Dallas has some seriously cool shows to check out this week. Catch Sum 41 and Earl Sweatshirt midweek before the weekend lights up with down-and-dirty rock 'n' roll from Dead Mockingbirds, the daylong music festival JMBLYA, a reunion for Dallas electronic band Channel 69 and more.
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $29 and up
If you're in your early 30s and had even a hint of teenage angst in high school, you probably listened to Sum 41's 2001 debut album All Killer No Filler. The pop-punk band from Canada won the hearts of those who wanted to rebel — but maybe not past their bedtime. It seems Sum 41 has grown right alongside its earliest fans, as made evident by the band's upcoming release for Order in Decline, its seventh studio album. It's a little harder and heavier than previous albums and reflects today's growing political and social unrest. Diamond Rodrigue
Thebe Kgositsile (aka Earl Sweatshirt)
with MIKE, 8 p.m. Thursday, May 2 at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., tickets start at $30.50 at ticketfly.com.
If hip-hop had a poet laureate, it would be Thebe Kgositsile (aka Earl Sweatshirt). Hands down. At only 25, the L.A. rapper is already widely regarded as one of the most imaginative lyricists and technically gifted rappers, not simply of his generation, but ever. His career arc is a thing of legend: The prodigious member of Tyler the Creator’s Odd Future collective hit the scene fully formed at 16 with the exhilarating Earl, a mixtape that made high art of vulgarity. He was subsequently sent off to a Samoan boarding school for said mixtape. He emerged a wiser if more emotionally damaged writer and continues to steer the aesthetic cutting edge of rap today. His latest statement, the fiercely condensed Some Rap Songs, is 25 minutes of knotted avant jazz packed with over two hours worth of bars and easily one of the best rap artifacts of the decade. Its disorienting universe of angular beats and insular poetry gives uneasy, biting insight into one of the most fascinating artists, in any field, alive today. Rap fan or not, take notice. Jonathan Patrick
with Caved Mtns, Mean Motor Scooter and Go Imperial, 9 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St., $10
Dead Mockingbirds met because of a Bravo reality show but luckily moved on to become one of DFW's best rock 'n' roll bands. The trio received a few nods at the Dallas Observer Music Awards ceremony last year, and for good reason. Their high-energy performances and musical output are inspired by the likes of T. Rex and Nirvana. Friday's show with Mean Motor Scooter, Caved Mtns and Go Imperial is a must-see. Diamond Rodrigue
with Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Sheck Wes, Gunna, Kevin Gates and more, noon Friday, May 3 at Fair Park, 1438 Coliseum Drive, tickets start at $109 at frontgatetickets.com.
Each year, hip-hop royalty descends upon Dallas for JMBLYA, a festival with a lineup that’s always pure fire. This year’s talent includes Texas-born trap supernova Travis Scott, NY phenom Sheck Wes, Young Thug protege Gunna and the almighty legend himself, Lil Wayne, any of which could easily headline a festival in their own right. Riding the wave of his magnum opus and one of the best-selling records of the year, Astroworld, Houston’s Travis Scott is arguably the biggest rap star of the moment, a curator-as-composer who’s among the game’s supreme stylists, a student of Kanye West’s luxuriant, maximalist approach to production. His rich, meticulously manicured sounds — connecting Southern hip-hop to psychedelic rock, jazz, experimental synths and more — along with his uncanny penchant for matching featured artists to just the right beat are a microcosm of today’s hip-hop community. Rap-heads, this is where you need to be this weekend. Jonathan Patrick
Sounds of Oak Cliff
with Ataraxia Trio and Goisagi, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at Top Ten Records, 338 W. Jefferson Blvd., $1
Saturday's concert is the second of six shows scheduled for the first Saturdays of the month, from April through September, as part of the Sounds of Oak Cliff Series. This series is the result of a Cultural Vitality Project Grant awarded by the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs to Top Ten Records earlier this year, as stated on the event's Facebook page. Yells at Eels member Dennis Gonzalez will perform with his side project Ataraxia Trio, and the Dallas-based Goisagi will "offer a unique percussion experience." It's a buck to get in, but if that still breaks your bank, be assured that no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Diamond Rodrigue
Queen For A Day
8 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at The Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., sold out
If the cinematic homage to legendary rock band Queen, last year's Bohemian Rhapsody, prompted more than a few classics like "We Will Rock You" to bump around in your head, then Saturday night's concert at Granada Theater is where you'll want to be. Queen tribute band Queen For A Day plays the best and the rest as a four-piece, sticking to the Live Killers era of 1973-1981. Diamond Rodrigue
with Kontravoid, 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at Dada, 2720 Elm St., $17 at eventbrite.com.
The best way to enjoy a HEALTH show is to push in as close to the stage as possible. For nearly 15 years now, the members of HEALTH coalesced on thousands of stages to conjure the most intensely kinetic performances of any touring band, and today the Los Angeles-based act stands as one of the most unforgettable live bands to ever take a stage. Sure, the band has adapted their sound from lo-fi sets at The Smell to arena tours opening for Nine Inch Nails, but whether catching them on a small beer-soaked stage in a creaky basement venue or in a mid-level overly air-cooled venue, HEALTH is an unstoppable, mesmerizing force. HEALTH’s Wheels of Fear Tour features fellow Los Angeles-based EBM duo Youth Code, and opener Toronto-based Kontravoid’s danceable brand of electropunk and EBM set the tone for the night. Daniel Rodrigue
with Channel 69 and T-4-2, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at Trees, 2709 Elm St, $16-$41
Anything Box is on tour this year and consists solely of founding member Claude Strilio. You'll remember their 1989 single "Living in Oblivion." But Sunday night's show at Trees doesn't just feature the legendary electronic new-wave outfit, it also sees the reunion of Dallas-based synth act Channel 69, who haven't performed live since 1995, as well as Dallas electronic duo T-4-2. Diamond Rodrigue
The Psychedelic Furs
8 p.m., Sunday May 5 at The Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $75-$105
Formed in London in the late '70s, new wave stylists The Psychedelic Furs have mastered the delicate art of staying relevant. With tracks like "Pretty and Pink," "Heaven," and "Love My Way," the first of which inspired the classic John Hughes film of the same name, the band long ago established staying power. Lately, their stature has again risen, as songs from their vast catalog have surfaced in critical scenes of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, and the Oscar-nominated film, Call Me By Your Name. As edgy and strong-voiced as ever, bandleader brothers Richard and Tim Butler have a decades-worth bond built through touring and recording that makes The Furs' sound as enticing as ever. See it for yourself as they headline the Granada on a Sunday night. Jeff Strowe
7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., $15-$40 at ticketfly.com.
The triumphant return of Eels kicked off April 21 in Denver, a year after the release of their 12th studio album. The last time Eels was in town was in 2013 at the Granada Theater. The Deconstruction came after a four-year hiatus by Mark Oliver Everett, the man behind the band. In that time, Everett got married, had a son and got divorced, providing fuel for the creation of the album. Despite the delay, the album encapsulates classic Eels. It’s a compilation of upbeat grunge tracks and slow, haunting tunes. Jacob Vaughn