Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekend Plans: 6/29/12


Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights/The Orbans/Quaker City Nighthawks (Granada Theater)
Performance by Mr. Tyler have become rarer and rarer these days.  For that matter, The Orbans seem to be laying low these days as well.  Here's an all too rare chance to see both.
Dead Beat Poetry/The Black Frames/The Klanks (Crown & Harp)
The Black Frames' indie-pop style is sandwiched in between the more straight ahead rock styles of both The Klanks and Dead Beat Poetry.  The one thing all three bands seem to have in common is that not enough people know about these bands.  Do yourself a favor, and if you're needing some new bands to check out, go to Crown & Harp and discover these hidden musical gems.  And yes, I booked this show, so feel free to say I'm biased.  But maybe you should go to the show to see WHY I booked these bands.
Hares on the Mountain (The Free Man)
The band has Ryan Thomas Becker in it.  Enough said.

The Colony Block Party (7112 Elliot Court, The Colony)
This is an outdoor event with a lineup overloaded with good bands.  Ducado Vega, The Gypsy Bravado, The Neckties, Sayonara, The Klanks, and Dead Beat Poetry are all part of this event.  For more details, click here.
Goodnight Ned/The Roomsounds/Dead Mockingbirds (Bryan Street Tavern)
Word is that Goodnight Ned is working on their first full length, to be released in the next few months.  This is a band has has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, so if you haven't seen them recently, you should remedy that situation.
Case in Theory/Gray the New Black/Always the Alibi/The Demigs (City Tavern)
Case in Theory is a good band from California, but do yourself a favor and get there early enough to catch Chris Demiglio and his band The Demigs bust out their Pixies/Pavement style rock anthems.  And Gray the New Black puts on an excellent show as well.
Emmeline (Two Corks and a Bottle)
Because an Emmeline show is always a fun thing.

And don't forget to post any shows I've omitted in the comments section.

GOBL's Top 50: #31-#29

First off, I hope you're enjoying this series of my top local picks of the past five years.  In an attempt to catch up and keep the countdown on track, I'm bundling the last three songs into one post.

Song #31 on the list comes courtesy of the now defunct Blue Petal.  The band had not been together for long when I started the blog, and was not on most people's radar.  One person who had taken notice of the band, however, was Carter Albrecht.  He put the song "Move Along" on his MySpace page (back when people used it).  When Mr. Albrecht's life was cut short, people went to his page, and along with all the comments from the mourners, people heard the music of Blue Petal.  Through that tragedy, people came to take notice of the band's music, and the band later played several of the memorial shows for Mr. Albrecht.  Leave it to Carter, even in his death, to come to the aid of a fellow deserving musician.

Move Along by Blue Petal on Grooveshark

Now for a complete change of pace for song #30 on the countdown.  When thinking of popular bands in Dallas in the past few years, Ishi is definitely on the short list.  Undoubtedly, the band's campy live shows and excellent danceable melodies have endeared them to the local music community.  If you want to see what makes them popular, check them out tomorrow night at the Prophet Bar.  The band will be celebrating the release of the "Disco Queen" EP, and the show will also double as a for  And I feel rather safe in saying that before the night is over, the band will perform "Pastel Lights", the song that charts at #30.

Pastel Lights by Ishi on Grooveshark

Technically, the song at #29 should not be eligible for the countdown.  After all, this is a celebration of songs released since the debut of my blog.  Ducado Vega's track, "Seven",  was released in 2005, two years before the beginning of the blog.  It wasn't until 2011, however, when The Local Edge with Mark started playing the track, that most of the local music community took note of Mr. Vega.  While the song was already close to six years old, the song did not feel dated.  In fact, during a period where the two main local music movements were blues/roots rock and electronica/dance, Ducado Vega's music was getting attention at just the right moment.  "Seven" successfully combined elements of funk, rock, and a dance beat that only the squarest of squares would not want to dance to.  Take a listen to the song below, and check Ducado Vega out tomorrow at The Colony Block Party.

sEVEN by Ducado VeGA on Grooveshark

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #32 "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll

As a blogger, part of my job is to keep on top of what good local music is emerging in the area.  That means checking all the different social media sites and music sites.  But never underestimate the importance of radio, especially when that radio is tuned to 102.1 KDGE Sunday nights from 11 to midnight (CST, of course).  The Local Edge With Mark has proven to be a goldmine for discovering what's good in local music.  Take, for example, the song that charts at #32 in my local music countdown.  When the song "Paper Girl" hit the airwaves, I tweeted Mark right in the middle of the song to discover who did this song.

The artist, of course, is Katie Carroll, and in the past two years, she has gone from being a virtual unknown in the local music scene to a well respected singer-songwriter than a sizable following.  That's no surprise, considering the strength of all the songs on her debut album, Paper Girl.  The songs range from joyous ("So in Love with You") to dark and tragic ("Abort").  But it's the title track that made me an instantaneous fan of Ms. Carroll's.  She manages to maintain the right level of sweetness in her vocal delivery, which creates an interesting juxtaposition with the melody and lyrics.

But enough of me talking.  If you haven't heard the track yet, give it a listen and see why I got so excited over it with my first listen.

Paper Girl by Katie Carroll on Grooveshark

Monday, June 25, 2012

GOBL Top 50: #33 "You Pressed the Crash Button", Novaak

I've seen many a band come and go in the five years I've been blogging.  During that time, I cannot think of a band that had as powerful of an impact with as brief of a career as Novaak.  Within the first half of 2011, the band burst onto the scene with I Am, You Are, an album filled with some of the most gorgeous electronic soundscapes to come out of the metroplex area.  And unlike many electronic based bands that seem to value either repetition or unusual sound effects over melody, Novaak always understood the importance of strong melodies and lyrics.  It also didn't hurt to have a dreamy vocalist of the caliber of Jessi James delivering these lyrics.

The band managed to create a tremendous buzz in a matter of months, only to disband in May of the same year.  Jessi James has since gone on to another musical project, Bethan.  Her musical partner in crime, Blake Panter, is currently focusing more on writing for Central Track as opposed to a musical career.  It's a shame that Novaak only left us with one full length album.  Still, it was an incredible album, and no track better captures the beautiful essence of their sound than the opening track, "You Pressed the Crash Button".  Give it a listen below.

You Pressed the Crash Button by Novaak on Grooveshark

The Lucky Thirteen: 6/25/12

As the halfway mark of this year comes close, many music critics seem to be doing their list of favorite albums of 2012 thus far.  I suppose I should jump on this bandwagon, but I'm not one to usually do lengthy album reviews.  Plus, EP's and singles are now making up a bigger portion of the local music output, especially since producing an album can be cost prohibitive.

Instead of a list of this year's best albums so far, I'm opting to dedicate this week's Lucky Thirteen to a number of the finest songs I've heard this year.  This is by no means a fully comprehensive list of the area's best contributions, but rather a small sampling of some of the best well known acts, as well as some deserving of more attention.

And since ordering this list is a bigger headache than I want, I've simply arranged the tracks in alphabetical order by artist.

My Widget by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark

  1. "Knockout Rose", Bad Design
  2. "White Chocolate", The Boom Boom Box
  3. "The Road", Dovetail
  4. "When Your Hope Dies at Your Feet", The Farstar
  5. "Married to the Sea", John Singer Sergeant (performed by Marcus Striplin & Sarah Jaffe)
  6. "One Loaded Gun", Lara Parker
  7. "After the Politics", Low Dark Hills
  8. "Something We Need", Quincy Forte
  9. "Break My Spirit", The Roomsounds
  10. "Unstoppable", Salim Nourallah
  11. "Glorified High", Sarah Jaffe
  12. "Save Me", Siren Sea
  13. "Take It Back", To Coda

Sunday, June 24, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #35 & #34

In order to keep my Top 50 countdown on track, I bring you not one, but two songs today.

