It's finally May and -- surprise, surprise -- the music festivals are getting into full swing. There two noteworthy ones this weekend alone, and both are new kids on the block (or relatively so): tonight's JMBLYA Festival and tomorrow and Sunday's Suburbia Fest. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. (Sorry, there really ought to be a warm-weather metaphor out there somewhere...) Here for your weekend planning, we present a lucky selection of seven can't-miss concerts -- none of which have anything to do with horse racing or, yee gads, surviving Austin.
JMBLYA Music Festival With Chance the Rapper,RiFF RaFF, and more, 3 p.m., Friday, May 2, at Main Street Garden Park, 1902 Main St. Last year, JMBLYA unwittingly predicted the hip-hop Grammy battle of the century by wrangling Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore for its first-ever festival installment. This year's lineup may not prove to be as prescient of the much-maligned Committee's tastes, but if anything, it proves the festival has some staying power: acts like Chance the Rapper (who's confirmed his appearance in spite of recent health issues), RiFF RaFF, Bauer, A$AP Ferg, and Purity Ring make this an arguably stronger bill than 2013's. It's also a nigh-on-perfect way to kick off the weekend. Jeff Gage
Gavin DeGraw With Parachute and Nick Gardner, 8 p.m., Friday, May 2, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or www.houseofblues.com/dallas Gavin DeGraw entered every teenage girl's living room in 2003 when he sang the theme song of The WB's One Tree Hill, "I Don't Want To Be." But he's so much more than that. As a singer-songwriter, DeGraw has the ability to produce a mega radio hit, and then strip it down to an acoustic version for a more romantic touch, something he did with albums Chariot and Chariot Stripped. And while he typically sings about love, heartache and the like, he also takes on different topics. "Medicate the Kids," for instance, takes on the irony of teaching children to say no to drugs and then turning around and prescribing them medication. But if you get the chance to see him HOB, unpredictability will certainly be the norm: he tends to change up the arrangements of his hits, oftentimes with the accompaniment of a piano or guitar. Paige Skinner
The Warlocks With Bravo Max! and Drug Animal, 8 p.m., Friday, May 2, at Trees, 2704 Elm St., www.threelinksdeepellum.com With a name that conjures up bad memories of late 60's garage rock acts, The Warlocks are actually a sprawling and impressive ensemble that make music that is joyfully difficult to classify. Led by the enigmatic Bobby Hecksher, The Warlocks play dark, psychedelic rock that meanders but is rarely boring. Inspired of course by the Velvet Underground (a band once known as The Warlocks), Hecksher is a keen arranger, but only an average lyricists. Words hardly matter against the drone that is most of Skull Worship, the band's most recent buzzing opus. The Warlocks make tactile music that may not be earth-shattering, but it is certainly good at setting an ominous mood. Darryl Smyers
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Suburbia Music Festival 10 a.m., Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4, Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, www.suburbiamusicfest.com The suburbs often get a bad rap from those living inside the Big D bubble. And to be sure, some of the hipster hatred is warranted. But let's give Plano some credit: presented with a chance to host a big-ticket even that would make even the most metropolitan of urban dwellers envious, it snapped it up and has run with it admirably. The name of the event, Suburbia Music Festival, is even a bit of a middle finger to Dallas and Fort Worth. Bragging about living in white-flight sprawl isn't something folks around here are used to, but good for Plano, because it's a fun and varied line-up. With musicspanning hip hop (J. Cole, Run the Jewels), indie rock (Tegan and Sarah, Surfer Blood), roots (Delta Rae, Hayes Carll), radio-ready alt-rock (Blue October, Third Eye Blind) and electronic (David Guetta, GTA), the 'burbs are the place to be -- for this weekend, at least. Kelly Dearmore
Over the Rhine With Lucy Wainwright Roche, 7 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at Kessler Theater, 230 W. Davis, 214-272-8346 or http://www.thekessler.org To the casual listener, the most recognizable thing about this Ohio-based ensemble probably has little to do with the band itself. Rather, it's singer Karin Bergquist's ties to the Cowboy Junkies, whom she sang with on several recordings from the band's prime. Over the Rhine has also toured on multiple occasions with the Junkies, so the ties are more than passing ones. Same goes with the music, too: the elegant acoustic tunes that Bergquist and her husband, Linford Detweiler, play are beautiful stuff. JG
Tom Jones With Roxy Roca, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 3rd at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or www.granadatheater.com Brace yourselves ladies: The legendary singer and ever-handsome Tom Jones has broken up with Las Vegas and is on the prowl. The Welsh-born singer is a beloved American icon of Elvis-sized proportions, a seasoned performer with an enduring career, and a favorite lounge act for over 40 years. Aside from the wonderful fun of seeing your own mother (maybe even grandmother) dancing in the midst of near hysteria, the show promises an eclectic set list, in which Sir Tom (who was, seriously, knighted -- we imagine for having the audacity to release a song called "Sex Bomb" at age 60) will perform his classic pop hits such as " It's Not Unusual" and "What's New Pussycat?", as well as songs off his 2012 album Spirit in the Room -- a collection of American roots covers from artists such as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Eva Raggio
Flamin' Groovies With the Hickoids, 7 p.m., Sunday, May 4, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis, 214-272-8346 or http://www.thekessler.org Garage-rock lovers rejoice: 2013 marked a milestone for trivia-worthy reunions when one of the great lost Bay Area bands of the '60s got back together, the Flamin' Groovies. Probably best for the fact that a cover of their "Shake Some Action" was featured in '90s cult classic Clueless, this four-piece is recognized by in-the-know folks as crucial forerunner to punk and power pop. Sadly, they'll be short one of their founding members, as drummer Mark Dunwoody passed away last summer. JG