As the year begins its slow descent into the holiday season, it's another week of smaller shows in North Texas, another chance to walk a bit outside of your comfort zone and get to know your local music community a little better. The concert week kicks off with a show that embodies all three when post-punk band Preoccupations plays the Limbo Room at Ruins with local support from Sub-Sahara. On Friday there's a nice mix of local and national acts at Oak Cliff, Victory Park and Deep Ellum with performances by folk singer Amanda Shires, local alternative heroes the Toadies and wild brass punk from The Wee-Beasties. On Saturday, the father-son lineup of James and Curtis McMurtry take to The Kessler stage, while friends deadmau5 and NERO light up Las Colinas. A metal show in Denton is sure to cure your case of the Mondays, and the week closes out with The 1975 in Grand Prairie and Trombone Shorty in Fort Worth. This is a good week for live music, and it's a great week if you know what's good. Preoccupations 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, Ruins, 2653 Commerce St. $20 at prekindle.com
Formed in 2012 under the name Viet Cong, Canadian post-punk band Preoccupations has maintained a consistent lineup of talent these last 10 years, releasing four albums on American indie label Jagjaguwar to a steady stream of positive reviews. Unlike many bands labeled as post-punk, Preoccupations draws as much inspiration from the champions of the genre — Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure — as they do from lo-fi and noise rock, producing a sound that is emotional and dissonant. The band's latest album, Arrangements, was recorded remotely over the course of the pandemic and released this September. A true record of its historical moment, the album is filled with paranoia and deep distrust of humanity handled with an intense calm that feels like it's just short of breaking. Preoccupations is on tour with Toronto indie-rocker Cindy Lee and will receive local support from dance-punk band Sub-Sahara. Amanda Shires 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. $22 at prekindle.com
Country singer Amanda Shires spent her youth between Lubbock and Mineral Wells, but she is always excited to return to Dallas, where she played her first live performance as a solo artist. It was June 28, 2007, when Shires was scheduled to play Sons of Hermann Hall with Todd Snider, who didn't show up because his house had been burglarized. The audience that night was then treated to the six songs Shires had prepared, and she just played them over again when the time came to fill Snider's spot. In those days, Shires was also a frequent guest at AllGood Café in Deep Ellum, where she was able to develop her chops thanks to owner Mike Snider. Shires released her seventh album, Take It Like a Man, last summer after a stint with country supergroup The Highwomen alongside Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Arlington's own Maren Morris. Neo-cosmic cowboy Honey Harper opens the show. Toadies 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. $63 at livenation.com
Returning to North Texas after a month-and-a-half-long run across the country celebrating the 27th anniversary of its iconic album Rubberneck — a tour that has seen sell-out dates in Denver, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Boston and Philadelphia — Toadies are looking forward to its first-ever show at the House of Blues in Dallas with Doosu as well as a rare performance from Mike Graff with Mike Daane and Duncan Black from Course of Empire, Ugly Mus-tard, Andy Timmons and Moustrap. The homecoming is a chance to reconnect with the fans who helped launch the band into stardom, and it's for a good cause. An auction is planned to benefit Course of Empire’s former drummer Chad Lovell, who was also the longtime sound engineer at Curtain Club in Deep Ellum. Lovell has been hospitalized since a 2019 accident, and all auction proceeds will go to his family. The Wee-Beasties 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St. $12 at prekindle.com
Recently recognized as one of KXT's local bands of the day, The Wee-Beasties top a four-band lineup Friday night in Deep Ellum after sets by Samus David Jr., Ten Bulls and Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. Over the summer, the band released its epic new album Party With Us!, working with producer Robert Hokamp of Brave Combo. For an 11-piece, symphonic brass punk collective that has built its reputation on some of the most insane live performances, Party With Us! is a pristine collection of music that perfectly showcases the true musical talent behind the spectacle. There are hardcore songs, ska songs, mid-tempo Southern punk epics, reggae mysteries — it's an album that's as fun to listen to as the band is to see live, mainly because the album was made with its cult-like fanbase clearly in mind. The performance space at Double Wide is the perfect place for you to get up close and personal with the band and become a part of the spectacle. James and Curtis McMurtry 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. $28+ at prekindle.com
James McMurty has been a welcome sardonic voice in country music for more than 30 years with songs such as "Levelland" and "We Can't Make It Here" standing as time-tested anthems of dissatisfaction with country life — told with wit, wisdom and wry humor. McMurtry's songwriting has always drawn near-universal acclaim for his three-dimensional characters and thoroughly engaging and often crass storytelling. He writes lyrics that reward those who listen closely for the punchline, which shouldn't be difficult with the singer's crisp (albeit misanthropic) delivery. That's not to say that McMurtry is a misanthrope per se, but it's clear that certain people really draw the singer's ire. McMurtry's son Curtis is on the bill this weekend at The Kessler. It is unclear at this point whether this will be a traditional show or if it will be more in the song-swap style, but it will certainly be a family affair. deadmau5 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving. $39.50+ at livenation.com
