Friday, March 31, 2006

It List: Friday 3/31/06

We do happen to like some of what Franz Ferdinand does, but we refuse to mention their show with Death Cab for Shitty tonight. Well, I guess we just did. But only to say that Death Cab is about as exciting as watching paint dry, and we can't understand what people see in them, even if it is mostly 14 year old girls and yuppies that like em..... however, there isn't a WHOLE lot going on tonight, so get in where you fit in:

1. Yellow House Party (Denton): We forget the address, but its right near the corner of Mulberry and Fry St. across from UNT (next to where Rick's Place used to be). A couple bands will be playing tonight (we don't know who yet other than the Lord Henry, so check back later for the full line up), and then flashlight party will be playing some good dance music for yins to finish off the nigth. Should be the shit. Its FREE, Its BYOB, its cramped, its hot, and its a great house party. Thats all.

2. Strange Boys (UTD Radio Party, UTD campus): Run on up to Richardson to visit our new friends at Radio UTD as they host the UTD internet radio showcase. Blackheart Society and Johnny Blackmouth will also play. Johnny Blackmouth sounds pretty damn good from what we hear on their Myspace page, so you might want to show up around 8 or 830 to catch them. Really, give them a listen. They're pretty interesting, which means they don't sound like they are from Dallas.

Oh, and don't forget, The Shapes are at the Cavern tonight with The beatdown and a band called the Dark Skies, which, um, doesn't sound very good. But what can you do?

Beauty and the Beast Vol. 1

Someone in one of the comment threads on this site used the term "new weird Denton" recently to describe, well....something. Dare I say a "scene?" Even if I don't dare, I can tell you that the most interesting rock in North Texas is being played in Denton right now, and Beauty and the Beast vol 1, a self described "free folk/noise festival" taking place on July 1st at Rubber Gloves, is collecting many of the better Denton bands for a day of performances. So far, the fest is scheduled to feature Fra Pandolf, Hotel Hotel, You Are the Universe, Shiny Around the Edges, iDi* amin and Notes From Underground. Should be a pretty interesting day (or night). We don't really have any more information on it right now, but go be Myspace friends with these people and learn more about it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It List: Thursday 3/30/06

Some good stuff to do tonight (don't have time to figure out all these links, but check back after five and I'll have them):

1. The Alexander/Fra Pandolf/Knee Pad (Darkside Lounge): Fra Pandolf were one of the winners of the "Best New Band Award" here at We Shot J.R. Go see what the minor buzz is about.

2. Metrognome Collective (Fort Worth): Stumptone/The Harpeth Trace/ Shiny Around the Edges: Shiny Around The Edges is really one of the best bands in Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton right now. Go see this. Its at a great venue, and its five bucks.

3. IDI* Amin/ Unconscious Collective (J & J's Pizza): This one is FREE. IDI* Amin is one of the interesting experimental noise bands out in Denton these days, and Unconscious Collective is a free jazz/punk/freak out thing featuring former Sanctuary Studios resident Aaron Gonzalez. Should be a good one.

4. Hip Hop Night (Slip Inn) Yes it sounds lame, but no, it really isn't. And although we called it "old school" last week, someone suggested that it wasn't old or new but middle school. Fifth grade like junior high. I really hate the fucking Bloodhound Gang. But really, you WILL have fun at the Slip Inn tonight.

When Dinosaurs roamed the earth

Its about 14 hours after the Dinosaur Jr. show at Gypsy, and I'm just now recovering from thoroughly getting my ass kicked. What a fucking show. It was easily the best concert I've been to all year, which is sort of sad when you consider the fact that J Mascis looks like a roadie for Country Joe and the Fish these days (even though Lou Barlow looks about, um, 25.) But aesthetics aside, Mascis and company were somehow able to mostly transcend 90's nostalgia (which will probably be trendy in a couple years) and put on a show that seemed about as relevant and timely as possible for a band that hasn't put out any new music in almost a decade.

They stuck to early, Barlow era Dinosaur material, playing all the hits ("Freak Scene," "The Wagon," etc.) and some rare gems that I didn't expect. The sound was tight, loud, and powerful, and Mascis was as flawless and inspiring on guitar as I imagined he possibly could be, not to mention the fact that Barlow played really well and Murph completely rocked the place on drums. Like I said yesterday, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this show. Would it feel like a "Greatest Hits" tour, something that was a tad out of step with times, worth seeing only for the memories that you associate with the band's past glory? It easily could have been, but it wasn't. At all. Sure, the songs they played were all more than fifteen years old, and yes, a lot of really crappy bands that have emerged since that time have taken little pieces of the Dinosaur sound and turned it into, well, crap. But that didn't matter one bit to me and the slightly too old for a rock concert crowd. It also didn't seem to matter to the surprising number of younger people there (as in uncer 21), proving that the kids have slightly better taste than they are normally given credit for. Dinosaur's songs are big and sprawling, sloppy and massive, and have pretty much nothing to do with the 80's retro post-punk thing that is getting too old to even mention these days. It was refreshing to hear these songs again, and even more refreshing to be reminded that I still like them, and that there still aren't very many bands on the "indie" circuit that can hold a fucking candle to these guys.

I think this was probably the one and only chance I will ever get to see these guys play live, and I am thrilled that I shelled out the 20 bucks to do so. Anyone that went to that Jenny Lewis show instead made a HUGE mistake.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It List: Wed. 3/29/06

What the hell did you think was gonna be on this list today anyway? Even though I probably don't need to tell you, a fully reunited Dinosaur Jr. will be playing the Gypsy Tea Room Ballroom tonight. We're really excited, as Dino was one of our favorite bands back in the diz. But we're also a little unsure of what to expect, seeing as how J Mascis is completely gray these days, not to mention the fact that Mascis and Lou Barlow pretty much NEVER got along at any point in the band's existence. How long can they stay together this time? Doors are at 7, but you can wait until after the first band is done (they suck) and show up for Dead Meadow around 830 or 9.

If you live in denton and/or aren't feeling the Dinosaur thing, you can go to the Party with Dj Nature at Rubber Gloves. Dentonites that are going to the show tonight will probably have more than enough time to stop by Rubber Gloves for a nightcap on the way home.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blackheart Society: Believe

Reviewing local music can make you sound like a broken record sometimes. We find ourselves using variations of the word "potential" to describe a lot of local bands, and we often wonder how useful it is to tell you that a band "could be good if (blank)," or that another band sounds like they "might be really great some day if they did such and such." Of course a mediocre band could be really good some day, and of course certain bands would be better if they made such and such improvements. That is obvious. But in order to be fair, we feel the need to differentiate between a band that just flat out sucks and one that isn't great right now but, um, has potential. We also recognize, however, that there is a great deal of variation in the level of quality amongst bands in the latter category, and those differences must be pointed out too if a record review is really going to be useful to anyone. Some of these bands seem to be headed in the right direction, while some are clearly headed in the wrong direction despite being good musicians or interesting songwriters or whatever. Others don't seem to know exactly where they are headed, which makes it hard for us to figure out where we stand.

Blackheart Society appears to be a band in that third category. Believe, their first release, has all the markings of a new band still trying to find its sound: genres are hopped, influences are clear, and the songwriting is subpar in spots. However, Blackheart Society is also a band that, um, could be really good at what they do once they figure out what it is they want to do. Instruments are played well, production choices are mature, a few of the songs are damn catchy, and the singing is quite good most of the time. In fact, Believe is actually pretty strong in many spots, especially for a first ep, even if it does falter in several respects.

There isn't anything too revolutionary about what Blackheart Society does. You'll hear The Cure, Neil Young, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Stones and the Beatles pretty clearly upon first listen, and you'll probably be impressed with opener "Big Scar," which is surely the strongest track on the ep. "Big Scar" is a good example of the kind of song that Blackheart Society sounds most comfortable playing: concise, poppy, country influenced folk rock with a touch of 60's psychedelic. However, things come close to falling apart on songs like "Say You Want Me," where the band drags on for too long with just one idea, and on "Why Song of 89," which starts off with a dark new wave verse that turns into an unnecessary shout-along chorus that seems terribly out of place on the track. Aside from some cliche and sometimes cringeworthy lyrics, the main problem here seems to be that the band is hoping to be everything to everyone in their attempt to mix and match some of the more popular sounds of rock history. This creates an uneven vibe throughout the ep in which you don't know what you're going to hear next... but are afraid that you might not like it when you do.

But fear not, because its not all doom and gloom. Along with "Big Scar," "Whiskey Railroad" is a truly catchy and well written country pop song that will certainly standout during live performances, and "The Ballad of King George" showcases the band's ability to harmonize (although I can't tell who is actually singing) and branch out soundwise without moving too far from what they are good at. Salim Nourallah's production is also quite strong throughout, showing not only his talents but also the band's good taste in their approach to recording. And again, Ben Flemming is obviously a solid lead singer with good range, which immediately sets the band apart from many other locals, even though he still has some work to do as a lyricist.

