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Track of the Day (Harvey Pekar edition): Joe Maneri – Paniots Nine

12 Jul

RIP Harvey, you made NX35 year 1 great.

NX35 Wrap-up: Jesseca’s Highlights–Part 1

16 Mar

Wayne Coyne premiers his laser hands (Photo: Jesseca's crappy cell phone)

By Jesseca Bagherpour

The past four days were some of the most memorable and exhausting days of my life. I’m still trying to process what happened, which is the same thing I said about Fun Fun Fun Fest, I’m sure. But NX35 was even more intense. But our SXSW excursion starts tomorrow (well, technically tonight since we’ll be heading there this evening), so I need to get my NX35 thoughts down before it’s time to write about SXSW (or, more accurately, before SXSW kills me).

Here is the first part of the main highlights, in my opinion, of this year’s NX35. I’ve listed them in the order in which they happened. Feel free to share yours in the comments section.

Evangelicals at RGRS

Evangelicals were one act I was looking forward to seeing that I actually watched (for an entire set, at least). They look cool, they sound cool and they’re all incredible musicians, especially the drummer. I love their easy blend of 70s rock and 80s pop, with Josh Jones often channeling Ian Curtis with his voice and Todd Jackson sometimes mimicking Johnny Marr with his guitar. Also, they’re one of the sexiest bands I’ve seen. Jones, Jackson and bassist/keyboardist Kyle Davis are gaunt and unusual looking, but they have a definite sex appeal. And the way Jones has sex with the audience with his eyes draws the audience in that much more. There was a small audience that night, but the energy was high and everyone at RGRS that night was enraptured by Evangelicals (especially the rowdy teenagers dancing at the front).

Steve Albini keynote at Dan’s

Hours-long keynotes aren’t generally the highlight of a music festival. It’s about, well, the music. But when a man as fascinating and funny as Steve Albini (a member of Shellac, Big Black and other various bands and, of course, a prolific record producer) is the keynote speaker, the hours melt away. It was an educational and entertaining experience, due in no small part to the insightful questions from Scott Porter (of Record Hop, whose last CD Albini produced) as well as the easy, witty banter between Albini and Porter. I learned a great deal about Albini’s background and strong opinions on, among other things, the record industry (he doesn’t give a fuck if it fails), intellectual property rights (they’re bullshit) and music journalism (he doesn’t consider it real journalism because it doesn’t even have the same standards as sports journalism).

Icarus Himself at the Hydrant (and again at a Sunday Day Show)

I raved about this band on Sunday. They’re one of my new favorite bands and they’re also great people. Seeing them for the first time will stick in my mind as one of my greatest live music moments.

The Flaming Lips at The Fairgrounds

This was by far the greatest, most overwhelming part of NX35 for me. I’d seen the Lips once before, at one of their New Year’s Eve shows. But I was far away in the balcony and I prefer intimate settings. This time I had the great fortune of being backstage and for the last few songs of their set I was right in front of the stage, almost close enough to touch Wayne. Being that close to the band enhanced the experience, as I could feel the full force of their energy, as well as that of the dancers. The tons of confetti pouring over us and the tens of balloons being bounced around the grounds added the feeling of childlike wonder. And even though the electricity went out–twice–Wayne kept everyone’s spirits up.

They mostly played songs from their new album, Embryonic, but they managed to slip some old favorites into their relatively short set. As bittersweet as the moment was, I was still excited when they sang “Waiting for Superman”, from one of my favorite albums, The Soft Bulletin, in honor of Mark Linkous. And Jaime wrote about the ultimate highlight of the show, the finale with an extended version of “Do You Realize??”. I think I hugged about eight people, some of them strangers, that night. The warm, sunny, happy feeling I got from the show made my cares (and personal space issues) melt away. I felt like I was floating when I walked back to the square. It all still feels a bit like a dream.

Stay tuned for Part 2, featuring Colourmusic, The Middle East and more!

Track of the Festival: The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize?? (Live at NX35 3-13-10)

15 Mar

Honestly, I don’t know what to say… well, actually it’s what can I say, or what should I say? Should I be using this as an avenue to let you all know about the endless hours of work that went into NX35? Should I be naming all the people I know for a fact that lost so many hours of their lives for the festival to happen, or should I take a moment to tell the stories I know about festival? To be truthful, I don’t want to go on and on about the work all of us here at DBB did for the fesival. That would be overstating our importance and it would be disrespectful to the 100’s of people who put so much on the line for the mere opportunity for any of what happend over the last four days to happen.

