By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
It's the holiday season (Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, what have you), so things are starting to slow down a bit in the D-D-FW area. We've been slowing down lately, too, though to be honest, that has less to do with the holidays and more to do with the massive holes in our teeth and the 2-year-old bottle of codeine cough syrup we've been sipping to make the pain go away. But that's neither here nor there. Given the situation, we felt it best to spend most of this space on some upcoming happenings (of which there are many, much more than we'll even get to here) rather than what's going on now (of which there is little, and that's stretching it). Now that we're finished with the unnecessary preamble, here they are, in no particular order:
Red Animal War and Slowride will release a split EP on April 30, courtesy of North Carolina-based Deep Elm Records, the same label that released RAW's Breaking in an Angel earlier this year, and will release Slowride's As I Survive the Suicide Bomber on February 5. (Although, if you can't wait, you can pick up the Slowride joint early via www.deepelm.com or at one of the band's shows; next one around these parts is December 27 at Arlington's Dreamworld Music Complex.) The Red Animal War/Slowride split features three songs each from both groups, and all of them were recorded in Kansas City by Ed Rose, who has done the same for The Get Up Kids, Ultimate Fakebook and Appleseed Cast, among others. And if you were wondering, the title of Slowride's forthcoming full-length may sound like a reaction to recent events in this country, but that's not the case. It was actually christened As I Survive the Suicide Bomber a couple of months before the tragedies in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, based on a lyric by singer-guitarist Dan Phillips. Just weird how these things work...
In January, Little Grizzly will take up residency on Lower Greenville at Muddy Waters, performing at the club every Sunday night throughout the month. Seems at least a few of the bands that were (kind of) left homeless by the demise of Dan's Bar in Denton have taken a liking to the cozy confines of Muddy Waters. Slobberbone was already a regular at Muddy Waters and its sister club, the Barley House, and Little Grizzly and the Baptist Generals have been spending more time there lately. In many ways, the two bars are a better fit for those Denton groups, as well as Dallas acts like Pleasant Grove and Sorta (see Christina Rees' story later in these pages), bands that can hold their own in rock clubs in Deep Ellum, but find more appreciative audiences in other Dallas neighborhoods. (Well, there are only a couple of other neighborhoods in Dallas you can play in, but you get the gist.) Places where their loyal cache of fans can fill a room, or at least come close. Word is, Slobberbone and Pleasant Grove will test out their "life is better outside of Deep Ellum" theory next year, with a joint tour. Speaking of the Baptist Generals, the band should have its new full-length album out in late February. In the meantime, you can pick up the Generals' Captured Radio Waves + 1 Live Shot, five songs recorded at KTCU-FM's studio and at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios; it's in stores and at shows now. So good news all around...
The Deathray Davies and its spin-off, I Love Math, have finished up work on new records, both due in stores in the first few months of 2002. When exactly? Too soon to tell, as John Dufhilo, front man for Deathray and I Love Math, says he didn't expect the completion of the discs to coincide. One (Deathray's third long-player, the follow-up to last year's The Return of the Drunk Ventriloquist) was fussed over for a while; the other (I Love Math's debut) was more or less bashed out in a few sessions. Since Deathray plans to do more touring during the first part of next year, look for the Deathray disc to arrive early, with I Love Math following it into stores a couple of months later. Though that could change at any moment. Meanwhile, the group is taking its first extended break--only a month, but still--since it formed. They'll be playing with the Breeders (yes, those Breeders) at Trees on January 31. Something to look forward to...
OK, there are a few things going on: Artist Ron English will sign copies of his new book POPaganda, a collection of his pirate billboards and oil paintings and such, on December 22 at Barley House at a shindig featuring a performance by The Sutcliffes; Gospel Swinger, Crash Vinyl, the 45's and Dead Sexy play Spiderbabies on December 20; Slobberbone and Sorta perform December 22 at Muddy Waters; Ed Burleson is at Bootleggers on December 21; The Sons of Sound and Vibrolux play Liquid Lounge on December 20, followed by Subtronic Theatre the next night; The Hundred Inevitables, Hosty Duo and Tweed are at Club Dada on December 21. And a lot of crap is at The Rock. Oh, and Good Records presents the Second Annual Polyphonic Spree Holiday Celebration on December 21 at the Lakewood Theatre, with The Polyphonic Spree (duh), including MC Astronautilus and UNB (United B-Boys Breakdance Posse), First on Film Improv Comedy Collective, Syncopated Ladies and the accordion-playing husband-and-wife duo Norman and Sharon Seaton20. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys, as part of the Toys for Tots drive. Just a reminder: Good Records is still offering a 5 percent discount on purchases through December 21 if you bring in any amount of canned goods, helping them help the North Texas Food Bank. Give until it hurts, and you get a little something back. To finish this random assortment of sentences, Scene, Heard would also like to congratulate frequent contributor Dave Lane on his recent engagement. Good on ya, sir.