Odds & Ends

Falkon is finito; Denton preps for two music fests; and Ask the Expert with Josh Venable

We mean well. It's just that sometimes we get confused. To boot: Last week, in a preview for the Falkon show at Hailey's and Double Wide, Sam Machkovech wrote that the longtime Denton band was headed to New York.

Not exactly. "It's actually the last Falkon show ever," explained the band's front man Mwanza Dover. The band is kaput. Finito. And while Dover eventually may be New York-bound, he is currently putting together a group called Black Arm Band, which will be a tad more experimental than Falkon's assaultive art-punk. The band, which plans to tour the Atlanta-to-Boston circuit, features members of the current Falkon lineup--but not American Idol reject Daron Beck, who recently started the band Great Tyrant with drummer Jon Teague from Yeti.

Dallas Observer readers will remember Beck as the mustachioed Denton crooner who charmed--or was that terrified?--Idol judges with his Tim Burton-worthy renditions of "Delilah" and "I Put a Spell on You." Since then, Beck has become something of a minor celebrity, the William Hung of Goth Kids, receiving fan mail from lonely couch potatoes across the globe. He says he's frequently recognized in Denton, where average Joes stop him on the street to say, "You did great. You represented Denton well."

Josh Venable: Send him love—and CDs.
Josh Venable: Send him love—and CDs.

"Yeah, right," Beck tells me. "I'm sure that's what they thought." He's a little sarcastic about the whole thing--after all, it is a little creepy. And yet, the appearance has brought him powerful notoriety. "People thought I just did it for the attention," Beck says, "but I wanted to be the king of the freaks." Looks like he's on his way.


A tale of two festivals: When it rains, it pours good music in Denton, where two festivals have announced concerts that will fall within a week of each other. On April 2, the second annual WakeUp Festival features performances from The Riverboat Gamblers, Baptist Generals, Mugzu, Speedtrucker, Jetscreamer and Fishboy, along with Austin acts The Gourds and Flametrick Subs. Last year's event was a beer-soaked celebration of music and activism, all done with a healthy dose of nakedness and college liberalism. Just a week later, on April 9 at Hailey's, the first-ever Spune "Wall of Sound Festival" features performances by such critical darlings as Midlake, Record Hop, Radiant, Black Tie Dynasty and Austin's What Made Milwaukee Famous. But how much marquee festival can one tiny college town sustain? That's the question for the upcoming weeks, as well as the Denton message boards, where the festivals' politics (and lineups) are being dissected.


Congratulations to Dallas' Crushed Stars, recently signed to Brooklyn-based Arena Rock Records. Crushed Stars is the brainchild of musician Todd Gautreau; in 2001, Zac Crain characterized his album Self Navigation as "intimate, elegant bedroom pop...[that] could pass for Bedhead demos." The next album comes out in May.

Ask the Expert: Adventure Club

This new feature attempts to answer some of the most common questions faced by local upstart musicians. How to put a press kit together? How to get booked? How to properly punctuate "li'l"? This week, we debut with a question for everyone's favorite Adventure Club host, Josh Venable.

Question: So how do I get played on the Adventure Club?

Josh Venable: Send it to me. Easy as that. As far as local stuff, I try to listen to everything I get. Don't always succeed, but I try. If you even remotely know someone who knows me, have them give it to me. Recommendations by bands/people I respect go a long way. If you went to Grapevine High and mention how much you hated it, too, I may listen to it faster. Put some time into your artwork and name. Nothing screams "We suck!" louder than a scribbled-on CD-R by a band called the United Degrassi Fans of Dallas. So at this point I finally hear it, right? If I like it, I'll play it. Over the years the 97's, Chomsky, Rocket Summer, [DARYL], etc. have employed this same method. Another thing: Don't go overboard. Every week there is a new local band that thinks by having their entire extended family call and request them they will get played. Usually just makes me hate them. Really good bands don't need to do that.

Send questions to sarah.hepola@dallasobserver.com, subject line: "Ask the Expert."

 
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