By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Like when he admits that his festival isn't for everyone and that it's "left of center": "Ninety percent of the acts here are not for public consumption. This was for the die-hard, the music lovers."
Like when he describes how he went about selecting the bands to play the bill: "I invited all my friends to play a show."
No, this wasn't a festival at all. It was Wanz Dover's bar mitzvah. He's finally a man.
Mazel tov. Except, you know, not really.
Offering a presentation of his friends' bands to a crowd of Wanz's friends and an audience of listeners already familiar with these sounds—what's the point? What does this offer Dallas in the long run (discounting the merits of being considered "cool" for a weekend by the Denton arbiters)?
Nothing. And that's a shame.
Because, were this not a one-off in Dallas (Dover held similar festivals in the '90s and early 2000s in Denton, Fort Worth and Austin), it would have some merit. It would allow the word-of-mouth praise for this event to expand beyond a crowd of maybe 30 newbies to this scene. It would allow the at-times interesting and educational experience of this festival to ripen a bit.
Then, maybe, over time and subsequent festivals, Melodica could have been a bigger and bigger draw. It could have helped ensure that the Dentonites who came this weekend return to Exposition Park. It could have helped these kind of electronic shows to continue to draw crowds in the future.
It could have excused the self-indulgence of this first go-round at Melodica in Dallas. It could have kept Melodica from being forgotten in eight months. It could have meant Dover actually accomplished something with all the effort he put into the thing.