Alternative rock is more than just the alternative this week with acts like of Montreal, Franz Ferdinand, Charly Bliss, and the ninth annual Homegrown Music and Arts Fest featuring Explosions in the Sky. These artists take the norm, smash it on its head and create something unique.
If you feel like more classic rock, check out Lynyrd Skynyrd at Dos Equis Pavilion, classic hip-hop with Nas at the Bomb Factory, or a refreshing mix of heavy metal and progressive rock with a double-headlining show by Primus and Mastodon at South Side Ballroom.
10 p.m. Monday, March 12, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149 or , free
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, 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 it played some of its first shows, you'll likely be told Outward Bound, so attend Mondays and stay ahead of the curve. Caroline North
8 p.m. Monday, May 7, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Dallas, houseofblues.com/dallas, $32
It's been close to 15 years since Scottish rock group Franz Ferdinand hit the big time with its infectious single "Take Me Out." Alongside Modest Mouse's "Float On" and Arcade Fire's "Wake Up," the song was ubiquitous that year, popping up on radio dials, at house parties and even in commercials during your parents' favorite network sitcoms. In the years since, Franz Ferdinand has remained busy. It’s released four albums' worth of tunes that mine the same dance-rock formula that initially brought success. It's a signature sound that has attracted airplay and given the group a nearly permanent spot on festival itineraries worldwide. The band is touring behind its latest release, Always Ascending, from which it'll likely draw much of the setlist. Don't worry, though — the night will surely end with a rousing rendition of its biggest hit. Jeff Strowe
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, Shipping and Receiving, 201 S. Calhoun St., Fort Worth, 817-887-9313, $18-$20
The brainchild of loose Elephant 6 affiliate Kevin Barnes, of Montreal takes the dreamy trail the Talking Heads would have meandered had David Byrne mind-melded with the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee" instead of Afrobeat polyrhythms. Like XTC and Brian Wilson before him, Barnes understands the ominousness of dark lyrics delivered lightly, optimistically — especially when circus hurdy-gurdies, vaudeville motifs and happy little synth bloops fill the empty spaces in the background. The band's touring this year in support of its latest album, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, released in March. Mike Warren
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, Three Links, 2704 Elm St., threelinksdeepellum.com, $11-$14
New York power-pop quartet Charly Bliss' career over the past handful of years comprises pop-heavy earworms with hard-hitting guitar riffs. It's only released one album to date, though — 2017's Guppy. It's a catalogue of what Charly Bliss calls "bubblegrunge" — a mix of bubblegum pop and grunge. Catch the band this week on Three Links's intimate stage before it heads out on tour with Death Cab For Cutie later this year. Diamond Victoria
Primus and Mastodon
With All Them Witches, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10, South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., Suite 101, southsideballroomdallas.com, $20-$249
This is a good co-headlining bill with two bands that don't exactly fit with other bands. Mastodon is usually paired with metal bands, but strangely enough, Primus is a perfect band for that group to tour with. Primus has taken pride in being a prog and jazz-influenced trio with plenty of humor. Mastodon has never hidden from how much it loves prog as well as classic heavy metal. Both bands are touring off of albums that came out last year: The Desaturating Seven for Primus and Emperor of Sand for Mastodon. If you're looking for something that is not the standard sort of rock show, you'd be hard-pressed to find something better. Eric Grubbs
8 p.m. Friday, May 11, Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Boulevard E., gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $15 and up
Dale Watson was a staple in the Austin country, swing and rockabilly scene for years, playing regular gigs at nightclubs like The Continental Club with his backing band. But recently he moved to Memphis, just a mile from Graceland, where his music is sure to impress the locals. The singer, guitarist, songwriter and author penned the genre Ameripolitan, which consists of contemporary Western swing, honky-tonk, rockabilly and outlaw country. DV
With Bad Company, 6 p.m. Friday, May 11, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., 214-421-1111, $20
While some may assume Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final tour has already occurred, it’s only now upon us. After more than four decades, the band will say its farewells with a bevy of supporting acts along the way, including Bad Company in Dallas. The recent medical issues of Gary Rossington, the band’s sole surviving original member, are likely the culprit behind the retirement. Classic tunes like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” will make their final trip into the sunset. While some may still see Lynyrd Skynyrd as a relic of the past or a band that died out long ago, its spirit lives on in its truest sense with this incarnation. Fronted by Ronnie Van Zant’s brother with Rossington on guitar, this band puts on a hell of a show. And its music is particularly resonant within popular culture. But for every time someone shouts “Play ‘Free Bird!’” at a concert, someone somewhere else pretends not to tear up while listening to “Simple Man.” The deviously complex band is more than enjoyable enough to warrant a $20 seat. Nicholas Bostick
8 p.m. Friday, May 11, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., granadatheater.com, $32
Imbuing contemporary indie pop with the retro vibes of roots rock acts like The Band, Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog makes hook-filled tunes haunted by the past. Slow-burning organ, saloon piano and crunchy strumming abound in the group’s creaky, country-adjacent music. There’s both celebration and mourning in Dr. Dog’s sound. The band’s melodies betray a warm joviality, but the brittle textures and negative spaces Dr. Dog explores are decidedly somber and heady. Dr. Dog is like a welcome drink among friends after an emotional day — the mood is festive but not lighthearted, melancholic but not exhausting. Mostly, just a lot of fun. Jonathan Patrick
With Nas and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Jacob Banks, Kaleo and Big Gigantic, 6 p.m. Saturday, May 12, Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501 or thebombfactory.com, $68-$153
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Since 2015, the Soluna International Music & Arts Festival has brought to Dallas venues extraordinary musical collaborations and multisensory installations, such as St. Vincent’s unforgettable performance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the modern dance performance to an original score produced by Pharrell. For 2018, Soluna is expanding the music collaborations into a one-night affair called Array, led by a headlining performance from Nas in Deep Ellum. The iconic hip-hop figure will be paired with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which could elevate already iconic tracks like “Hate Me Now” and “The World Is Yours” to epic proportions if the visceral storyteller adds them to the setlist. The expanded night of collaborative performances also includes soul singer Jacob Banks with the Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, indie rock band Kaleo with Booker T. Washington’s gospel choir and the illustrative electronic duo Big Gigantic with some analog assistance from the Dallas Mavericks drum line. Soluna’s Array promises to be an unembellished, one-of-a-kind performance. Mikel Galicia
Homegrown Music and Arts Festival
Noon Saturday, May 12, Main Street Garden Park, 1902 Main St., homegrownfest.com, $42-$125
One of Dallas' coolest annual events takes place Saturday at downtown's Main Street Garden Park. The Homegrown Music and Arts Festival is in its ninth year and has consistently offered music that is, in one way or another, tied to the area's roots. This year, the lineup consists of some of the heaviest hitters in the alternative rock genre. Upstart rock group Alvvays, the legendary Roky Erickson and psych-blues outfit The Black Angels (who owe a huge debt of inspiration to Erickson) will all anchor the stage leading up to headlining act Explosions in the Sky. Don't hesitate to get there early, though — the afternoon lineup packs a serious punch, too. Ume, [DARYL], Medicine Man Revival, Acid Carousel, Sad Cops, DUELL, and VODI will all be there to get the festivities rolling and the audience good and saturated with tunes. In addition to the music, patrons can participate in live art demonstrations, take dogs into the onsite dog park, and enjoy a bevy of art, food and beverage stands. It'll be a long day, but certainly a worthwhile way to celebrate the spirit of Dallas' arts scene and the beauty of the downtown park. JS