By Jim Schutze
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By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
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The Dallas Observer music section strives to be your go-to source for sports-talk radio news, naturally, so we'd be remiss not to mention the Orphanage Second Annual Christmas Benefit Show Friday night, December 21.
As with the inaugural Christmas charity show, the benefit will be held at the Double-Wide Bar and proceeds will go to the Fort Worth-based Gladney Center for Adoption, which offers counseling and matches potential adoptive families with birth mothers. Danny Balis and Dave Lane are the hosts of the Saturday morning KTCK show, a blend of pop culture, news and sports talk that's like overhearing a bar conversation between two ill-informed but nonetheless funny dudes. Both are open about having been adopted as children (thus the show's almost-accurate name), so the respected nonprofit adoption agency made a natural choice as beneficiary, and they've decided to make it a yearly tradition. Along with money from the door, the show will once again raise money with raffle tickets. Prizes include Ministry, Band of Horses, Stars and Mavericks tickets and dinner for four at 2900.
This year, however, the show features a bona fide headliner with Pleasant Grove batting cleanup and a strong three-hole hitter with Baboon. Trusted with the lead-off and two-hole positions are rookies Greater Good and King Bucks. Also different this year: Balis will step out of his managerial role to play as part of classic honky-tonk act King Bucks ("think Gram, Merle, Buck, Hank, Hank Jr., the other Hank, oh...and Hank," he writes), along with Chad Stockslager and Keith Killoren from the Drams, Joe Butcher of Pleasant Grove and Chris Carmichael of Airline.
Greater Good is the latest musical project from occasional Orphanage fill-in host Toby Pipes of Deep Blue Something and Bass Propulsion Laboratories. Though Greater Good's Britpop-meets-R&B has little in common with Deep Blue Something, the female-to-male ratio of comments on their MySpace page suggests they, like Pipes' best-known band, appeal primarily to chicks. That doesn't keep Lane from being a fan.
"I've never seen them, but always wanted to," Lane says. "Toby develops these side projects with younger musicians that are, for lack of a better word, his hobby...They're kind of a UK garage kind of throwback. Maybe a little bit of blue-eyed soul. It's an old-school sound that's pretty cool. Danny listened to them and compared them to Jet. I'm sure Toby would hate that."
Though nobody could write off the still-awesome Baboon as a nostalgia act, they do hearken to Lane's younger days.
"Myself, as somebody who came up going to shows in the '90s in the Deep Ellum era, they're just one of those legendary Dallas bands that you remember from back in the day. It's great that they're still playing and still relevant locally. We just thought it would be great to put together such a random, eclectic bill."
Pleasant Grove was a good choice to draw a big crowd, Lane says.
"I've always been a fan of theirs," Lane says. "I'm not as big a fan of their narcoleptic stuff. I like it when they rock out a little bit more. Marcus [Striplin] is a really talented dude."