There's a ton of wonderful shows in Dallas this week. Native Texan Luke Wade, of The Voice fame, does a show at Trees. Lenny Kravitz and Sting play shows as a tie-in to the College Football postseason. Sturgill Simpson hits the casino gig after selling out Club Dada majorly in November. Astronautalis plays Three Links and Ex Hex does Dada with one of our favorite local live acts, Party Static. Get your week together. Get your life together. Have some fun.
Paul Slavens is a local legend. He was the frontman of the late 80s and early 90s outfit, Ten Hands. He's a renowned radio host at KXT 91.7 FM as well. He also does this kooky little thing at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton every Monday. He takes song title suggestions from people and makes up a song right there. It's like a freestyle. Whatever you do, don't be the dick that tries to make him rhyme orange.H. Drew BlackburnSoundwaves at Sunset Lounge With DJ Simon Phoenix and -topic, Tuesday, January 6, 8 p.m., at Sunset Lounge, 3030 Ross Ave, Dallas, 214-823-8193, Free
There are plenty of ways for you to get your club turn up on a Tuesday in North Texas. One of the many ways involves the Soundwaves DJ night with Simon Phoenix, who is a venerable poet, and -topic, one of Dallas' meanest MCs, taking turns on the ones and twos at Sunset Lounge. The musical styling centers around beats culture and hip hop. They'll play mixes of popular songs and also have no problem throwing in deep cuts.HDBRC and the Gritz 9 p.m., Wednesday, January 7, at The Prophet Bar, 2548 Elm St., 214-742-3667, $10
Every week, RC & the Gritz hit the Prophet Bar for a jazz tinged jam session that daps, pounds, and nods to hip-hop, r&b, and funk. The band makes it look so effortless and easy every time, just as a pro should. But, it's no wonder they're so great, they're Erykah Badu's band and you know she would only accept the very best. Also, on the docket, the hottest r&b open mic night in all of Dallas.HDBLuke Wade With Mark Allan Atwood, Amber Ferris, David Cote, 7 p.m., Thursday, January 8, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $11
You may recognize Luke Wade from the latest season of NBC's The Voice. The singer-songwriter recently got voted off (fellow Dallasite Craig Wayne Boyd came out the winner), but that doesn't take away from his immense talent. He did make it to the top eight after all. Wade has a strong voice and a knack for effective storytelling. Once more, he's a bit of a home state hero hailing from Dublin, Texas, the former home of Dr. Pepper. The rising star has a bright future ahead. Here's your chance to say, "I saw him when."HDBPennywise With Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream and Dog Company, 7 p.m. Friday, January 9 at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., gasmonkeylive.com., $15-$200
Funny story: Last fall, there was this cover festival in Fort Worth called the Panther City Pep Rally that featured about 10 hours of bands paying homage to the great alt-rock giants of the '90s. I thought it would be funny to put together a Pennywise tribute band for the event, because it seemed like that would be annoying to the kind of people who never shut up about the Pixies and Brian Jonestown Massacre. I know this because one time I heard a person wearing a Pixies shirt hate on these flattened-bill Hurley hat-wearing bros, and flattened-bill Hurley hat-wearing bros tend to love Pennywise. Anyway, I quickly discovered that Pennywise songs are a lot harder than I thought they were. And as for the vocals, who wants to memorize all those words? Even the shortest Pennywise songs seem to have six verses, and moreover, how many Pennywise fans are even in North Texas, let alone ones that can sing the bulk of the long-running SoCal punk band's '90s catalog word for word? If you're genuinely curious, you can take a census of the bros singing "Bro Hymn" when Pennywise headlines Gas Monkey Live.Steve StewardEx Hex With Mind Spiders and Paerty Static, 8 p.m. Friday, January 9 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $10
2014 was a banner year for album releases, with some truly epic-scale masterpieces. But listening to a playlist of my 2014 purchases, I have found myself truly smiling only when a tune from the Ex Hex release Rips pops up. Tightly-coiled tunes packed with blistering guitar and smart lyrics, few of the album's songs clock in at more than three minutes. They're perfect little sonic palette cleansers, and it makes sense: This trio is the latest project of Mary Timony. A prodigious player and songwriter now over 40, Timony is one of those too-rare, great women journeyman guitarists, and Rips is a fantastic coalescence of decades of musicianship and life lessons. Timony was last seen in Dallas as part of the short-lived "super group" Wild Flag, and more than held her own trading riffs and vocals with Carrie Brownstone. Ex Hex is filled out by fellow D.C. musicians Laura Harris on drums and Betsy Wright on guitar and bass.Doug DavisLenny Kravitz With Vintage Trouble, Keri Hilson, Sugar Bowl Band and Rose Bowl Band, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 10, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $21.50-$31
