Friday, February 18, 2011

Clearly, i don't frequent this space...

But i am always here.
...and occasionally here.
...and my pics are still here.
...and the videos i shoot go here.
...and you should definitely check out my new thing here.

See you around.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review: Phosphorescent, Shiny Around the Edges & Dallas Family Band at The Kessler Theater 7/23/10

Phosphorescent 072310 (77f)
Phosphorescent is the musical brainchild of Brooklynite Matthew Houck who has garnered well-deserved praise as an underground indie rock force since the beginning of this decade on the merits of several solid releases. Arguably, the most notable of which is a tribute to the Red-Headed Stranger, To Willie released last year on independent label Dead Oceans.

Thanks to high acclaim for that record by Willie himself, Phosphorescent was poised to emerge from the underground into the limelight on the strength of Houck's own songwriting and the merits of his and his backing band's top-notch musicianship.
Phosphorescent 072310 (154s)
While previous albums have shown Houck's love for Americana with solo efforts that ventured into that territory, this year's Here's To Taking It Easy is more of a legit country-rock record comprised of songs that would fit snugly into any play list with the likes of Gram Parsons-era Byrds, Neil Young and The Band. And of course, there's plenty of Willie-influenced sentiments throughout.

Phosphorescent kicked off their current tour with a hometown gig in Brooklyn only to wake up the next day to find that their van and 40 grand worth of vintage gear and tour merchandise had been stolen. To everyone's astonishment, the van and all their equipment and goods were recovered by NYPD a few days later. My theory is that the thief tipped off the police himself after he opened one of the new CDs and gave it a listen. It's that good. However it happened, the band must have felt like they had witnessed a miracle that day.
Phosphorescent 072310 (1f)
Houck and Company took the stage Friday night at the beautifully restored Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff and proceeded with easy confidence into the extended intro of "Los Angeles" from the new album. Perhaps part of that alacrity was due to a new appreciation of their vintage instruments. They held them gently, lovingly caressing each note out of them to calm an anxious audience until the song swelled to its climax and receded delicately like the ebb tide of the warmest ocean. "Are you getting a lot of attention, ain't you now?" Houck repeats, and as the crowd leaned in closer and closer, it was quite clear that Phosphorescent was getting every bit of theirs.

The band flowed smoothly into two more from their recently released record. "It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)," a barroom boogie built on bouncy lines by ace bassist Jeffrey Bailey that provides a solid foundation for Scott Stapleton's hair-flinging piano pounding. "Nothing Was Broken (Love Me Foolishly)" is a mid-tempo number driven by the expertly understated percussion sensibilities of Christopher Marine that epitomizes the new record with its tale of longing, its careful craftsmanship and the haunting pedal steel of Dallas native Ricky Ray Jackson.

Continuing into the night, they wove a colorful sonic tapestry consisting of Willie covers, new album tracks and the forlorn folk of Phosphorescent's back catalog. Such a varied set list provided ample room for Jesse Anderson Ainslie's expert leads and the fuzzy solos of Houck's beloved 1955 Gibson ES-125.
Phosphorescent 072310 (81f)
As 12:30 neared the band left the stage but the house had not had enough and coaxed Houck back to center stage, guitar in hand. He stood under a single spotlight where he quietly fingered the strings of - appropriately enough - Leonard Cohen's "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye." His rendition of that lonely classic evoked a newer, more profound feeling of loss and longing as every note danced on the delicate edge of pure vulnerability and whiskey fueled despair. Taking a cue from an audience member, Houck continued solo, singing "I Am a Full Grown Man (I Will Lay in the Grass All Day)" into the quiet darkness before him.
Phosphorescent 072310 (119f)
The band mates returned for a few more songs including the Joe Tex southern soul classic, "These Taming Blues." As the last song approached its final crescendo, Houck raised his guitar with one hand high above his head in triumph. He then brought it down, letting it free fall to the stage with a thud from three feet high. If that vintage Gibson survived the impact without permanent damage, then the audience too witnessed a miracle on that night.

Dallas Family Band 072310 (1f)
Starting off the evening at the Kessler was The Dallas Family Band, a collective of musicians from several area bands. The dozen or so members played and swapped at least that many musical implements, singing, stomping, clapping in the middle of the theater amongst the audience members. Their exuberance and spirited performance was reminiscent of an ad-hoc folk band on the last day of church camp. Which is to say, big fun.

Shiny Around the Edges 072310 (78f)
Shiny Around The Edges began their set with a low, distorted bass line and hushed vocals. One by one each member made their way to the stage and added new layer of resonance to create a wall of disparate sounds that seemed to make sense as they bounced around the theater. Joining the Denton trio was Nick Foreman of Dust Congress on banjo and percussion who helped Shiny churn out songs from their forthcoming record Denton's Dreaming. Based on the sounds coming from the stage on that night, that new album will turn listeners upside down on their melted faces when it comes out in September. This face is ready.

For more pics, head on over to my Flickr page.

This review was cross-posted at Subservient Experiment.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New pics: The Hold Steady; The Whigs; Islands

Lots of new pics up on my flickr page for your perusal and enjoyment.

The Hold Steady at Granada Theater in Dallas July 10, 2010
The Hold Steady 071010 (218f)

The Whigs at Granada Theater in Dallas July 10, 2010
The Whigs 071010 (76f)

Islands at The Loft in Dallas July 7, 2010
Islands 070710 (11f)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Josh Ritter at The Granada Theater, June 15, 2010

This lengthy review at The Dallas Observer DC9 At Night blog says everything i would say, only better.

After listening to his records non-stop for four plus years, this was my first live Josh Ritter experience, and i can only say that his performance surpassed my expectations by unimaginable lengths. i hope he comes back soon.

i took lots of pics and put them on the flickr. Here's a few:
Josh Ritter 06152010 (9f)

Josh Ritter 06152010 (162f)

Josh Ritter 06152010 (220f)

Josh Ritter 06152010 (419f)

i took some video also.

"Me & Jiggs"

"The Curse"

Be sure to check out the official video for "The Curse," which beautifully relates the ballad with elegant puppetry by Liam Hurley:

Best mummy love song ever!!1!!1!!!

The Mynabirds opened the show and featured songs from their debut record, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, out now on Saddle Creek Records.
The Mynabirds 06152010 (43f)
Josh Ritter merchandise

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Midlake, John Grant at Hailey's in Denton, TX 6/5/10

So Midlake finally found their way back home after extensive touring had seen them trekking across this continent and Europe over the last six months. They'll be on the road and over oceans in the months to come in support of their stellar 2010 LP, The Courage of Others. In addition to the comfort of their own beds, they found an attentive, appreciative audience at Hailey's to show off their musical chops and penchant for performing captivating versions of their dark tales on stage.

Opener John Grant, who spent much of last year recording 2010's Queen of Denmark, with Midlake as his backers, performed tracks from that record beautifully to start the evening.

There's just no feeling in the world like watching songs from your favorite albums of the year being performed right in front of your face. It's what dorks like me live for. Both records are available from Bella Union, so pick 'em up if you haven't done so already.

Midlake 06052010 (1af)

Midlake 06052010 (46f)

Midlake 06052010 (13f)

Midlake 06052010 (48f)

John Grant
John Grant 06052010 (19f)

John Grant 06052010 (50f)

The fine folks at Go Figure Skate Productions have great videos of performances from that night at Vimeo so you can get a sense of how awesome it was.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Rhett Miller, Seryn at the Belmont Hotel, Dallas 6/3/10

Old 97s frontman and Dallas native Rhett Miller headlined the latest installment of KXT 91.7 Radio's Barefoot at the Belmont series on June 3. Mr. Miller burned through a set of Old 97s favorites like "Doreen," "Curtain Calls," "Barrier Reef" "Rollerskate Skinny," "Wish the Worst" and "Big Brown Eyes" as well as some of his solo songs such as "Fireflies," "Question," "Our Love," and "Singular Girl," which he dedicated to an 11 year old birthday girl in attendance. He's widely known as one of the nicest guys in rock 'n' roll, and he more than proved it that night with a lengthy, energetic set and a 40+ minute meet-and-greet with fans afterwords.

Kicking off the evening were Denton's folky up and comers Seryn, who dazzled the sold out crowd with a typically airy, harmony-focused set that matched the stunning beauty of the setting.
More pics as always, at my flickr page.

