Ringing in your first week of May is a week of music that's as diverse as it gets. We've got everything from Rodriguez, the legendary musician and subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugarman, to the Dwarves, a group of disgusting punk badboys. Get a taste for them by watching clips of them and all of the others, including Jim James and Yo La Tengo, just below.
Rodriguez, Jenny O. Friday, May 3, at Annette Strauss Artist Square, $25 In barely a year, the music-loving public has gone from either not knowing Rodriguez (full name Sixto Rodriguez) existed or thinking he was a near-mythical artist who had succumbed to any number of possible deaths to knowing his made-for-the-silver-screen story of musical resurrection. Certainly, the Detroit native is on a late-life rocket to stardom here in the United States and not merely in South Africa, as had been the case prior to the release of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugarman. Now that we're all up to date, the real story here is that the 70-year-old Rodriquez's albums Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, released in 1970 and 1971, respectively, are essentially new releases to most consumers. And what makes this new chapter of Sugarman's stardom juicier is in how both of those albums are superior to the past couple of releases from current folk studs such as Sweden's Tallest Man on Earth or even the eloquent Josh Ritter. Thankfully, no one has to search for Rodriguez the man anymore. Now, it's just a search for tickets to his shows. -- Kelly Dearmore
Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction Thursday, May 2, at Granada Theater, $16-$29 Local blog Gorilla vs. Bear returns to the Granada for a hip-hop bill filled with out-of-the-box beats and left-of-center lyrics. Returning to the party is Seattle-based hip-hop collective Shabazz Palaces, led by Ishmael Butler, aka Palaceer Lazaro (formerly Butterfly of Digable Planets). Shabazz Palaces set themselves apart from the rest of hip-hop by relying less on manufactured image and more on an audio and visual identity clouded in mysticism. Released in 2011 on Sub Pop, Black Up communicated more like a jazz record than anything else. The wonderful THEESatisfaction and Malitia Malimob round out the bill. -- Lee Escobedo
Dwarves, The Queers, Bad Machine Friday, May 3, at Three Links, $20 Expect two things when The Dwarves co-headline Three Links with the Queers: punk ferocity and relentlessly disgusting behavior. While we don't expect frontman Blag Dahlia to cause as much of a ruckus on the stretch of the Deep Ellum block as, say, Andy Dick did when he was in town last year (he reportedly got drunk at what is now Three Links, ran into the street and jumped into a passerby's car and later pissed off a patron with junk-to-skull contact), we certainly expect Blag and company's pre- and post-party to spill out onto the street ... or at least congregate onto the sidewalk for a rather loud crescendo to what will be a night filled with vitriolic and spirited West Coast punk. No sign of a new Dwarves album (not since 2011's The Dwarves Are Born Again) to coincide with this run, but no matter. Chances are everyone in the room will be treated to something they've never experienced before. -- Alan Ayo
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic Friday, May 3, at House of Blues, $20-$50 No, really. George Clinton is in town. Seventy-one and showing no signs whatsoever of slowing down, George and his P-Funk All Stars will be swinging through House of Blues to deliver the same brand of funk they've been peddling since the '60s -- you know, the one they invented. Alas, there will be no Bootsy Collins, and bassist Cordell "Boogie" Mosson sadly passed away on this tour, but Parliament-Funkadelic was really only ever a loose association of musicians based around the irrepressible personality and relentless production of Clinton anyway. Everyone has their own favorite Clinton story or quote, and here's an excellent one, discussing the classic Mothership Connection with the Cleveland Scene in 2006: "I was a big fan of Star Trek, so we did a thing with a pimp sitting in a spaceship shaped like a Cadillac, and we did all these James Brown-type grooves, but with street talk and ghetto slang." Clinton's glorious approach to logic and music are a joy to behold, and he's nothing less than one of the greatest innovators and band leaders ever to grace the stage. Tear the roof off the sucker, George. -- Gavin Cleaver
