Concert Picks for Thursday, Oct. 17: El Centro Hip Hop Showcase, Crooked Bangs, and “Wiseguy Disco”

“El Centro College Hip Hop Showcase” (El Centro Performance Hall, C Building): The always intriguing combination of academics and entertainment will be on full display here, though with any luck, you won’t be able to tell where begins and one ends.

A live performance featuring a handful of artists (MC Playdough, Guante, and Malex) will conclude with a panel discussion, which only furthers my point that we need to drop this whole “City of Hate” thing for a new title: Panel City. I’m sure one of these enterprising artists could write that in a half-hour.

The panel involves a selection of visible figures of Dallas hip hop, such as KNON’s EZ Eddie D, who just played “Battletech” a couple of days ago; the Rec Shop’s Islam Sesalem; the aforementioned Malex,; and Too Fresh Productions’ Leo J, who is often linked to at FrontRow.

Finally, the Observer’s Vanessa Quilantan will not only make a panel appearance, but will also be giving an opening lecture, “How to Make it in Hip-Hop.” If El Centro ever wants me to give a talk called “How to Completely Destroy Your Life with BlogHaus and Noise Rock,” I’m your man. The event begins at 5:45, with the first lecture at 6 pm.

This Will Destroy You/New Fumes/Botany (Sons of Hermann Hall): This is another entry in Red Bull’s “Sound Select” series, of which there are two tonight. Liz Johnstone has the details on the other one, which is over at Southside Music Hall. This is decidedly less hip hop and RnB-oriented than the other Dallas entries have been, and features a couple of wild openers who both use a one-man tabletop of equipment to create their unexpectedly large sound. Both are worth your time.

This Will Destroy You, starting with their name alone, wants you to believe they are as big and bad as their moniker implies. Or that their formulaic buildup is as completely meaningful and important as instrumental post rock attempts to be. That promise is often broken with this genre, unfortunately, but they occasionally get their pedals and amps pretty loud, I noticed once. Wait, maybe that was Guitar Center on a Saturday. I can’t remember.

Crooked Bangs/Litigators/Bitch Teeth/The Vuvs (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): Crooked Bangs are from Austin and play a particular style of punk that is more garage-oriented than the postpunk of which they are sometimes accused, however unjustifiably. Many of the songs are in French, and sung by a non-native French speaker, which is just about the worst gimmick you could dream up. However, this study abroad gag actually works. It’s much better than I was expecting.

“Wiseguy Disco Party” (Texas Theatre): In which you are encouraged to dress like a gangster following the showing of Mean Streets. Hopefully they mean old-school suits and spats, and not say, the less-than-glamorous gentlemen (and boys) of Gomorrah. On a side note, that’s supposedly Martin Scorsese’s favorite mafia film of all-time. On a further side note, I drove a date all the way to Austin once to see Mean Streets at the historic Paramount Theatre. Seeing it here is as close as you can get to that in North Texas, which is pretty close.

“Lost Generation” (The Crown and Harp): Wanz Dover’s guest this evening is Redsean, who recently played a space disco set, and he’ll be doing the same this evening. I mentioned in that piece that you don’t exactly hear space disco sets all around Dallas, which is true. However, Wanz Dover does play the genre on an almost weekly basis, at Nova on Saturdays. I regret the omission.

Update: “Fresh 45s”(The Crown and Harp): This all-45 RPM event is one of the best ideas I’ve heard for a DJ night since “Singles Going Steady,” even if that was just a punk going through a dollar bin. The overqualified DJs include Spinderella, JT Donaldson, Jay Clipp, and DJ A1.

Photo: DJ Assassinate and Rec Shop’s Islam Sesalem at Life in Deep Ellum, 2013. Credit: Andi Harman.


  • Nightmare

    Re: Your comments and general attitude towards This Will Destroy You are a perfect example of the worst trait that Dallas has. I believe that Dallas likes to eat its own. Especially with music. Why is this? Why would you go so far out of your way to let people know how much you hate a band or any artist that is not only putting on for a city like Dallas in a cool way but also that has garnered so much success and praise from so many other credible music sources. You are small and petty.