Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Top 10 Songs of 2009

So would you like to know my favorite songs of 2009? I will be uploading podcast episodes where I count down my top 40 tracks of the year in a matter of days. But maybe you're just too curious to find out what my top 10 favorites are.

If you want to know, come to Allgood Cafe and hear me countdown my favorites of the year, going from #10 all the way to my favorite song of the year. Yes, I know this is short notice. But I wouldn't be surprised if many of you were already planning on going out tonight. After all, there are several shows worth seeing tonight. Old 97's are playing a sold out show at Sons of Hermann Hall, Toadies have added a second show tonight at Trees (NYE is sold out), and Sarah Jaffe is performing at Opening Bell Coffee. And if that isn't enough for you, a new club is opening in Deep Ellum tonight. La Grange will open its doors tonight with live performances from both The O's and The King Bucks.

So like I said, you have plenty of reasons to go out tonight. Before going to one of those destinations, I'd encourage you to drop by Allgood Cafe. I'll start around 6 or so, and the festivities should wrap up around 8:30. Hope to see some familiar faces out there. What the heck, unfamiliar faces are welcome as well.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/27/09

My Playlist Playlist by Ghost of Blind Lemon on MySpace Music - Play Playlist Songs & Download Tracks

Yes, readers, this is the final of the MySpace playlists. Don't get too sad, because I'm only switching formats. Next week's playlist will be courtesy of Hypster, and the only limitation on my playlists will be my CD/MP3 collection. It's not only time to bid adieu to the old playlist format, but the entire decade. By the way, what should we call the decade? The 00's? The 2000's? I've always wondered.

Anyways, back to the point. What better way to end the decade (and the MySpace playlist era) with a tribute to the decade that's almost over? Included in the playlists are ten songs, each released in a different year. In fact, the playlist goes in chronological order, starting with 2000 and 2009. I hope this playlist brings back as many good memories for you as it did for me.

  1. "Jack Never Crashes", The Deathray Davies (2000)
    My first local show was in 1996: Old 97's, Dead City Radio (who later became Grand Street Cryers and then Blue.Sky.Black), and Slobberbone. It was when I saw Deathray Davies open for Old 97's in 2000 that I went from casual local music fan to local music junkie. It only seems appropriate then that I should begin the list with this classic track from DRD. Best line: "All the best songs will remain misunderstood while the radio songs win awards in Hollywood".

  2. "Hello", Sugarbomb (2001)
    2001 was supposed to be the year that Sugarbomb turned big time. They had been signed to RCA records, their lead single "Hello" was getting radio play, and there was even chatter about the band opening a tour for Garbage or The Verve Pipe. Then 9/11 happened. The nation was thrown into a tailspin, as was the record industry. Sugarbomb was one of many bands that was dropped by their record label after 9/11. The band broke up less than two years later, and Sugarbomb was added to the way too long list of Dallas bands that almost made the big time. What a shame.

  3. "The Saint's Id", Hi-Fi Drowning (2002)
    There aren't a lot of releases from 2002 available thru MySpace. Fortunately, this track from Rounds the Rosa was available, and definitely one of my favorite tracks from that year.

  4. "Preacher's Words", Budapest One (2003)
    Before Chad Stockslagger and Keith Killoren were in The Drams and then The King Bucks, there was Budapest One. The band form in the late 90's (I believe), but it wasn't until Chad joined the band that they hit their creative peak. Keith did most of the vocals, but on this beautiful track, Chad does the honors.

  5. "Impossible", Pleasant Grove (2004)
    Pleasant Grove left their comfort zone on this track, which has almost an electronica feel to it. The experimentation paid off, as this track is simultaneously catchy and haunting. For the record, look for The Art of Leaving on my list of best CD's of the decade.

  6. "The Vice and Virtue Ministry", The Happy Bullets (2005)
    Wow... it's almost been five full years since the band release their CD of the same name. Josh McKibben from the band said the new CD would be out by year's end, but no sign of it yet. I'm not saying that it's taking the band a long time, but they're starting to band Boston and Guns N' Roses look quick in comparison.

  7. "New Hope PA", The Chemistry Set (2006)
    The Chemistry set managed a very unique balancing act of sorts. The band was definitely adventurous and even somewhat experimental in its sound, yet they never went off into the deep end of being what I call "indie for indie's sake." You know the type of band that I'm talking about: the band that focuses so much on sonic experimentation that it sacrifices the melody for the sake of weirdness. That was never an issue for Chemistry Set. This track, which seems like a melding of the best of what both U2 and The Who have to offer, remains my favorite track of theirs.

  8. "Mindreader", Lovie (2007)
    2007 marked the year of the debut of a little Dallas music blog called Ghost of Blind Lemon. About a month into running the blog, I was sent a CD by the band Lovie. I had heard of the band, but was not familiar with their music. Between the pop hooks and the Farfisa organ (props to Cari Weinberg), I was instantly hooked. Lovie is a very talented band, plus a really nice group of people that I have had the privilege of meeting through the blog.

  9. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi (2008)
    I've made no secret of my love of this song, the album of the same name, and pretty much anything that Mr. Quazi creates. This was the one track that I couldn't get enough of in 2008, and I still listen to this song (and the album) on a regular basis.

  10. "I Love You So Much", The O's (2009)
    This past year, The O's were in inescapable force within the local music landscape. Fortunately, the band's charm and simple bluegrass styled melodies are not something one would want to escape. The band will tour Europe next year, so we'll see if they can make the upgrade from local domination to world domination.

Now if you're wanting more insight as to my favorite tracks of this year, keep an eye on the blog as I will be posting my first ever podcast, as I count down my top 40 favorite tracks of the year. For the record, I've been planning to do a top 40 long before Pete Freedman started his top 40 on DC9 at Night. Anyways, stay tuned for more details...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Post

Hello to all my readers!

I hope that you're having a fabulous Christmas and that Santa left you what you wanted under your tree. Don't forget about my gift to you. Have you downloaded Menkena's "Red in the Morning" yet? If you haven't, you need to do that immediately. Read my previous blog entry for the mp3 link.

Normally on a Friday, I'd tell you about all the shows taking place over the weekend. With this being the Christmas weekend, however, options are exceptionally slim. I'll update the blog tomorrow in case I learn about more Saturday shows, but I only know of one good show taking place tonight. Hello Lover and The American Fuse are playing a free show tonight at Double-Wide. Thanks, Chelsea Callahan, for the Christmas gift of a free Hello Lover show.

In the meantime, I leave you with Camille Cortinas and her puppet friends performing "The 12 Days of Christmas."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Gift to My Readers: Menkena MP3

As you may have noticed, I'm slightly obsessed with the band Menkena. Ever since I got their seven track EP at the beginning of the year, it's been in heavy rotation in my CD player. I've seen them perform countless times this year, including when they played the 2 year GOBL anniversary show at City Tavern. At that show, they performed several tracks that will be released on their first full length CD, which should be released early next year.

One track from the upcoming album is "Red in the Morning", an absolutely gorgeous song that also features Nikki Cage (True Widow) on backup vocals. I've frequently placed the track in the weekly MySpace playlists, and now I want to share the track with my readers. Consider it my Christmas gift to you, the faithful Ghost of Blind Lemon readers. Download now, because I take the track down after Christmas.

MP3: Red in the Morning - Menkena

Monday, December 21, 2009

Change Gon' Come

This article is more than just a promotion for Dem Southernfolkz and their song entitled “Change Gon’ Come”. Yes, I like them, and I’d encourage you to click here for your opportunity to download their new EP, Something to Hold on to, free of charge. Right now, however, I’d like to discuss a few changes that will take place on the blog soon. The mission of the blog has not change, nor will it. I’m still devoted to bringing you the best local music our metroplex has to offer, and as the above banner says, “keep the spirit of DFW music alive.” The changes that are coming are more cosmetic in nature, and I hope will make the blog more visually appealing and more user-friendly.

When I changed the layout the last time, I stored an image on Photobucket to use as my background. Due to inactivity in the Photobucket account, the old image was replaced with a message from the company, making the website unreadable. While I have temporarily changed the layout and look of the blog, I’m not content with the current template. Before I decide on a more permanent look for Ghost of Blind Lemon, I’d like the site to have something it has never had: a nicely designed banner. The truth is, I’m “artistically challenged” at best, so I would not be a good candidate for designing such a banner. So I’m looking to you, my readers, to help out. Please submit your banners to and the one I like the best will be used. There will be no financial reimbursement for use of the banner, though the creator will get credit on the site. I would, however, like to come up with some form of a prize for the winning banner, but I’m not certain of what that would be yet.

Also, next Sunday will mark my final MySpace playlist. I have found the selection of tracks to be somewhat limiting, and I do not like the fact that I cannot post the actual playlist directly on the blog. For those who are fans of my playlist, rest easy. This is not an end to my playlists, but more a change in format. I have recently discovered the website Hypster, which I think will allow more creative flexibility for me. Their selection of local tracks is rather limited at the moment, but uploading tracks is quite easy. For those musicians who are interested, I would encourage you to start uploading your music on their site.

Another change I’m considering is adding advertising to the site. I know that Blogger has the monetize feature which allows ads to be placed, and it might bring “The Ghost” some desperately needed income. There are certain concerns I have with this. First of all, I do not want the advertisements to be a distraction or an annoyance to the readers. Second of all, I would want any advertising to be of products, services, etc. that would be of interest to the average GOBL reader. Before I make any decision on this front, I need the input of my readers. Do you think this is a good idea, and if so, what kind of services would you like to see ads of on the site?

If you have any other suggestions, thoughts, comments for the blog, please share them. You can email me (I gave you the address earlier) or leave your thoughts in the comments section. I welcome and encourage the dialogue.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/20/09

I must say, I was relieved to find ten good local Christmas songs (or Christmas related songs) for the playlist. No need for any of the LeAnn Rimes Christmas songs that I warned I might have to play. Instead, I offer up ten fine songs that will hopefully bring you a little holiday cheer. And whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Festivus, may your holiday season be filled with cheer, and most importantly, love.

  1. "That's How We Do Christmas", THe BAcksliders
    This band loves to write Christmas songs. Last month, they released "Christmas (Doesn't Have to Be So Bad)", and you've hopefully listened to it on one of my previous playlists. This time, I'm digging up their x-mas song from last year, which is my personal favorite of the two.

