Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thinking Inside the Box: Emmeline

Yes readers, I have another free mp3 for you. And again, it's from another artist on the Ten to Watch in '10 list. This time it's the beautiful and talented Emmeline, who still remains one of the best hidden musical gems in this town. If I have anything to do about it, that secret will be out of the bag very soon.

If you'd like to see what the big deal is, go to Lakewood Bar & Grill tonight where she'll be hosting a benefit for the recent earthquakes in both Haiti and Chile. I don't have times or lineup, but here's what I can tell you: cover is $5, it's a good cause, and Emmeline alone is worth paying $5 (and then some).

Don't believe me? Fine. Download the song for yourself.

MP3: Emmeline - The Story

Oh, and if you want another free MP3 (and you will), then go to Emmeline's ReverbNation profile and sign up for her email list, and you can download "You Every Time" for free.

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/28/10 - 4/3/10

Here's my standard disclaimer which I've forgotten the past two weeks (fortunately no lawsuits have come my way): any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

So I have one question for you, my readers? Are you ready to rock? I can't hear you, I said, are you ready to RAWK?!?!?

Sorry to disappoint you then, because I've decided to go a more mellow route with this week's playlist. The rock will resume next week, but for now enjoy this more subdued yet lovely playlist.

  1. "D Street", Luna Matto
    Here's another of the tracks that I received from Luna Matto, and I've always enjoyed the sparse arrangement of this song. I'm sure she'll be performing it Saturday night at City Tavern, along with Darktown Strutters and Binary Sunrise.

  2. "The Sticking Place", Most
    Art festival season is upon us, and this weekend will be the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, and there are several bands worth checking out. While I still haven't seen Most's live set, I'm convinced that their set (Saturday, 5:00 pm at the Main Stage) will be quite captivating.

  3. "Three", The Timeline Post
    I suppose it's kinda cheesy to place this song as number three on the list. What can I say? I'm not feeling all that original today. Sue me.
  4. "...And Again", Hendrick
    Hendrick was originally scheduled to perform at the Arts Festival, but they're no longer on the lineup. That leaves only one show on their agenda this week, and that would be the Thursday night show at Trees. You know the show I'm talking about. This is the show that determines which band opens Edgefest. There is no online voting for the last round, so the only way to make certain your favorite band makes it to Edgefest is to attend Thursday night. I don't know the order of the lineup, but Bridges & Blinking Lights, Ishi, Andrew Tinker, and Criminal Shift round out the top five.

  5. "The Moon", Elkhart
    How could I do a mellow playlist without adding an Elkhart song? Their CD, The Moon, is nothing less than a classic in terms of dreamy ethereal alt-country pop. It's also a rare CD that never compels me to press the skip button, and that's a true rarity in this day and age.

  6. "Somebody Else", Smile Smile
    Here's yet another good track from Truth on Tape. They'll be performing Wednesday at City Tavern as part of the Home Sessions series. If you're not familiar with the Home Sessions series, the way it works is that artists perform stripped down, and then many of the tracks will later be available to stream or even download for free. Pretty cool, isn't it?

  7. "The Regulator", Nicholas Altobelli
    Mr. Altobelli will be performing next Sunday at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, and I'm sure he'll be playing several songs from his next album, which shares its name with the posted song.

  8. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    Yo Jimmy, when we gonna meet up so you can give me the new CD? Okay, so my Brooklyn accent doesn't even come close to that of Mr. Menkena. Still, Jimmy's promised me a mastered copy of the new CD, and I'm seriously ready to listen to it.

  9. "Acts of Man", Midlake
    This is an obvious choice for this mellow thirteen.

  10. "Fly", GaydenLee
    I received the duo's CD, Songs for Thursday, this past week and I must say that there is a definite charm to the six songs. There's something in the songs that reminds me of the Once soundtrack, not so much because of their writing style but in spirit. When I first saw that film, I was struck by the simple sincerity of the performances and the obvious love the two felt for the music. I sense a certain amount of that admittedly intangible quality with GaydenLee. If this has you curious, check them out next Sunday at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. They play at 3:00 at the ArtLoveMagic Artist Alley.

