Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Have Your Day Planned Out for You

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just hate making decisions. And sometimes on your days off, the last thing you want to do is think. Wouldn't it just be easier if someone told you how you should spend the day? Well, The Ghost wants to help you out. That is why I am telling you exactly how to spend the day.

The first thing you need to do is set your VCR or TiVo or however you record your television shows. The program you want to record is the Gordon Keith Show, and it comes on tonight at 11:35 p.m. on Channel 8. Tonight's musical guest is Lovie, and they will be performing "Mindreader".

The reason you need to set your VCR is because you will probably not make it home in time to see Lovie on television. Why not, you ask? Because you're headed to Opening Bell Coffee for a wonderful night of music, hosted by yours truly. There will be a $5 "suggested donation", so don't forget to bring money for that, as well as for any beverages you feel like consuming (whether it be coffee, tea, soda, or something stronger).

You need to arrive absolutely no later than 8 p.m. because that's when the first act, Klickitat, takes the stage. Lead by Michaela Kuenster, her music sounds like a unique mixture of Aimee Mann and Ani DiFranco, and it definitely pushes the boundaries of what you'd typically expect at a coffee house. The sound is unique, and the lyrics and witty yet tell stories that will hold your attention.

The next band on the lineup is Tonite Tonite. I have known lead singer Andres Negrete for about five years now. When I first met him, he was just a young lad who spent weekend after weekend at shows by the likes of Sorta, Peter Schmidt, Chomsky, and Salim Nourallah, among others. It was if he was a student of fine Dallas music. If that's the case, then consider Tonite Tonite his doctoral thesis. Don't let that mislead you, because while it is clear that Tonite Tonite views these artists as influences, the sound is clearly his own. Andres and the band hit full stride on the slower numbers like "These Flowers Aren't For You", which is equal parts haunting and catchy. Tonite Tonite may have been influenced by past Dallas artists, but I foresee them playing a critical part in present and future Dallas music.

Tonight's showcase is headlined by none other than Lovie. I have spent a lot of time talking about the band's victory in Quick magazine's Battle of the Band contest. That's all good and well, but here's the important question: why did Lovie win the competition? It's very simple. Lovie makes good music. It's music that rocks, and at the same time, puts a smile on your face and in your heart. Their CD Harshmellow is filled with great pop melodies like "Mindreader", "Take A Ride", and the title track. There is often a stereotype that accompanies all girl bands, suggesting that the bands get by on their looks. The truth is, all the members of Lovie are pretty enough that they could have chosen that path. But they didn't. Instead, the band has worked hard and proven themselves as musicians and songwriters. I love this band, and look forward to their set tonight.

Once you wrap up with my Opening Bell Coffee showcase, if you still have a little party left in you, head over to Expo Park Cafe for seconds of Klickitat and Tonite Tonite. Then, once you get home, watch the Gordon Keith show that you taped and see Lovie's performance. There it is, the perfect ending to a perfect day. Oh, and no need to thank me for planning out your day. I'm always happy to help my readers out.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Night Fun

I've only got a few hours before I leave to go out tonight, so what you're getting is a bare bones, linkless, commentary-less listing of good shows going on tonight.

  • Fishing For Comets, Doug Burr (Opening Bell Coffee)

  • Dove Hunter, Calhoun (Barley House)

  • Black Tie Dynasty, ODIS, Burning Hotels, My Life on Film (Ridglea Theater)

  • The Orange (CD Release Party), Wonderfool, Future Cast, The Salutation, Rental Cars (Curtain Club)

If you wanna know how to find me, start at Opening Bell, then head to Barley House. But seriously, check at least one of these shows out. And if you miss The Orange's CD Release Party (where a $13 cover gets you the CD), go out and buy a copy of A Sonic Collection of Short Stories from La La Land.

So please go out to one of these shows and have lots of fun tonight. But not too much fun; after all, you need to save some of that energy for my showcase tomorrow night!!!

Blog post #97

Yes, I have arrived at blog posting number 97. Usually, people celebrate even numbers like 100, 500, 1000, etc. But you see, 97 is a truly special number to me. If you have to ask why, then you obviously do not know me very well.

Where do I begin the story? I suppose it begins in high school, when my friend Catherine brought a musician named Rhett Miller to play an Amnesty International benefit. It was love at first listen. His songs were a unique blend of rock, folk, country, and pop that captivated me. Many of the songs were never released on an album, like “All Right By Me”, “Leavin’ Shoes”, and “L.A. Like a Hole”. I consider myself lucky to have these songs on cassette, and if ever my house burns down, I’m leaving with my cats and that cassette.

When I first heard Old 97’s, I was a little thrown by how heavy the country influence was. Sure, I was used to a little twang and an occasional banjo even (one of the songs one the cassette is an alternate version of “Desperate Times”, found on Hitchhike to Rhome). I was not prepared, however, for the amount of country influence in the CD. This was at a point in my life where I really did not like country music. Fortunately, I received Hitchhike to Rhome as a Christmas gift, and with further listens, I became enamored with the band.

The rest, for me, is history. There is no other artist that has had a bigger influence on my life than Old 97’s. If not for the band, I never would have taken the time to experience the local music scene. They also opened my eyes up to the fact that not all country sounds like Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks.

So on this, blog post number 97, I cannot think of a better thing to do than to discuss Old 97’s. The original plan for this post was to do an interview with Old 97’s bassist, Ken Bethea. Alas, we have been playing quite the game of telephone tag, and while I do still plan to do the interview, that will have to wait. Hopefully I will at least get the interview done in time to celebrate the release of their upcoming CD, Blame It on Gravity. I’ve only heard the lead single, “Dance with Me”, but word of mouth has it that it ranks as one of their finest. So for those disappointed by Drag It Up, perhaps this will be more of the return to form that Drag It Up was supposed to be.

Also, for those who didn’t know, Old 97’s will be playing May 31st at House of Blues. Get your tickets early, as I have no doubt tickets will sell out. I waited late for the last HOB show, and wound up standing in the balcony, last row, FAR right side. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad I was at the show, but standing in the nosebleed section isn’t exactly the best way to experience the band. No, the best way to experience Old 97’s is standing on the floor, packed in like sardines, and screaming the lyrics with 1,000 or so of your new closest friends.

I leave you with a video of Old 97’s performing at Granada Theater last October for the Carter Albrecht Memorial. The song is “Victoria” from their Wreck Your Life CD, and it features the classic line “She lost her lover to an accident at sea/She pushed him overboard and ended up with me”. This is further proof of the songwriting genius that is Rhett Miller. Anywho, enjoy the video, and hurry and get your tickets!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Sure Know How to Pick a Winner!

In the beginning, there was 64. A total of 64 bands competed for the glory of winning Quick magazine's "Battle of the Bands 2008". Well, all the votes have been counted, and unless the guys from Bridges & Blinking Lights bring up the topic of hanging chads, Lovie is this year's winner. My congratulations go out to Lovie, and I am so excited about this victory.

At this point, I would like to mention a few upcoming Lovie shows. Tomorrow night, the band will be playing the Gordon Keith show. If you want to be a part of the studio audience, click here for more information. The show will broadcast Saturday night at 11:35 p.m. on Channel 8. This is worth Tivo-ing (or setting the VCR in my case). Sure, you could stay home at watch it on TV, but I have an even better idea.

Why watch Lovie on television when you can experience the band live in person? The ladies in Lovie have so graciously agreed to headline my current Ghost of Blind Lemon showcase. Tonite Tonite and Klickitat round out this lineup, which is pretty damn fabulous if I do say so myself. The shows starts at 8:00 at Opening Bell Coffee, and while there is no mandatory cover this time around, there is a "suggested donation" of $5, which is really a steal. Come on out, say hi to me, and congratulate Lovie on their victory.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Night Highlights

There's a lot of stuff here, so let's just get straight to it:

Salim Nourallah & The Noise/The Slack/Solly/Flat People (Sons of Hermann Hall)
Marc Solomon has been keeping so busy with Zounds Sounds that he has not done many shows with his current band, Solly. Mr. Solomon breaks away from teaching the kiddos long enough to celebrate his upcoming CD. I haven't heard the new CD yet, but if it's anything like his previous effort, Get It Wrong, It's Alright, expect to hear lots of Cheap Trick influence with a slightly harder rock edge to it, and expect it to be fun. Also, expect this whole night to be a great show, as there are no weak links on this lineup.

Macon Greyson (Adair's)
Did you read my review of 20th Century Accidents yet? Just read the review and let that be the argument for seeing this show.

Tejas Brothers/100 Damned Guns/Boys Named Sue (The Cavern)
OK, pay close attention. There is no cover tonight at The Cavern. You heard me right. This should be of interest to all country fans out there.

Boys Named Sue/The King Bucks (Double-Wide)
Just in case one Boys Named Sue show isn't enough for you, run on down to Double-Wide to see the Boys again. Also, I notice this is the second show in a week that BNS has done with The King Bucks. Makes sense, as these bands go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Kristy Kruger/Dylan Sneed (Opening Bell Coffee)
I've never seen an artist who could pack OBC like Kristy, and tonight should be no exception. Kristy and Dylan will be doing a "song swap" where they play on each other's song. Also, Kristy is celebrating a birthday tonight so you might want to drop in and wish her a happy birthday.

Spitfire Tumbleweeds (Dallas Museum of Art)
When I think of the Dallas Museum of Art, I think of culture. And isn't Spitfire Tumbleweeds the first band that comes to mind when you think of culture? No, it isn't the first one for me either. If you've ever been to one of the late night events sponsored by the DMA, you know that they're less stuffy and more fun than a typical night at the museum. Also, Spitifire Tumbleweeds does not perform much anymore, so if you're a fan of the band, this will be a rare opportunity to see them play live.

Before you go to any of these shows, however, I would encourage you to vote in Quick magazine's Battle of the Bands. Remember, vote for whichever band you think is best, especially if you agree with me in supporting Lovie. So click here to vote, and then go out and have yourself a blast at one of these shows!

March Madness Is Almost Over!

What a crazy road the 2008 Quick Battle of the Bands has been. It started with 64 of the biggest acts in Dallas, and now only two remain. It is a death match between Bridges and Blinking Lights and Lovie. As you may know, Lovie is playing the Ghost of Blind Lemon Showcase on March 29th at Opening Bell Coffee. I was just imagining what a rush it would be to get the honor and priviledge of introducing Lovie to the crowd as the winner of the Battle of the Bands.

Of course I think that my readers need to vote their musical conscience, whatever that may be. But if you want my opinion (and I'm gathering that you do or else you wouldn't be here), then Lovie is the deserving champion of this fight. If you feel the same about Lovie, then I urge you to click here in order to vote. Voting ends March 25th at noon, so PLEASE, do not delay. Come on readers, we can make this happen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Review: Macon Greyson, 20th Century Accidents

According to, an accident is defined as “an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss.” If you go by that definition, then Macon Greyson’s latest CD, 20th Century Accidents, is deceptive advertising.

Songs as catchy as “Black Light”, “Minnesota Weather Map”, and the title track do not occur by mere accident. It takes large amounts of skill and effort by a songwriter of the caliber of Buddy Huffman and the rest of the Macon Greyson crew. Many of the songs on the album, on the surface, sound like the perfect soundtrack to a party. But here’s the thing: if you’re willing to dig a little deeper, these songs have more meaning than one might initially think. “John Q Blues” is the perfect example of such a track. Dig beneath the Strokes meet Son Volt groove, and you’ll discover a humorous yet insightful look at the frustrations of everyday life.

Traditionally, the slow songs on the Macon Greyson CD’s are the weakest points, but this time around, the slower songs hold their own with the faster tunes. “Beams” brings a slight soulful and bluesy edge to this mid-tempo rocker, and the stripped down “I’m Still Here” gives me goosebumps with every listen.

This is a CD filled with intent and not accidents. More importantly, the band accomplishes the goal of putting together twelve killer tracks that blend all the best elements of country and rock. The title is 20th Century Accidents, but 21st Century Genius would be a more fitting title.

(If you want to experience the music live, Macon Greyson will be playing at Adair’s tomorrow night. And if you go, tell ‘em “The Ghost” sent you)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Final Four

No, this is not a blog entry about college basketball. I do not know the final four remaining teams in March Madness, and to be totally honest, I could not care less about it. The only bracket style battle I care about is Quick magazine’s Battle of the Bands ’08. It’s been an interesting battle so far, and there have been some great artists that I’ve been disappointed haven’t made it further (Salim Nourallah and Dove Hunter, for example). Nevertheless, two bands I dearly love have made it into the Final Four.

Battle #1: Bridges and Blinking Lights vs. THe BAcksliders
Don’t get me wrong; I saw B&BL for the first time this weekend and enjoyed the show. However, there are very few bands in Dallas that can match the energy and intensity of THe BAcksliders. Kim Pendleton is one of the finest female vocalists in Dallas, and this band showcases her vocal prowess in a way that I feel her previous band, Vibrolux, could not do. The band manages the balancing act of allowing Kim to show off her talents yet allowing the remaining members to shine in the spotlight as well. That is a good thing, when you have as skillful a guitar player as Chris Bonner, plus Taylor Young is one of my favorite drummers in this part. Add Chris’ brother Jason into the mix on bass guitar, and you have a musical force to be reckoned with. Oh, and save your pennies, because their upcoming CD, You’re Welcome, is a must purchase. So obviously, my vote goes to THe BAcksliders

Battle #2: Headkrack vs. Lovie.
Let me confess a certain bias here: as I have Lovie booked for my next GOBL showcase at Opening Bell Coffee (March 29th is the date), I’m obviously rooting for this band. It’s apparent that I am not the only fan of this band out here. Lovie has received plenty of acclaim from Cindy Chaffin (Fine Line Live) and Rich Lopez (Dallas Observer), as well as from yours truly. Why is that? Simple: Lovie focuses on producing simple pop nuggets that are sure to get stuck in your head. Don’t let the fact that this is an all female band fool you; these ladies are great musicians and songwriters who know what they are doing both onstage and on their CD, Harshmellow. While I have lots of respect for Headkrack and his skills behind the mic, my support goes to Lovie.

I would encourage you to click here and cast your vote for whoever you think is best. And if you need something to do later tonight, head on out to Double-Wide and watch The Felons open up for Run Run Run. If you haven't heard The Felons before, watch this live performance of "My Best State" and see for yourself why I love this band.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patty’s Day Stuff

Sure, Saturday was the big Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade, but the real holiday is today. So it’s time to grab a green beer or Irish Car Bomb (the drink, not the explosive) and check out some cool live music. The options are more limited since it’s a Monday, but I still have two shows to recommend.

The first is at Idle Rich, where I spent last Saturday checking out Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights and Bridges & Blinking Lights. To celebrate the day, they’ve chosen two local acts that better represent the Irish spirit. The show starts at 5:00 with U2.0 kicking off the festivities. They’re a U2 cover band (big shocker there), but the twist is that all their covers are acoustic. Then at 7:30, The Killdares (pictured at left) take the stage, meshing together traditional Irish music with a definite American rock sound.

Over at The Old Monk, the music sounds less like what you’d hear in Dublin, Ireland, and more like what you’d hear in Dublin, Texas. Boys Named Sue (pictured at left) and Drams side project King Bucks will provide the soundtrack to your evening. I wouldn’t count on any Irish music being played there, unless if Hank Williams Sr. or Johnny Cash have a little Irish blood in them. Hey, you never know.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It’s Good to be Back

Well, I finally got a new graphics card for my PC, reconnecting me with the world of the internet that I have been disconnected from for way too long. I have my PC back, which not only allows me to get online, but I left my copy of Airline’s Farewell Republica in the computer, leaving me without the CD for over a week. I have heard the band be compared to The Shins and Radiohead (The Bends period), but frankly, I hear an incredible amount of Beatles influence in many of the tracks. Think of Paul’s darker songs, or almost anything they did ranging from ’67-’69, and you get a fairly good feel of where their musical heart lies. Admittedly, I missed my computer more than the CD, but I’ve been meaning to put some good words for the CD, and now seemed like a good time.

So much can happen in a week, and without internet access, it’s so easy to miss out on local music news. One perfect example of this is the story of Sloppyworld. Apparently the club was shut down, and while they are trying to reopen and file the appropriate paperwork to pacify “The Man”, the venue’s future is certain. I never got to attend a show there, but this town needs all the music venues it can get. And from what I know about Sloppyworld, they had a track record of getting some of the better indie bands in Dallas to play there, including The Tah-Dah’s, The Theater Fire, Silk Stocking, and many others. The future of the club is uncertain, and I wish club owner John Freeman the best, and I hope the club sees brighter days ahead.

I also missed out on the opportunity to discuss all that is worth seeing at SXSW. Not only did I miss out on writing the festival, finances prevented me from going. I’d tell you who I would have liked to see at both official and free shows, but it kinda seems beside the point right now. I did, however, get to see Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights play at The Idle Rich Pub on McKinney Avenue. The band accrued a bar tab the size of some third world country’s budgets, but after the incredible set the band put on, they earned it. Many people use the label “southern rock” for JT&NL, but that is a severe oversimplification of their style. The band sounds like a mixture of late 60’s and early 70’s soul, blues, and classic rock. The members manage to recreate the sound of that period while keeping it sounding fresh and energetic and never clich├ęd or contrived. I’m going out on a limb here, but Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights just might be the best live band in Dallas.

Speaking of great local music, I’m pleased to announce that I will be holding another show at Opening Bell Coffee. Lovie will be the headliner, with Tonite Tonite and Klickitat also playing on the bill. The date is March 29th, and you need to reserve that date on your calendar.

There’s more I could tell you about, but that’ll do it for now. You don’t know how good it is to be able to be back in touch with everyone and be able to blog again.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Graphics Card, Anyone?

My computer's graphics card went kaput this Saturday. As a result, I will not be able to update this blog as frequently as I would like. This is particularly bad timing as I want to be able to give some good SXSW updates. I will try to blog some, but my access to internet is limited until I get my graphics card replaced. In the meantime, I'm still trying to compile a list of good free shows in Austin. If you'd like your show listed, go to my profile to find my email addy and drop me a line.

Until my computer is working, check out the following blogs:

The Fine Line
Boca Tinta (assuming there are new posts)
Adventures in Live Music

And finally, check out the newly ressurected Sample Press!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Before You Get Off Work...

You need to plan what you're doing tonight. Don't know what to do? Here are some suggestions:

Somebody's Darling (Club Dada)
I saw them last week for the second time. They blew me away the first time I saw them, and they blew me away again last Saturday. I'll give the band this: they are consistent.
THe BAcksliders, The Push, Binary Sunrise (Barley House)I also saw THe BAcksliders with Somebody's Darling last week. Man, what a show that was. THe BAcksliders are gonna be touring a lot more now, so if you haven't seen them lately, you might want to see them now before you start getting BAcksliders cravings. I haven't seen The Push, but the word on the street is they're good. I haven't seen Binary Sunrise either, but Steven Holt (Tablet, OHNO) is in the band, and that's usually a pretty good sign.
The Slack, Romallice, Spivey (Lakewood Bar & Grill)It's The Slack. Need I say more?
Lovie, The McKenzies, The Felons (City Tavern)
In case you didn't know, Lovie's also gonna be playing at Opening Bell on March 29th, headlining another Ghost Of Blind Lemon showcase. As for The Felons, I seem to keep missing their shows, which is an absolute shame. They're definitely one of the best bands I've discovered in the past year or so. And I'll be missing The Felons again tonight. Why am I missing them again, you ask?
The Drams, Pleasant Grove, Doug Burr (Sons of Hermann Hall)
This is the reason I'm missing The Felons. Oh, and don't let the order of the lineup fool you. The Drams are the last band playing, but tonight is all about the almighty Pleasant Grove. This is their last show before Marcus moves to NYC. I've heard varying rumors as to whether or not the band is breaking up. Marcus says they are not breaking up; only time will tell whether or not this is the last PG show ever. God, I hope not. Even if it is, the band would be hard pressed to find two better artists to share the stage with for the last time. Doug Burr's On Promenade is the best CD I've heard from these parts since Sorta's Little Bay, and The Drams never disappointment. Yes, folks, this is the show to be at tonight.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Super Tuesday in Texas... Ghost of Blind Lemon Style

