Some things never change. Although the Observer has a new Clubs Editor, and things are certainly changing for him, these posts will still be here every Monday because there’s no end in sight to good live music in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are plenty of local acts to choose from this week, including Garrett Owen, Sarah Jaffe and Erykah Badu, who is joining the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for a special concert. Also, if you’re trying to save money to celebrate J.Lo’s 50th birthday by attending her American Airlines Center show, there are a couple of free shows you can attend this week as well.
Paul Slavens and Friends
9 p.m. Monday, June 17, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, 940-320-2000, danssilverleaf.com. Free.
Like on most Mondays, the spontaneous song generator, DJ and Ten Hands frontman Paul Slavens will take the stage at Dan’s Sliverleaf. Slavens writes and perform songs on the spot, improvising about whatever comes to mind. Song title suggestions get thrown at him from the crowd and he just runs with it. Attendees might hear songs about escaping the spiraling vortex of Ikea, robot children or whatever else they can think of. If this isn’t part of your Monday music routine by now, it should be. Jacob Vaughn
7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at Opening Bell Coffee, 1409 S. Lamar St., $11 at openingbellcoffee.com.
Local singer-songwriter Garrett Owen spent many years away from his native home of Texas before ending up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. When he landed back home, he began playing open mic nights like the one on Tuesdays at Opening Bell Coffee Shop. It is there that he met Steve Jackson, the host of the open mic, who recommended he record an album with producer Taylor Tatsch. In 2017, he was nominated in several categories in the Dallas Observer Music Awards including Best Folk Act, Best New Act and Best Song for his tune “Sad Eyed Son.” On Thursday, he’ll be back in the familiar space surrounded by familiar faces. Jacob Vaughn
Son Volt with Old Salt Union
7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at The Kessler Theater, 1213 W. Davis St., sold out
After 25 years, Son Volt, the Illinois alternative-country band, has released its ninth studio album Union, which is chock-full of political commentary by founder and singer Jay Farrar. The band has grown into a harder sound, which is in stark contrast with their folky debut album Trace. They will be playing with newgrass-Americana band Old Salt Union, which is gearing up to release its latest album Where Dogs Don’t Bite. The opening band is scheduled to hop onstage with Son Volt only a handful of times in the coming months as they tour the U.S., making this lineup at The Kessler Theater a somewhat exclusive audience experience. Jacob Vaughn
6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, June 21-23, at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, $75 at prekindle.com.
Boasting a weekend filled with performances by more than 20 artists, The Last Chance Records Summer Hangout returns to Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton. The three-day music mini-fest is hosted by Last Chance Records, an indie record label based in Little Rock, specializing in Americana and indie rock. The event is promoted as run 100 percent by volunteers, with all proceeds benefiting Denton Music and Arts Collaborative, a nonprofit that subsidizes healthcare for area musicians and artists. The full schedule of performances and day and evening events is posted on Prekindle, but Friday evening’s Spooky Folk reunion is sure to pack the house. Saturday’s attendees can catch local favorites Slobberbone, Kim Nall, RTB2, Isaac Hoskins and Glass Mountain Orchestra, as well as San Antonio’s Garrett T. Capps and Houston punk band Mydolls. And Sunday’s performances include Static Diary (Scott Danbom has played keyboards for Centro-matic, Sarah Jaffe and Drive-By Truckers), Todd May, The Red Death, Ian Moore, Brent Best and Baptist Generals. Daniel Rodrigue
Erykah Badu with the Dallas Symphony
7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., $60 at mydso.com.
