Dallas, it's beautiful outside. I don't have to tell you how necessary it is to get out out of the house and go see some live music this weekend. Lucky for you, AT&T Performing Arts Center is hosting two different outdoor concerts this weekend, so you can soak up every second of this weather. If Ben Folds with the Dallas POPS or Yells At Eels aren't your speed, there's always the patio stage at Gas Monkey Bar and Grill. The Reverend Horton Heat will play it this weekend with Nekromantix.Pure X Thursday, April 10, at City Tavern
Austin's Pure X play dreamy, droning music that floats by like a polluted cloud. Over the course of three albums, the band has gone from sounding remotely like Sonic Youth to something more akin to '70s soft rock with a slight psychedelic edge. Angel, the band's recently released effort, is by far the prettiest set of songs Pure X have ever created. It's perhaps a bit too soft, though, as the spiraling dissonance of earlier releases is sadly missed this time around. Onstage, however, Pure X are capable of transforming even the mellowest of tuneful songs into a raging beast of echo and sustain. Fans of Television would do well to check out the atmospheric buzz of Pure X as this foursome continues to expand a genre they have all to themselves.Darryl SmyersBen Folds Thursday, April 10, at Annette Strauss Square
The '90s alt-rock songwriter who rose to fame with his band, the Ben Folds Five, has had a multifaceted career since his most notable hits were on the radio. As a composer, producer, bandleader and college a capella group guru, he's got an incredible catalog of music under his belt. Tonight, he plays Annette Strauss Square with Dallas POPS.
While the threads of jazz's countless offshoots can be difficult to follow, musical authenticity is something you can smell 100 yards away. Authenticity -- that moral, emotional and universally transmutable element in jazz -- well, Yells at Eels have this in droves. This family trio (father Dennis Gonzalez on trumpet, sons Stefan and Aaron on drums and bass, respectively) display an inexplicable appetite for their craft. Couple this with the trio's creative and technical skill set, and you have one of the most consistently rewarding live acts in all of DFW. No strain of music is more resistant to explanation and critical authority than jazz; direct experience is the form's only true witness. Which is to say, you need to see Yells at Eels live to experience local jazz at its finest.Jonathan PatrickPower Trip Friday, April 11, at Club Dada
Power Trip -- Riley Gale and Blake Ibanez, lead guitar; Chris Ulsh, drums; Nick Stewart, guitar; and Chris Whetzel, bass -- are coming off what could be considered a championship year for a crossover band: They garnered critical acclaim for their debut LP, the cinematicManifest Decimation
, drew praise from various scenes and tightened a live show that matches the hype expanding around them.Nick Lucchesi The Reverend Horton Heat Saturday, April 12, at Gas Monkey Bar and Grill
Ah, the early '90s -- a time when a Nudie suit-clad rockabilly cat out of Deep Ellum could get signed to Sub Pop with songs about steak and marijuana. If it's hard to believe it's been about 20 years since Dallas' Own Reverend Horton Heat had his major brush with alt-fame, it's just as hard to believe that he's still alive and kicking. So is this: He hasn't lost a step.Chris GrayBad Sports Saturday, April 12, at Double-wide
Denton-based punk band Bad Sports don't play Dallas too often, so this is one worth marking on your calendar. Local favorites The Longshots, Drug Animal and Street Arabs are sharing the bill, making this one of the best complete lineups of the week. It might be a good idea to buy your tickets early for this one, just to be on the safe side.VQSnow Tha Product Saturday, April 12, at Trees
Former Fort Worth local and rapper Snow Tha Product will bring her uptempo stage show to Trees this Saturday. Her sizable cult following would be advised to arrive early, as opener Alsace Carcione is not to be missed. If her infectiously fun new single"Juke Joint
," which dropped early this week, is any indicator, the young Dallas emcee has tapped into something really special lately.VQ
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The Hollywood Walk of Shame is littered with legitimate A-list film types who've brazenly and incoherently stumbled into the highly self-indulgent act of releasing music as a supposedly serious musician. Don Johnson, Bruce Willis and Eddie Murphy gave the 1980s some of the lamest videos and worst music, eliciting laughter still today. In recent years, some thespians have found actual success, even critically, because there's an actual bit of musical talent underneath the more visible acting chops. Jared Leto and even Billy Bob Thornton are each well into recording careers that are far from cringe-worthy. After his Oscar-winning role as an outlaw country singer, the down-and-out Bad Blake, in 2009's Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges easily slid into the dual role of revered actor and musician. Not only were his vocal contributions to that film's superb soundtrack of high quality, but the 64-year-old's self-titled 2011 album is a solid and earnestly enjoyable set of tunes mixing folk, country and heartland-rock flavors. See and hear for yourself, doubters of Dallas. Listen to Sonny Crockett's "Heartbeat," and then give Bridges' "What a Little Bit of Love Can Do." The Country Singer abides.Kelly Dearmore