I know this is hard, trust me. This weekend's options seem almost endless. Between 35 Denton's four-day lineup of hundreds of musicians, and other major names like Eels and Andrew W.K. rolling into town, it feels like you'll never sleep again, right? Well, that's probably true--at least for now--but you'll get there. I bid you warm and ardent salutations on your plight to musical bliss this weekend. Go now, child. Be swift.
Eels Thursday, March 7, at Granada Theater, $30 It's incredible to think that Eels' big hit single is 17 years old this year, but Mark Everett's collection of misfits, outside the mainstream since 1996's debut album Beautiful Freak and its accompanying chart hit "Novocaine for the Soul," have been making consistently excellent records ever since. As well as two perfect, and very different, examples of the alt-rock genre in 1998's harrowing Electro-Shock Blues and 2000's comparatively upbeat Daisies of the Galaxy, Eels have put out a lot of singles you've heard in various places but never come to associate with them. Even better, Mr. E put together what must be the best rock/physics crossover documentary a few years back in a quest to understand the work of his estranged father, famed theoretical physicist Hugh Everett III. Eels, then, are one of the strangest oddities to come out of American rock in the last couple of decades, and while their lineup and setlist may vary wildly from tour to tour, you can count on a good show, as well as a lot of tracks from the recently released (and surprisingly excellent) Wonderful, Glorious. Just don't expect that one song. -- Gavin Cleaver
35 Denton Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 10, in Downtown Denton, $25-$65 The round of acts announced for 35 Denton's five-year-old festival get more impressive each year. The four-day music binge takes place right in the heart of Denton, including both inside its dusty, charming venues, and outside on the streets of the Downtown Square. Apart from the innumerable local bands playing, others include Solange, Chelsea Light Moving, Killer Mike, Silver Apples, Emeralds, White Lung, Soul Clap Dance Off, Poolside, Antwon, The Coathangers, Shannon and the Clams, Delicate Steve, Idiot Glee, Fossil Collective, Buxton, Audacity, Gary War, You Won't, Hey Marseilles, The Last Bison, Destruction Unit, Roomrunner, Mind Spiders and How I Quit Crack. -- Rachel Watts
Texas Music Revolution 17 Saturday, March 9, at Southfork Ranch, $30-$200 Independently-owned KHYI 95.3 The Range has won their share of DOMAs for a reason. The station knows how to appeal to the North Texas region with an especially diverse brand of Country and Americana music. While mixing in more local and regional talent than just about anyone else, the station has soldiered on for almost two decades. Their annual bash at Southfork Ranch has also been a sign of why the station's survived this long. This year's line-up is a great example. The two-stage line-up features local favorites (The O's, John David Kent, Zane Williams), and bands that are on the national map (Chris Knight, American Aquarium and Turnpike Troubadours). the best part of this year's show however, are the regionally-based acts that are on the cusp of really breaking-through to something bigger. Dallas-own Ronnie Fauss, El Paso's Dirty River Boys, Austin's Uncle Lucius and Houston's Folk Family Revival are young acts that represent everything great and exciting about the newest generation of Texas artists. Most radio-sponsored events wouldn't give these bands a chance, but for KHYI, they're called "Headliners". -- Kelly Dearmore
Devin the Dude Saturday, March 9, at Granada Theater, $14 Houston's very own spaced-out stoner MC extraordinaire is back on Saturday. With his Coughee Brothaz brethren, he brings his laid back, dippin'-corners-in-the-Cadillac flow to the historic Granada Theater. A Facemob affiliate and former longtime Rap-A-Lot Records artist, Devin the Dude is an underground legend of the Dirty South -- truly a rapper's rapper. Live shows are chilled-out sing-alongs where you can swing your hips slow to classic Southern joints like "Doobie Ashtray," "Lacville '79" and "What I Be On." Devin gigs at The Granada often lead to a sizable turnout, and he has even worked with Dallas' own Picnictyme (of PPT and Booty Fade fame) on occasion. For new and longtime fans of Southern rap, Devin the Dude never disappoints. -- Vanessa Quilantan
Andrew W.K., Urizen, The Virgin Wolves, The Phuss, Fever Dreamer Sunday, March 10, at Trees, $19-$22 The last time I saw Andrew W.K. was at the 21st Street Co-Op in Austin, where he performed from a balcony to a sea of hundreds at six o'clock in the morning. He was rock 'n' roll then and he's rock 'n' roll now. See his set in Dallas on Sunday, a day just barely wedged in between music festivals of every size and shape. Costumed sci-fi rock lords Urizen are main support. Go watch some of their videos for a description better than I can give. And there is perhaps no better pairing for A.W.K. than gritty rock 'n' roll locals The Virgin Wolves and "Texas-punk" trio The Phuss. -- Rachel Watts
Aesop Rock Sunday, March 10, at Granada Theater, $18 Just surrender to the shows; you can sleep in the later part of March. Last Summer, Aesop Rock came through on tour with his latest release Skelethon, and at that show promised he'd be back to play the older hits. He clearly is a man of his word. Rock is in an interesting creative place as he finishes up a second tour of his 2012 release and begins a new collaboration with Kimya Dawson on a new effort under the name Uncluded. Aesop's distinct variety of emotional hip-hop and crafty production will be on fine display and hopefully those in attendance will get a small taste of what's next from this Definitive Jux alumni. It seems he has tricks up his tattooed sleeves. -- Deb Doing Dallas