Monday, June 29, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 6/28/09

Again, technically it's posted on the 29th, but close enough, right? So let's get to it...

  1. "T-Docks (Summertime)", Clay & Electronic Cowboys
    I'm continuing my Lakewood Bar & Grill bookings through most of July, and Clay will have the headlining slot for the evening, around 11:30. Normally I start my playlists with the opener, but this is such a deliciously fun song that it seemed the perfect way to start the playlist.

  2. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi
    Mr. Quazi fills the middle slot for the night. This song was neglected in both the Quick Big Thing Awards, as well as the DOMA's. That, my friends, is nothing less than criminal.

  3. "So Slow", Taylor Davis
    A double set of thank you's for Mr. Davis: not only is he opening up this Thursday's LBG show in style, but he filled in last minute and opened the CD release show Friday for The Felons. I rarely get to see Taylor play, so two shows in a week's time will be a treat.

  4. "Better Off Dead", the cut*off
    My apologies to my readers (as well as cut*off fans) for any confusion over last Thursday. To the guys in the band: I hope to book you in the very near future. You'll always hold a special spot in Fast Eddie's heart.

  5. "Endlessly", Green River Ordinance
    It's time for a deep confession: at my core, I'm a hopeless romantic. Is this song a bit sappy? Probably so. At the same time, it's incredibly catchy, and yes, sweet as well.

  6. "Gypsy Woman", Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights
    The band has been busy touring with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock, and that tour makes a stop this Wednesday at the center (but I still call it Starplex, damnit). Not content to doing one show that night, JT&NL will play a show at Dada, along with We Are Villains and RTB2. Admission is only $5, or free to anyone with a ticket stub to the Skynyrd/Kid Rock show.

  7. "Cheeky Girl", The Kul
    I got an email from The Kul (pronounced like "The Cool") encouraging me to vote for the band in this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards (nominated for Best Funk/R&B). I gave it a listen, and was quite pleasantly surprised, particularly by this track. For those who haven't voted yet in the DOMA's, I would encourage you to cast a vote for The Kul.

  8. "Secular Trends", Grassfight
    For those who missed this band when they played Lakewood Bar & Grill, you really missed out. Everyone who was there was talking about the band, pleasantly shocked by their performance. One of the reasons I love to blog is to get the word out on bands that have not gotten the attention they deserve. Grassfight is most definitely such a band, and if there's any musical justice, they will get the opportunity to climb high on the local music ladder of success.

  9. "Hollowville", Iris Leu
    Hushaboo is one of those albums where my favorite track changes from day to day. This particular track has spent many a days as my favorite. I'm sure Ms. Leu will perform this song Friday at The Cavern.

  10. "I Like Love", pop poppins
    I just discovered today that there will be a 20th year anniversary party at Lakewood Theater for 94.5 KDGE. When I was in high school, my life was almost completely centered around that station and the music they played. Whether it be alternative superstars (U2, The Cure, etc.), lesser known acts (Material Issue, Inspiral Carpets, etc.) or local acts like pop poppins and Moon Festival, this was the music that shaped my teenage years. Friday's Lakewood show will feature pop poppins, The Bat Mastersons, and John Easedale of Dramarama among others. Tickets are only $9.45 (how clever) plus service charges. Merch will be sold at the show, including old 94.5 KDGE bumper stickers, t-shirts, and Tales From The Edge CD's. Man, just talking about it is making flash back to high school.

Finally, I leave you with a video of Emily Elbert covering "Thriller". Many of you I'm sure have seen Jeff Liles post the video as a bulletin on one of his various MySpace accounts. But just in case you missed it, give it a listen. Rest in peace, gloved one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

To Miss Tonight's Show Would Be a Felony

I promise, the review of the Felons' new CD, At Sea, is coming shortly. In the meantime, trust me when I say that you need to be at Dada tonight for the big CD release party. Taylor Davis opens with an acoustic set at 9, followed by Lovie, and then The Felons. Sure, there are other shows going on tonight, but two things:

  1. I don't have the time to list them.

  2. This one, as far as I'm concerned, is by far the most important.

Hope to see everyone there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Info on Tonight

Lakewood Bar & Grill has been my first attempt at booking on a regular basis, and I'm learning how challenging this job can be. Tonight has been the night from hell to book. Originally the lineup was The O's and The Marfalites, but BOTH bands are no longer playing tonight. So here's the real deal: tonight starts with a heavy dose of cover bands. Le Cure goes on at 9, and I must say, they may be my new favorite cover band (apologies to Paul Averitt and the rest of Hard Night's Day). The Thin White Dukes follow at 10:30, playing David Bowie songs. Last but not least, one of my favorite bands, the cut*off, wrap it up in style when the clock strikes midnight. My apologies to those anticipating The O's and/or The Marfalites, but I hope you'll still find this a good lineup.

