We've made it folks. It's the spring time. This will last for two months tops and then it will be as hot as the layer of hell where Mark David Chapman and Lucifer brunch. Cherish these days folks. Anyway, there's a bunch of great shows you can check out this weekend. Nickleback does the first concert at Gexa this year. Jazmine Sullivan hits the House of Blues. Swans takes Trees. And country legend and living doobie, Willie Nelson, is at Winstar. There's plenty more, too.
Canadian indie rock royalty Stars have built their career on a distinctive brand of dreamy indie pop over the past decade, but with their seventh long-player, No One is Lost, they do their best to prove their adaptability. The new album welcomes a slight change in direction towards dance music, a shift in focus not unlike their Canadian counterparts Arcade Fire made a couple years back. With the absence of LCD Soundsystem from the indie dance spectrum, it would seem these bands are more than happy to fill the void. Unlike the other bands playing around this dance-indie fusion genre, Stars' new music seems a bit more rollerskating rink than dark dance floor, with only half of the album fully embracing a dance club ethic. With catchy pop songs like "This is the Last", "Turn It Up" and "No Better Place," Stars still retain the pop sensibilities that have carried them through all these years, only now it's accompanied by a gleeful bounce and the occasional drum machine.
Nobody likes Nickleback. Well, that's not exactly true, is it. Plenty of people do, enough for them to warrant a show at Gexa. Despite the fact that Nickleback has become one of the most, if not the most, maligned bands in America, they still garner a huge following. They've even changed their sound from a diluted version of grunge into a diluted form of disco. This should be fun.HDBScott H. Biram With Justin Pickard, 7 p.m., Friday, April 3, at Gas Monkey Bar N Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E., 214-350-1904 or gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $10-$100
Scott H. Biram doesn't need a supporting cast. Biram, an Austin native, just needs his guitar and a stomping foot to create music. He's no stranger to bands having been in a punk band called the Thangs and two bluegrass bands, Scott H. Biram and the Salt Peter Boys and Bluegrass Drive-By. But his true calling is as a solo folkster with an edge sharpened by wit, outlaw country and Southern blues.HDBJazmine Sullivan 8:00 p.m., Friday, April 3, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $40
Jazmine Sullivan is a true R&B singer. She began singing in the church choir. She was all about the word of God, then she got the bright idea of using her powerful voice to make -- gasp! -- secular music. She was initially signed by Jive Records at the tender age of 15, but nothing came of it, and her debut wasn't released until she was 20 years old. Sullivan has worked with many great artists, like Missy Elliot and Timberland, and their greatness definitely rubs off on her.HDBDanny Diamonds With Siberian Traps, Old Potion, 9 p.m., Friday, April 3, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 East Sycamore Street, Denton, TX, 940-387-7781, $5-$7
Daniel Rush, a former member of the Paper Cup Band, becomes his latest alter ego, Danny Diamonds, tonight at this headlining show at Rubber Gloves. A prolific musician in Denton's music scene (most musicians in Denton's music scene are actually quite prolific), Diamonds takes some of the quaint folkish lore from his most recent project Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers and polishes it with some bleakness and a little more noise.HDBWillie Nelson With Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at Winstar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 1-800-622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $70-$125
There really aren't too many opportunities to see three legends of equal proportions share the same stage. Hell, the Winstar World Casino may not even be able to contain the amount of history, talent and sheer badassery of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson in the same room. If you're a good Texan, you've probably seen Nelson at least a few times, but there is no experience like seeing him among his contemporaries, especially ones as talented as Haggard and Kristofferson. These guys are old, sure -- the 1970s were a much better time to see Willie, Waylon, and all of the rest of country music's outlaws -- but this is still a show that is not to be missed. If you care about the future of country music, it is important to study its history, and we can think of no better lesson than from these three icons.Amy McCarthyIRAS SZN 8 p.m., Saturday, April 4, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., www.dadadallas.com, $10
Hip Hop collectives are nothing new. You know this. Wu Tang Clan. Odd Future. Awful Records. The Dungeon Family. Brain Gang. The list goes on. This Saturday, you can check out Dallas' most active and exciting collective, the IRAS, at Club Dada. The collective sports the likes of Terrance Spectacle, Brandon Fxrd, K. Vation, Devy Stonez and more.HDBQuaker City Night Hawks With The Cush and Calhoun, 7 p.m., Saturday April 4, at the Kessler Theater, 1230 W Davis St., $16
Quaker City Night Hawks are without a doubt one of the most exciting rock bands in all of North Texas. They've even had the pleasure of having their music featured in the gritty FX dramaSons of Anarchy
. Catch their rootsy Americana laced at the Kessler this Saturday, with support from The Cush and Calhoun who round out a pretty damn exciting bill.HDBSwans With Little Annie, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $20
Interesting things always seem to happen when Swans comes to Trees. The band's previous two performances at the venue were lively, to say the least, notable as much for their harmonic density as for front man Michael Gira's staff- and bandmember-directed tirades. An inexhaustibly energetic performer, Gira leads one of the most consistently awe-inspiring live acts you're likely to see. Rather than play their songs by rote direction, the band expands its set into a test of endurance, taking the basic framework of a song and using that as a starting point from which to expand. Groove is the building block to a Swans set, and drummer Phil Puleo and auxiliary percussionist Thor Harris interlock into a dual-headed rhythmic monster. Songs from the band's most recent album, 2014's To Be Kind, are likely to be mutated beyond recognition from their recorded versions. That's what makes a Swans performance so engaging: you never know what to expect.Andrew HawkinsShlohmo 7 p.m. Sunday, April 5, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $20-$25
As with most electronic musicians, Los Angeles-based Shlohmo is a frequent collaborator and re-mixer. Born Henry Laufer, Shlohmo has worked with the chillest of waviest R&B singers, How To Dress Well, and released a lauded EP with another R&B crooner, Jeremiah, in 2014 called No More. He released a solo project, Bad Vibes, in 2011, and is returning in 2015 with a new record calledDark Red
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, which is set to release this month.HDB
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