Archive | May, 2010

Track-by-track: Quiet Company–Songs For Staying In EP

28 May

by Nina Chantanapumma

Maybe it’s due to the circles I run in around Denton, but has anyone noticed how serious the music seems to be here? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing that can be compared to a band that has mastered their craft of honest, heart-jerking lyrics and careful instrumentation so well that it leaves me breathless and in awe. But music doesn’t always have to break your heart, folks. It doesn’t have to drag your soul through the darkness at 60 bpm. It can remind you that love is a beautiful thing, something worth celebrating, and a great reason to sing. Enter the newest release from Austin-based Quiet Company, Songs For Staying In. Described as “a 27-minute celebration of love and … sex,” this should be a quick and fun track-by-track review.

Continue reading

Track of the Weekend: Brutal Juice–Ugly On the Inside

28 May

I wanted to focus on Brutal Juice for this weekend’s TOW because they are one of Denton’s finest bands. Since a recorded performance doesn’t come close to seeing them live anyway, I went with this clip from 120 Minutes, which is a bit corny (mostly due to Stabbing Westward’s intro) and a great example of a low-budget 90s music video.

Seeing a young Brutal Juice, before tragic break-up and miraculous reunion(s), along with hearing stories about their wild performances, makes me wish I had been in Denton when they first arose. Granted, I was in elementary school at the time and not allowed to go to concerts, but I digress …

Anyway, without further ado, I give you the 1995 MTV premiere/only airing of Brutal Juice’s “Ugly On the Inside”:

Verdict: It’s not easy to make a song that is both catchy and mosh-worthy (people still mosh, right?), but the guys in Brutal Juice are masters at it.

Brutal Juice plays tonight at Dan’s with support from Baboon and Record Hop. The show starts at 8 and it’s 15 bucks at the door (assuming it doesn’t sell out). Earplugs are highly recommended.

Track of the Day: Western Giants- Salt City

27 May

So our good friends the Western Giants have been rolling out videos for the past few weeks, documenting everything from the long drives on tour to how a band spends its down time. Today is the first time they’ve debuted a song with one of the blogs, as the band plans to use their “Shed Sessions” as a means to put out new material. We’re quite proud to debut their track “Salt City”

Verdict: The stripped-down track gives us everything we love about the Giants–introspective lyrics, ambient organ, and just enough drum to push the song along. Kudos to the band for trying to do something unique with their material by doing these videos. Having them just furthers our anticipation for their next album.

Review: Sundress–Fever EP

26 May

Editor’s note: This review is the first of what we hope will be many by Judson Valdez (whom you may know as frontman for Baruch the Scribe).
By Judson Valdez

I must admit that I haven’t always been a fan of This Old house/ Odyssey/Sundress. During early listens, I thought the band’s songs were all too similar and a little melodramatic at times. But since I’ve attended their shows over the past couple of months, they have won me over (understatement). I’ve found myself awaiting recordings from this band more than any other local act in recent months, yet also a little worried about what they would sound like. Continue reading

Track of the Day: Lower Dens – Hospice Gates

26 May
(Note: Due to the sheer number of submissions we receive, there is no way we can give each and every album the attention (and word count) it deserves, but we can devote time to at least one song from each. So we started this feature to give worthy bands and their music a spot to shine. We hope this helps you discover new and exciting acts, and as always if you enjoy the music please make an attempt to support the artists by either attending a show or buying a record.)

Jana Hunter is awesome, and any band she puts together should automaticly be awesome. So when I learned that her new band, Lower Dens, was not only going on a national tour but putting out a full-length titled Twin-Hand Movement, my first thought was “awesome.”

Lower Dens- Hospice Gates

Verdict: At a time when so much of the music that’s out there feels the same, it’s nice to hear something that is similar yet completely different. Led by Hunter’s drumming, “Hospice Gates” is a weirdly anthemic piece that continually pushes forward with Hunter’s vocals, and a bit of jangle to the guitar parts, before ending in a wave of chaotic feedback. Awesome.

DayBowBow Video Sessions: Noonday Morningstar – Let it Grow @ The Kessler

25 May
(In an effort to expand this website, we’ve decided to start shooting video sessions with bands we love that are both from the area, and outside of the area. We anticipate this to be a little bumpy, as our camera is new, and we’re doing some on the job learning.)

Last Saturday while at the Kessler in Oak Cliff we were able to get Dentallas band Noonday Morningstar to sit down in the Kessler’s upstairs art gallery and perform their song “Let it Grow” for us. After a few minutes of lessons the crowd of 20, or so people were invited to sing along with the chorus of the song. What follows is video of that performance.

We’re working on the quality.

Rundown: 5/24–5/30

24 May

We neglected to post a Rundown last week. But we’re back this week and we have an exciting event to announce. Along with I Love Math Records, we will be presenting We ❤ Denton, a show featuring Record Hop, Doug Burr, Shiny Around the Edges, Manned Missiles and Dear Human, at the Schoolhouse this Wednesday starting at 8 p.m.

