Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm at a Loss for Words

Yes, that’s right, “The Ghost” himself is at a loss for words. Last night’s showcase at Opening Bell Coffee was such a wonderful and joyous experience that I’m not quite sure what to say.

The best thing I think of to say is thanks, and there are so many people I have to thank. First of all, I thank every one of the fabulous musicians who gave of their time and their talent. Thanks to Blue Petal for opening the show, and thanks for the encore with extra special guest Isabella. Thanks to Rahim Quazi for playing a killer set and for taking requests from me (like "The Big Black Box"), even when they throw you for a loop. Thanks to Chris Holt and his fellow “Slackers” Steven Luthye and Eric Neal; you are easily three of the most gifted musicians in the area. Needless to say, you three were brilliant as always. Thanks to Keith Killoreen and Chad Stockslagger from The Drams (and from The King Bucks, Manya won’t let me forget that). It was a wonderful blend of cover songs and classics from back in the Budapest One days. Last but certainly not least, I thank Fishing For Comets. The music that comes from this band is like a ray of sunshine. Even on a heartbreaking song like “Lies”, the music feels like a best friend that knows just how to make you feel like everything is going to be alright. Oh, and extra special thanks for the cover of “Where the Streets Have No Name.” U2 is one of my all time favorite bands, and you did the song justice.

I must also thank Winston Edmondson, host of the Project Innovation radio show. Thank you for inviting me onto your show Saturday and letting me discuss my blog and the Opening Bell show. I also thank you for choosing to celebrate your birthday at Opening Bell with your friends. You are helping to give a voice to the local music and arts scene in Dallas, and that is something this city desperately needs.

Obviously, I have to thank Pascale and all of the wonderful people at Opening Bell Coffee for letting me host my showcase at your venue. When it comes to live acoustic music, no place in the metroplex holds a candle.

Thanks to Megan Cortinas for creating the awesome poster that I used to promote the show. Thank you for putting up with all the changes that I threw your way and for designing such an awesome poster. I could not have created a poster that looked that damn cool.

Thanks to Scotty Mankoff for dropping by and taking pictures. For the record, every picture you see in this entry is courtesy of Mr. Mankoff. As always, you do a wonderful job taking pictures. You’re also simply a cool guy who is always a joy to be around.

Finally, I thank every single one of you who came out to the event. Even though I’ve had bands play for my birthday before, this was my first genuine attempt at setting up a musical showcase. Without you, the show would have been a disaster. With all of you, it was an evening filled with good friends and awesome music. So thank you being there, for talking to me, for putting up with my lame speeches in between the bands, and thanks for the support.

Who knows, maybe with the success of Saturday night’s show, there will be more Ghost of Blind Lemon showcases. Here’s hoping that 2008 will have a few cool shows hosted by yours truly.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ghost on the Radio

That's right, "The Ghost" himself will be on the radio tomorrow afternoon. Listen to the Project Innovation radio show, hosted by Winston Edmondson. It airs on 1360 AM at 1:00 p.m. I will be one of his guests, and I'll be discussing tomorrow night's show and this blog, among other things. Rahim Quazi, one of tomorrow evening's musical guests, will also be on the show. So before heading to Opening Bell Coffee tomorrow evening, turn on your radio and listen to this fine show.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Screw Must See TV!

That’s right, NBC, you heard me. Look, people could either sit and home and watch a bunch of repeats, or they could get out of the house and see one of these four fabulous shows. Folks, this isn’t even a close call.

Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, Hendrick, ODIS, Greater Good (Granada Theater)
Haven't seen Hendrick or ODIS yet, but Greater Good puts on a show that is more great than merely good. It doesn't hurt that the band features the incredible Toby Pipes. Oh, and Jonathan Tyler is simply a force of nature. Will the Granada still be standing after this show? Only time will tell.

Somebody's Darling, Soft Environmental Collapse, Kristin Leigh (The Cavern)
Talk about a diverse lineup. The evening starts with Kristin Leigh, who fuses pop and folk/acoustic elements into her music. SeC follows, with an electronic sound that would fit better with Mom than these bands. Somebody's Darling ends out the evening, and once you hear lead singer Amber Farriss sing, it will make perfect sense why you came.

Tonite Tonite (Club Dada)
Since Andres Negrete reunited the band, you have another chance to see the band. Don't miss this opportunity; it happens Tonite Tonite. I know, that was lame.

The cut*off, Fate Lions
Yes, yes, I know, I keep raving about the cut*off. So I'll back off this time and just say that from what I've heard, the music of Fate Lions holds a lot of promise. I'd be highly curious to see them live. What about a Dallas show, guys?

So hold off on repeats of My Name is Earl and The Office. That's what repeats and DVD's are made for. Instead, go out and have some fun tonight. Not too much, though. After all, you don't wanna be all partied out for the show at Opening Bell Coffee Saturday night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Playing Santa

I've heard it be said that "it's the thought that counts". With my budget, I seem to have far more thoughts to spare than money. So what follows is a list of gifts that I would like to give if only I could. The list of people ranges from the naughty to the nice, but I believe everyone on the list deserves what I'd like to give them.

  • To Kate Mackley, I would give loads of itunes gift cards to help feed her "ipod of greatness" and make it even better. Wait, you can't improve on perfection. You can still try, though.

  • To Scotty Mankoff, I would give you a state of the art professional camera. You're already proving to be one of the better photographers in the area. With an even better camera, it would just take you to another level. In other words, you'd be off the charts.

  • To Camille Cortinas, I would give you a koala bear. Why? Just because.

  • To Eric Swanson, I would get you a new car to drive, and I'd get you your 1959 Gibson Discoverer back.

  • To the thieves who stole Eric's car, I would love to give you a new place to live. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a modest little jail cell.

  • To Tomcats, Club One, Monkey Bar, and any other clubs didn't get their SUP permits, I'd give you those permits and get you back in business. Admittedly, none of the three clubs I frequented, but the market should determine their fate, NOT the city council.

  • To the members of City Council who want to change the face of Deep Ellum, I would give you the gift of free time. I know that being a council member takes up a lot of time, so by taking away your positions, you would have all the time in the world on your hands.

  • To Beard (aka John Brewer), I would pay off any leftover debt from your hospital bills and make sure that there would be no return trips to the hospital. Oh, I almost forgot... I'd also leave Halle Berry under the Christmas tree for you. Have fun unwrapping that gift!

  • To Bill Holston, I would release Aung San Suu Kyi from her unrightful imprisonment. And then we could celebrate with a nice, tall pitcher of ice cold Shiner Bock.

  • To Winston Edmondson, I wish that every radio listener would turn their dials to 1360 AM every Saturday at 1 pm and listen to your show.

  • To all the bands that I love and adore, I wish you much success. May the world see what talent every one of you possesses.

And finally, to every one of my readers, I wish you a Merry Christmas. May this season be filled with joy and love. And music. Can't forget the music.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Doesn't This Poster Make You Want to Go to Granada Tonight?

Yeah, this poster isn't doing the trick for me either. I'm not sure why not. Regardless of your thoughts on this, uh, unique photo, there will not be a better show in town tonight. Tonight's show starts with a CD release party for Flat People. A friend of mine got me a copy of their CD, and I must say I have been impressed by the band. Get their early enough to check this band out.

Next comes Robert Gomez, after which Deathray Davies play their first show in Dallas in over a year. There have been some changes in the DRD lineup since their last performance. Andy Lester (who's in Dufilho's other side project, I Love Math) is their new bass player since Jason Garner has moved to drums. Shibboleth members Rich Martin and Don Cento round out the rest of the band. The setlist will be a half and half mixture of songs from the upcoming album and DRD classics. Word has it they may even bust out "I Got Coal" as a little Christmas treat for all their naughty fans.

Salim Nourallah and The Noise headline the show, but even Salim knows that tonight is all about Dufilho's band, Deathray Davies. I hope to see everyone out at this show. What, you have to work early Friday Morning? I'm sure John Dufilho would write a note to your boss, so it's okay to stay out late and party. Honest, it is.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I hope whoever is responsible gets a lump of coal for Christmas!

I got the following MySpace bulletin from Eric Swanson, who plays bass in Johnny Lloyd Rollins' backup band, The All-Nighters:

My car was stolen last night. With my laptop. So, keep a look out for a green '96 Honda Accord with an Apple sticker on the back. Texas plates: Z26-RZH.

I guess you all know what I want for Christmas now.

But that's not all. Inside of his car was a ca. 1959 Gibson Discoverer, a small blonde tube combo amp that he rebuilt a few years ago. The laptop and even the car are replaceable; the Gibson is not so easily replaced. If anyone who is reading this blog has any information about any of these items (especially the Gibson), then contact the Dallas Police Department, contact Eric, contact anybody who can reunite this man with his stolen property. I'm sure there's nothing Mr. Swanson would like better this holiday season.

