Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend List: Where to Be, What to Do, etc.

Note to self: start writing the weekend shows update Thursday night. Friday evening is just too late, and Friday morning doesn't allow enough time for comments on the shows. Granted, this is better than nothing, but there are so many shows happening tonight and tomorrow that I definitely will not have the time to comment as much as I'd like. If I don't write anything underneath the show, it's not out of a lack of love for the show, just a lack of time.


  • Daniel Folmer/Dust Congress/Nervous Certains (Good Records)
    In a time of recession, free shows are a beautiful thing. Daniel Folmer's releasing a new CD, but get there early, because Sean Kirkpatrick's band Nervous Curtains will steal the show.

  • The Demigs/the cut*off/DJ Wolf (Andy's Bar)
    According to Andy's, DJ Wolf is not a DJ. Thanks for clearing up the confusion. Anywho, I love both The Demigs and the cut*off, and this is the best show in Denton all weekend. Nothing else comes close.

  • Douglas Woodlane/Nicholas Altobelli (Banter)
    Oops. I forgot that Banter is in Denton too. OK, so this one comes close.

  • Airline/The Orbans/The Polycorns (Double-Wide)
    In case you didn't know, The Lifters are now The Orbans. Airline is still Airline, which means they're still cool.

  • The Slack (Lakewood Bar & Grill)
    Has anyone else noticed that booking at LB&G is getting better and better?

  • The Beaten Sea (Opening Bell Coffee - Mosaic)
    Saw these guys last year at Kristy Kruger's benefit for Mojo. They were a very new band at the time, but I could instantly tell that this was a band to keep an eye on. No telling how far they've come since then.


  • Nicholas Altobelli (Dunn Brothers Coffee Addison)
    I'll be starting out my evening here...

  • Dove Hunter/The Heelers (Double-Wide)
    And then I'll most likely head to DW for some DH action...

  • Salim Nourallah & The Constellations
    But I might change my mind and come here instead. You never know.

  • Somebody's Darling/Charlie Shafter & The Gnomes
    The problem with raving as much as I have about SD is that I've lost anything new to say about them. So I'll just say this: they're great. 'Nuff said.

  • King Bucks (Jack's Backyard)
    I'd never heard of this place until Fishing For Comets booked a show there for last weekend. This might prove to be a good new place for checking out bands. At the least, they've gotten two Saturdays in a row with great bands. That's gotta count for something.

  • The League of Fucking Decency/The Capture (The Cavern)
    The opening band is a... Cure cover band? Don't get me wrong; I absolutely LOVE The Cure. Just seems like a weird fit for The LFD. That's all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Bright Spot in the Local Music Scene

If you were like me, when you first saw the name Winslow Bright on last Friday’s bill at the Granada Theater, you did not have the foggiest clue of who she was. In fact, I initially thought that Winslow Bright might have been a band. Never would I have imagined that she was a 17 year old girl from, of all places, Highland Park.

Perhaps even more surprising is how remarkable of a talent this young lady is. Do not let her age fool you: this is not typically teeny-bopper music a la Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus. Winslow has a gorgeous voice that ranges from cute to sultry, depending on the song. She also wrote the lyrics to the majority of the songs on her debut album, Lovable, and she has a definite way with words. “When you were barely three you could recite iambic poetry/Encyclopedic, photographic, pictionary memory/They said you were a genius girl, an IQ of 383/A scientific, word prolific, IQ-rific prodigy”, she sings in “Genius Girl”, an amusing song about a very book smart girl who loses her brain after falling in love.

Ms. Bright also received plenty of assistance from Dallas musician and producer extraordinaire, Salim Nourallah. He not only produced the album at his Pleasantry Lane Studios, but he also co-wrote all of the songs with Winslow, with the exception of her cover of Kristy MacColl’s “They Don’t Know”. The title track of the album was even originally recorded by Salim with his band Happiness Factor. Between Winslow’s lyrics and Salim’s consistent ability to write catchy melodies, the album is filled with great songs like the Roy Orbison meets Patsy Cline sounding “Could You Be My Baby” and my personal favorite, the uber-catchy “Five Thousand Miles to London”.

Even more remarkable than her CD is her ability to perform these songs live. Not only is her voice as remarkable live as recorded, but she has a definite way of connecting with the audience. She comes off as fully confident, yet never full of herself. And rarely have I seen an audience as excited to hear a performer as Ms. Bright’s audience. Most of the major name bands in Dallas would be lucky to have fans half as enthusiastic as those of Winslow Bright. Contrary to the lyrics of the title track to her album, it would seem that the audience found her to be quite lovable indeed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Random Musings on an Icy Day

Every cloud has its silver lining. Yes, the weather outside is cold, miserable, and dangerous to drive in. Fortunately, this means I did not have to work today, leaving me time to work on the blog. I've got a story in the works on a young lady who I think is a musical force to be reckoned with. That update just isn't ready yet. Instead, I leave you with some random pieces of information that you may find interesting. Hey, at least you'll know, and knowing is half the battle. Ah, the zen of G.I. Joe.

