Is there such a thing as the end of festival season here? I don't know. What I do know is that there are a couple more this weekend -- Fort Worth Music Festival features twang on Friday and fuzzy guitar bliss on Saturday. And Wildflower remains the most fun I can imagine having in the general proximity of 635. But wait, there's more: Nappy Roots, Curren$y, and you'll have to read on for the rest.
Oh, and if you're wondering why there are only eight shows this week, it's just that kind of week. Wait until next round -- things are about to get ridiculous.Curren$y
Friday, May 17, at The Prophet Bar The last time I saw Curren$y, his leg was in such a huge cast that he had to be wheeled onto the stage and he rapped from a couch. He also did one or two very, very hobbling freestyles. But he showed up, when almost no one else would, and it ruled. Don't let all that weed talk fool you -- the dude works his ass off.
Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at Panther Island Pavilion This year's Spune-produced Fort Worth Music Festival has a lineup built for picnics. Good thing, then, that its setting will be the most beautiful chunk of riverfront anywhere in the Metroplex. From the green of Panther Island Pavilion you can watch local heroes Old 97's kick up some dust alongside costal representatives Delta Spirit and The Walkmen. There's plenty more to hear: up and comer ZZ Ward, Southern rock titans Drive By Truckers, plenty of DFW's finest and more. (KM
Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19, at Galatyn Park Deep in the suburbs, there sits a crevice surrounded by the canyon walls of office buildings. Every May this area gets filled with vendors and stages, and residents of the 'burbs and Dallas proper flock to take part in face painting, beer and fried food. Richardson's Wildflower festival does a bang-up job of pairing music legends, dimming stars and great local acts to present a sonic buffet. This year sees locals Sir Name and the Janes, Nervous Curtains, The Treelines and Jacob Metcalf playing alongside local legends Rev. Horton Heat and the Toadies. Robert Earl Keen, Ray Willie Hubbard, Gretchen Wilson and The Charlie Daniels Band scratch the country itch while 38 Special, Blue Oyster Cult and Grand Funk Railroad fill the classic rock "legend" quota. This years "Wait, really?" act is the Spin Doctors, who are still together and still singing about princes who are competing for your attention. Oh, and as a bonus the Alamo Draft house is bringing their pop up screen on Saturday to show Wayne's World, so party on.--Jaime-Paul FalconUNT One O'Clock Lab Band
Friday, May 17, at McDavid Studio Denton's half-century-plus old jazz ensemble has a handful of Grammy nods and a history performing all around the world. You get to see 'em right here in your backyard, which is also theirs. Lucky everyone. (KM
Saturday, May 18, at Granada Theater Since the late 1990's, Kentucky native and farmer Chris Knight has become one of the rare regional-outsiders to become a marquee name in the world of Texas country/Red Dirt. As an admitted fan of Steve Earle and John Prine, it's easy to see the influence of both songwriting giants in Knight's latest, phenomenal album, Little Victories. For Knight, it was far more than a "little victory" to have his boyhood hero Prine duet with him on the record. Unglamorous tales of real rural life where a Mountain Dew, a good dog and a bologna sandwich are things to be treasured are presented in gritty, well-crafted tunes. Knight's a grizzled guy who can pull tears from the burliest of dudes. Be sure to get to the show early for Lincoln Durham. Since the release of 2012's The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones, he's proven to the best one-man dirty-blues band this side of Scott Biram.--Kelly DearmoreMad Mexicans
Saturday, May 18, at the Curtain Club Hard to believe that our own special Latino-Rock combo, Mad Mexicans, has been around for a decade. It seems like just yesterday that Robert Garza and crew were beginning the band's enticing mix of Molotov and Ministry. Now, it has been ten years and little has changed in the band's approach or demeanor. These Mexicans are still capable of rocking a multi-cultural crowd with Latino laced rock anthems such as "Puros Chingasos" and "Pinche Way." Indeed, in front of a crowd is probably the best way to experience these guys. Studios seem to damper the Mexicans' party atmosphere and middle school mentality, two of the band's best features. This anniversary show should bring out the best and worst from a group of guys who would be just as content kicking your ass as playing music that's sure to inspire you to shake it.--Darryl SmyersDiamond Cut and Big J
Monday, May 20, at Ten Bells Big J's got an ear for the good stuff. His iPod is overstuffed with influences from before he was born, from Quincy Jones to James Brown to rare, old-school hip-hop. "And I mean, real old-school," he says. "I mean, like, 1978, the oldest of the old shit." It's a genre and a time J loves so much, he became known for it at the Cool Out Party he ran for years at the Cavern alongside MC Schwa.--Jonanna Widner
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Wednesday, May 22, at The Prophet Bar Nappy Roots has released five albums since 2002's wonderfully whistle-worthy "Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz." Maybe it was because in the early 2000's you didn't have to be that great to be on the radio, but Nappy Roots were always worth waiting for on the afternoon rotation.
Large hip-hop groups with unique individual members were also popular at the time. The shit kickers in Nappy Roots consistently out-rhymed their counterparts in St. Lunatics and Disturbing Tha Peace. Most of Nappy Roots singles are still fun to listen to today, mainly because they brought in super producers like Jazzy Pha and Kanye West. Oak Cliff hero Dustin Cavazos, Weekend Hustler and Band Nerds will open. --Lee Escobedo