Friday, September 29, 2006


Not the greatest weekend for music, but some solid stuff going on here and there. I again have to be a bit short today... guess I just can't get my shit together on Fridays. Anyway, we'll have the lists about an hour or two earlier starting next week, which will hopefully help a bit.


Tonight you can start the evening off with the Evangelicals, who are playing a free in store at Good Records at 6pm. I guess you better hurry considering that you're probably reading this at 5:00. Anyway, Evangelicals have put out one of the most interesting psyche pop records of the year, and it also happens to be one of the most fun to listen to. And since its free, you might as well trust me.

Drop the Lime/DJ Mundo/ Keith P/ Tiny MC (Sons of Hermann Hall): This should be the place to be tonight. Drop the Lime is surely a touring DJ that is worth your time and trouble to see... his influences are all over the place, and the beats are insane. You can click here to read Central Booking's take on the night, and you'll also find a link to an excellent new Drop the Lime mix tape. I don't have much info on Mundo and Keith P, aside from the fact that they seem to be interested in uk garage and 2step, meaning that they should be a solid opener as well. I've never been to a dance show at Sons, and I'm guessing it will be... interesting? Yeah, thats the ticket. This show will surely be the most fun you could possibly have tonight.

Also, Strawberry Fields in Denton will be hosting a screening of the excellent bio pic The Devil and Daniel Johnston. I highly recommend it. And apparently, a shitload of other people do too. Starts at 9.


DJ Shadow will be doing an instore at Good Records starting at 2:30pm. I've heard various stories about his good records appearance. Some say that it is simply an autograph session, and others say that it is a full instore. Either way, I heard they'll have free beer, so I'm sure it will be worth it. You can also catch Shadow later on Saturday night at the Gypsy Tea Room with Lateef the Truth Speaker.

Jose Gonzalez (Gypsy Tea Room): Anyone that tries to tell you that Jose Gonzalez is anything but a brilliant songwriter is completely full of shit. He gained a lot of attention late last year with his cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats," which prompted a lot of people to pick up his record and discover that just about every song on it is absolutely fantastic. Everything he does has been done a million times before, and he's still fucking great. His music is soft, quiet, sad and hollow sounding, and yes, he's actually able to pull all of those things off without sound like a douche. In fact, he sounds absolutely brilliant more often than not.

Magnolia Electric Company/ Bottomless Pit/ Tre Orsi (Rubber Gloves)

Mad Happy/ Wanz Dover/ Beauregard/ 1337 Geek Beat/ DJ Stephen R (Bell House; at the Corner of Bell and Summit off Lower Greenville): This show is going down at Stephen R's house off lower Greenville. Its three bucks to get in, and they will have two kegs for your consumption once you've paid your way inside. I'm sure there will be dancing too. Just mapquest the interesction above, drive to it, and you'll find it.

For Those Who Want to Know...

We've received some emails about the Projection comp and where to download it, so we've added a permanent link to the Projection post over on the sidebar. Just click that, then click the link in the post.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It List: Thursday 9/28/06

1. Serena Maneesh/Woven Hand/Evangelicals (Rubber Gloves)
Serena Maneesh has received a lot of international acclaim for their resurrection of late 80's/early 90's reverb flooded guitar murk. They offset it with an occasional stab at more upbeat material but that part of their sound is probably not why they've been paid so much attention. The truth is that many music fans seem to long for that era of guitar rock judging by the enduring popularity of (mostly British) bands from that era. Also at Rubber Gloves tonight is Woven Hand, who feature the main songwriter from the now defunct Sixteen Horsepower. Their fan created myspace page calls them Gothic/Folk and I don't know if their fans are necessarily doing them a favor with that tag. Opening band The Evangelicals play energetic pop.

2. Idi*Amin/The Mad Scientists/Violent Squid (TJ's in Denton)

Looks like a good lineup at a fairly repulsive venue. I don't know if I've ever heard anyone say a single good thing about this place but that probably won't matter too much tonight. I'm interested in seeing Idi*Amin since I've heard there's been a lineup change and they now have a member of You are The Universe playing with them. I don't know if that means less guitar skronk and more Powerbook but we'll see. The Mad Scientists should be in good spirits since lead member Brannon is celebrating his birthday by playing this show. If I could make a birthday wish for him I would probably wish that he'd cut his solos a few minutes shorter. But that's part of the fun of The Mad Scientists. I've never seen Violent Squid but that's just another reason to go to this show.

3. Zoo; A Visual Menagerie (The Cavern)

Recent outings to this event have been really entertaining, even when I hated the artists on certain videos. I heard and saw a good mix of Soul, Pop, Rap, New Wave, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Electronic Music, and old fashioned Metal the couple of times I've been. Good job on finding the especially obscure promo clips.

4. Dixie Witch/Mescalero/Secret Devil Sign (Andy's in Denton)

I just want to quickly add that once upon a time when Dixie Witch was a local band, they were the only local band I could stomach and actually liked at the time. The drummer/singer is really something to experience live and puts on one of the most impressive displays of force and effort I've ever seen on a stage.

Ratatat @ Gypsy Tea Room

Before Ratatat took the stage at Gypsy Tea Room last night, you could sense the electricity in the room. After they finished their set, the electricity was slapping the packed house across the face.

Last night was one of those rare moments in Dallas music that made you feel like people actually give a shit, and whether it was just an illusion or not, it felt great to be in a sold out venue full of people who there to see a band that was actually worthy of the buzz.

Ratatat's performance was everything I thought it would be and more, easily earning a spot on my list of favorite shows of the year. When I saw the band perform a couple of years ago, things were a bit different. For one, the entire performance was little more than two guys standing still, a drum machine, and some psychedelic visuals in the background. For another, there were about 30 people in attendance, most of whom appeared to be relatively unfamiliar with the material. It was a great show to be sure, but the mood was a bit subdued and the crowd was a bit puzzled, as many in attendance couldn't seem to quite figure out what they were looking at. Last night, Ratatat put on a much more animated stage show complete with better visuals, a third member on keyboards, and a large, informed audience that treated the whole thing like a dance party instead of a rock show. Its a good thing too, because the energy of the crowd was a huge factor in making the show as much fun as it was.

As I said in my post yesterday, Ratatat seems to take inspiration from such a wide variety of genres and past movements in pop that they really end up sounding like nothing you've heard before. The most obvious reference points are disco, hip hop, post-rock, idm, funk, house, and a healthy dose of prog guitar groups such as Yes and King Crimson. In a live setting, their music is largely beat driven and funky, and it was clear that the band wanted their songs to be used rather than dissected, infusing their music with a level of complexity that is interesting on its own yet completely disposable, considering that the vast majority of the focus was on moving asses rather than impressing music dorks. Of course, that isn't to say that Ratatat's musicianship wasn't impressive, because it was. The songs were tight, the guitar playing was complex and flashy, and the layers of sound were mood altering and joyous. As the band moved through their hour plus set of album cuts and newer tracks, it became clear that much of the energy and thought that went in to making their songs so interesting was actually more of an afterthought for the band and much of the audience, who were busy throwing their hands in the air, freaking their girlfriends, and generally not giving a shit about how cool they looked. Its probably useful to note that much of this band's recent output has come in the form of dance remix singles, because their performance was so tight that it often sounded like a DJ spinning dance records rather than two guys playing guitar on stage. Even the more subdued songs had a robotic and electronic feel that made you forget that the music was being played by human beings.

Many people were there to see a rock show, no doubt, and in many ways they got it. But the band was so good at what they did that the crowd was able to interact with the music freely, without having to focus all their attention on the band itself. The culmination of this mood came during the band's last song, when dozens of audience members jumped onstage to dance one last time. The audience was as much a part of the show as the band and almost as important as the music, and it was clear that Ratatat fed off this state of affairs and thrived as a result.

As I watched people dancing and screaming and having a blast, I was reminded of Pitchfork's review of The Rapture's Echoes, which the site named record of the year for 2003. In it, the author discussed the newness of seeing "indie" kids dancing at what appeared to be a rock show. Of course, this phenomenon is nothing new these days, and I'm not going to try to tell you that it is. In fact, it really wasn't an entirely new development back in 2003 either, since many seem to forget the close relationships that existed between post-punk, disco, and hip hop in the late 70's and early 80's. However, its still quite refreshing to see an audience get so excited about a band as innovative and unique as Ratatat. Promoters and record labels can keep trying to shove the same old bland "indie" pop down our throats, but its clear that people are looking elsewhere for inspiration and entertainment. And its safe to say that last night, they found what they were looking for.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It List: Wednesday 9/27/06

Ratatat/Panther/Envelopes (Gypsy Tea Room): Mark my words: you're going to be pissed off at yourself if you miss this show. I've come around on Ratatat's records, and now thoroughly enjoy both of them. However, I didn't really dig this band until I saw them live in Austin a couple years ago. I was completely blown away by the guitar playing, the stage presence, and the general power of their songs in a live setting. They might not move around and jump up and down on stage much, but their performances are really a sight to be seen. Their music is influenced by disco, hip hop, and synth pop, and they don't really sound like guitar music at all. But they are. And you need to see them play. The somewhat hazy and totally robotic synth funk of Panther should be a good start... think Art of Noise, an in your face Arthur Russell, and a dash of Tom Tom Club and Off the Wall era Michael Jackson if he had been a drug addict. Good stuff. I'm gonna go ahead and give you the ol' WSJR guarantee for this one.

Current Leaves/ Grits N Gravy/ I Love Math/ Slider Pines (Club Dada): This is the LAST night of Current Leaves' residency at Dada, and you really should go see them tonight if you haven't had a chance to go to Dada this month. Go see what everyone is talking about.

And of course, you know you can head up to Denton to see Dj Nature and the party at Rubber Gloves.

And I almost forgot: Ratatat after party tonight at the Cavern. Its free with your Ratatat ticket stub, or five bucks at the door if you don't have one. Member(s) or Ratatat (not sure which) will be spinning around one a.m., but you should head over early to see Gorilla vs Bear, Sober and Select do their thing. This is going to be a shitload of fun.

Here is a Ratatat video:

The Power of Independent Trucking: The Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Block Party (text and photos by Defensive Listening)

Summer ended last week and along with it, the U.S. music festival season. So what did I miss? A chance to see Kanye West and AFI at Bumbershoot in Seattle? Hmm...Kanye and AFI are also playing at Street Scene '06 in San Diego. Did I miss paying  $80 to see Blood Brothers and Yellowcard share the same stage? Oh wait, Yellowcard is playing Street Scene as well, along with Tapes 'n Tapes.  But wait a minute, Tapes 'n Tapes is also playing some Coney Island Fest in New York, which is free thanks to festival sponsor Budweiser.  You know, the king of Beers?

To get some perspective on the whole summer festival scene, I flipped through the Summer '06 issue of Filter magazine and took note of all the cross pollinated sponsorship in an attempt to figure out why the same fifteen acts were playing at just about every major festival in the U.S. this year. Filter even went so far as to congratulate themselves for the little party they threw for that most ghastly of festivals, Coachella, earlier this year. It ended with this little beauty of a paragraph:

"Extra special thanks to the folks at Honda in helping make the event happen and capturing silly shots of attendees in the new FIT ride. Shout-Outs to Puma and Napster for the goodie bags and arts and crafts; word up to ASCAP, Urban Outfitters, Indie 103.1 and, as well as Heineken, Red Bull and Glaceau for keeping everyone entertained and adequately

How 'bout big ups to Glaxo Smith Kline for making Wellbutrin and keeping everyone emotionally numb enough to endure three days of overrated bands? Props to all my motherfuckers at Lockheed Martin for keeping the US safe enough to spend $400 on something as trivial as a two day VIP pass to Street Scene. I was so amazed at the above corporate shout outs that I felt like I had made the whole thing up.

Recently, I've started to feel that so called underground music is being completely overtaken by indie culture's increasing flirtation with mainstream garbage, co-dependent publicists, and various corporate interests. In order to improve my mental well being, I decided on a whim to go to the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Block Party in Chicago, hoping to find some light at the end of the tunnel. After three days and dozens of bands, I not only regained faith in underground culture, but in all of mankind as well.

First of all, the Touch and Go Birthday party featured more than 25 different acts over three days for a measly thirty five dollars, which comes out to a little more than a dollar per band. And considering that Touch and Go is arguably (and I will argue with you) the greatest independent record label of all time, the small price was more than worth it. Traveling all the way to Chicago was the catch, but it certainly didn't stop me. After all, if I had wanted to see something in my own state, the only option was Austin City Limits, which would have required paying $115 for the privilege of melting in a huge pile of baby boomers sweating it out to Van Morrison.

For too long now I've needed to wipe such repulsive situations out of my system. I was desperate to not think about the silliness and infighting of the local music scene, or the way big business swoops in and chokes everyone with advertising as they circle like buzzards around demographics data and pie charts on what's hip and who's for sale. This three day celebration was the perfect way to do that. To my amazement, there was not a single banner advertising anything behind the bands as they played. The stages weren't called Washington Mutual or At&t or anything else that has absolutely nothing to do with music. One stage was called Touch. The other, Go. You'd almost think Touch and Go was run by fools if you consider the cash they burned by not having sponsored stages. Touch and Go, however, is not run by fools. It is run by a man named Corey Rusk, and if I hadn't known that before the festivities, I surely would have known afterwards, considering that pretty much every band I saw unabashedly praised him onstage at one point or another.

Mr. Rusk's original business model for Touch and Go was a simple handshake agreement providing that everything would be split down the middle after the label recouped its initial expenses. This extremely fair relationship between artist and label was an anomaly at the time and in a lot of ways, it still is. Touch and Go has somehow remained vital and relevant these past 25 years through countless changes in the underground, the mainstream, and that hazy twilight where the two meet. They have been successful without compromising, pandering, yielding, or any of the other things that lesser labels spend much of their time rationalizing their way through.

The acts themselves were the living embodiment of all the things Touch and Go has stood for all these years. The festival started on a Friday afternoon with the precision rock of Shipping News, and ended with a Sunday night performance by the maraca wielding Calexico. Neither of these bookends, as enjoyable as they can be, really captured the intensity that lurked in the very center of this block party. Saturday was probably the single most satisfying day I've ever spent at a concert, so forgive me if that's where I'll tend to focus.

I can't imagine a better lineup even if you broke the label-only structure of the event. Bands started playing at noon and the New Year blew everyone away with a flawless lunchtime set. As much as I like The New Year, I couldn't believe the nearly dozen bands that would follow them, each somehow outdoing the last. Uzeda, a band of middle aged Italians, followed The New Year and threw down the gauntlet so hard that I thought the earth would crack and blood would rain from the sky. Uzeda was not just incredible for the way they built up and tore apart each sound they roared at the audience, but also for how they were noticeably older than a lot of bands that would later perform. Age seemed to be a theme on Saturday as many veteran and reunited groups completely stole the show from the younger bands playing on Friday and Sunday. That's saying a lot considering the number of beloved young bands in attendance (Enon, !!!, Ted Leo, and the Black Heart Procession for example), but they were really overshadowed by the chaotic firestorm of noise that left the crowd completely spent on Saturday.

Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen of Silkworm played a single song as a poignant respite between all the dissonant heavyweights on Saturday. Silkworm unfortunately met an untimely end when drummer Michael Dahlquist was killed by a young woman who intentionally struck his car from behind in a failed suicide attempt. Two friends and fellow musicians also died in the accident. Silkworm, as the world knew them, would never play again. Needless to say the remaining members of Silkworm performing a final song from their catalogue was moving for many people in the audience. Many in the crowd wept, and singer Andy Cohen visibly broke down when he left the stage.

Tim and Andy were followed by The Ex, and a raging joy returned to the audience at the beginning of their set. The Ex represent the opposite of everything wrong with rock music. They defy all odds, stereotypes, pigeonholes, rules, sonic boundaries, international boundaries, and every possible categorization. They are probably the only band that performed who were older than the label itself. The Ex truly believe in what they do with a purity that has always been rare but seems especially lacking in contemporary rock. Their debut album, "Disturbing Domestic Peace", put Gang of Four's "Entertainment" to shame and whatever album they release next will completely shred anything around its release date. What sets The Ex apart is that they have never broken up, never reunited. They have always just been there, living a parallel existence to Touch and Go. They literally bleed for their music, playing with such force that both guitars are caked with blood by the end of the set. They have toured Ethiopia. When I think about that fact alone, I laugh at all the local bands that catfight about who charges too much for drinks at what bar and how lame this or that booking person is for not giving their band a chance. Give me a break. There's an entire world beyond this dense little scene and people like The Ex didn't wait for it to come to them. They went out and did it. They didn't wait for someone to hand it to them. They fucking took it. Their clattering, chugging, improvised, exacting yet explosive music is some of the most significant art made in two centuries. I'm not telling you this to be a snob, but if you haven't already, please discover the truth of this band. By the time The Ex were done playing, it was still only 3:40 in the afternoon.

Following The Ex was a one-two-three punch of Killdozer, The Didjits, and Negative Approach. All three bands put on impressive sets for not having played in so long and each set was a love letter to Touch and Go for keeping their records in print all these years. Touch and Go famously keeps all their records in print which is not only a feat but also puts the label at odds with people like Sub Pop who have milked every limited edition collectible tactic they can, making them something of an annoying Ebay genre unto themselves. The crowd was getting noticeably more riled up at this point but I saw only one person actually get kicked out. Negative Approach in particular were very brutal and convincing, reminding me why hardcore blew my mind at age fourteen. Catching their full set caused me to miss my chance to find a good view during Scratch Acid, but I surprisingly enjoyed Negative Approach more. I really wished I had caught Scratch Acid play their hometown of Austin the weekend before. David Yow has not lost any credibility as the world's greatest front man in his absence from music. I got flashbacks of a 90's Jesus Lizard show where I hid in the balcony at Trees because the pit was so out of control. Scratch Acid was the only band I saw that played an encore and Texas should be proud that their oft copied sludge noise is our state's gift to the world. The only thing that could top a Scratch Acid performance and encore was the improbable reunion of Big Black.

How does a band with a drum machine and four songs own an entire three day music event? Despite singer/guitarist Steve Albini's contentions, Big Black lived up to the hype of a band that formed to outweigh Heavy Metal and out-hard Hardcore. Their guitar sound was easily the most shocking noise I have ever heard come out of an instrument, period. The sound was akin to bombs dropping and bouncing a few times before they blow mid-air and unleash a torrent of treble, bent nails and gunpowder into every open eye, ear, pore and orifice in the audience. I will never forget the feeling of screaming along with 7,000 people, "I can kill a cow/Fast as any other fucker can!". Talk about camaraderie amongst strangers! There was a very healthy and friendly attitude in general during the weekend and people from all over the world knew they were experiencing something that was actually special, rather than the prepackaged "special" that comes at the ridiculous price that greedy organizers of other three day music events were asking for this summer. I saw Big Black open for Shellac and I can't even believe I just typed that sentence. It was a privilege.

Shellac could have and probably should have closed the festival. I was thrilled that they played Dallas early in the summer and I was still just as thrilled to see them in Chicago. Much like The Ex, I wish more bands would aspire to their lack of convention. They don't tour to "promote the album", they tour because they want to. They don't send out promo copies, they let the critics do some legwork and not just sit around expecting handouts. In other words, if they want to review the album they have to go out and find it (or in Stonedranger's case, download it). It's almost an unthinkable concept these days: A band that isn't begging you to like them or pay attention to them. I wish there were more. The world would certainly be more interesting. Shellac ended their triumphant set with drummer Todd Trainer dragging two girls onstage, handing them drumsticks and letting them hit cymbals with the rest of the band. It was a beautiful moment and a contrastingly gentle way to end such an overwhelming day.

Acts as diverse and respected as Seam, Pinback, and Coco Rosie played on Sunday but it almost seemed like a gloomy afterthought. I enjoyed myself anyways. The Monorchid was the last aggressive yelp of the reunited bands, and the festival came to a close with little fanfare after Calexico. I'm still recovering from that weekend... in a good way. Sometimes the cynical silliness of the local scene causes me to forget that original, transcendent, and challenging music even exists in the world. I'm just as guilty of the narrow mindset that I mentioned before because I let the pettiness and DFW tunnel vision cloud my own thinking. I can't stress enough how refreshing it was to have all that chipped away and realize that we can all be better. Better Bands. Better label owners. Better music fans. I was truly in awe of what Touch and Go had accomplished and what we could all possibly accomplish if we tried even a fraction as hard as Corey Rusk and all of those bands. If nothing else, I would like to thank Touch and Go for helping me detox the baggage of the local music scene out of my system, even for just a weekend. We're all very lucky this record label still exists. To quote Todd Trainer, "Thanks for enriching all of our lives."

Jason Noble of The Shipping News

Matt Kadane of The New Year

Andy Cohen of Silkworm


GW Sok of The Ex

Steve Albini of Big Black/Shellac

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It List: Tuesday 9/26/06

We Are Scientists/ Art Brut/ The Spinto Band (Gypsy Tea Room Tea Room): Weren't We Are Scientists supposed to be like a huge band or something? You would have expected them to be if you had read the praise that many of the major MP3 blogs were giving them back in January. It was supposed to be a really big year for them, but considering that they haven't graduated from the Tea Room to the Ball Room, I guess it wasn't as big as many expected. This development is surprising to me, considering that they seem to have the perfect formula for fake indie to mainstream crossover success: a watered down amalgamation of just about every retro sound that has been fashionable over the past five years, mixed in with just the right amount of pop-punk to keep the kids bouncing. And OMG, they're from Brooklyn too! Of course, they really aren't quite as bad as all that makes them sound, but I would hardly tell you that they are worth seeing. Art Brut is a different story all together: almost everything about them tells me that I should like them, and I've seen them put on two very good live shows in the past year. However, I'm just not crazy about them. I like the Fall, and Television Personalities, and Buzzcocks, and everything else they seem to be influenced by, but theres something hold me back. I don't know why. The Spinto Band I can take or leave for the most part, but they might actually be the most interesting band on this bill. Probably not the coolest thing to say, but its true.

Lost Generation w/ Wanz (Cavern upstairs): What Wanz has tonight:

"Stand out tracks in tonights set: The new Slits ep(playing emo's nov.11th), some other more rare Slits material, Serena Maneesh(playing Rubber Gloves later this week, and of course Cygnus(Our laptop deathmatch Champ). I will have a few copies of The Lost Generation Ultimate krautrock mixtape on me tonight. If you wanna copy just let me know. Come by and have a drink and say hi."

You're Voting for Who?

Monday, September 25, 2006

It List: Monday 9/25/06

Supersystem/ Zombi/ Flashlight Party DJs (Hailey's): The artists formerly known as El Guapo bring their DFA influenced dance electropop stuff to Hailey's tonight. To me, Supersystem is a pretty good singles band. I really like "Born into the World," as well as a couple of other songs off their first album and the more recent one, which I don't think has been released yet. Maybe it has, I don't know. Do release dates even really matter anymore? Anyway, I don't think their albums are as consistent as they could be, but I bet that they are a lot of fun to see live, and they are obviously very skilled musicians who will probably permit their songs to come through nicely in a live setting. Zombi also sounds great: new romantic pop, Night Rider, early acid house and Italo disco all seem to be good reference points for this Pittsburgh group, and I have a feeling that you'll want to check them out too. And be sure to show up early for Flashlight Party, who will be playing:

"a bundle of new shit from over seas, so we'll be playing lots of new stuff from: sebastiAn, vitalic, and aufken (all super good french shit) and remixes from lcd soundsystem, phoenix, hot chip and the rapture. get there."

Those who can't make it out to Denton can also check out Jazz Night at Amsterdam. I'm pretty sure drinks are cheap there on Mondays, and the musicians that show up to play are all fantastic. Always a very chill time.

Watch homeboy eat a cookie:

Last Week's Good Records Sales Chart

1. The Polyphonic Spree - Wait
2. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Letting Go
3. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
4. TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
5. The Album Leaf - Into the Blue Again
6. My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse
7. Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
8. Pilotdrift - Water Sphere
9. Cursive - Happy Hollow
10. Red Monroe - Red Monroe
11. OOIOO - Taiga
12. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
13. Ratatat - Classics
14. Darkel - Darkel
15. Joseph Arthur - Nuclear Daydream
16. Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
17. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
18. The Theater Fire - Everybody Has a Dark Side
19. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
20. The Mars Volta - Amputechture

I hear so many different opinions on Mars Volta, and almost all of them are quite extreme. It seems like people either think they are the best band in the world or the most annoying, and there doesn't seem to be anyone in the middle. Any opinions?


Apparently we are having some problems with the blog this morning. We are working on them.

UPDATE: I guess we fixed it. Blogger does some strange things.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Weekender 9/22/06-9/24/06

Don't have time to write a whole lot today, but I've got all the shows you want to see, the links you need, and a picture of Kool Keith looking at porn. So kiss my ass!


Dr. Octagon/Dj Nature/ DJ Stephen R/Joint Method/ The Dream Tigers (Granada Theater): Anyone that would consider going to this show probably already knows who Dr. Octagon is, but if you don't, go listen to the Myspace page. Kook Keith has been one of the most innovative MCs in this country for years, and also one of the most genuinely strange figures in hip hop. Dr. Octagon is one of his many projects, and it is my favorite. The music is trashy, minimal and creepy, and his lyrics are almost pyschedelic and at the same time rather violent and crude. The real attraction however is his flow, which is second to none. You already know about Nature and Stephen R by now, but Dallas' Dream Tigers, who I think I just listened to for the first time today, are the absolute shit. They describe themselves as "dirty southern geek core," and I suppose that is as good a description as any. They've got a great party vibe to them, and I highly recommend getting there early to check them out. Doors are at 8, so I'm guessing they'll be on around 9.

M. Ward/ Portastatic (Hailey's): I honestly have yet to hear M. Ward's new one, and I didn't think Transistor Radio was as strong as Transfiguration of Vincent, but I really want to see M. Ward live. I think it will be a great show. His music is touching and emotional without being sappy, smart and daring without being preachy. Portastatic sounds like a pretty good little pop band too.

T.E.F/ Steel Hook Prostheses/A Fail Association(Link)/Goat/ Aunt's Analog/Sparrow Hawk? (House of Tinnitus- 628 Lakey St. Denton): While the anon geeks are talking a bunch of shit, House of Tinnitus is putting on really daring shows (bring earplugs to this one) and having fun. They win.

The Great Tyrant/Silk Stocking/Stag Film (Amsterdam)

Lebanon/ Tame Tame and Quiet (DoubleWide)


The Gossip is playing an in store at Good Records tomorrow at 2pm, and will then be playing a show at Hailey's with Mika Miko and Swan Island.

John Congleton/ Daniel Folmer/ Cheyenne Schweitzer/ New Science Projects (Liquid Lounge): New Science projects goes on around 10.

Blowfly/ El Paso Hot Button/ The Triggermen/ Chief Death Rage (Rubber Gloves): Check out Blowfly's cover of "T.V. Party." Its annoying as all fuck.

Creeping Nobodies/Blonde Girls/Nouns Group/Daniel Francis Doyle (Metrognome- Ft. Worth)

Lebanon/Tambersauro/Bob White and the F Electrics (Fra House- 2127 W. Oak St. Denton)


Laptop Deathmatch (DoubleWide): This is the one year anniversary of Laptop Deathmatch. Go see why so many people have been talking about it lately.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Guilty Pleasures? Fuck it, its a Party." The Story of Central Booking

In February of this year, Dj Nature overheard two "art school rock kids" talking about The Party, his Wednesday night residency at Rubber Gloves in Denton. One of the kids explained to the other that he had gone to Rubber Gloves for one of Nature's sets, only to find that "the Dj was playing all this ghetto music, and I was like what the fuck is this? This is gross."

Statements like these really make one wonder about the state of pop music in the metroplex. Looking at a list of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States inspires further contemplation: Dallas- Ft. Worth ranks number five in population behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, and just ahead of Miami, Houston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Boston and San Francisco. If you think about it for a moment, you'll realize that just about every single one of these cities has gained national attention for their local music scenes at least once in the past 25 years. Whether it be the D.C. or L.A. hardcore scenes of the early 80's, Detroit's garage rock, Houston's hip hop, New York's downtown/mutant disco, or Chicago's post rock, all of these places have produced movements full of bands and artists that have had a significant impact on the music that many of our readers listen to. All except for Dallas- Ft. Worth.

Sure, this town had the Toadies (who were featured on the Black Sheep soundtrack!), Tripping Daisy and Erykah Badu, but Dallas is the only one of these large metro areas that hasn't had any real movement to call its own, almost nothing to indicate that the area even has a pulse when it comes to cutting edge musical culture. You can explain this phenomenon however you want (there are so many ways to do so), but part of the blame must surely be placed on the attitude expressed by the art school kid above. Many music fans in the metroplex appear to be relatively close minded when it comes to discovering new music and mediums, and this rather conservative mindset seems to be especially prevalent amongst local "indie" rock fans who somehow have the audacity to insist that they have good taste. Just take a look at all of the most popular rock bands in Dallas right now (Death Ray Davies, Titanmoon, all the singer songwriter garbage, Burden Brothers, etc.), and tell me that this town hasn't simply copied the line up of Edgefest 96 and repeated it over and over and over again ever since. Bands, concert promoters and fans all seem to be unwilling to move away from the past as they watch their concert venues shut down, music festivals fail, and radio stations refuse to deliver any new exciting music on a massive scale. Flipping through the pages of the Observer often seems like a convenient way to pretend that the last several years of independent, experimental and electronic music never happened, and venues are generally having a hard time selling the vast majority of same old same old local bands to audiences that are complacent but clearly bored. This has all been discussed to death before, but its worth repeating: by many measures, Dallas- Ft. Worth is still in a slumber, and it might not wake up any time soon, especially now that the Morning News is cutting its entertainment staff and the Observer is about to start being run by a robot or something. Simply put, getting any kind of attention for doing anything new, different or even just quality is going to be a challenge around here for quite a while.

The good news amidst all this doom and gloom is that there appears to be some exciting new activity brewing just under the radar, and Dj Nature, Select and Sober, the three key figures that make up the Central Booking Agency, are right in the middle of it. In fact, all three of them actually see a lot of emerging bright spots in Dallas right now, mostly revolving around the expanding dance and experimental electro scenes that have been gaining momentum around town for the past several months. "When we say that we feel like things are starting to happen in Dallas, its more us restating what people have been telling us for the past few months," says Sober, a.k.a. Will Rhoten. The group references many conversations with out of town music figures who claim to have heard very good things about the happenings in Dallas as of late, and one can make a pretty good argument that Central Booking is itself partly responsible for the recent onslaught of good vibes. "I think we just sounded the alarm," says Sober, "and the rest of the people who were already on the same page heard it and responded."

The alarm they sounded was one that many Dallasites needed to hear, and Central Booking has received a quick and rather loud response from a surprisingly diverse group of people. Not diverse in that latte liberal NPR sort of way, but more like a diversity of tastes, interests, ages, attitudes, and musical persuasions, all of which are being brought together by a group of DJs that defy simple genre classifications and inadvertently call into question many of the antiquated assumptions that a good portion of local rock fans still seem to have about dance music and DJs.

Central Booking's mainstay thus far has been The Party, Dj Nature's weekly show at Rubber Gloves and monthly event at ZuBar on lower Greenville. People that read this blog surely have heard all about the party by now, but judging by the crowds that have been showing up to Central shows in Dallas recently, there are a lot of other people that are starting to notice too. The immediate appeal of Central Booking's events and The Party in particular is the simple fact that everything they play is accessible, fresh and highly danceable, pulling from a ridiculously wide range of genres to produce sets of music that most people, even those who closely follow trends in electronic music, have probably never heard before. "We don't want to play 4 hours of 80's records, or 4 hours of hip hop, or new wave or bmore or whatever else," says Nature, "its more fun for us to switch things up, and I think that this lets us explore music in ways that other performers or DJs don't get to or have yet to try."

On any given night when Central Booking is running the show, audiences will hear old and new pop hits from the likes of The Smiths, Janet Jackson, Shakira, R. Kelly, Keith Sweat, Justin Timberlake, and Al B. Sure, but will also encounter more underground material like CSS, Drop the Lime, Ratatat and Spank Rock, as well as a generous helping of both old school and new hip hop. However, the real selling point is the hearty helping of hard to find international tracks that make up a large portion of the Central Booking sets. African and middle eastern tracks, such as those featured on Nature's excellent new mix CD The African Game, as well as Brazilian funk, Jamaican one drop reggae, and dance tracks from all over South America and the Caribbean are all featured in just about every set. Much of the international music takes cues from American hip hop, but a lot of it expands upon its base, incorporating everything from Kraftwerk inspired minimal elctro to the traditional folk music of the various nations from which the artists originate, creating sounds that are distinctly familiar enough for American crowds to dance to, but also foreign enough to be exciting, interesting, and a bit challenging at times. It should also be noted that these guys aren't the "Dallas version" of whoever in New York doing blah blah blah: Central Booking is the real deal, staying current with so many different scenes from around the world that they are playing many tracks before just about anyone else in the United States get a hold of them, providing the Dallas dance crowd with a chance to hear the newest innovations and changes in dance music before audiences in larger and typically more respected U.S. cities get to. For a quick bit of proof, you can venture over the Central Booking blog and explore their "En La Calle" series, a group of new downloadable tracks that the trio updates each week to spread the word about some of the better songs that they've been listening to and spinning lately.

The eclectic backgrounds of the three Central Booking DJs partially explains the diversity found in their sets. All three have been Djs for years, and each of them brings a different set of influences to the table. Nature began his career at Rubber Gloves in the late 90's, earning a very large following amongst the early Rubber Gloves faithful. Soon after establishing himself in Denton, however, Nature journeyed to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he became highly involved in the developing reggaeton scene. In fact, after an appearance in Fader magazine discussing the emergence of Puerto Rico as a force on the international dance scene, Nature moved to New York, where he was instrumental in bringing some of the new sounds of the Caribbean to influential lower East Side and Brooklyn dance circles, earning him mentions in the same breath as Diplo, and even providing him with the opportunity to work with New York No Wave legend Arto Lindsay. Select and Sober come from Dallas and Ft. Worth, respectively, and both have been a part of various local scenes for years. Select has been DJing and doing urban promotions since he was 15 years old, growing up around punk, 80's metal, motown, soul, hip hop, bagpipe music and percussion. Sober started getting into hip hop in the mid 80s, and is also a visual artist that has worked in several different mediums, including most recently a clothing line called "Decade."

Commenting on the wide range of fans that the trio has attracted, Select says that "we (Central Booking) all come from pretty different backgrounds, so that helps. And when we're not together, we sort of run in different circles." BBoys, skateboarders, club scenesters, hipsters, visual artists, rock musicians, filmmakers, graffiti artists and just about anyone else in between can all be found at a typical Central Booking event, and all of them seem to be there for the simple reason that Central Booking is doing something different from everyone else in Dallas, refusing to allow themselves to be strapped down in one type of scene, playing one type of music to one particular group of people. "There are a lot of people that were just tired of going out to the same types of things in Dallas that are coming out and having a good time at our nights," says Sober. "And we're playing a lot of records that haven't even touched the marketplace yet, so for a younger sort of music savvy crowd, this is what they wanted and weren't getting."

The trio also raises an interesting point about the attitudes of knowledgeable music fans these days. With most albums and tracks available for free with just a click of a button and a high speed internet connection, singles matter more than ever, and people are more easily able to explore genres and artists that they probably would not have bothered to listen to years ago. As a result, honest music consumers are realizing that genre labels really don't mean a whole lot, and many are rightly throwing them out the door in an effort to connect with sounds that they like, no strings attached. " The fact is that people go out to have a good time and I think Dallas has been conditioned to think that a good time can only mean one thing to one person," Nature says. "Rock shows, hip hop shows, dance clubs. Is that what we boil down to as listeners and artists? A lot of people that would go to an Undoing show probably secretly like UGK. They have Mike Jones on their ipod. Their girlfriends might secretly get wet for Justin Timberlake."

The point is that the rockist attitude that many in the metroplex seem to have is dying, and any club, promoter or fan that limits themselves to certain songs, sounds and scenes is probably well on their way to becoming completely irrelevant. Do people that like Rogue Wave only listen to indie pop? Doubtful. Do people that are into house music completely disregard Lightning Bolt? Not likely. The universal inclusiveness that can be found at a Central Booking event is an indicator that things are shifting in Dallas, and the trio is quick to point out that there are many others out there doing new and exciting things around town as well. "Theres definitely a new mix of people doing things in Dallas music right now," Nature says, adding that people such as Prince William, Stephen R, Gorilla vs. Bear, Meat Radio, High Society, Wanz Dover and the Laptop Deathmatch crew are all helping to cause a positive shift with a clearly inviting, anything goes vibe open to anyone that is sick of the norm. And considering the recent popularity of events held by all of these people, there are many music consumers out there that are bored as can be with the Dallas norm.

The Central Booking crew doesn't like to overthink things, and it works in their favor. There are a lot of people bitching about Dallas right now, figuring out ways to "save" it, and trying desperately to keep things in order, keep things going, and keep them the same. "Chaos works if its allowed to be chaos," Nature says, and he makes a good point. For the past several decades, Dallas has for the most part failed to attract the kind of attention that a metro area of its size should. Perhaps part of the problem is simply that people are thinking in old and outdated ways, limiting the potential that Dallas might have if people like Central Booking are allowed to thrive. While the Dallas old guard is worrying about Deep Ellum and people not supporting the local scene, DJs Nature, Sober and Select are having a fucking blast with a group of people that have been dying for something new.

Perhaps its the elimination of genre boundaries, or the knack for finding new music, or the captivating marketing that has led Central Booking to true local underground success with the potential to possible help put Dallas on the map for the first time. Its hard to predict what will happen in this town from one month to the next, but these guys are obviously doing something right. Nature sees it as a simple matter of people having fun at their parties without all of the pretension and posing that seems to be present at most Dallas rock shows. "The fact that guys are getting lapdances from their girlfriends at (The Party) for the first time doesn't hurt either," he says. And I think the man might have a point.

It List: Thursday 9/21/06

1. DJ Tiger Bee (Counter Culture in Deep Ellum)

Directly from the DJ:

"Come out after dinner or work and catch a little art and groovy tunes! Peruse the vintage threads and trip out on the far out work of R. thies. With the pressure off of me to keep the dancefloor bumping I'm going to be spinning all the mental psychedelic, freaky jazz, acid bliss I want! Im talking Dark Magus Miles, Can, Edip Aykbayram, Silver Apples, Aussie psych Executives, Cambodian rock Unknowns, mummified Garagey Pretty Things to brasilian bossa nova cavity inducers! The stuff that would make you throw lollipops at me if I tried to play it at Lollipop Shoppe!"

2. Rogue Wave/Foreign Born/Jason Collett

Rogue Wave bring their sensitive brand of pop to The Cavern tonight. Their tourmates, Foreign Born, are more joyous and play slick, L.A. glam pop. Broken Social Scene fans will probably want to make it to this show since the band's guitarist, Jason Collett, will be performing a set of songs to open the show.

3. Pinebox Serenade (Club Dada)

This busy group of Denton musicians take some time out of their busy touring schedule to make a fairly rare appearance in Dallas tonight. The strength of this band is in the arrangements which are sophisticated without being too busy or thrown in just to have them there. If you're going to have accordion in a song, you better know how to use it. Thankfully, they do.

4. Tuna Helpers/Christian Teenage Runaway/LAZER (Rubber Gloves)

The Rubber Gloves website says one of these bands is called White Grrrl but their website says Christian Teenage Runaway. I hadn't heard of this band but I liked their music and I would really like to see them live. They play the kind of bratty female fronted rock that never gets old to me. I can't totally vouch for Austin's Tuna Helpers or Lazer other than I'm sure both bands are more about the live experience than anything else. I would say that even if you didn't like any of above three bands you still wouldn't be bored at this show.

Last Week's Radio UTD Charts

1 TV ON THE RADIO Return To Cookie Mountain
2 THE KNIFE Silent Shout
3 WIRE 154
4 XIU XIU The Air Force
5 JUNIOR BOYS So This Is Goodbye
6 NOW IT'S OVERHEAD Dark Light Daybreak
7 R.E.M. And I Feel Fine... The Best Of The I.R.S. Years 1982-1987
10 GRIZZLY BEAR Yellow House
13 IN CIVILIAN CLOTHING We Made A Killing, We Made A Mess
14 MASTODON Blood Mountain
15 TORTOISE A Lazarus Taxon
16 BOB DYLAN Modern Times
17 MEW And The Glass Handed Kites
18 RATATAT Classics
19 SUFJAN STEVENS The Avalanche: Outtakes And Extras From The Illinois Album
20 PINBACK Nautical Antiques
21 AKRON/FAMILY Meek Warrior
22 KAKI KING Until We Felt
23 YO LA TENGO I'm Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
24 JIM NOIR Tower Of Love
25 CHANNEL Tales From The Two Hill Heart/Sibylline Machine
26 V/A Suicide Squeeze
27 EMILY HAINES Knives Don't Have Your Back
30 MOHAIR Small Talk

3 DR. DOG Takers And Leavers [EP]
4 LOWS LOWS Fire On The Bright Sky
5 GUTHER Sundet

Anyone interested in hearing some of the new Akron/Family EP? If so, let me know in the comments and I'll post a track or two.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It List: Wednesday 9/20/06

Lots to do for a Wednesday night. Bring it:

1. Current Leaves/ Olospo/ Grits n Gravy DJs (Club Dada): The second to last night of Current Leaves' residency at Club Dada. The band recommends that you show up around 845, because they have been playing early at Dada on Wednesdays, usually around nine o'clock. EDIT: Current Leaves is playing BEFORE Olospo, not after. But we still got the time right.

2. Notes from Underground/ Bitchin' Kitchen (J&Js Denton): This FREE show at JJs is really your last chance to catch the amazing live spectacle that is Notes from Underground for at least several months, and possibly forever. They'll be playing as a six piece tonight (two guitars, bass, drums, sax and trumpet), reunited with an old member that moved to Portland some time ago. We hear rumors that the future of the band is up in the air right now, and I would suggest that anyone who is interested in free form/improv music go see these guys tonight while you still can. They are one of the most unique live experiences in the area, and I am willing to bet that a few of you who can't stand "noise" would still be moved by their performance if you allowed yourself to be. And its free, so whats the big deal? Bitchin Kitchen might also provide some ear destroying sound explosions for you as well.

3. Pelican/Daughters/Russian Circles/The Roller ( Hailey's- Denton): This is sure to be one of the loudest rock shows you'll catch in the area any time soon. Pelican play instrumental, shoegaze influenced atmospheric metal/post rock, and are one of the best at doing what they do: establishing textures, setting moods, and breaking it all back down again. Its the sound of controlled chaos, and I think it will come through very well on stage. Daughters play the kind of Blood Brothersesque scream metal that you'll either love or hate, and Austin's The Roller are a sludgefest death metal outfit that will probably be equally polarizing. Should be an interesting night.

4. The Metro@ The Cavern: Dj Laureen of Mile End fame is back with a new night of britpop, indie and electro at the Cavern along with DJ Nicole (don't really know much about her.) We always thought Laureen played great stuff at the Fallout, although her nights were usually not well attended. Maybe things will start picking up at the Cavern, but the music will be good for sure.

5. French Kicks/ Little Ones (Gypsy Tea Room): The French Kicks don't seem to be respected by very many people, but I really enjoyed their early stuff, and I don't think the new stuff is that bad either. In fact, I really like some of it. I know I know, soooo 2001 or whatever. But Pitchfork reviews aside, you might want to give them a shot. Listen to "England Just will..." on their Myspace page. WE SUCK: An anon pointed this out to us. We sure blew it. We had the wrong Little Ones, thank god. The link above now goes to the right band, which is MUCH MUCH better than the other Little Ones. Sorry for the mess up.

Projection 001

Well, we finally actually made this thing. After a couple of months of procrastination and just like, talking about it and stuff, we actually put together a list of songs and magically uploaded them to the world wide web for your consumption.

This is simply a collection of 19 songs from local artists that have impressed us over the past nine and a half months. Some of the songs are relatively new, some are relatively old, but they're all very solid.

There is a bit for everyone on here. Psychedelic rock, free jazz, folk, punk, synth pop, country, and a lot of other stuff in between and all over the place. What surprised us the most when we first listened to it was how enjoyable it was all the way through. I wondered aloud on several occasions how an all local collection of music could sound this strong and diverse. But it does. Listening to it straight through provides pretty decent evidence that there are some good bands around here, and we hope that everyone who downloads it will spend just an hour listening to all the songs in order, because that is really part of what is so much fun about it. People that are new to some of these bands will be pleasantly surprised with what they find here, and I think a lot of you out there who have heard most of these songs before will at least enjoy listening to all of these very diverse artists in one little package. Its just over an hour long and there is no talking or bullshit, only music.

Of course, the 74 minute length means that it will all fit on one CD for your burning pleasure, but we'll also be distributing CD versions of Projection for free at Good Records in the coming weeks. We're not sure where they'll be or exactly when they'll be there, but we'll let you know when we figure it out. I would expect to see them within a week or two.

We'd also like to thank Lindsay Graham for assisting us with all the technical stuff and helping us make Projection sound as good as it does. Some of the recordings are better than others, but Lindsay did a great job with what he had. The mix will also be available for download over at Lindsay's DConstruction, so you can stop by over there and say hello. Maybe they'll actually update the site some time soon. Here is the downloadable link for Projection:

And here is the tracklist (thanks to the anon who figured out all the times for each track):

White Drugs- RU 365
Tree Wave- Sleep (02:48)
Current Leaves- Easy to Leave (05:43)
Washing Machine- Heart Like a Megaphone (09:38)
Eat Avery's Bones- Sweater Petter (12:50)
Prayer For Animals- Love in the Third Degree (14:15)
Theater Fire- These Tears Could Rust a Train (19:45)
Shiny Around the Edges- Waiting for the Night (23:35)
Chris Garver- Wasp in the house (26:26)
Undoing of David Wright- We Dig With Fingers Crossed (29:25)
The Angelus- Crimson Shadow (32:06)
Violent Squid- Nawlans Brown (35:53)
The Night Game Cult- The Sparking Sea (41:25)
Mom- We Know (46:50)
Krispee Ones (Prince William)- Erotic Citay (53:52)
Dj nature remix of Turbulence- Notorious (57:14)
Red Monroe- Finger Tips (1:02:04)
Teenage Symphony- A Promise (1:05:57)
iDi* Amin- Ziggurat (1:07:55)

Give it a listen. We think you'll like what you hear.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It List: Tuesday 9/19/06

1. Lost Generation w/ Wanz (Cavern upstairs): Here is what Wanz has going for tonight. Sounds like some good stuff:

"No guest DJ tonight. There may not be too many more of these. I will know for sure next week. In the meantime new trax from Charlotte Gainsbourg, Arthur Russell vs DFA, Brazillian Girls vs MSTRKRFT, Bondo do Role, TV on The Radio vs El-P, ooIoo, Mew vs Sasha, The Knife vs Ratatat, Undoing of David Wright, Test Icicles vs Spank Rock and more. As far as old stuff goes I figure I should play some poppa gainsbourg as well, Some massive Attack since they gave me the best show I have seen in a few years, More Polvo since I forgot how I love them, Scratch Acid for obvious reasons, This Heat, Faust, and some trax from The Laptop Deathmatch crew. Come out have a drink, check out some tunes and say hi."

2. For those who didn't get to check them out last night in Denton, you can catch Paper Airplanes at Club Dada with Bob White and the F Electrics, Man Factory and Tha Bracelets. Man Factory aren't my favorite local band by any means, and I really have to be in the mood for the super sweet twee of Bracelets (and sometimes I am), but Paper Airplanes sound good enough to check out on their own. Listen to some of their myspace stuff if you haven't already. And by the way, the picture above is meant to provide proof that Bob White is the grossest band in DFW.

ADD: New Science Projects will be headlining a show at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton with Tex Winters, Miss Celia and Peter Hofstad. Sorry, I can't seem to find links for the other two performers, but I do know that the show is free.

Monday, September 18, 2006

It List: Monday 9/18/06

Just to let you know, Sarah Reddington had to cancel their show at Rubber Gloves tonight due to some health issues with one of the band members. However, if you're into SR, you might still want to head up to Denton (or stay in Denton, depending on where you live) to check out Wichita's Paper Airplanes, who will be playing at Rubber Gloves with Tex Winters and Judah Johnson. If sounding like Band of Horses, the Shins, and Arcade Fire is a crime, Paper Airplanes are probably guilty as charged, although we can let them off on probation due to the fact that their songs are a bit more interesting than the rest of that lot. Ethereal, dreamy and lush, their music mixes bits of americana with bold neopsyche orchestration, synth textures and a slight prog rock influence that provides a good helping of nervous build ups and a hint that the band might be able to take their well traveled formula farther than most of the other flavors of the month. They are like a more friendly Akron/Family, and I'm actually surpised that they haven't received more attention than they have. Listen to "Belovedaire Rough Mix" to see what I mean. If these guys can pull this stuff off live, we could be in for a real treat tonight.

Good Records vs. Other Music

I thought it might be interesting to compare last week's Good Records sales chart to Other Music's top 30 sales chart from the same week. I was surprised at the number of artists who appear on both: Ratatat, Black Keys, Mountain Goats, Yo La Tengo, OOIOO, Grizzly Bear, Junior Boys and Bonnie Prince Billy. In other words, 40% of Good Records' chart is the same as Other Music's, which many consider to be one of the better record stores in the country. Here they are:


1. The Polyphonic Spree - Wait
2. Yo La Tengo - I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass
3. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
4. Mars Volta - Amputechture
5. OOIOO - Taiga
6. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
7. The Album Leaf - Into the Blue Again
8. The Thermals - The Body The Blood The Machine
9. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
10. Red Monroe - Red Monroe
11. Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
12. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - The Letting Go
13. The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
14. Ratatat - Classics
15. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
16. Black Keys - Magic Potion
17. Midlake - Bamnan & Slivercork
18. Cursive - Happy Hollow
19. French Kicks - Two Thousand
20. Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye


Yo La Tengo
I Am Not Afraid of You...

2.TV on the Radio
Return to Cookie Mountain

3.The Rapture
Pieces of the People We Love

Junior Boys
So This Is Goodbye

Grizzly Bear
Yellow House

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
The Letting Go
Drag City

Xiu Xiu
The Air Force

Thrill Jockey

Cat Power
The Greatest

A Lazarus Taxon
Thrill Jockey

Magnolia Electric Co.
Fading Trails
Secretly Canadian

Dead Moon
Echoes of the Past
Sub Pop

M. Ward
Post War

Arthur Russell

Gulag Orkestar
Ba Da Bing!

John Phillips
John, the Wolf King of L.A.

The Gentle Rain


Mountain Goats
Get Lonely

Various Artists
Good God!

Richard Buckner

Basement Jaxx
Crazy Itch Radio

Susanna & the Magical Orchestra
Melody Mountain
Rune Grammofon

Dani Siciliano

Arthur Russell
Another Thought
Orange Mountain

Black Keys
Magic Potion

I'm From Barcelona
Let Me Introduce My Friends
EMI Sweden

Au Revoir Simone
Verses of Comfort...

Brazilian Girls
Talk to La Bomb

Various Artists
Kompakt Total 7

U.S. vs. John Lennon

Looks interesting. Here is a bit more information on the subject at hand, and here are some reviews.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Better Late Than Never

Massive Attack is at Nokia

Glass Candy/ The Chromatics/ Faux Fox/ Farah (Rubber Gloves) This is going to be a really good show.

Dj Wild in the Streets is at Hailey's for free

sorry its short, but thats all I got. See you tomorrow.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Weekender 9/15/05-/9/16/06

Lots going on tonight, so here we go:


1. Tv on the Radio/White Bitch (Gypsy Tea Room Ball Room): Tv on the Radio's new record is good. Very good. Don't listen to what other people tell you. Don't act like you think it sucks just because you want to be the anti Pitchfork guy. I have yet to see them live, but judging by the fact that they killed on Letterman this week, I'm guessing that they have the potential to be very good live. I might just go find out. Along with the Liars record, Tv on the Radio's new one is probably the strangest album to get significant mainstream attention in quite a while, and theres a reason: its experimental, accessible, and generally amazing throughout.

2. The Party with Dj Nature and Select (Zubar- FREE): Dude bro, why do you always talk about Nature? Well bro, the reason I do is that we've been getting a lot of new readers lately (august was our biggest month of the year) and I want all the new people to see what the underground buzz is about, because it is surely warranted. I want them to see why you can go to a Central Booking event and not be able to tell if you are in Dallas, New York, LA, Miami or anywhere else in the world because the crowd is so random and the party is so big and the music is so solid that you couldn't possibly be on Greenville, could you? These guys are ahead of the curve not only in Dallas but pretty much everywhere else. What does that mean? Go find out. I've already had people send me thank you emails for telling them about Nature, and I'm expecting more of them.

3. Enon/ Octopus Project/ Single Frame (Hailey's Denton) This is really going to be a great fucking show. All three bands kill it live (seriously), and Enon is a band that I can't seem to get enough of. They've been getting regular play in my car and at my house for years, and they just seem to get better with time.

4. Phoenix/ La Rocca (Gypsy Tea Room Tea Room): Another great party could very well get going at Gypsy tonight. Phoenix might at times sound like the French Backstreet Boys, but somehow that ends up being a good thing once you've listened to one of their records a couple of times. I can't explain it other than to say that they must just be great songwriters, and sometimes that fact alone simply cuts through the bullshit and forces you to enjoy yourself. Phoenix does that to me all the time.

5. The Long Winters/ Chris Garver/ RTB2 (Rubber Gloves):

6. Warren Jackson Hearne and the Gloomadeers (Darkside Lounge)


1. iDi* Amin/ You Are the Universe (Secret Headquarters Denton): This is going to be three bucks, and will start at 7 or 8pm, I'm not sure which. But you can go to the myspace page to check for sure, or you can just show up early and drink their beer. If you're not sure about the "noise" bands, go see this. Its cheap, its early enough to see another show after, and I think you will enjoy it as long as you go in with an open mind. These bands are both a real pleasure to see live.

2. The Appleseed Cast/ Red Monroe/ The Pebble that Saved the World (Rubber Gloves)

3. Cat Power (Gypsy Tea Room Ballroom): Not the biggest fan in the world, but I respect what Chan Marshall does, and she ain't bad to look at either... heyyo! But seriously folks, ha ha, Cat Power isn't something I listen to often, but on those rare occasions when I'm in the mood for her music, I always really enjoy it. Take that how you will.

4. Flaming Lips/ Matisyahu/ Street Drum Corps (Nokia Theater $42): 42 bucks to see the Flaming Lips in a place that reminds me of a model home in Plano? Um, I like Flaming Lips and everything, and Soft Bulletin is one of the ten best records of the past ten years and stuff, but no thanks. I'll watch the video. I've seen them live twice and thats enough. And come on, their new album is complete shit. And as much as I want to hate Matisyahu and dismiss the whole thing as annoying gimmick, I just can't do it. I actually like some of the stuff I've heard from him. Shhh... don't tell anyone.

What a weekend for music. Go enjoy it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It List: Thursday 9/14/06

Trying to work on some posts for tomorrow and next week, so I'm going to have to make this short:

Abiku/ Girls Rise With Heat/ Judascow/ Blonde Girls (1919 Hemphill Ft. Worth): Want to go to a goddamn noisy rock show tonight? Willing to drive to Ft. Worth? Then 1919 Hemphill is your spot, as hardcore/early industrial machines Abiku sound like they will probably kill you if you show up to their show. I'm not the biggest fan of the screamy punk side of what they do, but I really like the sound of their synths and the rhythm attack.... Check out "Document" on their Myspace page.

Of course, you've also got DJG's 80's night at Hailey's, Zoo Tv videos upstairs at the Cavern, and Hip Hop at the Slip Inn.

We'll have more stuff later today.

AND ALMOST FORGOT (I've been doing that lately):

Mara Lee Miller of Bosque Brown will be playing a solo set for free on the UTD campus. She goes on at 1030, and David Shackelford of Johnny Blackmouth will start things off at 10. The show will take place on the patio outside of the Student Union at UTD in Richardson. I bet this will be a great show, as well as an opportunity to meet some of the cool UTD radio kids.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It List: Wednesday 9/13/06

Hey, did you hear that Sufjan Stevens (link) is playing tonight? And did you hear that it is sold out, so it is probably pointless for me to even mention it unless you are willing to go down to Lakewood Theater and hustle for a ticket that you will probably have to pay at least $50 to get your hands on? Ok. I'm not really a big fan anyway, but I know a lot of you are, so I'll tell you that My Brightest Diamond is opening, and that her slightly dark orchestral pop seems solid if fairly run of the mill. But not bad. Will probably be pretty powerful live.

For those that won't be doing that tonight, I would recommend:

Current Leaves/ Backsliders (Dada): You know the deal. Current Leaves seem to be earning praise from just about everyone in town lately, and their residency is probably a big part of that. People have been loving the shit out of their live shows, and I bet you will too.


The Party w/ Dj Nature @ Rubber Gloves. If you're going to be dumb enough to miss the party at zubar on Friday, I would go to this if I were you. Thank god I'm not.

And I almost forgot, you can check the Flashlight Party at Hailey's as well, playing punk, new wave, italo, disco, post punk, funk and whatever else. Bouncing from Haileys to Rubber Gloves is a good way to spend a Wednesday night.

Heavy Rotation: The We Shot J.R. Playlist

Here is a short list of albums that we have been listening to lately, along with some MP3s we thought you might like:

1. Wooden Wand and the Sky High Band- Second Attention: You can say what you want about the "freakfolk" label that has been plastered on just about every dude with long hair, an acoustic guitar and a record contract over the past couple of years, but it is becoming clear that Wooden Wand (James Toth) is one of the most prolific and consistently excellent artists to have been lumped into that scene. Sure, Devendra has the star power (and some very good songs), Joanna Newsom has the wide eyed mystique (and some very good songs), and Ben Chasny has the amazing versatility (and some very good songs), but Wooden Wand has produced as many "wow" moments as any of the aforementioned artists while failing to gain nearly as much attention. The first song off his latest album with the Sky High Band is one of those moments, and it is truly one of the most immediately gripping songs of 2006. Its not as much freak as it is folk, but the bold guitar chords and haunting vocal reverb work so well that you won't really care that it isn't as risky as much of the rest of Wooden Wand's material. Its an emotionally mature and accessible classic that you will recognize as such almost immediately.

"Crucifixion, Pt.2" MP3

2. Young Marble Giants- Colossal Youth: You probably won't see any resurgence of bands that sound like Young Marble Giants here at the end of the great post punk revival, but the Welsh trio is certainly worth noting as one of the more charming and interesting bands of the late 70's/early 80's Rough Trade scene. Alison Statton's almost spoken word vocals are certainly the first thing you'll notice here, but the barren, minimal synth and guitar are the real mood setters, setting Young Marble Giants far apart from even their Rough Trade contemporaries by allowing the music so much room to breathe that you can almost hear the air. The Young Marble Giants certainly seem to have been a big influence on the lo fi bedroom sound that popped up in the United States in the early 90's, and also on mid 80's pre-twee British bands like Orange Juice, the Raincoats and the Pastels. This track is considered by many to be their best, and it is said that it took them as long to write it as it will for you to listen to it: just less than two minutes. I believe it was recorded during a Peel session.

"Final Day" MP3

3. Human League- Reproduction: Two songs from the band's 1979 debut. The first, "Being Boiled," was their first single, originally released in 1978. You can really hear the influence of Berlin era Bowie on this track, as well as hints of the more chart friendly dancepop direction that the band, albeit under a completely different lineup, would head in the early 80's. However, Bowie is said to have been consistently impressed with Human League's Kraftwerk influenced early material as well (once referring to the band as the "sound of 1980)," and it is apparent that he and the band fed off of one another quite a bit during this brief era. The second track, originally released as the first track on their Dignity of Labour concept EP, leans much more towards Krautrock and Brian Eno's production work on the second half of Bowie's Low and his own Another Green World. If you like it, you should get the rest of the Dignity of Labour EP, as this track is the first in a four movement piece. Fans of later Human League might be pleasantly surprise with these tracks, or might simply say "didn't they do that 'Don't You Want Me' song?"

"Being Boiled (fast version)" MP3

"The Dignity of Labour pt. 1" MP3

4. Oh No! Oh My!- s/t: I've lately developed a bad habit: I tend to discount many of the things I see on MP3 blogs simply because they are, um, on MP3 blogs. At first I thought that it was just because rock music has been sucking lately, but then I realized that it is logical to feel a bit skeptical when you're dealing with a thousand mini NMEs telling you about the next band to "save rock," only to find out that, um, they aren't going to. But I think I got this MP3 from Gorilla vs Bear, which in my opinion is becoming one of the better and more challenging MP3 blogs around, at least compared to the other indie blog powerhouses. I'm not sure that I care for this record as a whole, but I've really enjoyed this song all summer long, and if you're like me, I figure there is a good chance you haven't checked these guys out. You should.

"I Have No Sister" MP3

(If bands, labels or management would like us to take down these tracks, please email us at and we will do so immediately.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Last Week's Good Records Sales Chart

1. The Polyphonic Spree - Wait
2. Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
3. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
4. Chad Vangaalen - Skelliconnection
5. Ratatat - Classics
6. Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
7. Red Monroe - Red Monroe
8. M. Ward - Post-War
9. Sorta - Strange and Sad But True
10. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
11. Ray Lamontagne - Till the Sun Turns Black
12. Heartless Bastards - All This Time
13. Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Tree Colored See
14. The Hourly Radio - History Will Never Hold Me
15. What Made Milwaukee Famous - Trying To Never Catch Up
16. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
17. The Theater Fire - Everybody Has a Dark Side
18. Tunng - Mother's Daughter & Other Songs
19. Cursive - Happy Hollow2
0. Pegasus Now - Careless Loveseeds

What Made Milwaukee Famous- The Who Fucking Cares Band of the Month

It List: Tuesday 9/12/06

First of all, I have a question for the readers: Is anyone out there old enough to be familiar with the mid 80's club scene in Dallas and Austin? If not, does anyone know someone who is? Specifically, I'm trying to get in touch with people that have some information on the Austin clubs Halls, Stephanie's and 606, as well as the Dallas club Starck. I'm pretty positive that none of these clubs have existed for a long time, but I would really like to talk to someone that might know the people that ran them, or just has some information that they could share about their experiences at those places. If anyone knows anything, I would appreciate it if you could email me at and let me know. Thanks.

For tonight:

ADD: Easily the best show to see tonight will be Chief Death Rage playing for free at J&Js. There is another band on the bill and I'm not sure who they are, but you can catch CDR if you get there by 9pm. They're really good live, even when you have to pay. Looking forward to the release of their record later this year.

Wanz is doing his Lost Generation show over at the Cavern (upstairs), where he says he'll be focusing on some more obscure tracks (both old and new) in his set tonight. He didn't give us much detail other than that, so go see for yourself. Hopefully he'll bust out some of the Laptop Deathmatch stuff that so many people are talking about these days. There are some really great musicians involved in that project, so you might want to start paying attention.

Also, Mad Scientists are playing over at Dada with Boston's Constants and Ft. Worth's Okay James. You've already read DL's writings on Mad Scientists' slightly pysche influenced noisy prog metal, and I kind of dig it too. Unfortunately, I can't say many good things about the other bands on the bill. Yes, Constants sort of have a prog influenced spacemetal vibe to them, and I guess they can create some interesting textures, but I've just found myself pretty bored with the several tracks I've heard. The same basic thing can be said about Okay James: it sounds like they are trying to do some interseting things, but I'm just, um, not that interested. They certainly seem to have some talent, and might be interesting in a live setting. I'm just not feeling the recorded material I've heard. I think post rock fans (especially Mogwai people) might dig it however, so give them a listen if thats your thing.

Or you could just save your money in anticipation of the number of good shows coming up in Denton and Dallas the rest of this week.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Mix CD

Just to let everyone know: the first We Shot J.R. Mix CD, which we are currently putting together with the Dconstruction guys, will be released as a free download on both sites next week. I've been listening to it for a while now, and it sounds really great. Hope everyone digs it.


Work issues made me miss an It List Post today... but thats ok, because there isn't a lot going on this Monday night, except for a really solid little jazz night going on at the Amsterdam bar. We've been hitting this up on and off for a long time, and the musicians that come in and out of the place on this night are almost all very solid and quite entertaining. Always a good time.

Fun With Conspiracy

Sunday, September 10, 2006

No List Today

see you tomorrow.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Weekender Add

Forgot about this one:

Single Frame/ Red Monroe/ Faceless Werewolves/Cartright/ Emil Rapstine are all at the Cavern tonight. I'm quite impressed with what I've heard from Single Frame, and the Faceless Werewolves are certainly a fun band, and often pretty good too. Red Monroe, Cartright and Emil Rapstine are all local highlights, and if any of the Cartright army is out at the show tonight, you'll probably see why we had so much fun watching him for the first time at Yellow House. Should be good times, and I really think Single Frame is going to kill it on stage.