Every “local” talk radio show you listen to, every “local” newscast you suffer through, every scrap of national media that pops up on your smartphone or computer –– their creators mostly all see Fort Worth and Dallas as one big happy city, when we most certainly are not (though happiness is a possibility). If the world’s Dallasophiles –– even the ones here in our backyard, some of whom are actually members of the mainstream media –– could climb down from the American Airlines Center’s flagpole or look up from their plate of Sonny Bryan’s and spend some time in Fort Worth, they’d see there’s more than enough going on here to fill 200 years’ worth of talk shows, newscasts, and column inches. Sure, Dallas has the Mavs and the Stars and is the name attached to the Cowboys and also has more funky retailers, Grade-A restaurants, and venues for large concerts and sporting events than the Fort. And, Queen City Music Hall notwithstanding (“Queen City Music Hall Coming to Downtown,” May 21), probably always will. But what does Fort Worth have? Oh, just three of the most kickass art museums in the entire Southwest. And, oh, just one of the most finely appointed performance halls in the entire country. And, oh, just one of the most prestigious musical competitions in the world. (For some of the best Cliburn coverage around, look no further than Kristian Lin, our nationally awarded film critic who’s also a boss classical music writer.)
Fort Worth also has some killer independent artists and musicians. As one big, fat, juicy middle finger to Dallasophiles and otherwise ignorant media types across the globe, we not so humbly submit our 11th Annual Music Awards Festival, Sunday, June 23, at eight venues in the West 7th corridor. Slated to perform are some of the best bands not only in Fort Worth but all of Texas, including Burning Hotels, Fungi Girls, Quaker City Night Hawks, Holy Moly, The Longshots, The Hanna Barbarians, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Foxtrot Uniform, The Will Callers, Ice Eater, Madras, and more, 48 in all. The show is free.
Do I recognize the irony that some of the participating musicians are either from Dallas or live there now (or, as in the case of Madras, are from even farther afield)? Sure. But anyone who can proudly say, “We’re from Fort Worth” or “We’re from Fort Worth and Dallas” (or “We’re from Fort Worth, Dallas, and Denton”) is fine by me. Plus, there are just some Dallas bands that happen to spend more time here onstage than in Dallas. God knows why, right?