The Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase: A User's Guide

We're taking over Deep Ellum on Saturday. Come along, will you?

Brain Gang Blue, 8 p.m.

"Party On," the single from Brain Gang Blue's Numb EP, was the party anthem we all wanted. But beyond that, the rapper and producer heightened his profile by getting in some production credits with current superstar Kendrick Lamar in Dallas over the summer.

Hunter Hendrickson, 9 p.m.

Hunter Hendrickson
Jason Janik
Hunter Hendrickson
Ducado Vega
Jason Janik
Ducado Vega

When it comes to finding an opening act for a touring guitar virtuoso, Dallas guitarist Hunter Hendrickson's phone number has been at the top of talent buyers' lists recently. Whether it was John Mayall or Victor Wooten, the young Hendrickson and his band properly shredded the stage before the well-known headliner took their turn at it.

The Blurries, 10 p.m.

Last fall's Paper Cuts was one of those sleeper albums. It required multiple spins to not just seem like some track-by-track affair, but a cohesive whole. After a few passionate tumbles in the sheets, a bigger picture emerges, as does their inspired take on '80s guitar pop.

Mariachi Quetzal, 11 p.m.

They're a 10-piece mariachi band from Denton, so you know they know how to fill a room. Also, when's the last time you saw a mariachi band at Dada?

Oil Boom, midnight

This group's summer EP, Gold Yeller, houses one of our Best Song nominees, "The Great American Shakedown." If you're a fan of hand-claps, hip-turning riffs, songs about black gold and the kind of rock and roll that makes you want to pour a beer on your head, then check them out.

Snow Tha Product, 1 a.m.

Claudia Feliciano has lived in Fort Worth for the past three years, but she's flown under the local-music radar. Google her alter ego, Snow Tha Product, though, and you'll find a wealth of YouTube videos with hundreds of thousands of views, a handful of mixtapes and a Twitter account with 25,000-plus followers. "When I started about five years ago, female rappers were dying out," the 24-year-old says. "I started putting stuff on YouTube and MySpace, and people started paying attention."

The Prophet Bar, 2548 Elm St.

Joseph SoMo, 6 p.m.

Joseph Somers-Morales (SoMo) has been on fire lately. From the release of his My Life mixtape to being "shouted out" by Maybach Music Group's Wale on Twitter, SoMo and crew show no signs of slowing down.

Year of the Bear, 7 p.m.

This Fort Worth trio was born from the ashes of Lift To Experience, but their music is a little less fire and brimstone. This summer's "Super 8 / That Violent Light" 7-inch pointed to more of a '90s jangle, heavy on the reverb.

My Wooden Leg, 8 p.m.

Nestled quite comfortably in the Best None of the Above category are Michael Maftean and Joshua Jones of My Wooden Leg. The duo is a little of everything, as heard on their new album, The Jealous Disco, but they call themselves a Gypsytronic Balkan rock band.

Datahowler, 9 p.m.

Electronic "wizard" Ross Edman just got his new EP, The Crystal Gazers, funded via Kickstarter. Check out the live magic for a hint of what you might be getting.

Playdough, 10 p.m.

Doug Krum does his share of playful boasting on his new mixtape, Writer Dye: Deux or Die, the sequel to the Writer Dye mixtape he put out in 2010. Both find him sampling and re-imagining classic rock and hip-hop songs. "I know there are people just into making all original music, and that's dope," he says. "And I do that here and there, but I really like samples."

Nervous Curtains, 11 p.m.

As the main songwriter for Nervous Curtains, pianist Sean Kirkpatrick is the driving force of the group's elegant, somber sound, but drummer Robert Anderson and fellow keyboardist Ian Hamilton save it from becoming too arch. With that minimal setup, there's still a labyrinthine feel to Fake Infinity — it's almost metal in concept, but Krautrock in its execution. This time the themes are success and failure, and the lyrics are definitely more abstract than Out of Sync With Time, but its references are grounded a bit more in reality.

Quaker City Night Hawks, midnight

Is there a shortage of sleeveless jean jackets this fall? It might be Quaker City Night Hawks' fault. The Fort Worth group's song "Ain't No Kid" was just featured, rather appropriately, on the TV show Sons of Anarchy, and a follow-up to last year's ¡Torquila Torquila!, tentatively titled Honcho, is coming soon.

Tum Tum, 1 a.m.

"Yeah Doe" has quickly gained the support of the blogosphere and DJs across the country, delivering a powerful punch over rolling snares and a menacing 808, produced by California-based producer Bux, who was discovered by Mason "Bric" LaDue, Tum's A&R and right-hand man. "That's what be wild about everything," Tum said of the connection. "People say social networks don't work. Social networks really do work!" From an outsider's perspective, Dallas music has always been synonymous with boogie, a subgenre of Southern hip-hop music. As of late, we've seen the rise of new hip-hop artists like A.Dd+. "There's a whole lot of different music out here now and I love that," Tum says. "Nobody sounds like each other. There's a whole lot of music out here people can adapt to instead of focusing on one part."

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