Believe is truly a mixed bag, and while it falls short of being something that we would completely recommend, it also has enough strong moments to avoid being something that we would tell you to stay away from. In fact, we can't really figure out what to tell you aside from the obvious: Blackheart Society is new band, and they probably have enough talent to start becoming a good band. But Believe has its share of problems that make it unclear as to where this band is heading next.

It List: Tuesday 3/28/06

So who is this Wanz Dover, the winner of the J.R. Award for Best Local DJ and the frontman of Mazinga Phaser II, winner of Best Experimental Group? Well, thats a picture of him on the left. And, if you want to hear him in action, you can head to the Cavern upstairs tonight for the Lost Generation, where all kinds of good shit will be played. Tonight Wanz will be doing a special tribute to the recently deceased Nikki Sudden, former member of the all important post punk band Swell Maps. For the kids out there- Swell Maps were a big influence on Pavement and countless other bands, but are also really fun to listen to on their own. I'm sure Wanz will also be playing some of his normal stuff there, which includes Kraut, shoegaze, indie, and everything else under the cooler-than-you sun.

J.R. Awards: Time to Count Those Votes!

As promised, here are the rest of the J.R. Award results. One funny thing to note: The Cavern is apparently the third BEST venue in town, but is simultaneously the WORST venue in town. You picked em, not us.

BEST VENUE: DOUBLEWIDE (2. Rubber Gloves; 3. The Cavern)

WORST BAND: BELAFONTE (2. Black Tie Dynasty; 3. Strangleweed)



BEST DJ: WANZ DOVER (2. Wild in the Streets; 3. DJ Nature)

BEST EXPERIMENTAL: MAZINGA PHASER II (2. Undoing of David Wright; 3. Silk Stockings)

Now we don't know which bands voted for themselves a bunch of times and blah blah blah, but theres nothing we can do about it anyway. So there you have it. We'll do this again in December as well.

Last Week's Radio UTD Chart

Our new friends at Radio UTD have sent us their CMJ playlist chart, which is based on total airplay by all DJs on the station in a given week. This is last week's chart:

1. Liars - Drum's Not Dead
2. Talkdemonic - Beat Romantic
3. Metal Hearts - Socialize
4. Calexico - Garden Ruin
5. Centro-matic - Fort Recovery
6. The Boy Least Likely To - The Best Party Ever
7. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Etiquette
8. Mogwai - Mr. Beast
9. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
10. Hotel Lights - Hotel Lights
11. Nightmares on Wax - In a Space Outta Sound
12. Eagle*Seagull - Eagle*Seagull
13. eels - eels with Strings: Live at Town Hall
14. The Sword - Age of Winters
15. Maximo Park - Missing Songs
16. Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA
17. Stereolab - Fab Four Suture
18. Glenn Kotche - Mobile
19. Grand National - Kicking the National Habit
20. Te' - If That Is What Is Being Thought, Liberated Sound Talks the Depth of "Musical" World
21. Lilys - Everything Wrong is Imaginary
22. Treasure Mammal - Expect the Max
23. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
24. J. Dilla - Donuts
25. About - Bongo
26. Various Artists - I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey
27. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the Broken Seas
28. Quasi - When the Going Gets Dark
29. Envelopes - Demon
30. Jel - Soft Money

We'll start posting this chart, along with the Good Records chart, every Tuesday. Because we're chart dorks.

Radio UTD Website

Radio UTD Myspace page

Monday, March 27, 2006

It List: Monday 3/27/07

Undoing of David Wright is playing tonight at Rubber Gloves with Scream Club, which we mentioned last night, 80 Sheets and Lindsey Stone. We don't have time to listen to the other bands playing with Undoing, so figure it out your damn self.

Good Records Charts: Week Ending 3/26/06

what are your indietastic neighbors in Dallas listening to? If they shop at Good Records, then it is probably something off this list:

1. The Black Angels - Passover
2. Mates of State - Bring It Back
3. Liars - Drum's Not Dead
4. Loose Fur - Born Again In The USA
5. Magic Numbers - Magic Numbers
6. Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery
7. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
8. Mogwai - Mr. Beast
9. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
10. Stereolab - Fab Four Suture
11. Tunng - Mother's Daughter & Other Songs
12. Pilotdrift - Water Sphere
13. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
14. Sondre Lerche - Duper Sessions
15. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Etiquette
16. Ms. John Soda - Notes And The Like
17. Tortoise/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Brave And The Bold
18. The Flaming Lips - The Fearless Freaks: 20 Years of Weird
19. Editors - The Back Room
20. Bosque Brown - Bosque Brown plays Mara Lee Miller

Nice to see that a lot of people are buying that Liars album. It really is the best album of 2006 so far.

Thanks to Good Records for sending us their list. We'll start posting one of their charts every week.

Readers Poll Best Band: Undoing of David Wright

We didn't get as many people to vote in this poll as we wanted, but based on some email requests we received from a couple of people, we decided to tally up the votes anyway. Undoing of David Wright won best band, followed closely by Record Hop and Theater Fire. Can't say that we're too shocked by this result, even though Undoing wasn't one of the bands that voted for themselves a bunch of times in a row. We've decided to post these results, and then take another vote at the end of they year to see if anything has changed. By then, we should have a form or something to make the whole thing easier. Thanks to the people that voted.

We'll give you the rest of the results tomorrow.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Skybox Tonight (by Taunto)

My sister often tries to push new music on me. Sadly, 99% of it is usually the latest thuggy craze sweeping the redneck wigger club she frequents. The other 1% is some pseudo-indie bullshit she heard on her boyfriend’s XM radio. She calls me from small town record stores to ask me, “Have you ever heard of A Modest Mouse?” To which I reply with a sigh and a “Yeah I think so.” But at least she’s trying.

Well, the past week or so, she kept asking me if I’d ever heard of a band called Skybox, and remarkably I hadn’t. She said they were playing in her town, and she really liked them and she thought I would too. I blew her off and told her to quit calling me, thinking it was just some more lame-o crap she heard in the dressing room at Abercrombie & Fitch. But then I felt bad, as I’ve only got one sister. So I humored her and went to their Myspace page. Then I had to stand up and wait for the monkeys to fly out of my butt: My sister had actually recommended something to me that I liked.

Three of the four tracks up there are just so-so. But the first one grabbed me with a goofy, rinky-dink piano, and dug in with a headstrong hand-clap pop-chorus. Sure, the guys sings a little like David Cross in that one Mr. Show sketch, and the lyrics are a little creepy – but I haven’t stopped listening to it for, like, two days. There’s a recent wave of this unapologetic theme pop, and I’m thankful. I hate the dark, thick wall of noise stuff. I credit Sesame Street. That show taught me about beginnings, middles and ends. It taught me about clapping along and counting, and I guess it taught a few other people that too, since it seems they’ve all grown up and started bands. So sit down – next to the Starlight Mints and the Happy Bullets – it’s not snack time, it’s time for sharing. Chicago’s Skybox plays tonight at Darkside Lounge.

It List: Sunday 3/26/06

Tonight, Darkside Lounge appears to be where all the action is if you're into, um, lesbian punk rock hip hop duos that may or may not include a guy. That is what Scream Club is. Another We Shot J.R. favorite, Eat Avery's Bones, will be playing one of their 20 minute sets as well, along with Skybox and something called Girls Rise with Heat that we don't know anything about.

You can read the description of Skybox above this post. It is written by a new We Shot J.R. writer that we will for now call Taunto. Let us know what you think of this new development.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It List: Saturday 3/25/06

1. Stereolab/Sam Prekop/ Archer Prewitt (Nokia Theater): I think everyone I know has free tickets to this show. And its a good thing, because despite the fact that Stereolab and the Sea and Cake guys are old favorites here at We Shot J.R., there are some risk factors for this show: 1) its at Nokia; 2) the most recent Stereolab we've heard hasn't been very good; 3) and you have to drive to Grand Prarie. If none of those things bother you, then you'll probably have fun.

2. Voot Cha Index/ My Heart is a Machine/ Washing Machine (Red Blood Club): Three young bands that we like quite a bit are playing at one of the dumbest clubs in Dallas. Should be fun anyway though.

S-1 Committee Quick Review

Man. Sometimes things sound a lot different on Myspace than they do in person. S-1 Committee is one of those bands. We really liked what we heard on Myspace: muffled, noisy, lo-fi sloppiness with soft vocals that you couldn't really understand. It was interesting and fairly catchy if nothing else. Live, however, the band seems to be a different proposition, as the vocals move front and center in the mix, creating an entirely different sound. For s-1 Committee, this is not a good thing.

