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The 10 Best Concerts of the Week: Bone Thugs N Harmony, Air Review, Levees and More

At least half of the acts on this list have released new music in the last year, so make sure you're up to date before you head out to a concert this week. Uji, a nomadic electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist, just released his debut solo album Alborada a year ago. The Butts, a punk band heading to town from Austin, put out its latest EP Nightmare at Area 51 in June. Air Review's show on Friday is the official release party for its first album in six years, How We Got By. Local singer-songwriter Levees will be performing at Opening Bell Coffee this Friday marking the release of his second full-length album Vultures. Lastly, Wanz Dover & The Dotz released a new EP Outside & Alienated earlier this year, and the group set to put out more new music in September. Check out their new stuff, see them live and in your downtime, make sure you don't miss the rest of the shows on this list.

The Free Loaders
7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St., free

If a movie was made about The Free Man, a Deep Ellum Cajun restaurant and live music venue, the soundtrack would consist of songs by one band: The Free Loaders. Luckily, a three-piece variation of the band plays at the venue every Tuesday, so there, you don’t have to wait for the movie to come out to hear its killer soundtrack. Just hop over to The Free Man on a Tuesday evening, order a po' boy and listen to frontman and venue owner John Jay Myers slam on his drums and bark into the microphone with keys and stand-up bass behind him. Jacob Vaughn

Bone Thugs N Harmony
8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $30 at livenation.com

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Long before Young Thug, Kid Cudi and other new-wavers were fusing melodic singing to legitimate raps, Cleveland rap outfit Bone Thugs N Harmony were doing it better than anyone ever would. Admittedly past their heyday, with several lineup changes since the group began touring primarily as a nostalgia act, the band's chops remain acutely intact. As evidenced by their continued features on top-charting hip-hop albums, the members of Bone Thugs N Harmony can still lay it down faster and smoother than just about anyone going. Mindful lyricism, velvety deliveries and machine-gun cadences make for the kind of visceral poetry that simply never goes out of style. Jonathan Patrick

Uji
8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at The Wild Detectives, 314 W. 8th St., $8 at eventbrite.com

The nomadic electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist Uji is headed to Texas for a performance at The Wild Detectives. Uji, aka Luis Maurette, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was raised all around Latin America and eventually helped form the experimental, electronic-folk duo Lulacruza with Alejandra Ortiz in 2005. Over the years, the group has released five albums, a feature film and have toured the world. In June 2018, Uji released his debut solo album Alborada with ZZK Records, based in Argentina. Along with all the synths, percussion, vocals and strings, Uji's field recordings are layered throughout the album. His show Thursday will be an otherworldly experience. Jacob Vaughn

Texas Shootout
9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio, 411 E. Sycamore St., Denton, $5 at door

Austinite punks The Butts and the hell-raising, western, indie-rock band Dead Horse Creek are headed to North Texas for a good ol'-fashioned shootout with local bands Top Hat Ted and Madaline. The Butts released their latest EP Nightmare at Area 51 a couple of months ago and have been hitting Texas roads hard, performing all around Austin ever since. Now the band is Denton-bound with Dead Horse Creek for an epic mashup of traveling and local musicians. Jacob Vaughn

Air Review
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $15 at prekindle.com

Local rock band Air Review is hitting the stage at Club Dada on Friday for its first Dallas performance in four years. It will be a momentous occasion, celebrating the release of the band's new album How We Got By. Since the release of Air Review's 2013 album Low Wishes, the band has been taking a long break from putting out new material. How We Got By, Air Review's third album, is the first thing the band has released in six years. After months of recording at The Echo Lab, the band finally released the album on June 21. Joining Air Review onstage will be other local heavy-hitters, E.B. The Younger and Gollay. Jacob Vaughn

Levees
9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Opening Bell Coffee, 1409 S. Lamar St., $10 at openingbellcoffee.com

A recent University of Texas at Dallas graduate, Justin Mills, a.k.a. Levees, has turned a fascination with the banjo into one of the coolest local acts in town. Named for the water-bearing embankments along the Trinity River, Levees is set to release his second full-length album, Vultures, on the night in question. With a Buddy Holly brow line, alternating between guitar and his distinctive extra-long necked banjo, Mills has already showcased a level of confidence and flair in his playing that far exceeds his years. Far from being a rehash of early 2000s Americana music or a highbrow showcase of pure technicality one might expect from a bow-tied professor, what Mills packs in spades is spirit. Covering themes like suburban drudgery and the American West, Mills has a way of convincing audiences his tales are true by the mere power of his voice, rising high and harmonious before crunching down amidst the clawhammer clatter of his banjo. Levees does its best to hold back a torrent of emotion, yet Mills still seems to have a knack for flooding ears. Nicholas Bostick

The Growlers
8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at The Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $33 at prekindle.com 

Over the last several years, fans and critics alike have taken the "Is rock dead?" argument to exhausting heights. These discussions, though amusing, often critically miss citing emerging artists' contributions to the genre. There are many bands, after all, cranking out guitar/bass/drum tunes that certainly wave the rock music flag. The Growlers are one such band worthy of mention in this discussion. Hailing from Southern California, they play self-described "beach goth," a sound that brings to mind some of the more sinister aspects of that golden California dream. With work produced by Julian Casablancas and some supporting gigs with the likes of The Black Keys and Jonathan Richman, they've gotten plenty of notice. See for yourself if they can be one of those rock torchbearers when they hit up The Granada on Saturday night. Jeff Strowe

Wanz Dover & The Dotz
9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St., $5 at prekindle.com

Dotz sets are always memorable, but Saturday night's show promises to be an unforgettable visual and sonic performance as it marks the first electronic set by Wanz Dover & The Dotz without a live drummer, so it will combine the Dotz's normal post-punk musings with Dover’s other electronic tendencies further merged with a full-on multimedia show with video by VJ S(Eye). Expect to hear reworked Dotz songs, as well as some tracks off Dover’s solo album, The Work, which is due Sept. 24. The Work is Dover’s first proper full-length techno album released under his own name, and the tracks tap into his noise, shoegaze and industrial roots. Denton’s experimental and industrial act Filth opens, which is Rob Buttrum (of House of Tinnitus) and his impressive tower of analog and electronic devices he utilizes during his sets. Expect a DJ set by Bon Spengler from Proton Radio's weekly "Bedroom Bedlam," which is the online electronic music station’s Friday night underground demo mix show. Daniel Rodrigue

Brave Combo
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at LSA Burger Co., 113 W. Hickory St., Denton, free

Continuing to celebrate 40 years of nuclear polka, LSA Burger Co. is hosting a 40th anniversary hometown performance by Brave Combo on the restaurant’s rooftop stage, which offers a scenic backdrop view that overlooks Denton’s historic square. Brave Combo formed near the end of the spring 1979 semester by a group of North Texas State University (now UNT) students. After the combo gigged hard all summer and started seeing growing support from fans in North Texas, Carl Finch, Tim Walsh, Dave Cameron and Lyle Atkinson decided to pursue Brave Combo as a full-time gig. Saturday night’s early show offers fans of all ages a chance to help Brave Combo celebrate 40 years with the two-time Grammy-winning combo’s brand of polka and other dance-able styles of world music as the group’s set is likely to include a wild mix of danceable genres such as polka, rock, ska, salsa, zydeco, cha-cha-chá, cumbia, merengue and other styles. In Brave Combo’s July newsletter, Carl Finch wrote: “Rumor has it, BC alumnus, Robert Hokamp, will be joining us for part of the night. He’s bringing his guitar.” Daniel Rodrigue

Revelers Hall Band
2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave., free

Every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., the Revelers Hall Band makes a not-so-subtle stop at their home venue. The six-piece brass band packs a punch that is near impossible to stand still against. The band embodies what Revelers Hall co-owner Jason Roberts and music director Kevin Butler want to get out of all the performers at the venue. It's acoustic, and they play real pianos and upright basses, instead of electric. Even if the power goes out, the Revelers Hall Band will keep the show going. The band can also be heard accompanying other acts booked at the venue throughout the week. Jacob Vaughn

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