Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It List: Tuesday

Dust Congress/Fight Bite/Dana Falconberry/Drug Mountain (503 W. Sycamore, Denton):  This free house show is being hosted by Nick Foreman of Dust Congress at his home, and the word is that it starts promptly at 9PM, although we're unsure of the order in which the bands will play.  Quite a diverse line up tonight-- most of you know these acts pretty well with the possible exception of Austin's Dana Falconberry, who will be embarking on a tour of the midwest beginning this evening.  Falconberry has garnered quite a bit of attention both inside and outside of Austin, being named Best Female Vocalist 2009 by the Austin Chronicle while also receiving praise from Paste, KCRW and Gorilla vs Bear, among many others.  Her initially delicate folk and classic pop influenced tracks sound sweet and sugary on first listen, but many of her songs seem to contain something darker and more thoughtful just below the surface, which is something that probably cannot be said for many other artists she might be compared to.  I've seen her live several times, and each performance was fantastic, so I'd be sure to arrive by 9 this evening in order to catch all of these acts in a pleasantly intimate setting where you can totally BYOB.  

Dark Castle/Embolization/Pyro Plastic Flow (Bike House):  Located at 5640 Vickery St. in Dallas, this one starts early, at 7PM, and will surely be quite the harsh ordeal, as headlines Dark Castle seem to pull from the punishing pantheon of groups like Neurosis and Big Business with a mostly slow and sludgy sound that works quite well with comparatively minimal arrangments.  And I would say the Melvins, too, but that's sort of like saying "influenced by Black Sabbath" these days.  Anyway, stop by and take a look at one of the new East Dallas DIY spots to have popped up in recent months

Disqo Disco (Fallout Lounge)



90's Night with Yeahdef (Hailey's)

not new music tuesdays

Bad Religion - Into the Unknown (1983, Epitaph)

There seems to be a ton of fan confusion concerning Bad Religion's second full length. Every possible scenario pops up during discussions: drug use, tension between band members, the dreaded "sophomore slump." I suppose there really isn't a right way to answer the important question-- why did they make this record sound like this?

I personally see Into the Unknown as a pretty damn ambitious album that was made by a bunch of kids. These kids started a band when they were 15 and 16 years old and released an ep (Bad Religion) and a full length, How Could Hell Be Any Worse,that are now considered cornerstones of SoCal punk. By the time they were ready to record this album they were 18 or 19, better at their respective instruments and knew their way around the studio a bit more. These guys were children in the 70s that grew up on 70s radio, and it might be that they felt they now had the ability to make a more sophisticated rock album that sounded like the records they grew up listening to.

With all of that said, I DO like this record (with the exception of the first track) more than any of the 11 albums they have released since 1988's Suffer though I may have to revisit 1989's No Control.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Free Morrissey Tickets

Our friends at AEG were nice enough to hook us up with two pairs of tickets to Morrissey's April 10th performance at the Palladium Ballroom, and we're going to give them away to you. If you want to win them, please email weshotjrtix@yahoo.com any time between now and Wednesday at noon with "Morrissey" in the subject line and your full name in the email body. Good luck!

It List: Monday

Very slow day around here, but not to worry-- we have some good stuff brewing for you, the first of which you'll see a bit later this evening. However, if your life doesn't revolve around Black Tie Dynasty breaking up or puking in the bathroom at Fallout Lounge or something, then you might want to read this highly informative and frightening article in the Atlantic Monthly entitled "the Quiet Coup."

The author is Simon Johnson, a former economist from the International Monetary Fund, and although I'm the last person to support the policies of the IMF, the premise of the article is undeniably interesting-- in it, Johnson compares our current economic struggles with those that often occur in developing countries that receive aid from the IMF, revealing the ill advised banking decisions and political cronyism that got us to the point we're at while also calling into question why the Federal government isn't taking certain basic steps to overhaul and rescure our struggling financial system. In answering his own questions, he condemns not only Wall Street but also Washington DC for allowing what he terms the "financial Oligarchy" to obtain vitually unparalelled power in our political system and thus effectively block the changes that would be necessary to remake the economy in a more efficient and egalitarian manner-- hence the confusing and possibly ineffective Bank bailout packages that have contained very favorable terms for the very institutions that got us where we are today. It's a devastating but important read, and I highly recommend it as a thoughtful overview of one of the most important topics of our time. The past 25 years of Reaganomics (including under the free market champion Bill Clinton) led us into this mess, but Obama is going to have to think a lot bigger than he is right now in order to get us out.

And after you're done reading that, you can swing by Cool Out at the Cavern or Jazz outside on a beautiful night at the Amsterdam bar, if you aren't too depressed.

ADD: Oh, and stupid me-- I almost forgot about the first night of Disco Workout @ Hailey's, hosted by Sun Club and Disqo Disco. They guys tell me that they'll be focusing on upeat disco and house tracks all night, and it's free if you want to check it out.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday Morning Rock



SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

TUE: Dust Congress/Drug Mountain/Dana Falconberry/Fight Bite (503 W. Sycamore, Denton, FREE)
WED: Devlin and Darko of Spankrock/The Party (Plush, RSVP to thepartydfw@gmail.com)
FRI: Leonard Cohen (Nokia Theater)
FRI: Realicide/Yatagarasu/Lil Foot/No Music Plays in Hospitals (House of Tinnitus)
SAT: Robyn Hitchcock/The Venus 3 (Granada Theater)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Martin Iles: Three On Sunday

I forgot to add this to The Weekender, so I thought I'd give it some special attention, since Martin always picks such interesting films. The event starts at 10:30 PM, Sunday night at Dan's Silverleaf. Here's the rundown:

RABBIT
Run Wrake, 2005 (8 min. 30 sec.)

“When a boy and girl find an idol in the stomach of a rabbit, great riches follow, but for how long?”

Using scanned 1950s educational stickers and drawings by illustrator Geoffrey Higham (whose work is often associated with British author Enid Blyton), Wrake creates a beautiful and disturbing short animated film.


LA SOUFRIERE
Werner Herzog, 1977 (31 min.)

In 1976, scientists predicted a volcano eruption that would destroy Guadeloupe. The island was evacuated; the newspapers reported that one man refused to leave. Herzog immediately arrived with a small crew in order to be on hand for the end. This fascinating study of imminent disaster and the man “who stays” is one of Herzog’s major works.


LEONARD COHEN VOLUME ONE
Bootleg Compilation, 1966 – 1987 (90min.)

A compilation featuring some of Leonard Cohen's earliest interviews on the Canadian television show "This Hour Has Seven Days", live performances from the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, an excerpt from the film "Dynamite Chicken," duets with Judy Collins, and his 1985 appearance on Miami Vice.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekender

We're going to have to be a little more utilitarian than usual today because we have some, uh, stuff to take care of this afternoon.  I know, I know, we should start working on these earlier, but we actually hate writing (written by SR and DL, and find more on our show calendar):

FRIDAY

The Party (Zubar): Dj Sober has just posted a sequel to his Satin Sheets mix tape, and you can check the track list and download it for free right here.  

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey/Yells at Eels (Granada): It will indeed be fun to watch Yells at Ells at such a big place, but I'd leave pretty quickly after they were done and maybe go to Zubar or the Cavern or something.  

PVC Street Gang/Cocky Americans/Hormones Limited (the Cavern)

Electric Vengeance/Tattered Flag/Scoff/Kick Your Donkey/Oxide Endeavor (1919 Hemphill)

SATURDAY

Mr. Troll/Richard Smith (Opening Bell): I've discussed the extremely endearing and sincere quality of Mr. Troll's singing before, and I'm hoping to catch him at one of Dallas' only coffee shops tonight.

Steel Hook Prostheses/Yellow Crystal Star/Amir Coyle/Alters/Warm Walls/No Music Plays in Hospitals/So Boring (2404 S. Fielder St., Arlington):  Another interesting show at the Fielder Street House in Arlington, put together by the Wasted Words Collective. Yellow Crystal Star is the moniker that Mark Billings records under, releasing super-limited runs of his recordings, from thirty to seventy five on labels such as Brooklyn's Obsolete Units. They are often documents of his live shows; performances featuring fairly bloodless sounds that drone on loudly, but never harshly. The Foxy Digitalis reviewer said it reminded him of the first time he heard Godspeed You Black Emperor or something like that, so I guess that's a huge compliment. It was probably the day he realized Modest Mouse simply could not inspire him any longer. He had heard the future!
 
Bosque Brown/Shiny Around the Edges/Tame...Tame and Quiet (The Fairmount)

The Angelus/Florene/Magnets (Annex House):  I'm not 100% sure, but lately I've heard about a lot of Dentonites moving to Dallas, and I just wanted to say that I think the members of the Angelus did it first.  In other news, I'm glad that the Annex House is hosting regular house shows in Dallas now, which I'm hoping will show others that they can do it down here too.  We shouldn't have to drive to Denton for EVERYTHING, should we?

The Theater Fire/Eyes, Wing and Many Other Things/Clint Niosi (Lee Harvey's): Shit, what horrible timing.  Lee Harvey's is a great place to see a show, but not when its 35 degrees outside, which is what its supposed to be on Saturday night.  Bring a jacket.  I think that's the most practical advice I've ever given on here aside from telling people to do drugs.  

Many Birthdays/Florene (Good Records, 5PM)

Jack with One Eye/Many Birthdays/The Watchers/Sarah Ruth (The Cavern)

Sleep When You're Dead (Fallout Lounge)


SUNDAY

Masshysteri/Wiccans/Big Blow (Bunker Hill): Masshysteri is made up of members of several notable groups including The Vicious, International Noise Conspiracy, Regulations, and Lost Patrol Band. This is really melodic punk, with a lot of minor key chord progressions, similar to the kind of drama created by The Wipers, but featuring what a lesser writer might call "coed vocals." And I will simply quote that lesser writer. Fairly new hardcore act Wiccans is playing again, and brand new HC group, Big Blow is playing for the first time ever.

For Your Pleasure with DJ G (Hailey's)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

All You have To Do Is Ask: Some Thoughts on SXSW 2009


Returning from SXSW is never easy. Chances are, a five hour plus drive awaits you as opposed to the usual three, you leave later than you said you would to chug down one last quality espresso from one of many coffee shops (as opposed to driving to that one coffee shop in Dallas), if you drink you're hung over, if you haven't gotten sick you will, you're suddenly thinking it's time to stop by the free clinic, you're going to call in to work though you've already missed three days, and on and on. The general feeling of being so physically, mentally, and perhaps even emotionally run down always leads to the same question: Was it worth it?

Well was it? Depends on who you ask of course. This is the week where I read more out-of-town weeklies and newspaper reviews than I usually would. I need a little bit of levity to balance out the usual glut of local coverage (not to mention even my boss and my father asking if I "saw Metallica?") that denies just how jealous DFW acts anytime SXSW comes up the rest of the year. Talk about a phrase I really loathe, although it is extremely relevant in this case: sour grapes. The classic attitude towards the festival in DFW is to pretend like it's completely lame eleven months out of the year, since we know that something of that stature is likely to never happen in Dallas. And that's OK. But the minute it rolls around, just about everyone drops whatever they're doing to overpopulate Austin with grown men and women who swore they'd never sleep on a couch again past the age of twenty five. Yeah, well... scoot over, pal.

Back to what I was saying about reading outsider coverage, it is much more interesting to read what a San Francisco writer thinks about Metallica's performance or even more relevantly, what the same writer thinks about anti-internet, Sacramento-based group Mayyors, an act I really regret having missed. As I have said before, not having an internet presence is the new overexposure. Well, not quite, but it is true in some ways, considering Mayyors was probably mentioned to me by more credible sources than just about any other band all week. They have been compared to The Brainbombs, and I hear traces of Chrome, The Effigies, some Amphetamine Reptile stuff, and thankfully, The Slugfuckers. Now having gone back to track down either homemade YouTube videos or even better, a WFMU recorded performance of their showcase at Spiro's, I understand the appeal of this devastating and scummy punk with the weird noises, and low-pitched shrieks for vocals. Hopefully they'll come back to Texas.

All of this led me to draw another conclusion: That as this glossy, neon-hoodied decade draws to a close, many are revolting against the carefree, postmodern raver sheen that had become almost blinding at some point and stopped being ironic a long time ago. Everything has been about "lo-fi, nasty, unrefined pop," "lo-fi, nasty, unrefined punk," "lo-fi, nasty, unrefined metal," "lo-fi, nasty, unrefined tropical dance music," recorded on a boom-box, or recorded on Garage Band and tampered with until it sounds like it was recorded on a boom box. Honestly, I wasn't bothered all that much by the lighthearted disco aspects of this decade, and on the ride home I made my case to SR that it's usually best to be neither aggravated nor impressed by movements in general, and just try your best to focus on what truly holds artistic and/or expressive value to you. If the point is that something has little to no value at all, that too is completely valid in my opinion, and surely the brightness and willfully disposable glam of the early 2000's has been a natural, collective back-turning against the sullen and bleak 1990's.

But if you spent any time at Mrs. Bea's, The Mohawk, or Ballet Austin(!) last week, you would think that maybe that time isn't as far-removed as we thought. In a sea of flannel I saw behavior that's making Ian Mackaye spit out his ginger tea somewhere as we speak: Completely sincere crowd surfing. It's been creeping up on us for awhile. At some point it became the most passé activity in the world, something that went out at the first Sponge concert after Cobain died, when the crossed-arm, milquetoast pacifism of Indie Rock dominated the show-scape. And then all of the 80's and 90's indie-punk giants began reuniting and people started half-heartedly bringing it back, but there was still a smirking absurdity to it, like someone doing the "Running Man" or "Tootsie Roll." But there's no smirk or absurdity now. Just me having to avoid being kicked in the head more than I have in about thirteen years. At least they're having fun.

As for the aforementioned Ballet Austin, this show was thrown by KVRX, very similar in lineup and venue to last year's now legendary event at The Children's Museum. And as I said last year, I want to reiterate: The city is totally a sucker for SXSW. They'll let you get away with murder down there this time of year. The Ballet? Are you out of your fucking minds? Austin is like your high school friend's overly lenient parents that buy liquor for your parties and look the other way when they smell pot smoke. In Dallas, you can't even rent out a warehouse where someone was murdered to throw a show. There was one stipulation that I saw: "NO STILETTOS." That's it. They forgot the sign that said "NO LEAD SINGER OF TOTAL ABUSE KICKING IN THE CEILING TILES WHILE CROWD SURFING." Or, "NO MONOTONIX UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES EVER."

Though we wrote about the Monotonix several times over two years ago now and have always enjoyed them, they have certainly been talked up a lot lately, and I have to admit I got chills when I saw the lead singer mischievously yet quietly dragging a trashcan out of the hallway and into the main event room of the ballet just before their set was to begin. He maintained eye contact in the awkward and intimidating way that a predator does when it's caught dragging a carcass back into the bush. Terrifying. Anyways, next year why don't they just hold this inevitable show in the middle of the Japanese Reflection Garden at the Zilker Botanical. Hey, why not? At this point, I'd believe it.

South By Southwest is a good place to gauge what's going to bubble up from the underground and pop; splattering everyone with an annoyingly sticky goo that will crust over and contort your body into another adopted and most likely misappropriated stance, surely to make everyone feel a little silly a year from now. I don't think I have heard anyone listening to Vampire Weekend since last year. That could be what it's like for Wavves a year from now, though I think it could be even worse for that guy. Things don't really move so quickly in the underground, and the people who really make things happen in art and music are forever annoyed by this type of exhibition, though they are never really above participating. In other words, the mainstream shows up every year to learn how to alter their pose to try to stay relevant, and the underground shows up to exploit the mass gathering: sell some tapes, move some prints, whatever. As a fourteen year old genius from New England once sang, "And the tall people want what the short people's got..."

I'm not too proud to admit that our showcase didn't exactly have the turnout we had hoped for, and that's a shame since the quality of the bands certainly wasn't the problem, nor was the sound, even though the show was outdoors. Nite Jewel, for instance, defied the odds of putting on a convincing live show since a lot of the group's, and many groups' sound revolves around having such treated recordings. A big part of their success was most likely due to the onstage mixing setup the group carries with them, and I recommend this trick as long as you are communicative with the sound guy. Actually, you should always be communicative with the sound guy (or gal), just be polite or face having your twenty minute set ruined. Nite Jewel's onstage prowess aside, one of the most disappointing aspects of South By this year was a sentiment I heard over and over, and it's that when you strip away all of the tape hiss, sometimes it's just a dude strumming a guitar. If you can accept that, then a lot of these shows weren't so bad. But apparently, some of them really were.

The most disappointing aspect of our showcase was having to miss PRE due to scheduling conflicts and time constraints, and then subsequently missing Los Llamarada because I went along to drive PRE to their next show. The very next day I was walking in an alley to see Six Finger Satellite play for free at the Typewriter Museum and I heard a band playing in the distance. It was clunky, unwieldy keyboard music with impressively ratty guitar sounds and nihilistic moans for vocals. I said aloud, "Shit, this is the show I wish I was walking to." When I finally approached the spot, I realized we were walking right behind Los Llamarada's set, which made me even more regretful. Six Finger Satellite's reunion was good but they were much better when they actually used their synthesizer at their headlining Load Records performance at the 501 Theater, now called "The Independent."

While I'm swallowing my pride and getting all confessional I'll also admit that I absolutely stood in line too long at The Hot Freaks event to see Camera Obscura. I often get pegged as "DL the stupid, artsy, noise-punk snob, shit-head that everyone hates and even his own mother can't stand" but I was really anticipating that performance. This is sure to bug older CO followers, and people that own Isobel Campbell records, but I didn't really become a fan until the overdone melodrama of "Let's Get Out Of This Country," and I was really glad to hear the organ intro of "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" when they played it. Even moved, actually. And from the sounds of their two new singles, "French Navy," and the title track from their next full-length, "My Maudlin Career," it sounds like Camera Obscura is continuing with this all out, big arrangement attack and I'm just glad that I still have a bigger name pop band I can trust.

Afterwards, the festival started building to its Saturday night climax and the Panache Booking show had such a strong lineup that I almost didn't need to go anywhere else. Panache is probably the only booking entity I can say that I have ever been a fan of, and their roster gets stronger every six months it seems. AIDS Wolf turned in their second unbelievable performance in two days, repeatedly beating the crowd over the head with a huge invisible wall of noise that seemed to just buzz and rotate in place, with the singer Chloe Lum jumping and slam-dancing into the crowd as she sang through a mouthful of ice cubes stolen from a random man's drink. Seeing a friend of mine that has been recovering from cancer out in the crowd and dancing with the singer was probably the personal highlight of the entire festival.

HEALTH is back for the third year in a row, with a cinematic, percussive, almost Brad Fiedel sound to their work, and giving me one of two moments during the festival where I was actually starstruck. Not for the band itself, though I am a fan, but for the man watching them: The GZA. He was there I'm told, because his manager advised him to see a band that should perhaps devise a track for him. I wanted to take a picture with him, but after seeing how comfortable he was leaning against the bar with a female companion, I thought it was better not to. Meggie Hilkert of Eat Avery's Bones did ask him, however, and he was more than glad, responding with "Girl, all you had to do was ask!" Ladies and gentleman, that's how you respond to a fan, OK? None of this socially challenged indie rock shit where you look like you're trying to do long division in your head while drooling just because someone approaches you. Get over yourselves. What kind of world do we live in where GZA says "Hi" to you but The Strange Boys don't?

Even though I really enjoyed the sets, I couldn't help but think about the subjects I heard Harvey Pekar discuss at the NX35 panel the week before, about how music must evolve in order to keep from becoming stagnant and avoid turning into folk art. The irony of Pekar saying this at an event that was so heavy with self described folk artists was not lost on me, but the fact that some of us are still in danger of artistic stagnation no matter how much we fancy ourselves above it all is something I struggle with. Even with the acts I saw, I knew what I was getting myself into for the most part, and so there was little risk involved. I think next year I'll try to avoid the sure things and go out of my way to see bands that I know the least about, acts that I have little chance of seeing the rest of the year. You know, the part of the year where we pretend that South By Southwest is the stupidest thing we've ever heard of and that pretty much all of our good shows and mini-festivals aren't almost completely reliant on it every March.

Oh, and my other starstruck moment? That came when I met Henry Owings, editor/creator/designer etc. of Chunklet Magazine, an admitted influence of mine and a guy I've always wanted to meet. I wanted to tell him, "Hey, I write for a website that is sometimes accused of biting your sense of humor," but all I could muster was "Um, I'm from Dallas." He told me how he payed $1,200 for a last minute plane ticket pretty much just to see one band. He also said that experiencing Mayyors play in a kitchen was one of the greatest things that he's ever seen in his life. Finally, and keep in mind it was 2:00 AM, he revealed that he had to get on a plane back to Georgia in five hours. And that it was totally worth it.







I would like to thank the following people/places/bands/websites etc. for making this week possible for us: The Bellfuries, Barrett Walton of Infinity Recording Studios, Gorilla VS Bear, Polly Smith of Spork Booking and If I Like It, Meggie Hilkert, Dana Falconberry, Daniel Francis Doyle, Cherrywood Coffeehouse, Asti, Matt Burgess, Panache, Nevada Hill, Ric Leichtung of Secret Agency Booking, Adam Calhoun and Orange Coax, HEALTH, all the bands that played our show and the one band that didn't who really ruled when I actually saw them. Sincerely, thanks.




Pictured Above: Two Legends Of Bass. Photo by Adrian Laurant.

It List: Thursday

Delmore Pilcrow/Manned Missiles (J&Js): Chris Garver, central figure behind Delmore Pilcrow, is one of the few artists we've consistently covered over the life of this blog who seems to continually improve, and Manned Missiles seem to be a fairly enjoyable little indie pop band.

Anavan/Sydney Confirm/Billingham's Defense System (Fallout): I totally heart when DL accidentally posts about a show that is happening on a day when I'm supposed to write the It List, because it means that I don't have to do shit. So scroll down to yesterday's It List and read what DL had to say about this show, and we promise it'll be happening if you should up at Fallout Tonight.
Unwed Sailor/Ishi/The Boat Lights/Menkena (The Cavern): Dallas scenesters have been talking up a storm in recent weeks regarding Ishi, a Dallas based synth pop band that has been making waves at after parties and DJ events for the past couple of months. The buzz about the group seems to revolve largely around their live shows, and we've heard from a number of people that Ishi should not be judged based solely on the material found on their Myspace page, as they have made a good number of changes and adjustments to their sound since posting those tracks a while back; including, I assume, writing new tracks. If true, this is probably a good thing, because the stuff I've listened to so far sound like what might happen if Sea and Cake got together with Everything But the Girl and hired Jesse McCartney to front a Junior Boys cover band. Not that soft and introspective is bad (I'm accused of being a pussy a lot more often than I am of being a noise extremist or something), but most of these tracks pack the punch of a goose feather, and there's just something about the mixture of soft synths and acoustic guitar ballads that doesn't sit well in these circumstances. However, the fact that we've heard so many good things about the group's newer material means that we'll have to give them another chance once we're able to catch them live/ hear some of this new stuff. Elsewhere, another Dallas act, the Boat Lights, goes through a lot of stylistic jumps, from quiet indie folk a la Wooden Wand to Arcade Fire full band drama to synth heavy instrumental pieces that seem to be influenced by the minimal soundscapes of Tangerine Dream, or possibly other influences that were themselves influenced by Tangerine Dream. Not bad for what it is. And finally, Dallas via Brooklyn act Menkena describes themselves as "shoegaze,"which is accurate only if they are referring to the most docile aspects of the suddenly hip late 80's genre. Not sure how "shoegaze" something can be when acoustic guitar is the most prominent instrument in any given mix, but I don't think I care enough to complain.

Top Notch Thursdays with Sober (The Cavern)

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It List: Wednesday



Want to give a shout out to Rocket For Ethiopia for their bulletin yesterday. Thanks, guys.

Deskonocidos/Sacred Shock/Unit 21/Wiccans/Raging Boner (Exploding House): Sacred Shock and Deskoncidos are two hardcore punk bands from Austin, currently on tour to New York and back, and releasing a split EP together soon. Wiccans is a punk rock "super group" featuring members of every single local band that's ever been into hardcore. More accurately it includes members of Wax Museums, Teenage Cool Kids, Orange Coax, the now defunct Secret Bangs and more. Heard they do a killer version of "My War." Speaking of Orange Coax, they (as well as Bad Sports) put on a much better show than you would expect or even deserve at Hailey's on a Monday night.

Anavan/Dance Your Face Off with Mikey Rodge/Killtron/Indo (Fallout Lounge): Heard about this show from a Phoreladeliah bulletin, and I'm surprised there has been absolutely no other mention of it. Anavan are from LA and I've heard that they've played quite a bit at a club that a lot of people like there. They are sometimes described as synth-punk, but they're a lot more synth than punk if you know what I mean. When I listened to them earlier, I perfectly tapped the disco beat on my desk along to a song intro before it actually came in, and was quite proud of myself when they matched up. That doesn't mean they suck. It does mean they are probably the most dance music sounding group that has ever put out a record on GSL. NOTE: SHOW IS ACTUALLY THURSDAY, MARCH 26.

BS Art Fusion featuring DJ G/Scott Danbom of Centro-matic/Adam Bertholdi of Gazelles (Rubber Gloves): DJ G's new weekly coincides with this special event which sounds similar to events where you eat sushi off of naked people, except there is paint involved. DJ G will apparently be playing stuff with a decidedly more darkwave slant, less "Breakfast Club" and less "Neverending Story" theme, I'm assuming.

Slash Dance with the DJ Itis Collective (Mable Peabody's): My favorite DJ-related anything since Tommyboy, featuring Sash Parts and Kubic Zirconia. A sample of what they'll be playing: Bush Tetras, Francoise Hardy, Three Six Mafia, Le Tigre, Chantels, Duran Duran, Blondie and more...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It List: Tuesday


Peelander-Z/Birthday Suits/Stew (Rubber Gloves): Peelander-Z tours constantly, and I think we've talked about them in various capacities, nothing new to report. The Birthday Suits are a punk duo from Minneapolis that did a split with the beloved Marked Men, and that alone should bring some people out. I've seen them compared to Melt Banana, No Means No, and Wire, and I can't hear a single one of those bands in their music. They sound like a fairly typical punk duo, with some hard rock tendencies and distorted passages that run a little longer than the average punk band. They are yet another one of these groups that are supposed to be "crazy live." I don't doubt that actually. Stew used to be called Holy Diver, a Dallas rock band that you've probably heard of.

Disqo Disco (Fallout Lounge)

90's Night With Yeah Def (Hailey's)

Monday, March 23, 2009

not new music tuesdays


John Cale - Fear (1974, Island)

It must have been a shocking day in 1970 when 'the weird guy' from the Velvet Underground released his first solo album, Vintage Violence. It was a pretty damn straight-forward pop album for a guy that had worked with La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music, produced both the Stooges debut and Nico's 'The Marble Index,' AND played that fucking organ on Sister Ray.

In the years between Vintage Violence and the featured album, Fear, Cale kept himself busy releasing the mostly instrumental albums Church of Anthrax (with Terry Riley) and The Academy in Peril, as well as his baroque pop 'masterpiece' Paris 1919 (I have NEVER been able to get into this record!). During this time he also managed to produce a few records, including  Nico's Desertshore and The End, the Modern Lovers demos that ended up being their first record,  and Patti Smith's Horses, among others.  

1974's Fear marked the beginning of the most focused and creative era in Cale's solo career. His trilogy of albums for Island in 1974-75 (Fear, Slow Dazzle, Helen of Troy) and his accompanying tours defined his recording/live persona for nearly the next decade. Fear finds Cale paired up with not only Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), but also with Eno, who would become a long-time friend and collaborator.

