Odds & Ends

Group encourages electronic music in Dallas; an update on the Lizard Lounge burglary; notes on the Van Cliburn competition

In this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards nominees for DJ/Electronic, one of these things was not like the other: DJ Merritt, DJ Jayson Gould, DJ Wild in the Streets, DJ Whiz T...and Tree Wave. That's right--only one (one!) nominee fell under the "electronic" category: Tree Wave, the duo of Paul Slocum and Lauren Gray, who coax ever-engaging pop music out of outdated computer and video-game hardware. After the nominations came out, Slocum e-mailed to ask that next year, electronic music receive its own category. "These are the more cutting-edge music categories and are important to the arts scene and Dallas's image as a source for innovative work," he wrote. Hmm. True dat.

Electronic artists may or may not get their own category, but in the meantime, Slocum is putting his money where his e-mail is: He has started printf(), an organization whose goal is to encourage the electronic music scene in Dallas. "After seeing all this great new media stuff going on [in Europe and New York], it's frustrating to live in a city that has a good art scene and nice museums but almost no support for new media art--especially when our lives are affected so heavily by technology," Slocum writes by e-mail. printf() has applied for nonprofit status and will coordinate with the Austin Museum of Digital Art and Houston's Aurora Picture Show to help book electronic artists to perform, lecture and exhibit in Dallas.

The first show is Thursday, May 19, featuring the French laptop trio DAT Politics. The band's video "This Way" is a kooky, hysterically head-bobbing piece of glitch-skronk that mixes live action and animation. Let's put it this way: The video's recurring images include beetles and someone dancing in a green dinosaur costume. The band plays, along with Tree Wave, at the Casket Factory, the smaller building immediately south of the South Side on Lamar building. Tickets are $8 and available pre-sale at Good Records. The show starts at 9 p.m. See treewave.com for more details.


Lizard bait: Don Nedler, owner of the Lizard Lounge, gives us this update on the thieves who broke into the club after-hours in April: "The police have surveillance video of the suspects who boosted our safe and have issued arrest warrants for them," Nedler writes by e-mail. "The video came from an attempted burglary at a club called Ebony Eyes. One of the employees there knew their names and also knew that one of them worked at the Lounge a few years ago." We'll keep our fingers crossed--and our doors locked.


Keyed up: Every four years, the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth brings 30 premier pianists to compete in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. It's a big deal. And though I personally don't know diddly about it, I knew my die-hard-classical-music mother would. So, late on deadline, I called her. "Well, Steve Cumming from WRR hosts it," she free-associates. "These are all amateur performers, but some of them go on to become professionals. You know, this blind woman once played Clair de Lune, and she didn't win, but she had the audience spellbound, and Steve plays it on WRR every once in a while. It's breathtakingly beautiful." She pauses. "I don't think I have anything else to tell you. When you called, I thought you were going to offer me free tickets." Sorry, Ma. Those'll cost you. The event is May 20 through June 5. (A few minutes later, Mom called back to tell me that Friday is Cumming's last day on WRR. Thanks for the music, Steve.)


Wanna Spune?: A few weeks ago, I lauded Denton's Spune Productions for putting together some of the city's most compelling local bills. I also managed to incorrectly spell Spune president/A&R guy Lance Yocom's name. (Sorry, Lance.) On Saturday, May 21, the artist management company builds on its momentum with a show at the Gypsy Tea Room featuring Pilotdrift, Pleasant Grove, Comet and the Snowdonnas. Dust off your shoes and get ready to gaze. Should be a great show.


Finally, Plano news that's not about steroids: Congratulations to Plano High School, which received $7,000 from the Grammy Foundation for being one of 42 high schools in the country designated as a Grammy Signature School. The awards recognize an outstanding commitment to music education during the 2004-2005 school year.

 
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