Last week we talked a bit about local musicians doing it themselves, creating their own shots the way Nick Van Exel does at the end of tight games. Or, actually, pretty much all the time. We were speaking specifically about some groups that didn't wait for an opportunity but, instead, made their own, banding together to put on their own shows, creating a world within the world.
There's another alliance we didn't mention. It's a coalition that goes much deeper than shows, although the bands involved--41 Gorgeous Blocks, Tendril, the Charismatics, Henry Holt, Red Animal War, among a few others--play together frequently, and have for a few years now. They've created something bigger together, a community not unlike an old-school record label (Stax, maybe, or SST), a self-contained environment where creativity flourishes. And they've done this mainly outside of Dallas and Fort Worth, slipping through the cracks in between--Grand Prairie and Arlington, mainly.
Though they don't actually run a label together, there's an in-house graphic designer (Darren Paul, who sings and plays bass for Tendril, and also runs Ice Planet Design, which has done album covers and Web sites for most of the bands). They all use Deedle's Room Recording, the studio owned and operated by 41GB guitarist Darrell "Deedle" LaCour. And now they've started something of a support group for local musicians, "a chance to get together and talk about the local music scene, our goals, dreams and whatever else," as 41GB singer-guitarist Matt Riggle says.
"Basically, I realized one day that there are a ton of bands around here, all at different levels in their career, with different goals, different ways of working and different ways of creating," Riggle explains. "I thought of how interesting it would be to stick a bunch of these different people into an unusual environment--not a show--and talk about things."
The group has only officially met one time so far; the second meeting is scheduled for May 27, somewhere in downtown Dallas. But Riggle insists the get-togethers are not members only: "Any band members, musicians, songwriters, etc. are invited." E-mail him at email@example.com for more information.
The meeting happens in the middle of a busy stretch for the ad hoc association. On May 24, Tendril releases its full-throttle new album, Anaphase, Baby!, at a show at Club Clearview with the pAper chAse and Red Animal War. Earlier that day, in Lewisville, Tendril, the Charismatics and 41 Gorgeous Blocks all play the main stage at Yuppie Fest, along with the Sequel, Space Cadet, Darlington, Slowride and others. Then on May 29, Tendril has another CD-release shindig in Fort Worth at the Wreck Room, with 41 Gorgeous Blocks and Once a Hero. Oh, and also that week, 41 Gorgeous Blocks release Well... , a three-song enhanced disc with plenty of video footage tacked on.
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Maybe you should start paying attention. But, thing is, they'll keep doing it even if you don't.
This is a little early notice, but there's no reason to wait: On May 30, Craig G, part of the legendary Juice Crew and one of the best battle rhymers to ever pick up a mike, will be at the Gypsy Tea Room as part of Final Friday's Third Annual Hip-Hop Festival. Craig G wrote some of the battle rhymes in Eminem's 8 Mile, and spent the years before that writing hip-hop history with cohorts Marley Marl, Biz Markie, Masta Ace, MC Shan and Kool G. Rap. The other performers at the fest include Headkrack, the Free Agents, Strange Fruit and DJ Whiz T. But the only reason you really need for coming out is Craig G. The underground tapes of him are amazing...
Hand stamps: Slobberbone and the Baptist Generals play Sons of Hermann Hall on May 24; Speedealer is at Gypsy Tea Room on May 23; Turnstyles, "turntablist warfare" presented by CORE Records and hosted by The Beat's Headkrack, happens May 22 at Trees, with performances by Gram, Massive & Aziz, Sivion, DJ BMX, DJ Lacy and Squirt, followed by OHNO on May 24 and Slow Roosevelt on May 25; Moxie, Wee Hour Movie and the Southpaw Preachers perform May 22 at Club Clearview; the Tah Dahs are at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on May 22, followed by the Adventures of Jet and Baboon the next night and a Faceless Werewolves/The Mona Jane bill on May 24.