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 CafĂ© & 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 clichĂ©, 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.