A couple of notes before we get to tonight’s concerts:
I actually attended one of the events I wrote about yesterday, and went to see the Botany performance that took place at Sundown at Granada last night. It wasn’t the world’s largest crowd, but the people who were there knew they were seeing something rare.
The enormous sound that Botany produces from such a small setup is really something to experience live, though you wouldn’t necessarily assume that from the recordings. Though Botany’s Spencer Stephenson has suggested that the live show differs from the recording, I found that to be delightfully less true than I was expecting. Catch the next performance if you can. Later this Fall, Stephenson says Botany will be appearing at one of the Red Bull Sound Select shows, along with This Will Destroy You.
Next up, the Dallas Observer is now eight episodes deep into their collaboration with Globe Trek Productions, in a series of self-described “busking videos.” The ancient art of unsolicited busking itself is a seldom-seen occurrence in Dallas.
I have to admit to a bit of civic envy when I realized that Seattle had a city-endorsed busker program when I visited this past summer. Around town you would even see designated areas for street performances. Seattle’s mayor was seen riding a bicycle around the grounds of the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee. What a place.
To be fair, I did see our own Mayor Mike at a tiny art show at the Texas Theatre a few weeks ago, and that was very encouraging. But let’s stay on track here. Some of these street scenes have been decent; the Relatives and A.Dd+ entries come to mind.
Early this morning, Observer music editor Kiernan Maletsky posted a clip from Whiskey Folk, who apparently dropped the “Ramblers” from the end of their name. I guess that third genre cliche was one too many, though the remaining two words leave plenty of room for pigeonholing and cartoonish Southern fetishism of the rootsy-est, folksy-est, order.
The number they perform is entitled “If I Were Around,” and I am very curious as to how you all feel about this song. Does its minor key, slow tempo, and longing lyrical content move you emotionally? Is there anything particularly original about it? Does it make Fastball seem like Roxy Music at their absolute peak by comparison? Let me know in the comments—as you know, I actually love comments, especially of the anonymous variety. They’re my various breads and various butters.
Satans of Soft Rock/The Demigs/Timothy Jarrod Smith and Hot Coffins/Doug Funnie (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios): The enduring I Love Math imprint presents a lineup of songwriting-based acts that are a far cry from the punishing music that was part of last night’s “Free Week” showcase. Again, you should read Dick Sullivan’s take on Satans of Soft Rock’s “masterclass on songwriting,” which I found to be a master class on review writing. I find SoSR’s lead singer Tony Ferraro’s vocals to be a tad too similar to Centro-matic’s Will Johnson at times, but I don’t think that ever hurt a Denton musician.
“Open Mic” with Mr. Troll (Poor David’s Pub): I would usually be hard pressed to recommend an open mic event, but I’m throwing this on here in the hopes that Mr. Troll will take the stage himself at some point, since he is one of the most sincere and naturally gifted songwriters in the area. He is never grating, which is as uncommon as it is essential for a person telling his or her story with just a guitar.
Chad Stockslager (Twilite Lounge): Longtime Dallas musician Chad Stockslager is a pianist and vocalist of considerable, market-worthy talent, and his list of contributions to various successful groups is well-documented. However, I will never stop mentioning the man’s name in relation to a lost classic of Dallas underground music, the 2001 album by Richardson’s Climate, which was simply called The Final Songs.
A Hollywood-based collective called Mount Digital recently posted the album on its site, and hopefully the record will be a little less “lost” that way. Stockslager’s contributions to three of the tracks are some of the most memorable on the record, and it’s a perfect mix of his obvious singing and keys chops with slightly less-trained musicians. I doubt he will be playing anything off of that record this evening, but he’s still worth seeing.
“Wardance” (The Crown and Harp): This little night of bleak music has somehow escaped me, but it’s something I’ll definitely try to remember in the future. The “Wardance” DJs are Decontrol and Death Church, and here’s what their very direct mission statement is all about:
The focus is deathrock, dark postpunk, dark punk, trad gothic rock, no-wave, coldwave, and lots of DIY guitar-driven dark music. We play old school deathrock but also stuff from the newer and revivalist bands exploring this territory.
So if you like dark things and dead things in your DJ sets, something that’s usually marginalized to Deep Ellum, or even Denton, this is your chance to hear some of these often-expensive records on Lower Greenville.
As always, Liz Johnstone has other imaginative ways to spend your evening here.