Friday, February 7:
Bukkake Moms/Megatherian/Cadillac to Mexico/Baby Blood (1919 Hemphill): Though they have openly mocked my chiding of their tireless propensity for sexual humor, Bukkake Moms are simply one of the most obviously impressive rock bands in North Texas. Though that designation might bother them, they have a necessary and yet deceiving recklessness that shadows the fact that their music is actually often complex, nuanced, and (gulp), mature. All the blue humor in the world won’t ever cover up the fact that they’re this good. I’m waiting for the breakthrough major label debut. Their live banter is as sharp as their plucky little rhythms and riffs, but be warned: I tried heckling them and they give as well as they receive.
Yuck/Son of Stan (Trees): Early in the week, we tipped you off to the fact that you could actually catch Yuck for free at Good Records, that is if you’re available at Happy Hour. That show is at 5 pm.
I’m not sure if I buy into the narrative that Yuck is everything that was supposedly embodied by melodic Nineties acts, since the “alternative” era was largely a media construct and marketing tool used to lure teens into spending their disposable income on corporate rock disguised as youth rebellion. That was nothing new, of course, but it had a certain sinister precision by the close of the 20th Century.
So, yes, Yuck has a lackadaisical approach to vocals and they use plenty of guitar distortion and effects when they play. If that helps to live out a fantasy of Madison Avenue’s vintage “grunge” campaign, then by all means. But have a listen to Yuck’s cover of New Order’s “Age of Consent” before you head out the door. They couldn’t even bother to play the dance beat. Are you sure you’re okay with that? Slackers.
Jimmie Vaughan/Lou Ann Barton (The Kessler Theater): Note—this show is officially sold out. It’s a Vaughan brother playing Oak Cliff, so does that come as any surprise?
“Deep Shade” (The Crown and Harp): As was mentioned previously, this is the first night that the DJs of “Deep Shade” will take over the top floor of Crown and Harp for its new monthly. I heard Deep Shade’s Gina Garza and Chris Ackert spinning late night selections at an after-party last weekend, and they did a fine job as usual. Of particular interest was a remix of Carly Simon’s “Why?” 12-inch, which reverberated from wall-to-wall with real meaning, in that ever-so-Dallas of settings.
Theater Fire/Baptist Generals/Dark Rooms/Priya and Andy (The Live Oak Music Hall and Lounge): Again, this is a benefit show for the Theater Fire’s Curtis Heath. The musician is struggling through an uninsured battle with melanoma. The Theater Fire were once quite the draw in North Texas, and received a commendable amount of national attention as well, before going on a long hiatus. That’s an art that’s largely lost on their contemporaries, and even their descendants. But what separated the Theater Fire’s music was that there was a sophisticated trace of noir or even textures of modern composition when compared to other more unadorned roots-based art. Which all makes sense since Curtis has contributed to multiple soundtracks, including last year’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Expect to see supporters from all over the local music spectrum in Fort Worth this evening.
Psycho Pony (Lee Harvey’s): I had the pleasure of seeing Psycho Pony, also at Lee Harvey’s, a few weeks ago, and they gave as accurate a reading of Neil Young’s back catalog as you could hope for. “Down by the River” was every bit as meandering, and though you would think that Young’s twisted falsetto would be the peak that would be hard to reach, it’s often the simplicity of that Young laces over rhythm player Frank “Poncho” Sampedro that are the most difficult to emulate. So, what is sometimes a little lost in the dark jam is still there in spirit.
“Friday Night Live” (Hailey’s): Tonight and every friday, with AV the Great, and Spinn Mo as your hosts.
Other Friday shows worth your attention—
The Angelus/My Education/Daniel Markham (Dan’s Silverleaf)
Jessie Frye/Kaela Sinclair/We’rewolves (Lola’s)
Saturday, February 8:
Lumberjack Fest 2014 (Dan’s Silverleaf): Now in its tenth year, Lumberjack Fest began as a benefit for the literary zine that was entitled, The Porch. That era of Denton is long gone now, though you can find traces of the poetry and prose online if you know where to look. What the delicate intellectual approach of The Porch lacked in manliness and flannel was quickly made up for in the somewhat brash approach of Lumberjack Fest.
According to this interview with the practically anonymous We Denton Do It (they almost never credit interviews and articles, which confuses me on occasion), Lumberjack Fest founder Aaron Anderson explains that one of the draws to the first year of the event, included people walking on hot coals. It’s no surprise that Denton is the cheap liquor capital of the South, is it? Though Lumberjack Fest seems to play, however unintentionally, to the lowest common denominator of Denton stereotypes (flannels and beards), the event has always been successful and full of well-regarded acts.
Speaking of We Denton Do It, one of its founders announced his candidacy for Denton City Council (District 2) this week. That would be Glen Farris, also of Spune Productions. While it always seemed to be lightly civically-minded in the past, We Denton Do It suddenly seems like a politically-entrenched blog, though it assures us (also uncredited) that the site will remain a place for “pictures of cats” and that “nothing will change here during the election.” I’ll take them at their word on that. It’s likely that I’ll contact Mr. Farris soon to discuss politics, music, and the places where the two meet. For instance, on candidate Farris’s campaign page, he mentions that he achieved the following:
I brought the inaugural Canned Festival to the downtown area in a further effort to work with and promote downtown business, arts, culture and sustainability through the idea of a music festival that featured craft beer brewed exclusively in recyclable aluminum cans.
My first concern is that if there were theoretically a city councilman who was also behind certain music festivals, would that help other competing festivals also make their way downtown? One would think that would give aspiring festival-throwers a sympathetic ear at City Hall. Here’s hoping that Mr. Farris is as good at returning a phone call as City Councilman Kevin Roden has been.
The Lumberjack Fest takes place over two nights and the Saturday lineup includes Satans of Soft Rock, Daniel Markham, Wurly Birds, and a visit from the former-Denton act, Spooky Folk.
Jessie Frye/Nervous Curtains/Vulgar Fashion (Three Links): This is one of two album-release shows for Jessie Frye, if you’ll take a look at the other release show she is playing, you’ll see that it is much more along the lines of what one would expect from an event celebrating the release of a work by a singer-songwriter. So, all credit due for the fact that she is playing tonight on a bill where she will undoubtedly stand out. I’ve long thought that music should be booked with abandon, as opposed to a dull, thematic structure. Frye’s newest release is entitled, Obsidian, and had a writeup in the Wall Street Journal, late last year.
Other Saturday concerts—
Nipsey Hussle (Prophet Ballroom)
Russian Circles/KEN Mode/Inter Arma (Club Dada)
Nick Gaitan (Lee Harvey’s): Gaitan is a former band-mate of Billy Joe Shaver, yet his work is more of a mix of Gulf Coast-roots music than the rebellious strain of landlocked country for which Shaver is known.
“Glamorama” (Beauty Bar)
Sunday, February 9:
Matt the Cat Trio (Webb Gallery, in Waxahatchie): One could get quite the education in the lineage of Texas music by attending the opening of this exhibition, which is rather subtly titled, “Big Hair and Sparkly Pants: What We Think of Texas.” The event begins at 4 pm with music from the Matt the Cat Trio, but at 6:30 a screening of the music documentary, Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin, Tx During the 1960s will be shown. Musicians such as Joe Ely and Will Johnson will be represented, but for their lesser-known visual art contributions.
Paul Simon/Sting (American Airlines Center): For more information, see our preview from earlier in the week.
Lumberjack Fest (Dan’s Silverleaf): The second night of this weekend festival feature songwriters Justin Collins, and Brent Best; increasingly rare appearances from two Denton bands, Pinebox Serenade and the Spitfire Tumbleweeds; and finally, RTB2.
Other Sunday events—
Bobby Meader/Christian Medrano/Free Kittens & Bread/Evanston (1919 Hemphill)
Image: Yuck. Credit: Jon Bergman, courtesy of Forcefield PR.