Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It List Tuesday 2/28/06

1. Lost Generation w/ DJ Mwanza (cavern): Probably the most unique DJ night in town. You'll hear Silver Apples, My Bloody Valentine, Krautrock, and all other types of ill shit.

2. Sparrow-Hawk/idi amin/The Chimeneas (J&J's Pizza- Denton): So it appears that there is in fact an active noise/avant garde scene in Denton, and it appears that the whole thing centers around J&J's. Dudes that are looking to rock out might want to avoid this show, especially if they call themselves dudes and talk about "rocking out" on a regular basis. Instead, people that like loud, relatively formless and interesting music along the lines of Black Dice, John Cage, early Sonic Youth, DNA, etc. might want to stop by and check these guys out. Sparrow-Hawk appears to be more of the quiet acoustic variety. Good to see that art rock has a home in Denton. JJ is at 118 W. Oak St in Denton.

Monday, February 27, 2006

It List: Monday 2/27/06

To all the people who have tickets to Sigur Ros at Bass Performance Hall tonight: I hate you. Or I mean I love you.... now sell me your ticket!



In other news, this week is going to be a big one. We've got a special secret announcement to make later this week (no, it isn't our identity), and we'll have a good interview with a good band. Oh and you should vote for our J.R. awards so that we can give the winners absolutely nothing for all their hard work!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Undoing of David Wright Last Night

The Eighth Continent is a house. Or actually its the basement/garage part of a house. The ceilings are low. Its smoky and dark, and it makes you feel claustrophobic even when its not entirely full. Its BYOB, its makeshift, and its hard to find if you've never been before, tucked away in a residential neighborhood in Denton. In short its a great place to see underground music, particularly when the band you're watching is one of the best live bands in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth and the audience is made up mostly of rabid fans dancing like crazy throughout their entire set.

From what we can tell, The Eighth Continent is actually part of a house owned and/or lived in by Lars from Undoing of David Wright, and the large garage area beneath the house has been renovated and made into a music venue complete with a small stage and a space for a DJ booth. But you shouldn't be picturing a garage, because it really doesn't look or feel like one... its more like an old basement bar than anything else, and the set up is actually pretty fantastic. The stage is against the far wall of the space when you walk in, and there is an equally good place to see it from all three sides surrounding it, maximizing the available room (which can probably fit about 75 people). There are places to sit inside, and an outside area to cool down in front. The sound was a bit muffled last night, but its pretty goddamn good all things considered, and this was apparently the first show they've had there, which makes the quality of the mix even more impressive. Basically, it seems like a place where something memorable could happen.

Oh yeah, the band played too... and as usual they were tight as shit (didn't seem to miss a note), running through a set of loud, danceable no wave/post-hardcore that pretty much kicked everyone's ass (you could tell by looking at them). Most of the people there were obviously huge fans, which made it really fun to just sit back and watch the whole thing from time to time as the rest of the audience continued to go fucking nuts. People that were actually there to have fun were having fun, there was lots of smoke, a cheap cover, no four dollar Bud Lights or asshole bartenders, no Deep Ellum cops or problems parking, and a great band onstage that actually puts on a show thats worth two shits. Maybe stuff like this should happen every weekend.

The It List: Sunday 2/26/06

So we've caught some shit from a few people for being into Red Monroe, not to mention Hourly Radio (people sent us emails about how much both bands suck), but thats ok. Cuz we're good enough, and smart enough, and you know the rest. But if you doubt whether either of these bands is worth a shit, why don't you go check them out for FREE tonight at the Darkside Lounge? Red Monroe goes on at 10, Hourly Radio is on at 11. We must admit that we've never seen them live before, but we like what we hear on record. Oh, and if you're going to see Coldplay and Fiona Apple for $47 tonight, then get off my goddamn website.

1. Hourly Radio/Red Monroe (Darkside Lounge- Deep Ellum) FREE

2. Wild In the Streets (Hailey's Denton): Mods and such. You know the drill.

And finally, if you don't feel like going out but you also don't want to tune in to the Adventure Club's "All Coldplay" show live from wherever they're playing, you might want to listen to:

3. Frequency Down on 88.1 KNTU at 10pm. Frank the tank says he'll be playing:

"NEW Flaming Lips, Buzzcocks & Abbey,!Also songs from The New Amsterdams, Single Frame, Sonic Youth, Tigerbaby, Autolux, Essex Green, Metric, Mates of State, Super Love Attack, The Hourly Radio, Voxtrot, Voot Cha Index, Reggie & the Full Effect, Electric 6, The Life & Times, Arcade Fire, Yo La Tengo, The Melvins, The Riverboat Gamblers AND SO MUCH MORE!!!"

So stick it to Clear Channel twice tonight by skipping out on Coldplay and the adventure club, and instead go to a good FREE show or listen to a great non-commercial radio program. By the way, is Voxtrot the best band in Austin right now? I think they might be.

We'll have more for you later tonight, including a write up of that Undoing of David Wright show last night...

AND BY THE WAY: Vote for the JR polls on the sidebar dog...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

It List Tonight Saturday 2/25/06

Lots and Lots to do tonight, and most of it isn't in Dallas. Imagine that. Anyway, check it:

1. Undoing of David Wright/Best Fwends/Death Set (Eighth Continent Denton): Eighth Continent is, according to Undoing of David Wright, a new avant garde performance space located at 731 Texas St. in Denton. We don't have a whole lot of information other than the bands playing there and the fact that its all ages, 5 bucks and BYOB. You know we think Undoing is one of the best live acts in town, and we've already talked about Best Fwends a bit, who will be playing at SXSW this year. They're pretty good too. Death Set from New York is also playing, but we don't know who they are. The Undoing has emailed us to say that doors open at 8 pm, and the show should start at 9 or 930.

2. Bob White and the F-Electrics/Like You Like/The Motherfuckers/White Drugs (J & J's Pizza Denton): J and J's is at 118 W. Oak St in Denton, which we're pretty sure is in the square. Anyway this looks like it will be a great show for fans of the noise post-hardcore sound. Bob White reminds us of Scratch acid, and White Drugs is, well, loud. Both are good, and while we don't know about the other bands we're going to guess that they're loud too, and probably interesting. Take a chance, its free. Starts at 8pm

3. Record Hop/Sharks and Sailors/ Woozy Helmet/Tame...tame and Quiet (Rubber Gloves Denton): We like Record Hop, but you already know that. Austin's Woozy Helmet has kind of an early 90's K Records thing going on, and they sound pretty good. Sharks and Sailors, like we said before, have a Les Savy Fav thing going but maybe a little more rockin' at times. Fort Worth's Tame...Tame and Quiet are decent too. Should be a solid show.

4. Prayer for Animals (Darkside Lounge): Go see Prayer for Animals at around 9pm, and then go somewhere else unless you want to put up with the Kansas City Faggots. We don't.

5. The Smoke (825 Exposition Ave. Avenue Arts venue): Mods, go go dancers, you bringing 6 bucks and your own beer so that you can make a fool of yourself on the dance floor. Good combo.

6. Metrognome Collective: 100 Damned Guns/Cartright/Sarah Reddington/ Matthew and the Arrogant Sea: A folk/alt country kinda thing going on at a cool venue, 1518 E. Lancaster in Fort Worth.

Friday, February 24, 2006

It List Friday 2/24/06

1. Undertow Orchestra (Hailey's Denton) Link Will Johnson from Centro-matic and members of American Music Club (good) and pedro the Lion (whateva) will be playing songs together.

2. Metrognome Collective- Sonic Death Monkee/Notes from Underground/Malise (Fort Worth): We talk about this place all the time because it rules. You should really make the drive some time.

3. Mazinga Phaser II (doublewide)

sorry its short today, but we've got a life too ya know!

Award Tour: The JR Awards

So it appears to be music award season here in Dallas, and we've decided to get in on the action. Of course the Dallas Observer awards are the big ones, but we thought that our readers might want to choose their local favorites without having their votes diluted by Flickerstick and Johnny Lloyd whatever fans. So heres the scoop:

For the next two weeks we'll be taking votes for the J.R. Awards. There will be eight categories, and you can vote by posting your choices in the comments section of this thread, which we will create a permanent link to on the sidebar. Post with your name, or as anonymous, or whatever you want. I think you might have to register with Blogspot to be able to post comments, but if you do its really not that hard and you shouldn't be so lazy. Just register and vote ya jerk.

We'll also be having a contest: submit your own award category and nominate a winner. The category can be anything as long as its related to local music. The creator of the funniest category shall receive two free tickets to a Dallas/Denton show TBD later, and will be famous among the few hundred people that read this blog. We can assure you that your prize will be for a show that we would want to go to , and we'll probably give you a list of a couple bands to choose from... we just aren't sure which ones yet. If you create a category, you'll either have to post with your name or send us an email telling us who you are.

