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The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, May 19-25

Mark Oliver Everett and Eels: spaceships not included
Mark Oliver Everett and Eels: spaceships not included
Courtesy the artist

Which way do you want to rawk this week? Because there are a number of different ways to do so, given the lineup of concerts that hit Dallas between now and Sunday. If it's metal you're looking for, this should be an especially bountiful week. If it's arena-sized power ballads, you're in luck as well. And if it's English indie rock from kids on their first-ever U.S. tour, you better believe you're in luck. (Not that that's like overly specific or anything, right?) Regardless, find out all the deets after the break.

Eels With Chelsea Wolfe, 8 p.m. Monday, May 19, at Strauss Square, 2389 Flora St., 214-880-0202 or attpac.org, $33-$38

Similar to Bon Iver or even St. Vincent, Eels are one of those acts where folks refer to them as if they're fully-fledged bands. Sure, Justin Vernon and Annie Clark have people perform with them in studio and on stage, just as Mark Oliver Everett does when he plays under the Eels moniker. But the band is undeniably his, a fact highlighted by the title of this year's melodic and calmly quirky release, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett. It's the work of an artist in full control of his own creation -- like much of the adventurous and not-always-accessible work since his 1996 mainstream hit "Novocaine for the Soul." Oh, and don't sleep on the opening act. Chelsea Wolfe is an enchanting, sometimes dark performer who's as comfortable with an acoustic guitar as she is with goth-y synths.

Kelly Dearmore
Castle With Mountains of Smoke and Black Summit, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $10

Castle may be from the sunny, surf's-up environs of San Francisco, but you wouldn't know it from their dense, sludgy riffing. It may not exactly be black metal, but it's also hard to think of any other color that the band's music conjures. Much of that is due to Elizabeth Blackwell, whose bass digs deep for the most guttural of tones, while her equally raspy vocals hoverhead. In fact, if it weren't for Mat Davis' shredding pentatonics, Castle could be the Melvins slowed down to 60 bpm. Their visits to Three Links coincides with the release of their latest album, Under Siege.

Jeff Gage
Morrissey With Kristeen Young, 8 p.m., Thursday, May 22, at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 855-289-2856 or majestic-theater.com, Sold out

By the time you read this, Stephen Patrick Morrissey, may have cancelled yet another Dallas show. But if everything works according to plan, it's a safe bet we're in for a treat (a non-meat treat, of course). The Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas lives up to its name in every way, and when Moz tours and actually shows up for gigs, reports usually indicate he's on his well-coiffed game. Unlike Johnny Marr, with whom he once fronted the immensely influential Manchester band the Smiths, Morrissey has a more-than-solid pedigree as a solo act. (Granted Marr has spent most of the intervening years recording as part of full-fledged bands.) One of the longer recording breaks Morrissey has taken since 1988 will end in July when his latest offering, World Peace is None of Your Business, hits shelves across the globe, officially following up 2009's thoroughly entertaining Years of Refusal. Pro-tip: Be sure to hit the Smiths-centric East Dallas bar Strangeways for a pint or three after the show.

KD
Johnette Napolitano With Madison King, 7 p.m., Friday, May 23, at the Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $20-$30

Best known as the husky throated singer for the '80s alternative act Concrete Blonde, Johnette Napolitano has actually had a more interesting solo career than would have ever been suggested by the work with her rather pedestrian band. Indeed, Napolitano has contributed songs to a wide variety of films and television series and has shown a sense of adventure rarely seen while fronting a band. Contemplative and downright folksy, Napolitano's solo work (finally) makes good use of the lady's beautiful baritone.

Darryl Smyers
Eagulls With Twin Peaks, 8 p.m., Friday, May 23, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $10/$13 at the door

Eagulls already have plenty of buzz in their home country of England, opening for the likes of Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand and Suede. Hitting the U.S. for the first time, watching the brash shoegaze five-piece do their thing should make for a more-than enjoyable way to unwind from another long-ass workweek. Showing off material from their eponymous debut album, including the great "Possessed," let's give these guys a warm Texas-sized welcome and offer to come back again. Olympia, Washington's Twin Peaks open.

