For whatever reason, dubstep hasn’t taken off in Fort Worth (or Denton). Dallas is silly with the stuff, but the good ol’ Fort? Not so much.

Maybe the Stockyards are to blame. Though we all know better, a lot of North Texans still think of Fort Worth as “Cowtown,” full of big hats, big hair, and both kinds of music: country and Western. We ain’t got no int’rest in yer fancy dance music! Or maybe dubstep –– a newish, mostly instrumental electronic-based music that isn’t always danceable –– has too much cultural baggage. Maybe in a hardworking, blue-collar town like Fort Worth, glowsticks and bikinis are a little too showoffy, too glamorous, too fake-seeming.

But since dubstep can now be heard in Grammy-winning songs and McDonald’s commercials, maybe the genre, like martinis (circa 2000) and indie-rock (circa 2005), simply needs time to catch on here.

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Dub Commission has been doing its part to warm Fort Worth to the sound since 2007, when the genre first became popular (and first took hold in Dallas). Co-founded by then-twentysomething Fort Worthians DragonMan, Soy Capaz, and Blackat, Dub Commission is now 10 DJs strong. Do more members mean more success? “It gives us diversity and variety, but it’s also hard to book a night with 10 people instead of a couple,” said DragonMan, a.k.a. Nate McCaskill.

The crew got its start –– where else? –– in Dallas, spinning at places like Absinthe Lounge, Green Elephant, and Afterlife. The only place in Fort Worth that’s consistently proven hospitable to the crew –– and, obviously, to dubstep in general –– is Froggy’s Boat House on White Settlement Road. Every other electro-music-friendly place in town, DragonMan said, relegates dubstep to the ghettos of weeknights. “It seems like no one wants to give [the genre] a solid chance,” he said. “It’s always hip-hop or Latin or Top 40 mixed in. [Venues] don’t want to risk their big crowds, their bread and butter, on weekends” with dubstep.

However, DragonMan sees no reason why dubstep can’t become popular here. “Enough people drive to Dallas for shows,” he said. “Maybe if there was a central spot on a consistent basis.”

Dub Commission has been quiet over the past few months but is returning now with a bang. Or is that “with a boom”? On Saturday at Froggy’s, Bikini Birthday Bash will feature national headliner Evol Intent plus DragonMan, Tony D, Britnibritnibritni, Big T, Tetris, 3D, Wickid, Experiment, Chale, Bassick, Inflatable Date, and the newest commissioner, Fracture. DragonMan expects a pretty solid turnout. “Based on a regular old Friday night [spinning at Froggy’s], we can pull 100 people on our name alone,” he said. “Hopefully, with a big headliner and six solid weeks [of promotion], we can get a good push. Sometimes we’ve had 300 to 400 people here, between inside and outside.”

Cover is $10 to 15 (half off for anyone in a bikini) and is 18 and up.

Anti-mainstreamers will be encouraged to know that Dub Commission is keeping it real. “We still try to stick to the underground side,” DragonMan said. “That’s why we’re not on the map in Dallas. They’re going the mainstream route. We’re going for the underground, where it’s more about the music and less about the show and glitter.”


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  1. No, no, no. This article totally overlooks the issue. ELECTRONICA as a WHOLE has never been welcome in Fort Worth venues. Dubstep is a subgenre that was developed in the latter half of the decade, but the unfriendliness towards electronica has been going on MUCH LONGER than the last 5-6 years folks.

    It has nothing to do with the recent rise of dubstep. A venue is not “electro-music-friendly” unless its playing that music on a weekend. It has to do with poor management and closemindedness, period. How about venues let DJs play what they want to, and not dictate top 40 crap? If people love top 40, hop in your car during rush hour and listen to it as long as you want.

    • I completely agree, it really doesn’t matter what genre of electronic music it is, it’s all being completely neglected in Fort Worth. I can’t tell you how many people I know that all love some form of electronic music here in Fort Worth. The people are here but the supply of good names and nights is a rarity.

      If you want good electronic music in Fort Worth and to be a part of the movement here is where you can find it: Froggy’s on Tuesday nights, Bar 9 Wednesday nights, and Red Goose on Thursday nights.
      They are all weeknights but if enough people show up to these events, the owners will feel more comfortable with throwing some weekend events.

      Another big issue is that seeing a big name in Fort Worth is also very rare. And this Evol Intent show is a push in the right direction, but you can’t expect everyone to be into the underground music. There are plenty of big DJ’s out there that have made it and still play really good music without all the unoriginal, repetitive, commercial stuff.

      If you book them, they will come. I can only imagine how much business they would get if a local club was to book a globally renowned DJ.