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I know we’ve mentioned these guys a time or two in recent weeks, but man, I just cant stop listening to their latest album, Two Foot Stomp. It’s a serious rock record that blends all sorts of influences from country, to hardcore, to even, wait for it, wait for it…Gospel. See for yourself in the video above.

Shot in Dallas, the performace scenes were shot in the excellent Elm St. venue LaGrange, and the gentleman walking around with a keyboard throughout the clip is a warm, always-smiling fellow by the name of Bob. He’s a Deep Ellum fixture and has even had a video dedicated to him in rcent times.

On May 20th, Trees in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district will be simply raging! Six of the nation’s top DJs will be facing off in a unique DJ competition that aims to put their skills in arranging diverse beats to the test. The DJs featured include: Competing DJ’s include: DJ Fishr Pryce (Dallas), DJ Diverse (Oklahoma City), DJ Vajra (Boulder), DJM (San Antonio), DJ Rockwell (Houston), and DJ Spin (New Orleans). You might remember we told you about an earlier round of this sweet competition a few months back. It’s back, and we’ve got some tickets for you (maybe)?

Here’s more from the press release:

The stage has been set, now it’s time to lay it all on the line. They’ve powered past the competition in local battles and now the six best party-rock DJs from across three states will meet in Dallas for a regional throwdown to earn a coveted spot in the National Red Bull Thre3Style Finals.

Not quite your standard DJ battle—far from it actually—Red Bull Thre3Style is a creative and innovative 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 of music in a 15 minute set. Genres don’t matter, all that matters is the DJ’s ability to mix them and make them work together. Competing DJs are judged on their track-selection, technical skills, creativity and most importantly, their ability to bring the house down.

The top two winners from the Regional Final will fly to Vegas in November to compete in the US Finals 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.

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Want free passes to this very cool event?? BestBuzz is giving away 10 pairs of tickets to the National Red Bull Thre3Style Finals at Trees. Deadline to enter is May 18th. The lucky recipients will be notified on Thursday the 19th. Sharing with your friends on Facebook gets you extra entries, so invite your music-loving friends!

 Go to our Facebook Page and see how to take advantage of the very cool offer!

 

 

Grant Jones leaving it all on the stage last Wednesday night.

Yes, Austin is the live music capital of the world. That might be a fancy, market-tested slogan, but it’s also hard to argue with. Of course, those who live in the North Texas region aren’t exactly hurtin’ for quality acts that set up shop within the Metroplex on a weekly basis, either.And for fans of rocking country (or any kind of country music, for that matter), Dallas is especially kind to their musical appetites. Well, just this past week, we took the chance to see a few of our favorite North Texas area country bands in a couple of different environments, yet the results were all the same: Stellar.This past Wednesday night, Grant Jones and The Pistol Grip Lassos took the dimly-lit stage at Renfield’s Corner in the Uptown section of Dallas. A European inspired pub might seem like an odd place for a revved up country act that sings songs about heartache, drugs and more heartache, but in Dallas, it seemed to fit. Jones and his crew, featuring Miles Penhall on lead-guitar, blistered through tunes featured on their still relatively new, self-titled album, as well as songs that Jones says will be featured on the bands next record. Among the new material, “Amphetamine” was a powerful gem and made us hope for Jones’ new album much sooner than later. Their countrified rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” came off as a honky-tonk standard and not some hick-ish send-up, performed only for the sake of attempted irony.There’s a lot of pain in the music of Grant Jones, but his impassioned performance for the crowd of several dozen made it seem as though he was getting all of the hurt out before he stepped off the stage around 11:00pm.

On Sunday, braving the dropping temperatures and the looming possibility of rain, we headed to Deep Ellum, just outside of Downtown Dallas, to help celebrate the 48th Birthday of a Dallas musical landmark/institution, Adair’s Saloon. Simply suggesting that this place has some character is pretty much missing the point. The grease-smeared walls are covered even more by the marks-a-lot drawings from decades worth of drunken and frisky, musical revelers. Their annual celebration consists of beer, bands and, yes, baskets of crawfish (the main three B’s of any good weekend afternoon, right?), and this year’s line-up, which performed in the parking lot behind the saloon, consisted of Big Gus & Swampadelic, The Will Callers and The King Bucks

 

Swampadelic gettin' Cajun with it on Sunday.

Big Gus and Swampadelic (a band we featured, back in the summer of 2010) were an appropriate pick, given the crawfish being served was as Cajun and spicy as many of their Louisiana-informed tunes were. Blending blues, zydeco, country and rock, Big Gus wasn’t concerned with the weather as much as he was making sure everyone in-front of him was having a good time and having enough crawfish and beer. On this afternoon, the band favored some boogie-woogie jams that featured steady beats and smokey guitar, which was perfect, given the temps were still dropping.

