Take me home, country roads

Page 3 of 3

Good, clean fun
"They say you have four careers in your life. This is number two for me, and I'm still going," says Charlie Gilder, co-owner of Bar of Soap. Gilder, a former aircraft mechanic, has been a part of Deep Ellum since there wasn't anything to be a part of. When he opened up the Twilite Room on Commerce Street in 1983, Deep Ellum was a ghost town. "We demonstrated that you could get a big crowd to come downtown," he says. For three years, Gilder and his partner Steve Asbeck hosted some of the best underground punk bands in the country, including Black Flag, Descendents, Meat Puppets, Circle Jerks, and the Dead Kennedys. Asbeck and Gilder left that location and club behind in September 1985, opening up the rock-and-roll laundromat Bar of Soap in Exposition Park. They don't book national acts anymore, but the club is still one of the best places in town (maybe the only place) to see Bobgoblin play while you're washing a load of whites. On July 9, the duo will celebrate 15 years in the business with a performance by the Barry Kooda Combo, who played the first show at the Twilite Room. Also on that bill were the Stinky Shits, whom Gilder tried to get to reform for the anniversary show. Apparently the Shits no longer can stand each other. Damn.

Everything's coming up Radish!
A few hours before hopping on a plane to Copenhagen to play with the likes of Bob Dylan, Tori Amos, and Morrissey at the Roskilde Festival, Radish's Ben Kweller shot over a fax to inform you, gentle readers, of all the comings and goings of Greenville's favorite 17-year-old. "I thought it would be fun to let you all know what RADISH is up to!" he writes, punctuating his sentences with tiny happy--and sad, awww--faces, depending on the mood. "I know there has got to be a few people in Dallas that still care about this band."

In his fax--which reads like a how-I-spent-my-summer-vacation essay with all the misspellings, and, really, bless his heart--Kweller informs us that on May 1, the band (now a quartet, with the addition of Joe Butcher, ex-UFOFU, and Juno Spector's Debbie Williams) went to Muscle Shoals, Alabama ("home of the famous recording studio where Skinard recorded," Ben reports), to record the follow-up to 1996's Restraining Bolt. Along for the ride was Bryce Goggin, who co-produced Pavement's Brighten the Corners, among other indie-rock faves. The band mixed the disc in New York City last month before heading to Denmark for Roskilde and Norway for the Quartz Festival. "Unfortunately, we are the only band from Texas attending both festivals," Ben writes with a frown. "But dont worry! Like always, I'll be spreading the word about the Dallas music scene!!!!!"

Kweller expects the new album to be completed by July 25, with a release date sometime in the winter, around Christmas. Of the new disc, Kweller insists it's a far more complete-sounding record than the grunge-is-dead debut. "The record ranges from r&b to country to soul, to punk, to emo, to freaked out syd barrett/tangerine dream sounding stuff to oj's like funk!" he writes. "It's crazy. I've never been this happy about a RADISH project before!!! I can finally sit back and know that there is a recording of this band that sounds exactly like it did in my head, before it went to tape. Anyway...I'll continue to keep making music 'straight from the heart' no matter what." Like he could do anything but.

Scene, heard
Ronnie Dawson hasn't stepped on a Dallas stage in more than a year--it likely has something to do with a hero never being appreciated in his hometown. Well, the once-and-future Blond Bomber will perform Friday at Poor David's Pub, and it's a rare thrill worth catching, whether you've seen him once or a thousand times.

--Robert Wilonsky

Send Street Beat e-mail and happy thoughts to [email protected].

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Zac Crain
Contact: Zac Crain