The First Stage

So you want to be a rock superstar, huh? First you've gotta find a home for your sound

Marketing must: Band logos! Cool T-shirts! Merch! You need a graphic designer, bud. Or at least a bass player who has Photoshop and Illustrator and can fake like he's one.

Experimental Rock

Influences: Bowie, Kraftwerk, Devo. Anything that lets you act dramatically onstage as you perform. Or anything you can twist knobs to. Or anything that suddenly allows you to wear the eyeglasses or oddball wardrobe you've owned for years—only now people will assume you're doing so ironically.

Hopes: That one day people will appreciate you for the genius that you are.

Venue: Hailey's and Rubber Gloves in Denton. Lola's in Fort Worth. Nowhere, really, anymore in Dallas, now that Sloppyworld's closed, unless you want to hit up the house party scene. The right house—The Swiss House in Dallas or the House of Tinnitus in Denton—could be right up your alley.

Marketing must: Uh, marketing? You will not create a MySpace page for your band; you will play a bare minimum of live shows; and you'll release nothing more than a six-song EP—which you'll distribute only at Bill's Records without telling anyone. Somewhere down the line, a fresh-faced kid will discover your disc there and you'll smile politely to yourself when you overhear him name-drop your act to his buddy while riding the long-completed DART rail.

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