Nothing beats live music when the weather is nice, and this Valentine's Day weekend is looking just right for you and that special someone with whom to share a couple seats (or, more than likely, share a really small space standing next to each other) at one of these incredible shows. Thursday night brings transcendence as Hiss Golden Messenger takes the stage in Fort Worth and maximum rhythm & blues when The 40 Acre Mule play a show in Deep Ellum. Friday, it's time to get experimental with electronic artist Caribou in Dallas and Jad Fair in Denton. Also Friday night, Dallas favorite The Vandoliers play an intimate show in Fort Worth. Saturday brings with it a touch of nostalgia when Reverend Horton heat plays Fort Worth and Everclear brings along two other late-'90s titans to The Statler. Feb. 14, Kacey Musgraves makes a homecoming to Dallas, and for those who are sick of the Valentine's Day crap, Cattle Decapitation plays the night after. Your concert week closes with Tyler, The Creator returning to Dallas after last year's secret show. It's time to get live and get lucky, North Texas. Hiss Golden Messenger 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $20+ at prekindle.com
2021 Grammy nominee Hiss Golden Messenger, performs Thursday night at Tulips in support of his most recent album Quietly Blowing It. Featured in many year-end, best-of lists, it was only one of three albums the band released last year along with a holiday album and its dub remix companion. The band's live shows have come to be known as communal experiences for people drawn to emotive expression and deep lyrics. With Quietly Blowing It, singer M.C. Taylor wanted to shine a light on the deepest human emotions, composing the album in his 8' x 10' home studio. Supporting efforts in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina, $1 from every ticket will go directly to the Durham Public Schools Foundation. Appalachian singer-songwriter Alexa Rose opens the show. The 40 Acre Mule 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15 at seetickets.us
With a sound that blends vintage rock 'n' roll and R&B, The 40 Acre Mule built its reputation with a truly entertaining live show. A little bit rowdy, a little bit raunchy and always rocking the night away, The 40 Acre Mule is sure to get the crowd moving to the boogie-woogie beat Thursday night at Three Links. The band's big break came in 2016 while opening up the sold-out Elm Street Tattoo & Music Festival at the old Bomb Factory, and ever since, it's only played bigger and better shows. Frontman J. Isaiah Evans is an entertainer and a storyteller who plays all the way to the back of the audience, making sure everyone has a good time. Coming along for the ride that night, Dallas swamp boogie band Bull By The Horn continues its streak of killer opening spots, becoming known for its live shows without the need of an album, EP or single. This week, From Parts Unknown was also added to the lineup, adding just a touch of punk to the mix. Caribou 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $26 at prekindle.com
Dr. Daniel Snaith, aka Caribou, received a PhD in mathematics from Imperial College London with his thesis, Overconvergent Siegel Modular Symbols. That may not necessarily explain why the electronic artist has such rich textures to his intelligent dance music, but it certainly speaks a lot to Caribou's thought process. Snaith originally released music under the name Manitoba before being threatened with a lawsuit by Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba of punk band The Dictators. Since then, Snaith has released music under the name Caribou and Daphni — the latter being a moniker Snaith uses to release more dance-oriented music. The musician's latest album Suddenly came out in 2020 to the excitement of music critics, making its way onto several high-profile best-of lists. Colombian electronic artist Ela Minus opens the show Friday night at the Granada. Jad Fair 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at Rubber Gloves, 411 E. Sycamore St., $10 at the door
Jad Fair is nothing if not prolific. The volume of material the experimental rock god has produced between the legendary art-punk band Half Japanese, his solo work and his collaborations with Daniel Johnston, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub and countless others is staggering if not overwhelming. Fair and his brother David founded Half Japanese in 1975 playing a small drum set and an out-of-tune guitar with all the passion that only outsider artists bring to the music. That band alone has released about 20 albums since 1980 — the most recent being 2020's Crazy Hearts, which The New Yorker described as "rock backdrops, and keyboard drones allud[ing] to twin American pleasures — the Velvet Underground and ballparks." Fair will be joined by Austin musicians Brian Birzer and Cheryl Tepper for this solo gig with opening sets by polka band Brave Combo and punk band Homewrecker & The Bedwetters. The Vandoliers 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at The Post at River East, 2925 Race St., $20+ at eventbrite.com
Alternative country in the purest sense of the term, Vandoliers was founded in 2015 after vocalist Joshua Fleming's fellow members in punk band The Phuss went their separate ways. Since then, Vandoliers have brought that punk rock ethos to the sounds of outlaw country from the '60s and '70s. Out of commission for most of 2020, no thanks to the pandemic, Vandoliers came roaring back in February with the release of their latest singles "Every Saturday Night" and "Waiting on a Train." Throughout the year, The Vandoliers have been getting their touring muscles back in shape, playing little shows at home and around the country. The band is now preparing to set out on the road with Celtic punk band Flogging Molly this spring. The band plays n intimate performance Friday night at The Post at River East with opener Summer Dean. Reverend Horton Heat 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., $22 at prekindle.com
