José James. Photo by Shervin Lainez. Courtesy of Windish Agency.

Concert Picks for Tuesday, June 24: José James | Ralph White | Sage Francis

Sage Francis reminds of us of simpler times; José James is at the Kessler; George Quartz is mentioned too many times as usual.

Local scene news today finds musicians Ian Hamilton of Nervous Curtains, and Mila Hamilton of Frauen, teaming up for their first show together as Mannequins With Kill Appeal for a Saturday at Texas Theatre. The two haven’t played together in some time, since they were in Jack With One Eye, who were most active approximately five years ago or so. They’ll be joined by True Widow, Mountain of Smoke, and a DJ set by George Quartz for the continuing “Behind the Screen” series. That occasional event has brought a steady stream of innovative bills, including gigs by No Age, Cutter, and Party Static. Today’s events: Sage Francis | B. Dolan | Sleep of Old Dominion (Club Dada): This show—as polarizing as it can be in both the hip-hop community and for average music fans in general—recalls the political climate of the early 2000’s that made acts like Sage Francis, Blockhead, People Under the Stairs and Slug so viable. This was the dawning of the social media blitzkrieg that would make online avatars out of us all, a revolution that weakened radio considerably and made CDs nearly obsolete. The ennui of that era made a great figurative punching bag for artists at the time, and rappers like Sage Francis were there to hurl rhymes and tactical barbs at the media, politicians, and corporations. The powers that be had far more power over the channels in which that controlled how we acquired our music in those days. Whereas once, there was perhaps too much of this misanthropic style of rap, there seems to be far too little of it nowadays. José James | Dustin Cavazos | Buffalo Black (Kessler Theater): It’s not just the hip-hop bill that surprises me from the Kessler for this one, it’s the head-scratching realization that Cavazos, who has played almost every major arena and venue in Dallas, is only now playing a big show at his neighborhood music venue. The same can be said for Buffalo Black, also an Oak Cliff native that could have been a solid component to a variety of past shows, and who is now getting his first crack at the venue. It’s nice to see them both share the stage on this one. Ralph White (Public Trust): Deep Ellum art space the Public Trust has spent a full ten years in the region, originally starting out in a smaller spot in Denton, before settling in its current location on Commerce in 2006. After visiting their tenth anniversary show a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by how much work they have accumulated in a decade, but it goes beyond physical proof of the gallery’s accomplishments. The Public Trust’s Brian Gibb was making inroads to where Dallas’ cultural climate sits years before this new highly self-aware era was even a thought. Long before weekly art panels and hip mayors and experimental shows in Trinity Groves warehouses, Gibb was practically a lone voice in the wilderness. It’s encouraging to see the current highly organized state of things, but it’s also smart to reflect on those leaner years as well. Gibb had some of the same artists playing in his galleries that are still sought after today (George Quartz, DJ Sober), some of which would wait nearly ten years before they received the kind of accolades they do at present. There is still a long way to go. All this to say that the Public Trust is hosting a small show this evening. It will feature filmmaker and photographer Bill Daniel, along with music by Ralph White, and you can find more info by going here. —Christopher Mosley Simon Phoenix and -topic continue “Soundwave”s at Sunset Lounge, while DJ Blake Ward sets up shop at Sundown at Granada for today’s weekly residencies. The aforementioned George Quartz will hold spill “Musk” all over Ten Bells.