It's Official: 2014 Dallas Is Obsessed With The '90s.
As the end of 2014 draws closer, one can finally take back and get a clearer picture of the biggest trends of the year for the North Texas music scene.
And, without a doubt, the two most frequent themes from the year's music coverage were that the '90s were awesome and the local hip-hop scene is bigger and more impressive than ever.
We're not here to buck these trends. In fact, we've got a lot of news and notes relating to those topics to bring up at the current juncture.
To the first point, we present Exhibit A, a piece in Salon calling Dallas outfit Bedhead “the best band from the '90s that you've never heard.” So maybe all that chest pounding Dallas has done with regards to the scene's early '90s heyday wasn't for naught? Anyway, in other Kadane brothers news, Matt and Bubba's Bedhead follow-up project, The New Year played its first show in six years at San Francisco's Masonic Auditorium last month, and that band may or may not be working on a new album.
Similarly, the long-defunct Red Animal War recently announced a reunion show of its own. That one, will come December 12 at Double Wide.
Now, let's refer back to our earlier point about North Texas hip-hop. It has kind of been a banner year for that scene — and for its part, the rest of the nation has started to take notice. In the past few months, a Dallas-sprung rapper topped the Billboard charts and another local duo released what's been called the worst song of 2014 by outlets all over the globe.
The attention has continued of late, too. For instance, in an hour-long interview with NPR's Microphone Check podcast, Killer Mike shouted out The Outfit, TX, calling them one of three hip-hop acts he's currently listening to. Check out the full interview below. The call-out comes just after the one-hour mark.
Hip-hop's been increasingly on the forefront of North Texans' minds, too. And that looks to be especially true moving forward, as both 93.3-FM and 94.5-FM flipped to classic hip-hop formats over the weekend. In the case of 94.5-FM — which will henceforth be called Boom 94.5 — there are plenty of folks not all that stoked about the idea, mostly because the move means the station let go iconic DJ Tom Joyner, replacing him with “promises to play the music many Generation X'ers grew up listening to like Dr. Dre, Tupac, P Diddy, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Geto Boys and many more.” Meanwhile, 93.3-FM's change appears to just be a temporary one.
Still, considering the city's fixation with past treasures, we expect the classic hip-hop stations will probably do pretty well.
For the same reason, we also expect plenty of people will really dig this new Hudson Mohawke remix that Zach Witness just posted to his SoundCloud. Witness doesn't like to refer to the song as a quote-unquote remix, though. Says Witness: “I like to call them revives, because I think of it more as breathing new life into the song. Essentially it's an original, though, because nothing is sampled. I created everything. Basically, I just took the concept of the original and built on it.” Whatever you call it, you can listen to it below.
Also released last week is a new eight-track LP from The Mohicans. Like that infamous Play-N-Skillz cut, there's a track called “STFU.” This one's a little less embarrassing, though, mostly because, instead of telling girls that shun their overly creepy advances to shut the fuck up, these guys reserve the phrase for creepy, overarching government officials. Listen to it in full below.
And because we're on something of hip-hop kick at the moment, here's more new local hip-hop ripe for the checking out courtesy of Lord Byron — or is it L. BY these days? Dunno, but this song jams.
Meanwhile, one of the next chances to see some homegrown hip-hop in a live setting will come this weekend, when the Lee Escobedo-, Billy Lam– and Jesse Porter-helmed An LBJ Experience booking agency kicks off its new Artist 2 Artist series, which aims to pair artists of different genres in intimate settings. The inaugural edition will bring together local hip-hop kings A.Dd+ and shoegaze-y distortion-poppers Blackstone Rangers this Friday, November 20, at Lofty Spaces. Expect more than just standard sets from these two acts, though. Reads the press release: “As two acts present an intimate set with interview interludes, video stories will play between songs and the artists will speak directly to their art, sound and inspiration. As opposed to reading or seeing their stories elsewhere, you get an opportunity to experience their stories from the artists themselves, in a lively concert context but intimate atmosphere. This unique showcase will also feature a halftime interlude showcasing entertainment from different arts and cultures, providing a diverse showcase of Dallas' talent.”
There are some more shows that should be on your radar, too. Like this Relient Energy-sponsored offering at AT&T Performing Arts Center that promises to feature Los Lobos and Jack Ingram performing for free, no less. That one will go down December 6.
While you've got your planners out, go ahead and block off both December 17 and 18. According to the following teaser video, that's when Red Bull Sound Select's year-end blowouts will take place. No word yet on who will be performing, but we're told these shows will be happening somewhere in Deep Ellum.
Then, on January 17, a pretty kickass-looking benefit show will go down at Trees. King Camel's Have a Heart showcase will raise money to help Dallasite John Bullard with medical expenses stemming from his struggles with Cerebral Palsy. Bands announced for the show thus far include headliner Beach Fossils, plus Appleseed Cast, Madison King, Telegraph Canyon, Leon Bridges, Son of Stan, Ronnie Heart, Matthew & the Arrogant Sea, The Blondettes and Moon Waves, with more local and touring acts being added in the coming weeks. Tickets are currently on sale here.
Also? Wesley Geiger will hold a release show for his upcoming record on December 28 at Kessler Theater, and Dustin Cavazos will do the same on January 10 at The Prophet Bar.
Moving on, check out the lead single from the debut EP by upstart Denton lo-fi rockers No Touching, which was recorded at Civil Recording a few months back.
Says Civil's Michael Briggs, the studio just launched a new “online mixing” service, in which they'll now mix and master material bands recorded elsewhere, or more likely, on their own. It also opens him up, he says, to working with more bands that live outside of Denton. Musicians should email Briggs directly for rates.
Speaking of other projects in the studio, Son of Stan is currently producing a new EP from SuperSonic Lips, and per an update on the musician's Facebook page, he's set to follow that up with new albums from Tidals, Bummer Vacation, War Party and Sealion.
Cover image of The New Year courtesy of the band. Got a tip for White Noise? Email us!