Here at the Observer, we come across hundreds of photos a week. You'd be surprised how often styles are repeated. You've all seen the cliche band in a wintered field photo, or the antique furniture set outdoors photo. Well, here are a group of photos that don't fit the mold; they're completely original, and they're only telling of the eclectic mix of artists we're surround by, who are shaking it up a bit. Here are their band promo photos.
Home By Hovercraft
When classical and theatrical pop locals Home by Hovercraft (as pictured above) were nominated for a Best None of the Above award at the Dallas Observer Music awards last year, this is how we described them, so it makes sense that they have one of the most unique band promo photos of the bunch: If you've ever wanted to employ the phrase "hardcore ballooning" and have it not refer to some sort of sex act, Home By Hovercraft have you covered. Helmed by husband and wife Seth and Shawn Magill, the five-piece's music is classically informed, and yet pop in its translation. Their musical components include tuba, piano, mandolin and a step dancer, and they even developed songs for a musical, On the Eve, which is about Marie Antoinette, time travel and a hot air balloon. -- Audra Schroeder
Babar Denton's Babar has experiemental, lyric-less math rock that dances around the room and always keeps you guessing -- and that's almost exactly how I would describe the band's attitude. I mean, if it isn't apparent by the photo, these guys have a sense of humor, which makes sense why they named their group after an imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children.
Unconscious Collective Bassist Aaron Gonzales, guitarist Greg Prichett and drummer Stefan Gonzales come together to form a production called Unconscious Collective, an Aboriginal-looking trio, decked out in bone necklaces, face paint and minimal clothing. Fusing jazz and blues elements into their calculative, math-laden rock, UC offers two compelling reasons to stick around -- one of which is entirely the music. These guys can certainly keep you entertained, dressed as primitive-looking hunters and gatherers, but their fast and then slow music has breathtaking crescendos that start and stop at the command of the drums, which Gonzales seems to control by spirit alone.
Daniel Folmer, Tony Ferraro and Taylor Sims We actually snapped this photo at the Dallas Observer DOMA Nominee Party back in October of last year. Musicians Daniel Folmer, Tony Ferraro and Taylor Sims of Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers showed up to crash the party. They got a ton of attention, had free booze and got their new favorite photo out of the deal, so all-in-all a good night.
Arrogant Sea I haven't heard much out of Denton band Matthew and the Arrogant Sea in the last couple of years, but they pop up every so often to play a show or two, and then retreat back into the vast ocean that is Dallas-Fort Worth.
Whiskey Folk Ramblers DFW's folk noir band Whiskey Folk Ramblers have gone through a lot as of late. They just put out a new album, updated their website, and hit the road. However, they will never be able to escape this image of them on popsicle sticks. Muah ha ha! It's fabulous and original as ever. Now where can we purchase these?
New Science Projects Ironically, this photo of New Science Projects looks more cleaned up than what the punk band looks like live. Go read about the 10 most mind-blowing live acts in DFW, where I describe why NSP tops the list. Then you'll know what I'm talking about.
Doug Funnie Local "nerd-core" hip-hop artist Doug Funnie says he gathers inspiration from people like Common, Wu-Tang Clan, Joe Budden and Lauren Hill...but I think I know who else makes that list.
Def Rain This photo for downtempo electro duo Def Rain could not be more delightfully enigmatic than this. DJ and general beatmaster Grant Ring seldom actually wears a mask onstage, but the real showstopper is singer Ashley Cromeens who usually sports a gold leotard or moon boots. She isn't pictured here.
Here Holy Spain You could say that Here Holy Spain have cleaned up their act a bit since adding a fourth member to guitar. You could say that, but you'd be lying. They're pretty much the same '90s-inspired aggressive punk band they've always been, just a little more fleshed out. (Oh, but they don't actually look like this live.)
Spoonfed Tribe I'd say this image fits the band's M.O. just right. Spoonfed Tribe is like a jazzy, psychedelic, math-metal world band, with intense light shows, skull-masked guitarist and a lead singer who flails around and shouts into the mic like he's speaking in tongues. Yep, looks like the guys.
Ynfnyt Scroll One of the DJs behind the decks of DFW's DJ collective Track Meet is this guy pictured here. Or, well, sort of pictured. Go check out his residency at Hailey's Club in Denton on the last Thursday of every month. It's called "Zaire" and features extremely varied genres, including ballroom, Latin/Afro-percussive, Reggaeton, Cumbia, dancehall, Kuduro, Tuki, Southern rap, grime, techno, house, Jersey and Philly club music and more.
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Daniel Hart Here's the latest on Hart and what he's up to these days, according to Dc9 at Night writer Kelly Dearmore: Daniel Hart, the talented vocalist and violinist contributed some string work to not only four of the songs from Mount Moriah's latest album ("I Built a Town," "Miracle Temple Holiness," "Swannanoa" and "Telling the Hour"), but helped them with their fantastic debut from 2011, as well. As it happens, the 2012 DOMA Male Vocalist of the Year goes back a ways with the folks of that band, making artistic collaboration and a lasting friendship possible. Look out for his new, dancier project, Dark Rooms.
A.Dd+ I enjoy this photo of local hip-hop duo A.Dd+ because it's timeless. This photo could have been taken at just about any time in the last 30 years, and stays true to the boys' aesthetic. It highlights their quirky personalities, and all on the backdrop of their Dallas stomping grounds.
The Phuss Local rock 'n' roll trio The Phuss have done the band and touring van shot the right way. Ok, well maybe not the "right" way, but the not boring way. This shot pretty much encapsulates what they're about, and gives a new twist to the overdone band-and-their-van image.