Oh, and if anyone knows the bastards responsible, contact the police so that whoever is responsible cannot do an encore performance.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Nites for Tonite Tonite

About a month ago, I reported about the breakup of the band Tonite Tonite. I am happy to tell you that Tonite Tonite is still alive and kicking. They played a show Saturday night at Fallout Lounge, and "tonite" lead singer Andres Negrete will play a solo acoustic set at Opening Bell Coffee. I still haven't seen the band perform live, but I have no doubt that will change and hopefully soon. Keep an eye out for upcoming shows on their MySpace page, as well as an album that will hopefully be released sometime next year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Only 13 more days...

Much thanks to the wonderful Megan Cortinas who designed the poster. She did a fabulous job in my opinion. Take a look at that lineup as well. Fishing For Comets, Keith and Chad (The Drams, Budapest One), Chris Holt, Rahim Quazi, and Blue Petal, all together for one great evening of music. There will be a $7 suggested donation, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a bargain. You could easily end up spending that much money to see any one of these artists alone. So come on down to Opening Bell on December 29th to see this extravazanga.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Never to be Forgotten

It was 27 years ago on this date that the world lost one of the greatest figures in popular music. It was an event that shook not only the music world, but the world as a whole. Some people felt that when John Lennon was murdered, the spirit of the 60's died with him too. I hope and pray that that's not true. In rememberance of the musician, the activist, and the man, I offer up a performance of "Imagine" by Dallas' own Hard Night's Day. Much thanks to Paul Averitt for agreeing to perform the song, and to my friend Amy for taping it.

"Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one" - John Lennon

Shows for the Rest of the Weekend…

Since I didn’t write my weekend recommendations yesterday, I’m starting with a list of bands that played yesterday that were worthy of write-ups. While it’s too late to see these particular shows, I would strongly encourage you to give these bands a listen and check them about the next time you get the opportunity:

My apologies to the following bands, particularly The Orange, a band I have yet to see live. It may take me awhile to see a show, but it will happen guys, I promise. Now onto this weekend’s shows. If I had to choose one show to recommend this weekend, it would have to be this:

Yes, that’s right, The Ghost is going to be attending a show held by a “rivaling” blog. Just kidding, Amanda. The blog is great, and I personally look forward to getting the opportunity to meet you. Oh, and damn, that is one impressive lineup you have.

In case that show isn’t your cup of tea, you need professional help. Just kidding. Sort of. Nevertheless, it’s only fair that I mention a few other fine shows around town tonight.

While I normally don’t mention Sunday shows, Art Con 3 is going to be such a big deal that if I didn’t mention it, I should have my blogging privileges revoked. The sights and sounds of that evening should be a sweet treat. Red Monroe, Sarah Jaffe, and Kristy Kruger will provide the music, and I don’t have the time to discuss all the artists that’ll be there. This event will also benefit St. Anthony’s Community Center, which helps bring art and music programming to underserved children in South Dallas. Hear good music, see and buy good art, and help others; this multitasking thing has its benefits.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Good Way to Start a Monday

Are you having a hard time waking up this morning? If this video doesn't wake you up, give up and go back to bed. It's from Pikahsso's upcoming album American Weirdo Pixtape, but you would've figured that out from the ad that continually pops up throughout the video. That's my one complaint with what is otherwise one of the most fun and creative videos I've seen in a long, long time. Makes you wish MTV still played videos.

Pikahsso - Faleyuh

Monday, November 26, 2007

Letting the Cat out of the Bag

I'm still working out a few details about the first ever Ghost of Blind Lemon showcase, but here's the information that I can give you:

Saturday, December 29th
Opening Bell Coffee

Featuring: Fishing For Comets
Chris Holt
Rahim Quazi
Blue Petal

There's still hopefully going to be one more act on the lineup. I have a certain duo in mind; I just need to pin them down and get a confirmation from them. Even without them, though, just take a good hard look at that lineup. It's not that often you get that many great musicians under one roof. If you're not going on vacation over the break, then you need to be here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Selections

OK, so yesterday it was almost exclusively about Fort Worth. I wasn’t able to make it out to AllGood, but I hope everyone in Dallas was there. Heck, who needs Fort Worth when you have Fishing For Comets and Chris Holt? Tonight, the choices are more plentiful within Dallas city limits. I give you three good choices for shows; go see at least one.

• Opening Bell Coffee is one of my absolute favorite hangouts in this city. I love it so much that I’m holding a musical showcase there on December 29th. I’ll announce more details on Monday, I promise. In the meantime, you can go there tonight to see Sarah Jaffe, Smile Smile, and Casey Shock with Christmas Belles. It’s an impressive lineup; almost as impressive as the lineup I’m planning. Just kidding. Sort of.
Maren Morris is holding her CD Release Party for All That It Takes tonight at Club Dada. She goes on at 9:30, and will be followed by one of my new favorites, Somebody’s Darling. Jevette follows, and the lovely and talented Anna Proctor will close the evening. I am not familiar with the music of Jevette, but I can tell you that Anna is worth sticking around for until the bar closes down.
• Tonight at Sons of Hermann Hall, The Hundred Inevitables will be playing an all too rare show. I hear a lot of people compare them to Big Star, and I’m not totally sure I agree with the comparison. Here’s what I will say: if you like power-pop music that knows how to rock, you will fall in love with Hundred Inevitables. Everyone’s favorite instrumental band, Shibboleth, opens up the show.

And not a single show in Fort Worth among the bunch. Hey, it works for me.

Friday, November 23, 2007

You Like Free Music, Don’t You?

That’s what I thought! Here’s the story: I saw Peter Black And The Lifters this past summer with the cut*off, and I thought they were a good band. They now simply go by Lifters, and emusic has made their song “Carolina” the free download of the day. I said the band was good, but this song isn’t good. No, this is a GREAT song, not merely good. Just to put this in perspective, I downloaded the song minutes ago, and am repeating the song as I type the blog. If you’re a fan of catchy rock music with a slight hint of country, then you need to .click here in order to get the free download. Hurry, don’t wait, as this is a daily free download, not a weekly free download like itunes. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, so get it while it’s there.

Fun Friday for Fort Worth Folks

First of all, let me give the good news to everyone in Dallas: the always awesome Fishing For Comets and Chris Holt (also awesome) are playing at the AllGood Café. Here’s even more good news for these two artists: I can see no major competition for the two of you. Hopefully that means all the music fans in Dallas will be dining at AllGood (I strongly recommend their chicken fried chicken) and chowing down on some good music.

Why is it that there is only one good show in Dallas tonight? Simple: everyone else is in Fort Worth. What’s the deal? Is Dallas not “cool” enough anymore? Oh well, even Fort Worth people need love too, and they will be getting more than their share this weekend. Just take a look:

• Easily one of the best bands in Fort Worth is Calhoun. This is a band that manages together rock, country, and even occasionally disco (yes, you heard me right), to create a great sonic landscape. Oh, and lead singer Tim Locke is one helluva songwriters. This band is a fine wine that gets better with age. Check out Calhoun at The Aardvark, along with The Barons, Collin Herring, and headliners Frontier Brothers.
• Right next door to The Aardvark is The Moon, where you can find Chatteron, The Iliads, and one of my personal faves, the cut*off. Heck, if you don’t mind spending a little extra money, pay to get into both clubs and jump between the two. On second thought, I have a feeling my two favorite bands of the bunch (Calhoun and the cut*off) may be pitted against each other. Curses!
• Wreck Room may be gone, but 6th Street Live is alive and well, and Baboon will be headlining what looks like a stellar show. They’ve brought in Houston’s own Bring Back The Guns along for the ride, and local groups Tame Tame… and Quiet and Blackheart Society will round out the bill.

Don’t worry, Dallas people: there will be more happening within the city limits tomorrow night. I’ll give you the scoop tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Thanksgiving Blog

Too many people get caught up in the whole holiday meal tradition part of the holiday that they forget what the holiday is about. The name says it all: Thanksgiving, or giving thanks. I figure now would be the perfect time to reflect on some things I’m thankful for, as well as giving thanks to a few individuals.

