Listen Up, Because You Don't Hate Me Yet
I don't write a weekly music column, which has two advantages. One, I probably haven't insulted your band. Two, I probably haven't insulted your friend's band. As such, you can approach this entry with little to no prejudice against my opinions and decide only after you've read this that I have bad taste in music. Right now, you have no idea what you're getting into. You might even agree with me. The possibilities are endless.
I spent this weekend driving back and forth across North Texas to the Wall of Sound Festival in Fort Worth. I feel sure that our illustrious music editor (whom you probably already hate or love) will give you deep, thoughtful insight into the fest, the nature of the Dallas scene, and all the 411 on the bands that played in this week's issue. I will merely tell you about some bands I saw that were good.
The Arm, out of Austin, played a great set in a crap time slot. There were about five people actually paying attention to them at 1 p.m. on Sunday, which is an absolute shame, because their Hold Steady + Andrew WK brand of badass punk rock needs to be heard by a large crowd of people fist-pumping in time together. But Lance Yocum, the festival organizer, made them cancel a Darkside Lounge show in March so they wouldn't over-saturate the Dallas concert-going market. As a result, they probably got less exposure than if they'd played both shows (or, hell, just the Darkside gig.)
Faux Fox, Denton's throwback freak-synth outfit, played to a group of mesmerized--and slightly disturbed--fans on the upstairs stage. Normally I hate weird-for-the-sake-of-artsy crap, but Faux Fox had some truly catchy lines (I'll be yelling "Stop Dancing!" for the next week) that made the hipster pretension more than tolerable.
The Czars, from Brooklyn via Denver, are apparently a multi-member band though only one bearded dude made it out to WoS for the show. He sat alone at a piano and churned out some of the best sad-bastard balladry I've heard in a long, long time. I love sad-bastard balladry. I even shed a tear at the end of his set. Later, our Night and Day section co-editor Merritt Martin told the bearded dude this, and he quickly ended the conversation. Thanks, Merritt.
Local imitation Britpop band Radiant completely Oasis-ed my face off, and I loved every minute. Except for the minute where they stuck a new keyboard in an old piano shell and played it. A little tacky, but they were redeemed by soaring choruses. I am such a slut for soaring choruses.
All in all, a good festival. I hated the drive out to Fort Worth (sidenote: I-30, die die die) but I felt like I got a good grasp of the local scene. It was a pretty good starter course in what Dallas has to offer, with some tasty national acts thrown in for good measure. --Andrea Grimes
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.