The first is from a band that when I was sent a download link to their album Slow Descent, I almost did not open it.  I always thought of The Timeline Post as metal, and I'll be the first to admit I'm not much of a metal fan.  Fortunately for me, I gave the album a listen, and it proved to be one of the most surprising listens in my five years of blogging.  Yes, there are some heavy influences found on the album, most notably on "Wedding Bell Murders", "Success", and the title track, which borders on fitting in on a KDGE playlist from the mid 2000's or so.  But even when the band leans on the heavy side, the strong melodies and haunting lyrics prevent the band from sounding cliched.  The standout song on the album, however, is clearly "Three".  This dark waltz (done in 3/4 time, presumably why they call the track "Three") possesses such a beautiful melody and harmony that it hides the darker content in the lyrics.  Take a listen to track #35 in the countdown.

Three by The Timeline Post on Grooveshark

Up next is an artist who sent me his first EP, Streetcar Visions, back in 2008.  The EP did have a certain charm, but it was Nicholas Altobelli's follow-up fell length, Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, that truly delivered on the promise hinted at on the EP.  Since 2008, Mr. Altobelli has released a total of six albums and EP's, proving to be one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in the area.  He even had the privilege of recording a duet with Caitlin Cary, formerly of Whiskeytown, on Radio Waves and Telephone Wires.  Still, my favorite track of his is "Dalton the Prophet", featured on Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom.  For the record, it also contains my favorite line of Mr. Altobelli's, "When the war ends it'll be the death of me".  You can hear that line, as well as the rest of song #34 in the countdown, below.

Dalton the Prophet by Nicholas Altobelli on Grooveshark

Stay tuned tomorrow for song #33, as I continue to count down my favorite local tunes of the past five years.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekend Plans: 6/22/12

I plan on getting to the Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally early, which doesn't allow for much writing time.  That's ok, as I feel these shows speak for themselves.  Find a show or two (or more) to go see.


  • Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally with The Roomsounds/Ducado Vega/Home by Hovercraft
  • Whiskey Folk Ramblers/Sealion/RTB2 (LaGrange)
  • Dovetail/East Cameron Folklore/Parallel Play/Playtime Rabbit (The Prophet Bar)
  • The Cush/Menkena (Lola's Saloon)
  • Telegraph Canyon/Calhoun (The Live Oak)
  • The Monco Poncho/Aristoscat/The P-Town Skanks (Double-Wide)
  • The Vliets/Early Morning Creatures/O Conqueror (Dada)
  • Agent Ribbons/My Kickdrum Heart (The Crown and Harp)

  • John Lefler EP Release/Salim & The Treefort 5/Dovetail/Doug O' Rourke (Sons of Hermann Hall)
  • The Demigs/The Boom Bang/The Birds of Night/La Panther Happens (Andy's Bar)
  • Art of Mistrust/Signals & Alibis/Sink or Swim (The Cellar)
I'm sure I missed something.  Be sure to post it in the comments section and chide me for my error.

GOBL's Top 50: #37 & #36

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If that's the case, a video must be worth way more than a picture.  After all, a video is a series of changing photos, is it not?  So then for me to write miniature essays on top of these videos would simply be overkill.  After all, I don't want to be accused of being overly wordy.

With that in mind, I present you the overdue #37 song, courtesy of The Orbans, with directing credits to the video going to Jon Collins.

The Orbans "Were Her" music video from Jon Todd Collins on Vimeo.

Now on to song #36, courtesy of The Roomsounds. The band finally released their self titled debut album this year, making it the newest entry on the countdown. Or is it really the newest entry? While the song was re-recorded for the debut album, I discovered the song in 2009 courtesy of Mark of the Local Edge. The version I'm sharing here, however, is neither the original or the new version. The video below was a live performance recorded in 2010 at the ScatFest in Paris, Texas. Speaking of live performances of The Roomsounds, they'll be playing tonight outside of the Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally. Set time is 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Icarus, Icarus, Icarus!!!