  2. "Must Be Santa (Live)", Brave Combo
    This song has gotten a bit of publicity lately, since Bob Dylan's cover of this song was based on Brave Combo's version. I never would have guessed Dylan to be a Brave Combo fan. Goes to show what I know.

  3. "Last Christmas", Hendrick
    Hendrick has had quite an amazing year, with the release of Exhale. The album reached #3 on The Local Edge's countdown of local releases, and you've heard me rave about the band on a regular basis. But what made them decide to cover Wham! is beyond me. Call me Scrooge if you will, but I just don't get it.

  4. "Feliz Navidad", Shibboleth
    Shiboboleth is over the top and cheesy, and it sounds like they used those $100 Casio keyboards from the mid 80's. And for all those reasons, I just love this track. Easily the funniest song on the playlist.

  5. "Christmas Eve", Salim Nourallah
    I'm not sure this is totally appropriate, but I've always thought that this song never got the attention it deserved from Salim's fans. Please, give it a listen. You may not feel holiday cheer when you listen, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

  6. "It's Christmas Time", PPT
    Thanks to Pikahsso for posting this on his MySpace page. Thanks to all in the now defunct trio for making Christmas a lot funkier.

  7. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", Sara Radle
    She started in San Antonio and now lives in Los Angeles, but for about five years, Dallas was lucky enough to call Sara Radle one of its own. Whether it be with her pop-punk band Lucy Loves Schroeder or her more Liz Phair/that dog style solo efforts, Ms. Radle always managed to combine intelligent lyrics with strong pop hooks. She's apparently working on another solo album, and I hopes she tours and stops by Dallas again.

  8. "Merry Christmas Now", Rahim Quazi
    Mr. Quazi's work never fails to warm my heart, so it's only appropriate he record a Christmas song to further spread the cheer.

  9. "I'll Be Home for Christmas", Old 97's
    Do you have your tickets yet for any of the four shows the band is playing at Sons of Hermann Hall? You might wanna buy them soon. REALLY soon. I don't know if any of the dates are sold out yet, but that's bound to happen each night.

  10. "The Christmas Tree", Stella Rose
    Okay, so this song does not even vaguely feel like a Christmas song, and the title is the only reason it can sorta fit the theme. Hey, it's a great rock song; what more do you want?

Finally, I leave you with one of my all time favorite local Christmas songs from Black Tie Dynasty. They don't have it on their MySpace, so instead I offer up this YouTube video featuring the song. Be patient when the timer hits 2:07, because for reason it stalls, but it will resume on its own.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A New Look... and Weekend Shows

Greetings, my GOBL readers. As you may have noticed, the blog is looking a little, well, different. My friend Brian Nesbitt alerted me to the fact that my old background was no longer coming up. In fact, it was replaced with a message from (who hosted the background) stating that my account was no longer active. Trust me, that made for an ugly background that made my text unreadable.

As a result, I opted to change the layout of my page with one of the predesigned blogger layouts. I'll be honest and say that I'm not enthusiastic about the current layout, but it beats the mess that my blog looked like with the photobucket notice. In the coming weeks, I plan to do an overhaul for the look of the blog, but for now, bear with me through this transitional period.

Now, onto some weekend shows:

Sarah Jaffe/Robert Gomez/Matthew Gray/Josh Mease (J&J's Pizza)
Ms. Jaffe seems to be playing less and less around the metroplex. That situation will only get worse once the new year arrives, as she will be opening for Midlake's upcoming tour of both the US and Europe.
Dem Southernfolkz/AwkQuarius/Dustin Cavanos (Good Records)
I know nothing about Mr. Cavanos, but the other two performers are among the finest rap acts in the metroplex. The show is hosted by one of my other favorite local rap acts, Damaged Good$, and it's a benefit for the North Texas Food Bank. So if you show up, please bring a canned food item. After all, you're not paying an actual cover charge.

Rev. Horton Heat/The Von Erichs (Longhorn Saloon)
Rev. Horton Heat has maintained a staying power that no other band in Dallas can match (or none that I can think of at least). Fans of hard rockin' rockabilly should check it out. Oh, who am I kidding? If that's your taste in music, surely you know about the Rev.
Cocky Americans/Burning Hotels/Electric Attitude (City Tavern)
I had the privilege of hosting Cocky Americans at one of my LBG showcases over the summer, and loved their performances. I hadn't listened to the band in awhile, and didn't even recognize their song "2012" when it was played on The Local Edge. I texted the host, Mark, to find out who the band was. When he told me who it was, I felt stupid for not recognize it, but it also reminded me of how good the band is.
Jacob Metcalf/Something in the Wheel/The Fox and the Bird (Good Records)
Dear Good Records, please give us more good free shows like this one. Thanks, "The Ghost".
Damaged Good$/Record Hop/Yeahdef/Dharma/Florene (Bee's Manor)
RTB2/Manned Missiles/Spooky Folk/Eaton Lake Tonics (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio)
The Demigs/Zest of Yore/The Night (Hailey's)

I confess, I do not give enough attention to Denton shows. But with this trio of quality shows, I have no option but to pay respect to little D. I must confess that of the three shows, I find the pairing of Damaged Good$ and Record Hop most intriguing. Still, one can never go wrong with an RTB2 show, and it's been eons since I've seen The Demigs. Word has it that their sound has changed dramatically since the release of their Pixie-esque album Yardling.
The Marfalites/Pearl Street Riot (Bandera)
Here's all you need to know. The Marfalites are awesome on a normal night. This past Thursday was the birthday of lead singer Noah Caveny. This show will not be for the faint of heart, or for the faint of partying. You've been warned.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/13/09

Ghost of Blind Lemon's MySpace Playlist (12/13/09) on MySpace Music - Play Playlist Songs & Download Tracks

  1. "Section 1 (Have A Day/Celebratory)", The Polyphonic Spree
    Granted, I have missed the last few Polyphonic Spree Christmas shows. Still, it doesn't feel right that there isn't one this year. I placed this song on the playlist in hopes of it satisfying my craving to see them live. It isn't helping. If anything, I'm missing them more now.

  2. "Merry Christmas Now", Rahim Quazi
    Thanks to Mr. Quazi for uploading this holiday song. Next week's episode will (hopefully) all be songs of the season, or at least songs that somehow relate to the season. Please, start uploading your tracks now, because at this rate, I'm not going to have enough tracks to use unless I start borrowing from the LeAnn Rimes Christmas CD. Please, don't make me do that.

  3. "Mermaid of Virginia", The Naptime Shake
    This song still sounds to me like a county version of early Belle & Sebastian (particularly their song "Mayfly"). This may seem an usual comparison for the band, yet I mean that as a compliment.

  4. "This Crazy Life", Eleven Hundred Springs
    Sometimes it's easy for me to get behind on events, so thanks to DC9 at Night for letting me know about this new Eleven Hundred Springs track.

  5. "Change Gon' Come", Dem Southernfolkz
    This Saturday marks the 4th Annual Orphanage Christmas Benefit at Double-Wide. It's sponsored by 1310 The Ticket as usual, and the musical lineup is quite strong. Dove Hunter will headline, and other performers include Dem Southernfollkz (included in the playlist), The Orbans, Sparklepussy Barbie, and DJ Slim. All proceeds go toward the Gladney Center for Adoption.

  6. "City Lights", Hendrick
    This past Saturday, Hendrick opened up for Oso Closo for their annual Christmas show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio. The two will perform together this Thursday at Granada Theater, but this time it is Hendrick that takes the top billing. Here's a track off the album other than "Echo and the Pass", which I hope my readers are not tired of. Heaven knows that I am incapable of tiring of that song.

  7. "Girl from the City", The King Bucks
    The band refers to themselves as the "hardest working band in the business", and heaven knows these guys keep busy. They'll perform Saturday Thursday night at Hank's in McKinney. What, only the one show this week? Slackers. (NOTE: Thanks to my friend Michelle who corrected me on the date, and is now being offered the position of official GOBL proofreader)

  8. "Sandman", Bonedome
    About a month ago, I met Allan Hayslip at Double-Wide. We chatted for awhile, and then he gave me a copy of his band's CD, Thinktankubator. I asked him to describe the sound of this project, and he told me he had heard several different comparisons, and he wasn't sure which ones were accurate. He mentioned comparison to Bowie, and the comparison seems fair for his vocals, but not so much in the melodies. I can't pinpoint the exact influences, but I will say that it strikes me as sounding like early 90's, pre Nirvana alternative. George Gimarc would've put this band on a Tales From the Edge CD in a heartbeat.

  9. "Stay With Me", Sarah Jaffe
    When I discovered Ms. Jaffe was playing this Friday at J&J's Pizza, I went to her MySpace to find a track to place on the playlist. Apparently I have not been visiting her site often enough, as there were many new songs available, including the track I chose. I'm predicting this is a track from her upcoming Kirtland Records release, Suburban Nature. I'll be anxiously awaiting that release next year.

  10. "Gimme Back My Fleetwood Mac", The Tah-Dah's
    Bands just don't stay broken up the way they used to. In the past couple of years, there have been too many reunions to count. Some have stayed together (Toadies, Deathray Davies), while others have only done a few shows (Chomsky, Macavity, Brutal Juice, The Tomorrowpeople). Now, The Tah-Dah's are reuniting. I'm not sure if this is a one time deal or something more permanent, although their MySpace consists almost totally of new songs. Perhaps there will be a new CD released soon. I don't have any answers to that question, but you can ask them Saturday when they play at Bryan Street Tavern with Happy Bullets and Drawn By Jaymz.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/6/09

My Playlist Playlist by Ghost of Blind Lemon on MySpace Music - Play Playlist Songs & Download Tracks

I've just learned how to post the actual playlist on the blog, so hopefully this will encourage more of you to listen to the songs. Also, two weeks from now, I'll be doing an all Christmas themed playlist, so I'd encourage any bands who have recorded songs for the holiday season to post them on MySpace.

Now, on with the playlist:

  1. "Reconnect It With a Curve", The Crash That Took Me
    Be a little patient with the song, as you might not hear anything until approximately twenty seconds into the song. Once you get past the intro, the song takes off with TCTTM's trademark blend of experimental sounds, unique rhythms, and solid hooks. I've always liked this band, but even I was taken aback by how amazing their new material is. You can catch the band perform this Saturday at Art Conspiracy 5, which takes place at The Prophet Bar. RTB2, Telegraph Canyon, and The Boom Boom Box will also perform.

