Texas®

 One of my good friends from The Dallas Observer, Daniel Hopkins, is more than just a writer and musician, these days. Thanks to his segments on the site You + Dallas, he’s a real-life video star kinda dude. Here are a few examples of his handy work.

 

It’s doubtful that any of you out there are aware of this, but I can’t help but be. Austin one-man-blues-devil Scott Biram was one of the two subjects of my very first post for this here blog. By no means am I suggesting that I was the first to write about him. In fact, I was way behind on him. Way behind.

Needless to say, I’ve been trying to catch up ever since. As it turns out, a ton of others will soon be trying to do the same thing in terms of Biram’s career. Thanks to some recent happenings, Biram’s profile is raising at a nice and rapid rate. Most notable, perhaps is that two of his songs “Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue” and “Lost Case of Being Found” will be feature on October 25th’s episode of the hit FX drama Sons of Anarchy.

Talk about an apt pairing of singer to show. His tales and overall sound are every bit as gritty as the characters and story lines of the biker-gang that inhabits the town of Charming, CA.

Also, be sure to check out the latest Austin Chronicle. Biram’s featured as the cover boy there and writer Austin Powell does a bang-up job in delivering a story that’s more than worth reading.

Oh, by the way, Biram’s new record is out, too. Word has it that Bad Ingredients, his latest from Bloodshot, is yet another grimy, desperate gem.



All of the award nominations and kind words for Calhoun’s record Heavy Sugar are insanely deserved. The song featured above was one of the five songs nominated for “Song of the Year” in the Dallas Observer Music Awards. the Ft. Worth-based act has long been a great indie band, but this record gave them a pristine guitar-pop vibe that lent accessibility without sacrificing the band’s overall character.

 

Look. We talked about this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin already. We talked about how the line-up is as quirky and killer as any other festival of it’s kind. Eschewing much of the mainstream acts that understandble help fill up the ACL’s and Bonnarroos of the world, FFF Fest relies on an intoxicating mix of indie, metal, hip-hop, comedy and electronic music to bring in masses that might be a tad more discerning.

Well, if getting to see Public Enemy, Passion Pit, Slayer, the Joy Formidable, Reggie Watts, a reunited Hum, or Neon Indian wasn’t incentive enough, the after parties slated for the fest in various venues will be absolutely free for FFF ticket-holders!

Honestly, it doesnt even make sense. Not from a standard commercial sense, at least. I’m sure the people who need to make the money are making it, but us consumers are so used to getting screwed on ticket prices, service fees, parking costs and astronomical beer prices that it’s jsut hard to imagien so many shows will be included in the price we already paid.

Oh. You want to know who you’ll get to see for free? A ton of bands that aren’t actually playing at the fest, that’s who. Also eschewing teh typical, big festival model of hosting after-shows with bands already on the bill, FFF is bringing in the likes of the Felie Brothers, Dead Confederate, Old Man Malarkey, The Thermals, Kool Keith, Ty Seagall, Mates of State and Thee Oh Sees. These are bands that would headline their own club dates just about anywhere in the country, and they’re just being added onto your list of bands to see. For no extra charge. Just mosey into venues like Beerland, The parish, Club DeVille, and The Mohawk, among others, and get your after-hours groove on.

It’s been a while since we mentioned the psychedelic honky-tonkers from Austin, The Lonesome Heroes. They wow’d us with their inventive take on standard old-school country and they have been touring like crazy for the last couple of years as they’ve been developing material for a new album. Daydream Western is the name for the new record, and it’s yet another wonderful spin on Cosmic Americana.

Thanks to the key duo, Landry McMeans and Rich Russell, we have a couple of songs to share with you. These tunes have been road-tested as much as songs can be, thanks to the group’s relentless touring of the country. Trust us, you do not want to skip the chance to give these tunes a listen and to catch them live when they come through your part of the state, which is always a distinct possibility, given their penchant for life on the road.

Visions Of Yesterday by The Lonesome Heroes

Aspens by The Lonesome Heroes

House of Blues Entertainment unveiled its restaurant, “Crossroads at House of Blues,” a new dining experience featuring a menu created by noted celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, known to television viewers for his appearances on numerous Food Network shows and culinary events across the country. 

