Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Hourly Radio @ CD World

The Hourly Radio will be playing an instore/acoustic-ish thing on Saturday @ CD WORLD in Addison... but they say they don't really know how to play their songs on acoustic so it will be interesting... 3:30pm w/STITCH! MC. Then catch them at Gypsy on 12/16 with Baboon before they hit the road for "basically all of 2007." Baboon and Hourly? A great combo, but Hourly acoustic? Heh, that I gotta hear; the Dallas Brit-pop rockers acoustic are a bit like seeing The Killers acoustic... not their usual sound. Having been nearly constantly on tour the last six months has given them tons of experience and it's bound to show on Saturday. Listen for good things to happen to these guys beyond the borders of Texas in the near future. Then, like the Secret Machines, we can say we knew 'em when.

The Hourly Radio
at CD World in Addison
5000 Belt Line Rd # 310, Dallas, 75254

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ian Moore returns to Bend

Ian Moore was the first musician to play at Ally David's Bend Studio. You can thank him for kicking off his shoes and kicking off the wonderful listening room that is Bend. Yoga and Ian Moore and patchouli combine so well. Don't forget your best red wine, and be sure to get a seat down front. I can't make it because I'm committed elsewhere, so please, tell him Kate says "hi!"

the brilliant Ian Moore
at Bend Studio
Dec 1st, doors 7:30pm
$20, corking fee $3. Bring $$ for the live recording. You'll want to remember this show.

My original interview with Ian Moore at Bend during his first performance. Go read.

Too busy to write my own post

But, then, Sarah Jane Semrad does a very nice job of stating the facts...
see you there. My contribution? Let's just say, it's quite magnetic.

The Art Conspiracy at the Longhorn Ballroom
150 (170!) artists // 5 bands // 1 very large fiberglass longhorn

On November 30, 2006, one-hundred fifty+ artists will descend upon
the legendary Longhorn Ballroom, located at 216 Corinth @ Industrial
to create one-of-a-kind artworks, all based upon 18inx18in plywood squares.

~On Friday, December 1, 2006 at 7:00PM, the doors finally open to the public~.
$10.00 per person admission at the door.

~Art for sale between band sets by donation system only~
Minimum $20.00 requested donation for artwork. Cash or check only.
Mediators available to handle on-the-spot auctions and drama.

Live music provided by
The Happy Bullets
Spitfire Tumbleweeds (click the link, just to see the art. beautyous!)
Peter Schmidt and His Gentleman Scholars
Salim Nourallah

between sets and before the show: John Holiday and Dj Stephen R!!
video installation by Edward Ruiz, Robert Moreno, Robert McCollum, and Kris Youmans

Free, secure parking available and most importantly,
All proceeds will be donated to the La Reunion, a non-profit artist residency program forming in Oak Cliff.

see you there?!
Jason Roberts
Andrea Roberts
Cari Weinberg
Tim Ruble
Shea Wood
Courtney Miles
Josh McKibben
Rhett Jones
Sarah Jane Semrad
and me, Kate!

*awesome painting above by cathey miller*

No Bones about it

A large print of a photograph of Annie Benjamin (Glitter Horn, Rocket Girl) will be offered for sale in the ONE day Kettle Art show benefitting artist Tony Bones on 12/2/06. Tony Bones (aka Soler, aka Goya) has legal fees and fines because he is a tagger and street artist. Dallas is a more vibrant city because his work pops up in unexpected locations (like Lake Highlands). Please support a fellow artist and come to the show...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

If there were 3 of me... I would be at....

About once a month, there is a Saturday that is packed with too many good shows. December 15th is that kind of day. Here are my RIYLs for not staying home and watching TiVO yet again. It's repeat season, get out and be merry.

The Lord Henry at The Cavern (pretty people dance rock)
Jayson Bales at Barley House (great guys Americana)
Millicent Friendly at Sons of Hermann Hall (straight up rock your socks)

Go see/hear/cheer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Welcome, Derringer!

I met Jeremy Owens on New Years Eve 2004. He is good friends with Pilotdrift, and had made the trip from Nashville to see them at Good Records' instore and then later at Trees. His voice is on my recording of their interview that night backstage, as they prepared for the show. He's an amazing guy, a study in contrasts, and a heart bigger than his frame. He says he has a "golden retriever personality"; truer words were never spoken. He has done A&R for a small label, written for Revelant Magazine, and he also writes a wonderful New Music newsletter which he sends to friends. I think he needs to have a wider audience. I met Mute Math and Athlete because of his insistance. I would know about many more up and coming bands if I had the patience (of a saint) as he does to comb through the hundreds of MySpace pages as he does, but I don't, so I let his newsletter keep me informed. Now you can, as well.

Welcome Derringer!


A BIG HELLO! to all of my music loving/music industry readers,
Please grab a cup of something warm... hot tea, coffee, etc... and cuddle into some exciting new music.... this is a bit long due to lots of news, but it's all rewarding...I promise....

First off, I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who read this!! You read about and check out the artists I pass your way, and respond with constant enthusiasm and encouragement to keep trucking on because you appreciate the passion and quality that I strive to send your way every time. This is TRULY PASSION at its rawest state... do you know how many mornings I go into work drained from staying up at night to keep up with all the influx of band requests on MySpace, to listen to all the upcoming samples I can find on current bands with new albums? It's all in order to be at the forefront with the hottest news and the hottest bands. The idea is that I siphon thru all the crap and give you only THE BEST so you don't have to... I get NO PAY for this... it's how serious I am about it. I wouldn't have it ANY OTHER WAY! Of course, sometimes I rely on other music sources as well... great sites like Pitchfork whom I don't always agree with, but I do always think are on top of the hottest news and such....and do a damn fine job with the setup of their will find a link to a marching band covering Radiohead below and it's all thanks to Pitchfork...

It's been almost three years now since I took a risk with some email addresses I came across in the music industry in Nashville and did a STUPID, STUPID thing of sending out *cough* some very informal music newsletters (i.e. Spam, although it wasn't computer generated, it was sent out by me personally and still is) as a test to see if I would get tons of hate mail saying, "I hate getting this stuff, stop it, please" or if in fact, I would get positive feedback...well, the latter happened... and those first few were based around that little UK band that could named ATHLETE ... and now look at those terrific, talented guys... on the brink of album number three in the new year (I've got good word from two prominent sources that I'm gonna freak over the new dare they tease me in such ways...I fidget daily with anticipation for the pre-release). My readership grows by the day and it just thrills me to continue this journey. As always, if any of you ever get tired of getting this, please DO NOT hesitate to tell me to remove you... I will do so ASAP... on the other hand, if you LOVE getting this, then please pass it on to friends and help these deserving artists get their music out there.....okay enough of that... let's get on to the news... as I said before, you might want to grab a cup of coffee cause there is alot to catch up on and I'll try to make these brief...

This week's SPOTLIGHT album to potentially spend your money on... (and oh my god, it's a major label release *GASP*)
BRAND NEW - THE DEVIL AND GOD ARE RAGING INSIDE ME I've yet to hear the whole thing because MySpace player is crapping out on me a ton, but what few songs I've made it thru are ABSOLUTELY STRIKING! This is the soundtrack to my life in many ways... it is a masterpiece that seemingly pins down into one album the struggles of an individual who grew up in a background of religion and church and such and growing out of following what you were always told and striking out to find and establish what the "truth" really is.... the rock is MASSIVE... the delivery is not conventional or's personal and universal all at once... this is the album that will take BRAND NEW to a stunning new level!!!!!!

This week's CHRISTMAS album to beat ALL Christmas albums:
Okay, yeah, you are thinking Sufjan... but it's not. Whereas, I have my copy of Sufjan's Christmas album on its way to my mailbox and hopeto enjoy it... the album I'm REALLY looking forward to wearing out this holiday season is OVER THE RHINE'S second holiday offering...this time it is ALL original tunes and strikingly so... it is very simple yet still wondrous.... Karin stands head and shoulders over many female artists to rank as my favorite EVER... she is so versatile and so in tune with the emotion of each song she delivers... she becomes the character, she becomes the lyric... and Linford is a hero of mine both in poetry and in songwriter...SNOW ANGELS is the new album and you should definitely PRE-ORDER it here today...
Now on to more music bullets.... Derringer stands with his gun at the ready... aim... FIRE!

1) AIR (arguably my favorite band in the world) is releasing a NEWALBUM in the NEW YEAR! Can 2007 get any better? (Athlete, Air, and dammit, Travis, please get that new one to us soon as well) It is produced by Nigel "I gravel at your feet" Godrich. It features some Japanese instrument dabbling and more... It launches sometime early in2007 and they will tour US in May (I WILL finally see them live for the first time even if I have to pay out the wazoo...haha)

2) Johnny Lloyd Rollins - *he's posted new songs!*The first artist signed to my Derringer Record label... wait no, the artist that WOULD be my first signee IF I owned a record label is poised to make a huge splash by 2007. Meetings are happening with majors, and majors are showing serious interest. I predict a massive bidding war and the one who lands the deal with him WILL NOT BE SORRY! Mark my words. His album is getting NOTHING BUT GLOWING and FLAWLESS reviews from the gradual influx of music websites and magazines. Still no release date for LET'S BE POOR TOGETHER but you can guarantee when it does hit... it's gonna break some records... it's AMAZING...Johnny has just been featured singing a ditty on a hilarious new commercial for COMCAST... check it out here...

3) Derek James - Speaking of commercials... Derek James and I have been getting many emails in response to a bit that was running on the Travel featured his song Smoky Light and had his name and song listed in corner of commercial...thus leading to an influx of emails saying "I remember you writing about Derek way back when...I saw him on a commercial tonight...Loved his song!!" Derek is working on putting together a new EP with some massive hit potential... many of the song she has been performing to tremendous response at live shows and he needs to get on cd due to hot demand... "Like A Woman" is a destined hit and I can already see it landing on a female targeted commercial or two in the future as well... Additionally, Derek has been really encouraging about some of my own music ideas lately and is showing an interest in working together on some things which I truly look forward to. His commercial is here...

4) Some AMAZING new videos are currently out that DEMAND YOUR ATTENTION...namely BOMBS by Faithless. It is a song of huge emotional impact with lyrical fire that torches the soul and comforts it all at once. It is alternately inspiring and convicting. The video enhances the impact with contrasting images that are creatively woven together and it is an experience that will pin you to your chair... it is best viewed at this link but if your computer does not handle that one...then you can always rely on the YouTube link... Both song and video have landed on my ongoing BEST OF 2007 LIST on my own MySpace page Additionally, THE FORMAT have given us a unique and very low budget gem of a video for the glorious tune, DOG PROBLEMS go here ...

5) Radiohead covered by University of Arizona marching band! This was featured on Pitchfork Media and this is AWESOME!!!!

6) New artists worth keeping your hawk eyes on...
a) Meiko - The girl can sing... amazing vocal... if she can keep pumping out songs as loveable as PIANO SONG and the others...she's gonna do REAL well...
b) Walter Meego - THANK YOU INSOUND for my new addiction and what is currently ranking as my favorite tune of the year... I am listening to this as Hot Chip likes to say "over and over".... I am eager to buy an album and see them live... this group makes the wonderful Hot Chip sound weak.... hahaha... and HC is NOT weak at all, but Walter Meego brings the catchiness and infectiousness in waves...I became an immediate fan!
c) Sparrow House (aka keyboardist from VOXTROT) I am pleased to announce that the keyboardist from VOXTROT has delivered a gorgeous debut EP under the moniker, Sparrow House. It isa quiet gentle work but with plenty of melodic intrigue and lyrical grabbing to keep the listener interested. (And if you haven't heard the new Voxtrot EP then you should and DEFINATELY listen to the spectacular track, is my new favorite autumn song)
d) EDDYFINK I sent out an email previously about these stunning rockers that are just getting warmed up for the major leagues. If you haven't listened to them yet, please do so...I'm convinced that between the amazing musicianship and the masterful wordplay along with the arc and range of vocal inside the sexy lead singer, Andy Pisanu, this band isTHE next big UK phenomenon. If I were to label them, I'd have to officiate a new genre.. "Corkscrew Rock"... you'll never expect the places they take you...
e) FELL CITY GIRL New UK band worth watching... I'm especially keen on their song, February Snow... though the other tunes on their MySpace fail to equal that stunner of a tune, I think they are capable of more grandeur...

