This week, the American Airlines Center earns the distinction of hosting what we might all consider one of the strangest bills to ever go on a nationwide tour: New Kids on the Block, TLC and Nelly. They Might Be Giants play at the Granada Theater, DFA's Holy Ghost! plays at DJ set at It'll Do, Dave Matthews Band gets down with their chill bros at Gexa and Alabama does casino thing up north. Which is to say, the concert schedule in Dallas is all over the place this week, but that just means things should get pretty entertaining.
Nothing has its origins in hardcore punk. Frontman, Domenic Palermo, went a little hardcore and stabbed a person and went to jail for two years for aggravated assault and attempted murder. Needless to say, the band, Horror Show, didn't last. After doing a few years of soul searching, Palermo founding the indie rock and shoe gaze band Nothing. It's still a little gritty, but not stab another person and go to jail gritty. That's called reform right there.
The Free Loaders have earned their praise in this city. They haven't been sitting around on their asses all these years. It was show after show, no matter if it was in a club, at a party, or some boogie event where the music isn't meant to be appreciated, yet it is there for the ambiance like flowers in a vase. This band of blues, jazz and swing musicians can range anywhere from three to eight members depending on the situation. However, expect a great show packed with fun from experts at their craft.HDBThey Might Be Giants 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at Granada Theater,3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $30
Over a 33-year period the two Johns (Flansburgh and Linnell) who make up They Might Be Giants have produced 16 albums, and not one of them has been skippable. That's amazing. These guys are so good they made children's albums that don't make you want to steer the car into heavy traffic when you listen to them, and kids somehow like them as well. This is the greatest gift a musician has ever given to the public. Children's music that doesn't suck? Who would have thought such a thing could exist. The band has also made stone-cold alternative classics and become iconoclasts of the hipster set through clever licensing, voice work,and their niche humor. Not bad for two bros from Lincoln, Massachusetts.Jaime-Paul FalconNew Kids on the Block With TLC and Nelly, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $30-$93.50
The all-American boy band, New Kids on the Block, is set to strike Dallas with a storm of memories this week at the AAC. It's more than safe to call NKOTB true pop veterans, as it's been nearly 30 years since their self-titled debut album was released. Originating in Boston in the early '80s, producer Maurice Starr assembled the quintet with dreams of launching them straight into mainstream pop. By the turn of the decade, NKOTB had developed into a near-perfect ideal of teen-pop icons (love them or hate them), eventually selling more than 80 million records worldwide and establishing themselves as one of the world's best-selling groups of all time. In 1994, after a decade-long stint touring, recording and selling out arenas, the group took a 14-year hiatus and went their separate ways. But in 2008, with a highly anticipated reunion, the group launched their first tour since the mid-'90s. They've released three new albums since then and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. So if you're in town and feel like taking a stroll down nostalgia lane, come kick it with these cool kids who are back on the block like they never left.Devin PapillionHoly Ghost! (DJ Set) 9 p.m., Friday, May 15, It'll Do, 4322 Elm Street, 214-827-7236, $16
Holy Ghost! hails from the most dance heavy and ready indie label on the planet, James Murphy of LCD Soundsytem's DFA Records. Initially, Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel were a rap duo on DFA called Automato that didn't quite hold together. They reformed as a nu-disco and indie pop band and found their groove. Check them out at It'll Do in the form of disc jockeys for a party that demands some hip motion.HDBQuaker City Night Hawks With Rise & Shine, Natural Anthem, 8 p.m., Friday May 15, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., 214-653-8228 or threelinksdeepellum.com, $8-$10
Dear rock is dead prophets, Quaker City Nighthawks are a fantastic rock band brimming with masculine energy, lathered in the finest barbecue sauce and chased with cheap whiskey straight out the bottle. Go to one of their shows and three songs in, somehow you're wearing bell bottoms, Chelsea boots and an extra shmedium vintage Black Sabbath world tour tshirt.HDBDave Matthews Band 7 p.m. Friday, May 15, at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111 or gexaenergypavilion.net, $40.50-$85
My stance regarding Dave Matthews Band mimics my opinion toward GMOs, Chief Keef and pomegranates: I don't have a clue what to make of them. Some goofy white dude who looks like everyone's dad playing funk is absolutely hokey, sure. But he's also made undeniably cool contributions to music such as helping Radiohead issue a wide release of In Rainbows in 2007 and signing My Morning Jacket to a label. Parks and Recreation couldn't even risk taking a swing at DMB: Chris Pratt's undying love for the band was a running joke on the show ("a little baaaybay"), but it was always juxtaposed by Aubrey Plaza comparing the music to "snails crawling out of your mouth." But even if you're undecided about this enigmatic outfit, they've got 60 live albums behind them to prove they're doing something right (i.e. lucrative). DMB has a legendary reputation for long improvised jams on songs, so if you're on the fence, it might just be the tipping point to turn you into a Dave devotee.Matt WoodAlabama 8 p.m., Saturday, May 16, at Winstar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave, Thackerville, OK, 1-800-745-3000, $85-$125
Seems like for a certain period in type rock bands took to naming themselves after states and cities: Chicago, Kansas, Alabama. Though the names show a bit of a lack of originality, they make up for this by being an adequate peek into the local color of said places. Alabama captures the feel and mood of the southern state quite well just with southern rock music spliced with blues and country winks. The Country Hall of Fame Inductees are sure to put on a solid show for all of their fans, probably mostly comprised of folks who believe the confederate flag is a symbol of southern pride, at the Winstar casino.HDBSpeedy Ortiz With Alex G., 9 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $12-$14
There's something uniquely thrilling about seeing a band like Speedy Ortiz play live. That's because, for whatever reason, it's all too often that a rock band like this gets to showcase the power of a woman like Sadie Dupuis at its leader. And to be sure, the female perspective and sensibility has long been grossly unrepresented in the boys' club of rock 'n' roll. So when it does happen, it is often really special. Think ass-kicking bands like Yacht, Sleater-Kinney or Ex Hex. Throw in the intellect that Dupuis brings to her lyrics (after all, she does have an MFA in poetry from UMass) and, well, how can any reasonable person not be interested? Touring in support of their recently released second album, Foil Deer, this show should be the perfect combination of ferocity and smarts.Doug DavisJuicy J 8 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $27.50-$40
Juicy J is a rap god. Here's everything you need to know about the Memphis MC: He was a mainstay in the legendary '90s Memphis rap scene with the group Three Six Mafia. Juicy J is an Academy Award winner for Best Original Song. Everybody from rappers like Future to pop stars like Katy Perry want to work with him. His catalog is unrivaled. The mixtape Blue Dream and Lean is a modern classic, with tracks like "Juicy J Can't" and "She Dancin'" being staples of party playlists. Juicy J just released the sequel to Blue Dream... and continues to assert himself as one of the best rappers in the game. The man is a boss in the truest sense of the word. He commands respect that few people in the rap game have ever obtained. People like Jay Z might have control of the airwaves, but Juicy J will forever have control of the streets.James Khubiar
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