Incorporating flavors from all over the world, Chef Aaron has created new signature dishes such as shrimp and grits, short rib meatball sliders, hand stretched grilled flatbreads, chile braised short ribs and street tacos.

“House of Blues is all about music, love, art and spirituality,” said Chef Sanchez.  “In many ways, those are the same ingredients for great food and that’s exactly what I’ve tried to capture in the new menu for the Crossroads restaurants.”

 
Previous House of Blues dining favorites like jambalaya remain on the menu and Chef Aaron has also created updated versions of House of Blues staples like cornbread, pulled pork sandwiches and signature burgers that feature unique twists.
 
House of Blues showcases the diversity of live music by presenting nearly every genre of music on its stages.  Crossroads at House of Blues also celebrates this spirit of diversity.  The cuisine is a mix of American and international inspired dishes created by one of the hottest chefs in America , culinary visionary Chef Sanchez. 
 
Surrounded by the unique folk art that fills the walls of the restaurant, Crossroads at House of Blues is a place where food, music and art intersect.
 
The new imagery for Crossroads at House of Blues is a combination of antique road signs and U.S. roadmaps. The rusted vintage road signs come from all over the world, reinforcing a multicultural cuisine back-story while also incorporating the overarching juke joint/roadhouse textures of the House of Blues brand.  The signs, maps and branding provide a subtle overall roadmap to the Crossroads experience.

The junction of Highway 61 and Highway 49 in Clarksdale is also designated as the famous crossroads where, according to legend, Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for mastery of the blues, the truly American art form that the House of Blues clubs pay tribute to every day.

 

Sorry. I have to. It’s really beyond me. MTV-U has been playing it on their cable channel a bunch and now it’s online for all of us to enjoy. I’m not going to promise that this will be the last you see or read about them here. Again, sorry. that’s just how it is!

It would be a sin for us to keep from making sure that you all know about this weekend’s celebration of north Texas’ best music. The 22nd edition of the Dallas Observer Music Awards are nigh upon us, and a few years ago, that meant a pretty nifty awards ceremony and a great special issue of the free alt-weekly would be awaiting us. But now, so much more is meant when the time for these awards roll around.

For the last few years, a massive majority of the nominated acts get together and jam within a few blocks of each other. Last year, the showcase was held in the historic Deep Ellum district. While there were 50 or so bands playing in several clubs, the highlight was the positively communal vibe that a bustling night of music fostered.

This year, Deep Ellum will once again hold the showcase and a main stage line-up will join the festivities. It’s tough to think of a more appropriate bill for a main stage at a festival full of Dallas, Denton and Ft. Worth’s finest acts. The Toadies, The Old 97s, Centro-matic and Sarah Jaffe will ring in the night that will see nominated bands rocking until 2 am.

Of course, it would also be sinister to forget about the awards show itself, now wouldn’t it? On Tuesday, the 18th at the House of Blues in Dallas, Erykah Badu will headline the festivities as the best of the regions music stars are revealed.

 

Dallas roots duo, The O’s are legit talents and have certainly earned their spot as one of the most talked about acts in north Texas. We’ve talked about them here before. We freaking love their record from earlier this year. It seems as though they’ve pledged to make a video for each of the album’s 12 songs (not one of them worth skipping, by the way). At this juncture, they’ve recorded three, and they’re all really well-made and stand on their own as individual works of creativity, aside from the song itself.

Full disclosure: I really like Bad Design. Coming out of Denton, JP Hossley and crew have taken their aggressive post-punk into an even more sonically challenging, yet pleasing, direction with the addition of new guitarist of John Gillespie. Such a shift isn’t much of a surprise, given the dynamic loudness that Gillespie’s former band, the now defunct math-rock group Dear, Human proffered to a wonderful degree. 

As great as Bad Design’s Self-Titled album is, it’s hard not to see the progress that’s taken place inside the confines of their Diamonds EP.

I caught a set of their at the Bryan Street Tavern a few months ago, and was really blown away by the power of their performance, and how well Hossley’s menacing howl translated in the live setting. I left feeling as though these guys have the whole “accessible experimental” thing down as cold as a guitar-based rock band can have it (maybe there isn’t such a thing, but if there is, they got it.).

Their Bandcamp page offers both of their albums for cheap and they’re both worth well more than the price you’ll pay. Also, keep an eye out for the gig-posters they design. Along with the musical talent, their graphic talents are excellent as well.