  • Okay, I'm a day late in breaking the big news. March 28th, Black Tie Dynasty is playing at the Granada Theater. That, however, is not the big news. Cory Watson, BTD lead vocalist, announced that the band is breaking up, and the Granada show will be their last. The band has never lacked in making fans, but I feel that the music critics have given this band way too hard of a time. At least Pete Freedman of Dallas Observer suggested that the band was just starting to come in to its own with their latest release, Down Like Anyone. Either way, I shall miss this band.

  • Rahim Quazi has long been a Ghost of Blind Lemon fave, and I am always happy to promote this great talent. Well, here's another opportunity for me to promote, promote, promote. His song "In This Life" was entered into a songwriting contest in London called Festival 4 Stars Live. The winner of the competition gets a cash prize, plus will be flown to London and have the opportunity to play the song live at the Grand Finals and Awards Dinner. Click on the above link for Festival 4 Stars, and please vote for Rahim!

  • Another one of my Dallas faves, THe BAcksliders, are in the midst of recording their follow up to You're Welcome. The band, for the time being, is focusing on the recording process and doing few shows at the moment. Am I the only person having some mad BAckslider cravings? If not, maybe this video I posted at the end of this entry will help tide you over until February 15th. The band will be playing at Poor David's Pub for the benefit for Jimmy Arnold.

  • Finally, I've heard a lot of people say that they're considering leaving MySpace for Facebook. Facebook is honestly superior in most aspects except for one: music. As a local music fan, MySpace does a better job of serving my needs. However, I've found another social networking site devoted exclusively to the local music scene. The site is Dallas Music Wire (see list of cool blogs/websites for link), and I would encourage all my readers to sign up for the site.

Recording new album

Sunday, January 25, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 1/25/09

Before I give you this week's playlist, I need to get a few thank you's out of the way. I would like to thank Ben Tapia at Club Dada for allowing me to do another one of my musical showcases. Thanks also go out to Rose County Fair, The O's, Erik Neff, and Nicholas Altobelli for not only agreeing to play, but for playing so damn well. John Pedigo definitely gets the MVP award of the night, for being totally awesome in both The O's and Rose County Fair, and for drinking large quantities of alcohol yet never letting it show in his performance. I thank Scotty Mankoff for coming out and taking pictures. A simple rule in the local music scene is that if Scotty is at your show, then it's a big deal show. Thanks Scotty for always making my shows a big deal. Click here to check out his pictures of my showcase. And most importantly, I thank every one of you who came to the show last night. I can't do what I do without an audience, so thank you.

Now, onto the playlist. You'll have to forgive me for feeling a little lazy after last night's rock spectacle. There will be no commentary on the tracks, and I admit the theme is a little lame: bands that start with the letter S. Still, I've got some good tunes here, so listen and enjoy.

  1. "Bill Cosby", Shibboleth

  2. "Pulling Teeth", Slider Pines

  3. "Sad Song", Smile Smile"

  4. "Easy", Somebody's Darling"

  5. "Bjorn Yesterday", Sorta

  6. "My Beautiful Life", Sparrows

  7. "Social Reject", Spector 45

  8. "The Christmas Tree", Stella Rose

  9. "Posterchild for Tragedy", Sugarbomb

  10. "Astronaut", Sunward

Friday, January 23, 2009

Super, Super, Super Big Weekend: The Sequel

Now that I've talked about my showcase yet again, I suppose I should hit some of the other big highlights of the weekend. If you wanna know where to find me tonight, go to Granada Theater. The ever talented Salim Nourallah is playing, along with one of my new favorites, Menkena. I'm also curious to hear Winslow Bright play; she's a 17 year old Highland Park girl whose celebrating the release of her CD Lovable tonight. The last musician that I can think of who came out of HP was Rhett Miller. Those are some mighty big shoes to fill, Ms. Bright. Oh, and Radiant headlines the bill. By the way, did the band keep or drop the asterik? I'm so confused.

