Lily Allen at House of Blues, 9/15/14

Categories: Last Night

Syre Berman
The Sheezus herself at a recent tour stop in Miami
Lily Allen
With MR Little Jeans
House of Blues, Dallas
Monday September 15, 2014

On her first visit to Dallas at the House of Blues, Lily Allen took the stage purple-haired and dressed like a shiny bit of Christmas tinsel. She was surrounded by a backdrop of large baby bottles that lit up, perhaps as an allusion to her recent motherhood, or her own perpetual state of infancy. With the title of her latest album, Allen has proclaimed herself a God, or technically just the female Kanye West, known as "Sheezus". She opened with the album's title track, which resorts to Eminem-style tactics of name-dropping (often unkindly) every major contemporary pop star.

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Black Lips at Granada Theater, 9/13/14

Categories: Last Night

Mick Rock

The Black Lips
With King Khan & BBQ and PVC Street Gang
Granada Theater, Dallas
Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Black Lips: a little older, a little wiser, still pretty rowdy

There's been a fair amount of talk about rock 'n' roll music in the past few months. Whether it's an unintelligible acceptance speech by Alex Turner or the death sentence handed to it by Gene Simmons, the genre has been dancing in limbo.

Enter Black Lips with their delightfully depraved stage rapport, bringing together newer whip-smart garage sensibilities and classic-rock song styles. In all their stage-vomiting, firework-shooting, beer-spitting, clothes-stripping antics, they break down social barriers to bind everyone in a unifying endeavor: getting loaded and having a good time.

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At Dia de Los Toadies, Hometown Pride Was the Main Attraction

Dia de Los Toadies Facebook Page/Michelle Pelissero
The Toadies on Saturday Night in Fort Worth.

Dia De Los Toadies Festival
With the Toadies, Old 97's, Ume, Quaker City Night Hawks, Pleasant Grove, Somebody's Darling, Residual Kid, The Longshots and Blank-Men
Panther Island Pavilion, Fort Worth
Saturday, September 13, 2014

With apologies to the out-of-town artists that performed during Saturday's Dia de Los Toadies concert at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth, the event was indeed a parade of musical civic pride. And with further apologies to any attendees under 30 years of age, and there were a good bit of you there, you may have enjoyed the near flawless sets from such pedigreed acts as the Toadies, Old 97's and Pleasant Grove, but you likely did so without the nostalgic gut punch that most of us older folks experienced.

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Gorilla Vs. Bear Fest IV at Granada Theater, 9/12/14

Categories: Last Night

Photo courtesy Flickr user Zawezome

Gorilla Vs. Bear Fest IV
With Panda Bear, SOPHIE, Ejecta, Doss and Blues Control
Granada Theater, Dallas
Friday, September 12, 2014

The first song I recall falling in love with was "Kokomo," the '88 Beach Boys radio hit. I was four or five and in my mom's car on the way to kindergarten the first time I heard it. It was lovely and strange. I felt immediately different, like I was somewhere else or someone else -- a better but more abstract where and who. The sensation, as vivid as the first moment, remains with me. But I've still yet to unlock what it means to me exactly, though I know I enjoy it. It's either pathos or bliss, I'm not sure which. Like the way very hot water can feel icy cold to the first touch, it's a feeling so intense as to cause confusion.

From child to adult, from music fan to music writer, it's a feeling I've been chasing ever since. A yardstick to measure all other musical sensations against--that indefinable moment where all things felt possible within the space of a single pop song. For some reason, Panda Bear taps into that same feeling more than any other act I've found (save for the Beach Boys themselves, of course, alongside Brian and Dennis' solo material).

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The Old 97's Played an Impromptu Set at Twilite Lounge Last Night for Rhett Miller's Birthday

Categories: Last Night

Vic Nguyen via Twitter
Rhett Miller celebrated his birthday in style Thursday night at Twilite Lounge
This one might've gotten by you last night. It nearly got by us.

