The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Jason Isbell, Black Pumas, Atlantis Aquarius and More

Get ready for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit on Thursday at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.
Get ready for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit on Thursday at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.
Mike Brooks
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Let these shows guide you through the week. Cap your Monday night off with some angry headbanging with Jawbreaker at The Bomb Factory. Dance the night away at Deep Ellum Art Company this Wednesday because you're at the halfway mark. On Thursday, go check out Jack Barksdale and realize that if an 11-year-old can host his own web series and pursue a successful music career, you can do anything. Or, you can check out Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and try not to think about it too much. Roll into the weekend with ease. You've finally made it. Don't think about a thing. Just clear your schedule, check out Black Pumas at The Kessler Theater, the electro-techno geniuses at Wits End or the psychedelic Atlantis Aquarius at The Rustic. On Sunday, you'll have just enough time to pay a visit to Dallas' ultimate hippie Ramon Mallow, aka Mr. Troll, at Poor David's Pub, swing by The Cambridge Room of the House of Blues for Aussie band Ocean Alley and think about how you didn't buy tickets to The Curtain Club's last show. Then, go to bed that Sunday night and get ready to start over.

June 24, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $30-$45 at ticketfly.com
The punk-rock band Jawbreaker has come a long way since bassist Chris Bauermeister posted an ad in a New York University dorm looking for a guitarist and drummer back in 1986. He got a response from two recent NYU transfers, Blake Schwarzenbach and Adam Pfahler, who were perfect fits. Over the next couple of years, they would perform in different projects, trying out different singers, under different band names, eventually ending up in Los Angeles. Schwarzenbach finally decided to be the band’s singer. After gaining some attention from a couple of record labels, the group settled on the name Jawbreaker and released its first full-length album Unfun. Over the next few decades, they would release three more studio albums. They are now on tour and have plans to record more music.Jacob Vaughn

Funk You with Chancy
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at Deep Ellum Art Company, 3200 Commerce St., $8 at prekindle.com
If you’re at Deep Ellum Art Company on Wednesday, you might have trouble standing still. The funkadelic sounds of Georgia band Funk You will have you moving and grooving like never before, even though you’re usually too self-conscious to dance in public. The vibrations will shoot through the venue’s speakers, reverberate off the walls and enter your ears, causing a chain reaction in your body, forcing you to bust moves you didn’t know you had. Just when you think it’s over and you’ve regained control, the funk will continue with local act Chancy. So, if you’re looking for a good workout, and even better music, Art Co. is where you’ll want to be this Wednesday. Jacob Vaughn

Jack Barksdale
8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at The Post at River East, 2925 Race St., Fort Worth, $8 at eventbrite.com
Jack Barksdale, the 11-year-old North Texas blues-rock musician, just can’t be stopped. He runs his own video web series, has shared the stage with Ray Wylie Hubbard and is actively performing all over North Texas. His musical journey began when he learned to perform “Give My Love to Rose” by Johnny Cash at 7 years old. When the Observer spoke to Barksdale in September, he had just released his four-song EP Revival. His show at The Post at River East with special guest Verlon Thompson marks the release of his first full-length album. There are plenty of shows ahead of Barksdale, but this is one you won’t want to miss. Jacob Vaughn

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Father John Misty
7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, $34-$65 at livenation.com
Representing the continuation of the Muscle Shoals legacy, former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit are proof that regional influences still have a role in modern music. Joining them is Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, who recently name-dropped Isbell on his 2018 album God’s Favorite Customer. The two are just as complementary to one another as they diverge and it seems fitting that the two are spending June on tour. Isbell, the alt-country crooner, and Tillman, who’s been called the “patron saint of hipsters,” are both known for their storytelling lyrical style even if they’re on seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum. However, moments of Tillman’s latest album bear a striking resemblance to the same kind of soul-wrenching self-examination Isbell displayed on his 2013 album Southeastern and throughout his career. These two are different sides of the same coin in so many ways. Nicholas Bostick

