Buffalo Black Honors Michael Brown, Suburbia Fest Gets Scrapped and Spinderella Keeps Pushing.

Yesterday evening, a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, released its decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Despite pleas from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for peace, the verdict only served to escalate racial tension in the city. Protests turned violent and several local businesses were burned and/or looted. Then the outcry spread to other parts of the country as thousands of people in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle took to the streets to join in the protests.

Locally, plenty of strong sentiments have also been expressed. For instance? Rapper Buffalo Black made a few salient points via his Facebook page, posting: “It was never about being a Black man/woman or a White man/woman.. It was always about humanity, and dignifying our existence on this planet through justice. If we are ever perceived as Angry or Righteously Indignant it’s because we as Black Men, unwillingly overcompensate ourselves to prove that we Bleed, Cry, and Love the same as any of you, and we deserve Humanity.”

More than just a few words scribbled in haste, the Dallas artist also posted a new track called “Bloodlines,” which implicitly pays tribute to Brown. It’s definitely worth listening to a few times today. Check it out.

Sticking on the hip-hop front, Dallas rapper Cashmir released his debut mixtape, Prodigy, earlier today. The tape, which features production from Ish D, Xclu Productions, Lexi Banks, Zeon Harris and 808Hitzville and guest verses from B Hamp and Fat Boogie is another strong statement from the 23-year-old Dallasite. Seriously, though, as much as we’ve heard him mentioned in the past year, we only expect that to increase several times over after releasing his first real project. Find it below.

And there’s plenty more mixtapes in store, too — or so promises the crew behind the locally-based Local Over Everything podcast. To kick off its second season, the show promised to release mixes showcasing — you guessed it! — local artists. Last week, they got the ball rolling with LOE Presents: The Locals Vol.001, a beat tape that features the likes of Blue, the Misfit, Yung Wave, -topic and X, the Misfit, among others. Stream and/or grab it below as a name-your-price download.

Of course, the biggest “mixtape” of the year is the Awesome Mix Vol. 1 that played such a central role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. How awesome was that batch of tunes that Quill‘s mom assembled? It became the first soundtrack in history to consist of entirely previously released songs to top the Billboard 200. But here’s something cooler than that. This week, Guardians director James Gunn posted what he called Awesome Mix Vol. 0 to his Facebook page, which really just amounts to an eclectic playlist of upbeat tunes that he played on set to keep the extras hyped up. You can check out the full track listing here, but while you’re there, we’d like to direct your attention to the mix’s final cut, “Time Bomb” by our own Old 97’s. More importantly, this is now the the second director of a massive hit project to admit that he was inspired by the 97’s.

Speaking of inspiration: Geico was inspired, so to speak, by Salt-n-Pepa‘s 1987 hit single, “Push It,” when writing its latest television spot. In any case, we’d rather see the trio — including Dallas’ own Spinderella — telling strangers to push random things than that damn gecko doing, well, just about anything. Check it out.

On the other hand, it looks like the 20,000 or so folks that showed up to last year’s inaugural Suburbia Fest wasn’t enough to inspire Live Nation to sink any money into bringing the fest back in 2015.

For its part, the City of Plano, which invested $500,000 of its taxpayers’ money into putting on last year’s fest, says it hopes to continue on with a new signature festival next year, although that process will depend on proposals, council meetings and the other standard rigmarole. If the thing does return, though, it’ll have to do so under a new name and branding. Live Nation owns the rights to the Suburbia name, and it ain’t sharing.

Moving on to something a bit more pleasant, there’s this nice little read from Guitar World, in which St. Vincent talks about her love for finger-tapping and the fact that it’s a direct product of her love for Pantera and her attempt to emulate her hero Dimebag Darrell.

To that end, here’s some more heavy for you, courtesy of Dallas-based “tech-death metal act” Baring Teeth, which released its debut LP, Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins earlier today. Along with Mountain of Smoke‘s March-released self-titled LP, it’s easily one of the best local metal albums of the year. Stream it below, courtesy of Revolver, then catch the band live on December 13 at Liquid Lounge.

Speaking of this year’s Mountain of Smoke LP, the latest from Vincent Neil Emerson was also recorded by Britt Robisheaux. Emerson’s new “Hesitation Blues” single is also the first thing he’s ever recorded with his full backing band, The Old Souls. Check out the below video ahead of the band heading back into the studio next month to finish the album.

Staying out in The Fort, Lindby is just starting to tease its third annual Christmas EP, this one titled Gingerbread Rock. Like previous years’ efforts, this one features collaborations with several other notable locals. For instance, “Merry Christmas, Baby” is a retro duet between the band’s Ali Grant and local It Boy soulman Leon Bridges. Check that one out below, ahead of the group’s annual Christmas party at Lola’s, which will also feature Bogus Green, Rachel Gollay and another surprise act.

And because local musicians seem to really love writing Christmas songs, here’s another one, courtesy of Dallas folk outfit Bad Mountain. The band’s “The Gift of Christmas Eve,” we should point out, will be part of Hand Drawn Records‘ fourth annual Christmas sampler, which will also include new holiday tunes from Dome Dwellers, Daniel Markham and Andrew Tinker, among others.

And, though it’s not holiday-related, French 75 passed along its debut music video for its “Get Out Tonight” single, which you can find below. Consider it an early gift.

In our weekly The Voice check-in, we’re happy to report that locals still accounted for three of the 10 performers left in the competition and vying to make the Top 8 with last night’s performances. While we won’t find out the results of that one until later tonight, it’s safe to say that Craig Wayne Boyd probably doesn’t have to worry about moving on. With his cover of “I Walk the Line” reaching No. 7 on the iTunes Top 10, the show has awarded Boyd its second “iTunes Multiplier” of the season.

Finally this week, the next batch of locals set to play South by Southwest in 2015 has been released. Through the first two SXSW announces, Mr. Kitty, Jonathan Tyler, DJ Duffey and Black Milk have all been confirmed for official showcases.

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