Now, we don't think that you have to be a great singer to be a great singer, you just have to be interesting or compelling in some way. If you can't sing or write lyrics, fine. A lot of bands we love (Jesus and Mary Chain for example) can't do either. But damn it, if that is the case you've gotta hide it a little bit. Put some reverb on the vocals. Turn them down in the mix. Slur your words. Something. That is what the singer for S-1 should have done last night, because it was the vocals that really held them back. The lyrics were fairly immature, and delivered in a loud, cutesy and off-key manner that really didn't seem to go along at all with what the rest of the band was doing. The music was actually pretty good, and the band was able to capture much of what we liked about their Myspace songs live, which was probably a fairly difficult task. And we wouldn't have even minded the singing so much if we just didn't have to hear it so clearly. But we did, and as a result we were less than impressed with the show.

If these guys make some adjustments from a vocals standpoint, they could be really good band. Until then, however, we'll have to throw them in the "Wait and see" file.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It List: Friday 3/24/06

1. The Shapes/S-1 Committee/ Teenage Symphony (Rubber Gloves): Wow. We had never heard either S-1 or Teenage Symphony until today, and we really like both. S-1 has kind of a poppy Jesus and Mary Chainish meets Mercury Rev meets twee synth pop thing happening, and we're interested to hear how this translates live. Add the Shapes, a band we already like, and you've got the best show of the night.

2. Mazinga Phaser/ Jack with One Eye (Darkside Lounge)

3. Metrognome Collective: Man Factory/My Heart is a Machine (Fort Worth): Good venue, and My Heart is a Machine is a solid young pop band that you might be hearing more about soon.

Thursday Nights and Other News

Hey there people of Dallas. I know that getting you to try something different for your Hipster Does Dallas routine is difficult sometimes. You've got your "scene," and your "friends," and your "rock n' roll" that all the kids listen to. But let me ask you a question. When was the last time you had a really fun Thursday night?

I know what you're going to say. "I have a lot of fun going down to Expo Park every Thursday and listening to assholes sing dumb songs at karaoke." To which I say, "what are you, an idiot?"

Now that we have all that cleared up, let me ask you another question. Do you like late 80's/early 90's hip hop? If you answered no, grab your mouse, point it up to the top right hand corner of this screen and kindly leave my website. You can come back when you stop being dumb. But for those that do appreciate what is truly the golden age of hip hop, you might want to think about heading over to the Slip Inn next Thursday night for a taste of the old school.

And I know what you're thinking. Many of you probably know that Old School Hip Hop night is nothing new, and has in fact been happening at the Slip Inn for the past couple of years. Thats cool, because like our friend over at Themepark Experience said today, sometimes you just miss the boat. But last night was the first time we had attended, and let me tell you: we decided that it will be our new Thursday night hang out spot just about a minute after we walked through the door.

And I bet some of you are also thinking that nothing could be worse than a bunch of dorky hipsters dancing to JJ Fad. Well theres no need to worry, because Thursday nights at the Slip Inn are hipster free (and JJ Fad free), and goddamn did we need a break (not from JJ Fad). Yes, going to Old School Hip Hop night will require you to be around some different people. A few of them might even go to SMU (gasp!), and others might even be, get this, not white. But if you can get past your 80's retro xenophobia for one evening, you'll discover that the Slip Inn is the best thing going on Thursdays.

Here was our experience last night: we walk to the door and witness the tail end of a fight between bouncers and some jackass (which was kind of exciting), and then walk inside to a packed house dancing to a Leaders of the New School Song, which was immediately followed by a Black Sheep song (not the movie). Then some dude came up to us and said that he had bought four beers at once because he didn't want to go up to the bar again, and that since he now had to leave, he wanted to give us two of them. We said yes. Just about this time, two strangers started a conversation with us about matching socks and that episode of Seinfeld where George does the opposite of everything, at which point a song by Notorious B.I.G. came on. Then we danced.

As we kept drinking and dancing, we heard songs by Arrested Development, Chubb Rock, Digable Planets, Wu Tang Clan, and a bunch of other really cool shit that we had either heard long ago and forgotten about, or had never heard before at all. And it wasn't "ironic" or kitschy or whatever, it was just fun. Drinks were spilled, good looking people danced, bad looking people danced, and we didn't hear a single note of that krunk bullshit that has rendered American Hip Hop virtually dead to us. The mix was fantastic, and the people were nice. We stayed until closing, and were left wanting more. No skinny ties, no bad attitudes, and no bad music. Thats the kind of thing we need on Thursdays, and if you're adventurous enough to try the Slip Inn next Thursday, you'll realize that it is the kind of thing that you need too. Bele dat.

(oh, and check the Compact Disk logo on the Rob Base cover. Why don't they use that these days? And also, later today you will see the first post by a new writer on We Shot J.R. This person will be contributing from time to time because 1) the person is a good writer that you will like, and 2) we can't be everywhere at once every single night, and we thought this would help expand our coverage a little bit. Tell us what you think. And we'll tally up the We Shot J.R. Award votes this weekend, even though we didn't get as many votes as we wanted. We'll post those some time today or tomorrow as well.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It List: Thursday 3/23/06

1. Tah Dahs/ Pegasus Now/ A Pacific Model (the Cavern): It has been a long time since we've seen the Tah Dahs play, and we're curious to hear what Pegasus Now has been working on as well. A Pacific Model seems like pretty traditional indie pop, but slightly more adventurous than most. Should be worth seeing. Word on the street is that Pacific is on at 10, Pegasus at 11 and Tah Dahs at 12. After you're done at the Cavern, stop by

2. Mile End (Fallout): with Dj Laureen. Its indie, britpop, rare 80's, electro, and other good stuff. They'll be playing some brand new Voxtrot tonight too.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

It List: Wed. 3/22/06

1. The Party w/ DJ Nature (Rubber Gloves- Denton): If you haven't checked this shit out already, then don't talk to us. Nature will be passing out his second mix CD tonight. We'll have a track list later we think....

2. I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness (Gypsy Tea Room): Their new CD is fantastic, and we've never seen these guys live but we hear that they are pretty good. Who knows? Go late so that you miss Black Tie Dynasty.

Profile: Voot Cha Index

Voot Cha Index used to have a problem. They used to be called... um, Belefonte. Before playing a scheduled Good Records instore show last year, they were apparently approached by that other band (not Harry) that has an "a" instead of an "e" in its name, and were asked to promptly come up with something else to call themselves. We're not sure exactly how that interaction went down (does Belafonte have lawyers?), but at the end of the day they came up with Voot Cha Index. We're also not sure what the name means (and didn't think to like, ask them or something), but we like it. Even if it happens to be a little harder to say.

Mouthful of a name or not, this young band from Plano seems to have as much potential as any band in Dallas County these days, and the difference between them and some of the other not quite ready for prime time players around here is that you will actually like their songs enough to root for them. The first incarnation of Voot Cha Index got together back in November of 2004 (when the band members were in high school) and started recording some songs at home. Pretty typical. But after they recorded a few new songs over several months in the Spring of 2005, they decided to take a sample down to C.J. Davis at Good Records. Two weeks later, he called them to tell them how much he liked their CD, and invited them to play the in store show that prompted their name change. Anyone that has ever been in a Dallas high school band before: how would you have liked to play a Good Records show that fast? Anyway, Davis called them again a couple months after the show and invited them to record and release a 7" for his new record label Pancakes for Mattie (again, this seems to have happened pretty damn fast). As a result, they recently entered the studio with Polyphonic Spreer Mark Pirro and came out with "The Talking House," a single that will be released by Davis' label some time in the next couple of months.

The band's songs certainly have that Elephant 6 (especially Beulah) sound that seems to be popular amongst Dallasites these days, but you can also hear a distinct touch of Galaxie 500 and Mercury Rev in their music, which the band effectively utilizes in a balancing act between the reverby lo-fi charm of the former and the fully arranged psychedelic pop of the latter. Add a little bit of power pop and distorted guitars into the mix, and you've got a young band that could very easily develop into indie pop stars. Seriously. The mp3s below are sort of rough, and Voot Cha Index themselves are pretty young, which might make them seem a little too cute and immature upon first listen. But play these Mp3s a couple more times, and you probably won't be able to tell me that : 1) the songs aren't good on their own merits, or 2) that you can't hear the talent and potential these guys have. And since their songwriting has developed this far at such an early stage, you've got to believe that we will be hearing bigger and better things from them in the near future. In a city starved for good music, that is a pretty refreshing development.

