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The Ten Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, August 1-7

Ray Wylie Hubbard plays Saturday's 95.3 The Ranch Cooler-N-Hell Fest.
Ray Wylie Hubbard plays Saturday's 95.3 The Ranch Cooler-N-Hell Fest.
Todd Wolfson

So who's ready for B L A C K I E to scare some people at Good Records today? We certainly can't wait. If you weren't already going (to this one or the show tomorrow at Macaroni Island in Denton), please read the great Shea Serrano's excellent profile of the Houston artist, published in our sister paper there.

If yelling doesn't appeal to you, there's plenty more this week: cult leader Lil B at the Prophet Bar, Courtney Love at House of Blues, a pair of mega-tours at Gexa and so on. Though actually there will probably be yelling at all of this. If you don't like yelling, maybe just go to a library.

Lil B Thursday, August 1 | $20/$22 | The Prophet Bar Lil B resides in an interesting spot in the current hip-hop scene. His haters really hate him. But he has many lovers: rabid Twitter followers dutifully hashtagging #GirlTime, NYU students who brought him to lecture on campus and a cross-section of hip-hop intellectuals who view him as less of a rapper than a theorist. Lil B certainly makes it easy for his detractors by choosing quantity over quality with his mixtape releases. Yet there's something endearing and downright mystical about Lil B. Lee Escobedo

Zorch, B L A C K I E, Bludded Head Thursday, August 1 | Free | Good Records Alien kings of synth-metal Zorch return to Dallas on the Thursday after The Sword and Dillinger (or Friday in Denton, if you prefer weekends, at Macaroni Island). They're playing a house show, which as far as I can discern, is entirely free and features free alcohol provided by a sponsor. Houston one-man noise violation B L A C K I E is the support, making this gig unmissable. Gavin Cleaver

The Monkees Friday, August 2 | $39.50-$129.50 | Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie The long, strange story of The Monkees reads like a history of pop music itself. In the band's heyday in the late '60s, The Monkees actually outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. After being revealed to be puppets playing to other people's music under the control of producer Don Kirshner, the fortunes of the band plummeted. Even when it was the members actually playing their own instruments, that couldn't help The Monkees' confusing dive into psychedelia and other assorted genres. But when simply considered for creating uncomplicated pop songs, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and the late Davy Jones were rarely matched. And seeing today that so many pop stars are manipulated by producers and various executives and that many of them have never written a song, The Monkees' transgressions certainly appear trifling. Darryl Smyers

Vans Warped Tour Friday, August 2 | $37.50 | Gexa Energy Pavilion Like it or not, the Warped Tour doesn't play to the punk purist. If you think things were better back in '77, '81, '89, '94 or '99, well, don't bother. The Warped Tour's multi-dozen acts are all about the right now. Happening on a Friday this year, pop-punk, metalcore, ska, dance-pop and acoustic acts will demand your attention all throughout the hot day. This year's lineup features a lot of local bands -- a lot more than usual. You have Bowling for Soup, Forever the Sickest Kids, Crown the Empire and Oh, Sleeper all repping the DFW area. Expect big crowds for Chiodos, Never Shout Never, The Story So Far, and Woe Is Me, but definitely seek out some great acts like Motion City Soundtrack and Mixtapes. There's something for everyone, if you search hard enough and stay adequately hydrated. Eric Grubbs

Steve Carlson, Major 7th, Rania Khoury Friday, August 2 | $10 | The Prophet Bar The Prophet Bar's small room has long been a platform for the singer-songwriter. The intimate setting provides a perfect platform for a full band to a single guitar and mic. Hotel Cafe regular Steve Carlson will be stopping through to grace Dallas with his particular brand of country-tinged folk rock. His cover of Elliot Smith's "Angeles" with television actor Jensen Ackles (of Supernatural fame) is a popular fan favorite. Local siren Rania Khoury is no doubt expected to steal the show, as she debuts her new album, Stone Wolf . Khoury, who has played The Prophet Bar many times, will be doing so with a full backing band for the first time. From Stone Wolf , fans can expect to see a different side of Khoury. As she steps out of her shell creatively, a bigger, more fully realized sound will pleasantly surprise and impress. Influences like Adele and Amy Winehouse still shine through, but Khoury's incredibly powerful voice has truly evolved into a sound entirely her own. Vanessa Quilantan

 