Over in Fort Worth, they're getting not one, but two brand new clubs: Lola's Stockyards and The Longhorn Saloon. It's all owned by the same folks who own Lola's on 6th Street, so you know the booking is gonna stay solid. Both clubs have plenty to offer this weekend. Friday night brings Gary P. Nunn and Jack County to the Longhorn Saloon, and The Quebe Sisters Band and Ginny Mac will be at the Stockyards. The next night, Eleven Hundred Springs and The Derailers are playing the Longhorn Saloon, with The King Bucks, The Orbans (ex-Lifters) and Glen Farris playing at the Stockyards. Also, since both clubs are within walking distance of each other, they're offering a special deal Friday and Saturday where $10 gets you into either club.

You probably know that Flickerstick is calling it quits. You probably also know about the big House of Blues show with Calhoun, Stella Rose, and Holy Moly. You may not, however, have heard that Flickerstick is playing tonight at Lola's on 6th Street. They're calling it a "rehearsal jam". I call it a great opportunity to see the band in what is easily my favorite club in Fort Worth.

And here's the rest of what you have to look forward to:

  • A.M. Ramblers, The O's, The Make Believers (Andy's Bar)

  • The Burning Hotels, Airline, The Lemurs (The Moon)

  • Awkquarius

  • Fishing For Comets (Jack's Backyard)

  • Chris Holt, Dirty Birds, Brian Miller, Paul Ramon (Opening Bell Mosaic)

But of course, you really want to be at Dada Saturday night, right? Hey, I gotta promote, right?

Super, Super, Super Big Weekend Here: GOBL Style

Wow, where do I even begin? There are too many big shows going on this weekend. Let me start out with some shameless self-promotion. If you've been paying attention, you know that I'll be doing another Ghost of Blind Lemon Showcase this Saturday at Club Dada. Cover is $10, and you'll be getting one heckuva lineup.

Get there early (9:00 to be exact) to catch one of my new favorites, Nicholas Altobelli. You may have heard me raving about his new album, Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, and wondered what the big deal is. I could go into flowery descriptions of what the music sounds like, or I can simply say he's a great songwriter. Don't take my word for it; get there by 9:00 p.m. to make up your own mind.

Next up on the lineup are The O's. I cannot remember the last time a local band has gathered so much attention so quickly. Only mere months after forming, the duo was signed to Idol Records, arguably the biggest record label in Dallas. Look for their debut CD, We Are the O's, in stores very soon. If you want to get to know the songs that will be on the CD, see it live at my showcase.

I was introduced to the music of Erik Neff thru Club Dada owner Ben Tapia. Mr. Neff's sound is a little different from the rest of the acts on the lineup, leaning much more towards blues instead of alt-country. Still, this guy is a great vocalist and guitarist, and would be an asset to any lineup. There's a lot of buzz around Mr. Neff, and you may be telling the story years from now about how you got to see Erik "before he became a superstar". I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Finally, can you think of a better way to wrap up the evening than Rose County Fair? John Pedigo has been spending so much time playing with The O's that his more rocking band has had fewer opportunities to perform. In fact, this is their first show since my last showcase. Maybe The Ghost should personally adopt Rose County Fair. Maybe John & I will discuss that over a beer tomorrow night.

And that's only MY showcase. I'm just scratching the surface here. I unfortunately have to leave to go to my real job, but check back in later for other show options. I do leave you with one hint for tonight's best bet: Granada Theater.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Benefit for Jimmy Arnold

First of all, my thanks go to Scotty Mankoff for bringing this story to my attention. This past Christmas Eve, James "Jimmy Arnold", who is the bar manager at Poor David's Pub, was brutally assaulted. He has remained in a coma since the incident, and is still in the intensive care unit. To help with the mounting medical bills that Jimmy's family is accumulating, Poor David's Pub is holding a fundraiser on February 15th to help with the medical bills. The event, lasting from 2:30 - 9:30 p.m., will feature a raffle, silent auction, and of course, live music.

Here are some things needed for the event:

  • Volunteers to help with the merch table, raffle, and/or silent auction.

  • Items of value for the raffle or silent auction.

  • Musicians to play the benefit show. Contact Colleen Morgan for more info on playing or volunteering.

One of the things I love about the local music scene is that people tend to rally together in times like these. For any of you who are Poor David's Pub regulars or who knew Mr. Arnold personally, this is an event to be at.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Four Videos

The first video is from Erik Neff, who will be playing my showcase this Saturday at Club Dada. I'm guessing most of you haven't heard Mr. Neff yet, unless if you've been listening to my playlist (which you all should be doing, really). It's the same song as is on the playlist, just with video this time around. As I've mentioned before, he's also a male model, so I suspect there'll be a few ladies watching this video repeatedly and swooning.

