Good Friday: Calhoun, Hayes Carll, Red Headed Stranglers, Metal Rouge, Wildflower!, The Lash Outs, A Tribute To Stephen Bruton, Dem Southernfolkz, QCBS Benefit

There are so many options for music lovers this weekend that it's almost overwhelming. Remember, back in the days when you used to go to video stores to rent movies, how it felt to just stare at the cases with no idea what you wanted to watch, and there were so many choices that you got a headache by the time you got to about the Q-through-T section of the New Releases shelf, and finally you'd just grab something and go to the checkout counter? It's kind of like that this weekend.

Here's what you already know, if you've been reading as diligently as you should: Tonight, electronica duo Fischerspooner will be the featured entertainment at the Granada Theater, Alan Jackson won't rock the jukebox at Nokia Theater, former president James Taylor makes a Fair Park appearance and Junior Brown and 100 Damned Guns keep it country at the Longhorn Saloon.

Saturday, The Dears make it as far south as Denton to play at Hailey's while THe BAcksliders invite friends Somebody's Darlin(g), Escort Service, The Monco Poncho and Cocky Americans Austin Brown Sounds to their CD release at House of Blues; cover includes a copy of Thank You

And Sunday, TV On The Radio bring their arty-yet-accessible indie-rock to House of Blues.

As if that's not enough, here are a few other options for your weekend...

Calhoun, Matt Cliff, Sean Russell and the Rudders
Friday, May 15, at The Aardvark, Fort Worth

This is Calhoun's farewell show, so if you liked the Cowtown indie-pop outfit, now's the time to show your support.

Hayes Carll, The Sideshow Tramps
Friday, May 15, at Poor David's Pub

Houston's Hayes Carll earned the Americana Song Award last year for "She Left Me For Jesus." That's just one of many great songs the guy's written; seems like every other time I find myself really getting into a song on The Range or KNON's Renegade Radio, it turns out to be Carll.

Red Headed Stranglers, Shoot Low Sheriff
Friday, May 15, at Dan's Silverleaf, Denton

Don Cento, Richard Martin and Justin Smith will play as the Red Headed Stranglers. I have no idea what they'll sound like, but if I had to guess, I'd predict a fun take on the country legend's landmark Red Headed Stranger, with equal parts irreverence and respect.

Metal Rouge, Shortwave Death System; Anvil Salute; Sarah Alexander, Nevada Hill and Aaron Gonzalez
Friday, May 15, at Firehouse Gallery, Fort Worth

The Metrognome Collective is bringing in Los Angeles' experimental outfit Metal Rouge along with some of the area's most respected improv, noise and sound artists to celebrate the opening of how slight a thing: works by Emilie Porter. I heard avant-garde vocalist Sarah Alexander perform with Paul Slavens' rock orchestra at the Hunchback of Notre Dame screening at the Texas Theatre a couple weeks back, where her eerie shrieks really added to the silent film's improvised score. It'll be interesting to hear what she does in what will presumably not be nearly so lighthearted a musical setting, with Zanzibar Snails' Nevada Hill on guitar and the awesome Aaron Gonzalez (of grindcore duo Akkolyte and improv-jazz trio Yells At Eels) on bass.

Wildflower! Festival
Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 17, at Galatyn Park, Richardson

If it's a suburban arts and music festival, it usually means a maddeningly slapdash combination of local singer-songwriters, way-past-their-prime rockers, worthless cover bands and nostalgia acts. This is no exception. Kool and the Gang, Rick Springfield, and Jackopierce perform tonight. Edgar Winter, Night Ranger, Kansas and The Toadies play Saturday. Sunday brings The Wailers and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

The Lash Outs, The Bent Gents, The Wrong Ones
Saturday, May 16, at July Alley

Apparently July Alley still has shows. The Lash Outs MySpace page promises a new album soon, though there aren't any new tracks posted yet. Maybe they'll play some new material tomorrow.

A Tribute To Stephen Bruton
Sunday, May 17, at McDavid Studio

Dave Millsap and The Tejas Brothers are among the performers scheduled to pay tribute to Fort Worth's Stephen Bruton, who died of cancer at age 60 on Saturday. Bruton was a Texas Christian University graduate who played in Kris Kristofferson's band for 40 years; in fact, his last local performance was with Kristofferson at Bass Hall last May. He also toured with Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt, produced for Alejandro Escovedo and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and had his songs covered by Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. According to Bass Hall's Malcom Mayhew, any musician is welcome to play.

Dem Southernfolkz
Sunday, May 17, at Torch

Hip-hop trio Dem Southernfolkz is incredible, as I've said before, and The Message remains one of my favorite albums of 2008. Earlier this month, Thomas "Big BEN" Benjamin sent word that the group has been adding new musicians to its live show.

Querencia Community Bike Shop Benefit
Sunday, May 17, at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton

Sarah Jaffe, Boxcar Bandits, The Slow Burners and Chris Flemmons of the Baptist Generals will all perform at this benefit show for QCBS, a community non-profit group that advocates bicycling. Along with music, there'll be bike raffles, a bike and bake sale and free bike valet. Who's up for a bike ride to Denton? Anyone? No? That's cool, I'd probably have to leave right now to make it by the time doors open at 7 p.m. Sunday.

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