Sunday, April 30, 2006

It List: Sunday 4/30/06

1. Islands/Why?/Cadence Weapon (Hailey's Denton): Islands has put out one of the best records of 2006 so far, and although I have seen two Unicorns performances, one great and one not so great, I'm really looking forward to this show because I think they've really improved as a band. I'm not sure if I'm really that into Why?, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Cadence Weapon sounds interesting, and has earned some pretty good reviews of his latest mixtape. This will probably be a really fun show.

2. Laptop Deathmatch (Doublewide): You probably know what this is about already, but before you go you can stop by The Cavern and see Teenage Symphony opening for The Pit That Became a Tower and American Werewolf Academy. Um, AWA is blah blah blah I don't care boring and the Tower band is a sort of decent indie pop act, and the fact that they are from Israel and take manger scene pictures in the holy land is kind of funny I guess. So go see Teenage Symphony, possibly stick around for Tower, and then go to Doublewide to see some interesting local electronic performers block rock some beats. That would be our advice.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mavericks 94, Grizzlies 89

If you still had doubts about whether Dirk Nowitzki was a bona fide NBA superstar, that three pointer with 15 seconds left probably just convinced you that he was. And you would be right. The Mavericks just weren't the kind of team that won in overtime on the road in the playoffs before Avery Johnson took over, and now they appear more ready than ever to take on the Spurs. Lets brush these fleas called the Grizzlies off in game 4, hope for a long Spurs-Kings series, and get ready to play some fucking basketball.

It List: Saturday 4/29/06

1. Acid Mother's Temple/ The Antarcticans/ The Great Tyrant (Hailey's Denton): The best Japanese experimental noise psych freak band of all time! Really, this should be a great show. AMT will require you to take acid at the door. But even if you don't, you'll still really enjoy it if you don't need music to have a good beat that you can dance to. Antarcticans and Ft. Worth's The Great Tyrant sound pretty good too. Check it.

2. iDi* Amin/ Ghostcar (Cool Bean's Denton): Show starts at 930 and should be a good one, featuring one of Denton's more interesting up and coming noise acts with one of the area's staple experimental fusion jazz etc. groups. Or maybe the area's only. Its on the roof of Cool Beans apparently, and the weather is just right for that sort of thing.

Kid 606/Tree Wave/ Dj Nature @ Redblood Club

Last night at the Kid 606 show, I was thinking about people who primarily listen to rock music, particularly those that are serious indie or punk fans, and how those people tend to react to dance or electronic music. Then today, I was going through the comment posts on here, and came across one that provided a good example of the attitude that I was considering:

"at least btd (Black Tie Dynasty) play their own instruments.but what is sad,is that any monkey can push any key on a computer program and sound seems easy enough.but sadly enough, not always the"

When I was 15 and thought Bad Religion was the coolest band on the face of the earth, I probably would have completely agreed with that comment. Today, however, the very notion that someone is more "organic" or respectable because they "play their own instrument" is totally and completely laughable to me, and anyone with half a brain should know better. Not to pick on Black Tie Dynasty yet again, but lets just use them as an example since that is the example that the Anon poster used. BTD obviously play electric guitars, and they use amps, and PAs, and effects processors, and microphones, and pedals, and everything else under the sun to manipulate the sounds of the guitar, the vocals and even the drums. When rock bands like BTD play live, they are using a club's PA system in order to amplify the sounds so that you can hear them. When they record music, they go into a studio and more likely that not use digital equipment to record their songs and engage in all other kinds of digital sound manipulation, just like most performers do today. Again, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, and that is exactly my point. There is nothing wrong with it. When you think about it, guitars were a technological innovation when they were first created, as was reel to reel tape, and sound proof rooms and mixing boards and microphones and pretty much every musical instrument that has ever been invented or studio that has been built to record them. That was all technology too. I guess the only difference that people like Anon see between a guitar and protools is that the technology is digital, and the manipulation of that technology requires slightly less physical activity than playing a guitar or drums. And if that is their basis for saying that there is something wrong with a band like Tree Wave getting up on stage and playing video game music, then I really won't even dignify the argument with a response, because it doesn't make any sense. Besides, I thought only rednecks in Texas militias and shit were afraid of computers. Guess I was wrong. The point is, digital programs are instruments in every sense of the word, created by humans to make music. Any music that incorporates anything other than vocals uses some kind of human created technology, and people should just learn to accept it, because their stubbornness will cause them to miss out on some really great stuff, and make them sound like they haven't put more than two seconds of thought into the whole thing.

Anyone that didn't go to last night's show really did miss out. When we showed up at the Red Blood Club, DJ Nature was in the middle of proving why he is one of the best DJs in DFWd right now. He played a great set of reggae, reggaeton, hip hop, experimental, dance rock, and even a little Kid A Radiohead. His mix was ridiculous, and the medium sized crowd at the show ate up every bit of it, dancing their asses off non stop until the end of his set. If you haven't at least thought about checking this guy out already, then I don't really know what to tell you. Just do it before he moves on to bigger and better places. No one else around here is doing what he does.

Tree Wave followed Nature with a set that, despite some sound problems, was one of the most exciting I have seen from any local band in a very long time. Creating music from old video game sounds and computer programs sounded like a gimmick to me, and if the music had in any way been cutesy or obvious it would have been really bad. But it wasn't. In fact, Tree Wave was exactly what what their Myspace page indicated: loud, noisy, spacey electronic that reminded me of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Stereolab, and of course Eno, whom they covered to open the set. Like I said, they had some sound problems that might have prevented the show from becoming absolutely amazing (the sound at the club in general was full of treble and just not that great), but I'll tell you it was pretty close anyway.

At one point, the male member of the group played some old video game on stage that he had rigged to play music. I forget which game it was, but the screen was very similar to pac man. Every time he would go around a different sphere of the screen, eating all the dots, a different chord would be played, so the music that resulted was based entirely on where his guy on the screen was at any given time. He could make one chord play longer by staying in one ring for a longer period of time, or the opposite. The sounds built up, getting louder and faster on each new level, until it sounded like the whole thing was going to explode on a fast distorted, high pitched wail. Then it was over, and he didn't die once. It was really pretty insane, and the music was quite interesting too. That was what was so great about the whole thing. The music was really really good, despite the sound problems, and aside from the fact that they were making it with video games. It was great stuff completely on its own, with or without the band's back story. And props should be given to their female vocalist as well, who dealt with some sound issues but still gave a great performance, adding a whole other element to their sound that separates them from most laptop based electronic acts. The set was short, but we plan on seeing them again very soon.

Kid 606 was also wonderful. Not knowing nearly as much about dance music as I'd like to, I'll just say that he mixed in all kinds of genres, drum n bass, hip hop, old school Euro techno, and many others to produce an extremely dense, fast and hard sound that was completely captivating and danceable throughout the entire set, even though Kid hardly ever slowed it down to give you a breather. One look at the sizeable crowd dancing at the front of the stage indicating that many people didn't want or need a breather however, and a glance out into the courtyard about half way through the set revealed a good number of people drenched in sweat, all of whom went back inside to finish the set.

A friend and I were talking after the show about how "rockers" often don't know what to make of electronic dance music being played in a setting like Redblood club, which is primarily designed for rock music. All of that is probably changing, and soon many rock n roll fans that can't get into electronic music will have to change their minds, or just become completely irrelevant. But until then, I must deliver a message to many of Dallas' guitar based rock bands: you guys might "play your own instruments" or whatever, but most of you haven't come close to affecting a crowd the way that Kid 606, Tree Wave, and Nature did last night. And while I'm not suggesting that you sell all your guitars and buy turntables like the band in "Losing My Edge," you might want to think about some of the things that electronic artists around here are starting to do much better than you are. You might want to think about how you can put on a show that people will actually find, you know, inspiring. Because playing guitars and keeping time just isn't enough anymore. And thank God for that. Last night's show was one of the best we have seen within the Dallas city limits in months. And there wasn't one guitar in sight.

(EDIT: As my new best friend pointed out in the comments thread, DJ Stephen R. should get some props for putting together a really good show. I hope he continues to do things like this in the future.)

Friday, April 28, 2006

It List: Friday 4/28/06

1. Kid 606/Tree Wave/Dj Nature/Bexarametric/Dj Stephen R (Red Blood Club Deep Ellum): The last time this blog recommended a show in Deep Ellum that wasn't at Gypsy was... well, a long time ago. In fact, I'd say that we have recommended maybe three or four shows in Deep Ellum since we started this thing in January. However, this show is a rare one for the hood: five different performers, all of which we want to see. Kid 606 spins a little bit of everything during his DJ sets: jungle, drum n bass, pop, house, hip hop, and all other kinds of sped up mashed up shit that is impossible to classify. A WSJR associate saw one of his sets in San Francisco and claims it was the second coming. Tree Wave is a local group that I can't believe we hadn't noticed until recently. Great glitchy, spacey electronica stuff that reminds us of Broadcast, Stereolab, Eno and even shoegaze. Good. Bexarametric is another local that mixes ambient stuff with strings and synths and insane beats on the lap top. Should be interesting to check out as well. We don't know what Stephen R plays, but his Myspace indicates that he has good taste, and you know the deal with Dj Nature. This show will be the most fun you will have in Deep Ellum for the next few months at least. Go.