UPDATE: The cut*off are NOT playing tonight after all. Sorry for the confusion. Repeat, the cut*off are NOT playing tonight.

Monday, June 22, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 6/21/09

Technically, it's the playlist was posted in the wee hours of Monday, the 22nd, but why get picky? Since it's late (or early, depending on your perspective), I'm tired and don't feel like saying much. Maybe I'll feel like saying more later, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this hand picked selection of ten.

  1. "Summer Rain", Nicholas Altobelli

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

  3. "Lucy", John Lefler

  4. "Girl from the City", The King Bucks

  5. "Struggle to Find", Trey Johnson

  6. "Henry the Skunk", The Boom Boom Box

  7. "Maybellene Don't", THe BAcksliders

  8. "Slow", The Reverend Horton Heat

  9. "Cathedral", The Felons

  10. "I'm Still Here", Macon Greyson

Friday, June 19, 2009

Everything You Needed to Know About Friday Night But Were Afraid to Ask

I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like all the good shows are tonight. Here's a sampling of tonight's finest choices.

Ishi/Little Black Dress/Romp Almighty/Sparklepussy Barbie (Prophet Bar)
I must confess, I'm a little disappointed that The Orbans had to drop out of this bill, but at least Romp Almighty will be taking their place. I went to see Little Black Dress last night at Good Records. The show went on WAY later than the advertised time of 7, and I had to cut out early to make it to Lakewood Bar & Grill. That was a real shame, because what little I heard of this set proved that their performance at Granada Theater last year was no fluke. The songs are tight, the performances by all the musicians are tight, and if that's not enough, this is the official CD release party for Snow in June. If only there was snow this evening in June, it would all be complete.
The O’s (The Libertine)
To the best of my knowledge, The Libertine hosts very few shows. I'm trying to recall if I've even been to the venue, so I can't say much about the bar. So instead, I'll talk about The O's. Though frankly, I've raved so much about The O's, I would only be redundant at this point. Just know that they're amazing, they will blow your mind, and you will have no cover charge tonight.
The King Bucks (Adair's)
I may run between Prophet Bar and Adair's tonight, because I usually end up missing out on the Bucks. It's a shame for sure, but hey, there are just too many bands worth following in Dallas. Someone has to get the short end of the stick. Hopefully I'll catch some good chunks of the show.
Cocky Americans/PVC Street Gang/Eaton Lake Tonics
Tonight will be Cocky Americans' 50th show. If I'd known that, I would have delayed their gig last week at LB&G so I could celebrate their 50th with them. One question: does this mean that the band is middle-aged now?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How To Spend Your Thursday Evening

It won't be long until I head out for the evening, and that's exactly what you should be doing as well. What should you do? It's a simple, two step process.

  1. Go to Good Records, where Little Black Dress will play tonight at 7. As usual, it's a free show, BYOB, plus there should be some free beer on hand.

  2. Afterwards, head on over to Lakewood Bar & Grill, where you can catch Lovie, The Felons, and The Burgundys. If you get there at 9, you can also catch Le Cure.

Hey, it beats summer reruns.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Posters and Fliers... Video Flyers, That Is

I know this may come as a big shock, but I'm hosting yet another showcase this Thursday at Lakewood Bar & Grill, starting at 10 pm, with a Ghost of Blind Lemon favorite, Lovie. The Felons are up next, and will be previewing songs from their upcoming effort At Sea. The Burgundys wrap up the set at midnight, and all fans of power-pop a la Cheap Trick and Superdrag will be delighted by this band. And if you don't like power-pop, well, come out anyways because your musical taste needs assistance.

I always have get a poster made for these events, and this week's poster is courtesy of Amanda Newman. But wait, there's more! For the first time ever, I've got a video flyer for my show. I'm not quite sure how to pass out these video flyers, unlike the traditional ones on paper. Handing out links, urls, and embedded code somehow loses its impact on paper. So enjoy the video flyer below, as well as the poster.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mutual Admiration Society

It was almost two years ago that I decided to enter the local music blogosphere. While I've always had a passion for local music, I knew next to nothing about html and blogging. I needed someone whose opinion I could trust on blogging, writing, and the like. The choice for me was clear: Cindy Chaffin from The Fine Line. She was the person whose opinion I trusted the most to guide me in this venture.

Nearly two years later, I have been given by first DOMA nomination for Best Music Advocate. That was quite the honor. Perhaps the even bigger honor, however, is this article written by Cindy herself, endorsing me for Best Music Advocate. The fact that she believes in what I do means a whole lot to me. She could have taken the opportunity to promote her own nomination in that category (by the way, Observer, can we name it the Cindy Chaffin award) but chose unselfishly to put forth her opinion on my blog. Cindy, I thank you so much for that honor.

Let me say this: I know it sounds cliched, but it really is an honor to be included in that list with such fine company. Aside from my obvious love of Cindy's work, there are a few other nominees who I feel are worthy of mention. There's Jeff Liles, who has been at the game far longer than I have. I hope one day to know half as much about the history of Dallas music as he does. Then there's Chelsea Callahan, who between promoting bands, booking at Double-Wide, and helping the Carter Albrecht Music Foundation, just might be the hardest working person in the Dallas music community. And while I am not acquainted with the folks at Gutterth, I know that they play a vital role in metroplex music, particularly in the Denton area. And while my approach to music and blogging may be different from We Shot JR (and that's putting it mildly), there is no denying their success and impact in the metroplex.

Having said all of that, I will be honest with you: I want this award. I want it bad. You can cast your vote here, and whether or not you vote for The Ghost, I encourage you to vote for the acts and individuals you feel are most deserving.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 6/14/09

  1. "Harshmellow", Lovie

  2. "Cathedral", The Felons

  3. "Madison", The Burgundys
    This is the portion of the playlist where I get the advertising for my upcoming Lakewood Bar & Grill show out of the way. Thanks to those of you who have been coming to my shows. This one's going to be another good one, thanks to the power-pop sounds of both Lovie and The Burgundys. The Felons mix things up a little in between, with a sound that's somewhere between Muse and Tripping Daisy. You can expect a review of their upcoming album, At Sea, very soon.

  4. "Snow in June", Little Black Dress
    This is gonna be a heavy week for the guys in LBD. They play The Cavern Wednesday night, and then the following night they do a free Good Records show at 7 pm. In case that isn't enough LBD for you, Friday night is the official CD release show for Snow in June at The Prophet Bar. Ishi, The Orbans, and Sparklepussy Barbie will round out that bill.

  5. "Come Closer", Shiny Around the Edges
    I'm not sure if it's the throbbing bassline, the ominous sounding percussion, or what, but this song has been haunting my eardrums lately. I mean that in a very, very good way.

  6. "Say Hello", Tim Miller
    If you're a musician, here's something for you to know. I love it when I get CD's in the mail. It sometimes takes me awhile to get to listening to the CD's, but I always make a point of eventually listening to CD's. I got this CD from Mr. Miller about a month back, and I have found his music to be intelligent, well-written, and catchy as well. Any time you want to send me a CD, Tim, you're more than welcome to do so.

  7. "We've Had Everything", The O's
    Congratulations to The O's, who just celebrated their one year anniversary last night at House of Blues. Can't wait to see what this upcoming year brings.

  8. "Heart's Too Young", Somebody's Darling
    I can't recall if I've ever added SD in any past playlists. If I have made that oversight, I wanted to correct it, so here's one of their songs. I would've liked to put "Farewell" on the playlist, but oh well.

  9. "Golden Storybook", Blue Petal
    After going to House of Blues last night, I swung by Amsterdam Bar and got to see Blue Petal for the first time in almost a year. In that time, the band's sound has truly evolved and grown, sounding much fuller and richer. The songs off their new album, Golden Storybook, have a slightly darker under current than the previous EP. Lead singer Manya Repnikova's voice, however, seems better suited for the new material. I still need to see more shows of theirs, but after last night's show, I'm inclined to say that Blue Petal has evolved into one of the strongest live acts in Dallas.

