Music Section Makeover

A tuck here, an embellishment there and voila! We have more albums,more news and--finally--live reviews.

This week, we've redesigned much of the section. It's bigger, bolder and--we hope--better. It's also quite pretty, for which we thank our new art director Steve Satterwhite. The changes are an attempt to give you the most comprehensive music coverage possible. We want to hit this scene at all levels: not just marquee names but up-and-comers, not just the people onstage but the ones behind it, not just indie rock but hip-hop, dance music, jazz, country. Hell, we'll even cover metal. Pinky swear.

To keep us honest, we've established several new short features that you'll see on the following pages. Here is a breakdown of what you'll find:

"And Another Thing": This is a space devoted to "blurbage." It's a kind of bulletin board for the week, with information on benefit shows, festivals, short news items and CD releases. It will also feature occasional contests and wild tangents about Top 40 singles and weird-ass Dallas Observer mail. This week, however, we kick off with a regular item called "Five Questions With," which spotlights a fixture in the local scene. And who better to start with than Aden Holt, the brain behind Buzz-Oven? Now in its 11th volume, Buzz-Oven has become a genuine force in the Dallas scene, playing matchmaker to emerging local bands and music-loving teens.

Kicking and screaming: Slick 57 (left) and the Flametrick Subs (right and center) at Friday night's rockabilly show at Club Clearview
Lindsay Graham
Kicking and screaming: Slick 57 (left) and the Flametrick Subs (right and center) at Friday night's rockabilly show at Club Clearview

"Playlist": Here you'll find more national album reviews as well as an every-other-week focus on local CDs of all stripes. We'll sneak in DVD and reissue reviews each month, too. But by far the most exciting item here is "Set List," a live-music review of local musicians. Sure, we'll highlight the odd Prince concert, but for the most part, "Set List" is dedicated to Dallas folk--the ones rocking the clubs downtown, strumming in dive bars and coffee shops, spinning at dance clubs and keeping the crowds happy (or not) at happy hour. We begin with last Friday's rockabilly show at Club Clearview, featuring three hard-drivin', hard-drinkin' acts from the 214: Rocket DeVille, the Von Ehrics and Slick 57, who opened up for Austin's the Flametrick Subs.

"Critics' Picks": These are our writers' choices for the best shows in the upcoming week. Mostly, they're touring acts, although not necessarily. Plenty of Dallas acts can claim a place among the week's must-see concerts. Also featured on this page will be "Today's Top 5," a list of the most popular albums and singles at various area record stores and radio stations. (Who knew Slipknot was the most requested song at the Edge?) We'll mix this up, too--sometimes local, sometimes national, some DJs tossed in for good measure. Be flexible, people. It's a work-in-progress.

"Guest List": In our "Get Out" section of music venue blurbs, you can find this weekly featured review, showcasing various late-night hot spots. These aren't just places to see music; they're places to experience it, whether you're listening or dancing or, merely, drinking in tune.

So there you have it--the new music section. You'll notice one recurring word: local. We have no intention of abandoning our coverage of the national scene--with all its pop princesses and scruffy Brooklyn boys, its fascinating flops and hilarious successes--but we are most interested in the scene that exists here. This is our city, our clubs, our music, and this is our attempt to improve what we do.

 
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