Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekender

Shit yeah... this year Halloween comes on the weekend, me and Ghetto Boys are trick-or-treatin':

HALLOWEEN

Great Tyrant/Darktown Strutters/Akkolyte (Chat Room): Frightening. Akkolyte will kick the shit out of you via the toughest grindcore set in town, Darktown Strutters will seduce you before they slit your throat with mutant disco goth, and Great Tyrant will just make you feel all funny with Tommy Atkins' bass vibrating through your body. I guess going to this will sort of be like getting sexually assaulted.

Dj Kool Herc (Minc): For those who don't know, and I imagine many people don't, DJ Kool Herc more or less LITERALLY invented hip hop in the Bronx in the early 70's at house parties he hosted at the famous 1520 Sedgwick apartments, spinning old funk records and focusing on the breaks back when my parents still did drugs. This is a nice grab for Vigilante Music Group, and although I'm not exactly sure what dude spins these days, does it really even matter? This is probably a very rare opportunity to go somewhere where you can ponder a worldwide cultural phenomenon before you point over to the corner and say "oh, that guy. He started all of that shit."

Hands Up! Halloween with Klever/Sober/Select (The Loft)

Rock N Roll Masquerade feat. Nouns Group as Joy Division/Make Believers as Flamin' Groovies/Sean Kirkpatrick as Polvo/Drink to Victory as Nirvana (Dan's Silverleaf): Covering Nirvana is almost as tough as trying to dance exactly like Ian Curtis. It helps if you have some kind of nerve disease or something.

Zombie Prom with Yeahdef/Parata/Nanotech/Photobooth/like 15 kegs and stuff (Interskate, Lewisville): Skating and drinking and costumes and hipsters, oh my.

Play N Skillz Halloween Bash (House of Blues): Don't you wish you were me? I've been invited to waltz right into this motherfucker tonight any time I want while the rest of you don't even stand a chance at being allowed to stand in line for this thing. Viva la blog revolution! Everyone already knows the story about these hometown hip hop heroes and their rise to fame via Lil Wayne, so I won't bother explaining it other than to say that currently, these guys are the poster boys for the emergence of Dallas Hip Hop. And lets give credit where credit is due-- Sam Machkovich (spelling?) was writing about a lot of the now successful Dallas Hip Hop acts like three years ago, back when people were laughing at him for it, which is pretty impressive considering what the Observer is like these days. Let me know when Pete Freedman figures out who the Velvet Underground are, ok? And PS-- I'm so fucking cool that I'm not even going to this.

Hailey's Halloween with DJ Nature/Wild in the Streets/Black Tie Dynasty (Hailey's)

SATURDAY

Crystal Antlers/Lake/Desolation Wilderness/The League of Fucking Decency/Dogme 95 (Swiss House, 3114 Swiss Ave.): Very respectable line up over at Swiss House this weekend, and Kudos to Swiss House Evan and John Iskander for putting it together on short notice. It's not exactly mind blowing these days when you hear about a band of punk influenced hipsters who have only half ironically embraced prog and classic rock, but everything I've heard about Crystal Antlers' live show indicates that these guys do it better than just about anyone. If they are half as good live as Akron Family, this will be worth it. Get there a bit early to check out K Records' wonderful Lake, who are one of the few bands on K these days that actually remind me of why I used to like that label so much in the first place. Twee with a dark side. Thanks. Oh, and Desolation Wilderness sound like they will be a perfect band for the Swiss House faithful. Very solid stuff.

Pocket Change/Rival Gang/PVC Street Gang (Rubber Gloves): Here is your chance to catch the excellent PVC Street Gang--- I really didn't give a fuck about this band until I heard some of their newer stuff a couple weeks ago, and I was really impressed.

SUNDAY

Vic Chesnutt/Elf Power (Rubber Gloves): I just downloaded Elf Power's latest, and seriously, I remember them being better than this.

Time Bandits Show

No, this isn't the BIG announcement we promised you... that one has taken a little more time than we thought it would, but we'll have it for you soon.  Anyway, we did want to tell you to go ahead and mark next Friday, November 7th on your calendars, because we'll be having a free party at the wonderful Time Bandits show space just off the Denton square.  Details to come soon... 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Art List

THURSDAY

Indexing the Moment Closing Reception (CADD Art Lab) 5-8pm
If you hurry you can make it!

FRIDAY
Halloween Art Exhibition (F6 Gallery)8-midnight
One night only. Costumes. Art. Drinks. Sounds like a good way to start your Halloween.

SATURDAY
Manwich (Mighty Fine Arts)6-9pm

Alex Rubio, Alex de Leon, and Sally Warren (The MAC) 5:30-7:30pm

Madeline Denaro: New Forms Suspended (HCG Gallery)5-8pm

Open Terrain (500X Gallery)6-10pm

It List: Thursday



Human Eye/Silver Shampoo/Orange Coax/Girlfren/Daniel Bass (715 Panhandle): Um, yes. Very solid show all the way through. I sat down and listened to Orange Coax for the first time several days ago (the group features members of Koji Kondo, PS), and it was honestly one of the most exciting, uh, local music moments that I've had in a while. Apparently, the band Aids Wolf agrees with me-- they left a comment on the groups's Myspace page praising their songs, and Orange Coax, or the "OC" as I like to call them (don't call it that), will be opening for the group when they venture back to Dallas next month. And while you're at it, check out Austin's Girlfren... you'll thank me. Human Eye, meanwhile, sounds like some strange mixtures between The Stranglers, Dead Boys and Iggy Pop's early solo stuff, and Silver Shampoo sort of have a Siltbreeze kinda thing happening, but are in no way derivative of that label. Great stuff.

Murder by Death/Will Whitmore/J. Roddy Walston and the Business (Rubber Gloves): If you ever wondered what it would sound like if the dude from the Cult fronted a Counting Crows cover band featuring members of Alice In Chains....

Danzig/Dimmu Borgir/Moonspell/Winds of Plague/Skeletonwitch (Palladium Ballroom): Samhain reunion please?

80's Night with DJG (Hailey's): Tonight will be a Halloween party, of course.

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea/Eaton Lake Tonics/New Science Projects(Lola's): We have a copy of MATAS's latest record, and we'll probably share our thoughts on it some time soon... there's a lot of "next big thing" talk concerning these guys amongst members of the local trad media right now, and I hope for the sake of the band that it doesn't kill their career before it even really starts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It List: Wednesday

SR and I are having a little spat right now, so this is late and brief, I know.  You know how it goes-Who knows more about music, who's more punk, what's lamer: trip-house or ska, Angelo's versus Asti, Austin versus Dallas, Reebok versus Nike, Fort Worth Hospital District versus Lakewood, Gold Rush Cafe versus All Good, Misfits versus Minor Threat, blogs versus blogs etc.  Help me.

DL  

ADD: Tame Tame And Quiet/The Gunshy (The Chat Room)
 
Convextion/Maetrik/Alta (The Cavern): Some of Dallas' most internationally known DJ's will be playing tonight's Detour at The Cavern. Baby Ruthless plays upstairs.

Kings Of Leon/The Stills/We Are Scientists (The Palladium): When did it become cool to sound like a watered-down Peter Gabriel record?  

