Weekender: Dallas Area Concerts for February 16-19


Big Eyes/War Party/Rocket for Ethiopia/The Half Truths (Center House): A recent show at the DIY venue, Center House, resulted in an early shutdown and intervention from The Fort Worth Arlington Police Department. I’ve been waiting for a reason to share a little summary of that night’s events from someone who was arrested in the incident. Tonight’s performance at the spot by Seattle’s Big Eyes is the perfect excuse, since they describe themselves as pop and punk and are somehow much less affected-sounding than most of what those two genres yield when combined. The following recap comes courtesy of Rick Vandeveerdonk, who was playing in the now-defunct People Men at the time of the show bust:

During the People Men set, the show was busted by the cops. Everyone was told to come outside by them.
The officer asked for my ID and I left it inside with my pants. I was only wearing long johns. Sexy, sexy, long johns. When I asked if I could go inside and get it, I was told I couldn’t.
Whenever the cop asked me my name the first time, he spelled it wrong. And after I got my friend to get my ID—and the officer saw it and found out I didn’t have any warrants—I was still arrested for “Failure to ID.” Go figure.

…The boys of the Center House, were all arrested for warrants.
I do have to admit that some of the boys were talking trash to the cops, including the occasional outburst from me. C’mon he did threaten to taze Avery for talking. Or something.

Avery and myself got out the next day, and Stevie and Joel ended up staying the weekend in County.

No fun.

So there you have it. Personally, I would never mess with the Fort Worth Police in particular. I was once soberly minding my own business, trying to act responsibly  as the designated driver for some friends after a birthday gathering at Tarrant County’s legendary hangout, the Chat Room Pub. On the ride home, one of the more inebriated passengers decided to make an unsolicited announcement to a police cruiser sitting at a red light. “F*** you, cop,” he said. The cruiser just so happened to have its driver-side window rolled down, in the dead silence of 2:15 am on a dead block in the Hospital District. The police officer took an abrupt u-turn, of course, and went straight for us. After noticing that three out of four of our licenses had Colleyville home addresses listed (and one Plano), he immediately reminded those particular passengers that, “Ya’ll are used to Colleyville cops. Well, THIS AIN’T COLLEYVILLE.” He then summoned four more squad cars, who arrived in dramatic fashion and surrounded us.

I’ve always admired the strict regionalism of police officers. I was once kicked out of a neighborhood park as a teen since the all public parks in the city closed at 11 pm, though I was merely eating a sandwich on a gazebo at 11:15 pm. Pretty harmless. But the officer said to me as I walked off, “You know, there are much nicer parks on the West Side of town to break the law in.” That condemnation still stings, and I’ll never forget the slight.
Please be careful out there, and if you’re going to throw a show, you might want to take care of those warrants first. I don’t mean to blame the victim, and I know that’s not very “punk” or “hardcore” of me to suggest, but there is no way you can healthily contribute to your music scene from inside of a county jail. Unsurprisingly, the event invite contains this knowing plea:

SHOW UP ON TIME!!! The show will be starting around 9 and we don’t want this s*** to be broken up. We don’t like tickets. And we sure as f*** don’t like jail.

Boombox/Ishi (Trees): FrontRow’s own Bradford Pearson had a very informative piece on this show earlier this week. Trees will most likely be the top hat capitol of the world tonight.

Sabo (Rio Room): Internationally acclaimed, “Moombahton” figure Sabo will be playing as part of Rio Room’s ’83 Series. This is being advertised as an “Amour Valentine’s” show, and I have to hand to them for continuing to celebrate a holiday that many seem to be glad has ended. That sort of optimism is uncommon and commendable.

