Classical Music

The 19 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week, Dec. 9 – 15

MOMIX Max Pucciariello

Monday, December 9

Caroling in the Arts District
Ah, caroling, that holiday tradition in which groups of strangers come to your home or accost you on the street and sing Christmas songs at you until you give them money. How is that legal? Seriously, robbery at knife point seems like a gentler way to get innocent victims to pony up. Thank God for radio station WRR 101.1. They’re putting five of the city’s best choral groups in one place, Moody Performance Hall, for a series of five daily lunchtime caroling sessions, and it’s free. To hear them, you either have to enter the hall or tune in to the concerts on WRR from noon to 1 p.m. this Monday through Friday. That leaves the streets safe for us Grinches. Monday’s performance is by Verdigris Ensemble. Other groups stopping by 2520 Flora St. through Friday are Dallas Symphony Chorus on Tuesday, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas on Wednesday, Turtle Creek Chorale on Thursday and the Arts District Chorale on Friday. Visit for more details. Patrick Williams
Ariana Grande, pictured here at her 2017 AAC show, will bring the party to Dallas on Monday.
Mike Brooks
Ariana Grande
Big-beat, hip-hop-flavored pop is having a moment. Ariana Grande is smack dab in the center of this new approach to radio bangers: Her singing voice is malleable and beyond reproach, her coy image feels somehow both carefully fabricated and accessible, and her singles all feel like parties — fleshed out with a litany of on-point collaborations and glittery, hi-res production flair. There’s no pretense or posturing in Grande’s deliveries, just coolly rendered one-hitters engineered to lift moods and sell out stadiums. Don’t trust anyone who says sugary pop like this is fodder for the kids, because losing yourself in unabashedly fun music is a form of entertainment with no age requirement or shelf life. Those with consciously hip, inhibited music taste should stay clear. Everyone else: Hop the velvet rope and let’s have some fun. It starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets are $44.45-$274.45 at Jonathan Patrick

The Funky Knuckles
The jazz-funk-fusion band The Funky Knuckles have been killing it in North Texas for about the last seven years. The band's 2014 album Meta-Musica reached No. 1 on iTunes' jazz charts the day it was released. Two years later, The Funky Knuckles put out their 11-song, hard-not-to-dance-to, full-length New Birth. The band has been on the bill every Monday night at Three Links for some time now. The band is also up for Best Jazz Act this year in the Dallas Observer Music Awards, so you won't want to miss them. The free show starts at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Jacob Vaughn
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From left, clockwise: Erykah Badu, Midlake, Toadies frontman Vaden Lewis, Dezi 5, Spinderella are some of the special guests at this year's DOMA ceremony.
Peter Larsen/Getty, Jon Beck, Andrew Sherman, Jason Janik, Ethan Miller/Getty

Tuesday, December 10

Dallas Observer Music Awards Ceremony
This Tuesday night, head over to Canton Hall celebrate at the 31st annual Dallas Observer Music Awards Ceremony with some of the best acts in the city. The theme at this year's ceremony is “Andy Warhol’s Factory,” so we encourage you to wear your best '60s or early-70s mod to this free event featuring performances by Cody Lynn Boyd, Rosegarden Funeral Party, Jacob Metcalf, Doug Burr, Medicine Man Revival, Ronnie Heart and more. Special guests at this year's ceremony include Erykah Badu, The D.O.C., Midlake and others. We hope to see you there. The free show requires RSVP, which does not guarantee attendance. It starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St. Jacob Vaughn

Wednesday, December 11

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage
It’s not officially Christmas until you’ve watched A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV. This year, why not break with tradition and see it live onstage? The national touring company for A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage will be at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory for a live performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. Actors will bring classic Peanuts characters to life as they perform a live rendition of the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning TV special. Guests can also sing classic Christmas carols with the cast following the show. The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory is at 316 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving. Tickets are $20-$154 at Danny Gallagher

You won't want to miss the progressive metal bands CHON and Between The Buried And Me with Intervals this Wednesday night at House of Blues. CHON has been on the road with Between The Buried And Me, and this week they're rolling into town on a wave of wailing guitar riffs and progressive, light-speed drum lines. After hitting House of Blues, the bands will continue their tour, ending up in the U.K. in April. So, unless you want to travel out of state or out of the country to go see them, you should catch their North Texas set at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Tickets are $27.50 at Jacob Vaughn

