“Ambition is the last refuge of failure,” according to everyone’s favorite legendary smarty pants Oscar Wilde. “Not so fast, my dead friend!” I say. Ambition also is an agent of change, according to everyone’s other favorite legendary smart guy, me. And ambition is behind Gifts And Testaments Of Robin Hood Road, a new part-classical, part-pop, part-New Age, part-atonal conceptual album by Fort Worth’s The Antique Harmoniums.
The brainchild of Fort Worth composer and Southeastern Louisiana University music-school alum Jon Charles Fortman, the ensemble is not a band per se but an ongoing studio project — the eight members have never performed together. Recorded in bits and pieces over several years at studios in Arlington, Dallas, and Louisiana, Robin Hood Road features instrumentation as myriad as searing electric guitar, majestic choir (The Helios Ensemble, Texas Girls Choir), rock drums, and elegant piano. (Think: Mr. Mister meets Trans-Siberian Orchestra.) Simply put, there’s nothing around that’s quite like The Antique Harmoniums. At least nothing as ambitious. Though they have never performed in person — and might not anytime soon — they will be making themselves available for meeting and greeting at the album’s official release party: 7:30 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 21, at Wesley Hall at the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth (downtown at 800 W. 5th St., 817-339-5073). Visit www.myspace.com/theantiqueharmoniums. …From the Cool New Local Band You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Department: The Noble Chocolatiers, based on their tuneage on www.myspace.com/thenoblechocolatiers, have a sunny but not saccharine, semi-sloppy, jangly, melodic, Lemonheads-y thing going on — the Chocolatiers’ frontman sounds a lot like the ‘heads’ Evan Dando, all scratchy-voiced and unimpressed with everything, including himself. On Saturday, the band will open for some allegedly hot-shit Brooklyn outfit called Bishop Allen and New York nü-hippie Darwin Deez at Lola’s Saloon-Sixth (2736 W. 6th St., in the West 7th Street corridor, 817-877-0666). … As first reported in Blotch (“Weekender,” Aug. 28, 2009), Titanmoon recently embarked on a goodwill tour of Dubai, Japan, and Pakistan. Frontman Tyler Casey and company returned home last week and said they’re going to help open a school/orphanage in Karachi, Pakistan. “Our intent in going there was to encourage Pakistanis to help Pakistanis in need,” the band told Blotch last week. “This will definitely be a culmination of those efforts.” The band is currently recording a follow-up to 2008’s exemplary Film Black. Visit www.myspace.com/titanmoon. … You may recall a recent column (“Fort Worthless,” Oct. 28) in which I beat my breast and gnashed my teeth over KXT (91.7-FM), the KERA empire’s new terrestrial all-music radio station that debuted on Monday. Why? For the station’s inaugural month, several North Texas artists were invited to perform in KXT’s studio, in Dallas. None were from Cowtown. (Am I being petty? I mean, if you’re claiming to serve all of North Texas, you should have Fort Worth near the top of your list, right?) Anyway, I’ll be shutting up. For now. 100 Damned Guns, three-time Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards winners for best C&W, will be performing at KXT at 10 a.m. on Friday. On Sunday, the band will open for Split Lip Rayfield and Dallas’ The O’s (one of KXT’s first in-studio guests, natch) at Granada Theater (3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 214-826-1885). Visit www.myspace.com/100damnedguns.
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