• I cannot think of a better person to start the list than the lovely Camille Cortinas. Camille, you have been one of my biggest cheerleaders in regards to this endeavor, and you don’t know how much it has helped inspire me. Thanks for promoting me on your blog, on your MySpace, and thanks for the encouragement and help on my upcoming “Ghost of Blind Lemon” showcase. I promise, the rest of you will be getting the full scoop soon.
• One of the joys of starting this blog is that I have had the privilege of meeting some new wonderful people. People like Cari Weinberg from the band Lovie. People like Bill Holston, who is a truly interesting individual with a great blog that you need to be reading. People like Scotty Mankoff, a great photographer and all around cool dude. There are more cool people that I’ve met as a result of my blog, and if I didn’t mention you, I apologize for the omission and thank you for the pleasure of knowing you.
• Thanks to D.E.E.P. and all the other groups and individuals fighting to keep Deep Ellum alive. The neighborhood has seen more than its share of loss in the past year. Club Clearview, the original Gypsy Tea Room, Tomcats, Club One, and the list goes on and on. But there is still life in Deep Ellum, and perhaps with a few more clubs, the neighborhood can have a second shot at becoming what it once was.
• I would like to give a special thanks to The Demigs. They helped restore my faith in the local music scene, breathing new life into a comatose music scene. Also, thanks to lead singer Chris Demiglio for being my first interview. I don’t feel my interview did you justice as to what an interesting and talented individual you are. But thanks for helping me out, and keep on making great music.
• While I’m on the topic of new bands, I’m also thankful for Somebody’s Darling, Blue Petal, The Felons, The Orange, The LFD, and all the other great new bands I’ve seen in the past year. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The problem with the scene is NOT a lack of good bands; it’s a lack of promotion and exposure for many of these bands. Do yourself a favor: go sample their music and try to catch some shows by these bands. These guys are pumping new blood into the body of Dallas music, and they need and deserve your support.
• Thanks to The Chemistry Set, the cut*off, and Rahim Quazi for playing at the Barley House for my birthday. Good times, good times.
• To all my friends, thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true; you’re a pal and a confidant. Hey, why am I getting the sudden urge to watch Golden Girls repeats?
• Finally, thanks to everyone who reads Ghost of Blind Lemon. Thanks to all the people who have given me such positive feedback on the blog, whether it be thru email, thru my MySpace, or in person. It is encouraging to know that you’re interested in what I have to say, and more importantly, that you are interested in Dallas having a strong and vital music community. So to you, pat yourself on the back, and keep supporting local music!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Weekend of Cavern Shows: Review

This past weekend was filled with plenty of fine options, but for me, the best two choices were at the Cavern. I started out Friday night expecting to see Villains, but for whatever reason, they were not able to play. The music therefore got a late start, with Rose County Fair going on at 11. This is my first full show to see of the band since Rob Schumacher joined the band, and perhaps it was my imagination, but the group seemed to have a new found energy in their performance. Don’t misunderstand me; Rose County Fair has never put on a weak show. It’s just that their songs seemed more energized tonight than usual. There wasn’t a large crowd for the band, but they did not appear to faze them in the least and played as if the house was full. They busted out such great songs as “Gettin’ By”, and the band did more than get by; they are thriving musically.

For as good of a performance as RCF delivered, however, the night belonged to THe BAcksliders. They played several songs from their upcoming CD, You’re Welcome, such as “Typically I Don’t Mind”, “Wedding Day”, and my personal favorite, “Fat Girls”. Guitarist and vocalist Chris Bonner not only busted out some impressive finger work on the guitar, he also was apparently having a good time, coming out into the audience while playing on more than one occasion. Kim Pendleton’s voice was, as usual, divine. Her voice can range from sounding energized to heartbreaking, depending on the song. Her vocals on “Pour Another Glass” were so intense you would think her heart had just been broken seconds before performing the song. I know, I know, it seems like I’m always raving about this band. Trust me, there’s a reason, and Friday night was a vivid reminder of why I love this band so much.

Saturday night teamed up another favorite of mine (the cut*off) with two other bands I had never seen perform (The Felons, Somebody’s Darling). As usual, the cut*off rocked my socks off with favorites of mine like “Adults We Know” and “Hold Me Down”. The recent addition of keyboardist John Chapman has enhanced the songs without overpowering them with unnecessary keyboard solos. Jenn Nabb also joined the band for a couple of songs, and well, Ms. Nabb could sing the telephone book and I’d be entranced. Don’t take that too seriously, guys. I’m not looking for any duets between lead singer Kyle Barnhill and Ms. Nabb entitled “Dallas White Pages”.

The Felons set started a little rough for me, simply because of sound difficulties. I’m not sure if it was issues with the sound guy or if I was too close to the speakers, but once I moved, the sound improved. Once I got through that minor glitch, it allowed me to see all that was right with the band, which is plenty. First and foremost, Dave Hickmott is more than just a vocalist; he is a singer. And in case you’re wondering, there is a difference. Dave is one of the stronger male singers I’ve heard in these parts in quite awhile. It is obvious that he has put a lot of work into his singing voice. The songs are reminiscent of what was played on The Edge during its heyday when alternative music actually mattered. It is refreshing to hear a rock band that harkens back to that period without sounding clichéd. And last but certainly not least, Fred Holston gives the band some great keyboard parts that help make the songs even catchier. The Felons may be a young band that has only been together for a year, but they already show more musical maturity than a lot of bands that have been playing for years.

Saturday night concluded with what I could only describe as an explosive set from Somebody’s Darling. You may have read the Dallas Observer article and wondered if former editor Jonanna Widner got it right. She absolutely did. This time you can believe the hype. Lead singer Amber Farris gave such a passionate performance that if it had been any more intense, I would have thought Janis Joplin had been resurrected from the grave. She sang to a packed house that was energetic and ready to dance to such catchy tunes as “Give Me Time” and her cover of Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”. If Amber’s vocals don’t move you, check your pulse to see if you’re alive.

These five artists show that the Dallas music scene is doing more than surviving; it is thriving. Whether it be a band like Rose County Fair filled with local music veterans or up-and-comers The Felons, there is plenty to music to be excited about. My hat goes off to each and every one of the bands that played at The Cavern those two nights. Well done guys, well done.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weekend shows

I got about 3 hours of sleep, so forgive me if this lacks the usually witty commentary on each show that I usually feature. No comments this time around, but know this: The Cavern is where you'll find me both nights this weekend. But in case you disagree, I'm listing a few other shows that are still pretty damn cool.

• THe BAcksliders, Rose County Fair, Villains (The Cavern)
• Pleasant Grove, 13 Ghosts, Scott Adair (Double-Wide)
• Johnny Lloyd Rollins, Shanghai 5 (Dan’s Silverleaf)

Somebody’s Darling, The Felons, the cut*off (The Cavern)
Rhett Miller (Granada Theater)
• Dean Wright, Kristin Leigh (White Rock Coffee)
• The Slack, Peter Black & The Lifters (The Moon)
• The Drams, The Band Of Heathens (Dan’s Silverleaf)
• Airline (Barley House)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Giving Spirit of the Holiday Season: Part I

Heaven knows that it's easy toget all caught up in the spending and shopping frenzy of the holiday season. But before you spend hours and hundreds of dollars at the mall, let me remind you the old cliché: it is better to give than to receive. So over the next week or so, I'll be highlighting some ways to not only do good deeds, but where you can help support the music scene in some way, shape, or form.

Tonight would be a wonderful night to get into the charitable spirit. If you know Chelsea Callahan, aka Dirty Cha Cha, I'm sure you're familiar with her Rock & Roll Charity Galas she does every year around her birthday. This year's gala is number four, and it's sure to be a killer show. For a mere $5, you get Little Big Horn, Brake! Vegas, Dove Hunter, Glen Farris, and you also get Joe Butcher playing DJ, and last but not least, Andrea Grimes hosts this fun filled evening. Proceeds go to benefit the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation.

Oh, and I suspect Chelsea will personally accept any donations of alcoholic beverages for her birthday. After all, it is the giving season.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Return of the Ray

I had the opportunity to speak with John Dufilho at the Carter Memorial Show at Granada last month, and I asked him the same question that I've asked him for the past year. The question is quite simple: when will Deathray Davies play again? Don't get me wrong; I understand that many of the members are busy with other side projects. John has been busy drumming for Apples in Stereo, Jason Garner is drumming for the pAper chAse, and Kevin Ingel has his own band Sparklepussy Barbie to keep him occupied.

That doesn't change the simple fact that I have missed seeing DRD something fierce. I've missed Kevin's crazy antics and mad theramin skills. I've missed the dance parties that are what some call a concert. I have missed hearing "Chainsaw" and "I Regret the Day I Tried to Steal Daniel's Ego" and and too many other classics penned by Mr. Dufilho. Simply put, I have missed anything and everything related to Deathray Davies.

You can only imagine my sheer joy to discover that Deathray Davies are playing their first show in over a year! They will be performing with Salim Nourallah on December 20th at the Granada Theater. Word has it that Jason Garner is now on drums, and there will more than likely be other changes in the band. Odds are they will even bust out a few songs from their upcoming CD.