Blixaboy/Juan Solo (The Lounge): Wanz sent us a brief list of what he'll be playing tonight: Lots of original trax and live improv along with classic Dub trax (i.e. Lee Perry, King Tubby, Adrian Sherwood.......) ,the best in new Dubstep (i.e. 2562, Andy Stott, Benga, Shackleton, Darkstar, Burial........) and some classic dubby post-punk (Killing Joke, The Clash, The Ruts, Generation X, Mark Stewart and The Pop Group.......).

He will also be incorporating live drums and synths into the set. Here's a link to his newest mixtape.

Florene/Bastard Mike/Municipal Audio (Rubber Gloves)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It List: Tuesday


TV On The Radio/Dirtbombs (Lakewood Theater): You know who TV On The Radio is, I don't really think I have to explain it. What I should do is explain why it's at the somewhat unlikely location of the Lakewood Theater, and yet I don't have an explanation for that at all. I know there have been other shows there, but I have heard very little about what it's actually like to see a performance there. I saw Obama's acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination there, and that was pretty exciting, but as far as rock shows go, I just don't know. Seems like it would be expensive no matter what. That guy from TV On The Radio did a bang-up job making that Scarlett Johansson record sound like a cross between a Christmas album and his own band, except better. Dirtbombs have an extensive track record for live shows, as well as the diversity of their releases, and are by far one of the best bands out of Detroit's rather unwelcome garage rock revival earlier in the decade. The lead singer makes Jack White seem like a total joke.



Lover/Wax Museums/Secret Bangs (Bunker Hill)

"Zaireeka"/"Christmas On Mars" at Good Records: I have heard mixed things about this vanity project/movie, but I'm still interested in seeing it. Seems like a nice, cheap way to spend Tuesday night. Here's the schedule, straight from G-Rex:

7-​7:​30pm Keg Recep​tion
7:​30-​8:​30pm Zaire​eka w/ Virtu​al Wayne​ & 5th Disc
8:​30-​9pm 2nd Annua​l Costu​me Conte​st
9-​10:​30pm Chris​tmas On Mars
10:​30-​11pm Exit Music​

Last year we celeb​rated​ the 10th anniv​ersar​y of Zaire​eka by unvei​ling the elusi​ve 5th disc.​ This year we are takin​g it a step furth​er in sever​al ways.​ We are still​ encou​ragin​g peopl​e to bring​ in their​ stere​os and copie​s of Zaire​eka but we will have PA on hand for each of the 5 discs​ to make sure they are good and extra​ loud.​ Also we will be scree​ning "​Chris​tmas On Mars"​ at the concl​usion​ of our Zaire​eka exper​iment​.​ Costu​mes are again​ encou​raged​ as we will be holdi​ng our 2nd annua​l costu​me conte​st.​ Pleas​e bring​ a bean bag or foldi​ng chair​ of some sort so you can get comfy​ and truly​ enjoy​ your liste​ning and viewi​ng exper​ience​.​ A keg of adult​ libat​ions will also be on hand to get you in that Hallo​ween spiri​t so to speak​.​


Dreaming Dead/Hyperion/Psychiatric Regurgitation (Rubber Gloves): The lead singer of Dreaming Dead has a truly evil sounding voice. Pretty killer.  



Disqo Disco (Fallout Lounge)


Oh My God/We Are Villains (Hailey's)

Greatness: Alex Hamrick

Alex Hamrick is a recent graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts and is currently at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In addition to attending schools with really long names, he's a collage artist who sat down for some hard-hitting questions from WeShotJr for this week's edition of Greatness.

Richardson Heights: Red Sox or Rangers?

Alex Hamrick: Baseball's never really been my sport, but I do have a small bit of sway on the matter. I generally have at least one of my windows up when I'm at home, and my room faces an inner "courtyard" (for lack of a better word) that is exceedingly good at amplifying noise. I live two or three blocks from Fenway Park, and when there's a game on there are generally helicopters flying about, probably getting aerial shots or something. I don't know really why they fly around, but they do, and the courtyard outside my window amplifies that awful noise that helicopters apparently make, and it drives me up the wall. So I'd have to say Rangers, if only for that slight detail. Which isn't so slight. It's incredibly aggravating.

RH: Kurt Schwitters or Raoul Hausmann?

AH: I've been told by more teachers than I can remember to look up Kurt Schwitters in relationship to my collage work. Until a few minutes ago when I googled him, I'd never really seen much of him. I'd never even heard of Hausmann. After a quick breeze through a few pages of image search results, I have to say that Schwitters knocks the hell out of Hausmann, who had maybe one piece that I liked. On a somewhat related note, when it comes to knowing about art history and artists, it isn't too hard to make me look like a fool. This is my sixth year in art school and anyone that's taken a single art history course and paid attention knows more than me about what's happened and is happening now.

RH: Would you kindly describe the three most significant events in your life in the last 24 hours?

AH:
  1. Finishing drawings to photograph for the public relations department at school. We have a sale every year to raise funds for scholarships, and I was contacted about my work possibly being used for publications and advertising for the sale. Problem was, I didn't really have much new work to submit. I was told that it would be fine if the images I submitted were not images that would be in the sale, but that didn't seem right to me. Why would I want old work published if it wasn't going to be in the sale? If someone saw an image of mine and thought "hey, yeah, that's pretty nice, I'd like to buy that", they wouldn't be able to. Because it wouldn't be there. That's just silly. That being said, I had to produce some new work in about a two week time span. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but I had a mini meltdown and became frustrated, bored and generally uninterested in pretty much every way I could think of pertaining to drawing. This caused some problems, but I managed to dig into something new this past week and pump a few things out just in time to meet the deadline. I didn't get very good photographs of the drawings though, so they probably won't even use them. Oh well.

  2. Two of my friends called me up Thursdsay and asked if I wanted to play drums with them in a band the following day (yesterday). I've been playing drums for about five years now, but don't have the luxury of having a kit in Boston. Adapting has not been easy. When at home in Dallas, I play my drums every day, and I mean every day. Letting go of that was really hard for me to do, and it frustrates me daily (I've taken to tapping relentlessly and beatboxing). Going over to Scott's and beating the crap out of his kind neighbors set was absolutely amazing, and the whole band aspect was really positive too. Droning, spazzed out distorted loops, guitars, vocals and drums. Yes and yes.

  3. Making sure I called one of my best friends on her birthday. Missing a birthday is a pretty horrible feeling, especially when it's a close friend. I have an awful memory for birthdays so that was an accomplishment for me.

RH: You have won an all-expenses-paid 5-day trip to fabulous Aruba! You must select an artist, a writer, and a musician from anywhere in history to go with you. Who would you choose?

AH: Well, shit! That sounds nice. Where is Aruba anyways? I have this thing where I feel that meeting well known people in the creative spotlight would be really terrifying and uncomfortable. I'm not sure I'd want to spend 5 days in Aruba with some total stranger (much less three!) that intimidates the hell out of me. Besides, if they're already well known, they could probably pay for their own damn trip to Aruba. With that I'll present two scenarios, one where I take three well known people that would make me horribly uncomfortable, and one where I take three people that still qualify in those categories that I already know and respect.

