Monday, April 30, 2007

New Shiny Around the Edges Track

Just got an email from Shiny Around the Edges telling me about some of the new material from their next full length, including a cover of Willie Nelson's "I Just Can't Let You Say Goodbye," produced by Castanets' Ray Raposa. The track is quite minimal and haunting, and the production seems to truly capture the strength of the band's subtle sound. If this is the level of quality that they will be bringing on their next full length, expect to hear a lot about them in the near future.

You can download the track here. Highly recommended. And yes, you can actually download by right clicking on the link.

New Undoing of David Wright Video

In case you missed it in the comments section today, here is the newly unveiled video for the Undoing of David Wright song "In Which Queen Exotica Returns Eight Thousand Years Later Only to Discover Herself in the Body of a Man," a name that vastly improves on the song's original title, "Waterfalls."

It List: Monday 4/30/07

We'll have a couple good things for you later tonight, but as for music stuff (other than Bad Ass Jazz at Amsterdam), I'm not seeing anything this evening. And no, I'm NOT going to take this opportunity to talk about the Mavs game. No heart, no guts, no right to play for the title. Does any more need to be said?

Last Week's Good Records Sales Charts


1. Mom - Mom
2. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
3. Koji Kondo & Eat Avery's Bones - Split 7"
4. Midlake - Milkmaid Grand Army EP
5. Red Monroe - Red Monroe


1. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
2. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
3. Blonde Redhead - 23
4. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
5. Joanna Newsom - and the Ys Street Band
6. Andrew Bird - Andrew Apocrypha
7. Hold Steady - Live at Fingerprints
8. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
9. Menomena - Friend and Foe
10. Spank Rock - Fabriclive.33
11. Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey EP
12. Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart
13. Cocorosie - Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn
14. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
15. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
16. OOIOO - Eye Remix
17. Cornelius - Sensuous
18. DNTEL - Dumb Luck
19. Shearwater - Palo Santo (Expanded)
20. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

Monday Morning Rock

I hadn't thought about this song in a long time, and then I heard Tittsworth play it on Saturday and realized how much I like it. A classic:

Friday, April 27, 2007

Weekender 4/27/07-4/28/07


Modern Til Midnight with Sober/Mom/Kid Koala (Ft. Worth Modern): You know, the DMA has cool night stuff like this too, but they've pretty much never had a line up as quality as the one over at the FWM tonight. First, you know what Sober does, and second, you've heard us praise Mom for the past year, but add in the fact that they somehow snagged Kid Koala for this gig, and you might start wondering how much gas its going to take to get to Ft. Worth. Or how to get to Ft. Worth. I think you just head west on 30 for a while. Anyway, Mom will be performing a brand new, two piece 28 minute composition that they will be releasing later on this year.... they're great live too, so look forward to getting an advance listen to this new material. Sober starts at 730, Mom's at 930 and Kid Koala is at 1030. Ft. Worth might actually rule tonight.

Tussle/Undoing of David Wright/Night Game Cult (8th Continent): You've probably heard enough from us about this show already, and anyone in the know probably didn't need any encouragement to go to it anyway. I could see the 8th getting stuffed tonight, though, so you might want to plan accordingly. In our interview, I told Tussle a bit about the 8th, and they claimed that small DIY places are where they shine. I can believe it.

Dub Assembly with Dhruva& MC Juakali/Mundo & Lifted MC/Keith P & Select/Royal Highnuss/Dragon Man (The Green Elephant): We've been digging on a lot of dubstep around here lately (Kode 9 never seems to fade off our playlist for too long), and after hearing Keith P's excellent new mix CD, we knew that this month's Dub Assembly would be the shit. Not only are two of our favorite local DJs in the mix at this thing, but Dhruva and MC Juakali, two of the main forces behind the dubstep movement in the US, will be headlining an excellent line up. Dallas is quite lucky to have such a tasteful DJ crew bringing this kind of music to the area... a lot of other supposedly "cooler" cities don't have this, and they probably wouldn't have as much fun with it if they did. And oh yeah, I'm guessing that the solid tunes coupled with the Green Elephant's proximity to SMU is going to make this thing drunk hot chick central... and you can always appeal to those SMU girls by being the "weird" guy, can't you? Just tell them that you don't support the war... it'll freak them out. In a good way. You'll probably get a great diverse crowd similar to what the Party has been pulling in, and those are always the best kind in my opinion. This is guaranteed fun in Dallas tonight.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/Elvis Perkins in Dearland (Granada): I've seen a couple stories in local and national media this week talking about "oh my god, CYHSY is a total Myspace buzz band," and its really made me laugh a little bit. Yes, they DID generate a lot of organic word of mouth buzz and sold a lot of records on their own, but that was almost two years ago. The story with CYHSY these days is that they released a weak follow up record, making people wonder how good they ever were in the first place. I still like that first one quite a bit, and the excitement surrounding their sold out Gypsy Tea Room show a while back can't be denied. I'm just not super excited about this one.


Tittsworth (Zubar): Tittsworth's sound is probably an even mix of everything that is good about dance music right now. He's associated with the Bmore club sound, but most of the mixes I've heard from him have gone well beyond what that label might indicate. Tons of house, late 80's pop r&B nad hip hop influences all coming together to form a bass heavy but sugary sound that is pure dance floor appeal. Tittsworth is one of the most buzzed about DJs in the country right now, and with Central Booking involved, you won't find a better time anywhere in Dallas tonight.

Nouns Group/Daniel Francis Doyle/Zanzibar Snails/Koji Kondo (Fra House): Fucking loud. Thats probably the best way to describe this show. Every one of these bands is a highlight in their own right, so you can look at this as sort of an all star line up at a great BYOB house venue for FREE. Sounds like the choice in Denton is an easy one tonight. And here is a selection of Daniel Francis Doyle videos if you'd like to find out why you should be sure to catch the guy's set.

Sunset Rubdown/Katie Eastburn/Evangelicals (Hailey's): Sunset Rubdown, the side project of Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug, is actually a lot more interesting than the band that pays his bills, and despite what some of the hip dudes around here might tell you, Evangelicals' joyous psychedelic pop is more than just adequate.

The Marked Men/The Hands/Maaster Gaiden/The Lash Outs (Rubber Gloves)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Questions With Tussle

So I was really looking forward to my interview with San Francisco's Tussle, a band I've been into quite a bit ever since they released their debut, Kling Klang, a couple years ago. Filled with tight disco beats, strange electro sounds and tons of reverb heavy dub atmosphere, its certainly a spaced out and unusual record, but one that is highly danceable and easy to digest. I wanted to talk to the guys about Telescope Mind, their excellent second album, and I was fortunate enough to get sampler/synth player Nathan Burazer on the phone. Unfortunately, two things made this interview kind of blow, and they had nothing to do with the conversation.

So how is the tour going so far?

Its been great. We've really enjoyed touring with the Hot Chip guys, they're super nice. The shows have had great sound and tons of people, so its been great.

Those guys seem like they're probably pretty fun to hang out with, huh?

Oh yeah, they're really awesome.

So you released Telescope Mind at the end of last year. Could you tell me a bit about how you recorded it?

Sure, the producer of the album was Quinn Luke, and we recorded it in San Francisco at his very small studio. We had to record bass and drums first because we couldn't fit our whole band in to the studio, and then he had to mix it together, do a rough mix, and then Josh and I would come in and do electronics and percussion and other stuff.

Is that process similar to the way you guys actually write your songs?

Not really, usually its more us all in a practice space jamming together, and we record the session on a mini disc and then listen back to the parts we like and sort of find the pieces we want to start building from.

( So I'm doing this interview in my car in a parking lot because I was running errands when Nathan called me back. Luckily I had my tape recorder with me. Anyway, at this point in the interview, some redneck meth head who was clearly fucked out of his mind came up to my car and knocked on the window, telling me he had some baby in the McDonald's bathroom across the street and that he needed me to drive him two miles to some drug store because he needed to get medication for his kid because his wife had an emergency and something blah blah blah. I didn't believe his story because he was so obviously out of his head, and I told him I couldn't do it. He then calmly said, "Well can you at least give me a cigarette?" I did, and he left fairly happy. Nathan heard how strange this guy sounded, and I think it might have freaked him out a little.)

Ok, sorry about that. I don't know whats going on.

Is there some emergency or something? Because you can call me back later or something if you need to go or there is a problem.

No, I'm not sure whats going on... I guess, yeah, this guy was trying to get me to give him a ride, but he left and I don't see him anymore. Pretty strange. I can't even remember what we were talking about now.

(laughing) Neither can I... oh yeah, we were talking about writing songs.

That's right. So then do you guys have a lot of recorded material to sift through in order to find what you like from these sessions?

No, we usually don't record the entire session. We just start recording when we hear something we like.

So there have been a couple line-up changes throughout the history of the band right?

Yeah, after Kling Klang, the first album, Andy Cabic wanted to spend more time working on Vetiver and working with Devendra Banhart, so he left after that. And then we made Telescope Mind and Alexis left the band shortly after.


Well, its kind of a long story, but, I'll just say that it was less than amicable. It wasn't fun, but we had to do it.

Can you explain a little more?

No, I feel like I really don't need to say anything else about it.

So you guys had new people playing on this album, and the sound and production is in fact fairly different than what you did on Kling Klang, a little clearer with less reverb and less of a dub sound.

Yeah, that's true for sure. We went through a dub phase and were listening to a lot of it around the time we made Kling Klang, and after a while we kind of felt like we had done that and we wanted to move on to something else. It was an influence for a while for sure, but we don't really listen to quite as much dub as we used to.

So dub was something you all happened to be listening to at the same time during the first album?

Yeah, it wasn't a conscience decision and no one ever talked about it, it just sort of happened that way.

At first I was thinking it was kind of strange to mix this repetitive Kraut influenced disco beat stuff that you do with dub, but I guess it kind of makes sense in a way. I had just never hear something that combined them in quite the same way.

Yeah, but it does kind of make sense, doesn't it, mixing those two worlds and bringing them together?

Yeah, and I guess there are other bands that have done similar stuff with dub, like Portishead and The Slits come to mind for me.

Yeah, I would say that a band like The Clash is a pretty good example of someone with strong dub influence, and they mixed that in pretty well.

But your stuff sounds a lot more like actual dub to me than anything The Clash ever did. They had that influence for sure, but some of your songs remind me of actual old Jamaican dub like Lee Perry stuff.

Yeah, especially with that song "Decompression" on Kling Klang, its as close as we've ever gone to straight up dub, and now we're kind of interested in going in different directions.

So what have you guys been listening to lately that might have influenced your change in style on the new record?

Hmm. Maybe more Kraut, like Faust and Can and stuff like that.

Do you find yourselves all discovering certain sounds together as a band?

Kind of. You know Moondog?


You should check it out. We all listen to hip hop too, a lot of the same groups.

So those influences come together naturally for you. Do you ever approach recording sessions with a particular sound in mind?

Never. We don't usually have any specific idea of what we want to do, it sort of happens by accident.

I noticed you guys switched labels for this new record.

Right yeah, we're working with this label in Norway called Smalltown Supersound.

Yeah, they've got a pretty prestigious line up with Lindstrom and 120 Days and Whitest Boy Alive and stuff like that.

Yeah, and they've got the new Sunburned Hand of the Man, and its being produced by Four Tet.

Wow, I hadn't heard that. I bet that's going to be interesting. So what made you want to switch labels?

Well, basically, we did our thing with Trouble Man, and he was very supportive at first, but we got a better offer from Smalltown Supersound and we decided to go there. We had some communication problems and stuff like that, and we got a lot of interest from Smalltown and Alexis was friends with the guy that runs the label, so he arranged us to play a festival in Oslo, and he heard the record and got really excited about it and we went from there. And we're actually working on a new album right now that should be out later this year.

Cool. Are you guys planning on doing anything drastically different with this one?

Yeah, we're working with this great producer named Thom Monohan, he's produced records for Vetiver and Devendra and Joanna Newsom and Brightblack Morning Light.

And this is where incident number two occurs: my tape recorder stopped working. Unfortunately I didn't notice it for a while, so we continued to discuss the new album (he says there will be some surprises on it), their live shows (the main thing the band focuses on when they write songs) and making it as a starving artist in San Francisco (it is apparently much easier to do than one would imagine, as long as you can find a place in Mission with rent control or roommates). Wish I could type it out for you, but I don't want to misquote the guy.

Anyway, go see these guys at 8th Continent tonight.


It List: Thursday 4/26/07

Hot Chip/Tussle (Granada): Anyone who has seen Hot Chip live knows that they put on a great show. When they first get up on stage, you think its going to be a couple boring dorks standing in front of keyboards and stuff, but then they just kind of bust out of their shell and go to town. I've enjoyed the more straight forward dance oriented directions they've headed in ever since they hooked up with DFA's James Murphy, and the band's recent DJ Kicks selection (featuring Tom Ze, New Order, This Heat, Black Devil Disco Club and the underrated Joe Jackson, among others) cements their good taste credentials. Crafting creepy but humorous electro that also actually happens to be totally danceable is not an easy task, and these guys deliver. Of course, Tussle will do just as well or perhaps even better for anyone that happens to enjoy the odd trifecta of Dub, Krautrock and disco. I'll take King Tubby to win, Can to place and Donna Summer to show, please. And even if I can't win that bet, I'm still happy to report that the Tussle guys told me they've been doing minimal Kraut-influenced electro/percussion improv jams with Hot Chip the past few nights on the tour, and they're planning on trying it again this evening. That sounds worth it to me.

Lost Generation (Fallout): Not sure what Wanz and Ineka have planned for this evening, but should be a great after show spot for those that enjoy the Hot Chip or the Tussle. I hear great music every time I go to one of these.

80's with DJ G (Hailey's)

Zoo (The Cavern): One of the few things that makes Greenville Ave tolerable, and probably the most unpredictable playlist in town.

Heads Up

I'm glad someone in one of the comments sections reminded us of the Tussle show at 8th Continent on Friday night. Of course the San Francisco dub/disco/Liquid Liquidesque group is playing with Hot Chip tonight as well, but I think I'd much rather see them at the 8th than at the Granada, and from what I've read about their highly energetic live shows, a small venue should be the perfect place to find them in their element.

Tussle is certainly the biggest national touring band that has come through the 8th so far, and with Night Game Cult and Undoing of David Wright opening, I'm guessing fun is assured, and the place will be packed.

Mavericks 112 Warriors 99

Well it wasn't exactly pretty, but the Mavs did what they needed to do last night. The good news is that they were able to win fairly convincingly without even coming close to playing their best basketball... and to top it all off, the whole "getting in their heads" argument seems to have flip flopped, as Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson, the Warriors' team leaders, each bitched their way to an early exit.

I'm not fully confident that the Mavs are back in control mentally (especially with two tough away games coming up), but they finally got the Golden State monkey off their backs, and that is certainly a start. The Warriors probably can't play a lot better than they did, but the Mavs still have to get a lot better before they can say they're playing like themselves again. And thats a good sign.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It List: Wednesday 4/25/06

yeah, I DID in fact hear that Celtic Frost is playing tonight, but its at Palladium Ballroom with Type o Negative, meaning that it'll be slightly more fun than begging for change in Deep Ellum.

And besides, its (gulp) already do or die time at the AA Center tonight. Prediction: Mavs win. Anyone else think so? If I'm wrong, then the anti-sports readers can throw a party, because this will surely be a short post season.

Assuming that Denton has dried up a bit, This is Radio Clash will be happening at Hailey's as usual, and if you're not feeling any of this stuff, you're free to sit around at home and wait for us to post the two features that should be ready in the next 24 hours.

Keep Denton Dry

Jesus, I had no idea what happened in Denton last night until I went to the Rubber Gloves website and saw the picture to the left. Um, everything ok up there? I was all over the metroplex last night and didn't see ANYTHING like this. I guess I just assumed Denton was ok too. If you guys need, we can send our emergency rations of Melvins CDs up there for you... all you have to do is ask.
Here is more information on the flooding if you're interested.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It List: Tuesday 4/24/07

Das Kapital/Decibel Dudes/Koji Kondo/Black Wizardz/Kaboom
(J & J's Pizza):
It seems this show is centered around this touring band from Chicago, Das Kapital, but the local bands are actually where it's at. I'm not a big fan of this upbeat, melodic Replacements-influenced style of punk that Das Kapital plays. Few have the song-writing chops to pull it off well, and most just play into this kind of sneering cutesiness. Their home page says the guitarist/vocalist was in the far superior Traitors. I've never heard Decibel Dudes and I liked the scratchy, beat driven samples on their page. Black Wizardz is somewhat traditional rock and roll layered endlessly with distortion and the impressive double task of a singer/drummer. Kaboom puts on a very animated live show with a heavy 90's underground sound influenced by The Jesus Lizard and Arab On Radar. Koji Kondo you've heard us talk about before but I heard from some anonymous comment that they're just a "punk band." If more so-called punk was like that, the world would be a much more tolerable place.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It List: Monday 4/23/07

Stnnng/Burnt Sienna (Secret Headquarters): Best Monday night show I've seen in some time. Stnnng (pronounced "stunning") is from Minneapolis and they play a furious yet exacting style of rock music that is reminiscent of Ritual Tension in their better moments, or the calculated shout and thud of Shellac. Their drummer also played for the now defunct and impossibly complex instrumental outfit, Wicketran. Burnt Sienna Trio will also play and I hope to catch it since their live appearances are somewhat rare compared to other Denton acts. Burnt Sienna's music is almost the opposite of Stnnng, with heavy folk and blues influences and some very busy banjo picking. Go to this.

Last Week's Good Records Sales Chart


1. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
2. Koji Kondo/Eat Avery's Bones - Split 7"
3. Robert Gomez - Brand New Towns
4. Bosque Brown - Cerro Verde
5. Mom - Mom


1. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
2. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
3. Blonde Redhead - 23
4. Centro-Matic - Operation Motorcide e.p.
5. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
6. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
7. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
8. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
9. Jana Hunter - There's No Home
10. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank
11. Low - Drums and Guns
12. Grinderman - Grinderman
13. Hold Steady - Live at Fingerprints
14. Air - Pocket Symphony
15. Noisettes - What's the Time Mr. Wolf?
16. David Karsten Daniels - Sharp Teeth
17. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
18. Trans Am - Sex Change
19. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
20. Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

Monday Morning Rock

Mavs post below if you're into that kind of stuff.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Warriors 97 Mavericks 85

Those of you who were around here last year know that we had a policy during the playoffs: no posts after a Mavs loss. One of the reasons we did this was because we knew a Mavs loss would cause our writing to suffer: essentially, we were afraid that we'd jump to irrational conclusions about the games because we were too pissed and/or drunk to calmly analyze what we had just witnessed.

And frankly, despite my best efforts, I'm starting to think that we might have to adopt that policy again this year. After all, there are a few things we need to remember before we start talking shit: the Mavs were consistently the best team in the NBA this season. They won 67 games, went on multi double digit winning streaks, and basically seemed to come through whenever and however they needed in order to win, often dominating even the NBA's best teams in the process. The Mavs were one of the deepest, most talented and disciplined teams in the NBA pretty much every night they stepped out on the court, and it would be insane to think that Golden State, an 8th seed that has played terrible on the road all year, would be able to beat the Mavs in a seven game playoff series, especially since the Mavs have been so focused on winning a championship all year long. These are the kinds of things that we might tend to overlook if we started posting every time the Mavs lost, and it really isn't fair.

Instead of having faith in the NBA's best team, we might, for example, get too hung up on the fact that the Mavs came out in game 1 with no fire, drive, or sense of urgency. Or we might spend too much time talking about how Dirk looked limp, timid and unconcerned throughout the whole game, or how Golden State seemed to know how to get him rattled from the start, causing him to shoot a dismal 4-16 from the field. Or we might go on and on about the fact that the Mavs, one of the NBA's deepest teams, was only able to get 4 points from their bench, including absolutely nothing from Jerry Stackhouse, who should be a serious contender for sixth man of the year. Or we might incorrectly focus on the fact that the Warriors, despite not playing their best basketball, were able to control the tempo and feel of the game all night, and didn't seem to look nervous or intimidated at any point as they maintained control pretty much throughout. Or we might waste our time wondering if Nellie, who is out for blood against Mark Cuban and the Mavericks organization, might just know enough about Dirk, Avery, Del, and the rest of the team to expose all their weaknesses on such a regular basis that even if the Mavs do win this series, the rest of the NBA will have a blueprint on how to take them down. Or we might just pointlessly worry about the fact that over the past two seasons, the Mavs have not been able to beat the Warriors under pretty much any circumstances (including their last six meetings), which is quite problematic since they are presently better than they've been at any other point during that stretch.

You see? These posts are just a downer, and quite frankly, we're probably allowing our anger to get the best of us. The Mavs are the best team in the NBA, and they just had an off night tonight. Thats all. And there is no WAY they could lose in the first round to a mediocre team like Golden State. Right? Right?


Friday, April 20, 2007

Whoa! Total 4/20 Weekender Freak-out, bro!

The guy to the left is pretty much the personification of the reason why I'm embarrassed to even mention "4/20" in polite conversation. However, seeing as how I'm currently re-reading Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail (its creepy how many parallels you can draw between 72 and 04), I guess I'll let my freak flag fly and tell everyone to go take drugs or something on this very special day. Besides, everything else about April 20th is pretty creepy, meaning that we could probably do a lot worse than a dude with a funny hat and bongos. Cool? Anyway, I anticipated having more time to do this than I do, so things are going to be a bit short today. But what do you care? You're all probably too high to read anyway. Lets go:


The Party with Select/Sober/Witnes (Zubar): There hasn't been a party at Zubar in a while, I believe, so this might be your best bet tonight if you're looking for a chance to get stupid at a straight up dance party.

Stereo On Strike with U-Gene/Wanz and Ineka/Matthewmatics/Stephen R(Avenue Arts): Promising diverse sets of minimal techno, DJ sets and live laptop performances (along with a keg), this should be a great spot both before and after hours to party and hear some music that you pretty much can't find anywhere else in the metroplex. $6 cover.

Mad Scientists/Violent Squid/Oveo/Christian! Teenage Runaways (Secret Headquarters): All over the place experimental show in Denton featuring the rotating cast of characters known as Violent Squid, lead by Ty Stamp and including collaboration with members of Oveo and Shane English of Ghosthuster, Undoing of David Wright and Chief Death Rage. This is also Mad Scientists last show in their current incarnation.

Tapes N Tapes/Harlem Shakes/Red Monroe(Granada)

The Baptist Generals (Dallas Public Library- 8pm): This is free, literally goes on all night, and takes place in the, um, big library downtown? Yep. Baptist Generals play at 8, and you can get the low down on all the other stuff going on right here.

Young Jeezy/Lil Wayne/Fat Joe (Smirnoff Music Centre)

Bob White and the F-Electrics are playing with someone at J&Js for free starting at 9pm. I'd tell you who else was going to be there, but I can't read the damn poster.


Adult/Parts and Labor/Dan Deacon (Hailey's): Be sure to show up in time to see the excellent parts and Labor.

Hot Flash Party (Fallout Lounge)

Pete Rock DJ set (Minc): And I reminisce over this guy, for real. No idea what kind of stuff Pete Rock is busting out these days, but I bet his DJ shows absolutely fucking rule. Read more about his long career here. Sober and Select will be opening.

The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience/Dana Falconberry/Grass Fight (Secret Headquarters)


Check back with us for Sunday shows AND the start of our Mavs playoff blogging... I know some of the anons are super excited about that! Sorry to have to be so short. Also sorry if I screwed any links up.

Ghosthustler News

Well at least Pitchfork waited until Ghosthustler played their first show: The band got a nice little write up on the Forkcase today, which you can read by clicking the link above. Congrats to those guys for all the attention, because the hype seems more than justified.

Keith P- Bass Music (free mix CD)

A few weeks ago, someone in one of our comment sections remarked that one of the only ways to hear interesting new music in Dallas these days is to go see a DJ set. Given the context, it seemed like the statement was made in jest, but when taken literally, there appears to be more than a bit of truth to it. Although there ARE talented musicians in Dallas making interesting original music right now (Treewave, Unconscious Collective, The Frenz, various members of the Laptop Deathmatch, etc.), many of them perform sparsely, and the majority of forward-looking, well attended and interesting local music events that have taken place in the city over the past six months have been DJ shows. The talented Central Booking crew has played a major role in this development and have deservedly received most of the local coverage, but recently, a veteran local DJ named Keith P released a free downloadable mix CD that is likely to garner him some attention of his own.

Keith P has been spinning around the city for several years as a long standing member of Unit One, a DJ/design/marketing crew that is probably best known around town for its Vice Records Run the Road release parties and Dub Assembly, its rotating dubstep party currently happening once a month at the Green Elephant. For the past few years, Keith's sets have focused mainly on 2-step, dubstep and grime, rapidly evolving genres that have started to gain popularity in American electronic underground circles over the past few years. These influences can certainly be heard all over Bass Music, Keith P's latest collection of songs, but the mix happily finds the DJ branching out into a myriad of other highly relevant sounds while utilizing eclecticism, effective live mixing and a seemingly instinctive knack for track selection to create one of the most shrewdly contemporary, accessible and exhilarating party soundtracks we've heard all year.

Mixed completely live and clocking in at just over an hour, Bass Music is a showcase of contemporary club-bangers that seem to rise, peak and fall at exactly the right times, demonstrating a utilitarian focus on dance floor movement propelled by a selection of highly tasteful tracks that will likely impress even the most knowledgeable vinyl hounds. The mix's main strength lies in the breadth of sounds and scenes that it touches on, shifting from tracks like the bouncy, ultra hyper collaboration between French hip hop act TTC and Bpitch Control's Modeselektor to the sugary r&b dance pop of Jamelia's "Something About You," all with a seamless and casual confidence. Present through the duration of the mix are the influences of acid house, dubstep, hip hop, R&B and even a bit of synth pop, but none of these sounds ever truly shine through to dominate the mood. Instead, we get a virtual meet and greet with some of the most talked about DJs and producers in dance music today, including the glitchy, anthemic new house of Sebastian's "Ross Ross Ross" and the red hot Erol Alkan remix of Justice's "Waters of Nazareth", as well as Jesse Rose and Sinden's hard hitting dub influenced "Me Mobile" and poppier songs from the likes of Lilly Allen, Basement Jaxx and Sneaker Pimps, whom Keith uses to close out the mix with great effect. Balancing menacing, repetitive dub heavy tracks with pulsing bass, blip house hits and exclusive cuts from Drop The Lime and Curses, among others, Keith effectively whips together highly varying sounds and turns them into a unit in which not a single break or turn seems forced or out of place, which is a much more difficult feat than he makes it seem.

Essentially, Bass Music has everything you would expect from a hip, competent mix CD, but the truly exciting thing is that Keith P is someone we have just started to hear things about even though he's been sitting in our backyard for years. You probably couldn't take a better snap shot of the current state of tasteful, quality electro than he has here, and its good to know that Keith is just one of several local DJs with a thumb firmly planted on the pulse of the international dance underground. And speaking of pulses, the cohesive mixing and dance floor appeal of Bass Music make it truly accessible to anybody that has one.

(You can download Keith P's Bass music for free on his Myspace page. Rating is four stars out of a possible five)

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bill Callahan/Sarah Jaffe (Sons Of Hermann Hall): As far as tortured Drag City geniuses go, I prefer David Berman or Neil Hamburger over this guy. Berman's a better singer/songwriter and Hamburger's funnier, even if I have always laughed out loud at that kitty cat picture over there. Callahan's songs (and recording fidelity) have "matured" over the years, but I don't know if that necessarily translates to "improved." I do respect the guy's history and enjoy some of his work but I know he is notoriously inconsistent live. Hopefully he'll feel up to playing a full set tonight at the beautiful Sons Of Hermann Hall. I've always liked that place, but now it's pretty much the only completely respectable venue left in Deep Ellum. Come to think of it, that was probably true five years ago.

Catfish Haven/Lucero (Club Dada): Catfish Haven writes decent and unpretentious pop music and they perform it with refreshing conviction. I saw them last year at some Long Branch Inn day-show and I was prepaed to be bored but left pleasantly surprised. Lucero's bio states that they have been called both "alt-country" and "punk country". What a dilemma. Let me help them out a bit...How about cowpunk? Remember when everything got labeled cowpunk? I definitely don't miss that shit.

Whiskey Folk Ramblers/Denton County Revelators/Sweetgrass (Rubber Gloves): For my money, the Denton County Revelators are one of the best roots/Americana oriented groups from the area.

80's Night with DJ G (Hailey's)

Lost Generation with Wanz and Ineka (Fallout Lounge): I hear Wanz is playing some Mission of Burma live footage tonight. Wow. What city am I in? Portland? Boston? Providence? When did Dallas get "cool?"

Laptop Language

I was actually kind of impressed when I heard that this week's Dallas Observer music section featured a story on Laptop Deathmatch. And then I actually read it. Yikes. You know, I'd be satisfied if it mentioned some of the quality artists that regularly perform at Deathmatches (it doesn't), but the story would at least be marginally acceptable if it didn't read like the synopsis of a Jack Black movie that went straight to video (it does).

New Posts Coming Later

Remember yesterday when we said "new posts later tonight" or something to that effect? Well, what we meant was "new posts some time on Thursday." Sorry about that. Now why don't you watch a Current Leaves live video:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It List: Wednesday 4/18/07

Other than Strawberry Fields' Short Attention Span Theater @ Hailey's (which will feature animation this evening) I can't really find anything of interest today. Slow week I guess. We'll have new stuff later tonight, so check back with us.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It List: Tuesday 4/17/07

Nothing extremely exciting but these shows are worth mentioning.

Brightblack Morning Light/The White Lodge (Hailey's): I'm not the biggest fan of a bluesy three-note Rhodes part repeating for all eternity, but Brightblack Morning Light is worth trying if that description doesn't turn you off. I recommend this if you're into sleeping sickness vocals and pills with your booze.

Estradasphere/Invincible Czars (Wreck Room): These bands wear thin quickly, despite their technical ability. I mean just because you can jump from hair metal to lounge to polka in a single song doesn't mean anything to me other than you probably have hideous taste in music.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It List: Monday 4/16/07

Nothing really going on tonight based on what I can see, but there is always Bad Ass Jazz at the Amsterdam. Dumb name, great time.

Last Week's Good Records Sales Chart


1. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
2. The Polyphonic Spree - Wait
3. St. Vincent - Paris is Burning
4. Hogpig - Hold Back the Curse
5. Tame.. Tame & Quiet - Tin Can Communicate

TOP 20

1. Hell Yeah - Hell Yeah
2. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
3. Blonde Redhead - 23
4. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
5. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank
6. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
7. Danielson: A Family Movie DVD
8. Stars of the Lid - and their refinement of the decline
9. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
10. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
11. The Polyphonic Spree - Wait
12. Grinderman - Grinderman
13. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
14. EL-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
15. Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
16. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
17. Jana Hunter - There's No Home
18. Centro-Matic - Operation Motorcide EP
19. Menomena - Friend & Foe
20. David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band

Monday Morning Rock

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Weekender: 4/13-4/15

(Contributions from Defensive Listening as well)


Goth Valentine's Day with The Pointy Shoe Factory/The Night Game Cult/The Undoing Of David Wright/Minx Burlesque (SHQ Denton): Secret Headquarters may face capacity issues with this one. Here you have two(!) recently reunited bands playing on the most suitable day for both acts just short of a Halloween show. The Pointy Shoe Factory's legend has only grown since they disbanded with some of the area's prominent younger musicians citing them as an influence. In fact, since they'll be sharing the floor of SHQ with The Undoing, you will actually get to witness their influence live. Almost too much personality for one band, you have the wonderfully over-the-top lyrical drama of vocalist Daron Beck, Night Game Cult leader Kyle Cheatham on bass, and the best possible showcase for Tyler Walker's explosively good drumming. It's either a privilege to see these three together again or for the first time if you missed them a few years ago. Night Game Cult will also be performing and I've seen one solid show after another from him in the past six months. You could almost say "them" seeing as how much the audience tends to play a role in each performance. As excited as I was to see The Undoing Of David Wright at Rubber Gloves last week, I'm almost more excited to see them unleash their fury in front of a captive audience in the more intimate confines of SHQ. Sound problems also seem to be more manageable in that room. Minx Burlesque is a spirited take on that timeless Vaudevillian art-form with more talent and soul than you get with emaciated Suicide Girls knockoffs around the country.

David Karsten Daniels/Arbouretum/The Naptime Shake (The Cavern): Well there's not gonna be any dancin' at this show (or swimmin' for that matter), but we can take a night off from all that stuff if the music is as good as what you'll find at The Cavern tonight. The weary, hazy sounds of Thrill Jockey's excellent Arbouretum might actually be a perfectly chill way to start a weekend: founder Dave Heumann has played with the likes of Bonnie Prince Billy in the past, but the compelling atmospherics found on his band's debut album have a lot more to do with soft psyche folk and Built to Spill than Will Oldham's material. Wildcat suggested that they sound like a typical Drag City band, and I agree. And thats a compliment. DKD's latest release might remind some of you of bands like Pink Mountaintops, Wooden Wand and Six Organs of Admittance, and although much of the (ironic?) religious imagery of those bands is present throughout his material, Daniels' music leans a lot more trad folk than most of those guys. Very solid.


Fry Street Fair (Denton North Fairgrounds): So a lot of the bands at Fry Street Fair are probably going to be a major beating... Space Cadet, Mad Mexicans, the list goes on and on. And then there are a lot of bands that I've never even heard of before, many of whom will probably suck too. But whatever. Most people go to Fry Street Fair just to drink and goof off anyway, and there will be SOME good bands scattered throughout the day, including: Tame... Tame and Quiet, Current Leaves, Record Hop, Jetscreamer, Red Monroe and Knee Pad. And since its like 5 or 10 bucks to get in, it probably wouldn't hurt to check it out, as long as you can save your energy for the evening's festivities.

8th Continent Not Fry Street Show: This is one of the two Denton events that we are really looking forward to. Our first post on this show has all the details and links, but let me spit the line up out at you one more time: Abigail & Hansel, Hotel Hotel, Zanzibar Snails, Delphi, Oveo, Angry Businessmen, Nouns Group, Christian! Teenage Runaways, Chief Death Rage, Unconscious Collective and The Great Tyrant. Shit thats good. And to top it all off, its free, BYOB, and located at one of the most pleasant DIY venues in the area. If you're up in Denton on Saturday, I would say that stopping by is necessary, especially to check out the incredibly intense noise theatrics of The Great Tyrant at midnight. The first band goes on at 2pm, and as far as we know, they are playing in the order you see them here, every hour on the hour. Located at 731 Texas St. in Denton.

Ladies' Night @ 715 Panhandle with: Koji Kondo/Teenage Cool Kids/Get Serious/Angry Businessmen/Jumping Phoenix/Black Wizardz/Trifle Tower (8pm): Now that you know how great we think this place is, go for see for yourself but only if you want to have a fucking awesome time. This is a pretty straight-forward all out rock show with the punishing blast beats of San Antonio duo Get Serious, the skronky hardcore of Koji Kondo, 90's indie rock influenced Teenage Cool Kids, the screaming complexity of Trifle Tower, and brand new Alex Atchley project Black Wizardz. Angry Businessmen are working overtime by playing this show as well as making an appearance at the 8th and I don't really know anything about Jumping Phoenix, but I do know that this show will be a lot of fun. Come witness the increasingly rare phenomenon of an audience that gives a shit.

Lollipop Shop w/ Dj Tiger Bee and DJ Panda Flower (Avenue Arts)

Zoo (The Cavern): Shit. We haven't been able to stop by for an episode of Zoo in a while, but the always entertaining video DJs are really busting out with some great stuff as of late. Check the partial set list for Saturday night:

NEW & Classic MUSIC VIDEO by:BSS, Groove Armada, the Flaming Lips, Justice, Gus Gus, M.I.A.,theKINKS, Radiohead, the Knife, R.E.M., Faithless,LIARS, 2-Pac, Simian Mobile Disco, LCD Sound System & MORE...+ LIVE & RARE stuff from:Beck '97, Reo Speedwagon '81, Pulp '99, Squarepusher '03, Tom Waits '74 - '94, the PIXIES '93, Lynyrd Skynyrd '74, White Stripes '04, & KISS '74 - '77

If you're in Dallas, you'd be dumb not to stop by for a drink at least. Most of the newer electronica stuff they're showing here is fantastic, and acts like The Knife, Justice and Liars seem to take their video production serious enough to make the visuals a must see.

Elsewhere, We Shot J.R. will pay you good money if you take acid and go see The Charlie Daniels Band and Little Texas for free at Sundance Square. First band at 6pm!


Blood Brothers/Celebration/The Dead Science (Ridglea Theater): Gotta be honest: I'm not the biggest Blood Brothers guy. I understand what they're trying to do I suppose, and I'm sure they're great live, but theres something about them that just ventures too closely to screamo for me sometimes. Someone will probably want to hang me for that, but what can I do? I'll take the Locust if I have to make a choice. However, my so-so take on BB will not prevent me from going to the show to catch the excellent Celebration, who are probably one of the more overlooked post-punk influenced bands to have emerged over the past couple of years, reminding me of a more gentle Slits at times. Besides, its been like six months since I've been able to use the phrase "angular guitars."

Profile: 715 Panhandle and the NPNR label

I was talking to some friends from Austin the other day when I actually had to pause and reassess something I had just said out loud. "Denton has six D.I.Y. venues." Six. Count them. Secret Headquarters, 8th Continent, Fra House, X-Treme Dudes Manor, House Of Tinnitus, and 715 Panhandle. It seems that Denton is in the middle of a renaissance for this particular type of venue, and people far and wide have taken notice. I've never been a blind supporter of Little D (don't call it that), but I often hear people from around the state gushing about how good Denton has it, even compared to the super-hip Austin, a place I have always blindly supported. When talking with out-of-town bands, I hear pangs of envy when referring to the wealth of great places to see shows in Denton, which is starting to be come known as a place where you're likely to see almost any kind of act you can think of at any one of these venues on a given weekend. And out of the six thriving epicenters of Do-It-Yourself culture around town, 715 Panhandle in particular seems to be almost completely free of any type of sonic or social agenda.

715 Panhandle is kind of the positive little brother of the Denton Do-It-Yourself circuit, with a stronger link to the history of that culture than you might expect. It's shows cover a wide variety of music, from acoustic singer-songwriters to free jazz, and poppy indie rock to spazzed-out hardcore. The house is inhabited by four young lads with an assortment of tastes that dictate the mixtape-like nature of the eclectic line ups and add to the overall spirit of the venue. And speaking of tapes, the house is also the headquarters for a cassette-only label, NPNR, which stands for "No Parents, No Rules." The name actually provides a fairly good summation of the fun-oriented fliers, shows and overall feeling of the cassette label and the ethos it embodies, as well as the venue itself. I really enjoyed doing the research for this piece, including actually attending a Panhandle show, since the extremely upbeat attitudes of all involved with both the house and the label are a nice change from the typically jaded seen-it-all pose of music scene people, which I myself am quite guilty of. The enthusiasm for each show held there as well as the care put into the label is quite an admirable and refreshing break from the norm. The show I attended was witnessed by a cross-section of Denton's community of musicians, students, and grown-folks alike, comprising a group that differed slightly from the familiar faces you see at other places. It was such a mixed crowd, in fact, that I constantly saw little groups of people pointing at each other and simultaneously blurting, "What are you doing here"?! With such large numbers of people from diverse crowds and walks of life, its actually pretty remarkable that 715 has never had a problem with police intervention, even though it seemed like the crowd I encountered was a body short of spilling into the street, which is apparently a regular occurrence at the place.

Inside the house, people were shoulder to shoulder, moving, dancing, pushing, swinging and swaying. This is all too rare at shows now days and the energy from the bands and the crowd was easy to get swept up in as everyone seemed to move without the usual constrictions of self consciousness. 715 Panhandle is definitely a place to see a lively show, free of the extreme intellectualism or hardcore dogma you might find at similar places, but I don't mean to suggest that there isn't a lot of thought put into the music at the shows. It's just that the"No Parents, No Rules" motto does truly convey the feeling of the place: one of being at a house party someone threw when their parents were out of town, which often provide some of the best memories of growing up. Bands from out of state and as far away as Scotland have played 715 in addition to the usual Austin/Houston travelers and many DFW acts, including such diverse local groups as Unconscious Collective, Daniel Folmer, Trifle Tower, and Koji Kondo.

Again, I don't mean to make it sound as if the men of 715 Panhandle and NPNR are just here for the party. The NPNR label is a project founded by Clint Butler of Denton's Angry Businessmen, who started the label as a viable but cheap answer to the glut of "burned CD-R's with the Sharpied on title." NPNR releases include artwork and lyrics and are assembled with more care than you typically get from the aforementioned CD-R or formats. The first release was by singer-songwriter Sparlin, Jessels, the second will be from the Teenage Cool Kids, available at their release show this Saturday, and Angry Businessmen themselves will see their release on the 21st. The bands record onto an 8-track hooked up to a computer, where the music then finds its way to a master tape on a deck and is finally duplicated with a high speed duplicator. The releases all come in editions of 100, with represses possible if warranted. The idea of the cassette label seems more radical than ever in today's online dominated world of music, and hearing NPNR's story reminded me of labels like ROIR from the 80's and the now legendary status of those cassette-only releases, which have all eventually found their way on to other formats. Clint hasn't completely ruled out the possibility of another format for the self-released imprint, indicating that a 7-inch is possible at some point.

The next 715 Panhandle show will be at 8:00 pm on Saturday, which will be right about the time the headlining Fry St. Fair acts go on...three stages. I've got nothing against the Fry Street bands, and frankly it's quite mind boggling to think of the over-abundance of quality there must be in Denton right now when the biggest music related event in town can't fully represent what takes place there at so many different venues on a weekly basis. I'm as shocked as I am grateful that places like 715 Panhandle fly in the face of my typically jaded seen-it-all pose, even if my pose does happen to be pretty cool.

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Weekend Song

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It List: Thursday 4/12/07

Lost Generation With Wanz Dover (Fallout Lounge): Tonight Wanz will be playing segments of the Kraftwerk live DVD. He'll also have his new mixtape which is cleverly titled: I Love Kraftwerk + I Hate Techno=Dumbass. Here's the track listing:

1.Kraftwerk - Numbers(live)
2.Ellen Allien & Apparrat - Way Out
3.Kiki - So Easy to forget(Ada Remix)
4.Booka Shade - Darko(tube remix)
5.Mochipet - Disko Donkey ([a]Pendics Shuffle Mix)
6.Simian Mobile Disco - It's the beat
7.The Fall - Dr.Bucks letter(Wanz Dover Banger's and Trix Mix)
8.Jeff Mills and the Montpellier orchestra - Amazon
9.Black Devil Disco Club - Just Foot
10.Barbara Morgenstern - aus heiterem himmel(Ellen Allien remix)
11.Gui Boratto - I like you (Supermayer remix)
12.The Field - A Paw in my face
13.Afrika bambaata and The Soul Sonic Force Vs. The Rapture - Planet Rock(Wanz party mash mix)

Forbes, Young, and Gonzalez Trio/Lil' Tedley/Unconscious Collective (Secret Headquarters): This is a better show than you would expect see on a Thursday. I guess the two SHQ shows are on Thursday and Friday this week, since they're understandably closed for Fry St. Fair. The Forbes, Young, and Gonzalez trio and The Unconscious Collective feature some of the most talent you'll ever witness live, and both groups boast lineups that are pretty much the perfect mix of ability and taste. The Forbes, Young and Gonzalez Trio are more improvisational and closer to free jazz than the Unconscious Collective, who tend to attack with the intensity and bombast of the best moments of prog-rock, however there still tends to be some improvisation. I'm not familiar with Lil' Tedley and couldn't find a link, but they are probably the standout since I've heard they're more straight-ahead punk rock. This show is proof that so-called "real musicians" don't have to spend a lifetime playing cheesy shit. Take notes.

80's Night With DJ G (Hailey's)

The Intonations /David Trust/The Grass Fight (J and J's Pizza): The Intonations sound like they take a lot of pop songwriting influence from New Order and Superchunk, with Reid Brothers-styled distortion sprayed all over it. The Grass Fight take a step backwards from there with some unabashed Joy Division style-biting. David Trust surprised me with some pretty interesting, darkly dramatic songs and singing on his page, but who knows if he'll pull the usual solo set with no backing band that many singer-songwriters subject you to. He's got a pretty cool, extremely low voice that reminds me of Calvin Johnson and Nick Cave. Pretty impressive artists to be compared to, but I'll need to see this live to really decide.


Something tells me he wouldn't want us to get all bent out of shape about it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It List: Wednesday 4/11/07

Just links today, fellow music bros. And for the ladies, we've got some good posts coming this week.... I guess dudes can read them too, but we're mainly writing them for the ladies these days.

David Vandervelde will be playing Good Records for free at 6pm, and later he'll be at Dan's Silverleaf with Richard Swift and the Sons of National Freedom. Um, ok?

Current Leaves/Pink Nasty/The Black/Glen Farris (Hailey's)

Sarah Reddington/Real Live Tigers/ A Childlike Fear/New Science Projects (Rubber Gloves)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Other Thing to do in Denton on Saturday

Don't quite feel like FRYing out in the sun with a bunch of frat boys this weekend? Ok ok, I might be a little bitter about Fry Street Fair due to some previous bad experiences (I'm talking like near death bad), but personal crap aside, the strength of the following line up should persuade you to at least spend a little bit of time at the 8th Continent on Saturday:

731 Texas Street in Denton

Abigail & Hansel - 2 PM
Hotel, Hotel - 3 PM
Zanzibar Snails - 4 PM
Delphi - 5 PM
Oveo - 6 PM
Angry Businessmen - 7 PM
Nouns Group - 8 PM
Christian! Teenage Runaway - 9 PM
Chief Death Rage - 10 PM
Unconscious Collective - 11 PM
The Great Tyrant - MIDNIGHT

Um, yeah. You might want to spend more than a little time there. I'm not sure what it costs, if anything, but I bet someone can let us know in the comments section. Oh, and while you're pondering your weekend plans, check this little video clip from Zanzibar Snails:

It List: Tuesday 4/10/07

New Science Projects/Real Live Tigers/Gashcat/Desiree Anastasia (Club Dada): This showcase of singer-songwriters marks the return of New Science Projects from an epic tour and the last "New Music Tuesday" at Club Dada. The song on Desiree Anastasia's page that sounds like it has organ or harmonium (would a music schooled gear fetishist please correct me?) is probably the best song sample of the bunch but it's not common for solo acts to lug these instruments around so who knows if you'll get to hear it. Real Live Tigers almost veers into spoken word territory as a result of the deadpan singing style but I prefer that over a lot of the forced histrionics I've endured from singers in this genre as of late. Gashcat is a disturbing name.

Sticky Buns Free Dance Party (Rubber Gloves)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Saturday Night @ Rubber Gloves

Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment, shall we? More often than we'd like, local rock concerts are fairly drab affairs. Sure, seeing a solid local line up in a comfortable venue with a bunch of friends (who might include the bands themselves) can be great fun, but local shows often lack some of the excitement, anticipation, and unexpected pleasures that can transform a run of the mill concert experience into something great. It isn't anyone's fault most of the time, but the concept of diminishing returns tends to seep into the equation once you've seen some of your favorite local bands X amount of times. It usually isn't you and it usually isn't the bands, its just the way things work. After a while, you know what to expect from the bands you catch on a regular basis, and although you'll continue to enjoy their performances, the chances that you'll see or hear something new seem to grow smaller and smaller with each passing experience.
But as anyone who attended Saturday's show at Rubber Gloves can probably attest, the aforementioned state of affairs isn't always the rule. In fact, you didn't even have to be a fan of any of the bands performing on Saturday to pick up on the relatively high level of excitement and energy that was swirling around the venue even before the first act took the stage. Sure, it was clear that many of the people in attendance knew many of the other people in attendance, but scene schmoozing and the consumption of intoxicating substances weren't the only things fueling the fire. Much like a handful of other big shows we've seen in Denton in recent months, the potential for getting carried away was measurably present on Saturday, and it was the bands, not the beers, that were responsible for it.
A sizable portion of the early excitement probably had something to do with the debut performance of Denton's Ghosthustler, a band that has already received a good deal of national blog coverage (thanks largely to Gorilla vs. Bear), college radio play, and casual interest from a noteworthy record label, all on the strength of two Myspace demos and a total of zero shows. This kind of premature attention can often lead to disproportionate tongue in cheek comparisons to ghosts of hype hustlers past, but lets just go ahead and squash all that shit before it starts: lead singer Alan Palomo's microphone basically didn't work throughout the entire set, but it was still quite clear that Ghosthuster is getting ready to start kicking everyone's ass all over town. We don't want to dig too deep into their sound since we're preparing a longer piece on them for later this week, but the combination of Palomo's commanding stage presence along with the alarming precision and glitchy hard hitting dance floor funk of the music was quite exhilarating, particularly for a debut, and the fact that more than half the audience already seemed to know their two songs made the absence of vocals less of a problem than one might imagine. Anyone in attendance that doubted whether Ghosthustler would be able to "pull it off" in a live setting is probably already planning to take a second look, as the band didn't seem at all like one that was playing live for the first time.
Eat Avery's Bones experienced some sound problems throughout their set as well, but again, their hyperactive and devoted fans could have cared less. Its a bit difficult to say much about this band that hasn't already been alluded to on this blog, but I have serious doubts that anyone could watch one of EAB's 15 minute sets and not at least laugh and enjoy themselves enough to consider the experience well worth it. Running through several of their short songs with the comic intensity of a cartoon character on meth, Eat Avery's Bones wowed the room with sheer joy and intensity, and if the speed of light proggy breakdowns or the ferocious pacing of the drums didn't get you, the microphone wizard certainly did (really, all the guy did was stand there holding a mic and he was still hilarious). The band's creativity is infectious in a live setting, and the silliness surrounding much of what they do doesn't end up hiding the fact that they've got the raw talent to do whatever the hell they want. Similar to bands like Japanther, The Mae Shi or even Lightning Bolt, Eat Avery's Bones is able to utilize humor and a sort of 8-bit Hypercolor aesthetic to make the aggressiveness of their music that much more interesting and rewarding.
Austin's Cry Blood Apache was apparently two men short of a full band on Saturday, but that didn't stop them from putting on a fantastic show, albeit a much darker and spacier one than the bands they shared the stage with. Its kind of funny that people in the comment threads were comparing CBA to Suicide and early industrial today, because my first reaction to their set was "sounds like Suicide," and my second reaction was "sounds like Suicide mixed with late 80's Ministry." I guess Nitzer Ebb would be a fair comparison too (as they hint at on their Myspace page), but last time I checked, sounding like any of those bands was far from a bad thing. And I don't mean to suggest that the band is overly derivative either. For one thing, to even remind someone of Suicide in the first place is a commendable accomplishment, and CBA was able to turn it up quite a bit by deconstructing some of Suicide's creepier moments and allowing the chaos of noise and industrial clatter to drill through Rubber Gloves like a psychedelic jackhammer, pounding rhythms and disturbing atmospherics into everyone's heads.
And of course, the Undoing of David Wright, back in action after a hiatus of several months, was jaw droppingly loud and ferocious. The last time I saw one of their shows was several months ago at Darkside Lounge, where the band appeared to be struggling with sound problems, difficult new material and a general lack of focus. On Saturday, despite a few more sound issues, Undoing put on the most aggressive performance I've ever seen from them. A sensory overload of flashing lights, nervous tempo changes and harsh beats yet again served as a forum for Shane English and A Train to display their typically tight playing, but what was really striking was how difficult much of the new material was. The set, although very rhythmic, was noticeably less dance oriented than the typical Undoing set you might have seen over a year ago. The thing is, everyone up front was still dancing. There wasn't a four on the floor beat to be found for more than what seemed like ten seconds, but the crowd was still moving like they always have at Undoing shows. The band appears to be in the process of regrouping and evolving, and if Saturday's show was any indication, they might be headed to some strange but exciting places with both music and visual performance.
Of course, theres no telling what Undoing or any of these other bands might do next. The show was attended by people who had obviously seen the entire line up before, but the excitement in the air made it clear that people were prepared to experience just about anything that night. That mystery is part of what makes all of these bands so good, and it played a big role in making Saturday's performance the best local show I've seen this year.

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It List: Monday 4/9/07

Black Wizardz/Teenage Cool Kids/How Hard/Patrick P (J&Js): Although its Monday night at J&Js, I'm guessing this show will be anything but subdued,as Alex Atchley's Black Wizardz headline a loud, spastic punk leaning show. Its hard to tell much from Black Wizardz' Myspace page, but the tracks I've listened to sound humorous and frighteningly aggressive, and although the quality of the recordings borders on unlistenable at times, I'm quite intrigued to see what the hell this stuff sounds like in real life, with two dudes on stage. Hopefully it will be as noisy as advertised. The much poppier Teenage Cool Kids seem to take a refreshingly fun and simple approach to pop punk (in a Descendents kinda way), which is saying a lot in 2007.

Death To False Metal: Doom, Drone and Ambient Edition (Rubber Gloves): This is pretty self explanatory, isn't it? Sounds like fun to me.

Bad Ass Jazz (Amsterdam)

Last Week's Good Records Sales Chart

1. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
2. Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
3. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
4. Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
5. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank
6. Stars of the Lid - And Their Refinement of the Decline
7. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
8. Tame.. Tame & Quiet - Tin Can Communicate
9. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
10. Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
11. Innocence Mission - We Walked in Song
12. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
13. Papercuts - Can't Go Back
14. The Polyphonic Spree - Wait
15. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
16. Melee - Devils & Angels
17. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
18. Eluvium - Copia
19. Low - Drums & Guns
20. Microphones - Don't Smoke/Get Off the Internet 7"



Monday Morning Rock

I figured since we were dumb enough to forget about Sunday's Yo La Tengo show, we could at least post their classic video. Anyway, check back with us later for a show review.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Weekender: 4/6-4/8/07


Chris Garver/Street Hassle/Jacob Ides (Secret Headquarters): A good songwriter with a lack of self-importance that permeates the work of similar inwardly focused artists. I prefer Garver with a backing band as the sometimes shaky setup only emphasizes the uncomfortable vulnerability of the material. Street Hassle sounds like you like you might expect from a band that named themselves after a Lou Reed solo album, though they sound more like Peel Slowly And See out-takes than his 70's material. This didn't grate on me the way some of the VU knock-off bands do and I hope I can say the same for their live show. Jacob Ide is a singer-songwriter from Oklahoma but his preaching to the choir lyrics, while well-intentioned, possess all the subtlety of being hit in the mouth with a claw hammer.

Select/Sober (Adikt Footwear): Sober and Select play this Gallery Opening at a Adikt Footwear, a specialty sneaker and apparel shop. This event is from 6:00 to 9:00 pm tonight, so you should probably shut down your computer if you're reading this right now and you plan on attending. I'm wondering if Select is ballsy enough to play "Walking On Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox two weekends in a row. Is that a jam now? Without a doubt one of the most confusing DFW music moments I've had in a good while. Thanks, Select.

Tame...Tame And Quiet/A Childlike Fear/Eaton Lake Tonics (The Chatroom): Tame...Tame And Quiet is that rare local band that a wide variety of people seem to agree on, and that includes everyone from the "It's all good" mainstreamers to the hateful hipsters. It's somewhat surprising considering Tame...Tame and Quiet don't seem to go out of their way to please anyone but themselves and I'm glad people are noticing. We would have had the definitive review of their album if I hadn't lost my damn copy. I'll see what we can do. It's never too late to blow everyone's fucking mind. Eaton Lake Tonics features the songs of Anthony Dominic Ferraro played with a revolving cast of backing musicians. As such, there have been mixed reviews of their live shows, none of which really come from reputable sources so we'll see. A Childlike Fear have a creepy name and a creepy sound but that's not a bad thing. Having this CD release show at The Chatroom is definitely not a bad thing and I want to reiterate that this hidden little Fort Worth gem is the only bar where I always completely enjoy myself in the Metroplex. Forget that Old Monk nonsense.

Ted Leo And The Pharmacists/Love Of Diagrams (The Granada): I've never been able to really get behind Ted Leo's work, even in the acclaimed Chisel. I always thought he made more sense as a Lookout Records act as opposed to Touch And Go. Australian openers, Love Is A Diagram sound like they could be okay and they somewhat resemble the late, great Canadian band, The Organ, but without, organ.


The Undoing of David Wright/Eat Avery's Bones/Cry Blood Apache/Ghost Hustler (Rubber Gloves): It's no secret. We like these people. The whole damn lineup. This could be the show of the Spring. Go if you don't believe me. I'm sure someone you know will. The Undoing of David Wright ends their painfully long hiatus and we're going to do something a little different today by letting the band tell you what they've got planned in their own words with this press release:

The Undoing of David Wright Is Back!
Cybernetics, Ghost Stories, and Comics

DENTON, TXExperimental punk band The Undoing of David Wright returns from hiatus with announcements about their new experiments in performance technology, their April 7th CD release show, and their new comic book.

Six months following the show rumored to be their last, The Undoing of David Wright return to the stage this Saturday, April 7th, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton, Texas. “Throughout our hiatus we have not been dead or in comas,” defiantly claims programmer/vocalist Lars Larsen. “We have been in a phase of heavy experimentation, developing new songwriting workflows and performance techniques.” The primary shift of which Lars speaks is the introduction of a Computer Machine on stage. Shingles Tuwear (bass) and A. Train (guitar) will now run their instruments thru the Computer Machine’s audio interface for not-so-subtle manipulation, and then back out to their amplifiers. “This approach has afforded us unparalleled freedom in the precise manipulation of our sound, and the automation of Computer Machine-based effects allows us to accomplish previously unimaginable things, such as the ability to, hands-free, swap the sounds of live instruments instantly, in mid-song. In keeping with our original philosophy of concept, we are in this way able to reach towards greater complexity and texture, while further eliminating the need for any knob tweaking mid-set. So we can still drive across the stage on flaming combat motor bikes and make scary faces at all times.”

“The entire experience has become very cybernetic. We’ve always used synthetic drum sounds in an attempt to liberate our creativity – the use of synthetic drums is referenced heavily in the third of our Eight Laws of Undoing. But now the production knowledge we’ve accumulated in this sector can be cross-applied to the biologically controlled instrumentation of the band as well – without altering the immediacy of the performance,” says Larsen. “It’s kind of like building a really badass playground for yourself. To be honest, this crazy ass Computer Machine power should not even be in our hands, because we love playgrounds a lot, even though ours tend to topple over and hurt people.” In addition to the reconfiguration of cables and Computer Machines on stage this Saturday, Larsen promises, with a wicked creepy smile, “a wicked creepy looking sequenced light show, shit-tons of fog, sunglasses with little blue lights in them, and the customary nihilism of any Undoing performance.”

The Undoing of David Wright will release Ghost Stories, a self-produced CD EP, at the show this Saturday. In addition to new tracks featuring The Undoing’s first experimentations with the Computer Machine, the CD will finish with remix and/or live versions of songs from We Dig With Fingers Crossed and the upcoming full-length Tales of The Eighth Continent. There will be a limited, numbered edition of 50 pieces made. That’s right, pieces. Not copies. The packaging is painstakingly created out of layered foam shapes – and each cover will feature unique, one-of-a-kind artwork handmade by the ghost of an infamous Atlantean sculptress the band met while conducting a séance during their most recent Icelandic tour. “We can’t release her name,” Larsen says. “We don’t want just any band to summon her up.” Ghost Stories is an experiment by the band, who are interested in a parallel universe in which music, and all other information, is free; and finding ways for career-driven independent artists to survive requires alternative thinking. “While we are grateful to anyone who contributes financially to our project by the purchase of our recordings, we do not expect the modern consumer of music to feel motivated to purchase physical media unless it is in some way unique, limited, or really fucking cool looking. Ghost Stories is an experiment in all three, to see if these attributes will indeed stir up interest in the purchase of our recordings,” says Larsen. Ghost Stories is a thematic sequel to their 2005 release, We Dig With Fingers Crossed, and features narrative-driven songs about the spirits of deceased grave robbers.

The Undoing of David Wright are still negotiating the release of their upcoming full length, Tales of the Eighth Continent, and hope to see it out by the end of the year. The band will share no details about what projects are up next, only whispering conspiratorially about dark cities in cyberspace and interactive video.

As if the new CD and stage show weren’t enough to keep them busy, The Undoing of David Wright is collaborating with New York comic book artist Sunday Hollis on the first issue of The Undoing of David Wright comic book. “It’s kind of an early 00’s teenage Twilight Zone,” says Larsen, who is the writer. “Doing a comic has always been one of our big wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if ideas, and it’s a pleasant surprise to see it happening.” The first issue is titled The Dorm of Doom Pt. 1, is 6 pages long, and will be self-published by the band. “Our various misadventures are much too larger-than-life for photographs or biographies. They are best recorded in comic books. When we make music, we make it for ourselves. And the comic is aligned with that same philosophy. Therefore, there will be a lot of jokes you won’t get, so don’t try.” The comic will also be released at the April 7th show alongside Ghost Stories and a new run of unique merchandise.

Written by the ghost of William Burke. April 5, 2007.

Wow. It's hard enough for most bands to try keep their guitars in tune.

Beauxregard/Plid/Marcus Rubio/Freak Noise Afterparty with 2MAI (Secret Headquarters): Beauxregard are an ambitious local pop band that evolved out of the now-defunct Trophy Club, a charming local group that disbanded a few years ago. Beauxregard is a little more slick than that outfit but I'd still like to see them to compare and contrast. Plid is straight 80's craziness with some of the most authentic Reagan-era synth sounds I've heard from many of these retro groups. I'm not quite clear on the 2MAI after-party situation but if someone would like to explain, it would be much appreciated.

Unconscious Collective will be playing a free show at Red Blood Club at 1:00 pm.

Tame...Tame And Quiet will also be playing a free in-store today at Good Records at 3 PM. This is in anticipation of their show that night at The Cavern with Black Lights and Tober Omi.

MC Router/Mad Happy (Bar Of Soap): Mad Happy do this mix of folk and hip-hop that sounds somewhat like Portishead and Coco Rosie. MC Router is the premier nerd-core rapper in the area.


We'll let you know.