Friday, March 30, 2012

A Big Folkin' List of Weekend Shows

I hope you're not sick of me talking about The Big Folkin' Festival, because I'm going to keep talking about it even if you are. I could do a full write-up just praising the acts playing the festival, but I'm limited on time. Simply put, look at the schedule here, and I'm sure you'll agree that at any given time, there's at minimum one good act worth seeing.

But what else is going on this weekend, you ask? Well, let me tell you...

Eastwood/The Brushlanders/Family Crude (The Crown and Harp)
Why not start off the list with a shameless Crown and Harp plug? And I know that you Eastwood fans must be happy to see that the band is finally doing shows again. For fans of country, alt-country, folk-country, and whatever other word you want to put in front of country, this show is for you.
Final Friday Hip-Hop (LaGrange)
I don't know if the Final Friday showcases disappeared or simply fell off my radar. All I know is that I'm glad to see it return and find a home at LaGrange. Speaking of things I'm glad to see return, Chucky Sly is back in Dallas for this show. His song "Jimmy Is About to Die" has to be one of the smartest hip-hop tracks to come out of our metroplex.
Deadbeat Poetry/Tweed EQ/Milford Men/Playtime Rabbit (Fallout Lounge)
I'm not sure about the order of the lineup in all honesty, nor am I familiar with Milford Men. The rest of the bill, however, gets a solid thumbs up from The Ghost.
Hormones/Binary Sunrise/George Quartz/Romp Almighty (Dada)
It's quite an eclectic but solid lineup here.

The Gypsy Bravado (Hard Rock Cafe)
It's the Dallas finals of the Hard Rock Rising competition, and the winner gets to play the Hard Rock Cafe in London. The Gypsy Bravado isn't the only act playing, but they're the ones that I'm 110% rooting for.
Spookeasy/Ella Minnow/Deadmoon Choir (Bryan Street Tavern)
Only so many bands that I've never heard before will lure me into a venue out of curiosity, but that's exactly what Spookeasy did last year. Between the power-pop melodies (in the live show, the emphasis is on power) and lead vocalist Stephanie Burns' pleasing voice, it's sure to please all the indie kids out there.
Analog Rebellion/Sealion/The Vliets (El Sibil)
A little something for those wanting to stay in the Cliff.
Big Folkin' Festival (The Prophet Bar/The Door/In Accord)
Sorry, had to get one last plug in.

I have no doubt that I've forgotten some shows worth mentioning. That's why there's a comment section. Feel free to use it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Big Folkin' Ticket Giveaway

So you want to go to the Big Folkin' Festival this Saturday, but you haven't bought tickets. Tickets are only $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. With that ticket, you get admission into The Prophet Bar, both of the Door's stages, and the outdoor stage in The Door's parking lot. In addition, you can get into In Accord for free with the wristband. I'd encourage you to click here to purchase a ticket right now.

Or, you might want to hold off on that for one second, because I have a pair of tickets to give away. Here's what you need to do: email me at and put "Big Folkin' Ticket Giveaway" in the subject line. Then, in the body of the email, list at least one artist playing In Accord on Saturday, and one artist playing either The Prophet Bar, The Door, or the outdoor stage. First person to email me and follow those directions wins tickets.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Lucky Thirteen: The Big Folkin' Edition

I'm not saying that the Big Folkin' Festival is the only show happening this weekend. But let's be honest: one look at the lineup and it's evident that this is more than a show. This is an out and out event. Or, as Parallel Play's Jeremy Drake (founder of the festival) would say, a hootenanny. Whatever you call it, it's a big deal. Tickets can be purchased in advance (click here to do so), and admission gets you the ability to see five different stages of music. You probably knew about the first four: The Prophet Bar, The Door (main and side stages), and the outdoor stage. Don't forget, however, that In Accord has its own stage. If you're like me, you're already super excited for the festival. But just to get you even more pumped, I've compiled a playlist of artists from the five different stages, and listed the start times as well. So take a listen and get your folk on.
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. "One Loaded Gun", Lara Parker
    A few months ago, I went to see Emmeline's open mic that she hosts every Wednesday at The Crown and Harp. During the show, I heard one young lady sing whose voice had a very haunting yet captivating quality to it. It was the kind of voice that makes a person take notice. That voice belongs to Lara Parker, and after hearing her, I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to help Ms. Parker get the exposure she so richly deserves. She'll be kicking off the In Accord stage at 5:30 pm. I have no doubt she'll be playing this track, which possibly provides the darkest twist to the lyrics of "You Are My Sunshine" that you'll ever hear.

