Monday, September 29, 2008

The Best Band I Will Miss Out On

Before Pete Freedman took on his role as music editor for the Dallas Observer, the paper published an article where various people gave advice to the then future music editor. One of the contributors made the suggestion “don’t get in a relationship.” The reasoning was that by getting in a relationship, it would distract focus from the local music scene, and that one great band would come and go that he would have totally missed out on.

Here’s the reason I bring this up. Those of you who know me personally are aware that I have recently entered a relationship. I have found a woman that makes me genuinely happy and I am deliriously in love. I must confess, however, that this new relationship has distracted me from my blogging, as you may have gathered from my infrequent posts.

(For the record, work and financial stresses have also distracted me, so if anyone knows how I can blog full time for a living, my ears are wide open.)

Back to my original point, however. There are some great bands out about town that at the rate I’m going, I seem destined to never get to see. I figured I’d throw out a few nominees for The Best Band I Will Miss Out On. These are bands that I have every reason to believe are quality acts, but for some reason, I seem to keep missing shows by said acts.

Here are just a few potential nominees:

The Liking Strikes
They seem to be a particularly fitting place to start, since I was supposed to check them out the night of my first date with my girlfriend. Their sound leans very heavily on the pop side of things, but don’t let that scare you off. Songs like “Stupid Girl” (no relation to the Garbage song) are so dang catchy that even the most pretentious indie rock hipster will be unable to shake it out of his or her head. Word of mouth has it that they put on a mean acoustic set as well. Electric or non-electric, this is one band I hope gets moved over to the “seen” category very soon.

The O’s
Here’s what you need to know about the O’s. It features Taylor Young and John Pedigo. If you don’t know who those two musicians are, you need to get out more often. A lot will be expected of this duo, considering the fact that both artists seem incapable of being in a bad band. In fact, both musicians are talented enough that they could make a sucky band sound good. So while a lot will be expected from The O’s, I have no reason to believe they will do anything other than live up to the promise, and maybe even surpass it.

Cocky Americans
They say you can learn a lot about a person by the company they keep. Wonder if the same holds true for bands? If so, then Cocky Americans are in excellent shape. In recent months, they’ve played with Rahim Quazi, Somebody’s Darling, and the aforementioned Liking Strikes. They’re also playing at the Cavern this Friday with Fate Lions, another great band that I’ve been missing out on long before the GF. Oh, and the band makes good music. Can’t forget that detail.

The band has used the phrase “acoustic shoegaze sound” in regards to their music. That would be a very dead on description. Imagine if Nick Drake was resurrected and became the front man for Lush for their first few CD’s, and that’s a good start for describing Menkena. I can’t promise how this will translate live, as neither Nick Drake nor pretty much any shoegaze band has had much in the way of stage presence. If the music can remain as beautiful onstage as it sounds recorded, however, this band definitely is worth checking out.

If you know of any great bands that you think I am missing out on, don’t be shy. Post a comment and let me know. Maybe I might even catch one of the bands you recommend. Granted, they can no longer be in the running for “Best Band I Will Miss Out On”, but I always prefer seeing good bands to missing out on good bands. I’m just funny that way.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For Those About To Download, We Salute You

For those who are friends with THe BAcksliders on MySpace, you've probably noticed that they have been offering up free downloads right before they play a major gig in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Tomorrow night they play at the Fairmount, along with Goodwin and the cut*off (one of my absolute favorite bands in Dallas). So this week, they have offered up their song "Wedding Day" as the free download.

Obviously, I would encourage you to download the song if you don't have their CD, You're Welcome, yet. More importantly, I hope it encourages you to make it to the show. They performed at my GOBL showcase this past year. While I watched their set, I remembered that in March of this year, I said that Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights might be the best live band in Dallas. After THe BAcksliders finished their set, I was ready to retract my statement. And by the way, congrats go out to JT&NL, who were just picked up by Atlantic Records. But here's a thought for any record execs reading this blog: THe BAcksliders, unlike JT&NL, are unsigned... for now. Just trying to give some food for thought to any record company bigwigs in need of a great new band to sign. That's all.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane, Shmurricane… How About Some Good Shows?

Thanks, Crazy Jeff, for the not to subtle reminder that I need to blog more. I have more interesting things planned for some future entries, but for now, here are a few cool show ideas. Remember: you are in Dallas, not Houston. We may get some nasty weather as a side effect of Ike, but while I am not a meteorologist, I suspect it will not be so bad that you can’t make it to a show. Speaking of shows, here are a few recommendations.

Method Mayhem BBQ (Club Dada)
I don’t know what impact the weather will have on the barbecue part of the show, but I do know that most of the bands originally slated to play are still on the lineup. Out of towners Records Record Records and Deadman both had to bail, but everyone else on the original lineup remains. Almost every artist on the lineup I have seen and have nothing but great things to say. While I haven’t seen The O’s, who kick off the show at 4:00 pm, I cannot imagine anything but great things from the duo of Taylor Young (THe BAcksliders, The Hundred Inevitables) and John Pedigo (Boys Named Sue, Rose County Fair). Greatness seems to be the only logical conclusion with such a pairing.

The Tah-Dah’s, Laura Palmer (Amsterdam Bar)
This is it. The Tah-Dah’s are over. Done. Finished. After tonight, they become yet another band in the graveyard of great local bands that have come and gone. But knowing Roy Ivy and the rest of his bandmates, they will not go down quietly. Expect loud music, mayhem, drunkenness, and other forms of joyous celebration.

The Farstar, Ella Minnow, Clay & The Electronic Cowboys (City Tavern)
The only band on the lineup I’ve seen is The Farstar. They are one of those rare bands that has the potential to appeal equally to both the indie-rock music aficionado crowd as well as the Curtain Club crowd (where they headlined last night). I know, you’re skeptical, but if you give these guys a listen, I suspect you will not be disappointed. All I know of Ella Minnow is the song “Quick and Clean”, which has quickly become one of my favorite tracks to listen to while on I still haven’t seen Clay perform yet. I will make it to a show eventually. I promise. Based on what I’ve heard online, I’m sure it will be a pleasurable show.
SPUNE Back to School Show (Lola’s)
I don’t know many bands on the lineup, but Somebody’s Darling and Macon Greyson are reason enough to go. If you’re lucky, perhaps SD will have copies of their EP available for sale. If not, go check them out tomorrow at The Cavern. If you get there before 7:30, you get a free CD with price of admission. Sweet, huh?
2nd Annual Blind Lemon Blues Festival (Poor David’s Pub)
I’ll be honest, I don’t know any of the blues musicians playing the show. Still, there’s something about the name of the festival that I find quite appealing. It’s hard to put my finger on it though.

Please, if you do go to any of these shows, drive carefully. Hurricane Ike may not be in Dallas, but there will be plenty of nasty weather to contend with out on the roads. And of course, bad weather brings out all the idiot drivers. Just be safe. I want to see your smiling faces at many more great shows