Before his death in the early hours of New Year's Day, Frankie Campagna and his bandmates in Spector 45 had only gotten around to booking one single show for 2011 -- a gig to take place this Saturday night at La Grange.
Obviously, tomorrow night's show won't feature the late, great Frankie 45. But it will go on -- and a version, albeit a tweaked one, of his Spector 45 band will indeed perform. And it should be quite the treat: Spector bass player Adam Carter and drummer "Animal" Anthony Delabano will be joined on this night by Frankie's lifelong friend Cody Bigham, who'll step in to play Frankie's parts.
And, Frank Campagna Sr. reports this week that Bigham's been come up from Houston a few times to rehearse with the Spector guys and that the results "are actually pretty good," which is nice to hear. Meanwhile, Bigham's own band, Brace For Impact, as well as his father's once-prominent Dallas band, The Assassins, and another Dallas band, Graceland, will share the bill on what should serve as another fitting sendoff for a local musician lost too soon.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg on this surprisingly full weekend, which should serve as one last chance to enjoy the city before Super Bowl madness fully takes over. We've already made mention of a bunch of the shows happening over the next few days, both on the blog and in print. Allow us to remind you of those right now...
Tonight's kind of a brutal one, as Onward We March celebrates its EP release at Reno's Chop Shop Saloon and Arson Anthem joins forces with Warbeast and haarp to take over The Rail Club in Fort Worth. Decidedly less brutal? The show going on at Hailey's Club in Denton this evening, featuring Retribution Gospel Choir and Peter Wolf Crier.
Saturday -- in case, somehow, you haven't heard -- sees the Dallas debut of People on Vacation, who'll be joined by Air Review and a few others at the House of Blues' Cambridge Room.
After the jump, check out a whole slew of other options worth your while this weekend.
Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Kentucky Knife Fight, Spooky Folk
Friday, January 28, at the Double Wide
One of Fort Worth's finest and one of Denton's finest converge on the Double Wide tonight, where they'll be joined by a band from St. Louis that confusingly decided to put "Kentucky" in its band name for no apparent reason. No matter: That band's noir-ish garage rock should pair nicely with WFR's own brand of western noir, which never disappoints in small settings like this one. Be sure to get to this one early enough to catch Spooky Folk, though -- their varied indie sounds might be the strongest among the three bands on this bill.
The Blurries, Florene, Balaclavas
Friday, January 28, at Pastime Tavern
Once upon a time, the Blurries were called the Slider Pines -- and thank goodness for the name change. That old name didn't do the absurdly tight punk-ish band much justice, instead conjuring up thoughts of country acts. Unfortunately, they're easily the odd man out on this bill, which features the experimental industrial noise of Denton's Florene and the not altogether different (although more abrasive and more vocals-reliant) Balaclavas.
Luna Matto, Menkena, Daniel Folmer
Friday, January 28, at the Kessler Theater
Menkena put on an inspired set last weekend at La Grange, where it celebrated the release of its fantastic full-length debut, With You, I'll Travel, before a packed house. And that band's acoustic shoegaze should pair nicely on this bill with the ethereal offerings of Polyphonic Spree member Luna Matto and her band. The odd man out here is Folmer, whose jangly, verbose, bare bones rock fare, while charming in the right setting, just seems oddly out of place here.
Telegraph Canyon, Thrift Store Cowboys
Friday, January 28, at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton
Each of these bands performed in the region last night, and both certainly share a similar baroque alt-country aesthetic. Especially in the setting of Denton's best listening room, this show sould prove quite the treat.
Salim Nourallah, Chris Holt, The Monco Poncho
Friday, January 28, at Club Dada
A couple mainstay performers from the last Dada regime make their triumphant return to the new Dada on this bill. Get there early for the Monco Poncho's Dick Dale apings. Stay late for what are perrhaps the region's two strongest pop-rock vets.
JJ Grey & Mofro, That 1 Guy
Saturday, January 29, at the Granada Theater
Swamp rock your thing? Well, you pretty much can't beat this show, then.
The Hex Dispensers, Mind Spiders
Saturday, January 29, at the Double Wide
Austin's Hex Dispensers and Denton's Mind Spiders share a bill in Denton on Friday night with a few other acts, but this show's the more notable of the two, even with a smaller lineup, if only because it marks the Dallas debut of former Marked Men frontman Mark Ryan's Mind Spiders project. That band's full-length debut, filled with fascinatingly broad takes on lo-fi, poppy, garage punk, is our in-house leader for local album of '11.
The House Harkonnen, The Spectacle, The Phuss
Saturday, January 29, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton
Two of Dallas' hardest rocking acts, HK and The Phuss, travel north to show some rare Denton love on a bill that also features Denton's The Spectacle. Bring earplugs.
...and that pretty much covers it, I think. Feel free to add any worthwhile shows missing from this post in the comment section below. Otherwise, I'll see you on Monday. Have fun and be safe out there.