Music Picks: 10,000 Maniacs, Lady Gaga, and more

10,000 Maniacs

With Emily Elbert, 7 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at the Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $22.50-$40

It's hard to say something bad about a band that's been around for 33 years, especially one as nonthreatening as 10,000 Maniacs. You know, they're that band that's made a career of being that band you sort of recognize on independent radio stations. Being a musician is a hard road to travel and any band that makes it 33 years, including 20-plus years after it lost its lead singer and biggest star, Natalie Merchant, deserves at least a passing glance. So Wednesday night at the Kessler try to keep quiet and watch the band play. They must be doing something right to last this long. Jaime-Paul Falcon

The Antlers have brightened up over the years.
Marc Lemoine
The Antlers have brightened up over the years.
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, on the other hand...
Danny Clinch
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, on the other hand...

Lady Gaga

7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $38.75–$415

The last time Lady Gaga played Dallas was in January 2013 and much has happened for Mother Monster since — not all positive, either. Last year's artPOP was called by many a tired, half-cooked record short on ideas, while her extravagant release party was dismissed as uninspired self-indulgence. Then last month a clip leaked of her shelved video for "Do What U Want," an apparently ill-advised venture that was met with considerable backlash for the roles of alleged sex offenders R. Kelly and Terry Richardson. Public opinion may be at an all-time low, but Gaga has always courted controversy, and her Little Monsters are resolute in their loyalty. Her performances remain as over-the-top as ever with plenty of dramatic costume and wig changes and choreographed dance moves. It's also a great chance to wear a weird outfit or maybe hardly any clothes at all, which is what Gaga seems to prefer herself. Regardless of the controversy, the spectacle at the center of it all remains much the same. Carmina Tiscareno

Steely Dan

9 p.m. Friday, July 18, at Winstar Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $60-$90

If any band is worthy of a road trip, it's Steely Dan. While many acts that achieved the majority of their success in the '70s and '80s have descended into replacement-member oblivion, the duo of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen remains amazingly transcendent. Touring, they surround themselves with top-notch sidemen and dig deep into their back catalog in order to satisfy the hardcore fans. Folks who only know Steely Dan from hits like "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and "Reeling in the Years" will be sadly disappointed when confronted with esoteric and otherworldly numbers such as "Green Earrings" and "Bad Sneakers." Becker and Fagen are now in their mid-60s, but they show few signs of slowing down. And with music this good, why would they? Darryl Smyers

The Antlers

With Thus Owls, 7 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $16

For the most part, familiarity breeds comfort. In the case of some bands, that's fine. But a signature sound can also be a hindrance. In such cases, comfort leads to a complacent predictability. Brooklyn's the Antlers, the dreamy creation of Peter Silberman, have succeeded in offering up albums of increasing quality and, more important, they are anything but stylistically static. The band's breakthrough record, the magnificent Hospice, was quite the critical rage in 2009, and today Silberman's intro to the world outside of indie-tensive Brooklyn holds up as a remarkable achievement in knitting together a narrative concept that isn't tethered too tightly. Familiars, Antlers' newly released jazz- and horn-inflected jewel, is a misleadingly titled one. The only thing that's terribly familiar about Silberman's work is that it's fantastically unique from other Antlers records. And that is comfort enough. Kelly Dearmore

Beyoncé and Jay Z

8 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, attstadium.com, $51-$271

Hip-hop's most powerful couple is finally sharing the stage with their "On The Run" tour. And after that whole elevator smackdown in May involving Jay Z, Beyoncé and her sister Solange, of course there's going to be a little bit of talk, and many rumors, surrounding the show. Yoncé recently changed the lyrics of her 2006 hit "Resentment," about a woman being cheated on, to fit her life with Jay, adding to the rumors that he's been unfaithful. Or during Hova's performance of "H to the Izzo," a smiling Justin Bieber's mug shot was flashed on screen with Mrs. Carter adding, "Even the greatest can fall." Then again, far be it from these two to rustle up some hype for an already blockbuster tour. Not that they need it — together, they've won more than 30 Grammys and basically made the music biz their personal playground. So forget the drama and check out the show for the music. Paige Skinner

JEFF the Brotherhood

With Sealion and Not In The Face, 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $3 RSVP, $10 at the door

Tennessee twosome JEFF the Brotherhood are bringing their righteous jams to Dada for the latest installment of the Red Bull Sound Select series, which couldn't be more fitting. They're both straightforward, just a bit mangy and more than welcoming of a good time. The brothers Orrall have been playing headbanging shows for almost 13 years now and their seven-album catalog will give them plenty to build a formidable set list from. On top of their deep tracks, expect them to play extended jams of their songs and slather on some psychedelic sounds. Last time they were in Dallas, they opened up for another duo, the Kills, but this time they're headlining their own bill and brandishing their fuzzed-out rock 'n' roll in full force. Grow out your hair, cut the sleeves off your shirt and join the Brotherhood. Matt Wood

 
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