A little over a year, John Keener of Lakewood Bar and Grill urged that I give a listen to an up and coming singer-songwriter by the name of Arielle.  I believe the first song I listened to was the track "Icarus", and I found the song so beautiful that I posted the YouTube video of the song and wrote this about her.  The song even managed to chart at #44 in my countdown of my top local songs of the past five years (stay tuned for #37 later today).

As she has performed more, her live shows have continued to grow stronger.  Her show at Liquid Lounge earlier this month had her most enthusiastic audience to date, and one of the most enthusiastic audiences I've seen at any show for awhile.  That's pretty impressive, considering that Arielle only relies on a keyboard and a loop machine for her live performances.

Last night, Arielle finally debuted the official music video for the song "Icarus", directed by Brian Scott Hunt. The video is rather simple, even minimalistic in its story line.  With a song of such simplistic beauty as "Icarus", however, that makes the video perfectly fit the melody.  Plus, the cinematography in the video is quite lovely.  Even more importantly, Arielle's on-camera presence only add to the highly emotional content of the lyrics.  Check out the video below:

Speaking of the lyrics, Arielle herself made this lyrical video for the song a few weeks ago. While many YouTube videos post song lyrics, Arielle raised the bar by her creative and artistic manner that she displayed the lyrics. Don't believe me? Watch this and then try to argue that.

Finally, this is the original demo version of the song, the one through which I discovered Arielle. Consider this like the Triple Shot Thursdays back in the days of Q102. Except that this isn't classic rock, and it's three shots of the same shot, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #38 "Need a Release", the cut*off

Dear cut*off,

Before I became "The Ghost", you knew me under a different name.  I was a regular at all your shows, always in the front row singing all the words to your songs.  Yes, those were the good days.

I know the band has since dispersed.  One member is in California, and at least one other member has joined another band (Chad Sones, now of Bravo Zulu).  Still, I feel a cut*off reunion is longer overdue.  Everyone else is jumping on the reunion show bandwagon.  Even Chemistry Set is reuniting.  Let's made the cut*off part of this trend.  That way we can hear more of the great lyrics of Kyle Barnhill, featured in the below track "Need a Release".

But don't do it for "The Ghost".  Do it for your old friend.

Yours truly,

Fast Eddie

Better Living Through Chemistry... Set

Before the blog, I had a tradition of holding my birthday shows at Barley House.  I'm proud to say that I managed to gather many a fabulous act for these shows.  The alumni list includes The Deathray Davies, Salim Nourallah, Sorta, The Happy Bullets, the cut*off (I'll be discussing them later today), and Rahim Quazi, just to name a few.  Some acts, like Rahim Quazi, played multiple years.  Yet only one band holds the distinction of playing every one of the Barley House birthday shows: The Chemistry Set.

Alas, The Chemistry Set disbanded in 2008.  That year was the first year that I did not hold a birthday show at Barley House.  And while there were other circumstances that distracted me from booking a show that summer, somehow it seemed fitting to end them.  After all, it just wouldn't feel right to do a show without The Chemistry Set.

You could only imagine my surprise when I saw the Facebook invite for a reunion show with Chemistry Set. Even more amazing is the fact that the show is being held on my birthday, August 25th.  Also on the lineup are Sunward and Tabula Rasa.  The latter band, featuring Steve Duncan of Chemistry Set and Doug Kershaw of Sunward, are also performing for the first time since... well, a super long time.

The fact that The Chemistry Set is performing on my birthday may just be coincidence, but whatever it is, I could not have asked for a better birthday gift than this show.  For those who saw the band play live, you know what an exhilarating experience their shows were.  Those who were not fortunate enough to experience the band live, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to scratch this off your bucket list.

I leave you with this video of "Why Don't You?" from Blue Monsters, directed by another huge Chemistry Set fan, Digant Kasundra.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #39 "The Great Escape", Damaged Good$

One of the most surprising parts of my local music journey of the past five years was discovering the amount of great hip-hop/rap in the area.  I discovered an energy and level of excitement in many of the live hip-hop acts that is sometimes lacking in the world of rock.  The late 2000's were an exciting time for local hip-hop.  PPT opened the door for me with hip-hop, and Dem Southernfolkz skillfully demonstrated how to perfectly blend hip-hop and rock.  But for me, no rap act has matched the level of energy demonstrated by Damaged Good$.

