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!















Rodney Parker & 50 Peso reward impressed with tunes from the last two offerings, including alst year's EP, the Apology, Part I.

OK, for those who may be new to this here blog, or for those who just don’t pay close attention sometimes, we really love us some Slobberbone, here at Best of Texas. We also love us some concerts at the Granada Theater in Dallas.

So, with that out of the way, it’s of little wonder that this Saturday’s show at the Granada Theater is of extremely high interest to us. Slobberbone, along with Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward, will be gracing and sweating on the stage of the grand, old room, and it will be incendiary.

What’s even better is that we have some tickets to give awy to this most drool-worthy of shows. Thanks to our friends at the Granada, the first person to email me at kelly.dearmore@bestoftexas.com with the words “THE MIGHTY SLOBBERBONE!” will have their name on the list with a “plus one” for a friend, even.

Do yourself a favor and hit up this Slobberbone 101 write-up I posted a few months ago. You’ll be so glad you did!!

I know that we still might technically be still in the midst of Spring, but the temps are beginning to suggest otherwise. Each year, as our energy bills rise, so to does the list of concerts we all circle on our repsective calendars. Below are a few of the top tours and festivals hitting the state. Some you may know all about by now, and others on this list may be hitting your radar for the first time, perhaps. Regardless, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something for almost any taste in the list below…

Austin Psych Fest (April 29 – May 1) - As much of an oddball grouping as your likely to find all year. This intense, all-weekend bill will be filling the Seaholm Power Plant with all sorts of industrial noise and racous bad/good times. Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez Lopez group, along with A Place to Bury Strangers, No Joy and even Texan-goup This Will Destroy You, lead a sonic assult that will likely leave any attendees few questions as to why their ears are bleeding.

Wilco (Houston May 6, Denton May 7) – Not much to add to the simple fact that Wilco will be hitting a couple of places in our state. Word has it that some sort of release is nearing completion, but even if Jeff Tweedy and crew dont play new tunes, their classics are just that – classic.

Editor’s Pick! Homegrown Festival (Dallas May 14): What began last year as a relatively humble gathering of local bands, some of which had outgrown the city limits a tad, has become a full-fledged destination festival, this year. the name of the all-day shindig rings true, still though. Headliners such as Slobberbone, Neon Indian, Astronautalis, and School of Seven Bells are widely known around the country, but all started here in North Texas. The still-new and beautiful Main St Garden is an ideal location that soon might be too small for this budding festival.

Editor’s Pick! Mogwai (Dallas May 15, Austin May 16, Houston May 17) – Perhaps the band that gave real wings to what so many term as “post-rock”. The Scottish outfit has now been together for over a decade and a half, and after three years, they’ve just released an insanely anthemic studio album album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, which is their best effort since their debut record, 1997′s Young Team. Similar to a band like Austin’s Explosions in the Sky, who clearly adore Stewart Braithwaite and his crew, Mogwai has always looked to create moving soundscapes that escape simple categorization. The former Matador stars, now working with Sub Pop have had this American tour planned for a while, actually. The Granada Theater in Dallas announced this show back in November, giving fans plenty of time to brush up on their air-guitar and shoegazing skills. A Pitchfork review of the new record, while not glowing, summed up a feeling that has seemed to evident in the band’s recent performances by suggesting, “ On Hardcore, Mogwai sound like they’re enjoying being Mogwai again.” I can only imagine that us Texans will enjoy them just fine.

Editor’s Pick! Twilight Singers (May 30 Dallas, May 31 Austin, June 1 Houston) – Another Sub Pop act that has been around for a while will be making their long-awaited way through Texas. This project is a bit differnt, however. Greg Dulli, formerly the leader of Afghan Wigs, made this his secondary group, therefore output from this act was scarce until his main act disbanded in 2001. After that, releases havent exactly been prolific, but they have at least bore the mark of a real band and not merely a one-off side project. Case in point: Twilight Singers latest album, Dynamite Steps. An all-out alt-rock album that features agressive rock, with agresive melodies and a real sense for drama. Afghan who?

Houston Free Press Summerfest (June 4-5) - Talk about a line-up that doesn’t need much further explanation? The annual festival, held in Eleanor Tinsley Park, has really topped their already impressive acts from previous years. Weezer, Big Boi, Cut Copy, Yeasayer, Jason Isbell, and Beirut headline a line-up that has really strong support from Lower Dens, Hayes Carll, The Black Angels and Those Darlins, among many others.

Adele w/ Wanda Jackson (Austin June 12, Dallas June 15) – Hello, Girl Power! The current darling of the UK and the US album charts pairs herself with the Queen of Rock and Roll? Yes please! That’s a serious amount of soul to put onto one stage in one night.


One of the truly great, meaningful contributions of Denton to the national music scene has been slowly making its way back onto that very scene over the past year or so. The mighty SLOBBERBONE!

OK, maybe the title of this post is a bit misleading. I am not going to give you an unabridged history into the origins of the band and what has led to this glorious point of revitalization, but I am going to make sure you all have what you need to grasp this band’s power and to also understand that we, in North Texas, aren’t alone in regarding this band as an absolute, shredding treasure.

For those of you who arent aware, the band was formed in 1994 by lead man Brent Best, along with Jess Barr, Brian Lane and Tony Harper.  Over the course of 4 immaculately gritty and whiskey-soaked full-length albums, this foursome became well-regarded, even if not best-selling, in many parts of the country. Even Steven King, the blockbuster author, calls Slobberbone’s “Gimme Back My Dog”, from their 2000 album Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today, one of the three greatest rock songs of all-freaking-time.

After the release of their fine album Slippage, in 2002, and afteran appearance on the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, the guys decided to hang it up when Brian Lane, the amazonian bass player, decided it was time to move to Florida. After a few years playing with an altered line-up as a more pop-leaning band, The Drams, and many prayers from country-rock lovers all over, Slobberbone began playing shows again when Lane moved back to the North Texas region in 2009. With rumors of a new album in the works and Best putting the finishing touches on a solo album, I thought it was time to share a few links with you fine folks that will help you understand why it is that Slobberbone is so damn mighty.

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

If Slobberbone likes 'em, so do I.

Sometimes, I just feel like I am not able to properly discuss the high amount of bands that I really feel deserve your time. In an effort to spread the love a little more efficiently than I typically might, allow me to bring a few bands from our great state to your attention. Heck, many of you may be way ahead of me and might already know about some of these acts. if so, awesome…

The Bird Dogs - The rocking country band from Dallas, led by 1310 The Ticket’s George Dunham, has surely benefited from Dunham’s high profile as one of the more popular radio personalities, but their debut disc is solid, rocking country. Dunham’s writing displays a simple honesty that fits right into the grand, authentic tradition of country music.

High Five Family - Dallas has been enjoying what might best be described as a folk explosion, over the last couple of years. Bands such as The Beaten Sea, Something in the Wheel, Dallas Family Band, Doug Burr and Sarah Jaffe have lent various styles and approaches to the surprisingly versatile format. High Five Family doesn’t have a proper release just yet, but some demos are available on their website and offer a pleasing, compelling take on 70′s inflected, harmonious folk music.

Noble Dog – I’ll be honest: I am new to this Austin-based act. The fact is, I noticed that they are opening for Slobberbone (one of the greatest bands in the history of North Texas, more on them next week) in Dallas soon, and I checked out their Myspace page. Dirty, gritty, soulful, swampy and all the other cliches that people typically attach to this brand of rocking blues apply here, to a pleasing effect.

Well, I hope this gives you fine folks something to play around with for a little while, at least. Since I haven’t made this known before, please let me know if you feel that a Texas-based band or artist deserves a greater spotlight. I love to check out new stuff and would love to help promote the cause of any worthy, Texas performer.

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