While I’m thinking about it, tonight will be the last entry in the Lights All Night pre-parties, featuring the award-winning DJ Craze at Rio Room.
Speaking of award-winning DJs, Dallas’ Maceo Plex just made the top 5 of Resident Advisor’s Top DJs of 2011 Poll; quite a feat for a local artist. That puts Maceo in such elite company as Ricardo Villalobos, and ahead of names as big as Digweed. He also has a newly-formed label, Ellum Audio. I’ll give you one guess as to the origin of that label moniker.
The Taxpayers/Wife & Kids/People Men/Eccotone (1919 Hemphill): It pains me to inform you that this will be the last-ever show for instrumental surf group, The People Men, that is, until the inevitable All Tomorrow’s Parties or Fun Fun Fun Fest reunion. You’re not fooling anyone.
“Big Bang” (Beauty Bar): Be sure and check out Sober’s “I’m So Dallas” mix-tape if you haven’t done so already. It’s an excellent primer on local hip-hop and its title could potentially be a rather popular t-shirt slogan if he hasn’t jumped on that yet.
“Black Gold Soul Club” (Zubar): From the deep crates of those responsible for “The Smoke” and “Away From the Numbers” nights respectively, this all-vinyl, all-soul event is a perfect excuse to explore the newly cleaned-up avenue.
Matthew and the Arrogant Sea/Daniel Hart (J&J’s Pizza): Never one to let a little prickly publicity get him down, Matthew Gray presses ever-forward, staying very busy since his recent booking debacle. His group even recorded a little Daytrotter session, though I find some of the write-up, courtesy of Daytrotter’s Sean Moeller, a little curious. His raises some interesting thoughts on Austin, Denton, and Midlake. Here’s an excerpt:
…it’s easy to find that Austin is just a cool city with some fine watering holes and places to take a dip. We would like to make a suggestion for a city to the north of Austin. Denton, Texas, could get away with selling shirts that said, “Keep Denton Weirder.”
Now, I don’t find either place all that weird, but I don’t mind if that point is made by someone else. But the next few lines are baffling:
There’s proof of this in the music of a few of the bands that call the place home. Go ahead and listen to a Midlake album and tell us it’s not weird – in all kinds of ways. We were all immediately smitten with the weirdness. We found nothing at all wrong with it, but it was weird nonetheless.
Midlake is your example of Denton “weirdness?” Midlake is perhaps the finest example of Denton’s ability to be slick, well-composed, and generally ready for business. They run a swanky bar with pumpkin martinis that taste like liquid spice candles.* What’s so weird about that?
Gray on the other hand has a true knack for writing memorable songs, but his penchant for cartoon-like psychedelic imagery hasn’t been weird since the 60s.
Vulgar Fashion/Adult Books/Art Institute (Lion’s Den): In which some of Denton’s best and brightest walk down the street and play a show in front of teenage pizza punks (even the 30-year-old kind) and everyone loses it. Just like old times!
Local Honey Holiday Mix Concert (Lakewood Theater): Charity event for Joni & Friends International Disability Center, combining the talents of professional fiddlers, percussionists, cellists, and more with Local Honey lead-singer Kelly Brown. Cary Cooper and Tom Prasada-Rao will also perform.
Grasseater/UV Overdose/Terminator 2/Slackbeat (Simone Lounge): Tough lineup of gnarled-edged noise-rock bands, along with “Discipline”-member Andrew Haas playing equally unsubtle tracks in-between bands.
Mallwalker/Spacebeach/Xander Harris/Eyes, Wings, & Many Other Things (Pastime Tavern): Mall. Walker. Mallwalker. Wow. Just when you think all the good band names are taken. Great lineup and the show is free.
Peopleodian/Diamond Age/Melting Season (Simone Lounge): Heaven help our own Hunter Hauk. He’s been on a posting rampage with all of this year-end business, offering something up nearly every day. Occasionally something will sneak past me on Hunter’s lists, and today it came to my attention that Hauk had mentioned Peopleodian on one of his “Take Five” lists back in October. What would we do without you, HH?
“Xmas in Denton” (Andy’s Bar): Yeah Def’s attention-deficit disorder style doesn’t necessarily suggest longevity, but it’s remarkable that this is the third year he’s hosted this particular hip hop party. The lineup includes acts from all over the state, including Corpus Christi’s Johnny Moog, along with A.Dd+, Tunk, Ty City, and more.
“Subway Sounds: The Sound of NYC 1973-1983” (Fallout Lounge): Oh, how I love the specificity of this event. None of that 1972 0r 1984 business in here, no, sir. Speaking of which, Sir Name and the James will be the sole live performance in the midst of all that time-fetish DJing.
Moby (Lizard Lounge): I will never live down the humiliation of confusing a popular Moby track with a popular Fatboy Slim track, in a “Shazam”-deciding war of lunchtime pop trivia between me and an editor at D, who shall remain nameless. Moby is not the wildly popular commercial monster he once was, but he has aged gracefully into a comfortable heap of critical acclaim that has escaped many of his peers. Chalk that up to his always strange and varied influences.
Dolly Python Sixth Anniversary Party (Dolly Python): Note: This party will take place at both Dolly Python, as well as its fairly new satellite art gallery space, Smoke and Mirrors, as well as The Hair Planet. According to the invite, “Booze will be everywhere,” lest there were any doubt.
Devin The Dude/Coughee Brothaz (Granada Theater): He may be uniformly deliberate in performance, but I always have time for Devin the Dude’s impossibly slow approach to making his point. No matter how juvenile the drug reference, his timing always imbues his anti-message with a humor that is often lost when delivered by lesser rappers. Recommended.
The Cocker Spaniels/Monsters & Animals/Mike Hamilton (The Walton House): Cocker Spaniels frontperson Sean Padilla is one of the state’s most unique yet unsung songwriters. His hilariously self-aware “The Only Black Guy at the Indie Rock Show” is a lost outcast anthem, and his bold cover of “A Change Is Gonna Come” is also extremely well-done. It takes guts to cover Sam Cooke. In a perfect world, this guy would be winning reality show singing contests.
“Crass Tense” (Texas Theatre): A promise of “sleazy jams” has been made for this evening, featuring Wild In The Streets, and two rather ridiculously-named artists: Mr. Bonetangles and Packing Pete.
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*Can we please get a Last Word on the menu? I’ll pay double.
Image: Devin the Dude