The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: The Bralettes, The Murder City Devils and More

Local trio The Bralettes play Independent Bar and Kitchen's Regal Room on Saturday night.
Local trio The Bralettes play Independent Bar and Kitchen's Regal Room on Saturday night. Roger Gallegos

Your 10 best music picks for this week include funk, rap, indie rock, techno and more. Catch locals The Bralettes, The Funky Knuckles, Mr. Pookie and Raised Right Men. Or check out The Murder City Devils, The Districts, Amen Dunes, Joe Ely, Felix Da Housecat and Pop Evil as they stop through town.

The Murder City Devils
With Big Business and Deep Creep, 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $22-$25 at

The Murder City Devils continue their run after breaking up in 2001 and reuniting in 2006. They were never really that big when they were first around, but their stature has only grown since getting back together. While they haven't released anything since 2014, that's no reason to not see a great band that blends punk rock, garage rock and a little bit of psychedelic to explosive effect. And definitely check out Big Business, the bass and drums duo that has had stints with the Melvins, all in the name of making heavy music heavier and looser. Eric Grubbs

The Districts
With Deeper, 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $15 at

Formed while the quartet were still high school students in their native Pennsylvania, The Districts have made three full-length albums of scuzzy, beer-soaked indie rock. Signed to Fat Possum Recordings, they’ve toured with My Morning Jacket and The Black Keys, headlined popular festival slots and have spent a great deal of time recording under the watchful eye of Dallas’ own John Congleton. Their latest release, Popular Manipulations, finds the band exploring some darker and more introspective lyrical content, while expanding their sonic palette into a more robust sound. Get there early and check out the set from up-and-coming Chicago indie rockers Deeper, who are making their first touring ventures to this part of the country. Jeff Strowe

The Funky Knuckles
9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St.,, 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

Amen Dunes
8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at Deep Ellum Co., 3200 Commerce St., $15 at

In the early 2000s, Damon McMahon made a name for himself with Inouk, an NYC-based buzz band molded in the vein of kindred spirits like The Strokes and Bravery. After putting an end to that project, McMahon laid low for a couple of years before re-emerging with Amen Dunes, an outfit whose most recent album, Freedom, has landed on many 2018 best-of lists. Filled with vibrant and sometimes unsettling character studies, the sweepingly cinematic and personal songs touch on thorny subjects like toxic masculinity, impending mortality and the lasting voids that can populate relationships between even the closest couples. It's a jarring listen, filled with understated R&B-esque ballads and jolting bursts of rock 'n' roll fervor. The album has earned accolades and then some. Live, it should be even more of a spectacle as McMahon's passion for performing drives his tunes even further ahead into a feverish pitch of glory. Jeff Strowe

Mr. Pookie
With Deathrattle, Soulzay, Escuela, Unity-TX and Bozo, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at Wit’s End, 2724 Elm St., $5 and up at

If you’re an old head or serious, learned rap fan — especially of Dirty South bangers — then the name Mr. Pookie (birth name Bryan Jones) really brings out the feels. The DFW MC’s classic hits “Crook For Life” and “Smoke One” spun ominous keys, swirling deliveries and street-wise bars into generational Southern rap masterpieces at the end of the 20th century. A working knowledge of hip-hop history, not to mention Southern rap, simply is not complete without mention of this local legend. Long live Pookie. Jonathan Patrick

Raised Right Men
10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 at Twilite Lounge, 2640 Elm St., free

Twice nominated for Best Cover Band by the Observer, Raised Right Men are a Denton gem covering all your favorite old country songs. The five-piece who call themselves a honky-tonk band invite you to crack open a beer and celebrate the legacy of Willie, Waylon and the boys. DV

The Bralettes
8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at Regal Room, 2712 Main St., $10 and up at

The trio born, bred and formed in Oak Cliff known as The Bralettes play a catchy brand of bubblegum punk that’s sure to warm even the coldest of cynical critic’s hearts. Paulina Costilla (guitars and vocals) backed by drummer Andy Cantu and bassist Molly Hernandez know how to write earworms with emotional lyrics any outsider can identify with. The LP-release show serves as the last date of The Bralettes East Coast tour, which saw the trio play for the first time at venues in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and nearly a dozen other cities. To date, The Bralettes only have six songs available to stream online — one three-song EP and three singles, so the band’s debut full-length, 10-song album Cheers! has been eagerly anticipated by fans. Cheers! was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Ian Salazar at The Acid Pad in Arlington (multi-instrumentalist Salazar plays bass and sax in Acid Carousel, and guitar and vocals in Majik Taylor — to name a few). The show’s opening performances include Acid Carousel and a solo set by Salazar, as well as San Antonio’s Junkie. Daniel Rodrigue

Joe Ely
With Frankie Leonie, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., $22 at

Amarillo-born singer-songwriter Joe Ely is still running strong after close to 50 years on the road, with no end in sight. From his early days playing with the likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock as part of The Flatlanders, Ely has been a fixture in Texas’ progressive country scene. Soon after beginning his career and touring through Texas and Mexico with famed British punk group The Clash, Ely helped blur the lines between country music and rock 'n' roll even further. And while the former "Texas State Musician" may have come to Dallas “with a dollar and a dime” after the release of his 1981 album Musta Notta Gotta Lotta, he’ll make his 2019 return with local wunderkind and “Johnny Cash” singer, Frankie Leonie.  The teenage singer was recently crowned Dallas’ best country act at 2018’s Dallas Observer Music Awards. Her addition to the bill will make this a night of expertly crafted country music that spans generations. Nicholas Bostick

Felix da Housecat
10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at It’ll Do, 4322 Elm St., 214-827-7236, $15

For well over two decades, Chicago native Felix da Housecat has been one of the most ambitious and celebrated DJs on the techno circuit. Known for his ever-adapting stylistics, which have shifted over the years from an acid-drenched palette to a more understated avant-garde coolness, Felix has remained true to his ultimate goal of getting people out on the dance floor. His track record of achieving that has been pretty remarkable. As an in-demand performer, he’s crisscrossed the globe, taken home some prestigious awards and fought through the demons of addiction to emerge even more focused and dedicated to the craft. In addition to his studio recordings, his remixes aren’t too shabby either, as he’s attacked material from countless artists, ranging from Britney Spears and Madonna to New Order and Pet Shop Boys. Prepare to be properly entertained deep into the night as Felix takes over Deep Ellum’s It’ll Do on Saturday night. Jeff Strowe

Pop Evil
9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $20

Presented by 97.1 the Eagle, which inherited some of the music the Edge played when that station went off the air last year, Pop Evil seems like the kind of band that would lead the station into the future. The five-piece behind “Footsteps” has billed this tour with Red Sun Rising and Badflower as the Rock ’N’ Roll Now. If rock ’n’ roll means coating hard rock with an accessible pop sheen, then that’s what you will get. Lead vocalist Leigh Kakaty is definitely a showman, the kind who can make people put their hands in the air for the majority of a concert. But if you think real, life-affirming rock music has its roots in the MC5, the Stooges or the New York Dolls, this is definitely not the show for you. Eric Grubbs
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Diamond Rodrigue
Contact: Diamond Rodrigue