Thursday, December 12

Wizard of Oz Concert Edition
The story of an eclectic group of misfits going on a small odyssey just to get conned into looking inward has resonated with audiences for decades. In fact, whenever Oz creator L. Frank Baum was low on cash, he wrote a new sequel to the books. The writer’s tone was more in line with the 1980s irresistibly weird cult-favorite Return to Oz than with the Judy Garland musical, but these songs and campy characters have become so familiar that we have to pay them an obligatory visit, just like we do with the relatives we hate. Follow the yellow brick road at 7:30 p.m. to 2535 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch. Tickets start are $28 for adults, with discounts for students and seniors at Eva Raggio

The Black Lips
Atlanta’s Black Lips have been making a holy racket since the early 2000s. With quick hooks, bouncy beats and a punkish attitude, they’ve put together an impressive discography and have collected some famous fans and collaborators. They’ll soon release a new album, Sing While The World Is Falling Apart, and judging from some advance sounds, it leans heavily in a twangier, lo-fi direction. Seeing that’s how they initially burst onto the scene, this Marks a full-circle return to form. Catch them at their loudest and scuzziest in the dark confines of Club Dada at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 2720 Main St. Tickets are $16-$18 at Jeff Strowe

Homeboy Sandman
Hailing from the same streets that contributed to the come-up of rap maestros such as Nas and groups like Mobb Deep, the Homeboy Sandman (known to the government and his mother as Angel Del Villar II) comes from rich and vibrant stock to say the least. His latest album, Dusty, dropped this October and has been met with praise for the Boy Sand’s characteristic technicality and wordplay. Claiming this as his most uninhibited album to date, it’s still unlikely this release will end up being Sandman’s trampoline to the top of the rap game, being more of a masterfully crafted stream of consciousness than a pointed message to the people or the scene. But with nine albums under his belt, it’s hard to think of the indie-minded artist sweating stuff so small. In this way Sandman bears a fleeting reflection of fellow Queens-born MCs A Tribe Called Quest, who are focused on creating a vibe, leaving any deeper introspection up to the listener. It starts at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at Deep Ellum Art Company, 3200 Commerce St. Tickets are $10 at Nicholas Bostick

Friday, December 13

Turtle Creek Chorale: 40 Years of Fa La La
So many holiday traditions become a bit of a slog when you add in the massive to-do lists that come with the season. It can be hard to enjoy all of the activities that should otherwise be fun. But one Dallas tradition is always a joy, no matter how much is left to do: the Turtle Creek Chorale’s annual holiday concert. 40 Years of Fa La La by the beloved men’s chorus celebrates a milestone anniversary and the Christmas season with all your favorites, including traditional carols, pop numbers and a few new pieces sure to get you in the spirit. This year’s production will also bring guest Chloe Agnew of Celtic Woman. Performances to this merry and bright concert are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14; and at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, at the Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $35 to $65 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

TITAS/Dance Unbound: MOMIX
At this time of year, it’s easy to get lulled into Christmas show here and holiday production there (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But there’s a different sort of family friendly enchantment that doesn’t need a season to carry it: MOMIX. The dance company plays tricks on the eyes and sense of perception with every performance through manipulation of body and prop. Is it magic? Considering that one could call each company member an illusionist as much as dancer, yes. The TITAS/Dance Unbound Season welcomes MOMIX for an 8 p.m. performance Friday, Dec. 13, at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets are $12 to $135. To purchase, call 214-880-0202 or visit Merritt Martin

The Bralettes
The Oak Cliff-bred girl power punk-rock trio The Bralettes make people move at all their shows. The band's simple but catchy licks on guitar and bass, played by Paulina Costilla and Molly Hernandez, respectively, enhance the frontwomen's crisp, powerful vocals as Andy Cantu drives the songs forward with heavy drum beats. To date, the band has put out 16 streamable songs, 10 of which are from its debut full-length album Cheers! that was released at the beginning of the year. The Bralettes will be hitting the Dallas stage at Club Dada on Friday night with Acid Carousel, Hall Johnson and Ian Salazar. It starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. Tickets are $10 at Jacob Vaughn

