Since 2007, hip-hop magazine XXL has promoted up-and-coming artists in their annual “Freshman Class” feature. The editorial staff picks the first nine spots, and fans pick the 10th. This year, Dallas rappers Erica Banks, Kaash Paige, Tay Money and Bobby Sessions are all candidates for the last spot on the list. Past winners of the special vote include Iggy Azalea, Lil Yachty, the late XXXTentacion and 24kGoldn. Voting opened March 29 and will remain open until April 5. Fans can vote for one artist per hour, so vote early and vote often.
Heralded as an "Artist You Need to Know" by Rolling Stone, Ottoman Turks will release II to streaming services and record stores April 2. The band has released five tracks over the course of the pandemic in anticipation of the new album, each with an accompanying video, with the last “Conspiracy Freak” premiering on the Rolling Stone website a couple of weeks back. The band will celebrate its second release alongside The Deathray Davies this weekend at the Granada Theater.
Speaking of The Deathray Davies, they too will be releasing a new album. Time Well Wasted is the band’s first since 2005’s The Kick and the Snare, and it picks up right where the band left off 15 years ago, earning four out of five stars from American Songwriter. Singer John M Dufilho told the magazine that the band “actually recorded a sixth record in our downtime … a giant beautiful mess — 40 songs, tons of experiments, collaborations … but I kind of lost my mind trying to get it right and then I jumped ship. I listened to it not too long ago, and I was surprised to find I loved it. I’m hoping to release that one next. Officially, we’re releasing record number seven now, and then we’ll go back and put out record number six.”
The wait wasn't quite as long for singer-songwriter Jud Block. He released his first single in over six years this week. “Uncertain Souvenirs” begins hauntingly with Block’s soft Southern drawl wrapping itself around darkly explicated images of pain and loss until the song’s 2:20 mark. That is when a flood of guitars serves as a bridge, carrying the voice from conflict to resolution.
Denton indie rock band Fishboy also returns this week with a new album. Waitsgiving was inspired by the botched opening of the First State Bank time capsule in Denton in 2012, telling the story of a band that buries the only copy of their final album and what comes next. Singer-songwriter Eric Michener takes emotional risks with this album with music that is as punchy as it is heartfelt.
Experimental industrial band ManifestiV surprised fans earlier this week with the announcement of a new EP. The band’s fourth release, Horsemen, includes four new songs and two new members, bringing the band’s membership up to four. The EP’s runtime is 16 minutes, which is four squared (42), and is fittingly released on 4/2 — April 2. Read into the numerology what you will; the album is an intense instrumental offering, darker and heavier than anything the band has produced to date with the only words spoken by The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, from his December address to Columbia University warning that nature will strike back.
Hard rock outfit Anything But Human put out a new video for their single “Slave.” Crafted with heavy basslines and yearning vocals, the song questions the various masters we find ourselves serving while desperately searching for freedom. The band also announced they will take the stage at the three-day RockFest festival this summer in Cadott, Wisconsin, playing with the likes of Rob Zombie, Korn and Danzig.
In the great tradition of honest art, a whole bunch of people got all butt-hurt this week about Lil Nas X’s incredibly nuanced and powerful new video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” We looked back at 10 videos that caused just as much controversy.
Folk-pop group Telephone House released its first video for the track “Cracks in the Pavement” off their first album Pendulum. The band worked consistently through the pandemic, piecing the album together through notes, voice memos and demos.
The Corpsepaint Show’s Satan, aka Deep Ellum Radio’s DJ Crash, aka Jay Gavit, has been creating a space for Dallas’ quirkier musicians for about five years and is expanding into concert production.
Four of Dallas’ psychedelic bands were recently profiled for showing how the genre has developed during this plague year, and it’s pretty clear that they are under the influence of something other than psychedelics.
Indie-pop/rock band Cherry Mantis headlines a show at GROWL in Arlington April 2 with support from Pocket Tangerine and Lemonade Stand.
Electric Vengeance, Awaken to Remember, From Then On and Concrete Colo bring the metal that night at Reno’s Chop Shop in Deep Ellum.
Around the corner and also on April 2, Frances Heidy plays Three Links with help from Secrecies and Bayleigh Cheek.
Main at South Side in Fort Worth will host a Fort Songwriters song swap with John Stevens, Ed Rogers and Zachary Zanetich.
Blexx Entertainment presents the Camp Out Beat Battle 4 with performances by Judy Drama, Zyon Iman, Brogxdz, Nina E and Campion Bond Saturday April 3 at Club Dada.