Dowsing/Sparrowhawk/Empire Empire/Two Knights/Square Business (1919 Hemphill): For the first time in about a decade, it’s an excellent moment in history to be a post-hardcore or emo fan. Or perhaps, an ex-emo or ex-post hardcore fan who is now a DJ ready to face their past. I’m sure getting to see The Refused and At The Drive In at this year’s Coachella will be just as monumental a maturing experience as the Pixies reunion was for many a thirty-something back in 2004. Even though these groups came and went, the music itself never died, as a handful of the bands on this bill demonstrate. So if you’d like to experience this art in a much less alien environment than the corporate oasis in Indio this spring, take a drive to Fort Worth this evening.
Big J (The People’s Last Stand): This is exactly what The People’s Last Stand could use, a few select tracks to liven up the place for an evening. The venue is in an excellent location, and it’s a good concept in theory, but to actually be there still has the look and feel of being on a movie set about a prohibition-era bar. Or, as D’s events editor put it last month, “like a bit of a pop up operation.” With such an amassed wealth of music over the years, something tells me Big J could easily change all that. It only takes a single song.
New Fumes/Skeleton Coast/Ishi (Lola’s): It could be the lineup change, or it could just be that Ishi opens in Fort Worth and headlines in Dallas. Looks like even the 190 to 161 tollway hasn’t made the two cities any closer. Most bands around here should be opening for New Fumes now days anyway.
Star******/Painted Palms/Alexico (Prophet Bar): Portland’s Star****** aka “Strfkr” aka “Pyramid” aka “Pyramiddd”…well, that’s exhausting. Those are all actual variations of this band name, and with such poor taste in choosing a moniker, you would think that the music might suffer as well. But against all odds (the dumb names, covering “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”), SF is a very good indie pop act, and I don’t fault a single one of their many fans for their support.
The group’s appeal makes so much sense. They have an obvious and particular knack for making immediately memorable synth-heavy songs, so of course they were featured in a Target ad. The difference is, unlike most acts of their ilk, I was actually annoyed when “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” was used in that advertisement. Which made me realize that the song actually meant something to me. A lot of this indie music biz analyzing is akin to horse betting for me. When something actually makes me care, it’s always a welcome respite. Even that Cyndi Lauper cover is pretty good, though it’s still a terrible idea.
Wu-Tang Clan (House of Blues): As much as I advocate all things Wu, be warned: There have been reports that Ghostface, Raekwon, and GZA have all been no-shows at recent bookings. And in case you haven’t heard, the late, great ODB’s FBI file is now available for your perusal.
“Hacked and Slashed” (Zubar): Maybe enough people told this group of artists that a lot of the music they listened to sounded like old horror movie soundtracks from the slasher era. So they finally said “Screw it, let’s just do that.”
The Demigs/Ella Minnow/Paper Robot (Double Wide): I had no idea that the flashy lads in Ella Minnow were still together, but there they are, still up to no good. Bands from Denton sure want a lot of credit for making a 40-minute drive, but that’s okay. I hear enough Dallas fans brag about how they never drive north of Belmont for anything, etc. Paper Robot’s Cody Robinson turned in a great “naughty and nice” list to FrontRow last month, which you can read here.
Glamorama with Blake Ward (Beauty Bar Dallas): Tonight’s guest is Rodrigo Diaz aka Ynfynyt Scroll, and here’s one of his tracks that was recently featured on the Dior Nights blog.
Maricopa County/Terminator 2/Christmas Carnage (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): Presented by the Dallas Derby Devils.
The Burning Hotels/Mon Julien/Air Review/Menkena (Granada Theater): Unlike the Lola’s show above, this is a case of a bill where the openers are probably the bands to catch, as Menkena’s deliberate and introverted music hits all the aesthetic targets for which they aim. As for the main event, I never understood the irrational ire caused by The Burning Hotels’ music a few years ago, but I don’t necessarily understand their newfound across-the-board support either. That could be because I don’t think it’s necessarily commendable when a band adds all the sheen, shellac, gloss, and polish it can at what’s already a pretty slick product, because then you get all the critics writing increasingly longer pieces hinting that you might be a breakout act. And that very well could be. But what if you’re not? Then you got all these writers salivating over nothing. And that’s just not fair, guys. Be kind to your critics.
Gavin G/Gina G/Sleep Controller (Incense & Peppermints): No clue as to what this event is for, if anything, and I still have yet to make it to one of the design studio’s randomly scheduled events, but I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Erykah Badu/Rebirth Brass Band (PM Nightlife Lounge): In one of the more grandiose goodbye kisses ever planted on a venue this young, Ms. Badu will headline the farewell, along with the world-famous Rebirth Brass Band(!), complete with a motorcade. Pretty unbelievable. Apparently this space will eventually be used as a recording studio and a “private cinema,” but word around town is that Badu has spent some time in another studio lately, and one that is far east of Downtown.
“Lost Generation” (Arcade Bar): My guess is that I’ll only discover who the guest or what the theme is on Sunday morning, but it’s still worth listing. This is still my favorite Dallas bar, until something else more charming comes along. But it’s had quite a streak.
Pinkish Black/Unconscious Collective/Maleveller/Garuda (The Phoenix Project): Besides such a solid group of willfully strange and painfully dark acts, there will also be artwork by Clay Stinnett, Chandler Foley, and Jorge Perez with an opening at 6 pm. Burlesque performance to follow at 7 pm by Black Mass. Show is 21-and-up with a 15 dollar cover, however, there is an open bar. With a lineup like this, I shudder at the myriad possibilities of momentarily poor life choices one could make. And one final word about that, do you ever run into people that want to brag about how now that they have reached this or that age, or shacked up with this or that person, they are so completely over going out all the time and they are perfectly content? Congratulations…for hanging out inside of your own house?
Image: There’s nothing wrong with liking Strfkr, who will headline Prophet Bar Friday night.