1.) If you’re reading this on the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, and you’re not already at Gexa Energy Pavilion (1818 1st Ave., Dallas, 214-421-1111) for KXT’s Summer Cut, there’s still lots of time to catch Iron & Wine, The Hold Steady, and headliners Death Cab for Cutie.
Founded in the late ’90s, Death Cab is huge but isn’t quite mainstream. I don’t know what that means either. The mainstream has become sort of like a sprawling suburban shopping mall. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Eagles are the Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Dillard’s, places that offer a little something for everybody (a Nerf football for Little Johnny, a shiny new pair of orthopedic kicks for Grandma). Sprinkled in between the other classic rock bands (and country superstars and old-school hip-hoppers), who, not unexpectedly, occupy more than 90 percent of the mall’s real estate, are boutique spaces for relative newcomers (Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Adele, I dunno, Mumford & Sons –– are they still a thing?). Death Cab for Cutie, though having sold thousands of records and having sold out hundreds of mid-sized venues all over the world, are the Panda Express in the food court: allegedly too esoteric (read: not enough like hamburgers or pizza) for the average American teen/tween and his or her parents but still alarmingly successful.
The mainstream will likely remain frozen in time. With so many platforms for music, there never again will be a critical mass of listeners capable of swaying the market in one direction or another. Way back in the day, a band had only to conquer terrestrial radio. And then it was terrestrial radio and MTV. Now it’s terrestrial radio, satellite radio, venues and clubs all over the world, movies, TV shows, car commercials …
Still doesn’t mean a band can’t make a decent living off just music. Exhibit A: Death Cab for Cutie.
2.) Pinkish Black drummer Jon Teague will make his debut with the Ghidorah of loud, aggressive, pummeling local music, Denton’s Bludded Head, tonight (Friday) at Macaroni Island (2311 Houston Pl., Denton) with Sur, Filth, and Cerulean Gaillo and tomorrow night as part of The Unconscious Collective’s album release with Baring Teeth and Hex Cult at Taqueria Pedritos (4910 Capital Ave., Dallas, 214-826-2940).
3.) Never was a big fan of Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor always seemed to be trying so damn hard to be intense when all he was doing was shouting sophomore poetry over loud synths. I’ll take Little Richard and his piano in some sketchy Southern pool hall in the early 1950s any day. Or Bludded Head. That’s intense.
Along with Soundgarden and Cold Cave, NIN plays Gexa Energy Pavilion (1818 1st Ave., Dallas, 214-421-1111) on Sunday.
4.) Playing The Grotto (517 University Dr., 817-882-9331) tonight (Friday) with Arlington doom-rockers Stone Machine Electric, North Texas metal-punks Sonsofbitches, and Austin’s Fouled Out, Heavy Glow is a pretty tough, definitely legit stoner-rock trio from San Diego.
Cover is just $6.
5.) Ride for Dime, an annual charity fund-raiser in honor of slain Arlington guitarist Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott, is this weekend, starting tonight (Friday) at The Rail (3101 Joyce Dr., 817-560-RAIL) with Texas Hippie Coalition, Heavy as Texas, Crowned by Fire, White Light Cemetery, Junk, and Volume Dealer.