Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lucky Thirteen: 1/31/11

As I'm sure most of you, this past week I recorded my first show for deepellumradio, the first of what I hope to be many to come. With that, however, brings a question: what should become of the Lucky Thirteen? Should I just repeat the same songs here? Is it redundant to have a playlist and a radio show? I have not yet come up with answers for those questions. I guess you could say I'm at a creative crossroads of sorts with the Lucky Thirteen. So I've decided to do what many musicians do when they're needing to put out an album but not sure what to do: release a best of retrospective type deal. I've selected thirteen tracks that, for whatever reason, have been significant musical points in past playlists. I don't know if this is goodbye to the Lucky Thirteen, but it seems a good time for reflection.
And whether or not the Lucky Thirteen continues, I encourage artists to send their mp3's to for either these playlists or the radio show.

  1. "Big Scar", Blackheart Society
    April 20, 2008 was the date of the first Ghost of Blind Lemon playlist. I used the playlist widget. At that time, there was no flexibility with ordering songs on the playlist. All tracks were done in alphabetical order by artist. As a result, this made the Blackheart Society song the first track on the first playlist here.

  2. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi
    The playlist has gone through many different formats and platforms:, MySpace, Hypster, and finally Grooveshark. I feel pretty safe in saying that this track has been used in each one of the formats, and just might have been featured on more playlists than any other song. "Supernatural" is a guaranteed mood picker-upper, and one of the most infectious tracks in recent local music memory.

  3. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    I've been featuring this song on playlists since it was a demo on their MySpace page. It's finally seen a proper release this year, and all I can say is that it's about time.

  4. "Jack Never Crashes", The Deathray Davies
    I got into a bit of a rut last year, not even doing many Lucky Thirteens for a lengthy period. I finally revived the playlist with a theme very special to me: the early years of the 2000's. Although many people view that period the beginning of the decline of Deep Ellum, that was also when I became a true local music fan. Groups like Chomsky, Sugarbomb, OHNO, [DARYL], and of course The Deathray Davies created my obsession with local music. Sometimes getting in touch with your past really can help you move into the future.

  5. "Everything Dies", Nicholas Altobelli
    I've always been a big supporter of Mr. Altobelli, and I could have chosen many other tracks of his. What makes this one special, however, is the fact that he let me debut this track on my blog. He didn't debut it on Dallas Observer, The Local Edge with Mark, or with anyone else. This was the first time I'd ever gotten a chance to debut a song on the blog. As a result, this song will always be special to me.

  6. "You're No Good", Pale Horse
    This song fared rather well last year, considering that it made it to #1 on my year end countdown. Not too shabby, right?

  7. "Virtue and Vice", The Virgin Wolves
    As you know, one of my favorite things as a blogger is to discover new talent. This past June, I urged new and up and coming acts to email me their mp3's for a special Lucky Thirteen consisting only of acts new to me. This particular track became a big favorite of mine during last year, and it works really well when played as loud as possible. I also feel compelled to give props to Anna Thomas, who was featured on that same playlist, and was almost included on this Lucky Thirteen.

  8. "Tryin' to Have a Good Time", The O's
    The O's have definitely made it on several playlists. My first inclination was to feature "You've Got Your Heart", which came in at #2 on the 2009 year end countdown. I opted for this track instead. Some of that was because I wanted to spotlight their newer material. More than that, it's also because a GOBL fan was so excited over the inclusion of this song that she took a picture of the Grooveshark player and posted it as a Facebook profile pic. That alone is reason enough for it to make this "best of" edition.

  9. "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll
    The first time this song was included on a Lucky Thirteen, there was a slight misspelling of the title. Somehow the word "girl" was spelled as "bag". But just as a rose by any other name smells as swell, this song with any other title sounds just as sweet. Call it "Paper Girl", call it "Paper Bag", or just call it a good song. And that it is.

  10. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
    I was already playing the living daylights out of this track back in the MySpace playlist days. When Luna finally sent me the new mp3s of what was to become Happy Isn't Real, I said on my Facebook account that receiving the tracks was like Christmas day for me.

  11. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
    This track not only was my favorite song of 2009, it's made my top 10 favorite songs of all time list. I don't mean a top 10 local tracks list; I mean top 10 songs ever. I can't explain the effect that this song has on me, but I can say that this song strikes a chord within me in a way that few songs do. If you haven't ever listened to the song before, please, do so now.

  12. "sEVEN", Ducado VeGA
    Earlier, I referred to this playlist as sort of a "greatest hits". Like many greatest hits compilations, I decided to slip in a brand new song. I want to save my comments for the next radio show, so I'll simply say that I feel Ducado VeGA will be a major player in the local music scene this year.

  13. "Me Quedo en Blanco", Lauren Adelle with Colin Boyd
    One of the big tricks on compilation albums is to feature one brand new song. Another trick, more often found in box sets, is to include an older never released song. Although this track charted on my top 40 podcast from last year, it never made it onto a single playlist. I always meant for her to be included, but for whatever reason, something always got in the way. Until today, that is.

Local Edge Playlist: 1/30/11

Another great episode, complete with a live in-studio from Pale Horse. And another Ghost of Blind Lemon reference... could it get any better?

"Blow the Speakers", Legsweeper
"Throw Me Overboard", The Hope Trust
"Marnie", Novaak

"Like a Canary"
"Your Heart Is a Wild Drum Beat"
"You're No Good"

"Skull Eyes", True Widow
"Prophet", Datahowler
"I Know a Thing or Two About You", Tweed EQ
"sEVEN", Ducado VeGA
"Better Off Dead", People on Vacation

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Radio, Radio: The Sequel

First off, let me also thank all of the wonderful musicians who played night: Rahim Quazi, Phoenix Hart, Madison King, and Goodnight Ned. Also, thanks to Josh Florence, John Solis, and the entire Dada crew for making me feel at home. It was an honor to kick off their Blogosphere showcase series, and look forward to doing it again in the future. And to those who couldn't make the show, you really missed out on some amazing performances.

But before I went to Dada last night, I got the opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for awhile. For those following the Ghost of Blind Lemon Facebook page, you may recall me hinting that I'd love to have my own radio show. A friend pointed me in the direction of deepellumradio. And so right before my showcase, I recorded my very first show with the internet radio station. The show should hit the airwaves around 6 pm CST, but I'll confirm later with more official details. The show will be an eclectic sampling of my favorites from the metroplex area, ranging from country to hip-hop to acoustic. And of course, there'll be plenty of indie rock and straight ahead rock music. The episode that will air tonight features new tracks from Calhoun, The Red 100's, Novaak, and The O's among others. So get to a computer tonight around 6 and give the show a listen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video Preview of Tomorrow's Show

As you've probably heard me mention more than a few times, I'm hosting the first Blogosphere showcase this Wednesday at Club Dada. There has been a slight change in the lineup; The Roomsounds will not be playing the show. Here is the lineup as it currently stands:

9:00 Rahim Quazi
9:40 Phoenix Hart
10:20 Madison King
11:00 Goodnight Ned

All acts are acoustic except Goodnight Ned. Cover is a mere $5, and the show is for 21+. I think this is going to be a great night of music, but don't just take my word for it. I want to give everyone a little taste of what tomorrow will sound like. As a result, I have include some video clips in order to prepare you for the greatness that will be tomorrow night. Let's start with the first musician on the lineup, Rahim Quazi. He'll be focusing primarily on songs from his upcoming CD, Born on a Tuesday during tomorrow's set. One of those songs is "Ghost Hunting", a song that he also performed at his show last March at Kessler Theater (one of my favorite shows of last year). Here's a video of that performance:

Next on the lineup is Phoenix Hart, an artist that has been getting more and more attention as of late, and deservedly so. Between her gorgeous voice and well written songs, all the attention is well deserved. Here's a brand new tunes of hers, "Angels (Where Are You Now)", that is every bit as good as the tunes on her latest CD, Save Love.

Madison King, the third on the lineup, has yet to release an album, and I could only find one YouTube video of her. It's video of a songswap she did in December with Ryan Thomas Becker and Danny Balis. It starts with her and Ryan doing a cover of "Rainbow Connection" before her going into her own music.

Finally, I'd post some video of Goodnight Ned... if it existed. It doesn't, so you'll just have to come tomorrow night to see what they're like live. You've got to have some surprises, right?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Lucky Thirteen: 1/24/11

Standard playlist 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 address to email me your mp3's. If I like the song, then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi

  2. "Until We Meet Again", Phoenix Hart

  3. "Two Songs", Goodnight Ned
    For those looking forward to Wednesday's GOBL showcase, here's a little update. The Roomsounds, alas, are not able to play the show. Do not fear, however, as I have gotten Phoenix Hart and Madison King both to agree to do acoustic sets. Rahim Quazi will kick off the show with an acoustic set as well, primarly focusing on material from his upcoming Born on a Sunday. And of course, Goodnight Ned will end the night with a full band set. So if you need something to do on a Wednesday night, you know what to do.

  4. "Set Me Free", The Red 100's
    I believe I've said before that The Red 100's are one of the bands that I predict will have a big year. I believe that statement is worth repeating. Obviously, as I have just repeated it. But seriously, there seems to be a move on the part of many bands towards a more rootsy, blues oriented sound, and The Red 100's could easily position themselves as leaders of this musical movement.

  5. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    First off, if you missed the band's CD release show at LaGrange, shame on you. I've never seen the band in finer form, and GOBL fans know how much I've always loved the band. But if you did miss Saturday's show, you can at least partially redeem yourself by going to the Kessler Theater on Friday night. They'll join a bill with another GOBL fave, Luna Matto, and Daniel Folmer will be on the bill. Or will it really be "Danny Rush"? I'll let you know if I figure out which identity shows up.

  6. "Kids in My Backyard", Soviet
    Wow, this band has really come out of nowhere it seems. The band's formula seems to be pretty straight forward: write fun, catchy songs. It seems to be working for them. Who knew it was that easy?

  7. "Charmed", The Bright
    The Bright has certainly received plenty of attention from local ABC affiliate WFAA (Channel 8), having played the channel's New Year's Eve show for the past two years. This particular song of theirs has really grabbed my attention more than any of their other works. It reminds me sonically of Sugarbomb, except with heavier guitars in place of Les Farrington's keyboards.

  8. "You Pressed The Crash Button", Novaak
    Is it too early to start nominating best song of 2011 contenders? If not, this gorgeously performed song would be fighting for top honors.

  9. "I'm Immune", Chris Holt
    Mr. Holt has really cut back on live shows, which is a shame because the tracks off A Cosmic Joke deserve to be brought to life on a regular basis. But until he plays more shows, you need to take advantage of the shows he does, like Friday's gig at Club Dada with Salim Nourallah and The Monco Poncho.

  10. "Coming of the Century", Course of Empire
    After seing Mike Graff's solo performance at LaGrange this past Saturday, it inspired me to dig up this CoE classic and share it with everyone. It's very different from the Lou Reed/Stones/Bowie boogie blend played that night, but until he records some of that, you'll have to settle for this. And by settle, I mean enjoy.

  11. "Buy You", Spookeasy
    Not enough people know about Spookeasy yet. I'm out to change that.

  12. "Tryin' to Have a Good Time", The O's
    I've seen people use posters for GOBL showcases as Facebook profile picture. But last week was the first time I've ever had someone take a picture of the Grooveshark player on my page and use that as a profile pic. What can I say, except that featuring a new O's song can have that effect on a person.

  13. "Emulate", Spector 45
    Spector 45 booked a show for this Saturday at LaGrange before Frankie Campagna passed away. The remaining band members decided to fulfill their obligations to the club, and recruited a longtime friend of Frankie's, Cody Bigham, will take over the vocal responsibilities. It obviously won't be the same, but for those who missed Frankie's last performance, consider this your chance to say goodbye to the band.

Local Edge Playlist: 1/23/11

Before starting the playlists, thanks to Mark for mentioning the blog after playing Pale Horse. Speaking of that band, they're going to be next week's in studio performance. DO NOT miss that!

Now, to recap the songs Mark played...

"Forever Today", Soviet
"Marnie", Novaak
"Say Say Say", GalleryCat
"You're No Good", Pale Horse
"Won't Take Much"
"Throw Me Overboard"

"Better Off Dead", People on Vacation
"Blow the Speakers", Legsweeper
"Red and White", New Science Projects
"sEVEN", Ducado VeGA
"Set Me Free", The Red 100's
"Shivonne", Menkena

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Plans: 1/21/11

So many shows to discuss, so little time...

Virgin Wolves/The Demigs/The Red 100's (Hailey’s)
I rarely make it to Denton shows due to questions on my car surviving the trip. Normally, missing out on Denton doesn't bother me that much. But I'm not going to lie, missing this show is really going to hurt. Any one of these artists alone is worth the cover charge. Having all three together on one bill? Simply amazing. Virgin Wolves put on a high energy gritty rock show with a hint of blues. The Red 100's are a skilled bunch of musicians that know how to tear it up live. The Demigs haven't played as much as they used to, but their blend of indie-pop with plenty of distortion always managed to put a smile on my page. If you're going to be in Denton, there's no excuse for missing this. None.
Calhoun/The O’s/Taylor Craig Mills (The Moon)
The O's album, Between the Two and Calhoun's Heavy Sugar are sure to be among the finest releases of 2011, and now you can experience both together in Fort Worth.
Anna Thomas (Coffee N Cream - Frisco)
How to have fun in Frisco tonight: Step 1 is to head to see the young (and very talented) Ms. Thomas and Coffee N Cream's Frisco location. Fans of piano based singer songwriter material will sure to become an instant fan. Step 2 of how to have fun in Frisco tonight...
The Roomsounds/Grant Jones & The Pistol Grip Lassos (Lochrann's)
Get a little taste of The Roomsounds at Lochrann's. Hopefully that will leave you wanting more Roomsounds. I can help you with that next Wednesday at Dada, you know.
Kristy Kruger/Raymond Weyandt/Nicholas Altobelli (Allgood Cafe)
Don't worry Dallas people, I haven't forgotten about you. While I can't speak for Mr. Weyandt, I have plenty of wonderful things to say about the others. Ms. Kruger is one of the few female singer-songwriters (along with the obvious Ms. Jaffe) who can command the respect (and even silence) of the audience. My only frustration with her is that I'm getting impatient waiting for the followup to her last CD, Songs From a Dead Man's Couch. Mr. Altobelli has no problem releasing material. In the time since Dead Man's Couch, Nicholas has released four EP's/CD's. And there's going to be a new one this year; word is this will be his long awaited electric CD. I'll believe it when I see it. Or hear it.
Kerri Arista (Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse)
The Uncle Calvin's show really is THIS Friday, and was not last Friday. Find last Friday's Weekend Plans for my thoughts, because I don't feel like retyping all that right now.

Menkena/Novaak/Mike Graff (LaGrange)
I think I pretty well summed up my thoughts on Menkena when discussing the release of With You I'll Travel on Tuesday. And yes, this is their CD release show. Also, Mike Graff (ex-Course of Empire) will be on the bill. The act I really want to discuss here, however, is Novaak. Their CD, I Am, You Are, has really put them on my radar. The opening track, "You Pushed the Crash Button", seems to have taken up permanent residence in my head. With such a dreamy melody and vocalist Jessi Jame's simple yet beautiful vocals, it only makes sense. Novaak's music will be the perfect compliment to Menkena's sound.
Sarah Jaffe/Bosque Brown/We’re Not Dudes (Lola’s)
Everyone knows how brilliant Ms. Jaffe is, and it's pretty universally accepted that Mara Lee Miller and Bosque Brown are amazing as well. The interesting part of this bill will be to see how We're Not Dudes does. They're a young band, and by young, I mean I'm not sure there's anyone that's even in their teens in the band. Word is their show is very energetic and very impressive, especially considering how young they are. It's worth noting that one of the members is the daughter of Luna Matto. If she gets even half of her mom's musical genes, then that alone would make the band worth watching.
Billygoat Brink, Camille Cortinas, and Dogdander (Opening Bell Coffee)
The O’s/Sleeping in the Aviary/The Blurries (Double-Wide)
American Werewolf Academy/Nervous Curtains/The Distant Seconds (City Tavern)

Not enough time to discuss these shows in the detail each deserves, but all fine choices.

Oh, and if I left out an important show, feel free to mention it in the comments and then chastise me for the omission. Thanks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Radio, Radio

As you know, I love sharing music with you. That's why I do the Lucky Thirteen every week. Sure, it gives me a chance to write about acts I like, but more importantly it gives you the opportunity to listen to the music and judge for yourselves. I've always wanted to have a platform for sharing my musical tastes, something like a radio program. No, I don't have my own show yet. If anyone wants to give me a radio show, email me and let's talk.

In the meantime, this is about as close as I can get to having my own radio show. I've created an account at, as well as my own station. Appropriately enough, it's called Ghost of Blind Lemon Radio. Not exactly original, but it gets the point across effectively enough.

Songza's local music library is still somewhat limited, but even with that, I've got over 500 songs in my musical library, and am still hoping to add more. I'm not sure how an artist adds his or her music to Songza, but I'd encourage all my favorite locals to do add to their library, and by default you'll be adding to my station. Also, feel free to vote on which songs you like and don't like in my library. You can even suggest songs, but if you do, please, keep it local. Have fun listening!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not One. But Two GOBL Showcase Announcements

That's right, I've got a few of my own showcases coming up, and I'm quite excited about them. The first one is a mere week away. Club Dada is going to be starting a series of showcases from local bloggers, and I'm proud to say that mine will be the first in the series. So come on out Wednesday January 26th for a night of music with Rahim Quazi, The Roomsounds, and Goodnight Ned. Doors should open around 8, with Rahim starting off the music at 9. I'd introduce Rahim's music to you, but if you're reading this blog, you must be familiar with him considering how much I rave about this man. If not, then do yourself a huge favor and get acquainted with his music. The Roomsounds, the only GOBL showcase veteran on the bill, are doing an acoustic version of their alt-countryish style at 10, and then Goodnight Ned wraps it up at 11. It's a rather early show, which helps since you probably have that annoying thing the next day called work.

My next showcase is quite aways off, March 3rd to be specific. But I just can't wait to share the news with everyone. In conjunction with the fine folks at Wellhouse Co., I'm doing my first show at Lochrann's. As for the music, I have managed to get two of my favorite songwriters on the same bill. Menkena will open up the bill with their gorgeous shoegaze melodies and simple yet well written songs. The headliner is none other than one of the most universally respected songwriters in the area, Doug Burr. It may seem like an unusual pairing, since sonically the two artists are quite different. Yet at the core, these are two incredibly gifted storytellers. This may not be an evening of music to "party" to, but if quality music is reason enough to celebrate, then come celebrate with me at Lochrann's on Thursday March 3rd.

So mark both dates on your calendar, and while you're at it, you might want to start coming up with your excuses for why you're late to work the next day. Just a suggestion.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Starts... Now!

Several years back, one of the Dallas Observer music editors stated that the local music year didn't begin until February. The editor (I can't recall which one) said that major local releases don't happen in December or January, and that things don't pick up until February. That may be true in most years, but I have to take exception to that theory for this year. Today on iTunes, two of the most eagerly anticipated local albums of the year were released.

The first of the two albums is the long anticipated debut full length by Menkena, With You I'll Travel. For those who follow the blog, you may have noticed that I've mentioned the band maybe a time or thousand. Yes, I am a major fan, and with good reason. Jimmy Menkena, lead singer and songwriter for the band, manages to create some of the most gorgeous shoegaze sonic landscapes this town has ever seen. That alone would be reason enough to celebrate Menkena's music. But if you only focus on the melodic end of the band, you're missing out on at least half the charm of the band. Whereas most shoegaze acts are content to focus almost exclusively on the atmosphere of the melody, Mr. Menkena pays as much attention to lyrical detail as the melody. Even if you strip away all the gorgeous shoegaze arranges, what lies underneath are songs and stories that stand on their own. Then once the dreamy sonic landscape is incorporated into the song, the result is simply auditory bliss. For lack of a better description, these are songs that you want to get lost in.

The Menkena CD is reason enough to be excited, but the local music action doesn't stop there. The O's sophomore effort on Idol Records, Between the Two, also hits iTunes today. And while this may be the band's sophomore release, there is absolutely no sophomore slump here. All the things that fans have come to love about this duo are still in tact: sharp lyrics, great harmonies, strong musicianship, and simple yet catchy melodies. Songs like "We'll Go Walkin'" and "Tryin' to Have a Good Time" are sure to put a smile on the grumpiest among us. I've used the term "party bluegrass" to describe the band's sound, and The O's are keeping the party going strong.

Menkena's CD release show happens this Saturday at LaGrange, and you can also get the CD at Good Records on Thursday, where the band will do an in-store performance plus sign copies of With You I'll Travel. The O's CD release show isn't until February 11th, and it will take place at Club Dada. Whether you get these two albums on iTunes today or wait until the physical CD comes out, these are both CDs that are essentials for any true local music fan to own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Lucky Thirteen: 1/17/10

Standard playlist 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 address to email me your mp3's. If I like the song, then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    Menkena fans, this is your lucky week. Their new album, With You I'll Travel, hits iTunes this Tuesday. If you'd prefer a physical copy of the CD, go to Good Records on Thursday where the band will perform and sign copies of the CD. Then on Saturday, it's the big CD release show at LaGrange with Novaak and Mike Graff (ex-Course of Empire). I'm starting to drool just thinking about all this Menkena.

  2. "New Hope PA", The Chemistry Set
    I got into a lengthy discussion with Scott Tucker from The Orange this past Friday night, and we discussed many bands that are no more, including Hi-Fi Drowning (one of his favorites EVER) and Chemistry Set (one of my favorites EVER). He was talking about what he thought was their last CD (their self-titled full length), but in fact he didn't know about their second full length, Blue Monsters. I told him about this CD, and how the opening track "New Hope PA" is one of my favorite album openers of any album. I figured I'd include it on the playlist for Scott and the rest of you to hear.

  3. "Buy You", Spookeasy
    It's been a long time where I've been lured into a show while walking down the street, but that's exactly what happened to me Friday night. I passed Club Dada, liked what I heard, and paid cover for Spookeasy. Their live set is a little more rocking than the CD, which has a slight new wavish feel to it. The intro to this track almost reminds me of Cocteau Twins for some reason. But whether live or on CD, this band gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

  4. "Tryin' to Have a Good Time", The O's
    I'm having a hard time buying this song. The O's trying to have a good time? The O's don't try to have a good time. To use the word "try" implies a possibility of not succeeding, and The O's NEVER fail at having a good time. Like I said, The O's don't try to have a good time. If anything, good times try to have The O's.

  5. "Knife Fight", Calhoun
    Bet you enjoyed that O's song, didn't you? And I'll bet you're digging this Calhoun song too, aren't you? You're probably wishing you could see both bands live right about now, correct? Well good news my friends, because both acts will play this Friday at The Moon in Fort Worth, along with Taylor Craig Mills.

