Apr
22

Baptist Generals. Jackleg Devotion To The Heart.

The Baptist Generals

We recently told you about the new, long-awaited album by Denton, TX band Baptist Generals called Jackleg Devotional To The Heart. You can check out their first single, “Dog That Bit You”, here.

Now, they’ve released another song off the record as well as their upcoming Summer tour dates with Mountain Goats. This will be a must see show. The song is called “Broken Glass”, and it’s a more stripped down affair than the first track we heard off their new album. It’s full of intricate acoustic guitar, marimba, light percussion, and Flemmons’ trademark vulnerable vocals. It might be surprising how polished Baptist Generals sound now, but the music is better than ever.

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Apr
21

Bob Dylan - AmericanaramA Festival

Bob Dylan Announces AmericanaramA Festival

Last week, Bob Dylan announced…something. News broke on Dylan’s website that a music festival tour called “AmericanaramA” would commence this summer featuring Dylan and his band, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and others in select cities. Those others might include Richard Thompson Trio and Ryan Bingham. Ok, our interest is piqued.

But, that’s it. No cities listed, no other acts formally announced, no ticket prices, although they’ll be available starting April 24th. I guess we’ll just have to wait for more details to come later this week.

Apr
08

Mikal Cronin MCII Merge Records

Mikal Cronin. Photo courtesy of Merge Records.

When he first stepped out of Ty Segall’s shadows a couple of years ago for his solo debut, many were surprised by how far removed Mikal Cronin’s sound was from Segall’s sound or the feel of their earlier collaboration Reverse Shark Attack. Cronin gave us a near power pop masterpiece about the troubles and confusion of transitioning between fun-loving teenager to a responsible adult, full of lush harmonies and pop hooks that recalled everything from The Beach Boys to Big Star and leaving only some rough edges to remind us of his regular gig in Segall’s band.

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Apr
05

The Flaming Lips The Terror

The Flaming Lips

For the past few years – say, since The Soft Bulletin or maybe even Yoshimi – The Flaming Lips have been on a disturbing trend. They’ve always been lovable weirdos, but it was starting to feel like they were aging into very mainstream weirdos. Just weird enough to have a marketable image, but one that your mother could still think was cute and get mainstream mindshare.

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Apr
03

Mudhoney

Mudhoney. Photo by Emily Reiman.

It’s easy to feel sorry for Mudhoney. Once a pillar of the Seattle music scene in the late-1980′s and early-1990′s (and even becoming an in-joke in Cameron Crowe’s classic movie Singles), they watched as their friends got famous and conquered the world. In the past 20 years, Mudhoney have had they last laugh, though. Remaining at home – both geographically and label-wise – they’ve become captured in time, protected from over-exposure or backlash.

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Mar
30

The Baptist Generals Return

The Baptist Generals. Photo by Peter Salisbury


Denton, TX, has long been recognized as a leading independent music community. But that status has long been due to an overwhelming amount of solid talent that flows in and, inevitably, out of the Texas college town. So it’s doubly newsworthy when The Baptist Generals announced their new album, Jackleg Devotional To The Heart – yes, this influential band has new material after a ten-year wait, and yes, they’re still around.

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Feb
04

Denton legends Centro-Matic have been active lately, with a short tour and a new album in the works. It’s a little surprising considering that their in between records, having released Candidate Waltz in 2011, and frontman Will Johnson’s side projects which have recently included house show tours, a stint as the drummer in Monsters of Folk, and a new project with David Bazan called Overseas. Continue Reading

Apr
08

This interview originally appeared on the Dallas Observer music blog DC9 At Night.

That first step into Midlake’s new studio is a tricky one — especially at night. The entry way is actually a sectioned-off sitting room, and it’s pitch black, forcing one to step lightly to avoid knocking over anything of value. The blackness is fitting, representing the blank slate a new album affords. Then again, maybe it’s the shadow of their previous effort hanging over their recording. Maybe it just depends on who you ask.

My first peek in to the studio’s control room is met by blank stares and surprise. Due to a mix-up, I’m two hours early. Turns out this was a good thing, though.

“I’m glad you got here early,” a tired-looking Eric Nichelson confessed. “I’m beat.” His bandmates agree, saying they had just about reached a good stopping point for the day, anyway.

The weight now off my shoulders, they even offered to play a new song, called “Procession,” whose mixing I interrupted. The song’s plodding, trudging sound indicates a departure from their previous album, The Courage of Others. Yet it’s still unmistakably Midlake.

During my visit, I asked the band what else they’re doing differently this time around as they record their new album. See our conversation in full after the jump. Continue Reading

Apr
07

This article originally appeared in 944 Magazine, Jan. 2011, pg. 59.

As we catch our breath after the recent election cycle, it’s easy to look back and reflect on how fractured we seem to be as a culture. Each side is convinced the world will end if the other side wins. News networks opine, not report, in efforts to drive up ratings, and therefore ad revenue, to appease stockholders. Individuals seem to live increasingly inward lives, looking out for No. 1 to the detriment of their local communities. But in Denton, TX, Kevin Roden is working to change that.

Roden, a husband, father, TAMS Director and PH.D candidate, opens his historic home, and his kegerator, for an occasional discussion group he calls “Drink and Think”. With discussion topics like “Socialism vs. Capitalism”, “Whatever Happened to the American Woman”, and “Are There Really Such Things as Human Rights?”, Roden guides his guests through a civilized debate that fosters calm conversations and mutual respect while touching on larger philosophical questions, if not current issues.
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Feb
22

This article originally appeared in the Dallas Observer.

Here’s the thing: It may be in bad taste, but when there’s the son of a Beatle in the room, it’s difficult to get past that. Especially when we’re not just talking any Beatle, but perhaps the most beloved of them all — the loss of whom we all still seem to feel collectively.

But as much as Sean Lennon’s name should be credited for selling out Denton’s venerable Dan’s Silverleaf on Tuesday night, his music is what hushed the crowd, elevating the evening beyond some macabre spectacle of “Look, there he is!” to “Wow, this kid’s really good!”

And that comment was heard more than once throughout the crowd after his band took the stage.
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