By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Apparently, the folks over at Wind-Up Records--the label that brought you Creed and decided not to bring you Baboon anymore--are ready to turn Drowning Pool into the next Monsters of Rock. According to our source, a few label reps met with the programming honchos at MTV and MTV2 and let it slip that Drowning Pool is, as of now, the label's top priority. Which is, depending on what side of the "Drowning Pool rules/blows" garage you park in, the answer to your prayers or your worst nightmare. The band is currently recording with Papa Roach producer Jay Baumgardner, but they may wanna look into hiring a bodyguard, especially if Wind-Up is successful in its attempt to turn Drowning Pool into the latest metal heroes. "If Drowning Pool is the next hit band to come out of Dallas," our source at the network says, "I'm going to hire a hit man. For who, I don't know. But I will do it." We'll stay out of this one.
Edgeclub host DJ Merritt will be the second DJ to get his own mix CD in The Right Stuff's American DJ Series. The disc comes out on March 13 and features Merritt's mix set, featuring songs by Detroit Grand Pubahs, Bedrock, fellow local boy Kelly Reverb, Kay Cee, One Phat Deeva, and others. Good to see one of the best things about Dallas' anemic electronic music scene getting a few props. That's right--we're old school...
Living Stereo, the forthcoming solo debut by former Buck Jones drummer Cody Lee, is set to hit stores on March 6, courtesy of One Ton Records and Stomp Box Records. But, if you're interested, you can hear the album in its entirety when Rio Grande Mud, the Internet-only radio station (www.riograndemud.com) run by Toby "Tobasco" Sheets, hosts a day-long listening party for the album on February 27. Written, recorded, and produced solely by Lee, the album can be heard in streaming audio on Rio Grande Mud at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m., giving pretty much everyone with a computer and a decent Internet connection a chance to hear the disc. And if you like what you hear, One Ton is accepting pre-orders for the 13-track disc--at the Nice Price of $8--at its own Web site, www.onetonrecords.com. If you don't like what you hear, well, disregard that last sentence...
Seems we made at least one mistake when we told you about the lineup of Zach Blair's new band, Armstrong. Yes, Blair is singing and playing guitar, and yes, his brother Doni is playing bass. But no, Mitch Marine won't be playing drums. Instead, Steve Visneau (of Darlington, occasionally, and Slowride, currently) will be manning the tubs for Armstrong, who will be recording in the near future. Blair says the band's sound is changing a bit ("I can't help but have Descendents influences") and that they're already getting a few nibbles from labels such as Coldfront and O&O Records, the label run by Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton of the Descendents and ALL. "I'm really stoked about it," Blair says. As for whether or not Blair is a permanent fixture with The Deathray Davies, uh, that's another story...
Recently, our editorial policy of writing about good bands--or at least, bands we like--was challenged by one Joe Quinn, who was fired up enough about the issue to issue an e-mail manifesto that, once we stopped openly weeping, made a lot of sense. Well, OK, that sentence would read better if you replace "a lot of" with "no," since Quinn advocates a plan where only successful bands are deemed worthy of coverage. (In his defense, Quinn wrote back and blamed it all on easy Internet access and too much alcohol.)
We'll let him state his case: "You comment continuously on the sorry state of music in Dallas, but if you're not willing to write an article about a band that someone actually goes to see in Dallas, then you're bitching to a grand total of no one," Quinn writes. "By writing about bands that appeal to a select few (i.e., those who like music recorded from a pay-phone, in the rain, during rush-hour, onto an answering-machine tape), you are alienating the majority, who like music that you don't need a Ph.D. to listen to (or, lacking a Ph.D., have a job at the Observer)." Young Joe prefaced the above by stating he was a fan of Bedhead and Legendary Crystal Chandelier (the bands that make music you need a Ph.D to listen to, apparently), along with some gibberish referring to how we only write for our 11 friends. Which is ridiculous: Everyone knows we don't have any friends.
Joe, the floor is still yours. "I think I really wrote to say, maybe you might be able to broaden your horizons a smidgen, and review something that people actually listen to," he continues. "Maybe you can stop writing about bands that people respect but never listen to, and start writing about bands people actually pay seven bucks to go see." Ah, there it is, the subtle plug for his neglected band. Our advice? Write better songs and fewer letters. That said, we'll do our best, Joe...
Finally, Pleasant Grove will play a benefit at the Red Blood Club on February 26 for Red Blood owner Greg Gunther and the outrageous recent medical bills he's incurred. Support the cause.