  10. "Backbop", Bugs Henderson
    Several people commented last night on the Stevie Ray Vaughan shirt that I was wearing, surprised that I'm a fan. Admittedly, most of my musical taste lies within the indie/rock/alternative/folk/alt-country spectrum, but make no mistake: I do like the blues. That inspired me to wrap this week's playlist up with my favorite Dallas blues musician, Bugs Henderson. Why this man isn't a major player on the national blues scene is beyond me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday To-Do's

I've had a hard time deciding which shows to attend tonight. There are just that many good options. Here's the list with a forewarning: seeing all the options before you may make it harder, not easier, to make a decision.

RTB2/THe BAcksliders/Old Snack/Delmore Pilcrow
RTB2 rocked my face off Thursday night at LB&G. Each time I see them, I find myself in deeper awe over the talent of Ryan Thomas Becker. Grady also plays one mean drum set as well. THe BAcksliders rock my face off so often, it's just come to be expected. Put these bands together, and this could rock at epic proportions. This show is easily the best thing happening in Denton tonight, but it is not for the faint of heart or for those who have a serious allergic reaction to being rocked. People with such allergies may experience life threatening side effects.
Nicholas Altobelli/Dylan Sneed/Travis Hopper/Dillon Chevalier (Salon Nights on the Levee)
This is the CD release for Mr. Altobelli's Dog Years EP, and all those who attend tonight's show get a copy with the price of admission. This CD is just further evidence of Nicholas' gift for writing songs.
Paul Slavens/Blue Petal/The Felons (Amsterdam Bar)
I've never been here, but this venue has been getting more and more quality acts as of late. Also, there are no weak links on this bill, which is a definite plus.
King Bucks (Lee Harvey's)
I'm not sure what else to say about the event. It's King Bucks at Lee Harvey's. It will be fun. It will be free. End of story.
Josh Weathers Band/The O's/Somebody's Darling (House of Blues)
Speaking of free, this show is free as well. It celebrates the one year anniversary of Dallas success story The O's. You also get Somebody's Darling opening the bill, another rising star among the Dallas scene. Enjoy this free show; next time, you'll probably have to shell out bigger bucks.
Iris Leu/Justin Kipner/Something in the Wheel (City Tavern)
Ms. Leu will be performing with a complete band behind her tonight. The last time I saw a full band show of hers was at Mokah, and the experience bordered on the magical. Opening act Something in the Wheel possesses a similar bluegrass-acoustic charm to The O's, so keep your eye on this group.
Dove Hunter/Ghost Car (Lola’s Stockyards)
This is the winner of tonight's Best Show in Fort Worth award. I know nothing about Ghost Car, but I know DH, and that's more than enough for me.

Good luck deciding on a show. You'll need it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday To-Do's

Again, I'm getting to my Friday show listings way too late. So here's what's happening tonight. We'll talk about tomorrow, well, tomorrow.

Boys Named Sue (Allgood Cafe)
This party's probably started already, so if you want to go, quit reading and go already.
King Bucks/Airline/Here, In Arms (City Tavern)
My friend Beth always wondered why musicians would want to play on their birthday? She felt they should take the time to enjoy the birthday, have a drink (or several), and not worry about working. Apparently, Chris Carmichael disagrees with this philosophy. His birthday was technically yesterday, but tonight is his party, and he'll be behind the drums for all three acts. Frankly, this lineup seems a bigger gift to the fans than to Chris. But hey, who am I to complain?
Inner City All Stars/Pikahsso/Effinays (Prophet Bar)
Not familiar with Effinays, but Pikahsso remains one of Dallas' best rappers, while Inner City All Stars are kings of the party. There are a select few bands that I tell people that they NEED to see live. With their energetic interpretation of hip-hop through New Orleans style jazz, Inner City All Stars are most definitely a band that needs to be seen live to fully appreciate.
Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights (Woody’s Tavern)
The band's number of local shows are dwindling, so it might be worth the trek to Fort Worth to see them.
Eleven Hundred Springs/Whiskey Folk Ramblers (Boiler Room)
If JT&NL are Fort Worth's best offering of the evening, then this show would be the show to be at for all Dentonites.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last reminder...

