As we bid adieu to the hottest month of the year, September already proves it's going to be better than August, and not just because it starts us off with a three-day weekend. There's plenty of great music to get excited about. Nineties alternative darlings Goo Goo Dolls play a relocated show Wednesday night at Starplex Pavilion, Sturgill Simpson plays Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie Friday night and the Melvins take over Trees Saturday.
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 they played some of their first shows, you'll likely be told Outward Bound, so attend Mondays and stay ahead of the curve. Caroline North
Goo Goo Dolls
with Phillip Phillips, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, Starplex Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., dallaspavilion.org, $29 and up
John Rzeznik and Robby Takac continue to have the luxury of playing large venues many years after their songs were in the Top 40. The Goo Goo Dolls have steadily put out new albums since "Iris," "Slide" and "Name" catapulted the band into massive popularity. They’ve tried to maintain the melodic sensibility of their early punk-tinged pop while also appealing to the Matchbox 20 crowd. Lately they've been playing a couple of tunes from their Superstar Car Wash album, but don't expect anything older than that. Eric Grubbs
She Wants Revenge with SuperSonic Lips, 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $21
California-based She Wants Revenge formed in 2004, and although the band has only released three full-length albums in its 13-year career, it continues to enjoy plenty of success within the alternative goth rock realm (they cite The Cure and Bauhaus as major influences). And you'd be forgiven for mistaking the band for Interpol, thanks to Justin Warfield's similar flat vocals. But SWR's music is far from monotonous, and has proven a perfect soundtrack to various films and TV shows over the years, including American Horror Story, The Number 23 and Fringe. Diamond Victoria
Sturgill Simpson 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 972-854-5050 or axs.com, $39.50-$59.50
You won't hear Sturgill Simpson on country radio or see him sporting a Stetson; he may have one foot planted in country traditionalism, but he’s also very weird. You can find him singing about hallucinogenic fever dreams and railing against corporate greed at the Ryman, however. He can also be seen commanding network television stages, as he did this past spring with a truly memorable SNL performance. Like Cash, Haggard or even Joe Strummer, Simpson is a rugged individualist. As the Country Music Association recently discovered firsthand, he won't hesitate to thumb his nose at the mainstream and speak up for himself and those whom he feels deserve more praise. With three great albums filled with compelling material and a year's worth of theater dates under his belt, he's doing just fine without the establishment’s support, anyway. Jeff Strowe
David Cook 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $22-$39
Houston-born David Cook, the seventh season winner of American Idol, shattered Miley Cyrus' record when he saw 11 of his songs debut on Billboard's Hot 100 in the same week. Nine years on, Cook's still riding the wave of Idol success and his latest album, 2015's Digital Vein, includes the singles "Laying Me Low" and "Wicked Game." DV
Diamond Rio 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 817-624-7117 or billybobstexas.com, $14/$25
Since 1989, Diamond Rio has consisted of the same six members, allowing its sound and style to remain consistent for the past 28 years. The band's 1991 single, "Meet in the Middle," was the very first to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Diamond Rio also recorded a string of Christian contemporary songs, which lack the band's original harmonies and style. But its latest album, I Made It, released in 2015, is truer to the group's traditional country roots. DV
The Melvins with Spotlights, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $20
The Melvins’ latest lineup is touring off its first double album, 23-song juggernaut A Walk With Love and Death. Mainstays Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover are joined by Steve McDonald from Redd Kross and OFF! for this one, and the band continues to do its own thing. Heavier than heavy metal, rawer than punk rock and uncompromising for a few decades, the Melvins have kept on, long after the grunge movement came and went from the mainstream. Eric Grubbs
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 214-880-0137 or liveatthemajestic.com, $88 and up
Colin Hay first found success as the lead singer for Australian band Men at Work. After the band's break up in 1985, Hay embarked a solo career but didn't quite receive the acclaim he was hoping for until much later. In 2004, his song "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" was featured in the film Garden State, reviving Hay's career tremendously. Hay's live sets are filled with anecdotal breaks, familiar hits from his time with Men at Work and fresh new material off this year's album, Fierce Mercy. DV
Soul Bounce w/ DJ Wanz Dover
9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, Ships Lounge, 1613 Greenville Ave., 972-707-7234 or shipslounge.com, Free
Wanz Dover and a rotating guest list of some of the city's best soul DJs throw a retro party, touching on funk, soul, psyche rock, surf, protopunk, garage rock and other assorted old school jams, every Saturday night at Ships Lounge. With tunes from Velvet Underground to Otis Redding, this weekly Lower Greenville gig is a great alternative for those not wanting to brave Deep Ellum on its busier nights. It's truly a night dedicated to perfect dive bar jams for mods and rockers of all stripes. DV
Manchester Orchestra 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com, $40-$86
Just over a month ago, Atlanta-based Manchester Orchestra released its fifth full-length studio album, A Black Mile to the Surface. Critics hail it as the band's most emotive record, filled with grandiose narratives. The indie rock band also wrote and recorded the almost-entirely a cappella soundtrack for the 2016 film Swiss Army Man, receiving two nominations the same year at the International Film Music Critics Association. DV
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