Weekender: Dallas Area Concerts for May 3-6


Death Cab for Cutie/Magik Magik Orchestra/Youth Lagoon (McFarlin Auditorium): The inexperienced emotionalism of Youth Lagoon could steal this show right out of Death Cab’s tired hands, if last year’s well-received set at Dan’s Silver Leaf is any indication. I’ve never heard so many people tell me they actually wept upon seeing a newer act. Please see our events page for more information.

Flying Turns (Rio Room): Austin’s successful disco house collective, Flying Turns, runs as many as six deep, so theoretically someone has to play a track you like. Though they are named after a Crash Course in Science song and their mixes feature everything from Can to rare soul tracks such as Eddie and Ernie’s “Bullets Don’t Have Eyes,” their live set was much more dance floor friendly and appropriate for the Rio Room setting when I caught them there late last year.

Big Bang (Beauty Bar): One of the most popular and alliterative nights of the week. And The Slip Inn, just across the street, is always crowded as well. Just another night on Hendy. Did you know that people call it Hendy?

Tragedy/Wild//Tribe/Garuda/Power Trip (Rubber Gloves): I’d like to think that this week is one of the only times that the Observer’s most recent music editor, Audra Schroeder, is going to “out-DIY” me, or “out-underground me,” or basically scoreboard me in a way to which I’m not exactly accustomed, but she did, and it probably won’t be the last. In this week’s preview of the Tragedy show, she mentions that she last saw the group at the Broken Neck, an unfortunately named DIY space in Austin (“This guy was working on a skate ramp, and like, broke his neck!”), where of course, it is much cooler to see a band such as Tragedy. Though the pizza punks of Denton might argue that Tragedy at J & J’s is where it’s at, I only have my time at the 2008 Chaos in Tejas Festival as a now-distant memory, when the group opened for Los Crudos. Schroeder speaks of being covered with beer at her event; I was still in my 29-year completely sober phase, avoiding the pit, and the only person not wearing all black. In fact, I may have even had a pastel button up or an off-white cardigan, which earned me many a dismayed or puzzled look. Finally punk?

Tejas Brothers (AT&T Performing Arts Center): I could totally get out of Mother’s Day brunch ten days early if I scoop up mi madre and take her to this, as they are one of her favorite local bands. How many of you have parents that follow local music? It sometimes makes for interesting dinner conversation, but other times it’s like two anonymous attackers come to life out of the comments section, in order to berate me over a differently held opinion. (Ex: “Did you see that Sorta review? The boy ain’t right.”)

Seeing this on the AT&T PAC patio would definitely beat the time I watched the Tejas Brothers play what seemed like a three hour set at some weird bar in McKinney, nothing against the band — who are quite professional and very obviously love what they do — but yes, kind of something against McKinney. Show is at 5:30 pm and is free to attend.

Active Child/Balam Acab/Superhumanoids (Sons of Hermann Hall): When Radio UTD posted this Active Child video to accompany a ticket giveaway last week, it got me to thinking of how pretty much anyone who plays an “unconventional” instrument not normally used for pop music can be extremely off-putting to some audiences, since it’s also usually accompanied by an unusual singing style, or adorned with other instrumentation that isn’t identified with driving indie rock. Active Child has all of these hallmarks in an almost excessive amount, and a live video for their track, “Hanging On,” might seem like a sketch comedy bit to your average denim-ed rocker. Here you have harp, a fluttering and operatic falsetto vocal, and a guy on electronic drum kit — playing a dirty South beat. It’s all capped off with polite applause. The singing is not for everyone, as it lies somewhere between Rick Astley and Elizabeth Fraser, and yet somehow these disparately risky additives still function cohesively. (Speaking of Fraser, she is performing at Meltdown Festival in August. And, yes, she will be performing Cocteau Twins songs. Does anyone want to go to London for a couple of days?)

And there are probably some anti-Pitchfork, card-carrying members of the dance community who will be excited about Balam Acab, who have turned in a series of remixes — along with some originals — that are genuinely reduced and glued in a way that is associated with everything from the early 1990s Houston “screw” scene, as well as the more recent (musical not philosophical) “Hauntology” and “Witch House” movements, and I was really hoping not to have to type those words when I got out of bed today. Though Balam Acab is not exactly screw enough to be screw (who is?), and a cut above the Witch House ghetto, they are somewhere in between, and it’s a pretty good place to be.

Cutter/Museum Creatures (Crown and Harp): Cutter is one of the more interesting new groups from Dallas proper, and that’s because I’ve only been exposed to about five minutes of their live act. That was at Bryan Street Tavern a few months ago, and it was on almost this exact bill, if memory serves correctly, as I had originally attempted to see the much more poppy Museum Creatures. Cutter had incorporated live electronics in with more traditional instrumentation in a way that didn’t dilute either element, and in fact, seemed to only magnify the coarseness.



