Scene, heard

New releases from Last Beat, Darlington, Centro-matic, and Lift to Experience; Black Sabbath tribute night

Pleasant Grove and Pinkston will hold a listening party for their respective debut discs on December 8 at The Dark Room. No official release date has been set for either record, but they should both be available (on Last Beat Records) sometime before the end of the month. In other Last Beat news, Captain Audio's first full-length should be out in February, preceded by a listening party around the beginning of the year. And Astro-gin, the group featuring Last Beat owner Caron Barrett, is currently recording at Last Beat's studio with producer Nick Griffiths, who has worked with groups such as Pink Floyd, Squeeze, and Joy Division. Griffiths, if you remember, was also responsible for overhauling Last Beat's studio, which held its grand opening a few weeks ago. Besides busying herself recording with Griffiths, Barrett has been hosting a series of shows at Gypsy Tea Room on Wednesday evenings, spotlighting newer bands. As if she and the label aren't busy enough...

While we're on the subject, Darlington -- seems the group's name is no longer plural -- is no longer part of the Last Beat roster. The band already has another album ready to go, and it will be releasing it on New York-based Melted Records. And the lineup reportedly has solidified enough to allow Darlington to head back out on the road for a six-week tour with labelmates The Huntingtons, beginning in February. Odds are at least one other member will come and go by the time the tour rolls around...

Centro-matic seems to have hit it off with tour mates Burning Airlines and The Promise Ring during the trio's recent swing through the Midwest. Burning Airlines singer-guitarist (and respected producer) J. Robbins may work with Centro-matic on the group's next album, which Will Johnson and the band are set to begin recording this month. And the band is also planning to release a split EP with Vermont, which includes The Promise Ring's Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier, sometime next year on Quality Park Records. In the meantime, look for a new Centro-matic song to appear on Quality Park's compilation Music-kits: A Collection of Music From Denton, Texas -- alongside unreleased tracks by Slobberbone, Mandarin, Wiring Prank, Budapest One, Coals to Newcastle, and many others -- due to hit stores early next year. Which is also around the same time another Centro-matic disc, All the Falsest Hearts Can Try, will be released. At least someone is finally trying to keep up with Johnson's output. Lately, that job has been almost as pointless as trying to count curse words in Pimpadelic songs...

Lift to Experience's debut full-length, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, should be released soon, after the band has spent the last two years tinkering with it. The trio has played sporadically since putting out a four-song, self-titled EP at the end of 1997, though that appears as if it will change as well, with the addition of drummer Mike Sanger, formerly of The Fitz and Post from Vermont. Look for The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads early next year, though that, as always, is subject to change...

If you're in the market to score some cheap CDs, come by the office during business hours and we'll cut you a deal; we have two full mail crates available at the nice price. (We can't promise that you'll find what you're looking for, unless you like to shop in the "crap" section at your favorite record store.) However, if you would rather be involved in a transaction that won't land us in trouble with the revenuers, KNON-FM (89.3) is holding a Christmas CD sale at Sons of Hermann Hall on December 5. Ostensibly, the sale was prompted by the lack of space at KNON's studios. But more than anything else, like most community radio stations, KNON needs money, and pledge drives don't always cut it. The sale lasts from noon to 7 p.m., giving you enough time to catch the Cowboys game that night, so you can watch them lose miserably...

Doosu, Jibe, Corn Mo & 357 Lover, Beef Jerky, and N.I.B. (the Black Sabbath tribute band featuring John Freeman and various members of Light Bright Highway and Sodom and Gomorrah Liberation Front) will all perform at a Black Sabbath tribute night at Curtain Club on December 2. In a situation that can probably be best described as ironic, proceeds from the show will benefit the Stonewall Jackson Elementary Schoolfor the deaf. Pardon? We're all for helping out those less fortunate than us, but seriously, a handful of loud rock bands playing Sabbath covers? They might as well have invited people to stare at the sun to raise money for a school for the blind. It seems to us that anyone planning on attending would be better served hanging onto their money. They might have to enroll at the school soon.

Send Street Beat your name on a slip of paper to zcrain@dallasobserver.com. We're drawing for secret Santas next week.

 
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