The Zombie Song Link

Some Planets Need to be Shaved Link

Listen to "The Talking House," from the band's upcoming release on Pancakes for Mattie, here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It List: Tuesday 3/21/06

I bet bands like Radio 4, Chinese Stars and Moving Units are pretty pissed off about the success of We Are Scientists, who are playing tonight at The Granada (blah). While Franz Ferdinand sells millions of records and the Scientists are off getting their pictures taken in English phone booths and shit, commercial success seems to have passed by those other bands, who have been brushed off as little more than a passing fad. And I guess We Are Scientists are pretty decent (and much better than Radio 4 for example), though they really aren't doing anything new or innovative. Not that innovation really matters when you've got the songwriting chops, but the band doesn't seem to be quite there yet. All in all their debut is pretty solid, and I would recommend going to their show tonight if you're curious about all the hype and have a little money to burn (and you don't mind risking a shitty sound arrangement at the Granada). If you don't have the money, then I would suggest stopping by the Cavern for the Lost Generation with Wanz. There you will hear many of the bands that influenced many of the bands that influenced We Are Scientists, plus a lot of other rare shit that you won't see referenced on MTv2 or Spin. And the last time I checked, that is a good thing.

Video Killed the Internet Star

Heres the new Happy Bullets video for the song "Drinking on the Job." Its pretty strange. Someone pukes shredded paper or something, and we can't really figure out why. Actually, its a pretty funny video for one of the better songs off The Vice and Virtue Ministry. We're not sure how to post these video things, so if this works it could usher in a new era of video posting stupidity here at We Shot J.R. If it doesn't, we'll probably just act like those guys in PCU and give up or something. Here goes:

Monday, March 20, 2006

It List: Monday 3/20/06

(A picture of the great flood of East Dallas)

Tonight seems to be Dallas' little taste of the (mediocre) British (hipster band) Invasion, with The Subways playing at Gypsy and Nine Black Alps over at the Cavern with Giant Drag. Actually The Subways are pretty goddamn awful, while Nine Black Alps are just about as average as you can get for a hard rockin' Urban Outfitters band. At least they aren't a Strokes sound alike.

Anyway, I would suggest saving your money and checking out Good Records Good Mornings at the Cavern Upstairs. I promise you'll hear some good music, and contrary to what we thought before, its not just indie hits. Thats it and thats all.

Fuck This

Blogspot has fucked up once too many times for us (you get what you pay for I guess). And since we are moving to a new website anyway, we're going to try to speed up that process as much as possible so that we don't have to deal with this shit any more. It appears that this site will continue to be fucked for a while, so please be patient with us. We'll keep making posts on here, but it looks as though they might not come out right. Whatever. We'll try to get moved over to the new site within the next 7-10 days, but until then we'll keep posting on here and doing what we do, even though it will look more retarded than ever before!

Hopefully you're able to read the SXSW post below.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


(the top picture is from the Flaming Lips show, and the bottom is Hot Chip. Both are blurry and a little bit crappy, but we did warn you that the We Shot Jr SXSW trip was going to be a little "low rent.")

Austin is full of a lot of things during SXSW, but it is mostly full of shit. The place is flocking with has-beens, never-weres and never-will bes, as well as industry jerkoffs, fan jerkoffs, scenester jerkoffs and people that seem to base their entire existence on Last Night's The common thread that ties these arguments for abortion together is lying. Everyone is putting on a show, and no one is paying any attention because they're all putting one on too. Don't worry, we're not about to go on some long winded tirade about "keeping it real" or anything like that, its just that the atmosphere of SXSW can be really draining and a little bit alienating at times, even though we somehow managed to eat up just about every second of it without too much hassle. That is what free Red Bull and vodkas will do for you.

And really, the fact that anything is fun at SXSW is pretty amazing when you think about it. Long lines for everything (which often include badge wearers and members of My Chemical Romance trying to cut...twice), absolutely horrible opening bands, a lot of middle aged industry guys in Arctic Monkeys t-shirts, and one too many Keep Austin Weird shirts can really take the spring out of your step to say the least. Despite all of this, however, scattered moments of insane fun were had throughout the week, convincing us that yes, there is still a point to all of the bullshit. Our experience at the Midlake/Flaming Lips show is a pretty good example.... all the aforementioned annoyances were in full effect, but it really didn't matter too much when the Flaming Lips unleashed about 50 huge bouncing balls on our drunken heads and opened their set with a cover of "Bohemain Rhapsody," that drove everyone in the audience crazy with excitement. It was also great to hear some of Midlake's terrific new material, even if we weren't completely blown away with it like we expected to be (same goes for the new Flaming Lips stuff too.) Another amazing showcase we caught was Sound Team, who appear to have the same kind of rabid following in Austin that Undoing of David Wright has in Denton, except a little older and about ten times bigger. They put on a fantastic show, and you can be sure that we won't miss them the next time they come to town, because it will be really nice to see them play a show somewhere that isn't Buffalo Billiards.

The day shows provided a little break from the industry-related annoyances, but many replaced them with corporate sponsorship annoyances (no, I'm not going to sign up for Toyota's Mp3 of the month club... now gimme my free Shiner bitch!) Yet again however, many of the extrinsic problems faded away during great day show sets by the likes of Serena Maneesh, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Black Angels and Lady Sovereign. And the free beer at places like Club De Ville certainly helped pass the time between sets.

We should also note that a few of the bands that we really like didn't quite seem to be on top of their shit in Austin this week. Some played lackluster sets (Ariel Pink, Xiu Xiu) and some didn't even show up at all (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Beastie Boys). However, there were a couple of bands that were not only in the right place at the right time, but also took advantage of their luck by playing absolutely amazing sets. The best example we can think of is Hot Chip's performance at the Parish on Saturday. They killed with a couple of the better songs off their debut album, but what really got the crowd going was their new (and obviously DFA influenced) material. The line to get in was long, the place was packed, and the beer was overpriced, but I'll be goddamned if everyone in the audience wasn't dancing their asses off during the set and having a fantastic time. It was so good that it almost made the aforementioned issues a kind of bonus, like we had earned our spot at a show that was exciting and important enough to warrant such logistical confusion. Closer "Over and Over" (which we have posted on here before) absolutely brought the house down, bringing to an end a set that probably just about guaranteed Hot Chip "next big thing" status this year. Just wait until their new album comes out this summer.

The Hot Chip show seemed to be the perfect example of why SXSW can be such an exciting and sometimes important event. Yes, there was a lot to complain about, and yes there were more horrible Interpol rip-off bands than you could possibly count, but at certain moments the elements mixed together in just the right way to make it all (almost) worth it. The week was taxing (much of it due to self imposed hangovers), but the bottom line is that for what it is worth, there is no other event in the United States that provides equal access to pop rock's pulse, and there is certainly no other event in this state that provides access to great bands that might not otherwise cross the Texas border under any other circumstances. Even if you can think of a million better things to do than waiting in line to see the next-next-next Franz Ferdinand, SXSW is probably worth going to just for the stories.

Ok, Back to Normal

Blogspot has been acting really weird for me the past few days, and I really haven't been able to post anything. Now it appears that shit is back to normal around here, and when I get home from Austin later this evening we will start our normal posts, and be back in full swing on Monday. Check back later tonight to find some new stuff. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Interview: Meat Radio

Telling our readers that they should ignore the Dallas Clear Channel Radio empire feels a little like telling a male SMU undergrad that he should idolize Alex P. Keaton. It is pretty well understood that commercial radio is and has been dead in Dallas for quit some time, and smart people hardly need to be reminded of it. Maybe it was never good, and maybe commercial radio as an outlet for artistic expression always has and always will fail. That is a discussion we could have all day, although most of us hardly seem to have the time or energy to do so.

That being said, building yourself a small FM transmitter and shouting all of this out on the airwaves in an East Dallas neighborhood is entirely different from simply having a discussion, and the fact that someone is doing just that on 102.5 FM on Thursday-Sunday nights actually gives us a good reason to talk about what we already know. My first encounter with Meat Radio came a couple months back when I happened to flip onto 102.5 FM while driving around in Lakewood. I was pretty amazed to hear a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah song on the radio, and was even more amazed to hear the rest of the album played right after it. Who or what the hell was doing this? Where are they doing it from? Why are they doing it? These were questions that I started asking myself, and have been curious about ever since.

Listening to Meat Radio on and off since that day has convinced me that it is important, and not because it is revolutionary in its mission or presentation. Rather, I think Meat Radio is important and exciting because it is NOT revolutionary. Pirate radio has been done before and will be done again. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and britpop and soul have been played on the radio before and will be played again. Political radio programs have been around for decades, and will likely be around for decades to come. The important thing about Meat Radio isn't how strange it is but rather how normal it seems, and how perfectly pleasant it is to listen to. From what we have gathered, a group of thoughtful people got together and built a transmitter and a small studio because they like playing records and are interested in developing some sense of community in a town that sorely needs it. Their desire to do these things shouldn't be a shock. What is shocking is that more people AREN'T doing this. What is shocking is that doing what they do is a federal offense, and that you couldn't possibly start such a station legally without millions of dollars and the requisite amount of government access that you need in order to satisfy the FCC. No, the importance of Meat Radio isn't really its content, but rather the conviction and the courage of the people behind it. And the fact that they seem to want to play good music and have good conversations rather than change the world in that Christian Slater cheese kind of way makes me admire the whole project even more, and prompts me to ask the ten million dollar question: How could something like this be illegal? I'll ask this question from time to time, but then quickly remember what I already know: the Clear Channels of the world have the money, lobbyists and influence to make sure that the government makes the world difficult for Meat Radios everywhere. Heres to hoping that they miss ours.