  11. "Rivers into Rum", Carter Albrecht
    I think this is the first time I've posted a track from Mr. Albrecht's solo album on a playlist. Admittedly, I couldn't do that with the MySpace playlists, but I should have addressed this problem much sooner. Still, better late than never, and this song fits in to the playlist perfectly.

  12. "Together", The O's
    I'm sure than John Pedigo and Taylor Young are just having a blast over in Europe, but I'll be glad when they return and do some shows closer to Paris, Texas than Paris, France.

  13. "After All Is Done", Iris Leu
    This is one of my favorites from Hushaboo that I've only seen Ms. Leu perform one time, and that was at the CD release show. I doubt she'll change that trend this Saturday when she performs at the Kessler Theater. For the record, if you haven't been there yet, change that... like, now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/21/10 -3/27/10

  1. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
    This is a status update posted from my personal Facebook account: "I've just received several mastered mp3's from Luna Matto and they are freakin' amazing. Opening my email was like Christmas morning!" Not only are the songs wonderful (as I would have expected), but Jimi Bowman's production job leaves no room for complaints or even suggestions. Expect to see lots of Luna's music on my playlists for the next few weeks. Actually, expect to see lots of her music throughout the year.

  2. "Will You Be There", Pale Horse
    Pale Horse is keeping their calendar full, but keep an eye out for a really special show in the near future. I'll tell you more as the date come closer.

  3. "Nothing Ever Goes Right", Salim Nourallah
    Oak Cliff has slowly been transforming itself into a cool bohemian type neighborhood. Jeffrey Liles' opening of the Kessler Theater will no doubt make the area even more interesting. He has several good shows planned there, including this Friday's show featuring Nicholas Altobelli, Rahim Quazi, Chris Holt, and Mr. Nourallah.

  4. "Honky Tonk Angels (Don't Happen Overnight)", Eleven Hundred Springs
    So, you live in Plano and are frustrated because you have to drive to Downtown Dallas to hear good bands live? Saturday will be a nice reprieve for you then, as Eleven Hundred Springs takes the stage at Love & War.

  5. "Bragging Type", Trey Johnson
    Ever since I saw Mr. Johnson perform at Poor David's Pub the previous weekend, Mount Pelee is in heavy rotation again. This track in particular has been going through my head a lot lately. There are worse things than that.

  6. "Undercover", Bridges & Blinking Lights
    I'm going to make a confession here. It's taken me a long time to get B&BL. Even the first few times I heard this track, I thought it was good but not great. Fortunately, KXT and Mark from The Local Edge have insisted on playing it repeatedly, and with each listen I grew more fond of the song. Mission accomplished: I get it now.

  7. "Woman/Free", Calhoun
    Last May, Calhoun played a show at Aardvark that they said would be their last for awhile. That usually translates to "final show" and "breakup of the band". Imagine how surprised I was then to discover that the band is recording new material and planning for a new album to be released this summer. The band also posted three free downloads on their bandcamp site of tracks that will not be on the album. If these are the tracks that didn't make the cut, this bodes very well for the quality of their next release.

  8. "Pretty Boys", Sara Radle
    Tonight Ms. Radle returns to Dallas with her new band, Walking Sleep. They will play at Barley House along with Happy Bullets.

  9. "Knock on a Nail", Mildred
    This is one of my favorite local tracks from the early 90's, also featured on Tales from the Edge Volume 2.

  10. "Sandman", Bonedome
    Speaking of the Tales from the Edge series, I previously said that George Gimarc would have put this track on one of the CDs in a heartbeat. While it's unfair of me to put words in Mr. Gimarc's mouth, the song definitely captures the early 90's alternative rock sound extremely well, and would have fit so comfortably along side such classic local bands as The Spin, Pop Poppins, Moon Festival, Bat Mastersons, and so forth. Bonedome will undoubtedly perform this song Friday night at LaGrange for the CD release show of Thinktankubator.

