Top Ten Must-See Concerts In DFW This Week: April 25-May 1
Jeffrey Barnes of Brave Combo, a band that is headlining the Denton Arts & Jazz Fest this weekend.
As this final week in April comes to a close, we can all take a deep breath that we've conquered (a lot of) the festivals, survived the wannabe tornado season and seen the types of amazing concerts that Texas weather has so kindly afforded us. Oh -- no, no -- don't get me wrong, we've still got a lot to look forward to this week, especially by way of superb folk lineups, Denton jazz that will blow a hole through your face and a Meltdown (bass-heavy dance) festival the likes of which ears have never been subjected. Buckle in, y'all. May is nearly upon us, and that means we have to do it all over again.
Denton Arts & Jazz Festival Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, Free A city known for nurturing the arts and boasting a university with a world-class jazz studies program, Denton holds its annual Arts & Jazz Festival every final weekend in April. Seven stages of continuous music, tents and booths filled with fine arts and crafts, food of every greasy volition and games for the kids fill Denton's Quakertown Park for three days straight. It's all fun, but the music is really where it's at. Grab a blanket and trek to the park to sit and watch more than 160 local music groups, including some area public school jazz bands. David Sanborn Trio, The Original Blues Brothers Band and Brave Combo are slotted as the headliners each of the three nights. Are you jazzed yet? -- Rachel Watts
The Black Crowes Thursday, April 25, at House of Blues, $58.50 Bluesy Southern rockers The Black Crowes haven't released an album since 2010's Croweology, but they've hit the road anyway, and are making a stop in Dallas this weekend. A few weeks ago, before their Big D arrival, they released a live vinyl album, Wiser for the Time, immortalizing the group's five-night, sold-out NYC performances in the fall of 2010. -- Rachel Watts
Boris, Thrones, Pinkish Black, Bludded Head Friday, April 26, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, $17 If you're in to heavily downtuned guitar and bass tones and exceedingly slow tempos, this is the show for you. Tokyo avant-garde hard-n-heavy rockers Boris are making an anticipated tour stop Friday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton. Filling out the bill is the bass-heavy solo project of Joe Preston (Thrones), local operatic metal duo Pinkish Black and instrumental doom metal band Bludded Head. Meh, earplugs shmearplugs! -- Rachel Watts
Meltdown Festival Saturday, April 27, at LaGrave Field in Fort Worth, $69-$104 My first introduction to the Dallas electronic scene was a chilly, orange-tinted night in spring of 2005 at Meltdown. Drunk, I stumbled aimlessly through the dark-stained hallways of Lizard Lounge. I made out with strangers. I auditioned for The Real World. But more than anything, I experienced for the first time a spiritual connection with music. Corporations have taken a renewed interest in the genre, and their influence has taken its toll on the genre, and now many songs are quickies, instead of heart-pounding, soul-affirming sessions. Luckily, French production duo Justice, featured on every teenage weekend warm-up mix from 2006 to 2009, will play a DJ set at this year's Meltdown, and that's worth the price of admission alone. -- Lee Escobedo
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Saturday, April 27, at House of Blues, $20 Psychedelic survivors Black Rebel Motorcycle Club drop in to Dallas for a House of Blues gig on their way to headlining Psych Fest in Austin. Chugging along since 1998, the band, who relatively recently replaced founding drummer Nick Jago with Leah Shapiro, are an excellent time live. While they may get billed as slower, spacier rock, they made their name on the back of several excellent rock 'n' roll rippers, including "Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll?" and "Stop." Given this, their gigs move intermittently between the psychedelic numbers and the high-energy bouncers, often in the space of the same song. I saw them once at an actual biker's festival in England, and while the Hells Angels-staffed security decided to throw preceding act the Fun Lovin' Criminals off the stage themselves, BRMC got their full approval and ended up playing an encore at the insistence of the terrifying security. With no Hells Angels there to intimidate them, and with lots of tempo changes, smoke and lights, you've got an excellent Saturday night out at House of Blues. Bass Drum of Death offer up excellent support, so get there early. -- Gavin Cleaver