Tell us what Meat Radio is. How many people are involved, what is your studio like and how did you get your hands on an FM transmitter?

Meat Radio is community radio station broadcasting on 102.5 in East Dallas. We have a typical DJ setup with cd players, record players, a microphone and a hot line called the Meat Line to find out who the hell is listening. According to Myspace we are 145 deep. Visit and learn to build one or google "FM transmitter".

What inspired you to start Meat Radio?

Meat Radio was started because KZPS 92.5 played Led Zeppelin for the 4th billion time. I remember them announcing it and then continued with a Rock Block Weekend of CCR. Also I thought it would be great if local artist and djs had a smoke free environment to get there stuff heard. I was also inspired by WFMU in New Jersey and KBLT in L.A. The girl who started KBLT, Sue Carpenter, wrote a book called "40 Watts From Nowhere" which is worth reading. What is your mission for the station? Just to play good music, keep it interesting and support local artist & the community.

What are your general feelings about the state of commercial radio and companies like Clear Channel doing away with local play lists, etc.?

I could go on and on about this. Dallas radio is awful. Except for a few shows here and there, it's a wasteland of the overplayed and uninteresting. Which everyone knows. Nothing new there. Clear Channel & Viacom are businesses trying to generate as much profits as possible and get as many listeners as possible. When that's your motivation things like localism, community get thrown out the window.

What do you know about the FCC regulations that might affect your project, and are you afraid of encountering legal issues?

I've read up on the FCC and their tactics and weighed the risks and still think it's a worthy venture. It's not if we run into the FCC but when and we'll deal with that when we get there. The FCC & the NAB (National Broadcasters Association) are the real pirates. Companies like Clear Channel just took advantage of the situation that the FCC created. When the 1996 Telecommunications Act was passed it had major impact on radio. The '96 Act made two key changes: it eliminated the cap on the number of radio stations companies could own nationally, and it raised the limit on the number of stations that could be owned in local markets. So Big Radio just gobbled up as much radio space as possible eliminating locally focused radio.

What kind of music do you play, and what kinds do you want to play more of? Could you give us a schedule of current shows?

"This is Texas" starts our broadcasting on Thursday nights hosted by D. Cha Cha. She's really involved in the local music scene and knows as much about Dallas, Denton and Austin bands as anyone I know. She's plays all Texas artists and usually has guests from the scene to host with her. Grits N Gravy is the exploration of Rock and Roll from its earliest roots and its influences. They choose to focus more on the glory years of Rock and Roll (i.e. 1964 - 1975). Typically, they choose to feature an artist each week, which in the past has included Sam Cooke, Howlin' Wolf and more recently The Rolling Stones, but they always mix the featured artist's songs within a rotation of our own choosing that is usually knee deep in early blues, folk, country and gospel. Gabriel and Jeff always make a point to get right with Jesus within every broadcast to make up for all the sex, drugs and rock and roll that surrounds it. DinoPop! is on Sunday nights starting at 9pm hosted by Peter Pants Wiskers and DJ Meat. These guys are pop freaks. They focus on Power Pop, Garage and Brit pop from the 60's through the 90's. When there are no shows airing we have an eclectic play list that's made of a bit of everything from Blues to Italian Disco with some local guys thrown in. Sometimes the Human Rights Radio show Democracy Now! is broadcast.

Are you looking to expand your operations with more shows, a bigger broadcast area, working with more people, etc.?

Yeah I'd like to get more shows started. Some community information show would be nice or a Circus music show. We are only on Thur - Sun. as of now. The station doesn't make any money and everyone volunteers their own time.

Here is the question we ask everyone: what is your opinion of the current state of Dallas music?

I think there are some really good bands out there but don't have enough exposure for whatever reason. We hope to remedy that, a least for East Dallas. But we can't play you if we don't have your music. So send us your stuff at We also like free cds.

Some say that Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray" was one the best second single to be released in the past 15 years by any pop music artist that had previously been labeled a "one hit wonder." However, a good argument can be made that Color Me Badd's "I Adore Mi Amore" was equally successful. If you could have five minutes to write a witty comment about either, would you? No comment


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It List: Tuesday 3/14/06

Yeah, so this is the busiest Tuesday of the year here in good ol' DFWd, and you can start the day off at Good Records' free in-store:

Aloha 3pm
Ill Ease 4pm
Parts & Labor 5pm
Skeletons and the Girl Faced Boys 6pm
Saturday Looks Good to Me 7pm

And then you can go pay for some shit later tonight:

1. Thunderbirds are Now!/Serena Maneesh/ Field Music (Hailey's Denton): Check our preview of this show on dconstruction if you want, but we can promise that this will be the best thing going in town tonight unless you like to cry yourself to sleep with Scottish music playing in the background or something.

2. Belle and Sebastian/ New Pornographers (Granada): Just kidding, we love B&S and might have made this #1 if it wasn't $32 and if it wasn't at the Granada, where the sound has been known to make my Discman sound like Carnegie fucking Hall. If they can get their shit together at Granada tonight, this will surely be a fantastic show. If not, then you might go home at the end of the night and cry yourself to sleep with Scottish music playing in the background or something. Do I really have to link these bands?

3. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists/ The Duke Spirit/ Aloha/ Les Aus (Tea Room): Damn it. I really want to see Ted Leo live, but I guess I'll have to catch one of his 73 performances at SXSW this week. I've seen this guy twice, and he puts on a hell of a show, and pretty much manages to sing just like he does on his records... which is pretty impressive if you've never heard him. And the Duke Spirit kicks ass. So does Aloha. And so does Les Aus.

4. Skeletons and the Girl Faced Boys/Headlights/Metal Hearts (The Cavern): Get in free with your B&S ticket, or skip that and just pay five bucks to see this. Either way, Skeletons go on at midnight, and you'll want to be there for it because they are fantastic, unless you've decided to go home and cry yourself to sleep with... nevermind.

5. Saturday Looks Good To me/ His Name is Alive/Crystal Skulls/The Reputation (rubber Gloves) His Name is Alive is a really great band that is worth showing up early for.

So many good shows today. Anyway, later on we will have a band profile and an interview for your ass.

Monday, March 13, 2006

It List: Monday 3/13/06

1. Moving Units/ The Standard (Gypsy Tea Room): "Hey dude, you wanna go to the Moving Units show tonight?" "Nah man, dancepunk is so fucking 2003." "But have you ever seen these guys live?" "No, but I'm really more into like freak folk and ironic heavy metal and shit now. Haven't you ever read Vice Magazine?" "yeah, but they're an amazing live band, and you won't wanna miss them even if you didn't think their record was all that great because Pitchfork said so." Trust me on this one.

2. Clipd Beaks/Faux Fox/Sciflyer/Orson (The Cavern): You'll hear dancey new wavey experimental stuff and some shoegaze at this pre-sxsw stop over show. And don't forget CeePee spinning the indie hits upstairs, playa.

Yeah, the Sopranos Season 6 debut was all I was interested in seeing last night. And yeah, it was good. I won't ruin it for any of you On Demand or Tivo people, but lets just say it was the most exciting season premier of the show's history. Hopefully Slate will start its weekly Sopranos blog back up again ( I'll link to it if they do). The new Polygamy family drama HBOish show "Big Love" was pretty good too, although we do like Bill Paxton's performance in Weird Science a bit better that what we have seen from him in the show so far.

Oh, and this week we'll have a band profile thing happening, and also an interview thing happening. And then starting Wednesday, we'll have a SXSW thing happening. We'll be filing reports each day, and we'll be taking some pictures and spilling some drinks and all of that good stuff, and then posting shit on here. Why are we doing this? Because no other blog in the world is actually going to be posting ANYTHING about SXSW, and we'll be your only source of information! And as an added bonus, we don't really have cool hook ups to any good parties or secret shows or anything special at all, so needless to say you'll be getting an "insiders" look into the festival. Fan fucking tastic! We'll try to make the posts funny or something.

Don't catch a case of the "Mondays" today! lol and stuff! :-)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

It List: Sunday 3/12/06

1. Happy Bullets/Seventeen Evergreen/Pegasus Now (Rubber Gloves Denton): You know the deal with Happy Bullets, and Seventeen Evergreen is a pretty solid band that has been playing around town all weekend, so you might have heard them already too. Pegasus Now are a pretty promising new Dallas band that reminds us of Sea and Cake at times, but a little more rockin'. Its five bucks.

2. Dj Wild In the Streets (Hailey's Denton): 60's garage, psyche and pop. You can go see it even if you don't like "mods." I mean come on, is there really such a thing anymore?

Last Night @ Yellow House

Another fun party/show at the Yellow House in Denton last night really reminded me of how far Dallas has to come before the local music scene gets interesting. And let me say from the outset that I do recognize the many built in advantages that Denton has over Dallas: Denton is a college town, and there is a reason why "indie" was once referred to as "college rock." College towns are the bread and butter of the kind of music we cover on this blog, and Denton is no exception. Denton has a lot of young people with a lot of time on their hands, a lot of student loans, a lot of alcohol, and the kind of youthful passion that people tend to start losing in their mid 20's (which might explain why Dallas crowds act like they are being forced to see live music while Denton crowds act like they live for it). Add cheap living expenses and the UNT music school into the mix, and you've got a place where a lot of people will naturally be interested in producing and listening to the kind of music we like to talk about on here. It really makes sense when you think about it.

But Dallas has certain advantages over a place like Denton that should at least put it in the same ballpark: more clubs and bars, a much larger and more diverse population (both of which would presumedly make it a more attractive draw for national touring acts), and an older, slightly more mature crowd that you might expect to have slightly more refined tastes. However, for whatever reason (and we're pretty sick of speculating about it) Dallas continues to be pretty dead on most nights when there isn't a big national act in town. We've more or less said all of this before, but right now it simply appears to be a fact of life. And anyone that tells you otherwise is simply kidding themselves.

As we pointed out in a post earlier this week, there are SOME signs of life here and there, but we've got a long way to go before this town is even as interesting as Denton, much less Portland, Austin, Toronto, or any other cities of a similar size. Really, can you think of any other city in the United States roughly the same size as Dallas that has LESS going on? We can't. But don't take this as a "lets all move to austin" rallying cry either, because for a combination of reasons we are all here together, and there must be a way to make this place and this time interesting before we're all too old to enjoy it. Hopefully someone will eventually figure it out.

We went up to Denton mostly to hear a DJ set (which apparently started way later than we were prepared to stick around), but what we saw instead was a band called Cartright, which we enjoyed quite a bit (poppy indiefolk). As usual in Denton however, it was the combination of the band and an enthusiastic crowd that made the show a worthwhile experience. Half the fun of being there was watching other people watch the band, and enjoying the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the house. Nothing earth-shattering or life changing took place, and it wasn't even the best show we've ever seen at the Yellow House. But like many recent weekends, going up to Denton sounded much more appealing than anything (music related) happening in Dallas. And despite whatever combination of personal and other reasons that might have influenced our choice, the drive from Dallas to Denton and back is becoming a pretty regular weekend occurrence for a lot of Dallasites, and that in and of itself is worth noting.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oh and I forgot...

Or actually didn't know until now....

party at the Yellow House in Denton tonight.


Ben Cartright (indie folk)

Other bands (we don't know who)

Flashlight Party Djs (featuring Jordan Kline and Markus Diffee)

Where is this place? Right near the corner of Mulberry and Fry St. in Denton, next to UNT. And no that isn't a picture of it. This is probably the most fun you can have tonight.

It List: Saturday 3/11/06

1. Baptist Generals (art prostitute Denton) 10pm, 210 E. Hickory St. Apparently the last show at AP's Denton location. Good way to go out.

2. The Angelus/Killing Fields/Am Syndicate (hailey's Denton)

3. Metrognome Collective: Tame Tame and Quiet/ Everything Looks Better Upside Down/ The Bracelets

Friday, March 10, 2006

It List: Friday 3/10/06

Lots to do tonight all around town. To kick things off, you can stop by Good Records to see a free instore with Sound Team and Record Hop (5pm). On to the main event(s):

1. Gorilla vs Bear Showcase- Tapes N' Tapes/Seventeen Evergreen/Birdmonster (the Cavern): This is pretty much perfect timing for Chris from GVB, since he helped break Tapes N' Tapes, booked them to play his showcase, and then watched them get a "Best New Music" review from Pitchfork last week. Tapes are a really great band that will appeal to just about anyone that has ever liked "indie rock." Really, their first album is pretty great. Seventeen Evergreen also be good. Never heard Birdmonster. This show will probably sell out since Tapes N Tapes are a buzz band and the Cavern is small, so get there early. Here is the Pitchfork review.

2. Mates of State/Midlake/Sound Team (Gypsy Ball Room): Not big Mates of State fans (sorry dudes), but Midlake will be playing shit off their new album, which already has more buzz around it than a naked picture of your mom on the internet. Sound Team is pretty good too.

3. 8th Continent: Strange Boys/Eat Avery's Bones/ The Vietniks (Denton- 731 Texas St.): This is a great DIY venue you need to check out if you haven't already. Some of our usual favorites are playing tonight for $5, along with the Vietniks... who have a New York late 70's thing going on. Should be a really fun time.

4. Metrognome: Bob White and the F electrics (1518 E. Lancaster Fort Worth): You know the deal on this one.

Shiny Happy People

Jayson Bales wrote an article over at Texasgigs about the Dallas music scene and what he sees as some of its highlights. The thesis of the article is that despite popular opinion, the scene is alive and well, and may even be ready to prosper due to various developments and local forces that are doing positive things. Normally I would react by saying that one of the signs of a failing music scene is people having to write articles in order to affirm its very existence. I would also take issue with some of the things that he described as "reasons to believe" in Dallas music: Radiant? Some jam band? House of Blues? But I really don't feel like arguing about this shit today, so I've decided to simply copy Jayson and write my own little (short) list of positive things that I have seen recently. Although I might disagree with Jayson's outlook for now (despite my full agreement with his $35,000 millionaire line), I do think that there are a few good things going on too, even if I'm pretty sure that we are nowhere near turning things around in the metroplex. Here goes, positive things about the Dallas music scene:

1. Denton: What? Doesn't Denton steal shows from Dallas? Isn't it really far away? Maybe, but I would say that a vast majority of the good things going on in local music right now are happening in Denton. Hailey's is the best play to see national touring acts in the region, Rubber Gloves always seems to have something interesting going on, and there is a quickly developing noise-rock scene up there that might produce some exciting things in the near future. Not to mention the fact that you can pretty much go up to Denton any night of the week and find a house party with live music (especially over at the Yellow house) and kids that are genuinely interested in the artistic and cultural aspects of a music scene. Just take a look at what Undoing is, um, doing over at the Eighth Continent, and you will see what good bands, knowledgeable fans and a DIY venue have the potential to do for a music community. Add the talent pool that is the UNT music school into the mix, and you have a small town that has way more going on than it ever should.

2. Daughter Entertainment: Pretty much any good national touring show that you've seen in recent memory was probably promoted by Daughter. It is nice to see that people with good taste also have enough influence to book great bands and be successful in a town where Pat Green is considered cool.

3. People finally recognizing that Deep Ellum sucks: Lets face it, Deep Ellum has sucked for a long time, and I think it is great that people are are starting to figure that out. Expensive parking, crime, crappy clubs, dumb people, abusive cops, and a general lack of ANYTHING worth going to see has killed Deep Ellum in the eyes of many. And that makes perfect sense. It has been time for that neighborhood to shape up or ship out for quite a while, and it looks like the club owners there are finally trying to figure out which they will do. Either way, it will be great to be rid of Deep Ellum as we know it now.

4. Meat Radio/Frequency Down: Two places that you can listen to good underground music without supporting Clear Channel or Scott Stapp's coke habit. These are two sources for music that might inspire people in Dallas to pick up an instrument and play something good, rather than copying the latest Interpol rip-off band and trying to out-cute one another.

5. Metrognome Collective: Again, this isn't in Dallas, but another great DIY spot for art, film, and experimental music cannot go unmentioned. This is a place where some really good things could happen.

6. Some good bands: Midlake, Undoing of David Wright, Happy Bullets, Pilotdrift, Strange Boys, Fra Pandolf, Eat Avery's Bones, Voot Cha Index, Mazinga Phaser, Tah Dahs, Shiny Around the Edges, You are the Universe, Bosque Brown. I might have left out a few, and there are probably a couple more out there that i haven't heard... yet.

So there. Come on get happy.

Take this Blog and Shuffle It

So we've seen about 8 million Myspace posts concerning this itunes shuffle game, so we decided to give it a try live, right here and now. Basically you just ask one of these questions, and then hit shuffle on the old itunes and see what song you get. Let us see what happens:

1. How does the World See Me?

"Frontin'"- Pharrel and Jay Z (shit!)

2. Will I have a happy life?

"energy of death"- Apostle of Hustle (Great. Just great.)

3. What do my friends really think of me?

"Scoff" - Nirvana

4. Do People Secretly Lust after me?

"I feel like a child" - Devendra Banhart

5. How can I make myself happy?

"chicago seemed tired last night" - The Hold Steady

6. What Should I do with my life?

"Big Sky" - The Kinks

7. Will I ever have children?

"Run for your life" - The Beatles (Ha! Kids are such little jerks.)

8. What is some good advice for me?

"Turn into Something" - Animal Collective

9. How Will I be remembered?

"Dialog Box" - David Byrne

10. What is my signature dancing song?

"Aero Zeppelin" Nirvana

11. What do I think my current theme song is?

" We Built Another World" - Wolf Parade

12. What does everyone else think my current theme song is?

" According to plan" - I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

13. What song will play at my funeral?

"Even Better Than The Real Thing" - U2

14. What Type of Men/Women do you like?

"Swab the Temples" - Roller Skate Skinny

15. What is my day going to be like?

"Only Someone Running" - Matt Sweeny and Bonnie Prince Billy

16. Will I ever have love again?

"Bring on the Terror" - Robbers on High Street

Thursday, March 09, 2006

SXSW Wristband Update

Just to let you know, what we have heard most recently is that SXSW is still deciding whether or not to sell anymore wristbands, but if they decide to do so they will go on sale next Wednesday, the first day of the music festival. That is all the information we have right now. Someone suggested in a previous comment thread that they will only be sending text messages to people with 512 area codes, so if anyone finds out more in that regard please post about it in the comments, because we're not entirely sure when and how the announcement will be made. We got a couple emails from people looking for wristbands, so we're just trying to help out. We're soooo nice.

It List Thursday 3/9/06

First, we found out from our best friends at Texasgigs that the last batch of SXSW wristbands will be going on sale some time next week. What time next week and where? We don't know yet, although we would guess it will be at Waterloo... have they ever been sold anywhere else? Anyway they will cost $175 and there will probably only be a couple thousand available at most, so we'll give you more info when we get it. Oh yeah, you apparently HAVE to sign up for SXSW text messages in order to get the information next week, so you can do that here.

In other news, Dallas kids should get over to Good Records in a couple hours (by 6pm to be exact) to see a free instore set from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and The Donkeys. Both are good and its free, even though you will probably end up buying a CD or something.

Denton kids don't have to worry because they can see Casiotone for the Painfully Alone along with the Donkeys tonight at Rubber Gloves for five bucks. If you don't know, Casiotone sounds exactly like the name might suggest... bedroom synthpop. Very good stuff. Donkeys remind me of sad Velvet Underground songs... and a few of the happy ones too. We'd never heard them until today, but we likes it.

And as usual, tonight will be Mile End at Fallout, where electronica, indie, britpop, etc. will be heard. Word on the streets is that the crowd is starting to pick up over there a bit, so maybe you should jump on that bandwagonesque.

Blog Envy

People clearly want to be like us. Can you blame them? We only have like the most indietastic blog in town, not to mention how cool our name is. I mean, do you think anyone else could have ever come up with a name involving a character from "Dallas" the t.v. show for a blog about Dallas music? Well, you might be shocked to learn that the city of Dallas is trying to get some crappy movie studio to film some crappy movie based on the aforementioned crappy t.v. show here in town, and they have decided that their campaign slogan will be "Shoot J.R. in Dallas." Don't they know that "we" already shot him? If this movie does come to town, I might have to change the name of this blog to Falcon Crest or something.

Here is a link to the story.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The It List: Wed. 3/8/6

1. The Party w/ Dj Nature (Rubber Gloves-Denton): Tonight is nature's birthday, so he thinks the party will be pretty crazy tonight. This will be a good opportunity to check it out for the first time if you haven't already.

2. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Granada): I didn't really like their new album, Howl, when I heard it the first time. I thought the lyrics sucked and I wondered why they would abandon the shoegaze sound that seemed to work so well for them. Anyway, Howl has grown on me a bit, and they'll probably play enough old stuff tonight to keep you happy no matter what you think of the new one. Oh, and the word on the street is that Elefant bailed for some reason. Thank god.

Original Pirate Material

jog on over to Weedemon if you want to see the new Streets video. It rules.

And Now for an unpopular Post

Someone really needs to beat this jackass in November, don't they? I really could care less if it is Kinky, Bell, or hell even Strayhorn at this point because I don't know enough about any of them to make a choice just yet (although I'm pretty sure that I won't be picking Strayhorn). All I know is how much I don't like Mr. Cool over there, and how just about anyone would be better.

Here is a good piece from the Dallas Morning News about the strategies of the various candidates.

SXSW Local Schedule

Yeah, so chances are if you're going to SXSW this year like we are, you probably aren't going to see local bands that play around here all the time. But we figured we would post when and where some of the Dallas/Ft Worth/Denton bands are playing anyway, just in case you wanted to go show your support or something dumb like that.

One exception: I think there is a good chance that we'll be seeing Midlake on Wed. They'll probably play mostly new stuff, and if the rest of it is anything like the recently leaked "Roscoe," it should be as good or better than any other show going on that night. By the way, this list is not complete, as it does not include dumb local crap that no one reading this blog will care about, or stuff that we've never heard of before and can't really recommend. Whoomp here it is:


Midlake (Fox and Hound) midnight
Strange Boys (Velvet Spade) 9pm
Pilotdrift (Dirty Dog Bar) 10pm
Baboon (spiro's) 11pm
Crushed Stars (latitude 30) 8pm


Happy Bullets (Karma Lounge) midnight
Money Waters (Back Room) 8:45 (we weren't sure if anyone cares about local hip hop, so we decided to include it, even though we haven't heard much of it)


Best Fwends (latitude 30) 11pm
Centro-matic (Maggie Mae's) 1am
Pikahsso (Club One 15) 11pm (again, we really don't know about this one either)


The Theater Fire (Latitude 30) 10pm
Bosque Brown (Buffalo Billiards) 11pm
Salim Nourallah (Habana Calle 6) 8pm

Not that all these bands are totally bitchin' or anything, they just seem like the best that is being offered by DFWd this year. Beli dat.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It List: Tuesday 3/7/6

Going out on a week night can be a bitch, especially if you have to get up in the morning. But if there is a reason to go out on any night Sun-Wed (Thursday really is the weekend, isn't it?), it is The Lost Generation w/ DJ Mwanza at the Cavern on Tuesday nights. There is no cover, and you'll be treated to one of the most eclectic mixes in the metroplex. Look at the list to the left: he really does play all of that stuff, and the guy obviously knows his shit. Give it a try. Even if you don't know anything about some of these genres, you'll hear something you like.

Monday, March 06, 2006

It List Monday 3/6/06

1. Van Morrison is playing at Nokia Theater (a crap venue) for like $8,000 ( a crap price), but I just wanted to say how much I love Van Morrison. I will NEVER get sick of that guy.

2. There will be a Yeah Yeah Yeah's listening party at the Cavern tonight at 10pm. Their new album Gold Lion will be played. We haven't heard it yet , but I'm not going to promise that it will be good. It might be worth listening to tonight before you buy it, because if it sucks you can save your money for more important things like white belts at Urban Outfitters or something.

Ariel Pink @ Hailey's Sat. Night

Seeing Ariel Pink at SXSW last year was a less than thrilling experience. He played with a band that he obviously hadn't been playing with for long (or maybe just met that day), most of the set was improvised, and the performance was sloppy to say the least. It was mainly disappointing because I was expecting a lot, even if the humor of seeing him be extremely difficult at an industry showcase wasn't lost on me or most of the audience.

So it was with some apprehension that I trucked on up to Denton (again) on Saturday to see him (again). Saying I made the right choice is probably something of an understatement, because I can't imagine that there has been a more unique concert experience in DFWd in the past couple of months... at least. Despite some sound problems (I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record around here), the show was captivating from the start. Pink was alone on stage throughout most of the set, and was accompanied by some homemade videos that were very well done in that K Records DIY kind of way, complete with sock puppets and camcorder footage of trees, etc. Pink stuck to his previously recorded material, and it was pleasantly surprising to hear how well he performed it live. Most of the time when someone says, " this sounds just like the record," at a concert, it doesn't really mean a whole lot. But the fact that Ariel Pink can replicate the feel, not to mention the structure and sound of his recordings is quite an achievement considering how random much of his stuff is. And although his songs all have a meditative, trance inducing quality to them, the underlying pop structure of his music was clearly discernible throughout the set, making it that much easier to loose yourself in the hazy loneliness of his music. There is a certain sadness that pervades in his songs, and that aspect of his work was communicated just as effectively as the goofiness that makes Ariel Pink a pleasant listen.