Thankfully, we hung around long enough to catch a few tunes from Ft. Worth’s the Will Callers. Look in the dictionary under “promising young act” and you’re likely to see a picture of this group. The recent winner’s of the Shiner Rising Star award, the foursome just finished the recording of their upcoming record with none other than Ray Wylie Hubbard. Frontman, Jake Murphy has continued to grow into his power as a formidable lead singer, and entertainer. Interestingly enough, the Will Callers and Grant Jones have both suffered tragedy in recent months (check out a feature article I wrote on their respective circumstances), but the Will Callers, just as is the case with Jones, have displayed a resiliency that’s nothing short of inspirational.

So, here’s the lesson: Head Uptown, or Downtown, when in Dallas, and you’re extremely likely to find some serious, live country music available rather easily.

Just received word from Best of Texan Brian Nesbitt about some goings on in Deep Ellum tonight. Seems that there is to be a protest against the Buju Banton show at Palm Beach Bar. He’s directed me towards the Dallas Voice article which states:

Resource Center Dallas and Equality March Texas have made plans to protest the concert of Jamaican reggae musician Buju Banton on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Efforts to cancel the show were largely ignored by the Palm Beach Club, the Deep Ellum venue hosting the show, protest organizers said. The club’s MySpace page has even stoked the controversy.

“Their site actually says ‘Let them protest,’” Rafael McDonnell said.

McDonnell is the strategic communications and programs manager for RCD. Upon hearing of Banton’s upcoming concert last week, the organization called for immediate action to urge the venue to stop the concert.

Though Live Nation (House of Blues) pulled out of promoting the concert in April after the LA Gay & Lesbian Center began efforts to oppose the national tour, it looks like the concert will go on as planned tonight in Dallas at Palm Beach Bar, however those wishing to attend Equity March Texas’ protest tonight are directed to meet up at 7 p.m.

For more details, please click here.

You know that stupid, yet alarmingly accurate theory of six degrees of separation? Well, my Kevin Bacon is none other than Richard Ross. It started innocently. I stumbled into Deep Ellum’s Kettle Arta handful of years ago and was completely smitten with three whimsical paintings of peas. Green peas. Angry peas. City peas. I must have quizzed Kettle owner Frank Campagna for over 15 minutes about the artist. For months, any time there was a Richard Ross painting I’d snatch it up. And it seemed that every time I’d walk into the gallery, to my frustration, Frank would exclaim, “You just missed Richard!”

About a year into turning my home into what is now a Richard Ross museum, I met one Mr. Joshua Warr. It was open mic night at Fallout Lounge and local music advocate and all-around great gal, Cindy Chaffin, had invited me out. While she set up her equipment to record the evening’s festivities, I sat at a table with then strangers: Girl on Top’s Andrea Grimes, local musician Anna Proctor and some blond kid with a goofy, faux-hawk. I was entertaining them with puppets. The blond kid turned out to be my future hubby, Joshua, and the next time I’d run into Josh would be a month and a half later.

m_03671fcd9e9d766807464bb4f9e8dd45The next time I saw Josh, he asked me out and I promptly said, “No.” However, we began spending a lot of time together despite my decline of his offer. The first time I visited Josh at his apartment, I was appalled.  Strewn about the house, in closets, leaning against furniture, and tossed upon the kitchen table were the works of Richard Ross. Paintings. Sketches. Pastels. Pen and Ink drawings. I flipped the hell out, “How do you have all of these? How do you know RICHARD ROSS?” Josh sized me up, sighed, and, with the practiced condescension of Anna Wintour, replied, “I only lived with him for like 4 years.” And thus began TWO new friendships.

Over the years I’ve had the luxury of getting to know the introverted Ross by way of racous tales of his bass playing days in bands like the French Ticklers, Brutal Juice (Ross was the first bassist) and the Five & Dimes, his willingness to help donate art for good causes and, in one case, help us move. As a collector, I’ve also learned a lot by watching his work grow, morph and gain in popularity. 

m_aecfe481c51cc5cef4debbfa4fa768f9I often laugh aloud when I recall a conversation we once had. I inquired about his choice in colors, the muted greys and blues often combined with metallic paints, blindingly outrageous oranges and near neon greens. I’d stupidly made the assumption that the color choices were deliberate and I was wrong. To put it into Richard’s words, they were just the more affordable ones he had at his disposal, “Paint ain’t cheap.”

