7 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at Magnolia Motor Lounge, 3005 Morton St., Fort Worth, $18 at amplitix.com
James McMurty has been a welcome sardonic voice in country music for over 30 years now with songs such as “Levelland” and “We Can’t Make It Here” standing as time-tested anthems of dissatisfaction with country life — told with wit, wisdom and wry humor. Last August, McMurtry released his 10th studio album, The Horses and the Hounds, which was met with universal acclaim and heralded for its three-dimensional characters and thoroughly engaging storytelling. McMurtry writes lyrics that reward those who listen closely for the punchline, which shouldn’t be difficult with the singer’s crisp (albeit misanthropic) delivery. That’s not to say that McMurtry is a misanthrope per se, but it’s transparently clear that some people really draw the singer’s ire. Central Texas singer-songwriter Jonny Burke will be providing the opening support.
7 p.m. Friday, July 15, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $36 at prekindle.com
Making up the date they missed in June, experimental pop band Animal Collective arrives Friday night at Granada Theater. The band has been a dorm room favorite for over two decades. Its 2009 release, Merriweather Post Pavilion, stands as an undeniable classic from the end of the 21st century’s first decade with classics “My Girls” and “Brother Sport.” The group is truly a collective, with no single member being essential to the lineup. In fact, the band’s most recent album, Time Skiffs, is the first to feature all four members of the group since 2012’s Centipede Hz. Hailed as the group’s most cohesive album since the 2009 masterpiece, Time Skiffs doesn’t break new ground as much as it solidifies Animal Collective’s signature experimental sound as a new standard in music. Though the new album may not bring many brand new fans into the fold, Time Skiffs gives established Animal Collective fans exactly what they want and nothing more.
Red Bull Batalla Qualifier
2 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Club VIVO, 1930 Pacific Ave., Free
Since 2005, the Red Bull Batalla global freestyle rap competition has given a platform for hip-hop improvisors in the Spanish-speaking rap world to connect, develop and compete. Since then, the project has become the world’s biggest international freestyle competition, uniting Spanish speakers across the globe. One of the three Batalla events in the U.S. will take place this Saturday in Dallas’ Main Street District. The competition boasts some of the most dynamic Spanish-language lyricists that the U.S. has to offer, and attendees will see them compete in a bracket-style tournament, going bar-for-bar. The winners from the Dallas event will join other competitors at the National Final event in Miami, hoping to move on to the Red Bull Batalla World Final in Mexico City. While none of the 16 competitors hail from DFW, three are from Texas.
Black Tie Dynasty
7 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Tulips, 112 St. Louis Ave., Fort Worth, $15 at prekindle.com
Black Tie Dynasty drummer Eddie Thomas died Christmas Day 2020 at a much-too-young age due to complications from COVID-19 amid his larger fight against cancer. The band had reunited in December 2019 after a decade-long hiatus, played a handful of shows before the pandemic and was planning to reschedule shows that had been subsequently postponed. Thomas’ diagnosis had brought the band back together, and after his death, they decided to keep going. Back in February, Black Tie Dynasty played a small show at Double Wide in Deep Ellum with Burning Hotels drummer Mike Ratliff taking over for Thomas, but this Saturday at Tulips in Fort Worth marks the band’s official reunion show with opening support from Motorcade and Crooked Bones. Black Tie Dynasty has also hinted that there will be more shows coming soon and new music in the works.
7 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., $18.19+ at livenation.com
For Brandi Carlile, the rise to the top of the charts as a folk rocker certainly didn’t happen overnight. For nearly two decades, the singer displayed her vocal and songwriting prowess across seven solo albums. Carlile’s first real success came in 2007 when her song “The Story” made it onto the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. The singer’s breakthrough came in 2012 when her fourth album, Bear Creek, gave us the soul-searching track “That Wasn’t Me,” and the tongue-in-cheek coming-of-age story “Keep Your Heart Young.” Before the pandemic, Carlile also spent time with folk supergroup The Highwomen along with Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires. It was the release of In These Silent Days and the scorching hit single “Right On Time” in 2021 that have pushed the singer into mainstream superstardom. The Carlile-produced artist Lucius and singer-songwriter Celisse open the show.
