Look: I know that we can get very wordy here and get all kinds of crazy with trying to label artists and detail exactly what nice, neat little corner of the musical universe a song or album might fit into. No biggie, really. We all just want to understand music and know what something sounds like before we even here it. You know, if someone tells you that a band reminds them of the Replacements, and you aren’t a fan of that band, then you may want to avoid them if you dont want to make the effort to judge for yourself (hey, we’re all busy, you know?). Maybe a friend tells you that a certain song sounds “like what country music should sound like,” and you despise country music in any form, then again, it’s good to have a general idea of what to expect, thanks to a comparison someone you trust provided.
Well, I don’t know what to tell you about Dead Rider. Their sound is just so…so…perplexing? Maybe? I guess? I know that the Chicago-based band’s new album, Raw Dents is a masterwork of odd angles, off-kilter tempos and general weirdness…which is 100% greatness.
Some call them art-rock, others have called them industrial, some even detect some funk in the mix. OK, fair enough. I get all of that…I think. How about this for a description. When I click on their video for “The Pointed Stick” (below), or listen to Raw Dents, I can’t easily tear myself away from either. So, addictive and enthralling. How’s that for describing their sound without actually describing their sound…HUH???
Thankfully, this weekend, many Texas (and even a few Okies) will get to form their own description of this band that has simply taken my brain hostage in recent weeks. On Friday in Austin Dead rider will take over Emo’s, and then make their way north to infest the Doublewide in Dallas on July 2nd, before hitting Oklahoma. Do not miss this band!
In our second edition of Rockin’ The Lens, David Heidle hit The Granada Theater in Dallas this past Saturday night for a show that certainly tore it up. Denton’s Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward made great use of their time as opening act for one of their musical heroes, while Slobberbone came out and made sure everyone knew why it is people have been so excited about their return. Don’t take my word for it. Let Dave’s pics do the talking!
While Dallas get its share of love as a place of top notch dining establishments, both of quality and quantity, people tend to forget that there are foodie havens in the area that aren’t guarded by stuffy maitre-d’s, or regularly hosting adventurous, chef’s table experiences.
One of those havens is easily Scardello Artisan Cheese. The Oak Lawn shop has garnered a reputation not only for fine cheeses, but for teaching its patrons about them and the many ways in which cheese can liven up any meal or party.
Here are some of the classes that are offered soon:
Beer vs. Wine Smackdown!
Thursday, May 5, 7:00pm
Which is truly the better pair with cheese? Will wine lovers shake their stems in the agony of defeat? Will beer lovers mourn by crying into their…well…beer? Even if you know the answers to these vexing questions, who wouldn’t love the experience of putting these two elixirs to the test? Each of the five rounds consists of one cheese, one wine and one beer. You will talk about pairing in general and specific impressions of each pair. There will be a vote and a winner. What truly is cheese’s best partner? You will decide!
Cheese 101 – WINNER OF D MAGAZINE’S BEST OF BIG D!
Thursday, May 19, 7:00pm
Join them as they nibble their way through the different cheese types. Experience comparative tastings of cheese and out-of-the-ordinary items that will help you focus on the distinct flavors of each cheese type. They will cover the basics on how cheese is made and answer questions about cheese pairing fundamentals. Of course, there will be soothing libations provided to be enjoyed in the relaxing atmosphere of the shop!
Thursday, May 26, 7:00pm
Blue, green and in-between! Those lovely veins running through blue cheese make the mouth tingle in anticipation. Learn about these wonders of the cheese world. Taste examples from mild to strong, creamy to crumbly and one or two that feel like a good old fashioned kick in the teeth! Of course, they’ll pair these delights with near-perfect libations.
So, not in the mood to take a class? How about a lazy, cheese-filled Sunday? To help you on your quest they will have a Sunday Only Menu. In addition to their cheese plates and regular sandwiches, start with Coffee brewed fresh from Cafe Ibis in Utah. They will offer $6 Mimosas and a new Sunday-exclusive sandwich. The Opened-Faced for Suggestionsis served sans salad on two open faces of Farmhouse bread with Wisconsin cured Pancetta and brûléed Gruyere. The name of the sandwich is up in the air. You have a chance to name it. Stop by Sunday, give it a try and give them your suggested name. They’ll award the winner with a delicious surprise!
Hours: Monday -Thursday 11am-7pm
Friday -Saturday 11am-8pm
This is your opportunity to be a hero for kids with cancer!
There’s going to be a St. Baldrick’s event, and whether you decide to shave your head, volunteer, or donate, you have a wonderful chance to be a part of the excitement.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. What began as a challenge between friends has grown into the world’s fastest growing volunteer-driven fundraising opportunity benefiting childhood cancer research. Beginning back in 2000, the foundation has clearly caught-on and is really making a difference.
Get involved and you’ll be giving hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. Since 2000, more than 147,000 volunteers — including over 12,000 women — have shaved in solidarity with children with cancer at events in dozens of countries and every U.S. state.