2. Old Time Relijun/Kind of Like Spitting/Bring Back the Guns/Lemuria (Rubber Gloves- Denton): Old time Relijun certainly has studied up on their James Chance, but thats not a bad thing... in fact, its a great thing. Listen for yourself, because nothing else sounds like this right now, except for the disbanded Black Eyes of course.... and they weren't nearly as good. Great dance beats, noise, and some pretty insane vocals. Should be very very cool live. And although Relijun is on K Records, Portland's Kind of Like Spitting sounds much more like a K band thats all mixed up with another Portland band we like, The Thermals. Not sure exactly how to describe them, but give em a listen, because they are good. Houston's Bring Back the Guns have played here before if we remember correctly, and they sound like Les Savy Fav and Fugazi and stuff. Lemuria is grrrlpower pop. Could do without it. Should be a really good show.

EDIT: Almost forgot: Theater Fire will be over at Lee Harvey's tonight. Not sure what time they start, but I would guess you'd be cool if you got there by 10. We'll have a review of their new album on Monday.

Rose County Fair @ Doublewide Saturday (by Taunto)

I like to tell people that I’m a fantastic foosball player. And they believe me, because I’m so good at everything else. I tend to boast, to challenge and bet money. But I always lose. When my reverse-hustle is played out, I’m left feeling frustrated and resentful, and my opponent is usually slightly richer. In this same fashion, I like to tell people I am a fan of local music. I brag and proudly promote shows and bands that seem promising, but at the end of most of these shows I drag myself home, defeated, discourage and broke. And yet, despite all reason, every once in a while I win. It’s usually an accident, or that the guy I’m playing is too drunk, but on rare occasions I win.

Rose County Fair is like that one perfect, fluke game of foosball. They restore my faith in local music and they keep me coming back. Too often, I see bands bog themselves down in tricks and noise, using inappropriate gimmicks to cover up what they don’t know. But Rose County doesn’t use gimmicks; they don’t need to. John Pedigo is a great songwriter, and although he usually shelves himself under novelty acts or rockabilly, with Rose County Fair he finally gets to spread out and write the songs he’s always wanted to. He also finally has a band that can step up to all his interesting changes and really fill them out. They don’t do anything flashy and they are nostalgic in tone, often reminding me of how good it felt to steal my dad’s Miller High Life in 8th grade. At the same time they sound fresh, reminding me of the first time I heard Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. They might branch out and noodle around if need be, but all at once they spin the handles and get the “ball in the hole,” if you know what I mean.

I think a lot of people might assume they are too alt-something to be considered a viable contribution to the scene, but if that’s the case, they’d be overlooking our own Dallas Alex Chilton. That’s right. I said it. I’m comparing Rose County Fair to Big Star. What are you gonna do about it? I’ll tell you what I’M gonna do, I’m gonna challenge YOU to come out to the Doublewide on Saturday night. I promise you’ll get one really good game in before [Daryl] plays and you lose all your money, get pissed off and go home.

(STONEDRANGER NOTE: I was skeptical of Rose County Fair, as I am of most of Taunto's recommendations, until I heard the first song on their Myspace page. You should give it a listen. )

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Last Week's Radio UTD Chart

1 MOGWAI Mr. Beast
2 FLAMING LIPS At War With The Mystics
3 MONO You Are There
5 BUILT TO SPILL You In Reverse
6 LIARS Drum's Not Dead
7 ALOHA Some Echoes
8 TALKDEMONIC Beat Romantic
9 FEU THERESE Feu Therese
10 ELF POWER Back To The Web
12 BOY LEAST LIKELY TO The Best Party Ever
13 PHILIP E. KARNATS Pleasuresuite
14 SIMON JOYNER Beautiful Losers: Singles And Compilation Tracks (1994-1999)
15 ISLANDS Return To The Sea
16 BRIAN ENO/DAVID BYRNE My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
17 A WHISPER IN THE NOISE As The Bluebird Sings
18 JOSH RITTER The Animal Years
19 FIGURINES Skeleton
20 LYLAS Lessons For Lovers
21 DANIEL JOHNSTON Welcome To My World
22 FINIAN MCKEAN Shades Are Drawn
23 GLISSANDRO 70 Glissandro 70
25 SHOPLIFTING Body Stories
27 MADLIB Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes
28 EAGLE*SEAGULL Eagle*Seagull
30 DEAD HEART BLOOM Dead Heart Bloom

(Nice to see some Television Personalities up in this piece!)

It List: Thursday 4/27/06

1. Teenage Symphony (Black Dog Tavern Ft. Worth): This might be a good chance for Ft. Worth to check out one of the more interesting and surprisingly pleasant bands in the metroplex. Really, give them a listen.

2. Hip Hop (Slip Inn): You know whats up. Its like listening to those tapes you made off the local rap station in 1989. At least its like listening to the ones I made. People dance, everyone is cool as fuck, and there isn't a guy wearing an ironic blazer and eyeliner within a five mile radius of the place.

3. Zoo (Cavern Upstairs) A new add to the list this week. Nitwit has an amazing selection of music videos that he shows on a screen upstairs at the Cavern. Ok Ok, doesn't sound super awesome or anything. But when we checked this shit out the other week, he was playing really old stuff we had never heard, plus stuff we knew well and liked (animal collective, !!!, Janes Addiction, and did I catch Happy Mondays in there?), and other music videos that I couldn't even describe to you. Zoo should please just about anyone with any kind of good taste.

EDIT: To prevent Bob White and the F Electrics from ending their band forever, we should tell you that they are playing at Metrognome Collective tonight at 10pm. That is all.

Mavericks 94, Grizzlies 79

Well now we lead this shit 2-0, thanks to another great performance by Dirk Nowitzki and a really good team effort overall. I really liked how all three big men were used to pretty much shut down Pau Gasol. Jason Terry and Josh Howard were also takin care of biz all night.

Next up is the big challenge of the series. Going back to Memphis, the Grizzlies are going to have their home court and their fans, and they are going to be really desperate and pissed off considering that the franchise is 0-10 in its playoff history. They HAVE to win game 3, and they know it. The Mavs are in the best position they could be, obviously, and all they have to do is relax and stay focused, because they are clearly the better team. I think they win the series pretty easily... but I also think the Grizzlies will win one game before its over. Wouldn't it be funny if they didn't?

And in case you were worried that we were turning into jocks and shit around here, we also wanted to let you know that we are teaming up with the dudes at Cowboyriot. They will be taking some pictures at shows and parties and stuff, and we'll be posting some of them on the blog. They take great pictures that make you wish you were at all the places they go, so we think you'll like them.

We'll have an album review and other stuff later this week too, so there.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Your New Favorite Band

It List: Wednesday 4/26/06

1. Jana Hunter/Inoculist/Washing Machine (Metrognome Collective- Ft. Worth): Another good experimental psych/folk show at Metrognome. From the sound of it, not a lot of people have been going to this place so far. I've got a suggestion. You know how you're always trying to be really hip and shit? Well you should go to Metrognome starting now, before everyone starts doing it, so that you can be cooler than them. Oh yeah, its like 5 bucks and BYOB too. Listen to Jana Hunter's "Theres No Home," and tell me that you don't want to check this show out.

2. The Party w/ Dj Nature (Rubber Gloves-Denton): Nature will be giving out his third mix CD at the party tonight, and he suggests getting there early if you want one. We here at WSJR have both of his other Party mixes, and we rock em like every weekend. Don't go if you aren't into good looking people dancing to good music.

Last Week's Good Records Sales Charts

1. The Black Angels - Passover
2. Irving - Death In The Garden, Blood On The Flowers
3. Drive-By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
4. The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
5. Islands - Return To The Sea
6. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
7. Eagles of Death Metal - Death By Sexy...
8. Mono - You Are There
9. Elefant - The Black Magic Show
10. Calexico - Garden Ruin
11. The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
12. Philip E Karnats - Pleasesuite
13. Built To Spill - You In Reverse
14. Tunng - Mother's Daughter and Other Songs
15. The Appleseed Cast - Peregrine
16. Pretty Girls Make Graves - Elan Vital
17. Great Lake Swimmers - Bodies and Minds
18. Mates of State - Bring it Back
19. Serena-Maneesh - Serena-Maneesh
20. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

Irving? Elefant? Pretty Girls Make Graves? Come on Dallas, we can do better than that can't we?

