Listen Up

Various artists

How Y’All Doin’ Tonight? (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
With all the breast-beating and rending of garments that one periodically hears regarding the state of “the scene” here in the Fort, it’s worth remembering that DIY venue 1919 Hemphill has been in operation since 2002, ma...


Scatology (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
It might not matter to anyone else, but it does to me: Merkin was the last band I watched grow up onstage at The Wreck Room. That’s what’s fun about following local music: seeing assemblages of kids who are frankly not that...


A Troubling Noise (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
This CD-R came with a note from its creator, one Jonathan O’Connor, which read, “Chris Hardee said I should mail you one of these. I was also a fan of PFFFFT! and thought you might like this.” Right away, my bullshit filt...

The Panic Basket

Hard Bread (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
Here’s the first recorded result of a collaboration between electronics wizard Darryl Wood (ex-Confusatron and ex-Parasite Lost) and Darrin Kobetich, solo acoustic guitar virtuoso who’s jammed bluegrass with the Blackland R...

The Dangits

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
I’d resigned myself to the fact that nobody around the Metromess plays real, unhyphenated rock ’n’ roll anymore — you know, that blues-based music with a backbeat Chuck Berry said you can’t lose?

Nels Cline Singers

Initiate (Cryptogramophone Records)
Ken Shimamoto
A musician I know put it thus: “Nels Cline is a warlock!” While I doubt the Wilco guitarist is conversant in the dark arts, I agree that his instrumental prowess approaches the supernatural.

The Slack

The Deep End (Idol Records)
Caroline Collier
On The Deep End, The Slack offers a little something for every pop-rock fan. No matter what your favorite band is, it’s probably sonically quoted somewhere here. At least Dallasite frontman Chris Holt and his three bandmates ...

Johnny Butler

Solo (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
While solo saxophone recitals are a time-honored tradition in the avant-jazz field (think Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell), the addition of looping technology — long beloved of rock guitarists — is a relatively new wrinkle...

Tobias Gebb and Unit 7

Free At Last (Yummy House Records)
Ken Shimamoto
Tobias Gebb is a Manhattan-born-and-bred drummer who leads a band in the style of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. That long-lived, drummer-led unit that was the gold standard of straight-ahead jazz from the ’50s (when Blakey ...

Transient Songs

Cave Syndrome (Indian Casino Records)
Ken Shimamoto
This full-length debut effort by a Seattle-based ensemble built around Haltom City expat and former Hasslehorse member John Frum marks a significant step forward from 2008′s Plantation To Your Youth EP. In some ways, Cave...