Leon Bridges Gets Some London Love, Gas Monkey Hits Fort Worth and D Magazine Hires A New Critic.

What a trip these last few months have been for soulman Leon Bridges, who has gone from washing dishes at Del Frisco's Grille, to signing with Columbia and being featured in international publications. It's been a meteoric rise, to be sure. It's also one Bridges says he can trace back to one particular pair of pants.

In a recent interview with NME, Bridges discusses his keen fashion sense, and how it actually spearheaded his quick rise. Said Bridges in that interview: “I had my high-waist denim on and the girlfriend of one of the guitarists from White Denim followed me and was like, 'You should meet my boyfriend, he wears Wranglers!'”

White Denim's Austin Jenkins, as you may know, is the person that is spearheading Bridges' current recording effort, and more or less set the ball in motion on that whole Columbia signing.

Still, Leon Bridges has only officially released a pair of songs online, and his fans have been pretty much wearing those out. If you count yourself among that bunch, you'll be happy to learn that Bridges was featured on a recent episode of the Chevy Music Showcase, where he recorded a video of another new song, “River,” at Fort Worth's Keys Lounge, where he was backed by members of The Texas Gentlemen and the inimitable Jeff Dazey on sax. Check it out.

Bridges, it turns out, was also one of the locally-tied names included on the most recent batch of acts that'll be performing at this spring's SXSW in Austin. Other locals included in that announce were A.Dd+, Rick Anderson, DJ dTrain, Kirk Franklin, Green River Ordinance, Ronnie Heart, JLD, Eddy Kenzo, LaToria, New Fumes, Jesse Porter, Ray Reed. They'll join the likes of ShySpeaks, TX Connect and Wild Party. As you may recall, Mr. Kitty, Jonathan Tyler, DJ Duffey, Black Milk and Ben Kweller were previously announced.

Moving on, there've been a spate of venue openings and closings of note. First up, the Dallas Morning News reports that Richard Rawlings is currently shopping for a piece of Fort Worth real estate at which to open the third Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill location. It falls in line with his plan, as he's previously told the paper, to open “15 or 20 more” of these things, a la House of Blues.

Then there's the Henderson Avenue Country Club, which celebrated its grand opening this past weekend by hosting shows from The King Bucks and Holy Moly. Yeah, its that kind of country club. In case you're late to that party, just know that the combination barbecue joint and upscale honky tonk is located in the old Tried and True space and is being operated by the owners of Henderson Tap House. Oh, and like it was this past weekend, twangy live music is going to be a staple here moving forward, too.

Even more recently, Plush temporarily closed last night while its owners attempt to rebrand the place as Gatsby.

Speaking of recent changes to the local music landscape: D Magazine has hired Alex Macon as the new full-time editor for its arts- and music-focused Front Row blog. Previously, Macon worked as a reporter at the Galveston County Daily News and was a managing editor at the NT Daily. He replaces longtime Front Row contributor Christopher Mosley, who had held the editor position since March of last year.

“I didn't know the last editor,” Macon tells White Noise, “but he was a good writer who knew his stuff and seemed to be involved in the community. [I'm] just going to try to keep that going.”

Calls to Mosley for comment on his future have not gone answered.

In any case, Macon should have a lot to report on in the coming weeks, as several North Texas artists are on the verge of releasing new albums. In the immediate future, the criminally underrated Alsace Carcione will release a new LP as part of a show this Saturday, January 17, at Dada. That same day, Denton's Old Potion will do the same over at Rubber Gloves. A bit farther out: The Cush will celebrate the release of its next one with a February 7 show at Three Links; danger folk outfit Hares on the Mountain will celebrate both the release of its latest as well as the group's fourth anniversary on February 8, as part of its weekly Sunday afternoon gig at Dan's Silverleaf; and The Demigs will release a new album on February 28 at Dan's. Then there's Pink Smoke, which will enter the studio next month to record its sophomore LP.

We also caught up with -topic earlier today. The Dallas rapper recently had one of his compositions placed in a McDonald's spot that's currently airing in select markets. He also talked a bit about his upcoming Red Bull Sound Select show, where, he says, he'll be backed by a live band — the experimental Arlington fusion outfit Mixed Magyk.

“They played with me back in April for a joint we did called 'April Foolin','” the rapper says. “They learned my entire set in one sit-down, from top to bottom. Crazy talented guys there. But yeah, I totally have to show Thundercat that Dallas does not suck, and that we will eat all things awesome and crap out greater awesome.”

Don't forget to RSVP here to get into the show for $3 instead of $10.

Elsewhere, it's being reported by several, generally trustworthy outlets, that the Addison-raised David Berman and his Silver Jews outfit might be working on some new material, although the band doesn't intend to tour. Also, Rhett Miller took to the pages of Sports Illustrated, where he penned a piece elaborating on a story he told Marc Maron on his WTF podcast back in November about his grandpa Giles Miller, who purchased the New York Yanks of the NFL, moved them to Dallas and renamed them the Dallas Texans.

Finally, local stoner metal act Wo Fat was featured on a list of NPR's favorite metal albums of 2014. According the accompanying blurb, “The Dallas band has a deep knowledge of Texas psych-rock, not to mention the chemistry of a blues trio that ain't missed its Friday night dive-bar gig in decades.”

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