Rhett Miller 06032010 (38f)

Rhett Miller 06032010 (350f)

Seryn 06032010 (18af)

### UPDATE ###

Here is a vid i shot of Rhett performing a new Old 97s song that could be included on their new album. A rewrite (or "theft," as Rhett puts it) of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row," it features the refrain, "You will not go to heaven, you'll go to Champaign, Illinois." Snort.

Thanks to KXT and The Belmont Hotel for putting together such a magical evening. The Barefoot at the Belmont series continues through August, so check it out.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Salim Nourallah, The Quaker City Night Hawks 06/04/10

Whiskey Folk Ramblers filled Ft. Worth's Lola's in celebration of their long-awaited Salim Nourallah-produced second LP, ...And There Are Devils. As always, the whiskey flowed, the crowd hooted, hollered and boogied while WFR banged out a raucous set of their signature old timey jams. i think i saw sweat dripping from the ceiling. Or was that PBR?

Whiskey Folk Ramblers 06042010 (1af)

Whiskey Folk Ramblers
Whiskey Folk Ramblers 06042010 (54f)

Salim Nourallah
Salim Nourallah 06042010 (32f)

The Quaker City Night Hawks
The Quaker City Night Hawks 06042010 (47f)

Lots more pics at the flickr.

Clem Snide, The Heligoats, MATAS at the Doublewide 5/26/10

Clem Snide's set at the Doublewide was the highlight of a hot Wednesday night in Dallas. Supported by a playful set by The Heligoats and another fine performance by Denton's Matthew and the Arrogant Sea.

Clem Snide
Clem Snide 05262010 (36f)

The Heligoats
Heligoats 05262010 (11f)

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea
MATAS 05262010 (30f)
More pics at the flickr.

Rock 'n' Roll at The Where House in Ft. Worth 05/22/10

The good people behind Ft. Worth venue The Where House held a benefit to raise cash for renovations and future shows on May 22. Featured performers Adrian Hulet, RTB2, Chatterton, The Orbans, The Quaker City Nighthawks, and HOYOTOHO treated the patrons to all kindsa booty-shakin' sounds. These pics and more can be found at flickr by clicking here.

IMG_8422 Chatterton 05222010

The Orbans
IMG_8538 The Orbans 05222010

The Quaker City Night Hawks
IMG_8597 The Quaker City Night Hawks 05222010

Keep an eye out for more shows, as this place has all kinds of potential for awesomeness.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Quiet Company CD release party, Denton, TX 5/29/10

Austin's Quiet Company stopped at Hailey's in Denton on May 29 to celebrate the release of their new EP Songs for Staying In, which is the follow up to their hook-laden 2009 LP, Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon. Feel the love. i did.

Quiet Company 05292010 (14f)
More pics at the flickr here.

Sarah Jaffe CD Release Concert, Dallas, TX 05/14/2010

Sons of Hermann Hall hosted Sarah Jaffe's Dallas CD release concert where she and her all-star band belted out some old favorites as well as tracks from Suburban Nature, which is out now on Kirtland Records.
Sarah Jaffe 05142010 (140f)
Click here for more pics on the flickr.
Ms. Jaffe is currently on tour in support of Lou Barlow. Click here for tour dates.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Homegrown Music & Art Festival 05/22/2010

Spent the day in downtown Dallas at the first annual Homegrown Music & Art Festival at Main Street Garden Park watching area bands rock out in the heat.

Telegraph Canyon
Telegraph Canyon Homegrown nffcnnr

Lots more pics at the Flickr.

What a day! Thanks to the organizers, sponsors and all who came out. See ya next year!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Loads of new rock show pics at the flickr

i finally got caught up on uploading the pics i've been shooting at local rock shows lately. Sorry for the selfish hoarding. Head to my flickr page to check 'em out.

Centro-Matic:Centro-Matic 05072010 580
Matthew and the Arrogant Sea:
MATAS 05072010 12
Megafaun 04262010 45
The Red 100s:
Red 100s 04242010 63
Jacob Metcalf:
Jacob Metcalf 04242010 28
The Hope Trust:
Hope Trust 04242010 10
Fate Lions:
Fate Lions 04232010 252
See ya at the rock show.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fate Lions / The Winter Sounds / Parachute Musical the Moon Bar in Ft. Worth this Friday, 04/23/10. Come out for the rock and what have you.
i made this for you:

Fate Lions the Winter Sounds Parachute Musical by Neff Conner