Courtney Barnett plays The Bomb Factory on Sunday night.Mike Brooks
There are plenty of musical Valentine's Day date opportunities this week, including post-hardcore outfit Cursive on tour supporting its latest release, Vitriola; Ben Kweller at Dada on Monday night; alt-rock darling Courtney Barnett at The Bomb Factory; and more.
With Summer Cannibals and Campdogzz, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $14.50-$20 at treesdallas.com
Cursive is back with another fine effort to promote Vitriola. Reunited with drummer Clint Schnase, the band's material is more in line with the beautiful chaos found on The Ugly Organ and Happy Hollow. Cursive has played Trees many times, and it's always been a good fit for a band that wants to push the boundaries of late 1990s post-hardcore rather than be stifled by them. It's a band that doesn't play the "We're breaking up" routine only to reunite a year or two later, so don't take this excellent group for granted. Frontman Tim Kasher is still one of the finest and fiercely honest songwriters around, and his band remains consistently great. Eric Grubbs
Ben Kweller 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $20-$25 at spunetickets.com
Austin resident Ben Kweller has been a fixture on the Dallas indie-rock touring circuit since the early 2000s. Then, buoyed as he was by some radio-friendly hits like "Wasted & Ready," "The Rules" and "Hospital Bed," he was a shaggy-haired, high-energy purveyor of power-pop, alt-country and punk rock. Today, those same descriptors apply, just with more seasoning. He's released half a dozen albums, toured the globe several times over and is generally considered one of the industry's nicest guys, a moniker that's earned him countless collaborations with kindred spirits. He's back this year with Circuit Boredom, his first album of new material in seven years. He's also recently revealed that his absence from the scene was due in part to his family's harrowing near-death experience from carbon monoxide poisoning that took place on a vacation in New Mexico. Welcome him back to one of his favorite towns as Kweller and his band find their footing again back out on the road. Jeff Strowe
Marc Anthony 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $66 and up at ticketmaster.com
Charismatic and still in fine voice at age 50, Marc Anthony is the highest-selling male salsa vocalist in the genre's history. He's also still a heartthrob, so it's fitting that he'll be in town on Valentine's Day making things a little extra spicy around Victory Plaza. It's been a sneakily amazing and sturdy career for a man who many remember from his late-'90s heyday or decadelong marriage to Jennifer Lopez. Anthony still packs a punch, though, and he's been busy filling up arenas around the globe with dedicated fans who can hang on his every word and match his hip-shaking action move for move. His present trek, appropriately titled the Legacy Tour, is a trip down the 30-year rabbit hole of his catalog. While most of the performance will be familiar crowd-pleasers, expect a couple of modern turns too, as Anthony's recent collaborations with Maluma, Prince Royce and Bad Bunny show how much he resonates with some of the newer faces on the scene. Jeff Strowe
The Rich Girls remain one of the best local cover bands. After forming as a New Year’s dare in 2010, the Hall & Oates tribute band quickly gained a local fan base, and the unforgettable group won a Dallas Observer Music Award for best cover band in 2014. Diamond Rodrigue
Night Drive 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $10 and up at ticketfly.com
As Night Drive’s name suggests, the sonic output of the synth-pop act seems perfectly crafted for long drives after dark, albeit driving through city streets in a neon-lit, neo-noir science-fiction film. The Texas-based duo of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon, who split their time between studios in Houston (Connell) and Austin (Duhon), once claimed in a band bio that they met after a woman they were both dating – unknown to each other at the time – died in a car crash, and the story of shifting from romantic rivals to musical collaborators united by loss sets the tone for the duo’s darker, ominous and foreboding synth-pop. And, after fronting other bands that broke up on “literally the same day,” the two took that as a sign and formed Night Drive, which provided Connell and Duhon a vehicle to ride the nu-wave of retro synth-based electronic sounds driven by infectiously catchy melodies and emotionally charged vocal hooks. And Night Drive manages to sound more modern and foreboding than many of their synth-based contemporaries who cling perhaps too heavily to the sounds of their ’80s forerunners. Daniel Rodrigue
Rainbow Kitten Surprise 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., sold out
Rainbow Kitten Surprise is considered by many to be the greatest band name ever conceived. And as it turns out, they’re also a pretty decent band. Formed by five friends who met in a dorm hall at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, RKS caught on like gangbusters and are heading toward Dallas on a totally sold-out 45-date tour. But don’t let that dissuade you from attempting to reason, wager, borrow or abscond your way to their show; while following all traffic laws and avoiding moral turpitude, of course. Rooted in a sound that could’ve only come from the wide-open spaces of America’s mountainous East, their latest album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall is simply confounding. Hovering somewhere between the natural mysticism of a band like Fleet Foxes and the druggy buzz of early Modest Mouse, Rainbow Kitten Surprise is a 7-Eleven suicide where each flavor is as distinct and vivid as the next. Borrowing liberally from hip-hop and chillwave with masterfully crafted lyrics, it's folk music for people live in their heads in an age when new connections are made every microsecond. If you like music, you’ll probably like this. Nicholas Bostick
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $20
Singer-songwriter, dancer, ambient music maker and YouTube personality Poppy is on tour this year in support of her second full-length studio album, Am I a Girl? It seems that sticking to one corner of the market these days just doesn't cut it, and in Poppy's case, the opposite approach has proved to be successful. DR
Dwight Yoakam 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, $20 and up
He's a visionary songwriter from Kentucky who's been crowned the savior of country music thanks to the skilled manner in which he blends retro sounds with modern edge and urgency. But no, we're not talking about Sturgill Simpson. Three decades ago, Dwight Yoakam resuscitated the classic Bakersfield style that Buck Owens and Merle Haggard made famous a generation prior. It’s worth noting that in the pre-deregulation and pre-Napster landscape, Yoakam was able to keep Top 40 country as hillbilly as possible. He was topping airplay charts and selling millions of records, unlike most Country Music Saviors of the Month. Even Simpson or Chris Stapleton, as relatively successful as they both are now, can never dream of enjoying the prominent place Yoakam long enjoyed as he became an icon of honky-tonks, minivans and movie theaters all at once. While the big chart numbers are a distant memory, Yoakam’s last couple of albums, 2012’s 3 Pears and 2015’s Second Hand Heart, are as incendiary, fresh and blood-pumping as his older platinum sellers. The mainstream may have veered away from Yoakam’s sound, but it’ll never be as cool as it was when it followed the Streets of Bakersfield. Kelly Dearmore
Willie Nelson 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $65 and up
For better or for worse, Willie Nelson has an enduring legacy. He’s still performing music and making records at the tail end of a 60-year career. He’s crisscrossed the U.S. and is regarded as a music legend, so it shouldn't be hard to sell anyone on his show at The Bomb Factory. For instance, Dolly Parton was recently announced as the winner of the Country Music Association’s “Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.” If that doesn’t speak to the formerly red-headed stranger’s impact on his craft and on our lives, not much else can. From country music standards like “Hello Walls" to hits like “On the Road Again,” Nelson has an immortal oeuvre that coexists with the singer’s association with other country giants such as Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. When you pair his musical impact with his political advocacy, Nelson is clearly the living end of an era. Nicholas Bostick
Courtney Barnett 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $24 and up at ticketfly.com
Approaching the fourth anniversary of her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is rolling into town for a show at The Bomb Factory. Since her debut, Barnett has built a reputation around her captivating vocals and her gritty, bone-crushing guitar playing. Over the years, those skills have been incorporated in collaborations with artists such as The Breeders, Kurt Vile and Jen Cloher. Her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, is uncharacteristically more introverted than her previous witty EPs and debut album. But still, Barnett is doing her thing. She will share the Dallas stage with psychedelic, indie-pop band Sunflower Bean from New York. Jacob Vaughn
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