In the meantime, I leave you with a homemade video made by Dufilho himself. This is hands down my favorite song the band has ever done.

The Deathray Davies - The Fall Fashions

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Week in Review (11/4/07-11/10/07)

Here’s what you need to know, in Cliff notes version:

KDGE sucks even more than usual now that The Adventure Club is gone. I can only hope the tyrants, I mean CEO’s, don’t axe The Local Show. True, it’s not as good as The Adventure Club, but it’s the only show on mainstream radio that gives a damn about the local music scene.
• The band Tonite Tonite has broken up. The music is quiet and somewhat raw, and that’s the beauty of the band. I never got to experience the band live, and it appears I never will. I can only hope that the upcoming album, produced by Salim Nourallah, will see the light of day. Keep your fingers crossed; perhaps lead singer Andres Negrete will keep playing either with a new band or solo. It would be criminal for these songs to die with the band.
Hogpig has broken up as well. Rumor has it that the members were arrested for kicking too much ass with their music. Seriously, this is one of those rare bands for me where my ears bled AND I enjoyed it.
• More Dallas clubs went before the City Planning Commission, and Monkey Bar has joined Club One and Tomcats even the ever growing graveyard of Deep Ellum/Exposition Park clubs. Clubs like Dada, Double Wide, The Bone, Fallout Lounge, and too many others to name, go before Dallas City Council on December 12th. These are scary times for clubs; there are too many vultures trying to swoop down and destroy Deep Ellum. They talk about “the future of Deep Ellum” with no understanding of its past and what made it the successful, vibrant neighborhood it once was. Dallas has plenty of high-rise communities; we cannot afford to destroy what once was the center of Dallas music (and what could be the center once again) in favor of more homes for yuppies. Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox.
• Actually, let me get back on for one more second. Bar of Soap has been going through some rough times lately, so if you're in the Exposition Park area, swing in for a second and have a drink. Oh, and bring your dirty laundry too. Where else can you do necessary chores AND toss back a few with some friends?
• Black Tie Dynasty brings their 80’s meets 00’s sound to Firewater tonight. If you go to that show, make sure to get there in time for The Orange. I have a feeling this band is gonna explode soon. Go see them tonight and see them “before they were stars.”
• Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights and ODIS are playing at Double Wide tonight. I guess it is soul music, trailer trash style? Opener Kristin Leigh is a little of an unusual choice for an opener, sounding closer to Joni Mitchell than Aretha Franklin. But just because it’s an odd pairing doesn’t mean it’s not worth your listen. All I'm saying is she'd make more sense opening for Fishing For Comets or Salim Nourallah than these guys. Still, if you like sweet acoustic songs, then she's a real treat for your ears.
• Last, but not least, Theater Fire plays tonight at Lee Harvey’s. The band needs no introduction. If you think they need an introduction, you haven’t seen them. If you haven’t seen them, something’s wrong with this picture. Change that tonight. Immediately. Seriously, go.

That wraps it up for this week. Hopefully I'll be writing before next Saturday.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Write this date down in ink, not pencil

The date is Saturday, December 29th. I don't want to say too much yet, but The Ghost of Blind Lemon is cooking up a tasty musical treat just for you. The lineup is not 100% solidified yet, but I'm working on it. I can tell you that the location of this musical treat will be Opening Bell Coffee. Keep checking this website for more details on what's to come.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall Out Boy Instead of Flaming Lips

It is 6 P.M. on a Sunday night. At this time, I should be hearing the theme music for either Dallas or Dynasty coming out of my radio, announcing the beginning of The Adventure Club. Instead, I get Fall Out Boy’s “Thanks For The Memories.” Apparently, when Josh Venable was fired on Friday, the show got the can with him.

Right now, words cannot express my disgust at the station. Josh has spent over a decade helping break artists on that show. From Oasis to Old 97’s, many artists have gotten their first airplay in the COUNTRY on The Adventure Club. Who will be there to promote new quality music on the station? And no, Fall Out Boy does not qualify as quality music. Perhaps I’m out of touch, but I don’t see any other mainstream outlets giving exposure to The Shins, The Arcade Fire, or Wilco, all of which are entering the Top 10 Album charts on Billboard.

I haven’t even touched on the effect that this will have on local artists. The Adventure Club was the first place where bands like Tripping Daisy, Old 97’s, and Black Tie Dynasty received radio play. The show has also spotlighted many other local artists such as Sorta, centro-matic, Pleasant Grove, and Smile Smile, which have not broken through with mainstream radio play. True, Ayo still hosts The Local Show at 9 p.m., but the show caters more towards more mainstream and metal based local bands.

I wish Josh nothing but success with whatever he chooses to do in the future. He is not only a man with first rate musical taste, but on the times I’ve spoken with him, he has shown himself to be a very likeable person. I also hope that The Edge will develop a show that will help fill the void that is left by Josh’s firing, but I’m not holding my breath. Why would they do that when Clear Channel can fill the airwaves with more formulaic alternative rock? And by alternative, I mean mainstream, bland music.

Oh well, at least you can still here The Local Show… for now. I’m sure it’s a matter of time before the powers that be figure out that they can replace local music with another hour of “cutting-edge” artists like Plain White T’s and Puddle of Mudd. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll put on some Smiths music and wonder what happened to a station I once loved.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Stomach Flu... Yuck!

My stomach is revolting against me, which will keep me from going to any shows this weekend. Just because I’m stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Take a look at these fabulous shows occurring over the next two days. If you can’t find some place worth going, something is severely wrong with your musical taste buds.

• Boys Named Sue play at Allgood Café tonight. If you’re craving country tonight, this is where you need to be.
• I saw Blue Petal play at White Rock Coffee almost a month ago, and I said “with a little extra confidence on behalf of their lead singer, the sky would be the limit for this band.” Well, tonight they return to White Rock Coffee, and I have a feeling that the nerves will be gone, leaving the audience only her beautiful voice to focus on.
• The cut*off recently added keyboardist John Chapman to the band, and he makes a wonderful new addition. Don’t take my word for it, though. Hear for yourself at 6th Street Live in Fort Worth, when they with The Gunship from Norman, Oklahoma, and Fort Worth’s own Get Well.
• Do you like rabbits? Help a rabbit out at the Rock N’ Roll Rabbit Benefit at City Tavern, with live music from THe BAcksliders, Escort Service, and The Anna Show. You know how much I love THe BAcksliders, but let me encourage to take a listen to The Anna Show. It's not often that Anna does shows anymore, so get there early to check her out. There is no cover, but donations will be accepted for The North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary.
• It was a year ago that Kristy Kruger’s brother, Lt. Col. Eric Kruger, was killed while fighting in Iraq. She is playing a show tonight at Club Dada in memory of her brother. Donations will be accepted tonight for Fisher House and/or TAPS. Oh, Hard Night’s Day plays before Kristy Kruger, and J.D. Whittenburg will play a set afterwards.

• Do you have your copy of Harshmellow yet? If not, head over to Club Dada to the Lovie CD release party. You can even get your CD autographed by the lovely Lovie ladies (try saying that ten times fast). Sunward, MC Router, and Austin’s Golden Bear warm up the stage for Lovie.
• I saw Stella Rose about a year ago at The Moon, and was very impressed. I have never gotten a chance to see the band since, but if you’re curious, you can see them at The Moon, along with The Frontier Brothers. I have never seen them before, but all the recordings I’ve heard have me quite curious. If you’re in the Tarrant County area, this is where you need to be.
• Did you miss the cut*off and The Gunship on Friday night? Here’s your second chance to see both bands, along with The Demigs. All three will be playing at Andy’s. There are few things I enjoy more than a cut*off show, but one thing that is even more fun is to see The Demigs perform with the cut*off. Don’t bother wearing socks to the show, because they will be rocked off.

This is a hard weekend to pick out a “best” show for. Hell, I’m not sure I can single out a best show for each night. So just pick a show, go out, and have all the fun I’ll wish I was having.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Love Me Some Lovie

Last week, I got a treat in the mail. It was an advanced copy of the new CD by Lovie, Harshmellow. It’s an interesting title to be certain, as only half of the disc is mellow (my favorite track “Release Me” being a mellow song), and none of it whatsoever is harsh. This ten song collection is filled with catchy melodies, killer keyboard riffs, and a first rate production job by the Pipes brothers. If you are still feeling the void left when Sara Radle headed to Cali to become a Rental, then Lovie will help to heal that void.

If you’re interested in picking up the CD (which you should be), then you have two options. The first option is to purchase the CD through one of these sources: CD World, Good Records, or iTunes. Oh, and Austin folk, fear not: Harshmellow is available at Waterloo Records.

