Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It List: Tuesday

Xrin Arms | Genesis Climber Geistheistler | Redfaced Laughter (Dwelling of Doom)

Akkolyte was originally on this line-up then dropped out last minute, bummer.

Crucified|Losing Grip |End Times| Now (1919 Hemphill)

Bandanaroo Bret Michaels Fuel Cowboy Mouth (American Airlines)

I would just like to say that this is the greatest name for a festival I have ever heard. -FP

Dallas Observer Music Awards Ceremony (Granada)

(We've been having some weird problems with our software today, so here is one of the two posts we wrote, hopefully the other will be up soon. As of now comments aren't working either but feel free to try them):

SR's TAKE...

It seems like every year, around the time of the Dallas Observer Music Awards, we produce a post making fun of the list of nominees or the "theme" of the show or whatever else might be totally lame about a particular year's set up (mash ups?). And this year's awards seem to have no shortage of things to poke fun at-- Mt Righteous playing with gallerycat? No thanks. The shocking revelation that Pete Freedman heard about Bad Sports 3 years too late? It's not that hard to catch up, bro. Who the fuck is AIR REVIEW? Who cares? Is the Observer required by law to cover every move John Pedigo makes? I'm not even sure if he's in the one of the bands performing tonight, but I bet he is.

All of these things are totally dumb for sure, but I suppose the larger question is--why is this worth talking about at all? A few years ago, I think we used to feel the need to cover anything remotely related to "indie rock" and "local music," so awards shows such as this were required conversation pieces simply by default-- a large corporation invests a bunch of money into a "celebration" of local music curated by people who claim to have "taste" (oh my god u guyz sorry 4 bn a music snob but i totez heart spooky folk) so that's an event worth covering in and of itself, right? By any objective standard, its one of the bigger evenings for the local music establishment and there's no denying it (I mean which other night of the year do shit clubs in Deep Ellum get propped up as cultural institutions?).

But I've realized in recent months, as we've been more pressed for time in new cities with changing priorities, that this shit just has literally nothing to do with what I'm interested in or passionate about, and I'm really not certain that I know what to say about things like the Dallas Observer music awards anymore. Does the vast majority of the music suck? With the exceptions of Dust Congress, Bad Sports, and Shiny Around the Edges, of course it does. But what do I care? Dallas can have its fun, and I bet if I attended a local music awards ceremony (I never have), I would just get drunk and live with it and try to have a decent time. But looking at these awards shows from afar, in a new place that I happen to like much better than Dallas, it sort of just makes me feel bad for spending time discussing this garbage. We're going to continue to cover local music and make fun of things for as long as this blog exists, but the readers of this site don't need me to tell them that this kind of stuff is garbage, and if award ceremonies such as this truly represent who's "made it' in Dallas' music community, then deciding whether Ishi is cuter than Alan Palomo just doesn't seem like its worth any of our time, does it? (SR)

Frank's take...

I would just like to start out by stating that I have no interest in any of the categories and/or who wins at the DOMA because I feel the idea of artists being pitted against each other in a popularity contest - under the guise of a competition of artistic merit - is pretty ridiculous. But isn't this what wsjr does on a daily basis? Yes, but it is obvious that the recommendations handed out here, sometimes more generously than others, are rooted in one critics' perspectives and are not meant to be deemed the "best of" whatever. That being said, I know it is one of those things that has to be done, and it does offer exposure for bands that might not otherwise receive.

Having said that, I am going to be fucking pissed when www.weshotjr.com doesn't win for best blog. Not pissed because I or anyone else here gives a shit about winning trophies, but because I personally feel like we deserve it. I attended the "Summit on Truth and Identity and How it Relates to the North Texas Music Scene" or whatever it was called during the NX35 festival. This meeting of the minds was set up the hard hitting issues facing the North Texas music blogging community. It was there, after being berated and spat upon for an hour, that I came to grasp the importance of this website within the community.

The conference I would say was concerned 80% of the time with how big of assholes the people at www.weshotjr.com are and how they (we) are a destructive force within the community, hiding behind their (our) anonymity while sabotaging those around us (our peers) who we do not deem cool or hip enough. The panel of Bloggers - which I obviously was not apart of - consisted of some pros and some amateurs, but all who write under their given name, which is great because it works for them. One of the key components of this site is the freedom that the writers have to openly criticize artists that come from a small community like ours, which is not an easy thing to do. By remaining anonymous, we the writers are able to openly share our feelings without you the readers worrying about our allegiances to friends, artist or whoever else might try to pay us under the table. I have openly criticized artist who are friends of mine on here, and not out of malice or spite, but because it was what I felt needed to be said at the time. And contrary to popular belief, you can be friends with someone and still not like the music they make.

I can understand that the comments section almost always becomes the face for which we here are judged. Admittedly, I often cringe at some of the things that are said on here, but that stuff is out of our control, and I think that censoring it (unless of course threats or deliberate legal slander) would not serve any purpose. What I see this site as, along with other non-comment readers I have encountered, is easy to access to daily listing with sporadic commentary. I say this not coming from a contributor but as someone who was an avid reader of the site way before I became involved. I think the utilitarian benefits of the website would be enough reason to keep it going, but the relationship that develops between the writers and the readers here has always been a unique and interesting one. Before coming on board I would often wince and roll my eyes at the recommendations and condemnations made by writers, but I always came back because I wanted to know what they would think of this or that because they thought this about that and so forth.

Beyond the "bias free" defense, the anonymity here is important and elevates us above our competition because I know that I nor anyone else on this staff have any intentions of being Blog Primadonnas, (which were on display that afternoon at the conference) strutting around town with opinions displayed on our sleeves. Back before blogging became the cultural wasteland that it is now, it used to be exciting to read articles and opinion pieces by the Mr. and Ms. X's across the world. These were people who felt like they didn't have a platform otherwise and could speak their minds with the intention of spreading ideas and not building egos. Unfortunately, blogging, just like everything else the human race gets it’s hands on, has become a platform where easy filler can be passed off as content, thereby garnering praise for said filler provider. It seems to me there are a lot of area blogs that seem more interested in plastering their logo on a show flier or fluffing their friends than actually contributing to any kind of debate.

Back to the conference. After an hour of sitting quietly taking notes as Bloggers defended themselves and their relevancy, I felt a bit defeated. It’s like being called a faggot when you can’t throw the ball far enough in gym class, but instead of whispers falling behind your back, the criticism is being broadcast over a PA and toasted to by your contemporaries. But just as I began to order that sixth martini at the tail end of the Q&A section, two musicians, well respected by myself and the community at large, stood up to our defense, making the proclamation that www.weshotjr.com and The Observer are really the only two games in town, which I believe to be the honest truth. We have our spats back and forth with the Observer, but they do take an active role in covering local acts. Just hearing from two members of the community, two people that have been written about on here and in numerous other outlets, let me know that my view of this sites' relevancy wasn’t just some narcissistic figment of my imagination, but was actually shared by others. The two musicians also brought up that this whole thing is not a competition and none of these media outlets should approach it as such. We all serve our part. That being said I still think we deserve the win.

So why bring this up now? Why I am defending myself against our inevitable loss, a desperate attempt to soothe our collective ego? I think it is pretty obvious that we could give a shit one way or another, but I thought this would be as a good as time as any to extended a hi-five to the staff here and especially to our readers who come back day after day and support this unique and beautiful music scene that we have here.

I’ll admit there is a certain level of narcissism that goes along with pontificating your opinion to thousands of anonymous people on a daily basis, but the reason all of us do this is because we love music and we are doing out part to present an honest, constructive and fearless perspective of the North Texas music scene. As for the anonymous comments, I have no defense for them.


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