Os Mutantes, Capsula Sunday, April 28, at The Kessler Theater, $20-$30 Maybe we should just do away with the whole "festival season" concept and just accept that we are the festival state, as this week sees yet another fest causing a spillover of critically acclaimed acts. None of these bands are more legendary, or more interesting, than Brazilian Tropicálistas Os Mutantes. Formed in 1966 by the Baptista brothers in São Paulo, the band was wildly famous in its home country and controversial enough to receive scorn from the local military but remained relatively unknown in the United States until the late '80s, when bands started to cite them as an influence. Releasing five heralded albums during their initial run, the band eventually put out a pair of previously unreleased albums in 1992 and 2000 after a decided uptick in international popularity. Reformed in 2006, the band has toured steadily for the past five years. The band's latest album, Fool Metal Jack, an all-English affair, is set for release at the end of the month. One could argue that no better local venue exists than the historic Kessler Theater to take in such a storied act. -- Jaime-Paul Falcon
The Piano Guys Monday, April 29, at House of Blues, $25-$40 The Piano Guys are an Internet sensation. The group is no more than five dads from Utah who play music, and who got famous from a Youtube video that went viral last year in an effort to create an advertisement for one of the member's piano stores. It's a long story, but their music itself is damn good. I suggest you go watch NBC's 23-minute special on them. -- Rachel Watts
Good For You, Greg Ginn & The Royal We, Arcane Timpani Monday, April 29, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, $8/$11 Since moving to Texas in 2006, ex-Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn has made Dallas a frequent stop on his touring schedule. This time Ginn is doing double duty by playing with two bands on this hearty bill. The Royal We is Ginn's trance-rock project in which the guitarist tackles electronica head-on. The results are mixed, but Ginn's ingenuity and creativity are still amazing. Fans of Ginn's punk-rock past will dig Good For You quite a bit more. Teaming with vocalist and skateboard enthusiast Mike Vallely, Ginn found a partner who can carry the frontman duties while the guitarist riffs to his heart's content. Songs like "Stupid Me," "Hanging Around" and "It's Just Business" could have been outtakes from latter day Black Flag albums like My Way and Slip it In. Interestingly, Ginn will be back in town in May with the reformed Black Flag. Ginn is as restless as they come. -- Darryl Smyers
DJ Blake Ward Tuesday, April 30, at Sundown at Granada, Free DJ Blake Ward, known for his years-running "Glamorama" residency at Beauty Bar each Saturday night, recently teamed up with Sundown at Granada to bring the public "Showdown at Sundown," a Tuesday night residency that he says will feature various types of indie dance music. Despite all of that, April 30 is the last day for this DJ residency, so come on out and bring your dancin' shoes. -- Rachel Watts
Mount Moriah, Telekinesis, Pageantry Wednesday, May 1, at Dan's Silverleaf, $10/$13 Many folks are just recently hearing the music of North Carolina's Mount Moriah for the first time, thanks to their stellar Merge Records-released Miracle Temple. If this is the case for you, scroll a page or two back on the Merge online catalog and be sure to check out the trio's more folk-inflected self-titled debut from a couple of years back. The trio, consisting of the captivating vocalist Heather McEntire, Jenks Miller and Casey Toll are anything but new, and continue to show why they're such respected vets of the talent-rich and college-intensive area of Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Durham. While the first album isn't as driving as the newest offering, McEntire's vocals, especially on "Lament," perhaps the best song from either album, are every bit as commanding of your attention as they are on the more rock-oriented Miracle Temple. It's been a long time since Whiskeytown or the Backsliders defined alt-country on the East coast, but Tarheel- and Wildcat-loving groups such as American Aquarium and Mount Moriah are doing an excellent job of not just continuing a tradition but also carving out a new path. -- Kelly Dearmore
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