And whats up with Wolf Parade? OMG, that is so last year that I forgot who they were! LOL sweeties :-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It List: Tuesday 4/25/06

1. Lost Generation w/ Wanz Dover (Cavern Upstairs): What Wanz will be doing tonight:

"A special Tropicalia set tonight faeturing stuff like Gal Costa, Tom Ze, Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, France Gall, Jaques Dutronc, Bardot and others. I'm gonna do few 30 minute blocks of this stuff. I also got new Sonic Youth, new Raconteurs, new Arab Strap, new Rapture, Cybotron, Diplo, Gnarls Barkley, Kinga Preis doing polish Nick cave covers and a lot more surprises. You know the score it's Lost Generation......Where great music goes to be found. Come have a drink, Talk shit and Dance."

Go. It starts at 10.

Denton's Secret HQ

There has been a lot of talk around here lately about alternative venues. It seems that while people do enjoy overpaying for beer, and most aren't completely opposed to club owners making money off of concerts, etc., there is still a feeling that there is something great about places like Metrognome Collective, where art is a little more important and central to the focus, and where something interesting and spontaneous seems that it can happen at any time, providing a little more excitement than the canned fun that you often find at more traditional venues (oh yeah, and BYOB makes it cheaper to get more drunk, ya idiots).

We really need a good D.I.Y. venue like that down here in Dallas since Sanctuary Studios is no more (come on, like one?), but for now we'll have to add yet another reason to go to Denton all the goddamn time to the Reasons to go to Denton All the Goddamn Time List.

This reason would be Secret HQ, the new multipurpose, um, place that will be opening up in the old Art Prostitute space (210 E. Hickory St.) on June 3rd. The space will be open and mostly run by Scott Porter (Record Hop), Cody Robinson (Medicine Window) and Rob Black (Birth to Burial), and will feature an art gallery, a store, and every Saturday night, a venue for early shows.

Each Saturday show will feature two bands for three dollars from 8-10 pm, and from what we gather will be BYOB. Their first show on June 3rd will actually feature three bands and start off at 7pm: Fra Pandolf, the Angelus and Shiny Around the Edges will all be playing. With a solid kick off line up like that, we're kind of excited to see what these guys can do with this place.

They have a lot of other plans for the space as well, but those are like secret and shit. I guess you've just gotta show up to see what else they've got up their sleeves.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It List: Monday 4/24/06

1. Half Handed Cloud/Vollmar/Fishboy (Metrognome Collective Ft. Worth): Lately it seems that Metrognome has been pulling in some pretty intereting shows without that stupid focus on new wave revival bands that Dallas clubs. Tonights show features two out of town acts, Half Handed Cloud and Vollmar. HHC is a solid folk pop band that is actually interesting, and Vollmar is a strange lo-fi electro folk band that is probably an intriguing live act. Fishboy is Fishboy, and we like him.

Voxtrot with Irving @ Hailey's

One of the last songs Irving played on Friday featured a chorus in which they called someone a "pleasant waste of time." I don't know what the song was actually called, but it serves as a good description of the band if you take away the word "pleasant" and replace it with, well, nothing. "Waste of time" does just fine.

Irving appears to be a band that is gearing up for a big commercial push, and why shouldn't they? They've got a lot of ooohs and aaahs and a "funny" keyboard player and a fake Albert Hammond Jr. guitar player and probably some of the most boring, derivative songs you'll ever hear, effectively mixing the worst of the Dandy Warhols with the worst of Elephant 6 and a shitty Beatles cover band that listens to Death Cab but is too embarrassed to tell their friends. Throw in some gross sexuality and dorky girl-kiss ass lyrics and it becomes obvious that this band could be huge. Their songs have the perfect balance of TRL accessibility and Urban Outfitters street cred to ensure that every record executive in the United States will reference their album in attempts to be hip with the kids.

We're not here to bitch about commercially viable indie pop or bands that wear their influences on their sleeves, because both can be acceptable at times if they are done right, as Voxtrot showed us later on in the evening. We just keep seeing Irving on the Insound charts and reading glowing reviews on various MP3 blogs, and we have to say: don't believe the hype. Its really hard to believe that no one has called these guys out on their shit before until you find out that they are from L.A., where no one ever calls anybody out on their shit. Its like Dallas except its the real L.A.

After the horrible experience that was Irving, Voxtrot came out and changed our moods for the better, even if they didn't completely blow us away. Voxtrot's influences also come through pretty clear from the moment you hear them: Belle and Sebastian, the Smiths, the Vaselines, etc., but the difference between them and Irving is that they actually, you know, write good songs with memorable choruses, solid vocals and decent lyrics.

We're pretty big fans of Voxtrot's two EPs, and they certainly performed the songs with a lot of energy and tight playing. But even though their performance was more than adequate, we just couldn't get completely hooked in. All the elements for a good show were there (good band, good songwriters, lots of enthusiastic fans) but there was something about it that just prevented it from being exciting most of the time. I can't tell if I'm just sick of indie pop, or if Irving created a mood that couldn't be overcome, or if it was Voxtrot's fault. But there was something just kind of boring about the whole show, something that made us feel as though writing pop songs with clear pop influences might not be a bad thing if the songs are good and a bit innovative, but that you have to do a little more if you want people to actually give a shit. We enjoyed the show, but we certainly didn't spend much time talking about afterwards. And actually, to inject a bit of local music positivity into this review, we kind of wished that we had gone to the Strange Boys/Undoing of David Wright show at Rubber Gloves instead. Yeah, we can see those bands any time, but we can also see indie pop shows just about any time too, Pitchfork approval aside. Voxtrot is good, might become great, and surely has a bright future both commercially and artistically. I'm just not sure how much I care.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mavericks 103, Grizzlies 93

Solid win for the Mavs tonight. It was a real group effort, and they actually looked like a team that plays the way you are supposed to in the playoffs: lots of aggression, defense, and clutch shooting when necessary. It feels really good to get that first win at home, as opposed to what happened last year....

The difference maker tonight? Well, other than Dirk (of course), it had to be Erick Dampier. I never thought I would say that, but its true. 12 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks doesn't look amazing on paper, but anyone that saw the game knows what I mean. He really made some big plays. If he can keep playing like this, the Mavs just might have a pleasantly long post season.

Oh, and Dirk Nowitzki: 31 points, 11 rebounds. If this guy doesn't get MVP this year, I'm going on a shooting spree. End of story.

It List: Sunday 4/23/06

1. T.V. On the Radio/Celebration (Gypsy Tea Room): Heard the new TV on the Radio today, and I really like what I hear so far... very experimental, and the songs sound a bit more alive than the ones on their first full length, which I thought fell a little flat after the brilliant Young Liars EP. It will be interesting to hear what they sound like live, but their new stuff sounds good enough to make me take the gamble. Celebration (whose lead singer does vocal duties on some TV on the Radio songs) opens, and they're pretty good too. Some very spastic kind of no wave rhythm heavy songs mixed in with some quiet weird ones. Go early and check them out.

2. Books on Tape/Captain Ahab/Malise (Metrognome Collective-Fort Worth): Two strange bands from LA tonight: Books on Tape play rough, choppy, sorta minimal experimental electronica that leans toward the dance. Good stuff. Captain Ahab are a train wreck, and although I'm not usually into "Joke bands," this joke is made easier to swallow because their tunes are entertaining and sort of like, funny and stuff. And I'm not even sure it is a joke. Dallas' Malise, who I have never heard until today, play some strange noise that actually has a beat behind it. I'm not sure if you can dance to it, but this will probably be a really fun show. And its at a really cool not-for-profit DIY venue, so get off your ass, drive to Fort Worth and make something happen.

Also tonight at 10 on 88.1 KNTU, Frank of Frequency Down will give you this:

NEW Sonic Youth, Islands, Sufjan Stevens, Land of Talk, Rainer Maria, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Spector 45 and Midlake!Also songs from Wilco, The Helio Sequence, Crystal Skulls, Eniac, The Tah-Dahs, Prayer For Animals, Teenage Symphony, American Analog Set, Experimental Aircraft, Moonbabies, Drive By Truckers, Drop Nineteens, Single Frame, Thee More Shallows AND SO MUCH MORE!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It List: Saturday 4/22/06

If you're not at Fry Street Fair getting trashed today, or even if you are and are still able to function by the time the sun goes down, you might want to move it on over to one of these two spots:

1. Strange Boys/Attractive and Popular/Eat Avery's Bones/Cartright (Double Wide): This should be a really good show. You all know Strange Boys and Eat Avery's Bones already, but Attractive and Popular play some pretty solid dancerock stuff, and Cartright does a set of folk inspired pop... which sounds lame until you hear it. Or actually, until you see them live. We caught them at the Yellow House a month or two ago and they were fantastic. Go early and see for yourself.