Up next are the O's (also part of my showcase), singing their song "California". No, this is not a cover of the Phantom Planet song, silly. The video was recorded by none other than Cindy Chaffin. Hope she doesn't mind me posting her videos. Maybe she'll forgive me if I link to both her old blog (The Fine Line) and her new blog (Life Outside the Bubble).

Want some more video of artists playing my showcase? Well you happen to be in luck. Here's a video of Rose County Fair playing at the Granada.

This last video has nothing to do with my showcase or local music whatsoever, and is far more important than any of the other videos. Some of us (like myself) are lucky enough to have the day off, so let us remember the purpose of today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 1/18/09

Make no mistake, this is a really, really, really, big weekend for shows. I cannot stress enough how big this weekend is. If you're wanting to know some of the best shows this weekend, check out the playlist, featuring only artists playing this weekend. Be sure to listen through the whole playlist, because I have saved the best for last.

  1. "Beautiful", Flickerstick
    This Saturday, Dallas says goodbye to the Band on the Run that captured America's heart with their TV exploits of drunkenness and tantrums. Oh yeah, the music was pretty awesome as well. If you can find Tim Locke that night, be sure to buy him a beer, as he'll be doing double duty as Calhoun is one of the openers. Stella Rose and Holy Moly open.

  2. "Lydia", Fishing For Comets
    I'm not really familiar with Jack's Backyard, but that's where you can find FFC Saturday night.

  3. "You Deserve Better", The Slack
    Technically, The Slack aren't playing this weekend. Slack lead vocalist Chris Holt, however, will be headlining a bill at Opening Bell Mosaic. It's another Anju Bill Foundation fundraiser.

  4. "Farewell Republica", Airline
    Just so you Fort Worth folks don't feel left out, here's a show for you. Airline plays Friday night along with The Burning Hotels and Austin band The Lemurs. I'm not sure of the order of the lineup, but be sure to get there early enough for Airline, who will steal the show.

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

  6. "Rocketships", Menkena
    You can find both Mr. Nourallah and Menkena at Granada Theater this Friday evening. Radiant will headline, and Winslow Bright (who I know nothing about) is also on the bill. Salim will most likely draw the biggest crowd, as he has earned a reputation as one of the best songwriters in town, and has been a constant positive presence in the scene going on almost two decades. But for all the attention Salim will get, let us not forget about Menkena. The band's unique blend of dreamy melodies (think Slowdive or Lush with a male vocalist) and emotionally intimate lyrics and acoustic guitar (think Nick Drake) have bend Menkena one of my new favorite bands. Their EP (you can purchase it at the show I'm sure) has been constantly in my CD player. Do not, I repeat, do not arrive late to this show. Yes, Menkena is that good. But if you think that's good, wait until you check this out. Yes, I have saved the best for last.

  7. "Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom", Nicholas Altobelli

  8. "Takes One to Know One", Erik Neff

  9. "California", The O's

  10. "Slide Shows", Rose County Fair
    Yes, The Ghost is at it again. I have put together a little show for everyone to attend. Not to brag, but I did assemble a mighty fine lineup here. You have Nicholas Altobelli, an excellent singer-songwriter who is just starting to get the attention he deserves. I hope this showcase will get him that attention. You also have Erik Neff, a model/musician whose killer bluesy-rock tunes prove he's more than a pretty face. Rumor has it there's talk of a major label deal for this guy, so come and say you saw him before he hit it big. Speaking of big, The O's have gone from a small side project to becoming one of the most talked about bands in town. The band's approach is simple: write good songs and play them well. It seems to be working for them. Finally, we have Rose County Fair, playing their first show since, well, my last showcase. Major props go out to John Pedigo for being willing to do double duty. Come on out to Dada this Saturday night and be part of the mayhem!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Really, Really, Really Tough Choices for Tonight

Usually, I can predict where I'm going to be on a Saturday night at the latest of the night before. At the time I am typing this, I am still debating on which of the three following shows to attend. Sure, it beats the alternative of not knowing what to do because of weak shows, but it's a tough choice nonetheless. If anyone has any advice as to which show I should attend, feel free to post a comment with your suggestion.