  11. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
    Plano isn't the only suburb getting a local music treat. At the Flower Mound Toms shoe store, Seryn will be performing Saturday afternoon, along with possibly my favorite Austin musician, Jaimee Harris. Oso Closo was on the bill, and I'm not sure if Oso Closo offshoot Foe Destroyer will take their place or what will happen. All I know is that you have the opportunity to buy new shoes, hear good music, and help those in need all at the same time. By the way, if you don't know the story behind Toms, click on the link above.

  12. "Party Like You Mean It", Damaged Good$
    I enjoyed this song from last week's playlist so much that I decided to keep the party going strong.

  13. "Truth on Tape", Smile Smile
    Sometimes you play a song several times before really hearing it. This past week I finally heard "Truth on Tape" for the first time, and it is an amazing song that perfectly balances heartbreak with great soaring catchy melodies. This is easily the best song the band has recorded to date, and the rest of the album is very good as well.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekend Shows: SXSW Edition

Without fail, the weekend of SXSW turns local music venues into something of ghost towns. Not only do the fans disappear, but each year, it seems to get harder and harder to find good shows on SXSW weekend. This post is for those who are not in Austin right now. Want to see a good show in the metroplex area? Lucky for you, there are several options.

Land Mammals/THe BAcksliders/Dizastra (Dan's Silverleaf)
Denton band Land Mammals may be headlining with their fun quirky low-fi indie pop, but THe BAcksliders will end up stealing the show. Just my opinion though.
Cas Haley/The Slack (Granada Theater)
Here's another show where I think the opener will upstage the headliner. I've given many listens to The Deep End, and this is one strong collection of songs. It doesn't hurt that Slack leader Chris Holt is a pretty good musician. Yeah, Mr. Holt's a pretty good musician, kind of like how a Rolls Royce is a pretty nice car.
Charming Gardeners (Dallas Museum of Art)
I've yet to see or even hear this band, so let me tell you what I know. The band was recently signed to Idol Records, and that label has a fabulous track record of signing quality bands. I know that the band features Marc Solomon (previous from great bands like Clumsy and Solly) who is now best known for running the Zounds Sounds School of Rock. I know Amy Curnow (Shanghai 5) is also in the band, and that her vocals at Trey Johnson's Poor David's Pub show were spot on. I also know Wade Cofer (Rose County Fair, Homespun Remedies, The Kul) plays bass in the band. I don't know anything about their drummer, Gerald Iragorri, but I'm trusting that if he can hang with those three fine musicians, he must be pretty special. Besides, where else can you go this weekend to hear rock music AND patron the arts?
Manning-Dickson/The Marfalites (LaGrange)
It's a CD release show for Fort Worth band Manning-Dickson, and opening band The Marfalites are reason enough to see the showy.

Michael Miller/Menkena (Allgood Cafe)
The guys from Menkena have been raving about Mr. Miller's music, but yet again, I find myself more drawn to the opener than the headliner. I'm not going to rehash thoughts on Menkena; my post on the Ten to Watch in '10 says all that needs to be said.
Shane Alexander/Camille Cortinas/Garrett Owen
I finally saw Mr. Owen for the first time, and the guy not only writes good songs, he's better in the singing department than your typical singer-songwriter. He does not have a CD out yet, and I'm hoping that will change soon, as he has the potential to really shine within the local music community. Ms. Cortinas will also be playing, spreading smiles to anyone willing to listen.
American Aquarium/Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On (LaGrange)
Gregory Pierce (Hendrick, Iris Leu) has been raving about Mr. Delaney for quite some time, and I'm starting to see the appeal in Delaney's music. My favorite, "Ramblin' Jack", owes a definite debt of gratitude to Tom Waits. Whether channel Tom Waits or alt-country ("Wine and Roses"), this is good music.
Hello Lover/Missile/Descender (Bryan Street Tavern)
There are two reasons I recommend this show. The first, and most important, is that Hello Lover brings a strong energy to their self proclaimed "sex rock". I've only seen the band twice, which is how many times the band has severely impressed me. The other reason I'm recommending the show? I love the opportunity to type the phrase "sex rock". Hey, at least I'm honest.

