Fun fact!: If you watch Robert Downey Jr.'s performances in both Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man 3 in the same week, you may be prone to dreams of him taking over your job duties at the Dallas Observer, including this weekly blog post, and tweeting bad things about you to all of your friends behind your back. Just thought you all should know; Now here are your top must-see concerts in DFW this week.
Ynfynyt Scroll Saturday, July 13, at Macaroni Island, Free If Denton's Track Meet DJ Crew had a golden child of the bunch, it's Ynfynyt Scroll -- the Observer's former "North of the Dial" columnist Rodrigo Diaz, who blew local minds last year with the spring release of his Let Me See It EP. He said that his EP was an amalgamation of confusing sexuality, verbal altercations over fashion and more. He's starting a weekly residency at Beauty Bar tonight, and he intersperses that with shows around the metroplex, including the one he has coming up this week at Gutterth Productions founder Michael Briggs' house venue Macaroni Island. He'll be going on after dark electronic -- or, here's a new one: "sadcore" -- act Divisions and downtempo solo artist Sean McLellan, who goes under the moniker Flohawk. If you feel like getting a little hazy and simultaneously pumped up in close quarters with a bunch of Denton folk, here's your chance. As always, Macaroni Island says "No jerks allowed." -- Rachel Watts
Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Nicholas Altobelli, Wire Wings Thursday, July 11, at Dan's Silverleaf, $5/$7 I haven't heard too much out of Denton band Matthew and the Arrogant Sea in the last couple of years, but they pleasantly surprise everyone when they pop up every so often to play a show or two, and then retreat back into the vast ocean that is Dallas-Fort Worth. However, they are on a kick-ass bill this week with singer-songwriter aficionado Nicholas Altobelli, whose latest record, Without a Home, was a melancholic yet hopeful collection of folk poetry, so check it out! Wire Wings opens the show. -- Rachel Watts
The Calmative, Tiger, Tooth and Paw Thursday, July 11, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, $5/$7 Writer, musician and producer Christopher Hughes has one-man show these days called The Calmative, which he says originally began as a studio project, and which mixes traditional songwriting and instrumentation with ambient noise, feedback and drone. He is lent a hand with live shows by various musicians and members of several bands, including Spooky Folk, whose guitarist Jesse Perry will be opening the night with his own project, Tiger, Tooth and Paw. Jesse has been tweaking and fine-tuning the proverbial nobs to Tiger, Tooth and Paw since its inception in 2009. This is a not-to-be-missed show on Thursday night. Read more about Christopher Huges and his work here. -- Rachel Watts
Caterpillars Friday, July 12, at The Crown and Harp, Free It took a while to happen (including a successful Kickstarter campaign), but Caterpillars finally have their debut album out and they're playing a release show for it. With the 10 songs found on The Other Side, the local four-piece plays an enjoyable blend of Minus the Bear blips and bleeps with a smooth blend of shoegaze. There's immediacy to their sound, much in part to the melodic charm of frontman Christopher Robinson's voice. Certainly come out early to check fellow local act Shapes and Faces, along with San Antonio youngsters Islands and Tigers. -- Eric Grubbs
John Mayer, Phillip Phillips Saturday, July 13, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, $30-$600 The man who once had back-to-back hits about intimately admiring people's bodies and mothers has stopped saying shocking things. You know, all that masturbation stuff we all got such a kick out of blogging about. Man, where was Twitter then?? Anyway, he's stopped saying those things, which is good for his career but kind of a bummer for us. Whatever -- dude still plays the hell out of a guitar, I don't care what you think. --Kiernan Maletsky
Kentucky Knife Fight Sunday, July 13, at The Double Wide, $5 Fronted by one Jason Holler, Kentucky Knife Fight play uncompromising, old-school alt-country that recalls the Old 97's at their feistiest. Holler's Tom Waits-inspired vocals are miles away from Rhett Miller's poppy croon, but KKF songs like "Bad Blood" and "Father" are not that far removed from such Old 97's chestnuts as "Time Bomb" or "Four Leaf Clover." Holler's demented wailing is what sets Kentucky Knife Fight apart from your typical alt-country fare. Indeed, Holler's presence looms over the band so thoroughly it's sometimes easy to overlook the talent in the other band members. Dual guitarists Curt Brewer and Nate Jones are not to be disregarded as they bring a bluesy edge to the band's sometimes deafening roar. -- Darryl Smyers
Yacht Rock Tuesday, July 16, at Sundown at Granada, Free Across a breezy bay sits a pristine white yacht gently bouncing on the waves. Onboard, a wide-eyed, angry John Oates screams at his musical partner Daryl Hall -- it seems Hall has failed to meet Oates' high standards. Not far away, members of The Eagles practice extreme riffs that would put Van Halen to shame while Michael Jackson plans to eclipse Wilt Chamberlain's conquest record and Donald Fagen speaks in a scat so smooth it'll rock you to sleep. None of this actually happened. Or maybe it did? The 2005 online series Yacht Rock raises these questions about what happened during the late '70s and early '80s, when smooth sounds ruled the radio, and white suits ruled the clubs.
Lucky for us the crackerjack team of McDonald & Mulloy (M&M to you) have decided to bring a free screening of the series to the rooftop of Sundown at Granada. The dynamic duo has also secured the oh-so-smooth DJ Blake Ward, and Dallas' most mustachstic cover band, The Rich Girls, to soundtrack the evening. Yacht wear is encouraged, as there will be a costume contest, a trivia match and rumored 'stache-off. Be there, or don't, just don't be a Messina. -- Jaime-Paul Falcon
Anamanaguchi, Kitty Pryde, Best Fwends Wednesday, July 17, at Dada, $10-$13 Well this show is weird and fun. An NES band, a joking/not joking suburban rapper and Europe's favorite Fort Worth band. All are much more talented than their "gimmicks," although the live shows (for Kitty, at least) haven't always delivered. I'd say it's well worth the risk. (KM)
Psychedelic Furs Wednesday, July 17, at House of Blues, $23-$40 Richard Butler once commented that when you become a musician, it isn't a career decision. It's not something anyone can really plan on doing long-term. Now, nearly three decades after the Psychedelic Furs cemented their place among influential '80s-era post-punk/new wave artists, they will add a stop at the House of Blues on their summer tour. "Pretty in Pink," the masterfully written new-wave artifact, is no doubt what propelled the Furs into the spotlight. But they have recorded seven albums, including the classic Midnight to Midnight, wrote essential new wave hits such as "Love My Way" and "The Ghost in You" and have influenced an array of post-punk revivalists. How's that for longevity? -- Aaron Ortega