Mary J. Blige, Tape Mastah Steph, Blackstone Rangers, and a Norton Records Benefit top our rundown of the weekend’s best concerts.

Weekender: Dallas Area Concerts for December 6-9

THURSDAY

Kassy Levels (House of Blues): It can’t be easy trying to make it in the music industry when you’re from Richardson, but Kassy Levels seems to be doing a pretty good job. She has a killer alto, plays guitar, and her cover of Bieber’s “Baby” at Stonebriar Mall is worth checking out.  — Iris Zubair

“Big Bang” (Beauty Bar): If you have any interest in hearing the Weeknd’s newest record, Trilogy (and chances are pretty good that you do, judging by their sold-out show earlier this year) then you can show up to Big Bang at 9 p.m. tonight. Sober will be hosting a listening party, followed by his usual reliable set. – Christopher Mosley

Mark Kozelek (The Granada): Is Mark Kozelek one of the all time masters of musical understatement ever produced in Western Culture? Is he the sleepiest man of all time? Are his endless and ridiculous covers of music by the likes of AC/DC and John Denver one of the longest bouts of trolling ever delivered to the music buying public by a successful artist? These are all pertinent questions. Kozelek can be as maddening as he is soothing. One friend, who I’ll call “Daniel Kerr,” once fell asleep standing up at a Mark Kozelek show in Austin. Sleep or weep tonight; the choice is yours. – Christopher Mosley

Bludded Head/Terminator 2/Yuggothian (Bryan Street Tavern): A real quick note about the lineup of a particular band playing this free show: Bludded Head lost the talented Mike Forbes as a drummer, unfortunately. But he has been replaced with the young Bill Dodds (drummer of Bukkake Moms), fortunately. I called Bludded Head’s Nevada Hill about the change, and he explained the nuances between Forbes and Dodds with a bunch of boring musician-speak, before summing it up with this money quote: “We aren’t even really a metal band anymore.” He also says that he’s been listening to “a lot of Bedhead” of late. That’s an interesting development and if you’re coming to this show expecting metal, I’m sure it happens at some point.

Update: You most certainly will hear metal, since Yuggothian’s James Magruder describes his band as “cosmic black metal.” Sounds promising. – Christopher Mosley

Odd Future (Palladium Ballroom): Say what you will about their enduring controversy, and sure, there is a lot to say, but Odd Future was pretty effective as entertainment at last year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest when they closed the weekend out on a high note. There’s an excellent write-up about this event over on FrontBurner as well. – Christopher Mosley

Mohegan Son/Air DJ/Ynfynyt Scroll/DJ Zone (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): I thought that “Denton is Burning” had died and been resurrected at least once, so I don’t know if this can really work as a “one year anniversary apocalypse,” as the promotional material suggests. I do, however, want to thank the invite author for including a link to this handy lunar calendar, letting us know that the we’re in the last quarter of the lunar phase and the zodiac sign is Virgo. This is dance music and they take it extremely seriously, even when they don’t.

Mohegan Son, associated with the ever prominent #Feelings imprint, is here all the way from New York, while opening artist DJ Zone will be making an appearance, which I’m thankful for, since the DJ has a strong social media presence, but I haven’t really heard his music. That’s how the game is played now, and I don’t fault him in the slightest. – Christopher Mosley

FRIDAY

School of Rock Charity Showcase (House of Blues): There’s nothing more irritating than seeing child prodigies in action. While the mediocre majority of us were characterizing our personality types to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the kids in these School of Rock showcases were busy becoming ridiculously talented. While you watch this show, remember to try not to hate yourself too much. — Iris Zubair

Ode to Trees/Yallwells/The Will Callers (Club Dada): Ode to Trees performed at Battle of the Bands one year and I remember thinking their sound is somewhere between the spectrum of Phoenix and Foster the People. The Will Callers bring some “big band country” flare to the evening, but this is still a showcase of the Dallas indie scene, so expect to see a lot of  Buddy Holly frames and too-skinny jeans. — Iris Zubair

Tape Mastah Steph (Sandaga 813): Steph promises to play music other than the hip hop for which he is known at this party, which is honoring an exhibition by the University of Texas at Arlington’s architecture and interior design programs.

The master of tapes also posted a photograph warning potential attendees not to request certain artists, a list that includes “Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Waka Flocka,” and Drake, to “name a few…” – Christopher Mosley

Blackstone Rangers/Nervous Curtains/Skeleton Coast (Double Wide): A solid show at Double Wide, where the booking has picked up in the past few months, quality-wise. – Christopher Mosley

Zorch/New Fumes/Summer of Glaciers/Def Rain/Ulnae (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): It’s Gutterth’s tradition to host a big event during UNT’s “Dead Week,” and this features some quality acts (New Fumes, Ulnae, and Def Rain, especially) along with the usual live printmaking. – Christopher Mosley

Killtron/Adam Analog/Hakishi Orishima/B3/DJ Art Star (Ash Studios): For a terrifically written write-up that is less meandering and more pertinent than anything I would write, go here– Christopher Mosley

 

SATURDAY

Math the Band/Fishboy/Not Half Bad/Cat People (1919 Hemphill): This is how Hemphill’s site described the event:

Math the Band: Dancy pop tunes from Rhode Island

Fishboy: Denton indie pop jamz

Not Half Bad: Fort Worth pop punx

Cat People: uh….”

