As always there are a lot of shows this weekend. However, all of the cool kids, and many not-so-cool non-kids (ahem, me and my friends), will probably be spending the weekend at Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666), the location of the second or third annual Lola’spalooza, three days of primarily local music. The event will take place on two stages (indoor and out-) and will get going on Thursday, when Bad Creek, The Roller (from Austin), the on-again/off-again Panther City Bandits, and the recently reunited Garuda perform as part of the Third Annual Cadillac Fraf Birthday Bash in honor of dearly departed folk singer-songwriter Chad Percy, a.k.a. Cadillac Fraf.
I’d never heard of either Bad Creek or The Roller, but I caught the Bandits not long ago, and they’re still pretty rowdy, clangy, and in-your-face. With their Irish-y, Dropkick Murphys-style anthems, the Bandits are one of a kind in these here parts. I haven’t caught the Garuda guys since they got back together, but I remember them from the days of The Wreck Room, the first rock venue/bar by Lola’s owner Brian Forella. Heavy, loud, and often breakneck are all you really need to know. You could qualify Friday’s lineup as a smokefest (though don’t be blazin’ anywhere near the building; you’ll be promptly bounced). You’ve got stoner-rockers The Me-Thinks and Vorvon and reggae-Rastas Pablo & The Hemphill 7. The evening will be rounded out by the grungy Stella Rose and Dallas’ proggy-metallic Mara Conflict. Saturday is devoted mostly to mainstream pop-rock, with Josh Weathers & The True+Endeavors, The Orbans, Quaker City Nighthawks, Luke Wade & No Civilians, The Cush, Fate Lions, Kevin Aldridge, Jefferson Colby, Exit 380, and Nick Choate.
Sunday should also be pretty interesting, offering a little bit of every kind of non-jazz, non-classical music. Stoogeaphilia will bring the proto-punk, My Wooden Leg the twangy rock, Maren Morris the Texas Music-ish pop, Darth Vato the post-reggae guitar crunch, Rivercrest Yacht Club the funk-rap, and Chris Johnson, Scott Vernon, and Taylor Craig Mills the introspective, primarily acoustic singer-songwriter melodiousness. I missed Lola’spalooza last year, but I heard it was a riot. I imagine that the 2011 version will be even more, uh, riotous, and I envision customers spending the night sleeping either inside or on the back patio, just to wake up the next day and do it all over again. Cover is $5-15 per day, and the show is all ages. Visit www.lolasfortworth.com. … One of my early picks for rock band of the year in our annual Music Awards –– they’re coming up in a couple of weeks –– the Missile Men were strangely disappointing when I caught their set at Lola’s in March. There’s nothing wrong with the songs themselves –– they’re all fantastic, full of driving rhythms, melodic choruses, and frontman Tony Diaz’ cinematic lyrics, the kind that almost always offer fresh perspectives on situations of both the romantic and existential varieties. Maybe the sound was the problem. Even though there were only about a dozen people there, the band had cranked up to 11. Perhaps as a result, everything came across as muddy and abrasive, when the band’s songs are full of crisp nuances. No word on when the next Missile Men show is, but go to www.myspace.com/missilemens for a listen to the quartet’s amazing pop-rock tunesmithery.
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