DFW Music News

The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, May 5 - May 11

Still recovering from the busy music weekend freshly past? Reveling in the newfangled 90-degree heat? Well, there's no rest for the wicked, folks -- at least not when it comes to the non-stop excitement that is the Dallas concert schedule. In fact, you'd better be ready for some more festival action, too, because one of the big ones in North Texas is coming up at the end of the week. But long before then, it all starts with one of the great rump-shakers of the past (believe it or not) 25 years.

Sir Mix-A-Lot 8 p.m. Monday, May 5, at McKinney Avenue Tavern, 2822 McKinney Ave., 214-969-1984 or http://www.mckinneyavenuetavern.com It may be 2014, but we still love big butts, and we cannot lie. Sir Mix-a-Lot's 15 minutes of fame has long since passed, but that doesn't mean Seattle's favorite mack daddy can't still pimp his big hit to the world -- well-endowed ladies or otherwise. It's just that his crowds have tapered off like the bell curve of a fine booty: he'll be visiting the decidedly modest environs of McKinney Tavern this time around. Jeff Gage

Jesse Cook 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis, 214-272-8346 or http://www.thekessler.org Canada, our little northern neighbors who could, have a surprisingly diverse musical landscape to brag about. But flamenco? Yep, they even have that covered, thanks to Juno Award-winning veteran Jesse Cook, who's established himself as a smooth jazz and guitar-picking icon over the course of a career that stretches back more than a decade and a half. Tonight, the maestro will get the Kessler all to himself for a special "evening with" performance. JG

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers With Bobby Mack, 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 7 at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis, 214-272-8346 or http://www.thekessler.org Texas loves its blues, thank you very much. For Tommy Castro, the southern-fried soul of the blues gets channeled through his California roots and broadcast back through the PA with thick, gritty guitar tones. Which is to say, Castro is a bona-fide axe slinger, in the finest tradition of heroes like Buddy Guy and Freddie King. Catching him with his Painkillers means a night of electric blues the way they were meant to be heard. JG

Frameworks With Gates, Tiny Moving Parts, Two Knights, 7 p.m., Thursday, May 8, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., www.threelinksdeepellum.com Rather than bitch online about an emo revival actually happening (or how it never went away), why not go and watch some of the most promising bands cut from the cloth of '90s post-hardcore? Both Gates and Tiny Moving Parts have new material to play in their first time in Dallas, and Frameworks are promoting an explosive new album called Loom. Denton house show favorites Two Knights will open. You can call this twinkle, dadcore, spaz-rock or just emo, but the important thing is, none of these bands are aiming to become pop stars. They sing directly from their love-torn hearts, playing music that exudes an emotional catharsis that anyone can relate to, beyond screaming teenyboppers in Dayglo with babysitting money to burn. Eric Grubbs Lady Antebellum With Billy Currington and David Nail, 7 p.m., Friday, May 9 at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Avenue, 214-421-1111 or www.gexaenergypavilion.net For Lady Antebellum's Hilary Scott, fame came her way through a roundabout path. With the musical chops to outdo her female industry peers, Scott auditioned for American Idol twice and never even made it to the judges' round in the audition process. But like any underdog tale, she continued to pursue music -- and follow in her famous mother, singer Linda Davis' footsteps -- eventuall joining forces with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood to form Lady Antebellum. Named for a style of houses, the country music trio has steadily increased with popularity among fans and credibility among critics since forming in 2006. Their most most well-known song has to be the Grammy Award-winning "Need You Now," a sort of drunken booty call of a tune that revels in the sort of poor decision making that develops after one too many whiskeys. Paige Skinner Christina Perri With Birdy, 8 p.m., Friday, May 9, at the House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or www.houseofblues.com/dallas There are no two ways about: Christina Perri's songs reach down into your soul and wrap themselves around the very fibers of your being. Ever since her song "Jar of Hearts" was featured during the 2010 season of So You Think You Can Dance, and the megahit "A Thousand Years" landed on the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 in 2011, there has been no denying that Perri makes anything but disposable pop. Her new album, Head or Heart, only furthers this belief as the first single "Human" finds Perri being unapologetic about her inability to be robotic and conformist while keeping her feelings and emotions hidden. Perri dazzles with her ability to switch from understated vocals to a powerful delivery at the drop of a hat. It's damn near impossible not to like a woman whose singing makes you feel so alive. Brian Palmer

Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger With Broncho, 8 p.m., Friday, May 9 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., www.dadadallas.com Jakob, Lisa Marie, Arlo, Matthew, Gunnar and Miley. Each of these musicians have had to battle their often-twerking hearts out to emerge from the shadows of their beloved, iconic musical fathers. It may be just as well to pick a screwed-up band name to perform under. So while the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, has released albums under his own name, he's more recently been active as one-half of the intensely psychedelic duo Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, or GOASTT, along with his romantic partner, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. There's no mistaking a bit of obvious sonic inheritance in GOASTT's latest release, Midnight Sun, a lush kaleidoscopic haze that, for better or worse, is reminiscent of John's gently epic Sgt. Pepper's-era work. Indeed, it will be worth catching this show for the aural effects more than it will be to stare at the son of a ghost. Kelly Dearmore

Homegrown Music and Art Festival With the Toadies, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and more, 11 a.m., at Main Street Garden Park, 1902 Main St., www.homegrownfest.com For the fifth Homegrown Music and Arts Festival, the event's parochial moniker might be truer than ever,. The two bands atop the bill this year, The Toadies and Austin's ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, are both acts that have long nurtured their local fan bases and risen to beloved Lone Star-centric acts deserving of the victory laps that this year's festival represents. After all, what better festival than one named "Homegrown" is there for two such bands to celebrate the anniversaries of their best albums? The Toadies will play the 20-year-old, regionally iconic Rubberneck, while Trail of Dead performs its 2002 masterwork, Source Tags and Codes. Other highlights will include Denton's Seryn and the always kick-ass Sarah Jaffe, plus Fort Worth's The Phuss and Calhoun. It's pretty sweet when widely-adored musical greatness just happens to be from around these parts. KD

Wolfmother 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 11, at the House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or www.houseofblues.com/dallas Andrew Stockdale has led Australia's Wolfmother for almost 15 years. In that time, Stockdale has basically reinvented the band on at least three occasions. Throughout it all, the band's retro, psychedelic metal muse has remained basically intact. The proof of such is on the recently released New Crown, another fine tribute to everything that is (sort of) great about Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Stockdale still can't sing to save his life, but the impressive deluge of tripped out guitars more than compensates as New Crown sounds as vital as anything else in the band's sadly limited catalog. Darryl Smyers

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Jeff Gage
Contact: Jeff Gage

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