However, what I can do is post this track and let everyone relive that one magic moment when it rained confetti on us all as we hugged each other with tears in our eyes and sang along.

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize?? (Live at NX35 3-13-10)

NX. Denton. We love you both. We’ll see you after we go try and burn Austin to the ground.


NX35 Spotlight: Icarus Himself

14 Mar

By Jesseca Bagherpour

On Friday night, I was one of six people to witness a live set by Madison, Wisconsin’s Icarus Himself. I’ve seen bands play before three times as many people and half-ass it because the crowd wasn’t big enough. But instead they made jokes about the small turnout (when two people walked in they noted that the crowd had doubled in size) and played their hearts out. There were lines outside of Andy’s, Dan’s and The Boiler Room, but I was content sitting in an intimate setting on a cozy couch watching one of the best live shows I’ve seen in a long time. Continue reading

RE:NX35 wristbands

10 Mar

Because I’m sick and tired of answering the “Where do we get our wristband?” question, you get this.

“Registration for attendees, bands, press, VIPs, sponsors, venue staff, God and anyone else who wants a wristband is at 314 E. Hickory from 12-9p.m. TH – SU. Yes, this is the ONLY place to get a wristband, even if you pre-paid online. No, you cannot pick up wristbands for other people since we have to use a crimping tool to secure the wristband around your wrist. Now go read the FAQs like good little conferetters.”

Also, here is the Lips/Midlake FAQ.

Now everyone leave me the hell alone, and have a good time.


Rundown: NX35 edition

10 Mar

Brunswick, the official NX35 mascot

There had been some debate amongst us if we should even bother doing a Rundown this week, what with those of you who care about music already knowing who you’re going to see and why you’re seeing them. But, being who we are, we’ve each decided to suggest two acts you should see every night. Take a look after the jump. Continue reading

The never-ending NX35 track-by-track: Week 3

5 Mar

So here’s the deal: we’ve been fairly light on the NX35 coverage due mainly to, well, some “involvement” with the festival. In an effort to provide some level of “countdown” coverage, we are going to go through 20 tracks from 20 bands at a time every Friday until the weekend of the conferette. (For those of you who are a little slow, there are three weeks left until NX35, which means we will be sharing 60 tracks with you.) Let’s hope this helps all of you have a better understanding of the music that is quickly approaching. If you like any of the bands, check out when/where they’re playing and find more info at

I can’t believe NX35 is just a week away. It’s seemed like this distant event that everyone around me would be perpetually toiling and stressing over (and that I was involved in, to a more moderate degree). But now the hard work is about to pay off. I think this year marks a new chapter in the NX35 saga. Things are about to get big for Little D. Anyway … enough of my sentimental ramblings … Here’s the third and final installment of the never-ending NX35 track-by-track (I guess it had an ending after all). –Jess

Jaime’s Picks

Pattern is Movement-Light of the World

One of the better live acts I caught last year was Pattern is Movement. I say that not just because of their amazing Beyonce cover, but because the band is made up of two first-rate musicians. They capably ply their trade, while managing to push themselves towards something greater.

Robert Ellis- Foolish Blues

Every region has thier own Ryan Ellis, a musician of such excellence that he can’t help but be apart of as many projects as possible, while still maintaining a excellent project of his own. Well, Robert Ellis seems to be that guy in Houston. And his roots-based solo work is indicative of an artist who knows where he comes from, and where he could go.

Julianna Barwick- Anjos

It’s really difficult not to label this as “angelic”, what with the lush sounds reverbrating off the walls of my office as I type this, but to do so would be weak on my part. So I’m forced to describe this as something close to capturing the moment when the surf beats the coastline, and all you feel is the wind washing over you.

Fergus & Geronimo–Tell It (In My Ear)

Man, does King Khan ever fucking rock.

