Sanctuary Studios hosted the weirdest of Dallas' underground music for a year--like these guys, the Chimeneas.
Sanctuary Studios hosted the weirdest of Dallas' underground music for a year--like these guys, the Chimeneas.

Odds & Ends

A holy place: You were never supposed to hear about Sanctuary Studios. The DIY space was designed from the ground up as an entirely atypical music venue because, well, it wasn't technically a music venue to begin with.

"It was a living situation-type thing," co-owner Aaron Gonzalez says. He and six friends needed a place to live last year; after finding an abandoned church for lease just off Maple Avenue, they pooled their cash together and made it their own. But when you have seven young, artistically minded guys living in a huge space--particularly Gonzalez, who has booked local DIY concerts at unusual venues like Rito's Restaurant (Set List, August 19, 2004)--the music is bound to show up.

"Musicians who live here can use this as a practice space, artists can use it as an art studio and we know bands of all different genres that are underrepresented in the Dallas scene," Gonzalez says. "Hey, we could use this space for shows."


Sanctuary Studios

And that they did, relying solely on word-of-mouth and donation jars to throw punk, noise-rock and jazz concerts for nearly a year. But the venue's secrecy was breached two weeks ago when local heavyweight the pAper chAse played a special acoustic show, drawing the space's biggest crowd ever. Seems like too little, too late, though, as the lease runs out next week, and some of the roommates are moving to separate cities and houses. That means Saturday's show, with Ghostcar and Gonzalez's own Unconscious Collective, is the Sanctuary's last.

Shame, really, because the teen-friendly space is as cool as DIY gets, packed with art murals, underground literature and even a video-art installation. But Gonzalez isn't upset--he'll continue booking at unusual venues to support up-and-coming bands (including his own) and believes that the next cool, atypical venue will come along soon.

"In a place like Dallas, [the music scene] can suck from time to time. Don't give up hope. If you know bands around here and can't get them booked...DIY. Do it yourself."

Great Wall: This news column has been bumped for a few weeks, which means we never got to announce the goddamn greatest music fest DFW may see this entire year. Spune Productions will present the Wall of Sound 2006 Festival on April 8 and 9 at the Ridglea Theater, and people, these headliners are somethin' else: Low, the New Year, the Lassie Foundation, Starlight Mints and Okkervil River. Let us be the first to say, "Holy indie crap." In addition, Spune headmaster Lance Yocom has told me a few other WOSF national bands off the record, and a boatload of top-quality local acts will round out the national goodies--in all, more than 76 bands will play the two-day, three-stage fest. Again, holy indie crap. will announce the on-sale date soon. Once they do, make sure to snatch those suckers up.

Fire in the disco: Those buggers at Good Records still haven't moved to their new Lower Greenville location yet; manager Chris Penn says the store is shooting for an official move date of February 7 to coincide with the store's six-year anniversary and adds that, until then, "It's business as usual on Good-Latimer." Indeed, it is--we walked in last week and heard the new album by Fort Worth post-mariachi wonders the Theater Fire playing on their stereo. Excited by how awesome it sounded, we asked Penn about the disc, and he clarified that the songs we were listening to were only demos. Wow.

Stuff like that gets us excited about a unique Theater Fire show on Saturday, as the group will provide backing music for SOUND + PICTURE's live performance at Fair Park's Magnolia Lounge on Saturday. The group will basically react to on-the-spot video footage at the 7 p.m. performance; I can't think of a better band to pull off such improvised atmosphere. See ya there.

Handstamps: Centro-matic unveils new material from their forthcoming album, Fort Recovery, at two concerts this week. Dan's Silverleaf hosts the quartet in Denton on Thursday, while the Wreck Room gets the band in Fort Worth on Friday. Pleasant Grove opens both shows...Soul and blues matriarch Bettye LaVette storms Poor David's Pub on Saturday, and it's a shame we're out of space this week, because the Detroit legend certainly deserves more mention than this tiny blurb...On Saturday, Dan's Silverleaf hosts Lumberjack Festival II, a musical event that we'll sum up in seven words: Denton bands with thick beards and beer. Honestly, 'nuff said.


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