If you lived in or around the Fort in the late aughts and ever even glanced at this column, you would know that my love of Tame … Tame and Quiet is matched only by my love of family, the great Satan hisself, and New York-style pizza. After becoming a North Texas hit seemingly overnight, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Aaron Bartz, second guitarist Darren Miller, and drummer Boyd Dixon –– and, later, bassist Pat Ferguson –– put out one of my favorite local albums of all time. Tin Can Communicate remains mandatory listening for anyone who claims to know anything about Fort Worth’s underground rock/punk/avant-garde scene. Bartz and Miller were doing that bubbly arpeggiated guitar thing long before the arrivals of Two Knights and Cleanup, two of North Texas’ most popular underground prog-punk acts whose guitarists do a lot of tapping and pulling off. And there may be no weirder, more disorienting, more fantastic voice in all of local rockdom than Bartz’. Two words: Freak. Ee.
I’ve may have told you before that Tame/Tame is back. But this time I really mean it. Look at all these shows the boys have got lined up: Saturday night at the Sunshine Bar with the stompingly loud Bad Feeler and semi-psychedelic Bulls; Thursday, Aug. 13, at Lola’s Saloon with Bulls, Lady Kira, Austin’s Honey and Salt, and Fort Worth’s only Atlantic Records signees, The Unlikely Candidates; and Saturday, Aug. 22, at The Boiled Owl Tavern with Dallas/Fort Worth giants Dove Hunter. In the words of Babu, the wheels are in motion!
Bassist Ferguson, who fought for our country in Afghanistan and who’s been living in San Antonio, has been replaced by Jeff Williams, who played his first TTXQ show in June. Drummer Dixon has moved onto other things, leaving the throne open for Jason McMullen (History at Our Disposal, Jetscreamer, Raised by Tigers), who’s been with TTXQ since last year. Even better than all of these Tame/Tame shows is the news that the band is working on new material.
“We just did some rough demos about a month ago, so I can work on lyrics,” Bartz said. “Recording plans pretty soon.” Though Britt Robisheaux (War Party, Jake Paleschic, Bludded Head) is an option, Bartz said, no final decisions have been made. Bartz hopes Tame/Tame can release the album by year’s end.
As much as I love Lola’s and the Owl, the ’shine is probably the one TTXQ show that will get me off my ass. I’ve lived in Tarrant County for 13 years, and I’ve never been to a show there. I’ve hung out there a few times, mostly to day-drink on company time. I mean, to “interview sources.” The ’shine is fab. Love the ’shine. The sunken bar and low-riding swivel chairs –– and the haze of cigarette smoke and muted cacophony of horrible daytime TV –– make me feel like Capt. Kirk after he’s been demoted to the USS Fuckall. The biggest reason I’ve never seen a show at the Sunshine Bar has to be that the Sunshine Bar doesn’t have a lot of shows. It’s not what you’d call a traditional venue. Another reason is that, well, Arlington. Late night. Lots of beer. A Fort Worth family and bed calling me. I’ll just switch cheeks on the couch to retrieve my non-marked-up adult beverage from the coffee table while cueing up the next episode of Hell on Wheels, thank you very much. However! Frontman Bartz is from A-town, so you know he’s going to bring his, um, A game at the ’shine. Best part? No cover!
In last week’s column (“The Longshots’ Mucho Mango”), I misidentified the producer of The Longshots’ new EP. Mucho Mango was produced by Jordan Richardson, a.k.a. Son of Stan. I regret the error.
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