Canadian DJ, electronic music producer and guy who wears a big mouse helmet, deadmau5, seemed like an overnight sensation when EDM ruled the late 2000s and early 2010s. The performer's ubiquitous light-up screen face and ears that waved to the beat seemed to be everywhere. In reality, deadmau5 had been working on his signature style since 1998, building his reputation as a producer and tinkering around with electro-house music in his spare time. Even after deadmau5 released his first few albums, it took a while for him to get noticed. The new music trend of the time certainly helped, but it was his collaborations, like the one with Kaskade on "Move for Me," as part of the duo Kx5, that made audiences pay attention. By the time the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards came around, deadmau5 was the natural choice to be the house DJ. He is currently on tour with British electronic music trio NERO. Supersuckers 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, Three Links, 2704 Elm St. $15 at seetickets.us
Arizona cowpunk band Supersuckers have been at it for three and a half decades now under the leadership of vocalist and bass player Eddie Spaghetti. Aside from Spaghetti, the band has never been able to hang on to other members for too long, developing over time from a punk band to a no-frills rock band. What has made Supersuckers endure since 1988 is a consistency in delivering songs that are fun to listen to and to sing along with. While the band has never had a radio hit or an album fly up the charts, Supersuckers know how to keep an audience entertained. In 2020, the band released its 11th album, Play That Rock 'n' Roll, which is the kind of straight-faced call to action you'd expect from them after all these years. Nashville-based cowpunk duo Volk and Dallas' own cowpunkers, Ottoman Turks, are scheduled to warm up the crowd in Deep Ellum on Sunday night. Napalm Death 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., Denton. $25 at prekindle.com
What better cure for a case of the Mondays can there be than a concert by grindcore pioneers Napalm Death? The concert also includes L.A. extreme metal band Brujeria. This is not the kind of show you can sleep on. After 40 years and 16 albums, Napalm Death has not slowed down one bit since its salad days, blasting a noise-filled sound of down-tuned guitars, grinding bass, blast beats and maniacal growls or shrieks. With an eight-person lineup, Brujeria has been creating some of the most wicked Latin-inspired death and groove metal since the late '80s.The band has been working on new material since its 2020 release, COVID-666, but has yet to provide further details. The show will also see sets by Austin's iconic anarcho-punk band Millions of Dead Cops and Dallas' heroic death metal band Frozen Soul. The 1975 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, Texas Trust CU Theatre, 1001 Texas Trust Way, Grand Prairie. $66+ at ticketmaster.com
English rock outfit The 1975 returns to Grand Prairie this weekend, this time "At Their Very Best," as the tour is called. The last time The 1975 was in town, they played the same venue (simply called The Theatre at the time) and gave a thrillingly versatile performance for a Wednesday night appearance at ALT 103.7's ALTerium. It was the last show in support of the band’s 2018 album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Though they may be classified as a pop rock band, The 1975 goes beyond mere genre labels to incorporate a lot of elements from electronic and dance music. Unable to tour North America for its 2020 release, Notes on a Conditional Form, The 1975 come now in support of its October release Being Funny in a Foreign Language. With two albums to support, not to mention a 20-year back catalog, The 1975 is sure to live up to the tour's title. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, Tannahill's Tavern and Music Hall, 122 E. Exchange Ave., No. 200, Fort Worth. $67+ at ticketmaster.com
On Wednesday night, KXT 91.7 brings the sounds of New Orleans to the Fort Worth Stockyards with a headlining performance from Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Mentored by jazz greats like Wynton Marsalis, New Orleans native Troy Andrews has been leading bands since he was teenager, releasing his first independent album Trombone Shorty's Swingin' Gate in 2002 at the age of 16. Andrews has also played in the horn sections of many famous acts like Lenny Kravitz, U2 and Green Day. Trombone Shorty released his 12th album as a band leader this past April, which is his second on the famed jazz label Blue Note Records. The opening track to Lifted, "Come Back," has been receiving heavy radio play at KXT in anticipation of the show, and with a sound so engaging, who can blame the station? Soul and gospel blues singer-songwriter Devon Gilfillian will be there to kick off the proceedings.
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David Fletcher writes about music, arts and culture for the Dallas Observer. You can usually find him at a show in Deep Ellum whether he's writing about it or not. A punk scholar and local music enthusiast, David focuses his attention on the artists screaming in the margins of Dallas' music scene.