DFW Music News

Dallas Music News: Vanessa Peters’ Italian Video, New Sly Stone Documentary

Vanessa Peters got stuck in Italy during the pandemic, but at least has some great new songs to show for it.
Vanessa Peters got stuck in Italy during the pandemic, but at least has some great new songs to show for it. Rip Rowan
In February 2020, singer-songwriter Vanessa Peters was in Italy preparing for a European tour when the country went on a national lockdown. The tour was canceled and the recording sessions that had been scheduled in Texas after the tour were scrapped. Working instead in a farmhouse in Castiglion Fiorentino in Italy for 10 days, Peters and her Italian bandmates worked to finish some new songs for her upcoming album Modern Age. Released Feb. 25, the video for the first of those songs, “Crazymaker,” was shot in Lucca, Italy.

The long-awaited collaboration album from Fort Worth psych-rock legend Johndavid Bartlett and modern psych-rock purists Acid Carousel is finally out on Feb. 26. In Your Dreams is the re-imagining of Bartlett’s long-lost 1968 LP Mother’s Milk, recorded at Los Angeles’ Gold Star Studios. That album, which reportedly featured Mayo Thompson of The Red Krayola, Johnny Winter and Jimmy Reed, would have been the 13th release for International Artists, a label that folded after its twelfth release.

Also with a new album this week is indie synthwave band Polystarra. At the end of 2017, the band quietly released their lush and haunting five-track Daydreamer EP filled with passionate, hypnotic slow-dance tracks to dream by. The band had planned to release their debut LP Secret in July 2019, but then they largely disappeared from the scene save for a handful of shows over the last couple of years. In April 2020, the band reappeared with the first single from the Secret album, “Miss Communication.” We may have had to wait over three years for this release, but it is clear Polystarra has put the time to good use

In honor of what would have been Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain’s 54th birthday, folk singer-songwriter Garrett Owen released an absolutely haunting cover of “Heart-Shaped Box.” How could one make the song more ominous than the original, you might ask. Well, there’s something to replacing the screaming with Southern crooning and the guitars with keyboards that gives the song another layer of desperation.

Hip-hop artist King Healer released his debut album Heart of Imposter. A project that took three years to complete, steady flows and street poetry come together on this album. Built on a solid foundation of lyrics detailing the artist’s struggles with mental health, King Healer’s concept album tells the story of how the artist found his way to the other side of depression.

At the beginning of 2020, the guys from Fort Worth alt-emo band Desert Museum recorded the songs for an album they planned to release shortly thereafter. As is the case for so many of us, things did not go as planned for the band last year. That album, Familiar Gaze, is available now, but the band has announced on social media that “each of us have [sic] grown in different directions and we’ve realized that this chapter of our lives is over… This is our final offering and we’re very proud of what we’ve made; we think it’s a proper send-off.”

Denton indie-punk band The Altitude released its new single “Dead in My Home” over the weekend. Lo-fi, heavy and bleak, The Altitude capture the dark, nihilistic angst that made grunge music the voice of disaffected twenty-somethings in the '90s, and with so much to be disaffected by these days, the sound remains just as cathartic.

“Snowblind,” the latest track from alt-pop Itchy Richie and the Burnin' Sensations, is a dark ambient memorial to the hellacious winter storm North Texas faced last week. Simple in its composition, the track builds its foreboding sound like piles of snow. The band will be playing Feb. 26 at Main at South Side.

In a statement this week, The Roots drummer Questlove announced that he is currently working on a documentary about one of Denton’s favorite sons, Sly Stone. The documentary is said to cover the story of Sly and the Family Stone and the founder’s role in the rise of funk.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra revved up its engines this week, bringing back its concert truck for another round of pop-up concerts at One Arts Plaza, Baylor Hospital and Children’s Hospital. The truck will make stops at Nasher Sculpture Center, Klyde Warren Park and The Sound at Cypress Waters this weekend and more scheduled trough March.

Upcoming Shows

The Greatness Awaits festival kicks off Feb. 26 at Trees in Deep Ellum. The two-night event will see performances from hip-hop artists Rakim Al-Jabbaar, Free BLK. and Juice Leroy among others.

Country band Vandoliers will be playing a set on Feb. 26 at the Granada Theater on Greenville Ave.

On Saturday in Fort Worth, KXT 91.7 presents Bastards of Soul at the Ridglea Theater.

Starting early in the evening on Saturday Fe. 27, The Rail Club Live will host a night of metal with performances by Gods Amongst Men, Cutthroat Conspiracy, Memories Of Dying Days and more.

Over in Oak Cliff that same Saturday night, R&B singer Alex Blair will be performing at Revelers Hall.
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David Fletcher writes about music, arts and culture for the Dallas Observer. You can usually find him at a show in Deep Ellum whether he's writing about it or not. A punk scholar and local music enthusiast, David focuses his attention on the artists screaming in the margins of Dallas' music scene.
Contact: David Fletcher