Spelling mistakes aside, this kind of sums up what I would’ve said. Although, I will add that Math the Band’s video for “Why Didn’t You Get A Haircut?” is a disturbingly strange thing to watch. Mostly, it reminds me of a bad children’s morning show on acid, which ironically, is also what their music kind of sounds like. — Iris Zubair

H Cough Noise/Anger House/Catatonic Squirrels/Spacebeach (Eureka Park): Like so many moments of historical aesthetic significance, a generator will be making this event possible, one that features plenty of sludgy and antagonized music in a Denton park on a Saturday afternoon. This is another in the “guerilla gigging” series where shows pop up randomly and unexpectedly outside of the normal nightlife circuit. Lest anyone thinks this is supposed to be raising any sort of rabble, the following plea was made by the organizers:

BRING DONATIONS FOR THE GENERATOR DUDES.
NO DRUGS.
NO BOOZE.
NO JERKS.
(seriously this is a public park dudes.)

Got it? Show begins at 1:30 pm. – Christopher Mosley

Midnite Society/Bloody Knives/Cerulean Giallo/Juve (Macaroni Island): Hopefully this show will make up for the unfortunate cancellation that took place recently at Club Dada which involved both Juve and Midnite Society. But really, canceled shows are like sleep debt: You can never really make it up. – Christopher Mosley

Seth Sherman/Bludded Head/Pageantry (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): Seeing all the fliers and advertisements for this show has led to some serious doubts about the spelling abilities of certain members of our community. Let me help you out. It’s:

P-A-G-E-A-N-T-R-Y.

Pageantry. Turn on your spell-check squiggles. You’re driving me crazy. – Christopher Mosley

Update: The Travoltas/Salim Nourallah (The Foundry): See comments.

SUNDAY

Hares on the Mountain (Dan’s Silverleaf): Nobody appreciates a good roots act like Dentonites, but the timing of this show isn’t exactly ideal. This is around the point in the semester when burnt out college kids are just barely surviving the “dead week” before finals as they complain extensively about the projects and papers they should have started on weeks ago. Procrastination is a multifaceted evil, a fact I can painfully relate to this week while I’m scrambling to meet deadlines. Maybe we should all meet up at the Hares on the Mountain show and let loose, throw caution to the wind, and party like it’s 1999. Why not? Life’s short and I’m being constantly reminded that the world will be ending soon. — Iris Zubair

Mary J. Blige (American Airlines Center): I’m not sure what Mary J. Blige has been up to in recent years because the last time I remember hearing a song from her, it was some collaboration with Ja Rule. Anyone remember this number? And considering that Ja Rule practically fell off the face of the Earth since his long-forgotten feud with 50 Cent, this just further supports my theory that Ja Rule was bad luck. While Jennifer Lopez seemed to escape the curse (although, she found a replacement rapper in Pitbull, who I can only pray shares a fate similar to Mr. Rule), most of us can barely remember the faces of his other collaborative partners such as Charli Baltimore and Vita. Coincidence? I think not. — Iris Zubair

“Norton Records Benefit” (Magnolia Motor Lounge, located at 3005 Morton St. in Fort Worth): I’m not one for helping out the competition, but I figure in this case, it’s okay since this particular competitor is stepping out of the music ring. So, to be enlightened on why a New York-based record label damaged by Hurricane Sandy called Norton matters so much to North Texas, you should definitely read this piece by departing Observer music editor, Audra Schroeder.  In it, she drops both, the Modern Lovers-spinoff act, The Real Kids, as well as saxophone (and vocal) terrorist, King Uszniewicz as if she were referring to acts as commonplace as Mumford and Sons and Jack White. I was once warned by a reader concerning Schroeder’s referential prowess in the following text message:

A Dallas Observer Music Editor casually mentions Crass and Anal C*nt in a blog filler post? You got some real competition this round.

He was right, and I will certainly miss this sort of familiarity with the shadow lineage of popular music, something sorely lacking from the many local jokers who can’t be bothered to pick up at least a book or two on their chosen subject. So, here’s to the tough competition I had in 2012. But as someone once sorrowfully yet defiantly said, “I’m not afraid anymore…

Schedule is as follows:

1:00 DJ Jukeboxmafia
2:00 Casa Magnetica
3:00 Street Arabs
4:00 Ape Hangars
5:00 War Party
6:00 Oddlot
7:00 Year of the Bear
8:00 Dove Hunter

                                             – Christopher Mosley

Image: Bill Dodds from Bludded Head. Photo by Andi Harman.