Lots of local music news floating around today -- some good, some bad. First off, Austin-via-Denton folk-rockers Cartright are calling it quits. Anyone who’s seen their incendiary live shows around town in the last year knows what a loss this is, though it’s certain singer Ben Russell will press on in some form while his bandmates start a new band. Seems the differences aren’t artistic so much as personal, but either way it’s a sad day for fans of beard-rock. Boys, you will be missed.
In other bad news, Arlington-born Jana Hunter rolls into town tonight light a few pieces of gear thanks to some thieves in Arizona. If you get a chance roll by her in-store tonight at Good Records -- Hunter plays with the Castanets’ Raymond Raposa at 6:30 p.m. -- and buy some merch. You won’t be sorry, as Hunter’s spare and haunting songs will likely stay with you long after she’s gone.
Now onto the good stuff: Some of you are probably familiar with the story of reclusive Houston outsider Jandek. If you’re not, be sure to check out the doc Jandek on Corwood, which recounts the artist’s strange career. You see, despite self-releasing albums on his own Corwood Industries label at a steady clip since 1978, Jandek has never really given an interview, and only since 2004 has he decided to actually play shows. After finally seeing the guy at SXSW we can’t say we get it (excessive droning, tuneless vocals, inane lyrics, zero witty stage banter -- what’s to love?), but we were still definitely intrigued when we received this missive from Jandek’s publicist on Friday:
“On Saturday July 21st, Fort Worth's historic Rose Marine Theater will host a special performance by Jandek, with a hand-picked backing band consisting of the representative of Corwood Industries on vocals and harmonica, Houston's Susan Alcorn on pedal steel, Austin's Ralph White on fiddle and banjo, and Denton's Ryan Williams (Baptist Generals) on bass and Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel) on drums. Jandek is not an individual; these five folks for one block of time will become Jandek.”
Honestly, we’re not sure what to make of local heroes Will Johnson and Ryan Williams joining forces with Jandek, but for fans of weird Texas shit, we’re sure there’s no greater honor, so congrats, guys. One can only hope that the pedal steel-and-banjo treatment will be more endurable than the 40 minute harmonium drone that accompanied Jandek in March. Tickets for the show are available at Good Records.
Lastly, we discovered this weekend that even rock stars shop at IKEA. While shopping for furniture with the ladyfriend, we were passed repeatedly by none other than Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, checking out the kitchen section with his wife. Tellingly, the Friscans (Friscoids?) never noticed they were in the presence of a rock legend, despite the fact Coyne was unmistakable in giant white Willy Wonka sunglasses. He even picked up a cool lamp we’d had our eye on -- at least we thought it was cool before, now we know it is -- which we also purchased later on. We’ve christened it "the Wayne lamp." Dorks, we know. --Noah W. Bailey
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.