It’s been a little chippy around here lately in the local media, hasn’t it? There have been shots fired over various issues ranging from sex crimes to restaurant openings between the Observer and CultureMap, with D adding its own commentary. Even the world’s tiniest blog (you read it through a keyhole of ad space) jumped into the fray. Central Track’s Pete Freedman chimed in on Reddit anyway, and remember to add the “c” when you type in that web address. Looks, like the blog did the right thing and gave the artists residency its deserved web address instead of redirecting it to its own site after all. But to the point that has been stated elsewhere, it was commendable of Dallas Observer editor Joe Tone to step up and defend his paper, and the music coverage in particular. Thankfully, that’s where we’ll focus today.
The Dallas Observer Music Awards takes place this Saturday. On Reddit, Tone remarked how “interesting and diverse” the nominees are for the paper’s showcase, and I’m compelled to agree that’s true, especially in light of the pluralistic nature of Observer nominees past. And I say “true,” because diversity can be verified, and I think we can all agree that diversity is “interesting.” I could have said “best Observer music awards show in six years,” but that would be merely an opinion. That leads us to another dust-up, one between the Belo-acquired Pegasus News and the independently-owned Fort Worth Weekly. On Pegasus, Taylor Prater posted an article on the lack of everyone’s favorite lucrative yet unquantifiable genre, indie rock, in Fort Worth entitled, “Fort Worth Music Scene Needs an Indie Makeover, Residents Say,” which led the Weekly’s Anthony Mariani to respond with his own hostile rebuttal. Entitled, “Clueless: Pegasus News, TCU 360 Assess Fort Worth’s Indie Scene,” Mariani schools Prater on the fundamentals of journalism (and shed politics):
Even people who’ve never studied or practiced journalism know that writers play only one part of the news game. Before any story goes to print, it has to pass an editor, a copy-editor, and, hopefully, a proofreader. The real story is that no one in authority at either TCU 360 or Pegasus News paused to send Prater back to the shed.
However, in the same piece, Mariani proclaims the following, just ahead of his lecture:
An interesting subject, sure, but one based wholly on fiction. Fort Worth not only has an indie-music scene but has probably the best indie-music scene in Texas if not the entire Southwest.
Though I understand Mariani’s frustration, this too is contradictory, even with the use of “probably.” What fact-checker or source can I contact to verify that Fort Worth “probably” has the “best” indie scene in Texas? How many sources in how many states would I have to call to verify that it’s the “best” in the entire Southwest? Let’s not answer one article’s unverifiable sentiment with more of the same. That doesn’t help anyone.
Things get interesting in the comments section when Pegasus News’ Sarah Blaskovich points out that the article is “not written by a Pegasus News staffer.” That’s because Prater writes for TCU 360, a “content partner” of Pegasus News. Of course, all this outsourcing of content obviously leads to confusion and questionable work, but it’s also worth noting that one of Prater’s recent bylines was on a story entitled, “TCU Band Helps Amon G. Carter Stadium With Synchronized Toilet Flushing.” A little perspective goes a long way.
This weekend’s shows:
Tum Tum/Big Tuck/A.Dd+/Dustin Cavazos/Sober/Jay Clipp (Club Dada)
“Big Bang” (Beauty Bar): Tonight’s set will act as the after-party for the rap show at Dada.
Waka Flocka Flame (House of Blues):
“Ex Mus” (CentralTrak): Featuring Chaz Underriner, Andrew Jordan Miller, and Jonathan Jackson.
“Art Conspiracy” with Burning Hotels/Daniel Hart/Blackstone Rangers (960 Dragon Street in Dallas)
“Glamorama” (Beauty Bar): There is no other act listed for Glamorama tonight besides the usual appearance by Blake Ward, but this weekly has promised a string of guests in the following weeks.
Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase (Various Locations in Deep Ellum): Highlights include Atomic Tanlines, Cutter, Pinkish Black, Blixaboy, Track Meet, A.Dd+, Vulgar Fashion, Diamond Age, Mohicans, Eyes, Wings & Many Things, and many more.
Image: Slim Gravy, of A.Dd+. Photo by Andi Harman.