Robert Earl Keen's Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee Christmas Show
The reigning good ol' boy of Texas country has been doing holiday concerts for many years built around his iconic redneck Christmas singalong "Merry Christmas From the Family," a paean to motor homes, margaritas, and football (what else do you need at Christmas?). But that's just the jumping off point for this Christmas-themed concert/pagent, which comes complete with costumes, sets, comedic skits, and, just maybe, a preview of his forthcoming bluegrass album Happy Prisoner. With Dawn & Hawkes.
Dec 26 at 7. $55–115. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St. 888-402-5837. houseofblues.com/houston
And the War Came Tour: Shakey Graves, David Ramirez
Folk singer and Austin native Alejandro Rose-Garcia, who performs as Shakey Graves, gets bonus points from us for naming his well-reviewed new album, and now his tour, after a line in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. He got his start in the Los Angeles underground scene in 2009 (he pursued an acting career and had a recurring role on Friday Night Lights) before returning to Austin and quickly becoming one of the city's favorite young musicians by pumping new life into the folk music scene. His concert last year with Robert Ellis drew raves from Houstonia's pop critic.
Dec 29 (Monday) at 7. Sold out. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak Dr. 713-862-3838. fitzlivemusic.com
Ivan Amodei: Intimate Illusions
Sicilian-born illusionist Ivan Amodei (that’s the fancy-pants term for what people used to call a magician) has performed weekly 90-minute sets at LA’s Beverly Wilshire hotel for the past four years. Now he’s taking his show on the road, including a stop at Houston’s Four Seasons hotel. Amodei’s greatest trick—should he pull it off—will be convincing Houstonians to swap out their beloved T-shirts and jeans for “cocktail attire,” as requested by his website.
Dec 26 & 27. $65–74. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar St. 866-811-4111. ivanamodei.com
Thank God for Alamo Drafthouse and its owner, Rice alum Tim League. After every major theater chain cancelled screenings of the James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy The Interview following anonymous online threats, Sony nixed the film's planned Christmas Day release. But a tongue-lashing from President Obama convinced Sony to reverse course in the past few days, allowing a select few independent film chains, including the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse, to show the film. (It's also available online, starting at noon today—that is, if North Korea doesn't hack Sony's computers again.) Was a gross-out stoner film worth all the hot air? Decide for yourself on Christmas Day—if you can get a ticket. All the screenings are officially sold out.
Dec 25 at 2:45 & 7:45, Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park; Dec 25 at 9:35, Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park. Sold out. drafthouse.com
The Black Guys
Artist Robert Hodge (who also has an excellent show up at the Contemporary Arts Musuem) teamed up with Phillip Pyle the Second for this exhibition inspired by Houston's The Art Guys. Hodge and Pyle recreate five Art Guy performance pieces, as well as five of their original creations. Also on view at Art League Houston are paintings from Sri Lankan–born artist Rajni Perera and a site-specific sculptural installation by Houstonian Jason Villages.
Thru Jan 3. Free. Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Blvd. 713-523-4053. artleaguehouston.org