For the past four years, Spune Productions has been in the vanguard of hip music in the Metroplex. A ton of cool indie bands that have been written about in hipster bibles like SPIN and Pitchfork Media have come through the region, including Low, Okkervil River, and Starflyer 59, all courtesy of Spune.
A few months ago, the all-purpose Fort Worth-based company took over the languishing Cavern in Dallas and turned it into a bona fide destination. This spring, Spune will hook up with The Wreck Room’s Brian Forella and bring a little bit of hipster cachet to the heart of Cowtown via Forella’s new rock club, 6th Street Live. “I see it as a Gypsy Tea Room,” said Spune boss Lance Yocum, referring to the legendary Deep Ellum club that will be shutting its doors in a few weeks. “I think we can make [6th Street] a destination.”
The Wreck is on the verge of closing, but no one knows exactly when. Whenever that turns out to be, Forella wants to send the Wreck out with a bang. The entire month of April features a murderer’s row of rock talent: lots of regional and national bands that consider the Wreck a home away from home, and old-school Wreck faves, including Woodeye, a defunct and beloved local roots-rock outfit that will reunite specifically for the occasion. In addition to The Cavern, Yocum also books bands at Hailey’s in Denton. He said he’s been looking for a Fort Worth spot for about the past two years. Several weeks ago, after hearing that Forella had bought a new club, Yocum reached out. Fort Worth “is a great market in need of a diverse music venue that attracts touring bands,” Yocum said. A bit larger than The Cavern, 6th Street is just the right size, Yocum said, for the type of hip indie bands he specializes in. Like the Wreck, and unlike just about every other rock venue in the Metroplex, 6th Street will be open seven days a week, with live music Thursday through Saturday, and some sort of performance art the rest of the week.
The benefits to Yocum are twofold: Since he recently left AEG, a major entertainment corporation, where he worked for years, he can focus on raising Spune’s national profile, which he hopes will help him generate more interest in his annual Wall of Sound festival. (Though its two previous installments have taken place in the spring, the 2007 version is set for the fall at a venue yet to be announced.) The benefit to Forella is that, while he won’t be able to carry on the Wreck name – or its grungy authenticity – he will be able to keep bringing good music to town. It won’t be as uniformly raw as it was at the Wreck, but, he promises, it will still be good. And Forella also gets to work with a burgeoning force that may (finally) put Fort Worth on the big-time musical map. Yocum’s “reputation precedes him,” he said.
In last week’s music section feature on Browningham, “Cool and No Gang,” the name of the prog-rock band in which Browningham once played was incorrect. It’s Ohm. We regret the error.
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