This is the last chance to catch this very unique night of super chill, 70s/80s good time Charlie music. The perfect choice for those needing to relax the fuck out after a tough week at the office. This also might be the last time you see any unique offering that we have seen Tradewinds put on the past couple months. In fact I know you will not. We will have more information about this situation next week. The PVC Street Gang show Saturday has been canceled.
Top Notch wish Sober | Dayta | El Roy Boogie | Empanadamn (Zubar) This is Sober's Birthday show, and I should remind you that Top Notch is now a monthly, not a weekly. Sober will apparently have a very special guest next month, which he will be announcing tonight. Happy Birthday, Sober.
Oh shit watch out Dallas, Denton seems to have had a massive folk spill and there are plumes appearing in your classy performance spaces. Our buddies over at Day Bowzer did a review of the new Sundress this week which you can read by manually entering the url yourself. Well I think I am going to sink my teeth into this one as well so you should have something to look forward to next week. And shhhh don't tell him I told you, but SR is working on something as well.
I have seen Matthew Gray's Writer project a couple of times along with giving the I Took Drugs Instead... EP a couple of spins and enjoyed both experiences. You might recall some of the things I bitched about with the Jaffe record - stale music, self indulgent lyrics, lack of character - well I think Writer covers some of the same territory but does it right. The work is much less stoned out freak folk and delves into darker singer-songwriter territory. I find it interesting and much more focused than his work with Matthew and the Arrogant Sea.
it list : thursday (sorry about yesterday also being called thursday)
Howard Huges Night At The Texas Theatre: Hell's Angels (1930) | The Aviator | Also Featuring DJ Wild In The Streets | Live T-Shirt Screening by Pan Ector (Texas Theatre located at 231 West Jefferson Blvd in Oak Cliff) First off, I had no idea that Howard Hughes once owned the Texas Theater, but apparently that's the case according to J. Reimer, one of the people running things down at the Theater these days. Of course most of us know the rest of the details of the Theater's place in history (the above picture is of Oswald being taken out of the Texas Theater on the day of his arrest), and it seems Reimer and company are about to start trying to do a lot to revitalize the place, so keep your eye on what's happening down there over the next few months. Don't have word on exactly when this starts, but I'm hoping someone in the know can fill us in via the comments section (EDIT: STARTS AROUND 630).
I Love You | True Widow | Sans Soleil | Shiny Around The Edges | Fur (DJ) (Majestic Dwelling Of Doom): Another solid show at Majestic Dwelling of Doom. I had a whole thing I was going to write about True Widow, but I have to get back to work now, so next time.... next time.
We Love Denton with Record Hop | Kaleo Kaualoku | Shiny Around The Edges | Doug Burr | Manned Missiles | Dear Human (The Schoolhouse): Attention! Please be advised that by your entry upon these premises, you are consenting to being photographed, and having your likeness used in a motion picture. Click on that link, and you'll see just how far most music scenes have come as far as politeness goes, and that's a damn shame. Anyways, this is being taped for a documentary about rock music and the theme for the show is all about how each of these acts is a diverse facet that collectively make up the Denton scene. Which is true, it is diverse, and I like some of the acts. But it got me to thinking, do we still love Denton? We have always been accused of being subversively pro-Denton purists, but would people still say that today? Who really loves Denton and how much? Did you break up with Denton and move to Oak Cliff? Or worse, did you DIVORCE Denton and move to New York or San Francisco or Chicago? Or even worse, Austin?! I like Denton. I always have. But I don't know if I love Denton as much as I used to. There used to be crazy shows every weekend with tons of crazy acts. And lately, it's just been a little...safe. What the hell is going on there lately? I like Majestic Dwelling Of Doom, I like some of the booking at Rubber Gloves lately and it's always the best case scenario for a touring band; there are occasional good shows at other places and houses, but there's something just kind of "blah" about it lately. Come on, Denton. Kick all of these lame-o's out of the scene and fuck shit up. And if we're those lame-o's, so be it. I'm getting old and I'm tired of fighting anyways. Maybe it's going around.
The Spits | No Bunny | Uptown Bums | Leg Sweeper (The Lounge): You have to love The Spits. They're one of those bands that have an attitude so irreverent that they transcend willful limitations of the one or two genres from which they mainly mine. Such a narrow vision often comes off as silly from most acts, but there is something intangible about them, their brief spiky songs, and ridiculous getup. Perhaps it's because I associate them with cool dumpster diver kids that, like, "don't care," and actually dance at shows and cuss out the door guy when it's 21 and up (Not his fault LOL). You know, people that own vinyl and not 400,000 terabytes of music they'll never listen to. Whatever. No Bunny is a big deal too.
Hoyotoho | Yeah Def | Wishfm (Ghost Bar): Is this a new weekly? Can somebody please keep me in the Ghost Bar loop? Shit. Is there a site that shows everywhere Dustin Hollywood will be taking pics? I'm so confused lately.
And here's a video that Quick's excellent "Deadbeat" feature did for Fungi Girls, while I'm thinking about it. There's a lot of amateur interview/performance video out from various local publications lately, and this is by far the least annoying, unpretentious, and actually enjoyable:
DJ Yeadeaf will be offering free pizza to the poor and drunken tonight along with serving up his selections from the 90's. Could it be that 90's Night is starting to feel the heat from upstarts Singles Going Steady just down the street at Rubber Gloves?
Chris P and DJ Matchmaker (what happened to DJ Tanner?) lace the gloves up tonight as they go head to head with Hailey's 90's night and their free pizza. Will the new kids on the block come out on top or will the veterans emerge the victor with their prestige and melted cheese? All I know is that this is a big night for both teams. The kids are out of school and they are ready to party ironically 90's style.
Of Montreal are one of those bands that seem to get on people's nerves quite easily, especially upon first listen or seeing their wardrobe. To a certain extent I can understand. Their music can be overly cute, quirky and without a doubt high energy. If you can put these fears aside and take a look at their career you will find a discography that has maintained a level of quality rarely found in modern pop, especially with a band as eccentric as Of Montreal. Of Montreal are one of the few bands that take an actively surrealist approach to their music, much in the same way so many great 60's and 70's psychedelic pop acts did. While they surely wear their influences on their sleeve, through variety and fearlessness (who names their album The Gay Parade?) Of Montreal have carved their own, if not ever changing style. This was unfortunately not the case for many of their Elephant 6 counterparts who quickly bit the dust or became irrelevant.
Still they are not for everyone. If you don't think humor belongs in music or you can't appreciate a good Georges Bataille reference I could understand why you might not dig. If for some reason you do enjoy things like, say...The Beatles, and have not checked out Of Montreal's work I suggest you start with Cherry Peel and work your way up. Even if you have heard their music and think it is totally lame, Of Montreal are one of the few acts that put some effort into making their live show a unique and worth while experience. I really miss the days of seeing these guys at Rubber Gloves but it is awesome to see what they are able to with that Outback money.
"...but Frank! They sold out their art for the sake of superficial consumerism?!?!?"
I don't fault Of Montreal, or any artist for that matter, for licensing out their music for commercials. It's a great way to make some easy money and I'll admit I quite enjoyed hearing things like Cold Cave in a Radio Shack commercial. While Outback steakhouse is not the first restaurant I would hope to associate with Of Montreal, at least it's better than The Olive Garden. As for the commercial, the music was in the background and I didn't feel offended the "art" in anyway. Did it help their career other than monetarily? While I would like to imagine that some bloomin' onion fans found that song catchy and went on to explore Of Montreal's work, I doubt that's the case. No harm no foul. Now the problem I, as music consumer and critic, do have with corporate entanglement is when the relationship megres into endorsement territory. I know that your visage might sell a few more of those soda cans, which has it's worth, but is it really worth it?
