Catch one, or both, of Nine Inch Nails' shows this week with Jesus and Mary Chain. Get into the holiday spirit with KIIS-FM's Jingle Ball featuring Kesha. Or check out the 30th annual Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase with several local bands in various Deep Ellum venues.
The Funky Knuckles
9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, free
The Funky Knuckles have been together for almost a decade. In 2014, the band's second album, Meta-Musica, hit No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz chart the first day of its release. The band has played with major national and local acts such as Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and The Polyphonic Spree. The band incorporates elements of improv and thoughtful compositions into its sets. Last year's release, New Birth, has seen much critical acclaim within the jazz community. Diamond Victoria
Nine Inch Nails
With Jesus and Mary Chain. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 27 and 28 at Toyota Music Factory, $92 and up at seakgeek.com
Thirty years ago, while reportedly working nights as a handyman and janitor at Right Track Studio in Cleveland, Trent Reznor used the studio’s gear to record “Down In It” and other Nine Inch Nails demo tracks during his “down time.” The jet-black demo cassettes resulted in a record deal with TVT Records who released NIN’s danceable, industrial full-length debut, Pretty Hate Machine, in 1989. Reznor’s combination of emotionally raw, confessional-style lyrics over synths, drum machines, guitars and samplers, as well as the band’s unforgettable live performances with a full touring band, quickly helped NIN gain a cult-like following, resulting in a surprising number of “NIN” logo tattoos. After nearly 30 years and nine studio albums, Nine Inch Nails remain one of the most explosive live acts to ever unleash their nigh-relentless rage on a stage. Opening act Jesus and Mary Chain promises to amp up concertgoers with the band’s guitar-heavy drowned-in-reverb set. Show up early, JAMC kick off their sets with classics “Just Like Honey” and “Head On.” Daniel Rodrigue
106.1 KISS FM Jingle Ball 2018
7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at AAC, 2500 Victory Avenue, $41, (214) 222-3687
It’s late enough in November to finally start thinking about Christmas, and KISS FM’s 2018 Jingle Ball is going to scratch the first yuletide itch of the year. The annual concert series is hitting 12 cites on its 22nd consecutive run, though compared with some of the other cities on the tour, Dallas’ lineup seems a bit lacking. Unless of course you’re a die-hard Shawn Mendes fan or you’ve been bumping Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 since the album came out last June. There’s certainly no way to claim that the Canadian singer/songwriter Mendes doesn’t deserve a headlining spot after releasing his third consecutive No. 1 Billboard 200 album. But critics have already started to notice his somewhat milquetoast approach to pop music might make it difficult for Mendes to differentiate himself from the Harry Styles and Nick Jonas-es of the world. Some of the more interesting acts on the bill happen much earlier in the night. The 2018 Grammy Award for Best New Artist winner and fellow Canadian, Alessia Cara, rounds out the headliners and will play just days before the release of her second album The Pains of Growing. Notable pop stars on the rise, Bebe Rexha and Sabrina Carpenter are other acts to look out for at the show. But perhaps the most exciting act of the night will be the very first, when Caroline Kraddick, (daughter of the late local-radio DJ, Kidd Kraddick) opens up the show. Nicholas Bostick
With Brother Bird, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at The Bomb Factory, $30-$65
Manchester Orchestra and the Front Bottoms embark on a co-headlining tour later in the year than most national touring bands do. Only a few years ago, the Front Bottoms played Club Dada. Now they're this big with their quirky folk rock. Atlanta-based Manchester Orchestra is the bigger draw, as the band's blend of rock, indie and folk continue to bring new fans to the band. This is their second time through the Dallas area promoting 2017's A Black Mile to the Surface. Frontman Andy Hull says most of 2019 will be devoted to working on a new Manchester album while his side project Bad Books puts out another LP. So you're not going to see them for a while. Consider this show an early Christmas present, fans. Eric Grubbs
8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $42 at granadatheater.com
Longtime Cat Power fans have watched the singer-songwriter’s lyrics mature even as Chan Marshall’s syrupy, warm and raspy vocals have matured like a fine wine in a whiskey barrel. The appeal for many of us has always been Marshall's smart-sometimes-hallucinatory lyrics paired with her smoky, soulful delivery. And with her latest release, Wanderer, her first writing songs as a mother (a photograph featuring her son graces the cover of the record sleeve), Chan’s delivered one of her strongest albums in the past two decades. Her lyrics have always seemed penned by an old, wise-beyond-her-years soul, after all Matador Records released Cat Power’s breakthrough fourth album, Moon Pix, 20 years ago. Cat Power’s last full-length album, 2012’s Sun, landed Chan her first Billboard Top 10, peaking at No. 10. For many critics and listeners, Sun eclipsed Moon Pix and You Are Free as a favorite release. After a split with longtime label, Matador, Domino released her 10th studio album, Wanderer, last month, and Cat Power is on tour supporting the release. Daniel Rodrigue
9 p.m. Nov. 29 at Texas Theater, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., sold out
Mac DeMarco is a prolific writer and performer. In just a few short years, he's released a slew of full-lengths and EPs, appeared on a variety of compilations and has even managed to put out a few live collections. Charmingly weird and often goofy, the singer-songwriter doesn't hide his personality onstage. He peppers the set with funny anecdotes, indulges overzealous fans with their requests and gives the audience his full and proper attention. For the most part, during the 90-minute or so performances, DeMarco gives the impression that there is nowhere else he'd rather be. As an attendee, that's what you want out of a performer, as it's always nice to see the person onstage caring as much as you do in the crowd. For this stop, DeMarco will be performing solo as part of his Purple Bobcat Next To The River Tour. With just a microphone and guitar, expect the stage banter to be extra sharp and arcane. Jeff Strowe
Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase
Various Deep Ellum venues. Saturday, Dec. 1. Tickets are $15 online and $25 at the door.
Want to see how far the North Texas music scene has come in only a year? You have a handful of venues and a few dozen acts playing at them to get a good idea. Three days before the DOMAs are handed out at Canton Hall, see what made these acts get nominated in the first place. Whether it's longtimers Sealion, Claire Morales, or Dead Mockingbirds or the emerging artists like Rosegarden Funeral Party or Sub-Sahara, you won't be able to see this much variety for a price this low. The venues include Club Dada, Three Links, Curtain Club, Off the Record, Reno's Chop Shop and Trees. Eric Grubbs
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122, $20-$80
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Catching influential Grammy-nominated rapper Bun B at Trees promises to be a memorable evening pulsing with the energy of early UGK and solo Bun B shows. Bun B rose to fame in the influential rap duo UGK, short for Underground Kingz, formed in ’87 with the late Pimp C. Bun dropped his debut full-length solo album in 2005. On June 10, Bun B unveiled the cover art for his fifth solo record, Return of the Trill, on his Instagram account, saying the release is slated for Aug. 31. It’s his first full-length release since 2013’s Trill OG: The Epilogue. With AV the Great, Gas House Smitty, DJ JU$TRILL, Masa Lopez, SMiRK, Ismail Kawon, Weight and Liquor Leezy as openers, expect the show to sell out before doors open. DR
Mike and the Moonpies
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at The Blue Light, 2811 Main St., free
Austin-based honky tonk band Mike and the Moonpies are on tour this year in support of its latest album, Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, released earlier this year. Singer and songwriter for the Moonpies, Mike Harmeier formed the band in 2007, and they plan to play a couple hundred shows this year. Catch them tonight at Deep Ellum's latest country venue, The Blue Light. DV