I saw them live for the first time at the 2009 Quick Music Awards.  I know they were not the only performers of that night, but off the top of my head, they're the only ones I remember.  Why is that?  Simply put, Damaged Good$ is fun.  Sure, the act's lyrical skills are impressive, and the beats are definitely cool, but the band puts on a show that entertains both the devoted hip-hop fans and converts new fans.

It was hard to select one specific song.  I'm partial to the Spread Love Not Germs era work, although their latest EP has several killer tracks, most notably "KID$(ueatyryung)" and "Everybody Wanna Ball" (click here to listen and/or buy the EP).  And in the end, I opted for "The Great Escape".  The Dallas Observer offered up the single as a free download a few years back, so attached is the link to the track.  Listen and enjoy!

Damaged Good$ - "The Great Escape"

Monday, June 18, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #40 "Love Bomb", Rude King

It's rare for me to do profiles of bands these days.  And for me to cover a ska band, well, that was completely unheard of.  That was, until Rude King came along.  I knew of the band's lead singer, Jon Bravo, from his time in the short lived Hi-Fi Collective.  The band even performed at one of my shows at Lakewood Bar & Grill during the summer of 2009.  While I liked the band, I honestly did not feel that Mr. Bravo's voice was quite as well suited for singing the band's style of alternative rock.

Perhaps that's because Mr. Bravo's voice is so perfectly suited to sing ska.  Because in Rude King, his vocals are a key part of the band's charm.  And while it would easy for me to fixate on Jon's role in the band, he is backed by a more than capable group of musicians.  Rob Tovar keeps the energy going with his drums, the brass section (consisting of Houston Bogus on trombone and Mason Neeley on trumpet) is first rate, and Vicki Tovar (Rob's wife) adds an extra dimension to the band with her vocals.

Alas, Ms. Tovar will not be heard on the track featured at #40 on the countdown.  The version of "Love Bomb" that charts was recorded before she joined the band.  The song does also appear on the band's most recent album, Ruder, Better, Faster, Stronger, but I felt the energy of the original recording (from Rude to the Last Drop) does the song better justice.  Give it a listen, and feel free to skank along!

Love Bomb by Rude King on Grooveshark

Ghost of Blind Lemon Presents The Top 50 of the Last 5 Years

First of all, for those wondering about the A-Z Project, I do intend to restart the project, though most likely it will resume in September.  For now, I have a different list of sorts to get to.

It was a little over five years ago when a friend suggested I start a local music blog.  I initially gave the idea little thought.  After seeing how the music scene was declining at the time, I gave more serious consideration to the concept of the blog.  From that concept, Ghost of Blind Lemon was born.  And what a long, crazy, five years it has been.

In honor of the upcoming five year anniversary of GOBL, I decided to do a countdown of my Top 50 local songs of the past five years.  Each day, I will reveal a song in the countdown (minus all Saturdays except this one) complete with a write-up and a means to either hear or download the song.  I will continue to do this until August 1, the official five year anniversary of the blog.  On that date, I will reveal my pick for the number one local tune of the past five years.

For those of you keeping score, you may have noticed that there are less than fifty days until August 1.  In order to save time, I have made a playlist of songs 50-41 on the countdown.  Later today, I will reveal song number 40.  Until then, enjoy these ten tracks.

50-41 by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark
  1. "Who's That Girl", PPT
  2. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
  3. "All Inside", The Felons
  4. "German Chocolate Cake", Bravo, Max!
  5. "The Message", Dem Southernfolkz
  6. "Nip/Tuck", The Orange
  7. "Icarus", Arielle
  8. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
  9. "Virtue And Vice", The Virgin Wolves
  10. "Little Bear", Elkhart