The weather may be cooling off, but the music calendar is just getting warmed up. Here are 10 ways to enchant your ears. (Also: Check out my list of a dozen hot new fall albums.)
1 Passion Pit at College Park Center: 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.
2 Ben Folds Five at Palladium Ballroom: 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 with a full-scale tour to support The Sound of the Life of the Mind, BFF's first studio effort since 1999.
8 p.m. Sept. 23. Palladium Ballroom, Dallas. $45. 888-929-7849; www.axs.com.
3 Wanda Jackson at Granada Theater: Rockabilly's grande dame returns to North Texas, this time supporting her Justin Townes Earle-produced LP, Unfinished Business (out Oct. 9). 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 in an intimate atmosphere.
8 p.m. Sept. 27. Granada Theater, Dallas. $20-$41. 214-824-9933; granadatheater.com.
4 Fort Worth Music Festival, Untapped and Index Festival: The Fort Worth Music Festival, formerly known as Jazz by the Boulevard, is bringing a nice mix of music to Camp Bowie Boulevard. The lineup swings from breakout Texas country stars (Hayes Carll, Hudson Moore), to local gems-hidden-in-plain-sight (Michael Donner and the Southern Renaissance, the Relatives), to soulful stunners (Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires). There's also a bit of jazz (Kevin Eubanks). The two-day event will feature a plethora of food trucks, art from area creators and a general laid-back vibe you're hard-pressed to replicate at other DFW fests.
And that's just one of many upcoming music fests in the region including Untapped, a beer-and-music gathering in West Dallas with the Givers, Burning Hotels, Blackstone Rangers and the Antlers and more Saturday, and the Index Festival, Oct. 5-6 in Deep Ellum, featuring a lineup of 28 bands that includes Cold War Kids, Surfer Blood, Portugal the Man and Washed Out.
Fort Worth Music Festival: 3 p.m. Sept. 28, 1 p.m. Sept. 29. Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth. $7.50-$75. www.fwfest.com.
Untapped: Saturday. Trinity Groves, 334 Singleton Blvd., Dallas. $20, $25 at the door. untapped-festival.com.
Index: Oct. 5-6. 2709 Elm St., Dallas. $28 one day, $38 two-day pass. spune.com.
5 Pistol Annies at Billy Bob's Texas: Part of the busy blur of Miranda Lambert's 2011 was the debut of her side project, Pistol Annies. Created with singer-songwriters Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe, the group's Hell on Heels CD 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 lists. The trio is just as compelling live 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.
6 Rufus Wainwright at Meyerson Symphony Center: He may be Out of the Game, per the title of his latest album, but the newly married Wainwright has never sounded sharper than he does on his most recent LP. Collaborating with producer Mark Ronson, singer-songwriter Wainwright brought an unabashed pop sheen to his deftly conceived material. Consider this gig an exceedingly rare opportunity to see him in one of the most perfect venues for his music in North Texas (second perhaps only to Bass Hall, which he played two years ago).
8 p.m. Oct. 14. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas. $29-$100. 214-692-0203; dallassymphony.com.
7 Perfume Genius at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth: It has been months since I first spun Put Your Back N 2 It, and the haunting, deeply personal music Mike Hadreas (who performs as Perfume Genius) won't leave me alone. Following up his well-received 2010 debut, Learning, with another collection of shockingly raw yet achingly gorgeous art-pop, Perfume Genius will be making his second trip through North Texas in less than six months. With the immaculate acoustics of the Modern's auditorium, Hadreas' music should produce a night of transcendent beauty.
8 p.m. Oct. 17. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. $13-$16. spunetickets.com.
8 Madonna at American Airlines Center: 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 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 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.
9 The Temper Trap at Ridglea Theater: Provided there aren't any last-minute surprises, this Australian indie-pop act will be the first music to resonate off the Ridglea's walls in almost 20 months. Best known Stateside for contributing the terrific single Sweet Disposition to the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack (taken from the group's 2009 debut Conditions), the Temper Trap will provide a low-key debut for the restored, now-historically designated Ridglea Theater. Although no other shows have yet been scheduled beyond Say Anything's Oct. 27 gig, here's hoping music will return with a vengeance to Camp Bowie Boulevard.
8 p.m. Oct. 25. Ridglea Theater, Fort Worth. $22. 888-929-7849; www.axs.com.
10 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.