  6. "Save Your Breath", Camille Cortinas
    I've been noticing a marked increase in shows by Mrs. Cortinas, and that's good to see. I'm hoping this means she's getting ready for a CD release show in the very near future. No word on that yet, but I can tell you that your next opportunity to see her comes this Saturday at Opening Bell Coffee. The OBC website says it's "Camille Cortinas & Friends". Not sure who the "friends" will be, but I feel safe in saying it'll be a good show.

  7. "New Disco", Stella Rose
    If you listened to my podcast of my top 40 songs of last year, many of the selections were no surprise. This track, however, got very little attention on the blog, even though it charted at a quite impressive #21. I felt now might be a good time for my readers to become better acquainted with the track.

  8. "Set Me Free", The Red 100's
    Last Friday found me wandering around Deep Ellum, going from show to show. Many sets that I wanted to see I either missed or didn't see near enough of the set. The latter situation is what happened for me with The Red 100's. But what little I saw of their set had me simply in awe of the band. Remember the name Red 100's, because you'll be talking about them this year. A lot. A whole lot.

  9. "Beautiful Girl", Mr. Sleaze
    After hearing this song the past few weeks on The Local Edge, I've gotta admit that this song is really growing on me. And no, I don't know who Mr. Sleaze is. His identity, for now, remains a mystery.

  10. "Flower on the Wall", Kerri Arista
    I must admit to an error on my most recent blog spot. Kerri Arista's show at Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse was NOT this past Friday, but will instead be this Friday. My apologies if I sent anyone out to Uncle Calvin's only to be disappointed by there being no Kerri Arista there.

  11. "to the 9's", hormones
    No interesting comments on my behalf or breaking news on the bad. I just like this song.

  12. "Barn Burner", The Roomsounds
    Have I mentioned that there'll be a GOBL showcase coming soon? I'll give you more details very soon, but in the meantime, I'll say that The Roomsounds will be part of the fun.

  13. "Japanese Space Opera", Mazinga Phaser
    I've been trying to dig a little deeper into the history of Dallas music and research artists I was not as familiar with. I'd heard about Mazinga Phaser and started checking out tracks from their CD Abandinallhope. I'm not sure how I missed out on the band the first time around, but I'm seriously loving their shoegaze melodies and dreamy vocals now.

Local Edge Playlist: 1/16/11

While at a show Friday night, a friend asked me about The Local Edge playlists and what the story was. I started out doing this at a point when Mark got a little behind on posting playlists from his episodes on the KDGE website. And by a little behind, I mean several months. While Mark has caught up, I do this as a show of support to the show because of all the really cool stuff he plays. So that's the story. Now, on to the show's playlist.

"Mind in Trouble", Oil Boom
"We'll Go Walkin'", The O's
"Forever Today", Soviet
"Throw Me Overboard", The Hope Trust
"sEVEN", Ducado VeGA
"Beautiful Girl", Mr. Sleaze
"Prophet", Datahowler
"I Know a Thing or Two About You", Tweed EQ
"District County Court", Daniel Folmer
"Awake", Air Review
"Dammit", Smile Smile
"Set Me Free", The Red 100's
"You're No Good", Pale Horse
"Red and White", New Science Projects
"Wooden Floors", Nicholas Altobelli

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Plans: 1/14/10

I've probably forgotten some important shows, so feel free to point out my omissions in the comments. I encourage you to do so. Seriously, I do.

The Red 100's (Black Swan Saloon)
Black Swan Saloon doesn't have bands perform there very often, and I'd love to see that trend change. In the meantime, The Red 100's will be playing tonight, and word on the street is that one of their members will be celebrating a slightly belated birthday tonight. I see a lot of shots in his near future.
The Monco Poncho/R. Jason Bonner/Rev. Leon & The Repenters (LaGrange)
The Monco Poncho always put on a great live show, but the real news about this show is that I believe this is Mr. Bonner's first show with a full backing band. You probably know him best as the former bass player in THe BAcksliders, but you may not be aware that he wrote many of their songs ("Pour Another Glass", "Damaged Goods", and "Soul" to name a few). You can count on seeing me bounce around between this lineup and Black Swan Saloon, in case anyone wants to find me and say hi.
Eleven Hundred Springs/The Derailers/Doug Moreland (Granada Theater)
Arguably Dallas' biggest country act, this show is sure to be packed tonight.
Kerri Arista (Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse)
I've yet to see Kerri perform live, and that unfortunately will not be changing tonight. If, however, you're seeking some thoughtful and beautiful singer-songwriter type tunes, this is where you need to be tonight. I don't know if she'll be performing solo or with a backing band, but I can tell you that she's backed by Aaron Thomas and Sam Romero (ex-Fishing For Comets) on her CD, 50 Different Ways. Obviously, fans of Camille Cortinas would be encouraged to give her a listen.
Camille Cortinas/Chris Holt/Eric Neal (Allgood Cafe)
Speaking of Mrs. Cortinas, she and her musical comrades will be performing Beatles songs at Allgood tonight.
Fair to Midland/The House Harkonnen/The Phuss/Faded Grace (Curtain Club)
This is the club's 13th Anniversary show, and my props to the venue for holding the current record for keeping its doors CONTINUALLY open longer than any other current venue in Deep Ellum. And while Fair To Midland is typically heavier than most of my musical tastes, there's no denying these guys are at the top of their game. As for The Phuss, that's a band that knows how to rock.

Hoyotoho/Damaged Good$/Gallery Cat/Datahowler (Club Dada)
Club Dada is claiming this show as their New Year's Eve "do-over", complete with a champagne toast at midnight. The lineup, ranging from electronica to hip-hop, is sure to keep the crowd moving and shaking.
True Widow/Maleveller/Garuda (Double-Wide)
TW will be releasing a new CD this year. In the meantime, this show will have to help tide you over until the release date.
Andrew Tinker (Dan’s Silverleaf)
I saw Mr. Tinker perform live last year, and I was impressed both by his energy and his skills on the piano. Easily the best show happening in Denton this weekend.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lucky Thirteen: 1/10/11

Next week, I'll be coming at you with lots of newer stuff to help ring in '11 the right way. I still, however, have one piece of 2010 business left over. This list was originally going to hit the blog last Monday, but for obvious reasons I got sidetracked and my heart wasn't in this. Well, now it's time to get out my last 2010 list. Here are my thirteen favorite local shows of last year. These are not ranked in order of preference, but rather in the order I attended the shows. For each show, I included a song performed that evening. So listen and enjoy one last reflection on 2010.

