Will Rock for Food

Lord knows how many times the Deep Ellum folks have tried to "unify" such a disparate "scene" with "events" like the New Music Festival, during which more than 100 local (and regional, and not) bands will play the downtown clubs in hopes of attracting old-timers, newbies and--oh, yeah--a few "A&R reps" who'll tease but never please. Way back in the last century, some local bizzers tried showing off the Dimensions of Dallas, of which there was one; if your name wasn't Edie or Brickell, you were pretty much doomed. Now, of course, the townies line up for label deals, even if they're written on toilet paper (Sugarbomb, we're not looking at you, swear); and just ask the Toadies how they liked Interscope (dare ya). And just look at how much cache being from Dallas carries: Last week, Entertainment Weekly gave a barely passing grade to Flickerstick..."this Austin quintet," says the mag. Bruthas can't catch a break.

Dallas (actually, its club owners and booking agents and managers...) has always had a complex about being taken seriously; hence, club-crawls like this one, dolled-up weekends that look suspiciously like every other weekend. But, ya know, not. So don't attach too much significance to this two-night event, save for the fact it does sort of allow you to catch up on what you've been missing on the home front in one large dose; cram, kiddies, for the rock-and-roll pop quiz, which contains such questions as, "Which bands is Matt Kellum currently playing with?" and "Can you name five local hip-hop acts?" and "What would Peter Schmidt do?" (not play the New Music Festival, duh).

Here's some assistance, for what it's worth. Do not miss, in alphabetical order: Chao, Chomsky, Clumsy, The Deathray Davies, the Happiness Factor, the Legendary Fritz, N'Dambi, Pleasant Grove, Red Animal War and the Sparrows, as well as the Dallas debut of the Burden Brothers, the new project from ex-Toadies front man Todd Lewis, former Horton Heat drummer Taz Bentley and Baboon's Mike Rudnicki. Everything else is up to you. But like the man said in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, choose wisely.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky