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Raven Charter's obligatory "band in front of an old building" photo.

1) Is it me or has Lola’s been heavy on hard rock shows lately? I’m not complaining, it’s just something I’ve noticed. There’s probably never been a better time to be a Fort Worth music fan, but if you’re into hard rock, metal, and/or (imagine Hank Hill saying this) heavy alternative, you’re especially fortunate to have an embarrassment of riches of those kinds of bands right now. At any rate, Friday night is the Fort Worth CD release of Raven Charter’s new album, Reset. This song will probably be in the Raven Charter’s set:

I wouldn’t call that band “mathy” but they have some interesting rhythmic changes that remind me that long ago, in a dorm not at all far away, I told everyone I knew about this funky new band called Incubus, who had recently put out an album called S.C.I.E.N.C.E., itself full of rhythmic changes I could identify but not accurately describe. I’m not embarrassed by that or anything, and really, Raven Charter doesn’t remind me that much of Incubus. But I do still dig that S.C.I.E.N.C.E. record quite a bit, though I think there’s a lyric in one of the songs where Brandon Boyd mispronounces “sovereignty”. Give him an “A” for effort, I guess; and anyway, besides lead vocals, Brandon Boyd’s other contribution to early Incubus was didgeridoo, hand-drums, and dreadlocks – if he said words like “sovereignty” correctly, I’d probably think he was an asshole. As far as I know, he is a very nice guy. Huffer, In Memory of Man, and a rock trio called The Confounded are also performing; if you like the Phuss, The Confounded are right up your alley.

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2) Here’s a fun way to kill an hour of office time: a documentary about Mike Watt!

I’m pissed I’m gonna miss Mike Watt & The Missingmen at Three Links on Saturday. Last time I saw him was at the Granada about six years ago, where he put on an electrifying show with his backing band The Secondmen. The thing about Mike Watt is that he does everything in life with unremitting passion – certainly, if you’ve ever heard him talk or seen him play bass, it’s like he has a frenetic ghost inside that won’t let him quit until every word and note is spent – at that Granada show, he ripped this one bassline so hard and so fast that he literally staggered backward at the end of the song, almost falling into his rig. It was like watching a runner burn his last fuel to break the tape at the finish line. Never mind that he’s one of the most brilliant, inventive bassists in the history of rock, and never mind that his old band, the Minutemen, were a cornerstone on which punk and indie rock were able to lay the philosophical and aesthetic foundations that are the genres’ proverbial McMansions today. Even if none of that means anything to you, Watt is one of those bucket list performers everyone should witness (and in a small club like Three Links – wow!), certainly up there with the likes of Dick Dale and Billy Cobham, and arguably among the greats of the classic rock cannon. You want to venerate a dusty old mummy like Bill Wyman or John Paul Jones, be my guest; I just think Mike Watt is so much greater, not to mention way more fun to hear. So-called “anti-folk” hero Ed Hamell is opening the show; his caustic, sarcastic, acoustic punk is kind of a must-see, too.

3) I’ll be honest; I like promoting it, but I’m probably not the one who should evaluate local hip-hop. I used to listen to Jurassic 5 and the Roots once upon a time, but that’s like my mom having to weigh in on Colorado’s entire weed edible industry because she enjoys baking snickerdoodles. That’s why I’m going with this video of Kermit and Fozzie cut to look like they’re singing “Hip Hop Hooray”:

Regarding how Fort Worth’s hip hop scene compares to Dallas or wherever, I’m pretty clueless. Having said that, I’m happy to see more and more hip hop shows popping up; hopefully those who are better informed and more fervently interested are showing up to see them. If that’s you, then go to 1912 Club Saturday night, where local MC BKNOW (aka Ruben Salazar) is hosting the second Hip Hop Harvest night. Featured MCs include: NahFam Squad, Texas Finest, Casey Tex, Journal (of J3), Tha Craziac, Da U.A., MU$$, Beast DK, and Fort Nox. Cover’s $5.

4) This is Mondo Generator doing an in-store in St. Louis 12 years ago:

“Eh, I like the Queens of the Stone Age stuff from when Nick Oliveri was in the band.” That’s something I’ve probably said a couple hundred times in my life because I’ve had at least that many conversations about QOTSA. At best, I’m mostly disinterested in that band, but I’ll concede that Rated R is kind of a classic, at least among people who argue about what the best Kyuss record is (Sky Valley, duh).

Now, I don’t think Oliveri is a great human being or anything, but boy do I like his band Mondo Generator. I clued into them long after Cocaine Rodeo was new (probably about 2008); admittedly there are similarities between that album and Oliveri’s stint with QOTSA (chiefly Craig Kilborn Josh Homme), but Mondo Generator appealed to me more since it leaned into ’80s hardcore more. They’ll be at Lola’s Saturday night, with perennial high-volume fuzz rockers The Me-Thinks and Dallas metal band Dagger Club in the opening spots; in fact, I’m just going to call this kind of show a “Stoner Uncle” bill. Or maybe “Uncle Stoner?” I dunno. Say each one out loud, and whichever one you laugh at harder, lemme know and I’ll go with that.

5) Bobby Patterson is playing this Dallas barbecue fest Saturday. Here he is being dope as hell:

You like barbecue, right? I mean, you live here, don’t you? I am sort of compelled, in the most “content provider-y” way, to say something like, “Even vegetarians know how good Texas barbecue is!” (did you mentally imagine the sound of a wad of “tobaccky” pinging into a spittoon? Because I sure did), but that’s insane, because I recently ordered a dozen pork tamales while talking to a vegan in a bar, and she immediately got up and walked away looking COMPLETELY DISGUSTED upon her face. So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, I guess the Smoked Dallas BBQ & Music Festival will probably turn your stomach. To each their own, but if your “own” includes people who enjoy eating the flesh of animals, Smoked will be heavenly; I’m just gonna link to the Prekindle ticketing page, because it has a list of all the pitmasters and the bbq joints they rep (yes, Heim Barbecue will be there) as well as a cadre of “celebrated chefs” who will be serving from 1-5pm. Among them are Nick Badovinus and Dean Fearing, two names who undoubtedly give foodies huge food boners/food lady-boners. Food boners! Didn’t think I’d write a phrase like that today!

But also, there’s music, including a band called Dean Fearing’s Lost Coyote. If I had to guess, Lost Coyote sounds like it might have been a name for a Dean Fearing restaurant concept that didn’t make it past the spitballing stage, but whatever; I like Stephen King a whole lot, and you can bet I’d go see his dumb Rock Bottom Remainders cover band if such an opportunity presented itself, and fans of Fearing’s food should definitely see if his culinary skill translates to music. But besides a “celebrated chef” band, the lineup is as meaty as the fest’s cuisine: Asleep at the Wheel, Bobby Patterson, the Suffers, and Pleasant Grove will be joined by Dallas country supergroup Vandoliers and our own Quaker City Nighthawks.

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