Erykah Badu and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra are both pillars of the city’s music community in their own ways. As such, their one-night-only pairing is more than welcome news. Unlike Badu’s appropriately bombastic annual birthday bash, her performance at the Meyerson will likely be a much more formal affair. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this night will be any less boundary-breaking than Badu herself. Dallas’ neo-soul icon made a name for herself after her 1997 debut album Baduizm went on to win two Grammy Awards and sell over 3 million copies. Since then she's cultivated a loyal mass of fans in her hometown and well across the globe. It’s almost surprising that Badu hasn’t already performed with the DSO. That oversight, however, will soon be rectified when one of Dallas’ most outspoken voices rings throughout one of the city’s most prestigious venues. Let’s just hope she doesn’t bring R. Kelly up again. Nicholas Bostick
8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Andy’s Bar, 122 N. Locust St., Denton, $15-$20 at eventbrite.com
Sarah Jaffe started out playing smaller venues in Denton and Dallas before becoming a nationally recognized singer-songwriter. You could say she found her voice in the process of playing those smaller shows, really connecting with listeners on a cathartic level, and people who have been watching her over the years can see she's come out of her shell when performing onstage. Her tracks have been featured on NPR, late night television, as well as half a dozen appearances on movie or TV soundtracks. But not to be confined to one genre, she paired with Grammy Award-winning producer S1, forming the collaborative The Dividends, to write hip-hop hooks, leading Eminem to pick up one of the tracks a few months later. Catch Jaffe in her hometown at Andy's Bar in Denton on Saturday night. Diamond Rodrigue
8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $12 at eventbrite.com.
On their latest album, The Seduction of Kansas, Washington, D.C., post-punk outfit Priests have taken to using the Jayhawk state as their muse. Pundits, statesmen and economists have long turned their attention toward this Middle American state in times of political upheaval and social unrest. And in these unstable times, the band has dug deep into meditations of the various machinations that have led us to this place. Comprised of vocalist Katie Alice Greer, guitarist G.L. Jaguar and drummer Daniele Daniele, Priests bring thunderous and high-wire liveliness to their songs, thus rendering tales of suburban Applebees lunches and dust bowl Hollywood stereotypes with gnarly trips to the front rows of punk nirvana. For a local perspective, it's interesting to note that the band recorded much of the latest album here in Dallas with John Congleton working his production prowess.
REN EX FEST! Benefit for Matt Renicks’ Cancer Fight
4 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 at seetickets.us.
This Sunday, a bunch of North Texas bands are ganging together at Three Links for a six-hour-long benefit show to raise money to help Matt Renicks, a friend of the local punk scene who was recently diagnosed with colon, liver and lung cancer. Renicks has played in many bands from Dallas to London, where he now lives. The show will feature local grindcore powerhouse Akkolyte, punk bands Blood Letters and The Scandals, and many more. Jacob Vaughn
8 p.m. Monday, June 24 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $55.50-$230.50 at ticketmaster.com.
Jennifer Lopez is celebrating her 50th birthday with a tour across North America, It’s My Party, which launched on June 7, and is set to continue through July. The tour is a well-deserved celebration. After her breakout role in the 1997 Selena biopic, J. Lo became the first Latina actress to earn over $1 million for a film. In 2001, she became the first artist with a No. 1 movie and a No. 1 album in the same week. Today, she maintains her superstar status. Lopez has been satirized on South Park, named on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people, and she has sold over 75 million records throughout her career. Her Dallas performance is exactly one month before her birthday. Help J.Lo celebrate at AAC. Jacob Vaughn
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Cody Lynn Boyd with The Bralettes
8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St., free.
Cody Lynn Boyd looks like he was pulled straight out of the '60s. Besides The Late Recordings, a collection of demo home recordings, Boyd has yet to release a full studio album. But this hasn’t kept him from earning notoriety in North Texas. His singles' haunting sound, heard on “I’ll Go” and “Lovely Little Lady,” coupled with his resemblance to Rolling Stone Brian Jones, have captured the attention of local media. Boyd will share the stage with a tough act to follow, The Bralettes. The all-female punk trio released its debut album Cheers earlier this year. Each song packs a punch with powerfully driven rhythms, catchy melodies and nasty guitar solos. If you’re broke, but still want to catch a killer show on a Wednesday night, you’ll want to head to Ruins. Jacob Vaughn