A quick word before we get started: St. Vincent will perform a free in-store at Good Records on Sunday. Show is at 3 pm. This could be your only chance to see her, since both of her shows unsurprisingly sold out at The Kessler this weekend.
Violent Squid/Warren Jackson Hearne & Le Leek Electrique/The Diamond Center (Simone Lounge): Denton’s Warren Jackson Hearne has cut a haunting figure in the area for years, even though he’s always received scant mention in the press. His dark singer-songwriter material seems increasingly fascinating when compared to the sort of popular local nature folkies he and his band could musically chew up and spit out if necessary. Add to that a new horn section, and the potential melding of soulful backing contrasting the artist’s woefully bleak minor-key melodies is especially appealing. The seemingly prohibition-era prices of Simone Lounge can’t hurt either.
Darktown Strutters (Dallas Museum of Art): Something tells me that once Darktown Strutters is only seconds into their first song, you may be asking yourself why this marriage between such a sonically and visually shrewd musical act and our flagship art museum hasn’t happened before. Show starts at the uncharacteristically late museum hour of 10 pm.
45 Fest (Club Dada): Altruistic event with tragic origins highlighting the oft-overlooked issues concerning mental health; something that is both rationalized and ignored especially in the music world. The late Adam Carter and Frankie Campagna will be remembered, particularly with the unreleased music they made in Spector 45, which will be available at the show. A variety of visual artists have also donated their talents to customizing an enormous amount of uniquely hand-painted guitars. Bands such as Here Holy Spain and Hello Lover, along with many others, will also perform.
Lechuguillas/Depths/T2/Idiots (Congress House): Since he has spent much more time with the band than I have, I decided to ask my former writing partner, Colin Cameron, to share a word on Lechuguillas, ahead of some major changes in the band’s life:
Chicago recently lost one of the best bands to have existed within its city limits over the past couple of years, as Lechugillas have decided to pack it up and move to Austin, TX, where they’re soon to make every cartoonish hipster garage band sound like Fleet Foxes. Lechugillas is comprised of ex-Texans Mike Hart and Jason Camacho, joined by south side Chicago native Bill Satek. They make really scuzzy, almost disgusting music that would have been happily at home on Am Rep Records in the late 80s and early 90s. But in some ways, the work is even weirder and heavier than any of that. As you listen, it seems hard to believe that anything the group is playing was written, or pre-planned, or even rehearsed. But as you dive into their catalogue, you find that their music is simply that interesting and complex. This is some of the angriest and rawest noise I’ve heard in a long time, and their as-yet unreleased new album sounds so ridiculously good that I have a hard time believing these guys will remain Chicago’s little secret for much longer. Their live shows are usually very intense. Highly recommended.
Lechuguillas at one time briefly included Josh McWhirter, who now plays in both Sudden Laughter and Neon Indian. Depending on what sort of concerts you attend, it’s potentially surprising that either McWhirter used to play in Lechuguillas, or that he is currently involved in Neon Indian. McWhirter gave us some insight on his time in Lechuguillas in an interview with FrontRow, conducted last month:
I had a lot of friends who were doing music in Chicago and were part of this weird noisy scene. But even as much as I loved that, and I love all of those people, and as many awesome bands as I had gotten to know, and even be a part of—I actually played in this noise rock band for a minute called Lechuguillas—I then quit. because I realized that, I, aesthetically, wasn’t drawn to loud, crazy music all the time anymore. That’s still a huge factor in the project I make right now. I’m just kind burned out on the harsh, angry vibe of music that was floating around. Not in a bad way, I still like and listen to a lot of it. I had just been doing that for a while, and wanted to do something else altogether.
The Proselyte/Collick/Dropped Cause (The Phoenix Project): Dallas DIY spot the Phoenix Project is having a rough spell with its bills, so this is acting as somewhat of a benefit show. And indeed, the ticket price is an unusually high ten dollars. But considering that there are many of us that may very well waste that sort of money on corporate coffee in a single sitting, why not shell out a little for one of the rare unique spaces in the city?
Damaged Goods/Mark Mandeville & Old Constitution/Midnite Society/Kiwi Sisters/Jerry Fel & The Fels (Airlock Studios): Another excellently booked show at Airlock Studios, featuring everything from popular Dallas rappers Damaged Goods to the pained synth-pop of Kiwi Sisters, to the melodic distortion and drum machines of Midnite Society. The finally cooler temperatures should help with the perspiration levels at this unconventional venue, which prides itself on being both all-ages and free.
Battles/Nisennenmondai/Yeahdef (Granada): I sometimes wonder how Battles became and remain so popular with people that were the appropriate age to have been watching “Disney Afternoons” in the 90s. After all, that’s the era where complex instrumental music thrived, particularly the variety that Battles’ lead member, Ian Williams mastered. Working under the Warp Records imprint and slowly moving away from the almost cold progressive rock of Don Caballero seemed to give Williams a rarely dealt second hand in the music industry. The artist has done well to keep a step ahead of changing attitudes, or even better: ignore them altogether while continuing to contribute significantly in a brand new, much more quickly-paced decade. The group’s music is often interesting on record, but it’s an absolutely acrobatic marvel in the live setting. You’re promised to be wowed regardless of the lack of guest-vocalists from the new record, and that includes a notorious appearance by Gary Numan.
Japanese trio Nisennenmondai once grabbed my attention as Good Records in-store music (thanks to the abundant knowledge of GR music expert, Mark Church), and I’ve been wondering about them ever since. They went from making compositionally adventurous pieces so indebted to their influences, that they simply named their songs after them. It takes a lot of guts to literally name your song “Sonic Youth,” but somehow they pulled it off without embarrassing anyone. The impossibly busy hi-hat work of their earlier material has given away to a subdued disco thump. And in keeping with their purposeful lack of subtlety, they have a new track called, “Mirrorball.” Of course.
Manchester Orchestra/White Denim /The Dear Hunter /Little Hurricane (Palladium): If you were one of the audience members wishing that White Denim had performed a full set at Gorilla vs Bear Fest this past summer, now is your chance to make up for lost time. The group could potentially outshine headlining act, Manchester Orchestra, even though that group has been nominated for two VMAs.
Lost Generation (Arcade Bar): Newly elected “Best DJ in Dallas” Wanz Dover will be treating this evening as a “record swap,” in lieu of a guest act. This is one of the few instances where I’m actually touched by a performer winning one of these awards, since Dover seems to appreciate it more than anyone else, if this Facebook status update is any indication:
Hell has officially finally frozen over. I won Best DJ for The Dallas Observer Awards. I was so convinced that I had no chance of winning this I left the awards party early to go play another gig and was not present when they announced it.
This win goes out to everyone in the underground who refuses to compromise….I guess I have to start being a little less pessimistic…weird.
I might normally attribute this to just a touch of cultural Stockholm Syndrome, but who can deny that enthusiasm? Congratulations, Wanz.
Image: White Denim promo shot