Spring has officially sprung, Dallas! This light hoodie weather is gorgeous, the sun is shining, and the show calendar is nice and flush with options for the coming week. Get down and dirty with the dancehall king, get romantic with The Egyptian Lover, or get amped up with VNV Nation-- either way, get out there and get hyped!Ellie Goulding Tuesday, March 25, at South Side Ballroom
Having already achieved so much in her 27 years, Ellie Goulding is still on the rise in both America and the UK. With previous hit singles "Lights" and "The Writer," Goulding released the repackaged edition album of Halcyon, retitled Halcyon Days, last August. It features more than 20 songs, including hits "Anything Could Happen" and "Burn."
Goulding revealed to a radio station that her U.S. and UK hit "Lights" does not chronicle a relationship, but rather the inspiration comes from her fear of the dark. (She said she shared a bedroom with her two sisters until she went off to college because she couldn't stand to be alone.) If her success on the charts in several countries isn't enough to persuade you to check her out, then maybe the fact that Prince William and Kate Middleton asked Goulding to perform her original and cover songs at their wedding reception will. Paige SkinnerDeltron 3030 Wednesday, March 26 at Trees
Deltron 3030 is the collaborative effort of turntablist Kid Koala, producer Dan the Automator, and futuristic goofball rapper Del the Funky Homosapien. They return to Dallas this week in support of their most recent effort,Event 2
, which the trio worked on over a span of nine years. Get there early for local superduo Booty Fade.Vanessa QuilantanBeenie Man Friday, March 28, at Heroes Lounge
Regardless of the jealous plots and machinations of the rest of the Jamaican reggae royal family, Beenie Man will still proclaim himself "King of the Dancehall" when the controversial reggae star descends upon Heroes Lounge. Though rivals like Yellowman may think Beenie Man is a pretender to the throne, a solid body of hits like "Slam" and "Girls Dem Sugar" prove he still rules.Steve StewardVNV Nation Friday, March 28, at the Granada Theater
Based out of Hamburg, Germany, but featuring a duo from Dublin and Essex, VNV Nation play electronic music the old-school way: lots of danceable synthesizer melodies and harsh beats. Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson have been doing the EBM (electronic body music) thing since 1990, and they just keep getting better with age. 2013's Transnational featured more of the epic romanticism that has always fueled the duo's best work. Songs like "Everything," "Teleconnect 1" and "If I Was" recall the glory days of Soft Cell and Ultravox. VNV Nation produce beautiful blips and beats that are laced with the right amount of danger and violence. Best of all, Harris and Jackson never dumb down their music just for the sake of a sweaty throng. You can dance to this stuff to be sure, but you have to think about it as well.Darryl SmyersThe Egyptian Lover Friday, March 28, at The Crown & Harp
This early 80's west coast dance music staple brings his unique old school hip hop flair to The Crown & Harp this weekend for what is sure to be a party you won't soon forget. Opening support from Cygnus and DJ Sober will keep the dance floor burning from open to close.VQThe Deep Ellum Big Folkin' Festival 3 Friday and Saturday, March 28 and 29, at Prophet Bar
Folk is as elastic a music genre label as any of the rest these days. Gone are the days when one immediately thought of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan when discussing folk music. Terms such as freak-folk, neo-folk and certainly folk rock have been prominent in music discussion for years now. Practically any band that stops just short of lightning-fast thrash metal is likely to have at least a slight claim to the folk label if they so desire. And who are we to argue or to care, really? The third installment of the Deep Ellum Big Folkin' Festival is the strongest one yet from a roster perspective, and that is in large part owed to the variety of sonic styles displayed throughout the lineup. Local country greats J. Charles and the Trainrobbers and local Southern rockers Dead Flowers will join the likes of Austin's not-that-folky Leopold and His Fiction and even Frontier Ruckus, a Michigan-based group that's enjoyably made it tough for any fan or critic to pin them into any simple genre. All told, there will be more than 30 acts offering an array of styles over two days, and that's pretty folkin' cool.Kelly DearmoreMeat Puppets Saturday, March 29, at Dada
Nearly every rock fan knows the Meat Puppets. They're one of the most influential rock bands of all time, twisting various musical traditions into an accessible yet challenging rockist figure. What fewer fans realize is that the Puppets also fashioned post-rock's first article, 1985's eccentrically rhythmic Up On the Sun. If 1985 found the Meat Puppets at their most inventive, 2013 saw them at their most surprising. With the release of Rat Farm last April, the Meat Puppets proved capable of a return to form and showed there are still a few tricks left up those sleeves. With the addition of some young blood, the bandmates have brought country timbres into psych textures, once again indulging in the sort of adventurous synthesis that made them important in the first place. It's with the injection of this newfound enthusiasm that the Meat Puppets are once again touring the globe. Which is why Saturday at Dada represents one of the most exciting opportunities a Dallas venue has given us so far this year.Jonathan Patrick
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Resting comfortably between the slick pop-roots of such notable names as the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons and the grizzly, possibly disease-carrying punk-grass of Hackensaw Boys and .357 String Band, Colorado-based Yonder Mountain String Band has successfully merged the worlds of jam bands and traditional bluegrass since its inception in 1998. While they aren't regulars on late-night television or on VH1 Countdown shows, few other string bands of the past decade have been as commercially successful while remaining true to the rustic yet progressive style of string-band music. Guitarist Adam Aijala, mandolinist and founding member Jeff Austin, banjo player Dave Johnston and upright bassist Ben Kaufmann are perhaps the top of the heap when it comes to bluegrass groups owing more to the Grateful Dead than Bill Monroe. Their solid but often tame albums rarely do their stellar live shows justice, and silver-haired bluegrass purists will likely scoff at the group's covers of Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa. This summer's annual Northwest String Summit, hosted by YMSB, features more beards and tattoos among its lineup in one weekend than an average bluegrass fest would host in a decade. This is a band that jams rock, roots, bluegrass, jazz and funk into a package most should enjoy.Kelly Dearmore