Jana Hunter Speaks Out, Rex Brown Sells Out and Stevie Ray Vaughan Gets Bronzed.
When St. Vincent and the teens of Dancewave did their thing on The Tonight Show last week, they probably had no idea the kind firestorm they'd set off locally.
To recap: Following the broadcast, Dallas Observer music editor Jeff Gage drew the ire of Gawker for his allegedly sexist analysis of said performance. Later, Texas Monthly got ahold of the story, offering up its own, markedly more thoughtful ruminations on the fallacies of the historically male-dominated music and music criticism industries.
It's a much-needed discussion that's been taking place in smaller circles for several years now, and one that's rightly becoming an issue more on the forefront. And while it's a North Texas transplant that's spawned the current round of discourse, another North Texas ex-pat finds herself at the opposite end of the spectrum: Lower Dens mastermind Jana Hunter turned in a piece for Cosmopolitan late last week, which we consider to be the most thoughtful and poignant perspective on the issue we've read to date.
An excerpt from Hunter's column: “And that is the thing that gets me, at least lately. That you have to talk yourself into believing that misogyny exists, even when the evidence is stacked up, even when you're banging your head into the wall over and over and over. Our insistence on valuing some humans above others is such an inscrutable quandary. Every day, all humans are judged and all humans are judging, but why do some get the benefit of the doubt? Why do we choose to rate people against each other based on such an arbitrary designation as gender when it's obvious this brings us nothing but grief? I don't want to believe the world is that way, and I don't want to believe I am subject to something so arbitrary, so false. It isn't that I feel sorry for myself; it's that I don't want to be disappointed in the world around me.”
The piece is an absolute must-read for anyone that listens to, discusses, writes about or otherwise considers themselves a part of the music community. We couldn't recommend it more highly.
Another, perhaps slightly more unexpected, local musician advocating for women's rights issues of late is ex-Pantera drummer Vinny Paul Abbott, whose Hellyeah outfit's new video for 2014 single, “Hush,” is one that urges the victims of domestic violence to speak out. Released in conjunction with violence-prevention initiative A Call to Men, the issue is one with which the band's frontman told Billboard he's had personal experience.
Meanwhile, Abbott's onetime bandmate, Pantera bassist Rex Brown, is currently auctioning off a bunch of his stuff. Items up for grabs include a smattering of his basses and other stage-used gear, plus clothes he's worn on album covers or on stage and other rare band merch/memorabilia.
Closer to home, one of Carter Albrecht's old guitars is currently being auctioned as well. Donated by Albrecht's family, the circa-2000 Telecaster was used while Albrecht working on his solo record Jesus is Alive…and Living in London. Proceeds raised from the sale will benefit the second-annual Open Carry Guitar Rally, which will return to the Continental Avenue Bridge Park on Sunday, May 3. Unlike last year's inaugural gathering, organizers say they plan on doing it big this year, with live bands, permits, security guards, bathrooms and the like.
Not far from that bridge, the Belmont Hotel folks recently announced the lineup to this year's Barefoot at the Belmont series. Highlights from the intimate summer series — which kicks off on May 7 with Knox Hamilton and Daniel Markham — include Israel Nash, Bobby Patterson, Leon Bridges and Rhett Miller. Tickets for the first performance go on sale next Wednesday, April 22. And, if we've learned anything from previous years, it's that passes to this thing go exceptionally quickly. So get on that.
Sticking out in the Cliff, the Dallas Morning News reports that steps are being taken to put a Stevie Ray Vaughan memorial statue in Oak Cliff's Kiest Park. While Austin's had its own SRV statue for some 20 years now, the city in which he was born, raised and buried in still does not. In order to make it happen, Kirby Warnock, the former Buddy Magazine editor that's been pushing the project, will need to raise “$68,000 — $28,000 of which will go toward the project. The remaining $40,000 will be set aside for 20 years' worth of maintenance,” according to the Morning News.
Moving on: Observer freelancer Jaime-Paul Falcon attempted a bit of humor this week with a (takedown?) piece on mainstream festival booking practices for Deadspin, all centered around his experiences working for 35 Denton. The thing that really stands out to us? That the festival was working with a $300,000 budget.
Meanwhile, Blank-Men bassist Sam Swanson passed along word that the Devo-mining local synth-punk outfit is readying a new live EP, recorded during a recent Rubber Gloves show.
“[We] are currently in the process of mixing and choosing which songs will be the final five to six tracks to make the cut,” Swanson says. “I can say right now that the final choices will be a mixture of new songs and live renditions of selections from our last EP, FACT or FICTION?.
Check out “Radio Silence” from that last release below.
Also prepping a new record is Dallas folk duo The O's, which will host a pre-order and album-awareness party for its new Honeycomb LP at Lakewood Landing on Sunday, April 19.
Elsewhere, the John Dufilho-led Cantina recently released a new Chuck & George-directed video for its “Bulletproof” song, which you can check out below.
Finally, here are some quick hits to end this week's music news and notes: Vexed UK will play its final show this Saturday at Rubber Gloves; The Local Ticket is now available as a convenient Spotify playlist; and high-end local hi-fi dealer Audio Concepts announced a rare sale that'll go down this Record Store Day weekend.
Jana Hunter cover photo by Frank Hamilton. Got a tip for White Noise? Email us!