Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It List: Wednesday 5/31/06

I love it when there isn't a whole lot going on in local music and people blame me for not writing about all the stuff that isn't happening. Cute. Don't blame me, I'm not in a band. I just sit around all day and bitch. But even still, coming in the next few days we'll have a couple CD reviews, some interviews, new MP3s, and all kinds of other stuff to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Tonight is of course the Party w/ DJ Nature at Rubber Gloves, and not only is it one of the best DJ nights in Dallas/Denton, but there is nothing else worth your time happening in town tonight, so give it a go. And as an added bonus, Rubber Gloves will apparently be well populated with girls that give head to imported beer bottles... and we all know that those are the "wife material" girls.

Party Time

The WSJR HQ maid didn't show up this week, so we've got some cleaning to do. Here is the real story if you haven't already heard it. I wonder if this guy realized how much of his beer money went to nutjob right wing Christian groups?

This Weekend: Last Mazinga Show

So as a lot of you probably already know, this Saturday's Lost Generation concert at Hailey's will serve as the final performance of Mazinga II, as Wanz appears to have officially disbanded the group. It also appears that the Black Arm Band will be calling it quits too, although its not clear when or why. This, of course, leaves Wanz bandless in DFWd, which is sure to make some of you sad, others happy, and some completely indifferent. Well, here is what Wanz had to say about it via Myspace, on a post about Saturday's show:

"This also happens to be the last Mazinga show and those that know me know that I like to go out in style. After this weekend I will be in no bands. I may start playing drums part time for one of my friends band, but I will have no input in that project and will be doing it for shits and giggles. I am doing a few shows with The Falkon(Original line up) later this summer, but we are not getting back together. The label that was gonna release The Black Arm Band debut is gonna release the unreleased Falkon record that we recorded with Matt Pence a few years ago. There is a reason Falkon split and those reasons still stand. I do not want to be in any band full time right now or anytime soon. I have a solo album coming out on Mixtape Meditation out of Lawrence,KS and have a lot of friends from several cities/states helping me with it. I also have a few projects in the fires with people in other parts of the country. I have landed a residency with DJ Nature and Stephen R(of Zygote) at Club One and Laptop Deathmatch is getting bigger and better. I have never been an easy fit in the DFW scene. I don't think either of my bands are gonna be missed all that much by most, but to the few that have shown great love and support I sincerely thank you. Cheers!!!!"

Last Week's Radio UTD Charts

No, its not a broadcast station, but UTD's student internet radio is the best DFW based source for good new music, and all of you should listen to it. Chart:

1. danielson - ships
2. serena maneesh - serene maneesh
3. mojave 3 - puzzles like you
4. mission of burma - the obliterati
5. minmae - le grand essor de la maison du monstre
6. walkmen - a hundred miles off
7. aloha - some echoes
8. mono - you are there
9. oakley hall - gypsum strings
10. jolie holland - springtime can kill you
11. flaming lips - at war with the mystics
12. elf power - back to the web
13. shearwater - palo santo
14. wilderness - vessel states
15. feu therese - feu therese
16. a whisper in the noise - as the bluebird sings
17. phoenix - it's never been through that
18. black heart procession - the spell
19. daniel johnston - welcome to my world
20. lylas - lessons for lovers
21. glissandro 70 - glissandro 70
22. ben vaughn - designs in music
23. the theater fire - everyone has a dark side
24. i love you but i've chosen darkness - fear is on our side
25. matmos - the rose has teeth in the mouth of a best
26. seekonk - pinkwood
27. parts & labor - stay afraid
28. gnarls barkley - st. elsewhere
29. dead heart bloom - dead heart bloom
30. starlight mints - drowaton

Radio 200 Adds:
1. lansing-dreiden - the dividing island
2. rhys chatham - rhys chatham sampler
3. camera obscura - let's get out of this country
4. oppenheimer - oppenheimer
5. the heavy blinkers - the night and i are still so young

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It List: Tuesday 5/30/06

Hopefully you'll be in a good mood after what should be a Mavericks win (I really think they took control of the series on Sunday, so we'll see what they do with it), and you'll want to go out and have a few drinks while listening to some good music. Well, as usual for a Tuesday night, you can head to the Cavern (Upstairs) for the Lost Generation with Wanz. Here is some of what he is playing tonight:

The Get Hustle, Oneida, Einsturzende Neubaten and a lot more. I also have new cuts from Diplo, The Futureheads, Sonic Youth, Me, various members of Laptop Deathmatch, Hot Chip, Boards of Canada, Beirut, Gnarls Barkley, Yo La Tengo and Matmos.

We have now checked this night out a couple of times, and both have been entertaining and well attended, with a bit of dancing starting to go down in front of the DJ table. Props.

This Week's Good Records Chart

1. Danielson - Ships
2. Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off
3. Grandaddy - Just Like the Fambly Cat
4. The Black Angels - Passover
5. Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
6. The Theater Fire - Everybody Has a Dark Side
7. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
8. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
9. The Black Keys - Chulahoma
10. FM3 Buddha Machine
11. Starlight Mints - Drowaton
12. Boris - Pink
13. Serena-Maneesh - Serena-Maneesh
14. Various Artists - Soul Sides Volume One
15. Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That
16. Scott Walker - The Drift
17. Alias & Tarsier - Brookland/Oaklyn
18. Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Tree Colored See
19. Astronautalis - The Mighty Ocean & Nine Dark Theaters
20. Wolfmother - Wolfmother

Nice to see some Scott Walker, Black Keys, Boris and Serena-Maneesh on there. That Phoenix album is pretty good too, and I'm not sujre what to think of Wolfmother. I liked it quite a bit the first time I heard it, but I think I got sick of it after a couple days. Maybe I'll get unsick of it again.

Oh, and have you guys heard of this totally badass new band? They rock!

Liars @ The Tea Room

Anyone that wasn't part of the sizeable crowd that attended the Liars show at the Tea Room on Saturday night missed what was easily one of the best shows so far this year in the Metroplex. And although I can't say that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, I should say that as much as I like all of the Liars recorded material, I had never seen them live before Saturday and honestly didn't know what to expect. Bands like Liars that play rather non-traditional and noise driven rock music are usually completely hit or miss in a live setting for me, and I would guess that most people reading this would probably agree, no matter how much they enjoy talking about music that is "too difficult" for most people to "get."

The thing that stands out to me the most about Liars' music, and their new material in particular, is how much they are able to do with so little. Their music is all about rhythm, repetition and space, and although they are probably one of those bands that Sudgefan fans enjoy pointing to with their "too pretentious" flags at full mast, I would say that those basic elements are probably more in line with primitive American blues and rock n' roll than most of the commercially viable "new rock" that we would hear all the time if we actually listened to rock radio anymore. At the end of the day, Liars obviously don't sound anything like traditional blues based rock, but they do seem to tap into some of the same things, and in some way, appeal to listeners on a similarly basic level, albeit with extraordinarily different results. Take any song on Drums Not Dead, for instance. Pretty much all of them feature a pounding rhythm as a centerpiece (hence the album title I suppose) with minimal tones of distorted and nervous noise buzzing around in the immediate background, and patches of mantra-like vocals thrown in to sort of tie the songs together when they are about to come undone. The driving force behind all of them, to me, is the silent space that exists in between all of these elements. The emptiness creates a good deal of anticipation for what is coming next, and it is the use of space that seems to keep Liars' songs unpredictable and somewhat chaotic, even if most of them are in fact built on extremely simple and often repetitious sounds. Basically, it seems that they are able to strip rock music to absolute bare essentials and still create songs that don't really sound like anything else, especially rock n roll.

The live show captured these qualities, I think, but more importantly: it was just fun to watch. Angus is a pretty charismatic frontman, and seemed much cooler and more easy going on stage than I would have imagined. The band played several songs from the new record, as well as one or two old ones thrown in here and there, and a bunch of stuff I hadn't heard before (which I assume is new, although I could be wrong). Everything seemed to work quite well for them on stage, and the live drumming was completely captivating throughout. The sound probably could have been louder at times, but given the band's somewhat unusual setup, I would have to say that the sound was about as good as it could be, and certainly didn't take away from the show in any way. And by the way, they closed the show with a rather strange and completely kick ass cover of Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings" that really seemed to serve as a good example of why Liars are so compelling (as well as one of the night's highlights). Their music might be hard to swallow at first, but its obvious that they know why people listen to rock music, and they are clearly able to utilize that knowledge to create songs that are challenging and different but never boring or overly academic, which might be explained by simply saying that they never seem to do more than they have to. And you don't have to be a hipster, a record collection asshole or a wanna be music journalist to appreciate that.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Day Off

There isn't anything going on anyway today, so we're taking the day off. We might add some content later tonight if your nasty. If not, see you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

It List: Sunday 5/28/06

Lots of shows tonight, with the extra day off and all. If we can recover from the amazing Liars show last night, we might head out to one of these things:

1. Laptop Deathmatch (DoubleWide): A good chance to see a wide variety of electronic artists in Dallas fighting it out amongst themselves. The crowds keep getting bigger and bigger at every Deathmatch, and with good reason.

