Recently, NASA announced it is looking for a planetary protection officer — someone tasked with protecting the planet from potential aliens, all to the tune of a six-figure salary. It sounds like something straight out of Men In Black, but if you meet the space program's qualifications, you could hold one of two such full-time gigs in existence.
This week is the last for submitting applications, but on the off chance that yours doesn't impress NASA's big wigs, there's still plenty of music to get excited about.
The week kicks off with some great local recurring sets, followed by Sir Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper on Friday night at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, electropop darling Washed Out at The Bomb Factory on Saturday night and more.
The Funky Knuckles
10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8305 or sundowndfw.com, free
The Funky Knuckles have been together for more than six years. The fusion jazz band released an album called Meta-Musica in 2014 that climbed to No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz charts on the first day of its release. Together, the Knuckles are a force to be reckoned with. That’s because, individually, they’re all seasoned players who’ve worked with superstars like Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and the Polyphonic Spree. H. Drew Blackburn
Paul Slavens and Friends
10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, Dan's Silverleaf, 103 N. Industrial St., 940-320-2000 or danssilverleaf.com, free
Paul Slavens is a local legend. He was the frontman of the late '80s and early '90s outfit Ten Hands. He’s a renowned radio host at KXT 91.7 FM as well. He also does this kooky little thing at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton every Monday. He takes song title suggestions from people and makes up songs right there. It’s like a freestyle. Whatever you do, don’t be the dick who tries to make him rhyme orange. H. Drew Blackburn
Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions
10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149 or rbcdeepellum.com, free
We actually look forward to Mondays now, thanks to the work of Stefan Gonzalez. The lineup he curates on that day every week at RBC is one of the best places in the city to discover new music. Outward Bound Mixtape began a few years ago at Crown and Harp on Lower Greenville before it moved to Deep Ellum, but in its new home, it offers the same opportunity for local and touring acts to try out something new in front of an enthusiastic and open-minded crowd of regulars, whether that means a first show, brand new songs or a sound that defies genre labels. If you ask the act du jour in Dallas noise, punk, goth or free jazz where it played some of its first shows, you'll likely be told Outward Bound, so attend Mondays and stay ahead of the curve. Caroline North
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $29.50-$150
Lil Yachty burst onto the hip-hop scene in 2016, but he’s already become the face of a generation. If that seems like a lofty descriptor for a 19-year-old, you’ve got some catching up to do. Yachty makes positive, fantastical, bubble-gum trap music and is a fashion icon recognized by his braided and beaded, cherry-red hair. His retro fashion sense earned him placements in Kanye West’s Yeezy fashion show as well as a creative director role with Nautica. He also earned praise for the cover of his debut album, which featured teenagers of all kinds. The music has almost become secondary to his celebrity status, and he’s received criticism for his rapping skills, materialism and immature persona, but it’s all part of the show that is Lil Yachty, and his fans love him for it. Mikel Galicia
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5050 or axs.com, $89.50 and up
Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper are household names. Collectively they’ve spent nearly a century in the music industry, touring, writing and recording a slew of songs that have stuck with fans ever since. But unlike some shows that bring back icons of old to belt their hits as best they can, Lauper and Stewart have hardly lost an ounce of their characteristic styles and grace upon the stage. Even at 72, Stewart performs like he’s forever young, from his voluminous hair to his bedazzled jackets. Rod the Mod has kept his show fresh by performing a successful Las Vegas act for the last seven years. Performing with a full band and several costume changes, Stewart’s act begins strong before settling into a more tuned-down acoustic set later into the night. Lauper seems like she might be overshadowed by Stewart’s sheer production value, but she still hits all the songs you know by heart with relatively few tracks off her most recent country album, Detour. Nicholas Bostick
9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $29 to $49
Who hasn't been to a post-1998 wedding in which the couple danced to Edwin McCain? The saxophone-drenched ballad "I'll Be," in which McCain promises, in essence, never to be a douchebag, granted him the one commercial success he needed to live easy. He's since dropped off the mainstream music radar but continues to record albums on independent labels and perform in small venues. His fan base is glad of it, for the singer-songwriter's live and often acoustic performances are peppered with personal anecdotes and covers of his favorite songs, all of which work best in an intimate setting. Erika Hobart
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, sold out
Two years after his first single, "Classic Man," hit the airwaves, Atlanta-based hip-hop artist and record producer Jidenna finally released his first album, The Chief, earlier this year. Born in Wisconsin to a Nigerian father and an American mother, Jidenna spent the majority of his early years traveling throughout the U.S. and Africa, creating memories he considers his arsenal for making music. A Stanford University graduate, Jidenna offers a new spin on hip-hop with his songwriting, voice and trademark three-piece suits. Diamond Victoria
8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $28
Ernest Greene, aka Washed Out, is probably best known for providing the opening credit soundtrack to Portlandia, the beloved sketch comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. While the theme song illustrates what he does best — slinky and laconic bedroom pop pieces that have (for better or for worse) earned the moniker "chillwave” — it is just a piece of his catchy and creative catalog. Since 2009, the Georgia native has been a featured performer on most of the big festival stages, a curator of some interesting collectives, and a frequent favorite of film and TV music programmers. He's out on tour this summer supporting his latest album, Mister Mellow, and will headline Saturday night's Gorilla vs. Bear VI extravaganza at The Bomb Factory. Jessy Lanza, Jacques Greene and She-Devils round out the bill. Jeff Strowe
Garbage and Blondie
8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 800-745-3000 or livenation.com, $66 and up
Garbage and Blondie are on a joint headlining tour, and the South Side Ballroom is a perfect place to have them. It's big enough for two legendary bands to not step on each other's toes. Blondie is touring its acclaimed new LP, Pollinator (produced by Dallas' John Congleton), and Garbage is still promoting last year's Strange Little Birds. Both acts have played a handful of tunes from their new albums on this tour, but they both have plenty of hits in the mix, too. Blondie has weathered many lineup changes and breakups, yet it keeps coming back together with new-wave gems. Garbage remains a band with all of its original members, and its twisted electro-pop love songs have never lost their luster. Eric Grubbs
9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8305 or , free
Berklee alumnus Nigel Newton and Dallas native Brianne Sargent first met in 2011 during an impromptu show, which resulted in three original songs on the spot. They are now known as Skinny Cooks. With an impressive horn section backing them up and a penchant for mixing jazz, 20th-century classical, funk and psychedelic rock, the result is a sound that defies genre norms. Diamond Victoria
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.