  2. "Christmas (Doesn't Have to Be so Bad)", THe BAcksliders
    Not many artists have Christmas songs up yet, so I'm carrying over this tune from last week's playlist. Enjoy.

  3. "Barcelona", Luna Matto
    This track has been a favorite of mine at Luna Matto's live shows, so I'm thrilled that the band finally posted this on their MySpace. This is just my prediction, but I think this band is going to explode in 2010. If they don't, I just might lose my faith in the Dallas music fan, as they really are that incredible.

  4. "Miss Sugar Pie", Johnny Lloyd Rollins
    This track is for the anonymous idiot who dissed Mr. Rollins on the Dallas Observer (to see the war of words, click here). I'd suggest he/she come out to see Johnny at City Tavern along with Something in the Wheel and The Marfalites, but that would require anonymous to both reveal his/her identity and to also have musical taste. I'm not holding my breath on either happening.

  5. "Beg You to Stay", Smile Smile
    The duo of Smile Smile has been touring with Bowling for Soup, and the two acts perform Monday night at Granada Theater. I'd like to suggest a few equally sensible pairs of artists that could tour together. How about Fair to Midland and Camille Cortinas? Perhaps Old 97's would like Damaged Good$ as an opening act? And I'll bet Erykah Badu's sound would fit perfectly with Spector 45.

  6. "On a Mission", The Burgundys
    This is one strong lineup at Lakewood Bar & Grill this Thursday night. The Burgundys and The Monco Poncho will perform together that night. Both bands played at previous GOBL showcases at the venues, and both bands brought down the house. I predicted The Monco Poncho would do so, but The Burgundys pleasantly caught me by surprise. The only thing that surprises me now is that The Burgundys aren't selling out venues the size of Trees and The Prophet Bar's large room. The band's power-pop influence is undeniable, as are the hooks in these songs, guaranteed to work an audience into a frenzy. Just one warning: if you go to this show, have your excuse for why you won't make it to work Friday prepared beforehand.

  7. "I Can't Make You Happy", Ronnie Fauss
    I can't make this song leave my head. I couldn't make it leave my head, even if I tried.

  8. "You Just Got Sued!", Boys Named Sue
    The Boys are calling Adair's home this weekend. I'm sure you can catch them playing this song both Friday at Saturday night there. Even though the weekend may seem Light Beers Away, once it arrives it will be filled with plenty of Whiskey Talkin'. Alright, I'll lay off the alcohol related BNS references. But you know I'm right.

  9. "Straight Out the Gate", Oso Closo
    Several months ago, Sarah Crisman, music editor at Pegasus News, recommended that I give Oso Closo a second listen. I saw them at Cottonwood Arts Festival last year, hardly an ideal venue for most bands. I was also tired that day, and not in the ideal frame of mind to properly receive their music. I heard this a live version of this track on The Local Edge, and instantly realized that I have not given the band the credit that they are so due. I doubt I'll be able to make it to their 5th annual Christmas show at Rubber Gloves this Saturday, but I intend to see the band again VERY soon.

  10. "Maybe Heaven", The Slack
    If you've seen Chris Holt perform in the last two years, you've undoubtedly heard him sing this tribute to Carter Albrecht. The song will now be available for purchase, as it will be included on The Slack's upcoming CD, The Deep End. It will be available for download on itunes January 5, and the CD release show will happen January 22 at Sons of Hermann Hall. If you can't wait that long to see the band, however, you can see them this Friday at Bryan Street Tavern.

NOTE: I thought the playlist would be embedded in the blog entry, and obviously MySpace doesn't allow that. If you click on the link, however, it will post the playlist in a new window, allowing you to listen and read at the same time. Sorry, it's the best I can do for now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Good Tuesday Shows... No, That's Not an Oxymoron

Traditionally, Tuesdays are the worst day of the week for shows. You haven't even made it to "hump day", yet you've made it past both the weekend and Monday. Many clubs do not even book bands on Tuesday, and those that do book bands do not bring out their top talent on Tuesdays. To have one intriguing show on a Tuesday is rarity; two good shows is practically unheard of. Yet tonight finds two shows that are worth the time and money.

Today marks the release of Ryan Thomas Becker's solo CD, Neighborhoof. If you're not familiar with Mr. Becker's work, then you're probably not well acquainted with local music. Between The Slow Burners, Eaton Lake Tonics, and RTB2, Ryan has been responsible for more than his share of great songs. While the opening track of the CD, "Seek Fire, Anime Kids", sounds like it would fit in perfectly on an RTB2 album, much of the rest of the album finds Mr. Becker in a more introspective state of mind. Tracks like "Premaries" and "Where Your Father Didn't Go" have a simple beauty to them that may surprise those only familiar with Mr. Becker's work with RTB2. I'm sure you can find Mr. Becker performing all the aforementioned tracks plus many others when he plays tonight at J&J's Pizza in Denton.

City Tavern finds itself hosting a great show for an unfortunate reason. Recently, local musician Greg Schroeder's musical gear was stolen. It is my understanding that the proceeds of this show will help Mr. Schroeder replace the stolen gear. Greg will be performing at the show, as well as Here In Arms, Madison King, Cousin Wes, and Grant Jones & The Pistol Lassos. Here's hoping that plenty of money is raised to help Greg.

Pretty good shows, especially for a Tuesday night, don't you think?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 11/29/09

  1. "Christmas (Doesn't Have to Be So Bad)", THe BAcksliders
    One of my life rules is to never play Christmas songs before Thanksgiving. So even though THe BAcksliders have had this track up for several weeks, I didn't want to post it until Thanksgiving had past. Now that it's over, I'm thrilled to share this song with you.

  2. "The Fine Art of Bleeding", The Slack
    The Slack's new album, The Deep End, won't be available for purchase until early next year. Fortunately, Chris Holt and the gang have felt generous enough to share some tracks from the upcoming CD on their MySpace. As usual, Mr. Holt's songs are stellar and his musical skill is otherworldly.

  3. "Celtic", Shallow Reign
    If Deep Ellum nostalgia is what you're craving, then The Prophet Bar is the place you should be Saturday. The lineup reads like a who's who of late 80's/early 90's local bands. Shallow Reign are on the lineup, as are Locos Gringos, Decadent Dub Team, Bat Mastersons, Buena Vistas, and too many more to mention.

  4. "Every Now and Then", They Were Stars
    I know many people have been quite critical of the reopening of Trees. Admittedly, not all of the music is my personal taste, but the return of this venue is something that Deep Ellum desperately needed. I saw Dovetail there in September, and I must say I think the place looks great and the sound system is good. I may make a return visit this Saturday, as They Were Stars opens up a fabulous lineup including Pale Horse (featuring members of GOBL favorite Greater Good), Air Review, and Radiant.

  5. "Awakening", Summer Ames
    Pascale (from Opening Bell Coffee) started chatting yesterday about favorite local acts, and she mentioned Summer Ames as one of her personal favorites. I saw her perform earlier this year, and I must admit that she's got a great voice and some solid tunes. And is it just me, or does this song seem tailor made for an ipod commercial?

  6. "Finger Trace", Ryan Thomas Becker
    I've really been digging "Seek Fire, Anime Kids" from Mr. Becker's new solo CD, Neighborhoof. That track, however, almost sounds like what you'd expect from RTB2. I opted for this track, as it showcases a very different musical side of Ryan.

  7. "Release the Squid (Box 6)", The Deathray Davies
    I'm surprised I've heard such little fanfare in regards to this band's show at Double-Wide Saturday night. I still suspect that DW will be very packed for the band's show. Few bands are as consistently good live as this band.

  8. "Friendly Fire", Jet City Rotation
    I love it when good bands find and befriend me on MySpace. That's how I discovered Jet City Rotation. The band seems to have a definite Strokes influence, as well as a hint of new wave influence. Everything I've heard from this band shows great potential, and I have a suspicion that this band could put on an amazing live set. I'd love to test that hypothesis soon.

  9. "Henry the Skunk", The Boom Boom Box
    I have nothing new to say about this song. I've said before that it rocks, and it continues to rock. What more can be said?

  10. "Afraid of the Dark", Sorta
    I recently discovered that Sorta had uploaded its self titled CD on MySpace, as well as their previous effort, Sad and Strange But True. This closing track of their farewell eponymous CD ranks as one of my favorite songs ever by the band. This song never fails to yank at my heartstrings, particularly towards the end as the band continues to sing "oh, it's over." I miss this band, and more to the point, Carter, you are still (and always will be) missed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday (and Saturday) Shows

Wal-Mart isn't the only place offering up great deals this weekend. Check out all these fabulous shows happening over the next two days. There are plenty of good events this weekend, so browse over the options, and surely you'll find at least one show you'll be compelled to attend.

The JC Experience (Smoke)
John Pedigo (The O's, Boys Named Sue, Rose County Fair) told me about this very unique show that he and Chad Stockslager (The King Bucks) are assembling. It's a variety show featuring music and comedy starring both John and Chad, as well as special guests. I've heard rumors that Dave Little and Chris Holt will be among those contributing their talents, but I cannot confirm anyone but John and Chad. I've also heard that the food at Smoke is killer. Save some money so you can dine on the barbecue.
Marcus Striplin/Camille Cortinas/Trey Johnson (Opening Bell Coffee)
I'd pay the suggested $6 cover charge for any single performer on this lineup. To get all playing for $6 is a steal. Here's hoping I can convince Marcus to play my favorite Pleasant Grove song, "Commander Whatever".
The Kul/Dertybird/The Archetypes (City Tavern)
The Kul just might be the best band you've never heard of. Their set at the DOMA showcase was really incredible, and anyone who likes their rock on the funky side needs to see this band. I've also heard good word of mouth on Dertybird.
Slobberbone (Dan's Silverleaf)
If you want to know what it feels like to be a packed sardine, head to Dan's. This is not a good show for the claustrophobic, but Slobberbone will undoubtedly bring the house down (or in this case, the bar down).
Emmeline (Buon Giorno Coffee)
I fell in love with her music the first time I heard her perform at Lakewood Bar & Grill, and anyone near the Grapevine area should go to Buon Giorno tonight.

