Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something Sorta Amazing Is About to Happen

A couple of weeks ago, when mentioning Trey Johnson’s show at Allgood Café, I said it would be a “nice warmup for the show I’m looking most forward to this month.” That show arrives tonight at the House of Blues Cambridge Room as Sorta holds their long overdue CD Release Party for their new CD, simply entitled Sorta. Buttercup from San Antonio and “Best Band I’ll Miss Out On” nominees The O’s will open for the band. Cover is $15, and everyone who pays to get in receives the new Sorta disc free of charge.

This is a particularly exciting show, since this will be the first time the band has played in over a year. Many of the members of Sorta have kept themselves quite busy. Chris Holt not only has his own band, The Slack, but also plays on a regular basis with Salim Nourallah, Johnny Lloyd Rollins, and I’m sure there’s a project or five that I’m leaving out. Bassist Danny Balis is now a full time member of the King Bucks. Ward Williams packed his bags earlier this year in order to move to Nashville. The band has recently started rehearsing again to prepare for the show. It will be interesting to hear how the members sound now.

What most audience members will be focusing on, however, isn’t what is on stage, but rather what is missing from the stage. Without the musical talents of Carter Albrecht on stage, the band will not just sound incomplete, they will be incomplete. There will be no incredible keyboard solo on “Hospitals and Sex” or “85 Feet”, nor will he be wailing on guitar during “Fallinlove” or any of the other Sorta classics. The only void larger than the one left in this band is the void left in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing the man.

I’m sure this show will have more than its share of sadness and tears. The band, just like Carter himself, was cut short in its prime. Sorta should have been one more step in the evolution of the band rather than the final album. In spite of the sadness and loss, however, this show offers fans an opportunity to both say goodbye and celebrate the music of Sorta. And it allows another opportunity to celebrate the beautiful life of Carter Albrecht.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Sound of Silence

Want to know what's really annoying? Being without sound on my computer. Apparently, I need to purchase a new sound card for my computer. Alas, money is something I'm always short on these days, so that may have to wait until next month, and perhaps even later. We'll see.

This is particularly annoying since two of my favorite local bands have posted new tracks that I haven't heard yet, and cannot hear until the sound card is installed. "Devil's Basement" is a new track from Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights. I have a feeling this will be one of the tracks on their upcoming Atlantic Records release. The other track is "That's How We Do Christmas" from THe BAcksliders. Admittedly, it's a tad early to be listening to Christmas music. Even so, the track is available for free download thru both and Reverb Nation. That way, you can download now, and listen once the holiday spirit moves you.

Just a random thought here: earlier this year I said JT&NL might well be the best live band in Dallas, but over the summer I changed my mind to THe BAcksliders. I think the best way to determine which band is best live would be for both acts to play together for a Ghost of Blind Lemon Showcase Showdown. Any takers for this idea?

Friday, October 17, 2008

An EXTREMELY brief look at Friday Shows

Don't have long, so I'm just giving the 3 best show options for tonight. I'm sure I'm leaving out some good stuff. Oh well.

Jimmy LaFave/Rahim Quazi (Palace Theatre)
For the record, I still haven't had ANYONE answer the trivia question to receive free tickets to this show. It's a shame, because you don't want to miss out on Rahim playing songs from his new CD, Supernatural (hint hint). I'm excited to see him play, as well as seeing this venue.
Lovie/El Gato/Happy Bullets (Club Dada)
I'm not sure of the order of the lineup. I do know, however, that this is the last show of Lovie's with Grace on drums. Fans of Lovie should make this a priority show.
Mucca Pazza/Dove Hunter/Mount Righteous/Telegraph Canyon/Stumptone/Baby Dee (Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth)
Here's something for those who like a little culture with their rock n' roll. Dove Hunter is one of the most impressive live bands around, and Telegraph Canyon aren't too shabby either. Haven't seen Mount Righteous or Stumptone yet, but word of mouth on both is impressive. Easily worth the $15 admission.

Feel free to post comments telling me about the shows I forgot to list. Honestly, it won't hurt my feelings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Part II)

A thought occurred to me. Yes, sure I can show you pictures and talk about the Palace Theatre. What might be more effective, however, would be to let you SEE the theater with your own eyes. I have been generously granted a pair of tickets to give away for Friday night's show with Jimmy LaFave and Rahim Quazi & The Supernaturals.

So how can you get these tickets? It's simple. The first person to email me at with the correct answer to the following question gets the tickets:

What is the name of the album that Rahim Quazi released earlier this year?

Come on, if you've been reading my blog, this is a gimme. A no-brainer. Easy as pie.

Be sure to include your first and last name in the email, along with the answer to said question. Good luck to you all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Heard It through the Grapevine (Palace Theatre, That Is)

I’ll be completely honest: when I think of areas in the metroplex for seeing local music, the city of Grapevine isn’t exactly at the top of my list. The first thing that enters my mind when mentioning the city’s name is Grapevine Mills Mall. Granted, the Glass Cactus does book plenty of cover bands and even the occasional flashback touring band, but that’s not really my cup of tea.

Well, my viewpoints on Grapevine and music are getting a severe makeover. If you’ve been paying attention to my blog in recent days, you have heard me making mention of the Palace Theatre in Grapevine. Rahim Quazi, both one of my favorite musicians and human beings, is responsible for breathing life into the theater. He is the one responsible for the theater’s Sounds of Texas concert series. To quote Mr. Quazi, he is “so excited to be a part of creating a quality music experience and introducing this gem of a theater to Dallas and Fort Worth.”

The Sound of Texas concert series began last Friday, with a show featuring Bob Schneider and Johnny Lloyd Rollins. For each show, a major Texas artist headlines the show, and a local favorite opens. This week’s show features Mr. Quazi himself opening up for Jimmy LaFave. You can also check out Del Castillo and Blue Petal on November 14th.

So while Grapevine may not have much of a music scene right now, the Palace is definitely a step towards the creation of one. Between the quality of music being booked and the beauty of the theater (just look at the photos below), this venue could not only satisfy the musical cravings of those in Grapevine, but also draw people in from all around the metroplex area. Since it seems that it is becoming harder and harder to find quality music in these parts, you just find that it’s worth the drive to check this place out.

Random Musings

It seems as if there are not enough hours in the day for me to report on the local music stories that are worth talking about. Here are random blips that almost got lost in the shuffle.

You probably know this already, but congratulations go out to Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, who were recently signed to Atlantic Records. My only complaint: instead of using the great Ghost of Blind Lemon blog to break the story, they instead opted to tell Dallas Observer first. Guys, you’re breaking my heart here. I think the band at least owes me some free press passes for the oversight. Just kidding, but if the band wants to get me in free, I won’t turn it down.

Another band deserving of some congrats is Somebody’s Darling. They recently won a Battle of the Bands competition sponsored by Shiner Bock. If memory serves correctly, the band won studio time to record their next CD, and I also believe they will be signed to Shiner Records. I’ve been saying for about a year that this band will hit it big; it appears my predictions were correct.

THe BAcksliders are top 10 finalists in a Battle of the Bands (sponsored by Teen Vogue magazine) exclusively for bands with female leads. The top three bands will play off against each other in New York City, and the winner will be signed to Wicked Cool Records. This is just my belief here, but I think that if THe BAcksliders can just make it to the top three, they can easily annihilate any other band they’d play against. Click here for the link to vote for the band.

I also wanted to make a quick mention of two different series of shows that deserve further attention. One is Sounds of Texas at the Palace Theater in Grapevine, and the other is an acoustic music series hosted by yours truly at the Dunn Brothers Coffee location at LBJ & Dallas North Tollway. You’ll be hearing more about both sets of shows in the very, very near future. Keep checking back here to find out all the juicy details.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Oversight on My Part

I mentioned that Macon Greyson is playing at Adair's on Friday Night. What I forgot to mention is that the band always plays BOTH nights of the Texas/OU weekend at Adair's. If you missed out last night, come tonight. If you went last night, well, you can see them again. Just thought everyone should know that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Texas/OU Weekend Review

Here’s the bad news: our fine city is about to be invaded by a bunch of Okies who are under the mistaken impression that OU are superior to the University of Texas. Here’s the good news: since the bars, clubs, and other music venues like taking the money of both UT and OU fans, you can always count on some killer shows this weekend. Here’s a little peak at some of the musical mayhem occurring this weekend.

Macon Greyson (Adair’s)
I discovered this band in 2004, right before their first weekend of Texas/OU shows at Adair’s. Since then, it has been my tradition to attend at least one of the two shows they put on during this weekend. If cheap pitchers of Shiner Bock and great alt-country with a heavy dose of rock are your cup of tea (or beer), then you cannot find a better show for your money.
Bob Schneider/Johnny Lloyd Rollins (Palace Theater)
Rahim Quazi, one of my favorite local musicians, has begun a series of killer shows at the Palace Theater where he pairs a major Texas musician (Bob Schneider in this case) with a major local music act (this time, Johnny Lloyd Rollins). While I have not had the opportunity to visit the venue, if the interior of the theater matches the charm of the exterior, then this venue is worth the drive no matter where you reside in the metroplex.
Airline/Flat People/Here, In Arms (Double-Wide)
You know something I hate in a lineup? Fat. Fat is when you have an act in a lineup that is not worth listening to. Fat is the band that you spend your time at the bar instead of by the stage. Double-Wide is presenting a fat-free lineup. Whether it be the soulful countryesque vibe of Here, In Arms, the Neil Young meets Radiohead’s The Bends stylings of Flat People, or the ambitious rock sound of Airline, this lineup is 100% fat free. That’s a good thing for anyone’s musical diet.
Theater Fire/Kristina Morland (Lee Harvey’s)
You probably understand the brilliance of Theater Fire. Not to many people are familiar with either Ms. Morland or her album Pidgin Music. She is probably my favorite discovery of the year. If you were one of the handful of people who arrived at the GOBL anniversary show in time to see her set, you get where I’m coming from. Please, Theater Fire fans, do not make the mistake of arriving late.
Southern Drive/Kristy Kruger (City Tavern)
I know nothing about Southern Drive, but Kristy’s playing with a full band. That’s reason enough to go.
Eleven Hundred Springs (Granada Theater)
It’s only a matter of time before you start hearing the phrase “I was into Eleven Hundred Springs before they became big time.” If you haven’t seen them yet but want to be able to say that, now would be a good time to see them play.

Patrice Pike/THe BAcksliders (Dan’s Silverleaf)
Jason Bonner may have recently left THe BAcksliders, but he’ll be celebrating his birthday with his brother Chris and the rest of the BAcksliders. Sure, Patrice Pike is playing, but you and I both know that the night will belong to THe BAcksliders.
Astronautilus/Sarah Jaffe/Picnictyme, Info Red (Double-Wide)
I'm a little confused here... is Sarah's next project going to be a hip-hop album? She certainly seems to be odd woman out on the lineup. Either way, both hip-hop and Jaffe fans should enjoy this lineup.
The Liking Strikes/Southbound Lane/Greyhounds (Lakewood Bar & Grill)
I will probably miss out on this show, which will help Liking Strikes maintain their status as “One of the Best Band I’ll Miss Out On”. But seriously, I’m not sure how much longer I can hold back.
RTB2/Smile Smile/Sunward/Young And Brave (Hailey’s)It’s not often that Hailey’s holds an evening of such fine music that’s all local. It is, nevertheless, a pleasant treat, especially for those in Denton craving fine Dallas music.
Trey Johnson and Friends (AllGood Café)
This will be a nice warmup for the show I’m looking most forward to this month. More details on that later…
Kristy Kruger/The Beaten Sea (Opening Bell Coffee, Mosaic)
For years, Pascale from Opening Bell has talked to me with such enthusiasm about the debut of the second Opening Bell location. The dream is now a reality, and this show marks the official grand opening of this new location in Downtown Dallas. Kristy will play again with a full band, and The Beaten Sea will open. Beaten Sea played at Kristy’s benefit for Mojo, and put on a very impressive set for a band so newly formed. Time and experience is sure to only make the set even better.
Salim Nourallah/Vanessa Peters (Opening Bell Coffee, South Side on Lamar)
Just in case you’re worried that the Mosaic OBC is going to steal all the thunder from the original, booking Salim should soothe the minds of any doubters.

Have fun this weekend, and remember: friends don’t let friends drive drunk. They also don’t let friends cheer on OU. Go Longhorns!!!