Around $8,500 in musical equipment was lost when this Near Southside garage apartment was set ablaze recently.
Around $8,500 in musical equipment was lost when this Near Southside garage apartment was set ablaze recently.

From the looks of things, an old mattress had been set on fire. The flames rose to engulf the garage apartment above, the practice space and home-recording studio of Ricky Williford of local proto-punks Big Fiction and popular garage-rockers War Party. Fortunately, no one was there during the early hours of Monday, Nov. 12, when the blaze whooshed through the Near Southside space; no one was hurt or injured. The police are investigating, but Williford isn’t holding his breath. “It’s pretty low down on their priority list,” he said. The inferno cost Williford and his bandmates about $8,500 in instruments and gear (mics, cables, computer equipment). The owner of the property, a relative of a friend, does not have enough documentation to file an insurance claim on the destroyed items, Williford said. To help recover some costs, Austin’s Cabra and Fort Worth’s insane Spacebeach will join Big Fiction for a benefit show Thursday at Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666). More than the instruments and gear, the biggest problem facing both Big Fiction and War Party, Williford said, is finding a new practice space. “It’s been difficult getting together for practices, even getting all equipment in one place … and not having a location to store our gear,” he said. Ultimately, he said, he would like to have a house, where he and his bandmates can practice, play, record, and store their stuff and possibly create a scene along the lines of Dischord Records in the D.C. area. “It could be our headquarters,” Williford said. To donate, e-mail, call him at 817-223-9866, or send mail to him at 2218 Fairmount Ave., 76110.

Some fun-lovin’ North Texas bands are getting together at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Magnolia Motor Lounge (3005 Morton St., 817-332-3344) to help raise money for Norton Records, a 30-plus-year-old independent record label based in Brooklyn that was horribly flooded by Superstorm Sandy. For many young Fort Worthians, Norton was their entrée into our city’s loud and crazy past. In 2004 the label put out Fort Worth Teen Scene, a three-volume compilation of Beatles-inspired music by ’60s-era Fort Worth kids, including Larry & The Blue Notes, Gnats, and The Barons. The benefit show will be headlined by the Southern Gothic Fort Worth/Dallas quartet Dove Hunter and will feature a delightful mix of gritty North Texas bands: Year of the Bear, Oddlot, War Party, Ape Hangars, Street Arabs, and Casa Magnetica. A $5 donation is requested, and proceeds will go to Norton Records. Donations also can be arranged by e-mailing



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  1. Such a bummer to hear about Big Fiction/War Party space…But equally uplifting to see that there is a band in town called Casa Magnetica. Even from early-age visits to old school Six Flags Over Texas, I knew that was a promising band name!!