By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
You can blame some of this on the economy, the recession or depression or whatever. Certainly, when you're in a wage freeze, when you've been laid off, when the bills are stacking up and the money isn't, going to see a rock show generally falls off your to-do list. Drinking might have a higher priority, but certainly not at a bar. You can buy a nice bottle of Knob Creek for less than it'll take to get a slight buzz at some places, after tips and such. So there's that.
There's something else, however, and this is the part not many people will discuss. But it's there all the same. Fact is, there's just not enough good bands to go around right now, not enough groups you can see taking a giant step up to the next level, not enough acts that can put asses in the seats, so to speak. Let's put it another way: Right now, there's too many opening acts and not enough headliners. And, for whatever shortcomings they might have, this is not the fault of booking agents or club owners or whomever you want to blame. You gotta work with what you got, people.
Not that there aren't highlights every weekend. Take this one, for example: Centro-matic and Sorta are at Curtain Club on November 7, followed by Sparrows, Mur and Seymoure the next night; Hi-Fi Drowning and The Shining Time play Liquid Lounge on November 9; El Gato opens for Ash at Trees on November 9; Pleasant Grove does the same for Calexico and Destroyer on November 8. And there are up-and-comers out there: Robot Monster Weekend, The Chemistry Set, 25% Toby, Alan, The Chinese Stars, Faceless Werewolves, The Petty Thieves, 41 Gorgeous Blocks, The Rocket Summer, My Spacecoaster, Tweed and others we don't even know about yet. You only hope that the North Texas New Music Festival (which happens November 13-17) lives up to its name, and that some of those bands rise to the occasion. And keep doing it.
We mentioned it earlier in this column, but it bears repeating: Sparrows play Curtain Club on November 8, and it'll be a CD-release shindig for the group's new (and very good) Rock and Roll Days. The band, which features singer-guitarist Carter Albrecht and slide guitar player Ward Williams, as well as a constantly shifting rhythm section, recorded the disc at Last Beat's studio with the often overlooked Paul Williams, and the album title is absolutely appropriate. If you're wondering why people stopped making rock records the way they used to, stop wondering. But maybe that's just how we see it.