A Look Back At The Polyphonic Spree's Bomb Scare. Plus New Music From Sarah Jaffe and Howler Jr

Today marks a very special anniversary in Dallas music lore.

The story begins 10 years ago today, when former The Polyphonic Spree percussionist Brian Teasley decided to fly home to Alabama following a stint on the road with the Spree.

Upon his arrival in Alabama, Teasley noticed that one of his bags was missing. He then filed a lost bag claim and proceeded to head home, deciding on the way to grab some Taco Bell. Only, his bag wasn't lost at all. As Teasley was running for the proverbial border, bomb squads back at DFW Airport had deployed robots to blast open Teasley's luggage, which they had determined contained a pipe bomb.

As Teasley later explained to the Dallas Observer back then, it was only when he showed the bullet-proof-vest-clad members of the FBI that met him in his driveway footage of a televised Spree performance that they figured out that the bomb in question was actually a custom microphone hand-built by his bandmate Mark Pirro.

Thank God for TiVo.

Speaking of anniversaries: There are a couple more notable ones coming up to be aware of. On Friday, August 22, legendary Denton polka outfit Brave Combo will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a blowout at Kessler Theater. Even cooler? Earlier this week, the band explained to the Dallas Morning News that the show would feature a performance from the original Brave Combo lineup that parted ways way back in 1983, as well as a set from the current lineup and a “free-for-all” set from both bands that will close out the night. On the other end of the spectrum, local promoter Jeffrey Brown will celebrate the first anniversary of his booking shows under the King Camel moniker with a big, day-long music fest at Dada on August 30. On tap for that showcase so far are The Phuss, Sweet Spirit, Blackstone Rangers, Dead Mockingbirds, Nite, Hex Cult, International Bitterness Unit, FOGG, Botany, Mercury Rocket, Cutter, Bashe, Street Arabs, Matthew & the Arrogant Sea, Howler Jr. and Tidals.

Speaking of bigger events: The Index folks added Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham to this year's three-day affair. Also added to the fest's website this week are the daily lineups detailing who is playing when.

Let's move on to the big screen: In the wake of the release of Get On Up, the James Brown biopic, friend of Brown's and longtime Dallas music event producer Angus G. Wynne shared some of his thoughts on the accuracy of the film's portrayal of Brown, as well as some of his favorite interactions with the Godfather of Soul with the Dallas Morning News. It's an entertaining, read to be sure.

Meanwhile, R.L. Turner product Vanilla Ice sat down with GQ to voice his displeasure with Wiz Khalifa and Co.'s new ninja rap in the upcoming TMNT flick. Said Ice: “…it sounds like a bunch of executives in the corporate world put it together. It really does not fit the theme of the Ninja Turtles' legend. I think you have to understand, and be a true Ninja, to possess the Magic to really pull off the secret sound.”

Well, then.

With that, let us move on to a whole bunch of new music to check out. First up is Don't Disconnect, the newest full-length from Sarah Jaffe, which is streaming in-full over at NPR a full two weeks ahead of its official release date.

Likewise, Denton's Fishboy has yet another new concept LP due out in October, which is currently streaming on his BandCamp page. Like his last few releases, this one too comes with a comic book that adds a visual element to his 13-track telling of the tale of Topsy, the elephant publicly electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903 — from the elephant's point of view, of course.

Then there's Dallas singer-songwriter Nicholas Altobelli, who released his latest batch of Americana-infused tunes today in the form of his Mesocyclone EP. Check out a video of the album's first single, “Thunderstorms,” below. You can also stream the thing in full here.

Also released today is a shiny new single by Dallas' Howler Jr. from its upcoming Getting Somewhere LP, which is due out next month. Already, the track boasts a slicker, almost more Jeff Lynne-esque production quality than the band's already catchy take on surf pop, meaning you should probably keep an eye out for the full album's upcoming release.

Oh, but there's more.

For instance, check out this newly released Drug Mountain collaboration that features Stuart Dahlquist of the Seattle experimental metal act Sunn O))) and doom metal act Burning Witch. We'd say it's a natural fit, if there ever was one.

Also worth mentioning are a handful of new tracks from some fresh-faced Denton acts that haven't received much press to date.

Garage rockers Bad Beats recently released its first pair of tracks via BandCamp. The band describes its own sound as “surf rock for non surfers, skate punk for non punkers,” but you can determine that for yourselves. Check it out.

Then there's Mink Coats, which has released a handful of big-sounding pscyh-meets-surf cuts from its debut already this summer. Check out our favorite of the bunch, “Another Notch in the Bible Belt,” below.

While we're on the subject, you can also check out Space State's own, unsurprisingly spacey debut LP, which the band released back in June.

Finally, Somebody's Darling offered up this teaser clip for its upcoming LP, and Zach Witness dropped the below, alluring Gorillaz remix.

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