Major Dallas Concerts Will Require Vaccinations, Yella Beezy Gets Popped For Hand Sanitizer, Billy Bob’s GM Gets Cyber-Bullied And So Much More.
If you’ve been having trouble keeping tabs on where masks are and aren’t mandated these days, we don’t blame you. The back-and-forth court-filing spree has been a head-spinning adventure, to say the very least, with local officials and statewide ones taking up opposing stances and jostling for position on the debate.
But private business is still private business, and whereas things remain hazy — and constantly changing — in the public realms of schools, courthouses and government facilities, the concert industry appears to be taking the matter into their own hands.
Two big dominoes fell this week in that regard, as AEG and Live Nation — the two largest concert promotion entities in the world — both announced that they’ll be requiring vaccinations of all employees (including independent contractors at venues they might rent out for an event), and forcing concertgoers to either show proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID test in order to attend any of their offerings, which span a wide array of concerts, festivals and other performances.
Both companies are firm in their stances, despite threats from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this week to have the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission pull the liquor licenses of any alcohol-selling Texas establishment instituting such a policy.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll be immune to backlash. Last Friday, Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth made headlines after hosting a proof-of-vaccination-required Jason Isbell concert. Many patrons were none too pleased at the rule, and were quick to send out disgruntled emails comparing Billy Bob’s general manager Marty Travis to Adolf Hitler. For his part, Travis didn’t seem to mind much.
“I don’t care if they call me Janet Jackson,” Travis told Rolling Stone. “Let’s just get to the show and have a good time and move on to our next gig. It’s not that big a deal. But, man, it is Uproar City down here, like I ripped a picture of the pope in half.”
That sounds about right, actually. Travis said he’s not worried about the governor’s office coming after him because his threat came after Isbell show. While Isbell previously canceled a show in Houston at a venue that wouldn’t enforce the artist’s proof-of-vax protocol, Travis also estimates that, within the industry, these protocols will soon become so commonplace that the governor — who himself tested positive for COVID on Tuesday — will have to inevitably back off his stance, or face dealing with an industry losing millions, if not billions, in concert revenue from events that can really just skip the state altogether.
As for Abbott, he met with legendary Oak Cliff sprung guitarist Jimmie Vaughan without a mask on the same day he tested positive for the virus. Vaughan and his family went right out and got tested for COVID themselves, and got back negative results and wished the governor a speedy recovery, but it’s possible he could still test positive in the coming days after a possible infection he may have received completes its incubation period. Here’s hoping that’s not the case.
As if we need any reminder that the toll of the novel virus is far more detrimental to life than just the loss of concerts, COVID claimed the life of yet another beloved Dallas producer/promoter Anthony “OneSelf Salaam” Stanford on July 31. Stanford, 44, was the CEO of The Black Son Media Group, and he died in a Dallas hospital after asking for prayers on Facebook four days earlier in a caption alongside a picture of himself hooked up in an ICU.
Grammy-winner Symbolic One, who Stanford was part of a beat crew with during their salad days in Waco, memorialized his old friend with the following: “Heartbroken. Bubba thanks for being such a great brother and a true friend (family). Just know that you lived a purposeful life and touched so many people on this earth including mine. I will forever hold on to the great memories and bond we shared. Miss u greatly but God needed you more. Rest easy my brother. Love ya!”
Venerated Dallas punkster Matt Renicks also passed away this morning while surrounded by loved ones in London, where he lived. Rennicks was recently diagnosed with cancer in several of his vital organs and had begun undergoing chemotherapy. In his time, Renicks played in several punk bands in both Dallas and London, most notably Total Chaos and Blitz. He was also featured in the recent Dallas punk rock documentary Everything Is A-OK, and had a YouTube series of his own called The Matt Renicks Show. According to a recent GoFundMe aimed at helping Renicks’ family with his medical bills, he will be remembered for his legendary stories and positive disposition. Another good one gone before his time.
Moving on now to other headlining stories, TMZ reported that Oak Cliff rapper Yella Beezy was arrested last week for allegedly possessing 400 grams of a controlled substance and five firearms. Beezy later took to social media to say the controlled substance in question is actually a brand of hand sanitizer designed to look like “drank” called “Promethazine with Hand Sanitizer.” The rapper claims he offered police a sample, but they refused and charged him with possession instead. He also claims the weapons he had on him are all legal, but that a controlled substance clause meant he was charged anyway.
