Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekender


FRIDAY

Dr. Dog/Deer Tick (The Loft): Man, Dr. Dog. Festival rock is a bizarre thing. They're better than most Bonnaroo fare, but their increasingly slick albums sort of fell off more quickly than they should have.

A1/Schwa/Genova/Tyrone Smiley (Zubar): Top Notch is now a monthly.

Enemies Of Inertia/Melora/Baring Teeth/Lycergus (Reno's Chop Shop)

Yesterday's Gold II With Tommy Boy and DJ G (Tradewinds): We need more advertising like this.

Ralph White/Amy Annelle (Good Records): Phenomenal banjoist that played with The Bad Livers and even with Jandek, though to see this guy live, you realize he's one of these people that shouldn't have any other players in the way.

Man Factory | Museum Creatures | Peopleodian (The Cavern)

SATURDAY

Ocelot/Sore Losers/Fizzy Dino Pop/Big J/TommyL33J0nez (Majestic Dwelling of Doom): As of 4:27 PM on Friday: Confirmed Guests (278). Maybe Attending (243). Not Attending (487). Awaiting Reply (991). Oh, word? You guys are about as good at keeping secrets as we are. Presented by a whole bunch of folks, including the once pariah-like but now venerable We Made Out Once as well as Unkommon Kolor.

Matthew Gray/Dust Congress/Monastery/Gossamer and more (The Schoolhouse)

DJ Gigantrathor (Phoenix Project): This is a last minute effort to get the PPC all properly coded up before their temporary CO expires. There will be food for volunteers and music. There is a raffle that will be held, based on the number of hours you put in which will get you into shows for free. This is one of the best things going in Dallas, so come out and do a little real work to support it.

Mono/Balmorhea (The Loft)

Museum Creatures/Abacus/Nurses/White Hinterland/Glen Farris/Tallest Man on Earth/Sundress/Dosh/DJ Five Easy Pieces (Haileys)

SUNDAY

Ralph White/Yells At Eels/Amy Annelle/Dim Locator (Dan's Silverleaf): Terrifically mixed lineup. Dan's Silverleaf has had some great shows lately.

Those Darlins/The Uptown Bums (Rubber Gloves)

Art List

FRIDAY

Denton Contemporary Art Walk
Meme Gallery
Burgers & Friends: 6-9 pm (108 W. Oak St.) featuring Katie Kader
Panhandle House: 7-10 pm (313 N/ Locust)
Meme Gallery: 8-11 pm (411 E. Sycamore) featuring Brett Rees

SATURDAY

FOURPLAY
John Casey, Mr. Hooper, Frieda Gossett, Bruce Lee
Webb Gallery (Waxahachie)
Opens Saturday, May 1, 7-10 pm

Drawings
James Blake
William Campbell Contemporary Art
Opens Saturday, May 1, 7-9 pm

The Vitamin Social
Scott Tucker
Eddie Henderson
Kettle Art
One Night Only - Saturday, May 1, 7-11 pm

Collop & Kiser
Paint Snob Collective
Williams & Leininger

500X Gallery
Opens Saturday, May 1, 7-10 pm

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It List: Thursday

Owen Pallett | Snowblink (Granada)

Despite the alluring title of Baroque Pop that I always saw lauded by the press in reference to Owen's previous moniker, Final Fantasy, I never really gave the guy a chance. Did this have anything to with the fact that he has a concept album based around Dungeons and Dragons named He Poos Clouds? Yes. But after hearing his vocals on the Gigi album, which I highly suggest you do, I gave Heartland a whirl, and was delightfully surprised. For those of you who complain no one is producing anything original these days, I think you might have found an exception here.

Pallett takes the same grand approach to pop orchestration that Van Dyke Parks is known for, but whereas Parks keeps things fanciful, Pallett takes a much more dramatic approach. Not in an annoyingly dramatic way likeXiu Xiu, but more akin to a musically verbose piece of classical music. Every song is knee-deep in clever and sometimes daunting orchestration. If this were the score to a family drama, there would be a dead little brother or sexual revelation every stanza. Fortunately for us he doesn't fall into the traps of similar artists by attempting to match the gravitas of the music with equally bombastic emotional grandstanding.

Lyrically I'm not sure what the hell is going on here. I read that Heartland is a concept album about a farmer or something but I would have never extracted that from the music. It's not that he is hard to understand, in fact I find his plainly sung directness endearing, but the lyrics (and there are a lot) are very thoughtful, with arty pretension. Not really something you will find yourself singing in the shower. Humming the tunes, maybe.

If the music sounds pretentious to you, that probably isn't something you are going to get past. One of my qualms with his previous work was exactly tha,t but I think that with this new album he has left behind the forced ideas of before and has really focused on the accessibility of the arrangements. If you are a fan of Left Banke or Arthur Russell I highly suggest you check the show out tonight. I have never seen him live and I am not quite sure how this is going to translate to a live setting, but from what I hear he puts on a fun show.

Betdat | Bodytronix | Cygnus | DJ R9 (The Cavern)

Ishi | Darktown Strutters | DJ Sober (The Loft)

Please everyone, let's all help Ishi get to Bonaroo this year. Hopefully they won't find their way back.

80's Night (Hailey's)

Awesome Color | Hair Police | Hawk vs. Dove (The Lounge)

Jonathan has been really looking forward to this one so you know it's gotta be good.

Those Darlins | John Wesley Coleman III | Jesus (City Tavern)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It List: Wednesday

I could have finished this much earlier, however, I spent a long time cleaning up HTML on the entries submitted to our shows page. I don't mind stupid fonts and a little style, or lack thereof, here and there. If you want your show announcement to look stupid, then have at it. But making your letters six inches tall and the like, come on. That being said, I appreciate your participation in making the shows page often include shows that aren't listed elsewhere, even if it's not always the most comprehensive listing.

Also, personally insulting Jaime-Paul Falcon* in your show description is a little much. If you want to take a shot at the most tactful man in local music, you go ahead and be a man and do it as an anonymous commenter. He really hates that. I heard he was one of a few writers that was all over us at some panel during NX35, where according to the panel's host, Sam Machkovech, the lineup was loaded with writers that "loathed We Shot JR."

I have always loved the whole journalist VS blogger argument. Remember, the onus is not on the blogger to prove that he or she is a journalist. The pressure is on journalists to prove they can behave increasingly like bloggers, in order to save archaic business models. I wouldn't be surprised if they had meetings with topics such as, "How To Sound Casual," "Snarkiness 101," and "Illegal House Shows: A Primer."

When you have a journalism major that would much rather be writing about city hall, or sports, or the restaurant business, or community gardens, well, they may not always have the same enthusiasm towards figuring out whether or not some band still has the same bass player, or whether or not a track should really be considered Cold Wave. There's no accountability for this stuff. It's always suspicious to me when a group of professionals has to sit around and waste their breath on why they are, in fact, professionals, and the amateurs are irrelevant.

People have every right to try to make their dreams come true and to try to apply their degree as they had envisioned it would be applied, but I just wish that music wasn't always the first casualty in "journalistic boot camp," where young writers are thrown to sink or swim. This happens since music is largely seen as unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but also as a definite draw and a money-maker, so they can't completely ignore it. But the lowest common denominator usually rules, and safe and accessible is forever favored over anything "challenging." Even in the case of the local music press eventually embracing "Denton DIY" very late in the game, they still mainly focused on the most melodic and straight-forward acts.

Hey, speaking of "amateur bloggers," did you know that Forest Family has already sold out of their first seven-inch? Their new record, by Lafayette, Colorado's Gauntlet Hair will be out in "late May/early June," according to the label.

Don't Look In The Basement featuring The Devils/Alucarda (J&J's Pizza)

Video Rehab "Rival Gangs" Switchblade Sisters vs. The Warriors

Switchblade Sisters is one of my all time favorite exploitation movies. Highly recommended you check that one out if you haven't, and even if you have it's even better with a crowd. (FP)

Sally Glass/Jeffrey Saenz/Joe Radnik/Quick Chris (The Cavern)

Pretty Lights/Gift Of Gab (The Granada)

Drop Legs featuring Redeye/Prince William (Zubar)



*I am in no way encouraging you to really attack JPF with comments. In fact, I erased a very mean comment about him on the show listings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not New Music Tuesday


Some times this world can get to be a bit much ya know? There is that bullshit state sponsored fascism going on over in Arizona, the exploitative financial market crumbling before us, the ever widening division between economic classes and now local booking agents frontin' like they know all about DIY shows. With our country making leaps both forward and backwards all at the same time, there is one thing that we as a people can unite and take solace in. Something that Tea Partiers can never take away from us. That my friends is the soothing sounds of soft core pornography music. Whether relaxing by the fireside with a loved one or knitting mini sweaters for your pets, the Emmanuelle soundtrack will get you where you need to go.

In case you need a nerdy rock fact to justify downloading this here ya go. Famed guitarist and King Crimson member Robert Fripp won an out of court settlement over "borrowing" some of the music from Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic album for this recording. One of many things keeping this treasure out of print.

sweet dreams

It List: Tuesday



Yeah I know it's a boring Tuesday around these parts. We will have a Not New Music later tonight so that is something to look forward to I guess.

Lupe Fisaco (House of Blues)

As Tall as Lions|Bear Hands (House of Blues Cambridge Room)

90's Night (Hailey's)



How about this Wall Street jabroni getting his ass straight up served to him on CSPAN this morning? We need more productive vulgarity like this on CSPAN...

Live Feed : Land Mammals / City Center / Night Beats - Majestic Dwelling of Doom

Here are some late night video treats from tonight's show at Doom. There might be more coming in tomorrow but you never know with these things.





Monday, April 26, 2010

It List: Monday

City Center/Night Beats/Smoke and Feathers/Land Mammals (Majestic Dwelling of Doom): New York's City Center already played DFW over the weekend, and it looks like they pulled the always-smart move of sticking around to do a smaller show while they're still in the area.

The "EM DAWD," as it's called by insiders, continues to pull diverse, quality shows and is even throwing a major curve-ball by hosting a secret dance party soon, with an eyebrow-raising lineup of DJ's.

Speaking of booking oddities, did you know that Spune productions is doing house shows now? I heard it was the "thing to do," ever since some local paper hosted a couple of fake ones last year.

Megafaun/Breathe Owl Breathe (Haileys)

Spindrift/True Widow/Aaron Barker (City Tavern)

Cool Out (The Cavern)

The Tanks/The Istics/Naxat/Division Of Power (1919 Hemphill)
: Naxat is one of those acts where the artist is playing this extremely complicated music, that would be hard enough with a full band, and yet he's standing there trying to keep it altogether, putting out each little sonic fire, one right after the other. Download an EP from Naxat here.

Ludicra/Magnus/Pinkish Black (Lola's): Ludicra has received a decent bit of positive attention of late, if not in "the trades," then at least on message boards and status updates, mostly for its impressive live show. I wasn't blown away by their recordings, but I don't doubt that their particular style of Black Metal translates better live. Fort Worth's Magnus and Pinkish Black are also on the bill, and Pinkish Black is the new project of The Great Tyrant's Daron Beck and Jon Teague.

Monday Morning Rock



MON: City Center/Night Beats/Smoke and Feathers/Land Mammals (Majestic Dwelling of Doom)
MON: Megafaun/Breathe Owl Breathe (Haileys)
MON: The Tanks/The Istics/Naxat (1919 Hemphill)
TUE: Lupe Fiasco (House of Blues)
WED: Everett Howl & the Wolves/Star Commander/Pinebox Serenade/County Lines (1919 Hemphill)
THR: Owen Pallett/Snowblink (Granada)
THR: Betdat/Bodytronix/Cygnus/DJ R9 9 (The Cavern)
THR: Ishi/Darktown Strutters/DJ Sober (The Loft)
FRI: Dr. Dog/Deer Tick (The Loft)
SAT: Mono/Balmohera (The Loft)
SAT: Ocelot/Sore Losers/Fizzy Dino Pop (Majestic Dwelling of Doom)
SAT: Museum Creatures/Abacus/Nurses/White Hinterland/Glen Farris/Tallest Man on Earth/Sundress/Dosh/DJ Five Easy Pieces (Haileys)
SUN: Those Darlins/The Uptown Bums (Rubber Gloves)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekender




This Weekender is dedicated to Bret Michael's brain hemorrhage.

Friday

Electric Vengeance | Youth Aggression | Hood Rat | Tatter'd Flag (1919 Hemphill)

Katherine Young | Loop 12 | Deflowered Electric Flesh Bride (Phoenix Project)

Young and Brave | Jessie Frye | RTB2 (Andy's)

Black Friday (Fallout Lounge)

The Stuffies | oh Lewis | Love Collector ( Rubber Gloves)

Saturday

Final Club | Marriage Material (Tradewinds)

Del the Funky Homosapien (Palladium)

Aquaserge | City Center | Casper and The Cookies (Rubber Gloves)

Chelsea Handler (Nokia)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It List: Thursday

So after all that praising of Todd Rundgren the other day, he goes and plays almost an entire set of blues rock at Trees two nights ago. Ouch. It was cool hearing "Open My Eyes," originally performed with Nazz, but man, it was a bit much. I don't why older musicians feel the need to get in touch with their "roots," even ones they weren't necessarily ever in touch with in the first place.

Trees was the same as it ever was; it was as if it never closed. Todd was getting a bit grumpy about some of the set-up, which yielded his best quote of the night: "Man, I love this gig: Can't see shit. Can't hear shit. And my guitarist has a fucking tree in front of him." One wonders how used Rundgren probably got to larger venues in his heyday, and I hear that's a hard thing to let go of. After all, he was once rivals with John Lennon.

