1) There are some good shots of what appears to be southwest Texas in this Jacob Furr video. Friday night’s show at Live Oak Lounge is headlined by songwriter Jacob Furr, whose heartbreaking Trails and Traces album is a must-listen for the next time it rains and you feel sorry for yourself — you might not cheer up at all, but you’ll certainly have a change of perspective. Though the acoustic-centric signifiers make this a “folk” show, as far as I know, all three performers are blessedly free of sidemen who play lone floor toms and shout backing vocals, which to me is always distracting; I just can’t take that shit seriously, especially when said sidemen go all-in with the “former Mennonite” costumes. Besides Furr, songwriters Cody Culberson and Americana ensemble Two Ton Folk also play.
2) Have you seen the Black Dotz? They don’t play that often; this video is from 2012:
Dallas booking agency King Camel Productions has been doing these “Local Education” shows that put a bunch of DFW bands (and Denton, too) on the same bill together; that’s probably not different than many of the shows that happen somewhere around here practically every night of the week, but Saturday night’s installment at Three Links is technically a festival, minus the pretensions and logistics of having a huge stages, cyclone fences, and hospitality tents. I like the hospitality tents, because in Dallas, they’re usually supplied by Fuzzy’s, but King Camel’s scaled down approach to showcasing local bands is much appreciated. Starting at 6pm with hip hop collective Fab Deuce, the two-stage bill features a wide-range of sounds across 12 bands: Mountain of Smoke, Dead Mockingbirds, Black Dotz, and Teen Slut round out the louder side of things, but there’s also hip-hop from Fab Deuce, Blue, the Misfit; and The Outfit, TX; plus straight ahead rock from Animal Spirit and stoner country from Jake Paleschic. Dallas pop princess Sudie plays immediately before Black Dotz, if that gives you any indication of the lineup’s diversity.
3) Gotta give it to the Chevy Music Showcase—there’s no better way to get a free, professional video of your band playing live, like this one of Somebody’s Darling:
If you’re one of those music fans who grouses that female artists and bands are underrepresented on local stages and in local media, then you need to be at Magnolia Motor Lounge on Saturday, where the always-entertaining, female-fronted Somebody’s Darling bats cleanup after Gollay, the full-band incarnation of songwriter Rachel Gollay. Somebody’s Darling fills their rock tank with a little bit of country; I’ve always thought of them as a rowdier Old 97s with a woman belting out the ballads. Gollay may not be as heavy on the amp gain and power chords as their counterparts on the bill, but what they lack in “rawk” they more than make up for with dynamic aural textures and arrangements. Simply put, these women boast two of the best voices around, so hear them in person.
4) LIVE, FROM NEW YORK… IT’S THIS DOCUMENTARY!!!
The Texas Theater in Oak Cliff has another fun movie-and-bands type of bill on Saturday, with the added bonus of standup comedians. After the new SNL documentary Live from New York! screens (starting at 8:30), Denton’s Vogue Machine, Fort Worth’s Nathan Brown, and Dallas’ Sealion play, with between-set jokes provided by Clint Werth and Tara Brown. I’m interested in the film because of the subject matter, but Clint Werth is also a big draw; his sets are funnier than pretty much any SNL bit in the years between “Opera Man” and “Dick in a Box”. Vogue Machine sounds like the soundtrack to an ’80s saction movie about vampires, and Nathan Brown’s Casio-core dance pop and Sealion’s surf punk make for an eclectic, entertaining show.
5) This weirdness is coming to Denton:
Austin-by-way-of-Weatherford electronic soundscape artist Botany (aka Spencer Stephenson) visits Rubber Gloves in Denton on Sunday night, headlining a show that’s heavy on samples, and probably a parking lot heavy on people waiting for psychedelics to kick in. Direct support comes from Cincinnati’s Evolve, a one-man hip-hop act who spits rhymes over woozy beats and wooshing samples seemingly culled from sci-fi Foley effects—his music sounds like if the SS Nostromo from Alien had a lido deck and Weyland-Yutani sent an android DJ for the crew’s entertainment. Dallas’ one-man electro act Cygnus is on the bill, as are Fort Worth rapper/DJ duo Tornup and Berto-G; check their video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omriih9Meyo