The Voice goes silent

Sinatra fought time in Dallas, and it was a split decision

There was a moment during that night at the Music Hall four years ago that seemed--for just a second--to transcend the anguish and wash away all the frustration. And it hinted, perhaps, at the reasons Sinatra stood on the stage long after time had betrayed him.

During the night, Sinatra often made references to his old songwriting pals who had "gone to the mountains" (his way of saying they had died). About halfway through the show, he began introducing "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry," a song co-written by his old friend Jule Styne, the last of the great stage composers who had died just days before. But as he tried to get the words out--"Just this past week we lost..."--Sinatra choked up, and his voice trailed off as he thought once more of departed friends. He started into the terribly poignant song, something Styne and Sammy Cohn wrote for some movie long ago, and made those wrenching lyrics his own, as he so often did during the years. He imbued them with his own tears: "Since love is gone, can't pull myself together," he half sang and half grumbled, then stopped again. "Maybe I shouldn't have done this song tonight," he muttered, perhaps to himself.

As he stood there in stone silence, Sinatra began to tremble just a little, and then a lone tear streaked his cheek and fell to the stage. Only those sitting up close and to the sides of the stage could see it, but when the lights hit that falling tear, it lit up like the sharpest knife caught in the brightest beam. It was almost blinding, the moment The Legend became a man wrestling with his own encroaching end and his own grief. In that moment, with his voice failing and his mind wandering toward better times, Sinatra seemed somehow very real. And so very alive.

Scene, heard
the tomorrowpeople are this close to finishing their debut for Geffen Records. If all goes according to plan--and doesn't it always?--the band will leave their El Paso studio for Los Angeles on May 24 and spend the next 18 days mixing the disc. Following that, they'll head to New York for mastering; according to manager Shaun Edwardes, the record should be in Geffen's hands by June, for a release sometime at the beginning of September. The band has re-recorded two songs from last year's Last Beat release Golden Energy, but Edwardes says it's "yet to be determined" whether the songs will make it on the album. Sixteen golden tracks were recorded in all...

Steven Holt, late of Tablet, is currently putting the final touches on his debut solo album, which will be released on Last Beat Records near the end of the summer. The album features performances by American Horse members Clay Pendergrass and Earl Darling (both of whom also were in Jackopierce), Jim Cocke (formerly of Mildred, Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks, and everyone else), Paul Williams and Brandon Smith (both former bandmates of Holt's in Tablet), and Kenny Hamilton (a horn player who has Rick Astley on his resume--Christ!)...

Whenever anyone sends us a press release containing the words "Dallas" and "supergroup," we have to assume they're being ironic. But last week, the e-mailman delivered us a little note concerning the formation of a brand-new "Dallas Punk-Rock supergroup" named The Bail Outs, and he wasn't laughing. The group features Ron Riot of Riot Squad, The Fitz's Dylan Silvers, ex-Mess member Ronny Ripper, and Jason and Brad from Spazm 151. (Here at Street Beat, we're thinking of going by one name, too: Dick.) The band will make its long-awaited debut May 31 at the Orbit Room with one of them all-ages, Sunday-afternoon shows, sharing a bill with Pump'n Ethyl and the Boozers. "We sincerely hope to offend, alienate, embarrass, and entertain all in attendance," reads the electronic missive. Needless to say, expectations are, well, enormous...

Any Cafe Noir show's a treat, made all the sweeter by the fact that the band barely plays locally these days, and they've got a whole new bag, having added drums and electric guitars to the vocals-free lineup. Beg for the "Kashmir" cover, and you won't be disappointed--Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page should reconsider. Cafe Noir perform Friday at the Gypsy Tea Room at 9 p.m. You miss it, you miss the world.

Send Street Beat e-mail tips, gripes, and pipe bombs to rwilonsky@dallasobserver.com. Or, better yet, keep them to yourselves.

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