2. Happy Bullets/ Tah Dahs (FREE- Meridian Room): Its a free concert. Expect a bunch of people, a lot of drinking, etc.

3. Flashlight Party (Elm Street Bar): The Denton crew is throwin' it down with one of the best dance mixes in town.

4. Nudity/Prayer for Animals/ The Chimeneas (Metrognome Collective Ft. Worth): Olympia, WA's Nudity pretty much kicks ass. MC5ish loud psyche rock with a punk bite. Go to the Myspace page and see what I mean. This could potentially be the sleeper show of the night. Metrognome is booking some really good bands touring bands as of late.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It List: Saturday 5/27/06

Only one thing going tonight, and you know what that is:

Liars/ Deerhunter/ Apes (Gypsy Tea Room Tea Room): If you read this blog regularly, you know that Liars' Drums Not Dead is our favorite record from this year, but we also think it is probably the most IMPORTANT record of 2006 as well. To me, those are two different statements. A favorite record is just that: your personal favorite based on subjective criteria. But trying to figure out how important a record is in the big scheme of things is a different proposition, and might involve consideration of slightly more objective criteria such as the record's impact via sales, influence on other artists, media coverage, and its contribution as a work of art. Now we really can't completely defend our view since the very selection of criteria in judging the importance of a record is a pretty subjective process. But we think that as far as artistic merit, significance, creativity, and relevance, Drums Not Dead certainly tops the list for "indie" and experimental releases this year.

And we certainly plan on heading over to the Tea Room a little early to see Deerhunter, who we hadn't ever heard this week. They're fantastic from what we can tell. They've kind of got a little no wave meets krautrock vibe going on, and we dig it. Go to their myspace page with the link above and listen to "Cryptograms," and you'll see what we mean. Apes also sound really fucking good too, with a more melodic psychedelic sound going on. So come on Dallas, suck it up, go early, and see what will at the very least be one of the most interesting shows to come through the city this year.

And who knows exactly what they will be playing tonight, but here is a cool Liars video from one of their older EPs that we thought you might like:

Mavericks 105, Suns 98

What a difference Josh Howard makes, huh? Like you've probably heard a thousand times already, the Mavs are undefeated this year when Howard scores 20 or more, and he was certainly a huge factor in last night's game. And although I'm glad the Mavs won and everything, I certainly don't feel that great about this series so far. Yes, we won last night and probably should have won game 1, and yes, the Mavs seemed to have figured out how to better guard Steve Nash in game 2. But it seems like the Suns are still controlling the pace of this series, and that we have basically been forced to play their game. Thats not good. I think the Mavs are going to have a very rough time in Phoenix if they don't turn it up on defense and show more of the toughness and attitude that we saw against San Antonio. I still think its our series to lose, but the Suns are playing us much tougher than I expected. We'll see what happens Sunday I guess.

ESPN's Marc Stein on game 2: Link

Friday, May 26, 2006

It List: Friday 5/26/06

A few things to do tonight:

1. The Theater Fire CD release party will be going on at Metrognome tonight.

2. Pretty Girls Make Graves really suck. We shouldn't have to tell you that. But, reputable sources tell us that Derek Fudesco, their bass player or something, spins a pretty good DJ set. We might not gamble on it otherwise, but he will be spinning with DJ G at the Cavern tonight after the Gypsy Tea Room show, with G going on at 10 and keeping the party going all night. Our guess is that Fudesco will be going on around 1. Its five bucks (or free with the Pretty Girls ticket) and should be the best thing going in Big D after what will hopefully be a big win for the Mavericks. Its a must win anyway.

Oh, and a band we really like, the Joggers (they sould a bit like the Fall), will be opeing for PGMG at Gypsy tonight, along with Giant Drag (who are sort of ok), who is also playing at Good Records in like 10 minutes.

Sorry for the crappy list, but we're having Blogger problems.

Profile: Chris Garver

I'm not really sure why Chris Garver isn't at least five times more popular than he already is, and I'm not even the kind of person that would typically listen to the kind of music he plays. In fact, singer-songwriters (particularly local ones) are almost always a pretty hard pill to swallow for me, considering the sheer volume of cheese that is typically involved in their horribly "personal" lyrics and guitar strumming that is often overly derivative of shit I can't stand anyway. All the "feelings" and country boy posturing and lame sophomore lit major chicks that eat it up might be partially to blame for my hostility, but usually the music that these Urban Outfitted James Taylors produce is bad enough to warrant outright rejection on its own. In fact, singer-songwriters are already the butts of so many jokes that its pretty cliche to even mention it. I only feel compelled to do so in order to drive home a point: even people that share my sentiments will likely enjoy Chris Garver's brand of lonely folk. Of course, I wouldn't lump him in with all the starbucks charlatans anyway, but I know that people are often skeptical of a guy from Denton with an acoustic guitar.

Chris Garver has been in various bands since the age of 12 (including a noise/ punk/ Sabbathesque band called Sockday that once got some airplay on Mike Watt's radio show), but has been focusing on writing, recording and performing his solo material since he was 17. His major influences include Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart and Daniel Johnston among others, and he believes that the practice of songwriting is often modeled (sometimes poorly, he hints) after a pattern he sees in Catcher In the Rye: at least one word in every sentence (or line) is or should be written to stick out, meant to draw a reader (or in this case a listener) in repeatedly. And its good that he talked to us about his lyrics, because unlike the vast majority of songwriters in Denton and Dallas, he actually knows how to write them. You won't find any jokey Beck lines here, nor any mimicked Dave Berman sarcasm (that can really only be pulled of by Dave Berman) or crybaby suburban emo. Instead, his lyrics are dark, literate and often a bit sad without being too much to chew. He paints impressionistic portraits in his songs that are often emotional, sometimes humorous and always a bit nervous, maintaining a lightness and unpredictability that will surely keep most listeners interested. In other words, there is a lot to draw you in.

His music, vocals and recording style also separate him a good deal from his peers. On the MP3s below, you'll hear many of the traditional elements of country influenced front porch folk, with vibrant, textured picking and bits of mean fucking harmonica tossed in. You'll also hear a clear Freewheelin' influence and a voice that quivers like Jeff Tweedy and cracks like Daniel Johnston but retains a healthy range, demonstrating that the Chris Garver's unique vocal quirks are an effective stylistic choice rather than a shortcoming. And while we're not sure whether his lo-fi recording style is a product of choice or necessity, we're leaning more towards the former, as the portable 4-track in the bathroom echoes add to the sense of mystery that is present throughout the songs that we've listened to. Rarely in the local scene do we encounter a folk singer that we can even tolerate, much less enjoy. But Chris Garver's songs are warm, dark and strange enough to get our attention and warrant repeat listens. And with his scheduled performances with Current Leaves and Strategies of Beauty coming up, we think he might be able to draw you in too.

Below are links to 3 MP3s from Chris' website, including "The Southfork Luncheon Blues," which he has dedicated to us. See how inspiring we can be?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It List: Thursday 5/25/06

1. Strange Boys/Eat Avery's Bones/Chief Death Rage (Double Wide): I don't know how we forgot this show the first time through. You know the first two, and for those not in the know, CDR is the sludgey stoner rock side project of shane and aaron from Undoing. And oh yeah, they really fucking kick ass.

2. Zoo (Upstairs at the Cavern): Like we told ya bitches last week, this is one of two reasons to go out in Dallas on a Thursday. Great selection of all kinds of videos, with concentration on cult classics, dance, and nu metal. Just kidding. Go see what everyone is talking about this week. You won't be able to figure out how the fuck this guy comes up with his playlist, but you will love seeing something like Black Sabbath, !!!, Janes Addiction and something you've never even heard of back to back to back to back.

3. Dj G's 80's Night (Hailey's-Denton)

4. Everything Looks Better Upside Down/Emperor X/Black Lights (Metrognome- Ft. Worth):

5. Hip Hop Night (Slip Inn): The other reason to go out on a Thursday, but this one is for those dancin' fools.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

7 Questions with Liars

Saturday night's Liars show at the Gypsy Tea Room is probably the most highly anticipated show so far this year around WSJR HQ, and due to that excitement (and the fact that the Obvserver does not appear to have done a feature on the band that has put out 2006's best record so far) we decided to ask, um, I don't know what to call him these days... I guess "lead singer" Angus Andrew some questions about the band via email. Sounds like they have some interesting plans for after their tour, and its the first I've heard of it. Anyway, here are the results:

There is a lot of talk around our town about how bad local music is, and how difficult it is for good artists and musicians to make it in the Dallas area due to a variety of things: lack of a talent pool, lack of good venues, media, etc. You have had the experience of living and working as musicians in two international art/music hotspots: Berlin and Brooklyn. How do you think those surroundings have affected your music, and how would you imagine your music might be affected by living in a place like Dallas?

We base many of our living decisions on financial and practical terms. Berlin is not only super cheap but nicely positioned geographically for touring in Europe. We are quite an insular band in that we dont really require much social support - so as long as the place is cheap then i think we could make anything happen there.. As for Dallas, It really is necessary to have some people in the community who enjoy putting on fun shows in strange places..Promoters can make a "scene" happen by becoming excited about local bands and shows.

It seems that you guys also had the experience of being lumped in, at least at the beginning of your career, with a certain sound or scene, namely the New York dancepunk scene. What kind of effect did that labeling have on your approach to music? What was your initial reaction to it?

Initially it was a little difficult to swallow, having your music pigeonholed so readily. But we began to learn that really we were very lucky to be wrapped up in the NY scene and it allowed us the opportunity to further develop our ideas with the audience. Its funny to look back at that time and imagine if we stayed there and continued with same type of music.

We hear that you like to focus on noise and improv during live shows. What will you be concentrating on for this tour? Songs that you have recorded, new songs, improv?

When we tour we like to play new material because it keeps the evening fun and challenging for us. In turn i think this makes its way to the audience who sometimes enjoy wathcing us make mistakes like normal human beings.

What are some noteworthy records that you've been listening to lately? Anything new?

Deerhunter, System of a Down, Oneida, T-rex, Rhiana, Pink, GoGoGoAirheart.

Have you spent much or any time in texas in your lives? Do you have any impressions of our state?

On our first tour i was caught reliving myself in a paddock by a policeman. He got very mad and called all his mates with dogs to search our van. He told me that in Australia they may pee anywhere they want but not in Texas! Anyway, i was really scared cause we did have some weed with us but the silly police dog hounds didnt sniff it out!!Generally i guess im a bit frightened onf the lone star state for reasons im sure we're all familiar with.

We see that visual art is a big part of what you're interested in, considering the bonus disk that was released with your new album. What visual artists do you take inspiration from? What excites you about combining images with your music?

The exciting part is picking up a brand new medium and trying to learn new tools to express with. Video is fun cheap and easy so we took up the challenge of further expanding our palettes. Wew get inspired a lot by modern day pop culture. Hot dogs, reality TV, bad movies, good books. For us the opportunity to combine our music with viuals we made as a band is much more enticing than paying someone heaps of money to make a clip with a hot girl in a clean room that doesnt relate to the band at all.

Do you have any plans for the band in the immediate future, after the tour?

Back to Work. We hope to make a narrative film that incorporates a bonus disc of music. Our plan is to shoot it in Argentina record it in Australia.

We're really looking forward to this show. The brilliance of Drums Not Dead becomes more and more apparent with every listen. Oh, and part of the reason that we really didn't ask them much about recording their new album is because it was already covered in a great Pitchfork interview that you can read here.


It List: Wed. 5/24/06

I'm sure that many of you will be out and about watching the Mavs game somewhere, getting drunk and watching our boys wipe the floor with Steve Nash. Hey, if Finley should get boos so should Nash, right? But after the game, you might want to check out:

1. The Party w/ DJ Nature (Rubber Gloves): Nature is finally picking up some steam as far as crowds and attention around town. And its about damn time. Go listen to him spin the most creative yet simply fucking danceable set in DFWd.

2. Court & Spark/ Brothers and Sisters/ Pink Nasty (The Cavern): C&S and Brothers and Sisters might not be blowing anyones minds with how fucking "out there" they are, but I'd be lying if I told you that both bands weren't really good at what they do: namely, 60's folk influenced country indie pop. San Francisco's Court & Spark play a fairly quiet, sleepy folk pop that seems to rock at just the right moments and wander off on gentle instrumental sunshine haze trips at others. Austin's Brothers and Sisters remind me of a poppier Son Volt, and really seem to have command over the trad country songwriting palette with just enough "indie" to appeal O.C. kids and a few indie snobs too. And I'm not quite sure that I get all the local/regional buzz surrounding Pink Nasty. Her music isn't bad I suppose: pretty run of the mill indie twang pop, which is fine and sometimes great if done right. And sometimes she does it right, and its great. But for the most part, I hate "jokey" lyrics, and she's full of them. I know I won't fret if the Mavs game causes me to miss her set, but maybe she's better live. Overall, I bet this will be a pretty good show.

Anonymous Fan of an Anonymous Band

I've been a huge fan of the anonymous multimedia art collective/rock band Lansing-Dreiden for quite a while now, and have spent a little bit of time in my life wondering why so many people (including Pitchfork until this week) think they suck. I'm hoping that the positive Pitchfork review finally makes it o.k. for some people to give this band a listen. To me, they've created a perfectly dreamy haze that combines the best elements of 60's psychedelic pop, 80's synth pop and streamlined Silver Apples meets Kraftwerk electro to produce a sound that is certainly derivative but wholly original at the same time. Their new album The Dividing Island is fantastic, and although I don't think any of it quite reaches the level of their previous EP A Sectioned Beam, it is probably the most compelling synth stuff you'll hear this year. I've posted one track from the new album, along with my personal favorite from the aforementioned EP. You should listen to both to get a good feel for the band, because the two tracks sound fairly different. Check out their website too to see some of the visual art that the band produces collectively.

"Our Next Breath" (from the new album) MP3

"Locks in Shadows" (from A Sectioned Beam) MP3

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It List: Tuesday 5/23/06

It seems that people are finally starting to catch on to the coolness of Wanz's Lost Generation upstairs at the Cavern, and tonight should be an especially fun party. The details, from the mouth of the beast:

"Who wants to Dance? I'm gonna do the overview of Dance punk before it's out of vogue. James Chance, The Rapture, P.I.L., Moving Units, Gang of Four, Bush Tetras, Hot Chip, Liquid Liquid, DFA, The Pop Group, The Fall, Dance Disater Movement, Mathematiques Moderne, Undoing of David Wright, Out Hud, Radio 4, Atari Teenage Riot, Suicide, The Liars, Bloc Party, Maximum Joy and so on and so forth. It's good to be home. Come out and say Hi......."

As long as he cuts Radio 4 off of that list, sounds like it will be a good ass time.

Oh yeah, I think Ice Cube is playing somewhere tonight too. Guess mama cooked the breakfast with no hog.

The WSJR Summer Podcast

The recent news of the downfall of Frequency Down on KNTU (one of the last good radio shows in town), combined with the continuing limpness and utter irrelevance of the Adventure Club, the Edge in general, and the rest of the radio dial in DFW that isn't called NPR, Legends 77 or The Beat has prompted many recent conversations around here concerning the piss poor state of Dallas radio and the local music media in general. The popular consensus on the subject seems to be that the local Dallas music scene suffers due to a lack of decent radio programming in the area.

And although we would agree that local radio is terrible 99.9% of the time (with that one one hundredth of a percent reserved for Meat Radio, which seems to be getting better and better every weekend), we sort of have to ask why anyone really cares. Not that sarcastic apathy is something that should be worn as a badge of honor, but when has the radio ever been good in Dallas? And in what way does its suckness take away from local music? Again, it seems that this is yet another excuse that scenesters, band members and everyone else likes to make instead of dealing with the whole "lack of talent in the area" issue head on. This might also be why people make empty calls for local radio to focus more on local music, with the idea being that the local scene would improve if more local bands got more radio play. This is one issue that finds us in agreement with Adventure Club Josh: local music, at this point, doesn't deserve much radio play, and if anything, hearing the bands that seem to be popular in Dallas at the moment ( Black Tie, Belafonte, The Valentines, etc.) would probably do more to convince people to stay home than anything else.

While its true that more solid radio programming would probably help local bands, and actually hearing good music on the radio from outside of Dallas might inspire some kid here or there to pick up an instrument and start a band that we might actually enjoy in a few years, podcasts, audio streams, internet radio, Myspace, satellite radio and many other innovations have left that argument with a hell of a lot of holes in it. People don't need broadcast radio to hear interesting music anymore, and while better programming would certainly improve car trips and serve as a nice change of pace, we're not sure what kind of impact it would have aside from that.

So whats the point of all this? Well, the first is that local radio sucks, and requires us to only listen to Meat Radio, talk radio and hip hop (not that theres anything wrong with that necessarily.) The second is that local music gets little attention from local stations for many reasons (corporate controlled playlists, legalized payola, etc.), but one of the main reasons is that local music doesn't happen to be very good right now. And finally, with all the options that people have for hearing music these days, the state of local radio might not be all that relevant when discussing the health of the local music scene. I'd be willing to bet that commercial broadcast radio could disappear all together aside from NPR, Mavs games and The Ticket, and most readers of this blog would hardly even notice. And with Clear Channel running the vast majority of the show in this town, that is probably a good thing. Its a good thing that many of us choose to ignore what they're selling us, because it shows that we can possibly turn our indifference towards boring products into a market force that asks a bit more of our media.

So in that spirit, we're announcing the We Shot J.R. summer podcast. No, this isn't our attempt to "change" anything or to become something other than a blog with a little podcast. Its just our attempt to join in what everyone else seems to be doing: ignoring the overly commercial avenues of communication that have traditionally been available while seeking out better media outlets to hear and share good music. What we're planning isn't a regular podcast, but a 2006 midterm report showcasing the few highlights that have come from the area so far this year. What we plan to do is play the 12 best songs to have been released by DFWd bands so far in 2006, and we'd like to get some suggestions from our readers. We've already got a lot of the songs picked out, and we're not taking a vote. We'd just like to see people share some of the local tracks that they have been digging this year in case we've missed something. So share away in this comment thread if you're interested, or tell us that there couldn't possibly be twelve good local songs to put on a podcast this year, or that the idea is dumb all together. We plan to have this thing widely available in the area within the next four to six weeks, and we might even include some other features in the podcast as well. It seems that a lot of people are already in this business, and we figured we'd give it a try. We'll give you more details when we figure it all out.

Mr. Crybaby Bitch 2006


Dirk just played the biggest game of his career, and the Mavericks just won the biggest game in franchise history. Jason Terry came out fighting like nobody's fuckin' business, Josh Howard played tough, and even Stackhouse made some big shots. And as no one could have predicted, Diop was the overtime hero, shuttin' Tim Duncan down like he was somebody's biznitch. And as a funny side note, I heard that a few bands at a few shows around town tonight, including Sound Team at Gypsy, actually waited to start their sets until the game was over. Um, that rules. Seriously, nothing feels better than sending those crybaby Spurs packin'. Bring on Phoenix. And oh yeah, sorry to the people that hate sports talk on this blog. Cuz theres more comin'.

Mavericks 119, Spurs 111 Link

Monday, May 22, 2006

It List: Monday 5/22/06

Yes I know this is a music blog and everything, but I'd be cheating if I didn't say that my focus is not on music today. Its on what the Mavs have to do to win tonight. WSJR is not particularly optimistic about tonight, but we don't want to be all doom and gloom either. So, we'll look at tonight as a night for the Mavs to prove themselves. A night, first and foremost, for Jason Terry to come back and make everything alright with a tough performance. Any way you want to slice it, Terry did throw a punch, and he shouldn't have. Not because its "wrong," or because its mean to punch someone like Michael Finley who is already prone to crying, but because he knew that he could get suspended, and that it might have cost his team a playoff game... or worse. JT needs to put on a show tonight to avoid being the official Mavs Playoff Jackass two years in a row (remember last year's non foul?) Dirk also has to show up big tonight, and prove to the league, not to mention is teammates, that he is a certifiable superstar. If he can't make his shots, he's gotta go to the hole, and if he can't score down there, he's gotta get to the line and get rebounds. But if Bruce Bowen is the difference maker guarding Dirk tonight, it will be a sad Tuesday morning for every one. Oh yeah, Josh Howard and D Harris coming back from their game 6 disappearance would help too.

Oh, music? Not much doing tonight. Heavy instrumentalists Pelican are playing at Hailey's with noisy post rockers Mono. Neither one really excites me that much, despite the fact that I get stoned on a regular basis. I do imagine that these are two pretty good live acts, so you might not want to miss it if you're into that sort of thing. Pelican especially seems like they would be great to see live, as their brand of building instrumental rock appears to be the kind that increases in quality with every upward click of the volume. And Mono is certainly the best of the second generation post rock bands, and are noisy enough to possibly spawn some good chaotic live moments.

Frequency Ain't Down

Yes its true, Frank Hejl was fired from KNTU, and his show was cancelled. Apparently this is all the result of him playing a song with the word "fuck" in it. Goddamn Communist. Anyway, its really too bad, as Frank's shows was one of the better (and lets face it, one of the only) places to hear to decent music on the radio in north Texas. But Frank sure seems like a showman, so we're sure we'll see him out and about in some other capacity very soon. Here is his Myspace post on the subject:

Unfortunately, it's of today Frequency Down has been cancelled by KNTU and I have been fired.Their reason was that I aired a song that said "fuck" in it and I signed a station policy paper against "indecency".I can't say I didn't see this coming. It always seemed like I had to look over my back in fear that we would get cancelled, only this time it actually happened.I did cause quite a fuss at first but realized that I should leave on good terms with the station so I calmed down and made sure to leave without burning any bridges.I REALLY want to thank EVERY SINGLE PERSON who supported the show.It's been a great (almost) 3 years.I'll keep you posted on any upcoming projects (like the live shows I'm working on with Rubber Gloves).Thanks for all the love and memoriesI enjoyed EVERY SECOND of it.Thanks

-Frank Hejl-

And on a brighter note, UTD's online radio station is back up and running as of today, so you can tune in to that by going to between 2-10pm Monday thru Friday. And they don't just play "college rock" and Modest Mouse and shit on there either. I promise that even the all knowing comment posters on this site can tune in to Radio UTD and hear some shit they haven't heard before.

And we've got some REALLY cool shit coming up on the blog this week too, so stay tuned peeps.

Last Week's Good Records Chart

1. The Theater Fire - Everybody Has a Dark Side
2. Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
3. Grandaddy - Just Like the Fambly Cat
4. Danielson - Ships
5. Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Tree Colored See
6. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
7. Boris - Pink
8. The Black Angels - Passover
9. Riverboat Gamblers - To the Confusion of Our Enemies
10. Starlight Mints - Drowaton
11. Built to Spill - You in Reverse
12. Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives
13. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
14. Pretty Girls Make Graves - Elan Vital
15. Tool - 10,000 Days
16. Gustafer Yellowgold - Wide Wild World (DVD)
17. Scott Walker - The Drift
18. Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops
19. Twin Atlas - Sun Township
20. Tunng - Mother's Daughter & Other Songs

Looks like Theater Fire shot up the charts this week. I wonder how often local bands take the top spot at Good Records on any given week?

And that Danielson record... maybe I'm stupid, but I'm just not feelin' it. At all. Do dig the Boris though.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

It List: Sunday 5/21/06

Lots to do tonight, although some of the crew at WSJR HQ don't know how much juice they have in them, considering the ridiculous late night party that DJ Nature was throwin down at Ave Arts last night. Apparently the place got packed right around 1:30 with all kinds of cool (and strange) kids doing all kinds of sick dancing and engaging in many kinds of substance abuse, with a strong set of Bmore booty shit and funk by Nature tying it all together. One of the better crowds that Ave Arts has had for anything in a very long time, says the wise. Maybe they should consider inviting Nature, Steven and company back again. For tonight:

1. Dj G/ Flashlight Party (Elm Street Bar): One great DJ and another great DJ crew/D.I.Y. party starting gang bringing their shit down to Dallas to show everyone how the little d kids do it. People that don't have to work Monday morning have no excuse not be there.

2. By the End of Tonight/Fra Pandolf/El Paso Hot Button (Fra House- Denton): Going down at the Fra House tonight, located at 2127 W. Oak St. in Denton, this is a house show that is BYOB and cheap if not free (we're not sure). You guys already know what Fra sounds like, and we don't know how to describe what By the End of Tonight sounds like, except to say that its instrumental from what we've heard, and sounds interesting and fun in a live setting. El Paso Hot Button pretty much fuckin' rocks in that garage sort of way, so you might want to get there early and catch them. Should be a good show.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It List: Saturday 5/20/06

short today, gotta run. Will be better next week, mkay?

1. iDi Amin/Hotel Hotel/ Diry Water Disease (Metrognome Ft. Worth)

2. High Society Presents Ball Room w/ Justin V Steven Void/ DJ Nature (Avenue Arts- 825 Exposition Dallas) 6 bucks and byob. Should be the best place to hear good dance music in town tonight.

3. Theater Fire is at J&J's in Denton.


Friday, May 19, 2006

It List: Friday 5/19/06

Sorry, we're running a bit late today. We figure that many of you will be watching the Mavs game anyway. We're gonna take em down tonight, I can feel it:

1. Undoing of David Wright/Zom Zoms/Cry Blood Apache (8th Continent): We gave you the deal on this yesterday. Should be a really good show.

2. Theater Fire (Good Records in store, 7pm): Yeah, we know they're playing at The Cavern later as well, but I would suggest seeing them for free with free beer. Just a thought.

3. Ghostland Observatory/ Black Angels/ Prayer for Animals (Rubber Gloves)

4. Oh, and the motherfuckin' Violent Femmes are playing at Gilley's. We love the Femmes, but be on the lookout for Gen X soccer moms.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It List: Thursday 5/18/06

1. Black Angels/Transient Theory/Bo Jones (Darkside Lounge): Black Angels are of course a WSJR favorite. However, some people complain that a lot of their songs sound alike. We sort of agree in a sense, even though we really like the songs, or the song so to speak. Anyway, a lot of the newer material we have heard from them sounds a lot different than the stuff on their self titled EP, and it seems that they are branching out with strange, interesting rhythms and moves towards more traditional pyschedelic on some tracks, while moving away from it all together on others. Go see what you think of the new stuff if you have doubts. Transient Theory. Never heard them before today. They are positively awful. Go to their Myspace page if you enjoy pretending to be on the set of a commercial for teenage girl deodorant. Houston's Bo Jones is a little better, but not much. Go late.

2. Z00 (Upstairs at the Cavern): Thank god there is something to do in Dallas on Thursday nights again. Zoo has been attracting larger crowds almost every week with its nice mix of dance videos, rock videos and strange videos. Really, you hear great music, see strange images, and might just run into someone as cool as you. Imagine that. Anyway, check it out this week and see what everyone is talking about. As a side note, the Zoo folks plan on showing some local band footage every week (starting some time in the near future), spotlighting one local group each week. We'll give you more details when we get them, but our understanding is that they will take music videos, live footage, and just about anything else to showcase good music going on in the area (even though pickins be slim these days.) We'll give you the contact info as soon as we have it.

3. Of course, DJ G will keep the party goin' at Hailey's with the best 80's dance you never heard.

The Big Undoing

Just to let you know, the Undoing of David Wright will NOT be playing at Hailey's tomorrow night.... somehow the dates got mixed up. Instead they will be playing a show at their home base, the 8th Continent, this Friday the 19th with Zom Zoms and Austin's Cry Blood Apache (whom the Undoing consider to be one of the best bands in Texas right now, if I'm not mistaken).

It would probably be a great show anyway, but in addition to the line up, it will also be an unusal show for the Undoing in that they will be playing many of their songs for the first and last time, at least in the near future. Some of the songs on their debut record require acoustic drums, but they pretty much never play them because they don't have a live drummer. Well, on Friday, Matt from Eat Avery's Bones will be playing drums with them, giving them a chance to play some of these songs for the first time ever. It will also be the last time that most of you will have a chance to see them play these and any of the other songs off their first record because after Friday's show they will largely stop playing songs from their first album live and will instead focus on new stuff that will featured on their new album, which will also be titled the 8th Continent. All the songs will be played in the narrative order that they appear on the album, and the band ecourages people to dress up like "19th century grave robbers, prostitutes, medical students, street denizens, bar patrons, etc.," because they will be filming the concert for a possible live DVD release. Sounds like the place to be on a Friday night.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tree Wavering

Dear Dumb People that think Tree Wave sucks,

Here is another person that is smarter than you who thinks Tree Wave rules. Thanks very much.


the WSJR crew

It List: Wednesday 5/17/06

1. Minmae/Hotel Hotel/Shiny Around the Edges (The Cavern): This seems like a good opportunity for Dallas peeps to check out Shiny Around the Edges, one of the most interesting and unique bands in Denton (and the rest of the metroplex) right now. Shiny's eerie, atmospheric yet minimal folk certainly doesn't sound like anything else around here, and its done well enough to separate it from many of the experimental folk acts that have been getting critical attention in the national indie media for the past couple of years. They seem like one of those bands that will get national praise before many of the lame asses around here even notice them. Don't be one of those lame asses. I don't know what to make of Minmae, but they sound like a sort of ok Les Savy Fav with a My Bloody Valentine fetish and a Pavement jones, but probably not all that interesting. Austin's Hotel Hotel is another highlight, playing quiet waves of noise that are light on form and heavy sleepy wandering, which will be sure to turn away most of the SMU frat dudes that always seem to turn up at the Cavern, while keeping many of your eyes glued to the stage. We hear that their live performances can be quite memorable. Lets hope the Cavern can handle it.

2. The Party w/ DJ Nature (Hailey's Denton)

3. Shoplifting/Finally Punk/ Eat Avery's Bones (Metrognome- Ft. Worth): Shoplifting is one of those nice surprises for us- something we haven't heard until just now and wish we had before. Interesting guitar work, tunings and beats, and the Kill Rock Stars seal of approval should get some of your asses out to Ft. Worth, shouldn't it? Anyone that reads this blog and doesn't know about Eat Avery's Bones is dumb, and Finally Punk reminds me of Erase Errata, Les Georges Leningrad, K Records girly stuff and no wave. Good. Oh, and sweet "Negative Creep" cover.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It List: Tuesday 5/16/06

1. Elf Power/ The Instruments/Fishboy (The Cavern): Although I don't care much for their latest album (it seems a little bland compared to past releases), Elf Power is a band I have listened to for a long time but have never had the chance to see live. I'm hoping they will play a lot of material from my two favorite albums of theirs, A Dream in Sound and The Winter is Coming, but I'm guessing that they will concentrate mostly on new material. And although the newer stuff isn't quite as exciting to me as some of their older stuff, its still great pop with enough of a dark side to keep it interesting. They're part of that second wave of Elephant 6 that people seem to either love or hate, so I guess you've gotta take it for what it is and love it or hate. Or be like me and kinda love it. And no, being consistent isn't really important.

Brooklyn's Instruments seem a little bit boring, but its that pretty kind of boring that you can probably tolerate well enough to get to the Cavern early and catch Fishboy (which is also something that you all probably absolutely love or hate). I don't think Wanz is around for Lost Generation upstairs, but something might be going down up there too. Oh yeah, its $10 and Elf Power is supposed to go on at 1130.

Mavericks 123, Spurs 118 (OT)

For a moment after tonight's game, I tried to imagine what this series must be like for the casual observer, an interested but neutral basketball fan that has no allegiance to either of these teams. It was pretty much impossible to do, but I would have to guess that so far, many neutral observers would tell you that this has been one of the most exciting and compelling NBA playoff series in recent memory between ANY two teams. I think it is pretty clear that these are the two best teams in the NBA, and that they are playing an absolutely amazing series.

I know I know, everyone wants to talk a bunch of shit about how good the Pistons are. I agree that they are very good, and I don't doubt their ability to take it to either of these two teams on any given night. What I am starting to doubt is their ability to beat the Mavs or the Spurs in a seven game series. I don't think their Eastern Conference "best record" is as impressive as everyone else seems to, because I think they easily drop 6-12 of those wins if they're playing in the Western Conference. Add in a very confident and talented Mavs team and a Pistons team that appears to be having trouble with the Cavs, and you seem to have the makings for what could be a very close and exciting NBA finals.

I know that the Mavericks still have a really hard task ahead of them, because the Spurs will NOT go down easily. But starting tonight, I am confident that the Mavericks are confident in themselves, and that feels pretty great. Jason Terry: money. Devin Harris: fucking money. Dirk Nowitzki: a great team leader. Stack was great for most of the night too, and Diop is playing really tough. Shit, even Damps added a bit here and there. Although I in no way think this series is over, even being able to talk about the possibility of the Mavs beating the Spurs in five games feels great. And being able to confidently suggest that the Mavericks are now in the same league as the Spurs and the Pistons feels even better.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Heavy Rotation: The We Shot J.R. Playlist for 5/15/06

Some albums that have been getting a lot of play around WSJR HQ lately:

Daniel Johnston- Yip Jump Music (recently saw the new documentary about him, and its fan fuckin' tastic. I liked Daniel Johnston when I was a teenager, mostly because I thought he was cute and funny. The documentary renewed my interest in him in a completely different way, especially the idea that he sometimes purposely went off his meds a week before one of his shows because he knew that people wanted to see him act crazy. That just really made an impression on me for some reason.)

Hot Chip- The Warning (new Hot Chip fucking rules. End of story.) "Boy From School" Link

ESG- A South Bronx Story

Wu Tang Clan- Wu Tang Forever (recently found this album in some boxes. Hadn't listened to it since like 1998. Its better than it was before.)

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young- Deja Vu

T.V. On the Radio- Return to Cookie Mountain (Is that really what the album is gonna be called? Either way, its about five times better than their last one.) Link "I was a Lover"

The Jesus Lizard: Liar

The Boredoms- Pop Tatari

Sunset Rubdown- Shut Up I am Dreaming (all the bloghype is well deserved)

Tapes n Tapes- The Loon (this one is getting better and better every time I hear it)

Led Zeppelin- III, Houses of the Holy (yeah, I just got into THAT phase again. All I have to say is "Tangerine.")

Gang Gang Dance- God's Money

The Replacements- Let it Be (My favorite of theirs.)

Sonic Youth- Sister (80's retro has driven me to 90's nostalgia)

Sunn O)))- Black One

Flipper- Generic

Feathers- S/t (slowly becoming one of my favorite records of the year)

Ariel Pink House Arrest "Every Night I Die at Miyagis" Link

On another note, Gorilla vs Bear posted a link to this little write up on Sudgefan Steffuns, detailing why this guy is sick of him. I kind of agree, except I think I was sick of him the second I heard him. Like the guy writing the post, I do acknowledge that he is a great songwriter, and I do like some of his stuff. But like blogfriend Pimplomat, I don't quite get what all the fuss is about. Don't know why. I guess it might be because I'm not a slave to all your trendy hipster shit and have my own totally unique taste in music that is superior to most peoples and based on nothing but the sounds that I hear and the magic that is deep inside my soul. Oh yeah, thats why.

If artists or management do not want a song posted on here, please email me and we'll take it down immediately: THANKS

It List: 5/15/06

Not much going on tonight other than some basketball game I heard about. I also heard that Pitchfork is gonna give Devin Harris a "Best New Music" rating, so you guys should all check it out before it gets way too trendy.

Oh yeah, CeePee will be playing some new and old records upstairs at the Cavern tonight. Always a good setlist and a good time.

Last Week's Good Records Chart

1. Grandaddy - Just Like the Fambly Cat
2. Danielson - Ships
3. Gustafer Yellowgold - Wide Wild World (DVD)
4. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
5. Gomez - How We Operate
6. Built to Spill - You In Reverse
7. Various Artists - Soul Sides Volume 1
8. The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
9. Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops
10. Wolfmother - Wolfmother
11. Starlight Mints - Drowaton
12. Great Lake Swimmers - Bodies and Minds
13. Riverboat Gamblers - To the Confusion of Our Enemies
14. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
15. Various Artists - Electrolush
16. Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
17. Tunng - Mother's Daughter and Other Songs
18. Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon
19. The Theater Fire - Everybody Has a Dark Side
20. Tool - 10,000 Days

(as a side note, the worst part about the dumb little fights I got into last week was that someone compared this blog to Tool. I almost cried. Not kidding. In other news, I would be interested to see how the Theater Fire album starts selling after they get their inevitable Observer album review. I've always been curious about the relationship between local media, CD sales and concert attendance. I wonder if any of the bands or people involved in the music industry would care to comment on that. Does a good or bad album or concert review in the Observer have some kind of direct, measurable effect on these things?)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mavericks 104, Spurs 103

So I labeled the last win over the spurs "one of the most important in Mavericks history." I kind of want to say that about THIS game too, but I'd feel stupid repeating myself, not to mention the fact that labeling two consecutive games as two of the "most important" in franchise history would seem a little dramatic to say the least.

But if the last game was all about proving that they can win big in San Antonio, this one was a good demonstration of the Mavs newfound ability to protect the home court, and for what seems like the first time in a long time, they didn't blow a game in which they surrendered a really big lead late.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the whole thing was that they were able to win without a HUGE game from Dirk, Stack, or Josh Howard. And after getting killed by D. Harris layups in game 2, the Spurs could not seem to find an answer for him in game three. The Mavs were again playing D, making their freethrows, and getting it together when it counted. Yeah, they nearly blew it at the end, and if I would have had a heart attack last night (which I probably almost did), I would have sent my hospital bill to Jerry Stackhouse for fucking up that free throw. But alls well that ends well, and it appears that we're catching all the breaks. Speaking of which, I really really enjoy watching Duncan and Poppovich and Parker turn into cry baby little bitches about fouls. Did you see those pricks? Every time a foul was called against them, they jumped up and down and cried. Duncan seemed like such a jerkoff at the end of the game, didn't he? Look buddy, any time anyone breaths on you too hard under the basket, you get a foul called and go to the line. So you better damn well be ready to have the same thing happen to you when you try to fuck with some Dirk Nowitzki at the end of the game. He's a superstar now too, you know. A superstar on a team that looks more ready to go all the way than any other in... damn it. Franchise history.

And no It list today because I don't know about anything to do. Yo, much respect to my moms, dog.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

It List: Saturday 5/13/06

Lots of rock shows in rock city tonight:

1. Blood on the Wall/Psychic Ills/ Fra Pandolf (Hailey's-Denton): I think the Pitchfork review of Blood on the Wall's album Awesomer is really a pretty good description of the band. Yes they do sound like Goo era Sonic Youth, a bratty Velvet Undergound influenced college rock band and a variety of other early 90's indie stars that are cool to talk about again. And no, thats not a bad thing. Really, their album is just a pretty fantastic rock record and I'm sure they will be worth seeing live. And you know we're down with Fra Pandolf, a band that seems to have been picking up some buzz lately, and as a result will be playing some New York shows later this summer with Notes From Underground, another WSJR favorite. Psychic Ills sounds really cool too.... one of those quiet noisy bands with a spacey reverb vibe.

2. Scott Porter's Birthday Show: Hogpig/Jetscreamer/White Drugs... and others (Rubber Gloves): Its free, and I'm guessing its gonna rock. Jetscreamer and White Drugs are bands that we haven't seen live yet, but are pretty sure based on the songs that we've heard that they basically kick ass. Like Blood on the Walls, Jetscreamer reminds me of a cool early 90's college rock band too. They're noisy as shit.

AND I ALMOST FORGOT: Teenage Symphony at Metrognome. This is a really good excuse to drive out to Ft. Worth to see a good band in a cool place. Really, fucking support this place before it goes under. Try going there once, because if you're interested in seeing good bands, art, film, and meeting smart people with cool ideas, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, May 12, 2006

It List: Friday 5/12/06

Some good stuff to do tonight all over the place:

1. Strange Boys/ Chief Deathrage/ Eat Avery's Bones (8th Continent Denton): I'm not sure, but I think I heard a new Strange Boys song on Meat Radio last night (unless it was Lydia Lunch), and I really liked what I heard. I've heard some of their other new stuff too, and it sounds like they are moving in a more interesting direction. Chief is a sludgy stoner rock kinda band that features one of the members of Undoing (I forget but I think its the A-Train). Seen them at the Yellow House, I believe it was, and they were really good. And who doesn't like Eat Avery's Bones?

2. Essex Green (the Cavern): Elephant 6 style 60's influenced psyche pop on Merge records isn't for everyone, but I think its for me. Its the kind of band that I don't really want to like because of the all the Brian Chodetown Massacre 60's revival people that walk around bothering me all day (even though I like BJM), but Essex Green is really good, especially if you just want to have a Friday drinking night in May. Should be fun.

3. Chris Garver (Art Six 424 Bryan St. Denton): Maybe I'm dumb, but I don't know what Art Six is. But theres the address. And here is an artist from Denton that we just heard for the first time the other day and really like. He does really good, somewhat experimental somewhat outsider influenced folk while managing to keep something of a pop structure so that its more like a song and less like a thesis statement, even though they can be good too. Go listen to the Myspace page if you don't believe thats possible. 9pm on the dot.

Paper Chase will be at the Granada with a bunch of bands I don't know and don't care to find out about, but I'd be interested to hear their new stuff.

Believe it or not its just me

Sheesh. Lots of shit going down these days. Its really pretty funny, isn't it? It seems that there has been an onslaught of negative reactions to this site from certain sectors ever since some guy on Denton Rock City called me a pussy a few days ago, claiming that I was a "coward" for being anonymous. At first I planned a long, reasonable defense of why I've tried to stay anonymous on this blog, but I'm so sick to death of debating the whole thing that I'm just not going to do it again. I've said all I have to say about it, and frankly I really don't give a shit anymore. If you've read what I have said in the past, thats still what I think. If you haven't, then I guess you can assume whatever you want. But before this blog becomes more trouble than its worth ( a moment that is rapidly approaching), I thought I would say a few things.

1. People have been emailing me, asking me who all these people are that have been getting so pissed off about the blog. The answer is that I have no fucking clue. Maybe its people we have made fun in the past, maybe its people who are friends with people we have made fun of in the past, maybe its people who know some of the comment posters and hate them, or maybe its people like one of the posters today, who just think I'm a shitty writer that doesn't know anything about music. Or maybe its none of the above. I don't know. And yes, I realize that doing something like this will generate some negative reactions, especially when a fairly large group of people involved in the local music scene read what I write on a regular basis. In that sense I've brought it upon myself, and being anonymous helps ease the pain.

2. That being said... other people have threatened to reveal my identity because they think they know it, and some have even sent me little love notes via email threatening to kick my ass. Although it seems rather silly to threaten a person with violence because they have a blog and don't like your band/venue whatever, I figured that it would happen eventually. And although I'm in no way trying to be a tough guy, I would like to ask those people to kindly go fuck themselves. If you've figured out who I am, or you think you have, good for you. Go tell it on the mountain if you find it necessary to do so. Do whatever you want about it. And if you've actually figured out who I really am (doubt it) and you'd like to start a physical fight with me, I guess there isn't a whole lot I can do to stop you. But I'm certainly not going to apologize or try to make nice, because I haven't done anything but try to be honest about my opinions.... and yes, I do realize that they are just that. Opinions. Believe it or not, my true aim isn't to piss people off or to try to be Mr. Indie rock elitist (which some people think I can't even pull off anyway). My goal has been to try to make Dallas more fun by promoting stuff I enjoy and bitching about stuff that I don't. End of story.

3. Frankly, of all the bands that I've made negative remarks about on here, I don't know a SINGLE ONE OF THEM PERSONALLY. Not one. And I'm pretty sure that I haven't even met most of them, or even been in the same room with them at any point (same goes for the vast majority of bands I have praised as well). And furthermore, neither my social life nor my career are in any way dependent on being friends with people in the local Dallas or Denton music scenes. So if you reveal who I am, I'll deny it, and keep writing until it gets boring or useless or both, without ever coming clean about who I am. And the other anonymous writers on here will keep posting too until they decide they don't want to do it anymore. I have serious doubts that people have really figured it out, and even more serious doubts that people would even know who I was if they did. But if it all ended tomorrow, it would affect my offline life like, not at all, because I'm not really involved with, nor do I care much about the "scene." So keep on thinking that you are holding something over me. And I'll keep on laughing at you.

And to finish off:

4. This will be the last post I will ever make about any of this shit until I decide to shut this thing down for good, whenever that day comes. I can't think of anything more boring than reading a blog about a group of people writing a blog. Self reference is one thing, but this is just getting dumb.

5. I have absolutely NO support for the Dallas vs. Denton debate, or the WSJR vs. DRC debate, or any of that stuff. I like and hate bands and places and people in both cities and everywhere in between, and if you're really concerned about "how denton scenester kids are" vs. "how dallas scenester kids are," then you're probably a moron that should try reading more. I have interacted with some really cool people online because of this site (and yes I mean cybersex), as well as some really big douche bags. And based on my experience, knowing where they live in this gigantic suburb known as DFWd just isn't a piece of knowledge that is very helpful in figuring out what kind of person they are.

So now I'll go back to my normal business around here, and you can too. I'm not turning comments off, or stopping people from posting whatever kind of shit they want on them. Its just too much of a slippery slope for me to fuck with right now.

Have a nice day.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

It List: Thursday 5/11/06

1. Teenage Symphony/Birth to Burial/Nouns Group/Clap Part (J&J's Denton): Man, I wish I could go to this show. Should be a good one.

2. The Strangeboys (Doublewide)

3. Bob White and the F Electrics/Eat Averys Bones/Valhalla (Rubber Gloves)

4. 80's Night w/ Dj G (hailey's)

Anonymous is Watching You (by Defensive Listening)

So the Dallas Observer awards were last night. The highlight of the night was the "Original Kreme" frozen coffee I picked up from Krispy Kreme on lower Greenville right before the VIP party started. Damn that thing was good. Overly sweet, but good. If that drink was a band, I would have stuffed the shit out of the ballot box for it. I guess I should have savored that frozen treat, however, because the rest of the night was all downhill from there.

When my accomplice and I arrived at the awards, we learned that our names were NOT on the v.i.p list. Gasp! How dare they not have us on that list! Don't they know who we are?! Two nutjobs dressed in P.L.O./gangster gear on a hot Dallas evening shouldn't have so much trouble getting into such an important event. We explained "who" we were and were politely ushered right in. It didn't even take a Trojan horse. Once inside, Sam Machkovech greeted us and respected our secrecy. It was the kindest I've ever seen Sam. If I didn't know better, I'd say he is a nice young man. Actually, last night made me feel as if I'm too hard on Sam sometimes.

So we headed into the main room and I was pretty let down that the only food to speak of was from Hooters. It's free, but I just couldn't bring myself to walk over to a Hooter's table. It's just not in me. Once inside we got a wide variety of reactions to our outfits. Some people seemed disgusted. These looks usually came from the overdressed girlfriends of guys in bands. I guess it's okay to dress up at the Granada (it is a theater after all), but something tells me that most of these girls would still rock a pair of Jimmy Choo mitsu stilettos at the Cavern or some other comparable sewer. Other people gave knowing and supportive smiles. Many of the band people were especially nice, and I'd like to thank them for their courtesy and good conversation. When we took our seats, an older woman grabbed my shoulder from behind and exclaimed,"Y'all are under arrest!" I was nervous about our appearance, so I jumped the gun and took her seriously for a second. "Why?" I asked. "Because you shot JR!" She then erupted into loud laughter. It was charming.

Not as charming was Pegasus Now, who played the VIP party. I could have waited and had Pegasus later. They played some Ira Kaplanesque guitar noise over mid-tempo pop songs, and although that formula hasn't done it for me lately, they weren't nearly as bad as I was expecting a band playing this event to be. That's probably one of the best things you can say about an Observer event performance.

Sam M. started off with a skit that referenced the roughing up of a Dallas Roller Derby girl. This had all the wit and subtlety of a fifth grade talent show, but it did kind of lighten the mood. Usually when I read Sam's work, I picture this smirking know-it-all know nothing, knocking 'em back at the Sons of Herman Hall bar while he scribbles out articles. Last night, I saw someone genuinely ready to make an ass out of himself, and I can give him some credit for that. Unfortunately, that doesn't help much in music reviews.

I won't go through each DFW music entity and who lost or won, because that's being battled elsewhere. Ifyou want to see some real sore losers, take a peek at what some of the people over at Denton Rock City have been saying since Tuesday. The Denton crew up front was even chanting that site's name as they announced the blog/website nominees. Now, I don't give the Observer much credit, much less their music "awards," but I think it's a little pitiful to be yelling the names of people and things that lost, or worse yet weren't even nominated. I mean, you weren't picked as one of the best in local music by a group of people that still listen to Flickerstick. Does that really bother you, Denton? As much as I respect Paul Slavens (though I prefer substitute hosting on his show by Gini Moscorro) I wasn't a big fan of him accepting on behalf of the John Peel of Dallas, JoshVenable. Well, he's like John Peel if John Peel had believed everything NME said and therefore had fucking deplorable taste in music.

I didn't know Record Hop was playing and that was a welcome surprise, because they still owe me for the impossibly drunken set I endured at Fry St. Fair. Thankfully, they made up for it in a handful of songs. The Brutal Juice collaboration was pulled off well too, but the crowd energy at Fry St. made that idea more effective. They also seem to have seamlessly worked their new drummer in, and that's no easy task.

