Six Shows Worth Their Salt in Dallas Tonight

Another night, another solid selection of shows in our fair region.

Dengue Fever, Spain Colored Orange at The Loft
If you read my preview for this show in this week's print edition of the Observer, you'll know that I think Dengue Fever is a pretty special band. And it's not just the multicultural, dual-language thing that makes the band stand apart (although that's still pretty damn cool). With this band, it's all about the way in which Ethan Holtzman and Chhom Nimol have integrated western rock norms into the Cambodian pop that they originally intended to simply emulate. Dengue Fever's most recent release, Cannibal Courtship, is the band's most conventional album yet -- but that doesn't mean these guys (and gal) have sold out. It just means the new songs are a bit more listener-friendly for folks not used to hearing lyrics sung in Khmer.

Anoraak at Rio Room
Another solid get for the recently opened Rio Room (formerly Suite) tonight, as the Travis Street hotspot hosts French electro-pop act Anoraak in its righteous digs. As is the norm at this venue, though, Anoraak won't be performing cuts from his 2010 debut release; instead, he'll be working the proverbial ones and twos at the club's DJ booth. Still, expect him to play some of his own, endearing cuts, along with other French house tracks from recent years.

Telegraph Canyon at Renfield's Corner
Renfield's just keeps killing it with their free show bookings. This show, featuring Telegraph Canyon, who are hard at work writing new material at the moment, is the cap on a strong two-week run in celebration of the venue's new beer garden.

Devil Driver, American Lab Rat, Splatta Fish and Eighth Circuit at Trees
Even though Trees has begun diversifying its booking practices, bands like Devil Driver are still the meat and potatoes of the venue's event calendar. And why not? The groove metal of California's Devil Driver is tailor-made for the sweaty, head-bobbing and fist-pumping crowd that usually gathers at Trees. Devil Driver's 2005 sophomore effort, The Fury of Our Maker's Hand, is probably the band's best album, but the recently issued Beast is pretty damn solid, too. This is heavy music meant for drinking, not for thinking.

Parallels, Sextape and Able Youth at Club Dada
Club Dada does it again with a tasty triple-bill that features the cool electropop of Canada's Parallels. The duo of Holly Dodson and Cameron Findlay makes consistently stylish dance music that's never as cold and calculating as this type of stuff can get. Songs like "Ultralight" and "Find the Fire" should thrill a well dressed throng of party goers looking to dance the night away. Adding locals Sextape to the bill is just the cherry on top.

The Crazy Ivans, Lovesick Mary and Coming to Get Barbara at Andy's Bar & Grill in Denton
I have to admit that I don't know a lot about any of the bands on this triple-bill. But let's face it: Coming to Get Barbara is a great name for a band. As for The Crazy Ivans, um, not so much. Still, their brand of poppy punk is tight and energetic -- probably the reason they're headlining. Folks in Denton could do a lot worse than show up and support three quality local acts.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers