Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Good Buys Indeed

This weekend, Kettle Art will open an exhibition called Good Buy. It will feature various band-related art that has been hanging in some Deep Ellum clubs for the past few decades. Just look below to see a sample of some of the works available for purchase.

The exhibition begins this Saturday, the same night as my anniversary show. The gallery will be open from 7-10 pm, so feel free to leave the show (momentarily of course) and see what's for sale. Oh, and if anyone feels like buying me an early birthday gift of the autographed Old 97's poster, I would not object. Really, it wouldn't bother me at all.

P.S. It seems that blogger only allows stationary photos, so click on the Kettle Art link to get a better view of all the art for sale.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some Big and Crazy News

First, let me tell you the big news. Those of you who know me personally have probably heard me talk about the showcase I’m holding at Club Dada this Saturday in honor of the one year anniversary of GOBL. I am proud to FINALLY announce the official lineup of the show.

6:45 Kristina Morland
7:30 American Werewolf Academy
8:15 Rahim Quazi (solo)
9:00 The Felons
10:00 the cut*off
11:00 THe BAcksliders
12:00 Rose County Fair
1:00 Somebody's Darling

The cover is $10, and considering both the quantity and quality of bands, that’s simply a steal. Spread the word and tell your friends about this show.

Now comes the crazy news. Actually, it’s news about the Crazy Jeff Show. I met Jeff at THe BAcksliders CD Release show, and he’s definitely one cool guy. He’s recording a live podcast tonight with very special guest Sean Kirkpatrick. Word on the street is that Mr. Kirkpatrick is going to debut some brand spankin’ new songs on the show. Isn’t that reason enough to listen?

If you think the answer to that question is “no”, then seek immediate psychiatric help. That is reason enough to listen to the show, but I still have one more reason for you to tune in. Jeff interviewed me earlier today, and that interview will be part of the podcast. We’ll be talking about my showcase on Saturday among other topics. The live broadcast begins at 9:00. What else are you going to do tonight, watch repeats of Without a Trace? This is so much cooler.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sample This!!!

I met Jason and Jennifer Manriquez several years ago at the old Barley House during a Deathray Davies show. We very quickly bonded over our love of both Deathray Davies as well as the local music scene. They ran a little fanzine called Sample Press. This was back before I had regular internet access, and it was the first time I had seen a publication that showed such a true passion for the local music scene.

As time went by, Sample Press quit making new issues. Well, in recent months, not only has the Sample Press website been resurrected, but they have published their first issue in about two years. The zine has some expanded their focus, including poetry, short fiction, art, theater, and reviews of other zines, but the devotion to the local music scene is still in full tact. If you want your own copy of Sample Press (and after all, why wouldn't you?), then go to the Sample Press website, send a donation (it is a non-profit zine after all), and the July 2008 issue can be all yours. Oh, and it's worth noting that my review of Rahim Quazi's Supernatural CD was reprinted in the issue. Sure, you've probably read it on this site, but let that show the love I have for Sample Press. Only Sample Press has gotten permission to reprint my articles.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Forgive Me If I Rant, But It Has Been Awhile

I got an email last week from Chris Bonner (THe BAcksliders). It was a pretty simple email saying “Hope everything is going well for you. Miss your blogs.” I must admit that as the summer has come, I have become exceptionally bad about writing on a regular basis. It’s ironic, as I have far more free time over the summer to write than during the rest of the year. Unfortunately, this summer has not been kind to my bank account, and stress over finances among other things has distracted me from making regular blog entries.

A lot has happened during this past month that has come and gone without me giving the events the attention they deserve. One such event is the demise of Red Blood Club. My experience with the club is extremely limited. Most of the music performed there is much heavier than what I personally prefer to listen to. But while Red Blood Club did not cater to my personal music tastes, I still find its closing to be very troubling. Our city is at a point where the selection for live music venues is becoming more and more limited. And for those whose music taste leaned more towards punk, metal, and other forms of hardcore music, the loss of Red Blood leaves a chasm in the local music scene. Even worse, I am not sure that there is a club equipped to “fill the shoes” of Red Blood, so to speak. And like I said, while I did not particularly care for the music played there, I do care about Dallas music, and the local music scene is not a vacuum. Anytime that one part of the local music scene has a loss, its effect will reverberate through the rest of the scene.

Our scene is also experiencing certain musical losses too. In the past month, I have learned of the end of two great bands: PPT and The Tah Dah’s. I only had the privilege of seeing PPT perform on less than a handful of occasions, but the collective skill of all the members behind the mic never ceased to amaze me. Fortunately, while the band itself is gone, I have no doubt that the remaining members will manage to put forth some mind-blowing solo releases. Still, it’s a shame. As for the Tah Dah’s, while the band is still together, this will not be the case for long. My understanding is that Roy is leaving Dallas, and that the group will likely play its last show in August. In a MySpace bulletin posted by lead vocalist Roy Ivy, he goes on about how the local music scene is dead, and how it has been dead for a long time.

With all due respect to Mr. Ivy, I must strongly disagree with his position. I’m not going to lie and say that everything is sunshine and roses here in the metroplex. The music scene is hurting for many reasons. One of the most obvious problems facing the scene is the lack of venues here. In the past few years, we have lost Trees, Club Clearview, Red Blood Club, and Gypsy Tea Room, and that’s just for starters. The state of the national economy is also playing a part in the problems facing our scene. In times of economic crisis, people cut back on the nonessentials, and to most people, seeing local bands would be classified as a nonessential.

Yes, the local music scene has seen far better times than now. Still, it is way too premature to say that the scene is dead. You see, Dallas and its neighboring cities still have one weapon in their music arsenals: the musicians. Yes, the number of venues is down. Yes, there are far fewer record labels to promote bands than there were even five years ago. But the quality music is still here, begging to be listened to. In the past month, I have been blown away by performances by my first listens to Elle, Here, In Arms, Binary Sunrise, and Kristina Morland. And so far this year, CD’s by Rahim Quazi, Airline, Inner City All-Stars, Ms. Morland, and THe BAcksliders have all proven that there is first rate talent here in our metroplex. The question is, is anybody listening?

Well, are you?