Just a Suggestion

South by Southwest comes to Austin, but why can't Dallas get in on the action?

By the time you read this, dear reader, we will be hip-deep in free hooch, assaulting our innards with various stripes and strengths of liquors, doing untold damage to our liver and kidneys and God knows what else for years to come. The hangover will be stupendous though, fortunately, slow in coming, a face-numbing, stomach-churning blah held off by consistent drinking, brief periods of exercise (read: walking from one bar to another, and so on) and the adrenaline brought on by prolonged exposure to rock and/or roll, occasionally both and sometimes neither. We will be in Austin for the annual South by Southwest music festival, supporting the locals (Dallas, not Austin) and harvesting this year's crop of hyperbole and empty promises. And it will be great, a grand time. Yes.

Which brings us to a question. Actually, a series of related questions: Why can't we do it here? Why shouldn't we do it here? What is stopping Dallas from pirating the yearly shindig, moving it three hours north? Wouldn't take much. Look at the club calendars for this week and last. A majority of SXSW notables have gigs booked at various clubs in Deep Ellum and Denton, or just played here on their way down Interstate-35: Clinic, Girls Against Boys, South, Luna, The Moldy Peaches, The Walkmen, The Waxwings, Vue, Mink Lungs, High on Fire, Dressy Bessy, Arlo, The Catheters, Calvin Johnson, My Morning Jacket, Jenny Toomey, The Stratford 4--and that's just naming a few.

Not only that, but the Dallas area has more talent coming out of it than Austin has in years. If you'll permit another list: the Baptist Generals, The Burden Brothers, Centro-matic, Chao, Chomsky, [DARYL], The Deathray Davies, The D.O.C., Eleven Hundred Springs, El Gato, The Falcon Project, Flipside, Earl Harvin Trio, Legendary Crystal Chandelier, The Legendary Fritz, Lift to Experience, Little Grizzly, Mandarin, N'Dambi, the pAper chAse, The Polyphonic Spree, Red Animal War, Sorta, Sparrows, 6Two. We could go on, but we think the point is clear. Rock, hip-hop, R&B, country, jazz, whatever--Dallas-Denton-Fort Worth has it, and we have it every week. Live Music Capital of the World? While Austin may take that title in terms of quantity, Dallas has it beat when it comes to quality. Trust us.

So. What is Dallas-Denton-Fort Worth missing exactly? Well, in terms of SXSW, all we're missing is, you know, a few thousand journalists and label folks. But see, that's not as big of a problem as it sounds. The North Texas New Music Festival has shown it can con a few label types into coming into town to check things out, right? Right. What if, instead, they focused their efforts on siphoning off the steady stream of writers and A&R reps and such heading to Austin, convincing them to make the drive north since they're already in Texas and living on expense accounts anyway? Why not?

It's just a suggestion; no offense to the fine ladies and gents at SXSW HQ. Maybe we're just lazy, or maybe we're just tired of the bad rep Dallas tends to get, while Austin has been coasting on reputation for as long as we can remember. Either way, we don't think it's a bad idea. (Of course, we don't--we're suggesting it, after all.) For now we can call it, as a colleague suggested, North of South by Southwest. Kind of has a ring to it. (Although, truth be told, we are partial to another potential moniker: Kiss It, Bitches. Let it grow on you for a sec.) Whatever you wanna call it, it's worth a shot. And if it doesn't work, we'll deny any and all involvement...

We told you a couple of weeks ago about Flipside's new album (Raw, a double-disc set, recorded live at the Elbow Room last May) and the accompanying CD-release shindig held at--where else?--the Elbow Room. Turns out the discs didn't make it back from the manufacturer on time, so the release party will actually happen on March 20 at the Elbow, as part of the Dallas Creative Music Alliance's every-Wednesday showcase there. Come check it out, pick up a copy of Raw and help Flipside "do battle against the forces of mass-marketed commercialism and the status quo" and continue to "make music for human beings, not consumers." Even if you don't like Flipside, or have never heard them, that's a cause worth supporting. And while you're in a do-gooder mood, write to Fox and ask it to keep Undeclared on the air. Oh, and 24. Good shows...

Our pals (hehe) Drowning Pool will perform at this year's Wrestlemania in Toronto on March 17. Won't watch it, won't tape it. Well, guess there is the remote possibility that one of the members of the band will take a chair shot or something like that. Let us know how it goes...

Hand stamps: Faceless Werewolves open for Luna and The Stratford 4 on March 14 at the Ridglea Theater; Burnt Sienna is at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on March 20; Valve and The Happiness Factor perform with Superdrag at Trees on March 14, followed by Pleasure Club and James Hall on March 15, and Slick 57 and Eleven Hundred Springs supporting the Supersuckers on March 20; The Deathray Davies play March 15 at Club Clearview, with Arlo, Dressy Bessy and Harlow. And several dozen great bands from all over the place will also be in town. You can rest up next week. That's our plan.

 
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