Black Pumas
8 p.m. Friday, June 28, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., $20 at prekindle.com
When Black Pumas roll into The Kessler Theater on Friday, their debut self-titled album will have been out in the world for exactly one week. The Austin-based duo, comprised of singer Eric Burton and Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, make beat-heavy psychedelic soul that shimmers with energy and eclectic grooves. Described by KCRW as "Wu Tang Clan meets James Brown," their approach led to a coveted weekly residency at Austin's C Boys, a showcase that led to rave reviews and long lines to enter the venue. The distinguished honor of Best New Artist at the Austin Music Awards was later bestowed and now the gentlemen are out on a national tour with the backing of ATO Records. Catch their momentum as they light up the intimate confines of The Kessler. Jeff Strowe

HEAT ft. Cygnus, Blixaboy and R-9
9 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Wits End, 2724 Elm St., free
For years, Dallas has had one of the most underrated and under-appreciated electro/techno scenes in the country. Local mainstays Cygnus, aka Phillip Washington, Blixaboy aka Wanz Dover, and R-9, Rick Simpson, have been at the forefront of this scene for decades collectively, fueling hypnotic experiences that unfold in under-the-radar venues throughout DFW. At times, they’ve taken their talents out of state, too, repping our backyard and helping make a name for our city in the international dance scene. Meditative beat programming and heady arrangements are to be expected, as are moments of outright bliss. Jonathan Patrick

Atlantis Aquarius
9 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at The Rustic, 3656 Howell St., free
The psychedelic rock quintet Atlantis Aquarius released its latest album Leo’s Rising in April. It’s jam-packed with gritty vocals, catchy hooks and foot-stomping drum beats. It’s hard to believe the band released its debut EP just two years ago and has already toured the country. But they’ve got the chops to prove it. About a year later, the band underwent a lineup change, adding guitarist Hutton Ferrell, bassist Max Smith and drummer Oliver Smith. Since their album release show at Three Links, they’ve been touring around, playing shows anywhere from Mansfield to Little Rock. Toward the end of July, Atlantis Aquarius will be leaving Texas to perform for some lucky, out-of-state concert goers, so you might want to go see them before it’s too late. Jacob Vaughn

Ocean Alley
7 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at The Cambridge Room of House of Blues, 2200 Lamar St., $15 at livenation.com
Along their 32-date North American tour, Ocean Alley, the Australian psychedelic-surf-rock band, has released two new singles, “Stained Glass” and “Infinity,” and put out a music video for the latter to boot. The six-piece group has said “Infinity” is a way of acknowledging the band’s past achievements and begging for new challenges. In 2011, the band was rehearsing in a shed in Australia. Eight years and 70 million catalog streams later, it’s sharing a stage with acts like Tash Sultana, performing at places like the House of Blues. Shortly after its Dallas stop, the band will be heading back home for a string of shows during the winter months. Jacob Vaughn

Mr. Troll's Benefit Show
3 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Poor David’s Pub, 1313 S. Lamar St., free
Many people know Ramon Mallow as Mr. Troll, the longtime open mic host and doorman at Poor David’s Pub in The Cedars. Mallow had hopes that he would gain notoriety as a songwriter in North Texas. But that all changed in June last year. Mallow suffered from two strokes, leaving him unable to work or play music. Because he can’t work, he is having trouble paying the rent for the apartment he currently lives in. Mallow’s sister Faye Price started a GoFundMe campaign to help him raise the money for six more months of rent. The donations keep coming in and Mallow has reached a little over half the goal of $10,000. The show, featuring performances by friends of Mallow, such as Dan Roarke, Rob Case and folk trio Southern Karma, is an additional effort to help raise the money he needs. Jacob Vaughn

Curtain Club’s Last Show
6 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at The Curtain Club, 2800 Main St., sold out
The Curtain Club is celebrating 21 years of live music with one last show. North Carolina-based company Asana Partners bought The Curtain Club property over a year ago and have plans of making the building ready for real estate when the longtime tenants leave. But, before they do, the venue owners want to go out with a bang and have put together a killer lineup to do so. Rock band Drowning Pool, along with the metal heads in local bands Faded Grace and DownLo and many others, will help the historic Deep Ellum venue close its curtains forever. Jacob Vaughn

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