Joe Pug/PALEFACE/Nicholas Altobelli (Green Elephant)
This is an earlier show for Mr. Altobelli, who goes on around 6 pm. Word on the street is that he'll have copies of his new CD, The Regulator, available for purchase. If you go, bring enough extra $$$ to pick it up, as this just might be Mr. Altobelli's best work to date.
Johnny Lloyd Rollins/The Fieros/Israel Nash Gripka/They Were Stars (LaGrange)
This is unfair. The best local show of the weekend takes plays on a Sunday night. Some of us have to work the next day. So if you want the all too rare opportunity to see The Fieros (formerly The Valentines) return to Dallas, start preparing your excuse for why you're late to work. Johnny Lloyd Rollins and They Were Stars help add to the appeal of this bill as well.
Happy Bullets/The Walking Sleep (Barley House)
Sunday seems to be "return to Dallas" day. Over at Barley House, Sara Radle brings her band, The Walking Sleep, to the metroplex. I haven't heard their music yet, but I've yet to be disappointed by Ms. Radle.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thinking Inside the Box: Lovie

Ever since I started the website, I've wanted a good place to host mp3s so I can share them with you, my faithful readers. I recently discovered and will be using that site to upload mp3's, and then offer a link for downloading. I was hoping that the mp3 could be uploaded directly on my site, but apparently that would require me paying a monthly fee. Sorry, readers, but that's not happening at this point.

Still, it offers me the opportunity to share songs with you, like this song from Lovie. This new tune exemplifies why I named them one of the Ten to Watch in '10, and after you listen, you should feel the same. The band will be performing tonight at the House of Blues Voodoo Lounge, and tickets are only $5. Also, the ladies in the band will be pinching those not wearing green, so if you don't want to get pinched, wear green. Of course if you like being pinched by pretty rocker ladies, then hey, don't wear green. It's all good.

And speaking of good severe awesomeness, click on the link directly below.
MP3: Lovie - "Your Virgo"

GOBL on Facebook + Dr. Dog Tickets

As many of you may now, I've established a fan page for the Ghost of Blind Lemon blog on Facebook. The page has 363 fans currently, but I'm trying to grow the number of fans on the page.

My friend Nathan Binford, who now works at The Loft, made a suggestion on how to get more fans on Facebook. He suggested I give away a pair of tickets to Dr. Dog's show at The Loft, which takes place April 30th. Can you believe that? He's daring to suggest that I give away tickets to a non-local band just in order to boost my popularity on Facebook. Does he think I would stoop so low just to get a few extra fans on Facebook?

Uh... so anyway, I'm giving away a pair of tickets to see Dr. Dog to the first person to newly sign up as a Ghost of Blind Lemon fan on Facebook and then email me. It's a simple two step process.

  1. Click here to reach the Ghost of Blind Lemon Facebook fan page, then click where it says to become a fan.

  2. Click here to email me. If your Facebook name differs from the name on the email account, please specify your Facebook name in the email.

  3. Be the first one to email me, and then go see Dr. Dog April 30th free of charge.

Oh, and on a related note, I cannot wait to see what Binford and company bring in terms of new shows to The Loft. And at risk of sounding like a broken record, more local music please?

NOTE: Congratulations to Kelly Saunders, who is both a winner of Dr. Dog tickets and a proud Ghost of Blind Lemon fan on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ten to Watch in '10

I almost gave up on publishing this list, given that the first quarter of 2010 is almost over. Some might even say that it's too late to publish such a list. Still, I feel that these ten artists are deserving of the attention and should not be denied the exposure because of my severe tardiness. Better late than never, right? As for these artists, some are well established within the local music community, while some are relative unknowns. Every single one of them is worth your time and attention.

Air Review
In 2009, bands like Hendrick, The Farstar, and Dovetail reminded local music fans that it is possible to blend together the best parts of indie rock and commercial alternative music. Air Review has followed that model and then taken it to another level with a sound that combines all the best qualities of British bands like Muse and Radiohead without ever coming off as imitators. Their song, "Chasing Corporate" is not only an incredibly catchy tune, but it is a surprisingly intelligent song about trying to catch a break in the music business. And while the band repeats the line "This could be our only chance" throughout the song, their album Landmarks is filled with many other great songs ("Exodus", "All Because You're Mine", and "Cartography" for starters) that will give the band multiple chances to win over fans.
When 2009 began, I had no idea who Iris Leu was. All it took was one listen, however, and I was instantly hooked by her gorgeously memorable voice and great songs. By the end of the year, her talent earned her a substantial following. Throughout the year, she joined both Morning Elephant and Chameleon Chamber Group, and she even won Best New Artist at the Quick Awards Show. I think Emmeline, another talented young singer songwriter with tremendous skill on the piano, has the potential to pull a similar feat this year.
Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights
Sure, JT&NL have pretty much conquered the metroplex area, bringing droves of adoring fans to each and every show. There is no doubt that they are stars in our metroplex. So why are they spotlighted in this list? Now that their major label debut, Pardon Me, will be released this April, the band has the potential to duplicate that success on a national level. Now is the part where I get on my soapbox. It has been too long since our city has had the chance of such a major success story as JT&NL. So please, if you're a fan of their 60's influenced southern soul (as you should be), do your part. Buy the album. Go to shows. Call your radio stations. Go to more shows. Tell your friends. Maybe then you can say, "yeah, I knew them way back when".
My love of Lovie isn't exactly new. Their debut album Harshmellow was a very enjoyable collection of catchy tunes sure to put a smile on even the biggest grouch's face. So why are GOBL faves Lovie on this list? Well, if the track "Your Virgo" (from their upcoming EP Because of My Mattress) is any indication, the band is taking things to another level. Don't get me wrong, the songs still have that pop sensibility to them. The difference now is that their sound is slightly more aggressive and a lot more energetic, sort of like a local version of Sleater-Kinney. Perhaps this is due to newer additions Leanna Bates on drums and Kristen DeRocha on bass. Either way, Lovie, this new sound looks good on you. Yes, I know I'm mixing metaphors.
Luna Matto
Polyphonic Spree side projects are nothing new. St. Vincent, Andrew Tinker, the list could go on and on. So Luna Matto is just another name to add to the list, right? Wrong! From the first time I saw this band play live at Lakewood Bar and Grill, I knew instantly that this is a band that needed to be heard by the masses. Ms. Matto's voice is distinctive and quite lovely, and I have yet to hear a song by her that hasn't amazed me. Her style is in a definite Cat Power/Sia type of vein, and she's every bit as good as those artists, if not better. By this time next year, she should be selling out the Granada Theater and other venues of that size not only in Dallas but across this nation. I once said on the blog that if Luna Matto doesn't "explode" this year, that I "just might lose my faith in the Dallas music fan." I still stand behind that statement. There are few artists I'd go that far out on a limb with, and Luna Matto is one of them.
So much has been done with music that it seems difficult to do something truly unique. Yet I feel that Jimmy Menkena has managed to do that with his blend of acoustic and shoegaze sounds. He and his band has blended together the beautiful sonic stylings of shoegaze with the captivating lyrics of what is normally only found in the singer-songwriter world. Yes, their music is quiet by nature, and if you're looking for the soundtrack to a party, then Menkena will not work. If, however, you want to dive into a gorgeous sonic landscape and get lost in a masterfully told story, then you will not find a better act in Dallas than Menkena. Oh,I almost forgot, they'll be releasing their first full length CD soon. I predict it'll be one of my most listened to CD's of the year.
The Monco Poncho
First of all, let me say I'm thrilled that the band has found such an enthusiastic fan base for their live shows. If you have not seen them live yet, it is a fun experiences filled with western dress and lots of cap guns. Still, I sometimes worry that it distracts from the fine songs written by lead singer Nick Durham and the rest of the gang. When they release their debut CD next month, be sure to pick it up and listen carefully. The shows may be fun, but the songs can definitely stand alone on their merit.
Ryan Thomas Becker
I'm not going to specify whether to watch his solo career, RTB2, Slow Burners, Eaton Lake Tonics, or whatever other project he may be a part of this week. Here's what you need to know: if it involves Mr. Becker, it's a big deal. That's all you need to know.
Sarah Jaffe
When I compiled the list, I knew that Ms. Jaffe was going to release her first full length, Suburban Nature, on Kirtland Records. I even knew she was opening for Midlake on their European tour, no doubt a nice opportunity for some exposure. Never would I have predicted that she'd be getting to open for Norah Jones. That's right, she's the main support for Ms. Jones on several dates, including her Dallas performance May 4th at the Fair Park Music Hall. And yes, her voice is still powerful enough to send chills down your back. Some things never change.
Tonite Tonite, but After Tonite You're on Your Own
It's been a long road for the band, almost breaking up several times and coming close to releasing their album but never getting it out yet. I think 2010 will finally break the spell for this band, and their debut (produced by none other than Salim Nourallah) will finally see the light of day. Like Menkena, this is a quiet band, but one whose beautiful melodies are well worth the attention. And as for the band's name, yes, it's a little long. Some would say that a name so long will hurt the band, yet ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead managed to do just fine.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/14/10 - 3/20/10

