Dallas is currently undergoing one of the busiest concert seasons in some time. Between the KISS FM Jingle Ball, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, and next week's Jay-Z show- the good folks over at Ticketmaster are certainly earning their Christmas bonuses this year. In the midst of arena-tour fever, this is an ideal weekend to check out some more low-key and laid-back local artists. Since it is the most wonderful time of the year, there's even a couple of opportunities this week to see some of Dallas' finest acts for the small price of a charitable donation. You just can't beat that.New Science Projects Christmas Mixer Thursday, December 12, at Macaroni Island
If you prefer your Christmas celebrations strictly DIY, with an atmosphere lending itself more to chaos than well-planned light displays, then Denton's premier house venue Macaroni Island is hosting your ideal Christmas mixer. Headlined by Denton's own New Science Projects, this Christmas jamboree in a house promises to have absolutely none of the trimmings but all of the music.Gavin CleaverCurren$y, A.Dd+, -topic, Kydd Jones
In 2013's final installment of the Red Bull Sound Select concert series, everyone's favorite energy drink is bringing New Orleans' pride and joy to town. I could swear I once watched Curren$y smoke down a quarter pound of weed onstage, so be prepared because the contact high will be imminent.Vanessa QuilantanNOFX, Dillinger Four Thursday, December 12, at House of Blues
Of all the bands to actually make money playing punk rock, Los Angeles' NOFX have always remained truest to the spirit and influence of classic hardcore. Over two decades, Fat Mike and crew have consistently released killer slabs of hilarious, almost melodic punk that never abandoned the archetypical roar of Black Flag or D.O.A. Yet as fine as the noise of NOFX may be, the headliner is not the onl y reason to attend this evening's festivities. Adding weight to the fray is a band from Minneapolis, Dillinger Four. Like NOFX, they're experts at the shouted choruses and three-chord bedlam associated with the legendary Misfits. This bill may well be the punk-rock savior of the Christmas shopping season.Darryl SmyersPleasant Grove, Myopic, Panther Robe and Centro-Matic (solo) Saturday, December 14, at Club Dada
The lineup is great: Denton legend Will Johnson and a preview of the soon-to-be-reunited Pleasant Grove, plus Jeff Ryan's Myopic project and Panther Robe. But the cause is even better. Curtis Heath, formerly of The Theater Fire and more recently a composer of film soundtracks, has melanoma and no health insurance. This show is a benefit for him, and the $10 cover is asking incredibly little. There will also be a buffet from Which Which and Fuzzy's and a raffle for some impressive prizes.Plenty more info can be found on the event's Facebook page.
.Kiernan MaletskyDrowning Pool Saturday, December 14, at Trees
"Never give in and never give up." This lyric from "Die for Nothing," off Drowning Pool's Resilience, perfectly embodies the attitude that has kept the Dallas band together despite multiple changes at lead singer over the years. Most bands implode when a singer leaves (Destiny's Child, Live), or the replacement ends up being a letdown (Hello, Flyleaf!), so the fact that Drowning Pool are on their fourth (Jasen Moreno) and are still producing dynamic, face-melting rock songs, is no small feat. They could just pack it in, but as another lyric from that same song says, "Live for something or die for nothing." There is no doubt they would rather live for this band than give up on it. Drowning Pool's vocalist problem is akin to Queens of the Stone Age's revolving-door drummer situation: It makes consistency hard to come by, but they continue to make it work. Resilience indeed.Brian Palmer
Liquor Store, Video, Fogg Sunday, December 15, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios Forth Worth's Fogg is heavy -- scorched tar oozing out of battered amplifiers heavy. The very young, and newly formed, Fogg have the sonic chemistry of seasoned veterans, playing like they've been joined at the hip for years. These boys have successfully parlayed their love for early-'70s metal into a grave and beautiful sound all their own, sounding like a doom-weary Black Sabbath passed through Dante's hell and back. Jonathan PatrickChad D's 14th Annual Toy Drive Monday, December 16, on Lower Greenville Avenue
'Tis the season for benefit shows, and in Dallas few events are as warmly welcomed as the annual toy drive and show hosted by the Libertine on Lower Greenville Avenue. Proof of Chad D's 14th Annual Toy Drive popularity can be seen in the sheer growth of the event. While having Brent Best of Slobberbone, The O's, Dave Little, RTB2, -topic and Dim Locator playing along with DJ sets by Blake Ward and Zhora's Taylor Rea (among many other performers) is enough to fill boxes with unwrapped toys and cash donations, the event is now a neighborhood party. In addition to the festivities inside the Libertine, stages at The Bottle Shop, The Singlewide and The Crown and Harp will be rocking. That means more worthy causes will benefit this year. Dallas Life Foundation will receive the toys while the monetary proceeds from the Bottle Shop and Singlewide shows will go toward helping Baby Eevie Elouise (benefit organizer Gavin Malloy's infant cousin) fight leukemia. Local music played in locally owned venues to help those around us is a great thing any time of the year.Kelly DearmorePower Trip, Iron Reagan, Mammoth Grinder, Windhand Monday, December 16, at Club Dada
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Power Trip continue to be one of the toughest hardcore crossover bands in the city of Dallas, and rumor has it, they've got some major moves planned in 2014. Go check them out at Dada this Monday before they completely blow up.VQ