The Drams (Bryan Street Tavern)
Brent Best will be a tired man this weekend: Friday at Dan's with Slobberbone, Saturday at Bryan Street Tavern, and Sunday he plays a solo set at Barley House.
Haight Ashbury Band/The Roomsounds/The Hot Tickets/Men As Trees Walking/The Burroughs (The Prophet Bar)
The Roomsounds' "Young & Reckless" has been in my heavy rotation. The song is two minutes and fourteen seconds of near pop perfection, sounding like an updated version of The Byrds. Also on the bill is The Burroughs, a new band led by Spencer Garland. For those who don't remember, he was the opening act at the GOBL 2 year anniversary show. It's a shame that he hasn't received more local recognition; his lyrical wit is razor sharp and will grab the attention of those who will listen. Here's hoping that he can maintain that level of songwriting with a full band behind him.
RTB2/Bridges & Blinking Lights/The O's (Lola's Sixth Street)
My hats off to Mr. Urquhart for such a good Good Show showcase.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 11/22/09

I've been sick for the past few days, and therefore I didn't want to do a lot of research on songs to place on here, or discuss why I chose the songs. Like most people, when I'm sick, I want to be comforted. People often have their favorite "comfort foods" for when they are sick, but I have compiled a list of what could be called my personal "comfort music." Some tracks are old favorites, while others are new tracks destined to become classics of mine. Beyond that, I have nothing else to say about these songs, which is good since I don't feel like writing much.

  1. "Nothing This Beautiful", Pleasant Grove

  2. "Gravitate", Chomsky

  3. "D Street", Luna Matto

  4. "Flat Black", True Widow

  5. "Sweet Little Bay", Sorta

  6. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi

  7. "Black Market Value", the cut*off

  8. "The World Is Full of People Who Want to Hurt You", Salim Nourallah

  9. "Chasing Corporate", Air Review

  10. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick

Sunday, November 15, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 11/15/09

  1. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto

  2. "Suenos", Chasing the Muse
    First off, let me mention a couple of shows taking place tonight. Luna Matto opens for Kate Havenevik and Levi Waver at Prophet Bar. She will go on around 8:00 or so, and Luna Matto is quickly becoming one of my favorite acts in Dallas now. If you have yet to witness a show, you need to. I've yet to see Chasing the Muse, but like what I've heard of them so far. Thie song "Suenos" reminds me of Five Leaves Left period Nick Drake, and lead vocalist Aleah Dillard has a gorgeously haunting voice. If you feel like going out tonight, either show would be worth going to.

  3. "Takes One to Know One", Erik Neff
    I had the privilege of having Mr. Neff perform at my last Club Dada GOBL showcase, and this man knows how to work a guitar. His bluesy numbers, like this track, show him at his best. He'll open Saturday night's show at Trees, with David Cote Band, Vallejo, and Del Castillo performing afterwards.

  4. "Manic", Here Holy Spain
    I nominate "Manic" as the best hard rock local track of the year. The opening guitar riff is memorable and sucked me in at first listen. I'm sure the band will play this song Saturday Night at Double-Wide. HHS headlines the show, with The Mag Seven and Cruiserweight opening.

  5. "The Sticking Place", Most
    Props to my friend Conner, who made me aware of this band. The intro to this song goes on a tad long for my taste, but once the vocals kick in, the song really takes off. Half trip-hop and half jazz, Olivia de Guzman Emile provides the perfect vocals for her band. If all of their songs prove to be this intriguing and beautiful, then this band might take off.

  6. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    Have I mentioned lately how much I love Menkena? Well, it's worth repeating.

  7. "Style of the Trace", [DARYL]
    I've been listening to The Crash That Took Me's new CD a whole lot lately, so I decided I'd go back and give a listen to Dylan Silver's previous band, [DARYL]. The songs are a little heavier than those by TCTTM, but Mr. Silver's experimental nature has always been present. This track comes from their release on Beatville Records, The Technology, and it's one of those rare concept albums that works. It's an album best listened to in its entirity, as the instrumental breaks between the song really add a great musical contrast between the piano interludes and the electric songs.

  8. "Robin", Little Black Dress
    There's been a definite mixed reaction to the debut of 91.7 KXT. Whatever else, I dare anyone to come up with a station that plays a better mix of good music than KXT. Plus, I love getting to hear local tracks like this one on the radio. It's also nice to have bands like Little Black Dress playing live in their studios. I give the stations two thumbs up, and I'd give it three thumbs up if only I had a third hand.

  9. "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds
    Between KXT and The Local Edge show, the state of local music on the radio hasn't been this good since, well, I can't remember when. This is one of many great songs I've discovered through Mark's radio show.

  10. "Unfavorable Way", Trey Johnson
    It's funny that this track, which initially I did not like, has probably become my favorite off of Mount Pelee. You can catch Mr. Johnson perform tracks from said CD this Friday night at Sons of Hermann Hall. Salim Nourallah and The Dave Little Meltdown will open the show.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Last minute Rhett tickets

Congrats to the winners of this week's ticket giveaway. I know this is last minute, but I have one more pair of tickets to give out. Here's all you have to do: be the first person to send an email ( with "Candyapple Corkscrew Hair" in the subject line and you win. I doubt Mr. Miller will be playing that track from Mythologies tonight; call it a hunch. Oh, and in the email, please include your cell phone number so I I can text you info on the tickets.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rhett Miller Tickets

I've got two pairs of tickets to give away to see Rhett Miller this Saturday at Granada Theater. Salim Nourallah, The O's, and Shibboleth all open up. I usually have some sort of trivia question that I use to give away the tickets, but I'm in such a good mood that I'll make it easier on you.

Why am I in such a good mood? One definite factor is Dallas' newest radio station, KXT. Being able to hear songs on the radio other than "Sweet Home Alabama" and that blasted Matchbox 20 song is such a relief. So to celebrate yesterday's debut of KXT, all you have to do to win the tickets is be one of the first two people to send me an email with "I heart KXT" as the subject line. In the email, please include your mailing address. Good luck, and remember, if you don't win the tickets, you can still purchase them, and proceeds go to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 11/8/09

  1. "Patricia Lynn", The Crash That Took Me
    Last night's TCTTM CD release show bordered on being a true force of nature. My props go out to Sons of Hermann Hall and whoever was doing sound that night, because every instrument could be heard by the audience member crystal clear. More importantly, super enormous props to Dylan Silvers and the rest of the band for putting on one of the most rocking shows I've seen all year; every member of the band is a first rate musician. If you haven't picked up Chlorine Colored Eyes, run, don't walk, to your nearest quality CD store and buy it; this is Mr. Silver's best work to date. I could rave on and on, but I'll shut up for now.

  2. "I Can't Make You Happy", Ronnie Fauss
    I'm not sure I've heard a song with a bare bones minimal melody work so effectively. The verses consist of one note repeated over and over, and what should be repetitive and annoying is instead haunting and memorable (in a good way). This overly simple melody also serves another purpose even more important: it draws the attention of the listener to the emotionally frank (and well written) lyrics. Bonus points to Mr. Fauss for referencing my favorite Bob Dylan song.

  3. "Saturday", Baboon
    I really wanted to add "Lush Life" to the playlist instead. Oh, the limits of MySpace. This is still a great song, and if your computer speakers aren't cranked up to full blast, then it's too quiet.

  4. "Come Hell", Matthew Bridgman
    The first time I saw Mr. Bridgman perform, my car has just broken down over by Bill's Records, and my mind was only half on the performance. I saw him play this Thursday at The Pearl Cup, and was amazed by how good his performance was. The songs on his MySpace, like this one, only give the slightest indication of the level of talent he possesses.

  5. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
    Speaking of Mr. Bridgman, he was once a member of this band. He talked about how he thinks lead singer Josh Hendrick is a fabulous songwriter. All of the songs off of Exhale are indeed great songs, expect for this track, which there are no words in the English language to appropriately describe how amazing and beautiful this song is. Please, please, PLEASE listen to this song. I can't imagine anyone being able to listen to this song and not just falling in love with it.

  6. "Have You Ever Been Down?", THe BAcksliders
    Friday the 13th is your lucky day. With THe BAcksliders and Spector 45 performing at Double-Wide, how can it not be a good day?

  7. "Change Gon' Come", Dem Southernfolkz
    Of course, for those who feel that Friday the 13th is bad luck, Friday's show at Trees could be used as evidence. No, I don't say that because the show is a bad show, quite to the contrary. Dem Southernfolkz will celebrate their EP release (which you can download for free here), and Dove Hunter, Mo Brown, and They Were Stars will round out this great lineup. Why is this bad luck? You can't be at Double-Wide and Trees at the same time.

  8. "I'm on Fire", The Farstar
    The band's first full length CD, produced by Salim Nourallah, will be released next year. In the meantime, enjoy this catchy tune from their recently released Strange Kids EP.

  9. "Maureen's House", The Marfalites
    Another band working with Mr. Nourallah is The Marfalites. Catch them Saturday night at City Tavern as they open for Grant Jones and the Pistol Grip Lassos.

  10. "Meteor Shower", Rhett Miller
    I normally don't add Rhett Miller's solo material to playlists since he's been based out of LA for almost a decade now. Still, the man was born in Dallas, and I'm really looking forward to Saturday's Granada Theater show, which will be a benefit for Cystic Fibrosis. Salim Nourallah, The O's, and Shibboleth will also perform. Get your tickets now, because you don't want to miss out on this one. Short on money and can't afford tickets? Keep your eye on the blog this week; I just might be able to help you out...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekend Shows

There are definitely some good options this weekend. Here's a little look:

Destroyer/Sarah Jaffe/RTB2 (Granada Theater)
No, I'm not branching out into discussing national bands, and I'm not going to say anything about Destroyer. Instead, I'd rather talk about how much ass both Ms. Jaffe and RTB2 kick. Sarah's voice has a quality to it that can send goosebumps down anyone's spine. I'm convinced she could sing the phone directory and it'd send a chill up my spine. RTB2's speciality isn't sending chills up a person's spine; the band specializes in a very raw and primal sound. Front man Ryan Thomas Becker manages to seamlessly incorporate elements of blues, soul, and garage rock in his songs. He's a rare performer who has a distinctive style, even though his songs do not sound like carbon copies of one another. Even if Destroyer wasn't on this bill, it would be a must see show.
The O's/Menkena (Allgood Cafe)
The O's have definitely become local music icons in the past year, and deservedly so. This is a hard working band that puts on one seriously entertaining show, filled with plenty of humorous banter between sets. More importantly, this is a duo of two highly talented musicias that know how to write good music. Menkena has not reached that same level of media attention, and that's a problem. I have not encountered a band with a fresher, more original sound all year than Menkena. The band will be playing songs tonight from their upcoming full length CD. Start saving your pennies, because you want this CD in your collection.

