The lords of local music giveth, and the lords of local music taketh away. No sooner did Axis close its doors for good last month than another, equally swanky club opened.

Off White Settlement Road in the spot formerly occupied by Pedro’s Trailer Park, Jack’s Off the Wall celebrated its grand opening last weekend with a series of shows. Friday night’s performance by inventive cover artists Velvet Love Box drew a decent-sized and unexpectedly diverse crowd – in all honesty, I thought I’d run into the same dozen or so VLB groupies who normally turn out for frontman Neil Schnell’s solo-acoustic Wreck Room gigs. (Yes, Tony Diaz, I’m talking about you.) Mostly young and decidedly fashionable folks made the scene, and they ate up VLB’s extraordinarily virtuosic renditions of slightly obscure tunes like chocolate-covered balls of condensed sex. (I kept my fingers crossed for Guns ‘N Roses’ “I Used to Love Her,” but I guess I’ll have to cross them a little more loudly next time!)

All of the brand-name designer clothing and stylish hair-dos nicely complemented Jack’s carefully and, from what I’ve heard, expensively wrought post-apocalyptic décor. The walls have been decorated to look like fallen plaster over light orange-yellow brick, and all of the trimming is antique-y. In a nice touch of understated opulence, the two plasma-screen tv’s near the stage are bordered by what look like antique picture frames. The only problem was that the room was a tad live, meaning that nearly every sound – from the guitarist’s softest strum (a good thing) to your drunk friend’s belches (not so good) – was amplified. Don’t fret, though: A little carpet and curtains will calm the place down a lot. The stage at 2731 White Settlement Rd. will be occupied tomorrow (Thursday) by countrified singer-songwriter Kurt South and, on Saturday, by country-popper Phil Pritchett. Call 817-850-9955 for more info.


… Ain’t nothing like hanging out at Rick O’Shea’s, listening to rock singer-songwriter John Price and chugging some Iron City beer, brewed in the city of Super Bowl XL champs, the Pittsburgh Steelers. (And don’t give me that “bad-call” crap. Even if Seattle’s first “touchdown” hadn’t been called back, who’s to say Pittsburgh wouldn’t have returned the ensuing kick-off for six and then rolled. Football, like life, is utterly unpredictable. You can’t boil a victory or a loss down to two or three seconds of an hour-long contest.) Price, who plays Rick O’Shea’s solo-acoustic every Sunday night, takes his full band to the Fort Worth Zoo tomorrow for the wild kingdom’s CrocTail Party, a happy-hour-type get-together from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $17 advance, $20 at the door. The hors d’oeuvres and booze are complimentary. Visit

… Can’t-miss show of the week: the newly revamped and freshly re-energized Voigt this Saturday at the Wreck Room (3208 W. 7th St.; 817-348-8303). Visit Voigt frontman Taylor Craig Mills at

… Tickets for Spune Productions’ Wall of Sound Festival go on sale Friday at Featuring Sorta, Deadman, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Starflyer 59, Kissing Cousins, The Czars, Low, Map, and a bunch of other bands, the event takes place April 8-9 at Ridglea Theater (6025 Camp Bowie Blvd.; 817-738-9500). Visit

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