There's never a shortage of good shows in North Texas. Here are a few shows to choose from this week if you don't know where to start: Hip-hop artist Big Freedia, local singer-songwriter Jade Nickol, Houston act Lera Lynn and Dallas UK 82 mainstays The Scandals are all rocking stages in DFW on Thursday. On Saturday, there's a Dolly Parton tribute show at Opening Bell Coffee, and Blixaboy will be performing with Cygnus at Industry Alley Bar. If you time it out right, you might be able to make it to both shows. On Sunday, you can either see Corpus Christi rapper Iann Dior at Trees or the self-proclaimed King of R&B, Jacquees, at House of Blues. But if you're looking for an early night, you can always end your weekend with the Revelers Hall Band.
Paul Slavens & Friends
9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, free
Like on most Mondays, the spontaneous song generator, DJ and Ten Hands frontman Paul Slavens will take the stage at Dan’s Silverleaf. Slavens writes and performs songs on the spot, improvising about whatever comes to mind. Song title suggestions get thrown at him from the crowd and he just runs with them. Attendees might hear songs about escaping the spiraling vortex of Ikea, robot children or whatever else they can think of. If this isn’t part of your Monday music routine by now, it should be. Jacob Vaughn
Big Freedia 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $25 at livenation.com Big Freedia is a big name in the bounce hip-hop scene that originated in New Orleans. Back in the early 1990s, this underground micro-genre of rap was in its early days, but by the end of the decade, Big Freedia was beginning to popularize it. She rose to the mainstream after performing in the 2009 music festival, the then-named Voodoo Music Experience. The next year, Big Freedia released Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1 — a collection of previously released singles from '99 to 2010. Dubbed the Queen of Bounce, she puts on one of the most infectiously energizing shows, and if you've never seen her live, get ready for a lot of booty in your face with her incredibly vivacious dancers. Diamond Rodrigue
Jade Nickol 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano, free
Last year, local singer-songwriter Jade Nickol released her debut EP Murphy’s Law after putting out her second single "Marijuana and Gin." The single and the EP starkly contrast with Nickol's first release, “Best Friends,” in which she tried her hand at country music. In May, Nickol told the Observer that she tried to wipe the internet clean of "Best Friends," frustrated with the initial direction she tried to take her music. "Marijuana and Gin" marked a new beginning for Nickol's music career, in which she wants to write songs that are more true to herself. Jacob Vaughn
Lera Lynn 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at The Blue Light, 2811 Main St., $17-$20 at eventbrite.com
In just a brief decade, Lera Lynn has assembled quite a career's worth of highlights. She's written songs with T-Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash, performed music featured on HBO's True Detective, and released three high-quality albums worth of sweetly stylized Americana and indie rock. Her latest, Plays Well With Others, is a duet affair that blends Lynn's soulful vocals alongside kindred spirits like JD McPherson, Nicole Atkins and Shovels & Rope. With a prolific touring career also part of her ever-expanding résumé, it's a safe bet that some of these new songs will resonate strongly and get people moving as they pack into The Blue Light near the end of another work week. Jeff Strowe
The Scandals 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E, $5 at eventbrite.com If your new year is still waiting for a kick-start, get on over to Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill on Thursday night for a local punk showcase that is sure to get your motor running. Dallas UK 82 mainstays The Scandals will be headlining the night with support from local favorites The Ellen Degenerates, Calculated Chaos and Captain Calavera — all for just five bucks. Taken from the title of a song by The Exploited, UK 82 is a blend of British street punk and American hardcore punk that is both pessimistic and apocalyptic in its lyrical focus and unabashedly aggressive in its music. Since forming in the summer of 2003, The Scandals have kept the sound of UK 82 alive, spreading heavy drumbeats and distorted guitars around packed house shows and sticker-coated venues with only 17 tracks of recorded material to their name (only four of which you can find streaming). If you're looking to explore the darker side of the Dallas punk scene, this is the place to start. David Fletcher
Dolly Parton Tribute Show!
7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Opening Bell Coffee, 1409 S. Lamar St., $10 at venue
Dolly Parton stands as the reigning queen of country music, and if you’ve never experienced one of her magical live sets, well, the sidesplitting, electric performances are worth crossing state lines to catch. The singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actress and entrepreneur is truly one of the greatest performers to ever grace a stage, and over her impressive 60-year-long career she has landed a record-setting 25 No. 1 singles on Billboard’s country music charts. Ever the pioneer, late last year Dolly reached a whole new audience and earned new fans with her first-ever No. 1 on a dance/electronic chart for “Faith” — thanks to a collaboration with Swedish DJ-songwriter-producer duo Galantis. Expect to hear many of Dolly’s chart-toppers as the folks at Opening Bell are hosting what’s billed as the “Dolly Parton Tribute Show!” Saturday to commemorate Dolly’s birthday (actually born Jan. 19). The show is slated to feature tribute performances by local singer-songwriters Remy Reilly, Emmeline, Molly Bush, Christine Hand, Annie Benjamin, Nicole Maridan, Manal, Gigi Gostas and Sam Moore. Daniel Rodrigue
Blixaboy, with Cygnus and more
10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Industry Alley Bar, 1711 S. Lamar St., free
For years, Dallas has had one of the most underrated and underappreciated electro/techno scenes in the country. Local mainstays Cygnus, aka Phillip Washington, and Blixaboy, aka Wanz Dover, and others have been at the forefront of this scene for decades collectively, fueling hypnotic experiences that unfold in under-the-radar venues throughout DFW. At times, they’ve taken their talents out of state, too, repping our backyard and helping make a name for our city in the international dance scene. Most recently, Cygnus put out his 10-song album The Oasis, and Blixaboy is set to release his Databreak this Friday. Meditative beat programming and heady arrangements are to be expected, as are moments of outright bliss as the two artists share the stage with Ponyboy and DJ Cymatic. Jonathan Patrick
7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $21 at tix.axs.com
Corpus Christi native Iann Dior will be three days into his Industry Plant 2020 Tour by the time he hits the stage at Trees on Sunday night. The rapper has come a long way since he first started releasing music under the name Olmo, referring to his real name, Michael Ian Olmo. He changed his artist name after being discovered by music producers Nick Mira and Taz Taylor of the record label Internet Money. Dior's single "Emotions," which was produced by Mira, amassed nearly 4 million streams on SoundCloud and piqued the interest of Los Angeles indie record label 10K Projects. Dior has continued to gain notoriety since being signed. Last year, he put out two albums: Nothings Ever Good Enough and Industry Plant. Don't miss this young artist on a come-up this year at Trees. He'll share the stage with special guests Landom Cube and Poorstacy. Jacob Vaughn
Jacquees 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $30-$59.50 at livenation.com
Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax, who releases music under the name Jacquees, has been making all the right moves since he first started putting out music in 2011. With the release of his first mixtape Round Of Applause (2011) and later Fan Affiliated (2012) and Quemix (2013), Jacquees secured himself a solid fan base. With his independent debut EP 19, Jacquees climbed the rankings of iTunes and Billboard's Top R&B albums charts. The Cash Money Records artist has continued to gain attention from the masses, especially since he started calling himself the "King of R&B." After he proclaimed on Instagram, “I just wanna let everybody know that I’m the king of R&B right now… Jacquees the king of R&B,” celebrity musicians like J. Holiday, John Legend and P. Diddy flocked to social media to tell him otherwise. Check out his latest album King of R&B and catch him at House of Blues on Sunday to see if you want to bend the knee. Jacob Vaughn
Revelers Hall Band 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave., $5 at venue
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. Jacob Vaughn
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.