Come out tonight, watch the bands, and continue the poster debate.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What the World Needs Now Is Cash, Sweet Cash

As a general rule, this blog is about local music and not dogs. For those who know Hal Samples' pet Cash, however, he is more than just "a dog". He has come to represent all that is right with the Dallas community. Cash has been at Mr. Samples' side for all these years, through all his photo exhibits and his good works for the community. As I'm sure you know, Cash has been having health issues of his own. This weekend was particularly scary, as he needed emergency surgery. The surgery was not cheap, costing over one thousand dollars.

This was Cash's hour of need. In the same way that Hal and Cash have given back to the community, it was Dallas' turn to give back to Cash. And give back they did. Mr. Samples was able to raise the money needed through donations via PayPal. Cash is recovering and in better health now. In fact, I believe Cash will be on hand at SPACE tonight, along with music by Drawn by Jaymz, Porter Davis, and Robert Jones. Make no mistake however, it will be Cash, not the musical artists, that will be the star of the evening. While I would love for everyone to come out tonight to my show at Lakewood Bar & Grill, I will consider it an excused absence with a note signed by Cash. Or, you could come to LBG after dropping by to see Cash.

Also, in case this isn't enough Cash for you, check out the event "Cash for Cash" at Urban Dog Coffee this Saturday from 1-4 pm. It will be a day filled with a canine pool party, doggy glamour shots, as well as impromptu performances by local musicians including members of Lovie, The Felons, and The Happy Bullets. For a $5 donation (proceeds help pay for Cash's medical bills), anyone can perform for five minutes. To find out more about the event, click on the above link to Urban Dog. Go out, spend some cash, and give some help to Cash.

(By the way, props to Scotty Mankoff for the above picture of Cash)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Show So Big It Needs Two Posters

Fact: I suck at making posters. Fact: posters are a necessary part of the promotion process. When I started booking shows at Lakewood, I started looking to people who could make their own posters. Fortunately, Nick Durham of Monco Poncho was able to create last week's poster, which is one of the coolest show posters I have ever seen. Then, one of the members of Grassfight (Tamsi New I'm guessing based on the email) made a poster for this week's show.

I had not alerted Ryan Thomas Becker (RTB2) of this fact, so he took the liberty to create his own poster for the event. So for the first time ever, I have not one, but two unique posters for this Thursday's show. It's certainly a show worthy of the extra publicity. Grassfight are kicking off the show with their unique dark shoegaze vibe. Imagine a cross between The Jesus & Mary Chain and Joy Division, and that's a decent starting place. They go on at 10, then at 11 RTB2 will be tearing up the stage. The band is up for several Dallas Observer Music Awards, including Best Instrumentalist for Mr. Becker, Best Blues Act, and Best Group. I once said that RTB2 sounded like what the White Stripes would sound like if they lived up to the hype. You can go with that, or you could also compare their sound to that of The Black Keys. However you slice it, they put on a fierce and energetic live set that is guaranteed to get even the most comatose audience member into a frenzy. Finally, Cocky Americans wrap up the show at midnight, with what I shall call an "unhyphenated sound". Let me explain. Nowadays, bands are indie-rock, alternative-rock, post-alt-country-shoegaze-rock, you get the idea. There will be none of that for Cocky Americans. They are rock. No prefixes are needed. If you like straight ahead fun rock and roll music, you will like Cocky Americans.

As for the posters, I give you both to judge. The top poster is the one created by Ryan Thomas Becker, and the bottom one is courtesy of Grassfight. Feel free to comment on which poster you like the best.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Balcony Club Needs Your Help!

I just saw a MySpace post from Michael Pyeatt, assistant manager (and bartender) at Balcony Club. Last night, the club was shut down at 11 pm because the people who rent out the Lakewood Theater could not operate the fire panel. As a result, the Fire Marshall had to shut the place down.