If you choose to support a participant or team at the event, your name will appear on their donor list. To support the event in general and appear on the event donor list, please go to the event’s OFFICIAL WEBSITE and click “Make a Donation” to give online, or you can also donate by phone or through the mail.
Do not miss the event. Be sure to be at Milo Butterfinger’s (5645 Yale Blvd Dallas, TX 75206) on March 30th at 4:00 pm to be apart of the fun with an amazingly good and life-saving cause.
For those of us with small kids, or even not-so-small kids, the Saturday birthday party can be a bit of a beating and can absolutely throw a wrench into any well-meaning plans of getting something productive around the house done (even if we were likely never going to get to that pesky project, anyways.) Screaming kids, ringing video games, creepy, large singing mice and general sensory overload can really bring a frown to a parent’s face, if we’re all being honest here (we are, aren’t we?).
For many of us possessors of the BestBuzz App, we have found a different, and less stressful way of helping our children celebrate birthdays, whether it be their own, or the celebration for one of their tiny friends: Bounce U.
The well-trained staff of each Bounce U knows how to operate the well-oiled party machine they possess, ultimately taking the headache of having to handle everything away from the parent. Imagine, just hanging out while your kids bounce and play in the indoor, bounce-eriffic playrooms before heading to another party room for pizza, goodies and presents – all in the span of a quick hour or two.
Be sure to use the BestBuzz App to it’s fullest and you can see what I mean for yourself. Go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bestbuzz/id405561566?mt=8 to read more about the App and download it FOR FREE, for yourself.
Wow. I’ve been on a pretty serious rock kick as of late. In fact, I’ll get even more specific: I’ve been on, and will continue to be on, a serious Dallas rock kick. How can I not be? The new and upcoming releases from Here Holy Spain and True Widow have been making my iPod its woman and now, Descender, yet another band that has tight connections to the glorious past of Deep Ellum’s glory days, has a new album out that is simply a thick wall of driving rock prowess.
Dark Water- which is the veteran four-piece band’s second album and follow-up to their Army of Elephants from a couple of years ago – showcases an “alt-rock” vibe that’s actually an alternative to what currently is called “alt-rock.” Former Doosu leader and Burden Brothers guitarist Casey Hess and crew proffer an arena-filling sound that refrains from glossing over into a prettier, shimmering territory that would pull all of the band’s jagged teeth out.
Adding to the cohesiveness of the record’s dense sonic quality is the ominous band name, album title and menacing lyrics. Duncan Black’s pulsing, percussive presence is noticeable and might be the key to the band’s general identity in terms of giving the right backdrop to the rest of the important variables that go into this band’s overall recorded product.
“Blinding Side,” is a pounding, invigorating and even atmospheric anthem that would simply get all screwed up by a band of beginners looking to simply rock out for a 6-pack. The tune’s slow build into a soaring, melodic tone will surely be one the best rock songs I’ll hear over the course of this entire year.
Yes, it’s always a bummer when beloved bands break-up or go onto other projects. But – and this is a big ol’ but – when a beloved band forges ahead and uses their perspective on the past to inform their future and create something vital and relevant to who they are as a person and artist in the present, it’s easy to see that change is good and the good old days are just that – Good. And old.
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.
On March 13th, Chefs for Farmers will bring in some of North Texas’ best chefs to personally operate a cafeteria line in order to raise awareness for a couple of worthy causes. Foodie heroes such as John Tesar (formerly of The Mansion), burger king-pins Jack Perkins (Maple & Motor), and Brian Luscher (The Grape) and recent award-winner Tim Byres (Smoke) will be slinging their creative and classic takes on cafeteria classics comprised from farm-fresh ingredients.
Guest judges, including television host Gary Cogill and restaurant luminary Gene Street will help guests decide which dishes are indeed the best as they pile on the culinary goodness atop their trays at the venerable Dallas eatery, the Highland Park Cafeteria. Dishes that will have participants salivating are Duck Meatballs, Wild Boar Sloppy Joes and even Tater Tots with Pork Belly, among many other tantalizing offerings.
If only the elementary school lunch planners of the world would get wind of this menu!
Of course, the dining is a fun cause, but the proceeds and notoriety that the event will generate will help causes that aim to help many others. The relatively new host organization, Chefs for Farmers, was formed in 2010 and exists to help create a greater awareness for North Texas-area farms and farmers. Sadly, such awareness is sorely needed, as so many farmers face uphill battles of many types on a daily basis.
The event’s primary beneficiary, The Family Place, will receive a portion of the proceeds which will go a long way in helping Dallas’ largest provider of family violence services continue to offer help and programs to thousands of victims of family violence each year.
More details are available at Chefs for Farmers website, as well as tickets to this worthy and tasty event. Go to www.chefsforfarmers.com to secure your place in line!
As I was listening to (and enjoying immensely) the new, upcoming album from Dallas band True Widow, I was also doing a bit of web-surfing for anything I could find on the band from outlets that might not typically focus on North Texas (or Texas in general) acts. When I stumbled upon a post on Indie Super-Blog, Stereogum, I found they had a few kind words to say about the Dallas trio. Perhaps more tellingly, one of the commenter’s to the post made a remark that I found interesting and a tad humorous, “The best band from Dallas isn’t from Denton.” There’s no doubt that Denton acts have been getting a good bit of buzz lately, but…
That commenter may be onto something.
True Widow, consisting of Tim Starks, Nikki Estill and leader Dan Phillips, (formerly of Slowride) will certainly be riding high and be near the top of many Dallasites list of favorite area bands after the proper release of their insanely excellent second album, As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth.
The trio, which has called their sound “Stonegaze”, indeed backs up that label on their first album for Kemado Records, the folks which brought us the stellar record from The Sword, late last year. One of the stand-out numbers, with yet another appropriate title, “Doomseer,” is a reverb-eriffic droner that hammers its way through nine minutes without stalling in the least. The album’s Stereogum-approved calling card, “Skull Eyes,” is the album’s most accessible and melodic, thanks to Estill’s pristine vocal contribution, yet it’s is still an unrelenting force.
Let’s be honest, here: An album with such a title has to be epic, right? I mean, if some solo-acoustic folkie slapped that title on his 4 song EP, we would all roll our eyes. Well, I’m happy to report that thanks to the pounding tracks on this successfully epic record, the only thing rolling are my eardrums, but in an – ahem - incredibly epic and pleasing manner.
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.
Best of Texas is excited to launch our new social, local, mobile (SoLoMo) app called BestBuzz, so to celebrate, we’ll be doing “Appy Hour” parties around town all month. Please join us and ‘buzz-in’ to receive great deals at our events and have some fun for a couple hours! To get on the guest list for all of our upcoming parties, please visit www.BestBuzz.bz to register.
Using the BestBuzz app, users can scan unique QR codes on door stickers and get real-time special deals from several of the best places in Dallas! Our motto is, “If you love it, Buzz about it,” so share what you like best at places and add photos using the BestBuzz app.
The BestBuzz app is free and available for iPhone and Android users (Blackberry version is coming soon), so make sure to download the app and join our “Appy Hour” party at Hacienda on Henderson this Thursday, March 3rd from 5pm-7pm . Our team of “social buzzerflies” will be on the patio and the first margarita is on us, and then you can stay and enjoy $3 margaritas and 20% OFF food when you buzz-in and show your waiter!
PLUS! BestBuzz is throwing the Official SXSW Interactive “Appy Hour” bash in Austin next Friday. Come and enjoy free food, free cocktails, and we even have special Grammy-winning artists showing up for some entertainment from 5pm-8pm!
Be sure to check out some of these other great places for BestBuzz special offers around Dallas:
Eight of Dallas’s premier DJs will be battling it out in a head-to-head format know as Red Bull Thre3Style come February 19th! Competing DJ’s include Joe Vega, NVS, Danny West, Fishr Pryce, Danny V, Trek, D-Roz and Rev.
Headlining the show is none other than DJ Mix Master Mike of The Beastie Boys. Guest judges include notable DJs and industry leaders including DJ A1 from the Cannabinoids, Kwasar of Chocolate Groove, DJ Enferno, Delano, Ben of the Rec Shop and DJ Sober.
Not quite your standard DJ battle—far from it actually—Red Bull THRE3Style is a creative and innovative event format where the true art of party rockin’ is put to the test. Red Bull Thre3Style is a DJ contest that promises to be a night of dance-floor mayhem. Each DJ is challenged to play a selection of at least three genres or styles of music in a 15 minute set. Genres don’t matter, all that matters is the DJs ability to mix them and make them work together.
Participating DJs are judged on their track-selection, technical skills, creativity and most importantly their ability to bring the house down. It doesn’t matter if they know all the DJing tricks and techniques in the book, if they can’t get the feet on the dance floor and hands in the air, they don’t stand a chance of winning a Red Bull Thre3Style.
More than 20 US Qualifiers will take place this year. The winner of each qualifier will win $1,000 US and compete in a Regional final. The Winner of each regional battle wins the chance to fly to Las Vegas in November for the national Red Bull THRE3Style Championship. The national champ then travels to Vancouver, Canada to compete in the global finals against the world’s best party-rock DJs in hopes of being crowned the International Red Bull THRE3Style champion!
Excited yet? Well guess what? Best of Texas and BestBuzz.bz are giving away Four VIP Tickets to the Red Bull Thre3Style DJ Event in Dallas, TX at the Granada Theater on February 19th, 2011.
To win, go “Like” us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BestofTexas, and tell us the craziest thing you would do for Red Bull VIP tickets! Be creative…videos are welcome!
Don’t forget: DOWNLOAD the free BestBuzz app on your iPhone or Android and ‘Buzz-in’ with your phone at the Thre3Style party to be entered to Win VIP Tickets to the Thre3Style FINALS in May 2011.
Red Bull THRE3Style
February 19th, 2011
3524 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX