Run The Jewels' stage banter Together, Killer Mike and El-P have put out one of the best albums of 2013, so it was surprising to see them in such an early time slot on Friday. The 6 p.m. crowd was noticeably thin, of course, but it made Dallas' first time seeing Run The Jewels material live an intimate one. On top of a powerhouse set, rap's best new buddy comedy duo were adorable onstage together. They just looked like they were having so much fun up there. Highlights included Killer Mike's busting El-P's balls for spilling his drink, admitting his kids call EL-P "their white uncle." and his shout out to the cool dad in the audience with the little girl on his shoulders. Afterwards, the lucky family was invited backstage for a meet and greet, where Killer Mike told the little girl, "You're going to think this is so cool one day." --Vanessa Quilantan
Real Estate shouts out El Si Hay It was about three songs into a solid set from the indie bedroom rock outfit, Real Estate, when lead singer/guitarist Martin Courtney shouted out a Dallas taco staple. "You guys ever go to El Si Hay?" he asked the crowd, who responded with cheers. "We went there today and it was the best tacos I've ever had in my life. The elotes is really good too!" VQ
The hypnotic effects of Pageantry Denton three-piece Pageantry played an early set in the corner of Dada while Andrew Bird was whistling on the main stage. So not an ideal level of exposure, but the relatively new band made plenty of it. Front man Roy Robertson turned his guitar and endless array of effects pedals into a mesmerizing trail of melody. This band doesn't miss. --Kiernan Maletsky
The future is bright Parking attendant Moses waved people into spots down Elm Street and smiled at people passing by on the sidewalk. He's been in the neighborhood for some time now, and he thinks it's on the cusp of its finest hour. He points to the condos going in nearby, and talks about the long-term investment of the companies behind them. He sees the new restaurants, the new bars. Deep Ellum, he thinks, will breathe life into the center of Dallas' culture, and he sees things like Index Fest as proof. KM
The Fox and the Bird covers "Dallas" Local folk band The Fox and the Bird rarely disappoint live, but if you happened to catch their set shortly night fell on Friday, you now know that they have impeccable taste in cover songs. Written by Jimmie Dale Gilmore and made famous by his group The Flatlanders, "Dallas" is a regional classic. TFATB's rendition was nothing short of fantastic, but we might be biased, seeing as we took our blog name from its lyrics VQ
Dessa for Congress After her rousing set on the big stage at the Prophet Bar, Doomtree MC and singer Dessa stuck around to greet the fans. But this was no handshake occasion - she was generous with her time, engaging in actual conversations and posing for photos and generally getting to know people. She'd have plenty of votes, is all I'm saying. KM
The most enthusiastic dancing on Friday night It wasn't for the headliner. But then again, Andrew Bird doesn't really inspire that kind of expression. And it wasn't Larry G(ee) at Trees, who does for sure inspire dancing. They did it Friday night, too, with a full horn section and backing vocalists and Larry at his very best. But still the most wildly swinging hips were to be found at Twilite Lounge, where David Washburn and his New Orleans' jazz sextet got couples moving to classics like "When The Saints Go Marching In." KM
The Cannabinoids get by Dallas' unofficial house band, The Cannabinoids, may not have rehearsed. They never do, as ringleader Picnictyme pointed out multiple times from the stage. But they don't need to as long as they keep making friends like these. They closed out Friday night with guest appearances from a cross-section of exciting North Texas talent, including Sam Lao, The Outfit, TX, Team From Nowhere and Sarah Jaffe. KM
Bob jamming to Zhora His name is Bob, he's Deep Ellum's most beloved wanderer. You can find him walking the neighborhood almost nightly, sometimes with his trusty keyboard, going from show to show. No one loves Dallas music more than Bob, and during Zhora's late afternoon set on Saturday, he was really getting down. Zhora siren, Taylor Rhea, thanked him by name for being there. VQ
A conversation with Paul Slavens The Baptist Generals played the Goose Island outdoor mainstage early on Saturday, and members of the Dallas supergroup stuck around the grounds for most of the afternoon. If you had the chance to get a chance to get some face time in with the General's keyboardist, Paul Slavens- you already know what a pleasure it is. The KXT radio show host and all around legend of the Dallas music scene is one of the most likeable personalities in town. He's down-to-earth, he's interesting, and he can have a conversation with anyone. Slavens for Mayor. VQ
Lord Buffalo nests Austin's Lord Buffalo knows how to set a mood. Mostly that's about their steady ear for low hum and thunderous riff, but never discount the importance of accessories. Drummer Devin James Fry had a table behind his left shoulder with a vase of flowers in it, and there was a stick of incense in the rim of his sideways kick drum. I don't know how long they had it burning, but to step into Trees from the blinding sun you'd think you were entering the medicine man's lair. KM
Daniel Markham's all-star band All four musicians onstage during Daniel Markham's set are nominated for a Dallas Observer Music Award for the instrument on which they were playing. Hardly an objective measure, I'll be the first to admit, but it does give you an idea of the level of skill we're talking here. KM
The family Jaffe, fighting back tears during "Clementine" There were many highlights of Sarah Jaffe's incredibly moving set, closing out the Red Hook Brewery outdoor stage on Saturday, night. Jaffe was simply radiant, from the powerfully resonating dual drum kits in her backing back, to the sexy and dark alternate version of "Glorified High." The real tearjerker moment came during one of her most well-known compositions, "Clementine."
