1) Tonight (Friday) is War Party’s release party for Pure Destroyer, their excellent, brand-new full-length album, held at Three Links (2704 Elm St, Dallas), with opening rock music provided by garage-vibing psyche-out artists Acid Caroursel, Same Brain’s moody, proggy jazz-punk, and the simmering, caustic fury of Bitch Bricks. Show is all-ages, cover is $10, bands start at 9. I’m tempted to call this Team to Beat Show of the Week. Here’s a War Party video from a couple years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZpXPazjspE
2) Also on Friday: Dreamy Life Happy Hour from 6-9pm at Dreamy Life Records and Music (1310 W Allen). This week’s edition showcases Chase Jewell, Beaubourg, and Vogue Machine. Free, all-ages.
3) Also also on Friday: Ansley and Devi at the Tin Panther (937 Woodward). Singer-songwriters with great voices doing their thing. Starts at 10pm, 21+, cover is $5. Here’s Ansley’s “Lucky Smoke” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxS_UXgYzTo
4) The aforementioned War Party show is indeed an incredible bill stuffed with four of DFW’s most relevant bands, and I mean that in all sincerity. But the other one you should really go to this weekend is on Saturday at MASS (1002 S Main), when one of DFW’s other most relevant band headlines (and another relevant band opens) a bill designed to launch an artist striving to be the most relevant band in DFW. Or something. Put more simply, Steve Gnash is the main draw for the Full Band Debut of Cody Lynn Boyd, and Dead Vinyl start off the night. As you may have gleaned from those capital letters and the verbiage in the sentence leading up to it, this show is designed to produce hype, an intangible yet palpable construct of which I am predisposed to be instantly skeptical at a near-genetic level. “Who the hell is Cody Lynn Boyd?” you (or, more specifically, I) may ask, and my answer (to you and myself) is “That’s a great question!” Another great question you may ask: “Why is a full-band debut at all a big deal, especially from an artist I have never actually seen?” According to drummer/engineer/MASS’s Monday night open mic host Josh Jones, whose role in CLB’s career arc isn’t exactly official but includes (for all current intents and practical purposes) managing the songwriter, producing his record, and coordinating and crewing CLB’s band, it’s because of Cody Lynn Boyd’s understanding of the importance of branding, combined with meticulous devotion to getting his music and the performance thereof exactly perfect. I asked (pointedly, in my own opinion), why a guy the FW Weekly wrote about over a year ago is finally playing a show with a band, and why we are all supposed to think that’s a big deal, because people around here make bands all the time, and those groups rehearse for shows and play them, and sometimes an audience comes to watch, etc., and it’s really not like a novel or earthshattering endeavor – why am I supposed to think any songwriter’s Full Band Debut is on par with the Moon Landing, or even the Death of Optimus Prime, in other words?
The subtext in that question, which I should’ve asked more explicitly is this: Why should anyone care about a guy who hasn’t seemed to do much beyond play some solo shows in the time between that feature article (published July 19, 2017) and now? But then I went back and re-read that article (written, incidentally, by War Party’s Cameron Smith), and I realized I forgot that Cody Lynn Boyd, with his Brian Jones hair and black on black rock ’n roll Diabolik uniform, has been working on this slow-burn, longtail branding effort for quite some time, and we are all only in like the second phase of, I dunno, five, or ten, or twenty phases. I jest, but the scrunched-brow, always-over-it, hyper-critical, kind-of-a-butthole, push-you-into-a-locker-because-you’re-a-freshman-and-it’s-my-senior-year-and-I’m-rockin’-a-brand-new-letterman-jacket side of me wants to know what’s taking so goddamn long. Jones reiterated that this lengthy branding/career-building process is all a function of Cody Lynn Boyd’s exacting specifications for his own art, and as such, they spent a long time getting the songs on his album just-so, even to the point that Jones doesn’t even know when the fucking thing is coming out. But they both also wanted the album to inform the composition of the live band, and Jones went to the mind-boggling trouble of crafting an elaborate spreadsheet with each musician’s parts scripted and arranged to make learning them as easy as possible, and also to help Cody Lynn Boyd perform. I told Jones that in my opinion, his spreadsheet sounded like a total ass-whip, and that it struck me as something Lorde might do. But then, while learning the gist of the bass line for Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’” for a gig on Sunday (see item 5 below), I realized that what Jones did on a computer isn’t all that different than what McDonald (or his bandleader, probably) or Lorde, or Donald Fagen, or James Hetfield or any other professional and globally known superstar does on pieces of paper so their band plays their live shows to meet the demands of world-class concert performance. Jones said that he wanted to demonstrate that his way wasn’t the way for a band to do a show, but that it was a way, and I can’t really argue with that. Rehearsing and performing via Google Docs is certainly a way of doing shows.
Did you make it this far? The point of my exhausting verbosity is that you, as a local music fan, need to come to Cody Lynn Boyd’s show on Saturday night, arms folded and brows scrunched or not, to see what the big deal is. Because regardless of what I think, Jones and the band and Cody Lynn Boyd have obviously put in a lot of work to make this show as tight, dramatic, mind-blowing, and mesmerizing as possible, and shooting for that kind of spectacle deserves an audience. At this point, I don’t even care what his music sounds like, though I presume it bears the phenotype of a Rolling Stones influence as well as that of the word “spooky.” ANYWAY, Dead Vinyl open this show at 9pm, and doors are at 8, which the Cody Lynn Band Full Band Debut happening at 10pm, and Steve Gnash and the Source at 11. Show is 18+, or all-ages if the kids have a guardian with them. Cover is $10. Here’s the video Cody Lynn Boyd released back in March. For all my cocked-eyebrow bullshit, the dude can sing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEP2IlfMjbw
5) Club Dada (2720 Elm, Dallas) is doing this Labor Day Weekend Yacht Rock-themed pool party on Sunday, and it features four DJs spinning the smooth sounds of that particular pop music era, as well as the first appearance of Cabin Cruiser’s Hot Licks and Rhetoric, a cover band assembled from parts of Son of Stan, Oil Boom, Big Mike’s Box of Rock, Boss Level, and Quaker City Nighthawks. Full disclosure: I’m in this band, and I’m stoked as hell to bumble my way through Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good.” The party is free and starts at 3pm, and it’s sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, so there’s also a PBR-themed art show, plus inflatable pools and other tertiarily yacht-related shit. Damn, those Yacht Rock comedy videos are over ten years old! Here’s episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMTI8vg7A5U