Thursday night at Twilite Lounge is normally the territory for Good Luck Karaoke, but last night the routine got put on hold and singer-songwriter Madison King played a show instead. Oh, and it was also Rhett Miller's birthday. Which is how the Old 97's wound up playing a surprise 20-minute set in Deep Ellum just a little after midnight.

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Do It For Durrett Benefit at Billy Bob's Texas, 9/8/14

Categories: Last Night

Alexandria Gray
It was a memorable night Monday as Billy Bob's remembered Richard Durrett

Do It for Durrett Benefit
Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth
Monday, September 8, 2014

Even if you don't religiously follow the Texas Rangers, it's impossible to miss the mark that Richard Durrett left on the Dallas media landscape. In the years that he spent cutting his teeth at Texas Christian University and eventually in his latest role at ESPN Dallas, by all accounts Richard Durrett was one of those guys that doesn't come around too often. One of the good ones.

It is unfortunate that we have to talk about Durrett in the past tense, but here we are. Put simply, this kind of awful couldn't have happened to a better guy. Making an already tragic situation worse, Durrett left behind a pregnant wife and two small children. In the wake of his death, the Dallas music and sports communities banded together Monday night at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth to raise money to support the beloved family that Durrett left behind.

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Brad Paisley Didn't Throw Me a Guitar Pick Friday at Gexa, But We're Still BFF's

Categories: Last Night

Paige Skinner
Brad Paisley with -- what else? -- his paisley guitar at Gexa on Friday
Brad Paisley
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Friday, September 5, 2014

Brad Paisley and I go back. Way back. As in he followed me on Twitter a little more than a year ago. So it's not exactly BFF-status, but I'll take what I can get. After the follow, my life got weird. In fact, I think Paisley sings a song about that: "I'm so much cooler online."

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Aretha Franklin at Winspear Opera House, 9/6/14

Categories: Last Night

JBeck photography
Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin
Winspear Opera House, Dallas
Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tuxedos and glittering, fancy dresses were the preferred attire Saturday night at the Winspear Opera House. And no, the well-heeled in attendance were not there to see a production of Wagner. Soul music queen Aretha Franklin was in town for a benefit concert and the line of Lexuses for valet parking was an indication of the affluence of the crowd.

I felt grossly out of place in my jeans, golf shirt and casual shoes; and especially in the size of my wallet. With their $10 cups of wine, the major players of the Dallas area came out to celebrate a legend and contribute to a good cause.

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Lil Wayne was the Real Winner Last Night at Gexa Energy Pavilion

Categories: Last Night

Courtesy the artist
Lil Wayne went "head-to-head" with Drake last night at Gexa Energy Pavilion
Drake vs. Lil Wayne
Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas
Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cards on the table, I think Drake is shit. For the life of me I can't see the appeal, and it's not for lack of trying. I've peered inside the music, taken a few strolls, and always came out empty handed. However, I suppose credit is due his way, if only for the fact that he's brought emotional fragility (along with his childlike dopey-ness) to a genre notorious for its unsympathetic personalities. There's never been much room for sensuality in hip hop.

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Clearfork Music Festival was Plagued By Poor Attendance Saturday in Fort Worth

Kelly Dearmore
Clearfork Looks Lonely

Inside of the half-empty Clearfork Music Festival in Fort Worth this past Saturday, it was impossible to not wonder what exactly constitutes a true festival. Any view of the festival grounds at Panther Island Pavilion from one of the slightly elevated spots of the land provided a view of a vibrant festival skeleton complete with tents for local artisans and activists, food trucks, beer trailers and three performance stages. Indeed, Saturday at Clearfork looked very much like a proper festival, even if it failed to feel like one for the most part.

While few would (or should) ever complain about not approaching a line of any kind -- whether it was for restrooms, craft beer or food -- that stretched longer than six people, such unadulterated free-reign over the grounds seemed eerie.

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