As far as Dallas music staples go, it really doesn't get much bigger than Reverend Horton Heat. Since 1986, the man, the band and the legend has represented North Texas with pride while recording for prominent indie labels like Sub Pop and Victory Records, finding a way onto the Billboard charts with every release since 1994. The principal members, guitarist Jim Heath and upright bass player Jimbo Wallace, have played together since 1989, keeping the Reverend Horton Heat name going with every new drummer. In 2021, however, the two teamed up with Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats for a side project called The Jimbos. This Saturday, the band with 35 solid years of North Texas music history takes the stage in Fort Worth for a night of psychobilly stomping at Tulips. Dallas noise rock band Thyroids opens the show. Everclear 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at The Statler Ballroom, 1914 Commerce St., $39 at eventbrite.com
Bringing back 1998 hard, The Statler Ballroom presents the adult contemporary nostalgia tour of the year with Everclear, Sister Hazel and Vertical Horizon. You're probably more familiar with Everclear than the other two, but If you were alive and aware of music at all in the late '90s, you would have definitely found yourself singing the songs of one-hit wonders Sister Hazel and Vertical Horizon. If you don't remember, let us ruin your day by reintroducing you to the earworms you'll be singing to yourself for the rest of the day. Sister Hazel's "All For You" came out in January 1997 with a light, Southern voice and singalong chorus "It's hard to say what it is I see in you/ Wonder if I'll always be with you/ Words can't say/ And I can't do/ Enough to prove/ It's all for you." You're singing it now, aren't you? Well, get ready for Vertical Horizon's "Everything You Want," as in "He's everything you want/ He's everything you need/ He's everything inside of you/ That you wish you could be ..." We don't even need to finish, do we? Kacey Musgraves 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $79+ at ticketmaster.com
Coming this Valentine's Day to the American Airlines Center, Kacey Musgraves performs in the city closest to her hometown of Mineola on her 15-city, star-crossed: unveiled tour. It's hard to imagine that the woman who's meteoric rise to prominence in the country and pop worlds since the release of Same Trailer, Different Park in 2013 once came in seventh on Season 5 of Nashville Star, backin 2007. Following the path set by Taylor Swift and Shania Twain before her, Musgraves has made a seamless move from country to pop with the release of her universally-acclaimed album star-crossed and its lead single "Justified" in 2021. While the album is in many ways more country than its predecessor Golden Hour, the use of musical elements from disco, dance, and R&B gave it an undeniable pop quality that made the album "not sufficiently country" for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. Musgraves' music really does transcend genre labels. Cattle Decapitation 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., $20+ at seetickets.us
Deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation was formed in San Diego in 1996 with a mission to crank out haunting and momentous metal songs about animal rights and the human impact on the environment. The band's singer, Travis Ryan, has been praised for his incredible vocal range, moving between guttural growls and high-pitched shrieks seamlessly and with the rawest of emotion. In 2019, Cattle Decapitation recorded its magnum opus with Death Atlas. The album was praised by fans and critics alike, hailing it as the band's strongest to date and placing it on many "Best Metal Albums" lists for the year. The band pulls into Amplified Live Tuesday night with a wicked post-Valentine's Day lineup that includes Pennsylvania deathcore band Last Ten Seconds of Life, New York metal band Extinction AD and Dallas' own death metal band Creeping Death. Tyler, The Creator 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $39+ at ticketmaster.com
Last summer, Tyler, The Creator surprised his Dallas superfans with an incredible secret show at the legendary Deep Ellum venue Trees. The rapper had just released the critically-acclaimed album Call Me If You Get Lost and was rehearsing the new material in front of a live audience. Dallas was the middle show in a short secret show list that also included Los Angeles and Brooklyn (which really speaks to our fair city's importance in the music market, by the way). Wednesday night, Tyler, The Creator invites all of Dallas to see what it helped launch last year with an epic performance at the American Airlines Center. Neo-soul singer Kali Uchie, rapper Vince Staples and Beaumont, Texas' own "rap weirdo" Teezo Touchdown will be performing with Tyler, The Creator for the near-sold-out show. The rapper has had a long history of performing incredible shows in Grand Prairie and Deep Ellum, and Victory Park is sure to be added to that list.
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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.