Catch Robert Earl Keen's Road to Christmas tour on Dec. 15 at the House of Blues.Kerry Langford
Don we now our gay apparel, for Christmas concerts have started across North Texas. This week's list features three holiday shows from around the music world. Saturday night, music fans looking for some Christmas cheer have the option of seeing the Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward duo She & Him at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium or heading to Growl Records in Arlington to check out the local lineup brought to you by the Local Obscene podcast. The Christmas cheer continues Wednesday night when Texas music legend Robert Earl Keen's Road to Christmas tour stops at House of Blues in Dallas. We've got Christmas curmudgeons covered, too, with some Ukrainian metalcore, New York beatdown hardcore and a lineup of legends from the earliest days of punk rock. And if you're somewhere in the middle, there is plenty of radio-friendly fun to be had as well. JINJER 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $52+ at livenation.com
Ukrainian metalcore band JINJER is a band with two origin stories. First formed in 2009, none of the band's original members who recorded on JINJER's first EP that year remain in the band today. Instead, the current lineup considers the band's formation as starting in 2010 when vocalist Tati Shmailyuk replaced the original singer and when guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov joined as the band's second guitarist. Though they've had something of a revolving door in terms of members, JINJER's 2018 tour opening for Cradle of Filth solidified its lineup and its place at the metalcore table. The band's 2019 release following the tour Macro was met with much acclaim from the metal community and was recognized by Loudwire as one of the 50 best metal albums of the year. JINJER's fourth album Wallflowers was released in August 2021 and earned praised for its avant-garde approach to progressive metal. Suicide Silence and Toothgrinder open the show at House of Blues Thursday night. Lindsey Buckingham 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., $39.95+ at ticketmaster.com
It's been a rough few years for Lindsey Buckingham. The guitarist and a vocalist for Fleetwood Mac since 1975 was fired from the band in 2018 following a disagreement about their setlist on that year's tour. Buckingham had apparently wanted to include more of their newer and lesser-known songs, but that discussion hit a brick wall and Buckingham was let go. He then set to work on a batch of new songs released this past June as his seventh solo album, Lindsey Buckingham. Shortly before the album was released, Buckingham's wife of over 20 years, Kristen Messner, filed for divorce. In September, it was reported that the couple was working on their issues as Buckingham completed the first leg of the tour supporting the new album. The second leg of that tour kicked off Dec. 2 in Los Angeles and makes its way to Dallas' Majestic Theatre Thursday night. Madball 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $16 at seetickets.us
Founded in 1988 when singer Freddy Cricien was only 12 years old, Madball began as a side project for three members of the New York hardcore band Agnostic Front. The lineup included Agnostic Front's singer and Cricien's half-brother Roger Miret who played bass for Madball. The band would release two EPs and undergo several lineup changes before signing with Roadrunner Records in 1994 and releasing its first full-length album Set it Off. Madball is known for playing a style of hardcore known as "beatdown hardcore" which incorporates the riffs and breakdowns of heavy metal into traditional hardcore punk. Madball has also always been about standing up for what's right, a sentiment made explicit in their most recent release, 2018's For The Cause. The album features collaborations with rapper and Body Count vocalist Ice-T and Rancid singer Tim Armstrong. Death Before Dishonor, true intentions and Ballista open the show Friday night at Club Dada. Milky Chance 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $37+ at livenation.com
German electronic rock duo Milky Chance has been around since 2013, releasing a steady mix of radio-friendly songs with a lot of pop sensibility. Though Milky Chance made its television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2014, the band's real breakthrough came at the end of 2016 when the song "Cocoon," with its chorus about staying inside away from the "darkened afternoon," became an inescapable winter hit. The band has since gone on global headlining tours and crept up to the larger-font-band-name spot on festival lineup announcements. Over the course of the pandemic, Milky Chance released an EP of home recordings as well as a single with Jack Johnson with "Don't Let Me Down," which was just as inescapable last summer as "Cocoon" was two winters prior. Milky Chance's new release Trip Tape is a collection of cover songs in addition to their latest, ear-worm single "Colorado." Giant Rooks and The Ivy open for Milky Chance Friday at House of Blues. Dawes 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane, $32.50+ at axs.com