Standard playlist 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 address to email me your mp3's. If I like the song, then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. Salim Nourallah/Chris Holt/Rahim Quazi/Nicholas Altobelli (March 26 - Kessler Theater)
    Song Selection: "Dalton the Prophet", Nicholas Altobelli

    All four artists put on a fabulous set, but the true star of that evening was not any individual performer, but the venue itself. This was most people's first musical experience in the Kessler Theater, and I don't know a single soul who had a complaint about that evening. The sound quality was great, but what impressed me the most was that this venue brought out an audience intent on listening to the music. It is rare to find audiences where the main goal at a show is paying attention to the music, and that is even more true in the case of acoustic music. Yet during all the sets, including the set of Nicholas Altobelli, you could have dropped a pin during the set and everyone would have heard it. Sadly to say, I haven't been back to the Kessler since. Perhaps that needs to be my New Year's Resolution.

  2. Ghost of Blind Lemon Showcase: The Roomsounds/Cocky Americans/Pale Horse (May 7 - The Cavern)
    Song Selection: "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds

    Yes, I'm biased on this one. Sue me. But seriously, it was my first Pale Horse show, and they were their usual awesome selves. Cocky Americans always put on a truly solid set, and The Roomsounds ended the night with their high energy rock country blend. All in all, it was a fun night of music.

  3. Homegrown Fest (May 22 - Main Street Garden Park)
    Song Selection: "Pastel Lights", Ishi

    Wow, I don't even know where to begin on this show. First of all, to pull off a festival of essentially all local music and get a turn out of such a large proportion, that borders on being a local music miracle. My props go out to John Solis and Josh Florence for organizing this event and booking such quality acts as Air Review, Somebody's Darling, RTB2, The O's, and Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights to name only a few. But my most memorable moment of the night was dancing in the mud to Ishi's "Pastel Lights". Yes, Ishi does know how to bring the party.

  4. Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase (July 17 - Various Deep Ellum Venues)
    Song Selection: "The Message", Dem Southernfolkz

    This showcase of music was hot, both figuratively and literally. Kicking the show off outside at 5 PM in a Dallas summer was not the most pleasant way to start a show. I probably would've skipped the opening outdoor act had it not been Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights, but they made the show work in spite of the heat. Fortunately, the other venues in Deep Ellum were nicely air conditioned, and there were plenty of good musical choices. Of all the performances that night, however, it's Dem Southernfolkz's gig at The Prophet Bar (small room) that stands out. Their performance was energetic, the musicianship was dead on, and the lyrical skills and content were spot on. That night DSFZ became my new favorite local hip-hop band.

  5. Rahim Quazi/Katie Carroll/Emmeline (August 21 - Opening Bell Coffee)
    Song Selection: "So In Love With You", Katie Carroll

    There were two other out of towners on the lineup, and I sadly do not recall their names. Still, this night was all about the local. Yes, I will admit more bias here, as I booked all the locals as sort of a pre-birthday celebration. I was lucky enough to snag a way too rare performance by the lovely Katie Carroll, whose Paper Girl CD is filled with lovely ballads that bridge the gap between Camille Cortinas and Sarah Jaffe. The icing on the cake for me, however, was when Ms. Carroll tossed me a flower in the middle of "So in Love With You". Made me feel kinda special and stuff.

  6. Pale Horse/Little Black Dress/Charlie Shafter and the Gnomes (August 27 - Double-Wide)
    Song Selection: "You're No Good", Pale Horse

    Pale Horse was part of the lineup for three of the listed shows, more than any other act. This night was the release of their Future Dimensions EP, and the band confirmed to me that the first rate performance given at the Cavern show was no fluke. The band even debuted a new song that night ("Your Heart Is A Wild Drum Beat"), and you would've thought they'd rehearsed the song a million times to get it so perfect. I would've posted that track if I had it, but you'll have to settle for "You're No Good", my #1 track of last year.

  7. Spector 45/The Phuss (August 28 - LaGrange)
    Song Selection: "I Love You", Spector 45

    For the record, I created this list late last year, and was not biased by recent tragedies. I'd seen Spector 45 before, but this night was the night that, for lack of a better way of putting it, I "got" the band. Yes, I'd liked them, but this performance was the one where I finally understood both the energy and the songwriting skills of Frankie and the rest of the crew. This was also by far the most fun crowd of ANY show I did last year.

  8. Whiskey Glass Eye/The O's/Scott Riegel (September 25 - Bryan Street Tavern)
    Song Selection: "Billy Prichard", Slobberbone

    Say, wasn't "Whiskey Glass Eye" a Slobberbone song? Yeah, much in the same way Old 97's have gone under the pseudonym Satellite Rides, Whiskey Glass Eye is nothing more than Slobberbone under a different name. It's fun to watch Slobberbone at a larger venue like Granada, but they really shine the most at a smaller, lower-key venue like Bryan Street Tavern. Add some brand new O's songs to the mix and the talent of young Scott Riegel, and it adds up to a great night.

  9. Chris Holt (October 9 - LaGrange)
    Song Selection: "Aim High", Chris Holt

    I think it says something when by the time the CD release show hits, the entire audience seems to know all the words to your album. That's exactly what happened at Mr. Holt's CD release show for A Cosmic Joke. Contrary to what the Observer thinks, this album was an intelligent, heartfelt collection of masterfully written songs. The band did a fabulous job of bringing life to Mr. Holt's artistic vision. And on a completely unrelated note, it was a blast to hear Holt and company jam to the "Layla" outro while Goodfellas played on the LaGrange screen. Admit it, you loved it if you were there, and if you missed the show, you're kicking yourself now after hearing that, aren't you?

