Unger: “The reason I love [this group] is because there’s no ego here.” Allyson V. Williams

On the Flipside

No chords, no problem for this Fort Worth/Dallas jazz trio.
Flipside has had the same lineup for 12 years, but there’s little else about the jazz trio that can be called predictable. At a late-night gig at Scat Jazz Lounge in November, Flipside bassist Paul Unger began a hard-swinging...

The Ape Hangars simply looks like a party (courtesy of artist Keenan Nichols).

Hang 10

The Ape Hangars and Dreamy Soundz reanimate surf-rock.
In early 2012, Ryan Coplen and Hank Tosh of the Fort Worth surf-rock quartet The Ape Hangars decided it was time to record their debut album. They knew they wanted to work with producer Jennifer Rux, co-founder with husband Rob...


Caliche Burnout: Hurts so Good

So you’re expecting another ho-hum New Year’s Eve. As usual, right? There’s always so much pressure to have big fun on the last night of the year that even if you have a good time, you still feel depressed the next day fo...


Killer or Filler?

A tribute, a garage tape, and a Christmas EP make up this month’s critical darlings.
Now that we’ve named our favorite albums, EPs, and songs of the past 365 days or so, let’s march right into 2015 with this batch of recordings. –– Anthony Mariani   Various artists’ Safely Down: The Songs of Jaso...

The Hanna Barbarians -- all current and past members; most of them are shown here -- will be dearly missed. Come send them off in style Friday at Lola's and Saturday, Jan. 17, at The Grotto. Photo by Vishal Malhotra.

Fallen Empire

Though the loud, raucous, Stones-esque Hanna Barbarians recently announced they were breaking up, they essentially broke up the day they formed in 2009. “We had this barbaric attitude, if you will,” guitarist Alex Zobel sai...

The Orbans’ Vedere was noteworthy for multiple reasons.

Top Local Albums of ’14

(Well, they’re one dude's faves.)
1.) A couple of years ago, as I was interviewing Calhoun songwriters Tim Locke and Jordan Roberts, the discussion turned to The Orbans’ tremendous debut album, When We Were Wild. I don’t remember exactly how Locke put it, b...


Local Songs of the Year

Now that the year is coming to a close, let’s look back at some of the great songs that came to us from the 817 or thereabouts. In celebration of 2014, below are my favorite 14 local tunes of the year. I’ll share my 14 fave...

Kitchens (left) and Dub have segued into pure metallic improvisation.

Churning Urn

Though still full of doom and sludge, Stone Machine Electric is embracing the chaos.
In the most redeeming sense of the term “typical,” Stone Machine Electric is truly atypical. The Arlington metal duo of drummer Mark Kitchens, an architect and the father of two young children, and guitarist/singer William ...


Merry Metamodern Christmas!

Some idiot chatterbox on a local sports talk radio station –– which is like saying “some idiotic idiot,” I know –– proclaimed his hatred for Christmas music the other day, spewing something to the effect of: It all ...


Killer or Filler?

Bitch Bricks, Maurice Davis Band, and The Paychecks have got new recordings for your earholes.
Punk attitude goes a long way in defusing listeners’ bullshit detectors. And you don’t have to play loud, clanging guitars at breakneck speeds to manifest that punkitude. But punk is easy, right? Just grab your instrument a...