By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
To celebrate the birth of the Savior, Dallas' two commercial modern rock radio stations are throwing three big concerts in the next few days. KDGE-102.1 FM "The Edge" will have two "How The Edge Stole Christmas" shows. Night 1 includes Blue October, Hoobastank and Deep Ella on Thursday, December 4, at House of Blues in Dallas, while Night 2 veers closer to the station's alternative roots with Death Cab for Cutie, Shiny Toy Guns and Cold War Kids. The harder-rocking KEGL-97.1 FM, which has no "alternative" pretenses, blows its holiday wad in a single night with Buckcherry, Hinder, Drowning Pool, Rev Theory, Hollywood Undead, In This Moment and Pimpadelic on December 6 at Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie.
These being Christmas shows, the typical groupie-provided gifts (blow jobs and blow) seem a tad inappropriate. Fans should wrap up these instead.
This shape-shifting San Marcos alt-rock band began as a bro-friendly frat-rock outfit but decided to get "weird," adding a few effects pedals and some eyeliner to the equation. You can thank them for the Twilight vampire book series and movie, as the band's music has apparently inspired author Stephenie Meyer. Makes sense, as the band's music sounds tailor-made for teenage girls. Their hit "Hate Me" was so bad that former Houston Press music editor John Nova Lomax wrote a 2006 column disavowing the band on behalf of his city, offering them to Dallas (where they first got major radio play—thanks, KDGE) and San Marcos. I'll say "no thanks" on behalf of Dallas.
Gift idea: The title to the city of Albert, Texas (population 4), which is currently for sale. With Houston and Dallas officially distancing from the band, there's no need for the band to besmirch San Marcos either.
"I'm not a perfect person," whines Doug Robb on the band's 2004 hit, "The Reason," which pretty much sums up the band's approach. He takes on the role of the sensitive dude over his band's done-to-death hard-rock riffs. Their songs' vague lyrics and recycled licks make them sound more like they were pieced together on an assembly line than actually written.
Gift idea: Six Steps to Songwriting Success: The Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Marketing Hit Songs by Jason Blume. This book demystifies the art of writing music by emphasizing the elements consistently found in hit songs. Actually, never mind. Surely the band already owns a copy.
This L.A. glam band's party anthems about sex, booze and dope are so callous and stupid they make AC/DC sound like James Taylor in comparison. The explicit version of the band's "Too Drunk" video, a wet dream of boob-flashing and drunken faux-lesbian make-out scenes, pretty much sums up the band's approach. The ecdysiasts in the video all look about 15 years younger than the weathered dudes in the band, which makes the guys seem more like creepy predators than fun-loving partyers. Other Dylanesque songs in the band's catalog include the nose-candy anthem "Lit Up" and "Crazy Bitch"—the latter of which spawned a lawsuit (settled earlier this year) alleging that a 16-year-old girl was coerced into drinking and stripping in the video shoot. The band gave a classic molester defense: She said she was 18.
Gift idea: An ID scanner, to prevent such misunderstandings in the future.
The band started out as yet another generic Nickelcreed but has since modified their image to stripper-loving bros with a soft side, like a frat-friendly Mötley Crüe. In interviews, they painstakingly point out how crucial partying is to them so frequently that one wonders if they secretly long to turn in early after an evening reading Tolstoy by the fireplace. Whether their true passion is partying or not, it's obvious that their priority is not creative songwriting.
Gift idea: A Jack Daniel's bottle filled with apple juice. Their "partying" lifestyle comes off as more artificially manufactured than their girlfriends' tits.