Balcony Club, however, will be open tonight as they celebrate Tommy Stanco's birthday, complete with entertainment from Dave Burris and Arthur Riddles Group, plus Tommy's beef brisket! And yes, Mr. Pyeatt and the club hired a Fire Marshall to be on hand this evening, so the venue will stay open throughout the night. The club's future beyond tonight, unfortunately, is uncertain at best. I talked to Michael this afternoon and he said that "the people who rent [Lakewood Theater] and Arcade Bar are making it really hard on us. They want our space."

For those headed out this evening, please stop by Balcony Club and have a few drinks. If you've never been, you are in for a pleasant surprise. The atmosphere of the club is visual stunning, and the feel of the place is very comfortable. The jazz performers are never overpowering in volume, allowing you to enjoy conversation without shouting at one another. But for those who come for the music, there are always first rate musicians on hand ready and eager to play. Go there tonight and support this fine staple of the Dallas music scene. Also, feel free to visit the Balcony Club's pages on both Facebook and MySpace, and let your support be known. Dallas cannot afford to lose another quality music venue.

MySpace Playlist: 6/7/09

My monitor went out on me, leaving me unable to update my blog Friday, so my apologies for the lack of a weekend update. So before I get to the actual playlist, I'd like to take this time to say a few things.

First of all, I thank all of you who came out to Lakewood Bar & Grill this past Thursday and made it the success that it was. Thanks to Dave Seeberger, most importantly, for allowing me to book there, and to John, who worked the door. I thank all of the acts who played: The Monco Poncho, Macon Greyson, and Douglas Woodlane. I also extend my thanks to Adam Carter, who ran the sound and made sure that the evening sounded excellent. And lest I should forget Le Cure, who are simply a lot of fun, and they do a great job of bringing the sound of the band to life.

I also wanted to say a few "Quick" things (pardon the pun) about Friday night's award ceremony. Dove Hunter, as usual, rocked my world. Much to my surprised, Damaged Good$ also rocked my world and proved to me why they have the reputation of one of DFW's finest rap groups. I congratulate all those who won awards at Quick's Big Thing Awards show. I'd like to single out a few special winners. I want to give props to RTB2 (Big Group) and The O's (Big Song, "You've Got Your Heart) who both proved victorious in the duo deathmatch. Shameless promotion here: I'm proud to have both acts playing at Lakewood Bar & Grill for my series of shows. RTB2 plays this Thursday, and The O's will play June 25th. Finally, I have to congratulate Iris Leu on her award for Big New Thing. She is a major talent that I feel up until now has not gotten the recognition she so deserves. Here's hoping that this award reverses that trend.

OK, it's playlist time, and I'll be starting the playlist with the three acts I have booked Thursday night. Beyond that, I'd like to shine the spotlight on some of the acts nominated for this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards. Click here to vote on all of your favorites. I would also encourage you to cast a vote for yours truly in the category of Best Music Advocate.

  1. "2012", Cocky Americans

  2. "Need/Want IV", RTB2 (who are not only LB&G performers, but nominated for Best Group, Best Blues Act, and Best Instrumental for Ryan Thomas Becker)

  3. "Intercoastal", Grassfight

  4. "You've Got Your Heart", The O's (Up for 6 awards, more than any other act, with nominations for Best Group, Best Album, Best Song, New Act, Best Country/Roots Act, and Best Folk Act)

  5. "Time For Love", Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights (Up for Best Group, Best Blues Act, and Best Male Vocalist for Mr. Tyler)

  6. "Were Her", The Orbans (Up for Best New act)

  7. "Even Born Again", Sarah Jaffe (Up for Best Solo Act, Best Album, Best Folk Act, and Best Female Vocalist)

  8. "Pictures Collected", Salim Nourallah (Up for Best Solo Act and Best Producer)

  9. "Which We Have Heard and Known", Doug Burr (Up for Best Solo Act, Best Album, Best Folk Act, and Best Male Vocalist)

  10. "Last Call", THe BAcksliders (Up for Best Hard Rock Act and Best Female Vocalist for Kim Bonner)

NOTE: Although I love all the musicians in this list, this is just a sampling of some great acts, and by no means a list of the preferred winners by myself. I will publish my picks at a later date.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final Reminder - Tonight at LB&G

I think the poster says it all, expect for the fact that Douglas Woodlane will really start at 10, not 9. Le Cure, a Cure tribute band, goes on before my showcase. Come on out and check out this wonderful showcase. Also, feel free to come congratulate me on my nomination for Best Music Advocate in this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards. Feel even freer to cast a vote for me, while you're at it.


