June is upon us, people. Although its arrival is usually marked by an even higher peak on the heat index (not sure if that's even possible at this point), it also signifies the onslaught of new summer shows to partake in. Thankfully, June 2014 is already starting out strong with the recently announced Index Festival announcement party (featuring UME, Booty Fade and more!) and the rapidly-approaching Elm St. Music and Tattoo Festival, which is slotted for the second week of June. All-in-all, it's a pretty good start to what's shaping up to be an interesting summer experience.
This weekend's sporting a healthy list of shows as well: from the Atlanta-trap style of Migos to American sweetheart Dolly Parton, you'll be sure to find something to properly kick off your summer vacay.
With Sylvan Esso, 8pm, Friday, May 30 at the Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Avenue, granadatheater.com, $25
Somehow Merill Garbus's tUnE-yArDs project has managed to get even more interesting with the release of its third full-length, Nikki Nack. It's an eclectic album that's awash in a fizzy energy that leaves the listener charged, elated and a little confused. The record's not a surprising step for an artist who doesn't so much defy the conventions of lo-fi folk as create them for a genre of her own making. Electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso are maybe the most can't-miss opener Dallas will see all year, as their mix of sugary vocals and catchy loops might become the earworms you hear at every party this summer.Jaime-Paul Falcon
With Leif Vollebekk, 7pm, Friday, May 30 at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis Street, thekessler.org, $20-120
There's something intimately comforting about William Fitzsimmons' music. Of course, the relatively quiet, primarily acoustic-based arrangements of his songs and his lovely, delicate vocal ability create warmth that draws the listener close into his world. But there's more to it than that -- and no, it's not the Pennsylvanian's ever-ballooning beard, though that's impressive as well. Over the course of the past decade and six studio LPs, including this year's resplendent Lions, Fitzsimmons has been spectacular in his dependability. Not unlike fellow modern-folkies Josh Ritter or Joe Purdy, a singer and songwriter of this ilk that can be counted on to deliver gold, time after time, is a wonderful and yes, comforting, thing indeed.Kelly Dearmore
7pm, Sunday, June 1st at The House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar Street, houseofblues.com/dallas, $31.75-38.83
When you're trying to start a successful rock band, moving from California to the ultraconservative city of Provo, Utah, would seem to be a move in the wrong direction. Yet that's exactly what Neon Trees did. After being taken under the Killers' wings, Neon Trees had enormous hits with the radio-friendly (or radio-obsessed) "Everybody Talks" and "Animal" singles, proving to be plenty of fun despite their sober audiences. Their latest album, Pop Psychology, has far more depth than the name denotes. Having just come out as gay in March of this year, singer Tyler Glenn wrote a deeply personal album that relates his struggle between his identity and the Mormon church. Along with a more pronounced electronica influence, Neon Trees has reinvented itself, as a (still sober) new-wave pop act.Eva Raggio
9pm, Saturday, May 31 at The House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar Street, houseofblues.com/dallas, $27.50-37.50
Literally translating to "the answer" in Afrikaans, Die Antwoord always has us wondering what exactly the question was. While we've all been trying to figure that out, members Ninja and Yolandi Visser have been steadily expanding their international fanbase with their special mix of stuttering, aggressive raps and viral music videos. After releasing their sophomore effort Ten$ion in 2012, the duo took some time off to build upon their Zef Recordz label and indulge in family life. However, don't trust them to stay gone for long - their upcoming album, Donker Mag, is slotted for a June 3rd release, just in time for the summer. Once that drops, it'll surely feel like the "zef" never left.Michelle Ofiwe
9pm, Friday, May 30 and 8pm, Saturday, May 31 at the Winstar Casino, 666 Casino Avenue, Thackerville, winstarcasinos.com, $75-125
Approaching 70, legendary country diva Dolly Parton is still a wonder to behold. Parton's voice has lost little of its power and her stage presence remains as indomitable as ever. Sure, she can be a bit overly earnest and downright corny, but the lady can belt out country and pop chestnuts like it's nobody's business. Parton wrote "I Will Always Love You" and her version has always been preferable to Whitney Houston's. In Parton's capable hands, the simple grace of the song is not overwhelmed by vocal pyrotechnics. It's worth the price of admission just to hear Parton handle "Jolene" and other gems from the '50s and '60s.Darryl Smyers
97.1 The Eagle Presents BFD
With Five Finger Death Punch, Steel Panther, Theory of a Deadman, Pretty Reckless and more, 2:30pm, Sunday, June 1 at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Avenue, gexaenergypavilion.net, $15-145
Unlike BFD's annual, less scary cousins Edgefest and KXT Summer Cut, the Eagle's annual hard-rock and modern-metal fest isn't made to be a day of genteel music in the sun. This year's edition, headlined by Cali's Five Finger Death Punch and generic Canadian post-grungers Theory of a Deadman, is the weakest fest in a couple of years. While Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society and Megadeath have topped the fest in the recent past, an argument can easily be made that this year's two most interesting acts will play really early. Taylor Momsen's vastly improved The Pretty Reckless has proven to be more than an actor's frivolous side-show and Tom Keifer, former lead singer of 1980s chart-toppers Cinderella, will be worth catching just to hear him use the vocal cord he almost lost many years ago.KD
9pm, Friday, May 30 at South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar Street, ssmusichall.com, $30
In 2013, Migos burst onto the rap scene with the infectious Versace, and trap was seemingly born anew. Since then, rap and R&B heavyweights have tried their hand at adopting or imitating the trio's distinctive triplet flow, but are generally just grateful to cut a record with rap's newest stars. And although it seems as if the trio have flocked to just about everyone in the game - from Drake to Future to even B.O.B. - it's obvious that members Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset have no intentions on slowing down. In 2014 alone they've already released three mixtapes and plan to release two albums, starting with The G.R.E.E.N. Album on June 17th.MO
with Dark Rooms, 8:30pm Saturday, May 31 at The Foundry, 2303 Pittmann St., cs-tf.com, Free
You could complain that a post-punk band like Protomartyr belongs in some dank club and not on a stage in a rustic outdoor patio with picnic tables and giant Jenga, but hearing the jangly sturm and drang of this kind of music seems to beg for a view of the night sky, even if it's partially obscured by strings of light bulbs. And anyway, it's not as if the Foundry never books loud bands; Protomartyr's urgent, amplified grit and angular guitar leads make their own atmosphere, yo. As a bonus, the kind of music fan who will tell you how much Protomartyr's singer reminds him of Peter Murphy probably hangs out at the Foundry all the time, so you'll have that to talk about.Steve Steward
with Superheaven, Unstoppable Death Machines, and Narrow Head, 8pm, Saturday, May 31 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St, dadadallas.com, $10
There's little arguing that the golden days of shoegaze are well behind us, but its vital signs remain strong. While Ride and the Boo Radleys might not be doing much these days, My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive are back. Add to that Guilty of Everything, the impressive full-length debut from Philly-based group Nothing from earlier this year. The band is likely the softest signed to Relapse Records, though they ply their craft wonderfully loud with a great sense of melody and mood. Led by Dominic Palermo, who spent some time in the slammer due to a violent assault that led to an attempted murder conviction, Nothing recalls the pre-bald-Corgan-era Smashing Pumpkins without dipping into the overtly ethereal haze.KD
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with Super Hero/Super Villain, The Blondettes, Informant, and more, 8pm, Saturday, May 31 at The Where House, 2510 St. Hemphill Street, Fort Worth, 817-913-7777, $10
Need a bit of a karmic adjustment? Sometimes, no matter how kind you think you've been, it still doesn't hurt to tip the scales a little in your favor. Do just a little something good and net a little extra currency in the karmic checkbook by spending some time at The Good Karma Circus, Music and Art Festival at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Where House, 2510 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth, plays host to this go-with-the-flow festival featuring fire breathers, belly dancers, hoopers, parkour artists and other blissed-out performers. You'll also be treated to live music from Super Hero/Super Villain, Informant, The Blondettes and Human Groove Hormone, plus an art auction where you can score anything from psychedelic paintings to prints that inspire peace, love and understanding. The karmic upshot? All proceeds go to benefit The Nourish Collective, dedicated to the education and empowerment of women in developing nations. Tickets are $10; the good vibes are endless.Jennifer Davis-Lamm