October’s top five live music moments, according to Central Track
There’s nothing better than having friends in the know—and when it comes to the Dallas music scene, you can’t find anyone more plugged in than our friends at Central Track. Every month, its editor and founder Pete Freedman shares his picks for the city’s can’t-miss live shows. This month: a political moment (naturally), experimental rock lottery, and Dallas’s Post Malone returns.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7
The Buffalo Tree Festival at Main Street Garden Park
If you’re against partisanship and consider yourself the type who demands that musicians “Stick to the songs!” well, go on and skip ahead. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who believes that rock ‘n’ roll boasts the power to transform the world (and also someone who regularly bores their friends with wonky rants about Texas turning blue) then listen up: This supposedly inaugural event—produced by the same people behind two other well-regarded annual fests hosted in this idyllic, among-the-skyscrapers Downtown Dallas setting—is a steal at twice the price.
Presented by the Dallas County Democratic Party, this day-long outdoor festival will feature full live sets from such vaunted Texas music heroes as the iconic indie rock act Spoon, the uplifting chamber-rock innovators in The Polyphonic Spree, post-hardcore favorites Sparta, indie popper Sarah Jaffe, and the Def Jam-signed conscious rapper Bobby Sessions, each of which rarely these days performs at shows you can get into with just a 10-spot. Add in a half-dozen other Texas acts worthy of sharing the stage with those aforementioned heavy-hitters—plus scheduled appearances from Democratic Party political candidates vying for public office in November’s mid-term elections such as the nationally buzzing Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke, congressional contender Collin Allred and gubernatiorial challenger Lupe Valdez—and this sucker is essentially a progressive Texan’s waking dream. Don’t sleep on it. Tickets: $10.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11
Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians at the Granada Theater
Her husband Paul Simon may be officially retiring from touring, but the Oak Cliff-raised Edie Brickell is actually picking up steam these days. After more than a decade apart, the “What I Am” singer has reunited with the collaborators with which she first made her name, having recently released a new album called Rocket. Filled with the same sort of bouncy, breezy and vaguely funky left-of-the-dial cuts that have always been their home base, the new LP is Edie & The NewBo’s fifth overall release and first in a dozen years. Expect the crowd to be filled with way-back-when types who swear that the Dallas music scene just ain’t what it used to be. The performers themselves will be far less uptight, likely spreading most of the night’s songs into extended jams. Also a sure bet: It’s gonna suddenly get dusty up in this venue should the band play “Circle.” No, you’re crying. Tickets: $49.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13
Rock Lottery at Dan’s Silverleaf (Denton)
The 17thinstallment of this unassailably cool concept is worth the hour-long drive up I-35W North, I promise. Here’s how it works: 25 of the region’s most talented musicians link up at 10 a.m. where they’ll be divvied into five bands based on a lottery system; those freshly formed groups will then have 12 hours to come up with a name, and learn three to five songs to play in front of a live audience. At 10 p.m. that night, they’ll share the fruits of their labor before a crowd that understands well the difficulty of what these performers are attempting to pull off. This testament to creativity has spawned sister events in scenes way bigger than Denton’s (see: Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Seattle), as well as countless rip-offs across the globe. But it all started in this college town, and that’s something worth boasting about indeed. This year’s hand-selected batch of North Texas performers is once again top-notch: rapper Rikki Bku and members of revered area bands Midnight Opera, Terminator 2, and Felt & Fur are among the more-notable inclusions. If history holds, it’ll be the lesser-known participants who’ll leave this event as the talk of the region for years to come. That’s the thing with lotteries, right? You never know who’ll win ‘em. Tickets: $15 & up.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
Ghost-Note and Shaun Martin at Deep Ellum Art Company
A common knock on Dallas is that its music scene lacks a notable, unifying sound. Balderdash! Wanna hear it? Head to this show and you’ll be smacked upside the head with a unique blend of jazz, funk, and hip-hop that boasts a soul you just can’t find anywhere else. No worries if you don’t recognize the names atop the bill—this show is all about the music, man. The headlining Ghost-Note is the new, percussion-forward side project from two drum-loving members of the Grammy-winning Dallas jazz act, Snarky Puppy. Dallas native support act Shaun Martin is also a Snarky Puppy with various Grammy awards on his shelves, although music fans are just as likely to recognize him for his work as the music director for gospel hero Kirk Franklin and as a session player for the likes of Eykah Badu, The Weeknd, and Chaka Khan. Also scheduled to sit in on this bill is the Tennessee-based bass god MonoNeon, who, in addition to being something of a YouTube sensation, also has the distinction of being one of the late Prince’s last collaborators. In other words: Ignorant though you may be to the names on the marquee, this homecoming show (well, for most of the players) is a safe bet to drop your jaw and expand your mind. Highly, highly recommended. Tickets: $12 & up.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28
Posty Fest at Dos Equis Pavillion
Since he moved to Los Angeles and became an overnight sensation, the biggest knock on the Dallas-raised Post Malone—around these parts, anyway—is that he doesn’t “put on” enough for his hometown. It’s a weak argument from haters who’ve apparently never taken the time to notice that the rap-indebted singer-songwriter shouts Dallas out in pretty much every interview he gives. This event (reportedly the first in a new annual hometown offering from the in-demand performer whose debut Stoney album just set a record for lasting longer on the Billboardcharts than even Michael Jackson’sThriller) probably won’t shut up the naysayers. But the fact that this event sold out with the quickness, with even the cheapest secondary market ticket options now going for more than triple their initial $40 asking rate, makes their point rather moot. Posty is here to stay, folks. Further proof of this? The supporting cast that accepted his invite to perform includes just-as-buzzing national names such as Travis Scott and Tyler, the Creator. Here’s a tough pill for everyone to swallow: When the artist born Austin Post proclaimed himself a “rockstar” on his 2017 song by the same name, dude was right. Tickets: $135 & up.