Los Angeles band Dawes has spent the last decade or so moving seamlessly from folk-rock to indie-folk to indie-pop and back again without giving fans too much whiplash. Fronted by brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Dawes has released seven albums since its emergence in 2009. Initially influenced by 1970s folk-rock from Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash, Dawes' sound underwent a marked change in 2016 when the band released We're All Gonna Die, adding synthesized keyboards and a heavier bass. Country-roots producer David Cobb worked with Dawes on its latest release Good Luck With Whatever and lead single "Who Do You Think You're Talking To?" With its 1980s, heartland rock vibe, the album is somewhat of a return to form for the band. Singer-songwriter Erin Rea opens for Dawes Friday night at the McFarlin Auditorium. Local Obscene Holiday Special 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Growl Records, 509 E. Abram St., $10 at the door
If you're looking for a holiday celebration that gets local and gets weird, look no further than the Local Obscene podcast's holiday show this Saturday at Growl Records in Arlington. Hosted by Chief Swiftwater singer and guitarist Houston Ellsworth, Local Obscene reports on North Texas' underground music scene, interviewing bands or providing live coverage of house shows and other small venue events. After four seasons of local music coverage, Local Obscene brings together five bands representing some of the best and brightest talent from the dark North Texas underworld — from Fort Worth rock band Bonnie Drive and Goth-rock band Lockjaw, psych-rock band Sly Fungi from Arlington, Dallas hardcore punk band Phorids and finally, the psychedelic progressive metal deconstruction of Ellsworth's own Chief Swiftwater. Music begins promptly at 7 p.m., and there is talk of an appearance by Santa. She & Him 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Ln., $49.95+ at ticketmaster.com
When guitarist M. Ward heard Zooey Deschanel sing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" in the holiday classic Elf, he couldn't believe that she hadn't pursued a career in music. The pair began trading emails and developing songs that they would take into the studio between 2006 and 2007 for their first release as She & Him, Volume One. Three volumes, two Christmas albums and a covers album later, She & Him keep the Christmas spirit that brought them together going on their Christmas Party tour, which makes a stop at the McFarlin Auditorium Saturday evening. This will be the third time the duo has done a Christmas tour, and if their past two are any indication, attendees can expect to hear covers of holiday classics made popular by Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Mariah Carey with a few originals sprinkled in. Suicidal Tendencies 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Amplified Live, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., $30+ at seetickets.us
Suicidal Tendencies will be playing its first and only U.S. show this year at Amplified Live Saturday night. As though the legendary punk band from Venice Beach wasn't enough of a draw, Suicidal Tendencies will be joined by a full list of legendary supporting acts: horror punk band T.S.O.L. from Long Beach, hardcore punk band D.O.A. from Vancouver and NYC anarcho-punk band Reagan Youth. Each of these bands has its origins in the earliest days of punk rock, managed to stay with it and is relevant after all these years, continuing to tour and release music for their most diehard fans despite hiatuses, lineup changes, financial struggles and everything else that threatens to undo any band. Seeing all of these bands together is sure to be a fun trip down memory lane for old-school punks and new-school punks who respect the genre's roots across North America. Jeff Rosenstock 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Trees, 2707 Elm St., $20 at axs.com
From 1995 until about 2012, singer Jeff Rosenstock played in several punk, ska and hardcore bands without seeing a whole lot of success. After the collapse of New York's Bomb the Music Industry! punk collective, Rosenstock started up his Quote Unquote Records label and set off on a solo career that has put the singer's songwriting prowess front and center. Comical, confessional and always creative, Rosenstock writes poetic and prophetic songs that are punk rock in spirit and power pop in their delivery. There is an urgency to Rosenstock's music that comes with the songwriter's revealing takes on politics and culture that are as personal as they are universal. Touring in support of his latest album No Dream (and its ska remix version Ska Dream), Rosenstock will have Philadelphia folk-rock band Slaughter Beach, Dog and New York multi-instrumentalist Oceanator open his show Sunday night at Trees. Robert Earl Keen 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, at House of Blues, 2200 S. Lamar St., $45+ at livenation.com
You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why: Texas' favorite portly, bearded singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen is coming to town on his Road to Christmas tour Wednesday night at Dallas' House of Blues. In 1994, Keen released what would become a holiday country classic, "Merry Christmas from the Family," on his late-summer release Gringo Honeymoon. The song became such a classic that, as Keen has told audiences in between stage banter, he began including it in his non-holiday setlists after hearing from so many fans that they came out just to hear that song. Keen has since limited playing the song until at least after Labor Day. What is not as well-known is that the song actually has a sequel. "Happy Holidays Y'all," released on his sixth album Walking Distance, checks back in on the family, finding them cleaning and packing up after the Christmas party from the classic song. You're likely to hear both songs Wednesday night at the House of Blues.
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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.