Cooler-N-Hell Fest Saturday, August 3 | $25 | Southfork Ranch 95.3 The Range is one of strangest stops along the FM dial in DFW. The country station that doesn't ever play the hits has been around for a decade and a half. What you will hear is a wide range of Americana, alt-country and Red Dirt -- artists too mean or honest or unvarnished for the station's Clear Channel brethren. This weekend's Cooler-N-Hell fest is a good embodiment of the station's spirit. Named for a Ray Wylie Hubbard song, the second-year fest will be held at the event ranch made famous by the TV show Dallas . Hubbard will play, along with Cory Morrow, William Clark Green and Zane Williams. Kiernan Maletsky

Souls of Mischief Saturday, August 3 | 8pm | $10-$17 | Trees To celebrate 20 years since the release of their album 93 Til Infinity , Souls of Mischief will be performing the classic LP in its entirety with a full backing band. As pioneers of the early '90s Oakland hip-hop sound, the group has long been heralded as one of the most important and influential groups of West Coast hip-hop. As part of the collective Hieroglyphics (which includes artists like Del Tha Funkee Homosapian, Casual and Pep Love), Souls of Mischief's impact on hip hop music as we know it today, is immeasurable. The over-30 "real" hip-hop crowd will be out in droves, as this will surely be a night to remember for another 20 years to come. Vanessa Quilantan

Courtney Love Sunday, August 4 | $30-$50 | House of Blues It's hard to discuss Courtney Love without having to delve into her controversial past substance abuse, never-ending feud with the surviving remembers of Nirvana, her ability to turn social media into a circus that makes the Electric Daisy Carnival look like a calm affair and that little detail that she was married to that guy who wrote those songs in the '90s. Endlessly talking about that array of subjects ignores Love's rather prestigious career as a musician and actress. Love served time singing and playing in Faith No More, Sugar Babydoll, Babes in Toyland and Pagan Babies before forming Hole in 1989. Hole's sound changed drastically over the course of their three albums, with Pretty On the Inside walking a punk tightrope, Live Through This capturing the sound of alternative rock and garnering wide acclaim, and Celebrity Skin sounding like almost everything else from 1998. Love disbanded Hole shortly after, went solo, reformed Hole and went solo again, which is what you're going to get Sunday night at the House of Blues. When you're there, try to ignore the ranting and enjoy the music, and if it gets to be too much, go home and watch Straight to Hell -- she was awesome in that. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival Sunday, August 4 | $28.50-$79.50 | Gexa Energy Pavilion The annual touring metal fest with the clumsy moniker returns to Dallas this Sunday under the steady hand of a Mr. Robert Zombie. The previous two years that the festival has hit Dallas, it has started at the somewhat unfortunate time of one in the afternoon on a weekday, making this a prime opportunity to actually attend the whole of a day-long metal festival in the searing Texas heat, if that's what you really want to do. While doing so might not seem like a good idea, the lineup for these tours is always far better than it has a right to be, possibly due to the incredible capital expense that energy drink companies are capable of in recent times. I can only conclude that the profit margin on energy drinks is outrageous. Still, snagging a simple uncovered lawn ticket for this event will set you back $40. Is that worth it? Well, if you're like me and are happy to see Mastodon and Machinehead do pretty much anything at all, then undoubtedly yes. The Gexa will also play host to Five Finger Death Punch, Children of Bodom, and Emmure. It's not a bad lineup at all. And, if you have an idea for an outlandish event that's unlikely to ever see a profit, you'll be at investment ground zero. It's a winner. Gavin Cleaver

Naam, True Widow, Radkey Wednesday, August 7 | $10-$12 | Club Dada I can see no better fit for local band True Widow's heavy sounds than on a bill at Dada with Brooklyn's heavy, drony, psych-rock group Naam. True Widow, a cinematic band that finds a way to switch up their live show nearly every time they play, dropped their third album, Circumambulation, on July 23, and are scootin' about the DFW circuit. Their 2011 album, As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth, is going to be hard to top. Parade of Flesh pulled through again with an awesome lineup that includes opener and all-brother rock trio Radkey. Rachel Watts

See also: -The 100 Best Texas Songs: The Complete List -The Ten Most Badass Band Names in DFW -The Best Bands in DFW: 2012 Edition -Photo Essay: The Tattoos of Dallas' Nightlife Scene

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