1) Gonna try again to be brief, because it’s Friday and you probably have shit to do. Tonight’s show at 1912 is a real banger: besides Fungi Girls, Bummer Vacation (who have recently updated into a 2.0 form of sorts – a fancy way of saying “lineup change”), Tornup, and DJ sets by YUNG WAVE, there’s Dallas rap group The Outfit, TX. Lemme tell you, I saw them on Wednesday at the Dallas Observer Music Awards; though the event was redolent of self-importance, individual pageantry, and (admittedly) a lot of genuine gratitude, it was the Outfit, TX who totally owned the night. There are lots of good choices for shows on Friday (including Obie Trice at the Grotto!), but for my money, seeing the top of Dallas rap scene pay a visit to 1912 Club is a no-brainer. Too bad I have to work; #dontgettogo.
Here’s the Outfit, TX feat. Sudie:
2) Also on Friday: a house show in Denton. For once, I am going to dispense with the hoary, reductive jokes about the four or five things I “know” about Denton, and simply say that the house show at the Lion’s Den (622 Austin St.) is benefiting Syrian refugees. For a mere donation of $5 (and/or a donation of clothing sized infant to adult, or the kind of toiletries that human beings aged infant to adult typically need), you will be helping Doctors Without Borders (with your cash) and Islamic Association of North Texas (with your material donations). You will also get to see Clear Acid, aka the best new band I saw all year; besides Clear Acid, the lineup is a cavalcade of incredible band names (none of whose music I am familiar with): Soy Babies, The Noids, Sexual Jeremy (best name in a group of best names), Joy Sores, and Smear. If you’re the kind of person who blathers on Facebook about how cruel and injust the world is (from the safety of you French-flag colored profile pic), get off your slactivist ass and drive it to Denton. The five bucks you give to these people will go a helluva lot farther toward effecting change than the sum of all your impassioned status updates. Check out Soy Babies from 1919 Hemphill this past July:
3) Eh, how about one more Friday night show? At the Keys Lounge in Wedgewood, a Big Mike cover band called Electric Church will be performing the music of Jimi Hendrix. If going to a Denton house show to see a young band called Clear Acid sounds scary or too far away, you can go to Keys and probably see an old man on clear acid, or at least hear one tell you a story about taking acid and listening to Are You Experienced. Hey look! It’s Jimi Hendrix totally wasted:
4) The Grotto’s 7th Anniversary party is on Saturday, and the celebration features (in order from 8pm to midnight) some bands that made the comfortable dive on University a home: songwriter Lindsay Hightower’s band Hightower, outer space groove-specialists Vodeo, Mountain Kid, Hanna Barbarians (when I think of a band that represents a particular Grotto scene, I will always think of the Barbs), and longtime Grotto staple and RATM-tribute Prophets of Rage. Party on. This bill should be fun. Per this trippy video, don’t call Vodeo “Shake the Moon”:
5) Having cut my band teeth in a local reggae/ska-punk band for seven years (or 13, since we still play a show every nine months or so), I am fully aware of the difficulty of booking a ska-punk band or putting together a ska-punk show. Oh, it’s not impossible, but for whatever reason, the third-wave ska that hit huge for a brief moment in the mid-’90s seems to get the sniffy derision from critics and music fans that people normally lump onto rap metal or Burger King. Now I know as well as you do that the burp you make after eating a Whopper should count as a chemical weapon attack, but some people really like Burger King; I’d say there’s actually more than some because Burger Kings persist and are popular still in many parts of the country. Okay, maybe not popular, but the next time you talk to someone who likes Burger King, he or she can probably tell you where the closest and preferable BK locations are without looking at a Google Map, because they are huge fans. And that’s sort of how third-wave ska-punk bands are still around. There are just plenty of fans that still listen to that music. And why not? Ska is fun, and a lot of us just aren’t wired to enjoy the National.
Nowadays, perhaps because young people who listen to music seem to be unbothered by dorky stylistic hallmarks like checkered-print band stickers and upbeats, a ska show doesn’t seem as unlikely to happen as it once was. As a case in point, 1912 Club’s Saturday night bill has bands that would’ve been perfectly at home on a bill in 1995, like in a VFW hall in some shitty NorCal town with Janitors Against Apartheid and Slapstick, and headlined by Pezcore-era Less Than Jake. Sorry for sliding down memory lane for a second. Anyway, here are the bands: Austin’s Beat Dolls headline, with openers How’s My Driving, Primo Slam, and the Buzzkills. If the ska elements of these bands put you off, don’t sweat it because their respective sounds are mostly pop-punk oriented. Cover is $5, and the bar is cash only. Also, here’s a JAA video from 1994 that features visual and aural Star Wars references: