What’s Up, 2014?!
The past couple of weeks have been for looking back, and there was a lot of good to refer to, even beyond quality albums and songs. Three (three!) indie-friendly venues –– The Chuggin’ Monk, Shipping & Receiving, and Queen City Music Hall –– opened. Plus, The Unlikely Candidates got signed by a major label, and several other local acts, most notably The Longshots, Pinkish Black, and Southern Train Gypsy, were picked up by major indies. The Toadies also had a homecoming party of sorts by bringing their annual Dia de los Toadies festival to the not-so-sandy shores of Panther Island Pavilion, and Austin’s Oh Whitney, whose main man, Peter More, is a Fort Worth native, recorded their latest album with Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer Donald Fagen. And in Fort Worth, no less! Specifically at Eagle Audio Recording on the Near Southside (“Oh Donald,” Feb. 13, 2013).
Yeah, some bands broke up, but that’s to be expected. (And no group’s demise was greeted with more public heartache than Big Mike’s Box of Rock. As great as the BOR was, though, my moments of silence will be reserved for Skeleton Coast and Sonic Buffalo.)
But there’s already a lot to look forward to. Here’s what’s on tap over the next couple of months: new recordings from The Orbans, Quaker City Night Hawks, Telegraph Canyon, The Longshots, Fungi Girls, Secret Ghost Champion, and probably a bunch of other big names, because no one in this scene can sit still for a minute. And there are some exciting on-the-verge acts that should hit 2014 square in the face.
One newish outfit definitely worth watching is The Fibs. The vehicle of singer-songwriter Preston Newberry has just recorded its debut full-length with no lesser lights than Jennifer and Robby Rux of the Dreamy Soundz conglomerate. If you’re thinking, “Yay! More Velvet Underground-y/Moby Grape-y stuff!” you would be correct, at least based on the lone Fibs song that’s circulating the interwebs, “Mid Night,” and several recent performances (including at our 2013 Music Awards Festival). The album, Hex Hex Hex, will officially be released on Saturday, Feb. 8, when The Fibs –– Newberry backed by Jennifer on bass and vocals and Robby on drums –– play The Where House.
Hex Hex Hex is the 24-year-old Joshua native’s first proper recording. His expectations are pretty reasonable, to say the least. “I just want to drink some whiskey tonight and have some coffee in the morning,” Newberry said by phone from Chicago –– his other band, Jack Thunder & The Road Soda (a.k.a. Newberry and drummer/guitarist Todd Klepacki) is on tour. “I don’t expect too much out of it,” he continued about the album. “I expect people to listen to it and hopefully like it.”
Another artist worth watching is Lost Child. The solo project of singer-songwriter Todd Bridges specializes in soulfulness, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get some help from Quaker City co-frontman Sam Anderson and Foxtrot Uniform’s Kenny Uptain, who have given him ample stagetime during their acoustic sets around town.
And then there’s Ronnie Heart. The nuevo-disco-rock singer-songwriter is planning to record and release his debut full-length before summer. “I have lots of material and am pretty close to having it all cohesively laid out,” he said.
Get your hot pants out and get ready for some sexy times.
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