Fort Worth pysch-rockers The Cush will celebrate the vinyl release of their latest album at Lola’s Saloon on Wed, Jan 26. Courtesy The Cush

I don’t know if my distorted sense of time is a function of aging or a permanent penalty to my perception brought on by the events of the past five years, but I thought about it because the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo was canceled only a year ago, yet it feels like a distant memory. This year’s iteration, with its signature traffic and influx of people into town from those rural counties that I think about only when a tornado watch is in effect, seems like such a return to normal that its closure in 2021 almost doesn’t seem like it happened. Am I fond of the stock show? Not especially, but in the way that I don’t care for the Cowboys but am happy for other people when they win, I’m glad the stock show is back.

If, however, you don’t share my casual appreciation for the annual rodeo/petting zoo/carnival, perhaps you’d care to attend the NOT STOCK show Saturday at Tulips FTW (112 St. Louis Av, 817-367-9798), during which long-running Denton punk ’n’ rollers the Riverboat Gamblers will headline a bill stacked with Austin’s A Giant Dog and Mansfield-by-way-of-Orange-County alt-rockers Olive Vox, with Fort Worth support by Uncle Toasty, Upsetting, and Homewrecker & The Bedwetters. Doors to the show are at 6, and the bands start at 6:30. Tickets are available at

NOT STOCK’s advertising addresses the perception that the stock show “seems to color the entire region in country music,” and, in fact, Tulips does have a country show on Thursday night, featuring Californian outlaw troubadour Jesse Daniels with local support from Summer Dean, but the week is also stuffed with non-country music. On Wed, Jan 26, if you are good with time management, you can probably make the 8-10pm party at Lola’s Saloon (2736 W 6th St, 817-759-9100) celebrating the vinyl release of Riders of the Stardust Gold, the latest LP from psych-rockers The Cush (out on Ben Harper’s Mad Bunny Records), as well as get to Tulips in time to see local heavy shoegazers Trauma Ray, who headline a lineup that also includes Minneapolis-based shoegaze band Prize Horse, Denver’s emo-influenced Flower Language, and Smothered, a grunge band from Denton.


As for Friday night, the bill at MASS (1002 S Main St, 817-707-7774) features three local alt-rock bands: Celestial L’Amour, Pinkhouse, and Fiction Theory, and the sum of these bands’ sounds makes me nostalgic for the Deep Ellum of 25 years ago. You can also go to Tulips to catch up-and-crushing local hardcore band Ozone in the midst of a five-band lineup that also includes Kept in Line, Urn, Character Assassination, and Sincemybeloved.

Regardless of your opinion on the stock show, if you live in Fort Worth, it’s nearly impossible not to associate it with the weeks between mid-January and early February every year, even if the event doesn’t end up happening, but with this week’s surfeit of excellent concerts at local clubs, maybe you’ll look back on this time next year and be reminded of something else: all those rad bands you saw. — Steve Steward


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