2. Spankrock/Dj Nature/Best Fwends (Hailey's): Spankrock is fun and filthy Bmore club hip hop at its finest, and you all know what kind of shit nature brings. Get there around 10 to catch his set. Best Fwends at 11 too.

Friday, April 21, 2006

It List: Friday 4/21/06

Once again, its happening in Denton tonight:

Voxtrot/Irving/Bosque Brown/Tacks the Boy Disaster (Hailey's- Denton): Great line up tonight. We're still a bit skeptical about Irving, but we'll see how they sound live.... they do have some good songs, so who knows? The entire We Shot JR crew could possibly be in full force at this thing tonight. Tacks is pretty sweet.

Undoing of David Wright/Strange Boys/Attractive and Popular (Rubber Gloves-Denton): Another great show up in Denton tonight. There is a possibility that you will have your face rocked off.

AND DONT FORGET: The Kettle, a gallery across the street from Trees, will have Unconscious Collective at 9pm, featuring Aaron Gonzalez of Sanctuary Studios fame. We are told that fans of Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman should get over there tonight. Sorry, no website for you or anything.


Tomorrow, the Yella House in Denton will be hosting a free show in the afternoon, starting at 3pm. There will be grilling involved, keg beer, and:

Sarah Reddington
The Undoing of David Wright
The Pebble that Saved the World


Good Records- Black Angels instore for the "Passover" release party. 4pm Saturday.

New Theater Fire

Heres a new track from the Theater Fire's new album Everybody Has a Dark Side, to be released in early May. Reminds me of Angels of Light a bit. And its pretty damn good by the way.

MP3 "Barrel Riders"

Last Week's Radio UTD Chart

From our good friends at Radio UTD:

1 FLAMING LIPS At War With The Mystics
2 MONO You Are There
3 BUILT TO SPILL You In Reverse4
4 LIARS Drum's Not Dead
5 PHILIP E. KARNATS Pleasuresuite
6 GLISSANDRO 70 Glissandro 70
7 BOY LEAST LIKELY TO The Best Party Ever
8 ELF POWER Back To The Web
9 ISLANDS Return To The Sea
10 LOOSE FUR Born Again In The USA
11 EELS Eels With Strings: Live At Town Hall
12 CENTRO-MATIC Fort Recovery
13 MOGWAI Mr. Beast
14 SIMON JOYNER Beautiful Losers: Singles And Compilation Tracks (1994-1999)15 TALKDEMONIC Beat Romantic
16 SHOPLIFTING Body Stories
17 MADLIB Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes
19 CALEXICO Garden Ruin
22 STREETS The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living
23 CONCRETES In Colour
24 FIGURINES Skeleton
25 DEAD HEART BLOOM Dead Heart Bloom
26 EAGLE*SEAGULL Eagle*Seagull
27 ALOHA Some Echoes
28 TE' If That Is What Is Being Thought,Liberated Sound Talks The Depth Of "Musical" World
29 FIELD MUSIC Field Music
30 JOSH RITTER The Animal YearsRadio

71/2 Questions with Voxtrot

We recently communicated with Voxtrot lead singer Ramesh Srivastava via the world wide web of internet communications, and asked him some questions about music and shit. His band is playing at Hailey's tonight on the second to last date of a tour on which they have sold out two shows at New York's Mercury Lounge and another one in Toronto. During the tour, they also received a very strong Pitchfork review, instantly placing them in that "internet buzz band" group that you know you all get excited about. They are one of the Austin bands that everyone is raving about these days, and probably the best of that bunch. Here we go:

We recently read the Pitchfork review, which seems pretty important considering that Pitchfork (not to mention almost everyone else) makes a pretty big deal about their role as Kingmakers in the indie world. Was this review exciting for you? Do you think it had any immediate impact on your career, considering that your two EPs recently charted at numbers 5 and 8 on the Insound bestseller list (as of April17th)? Do you a see a real cause and effect relationship between Pitchfork praise and greater commercial success?

I am very thankful that Pitchfork gave us a positive review, as I understand their sphere of influence is great. I normally do not read Pitchfork (or any similar website, likely because I don't have the internet in the house), but thought that our review was intelligently
written. There probably has been an immediate impact, but I suppose it will be a little while longer before we know exactly what that impact is. It seems positive thus far so let's hope that sustains. Either way, I hope people who feel connected to the music would feel
so in any circumstance, positive review or otherwise.

You've also received quite a bit of buzz on some of the tastemaker music blogs. What do you think of this new phenomenon in music, i.e. the fact that there are a handful of blogs (most of which are operated by one person) that can have a pretty serious impact on the industry?

I love blogs. They're delicious. Just kidding. I think blogs are brilliant because it's a totally subversive form of media. The primary catalyst is passion for music, as opposed to commercial gain.

We hear a lot of twee influences in your music, as well as brit pop and sixties pop. What would you say are some of your bigger influences as a band?

Belle and Sebastian and Whitehouse.

We recently read on the Voxtrot Kid blog about your optimism concerning the Austin music scene. Why do you think things are going so well down there now as opposed to several years ago? What are some of the more interesting new bands and venues that you like in Austin?

I'm not sure why Austin is so great these days; it's hard to determine what gets the cultural wave going. My first guess was the internet, but I'd like to believe the force is of a more 'cosmic persuasion.'My favorite bands in Austin? Cry Blood Apache, Peel, Sound Team,Tacks! The Boy Disaster, The Carrots, and I've heard stuff from a band called Magic Surprise recently, which I thought was quite good.

What new music are you guys listening to these days?

New Things I have bought and liked in the last wee while include: Modeselektor, Hot Chip, Luciano, Nathan Fake, Electrelane, Scout Niblett, Royksopp.

We also read that you guys consider dance music to be a big influence, especially the kind coming out of Optimo in Glasgow (where Srivastava lived for a period of time). Do you think indie dance or dancerock is a fad that will pass (or has passed) in the US, or is it the first sign that dance music is becoming more accepted in the U.S., like it is in England and Europe, amongst people that primarily listen to rock music?

I am still a big proponent of Optimo and hope to do stuff with them in the future. we brought Optimo to Austin a few months ago and it was quite successful, which is a good sign. Dance music will probably continue to have waves in the States, but I seriously doubt that you will ever have a room full of twenty-somethings jumping off the walls and pumping their fists to Green Velvet. The culture just doesn't lend itself.

Any plans for recording new material any time soon?

This summer we should be recording our first full length album.

While it is true that people are people, there is much disagreement as to whether people are in fact strange when you're a stranger. Why is this?

The stranger wants others to be strange, thus releasing him/her from the burden of being singularly estranged.

Irving opens tonight @ Hailey's

"Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives" MP3


Thursday, April 20, 2006

It List: Thursday 4/20/06

Amidst all the bong smoking madness going on in, um, some circles today, you can probably go see some decent music tonight. However, I discovered a new local band I hate that you can click on if you really need to fuck up your high and get sober quickly. You know, if you get called into work or have to have dinner with your mom or something, this would be the thing you should listen to first. They are called Melba Toast. They are sensitive frat boys. Sheesh. The better stuff:

1. Fruit Bats/Amandine/Sam Jayne (Dan's Silverleaf Denton): Fruit Bats don't really do anything new: folk influenced 70's radio pop that will remind some people of the Shins (if you don't have any frame of reference before 1998). Pretty straight forward. But the songwriting is so catchy, and their albums are so well done, that the sameness of their approach really doesn't matter after a few songs. In fact, you'll probably forget all about who they sound like, and just enjoy how they sound. Really, their last record is the perfect spring time listen, and we've had it on our stereo a lot lately. And don't worry, you won't even have to show up early because the other two bands are, well, boring as shit.

2. Prayer for Animals/Eat Avery's Bones (Redblood Club): EAB goes on first, and Prayer for Animals goes on last. In between is an absolutely horrible punk band called Black Eyes and Neckties. Really, they are a pretty good summary of why I think "punk," at least in its current incarnation, absolutely and completely sucks. There is also a band from Dallas called the Lash Outs playing. Um, they're really not my thing (garage rock, rockabilly), but they aren't bad at all if you're into that sort of thing. Listen for yourself.

3. And of course, there is always the world of mid period hip hop at the Slip Inn tonight, if you feel like going "Out" out, you know? You might even catch various members of the We Shot JR crew there, pretending to be cool.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Take that, Liberals!

