We hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Now it's time to usher in the Christmas season, which will certainty be shoved down your throat for the next four weeks. This can be annoying, but let it be known: If you don't like Christmas music you're just fighting things that are unashamed in their joy. Do you want to be that person? Rumor has it that if you frown too much your face just stays that way.
We've also got a bunch of great shows this week. The Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase takes over Deep Ellum on Saturday, Common and the ever-elusive Jay Electronica perform at the House of Blues, Centro-matic make kick off their farewell tour and make their final Dallas appearance at the Kessler Theater and Weezer steals Christmas with The Edge. Your picks:
Common With Jay Electronica, 8:00 p.m., Monday, December 1, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, or houseofblues.com/dallas Since his debut in 1992, 'Chi-Town God' Common has been one of the most prominent voices in conscious hip-hop. Nobody's Smiling, his tenth studio album which dropped this summer, continues the legacy, with a heavy focus on the violence and crime in Chicago. The No I.D.-produced album also includes features from Big Sean, Vince Staples and more. Offering more than just thoughtful lyrics, Common knows how to spit, and the 40-something vet still brings a youthful energy. But the rapper and actor isn't the only one performing: The famously mysterious Jay Electronica will be opening the show. Signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation, Jay Electronica even has a Dallas connections as well, through the child he has with Erykah Badu. It's not often that you can see two of hip-hop's best lyricists at the same show, which makes this concert a must-see for any true hip-hop heads. Mac McCann
Centro-matic 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 2, at the Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., thekessler.org, $16 Say it ain't so, Centro-matic! After recording and touring at a ferocious pace for two decades, one of the best and most prolific bands in Texas will call it quits before the end of the year. The final shows will naturally be in Denton at Dan's Silverleaf later in December, but this is Centro-matic's last Dallas show. At least we can take comfort in knowing that frontman Will Johnson will surely continue with other endeavors. Lest we forget, Johnson is a world-class songwriter obsessed by his craft. Over the years, he has more than held his own working on various projects with the likes of Vic Chesnutt, Mark Eitzel, Jason Molina, Conor Oberst, M. Ward and David Bazan. Centro-matic will bow out long after earning the respect of their peers and will be sorely missed. The Kessler Theater is, of course, gorgeous and the sound is near-perfect so this is about as good as a fond farewell gets. Jeremy Hallock
How The Edge Stole Christmas With Weezer, Rise Against, and Young The Giant, 5 p.m., Wednesday, December 3, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl, Grand Prairie, TX, 972-854-5050, $69-$244 'Tis the season in which radio stations put on concerts around North Texas with legacy acts and the folks from today whom they spin to oblivion. Here The Edge steals Christmas with Weezer, a band that was primed to be one of the greatest with their first few releases in The Blue Album, Pinkerton and The Green Album. In recent years it seems they've come a bit undone and started doing songs with Lil Wayne for reasons that can't even be explained by the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yes, say it ain't so, but you best believe Weezer is probably gonna stick to the classics and leave songs from Ratitude and Hurley where they best belong: As figments of our collective imagination. HDB
Justin Timberlake 8 p.m. Wedesday, December 3, at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave, americanairlinescenter.com., $159-$1265 Is there any debate about who the reigning king of pop is? After conquering pop music (and really pop culture at large) in 2006 with his breakthrough album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, Justin Timberlake has been on top of the world. Timberlake has entered a rare stratosphere that artists would kill to be in. He is at the level where the only complaint from fans is, "When will they release new music?" After FutureSex, Timberlake took a hiatus from music for seven years to pursue other endeavors. In 2013, he flattened the musical landscape with the release of two albums, The 20/20 Experience and, later in the year, The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2. The albums reaffirmed to the world that the New King of Pop was back and stronger than ever. James Khubiar
Usher 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 4, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $55-$173 Whether it's because of "Nice & Slow," "My Way," "OMG" or seeing him in She's All That or The Faculty, we all love Usher. For a lot of us, it's because his music became the soundtrack for our love life, both growing up and continuing on to today. In R&B, if R. Kelly is the king, Usher will forever be the prince. He is currently on tour in the build-up toward his eighth album, which is being worked on presently, UR. This will be Usher's first full tour since the 2011 OMG Tour. Usher was supposed to tour in 2012 but his duties on the reality series The Voice led to him canceling the planned Euphoria Tour. With this in mind, Dallas is ready to welcome back Usher after an extended absence. Usher returns to the place of his birth to perform at the American Airlines Center the night after Justin Timberlake., which makes for a colossal one-two R&B punch. James Khubiar