In honor of the primaries occurring today in Texas, I decided to do a little survey of local musicians, club owners, and others involved in the local music scene to get a feel for where they stood politically. First of all, I am hoping to see a greater turnout at the polls than I had for my survey. Out of fifteen surveys, I only got two responses back. What follows are some of the responses from the two individuals who responded. The first is Jeff Liles, who may be living in L.A. in the moment, but is still a critical part of the local music scene. The other is rapper Pikahsso from the group PPT.

Here's a little sampling of the survey:

Q: Are you voting Tuesday:
A: Already voted early, when I was in town for Erykah Badu's record release party (Liles). Is pig punnany pork? (Pikahsso)

Q: If you are voting, who are you voting for?
A: My name is PikahssObama until after March 4th; make an hypothesis. (Pikahsso, obviously). Obama (Liles).

Q: Why are you voting for that candidate?
A: Because he is brilliant (Liles). Cause he's a blackman and I like what he stands for/and comedian Rickey Smiley spoke so well on him he made me a believer (Pikahsso).

Q: What do you think is the most pressing problem facing this country?
A: The economy (Liles). Gas/health/bitter women (Pikahsso).

I thank Pikahsso and Jeff Liles for their time and for sharing their opinions. I'd be curious to know the candidates' platform positions on reducing the number of bitter women. If I ever find out, Pikahsso, I'll let you know.

Personally, I plan to vote for Obama. I feel that he is the candidate most likely to create change in Washington D.C., which is exactly what this country needs. Also, I believe that no other candidate this year has shown the passion for supporting this country's poor and working middle class than Obama has. Whether or not you agree with me, I encourage you to vote for the candidate that you feel is best.

On a lighter note, today marks the 3rd round in voting for the Quick Battle of the Bands. I didn't make any comments on the previous round, but let me note that 69% of the candidates I supported in the first round made it into the next round. Wow, if that were a grade in school, it'd almost be passing. Almost.

So here's a recap: vote in the election, vote for Quick, and vote Ghost of Blind Lemon in the Dallas Observer Music Awards. Okay, so voting hasn't started yet on that one, but I gotta start campaigning early. Hey, you snooze, you lose.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

31 Days, 31 Posts

I was reading a blog entry written by Pikahsso on MySpace yesterday. He was talking about Pikahsso for Dummies, a collection of early songs of his. I must say, I particularly enjoy the School House Rock remix of Verb, but that’s just me. Here is the real reason I’m bringing up his blog entry. At the very end of his blog, he added a post script, and this is what he said: “Remember this BLOG was done on the strength of having nothing else to BLOG about this BLOGing everyday thing is getting harder each day and im trying to keep it up...verb”

I was struck by his commitment to writing every day, even when it was difficult for him. As you readers know by now, I do not publish new entries on a regular basis. It’s quite difficult to do that, especially since I have a day job that takes up much of my time. As a result, I have missed great opportunities to blog about some great shows and other occurrences in the local music scene. Chris Bonner of THe BAcksliders was even wondering why I have not been posting more entries.

So to Pikahsso, Chris Bonner, and all my other readers, I thank you for the encouragement and kind words. I have made a decision. For the month of March, I am following in the footsteps of Pikahsso and resolve to post at least one blog each day this month.

So what will I blog about? I’m sure I’ll have some stuff about SXSW, of course. And of course, I will have the usual updates on good shows in the metroplex. Beyond that, who knows? Perhaps I’ll finally get some album reviews done. Maybe I’ll land an interview with Erykah Badu. OK, so that last one is rather unlikely. Although if you’re reading this, Ms. Badu, I’m totally down with the idea. Seriously.

So you heard it here first. You will be seeing more Ghost of Blind Lemon posts this month than any other month since I’ve started. You can expect fresh daily content here. And as always, I encourage my readers to communicate with me. Let me know what bands you think are good. Let me know which bands are not good. Let me know whatever else is on your mind that pertains to the local music scene. I hope to make March the best month that this blog has had yet.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours Floods

Some weekends you find yourself desperately hunting for a good show. Other weekends you find so many good shows, you find yourself frustrated at the fact that you can’t be seven places at once. This Saturday definitely falls under the latter category. Here are the seven places and shows I’d like to be at tonight.

THe BAcksliders, Somebody’s Darling, Copperwound (Lakewood Bar & Grill)
Tonight, I get the joy of seeing two of my favorite bands play together. THe BAcksliders combine Beatlesque harmony and melodies with a mixture of punk, blues, and good old fashioned rock and roll, while Somebody’s Darling plays gritty southern rock music infused with soul and vocals reminiscent of Janis Joplin. When two artists of this caliber perform, a party is sure to ensue. Oh, tonight is the birthday of Chris Bonner of THe BAcksliders, so this show gets upgraded from normal party status to ultra party status. This show is not for the faint of heart partier.

Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, The Campaign (Granada Theater)
This time last year, I would have said “Jonathan Who”? In that time span, JT&NL have become one of the largest bands in Dallas. How did they pull it off? Their method is simple: put on a show with first class musicianship and throw it lots of fun. I mean LOTS of fun. The Granada is a great setting for these guys, leaving plenty of room for the many fans they’ve acquired in the past year. Enjoy them here while you can, because I suspect this time next year they’ll be playing venues twice or even three times that size. It’s also worth noting that openers The Campaign know how to write a good song or ten themselves.

Pleasant Grove, Stumptone, Crushed Stars (Double-Wide)
As I’m sure everyone knows by now, PG lead singer Marcus Striplin is moving to The Big Apple. This show is sure to be one of your last opportunities to see the band for a long time, so take advantage.

Macon Greyson (Woody’s Tavern)
If you’re in Fort Worth, this is where you need to be. No excuses. With the exception of Old 97’s, no one does alt-country better than these guys. Yes, that’s a lofty statement, and I totally stand behind it. And Dallas folk, fear not, as the ne’er do wells from Macon Greyson return to Adair’s tomorrow night to celebrate the club’s 45th anniversary.

Blue Petal/Rahim Quazi (White Rock Coffee)These two artists opened up my first musical showcase at Opening Bell Coffee, and they both did a great job of kicking off that evening right. Even though I had no hand in this lineup, it is sure to be as good a night of music as the Opening Bell Coffee show was. Rahim will be playing lots of stuff from the upcoming album Supernatural, which I have no doubt will be one of my favorite CDs this year. By the way, Rahim, how much longer do we have to wait?

Record Hop/Swedish Teens/American Werewolf Academy (Rubber Gloves)
If by now you aren’t familiar with Record Hop and their ability to perfectly walk the tightrope of noise and melody, then you need to get out more. Instead of raving about Record Hop, I’d like to spend this time discussing American Werewolf Academy, one of the most underappreciated bands in this town. They don’t get to play many shows, since they have to share their drummer, Tony Harper, with The Drams. That makes it even more important to see them when you can. Their songs are 2 minute gems of pure pop happiness, sounding like a perfect blend of the best parts of The Monkees and The Buzzcocks. Songs like “The Good Time Kids” and “Bearfield Fight Song” are sure to get under the skin of even the most jaded and pretentious music fans, lingering in their heads for days, maybe even weeks.

Airline, Lifters (Barley House)
Tonight is the CD Release Party for Airline’s Farewell Republica. I was not a big fan of their EP they released a few years back, but for all practical purposes, this is a totally different band. The songs from Farewell are solid pop songs with a certain dark undercurrent running through them. Although the twangy style of opening band Lifters doesn’t seem like a natural fit, it’s still a bill with two great bands. And after all, isn’t that enough?

After writing this, I’m starting work on the cloning machine. If that doesn’t work, however, I’ll probably go to Lakewood Bar & Grill to celebrate Chris Bonner’s birthday, and maybe afterwards, I’ll swing over to Barley House to catch a bit of Airline. As for the other five shows, sorry, but there’s only one of me to go around. Not unless the cloning machine works, that is.