The Weekend’s Best Concerts: Iris Dement, Def Rain, and The Bellfuries

Valentine's Day Weekend is a busy one this year, with concerts all over the musical spectrum.

Friday, February 14

Curvette/Danny Rush & the Designated Drivers/Robert Gomez/Dim Locator (Thin Line Film Fest): Remember 35 Denton? We certainly do. Unfortunately, the festival had to take 2014 off, which is not a fatal blow, but it is a little hard for the impatient among us to get excited just yet. I have yet to get through the upcoming Fest Season, for example. I might just selfishly be looking forward to being a little more rested for SXSW this year, now that the 35 Denton lead-in is temporarily abolished. All this to say that 35D is presenting this music showcase for the Thin Line Film and Music Fest. They will have blind presale passes for next year’s 35 Denton at a steep discount. Tonight’s event is a decent stylistic mix of local bands, and Curvette is somewhat underrated as far as sophisticated guitar bands are concerned. They certainly shred the few straggling post-rock acts out there.

Lip Service/Karine Fleurima/Deb Doing Dallas/Taylor Cleveland (Sandaga 813): As a continuation of the annual “Fall in Love at Fallout,” this is about as close as you can get to that classic Valentine-themed party in Expo Park. As sort of a love letter from the local in-crowd to itself, expect a lot of familiar faces and firm hugs. Curmudgeons beware.

Problem Dogg/The Corpsicles/Track Record/A Disco for Ferns (Muddy Waters): A band as bizarre as Problem Dogg playing in this long-established venue is either a recipe for the most awkward Valentine’s Day you’ve ever had, or the best show you’ve seen in years. Maybe both. Check it out.

Ronnie Heart/Nathan Brown (Shipping & Receiving): Late of both Neon Indian and Vega, Ronnie Heart is an accomplished guitarist, who is rapidly becoming a dependable session-man and go-to backing band member. But I find his DJ sets to be where he really displays his versatility, as he displays expertise in both classic dance tracks and contemporary music.

Pinkish Black/Cutter/Vulgar Fashion (The Grotto): Performing in the few willfully strange local bands in town must be a mixed blessing. On one hand, you certainly stand out from the sea of soundalike folk pop acts and cover bands in the area. On the other, the urge to always play with your aesthetically like-minded counterparts is a strong one. These bands are occasionally knocked for always playing together, but can you blame them? I can’t.

Def Rain/Delay in the Univseral Loop/Jakkkechan (Macaroni Island): This week marked the first time we have had a sample of the upcoming debut from Dallas’s Def Rain, whose album will be released by Pour Le Corps on February 25. A track entitled, “Lead,” appeared on the popular music site, Earmilk, which described the band as “electro-space-pop,” and we won’t argue with that designation. Go here to see if you agree. Def Rain has a chance to become much more known than they currently are, as they possess the right amount of mystery and fog, combined with their glossy beats.

“Funkology” (The Crown and Harp): Tonight’s edition of “Funkology” is a tribute to the late DJ Quick Chris, whose tragic death was a year ago this week. Greymatter, Lex Vulger, Buddaha Fingers, and Tape Mastah Steph will all perform.

“Friday Night Live” (Hailey’s Club): AV the Great was featured in this informative piece on KERA earlier today, and in it, he touches on his Southeast Denton upbringing, a subject that otherwise receives little attention in the public conversation about the college town. It’s a revealing look at the man with two different jobs behind the mic: MC and radio personality. Tonight he’ll host his lively weekly at Hailey’s Club, along with DJ Spinn Mo.

Saturday, February 15

Blackstone Rangers/Knifight/Power Pyramid/Depth and Current (The Crown and Harp): As I mentioned earlier in the week, this EP release show will kick off Blackstone Rangers’ West Coast tour. I ran into the group at Double Wide last night, and they revealed that it will be the first time some of the members have traveled to the Pacific Northwest. I’m not big on Portland, but a premiere trip to Seattle has me feeling pretty jealous as I sit in this windowless office. The group seemed adorably excited, and all the luck in the world to them.

At Night/Pinkish Black (Sundown at Granada): This is a surprisingly dark show for Sundown, and it gets even gloomier, as the two acts will be joined by DJ Death Church. That’s pretty stark stuff for a place that has an expensive quinoa burger.*

Iris Dement/Ashley Myrick (The Kessler Theater): For more info, go here.

Neutral Milk Hotel/Elf Power (Majestic Theater): Note—This show is sold out, and you can find more about it by checking out our preview.

The Bellfuries (All Good Cafe): Austin’s Bellfuries often get unfairly pegged as a mere rockabilly band, but they have a melodic, merseybeat-like complexity that most macho groups of that genre could only dream of writing. Their fans on in this as well, and the group has played special showcases from here to Australia.

Gabe Mendoza/Ben White/George Quartz (Single Wide): This punk/reggae hybrid event gets extra points for their fantastic flier, which was an appropriation of one of Public Image’s cutting visual statements on commercialism.

Other Saturday shows—

AV the Great/A.Dd+/The BoomBachs/Wild Bill/Boome Citizen Kane (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios)

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly/Bell Biv Devoe (Verizon Theatre)

Glamorama (Beauty Bar): With Blake Ward.

*Which I love; don’t get me wrong.

Image: Iris Dement. Credit: Pieta Brown.