Music Picks: Trans Am, The 1975 and More

Trans Am

With New Fumes and Jack Dover, 8 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St.,, $13/$15 at the door

Did you think Trans Am was another stoner metal band and then got disappointed when you saw what they look like? They're still pretty heavy, even though their new album sounds like the way the techno club in Terminator looks. In fact, this Bethesda trio were pioneers of that minimalist early-'90s phenomenon known as post-rock. Maybe their set at Three Links on Thursday will draw from the math-ier, shreddier corners of their 24-year career, but even if they play Volume X (the new record) start to finish, it's not like you didn't burn one in the parking lot, Truckfighters fan. Steve Steward

The 1975

8 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $27.58-34.75

With a name that practically screams retro, the 1975 is basically a pop band that gussies things up with ambient, electronic and indie-rock influences. Granted, Matthew Healy and crew do a fine job mingling seemingly disparate influences into a contemporary sound, but one has to wonder about all the bells and whistles. Nevertheless, songs such as "Sex," "Chocolate" and "The City" (available on the band's 2013 self-titled debut) are catchy and thoughtful tunes that explore familiar themes in an unfamiliar way. Judging by the sound, the 1975 ought to be called the 1985, but with music this intriguing, it's easy to give the band an extra decade to work with. Darryl Smyers


With Sylvan Esso, 8 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $25

Somehow Merill Garbus' tUnE-yArDs project has managed to get even more interesting with the release of its third full-length, Nikki Nack. It's an eclectic album that's awash in a fizzy energy that leaves the listener charged, elated and a little confused. Yet such a record's not a surprising step for an artist who doesn't so much defy the conventions of lo-fi folk as she does create them for a genre of her own making. Electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso are maybe the most can't-miss opener Dallas will see all year, as their mix of sugary vocals and catchy loops might become the earworms you hear at every party this summer. Jaime-Paul Falcon

Dolly Parton

6:30 p.m., Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31, at WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-754-3000 or $75-125

Approaching 70, legendary country diva Dolly Parton is still a wonder to behold. Parton's voice has lost little of its power, and her stage presence remains as indomitable as ever. Sure, she can be a bit overly earnest and downright corny, but the lady can belt out country and pop chestnuts like it's nobody's business. Parton wrote "I Will Always Love You" and her version has always been preferable to Whitney Houston's. In Parton's capable hands, the simple grace of the song is not overwhelmed by vocal pyrotechnics. It's worth the steep price of admission just to hear Parton handle "Jolene" and other gems from the '50s and '60s. Darryl Smyers

Parquet Courts

With Swearin' and Radioactivity, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $12

Parquet Courts may have been dubbed "The Last Great New York Band" recently by Grantland, but their roots run deep in North Texas. Frontman and former Dentonite Andrew Savage cut his teeth with local acts like Fergus & Geronimo and Teenage Cool Kids. So it was no surprise to us when the Brooklyn-based band's Light Up Gold, released through Savage's own Dull Tools label, was met with a roar of acclaim from fans and critics alike, landing at number 11 on Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2013 list and earning further accolades from the likes of Pitchfork, Spin and The New York Times. Joined in by Radioactivity (who need a Venn diagram to explain how prolific their members have been in local acts) and Philadelphia/Brooklyn DIY punk trio Swearin', this promises to be one of the hottest indie-friendly bills of the summer. Daniel Rodrigue

Ringo Deathstarr

With Blackstone Rangers, Midnight Masses and Blessin, 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore St., Denton,, $10-12

Elliott Frazier has been making his own brand of star-gaze since 2005 when he first put early Ringo Deathstarr demos on Myspace. Since then Frazier moved from his hometown of Beaumont to Austin where he managed to put together a band, put out a handful of EPs, land a few record deals and tour the world, opening for the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins. The band's signature blend of ear-shattering volume, endless drone and devotion to the early shoegaze pioneers has garnered its fair share of critical praise, with many making it a point to warn concert goers that it might get loud. Jaime-Paul Falcon

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