A real low point for me was seeing some of the hosts that the Observer picked. Only in Dallas would an ex-special teams coach be asked to partake in such an event. He kept advertising a bar he owned down the street, and judging from the marketing tactics of some of the local bands in attendance (those horrible DOMA Myspace bulletins), I guess he fit right in. He definitely had more personality than the game show hosts from 105.3, however.

At some point there was break dancing, and I welcomed the relief from lukewarm acts and bad hosts. This gave everything more of a variety show feel, and I think that's more appropriate seeing as the awards aren't just for Denton drunks and pretty boy Dallas indie rockers. Oh, we should mention Ft. Worth too, because the Theater Fire played. I liked the Theater Fire's arrangements, and they didn't offend me, so I salute them for that. I couldn't make out the vocals as well as I'd like (essential in this genre) but that's okay. They were doing fine with the washboard and trumpets. Their music was gentle compared to everything else at the event, and I started to falling into a deep slumber during their set. I then realized that my face cloth was tied too tight around my jugular. Between that and my limited breathing, I almost passed out. It's hard work keeping your identity hidden.

Finally, it was time for them to announce the bestwebsite/blog award, as presented by two of my own personal heroes, Zac Crainand Robert Wilonsky. These two men helped me struggle through my teenage years. Where would I be today if I hadn't been weaned on a steady diet of their confusing and infuriating rock critic speak? Reading their work in the late nineties really taught me how to hate stuff. Especially their articles. So I was actually kind of moved to see them up there. Two men who had championed so many things I disliked and ignored everything I loved. Robert Wilonsky did say we were the best dressed people there, and while I appreciate the compliment, it should have gone to the Undoing of David Wright, so that they could have at least won something. The Paperchase sidemen didn't even appreciate being recognized as Dallas' best experimental and electronic act, but as long as they won in that category instead of an award for best rock band... I suppose justice was served.

As you probably know, We Shot JR and the rest in the website category lost to Texas Gigs. When I heard extremely loud cheers behind me upon the announcement, I realized that we had been sitting in front of the Texas Gigs gang the whole time. As we walked out of the building, I felt like we were two villains sneaking away into the shadows while the good guys triumphed in the spotlight. It all made so much sense to me. As the usual gang of who's-who's slapped each other on the back under the Observer banner, I was very glad to be what this music scene fears...A living, breathing ANONYMOUS.

More DOMA Pictures

Pegasus Now

Sam M. from the Observer as Roller Derby Girl

Ashlee Cromeens from Record Hop

Zac Crain and Robert Wilonsky

Larz from the Undoing

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It List: Wed. 5/10/06

We'll have a full report on the DOMAs from one of the masked men (Or masked persons I suppose) later today. In the meantime, get ready to put on your damn dancin's shoes and go to:

1. The Party w/ Dj Nature (Rubber Gloves-Denton) OR

2. 80's Night with Dj G (The Cavern): Playing all types of ill shit, including classic house, disco, underground new wave, etc. One of the better weeknight parties in Dallas.

We Shot Eazy E

Or at least some of us looked like we did at the Observer awards tonight. Fucking sweet. I wonder if the WSJR team made Belafonte cry?

Mavericks 113 Spurs 91

I haven't lived in Dallas my whole life, which means that I wasn't around for the great 80's teams or anything like that. No, my love for the Mavs began during the strike shortened season of 1998. I'm not sure why. At first, I think it was just a joke.

Anyway, tonight's game has to be one of the three or four most important wins for this team since 1998 (I would say that Game 5 playoff win at Utah in 2001 might have been THE most important). Yeah, I know, it is just the second round, and it was just one game. But not only did the Mavs win BIG, they did it in San Antonio, in the playoffs, without a huge game from Dirk, and with a tough ass attitude that is a necessity to thrive in the playoffs. Every time the Spurs mounted even the slightest start of a comeback, the Mavs shut it down. They played amazing defense all night long, and just about everyone contributed on the offensive end in some way. This was the most playoff savvy I've ever seen the Mavs play, and they've got almost all the momentum you could ask for coming back home for game 3. I can't wait to watch it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

It List: Tuesday 5/9/06

1. Sunburned Hand of the Man/ Mazinga Phaser II/ Unconscious Collective (Rubber Gloves): Ahh, here is a good line up. SHOM is one of my favorite bands that I really don't listen to that much. Yes, its stupid but true. I really dig what they do... and I can't even really describle it for you other than to say psych/noise/ avant garde/free form, but they really really push the limits of what a touring "rock" band could possibly be. And although I haven't seen them, I hear the live show can be quite good. Two other groups doing interesting things from DFW will also be representing. Be there early for Unconscious' free jazz freak out.

And I hear there might be some STRANGE people at the Observer awards tonight.... and I'm not talking about any of the totally extreme freaky rock n rollers bro.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Denting Denton

EDIT #2: Here is an article about the whole thing. Apparently an investment group has already purchased the land from Loveless. I wonder if this means that they have received assurances that the deal will go through Denton City Hall without a problem....

So I'm sure that some other news source has published something on this already, but I couldn't really find one so I decided to get a little more information on it and post what I found.

It appears that the Winkelmann Civil Engineering firm of Dallas is teaming up with another development group to propose a complete tear down and rebuilding of Fry St. as we know it. The project, which is being referred to as "University Town Center," would involve the tearing down of all the buildings in the center of the Fry St. area, basically from the Yellow House to Cool Beans with Fry St and Welch as borders. This means that pretty much the entire center of Fry St. as we know it would be gone if this thing gets approved. Once destroyed, all the buildings would be replaced with student housing and "Lifestyle" retailers, kind of adding that really cool west Plano slash mid cities vibe to the whole area. Fucking lifestyle retailers?

I spoke with Lori Shelton, project manager for the City of Denton, who confirmed that this plan was submitted to the city in March as a pre application proposal. This means that the developers would have to go before the Denton zoning and planning commission and receive approval from them, and then take it to city council to receive final approval, meaning that any sale of the Fry St. properties to these developers is probably conditional pending the city's approval. Shelton, who was extremely helpful and genuinely concerned about the project, says that the entire process will be open to the public and that public participation in the form of town hall meetings, etc. will be encouraged. This means that public pressure on the council and the developers will be heard and WILL work.

Much of the land is currently owned by a Denton man named Curtis Loveless, who apparently has an office on the square. This is all that we know about it right now.

We don't know how many of you have heard about this proposal, but anyone that is interested in helping Denton maintain anything that makes it unique might want to find out more about all of this and get involved in the effort to make sure that this plan never makes its way through the red tape. This could mean an end to many of the things that make Fry St. fun.

Here is a PDF of the plan that was submitted to the city: PLAN

To get involved, get in contact with these people.

EDIT: The borders of the proposed project are actually Fry St, Welch, Hickory and Oak, leaving the Yellow House in the clear a block away.

No It List: Monday May 8th

Go read a book or something.

Finalized Line Up: Strategies of Beauty Vol. 1

Here you have it, the line up for this summer's Denton noise rock music festival:

Strategies of Beauty, Vol. 1 Noise Folk Festival Saturday, July 1st $5 Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios 411 E Sycamore Street, Denton, TX 76205
Ribelle Scaltro (Denton)
Eat Averys Bones (Dallas)
iDi*Amin (Denton/Hurst)
Chris Garver (Denton)
Cue (Austin)
You Are the Universe! (Denton)
Hotel, Hotel (Denton/Austin/Tucson)
Samantha L. Moss (of jetscreamer) & Emil Rapstine (of The Angelus)...this will be a spoken word/music performance... (Denton) Shiny Around the Edges (Denton)
Stumptone (Ft. Worth)
Fra Pandolf (Denton)
Notes from Underground (Denton)

More info when we get it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Everything Post for Sunday

First of all, for future reference, there will NOT be a Mavs post when they fucking lose. Especially when they fucking lose a game they should have fucking won. But thats all I'm gonna say about that. All I know is that game 2 is now a must win.

Tonight at Doublewide, Chris from Gorilla vs Bear will be hosting Mp3 blog buzz band Birdmonster along with St. Vincent, who is apparently involved with Polyphonic Spree in some way. I don't know much about either one of them, honestly, but Birdmonster sounds like the kind of band that will translate well in a live setting, particularly at the Doublewide (small venue, most consistently good small sound system in Dallas). Nothing strange or new, but they've got some pretty good songs. I'm not so sure about St. Vincent (only heard one song), but what I have heard sounds worlds better than that other band she is in, so thats a good thing. It would probably also be a good idea to support Gorilla vs. Bear, which is one of the few things coming out of Dallas right now that attracts the attention of anyone outside north Texas with good taste. Apparently our strip clubs are way above average too. That rules.