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 Brew at the Zoo sounds like a whale of a time, no?

I have to provide a tip of the hat to our friends at the Dallas Observer for this one. Combining chimps, elephants and giraffes with soem fine craft brews is kind of a genius idea. Throw in some music both good (Rebirth Brass Band) and meh (The Spazmatics), and it’s hard to see how one could keep from having a barrel of monkey-type good time (sorry, I had to).

Rain or shine, on September 10th, the Dallas Zoo will be – for that evening, at least – the better of the two metroplex area zoos.

The Observer recently posted some more details on admission and even the beer choices that will be available (and rather plentiful). If you’re not in the clicking mood, but want to see what beers will be available at the event, just scroll on down…

Anheuser Busch: Ziegenbock, Shock Top, Shock Top Raspberry, LandShark, Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Bud Light Lime, Kona Longboard Lager, Widmer Hefeweizen, Redhook Longhammer, Widmer Drifter
Belukus Marketing: Blanche De Bruxelles, Timmermns Strawberry, Wells Banana Bread, Wells Bombardier
Boulevard Brewing Company: TBA
Breckenridge Brewery: Agave Wheat, Vanilla Porter, Avalanche, Lucky U IPA
Brooklyn Brewery: Lager, Brown Ale, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale
California Cider Co.: Ace Perry, Ace Apple, Ace Joker
Choc: 1919 Choc, Signature Belgian Dubbel, Choctoberfest, Summer Ale (if available)
Deschutes Brewery: Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA, Green Lakes Organic Amber
Diageo: Guinness Black Lager
Duvel USA: Duvel, Maredsous Blond, Ommegang BPA, Ommegang Hennepin
Franconia Brewing Co.: TBA
Full Sail Brewing Company: Session Premium Lager, Session Black Lager, Amber, Elevation Imperial IPA
Great Divide Brewing: Titan India Pale Ale, Yeti Imperial Stout
Harpoon Brewery: Harpoon IPA, UFO White, Harpoon Octoberfest, Harpoon Cider
Left Hand: Milk Stout, Sawtooth, Pole Star, Stranger
Merchant du Vin: Ayinger Oktoberfest, Smith Organic Lager, Smith Organic Ale, Lindemans Peche
Rahr & Sons Brewing: TBA
Real Ale Brewery: Fireman’s #4, Rio Blanco Pale Ale, Brewhouse Brown, Lost Gold IPA
Saint Arnold Brewing: Lawnmower, Weedwacker, Oktoberfest, Santo (or Elissa IPA if Santo is out of stock)
Sapporo USA: Sapporo Premium, Sapporo Reserve, Sapporo Light
Ska Brewing: Modus Hoperandi, Decadent Imperial IPA, True Blonde Ale, True Blonde Dubbel
Stone Brewing Co.: Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Ruination, Cali-Belgique IPA
Sun Shine Imports: Sir Perry Imported Cider, TBA
Total Beverage Solution: Affligem Blond, Moretti La Rossa, Weihenstephan Hefe
Unibroue: Blanche De Chambly, La Fin Du Monde, Ephemere, Trois Pistoles
United States Beverage: Estrella Damm, Tona, Tiger, Murphy’s Stout
Woodchuck Hard Cider: Woodchuck Amber, Woodchuck Fall Seasonal, Woodchuck Pumpkin, Woodchuck Granny Smith

Every year on March 17th, people aim to celebrate their Irish-ness (whether real, or imagined). Cheap green beer, T-shirts with funny puns relating to drinking and general, Guinness-drenched revelry ensue.

Also each year, on the Saturday before the greenest of all holidays, Greenville Avenue in Dallas is transformed into a jubilant parade of drink, whoops, hollers and a complete lack of concern for the following morning’s dehydration-induced headache. But, before all the craziness, something perhaps even crazier occurs down Greeville Avenue - a 5k Run!

The annual St. Patty’s Dash Down Greenville Avenue at 8:30 am, you can register from the parking lot of Central Market at Lovers Ln and Greenville. This is one run where typical active attire doesn’t cut it, by the way. Not only should you rock as much green as you can, but one is in danger of feeling left out if one opts to run without a green afro-wig, massive leprechaun hat, or some other season-appropriate good-time accessory.

Of course, for all the hard work that a 5k really is, there is a reward. Tons of live music, drinks and fun await the runners at the end of the line. Later in the day, even, The Dallas Observer is hosting an insane concert featuring not only recent Squawker subjects True Widow and Here Holy Spain, but non other than Texas-rock heroes The Toadies.

The Dart rail makes it easy to get to that special strip of upper Greenville Ave, so there is really little room for excuses to those who are looking for reasons to not make it out this year.

For more information on the St. Patty’s Day Dash Down Greenville Ave 5k, go to www.dashdowngreenville.com. For information on the St. Patrick’s Day concert, starring The Toadies, go to the show’s offical site

Last week, we detailed the difference between hype and buzz. Another band from the North Texas region that has received a considerable amount of both is Seryn, out of Denton. Quickly after forming in 2009, it seemed as though the folksy chamber pop group signed with area-music power, Spune Productions. Sure, that helped in the hype department, but the bands dramatic, sweeping and even emotional live performances are responsible for creating the buzz that, just like The O’s from Dallas, is well-deserved, as the buzz is the sound that emanates from the folks enjoying themselves as they take it all in.

Thankfully, an album wasnt rushed into the marketplace, and as of last week, This Is Where We Are (Spune/Velvet Blue), the five-pieces debut LP now stands as the opening statement from a band that clearly set out to provide a forceful, soaring opening statement and not just something that would merely grace the merch table for the future gigs that the band will soon play as they tour various parts of the country over the spring. From serene to anthemic while flowing sonorously from one extreme to the other, this record has certainly been worth the wait.

Ukulele, added percussion and multi-layered harmonies give each song beauty and distinction over the course of the album’s ten songs. Don’t only take my word for it. Andy Odom from the Dallas Observer wrote an excellent piece last week about the group and Paste Magazine clearly loves the group as well.

As I said, the band will be out and about for a while. Please make a point to check them out. For a few excellent shows over the next week or so, they’ll be paired with Monahans, the band I wrote about a few weeks ago that was giving away their music to any who cared to have it. Again, go and just try to keep yourself from buzzing.

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob

I don’t enjoy writing about people I am remotely acquainted with, let alone people I know well. I’ll do it, but I have a tendency to gloss over their foibles while canonizing them for accomplishments like, oh, taking out the trash. So for the first installation of ‘5 Stupid Questions With:’, I asked my intern to write a bio on our subject, Zac Crain, and I received the following email reply to my request:

“I honestly have no idea how to write a bio. A bio is about a person and there is so much more to a person than an event. Especially since I know he might read this, I wouldn’t want to do an injustice to him since he seems like such a varied, interesting person. I know you asked me to do this to better me and see what I can do, and I appreciate that. Please do not be upset at me.”


photo by Hal Samples

photo by Hal Samples

After promising Leon that I would refrain from causing him bodily harm and would gladly help edit (heh) his work, I sent the frightened young scribe a fantastical series of links he could use to explore the wonderful world of Zac Crain. He researched, scoured, pried and compiled all the facts and figures he could to define the man.

And I must say, together we did a damn fine job. Read more