lyrical and extraordinary guitarist comfortable in jazz, folk, country, rock and just about any other genre that catches his interest. Eliot Fisk is one of the pre-eminent guitarists in the world, mentored by the legendary Andrés Segovia. So you have two of the great players on the planet joining forces for what should be a very rare night of collaborative music. When: 8 p.m. Saturday; Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas; Tickets: $28-$55.
James McMurtry: James McMurtry is usually good for an album every three years. Nearly five have passed since he released the excellent “Just Us Kids,” so it’s possible he has some new tunes. Even if not, his eight albums give him plenty of strong material from which to draw. As an aside, his sensible essay about the gun-control debate — McMurtry is a knowledgeable gun enthusiast and owner — on blurt-online.com is eloquent, heartfelt and thoughtful. When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday; Where: McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk; Tickets: $25-$27.
Bonnie Bishop: The onetime Houston girl’s current album, “Free,” is a reintroduction: musically, vocally, lyrically. It’s a lean, seven-song collection highlighted by the title track, a gospel-tinged confessional about redemption and reawakening; and the raucous “Bad Seed,” which sprouted from Bishop’s “rebellious” phase as a teenager in Mississippi. She was shipped back to Houston by her mother and stepfather (former Texas A&M football coach Jackie Sherrill) and attended Stratford High School. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a degree in sociology. When: 6 p.m. Sunday; Where: McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk; Tickets: $20