7) Existing artists/bands that I've finally arrived at on my musical map (and shamefully, WAY too late)
a) THE BOXER REBELLION I'm tuned into this band thanks to Andy of Eddyfink... WHY IS THIS BAND STILL STRUGGLING? they should be massive... check out tunes like WATERMELLON and WORLD WITHOUT END... and you'll understand why...
b) Ron Sexsmith and Martha Wainwright.... shame on me for waiting so long to dive into these AMAZING artists... thanks again to Andy for pushing me into their pools of perfection... I was walking the streets of New York with rivers coming out my eyes due to Sexsmith's "God Loves Everyone" and "Gold In Them Hills"....
and FINALLY... If you have stuck with me and gotten this far... THANK YOU!!!
My best friend/buddy, Stukenberg, has been busy working on a some material for what will be his debut album... He moved to be back around his family and girlfriend in Wisconsin about the time that I moved to New York and I miss him like crazy... but his move, like mine, has proven fruitful and successful as he is working at a small upstart label there in his area and the label is SUPER EXCITED to help him with his debut...He has posted two new demos which are striking in their potential..."Senses" and especially "Don't Mind" which gushes out of the gate with the spunk of an early firestorming Billy Joel... yes, they still need a little polish but Stuk assures that these are only demos and they are enough to get me excited.... hope you enjoy!

I want to give a shout out to INSOUND... they are an online store where I've begun buying all my cds ... they offer reasonable prices and much like my favorite indie store in Nashville, Grimeys...they are GREAT about offering EXTRA goodies with purchases that you wouldn't get at major retail outlets.... plus they send outMP3's every week from the hottest up and comers in indie music...thus how I heard my latest obsession WALTER MEEGO... so if you want to make shopping easier... go to their page... and NO, this NOT a plugging of them because they want me to... I am not getting any kickback or anything... it's a personal recommendation that I feel compelled to let the world in on...

Be sure and vote for the PLUG Indie Awards here... and in the blank at the end where it asks who is criminally missing from the nominations...I'm trying to stir up a revolution and get people to put THE FORMAT... they are a deserving band who have kicked back from getting dropped from the MAJORS and produced an AMAZING album that should be recognized and awarded by the Indie community... it is the only Indie album in my running BEST OF 2007 LIST that is missing from the nominations....
For all the latest personal blogging updates and indie artists I find worth shouting about... always visit my MySpace page... you are ALWAYS welcome to the state of Derringer and it's visiting station... found here.... , but if you are a reader of this, then thou shalt NOT FEAR because you will ALWAYS get the same quality updates here too... and maybe more....

As a bonus for being a reader, I want to forward all of you something special that came into my email inbox via the masterful music blogger and online radio guy, GORILLA VS BEAR...the back story is in the email... READ IT... it's very interesting and then listen to the song... you will love it... I PROMISE....


hugs from the state of DERRINGER,

Friday, November 17, 2006

Chicken-Fried Doug Burr

When I first moved to Texas from granola-crunchy California, I was convinced that all the "native" food was the same color of brown and covered in sauce. Gravy, BBQ, White... no matter, whatever it was, if it wasn't sliced, diced and fried into oblivion, it wasn't Texan. I've since developed a taste for grease. This isn't a good thing, but yum. Anywhoo, All Good Cafe's version is really good, though warning!: if you're a vegan, don't click the link. You'll find it ghastly, graphicly chicken-fried. Now that you're hankering for that batter, head on over tomorrow and line your tummy before a night of Shiner. To coat it, ya know.

The wonderful, brilliant Doug Burr performs
with Crushed Stars
and solo Sarah Jaffe of Tomahawk Molly.

All Good Cafe
2934 Main Street, Deep Ellum.
All ages. Cover $5.
Chicken-Fried Steak $10.99

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Honey, I'm gonna miss ya like terrible

go read.


Lousy Robot ready for TV

Lousy Robot is a fav band of mine, and a bunch of really good guys. They're from New Mexico and they come through Dallas often. I met them ages ago at the Doublewide. Next time they are here, I want them to play with the Deathray Davies. Goes well together, ya know?

Lousy Robot - The Mile Low Club

Follow the link and click the green "Put it on TV" button to vote for their video "Mile Low Club."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And the winner is...