Eric Grubbs 
OFF! With Cerebral Ballzy and Nasa Space Universe, 8 p.m., Friday, May 23, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $15

Although it's sacrilege to call any collection of hardcore punks a supergroup, Los Angeles' OFF! would almost certainly qualify for such an ironic descriptor. Fronted by former Black Flag and Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris, OFF! plays hardcore the old fashioned way: gloriously loud, unapologetically unpolished and overwhelmingly offensive. Even though the other members of OFF! have solid punk rock pedigrees, it's clearly Morris' show as he froths at the mouth while "singing" such '80s-inspired fare as "Void You Out" and "Death Trip on the Party Train." Nearing 60, Morris is in amazingly pissed-off individual who shows no sign of letting up or slowing down.

DS
French Horn Rebellion With Hey Champ, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 22, at the Foundry, 2303 Pittman St., 214-749-1112 or cs-tf.com, Free

Dance music generally seems to go one of two directions: it's either a mindless, repetitious waste of time, or it blows people's minds and breaks through barriers. French Horn Rebellion's 2011 debut record, The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion, falls decidedly in the latter category. Not only do they seamlessly weave various dance subgenres together -- such as synth pop ("Up All Night"), disco pop ("In this Moment") and electro funk ("Geomancer's Compass and Other Quasi-Scientific Findings") -- but they also wrap it all together in the form of an elaborate sci-fi space odyssey motif where the protagonist tries to find his place in the universe. This artistic conceit could have been hokey, but it is all done so gleefully that you can't help but dance along and see where the music and the story take you.

Brian Palmer
New Fumes With Silk Rodeo and Tommyboy Deejays, 10 p.m., at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 214-948-1546 or thetexastheatre.com, $5

When it comes to programming that soars past unique into far freakier terrain, few venues have anything on Oak Cliff's Texas Theatre. But freaky doesn't begin to describe what will happen there when they screen a 35mm version of the 1973 fucked-in-the-head flick The Holy Mountain. In fact, super-trippy comes to mind. Then, to make sure one stays properly aurally entranced, New Fumes' Daniel Huffman will don his wild-ass animal mask and make noises that sound anything but when layered together in his wonderfully raw, rhythmic manner. Even when he opened for ear-busters My Bloody Valentine last summer, Huffman's music made people stop gazing at their shoes to look up and take it all in. It's going to get weird, but good weird -- if you can handle it.

KD
Journey With Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power, 6:45 p.m., Sunday, May 25, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 1st Ave., 877-686-5366 or gexaenergy.paviliondallas.com, $45-$205

When Steven Perry left Journey in 1998, most people believed the band would simply go the way of many '80s pop/metal bands: (thankfully) to the dustbin of history. But lo and behold, those high school memories die hard and even with a replacement singer (found on Youtube no less), Journey has proven to be a huge concert draw all over the world. Lead singer Arnel Pineda does sound just like Perry and basically that's all that matters to an elderly crowd gathered to hear such mundane tripe as "Loving, Touching, Squeezing," "Open Arms" and "Don't Stop Believing."

DS
St. Vitus With Blood of the Sun and Sons of Hun, 7 p.m., Sunday, May 25, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $17/$20 at the door

Doom metal doesn't get much better than Los Angeles' St. Vitus. Formed way back in 1978, the band (led by lead shouter Scott "Wino" Weinrich) has self-destructed and reassembled several times. Thankfully, the incarnation performing this time out is the classic line-up that recorded Born Too Late in 1986. St. Vitus' earliest recordings are some of the dingiest and darkest music imaginable. Given extra credit for being on the landmark punk label SST, these Angelistas are required listening for anyone who has ever banged their head or gone elbow to elbow in the moshpits of the world.

DS

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