The lineup isn’t fully representative of Denton’s vast musical diversity, but it does include a good sampling of genres as well as older and newer artists. The show is in honor of a visit from Scott Sloan and Steve Labate (you’ll probably remember that we’ve talked about them before), who will be here in Denton for their documentary, 40 Nights of Rock & Roll.We would love for you to come out to the show. I would be going even if it weren’t a DBB show simply because the bands are stellar. It’s free, BYOB and school’s out, so you don’t have a lot of excuses.

Now for other shows this week. Continue reading

Track of the Day: Of Montreal–Id Engager

24 May

I cannot express how excited I am about seeing Of Montreal tonight. Seeing them at Fun Fun Fun Fest (my first live encounter with them) was a life-altering experience and seeing them take their big, wild show to The Granada’s relatively small stage should be just as amazing.

Their last incarnation as an electronic take on a glam rock band is possibly my favorite–although I do love their 60s-pop-style songs and they’ve gone for a psychedelic/No Wave/funk sound with False Priest, due in September, so maybe I should hold my opinion–which is why I chose “Id Engager”, from 2008’s Skeletal Lamping as today’s track.

Of Montreal–Id Engager

P.S. Steve Labate and Scott Sloan, the men behind 40 Nights of Rock & Roll, will be filming the show tonight. Be sure to buy them a drink! And buy us one while you’re at it.

Clash of the Titles: Laughing Gas–Neon Indian vs. Quiet Riot

24 May
While searching at the last minute for a TOD (we get a lot of submissions and it can be hard to sift through them … and sometimes they’re all bad), I decided to start a new feature: Clash of the Titles. For this feature, we will take two songs with identical titles or themes, which means cover songs are game, and compare them. It’s sort of like “Who Wore It Better?”, but with songs. This will be a weekly feature and reader suggestions are welcome. Warning: It can get a little snarky, but we’re just having fun here.

By Jesseca Bagherpour

Remember how I said “Clash of the Titles” would be a weekly feature (if not, it’s in the note right at the top, dummy!)? Well, obviously by “weekly” I meant “once a month or whenever I feel like writing one”. Honestly, though, I have a new job and I am in the process of moving so I’ve been generally neglecting this site. Apologies.

Now on to the main event: Today’s Clash is between Brooklyn (via Denton via the places the members lived before Denton, although I’m sure people get bent out of shape when they call themselves a Brooklyn band) trendies Neon Indian and popular 80s metal band Quiet Riot.

Maybe I was a little lightheaded from walking my dog around my neighborhood in the heat and humidity, but this song made me feel like I was on nitrous oxide. The band somehow perfectly mimics the sound of people’s voices and of music when you’ve been administered laughing gas or are using it recreationally (not that I have ever done that).

Now, when I was a kid I had to make frequent trips to the dentist because I have weak teeth (but I won’t go into that because this is about music). I always asked for the laughing gas because, well, why not? And I was usually listening to either John Secada or whatever other Top 40 music was playing on the radio or cassettes the dentist provided or that I brought from home. Although anything sounds cool when you’re four years old and high out of your gourd, even John Secada and especially a Care Bears adventure, this song is genuinely cool.

As anyone I’ve discussed Neon Indian with knows, I am lukewarm towards their music. But I don’t begrudge them their success because they are hardworking, savvy and charismatic. This song is the only one that has made me think, “Wow. I like this.” I’m not saying it’s incredibly original. But I probably dig it because it touches the little kid inside of me. Wait … that sounds bad. What I meant to say is that it gives me nostalgic feelings about my childhood trips to the dentist. Yes, I loved going to the dentist because dental hygiene has always been key for me. And probably also because I got high every time I went …

(Side note: Chimps are so cute!)
(Side side note: Re-reading this portion of the piece makes me realize how often I sound like a rambling old woman and/or a raving lunatic.)

Quiet Riot was a decent heavy metal band, and metal is a genre I have recently come to appreciate (some of it without irony). I also admire Randy Rhoads, because he was a talented guitarist and because we’re supposed to admire people who are knocked down in their prime or whatever*. But I couldn’t even finish this song, mainly because of Rhoads’ marathon guitar solo at the end (meaning the last two-thirds of the song). If I were on laughing gas while listening to this, I would probably end up jumping out of a window. In fact, I almost did that completely sober.

As I said, I’m not completely opposed to Quiet Riot. They have some fun songs. But “Laughing Gas” isn’t one of them. Now, there are parts I like, even the end of what seems like an hour-long solo, but other members of the band do actually play here and there and the full band comes back at the end (I skipped around to the end because I simply couldn’t listen to the entire song). Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this song, or maybe it’s just bad.

At any rate,  Neon Indian wins this battle.

*In all seriousness, it was sad when Randy Rhoads died. I mean, I was three when it happened. But he was very young and he on the verge of becoming a superstar and his death was tragic. It was also a classic rock ‘n’ roll death, as he died in a private plane at the age of 25.

Track of the Weekend: Girl Talk- Play Your Part (Pt. 1)

21 May

Tomorrow at the Kessler we’re giving away 80 tickets to the Houston Free Press Summer Fest which features Girl Talk, amongst others.