Music Awards, Pandora, FWRA
Allow me to apologize in advance for the overdose of Music Awards mumbo-jumbo that commenced last week, but we want you to be well aware of the free nearly-50-band festival on Sun., Jun. 26, in eight venues in the West 7th corridor. Make sure you’re in town for performances by Calhoun, The Burning Hotels, The Orbans, Spoonfed Tribe, Josh Weathers & The True+Endeavors, Pinkish Black, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, The Hanna Barbarians, The Cush, Fate Lions, Quaker City Night Hawks, My Wooden Leg, Stella Rose, Holy Moly, Sally Majestic, Beauxregard, and dozens more, all from Fort Worth. Sweetening the deal, Sally Majestic’s Scott Vernon will host an after-party/guitar pull at the Wild Rooster (3024 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-332-WILD) at 10 p.m., the official end of the Music Awards festivities.
I have a desk job, so to make the magical creation of hard-hitting journalism a little less like re-arranging my sock drawer while being beaten with a wiffleball bat, I listen to local CDs and internet radio. One of the most popular, if not the most popular, stations is Pandora. Offering 40 hours of free listening per month (a nominal fee applies after the 41st hour), Pandora draws tunes from the Music Genome Project, a database of millions of songs linked to millions of other songs by certain sonic qualities –– if you enjoy, say, the glam-tastic stylings of the New York Dolls, you can click a button, and Pandora will play similar artists in addition to the Dolls. Neat, huh? But there’s no telling how artists/songs are chosen. I contacted Pandora’s press people and asked, “How do you select artists/songs to play?” Of course, no one ever got back to me, which leads me to believe that, yes, just like terrestrial radio, internet radio is the same old good ol’ boy network. Which sucks, because isn’t the internet supposed to be all egalitarian ’n’ shit? Pandora does spin a couple of Fort Worth artists, including Calhoun, Black Tie Dynasty, Green River Ordinance, and, as of last week apparently, Darrin Kobetich. Pandora also plays a lot of crap, and the stations created around the local artists are pretty sucky. I just listened to a half hour of Calhoun Radio and heard only a single Calhoun song, just one, the first track played. Thirty minutes. One song. Unlike that tune, “These Are the Dead Days,” the three subsequent Calhoun songs that aired over the course of the next 45 minutes were all from one of the band’s ancient CDs. (I’m not totally anti-Pandora. I’m silly for my “Mambo Italiano” Radio and Swingin’ Christmas Radio stations.) At least Slacker’s playlists are a little more current. Also, after about an hour of a local-artist station, Pandora runs out of similar artists –– I just heard this dreadful Canadian pop-punk band Faber on Calhoun Radio. WTF, indeed. Then the station shut down completely, giving me the message, “It’s taking longer than expected to figure out the perfect track to play next.” Thanks for nothing. The moral of the story: Internet radio is good for a little background noise but might end up ruining your damn day.
On Labor Day weekend (Friday through Sunday, Sept. 2-4) at The Where House on the South Side, the inaugural Fort Worth Rock Assembly will convene. Featuring 15 North Texas bands, including Goodwin, The Hanna Barbarians, Quaker City Night Hawks, The Me-Thinks, Vorvon, and Sally Majestic, the FWRA will amount to simply a straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll jamboree –– each band also has to perform a classic-rock cover picked from a hat a few weeks earlier. (Definitely wanna hear Vorvon tackle “Moondance,” assuming that that Van Morrison classic is indeed an option. And I don’t see why it shouldn’t be. Just sayin’.) Assembly organizer Tony Diaz, who also fronts Goodwin and the Missile Men, is interested in a specific sort of crowd. “We just wanted to do a local rock ’n’ roll festival with and for rock fans,” he said. “Multi-genre music fests are very cool, but they’re done a lot here. This is something where folks can hold up their devil horns and play air guitar solos the whole time they’re there.”
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