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Keep Dallas Observer Free
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Nothing Roky About This Show

Photo by Casey Monahan
The highlight of our Saturday night: singing "Happy Birthday" to Roky Erickson as he turned 60 years old, in the city in which he was born.

At first, we wondered how many folks might show -- coulda been half-empty or sold-out, we guesstimated on our drive to the Granada Saturday night for Roky Erickson's first Dallas show in more than two decades. Word was the Friday night Austin show had sold poorly; by mid-week, we were told, there were plenty of ducats left for the hometown hero, now fully restored to greatness after decades spent wandering the white-noise wilderness. Didn't bode well for the Dallas show.

Turned out, we worried for nothing: Two nights after X's John Doe played to fewer than 100 at the Greenville Ave. venue, Roky packed the joint on the eve of his 60th birthday -- standing-room only, like anyone was sitting for a show that transcended even the most optimistic of expectations. Erickson and the Explosives' version of the 13th Floor Elevators' immortal "You're Gonna Miss Me" was jaw-droppingly astounding -- coulda sworn I was floating a few inches off the ground after he intro'd the song with that long-buried scream around which fellow Texan Janis Joplin built an entire short-lived career.

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I wish it were evident in the following clip, which Granada owner Mike Schoder's peeps posted to YouTube last night. Schoder says the Granada's been posting to YouTube clips for the last couple of months, but the sound's still a little, um, dim.

Nonetheless, he promises that will change in coming weeks, as he drops a couple thou in a new sound system that'll allow for high-quality audio to go with the shoulda-been-there video. Hope he gets it set up in time for the Dallas Observer Music Awards on August 14. It'll be something very, very special, and we'll tell you why in the next couple of days. --Robert Wilonsky

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