It’s best to be brief when recapping an event in which you had a hand in planning, so we will. The first installment of “A City Under the Influence” at Fashion Art Network in the Design District drew over 200 people during the course of the evening, which included a generous guest list. That’s common for a proposed series, even benefits. Karen Weiner of the Reading Room and Roberto Munguia presented their projects on modest setups on opposing walls of the front room. Guests were given tickets and after reading a small description of each proposal they dropped their votes into a bucket. Ultimately, Karen Weiner’s Vickery Meadow library proposal received more votes, and she was awarded $500. Munguia was given $100.
The musical acts went from one to the next with little technical interference, and their disparate styles did not hinder the seamlessness of the evening. Ryan Stinson kicked things off with a very informed playlist that set him apart from most of the DJ sets I’m used to hearing around Dallas, but his many years spent in Chicago probably have something to do with that. He played mostly techno and house.
Ronnie Heart was as fearless as ever, as he wore a leather vest while hopping around the room to a live drummer and backing tracks. There are few acts in town with as much dedication to putting on an actual show, and most people can’t get away with soloing so shamelessly. Adam Pickrell played intermittently between the opening DJ set and live acts, and he finally closed out the night with a slew of Biggie songs, which nobody ever complains about. When the sound was cut, the crowd demanded one more and received an “I Want You Back” remix for their troubles.
Sudie is as every bit as talented as has been reported. She has a crowd-pleasing ability to carry a note to improbably soaring heights. Following the performance, she tells me she has been taking singing lessons since the age of four. She writes and produces all of her music. I ask her what her biggest influence is concerning her production technique. “Bjork,” she says, although she considers the harmony-laden work of the Beach Boys as her biggest writing influence. “Nobody’s ever asked me that,” she says, referring to her work as a producer. I wonder why not.
All photos by Andi Harman.