Wiz Khalifa, KXT Summer Cut, Chris Isaak, Ted Nugent, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, and the Singles

Wiz Khalifa, KXT Summer Cut, Chris Isaak, Ted Nugent, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, and the Singles
Danny Clinch
Death Cab can wait here all day if they have to.

Wiz Khalifa

With Jeezy, Tyga, DJ Drama, Iamsu!, Rich Homie Quan, Ty Dolla $ign and Mack Wilds, 6 p.m. Thursday, August 14, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or livenation.com. $28-$103

Last year I found myself in the nightmarish hellscape that is the DART Green Line after a Wiz Khalifa concert. Everywhere around me were teenagers screaming at each other, intoxicated by music, the heat and whatever substances they could get their hands on. Warring factions shouted at each other as teens from Allen screamed "FUCK FRISCO" at confused teens from Plano. A 100-pound white girl declared herself the "baddest bitch on here, and everywhere" and threatened to stab someone with "a motherfucking knife." But, don't let that scare you off; Khalifa makes some of the most interesting mainstream hip-hop around. His laid-back approach makes him a favorite of stoners, moms and people who don't want to think about anything more than having a good time. So go see him, and have a good time. Just avoid the DART afterparty. Jaime-Paul Falcon

KXT Summer Cut

With Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine, The Hold Steady and more, 4:30 p.m. Friday, August 15, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or gexaenergypavilion.net, $40

As is the case with any radio station-sponsored festival, the chosen bands reflect the station's identity. Even with long-running, annually anticipated fests such as KDGE-AM 102.1's alt-ish Edgefest or KEGL-FM 97.1 the Eagle's head-banging BFD, it is the still-young Summer Cut from the NPR-fueled KKXT-FM 91.7 that might handle the task of curating its own festival most capably. Unlike many other stations in town, KXT's playlist is a tremendously elastic one. Sometimes that's not so great (see: the occasional spin of "Closing Time" by Semisonic ), but the hits far outweigh the misses these days. It's also no small feat to land several headline-worthy acts that represent your station's musical philosophy when it's as varied as KXT's is. The hooky Death Cab for Cutie, the bearded folk of Iron & Wine and the bar-stool rock of the Hold Steady represent three very different kinds of indie flavors, making the Summer Cut an audio smorgasbord. Kelly Dearmore

Chris Isaak

8 p.m. Friday, August 15, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, billybobstexas.com or 817-624-7117, $15-$45

It's kind of inaccurate to call Chris Isaak a crooner. Even though the combination of his voice (a breathy, melancholic baritone that manages to hit Roy Orbison-worthy high notes) and his classic good looks could easily qualify him, his music is a good distance from Perry Como, or even Harry Connick Jr. For one thing, Isaak doesn't really dabble in jazz. For another, his music blends blues, surf and rockabilly, which were kind of what killed the popularity of crooners in the '50s. Regardless, the dude writes great hooks, delivered with the kind of charm you normally save for meeting your girlfriend's grandmother. Also, between his clever stage banter and wacky suits (pink sequins, for example), his shows are pretty funny. Steve Steward

Ted Nugent

8 p.m. Saturday, August 16, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, billybobstexas.com or 817-624-7117, $20-$40

If Ted Nugent weren't such an ever-present, ultra-right-wing asshole, it might be easier to stomach his harmless, well-played classic rock. Back in his '70s heyday, the Nuge's big riffs and middle-school sexism made songs such as "Cat Scratch Fever," "Stranglehold" and "Wango Tango" bearable radio fodder. But now Nugent is better known as a political hack than a music performer. His shows often turn into diatribes concerning immigration and how much he hates the current president. In between the rants, Nugent might still mix in some killer guitar solos. At this point, it's hard to tell which element fans will come to witness. Darryl Smyers

Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden

With Cold Cave, 7 p.m. Sunday, August 17, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or gexaenergypavilion.net, $50

Easily one of the best co-headlining summer tours of the year, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden bring elegance and power to what should be the sizzling confines of Gexa Energy Pavilion. While both bands share some similar soft/hard dynamics, Nine Inch Nails are more indebted to technology while Soundgarden are much more meat and potatoes. After going on hiatus from 2009 to 2012, Trent Reznor seems reinvigorated and Nine Inch Nails are sounding better than ever. Same goes for Chris Cornell and the rest of Soundgarden, who had been away for much longer. Taken together, these bands are capable of stirring up a sweaty horde and reminding us all that bands from the late '80s and early '90s can still be relevant and thoroughly engaging. Darryl Smyers

The Singles

With She Banshees, Brave Young Lion and Science For Giants, 8 p.m. Monday, August 8, at The Prophet Bar, 2513 Main St., thedoordallas.com, $10

Stop me if you've heard this one before: A duo from Detroit plays throwback rock 'n' roll with the dude on the guitar and the chick on drums. They dress in monochrome and the critics love them. No, not the Von Bondies — we're talking about glam garage rockers the Singles. Though they'd been in the Detroit scene for years, it took a move to Los Angeles for the band to break through. Now they've got a new record out, a national tour and critical hype most bands would kill for. Maybe California really is the land where dreams come true. One of Denton's best new bands, Brave Young Lion, opens. Jaime-Paul Falcon

 
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