I hope everyone’s been taking advantage of the calendar option on this website. I work hard as possible to compile the most comprehensive list of quality shows in the metroplex. I counted the list of shows for this weekend, and from today to Sunday, I have a total of 17 listed options. That number may seem a little overwhelming. OK, it’s very overwhelming. The point is that it helps to narrow down the choices some. That’s why I like to share my Cream of the Calendar with you each Friday. While I could recommend all of these shows listed, the five below are, in my opinion, the best of the best.
Brent Best (Album Release Party)/Daniel Markham (Dan’s Silverleaf)
Brent Best has not exactly been prolific as of late. The last Slobberbone album was released in 2003, and he only released one album with The Drams back in 2006. That makes the release of Your Dog, Champ all the more anticipated of an event. Daniel Markham will open the show, and he’s a pretty darn impressive songwriter in his own right.
Local Brews Local Grooves (House of Blues)
Hmmm… I wonder if a festival containing lots of beer and music has a shot of being successful? All joking aside, the list of breweries involved is impressive, and the list of musicians is even more impressive. You can click on the thumbnail to see the entire schedule, which does present more than a few challenges. My greatest frustration is that Jessie Frye‘s set is completely inside of the window that Nicholas Altobelli performs. That’s so unfair to have to make a choice. Other musical highlights include sets by The O’s, The Demigs, Ronnie Fauss, and Karyna Micaela. Just remember: drink and listen to your music responsibly.
Jonathan Tyler (Album Release)/Wesley Geiger/Dead Flowers/The Quaker City Night Hawks (Trees)
Lots has changed in Jonathan Tyler’s world since Atlantic released Pardon Me five years ago. Mr. Tyler (shown above), along with his backing band The Northern Lights, looked poised to break through on the scene nationally. Alas, not only is Mr. Tyler no longer on Atlantic, a lawsuit by a member of a 70’s band called The Northern Lights has required him to drop the band’s name from future performances. And yet it seems that he’s getting a stronger reception for his “solo album” (he still maintains the same band, even if he can’t use the phrase The Northern Lights) than he did back when he was on Atlantic. Whether it’s rockers like “Riverbottom” and “Honey Pie” or the more chill tunes like “Everything Was Cool in 2002” and “To Love Is to Fly” (his duet with Nikki Lane), Holy Smokes finds Jonathan Tyler finding his musical sweet spot. On the album, Mr. Tyler balances his southern rock leanings with a more commercial approach that leaves his music more accessible without ever veering into the realm of “selling out”. Oh, but Jonathan Tyler will sell out. At least I predict he will sell out… Trees, that is. I’d get my tickets early if I were you. With as big of an event as this album release is, and with such strong supporting acts as Wesley Geiger, Dead Flowers, and The Quaker City Night Hawks, it’s gonna be a big night at Trees.
Hawk Vs. Dove/International Bitterness Unit/Prostinaut! (Double-Wide)
With the previous two shows I mentioned, it would be easy for Saturday’s lineup at Double-Wide to slip through the cracks. In fact, up until recently, it seemed like Hawk Vs. Dove lived within the cracks. It seems though that between mentions here and on the Dallas Observer for having one of the best albums in the first half of 2015 with Divided States, HVD is on the verge of getting the recognition it deserves. If you’re looking for a straight forward dumb rock band, Hawk Vs. Dove is not for you. The band is certainly blisteringly loud, but the complex, almost prog-rock type melodies challenge the listener, and I mean that in the best way possible. Speaking of challenging, International Bitterness Unit is one of the smarter punk leaning bands right now, and I’d recommend checking out their EP Push B for Basement. Opener Prostinaut! is also quite capable of being an interesting, and somewhat hard to pin down, band. I’m not sure how to classify the songs on their EP Threeve (side note: this is the best EP title of the year, easily), other than they rock and they’re good. If you’re looking for a show of bands that rock, and rock hard, you’ll want to be at Double-Wide Saturday night.
Son of Stan/Pearl Earl/Numb Bats (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio)
Whatever happened to Sunday shows? It used to be that I’d regularly see lots of cool shows on Sunday nights, but lately, that number has dwindled down to near zero. Fortunately, Rubber Gloves has managed a solid lineup that will make Dentonites trying to figure out their excuses for being late to work the next day.