As a visionary member of psychedelic garage-rockers 13th Floor Elevators, Texas punk pioneer Roky Erickson cemented his place in modern music history with the band's corrosive 1966 hit single "You're Gonna Miss Me." Sadly, for decades the songwriter was arguably better known as one of the most tragic acid casualties this side of Brian Wilson's indoor sandbox. Copping an insanity plea to get out of a ten-year pot possession sentence in '69, the already-fragile Erickson was institutionalized and subjected to several years of electroshock therapy and Thorazine. Though he would sporadically produce inspired recordings after his release, mental instability, poor health, and deceitful managers hampered his career until he came under the stewardship of his younger brother in 2001. Now enjoying one of the most unlikely comebacks of this or any era, Roky and his current backing band The Explosives offer the perfect unhinged soundtrack for Halloween revelers when they play on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. (1990s open). Tickets are sold out; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. — Dave Pehling
Powered by a flashy stage show and a plenitude of peacock strut, local outfit Triple Cobra delivers glam-rock redux with swaggering confidence and over-the-top theatrics. Main man Attiss Ngoval may crib heavily from cornerstone influences Bowie and Bolan, but the catchy riffs on songs like "Little Vice" and the title track from the band's 2006 debut Live Fast & Die Beautiful temper Velvet Goldmine pomp with a ballsy heft that pushes the material into heavier territory. Sporting smeared mascara, feather boas, and a pair of comely back-up singers with impressive pipes, the group anchors a Halloween Monster Mosh that also features a costume contest with a $250 grand prize and a performance by the undead strippers of Zombie Burlesque. Get your All Hallows' Eve glitter on this Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 12 Galaxies at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com for more info. — D.P.
Winning a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2001 must've galled Shelby Lynne a bit, as she's been recording since 1988. Lynne started out in Nashville, but the city's country-pop hit-machinery became wearisome after a few years. So she said goodbye to Tennessee and hello to Southern California, working with producer Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow) for 2001's I Am Shelby Lynne. Bringing forth a sultry, slightly dusky vocal style, the album established Lynne's moody synthesis of country-tinged pop and old-school Southern R&B. Her forthcoming album is, appropriately enough, a tribute to the queen of blue-eyed soul, Dusty Springfield. Get a taste on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Café du Nord at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are sold out; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com for more info. — Mark Keresman
For a band rapidly approaching its 40-year anniversary and operating without a record label, ZZ Top remains impressively ambitious and authentic. The Texas triumvirate of trouble mixes ribald humor with simmering blues structures, anchored by the unflagging skills of guitarist Billy Gibbons. While the hipster party line is to admit affection only for '70s-era favorites like Tejas and Tres Hombres, I dare anyone who appreciates tightly wound classic rock to make a case against such early-'80s gems as "Got Me Under Pressure" and "Sharp Dressed Man." ZZ Top performs on Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Warfield at 8 p.m. Admission is $45-55; call 567-2060 or visit www.livenation.com for more info. — Hannah Levin
The SFJAZZ showcase "Desert Guitar Summit" highlights the blood ties between old-school American blues and modern Africa. The one-of-a-kind double bill features two up-and-coming combos with very distinct sounds. Tinariwen, a four-guitar electric septet from the Sahara led by Touareg singer Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, recalls the gritty style of Chicago legend Muddy Waters. The group's revolutionary fervor for political independence gives its songs a powerful edge. Vieux Farka Touré, son of the late Malian superstar Ali Farka Touré (who introduced African blues to the West two decades back), leads a quintet that echoes the fleet-fingered, acoustic approach of Delta bluesman Mississippi John Hurt. Both bands convey the cultural heritage of Africa as a globetrotting phenomenon of great passion and artistry. "Desert Guitar Summit" takes place on Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. Admission is $20-55; call 398-5655 or visit www.sfjazz.org for more info. — Sam Prestianni