Friday, June 05, 2009



Mika Miko/Strange Boys/Bad Sports /Rocket for Ehtiopia (Rubber Gloves): It sucks that Mika Miko dropped their former drummer, Kate Hall, for a new bro drummer, since she was probably my favorite thing about that band. I heard a rumor that it was because she wasn't "good enough." I really hate concepts like "good enough" and "better." Or even "acceptable," "on beat," and "competent." These things really have a way of ruining music. I actually don't know how much interest I would have in seeing Mika Miko without Kate, and I was really impressed by her when she filled in as a drummer for Finally Punk when we had them play the Melodica Festival last year. Rocket For Ethiopia also go a long way to prove that finishing each song live is vastly overrated. I could care less whether a band can get through a song or not, just don't be boring. Finally, I have heard nothing but good things about The Strange Boys' new record, even from people that really wanted to hate them. (DL)

Constantines/Crystal Antlers (Sons of Hermann Hall): Canada's Constantines have slowly built up a strong audience over the years with a sound that is often labeled "art punk," but could probably be more accurately described as some sort of earnest hybrid between post-hardcore, specifically Fugazi, and some of the more obvious influences of contemporary "indie rock" (Springsteen) with just a small dash of soaring post-rock guitars and noise thrown in the mix. Although a fairly solid band, Constantines seem to be one of those groups that thrives on the "art" or "experimental" labels they've been bequeathed by critics and fans without really delivering much in the way of either most of the time. Not that this necessarily makes them a "bad" band, because they aren't, and I'm guessing much of their highly listenable and energetic material will make for a very good live set. It's just that if you've been following the last few decades of American underground music, you've heard this before. Openers Crystal Antlers are a band that I was largely indifferent to on record when I first encountered them some time early last year, but when we caught them several months back at Swiss House, they put on one of the loudest and most brutal performances I ever witnessed at that venue, and afterwards, their compelling mix of prog, garage and 60's psyche rock, all put together with a fuck all lo-fi sensibility, revealed itself as an often exciting take on a number of different sounds that it seems like pretty much everyone enjoys on some level.

Quick's Next Big Thing with Play N Skillz/Damaged Goods/Dove Hunter/The O's/RTB2/Smile Smile/Mount Righteous (Granada): This is the Awards Ceremony for Quick's local music awards, and I was pleased to have been selected to be on the nominations panel again this year. Glancing at the nominees list quickly will reveal a rather diverse group of local talent, including WSJR favorites like Fight Bite, Damaged Goods, the Great Tyrant, Darktown Strutters, Fungi Girls, Fergus and Geronimo, Orange Coax, Prince William, Mundo, The Party and more. The cover is $5 and its hosted by 1310 the Ticket's Gordon Keith. Sounds like a good time.

Brutal Juice/The Boom Boom Box/Saboteur/The Chameleon Chamber Group (Club Dada): Holy shit, this reminds me of listening to the Adventure Club in middle school or something yall. Brutal Juice is probably pretty, uh, brutal live, and I'm sure this show will be a shitload of fun, but still-- no matter what anyone says, Dallas is better now than it was in the 90's. At least I feel like that sometimes.

90's Party with Yeahdef/Clever Monkeys (Suite): This takes place in the basement of Suite, which is apparently a nice refuge from the douches on the main floor. I'm glad Suite came up with this concept.

Theater Fire/Baptist Generals/Robert Gomez/Listen Listen (Dan's Silverleaf)

SOCIAL with: Keith P/Females (The Cavern)

Deep Snapper/Tre Orsi/Kaboom (Spooky Haus, 1314 Austin St., Denton): Seeing scraggly little bands that play house shows every other weekend is one thing, but seeing bands that actually have a little polish to them, bands that actually practice like Tre Orsi and Deep Snapper, in a house setting is almost always an improvement. For what it's worth, Kaboom has the distinction of being something in between these two classifications. I have just been overexposed to the rock club sound in general, where every roto-tom is mic'ed up and every tiny little thing you don't necessarily want to hear is digging into your ear canal and orbital bone like a rusty dentist drill. This is most likely Deep Snapper's last show for quite some time, since bass player Pat Ferguson will be out of the country for a year, so you should stop by and wish him well since chances are he probably has lent you or someone you know a guitar at the last second, fixed one of your amplifiers for zero compensation, or has given you a ride home when your shitty little dance party gets busted by the cops. Oops. (DL)

New Science Projects (Record Release) / Dust Congress / Real Live Tigers / Kids Of Cons (J&Js)

Ringo Deathstarr/This Old House/Western Giants/Manned Missiles (Moon Bar)


Bonnie Prince Billy/The Howling Hex (Granada): It suddenly occurred to me today that Will Oldham is the godfather of "Dustbowl Hipster," a trend that eventually replaced "alt country," though my theory about Dustbowl Hipsterism is that it is more of a lifestyle choice, where someone actually looks and acts like they're suffering out on the plains during said era, as opposed to the more uppity urban cowboy look that still haunts Dallas-Denton-Fort Worth music in particular. Dustbowl Hipsterism and Gutter punk culture cross at some point and this is perfectly embodied in Oldham's small role in the recent film, "Wendy and Lucy," which is basically like an emo "Where the Red Fern Grows."

Besides maintaining his popularity in the States, Europe in particular eats this shit up because they will actually believe somebody grew up on a farm or that he was raised by feral Pentecostals simply for rocking an unkempt beard. They'll have no idea that they actually just used to down Malibu and Dr. Pepper Cocktails at the Meridian Room on Wednesday nights, or grew up shotgunning brews and hitting on married women at Louisville Cardinals games. I realized this when I saw Will Oldham at the UK All Tomorrow's Parties, walking around like he fucking owned the place. And he basically did.

The guy has made a lot of "moves," and is often as interesting as he is annoying. One minute he's practically recording with Johnny Cash on his deathbed, and then he's off wearing all white and talking about how genius he thinks bands like The Cranberries and TLC are. Which is valid, but the minute you see a guy that looks like that describing his favorite records, and they all happen to be R & B/Top 40 stuff, it just gets a little...suspicious. I mean, I "get it," but it just wears a little thin sometimes. Sometimes I'm just annoyed that I didn't think of it first.

Oldham has a huge catalog, and there are actually a lot of good moments that tend to stick with you; an absurd lyric, country music performed with a drum machine, and even hiring Nashville session musicians to rework his early music. He is also a very dependable live performer; I pretty much hated his music before I saw him put on an excellent show at Rubber Gloves too many years ago. Mining similar similar territory in the trash-stained poses of American music history, though much harsher and psychedelic, is Neil Haggerty, who opens with his Howling Hex. (DL)

Western Giants/Baruch the Scribe/This Old House/Seryn/Younger Sons (Tree House, 2205 Oak St., Denton)

The Theater Fire/Client Niosi/100 Flowers (The Lounge)



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