"I always dedicated this song to my mother, who's here tonight. She's somewhere in the middle of the crowd." And she was, along with Jaffe's father, sister and brother-in-law. Jaffe confessed at the end of the song that she has been moved to tears while performing it on occasion. After her set, a beaming Mrs. Jaffe would tell us, "I didn't cry this time [during "Clementine"], but I have before... we're very proud of Sarah."VQ
Marnie Stern hits hundreds of notes Ordinarily, expecting a musician to hit all her notes would be a fairly low standard. Not with Stern, whose finger-tapping guitar theatrics are as legendary as her ramshackle live show. She's been known to...rearrange her songs live to make room for dick jokes and heavy drinking. But fans have been rewarded recently with remarkable passion and precision. At Index Fest, she fired through the hits in lockstep with her bassist, drummer and backing track, and the results were breathtaking. KM
Vaden Todd Lewis kicking back at The Green Room The recently re-opened Deep Ellum staple The Green Room played a large role in Index Fest. Artist and media check in took place in the downstairs bar/restaurant area, while the rooftop patio served as a VIP lounge. Saturday afternoon during Jason Isbell's set on the Red Hook stage, we spotted Vaden Todd Lewis of The Toadies up there when he stopped in to enjoy his beer with a view. Incidentally, Lewis was on our short list of guesses for the secret show at Twilite Lounge that night (it turned out to be Isbell). VQ
P.O.S.' brand loyalty P.O.S.' Saturday evening set, backed by his bandmates in Marijuana Death Squad, was probably the most serious crowd hype the outdoor stages would see for the entire festival (before Girl Talk of course). Marijuana Death Squads' wild ass electro trash punk freakout at Dada at 1am was probably some of the most serious crowd hype I've seen in a few years. MDS' dual drummers, hard and fast synths, distorted screaming vocals, circle pits, and crowd surfers are not to be missed next month when then hit Trees with Policia. What we couldn't help but notice during two incredible stage shows, was that halfway through each set, Stefon Alexander (aka POS) would take off a pullover sweatshirt off and reveal a different Index Fest t-shirt each time. Low on tour laundry, or brand loyalty? VQ
The chance to get included in A.Dd+ album art Saturday night at the Boiler Room showcased a killer local hip hop lineup including Sam Lao, Lord Byron, Blue The Misfit, and A.Dd+. Before they played, the Nawfside duo sent a photographer around the room to take pictures of friends, fans, and supporters holding up a cardboard sign that read "EVERY MAN IS KING". The photos will later be collaged and used as album artwork for the forthcoming national release of Dive Hi Fly Lo. Slim Gravy and Paris Pershun played to a packed room and were called back for an encore. VQ
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The longest lines in Deep Ellum On Saturday night, Elm Street was so crowded you'd think a parade was headed through. Partly that was Index Fest, but there were other demands on people's time. At around 11 p.m., if you wanted a Glazed Donut, you'd be facing a 30-minute wait. Next door, Jason Isbell was playing a free solo show at Twilite Lounge, no wristband required. If you wanted the pleasure of standing next to the dude shouting for Drive-By Truckers songs, you'd have to stand outside for 40 minutes. But the longest wait in all of Deep Ellum was for the haunted warehouse behind the enormous skull with blood-drenched fangs. The people about to walk in there at 11 had been waiting since 9:30. KM