The Top 5 (Non-Local-ish) Shows

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Posted May 16, 2014 by ANTHONY MARIANI in Blotch
Jessi James and her band, Bethan, are back.Jessi James and her band, Bethan, are back.

1.) Where has Bethan been? Two years ago, Denton/Dallas singer-songwriter Jessi James collaborated with producer Roger Greenawalt (Ben Kweller, The Pierces) to put out a mesmerizing, theatrical-meets-indie-rock album, Chapter 1, and with a backing band James startled the crap out of the Fort Worth masses during an opening set at Friday on the Green. But then her project, Bethan, sort of disappeared.

The good news is that not only is she still kickin’, but she’s wrapping up about a year’s worth of writing and recording her next album at Redwood Studios in Denton.

James and company perform tonight (Friday) in Dallas with Chambers and Daniel Markham at Three Links (2704 Elm St.). Imagine if Tom Waits were a petite young woman with a silky, sexy voice and had Portishead as his backing band, and you’ve pretty much got Bethan.

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2.) The obvious referent is Kings of Leon. Nelo’s music is similarly epic, with lots of walls of sound, dramatic builds, and big-sky singalong choruses (hold dem lighters high, y’all!), but the Austin-by-way-of-Dallas quartet’s lyrics, while indeed mostly about romantic relationships, also have a Mellencamp-y/workingman’s edge. Oddly, Nelo probably sounds just at home on KXT as on The Ranch (though, thankfully, frontman Matt Ragland’s voice is devoid of any fake-sounding twang).

Along with Thieving Birds and The Novel Ideas, Nelo plays tonight (Friday) in Dallas at Granada Theater (3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933).

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3.) There will be boobs. And butts. And all manner of slinky, seductive music at The Pour House (2725 W. 7th St., 817-335-2575) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, when Arkansas’ Anna Williams and her Moonshine Mafia Band put on a burlesque show. Well, the musicians won’t be taking off their clothes seductively –– highly trained dancers will. Still, for a hangout not named Lola’s Saloon, this event is quite a coup.

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4.) Speaking of matters of the flesh, the outlandish Genitorturers play tonight (Friday) in Dallas at Trees (2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122). Pumping out a species of raucous industrial punk, frontperson Gen and company are really into horror and porn, and it probably goes without saying that they’re from Florida. Dallas steam-punks Marquis of Vaudeville will open.

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5.) Primal Fear will be the headliner Sunday night in Dallas at Trees (2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122), but get there early to catch The Colony’s ASKA, one of the oldest and best-traveled metal bands in North Texas. And frontman George Call and company are still at it. They put out a new album, the delectable Fire Eater, just last year, and they’re still gigging hard.

“Crotch rock,” “hair metal,” “mook metal” –– whatever you want to call it, it does have its Velveeta-covered moments, I admit, but there’s no denying that when it rocks, it rocks.

And “Crown of Thorns” effing rocks. \m/

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