By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Hopefully, Holy Roller will have a follow-up soon. The band spent part of July in the studio at Echo Lab laying down tracks described by Michael Seman as "heavier, but with more hooks." The project, in the band's estimation, is about three-quarters completed. But you haven't heard Shiny until you've seen the band live, where you can see how Michael strangles all that noise out of his guitar and how Jennifer can spellbind an audience with her breathy, quiet vocals while pounding out a trance-inducing beat on a single floor tom.
Other bands could take a lesson in doing so much with so little. —Jesse Hughey
If you thought that adding an older member to a young group like the greaser-punk outfit Spector 45 would tame 'em down a bit, then you'd be wrong. Sure, the band's been playing in and around Dallas since 2003, and the rest of the band may top-out at 22, but at 26, new bassist Adam Carter has quite literally brought some hot new blood to the band's live performance. (And not just because he plays an upright bass adorned with a demonic-looking skull.)
Before Spector 45 even finished its 6 p.m. set at last weekend's DOMA showcase, blood was splattered all over Carter's bass and on The Cavern's main stage. Halfway through the band's set, the bassist smashed an empty Miller Lite bottle over his head. Within seconds, red stained his forehead and left forearm. But, he, and the rest of the band, kept right on spittin' out songs about Satan, time warps and transvestites.
After the show, frontman Frankie Campagna rushed Carter to the hospital. It wasn't even 7 p.m., but for the remainder of the night, the sidewalk in front of the most well-attended venue of the night was splattered with blood. Campagna checked in with us from the hospital, saying, "He's got a 6-by-2-inch laceration in his arm, but as soon as we're done here we'll be back."
Sure, enough, by the end of the night, Carter was back in front of The Cavern with a bandaged arm. Dragging off a cigarette, he says, "I'll be all right; it was only 29 stitches." And to think, the band ended up garnering enough of your votes to win Best Punk Act. —Daniel Rodrigue
Less than a year after releasing its last album, A Plague of People, onto unsuspecting North Texas metal audiences, the Joe Ortiz-fronted Jacknife is already promising a follow-up.
And though the hilariously named Metal Face doesn't yet appear to have a release date scheduled, this much is certain: Fans of this flashy, melodic metal act can expect more of Ortiz's impossibly strained (and thus, highly alluring) vocals to be leading the way. But they also might be able to expect an invigorated pacing to the new output: Earlier this year, the band added a new drummer to its fold, former A Dozen Furies kit man Mike Miller. Consider that move an immediate, if somewhat unnecessary, boost in street cred within the metal community for the already well-respected act that has shared stages with the likes of Slayer, Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage.
With this award, the band cements itself atop the local metal circuit. But expect the real celebration for this award to take place on Saturday night as the band headlines the annual Summer Bash at Skillman Street Pub. —Pete Freedman
When your act boasts 11 members, you run into problems—namely on the road. Which is to say, well, this: When Backside Pick hits the road, as it did in recent months, touring the Southeast in support of its newest release, the light, joyful funk romp, Higher Place, it's rarely able to do so at full force—it's just too tough to tour with the full ensemble, frontman Rocky Ottley says.
Even so, Backside Pick was able to score a major coup recently when, while touring, it was able to book itself a gig at the New Orleans House of Blues—a bit odd, maybe, since the band's never played Dallas' own version of the venue chain. It was a pleasant surprise for the band and its ever-growing fan base. Another pleasant surprise? For the first time in its touring career, the band was able to ditch its van in favor of a tour bus.
"This was the first tour we've had where I wasn't driving," Ottley says, relieved at just the thought. "We were able to get to venues and just be so much more relaxed."
And being more relaxed? That led to better performances. Which has led to more fans. Which, with any luck, might mean a bigger tour bus, with all of Backside Pick's members hitting the road. Until then, we'll just have to put up with the fact that the band's local performances are the only ones in which the band puts on its complete show.
Lucky us. —Pete Freedman
Though their rise to prominence in Dallas is both unconventional and meteoric, the members of local hip-hop duo Damaged Good$ seem to be taking it all in stride. Fueled by the undeniably rump-shaking beats of London electronic producer Xrabit, Coool Dundee and Theodore Beard have been surfing the wave created by their debut, Hello World, and Dallas fans are clearly along for the ride. Boisterous performances inevitably include a healthy dose of audience participation; people come to the shows, and they actually dance. Go figure.