Ben Kweller, Ray LaMontagne, Da Mafia 6ix, Sarah McLachlan and Yes

Ben Kweller

With Amy Cook, 8 p.m. Friday, August 1, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $24-$38

Ben Kweller has a long and storied past in North Texas. As one of the founding members of Radish, a Greenville band that sat just on the cusp of buzz-band status before fading into oblivion, Kweller and his bandmates did plenty of rocking around Dallas and greater North Texas. As an Austin-based solo artist, he has enjoyed wide indie success and a few trips up the pop charts. "Wasted and Ready," the song that he's probably best known for, is also his highest-charting track to date and gave us "sex reminds her of meat and spaghetti," one of the most ridiculous song lyrics of all time. The 2000s were largely filled with collaborative efforts with other musicians, like his "The Bens" tour through Australia with Ben Folds and Ben Lee. Friday night's show at the Granada promises to be a fun trip down memory lane, even if you missed out on the Radish days of yore. Amy McCarthy

Ray LaMontagne

With the Belle Brigade, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 2, at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 214-565-1116 or liveatthemusichall.com, $50-$65

Although he's often compared to such heavyweights as Otis Redding and Van Morrison, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is much more akin to folks like Stephen Stills and Tim Buckley. Such a distinction is crucial. Where Redding and Morrison made transcendent music that crossed genre lines with amazing ease, Stills and Buckley were talented but flawed artists who stumbled as much as they succeeded. LaMontagne does have an impressive voice and his songs have a sincerity missing from many like-minded tunesmiths. He's really good — but he's not great. That being said, LaMontagne's show at a drastically underused venue should provide a romantic date night for those couples who don't mind their folk-rock on the raspy side. Darryl Smyers

Da Mafia 6ix

With World Life, Tunk and the Outfit, TX, 8 p.m. Saturday, August 2, at Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $25

It's been an eventful year for the former members of prescient hip-hop crew Three 6 Mafia. Juicy J made it big with the dance-hop album Stay Trippy. Co-founder Lord Infamous died of a heart attack. And, triumphantly, DJ Paul reunited most of the group, renamed them (for legal reasons) Da Mafia 6ix, and then proceeded to release a true-to-form mixtape, 6ix Commandments. Fortunately, 6ix Commandments was a satisfying return to the graveyard moods and devilish productions of the crew's early days, which did a lot in the way of erasing the bad taste left by Three 6's late-period follies. The past year also proved to be a moment of redemption, as the proto-trap prophecies Three 6 pioneered two decades ago were firmly suffused into the mainstream; in so many ways, 2013 was the year trap finally went public. With a proper reunion album in the works and rumors that DJ Paul plans to bring Infamous' casket along for the tour, it might just be the right (and most macabre) time to finally catch the Mafia's circus live. Jonathan Patrick

Sarah McLachlan

8 p.m. Sunday, August 3, at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 214-880-0202 or attpac.org, $79

Listen, you're going to see Sarah McLachan at the Winspear Opera House because you love puppies, '90s movies with Nicolas Cage, the Cinder Calhoun character from Weekend Update and the 2010 Winter Olympics. All joking aside, McLachlan is a 26-year veteran of the music business and has used her fame for much more than personal gain. She's used it for social change through the creation of the Lilith Fair tour, the establishment of a music school and advocacy for the ASPCA. Her latest album, Shine On, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200, and by all reports her tour of North America's most prestigious venues has been an intimate affair akin to a victory lap. So gussie yourself up for a special occasion. Who knows, it might even benefit some puppies. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Yes

8 p.m. Wednesday, August 6, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5111 or verizontheatre.com, $35-$85

Here's what I want to know about people who hate Yes: Is it because you don't like the music, or is it because the band replaced, Steel Dragon-style, singer and founding member Jon Anderson with the singer of a Yes tribute band? If you hate Yes for the latter reason, does it bother you even more that the tribute-band singer replacement is a Canadian guy named Benoît? And if that's the case, do you also hate Rush? In any event, whether you think prog rock is stupid, can't handle the synth stabs in "Owner of a Lonely Heart" or love them both, Yes are playing 1971's Fragile and 1972's Close to the Edge start to finish, as well as a greatest hits package and inevitably some cuts from the new album Heaven and Earth. If it helps, Chris Squire's still in the band — although if that matters to you, can I assume you work in the bass department at Guitar Center? Steve Steward

 
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