The 11 Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, November 14 to 20

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Raw Talent: Femme Fatale Edition Thursday, November 14 at Sandaga 813 Raw Talent is a reoccuring local event showcasing local hip hop talent in Dallas. In celebration of their one year anniversary, they offer up a special edition of the event, featuring the city's best female emcees. Jenny Robinson, Conchita Virus, Ni Taylor, Honey B, Hunter, and MC Queen are among those performing- while another local female rapper, Alsace Carcione, will host. Vanessa Quilantan

Rob Baird Thursday, November 14, at Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth Despite the tunes of tired vets or ditties from frat-boy wannabes often heard on radio stations that pride themselves on playing "Texas country," there are plenty of emerging artists who have something to say in voices that aim higher than to merely sound like the singer they first got drunk to. Austin's Rob Baird, who came from Memphis to Texas for some learning at TCU a few years ago, is one of the prime examples of an artist taking the tried and true roots-rock sound and producing a fresh product that forces you to listen intently. At times, his vocals are bold and at others there's a slight quiver that hits the ears in just the right way. Baird's 2012 I Swear It's the Truth is a moving collection of songs featuring a folk writer's touch with a rocking roadhouse swagger. It's not easy to convincingly pull off the sensitive country-rocker formula, but Baird does so with authentic maturity. Kelly Dearmore

The Head and the Heart Friday, November 15, at South Side Ballroom There is nothing consciously odd about the folk music of The Head and the Heart, but few bands on the planet are capable of resonance this affecting. Their unabashed goal is elegance, and they achieve it on nearly every tune. KM

Kurtis Blow Friday, November 15, at The Boiler Room Kurtis Blow is a rap trivia gold mine. For example: "The Breaks" is widely credited as the first mainstream hit for hip-hop, and it is the first one to be certified gold. Except it was actually the Bronx rapper's second major-label hit, after "Christmas Rapping," which sold 400,000 copies on its release. The lesson there is that there is no better way to make a challenging new art form broadly appealing than to make it Christmas-themed. More important, a true hip-hop pioneer is going to be in Dallas this week, and his powers as an entertainer haven't diminished much in the 35 years since he made history. Kiernan Maletsky

Berlin Friday, November 15 at Trees You may remember Berlin best from the soundtrack to the 1980s film, Top Gun. "Take My Breath Away" is not only a classic of the era, but proves to be a near-flawless pop song to this very day. Local support from ZHORA couldn't be a better fit for this night of ethereal pop ballads. VQ

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Vanessa Quilantan