What are you waiting for, Dallas? We've got a throwback teenybopper pop star, a sampling of some of the best local hip hop this city has to offer, one of the heaviest metal bills we've seen in a good while, and Deep Ellum's first arts and music festival of 2014. Get out there and be great this weekend, y'all
Much like Texas, California is a state whose essence can be heard in many of the bands that come from it. You can guess the regional origins of San Francisco's The Mother Hips almost immediately. It's not that the Tim Bluhm-led group is a one-trick pony, though. Through 23 years and 14 LPs, EPs and live albums, the band has expertly covered musical terrain almost as diverse as the ecology of the Golden State itself. Last year's excellent, long-awaited Behind Beyond showcases tunes that rival anything the band has produced before. The sweet and sadly beautiful "Song for J.B.," written for former Wilco mad scientist Jay Bennett, talks of the "hippie highway" over acoustic strums, a mid-tempo beat and the cries of a pedal steel while the title track has a Haight-Ashbury vibe of psychedelia. It's quite the feat that the Mother Hips can create an entire album that feels pleasant without being perky and that sounds laid-back without being completely stoned and sleepy.Kelly DearmoreTiffany Thursday, January 9, at Vista Ridge Mall
80's pop princess Tiffany is reviving her famous national shopping mall tour. This Thursday, at Vista Ridge Mall, she brings her saccharine stylings to the Dallas suburbs. We're hoping to see a few old friends in attendance.Vanessa QuilantanRoyal Bangs Thursday, January 9, at Dada
There is something to be said for not taking yourself too seriously. God knows the guys in Royal Bangs don't. Jangly rockers like "Octagon" and "Better Run" are engaging enough with their respective themes of resisting being "normal" and shouting from the heavens to let the world know you aren't the loser everyone expected you to be. But their videos take the cake. The "Octagon" clip includes a series of random shots of debris flying into the camera and models punching band members' faces to make them spit out their food. And in "Better Run," guys charge at each other, joust-style, so they can nail each other with cakes. Meanwhile, a portly, scantily clad male sits on a horse and plays a saxophone. Randomness, thy name is Royal Bangs.Brian PalmerDallas Observer Presents: The North Texas Hip-Hop Showcase Vol. 1 Friday, January 10, at The Granada Theater
This Friday, we've teamed up with The Granada Theater to bring you some of Dallas hip hop's best and brightest. Nawfside heroes, A.Dd+ will headline the night with support from Blue, The Misfit, Sam Lao, -topic, Lord Byron, Jaeson Green, and AV the Great. You better believe we've got a few surprises up our sleeves for the DJ Jay Clipp hosted event. We've been telling you for awhile that big things are happening in Dallas rap. Now, we're going to show you.VQDel Castillo Friday, January 10, at the Kessler Theater
This should prove to be an interestingly transitional year for Austin's Del Castillo. The Latin-rock fusion outfit has gone through some major changes. After 12 years fronting the band, lead singer Alex Ruiz was replaced and Del Castillo are just now heading into the studio to record a new album with Ruiz's replacement, Danny Ortiz. With either lead singer, Del Castillo should still offer fans a fiery blend of blues, rock and Latin grooves. Brothers Rick and Mark del Castillo still know how to mix genres and tempos like no other fusion act in the state, so this newest incarnation of their band should not disappoint old fans or newcomers just wanting to experience one of the best live shows around.Darryl SmyersTaste of Herb Friday, January 10, at Twilite Lounge
It's hard to explain exactly what makes Herb Alpert tribute band A Taste of Herb so special. Partly it's the musicians, all splendid players with plenty of Denton pedigree. And then there's their demeanor on stage, bright and reckless, shouting the accent "Hey!"s with gusto. But most important is those songs, well-worn classics for a reason. Twilite Lounge is the perfect backdrop.Kiernan MaletskyPallbearer/Pinkish Black/Solomon Friday, January 10, at Lola's Saloon, Fort Worth
We are less than two weeks into the new year and we already have one of the heaviest bills of 2014. Bring earplugs and maybe holy water. Pallbearer and Pinkish Black both recently released albums that rank among the best metal records of the last few years. Solomon are among the most intense live experiences we have ever seen. On Friday at Lola's, you will be treated to a little bit of everything. And by "treated," I mean ravaged; and by "little bit," I mean a sensory flare akin to a dying planet. There will be the heady synth environments of Pinkish Black, the slow blossoming doom expanses of Pallbearer, and the Goliath apocalyptic groans of the veteran Solomon. This is the stuff metalheads' wet dreams are made of. Amplifiers will yield, floors will shiver and stomachs will flip.Jonathan PatrickRania Khoury and The Stone Wolves Saturday, January 11, at Prophet Bar
Rania Khoury was on our 2014 Artist To Watch list, with good reason. The debut album she dropped last year was a hell of a freshman effort for the young songwriter, and landed her on plenty of year end list-y fare around Dallas. This Saturday, she'll fill Prophet Bar with her particular brand of jazzy, soulful, and booming ballads. Don't sleep on this woman, Dallas. She'll make you an instant fan with one show.The Used Art Show and Underground Jam Saturday, January 11, at WAAS Gallery
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There's a little bit of everything at WAAS Gallery this Saturday. The Used Art Show and Underground Jam isn't just an art show- it's a live music event, a B-Boy/B-Girl battle, a freestyle rap battle, a fashion show, and a skate demo all in one. From 3pm-1am, the some of the most provocative arts and culture names in Dallas will be doing what they do at the Deep Ellum gallery.VQ