Is Dallas a Legitimate Music Town? One Major Label Industry Vet Says Yes.
Did Katy Perry's Grammys dress fall within this year's stricter dress code guidelines? Did Taylor Swift throw a subtle jab at her ex Harry Styles during her opening performance during Sunday night's broadcast? Did a Jack White F-bomb slip by censors? Are the Grammys less relevant these days than cable TV zombie dramas?
If you answered yes to that last one, then you probably weren't one of the 28 million Americans tuned into the Grammy Awards this past Sunday night. And there's an even greater chance then that you didn't stick around to catch the local news broadcast that followed. In a fluff package that ran during that broadcast, CBS reporter Tracy Kornet interviewed Columbia Records senior vice president Lee Leipsner at locations like Good Records, Granada Theater and Snuffer's. In the piece, Leipsner also revealed that he's so enamored with Dallas' local music scene that he's going to start living here — on at least a part-time basis.
“Everything's good about Dallas,” Leipsner told Kornet. “The culture's great. It's a great music town, a great sports town, a great people town.”
That's a sentiment we tend to agree with.
And it just keeps getting better all the time. Judging from all the debut releases we've heard pre-Valentine's Day this year, we're guessing the Best New Artist categories in the various local publications' respective music awards ceremonies are going to be especially stiff this year.
One outfit making a case for themselves in that regard as of late are Denton's Pink Smoke, who offered up four tracks from their upcoming debut No Party as a free download this week. Clocking in at under nine minutes, the new tracks tread a more straightforward territory than the throwback rocker “Death Trap” the group offered up a while back. Not that it this is necessarily a bad thing. Our kneejerk reaction to what we've heard thus far from Pink Smoke is that they'd fit in quite nicely performing alongside any band from Dirtnap Records' roster. Credit that to the fact that their producer, Mark Ryan, not only plays on two Dirtnap bands himself, but has had a hand in producing for a handful of others in the last few years as well.
Speaking of Ryan: He's recently been running a North Texas-based all-analog recording studio along with his Marked Men bandmate Jeff Burke, and his Mind Spiders bandmate Mike Throneberry. The new place is called Cool Devices Studio.
Another sign we've been pointing to lately to suggest the Dallas' music scene is on an uptick is all the venues opening up as of late. And, although that much anticipated Terror and H20 show this past Saturday didn't end up serving as the first chance to check out the former La Grange spot since its re-branding as Three Links, we see it as more of a minor speed bump than any sort of major hurdle to the room's eventual re-opening. Per Three Links co-owner Scott Beggs, the owners simply didn't allow themselves enough time to complete all the proper permitting they needed to with the city. But Beggs doesn't anticipate the holdup from hampering the venue's opening much further. When asked if all the necessary permitting should be taken care of in advance of the March 17 Off With Their Heads show, Beggs simply responded, “Absolutely.”
Lastly, our thoughts this week go out to School of Seven Bells' Benjamin Curtis who was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma late last week. Per the band's official statement, Ben will need an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy to treat the illness but that he has remained in good spirits thus far, even going so far, says the report, to try and figure out a way to sample the MRI machine during one of his hospital visits. The full statement can be found on the band's Facebook page.
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