  10. Cystic Fibrosis Benefit Featuring Rhett Miller/Ben Kweller/The O's/Doug Burr (November 6 - Granada Theater)
    Song Selection: "Big Brown Eyes", Old 97's

    Raving about Rhett Miller seems almost too easy. I admit to a very strong Miller/97's bias, and an average show by either eclipses over half of Dallas bands on their best nights. It would seem almost unfair to count this show, except for the fact that this show featured my favorite concert moment of the year, and one that'd probably go on my top ten of all time list. Rhett had just played the intro to "Big Brown Eyes", and before he uttered the first line of the song, the audience took over for him. It was a "had to be there" moment, but it was amazing to see the crowd take over the song, and to be a part of it.

  11. Emmeline/Josh Cooley/Steve Jackson (November 26 - Times Ten Cellar)
    Song Selection: "A Hundred Years", Emmeline

    Over the past year that I've been following Emmeline, I feel as if I've watched her bloom as a songwriter and as a performer. Her CD release show for Early Morning Hours was Emmeline at the top of her game. Never before have I seen her perform with such confidence and command the attention of the entire room. When she closed the show with "A Hundred Years", I would have been willing to stay in Times Ten Cellar that long if she would've kept playing. Alright, maybe just 99 years.

  12. Ghost of Blind Lemon Showcase: THe BAcksliders/Pale Horse/The Black & Blues (December 10 - The Green Elephant)
    Song Selection: "Talk To My Heart", THe BAcksliders

    Not that I haven't liked other lineups, but if I had to choose my favorite lineup of any GOBL showcase, this would be it. Whether it be the psychedelic progressive soul styling of Black & Blues, the surprisingly cool BRMC style stripped down Pale Horse set, or the usual full octane BAcksilders rock show, this night was as good as it gets.

  13. Seryn (December 18th - Wellhouse Co. House Party)
    Song Selection: We Will All Be Changed", Seryn

    Sometimes when critics start buzzing about a particular act, I confess I can be rather skeptical. Although I liked "We Will All Be Changed", I wasn't certain if the Seryn show would live up to the hype. It didn't live up to the hype; Seryn exceeded the hype by leaps and bounds. Perhaps the intimate setting helped; there's nothing quite like watching a band in a person's home with an audience of only about fifty or so. Still, the band's skill on their instruments and perhaps the best harmonizing in Dallas, their set left me in awe. I am left now anxiously awaiting the release of their album this year. Even if it's only half as good as the performance last year, it'll be guaranteed a spot in the ten best local albums of '11.

Local Edge Playlist: 1/9/11

"Bible Belt", Spooky Folk
"Beautiful Girl", Mr. Sleaze
"Stories", Heard
"Delilah", Soviet
"Prophet", Datahowler
"We'll Go Walkin'", The O's
"Tunnelvisionary", The Flowers of God featuring Sarah Jaffe
"sEVEN", Ducado VeGA
"Getcho Bodeee", Sir Silky
"to the 9's", hormones
"What Was Missing", Descender
"I Know a Thing Or Two About You", Tweed EQ
"Darker Than the Night", Dead Twins
"Wonderland", Glen Reynolds

Note to hormones and Ducado VeGA: you guys might want to brush up on your capitalization rules. It's just an idea.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekend Plans: 1/7/11

First off, let me say how wonderful it was to see so many supportive and loving faces at Dada last night. It was a beautiful memorial concert, and I do want to discuss it in more detail on the blog. When I do write about it, I want to have more time to write a review that does Frankie's memory justice.

In the meantime, here are a few of the shows taking place this weekend. It's a little slow of a weekend, but the year's still young. The next few weekends will likely be more festive.

The O's (American Airlines Center)
I guess you can say that The O's have officially hit the big time, now that they're performing at American Airlines Center, performing at the same venue as nationally known artists like Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and Ozzy Osbourne. Sure, they're sharing the bill with a hockey game between the Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers, but let's be honest, The O's are the real reason to attend the AAC tonight.
Victor Rosario/The Roomsounds/Phoenix Hart< (Opening Bell Coffee)
It seems unusual to have a band that puts on as rocking and energetic of a show as The Roomsounds in a usually mellow venue like OBC, but I'll take me some Roomsounds whenever I can. Phoenix Hart delivers a more traditional OBC performance, and her CD Save Love is filled with plenty of catchy tunes and lovely vocals.
Tweed EQ/The Red 100's/Jokersdeck (Double-Wide)
The Red 100's are near the top of the list of bands I haven't seen but need to in 2011. I've also heard many friends raving about Tweed EQ, so this might be a good opportunity to check out some newer bands.

The O’s/Southbound Lane/Wheeler Sparks/Luke Wade (Kessler Theater)
If you're looking to see The O's in a slightly more intimate venue than AAC, well, here you go.
Fatty Lumpkin/Fever in the Funkhouse/Electronicos Vaqueros (Club Dada)
Is it awful of me that I've never seen Fever perform live yet, especially since they're one of the few bands from Deep Ellum's heyday that are still performing and even releasing new material? On a separate note, if you plan on going to this show, get their early enough to hear Clay Pendergrass' band, Electronicos Vaqueros.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Frankie 45 Memorial Concert Tonight

Here's a quick rundown on everything you need to know for tonight:

  1. The show at Club Dada will start at 7 pm with a DJ set from Bad Holly. She will continue to spin tracks between band sets.

  2. Motorcycle riders are encouraged to come on their bikes. There will be special racks for the bikes in front of The Bone, Dada, and Kettle Art. To kick off the show at 7, bikers are encouraged to make as much noise on their bikes as possible.

