Seems like just last week we were wrapping up our annual Music Awards – I can’t believe they’re back. (If you could hear my voice, you’d detect traces of wispy joy and a soupçon of anguish.)
Check out the ballot for our 10th annual Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards. It’s online at FWWeekly.com and in this week’s paper. Somewhere. Just look for the burning piano. Anyway, a few of the categories stand to be heated, especially Artist of the Year: Four of the seven nominees are either signed to a major label or have a major distribution deal. The ballot will be published in every issue from now until Sunday, June 24, when we’ll do like we did last year around the same time o’ the summer and have a big-ass festival downtown. I don’t know which bands are playing yet, so don’t ask, but instead of 24 in four clubs like last year, we’re gonna shoot for 30 in five clubs: 8.0, Embargo, The Flying Saucer, McDavid Studio, and The Pour House.
Admission, once again, is free, and there will be compilation c.d.’s for sale for five dolla that will feature select nominees’ music. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Haven of Tarrant County. So who chooses which bands appear on the ballot? Well, as in previous years, associate editor Anthony Mariani asked me, his writing staff, and more than two dozen other scenesters here and in Dallas and Denton to fill in blank ballots. Mariani tallied up their votes, and – bada-bing, bada-boom – we got your ballot right ‘ere. Special thanks to all of the nominating committee members who lowered themselves to vote. You’d think we asked them to take a frickin’ calculus test – only about a dozen folks responded by the deadline.
Apparently, the only yokels ’round here who care about the scene are the musicians and their friends. The rest, including us sometimes, are users. Sad. Visit WomensShelter.org. … A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of serving as a judge for Mayfest’s inaugural battle of the bands. One particular group of youngsters stood out – and by “stood out,” I mean “haunting my dreams and waking hours ever since.” Temporary Utopia is an Arlington quintet whose members aren’t even old enough to shave. They’re inexperienced, I know, and I shouldn’t rag on ’em, and I’m not going to. I just think they suck but in the best way possible. Not in some hipster, let’s-play-our-instruments-backward kinda way.
But like you’ve-never-heard-anything-like-this-before. Their suckitude is singular, and they’re probably the only band I’ve ever heard that manages to not just walk but dance the tightrope between deadly sincere and deadly ironic. As guitarist Justin Sullivan, 18, goes off on crunchy hair-metal tangents, singer-keyboardist Edward “Poncé” Balusek, 17, slams his hands down on huge discordant chords. Sullivan’s brothers, bassist Jared, 16, and drummer Jordan, 14, wrestle a little with keeping time – the show belongs to Sullivan and Poncé, the keyboardist in the Arlington High School jazz band.
In a world where staunch individualism is prized, someone could make a killing off marketing Poncé and company to Hipster Nation. Check ’em out yourself on Saturday at J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, 400 E. Abram St. in Arlington (817-274-8561). Visit MySpace.com/TemporaryUtopia.
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