NX35 wraps up tonight, leaving you a brief breather before that OTHER major music festival in Texas. I must say, I'm disappointed by how little of the metroplex area is represented in the official SXSW showcases. Frankly, I think that as a whole, the bands playing the unofficial shows are better than most of the locals playing the official shows. Still, I'm letting you have a taste of both sides of the fence. You'll get several official bands that you'll need to pay lots of money to see, as well as many playing free unofficial showcases.

  1. "Austin's Birthday", The Burning Hotels
    The official show happens Wednesday night at Jaime's at about one in the morning. What's even cooler, however, is the fact that they're playing at the Fort Worth Grab Bag show Thursday at Dominican Joe's free of charge. Their set starts at 6:30 on the outdoor stage. Other bands playing the showcase include Fate Lions, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, and Goodwin just to name a few. This is easily the king of unofficial showcases.

  2. "Dawn", Nicholas Altobelli
    Here's some more unofficial fun: Nicholas Altobelli performs Saturday at Thunderbird Coffee around 7:00, where I'm sure he'll be performing songs from his upcoming release, The Regulator. (NOTE: the Thunderbirds show is cancelled)

  3. "Tell It in My Ear", Fergus and Geromino
    This Teenage Cool Kids side project has gotten plenty of buzz around these parts, and they'll be trying to spread the buzz at SXSW. This is an official show starting at about 9:00 pm Saturday night at Red 7.

  4. "Minor It Down", True Widow
    They'll be performing Friday night at Encore around midnight, and yes, this is an official showcase. If you haven't seen the band play live yet, then this is a must see show for you.

  5. "Acts of Man", Midlake
    Here's yet another official show, this one happening Thursday night (about 1:00 AM) at Buffalo Billiards.

  6. "TNT Family", Holy Moly
    I don't have a start time for their set at Darwin's Pub; all I can tell you is that it's an unofficial show Friday night.

  7. "When Hammer Hits Stone", RTB2
    RTB2 is another one of the acts performing Thursday at the previously mentioned Fort Worth Grab Bag showcase. Need more RTB2? They'll also be playing Friday afternoon at Momo's club around 5:20 or so.

  8. "Party Like You Mean It", Damaged Good$
    If any local artist could claim to party like they mean it, it would be Damaged Good$. Attend the party, I mean official show, Friday night (10:00 pmish) at The Independent.

  9. "Robin", Little Black Dress
    For those who will arrive in Austin Wednesday night, don't miss LBD's official show at The Hideout. The set starts around 1:00 AM.

  10. "Even Born Again", Sarah Jaffe
    Ms. Jaffe's set starts at 8:00 pm Thursday night at St. David's Historic Sanctuary, a quite unlikely place for a SXSW show.

  11. "Have You Ever Been Down?", THe BAcksliders
    Were the folks at SXSW intimated by the wild performances and energetic rock stylings of THe BAcksliders? This band deserves all the buzz it can get. SXSW may have been intimidated, but fortunately the Electra Beauty Lounge isn't as easily scared. That's where they perform Saturday afternoon around 3 pm.

  12. "Shake Your Fist", Telegraph Canyon
    It's no surprised that Telegraph Canyon, one of the most critically acclaimed bands around here as of late, is performing an official show Saturday night at The Ale House. The set time is 8:00 pm.

  13. "She's from the Other Side", Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights
    It used to be that each year their would be that "breakout" artist at SXSW. Norah Jones was a "breakout" artist, and perhaps our metroplex can score another breakout with JT&NL. Not only does our music community need a success story, but this band has the talent to pull it off. Check out both of their official shows: Thursday at midnight at Maggie May's and Saturday at Galaxy Room Backyard (9:00 pm). Can't afford the real shows? No worries, because they'll be performing Friday afternoon at Antone's (not sure of the set time).

And if there are any other good local acts I've forgotten to list (especially good unofficial shows), feel free to post them in the comments section.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oso Finito

Tonight is quite a busy day for shows, between Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights at Granada Theater this afternoon, Menkena and Romp Almighty at Bryan Street Tavern, and Salim Nourallah and I Love Math (Buttercup as well) at the House of Blue Cambridge Room.

And then of course there's NX35. Most of the attention will be directed towards the free Flaming Lips/Midlake show at the North Texas Fairgrounds. Still, there's one performance at the evening shows that needs to be brought to your attention.

Oso Closo's set at The Boiler Room is reported to be the band's final show. There are still several other shows listed on their MySpace, but I am presuming that all of those dates are unfortunately null and void. I've only seen the band once, and that was over two years ago at the Cottonwood Arts Festival. I've been wanting to see the band again ever since hearing tracks from their latest effort, Today Is Beauty's Birthday. The album showed how much they had grown musically since the last time I saw them perform.

Moral of the story: if you like Oso Closo, or are curious and want to see them for the first time, it's now or never.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Salim, Salim, and More Salim!

I only have a little time to blog before going to my "real job", but here's a quick summary of what you need to know about Salim.

  • At 9 am this Morning, Salim will be performing on Good Morning Texas on Channel 8. I know that's not much warning, but better short notice than none.

  • Friday morning he'll be performing live on KXT, also known as the best station in the metroplex.

  • Saturday, Salim plays a show that is NOT in the morning hours (thank goodness). The lineup at the House of Blues Cambridge Room include Salim & The Dufilhos, I Love Math, and San Antonio band Buttercup. You can order tickets through the HOB website I'm sure.

  • Finally, Salim's been holding a pledge drive to raise funds for his next album, a 70's cover album featuring Shibboleth as the back up band. You can order everything from CDs to DVDs to house concerts. To see the exact list, go here for the website.

One of the items available on that website is the option of selecting Salim's setlist as a show. If anyone wanted to order that and give that as a gift to his or her favorite ghost blogger, that would be an awesome gift. I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Album Review: The Timeline Post, Slow Descent

If you were like me, you probably thought that the Timeline Post was a metal band. It's an easy mistake to make. The band has played with Fair to Midland, The House Harkonnen, and similar bands on repeated occasions. Even a glimpse at the song titles on their latest CD would seem to reinforce that notion: "Wedding Bell Murders", "Kill the Girl", "Devil's Alamo", and that's not even counting the album's name. Yes, Slow Descent would appear to be just another metal album out of Dallas.

Oh, how wrong I was. And for that matter, how wrong you are if you still think that.

It is rare for a CD to catch me so pleasantly by surprise, but that is exactly what The Timeline Post have done. Slow Descent is not an easy album to classify, yet that is the reason this album is so immediately captivating. Yes, the album definitely has a heavy rock edge in many of the tracks. "Success" kicks off with a frantic beat and plenty of loud guitars, and the track never lets up for a single second. "Wedding Bell Murders", although more melodic, shares that same level of energy. And yes, those tracks definitely work well when turned up on full blast.

What really makes Slow Descent memorable, however, are the quieter moments. The album's opening track, "Skyhook", starts with a simple yet beautiful melody played by Lindsay Harrill. The mood of the song is melancholy to say the least, as shown by lines like "There's no light from above to keep us in check or save us from death". In fact, the mood of sadness and even desperation continues throughout the entire album.

One might think that an album so bleak would be a difficult and unpleasant listen, yet nothing could be further from the truth. The eleven songs on this album have a way of lingering in your head, whether it be "Devil's Alamo" with its tempo changes and interesting chord progressions or quiet and beautiful desperation of "Kill the Girl". The album's highlight, however, is the track "Three". The vocal harmonies at the end of the song (much props to members Owen Bickford and Steve Simpson) are simple yet so intensely effective. In some ways, this song reminds me of the material from Midlake's The Courage of Others, and to my surprise, I'm finding this album even more captivating. Whether the album rocks or haunts, it lingers in your head and demands repeated listens. Simply put, this is the first truly great release of 2010. Fans of metal (and non-fans of metal) take note alike.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/7/10 - 3/13/10

You might have heard about a little music festival up in Denton called NX35. This is the festival's second year, and I must say that the lineup is quite impressive. The thirteen artists featured in the playlist are all playing at some point during the 4 day festival. For more details, including how to buy wristbands, all the artists playing, all the venues, etc. etc. etc., then go to NX35 for all the details. The playlist only represent some of my favorite artists playing, and even at that, there are a LOT who didn't make the list who are still worth checking out.

Standard disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. "Romance Tried to Kill Me", Cocky Americans
    Performing Thursday night at J&J's Pizza, and in an unrelated note, the band headlines a benefit show tonight at Double-Wide for the employees affected by the lower Greenville fires

  2. "The Vultures Are Circling", Jack With One Eye
    Performing Saturday night at Hailey's

  3. "Letters to a Young Danny Kennedy", RTB2
    Performing Thursday at Dan's Silverleaf, as part of the KXT showcase

  4. "Everything Dies", Nicholas Altobelli
    Performing Friday night at Jupiter House

  5. "Tired of Dallas", Orange Peel Sunshine
    Performing Thursday night at Boiler Room

  6. "Sunday Morning", Dem Southernfolkz
    Performing Sunday night at Andy's Bar

  7. "Truth on Tape", Smile Smile
    Performing Sunday night at Boiler Room

  8. "Come Closer", Shiny Around the Edges
    Performing Saturday night at Texas 8 Ball, as part of the Asthmatic Kitty Records showcase

  9. "Wedding Bell Murders", The Timeline Post
    Performing Thursday night at Banter, as part of the Gutterth showcase

  10. "As Hard as the Road Ahead", Western Giants
    Performing Sunday night at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern

  11. "Patricia Lynn", The Crash That Took Me
    Performing Thursday night at Hailey's

  12. "Barrel Chested", Slobberbone
    Performing Saturday night at Dan's Silverleaf

  13. "Winter Dies", Midlake
    Performing Saturday afternoon at the North Texas Fairgrounds right before Flaming Lips take the stage, but you knew that already, didn't you?

My apologies to A.M. Ramblers, Bridges & Blinking Lights, the cut*off, Damaged Good$, The Demigs, Doug Burr, Giggle Party, The Heelers, Here Holy Spain, Jessie Frye, The Naptime Shake, Nervous Curtains, Oso Closo, PVC Street Gang, Record Hop, Sarah Jaffe, Telegraph Canyon, and all the other awesome artists who I couldn't add to the list. If I did, it would be the lucky thirty and not the lucky thirteen, which just doesn't have the same ring to it.

By the way, next week's playlist is all about SXSW, both the official and unofficial shows. If you want on the list, send your mp3s (scroll above for the email address) and you might wind up being one of the lucky thirteen.