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Music

7 Concerts to See in Dallas This Weekend

Would you walk a thousand miles to see Vanessa Carlton at the House of Blues?
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Just when you think you’ve escaped “A Thousand Miles,” Vanessa Carlton comes into town. Once you get that song out of your head — again, for maybe the 100th time in 14 years — go see Lupe Fiasco, Bobby Sessions, All Them Witches, or one of these other shows in Dallas this weekend.

Thursday (01/28)

Lupe Fiasco | Gas Monkey Live

If we pretend 2011’s Lasers never happened (that is probably the best course of action for everyone) Fiasco’s catalog makes a strong case that lyrical, backpacker hip-hop can be commercially viable, if kind of embarrassing. When he’s not being too condescending (“Bad Bitch” predates the portmanteau “mansplaining,” but Fiasco was unfortunately ahead of the curve on that one) or too mawkish (anything from Lasers), Fiasco skillfully navigates the line between conscious and commercial. Openers include Boy Illinois, Billy Blue, ZVERSE, TNED, TRU DEF, and BARNyartist. Tru Def’s a local artist, but I’m shrugging at most of those other names.

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Friday (01/29)

Guy Blakeslee | Double Wide

Blakeslee’s day job is with The Entrance Band, a psychedelic act that buries its melodies under a layer or two of squealing guitars and noisy effects. As a solo act, Blakeslee turns things down a bit. Without all the noise, he comes across as more of an unvarnished old blues act with a knack for romantic lyrical flourishes. North Texas’ own Claire Morales opens.

Vanessa Carlton | Cambridge Room at House of Blues

Carlton, to her credit, seems to close most sets with “A Thousand Miles,” the mega-hit song that has probably hung around her neck like a particularly catchy albatross for 14 years. The singer-songwriter has released four albums since then. They’ve gotten pretty strong reviews. She has broken free of the major-label factory. She is a multifaceted artist, with plenty of other songs. But I’d be lying to you if I told you I could name them, or if I told you the name Vanessa Carlton didn’t immediately make me think of this scene in the better-off-forgotten Wayans Brothers film White Chicks. Conclusion: There’s no shame in going to this show for “A Thousand Miles.” But stick around for the rest of it.

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Saturday (01/30)

Bobby Sessions | RBC

If you haven’t yet made it out to the revamped RBC yet, here’s a good time to do so. The Deep Ellum club used to be a punk venue but has since returned with broader musical horizons — It’s the new home of the experimental music showcase Outward Bound Mixtape Sessions (formerly at the Crown and Harp) and a couple other fun weeklies, including a cumbia night. As a venue and an all-around gathering space, it has a lot of potential. For its grand re-opening, RBC has tapped the great Bobby Sessions, one of the best rappers in Dallas. Picnictyme and Blue, The Misfit are on the ones and twos.

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The Buck Pets; Pinkish Black; Moon Waves | The Kessler Theater

The Buck Pets split around the time Nirvana dragged an entire subculture of shaggy, indie-minded rock music into the mainstream. Despite some opening slots on a Jane’s Addiction tour, the Dallas band missed out on the commercial success afforded to many of its alternative brethren. Timing is everything. There’s no use imagining what could have been, but you can imagine what was when the band does its once-every-now-and-then reunion show: A good scrappy rock act. Pinkish Black and Moon Waves open.

All Them Witches | Club Dada

Despite the associations of a name like All Them Witches, this is not a metal band, exactly. Some of the Nashville outfit’s guitar freakouts do call to mind the bluesier side of Black Sabbath, but All Them Witches isn’t concerned about sounding heavy. The weight comes more from what feels like a conscious effort to turn each song into a full-blown ritual. “Hard cosmic psychedelia” might be an apt genre tag for a group whose newest album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, unfolds like a rock ‘n’ roll spirit quest.

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Sunday (01/31)

G-Eazy; A$AP Ferg | The Bomb Factory

I don’t “get” G-Eazy, an Oakland rapper who strikes me as little more than an edgy version of Macklemore. But the kids must love him. The show is sold out. This must be what getting old feels like.

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