The 10 Best Concerts in Dallas this Week, April 15-20
Rhett Miller and Old 97's are still at it, after 20 years.
There's a lot going on that you need to know about before we get hit with a weekend full of high holidays. Easter, 4/20 and Record Store Day are important and all, but that doesn't mean you should just stay in all week and wait. There's plenty of fun to be had in the meantime, with these 10 non-holiday related concert picks.
Pet Shop Boys
Tuesday, April 15, at Majestic Theatre
Hard to believe that England's Pet Shop Boys have been doing the synthpop/alternative dance thing for over three decades. During that time, the duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe has managed to evolve with the musical tides while maintaining a sizable audience.
Although known for original songs such as "West End Girls" and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" Pet Shop Boys have also carved out a successful niche with cover songs. Darryl Smyers
Tuesday, April 15, at Vice Palace
To honor the opening of local artist Art Pena's new performance space, Vice Palace, THRWD Magazine is bringing in Columbus, Ohio's own Sex Tide to christen the stage tonight. The DIY garage punk outfit has an impressive LP under their belt, and will be a great way to kickstart West Dallas' newest music venue. Vanessa Quilantan
Wednesday, April 16, at House of Blues
Longtime DJ Mustard collaborator and Compton rapper YG has been riding a solid momentum of buzz since the release of his signature 2011 hit, "Toot It and Boot It." That momentum has surged since the release of his Mustard-produced single, "My Nigga," featuring Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan. The song was placed on a plethora of 2013 best-of lists and continues to get tons of radio play since its release last September. Though YG's lyrical prowess and skill aren't as well showcased on "My Nigga" compared with his deeper cuts, the single has brought him to a much broader audience. This week, his My Krazy Life Tour stops at House of Blues Dallas. VQ
Wednesday, April 16, at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
If fame and success were the guaranteed results of hard work and dedication, the members of Anvil would have fantastic mansions in a tropical paradise, swim in vaults full of gold coins and have their visages carved on Mount Rushmore, or whatever Mount Rushmore's Canadian equivalent is. Of course, this being reality and all, the band toiled in obscurity for almost three decades until they became the subject of a heartwarming 2008 documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which showed the Canadian heavy metal relics going about their blue-collar, endearingly Canadian lives, delivering lunches, playing shows and gallivanting from one increasingly disappointing Eastern European club date to the next. Since then, the band has gotten its dues, earning slots opening for bands like Saxon and AC/DC, as well as various music festivals. Anvil's tale proves that living the metal life isn't easy, but it can bring you to places you've never been before, like sleeping in a Prague train station, a metal festival in Japan and the Gas Monkey on April 17. Steve Steward
Thursday, April 17, at the Kessler Theater
Uncle Lucius is the kind of band that used to come out of Austin in the early 1980s: rootsy, but still rocking. The four-piece is certainly a throwback to the weirder days of our state capital, with nothing corporate or contrived in this band's melding of classic rock and swinging country blues. Uncle Lucius' most recent effort was 2012's And You Are Me, an album packed with quality songs such as "Set Yourself Free," "Keep the Wolves Away" and "Just Keep Walking." Certainly, just about every scene has a band like Uncle Lucius (Dallas has Somebody's Darling), but even though the terrain isn't especially new, the execution and passion are impressive and in abundance. DS
Health, with Blackstone Rangers and Cutter
Thursday, April 17, at Three Links
Even turbulent noise-rock bands can enter a state of placidity. With Health's debut release in 2007, erratic and apocalyptic rock music seemed to have reached its full destructive potential. They bottled up pure chaotic energy and served it in 29 minutes of hypnotic and unpredictable bliss. Then, in 2009, with their release of Get Color, the inevitable sophomoric curse set in, and their thunderous momentum slowed, not to a crawl but perhaps a steady stroll, with occasional volatile bursts reminiscent of their first release.
The subsequent remix albums, Health//Disco and Health::Disco 2, however, helped to keep the fanfare afloat for the L.A. wave-makers, and also propelled electro-synth duo Crystal Castles into indie-music stardom with their catchy interpretation of Health's single "Crimewave."
Even though the dust has settled from their explosive beginnings, and their noise rendering has been subtly re-configured in blasé electronic fashion (they have earned acclaim with the synthy and atmospheric soundtrack of Max Payne 3), Health will still retain all of the familiar explosiveness onstage. Aaron Ortega
Thursday, April 17, at Trees
The Hawaiian-born and Montreal-bred producer Kaytranada has become a beathead darling over the last year or so. One listen to 2013's Kaytra Todo, and it's clear to see why. This is possibly one of the most buzz-worthy live production sets we've seen on the calendar in a while, and it's not to be missed. VQ
Friday, April 18, at the Granada Theater
Hailing from Sweden, The Sounds channel some of the best and worst of '70s and '80s American new wave. Inspiration from Blondie and The Cars is one thing; inspiration from Missing Persons is quite another. And while singer Maja Ivarsson is a striking and spirited frontperson, the music of The Sounds doesn't always match Ivarsson's energy. When it does, as it did on Living in America, the band's 2002 debut, the results are cheeky, campy fun. This is music for a New York new wave discotheque circa 1979, music made for dancing and easy consumption, thought-free concoctions that go down quickly and are thankfully forgotten with the next morning's hangover. DS
Friday, April 18, at Lola's Saloon
A lineup of Fort Worth's finest hits Lola's on Friday night, with Skeleton Coast, Son of Stan, Ronnie Heart, Bummer Vacation and The Fibs all combining to promise an evening of varied excellence. Skeleton Coast, in particular, are one of the area's more exciting bands, and we all know what Son of Stan can do. At $10, that's $2 a band. Highly worth your time. GC
Old 97's, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Saturday, April 19, at AT&T Performing Arts Center
Recently the Dallas-born Old 97's celebrated the 15th anniversary of their 1997 breakthrough -- and likely their most beloved -- album, Too Far To Care. By the time 2014 year ends, however, an even more admirable milestone will be marked as the band recognizes the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album, Hitchhike to Rhome. For a band that's been together as a single unit for 21 years, yet another notable achievement is on the horizon, but this one is forward-looking. Not to get lost in the nostalgia trips is the upcoming release of their latest, excellently reckless record, Most Messed Up. While the alt-country trailblazers have taken their sound into more rock- and pop-driven directions in the past, the new album, recorded in Austin late last year, brazenly delivers blistering cow-punk anthem, one after another. As enjoyable and well-received as the group's Grand Theatre I and II were, it doesn't take but a couple spins of the new record to safely assume it will be a collection that indeed sets up Rhett Miller, Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond and Philip Peeples really well for the next several years to come. Kelly Dearmore