The 10 Best Concerts This Week: Jingle Ball, Mary J. Blige, Dolly Parton and More

As some Dallasites awaken from a coma of carbs, meats and booze, the music scene around these parts is ready to serve up a double shot of espresso. Why not ease into the cheesy soundtracks of over-crowded department stores heading this way with a week of well-deserved shows? 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball is here to gently transition us into the chaotic season, as well as Yelawolf and Dolly Parton, to name a few. And we'd be remiss not to remind our readers of the Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase, happening Saturday night.

(Hed) P.E.
With 5 Billion and Counting and Kill For Mother, 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122, or, $12

Since 1994, (Hed) P.E. has blended punk rock and gangster rap together to create something wonderfully chaotic. Since then, they've released nine studio albums and they've also taken a political stance, involving themselves in the "9/11 Truth Movement." And although they've gone through about 12 different members over the years, (Hed) P.E have managed to stick around for the past couple of decades and don't seem pressed to fill venues as of yet. Diamond Victoria

Jingle Ball
With Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Backstreet Boys and more, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687, or, $50 to $160

With decorations already up in every store and classic Christmas carols beginning to play on the radio, everyone is now tangled in the holiday spirit. There are tons of festivities happening to keep you feeling joyful. The annual iHeart Radio Jingle Ball Concert is back with a star-studded lineup that is filled with some of pop and alternative rock’s favorites. Hit maker Meghan Trainor, girl group sensation Fifth Harmony, the dynamic due the Chainsmokers, singer-songwriter Alessia Cara, Daya, the boy band legends Backstreet Boys and a few others will come together to give fans a show. This is a night that will slide you into December and have you anticipating what fun the rest of the month will bring. Aria Bell

With Bubba Sparxxx, Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 214-932-6501, or, $25 to $60

Hip-hop and country music will come together on the last day of November at The Bomb Factory. But this isn't some silly redneck rap peddled to the lowest common denominator. Yelawolf has a sound that's rooted more in dark Johnny Cash tunes and Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western soundtracks than George Strait ballads and 2 Live Crew jams. With songs about struggling through the eyes of the poor, the persona Michael Atha has made speaks to people who struggle, not just with money, but life. With Bubba Sparxxx, Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings (yes, Waylon is his grandfather), it will be a party, but the kind that's meant to lift you up and make you feel better about the future. Eric Grubbs

Ball and Parlay Screw Night
With Black Taffy, 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Crown and Harp, 1914 Greenville Ave., 214-828-1914, Free

Chopped and screwed, a DJ technique pioneered by DJ Screw that remixed hip-hop music, is traced back to Houston in the early '90s. But that's not the only place to find some great examples of this genre. Donovan Jones, otherwise known as Black Taffy, hosts a show at Crown and Harp tonight and invites anyone interested to bring tapes for "a night solely comprised of cassette tapes on the slow and live chopping and screwing," according to the event's Facebook page. DV

With True Widow and Narrow Head, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-742-3400, or, $12

Nothing juxtapose a playful, shoegaze sound and pop sensibilities against hard-hitting lyrics more reminiscent of the band members' roots in a much heavier, punk rock scene. Singer and guitar player Domenic Palermo even spent a couple of years in jail for attempted murder when he stabbed someone during a brawl. So, they're interesting to say the least. Nothing are a band that can be enjoyed without too much thought, thanks to their appealing, indie rock sound. But pay closer attention and you'll likely wind up more affected by the band than you thought. DV

Lupe Fiasco

7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., $27.50 to $50

Chicago rapper, producer and entrepreneur Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, otherwise known as Lupe Fiasco, rose to fame in 2006 after his debut album, Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor, earned him three Grammy nominations. Since then, the rapper has released a handful of other albums including the 2011 Lasers, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Lupe Fiasco has been credited as a pioneer of the "conscious hip-hop movement," a type of hip-hop focusing on social issues and has landed himself in a few feuds with fellow rappers Azealia Banks and Kid Cudi. It's this type of attention he pays to the world around him that has set Lupe Fiasco apart from some in the industry. DV

Mary J. Blige
With Maxwell, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687, or, $50 to $180

For over 20 years Maxwell and his sultry, entrancing falsetto have tenderly delivered songs about falling in love, devotion to a partner and of course the breakup. This summer he released BLACKsummers’night, the second installment of a trilogy the singer is working on. Mary J. Blige is no slouch either; she has released 13 chart-topping albums in the same 20-year period, along with numerous compilations and features, but she’s done so with an over-the-top flair that the understated Maxwell cannot compete with. Ironically, for an artist whose biggest hit to date is “No More Drama,” Blige has made a career out of singing about the pains and heartache of love in a way that empowers. These two veterans of the stage are guaranteed to deliver a powerful, balanced display of R&B greatness. Also, Blige’s legendary dance moves are not to be missed. Mikel Galicia

The Suffers and Sarah Jaffe
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346, or, $20 to $50

Sarah Jaffe needs little introduction around these parts. The DFW-native was a fixture on the scene long before she first began piling up Dallas Observer Music Awards back in 2010. Part confessional singer-songwriter, part blues-pop purveyor, part indie electronica whiz, Jaffe brings a variety of tools and textures to her stage shows. Lately, she's been collaborating with hip-hop producer S1, and partnering alongside another local favorite, Sam Lao, for some of the tunes featured on her recent EP, Visions. This weekend will find her back home at the Kessler for a two-night stand after a month spent overseas touring around Europe. Co-headlining for the weekend are the Suffers, a tight-knit ensemble from Houston that takes elements of Southern hip-hop, Latin grooves and Stax muscle and turns it all into glorious, celebratory noise. Anchored by singer Kam Franklin's powerfully soulful vocals, the Suffers have seen their profile rise sharply in the past year, buoyed by appearances on NPR's All Songs Considered, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. It's a solid two-night stand that features some of Texas' best talent sharing a stage. Jeff Strowe

Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase
With Buffalo Black, Sealion, Cygnus, The Outfit, TX and more, 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in Deep Ellum, $15 to $50

You voted for them and now we’re bringing them to you. Fifty of Dallas-Fort Worth’s best-loved bands will invade nine stages across Deep Ellum, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards. The lineup includes bands selected from more than 200 finalists, all voted on by more than 200 journalists, musicians, promoters and fans of DFW’s diverse local music scene. Stretching from Reno’s Chop Shop to The Door, local stars such as Bobby Sessions, Charley Crockett, Cygnus and The Outfit, TX will come together for one night celebrating the many sounds of North Texas. Newcomers to the award-showcase, like four-piece punk outfit Loafers and the Heavy Hands, will tear down the house while fan favorites including Sealion; Blue, the Misfit; and Vincent Neil Emmerson cement their local legacies. The eclectic mix of acts will all be vying for one of 40 awards to be given out this year, with winners to be announced 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Bomb Factory. Voting will remain open until the day before the show, so be sure to cast your ballot. Nicholas Bostick

Dolly Parton
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, 972-854-5111, $15 to $420

Dolly Parton is nothing short of legendary. With a career that spans well over four decades, her contributions to both country and pop music do not go unnoticed. Despite what we know now, success did not come easily for Parton. She battled the charts, her record label and good old fashioned sexism when trying to break through to the mainstream. It was not until the now-quintessential country tune “Jolene” was released that she received her inaugural No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country charts. Following this, she released two more singles, “I Will Always Love You” and “Love Is Like A Butterfly,” that both made their way to the No. 1 slot. She later spent some time creating pop music, which saw moderate success, but nothing compared to what she composed in the country genre. She has since returned to her country roots, releasing several albums and touring to this day. She is currently touring for her 43rd studio album release. Taylor Frantum
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Diamond Rodrigue
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