Yella Beezy doesn’t seem to be slowing down either way, though. He was also tapped alongside Houston rapper Maxo Kream for a guest spot on Wale’s new single “Down South” that includes a tributary resampling of a couple classic beats.
On the other hand, Erykah Badu is slowing her roll some. After getting Barack Obama and his family in trouble with conservatives for sharing on her Instagram a clip of the former president partying without a mask at his 60th birthday party earlier this month, the Queen of Neo-Soul issued an apology for her actions on Twitter.
Mr. And Mrs. Obama , Please forgive me 4 being the “terrible guest “ at such a sacred event for your family. I was so inconsiderate, Thank you for all your love. What an example of ‘how NOT ‘ to be …… erica
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) August 12, 2021
Hey, not everyone celebrates their birthday like Erykah does, OK?
It does seem like almost every major music star with Dallas ties was somehow in the news this week — many of them earning profiles in major publications. In a feature for Elle, Selena Gomez talked about moving on past her once Instagram-obsessed lifestyle. New York Magazine, meanwhile, tried to get to the bottom of the online sensation that is the Dallas-sprung Marc Rebillet. And, on a smaller note, the Dallas Morning News profiled local guitar ace Emily Elbert, who is these days using her talents as a member of Lorde‘s backing band.
Meanwhile, the Irving-sprung Salinas brothers who’ve produced hit after hit under their Play-N-Skillz moniker were recognized in another way, being named finalists in the “Latin Rhythm Artist of the Year, Duo or Group” category at the 2021 Latin Billboard Awards, the ceremony for which will broadcast via Telemundo on September 23.
Meanwhile, St. Vincent’s new “rock doc gone awry” called The Nowhere Inn — which she says is a “meditation on persona, friendship & fame in the hilarious and truly unclassifiable Nowhere Inn” — is now in theaters and on demand at IFC Films today. The film was written by and stars the performer as well as Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, and it was directed by Bill Benz. Think of it like Parks & Recreation, if it were about St. Vincent’s life as a musician.
Also flashing his creativity is Leon Bridges, who has had a lot of ink spilled his way of late due to the fact that his new Gold-Diggers Sound LP shows an artist progressing from where he started. Just the same, Bridges just yesterday dropped a new “visual playlist” to go with his 2015 debut LP, Coming Home.
On the actual documentary front, the locally tied GWAR is the subject of a new film called This Is Gwar, and it’s set to debut at this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin in September. The intimate look at the intergalactic rock band includes interviews with the band, plus famous followers like Bam Margera, along with never before seen footage of the late David Brockie. The story not only credits the early years of the band’s initiators but also dives into the depths of those who have striven to keep GWAR the bloodiest band in showbiz over the years. This Is GWAR was directed by Scott Barber (The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story), and its executive producers list includes Zach Blair (Hagfish, Drakulas, Rise Against).
Blair also recently went on the AXS TV series If These Walls Could Rock to talk about his band’s U.S. tour with The Descendents and The Menzingers that just stopped through Dallas Sunday night.
Speaking of Dallas music moments worthy of on-screen deification, The Sex Pistols‘ legendary 1978 tour stop at the Longhorn Ballroom will be featured as part of a limited-run series about the band that’s being directed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle for FX. How do we know? Well, the film’s cast and crew was at the Longhorn yesterday filming footage for the series — and doing so under a recreation of the venue’s iconic marquee noting performances in there from both the Pistols and Merle Haggard.
As for more modern-day announcements, we’ve got plenty of those.
In September, there’ll be a couple centennial celebration of Downtown Dallas’ Majestic Theater, which first opened in 1921. In addition to an already sold-out gala dinner held on the venue’s stage on September 8, there’ll be an open house event at the theater from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 19, wherein the public can tour the historic space. Over the course of that run, food trucks will line up outside the lobby, and performances from Herbie Johnson and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre will take place in addition to a silent-film screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid that will find award-winning KXT radio host and multi instrumentalist Paul Slavens providing musical accompaniment on piano.