Now, if you'll notice by clicking on that link, very little has changed since Lennon and Rundgren were openly insulting one another in music mags. I found the exchange to be very similar to a couple of small-time musicians attacking each other on any comments section of any modern music site. It's oddly comforting.

Local Natives/Suckers (Sons Of Hermann Hall)

George Clinton & P-Funk (House Of Blues)

Mini The Bear/h...n (The Lounge): This is a release show for Mini and The Bear's new 12".

DJ Wild In The Streets (Tradewinds)

Yann Tiersen/Sleep Whale (The Granada)

Art List

WEEKEND EVENT

North Dallas Artists Studio Tour
Saturday, April 24 : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, April 25 : 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

THURSDAY

The Printed Image - etchings, lithographs, monoprints and spit bites
Andrea Rosenberg
Barry Whistler Gallery
2909-B Canton Street, Dallas, TX 75226
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Introverted Floating World
Brent Ozaeta
The Public Trust
2919-C Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75226
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

SATURDAY

Sin Limite - The Mexican Tsunami (M K Semos and Hugo G. Urrutia)
Lego (Ruben Nieto)
Decorazon Gallery
417 North Bishop Avenue, Dallas, TX 75208
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Fancy Footwork
HCG Gallery
1130 Dragon St, Suite 190 (off Howell), Dallas, TX 75207
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Girls Rock
F6 Gallery
2800 W. Division Street, Arlington, TX 76001 Suite F-6
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It List: Wednesday



Beach House | Washed Out (Granada)

Beach House I want so much to like you. Contrary to some of my non-blogger friend's beliefs I don't dislike things just because they become too popular or relatively mainstream. These friends seem to have no other reason for my indifference towards Beach House other than cultural elitism. On the surface Beach House seem like a perfect match for me for it is no secret that I have a penchant for moody indie pop. Unfortunately I have been disappointed with Beach House ever since I saw them live alongside a very sparse audience at Hailey's a few years ago. It was a pretty boring show which sadly matched my expectations after giving their self titled a couple quick listens. Beach House make some pretty non offensive yet slightly left of center indie rock. This is the stuff American Apparel hoodies are made of.

I will admit that Teen Dream has some very lovely moments, especially early on but by the time Lover of Mine kicks in I can no longer distinguish one song from another. The whole affair gets very bland very quickly. Much like last year's darlings Grizzly Bear, Beach House holster one set of tricks that they execute over and over. The plucking guitar, the lurching organ and Victoria Legrand's vocals which shows little range or personality from song to song. Teen Dream is not a difficult album to listen to, in fact it's a very passive one. Repetitive and anti-climatic. After the third listen I was asking myself what else this album had to offer and I came up dry. Trust me I know that I am in the minority on this one but I hope to offer a voice for the voiceless amongst the hipster blog-o-sphere.

Frankly there are artist today in the same musical spectrum as Beach House that I enjoy more. Please feel free to disagree with me as I offer some examples. The new JJ album has a very similar feel to this one and while it might not have a cozy sound like Teen Dream it has way more personality and takes more risk. I had a feeling I was going to be greatly let down by the new High Places after not liking the last album as much as the previous singles but High Places vs. Mankind is really impressive and effectively expands on their sound, unlike Teen Dream which sounds purely like a step forward production wise. So since you missed out on tickets for this sold out show you should buy the aforementioned albums, or just put on one of your parents Fleetwood Mac albums.

Bone Thugz-N-Harmony
(House of Blues)

This is going to be much more entertaining fun than Beach House. See ya at the crossroads.

Les Claypool (Lakewood Theatre)

I wish there were more classy shows like this at the Lakewood, such an awesome theater waisted on things like second rate burlesque shows.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not New Music Tuesday


Bongwater - Double Bummer

1988
Shimmy Disc

Thought I would go with a topical selection this week. Now I don't know if I would really call this a controversy but Bongwater leading lady Ann Magnuson's fan page (maintained and frequently updated by Manuson) was recently kicked off of Facebook for a pretty stupid reason. You might think that it was because of some sort of radical leftist agenda she was pushing but instead it was because of the picture below. A nudity free mock up album cover, obvious spoof of the Roxy album, that had never been released and she was sharing with her fans. Of course her few but dedicated followers made an uproar and shortly there after her account was re-activated. I know this may seem ridiculous because it is Facebook and who gives a shit but it makes you wonder what role censorship will play in social networking's future.

But what about the music Frank? This here is the first album (this release is also packaged with the debut EP) from the duo of actress Ann Magnuson and Shimmy Records founder Mark Kramer. Over their brief lifespan and catalog, Bongwater have become known, at least to me anyways, as the masters of commercially viable avant-garde pop. The music is great, weird and catchy but the real star here is Magnuson and her Tracey Ullman raised by The Residents performance style.

This is definitely an experience for the adventurous listener. Bongwater know how to make a beautiful pop song, you just have to take a little avant-garde side trip to get to them. Where this could be a tedious exercise in the hands of less radical minds, Bongwater maintain a balance between the political and the trashy, the abstract and confrontational, the beautiful and the fucking weird. The music is out there and jumps from one style or spoken word piece to another with a rewarding spontaneity which rarely transcends similar artist's (Ween, Miranda July) intentions. That is not to say that this is a messy, drug fueled pop art experiment. It may be out there, but the music is totally accessible to those not in the college rock know. Great place to start or a great one to revisit. Also features some surprisingly heartfelt covers of The Monkees, Roky Erickson and the Moody Blues.

Oh yeah and their name is Bongwater and it is 4/20 get it?

shoobie doobie doo

It List: Tuesday


Screening: "Don't Look In The Basement"- Mo Tai aka Devil Fetus/MO aka The Boxer's Omen (J&J's Pizza)

Todd Rundgren (Trees): Todd Rundgren's records were a favorite steal of mine when I raided my parent's collection as a teen, and I've always been envious of my father's claim to have seen Todd at the original Dallas Palladium, the one off of Northwest Highway. Wow, take a second to read over that link. Isn't it weird to read a piece on local music that doesn't sound like a text message convo?

Anyways, since you, and I, and however many people fit into the current incarnation of Trees will get to catch such a legendary talent in a club setting, and though that may not speak so well of where Mr. Rundgren's current perceived or more specifically, his commercial legacy stands, it is a privilege nonetheless.

A lot is made of whether or not Rundgren is at his best when he's all progged out with a group; which is how he got his start, with the overly capable Nazz, or if he's better with the Mesquite School Radio sound of his heavily Carole King-influenced period. And then there's that "other stuff" he did, the "synthesizer crap" that my mom always brings up when she laments his career arc. Which is more often than one would think. That "synthesizer crap" is most likely what has cemented his influence and lasting effect on both mainstream and underground music, particularly the riskier moves he made after scoring AOR gold, to the point where labels actually turned down some of his submitted material, as is the case with his never-released Disco Jets. The album is from 1976 and yet some of it sounds eerily like Ariel Pink's next record.

It's funny to think of all the people throughout pop music's history that were laughed at or rejected by the public and by their employers, for testing uncharted territory; whether it be through technology or composition, style, philosophy and all other conduits of progressive approach and vision. It's a well-beaten cliche, but it's still fun to listen to those almost undetectable tendrils of influence slowly creep through the decades and shelves upon dusty shelves of music both heard and unheard, until it finally stops at your current time, reveals itself through a sample, or a busy keyboard part and in some subtle way, points at you as if to say, "I told you so."

Guru RIP

Here's a link to an article from the Houston Chronicle blog which mentions the Houston angle, since DJ Premier was born there.

Here are a few somewhat obvious faves, but I still get really excited anytime I hear the opening samples to these tracks no matter where I am. "Code Of The Streets" may be the best hip hop song I've ever heard, or at the very least contains one of the greatest and most epic samples.





Monday, April 19, 2010

It List: Monday


Nothing to report today, except Jazz at The Amsterdam, Cool Out, etc.

I spent some time at the Good Records "Record Store Day" event this past Saturday only to find that it was running three hours behind schedule, and that's no surprise, since there were so many acts booked. Nevertheless, it seemed like a success, even if I always spend all my time at these things waiting around for sets that seem to never come. I was mostly trying to catch Wanz Dover's new post-punk band and first non-DJ project in quite a while, The Black Dotz, and simultaneously trying to get a feel for whether or not Wanz actually likes dubstep. That guy is just so vague about his feelings, ya know?

The Majestic Dwelling Of Doom show was great this weekend, and things were much more on-schedule there than I expected. I was mostly excited to finally see Chest Pain, an Austin hardcore band with DFW roots, and they lived up to my expectations. You guys know that's what it's all about right? Living up to my shitty little expectations.

Anyways, Chest Pain's lead singer, Travis Smith, is late of Denton's Angry Businessmen (for which he played drums and sang), and Coppell's Tyrannosaurus X (for which he sang). This band is much heavier than the slightly humorous, bass-led root beer punk of Angry Businessmen, and much more like TX, with minimal groove sludge and blast-beat chaos.

I believe that Angry Businessmen was the only five-star review ever on We Shot JR, much to the annoyance of even my fellow writers. Their nomination in the Quick Awards was a local music highlight for me and I always think it's great when something so under-the-radar registers a blip in a big publication. I don't credit us for any of that, it's all up to the artists themselves. However, I'm often asked these days why we still do this site, after doing it for so long, and since it seems like more trouble than it's worth, and I realized why when I was at the Majestic Dwelling Of Doom. The answer is simple: So it isn't only left up to cynical idiots who don't care to really know anything about underground music to list a show like that, or to ignore it altogether. There's nothing romantic about it. That's it.

Oops, I forgot. A Twitter account that makes fun of the way people look in Denton is having a pizza party at Hailey's tonight. You know the sad part? When you rag on people and throw a party in Denton, people will definitely show up. We know all about that. Why Denton Sucks is also selling t-shirts. Denton, you're so kinky and masochistic, you're making us blush.

Oh, and while I'm at it and to tie this altogether: Angry Businessmen's lead vocalist Clint Butler will be DJ-ing and playing video clips at the Why Denton Sucks show tonight. So there you go.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Monday Morning Rock



TUE: Porcupine Tree (House of Blues)
TUE: Todd Rundgren (Trees)
WED: Beach House/Washed Out (Granada)
WED: Bone Thugz-N-Harmony (House of Blues)
WED: Les Claypool (Lakewood Theater)
THR: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (House of Blues)
THR: Yann Tiersen (Granada)
THR: Daughters of the Sun/Vampire Hands/River Mouth (Rubber Gloves)
FRI: Electric Vengeance/Youth Aggression/Hood Rat/Tatter'd Flag (1919 Hemphill)
FRI: Katherine Young/Loop 12/Deflowered Electric Flesh Bride (Phoenix Project)
SAT: Final Club/Marriage Material (Tradewinds)
SAT: Del the Funky Homosapien (Palladium)
SAT: Aquaserge/City Center/Casper and The Cookies (Rubber Gloves)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekender


FRIDAY

Lonestar Goldsprints Event (Trinity Bicycles located at 207 S. Main St. In Fort Worth): Apparently a "goldsprints" event involves "stationary" racing. And there will be alcohol, which usually doesn't mix well with racing events, but this is probably the lone exception. Event is from 6:00pm to 11:55pm.

Binary Sunrise/On After Dark (Tradewinds)

Mass Sterilization/Chest Pain/Dark Forces/Geistheistler (Majestic Dwelling Of Doom): I know I've mentioned Chest Pain before, and I'm sure they would disagree with me, but I find their music to be far superior to what passed for punk and hardcore when I lived in Austin many years ago. This is a tough lineup, and Geistheistler's erratic set-times and ominous visuals are a nicely diverse touch.

Acid Mother's Temple/OGOD (The Loft)

The Black Dotz/Service Industry/Sydney Confirm (The Lounge)

Life Erased/Rotundus/Violent Messiah/Brainsore (1919 Hemphill)

SATURDAY

Good Records 10th Anniversary Celebration (Good Records): Big celebration at Good Records for "Record Store Day." Here is the very involved lineup:

LIVE FROM THE ASTROTURF (inside)
11:00am - Adrianna Oswell
11:30am - Little Birds
12:00pm - Baruch The Scribe
12:30pm - Cartographers
1:00pm - Hello Lover
1:30pm - Hormones
2:00pm - Doug Burr
2:30pm - Seryn
3:00pm - RTB2
3:30pm - The Angelus
4:00pm - Murder By Death
4:30pm - Ha Ha Tonka
5:00pm - Backsliders
5:30pm - The Black Dotz
6:00pm - Rainbows Are Free
7:00pm - Telegraph Canyon
8:00pm - PVC Street Gang
9:00pm - Binary Sunrise
10:00pm - Maleveller
11:00pm - New Fumes
Midnite - DSFZ (dem southernfolkz)
1:00am - This Will Destroy You

The Anchor/No Heroes/Genius Party/Totally High/Serious Business (1919 Hemphill)

Bill Wisener's Birthday/Record Store Day (Bill's Records, located at 1317 S. Lamar in Dallas): There's a surprising bit of crossover, artist-wise; Ha Ha Tonka and Dem Southernfolkz are playing here as well, but there's also Mr. Troll, which sure beats out some of the acts at both events.

Dust Congress/Kampfgrounds/Delmore Pilcrow (Hailey's): Last minute Saturday night show at Hailey's with a better-than-usual lineup.

Murder By Death/Ha Ha Tonka/Linfinity (Rubber Gloves)

Smile Smile/Spooky Folk/Caleb Ian Campbell/Sam Roberston (Dan's)

Genova/Mike Townsend/Pharoah/VJ Anomolee (Fallout Lounge)

James Hall And The Futura Bold/Sunward (Kessler Theater)

Industrial Street Bash featuring Matthew And The Arrogant Sea/Slobberbone/Carolyn Wonderland/Sun Dress/Final Club (109 Industrial St. in Denton)

This is a day time affair that starts around noon.

