By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
With Brutal Juice gone, McCall has more time to produce and guide new bands. Albums from Cornhole and The Banes are forthcoming, as is what he describes as an "experimental project" with a new group, Q.
Keith Rust's status as the George Martin of area producers probably guarantees his nomination even if he turned out nothing but used-car jingles. The house producer-engineer at Crystal Clear Sound watches over and conducts an amazing array of local projects, and it's rare that any area musician makes the big time without having cut his or her studio teeth under Rust's tutelage.
While Rust's ultimate ambition is to own the Boston Red Sox, his love of music and ability to nurture talent are what drive him as a producer. In the past year, for example, he's lent his engineering and production talents to projects for Hagfish, Jeff Liles and cottonmouth, texas, Tripping Daisy, the Reverend Horton Heat, and James Gabrianno. Can Fenway Park be far away?
"The Adventure Club" (winner)
KDGE 94.5 FM
Sundays 7-10 p.m.
Once upon a time, "alternative music" meant something; Now they give away a Grammy for that category. That's why a program like The Adventure Club is so refreshing: Hosts Josh Venable and Keven McAlester riff on local bands--and other genuinely alternative groups nationwide, with lots of bootleg stuff--with dry wit, bickering like an old married couple, spinning discs from local groups that deserve more airplay, and commenting on the influence and merits of bands with knowledge and smarts. Sometimes their sophistication lingers in "hey, this is a cool tune" territory, but Josh and Keven know what they're talking about. They've met these bands and helped cultivate their styles in the way all aficionados do: by giving the source of devotion the kind of exposure and feedback it craves, to know they're meeting a need. The Adventure Club is rare programming nowadays, everything that most local radio shows should be but aren't.
"The Local Show"
KEGL 97.1 FM
Sundays 9-10 p.m.
Host Chris Ryan's Sunday-night show has been an intriguing offering from the Eagle's hard-rock corridors. Though Ryan can--and will--play local artists like Solinger (whose music is consistent with KEGL's format), he also opens up to include anyone he thinks is good and deserves to be heard, like Fisher, whose Seal-attends-mass-with-Jars of Clay material would otherwise be anathema to hard-rockin' 97.1.
Starting a year ago, The Local Show started emanating live from the Rehab Lounge. After Ryan's one-hour studio program, featured bands then take the Rehab stage for in vivo performance. All in all, it's a refreshingly open-minded and well-conceived effort to focus on up-and-coming Dallas and Fort Worth musicians.
KNTU 88.1 FM
Sundays 10-11:30 p.m.
Maybe it's ignorance or low self-esteem on the part of potential contributors, but Kelley Pound, one of two DJs for "Seeds," a show on the radio station of the University of North Texas that has long welcomed local acts, has been surprised that they haven't received more submissions.
Of course, it could also be that since its creation 10 years ago as a showcase for local talent, "Seeds" has been on the air irregularly. Passing through generations with "zero budget," as Pound says, the station has been run by volunteers who "produce everything you hear on our own time." She and fellow student Robert Hamilton resuscitated Seeds in its present format in January 1996, after a year off the air. Each week, the live show features four local music acts who each get up to 20 minutes of airplay. Talents range from Baboon, Brutal Juice, and the Reverend Horton Heat to some "crazy lady" who sings folk ditties about subjects like being addicted to denim.
This is not the typical staple of 88.1 FM; the show has always been an alternative to the station's staid jazz format, which exists mostly to promote UNT's astounding jazz school.
Pound and Hamilton, of course, are students first, and their incarnation of "Seeds" expired with the school year in May. "We're getting really comfortable now," Pound laments, "and it sucks we're going off the air." The show will return in the fall, if someone is willing to take over the chores. "I think Seeds has a really, really good chance of coming back because it has been so successful in the past," Pound says. "It's just a matter of finding students around here who are concerned with local music and are willing to give the time and effort--without getting paid, without getting any credit for it--to bust their ass to promote local music and bands."
KTXQ 102.1 FM
Weeknights 9-10 p.m.
For proof that local stations desperately want credit for breaking the next hometown hit, look no further than Q102 and "Texas Tapes." Promos for the show proudly bill it as the "longest-running local music show," and want you to know that our backyard rocks and they're the reason why. As Buddy Wiley--Q102's local point man--notes, it was "Texas Tapes" airplay that first introduced Grand Street Cryers' "Angie Wood" to Redbeard and the regular rotation that instantly catapulted the band into the realm of next big thing. Along with bite-sized doses of local acts every weeknight, "Texas Tapes" now sponsors a live show every Sunday evening at the Dark Room, much like the Eagle's (KEGL 97.1 FM) "Local Show" at the Rehab Lounge.