Across the Bar

Raise the Curtain; Experience Lift to Experience; Mazinga's Dissatisfied Customers ...

Scene, heard

Cabe Booth, the local artist who's painted all of the band portraits that hang inside Curtain Club, recently took on other responsibilities at the venue. Booth, who has booked the annual Fry Street Fair in years past, has set up a series of Thursday-night shows at Curtain Club that "include some bands that I believe need to be showcased to show the club what they are capable of," he says, via e-mail. "If these shows do well, then I will be allowed to set up more nights of the same quality acts. I am trying to make Thursday night at Curtain Club a night for great music, and show the venue that these bands are worthy of weekend headliner slots." Booth's preaching to the choir on this one, because we couldn't agree more. The shows start on May 4 with a lineup of Legendary Crystal Chandelier, Pleasant Grove, and Gospel Swingers. Future shows include: Pinkston, Crash Vinyl, and fivecat on May 11; Vibrolux, El Gato, and Cosmic Slut on May 18; The Adventures of Jet, The Deathray Davies, and Clumsy on May 25; and Captain Audio on June 1. Booth says he also wants to set up shows with Centro-matic, [DARYL], Lift to Experience, and The Paper Chase, among others. Here's hoping it all works out...

Speaking of Lift to Experience, word around the campfire has it that the group's gig on May 5, as part of the second annual KTCU-FM (88.7) Noisefest, will be its last local show for a while, as the band takes off for a tour of the United States and Europe. It makes sense, since Lift to Experience's debut, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, is set to come out on British indie Bella Union later this year. Even if it's not true, you don't really need an excuse to see and hear Lift to Experience perform, at least you shouldn't. Other bands appearing at Noisefest include Gropius, Spoonfed Tribe, Cosmic Slut, Pointy Shoe Factory, and Rope Lab. The last group, by the way, will be starting the show off, as well as playing between every band for the rest of the evening...

Mazinga Phaser's latest disc, Dissatisfied Customers of Hallucination (see this week's Out Here), hits stores on May 2, and the group will celebrate that fact on May 11 with a release party at XPO Lounge. The band won't perform, but members of the group will serve as DJs for the evening, spinning selections from Dissatisfied Customers along with a few favorites from their personal collections. The shindig kicks off at 10 p.m., but we doubt anyone will actually show up before 11 p.m. Just a hunch...

On a related note, former Mazinga Phaser guitarist Wanz Dover's band, The Falcon Project, played its last show with bassist Pete Gannon on May 4 at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio, opening for Versus. Gannon, a former member of The Factory Press, will be touring with New York's Bowery Electric throughout the summer, and as Dover says, "We have to keep the train moving." No word on who will replace Gannon in the group, but he will appear on The Falcon Project's forthcoming disc Lights, Kharma, Action, heading to stores in a few months on Idol Records. Plans call for a short Midwest tour following the album's release...

If you have some time on May 6, you can pop down to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to catch a set by Slow Roosevelt, along with Varela, Wolk, and Rocardo Andrade Y Los Ultimos Adictos. Actually, you shouldn't even bother, since the group's gig, in front of more than 3,500 people, is sold out. Not sure how that many people would have heard of Slow Roosevelt in Guatemala, but hey, we also don't understand how a car that we spent more than $20,000 on could be worth less than $200 to the dealer that sold us another one. Some things you just have to accept...

Impressed by the band's gig at the South By Southwest Music Festival in March, German label Glitterhouse Records has offered Pleasant Grove a European licensing deal, similar to the arrangements the label previously brokered with Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile. Reportedly, the group's self-titled disc, which came out at the end of last year on Last Beat Records, will be re-pressed with a handful of new songs. To which we say, "Huzzah!"...

When we mentioned fivecat, the new group with whom One Ton Records boss Aden Holt is working, we admittedly didn't have all the facts. We still don't have all of them, but we do have more. The group is fronted by Lara Decker, formerly of Jetpack and Union Watts, and also features Steve Kish (Q and the Black Martin, Loveswing), Robert Anderson (Loveswing, Cresta), and Little Rock transplant Michael Hutchinson. As mentioned before, the band performs May 11 at Curtain Club...

Bowling for Soup, the latest local band to jump to the major leagues, will celebrate the release of its Jive Records debut, Let's Do It For Johnny!! (a line cribbed from The Outsiders, for all of you Ralph Macchio fans), on May 15 at AMF Fun Fest. Among other things, the party, which happens from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., will feature plenty of -- wink wink, nudge nudge -- bowling. As for the disc, it features remixed and re-recorded versions of songs off the group's previous two efforts, Rock On Honorable Ones!!! and Tell Me When To Whoa!, as well as yet another cover of Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69," not that anyone really needs one. By the way, a cease-and-desist order has officially been issued on Bowling For Soup's far-too-frequent use of exclamation points. No one's ever that excited.

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