Former Fort Worth singer-songwriter Van Darien takes up a brief residence at The Post Thu-Fri. Photo by Zach Weber.

Just so you know. If our country was normal, there wouldn’t be any discussion about masks and mandates and vaccines and jib-jabbing in the arm. We would all dutifully wear our masks, dutifully receive our vaccines, and dutifully refrain from making out on crowded dance floors. Alas, we are a country of entitled, privileged me-first assholes who somehow believe that wearing a tiny piece of fabric on our faces or getting vaccinated like we always do is an infringement on our rights. Our rights to what? To have our mouths seen? To not be poked with a needle? It’s stunningly amazing the rhetorical pretzels that conservatives will twist themselves into to convince themselves that their worldview is the only right one and the only one worth adopting. Basically, all these people care about is forcing women to carry babies to term as a way of punishing them, the women and the babies, for daring to threaten the biblically established patriarchy.

A’hem. Perhaps that’s another conversation for another day. For today, we’re talking about music venues. How are the local ones responding to the news that one of the COVID-19 vaccines is FDA approved? Because somehow that “FDA” stamp means so much all the sudden. Never mind the four decades of research behind the vax. Never mind all those non-approved vitamins you’re taking and that makeup you put on your skin. Gotta have that “FDA” stamp to be able trust the jab, right, Bocephus?!

While Texas has banned businesses from requiring vaccine passports from customers, because that would be too safe and because we like living on the edge like the entitled assholes we are, trusty Gov. Greg Abbott can’t stop businesses from requiring their employees to be vaccinated.


Ryan Higgs is thinking about it. The owner of MASS (Main at South Side) said he would consider a vaccine mandate for his employees “for their safety and the safety of others.”

Higgs and all seven of his workers are masked up, he said. Masks for customers are recommended but not required. Every little bit helps because Higgs does not want to go through another shutdown.

“I know we are a small venue, but live music has been suffering since mid-March 2020,” he said. “We did have the [Shuttered Venue Operator Grant], but here we are again. Venues used that money to hire staff back, pay utilities, book shows, or buy talent. Shows and tours are getting canceled again either by the venue or the band, all money lost on both ends. If a band hits the road and one member gets COVID, that is probably two weeks of shows that need to be canceled. I guess my point is: Get the jab.”

Abbott has even gone as far as threatening to pull liquor licenses from establishments that require proof of vaccination from customers, which is a totally Texan thing to do. We love when government meddles in our ability to earn a dollar.

Somebody should sue his ass.

Opposite Higgs is Brooks Kendall at The Post at River East, not because he’s buying into Fakebook posts from his crazy aunt but because he’s having a hard time hiring good help and he’s “not really looking for ways to disqualify applicants.”

In a different labor market, he said, “I’d give [vaxxed employees] serious consideration.”

BTW, all 20 of The Post’s employees are vaccinated on their own, Kendall said, and some are wearing masks. Customers do not need to wear masks for entry.


Van Darien Takes Over The Post

But out of respect for the artist, mask it up at The Post (2925 Race St, 817-945-8890) this weekend. That’s when the dark and poetic Van Darien will take the stage — twice — as part of a small tour.

“Diving back into some carefully distanced shows,” the Nashville-via-Fort Worth singer-songwriter writes on her homepage, “slowly, but surely, tiptoeing back into normalcy. Sending good vibrations out into the ether and hoping everyone feels the love today and every day.”

Van will be with her full band 8pm-11pm Thu and solo 11:30am-1:30pm Fri. All ages welcome, free parking, and, on Thursday, beer-and-shot specials galore.

The next time we’ll see Van again will be 8pm Thu, Sep 30, also at The Post, which doesn’t count her State Fair gig, 2:30pm Sat, Oct 2, because Dallas is sooo faaar. The rest of her tour will take her through Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

Cover to Van’s Thursday show is $8 while Friday’s matinee is free.


Jason Eady Celebrates New Album at Tulips FTW

Pure, sweet Americana purveyor Jason Eady is returning home to celebrate the release of his latest album. To the Passage of Time comes out Friday, and he’ll be playing Tulips FTW (112 St. Louis Av, 817-367-9798) 7pm Sat as a way of driving home the point. Most of the LP was written “in a wild three-day burst … where Jason didn’t leave his room for the entire time, literally taking his meals in the room,” his publicist says.

Produced by Band of Heathens’ Gordy Quist, To the Passage of Time was recorded at The Finishing School in Austin with “a goldmine of vintage gear” and many of Eady’s favorite backing musos, including Noah Jeffries on mandolin and fiddle, Mark Williams on upright bass and cello, and Geoff Queen on Dobro, pedal steel, and lap steel. As part of a long tour, Eady’s next stops will be in Colorado, the Midwest, and the East Coast through late January. Tickets to the Tulips show are at Prekindle. — Anthony Mariani


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