And while in the past Richard has dabbled in angry peas, philosophical bubble-headed beings, introspective Spanish-speaking dogs, cat riding renegades and LSD-esque cityscapes, now he’s turned his astute eye to something new: Landscapes. Landscapes on Richard’s terms.

Ross’ one man show at Kettle Art, 100% Recycled Landscapes, consists of years of drawings and sketches, which have been, in Ross’ words, ”chopped up.”  He describes the show and it’s works this way, “I’m a landscape artist, really. I looked at all of my old figures and stuff, and decided to do an airplane view…looking at the story from a higher plane. You know, like a geologist, every layer tells a story.”

You can take and look and purchase the bird’s eye view of Richard’s world on Saturday, June 13 from 7 to 10 p.m at his one man show.

However, if you can’t wait to get a piece of his inspired genius, he’ll be hosting Kettle’s Sketchatorium this Friday, which is fitting. You see, Brutal Juice has a reunion show next door to Kettle at Club Dada.

See what I mean about those six degrees of separation?

100% Recycled: Richard Ross
June 13th from 7 to 10 p.m.
 
Kettle Art Gallery 
2714 Elm Street
Dallas, Texas

If you are anything like me, then you pretty much know where all the good burger spots are in Dallas (and are always trbc_looking for new ones). And, if you’re like me then you have eaten at Twisted Root Burger Co. down on Commerce St. in Deep Ellum more times than you really care to admit. Pretty much everything on their menu is delicious, although I’m partial to the Cheddar Burger. (What can I say? I’m a creature of habit, folks!)

It seems the good folks behind the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Thrus & Dives caught wind of the little burger shop in Deep Ellum and filmed a feature on the place.  On Monday, April 27 the world will get a chance to see what is so great about Twisted Root as Guy Fieri and his blonde, spiky hair will air their feature of Twisted Root Burger Co. on the show.

Hopefully the show will be a chance to showcase the great atmosphere of the joint–with its bare brick walls, bottle cap table tops and their affable employees.  I always find great enjoyment in the anticipation for which film/television character name I get so I’ll know when my order is ready.  So, I hope they showcase that little bit of fun as well.

And maybe, just maybe, it will attract more stars to the place other than Stallone, Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz whose autographed pictures are hung with pride.  True story, my brother came into town for a visit and I told him I would take him down to get a burger at Twisted Root.  We placed our order, got our names and drinks and we sat at our table.  As we sat there talking I noticed a guy sitting at the table behind us that looked vaguely familiar.  Then it popped into my brain: KENNY LOGGINS!  Yep, none other than Mr. Danger Zone was sitting directly behind my brother.  I’m not sure how I survived that brush with greatness, but I was able to maintain and eat my burger.

If you don’t believe me or Guy Fieri on how great the place is I suggest you go down to 2615 Commerce Street, or their new location at 730 E. Campbell Road in Richardson and check it out for yourself.  If you think I’m wrong, well…

Deep Ellum just always seems to be one of Dallas’ favorite punching bags.

If media scare tactics, ridiculous city government ordinances, street and DART construction, public perception and what seems to be your average Dallasite’s lack of taste for anything that might provide them with an intellectual, visual or aural challenge wasn’t enough, now this beat-down of an economic crisis has one much loved Deep Ellum business feeling yet a new sting.

In 2005, noted muralist Frank Campagna and his friend Kirk Hopper decided to go into business together and with the help of an open-minded landlord and the extraordinary efforts of a handful of some talented artists, Kettle Art was born.

frankcampagnaFor the last four years, Campagna, Hopper, and Kettle’s founding artists have dedicated thousands of unpaid hours and plenty of tears and sweat to Kettle Art and it’s mission, and it shows. Kettle Art has now hosted over 30 shows, the majority of which have helped to launch the careers and give notice to some of North Texas’ finest artists.

But now Kettle Art really needs your help…

On Saturday, February 21 thru April 11, Kettle Art will be presenting ‘For the Love of Kettle’ in an effort to help the “little gallery that could” keep its doors open. The exhibit will feature over 100 pieces 8 x 10 inch all of which will be priced at a very frugal fifty bucks! Consider it your good deed of the month, a 1-2-3 punch of helping one of Deep Ellum’s finest institutions, an artist or two, and making your house look pretty.

The list of the 50 participating artists includes but is far from limited to Richard Ross, Ryan Thies, Jason Barnett, Tyson Summers, Jayme Nourallah, Emma Flocke, Diablo Texas, Tony Bones, and Frank Campagna himself.

For more information, visit Kettle Art online or in person.

Either one is a good bet…

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