The Crash That Took Me/True Widow/Stereo Is A Lie/Gaffney (Sons of Hermann Hall)
This is the CD release party for Chlorine Colored Eyes, and the $10 cover charge includes your own copy of the CD. TCTTM's new CD has spent plenty of my time in the CD player. This effort does find the band getting even more experimental and psychedelic with its sound than on the previous CD. Yet at the same time, the sound is unmistakably TCTTM. Some of this is because of lead vocalist Dylan Silver's unmistakable voice, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that drummer Eddie Thomas' work is truly what makes the sound so distinct. This band is allowing Mr. Thomas to show off his full musical potential, something that was only hinted at during his time with Black Tie Dynasty. Oh, and True Widow is also on the bill, and their set will amaze you.
Dove Hunter/The O's/The Orbans/the cut*off (The Moon Bar)
What, is Dallas not good enough to get a lineup this killer? Any one of the bands alone would be worth the cover. Together, this surely has to be the "most bang for the buck" show.
The Felons/Tribella/Fingerless Ghost (Jack's Backyard)
The Felons are always an entertaining back to watch. Their bassist, Adam Carter, is also in the band Spector 45, and is known for doing crazy stuff onstage, sometimes resulting in bodily injury to himself (anyone remember the Spector 45 set at the DOMA showcase?). Fortunately, Felons lead singer Dave Hickmott seems to keep Mr. Carter well under control during their shows.
The Monco Poncho/The Jungle Rockers (Double-Wide)
Few local bands have a fan base as enthusiastic as that of The Monco Poncho. It would be tempting to call the band gimmicky, with their western costumes and the fans shooting cap guns between the sets. The problem, however, is that does not give the band the credit it deserves for its well written songs. In fact, if you peel away the twang from their songs, what you have are straight ahead perfect pop songs. Still, the outfits and cap guns are a lot of fun.

I'm sure I've missed some good shows. If so, post them in the comments section.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

KDGE's Local Show Hits the Mark

When I first heard that KDGE was doing a new radio show, The Local Edge, I must confess my expectations were low. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I have anything against listening to local bands who want to be the next Creed or Staind. It's just that, uh, well... okay, so I do have a problem with bands trying to be the next Creed or Staind. I don't like either of those bands, so I definitely do not want to listen to local wannabes. In the past, the local shows tended to focus more on heavy alternative bands that were not to my liking.

When the current host, Mark, took over the show, I expected more of the same. I started noticing that bands I liked were mentioning that they were receiving airplay on the show. I wrote this off, expecting that he slipped in one or two quality songs into a show filled with mediocre bands. But week after week, bands I liked kept mentioning that their songs were being played on The Local Show: RTB2, Hendrick, Little Black Dress, and so forth. Curiosity set in one night, and I logged on to the EDGE's home page to do some research on the show. It turns out that Mark wasn't just selecting a few stray great songs; he was consistently building entire shows around excellent local music.

The list of artists and songs played on his show read like a roll call of GOBL favorites: Dove Hunter, Salim Nourallah, Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, Doug Burr, Trey Johnson, THe BAcksliders, and so many more. Yes, the show definitely spotlights many of the heavy hitters in the metroplex area. Mark, however, does not limit himself to just the known names, but also provides an opportunity for smaller, less known local acts to receive airplay. Western Giants, The Roomsounds, and Grassfight are just a few bands that may not be known to the average local music fan, but that may change if Mark has his way.

Mark is not only offering bands exposure through his radio show, but also through a series of Local Edge concerts at Trees. The shows, now being held every Thursday at Trees, offer music fans the opportunity to see local acts for absolutely no cover charge. Also, all the bands playing the series will be competing for the opportunity to perform onstage at next year's Edgefest.

Yes, typically corporate owned stations could care less about local acts and quality music. That's what makes The Local Edge so refreshing; playlists this good are usually only found on podcasts and college radio stations. The fact that KDGE is willing to take a chance on such a radio show is remarkable. Mark may not be George Gimarc, but I would dare say that he's the best thing to happen to the station since Mr. Gimarc. Mark at the least has definitely done more to promote local music on the station that anyone else has since Gimarc put out the Tales from the Edge CD compilations.

That's why you, Ghost of Blind Lemon reader, need to be listening to this show every Sunday night at 11 pm. This is the kind of radio show that Dallas is in desperate need of. Between The Local Edge radio show and the shows hosted by Mark at Trees, this is opportunity for bands to branch out and reach a wider audience. I recently the state of local music on the blog, and all that has been wrong. I believe that this radio show and its host could play a major part could play a vital part in breathing much needed life into the Dallas Music Movement.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 11/1/09

A couple of thank you's before I start the playlist. First of all, I thank all of you who came out Friday night to see Iris Leu and Luna Matto. Morning Elephant was originally on the bill, but could not perform that night and the folks at LBG replaced them with Avoiding Disaster. If you haven't seen either Iris or Luna as of yet, you are so missing out. Both of them rocked the LBG in a major way.

Also, I thank everyone who has contributed to the discussion about the Dallas music movement. It always does my heart good to know that people still care about local music. Keep the discussion going, and do whatever you can to support the movement. Attend shows. Expose your friends to local music. Attend shows. Call up radio stations and encourage them to play local music. Oh, did I mention that you should attend shows?

Okay, time for me to step down from my soapbox and give you some music to listen to.

  1. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    This song distills all the best qualities of Menkena (intelligent lyrics, dreamy melody) into five minutes of pure sonic bliss. This may be the band's finest work to date. The level of anticipation I have for their upcoming full length CD is a level usually reserved for local heavy hitters (Old 97's, Salim Nourallah, etc.) and if there is any justice, Menkena will reach that level of respect in Dallas and beyond.

  2. "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds
    I discovered this track last week on The Local Edge show and have listened to it repeatedly. Jangly guitars? Check. Catchy melody that sticks in your head? Check. Band with major potential? Check.

  3. "Were Her", The Orbans
    Speaking of The Local Edge, The Orbans will be joining Chatterton and Shock of Pleasure at Trees Wednesday night as these three bands perform for the opportunity to play at EDGEfest. By the way, wouldn't Roomsounds be the perfect opening band for The Orbans? Those two tracks transitioned seamlessly.

  4. "Luggage for Light Years", the cut*off
    If you can't catch The Orbans on Wednesday night, then catch them Saturday night at The Moon, along with Dove Hunter and this band. Fort Worth, I'm jealous of you right now.

  5. "In Case You Might Forget", The Heelers
    Haven't listened to this track in forever, and decided it had been too long since I shared this song with you, my readers.

  6. "Have You Ever Been Down?", THe BAcksliders
    I wanted "Keep A Knockin'" on last week's covers playlist, but alas, the band has removed that track from their MySpace. They'll be playing Double-Wide on Friday th e13th. I usually don't mention shows on playlists that are not for the current week, but I'm just that excited about seeing them.

  7. "Minor It Down", True Widow
    They'll be playing at Sons of Hermann Hall Saturday night, opening for The Crash That Took Me's CD release party. I'd post a track from TCTTM's CD, except the band still hasn't posted any tracks from their upcoming CD on MySpace. What's the hold up, Dylan?

  8. "Wire to the Walls", RTB2
    When Granada hosts the Destroyer show Friday night, two of Denton's finest will open the show. Both Sarah Jaffe and RTB2 will perform, and although their styles could not be more different, the one trait shared in common is first rate musicianship and quality songs. And really, what more is needed?

  9. "We Gathered in Spring", Midlake
    As I eagerly anticipate the band's next CD, The Courage of Others, I've found myself listening to this track more than ever.

  10. "Little Polyanna", Kristy Kruger
    This Monday is Dia de los Muertos, translated in English as "Day of the Dead." It is also the day that Lt. Col. Eric Kruger, brother to Kristy, died in the Iraq War. Every year, Kristy performs a show in honor of her brother. She will perform at Opening Bell Coffee, along with Robert Gomez and The Beaten Sea. Part of the proceeds will go to Fisherhouse, a group that helps members of the military, as well as their families. This will not only be an evening of great music, but an opportunity to pay respects to a true hero and help others who are fighting for our country.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Picture (Or Poster) Is Worth 1,000 Words

I'm headed to bed, but don't forget to mark Friday on your calendars. I'm hosting quite the showcase, and I hope to see a lot of familiar faces at Lakewood Bar & Grill along with some new faces. Costumes are certainly encouraged for those who enjoy Halloween, but it's okay if you don't want to (I probably will not be wearing a costume). Come, drink, eat (the LBG burgers seriously rule), and be merry!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Dallas Music... Movement?

It has been far too long since my first true post (MySpace playlists notwithstanding). There have been a multitude of factors behind this, some of which are personal in nature. I must, however, say that there is another factor. In recent months, I have become increasingly frustrated by the state of affairs in the music community. There are far too few people give a damn about the music that comes from the metroplex area. More importantly, almost all of those who do care are musicians, club owner, record label owners, etc. In other words, the local music scene consists almost exclusively of those directly in it. There are very few genuine fans of the scene. By fans, I mean people who have no direct investment in the success of a band or musician. These are people who support who regularly attend shows for the simple love of the music. I’ve tried coming up with a list of true music fans. Not people who like one band or singer, but make a regular effort to support a variety of musicians. The sad truth is I can count those people on one hand.

This should not be a problem for a city the size of Dallas. Many cities smaller in size (Seattle and Portland come quickly to mind) do not face this. The most obvious example of this, however, is a mere three hours south from us. Austin has been called the live music capital of the world, and for good reason. There are a number of tremendously talented musicians from that area: David Ramirez, Jaimee Harris, Jarrod Dickenson, The Criminal Kind, and Scorpion Child are artists that I have discovered in the past several months, all of which are first rate artists. These musicians, however, have something that acts from this area lack. Austin musicians live in an environment that is supportive and nurturing, that encourages and rewards artistic creativity. Dallas, on the other hand, is a city that rewards musical followers and not leaders. This is a city where cover bands rake in money, while acts that perform original material struggle to find an audience. The pool of talent is at least equal to that of Austin, and in my opinion overall exceeds Austin. Yet Austin gains the title of live music capital of the world because it CARES about its musicians, and based on the way they’re treated, this city does not.

That leaves the ultimate question hanging over us: how do we change this? I’m not sure that there’s a simple answer to this question. In the next few days, I plan to discuss this issue at greater length. I may not have an answer for the larger problem, but I do have some ideas that may be steps toward a solution. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will share some of these ideas with you, and I look forward to receiving input from my readers.

I would, however, like to leave you with one thought courtesy Jimmy Menkena (lead singer of the band Menkena). During a recent conversation, we talked about the problems faced in Dallas by musicians, and one topic that came up was the idea of a scene versus a movement. Scenes come and go, almost in the blink of an eye. A movement, on the other hand, has an energy and passion behind it and leaves a lasting legacy. Will changing the phrase “Dallas music scene” to the “Dallas music movement” truly change the state of things? Changing names does not make a long term difference. What will matter is if the attitude towards local music changes. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again now: the problem is NOT a lack of quality bands. Within the past few years, I have discovered such first rate acts as Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, THe BAcksliders, Dove Hunter, Menkena, Hendrick, Iris Leu, Luna Matto, The O’s, The Monco Poncho, Nicholas Altobelli, Elkhart, and Damaged Good$, and I’m just getting started with the list. These are artists should be heard. Scratch that: these are artists that NEED to be heard and embraced. The music coming out of the metroplex right now possesses both the quality and the sense of urgency and vitality that it warrants the upgrade in title from “scene” to “movement”. The music also warrants the upgrade in attention from all area music fans.

If you feel like I do, then do me a few favors. Forward this article to your friends, both the serious and casual music fans. Comment on my blog. It doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not, so long as you can be respectful and thoughtful in your comments. My goal with Ghost of Blind Lemon has always been to encourage growth in the local music scene. I can only do so much on my own; I need your help.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 10/25/09

Ah, the Halloween season is upon us, and children (and overgrown children) are putting on masks and dressing up as personas different from their own. In honor of this tradition, my playlist consist solely of the musical equivalent of dress-up: the cover song.

  1. "I Need U/I Need A Man", Morning Elephant
    Shameless plug time here: Morning Elephant (found here covering two Eurythmics songs) will be part of a Ghost of Blind Lemon showcase occuring this Friday at Lakewood Bar & Grill. Iris Leu, Luna Matto, and Jokersdeck will round out the bill.

  2. "Lithium", The Polyphonic Spree
    Speaking of Ms. Matto, she's one of the choir members of Polyphonic Spree. This band certainly loves their cover songs; their most recent Dallas show was at least 50% covers. Not surprisingly, no cover that evening had the crowd as enthusiastic as their unlikely take on Nirvana.

  3. "All The Pretty Girls", Lovie
    Here's one Texas band covering another Texas band, Pearland based The Judys. Texas, represent!

  4. "Ceremony", Hello Lover
    This band fuses punk energy with a new wave sound, so New Order's "Ceremony" is a perfect fit for the band.

  5. "Wicked Game", Sara Donaldson
    After I rave about an artist so many times, I feel like I'm at a loss of new things to say. I think I have reached that point with Ms. Donaldson. The great frustration for me, however, is that I think for as much as I rave about her music, there are still very few people who know her work. Check out her covering Chris Isaak, but more importanly listen to her original material. I know few musicians who are as truly multi-talented as she is.

  6. "The Waiting", Petty Theft
    I typically do not put cover bands on my playlist. This week, however, seemed the perfect opportunity to do just that. Here, one of my favorite tribute bands, Petty Theft, covers (gasp!) Tom Petty. Who'd have thunk it?

  7. "Come Together", Eastwood
    This Beatles track would not seem like an obvious choice for a country band such as Eastwood to cover. The funny thing is that this song fits the band so perfectly. Very nice cover, guys.

  8. "Ball and Chain", Noah Caveny
    I'm glad to see that Mr. Caveny's band, The Marfalites, has been performing more frequently as of late. They do a mean cover of this Social Distortion classic.

  9. "Then He Kissed Me", Lucy Loves Schroeder
    I miss this band.

  10. "The Hokey Pokey", Brave Combo
    This cover may be one of the greatest musical mysteries ever recorded. Polka, as a general rule, is one of the most annoying styles of music. "The Hokey Pokey" is one of the most annoying songs ever written. Yet when Brave Combo covers this song, only the greatest of curmudgeons can deny the joy in this cover. Instead of being as torturous as one would think this cover would be, it is musical genius. And no, I cannot explain why this cover works, but it does.

Finally, I offer up a video of Iris Leu's cover of "Let It Be". I wish I had video of her rendition of "Can't Get You Out of My Head" from the GOBL 2 year anniversary party at City Tavern, but alas, I do not. Don't forget, she'll be at LBG this Friday night for my showcase. Last plug, I promise. Well, for today at least.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 10/18/09

  1. "Julianne", The Crash That Took Me
    I received the band's latest CD, Chlorine Colored Eyes, in the mailbox last week. I wish I could have put one of the song of their new effort on the playlist, but their MySpace hasn't been updated in over a month. I don't want to say too much about the CD yet, but I will tell you that it's a very interesting CD, and I don't mean that in the insulting way. The band takes much of the sound you've come to expect from them while incorporating a more experimental and psychedelic tone to the songs. Hopefully I will be posting a song from the CD in the next few weeks.

  2. "Mermaid of Virginia", The Naptime Shake
    Is it just me, or does this song sound like the country equivalent of early Belle and Sebastian? Feel free to ask them that question this week, as they will play Friday night at Bryan Street Tavern, and then Saturday at Lee Harvey's. I'm not sure if they'll have copies of their debut CD Blood and Panic yet, but if so, bring a few extra bucks and buy it.

  3. "Motivational", Toadies
    Turn your computer speakers to 11 for this song.

  4. "Standing on the Edge of Lonely/I-40 Blues", Jayson Bales & The Charmers
    I've seen Mr. Bales perform before, but when he and his band performed Friday at Opening Bell Coffee, the band did more than exceed my expectations. Jayson Bales & The Charmers shattered my expectations. Not only is Mr. Bales excellent at both the singing and songwriting aspects of being a singer/songwriter, he has assembled a first-rate group of musicians to back him up. More than likely this performance will make the top 10 performances of the year list.

  5. "Old Reactions", Trey Johnson
    I must make a severely overdue correction. The Trey Johnson/Chris Holt/Emmeline show was not last Wednesday, but is instead this Wednesday at Lakewood Bar & Grill. Note to Mr. Johnson: please correct the spelling of this track on your MySpace page. Perhaps I'm the only one who is so OCD about spelling song titles correctly, but it'd just make me feel better. Thanks.

  6. "I'm on Fire", The Farstar
    Speaking of LBG, this band will have their CD release party on Friday night. Technically, it's an EP release, but close enough.

  7. "Chasing Corporate", Air Review
    I know Mark, who hosts the Local Show on KDGE, has gotten behind the band. I wish the program director for the station would do the same, because this song (and this band) strike me as a band that would strike a chord with most of the station's listeners.

  8. "Crudely Drawn", The Drams
    It seems that there have been more Slobberbone shows this year than Drams shows, so I thought I'd post a Drams song because I've missed getting to see them perform live.

  9. "When Hammer Hits Stone", RTB2
    The band performs this Wednesday at Trees with Goodwin and Oso Closo as part of the KDGE local show series.

  10. "Blumenthol (Acoustic)", Iris Leu
    Mark October 30th on your calendars. The Ghost of Blind Lemon has put on another showcase for your listening pleasure. Iris Leu, Morning Elephant, Luna Matto, and Jokersdeck will all be performing that day at Lakewood Bar & Grill. It's the day before Halloween, so feel free to dress up if you feel so inclined.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 10/11/09

  1. "Pushing Strings", Macon Greyson
    I am not happy. It appears that MG will not be playing their usual Texas/OU weekend show at Adair's. That has become my favorite thing about this weekend, and the band's Texas/OU shows are always among their most entertaining. What a shame.

  2. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi
    Fortunately, there are other show options for the Texas/OU weekend. For those looking for a less raucous celebration, Opening Bell Coffee may be your best bet. Jayson Bales will do the acoustic CD release party for his latest effort, Along the Fault Line. GOBL fave Rahim Quazi, featured here, will open the show.

  3. "Duelist", True Widow
    I'm not familiar with the Vivian Girls; all I know is that they're playing this Wednesday at The Cavern along with True Widow. Since I'm not familiar with the band, this is probably premature to say, but I cannot imagine that their set could outdo True Widow. Their CD is phenomenal, and their live show is even better.

  4. "Five Minutes", Binary Sunrise
    Pete Freedman recently said on the DC9 at Night blog that he knows he's "not only one in the world who can't get enough" of this song. Rest assured Pete, you're on the money on this one. I've been loving this song since my first listen too.

  5. "Wishful Sinking", The Slack
    Word on the street is that The Slack will release their 2nd CD by year's end, and that none other than Idol Records will distribute the CD. I'm sure Chris Holt and the rest of the band will be performing songs off their upcoming CD when they play Friday at AllGood Cafe. In the meantime, here's the title track of the band's first effort.

  6. "Back to the Beginning (Again)", Sara Donaldson
    The original version of this song appears off of her first CD, ...The Beginning. Although I miss the intro featured in the original version, the song benefits from both the extra orchestration and additional chords and melodies woven into the original melody. All in all, the update is the more intriguing and enjoyable version.

  7. "Snow in June", Little Black Dress
    This Wednesday at Trees, Hendrick and Little Black Dress will perform at Trees as part of the EDGE's Local Show. This should be an evening filled with gorgeous melodies.

  8. "Unfavorable Way", Trey Johnson
    This will be a busy week for Mr. Johnson, as he will play Wednesday night at Lakewood Bar & Grill with Chris Holt and one of my new favorite singer/songwriters, Emmeline. He then plays again Friday at City Tavern, along with Here, In Arms and The Orbans.

  9. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
    Last night's show at Amsterdam Bar for Luna Matto and RTB2 was packed, especially during Luna Matto's extraordinary set. What, you weren't there? Tsk tsk tsk.

  10. "She's from the Other Side", Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights
    I'm sure this weekend's biggest post Texas/OU party will be at House of Blues, with Bleu Edmondson, Josh Weathers Band, and the allmighty JT&NL. Get your tickets while you can.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 10/4/09

  1. "D Street", Luna Matto
    Normally, the playlist starts with a song that rocks more. The beauty of this song, however, is so strong that I cannot imagine anyone who wouldn't be sucked in and captivated. This band amazes me, and if you give them the chance, they will amaze you as well. Saturday night they will give you that opportunity when they perform at the Amsterdam Bar.

