The weather may be cooling off, but the music industry is just getting warmed up.
Hollywood tends to dominate the summer with outsize blockbusters, but the fall belongs to musicians. And 2012 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years in a while, with several heavy hitters unveiling fresh material (No Doubt, Pink, Mumford & Sons, Nelly Furtado and Bob Dylan are just a few of the bold-faced names that will be appearing on store shelves and iTunes this fall).
And just as your iPod will become overloaded with new music, your ticket-stub collection will likewise swell in size, as top-shelf acts make their way through North Texas in the final months of the year.
Here are a dozen ways to enchant your ears well into 2013, with a variety of sounds and styles. (All release dates are subject to change.)
David Byrne & St. Vincent, 'Love This Giant' (Sept. 11)
Two of rock music's most idiosyncratic minds meet on this debut collaboration, helped in part by Oak Cliff-based producer John Congleton. David Byrne and the Dallas-bred Annie Clark (who performs as St. Vincent) mesh well, dosing their angular, esoteric compositions with ample amounts of restless brass and propulsive percussion. The pair trade off vocal duties and bring in a few select guest stars (Afrobeat stars Antibalas, hipster icons the Dap-Kings), rendering the cumulative effect dizzying and compulsively listenable. David Byrne & St. Vincent will hit the road in support of Love This Giant this fall, bringing the show to Dallas' McFarlin Auditorium on Oct. 7.
Kreayshawn, 'Somethin 'Bout Kreay'' (Sept. 18)
The woman born Natassia Zolot is part of hip-hop's latest wave of ladies commanding attention (see also: Azealia Banks, Rye Rye, Dominique Young Unique), and Somethin' 'Bout Kreay marks her debut full-length effort, after a string of well-received mixtapes and singles. Loaded with glittering cameos (2 Chainz, Kid Cudi and Diplo all drop by), Kreay's main attraction is, well, Kreay herself, gifted with a wicked sense of humor -- like in the debutante-baiting Go Hard (La La La) -- and a knack for blending rapid-fire rhymes with irresistible melodies. The rapper will make her Dallas debut Nov. 2 at the Palladium Ballroom.
Dwight Yoakam, '3 Pears' (Sept. 18)
For his first album of original material in years, and the follow-up to 2007's critically acclaimed Dwight Sings Buck, Dwight Yoakam reached out to an unlikely collaborator: Beck. Yoakam, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who served as his own producer for his 26th studio album, enlisted the alt-rock figurehead to co-produce two tracks ( A Heart Like Mine and Missing Heart) that fit alongside Yoakam's signature blend of heart-on-sleeve lyricism and retro-modern musical style.
Green Day, '¡Uno!' (Sept. 25)
Not content to release just one new record -- itself a long-awaited follow-up to 2009's 21st Century Breakdown -- the fellas in Green Day are unleashing three new full-lengths, co-produced by longtime collaborator Rob Cavallo, the first of which arrives in late September. (Its companions, ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!, will be out Nov. 13 and Jan. 15, respectively.) For this trilogy, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has said in pre-release interviews that the Bay Area punks are going back to basics after a pair of sprawling, high-concept efforts, an assertion borne out by stripped-down first single Oh Love.
Taylor Swift, 'Red' (Oct. 22)
Another round of he-done-me-wrong songs are on deck for Taylor Swift's fourth album, if the lead single, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, is any indication. In the stomping, gleaming piece of unabashed pop -- produced by pop Svengali Max Martin; safe to say Swift appears to have left Nashville in the dust -- the singer-songwriter unloads on a no-good ex with her typical blend of dismissive venom and too-cute wordplay. (Fans didn't mind, as Together became the fastest-selling digital single in history within hours of its release.) The 16-track album will also reportedly feature a duet with buzzy British tunesmith Ed Sheeran.
Big Boi, 'Vicious Lies and Dangerous
Rumors' (Nov. 13)
As the wait drags on for a new Outkast album, one half of the beloved Atlanta-formed hip-hop duo, rapper-producer Big Boi (aka Antwan Patton), is wrapping up work on the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2010 solo debut, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. Reportedly, Rumors will feature guest turns from a heady mix of indie rockers (Phantogram, Little Dragon) and rising rap stars (A$AP Rocky, Theophilus London). Big Boi described the new album's sound as "electro-funk" to industry website FMQB, and called the production "top-notch."
Passion Pit at College Park Center
Blissful, digitally manipulated splashes of sound underpinned with an almost palpable anxiety are what set Passion Pit apart from its peers. Despite a rocky summer marked by frontman Michael Angelakos' struggle with bipolar disorder, this Massachusetts-based electropop quintet is garnering accolades for its latest record, Gossamer. Building on its splashy inaugural concert with Drake, UT Arlington nabs another high-profile act for its first big show of the fall at the relatively intimate College Park Center (as a bonus, this show is open to the public, unlike Drake's appearance in March).
8 p.m. Sept. 14. College Park Center, Arlington. $21.50-$29.50. 817-272-9595; utatickets.universitytickets.com.
Ben Folds Five at
Not counting a one-off reunion gig in 2008, it has been more than 10 years since Ben Folds, Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee, collectively known as Ben Folds Five, have shared a stage. That considerable drought ends this fall, much to the delight of the quirky pop band's fervent fans, with a full-scale tour to support The Sound of the Life of the Mind, BFF's first studio effort since 1999's underrated The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. Expect full-on nerd rapture at this show, along with endless screamed requests for all manner of Ben Folds Five obscurities.
8 p.m. Sept. 23. Palladium Ballroom, Dallas. $45. 888-929-7849; www.axs.com.
Wanda Jackson at
Rockabilly's grande dame returns to North Texas, this time supporting her Justin Townes Earle-produced LP, Unfinished Business (out Oct. 9, and a follow-up to 2011's Jack White-produced comeback record, The Party Ain't Over). At 74, the Oklahoma native is enjoying something of a late-career renaissance, collaborating with admirers and still packing enough fire to shame most everyone making music in Nashville these days. Catch a legend doing what she does best in an intimate atmosphere.
8 p.m. Sept. 27. Granada Theater, Dallas. $20-$41. 214-824-9933; granadatheater.com.
Pistol Annies at Billy Bob's Texas
Part of the busy blur that was Miranda Lambert's 2011 was the debut of her side project, Pistol Annies. Created in conjunction with singer-songwriters Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe, Hell on Heels was a refreshing blast of old-school country, three-part harmonies and whip-smart songwriting that landed the record on plenty of year-end best-of lists. Live, the trio is just as compelling -- the mini Pistol Annies concert during Lambert's headlining set at Gexa Energy Pavilion in May proved as much -- and will undoubtedly leave every patron at Billy Bob's with satisfied smiles.
10:30 p.m. Sept. 29. Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth. $20-$50. 817-624-7117; tickets.billybobstexas.com.
Madonna at American
It has been a bumpy world tour for the Material Girl, undertaking her first significant global jaunt in three years. Controversy has followed the 54-year-old pop superstar from one venue to the next, whether it's baring a breast in Istanbul or the inclusion in her show of prop guns, which were deemed in poor taste following this summer's shootings in Aurora, Colo. Despite (or because of) the headline-grabbing antics, Madonna, on the road in support of her underwhelming LP MDNA, is enjoying largely positive reviews from critics. The two-night stand in Dallas will mark her first concert appearance in North Texas in more than two decades, the last being 1990's Blond Ambition tour.
8 p.m. Oct. 20-21. American Airlines Center, Dallas. $48.50-$358.50. 800-745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com.
Eddie Vedder at the Music Hall at Fair Park
A shoulder injury scrubbed the Pearl Jam frontman's spring tour, so now fans get to wind down the year with Eddie Vedder. (Tickets for the April concert will be honored for this show.) The 47-year-old rocker is hitting the road in support of his low-key sophomore solo effort, 2011's Ukulele Songs, although it's all but certain a few Pearl Jam chestnuts will find their way into the set list. Be sure and show up early, though: Vedder is bringing along acclaimed Irish troubadour Glen Hansard as his opening act.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 15. Music Hall at Fair Park, Dallas. $78.50. 888-512-7469; www.frontgatetickets.com.
Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713