Orgullo Primitivo/Cerulean Giallo/Execution Tax (Congress House in Denton): Denton’s Mike Forbes will be joining Orgullo Primitivo on saxophone for the second half of the site. I just recently discovered that Mr. Forbes is also a pianist as well as a saxophonist, and a brief clip I heard of him on an unreleased Shiny Around the Edges recording was brilliant.

Wizard Boots/Deep Snapper/Hack and Slashers (Double Wide): The straight-faced everyman delivery of Deep Snapper should contrast nicely with the Hack and Slashers, not to mention … Wizard. Boots.

Innards/Father Figure/Completely Effed/Nitch Pickens/Square Business/Big Fiction (1919 Hemphill): It’s nice to see 1919 Hemphill is still humming along after some recent woes, including a now-replaced, but once-broken door window. This show is just about the most standard lineup I can think of here now days, so the issues seem to have done little to stop the always admirable activity.

Ynfynyt Scroll/Track Meet/Blake Ward (Beauty Bar): This is in conjunction with the release of Ynfynyt Scroll’s new ep, entitled, Let Me See It, a release which perhaps someday we’ll look back as marking a new era in Dallas Dance music, since the artist (and the associated Track Meet collective) has managed to bring together some wildly different audiences under the same roof. As much as I like seeing this happen in a loft or a house, it has to actually make its way into the club for this to be pulled off with any success. With Ynfynyt Scroll’s reach going beyond North Texas itself (the EP is being released on Austinite Ben Aqua’s #Feelings imprint), Dallas could possibly return to the days when music fans of all stripes could be found at any event, regardless of genre and free from the oppression of a perceived lifestyle pertaining to one’s stylistic sympathies. Lofty? Maybe. But the support that this crowd has drawn really doesn’t hurt.

Dr. Oilgonef and the Froghollars/Lindby/Breakfast Machine (The Cellar): If you’ve ever been in one of those situations where someone asks you to listen to their band via a recording on their phone … in a crowded bar, you know this can be less than ideal. Sometimes the band turns out to be pleasantly ridiculous, as in the case of Dr. Oilgonef and the Froghollars, who have pronounced themselves as “the greatest house party band Denton has ever seen.” I like that audacity. Singer Alex Sahyouni just happened to be in town for a wedding, so catch this one-off reunion show while you can.

The always pleasant Breakfast Machine will also perform, and the group actually has a shot at a slot at the upcoming Homegrown Fest, due to their involvement in a battle of the bands called “Rock the Park” that DC9 at Night sponsored. It was held over the past two weekends outside of the Shops at Park Lane. I attended the second weekend and it was every bit as strange to watch a performance in a field next to Off Fifth and Dick’s Sporting Goods as you would expect. Try it sometime.


Sounds Modern (The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth): How does spending a Saturday afternoon enjoying a minimalist composition accompanied by spoken-word written by an infamous prison rioter sound? Not your thing? Maybe it should be. Skip the lawn-mowing and weekly trip to Sam’s Club to catch a live interpretation of composer Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, a piece inspired by the Sam Melville writings related to the Attica Uprising. Featuring an ensemble of accomplished musicians such as clarinetist Rachel Yoder, along with Paul Slavens handling the speech. Event is free and starts at 2 pm.

Away from the Numbers (Fallout Lounge): The festively themed version of AFTN features “Spanish synth” and vegan tamales. You could do much worse.

Screaming Females/Final Club/Leg Sweeper (Queen City Hall): A lot has been made of Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster’s guitar-playing ability, and having seen her live, yes, she is a very powerful guitarist who will not go unnoticed in any performance. But the only point to which I kept returning in my mind, and upon hearing their recordings, is that it’s always fairly standard rock working with some almost generic-sounding riffs. It sometimes leaves you wanting the group to be just a tad bit more reckless. Of course, they should probably not heed that suggestion, as they are certainly better than many other groups playing classic rock sounding guitar music, and they should be making the same kind of festival money as many of those hacks.

Sarah Jaffe/John Singer Seargeant/Zhora (Granada Theater): I had to pick up my copy of Sarah Jaffe’s new album hand-off style in a dingy North Dallas parking lot. I’m sure you think that every music writer in town is just gifted a wrapped copy on their desk as soon as they arrive at work, but not me. I had to hustle for mine. I’m surprised it wasn’t a CDR with marker scribblings. But I’ve been listening to it since last week — or really since NPR first streamed it — and therefore I’m holding on my good opinion for now. So, I’ll defer to our very own Karley Osborn, a D Magazine intern and a contestant in the upcoming Miss Texas Pageant. She calls Ms. Jaffe’s voice “stunning,” before launching into this (on a FrontRow ticket giveaway earlier today):

Simultaneously makes me want to cry and order a stack of pancakes (apparently the dive-bar in my mind doubles as a diner or an IHOP).

To which I have decided that I don’t need to write about music anymore, because that seriously sounds exactly like something I would write, but funnier. If an intern can just come along and beat me at my own game, what good am I?

Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet (CentralTrak): Featuring excerpts from the upcoming Kaguya-Hime, which will be performed at The Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art next month. See our review of last week’s CentralTrak event here.


Lost Generation (Arcade Bar): The usual.