Thursday, October 3, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Denton
Listening to the music of singer/songwriter Richard Buckner is like reading a good, challenging novel. Dense one minute, delicate the next, Buckner's music is filled with lyrical metaphors and beautiful acoustic and electric underpinnings. Over the course of nearly a dozen full-length releases, Buckner has widened his lens quite impressively. Initially, a few major label idiots tried to fit the guy into the mold of a traditional country crooner. Thankfully, Buckner's inherent peculiarity led to fantastic efforts such as 2004's Dents and Shells and the recently released Surrounded. These days, Buckner's music transcends easy classification. Part Brian Eno and part Ryan Adams, Buckner creates sonic pictures that play out like personal crossword puzzles. Buckner's music requires attentive listening, for the dramatics are hidden, but the power is still there buzzing against suggestion and remorse. Darryl Smyers
Charlie Robison and William Clark Green
Friday, October 4, at Granada Theater
This has been an exemplary year for Texas country young guns and grizzled veterans alike. This bill provides proof for both cases. Bandera's Charlie Robison hasn't been terribly prolific over the past few years, but his brand-new record, High Times, is yet another seamlessly well-crafted record of revved-up troublemaking and storytelling numbers that demand your full attention. Better than most, Robison can be an authoritative badass in one tune and a repentant soul-searcher in the next. While not a newcomer to the world of Texas college-circuit touring, William Clark Green has finally made his breakthrough. The Tyler native and former Texas Tech student is a folk writer with a rocker's grit. His most recent record, The Rose Queen, is his second excellent album in a row, and boasts his first No. 1 tune on the Texas charts, "She Likes the Beatles," which is the best barroom sing-along song of the year. Kelly Dearmore
Queens of the Stone Age
Saturday, October 5, at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Other rock and metal bands may think they say "Never say die," but Queens of the Stone Age had to repeat it like a daily affirmation to remind themselves that they were still alive during the tumultuous six years following their last album. Lead singer and guitarist Josh Homme had a scary brush with death during a routine knee surgery that sank him into a hard depression. Thankfully, he and his bandmates bounced back by pounding out the kind of hard sounds that explore the dark recesses of humanity and remind us that the worst is over, as long as we let it be the worst from here on out. Danny Gallagher
Sunday, October 6, at Trees
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Somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and the Smashing Pumpkins fits the music of L.A.'s Silversun Pickups. And that's not too bad a place to be. Led by the enigmatic Brian Aubert, the band pouts, mopes and shoegazes its way to middle-of-the-road, melodramatic Nirvana (the destination, not the band). Silversun Pickups' three full-length efforts (including last year's Neck of the Woods) are fairly indistinguishable from one another, but feature enough interesting melodies to keep the attention of the listener. Indeed, Neck may well be the best thing the band has done as songs such as "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" and Mean Spirits" surge with just the right amout of charm and angst. Darryl Smyers
Tuesday, October 8, at House of Blues
I can clearly remember when Wild Nothing's debut Gemini landed in 2010. It nearly defined my summer. Its dreamy pop melodies are still imprinted on my mind, streaking their way across three months' worth of hazy memories. It's fitting, because Wild Nothing's reverberating guitars and aqueous tones serve as the perfect backdrop to sun-drenched, carefree summer days. Wild Nothing is the project of singer-songwriter Jack Tatum, who, in 2010, propelled his band into the critical spotlight with a striking rendition of Kate Bush's brilliant single "Cloudbusting." Children of the '80s will recognize Wild Nothing's trademark aesthetic immediately, a sound whose ethereal arrangements and synthy structures bring to mind pop acts like New Order and the Cocteau Twins. Currently on tour with the vocal-heavy rock group Local Natives, Wild Nothing will be in Dallas performing at the House of Blues on October 8. Don't worry, Wild Nothing's jangly riffs, blurry nostalgia and infectious hooks will all translate beautifully live. If you're looking for a memorable way to celebrate the last days of summer, this is your ticket. Jonathan Patrick