When a venue goes out of business, it's rarely a party. Unless, of course, the concert hall or bar or whatever has let its liquor license lapse and is forced to give away all remaining hooch. Free drinks are free drinks--just remember to tip your bottle for the homies who couldn't be here. For the most part, however, dead venues get somber funerals, not joyous wakes. Especially when said venue is being demolished to make way for a Home Depot.
That's what is happening to the Bronco Bowl Entertainment Center. The theater's tumultuous history comes to an end August 16 after one final show. But it's a concert that has an outside shot of giving the venue the send-off it deserves instead of the low-key farewell that seemed likely a few months ago. For a time, it appeared as if the Bronco Bowl would simply disappear without a sound, except the thud of a wrecking ball.
Instead, the Bronco Bowl will host "the biggest all-ages local music concert in Dallas history," as Buzz-Oven leader Aden Holt says, a claim we can neither confirm nor deny, though, if pressed, we'd say it sounds about right. The numbers seem to add up: 19 bands, 11 hours. If nothing else, it's definitely the biggest concert in Buzz-Oven's short history. Since 2000, the organization has been "building a scene, one free CD at a time." That's the short answer. The longer one: A couple of times a year, Buzz-Oven picks three bands, puts a couple of songs from each on a CD and distributes them for free through its Web site (www.buzz-oven.com) and at local high schools via "buzzers," their 800-strong network of young volunteers. And then they have a pair of all-ages shows to solidify the potential new fan base.
The August 16 show will feature almost every group that has appeared on a Buzz-Oven compilation, including the upcoming fall disc. (The pAper chAse and Eisley are on tour.) If you're all into lists, here you go: Bowling for Soup, South FM, Burden Brothers, the Rocket Summer, Hagfish, Chomsky, Slow Roosevelt, Baboon, Doosu, the Deathray Davies, Red Animal War, [DARYL], Lucy Loves Schroeder, Adventures of Jet, Hot New Couple, Hi-Fi Drowning, A Foot Ahead, Dhandi and the Jimmi Sticks. The shindig starts at noon; tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
All of which makes for a fitting farewell to the Bronco Bowl. We'll always remember it as the place where Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin pinched us for a joke we don't quite remember just now, where someone poured a full beer over our head at the same show, where we've sat next to Dallas Morning News pop-music critic Thor Christensen countless times and actually enjoyed a few of them, where we've seen more great concerts than we can remember. Tip your bottle.
Just when we were starting to think that the band members had quietly gone their separate ways, just when we were wondering if Dallas Observer readers were voting for them in the yearly music awards purely out of habit, Sub Oslo returns with a new album, The Rites of Dub. The disc is the group's first since 2000's Dubs in the Key of Life, which was, um, its first. Since then, the band has had a lower profile than almost every Democrat running for president. (Except, of course, for our boy, the dynamic, doomed Howard Dean.)
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Like its predecessor, the self-released The Rites of Dub is full of groove and gloom, as spooky and natural as a house settling. The band--Frank Cervantez, Miguel Veliz, Quincy Holloway, Moses Mayo, John Nuckels, Alan Uribe, Brandan Uribe, Benjamin Viguerie, Paul Baker--does less with more, each song seemingly constructed out of the leftover parts of something else. The six songs (three of which feature "dub" in the title: "Goatsucker Dub," "Sep Dub" and "13th Hour Dub") add up to an hour of listening time, but it's an hour well spent. You might start with the disc in the background, while you clean house or something, but before the first song is through, the soundtrack will replace the movie.
Same thing happens live. The set reels you in like a leather-assed angler, baiting the hook but not forcing the issue, just patiently waiting, knowing you'll be hooked eventually. See for yourself August 14, when the group holds its CD-release party at Gypsy Tea Room.
Occasional Dallas Observer contributor Jeff Wade's Alternate Take Records releases its first full-length disc August 12, A Strange Melodic Shape, a collection of instrumental hip-hop from the Central Standards collective. The DJ crew--Wade's own Hydroponic Sound System, along with Rehash, Rerog, Com:plex, Polyocopus and Equipt--debuted some of the songs on the Southern Soul Construction vinyl series. All of them live up to the compilation's title.