MON: Of Montreal (Granada) WED: Kyklooppien Sukupuutto/Unit 21/Neverskade/Rotundus/La Urss (1919 Hemphill) WED: The Spits/No Bunny/Uptown Bums/Leg Sweeper (Lounge) WED: Eyes. Wings & Many Other Things/The Migrant/Clint Nosi (Lola's) THR: Spanish Gamble/Over Stars and Gutters/No Heroes/Genius Party (1919 Hemphill) THR: True Widow/I Love You/Shiny around the Edges/Sans Soleil (Majestic Dwelling of Doom) FRI: Psychedelic Horseshit/Twin Stumps/White Drugs (Rubber Gloves) FRI: Devin the Dude (Granada) SAT: X/The A-Frames/Video (Rubber Gloves) SAT: Goldilocks and The Rock/Quiet Company/Curvette/Holy Fiction (Haileys) SAT: Jeff the Brotherhood/Heavy Cream/Stoned Men (Dan's) SAT: Sundress/WRITER/Daniel Folmer/Caleb Ian Campbell (Kessler) SAT: PVC Street Gang/Tiger Thrust (Tradewinds)
There seems to be a sense around town that Sarah Jaffe's latest release Suburban Nature just might be the thing to send her beyond the DFW scene. Following in the footsteps of Norah Jones and St. Vincent, two artists who I think anyone could confidently say have "made it." After spending some time with Nature, I have some reservations about Jaffe being the chosen one to close the commercial trifecta some are hoping for.
My critique of this album is almost purely based on the merits of it's songwriting. The music is all very boring, predictable and very polished. This isn't great, but it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker for me, especially when it comes from an artist whose centerpiece is the lyrical content. I am a big believer in the idea of the songwriter being our modern day poets. While this is hard to say in public without coming off as overly pretentious, the security of the blog-o-sphere offers me the freedom to say so. Of course there are the great songwriters that are known world over, but I also believe that nearly every town, especially those with colleges in them, potentially breed singer/songwriters of great worth that don't see the light of day outside the city limits. I am sure that your impatient ass already looked down to see the rating and know that I do not hold Jaffe in this category.
My overarching argument would have to be that the album is damn boring. There is no point on this recording where Jaffe does anything that makes her stand out from the previously mentioned troubadours playing coffee shops across America. If the album's production wasn't so pristine, maybe the music wouldn't sound so distant. Having some grime around edges can help us believe you aren't just a contempo-folk bot. The illusion of intimacy can be pretty easily attained. Instead, every song sounds like it was written for one of those mix CDs that you buy along side a double latte at Starbucks.
Each song on Suburban Nature is a mini-ode to heartache with Jaffe (or her characters) as the protagonist. Music of this nature lends itself to an intimate relationship with the listener. I have to say that I'm not too comfortable in the part that Jaffe wants me to play. You know those friends that are ALWAYS getting fucked over by their significant others; always ready to play the part of the lovelorn ingenue done wrong by some beautiful apparition? I know that when your heart is broken, it is hard to see past the immediacy of those feelings, but must you always be the protagonist? Ms. Jaffe, were you never the one to fuck up? She is asking the listener to be a sympathetic friend to unload her problems on, but I felt more like the jilted ex-lover wishing she would stop complaining and accept the finality of our failed romance.
There are parts of the album that I did enjoy. "Vulnerable" works, because she tries to tell a story and doesn't rely on abstract "woe is me" songwriting. "Summer Begs" is another highlight where Jaffe does show that she can at least begin to paint a scene. This is achieved by giving us the details and nuance of a love gone wrong. Instead of just myopic self-reference, we get some semblance of characters the listener might care about.
