With election years comes a plethora of arguing, protesting and bumper stickers and this year is proving that to be especially true. Between scrolling past endless Facebook rants and figuring out which topics you probably shouldn't discuss with your family, why not escape this crazy world with some live music? Trapt, Gwen Stefani and RiFF RAFF, along with a bunch of others, are here to help ease your political angst.
With Saliva, Alien Ant Farm, Crazy Town, 12 Stones and Saving Abel, 4 p.m. Monday, August 8, at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $25 to $50.
Make America Rock Again, the tour aiming to enlighten the lives of those in need of some rock 'n' roll, kicks off this week and is comprised of some of the early 2000s best rock bands to hit the radio waves. Headliner Trapt is touring in support of their latest album, DNA, released a couple of weeks ago. Also on the bill are alums Crazy Town and Saliva, among others. And if you missed Alien Ant Farm a couple of weeks ago at Trees, now's your chance to see 'em for an even bigger show. Diamond Victoria
9 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-742-3400, or dadadallas.com, $15 to $18.
Wye Oak conjures an unusually full and mesmerizing sound considering the Baltimore group is just a duo: singer-guitarist Jenn Wasner and drummer Andy Stack. Wasner belies the title of the pair’s fourth album, Shriek, with dreamy contrails of singing that drift into Stack’s cloud bank of keyboards. “I woke up on the floor thinking I have never dreamed before,” she confides. “I tell you stories, but truth be told/I can’t remember what came before.” Bereft of memory and past expectations, Wasner gazes out across the hazy soundscapes of “The Tower” and “Schools of Eyes” with a newfound sense of openness. Falling James
With Trill Sammy and Dice Soho, 7 p.m. Thursday, August 11, at House of Blues, 2200 N Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $25.
RiFF RAFF is a man of many names, reputations and styles. His polarizing brand of hip-hop is an exaggerated take on the storied Houston rap scene, featuring absurd freestyled punchline raps, a penchant for platinum and diamond jewelry as well as uniquely braided hair. The FREESTYLE SCiENTiST has his share of critics and detractors, but has developed a massive fan base thanks to his tireless internet presence, on both YouTube and social media. JODY HiGHROLLER’s fans have an insatiable appetite for his humorous music and ridiculous videos, but more importantly it’s his never-ending desire to have fun and be happy that make his shows a party destination. This go-around at the House of Blues offers fans a chance to see RAP GAME JAMES FRANCO perform new songs from his recently released Peach Panther album. Mikel Galicia
With Sam Lao, -Topic and Buffalo Black, 8 p.m. Thursday, August 11, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346, or thekessler.org, $15 to $25.
It's fair to say that no one else in Dallas is doing what Dezi does. He's cut from the cloth of classic pop stars. In contrast to the prevalent homages to '60s rock, Dezi 5 is a true triple threat, offering a mix of show-stopping vocals, outlandish theatricality and exuberant dance moves. The poses he strikes onstage would make believable classic rock posters: He scorches with the fire of Tina Turner, entertaining the audience with every angle and limb. He's got a sing-for-my-supper, hustling demeanor; it's the humility of an artist who considers the spotlight both an honor and a responsibility. Joining forces with rappers Sam Lao, -topic and Buffalo Black, this makes for an especially stacked all-local bill. Eva Raggio
8 p.m. Thursday, August 11, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501, or thebombfactory.com, free.
This American rock band has seen numerous reunion tours and albums since splitting (for the first time) in 1971. Trying to follow in the footsteps of the Beatles, the Monkees formed in Los Angeles in 1965, before their American-aired TV show in began running in 1966 — a year later than their British cohorts. They got back together in the '90s to record new music and did a U.S. tour in '97 that preceded another hiatus. They got back together, again, in 2011 for a world tour but not before canceling 10 last-minute additional shows due to internal band issues. Jones passed away in 2012 and was soon replaced by Michael Nesmith. The (new) Monkees did a 24-date tour in 2013 and are now coming through Dallas on their newest tour that began in 2015 in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Sara Button
Corinne Bailey Rae
8 p.m. Friday, August 12, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, or houseofblues.com, $30 to $40.