Polyphonic Spree/New Fumes (Sons of Hermann Hall): Here’s everything you need to know about this show: The meanest writer in the world wrote the nicest thing ever about one of the happiest bands on Earth. That would be Chunklet Magazine’s notoriously vicious and often hilarious Brian Teasley (whom I consider an influence), and he wrote the 2,100 beast of an essay as a publicly readable “note” on Facebook, about his time playing with the band. One of the most revealing sections is where Teasley openly acknowledges his own apprehension about the group before he joined:

When I first heard of the Polyphonic Spree. I thought it was bullshit. I didn’t know if it was some strange new age choir cult or just a simple gimmick to see how many people the former lead singer of Tripping Daisy could get on stage with him in white robes. Then I just happened to be over with another band playing festivals in England in 2003, and I saw them play at Leeds on one side of the stage at the encouragement of my great friend Seth Loeser who was a former Man or Astro-Man? crew member and who was now working with their band. Needless to say, I was blown away in every clichéd sense of the term. It was a change of heart as well as a punch in the gut from the sheer overwhelming power and volume of the band. I had never seen so many people “come together” and go off so hard to bring joy to other people. It was transcendent. I was sold hook, line, and choir robe.

He then goes on to praise both Good Records’ icon and Spree coconspirator Chris Penn, as well as Tim Delaughter himself. The entire illuminating piece is worth reading in its entirety, and his work can be found in such modern classics as The Overrated Book.


Glamorama (Beauty Bar): The Track Meet collective’s Austin Shook will be the guest tonight. It’s worth noting that Shook is a friendly and energetically boisterous character when out-and-about. In fact, I was trying to conduct an interview recently at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, and Shook interrupted the proceedings twice. In listening back to the audio, the best two random quotes from Shook are as follows:

“Dude, did you see that guy on the dance floor with his shirt on his face like THIS?”

(He then demonstrates, before heading out the door to the street.) And then:

“FOG. Look at this amazing s***.”

At some point in the recording, I declare that I’m “trying to work here,” to someone, but not Shook. In fact, Shook’s interruptions make the interview pretty hilarious. Say hello to him when you see him at Beauty Bar. He probably has a lot to say.

Vaults of Zin/Transistor Tramps/Pinkish Black (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): I’m still waiting for an update on Pinkish Black’s upcoming record release, but currently details are scant.

Transistor Tramps trend towards a lost sense of professionalism not employed by the other two acts, however Vaults of Zin and Pinkish Black sound like two of the most well-rehearsed bands in the area.

And though I’m sick of mentioning him, Andrew Haas of Discipline will be DJing, fresh off a high-profile performance between sets at the Cut Hands show in Austin earlier this week. Cut Hands is the project of William Bennett, who was a founding member of UK power electronics pioneers Whitehouse, and also played guitar for the revered post-punk act, Essential Logic.


Lollipop Shoppe (Queen City Hall): Believe it or not, the Lollipop Shoppe is working on a decade of local notoriety, as this celebration will mark the hard retro entity’s 8th Anniversary. Mark Ridlen was a late addition to the classic duo of DJs PandaFlower and TigerBee, and you’re sure to see some of the most impeccably dressed individuals as you’re likely to encounter at any show this weekend, but especially at a tattoo shop.

“Lumberjack VIII” (Dan’s Silver Leaf): Another area event celebrating its 8th year, though this time in Denton, and appropriately Denton-centric as such. The following locally established acts will perform: Holler Time, Spooky Folk, Pinebox Serenade, Hares On The Mountain, Dim Locator, PVC Streetgang, Shiny Around The Edges and Spitfire Tumbleweeds. So only two exceptions to the rule there: Holler Time hails from Gainesville, and PVC Street Gang, Dallas.

Topic/Soviet/The Demigs/Mexican Lions (2826 Arnetic): All of the bands performing will be playing at 35 D, and you’ll also have a chance to win four-day wristbands to the festival.

Scott Kelly/Eugene Robinson (La Grange): Two of the most intimidating front-men of all time are on tour together, but will be showcasing more subdued work. Kelly performed in the enormously powerful sludge band, Neurosis, and Robinson with the equally powerful but more off-kilter, Oxbow. Recommended.


“NTDJS Variety Hour (Hailey’s): Simply because there aren’t enough Hailey’s shows listed anymore. Featuring Spacechase and OPS Esponja.