Before Canadian power pop quartet Sloan took the stage Thursday night at Trees, vocalist/bassist Chris Murphy and vocalist/guitarist Patrick Pentland played an acoustic set outside the DART bus stop at Akard and Pacific streets. With only about a dozen onlookers, it was undoubtedly the smallest crowd on the band's tour, but probably also the most unusual--a homeless man wandered over to the merch table, an Asian businesswoman stopped to check out the CD.
"We're trying to attract a new audience," joked Murphy, as the screech and clang of the bus threatened to drown him out.
The event was the kick-off for the DART Music Station music series, sponsored by the Dallas Music Guide and Quick. Every Thursday, the series will feature 20-minute sets by a national and local act (last Thursday, singer-songwriter Chris Megert opened). This Thursday, in Mockingbird Station, New Jersey pop-punkers My Chemical Romance will follow sets by Drane and Greatness in Tragedy. It's the coolest--and weirdest--free concert in town.
Another free downtown music series running every Thursday is "Out to Lunch," sponsored by Starbucks and the Downtown Improvement District. This Thursday, there's a State Fair Kick-off Party at Pegasus Plaza (which doesn't sound musical to us, but what do we know? We just copy the press release.) On Thursday, October 1, Code Blue plays in the West End. See www.downtowndallas.org for more details.
Also this Thursday, Good Records hosts a listening party for the 5.1 Surround Sound version of the Polyphonic Spree's Together We're Heavy, 7-9 p.m. It's free, it will have food and certain people in robes are expected to show.
Correction: In last week's Olivia Newton-John article, we incorrectly stated that Matt Lattanzi was Olivia's second husband. He was her first. We apologize for the error.
And another thing: Gabba-gabba goodbye, Johnny.
Four Questions With...
Mur isn't long for this town. It's too bad; their lush and likeable pop was a pleasant addition to any night out. But next month, the band is moving to the shiny, sparkly city of L.A., where they will pursue either greatness or unemployment checks--well, perhaps both, and God bless 'em. With a new EP, 3A-250 (named after a console fuse blown during mixing), the band hosts a goodbye bash at Trees this Saturday, also featuring The Golden Falcons and The Lord Henry. We spoke with frontman and sometimes-actor Max Hartman about leaving, staying, and the Muppet within.
Why are you leaving Dallas? Is it because you hate us?
It has nothing to do with a dislike for Dallas. Actually, I'd always thought I'd move to L.A., but I was sticking around for this band. We get along, nobody does drugs, it's a working band. Our guitarist Jonathan was planning to move with his girlfriend, and we got to talking about it. We mentioned it to the other guys, assuming they wouldn't want to go, and Chad, our bass player said, "I'm game. Why should you have all the fun?"
As you may recall, the Muppets also made a trek to L.A. If your band were the Muppets, which Muppet would you be?
Probably Fozzy Bear. He has a fun, laidback attitude.
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You act, and you front a band. Do you just need a lot of attention?
Yeah, probably so. Don't we all? Actually, I don't care so much for attention when I'm off the stage. It was more borne out of the fact that I found something I was good at.
What will you miss most about Dallas?
The people. And the under-charging bartenders. Being here, you always get friends coming back into town, leaving town. I guess this time that will be me.