  3. The musical acts start at 8, with a new band starting every half hour. In order from first to last, performers will include Legsweeper, The Double Downs, Missile, Here Holy Spain, The Phuss, The Marfalites, Barry Kooda Combo, THe BAcksliders, and The American Fuse.

  4. I wouldn't be surprised if a few extra guests decided to show up and perform.

  5. There is a recommended $10 cover at the door, and all proceeds go to the Deep Ellum Community Association (DECA).

  6. If you've seen the number of people RSVPing on the Facebook event, you're probably wondering how Dada will hold so many. Obviously, I recommend arriving early, but I know other clubs will be accepting the spillover, and will be contributing a portion of their profits to DECA.

  7. If I've missed any critical details, PLEASE share them in the comments section.

Other than that, expect a lot of rock, and a lot of emotion tonight. And while there will be plenty of tears undoubtedly, let's also make this a celebration of a beautiful life that ended way too soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Top 40 Local Tracks of 2010

It's taken long enough, I know, but I have finally recorded my second podcast, and my first with actual commentary. Forgive me for any of the voice blunders I've made, but with as exhausting as this process is, I just left some of them in. But don't let that sidetrack you from the main event: the forty best songs of this past year. Below the streaming player is an alphabetical listing of every artist in the countdown. Which artist made it all the way to number one? Click here to download the podcast, or you can just listen to it below.

Anna Thomas
THe BAcksliders
Bridges & Blinking Lights
The Burning Hotels
Charming Gardeners
Chris Holt
Damaged Good$
Daniel Folmer
Doug Burr
Eleven Hundred Springs
Emily Elbert
Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights
Katie Carroll
Lauren Adelle with Colin Boyd
Les Americains
Luna Matto
The Monco Poncho
Nervous Curtains
Nicholas Altobelli
The Orbans
Pale Horse
Paul Slavens
Phoenix Hart
The Rocket Summer
Ronnie Fauss
Sarah Jaffe
The Shapes
The Slack
Smile Smile
Spector 45
Stella Rose
The Timeline Post
Trey Johnson
The Virgin Wolves
Western Giants

Monday, January 3, 2011

Video Playlist

The original goal was to post my top 40 countdown podcast today, and then on Tuesday, I was going to do a Lucky Thirteen recognizing my 13 favorite local shows of the year. The podcast is not ready yet due to technical difficulties, but barring any further problems, should be ready tomorrow. I would do a Lucky Thirteen playlist, but I'm going to be honest: my heart is not in that right now. My thoughts are still too much about Frankie. The Lucky Thirteen will return next week, but today I offer you a video playlist of Frankie 45 performances, both with Spector 45 and solo.

Also, I'd like to take the opportunity to get some comments here. I'd like to get a collection of people's thoughts and memories on Frankie. Anyone who'd like to write something about Frankie, send it to me at I'll assemble a collection of other people's thoughts and memories on him and post it on the blog. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video retrospective.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Local Edge Playlist: 1/2/11

"Another Year", Sunday Drive
"We'll Go Walkin'", The O's
"to the 9's", hormones
"Tunnelvisionary", The Flowers of God featuring Sarah Jaffe
"Prophet", Datahowler
"Knife Fight", Calhoun
"Stories", Heard
"Icing", Roy Robertson
"Beautiful Girl", Mr. Sleaze
"River Song", Seryn
"Killswitch", The Red 100's
"Shivonne", Menkena
"Finger Trace", Ryan Thomas Becker
"Time", Frankie 45 & Ben Martin

Memorial Show Info

I think I can speak for the local music community when I say we are all still in shock and in pain from the loss of Frank Campagna Jr., aka Frankie 45. When I was at the impromptu memorial last night at Kettle Art, it really showed me the impact he had on everyone's lives he touched. I was surprised not only by the number of people who showed up, but in some cases, surprised by seeing individuals that I didn't even know were acquainted with Frankie. I simply call this The Frankie Effect. It didn't matter if you hung out with him on a regular basis or had a few brief passing moments with him; anyone who met him was affected by him. No one made it through the night without tears.

For those who couldn't make the tribute last night, or who simply wish to continue honoring the man, there will be a memorial show this Thursday at Dada. I had heard the term "wake" to describe the show, and in many ways I think this is an appropriate term. I think that the show will be a true celebration of a life that ended much too soon. Among the confirmed acts are Legsweeper, Here Holy Spain, THe BAcksliders, The American Fuse, and Rev. Horton Heat. The Nervebreakers will also reunite for this show. Some of you may recall that Spector 45 covered their song "My Girlfriend Is a Rock", changing the lyrics and renaming it "My Girlfriend's In Iraq". I will keep you posted as I know more details.

Also, I wanted to pass on to readers that the Campagna family, in lieu of flowers, to please send a donation to the Deep Ellum Community Association and help the neighborhood that Frankie loved.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Frankie 45

(Photograph courtesy of Daniel Driensky)

Last night, I rang in the New Year to the sounds of Spector 45. As usual, the band gave 110% of itself in the performance. At one point, lead singer Frankie Campagna aka Frankie 45, did one of his standard leaps into the audience, getting on the floor and playing his guitar while practically in the face of another woman. It was classic rock and roll, and more to the point, it was classic Frankie. The performance was vital and filled with life. So it came as a total shock when I received the phone call this morning and found out the news: Frankie 45 died early this morning. It seems so surreal, considering that I was chatting with him only hours before his death.

My heart breaks for the whole Campagna family, as well as those who knew Frankie. I wish I could say I know him better than I did, but I will say that Frankie simply personified coolness, and was simply a nice guy. He was a good friend to those who knew him well, and to say that he'll be missed just doesn't go far enough.

There will be a memorial service tonight at Kettle Art, located at 2714 Elm Street in Deep Ellum. Anyone who wants to come and pay their respects to his family and friends is encouraged to do so. There is no word as of yet on a funeral, or whether it will be open to the public or only the closest family and friends.

Goodbye, Frankie. Deep Ellum just won't rock as hard without you.