Austere's Neo-Woodstock Saturday, May 4, at Bullseye Bike Shop, Free In an effort to showcase Denton's "creative grunge" attributes, as well as familiarize audiences with the new Austere magazine brand -- a monthly magazine featuring local styles, music and arts -- the four twentysomething women who co-own Austere say they banded together to create a free neo-Woodstock outdoor event in Denton this weekend. More than six local businesses are on board with sponsoring the day-to-night event, which includes sets from electro, folk and rock acts Biographies, The Buffalo Parade, The Red Death, Terrestrials, Sydney Wright (from Sol Tax), Danny Malone and Lynn Haven. Food trucks, vendor tents, live art, printmaking and a photo booth are all promised, as well as a winner to the contest for people best dressed in Woodstock-themed hippie attire. -- Rachel Watts
Yo La Tengo Saturday, May 4, at Granada Theater, $22-$41 The idea of a band approaching 30 years old is not quite the wonder it once seemed to be. Indeed, there are lots of acts creaking along, feebly attempting to squeeze juice from a fruit that dried up long ago. But that is not the case for Yo La Tengo. For nearly three decades, the New Jersey band has put out music that is consistently good-to-great. And Fade, the band's January release, is undoubtedly among its best. Sure, the album was produced by John McIntire (Tortoise, Sea and Cake, and producer extraordinaire for everyone from Stereolab to Spoon), and the production values are great. But it's the songs that matter, and Fade finds a great balance among the guitar rock, shoegaze and earnest folk genres that serve as YLT's guideposts. With 13 albums and a history of interesting cover songs at their shows, the band has a very a deep well to draw from. -- Doug Davis
Red Like Heat, Pageantry, New York City Queens, Bethan Sunday, May 5, at Dada, $5 Formerly known as the catchy punk-pop band Noonday Morningstar, Red Like Heat is the quartet's newest incarnation, and will be headlining an excellent local bill at Dada this weekend for Cinco de Mayo. Math-infused experimental trio Pageantry, who is gearing up for a June release of their new EP, will co-headline. Houston's pop-rock six-piece New York City Queens, who allegedly have a great audio-visual set will go on after opener and singer-songwriter Bethan, who has worked with the likes of producer Roger Greenawalt (Ben Kweller, The Pierces). -- Rachel Watts
Father John Misty, Adam Green, Binki Shapiro Monday, May 6, at Granada Theater, $20-$40 It's no news that J. Tillman has had many musical past lives, including a short-lived stint with the Fleet Foxes, but after the release of Fear Fun last summer, the first album under his moniker Father John Misty, he's perhaps never been more at home. It's your last chance to get tickets for a show that will probably move you to tears, so long as you're not distracted by FJM's awkward dance moves. -- Rachel Watts
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Jim James Tuesday, May 7, at House of Blues, $26 Jim James is responsible for an indelible music moment in this city. During My Morning Jacket's 2008 tour, James and company were making it a point to cover the Queen Erykah Badu's "Tyrone" during their sets. This led to a flurry of rumors that Badu herself would put in an appearance during the band's set when they stopped through. These rumors wound up true, and Dallas was treated to an extremely pregnant Badu appearing on stage to drive the crowd wild. Since that night, James has put out one more album with MMJ, one album with his fellow Monsters of Folk, a George Harrison tribute album under the name Yim Yames, a Woody Guthrie tribute album with Jay Farrar, Anders Parker and Will Johnson, and finally a highly lauded solo album earlier this year. When he takes the stage on Tuesday he'll be a quarter of the way through with a tour that has him appearing at Bonnaroo, Firefly Fest and the Newport Folk festival. Oh, and if it didn't seem like he was busy enough, James will rejoin MMJ to go on tour with Wilco and Bob Dylan later this year. London-based Doom soul extraordinaires Cold Specks will open and should not be missed. -- Jaime-Paul Falcon
Brent Best, Kirkland James, Ralph White, William Bryan Massey III Recommended Wednesday, May 8, at Lola's Saloon, $8 Dallas-Fort Worth's legendary musician Brent Best, of alt-country band Slobberbone fame, is headlining a solo singer-songwriter gig of maximum Americana proportion. A solo set from Kirkland James (P.W. Long, Tenderloin) will precede multi-instrumentalist Ralph White (The Bad Livers, Gulf Coast Playboys, Precious Blood, Rubble). I'm told that Ralph White will play a full solo set of his material on banjo, guitar, fiddle and kalimba, complete with loop boxes, before collaborating with Kirkland James and Brent Best during each of their sets. William Bryan Massey III opens the show with comedic readings from his many self-published, handmade books. This one is not to be missed. -- Rachel Watts