We've got some good ones for ya this week--a nice, healthy blend of genres and artists, ranging from gigantic pop stars to local unknowns; Young DJs to old classic rock legends. This week in April, Dallas is yours for the taking.
Rihanna Tuesday, April 16, at American Airlines Center, $39.50-$125 Rihanna has only gained prominence since she turned heel in 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad and copped a rock-star attitude. Rihanna's diverse style isn't always appealing, but some pieces are distinct enough to keep you interested. Rihanna's latest album, Unapologetic, is a compelling mix of spicy vanity and dazed nocturnal grime calling back to 2009's Rated R. Rihanna last performed at American Airlines Center in summer 2011. Aside from the fire that stopped the show early, the stage also offered interesting sets, such as a tank with a T-shirt cannon and dancing crash-test dummies. -- Shahryar Rizvi
Bon Jovi Thursday, April 11, at American Airlines Center, $19.50-$185.00 Tickets are still on sale for Bon Jovi's "Because We Can" tour, which will trek along three continents, eventually making a pit-stop in Big D. The 59-date tour will debut songs from their recently released album What About Now, although if you're an old-school fan, you're promised the old Bon Jovi hits as well. -- Rachel Watts
J.D. Souther Thursday, April 11, at The Kessler Theater, $20-$32.50 The fact that many folks are just now learning about the great songwriter J.D. Souther due to his stint on the ABC prime-time drama Nashville is as unfortunate as his character's name, Watty White. His role as a revered Music Row insider on the hit show is only his second most interesting television appearance of late: In Showtime's documentary The History of The Eagles, Souther's artful contributions are well-detailed, as he's responsible for many of the wildly popular but polarizing California country-rock band's best-known hits. His work includes the driving "How Long" -- the only listenable song on the Eagles' last album, The Road Out of Eden. In the early 1970s, Souther was a part of the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Along with his bandmates at the time, Chris Hillman (The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield), Souther helped define what is now known as alt-country by mixing sweet harmonies and arrangements that could waltz along or rock about. Indeed, Souther's music is what makes him worth knowing about -- not the fact that he's on a show with the cheerleader from Heroes. -- Kelly Dearmore
Rebirth Brass Band, Kristy Kruger Friday, April 12, at The Kessler Theater, $20-$30 Known for its longstanding gig at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, The Rebirth Brass Band has become something of a Big Easy institution. Many a tourist has become introduced to the New Orleans music scene via brothers Phillip and Keith Frazier and their large ensemble of talented players. Over the course of nearly 30 years, the Brass Band has released more than 15 albums and performed countless gigs all over the world. In 2011, the band released Rebirth of New Orleans, a musical and emotional statement of purpose. Celebrating the return of their home city five years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the effort incorporates rap and hip-hop into the marching band mix with glorious results. -- Darryl Smyers
Wax Addicts with Tony Schwa, JT Donaldson, Tyrone Smiley Friday, April 12, at Circuit 12 Contemporary, Free "Wax Addicts" is Dallas' newest monthly soiree dedicated to the art and love of vinyl, which means that there isn't an Mp3, compressed file or laptop in sight. This week features resident DJ Tony Schwa, along with local heavy-hitters JT Donaldson and Tyrone Smiley. According to the event's Facebook page, each week "Wax Addicts" will feature local and International DJs alike, giving audiences a sneak peek into their record collections, and will spotlight three local DJs each month (in addition to art, visuals and cocktails). For the vinyl lovers out there, or for those who simply appreciate the true art of spinning, this one's for you. -- Rachel Watts
Frightened Rabbit, Winter Sleep Saturday, April 13, at Trees, $15 For a famous indie-rock star who sells out venues every time his band headlines a show in Dallas, Scott Hutchison sure has bad luck with love. Hutchison and his Frightened Rabbit bandmates originally intended for their latest record, Pedestrian Verse, to be a broader album, one that would be a departure from their love-found-and-love-lost brand of Scottish rock. Sadly, Hutchison suffered through another breakup, causing him to put a more personal spin on the album’s songwriting. His loss may just be our gain, though, as Pedestrian Verse shows continued growth from one of the most interesting acts around. For those of you lucky enough to attend Saturday’s sold-out show, expect to have a boozy good time as previous North Texas Frightened Rabbit shows have led to copious amounts of intoxicated twentysomethings dancing and making-out the night away. -- Jaime-Paul Falcon
Nervous Curtains, Warren Jackson Hearne & Le Leek Electrique, Deep Throat Saturday, April 13, at Hailey's Club, $5/$7 Something big and dark is building over Denton. At first blush, this bill seems discordant--one band performs in suits and one is more likely to rip their own clothes off. Warren Jackson Hearne fronts the area's deadliest folk band. Nervous Curtains play post-apocalyptic pop and Deep Throat are as smart lyrically and musically as they are fearless onstage. Cartoon optimists: Stay away. -- Kiernan Maletsky
Whiskey Folk Ramblers, RTB2, Daniel Markham Saturday, April 13, at Three Links, $8/$10 After three years, the beloved "folk noir" quintet Whiskey Folk Ramblers are finally putting out their third full-length, The Lonesome Underground. The boys have chosen one of Deep Ellum's newest additions, Three Links, for the undertaking on April 13, the day before the album goes on sale everywhere. Whiskey Folk Ramblers' American roots, mixed with a dangerous concoction of devilish twangle-dangle, will be preceded by rockers RTB2 and gritty folk singer-songwriter Daniel Markham. Also, the show comes at the tail end of RTB2 and Daniel Markham's seven-date Southeastern spring tour, which winds through Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and ends in Dallas. So wish them a welcome home. -- Rachel Watts
Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo Sunday, April 14, at Annette Strauss Artist Square, $36 Back in her '80s heyday, Pat Benatar was the essence of slick, MTV-inspired corporate rock. Songs like "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Love is a Battlefield" were the perfect accompaniment for a night spent cruising the neon singles bars looking for anyone who would put up with you. Surprisingly, those same songs have aged fairly well, as has the singer herself. At 60, Benatar can still belt it out with the best of them while her guitarist (and husband), Neil Giraldo, continues to impress with his instrumental skill as well. Like the spandex in her wardrobe, Benatar's songs are well worn and best suited for special occasions. -- Darryl Smyers
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Street Gnar, War Party, Year of the Bear, Midnite Society Monday, April 15, at The Where House, $5 Fort Worth's analog-only recording studio and record label, Dreamy Soundz, has teamed up with local production entity Dallas Distortion Music to put together a pretty great mostly garage-band bill this week. Coming from Lexington, Kentucky's Street Gnar, a band that just dropped its soothing 13-track release, Kenwicked, on which ethereal guitar melds with electronic drums. Before them, see garage-punk band War Party for a little more of a high energy set, and Dreamy Soundz owners Jennifer and Robby Rux in Year of the Bear. Come early for experimental psych-wave group Midnite Society. -- Rachel Watts
Hayes Carll Wednesday, April 17, at Dan's Silverleaf, $25 I have had the distinct pleasure of experiencing a Hayes Carll performance at the esteemed Dan's Silverleaf and it is without a doubt one of the best times I have ever had. There seems to be something about the atmosphere at Dan's that brings the best out of the Woodlands-bred artist, as his performances take on an air of electricity that stems from the room's limited capacity and the obvious adoration from the fans who attend these frequently sold-out shows. It is truly an experience every North Texas music fan should have at least once. -- Jaime-Paul Falcon