Macon Greyson, The Magnolia Sons (City Tavern)
On the surface, this looks like just another Macon Greyson show in Dallas (which is good enough in and of itself). Here's the catch: since their song "Blacklight" has been featured in The Wrestler, it may only be a matter of time before the band gets the break that they so deserve. Goodbye Adair's and City Tavern shows, hello Hollywood. Granted, the guys in Macon Greyson are such nice fellows that I don't think they'd let the success go to their heads. Still, it might be nice to catch them now before one of them starts dating Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson.
Doug Burr, Baptist Generals, Robert Gomez, Dust Congress (Sons of Hermann Hall)
Did I miss something about Sons of Hermann Hall relocating to Denton? No, not to worry. This showcase at the Sons (yes, still in Dallas) is being called a "Salute to Little D". Headlining the show is Doug Burr, who is celebrating the release of The Shawl tonight. The concept of this album is quite intriguing; it's a collection of songs inspired by the Psalms. I've yet to hear the new material, but my hopes are held up high.
King Bucks, Calhoun, Jack County, The Atoms (Club Dada)
Even though I've known Keith and Chad from King Bucks for about seven years now, I've yet to see a full on King Bucks show. Tonight might be a good night to change that, especially since Calhoun (a band I don't get to see often enough) is also on the lineup.

There's one more show worth mentioning. You can see the cut*off at The Moon in Fort Worth, along with Pat Boone's Farm and The Hosty Duo. I don't feel like driving out to FW tonight, but any Fort Worth residents needing something to do tonight would be well advised to attend this show. Oh, and if you tell them "The Ghost" sent you, well, prepare to run out of the club really, really fast.

See you out tonight... wherever that may be for me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Cure for Your Case of the Mondays

I know the day is just beginning, but let’s face it: you’re about to have a case of the Mondays. Mondays, as a general rule, suck. Nothing good usually happens on a Monday. I say usually because this is not your typical Monday. It’s not often I can say this, but you have several options for good shows this Monday.

Kristy Kruger (Opening Bell Coffee South Side on Lamar)
Today should have been Lt. Col. Eric Kruger’s 43rd birthday. As many of you know, Kristy’s brother was killed over a year ago in the Iraq War. It will certainly be an emotional evening, but it is always a treat to see Ms. Kruger perform. Other than Sarah Jaffe, I do not know of another female singer-songwriter who has the ability to captivate an audience like Kristy. I also believe this is her only Dallas performance this month, so catch her while you can.

The Donkeys/Orange Peel Sunshine/The League of Fucking Decency (The Lounge on Elm Street)
I really don’t know the first two bands, but I’ve always had a soft spot for opening act League of Fucking Decency. The LFD blends a lo-fi sound with lots of off the wall humor in their lyrics. The band is encouraging the audience to bring either sock puppets or their own instrument “to mock them”. If the band is half as entertaining as their lyrics and MySpace bulletins, then a fun time is sure to be had.

Romp Almighty (Barley House)
I got a bulletin from the band informing me of this “top secret” show. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 1/11/08

Yes, it's time for yet another playlist. There's not really a theme this time around. No, it's just ten songs that I felt like putting on the list. And in case you haven't noticed, I've made it easier for you to like to my MySpace page. Just look to the left, and you'll see how to contact me thru MySpace,, and Twitter. As for email, go thru my blogger profile to contact me. Feel free to do that; it keeps The Ghost from getting too lonely.

  1. "City Limit Signs", Nicholas Altobelli
    I really wanted to see more of Mr. Altobelli's set at Liquid Lounge yesterday. Alas, when one act bailed, the schedule put Mr. Altobelli directly up against Elkhart at Dada. I stayed for three songs at Liquid Lounge, then caught the rest of Elkhart (who are amazing, by the way) at Dada. This particular track is a demo version of a song from his next album.

  2. "Devil's Basement", Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights
    I had meant to put this song on last week's playlist, but I somehow forgot. How I managed such an oversight I am not sure. What matters is that I have corrected said oversight. Enjoy this track, because you're not going to be seeing that many JT&NL shows in the near future. That's the price of being signed to a major label.

  3. "Go On", The Shapes
    This is a band I almost put on last week's playlist. I hadn't heard much about The Shapes in awhile, and I assumed that the band was either broken up or barely played anymore. Well, there's an old saying: when you assume, it makes an ass of u and me. Point is, The Shapes are not only alive and kicking, they are FINALLY releasing their first full length album. Thanks for the update, Patricia.

  4. "Might've Said It", The Spin
    Sometimes it's just fun to have a little blast from the past. This track was recorded in 1991 I believe. This was back in the days where all of my local music knowledge came not from live shows, but from KDGE. George GiMarc, KDGE needs you back, whether they realize it or not.

  5. "Black Market Value", the cut*off
    Fort Worth people, listen carefully. The place to be in Cowtown this Saturday is The Moon. I believe the cut*off will be headlining the show. Also, go to their MySpace and check out the video for the song. Pretty cool, huh?