Earlier this year, Fort Worth saw two of its biggest bands, Flickerstick and Black Tie Dynasty, call it quits. Yes, both acts are from the same city and each has a very large fan base. There is, however, a more significant common thread between these two bands. Both Flickerstick and BTD had the ability to reach out to a more mainstream crowd while still having a unique enough sound to appeal to a more indie rock crowd. That has always been a difficult act to pull off, but both bands were successful at doing just that. That begs the question: now that Flickerstick and Black Tie Dynasty are no more, who has the potential to fill in their footsteps?

To me, Stella Rose seems like the most likely successor to the throne. When the band played with Flickerstick on their final show, it was apparent to me that Stella Rose has the talent to become one of the biggest bands in Fort Worth, as well as the surrounding areas. The bands sound does share some definite similarities with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Lead vocalist Stephen Beatty sounds slightly like Peter Hayes, particularly on "Makin' It Easy", the opening track of Nine Caged Tigers, and "Fall Apart" definitely sounds like it could have been an album cut from Howl.

Stella Rose, however, incorporates a harder edge in many of their songs than do BRMC. Much of this can be attributed to Matthew Mabe's fierce skills on the drums. Mr. Mabe's skill is most noticeably fierce in the live shows. Ladies, take note: he often gets so hot in the live sets that he takes his shirt off. The band's energy is far more visible in their live set, where even the mellower songs have an added edge to their sound. The band draws a large following in their hometown of Fort Worth. I couldn't help but notice that it seemed the majority of the audience at Flickerstick's final show knew the words to most of the Stella Rose songs and were singing along. When an audience is that pumped for an opening band at another band's swan show, that's saying something.

My only beef with Stella Rose is that they spent TOO much time in Fort Worth. Some Dallas shows would be nice. In the meantime, they will be playing at The Moon in Fort Worth this Saturday night, along with Little Black Dress and RTB2. This is one of the best lineups I've seen in Funkytown all year, and Fort Worth residents would be smart to check this out. Heck, Dallas and Denton people would be smart to make a small road trip.

Oh, and while you're at it, you can vote for Stella Rose in the Fort Worth Weekly music awards, where they're nominated for Best Hard Rock.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Artist Spotlight: Monco Poncho

Before I start on this story, let me say a few things. Yes, The Monco Poncho are headlining Thursday's show at Lakewood Bar & Grill, hosted by yours truly. I have been wanting to write a piece on this band ever since Salim Nourallah's CD release show, where The Monco Poncho all but stole the show. I've been bugging the band to send me some video to post with my story, but I never got the video until today.

Some of you may not be familiar with The Monco Poncho yet; the band has barely gotten any press as of yet. This will be changing I am certain, as the band has amassed a loyal and surprisingly large following. This is an especially impressive feat considering the fact turnout to shows has been declining steadily for years. Turnout, however, has never been an issue for this band or its fans. Their audience is always enthusiastic, even going so far as to bring cap guns to the shows and fire them off at the beginning of the set as well as in between songs.

As for the music, the sound can best be described as the soundtrack to a 60's western movie, with a slight hint of surf rock thrown in. Lead singer Nick Durham's voice seems perfectly suited for this style of music, and the rest of the band's talent is equally solid. I have to give extra special props to their drummer, Kane Mackey, who adds an extra sense of energy and urgency to the material. If you want a taste of their sound, check out this video of "Burning Pictures", recorded at House of Blues at THE BAcksliders' CD release party. I'm hoping this video will also persuade you readers to attend Lakewood Bar & Grill Thursday night. The video only hints to the energy of attending their live show.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Awards Show Season Is Upon Us

Okay, so it's not exactly the Grammys or the Oscars, but we've got several major local music awards showcases coming up. The first goes down this Friday at Granada Theater. It's Quick's Big Thing awards ceremony, and it's their second year in action. Rap group Play-N-Skillz will headline the event, with Dove Hunter, Damaged Good$, DJ Sober, and Mount Righteous on the bill as well. And let us not forget the duo deathmatch, pitting The O's, RTB2, and Smile Smile up against one another. Things have already gotten plenty ugly in this war of words, and there's bound to be more mud slung onstage (in good fun of course). Cover is a mere $5, and the proceeds go towards the North Texas Volunteer Exchange.