7 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $28.50+ at axs.com
The members of Canadian futurepop duo Purity Ring were once part of an indietronica band called Gobble Gobble, but when drummer Corin Roddick began experimenting with electronic music and beat-making, he asked vocalist Megan James to provide vocals for the song “Ungirthed.” With that, Purity Ring was born in 2010. Over the last dozen years, Purity Ring has combined various forms of electronic pop with hip-hop inspired lyrics and vocals, telling personal stories with graphic imagery. The band is also known for taking its time between releases, dropping just three albums in the last decade. However, Purity Ring’s most recent album, Womb, was followed closely by the release of the graves EP just last month. The EP shows a level of polish that has divided critics who have grown to love the band’s visceral approach to songwriting. Vancouver trip-hop artist ekkstacy provides opening support.
Ray Wylie Hubbard
8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Hank’s Texas Grill, 1310 N. Central Expressway, McKinney, $20+ at hankstexasgrill.com
Texas music pioneer Ray Wylie Hubbard takes to the stage Saturday night in McKinney. Raised in Oak Cliff and educated at North Texas State University, Hubbard got his big break in 1973 when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his song “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” and made it a country standard. Hubbard struggled through the ’70s and ’80s to find an audience for his music, releasing just five albums sporadically under several different record labels. In 1984, he founded his own label and released five albums on it in the ’90s alone. Hubbard’s music has achieved cult status, drawing audiences who are keen to his wry humor and down-home wit. Hubbard is currently touring in support of his most recent album, Co-Starring Too, the star-studded followup to his 2020 album, Co-Starring. No opening act has been announced yet, but the music starts promptly at 8:30 p.m.
Coheed and Cambria
6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 17, at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, $29.50+ at livenation.com
While many bands from emo’s radio age were mostly just flavors of the week with no real staying power, Coheed and Cambria was like the Rush of its time. Like its forebears, Coheed and Cambria spun epic tales, supported by even more epic instrumentals and fronted by the incredible falsetto of singer Claudio Sanchez. Best known for its seven-album sequence that told the story of The Armory Wars — an incredibly complex sci-fi story that expanded upon Sanchez’s series of comic books of the same name —Coheed and Cambria had their biggest successes with the second and third albums, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 and Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. The band released one album in 2015 that had nothing to do with The Armory Wars, but Coheed and Cambria are back at it with a new series continuing the story. Alkaline Trio and Mothica open the show.
6 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at The Factory in Deep Ellum, 2713 Canton St., $46.50+ at axs.com
Honestly, it’s surprising that the Dirty Heads have done this well. When singer Jared “Dirty J” Watson, guitarist Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell, drummer Jon Olazabal and bassist David Foral put out the college radio-ready album A Port in Any Storm in 2008 and didn’t follow it up with anything for half a decade, it seemed like the band that didn’t take itself too seriously, seriously hadn’t. However, in that span of time Dirty Heads toured extensively, taking notes firsthand from the folks in O.A.R., 311, Pepper, Kottonmouth Kings, Matisyahu and their heroes in Sublime with Rome. As time has passed, the band’s membership has only grown, and what started as a crunchy band to catch a groove has evolved into a full-on psychedelic project complete with horns and keys. It’s no surprise that Dirty Heads are currently touring in support of the Best Of album they released this time last year.
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., $20+ at livenation.com
Say what you will about pop-rock band Train, but singer Pat Monahan and company really know how to bring it with their songwriting. Train had had some moderate success as a roots rock band in the late ’90s, but there was a clear shift in the band’s sound once it reached the 21st century. For its breakthrough single “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” the band hired composer Paul Buckmaster to write the string arrangements expressly because he had written the string arrangements for Elton John’s “Burn Down the Mission.” So, while “Meet Virginia” might have been this fun little rock song about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, after “Drops of Jupiter,” Train sought the pop grandiosity heard in “Calling All Angels,” “Cab,” “Hey, Soul Sister” and hit after hit, after yet another hit. And, as good as Train is going to be at this concert, the band has asked Jewel and Blues Traveler to open, to really pack in that late ’90s nostalgia.