There are really great CDs and names on here... but I'd just like to point out TWO of these to you. TWO from dDFW. TWO of your neighbors. Out of the whole world, we get TWO. Congrats!!

49th GRAMMY Entry List
Best Alternative Music Album, Vocal or Instrumental.

1. APOLLO SUNSHINE Apollo Sunshine
2. PEREGRINE The Appleseed Cast
5. DOWN IN ALBION Babyshambles
7. BE YOUR OWN PET Be Your Own Pet
8. THE LIFE PURSUIT Belle And Sebastian
9. BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT Brightblack Morning Light
10. DERDANG DERDANG Archie Bronson Outfit
11. YOU IN REVERSE Built To Spill
13. OF WHALES AND WOE Les Claypool
14. AVATAR Comets On Fire
18. WATERLOO TO ANYWHERE Dirty Pretty Things
20. YES, VIRGINIA... The Dresden Dolls
21. JOHN DUFILHO John Dufilho
22. THE BACK ROOM Editors
23. ELECTROPOLIS Electropolis
24. AT WAR WITH THE MYSTICS The Flaming Lips
25. TWO THOUSAND French Kicks
26. NEWS AND TRIBUTES The Futureheads
28. ST. ELSEWHERE Gnarls Barkley
30. THE EXCHANGE SESSION VOL. 2 Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid
31. EMPIRE Kasabian
32. TING Seth Kauffman
33. ...UNTIL WE FELT RED Kaki King
34. PENTAGON Mat Maneri
35. AMPUTECHTURE The Mars Volta
38. FROM A COMPOUND EYE Robert Pollard
40. RED MONROE Red Monroe
42. DIGITS Neil Rolnick
44. THE LOON Tapes 'n Tapes
47. SHOW YOUR BONES Yeah Yeah Yeahs
48. THE ERASER Thom Yorke

© NARAS 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

JB & CA @ Bend photos

Jayson Bales and Carter Albrecht gave a wonderful performance at Bend. You can buy the CD of the show from Bend, and I highly recommend it. $20 and you'll get unreleased tracks from both musicians and some wry humor. Buy photos from me on my website. gracias.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


ugh. It's just past Halloween. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. There should be a law against playing Christmas carols in stores before November 27th. Let's focus on being thankful first. Then we can polish up the chimneys.

But some things just can't wait. And this is one of them! Spread a little holiday cheer because, along with buying my Halloween eggnog (I kid you not), I've also signed up to do the "Rockstar Photography" (Mr. Yocom's phrase, not mine, though I protested very, very little) for A Spune Christmas.

Red Monroe! Record Hop! Baboon! Pleasant Grove! and some other bands that ought to be OK. heh. Starlight Mints. dude. He booked Starlight Mints. I'm so there.

so, Merry Xmas, and to all a good Dec 9th. Don't miss it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Show to go ... Jayson Bales and Carter Albrecht at Bend Studio 11/10

Jayson Bales (see review below) and Carter Albrecht will play tomorrow at Bend Studio. If reading that doesn't make your toes tingle, then you haven't spent much time at the Barley House. Barley is the hangout of a certain set of talented Dallas musicians. On any given night, you can go and hear Travis Hopper, JD Whittenburg, Sorta, Olopso, Jayson, Brent Best... it's the center of the roots/Americana scene. Plus Barley serves cider. I love a bar with Woodchuck. Hanging at Barley tends to be relaxed, really relaxed, as Richard, the owner, is high school buddies with a bunch of the musicians who play his bar. The sets there can get sloppy fun, so sloppy fun that even non-musicians have been known to end up singing on stage. (Not often, but it happens.)

But I digress, this isn't about Barley, it's about Bend and tomorrow's show. Jayson Bales and Carter Albrecht are staples of the scene. Carter is arguably (I'd argue it) the "best" musician in Dallas. He sings, plays keys, guitar, etc etc in what, a bazillion great bands? He's toured with Charlie Sexton. When the Edie Brickell's New Bohemians needed a member, they chose Carter. I missed Sparrows, the band Albrecht fronted, and I've heard great things. But usually in local shows Carter allows Trey Johnson or Chris Holt or Ms. Brickell center stage. On Friday at Bend, we're in for a treat: Carter Albrecht, up front. That's gonna be brilliant.