  6. "I Hate This So Called Reality", The League of Fucking Decency
    Admit it, you love the name of this band. They'll be playing at The Lounge on Elm Street Monday night. Then you can tell all your co-workers the next day that you saw The League of Fucking Decency. It makes for good conversation around the water cooler, don't you think?

  7. "Should've Known", Doug Burr
    The CD Release Party for The Shawl is Saturday night at Sons of Hermann Hall. For now, however, I'm going back to On Promenade for this killer track. He finally made a video for this track. Yes, it seems a little peculiar to release a video for a song that came from the album BEFORE the one just now being released. Give it a watch though, and I'm sure you'll agree that it's better late than never.

  8. "Blacklight", Macon Greyson
    I noticed about a month or so ago that Macon Greyson was talking about this song being in a movie called The Wrestler. I didn't think much of it at first, figuring this would be a straight to DVD type movie. Now I'm hearing a bunch of Oscar hype for Mickey Rourke's performance in the film. I have no doubt the band will be playing this song Saturday night at City Tavern. Check these guys out before they go Hollywood and start dating supermodels.

  9. "Go", Summer Ames
    I caught a little of Ms. Ames' set last night at Liquid Lounge. I listened to the first two songs, and then walked out when I heard she was about to cover Colbie Caillat's "Realize". I felt that was completely unnecessary, as both of the previous songs were far stronger than what I've heard from Colbie. And for those of my readers groaning at the mention of Colbie, I feel you should still give Summer's music a chance. It's a nice, mellow, folkish type vibe that would feel very much at home at Opening Bell Coffee. I say keep an eye on this young talent.

  10. "When We Was Kool", PPT
    If you're looking at the player on my MySpace page, you're probably seeing the ad for the upcoming film on Biggie Smalls. It inspired me to put this song on the list, since PPT was easily my favorite rap act to ever emerge from the metroplex. The group has since gone off in separate directions: Picnic is doing his own thing, and Pikahsso and Tahiti are dawning the age of AwkQuarius. Tahiti has also released a solo track available on itunes called "Next to Me". Best of luck to all three members in 2009.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekend Stuff

I wanted to get out some last minute recommendations for shows this weekend. Nothing fancy here, just some good old fashioned live music suggestions along with witty commentary. Honestly, I think today will be more commentary and less wit. Hey, you can't hit a home run all the time.


Boys Named Sue (Allgood Café)
Redneck happy hour has become quite the tradition at Allgood, and there are no signs that this tradition will fade away. After all, this is Texas, and what do Texans love more than good country music and cold beer?
Nicholas Altobelli (Buon Giorno)
I know I've raved about Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, but I rave with good reason. The album is filled with gorgeous, melancholy tunes that sound like what I'd imagine Nick Drake sounding like if he was raised Texan instead of British. You can also check out Mr. Altobelli Saturday night at Liquid Lounge. I'm not listing that show, since I'm not certain about the quality of the other bands on the lineup. I may swing by, however, just to check out this super talented guy.
Johnny Lloyd Rollins, Bridges and Blinking Lights, RTB2 (Double-Wide)
I'm not quite sure I get this lineup, but I'll go with it, just because Mr. Rollins doesn't play near enough shows anymore. Any opportunity to see JLR play is a delight, and I'm sure tonight's show would be no exception. My experience with RTB2 is very limited, but the few songs I saw them perform live has me curious to see more.


Eleven Hundred Springs (Double-Wide)
The band is recording a live album during the show, so if you've ever wanted to be on record (sort of), now's your chance. Get there early, as I'm sure the place will be packed to the max by the end of the evening.
Salim Nourallah, Chris Holt (Opening Bell Mosaic)
Can someone help me find some new ways to express how brilliant these two artists are? I think I've run out of original ways to do so.
Lovie, Monco Poncho, Elkhart (Club Dada)
I haven't seen the band since drummer Grace left, so maybe I'll get the opportunity to meet their new drummer, Leanna. Joining the bill will be Monco Poncho (led by the awesome Nick Durham), and Elkhart (who I've been dying to finally see).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 1/4/09

First of all, to any readers patiently (or impatiently) awaiting my podcast, please bear with me. There are songs I am lacking from the countdown, plus it just takes time to put together. It will happen.

In the meantime, check out the songs on my MySpace profile. Last week I spotlighted some awesome songs that didn't quite make the countdown. This time, instead of looking back, I'm looking forward. I'm giving you a small glimpse of what will hopefully be big this year. These are songs that will hopefully be released by year's end. I can't promise that all of these songs will receive a proper release, but hopefully they will. By the way, I am still without a sound card, so I'm going on faith on a few of these tracks. Comments are highly appreciated on any and all tracks.