(Note: I adore Fergus & Geronimo. This is all Jaime. But … they do sound a lot like The King Khan & BBQ Show. –Jess)

Frontier Ruckus–Mona and Emmy

There’s a rather great list in the AV Club’s Inventory book called “10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone“. If I ever had the chance to make a book of my own, this track would make my “15 Good Songs Made Great by Trumpet” list, as the opening segue instantly captivates you into wanting to stick with the song.

Horse Feathers- Belly of June

How the hell did they manage to pick this song out? Honestly, I know it can be precieved to be  rudimentry “folk picking”, but I find it to be excellent. I listen to this song quite a bit, trying to figure out how exactly they did this.

Icarus Himself–Sometimes I Can’t Stand You, But That Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Want You Around

So. Much. Fuzz.

Jesseca’s Picks

The Flaming Lips–Silver Trembling Hands

I think I can safely say The Flaming Lips are the most highly anticipated act playing at NX35. I still can’t believe they’re playing in Denton. For free. They’re one of a handful of bands to be together for over 20 years and remain consistently relevant and exciting. This song is from their latest record, Embryonic, and, like the rest of the album, it makes me freak out (in the best possible way) every time I hear it.

Sabra Laval–Can’t Tell Why

My first encounter with Sabra Laval was at The Majestic Dwelling of Doom last Saturday. I may have been hallucinating due to exhaustion, but her voice and music transformed that damp, graffiti-ridden basement into a Paris cafe in the 1960s. I can’t really explain more than that. See her live and you’ll understand.

Zorch–Zut Alore!

I love these guys and their music and I cannot wait to see them again for NX35 (and then SXSW, as we’ve been collaborating with them for that). I spoke a bit about their recording technique, and how damn nice they are, in a feature I did on them in November.

Ola Podrida–Cindy

Despite the fact that I’ve been trying to avoid sad music lately, I keep wanting to play this song. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching. Even more heart-wrenching: deciding between seeing these guys at the Western Vinyl showcase and seeing Fergus & Geronimo at the Weekly Tape Deck showcase next Friday.

Br’er–Painted Lady

This reminds me of a Björk song, like it would fit perfectly on Vespertine. Br’er (aka Benjamin Schurr) opened Sleep Whale’s Houseboat release show at Jupiter House a few months ago and it was absolutely captivating. The intimate venue will again showcase Br’er’s music at NX. Definitely an act to catch.

The Middle East–Blood

Australia has some astonishingly good musicians, and The Middle East is no exception. At first I thought this song was sweet, sappy even, with its soft acoustic guitars and sweet vocals, but it builds into this epic, gorgeous tune full of whistles, glock, horns and harmonies. And although it’s about death, it still makes me want to run out and enjoy life (perhaps that’s the point … to enjoy life while we can).

Glen Farris–The Edge of Town

At least half of the young women in Denton are in love with Glen Farris. I’m not one of them (which is a surprise if you know my taste in men), but I do love his music. He’s one of Denton’s finest lyricists and he’s got the vocal chops to do his lyrics justice.

Nina’s Picks

Birds and Batteries–Out in the Woods

This genre-blending group from San Francisco mixes a bit of rock, country, funk, electronica, and pop, never conforming to a specific sound. “Out of the Woods” is their funkier track, but make sure to hit up their Myspace page to listen to the variety of styles they have to offer.

Nicholas Altobelli–Northern Lights

It’s hard to believe that Nicholas Altobelli is originally from sunny Southern California. His dark, slow-tempo brand of folk is more of a soundtrack to the long winter we just experienced in Texas–sad, reflective, yet somehow a bit warm.

The Phuss–Preacher, Preacher

This duo formed two years ago with the intent of making “dirty Texas devil rock.” With their recently dropped debut album, Wanted, covering the life of a murderous outlaw through their fusion of blues, rock, and alt-country, I’d say they’ve definitely succeeded.

Stardeath and White Dwarfs–I Can’t Get Away

This song’s groove makes me feel like a badass.

Sore Losers–Bizarre Celebrations (Fizzy Dino Pop Remix)

What do you get when you combine one of the best hipster-hop acts in Dallas with the eight-bit beeps and boops of Fizzy Dino Pop? A flippin’ party, y’all.

This Will Destroy You–The World Is Our

Sometimes you just a little post-rock instrumentals in your life. The ability to invoke a range of emotions without lyrics is what This Will Destroy You accomplishes, and beautifully so.