It's so cold. It's so cold outside. What might keep your mind off of the frigid temperatures, however, is some live music. Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson are coming through to Club Dada and WinStar, respectively, in an attempt to keep country alive. The Black Keys are apparently big enough to play American Airlines Center and Big Freedia is going to start a massive twerk-a-thon at the Granada. Enough chit-chat, though. Here are your picks.House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $17.50-$20
Smallpools had the distinct honor of playing a set at one of the biggest festivals in America, Lollapalooza, earlier this summer. Check this out, too: The band formed in 2013 and half a year later they were signed to RCA and hadn't even played a live show together. And even though they did all of that without having a full length album out, as we all know, playing a set in Dallas is the highest of honors. Find out for yourself if this alternative dance pop group is worth all of the thunder.
Cold Specks (née Al Spx) hails from Canada, a place known for having free healthcare, giving us 40 percent of the comedic side of Hollywood, (40 percent is Harvard and the other 20 percent is everyone else) and Drake. Now you can add Cold Specks to that aforementioned list of wonderful Canadian things. The songstress uses her booming and voluminous voice to create her own unique twist on folk and soul. Her gloomy sophomore albumNeuroplasticity
was released on Mute earlier this year and recieved generally favorable reviews fromRolling Stone
, andUnder the Radar
.HDBDope Body With Future Death, Roomrunner, and Triathalon, 10:00 p.m., Friday, November 14, at Doublewide, 3510 Commerce St , http://www.double-wide.com, $10
When a record label goes forth and really tailors their roster to include artists and bands of a particular sound and vein, you gotta love it. The independent record label Drag City packs their roster full of experimental indie rock bands. A lot of them loud. Some of them nostalgic. Dope Body is both. They're a noise rock band with some straightforward indie mixed in and an attitude you'd often find in indie rock from another decade. Here you get a mix of Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers, all in the nitty gritty of the weirdest parts of the '90s.HDBGalactic With Big Freedia, 8 p.m., Friday, November 14, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or granadatheater.com, $30
A little bit of New Orleans is hitting the Granada. The headliner is Galactic, a jazz fusion jam band that digs deep into the roots of the bayou incorporating funk, a smattering of bright horn and saxophone notes and bits and pieces of other genres like upbeat funk and hip-hop. Opening for Galactic is Big Freedia, the Boss of bounce, a genre of hip-hop that's intensely rhythmic and mean for you to bounce your ass to, i.e. twerk. This isn't you Miley Columbus version of it either. It's the real deal, from one of the most pure sources.HDBSturgill Simpson With Cris Jacobs, 8 p.m., Saturday, November 15, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St, www.dadadallas.com, Sold out
Country music has turned into a joke of late. No, really, you already know how we feel about this. It's gotten to the point that Taylor Swift made some mass announcement declaring that she is finally going pop as if what's she's been making for pretty much her entire career is anything other than pop music. Modern country music doesn't typically have as much panache or color or grit like it once did. However, Sturgil Simpson is somewhat of a beacon of light. The Kentucky native has the type of spin on country that could make Hank Williams and Patsy Cline let out a beaming smile.HDBLos Lonely Boys With Vallejo, 8 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., gasmonkeylive.com, $30-$300
This trio of brothers from San Angelo have a unique blend of rock, blues, conjunto and Tejano. The brothers Garza started playing music in the '80s before they were even teens, backing up their father's solo project after the dissolution of his own band of siblings, the Falconers. Los Lonely Boys formed in 1996 and by 2003 they were recording their debut album at Willie Nelson's Pedernales studio in Austin. In 2004, the album was released on Epic Records and the year after that Los Lonely Boys won the "Best Pop Performance" Grammy Award for their single, "Heaven." The 2010s have been rough on the band so far: JoJo Garza had lesions on his vocal cords in 2010 and Henry Garza suffered a serious spinal injury after falling off a stage last year. But Los Lonely Boys released their latest and most personal album, Revelation, in January and should sound better than ever when they visit Dallas this Saturday.Jeremy Hallock Willie Nelson 8 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $35-$65
There is no person that is more quintessentially Texas than Willie Nelson. After a 50-year career in country, Americana and folk music, Nelson is as much a cultural institution as he is a musician. There has been no bigger influence on any of these genres than Nelson, and it's likely that even then we are still undervaluing his contributions. You'll have to drive all the way to Oklahoma, but if you haven't ever seen the Red Headed Stranger play live, it is absolutely something you must do if you want to call yourself either a Texan or a country music fan. The music is familiar, you'll get to hear him perform all your favorites and maybe if you're lucky he won't be too stoned to remember all the words. If he is, though, you won't care because he's Willie fucking Nelson.Amy McCarthyBlack Keys 8 p.m., Sunday, November 16, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or americanairlinescenter.com,$43.75-$75
In 2010, Dan Auerbach appeared on The Colbert Report and shocked the world. No, it wasn't necessarily his music; he'd trimmed his mane and gotten a clean-cut shave. For the Black Keys diehards who worshipped the former garage rock Jesus, it was clear that the times were a-changing. Since that year's Brothers, the Black Keys have been gradually tightening up their Akron blues into a cleaner and more palatable pop-oriented sound. This story's been all too common, with bands like Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys pulling similar moves, but that's not to say that it makes the band any less genuine or original. After so many albums, it's only fitting that they explore different genres, even introducing electronic keyboard elements on this year's Turn Blue. It's the kind of move that'll further polarize the long-time Keys fans from the band wagoners, but frankly, the Black Keys don't have time for that. In an entirely unpredictable success story, Auerbach and bandmate Patrick Carney made their way from tiny Ohio stages to filling the fucking American Airlines Center, and they've shown no sign of letting up any time soon.Matt WoodMethod Man and Redman With B-Real, Berner, Mick Jenkins, 8:30 p.m., Sunday, November 16, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $35-$62
Method Man and Redman are basically the Cheech and Chong of rap, no matter how much Snoop and Wiz Khalifa want it to be them. As opposed toMac & Devin Go to High School
(a visual lobotomy),How High
is a classic stoner comedy film, likeUp in Smoke
. Oh yeah, and the two guys make rap music together as well. The duo releasedBlackout!
in 1999 and the sequel,Blackout! 2
a decade later. Watch out for up-and-coming rapper Mick Jenkins opening; don't show up late, you'll wanna be able to say you saw him way back when. But, if you're too stoned and your perception of time is screwed to hell, no one will blame you.HDBThe Underachievers With Flatbush Zombies, 7 p.m., Sunday, November 16, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $29
The Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies are two of hip-hops most promising young groups. The Underachievers released their impressive debut album,Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium
, on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint earlier this year. However, the latest release from both groups is a joint project called
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. The EP showcases deft rhymes from a few of Flatbush, Brooklyn's keenest wordsmiths.HDB
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