Saturday, December 14

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Spike Lee
Marc Baptiste
Spike Lee
The renowned film director, known for films such as Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, has earned an array of prestigious awards (Oscar, Cesar, BAFTA, Peabody) and become a stentorian political voice — as influential to activists as to new filmmakers. Lee will discuss his body of work, which examines racism, African American culture and urban life, at 8 p.m. at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets are $49.50-99.50 at Eva Raggio

A Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase
At some point, the words National Lampoon in the title of a comedy film became an invaluable piece of information, like a skull and crossbones or those flower-like biohazard warnings. But before Nation Lampoon's imprimatur was more threat than endorsement, we had movies like Animal House or the Vacation series offering comedy that was broad, rude but often damn funny. So ignore the warning and stop by The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory for a special 30th anniversary screening of A Christmas Vacation and take part in a Q&A with its star and original Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event at 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. Tickets start at $44.50 at Patrick Williams

Gold, Frankincense, and Credit Card Debt
Emotions this time of year can range from joyful and magical to frustrating and weird. But if you want to treat yourself to "totally hilarious," venture Uptown to Theatre Too, 2800 Routh St., for a performance of Gold, Frankincense, and Credit Card Debt: A Christmas Holiday Sketch Comedy Show. Curtain time is 8:30 p.m. Saturday and two more Fridays and Saturdays until Dec. 28. Bootstraps Comedy writers are Matt Lyle (who also directs), Nicole Neely, Jim Keunzer, Jeff Swearingen, Matt Coleman and Rachel Farmer. Bringing the laughs for two hours (a $20 bargain) are Jenna Anderson, Jeremy Whitaker, Swearingen, Farmer and  Keunzer. Call 214-871-3300 for info or click on Reba Liner

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Forget shopping sprees this Christmas. The only tradition we need is the Polyphonic Spree's merry spirit coming to life in concert.
Mike Brooks
The Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza
Ask anyone who's been and they'll tell you that no photograph or video can capture the intense magic that is the Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza. For the 17th year in a row, Tim DeLaughter and company have thrown the biggest holiday variety show around, and this year will be no different. Even the most miserable of bah humbugs who come with coal in their pockets will leave with peppermints and holiday cheer. Expect life-size snowmen and reindeer, among other favorite holiday characters throughout this all-ages event, and free milk and cookies at midnight. DeLaughter is a real snowman, er, showman who turns ringleader at this Disney Christmas-like circus, and unless you have confettiphobia — yes, that's a real thing — you'll be in for a real treat. It starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm. St. Tickets are $35-$75 at Diamond Rodrigue

The Crystal Method
In the early 1990s, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland formed a dance act that quickly became one of the most commercially successful electronic acts ever to come out of the U.S. By the time the duo dropped The Crystal Method’s debut full-length Vegas in 1997 with hit singles “Trip Like I Do,” “Busy Child,” “Keep Hope Alive” and more, the pair’s tracks perked up the ears of music directors working in cinema, television and the video game industry who swiftly saw the pair’s potential. After Jordan left in 2017, Kirkland decided to continue as a solo artist. Perhaps a nod to “Trip Like I Do” off first album The Trip Home, the band’s first album without Jordan, was released in September 2018 to many rave reviews. And while film soundtracks have featured the band's hits and remixes for decades, The Trip Home sounds even more cinematic in scope, and like a film score fit for a chase scene ending at a neon-lit techno nightclub in any Phillip K. Dick story adapted for the big screen. It starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St. Tickets are $21 at Daniel Rodrigue

Sunday, December 15

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
courtesy ATTPAC
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
The classic Christmas tale about Santa’s reindeer, who is initially mocked by his peers for his appearance but ultimately accepted, taught us all about the value of celebrating those who are different from us. Ha-ha, a little bitter holiday humor there. It didn't really. We prefer to put the odd and strange in cages. Nevertheless, do the holiday thing and pretend reality is far different from the musical version of Rudolph's story. Shows are 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $25 at Eva Raggio

Revelers Hall Band
Every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., the Revelers Hall Band makes a not-so-subtle stop at their home venue. The six-piece brass band packs a punch that is near impossible to stand still against. The band embodies what Revelers Hall co-owner Jason Roberts and music director Kevin Butler want to get out of all the performers at the venue. It's acoustic, and they play real pianos and upright basses, instead of electric. Even if the power goes out, the Revelers Hall Band will keep the show going. The band can also be heard accompanying other acts booked at the venue throughout the week. The free show starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave. Jacob Vaughn

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