The Dallas Observer recently published a story about some dude trying to build a web portal that would simulcast every concert in Deep Ellum. Every one. Lots of people went bonkers, most of them stepping up on several amplifiers to get to their high horses to froth at the mouth, saying that club-concert attendance is already poor and that giving lazy North Texans just one more excuse to curl up on their couches is counter-productive. (But if people aren’t going to shows in the first place … oh, never mind.) There are no details to parse, no real information, just one man’s dreams to go by. However, the man attached to them, Jantzen “Jedi” Ray, whose self-esteem appears to be in great shape, told the Observer that several venues are already onboard. Deep Ellum on Air, the Observer tells us (twice), would be the only service of its kind on the planet.
“In a few years,” Jedi is quoted as saying, “we believe everybody is going to be watching everything online. We want to provide a place where everyone can get involved, even if they can’t be in Deep Ellum to see the show.”
Now, his belief that everybody will watch “everything” online is patently preposterous and reveals him to be jussst a little out of touch –– along with hanging the fuck out and drinking drinks (sometimes alllll the drinks) and making out in the shadows, the stuff that people with instruments do onstage is also sort of important to the live music experience. But I really like what he’s saying about people who simply can’t be in Deep Ellum for shows. There are about 7 million –– 7! million! –– people in North Texas. You know about how many people go to club shows in a North Texas city on the average weekend night? About 500. In Houston, where I lived for a spell, they were called The Fickle 500, the same 500 folks who went to every recently opened bar, restaurant, or theatrical production and every local concert. You know how when you stumble across a porn online (accidentally, of course) you want to re-enact that porn with fine people? Same with music. When someone who is not part of North Texas’ Fickle 500 gets a taste of the live music experience in Deep Ellum, he or she is going to want a piece of that hot, hot action.
If you’re in a band and constantly worry that your shows aren’t going to draw well, then maybe you have every right to complain about Deep Ellum on Air. Maybe a live broadcast would hurt you. Maybe all the people who have cagily avoided your band would, finally, have their consuming thoughts put to rest.
An Unlikely Happy Hour
Another part of Jedi’s opinion that I love is about accessibility. In a region of nearly 7 million souls, you can bet that there are thousands –– if not hundreds of thousands –– of us who simply can’t hang out in nightclubs anymore. Some of us are physically impaired. Some of us are psychologically defective. A former DUI convict and the father of a 3-year -old, I would pay a pretty penny –– a damn pretty penny –– to be able to watch simulcasts of live performances at Lola’s Saloon, The Grotto, Shipping & Receiving, The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, and all of the other key venues in the Fort (with half or more of that fee going toward the artists). One of my oldest old-man gripes –– “These damn rock concerts start too damn late!” –– will be slain on Thursday. That’s when Atlantic Records signees and Fort Worth homeboys The Unlikely Candidates will perform with Colleyville soft-rock specialists Shadows of Jets at the glorious, bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed hour of 7 p.m. at Lola’s. Cover is a measly $5. To see a major-label band from our backyard! And a kickass band that’s unsigned but just as good! Now we’re talking my old-ass man language. See you there.
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