Thundercat, the 83rd anniversary of the River Oaks Theater among this week’s five pop culture picks
Miguel Nunes and Afonso Pimentel in Portuguese Netflix series “Gloria”
1. Thunder Cat
As the Thundercat, Stephen Bruner made a name for himself as a stunning bassist on the West Coast, adding his instrument to music as varied as Suicidal Tendencies and Kendrick Lamar. His albums are a joyfully labyrinthine tour through his tastes and abilities, both limitless. And he clearly has an eye on Houston, as Thundercat’s 2017 album âDrunkâ received a chopped and screwed version in purple. He’s on a pandemic-delayed tour behind his latest, “It Is What It Is,” which finds the restless composer working with old and new jazzmen (Steve Lacy, Kamasi Washington) and hip-hop artists such as Ty Dolla Sign and Childish Gambino.
When: 7 p.m. on November 19
Details: White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main
Details: $ 34; 713-237-0370, whiteoakmusichall.com
2. John Moreland
For those looking to go beyond Chris Stapleton’s hugely successful sound, John Moreland offers his own take on the music that twists a country singer-songwriter vibe with a gritty Southern soul. Moreland is a native Texan who grew up in Oklahoma, where he found his marks as a songwriter who could incorporate emotional depth and narrative richness into a few verses. He had been making albums for several years before âHigh on Tulsa Heatâ was no longer widely recognized in 2015. Since then he has wonderfully refined his sound on âBig Bad Luvâ and âLP5â last year.
8 p.m. on November 19
Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th
$ 22 to $ 36; theheightstheater.com
3. Ãlafur Arnalds, âInvisibleâ
Icelandic composer / pianist Ãlafur Arnalds has released a lot of music lately. After several singles and EPs, “Invisible”, a collection of eight unearthed instrumental tracks that Arnalds had originally designed as the soundtrack to “The Invisible Front”, a film about Lithuanian resistance to Soviet occupation. The songs are ten years old, but the best of them, such as “Happiness Does Not Wait”, “Partisans” and “Epilogue”, still carry a particularly sad and melancholy punch.
Or: Streaming services
If you’ve been sitting on Thanksgiving weekend looking for something to eat, check out this 10-episode Portuguese political thriller on Netflix that’s chock-full of spy versus spy intrigue. Set in 1968 at the height of the Cold War, it takes place in a village outside of Lisbon that is home to a relay station broadcasting US-controlled Radio Free Europe programming behind the Iron Curtain. Needless to say, the Soviets want to shut it down – and will do anything to do so – including recruiting the son of a prominent politician. In Portuguese with English subtitles and English dubbing available.
Details: Streaming on Netflix.
5.83rd anniversary of the River Oaks Theater
No, the historic cinema that closed earlier this year hasn’t reopened, but that doesn’t stop the Friends of the River Oaks Theater from celebrating anyway. They will use the exterior of the rear of the building to celebrate the theater’s anniversary by showing clips from films that have been performed there. Mister McKinney’s Historic Houston shows scenes from the Houston History Bus. Fans can submit clip suggestions on saveriveroaksheatre.org.
7:30 p.m. 20 November
Behind the River Oaks Theater, 2009 West Gray
To free; saveriveroaksheatre.org