Music Picks: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Roky Erickson and More
Sharon Jones is no revivalist.
Courtesy of Daptone Records
Psych-rock standard-bearers The Black Angels come to town this week with the man who practically invented the genre. Elsewhere, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings promise an exceptional time and Com Truise makes retro sound good.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Thursday, February 27, at Granada Theater
True, grooving and heart-tugging soul music is enjoying a remarkable run these days. Buzzed-about bands such as Alabama Shakes, Mayer Hawthorne and St. Paul and the Broken Bones have blended R&B, blues, rock and roots to create a verdant form of the sound Motown and Stax artists perfected decades ago. Recent releases from Charles Bradley and Lee Fields and the Expressions have only added to the richness of the soul trove. But it's not a stretch to suggest that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have provided the gateway through which rock, indie and hip-hop fans shake their butts as they dig into the exciting crop of artists baring solid soul. Jones isn't new to this, by any means. While Jones has been recording with the Dap Kings for more than a decade, it is the collective's most recent release, Give the People What they Want, that represents perhaps their strongest statement to date. It was recorded before she underwent intense (and successful) treatment for pancreatic cancer last year, but it's impossible to not feel the joy of victory in what Rolling Stone calls "an instant soul-party." The story here isn't Jones' health — it's her spirit, and indeed, her strength of soul. Kelly Dearmore
Saturday, March 1, at House of Blues
Santa Cruz's Expendables are a hard band to knock. Sure, the band's fusion of reggae and rock is fairly generic, but it is also damn catchy. Sometimes, it's nice to just sit back, sip your favorite beverage and nod your head to the never-ending groove. These guys have been producing their blend of ska and surf rock for the better part of two decades and their whimsy is fairly contagious. It also helps that the Expendables have a solid sense of humor that permeates all six of the band's albums, including 2012's acoustic offering Gone Soft. Offering pleasant tunes that are totally absent of any sense of danger or urgency, the Expendables easily live up to the name. On any given Saturday night, however, the band can offer a couple hours of music specifically made not to think about. Darryl Smyers
Saturday, March 1, at Granada Theater
Of all the places in the world to spawn the most enduring fringes of psychedelic rock, Texas does not seem a likely candidate. But thanks in no small part to Roky Erickson and his 13th Floor Elevators bandmates, that's exactly what happened. You don't need to dig deep for the great feats of rock 'n' roll: He allegedly dropped out of high school rather than cut his hair, and he definitely avoided a prison sentence for marijuana possession with a plea of insanity. Long established as a solo artist, he comes to Dallas with fellow Austinites The Black Angels — a powerful band in its own right and in fact the night's headliner. What's it like having the man who made your career possible opening for you? Kiernan Maletsky
Tuesday, March 4, at Dada
If a direct-to-video sequel to 1982's Blade Runner was ever made, and then adapted to an early console video game, the resulting soundtrack could be a source of inspiration to Com Truise's special brand of electronic chill-funk-wave. Combined with rapid-fire hip-hop style beats, Com Truise (real name Seth Haley) rarely deviates from this formula he's been perfecting over the years since the release of the first EP, Cyanide Sisters, in 2010.
Considering some of his recent work has consisted of lending his electronic precision to dozens of remixes, he's been able to veer from his comfort zone to some degree, having to adhere to some standard pop formulas. And Haley's electronic Midi-mastery when witnessed onstage is almost as mesmerizing as the music itself. It will be interesting to see how these remixes will translate live (if he attempts them at all). But fans will no doubt crowd the dance floor at Dada expecting to hear the warm and sludgy synth classics from his earlier releases. Since Haley's music is so familiarly futuristic, a show like this is exactly what an '80s movie about a futuristic society in 2014 would predict it to sound like. Aaron Ortega
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