Ozone alert: Though you'll find some complaints about local music festivals (er, festival) on the previous page, we at AAT would be damn fools to ignore a good ol' summer show full of dirty Dallas rhyme kings. It's not Fitty, the Game or Juvy, but the Southern Alliance Concert at the Lewisville Amphitheater on Saturday has enough local bangers to keep the party movin', including Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci and Dallas Observer Music Awards nominee Money Waters. We don't trust that the whole show will be stupendous--a few no-names pad the roster--but show up late and expect to see some of the better undiscovered down-souf rappers in town.
This show is a particularly good jump-off point for local hip-hop, as Ozone Magazine's July issue gives Money, Pookie, Lucci and quite a few others some national attention in a multi-page spread about the growing Dallas hip-hop scene. Good luck finding a copy--Ozone isn't quite as prominent as Vibe or XXL--but it's definitely not some piddling 'zine, either, so congrats on the kudos, guys. We'll have more on that story soon.
Train keeps a-rollin': Seen that new movie The Break-up? We haven't, though we probably should, since semi-Dallasites the Old 97's play a concert in the flick. Luckily for us movie snobs (only documentaries and gay cowboys, y'all), the band's movie cameo has been condensed into an iTunes EP with an incredibly creative title: Old 97's Live EP. Three tracks from Too Far to Care are played live for the umpteenth time--maybe the producers were trying to send a message?--but fans will be most interested in "Ivy," a way-back-when song that never saw proper release.
Conveniently, the band releases its first-ever greatest hits album on Tuesday, titled Too Fa--whoops, we mean Hit by a Train: The Best of Old 97's. At the least, it mixes the hits with a few hard-to-finds, including their cover of "El Paso" on the King of the Hill soundtrack and two songs from out-of-print singles, "Cryin' Drunk" and "The Villain." The essay from Village Voice critic Robert Christgau ain't bad either, except for his closing statement about the song "Question": "No, Miller doesn't quite pop [the question]. But he sure sounds like he's getting ready, and he makes you wonder just what will happen next." Gag.
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He likes screamers: "This time, it's all on us for who comes out," says former Dallas resident Matt Armstrong. The bassist for Bloomington, Indiana's Murder By Death has returned to his hometown a few times over the years, but his Thursday night show at the Gypsy Tea Room is his first-ever headlining gig here, and he's admittedly nervous about it: "I'm hoping it's a good [show] so that my dad won't be disheartened by the fact that I have a bunch of tattoos."
Full disclosure: We took creative writing classes with Armstrong during high school, but that fact is fitting. The literate, Decemberists-with-a-rock-jones MBD has quietly risen in reputation in the past year thanks to their latest album In Bocca Al Lupo, whose cello touches and straightforward poetry have helped the group stand out in the crowd and earn high marks from mags like Spin and Alternative Press. Armstrong's happy about the group's recent change in fortune, filling up venues on both the current tour with Langhorne Slim and their last UK jaunt with Against Me!. He can only wonder if he's so lucky this week. "On MySpace, I found a whole bunch of people I haven't talked to since high school," Armstrong says. "I had so many more friends that were girls. I'm hoping that the place will be filled with screaming hot chicks." You can take the man out of Dallas...
Handstamps: Frank Hejl has officially given up on a final broadcast of his DOMA-nominated radio show Frequency Down. Pay your respects to his sudden cancellation at Rubber Gloves on Thursday; Record Hop, Cordelane and Voot Cha Index will serve as rock pallbearers for the night... The Undoing of David Wright unleash their makeup coated faces and incredibly loud synth equipment at Hailey's on Saturday. We're not so sure about openers the Night Game Cult, whose light-synth songs seem weird only for weird's sake, but we haven't seen them live yet, so we'll offer a reluctant "maybe"...For a band called "eclectic" in so many reviews, Man Man has some surprisingly straightforward, enjoyable pop melodies tangled up in its poor man's orchestra. See the Philly band at the Cavern on Wednesday after the Walkmen finish early at the Granada.