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Marina and the Diamonds Played a Secret Show in Dallas

Marina and the Diamonds played a free surprise show Thursday night for a few hundred Dallas “VIPs” at the Bomb Factory. Zhora, with a little help from local favorites -topic and Ronnie Heart, turned in a fun opening performance to set the mood before the Welsh pop singer took the stage.

The Bomb Factory promoted the event online as a “VIP Private Party” featuring a “secret artist,” although the secret was pretty much out by the time Marina and co. played their first note, and VIP access wasn’t particularly hard to come by — I found four spare tickets on the counter at the 7-Eleven in Deep Ellum just before the show.

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Rat Rios is a Modern Throwback for Dallas Music

The singer-songwriter’s music falls somewhere in between 1985 and the fourth dimension. Rios only started playing shows in January, although she has already built a small fan base on the web and within the ’80s throwback community, collaborating with labels like Retro Promenade that feature outrun artists from all over the globe. Rios says she’s now trying to claim her territory somewhere in between the local DIY and club scene in Dallas.

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Concerts to See in Dallas This Week: May 20–26

There are no noteworthy music festivals in Dallas this week, and for that, we are grateful. We have hit peak festival, or festival fatigue, whatever you want to call it. We loved Homegrown Fest a couple weeks ago. The family-friendly Wildflower Festival in Richardson remains a pretty surefire good time. The Dallas Music District Festival, however, was an unqualified disaster, and it felt like a message from above: “Y’all need to cool it on this music festival thing.”

So how about fewer music festivals, and more concerts featuring St. Vincent and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. As we head into Memorial Day weekend, the last thing we need is another music festival to help us celebrate the start of summer.

What we do have in Dallas this week are a bunch of great, good old-fashioned, regular concerts, with shows from Purity Ring, Earl Sweatshirt, Built To Spill, and a host of other awesome acts. Here are some of the best.

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St. Vincent and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Dazzle at the Winspear

We live in a world where violinists are members of rock bands and orchestras have Instagram accounts, where pop stars ask you not to post photos of their show, and where, at least for one night, we all agreed to ditch our phones and bask in the glow of a fully integrated, fully committed performance. No need for pictures when you’ve got a memory.

Go ahead and give Annie Clark your minds, eyes, ears, and souls. They’re in good hands.

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How the New Dallas Music District Festival Stands Out in a Crowded Fest Scene

The inaugural Dallas Music District festival, set for this weekend, seems like it wants to be a smaller-scale North Texas version of Austin City Limits. Add one more to Dallas’ year-round schedule of music festivals feeding the hype over the city’s aspirations to become a world-renowned entertainment hub. But with other annual festivals like Deep Ellum Arts and Homegrown already well-established, the big question is what DMD has to offer, besides another typical outdoor party.

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Rain or Shine, Homegrown Festival Shows Texas Music At Its Best

Indoors or outdoors, this was still Homegrown, Dallas’ best music festival and arguably one of the best in the state.

The festival felt right at home in the the Bomb Factory, the awesome new venue that really lived up its potential by accommodating such a massive production when Mother Nature decided not to play nice. All the early-afternoon acts made fans glad they showed up on time. Bobby Patterson was legend. Shakey Graves was pretty nifty. I’ve probably seen The Old 97’s a dozen times, but they put on one of the most livewire sets I’ve witnessed from a band whose baseline energy level is already set at a steady 11. Spoon was Spoon, which is to say they were one of the greatest and most compelling acts this state has birthed.

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