It feels like winter's already here, so you might as well get your ass inside somewhere and hear some good live music. There are plenty of shows to choose from. Tuesday brings with it Cass McCombs at Club Dada. If shoegaze is your thing, DIIV will be at Canton Hall on Wednesday. Then, DFW favorite Pearl Earl and Houston-raised rapper Maxo Kream will fight for your attention on Thursday. And you'd better be in for a face-melting weekend, because Baboon, Tenacious D, Brave Combo and The Legendary Pink Dots are coming to town.
Cass McCombs 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $15-$18 at spunetickets.com
Over the course of 15 years and nine studio albums, Bay Area-born Cass McCombs has created ambitious music and defied expectations. As a songwriter, first and foremost, he's crafted free-flowing explorations into subjects large and small; his meditations on the sprawling wonder of the cosmos coincide nicely with his detailed eye and appreciation for the mundane and everyday. He's also equal parts guitar shredder and noodler, a dichotomy expertly expressed on his latest album, Tip of the Sphere, that serves as a deep dive into Grateful Dead-esque jams and ambling, measured textures of sound. In a live setting, McCombs' ruffled charm and casual wit interject a nice balance to the heady numbers banged out in the set list. Jeff Strowe
Jason Bucklin Trio 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at The Balcony Club, 1825 Abrams Road, free
When Jason Bucklin isn’t teaching guitar and bass lessons, like he’s done for most of his life, he’s usually onstage with his jazz trio at The Balcony Club. In teaching guitar and bass, including master classes at the University of North Texas, Bucklin has grown an appreciation and passion for all kinds of music. But jazz was his first love. Bucklin used to play with Café Noir, the Dallas-based sextet, but every Tuesday, at least from now until sometime in December, Bucklin hits The Balcony Club stage with his trio for a night of jazz. And, it’s free. Go see the Jason Bucklin Trio while you still can. Jacob Vaughn
DIIV 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St., $20-$23 at ticketfly.com
DIIV (pronounced like “dive”) made a massive impact following the release of their debut 2012 album Oshin, almost immediately garnering comparisons to acts like Nirvana for far more than lead singer Cole Smith’s Kurt Cobain hairdo. By 2016, however, it seemed as if the New York-based indie-rock shoegazers were likely to head down the same path as the band that became Seattle’s second best (right behind the coffee). The band canceled a chunk of the European leg of their 2016 tour after an incident in Leeds, in between losing founding members Colby Hewitt and Devin Ruben Perez. Earlier this month, DIIV has followed through on a tremendous comeback by way of their third album, Deceiver, released Oct. 4. Adopting a far darker tone than their earlier outings, the album revolves around the metamorphic changes that often come about after one survives an ordeal as threatening to one’s health as Smith’s battle with drugs and alcohol. The result is 10 tracks that exist somewhere between the cavern-like simplicity of their debut and the upbeat intensity of their second, Is the Is Are, a seemingly sweet spot that will keep you staring at your ever-tapping toes all night. Nicholas Bostick
9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at Harvest House, 331 E. Hickory St., Denton, $2 at door
Pearl Earl’s inception traces to songs penned by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ariel Hartley in her bedroom. A couple of years later, Hartley formed the band with drummer and backing vocalist Bailey Chapman and bassist Stefanie Lazcano after the trio had a rollicking jam session. After performing and gaining a following as a three-piece for a couple of years, Pearl Earl later added the uber-talented multi-instrumentalist Chelsey Danielle on keys and more in 2017. The band's show Thursday is billed as their last one in Denton until next year, so you won't want to miss it. They will be playing with special guests The Schizophonics from San Diego, and Maestro Maya at Harvest House. Daniel Rodrigue
Maxo Kream 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $25 at livenation.com
With a dark sense of humor and a breezy wit, Houston-raised rapper Maxo Kream, aka Emekwanem Ogugua Biosah Jr., expertly tells snippets of his life story on this year's stellar album Brandon Banks. Here Kream tells heartfelt tales of crime and punishment, abandonment and loss, grief and joy, in equal measure. It's an effort that will likely find him garnering many votes for year-end best-of lists. The rapper also reps his home state well. In a recent interview, he threw out tons of praise for the Texas scene, referencing fellow artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Splurge and Lil' Jairmy. Jeff Strowe
Baboon 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., $16 at prekindle.com