Corinne Bailey Rae brings her sweet and rich voice to Dallas, anxious to show that her embrace of classic soul isn't just another passing fancy. While in her teens and inspired by an early love of Led Zeppelin, Rae formed Helen, an all-female indie-metal act that drew equal parts kudos and condemnation. Older and wiser, her maturity on some of her earlier songs such as "Put Your Records On" and "Call Me When You Get This" is evident and alluring. Putting to good use her fruitful experience with funk and hip-hop, Rae's writing exposes emotional complexities and fearless introspection. Over a decade after her debut at the top of the charts, Rae's latest album, The Heart Speaks In Whispers, has been considered by critics to be her best yet. Darryl Smyers
With Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge and Saint Asonia, 6:30 Friday, August 12, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or dallaspavilion.org, $29.95 to $79.95.
This isn't the first time Disturbed has played Dallas this year, but chances are they'd just as soon forget the first visit – or at least the aftermath. When the Chicago nu metal band played House of Blues in March, singer David Draiman stopped what he was doing to berate one of his fans for texting. The only problem was that most onlookers sided with the fan – so much so that Draiman eventually issued an apology for his perceived bullying. Disturbed's following has been a passionate one ever since their breakthrough song, “Down With the Sickness,” off their 2000 debut The Sickness. That following came back as strong as ever when the band returned from a four-year hiatus in 2015, but they may need an act of goodwill or two to smooth things over as they return to Dallas. Make sure to mind your concert etiquette, just to be safe. Taylor Frantum
With Eve, 7 p.m. Saturday, August 13, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 214-421-1111 or dallaspavilion.org, $19.95 to $149.95.
Pop singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani has had a rough run these last few years, ending her 13-year marriage to former Bush singer Gavin Rossdale and scrapping an entire album before it was released because she felt it wasn’t authentic. Now, on her first concert tour in seven years to support her third solo album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like, Stefani, 46, has nothing to hide. You might even call it a new beginning. The No Doubt singer has described her record, which topped the Billboard 200 after its March release, as a break-up record (and, oddly, the happiest of her three), and her tour as a form of therapy. Stefani, a coach on NBC’s The Voice, has even entertained an on-stage cameo by her new boyfriend, country star Blake Shelton — also a Voice coach and the apparent inspiration for part of the new album. Presumably, the “happy” part. Karen Brooks Harper
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6 p.m. Saturday, August 13, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117, or billybobstexas.com, $16 to $25.
Every now and then, an artist comes along who can deliver a solid, chart-topping hit mixing the best of the two biggest genres in the biz — country and pop. The quartet Lonestar, originally from North Texas, did exactly this back in 1999 when they made a mainstream name for themselves with their mega hit "Amazed." They followed this success with the 2001 critical darling "I'm Already There." That was at about the height of their popularity and Lonestar eventually fell under the radar. The voice of the band, Richie McDonald, left to pursue a solo career a few years after, but returned to help create the band's latest album, Never Enders. DV
Guided By Voices
With Broncho, 8 p.m. Sunday, August 14, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $25.
Guided by Voices, that old lo-fi, college radio stalwart, is best known for cramming as many tracks into an LP-length disc as humanly possible, thus bringing their average song-length down to about two minutes. Over the years, they’ve taken a similar approach to their lineup: Frontman Robert Pollard seems hellbent on cramming as many contributing members as possible into their three-decade lifespan. In a way, the GBV alumni list reads a little like a GBV album tracklist. So when Pollard announced GBV’s 2016 reunion tour, the lineup was a big question. It looks like there will be a certain symmetry here, too. While their 2010 reunion tour featured the return of Tobin Sprout, that emblem of first-gen, super lo-fi GBV, their second reunion tour will include Doug Gillard, the engine of second-gen, less lo-fi, more virtuosic GBV. Well, maybe, anyway — this tour is actually in support of Robert Pollard’s latest solo album, Of Course You Are. But they’re certain to play a couple of classics from their enormous repertoire, too — after all, it shouldn’t take long. Elliot Wright