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The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Brave Combo, Larry June, The Free Loaders and More

The Free Man house band, The Free Loaders, will be live this Tuesday on their home turf.
The Free Man house band, The Free Loaders, will be live this Tuesday on their home turf.
Scott McWilliams

With the novel coronavirus causing Dallas (and beyond) to declare a state of emergency, and so many events to be canceled, it's becoming harder and harder to track what concerts are still going down in North Texas. Here is a list of 10 shows that — at least at press time — are still slated for area venues. People are being urged to stay away from crowds, but, as Revelers Hall put it in a Facebook post the other day, "Sometimes you just gotta keep calm and party on." Stay safe and healthy out there, people, and if you are feeling sick, even with the mildest symptoms, stay home.

The Bad Man
9 p.m. Monday, March 16, at Twilite Lounge Dallas, 2640 Elm St., free

Get ready for a Monday night Minnesota invasion as The Bad Man and Gully Boys make their way to Twilite Lounge Dallas. A five-piece act featuring a saxophone player, The Bad Man mixes classic rock 'n' roll with a punk rock attitude and just a touch of ska. City Pages named the all-female, three-piece Gully Boys Minnesota's Best New Band. The band draws inspiration from everything that was great about '90s girl-grunge with a new indie spin, pairing well with Chastity Belt, Tacocat and Hop Along. The shows of both of these bands are known to fill rooms up in the Twin Cities for their raucous, energetic sets, and they are looking forward to feeling a bit of that warm Southern hospitality in Dallas for this absolutely free show. Next time either of these bands come to town, there will certainly be a cover. David Fletcher

Paul Slavens & Friends
9 p.m. Monday, March 16, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, free

This Monday, 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 weekly music routine by now, it should be. Jacob Vaughn

The Funky Knuckles
9:30 p.m. Monday, March 16, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., free

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 Funky Knuckles celebrated the release of their fourth album, Delicious, at the venue this year and recently won Best Jazz Act at the Dallas Observer Music Awards. Jacob Vaughn

The Free Loaders
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St., free

If a movie was made about The Free Man, a Deep Ellum Cajun restaurant and live music venue, the soundtrack would consist of songs by one band: The Free Loaders. Luckily, a three-piece variation of the band plays at the venue every Tuesday, so there, you don’t have to wait for the movie to come out to hear its killer soundtrack. Just hop over to The Free Man on a Tuesday evening, order a po' boy and listen to frontman and venue owner John Jay Myers slam on his drums and bark into the microphone with keys and stand-up bass behind him. Jacob Vaughn

Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali
8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave., $5 at venue

Every Wednesday, a couple of the baddest jazz musicians in the business take over Revelers Hall when Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali take the stage. Carrol comes from a Houston family of gospel singers and musicians. At a young age, he found himself in the famous Boys Choir of Houston. Later, Carrol picked up the saxophone and began learning from the likes of Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson from The Texas Tenors. For college, Carrol attended the University of North Texas and landed a spot in the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band ... and the rest is history. Leali is just as decorated. The Colorado native began mixing gospel, jazz and R&B into his playing from a very early age. The New York Times wrote that Leali is an exciting and soulful saxophonist. You won't want to miss these two at Revelers Hall on Wednesday. Jacob Vaughn

Larry June
7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at Gilley's Dallas, 1135 S. Lamar St., $25-$30 at eventbrite.com

In the world of hip-hop and rap, it has become difficult for artists to find ways to separate themselves from the pack when it pertains to their style and sound. But Larry June, a Bay Area rapper and producer, is rapidly rising to the top of the underground hip-hop scene because of his organic sound and casual style. You can find lyrics about cars and women in almost every rap song, but Larry’s verses regularly sit on top of soulful R&B samples from the '80s and just hit the ears differently. He is a must-see act for anybody looking to break free from the expected rap music that seems to follow us year after year. Larry released his first project, #GoodJobLarry under Warner Bros. in 2015, and was featured on Post Malone’s August 26th, that was released the following year. Since his record with Posty, he has gladly played the underground scene and continues to build an organic and faithful following similar to the blueprint set by Jet Life founder Curren$y. He later released a project under Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang, and although Larry’s music sounds nothing like Wiz’s, they both make great music for someone who enjoys smoking weed. In 2019, he released Out The Trunk, his best collection of music thus far, and you can expect him to perform quite a bit of it at Gilley’s this Friday. Malen Blackmon

Brave Combo
7 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $24-$33 at granadatheater.com

In a 2008 Paste magazine piece naming Denton, Texas, as “Best Music Scene,” Brave Combo was mentioned as the “Grand Pooh-Bah of Denton bands” — after all, how many other Denton-based groups were animated and featured playing on The Simpsons, or picked to play David Byrne’s wedding? Tonight offers fans a chance to celebrate 40 years with two-time Grammy-winning Brave Combo’s brand of polka and other dance-able styles of world music as the group’s genre-spanning, celebratory set is likely to include a mix of polka, rock, zydeco, ska, salsa, conjunto, cumbia, merengue, norteño and other styles. Formed near the end of the spring 1979 semester by a handful of North Texas State University (now UNT) students, after gigging hard all summer and seeing growing support from fans in North Texas, Carl Finch, Tim Walsh, Dave Cameron and Lyle Atkinson decided to turn Brave Combo into a full-time endeavor, and by August the band started recording their first studio album, a seven-track, double-7-inch EP, Polkamania. In September ’79, Brave Combo played in front of a true polka crowd for the first time at Westfest, the annual Czech music, arts and food event in West, Texas, which helped solidify a substantial regional cult-like following for the group. Daniel Rodrigue

Revelers Hall Band
2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 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

Bioluminescence
8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at Industry Alley Bar, 1711 S. Lamar St., free

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It seems that more and more local venues have been organizing curated nights of music loosely set around a central theme, and Dallas Ambient Music Nights’ Bioluminescence is both one of the latest to get started and also possibly your new favorite. The monthly showcase will feature an evening of experimental electronic music from DAMN founder DJ Akkad the Orphic Priest, aka Cody McPhail, and video art projected onto a wide variety of surfaces. In case this curated night doesn’t stand the test of time, it’d be wise to strike while the iron is hot and check out Dallas’ latest and greatest music showcase in its earliest days. That way you un-ironically scoff when the normies discover it and know you were there at the beginning. Nicholas Bostick

LockJohnson's Showcase
7 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at Louie Louie's Piano Bar, 2605 Elm St., $15 at door

Every Sunday night, acts like Shaun Martin, Cure for Paranoia and many others hop onstage for an artist showcase that has rocked Louie Louie's Piano Bar for the last two years. Even Alessia Cara joined in this year. Presented by local musician and promoter Gino “LockJohnson” Iglehart, the LockJohnson's Playground showcase has become a staple for many North Texans' Deep Ellum music experience. If you haven't already, stroll into Louie Louie's on a Sunday night. You'll like what you hear. Jacob Vaughn

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