  1. "Rocketships", Menkenna
    I feel like I'm cheating but using Menkenna in both 2008 and 2009 playlists, but I don't care. I saw them last night at the Prophet Bar, and I am still reeling from their set. The band manages to pull off the feat of blending together the gorgeous atmospheric vibe of the best shoegaze sounds with all the emotional intimacy of a singer-songwriter type. If there is any justice in the Dallas music scene, this will be a huge year for Menkenna.

  2. "You've Got Your Heart", The O's
    I also got to see this band with Menkenna, and I just love this band to death. If you haven't seen them yet, you need to remedy that immediately. They've got plenty of shows coming up, including a particularly special one on January 24th at Dada. Trust me, you need to reserve that date on your calendar.

  3. "Which We Have Heard and Known", Doug Bur
    There was no better CD released in 2006 than Doug Burr's On Promenade. Following up such an amazing disc is a difficult and unenviable task. Yet I feel confident that if anyone can pull it off, it would be Mr. Burr. This is one of the songs on the playlist that I have unfortunately not had the privilege of listening to. I have complete faith, however, that this track is going to be amazing. After all, it's Doug Burr. Need I say more?

  4. "The Vultures Are Circling", Jack with One Eye
    If you like this track, you can download it free on the band's official website. It's a free promotional download that I believe is a limited time offer before their CD Release Party February 13th at The Lounge. I haven't heard this track either, but I like what I've previously heard by the band.

  5. "Beg You to Stay", Smile Smile
    Talk about hot off the presses. The band just posted this rough demo on MySpace today. Obviously, another track I'm posting on faith.

  6. "My Best State", The Felons
    Finally, a track that I have heard. I haven't seen them play live since my showcase in August. At that time, the band had just recently said goodbye to their keyboard player, the multi-talented Fred Holston. I am highly curious to hear what direction the band is going in now, since they are now sans keyboard player.

  7. "Mr. Natural", Trey Johnson
    Sorta may be gone, but that's not stopping Trey from recording new material. I talked to him about his upcoming solo CD, and he told me it was a very different vibe from what he did with Sorta. This should be interesting to hear.

  8. "Erased", They Were Stars
    No, this song is not related to the Salim Nourallah song of the same name. All I really know about this band is that they played at Dada Halloween night, covering songs by The Cure. Hey, that's a good enough starting point for me.

  9. "Robin", Little Black Dress
    It looks like this will be a great year for Idol Records, between CD releases of The O's and this band. Hmmm... Menkenna, Jack with One Eye, Little Black Dress... is this the beginning of a shoegaze revival? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  10. "From Under the Blankets", Sara Donaldson
    Ms. Donaldson has had this song on her MySpace since 2006, and we're still waiting on her second CD to be released. I know, I know, between her paintings, photography, yoga, and everything else she has on her plate, there's not a lot of time on her hands to release a CD. Still, I can hope, can't I?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Top 10 Performances of 2008

Happy new year to all my readers! I've got some big stuff coming your way in the next week (hopefully) including a few big announcements and The Ghost's first ever podcast. I'll be counting down the Top 13 local songs of 2008. I know that's a weird number, but hey, go with it.

For now, I hope you'll settle for my countdown of the top 10 performances of last year. Note: I am not counting down the best lineups of the year, just specific performances. Sometimes the artist mentioned will not even be the headliner of the bill. No matter what, these are the performances that I shall remember the most from the past year. Here we go.

  1. The O's (October 25, Allgood Cafe)
    If I had to choose my favorite new band of 2008, the title goes hands down to The O's. I had my suspicions of the potential talent that The O's would possess. Their performance at Allgood simply cashed in on their potential. Both John Pedigo and Taylor Young are first rate singers, songwriters, and musicians. Yes, the band consists of only the two members. No, there is not a need for extra members. The sound is complete and needs nothing more. Their debut album will be released on Idol Records early next year. Keep an eye on these guys, because 2009 is gonna be their year.

  2. Record Hop (April 24, Palladium Ballroom)
    I had always thought of Record Hop as a talented band, but it wasn't until their performance at the Quick Big Thing Awards Show that I actually GOT Record Hop. Sure, my ears were bleeding after their performance, but more significantly, I was in awe of the raw, fierce talent possessed by the band. Major props go to Scott Porter, whose guitar work had me captivated. The set was not a long set, but it left me craving more.

  3. Little Black Dress (May 3, Granada Theater)
    Radiant was the headliner, and the biggest draws on the lineup were The Crash That Took Me and the newly reunited Chomsky. It was Little Black Dress, however, that captivated me that evening. I've become a fan of the shoegaze sound in the past few years, and I have never seen a Dallas band that captured the sound so well. Can't wait for their debut album, also coming out on Idol Records.