Ally David's epiphany to use her yoga studio as music venue is also brilliant. It's a music experience like none other in Dallas. It's a small space, with room for only 75 or so listeners. Shhh! No speaking; be quiet to hear legendary musicians such as Bob Schneider and Ian Moore, literally at their (bare) feet. Bring your own wine, stretch out on a serape, kick back, lose yourself in the music and personality of the artist. Wow.

Jayson and Carter will either put on a polished performance or crack under the pressure of the undivided attention. Either way, it'll be wonderful.

Bend Studio
Jayson Bales and Carter Albrecht
doors 7:30pm $10
BYOB & corking fee $3
don't be late and wear your good socks

Monday, November 06, 2006

Jayson Bales, Cruel and Unusual

Jayson Bales is both a songwriter and a storyteller. Born, bred, and to the bone in Texas, he tells in music of his life, his state, and his country. His songs are fast fictions in which tales and truths are intertwined in melodic roots music. Introspective and retrospective on Cruel and Unusual, thirty-three year old Bales takes stock of his life, his family's influence, and America in 2006 and asks hard questions.

Storm clouds brewing up ahead. Maybe it's the clouds, or lack of rest, but I don't know why I'm so damned depressed.

What Bales hasn't yet survived after a quarterlife crisis is heading straight for midlife crisis. A family man, a common man, Bales has bought wholly into the ideal of the American man. He takes a stand, he questions, and he searches his soul in three minute pop songs, as Woody Guthrie did, less than a generation ago. On "Half Right" Bales gives his due to the man willing to take a position.

"Some thought he fought a useless fight, but at least he took a stand,
that's gotta make him half right.
... the worst thing is not to stand for anything at all
... the truth may make you bleed but at least it'd be nice to know
... though you may not like what you find
... take a stand, you're gonna be half right."

Bales is willing to take that position, yet questions his own conviction.

"Everyday the colors turn grey. The black and white of my youth died just yesterday. You ask what I believe; I tell you I'm not sure."

Bales is both the beating heart of Texas - old school and family-centered, love God, love your fellow man, love your country - and the new mind of America. The tenets that have shaped his life are obvious. Though cynical about the present, he lives with the greater hope of God and heaven.

Friday, November 03, 2006

More new life for Deep Ellum

"There is a new wind blowing down the historic alleys of Deep Ellum. It whispers lightly in every new drum beat and distant vocal behind closed doors. It takes its pride in its name as it rolls off everyone's tongue. It whispers ... Copasectic Ballyhoo."

The press kit of a music movement in the old Last Beat Studio building waxes poetic, but behind the silver doors on Commerce Street is something as exciting as its prose is overblown. The gutted recording studio has new life inside. ProTools is once again running in the sound stage, the old production rooms are being converted into offices, design studios, and a bedroom. A bedroom? Copasectic Ballyhoo and co-founder Mat Timmons both live in the rooms that once recorded the Burden Brothers, Pinkston, and Vibrolux. He's planted grass on the tiny urban patio out back to remind him of the green of Arkansas, his birthplace. Timmons, unassuming, tall, and just a bit grunge, slouches casually through the facility, showing off what the rooms will be, soon. "Right now, it's an all-volunteer effort," he explains, opening the door to the bare graphics room. "It was set up a couple of weeks ago. We did have a designer, but he left," he says without animousity. Clearly, the future of Deep Ellum is not yet installed.

"The Movement" of Copasectic Ballyhoo is a collective of musicians and artists pioneering the newest genre-breaking music and art media, by their own definition. Their "kingdom of minds" promotes music the masses would never know existed. "We chose artists who have a unique sound or thought that can truely impact the world. I mean, you could teach me to be a guitar master of one song, but I couldn't expand beyond that," says Timmons. "These are artists that never play the same song twice; true musicians." Copasectic records extraordinary fusions unlikely to be fostered on any corporate label. So far, one project has been completed. The New Sounds of Deep Ellum, nicknamed S.O.D.E, is a compilation of exciting artists on the Dallas scene, and one reunited group, Jones. Jones had drifted apart, with members living in New York and LA.. They returned to Texas and began to work in the old Last Beat rehersal rooms. Two of their jazz songs are on S.O.D.E.. Saxmanran, inventor of the Rake, is on the compilation; Blunt Force Crew raps over a bluesy, lazy nearly alt-country melody; White Lotus Society brings on the experimental dance mixes. Juxtaposition and jumbling of musical styles in the rule, even within songs. Culture- and genre-blending experiences are Copasectic's grail.