Come on guys, lets admit it. Bush was right. And its time for liberals everywhere to recognize what the majority of the American people now know, which is that the neocons have figured out the best way to manage our foreign policy. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran are all going as planned. Here comes freedom (if you have trouble loading this, just double click on it and it will take you to the YouTube site):

PS- Is this band from Dallas? They sound like they are.

It List: Wed. 4/19/06

Only one place to be tonight people, and that is at Rubber Gloves for the Party with Dj Nature.


It seems like every year since 2001, there have been three or four new songs each year that have come out and just completely kicked my ass right off the bat. You know, the kind of song that just floors you right from the start (White Stripes, Radiohead, Russian Futurists, LCD Soundsystem, Liars, Junior Senior, Akron/Family and Devendra Banhart have all done this to me in the past.)

And aside from the new Liars record, there hadn't been much that really blew me away this year... until I heard Feathers' record.

In case you didn't know, Feathers did a lot of the backing music for Cripple Crow, Devendra Banhart's last album, and have released their self titled debut on Banhart's record label Gnomosong. Although the rest of the album isn't quite as strong as the track below, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite releases this year, and probably deserved a slightly higher rating than the 7.7 it got over at Pitchfork (although it is a pretty positive review). Listen for yourself:

"Old Black Hat with a Dandelion Flower" MP3

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

RE: Sound at the Cavern

One of the Cavern sound guys, upon noticing the large amount of, um, constructive criticism on here about the Cavern's sound, decided to write us a letter. Here it is:

Re: Sound at the Cavern

I just wanted to tell you a little about the p.a. system at the Cavern and the people who operate it. The p.a. system was installed last September when Spune Productions took over as booking agent/talent buyer. Glen Squibb is the production manager at The Cavern and Hailey’s Club. He works with Daughter Entertainment and Spune Productions. He selected the very best components for the p.a. with the Cavern’s budget, with most of the money invested in an Allen & Heath GL2400 console and Turbosound speakers. It is actually a good system for a small venue like The Cavern. One night, I walked in to the Cavern to see Mazinga Phazer II and this band from NYC called Downtown (very disappointing). Anyway, the sound was awful. I mean really bad. Glen wasn’t there that night. You see, Glen does a great job. He is the main sound guy at Hailey’s, so whenever there was a Hailey’s show he would have to find someone to cover his job at the Cavern. The guy that was there that night didn’t know anything about audio. So I started helping out. Long story short, in March I started running sound at the Cavern whenever Glen is at Hailey’s. So far, I have had no complaints. In fact, I have received many compliments and a few bands have requested I tour with them. I will do my very best to make the bands sound their very best. I love working at the Cavern and I hope to help make the Cavern the very best little venue in Dallas. The owners have been very helpful. I suggested that they relocate the A/C unit so that the electromagnetic field doesn’t get looped back through the p.a. system (it used to be above the stage). They spent $500 to relocate it two weeks ago. The Cavern makes ZERO money off the door. All the door cover goes to the bands and a few $$$ to the sound guy. I don’t do bookings, but I know that it is hard to always have stellar bands every night. That’s why there is the occasional shit band. We don’t like it either.


Josh @ The Cavern

It List: Tuesday 4/18/06

Someone told us in the post below to "live in the now." Here we go:

1. Lost Generation w/ Wanz Dover (Upstairs-The Cavern): kraut, experimental, shoegaze, noise, electronica, and lost of other interesting stuff will be played by the guy that everyone on here either loves or loves to hate. Whatever you think, its a great place to hear some music that you've never heard before.

2. Captured by Robots/Fra Pandolf/ It Smells of Sex and Mannequins (Rubber Gloves): We like Fra Pandolf, and Mannequins sounds like the Locust or Blood Brothers with more of a death metal vibe... which we don't know if we're into, but the kids like it, ya know? Captured by Robots is just kinda fucked up, and sounds like a joke. Don't know how long the joke will be funny. Probably a pretty cool sight to see, however.

The Way We Were

I was bored today, and I thought about this song. I posted it for a couple reasons:

1. I wonder if people think the early 90's were the Dallas music scene "glory days," at least within the past several decades. Is anyone that reads this blog old enough to actually remember the Tripping Daisy, Hagfish, Toadies, etc. era? As in, went to the shows all the time, knew the people in the scene, etc? Does anyone too young to remember care about or like this song? Or this band?

2. when did people stop crowd surfing?

3. I'm not a big Tripping Daisy fan at all, but is it just me or is this song better than those being made by at least 90% of currently active local bands?

4. If so, then how depressing is it that the review on Allmusic said of this album: "Not a landmark album, but not a bad one, either. A pleasant souvenir of its time."

5. Is Dallas producing any "pleasant souvenirs" of THIS time?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Last Week's Good Records Chart

1. Built To Spill - You In Reverse
2. The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
3. The Black Angels - Passover
4. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
5. Calexico - Garden Ruin
6. Editors - The Back Room
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
8. Serena-Maneesh - Serena-Maneesh
9. Philip E Karnats - Pleasesuite
10. Great Lake Swimmers - Bodies and Minds
11. Islands - Return To The Sea
12. Irving - Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers
13. Figurines - Skeleton
14. Eagles of Death Metal - Death By Sexy...
15. The Appleseed Cast - Peregrine
16. The Sounds - Dying to Say This To You
17. Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
18. Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery
19. Mono - You Are There
20. Two Gallants - What the Toll Tells

Who knew that there were enough cool people in Dallas to chart My Life in the Bush....? Did people start taking AntiDaryl pills or something?

And the Band of Horses album. I've only listened to it twice, but I'm gonna have to say... overrated.

It List: Monday 4/17/06

Yeah, so I would really like to talk some shit about Neko Case. They love her at the Observer, she seems pretty annoying and self important in interviews, David Cross makes fun of her, and she really just seems to deserve some bad press... even if she is in fact very hot. I don't know. I just can't truss it.

But the songs on Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, her latest solo effort,make that hard to do because most of them are pretty damn good. Yeah its nothing new, mostly sad reverby country and strings, but she's got a great voice and some obvious talent as a songwriter. Damn it. I really want to piss some people off today too.

Add in the fact that the High Dials, opening for her at the Granada tonight, are really good too... and you've got a pretty boring post for today.

Oh well, at least we can say that the Granada blows or something.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

No It List Today

See you tomorrow. Eat a baby jesus egg or something.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

It List: Saturday 4/15/06

1. Black Arm Band/Silk Stocking/Fra Pandolf (The Cavern): I hope the Cavern can handle the sound explosion that will occur tonight. Should be a great show. Come on Dallas, take a break from Radiant, Christian Emo and the Deathray Warhols and check out something a little different tonight.

2. You are The Universe/ Violent Squid/ Andrew Michael Hilburn (8th Continent): The noisy and adventerous side of the Denton scene will be in full effect here tonight. Its at 731 Texas St. in Denton. Google it, bitch.

3. Washing Machine (Club Dada): Yeah, its in Deep Ellum at a lame club. What can you do? None of us have seen Washing Machine live in concert, but we bet it will be worth it.

4. Smile Smile/Prayer for Animals/Teenage Symphony (Darkside Lounge): Frank from Frequency Down recently said that Teenage Symphony was one of the local bands that he was getting excited about. Go to their Myspace page and listen.... you will probably get excited too. How they will sound live is anyone's guess, but we really like what we hear on Myspace, especially "Lucky." Sort of like if Spacemen 3 and the Beach Boys started a marching band.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Heavy Rotation: The We Shot J.R. Playlist for 4/14/06

So you were probably sitting around this week going "Hey, I wonder what kind of cool, extraordinarily hip shit the badasses at We Shot J.R. have been listening to lately." We heard your cries, crybabies (and we'll even throw some Mp3s into the mix):

Liars Drums Not Dead (Record of the year so far? Yes.) MP3 "Lets Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack"

Fleetwood Mac Rumors (why this never leaves my record player I'm just not sure.)

Islands Return to the Sea (other record of the year so far? yes.) "Jogging Gorgeous Summer" Mp3

Guided By Voices Bee Thousand

Happy Mondays Pills n' Thrills and Bellyaches

Akron/Family- Angels of Light split

Castanets First Light's Freeze

Ellen Allien Berlinette

Faust IV

Ghostface Killah Fishscale

Great Lakes Swimmers Moving Pictures Silent Film

Jesus and Mary Chain 21 Singles

John Lennon Plastic Ono Band

Manitoba Up In Flames "Track 3" Mp3

Mercury Rev Boces

Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die

Sea and Cake Oui

Spacemen 3 Playing With Fire

Voxtrot Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives EP Title Track MP3

Sly and the Family Stone Theres a Riot Goin' On

(If bands or management want any of these songs removed, please email me and I will take them off the blog ASAP. Thanks.)

It List: Friday 4/14/06

Well, doesn't look like a big night for fun around town tonight. But there are a few scattered things that you might want to check out:

1. Centro-matic is playing with Great Lake Swimmers @ The Granada tonight. Of course, you can see Great Lake Swimmers for free tomorrow afternoon at Good Records, but you should check them out one way or another.

2. Pegasus now is playing at Doublewide tonight at 1145pm.


3. Fra Pandolf will be over at the Delta Lodge.

Thats it. If anyone knows of any other shows or big blow out puke your ass off house parties, post in those comments playa.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It List: Thursday 4/13/06

1. El Aviador Dro/Hi-Fi Chorus/ S-1 Committee (Rubber Gloves-Denton): So I'm not usually in the business of recommending bands that I haven't listened to more than once, but I'm gonna forget about that rule for today because the last 15 minutes that I just spent listening to Aviador Dro kicked my ass. Think Devo and Kraftwerk in Spanish... and really fucking good. Go to this show unless you're an idiot. And you can go to their website and download some tracks if you don't believe me.

2. Femme Fatality/Peachcake/Undoing of David Wright/Girls Rise with Heat (Darkside Lounge): Yes, as a matter of fact I am going to keep posting about every David Wright show that takes place until I somehow am assured that every last one of you have seen what is probably the best live band in DFWd right now. And they're in Dallas tonight, so no excuses about having to drive far and cry cry cry. Femme Fatality are a decent synth dance combo thing that will probably be fun live. Peachcake is sounds pretty cool too.

3. Real Live Tigers (Metrognome Collective- Fort Worth): Haunting folk, very interesting. And its at Metrognome, which is a good place to hang out anyway.

And yes there is other stuff going on tonight, like Bosque Brown for free at the DMA at 7:30, but the three shows above are where you really should be tonight if you can. Oh, and there is no reason not to stop over at the Slip Inn for some good 80's and 90's hip hop after.

Voot Cha Index video: "Talking House"

Voot Cha sent us an email about their new video on YouTube, and we've decided to share it with you because, well, the song kicks ass. And so does claymation.

Do these guys remind you of a young Mercury Rev or what? And I really like the way the song was recorded too. Good stuff:

Tom Goes to the Courthouse

The upcoming Denton noise/free folk festival Beauty and the Beast Vol. 1, originally scheduled for July 1st at Rubber Gloves, was recently served with a cease and desist order from Myspace and possibly Disney for use of a Disney movie title in its name.... or I guess as its name. Maybe the talking tea cups got a little pissed off when they heard about the festival... they're more into emo or something.

But fear not noise rockers, because the fest is back on under a different name: Strategies of Beauty Vol. 1. The date and time have not changed, and so far they have confirmed the following acts:

Fra Pandolf
Notes from Underground
You are the Universe
Hotel, Hotel
Shiny Around the Edges
Chris Garver
Ribelle Scaltro

Should be a good one. Go to their Myspace page and listen to some of the bands that will be appearing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

DoubleWide: Back Open Under new Ownership?

Um, so theres this other rumor going around that DWide will be back open THIS WEEKEND with new owners... jesus. That would surely be cool, but if its true, I wasted one big long winded post on nothing. Oh well.

We don't know for sure, but we've heard from a couple of seemingly reliable sources, so we'll give you more info when we get it.

It List: Wed. 4/12/06

Not a lot of live music going on tonight, which means that it might be a good night to head up to Denton to check out DJ Nature's Party at Rubber Gloves.... and if you're too uncool to get why you should go by now, just remember that they've got two dollar well drinks tonight, meaning that you can drink AND get someone else drunk enough to actually believe that you're hip, all at the same time! That is one dollar more than the confirmed price of PBR at places that don't exist anymore folks, so ch ch check it.

DoubleWide Ships Out

Just when it seemed like the wave of Deep Ellum/Dallas scene obituaries (including those coming from this site) was finally dying down and people were moving on , DoubleWide had to go and close its doors, forcing local music writers to yet again come up with a batch of well written statements about the death of Deep Ellum, local music, and the neighborhood. But I refuse to bore you with that shit, because I think most of what can be said has already been said. I also think that Doublewide's closing, while certainly not a good thing, doesn't really change that much. Yes, it means one less place to see decent music in the downtown area, and yes it happened to be one of the best small venues in town, but its closing also doesn't happen to have much of an impact in an area where there isn't much happening to begin with.

DoubleWide seems to have been one of the most beloved bars in Dallas, especially amongst the crowd that generally takes an interest in the kind of music we cover on this blog. On a personal level, I had some great times at DoubleWide, saw some pretty good shows (the Undoing/Strange Boys show earlier this year being the best I can remember), and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place most of the time. It was great to have separate bars; one for music and one for hanging out, along with a courtyard in the middle to serve as a break from the two. It was large enough to see a lot of people you knew at once and avoid those that you didn't want to see. The sound in the performance room was also quite good, and the space was big enough to host a decent sized local show but small enough to remain intimate. All in all, many good times were had by a lot of people at DoubleWide, and that is something we should all remember.

But lets also remember some other things about the place. For starters, it was a theme bar. And we all know, or should know, that theme bars are lame. And although Doublewide was far less guilty than others of taking their theme to obnoxious levels, it also created what sometimes ended up being a Texas Post Modern altcountry kitschy macho tattoo dude vibe that, like it or not, could get pretty annoying. Paying three bucks or whatever for a can of PBR, by the way, didn't help make the joke any funnier.

And another thing: how many great shows did Doublewide actually host? I don't have a number for you, but there were a lot of weekends that I remember Friday night's line up being some bullshit rockabilly band and three local ass rock outfits that I had never heard of and didn't care to hear, followed by a Saturday Night Roller Derby party featuring the Feds or some shitty pop punk band that probably would have been annoying beyond words if I had actually ever been dumb enough to go to a Roller Derby event. What I am trying to say is that while Doublewide had all the makings for a great bar, and often was one, there were many nights in which it hosted bad music for boring crowds. And that certainly didn't help things in my mind.

Well, now its gone. And although the reasons aren't entirely clear, a few things are. For starters, it seems that it is becoming less and less economically feasible to keep a decent concert venue/bar open in the Deep Ellum/ Downtown area. You can blame crime, a lack of good bands, a lack of good fans, outrageous parking prices and shady Deep Ellum club clientele, but whatever the cause, the results are the same: right now, for whatever reasons you want to cite, business is not good in Deep Ellum and downtown Dallas. But instead of trying to figure out how we can "save" Deep Ellum (please, dear Christ, not another festival), it seems time to start looking elsewhere, perhaps to places with cheaper rent, or maybe to a different model of doing things all together. I would be all for a revived Deep Ellum , but I just don't see any really cool bars opening up in the neighborhood any time soon, and I'm not planning on holding my breath.

Greenville might also have some potential to take some of the slack, but I'm not holding my breath there either. It seems like a lot of club owners over there are perfectly happy with the SMU clientele, the Friday night suburban millionaires, and the other groups of assorted idiots that you see at the Taco Cabana on Saturday night. One of the few places that seems to have good shit going on, The Cavern, has terrible sound problems right now, and each time I go there I want to go back less and less. Its a great space in a great location, and whoever does the booking there obviously has better taste than 99% of those that book other Dallas clubs/bars, but until they get that sound fixed, I don't see how it will work. And it might even be a tad too small for some of the national touring acts that could come through.

Of course, most of the shows that I actually care about seem to take place in Denton these days anyway, and the closing of another venue in Dallas will probably just shift even more action to our friends up north. But since I live in Dallas, I would like to focus on my town for a moment. Here are three possibilities for the future of Dallas music venues that I see:

1. Bars that Already Exist in Deep Ellum/ Lower Greenville will pick up the slack and get interesting again at some point: Places like Darkside Lounge and several bars on Greenville could in fact start hosting good live music more often (darkside already has good shows from time to time), but only if it can be demonstrated to club owners that it will be profitable for them to host the kind of bands that people who read this blog want to see. I don't know if that is possible, but it might be... although I doubt it will happen in Deep Ellum.

2. New Bars or Pre existing bars in other parts of Dallas will pick up the slack: I don't really know about bars in other parts of town, or where new bars could be built or rented and renovated for cheap, but it seems that there must be places in Dallas where rent will be low enough and the location will be central enough to make it work. What about the drag around Columbia, or the Expo park area, or Oak Cliff, or places farther east of Fair Park? Rent has to be cheap in those spots, and if people are willing to go just a tad out of their way into neighborhoods that aren't very pretty, this might work too.

3. DIY/Non Profit/ Co-OP Venues: If the economics aren't working for Dallas club owners, why not change the economics and drop the club owners? If profits can't be made off hosting good music in bars, then are profits really necessary? A good DIY place like Sanctuary Studios is hard to come by, but there are so many little spots all over Dallas with vacant buildings that are probably cheap to rent, it just seems incredible that there isn't already one or two or three functioning DIY spots in a city this big. And another thing: a couple months ago, we posted an article about a new Co-op bar in Austin. What is wrong with that idea? If one or two hundred people could get together and throw in 100 dollars or so per person to rent and possibly fix up some bar or space and get things started as a co-op not for profit music venue for a certain period of time, who is to say it wouldn't work? I'm sure people have tried this and will say that it hasn't or won't ever work, but it just doesn't seem like anyone would have much to lose, other than 100 bucks and some free time. If a lack of profits is what is closing down bars and clubs around here, something like a Co-op could provide a remedy (and no, this isn't my attempt to start a We Shot JR co-op, its just an idea that I hope someone will try.)

None of these ideas are thought out in any detail, and they weren't written to cheer people up or anything warm and fuzzy like that, because frankly they are just baseless ideas that might have no ground in reality at all. I'm just sick to death of talking about how much Deep Ellum sucks, and I frankly don't give a shit about that neighborhood anyway. What I care about is having fun while I'm here, and I'm not having it in downtown Dallas. Maybe there are other places to go, or other methods to use to get something going in this town, but I simply refuse to sit around on here and cry about some bar or group of bars closing down. Its just boring.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It List: Tuesday 4/11/06

Just to let you know: we've got some new stuff coming later tonight, including our take on the closing of DoubleWide, which several people have sent emails asking about today.... and you know you wanna know what we think. Here is fun:

1. The Lost Generation with Wanz upstairs at the Cavern. You know the drill, but in case you don't, here is a list of what you'll hear tonight from the mouth of the beast himself:

"Tonights will feature tracks from The Pogues, TSOL, Sun Ra, T Rex, Robert Wyatt, Deltron 3030, Antipop vs Matthew Shipp, Celebration, Charles Mingus, Battles(Live), Trax off of The Downtown 81 soundtrack, Ghost, Lady Sovereign, Jean-Claude Vannier, m.i.a., Michael Mayer, Paul Anka, Human League('79), This Heat, Television, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin, Quantic Soul Orchestra, Silk Stocking, The Dwarves, The Get Hustle, POLYSICS, Sons & Daughters, Metal Boys, Pussy Galore, Buck 65, Gogol Bordello, Gang of Four, Magazine, Guru Guru, Curtis Mayfield, the White Noise, The Flaming Lips, Serena Maneesh, The Liars, MF Doom, We Are Wolves, The Stooges,Miss Kitten, Ellen Allien, The Boredoms, Rod Lee(Baltimore club music), The Cramps, "New" Nick Cave, Nouvelle Vague, The Slits, Beat Happening, The Feelies, The Invincinle Czars, hOlly Golightly, Gal Costa, The Monks,a few ace trax off of the new Jarvis Cocker & Steve Mackey DJ disc "The Trip" and much much more...........I am also gonna do small block of Scratch Acid related bands in order of the anouncement of their reunion show at the Touch and Go 25th anniversary show in september. That means Rapeman, ,Birthday Party, Jesus Lizard, Shellac, Big Black and Denison Kimball Trio. Get ready to get your Drink on. Seeya there. Cheers!!!!"

Got it? Good. Also:

Two Gallants, Cold War Kids, and Cartright will be playing at Rubber Gloves tonight. We've seen Cartright before and the guy puts on a great live show. And although Cold War Kids are kind of dorky, we can't help but like their catchy songs... thanks to Gorilla vs. Bear for that one. And yes, we really do HATE everything on Saddle Creek other than the Faint, including Two Gallants. They sound like emo for people that are into Rev. Horton Heat or something. Du-umb.

Liars Show Cancelled

According to Jennet at Daughter Entertainment, the Liars shows that was scheduled for later this year at Hailey's has been cancelled for unknown reasons. Their website has also removed the date from their list of live shows. Guess its just doom and gloom around here these days. MAN were we looking forward to this show.

We'll let you know if they add a different DFWd date at a later time.

UPDATE: Jennet says that the show was never confirmed, as opposed to being confirmed and then cancelled. I guess that makes a difference in the biz, but either way it means that we don't get to see the show. Suck.

Last Week's Good Records Chart

Take a break from your DoubleWide crying and look at this:

1. The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
2. Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors
3. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
4. Mates of State - Bring It Back
5. The Black Angels - Passover
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
7. Bibio - Hand Cranked
8. Editors - The Back Room
9. Ambulance LTD - New English EP
10. Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
11. Liars - Drum's Not Dead
12. The Appleseed Cast - Peregrine
13. Philip E Karnats - Pleasesuite
14. Storsveit Nix Noltes - Orkideur Hawai
15. Feist - Let It Die
16. Lavender Diamond - The Cavalry of Light
17. Mclusky - Mcluskyism
18. Figurines - Skeleton
19. Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery
20. Man Man - Six Demon Bag

Monday, April 10, 2006

Doubewide Closed: Yes, it is in fact true

Sam from the Observer just confirmed that DoubleWide has in fact closed down... apparently they just weren't pulling in the cash that they needed or something. I'm sure more will be said about this in the near future. The press release:

Tornado Season is Officially Over
After Three Years Double Wide Closes Its Doors
Contact: Kelly Smith
Endeavor Public Relations
Dallas, Texas-(April 11, 2006)-After three years at the edge of Deep Ellum the swirling tornado known as Double Wide has closed its doors effective immediately. Home to an eclectic hodgepodge of trailer park kitsch, Double Wide dually served as a popular watering hole and live music venue. Citing neighborhood issues and declining Deep Ellum patronage, Double Wide has decided to look for space further North and reopen serving food and great music.
“It’s not necessary to regurgitate the issues Deep Ellum business holders face, but you just get to a point where you have to take a step back and make the best decision even though it’s not easy,” says Double Wide owner and operator Jim Sibert. “My initial plan was to locate a new venue and make a seamless transition, but that venue hasn’t presented itself yet so we’re going to go ahead and say last call to a great run.”
Double Wide booking hopes to reschedule show. More information will be posted on

DoubleWide: Closed?

The rumor spreading around the internet this evening faster than herpes at a Deep Ellum heavy metal bar is that Doublewide has closed.... we don't have any completely reliable source of info quite yet, but have heard second hand that a local booking agent has confirmed it.


It List: Monday 4/10/06

Monday Monday. I love monday! Is there anything better than getting back to work? Hell no! I love feeling productive, and knowing that I am really earning my keep in this world. It feels great....

As usual, DJ CEE PEE will be upstairs at the Cavern for Good Records Good Mornings. They will be having a listening party for the new Built to Spill album "You in Reverse," which comes out tomorrow. Pitchfork gave it a soso 6.8, and based on listening to the album twice, I would have to pretty much agree. Its pretty good, but not great. Anyway, go to the Cavern tonight to listen for yourself, because I'm sure that all of you people who are the kind of people that would go to a Built to Spill listening party are NOT the kind of people that have already downloaded it off Soulseek or something.

Wall of Sound

(let me say from the get go that because of some confusion with some of our pictures people, we weren't able to make it out on Sunday. Its too bad, because we really wanted to see Starlight Mints. But have no fear, I'm sure someone will tell you all about it in the comments thread, whether you like it or not.)

My first thought when I pulled up to the Ridglea in Fort Worth was: "Where the hell is everyone?" We only saw a couple of kids standing out in front of the theater, and the parking lot was somewhat full, but not at capacity like we had expected. We thought a lot more people would be there by the time we showed up since it was, oh I don't know, three hours later than we wanted to. Thats what a Friday night show in Denton followed by a couple of house parties and a 430am arrival back home in Dallas will do to you.

Once inside, we noted that the crowd was probably smaller than the organizers would have liked, but it was still fairly well attended all things considered. We walked into the main theater just in time to catch the Black Angels set on the side stage, which was positioned to the right of the main Ridglea stage. The sound for the Angels set was terrible for some reason, and it was really hard to make out any single instrument. Yeah I know I know, they are kind of a wall of noise psychedelic band, but we've seen them three other times (including at Avenue Arts, a place that doesn't have a "sound guy"), and it sounded much clearer than it did on Saturday. A disappointing set by a good band.

Next we turned about six inches to our left to watch Red Monroe play the main stage. This was something we really liked about the festival. Everything was very close together in the small Ridglea Theater, and there never seemed to be any break in the music. After one band finished on the main stage, for example, another started up on the side stage within minutes, and if you didn't want to see them, you could go upstairs and watch whatever was up there. And everything started almost exactly on time, which was really really nice. If the poster said 5:30, the band started at 5:30. Novel concept, huh?