  4. Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights (March 15, The Idle Rich)
    Sure, Mr. Tyler was at least half blitzed by the end of his set. The amazing thing is that whether sober or not, all the members put on a killer performance, blending the best aspects of 60's soul, classic rock, and southern rock, and presented it as the perfect soundtrack to an early St. Patrick's Day party. I left the show thinking that JT&NL just might be the best live band in Dallas.

  5. THe BAcksliders (August 2, Club Dada)
    OK, so perhaps I'm a little biased here. First of all, you may recall that the date in question was my anniversary show at Dada. Yes, I know, I did put on a fabulous show that night, didn't I? But seriously, it was a great set, and the peak of the evening came with the highly energized performance from THe BAcksliders. The band's set balances the perfect blend of rock n' roll energy with a genuine passion and professionalism with their musicianship. I could have chosen so many performances of theirs to put on the list, but ultimately I think they took the cake that night. After this performance, I started to believe that it's THe BAcksliders, and not JT&NL, who deserve the title of "best live band in Dallas".

  6. Dove Hunter (February 2, Lola's)
    It was my first (and so far only time yet) at Lola's, and I had already seen an amazing set featuring The Cush, Telegraph Canyon, and one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Doug Burr. I had seen Dove Hunter before, and thought they were a likeable band, but a band I didn't fully "get". About halfway though their performance of "What Turns Inside", I had the a-ha moment. It wasn't like a light bulb going off over my head, but more like lightning striking my body. It was an awe inspriing performance, and I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Quincy Holloway is the best drummer in Dallas, hands down. I spent half the set in awe just watching him on drums, wondering how he manages to be so precise with his rhythm, yet so fierce in pounding his kit. I still haven't figured that one out yet.

  7. Sarah Jaffe (January 19, Allgood Cafe)
    One could say that Ms. Jaffe's performance was a perfect storm of sorts. I have never seen Allgood Cafe as packed as it was for her performance. I have also never heard the audience as quiet as it was for Sarah. I guess when you have the beautiful and haunting voice that she has, it shuts people up and makes them listen. I've heard the phrase "you command respect, not demand it", and I've never seen this statement proven so true as it was during her performance.

  8. The Chemistry Set (January 11, Club Dada)
    I saw this band for the first time in 2002, and it didn't take long for me to become a faithful follower of this band. And by "faithful follower", I mean a obsessed fan. I'm glad Steve Duncan never issued that restraining order he was talking about. Seriously though, the reason I became a fan of the band is that they were the perfect blend of ambitious indie rock sounds, without any of the typical indie-hipster pretentiousness that surrounds most of those type of bands. It was with great sorrow that I said farewell to this band early last year. Fortunately, the band went out with a bang, digging up old favorites ("Abagail", "Tyranny of the Urgent") and typical favorites ("Lee Minor 7", "Why Don't You?"). Steve even got his former Grand Street Cryer bandmate (and Calhoun lead singer) Tim Locke to bust out an old GSC song. Damn, I still miss those guys.

  9. Rahim Quazi (May 2, Club Dada)
    Ever since I heard Rahim perform the song "Supernatural" for the first time, I had extremely high hopes for the CD. I even wondered if I had set my expectations so high that there was no way Mr. Quazi could live up to the hype. Something unexpected then happened: Rahim didn't live up to my high expectations, he surpassed and annihilated those expectations. He kicked off his set with "Supernatural", and continued the set with killer track after killer track. The performance ran the gamut of sounds and emotions, ranging from slow, poignant, and insightful ("So Much Better") to rocking and energetic ("You Fool"). I could go on and on, but the truth is that words would not do justice to his performance. Trust me, you had to be there.

  10. Sorta (October 23, House of Blues Pontiac Garage)
    I'm not even sure where to begin to describe this show. Yes, it was obviously a highly emotional show. You could see many an audience member fighting back the tears, and some of them unable to fight the tears back. It was a beautiful night filled with Sorta favorites, as well as tracks from their final self-titled CD. The band closed with "Afraid of the Dark", one of Sorta's most beautiful and haunting songs ever. When the band sang the final refrain, "Oh, it's over now", well, I'm sure I wasn't the only audience member with a lump in their throat the size of a softball. In spite of the highly emotional nature of the evening, the band held it together and sounded as tight as ever, in spite of the lack of Carter Albrecht's musical presence onstage. It may be over now, but the memory of both Sorta and of Carter remains with all of us.