Music Picks: Dom Kennedy, Manowar and more

It's Hallmark season in Dallas, and there are a few shows available if, say, your loved one is into crushing noise. Just take her to Manowar! Or perhaps you're into something a little calmer -- local folkie Parker Millsap has an album release in Fort Worth. Read on for more.

Dom Kennedy

Saturday, February 15, at Trees

Hip-hop fans were shocked when West coast rapper Dom Kennedy left us high and dry in the summer of 2013. The smooth-talking Casanova has been a staple of his fans' summer playlists since his debut in 2008 with the seasonally appropriate single "Watermelon Sundae." Nearly every summer since, we've seen a new release from Kennedy. Whether he just wanted to troll us all, or prove to us that he's capable of selling records in the wintertime, Kennedy sat on the release of last year's Get Home Safely until October. Luckily, it was well worth the wait. Though Interscope attempted to sign him before the album's release, Kennedy still remains an independent artist and founder of label Other People's Money. He's in Dallas right on time this year to make all the girls swoon the day after Valentine's Day. Vanessa Quilantan

El Ten Eleven

Saturday, February 15, at Dada

Los Angeles' El Ten Eleven consist of two super nerds: bassist and composer Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty. Together for more than a decade, the duo produces a hyper-kinetic post-rock that is fun and ingratiating. Surprisingly, Dunn and Fogarty can produce quite a racket live, as their songs pingpong from the stage like little rubber darts without targets. The fact that El Ten Eleven can create instrumental music that is both daring and danceable attests to the band's true talent. El Ten Eleven's high point may well be 2007's Everything Direction is North, but each and every effort features incredibly precise playing and a hypnotic sense of order that is damn near hallucinatory. Darryl Smyers


Sunday, February 16, at the House of Blues

Featuring three original members and nearly 35 years of headbanging experience, New York's Manowar are still bombarding fans with an epic metal noise that remains remarkable. Hell, these guys even signed their first record contract in blood. How's that for walking the true metal walk? Featuring outlandish outfits and excellent album covers, Manowar were always one of the most fascinating American heavy metal bands. Incredibly, Manowar's upcoming reworking of the band's classic Kings of Metal album sounds as fresh as the original. Rarely has a band, metal or otherwise, aged as gracefully as Manowar. Darryl Smyers

Parker Millsap

Sunday, February 16, at Jefferson Freedom Cafe, Fort Worth

Woodie Guthrie would likely be really proud of his home state these days. No, it's not the commercial rejuvenation of downtown Oklahoma City that would enliven him (it would surely sicken him). But the folk and country music coming from promising young artists just north of the Red River in the past two years is as impressive as that of even its larger neighbor to the south. John Fullbright, John Moreland and the Turnpike Troubadours have rightfully collected hosannas and major national attention for simple yet expertly relayed literate tales of the people and the life around them. Without hesitation, one can add Parker Millsap to the list of noteworthy, new-school musical Okies. His self-titled debut just hit shelves last week, and its blend of gospel, roots and country fit with rich vocals that belie his youthful appearance. And, in proper folkie fashion, he's playing a coffee house, where one can quietly sip something warm while intently listening for a fantastically communal experience. Kelly Dearmore

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.
DC9 at Night Writers