  2. "When Hammer Hits Stone", RTB2
    And in case you were waiting for that larger than life, grandiose, kick-ass song to open the set, here it is. You can also catch them at Amsterdam Bar on Saturday night.

  3. "Pictures Collected", Salim Nourallah
    Speaking of Saturday night, Mr. Nourallah will open up for hometown hero Rhett Miller at the House of Blues Cambridge Room. I'm not sure if it's sold out yet, but I'd count on this show selling out.

  4. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
    My friend Emmeline recently commented on how she enjoyed the Hello Lover and Bad Sports songs I posted on one of my more recent playlists. I must say, I too love the high octane new wave sound of this band, so for those who missed it the first time I posted the song, here it is again. And even if you heard it the first time around, it's worth a second, third, fourth, etc. listen.

  5. "Lightbulbs", Something in the Wheel
    Something in the Wheel is only receiving a fraction of the attention that this group so deserves. Fans of The O's will almost certainly enjoy the simple, straight forward acoustic melodies the band creates. They are finally releasing their first CD, and the CD release show will take place Saturday night at Mokah Coffee Bar. Lacey Gage (from Liking Strikes) will release her solo CD that same night, and this will be your last chance to see her for awhile, as she is moving to Australia for school. Oh, and Tim Miller will open the show. Acoustic music fans, this is your best bet of the weekend.

  6. "Jimmy is About to Die", A.I.F.A.
    This track was recently posted on the DC9 at Night blog as a free mp3; click here to listen and download. On their blog, it is labelled as an A.I.F.A. song, but rather to group member Chucky Sly. Whether you call it an A.I.F.A. or Chucky Sly song, I'm just going to call it the most intelligent and interesting rap song I've heard all year long.

  7. "Chasing Corporate", Air Review
    The band will be performing Wednesday night at Trees, opening for the Rocketboy's CD release show. The event will be hosted by KDGE's local show.

  8. "Spiders", Menkena
    There is no hiding the fact; I love Menkena. Here's another new track by Jimmy Menkena and the gang, and it's another great song in the Menkena catalog.

  9. "The Prince Song", Meredith Miller Band
    Unless if you were into acoustic local acts in the 1990's, you probably do not remember Meredith Louise Miller. In my opinion, she just might be the best of that genre that our metroplex area has ever seen. This particular track is probably her best known song. The opening line is probably the best description of love that I have ever heard: "It feels like crying/I'm not real sure what that feels like/So it feels like throwing up/Spilling up guts." It may not be pretty, but it's brutally honest.
  10. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
    I've been slacking. I can't remember the last time I've raved about this song. Guess it's time to start again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekend Plans for Those Not at ACL

I still have several other real articles, editorials, reviews, etc. in my mind that will hopefully make it onto the blog in the coming weeks. All I need is time, and to quote Old 97's, "time is on my bad side." In the meantime, let me give you some guidance for this weekend. If you're reading this blog, this probably means you're not in Austin right now for the big ACL festival. If you are, however, make sure you rearrange your schedules to check out sets by Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights as well as Sarah Jaffe.

But since you're probably in the metroplex area, my guess is that you are looking for a show closer to home. The options may be slimmer this weekend, but there are still enough quality shows to keep you busy. I'm keeping comments to a bare minimum this time around, just know that if it's on the list, it's worth considering.

Lovie/The Monco Poncho (Bryan Street Tavern)
I'm not sure who's headlining, but according to Lovie, this is their last show of the year.
Telegraph Canyon/Low Red Land/Seryn (Lola's Sixth Street)
This is the CD release show for TC's The Tide and the Current. If you haven't seen the band in the past year or so, you should see how the band's sound has evolved. The CD will probably be on many Best of 2009 lists.
The O’s/Whiskey Folk Ramblers/Frank Smith (Boiler Room)
My love of The O's is well known, but Austin act Frank Smith (that's a band, not a person) grabbed my attention with their stripped down set at Double-Wide last weekend.
RTB2/The Theater Fire/Mimicking Birds (City Tavern)
This is another show where I'm uncertain of the order in the lineup, so get there early to ensure you don't miss RTB2 or Theater Fire. Sorry, I don't know anything about Mimicking Birds, so I won't say you should or shouldn't miss them.
The Marfalites (Banderas)
I've only been in Banderas once, and that was for the Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase. I must say, however, that the sound at the venue that night was top notch. Oh yeah, The Marfalites are pretty damn good as well.

Dove Hunter (Lee Harvey's)
I'm finding fewer good options for Saturday, but this is easily my number one Saturday pick.
Johnny Lloyd Rollins (Jack's Backyard)
It's been too long since I've seen Mr. Rollins in action. Word on the streets is that there'll be a new album out shortly. All I can say is that it's about time.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 9/27/09

I'll probably be posting something of greater substance tomorrow, but for today, I figured an updated playlist was more than overdue.

  1. "All Inside", The Felons

  2. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
    For those who like to go out on Sunday nights, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend going to Jack's Backyard. Long time GOBL faves The Felons are playing there tonight, as well as brand new GOBL fave Luna Matto. There's no cover at Jack's, and even if there was a cover, it'd be worth the price of admission.

  3. "Shake Your Fist", Telegraph Canyon
    Telegraph Canyon has always been a critical favorite in the metroplex area, but their latest album, The Tide and the Current, has brought the band a level of attention that through me by surprise. Actually, the sound of the new album through me by surprise as well. The band's layered sound remains, but the newer songs have an energy and sense of urgency that their previous effort lacked. The band is garnering comparisons to My Morning Jacket, Wilco, and Band of Horses based on the way they have fused together dreamy melodies with their Americana and alt-country stylings. The band celebrates their CD release party this Friday at Lola's 6th Street, and I feel safe in saying that this will be a major event rather than a mere show.

  4. "Chasing Corporate", Air Review
    I ran into John Solis at the Dovetail CD release show, and I asked him if he had any new local bands I should be listening to. His answer? Air Review. A matter of minutes later, I start talking with Pete Freedman from the Dallas Observer, and ask him the exact same question. To my surprise, I get the exact same answer. I wondered if John told Pete to say that, but then I listened to their music. If their live show is even half as good as the songs posted on their MySpace, then the hype is completely warranted.

  5. "Wicked Game", Sara Donaldson
    For the past three or so years, I have impatiently waited for Ms. Donaldson to record her follow up to The Beginning. For those not familiar with Ms. Donaldson or first album, she is one of the premier cellists in the area, with a voice reminiscent of Kate Bush at her finest hour, and her melodies incorporate influences ranging from Tori Amos to Enya to Sarah McLachlan. Ms. Donaldson is continuing that tradition on her newest effort, Leaving Winter, featuring her cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game". It's true what they say: good things come to those who wait.

  6. "Pushing Strings", Macon Greyson
    Have you downloaded This Machine Kills Hypocrisy yet? Macon Greyson's new EP can be downloaded for free, as in zero dollars. Do it. Now.

  7. "Suenos", Chasing the Muse
    John from Lakewood Bar & Grill recommended this act to me on the strength of their lead vocalist, Aleah Dillard. This is very dreamy music with well written complex melodies. I'm intrigued to hear more from the band.

  8. "Evil on the Highway", Dove Hunter
    They'll be playing Saturday at Lee Harvey's.

  9. "15 Minutes to Rock", Chomsky
    Why is this on the playlist? Sometimes I just like to kick it old school. Actually, they're one of my favorite bands of all time. That helps too.

  10. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    Good news: Menkena has posted three new songs on their MySpace page. The band maintains its dreamy shoegaze melodies paired with Jimmy Menkena's ability to write a song. The melodies of the new songs are among the strongest that Jimmy has ever written. He says the CD should be out by the end of the year. It is the CD that I am most eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Happening Night... for a Wednesday

Usually, I don't give recommendations for Wednesday nights because, well, Wednesdays aren't exactly the most happening evenings. It's a rarity to have a good show on a Wednesday night. Tonight, I have not one, but two recommendations.

The first act I would recommend is Emmeline at Lakewood Bar & Grill. She plays there each Wednesday this month, and having seen her several times, I must say that her shows are always a pleasant treat. My friend John Keener compares her sound to Laura Nyro. I can't comment on that comparison as I am not familiar with Ms. Nyro's work, though to me she sounds like a piano-centered version of Joni Mitchell. I believe she goes on at 8 tonight, so it'd be an early evening for those worried about going to work the next day.

The second act playing tonight is Luna Matto, who will perform at Opening Bell Coffee. My original intent was to write a full length article on the band before the show, but alas, time didn't allow for that. So I'm going to give this brief comment here: the set by Luna Matto and her band not only blew me away, but I think that this is an act that has more potential to break out of Dallas than any band I've seen in the past few years. Yes, they are THAT good. Go check them out tonight, and thank me later.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 9/6/09

  1. "The Fall Fashions", The Deathray Davies
    Easily my favorite of all the songs in the DRD catalog, and now that the band has an actual trombone player, the live version comes closer to sounding like the version on The Kick and the Snare. I suspect this is one of the songs the band will be playing tonight at The Old Monk. I was disappointed that the turnout to their last show was not as overwhelming as I would have expected. After over a year sans Deathray Davies shows, you'd think Sons of Hermann Hall would have been packed. Hopefully there'll be a good crowd at tonight's show. Did I mention there's no cover, and $2 PBR's?

  2. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
    If you didn't go to Lakewood Bar & Grill Friday night, you missed a wonderful performance by this band. It was actually a wonderful lineup overall, and I plan on discussing the performance by opening act Luna Matto in greater detail later this week. In the meantime, let me focus on Hello Lover. The band takes elements of early new wave material (the band even covers New Order's "Ceremony") but infuses the style with a hard rocking style that reminds me of early Iggy Pop. Also, the band's drummer, Joe Hardy, is one of my current favorite drummers in Dallas. And the song "Same Old, Same Old" is anything but what the title suggests: it is a fresh and energetic take on the new wave sound that begs for repeated listens.

  3. "Luckier Man", John Lefler
    Mr. Lefler seems to be poised to be one of the reigning kings of pop music in the metroplex. This particular track in slower and less over the top in its pop nature, but the arrangements in the song are nothing less than gorgeous. My friend Amy ranks this as her favorite song, and while "Lucy" is still my number one, this track is growing on me quickly.

