2011 Music Awards
It’s time to cast your vote.
Fort Worth Weekly’s 14th or 15th Annual Music Awards Ballot is out now in print and online at http://www.facebook.com/l/789bfmYp_NDbnIrP59h74Gt6rgg/www.fwweekly.com. Compiled by local and regional music promoters, producers, booking agents, club owners, media types, and hipsters, the ballot affords readers the chance to vote for their favorite Fort Worth artists in categories ranging from rock to rap, blues to punk, and all points in between. Voters also will get to cast ballots for song of the year, album of the year, and songwriter of the year.
Voting ends the day of the 2011 Music Awards Festival, SUNDAY, JUNE 26. Last year’s concert was an amazing success: 36 local artists played throughout the day in six West 7th-area clubs, drawing nearly 7,000 people. For the 2011 concert, we’ve added two venues, which means more artists. Participating clubs this year include The Backyard at Capital Bar, Fred’s Texas Café, The Grotto, Lola’s Saloon, Magnolia Motor Lounge, Poag Mahone’s, The Pour House, and 7th Haven.
Slated to perform are some of Fort Worth’s most talented and respected artists, including Calhoun, The Burning Hotels, The Orbans, EPIC RUINS, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Spoonfed Tribe, Josh Weathers & The True+Endeavors, Quaker City Night Hawks, American Idol semifinalist Tim Halperin, The Cush, Stella Rose, Pinkish Black, Fate Lions, The Hanna Barbarians, Snakey Roberts (featuring members of Green River Ordinance), My Wooden Leg, KatsüK, Holy Moly, Secret Ghost Champion, Scott Copeland, Browningham, Luke Wade & No Civilians, Chatterton’s Kevin Aldridge, Clint Niosi, Phantom Caste, Titanmoon, 1945, Skeleton Coast, Dru B Shinin’, JJ & The Rogues, Beauxregard, Alan, Pablo & The Hemphill 7, The Spiral Sound, Maren Morris, Earthquake Country, Jefferson Colby, Sally Majestic, The Hendersons, Derek Larson & The Leavers, Sean Russell, Cityview, Igneous Grimm, and Breaking Light, among others; nearly 50 Fort Worth artists in total, making the 2011 Music Awards Festival the largest gathering of Fort Worth artists ever in the world. As always, admission to the 2011 festival is FREE.
A week before the concert, we will begin selling copies of our 2011 Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards compilation CD. To be recorded at Eagle Audio Recording this month, Frequencies will feature new or previously unreleased tracks from select 2011 nominees, including Telegraph Canyon, The Hanna Barbarians, Stella Rose, Quaker City Night Hawks, Josh Weathers & The True+Endeavors, Fate Lions, The Cush, Rivercrest Yacht Club, JJ & The Rogues, Beauxregard, Derek Larson & The Leavers, My Wooden Leg, Luke Wade, The Spiral Sound, Bravo Zulu, and The Hendersons. The CD will be rounded out by a Calhoun song remixed by The Burning Hotels. Proceeds from the $5-a-pop sale of the CD will benefit the American Red Cross: Chisholm Trail Chapter, the Fort Worth branch of the international relief nonprofit organization. The CD will be released on Wed., Jun. 22, and the CD release party will be 6-9 p.m. at the Love Shack So7 (817 Matisse St.). Several contributors will perform. No cover.
For more information on the paper, go to www.fwweekly.com
Ghostcar’s New CD Is Online Now
By Ken Shimamoto
Maybe it’s true that nobody buys CDs anymore. That’s what Indian Casino Records honcho John Frum said when I interviewed him for a Fort Worth Weekly cover story awhile back. Dallas writer-muso Jeff Liles says that he’s trying to convince Bill Wisener of Bill’s Records fame to give away a CD with every vinyl record he sells. For the digital-only slaves, the iPod has become the weapon of choice, while the savvy labels are manufacturing vinyl again (in small runs) for those still infatuated with The Romance of the Artifact.
Ghostcar’s leader-trumpeter Karl Poetschke is still talking about releasing a new CD, but he’s also made all of the tracks (which remain untitled except by number) available online: “Ghostcar 24,” “…21,” and “…16” can be streamed from the band’s Myspace page, while the other six tracks are downloadable from its page on the ReverbNation site. (They’re in good company; the pianist Vijay Iyer has all of his albums streaming in their entirety on his website, banking on enough serious listeners being willing to shell out for better-than-MP3 quality to make the enterprise worthwhile.)
The band, which had been on hiatus while Poetschke – who now resides in Arizona -- was off playing on cruise ships and working as a wilderness guide in Alaska (really!), reconvened last weekend for a show at the Lounge in Deep Ellum. Bassist Chris Perdue has been taking care of family stuff, guitarist Daniel Huffman was on the road with the Polyphonic Spree last year, and force-of-nature drummer Clay Stinnett kept his chops up playing with blues and cover bands (not to mention PFFFFT!) before hooking up with ex-Baboon musos as The Boom Boom Box and playing their third show to 3,000 people, opening for the Toadies in Houston.
Like Urizen, a band Caroline Collier profiled in the February 18th Weekly, Ghostcar is misunderstood. In Urizen’s case, I’ve often thought that the band’s own marketing might be holding them back from finding their “real” audience. While they bill themselves as black metal and have opened lots of Ridglea shows for touring Scandinavians, Urizen’s really an art project a la Devo – high concept and high yuk. (Maybe their recent foray into Denton will strike some chords with the black turtleneck wearers there.) In the same way, while Ghostcar gets tarred with the “jazz/improv” brush because of the trumpet, they’re really perfect fodder for shoegaze/trance listeners, with Huffman’s heavily processed guitar sounding like an entire orchestra at times and the Perdue-Stinnett engine room laying down a relentless groove. Now Poetschke is employing effects in a way that goes far beyond the ‘70s Miles comparisons he’s drawn since he was Sivad way, wa-a-ay back in ’97.
Give the tracks a spin and then drop Karl a line. He’s looking for ideas to title the tracks.
JAZZ BY THE BOULEVARD
By Ken Shimamoto
You’ve gotta hand it to the smiling folks at Camp Bowie District, Inc., producers of that annual late-September event, Jazz By the Boulevard. Each year since its inception, the fest has grown in scale and scope, attracting marquee talent -- usually in more of a smoove “jazz” vein than some of us would like, but that’s just crabbing. Having large dollar sponsors like Cadillac, Coors, and, um, Chesapeake Energy can’t hurt. Oh, and by the way – it’s free. The weather this weekend promises to be favorable, too – sunny with highs in the mid-80s. Yeah!
Friday night’s headliner is Buddy Guy, almost the last of the great Chicago bluesmen, who’s graced stages like Caravan of Dreams’ and Main Street Arts Festival’s in years gone by. He hits at 9:45pm, preceded by flautist Dave Valentin, who’s known for a string of albs on GRP. The act I’m more interested in hearing, though, hits at 6:30pm: tenor saxophonist Mario Cruz, a Fort Worth native just returned from the Big Apple who threatened to blow the roof off Sardines during Johnny Case’s recent 25th anniversary bash there.
Saturday’s headliner, guitarist Lee Ritenour, is considerably less interesting to this crusty old curmudgeon than the act that precedes him (at 7:45pm): Nawlins expat Adonis Rose’s Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra, with guest artist, trumpeter Randy Brecker (who’s played rock in Dreams and funk in the Brecker Brothers with his late sibling Michael on tenor; I saw him back in ’74 when he was part of guitarist Larry Coryell’s fusion band Eleventh House). You might wanna show up earlier, though, to catch guitar-slinging rancher Tom Reynolds and moonlighting FW Symphony bassist Paul Unger doing their Django-inspahrd thang (12:30pm); the always-entertaining Mondo Drummers (1:30pm); and the aggregation of local “usual suspects” that gigs under the rubric Fifth Avenue Jazz Collective (4:30pm).
On Sunday, alto saxophonist David Sanborn (whose tone is prolly etched on the synapses of anyone who watched Saturday Night Live and/or Late Night with David Letterman in the ‘80s. (He also hosted the worthwhile Night Music show in the ‘90s.) After the fest shuts down at 8pm, hardcore jazz aficionados can take a couple of hours to grab something to eat before meandering over to Lola’s at 6th Street and Foch, where Dave Karnes and his crew will be holding forth, or the Scat Jazz Lounge downtown, where Quamon Fowler (whose quartet plays Jazz By the Boulevard at 3pm) hosts a jam.
Kerry Dean’s El Heladero
By Ken Shimamoto
Coming off the peak of Darth Vato’s latest ‘n’ best ceedee Oh No, We’re Doing Great!, inspahrd by the biz model if not the music of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, DV frontman Kerry Dean booked a coupla days at Dallas’ Skyline Studios and laid down some song ideas he’d been kicking around for a few years. He’s made the 11 tracks of El Heladero (that’s “the ice cream man” en ingles) downloadable for free online, although physical copies are available for $12, and you’re welcome to donate to Kerry’s next project via Paypal if you dig it. While I’m hardly an early technology adopter and remain highly enamored of The Romance of the Artifact, I do notice that I’m downloading enough music lately that it’s become a commonplace occurrence – an idea whose time has come.
The story of Darth Vato is really the story of Kerry Dean’s developing the courage to be himself – a rather sweet-natured, whimsical soul – onstage and in the toons he writes, rather than some other, “edgier” character that the audience might find more interesting. The risk and danger inherent in this undertaking was manifested in a solo acoustic show at the Moon a few years back where he wound up horizontal garrruuunnnk onstage (alcohol: the shy guy’s social lubricant…or not). He’s been getting closer with each DV release, though, and finally, with Oh No’s hidden track (a cover of the Standells’ garage grunt classic “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White”), a live solo rendering of the Minutemen’s “History Lesson, Part II” at their Lola’s CD release show, and this record, I think he’s there.
With the exception of a coupla tracks his pal Daniel Hardaway decorated with deft ‘n’ sly trumpet solo wonderment (straight-up mariachi blare on the title track, Louis Armstrong on acid on “Locked and Ready”), Kerry carries the whole show here all by his lonesome. If some of the tracks seem like sketches of songs waiting to be fleshed out, that’s almost the point: he wants you to see the lines in his design. And showing off his chops as a riddim guitarist (dig the instrumental “Todo Un Poco”). Stylistically, these songs don’t differ much from what his band usually lays down, but he’s imagining more believable characters (the street vendor in the title track, the partner in a relationship gone south in “Everything Went Wrong”) and writing more heartfelt confessionals (“Put On Your Red Dress” and the emo surfer’s suicide note “The New Wave,” which just might be the best thing he’s written). While Darth Vato remain the party band of choice for inebriated frat daddies, the big lug up front’s got heart aplenty, and he’s not afraid to show it.
Kavin.’s Acoustic Church’s Westward
By Ken Shimamoto
Kavin Allenson’s a guitarist from Burleson who hit the boards in 1998 after 25 years of playing, was a semi-finalist in a B.W. Stevenson songwriting contest in 2000, played in an acoustic Pink Floyd tribute band (!) with Glenn Milam from 2001-2004, and released a CD, Texas Tonefreak, in 2006. Since then, he’s pulled tight with estimable Fort Worth axe-slingers like Darrin Kobetich and Bill Pohl (their next three-way collision takes place at Hip Pocket Theatre on September 7th). Back in February, he took part in the RPM Challenge, writing and recording an album in a month. The result is Westward.
Kavin’s saturated with classic rock influences – the Eat A Peach-era Allman Brothers in particular come to mind, listening to the spacey layers of leisurely, melodic guitars – and the masterwork of Leo Kottke (sometimes very literally; listen to “John’s Rag” and tell me which song off 6 and 12-String Guitar it reminds you of). The opening “Hippolyte” showcases his strengths – rolling fingerpicked patterns on a crystalline-textured acoustic, supporting a lilting slide line that recalls the pedal steel part from Thunderclap Newman’s “Hollywood Dream” (if anyone in the 817 remembers thatun).
The title track has Kavin singing in a serviceable guitar player’s voice over interlocking guitar parts like Duane ‘n’ Dicky might have played, except for the flanging. (Full disclosure – he gave me a songwriting credit for part of the lyrics.) The Indian-flavored “Climbin’” (with percussion accompaniment from Phil Waite) has the same rhythmic feel as Darrin Kobetich’s “Playing In the Hedges,” but wedded to a lighter harmonic palette. The solo guitar piece “Eulogy: February 5th” is somber and lovely.
Things start to get really interesting with the next couple of tracks. I’m not even certain how the sounds on “Sunwind” were generated – something to do with a slide, perhaps -- but they create a lysergic sci-fi atmosphere that’s quite striking. “DrumznBass” is a showcase for drummer Waite and bassist Eric Allenson, with Kavin presumably providing the weird electro-F/X. Finally, “Runnin’ Out of Time” is a down ‘n’ dirty blues with a gruff vocal from Kavin that recalls Mark Knopfler, and more carpe diem lyrics.
All in all, not a bad month’s work from a fella who clearly loves to play and does it well.
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