Thursday, May 31, 2007

It List: Thursday 5/31/07

Interpol (Palladium): This band has been mostly ghettoized to having their name in white-out scrawl on a middle school attendee's tattered binder. That doesn't mean that they didn't make quite an impact on the music of this decade, for better or worse, but I tend to lean towards the latter. Plagiarizing the feel, sound and style of a particular group and rehashing that into its own genre isn't what I would consider a commendable act. The copy-cats that formed in the wake of this king of copy-cat groups is the worst thing about them, but that shouldn't necessarily be held against them. Also, their bass player inspired countless ill-advised haircuts.

The Burning Hotels (Central Market in Fort Worth): Nevermind what I said above. This band at this "venue" is all the proof you need that Interpol fucked a lot of things up and it should be held against them. Thanks, dudes.

80's Night With DJ G (Hailey's) Where you should go if you want to hear the real thing and not the watered down trust-fund kid college dropout version of 80's musical history.

and Lost Generation at Fallout Lounge, where you should go to hear all kinds of stuff, including:

Kalabrese(really good record), FFWD(classic idm record featuring Robert Fripp and The Orb), Thomas Fehlman(gonna make my top ten this year), Flying Lotus, Vive La Fete, Chemical Brothers(I am diggin this a lot), Bonde Do Role, Maetrik, Skream, Sharon Jones(new 7 inch....brilliant), Kode 9, Caribou, Magda, Boredoms(a selection from the new super roots 9......still my alltime faves......we saw them on the super AE tour in Chicago), Sarah Goldfarbb, Sarolta Zalatnay, The Black Ghosts, Crippled Black Phoenix, Black Dice(new 12 inch), Don Williams, Switch(some new remixes from my favorite remixer) and much much more.

Animal Collective: The Granada Theater

I was a party to two conversations at the Granada on Saturday night that helped hammer home just how strange the phenomenon of Animal Collective really is. The first occurred some time in the middle of Sir Richard Bishop's set, when my friend turned 360 degrees and remarked "shit, there are a shitload of people here." And he was right. The rather large Granada Theater (with a capacity of roughly 1200) was probably more than 3/4 full (of mostly young hipsters) at 9pm, as a bearded middle aged man with an acoustic guitar sat onstage playing quiet, meandering Indian instrumental pieces.

The second conversation occurred during the middle of Animal Collective's overpowering set, when another friend turned to me and said, "I'm pretty disappointed with this so far." When I asked why, she explained that she was expecting something a little more straight forward, adding that they hadn't even played one of their "real songs" yet. And she was also right. Those whose love of Animal Collective is based mostly on 2005's Feels, as well as those who had never heard anything about AC's live M.O. before attending the show, were probably expecting something much different than they got on Saturday night. Aside from a somewhat tossed off version of "Leaf House" and a couple Panda Bear tracks that you may or may not have heard before, Animal Collective played entirely new material on Saturday, and according to some rumors, they might have even improvised most of the set due to equipment failure in Marfra the night before. The music was strange, new, and rather experimental, and there's no telling exactly why they decided to structure their set the way they did.

But whatever the reason, the music they performed at the Granada had more in common with Einsturzende Neubauten and Kraftwerk than Modest Mouse, and the prospect of such a band attracting a near capacity crowd at a large venue and keeping everyone interested for a full set is quite exciting. The Granada's sound, which I've complained about at least 15 times over the past year, was powerful and clear on Saturday, and AC used it to push all kinds of boundaries with texture, rhythm and electro noise as their weapons of choice. Worlds away from the avant folk of Sung Tongs or the warmer shades of Feels, Animal Collective's pieces were colder, more beat heavy and electronic than most of their recorded material, and the band relied on distorted noise build ups and sudden bursts of coherent bass and drum beats to set the audience up and knock em down like bowling pins several times throughout the set. Perhaps the most impressive thing about their collage of a set was the easy conveyance of joy that marked most of their music. Despite the loose structures of their pieces and the somewhat disorienting nature of the sounds they utilized, it was clear throughout that the band was having fun, not taking themselves too seriously, and well aware of the fact that most in the crowd were eating it up. The peak of the set came towards the end when the band began banging on live drums, sending the crowd into a frenzy and highlighting the power of their trance inducing rhythms and hyperactive craftsmanship.

Of course, I've seen some great experimental electronic sets this year, but what put AC's show over the top wasn't just the performance, but the reaction of the crowd. To see over 1,000 people cheer wildly for such adventurous music was very pleasing, and anyone in attendance who doubts whether an audience for this kind of music exists in Dallas (guilty as charged) was probably forced to rethink their position. I was sure this was the best show I'd seen all year about half way through the set, but what was so great was the crowd's roaring applause at the end, signaling that hundreds of people who might not have got what they bargained for apparently agreed with me.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Decline of Western Civilization Part 1

It List: Wednesday 5/30/07

The Theater Fire/The Dodos (Hailey's): Good show that I don't have much time to write about today, even though I do have time to tell you that I've only read good things about The Dodos' (formerly Dodo Bird) live shows, and that I've seen these guys compared to everyone from Liars to Animal Collective to Rufus Wainright. Not sure if I really agree with any of those, particularly the first one, but I guess I can kinda hear a less difficult Animal Collective here and there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Morrissey @ Palladium Ballroom (HowardBobJohnson)

I imagine the majority of the readers here are too young to have seen Morrissey live in 1991. I was 11 and my only Moz experience at the time was my friend's older brother's "Smiths" cover band. The 91 performance that spawned the concert video "Morrissey: Live in Dallas" showcased the hysteria of Morrissey crowds during the singer's early solo career. Anyone halfway familiar with his live performances immediately visualizes stage runnings, rose throwing and pseudo-fascist synchronized chanting. For someone who seemingly dismisses the enjoyable, Moz has consistenly been an excellent showman, which is part of what makes "Live in Dallas" a strange artifact. Sixty minutes into the concert,when it's obvious security has no control on the audience's persistence, Moz storms off while his band is left shrugging their shoulders before they eventually join him off stage. It could have been worse. It could have been a riot.

Fast forward sixteen years. While Moz's hairline grows with his age, the pompadour retains its form, and even though LA's commuter culture hasn't been kind on his waistline, the voice hasn't aged a bit. In fact its remarkable how little has changed with this guy in the past 15 years. Stylistically, the music hasn't really evolved or transformed, and neither have his lyrical themes. While some may critique his output as formulaic, ask yourself: would you ever really want a radical departure from Moz? What would that even be? The concert on Friday was far more calm than the "Live in Dallas" video footage that could easily pass for a national front rally rather than a musical performance. It was enjoyable to watch him exchange trivial quips with the audience, partly because you could tell HE actually"enjoyed" it too. Morrissey live is great because it may very well be the only time and place where the old man lets his guard down a little bit. Age has apparently humanized the king of self loathing. Oh and yes... he played "How Soon is Now."
Morrissey "Everyday is Like Sunday" from Live in Dallas 1991

No It List Today

It's been a while since the last time I wasn't able to find anything to do on a given night, but I guess nights like this are just what happens after a blow out concert weekend like the one we just had. I honestly had a really good time at everything I went to:

Morrissey: I wasn't expecting much for Morrissey- I'm not a huge fan of his solo work for starters, and the prospect of watching a middle aged guy sing snobby love songs isn't exactly appealing on paper. In fact, the main reason I went to the show at all was because I wanted to see if Morrissey fans were as crazy as I had heard they were. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover what a great performer the guy really is. His voice and onstage energy are still highly impressive (voice sounds just about as good live as it does on record), and his band sounded fantastic throughout the show. It had been a while since I'd been to a big stage "concert event" like this, and I have to say that it was a nice change of pace. We'll have more on this show soon, but I will say that Palladium annoyed me a lot less than I thought it would, five dollar Shiners and no smoking policy notwithstanding.

Glass Candy: The new Art Club venue is worlds better than Avenue Arts as far as layout and atmosphere, with a real stage and a split floorplan design that makes the place seem more like a venue and less like some room with a bunch of bad art inside. Glass Candy sounded great inside the small venue, with Johnny Jewel's tight live bass carrying the strong syth disco rhytms and Ida's vocals coming through as more dramatic and noticeably bigger than they sound on recording. The whole thing had a dance party atmosphere to it rather than a "stand around at a rock show" vibe, which played a big role in making the show a success... what Johnny said in our interview the other day was true: Glass Candy played to the atmosphere in the room, and the crowd played a big role in the show.

Animal Collective: We'll have more on this show later too, but I'll just tell you that it was, in my opinion, the best show I've seen in Dallas this year. Period.

Tuesday Morning Rock

This is the real Monday this week anyway, right?


WED: The Theater Fire/The Dodos (Haileys)
FRI: DJ set by Daniel Ash of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets (Cavern- Camel event)
FRI: DJ Battle (Absinthe Lounge)
SAT: One Year of Losing Our Asses Party (Secret Headquarters)
SAT: RTX/Bob White and the F Electrics (Pastime Tavern)
SAT: El Paso Hot Button (715 Panhandle)

Monday, May 28, 2007

All in One Post

We kind of decided to take the day off today, but we've got some stuff for you anyway. And if you're looking for something to do tonight, House of Tinnitus has a pretty good show going, and RPG, Record Hop and White Drugs will be at Rubber Gloves. We'll be back tomorrow with show reviews and other features, but for now you can enjoy this:

And Last Week's Good Records Sales Chart:

1. St. Vincent- Paris is Burning
2. Mom - Echo Breath (CDR)
3. Voot Cha Index - The Talking House/Cradle 7"
4. Tame.. Tame and Quiet - Tin Can Communicate
5. Tree Wave - Cabana EP+

1. The National - Boxer
2. Battles - Mirrored
3. Skeletons & the Kings of All Cities - Lucas
4. Voxtrot - Voxtrot
5. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (Deluxe)
6. Hot Chip - DJ Kicks
7. Blonde Redhead - 23
8. Handsome Furs - Plague Park
9. Feist - The Reminder
10. Mice Parade - Mice Parade
11. Jana Hunter - There's No Home
12. Page France - And the Family Telephone
13. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
14. Dungen - Tio Bitar
15. Centro-Matic - Operation Motorcide EP
16. Elliott Smith - New Moon
17. Parts & Labor - Mapmaker
18. Efterklang - Under Giant Trees
19. Boris with Miichio Kurihara - Rainbow
20. White Rabbits - Fort Nightly

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekender 5/25/07-5/27/07

Contributions from SR and Wildcat...


Morrissey/Kristeen Young (Palladium): Oh man...Morrissey. I don't think there is anyone in music that I simultaneously respect and despise more than him... watching him wave that tree branch around in the famous live video for "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side" has to be one of the most annoying rock n roll activities I can think of, and furthermore, the guy is an arrogant prick who hasn't put out anything that I've even remotely dug in a decade (although I do have to say that "Boy Racer" is awesome.). However, the fact that he manages to piss me off so much is kind of what I like about him, and although I don't know nearly as much about his solo work as I do about the Smiths (am I the only person on the planet who likes Meat is Murder the best?), I like some of it quite a bit, and I've never had the chance to see him live. So basically I hate Morrissey, and yes, I WILL be at this show tonight.

Glass Candy/Farah/Pretty Vacant DJs (Art Club, 823 Exposition in Dallas): Well you probably already have a hot sports opinion on Farah one way or the other, and if you want to read more about Glass Candy, you can check out our interview below. Pretty Vacant DJs are two former members of the High Society crew who spin a highly eclectic mix of disco, punk, new wave, and a lot of hard to find electro. They were nice enough to make a mix for We Shot J.R., and we'll have that mix for you some time very soon. It's highly daceable and tasteful, and their soundtrack should really add to things at Art Club, a new venue that has opened next door to Avenue Arts on Exposition.

Goodnight, Fish/Super Love Attack/Tame...Tame and Quiet (Secret Headquarters-Denton):
If you've been paying attention, I’m sure you’re aware that Tame… is probably one of the most unanimously enjoyed local bands among the weshot crew. While you probably don’t need prodding to go see them at this point, let us take this opportunity to instead encourage you to get out and see the Denton debut of Goodnight, Fish.

Paul Brinkley and Brendan Kiefer teamed up 8 years ago in San Antonio to form Goodnight, Fish. They were later joined by Andrew Jackson and Art Silva, and they currently put songs together while members split time between Austin and Fort Worth.

While Brendan admits that the band has “a soft spot for 90's indie rock and the Bee Gees,” he says that the group’s music is actually inspired more by the instruments they have at their disposal, “including drums, guitar, bass, accordion, mandolin, ukulele, autoharp, keyboards, trombone, clarinet.” I think the band’s sound is appealing partly because it recalls simpler times, like back when it would have seemed absurd to consider whether or not this or that indie rock band played music that was “danceable.” The reverbed accordion-sounding part on their Judy and Clyde song reminds me of background music to the ultimate “simpler times” classic 90s TV show, Pete and Pete.

Brendan says that the band is working on two split releases: one with Grumpy Bear, and the other with Austin’s The Lovely Sparrows, in which Paul helps out. Paul also has a pet project called Mermaid-Blonde, and Art uses The Narrow Escapes as an additional outlet for his ideas.

Goodnight, Fish will also be playing Saturday night at 1919 Hemphill with some other good bands listed below...

Andy Rourke DJ set with Zoo upstairs (The Cavern): I can't decide if this event is ridiculous or not. On the one hand, the idea of paying a $20 cover to see ANYONE spin records at the Cavern doesn't exactly leave a good taste in my mouth, however, the idea of being in a small room with Andy Rourke while he plays his favorite records kind of makes it seem worth it. And throw in the fact that the guy got screwed over financially with the Smiths (you know his playing was worth more than the measly sum he received), and I figure I can throw a little cash his way... although he might not be credited for writing any Smiths songs, his bass playing was always fantastic, and needless to say, The Smiths wouldn't be close to what they were without him.

Melt Banana/xbxrx/Count Dracula's Weed Smuggling Jam Engine (Rubber Gloves)


Animal Collective/Sir Richard Bishop (Granada Theater): Very much looking forward to seeing Animal Collective for the first time. It's rare that a band like this comes through the DFW area, and I'm very excited about it. Early Animal Collective material played a big role in turning me on to avant garde and experimental folk music a few years ago, and part of the reason is that for however strange a lot of AC's music is, most of it has this very appealing human element that makes it easy to listen to and explore without getting boggled down in overly academic soundscapes. An added bonus, based on what I understand, is the fact that Panda Bear has been playing some of his solo stuff on this tour, which I'm very excited to hear live. I got my hands on some live recording that he did about a year ago at some small club in Lisbon with just a guitar and a laptop, and it sounds amazing... as good as the record, but more intimate and less controlled. Furthermore, this will be a first chance for many to hear new material off the forthcoming Animal Collective album. And if the sound at the Granada is as clear as it was for the Spoon show the other night, we might be in for a real treat.

Galuc Dadu/Goodnight,Fish/The Hell/Dear Muffin (1919 Hemphill)

Meltdown feat. Spank Rock, VHS or Beta, Laptop Deathmatch, Rober Taylor and Keith P (Lizard Lounge, 3 stages): Click on the Meltdown link for more info on this huge dance party. I've included the highlights in the little list above, and if you're interested in seeing Laptop Deathmatch people, you might want to get there early because they start going on at 5pm. And if the Spank Rock set is anywhere near the quality of their recent Fabric Mix, hearing them on a big sound system will be worth the price of admission alone. And VHS or Beta... can't really say I like their music, but they sound like one of those bands with good tatse and bad execution, you know? So the DJ set might be cool.

Hot Flash Party (Fallout Lounge): Prince William will be guest DJ at this.

Matt and Kim/ O Pioneers!/Parata (Rubber Gloves)


Lake/Laura Veirs (Cavern)

Pretty Girls Make Graves
/Moros Eros/Moonrats (Hailey's)

Lot's to do this weekend, and to get your Friday night started here's a Mad Lib that Goodnight, Fish was kind enough to do for us recently:

Hey (craggy) Denton, we’re Goodnight, Fish, and we’re really looking forward to playing at Secret Headquarters, if only we could find the place. What does it take to get some (gatorade and peanut M&M's) around here? No, but seriously, have you heard about Austin lately? There are too many (furry) taquerias and all of the (smiling) (octopi) are endangered. The state of things really got to us when we (lustily) recorded our recent album, “Echo, Chime, and Slightly Rumble.” When the going got tough, the tough really (dreaded) with us. That’s why we had to buy all these (thumb tacks).

In the end, it was well worth it. Having an album is great because it gets us tons of free (scarves). In fact, we have too many to count, and that’s why (Andrew Jackson), our lead (harpsichord) player, is packing them up and bringing them to Denton. So come to Secret Headquarters and play (hopscotch) with us so that we can get rid of these darn things. We’re having an afterparty with (the Bee Gees), (Davy Crockett), and tons of (pancakes) in our (roller skates). Permission slips for the (zoo) can be obtained from Tame, Tame, and Quiet.

BYOB and some for us too!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Questions with Glass Candy

I was going to write an intro about Glass Candy and why I wanted to talk with the band's producer Johnny Jewel, but the interview turned out to be one of the longer and more interesting ones I've done so far, so I guess I'll just let it speak for itself. And oh yeah, Glass Candy is playing with Farah and the Pretty Vacant DJs tonight at Art Club (823 Exposition Ave next to Avenue Arts). Here is my conversation with Johnny Jewel:
So you're from Texas, right?

Yeah I grew up in Houston

How did you end up in Portland?

I moved out of Houston when I was 18 and lived in Austin for a couple years, and then my friend and I took the Greyhound up to Olympia in 94, and the northwest just had this vibe, it wasn't because of the scene or meeting people or anything like that, there was just something about the air up there, I felt like there was something really drawing me there. Then I went back to Austin and stayed there for a year, and then just went up to Portland and picked a spot. It was bigger than Olympia and cheaper than Seattle. Its great up there, it has everything you need and you can get a hold of anything you want, but its small enough to still be affordable so you don't have to spend all your time working just to get by.

How did you end up starting Glass Candy?

When I got to Portland I got a job at a grocery store, and I had been working there for two weeks when I met Ida, who was there getting carrots for her rabbit one day while I was working in the produce department. She seemed cool, and we decided to try to make some music. We had similar interests, but then we had some stuff that were polar opposites too. I had never been in a rock band before, I had just done noise and experimental stuff in the early 90's, but we just started messing around with music and she couldn't sing worth a shit, but her lyrics were incredible. Anyway, we experimented with a bunch of stuff, and I was really into the New Zealand scene at the time, like Dead C and Forced Exposure stuff, so we started messing with some dark experimental stuff, and then got into things like Nico that were more vocal oriented with music as a backdrop. That stuff was pretty cool but it was a little too dark for Ida because she's already a pretty dark person, so she needs the music to be a little more upbeat for her to be inspired by it, so we kind of started messing with garage a little bit. We did that for like two or three years and never played a show, and then we decided to put out a record. I put all the money I saved from the grocery store into putting out the first two seven inches, and we had a seven inch before we ever played a show. We weren't sure how people would take it, but it started snowballing right away, which was shocking because we didn't have any friends or anything. Certain people heard about it and there was a buzz.

What is your relationship with Chromatics and the Italians Do it Better record label?

Italians Do It Better is a label out of New Jersey run by these Italian guys, and they gave me the green light to do whatever the hell I wanted because there is a Chromatics song called "Lady" thats just vocoder and very minimal, and they asked about that song, and I told them that it wasn't even really a Chromatics song, it was just something I was fucking around with. And once they realized that, they told me they were starting a label, and they asked me if I'd like to use it as an outlet to put out 12 inches, and if I wanted to put out a record by someone else, they said I could do that too. Its a really experimental and informal label. There are no strings attached and no rules, and everything is vinyl only. As long as they like it too, I can do whatever I'm compelled to do. But it's not just for me, there are other artists too like Professor Genius and a few other new people too. As for Chromatics, they wanted me to record their first record in 2001, and they had asked me to do it because they wanted it to sound like this Glass Candy demo I recorded on cassette, so I recorded their album on cassette. And after they went on tour, the band basically broke up and wasn't talking, but I still wanted to release the recordings because I liked them, and so we released it and everyone was very happy about the way it turned out. At that point, half of Chromatics splintered into a band called Shoplifting, and then the other half, basically just Adam, started working on stuff with drum machines. After that, I didn't see them for a couple years, but then I saw them on tour, and Adam asked me if I could record the new Chromatics record, and I told him that I liked some of his Salsa beats, some of his Suicide stuff, but that his singing kind of annoyed me. I'm just very frank when I'm going to work with someone. Anyway, I was really interested in the girl he was playing with, who was a visual artist, and we started messing with stuff in the studio, and I slowly started having more of a role in the band and playing live, and now Chromatics is me, Adam, his brother, and this girl named Ruth, which is probably the version of Chromatics you've seen on Myspace and stuff.

Well I was going to ask you about visual art and image because based on all the Glass Candy footage I've seen, it seems like the image you project live and in your visual art is very important to you and the group. Would you agree?

Well I think its as important to us as anyone else. I think everyone cares about the way certain things look, and anyone who says they don't shouldn't be believed. In the music scene, there's a lot of identity wrapped up in fashion. Everyone decides what they wear and what is on the record covers, and certain kinds of things culturally right now are considered flashy and certain things aren't. All of them take work and all of them are important in some way. Certain people respond to a Glass Candy aesthetic and certain people don't, but that's what makes the world go around. Everyone identifies with different types of visual images, and to attempt to separate yourself from that is kind of pointless, especially these days in the computer age will all the visual stimulation on the Internet, people just want that instant gratification of being able to see everything. We definitely care about the visual aspect of the band, but that's not necessarily a fashion thing. We care more about the artwork of the band. We don't wear a uniform, but we just want to express ourselves visually and that includes fashion. We don't take it really seriously, but everything is a reflection of who you are and where you want to be and what you identify with, and we're comfortable with that. Anything that anyone wears identifies them with some kind of camp, and if people are into what we are, that's cool, and if they aren't, that's cool too. The art is definitely a bigger deal to us. It sets a psychological head space.

And when I watch your live performances, I notice Ida's striking stage presence, not just how she sings but her whole persona on stage, her whole presentation, it really sets a tone.

That's just her, she's just a freak. That's just her tapping into what she needs to tap into in order to be onstage. She's basically really shy and has to go to this other place to get through it. Its something we don't really talk about and I never know from night to night what she's going to do. If you've seen us a couple times, then you know she's different each time. Its not a shtick, she just reacts to the energy in the room and we try to stay really open to what is going on around us. When we're on stage, we don't consider ourselves the stars of the show. We're the same band and we play pretty much the same music every night on a tour pretty much. We improvise too, but what really makes it different each night is the people in the audience and the mentality and energy they bring. We see a live performance as an exchange between us and the audience as equals.

And since a lot of your stuff is more dance oriented, that attitude makes sense because putting the audience in a role as important as the performer is something that club/disco and rave emphasize.

Well we just sort of provide the music and see what happens. We never have a desire for it to go a certain way, we just try to connect to whatever is going on in the room and try to be a part of it and try to bring a rhythm for people to lock on to.

I was going to ask you about your influences: I'm sure people mention Cerrone, Giorgio Moroder and Italo quite a bit. Are those your primarily influences? If not, what does influence your music the most?

Everything you hear and see as a person trying to create something, it all goes in and it all comes out, so I wouldn't say that anything influences us more than anything else, but I would say that we go through phases where we're feeling certain tones more. Its funny with Italo because a year ago no one even knew what it was or what the term meant, and now a lot of people are getting into it, and we're big fans of it. What I like about Italo is that it's so emotional, and dance music isn't always void of emotion, but a lot of it doesn't have the romance that the Italians do, and we really love the blood and guts of Italo stuff, but thats just one aspect. The band is constantly changing, and we make no allegiances to any other bands or genres. Live, we focus more on the beat because thats what works for us live, but we do a lot of abstract stuff too with no drums, and some that are just piano, and some that are just vocals. We listen to a lot of rap music, and Italo and disco, but Italo is kind of a limiting term, because what does that actually mean? Italian disco? Anything with a really strong pulse and strong vocal, whether its dancehall or Frank Sinatra, is what we're really drawn too. Anything from Missy Elliot to Alan Vega to Iggy Pop, they're all very strong vocalists who paint strong images and set a stage for the music to reside in. It's all very visual, and in my opinion that's what Ida does.

The music is trying to animate the lyrics, which are always written before the music for us. She writes the lyrics, and I get a feel for it visually and try to write music to wrap around the lyrics and underscore the weight of the lyrics. We love horror movie soundtracks, and Ida gets a lot of inspiration from metaphysical books and physics and she's very interested in how the universe works on both a scientific and spiritual level. A lot of the music I make is based on the cultural references to galactic sound since the lyrics deal with these galactic universal themes. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the sounds that represented space were burned into your memory and we use those as a juxtaposition. I'm sure that outer space doesn't really sound like a synthesizer, but because of movies and television, it's a powerful thing to spring off of to take people to that place. Synthesizers are so surreal that they have the ability to take the listener out of the every day organic reality and the tangible things in front of you.

Well it's interesting you say that because on the one hand you're pulled toward the romantic almost humanist aspects of Italo disco, but a lot of your music also has a very cold synth heavy detached feel to it too, you know?

Well the term "cold" I don't necessarily agree with, but I understand that that's how a lot of people perceive it, the synthesizer being icy and cold. But to us, it's more like crystals and trying to put light into sound. Not to be pretentious or anything (laughs), but to us it doesn't sound cold. It does have that juxtaposition and that yin and yang of warm and cold, and we're trying to bring a whole picture, a whole spectrum, and the cold aspect is part of that. Everything is the same, everything in the sun is in us, and all music, movies and books all say the same thing, and it's all part of one sentence, you know? There is definitely going to be a little bit of everything in music if you do it right, and we strive to touch on a lot of different bases.

I wanted to ask you about how you met Farah and if she told you about the first write up we did on her for the blog.

Well I actually don't really know Farah that well, but let me tell you how I met her. She wrote Glass Candy on myspace a while back when she was covering our songs live, and we don't really have a computer. We're not anti-computer, we just don't have one. Anyway, she emailed us saying that she was doing Glass Candy covers, but I wasn't able to really ever hear the songs because I didn't have sound on the computers I used to check email. Eventually, she mailed us a tape that her dad had filmed of her doing some of our songs at Rubber Gloves, and we were just struck at how intense it was, and obviously she's not a professional singer, but traveling around and playing with so many bands, it's rare that you see something that's so bizarre and out of left field and shocking, and we were struck by how strange she was and how it wasn't ironic. There was a lot of passion. And even though she was playing a Glass Candy song, she was making it her own and connecting lyrically. It's hard to describe, but it's just something that when you see it it affects you in a certain way. So then I told her that she should do a show with us the next time we came to Texas, and by the time she did the show with us, she had her own songs that I liked better because they were so raw and totally fucked up. I'll say that we're not really musicians, we're getting better but we're more visual artists (Ida is a poet) and we're coming from more of a design angle instead of a musical angle. Music is the medium, but we're basically just a concept band. So for us to see something like Farah, which is 100% conceptual, we were blown away by the fact that she doesn't look at music the way most musicians do. I was very moved by her lyrics too, and I offered, she didn't ask, I offered for her to come to Portland so that I could make some beats for her, and she said ok... I liked the way it turned out, and after we recorded it, I played it for those guys in New Jersey, and they were blown away, and they asked if she wanted to do a 12 inch for Italians Do it Better, and she said ok. It's being pressed right now, and I'm not sure if we'll have them done for the show.

I don't really know her that well or anything, but I don't care, I know the music and like the music, and that's enough for me. Her and I don't really talk that much unless she has questions about stuff or we want to talk about stuff she's working on, but she never told me about the thread. I found out about it about a month and a half after. A producer in France who is a friend of mine did a Google search for "Johnny Jewel" and "production" looking for some info, and he came across it and sent me the link. And then I read it and I was like, oh my god, this is hilarious.

I think she got pretty mad about all of it, and for some reason she got really mad at me about these comments, and asked me to erase them. My response was that I certainly didn't want people to say mean shit about her, but this blog is a public forum, and if I start erasing comments, then it'll ruin the whole thing.

Yeah, I don't believe in censorship in any capacity, but Farah is very emotional and she's also new at all this, and she's getting the hang of it and figuring it out as she goes. But I believe that if you put yourself out there and you're going to make a record or put music on Myspace, you kind of release it to the wind and people can say whatever the hell they want. It doesn't matter, you know? She makes music because she wants to make it, and no matter what anyone writes it doesn't change that fact. After I heard about it I talked to her and explained to her whats important and whats not in terms of what people say, but I think it's awesome because she's really intense, and theres going to be a love/hate relationship, some people will really love it and some will hate it, and that's not going to change. That's the way it is with anything else I work with, and I think that's a compliment because she is affecting people in extreme ways. People are either really inspired about it or pissed off by it, but in a world full of half assed watered down art and media where nothing is shocking, I thought it was really cool that people were so perplexed by it. They were like, is this a fucking joke or what is this?

The nature of the blogosphere is just like that with anonymity. A lot of people aren't saying who they are, and a lot of people are just having fun fucking around and don't mean it as viciously as it seems. I thought it was great and really interesting to see how long the thread was, like what, 200 comments long?

(laughs) Yeah, something like that.

And I think Farah needs to understand, she'll have to let stuff go or not be involved at all. It's really not that big of a deal, and when you're a local artist and people are starting to take interest in you outside of your local scene, some people around you will be excited about it, and others will look inward at their own frustrations and failures or whatever, and wonder why people don't care about what they're doing. If I hear music I don't like, I don't listen to it. I just turn the dial, and it doesn't make me mad. I think all music is important, and just because I'm not getting something out of it doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. And with Farah, she's really out there, and theres a niche for it. Some people are really going to like it, but most aren't. And that's fine. It's art, not business.


It List: Thursday 5/24/07 (Wildcat)

You've got till 4pm exactly to email for a chance to win a pair of Morrissey tickets. Shows:

Johan the Angel, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Verulf, Bryce Isbell, Ribelle Scaltro at the Eighth Continent. I've seen conflicting posts about who exactly is playing at this epic folk extravaganza. I think a Gashcat concert might even break out. Johan the Angel are a couple of lovebirds from Portland, and they sound great.

New Science Projects, Daniel Folmer, RTB2, The Shimmy Shakedown at Art Six Coffee House.

Boo and Boo Too, Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk, Sometimes it Rains at Rubber Gloves.
It's cool to be from Kansas these days. I think Baby Birds... are from KC, while Boo and Boo Too are from Lawrence. They just came out with an ep and will go down in history as having the second ever release on IronPaw out of Kansas City.

Lost Generation at Fallout with Wanz, Ineka, and Robert Taylor.
Wanz says: Lots of new stuff from Simian Mobile Disco, Digitalism, M.I.A., The Field, Justice, Kompakt records, Ellen Allien w/ Mochipet, Roman Flugel, Battles, Fox n Wolf, Ben Klock, Zander VT, Black Devil Disco Club(in Dub), Bjork, Kate Simko, Clark, Kate Wax, Andre Bucci, apendics Shuffle, Phones, adjunct records and much much more.........

Soulbol at Absinthe.
Former UNT football player Quentin Moore from Denton makes "elevator soul music." Maybe he'll play Smoove 4 U.

Deleted Scenes, Ghost of the Russian Empire at the Cavern.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It List: Wednesday 5/23/07

Well I was a couple years late jumping on the Lost bandwagon (I promise it had nothing to do with Evangeline Lilly), but here I am, pretty much addicted and looking forward to tonight's season 3 finale. If you haven't ever checked out Lost because you're one of those people that thinks you're too smart for t.v., then you should listen to me, because I'm one of those people too: You've probably had some dumb friend or family member tell you how good this show is, and since the person is likely one of those people who can't be trusted in matters of taste, you've decided that the show must be run of the mill populist brain dead red state network filler between commercials garbage, just like the other stuff on t.v. But I bet if you rent the first season on DVD and watch the first couple of episodes, you'll start to wonder whether t.v. is getting smarter or you're getting dumber. It won't change your life, but I doubt there are many people reading this blog that couldn't enjoy Lost on some level... anyway, the show is done at like 10, so you can do other stuff too:
Short Attention Span Theater (Hailey's): The folks from Denton's Strawberry Fields bring you-
The bar is raised again with TV Carnage 2G. This is the same tape that premiered to a packed audience at a landmark Toronto Porn theatre. It is currently enjoying a successful city to city tour in the romantic settings of other porn theatres.How good is this tape??If you were to think in the terms of fashion, this tape rivals the Acid Wash Jump Suit phenomenon in its ability to shock and amaze. If you think in the terms of pizza slices you will not believe some of the toppings on this “Cringe lovers delight” If you think in terms of “Should I get this or not?” think, “Should”Besides it’s intro, a homage to the top-notch advances in 80’s video toaster technology; this tape is, as Brian Austin Green would say “A one stop Carnival”Some of the toppings include:* A hetro country and western dance competition that looks more like a Gay Pride showcase event.* Steven Seagal on etiquette* Steven Seagal on AIDS* A local news report featuring an elderly citizen flipping out and physically taking on the cops.* A swearing sandwich featuring dialogue from a livid CEO.* A Philippine variety special with a group of people singing and acting out the song “It’s still rock and roll to me.”* A hard sell on beanie babies as a secure investment.* Chuck Norris and his ingenious, porn level, acting skills.
Femme Fatality/Lazer/She-Dick (Rubber Gloves): Promohomo is affiliated with this show in case you couldn't guess.

Win Free Morrissey Tickets

So until yesterday we'd never really thought about giving stuff away to any of you people. But when the folks at Palladium contacted us to see if we wanted to offer our readers a free pair of tickets to the Morrissey show at Palladium this Friday, May 25th, we thought you might appreciate it if we did.
Therefore, we'd like to announce our first ticket giveaway. The rules are simple:
1. send an email to before 4pm Thursday.
2. Include your name in the email
3. Wait for us to announce a winner, which will be chosen randomly and announced on Thursday afternoon
4. Notice that the email address above is NOT the regular We Shot J.R. email, and know that any ticket related emails to our regular email address will not count.
Got it? Good. And good luck.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It List: Tuesday 5/22/07

Sorry to be lame, but the thin writings you'll find below are the best results I could manage in the unexpectedly small 5 minute window I had to put all the text together for today's list. Writing it was like playing Win, Lose or Draw, except everyone loses.

Monsters of Pot/Eiliyas/Club of Rome/Zanzibar Snails/Church of the Apocalypse(House of Tinnitus): Another excellent show of harsh noise and madness at the House of Tinnitus. You won't find any indie hitmakers in this line up, although you might want to check out Monsters of Pot's Myspace to get a small taste of what you'll be getting yourself into at tonight's show. It'll be fun for anyone that can handle it.

Spoon (Granada): Jack Daniels sponsored show. Invite only. Can't get tickets even if you try. I don't care. I like Spoon as much as the next bro I suppose (although their new album hasn't sounded that great the first few times around), but I'm just not inspired to jump through hoops to get into this show, which is apparently what you have to do. So good luck with all that. I suppose we can tip our hats to Spoon for making Jack Daniels foot the bill instead of the fans, but the forced corporate fun that usually results from branding exercizes like this often isn't worth the gas it takes to get there. But maybe that's just me.

Fishboy/Drew Danburry/Iji (Rubber Gloves)

Also, we've been talking today with a representative of the new, which features a collection of live performance videos from bands like Electronik Warfare, Early Lines, and a lot more. They've apparently been having a little bit of trouble with server overload and formatting today, but they're fixing those problems as we speak. Anyway, we've got some projects in the works with them, so stay tuned for that.

This is dumb.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nature's In It

Last Friday's Party at Zubar marked DJ Nature's return to Dallas after more than six months in Puerto Rico and Indiana, amongst other places, touring and recording an album with Puerto Rican singer MIMA. After gaining some attention in Latin and South America with her self titled debut album last year, Mima, who has known Nature for a number of years, elected to come to Denton a couple different times in 2006 to write songs with Nature and a number of other notable locals, including Mike West (Violent Squid), Jeremy Schroder (NO2Self) and Shane English.

Utilizing some of the Denton birthed material, Nature and Mima traveled to a small children's music school near Nature's family home in Indiana to work out and record her second full length, which Nature recorded and produced over several months in the beginning of this year. Emerging from the frozen schoolhouse with roughly 18 tracks, the pair is now in the process of sifting through their material to determine which songs will appear on the record, and they have been nice enough to share two of the tracks with us for your downloading pleasure (below). Both are quite good, showcasing Mima's haunting yet highly seductive vocals and Nature's impressive ability to mold his musical influences into something that fits perfectly with the style of his subject, keeping his dub and latin dance influences while moving them into a more commercially viable but equally impressive and musically interesting place. To be honest, both of these songs are extremely catchy and well put together, but Nature's mix of "Ojo Avizor" is the one that got us going immediately. You can really hear the track going over well on just about any dance floor anywhere:

LINK "Ojo Avizor (DJ Nature remix)"

LINK "Damen"

Additionally, Nature and Mima have just completed a tour of Puerto Rico with Dallas songwriter Jonas Ra, who played keyboards and guitar with Nature (drums and bass) backing up Mima. Anyway, you can download one of his tracks below and get a better idea of the broad range of musical influences the trio drew from on tour.

LINK "Mississippi" by Jonas Ra

A Word About Electronik Warfare (by Defensive Listening)

The Electronik Warfare show at House of Tinnitus the week before last completely exceeded my expectations. When I first heard about the group, I pictured the sometimes awkward on-stage marriage of a laptop and a vocalist, which is something that always seems difficult to successfully pull off in a live setting due to the typically numerous technical difficulties that tend to plague overly ambitious electronic shows. Needless to say, my expectations weren't extraordinarily high based on past experiences with such groups, even though I was intrigued by the musicians involved in the project. But instead of having to sit through an onslaught of awkward technical delays and misguided technique, Elektronic Warfare's set ended up being one of the best electronic performances I've seen in sometime.

Andrew Michael of Oveo started things off hunched over a mini-Korg playing a Handel piece that was completely warped by the synthetic strains of the faux symphonic setting. Michael's demeanor on stage appeared immediately to be the opposite of his low-key presence in Oveo, complete with sunglasses-at-night and audience interaction. As the Handel piece segued into the white-noise tinges of "The Requiem," Michael wandered into the audience passing out flowers to various female audience members. That sort of behavior usually screams dickery but Michael was just charming enough to not come off as an annoyance. This went on for some time until the stirring dramatics were completely interrupted by something else entirely. As I stood tip-toed to try to catch everything that was happening up front, I was pushed really hard from behind, and as I turned around to shoot a scowl at the offending party, I caught the dust of Lars Larsen storming to front of the room. And I mean storming, too, because he looked like a storm trooper with a massive motorcycle helmet, black gloves and a bull horn. Andrew Michael went into the first vocal track shortly after Lars' arrival, and when the Korg drum machine beat finally kicked in, the place went fucking crazy. The keyboard parts had the menacing groove of some of Tuxedomoon's darker moments without sounding overly cold, and the crowd's enthusiastic response to such unusual sounds was quite easy to get swept up in.

One of the most impressive parts of the performance was the simple fact that most of the music was performed in real time. I don't care if someone is singing along to a CD-R, but I enjoyed the organic lock of the drum machine beat over the keyboard parts, and the performance as a whole seemed to benefit quite a bit from the live set up. There were some pre-recorded bass sequences in there to, and much of they pay off came from simply watching the crowd as they waited for the minimal beats to collide with the intro for each song. As the music continued to impress throughout the set, Lars spouted off the kind of Post-Futurist lyricism that both he and Michael are known for through comments on We Shot JR and Andrew's New Century Media blog. These seemingly positive words either come off as a warning or a Utopian promise, depending on your personal view, but none of it would have mattered much if it wasn't for the excellent basslines, beats, and synth attacks tying everything together. I was expecting Electronik Warfare to be an interesting and predominantly intellectual exercise, but it was refreshing to see that people can dance and have fun without compromising either of those qualities. I'm looking forward to seeing what these guys do next.

It List: Monday 5/21

EDIT: And somehow, we almost forgot The Willowz and Sarah Reddington tonight at Pastime Tavern, located at 1503 S. Ervay. The cover is $4.99 (independent contrator, tax purposes), and the bands are great. You might be quick to dismiss Willowz as one of those early 00's garage rock/60's pop throwbacks that everyone pretends they never liked, but there is a hell of a lot more going on in their music than all that stuff. The band has really evolved over the past few years, and you might want to hear the result.

Mom, Treewave at Urbano Paninoteca. This $40 per person wine tasting/3 course meal eating/music listening event is somehow affiliated with Good Records.

Paul Slavens at Dan's Silverleaf. I have no idea who this guy is, but evidently he's been involved with various local musical endeavors for quite some time. Sounds like this could be an eclectic jazz, spoken word affair that might be of interest to those of the UNT music literati ilk.

Bad Ass Jazz Night at Amsterdam.

Open Mic Mondays at Fallout.

Here's a recipe if you want to stay home and have your own wine tasting music event. You should invite all your crafty friends over and make stuff for this.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weekender: 5/18/07-5/20/07

We had a lot of links to put together in a short period of time today, so please excuse the lack of description on some of these postings.


The Party with DJs Nature, Sober, Select (Zubar): DJ Nature is back in town after more than five months away recording an album, playing shows in Puerto Rico, and doing all kinds of things that beat "hanging around in Dallas," which is what we've been doing. Later this evening we'll have more details on what Nature has been up to, and we'll also debut a couple of the new tracks he's been working on recently. Check back some time around 6pm for that stuff. And oh yeah, expect the party to be on full blast tonight like usual. We've talked about the great diversity found at the party plenty of times before, but the last time we traveled to Zubar for one of these gigs, it was the biggest and best crowd we've seen yet. Even if you just like to sit in the corner and people watch, you'll be glad you went.

The Clientele/Beach House/Doug Burr (Hailey's): The Clientele have honestly become one of my favorite bands to emerge from anywhere in the past few years. Their quiet brand of spacey psyche pop is English as fuck, but that doesn't stop their songs from really striking a chord with anyone who cares to listen. Their latest album, God Save the Clientele, isn't quite as immediately striking as most of their previous work (the early singles collection Suburban Light is still my favorite by far), and it contains a bit less of that stoned reverb feel that many Clientele fans love so much. However, the album is still very very good, and the heavier use of strings and generally bigger sound of the record as a whole actually goes a long way to showing that the band isn't hiding behind some cheap tricks. The fact that they're playing with Beach House makes this even better, as I've had the privilege of seeing a couple great sets from them in the past few months. Not sure how crowded it's going to be at Hailey's with all the Rubber Gloves stuff going on, but you should still consider checking this show out.

10th Anniversary Party (Rubber Gloves): Doors are at five, show starts at 5:30, and each band goes on one after the other every 45 minutes to an hour. So, in case you're dumb: band #1 at 530, band #2 between 615-630 and so on and so on. Got it? The line up in order of appearance: Civilian Outbreak/Medicine Window/Handbrake/Violent-Oveo-Squid/Burnt Sienna Trio/History at Our Disposal/Blacksmiths/Chief Death Rage/Stumptone/The Baptist Generals

The Brewers/The XO/How Hard (SHQ Denton)

RTB2/Daniel Folmer/Parata/Sparlin Jessels/Sailboat/Velouria (715 Panhandle):

Silk Stocking/Delphi/Esther Newell/Ribelle Scaltro/Chris Hamlett (8th Continent)

So in other words, Denton will be insane all over the place tonight.


10th Anniversary Party (Rubber Gloves): The Line up: RTB2/The Swedish Teens/Bridges and Blinking Lights/Lo Fi Chorus/Shiny Around the Edges/Current Leaves/Jetscreamer/Undoing of David Wright/Lords/special guest... Riverboat Gamblers . We're not 100% sure about the Riverboat Gamblers thing because the person we talked to isn't formally connected to the club, but we're, uh, pretty sure.

Daniel Folmer/Current Leaves/Bridges and Blinking Lights (Fra House)

Minx Burlesque/Denton County Revelators/Sidecar Girls (SHQ Denton)

Lolliprom 2007 (Sons of Hermann Hall)

Lions/Red Fang/Amplified Heat (Doublewide)

Ghostland Observatory/Dr Jack (House of Blues): I don't know what Dr. Jack is and I really don't give a shit. Ghostland Observatory are probably fairly close to being one of those watered down Rapture bands that Defensive Listening talked about in his post yesterday, but they aren't quite as bad as that other band, and some of their songs are actually solid takes on the dance rock craze that was supposed to have died down three or four years ago but never did. The Rapture was quite good at the Granada last night by the way, even if it happened to still be light outside during most of their set. "House of Jealous Lovers" was much better live than I thought it would be. I tend to agree with the person in the comments who said that The Rapture owes a lot of their critical acclaim to DFA, but they can hold their own live, apparently.


Early Lines/Blank Blank/Tyrannosaurus X (Aboca's 100 S Central Expressway #63 Richardson, Southwest corner of Central and beltline): The much loved and respected Early Lines will be reuniting for a quick tour starting this evening at this small pizza/Italian place in Richardson. Strange place to have a show, but then again, those are often the best kind. Its $5, and the first couple dozen people to show up and pay admission will get a free copy of what I believe is the second Early Lines full length. Show starts at 6pm and ends at 9.

YACHT/Tha Bracelets/Hardin Sweaty and the Ready to Go (Rubber Gloves): Yacht is Jona Bechtolt, a guy who has been getting a lot of positive press lately, both at the Yacht and a member of the Pitchfork approved Blow. If you were asked to imagine what a "K Records indie dance group from 2006-07" sounded like, you would probably hum most of the Blow's record. That isn't to say it's predictable or bad, it just sounds exactly how you might think it would, surprises and all. Anyway, it kind of sucks that this show is on a Sunday night after what will probably be a pretty crazy weekend for Denton folks, but YACHT shows are rumored to be highly energetic and a lot of fun. Although "cute pop dance music" might not be an appealing label to you, just go listen to the songs. Yes, you will like it despite your best instinct.

Bad Ghost/Bob White and the F Electrics/Black Wizardz (SHQ Denton)

10 Spankings For RGRS

Rubber Gloves kicks off a two night celebration this evening to commemorate their 10th anniversary. They’ve had a great run, filling the considerable void left after The Argo closed and writing their own history with the kind of quirks and humbling predicaments that endear a venue to people like us. The free festivities continue tomorrow night and are making the Weekender a real bitch.

To mark the occasion, we invited some locals to share some of their experiences at Rubber Gloves. Several responded with some great stories.

Peter Schmidt:

i'm sure i'm a little older than you guys and the drive to Denton has gotten a little less appealing with each passing year so i'm afraid i haven't been out to Rubber Gloves in quite a while.

but i have seen some great shows there. Enon, Melt-Banana , Ted Leo (minus one Pharmacist that night for some reason)... even Trail of Dead managed to impress the first time i saw them there. and i don't really care for Low but hearing them duet with the passing train was something special. tons more but the recall isn't what it used to be.

as far as shows that i've played there, two stand out:

1) Rock Lottery, i'm guessing about 8 or 9 years ago. i can't remember the names of everyone in my band (Joe Butcher for sure though) or even the name that we chose for the band but i do remember that by about 2 o'clock that afternoon i was seriously regretting my decision to participate. the rehearsal was sucking and i was preparing myself for major embarrassment. but as practice time was winding down we mysteriously started to gel. the songs were pure noise but a pretty rockin' noise. at show time everyone actually remember their parts, we played better than we had all day and we seemed to go over with the crowd. my favorite part though was after about 15 minutes of atonal discord we somehow managed to pull off a semi-credible version of Miles Davis' `Round Midnight. in my memory at least, the crowd got very quiet and we achieved a couple of minutes that approached genuine beauty. one of my favorite music memories bar none.

2) Four or five years ago The New Year (with whom i play guitar but don't sing) started a week long tour at Rubber Gloves. the band all live in different parts of the country and we were glad to have a show in familiar territory before we headed out to the west coast. we had two days of practice before the tour and on the second Matt, the main singer, lost his voice. we debated canceling the Rubber Gloves show and just starting the tour in New Mexico but eventually we decided to heavy-up the set with songs that Bubba sang and have a couple of us who didn't normally sing (in the New Year anyway) tackle a few of Matt's songs. the show must go on and all that ya know. now i've been in the New Year since the beginning of the band and i've known the Kadane brothers since the very early 90's but i am still a HUGE fan of the Kadane brothers songs. so it was pretty surreal for me to sing my favorite New Year song "Newness Ends" on the Rubber Gloves stage while Matt just sat back and played guitar. i was still trying to memorize the lyrics and trying to think of excuses to not sing until the minute we went on. it's a testament to the Kadanes strong writing that even my poor voice couldn't do too much damage to the song.

Shiny Around the Edges:

What sums up RGRS best for us is when Heather took a chance on us promoting one of our first shows a few years back. We invited our friends The Hex to come down from Oklahoma City for a show as they had just set up this really successful one for us up there. Unfortunately, despite a ton of promoting, the resulting turnout for our show was roughly eight people, maybe a few more... maybe a few less. The Hex were great, but it was a real downer that not many people were there to see it. Jen and I felt horrible at the close of the evening because Heather (and Brett, Josh, and all the others involved in RGRS) took a chance on us, and, well... eight people does not pay the rent, much less the lights, A/C, etc. Despite the poor turnout, Heather came to us and expressed her thanks for putting the evening together, and then said how bummed she was that more people didn’t show up for a show she liked. We were amazed. Since then, we have worked with Heather, Brett, and Josh to put together evenings at RGRS that have hopefully helped to continue the venue’s legacy as an indie-rock corner bar that takes risks and helps to develop local artists. For this, we are ever thankful to the kind folks at RGRS - past, present, and future.

Of course, there is also the time we were playing with a band called Les Masseurs Du Rock. For some reason, a wheelbarrow appeared, and as this was back when they had the Big Ass Beer plastic cups all the time, we all were well on our respective ways to being fairly loaded halfway through the evening. Hijinks ensued and everyone had wheelbarrow rides through the bar while slurring French obscenities in faux accents until they politely kicked us all out at some point past 2 AM.

Aaron from Tame Tame and Quiet :

My top five favorite memories of Rubber Gloves:

5) My first two visits there consisted of some combination of these bands, playing on the outdoor stage. My introduction to Denton's live music scene. I think it was:

The Gunga Din Royal Trux Jetscreamer Mandarin Low (a train went by at some point and drowned them out beautifully, and they kept playing)
Hot Water Music (some guy hung from the rafters taking photos throughout the show)

4) The Boy Division reunion show with Hogpig. Security escorts with Mag-Lights led the Boys through a crazy throng of fans to woo everyone in the sexy way that only they can.

3) Security Breach!!!
a) Finding out what sort of hand markings RGRS was giving for a sold out Modest Mouse show. Going to the grocery store for orange highlighters to put an "X" on my hand and sneak in. Very sweaty, very packed, very awesome.
b) Driving my ass out to Denton to see a sold out Unwound show. No chance of sneaking in, so we partially scaled the back fence, held ourselves up, and watched and listened through the opened back door. Incredible!

2) The Microphones/Calvin Johnson/Get The Hell Out Of The Way Of The Volcano (now the much more succinct, The Blow):

This show had theatrics (I got to be a blood covered plane crash victim), costumes, song trading (including the greatest cover of Beat Happening's "Grave Digger Blues" by The Blow), and when Phil Elvrum took over for a while and led everyone present into the parking lot out back for a campfire sing-along, everything was going well. Then a seemingly endless train rolled by, but the only visible cargo was a continuous series of tanks, one after another. The songs stopped. Everyone just turned and stared. When it had passed, though everyone felt a little taken aback by the absurd surrealism of what we just saw, it was back to what we were originally there for. To hear songs. But that image really stood out to me. Songs being sung out into the night for no one in particular, with a succession of tanks floating by.

1) Lightning Bolt/Yeti...I don't know how long ago:

I had heard about the greatness of Lightning Bolt from a friend, so with Fort Worth greats Yeti opening, it was an easy sell. As Yeti performed, their overpowering drone apparently made me oblivious to the fact that Lightning Bolt was setting up on the floor beside me. As Yeti's set faded out, a rumbling erupted from the floor beside me, and I turned to see a circle forming around where LB had clandestinely set up. All I saw once they launched into their first song was a wall of Dentonites, densely packed and bouncing like I've never seen Denton kids bounce. My wife and I repositioned ourselves to stand, first up on the stage, then we moved up to stand on the merch booth to get a better view. It was this night in particular that I saw evidence of life and excitement present in live music again.

Here's Chris from The Baptist Generals:

Hmm --recollections and ruminations -- a list:

1. Since the demise of the Argo there wasn't really a place for indie or punk music for quite a while. There were house shows, but there wasn't a place for bigger touring bands to play. There were some businesses in Denton that helped pick up the slack giving local bands places to play but they weren't spaces best set up for music. Other than that you had to tread your way into Rick's (now the Inferno)--which was fratboy hell most nights except on the occasions when they would book something alright. I remember this period being really dark for music in Denton. How could Denton begin to claim a scene when it couldn't even support a respectable alternative venue?

2. A very early memory of what would later become the show room: Jason Wortham and his wife Memory were renting this old concrete factory to live in. I'd been hired by Slobberbone's label to produce a promotional video for them. I'd just gotten to know Jason and Memory and they let us use that room to shoot some fancy footage of the band practicing. That room was fucked up. Conduit ran everywhere up and down and across the cinder block walls. There were power boxes, odd gauge boxes and meter boxes everywhere, yet there was no power to tap. Still, I was still worried I was going to get fried. We all figured it had been a machine room. The whole point of me explaining all this is if Jason had told me he was going to turn that place into a room for shows I think I would have laughed at him in his face. The room needed lots of work.

3. The first show I went to in there was a Good/Bad Event. Baboon played on the floor. I remember it was this room without a stage and there was a glass-front coca-cola fridge and you had to bring your own beer and you could keep it cold in there. The room kind of felt like a church basement.

4. My favorite shows in no order:
Will Oldham on the Patio. I finally got to see that freak.

The night the Riverboat Gamblers played and Woebe did a ceiling walk and effectively disconnected a gas line on the wall. Everyone got out of the room, real, real quick.

The first time Jonathan Richman played--I think it was a Valentine's day show. The room was packed out but people got very, very quiet.

The night Lil' Grizzly played their last show. The place was packed and everyone was in a sad but familial mood.

From the hassles with getting the drink licenses, to the dynamic, explosive fallout of the different personalities that have gone through that place, man I'm glad Rubber Gloves has weathered all that. When that little club started it was still questionable whether one live independent music venue could survive in Denton. Ten years later it appears on better nights Denton could support 3 or 4 venues of the type. This is no knock against Denton's other established venues, but Gloves has an identity that would be difficult for any other venue in town to come close to touching. The place embodies the rich culture of original music here. It has remained scrappy, and hungry, and low-rent. Affordable and approachable. Best of all--in all the club's ups and downs Gloves has stayed young and supportive of the new bands that emerge in town each year. Maintaining that kind of relevance has got to be the best kind of suspended animation for a local music venue, and Rubber Gloves has oozed with that kind of relevance for so, so many years, simply because it has had to live so lean for so many years. Here's to 10 more reasonably lean and healthy years.

As for me (Wildcat), I used to love the open-mic big-ass-beer nights. I spent a lot of time in Denton during college summers and big-ass-beer night is the reason I now like to drink beer out of plastic cups even when I’m at home. The hands-down most peculiar memory I have is, ironically, characteristically typical of the kind RGRS has churned out over the past 10 years: watching Will Oldham pause mid-show to call someone—a friend or relative?—with a speaker phone on the old outdoor stage. The person he called just got out of jail, so the audience was treated to this phone call in which Oldham congratulated some guy on his first night out of jail.