Dallas music fans, you are in your prime this week. Before we hit a late fall lull, there's a smattering of great live music coming through our glorious city. The Pizza Underground, Macaulay Culkin's pseudo-cover band that turns the Velvet Underground songs into ballads on the greatness of pizza, hits Trees. The truest country musician as of late, Sturgill Simpson, pops by Club Dada and the father of all country, Willie Nelson, will be at WinStar. And the Black Keys take their garage rock to an arena at American Airlines. Plus, of course, much more. Have fun this week -- but not too much.
Still trying to figure out if the Pizza Underground is a real thing or if it's something that Carles from Hipster Runoff conjured with the witchcraft of blog words? If you missed them at Dada back in the spring, you get a second chance to find out at this weekTrees. This band essentially covers the Velvet Underground songs, but makes the said songs about pizza. Also, the Pizza Underground is fronted by Kevin McCallister, a.k.a. Richie Rich, a.k.a. Macaulay Culkin. But even he may have to take a back seat to over-the-top pop performer-cum-soul man extraordinaire Har Mar Superstar. What a time to be alive.H. Drew BlackburnWe Were Promised Jetpacks With 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 12, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $15-$18
Scottish rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks revel in a masterful execution of post-punk. The guitar riffs are loud and pack nearly as much rhythm as the drummer's beats. Vocalist Adam Thompson's lyrics are confessional and cathartic, the work of a beat poet re-appropriated for a millennial generation. The angst is conveyed with immediacy and is meant to be felt through the listener earnestly and vicariously. But we ask, is it the all-too-often tale of broken hearts and whatnot that drives this or is it the fact that those jetpacks that were promised never arrived? Must be the jetpacks. We'd be pissed if we were promised jetpacks and never got them as well. Perfect reason to start a band, in fact.HDBThe Evia Music Showcase with Melissa Ratley, The Mothers, and Victor Gann, 8 p.m., Thursday, November 13, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St, Denton, TX 76201, http://www.danssilverleaf.com, $5
Evia Music is a record company based out of Sanger, TX of all places, a place I've never been. It does seem like a town that has one movie theater that only plays Clint Eastwood westerns. But, there is music. The sweet sound of music. On the bill: Victor Gann, a roots rock trio fronted by, you guessed it Victor Gann; The Mothers and indie pop band from Denton; and Melissa Ratley, your singer--songwriter headliner.HDBDope Body With Future Death, Roomrunner, and Triathalon, 10:00 p.m., Friday, November 14, at Doublewide, 3510 Commerce St , http://www.double-wide.com, $10
When a record label goes forth and really tailors their roster to include artists and bands of a particular sound and vein, you gotta love it. The independent record label, Drag City packs their roster full of experimental indie rock bands. A lot of them loud. Some of them nostalgic. Dope Body is just that. They're a noise rock band with some straightforward indie mixed in and an attitude you'd often find in indie rock another decade. Here you get a mix of Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, all in the nitty gritty of the weirdest parts of the 90s.HDBGalactic With Big Freedia, 8 p.m., Friday, November 14, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $30
A little bit of New Orleans is hitting the Granada. The headliner is Galactic, a jazz fusion jam band that digs deep into the roots of the bayou incorporating funk, a smattering of bright horn and saxophone notes and bits and pieces of other genres like upbeat funk and hip-hop. Opening for Galactic is Big Freedia, the Boss of bounce, a genre of hip-hop that's intensely rhythmic and mean for you to bounce your ass to, i.e. twerk. This isn't you Miley Columbus version of it either. It's the real deal, from one of the most pure sources.HDBSturgill Simpson With Cris Jacobs, 8 p.m., Saturday, November 15, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St, www.dadadallas.com, $15-$17
Country music as turned into a joke as of late. No, really, you already know how we feel about this. It's gotten to the point that Taylor Swift made some mass announcement declaring that she is finally going pop as if what's she's been making for pretty much her entire career anything other than pop music. Modern country music doesn't typically have as much panache or color or grit like it once did. However, Sturgil Simpson is somewhat of a beacon of light. The Kentucky native has the type of spin on country that could make Hank Williams and Patsy Cline let out a beaming smile.HDBLos Lonely Boys With Vallejo, 8 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., gasmonkeylive.com, $30-$300
This trio of brothers from San Angelo have a unique blend of rock, blues, conjunto and Tejano. The brothers Garza started playing music in the '80s before they were even teens, backing up their father's solo project after the dissolution of his own band of siblings, the Falconers. Los Lonely Boys formed in 1996 and by 2003 they were recording their debut album at Willie Nelson's Pedernales studio in Austin. In 2004, the album was released on Epic Records and the year after that Los Lonely Boys won the "Best Pop Performance" Grammy Award for their single, "Heaven." The 2010s have been rough on the band so far: JoJo Garza had lesions on his vocal cords in 2010 and Henry Garza suffered a serious spinal injury after falling off a stage last year. But Los Lonely Boys released their latest and most personal album, Revelation, in January and should sound better than ever when they visit Dallas this Saturday.Jeremy Hallock Willie Nelson 8 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $35-$65
There is no person that is more quintessentially Texas than Willie Nelson. After a 50-year career in country, Americana and folk music, Nelson is as much a cultural institution as he is a musician. There has been no bigger influence on any of these genres than Nelson, and it's likely that even then we are still undervaluing his contributions. You'll have to drive all the way to Oklahoma, but if you haven't ever seen the Red Headed Stranger play live, it is absolutely something you must do if you want to call yourself either a Texan or a country music fan. The music is familiar, you'll get to hear him perform all your favorites and maybe if you're lucky he won't be too stoned to remember all the words. If he is, though, you won't care because he's Willie fucking Nelson.Amy McCarthyBlack Keys 8 p.m., Sunday, November 16, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com,$43.75-$75
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In 2010, Dan Auerbach appeared on The Colbert Report and shocked the world. No, it wasn't necessarily his music; he'd trimmed his mane and gotten a clean-cut shave. For the Black Keys diehards who worshipped the former garage rock Jesus, it was clear that the times were a-changing. Since that year's Brothers, the Black Keys have been gradually tightening up their Akron blues into a cleaner and more palatable pop-oriented sound. This story's been all too common, with bands like Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys pulling similar moves, but that's not to say that it makes the band any less genuine or original. After so many albums, it's only fitting that they explore different genres, even introducing electronic keyboard elements on this year's Turn Blue. It's the kind of move that'll further polarize the long-time Keys fans from the band wagoners, but frankly, the Black Keys don't have time for that. In an entirely unpredictable success story, Auerbach and bandmate Patrick Carney made their way from tiny Ohio stages to filling the fucking American Airlines Center, and they've shown no sign of letting up any time soon.Matt Wood
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