The business of Copasectic Ballyhoo is a record label (the paperwork is in progress) along the lines of Virgin or Capital Records. Bands on the Copasectic roster can walk in with music and walk out with a fully produced, ready-to-market CD. Recording, graphics, photography, and video are done in-house. While the physical space isn't ready - isolation booth doors are still on order, couches and wet bars are just plans, the reception area needs serious drywall work and a desk - Timmons and his associates are laying a foundation. He and his friends, and his friends of friends, have set out to revive Deep Ellum and bring good music to the masses. "That calls my taste into question, doesn't it?" he jokes. Copasetic began with 150 core members; college friends of Timmons and co-founders Selvin deLeon and Chad Bruce. "We gave everyone five tickets to give out, then we gave those people five tickets, and so on and so on," laughs Timmons,"until we had a Christmas tree of associations. When we reached 600 members, we stopped. Now, we only invite in people who have been refered to us, and we've only grown by about 150 additional members since January."

Copasectic Ballyhoo isn't trying for exclusively by keeping close tabs on its membership list, but rather to gather like minds together. Its melting pot of cultures, races, and genres feels unique in Dallas. Its focus on positivity and inclusivity is refreshing and comes directly from the trauma of Timmon's own life. Sophomore year in college, his parents divorced, his health failed badly, and his true love cheated on him. Timmons' whole life collapsed. Standing on the ledge of his third-floor dorm room's window, aiming for his own car's roof below, he remembered his mother waking him with a song and smiled. It was enough to keep him alive. "One smile saved me, and my entire life's purpose is to produce genuine smiles because they have the power to change the world." Timmons, with his friends, wants to get Dallas smiling. Copasectic Ballyhoo is how he's gonna do that.

"We want to take the grassroots and plant them really solid," says Timmons. Not that there haven't been a couple of booking mistakes. For one of the earlier rooftop events, Timmons brought in Glass Intrepid to play. As soon as they went on stage, he realized his error. His friends made it clear that a mainstream, corporate band wasn't the right direction for Copasectic. Now he searches for artists with drive, those who work to fuel their creativity. "No trust fund babies are here," he says. To be welcomed into the collective, bands tryout on Thursday night rooftop parties, not only to showcase their music, but also to see if they fit into the family. The Artbar's rooftop is a perfect location, and the music flows out over Deep Ellum and draws in walk-up traffic. "Our first winter we lost the rooftop - it was too cold - then we were allowed to take over the stage at Clearview, but only after midnight. We finally opened the doors of the Blind Lemon. We were down to about twenty or thirty people, but the Movement survived." Copasectic hopes to not only pioneer genre-bending music, but to breathe new life into Deep Ellum by bringing back culture-loving crowds. Worried that crime will seep back into the district with the upcoming end of the recent police saturation, Timmons thinks "the crowds will be either be herds of cows or lions. Give me cows."

Timmons envisions spreading the smiles past Dallas, to Austin and Houston. He wants to take the music on the road for college tours in the sping and fall. And he wants univeristies to pay for it. "Imagine the students receiving free tickets; the good feelings, the smiles. We would come on campus, a cultural experience, sponsored by the college." If his dream sounds a bit Sixties-inspired, Timmons thinks that's fine. "Copasectic Ballyhoo is something so beautiful and non-conforming that it takes over your mind and soul."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Photos and a PodQast

The past two weeks I have been working on a special set of photos. I set up my "studio" (I kicked the cars out of the garage) and my portable, loveable background, and invited some friends over. They primped (not so much) and posed (a whole lot) and generally either sweated or froze, but we all enjoyed the fun. And some really great photos came out of the experience. Red Monroe has already used theirs for a Quick PodQast, on which you can *cringe* hear me gushing and trying to act like I'm not just sitting in the British Rose chatting up my friends. Cindy Chaffin got me out of the woodwork to do this interview with her. We've only been planning it for a year. I'm glad that RM's nomination for a Grammy nomination finally got us in front of a mic.