-- KLAQ Balloonfest -- The 28th annual edition, May 25-27, has a Q Party Animals
theme with animal-shaped hot air balloons and wild animals on stage. More than
30 balloons take off by dawn's early light each day. The official observation
area is the YMCA's W.C. Snow Sports and Family Recreation Center, 6400 Mason
Farms (near Westside Drive) in Sunland Park. Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld in Anthony,
Texas, hosts daily concerts. Local bands start at noon, with headliners the Mark
Tremonti Project (featuring the Creed/Alter Bridge guitarist) at 6 p.m. May 25,
an acoustic set from Godsmack singer Sully Erna at 6 p.m. May 26 and recent
Grammy winners Halestorm at 6 p.m. May 27. $19.99 in advance, $29.99 at the
gate. 544-9550, klaq.com.
-- Neon Desert Music Festival -- Version 3.0 of the electronic, indie and Latin rock marathon starts a few hours later this year -- 3 p.m. -- in the same five-block area of Downtown it's used before. More than 30 acts will play May 25 on five stages, including Bosnian Rainbows (El Paso guitar wizard Omar Rodriguez Lopez's new band), Mexico's Molotov, French DJ Martin Solveig, Interpol frontman Paul Banks, electronica's Dragonette, and Mexican Latin Grammy winner Carla Morrison. $55, $150. neondesertmusicfestival.com.
-- Eddie Griffin -- The comedy of the "Undercover Brother" and "Malcolm and Eddie" star has been described as "profane philosophy" by one reviewer. He breaks from a residency in Las Vegas to return to the Abraham Chavez Theatre at 8 p.m. May 25. $25, $35, $45, $55, $65. 231-1100, elpasolive.com, ticketmaster.com.
-- !!! -- The rock sextet, pronounced "chkchkchk," is best known for its adrenalized live show. With fifth album "Thr!!!er," produced by Spoon's Jim Eno, they set out to tighten things up in the studio. They perform at 9 p.m. May 26 at the Lowbrow. $13 advance, $15 door ($3 more for 18 to 20). lowbrowpalace.com.
-- Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen -- The two Texas singer-songwriter greats go back to their college days at Texas A&M, so the banter and superlative songs should flow easily when they perform at 7:30 p.m. May 28 at the Abraham Chavez Theatre. It's one of eight acoustic shows they're doing in Texas and New Mexico. $27.50, $35, $45, $65. 231-1100, elpasolive.com, ticketmaster.com.
-- The Lusitania -- The Duncan brothers' band has a new record, "For Better Hallway Vision," and a slew of summer shows in the area and beyond, beginning with this freebie at 8 p.m. May 29 at the State Line. The show is part of the restaurant's outdoor concert series; take canned food to donate to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. countyline.com/statelinemusic.html, 581-3371.
-- Bernie Mora and Tangent -- The veteran El Paso guitarist has called on some top local talent, including the Olivas brothers, and L.A. studio imports, such as Tower of Power trumpeter Lee Thornburg, to play on "Dandelion," his new album of instrumental rock, funk and jazz. He celebrates the new release with them live at 8 p.m. May 29 at the Lotus Nightclub, 201 N. Stanton. $25 admission price includes a copy of the CD. 503-2335, lotusep.com, wantickets.com.
-- Cool Canyon Nights -- The smooth, jazz-inflected R&B of Sha'Vonne and the Vibe are featured in the free series at 6:15 p.m. May 30 at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. coolcanyonnights.com.
-- Brownout -- Once a side project of Austin Latin funk fusionists Grupo
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