  4. "Tell Me", Young Indian Outlaw
    This is a fairly young band, and the majority of their material lies within a White Stripes/Jet/Hives vein. This particular track, however, comes off more like a slower, more alt-country version of early Kings of Leon. Frankly, I think this is their most interesting track, and although I like all of the material I've heard by Young Indian Outlaw, I'd love to see the band further mine this particular musical vein.

  5. "Horses", Somebody's Darling
    This Saturday night marks the CD release of the band's first full-length effort, released on Shiner Records. The CD release show will be held at the Granada Theater, and everyone who attends the event shall receive a copy of the new CD. "Horses" is the first single off the album, and it is classic Somebody's Darling, complete with their trademark southern sound and Amber Farris' passionate vocals.

  6. "Crazy Bullshit Detector", Bad Sports
    It's harder for me to find punk bands that I like. For a long time, the list consisted solely of Spector 45. After seeing Bad Sports perform at the Dallas Observer Awards ceremony, I instantly became a fan of this band. I was hoping that "All The Time" would be available on their MySpace page, but this song works well too. Plus, it has a far more memorable title.

  7. "In This Life", Rahim Quazi
    For as much as I love the music of Rahim Quazi, I seem to have this incredible knack for missing his shows lately. If I didn't book him for one of my Lakewood Bar & Grill shows this summer, I would have missed out on seeing him play this year altogether. He's written some new material which shows great promise, and he'll probably be playing it this Saturday night at Veritas Wine Bar, off of Henderson Avenue. I'm going to try and break my unlucky streak here and see my second Rahim show of the year.

  8. "Pushing Strings", Macon Greyson
    Macon Greyson is a band that understands the rough economic times we are in. At their shows, the band takes the "pay what you can afford" approach when selling their most recent full length CD, 20th Century Accidents. Now the guys in Macon Greyson have posted their new EP, This Machine Kills Hypocrisy, as a free download on their website. Frankly, I'd be willing to pay the standard $5 for an EP of this quality, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? Macon Greyson lowered the price of their music to nothing, all the while maintaining the same level of strong alt-country tunes as they've always created. We may be in a financial recession, but at least their songs help avoid sinking into a musical depression.

  9. "You Every Time", Emmeline
    Sometimes less is more. This track consists only of Emmeline's beautiful voice, great piano playing, and a story of a woman with a broken heart. If any more was added to the track, it would only take away from the simple beauty of this song. You can hear her play this and other songs each Wednesay for the rest of this month at Lakewood Bar & Grill.

  10. "Whiskey Talkin'", Boys Named Sue
    There will be plenty of whiskey talking, shiner bocking, and other forms of drinking this Friday night at Sons of Hermann Hall, as the Boys Named Sue celebrate the release of their follow up to The Hits: Volume One. The new CD is called The Hits: Volume Sue. Original, huh? Musically, however, the band is branching out, experimenting with elements of hip-hop and electronica in their sound, while lyrically the band ponders the deeper meaning of life as well as their own mortality. NOT!!! Boys Named Sue obviously subscribe to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy, and as a result, the album is filled with their trademark country party music filled with plenty of alcohol references. While BNS aren't breaking new musical territory, they're having a whole lot of fun doing what they've always done.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Tale of Two Sorta Members

Two years ago on this day, I came home from work, and as I do most days, the first thing I did was get on the internet and see what's going on with my friends and in the local music scene. I saw a bulletin post on MySpace from Fred Holston, titled "OMG! I can't believe this happened." My initial response was to ignore the post, figuring that it might have just been a phishing scam. Curiosity got the best of me, and I read Fred's post. I was totally unprepared for what the message said.

That was the way I learned about Carter Albrecht's death. I sat in front of the computer for probably close to half an hour, simply in shock over the news. Carter was not just one of the best musicians I ever had the privilege to see perform, but he was also an all-around good human being. I've had a hard time writing about both Carter's life and his death. Words cannot seem to do justice to Carter's legacy, whether it be on or off the stage. Even two years after his death, the loss is still felt both in the music community, and for me on a personal level.

My original intent was to simply write about Carter. That was before I received an email from Danny Balis. He had some rather surprising news to share today, but this time I can report the news with joy instead of sadness. Mr. Balis' debut solo album, Too Much Living, has earned a slot in the top 10 of Amazon's Hot New Country Releases. To see a musician of Mr. Balis' caliber receive such a level of attention on a national level does my heart good. I would even go as far as to say that it gives me hope for both the local and even the national music scene.

It seems fitting on so many levels that on today, the second anniversary of Carter's death, that this news should break. Danny and Carter were not just band mates in Sorta and Sparrows; they were best friends. In fact, it was Carter who suggested that Danny venture into country music, stating that his voice was perfectly suited for the material. Also, many of the songs off of the CD feature quite obvious references to Carter. In "Tethered", the first single off the CD, Danny sings that "if the sparrow dies, I'll be alright if you feel the way I do." And the album's title track is a touching farewell to a friend: "You dusted off your wings and decided that you'd sing the saddest song that we'd ever hear."

My congratulations go out to Mr. Balis on this well deserve success. For this success to come on this day seems like a perfect tribute to Carter's musical legacy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Slobberbone Tickets!

That's right, I have a pair of Slobberbone tickets to give away. Here's how it works. I'm going to give you the last few lines of a Slobberbone song. Your job is to tell me the name of the song.

"Shut your mouth and come inside now, my little dove
Get my gun, get my coat, get my gloves
Understand that everything I do is out of love
'Cause I'm out of love"

The first person to correctly answer the question gets a pair of tickets to see Slobberbone, along with Macon Greyson and Danny Balis, at the Granada Theater. Send your email with your answer to, and good luck!

UPDATE: Congrats to Elizabeth Stockton, who correctly identified the song as "Billy Pritchard". See you Friday night!

Monday, August 17, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 8/16/09 (A Day Late)

The original intent was to say a few quick words yesterday, and then move into the playlist. As I started to type, I realized I had way too much to say, and that the playlist needed to be a separate article in and of itself. So for the first time in weeks, I present you a new MySpace playlist.

  1. "Eyes for You", Old 97's
    There are so many things I can say about this band: how great they are, how they are the reason I started my journey in the local music scene, and so forth. I'll try not to gush too much about the 97's. I must say, though, that I'm impressed to see them play such a fancy-schmancy venue as Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth this Friday (Telegraph Canyon opens this show). The band has come a long, long ways. I somehow doubt they'll pull out this song at the show, but who knows?

  2. "Fanzini", Luna Matto
    I've lost track trying to count the number of Polyphonic Spree side projects. Annie Clark's side project, St. Vincent, is obviously the most visible of these side projects. Luna Matto is another Spree member hoping to make a name for herself. With her dreamy vocals and melodies that seem to borrow elements from Sia, Neko Case, and Cat Power, Ms. Matto might find herself the recipient of critical acclaim and a respectable sized fan base.

  3. "Tethered", Danny Balis
    One can't help but hope for good things from Mr. Balis' debut CD, Too Much Living. With the contributions he's made in such bands as Sorta and King Bucks, the man has definitely made his mark in the local music scene. His CD does not deliver good things. To call this CD merely "good" is an insult. Danny's music is a living, breathing tribute to all that was once great in country music. This is real deal, "tear in your beer" country music. Not Americana or alt-country or pop-country, but country. Every one of the ten tracks on Too Much Living is a perfect piece of beautiful heartbreaking truth. If you want to see him perform these songs live, and you should, then get to Granada Theater early Friday night. Mr. Balis will open the show, with Macon Greyson playing and the reunited Slobberbone headlining.

  4. "Just the Way She Runs", Matthew Bridgman
    I was looking forward to finally seeing David Ramirez play Saturday at Bill's Records. Alas, his van broke down in Lubbock, forcing him to cancel his set. Fortunately, there were plenty of other great performers, including Louisiana punk band Mission vs. Madness and Waco/Austin native Jaimee Harris. Also on the bill was former Hendrick member Matthew Bridgman, who is quite an impressive songwriter. He'll be playing Thursday at The Gap in Stonebriar Mall (unlikely venue to say the least) alongside GOBL fave Iris Leu. Good music in Plano: a fluke, or a sign that the end of the world is coming?

  5. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
    Speaking of Hendrick, I still can't get over this song. I know many of you still haven't listened. Please, my readers, I do not make these playlists for my entertainment. These are tools to help you discover new music, and I haven't found a song this year more worthy of discovery than "Echo and the Pass".

  6. "Impossible", Pleasant Grove
    I've been on something of a Pleasant Grove kick lately. The song selections on MySpace are rather limited. Personally, I would've preferred to post "Commander Whatever", "Cone Equation", or "We Made Our Way". Alas, since this was the only option off of The Art of Leaving, this had to do.

  7. "Sunday Driver", True Widow
    When I first saw True Widow at the Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase, the plan was to catch a little of True Widow's set at The Cavern, and a little of Doug Burr's set at Billiard Bar. I liked what I had heard on the band's MySpace page, and had heard lots of killer word of mouth. I was not prepared for what I walked in on. True Widow put on one of the most amazing shows I've seen in forever. I ended up staying for all of True Widow's set. It's not so much that I didn't want to leave, but it's almost more accurate to say that I couldn't leave The Cavern. The music of True Widow was too captivating and entracing for me to be able to walk away. Moral of the story: if you get a chance to see the band, then you must do it.

  8. "So Slow", Taylor Davis
    It seems I've seen more of Taylor Davis in the past two months than any other musician. I most likely will not make it to his set this Thursday at Lakewood Bar & Grill, where he'll be joined by Tim Miller, who I haven't seen play in eons. Besides, I probably should skip a Taylor Davis show so he doesn't think I'm stalking him.

  9. "The Candle Song", Sara Donaldson
    Sara Donaldson fans, take heart. Her long overdue follow up to her debut CD will be released on iTunes in about a month it appears. Here's a little taste of what you have to look forward to when you can purchase her new CD, Leaving Winter.

  10. "Homesick", Menkena
    Thanks again to Menkena, as well as all the other acts, who played the Ghost of Blind Lemon 2 year anniversary show at City Tavern. I got the opportunity to hear some of their new songs that will be on the upcoming full length, which only has me more excited for the release of this CD. Since I don't have any new tracks to offer, I give you this oldie but goodie from Menkena. Enjoy!