The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: S U R V I V E, Power4TheLocals2, Robert Earl Keen and More

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What better way to give 2016 the finger than to get out and see some great shows? It's been a hell of a year, especially when it comes to losing music icons. But this week's got some great opportunities to forget all the bad stuff and focus on some once in a lifetime opportunities. For example, Seryn takes their final bow at Kessler Theater on Thursday night and synth quartet S U R V I V E plays a highly anticipated NYE show Saturday night at It'll Do.

Soul Funktion With DJ Wanz Dover
9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Off The Record, 2716 Elm St., free

This free event at one of Deep Ellum’s best bars features $4 beers and a specially selected soundtrack crafted by one of Dallas’ most celebrated musicians, Wanz Dover. The jack-of-all trades artist, who’s been doing music professionally for 25 years and touches nearly every genre of music with his multiple bands and special projects, will be producing an exploration in funk, soul, afrobeat and dub music titled Soul Funktion. The dance-worthy mix boasts gems from Moodymann, Theo Parrish to the O’Jays and so many more. Dover’s eclectic Soul Funktion mix may even inspire some crate digging of your own, which can also be accomplished at Off The Record, since it offers a wide selection of vinyl for sale in the bar. Mikel Galicia

With Jacob Metcalf, 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $18

After lineup changes, the creation of their own label and leaving Denton behind for Nashville, Seryn definitely saw their fair share of adjustments over the years. But it was all for the better, it seems. The band's fondness for fiddles and ukuleles planted them comfortably in the folk scene. Though they moved from Denton to pursue broader dreams of success, Seryn never forgot their fans back home and regularly made stops through Texas. But just as they released a new single, "Mausoleum,” the band recently announced an "indefinite hiatus" and says some members are enjoying working on solo projects. They say goodbye tonight after their possible final show ever at Kessler Theater. Diamond Victoria

Robert Earl Keen
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com, $45 to $98

Before there was any so-called Texas country craze in the mid-1980s, Robert Earl Keen was packing honky-tonks and bars around the state with his blended brand of folk, rock and country. Many Keen classics, primarily the epic "Road Goes on Forever" and the drunkenly jubilant "Merry Christmas From the Family," continue to be placed onto countless country playlists and mixtapes. Keen has become a nationally recognized talent, producing one fine album after another, ignoring current trends in favor of his own instinctual excursions. Kelly Dearmore

Raw Elementz: Power4TheLocals2
With Bobby Sessions, Nick Bryant, Dandii Sun, -topic and Deejay Mike B, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $16 to $21

Baltimore native Nick Whitener, otherwise known as Raw Elementz, throws a party Friday night at Trees with some of Dallas' top hip-hop lyricists. Raw handpicked the lineup, which includes all-local artists including Bobby Sessions and -topic, and says it's a mashup of master wordsmiths. Power4TheLocals began in February, doubling as Raw's first headlining show. He says it's a show for locals to shine and sell out venues like the big boys. It all goes down the night before New Year's Eve, so anyone who prefers staying home in PJs with cheap bubbly on the craziest night of the year can still say they saw one of the greatest locals shows of 2016. Oh, and there's free food, too. So don't be late. Diamond Victoria

9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, It’ll Do, 4322 Elm St., 214-827-7236, $20.17 to $25.50

Netflix's Stranger Things was one of television's biggest surprise hits this past year. With music such a focus of the show, synth wizards Survive proved to be the show's secret weapon. Long an Austin fixture, the series' producers sought the band's co-leaders Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein to use songs in network development pitches. Survive ended up scoring the entire series, filling each episode with a healthy mixture of terrifyingly bleak soundscapes and drone-etched waves of moody ambiance. Pair their music with a festive occasion like New Year's Eve, though, and some lurking optimism may rise to the surface with the promise of a brighter year ahead. Jeff Strowe

Dezi 5
With 88 Killa and DJ Ursa Minor, 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Three Links, 2704 Elm Street, 214-653-8228, threelinksdeepellum.com, free

Dezi 5 is no longer one of Dallas’ best kept secrets. The charismatic, dynamic performer was recently voted the Best Live Act in the city by Dallas Observer readers, which means this New Year’s Eve celebration is guaranteed to help you ring in the new year with a bang. Dezi’s R&B stylings infused with pop and funk will be paired with the hip-hop stylings of 88 Killa, who’s no secret talent either. For years, Killa has been a mainstay in Dallas’ rich underground hip-hop scene as a throwback to the days of true emcees, and he’s got the style to match as he’s typically seen in a fur coat, four-finger ring and maybe a gold rope. With Ursa Minor deejaying throughout the night, this all-local bill boasts three of Dallas’ premier acts poised for a big 2017. Mikel Galicia

With Cure for Paranoia, Sam Lao, Kwinton Gray, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $16

Whether 2016 has been a crap year or a good year for you, you'll have fun at the all-ages party at Trees on New Year's Eve. Ishi's electronic dance and funk sounds fantastic through the venue's sound system, so it will be a great way to ring in 2017. JT Mudd and his bandmates have won many Dallas Observer Music Awards in the past few years and put out an EP called Juno earlier this year. They know how to work an audience, and with all local acts on the bill, it will be a wonderful way to celebrate Dallas. Sam Lao has stolen a lot of people's hearts with her hip-hop/R&B sound, taking home five DOMAs this year. Four-piece Cure for Paranoia will bring their experimental electronic hip-hop and Kwinton Gray will bring a funky bounce to the room. There are many options for New Year's Eve, but this seems like one of the best options if you want to see local acts. Eric Grubbs

Jonathan Tyler
Wtih Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen and Red Shahan, 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $24 to $80

Dallas has given the world some pretty great music. From Tripping Daisy to Stevie Ray Vaughn to Leon Bridges. And part of the long list of famed Dallasites is Jonathan Tyler. The blues-playing darling and recipient of several Dallas Observer Music Awards, including "Best Male Vocalist," "Reader's Pick Best Local CD Release" and "Best Blues Act," released his latest album, Holy Smokes, last August and is kicking off the new year, and a new tour across the U.S. and parts of Canada, tonight at Granada Theater. Diamond Victoria

With Vandoliers, Loafers, the Warden, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-748-5105 or dadadallas.com, $15

Capping out a year that’s induced fear, anger, sadness and controversy, Club Dada is putting on a show that will ring in the New Year with screams of reverie. The alt-country stylings of Joshua Fleming’s side band, Vandoliers, will paint you a picture of a better tomorrow with tunes from their 2016 release Ameri-Kinda and more, while the rest of the card pumps the club with the energy you’ll need to stick to your resolutions in 2017. Dallas’ unofficial punk mascots Sealion and Waco transplants Loafers are settled on opposite sides of the same coins, with the former celebrating their well-deserved welcome to the Dallas scene earlier this year and the latter hoping to leave this messy year behind. East Dallas’ hard-drinking honky tonk-man, Ward Richmond, better known as The Warden, will open the show and most likely head to the bar to celebrate the end of the year, as well as yet another killer local bill. Nicholas Bostick

Ten Hands
10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 N. Industrial St., 940-320-2000 or danssilverleaf.com, $15

Besides Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, no other band is as synonymous with the glory days of Deep Ellum as Ten Hands. Beginning in 1986, the group quickly garnered a solid local following that has not diminished in three decades. Although Ten Hands formally stopped playing in the mid '90s, there had been sporadic reunion shows until 2004 when several members left town. Now they are back again to play a great New Year's Eve show at Dan's Silverleaf. Darryl Smyers

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