Save the Cool Clubs
If you haven’t done so already, check out this week’s cover story by my evil alter-ego, associate editor Anthony Mariani, about the Fort Worth music scene. That handsome devil writes about the discrepancy between the vast number of good or “legit” bands versus the low number of “legit” venues (i.e., places that cater primarily to original indie-rock and Americana). What he didn’t have room to go into was the discrepancy between some musicians and promoters. Veteran muso Ray Liberio (The Me-Thinks, Vorvon, Stoogeaphilia, EPIC RUINS) thinks promoters are important, primarily to help club owners and bands remain organized, but he also misses the days of yore. He’s particularly fond of the dearly departed Wreck Room’s 900-lb. ledger. “I miss going to The Wreck Room and saying, ‘We wanna play,’ and [bartender] Carl [Pack] getting that big book out and slamming it down on the bar and saying, ‘How about Friday?’… ‘Who we playing with?’ … ‘I don’t know. It’ll fill up as we get some more shows.’ ” Liberio is also of the belief that the number of legit venues is waaay down. However, some promoters believe there are more places to play now than ever. Well, which is it? Yes, Fort Worth has more venues and potential venues (coffeehouses, galleries, retail spaces) than ever before, but if you keep funneling cool bands into nontraditional venues, you’re eventually going to starve legit venues into nonexistence. Of course, without legit venues, your town will become just a bunch of cookie-cutter flare bars. Basically, Fort Worth needs a medium-sized to large concert venue, to make our city the destination that Dallas (or Austin or Houston) is. With a large venue come national acts, and if the large-venue owner has knowledge or good instincts, he or she will book local bands to open for the nationals. And when national and local acts come together, there’s a chance for the kind of love connection that can catapult the locals to national prominence. But some national booking agencies think that marquee acts can play only Dallas or only Fort Worth, which is utterly false. Dallas and Fort Worth couldn’t be more different, and in conversation a couple of local club owners said they rarely –– rarely –– get people from Dallas or Denton (except for the largest shows). Local musicians said they rarely go to Dallas or Denton to see shows. “Touring bands can play [Fort Worth, Dallas, and Denton], boom, boom, boom, and stay at the same hotel and make triple bank,” Liberio said. Triple bank: I like the sound of that. Don’t you?
If you have plans Friday that don’t involve having fun at Magnolia Green Park, cancel them. The second installation of our and Fort Worth South Inc.’s annual seasonal outdoor concert series, Friday on the Green, is happening there (the 1100 block of Lipscomb between Rosedale Street and West Magnolia Avenue on the Near South Side). Featuring three of the killerest outfits in town –– the fuzz-rocking Hanna Barbarians, soul-brothas Quaker City Night Hawks, and the Stones-y Will Callers –– the show, as always, is free and starts at 7-ish. Bring your friends of both the two- and four-legged varieties, but leave the coolers are home –– food and cold, frosty beverages will be available for sale.
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