Scenario 1
Artist: Nina Katchadourian
Writer: E.E. Cummings or Ayn Rand, but probably Cummings
Musician: Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo

Scenario 2
Artist: Will Schneider-White or Mike Lay
Writer: Blair Patterson
Musician: Adrian Haynes

RH: Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts is arguably one of DISD's finest assets. You are a recent graduate. What was your experience like there?

AH: My experience at Booker T. was about as brilliant as I believe a high school experience can be. The entire student body is full of creative people, with smaller concentrations of really dedicated talents that actually decide to go on to school for the arts. Being around those kids was absolutely the best part of the whole deal, because they were a constant motivator (whether by positive or negative example) to push myself further and explore different ways to produce work. Not being in dance, music or theater, I can't really say anything about the people who taught in those departments, but the staff of the Visual Arts department were all good for me in their own way as well, especially the first two or three years. They really kicked my ass and squeezed all the work out of me that they could. I think going to Booker T. made it a lot easier to adapt to college, both in the nature of the curriculum and also the openness of the staff. We had a really strong academic department, too. There were/are some great teachers at that school, and they all helped give me the confidence I needed to believe in myself and my own practices.

RH: Can you describe your art studio environment? During what time of year do you work best?

AH: My school is very small. The amount of undergraduate students is about the same as the total number of students at B.T.W. Having such a small school is great because it creates a close-knit community that is very comfortable and supportive. It allows you to form tight bonds with students and staff alike. SMFA is a very creative, open environment. We don't have a foundation year and we don't have majors, so you essentially build your own curriculum in the sense that you just take whatever classes interest you. The building is open from six or seven in the morning to midnight every day of the week, and if you want to do an overnight all you need is a signed form from any teacher. Every square inch of the place encourages kids to make things.

I'm not sure what time of year is best for me art wise, but I can say that in the past two years, summer has been the worst time. When I get into a serious art groove, I work and work and work and by the end of the school year I'm totally burned out. It takes me a few months to cool off and reset. On a day to day basis though, night time is definitely where it's at. Last night / this morning I was up until five working on my website.

RH: As an artist, what was the first inspiring event or other influence that made you realize (more or less): "I should try that... I could be an artist."

AH: I never went to public school as a kid. I started off in Montessori school, then went to George Bannerman Dealey, then to K.B. Polk for the TAG program, and then to W.B. Travis, which was a fully formed TAG school (TAG standing for Talented and Gifted, whatever that means). When it came time to figure out where to go to high school, there were a few options for me. One option was to go to S.E.M., one was to attend the TAG Magnet, one was my local high school Bryan Adams, and the last was Booker T. I thought to myself, "hmm, I've been in heavy academics for four years. That wasn't much fun. Bryan Adams is a horrible horrible place. I like art I guess." My parents enrolled me in a class at Lakewood Arts (which is now Studio Arts) that was created specifically to build a portfolio for application to Booker T., and to generally prepare students for the audition process. Everyone that took the class got in, myself included. Somewhere over the summer after my first year at B.T.W. I realized that I loved whatever the hell it was that I was doing, and that was kind of it for me. I've been a lost cause ever since. I guess that's not really a specific event so to speak, but I'm not sure there really was one. I think it was just the process of learning something about myself that I didn't know.

For some of Mr. Hamrick's work, check out his stuff at Deviant Art and at his web site (a work in progress). He's also working on some artwork for a future Tame... Tame and Quiet album (see the cover here). Image courtesy of Alex Hamrick.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It List: Monday


Remember that announcement we promised for today? Well it is still coming, but you might just have to wait until later tonight, so check back wit us. Shows:

Magnolia Electric Co/David Vandervelde/Tre Orsi (Rubber Gloves): Jason Molina's Magnolia Electric Co. has certainly built quite a loyal audience over the years, and you can be sure that these guys will be a hit with the Denton folksy rootsy dudesy dudes, even on a Monday night. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course, and for what Molina is trying to do, he is really quite good-- very straight forward, "No Depression" style alterna-roots rock, anchored by very solid, scruffy vocals and competent playing. It's nothing that Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt or Will Johnson hadn't already done a decade ago or more, but such things don't seem to matter too much with music like this, especially considering that Will Johnson and Uncle Tupelo certainly weren't doing anything that countless other artists hadn't been doing for generations before them. Vandervelde seems to be a hipster version of all the aforementioned stuff mixed with some glam rock influences and harder edged "southern rock" sounds, as well as some hip 70's AM radio singer/songwriter stuff. I think I'm just shallow enough to like his material better than that of the headliners, and way more than I thought I did when I woke up this morning.

Halloween Covers Show (1919 Hemphill): A variety of bands take the stage at Hemphill tonight for what I believe is an annual event over there this time of year-- the Halloween Covers show. You'll have Dead Ramones as Circle Jerks, Just Like Kevin as the Cure, Blank Blank as Early Lines and folks from Caddis and Neighborhood Villain as Bad Religion. Should be good.

Cool Out (The Cavern): There is a Melissa having a birthday party at this thing. Line starts around the corner, dudes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Morning Rock





SHOWS OF NOTE

MON: Magnolia Electric Co./David Vandervelde/Tre Orsi (Rubber Gloves)
TUE: TV On the Radio/Dirtbombs (Lakewood Theater)
WED: Kings of Leon/The Stills/We Are Scientists (Palladium)
FRI: Dj Kool Herc (Minc)
FRI: Darktown Strutters/Great Tyrant/Silk Stocking (Chat Room)
FRI: Hands Up Halloween with Klever/Sober/Select (The Loft)
FRI: Rock N Roll Masquerade feat. Nouns Group/Make Believers/Drink to Victory and more (Dan's Silverleaf)
SAT: Crystal Antlers/Lake/Desolation Wilderness/The League of Fucking Decency/Dogme 95 (Swiss House, 3114 Swiss Ave.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekender

We have something big for you coming up on Monday, as well as a few record reviews that we've been trying to get around to for some time now. So... sit tight, ok? And by the way, we realize that we've been late with our lists lately, but that will change starting on Monday, mkay? Thanks for being so understanding that we can't get fired from our jobs just so we can work on this blog for no compensation at all. You guys are the best! Here are some shows for the weekend:

FRIDAY

REM/Old 97's (Nokia): Yeah, so if I had to put together a list of my all time favorite bands, REM would most certainly make the cut. The remarkable thing is that they also would have made the cut at pretty much any other point in my life where I might have been asked to make such a list. The band's output since 1996's New Adventures in Hi Fi has been spotty at best, but goddamn, why don't you take a look at the tracklist in Eponymous, a collection of their early singles. Is there even ONe song on there that isn't absolutely perfect? I don't think so. I wonder if anyone would like to share their favorite REM album in the comments section? For me, its probably Murmur or Reckoning, but I'll take pretty much anything they did during the 80's. Too bad they had to fuck this up by charging 70 bucks a ticket and getting the Old 97's to open for them, but hey, I'm sure their hedge funds will thank them.

Chinese Stars/El Paso Hot Button/Darktown Strutters/Cosmic Cocks (the Lounge): Hey, Chinese Stars! Ok. I remember them from back during the height of what they used to call the dance punk revolution... maybe I should go to their Myspace real quick and see what they sound like these days. Hold on just a sec. Ok, got it. Let's see here... oh yeah. Gang of Four, glam rock, good beats, does it sound a little dated now? Yeah, kind of. Do I still like it? Yeah, kind of. Would it be fun live? Probably. Do Cosmic Cocks sound cool? Pretty much. Would it be worth going just to see Darktown Strutters? Yep. Can I get drunk there too? Oh word? Cool man. See you there.

MSTRKRFT/LA Riots/Felix Cartal (House of Blues): MSTRKRFT, or "the Crystals Castles of 2005," as one of my friends calls them, sounded pretty ahead of their time when they came out-- distorted synth beats, an apparent obsession with Chicago House, etc. But now it's kinda like, "got anything else?" I don't think I'll stomach the House of Blues in order to find out, but I'm sure there will be an army of good looking hipsters there to make me seem grumpy. Well good for them.

No Thanks Fest (Emory, TX): Large, mostly locally based one day, two night grindcore/metal/hardcore festival in Emory. The line up is huge and I don't have time to post it for you, but you can get all the info from the website linked above. I hope someone who takes pictures for us is willing to go to this, because I imagine that some hilarious shit will be happening. Continues all day Saturday as well.

The Party (Zubar)

Yeah Def/Damaged Good$/Juicy the Emmisary (Hailey's): Anyone who caught Damaged Goods' 3am set at our party last weekend knows why this might be the best thing going in Denton tonight. Juicy the Emmisary is decent white boy Def Jux kinda stuff, and even though I usually hate that kind of shit, gotta give a local guy props for sounding this tight on the mic. Really, its pretty competent stuff.

The Ben and Fred Savages/Yatagarasu/Baby Talk/Cowards/A Smile Full of Ale/Mistress/Pet Virus (1919 Hemphill)

Rabid Rabbit/The Falkon/Jack with One Eye/Akkolyte (Doublewide): This will be a reunion show for Wanz Dover's The Falkon, who were apparently playing around town five years ago or so, only to complete an album that was never released. You know you're a local musician if.... anyway, solid line up all around.

SATURDAY

No Thanks Fest (Emory,TX)





Meltdown feat. Moby (Lizard Lounge): If it wasn't for Moby, I might have started liking dance music like ten years earlier.

SUNDAY

Screaming Females/Cheap Art/Waco Fuck/Rocket for Ethiopia (Muscle Beach, 907 Denton St.)

Former Dentonite Becomes Central Figure in Prostitution Debate

Former Dentonite and UNT student Patricia West, who played a role in putting on shows at 715 Panhandle and releasing music with the No Parents No Rules Label, has become an outspoken activist in favor of Proposition K, an initiative that will appear on ballots in San Francisco this Novemeber that would decriminalize prostitution within city limits. West apparently moved to San Francisco some time last year and began working as a fetish prostitute by placing online ads, and has recently started speaking out in the press and granting interviews to the Associated Press in which she advocates in favor of Prop K, a measure that, according to her, would "allow workers to organize for our rights and for our safety." Here is the initial associated press article on the subject, and here are a couple more. Its an interesting issue on many levels, and if you want to comment on it or debate it, please feel free, but we will erase any and all malicious personal attacks or gossip comments on this post. Try to be intelligent for a change, mkay pals?

Clint Butler, the sole owner and operator of NPNR, sent us an email disputing the claim that Patricia West played any role in either 715 Panhandle or the No Parents No Rules label. We wrote what we did concerning her involvement with the house and label based on conversations we had with her during her time in Denton, as well as conversations with others who claimed that she was involved in working on both at different times. We are attempting to reach her in order to allow her to comment. Thanks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Art List

FRIDAY

Johnnie Winona Ross: Deep Creek Seeps (Barry Whistler) 6-8 pm
Ross will be in attendance, and copies of his new book will be available.

Lily Hanson (And/Or)6-9pm
Hanson's amazing abstract soft sculptures inside the gallery, and a screening of "Tales from the Crypt" outside.

Dan Perfect (Road Agent)6-9pm

Joseph Havel and Annette Lawrence (Dunn and Brown)6-8pm

Electioneering (Fort Worth Contemporary Arts) 6-9pm
Hmm- this looks interesting, a show that looks at "flattery and seduction through to coercion and threats."

SMU Juried Show (Gray Matters)7-10pm
Paul Slocum curated this show of work from SMU students. One night only.

SATURDAY

Sarah Lucas (Goss-Michael Foundation)

Photo courtesy of And/Or

IT List: Thursday

Cold War Kids/A.A. Bondy (Lola's): This show is sold out, so I just have to ask-- really? THIS is what you fucking people listen to? To put it simply, Cold War Kids are a really good reason to hate music, or new music, or new indie music, or however specific you want to get with it. They're a good reason to hate SOMETHING. Perhaps this is all a bit dramatic, or maybe I'm just having a bad day at work, but jesus, what a calculated shit storm of obvious rip offs of rip offs of good bands. It's like-- hey everyone, if you dig: Spoon, Maroon 5, Jeff Buckley, Modest Mouse, Interpol, The Killers, Radiohead, and every other commercially successful "indie" act from the past 15 years, then you'll love these guys, right? Wrong. That isn't how it works. There is a thing called trying too hard, and it leads to nothing but striking out with the opposite sex and making bad music. Cold War Kids emerged at a time when any dumbass with a blog could say just about anything and get away with it, pushing their favorite new bands into the indie spotlight with the click of a mouse before anyone had an opportunity to question their "taste." Aren't you glad those days are finally over? Fuck music blogs. Also, you know your band sucks when you make AA Bondy sound like a fucking miracle.

And since making fun of Ben Folds is boring (he's playing at Palladium tonight for like $3,000 a ticket), and making fun of Jason Mraz (playing at Nokia tonight) is easier than making fun of Black Tie Dynasty, I'm just going to tell you that 80's Night is happening at Hailey's and peace out.
ADD: Of course, there IS one show happening tonight that you might be interested in--
Watain/Withered/Book of Black Earth/Resigned to Fate/Dagon (Reno's Chop Shop): Highly respected Swedish black metal band Watain headlines another solid metal show at Reno's tonight. It feels kinda weird saying it, but these days, the Dallas metal/grindcore/hardcore scene might be the healthiest thing going in Big D music.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Greatness: Sarah Jane Semrad

One of North Texas' preeminent social entrepreneurs, Sarah Jane Semrad, seems to have her hands in just about everything cool going on around here. She sat down for a hard-hitting interview with WeShotJr for this week's edition of Greatness.

Richardson Heights: What do you do all day long?

Sarah Jane Semrad: I don't have one steady job. Some days I literally fantasize about having insurance and benefits and steady income. Basically I freelance it all day every day. I hope that someday very soon La Reunion will be my full time job and I can start picking and choosing the indie work. The best part about my life is that I can travel when I want and basically do anything I want without the constraints of 'the man'. Luckily, I'm disciplined enough to do this. In fact, I have an uncanny ability to complete projects.

RH: I'd never heard the term "social entrepreneur" before hearing it in reference to you. What does it mean?

SJS: Seeing solutions to social problems. Doing something about it. Measuring success by the social impact. Applying business planning to create a self-sustaining non-profit. Something along those lines. I firmly believe that when you nurture creativity in people and organizations you have the possibility to create social change. Your brain starts to fire differently and new solutions appear. Allowing that theory to cook in a residency with artists, musicians and creatives locally and from around the globe serves as amplification to the world. With our environment and financial system going to shit, I don't see a better way than to start thinking creatively. La Reunion is this magical vision that has reveled itself - trust me, I'm not smart enough to have thought this up by myself... it's as much an arts org as it is an environmental org. It's as much a collaborative think tank as it is time and space for creativity for the individual artist. It's shocking and humbling who is coming forward to help and manifest this vision. I'm a serial entrepreneur with a laundry list of businesses and organizations under my belt. (some have even been glorious failures!) La Reunion has revealed the social entrepreneur in me.

RH: You recently returned from Kazakhstan. Just how offensive is the country's depiction in the Borat movie?

SJS: The poverty was accurate in the movie. Poor like we can't fathom here. It's shocking that we piss on our drinking water and they don't have any. They have a simpler life - growing their own food out back, using an outhouse, walking everywhere.... Kazaks are outrageously friendly and generous when you get to know them. On the surface though, they are very shut down and I suspect it is left over Soviet mentality. Kazakhstan is a hard place to visit if you're from the West. Visas are hard to get and like most places these days, Americans aren't well-liked. Despite all that, I had a marvelous time and I'm already scheming on how to get back over there. The area I visited is up near Mongolia - China - Russia, where all the nuclear testing was done for 40 some odd years. Crazy remote - in fact it's one of the most land locked places in the world. Everyone there just wants to "see the ocean" someday. Interesting fact about the town I stayed in - Semipalatinsk - it's where the Russians used to send its unruly artists and musicians to be in exile. It's most famous resident was Dostoevsky.

RH: How often does your chemistry degree come in handy these days?

SJS: More than you think. The tedious nature of so much of my record keeping with running a non-profit is a snap due to my math-physics-chemistry training. I did use the degree once upon a time. My first job out of college was at the Frito Lay factory up in Plano. I worked in the Cheese Puff lab (which was across the hall from the Rold Gold Pretzel lab). We were working on top-secret puffs made with Olestra (remember the oily anal discharge?) for the Spanish market. After three weeks of poking, measuring and testing cheese puffs I walked out and never looked back. Falling into what I'm ultimately doing now happened purely by accident.

RH: Can you tell us about the location of this year's Art Conspiracy?

SJS: Now in our 4th year, this is the second year of Art Con that I've taken a giant step back. Kudos to the ladies pulling this shit off. Location this year? A 40,000 sq foot warehouse just west of downtown. 150 artists. Some bands and dj's. Dec 6. www.artconspiracy.org for all the deets. My favorite part about Art Con is the street level philanthropy. Regular income people conspiring to be a part of something greater than him/herself. I adore the collaborative relationships that naturally occur! I can think of several instances of people who are now dear, close friends as a result of this org. Others who are now working and selling their artwork after having given up on it....

RH: Holy crap! The winning design for La Reunion looks so amazing. Is this really going to happen?

SJS: Hells yes. I have faith in very little, but the series of serendipitous events and coincidences have given me faith in this project. La Reunion is trying to birth itself. I'm just the midwife. Disclaimer about the winning design - it won an ideas competition. Who knows what we'll actually build out on the 35 acres of donated land. But we have 68 entires from 19 countries of cutting edge green ideas of what we could build!

RH: Like for real?

SJS: Sure. Got 3 mil? Know anyone who does?


The fourth annual Art Conspiracy is coming up on December 6. Check out the web site if you want to get involved as a volunteer. Photo (train trestle at La Reunion) courtesy of Sarah Jane Semrad.

It List: Wednesday

Dear Best Friends,
I have to go because my real job asked me to do something where I might get paid if I finish.  Love,
Your Secret Admirer 


Butthole Surfers/Golden Boys/Nervous Curtains (Granada): Yet another band from the "Our Band Could Be Your Life" crowd that reformed with its original lineup. The Surfers are probably more known for their antics than their spotty output, particularly their work in the 90's. Records like "Locust Abortion Technician" definitely have brilliant moments, and I'm sure this show will be a spectacle no matter what. Aside from his work in this group, drummer King Coffey will always be highly regarded for giving Texas its last label that, along with its roster, had an international reputation you didn't have to be embarrassed by. Pain Teens, Cherubs, and Bedhead records on Trance are now collecting eyebrow-raising prices at record conventions. I never thought I'd see the day...

Janet Jackson (American Airlines Center)

Yeah Def (Rubber Gloves)

Anal Cunt/My Son, My Executioner/Strong Intention/Demiricous/Gates Of Slumber (Reno's): This is your other chance to see a veteran band destroy something tonight.

Prince William/Bangs/Scuba Team Go/John E-Specs/Konvixx/Tomskie (Hailey's)

Soul Generation (The Lounge):  This free night features Wild In The Streets, Gabriel, and of course, Wanz.

Taxi Fare (Zubar)

The We Shot J.R. Party

Despite the fact that we planned and organized a great deal for our most recent party, it would be a little difficult for us to write a formal "review" of the event because, we, um, missed a lot of it. Well actually, I take that back.  We didn't really miss much of anything on Friday night, but things sort of took on a life of their own at a certain point, without our control, and we pretty much just went with the flow and had a blast.  

Here's what I mean-- the original location of the party was 907 Denton St., better known as Muscle Beach.  Things were fairly calm over there for a while, but after about an hour or so, the crowd really started showing up in big numbers, the dance floor filled up, the first keg floated, and things started taking off.  Of course, this meant that the Denton Police were sure to arrive promptly, and arrive they did.

After the police made their presence known and announced that things would be shut down permanently, the crowd dispersed, and we started trying to figure out what the hell to do.  After hearing rumors about the party being moved to several different addresses simultaneously, we received word that we might be able to hit up our new friends over at Time Bandits, who were just wrapping up hosting a fantastic show of their own in what is probably the most unique and appealing performance space in Denton or Dallas at the moment (seriously, go to the next show at Time Bandits in order to verify that I'm not exaggerating-- you'll thank me).  Upon our arrival there, the gracious hosts promptly agreed to host our acts and our beer and the large number of people that we were hoping would follow us there.  Unfortunately, Time Bandits were finishing up their party with a fantastic acid house set from Shane English that was seriously blasting loud enough to sound like Fabric from a block away.  And surprise surprise, the police arrived at Time Bandits and the party was shut down for good.

Finally, we received a call from a certain someone informing us that the kegs had been moved to the Fra House, along with all of our performers, many of whom hadn't had a chance to play all night due to a lot of early commotion and a few acts of interference from Denton's finest. We arrived over there shortly after, drank some beer, watched a nice crowd assemble, and then witnessed Damaged Goods take the stage (or I guess the kitchen) for a set that began around 245 AM and was well worth the wait.

Anyway, Mattie has posted some fantastic pictures of the event in our photos section if you'd like to take a look, and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank-- Austin Brown, the residents of Muscle Beach, Time Bandits, the residents of Fra House, Damaged Goods, Schwa, Alan Palomo, the people from 715 Pandhandle who helped us with sound stuff, and the many other people who helped us with so much that night.  We truly had a blast, and we hope you did too.  Thanks Denton.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

it List: Tuesday


Girl Talk/Grand Buffet/Hearts Of Darknesses (Palladium):
After recently acquiring the new Chunklet, I expected that there would be a mix of rage and disbelief to the humor contained within, since so much has changed in music in the past three years, roughly the last time an issue of the magazine came out. The issue opens with commentary about the serious decline in show attendance, people actually buying records, people advertising in zines etc. Elsewhere in the issue is a brief and easy-to-miss shot taken at Girl Talk by the always quotable Brian Teasley, who rhetorically asks Gregg Gillis if he's ever heard of "Plunderphonics," which you may or may not have heard of.  I'm sure DJ's, music dorks, and art students probably have.  I thought it was a pretty funny and somewhat obscure reference, though I wouldn't take too seriously the discrediting of a mash-up DJ, especially one who seems as surprised at his own success as anyone. I do however, recommend digging deeper into the world of artists such as John Oswald and Christian Marclay, two composers who seem like unlikely innovators of sampling and turntable technique, but most certainly are. Oswald has a somewhat prophetic manifesto called "Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative," which he wrote almost 24 years ago and is still relevant.

Anyways, I wish that I had been at that Girl Talk show where the stage broke. I heard that was pretty cool. Grand Buffet mixes white and nerdy indie rap with Tom Waits. Get there late.

Disqo Disco (Fallout Lounge): This is an after party for the Girl Talk show. It's also DJ RedSean's 21st birthday, so make sure and give him a ride home.

Weezer/Angels & Airwaves/Tokyo Police Club (Nokia Theatre): I will admit that I saw Weezer on the "Pinkerton" tour back in tenth grade. I will also say that it was a really fucked up show, with tons of pushing, people slamming against the stage barrier, Weezer doing some Altamont-style pleading with the crowd etc. They stopped the show twice, if I remember correctly. I hated it.  There was a time in Dallas where a local band covered Weezer songs and called themselves "Weener." They were really popular. And people wonder why I grew to be so grouchy about local music. 

Bangs/The Fieros/Big Bang (Hailey's): Hopefully JC The Soundguy will give us a mini-review.

ADD:Winters In Osaka/Mykel Boyd/Xrin Arms/Zanzibar Snails/Lychgate (House Of Tinnitus):

Butthole Surfers Ticket Giveaway

Hey guys, since we're running this contest at the last minute, we're gonna do it this way-- our friends at the Granada gave us three pairs of tickets to give away to the Butthole Surfers show Wednesday night, and we'll give them to the first three people who email us at weshotjrtix@yahoo.com with "Butthole Surfers" as the subject line. Maybe we'll start doing all of our giveaways like this so that it forces you people to check this website all the time... you know, sort of like how the Observer does it? What a bunch of amazing businessmen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It List: Monday

The Death Set/PVC Street Gang/Sydney Confirm/Tommy Boy (The Lounge): First of all, this show is completely FREE for everyone 21 and up, so even if you aren't too sure about the bands, you could at least give it a shot. Of course, I can think of a couple people on the WSJR staff who probably wouldn't go to this even if someone paid them, and I'm not really exaggerating. The Death Set has been something of a source of controversy around here for several months-- I like them, DL hates them, and no one else really seems to care either way. It seems that the main accusation that gets lobbed at the group is that they are some sort of Japanther rip off, and while the stylistic similarities are certainly apparent on some levels, it seems a bit trite to accuse one band of stealing pop punk aesthetic from another band. Ok, maybe they steal a bit more than that from Japanther sometimes, but really, The Death Set is a much more straight forward pop proposition than Japanther, and if they didn't hold their own on stage, record, or otherwise, then the critics might have a point. But anyone who has seen the Death Set live knows that this just isn't the case. Japanther is a post modern mash up that utilizes, or borrows, from all sorts of source material past and present, so if the Death Set borrows from them, aren't they essentially just doing the exact same thing? I don't know. They were voted best live band in Baltimore or something, so theres always that. Anyway, come early for PVC Street Gang, and even earlier to hear Tommy Boy.

Cool Out (The Cavern)

Monday Morning Rock

We had a pretty wild ride on Friday night, folks, and we'll be sharing some details with you very soon.




SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

MON: The Death Set/PVC Street Gang/Sydney Confirm/Tommy Boy (The Lounge)
TUE: Girl Talk/Grand Buffet (Palladium)
WED: Butthole Surfers/Golden Boys (Granada)
FRI: Chinese Stars/El Paso Hot Button/Darktown Strutters/Cosmic Cocks (The Lounge)
FRI: REM/Old 97's (Nokia)
FRI: The Party (Zubar)
FRI: MSTRKRFT (House of Blues)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekender

Wow Denton. You have a nice little Friday night happening this week, and since we're involved in making it so awesome for you, I'm going to jump right to shows.... I can't do EVERYTHING for you people:

FRIDAY

WSJR Party with Vega/Damaged Goods/Schwa/Young Doc Gooden (Secret location, Denton): So you've obviously heard enough about this show around here at this point, and if you didn't RSVP, you're going to have to ask a friend for the address, because we aren't giving it out here. Sowwy. :-( Oh, and just to let you know, we WILL have free beer and other little treats for those 21 and up, but we suggest bringing your own stuff too, because we expect it to go fairly quickly. Stuff starts at 10, and if you feel like dancing tonight, you'd be dumb not to come.  After all, we'll be featuring this year's WSJR winners in the categories of Best MCs/hip hop AND Best DJ.  Come see why they won.  

Dirty Diamond/Ribelle Scaltro/Mistress (Time Bandits): Fantastic line up for Time Bandits' first show.  DL was the first one to tell me to check out Ribelle Scaltro, and I'm really glad he did, because she's honestly making some of the most interesting music in Denton right now-- disturbingly minimal beats backing otherwordly vocals that effectively hide any and all lyrical content while barely masking some pretty pop vocal melodies that are almost soulful at times, although you wouldn't really know it if you weren't looking for it.  MP3 blogophiles will see similarities between Scaltro and groups such Nite Jewel, Gang Gang Dance, Memory Cassette, and even some of the more experimental output from Italians Do it Better, while record dorks will admire the choice early minimal electronica influences that abound throughout.  Highly recommended.  

CBGBs Tribute Night with Zanzibar Snails, Street Hassle, Deep Snapper and more (Hailey's): A tribute to a legendary New York venue that has somehow turned into a gift shop in Las Vegas or something.  Anyway, check Hailey's website for the complete list of participating groups (sorry, time is of the essence here), but you'd be advised to catch Street Hassle as Johnny Thunders and members of Zanzibar Snails as Suicide.  I'm not sure what those guys have up their sleeves, but I'd be very curious to find out-- how the fuck do you pull off live Suicide covers effectively?  Something tells me they figured out a way.  And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Vega playing our house party tonight?  LOL OMG JUST KIDDING

Ian Bangs/Yeah Def (Rubber Gloves)

The Frenz/Hacienda/It's Unamerican to be Sad/We The Sea Lions (The Lounge): No cover for this one.  Only got to take a quick listen to San Antonio's Hacienda, but I would recommend them for fans of groups like Fleet Foxes, Saturday Looks Good to Me, My Morning, Big Star, El Guincho, and the less embarrassing parts of Elephant 6.  

The Ting Tings (House of Blues): Kind of cute disco indie pop for teenagers that recently hit numero uno on the UK pop charts.  Bring on the car commercials!  

SATURDAY

Wolves in the Throne Room/Nachtmystium/Lychgate (Rubber Gloves): Shit yes.  Wolves in the Throne Room is one of those bands that I was inexplicably interested in before I heard a single note of their music, and then once I did, I liked them even more.  Many have probably heard rumors about the band's strange existence, what with the communal compound outside of Olympia, WA, as well as the sheer, spellbinding power of the group's sound, which falls somewhere between Black Metal and shoegaze, but leans mostly to the latter.  Check back with us this weekend, as we might have a little goodie for you involving this show.  

Strange Boys/Bad Sports/Fungi Girls/Uptown Bums (Muscle Beach, 907 Denton St., Denton): Great show at a cozy little Denton venue featuring some real Texas garage punk standouts.  Just checked out Cleburne's Fungi Girls for the first time and kinda dug em.... especially the song "Crystal Roads" on their Myspace page.  

SUNDAY

For Your Pleasure with DJG and Gabriel (Hailey's)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time Bandits Party

While I'm sure most of our readers already know about our party this evening (you can RSVP here until 1PM today, Friday) we also wanted to let you know that our friends over at Time Bandits Vintage in Denton will be having a party of their own this evening featuring performances by:


with visuals from Martin Iles and DJ sets from Time Bandits and Shane English. Things kick off at 8PM, and I believe they'll have some drinks and other treats for you too. So why don't you be totally awesome and hit this party AND ours tonight, huh?


It List: Thursday

Designer Drugs/The Party (the Loft): Iheartcomix approved Philadelphia based DJ duo Designer Drugs will take over the Loft this evening, just at the time when both their popularity and hip factor are rising about as fast as they are ever likely to again. Not a dis, just the way dance music always has been and always will be. Anyway, they have a solid batch of remixes circulating around the blogosphere these days, and much of their material seems to take root in the early 90's rave/post acid house/hard house sound that has suddenly become all the rage this year, much like the club kid clothes that everyone expected to go away but never actually did. Should be a pretty good time if you enjoy a mostly poppy DJ set with touches of the aforementioned old school, and really, almost everyone does.

Devin the Dude/Coughee Brothaz/Bavu Blakes (Granada Theater): Houston legend that really needs no introduction, right? Any dude you've ever known who has been pulled over and busted for weed will probably be at this show, and why shouldn't they be?

Neil Diamond (American Airlines Center)

Riverboat Gamblers/Astronautalis/On After Dark (Rubber Gloves): I'll give anyone five dollars if they can explain to me why anyone ever did or ever should give a shit about the Riverboat Gamblers. They're like that Fucked Up band minus the things that don't make them completely terrible. But anyway, like many shows I hate, I'm sure this one will be packed.

Bridge and Tunnel/O Pioneers/County Lines/Kids of Cons (1919 Hemphill): Starts around 6pm, so if you wanna get there, you better go there.

80's Night with DJG (Hailey's)

Art List

THURSDAY
Brian Gibb: All that Glitters Isn't Gold (Magnolia Gallery) 8-10pm
A reception tonight from 8 to 10pm for Gibb's new show.

FRIDAY
Milk at Dawn (Chat Room)
This show is a collaboration between Metrognome Collective and the Chat Room to showcase the photography of Brittany Elidemir.

of multiple existence (Fort Worth Contemporary Arts)6-8pm

ADD: Modern 'til Midnight (Fort Worth Modern) How could I forget! The last night to check out Kara Walker.

SATURDAY

Andrew Bennett: Chasing the Drago and Marc Lüders(Marty Walker) 6-8pm

Fahamu Pecou: Stunt'd Like My Daddy (Conduit Gallery) 5-8 pm

William Steiger: Destination (Holly Johnson Gallery) 5-8 pm

Ted Larsen: Cold Comfort or Hamster Wheel (Pan American) 5-8 pm

John Albok (PDNB) 5-8 pm

House of Dang Anniversary Party (4221 Bryan St) 7-10pm
I'm listing this mostly because this is a good opportunity to catch the last week of Ludwig Schwarz at And/Or next door.

Photo courtesty of Conduit Gallery.

Christmas on Mars Ticket Giveaway

So I have to admit that I was pretty excited earlier this week when I heard from our new friends at the Inwood Theater concerning this weekend's Dallas premier of the Flaming Lips' long awaited Christmas on Mars. The film's U.S. Premier occurred earlier this summer, and it has now been distributed in a few select cities across the United States to be shown in a variety of interesting locations, including some sort of Ukranian Socialist Club in NYC.

Anyway, the Inwood will be doing the Dallas screening on both Friday and Saturday night this weekend at midnight, and they've been kind enough to provide us with three pairs of passes to give away to our readers. If you want to win them, please email us at weshotjrtix@yahoo.com any time between now and 5PM today (Thursday) with "Christmas On Mars" as the subject and your full name in the body. We'll choose three random winners. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It List: Wednesday


Opeth/High On Fire/Baroness (House Of Blues): I was reminded of Opeth when writing up the Kayo Dot show yesterday. They're a pretty polarizing group, you can either deal with the softer, baroque/goth-folk passages, or not, and I prefer their harshest moments, which like most bands, usually appear earlier in their career. Anyone who saw High On Fire at Rubber Gloves will probably be disappointed to have to see them at House Of Blues, but that's the way it goes. Metal seems to be recession-proof.

Boston Spaceships Featuring Robert Pollard/High Strung (The Loft):  Bob Pollard and Dressy Bessy in the same night, huh? It's looking totally 1996 up in here. Bob Pollard is one of the most frustrating songwriters in rock history, which he most deservingly found a place in, after clamoring and fighting for over a decade. Bob's work with Doug Gillard was really the end of GBV for me, they became much less unique after his arrival, add to that the departure of Tobin Sprout, who was kind of Pollard's McCartney if not his Grant Hart, and it was strictly his solo work for me at that point onward.  Minus the one with Gillard, of course.  Pollard managed to redeem himself through said solo work here and there, along with some unreleased brilliance with the "Suitcase" box-set release. Even with some subpar material, Pollard is always a joy live, and definitely worth seeing. If you can get your hands on the ultra-rare "Relaxation Of The Asshole," a live album that features nothing but drunken bragging, anecdotes and all other manner of Pollard's slurred show-banter collected in one place, I highly recommend it. It takes a special kind of guy to get up on stage and brag about how you made better records than your peers, (including Nirvana, as he once did in Dallas), and that recording perfectly captures that essence. I'm pretty tempted to see this show, despite the natural concern that it might not match some of the guy's better moments. Still, it's hard not to root for Bob Pollard. The High Strung scored some cred by touring our nation's libraries and landing themselves on This American Life. Not a bad idea, but not really the band I'd like to see in a library. I actually caught them at RGRS years ago, and didn't really enjoy it there either.  SHOW IS CANCELED TONIGHT... DONT GO THERE

UPDATE: There's a SEQUEL to that live album. Can't wait.

Dressy Bessy/Farah/Bad Flirt (Hailey's): I just listened to Dressy Bessy for the first time in years. Man, Elephant Six did not age well, that's about all I can say. At least Farah is playing.

Yeah Def (Rubber Gloves): This set is free for 21 and up, and I wanted to mention Yeah Def's pretty interesting new website featuring a roster of contributors from around the globe, and covering various topics, from dance music, to a fairly nerdy obsession with Diablo 3.

Mount Righteous/Paper Bird/Laura Goldhamer (Swiss House)

Taxi Fare (Zubar)


Last minute show, heavy on the screamo.

Secret House Party RSVP

Hey-- anyone who emailed us about the party will still receive an email from us, but for those who have yet to do, just go here and quickly type in your email address in order to get all the info for Friday night. Thanks!

Greatness: Brooke Berman

Image Courtesy of Hannah BermanBrooke Berman of the eponymous art gallery has been promoting emerging local visual artists for about a year and a half now. She sat down with WeShotJr in a hard-hitting interview for this week's installation of Greatness.

Richardson Heights: What's it like being an independent art dealer while the American economy goes up in flames?

Brooke Berman: Sales can only go up, right? I can only hope to break even. I’m content when the artists make money; it’s positive affirmation for them.

RH: If you could have run a gallery anywhere in time or locale, where and when would it be? And why!

BB: This is tough, I was initially thinking the 60’s or 70’s in NYC. I am glad I am doing what I’m doing in the here and now, even with this economy.

RH: What is a normal day of the business week like for you?

BB: I work at the gallery 3 days a week. I am always playing catch up. Accounting and emails, phone calls, etc. If it’s the two weeks prior to an opening, I’m striking the show and planning/prepping for the next. I also have a colony of cockroaches that make appearances from time to time, so you can also find me begging someone else to "handle" them for me.

RH: In your opinion, who are some of the most promising lesser-known artists in North Texas?

BB: Josh Fletcher, Josh Reames, Miryam Prodanovic, Lisa Nersesova, Dylan Reece, Brian McCalsky, Nancy Wallace Brown, Keith Larson, Travis Williams, and Alex Hamrick.

RH: What is the most recent person, thing, or event that made you laugh?

BB: This show on HBO called The Life and Times of Tim.

RH: What is your work environment like (desk, office, lighting, operating system preference)?

BB: I use Mac at home and at the office. My desk is from Ikea, I have two stacked crystal lamps and a very old Suzani hanging on the wall in front of me. It is peaceful and quiet and me.

RH: Can you describe your favorite art piece in your personal collection?

BB: My daughter Hannah, who is 3, makes drawings. She’s really into faces. She draws the circle (oval) then eyes, nose, mouth and squiggly lines she calls “nice curly hair”. Each drawing has such a personality, the little faces have names and they come alive.

Image courtesy of Hannah Berman. The Gallery will be hosting an opening of wood, steel, and found object sculpture works by Dallas artist Jeff Green this Saturday from 6 - 9 PM.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It List: Tuesday

Sorry there's no neat picture today, Blogger wouldn't cooperate...

Kayo Dot/Trifle Tower/Great Tyrant/Vorvadoss (Rubber Gloves): Kayo Dot are one of those bands that sound pretty suspect on paper; avant-metal mixed with Classical composition technique, decidedly non-rock instruments thrown in, someone in charge of gamelan etc. In fact it perfectly fits the description of what an old studio hand called "Duck Call bands," or any band on Tzadik that had John Zorn tacked onto their album credits, simply for adding duck call to one of their kitchen sink jazz-metal-classical recordings. To think there was a time, mostly in my teen years, where I bought ANYTHING on Tzadik or Avant.

You learn to break that habit the hard way.

Well, the good news is that Kayo Dot are not at all one of those cute, overly clever groups that really wants you to be impressed by the fact they can go from bossa nova to thrash in a nanosecond. We have more than enough of that music school dropout shit in the Lone Star State, though I won't name any names. Kayo Dot's music is actually interesting, the transitions in style and form, ominously ooze and stretch out of each piece over the course of eight or more minutes.

Add to that a diverse trio of groups featuring varying levels of darkness and complexity, and you have a fail-proof show.

Disqo Disco (Fallout)

Secret House Party

As we started to plan events to coincide with this year's WSJR Awards, we couldn't help but think back to last year when our party at Fra House got busted by Denton's finest before things could really even get started. However, since we love the idea of a good house party, we figured we could try it again this year as long as we were a little smarter about it. So here is what we came up with:

-- THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17th starting @ 10PM we'll be co-hosting another free house party in Denton along with our friends at Stay Cool Swag School that will feature performances by:

Vega (Dj set from Alan Palomo featuring new Vega material)
Schwa
Damaged Goods (link fixed, its the Dallas hip hop act, NOT some bad punk band)
Young Doc Gooden


As well as lots of free booze for everyone 21 and up.

-- Where in Denton will this party take place, exactly? If you want to know, simply email weshotjrparty@yahoo.com any time between now and Friday at noon. If you email us (you need not include your name or any other personal info) before the deadline, you'll recieve an email Friday afternoon in which we'll tell you the address and provide any other relevant info you might need to know.

-- Everyone is invited and there will be no guest list or anything ridiculous like that. We just wanted to make sure that we kept the address a secret for as long as we could.

Anyway, we're looking forward to seeing everyone out this Friday, and based on what we're expecting, we recommend showing up early, especially if you want some free drinks. And by the way, this is just the first phase of our plans for this year's awards celebrations, so stay tuned.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It List: Monday

Magnetic Fields (Majestic Theater): First things first-- if you're heading to the Majestic Theater tonight, you should know that the WSJR fact check department has confirmed that there is no opening band, and that the show is supposed to start at 8pm on the dot. So be aware. Stephin Merritt and Magnetic Fields are touring in support of Distortion, their latest record, and in some ways, their new material sounds sort of like a return to what I believe is their greatest record: Holiday. The total number of people who have ever agreed with me on this is zero, but hey, most geniuses go unrecognized during their time anyway, right? I could chalk it up to nothing more than being a big fan of lo-fi bedroom synth pop a la OMD, but really-- the next time you sit down and listen to Holiday, think about the fact that it came out in 1994, and then think about how many bands the record surely had an influence on after its release. You'll realize, I think, that it is a lot more important than most people claim. The official backstory behind the latest MF release is that Merritt was influenced by shoegaze and Jesus and Mary Chain specifically (check their My Bloody Valentine inspired promo photos for further evidence), and while that is certainly true in most surface level respects, the songwriting and the shimmering fuzz found on most of the album's tracks really reminds me of some of the electro noise found on that aforementioned favorite record of mine. Of course, all of this is analysis has very little to do with what you'll hear tonight-- based on an assortment of online reviews I've read concerning the latest tour, we'll get a stripped down Magnetic Fields this evening. This is probably how most people prefer it, and although I'm looking forward to it, a part of me is just a tad disappointed.

A Place to Bury Strangers/Sian Alice Group/Red Monroe (The Loft): Shit. Thanks for scheduling this show for tonight. The one night that something even arguably better is going on. Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers have been building a reputation for themselves as one of the loudest bands in existence these days, and their live shows have become fairly legendary in blogland over the past year or so. And speaking of Jesus and Mary Chain-- these guys are up to their ears in Psychocandy, but thankfully, that isn't all their up to. You'll hear quite a bit of late 80's Wax Trax in their sound, as well as some later period Primal Scream, which sort of sounds like krautrock gone metal if you haven't heard it. For those not attending Magnetic Fields, this is a highly recommended alternative. Oh, and I was able to catch Sian Alice Group twice during SXSW, and they were fantastic both times.

Cool Out (The Cavern)

Young Doc Gooden (Hailey's)