Gardens and Villa.

The Week’s Best Concerts: Gardens & Villa, Snoop Dogg, Iris Dement, and Thin Line Fest

A music-friendly film festival and a couple of acts with new releases round out the week.

Wednesday, February 12:

Snoop Dogg (House of Blues): At this point in his career, Snoop Dogg’s exposure is such that he can phone in light verses on pop songs and leave it at that. However, his live performances are still as lean and focused as ever in a career that stretches back decades. He still makes compelling music on occasion as well, which we mentioned in our recent Dam Funk preview.

Thursday, February 13:

Snow tha Product/Booty Fade/Sam Lao/Jenny Robinson (Thin Line Tent, Located at 325 E Oak St in Denton): Denton’s Thin Line bills itself as a film and music festival, and the follow-through with the live performance aspect is dedicated and extensive. Taking place over the course of the week, Thin Line will showcase a wide variety of local music, a line up that includes some acts who almost never play Denton. Thursday’s all-hip hop showcase is the best example, featuring Fort Worth’s Snow tha Product, and Dallas duo, Booty Fade. Jenny Robinson and Sam Lao, are respectively two of the most dynamic solo performers the city has seen in some time, so whoever booked this chose carefully. In a timely set of circumstances, you can see an interview with Snow tha Product, conducted by the aforementioned Snoop Dogg, by going here.

Gardens & Villa/Dark Rooms (Three Links): It’s a big week for Gardens & Villa, as their new album, entitled Dunes, will be released a mere two days before this show. The group also just released a video for the single, “Bullet Train,” which features an appropriate amount of palm trees and dated-looking video footage of an actress giving vacant stares from behind a pair of shades. I say “appropriate” because the group is drawing comparisons to Duran Duran for its falsetto vocals and attempts to set the mood for a particular kind of dark after-party. Show up at the well-lit stage of Three Links on Thursday to see if they can pull it off.

Saturday, February 15:

Iris Dement/Ashley Myrick (The Kessler Theater): Possessing one of the most distinct voices in modern folk music, Iris Dement has a capability to break hearts with the delivery of a simple line. The slight warble in her song might make her an acquired taste for some, but it is unmistakable as her own. Other singers attempt to bring on the waterworks through soaring choruses, but not Dement. It’s in her almost meek listing of grievances that she reveals her ability to move. Take, for example, the sorrowful climax of Harmony Korine’s 2007 film, Mister Lonely, where Dement’s “My Life” unexpectedly popped up. What could have been just another quirky scene from Korine was gently pushed into a timeless and tragic sequence, with all the credit going to the singer. See her if you can.

Neutral Milk Hotel/Elf Power (The Majestic Theater): First of all, this show is definitely sold out and that comes as little surprise. Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum has done nothing to quell the cult-like fanbase he’s acquired through his endless shunning of the media and his long-standing commitment to not perform live. However, that ice has seemingly thawed and his audience is welcoming him back with abandon. Hopefully you’re one of the lucky folks who will be there mouthing along to every word.

Blackstone Rangers/Knifight/Power Pyramid (The Crown and Harp): Though local act Blackstone Rangers plays around town quite often, this will likely still be a packed show. There has been somewhat of a buildup for the release of their new EP, which is entitled, Descendant, and will be out on St. Marie records, also a local entity. This performance is in celebration of said release, so bring a few extra dollars beyond cover, if you’re looking to pick up a copy. This is also the kickoff show for an extensive tour, which will see the group up and down the West Coast in the following weeks.





Image: Gardens & Villa. Credit: Neil Favila, courtesy of High Road Touring