Maybe everyone will like this idea, or maybe no one will even respond. But its worth a shot. You can vote in all categories, just one category, or whatever. We don't care. Here they are:

Best Band Overall
Worst Band Overall
Best New Act
Best Venue
Worst Venue
Best DJ
Best Experimental Group or Musician


Thursday, February 23, 2006

The It List: Thursday 2/23/06

1. Happy Bullets and Tah Dahs (Free In Store at Tower Records, Lemmon and Oak Lawn): Starts at 6:30, so get there early bitches.

2. Dj G 80's Night (Hailey's Denton): you know the deal.

3. Lions/ White Drugs (Rubber Gloves Denton): Lions appears to be one of those new Black Sabbathesque hipster metal bands where you can't tell whether or not its a joke. I guess that rocks. White Drugs are a Denton band that also rocks, but they sound more like a mix between the Stooges and a slower Thermals. Probably a pretty good live show.

4. Mile End w/ Dj Laureen (Fallout): you know the deal here too: shoegaze, britpop, indie.

The Veldt is Prayer for Animals

After receiving a series of emails from another group called "The Veldt," Arlington's Veldt recently decided to change their name to Prayer for Animals in order to avoid dealing with a cease and desist letter. No matter what they might be called, their songs reveal a group that is musically ambitious and potentially buzzworthy, given that they are already close (at an early stage in their existence) to finding a good formula for a sound lying somewhere in between loose psychedelic experimentation and dark indie pop.

Prayer for Animals, formed in 2005, is headquartered at their group house in Arlington where they write songs that have a good deal of range in composition and style, despite possessing what can be classified as the beginning of a "sound" in its early stages. The most obvious reference points here are Brian Jonestown Massacre and Matador Records' The Double, but you can also hear touches of Radiohead, Television Personalities and the excellent Circulatory System. The fun of listening to this band derives not from their influences, however, but from their ability to diversify, letting strange folksy guitar plucking turn into moody, ethereal noise and blues-based psyche rock. Although certainly a young band still searching for its musical path to a degree, Prayer for Animals is well on its way to nailing down something interesting, even if its not entirely clear which direction they will take. And that is exactly what makes them worthy of some attention.

Prayer for Animals plays Saturday at the Darkside Lounge.

Some Mp3s if you please (and really, listen to all three because they are all pretty different):

"The Tale of the Yellow Spider" Link
"The Great Plains" Link
"You're Never Gonna Die" Link


Here is an essay written by a guy who is talking about how he talks about Chuck Klosterman's way of talking about certain things that other people talk about and how he (the guy) doesn't really like the way that Klosterman talks about things because he (the guy) talks about them in the same way and then talks about this similarity with other people who in turn talk about how he (the guy) talks about things, and then this guy publishes an essay about himself talking about how he talks to other people about Chuck Klosterman' annoying tendency to talk about the same things in the same way, and that these things usually involve the ways in which people talk about stuff. Its pretty good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Texas Giggle

Cindy Chaffin from Texasgigs.com wrote a response to one of our posts in a comment thread, and we've decided to share it with you. Before you read, note that we aren't planning on starting a blog v. website bitch fest, and that this will be the last post on this subject. We aren't into personal attacks either, and you won't see that here. And judging by some of the problems that the guys at dconstruction had to deal with when they touched on a similar topic (and for the record didn't personally attack or say anything unwarranted about Cindy Chaffin), we'll repeat: nothing personal. We don't know Cindy Chaffin, she could be a wonderful human being, and we have no problem with her. And blah blah blah. Heres her post:

Cindy here from TexasGigs.com. I started TexasGigs.com 3 1/2 years ago as my own personal blog to...yeah...PROMOTE!!!!...the music scene, as a ***music promoter.*** There are a lot of local bands I think are amazing. There are tons more that I think suck. But the point...er...my mission was (and still is) to support and provide as much information as I could so that folks could make up their own mind as to shows to attend or CDs to purchase.

TexasGigs.com was (and still is) a passion for me. I will write about Salim Nourallah 'til the cows come home because I love the guys music and I love the guy. I'm a passionate gal, so I tend to send out messages of over-luvin' I suppose.

I think folks have misinterpreted some of the posts/stories. Just because I/we report news on bands, CD releases, shows, etc., doesn't necessarily mean we think they are the greatest thing ever. We are simply getting the information out there to the readers and supporting the scene as a whole.

If you look closely at the over 4000 blog posts I wrote over the past 3+ years, you'll notice that the bands I tend to gush over on a regular basis are the same dozen or so.

There are big buzz bands out there that lots of folks and critics rave about that I just don't get. But that's NOT the point of TexasGigs. It's there to offer information about the local scene, be it a garage band made up of 12 year olds who gig 3 times a month at The Door, to the Old 97's blow-outs at the Lakewood Theater. My personal favorite bands and then some are always going to be gushed over because...well because it's my site and I can do whatever the hell I want.

I started this little project to be exactly what it is, supportive, informational, timely etc. There are loads and loads of blogs, publications, etc. to tell us all how much we (me, bands, music, venues, etc.) suck. That just ain't my thing.

I merged with Pegasus News because they had the ability and technology to make the site more than just a gal and her blog. Now with lots of hands, opinions and tastes in music involved, you'll see a lot more than just my gushy posts and exclamation points.

Our Response:

1. The fact that she wants to "promote" the local music scene "as a whole" and as a "promoter" is precisely our problem. The music scene "as a whole" does not deserve to be promoted or supported, and the fact that people feel an obligation to do so is one of the main reasons that the Dallas scene, and many others like it suck. Of course its not really her obligation to make the scene any better, nor is it anyone else's, and we don't fault Texasgigs.com for that. Its just that many Dallas music consumers like us are fed up with being told that Daryl and Pleasant Grove are awesome or that Polyphonic Spree is a great "experience" or that we should "totally check out" some stupid Emo band at the Christian club in Deep Ellum. That is one of the reasons we started this blog: because we were bored to tears with Dallas music "as a whole," and with the generally positive tone of the media's coverage of it. We think that if people actually take the time to listen to local music and form intelligent opinions on it, a lot of the crap will go away and the better bands will get bigger... and better. So we agree with Cindy that there is some good music in Dallas, but that there are in fact "tons more bands" that suck.

2. Cindy's personal taste: We don't really know anything about Cindy's tastes, and therefore aren't attacking said tastes. However, part of the problem is that we have no basis for determining what Texas Gigs likes and doesn't like, which makes it hard for them to have much credibility in our eyes. Like we said, its the Boy that Cried Wolf syndrome: how can anyone be expected to take a recommendation from Texasgigs seriously when they seem to absolutely love everything they talk about? And while we realize that our site is little more than a collection of personal tastes in written form, we feel like we are pretty straight forward about what we like and don't like, and that this helps people decide whether we're worth reading or just completely full of shit. Of course people are free to make up their own minds just like they are when they go to Texasgigs or any other website, but it seems like a waste of time to go to a site that you know is going to promote any and everything that is happening on any given day. If that is what you're looking for, why not just go to the Dallas Observer concert listings and sort through it all? Many people don't have time to sort through all the crap out there, so geeks like us try to do it for them. And people can take it for what its worth.

3. The one thing that we think Cindy is totally wrong about is the statement that there are "a million blogs out there to tell us we suck." We pretty much assumed the same thing when we started this blog, but quickly learned that it just isn't true, at least as far as blogs that focus on Dallas are concerned. There really are very few that talk about Dallas/Denton music in any depth, which is why we've kept this up for the amount of time we have. Of course, Texasgigs is trying to serve a different purpose than we are, and maybe one day it will be a great website full of the kind of commentary that is worthy of a city with as many people and opinions as Dallas has. For now however, its just not something that we can support or recommend to anyone that wants to get beyond local scene gladhanding and find out what is really going on. Surely we can do better too, and there are probably a lot of people that think this site is total crap. But when it comes down to it, "folks (can) make up their own mind," and so will we.

Thanks to Cindy for her mature and thoughtful post, and also for reading and linking to our blog. We feel no ill will towards her, and it seems based on her post that she doesn't have any towards us either. Lets keep it that way.

JR- weshotjr@yahoo.com

Tonight's It List and Google Image Search: Austin Bites

Not sure what this picture has to do with anything, but it is what it is. We're also going to have more posts today with good stuff like Mp3s and our usual brand of brilliant writing. This time we actually promise to, you know, post too.

The List, probably the longest Wednesday edition we've had so far:

1. Starlight Mints/Ryan Lindsey/El Paso Hot Buttons (Hailey's Denton): Do you ever get the impression that Fiery Furnaces and Architecture in Helsinki are just trying to do what the Starlight Mints started doing five years ago but can't quite pull it off? Although there is certainly some room to disagree on this point, we really just wanted to take this opportunity to say how much we hate Fiery Furnaces, as well as to point out that the Mints have been doing the schizo psyche pop thing for a long time and probably do it better than anyone. Anyway they're a great live band, and I'm sure they'll be playing some new stuff that will most likely be the shit.

2. The Party with DJ Nature (rubber gloves Denton): You'll probably want to start going to The Party now so that when it blows up in the next month or two you can tell everyone how old school you are. I'm sure you can stop by after the Mints show.

3. Sisters of Mercy and the Warlocks (Gypsy Tea Room): This show costs 25 bucks, so you really have to be a fan. We are, and we're sure many of you are, so it might be worth checking out. And the Warlocks are bad ass despite what Pitchfork tells you.

4. Japanther (Cavern): Good noise post-hardcore band that played in Denton last night is coming to Dallas tonight after an early show in Ft. Worth. You should really take a chance and see something a little different from the Valentines every once and a while. Maybe this will be that show.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The It List Tuesday 2/21/06

1. Japanther/The Show is the Rainbow/Bring Back the Guns (Rubber Gloves Denton): Brooklyn's Japanther is a pretty damn good post-hardcore noise group that can at times sound like Lightning Bolt with a dance beat, and at other times like old Joy Division with no beat at all. Pretty interesting stuff (although you shouldn't judge from the crappy live tracks on the Myspace page). The Show is the Rainbow does some fairly catchy experimental electro, and Bring Back the Guns is a Houston band that sort of has a Les Savy Fav thing going on.

2. Lost Generation with Mwanza (Cavern): shoegaze, post punk, elector, krautrock and more.

Fuku You, Neocons and Other News

An interesting and brief article by the widely respected historian and political theorist Francis Fukuyama appeared in the New York Times magazine this week, discussing what basically amounts to his renunciation of the neoconservative school of thought. It gives a nice rundown of what the movement was, what it has become, and where U.S. foreign policy should go now that the Bush administration has made sure that no one ever tries the Neocon approach again. Not sure if I agree with everything he says, but a good read none the less.

Elsewhere, it looks like a million people attended a free Stones concert in Rio recently. Now the city has to clean up their mess.

Finally, SXSW announced its schedule a couple days ago.

More to come today, including a band profile and stuff.

Monday, February 20, 2006

It List: Monday 2/20/06

1. Good Records Good Mornings with DJ Cee Pee (Cavern): guess all he has to do now is walk about 30 yards to get to this gig. Indie hits, etc. are played.

2. Deftones/ Thrice (Nokia Theater Grand Prarie): Ha ha, gotcha!

Supergrass @ Gypsy Tea Room

Saturday night's Supergrass show was, well, adequate. I got to hear some of the hits that I knew and loved, was forced to hear new stuff that I didn't like, and was left pondering whether or not the whole experience was worth fifteen dollars, especially considering the mind numbing cold that I faced walking down Commerce St. to get there. The first half of the show absolutely bored me to tears, mostly due to the fact that the band stuck to playing songs off their new album Road To Ruen, which some have called their "mature" record but I consider to be quite bland compared to their earlier releases. Besides, who wants maturity from goddamn Supergrass anyway? Aren't they supposed to be brats?

Things picked during the second half of the show when they started to play some of their earlier favorites, but even that was little more than merely satisfying. Although the band played many of the songs a little slow and was sloppy in spots, it wasn't really their fault. The whole experience actually reminded me of the Pitchfork article about the new Lollapalooza, or what they termed the "Alternative Rock Hall of Fame." I felt like I was there for the same reasons that my parents might go to an Eagles or Rolling Stones concert, even if Supergrass is still putting out decent music while the other two bands haven't not been horrible in decades. I was there to hear songs that I used to like a lot, songs that while still good just aren't part of my current rock n' roll experiences. I was there, at least in part, to relive the past. If you went, I'm guessing that you had at least a somewhat similar motivation. If Supergrass released In it for the Money this year, I doubt I would give it much of a listen and I wonder if many of you would either, since its really not anything new or exciting. Hearing that album at the tail end of the mid 90's Britpop thing and being 16 or 17 at the time both played a part in my love for that album, and my attitudes and experiences in 2006 would surely play the same kind of roll, even if they would in fact lead to a different result. I still like listening to the old Supergrass stuff, but I can't help but suspect that nostalgia plays a large part in that experience. Not that its really a bad thing per se, but its just strange to realize that I am probably old enough to want to attend what essentially seemed to be a "Greatest Hits" tour by a band that initially became popular at a time when I was old enough to like them. Supergrass probably isn't the best example of this considering that they put out one of their best records only four years ago, but I suppose I'm just really dreading the inevitable moment when I hear my friends talking about their Luxury Box tickets for the new Soundgarden reunion tour. Face it, it already happened with the Pixies, and theres no reason not to assume that Frank Black's belly is only the beginning...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Frequency Down Tonight: 10pm on 88.1 KNTU

You aren't cool enough to not listen to this show (from Myspace post):

"TONIGHT,We'll be spotlighting the Texas Cropdusting Tour with Record Hop, Woozy Helmet, Sharks and Sailors & Tame...Tame and Quiet. Cory from Record Hop will be in the studio to talk about this special Texas tour.

Also NEW Belle & Sebastian, Black Tie Dynasty, Smile Smile & Celebrity!As well as songs from Wilco, The Blow, Talking Heads, Mathstorm, Carissa's Weird, Jon Brion, Marshmallow Coast, Sufjan Stevens, Lali Puna, Devo, The Tah Dahs, Eniac, John Dufilho, Cordelane, Meyercord, The Black Heart Procession, Pavement AND SO MUCH MORE!!!
10:00 (11:00/10:00 c) p.m. on KNTU 88.1FM in the D/FW metroplex
OR LIVE ON-LINE at KNTU.FMjust click the Listen Live link

don't forget to post your comments during the show at the "unoffical" Frequency Down Message Board:Frequency Down Message BoardIf you feel like calling during the show, please do so!The number is 940-988-0045"

The Play List

Some non-local things we've been listening to lately:

The Vaselines- The Way of the Vaselines
Broadcast- The Noise made By People
Boris- Pink
Gang Gang Dance- God's Money
Dinosaur Jr- You're Living All Over Me
Ariel Pink- House Arrest
The Birtday Party- Hits
Can- Future Days
Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker- Diz N' Bird at Carnegie Hall
Chapterhouse- Whirlpool
Fleetwood Mac- Rumors
Hot Chip- Coming on Strong
Bob Dylan- Basement Tapes
Lansing-Dreiden- A Sectioned Beam
Islaja- Palaa Aurinkoon

It List Tonight Sunday 2/19/06

The Undoing of David Wright is playing a show at Club Clearview tonight, and they really are a must see live band. However, if you decide to go out and see them tonight you might want to make it a quick in and out and avoid subjecting yourself to 45 Grave and Shadow Reichenstein. 45 Grave appears to be some sort of 80's metal band that has reunited, and we really have no idea why they've been allowed to do so. Shadown Reichenstein is a local goth metal band that may or may not be a joke, even though its clear from listening to some of their songs that the joke is on you.

More posts are coming later this evening.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

It List Saturday 2/18/06

Sorry, we're running late, so you're getting a short version of the list tonight. Tough. But at least we've got Myspace links....

1. Supergrass/Pilotdrift (Gypsy Tea Room Ballroom)

2. Fra Pandolf/ Shiny Around the Edges/ STeers/ You are the Universe (Hailey's-Denton)

3. Tah Dahs (Barley House)

4. Bosque Brown/ The Angelus (Doublewide)

Friday, February 17, 2006

It List: Friday 2/17/06

We're gonna be all over the damn place tonight, but our main source of entertainment will likely be:

1. Voxtrot/ Happy Bullets (Cavern): So we really don't have to tell you about the Happy Bullets, but we will say that they are a good live band, that happens to be playing with Voxtrot, an Austin band that we've been listening to a lot lately. They play pretty straight forward indie rock, but they're really goddamn good at it, and have a pretty unique sound. Listen to some stuff on their Myspace page and see for yourself.

2. Strange Boys/ Eat Avery's Bones/ Chief Death Rage (Yellow House-Denton): If you've never been to the Yellow House before you should really go, especially on a night like this. Its at 1120 Mulberry St. in Denton, just off of Fry St., and its known for having what some people have called "kick ass shows." Its free, its BYOB, its actually someone's house, and its all ages. The best part about the place is the crowds: usually really nice kids that are actually into the music being played. Its a small, cramped space stuffed with UNT students, but that really becomes part of the fun once you're there. Tonight two bands we always talk about, Strange Boys and Eat Avery's Bones are playing, as well as a band called Chief Death Rage, which appears to play a sort of punky sludge metal... if that means anything. Starts at 10pm, should be a hell of a time.

3. Paper Chase at Rubber Gloves (Denton)

4. Rogue Wave (Gypsy Tea Room): Get there early for Rogue Wave, because you probably won't want to stick around for Nada Surf unless you like being bored.

* UPDATE: Metrognome Collective will be doing a show with the Record Hop tonight in Fort Worth at their space- 1518 E. Lancaster. Its five bucks, BYOB, and a really great place to hang out.

Every Band in Dallas Fuckin' RULES!

Or so you would think if you only got your local music info from Texasgigs.com. The people at Texas Gigs always seem to have a nice word to say about everyone, and they use a lot of exclamation points, which can be frustrating when they're talking about the many Dallas bands that obviously suck! We don't know why they do this, but they do! I'm going to stop using exclamation points now!

We're not saying that they should write articles about how much they hate so and so, or really that they should do anything considering that they have a successful website and we have, well, a blogspot. The problem isn't really with them at all, since the site can in fact be a good resource for local music news, audio files, and other things that fans want (we check it every day). And of course its good that they want to help local bands get some attention. The problem is much bigger, and it stems mostly from local bands themselves. This is of course the "support your local scene, dude" attitude that so many people carry around with them. Until we started this blogspot, we really could have given two shits about local Dallas rock for the most part, even though we probably spent a lot more time than the average person thinking about, talking about, and listening to music. That is really the main reason we started this thing in the first place: to learn more about what was actually out there. And what inspired this particular bitch fest is a conversation we overheard last night in which someone expressed their belief that Dallas music sucks because no one cares about local bands.

Its too bad they didn't ask themselves why no one cares, because if they did they might have come to the conclusion that the product we're supposed to be supporting typically isn't that good. Of course we've blogged about this topic before, so you can stop reading if you're bored. Its just that people who want us to support their "scene" should ask themselves what happens when people go to shows that they really don't like, or listen to bands that aren't that great simply because they are local. What happens is that people go out and have fake fun. You know the feeling, don't you? You're supposed to go see your roommate's brother's emo band at some bar, and you go out and listen to the music and tap your feet and drink a couple beers and remark to whoever "hey these guys are pretty decent" and then you go home, wondering why you ever left the house in the first place. A lot of other people at the show probably did the same thing, creating an atmosphere that is lacking any real, well, fun. And then all these people start to get a bad taste in their mouths about local music, and they stop wanting to go see it, even when there might actually be something decent going on. Of course this isn't a phenomenon that is specific to Dallas... it probably goes on in every town of a certain size. Its just that going to see local music shouldn't be a chore. It should be something we want to do because its fun, not something we have to do because of some sense of duty to support the scene. And we also realize that local bands are often young or new bands, and that young new bands typically don't have their shit together quite yet. Thats all well and good, but we think we can tell the difference between a show that isn't good because the band sucks and one that isn't good because the band, while talented, just doesn't have a lot of experience. We bet you can too.

So what we're saying is "Support the local scene, bro.... whenever the local scene earns it." Which it does from time to time, as we have happily learned over the past month and a half. And when it does happen, no one needs to tell us to go see local music. We'll go because we want to, and we might even have real fun, which will make us want to go out the next time something is going on. But telling us to go see a boring band because they're local is like telling us to vote for George W. Bush because its patriotic. And we shouldn't have to use exclamation points to tell you that!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It List Thursday 2/16/06

Yes, we've been kinda busy lately and haven't had time to post too much the past few days. We're getting on that though, trust us, and we'll have some pretty big news for you in the next couple of days most likely (top secret!). By the way, if you're into listening to shitty music at crappy bars, Dallas is the place to be tonight! Just check out the Observer online listings for tonight if you don't believe us. For those that want to take a break from all lametastic fun, here is some stuff you might want to try:

1. Dj G @ Haileys (denton): They really need to stop calling this an 80's night. Yes, some music from the decade is played, including a few of the hits that you would expect from an 80's night, but every time we've seen this guy he's played something much better: a mix of old school acid house, afrobeat, Italo disco, and obscure new wave, not to mention the occasional cool Depeche Mode song. 18 and ups

2. Mile End with Dj Laureen (Fallout): new wave, brit pop, shoegaze... mostly just a mix of good music for hip kids.

* And by the way, Rhett from the Happy Bullets will be Djing on Meat Radio tonight, 102.5 FM from 8-10. We will be doing a piece on it later, but for now you should know that you can really only hear it in the Lakewood/downtown/ lower Greenville area.

And there is also a decent garage rock band called Tiger!Tiger! playing the opening slot at Double Wide tonight, but we strongly suggest that you go early and leave early, allowing you to stay as far away as possible from the other two bands: Swedish Teens and Lust. Truly annoying pop punk meets cock rock. Maybe this is why you can never be sure about a Doublewide show.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The It List: Wed. 2/15/06

1. The Party w/ DJ Nature (Rubber Gloves)

2. Callithump Productions Showcase: Eagle Seagull/ Blackheart Society/Ashburne Glen (The Cavern- $6): We hadn't ever heard Eagle Seagull before, but a quick trip to their website revealed that they are a pretty solid band, and the three tracks we listened to reminded us of a more poppy Arcade Fire with a little bit of Wolf Parade and a heavy dose of Britpop, particularly Pulp. Blackheart Society is a relatively new band with some promise, and Ashburne Glen does some very nice Shinsy pop, and is worth showing up early for.

3. Wild in the Streets (Hailey's Denton)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Bullets @ SXSW

The folks at Undeniable Records have informed us that the Happy Bullets have just been added to the SXSW bill this year. Of course, no time or date has been posted yet be we'll let you know when we find out more. And by the way, we haven't forgotten about our SXSW Local Band previews, we just decided to do it later, closer to when SXSW actually starts. Because why do today what you can put off till tomorrow? Anyway, the Happy Bullets invite probably has something to do with the buzz they've been getting on some of the hipster Mp3 blogs over the past few months, proving that Dallas bands might actually be able to succeed on a national level without moving to New York or wearing stupid robes.

The It List: Tuesday 2/14/06

Yeah, Happy Valentines Day and blah blah blah (sorry). Anyway, onwards and upwards:

1. Lost Generation with Dj Mwanza (the Cavern upstairs): Spinning bands such as My Bloody Valentine, M83, Sonic Youth, Ladytron, Jesus Lizard, Gang of Four, Black Sabbath, MF DOOM & Dangermouse, Boards of Canada, David Bowie, New Order, Annie, Silver Apples, Stereolab, Can and more (from the Cavern website). Do we really have to add anything to that?

2. The Hold Steady with Plastic Constellations (Hailey's Denton): We're not crazy about the Hold Steady. I know that Pitchfork thinks they're bad ass and shit, but we see them more or less as a fairly boring frat rock band that just happens to have a decent record collection. However, we know that there is room to disagree on a band like this, so we put it up anyway. Also we do like Plastic Constellations, the opener, so get there early if you wanna be like us. And you know you do.

Band Profile: The Evangelicals

We've recently been talking with a relatively new band out of Norman, OK called the Evangelicals, and we decided to write a little something about them even though they're not a local band because 1) they're pretty damn good; 2) they've just signed with Austin's Misra records, which means that they'll be in Texas quite a bit, which means that they'll have to drive through Denton/Dallas on their way down south, which means that 4) they'll probably be playing a lot around here in the near future. Oh yeah, and 5) because I do what I want!

The Evangelicals were formed right around the time that vocalist and guitar player Josh Jones (formerly a guitar tech for the Mooney Suzuki) was apparently arrested for burglary and decided to be in a band instead of being a roadie and like, stealing stuff. Jones, along with bassist/keys player Kyle Davis and drummer Austin Stephens self-recorded their debut LP So Gone several months back, and Misra will officially release it in June.

Although the band lists Leonard Cohen and T. Rex as a couple of their influences, we hear Belle and Sebastian, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Spacemen 3, as well as some early Flaming Lips and maybe even a little Jesus and Mary Chain, if only because of the distinct 60's bubblegum sounds buzzing just beneath the manic fuzz and tempo changes (check the first verse in "Another Day" if you don't believe us). Their songs are catchy as shit and completely loose in structure and composition without ever wandering too far away from their pop core. We can tell you that there aren't any other bands in the greater north Texas/Oklahoma area that sound very much like them, and we're going to be sure to see the Evangelicals the next time they come to town, even if it means missing a totally sweet Deathray Davies show or something.

Some Mp3s if you please:

"Another Day" Link

"Hello Jen, I'm a Mess" Link

Monday, February 13, 2006

Jay Dee in the place to be

Even though its not really our function to write much about national music news since you can usually find better coverage elsewhere, we just wanted to link to this Pitchfork rundown of some of the more noteworthy tracks that J Dilla produced over the years. He was one of our favorite hip hop beat makers of all time, and his 2003 album with Madlib was one that we listened to pretty regularly for months after its release. Although he didn't get a lot of recognition in his day, you can expect a flood of postmortem commentary about how great he was in the next few weeks (sort of like the one you're reading right now). Its just a shame that people were too busy with goddamn Puff Diddy to show him much love while he was actually, you know, alive and everything.

It List: Monday 2/13/06

1. Good Records Good Morning with Dj Cee Pee (Cavern 10pm): Manager of good records plays all the latest indie releases and various other goings on. We'll try to post a typical set list soon if we can get our hands on one.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Frequency Down: Sundays at 10

I guess we probably don't have to tell you that radio in DFW is about as cool as getting a lap dance from Jerry Jones, so we won't bother. We also assume that many of you don't have to be told about how good Frequency Down on KNTU is, but we're going to go ahead and say it anyway for those of you who, like us, haven't bothered to listen to local radio in quite a while. The show, which airs sundays at 10pm on 88.1 (or online if you click the link above), is surely the best thing going in Dallas radio, as a brief glance at their playlist will confirm. Yep, thats Dinosaur Jr, Built to Spill, Wolf Parade, New Order and the Tah Dahs on there, as well as a lot of other stuff that you won't hear anywhere else in the metroplex. Give it a listen if you can remember how to work your radio dial.


Slow night tonight

There is no It List for tonight. Thats ok. Its Sunday, the Lord's day of rest... so maybe thats what we should do. Rest. But we're not going to. Instead, we're going to make a couple posts of interest later on tonight, including a band profile and our Mp3 blog roundup. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

One More Thing

For Denton on a Saturday night: Violent Squid and You Are the Universe, two interesting Denton experimental bands are playing a free improv show at J+Js on the Square. I believe it starts at 10pm. Violent Squid sounds like Jandek one minute and Magnetic Fields the next, while You are the Universe sounds like, um, I don't know. Listen for yourself.

The It List: Saturday 2/11/6

1. Fishboy/ Voot Cha Index (Rubber Gloves Denton): Both of these bands played for free today at Good Records, but if you're reading this and you didn't see them already, then you're outta luck. Voot Cha Index plays a cool sort of space pop thats worth giving a listen, while Fishboy is like a non retarded Daniel Johnston, which is a good thing since being retarded would suck.

2. Red Monroe (Club Clearview): Ok ok, I guess every fly-over city in the United States needs their own local Strokes these days, and the Valentines are ours. They aren't particularly bad or anything and they write catchy songs, its just that we've heard them all before... being played by other bands that is. Needless to say, this means that the Valentines have a better chance of being big than most of the bands in Dallas right now. Red Monroe, a band we like quite a bit, is opening for them along with What Made Milwaukee Famous (pretty average) and the infamous Belafonte (you know what we think of them).

3. Lollipop Shop (Avenue Arts 825 Exposition Dallas): Cute girls and art kids and hipsters dancing to soul, garage, psyche and other 60's stuff. Five bucks, BYOB, starts at 10 and goes until after 2. Probably the best place to meet a new friend tonight if you dress cool.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Saturday's It List: The Early Edition

Seeing as how we didn't have anything for you tonight and the Good Records thing starts early tomorrow (we usually don't leave the house on Saturdays until several hours after this thing starts), we decided to go ahead and give you the lineup right now. There will be free food and beer if you're 21.... and they check ids, kids- not to mention to superegos (paging Dr. Freud). This is the Good Records Birthday/store moving party, by the way.

11am: Voot Cha Index (UPDATE: Actually some pretty decent noise pop stuff. Probably worth checking out if you can get up in time)
noon: Fishboy (pretty good)
1pm: The Theater Fire (yes!)
2pm: Deathray Davies (whateva)
2:30pm: Salim Nourallah (actually pretty good, despite what we expected)
3pm: Astronautilus (who?)
4pm: Record Hop (fun)
5pm: Daryl (don't know, don't care)
6pm: Jetscreamer (never heard)
7pm: Baboon (have heard good things about their new stuff)

Then the store will close at 10. Forever. Until they open again on Greenville next week. Really this is the best record store in Dallas, so we have to give props. Looking forward to exploring their new, much bigger location.

Boring: It List Tonight Friday 2/10/06

This really is a first for us. Friday night and nothin doin'. There are shows all over the place tonight, just like every Friday night, but nothing that really stands out to us. This means that you should go to house parties, or stay home, or do whatever it is you do. We're going to do whatever it is WE do. Feel free to post your events in the comments section, or to tell us how crappy we are for not including such and such a show on our list. Power to the people!

Wall of Sound Tickets on Sale Today

So call us Mr. Butterfingers or whatever because we just recently learned about the massive Wall of Sound event taking place in Fort Worth on Saturday April 8th and Sunday April 9th. Some of the highlights include Low, Starlight Mints, Okkervil River and the Black Angels, as well as pretty much every good local band you can think of. The festival certainly will be one of the biggest musical events in DFWD this year, so you should probably be seen there. Tickets go on sale today in like an hour.

Wall of Sound Festival website

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Band Profile: Shiny Around the Edges

So we wanted to tip you off on a good Denton band we started listening to recently. As we've said before, one of the things that separates bands that might get national attention (even if its only in the indie community) from those that are destined to play Mondays at Club Clearview forever is the quality of their vocals. Local bands just looking to have some fun can get away with having an average (or below average) lead singer and still be able to get girlfriends or whatever, but bands that have bigger aspirations have to get their shit together on vocals. Shiny Around the Edges has accomplished this goal, and they have the songwriting chops and unique artistic vision to properly back their two excellent singers, who also happen to be the only two people in the band.

SATE has been together for about four years, and both members share songwriting, singing and arrangement duties. They've released two limited edition Eps, a DVR, and have contributed songs to a number of different compilations. Most of the band's music is quite minimal and has an ambient and atmospheric quality that will remind you of Brian Eno, Castanets, Swans, Six Organs of Admittance, and maybe some of the early experiments of Sonic Youth. The sounds that you'll hear on some of their tracks are "noise" by definition, but its very controlled and quiet, allowing their vocals and songwriting skills to take center stage. Male vocalist Michael sounds a little like Leonard Cohen and Michael Gira, and female vocalist Jennifer seems to channel Massive Attack and a pinch of Stereolab. The band throws all of these influences in a blender along with some front porch folk, striking a proper balance with the drone minimalism that sets the emotional tone for their music. The result is a sound that is challenging yet perfectly accessible, poppy in a sense yet strange enough to strike a chord. Its like art school without the art students.

Some MP3s if you please:

"In the Heart" Link

"Waiting for the Night" Link

It List Thursday 2/9/06 and the MP3 Round Up

Kind of a slow Thursday night here in big D. Hopefully the weekend will be better. This weekend, and every other weekend starting now, we're going to do what we like to call the "Weekly MP3 Blog Round Up." I guess by now you realize that there are about 8 million blogs out there telling you to "Check out this new so and so from wherever that sound like this and that," and sometimes they're right on. However, a lot of the time they can fuck right off, especially if they try to tell you that Arctic Monkeys are the new Oasis, or that The Subways are the new Arctic Monkeys. I can't believe I typed the name "Arctic Monkeys" twice (three times) in one paragraph. Moving on, we'll sort through the shit for you and post the mp3 links that are actually good along with a link to the sites we got them from. With 8 million blogs talking about three of four new bands a day per blog, thats a lot of overhyped crap that you won't have to sort through because we'll do it for you. And you know our taste is better than yours anyway. So here we go, it list time:

1. Dj G 80's Night @ Hailey's: We've talked about this enough. If you need details you can email us.

2. Mile End with Dj Laureen (Fallout Lounge): Same applies here.

If you know of anything else going on tonight that might be worth the time and trouble of the upwardly mobile demographic that reads this blog, feel free to post about it in the comments.

JR- weshotjr@yahoo.com

More to Come

Just to let everyone know, coming up in the next few days we'll have a couple profiles of local bands that you may or may not have heard of, some new local and national Mp3s, and 7 1/2 questions with the Undoing of David Wright.
And if you're lucky, some free love on the free love freeway.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The It List Wed. 2/8/6

1. The Party w/ DJ Nature (Rubber Gloves- Denton): The party is growing on Wednesday nights, so you should go drink cheap beer and dance to such a wide variety of good music that we can't even describe it.

2. 80's Night w/ DJ G (The Cavern): 80's dance, house, synth, new wave, whatever you want to call it.

Of Montreal @ the Granada

Of Montreal put on a pretty good show tonight, even if it did happen to start at fucking 10:15, which caused us to miss a few songs. The set was more or less tight, and the band played with a good deal of energy to a pretty packed Granada crowd full of kids jumping around and dancing to all the hits from the two most recent records, along with some older types sitting around talking about stocks or something.

However, despite the fact that the band really didn't do anything wrong, the show was less than great. I believe this is mainly due to the fact that the Granada is just not a great place to see a concert. For one you can't smoke, which annoys us beyond words (although we are aware that some of you jerks might actually enjoy smoke free environments). And more importantly, the sound quality in the main room just isn't that great . We don't know much about sound waves and acoustics and all that, but something about the Granada's main room just kills the sound of live music and makes everything come out all compressed and flat. There is usually a lot going on in Of Montreal songs, but we really couldn't enjoy much of it since most of the time we just couldn't differentiate between sounds. Granada is a pretty cool theater in a great location, and everything probably sounded fantastic up close. But those of us that got there late and had to stand in the back really couldn't hear anything very well. Maybe it was the band and we just don't know it, but we've noticed this a few times at the Granada and we have decided to blame the room. Perhaps you know more and can explain to us why we're wrong. Or maybe you heard a different show all together tonight, and think we have cotton stuck in our ears. Let us know in the comments if thats the case. But for now we're going to be grumpy about the Granada, at least until they let us smoke inside.

JR- Weshotjr@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The It List Tuesday 2/7/06

1. Of Montreal (Granada): One of the great second generation Elephant 6 bands. Enough said.

2. Lost Generation w/ DJ Mwanza (Cavern): After the Of Montreal show, stop by the Cavern for a night cap. Mwanza is out of town, but I'm sure he got someone good to fill in for him.

See you at the Granada.

Why We Fight

First, we want to say sorry to the person that emailed us about not being able to get in to the "Why We Fight" screening because some sort of special pass was required and the event appeared to be sold out. Not sure what the deal on the "pass" thing was, but the theater did appear full. Guess we need to do a little more homework next time.

And you really shouldn't worry about it anyway because those that didn't see the movie tonight will surely get to in the weeks and months to come. We know this for sure because there is no way that Why We Fight will not be immensely popular. It was one of the absolute BEST political documentaries we have seen in YEARS, and we've pretty much seen em all. But JR, you're a loud mouth liberal pussy communist, aren't you? Yes, I am. But this is no Michael Moore movie.

Basically, the film revolves around Eisenhower's farewell address in which he discussed the (then) new formation of a "military-industrial complex" in the United States and its dangerous potential in a representative democracy. The film spends most of the time explaining in a level headed and clear way how Eisenhower's vision has rapidly become reality, culminating in the Bush presidency and the neoconservative philosophy that guides it, and seen most clearly in the lead up to and execution of the war in Iraq. If you don't have any clue what I'm talking about, then you should go see this movie ASAP. If you do, then you are probably excited because you know that there hasn't yet been a good documentary film covering this subject in a reasonable and informative manner. Until now.

And for all you republicans, conservative thinkers are featured just about as much as liberals in the film, and NO democratic politicians are interviewed at all while both John McCain and Richard Perle are featured throughout. Its a pretty balanced look, even though you will leave the film knowing that the filmmaker doesn't think much of George W. Bush. But that doesn't mean that he is a partisan, it just means that he has half a brain.

Go see this. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Co-Op Pub: Why Can't Dallas be Next

So all the hippies in Austin can get pretty annoying, but sometimes they come up with some good ideas like this one for a community owned pub. Um, why can't this happen in Dallas? I'm sure 100 people with 100 dollars could be found in our little music community. Sell good beer, rent out some shitty place in a shitty part of town, put on shows and Dj nights there.... and bam! You've got the next hot spot. Or maybe we just don't understand business.

It List for Monday 2/6/06

1. Eugene Jarecki's Why We Fight (film screening @ the Angelika): Starting at 7pm, a screening of Jarecki's new award winning documentary about the US military industrial complex and its implications on foreign policy, with a director q and a session to follow. No its not a music event, but if music is the only thing you care about then you are dumb. Here is more info and a preview of the film.

2. Good Records Good Mornings with Dj CEE PEE (Cavern): Playing all the new indie releases for your ass.

The Veldt Get Screwed

This is a repost of a Myspace message that we got today. I believe that this is the same band that was charged for DMF tickets that THEY were supposed to sell for an event that they weren't being paid to play at. And if the fact that the entire festival was about as cool as Fred Durst's movie collection didn't leave a bad enough taste in your mouth... The Veldt had their instruments stolen from them. Something tells me that the organizers of this "festival" aren't going to feel that they are in any way legally responsible for this... So the next time this shit train comes to town, lets all make sure that no one jumps on board. At least no one we like.



Sunday, February 05, 2006

FREE Surprise Strange Boys show @ Doublewide tonight

Someone associated with the Doublewide emailed us to tell us that there would be a free Strange Boys surprise show at Doublewide tonight at 11pm. Um, its free, so you should go after the big game.

It List for Sunday 1/5/07

Hmm, not much going on tonight other than Wild in the Streets at Haileys, where they play mod, garage, soul, and other 60's stuff. I heard that there is some kind of sporting event going on tonight on the television.

The Full Bestest List and also rans

So for the love of god we're finally done with all these damn record reviews for 2005. We never realized how difficult it is to talk about music that you love... but it is, and we hope that you have mostly enjoyed our thoughts on some of our favorite new music. Anyway, here is a full list of the albums we reviewed and the links to the original reviews, as well as some other records we liked this year that didn't quite make the cut. Oh, and for some reason our #1 post about Caribou was published down the page a little bit, so scroll down or just click the link to take a look.

1. Caribou: Milk of Human Kindness Review
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: s/t Review
2. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary Review
3. Animal Collective: Feels Review
4. The Clientele: Strange Geometry Review
5. Spoon: Gimme Fiction Review
6. Deerhoof: The Runners Four Review
7. Serena Maneesh: s/t Review
8. Broadcast: Tender Buttons Review
9. Mahjongg: Raydoncong Review
10. LCD Soundsystem: s/t Review

Some other records we liked, in mostly alphabetical order:

Akron/Family: s/t AND split w/ Angels of Light (These both would have been on the list if we hadn't got into them so late in the year. Groundbreaking stuff.)

Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production of Eggs

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Worn Copy

Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (we know, you're like SO over these guys)

The Boy Least Likely To: The Best Party Ever

Broken Social Scene: s/t

Castanets: First Light's Freeze

Clor: s/t

CocoRosie: Noah's Ark

Dead Meadow: Feathers

Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom: The Days of Mars

Devendra Banhart: Cripple Crow (good, but not as strong as the last two)

The Double: Loose in the Air

Doves: Some Cities

Dungen: Ta Det Lungt (actually came out in 2004, but we listened to it all this year too)

Engineers: s/t

Four Tet: Everything Ecstatic

Gang Gang Dance: God's Money

Jens Lekman: Oh you're so silent Jens

Jose Gonzalez: Veneer (probably would have made the top ten but we got into kinda late)

The Joggers: With a Cape and a Cane

The Juan MacLean: Less than Human

Konono No. 1: Congotronics

Koushik: Be With

MIA: Arular

Maximo Park: A Certain Trigger

The National: Alligator

Of Montreal: The Sunlandic Twins

Old Time Relijun: 2012

Oneida: The Wedding

Out Hud: Let Us Never Speak of This Again

The Ponys: Celebration Castle

Rogue Wave: Descended Like Vultures

Russian Futurists: Our Thickness

Sigur Ros: Takk

Six Organs of Admittance: School of the Flower

Skeletons and the Girl Faced Boys: Git

Super Furry Animals: Love Kraft

Tapes N' Tapes: The Loon

The Warlocks: Surgery

We Are Wolves: Non Stop Je te Plie en Deux

Strange Boys @ Avenue Arts Last Night

A good set from the boys last night and a great crowd. Although the sound system at Avenue Arts sometimes leaves something to be desired in the mixing and volume departments, Strange Boys used it to its fullest potential last night as they played both new and old songs. One song in particular really kicked my ass, about mid way through the set, but I'm not sure of the name. Lots of stops and starts and build ups always seem to result in a good live show, don't they? In this world of a million genres, Strange Boys just seem like a good ROCK band. Whatever that means.

We were able to stick around for some of DJ G's set after the strange boys, and it was fanfuckingtastic. A really great mix of obscure disco, house, and just a bunch of cool dance floor tracks that we've never heard before and aren't really sure what to call... except awesome. The packed room full of people shaking their shit also helped. And although we had to leave to stop by a friend's birthday party, we came back around three and people were still going at it. All in all, it was probably the best Dallas party that we've been to so far this year. Good stuff.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The It List: Saturday 2/4/6

Lots of stuff to do tonight. Here we go:

1. Strange Boys (Avenue Arts- 825 Exposition): If you haven't had a chance to see the Strange Boys live yet, this might be a good opportunity to do so, being a small non traditional venue. They go on at 11:30 in the middle of some kind of party hosted by the Melissas (who might they be?) and also featuring a set from DJ G of Wednesday night at the Cavern and Thursday at Hailey's fame. For more info call 214-827-0351. Its usually 5 dollars to get in and always BYOB.

2. Shiny Around the Edges/Evangelicals/Hotel Hotel (Rubber Gloves- Denton): We can't believe we missed SATE last night. Its mostly because we didn't hear them until today. Great experimental folk that reminds us of the Castanets covering Leonard Cohen and Massive Attack songs. Also Hotel Hotel are an interesting experimental instrumental band from Austin, and the Evangelicals do some solid spacey-twee pop. All are more than worth checking out. Click on their names for a link to their respective Myspace pages.

3. The Hourly Radio (Cavern Adventure Club Showcase): Yes the Edge sucks, and yes even the Adventure Club sucks a lot of the time. Do we REALLY have to hear the new fucking Deathcab for Stupid cover of blah blah blah? The answer is no, but you might want to say yes to Hourly Radio. They do some pretty solid Echo influenced Brit pop.

4. Dj Nitwit Psychic Drive In (Fallout): Before or after the Strange Boys show, you should check out some good music and interesting videos next door at Fallout. Always a good place to relax on a Saturday evening.

Bosque Brown @ Untitled 1518

First of all, people all over DFW and especially Tarrant County will probably keep hearing about the Metrognome Collective and Untitled 1518 again and again this year, and for good reason. Not only is the space fantastic, but the organizers have ambitious plans to make it one of the centers for art and music in DFW. The 11,000 square foot space is huge, with room after room being renovated in order to house artist studios, concert spaces, film screening rooms, band practice spaces, and a place for lectures and community meetings. Not only will they have all of these things going on at the space, but they will also be releasing a quarterly journal to document all that they do over there, in addition to hosting semi regular open houses to showcase artist works and host concerts on site, which we are also told will eventually be completely green powered with solar energy and other environmentally friendly energy sources. The space isn't close to being finished yet, but when it is it will certainly be impressive.

And the concert space is great. Its probably a little bigger than the Tea Room, and has a big enough stage and strong enough p.a. system to accommodate just about any band that would want to play there. It also has a comfortable and inviting design that only these kinds of unique spaces can provide. Organizer James Watkins is a really nice guy that not only has a genuine interest in developing an artistic and musical community in Fort Worth, but also seems to have the business know-how to get things done, which is something that is often sorely lacking in such endeavors. This means that the place has a great chance of getting off the ground and really going somewhere. We hope it does.

As for the show, Bosque Brown was less than amazing, and had some early sound problems that caused a pretty long delay before their set began. They also seem like they simply haven't been playing music together all that long, which obviously is unavoidable for relatively new local bands. However they are unquestionably talented, and lead vocalist Mara Lee Miller has "Indie star" written all over her. Her vocals were terrific, and her stage presence was compelling.

Overall a fun night in Fort Worth, and one that seemed to be a preview of what might end up being a regular stop for bands, indie kids, and this website.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Bestest of 2005: Caribou- The Milk of Human Kindness

I bet you probably thought #1 was going to be Sufjan Stevens or that Antony guy, didn't you?That isn't entirely unreasonable given that you probably haven't read very many year end lists that put this album at or near the top (lord knows you've had the chance to read every one of them, this being February 5th and all), or very many that DIDN'T include one or both of those albums. And if we were basing our judgment on this record and this record alone, we might not have put it so high up on the list, even though it surely would have cracked the top ten. However, when we include the band's Marino DVD and Audio, also released this year, along with the two Caribou live performances we caught in 2005, they all add up to 2005's most inspiring and important package of music with a damn good record as a centerpiece.

Wait, thats not fair is it? To judge all the other records on their own merits while factoring in live shows and videos and a whole other CD with this release? Ok Ok. Even if you take away the excellent Marino Audio AND the live performances, we would still put this record at #1 on our list as long as we get to keep the Marino DVD videos, which are mostly original video pieces produced to play along with the songs on this record anyway. The reason we must insist on this course of action is that Caribou truly is a multimedia group that thrives on the ability to warp your mind with sights AND songs. Just check out one of their trance inducing live performances and you'll understand: Dan Snaith and the rest of the band take a backseat to the music as well as the videos, all of which are collected on Marino and displayed on a large screen during their shows. Get lost in the videos for a few minutes and you'll forget that the guys are even there, playing live in front of you. The interesting part is that aside from the live drums, they probably don't even have to be.

The closest reference points to describe this band would probably be the Silver Apples and Can, although Eno and even the Super Furry Animals (whom they opened for this year) also come to mind. Opener "Yeti" starts off as quiet synth pop and stays that way until about half way through when the drums kick in and everything explodes. Really, if you haven't heard Caribou yet, just listen to this song and you'll probably be sold entirely. If not, you can move on to the blues of Velvet Undergoundy "Bees," or the machine gun percussion of "Brahminy Kite," which is probably the most Silver Apples sounding track on the record. If none of that pleases you, you're probably dead... but you can check for signs of life by listening to the insanely intense build up of "A Final Warning," where bouncy beats and prog rock keyboards turn into third world percussion breakdowns and noise right before your very ears.

And right before your very eyes, if you're watching the Marino DVD, you'll also see a tense peak in "A Final Warning," which seems to be the centerpiece of a loose conglomerate of videos that all revolve around some kind of concept involving an alien and some guy doing, um, something. Even though its hard to follow the storyline of these videos, they really are a terrific companion to the songs on this record, as well as a few of the older songs released under the band's former moniker Manitoba. Most of the videos are animation or some combination of animation and film that leave you with a feeling of happiness mixed with a slight, vague paranoia that is usually induced by certain psychedelic drugs that you may or may not have done in your past or present. And although the best way to experience Caribou is their live performance with two drummers, the videos, and the music at once; the Marino DVD and Milk of Human Kindness record will do just fine until the next time they come to town. And again, its not that the record isn't incredible on its own. It is. Its just that we felt the need to tell you about all the parts of our 2005 experience with Caribou, since they all had something to do with making this record and this band our new favorites.

ATTN Bands: If you don't have a place to play

Blow one up yourself, bitch. Heres how.

The It List: Friday 2/3/06

Busy night tonight, so here we go.

1. Bosque Brown (Metrognome Collective's Untitled 1518- Fort Worth): We wrote about this yesterday(scroll down, lazy ass), and this is probably where we'll be tonight. Looks like a really cool space run by some cool kids, not to mention the fact that they were able to land one of the DFWD "buzz" bands for their first show. Its located at 1518 Lancaster in Fort Worth, and you can get directions and more information here. Should be interesting to see how they do it over in Ft. Worth tonight. We'll try to find out the times for you and add them on to the list later today. (the above photo is of their space, which is now much more finished according to our friend over there.)

(HERE IS AN UPDATE, with DIRECTIONS and STUFF: "A Childlike Fear will go on around 10:00, Shiny around 11:15, and BB at 12:30 or so. it is all ages, and BYOB. Cover is $5 and will be split between the NFP and the bands." AND:

Dallas: are you coming out I-30 from dallas? if so, exit riverside, turn left, go under the fwy and take a right at the light, which should be Lancaster. pass under hwy 287, and the collective building will be about two blocks down on the left.

Denton: If you are coming down 35 from denton exit 30 east towards dallas and take the first exit for 180/Lancaster West, before you actually get on 30. that will split into three little ramps, take the first one around, and you will come out on lancaster heading toward downtown. it is a half block down on the left

The building is in between cypress and pine, with a large, tall hexagon shaped blank sign; and across the street from Andy's orange motorcycle shop. there is a large penner and cheney paint company sign painted on the building next door. turn in the gate on the right of the building if there is any parking left in the back and come in through the back entrance. we are woking on the front part of the building, eventually everyone will park across the street and come in through the front door into the gallery. ")

1. (Tie) Undoing of David Wright, Zom Zoms, Eat Avery's Bones (Rubber Gloves Denton): This is our first official It List tie because although we really want to go check out the space in Fort Worth, we also wish we could be in Denton to see two local bands we like, along with another interesting group from Austin. The crowd will probably be great, and I'm sure there will be some good after parties and whatever going on in little d after this show, so theres no reason not to go to this. Not to mention the show will be great. Stop by early to check out Eat Avery's Bones.

3. Octopus Project (Hailey's- Denton): A great Austin instrumental band. Check out their Myspace page and see for yourself. Sort of reminds us of DJ Shadow for some reason.

4. Up! at the Cavern: A pretty good eclectic selection of music for those in Dallas that don't feel like driving to a show. Usually a pretty good time.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Holy Cow...town

So, a gentleman by the name of James Watkins sent us an email to turn us on to some new shit going down in Ft. Worth. Yes, that Ft. Worth. We told James that we really hadn't ever hung out there, and didn't know much about our neighbor to the west... but we really like the sound of what he's saying. Here is part of his email to us:

"in a nutshell, Aaron Bartz, several other artists, musicians, and myself have joined forces to try to put some zing into Cowtown. We are putting together a DIY non-profit community arts and performance space, the Metrognome Collective. We are in partnership with the not-for-profit that runs Untitled #1518, an 11,000 sf warehouse in the mission district on Lancaster that rents out studio space to artists and musicians for $0.50 per square foot per month. Our organization is currently subleasing a 2500 sf room in the building. We built a 16'x20' stage, we are wiring a nice sound system, and soon we will be trying to get a video projector and some lights. We are also working on our website and a couple of press releases"

Hmmm... interesting. So far so good. Next, he tells us this:

"Our first show is tomorrow night, Bosque Brown and Shiny Around the Edges are playing, and Zest of Yore is playing on Saturday. Over the next month, we plan to finish out another 800 sf room to make a gallery space for visual artists. We are planning to open the gallery for Fort Worth Gallery night April 1, and we are on the tour bus route for that. We are also in production on our first quarterly arts journal that will profile DFWD Artists, Musicians, Filmmakers and Writers, and we plan in the next few months to start doing regular independent, student and experimental film screenings, writers workshops, and instructional workshops for artists on getting grants, promotions, agents, booking, and all of the industry skills necessary to make the difficult transition into being full-time artists."

Yes, their first show is with Bosque Brown tomorrow night at what looks like a really cool space. I think we're gonna stop by and say hello tomorrow night. Its nice to see this going on in Ft. Worth. We're also looking forward to the art and film things. This is the kind of shit that will make DFW a place for good music again. Cheers, guys. Oh, heres their Myspace page if you want more information, like their address and stuff. We'll post more in tomorrow's It list.

The It List Thursday 2/2/06

1. DJ G 80's Dance (Hailey's Denton): Go see this guy's set if you like 80's synth, house, etc. Good stuff.

2. DJ Wild In the Streets (Cavern Upstairs): 60's soul, pysche, garage, etc.

3. Dj Laureen's Mile End (Fallout): Brit pop, shoegaze, indie, screamo (Just kidding.)

Lots of different places to hear lots of different kinds of music tonight in the DF to da W. And didn't you hear, Thursday IS in fact the new Friday.

DJ G @ The Cavern and why Dallas does or does not suck

First things first, we stopped by the Cavern tonight to check out DJ G's set, and we've gotta say it was pretty goddamn solid. It is 80's music, but its not lame flashback cafe crap. In fact, we have never heard most of what he played before, and the stuff we had heard before was right on the money. Just really good dance synth new wavey house music that was a pleasure to listen to. And although the crowd was small, most of the people who were there were attractive, dancing their asses off, and seemed to be having a blast. Lets hope that the crowds get bigger, because this could be a pretty fun excuse to show up to work hung over on Thursday morning.

Also, theres a pretty good discussion about Dallas music going on in this here comment thread, and we were hoping that some other people would join in.

We'll give you our #1 album of 2005 some time tomorrow, along with some other stuff. CYA

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

IT List for Wednesday 2/1/06

1. The Party w/ DJ Nature (Rubber Gloves, Denton): As if the music he's playing isn't enough reason to check out this night, Nature will be passing out free mix CDs tonight, mostly consisting of stuff he's been playing on Wednesdays. Heres the track list:

1. Sex in the Kitchen - R.Kelly 0:52 2. Tiger in Harlem - Nick Dewitt 3:11 3. Welcome to Jamrock - Damian Marley 1:22 4. Still Tippin inst. - Mike Jones 0:37 5. Hater - Vars007 2:51 6. P's and Q's (diplo mix) – Kano 2:24 7. They Dont Know - Paul Wall 1:05 8. Idioteque – Radiohead 2:38 9. Back it up Boys – Peaches 1:50 10. Me So Horny - 2 Live Crew 2:12 11. Popuzuda Rock n' Roll - De Falla 1:46 12. Injecao - Deise Tigrona 1:57 13. Bucky dun Gun - M.I.A. 2:08 14. Bochecha Ardendo - Os K-rrascos & Vanessinha de Picatchu 3:00 15. Push It - Salt n Pepa 3:05 16. Shorty Swing My Way - Kp and Enyi 3:22 17. Rize to the Occasion – Sizzla 2:35 18. Nomad for Love – GangGangDance 2:04 19. Combustivel - Arto Lindsay 2:37 20. Dil Lena Khel Hai Dildar Ka - R.D. Burman 1:59 21. Galang 05 feat. Cham - M.I.A. 3:11 22. Random - Lady Sovereign 2:13 23. Hey Girl - Busy Signal 2:56 24. Notorious – Turbulence 2:19 25. Lucky You – Nanko 2:54 26. That Day Will Come - Capleton 0:54 27. Jah is Worthy - Chuck Fenda 1:14 28. Lonely Girl - Bosom X 1:38 29. Living in Love - I Wayne 3:47 30. Thanks and Praise - Fantan Mojah 2:12 31. No Ordinary Love – Allain 1:29 32. How Come - Morgan Heritage 0:51 33. Falling - Mr. Easy 0:45 34. Far From Reality - Natural Black 1:07 35. Never Gonna Be The Same - Sean Paul 1:30 36. Tears – TOK 1:29 37. Love Is - Jah Cure 3:43

Um, thats good party stuff.

2. 80s Night with DJ G (Cavern): So we hear that this isn't just some Tainted Love, Walkin' on Sunshine 80's night, but instead that early Chicago acid house, no wave, good new wave, and all different kinds of stuff gets played each week. Sounds good to us.

Dallas Podcasts

Yeah, um, we're just learning about this whole podcast thing. There happen to be three DFW based podcasts that have caught our attention as of late. And although we've only heard a little of all three of these things, we think they're pretty good and at least worthy of a listen or two. So, here they are with their websites. We plan on writing a review about each of their next episodes, and sharing our thoughts. Aren't we nice?

1. DConstruction: The most locally oriented of the three.
2. Indie Interviews
3. Dallas Does Indie

What do you guys think about them?

Bestest of 2005 #2: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah s/t

Whenever we hear someone say "dude, its all about the music, man," we kind of have to laugh a little bit. Since when has rock, especially "indie" rock, EVER been "all about the music?" In most cases, "it" has very little to do with the music, or at least has equally to do with style, time, place, press, marketing, and whatever else goes into our decisions to buy certain records and not buy others. Of course the music matters, it matters a lot, but so does the seemingly extraneous context in which a band gets a break, releases an album, or plays a show. Even if we don't realize it, things other than music affect whether and how much we like particular songs, bands and albums, and they do so to a greater degree than most musicians and critics are willing to admit. Can you tell me that Velvet Underground would be as famous as they are if they didn't hang around Andy Warhol at the Factory, or that Nirvana would have made it as big if they weren't from Seattle, or that you wouldn't have liked that Maximo Park show any less if you hadn't been on a hot date that night? Of course not.

Case in point this year was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. They self released their debut album, effectively sticking it to the man and sending a warm message to bands everywhere that they can spread the word and even make a little money these days without the support of ANY record label at all. Another significant thing CYHSY did was negotiate an unprecedented distribution deal directly with Warner Music's ADA distribution, the first of its kind that the company had ever done. Oh and another thing, this band got indie street cred faster than just about any other band in history. All the hipster blogs raved about them, the Williamsburg kids raved about them, Other Music ordered a bunch of CDs, Pitchfork gave them a 9.0 review, and the rest was history. Not to mention the fact that their sold out Gypsy Tea Room performance last fall was one of the most exciting concerts Dallas saw in 2005, even if the band was less than spectacular in its performance. So to put it mildly, this band had all the cards stacked in their favor a pretty long time before most people (even your hip ass) heard one note of their music. How were people not going to love them? And although the quality of the album warranted the hype, we couldn't help but speculate how much the hype machine influenced our love for this band, not to mention that of the mostly brainless Urban Outfitters army that embraced them with open arms. While its clear that all this excitement certainly influenced our experience with this record in some way, its also clear that the music might not have even needed the big push that it got, because it completely stands on its own.

If you forget the first song, you'll notice that this record flows seamlessly from one track to the next, even in places where the pace and feel of one song differs greatly from the next. "In This Home on Ice" was one of the best songs of 2005, recalling the Talking Heads and padding that sound with a burst of emotion and energy not unlike that heard in most songs performed by their other closest reference point, Neutral Milk Hotel. "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" was also one of the best songs of 2005, and featured what was probably one of the year's best bass lines. All throughout the album, manic vocals and cryptic lyrics met with tight instrumentation and melancholy pop hooks that always seemed to counter the band's darker aspects with a sense of joy that added even another layer to the record's complexity. And although all the other blogs said pretty much the same thing, we really did hear it too, and we really did like it just as much. Not to mention the fact that, as discussed above, the band was as good of a story as it was a listen, making the whole thing a little more exciting. Context does matter, and these guys were in the middle of a quite fortuitous set of circumstances. But the record convinced us not to be so cynical, and that indie hype might still, after all, only come as the result of a band being pretty damn good to begin with. Heres to hoping that its at least "kind of about the music, dude."