Leon Bridges Joins The Beatles, Pittsburgh Loves Denton and Radioactivity Returns.
If March 2015 is going to be remembered as the month Leon Bridges won SXSW, then this month may as well be regarded as the month Bridges won at life, period.
On top of headlining last week's Art Ball event here in town and a recent Rolling Stone profile, Bridges also jetted off to Seattle to record with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and then flew over to Cleveland, where he notched the coolest performance yet of his still-young career. There, Bridges performed at this weekend's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, singing “Dedicated to the One I Love” in honor of The “5” Royales, and “When a Man Loves a Woman” in honor of the recently deceased Percy Sledge.
But it gets even better still: To cap off the evening's proceedings, Bridges joined both surviving members of The Beatles — plus Beck, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Green Day, Dave Grohl, Karen O and a whole mess of other megastars — onstage for a rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends.”
How fucking cool is that?
A televised version of the ceremony will air on May 30 on HBO. When it does, you'll also see another local get honored as Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark Jr., Jimmie Vaughan and John Mayer combined forces to pay tribute to Oak Cliff's own Stevie Ray Vaughan, shredding on his “Pride and Joy” and “Texas Flood,” as well as Jimmy's song “Six Strings Down,” which he wrote in 1994 to honor his brother, the late Texas blues guitar great.
While the subject of Leon Bridges is still fresh, we should probably bring up the fact that his roommate, Jake Paleschic has been tapped to open a handful of sold-out tour dates for Bridges starting on April 29. It's good timing for Paleschic, who just released his first solo album, Again, At Last over the weekend. In a recent Fort Worth Weekly feature, Paleschic describes his sound as “subtle rock,” and we tend to agree. The eight-track LP — which you can currently grab as a name-your-price download on his BandCamp page — sounds every bit like the best batch of Chris Isaak covers Midlake never recorded. In case it wasn't clear, that was supposed to be a compliment.
Also currently on tour is Dallas rock band Dead Flowers, which marked the occasion by releasing a lyric video for 2014's “Anyone But Me.”
Similarly heading out on tour soon will be the exciting young Denton outfit Pearl Earl, which will leave for a three-week West Coast swing following an April 30 release show at Dan's Silverleaf for its new EP. Speaking of which, you can stream the first single from that album below.
Another Pearl Earl tune that we've previously featured was also recently distributed via a free compilation album put out in tandem by UK-based music blog Gold Flake Paint and the Pittsburgh-based The Grey Estates. We bring this up because that same comp also features a new song from Denton's Dripping Wet. Stream that band's “She's Not Mine” below, and grab the whole comp as a name-your-price download here.
Another song worthy of interest that was featured on that same Pittsburgh blog this week was a new collaboration between Layer Cake's Jena Pyle and Claire Morales, who joined forces to cover Patsy Cline's “Strange.”
Pittsburgh is so in love with Denton at the moment, huh? It kinda reminds us of the way Portland's Dirtnap Records was, for a time, considered the the biggest advocates of Denton's punk scene. Then again, maybe they still are? On June 30, anyway, that label will put out the North Texas-based Radioactivity's sophomore LP, Silent Kill. Per a press release from the band, the disc will feature the same brand of garage punk its fans have come to expect, as well as “mid-tempo heartbreakers 'Way Out,' 'Connection' and 'Where I Come From' [that find the band] opening up their sound to let in a little tenderness.” But that'll have to wait, because the band's first single, “Silent,” is something of a rager.
More new-ish things now available to stream include an instrumental version of Black Milk's If There's a Hell Below. Here's that one in full.
Then, just this morning, Cashmir released a powerful new song and accompanying video clip for his new “Blakk America.” The song will appear on his upcoming Cashmir [All Singles] EP that'll be released sometime next month.
Yesterday, meanwhile, A.V. the Great celebrated 4/20 by releasing a new song/video called “W.Y.S.,” which is short for “What you smoke?” The pro-legalization anthem is only slightly less subtle than Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard's new one.
Similarly, The Outfit, TX premiered its first single of the year earlier today via Complex. “Wild Turkey” too nods toward a mood-altering substance of sorts, in this case the famously cheap brand of whiskey.
Yet another new hip-hop video this week comes from Enertia McFly, who we last saw contributing a verse to Play-N-Skillz's “Literally I Can't (STFU).” Once again, the Dallas rapper finds himself working with the Brothers Salinas on the just released “Go to Twerk.” Producer 2much (“Ice Cream Paint Job”) also contributed production to the track.
One last clip for the week comes from cinematic Portland-via-Oklahoma indie outfit Other Lives, which recorded a live session from its upcoming LP for KCRW. This is worth noting because, in the clip, you can catch Dallas' own Daniel Hart, who plays violin with the band. The full album earns its release on May 4, and the band will play at Dada on June 12.
Moving on: This Friday will mark the final air shift for longtime 97.1-FM The Eagle DJ Chris Ryan, who has been on the air for 21 years. Unlike most in his business, he not only gets to go out on his own terms, but he was even afforded the chance to pen an open letter to his fans as well.
Then there's the Gorilla vs. Bear showcase, which recently teased its fifth annual offering. Details are scant at the moment, but we do know that the event will take place this year on July 31 at Granada Theater. Also worth noting: This year's version will also include a second night, this one happening August 1 at The Mohawk in Austin. No acts have been announced, but a promo video teasing the event did contain a clip of Jamie XX's “Loud Places,” so make of that what you will.
Elsewhere: Fort Worth's new Dreamy Life Studios is now open for business, offering up same day mixing and mastering services for singles recorded in house; and Fort Worth's Bryan Simpson signed a deal with New West Records, which will release the 2014 LP from his band The Whistles and The Bells.
Cover photo of Leon Bridges by Karlo X. Ramos. Got a tip for White Noise? Email us!