The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Brave Combo, E.B. the Younger and More

Robin Thicke is coming to Dallas to keep making money for the Marvin Gaye estate.
Robin Thicke is coming to Dallas to keep making money for the Marvin Gaye estate.
Rachel Parker
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Nine out of 10 of this week's best concert picks take place over the weekend, so there's really no excuse not to check out at least one. Catch local polka kings Brave Combo on Friday night at Andy's Bar as they celebrate 40 years of playing together, or E.B. the Younger with Jacob Metcalf at Texas Theatre during the Oak Cliff Film Festival, Jimmy Buffett at Dos Equis Pavilion on Saturday or electronic synth duo Night Drive at Deep Ellum Art Company, plus more.

with Helms Alee, 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.

Sculpting a seemingly timeless vacuum between noise, metal and classical minimalism, Earth’s music is nothing if not brutally austere. This is metal ruthlessly denuded. With all the superfluous components deleted, all the ornate plumage slashed and burned, rock is given a new form, a sound-for-sound's sake gauntlet that’s equally worthy of the avant-garde concert hall as the harshest noise venue. What you’re left with is bleak, bewildering and oddly gorgeous, a stark landscape of just texture and riffs — riffs that are alarmingly large, mercilessly slow and inhumanely heavy. After birthing the drone metal genre in the early ‘90s, Earth has since explored more melodic and bluesy territory, shifting from the extraterrestrial environs of their early days to somewhere closer in our orbit. With their first record in four years having just dropped, an album bandleader Dylan Carlson has described, surprisingly, as “sexy,” there’s no telling what to expect from this performance, save for something imbued with otherworldly beauty. Jonathan Patrick

Brave Combo
8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Andy's Bar, 122 N. Locust St., $10

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 of ’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

Cure For Paranoia
10 p.m. Friday, June 7, at The Free Man, 2626 Commerce St., $10

The award-winning Deep Ellum hip-hop soul band Cure for Paranoia has helped take the historic neighborhood worldwide. The group, made up of Tomahawk Jones, Jay Analogue, Stanley Francisko and Cameron McCloud, left their hometown seeking shelter from a rumored deadly scourge that would destroy the planet. The end of the world didn’t happen, but the birth of their band did. Since then, the group has taken home several Dallas Observer Music Awards and played at three of Erykah Badu’s Birthday Bashes. Their aggressive funk fusion will bounce off the walls of The Free Man, along with more solid sounds from Chilldren of Indigo and Electrik Ants. Jacob Vaughn

Robin Thicke
with Summer Walker, 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Annette Strauss Square, 2304 Flora St., $39.75 and up

If anyone knows the formula for a successful pop song, it's Robin Thicke. The 42-year-old has penned many songs made popular by Christina Aguilera, Mýa and Michael Jackson, to name a few. But these days, Thicke's own voice, alongside his songwriting, tops the charts. He hasn't released a new album since 2014, but you can expect to hear some of his hits firsthand at Annette Strauss Square on Friday night. Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Summer Walker opens the show. Diamond Rodrigue

E.B. The Younger
with Jacob Metcalf, 11 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., free

Eric Pulido's new solo project, E.B. the Younger, has made waves in the indie rock community. The Denton-based member of Midlake released his solo debut album, To Each His Own, back in March. You can hear tracks off the album as Texas Theatre hosts its famous "behind-the-screen" performances this week as part of the Oak Cliff Film Festival. Catch E.B. the Younger on Friday night after a screening of Strange Negotiations. Dallas-based singer-songwriter Jacob Metcalf opens. DR

Prophets and Outlaws
8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., $20-$34

Prophets and Outlaws is a Texas band that properly demonstrates its diverse musical roots. They reference country music, not as flip-flop-wearing, beer-swigging banker bros, but instead as gritty songsmiths with a penchant for sharp and detailed storytelling. They incorporate elements of the blues, but do so in subtly harmonious ways, shying away from long, drawn-out guitar solos and smirk-filled covers. And, they can flat-out jam with the best of any of the recent neo-soul revivalists out there touring today, with their tight five-part harmonies and urgent swagger providing hooks catchy enough to get listeners out of their seats and up on the dance floor. In short, their music is fun and exciting, vibrant and enriching, with memorable songs comprising the bulk of their often raucous live performances. Jeff Strowe

Jimmy Buffett
and the Coral Reefer Band, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave.

Tailgating Parrotheads can rejoice, as Jimmy Buffett makes his return to Dallas proper for only the second time since 2006's Party at the End of the World Tour. The burger-loving margarita enthusiast has played Toyota Stadium in Frisco for the majority of the past decade but this year returns to Fair Park’s amphitheater of ever-changing names, the Dos Equis Pavilion. The change may have disappointed some but as a firsthand witness to the carnage left in the wake of Buffett’s 2006 show, also at Dos Equis Pavilion, it’s fair to say those in attendance won’t notice the difference by the end of the night. For those unaware, these shows attract droves of party people both modern and from decades past, all looking to engage in the same beach-bum lifestyle that Buffett’s brand embodies and makes Sammy Hagar eat his heart out every morning. They’ll start the party in the parking lot and litter the venue with coconut bikini tops, inflatable rafts and ironic salt shakers. People just can’t help getting excited when a real star takes the stage. Nicholas Bostick

Juice WRLD
with Ski Mask The Slump God, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., starting at $55 at ticketfly.com

Pop, punk, Chief Keef fandom and — yes — emo are the pillars that prop up Juice WRLD’s emotionally damaged, heart-on-your-sleeve raps. His lyrics are full of poignant if simple ruminations on love like “can’t take back the love that I gave you” and “you gave me a heart that was full of mistakes.” Given their universal appeal and naked honesty, it’s a shame these lines are often buffered by dumb bars like “all girls are the same” and “I cannot change you, so I must replace you.” This push and pull between earned wisdom and proud ignorance fuel nearly every track in Juice WRLD’s discography, an arc populated by blunt brokenheartedness, self-medicated drug use and an impossibly seductive delivery that’ll have you repeating your least favorite one-liners for weeks. Taken in pieces, Juice WRLD’s art might scan as banal and boorish, but when it’s pumping through a set of headphones, it’s hard not to empathize with the rapper’s enchanting candor, hard to deny there’s not something special going on here. The gnarly — and just plain fun — Ski Mask The Slump God joins for added effect. Jonathan Patrick

Betty Who
with Loote, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., $26-$99

Jessica Anne Newham might not have realized it at the time, but at age 16 she created her now stage name — Betty Who — from a song she wrote (it does roll off the tongue pleasantly). The Australian pop star is a classically trained cellist since age 4 and self-taught pianist and guitarist. Her three studio albums, the latest being February's Betty, have jump-started a career that is still blossoming. Catch her Saturday night at Canton Hall with pop duo Loote opening. DR

Night Drive
7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at Deep Ellum Art Company, 3200 Commerce St., $13-$20

If you haven't noticed '80s electronic synth music making a comeback recently, you're not paying attention. With television shows like Stranger Things and the resurgence of instant film photography, it seems us pesky millennials are well on our way at grasping a simpler, albeit neon-coated, time. Musically speaking, electronic synth duo Night Drive are on par with this movement. They describe themselves as "modern synth-pop that explores the darker currents of abstract emotion," and find their inspiration through sci-fi cinematic landscapes. Catch them Saturday night as part of Deep Ellum Art Company's Flowmoon series. DR

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