Lenny Kravitz is a multi-talented artist. He married Lisa Bonet in 1987 when she was the hottest woman on the planet and released timeless singles like "Fly Away" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way," tunes that pushed the boundaries of repetition and never get old no matter how many times you hear them. Moms are going to lose their minds if this 50-year-old takes his shirt off onstage, which is a distinct possibility. However, Kravtiz's new album Strut really sucks so hopefully he's playing the old bad stuff. The albums opening track, titled "Sex," is not at all sexy and the title track has verses that sound like "Are You Gonna Go My Way" with a slower tempo and a lazy chorus that just with sound effects yelling "Strut!" over an obnoxious guitar. What's strange about Kravitz is that he mixes all sorts of genres, even drawing on influences from interesting people, but without capturing any of the good things. Anyway, this show should be unintentionally funny if you have money to throw away on it.Jeremy HallockSturgill Simpson With Jason Isbell, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 10, at WinStar World Casino and Resort, Thackerville, OK, 1-800-745-3000, $69-$136
The last time Sturgill Simpson came to town, he sold out Club Dada with ease. The demand was so heavy thatKris Youmans up and added a show
. Two shows in one night at Dada. Mind you, this was in November. Now, just a few months later Simpson's headlining a show at a casino. The major jump comes in large part to how well received his albumMetamodern Sounds in Country Music
was last year. He's being heralded as the savior of countrymusic
. Lord knows it needs one, cause we'resure as shit that bro country has to go
. Add in the fact that Jason Isbell, who co-headlines, hasn't played Dallas in over a year and this show is more than worth the trip across the border.HDBAstronautalis With Bootyfade and Playdough, 8 p.m., Saturday, January 10, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $15-$17
Astronautalis at Three Links isn't fair. Why? Because the dude hasn't played a venue this small in DFW in years, which is a super bummer for fans of the now Minneapolis-based rapper. Tickets to this show are sure to sell out due to a fervent fan base that includes local radio show hosts, members of the press and star athletes. This is what happens when an artist blends so many styles so deftly that they build a fan base, then watch it expand through hard work and endless touring. This is how they get larger venues trying to take them in, how festivals put them on larger stages, and all of this has been happening with Astronautalis over the last few years. So, do your damnedest to make it to Three Links on Saturday; this throwback to Astronautalis's early years is the last time you'll ever catch him at a venue this intimate.Jaime-Paul FalconSting With Echosmith, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $30-$60
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In between touring with Paul Simon for most of last year, as well as the upcoming first half of 2015, Sting is taking a minute (and some stage elbow-room) for himself to play solo in Dallas. The AT&T Playoff Playlist Live!, which features Lenny Kravitz the night before, has Sting headlining on the second day of live shows that precede the college football playoffs. Sting's rigid yoga practices are fabled for bestowing with him an enviable Viagra-like endurance, and based on his other forms of stamina, it now just seems like scientific fact. For starters, he is fresh off the Broadway boat with a musical based on his newest album, The Last Ship, which was inspired by his hometown and early life. He joined the cast to salvage said ship by boosting ticket sales. When not otherwise occupied collaborating with seemingly anyone who will ask, or saving a rainforest or a beehive somewhere, Sting's managed a prolific Tantric run. The 16-time Grammy winner's produced considerable hits, first as front man, bassist and multi-instrumentalist for massive reggae-rock band the Police and later as a respectably jazz-inspired solo artist, with songs like "Englishman in New York".Eva Raggio
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