Odds & Ends

Lancaster's Jamil Byrom (left) poses with No Doubt drummer Adrian Young after winning the 2005 Guitar Center Drum Off.

Hitch a ride: For the past five years, local country fans who wanted a little kick in their boots but thought Ryan Adams was a pussy had a rallying cry for their favorite brand of whiskey-fueled music: "Speedtrucker, motherfucker!" The local country quartet is known for a two-step that keeps pace with Hank Williams III, but as it turns out, the band will no longer keep pace with itself.

"Man, the way things are going, I don't see us doing any more than these last shows," says Michael Cox, Speedtrucker's lead singer. Disagreements in the band's "direction" were irreconcilable enough to make this weekend's three-night concert stand their last, and even though Cox says there are "no hard feelings," he also says, in about as deflated a voice as possible, "I thought we had something."

They still do, thankfully, as Cox points to new solo projects--along with drummer Bruce Alford's latest gig in Stoney LaRue's band--keeping the separate members busy after they raise a few at their farewell shows Thursday night at Dan's Silverleaf and Friday and Saturday nights at Adair's. All shows start at 9 p.m.; no cover at the Adair's shows.



Drumhead: Our warmest congratulations go out to Lancaster's Jamil Byrom, winner of the 2005 Guitar Center Drum Off grand finals. This year's king of the kit has been trailblazing through the competition since he entered a local store contest in August, leading him to regionals and last week's national finals in Los Angeles. He walks away the owner of a brand-new car, two new drum sets and endorsements from drum-gear makers Sabian and Evans.

"For me, the main thing was playing a lot of different styles and using a lot of dynamic levels," Byrom says about standing out during the lengthy competition. His current gig as drummer for local jazz/blues player Joe McBride will take him on a tour to South Africa in March; afterward, the 27-year-old is hopeful that phone calls will start pouring in for drumming gigs with touring national acts.

Upcoming Events

Dallas by Southwest: As SXSW looms, we wanted to congratulate the latest bands added to the Austin fest schedule this week, so here's to you, Deathray Davies, Strange Boys and Baboon. You'll be joining the likes of Bosque Brown, the Theater Fire, Salim Nourallah and Centro-matic in doing the region very proud--together, those are seven awesome acts!--along with two Denton acts that might be less well-known to Observer readers: Best Fwends, a strange eight-bit pop amalgamation of Junior Senior and Figurine, and Donal Hinely, a been-there-done-that Americana man who plays the, uh, glass harmonica. Yes, that means he wets his fingers and rubs them on glasses with water in them to make a humming noise, much like your uncle Frank.

Normally, we'd say that Dallas bands don't have a chance in getting exposure when SXSW patrons are too busy seeing overhyped national acts, but this year's fest already looks oversold. Where will the masses go when Belle and Sebastian and the Arctic Monkeys sell out in .04 microseconds? To see Bosque Brown and the Strange Boys, we hope.

Sam at night: Having trouble picking your favorite Sunday night radio show? So are we--Adventure Club, The Good Show and Frequency Down bombard local radio fans with quality independent music on the same night for some ungodly reason, and while we're glad to have 'em all on the air, we have to ask for the umpteenth time: Can't they spread out through the week? After all, they're competing with our first-ever appearance on 90.1 At Night this Sunday. Host Paul Slavens will grill us about our favorite local releases of 2005, and if we're lucky, he'll let us babble about what an amazing year 2006 is shaping up to be for DFW too. We at AAT HQ are pumped about the show--Mom always said we had a face for radio.

Handstamps: This one's a-ways away, but Toadies reunite for the Greenville Ave. St. Patrick's Day Parade Concert on March 11. Any excuse to fly super-friendly guitarist Clark Vogeler back to Dallas is a good one...Congratulate Salim Nourallah on his SXSW gig when he headlines the Double Wide on Saturday with his best backing band, the Noise...Year-end local-list winner Robert Gomez headlines a fine bill at Rubber Gloves on Thursday... Here's an unexpected one: local reality-TV survivors A Dozen Furies rock the shit out of Eisenberg's Skate Park in Plano on Saturday.

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