Good Friday: Shapes Stars Make, The Slack, Forever The Sickest Kids, The Slow Burners, Bobby Fisha, Telegraph Canyon, Nicholas Altobelli, Daniel Folmer, Coot Out, RTB2 and This Old House

Many apologies for the slow blog day today--hell the slow blog week, really. Things have been especially hectic this week, for reasons I won't bore you with.

On the promising front, though, the weekend is here--and when the work-week kicks back up on Monday morning, we'll be ready and waiting with a bevvy of new, exciting mp3s to share with you--and, yes, some pretty kickass news on the next round of bands to confirm at NX35.

So, basically, at the risk of overselling things a bit: Expect great things come Monday.

In the meantime, we've got a few days off (Hallelujah!), which means it's time to party. And, as the great Andrew W.K. once said: "When it's time to party, we will always party hard." So, on that note, let's take a gander at this weekend's line-up of show-going options. First up, as always, the shows we've already hyped.

Tonight's the real keeper of the week: The Cribs (with Johnny Marr now in tow) play the Granada Theater with Adam Green and The Dead Trees and, over at Trees, hardcore legends Agnostic Front hold the headliner slot on a rather aggressive bill.

Saturday night sees the Reverend Horton Heat coming home for a gig at the Granada. Meanwhile, those whose tastes skew a little, shall we say, North of the Dial, will be right at home at Hailey's on Saturday night where one dollar will get you in to see the Gutterth-hosted show featuring Shiny Around the Edges, Drink to Victory, Kampfgrounds and Picc Line.

Sunday features a benefit show for Haiti at the Prophet Bar, featuring the likes of Brave Combo and Inner City All Stars. It also sees Rubber Gloves up in Denton playing host to one of my own musical icons, Jonathan Richman.

Of course, there's plenty more where these shows came from. But, per protocol, we're gonna make you skip for 'em.

Shapes Stars Make, Caterpillars, Monastery
Friday, Jan. 22, at the Double Wide
Ambient Dallas indie popsters Shapes Stars Make headline this pleasing bill at the Double Wide, which is doubling as the band's CD release show, apparently. Haven't heard the new disc--but I did just listen to "Giant Bird" on the band's MySpace page, and I'll be damned if it doesn't sound like an Explosions in the Sky outtake. Which is definitely a compliment.

The Slack, The Dave Little Meltdown
Friday, Jan. 22, at Sons of Hermann Hall
Chris Holt's long-running pop-rockin' outfit The Slack takes to Sons tonight to celebrate its new release, The Deep End, a deeply intricate musical affair that puts lesser area band's that claim to put an emphasis on musicianship in their place. Look  out for a review of the new disc in next week's Observer. And, if you can't make tonight's show, you have another chance tomorrow night at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton.

Forever the Sickest Kids, Artist Vs. Poet, Disco Curtis, The Hit
Friday, Jan. 22, at The Door in Fort Worth
For the past month, the fellas in Forever the Sickest Kids have been milling about town, just waiting to get back out on the road. No, seriously: A few band members were bored enough during their time off that they even stopped by the Libertine at the month's start to check out my local DJ night, which, I gotta say, kinda caught me off-guard. But, axeman Caleb Thurman admitted at the time, he was bored out of his mind. So, there you go. Now his band's heading back out on the road, and it's getting a fine send-off from an under-card of maybe the next crop of area mall-punk heroes, which, in case you were curious, is still the region's hottest export.

The Slow Burners, The Happy Bullets, Arthur Yoria
Friday, Jan. 22, at City Tavern
The Slow Burners headline this bill, still supporting their fine, recent release, This Is Where We Fight. Joining the Burners tonight: Oak Cliff's Happy Bullets, who, we swear we keep hearing, have new material in the works, and Houston's Arthur Yoria.

Bobby Fisha, MC Astro, Leo J, Flotation, Vortexas
Friday, Jan. 22, at Muddy Waters
This bill of long-time local hip-hop favorites is coming together as part of a celebration for local label Holden Records' two-year anniversary.

Telegraph Canyon
Friday, Jan. 22, at AllGood Cafe
A rare intimate--and, correct me if I'm wrong here, free I was wrong--show from the baroque rock champions of Fort Worth.

Nicholas Altobelli, Sean Foster, Bravo Max!, Raymond Cade
Friday, Jan. 22, at Opening Bell Coffee
Dallas folkie Nicholas Altobelli's got a new disc called The Regulator on the way--and tonight's a fine opportunity to see him in his most comfortable setting. Similarly-minded local openers share the bill.

Kristy Kruger, Daniel Folmer, The Hand Combine, Jenn Gooch, Western Giants
Friday, Jan. 22, at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton
Shame fore Altobelli that's his Dallas show is going up against this powerhouse folk in Denton, headlined by Dallas favorite Kruger, Denton favorite Folmer and up-and-coming Denton-based talents The Hand Combine and Jenn Gooch. Denton's Western Giants has replaced Kruger on this bill.

Cool Out, Hot Flash, Billingham's Defense System
Friday, Jan. 22, at Plush Basement
This show, which brings together the DJs behind three of the more successful DJ nights around town, is serving as a benefit for Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti foundation. It's free to enter and $3 wells and domestics will be served till midnight. The real coup: All proceeds from bar sales tonight will be headed Haiti's way. Donations, too, are welcome.

RTB2, American Werewolf Academy, Exit 380
Saturday, Jan., 23, at City Tavern
Dallas-based power-pop outfit American Werewolf Academy makes its triumphant return to the local performance circuit tonight, now that frontman Aaron Thedford is back in town. Good thing, too: his scratchy, almost Rod Stewart-like vocals are a welcome addition to this bill, which also features powerhouse blues-rock dup RTB2 and Fort Worth's noir-rock outfit Exit 380, which has a new disc coming out in the next few weeks.

This Old House, Peligro!, Spooky Folk
Saturday, Jan. 23, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton
This Old House and Spooky Folk are two of the big standouts in the area's current--and fascinating--neo-folk revival. Joining the band on this bill is new act Peligro!, who, I honestly, don't know too much about. Other than, well, I just checked out its demo recording of "Royal West" on its MySpace page, and I'll be damned if that ain't some catchy roots-rock fare.

,,,got more? Add 'em in the comments. Beyond that, be safe out there.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman