By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
You gotta hand it to Matt Gunter; the kid's persistent. After working with Jeff Liles and his HEIRESS-aesthetic Records label on the Static Orange project--a double-disc set of local groups that was available free with the purchase of any other local album at area record stores--Gunter jumped right back into the fray, hooking up with One Ton Records for Buzz-Oven, a scheme that took the heart of Static Orange and put it into a bigger body. Where Static Orange was a single blast of hometown pride, Buzz-Oven is the gift that keeps on giving, coming back for the attack every few months with a new crop of bands. The series kicked off this summer and returns on November 4, when Baboon, Chomsky, and Lucy Loves Schroeder play at the Ridglea Theater.
Here's the part where you get a little upset with us for being cynical: To be perfectly honest, the first time we heard about Buzz-Oven, well, we had our doubts. The idea itself was fine: a network of devout local music followers passing the word along to a younger generation of fans. Seemed like the right way to go about it too, putting a trio of bands on a compilation, distributing it for free at local high schools and colleges, then throwing a couple of all-ages shows so people could see what they'd heard. The only problem was, the first installment of Buzz-Oven discs featured Slow Roosevelt, Valve, and Red Animal War. Now, while we don't have anything against those three bands, it seemed a little fishy that the first three bands on a Buzz-Oven sampler were two bands signed to One Ton Records, and a third that they were reportedly interested in bringing onboard. It all felt a little too convenient, as if Buzz-Oven was just a One Ton label sampler in sheep's clothing.
Calm down--we know it wasn't. After thinking about it, One Ton merely did what we, or anyone else, would have done, sticking with people it trusted until Buzz-Oven was up and running. They could have put three unknown bands on the disc, but it wouldn't have helped anyone. You could complain that Baboon or Chomsky aren't exactly rookies either, but until local clubs start letting high-school kids in on a regular basis (don't hold your breath), most local bands are unknowns to the under-18 set. Giving them a show by Slow Roosevelt or Baboon or Valve or any of these bands gives them a starting point, someone to listen to besides Creed or Limp Bizkit. We thought it was a good idea when Chris Lewellyn put out his Dos Sensenseos comps, accompanied by all-ages shows at the late Orbit Room, a few years ago, and we still do. Maybe one of these days it'll actually work. You can get involved by heading to www.buzz-oven.com, or come out to one of the all-ages shindigs: November 4 at the Ridglea, November 18 at Eisenbergs Skate Park in Plano, and December 2 at Trees...
When Legendary Crystal Chandelier returns to the stage for the first time since May, playing November 2 at the Curtain Club with The Figgs and The Happiness Factor, it'll be the last show by bassist Jason Garner, who will continue playing bass for The Deathray Davies. (Garner's bandmate, John Dufilho, won't be splitting his time between the Deathrays and LCC for much longer either.) Though Garner's spot in the band has already been filled by The Happiness Factor's Salim Nourallah, the drumstool remains unoccupied, as does an opening for a piano/synth player; interested parties can reach LCC leader Peter Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (214) 781-4278. If you hurry, you might be ready in time to make it for LCC's first road gig, opening for Centro-matic at Stubb's in Austin on November 17. OK, you probably won't, but it's worth giving a shot. And you can start learning some of the new material on the band's as-yet-untitled second album by listening to the MP3 medley on www.thelcc.net. Or you can just swing by the Curtain Club and concentrate really hard...
After months of existing as a recording-only project, Mercova is making up for lost time, playing shows on November 4 at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios (opening for Black Heart Procession and 90 Day Men), and November 9 at the Curtain Club with Jetscreamer and Lift to Experience. Russell Lyday has been playing songs by the group on his The Show That Fell to Earth on KNTU-FM (88.1), so expect to see a release sometime soon. Or don't--no one likes the pressure...
Though we, at one point, questioned whether it could actually be done, Last Beat Records has shipped Vibrolux's debut album to the manufacturing plant. The album--which features a new version of "Soldier" (which appeared on the third volume of the Dallas Observer's Scene, Heard compilation series) and Vibrolux's take on David Bowie's "Win"--will be out before the end of the year. The label also hopes to release the forthcoming live disc by Baboon, A Bum Note and a Bead of Sweat, before the year is out; the disc is being held up so a video for the song "Closer" can be tacked on to it. Last Beat's Tami Thomsen also says that the label has signed Captain Audio's Regina Chellew to a solo deal. Chellew has already been recording tracks for the project (called CHAO! for now), doing most of the work herself, with contributions from Earl Harvin, Joe Butcher, and Pleasant Grove's Marcus Striplin. At the moment, Chellew is remixing a song for erstwhile employer ruby's latest album...