The Ten Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, October 3-9

Well people, this is not a drill. We are in a full-fledged government shutdown, for the first time in 17 years. Have you noticed how people keep saying that like 17 years is a really long time? Seventeen-year-old people were born in 1996. Think about that, lamestream media. We were doing the Macarena 17 years ago. So let's all just chill out about health care for a minute and go see some good live music this weekend, all right? Grab an extra ticket for the federal employee in your life, because they could probably use a pick-me-up right about now.

Richard Buckner Thursday, October 3, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Denton

Listening to the music of singer/songwriter Richard Buckner is like reading a good, challenging novel. Dense one minute, delicate the next, Buckner's music is filled with lyrical metaphors and beautiful acoustic and electric underpinnings. Over the course of nearly a dozen full-length releases, Buckner has widened his lens quite impressively. Initially, a few major label idiots tried to fit the guy into the mold of a traditional country crooner. Thankfully, Buckner's inherent peculiarity led to fantastic efforts such as 2004's

Dents and Shells

and the recently released


. These days, Buckner's music transcends easy classification. Part Brian Eno and part Ryan Adams, Buckner creates sonic pictures that play out like personal crossword puzzles. Buckner's music requires attentive listening, for the dramatics are hidden, but the power is still there buzzing against suggestion and remorse.

Darryl Smyers
Shuggie Otis Friday, October 4, at The Kessler Theatre

Few things are more exciting than when the opportunity arises to see an artist you'd never thought you'd be able to see perform live. This is the kind of thrill that record crate diggers and old school heads across Dallas will get when they see Shuggie Otis' name on the concert calendar. From 1969 to 1974, Otis released three albums before disappearing into anonymity --

Here Comes Shuggie Otis


Freedom Flight


Inspiration Information

. Each one so perfectly blended rock 'n' roll, blues, R&B, funk and soul in a way so far ahead of its time -- it's startling. Beyoncé, The Avalanches, J.Dilla and Kanye West have all sampled Otis' work. Dallas' own DJ Sober pulled Otis' most popular hit, "Strawberry Letter 23," for track one of

Satin Sheets Vol. 3

, his Valentine's Day series. Now at age 60, Shuggie Otis has decided he wants to spend the rest of his life touring. Go listen to the title track of

Freedom Flight

with headphones on, and think deeply about what a great time it is to be alive. We are not worthy.

Vanessa Quilantan
Charlie Robison and William Clark Green Friday, October 4, at Granada Theater

This has been an exemplary year for Texas country young guns and grizzled veterans alike. This bill provides proof for both cases. Bandera's Charlie Robison hasn't been terribly prolific over the past few years, but his brand-new record,

High Times

, is yet another seamlessly well-crafted record of revved-up troublemaking and storytelling numbers that demand your full attention. Better than most, Robison can be an authoritative badass in one tune and a repentant soul-searcher in the next. While not a newcomer to the world of Texas college-circuit touring, William Clark Green has finally made his breakthrough. The Tyler native and former Texas Tech student is a folk writer with a rocker's grit. His most recent record,

The Rose Queen

, is his second excellent album in a row, and boasts his first No. 1 tune on the Texas charts, "She Likes the Beatles," which is the best barroom sing-along song of the year.

Kelly Dearmore
The Pretty Reckless Friday, October 4, at House of Blues

The Pretty Reckless has a solid balance of angst and remove, heartbreak and violence. The band, fronted by former Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen, started arena-tight and has gotten more so over the last few years. They're currently prepping a sophomore LP,

Going to Hell

, which is scheduled for 2014.

Kiernan Maletsky
Queens of the Stone Age Saturday, October 5, at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

Other rock and metal bands may think they say "Never say die," but Queens of the Stone Age had to repeat it like a daily affirmation to remind themselves that they were still alive during the tumultuous six years following their last album. Lead singer and guitarist Josh Homme had a scary brush with death during a routine knee surgery that sank him into a hard depression. Thankfully, he and his bandmates bounced back by pounding out the kind of hard sounds that explore the dark recesses of humanity and remind us that the worst is over, as long as we let it be the worst from here on out.

Danny Gallagher
Kelly Rowland Saturday, October 5, at The State Fair of Texas and Zouk

Destiny's Child alum Kelly Rowland has really established herself as a solo artist over the last couple of years. Though it took some time for the R&B diva to carve out her niche, you can't blame her. All those years in Beyonce's shadow can be hard to move forward from. Rowland seems to have found her own voice in hypersexual radio R&B hits. 2011's


and the more recent

Kisses Down Low

have kept her in the mainstream consciousness as more than a former girl grouper. After her appearance at The State Fair of Texas' Prairie View A&M versus Grambling State pre-show, Rowland will be doing a late show at Zouk downtown.

Silversun Pickups Sunday, October 6, at Trees

Somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and the Smashing Pumpkins fits the music of L.A.'s Silversun Pickups. And that's not too bad a place to be. Led by the enigmatic Brian Aubert, the band pouts, mopes and shoegazes its way to middle-of-the-road, melodramatic Nirvana (the destination, not the band). Silversun Pickups' three full-length efforts (including last year's

Neck of the Woods

) are fairly indistinguishable from one another, but feature enough interesting melodies to keep the attention of the listener. Indeed, Neck may well be the best thing the band has done as songs such as "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)" and "Mean Spirits" surge with just the right amount of charm and angst.

Darryl Smyers
MS MR Monday, October 7, at House of Blues

MS MR play densely layered but lightweight pop music -- a combination that's earned the young band a major label deal and airtime on several primetime TV shows (that great modern indie bellwether). Frontwoman Lizzy Plapinger also co-founded Neon Gold Records, which is responsible for a slew of 7-inch releases from the likes of Dom, Chvrches and Marina & the Diamonds. You get the gist.

Kiernan Maletsky
Wild Nothing, Local Natives Tuesday, October 8, at House of Blues

I can clearly remember when Wild Nothing's debut


landed in 2010. It nearly defined my summer. Its dreamy pop melodies are still imprinted on my mind, streaking their way across three months' worth of hazy memories. It's fitting, because Wild Nothing's reverberating guitars and aqueous tones serve as the perfect backdrop to sun-drenched, carefree summer days. Wild Nothing is the project of singer-songwriter Jack Tatum, who, in 2010, propelled his band into the critical spotlight with a striking rendition of Kate Bush's brilliant single "Cloudbusting." Children of the '80s will recognize Wild Nothing's trademark aesthetic immediately, a sound whose ethereal arrangements and synthy structures bring to mind pop acts like New Order and the Cocteau Twins. Currently on tour with the vocal-heavy rock group Local Natives, Wild Nothing will be in Dallas performing at the House of Blues on October 8. Don't worry, Wild Nothing's jangly riffs, blurry nostalgia and infectious hooks will all translate beautifully live. If you're looking for a memorable way to celebrate the last days of summer, this is your ticket.

Jonathan Patrick

Zhora Wednesday, October 9, at Club Dada Taylor Rea got one big step closer to her first full-length with Zhora when she released "Lights" recently. The song is methodic and hypnotizing and we can't wait to hear more. Zhora shares this bill with Eyes, Wings and Many Other Things, England in 1819 and Eric Harvey. KM

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