Undoubtedly, a number of you woke up early and battled it out with other shoppers at your favorite retail store. Sounds like fun, huh? I didn't think so either. Now that the beginning of the holiday season shopping frenzy has gotten to you, I recommend unwinding at a show this weekend. Here are some of your finer options.
Emmeline/Steve Jackson/Josh Cooley (Ten Times Cellar)
You do not understand how excited I am that Emmeline's Early Morning Hours is finally getting a proper CD release. Her slightly jazzy, highly melancholy tunes of pain and heartbreak are simply first-rate. Whether it be the tales of mourning in "The Story" or dealing with a friend's addiction in "Where the Light Is", Emmeline weaves well crafted musical stories set to a gorgeous melodic background. You can get your own copy of the CD tonight with the cost of admission. Don't know where Ten Times Cellar is? That's why I included a link. Speaking of links, here's a link to my interview with Emmeline, in case you haven't read it yet.
Spindrift/Fate Lions/The Cush (Kessler Theater)
Headlining band Spindrift is the only non-local band on the lineup. Fate Lions is unarguably Funkytown's finest power pop act, and The Cush has packed up their shoegaze sound and relocated it back to the metroplex. I'm hoping that means we'll see more of the band in the months to come.
Eleven Hundred Springs (Dan’s Silverleaf)
Country, like most music genres as of late, seems to be divided into a myriad of categories. There's alt-country, renegade country, Americana, Nashvegas, and so on. Eleven Hundred Springs, on the other hand, is country. The band needs no further classification. Country purists, this show's for you.
Dave Little/Chad Stockslagger/Laura Harrell (Allgood Cafe)
Are you still stuffed from Thanksgiving dinner? Even if so, you'll want to make room for one of Allgood's most tasty entrees. Throw in some Dave Little comedy, the keyboard stylings of Mr. Stockslagger (arguably the finest keyboard player in town), and Laura Harrell minus the other half of Romp Almighty, and you've got a delicious night of food and music.
The Roomsounds/Gypsy Bravado (LaGrange)
Looks like we'll have to wait until next year for the debut album of The Roomsounds. Based on what I've heard, I think we can expect a nice blend of pop hooks along with a certain alt-country sensibility. Can't wait.
The Rocket Summer/He Is We (The Prophet Bar)
All right, go ahead and laugh and make fun of this show, indie hipsters. Here's the dirty truth: Bryce Avery's first official album, Calendar Days, has more than a few tracks (notably "This Is Me" and "Mean Thoughts and Cheap Shots") that Ben Folds has to be kicking himself for not writing first. While overall I haven't dug Of Mice and Angels as much, "Walls" is still one of the most powerful tunes I've heard all year. It's a haunting beautiful tale of personal struggle that has remained in my ears (and in my heart) throughout the year. Go ahead, hipsters, and laugh. You know you're listening to this when no one's looking.
Emily Elbert/Damon C. Clark (Kessler Theater)
I've probably told this story on the blog before, so if you've heard it, have patience with me. I was chatting with someone at Opening Bell several years ago about Emily, and he said "She's pretty good for her age." I take strong exception with that statement. When Ms. Elbert truly cuts loose on the guitar, there are few people in the metroplex that can compete with her. It doesn't matter whether male or female, or whether the musician is 18 or 80 or somewhere in between. She deserves to be regarded at the same level as Chris Holt, Ryan Thomas Becker, and the area's other finest instrumentalists. I just hope that once Emily finishes college, she moves back to Dallas.
The JC Experience (LaGrange)
I still haven't seen the spectacle that is the JC Experience, but it seems to have become an institution at LaGrange. Mr. Pedigo and Mr. Stockslagger must be onto something.