SUNDAY

High On Fire/Priestess/Black Cobra/Bison BC (The Loft)

Art List


SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 2010

Spring DADA Gallery Walk
Dallas Art Dealers Association
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM

This is a great event for getting a sample of a bunch of different galleries. Dragon Street is easily the best choice. Go park there and walk around.

Open Studios and 2nd Anniversary Celebration
CentralTrak
800 Exposition, Dallas, TX 75226
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Wow. Two years. In commemoration, I wrote a haiku:

artwork on the walls
skirts of terranova shock
two whole years this spring


New Works
(large group show)
Mary Thomas Gallery
1110 Dragon Street, Bldg 1080, Dallas, TX 75207
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Revolutionary But Gangster
Zach Saucedo
Ross Akard Gallery
1717 N. Akard Street, Dallas, TX 75201
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Uncomfortable title. Evidently all the pieces are priced at $777 (the sign of the Gangsta Beast?). The artist explains the show title: "Revolutionary, because justice is a must, especially in a culture that is blindly evolving as rapidly as ours, Gangster, because we will attain it by any means necessary."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It List: Thursday


R4WR "Pubstep" with Blixaboy/Fuzionmuse/4D/Dub Collective/Soul Embassy Sound System/Ops Esponja (Andy's On The Square):

These dub nights taking place recently around Denton have had some surprisingly large turnouts. Always cool to see some lesser known sub genre getting some love. Dubstep is something I definitely know very, very little about so I would like to extend a thanks to these fine fellows for teaching me a little. (FP)

Fizzy Dino Pop/Billingham's Defense System/Ocelot (Fallout Lounge)

Sally Glass/Madison King/DJ Travis Box (Tradewinds)

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone/Magical Beautiful (Dan's Silverleaf): Ouch. What's not dated about this band name right now? The natural cycle in music is:

1. You're ahead of your time.

2. Time catches up with you

3. Behind the times.

Finally,

4. Dead or too old before you become cool again. What a shame. (DL)

80's Night w/Yeah Def (Hailey's)

Final Club - Hot Gaze EP

Over the past couple months, Final Club have been playing a steady stream of shows throughout the Denton circuit, and the combination of some smart booking choices, a few intriguing instrumentals posted on Myspace and a little boosting from some local blogs has put the band on the tips of local show hopper's tongues. For those too lazy or physically unable to make it out to one of their performances, you now have the opportunity to hear an accurate representation of their live show from the comfort of your own home-- recorded over three weeks in the band's home and part time DIY venue The Lion's Den, Final Club have offered up their first EP Hot Gaze as a free download to the public. So is this hype train pulling out of the station too early, or should you pack your bags and catch the next arrival ? I'm gonna go with the latter. Final Club's debut may not be the most original recording I've heard recently, but it is definitely one of more enjoyable.

The four piece owe a debt to all things "indie guitar rock" from the 1990's on, and the band's drugged out guitar sheen notably recalls fellow Texans The Butthole Surfers and their abrasive and irony drenched take on abstract, modern day acid rock. Final Club play it much safer most of the time, however, which leads to a much more pop oriented product infused with the aforementioned fuzzed out sloppy crawl of a band that spent most of its heyday being anything but pop. Despite the obvious differences, however, the influence is still there in the sense that both groups share a uniquely Texas sense of psychedelia that seems to be a bit unidentifiable-- I think it has something to do with the sunsets, or it might be that the sheen echos off the reverb in the recordings the same way that Texas breeze caress your cheek after a hard night of partying.

Unfortunately, the songs do lack personality in some spots. All of the six tracks achieve what they set out to do, but there is never anything too surprising or unique-- no, it's not a boring listen deprived of personality, but I would like to hear the individual members loosen up a little bit. This is of course taking into consideration the as of now short lifespan of the band, but the good news is that as more shows and jam sessions occur, we may begin to encounter more personality and stylistic signatures for the band to call their own.

One strength the group has going for them is in vocalist Brendon Avalos, who exudes the foggy eyed innocence of Daniel Johnston mixed with the nasally acid punk sounds of Rodney Anonymous. It would have been easy to hide the vocals behind the wall of guitars, but I appreciate the decision to make it an active participant in the bands sound.

The six songs here don't necessarily show a lot of range, but the quality of the short set shows a promise of things to come. Closing track "Wizard Wells" does take some unexpected turns here and there which adds some spice and serves as a model the band would be well advised to follow in the future. I recommend you download and give it a listen before you dismiss it as a throw away recording that Final Club couldn't charge you for. After a couple of listens, you can tell that this is a release by a band who enjoy making music and just want you to hear it.

(3 out of 5)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It List: Wednesday


Coche Bomba/Life Erased/Akkolyte (Phoenix Project): I saw Coche Bomba described as being influenced by West Coast Power Violence, though there are many more melodic tendencies in the vocals than I was expecting, all the way down to some classic Punk "whoa-oh-oh" backing vocals. This band came all the way from Lyon, France so come out to the Phoenix Project and don't be stingy at the door. The Phoenix Project has been compared to 1919 Hemphill, but like most things in Dallas, there is something darker about it, and I mean that in the best sense, the overall atmosphere is very positive.

Video Rehab Presents: "Suckfest" (Tradewinds): This vampire-themed event will be showing clips from The Hunger, Salem's Lot, Grace Jones' Vamp, as well a double feature of The Lost Boys and Near Dark.

Astronautalis/Peopleodian/Bad Design (Rubber Gloves)

Free LCD Soundsystem Tickets

Hey there, our friends at Palladium hooked us up with a pair of tickets to LCD Sounsystem's performance on Wednesday, June 9th, and you can win them right here before they even go on sale. If you'd like to win, simply email us at weshotjrtix@yahoo.com any time between now and this Friday at noon. Please include your full name in the email body and "LCD Soundsystem" as the subject. We'll choose one winner at random, so good luck!

FYI-- we're giving away another pair on Twitter to one lucky winner who reposts our announcement. Try winning both ways if you want.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It List : Tuesday


Julian Casablancas (House of Blues)

Kevin Devine | Writer (Dan's)

Isaac Hoskins | Chip Robinson | Kasey Anderson (Rubber Gloves)



Pat Metheny
(Nokia)

90's Night (Hailey's)

ADD:

Tonight is the last Disqo Disco for a long time. From the FB invite: After 2 years and some change, the end has come for Disqo Disco as a weekly event. We've had a lot of fun, and made a lot of friends. A lot of those friends have moved on to new cities, but a lot of them are still lurking around the streets of Dallas.

With that being said, I ask that ALL of you come out and make this a big explosion of ecstasy and pleasure!! This is the last Disqo Disco EVER, as a weekly, and if you've ever had a good time with us, then you owe it to yourself to come relive it once more!

Disqo Disco is not dead however! We're taking time off from the weekly to nurture new endeavors, including the digital label we've started and the reason we began DJing in the first place: our live band SYDNEY CONFIRM. Be on the look out for new music from both! As well as shows!


BONUS FLIER THAT SOME RUDE JERK MADE ON MY DOODLE BUDDY (note: info is not accurate):

Monday, April 12, 2010

It List: Monday


First things first: Gutterth Live's Facebook profile needs to stop aimlessly adding my obscure cousins that are too smart to go local shows, as well as friends of mine who can't go, because they live in Southeast Asia. Chances are when they visit The States, the first stop will not be a J&J's show on a weeknight. Annoying.

Saw a lot and did a lot of "local music" stuff this weekend. After taking a little break from going out so much, I attended events at The Phoenix Project, Fallout Lounge, and The Modern in Fort Worth, respectively. A brief recap along with some random notes:

I've always liked the Wiccans' recordings, but have actually never gotten to see them live. I tried once, but they wouldn't let me into the show at 818 Hickory because I had a little reporter's notepad with me, and I was taking notes all the way down to the street. Just kidding. I'm not a total douche, believe it or not. Anyways, The Wiccans live show is something that I wished happened more often. The mix of speedy hardcore with golden oldies barre chord fuzz, and nasty sludge punk breakdowns was the exact kind of concoction that was just a muddled enough blur of influences to avoid any obvious stylistically oppressive pitfalls. It was just enough to snap me out of this bored and disgusted haze I had felt for the past week, and lifted my spirits about live music, at least as far as the weekend was concerned.

Somebody stomped on my foot at one point during the show, and it hurt really badly, but it was a nice reminder that some audiences still "get into it." There was a time when circle pits would have grated on my nerves, but lately I'm glad to see any sort of participation and enthusiasm. I hated kids in the 80's that wore T-shirts donning slogans like "SHIT HAPPENS" in hot pink letters, and tried to kick my ass so often that I started carrying around a can of Raid bug spray hidden under my shirt, but now I wish I could see those kids out and about, knocking things over at shows. Any sign of life, even a slightly unpleasant one, is better than the vacant looking minions that populate Brinker joints all across The Metroplex, and give up on life by 25.

I should have mentioned this before, but Cole Garner Hill the "hard rock columnist" who writes the "Dead Beat" column for Quick is not only very knowledgeable, but is a great writer as well, and pretty much makes a mockery out of most other people trying to tackle the "other Music" at similar publications. He also writes for The Fort Worth Weekly, where he's also an asset to one of the few independent alt. weeklies in the country. It's nice to have someone out there writing who actually knows what he's talking about, instead of some culture vampire journalist that only covers the underground in a cynical attempt to round up more readers in a coveted demographic. His recent interview and live video combo with Drug Mountain was so cool and well-put together, that I was shocked to see that it was for a Dallas Morning News publication and not some metal/hardcore nerd's blog. I know that sounds like a knock against Quick, but honestly I have always preferred it over other weeklies and dailies.

Later that evening, I heard a remix of Joy Division's "She's Lost Control" from one half of Billingham's Defense System at The Pizza Lounge, before heading next door to catch the always wonderful Anthony Stanford and Keith P's Black Friday. I won't even attempt to go over the play list, but I'll summarize it by saying I didn't necessarily know a lot of it, but it was still really good. I will be talking to someone from that crowd soon, to give us more insight into the almost psychotic habits of record collectors that explore that particular sonic dungeon of the 80's, so look forward to that. I know you love it when we talk about what we're going to do, as opposed to doing it.

Finally, I really enjoyed the Modern 'Til Midnight event, as it's almost impossible not to have a good time at the Modern, however the borderline steep ticket price keeps too much of the riff raff away that I'm sure would have liked to have caught the Ben Jones performance and exhibit. Warpaint played really well, but I have a hard time with mid-tempo indie rock, especially the jammy variety that exists somewhere between Yo La Tengo instrumentals and reformed goth vocals. The performance was still good, and it's hard not to be taken by the sights and sounds of a group as they perform in front of that beautifully shallow body of water eerily lapping against the "critical regionalism" of Tadao Ando's building design. It just never exploded the way I hoped it would, however Warpaint drummer, Stella, a crowd favorite by the end of the set, is really something. "Girl Rhythm" indeed.

Seeing Warhol and Basquiat's collaborations, and to a somewhat lesser extent Francesco Clemente, was so moving and unbelievable that it was ultimately depressing. When you revisit that work, it makes even some of the most impressive pieces of the past thirty or so years seem like a joke. It hasn't aged a second. Pile that on top of his manipulation of television, where he interviews everyone from Divine to Phillip Glass and it really makes the time we're living in seem like a hollow knockoff of an era indeed.

Oh, wait, I forgot the It List:

Power Animal/Final Club/Kampfgrounds/DJ Set By Bryce Isbell (Majestic Dwelling Of Doom): Power Animal hails from Philadelphia, though they are on Waaga Records and they recorded their album, People Songs, with the members of Sleep Whale, so you might accidentally assume they're from Denton. As such, they have a familiarly layered, chamber pop approach, complete with strings and xylophones. What differentiates them from more mood-oriented acts like Sleep Whale is that structured vocals play a big part in the group's sound. If you click here, you'll see one of the members headbanging to to a xylophone. Video courtesy of the aforementioned Gutterth Records, since the video is a preview to an upcoming Podcast featuring the group.

Final Club continues to be an almost controversial and hot local topic, with a fully realized and almost polished confidence to their sound, while Kampfgrounds doesn't pick up at all where Last Men vocalist Luke Dayton left off with his previous group, but instead finds the singer also playing guitar with a mix of forceful and triumphant sounding, songwriting-based punk that is a nice blend of distortion and earnestness. Dayton's range between irrational rage and clear-headed directness is impressive.

Cool Out (The Cavern): A joyous event that's almost the opposite of Black Friday, except that the music is still really good, whether it's Danceteria No Wave or soul and disco tracks that you normally don't get to hear at most Dallas DJ nights.

Monday Morning Rock



MON: Power Animal/Final Club/Kampfgrounds (Majestic Dwelling of Doom)
TUE: Julian Casablancas (House of Blues)
TUE: Kevin Devine/Writer (Dan's)
WED: Coche Bomba/Akkolyte/Life Erased (Phoenix Project)
THR: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (Dan's)
THR: Sally Glass & Madison King (Tradewinds)
FRI: Black Dotz/Service Industry/Sydney Confirm (The Lounge)
FRI: Acid Mother Temple/O.G.O.D. (The Loft)
FRI: Mass Sterilization/Chestpain/Gheistheistler/Dark Forces (Majestic Dwelling of Doom)
FRI: Rotundus/Violent Messiah/Life Erased/Brainsore (1919 Hemphill)
SAT: Murder by Death/Ha Ha Tonka/Linfinity (Rubber Gloves)
SAT: James Hall (The Kessler)
SAT: Smile Smile/Spooky Folk (Dan's)
SAT: The Anchor/No Heroes/Genius Party/Totally High/Serious Business (1919 Hemphill)
SAT: Matthew and the Arrogant Sea/Slobberbone/This Old House/Final Club (Industrial Street)
SUN: High on Fire/Priestess/Black Cobra/Bison BC (The Loft)
SUN: Shat/MC Lunchboxxx (Rubber Gloves)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Weekender




FRIDAY

The Big Pink/A Place to Bury Strangers/Darktown Strutters (Granada)

Uh oh. One of these NME approved British buzz bands with larger than life egos and songs designed to appeal to anyone and everyone who's ever heard of Oasis or U2. Shit, right? Well, not exactly. The Big Pink picked up a lot of steam very quickly across the pond, thanks in no small part to a succession of catchy singles (one of which was remixed by Gang Gang Dance) and its various members' involvement in releasing "nu rave" singles by the likes of Klaxons and others. The songs on their full length debut are certainly larger than life in many respects, and have often been compared to groups like Oasis, the Stone Roses and The Verve. So of course, if these bands piss you off, I wouldn't even bother. However, if you're open to the darker side of brit-pop, as well as doses of shoegaze and Big Beat infused Post-post punk, then you could probably do a lot worse than the Big Pink. Furthermore, attending this show would mean catching the excellent A Place to Bury Strangers, whose live shows aren't to be missed if you're interested in some piercing feedback and JAMC- Loop inspired noise pop. And at the risk of sounding too much like a Homer here, Darktown Strutters are probably still the most compelling act on this bill, which is rather solid overall. (SR)

The Big Pink DJ SET (Good Records, 730PM)

The Istics/Webbed/Peru (4 Horse Saloon)

Damaged Goods/S.A.I./Florene/The Uptown Bums/Power Animal/Old Snack (Rubber Gloves)

Nervous Curtains/Happy Bullets/Bridges and Blinking Lights (The Kessler)


SATURDAY

Oak Cliff Art Crawl (Oak Cliff)

Camera Obscura/Princeton (Hailey's)

Camera Obscura have been close to my heart over the course of my post-adolescent life. Their music has been a soundtrack for many a days spent in frollicing in the summer sun and even more night spent alone clutching my teddy bear and reading Satre. Like all great pop music it goes great with any situation. In my opinion all great pop music must be 1. catchy and 2. relatable. Something like Justin Timberlake or Lil' Wayne are undoubtedly catchy, but I can't really relate to them, nor would I ever want to. Now I am not saying that I am a thirty something Irish indie pop band but I do think that the mentality and demeanor of Tracyanne Campbell and co is much closer to where I am in my life, at least for the moment. As pop music tends to do their songs get indulgent at times, both musically and lyrically. Where some one like the aforementioned Wheezie indulgences include crime and bling, Camera Obscusra indulge in loneliness and reflection.

Since the death of John Peel and subsequent departure of Nigel Baillie their music has lost some of the more overtly twee elements and have really filled out their sound with strings and production bombacity. Big, beautiful songs filled with bitter sweet lyrics free of irony or repose. The closest thing we have to a Bacharach/David sound, along with fellow favorite Jens Lekman. I am not afraid to say I cherish this kind of music but I only from a very limited number of artists. Baroque pop or whatever you want to call it is littered with overwrought, schmaltzy, indulgent and other cringe-worthy elements coming from bands too cute or too serious for their own good. But not Camera Obscura; they got what it takes!

I was a little let down with their latest effort, My Maudlin Career, initially because I had such high expectations coming off of Let's Get Out of This Country. Luckily I have come to enjoy it more with age, and can't wait to check them out again. (FP)

Shearwater/Wye Oak/The Hospital Ships (The Loft)

I understand that Shearwater don't feel the need to bind themselves to the structural trappings of modern music but I think their concept has gotten ahead of the physical reality of their music. Their songs have some really nice moments and Meiburg's voice has character but the songs never seem to go anywhere. It all sounds over calculated and a bit pretentious to warrant the amount of listens it takes to appreciate the the desired effect of the music. I would much rather listen to Talk Talk. (FP)

Hello Shark/New Science Projects/Spooky Folk/Roy Robertson (Danny Tanner Manor): What the hell is going on here?






















The Buck Pets/Boom Boom Box (Trees): The Buck Pets are from Plano. They are widely known as the only good thing to ever come from Plano in the time that they existed. Had they not signed to a major label and instead formed some sort of scene around them, complete with record stores, a label, and so on, perhaps Plano would not be 85% Republican today. But then they wouldn't be as well-known as they are. Bands have to make a lot of unfair choices. Still, you did a good thing, Buck Pets. -DL

The Theater Fire/Dana Falconberry/Pinebox Serenade (Rubber Gloves)


SUNDAY

Musink Festival (Fair Park)

Ani Difranco (Granada)

ANS/Unit 21/Bleach Boys/Dark Forces/Collick (Rubber Gloves): Collick is one of the best examples of tackling the weirdly paranoid mood and heavily chorused guitar style of "Metal Circus"-era Husker Du. That was when they were still nasty enough to sound scary on the hardcore tracks, but you could tell they were just on the verge of being total wimps and admitting to liking The Monkees. Those kinds of extremes are hard for any artist to capture. (DL)


Live Feed : Psychedelic Horseshit/Orange Coax/Video - Majestic Dwelling of Doom

Weekender is gonna be a little late. say 6:30 or so, enjoy these recently embedded videos.

Got these videos in this morning! The post will be updated later in the day with more from Psychedelic Horseshit, Orange Coax and Video but thought you would enjoy this teaser.











Thursday, April 08, 2010

It List: Thursday



Psychedelic Horseshit/Video/Orange Coax/Mass Sterilization (Majestic Dwelling of Doom): A fantastic line up all around that really serves as a testament to the continuing force of DIY in Denton. There's something about Psychedelic Horseshit that I really enjoy-- of course it is probably pretty easy on some level to dismiss the band as an also-ran in the whole Siltbreeze shitgaze movement (a term that the band themselves coined, btw), but if you've seen them live or spoken with them in person, its pretty clear that these guys aren't a bunch of fashion focused hipsters jumping on any bandwagons-- they're scuzzy dickheads, actually (I mean that in the best way possible), and they just remind me of the kind of pissy, boundary pushing muscians that really seem to be lacking these days in the many sectors of the American underground. Oh, and their music? Well if you haven't check in with the band recently, you might be interested to know that they constantly seem to be progressing and changing stylistically. I caught them here in Chicago a few months back, and I don't even know how to describe what I saw-- there were drum machines, tropical guitars, noise freak outs, out of tune guitar solos, vocals performances that ranged from angry to indifferent, and just a really entertaining show all around. Much of the material on their latest release, Too Many Hits, is slightly less noisy and a bit more pop, but the record somehow comes across as even more risky than their previous offerings. Video and Orange Coax round off a well stacked bill, and if I were in Denton this evening there's no place I'd rather be.

Yeasayer/Javelin (Granada): Maybe I'm just a baby, but nothing annoys me more than a band I'm supposed to find interesting but just don't. At all. Yeasayer kind of just screams MIDDLE GROUND to me.

