Why did Dallas radio decide all the good shows should be on Sunday night? As if it weren't enough to have Josh Venable's The Adventure Club on the Edge against Tom Urquhart's The Good Show on KTCU and Frank Hejl's Frequency Down on KNTU, now I've found another great Sunday-evening show, Paul Slavens' 90.1 at Night, running 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KERA. With its eclectic mix of old and original, Slavens has the kind of inspired playlist you simply don't find on commercial radio--from The Postal Service to Warren Zevon to Fiery Furnaces to Buddy Holly. Come on, Dallas. Spread the radio love through the week. Especially now that Boston Legal has premiered. I just love that James Spader.
Those of you who participated in the giant guitar orgasm that was Eric Clapton's Crossroads Fest may be pleased to know that the festival will be released on DVD on November 9. The two-disc volume will include interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and--of course--a ton of white dudes whaling on their instruments.
Correction: In last week's review of Tom Waits' Real Gone, I incorrectly referred to Rain Dogs as "a brilliant 1990 album." The CD was released in 1990, but the album came out in 1985. Many Waits fans have brought my attention to this utter lunacy, and I have learned my lesson about fact-checking on Amazon.com. My apologies.
Mail Bag: Lessons in Kimberlee
This week, I received a box in the mail. It was heavy. It cost $6 to send. I was hoping it was something fun, like books or a fuzzy puppy. Instead, it was a press kit. A hulking gray binder filled with a thesis-length book of press clippings from places like the Faribault Daily News and the Beaverton Valley Times. On the front, a very serious woman stared straight ahead. Her name? Kimberlee.
It made me sad. Kimberlee had spent so much time on this, and it was all a waste. She'd even included a poster of herself--a poster!--which Robert Wilonsky promptly hung in political columnist Jim Schutze's office. (Ha ha: office high jinks.) There was so much unnecessary junk, I hardly noticed that, inside the binder, she had attached a copy of her CD, What Am I Gonna Do? Good question, Kimberlee. Grab a pencil. Take a seat.
The Dallas Observer offices receive around a hundred CDs a week. I'd like to tell you that unpaid high school monkeys sort through those, but they don't. I do. And repeatedly I find small artists making grave mistakes--pouring all the wrong resources into their press kits. So let me tell you what I want in a press kit: a CD, a brief bio, a few press clippings, a photo if you'd like, a list of relevant upcoming appearances. Don't include every press clipping you've ever gotten. That's like me applying to The New York Times with a seventh-grade paper on botany (I got an A!). Don't write ridiculous things like "This unbelievable band will completely rock your world!" If people write things like that for you, fire them. Keep it simple. Follow up by e-mail if you want. But most of all--let your music speak for you.