Things are starting to pick back up around here, Dallas. More than halfway through the first month of the year, the show calendar has returned to it's regular active programming. The week we've got lined up couldn't be a more diverse range of ground covered. Starting off, we've got one of the most high energy live R&B sets you may ever have the pleasure of seeing over at Three Links. Through the weekend, folk singer/songwriter Josh Ritter will hit the Granada while Waka Flocka Flame goes hard in Deep Ellum. Come Tuesday, Good Records has an in-store performance lined up that you don't want to miss. Enjoy it all.
Take Al Roker (yeah, the weather guy) and merge him with Barry, Jack Black's record store maniac in the movie High Fidelity. Surround the resulting character with an ass-kicking, rockabilly-tinged R&B band. Simmer for 30 years, then bring to a boil. What you end up with would be something very similar to Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, and the album they released last fall,Dig Thy Savage Soul
. Formed three decades ago in Boston, the original band released some acclaimed albums and earned a reputation as a great live band. Then guitarist/producer Peter Greenfield quit the music business, leaving Whitfield to soldier on. And soldier on he did, gigging with a rotating cast of musicians, primarily in Europe where the Savages had developed a fan base. And, like Barry, working in an independent record store in Boston when not on the road. Having sold his energy business, Greenfield and other members of the original Savages rejoined Whitfield a couple years ago.Dig Thy Savage Soul
suggests they have only improved with age. See them get their freak on.Douglas DavisTennis Thursday, January 16, at Dada
"Mean Streets," off Tennis' newest EP, Small Sound, is a music lover's wet dream. If you aren't sucked in by Alaina Moore's spritely and seductive vocals on this opening track, then you are probably flatlining and should see a doctor immediately. The song also achieves the feat of being a complete throwback cut and thoroughly modern at the same time, mixing echoing keys, groovy drumming and pop sensibilities in such a way that the track would fit comfortably on indie-rock and oldies stations alike. And this song is a microcosm of the diversity found throughout the EP. "Timothy" is a delectable fusion of '80s-style pop and modern rock, "Cured of Youth" and "Dimming Light" are solid pop numbers, and the closing "100 Lovers" shows off the band's funky, jazzy side. If you're looking to dance, Tennis will make your feet hurt in the best way possible.Brian PalmerJosh Ritter and Gregory Alan Isakov Friday, January 17, at the Kessler Theater
Perhaps lost in the Roman orgy that is the collection of year-end "best-of" lists were two records that were probably released too early in 2013 for late-season notice. Or maybe they were too quiet and introspective to compete with the noise of critics hating on any act loosely associated with a Mumford-fueled so-called "Folk Explosion." Indeed, banjo picking and drum kicking have increased folk music's general popular profile recently, but singer-songwriters Josh Ritter and Gregory Alan Isakov have for more than a decade been singing songs that bind pain, joy, loss and love inside immaculate stories that require one to truly listen. Idaho native Ritter's post-divorce Beast in its Tracks, released last March, is stellar in its open-chested approach to despair and recovery while Isakov, a Philadelphia-raised native of South Africa, offered the July 2013 record The Weatherman, in which he expands on his stellar ability to convey profundity in a subtle, intricate manner.Kelly Dearmore
Shmu, New Science Projects, New Fumes, Def Rain Friday, January 17, at Club Dada Come on weirdos, let's dance! Shmu is the new project from Zorch multi-instrumentalist Sam Chown. That Austin band is a joyful cacophony, and this has the same spirit. The support is in kind, loud, exuberant bands that don't think you're stupid. Kiernan MaletskyLe Cure, Panic Saturday, January 18, at Granada Theater
Two of the region's best 80's Britpop tribute bands share the stage at Granada Theater this week. This night of The Smiths and The Cure's classics is sure to be one hell of a party. Just some good, clean, kitschy fun, y'all.Vanessa Quilantan Mike Snider Presents 20 Year Anniversary Celebration with the Jitterbug Vipers Saturday, January 18, at Sons Of Hermann Hall
For 20 years, Allgood Cafe owner Mike Snider has been booking shows at venerable Sons of Hermann Hall. His very first show featured ace guitarist Slim Richey, and two decades later he has the man back in his current guise with The Jitterbug Vipers. Go for the music, stay and listen to Snider's stories: He has the best ones in town.KMWaka Flocka Flame Sunday, January 19, at Trees
You might know Juaquin Malphurs better by his stage name, Waka Flocka Flame. The 27-year-old Atlanta rapper has made quite a name for himself since the release of his 2009 club-banger hit, "O Let's Do It." After the single launched him into the mainstream spotlight, his debut album Flockaveli was a runaway success, debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. Since then, a string of successful strip-club bangers and dope-boy anthems have kept Waka on our radio dials and in the national rap consciousness. This week, Parade of Flesh and Top Shelf bring the former 1017 Brick Squad rapper to Deep Ellum for what will no doubt be an evening that Dallas won't soon forget.VQCharlie Wilson Sunday, January 19, at Verizon Theatre
Expect a grown and sexy crowd for this former lead vocalist for The Gap Band. Charlie Wilson (who sang the hook on Kanye West's "Bound 2" this year) is a veteran performer and rarely disappoints.VQ
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In gearing up for his Kessler Theater show next week, Dallas' dream-pop stalwart will hit everyone's favorite record shop for an intimate in-store performance.VQ