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If you’re reading this, it means the Mayans were wrong and we’re all still stuck here on Earth.  The world hasn’t ended just yet, and another failed prophecy has passed us by.  In some ways, I’m disappointed.  Every generation thinks they’re going to see end of the world, and most of us look forward to it.  Who doesn’t want to be there to see it all go up in flames?  I am, however, excited that we’re all still here, because we have some great shows coming up for the month of January.  Southern metal overlords, a disappearing act returns, and a band says farewell to their fans.

Down

January 11

Warehouse Live

The closest thing to seeing Pantera live since the loss of Dimebag Darrell is coming to town in early January to destroy Warehouse Live.  While Down doesn’t necessarily carry the same fury as Pantera, the signature vocals of Phil Anselmo are there, making me feel nostalgic about the times I spent waking up early in high school to drive around in my car listening to The Great Southern Trendkill while smoking cigarettes.  Hey, I thought I was cool.  If the members of Black Sabbath were born in New Orleans, I’d imagine this is what they might sound like.  Down brings a unique sound to metal music that’s deeply rooted in their Southern upbringing, which puts them a tier above the rest.  Frontman Phil Anselmo is known for his hilarious and sometimes incoherent onstage ramblings.  Keep your ears open for some gems from one of the gods of metal.

Jeff Mangum 

January 21

Cullen Theater

After almost a 10 year hiatus, Neutral Milk Hotel frontman and cult music legend Jeff Mangum is finally returning for a full length tour.  Mangum has been playing sporadically since ’08, but until now, he hasn’t hit the road in full form.  Of course, everyone knows Mangum as the frontman for Neutral Milk Hotel, creator of the now classic In The Aeroplane Over the Sea.  I, however, am more of a fan of his work with The Olivia Tremor Control, and hope that he’ll pull out at least one song of theirs to perform.  Mangum is one of those weird, quirky characters that everyone loves to follow, but that doesn’t reveal too much about himself.  Forever a mystery after pulling a Dave Chappelle when he was at the height of his popularity, his return will definitely be something to watch.  Will he come back stronger than ever?  Or will the wheels fall off the wagon giving us a rock star mental breakdown?  Either way, I’ll be there to watch.

Underoath, MewithoutYou, and As Cities Burn 

January 23

House of Blues

Ignoring that this show is coming to town would be ignoring a good chunk of recent heavy music history.  Like them or not, Underoath were at the forefront of the metal core surge in the early 2000s.  They’re Only Chasing Safety became a classic in that genre and has remained one of the landmark albums for heavy music of that time period.  After announcing their breakup earlier this year, the band set a final farewell tour for early 2013 and chose Houston as one of the final destinations to say goodbye.  7 years ago, Underoath appealed to a crowd that is now 21+.  It’s interesting to see young people still connecting with a band that is almost 15 years old.  After the departure of their singer/drummer Aaron Gillespie, the band took on a heavier sound than their previous albums and still managed to continue their uphill surge in popularity.  Now, at their peak and with no original members left, the band has decided to finally call it quits and go out on top.  To top it all off, the band is bringing back MeWithoutYou and As Cities Burn – two more bands to get that extra nostalgic feel.

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