A lot of great shows are happening this weekend. Lenny Kravitz and Sting do some concerts for college football, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell returns to our proximity, Mineral has a reunion show, Ex Hex puts a spell on us, and the Molly Ringwalds do 1980s music. We hope you're enjoying the year so far and have nestled back into a regular schedule. We hope the earthquakes aren't too much of a bother and most importantly we hope the Cowboys whip the Packers' asses on Sunday.
Pennywise With Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream and Dog Company, 7 p.m. Friday, January 9 at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., gasmonkeylive.com., $15-$200 Funny story: Last fall, there was this cover festival in Fort Worth called the Panther City Pep Rally that featured about 10 hours of bands paying homage to the great alt-rock giants of the '90s. I thought it would be funny to put together a Pennywise tribute band for the event, because it seemed like that would be annoying to the kind of people who never shut up about the Pixies and Brian Jonestown Massacre. I know this because one time I heard a person wearing a Pixies shirt hate on these flattened-bill Hurley hat-wearing bros, and flattened-bill Hurley hat-wearing bros tend to love Pennywise. Anyway, I quickly discovered that Pennywise songs are a lot harder than I thought they were. And as for the vocals, who wants to memorize all those words? Even the shortest Pennywise songs seem to have six verses, and moreover, how many Pennywise fans are even in North Texas, let alone ones that can sing the bulk of the long-running SoCal punk band's '90s catalog word for word? If you're genuinely curious, you can take a census of the bros singing "Bro Hymn" when Pennywise headlines Gas Monkey Live. Steve Steward
Ex Hex With Mind Spiders and Paerty Static, 8 p.m. Friday, January 9 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., dadadallas.com, $10 2014 was a banner year for album releases, with some truly epic-scale masterpieces. But listening to a playlist of my 2014 purchases, I have found myself truly smiling only when a tune from the Ex Hex release Rips pops up. Tightly-coiled tunes packed with blistering guitar and smart lyrics, few of the album's songs clock in at more than three minutes. They're perfect little sonic palette cleansers, and it makes sense: This trio is the latest project of Mary Timony. A prodigious player and songwriter now over 40, Timony is one of those too-rare, great women journeyman guitarists, and Rips is a fantastic coalescence of decades of musicianship and life lessons. Timony was last seen in Dallas as part of the short-lived "super group" Wild Flag, and more than held her own trading riffs and vocals with Carrie Brownstone. Ex Hex is filled out by fellow D.C. musicians Laura Harris on drums and Betsy Wright on guitar and bass. Doug Davis
The Molly Ringwalds 8:00 p.m. Friday, January 9, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $20-$28 Ubiquitous with the 1980s are John Hughes' genuine and hilarious teen comedies. Also ubiquitous with John Hughes is actress, Molly Ringwald, who appeared in a handful of his films. the 80s and Ringwald go hand in hand, so it's no surprise that an 80s tribute band would have the moxy to name their band after her. the Molly Ringwalds play the hottest records from the most neon, tight pants, coked out decade of all time. Hop into the Delorean and experience the most like totally awesome songs from the 80s. H. Drew Blackburn
Trees Local Showcase With Solice, Pulse, 5 Billion and Counting, Krash Rover, Wolves Reign 8 p.m., Friday, January 9, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $10 You gotta support your local artists folks. Dallas has a great music scene with a large swath of talented musicians. Thanks to Trees, you can catch a local showcase of hard rock bands from the area. Solice, Pulse, 5 Billion and Counting, Krash Rover, and Wolves Reign are all on the bill, which will only set you back $10. Sounds like a bargain. HDB
Lenny Kravitz With Vintage Trouble, Keri Hilson, Sugar Bowl Band and Rose Bowl Band, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 10, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com, $21.50-$31 Lenny Kravitz is a multi-talented artist. He married Lisa Bonet in 1987 when she was the hottest woman on the planet and released timeless singles like "Fly Away" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way," tunes that pushed the boundaries of repetition and never get old no matter how many times you hear them. Moms are going to lose their minds if this 50-year-old takes his shirt off onstage, which is a distinct possibility. However, Kravtiz's new album Strut really sucks so hopefully he's playing the old bad stuff. The albums opening track, titled "Sex," is not at all sexy and the title track has verses that sound like "Are You Gonna Go My Way" with a slower tempo and a lazy chorus that just with sound effects yelling "Strut!" over an obnoxious guitar. What's strange about Kravitz is that he mixes all sorts of genres, even drawing on influences from interesting people, but without capturing any of the good things. Anyway, this show should be unintentionally funny if you have money to throw away on it. Jeremy Hallock