If you'd rather go for free, however, that can be arranged. Hunter Hauk from Quick has been kind enough to give me two pairs of tickets to give away. Here's what you have to do: name one song by duo deathmatch artist The O's that features the letter "O" somewhere in its song title. The first two people to email me a correct answer to will win a pair of tickets to the show.

The second show is the Fort Worth Weekly 2009 Music Awards Festival. Voting will go until midnight, June 28th. If you want to vote, click here to do so. The winners shall be announced in the July 15th edition of Fort Worth Weekly.

Finally, Dallas Observer has just released the official list of nominees. Voting hasn't started yet, but you can click here to read the list. There are plenty of great acts nominated this year, including Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, The O's, Dove Hunter, Doug Burr, and RTB2, just to name a couple. Oh, and scroll on down to the Best Music Advocate category. You should recognize a familiar name. The 21st annual Dallas Observer Music Awards winners will be announced Tuesday, July 22 at Granada Theater. Hope to see everyone there!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Caroline Schupp and Jeff Kaufman Jr., who have each one a pair of tickets to Friday's Quick Big Thing music showcase at Granada Theater. Remember, you can still buy tickets for a mere $5.

Monday, June 1, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 5/31/09 (a day late)

I didn't get the playlist published until late last night, and I was a bit tired at that point. Plus, I had an announcement I wanted to make before publishing the playlist. What, you haven't read about it yet? Go back one post and read Monday Morning Major Announcement first.

You may notice that the first three tracks in the playlist are also the three acts scheduled to play my show Thursday night at Lakewood Bar & Grill. No, that's not a coincidence, but rather a clever plug. Give those songs a listen, and I'm sure it will make you want to attend my showcase.

The following seven tracks represent my personal picks for Friday night's Big Thing awards ceremony held by Quick magazine at the Granada Theater. Tickets are a mere $5, and the proceeds go to benefit the North Texas Volunteer Challenge.

  1. "Luminary", The Moncho Poncho

  2. "John Q", Macon Greyson

  3. "Old Time Gold", Douglas Woodlane

  4. "T Docks Summertime", Clay Pendergrass (My choice - Big DJ)

  5. "Hang On", Salim Nourallah (My choice - Big Studio Ace + REALLY close call on Big Solo Artist)

  6. "Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom", Nicholas Altobelli (My choice -Big Solo Artist)

  7. "Even Born Again", Sarah Jaffe (My choice - Big Song)

  8. "For Keeps", Iris Leu (My choice - Next Big Thing)

  9. "The Sparrow Spooked the Crow", Dove Hunter (My choice - Big Album AND Big Live Act)

  10. "You've Got Your Heart", The O's (My choice - Big Group)

Monday Morning Major Announcement

I know, Mondays are a drag, and you're in need of something to cheer you up. You need a reason to get through the week, like Friday. Unfortunately, Friday feels so far away. Well, I'm bringing your Friday a little closer, by making Thursday nights feel a little more like Friday.

I am proud and excited to announce that I shall be hosting a series of concerts every Thursday in June at Lakewood Bar & Grill. The entertainment shall start at 9:00 sharp each Thursday night, and cover is a mere $5. That is a bargain when you consider the quality of the acts that will be playing. And not to brag or anything, but I think I have done a darn fine job of putting together lineups. As you can see from the poster, this Thursday night kicks things off with The Monco Poncho, Macon Greyson, and Douglas Woodlane. In case you're curious, let me give you a sneak peek of the remaining Thursdays in June.

Thursday, June 11
Cocky Americans

Thursday, June 18
The Felons
The Burgundys

Thursday, June 25
The O's
The Marfalites
TBA (this shall change soon)

I think I'm fortunate to have all of these bands willing to play for my showcase. Any one of these bands ALONE is worth the $5 cover charge, and put together, it really gives you maximum bang for the buck. I hope to see all of your smiling faces Thursday nights at Lakewood Bar & Grill. Start your weekend a little early with me and some of the area's finest acts. You'll be glad you did.