National Props: The Monday, July 2, edition of The New York Times arts section includes a review of St. Vincent's debut, Marry Me (in case you didn't see it, Robert Wilonsky has written a fine article on our local heroine on page 58 of this issue of the Dallas Observer). The Times' Kelefa Sanneh calls the disc "an extravagant collection of songs that show off everything at once: her warm and versatile voice, her nimble and precise finger-picking, her love of old-fashioned torch songs and new fangled electronics." Oh, we're glad the Dallasite received such fine national praise, but, really, Wilonsky puts it better. Not that we're prejudiced...On Thursday, June 28, Pitchforkmedia highlighted the Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter in the Web site's "Guest List" section, in which the snooty tastemaking Pitchforkians quiz their "favorite artists" on their recent activities and latest musical and literary favorites. DeLaughter gives a number of Dallas props, mentioning Midlake, the Granada and Zac Crain, among others. He also says the last great book he read was Kiss Me Like a Stranger by Gene Wilder, which is weird, but kind of fitting when you think about it...Speaking of Midlake (featured, by the way, on the Chemical Brothers' latest disc—listen to the MP3 on Unfair Park), the group kicked off a national tour in New York, playing with the New Pornographers. Their next Texas gig is September 16 at the Austin City Limits festival.
Hans-on: Austin band Milton Mapes, which actually boasts five Dallas natives out of six members, has a new project called Monahans, and they've just released a new disc, Low Pining, under that moniker. Low Pining is especially notable for the song "Blind Tide Sails and Weather Vane Hearts," which is about the Arcadia fire (does anyone else think it's weird that's so close to "Arcade Fire"?), the lyrics of which go in part, "We stopped to watch the Arcadia burning/And the smoke that soon filled a summer sky/Blows by the motorlines." Monahans will play at the Double Wide on Friday, August 3.
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F'week out: The Observer powers that be will probably get their collective panties in a wad should we dare to donate some ink to our semi-rivals to the west, but, hey, we're all in this together, and the Fort Worth Weekly has just released a fine CD compilation of selected nominees/winners of the 10th Annual Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards, which culminates in a private wingding in Cowtown this week. The cuts include "I Like U" from Black Tie Dynasty, PPT's "Work It Out," The Burning Hotels' "Stuck in the Middle," and eight others. Well done, Panther City denizens—except, since all but one member of Black Tie has moved to Dallas, we get to claim them now, right?
Handstamps: What with the sad, sad breakup of Cartright, the Thursday, July 5, Double Wide show with RTB2 and of course, the Observer's very own Noah W. Bailey—known to the music world as the Naptime Shake—was left without a headliner. Until, of course, the lovely and talented Daniel Folmer agreed to play, so expect his down-tempo, brooding and beautiful songs to round things out... Lazar and Alligator Dave play their last shows in Dallas "for a while" at the Curtain Club on Friday, July 6...Chemistry Set concocts a simmering show at Dada, July 7...Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs headline a Nightmare on Elm Street theme party at the Darkside Lounge on Friday, July 6. Yes, we're scared already.