It List: Monday

First things first, we almost have our comments situation resolved. For the past few days, comment posting has worked just fine once again-- you can post comments and they'll publish right away and all that works. However, all the comment counts on the main page will say "zero" even when comments have been posted, and date and time stamps are still missing too. This will be resolved soon. Now for music on an unusually busy Monday night (check our show calendar for more):

Boo And Boo Too/Ashes/Smile Full Of Ale/Ko49 (Exploding House): Hailing from mid-sized indie rock Mecca Lawrence, Kansas (actually, its more like a Medina probably), Boo and Boo Too have been compared to some lose combination of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, which is a pretty tenuous comparison for anyone who's ever listened to either of those bands for more than five minutes. Actually, Boo and Boo Too, in addition to having one of the worst band names I've seen in a very long time, seem to borrow more from groups like the Wedding Present, Broken Social Scene, Oxford Collapse and Ride, with sprawling walls of soft guitar generated noise that builds up and breaks down and does all the other stuff its supposed to do if you want to be buzzed about at CMJ, which is apparently what happened to the group when they played the festival this past year. It's pretty solid stuff, if a bit predictable, and the band appears to have all the makings of a Matador mainstream almost-crossover-- so I'd see them now at Exploding House tonight before they are forced to open for TV on the Radio at House of Blues or whatever. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, After Death Records signees Ashes are one of the harshest groups in Denton, and their churning, nightmarish, black metal influenced violence will provide a powerful contrast to the other groups on this bill. And it's a bit hard to tell what Denton's A Smile Full of Ale are like since I haven't caught them live yet and their Myspace tracks are fairly limited live recordings, but they sound pretty promising to me. Finally, KO49 is a Lubbock based hip hop group with less than convincing MC performances but some very solid electro beats that at times are influenced by Detroit techno.

Princeton/Fight Bite/Orange Coax/Bad Sports (Hailey's): You never know what you're going to get when a band calls themselves "tropical" these days, because that phrase has been used to describe both Ducktails and Vampire Weekend, among many other trendy things that have emerged in the last year. Princeton, meanwhile, seems more influenced by David Byrne's solo work and the crate digging, internationally minded selections from his acclaimed Luka Bop label, especially when applied to the group's lead vocals. This is light, well crafted pop that I'm surprised I haven't heard until today but am tempted to go experience for myself. And if you ever read this website, you know that they'll have some very good opening bands joining them.

Maynard James Keenan Bottle Signing (Whole Foods in Plano): This started at 430, so there are probably a ton of Tools in line already. I bet you can get down there in time if you hustle, however. I've always found this guy's name really annoying.

Cool Out (The Cavern)

Monday Morning Rock



MON: Boo And Boo Too/Ashes/Smile Full Of Ale/Ko49 (Exploding House)
MON: Princeton/Fight Bite/Orange Coax/Bad Sports (Hailey's)
MON: Maynard James Keenan Bottle Signing (Whole Foods in Plano)
TUE: Peelander-Z/Birthday Suits/Stew (Rubber Gloves)
WED: Deskonocidos/Sacred Shock/Unit 21/Wiccans/Raging Boner (Exploding House)
SAT: Mr. Troll/Richard Smith (Opening Bell)
SAT: The Angelus/Florene/Magnets (Annex House)
SUN: Masshysteri/Wiccans/Big Blow (Bunker Hill)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Listen, Man...

We don't "live blog" at SXSW, ok? We don't go to like Echo and the Bunnymen at Auditorium Shores or whatever so that we can tell you about how long the line was or how amazing it was when they covered a Bob Dylan song or something, alright? We don't care. We're co-hosting this day show today, and we're going to be pretty busy with that. We have a show calendar you can look at for shows in the DFW area, and there are a million other idiots "live blogging" about the secret Justin Timberlake show at the Perez Hilton party, so just check in with them, ok? If anything really cool happens, we'll tell you about it, but if not, then we'll probably see you on Monday. Have so much fun guys!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Art List

Well, for those of you not in Austin...

SATURDAY
Floyd Newsum (HCG) 5-8pm

Birds vs. Skulls (Kettle)
All of the works in this group show try to deal unconventionally with these two very conventional subjects.

CLOSING: there's something i've been meaning to tell you...(Marty Walker)

And you can still catch new shows up at Barry Whistler, CADD Art Lab, Conduit, and Public Trust.

Image, Wayne White, courtesy of Marty Walker Gallery.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

South by South Flesh Tickets

So between House By House Fest this week and the upcoming South by South Flesh (enough with the puns already!), DFW fans will have a chance to see many of the most buzzed about and exciting bands playing SXSW this year without having to travel to Austin at all. John from Parade of Flesh was nice enough to hook us up with a pair of tickets to give away to this Sunday's South by South Flesh show at the Lounge, which will featuring this very solid line up:



YOUNG WIDOWS
THEE OHSEES
WOMEN
The COATHANGERS
MY DISCO
TRASH TALK
ABE VIGODA
PTERODACTYL
SLEEPY SUN
WAVVES
VAMPIRE HANDS
HOWL
FRESH & ONLYS
JUAREZ

Anyway, if you'd like to win these tickets, just email weshotjrtix@yahoo.com any time between now and noon on Friday with your full name in the email body and "south by south flesh" as the subject. Good luck!

It List: Wednesday


We have to be briefer and more foolish than usual. Forgive us. We are killing ourselves to live; going into "peregruzka" mode, and trying to make sure everything is not complete chaos down in Austin. Nothing really happens until we show up, I thought you knew? -By SR AND DL


Skeletonwitch/Kylesa/Blacktusk/My Son My Exectutioner (Club Dada): Thrashy, heavy show, which would be a pretty big event on any other Wednesday, especially with Kylesa on the bill. This being the week that it is either results in shows being packed or criminally underattended, since there are so many big shows every day. Hopefully that isn't the case, especially for locals My Son My Executioner.

Frustrations/The Weakends/Bass Drum Of Death/Outer Spacist (Bunker Hill):
The Weakends have received a lot of praise for their garage rock, which is much more infused with traditional blues than most bands playing that particular genre, and how did I just know that Bass Drum Of Death was a one-man-band before I even checked? I was glad to discover that The Box Elders were not, according to the band, named after the single that launched Pavement's career.

Devo (The Palladium): What would you do if David Bowie and Iggy Pop helped you get your first record contract, or if Brian Eno insisted on producing your debut album? It's hard to imagine how that must have felt for Devo, but maybe the reason it happened to them in the first place is because they seem like the kind of guys who really wouldn't give a shit. Do contemporary Devo shows take on the kind of "Old Guys playing old songs" vibe that many older bands give off? I'm not really sure, but I'd be willing to take the chance.

Prince William/Roy G. And The Biv/Schwa/Darktown Strutters (The Lounge):Very solid show that we played a small role in helping put together, although Vigilante music group is the main force involved in making this happen. We've told you quite a bit about Roy G and the Biv over the past few months, and they are aiming to make a pretty big push at SXSW this year, playing several shows both inside and outside the official festival. Providing a nice contrast to the glossy synth pop of Roy G will be Darktown Strutters' brand of mutant disco meets Cramps and Nico sludge, as well as tasteful and eclectic DJ sets from Schwa and Prince William.

