If you ever see Ice Eater, pay attention. Partly because the futuristic rock band puts on an incredibly dynamic live show - their relatively early show at Sunday's Fort Worth Weekly Music Showcase was the most well-received I saw all day. A Weekly staffer got onstage afterward and called it the best set he's seen in five years at the event.
But you should also pay attention because lead singer James Jardine might take a can full of PBR and wing it into the crowd, and you'll want the chance to duck. Me, I was looking at my camera when he did just that, and it hit me in the lip.
So my blood has now been on the floor of two bars in Fort Worth. That's two more than in all the rest of Texas, but as much as I'd love to imagine that's a consequence of a lingering Wild West spirit in the city, it's really just a coincidence. After all, the Weekly's Showcase was as warm and welcoming as any music festival will ever be.
These celebrations of one city's talent are often that way. Many of the bands that normally spread across town and in fact make an effort not to overlap too much are all in one place, and the vibe is that of a big weird family reunion.
Nearly the entire roster of Ice Eater took a break then went to see diminutive dance hero Ronnie Heart shimmy his way across the floor of Poag Mahone's Irish Pub, and they stood in the front row yelling approval.
My sampler of Fort Worth music also led me to a reliably raucous performance by The Phuss and a reliably reliable performance by the craftsmen of Calhoun. There was the metal trio Fogg, who possess riffs well beyond their years. And I saw Clint Noisi & The Unaccountable, grinning wryly at the Fred's Texas dinner crowd.
Son of Stan is the solo project of producer/musician Jordan Richardson. He's splitting time between Fort Worth and Los Angeles these days, but we'll lay as much claim to him as we can get. The SoS set on Sunday (featuring a full band) was spectacular - Richardson can write a hell of a grove. Right now all you'll find in the way of recorded music is a video for "Corsica," but look for an album soon.
The wait may be a bit longer for Sonic Buffalo. I showed up just in time for the last couple songs of their set at The Pour House. Unexpectedly without a singer as of a couple weeks ago, the band decided to go ahead and play this one anyway, with bassist Zach Tucker filling in on vocals. That worked out more than fine, and by the time they were leaning into the final chorus of "What It Is," the dancing in front of the stage had gotten tribal.
Drummer Val Hajro toppled his set and Christian Funes put his guitar through the kick drum. Sometimes that stuff seems like a pose. Not here. Not at the Fort Worth Weekly Music Showcase, where I got a lesson in paying attention.