If you don’t mind waiting a few days to get the disc, then you can purchase Harshmellow at Lovie’s CD release party at Club Dada. Sunward, MC Router, and Austin’s Golden Bear are also on the bill. Either way, put a little Lovie in your heart. Sorry, I couldn’t pass that pun up.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday shows

For a lot of people, Sundays are days meant for resting and essentially being lazy. This Sunday, however, there are a few shows that would be worth getting out and seeing.

First and foremost, Club Dada is holding a benefit for doorman John “Beard” Brewer. I posted the lineup in my previous blog article, and to my knowledge, the lineup has not changed. Cost is $10, and when you consider the level of bands that are playing, it’s a steal. After all, Brave Combo or David Garza alone could easily cost $10. Oh, and if you can, get there early enough for the beautiful vocal stylings of Anna Proctor, as well as the rock spectacle known as THe BAcksliders. The show starts at noon, so get moving.

I also have a recommendation for all my readers living in the North Dallas area. Well, that’s assuming any of my readers live in North Dallas. Fishing For Comets will play the Huffhines Art Trails Festival at 4:30 this afternoon. The weather lately has been lovely, so I suspect that FFC would provide the perfect soundtrack for such a day. As far as I can tell, there is no cover for the festival. This is a rare event that would be perfect for the whole family.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beard-A-Fit Info

I asked the fine folks at Club Dada for info on benefit, and I received the following response:

Beloved Deep Ellum and Club Dada icon and door guy, John “Beard” Brewer was hospitalized on October 12th and spent 6 days in Parkland Memorial Hospital’s ICU unit until being transferred and ultimately released from a regular room on Friday, October 19th.

When friends found out that Beard had no medical insurance, an idea for a benefit was born.

On Sunday, October 28th Club Dada will present a BEARD-A-FIT.

Cover is a minimum donation of $10 and all proceeds will go to pay Beard’s medical bills.

The doors open at 11 a.m. and the event is open to families and folks of all ages.

Sunday’s Beard-A-FIT stars the likes of Brave Combo, David Garza, The Backsliders and more.

Complete line up below:

The Felons @ Midnite
Frush (Rush cover band) @ 11:00
Enormous Magic Verb @ 10:00
Airline @ 9:00
David Garza @ 8:00
Hard Night’s Day @ 7:00
Brave Combo @ 6:00
The Hochimen @ 5:00
Shanghai 5 @ 4:00
Mr. Pink @ 3:00
Mic the Tiger @ 2:00
The BAcksliders @ 1:00
Dave Little @ 12:30
Anna Proctor @ 12:00

Reflections on the Carter Albrecht Memorial Show

This is not a review of the show. I tend to think of a review as analytical and objective. Reviews are good for technical merit, and other such objective, measurable traits. Yes, I could measure the show on such grounds. By doing that, however, I feel it would miss the true magic and emotion of the show. So here’s the review: every artist played a great set. Now that I’m done “reviewing” the show, I’d like to share some thoughts and memories from the show that made it truly special.

• My only complaint with the show is that when Sarah Jaffe sang with Pleasant Grove, I couldn’t hear her vocals. I believe that denying the audience the ability to her Sarah is legally classified as a felony. Fortunately, there were no sound issues when the band closed with “Canopy.” That song is still lingering in my head. “I was there when you took your first steps, and I’ll be there when you take your last.” Marcus Striplin, you are genius personified.
• Jenn Nabb, your rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was the most beautiful vocal performance of the evening. I don’t know whether it touched my heart or broke it. It may have done both. You did the song proud to say the least.
• To Fred from The Felons: For someone who had never played the recorder before, you did a fine job. It was a joy seeing you, and bring your tambourine with you when you play The Cavern with Airline and the cut*off.
• Chris Holt, you were given a blessing by Carter when he shared his guitar tunings with you, allowing you to play some of his new songs. I cannot think of a more worthy musician than you to deserve the honor of performing these new songs.
• My favorite musical moment of the night came when Sorta played “Bring Me the Head of Jose Cuervo.” It took me back in time 2003, when I had my very first birthday show at the original Barley House. I asked Sparrows to play, not expecting them to accept the invitation. I was wrong, as Carter was more than eager to play the show. When it was time for the last song of the evening, he asked me to pick, and I picked “Jose Cuervo.” Towards the end of the song, he handed the mic to me to sing the line from the chorus. The next night, I told him I was sorry for sounding so awful on the mic. He said not to worry, that out in the audience it’s hard to hear yourself and the like. Carter was too kind of a soul to say “Yeah, the reason it sounded bad is that your voice sucks.” But thank you, Sorta, for bringing back one of my fondest memories of Carter.
• Speaking of Sparrows songs, I finally purchase 5nowflake5 at the merch table. I was strongly chastised by one individual for not already owning the album. Actually, I believe he said I needed to state here that “I am an asshole” for not already owning the CD, and that he fully expects a CD review on here. I will say this: after listening to the CD, I feel severely lame for having waited this long to buy it. If you want a more in-depth analysis, then chill out and wait. A masterpiece of an album deserves more than a quickie review. And no, I’m not just throwing out the word “masterpiece.” This is the real deal.
• The slideshows were awesome. It was great hearing Carter in his old band, The Cosmetics. What was even better was hearing the stories from those who knew him best. Some were funny, some were touching, all were inspiring. It makes me regret that I never got the opportunity to know the man better.
• Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night came when Carter’s father, Ken Albrecht took the stage. Through this tragedy, he has handled himself with grace, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the man. I have no doubt that much of what people loved in Carter he learned from his father.

One final note: I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces at Granada that evening. Some of these people I see almost every weekend, others I have not seen in what feels like years. For as much as the music was incredible (and it was), what was even more special was the sense of community I felt. Carter had many opportunities to leave Dallas, but the love he had for his friends, family, and even the city is what kept him here. To have the music community unite for this concert is perhaps the best way to pay respect to the man.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Choice #1 for Saturday... and all the runners up

Where should you be tonight? This is the answer.

Tickets are still available to this show, which surprises the living daylights out of me. Just the fact that Old 97's are playing should mean that there should be no tickets left. That's not even factoring in all the great openers and the fact that this is a memorial to one of the finest musicians this city ever had the opportunity to know. I would strongly encourage you to run out RIGHT THIS SECOND and get tickets. That's right; you can finish reading this article once you have your tickets.

Since I do expect this show to sell out, let me give you a few back up plans in case you cannot get tickets.

• Did you read my write-up on the S.P.E.A.K. project show at Ridglea Theater? I don’t feel like repeating myself, so go read Three Nights in Funkytown for more details. One correction though: the show starts at 4 p.m. I heard something about more bands being added to the lineup, so get there early so you can see it all.
• Chemistry Set shows are rare. Shows by The Hundred Inevitables are even rarer. Damn it guys, why did you have to pick this Saturday to do a show at Club Dada? I’ll be lucky to get another Chemistry Set show in before the end of the year. Hell, at this rate, by the next time I Hundred Inevitables play, we’ll probably have a new president in office. Phil Marshall is on the bill as well.
• Fishing For Comets plays Opening Bell Coffee tonight, along with Travis Brink and Madison King. I predict FFC will play “Halloween” at least once. If you ask really nicely, she might even play it twice.
Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat play tonight at Lone Star Café & Club in Garland. That’s right, I said Garland. After all, Garland people need good music too.

These shows are only intended as back-ups in case the show is sold out, or if you can’t afford the $30 tickets. But if you can’t go to the show, at least send in a donation (however much you can afford) to the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation at this address:

The Carter Albrecht Music Foundation
Northern Trust Bank
Attn: Keith Braley
16475 Dallas Pkwy., Suite 100
Addison, TX 75001

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Three Nights in Funkytown

I’ve heard some people refer to Fort Worth as the “poor side of Dallas.” Fort Worth gets picked on more than its fair share, so perhaps this weekend can be considered Funkytown’s revenge. In fact, for all citizens of Tarrant County, I am declaring this as a four day weekend.

For this week only, Thursday is the new Friday. So once you get off work and battle rush hour traffic, you need to make 8.0 your destination. The Crash That Took Me headline the joint, playing what I believe is their first show in Fort Worth. Johnny Lloyd Rollins and THe BAcksliders open for TCTTM. THe BAcksliders go on first at 7:00, and unless if this your first read of Ghost of Blind Lemon, you know that I am crazy about this band. Some of you out there may think, “Oh, they’re just the opener, it’s okay if I miss them.” You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. THe BAcksliders are a crash course in everything right in music in the past fifty or so years. They combine Beatle-esque pop, blues, soul, and even hints of country and punk and make it all work. No, it is not okay to miss this band. There is not a weak link among this lineup, so get there early and stay until the sweet end.

So if Thursday is the New Friday, then it logically follows that Friday is the new Saturday. It’s time to add some culture to your weekend, and where better to do that than at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth? For $15 admission, you not only get to see the artwork, you get to see six great performances and two DJ’s. Check out the advertisement to the left for all the details you need. Forgive me, I'm feeling lazy and don't feel like listing every act, Let me just say this though: Doug Burr alone is worth the $15 cover charge. Yup, he’s that good. That’s without even discussing St. Vincent, who I have yet to see live. If the recordings are any indication, her set will blow you away.

Continuing with my logic, Saturday now becomes the new Sunday. Ridglea Theater will host the S.P.E.A.K. project Saturday night the 20th. The goal of the project is to help promote awareness about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. So that night you’ll not only get an education on how to protect your health, you’ll be get schooled in regards to good music. Check out this lineup: Black Tie Dynasty, PPT, The Burning Hotels, and the cut*off. I must stress here, as I did for the 8.0 show, that getting here late is completely unacceptable. The cut*off’s ingenuous blend of Texas acoustic style music with early 90’s grunge (think more Pixies than Pearl Jam) is not to be missed. Oh, and DJ Prince William will be spinning tunes there. So get out to Ridglea (7:00 sharp), get your groove on, and get educated. Get it?

It’s time for some rest now, and now Sunday is simply Sunday. After that many good shows, rest will be your friend. With more weekends like this, Fort Worth could be the new Dallas. OK, maybe not, but at least it’s an improvement in its shows.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Making friends on MySpace

First things first: if you’re on MySpace and not my friend, click here to see my profile and then add me as a friend. OK, now that I’ve gotten the pandering out of the way, I can continue on with the article.

Almost everyone on MySpace has gotten the random friend requests from bands they have never heard of. I am no exception; if anything, I’m surprised more bands haven’t contacted me in hopes of getting free exposure. You should know that I only accept friend requests from artists that are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, since the purpose of the blog is to help support the local music scene.

I’ve gotten several friend requests from bands. Some of them, frankly, have been god awful. However, once you filter out the bad artists and the ones that are not from this area, you find a few cool musicians that you’re glad took the time to seek you out. I’d like to take this opportunity to shed the spotlight on three such artists.

The Orange – This Arlington based band is going to be playing at Curtain Club Friday night. I know what you’re thinking, and stop right there. You’re thinking that this is just another stereotypical metal band. After all, they’re from Arlington, and they’re playing Curtain Club. Prepare for your preconceived notions to be shattered. The band’s sound is more of a melding of power-pop and shoegazer influences. Think Cheap Trick meets Catherine Wheel and you’re half the way there. Their trippy hooks will leave you longing to hear more from this up and coming band. Take a listen; I’m sure you’ll agree. They are easily one of the best bands to play Curtain Club in quite some time.

The LFD – All you have to do is look at their MySpace and you can tell that this is a band with a sense of humor. All the information in the bio (“We were the only three kids in school who liked both Slayer and The Carpenters”), the absurdly long and diverse list of musical interest, even the band name (short for The League of Fucking Decency) show that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. In spite of that, the music is seriously good. There’s a certain raw charm to the songs and melodies, which I hope is not lost as the band grows musically.

Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat – I am not very knowledgeable about the blues scene around here, but I’ve seen Mr. Suhler’s name many a time in print. I’ve probably even heard him on KNON’s blues shows without even realizing it. And while I’m not an expert on blues music, I recognize talent when I hear it. The talent held by Jim and the members of Monkey Beat is unmistakable. If you have a craving for the blues, give these guys a chance, and they will satisfy your hunger.

This was by no means a complete list of all the good artists I've discovered, as I do not have the time to review every artist who sends a friend request. I will try, however, to make a point of mentioning the best ones I discover. So keep those friend requests coming. There is no such thing as an excessive amount of talent; Dallas and the surrounding cities can always use one more great band or musician. And as long as there are great new bands, I will eagerly discuss new favorites with anyone willing to listen to what I have to say.

Does Bad News Really Come in Threes?

I’m hoping that’s just a cliché, because I have discovered two pieces of bad news in the past few days. I’m sure most of you have heard about this already, but Secret Headquarters (SHQ) in Denton is no more. The club has always had more than its share of financial difficulties, but in a letter sent out by Scott Porter, it seemed as if the place had a new lease on life. Even though there would be fewer shows there starting next year, at least the venue would still exist. Unfortunately, an act of vandalism this past Saturday night brought about the end of the club. It’s a shame to see SHQ leave so suddenly. I only had the fortune of seeing one show there. It was the cut*off and The Demigs, and after that evening, they became two of my favorite bands in the metroplex. Whatever the venue may have lacked in terms of a visual aesthetic, they made up for it in quality of bands, low cover charges, and four beautiful letters: BYOB. I’m sorry to see Secret Headquarters go, and I wish the owners much luck in whatever else they pursue in the future.

The second piece of news I discovered was about John Brewer, better known as “Beard”. If you’ve ever been at Club Dada, you have no doubt seen Beard checking ID’s at the front door and you’ve probably enjoyed many a conversation with the man. He was checked into Parkland Hospital on Friday night, suffering what was described as a seizure. Fluid was found in his lungs, and tests are still being done to find out the root cause of the problem. Fortunately, Beard is doing better, and the breathing tube he had has been removed. Unfortunately, since he is without medical insurance, this will mean he’ll have to deal with hospital bills, when his only focus should be on getting better. Club Dada will be hosting a benefit for Beard on Sunday, October 28th. All the proceeds from the tickets will go to his family. If you’re in a band and would like to play the benefit, contact Dada.

So far, there’s no third piece of bad news. Let’s keep it that way folks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It has been too long...

I have severely neglected Ghost of Blind Lemon in the past week or so. Between my real job, long hours at work, and feeling really damn tired, the blog has suffered. There are so many things I should have written about. I’ve missed two fabulous CD release parties: one for The Crash That Took Me at Sons of Hermann Hall, the other for Doug Burr at The Cavern. I am especially excited about Doug Burr’s CD, On Promenade, finally being released. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to listen to the album in its entirety, but what I’ve heard already makes it a strong contender for “Local CD of the Year”. For the time being, you can go to the Spune website and download Burr’s song “In the Garden” absolutely free of charge. In fact, I encourage you to do so… after you’ve finished reading this, of course.

I still haven’t gotten the Macon Greyson CD review finished yet. I make no promises when it will get done, but I’d rather have it delayed than to rush the review. I’ll say this much ahead of time: I’d hate to do a hasty review and rob them of the glory they so deserve. Never fear though, I will get the review done for 20th Century Accidents.

I do not have the time to discuss everything I’ve missed out on during the past week. There is, however, one show I would be remiss if I did not review. Thursday night’s tribute to Carter Albrecht at White Rock Coffee was an intensely emotional evening filled with beautiful music. Jayson Bales kicked off the evening with two songs, one of which was a tribute to Carter. If you would like to purchase his CD, Cruel & Unusual, you can purchase it here through the website of Kate Mackley, the women who booked this fabulous show at White Rock Coffee. All proceeds from the CD go to the Carter Albrecht Memorial Fund.

Rahim Quazi followed and performed his tribute to Carter entitled “The Sparrow Has Landed”. You can hear the song on Rahim's MySpace, plus he will be performing it again this Saturday night at the Granada Theater.

Blue Petal followed, performing what was only their second live show. Lead singer Manya Repnikova was apparently nervous, though I’m not certain of why. She is a very talented singer, with a voice so strong that it cannot be ignored. With a little extra confidence on behalf of their lead singer, the sky would be the limit for this band.

Chris Holt played a handful of songs, both originals as well as covers of songs written by Carter. He even shared with the audience that Carter taught him the proper tunings in order to be able to play some of the songs from his upcoming solo CD. At times, Holt’s voice even sounded eerily like Carter’s. If this is how good the songs sound when played by Chris, I can hardly wait to hear what the album sounds like.

The evening wrapped up with performances by Sorta frontman Trey Johnson, Jenn Nabb, and Eric Neal. Since Jenn rarely performs, this was an extra special treat. There were moments in her set that if her vocal performance was any more intense, I would’ve been in tears. It was a wonderful conclusion to a beautiful night of performances and memories about Carter.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Oklahoma Bad, Free Drink Good

Oklahoma beat us, 28-21. I didn’t see the game, and right about now, I’m glad I didn’t. Now comes the worst part. I will be surrounded by Oklahomans tonight who will be gloating over their school’s victory. Of course, here’s the bright side. Tomorrow they’ll leave here to go back to Oklahoma, and I’ll be staying in Dallas. Now who’s the winner?

Speaking of winning, here’s a little contest. We’ll see if anyone wins. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be at Adair’s watching the ever fabulous Macon Greyson. If you’re the first person tonight to come up to me and say “Ghost of Blind Lemon rules, Oklahoma sucks,” then I’ll buy you a drink of your choosing.

Fake Legal Disclaimer: This offer is only valid for Texas citizens. Anyone wearing any OU gear is not eligible to win. Oh, and a pitcher is not “a drink”, so don’t even try that.

Texas/OU weekend shows

I’m a lot later on my weekend update than I wanted to be. I hope some of you found your way over to either The Moon or Club Dada in order to see THe BAcksliders. Also, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights played at The Cavern, and I’m sure it was so packed that it would even make canned sardines feel claustrophobic. Either way, whether or not you saw those shows, I still have some choice selections for tonight.


• Another show I forgot to mention from Friday was Inner City All Stars’ gig at Gator’s in downtown Dallas. But tonight gives you a second chance to see them at Gezellig. This is one of the best party bands in town, so be prepared for lots of drinking, dancing, and partying.
• Flickerstick will play at The Aardvark tomorrow night. Here’s a simple math equation: Flickerstick + Texas OU Weekend + Drunken TCU students =chaos to the nth degree. I’m not sure what effect opening bands Holy Moly, Swilley, and Tame..Tame and Quiet will have on the equation. Any student with a double major in mathematics and moshing should consider this event mandatory. On the bright side, homework has never been so much fun.
• Dan’s Silverleaf is the place to be tonight to watch the results of the Rock Lottery. For those of you unfamiliar with the process, 25 musicians are chosen to participate in the event. These musicians are divided into 5 groups, where they have one day to create a band name and write songs to perform that evening. Go to the Rock Lottery MySpace page for more details.
• Last, but DEFINITELY not least, Macon Greyson plays at Adair’s tonight. Every year they play there for the Texas/OU weekend, and this will be my fourth year to see them there. It is my Red River showdown tradition, and you should consider making it yours too. Hope to see you there, and I hope we’ll be celebrating a Longhorns triumph!

Oh, and I promise, the MG album review is coming soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Miscellaneous musings

Here are some random things I felt like passing on to my readers:

• My computer got a nasty virus this past weekend, but it seems to be ok now.

• I wanted to do a proper “Farewell to Wreck Room” article Sunday, but the above mentioned virus prevented me from doing so. It seems anti-climactic at this point, so maybe when Lola’s opens up, I can do a “Goodbye Wreck Room, Hello Lola” article instead.

• Here’s another something for you Fort Worth people. Black Tie Dynasty play Thursday night at 8.0 along with Burning Hotels, so feel free to start your weekend early.

• Thanks to Natalie Darrah from Fat Caddy Records for sending me 20th Century Accidents. A review of the album is in the works.

• Thanks to all who voted for THe BAcksliders. Alas, some band called Boy Caught Dream is the recipient of KDGE's band of the week title. There's still next week though.

• For those who didn’t know already, Ghost of Blind Lemon has its own Myspace page. Click here to see it, and if I’m not your friend already, feel free to add me as a friend.

• I predict Texas will beat OU 63-0. It probably won’t happen quite like that, but I can dream, can’t I? On a similar note, keep your eyes open for my list of things to over the Texas-OU weekend. It’ll be a long list featuring so many good options it’s making my head hurt just thinking about it.

Check in tomorrow night; hopefully by then the Macon Greyson CD review will be posted. For now though, it’s time for me to get some sleep, and maybe have sweet dreams of Texas annihilating OU.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Major oversight on my part

I forgot to mention a very important show in my previous entry. A Pacific Model are playing at Cavern tonight, and this may be their last show for quite awhile. This is a shame; when I saw them play at Club Dada, their set was one of my highlights of that day. If you're a fan of soaring melodies with great keyboard hooks, this is the band for you. The Last Gasp and Paul Banks open up for A Pacific Model.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Choices, Choices, Choices

Another weekend is upon us, and with it comes a multitude of cool shows. Check it out.

Telegraph Canyon headline a Secret Headquarters show, with Slider Pines and The Felons opening. The only band on the lineup I haven’t seen live yet is The Felons yet, but this video shows definite promise. I gotta check them out… sooner rather than later preferably. While you’re at SHQ, pick up a $10 card that gets you into 4 shows there. It’s a great “buy two, get two free” deal, and it will help the venue through a rough financial month. If you’ve never been there, it’s a small but cool BYOB style venue, and it’d be a shame for Denton to lose this, so buy a card and support SHQ.
• Glen Reynolds is headlining a Double Wide show. He’s bringing his backup band, The Ted Danson Three. That’s right, Glen Reynolds and the Ted Danson Three. I wonder if Mr. Danson is in the band. Even if he isn’t, Glen’s worth the price of admission alone, so when you throw in Smile Smile and EyesWingsAndManyOtherThings, featuring members of Theater Fire, it’s an even better deal.
• The Tah Dah’s and Vaqueros Electronicos play at City Tavern. I haven’t seen Clay Pendergrass in action yet; that needs to change soon. Maybe they can play a show with The Felons so I can kill two birds with one stone.

• Spend a full evening with Fishing For Comets at City Tavern. Go there and you won’t need to take Prozac for the next month. That’s how much this band can cheer you up.
• Needing a Beatles fix? The Hard Night’s Day show at Barley House is just what the doctor order then.
• The Valentines give the Denton crowd something to do Saturday night. They headline Andy’s, along with Austin band Alpha Rev and Denton's own Villains.
• Here’s another great option for those in Denton. Red Monroe, Hogpig, The Angelus, and Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights bring their A-game to Rubber Gloves. I'm not sure if Jonathan Tyler is the headliner or not, but get their early in case he is. You don't want to miss him. Trust me.
• Fort Worth, don’t feel left out. Calhoun headlines a stellar lineup at the Aardvark, featuring The Frontier Brothers, Smile Smile, and Telegraph Canyon.
• Last, but definitely not least, Backsliders headline a Double Wide show featuring A Few Nice Things, Dragna, and New Orleans’ own Bones. By the way, have you voted for THe BAcksliders yet? If not, what’s wrong with you? Read my article "BAcksliders on the BAllot" and see where to vote!

That’s it. What, you wanted more? Come on, if you can’t find something on that list that you like, then your musical taste buds need therapy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BAcksliders on the BAllot

Ever since THe BAcksliders played my birthday show last year, I’ve become a fan of the band, and the new songs in particular are catchier than the common cold. If you haven’t heard their new stuff, go to their myspace and take a listen. Pay particular attention to “Fat Girls”, which I could see being a hit for the band. Once you’ve listened, if you like what you hear (which if you have good musical taste you will), then help THe BAcksliders out by voting for them.

First, vote here for THe BAcksliders as best band at the website Music Nation. If they win the competition, they get a record contract. It may be a long shot for the band, but it is still worth the shot, so sign up at Music Nation and vote!

Second, the band is vying for the title of KDGE’s “Band of the Week.” I’ve sampled some of the artists on the list, and with the exception of Johnny Lloyd Rollins, no one is even in the same LEAGUE as THe BAcksliders. Music Nation may indeed be a long shot, but I know that THe BAcksliders could win this, especially if everyone who reads this clicks here to vote for them. You can also listen to “Fat Girls” through the same link.

This is a great opportunity to help a great band get more of the recognition that they so deserve, so don’t put it off. Start voting dammit!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Feelin' naughty sugar?

OK, I know what you’re thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter. That’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about the band Team Evil. Ever since I heard that John Jay (Happiness Factor, Crash Vinyl) had a new band, my curiosity was piqued, especially since I heard he actually sang in this band as well as played drums. It took me long enough, but I finally saw them several weekends ago at the Lakewood Bar & Grill, and I was not disappointed. Instead, it actually surpassed my expectations. Their set was essentially an auditory assault on the earlobes, and I mean that in the best way possible. I guess I’d classify the music as power-pop, except that in the case of Team Evil, 99% of the emphasis should be put on the word “POWER.” Not to worry though; for as much as they rock (and they definitely do rock), Team Evil still manages to write solid songs with solid hooks.

If you want to check out the band’s sound, turn up your computer speakers to 11 and check out this video of their song “Naughty Sugar.” Feel the power. Feel the music. Feel “Naughty Sugar.” Geez, is that all you think about?

Note: Team Evil prefers this live version of the song, whereas I think the sound quality of the former is better. So, I'm splitting the difference and featuring both.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

WSOF ’07 A.D.D. Style

When you have a show the size of the Wall of Sound Festival, it would be easy to write an excessively long review of the show. To discuss all the bands that played, it would almost be unavoidable. That could make for a painfully long read that could really tax one’s attention span. Not like that would be a problem for me; I show no signs of A.D.D. whatsoever and I resent anyone who would dare imply… ooh, shiny.

Where was I? That’s right. While I clearly don’t have A.D.D., I wanted to present my review in such a format that it’ll keep your attention. So what follows is a review of every artist I saw, with one catch. All performance reviews shall be 25 words or less. Here we go:

Daniel Folmer – Didn’t see much of his set, but it sounded promising. Worth a second listen.

Sarah Jaffe – Great acoustic sounds featuring Kris Youmans on cello. Sarah, you are a brilliant songwriter and wonderful singer. I think I’m in love with you.

Eleven Hundred Springs – One of the better country bands from around these parts. The perfect soundtrack for a day spent in Cowtown.

The Lemurs – New wavish style band from Austin. If you like Black Tie Dynasty, you’ll probably like this band too.

The Burning Hotels – I originally dismissed them as standard EDGE fare. Their songs are way too catchy and fun to put down. I was wrong. It happens sometimes.

Astronautalis – He performed the best rap I’ve ever heard about a girl in a hurricane. Honest.

Red Monroe – First curse to SPUNE: The 15 minutes I saw was not long enough. A great rockin’ set from a band destined for stardom.

Calhoun – Curse number 2: Scheduling conflicts only allowed me a mere two Calhoun songs. This band is a fine wine that gets better with age.

Pleasant Grove – Chillin’ on the lawn with DB and his buddies, listening to Pleasant Grove. Good times, good friends, good music. Pure awesomeness.

Ghosthustler – They could’ve been the soundtrack to a perfect dance party, if only it wasn’t too damn hot to dance.

Record Hop – A solid set by this great noise rock band. Ashley Cromens, you have one hell of a set of pipes on you.

the pAper chAse - fAbulous set feAturing pAper chAse's trAdemArk dissonAnt heAvy style. jAson gArner is A greAt Addition to the bAnd.

Black Tie Dynasty – Sound issues, allergies, and burning eyes tainted what should have been a highlight of the show. The band still played its ass off.

The Baptist Generals – I was sitting in the back of the stadium, relaxing to the pleasant sounds of Baptist Generals.

The Sword – They sounded as loud in the back as Record Hop did by the speakers. Too damn loud, guys. Way too loud.

Micah P. Hinson – His Springsteen-esque voice acted as a salve to my ears after the Sword. This is one talented dude.

Brothers and Sisters – Country/pop group from Austin reminiscent of the Byrds. This band knows how to write catchy tunes. Please, come to Dallas again soon.

Doug Burr – His perfectly written songs had the audience captivated. Hands down, this was the best performance I saw all day.

Alas, my friend was too tired to stick around later, so that’s all I can review. I regret missing Midlake and Explosions in the Sky, but I was also sunburned and exhausted and glad to get home to rest. Note to SPUNE: there’s something to be said for INDOOR venues. Still, in spite of sound difficulties during the sets of both BTD and Brothers and Sisters, scheduling difficulties on Stage 3, as well as the heat, it was still a wonderful concert. Let’s see what Lance Yocum can do to top this year. Again, might I suggest an indoor venue? Just a suggestion.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Do You Have a Phobia of Baseball Stadiums?

It dawned on me that some of my readers might have a fear of baseball stadiums. I googled the terms “baseball stadiums” and “phobias”, and did not come up with no one has come up with an official name for such a phobia. Nevertheless, such a thing may exist, and if it does, the thought of the Wall of Sound Festival at LaGrave field in Fort Worth must be causing some major panic attacks. Never fear, Ghost of Blind Lemon is here with some cool weekend options that do not involve being in a baseball stadium.

• The Chemistry Set will play at City Tavern, along with Irony and Vaqueros Electronicos
• Rahim Quazi will headline at Opening Bell Coffee. Kevin Carroll and Idgy Vaughan play as well.
Shibboleth, Shanghai 5, Colin Boyd, and the Zounds Sounds School of Rock (among others) will play at the Taste of Deep Ellum festival at Sons of Hermann Hall.
• Also, Car Stereo (Wars) and Astronautalis play the WOSF after party at the non-baseball stadium Wreck Room, although those who didn’t attend the festival have to pay a $10 cover charge.

If you do have the baseball stadium phobia, however, one common form of treatment is exposure therapy, where you are exposed to what you fear. This would be the perfect weekend for such therapy at LaGrave Field. So confront your fears and enjoy the show.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

20th Century Accident, 21st Century Greatness

I remember in the mid 90's when I first the discovered the sound often referred to as "alt-country." It was fresh and exciting, injecting the kick of rock and roll into the twang of country. Artists like Old 97's, Bottle Rockets, Earl C. Whitehead & Grievous Angels, and A.M. era Wilco seemed destined to me to change the direction of popular music at the time. Well time passed on, and the movement never caught on as it should have. Some bands (Old 97's, Wilco) changed their sound in time, and others faded into oblivion. It was as if someone sent a memo out: alt-country is dead.

Someone forgot to give Macon Greyson that memo.

Ever since the first time I saw the band in 2004, they have embodied the energy and passion that I felt for alt-country back in the mid 90's. Albums such as Uneasy, and even more so with 2005's Translate, have spent much time in my CD changer. For as good as the CD's are, you cannot fully appreciate the greatness of Macon Greyson without seeing them live. It is loud, it is fierce, it is solid musicianship, simply put, it is rock in the best way possible.

The ne'er do-wells at Macon Greyson are at it again. They are about to release their follow up to Translate, entitled 20th Century Accident. This album is showing more of their rock influence than has been shown on previous efforts, especially on tracks such as "John Q" and "Run for Cover." Never to fear though, Macon Greyson has definitely not abandoned the country. They're even trying to push the first single, "Right or Wrong", to several Americana style stations in Dallas and other areas. I'd give a full album review, but I haven't gotten a copy of the CD yet. The band promised me an early copy, but I suspect it just got lost in the mail. We'll go with that excuse for now.

The band celebrates the release of 20th Century Accident at Granada Theater tonight, as they open for Reckless Kelly. Tickets range in price from $15 to $20, and as far as I'm concerned, they're gonna steal the show, so get there early so you don't miss Macon Greyson. You'll thank me for this later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Victory Is Mine!

I managed to score myself a pair of tickets to the Wall of Sound Festival this Saturday. I was lucky enough to win these tickets thru Boca Tinta. Amanda ran a contest where you had to submit a schedule for the bands you wanted to see. My schedule was one of two winning schedules. Amanda was obviously impressed with the “wry commentary that accompanied my itinerary.” Thanks, Amanda. I return the love to you, so thanks for writing the second best blog in the city of Dallas ;)

If you’re hungry for something wry, along with some great suggestions on how to spend your Saturday, here is the itinerary that scored me the tickets:

11:00 a.m. Sarah Jaffe
11:30 a.m. 100 Damned Guns
12:00 p.m. Hogpig
12:30 p.m. The Lemurs
1:00 p.m. The Burning Hotels
1:30 p.m. Tacks, The Boy Disaster
2:00 p.m. Red Monroe
2:15 p.m. Calhoun
2:30 p.m. Pleasant Grove

Curse you, SPUNE, for making the 2:00 hour so difficult to decide. Some killer bands are gonna get shortchanged. Now, where was I? Oh yeah…

3:00 p.m. Ghosthustler
3:30 p.m. Record Hop
4:00 p.m. the pAper chAse
4:30 p.m. Black Tie Dynasty
5:00 p.m. The Baptist Generals
6:00 p.m. Micah P. Hinson

I’m not really sure in between Baptist Generals and Hinson if I should see The Sword, The Timeout Drawer, or if that’s a good time to stand in line for food and restrooms. Maybe I’ll do a combination of all the above.

6:30 p.m. Brothers and Sisters
6:45 p.m. Doug Burr

I curse SPUNE again, this time for putting Brothers and Sisters and Doug Burr at close to the same time.

7:30 p.m. White Denim
8:20 p.m. Pinback
9:00 p.m. The Books
9:40 p.m. Midlake
10:30 p.m. Spectrum
11:00 p.m. Explosions in the Sky (of course)

After that, I’ll go home and pass out from exhaustion and from the awe of the rock overload that is Wall of Sound.

If you plan on going to Wall of Sound, you might wanna make a copy of that schedule and use it for yourself. You can also look at the schedule yourself and make up your own schedule. If you’re not going to Wall of Sound, well what the hell is wrong with you? Go to the Wall of Sound website for all the ticket info, and then get your own tickets. This show is going to rule in a massive way, so don’t miss out on the rock!