  2. "Shame on Me", Chris J. Norwood
    I've been digging his EP The Moth and the Flame ever since its release late last summer. I have not as of yet been able to catch one of his live shows. Since I can't seem to get myself to a show of his, I decided instead to bring his show to me. He'll perform at In Accord at 6:30 pm.

  3. "Julie", Dovetail
    When I first heard Dovetail was performing the Big Folkin' Festival, I felt a little surprised. The Dovetail I knew was closer sonically to Radiant* and Air Review rather than anything that remotely resembled folk. After hearing the new album, Mount Karma, I see that the band has steered away from the Coldplay/Radiohead vibe of the last album. That sound has been replaced with a southern rock sound with strong hints of 60's pop and psychedelia. And if their CD release show at Granada Theater this past Saturday was any hint, their set on the main stage at the Door (start time 7 pm) will be a real crowd pleaser.

  4. "All the Reasons Why", Emmeline
    So I booked the In Accord lineup, and I put Emmeline on it. Yeah, who would have guessed that I'd want her on the lineup? Actually, anyone who even barely knows me must be aware of what a fan I am. She'll go on at 7 pm at In Accord.

  5. "Someone Else's Blues", Greg Schroeder
    Mr. Schroeder has previously performed at In Accord, and the crowd was dead silent, hanging on every word of every song and story. He won't be performing at In Accord this time around, but he will be playing the outdoor stage at 7:30 pm.

  6. "Love to Hear", Hannah Wilshire
    This song got more than its share of spins on my Deep Ellum Radio show in the fall of last year. Give it a listen here and you'll understand why. Or better yet, listen to this song live when she plays at In Accord at 7:45 pm.

  7. "Dog's Light", Bravo, Max!
    This will be a long day for Johnny Beauford. Not only will Bravo, Max! be performing in the Prophet Bar at 8:15 pm, but he'll do a solo set at 9:15 pm.

  8. "Your Kiss", Parallel Play
    Since the concept of the Big Folkin' Festival was courtesy of Parallel Play's Jeremy Drake, it only seemed fitting to include one of the band's songs on the playlist. Their set starts at 9 pm at The Door's main stage.

  9. "Gambling Preacher and His Daughter", Whiskey Folk Ramblers
    Over the past few years, WFR has gathered a very loyal and empathic fan base. Count on them to show up in large numbers for their set at The Door starting at 10 pm.

  10. "She Falls", Rahim Quazi
    Patience is a virtue, right? I'm trying to patiently wait for Mr. Quazi's follow up to Supernatural, which he says will come out this year. It's been almost four years since his last CD, which is no small wait, especially in the world of local music. Count on Mr. Quazi to perform a large number of tunes from the upcoming album when he takes the In Accord stage at 10 pm.

  11. "Shake Your Fist", Telegraph Canyon
    At 11 pm, all roads lead to The Door's main stage. During that time slot, all the other stages are empty, leaving everyone free to assemble to hear Telegraph Canyon.

  12. "Schoolboy", Kirby Brown
    One of my favorite tracks of last year, and I'm sure he'll be playing this when he takes The Door's main stage at 12:30 am.

  13. "Break My Spirit", The Roomsounds
    The Roomsounds will wrap up the show in their usual raucous fashion, no doubt. Gather around inside The Prophet Bar, get a last drink in before last call, get a new CD from the band, and get some rock.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekend Plans: 3/23/12

The good news: there are tons of good shows this weekend. The bad news: I'm too brain dead to give any decent commentary. So while the insightful commentary (or what I'd like to think is insightful) is absent, the shows are listed below. Pick a show or two, or however many you feel you can cram into a night, go out, and have a good weekend filled with good music.

Gray, the New Black/Darstar/Velvet Guard (The Crown and Harp)
THe BAcksliders/The Red 100's/Quaker City Nighthawks (Double-Wide)
The Roomsounds/Goodnight Ned/Madison King (The Prophet Bar)
Boom Boom Box/Quiet Company/Fate Lions (Lola's)
Mark Brandt/Temple Diver/Arielle (Opening Bell Coffee)
The Gypsy Bravado/Hanna Barbarians/Early Morning Creatures (Andy's Bar)
Camille Cortinas and Eric Neal (The Belmont Bar)
Emmeline (White Rock Coffee)

Dovetail/Salim Nourallah/RTB2/Menkena (Granada Theater)
Air Review/The Rocketboys/Low Dark Hills (Dada)
Sealion/Ed Schrader's Music Beat/Rocket Arm (Queen City Hall)
Foster/Signals and Alibis/Family Fiend (Liquid Lounge)
The King Bucks

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Couple of Free BAcksliders Songs (65, To Be Exact)

As I've mentioned repeatedly, THe BAcksliders are playing Friday night at Double-Wide, marking their first show in about six months. I believe this show will also be the debut of their new bass player, Allan Hayslip (Bonedome, Tiger Darrow). And while the band will be debuting a large number of new songs, I have a feeling there will still be a large number of BAcksliders classics performed that night, songs that will have the whole audience singing all the lyrics.

But maybe you're new to THe BAcksliders and don't have any of their music. And maybe you want to get some of their music, but you just can't afford to download all their CD's. Well, you are totally in luck. The band has quite generously decided to put up their ENTIRE catalog for free until Friday. Just go to, where you can get all four studio albums (plus the live CD) without paying a dime. Take advantage of this offer while you can, and then cheer on the band this Friday night.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Big Folkin’ Announcement

You may have heard about The Big Folkin’ Festival. If not, let me tell you a little about it. Jeremy Drake of the band Parallel Play has assembled what I can only describe as an all star cast of local players in folk. Actually, Mr. Drake has stretched the limits of what is commonly thought of as folk, by incorporating country, alt-country, blues, roots-rock, and even rockabilly under the umbrella of folk. Acts playing the festival include Telegraph Canyon, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, The O’s, Kirby Brown, Nicholas Altobelli, Dovetail, Goodnight Ned, The Roomsounds, and… well, I’m getting tired of listing all the acts, but there’s many others that will be playing The Prophet Bar and The Door on March 31st.

The party, however, is not limited to those two clubs. I am excited to announce that I have booked an excellent afternoon/evening of talent at In Accord. Some of you may be familiar with the store, which serves several purposes. The store sells fair trade merchandise from local artisans, artists display and sell their works in the gallery area, and In Accord is also home to Deep Ellum Radio. In Accord also has allowed me to host acoustic showcases every 2nd Saturday of the Month, featuring established acts like Phoenix Hart, Greg Schroeder, Rahim Quazi, and Chris Holt (among others).

But I’m digressing here. Back to the show. By purchasing your ticket or wristband at The Prophet Bar, you automatically gain entry to my showcase at In Accord. But who’s playing, you’re wondering. I’m so glad you asked…

 5:30  Lara Parker
6:00 Kyle Brooks
6:30 Chris J Norwood
7:00 Emmeline
7:45 Hannah Wilshire
8:30 Garrett Owen
9:15 Jaimee Harris
10:00 Rahim Quazi

So please, don’t delay. Get your tickets ASAP, and come hang with me at In Accord March 31st.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/19/12

First off, thanks to those who have commented on the piece I wrote about Adam Carter. It's a story that has taken me this full year to get my words together. In writing about Adam, it brought a lot of painful memories to the forefront. Yet in the end, I found it a healing experience, and I hope that discussing the issue helps bring some healing to those who knew him.

Now, on to happier subjects... like local music. 35 Denton and SXSW may be over, but it seems that this week has brought a sudden wave of CD release shows. So in this week's Lucky Thirteen, I'd like to mention some CD releases I'd recommend, along with some shows that don't feature a CD release. And just for good measure, I'll throw in some other songs just because, well, just because.

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. "Space Blanket", Darstar

  2. "Counting the Holes in My Heart", Gray, the New Black
    So you think just because I book at The Crown and Harp it means I'm going to use every opportunity I have to shamelessly promote the shows I book? Well... of course I will. Of course when you can book bands as good as Darstar and Gray the New Black, wouldn't you be wanting to share that news with everyone? So here's the deal: this Friday at Crown and Harp, doors open at 9, Velvet Guard goes on at 10, Darstar follows at 11, and Gray the New Black wraps up the night at midnight. Cover is only $5.

  3. "Break My Spirit", The Roomsounds
    I've been raving about this band since the Fall of 2009. And through those years, I kept bugging the members, asking when they were going to release an album. About two and a half years later, the band will finally release its eponymous debut album. The CD release show happens Friday night at The Prophet Bar, with Madison King and Goodnight Ned opening for the band. If you buy a $12 ticket to the event, or pay $12 at the door, you get your very own copy of the CD. Speaking of Roomsounds and Prophet Bar, they'll be playing the Big Folkin' Festival on March 31st at Prophet Bar. Another venue that will be participating in the event is In Accord, and I'll be booking the lineup there. Curious? I'll be sharing more details on that very soon.

  4. "When Your Hope Dies at Your Feet", The Farstar
    Speaking of CD release shows, May 4th will be The Farstar's CD release at Curtain Club. Here's a little music to help tide you over until then.

  5. "Stupid Little Circles", Sara Radle
    Ms. Radle may now call Los Angeles home, but from about 2000 until the summer of 2005, she called Dallas home. And this Thursday, she'll make her way back to our fine city, as she performs at LaGrange with I Love Math and True Achiever (it's their CD release show). LaGrange seems the appropriate venue, considering that owner Rob Schumacher used to play drums for her in Lucy Loves Schroeder.

  6. "Nine Stories", Signals & Alibis
    When one thinks of local shoegaze, the first three bands to come to mind are usually True Widow, Menkena, and Little Black Dress. I think it's time that Signals and Alibis gets added to the short list of quality local shoegaze acts. But don't just take my word on the matter; check them out Saturday night at Liquid Lounge.

  7. "Save Me", Siren Sea
    Mix part sensual vocals, part dreamy melodies, with a dash of pop (not to be confused with Top 40), and you have the fine musical gourmet treat known as Siren Sea.

  8. "Julie", Dovetail
    Whereas previously the band seemed to fall more within a Coldplayesque vibe, this new song finds the bands melding together elements of 60's psychedelia along with a bit of southern rock style. The result is the best sounding Dovetail song I have heard to date. While I haven't finished listening to the new album, Mount Karma, I suspect I'll be raving about them a lot this year. If you want to see them, they'll be having their CD release Saturday night at Granada Theater, with Salim Nourallah, RTB2, and Menkena rounding out the bill. It's hosted by The Local Edge with Mark, which only makes it awesomer.

  9. "Talk to My Heart", THe BAcksliders
    The wait is almost over: Friday marks the first BAcksliders shows since August. Word is the band will be debuting a large amount of new material during their set at Double-Wide. Also on the bill are Dallas-turned-Austin band The Red 100's and Fort Worth blues rockers Quaker City Nighthawks.

  10. "Little Heart", Clint Niosi
    The intro to this song is a little quite and almost sleepy, yet once the percussion begins, the tune becomes hypnotically fascinating, with Mr. Niosi's lyrics taking center stage. If the word gets out about Clint's music, he could be one of the true sleeper success stories of the year.

  11. "Coke (Live)", Flickerstick
    For some reason, I've found myself going through a real Flickerstick kick as of late, having listened to the majority of their two studio albums in the last week. Of course, Flickerstick was always best experienced live. Brandin Lea, if you're reading this, what do you say to doing a reunion show?

  12. "San Francisco", Dead Beat Poetry
    Another CD I've found growing on me this past week is Dead Beat Poetry's self titled EP. The band's music cannot be labelled easily. On one hand, that makes it harder to promote a band and to find the appropriate fan base. At the same time, the blend of blues, hard rock, and even a little indie only makes it a more interesting listen. Check them out Saturday at 2826 Arnetic.

  13. "Winds of Antarctica", Mark Brandt
    Folk can be a hard sell in Dallas. There's not much I can think of that's a harder sell than someone singing over nothing but an acoustic guitar. Actually, I can think of one harder sell: someone playing acoustic guitar without ANY vocals. It's a difficult road that Mark Brandt has decided to travel. Fortunately, he is a talented enough guitar player to make the journey an interesting travel. Mr. Brandt will hold his CD release show Friday, with Temple Diver and Arielle opening.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


(Photo courtesy of Ange Fitzgerald)

It was a year ago today that I sat down at my computer, and browsed through Facebook right before I thought I was going to go to bed. That's when I discovered the news: Adam Carter, bass player for Spector 45, The Marfalites, Somebody's Darling, and The Felons (and too many others to list), was no longer with us.

In the year that has followed, I have wrestled with what to say about Adam, just as I have wrestled with my own feelings on his death. My first initial reaction was anger. After knowing the way that Frankie 45's death affected the community, I was angered that he would leave us in the same manner.

I thought back on our last conversation, the Monday right before his death. He was still in tremendous pain over the loss of his best friend, Frankie. The last thing I said to him was "call me if you need anything." Some of that anger I felt was directed at the fact that he never took me up on that offer. Then I started thinking about how people say that phrase so casually, almost like "let's do lunch". I feared that he may have not understood that when I said that, I meant it from the bottom of my heart. I meant it in that had he called me at three in the morning, that I would have been there to do whatever was humanly possible in my power to help him. And so began the wrestling with my own guilt, feeling that I had failed him as a friend. Turns out, I was not the only one dealing with these issues. Last December, I was with a group of his friends, and the conversation turned to Adam. Every one of us felt that there was something that could have been done differently. While I have mostly come to terms with my personal issues, what lingers is the sadness. There has not been a day that has gone by in that year where Adam has not entered my mind and where I have not missed him deeply.

Adam was a complex individual, and he certainly struggled with his demons. Even with that, however, there was a true ray of light and sunshine that beamed from Adam. He was always the first one to bring a laugh or smile to your face, even when you were down. He was also an excellent listener; many a times we consoled each other in regards to heartbreak. What I will remember the most about Adam is how truly supportive he was of his friends. At the memorial service last year, I remember someone saying that when they were with Adam, that person felt like the most important person in the world to him. That was a sentiment shared by more than one person, and a feeling that I can say I shared. Before hearing those stories, I thought it was a comment on how special I was. In reality, the truly special one was Adam. The joy he brought into my life and those of his friends, bandmates, and family was a true gift. Such gifts in life are rare, and I am genuinely thankful for the time that I had to know Adam.

So tonight, take the advice shared on the Spector 45 Facebook page. At 8:05 pm tonight, let us raise a glass in memory of a truly beautiful soul.

(Also, I feel compelled to say this: if anyone reading this is struggling with depression and/or contemplating suicide, PLEASE call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or check out the Texas Suicide Prevention webpage.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Video: Kirby Brown, "Young! Young! Young!"

During the course of last year, my focus shifted much more towards my Deep Ellum Radio show, and as a result, the blog suffered. Those who did not listen to the show may have missed out on keeping up with my favorite releases of last year. One of my favorite albums of last year was Kirby Brown's debut CD, Child of Calamity. While not a full on concept album, the theme of youth seemed to come up repeatedly. Nowhere was that more obvious on the album's leading track, "Young! Young! Young!".

Almost a full year after the album's release, Mr. Brown finally debuted the video this past weekend. It's easy enough to miss out when a video is premiered over the weekend. That likelihood only increases when that weekend is the 35 Denton festival. I don't want this video (or song, for that matter) to be overlooked, so I decided to share it here on the blog. You can catch Mr. Brown this weekend at the SXSW festival. He performs Thursday at Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar (4 pm), Friday at Whiskey at Ink (5 pm), and Saturday at Townhouse Bar (8 pm). For those Dallasites not making the trek to Austin, you'll have to wait until March 31 for The Big Folkin' Festival. In fact, I'll be having my own announcement regarding that festival very shortly. But that's a story for another day. In the meantime, press play and enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/12/12

So I think I heard something about some sort of music festival down in Austin this week. I guess this SXSW thing is sort of a big deal, right? It seems like bands don't get "discovered" there as they used to in the earlier days of the festival. Still, it's the biggest music festival in the nation, and for those looking for talent, you can find it in both the official and unofficial shows.

What I have here is thirteen acts playing the festival, along with the venue (or in some cases, the venues) that each is playing. Some are official shows, some not. To find out more details, I might recommend checking out the SXSW page (for official acts) and Austin 360 for the unofficial acts. Some of these acts already have the buzz surrounding them; all of them deserve it.

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. "My Girlfriend Is a Rock", The Nervebreakers
    The true beauty is of SXSW is that it allows young and up and coming bands opportunities for exposure. Bands like, uh... The Nervebreakers? No, any band that can claim being an opening act for the Sex Pistols in their heyday can't be called up and coming. But the band will be releasing a new album (their first in about 30 years), and now another generation will get to sample this classic Dallas true punk band. Click here for a list of their shows, times, etc.

  2. "Wildly Inappropriate", The Burning Hotels
    I checked out the band's website, and it looks like they'll be playing a total of five shows in the course of three days, starting on Tuesday and ending on Thursday. At SXSW, the word overexposure does not exist.

  3. "Save Me", Siren Sea
    I've really taken a liking to the band's ethereal and haunting melodies, as well as Reema Hamdan's powerful voice. They'll perform Tuesday at 11:00 pm at The Dizzy Rooster, and Wednesday at 10:00 pm at The Blind Pig. On a separate note though, what's the deal with all the animal club names?

  4. "We'll Go Walkin'", The O's
    Long before Mumford and Sons made the banjo cool, The O's were using the banjo and crafting their "party bluegrass anthems", as I like to call them. They have one official SXSW show (Wed, Mar 14 at 8:30 at St. David's Bethel Hall), and two unofficial shows. The first will be at Opal Devine's Thursday night at 7 pm, and the second takes place Friday at 12:30 PM at Maria's Taco Express.

  5. "Wired to Make Waves", Nervous Curtains
    The band plays twice on Wednesday (once at The Highball, then at Bernadette's Bar), and then Friday at Sidebar.

  6. "It's Not Enough", Salim Nourallah
    Mr. Nourallah has kept quite the quiet profile over the past year. With the release of his CD Hit Parade on the horizon, expect to see a lot more of Salim in the coming months. He'll perform an official show Friday at Cedar Street Courtyard. Interestingly enough, Salim will share a bill with both Rhett Miller and Thomas Dolby.

  7. "Towering", Seryn
    Seryn has already made a substantial name for itself, both inside and outside of the metroplex area. While I doubt any major labels will be giving out million dollar deals this year, at the very least I feel safe saying there will be plenty of buzz around the band. Check their website for dates , times, and locations.

  8. "Wait for Us", Mind Spiders
    Assuming you're not partied out by Saturday night at one in the morning, check out this band (also with its share of buzz) at Valhalla. And yes, this is an official show.

  9. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
    A little earlier on Saturday (1:10 PM to be exact) Menkena plays the outdoor stage at Casa Chapala.

  10. "Little Heart", Clint Niosi
    Mr. Niosi will be releasing new material this year. I have a feeling I'm gonna be talking about him a bit in the upcoming months. I don't feel like listing all the shows he's doing, so just click here if you want the details, okay?

  11. "Fortune Teller", Jessie Frye
    Congratulations to Ms. Frye for getting mentioned in the New York Times as one of the local acts worth seeing. If you want to see why the New York Times is impressed, check her out Wednesday at 2 pm at Betsy's Bar. Or check her out Friday at 6 pm at the Omni Hotel Downtown. Or check her out Saturday at 6 pm at the Austin Hilton Hotel. Or check out her Saturday at midnight at tenOak. Or check out all those shows.

  12. "Slick Shoes", The Virgin Wolves
    Like Siren Sea, Virgin Wolves are also playing The Blind Pig. They'll take the stage Thursday night about 9 pm.

  13. "Indian Melody", Calhoun
    Calhoun seems to be bookending its SXSW shows, with one Tuesday night at Treasure Island (official SXSW show) at 11 pm, and two unofficial shows Saturday (Doc's Motorworks day party at 5 pm, then Bar Louie at 10 pm). And in the middle of all that, the band will sneak back up to the metroplex and play the Dallas Museum of Art Friday night. And you thought there wouldn't be any good local shows this week.

Oh, and if I forgot to mention any shows by the above acts, let me know in the comments section. And if there are other local bands playing the festival you feel are deserving of attention, the comment section is good for that too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Lucky Thirteen: 3/5/12

Well, it's that time of year again. Time for the NX35 35 Conferette 35 Denton Festival. The event certainly seems to have a hard time sticking with a name, coming up with a new one almost every year. Hopefully this time they've gotten the name right.

Either way, the festival seems to consistently get things right on the music end. This year is no different. The mere opportunity to see The Jesus & Mary Chain perform in the metroplex for the first time in over a decade is reason enough to spend the money on the wristband. Other out of towners on the lineup include The Hood Internet, Best Coast, The Raincoats, Peaking Lights, Built to Spill, and Designer Drugs (just to name a few).

But you didn't come here to read about the out of towners, right? You know that The Ghost is almost exclusively fixated on local musics. So here's a look at thirteen of the finest local acts playing this year's 35 Denton Festival. In fact, consider this a potential schedule, as all these acts are at different times. Note that lineup times provided may change, but as of this moment, the set times are accurate.

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. "The Man with the Golden Snack", Old Snack
    Performing at 9:30 PM Thursday night at The Labb.

  2. "Wither", True Widow
    Performing at 11:30 PM Thursday night at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.

  3. "Gambling Preacher and His Daughter", Whiskey Folk Ramblers
    Performing at 6:00 PM Friday evening at Main Stage #1.

  4. "Knockout Rose", Bad Design
    Performing at 10:15 PM Friday night at J&J's Pizza.

  5. "I Got This Fever/O Ye Devastator", Doug Burr
    Performing at 11:30 Friday night at Dan's Silverleaf.

  6. "Buy You", Spookeasy
    Performing at 9:30 PM Saturday night at Banter.

  7. "Forever Today", Soviet
    Performing at 10:30 PM Saturday night at Denton Square Donuts.

  8. "America's Son", Air Review
    Performing at 12:45 AM Saturday night at Dan's Silverleaf.

  9. "Sexy Weekend", Leg Sweeper
    Performing at 3:30 PM Sunday afternoon at Main Stage #2.

  10. "Cut the Lights", Manned Missiles
    Performing at 9:30 PM Sunday night at Mellow Mushroom.

  11. "Red Palomino", The Demigs
    Performing at 10:30 PM Sunday night at Denton Square Donuts.

  12. "Like a Charm", Here Holy Spain
    Performing at 11:30 PM Sunday night at Abbey Underground.

  13. "Remember You", The O's
    Performing at 12:30 AM Sunday night at Sweetwater.

And that's just a small sampling of the quality local music featured at 35 Denton. My apologies to A.M. Ramblers, Backwater Opera, The Blurries, The Burning Hotels, Damaged Good$, Fox and the Bird, The Hope Trust, The House Harkonnen, Jessie Frye, Museum Creatures, The Phuss, RTB2, Sealion, Shaolin Death Squad, Shiny Around the Edges, Sore Losers, and all the many other fine acts that I could not fit into the playlist.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekend Plans: 3/2/12

In the past few days, I've had about several people ask me what shows they should go see this weekend. I suppose it means it's time to dust off the old "weekend plans" posts on the blog and bring them back. It has been quite awhile since I've done the last one. In fact, it's been so long since I've done one that it's my first since I started booking at Crown and Harp.

I feel the need to mention that as I start this post, for those who might try to argue that I have a conflict of interest. Obviously, I have a vested interest in people attending the shows I organize at The Crown and Harp. At the same time, the artists I book there are those I would want to recommend no matter what. Also, I will continue to promote ALL quality shows, whether they be at C&H, in Deep Ellum, Oak Cliff, Fort Worth, Denton... you get the idea. So without further ado, here are my picks for best shows of the weekend.

Cassie Holt/Backwater Opera/Emmeline (The Crown and Harp)
Yes, this is one of the shows I have a vested interest in. It also features Emmeline, and in case you haven't noticed, I promote Emmeline at any available given opportunity. Plus, Backwater Opera are a highly intriguing band out of Denton that fans of Seryn, Telegraph Canyon, and The Civil Wars will definitely want to check out. Finally, the night will wrap up with the soulful musical stylings of Ms. Holt.
Somebody's Darling/J. Charles & the Trainrobbers/Dead Flowers/Goodnight Ned (Club Dada)
Somebody's Darling has kept a rather low profile over the past year, as they have intently focused on recording their soon to be released album Black Eyes and Alibis. You can count on them performing several new tracks tonight. And while SD may be the night's big draw, equally as impressive is opening act Goodnight Ned. The band has one of the most energetic stage shows of any band going right now, and their shows are only getting tighter.
Dead Beat Poetry/Great White Buffalo/The Winniebago Forcefield/Arielle (Liquid Lounge)
Blues rock has exploded in the past year, almost to such a point where it becomes harder for bands of that style to stand out. While Dead Beat Poetry does incorporate a certain amount of that Black Keys type vibe, the ferocity of both Lulio Guevara's vocals and Brandon Keebler's drumming give the duo an undeniably hard rocking edge that makes their style unmistakable. And just like the previously mentioned show, opening act Arielle is every bit as worthy of your attention and respect as the headliner. She is easily one of the strongest female vocalists in the metroplex at the moment.
The Hi-Tones/Darstar/Rocket Arm (Double-Wide)
Darstar nice straddles the fence between 90's alternative and riot grrl, and lead vocalist Lisa Hardaway has a voice perfectly suited for such a musical blend. While I have not seen Rocket Arm live as of yet, from what I've heard, they're one of the more intriguing hard rock acts at the moment. Again, I'd recommend getting there early if you go, and reporting your findings back to me.

Bravo, Max!/Goodnight Ned/Temple Diver (The Crown and Harp)
Again, another C&H show courtesy of yours truly. I've booked the pairing of Bravo, Max! and Goodnight Ned previously, and it was the strong, most enthusiastic crowd I'd seen in the venue since its days as The Cavern in the mid-2000's. This show is sure to be just as intense. Get there early for the lovely acoustic styling of Jaime Saso's act Temple Diver. And save your money; there's no cover. Hooray for no cover!
The Phuss/The Virgin Wolves/Trebuchet (The Boiler Room)
Ever since The Boiler Room opened up last year, it seems that the majority of the shows have flown beneath the radar. With a lineup this strong, it just wouldn't be right to let this show slip quietly by. Actually, with as loud as all three bands rock, "slipping quietly by" just isn't an option for any of the acts here. For those who like their rock hard and sloppy (in the good way), this show will be just what you've been looking for.
Altered States/The Wake of Man/The Patient Patient/Amble/To Coda (2826 Arnetic)
Yes, To Coda is a younger band, and I suspect that may make some of my readers skeptical. All it will take is a few minutes of watching their live set to convince you that this is a band worthy of respect, regardless of their age. In fact, listen to "Take It Back" from this week's Lucky 13 playlist. This is not the sound of an amateurish garage band, but that of a band with solid songs and an incredible vocalist (Heather Darwin).
Emmeline (Buon Giorno Coffee - Grapevine)
Just in case one Emmeline show this weekend wasn't enough for you...