As with baking or weight-lifting or “writing,” there’s a right and a wrong way to create ’60s-ish jamboree-style rock ‘n’ roll. The “wrong” hit record store shelves a couple of months ago and, as usual, was fawned over by everyone (a.k.a. Rolling Stone and Pitchfork) except HearSay.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Howl is so fake-y, so gratuitous, so trying-hard-to-be-cool that after one listen, I wanted to sprint to L.A. – where BRMC is based (like, no duh) – and slap each one of the musicians in his pretty, pouty, Gap-model face. The right way to do ’60s-ish jamboree-style rock is à la the cut*off’s new Rorschach e.p., produced by Salim Nourallah at his Dallas-based Pleasantry Lane Studios. All five songs are exemplary, especially “Adults We Know,” a diggable and groovy stumble through a wispy, angsty haze, and “Hold Me Down,” a diesel-fueled workout replete with twangy instrumentation, hootin’ and hollerin’ in the background, hand claps during a breakdown, and a little bullet mic action. (Sample lyric: “It’s five o’clock on Friday, and my pocket’s pretty full / Bottle full of bourbon, everything is turnin’ cool.” Two words: Kick. Ass.) The best track and one of the best HearSay’s heard all year, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” is, during the verses, as lo-fi and sing-talky and fantastical as any great Lou Reed excursion and, during the chorus, as big and catchy as anything by Elliot Smith, with its sweet, disaffected harmonies. The disc will be ready for release in February. Visit or see them tomorrow (Thu) with party boys Darth Vato at the Cavern (1914 Lower Greenville Av, Dallas; 214-841-9091).

… Every year for the past few years, Experience the Art of Music – a weekend-long extravaganza in which various arts disciplines intermingle in one venue – has been giving Cowtown a touch of Dentonian hipness while raising funds for various worthy causes. This year’s installation will take place Friday and Saturday at Axis (120 S Main St, FW; 817-870-AXIS), Experience’s most spacious location yet. But even though the square-footage on which to get all arty-farty has expanded, the bill – while fantastic – is relatively conservative. With the exception of a performance art piece by co-organizer Kate McDougall, most of the acts – including Goodwin, Pablo and the Hemphill 7, and Confusatron – are regulars on the mainstream scene.


They’re all groove-and-rock-based crowd pleasers, which may make you wonder if Experience’s honchos are more interested in providing just another excuse to rawk rather than fulfilling the event’s ostensible mission – to expand people’s minds, dude! (Or something.) Where are the noisicians? Where’s the gore-loving pan-sexuality of The Undoing of David Wright? Where’s the hip-hop? Oh, well. The event’s lack of adventurous billing shouldn’t keep you from showing out. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center of Tarrant County/Fort Worth. See, the cyber presence of the event’s sponsor, the Fort Worth Arts Consortium.

… Speaking of charitable causes, last week’s The February Chorus gig at the Aardvark raised more than $4,000 to help a friend fighting cancer. Not bad for a briefly advertised show. … Correction: In last week’s column, HearSay mis-identified the band for which Feb Chorus guitarist Jordan Roberts used to play. It’s the Audiophiles. HearSay regrets the error.

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