By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
We're not big fans of Valentine's Day. OK, so we despise it with all the hate we can churn out of our tiny black heart, which rests comfortably just above our tinier, blacker lungs. (In laymen's terms, our lungs look like miniature boxing gloves. Like the kind you'd find on, say, a key chain.) It doesn't even make our top-five list of red-letter days in February; that would be, in no particular order: Groundhog Day, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays, Presidents Day and Johnny Cash's birthday. February 9, the day the Beatles debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, is a much more important event. Celebrate that instead. Valentine's Day? Just a way for most guys to let their lady know they're sorry for sitting on their ace watching Smokey and the Bandit II while she cooks and cleans and quietly accepts their abusive cackling at another Burt-and-Sally car picture. If you think one dinner for two at Olive Garden is going to smooth over that rough patch, fine, that's your business. We prefer to say we're sorry year-round. For what? Exactly.
But, if you're a fan of local music, this weekend does have a couple of reasons to celebrate, in the form of a pair of CD-release shindigs. First up is the long-delayed bow of I Love Math's self-titled debut, which if memory serves, was supposed to hit sometime last year. (Wanna say November, but that could be wrong, and most likely is.) I Love Math is the sometimes-acoustic side project of The Deathray Davies' John Dufilho and Jason Garner that has been softly rocking the Barley House most Sunday nights for the past couple of years. They are joined on the disc (which is being released by Summer Break Records) by former DRD drummer Bill Shupp, Slobberbone's Jess Barr, a pair of Sparrows (Carter Albrecht and Ward Williams) and guitarist Aaron Kelley, somewhat of an official member now. Kelley and new drummer (and Old 97) Philip Peeples join Dufilho and Garner onstage at the Barley on February 15 for the release par-tay, as well as earlier that afternoon (4 p.m., to be exact) for another set at Good Records.
The night before, Tweed will release its own 11-song debut, Jet Lag Heart, with a get-together at Gypsy Tea Room, which also includes sets by The Americanos and Hi-Fi Drowning. The trio--singer-guitarist John Garrett, bassist Rocky Garza and drummer Mike Simmons--fills out its sound on the disc with help from Eleven Hundred Springs' Aaron Wynne on pedal steel and 25% Toby's Toby Halbrooks on Theremin. But they still live and die on what they do together, and that's enough to recommend a listen or three.
If that doesn't lift your skirt, there's plenty more to do around V-Day, including a Baboon-Little Grizzly bill at Club Clearview on February 13, a fantastic lineup at Curtain Club on February 14 (Sparrows, The Chemistry Set, MossEisley and Radiant) and the Buzz-Oven showcase at The Door, also on February 14, featuring The Rocket Summer, Shilohand Dhandi. Oh, and South FM, now officially signed with MCA Records, will be playing on February 15 at Gypsy Tea Room, along with Austin's Kissinger, which happens to be releasing a new EP that night. (By the way, MCA is shipping out a Chris Lord-Alge remix of South FM's "Dear Claudia" to alternative radio very soon. The slightly re-jiggered version of the group's Drama Kids should be out June 3.)
So, if you don't feel like going through the dinner-and-a-movie motions, there's plenty of ways around it. Just saying. Us? We'll be watching Smokey and the Bandit III, because you know what? Jerry Reed just doesn't get enough credit.