In the wake of Homegrown, Fort Worth hosts its own music festival. What does the programming reveal about the two cities? Plus, the virtues of "Taco Punk," and more.

Weekender: Dallas Area Concerts for May 16-19

THURSDAY

“Stereo on Strike” with Brett Johnson/Convextion/Jack Dover  (Zubar): The two guest artists tonight have that unfortunate, or fortunate hybrid—depending on you how you look at it—of being more popular in Europe than they are in the States, specifically, Texas, and even more specifically, Dallas. As much of a crime as that can be, I’m sure there are plenty of musicians around town who would kill to be loved by anyone, even people as unsophisticated as European dance music fans (that’s a joke).

Jeff Glover/Joe Pat Hennen/Bryan Houser (Denton County Courthouse on the Square): The Denton Community Market has coordinated a double feature of vendors and musicians, which will take place on the picturesque lawn in the town’s very famous square. Dubbed “Twilight Tunes,” this is actually a makeup event for the last go round which was unfortunately rained out. Beth Marie’s is also involved, meaning I would endorse this almost no matter what, at least to honor one of the area’s premier independent ice cream vendors.

Modern Convenience/Bummer Sticker/Princes of F*cktown/Crypt Creeps (1919 Hemphill): There is one act here that has been described partially as being “shirtless guys.” Care to take a guess?

Taylor Cleveland/8earcub featuring Jenny Robinson (The Gin Mill): Thrwd Magazine is celebrating the release of its most recent issue with a free party featuring DJs, rappers, and professional nail art by the one and only Pronail Princessa. That would be the Observer’s Vanessa Quilantan, who is perhaps the toughest rap writer in town at the moment. Fellow Observer contributor Lee Escobedo is now three issues deep into his self-published endeavor, and congrats to them on making it past the first two. Putting out a magazine is not an easy task from what I’ve been told.

“Subsonic Indulgence” (Andy’s): I can never tell if this is one of those events I hurriedly run away from on my way down the stairs at Andy’s, but I may stick around this evening rather than look for stragglers who were “lost” from our traveling party. The DJs have such dubious monikers as “Led Robster,” but they’re also asking people to wear costumes and “if Chase likes [your costume] he will buy you a drink.” I don’t know this “Chase,” but that at least sounds entertaining. It also says that you should have a “rough idea” of “what to expect” if you have attended any of the previously-held house parties that were conducted by an art collective known as The Guild:

(women, booze, the unexpected, etc).

Since “the unexpected” is not really a value judgement in this case, it sounds like you should proceed with caution, especially if you’re female. Also performing are Ghost Daddies, Fropsi, and DJ Spacechase.

Other Thursday Options—

Savage and the Big Beat/Bashe/Sophomore (Dan’s Silver Leaf)

FRIDAY

Fort Worth Music Festival (Panther Island Pavilion): A lot of this week has been spent considering the difference in expectations between large scale festivals in Dallas versus Fort Worth, especially since “Homegrown” took place in our own Downtown just last weekend. Specifically, am I softer on Fort Worth, or do I expect the city to host more hoary genres such as country and jazz almost by default? Not necessarily. After all, the Fort Worth I know has been one of the area’s strongest activist hubs, a consistent source of radical underground music,  in addition to its strong vegan and bike culture.

The Fort Worth Music Festival quite ambitiously tackles everything from a mariachi act (Mariachi Quetzal); to a New Orleans brass combo (Dirty Dozen Brass Band); to the somehow still hip indie act, The Walkmen. The decision to throw jazz in with current popular music is a respectably risky one, though Fort Worth’s rich jazz history has always given it a one-up on looking down its nose a little at the rest of North Texas. Which is fine with me, since Ornette Coleman was born there, and he should really have an entire jazz and avant-garde festival named in his honor.

Meanwhile, this lineup is a little heavy on acts with words like “Whiskey,” “Southern,” “Truckers,” and “Hawks,” and yet I’m not as bugged by that as I would be if the event were in Dallas. Am I grading on a curve? Judging by all accounts that the recent Com Truise show in Fort Worth was a success, and considering the wild evenings Spune has occasionally curated at the Modern, I would say that the city is ready for something as “out there” as Austin — or even Denton — regularly enjoys. But I have to worry about Dallas first.

Lost in all this is the Panther Island Pavilion, which is locked in a fabulous commercial straddle between water and city. But that’s not lost at all on the ever-busy Preston Jones, who got to the bottom of all this in a recent article for DFW.com. The illuminating piece ends with this prophetic conversation between Jones and J.D. Granger, he of the Trinity River Vision Authority:

Could Panther Island Pavilion be the spark that ignites Fort Worth’s powder keg of a local music scene, driving attention (and dollars) to a city not often thought of as a music mecca?

It’s too soon to tell, but given the frantic pace at which Panther Island Pavilion, in less than five years, already finds itself doing business, the future seems as bright as the setting sun this April evening, glistening with possibilities for Fort Worth and its cultural future.

“Festivals are becoming a business unto themselves,” Granger says. “We are set up to do something really crazy with good services. We could do something that could really put Fort Worth on a competitive music footing.”

Not only does that potentially answer my own suggestions about other types of music eventually finding a home here, it also presents a very curious challenge to the surrounding areas who already fancy themselves as strong music environments, however true that may be.

Ulnae/Juicy the Emissary/Water Falls/Lily Taylor (Nerv Gallery): Though some of my highly critical friends and trusted advisors have suggested that if there is live music, it’s “not really an art show,” I see nothing wrong with giving people an extra incentive to attend a closing reception. It also comes as no surprise that this features a really novel and adventurous group of musicians, including both hip hop (Juicy the Emissary) and heavily soundscape-oriented music (pretty much everyone else, really).

The Angelus (The Dallas Museum of Art): It’s hard to believe the Angelus has taken this long to play a late night at the DMA, but here they are, one of the only bands who should actually use the beaten-to-death “epic” as a descriptor for their singular music.

SATURDAY

Fort Worth Music Festival (Panther Island Pavilion): For the full lineup of this event, go here. For more information, please also see D’s always helpful event listing.

“Taco Fest” (Taqueria El Picante, located at 1305 Knight Street in Denton): Before we get started on this event, I should mention that there will be “free horchata” available. In all my writing about shows, I think that’s a brand new one.

I know I was complaining about “Taco Punk” recently, but there’s a lot to like here, even if there is specifically a “Taco Punk Photo Booth.” I feel like I can smell this event almost as much as I can hear it. It’s a very big undertaking, over the course of two days. And it finally gives me a reason to list a Sunday show, so there’s that.

Everything from very agitated hardcore to rap to slightly dinky indie rock will be performed for your enjoyment. In addition to the horchata, there will also be tacos for a dollar, as well as “homemade vegan tamales.” The proceeds from “Taco Fest” (a steal at only five dollars) will go toward a permanent PA for use at future shows at Taqueria El Picante. This is a healthy showing of DIY ethics and community involvement at its best. I’m trying my best to go, since it’s good to at least spend part of your weekend around people who don’t just lie on the couch watching Netflix all day. The Saturday lineup includes an-hour-and-half break for skateboarding:

12:00am-NEGADUCK (reunion)
11:15-Primitive Orgasm
10:45-Sin Motivo
10:00-The Sentenced
9:15-Mean and Ugly
8:30-Chainchomp

7:00-Contusions
6:15-Estonia at the 1944 Winter Olympics
5:45- No Outlet
5:00-Macaulay Culkin
4:15- TBA
3:45-Night Crimes

Sir Name & the Janes/George Quartz/Pierre Burger/Nomb Squad (425 Bedford, in Dallas): R&D Projects is the promising new multisite endeavor located in West Dallas, and I am all for anything happening in Trinity Groves that isn’t little more than “yuppie food,” as the great Joyce Brabner would say. Featuring a solid group of acts, I’m hoping this inaugural show is the first of many.

Other Saturday Options—

Rocket Arm/Bludded Head/Terminator 2/Soviet (The Prophet Bar): Show up to at least welcome back Bludded Head from a long tour if you can, since they don’t play Dallas very often and especially not the Prophet Bar. That goes for a few of these acts, actually.

How I Quit Crack/Cash Slave Clique/Prisons/Freakmaker (Congress House): I believe a colleague once described How I Quit Crack’s music as “not being music,” but it totally is, I swear. It’s just a little … unsettling.

SUNDAY

“Taco Fest” (Taqueria El Picante): The day two lineup, as promised. Note, Track Meet will be closing out the post-show dance party:

11:15- Brain Gang
10:45-SeaLion
10:00-CUTTER
9:15-The DISTRESSERS
8:45-The Atomic TanLines
8:00- The Half Truths
~~~~~~~~Skate break winners competition~~~~~
7:00-Varsity Cheerleader
6:15-FOGG
5:45-Bukkake Moms
5:00-Bitch Teeth
4:15-Special Guest
3:45- Princes of F*cktown.