Red Monroe was pretty engaging in the beginning, but it felt like they did a bit too much meandering during some of their songs, and some of their lyrics seemed a tad, um, underdeveloped, which took away from their otherwise solid material. Something about smoke stacks and Cadillacs. Anyway, we actually think they are a pretty good band, and at times they sounded wonderful... great atmospheric guitars and synths and a really good singer with great range and an interesting voice. They've just got some kinks to iron out, although we'll surely catch them again in the near future to see if they have.

After splitting for the Mexican Inn, we returned to catch the Angelus on the side stage. We had never seen them before, and were actually pretty impressed. Their music was an extremely dark and spacey take on neo-folk rock, and their singer had a intriguingly creepy stage presence and a solid voice. We'll surely add them to the list of bands we have to see in a smaller venue, so we can get a better idea of where we stand on them. But they certainly put on a good show Saturday, and it was one of the highlights of our time there.

Then we went upstairs and watched A.M. Syndicate for some reason. They weren't very good. They all seemed like good musicians, and some of their instrumental stuff wasn't bad, but their singer really annoyed me and many of their songs sounded like the Goo Goo Dolls with strings. Sheesh.

After that, we headed downstairs to see Record Hop. I'm sure I'll get some shit for this, but I just didn't get it. The sound wasn't too great, which might explain some of it, but it just seemed like straight forward Pixiesesque- Sleater Kinney rock music with few twists or surprises. They weren't bad, but it doesn't seem like it is my kind of thing. Considering that they were pretty tight and everyone else seems to like them, however, we'll probably go see them one more time in a smaller venue to see if we can pick up on what everyone keeps talking about. Having a few more drinks in me and seeing them at a small club would probably help, since volume seems to be a big part of what they do, and a small venue would certainly be more conducive to the kind of atmosphere that they seem capable of creating.

Next we watched Midlake, which was by far the highlight of the evening. They played several songs from their new album, and the two internet buzzy hits "Roscoe" and "Young Bride" sounded fantastic. I don't know if Sam from the Observer is right about them getting ready to put out the record of the year, because I haven't heard more than four songs from the album. But what I have heard is really really good, and clearly some of the best music coming out of Texas right now. Period. Their visual show was also well done, adding to an already strong performance. I'm really looking forward to seeing whether or not their new material can live up to the hype.

After Midlake we went upstairs and watched Mazinga Phaser II. They absolutely killed it in the beginning, and despite what seemed like a few mistakes, they played some really interesting and often exciting material. Lots of percussion and feedback and random blips and noises, but strong enough vocals and hints of pop to keep you interested. The upstairs area was packed for their show, and it was good to see that people were interested in one of the more experimental bands at the festival.

And really, that was my only complaint about the whole thing: it seemed like the line up choice was just a bit safe. Not that rock shows have to be "edgy" or strange or anything like that, and we honestly can't say whether or not an experimental art rock festival could really make any money considering that it wasn't even apparent that Wall of Sound turned a profit. But we would have liked to have seen some more adventurous acts thrown in with the indie pop stuff, even though much of what was there was very good.

Overall, the thing seemed well planned out, organized, and set up in a way to maximize the fans' enjoyment of the music. We have to give them credit for that. And as we expected, we saw a few shows that we liked a lot, a few that were ok, and a couple that sucked. But that is what you get at a festival. And although the attendance was decent, it could have been much better. There is an endless list of possible explanations for this phenomenon, so we're not going to even try. But Wall of Sound could be a very exciting thing for DFW if they can do it again, at least based on what we saw. Adding more diversity in the line up surely wouldn't hurt, and possibly having it outside somewhere might also be a good idea. We hope they can do it again next year, and that it will be a little bigger and a tad more diverse.

Mazinga Phaser II Upstairs

Midlake on the main stage
Midlake again

Am Syndicate: A Dave Matthews Band for people that have heard of Arcade Fire

The Angelus: Pretty damn good.

Red Monroe: Getting there

Festival Logo for maximum product placement

Black Angels on the side stage

Sunday, April 09, 2006

No It List Today

Later this evening we'll have our coverage of Wall of Sound complete with pictures and shit! We figure a lot of people will be at Wall of Sound today, or simply recovering from a weekend of questionable choices.... so we're taking it easy this afternoon.

Oh, and be sure to check out Frequency Down tonight on 88.1 KNTU at 10pm. Its supposed to be indietastic.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It List: Saturday 4/8/06

So we'll be spending most of the day at the Wall of Sound festival (Our fest agenda is below). But we also wanted to let everyone know that the New York DJ duo Metro Area will be spinning at Minc (813 Exposition Ave, next to Ave Arts, Fallout Lounge, etc) this evening some time around 11 or 12 I believe. Its 8 bucks to get in, and it really should be worth it. These guys put out a great electronica record in 2004, full of classic house, disco, and even a little of the Kompakt microhouse sound. According to DJ G, who will be spinning next door at Ave Arts tonight, these guys play some great disco, Italo, and classic house music during their DJ sets, in addition to a lot of other stuff that we're not cool enough to be able to categorize for you. For the hipsters: they've worked with DFA on several projects, and sort of have a similar feel in that they often mix live instruments in with their mostly electro tracks. So there you go. Dancing and hipster cred all in one place.

The Books @ Hailey's

Since I started writing this blog a few months ago, there have been many moments when I have started to feel that going out to shows was turning into a job. Some nights, such and such hipster band is playing at this and that place, and I feel like I have to go see them so that I can do a little write up on the blog and earn a couple scenester points and make everyone happy. Most of the time, it isn't that I don't like the band or don't think their show will be good. Its just that I'm tired, or not particularly inspired that night, or whatever. Sometimes I go because I feel like I have to.

Last night started off as one of those nights. Yes, I do like The Books. And yes, I had heard that they put on a good show. But it was in Denton, I was getting over a hangover, and I just wasn't sure what to expect. And when I drove by Hailey's and saw the biggest crowd I have ever seen standing in front of the place, there was a part of me that was excited that the Books could attract so much attention, and another part of me that was like, "Man, how long is it gonna take to get a beer in this place?" The show did in fact sell out, and it took a really long time to get a beer. But after seeing the Books play one song, I just didn't give a shit.

Last night I found out that the Books are an absolutely mesmerizing live band. And really, I don't even know if you can call them a band, at least in the traditional sense. Yes they play instruments on a stage and release albums, but nothing else they do seems to have anything to do with rock n roll. In fact, I don't even think that you can analyze the Books using any of the same criteria that you would to judge the White Stripes or Man Man or something like that. In one of the comment threads the other day, someone tried to draw a distinction between "art" and "artsy." I get that. "Artsy" is Thurston Moore name dropping Marcel Duchamp in an interview. Art is something entirely different, and although I'm not going to sit here and try to define it, I would say that the Books fall into the "art" category, however you want to label it, because they don't really seem like a "band" to me.

The Books live show consists of the two members playing a few different instruments at different times (including some that they have invented themselves, like a horn that blows smoke rings) and singing. The Books' songs also contain sound clips from a variety of different sources that I can't even begin to list here. But lets just say that most of them are human voices talking, some of them are funny, some of them are creepy, and all of them are very effective and well researched, like these guys went through the Library of Congress archives to find motivational speeches, interviews with sociopaths, history books on tape, religious ceremonies, and just about anything else that could affect a listener on a pseudo subconscious level. Take those sound samples, mix in some live music and pre recorded music, and then throw a huge video screen on to the front of the stage and press play. That is the Books live show. And of course, that kind of thing has been done time and time again, but never quite like this. The band's music is apparently based off of these videos, because they all coincide precisely with what is going on in the songs. You often see the people that you hear speaking on their records, and it really adds to the effect of the music. Many bands throw random psychedelic clips onto a disk and play them during their shows, but all of these videos were carefully edited and extremely well thought out. Each told its own story, if only a loose one, that kept me and everyone else in the place interested throughout the night. Really, even though there was the usual gaggle of scenester kids talking in the back, I have never seen a Hailey's audience so attentive.

Sometimes I even got a little emotional (not to get all emo on you) during the set. The song "Take Time" is beautiful on its own, but throw in a video of old people square dancing, mixed in with images of random violence, Charles Manson, people falling down America's Funniest Home Videos style, and random religious celebrations from different parts of the world, and you've got something that should have an emotional impact on anyone that has a brain. Really, there were several very moving moments throughout the set, which is something that "art rock" seems to rarely accomplish this well. This all probably sounds pretty stupid on paper, and I'm not even going to try to explain it any more, because I just feel like I'll just dig myself into a deeper hole. But I really just wanted to write this to thank the Books. I wanted to thank them for reminding me why I actually give a shit about music in the first place. Because trust me, I needed it.