Restavrant/The Great Tyrant/Spindrift/The Gunslingers (Chat Room)


ADD:

Japanther/Prizzy Prizzy Please/Drug Mountain/The Pharmacy/Rocket For Ethiopia (1919 Hemphill)

Early Man/Red Fang/Silver Tongue Devil (Rubber Gloves)


Reminder: GVSB WSJR SXSW Day Party ya'll



FRIDAY, MARCH 20th @ Cherrywood Coffee (formerly Quack's)
1400 E. 38th 1/2 St. Austin, TX
FREE
NO RSVP
ALL AGES
Beer for Sale


Performances:

Jeremy Jay (Los Angeles) 3pm
Los Llamrada (Monterrey) 4pm
Aids Wolf (Montreal) 5pm
PRE (UK) 5:30 pm
Fight Bite (Denton) 6pm
Ducktails (New Jersey) 6:30pm
Nite Jewel (Los Angeles) 7pm



Poster art by Nevada Hill.

not new music Wednesdays


Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak (1976, Mercury)


I'm sorry. I tried to resist the temptation of St Patrick's Day, but it was unavoidable. If ever there was a record to represent the Irish drinking 'holiday,' this would have to be it. Not only is 'Jailbreak' arguably the finest hard rock album to ever come out of Ireland, it is also a sure sign of the previous night's excessive alcohol consumption to wake and find this one still sitting on the turntable in the morning...

(It's my fault that this wasn't posted on St. Patrick's Day. Sorry friends.) SR

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It List: Tuesday

NOTE: The show at 818 Hickory was combined with the 715 Panhandle show.

Wavves/Abe Vigoda/Fungi Girls/Fergus And Geronimo (715 Panhandle): Big show, little space, and one of the biggest in the entire HXHF schedule. Now let's talk about why that is exactly. What are ABC News and The New York Times trying to do, man? Embarrass this guy into an early grave? Or how about MTV News having a "Top albums of 2008" list that looked like it was lifted right off of Terminal Boredom?

Aren't you guys just so hyped about South By? I know I am. I'll let you in on a little secret: If you go into that weird, junkyard-antique area behind End Of An Ear when you're hanging out at one of their day-shows, you'll come upon a statue of a brass calf, inscribed with the words, "RSVP ONLY." You're only supposed to go in there if you're a publicist, booking agent, or blogger but just trust me. Knock three times and you enter a corridor which leads to a beautiful candlelit scene that features vegan catering, an endless supply of Tito's, and free wi-fi. Mix and mingle with the masons of indie rock as you partake in sacrificial rituals and decide who to crown as king this year. Last year it was obviously Nathan Williams. Poor guy. Who's it gonna be this time?

In all seriousness, along with a wild stroke of "right sound,/right place/right time" good fortune, Wavves is an extremely catchy project, even when buried behind the fidelity of a Panasonic KX-T1450. Much to the chagrin of the underground, people that like Lady Gaga are really into Wavves and everyone's just going to have to suck it up.

One promising development I've seen more and more over the past few years is the willful elusiveness of decades past, where artists release records sometimes with little or no information at all, as well as limiting their online presence. Some say it's a gimmick, and a gimmick it may be, but I'll take it in this super saturated era.

Abe Vigoda is another group that went from playing small shows to grander, though not necessarily more enjoyable events like opening for No Age at The Loft. However I think that their liberally reverbe-d "tropical punk" with its shifty prog rhythms is a little less inviting than Wavves, though still accessible.

As far as local groups that have achieved a lot in a small amount of time, Fergus and Geronimo seem to have barely played out at all, and yet they have records coming out on Woodsist, Tic Tac Totally, and most notably, a full-length debut on Troubleman Unlimited. Which will technically make Fergus & Geronimo label-mates with Farah. Wonder what some of the punk rockers I know will think of that. I've returned to the sincere pop with Motown-leaning instrumentation on this group's page multiple times, and I can't wait to hear the forthcoming records.

Oh, and you guys have heard of Fungi Girls, right?


Efterklang/Human Highway/The Magic/Peter Broderick (Hailey's):

Lover!/Yuppies/Thomas Function/Psychedelic Horseshit (Moved To 715 Panhandle) I have really liked what I've heard of the forceful style of punk performed by Yuppies. I enjoyed what I saw of Thomas Function when they played Panhandle last year, but unfortunately I was called out on the blog by some "just sayin'" kid for playing basketball on the infamous 715 backyard court during part of their set. Correction: Totally schooling some poor sap during part of their set, thank you very much.

Birds And Batteries/Telegraph Canyon/Laura Gibson/Death To Anders (Chat Room)

Fishboy/Amo Joy!/Caddy Wompus/Thomas Function (J&J's Pizza): I don't have much time to delve very deeply here, but Amo Joy makes Voot Cha Index sound like a grindcore band.

Marnie Stern/DD/MM/YYYY/Medications/Edie Sedgwick (The Lounge on Elm): I can't hate Marnie Stern. Maybe it's because everyone else seems to, I don't know. Such a huge fuss is raised, people claiming music being the most annoying sound since happy hardcore with most detractors not being able to decide if its her voice or hyper-shred guitar technique they hate so much. I could probably do with a little less guitar heroine-ics, but I think the music is layered and strange enough to inject some innovative revisionist history into her near-constant tapping and soloing method.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Metrognome Collective to Open New Venue

After quite a long hiatus, the resilient, Ft. Worth based non-profit Metrognome Collective has returned with a new venue and some exciting plans for the Ft. Worth independent art and music community.  Perhaps most importantly, the group, which ran a high profile DIY space in Ft. Worth in 2006, will be taking over the Firehouse Gallery at 4147 Meadowbrook Dr. and transforming it into a live music venue and new visual art gallery space.  The group plans to set up two PA systems on two stages in separate rooms, and will present "quick" shows (featuring 2-4 bands per) in which one band will play on one stage while another band sets up on the other stage and begins playing immediately following the previous set (much like the set up at The Smell in Los Angeles).  

Metrognome is aiming for an April 1st opening date, and will retain the name "Firehouse Gallery" for the venue while making improvements both inside and outside the building.  They will also be working closely on the project with two non-profit groups, James Watkins' Tolstoy House and Q Cinema, Ft. Worth's long running gay and lesbian film festival.  Details, along with a new Metrognome Collective website, are forthcoming....

It List: Monday

Tonight marks the beginning of the onslaught of the House by House Festival in Denton, which is taking place at several different DIY venues around town tonight and tomorrow night. They have gathered a fantastic line up of out of town touring acts for this thing, so do yourself a favor and venture over to the dark side of cheap shows, nice people and BYOB (By SR and DL):


King Khan and the Shrines (the Loft): You guys are aware that King Khan is way better than Jay Reatard, right?

Magic Lantern/Vibes/Robedoor/Totally Dad/Zanzibar Snails (J&Js): Considering the press these acts get, I would recommend this show if you want to really catch something you're not likely to see again; what basically amounts to a Not Not Fun showcase in Denton, and at J & J's of all places.

Magic Lantern are one of those groups so shamelessly into wearing psychedelia on their (paisley?) sleeve, that they will call some of their tracks "ragas." The thing is, as with most of these bands, there is something always slightly off about it, whether it be the recording process, or the especially noisy or haphazard approach to each piece of music, separating it from much safer takes on various strains of classic rock styles.

Vibes has members of Pochahaunted, as well as other Not Not Fun projects, and pushes forward with more garage and gospel oriented grooves than most of the other dronier and more detached acts on the label.

Robedoor is the standout group here; really haunting and menacing sounds that resemble Skullflower's drawn-out wash, with Jandek-like vocals on top. I wish I had more time to pick apart the hilarious concept behind Totally Dad, and try to figure out if it's a joke or not, but I want to add that I saw Zanzibar Snails with Mike Forbes (sax), Adam Calhoun (drums), and Sarah Alexander (treated vocals) the other night, and it was really something.

Psychedelic Horseshit/Drug Mountain/Fungi Girls (Chat Room): One of two really big shows Fungi Girls will be playing this week (the other is tomorrow night with Wavves and Abe Vigoda), and they couldn't have asked for better headliners. Psychedelic Horseshit seem like they're on tour like 300 days out of the year, and my favorite thing about their live shows is probably their obvious on-stage attitude problems-- they obviously aren't up on stage to please you or anyone other than themselves, and I kind of like that. Why does everyone have to be so nice and humble all the time? Anyway, you might miss a tad of that scratchy, no-fi shitgaze sound when the band plays live, but for many people, especially those who arent' accustomed to listening to such recordings, this actually works in the band's favor, as it allows their solid songwriting and ferocious yet sloppy playing to shine through and present itself as the wonderful mess it really is. This will be your first of two chances to catch Psychedelic Horseshit this week, but your only chance to see them with Drug Mountain, who are worth driving to Ft. Worth for all on their own.

Viking Moses/Pictish Trail/Golden Ghost/Rozi Plain (Muscle Beach): Perfect small setting to see Viking Moses. Moses is most well known for his association with Devendra Banhart's Golden Apples of the Sun "Freak folk" compilation, but the guy actually works in a number of different musical templates. His lyrics are often playful and the presentation is sort of that self aware silliness that you might expect from some of his Pac NW counterparts, but it still manages to be appealing enough to recommend. Be sure to check out Pictish Trail's excellent Hot Chip remix on Myspace before you check out Golden Ghost-- an understated, female fronted folk/doo-wop duo that might actually steal the show at Muscle Beach tonight with sugary sweet vocals and haunting melodies that'll make you wonder why you've never heard them before. Take a listen and get there early.

Box Elders/Lil Daggers/Deserter/Uptown Bums (Bunker Hill):Lots of Double Shot Records styled organ and punk rock at Bunker Hill tonight. Can't really go wrong with that.


Tricky/Damaged Good$/Prince William (Granada): So if you gotta stay in Dallas tonight but still want to hit the town (and why not? It's Monday night and the economy rules!), then this could be a solid bet for you. Of course, most people know that Tricky was supposed to be the marquee name behind the short lived but much hyped mid 90's "trip hop" craze, although its pretty safe to say, looking back, that there weren't too many artists in that era who were able to do very much that hadn't already been done by Massive Attack, including former Wild Bunch members like Tricky. That being said, his work on Massive Attack's essential 1991 release Blue Lines, as well as his 1995 solo debut Maxinquaye, are both considered masterpieces within the genre, and the influence of those records stretched far past the shelf life of "trip hop" itself, affecting everything from American hip hop to downtempo to IDM before eventually playing a role in laying the framework for the emergence of grime culture, even though there were much more audibly obvious influences at work in the creation of that movement. Damged Goods will be a solid opener to pump up the crowd, and Prince William is one of the few DJs in Dallas who will really be an effective opener and mood-setter for this show: Prince Will is the kind of DJ that knows how to avoid making extensive knowledge and dance floor accessibility mutually exclusive.

Paleo/Doyen/Eyes and Ears (Fra House): Holy crap... is M Ward in Paleo? I don't mean that as a dis or something either, because I actually like Paleo, but this guy really sounds like M Ward. Actually, Paleo is David Strackany, and we've written about him before-- he's the guy who released one song a day ever day for an entire year, and guess what? Most of them are NOT complete crap, or even really gimmicky or anything. Give it a listen... if this guy wrote 365 as good as the ones on his Myspace page, I would be pretty damn impressed to say the least.


The Upsidedown/Weakends/Airwaves (the Lounge)

Cool Out (the Cavern)

Free Tricky Tickets

Tricky plays tonight at the Granada Theater with Damaged Good$ and Prince William, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to you... but since our software issues prevented us from posting the contest on Friday (or earlier this morning), we're doing it today, and because of the obvious time constraints, we're going to give the tickets to the first person to email weshotjrtix@yahoo.com with "Tricky" as the subject line and a full name in the email body. Go to it!

Comments Work Again!

And so do we... look for stuff later today and the rest of the week! And the comment numbers on the main page might not reflect the number of comments in each section for a while, so you'll just have to look to see if someone responded to your amazing insult.

Monday Morning Rock




SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

MON: King Khan and the Shrines (the Loft)
MON: Magic Lantern/Vibes/Robedoor/Totally Dad/Zanzibar Snails (J&Js)
MON: Psychedelic Horseshit/Drug Mountain/Fungi Girls (Chat Room)
MON: Viking Moses/Pictish Tail/Golden Ghost/Rozi Plain (Muscle Beach)
TUE: Wavves/Abe Vigoda/Fergus and Geronimo/Fungi Girls (715 Panhandle)
TUE: Efterklang/Human Highway/The Magic/Peter Broderick (Hailey's)
TUE: Phosphorescent/Here We Go Magic/The Callers (Mountain House)
TUE: Psychedelic Horseshit/Thomas Function/Yuppies/Lover! (818 Hickory St.)
TUE: Marnie Stern/DD/MM/YYYY/Medications/Edie Sedgwick (The Lounge)
TUE: This Bike is a Pipe Bomb/Mose Giganticus/Shellshag/Stupid Party/Hermit Thrushes (1919 Hemphill)
WED: Japanther/Prizzy Prizzy Please/Drug Mountain/The Pharmacy/Rocket for Ethiopia (1919 Hemphill)
WED: Box Elders/The Weakends/Frustrations/Bass Drum Of Death/Outer Spacists (Bunker Hill)
WED: Skeleton Witch/Kylesa/Blacktusk/My Son My Executioner (The Lounge)
WED: Roy G and the Biv/Prince William/Darktown Strutters/Schwa (the Lounge)
WED: Devo (Palladium)
SAT: The Deathset/Team Robespierre/Ninjasonik/Cerebal Ballzy/Totally Michael (The Lounge)
SUN: South By South Flesh w/ Wavves/The Oh Sees/Abe Vigoda/Women and more... (the Lounge)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weekender