That same weekend, Dallas ska pioneer Mr. Kingpin (previously of Rude King) will be kicking off the 2021 Supernova Ska Festival, which promises 30 hours of music live-streaming across September 17 to 19 from legendary acts including The Skatalites, The Slackers, Hepcat, Mustard Plug, The Toasters and Buck-O-Nine. More info on that event is available on the festival’s website.
Just after that, the annual Lewisville Western Days Festival will go down on September 25 and 26, with Dallas’ own Old 97’s headlining the festival on Friday night and country legend Dwight Yoakam tearing down the house on Saturday. Get more info on that event here.
Among those also scheduled to take that Lewisville stage is D & Chi, who happen to be vying for a slot performing at the Hollywood Bowl and $10,000 via a fan-vote contest that you can find here. Of course, Darren Eubank of D & Chi died last May after contracting COVID, but the band has honored the late singer/guitarist’s memory by continuing on his legacy of inspiring music.
Downtown Arlington also just announced a stacked lineup of its own for the city’s inaugural Ramblin’ Roads Fest that’s set to take place from October 1 through October 3 at the Levitt Pavilion, Texas Live!, Arlington Music Hall and 15 smaller venues around the city. The diverse lineup is headlined by Chromeo, William Clark Green, Mike Ryan, Bobby Pulido, Jamestown Revival, La Sonora Dinamita and Grupo Control, and features tons of other North Texas acts including Monica Saldivar, Damoyee, Cherry Mantis, and Mutha Falcon, along with many, many more. Get tickets and more info on this event here.
This weekend, meanwhile, the North Texas Fair & Rodeo kicks off its nine-day run in Denton, and it’s got some big musical guests performing on its stages — including country favorites Aaron Watson, Flatland Cavalry and Midland. Learn more about the event and see the whole lineup of performers here.
Next month, of course, will also see the return of the State Fair of Texas here in Dallas. It too boasts some bigger names to its musical bill this year, including Black Pumas, Dru Hill, Sugar Ray and local boy done good Charley Crockett all playing the main stage. Locals, however, will dominate the smaller stages — including the likes of Vandoliers, Ottoman Turks, Vincent Neil Emerson and just a crap-ton more.
Joshua Ray Walker, who will play one of the state fair’s side stages as well, also recently announced an upcoming forthcoming tour in support of his new See You Next Time album that’s due October 8 on State Fair Records. That album will cap off a trilogy of solo albums from the musician, whose reputation for soulful country crooning and honest virtuosity precedes the forthcoming album’s lead single, “Sexy After Dark.”
Also dropping something new on that date is Dallas metal band Creeping Death, who’ll be forming alongside fellow locals Mothership and Devourment, plus headliners Danzig, Mastodon, Down, The Flaming Lips and GZA, at the Las Vegas rock ‘n’ roll bacchanal Psycho Fest this weekend. Their new six-track EP The Edge Of Existence will be released on CD, LP and cassette on October 8, but the band dropped the title track off that release just this week,
Also dropping a new video this week is the up-and-coming bilingual Dallas pop performer Tears, who looks and sounds every bit the part of a star in the making in her new German Torres-directed video for her new “Bye” single.
Also engaging in some international flare of late — albeit of a different sort — is Lindale-sprung country star Miranda Lambert, who dropped a thirst-trap of a new video for the Telemitry remix of her “Tequila Does” single.
Also trying something new is Dali Voodoo, who engages in some Lil Nas X-like fare on his new Tay Money-featuring “Country Girl” single and video.
Also acting collaborative on the rap front these days is Trapboy Freddy, whose latest video comes fresh off the release of his latest album Distractions last week. His new “Freddy” anthem featuring an intro rhyme flurry from Grammy-award winning songwriter and his 300 Entertainment labelmate Young Thug.
Lastly, let’s cap of this week’s monster batch of music news and notes with a video from earlier in the summer that we somehow missed. Below, check out the New Wave stylings of Dallas twins Kyle and Myles Mendes performing under their Nite moniker in the May-released video for their single “Sleepless Through The Night” off their 2020-released Sleepless LP. Hey, it turns out they can spell the word “night” after all!
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