As I said before, I have been known to be won over by singer/songwriters that share similarities with Jaffe. The first thing that pops into my mind is an artist with local ties: Ladel. The two artists share many similarities as gloomy female singer/songwriters. Ladel's songwriting, while a bit more dramatic than Jaffe's, still has an earnest quality to it that the songs on Suburban are missing, that being wit or self-reflection. Always the martyr in the ways of the heart, Jaffe's musings might be comforting to those who always find themselves on the sharp end of the blade, but for the rest of us bloodied-hand individuals, there isn't much to relate to.
This might work as a cathartic experience, much in the way it does with Mark Kozelek's work, but I had trouble sympathizing with Jaffe. The songs never do anything beyond the "boo-hoo my heart is broken" schtick. Of course there are other more recognizable artists (Julie Doiron, Cat Power, Shannon Wright, Mirah) that I found myself longing to listen to while trudging through this album.
Is it unfair for me to assume that this is the market that Jaffe is attempting to break through to here? I think that anyone who has followed her the past couple years (which, if you follow the local music scene, it would have been hard not to) can see that it would be a fair assumption that she has those particular stars in her eyes. I wish that more acts in the area had the dedication and career-minded focus that Jaffe has, and you can't say it hasn't worked for her. I just have a hard time believing that this is going to the album to take her from selling out coffee shops to the Granada theaters of Anywhere, USA.
It's that time again! Thanks to the lovely folks over at the Granada Theater, we have one pair of tickets to see Of Montreal Monday, May 24th and will bestow them upon two random luckies that email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 3PM the day of the show. Break a leg...
Cross Pollination featuring Big Rig Dance Collective | Fight Boy Theater | Alex Benavidez | Martin Iles/Julie Mckendrick/Neeks/Ashley Cromeens/Jose Zamora | Shiny Around The Edges | P&G Sound Collective | George Quartz | DJ Sir Anthony (Dan's Silver Leaf): Featuring various artistic disciplines including dance, film, and song as well as a staggering lineup of talent, this looks like one of the more daringly booked shows I've seen featuring local artists in quite a while. Curated by Sarah Alexander and Sarah Gamblin.
Apologies for the half assed attempt to have SOME content today. I was going to post this one yesterday but never got around to it. Surprise.
There has been much hub-bub this week about the Stones releasing the remastered version of Exile on Main St, which I have yet to hear. I'm usually not terribly interested in studio outtakes and the few snippets of the previously unreleased bonus tracks that were played on the Hardline yesterday did not impress me too much. They did play an alternate version of "Loving Cup" that left me wanting a little more. I'm also not really sure how remastering this record can really improve the listening experience, but I suppose I'll reserve judgment until I actually hear it. Can's Tago Mago had kicked my ass for years and I was speechless when I heard how great the 2004 remaster sounded.
The Stones' 1972 tour is rock and roll legend and hardly needs to be discussed here. Harold Colson has a great site about the Stones Touring Party that can fill in more than enough details for those that are curious.
This show was really my second choice to share, but the copy of the previous day's performance at Tarrant County Convention Center that I have is pretty shitty in the way of fidelity. This one sounds pretty nice for what I believe is an audience recording; Charlie's drums come through well and Nicky Hopkins' piano isn't buried. The Texas stops were during the middle of the tour and the band was really in full swing by this point- Mick and Keith were sharing the microphone, Mick Taylor was killing on all of his leads, and Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman were relentlessly bringing up the rear. This was the only show of the tour that Stevie Wonder didn't open, so there is no "Uptight/Satisfaction" medley.
The Fort Worth and Houston shows were also recorded to video for the concert film "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones," which was released theatrically in 1974. There has never been an official home video or dvd release of this film, but bootleg copies have circulated since the 80s. I'm working on scoring the video in some sort of computer file form if anyone is interested- I have the dvd but can't get it on my computer. After watching it about 100 times I can say that it is hands down the best concert film that I've ever seen and I hope that it sees the light of day some time.
You may have noticed there is no list today. Or maybe you didn't. Either way, I was trying to go to the FOE and I completely forgot about it. My apologies. I am also taking this opportunity to let my fellow contributors know that I will do the Thursday It List.