Do you even read this?: Every week, someone calls or e-mails AAT HQ to ask the following: "Are there any good local bands worth seeing?" We're required by staff policy to smile and politely respond with a concert recommendation or two, though we'd rather wrap a brick with a copy of the Dallas Observer and aim for their faces. You do know we answer that question every week in here, right?
So this week, we're adding a local show recommendation that we think will excite local music novices (and save us a few of those annoying phone calls). Tell your buddies that Thursday night's lineup at the Cavern is "supposed to be a decent show" and watch them be surprised by how great it is. Admittedly, the show gets off to a slow start with Blackheart Society, a weird cross between Neil Young and '60s mod-rock. But the real meat kicks off at 11 p.m. with Cartright, a Denton quartet with the half-acoustic quirk and drunken passion of Little Grizzly; the songs will charm you, but the sweaty, all-out performance of lead singer Ben Cartright will leave you wondering if the band's really unplugged. Headlining is AAT fave Pegasus Now, who will be taking a concert break to prepare for their first-ever EP release next month. Assuming lead singer Neu LeBlanc chooses singing over screaming (he switches depending on his mood, it seems), this pre-break gig will be a top-notch set, as the young band has grown incredibly tight in the past year with its catchy mélange of R&B, pop-rock and shoegaze.
No, it's plural: We're tempted to reprint our accolades for DJ Nemeses written approximately one year ago; change the number from '05 to '06 and you have the same story (aside from our glaring typo when we called the local hip-hop maestro "Nemesis"...sorry 'bout that). But Caesar "Nemeses" Orosco's repeat appearance at the Guitar Center Spin-Off semi-finals in Miami on Wednesday deserves more than a copy and paste; how often have you risen from the Dallas mixology underground to rep for a national DJ contest twice? Thought so.
When we spoke to Nemeses after he won the Southern semi-finals last year, he remarked that his skills--uncompromised scratch attacks on old-school jams which shine in remarkable form in his Since 1979 mixtape--weren't the kind that landed him gigs at "top-40" bars. Since then, his work in bands like Joint Method and the Hypnotic Tunez collective has kept the guy busy enough to not complain about his least favorite hip-hop clubs. A win at the Miami regional event will score the boy some serious tables, clothes and gift certificates. And if he makes it to the finals in San Francisco and wins, the man will get even more loot...including his own sneaker! How often have you had Nike design a sneaker for you? Best of luck, Caesar.
Get your bathing suit: As if Gang of Four's Dave Allen wasn't busy enough as part of one of the most influential post-punk bands of all time, the man has been responsible for a huge load of record labels since 1989 and was even Emusic.com's first general manager. We only learned that because local songwriter Jayson Bales announced this week that he had been signed to a three-year deal by Allen's newest record label, Pampelmoose Records, after the two met at this year's SXSW Music Festival.
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Pardon our lack of confetti and streamers, but we don't take kindly to out-of-the-blue record labels promising the best and delivering the worst to our city's hopefuls--Aezra, we're talking to you! But Bales, founder of Dallas Music Partners, says that after researching a variety of independent labels, he "feel(s) really good about this deal because of Dave Allen, ultimately. If he's selling snake oil, he does a very good job." The deal lets Bales retain his publishing rights and will afford his next album, Cruel & Unusual, national distribution in September, along with opened doors in booking, festivals and possibly even movies and TV shows. Perhaps a song like "I Walk Alone" will end up on The OC?
"I want a guest spot," Bales jokes. "Maybe in the hot tub." See the newly signed man play solo on Thursday (hopefully clothed) at Standard & Pours.
Handstamps: Here's a quickie for three Friday gigs: [DARYL] rocks the Double Wide, Team Evil overrocks the Bar of Soap and the combo of jetscreamer, Record Hop and Hogpig triple-rocks Rubber Gloves. The latter's a Humane Society benefit, so if you're having trouble picking...think of the kitties.