Just when you thought the days of major labels’ swooping down from above and plucking obscure bands from the bowels of local music scenes were gone, along comes the news that one-man straight-edge softcore band PlayRadioPlay has been signed by Stolen Transmission/Island Records, a label whose roster includes, among others, Fall Out Boy, Thrice, and The Killers (yes, those Killers).
Usually, the local performers ’round here who get signed are underground rappers, artists who already make a pretty penny without any outside help, producing and distributing their own records and promoting them themselves, typically by word of mouth or through guerilla marketing stunts. I can’t recall off the top of my head the last Tarrant County act to be signed by a major, major label, a company with zillions of dollars to put behind marketing campaigns and tours. (Probably Eisley, but I’m not sure how “local” they are – they’re from Tyler.) But like the local rappers-gone-national, the mastermind behind PlayRadioPlay, 17-year-old Dan Hunter, has worked the DIY scene hard.
A few months ago, PRP reached one million plays on its MySpace page (MySpace.com/playradioplay). The number of plays now? 3.5 million. Hunter recently posted a message on the page that says he will first record an e.p. of existing tunes, then within the next several months to a year, record a full-length album and tour. To perform PRP’s tuneage – it’s extremely dancey in a Jpop-kinda-way but lyrically uplifting where other, similar music is merely ironic or scatological or just plain nonsensical – Hunter has added a guitarist and rhythm section. PlayRadioPlay performs Friday at The Door in Dallas (3202 Elm St.), with My American Heart, Action Action, Pistolita, Danger Radio, Meg & Dia, The Flipside, The Miles Casting, Wax on Radio, Patrick Alan, Eleisha Eagle, and Wes Butler. Call 214-742-DOOR.
… Not sure, but I’m guessing that when jazz critics and historians think of jazz towns, Fort Worth doesn’t spring to mind. In fact, I’m sure it doesn’t. But just like every other city, we’ve had our share of giants: sax-man Dewey Redman, swing legend Bob Wills, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, free jazz inventor (that’s right, “inventor”) Ornette Coleman, whose recently released album Sound Grammar was the subject of our Music section feature last week (“Present Tense,” Nov. 1). But while the Caravan of Dreams was great, we’ve never had a bona fide spot such as New York City’s Birdland or Village Vanguard.
And not counting Wills, who was more warmly received in other cities, there’s never been a bandleader associated with our Town of Cow – until now. New Orleans native, Katrina evacuee, and a jazz drummer who’s worked with several marquee jazzmen, including N’awlins natives Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr., Adonis Rose is now living here, and he’s put together an Ellingtonian ensemble that features many local musos. He’s christening the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra next Thursday, Nov. 16, at Bass Performance Hall’s McDavid Studio, located around the corner from the Bass, at 310 E 5th St. Managing director of Bass Hall’s operating agency, Fort Worth Performing Arts, Paul Beard recently told the Fort Worth Business Press that he sees in McDavid the potential for another Birdland. Though he may be in La-La-Land, Beard gets points for being enthusiastic. For more info, call Bass Hall, 817-212-4200.
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