By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The welcome thread of a newish trend runs through the biggest show for each of the next two weeks—and, apologies to Neon Indian, headlining act for the farther off of these shows, that trend isn't GorillaVsBearcore. (That's the half-joking term some used to describe the synth-heavy, lo-fi, retro dance-pop that Neon Indian and other new "it" bands across the country like it create. And since I went ahead and brought it up, though, yeah, that sound's got a pretty sweet vibe to it too.)
But, back on topic, the more pertinent trend happening within the upcoming concert calendar lies in the fact that the most interesting shows around town aren't being put together by the people that normally bring us the shows we get excited over, but rather by the people who usually nerd out over these types of lineups—or, to put it more specifically, by local music bloggers.
Take, for instance, Saturday's massive 14-act bill at the Denton house venue, The Schoolhouse, featuring the pop-punkers in Giggle Party, the sordid indie pop of Daniel Folmer, the ethereal indie jamming of This Old House as well as 11 more up-and-coming locals. Presented by DayBowBow.net, one of the newest generation of clever local music blogs proliferating in the Web-scape, this day-long, near-festival-like show, like so many others taking place in Denton at this time of the year, is serving as a free back-to-school event, thrown in hopes of welcoming the college town's new crop of students into its music scene.
Didn't start off that way, though. Originally, it was just supposed to be a small intimate show. But, as head DayBowBow blogger Jaime-Paul Falcon puts it, things "spiralled out of control" as bands interested in performing started flooding his inbox with requests to be added to the lineup. Not that he's necessarily complaining.
"It's stressful," the 24-year-old Falcon says, "but it's been fun. And I like being the guy in charge. I prefer to do the embedded journalist thing and hang out with bands and all that, but it's nice to see 100-plus people show up to an event you put together, y'know?"
Sure. But what's refreshing about this show—as well two others (next week's We Shot J.R.-presented, J&J's Pizza-hosted live debut of Neon Indian and the early October, Bosque Brown-headlined show at Rubber Gloves from yet another new area blog, Weekly Tape Deck)—is that these shows aren't being headed by people just looking to fill a room. No, these are people so confident enough in their own musical tastes that they've taken to the Internet to start telling people about the bands they dig. So, one assumes, these shows are carefully booked, quite thought-out affairs—and from the looks of their lineups, they appear to be just that, which, in turn, is what makes these events so appealing.
Of course, none of this was really supposed to happen; none of these bloggers originally planned on getting into this aspect of the scene. In the cases of both DayBowBow and Weekly Tape Deck, these forays into the booking process came about specifically because each blog was approached by a band it had approvingly written about that was looking to find a show to play in the DFW region.
"From there, it all started rolling," Falcon says.
And roll it has. Because, really, this isn't a completely new trend at all, either nationally or around town: Since its inception three years ago, the Monolith Festival in Morrison, Colorado, has looked to blogs like the locally based Gorilla Vs. Bear to help fill out its weekend-long bill (this year, on September 12, Neon Indian makes its out-of-town live debut there, thanks in large part to GvB's support). Meanwhile, local music blogs like We Shot J.R. and even FineLineLive have intermittently hosted shows under their blogs' names over the course of the past few years, and earlier this summer, yet another local music blog, The Ghost of Blind Lemon, held a weekly showcase at the Lakewood Bar & Grill.
But it certainly is a building trend—seems we can't go a week without seeing another blog-presented lineup somewhere around town—and, thanks to the successes of these shows, as well as the ever-growing area music blog landscape, we're only seeing more and more of it.
For good reason too. Says Falcon, "It's a great way to advertise the bands that I like and the writing I'm doing."
It'd be kinda ridiculous for someone in my position not to support something like that.