WOW. We had an absolutely overwhelming response to our My Bloody Valentine ticket contest. Several hundred of you entered, but don't worry-- we haven't notified the winners yet because we haven't had time to pick them, but we'll do it soon... so if you're waiting for that magic little email in your inbox, you'll have to wait a little longer. And Jesus Christ, there are some fucking shows this weekend (check our show calendar for even more)(post written by SR and DL)(also, the comments still aren't functioning properly, but we'll have that resolved this weekend and we'll update you when we do):

FRIDAY

Zanzibar Snails/Forbes-Young-Gonzales/Drink To Victory (Fra House): With all the hoopla concerning, well, just about everything this weekend, I'm stuck with the unexpected situation of being more excited about jazz-related happenings than anything else listed, meaning the Harvey Pekar event and this Fra House show. Mike Forbes, saxophonist, former Denton resident, UNT student, and one of the few musicians that could give Ryan Williams a run for his money as far as the amount of people he has collaborated with, pays his old town (and scene) a visit on leave from his current Chicago home.

Devin the Dude (the Lounge): Can't believe we forgot this... sorry!

Chicago has a very active underground jazz and noise scene, and Forbes has done well for himself, collaborating with the iconic noise/Now Wave/free jazz icon Weasel Walter, and helping to run a DIY Space called The Mopery.

I always considered Forbes a real "argument stopper" when discussing local music. He could hold his own on a crowded stage with the furious volume of groups like Notes From Underground, but seemed just as comfortable with any variety of dynamics and technique necessary to play with trained musicians in a small combo. Speaking of which, he'll most likely find himself in both situations tonight; playing through the avant fog of oscillations and violin noise in Zanzibar Snails, as well as improvising with the Gonzalez brothers. The very non-jazz, no-improv Drink To Victory is also performing, and we're excited about this show to say the least.

Centro-matic/Robert Gomez/Doug Burr/RTB2 (Dan's Silverleaf): This will probably be one of, if not THE biggest show at NX35 this weekend, thanks to the impressive staying power of Centro-matic, who have been one of Denton's best draws for a very long time, especially when they play Dan's Silverleaf.

Possessed by Paul James/The Theater Fire/New Science Projects/Delmore Pilcrow (Rubber Gloves): Possessed by Paul James is an Austin performer folk/blues/country songwriter who, with his scheduled appearances on tours like "Hillgrass Bluebilly North America," seems like a waste of time for everyone but "soulful" frat dudes. Fortunately, this is not the case. James, aka Konrad Wert, creates uneasy and arresting music that successfully straddles a line between vintage Americana and newer, indie/folk/pop at its least cringe-inducing. With a strong, compelling voice and a solid, raw cover of Lead Belly's "Bourgeois Town" as a Myspace page highlight, Possessed by Paul James might provide a pleasant surprise for those of us who aren't sure why most blues-based mid 20's singer/songwriter suburbanite types think we're supposed to buy their bullshit. Fans of M Ward and early Devendra Banhart will surely be impressed. The opening acts will be a solid compliment as well.

Telegraph Canyon/Dust Congress/Clint Niosi/Naptime Shake (Banter): What time does Dust Congress play?

Dub Assembly (The Cavern, downstairs): Dub Assembly is FREE tonight at the Cavern and they'll be spinning house upstairs.

Uptown Fridays with Select (Zubar)

SATURDAY

Weird Weeds/The Shivers/Shiny Around the Edges/Champagne Kickoff (Muscle Beach)

NX35 Presents: A Conversation with Harvey Pekar about Jazz (Fine Arts Theater, Denton)

ADD: Hot Flash (Fallout Lounge)

The Frenz/Jack with One Eye/Stumptone/Violent Squid/Sarah Alexander/ All Day BBQ and More (1314 Austin St.): A lot of bands will be playing this house show, which was advertised to us an "all day event," even though we're not exactly sure about the line up or when it starts. But since its Denton and its a BBQ and its a Saturday, I would guess mid afternoon at the earliest. A diverse and quality all local line up.

Record Hop/Boom Boom Box/The Fieros/Kaboom/Young Mammals (the Boiler Room)

Old 97's/1100 Springs/The O's/The Drams (Energy Square, Dallas)

Silver Arrows/Tame... Tame and Quiet/Zest of Yore/Ella Minnow (Dan's Silverleaf): The former Denontines in the Silver Arrows have certainly maintained a solid fanbase in town, and we've told you quite a bit about Tame... Tame and Quiet over the length of the band's existence. Zest of Yore recently received a rather positive review in the Big Takeover Magazine and although I've only managed to hear a bit of their power-pop/Guided by Voices/Beatles influenced indie pop, you'll find most of it quite enjoyable if you dig the aforementioned references.

SUNDAY

M. Ward (Dallas Museum of Art): An interesting venue for M Ward to play but probably a fantastic setting for a show like this. And even if you don't actively listen to M Ward but still might enjoy some of his material (like me), you can look forward to all the attractive vegetarians that will surely be in attendance. Ward made quite the artistic and critical splash in 2008 with side project She and Him, and his newer solo material seems to take a bit from the more pop leaning approach of that project. The work generally doesn't suffer, however, and some of stuff on the recent Hold Time is among his catchiest and best, especially first single "Rave On."

Monotonix/The Show is the Rainbow/Beep Beep/Sybris (Hailey's): So I pretty much hate whenever I hear about bands who are "SOOO much better live than on record" and are "totally crazy" and blah blah blah. Who cares? Shows usually aren't that fun anyway. Well, the one band that is the exception to this rule is Israeli group Monotonix, who actually DO put on a "crazy" live show that is absolutely worth seeing any time, anywhere. They wowed a decent sized crown at the Lounge in Deep Ellum a couple months back, so much so that more than one person (myself included) claimed that it was the best show they had seen in Deep Ellum in years. And I mean this when I say it-- pretty much ANYTHING can happen at a Monotonix show (pictured above), including fires, vandalism, physical injuries and about anything else that could go "wrong" at a concert venue, including the pervasive feeling that you might be forced to join in the shenanigans at any time. The group runs around, hangs from the fucking rafters and still play some fantastically loud and aggressive garage rock that sort of transcends genres and just exists as mean rock music at its best. Nebraska's Show is the Rainbow plays a sometimes fun and sometimes annoying brand of "dance rock" that might not blow your mind all the time but adds a requisite amount of interesting influences (everything from new electro psychedelic like Of Montreal to IDM and hip hop) to make it a possibly nice set up for the main attraction. But no matter who opens, this show is highly recommended.

UH OH/Teenage Cool Kids/Bad Sports/Wiccans (818 Hickory St.)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone/Laura Gibson/Sleep Whale/Moth Fight (Dan's Silverleaf): I heard a pretty great CFTPA cover of some pop song (Gwen Steffani or some shit) on Radio UTD the other day that almost changed my mind about this guy. However, his small yet devoted fan base will surely be out for this one, so you really don't need me, do you?

Laura Goldhamer/Har Herrar (Annex House)