As the first week of June commences, Dallas will be expecting some interesting visitors. Although Swedish pop outfit Little Dragon is generating plenty of buzz in anticipation of their Saturday, June 7 performance, fellow indie-pop peers Uh Huh Her's Monday appearance will be sure to generate a substantial crowd. Expect a stellar set from Denton's own Pink Smoke later this week, as well as a 'blast from the past' from popular progressive metal band Winger.Big Gus & The Swampadelic7pm, Monday, June 2 at The Freeman, 2626 Commerce St, freemandallas.com, Free
In 2011, the Dallas Observer awarded "Big Gus" Samuelson the trophy for Best DJ. Samuelson does have an impeccable ear for great tunes and his low, Southern Barry White-ish speaking voice helps him excel in that realm on KHYI-FM 95.3. For years now, however, he has fronted one hell of a band, Swampadelic. By blending blues, zydeco and Western swing, Samuelson and his crew cover aural terrain that few area bands can. The Cajun flavor of his tunes comes naturally, as he was raised in Louisiana before making his way to Dallas many years ago.
André Watts' big break came when he was just 16 years old. In 1963, Leonard Bernstein invited the tall, lanky teenager to make his professional debut with the New York Philharmonic. Almost overnight the young African-American/Hungarian pianist was a classical sensation, selling records and traveling the world as a performer. Now in his 60s, Watts has evolved from teenage phenom to keyboard veteran. Over the last five decades he has performed with all the world's major orchestras and given recitals in nearly every famous concert hall. Watts comes to Dallas on Monday, as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House Recital Series. Starting at 7:30pm, he'll give a performance that spans the history of keyboard music, beginning with the light, bubbling sounds of Domenico Scarlatti's baroque sonatas and ending with the rich romantic melodies of Franz Listz's "Transcendental Étude No. 10."Katie WomackUh Huh Her
8pm, Monday, June 2 at The House of Blues Dallas, 2200 N. Lamar St, houseofblues.com/dallas, $8
There is a moody, darkly hypnotic aspect to Uh Huh Her's newest record, Future Souls, which is damn near undeniable. Combining electro pop with a down-tempo, chilled-out sensibility, the bulk of the album is perfect for make-out sessions in dimly-lit corners of clubs. But then there is the issue of wanting to listen to the music so much that your boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever will have to fight for your attention halfway through the first bar of the album's opener, "Innocence." In fact, before you are done listening to "It's Chemical" -- with Camila Grey's slightly warped, hazy vocals and keys that are in turns languid and sensual -- there is a chance you'll forget everything about your significant other and be drawn like a moth to the flame of the seductive qualities of the band's music. But that's the kind of alluring experience you want from a band anyway.Brian PalmerParquet CourtsWith Swearin' and Radioactivity, 7:30pm, Tuesday, June 3 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm Street, dadadallas.com, $12
Parquet Courts may have been dubbed "The Last Great New York Band" recently by Grantland, but its roots run deep in North Texas. Frontman and former Dentonite Andrew Savage cut his teeth with local acts like Fergus & Geronimo and Teenage Cool Kids. So it was no response to us when the Brooklyn's-based band's Light Up Gold, released through Savage's own Dull Tools label, was met with a roar of acclaim from fans and critics alike, landing at number 11 on Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2013 list and earning further accolades from the likes of Pitchfork, Spin and The New York Times. Joined in Deep Ellum by Radioactivity (who need a Venn diagram to explain how prolific its members have been in local acts), and Philadelphia/Brooklyn DIY punk trio Swearin', this promises to be one of the hottest indie-friendly bills of the summer.Daniel RodrigueRingo DeathstarrWith Blackstone Rangers, Midnight Masses, and Blessin, 10pm, Wednedsay, June 4th at the Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore Street, rubberglovesdentontx.com, $10
