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.

Ft. Worth has certainly got this festival thing figured out. For those who maybe unaware, Ft. Worth’s Mayfest and Main St. Arts Festival are among the states (the country’s??) greatest outdoor and family friendly weekends of good-times, without question.

A relatively new one has been added to the docket, and judging from the line-up, it’s a good bet to join the ranks of great festivals that Ft. Worth will boast about to other, less-festival savvy neighbors for years to come.

What began as Jazz by the Boulevard a few years back has now blossomed into a multi-genre two day event with a bill that tips its hat to the festival’s jazz roots, as well as caters to indie-kids, frat boys and rockers who arent exactly in the prime of their youth any longer.

For a second, let’s try not to focus on the scrumptious offerings form the fleet of food-trucks that will be offering goodies to festival attendees. Let’s just talk about the musical offerings. Notable north-Texas acts, several of which have been discussed here on Best of Texas, such as Calhoun, Oil Boom, Seryn, Telegraph Canyon, The Orbans and John David Kent will prime the outdoor audiences for national touring headliners like Dawes (harmonic folk-rockers from California), Lucero (gritty cow-punks from Memphis) and the resurrected Meat Puppets (psych/punk/alt-rock pioneers now living in Austin) will join the likes of Kermit Ruffins (New Orleans king of swing and a regular on HBO’s Treme) and even Marica Ball will be on hand to close out the fun on the various stages over Friday and Saturday night.

Don’t Forget to check-out the after-party scene, too. Our personal favorite? the Friday night schedule at Lola’s where Johnny Corndawg, Robert Ellis and The King Bucks will each offer a different version of classic country sounds. 

WHAT: Ft. Worth Music Festival

WHEN: Sept 30 – Oct 1

WHERE: Will Rogers Memorial Center in Ft. Worth’s Historic Museum District.

WEBSITE:   http://www.fwfest.com/

There’s really not much to say or add to what you see below. If you’re not famililar with the site Daytrotter.Com, then you’ve been missing out n some serious (and free) music by some of the biggest names (Death Cab for Cutie, Social D, Bon Iver) and brightest up and comers (Yuck, Portugal the Man, Dawes) that the musical universe has to offer. Big time. But, there’s good news: It doesn’t really matter if you havent clicked onto the site ever before, as there is gold beyond measure awaiting you from years of not visiting it before.

What’s even better is that many Texas-based acts have visited the Daytrotter studios in Rock Island, Ill and laid down tracks to be listened to and downloaded from the site. There’s always a great write-up and whimsical artwork to go along with the 4-5 songs as well.

Well, let’s get to it. Below are but a sampling of Texans that have Daytrotted before. You’d be crazy to not dig deeper, OK??

Matt the Electrician | Fresh Millions | Dale Watson | Dignan | Doug Burr | Old 97′s | Ben Kweller | Black Angels | Centro-matic | Jesse Dayton | Meat Puppets | Asleep at the Wheel | Monahans | Seryn | Robert Ellis

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