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Music Feature

Merkin Tools Along

Though the guys in the mod-rock trio rarely rehearse, they’re still super-tight and highly capable.
CAROLINE COLLIER
The guys in the mod-rock trio Merkin get a lot of flak for naming their band after a pubic wig. Calling their first full-length album in an eight-year existence Scatology (the study of excrement) probably doesn’t help encoura...


Red Starlet Glistens

Led by New York City producer Robby Baxter, this Arlington trio explores time … and space.
CAROLINE COLLIER
When producer and multi-instrumentalist Robby Baxter moved back to Arlington last year after climbing the music industry hierarchy in New York City, he felt he was “rolling the dice,” he said. He had done production work fo...



Through the Black & Blues

Creative differences aside, this rock ’n’ soul quintet has a bright future.
CAROLINE COLLIER
The four men and one woman who make up the Black & Blues have all blazed their own trails through the music business. Guitarist Mark Lettieri contributes to the music of marquee artists such as Erykah Badu and Tito Jackson ...


Dan Family Do’s

Sticking out like a sore thumb is one of the cowpunking Dan Family’s best attributes.
CAROLINE COLLIER
Brett Walker, who plays standup bass in the cowpunk trio The Dan Family, writes songs in his head as he drives a tractor around his family’s Parker County farm all day. His co-songwriter, guitarist Daniel Payne, finds inspira...



Irv Jones’ Beats

The Fort Worth producer is changing the rap game one monster hook at a time.
CAROLINE COLLIER
Irv Jones doesn’t stop to rest for any day of the year. On Thanksgiving, the producer, drummer, singer, and artist developer was recording at his home studio and plotting the next move for his label, Sphere Music Group. Jones...


Skeleton Coast Goes Native

The Fort Worth quartet specializes in jungle pop.
JIMMY FOWLER
Currently all the members of the avant-garde pop quartet Skeleton Coast live in the same house. Singer-multi-instrumentalist Bobby McCubbins, singer- multi-instrumentalist Ryan Torres, bassist Mike Best, and drummer Brian Garci...



Igneous Grimm Spaces In

The only electronics owned by this band are musical. Otherwise, it’s 1972 all over again.
CAROLINE COLLIER
As often as it has been emulated, the spirit of classic rock has rarely been truly reproduced. Igneous Grimm, a Cleburne-based psychedelic roots-rock quintet, harkens back to the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd (especially Obscured by ...


The Villain Vanguard’s Revenge

After a series of drummers, the Fort Worth groove-funk band is back and tougher than ever.
CAROLINE COLLIER
When The Villain Vanguard formed in 2004, the then-sextet launched into Fort Worth’s eclectic music scene with brash boogie and high hopes. After 2006’s Enter the Platypus, the guys felt they were on the verge of breaking i...



Hanna Barbarians Feel Good

With a new album on the way, this Doors-ish sextet sees nothing but stars.
CAROLINE COLLIER
The six guys in the Hanna Barbarians are hippies, indubitably, but they have put a decidedly practical spin on their freewheeling peace ’n’ love aspirations. The music is Southern-fried, psychedelic, and open to improvisati...


LAZËR Fires One Off

The Deutschland-obsessed hip-hop duo LAZËR sharpens its musicality.
JIMMY FOWLER
Onstage, the techno hip-hip duo LAZËR delivers a high-concept performance punctuated with lowbrow shenanigans. The official — and invented — backstory for ‘the boyz’ is that a dictatorial master rhymer ...