Formed in 1991, Denton’s legendary alternative rock band Baboon will be performing a one-off performance at The Kessler alongside Daniel Markham and Caved Mountains on Friday. The band once featured in the 1996 “Hall of Fame” episode of Walker Texas Ranger has not played a show since the 10th anniversary “Dia de los Toadies” event at Possum Kingdom Lake over two years ago. Known for their high-energy performances featuring heavy guitars, machine gun drums, trombone and a lot of screaming, Baboon is sure to bring new life into a venue known for its mellow performances. It remains unclear whether the show will be part of a larger announcement, as their social media pages have stayed fairly tight-lipped about why exactly they are choosing this moment to do a headlining show. What is clear, however, from their practice video is that the band remains as tight as ever. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic, want to learn a bit about local music history or you just want to throw down to some real '90s music, this is a show not to be missed. David Fletcher
Brave Combo 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, $10 at danssilverleaf.com
In a 2008 Paste Magazine piece naming Denton, Texas, as “Best Music Scene,” Brave Combo was mentioned as the “Grand Pooh-Bah of Denton bands” — after all, how many other Denton-based groups were animated and featured playing on The Simpsons, or picked to play David Byrne’s wedding? Tonight offers fans a chance to celebrate 40 years with two-time Grammy-winning Brave Combo’s brand of polka and other dance-able styles of world music as the group’s genre-spanning, celebratory set is likely to include a mix of polka, rock, zydeco, ska, salsa, conjunto, cumbia, merengue, norteño and other styles. Formed near the end of the spring 1979 semester by a handful of North Texas State University (now UNT) students, after gigging hard all summer and seeing growing support from fans in North Texas, Carl Finch, Tim Walsh, Dave Cameron and Lyle Atkinson decided to turn Brave Combo into a full-time endeavor, and by August the band started recording their first studio album, a seven-track, double-7-inch EP, Polkamania. In September ’79, Brave Combo played in front of a true polka crowd for the first time at Westfest, the annual Czech music, arts and food event in West, Texas, which helped solidify a substantial regional cult-like following for the group. Daniel Rodrigue
Tenacious D 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $60-$200 at ticketfly.com
Tenacious D bills itself as "The Greatest Band in the World / on Earth." That's a pretty bold statement, but superlatives surrounding the band certainly aren't uncommon. The loudest. The fastest. The funniest. Tenacious D is all of them. Although consisting of comedians Jack Black and Kyle Gass, don't dismiss Tenacious D as simply a side project — these are wildly talented musicians. In 2014, the band won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for their cover of Ronnie James Dio’s “The Last In Line," and Black's intense heavy-metal vocals over Gass' booming lead guitar are best turned up to 11. The duo has released four albums since their eponymous 2001 album. Last year, they released Post-Apocalypto featuring Dave Grohl on drums. The album samples music from the band's animated series Tenacious D in Post-Apocolypto — a series that was allegedly in response to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential win. Diamond Rodrigue
The Legendary Pink Dots
8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $22-$25 at eventbrite.com
The Legendary Pink Dots turn 40 in August 2020, and the experimental art-psych-post-punk rockers with the cult-like following have already kicked off the first leg of the band’s 40th anniversary tour. After more than 40 studio albums in under 40 years (not counting live albums, singles, EPs and collaborations), the band deserves an early victory lap. And this tour comes on the heels of the release of Angel in the Detail — an album, many fans seem to agree, is one of the Dots’ best in ages. Now truly legendary for the band’s prolific output, rotating cast of musicians (not to mention record labels) and genre-defying sound, The Legendary Pink Dots formed in London in 1980 before moving to Amsterdam in ’84 with Edward Ka-Spel and Phil Knight at the core. While singer-songwriter Ka-Spel’s vocals have always been front and center, he’s truly sounding cooler and more confident with age. Whether a Dots track starts with electronic bleep-bloops, a tape recording, guitar or keys, when the distinctive vocals of singer-songwriter Ka-Spel kick in, his vocal tone, enunciation and theatrical delivery become instantly recognizable. Local openers Nervous Curtains seem like a perfect pairing. Daniel Rodrigue
Revelers Hall Band 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave., free
Every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., the Revelers Hall Band makes a not-so-subtle stop at their home venue. The six-piece brass band packs a punch that is near impossible to stand still against. The band embodies what Revelers Hall co-owner Jason Roberts and music director Kevin Butler want to get out of all the performers at the venue. It's acoustic, and they play real pianos and upright basses, instead of electric. Even if the power goes out, the Revelers Hall Band will keep the show going. The band can also be heard accompanying other acts booked at the venue throughout the week. Jacob Vaughn
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.