Slackbeat (Tradewinds Social Club)

80's Night with Yeahdef (Hailey's)

Art List

This week Bernardo Cantu is holding his Master of Fine Arts exhibition titled "Interdimensional Relics from the Barrio" at the Cora Stafford Gallery on campus at the University of North Texas. The exhibition will be open to the public through Friday with a closing reception Friday night from 5 to 9pm.

RICHARDSON HEIGHTS: Having grown up near The Great Border, you've said your work is an expression of the interchange between Texas and Mexican cultures. Tell us how your thesis show title relates to the work you'll be showing.

BERNARDO CANTU: First of all I want to thank WeShotJr for this opportunity. Ever since I landed in North Texas, about 3 years ago, and discovered this blog I've been following along. So It is an honor to be interviewed here.

My work is a product of who I am which is a product of where and how I was raised - my environment and culture. I'm descended from violent mixed ancestral history forged in Mexico but born on this side of the border. Growing up I always felt in between. Being Mexican-American I grew up not feeling neither truly Mexican or truly American, neither here nor there. In Chicano cultural studies the term for this is called "Nepantla" which refers to the in-between spaces produced by colonization. For others and me, living in Nepantla is common. Finding myself in that space reminds me that I am a product of two elements creating a hybrid identity- a new mestizo identity. This and being born right near a man made geographical marking of an in-between space (the Tex-Mex border), it is no wonder that I find myself working with hybrid abstractions. I use "interdimensional" in the title because that is sort of an interesting way of talking about both my situation culturally and dealing with something grand or cosmic. The genesis of my interest in exploring the visual arts began in a barrio. I embrace and carry my roots with me, which is embodied, in my work. I use "relics" as well in the title, when referring to my work, because my work has associations with the past, which is why I give them a worn look illustrating accelerated archeology. The title of my show also has a nice alternative meaning that brings up notions of something sci-fi, b-movie, the bizarre or another world which fits with my art. My hybrid abstractions are a mix of high and low art and that combination I think is also reflected in the title. I know it's a lot of information but I found no better show title then that for dealing with the art I've created for the show and my particular aesthetic.

RH: You indicated in your bio that barbacoa tacos somehow fit into all of this -- how?

BC: My work is inspired by many seemingly unrelated elements and one of those elements is the poetry I find in a good barbacoa taco. In good barbacoa tacos (or just good mexican tacos in general) I'm transported through time and space via flavor to my birth home and my family down south. It reminds me of my roots. Also, thinking about a barbacoa taco and what it is made from and how it is made, can be rather detestable (or agreeable) depending on who you talk to. So for me barbacoa tacos house a polarity of information that I associate with my art as well. From the eloquent to the irreverent, to the grotesque and the sublime.

RH: The Zapolitecos Machine really is pretty incredible. It has an overall feel of pre-Columbian art, but you've made it with all ultra-modern materials. How did you put this piece together?

BC: I wish I could say lots of tequila and peyote but that might not be the whole truth. This piece uses a combination of layers and approaches. I begin an art piece with a frame or a structure. Throughout the way it evolves into something else entirely different then what I started with (specifically with this one). There are a variety of materials going into this object: stretched and non-stretched fabric, plastic, wood, latex and acrylics. I usually gravitate towards stretchy fabric because when stretched it has a unique code of information. New lines and shapes (drawing information) emerge from the tension of the material being stretched. Enclosing or capturing the material's stored energy when stretched is also something I am attracted to. Which is why choosing material that has flexibility is important. Other parts of this object are materials that have a different caliber of texture, a different voice or code of information, which separates it from the stretched fabric. I also enjoy using mesh fabric because it has a certain resonance to certain parts of my youth in the 80's. This zebra or psychedelic striped pattern that dominates this object is a repeated pattern in most of my recent work. Using all these materials together transports my work to this bizarre space of "the odd" that I like. A space influenced by thinking about various aesthetics and feels such as in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Afrika Bambaataa, pre-Columbian, Neo-tribalism and steam punk. Most of my work asks questions rather than delivers answers and it also is a reflection of the music I'm listening to... and so this is true for this artwork in particular. Even though this one carries this information for me I allow the end product to have a voice of its own and thus allow people to interpret it how they will in whatever way they want. Which is why I like the idea of "purposeful ambiguity." So far, your interpretation and other's views on The Zapolitecos Machine have been consistent... so that feeds into this work now.

RH: You use a lot of interesting materials in your "wall-mountable" pieces, including what looks to be reshaped plastic and latex. What is your studio set up like? What is one of your work sessions like?

BC: I have a pretty messy studio. I think I have the messiest one in all of oak-street hall currently. I might hold that honor for a long time. I really have no more room in my studio... every area is taken up with something. Sometimes I wish I could be more minimal but its just not happening. In one area there is a speed bag, in another area there is a plastic Cerberus given to me by my gal Vero and in other areas there are piles of materials (from fabric, plastic to acrylics) that I like to think of as alchemy mounds. Every other space is occupied with my art. A work session for me is getting some specific type of music going, then attacking a project with a combination of a bad attempt at Mike Tyson in his prime by knocking something out in a matter of seconds and the more slower, pensive, sensitive painter side of me. I go back and forth between these dichotomies often in my studio. Which is probably a big reason why I think the style in my work carries this mixture between brute elegance and irreverent baroqueness.

RH: Do you employ any particularly original technique in your work? And more importantly, would you be willing to share your secret?

BC: I guess I do have an original technique that I use to create my art. I haven't been pointed to anyone else that is doing what I am doing technically so until then it is original. It is extremely low- tech/lo-fi and for that I love it but It might be original because I don't think anyone in their right mind would do what I'm doing technically... or maybe so who knows. If anyone wants the secret sauce I might give it out from a bottle at my closing reception but you are going to have to approach me and ask me about it.

RH: So, you got an MFA. What happens next?

BC: To borrow an idea from the late great Mitch Hedberg I'm going to hit the ground running with a "get rich slow scheme." I think I'm in the right business for that. On the other hand if someone wants to make it happen quickly I don't mind forfeiting the scheme.

*********

THE LIST

THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2010

Identity
Stewart Cohen
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery
1202 Dragon Street, Dallas, TX 75207
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 2010

Lady Classical, Mother Metamorphosis, and other Holy Fables
Michael O'Keefe
Valley House Gallery
6616 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, TX 75254
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 2010

Janet Chaffee and Heidi Lingamfelter
Mighty Fine Arts
419 N. Tyler, Dallas, TX 75209
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Grind, Hassle, Jump Jam
Nic Noblique
Cameron Gallery
1414 Dragon Street, Dallas, TX 75207
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Ginger Geyer
Kenneth Hale
Jacqueline Bishop
The MAC
3120 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

WEEKEND EVENT

Oak Cliff Art Crawl
Davis St, Seventh Avenue, Tyler, and Bishop Ave in Oak Cliff
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Saturday
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Sunday

Image courtesy of Bernardo Cantu.