By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
"My hiatus, or whatever you wanna call it, is over," The Legendary Fritz announced when he stopped by the office a few days ago to drop off a three-song calling card for his forthcoming album, titled You Leave Me No Choice last we checked. (Personally, we still like Fritz's original title for the record: Greatest Hits. Maybe that's just us.) When the disc hits stores--probably sometime in April--make sure you pick up a copy right away. Why? Because Fritz says that early buyers of the disc will be treated to a double album of songs, since, as he puts it, "It's been a long time."
That's an understatement: Fritz has been working on the disc for a couple of years now. No idea if later pressings will be pared down to single disc, but if we were you, we wouldn't take that chance. (The more Fritz, the better.) Fritz says he is also in the process of trying to put together a release show for the album, including possibly bringing in a nationally known headliner to get more asses in the seats. (No sense getting anyone's hopes up yet until a date and a venue and the group are announced.) Of course, if anyone remembers his short set at last year's Dallas Observer Music Awards at the Gypsy Tea Room--and how could you forget?--you know that Fritz is worth turning out for all by himself.
If you don't believe us, or didn't catch him at the Tea Room, hunt down a copy of Down By Sound, the hip-hop compilation KNON put together a couple of years ago. Listen to "No Sunshine," his contribution to the collection, and you'll know why Fritz calling himself legendary ain't no joke...
The Mullens' latest disc--their third, Tough to Tell--is out now on Pittsburgh-based Get Hip Recordings, though Mullens frontman Tim Stile says not to expect the band to be around to support the album. That is, not until late March, when The Mullens are planning a quick swing through Texas--probably limited to Austin and Dallas--as well as an afternoon show at Good Records on March 31. Have to admit that we've never been big fans of The Mullens ("The album reminds us why most garage-punk albums are popular only in Japan," we said in 1998, when the group released its debut on Get Hip). That said, after catching the band at Club Clearview a month or so ago, we were forced to choke down some, if not all, of our words, chased by a handful of bourbon-and-Cokes. Maybe not enough bands indulge in keep-it-simple-stupid rock and roll, or maybe we just weren't ready for a band that did back then. Whatever the case, give the new record a listen. In case you were wondering, yeah, that was an apology. Or as close as we ever get to one...
We were planning to urge everyone to head out to Legendary Crystal Chandelier's gig at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on March 2 anyway, but now we have to ask that you check out the other band on the bill, Memphis' Trainwreck, as well. Peter Schmidt passed on a copy of Trainwreck's debut (and handmade, from the looks of it) EP, Charlotte, a short blast of juke-joint indie-blues recorded in December at Memphis' legendary Easley Studios. While the disc is only three songs, those three songs are enough to warrant a trip to Denton to meet their makers. Who are: drummer Stuart Sikes and singer-guitarists Mike Falcone and Tim Prudhomme, who also plays with Fuck. Prudhomme's other band, incidentally, will be playing at Club Clearview on March 15, returning to Rubber Gloves on March 17, as part of its farewell tour. No, the band, which just released its latest album, Cupid's Cactus, is not breaking up, just giving up the road. And that's probably enough indie-rock minutiae for now. Sorry...
Wiring Prank's show at Dan's Bar on February 22 was its last local gig for a while, perhaps ever. The band's appearances were sporadic at best, but even that schedule will be hard to maintain now that guitarists Sam Wagster and Bryan VanDivier are moving to Chicago. The group's first full-length, four years in the making, is finished now...sort of. All the songs have been recorded, but the disc is still waiting to be mixed and mastered, as well as for the artwork to be completed, before Quality Park Records can release it. Still, Quality Park's Matt Barnhart expects that to happen sometime later this year, possibly the summer, but probably not until the fall. "You know how it is," Barnhart says, "everything's TBA." As in "to be announced," if you didn't catch the reference. (Hey, people have written in with stupider questions. Believe it.) Maybe Wiring Prank can muster up one more show when the record is ready...
Stephen Nutt says Fury III--last seen opening for The Dismemberment Plan at Rubber Gloves, off the radar since--is ready to play again, and the band will do just that on March 16, when it opens for The Figgs and Gospel Swingers at Liquid Lounge. The band has filled out to a four-piece, with Woodeye's Scott Davis adding his Hammond organ to the group, joining Nutt (on geetar and vocals), bassist Danny Balis, and Matt Cagley, another new hire. (Some of you P1s out there might recognize Balis' name from his day job: producer of The Hardline on The Ticket.) Fury III's first full-length is, for the most part, finished, though Nutt still needs to mix a few tracks. Now that Nutt has taken some time off from his own day job, expect the disc to see the light--of a record store--later this year. We hope. For now, check out Nutt and company at Liquid Lounge...