The show sort of took a turn for the worst when he started to improvise with a local band that he had hooked up with earlier in the day, but his humorous free form lyrics made even that part tolerable, although I could have done without it. Ariel Pink is an epic and talented songwriter that uses his music to not only convey ideas that seem to exist only on a subconscious level, but also to make it a little more difficult for the audience to comprehend just what those ideas are. And trying to figure it all out is part of his appeal.

So I had no internet for most of the day yesterday after 5pm, and then this morning when I got it back, Blogspot was down. Thanks a lot God! Needless to say I didn't have time to do any updates. Back to normal later today.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Mavericks are Boners

Yeah. Two big games in one week and two subpar performances. I was pretty excited about this team, but this week they have demonstrated that they still have a long way to go before they can play with the likes of San Antonio and Phoenix.

There is no It List tonight by the way, so maybe you should vote for the J.R. awards, or read a book, or do whatever it is you do when you aren't totally rocking the fuck out.

Oh, and I'll have a review of last night's Ariel Pink show a little later tonight.

Oh, and don't forget to listen to Frequency Down with Frank on KNTU 88.1 tonight at 10pm.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

It List: Saturday 3/4/6

Once again there is some good stuff going on tonight, and most of it isn't in Dallas. Shocked? We're not.

1. Ariel Pink/Belong (Hailey's Denton): If you haven't heard Ariel Pink before, you should really give him a listen. It is like perfect pop music being played in the apartment next door. You can hear it but you can barely make out any of the details, even though you can tell that there are details and that they are good. A truly unique artist. His live shows are known to be hit or miss, so you might not love what you see tonight. But you'll sure remember it. Belong is a strange noise band.

2. Strange Boys/Cry Blood Apache/Blonde Girls/Eat Avery's Bones- Metrognome Collective (1518 E. Lancaster Ft. Worth): An exciting DIY music venue/art space in Fort Worth featuring a show by a couple promising local bands and another good one from Austin. It is BYOB and five bucks. The EAB people suggest you get there around 11 to see their set.

3. DJ G (Avenue Arts 825 Exposition Ave): Dj G will go on at midnight or so. The last time we went to one of these Melissa parties, Dj G played a great set of rare disco, house, and a bunch of other stuff we've never heard before. It was pretty fantastic. Hopefully it will be the same tonight. He'll supposedly be spinning till 4, so this could be a great after hours spot tonight. Its $8 and BYOB.

Friday, March 03, 2006

It List Friday 3/3/06

Blah. Not a lot going on tonight. This would be the place to post big house party info if you've got it.

Mi and l'au are playing at the Cavern tonight for $6. And while we like their quiet folksy stuff on record, we weren't all that captivated by their live performance in Denton opening for Akron Family. Maybe its because they told us to be quiet like the people in New York were. In response, someone yelled out "welcome to Texas." I liked that. But a pretty interesting band that might be worth seeing if you aren't looking to rock out tonight. Other than that, make your own damn fun tonight.

EDIT: And how could I forget that Strange Boys are playing a show with Cry Blood Apache at Avenue Arts tonight. its 5 bucks. And since the place doesn't have a real sound system, lets hope they bring enough shit to play loud.

Rhett Miller: The Believer (One star)

I know I know, easy target right? And the fact that I decided I hated this album before I even knew it existed also probably makes this review a little unfair, while the album cover makes the music impossible to enjoy. But aside from all of this bias, listening to the record (which was really hard) inspired two questions: 1) when did Rhett Miller start using the Barenaked Ladies as his backup band? And 2) do musicians REALLY sit down in a practice space or a studio and say "ok, now I'm going to write a song for the sole purpose of getting it played on the Mix 102.9 morning show?" I don't know the answer to either, and I'm sure I really don't give a shit.

I used to like the Old 97's when I was a kid, but I haven't listened to them in so long that I don't know if I would like them now. If they sound anything like this, however, well then I guess I can pass off my former appreciation of the band as a youthful mistake, because this album is complete crap. I really don't even have the desire to go through and tell you which songs sucked and which songs REALLY sucked, because listening to it made having this website feel like a job, and writing about it would be even worse. Now of course most of this stuff is completely harmless pop music, and it probably isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be. I guess there are some catchy moments here and there, but I just can't believe that people around here still think this guy is cool. This is the kind of music that you hear in the background at the Mall, or Starbucks, or anywhere else you might go to consume products and services. In those settings, you probably wouldn't even notice it. The album is decently produced, adequately structured, and more or less run of the mill adult alternapop that is well written for what it is. Doing nothing else but listening to the album in your room, however, reveals how truly boring it is, and how music that is otherwise meaningless can really be annoying when you are forced to think about it for more than 30 seconds. That is all I'm really going to say about it, because writing bad record reviews should at least be somewhat fun. Any way you cut it, however, this album is even less fun to write about than it is to listen to. And that is saying something.


Deep Ellum Community Music Fest

I'll be having "One bad A** evening" that night. As far away from Deep Ellum as I can get.

Here is the link.

PS- maybe the Hampton Inn after party will be pretty cool.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It List: Thursday 3/2/06

Sheesh. Lots going on around here lately. But, what can you do? Here the list be:

1. Mile End with DJ Laureen (Fallout): Britpop, electro, shoegaze, and a lot of obscure shit you might not have heard before.

2. Happy Bullets are at Doublewide tonight for some rollerskating thing.

3. Wanz is playing his Lost Generation stuff at the Elm St. Bar tonight. Check out this cool as fuck playlist from Tuesday at the Cavern:

Major Swellings - FlavoursaverThe Juan Maclean-Shining Skinned FriendThe Spoecials - Ghost TownHildegard Knef - From here it gets rough(from the In-Kraut comp)Liars - It fit when i was a KidDJ Technics & Rod Lee - Poke Ya Ass(Baltimore Club Music)Serena maneesh - Drain CosmeticsEllen Allien & Apparat - RetinaAphex Twin - Falling Free(Curve Remix)Cobra Killer vs. The Holon - Heavy Rotation Christopher Just remixThe Jesus and Mary Chain - Never UnderstandThe Birthday Party - Release the BatsEnnio Morricone - A Fistful of DollarsPixeltan - Get Up Say what(DFA remix)Can - HalleluwahM.I.A. - Fire FireThe Specials - GangstersDangerdoom - The Mask(ft Ghostface)The Dirtbombs - Ode to a Black Man(otherwise known as The Wanz Dover theme song)Gang of Four - Damaged GoodsWire - Ex Lion TamerThe Stooges - 1969The Jesus Lizard - MouthbreatherThe Clash -London's BurningMC5 - High SchoolNo Means No - Sex MadSonic Youth - Dirty BootsRites of Spring - SpringFun Boy Three - The Lunatics(Have taken over the Asylum)The Litter - Whatcha Gonna do about itBo Diddley - Bo DiddleyCelebration - HolidayThe Pop Group - She is Beyond Good and EvilArt Brut - My Little BrotherThe White Stripes - Jimmy the ExplorerThe Specials - Too Much too YoungJoy Division - DigitalPublic Image Limited - Swan LakeBauhaus/Brian Eno - Third Uncle(Wild Bull mashup)Primal Scream - Swastika Eyes(Jagz kooner mix)Public Enemy - 911 is a JokePJ Harvey - The WindX - Johnny Hit and Run PauleneNick Cave & The bad Seeds - Do You Love MeThe Velvet Underground - Venus in FursPulp - I SpyBloc Party - Banquet(Phones mix)Silver Apples - The ProgramFunkadelic - Hit it or Quit itThe Slits - ShopliftingGet Hustle - Revolution VanJimi Hendrix - Machine GunThe Stooges - Down on The StreetAmon Tobin - BridgeStereolab - We're not Adult OrientedThe Flaimng Lips -Yeah Yeah Yeah's -Verev - Slide AwayOve-Naxx -Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - what Have you done for me latelyScreaming Jay Hawkins - Constipation BluesBad Brains - the MeekFela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive ShitBaby Huey - Hard TimesSuicide - Ghost RiderKano - Ps and QsK.M.D. - Boogie ManTortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy - Thunder RoadTortoise - Djed(Unkle remix)David Bowie - Speed of LifeDavid Bowie - WarszawaTelevision - See No EvilBuck 65 - Double HeaderChocolate Watchband - Darkside of the mushroomBraniac - Hands of the GeniusFugazi - Do You Like MeFaust - JeniferKuno & the Marihuana Brass - Marihuana Mantra(from the In-Kraut comp)The Raconteurs - Store Bought BonesDr dre - Nuthin but a g thangSonic Youth - Kill Your IdolsScratch Acyd - She SaidYo La Tengo - Big Day ComingLadytron - High RiseDeerhoof - O'Malley, Former UnderdogDJ Rich - (Balitmore club music Mash up mix by The Wild Bull)

That is the shit. Also, this guy had the nerve to start a blog on top of being in like eight bands and a great DJ. Damn it. I'm sure it will be a good regular read in these parts: