We hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Now it's time to usher in the Christmas season, which will certainty be shoved down your throat for the next four weeks. This can be annoying, but let it be known: If you don't like Christmas music you're just fighting things that are unashamed in their joy. Do you want to be that person? Rumor has it that if you frown too much your face just stays that way.
We've also got a bunch of great shows this week. The Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase takes over Deep Ellum on Saturday, Common and the ever-elusive Jay Electronica perform at the House of Blues, Centro-matic make kick off their farewell tour and make their final Dallas appearance at the Kessler Theater and Weezer steals Christmas with The Edge. Your picks:
Since his debut in 1992, 'Chi-Town God' Common has been one of the most prominent voices in conscious hip-hop. Nobody's Smiling, his tenth studio album which dropped this summer, continues the legacy, with a heavy focus on the violence and crime in Chicago. The No I.D.-produced album also includes features from Big Sean, Vince Staples and more. Offering more than just thoughtful lyrics, Common knows how to spit, and the 40-something vet still brings a youthful energy. But the rapper and actor isn't the only one performing: The famously mysterious Jay Electronica will be opening the show. Signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation, Jay Electronica even has a Dallas connections as well, through the child he has with Erykah Badu. It's not often that you can see two of hip-hop's best lyricists at the same show, which makes this concert a must-see for any true hip-hop heads.Mac McCannCentro-matic 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 2, at the Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., thekessler.org, $16
Say it ain't so, Centro-matic! After recording and touring at a ferocious pace for two decades, one of the best and most prolific bands in Texas will call it quits before the end of the year. The final shows will naturally be in Denton at Dan's Silverleaf later in December, but this is Centro-matic's last Dallas show. At least we can take comfort in knowing that frontman Will Johnson will surely continue with other endeavors. Lest we forget, Johnson is a world-class songwriter obsessed by his craft. Over the years, he has more than held his own working on various projects with the likes of Vic Chesnutt, Mark Eitzel, Jason Molina, Conor Oberst, M. Ward and David Bazan. Centro-matic will bow out long after earning the respect of their peers and will be sorely missed. The Kessler Theater is, of course, gorgeous and the sound is near-perfect so this is about as good as a fond farewell gets.Jeremy HallockHow The Edge Stole Christmas With Weezer, Rise Against, and Young The Giant, 5 p.m., Wednesday, December 3, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl, Grand Prairie, TX, 972-854-5050, $69-$244
'Tis the season in which radio stations put on concerts around North Texas with legacy acts and the folks from today whom they spin to oblivion. Here The Edge steals Christmas with Weezer, a band that was primed to be one of the greatest with their first few releases inThe Blue Album
andThe Green Album
. In recent years it seems they've come a bit undone and started doing songs with Lil Wayne for reasons that can't even be explained by the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yes, say it ain't so, but you best believe Weezer is probably gonna stick to the classics and leave songs fromRatitude
where they best belong: As figments of our collective imagination.HDBJustin Timberlake 8 p.m. Wedesday, December 3, at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave, americanairlinescenter.com., $159-$1265
Is there any debate about who the reigning king of pop is? After conquering pop music (and really pop culture at large) in 2006 with his breakthrough album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, Justin Timberlake has been on top of the world. Timberlake has entered a rare stratosphere that artists would kill to be in. He is at the level where the only complaint from fans is, "When will they release new music?" After FutureSex, Timberlake took a hiatus from music for seven years to pursue other endeavors. In 2013, he flattened the musical landscape with the release of two albums, The 20/20 Experience and, later in the year, The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2. The albums reaffirmed to the world that the New King of Pop was back and stronger than ever.James KhubiarUsher 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 4, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $55-$173
Whether it's because of "Nice & Slow," "My Way," "OMG" or seeing him in She's All That or The Faculty, we all love Usher. For a lot of us, it's because his music became the soundtrack for our love life, both growing up and continuing on to today. In R&B, if R. Kelly is the king, Usher will forever be the prince. He is currently on tour in the build-up toward his eighth album, which is being worked on presently, UR. This will be Usher's first full tour since the 2011 OMG Tour. Usher was supposed to tour in 2012 but his duties on the reality series The Voice led to him canceling the planned Euphoria Tour. With this in mind, Dallas is ready to welcome back Usher after an extended absence. Usher returns to the place of his birth to perform at the American Airlines Center the night after Justin Timberlake., which makes for a colossal one-two R&B punch.James KhubiarThe Roomsounds With Belle Adair, and Walker Lukens & The Sidearms, at 8 p.m., Club Dada, Friday, December 5, 9 p.m., at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., 214-653-8228, $5-$8
With roots finely tied to Southern blues rock, Dallas' The Roomsounds are all at once an ode to the past and the South itself. Upbeat guitar riffs and lyrics full of nonchalant melancholy power the band. The obvious influences of Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin rear their head in a comforting manner. Their self-titled debut album from 2012 is full of the band's signature catchy hooks charismatic thunder, which is even more of a delight to witness in the flesh.HDBRyan Adams 8 p.m. Friday, December 5, at McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Ln., Ste. 101, smu.edu/businessfinance/campusservices/mcfarlin/events, Sold Out
Ryan Adams hasn't played Dallas since 2007 and this show sold out as soon as tickets went on sale. After starting Whiskeytown, a band that unapologetically tried to mimic American Music Club sans gay frontman sporting a unibrow, Adams has been trying to beat the sun, recording at a furious pace and living life as variously as possible. Since that 2007 show, Adams married the poor man's Britney Spears (which is surely better than marrying Britney Spears), released two books of poetry and short stories, been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease (he'll lose his shit if you go overboard with camera flashes), dropped one band (The Cardinals) and added another (The Shining), released a mountain of recordings via his own Pax Americana Recording Company, produced albums for a diverse array of artists and developed an affinity for pinball (he is currently touring with a Metallica pinball machine). You can expect a career-spanning set of songs both released and unreleased; Adams may even perform an improvised song if you ask nice enough.Jeremy HallockDallas Observer Music Awards With Blue, The Misfit, Pinkish Black, Son of Stan, Taylor McFerrin, and more, 5 p.m., Saturday, December 6, at Deep Ellum, $10-$50
All of your favorite local artists are set to perform at the showcase for the 26th annual Dallas Observer Music Awards, set to be at Deep Ellum's hottest clubs. Performers include Blue, he Misfit, Son of Stan, Ishi, Sealion, Cutter, Pinkish Black, Sam Lao, Tunk, Hex Cult, Hares on the Mountain, Buffalo Black, Booty Fade, Sudie, Dustin Cavazos, Mayta, George Quartz, Yells at Eels, Goodnight Ned, Quaker City Night Hawks -- hell I'm losing my breath. Let's just say that there are over 60 bands playing and you can find the full lineup on the Internet. Go check that out. Oh, and don't forget to vote. It's sure to be a night packed with great music.HDBBlackalicious With Daniel Bambaata Marley, 7 p.m. Saturday, December 6, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $29-$39
Rapper/DJ tandem Blackalicious will be taking the stage at the Granada Theater this weekend in anticipation of the impending 2015 release of Emoni, their first album in a decade. MC Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel are often likened to West Coast collectives the Pharcyde and Jurrasic 5 for their shared brand of Afrocentric, message-oriented backpack rap. But don't let the kufi fool you, these guys have seen over 20 years in Hip-Hop and the demand has led to a national tour almost 10 years removed from their last studio album. Having collaborated with Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine, ?uestlove of the Roots and the late soul singer and hip-hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron, Blackalicious straddles the fence as one of fundamental entities in hip hop, while remaining largely unsung heroes by the casual listener.Rodney Blu Aaron Carter 8 p.m., Sunday, December 7, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $19.33
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I was a goddamn weirdo in second grade. A mess of gel-infused, spiked hair and owner of a few too many N*Sync CDs, Aaron Carter was the cutting-edge razor of cool to me. I once inexplicably wrote my name on a test in second grade as "Aaron Carter" in a terrifying fit of idolization. In fact, there's probably still a CD of Aaron's Party in the back of my childhood closet somewhere. Eventually, though, I realized what an awful mistake I had made and moved on. But Carter never did. He's playing the same songs at age 26 that he did at 12. It's bizarre to see Carter (who now looks like a long-lost member of One Direction) shirtless and singing songs about his parents going out of town and getting grounded. Yet there's almost something admirable about it all, given that his career should have by now turned into a dumpster fire of adulthood. So what if it's a blatant money grab? There'll still be a crowd of enthralled fans coming out to sing along. So people all around, come and get it.Matt Wood
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