Elliott Frazier has been making his own brand of star-gaze since 2005 when he first put early Ringo Deathstarr demos on Myspace. Since then Frazier moved from his hometown of Beaumont to Austin where he managed to put together a band, put out a handful of EPs, land a few record deals and tour the world, opening for the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins. The band's signature blend of ear-shattering volume, endless drone and devotion to the early shoegaze pioneers has garnered its fair share of critical praise, with many making it a point to warn concert goers to that it might get loud. DOMA darlings Blackstone Rangers provide support along with ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead side project Midnight Masses and Blessin. Jaime-Paul FalconPerfect PussyWith Potty Mouth, Stymie, and Orgullo Primitivo, Thursday, June 5 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St, threelinksdeepellum.com, $10
Perfect Pussy, the ferocious noise-punk outfit from Syracuse, New York, knows the difference between hype-filled buzz and well-earned praise. Because of the group's salacious moniker and attractive lead-singer, Meredith Graves, the attention-demanding unit garnered a bushel of typical hipster chatter as this past spring's South by Southwest coincided with the release of the group's debut LP, Say Yes to Love. But because the record is an urgent, cacophonous burst of grizzled anger, they're now a legit touring outfit, earning their stripes on the road with performances that feel every bit as dangerous as their recorded product.KDWinger7pm, Thursday, June 5 at Trees, 2709 Elm Street, treesdallas.com, $21
You know who Stewart from Beavis and Butthead is, right? Did you just think of a joke about Winger? Is not Beavis and Butthead the best cartoon ever? (No, it's not; the best cartoon ever is King of the Hill.) But more to the point, Winger, always a favorite punching bag for everyone who celebrated grunge's swift usurpation of hair metal's market dominance, is back on the road to promote a new album. Frontman Kip Winger recently complained to Grantland about the band's pop culture marginalization and trumpeted his classical composer chops. That sounds like a reach, but it does lend credence to the idea that the band's eponymous debut is really just 2112 in 1988's leather pants. Regardless, Winger will bring out the kind of prog rock fireworks that Dream Theater fans never stop talking about, but they'll be a ship of fools if they don't play "Miles Away."Steve StewardIrationWith The Green and Katastro, 7:30pm, Friday, June 6 at The House of Blues Dallas, 2200 N. Lamar St, houseofblues.com/dallas, $26.58
One way to describe shows performed by bands like Iration is to imagine a summer keg party populated by every person within a 100-mile radius who owns a Pepper t-shirt, except for Kyle because his parents grounded him or some shit. Or failing that, Iration sounds like a store that sells boardshorts, or what a Corpus Christi head shop sounds like after Derek goes home and Micah turns off that Pantera CD and puts on that tight Reggae Sunsplash comp he made. Then it's just him and Sunshine chillin' until close. If you can dig that, then the Hawaiian-born, Cali-famous sextet's dubby, positive vibes will feel irie on Friday at House of Blues.SSPink SmokeWith The Phuss, Drug Animal, and Deadbeat Poetry, 8pm, Friday, June 6 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm Street, dadadallas.com, $7
Like fellow Denton bands Bad Sports and the Marked Men, Pink Smoke makes pop-tinged punk rock that sounds like it would be at home on a Burger Records compilation. The band's relentless guitar work, machine-gun-like drums and almost sunny lyrics cause even the most jaded listener to bob their head and move around on the dance floor. Like-minded locals the Phuss and Drug Animal provide more than excellent support.JPF
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If there's one thing the Swedes know it's how to do it's create perfect pop songs that American audiences love. From ABBA to Ace of Base and the Knife, their tradition of synth-laden pop that gets people up and dancing has been going strong for decades. One of the longest-running groups who trade in this genre is Little Dragon, a group that formed in 1996 but didn't get noticed in America till sometime around 2006. Since then they've been on remix after remix and guested on albums from Raphael Saadiq to Big Boi. The band's latest album, Nabuma Rubberband, hit number two on the U.S. Dance charts and their singles continue to be favorites of DJs who are trying to get the night going. Expect to dance and get sweaty.JPF