Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I made a huge mistake, so Frank Phosphate and I wrote about some of the same shows, however our opinions differ a little. Imagine that. Unfortunately, it prevented me personally from saying more about other stuff. Sorry. Especially about the punk shows and the show at eXcuses. Next time.

Also there is a Day Bow Bow show at The Handsome Kitten tonight, featuring The Kris Special, Baruch The Scribe, and Emily Stoker among others. Should have mentioned that. -DL


Bill Callahan/Lights/Neal Morgan (The Granada): By dropping the Smog moniker, Callahan's music has opened up to new and exciting places. I have always been a fan of Smog's songwriting, I have always enjoyed his albums, especially those produced with Jim O' Rourke. But I REALLY liked Woke on a Whaleheart. It had playfulness, not just in the songwriting, but also the music, that I saw has a big step in the right direction after the string of solid but similar-sounding albums. Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, Callahan's most recent album, and the second to don the Callahan name, delves back into the darker lyrical territory of his previous work, but with production values far cleaner than those early 4-track recordings.

Bill's dark sense of humor and curmudgeon demeanor definitely make for an entertaining live performance. While sarcastic and moody, his performance never seems forced or labored. You can tell that he is having a good time, however is not afraid to make a snide comment to a rude fan if he so pleases. (FP)

Good looking out on Bill Callahan's part in getting the excellent musicians from the horrifically underrated Austin act, Horse Plus Donkey, to back him up, and hopefully they'll be in tow tonight. Fellow Drag City residents Lights will also perform, and I enjoyed the one track I've heard by them, kind of like Glass Candy if they combined their Italians Do It Better disco with their early rocked out style. Really nice, dry production and not bad at all. You really have to give Drag City credit for keeping everyone guessing for decades now. (DL)

Electric Vengeance/Stoned Men/King Ivy/Youth Aggression/Tattered Flag (The Phoenix Project)

Doyen/Kampfgrounds/This Old House (1508 Broadway St in Denton):

M.A.N.D.Y./PointBender/James Warren/Kean/DragonLazer and Upstairs: Royal Highnuss/Redeye/Dub Til Dawn/DJ ET (eXcuses)

Vic Chesnutt/Liz Durrett/Sans Soleil (Hailey's): Lucky night in North Texas for flagship indie singer-songwriter fans this Friday. Two of the longest lasting and well respected figures in said genre will be gracing us with their collectively dour presence Friday night. There is a lot to respect Vic Chesnutt for as an artist. His resilience in the music business despite many near-fame misses and his willingness to collaborate with a diverse and ever changing group of artists has kept him in the hearts and minds of modern troubadour followers.

There is no doubt that Chesnutt has a lyrical presence. His Flannery O'Connor-by-way of-Springsteen lyrical style has given him a small but devoted following for the twenty-some-odd years in the business. Chesnutt utilizes an emotional directness in his words and music that doesn't necessarily work for me. I have always enjoyed the artier side of songwriting, as opposed to the confessional laments. I know that there are some listeners that feed off that emotional directness, but it bores me fairly quickly. As opposed to someone like Bill Callahan, who definitely does not sing about sunshine and flowers yet still delivers the same sense of weariness that Vic is going for.

I have seen Chesnutt perform three times, and the only one that I honestly enjoyed was the show he played alongside Elf Power in support of Dark Developments, which I believe to be his best album. The other two times I wanted to lay on the floor and take a nap in the club. Speaking of which, that's the same feeling I have gotten from standing through two sets by Denton post-rockers San Soleil. San Soleil create what I believe to be one of the most boring and self indulgent musical forms ever, and yet both times I have seen them, the crowd has been jam-packed and really into the music. Sometimes I just don't get stuff I guess. (FP)

Everyone's talking about Guy Picciotto and Thee Silver Mt. Zion playing on the new Vic Chesnutt record, and though I was skeptical at first, the tracks I heard on NPR's Fresh Air earlier this week were a pleasant surprise. The music was pretty brooding and building, more reminiscent of TSMZ than any DC Dischord rock, with uncomfortably honest lyrics about the death of Chesnutt's mother and love letters to suicide. Sounds bad on paper, but a compelling execution nonetheless. (DL)

Division Of Power/Collick/Lunae Nemoris/Abuse Tactics (207 Pine St. In Arlington): There may or may not be a keg involved if you're into that. Abuse Tactics includes members of Ascites performing music that is "dark" and "loud," which isn't surprising at all if you click on that link. (DL)


Aesop Rock/Rob Sonic/DJ Big Wiz (The Granada)

Theatre Gallery/Prophet Bar Reunion: Shallow Reign/Decadent Dub Team/Loco Gringos/Cathouse/The Trees/Bat Mastersons and more (The Prophet Bar): This large and lofty event is going to occupy two rooms of the Prophet Bar, aiming to bring together a lot of the key figures of Deep Ellum's near-mythical past, and since I'm mainly familiar with the hearsay of ex-Deep Ellum scene types more than anything else, it's probably best for me to let the man behind the project describe the event in his own words, the very outspoken Jeff Liles. Before I do that though, I want to mention that SR and I recently had a discussion about how Decadent Dub Team got totally screwed by the All Music Guide. Happens to the best of them, Liles, don't sweat it. I'm looking forward to see what happens with the Kessler Theater Project in Oak Cliff. From the invite:

A reunion gathering for people who were part of the Theatre Gallery/Prophet Bar music and art scene in Deep Ellum during the mid-to-late 80's. The roster of touring acts that played at the Theatre Gallery reads like an alternative rock "Hall of Fame": Bad Brains, The Replacements, Husker Du, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flaming Lips, Scratch Acid, Meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers, The Smithereens, Jane's Addiction, Suicidal Tendencies, Sandra Bernhard, Henry Rollins, True Believers and 10,000 Maniacs were all featured performers.

Local acts like New Bohemians, The Buck Pets, Rev. Horton Heat, Rigor Mortis, Three On A Hill, End Over End, Shallow Reign, Decadent Dub Team, Loco Gringos, T42, Course of Empire, Mel Coolies, Peyote Cowboys, The Daylights and The Trees all established loyal followings.

Bands booked for the upcoming "Full Circle" event include: Shallow Reign, Decadent Dub Team, Loco Gringos, Cathouse, The Trees, Bat Mastersons, Cricket Taylor, Chris Savage, Graceland, Plumbrella, and many others. Louder bands will play in the big room, solo artists and acoustic performers will play in the front room at Prophet Bar. Everybody will get a chance to get on the mic for a minute and tell their favorite Theatre Gallery story.

Pre-sale tickets are ten dollars, 15 at the door. Doors are at six. We want you to bring your kids. "Full Circle" is a reference to a "a passing of the torch" to the next generation of Dallas musicians.

Shiny Around The Edges/Dust Congress/The Kris Special (Dust Congress House): There is a lot of diversity between performance spaces, aka houses, around the Denton DIY community. There are homes that seem like they stepped out of some punk rock John Hughes movie; the capacity for people and great performance space would make one think the place was leased solely for the purpose of booking shows. A great example of this would be the awesome Lion's Den. Then there are places where you feel slightly uneasy due to the "intimate" nature of the space. The Dust Congress house would be one of those places. This is not a bad thing at all, I have seen a couple great shows there and socialized with some very nice people, but it can be a little awkward standing the middle of some ones living room trying not to spill beer on a couch, staring at dirty laundry while waiting for the music to start. I would say that the capacity for this place is about ten people but each show I have seen there is at least quadruple that amount.

Shiny Around the Edges has been on a bit of a hiatus these past few months, so hopefully this marks a return for them to the realm of live performance. I have not seen Dust Congress since the departure of bassoonist Tara Wood, and let's hope the boys can make up for feminine mystique that she brought to the group. Should be a great show all around, just be prepared for the possibility of a pitch black performance if the neighbors call the cops and they start to roll by. Also there is going to be a cookout before the show. Good Ol' Denton. (FP)

Hex Dispensers/Deathray Davies/Occult Detective Club (Double Wide): Why did I not hear of this show until today? By the way, did The Deathray Davies get more experimental, or is the stuff on their Myspace page just playing at the wrong speed? Both? (DL)

Irresponsible Voltron: Parson/Chi/Exceed/Marst/Hoodie Allen/Broken Teeth Crew: Anna Love/Prince William/Mike Townsend (The Cavern)

Blixaboy/New Fumes (Good Records)

Grooms/Nervous Curtains/Eyes, Wings, And Many Other Things (The Handsome Kitten)

Radiant/Air Review/Pale Horse/Far Star (Trees)

The Sneaks/Mudpuppies/Kampfgrounds/Power Nap (920 Bolivar St.): I was laughing pretty hard when I was looking up the info to this Facebook show invite and caught the amazing pic you see above. The invite went further to assure us that "Furio won't be able to make it," since "he wants to have sex with Carmella in the 5th season." Funny, I could have sworn it was the the third. Glad to see that Facebook is slowly but surely turning into the irreverently comedic show flier ghetto that Myspace started off as. Could the end be far behind? (DL)

DJ Underscar/John Kenny/It's Native/Yam/The Sutcliffes/Zest Of Yore/Backflap (Green Elephant)


Record Swap (The Lounge): Great idea. This ultra-inclusive event encourages you to bring your records and sell them, swap them, or buy them from other collectors, DJ's, producers etc. Sounds good. I hope there isn't an overabundance of CCCP records, that old Dallas vinyl standby. (DL)

For Your Pleasure With DJ G (Hailey's)


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