Italian Alt-Metal Band Klogr Releases Music Video for ‘Failing Crowns’ + Updates Fans on Upcoming Live/Documentary DVD

imageDuring last spring’s European Tour with Prong, Italian alt-metal band KLOGR had goPRO cameras on stage, in addition to having the band’s official photographer, Nico Cagarelli, film their shows backstage and on-the-road. The resulting footage will end up on a live/documentary DVD, to be released next year! Watch a teaser here for an upcoming full concert “Live in Hamburg” to be released next week in support of the upcoming DVD.

That’s not all – KLOGR have more news in store for their diehard fans, which will be announced later this year.

For now, you can enjoy an amazing preview of what’s to come via KLOGR's new video for ‘Failing Crowns’, one of the most appreciated tracks off of the band’s latest release, Black Snow.

Although it’s not the most straight-to-the-point track, it is one of the more representative songs of the band, with its progressive groove and smacking riffs. The ‘Failing Crowns’ single is available digitally via iTunes as part of a special package, including the original album version, a live version recorded in Hamburg, and a live version of the track ‘Draw Closer’, also recorded in Hamburg. Get the single package HERE.

KLOGR’s new full-length album, Black Snow, is available for purchase in the United States via The End Record’s “Omega Order” mailorder system. The CD is available now via this link, so make sure to order your copy NOW!

You can also order Black Snow now via iTunes - available as a special digital edition which includes the band’s 2011’s Till You Turn EP and Ground Zero 11-11-11 Live. Download your copy here. Recorded between Zeta Factory and Green River studios, Black Snow was produced by KLOGR frontman and mastermind Rusty and Tancredi Barbuscia.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 – Delta Spirit’s Date with Dallas is More Like a Homecoming

The line to get inside the Granada Theater was shorter than I thought it would be. It was eight-o’clock and the doors had only just opened, with the line stretching just to edge of the patio out front.

It had been a while since Delta Spirit had played Dallas last, and a little more than two years since they were last at the Granada, so you knew the people of Dallas-Fort Worth had to be excited. Adding to the delight of having another chance to see the band that originated in San Diego, California was also the fact that their new album, Into the Wide, had dropped just the day before.

The venue was filling up nicely as it neared nine, to the point if you left your spot, it wouldn’t be there when you returned; and people chatted with perfect strangers, asking if they had seen the band before. From what I happened to overhear, some hadn’t, which meant they were in for a huge surprise.

The crowd loved the opening set by EDJ; and by the time 10:15 rolled around, the crowd — who had packed out both the seats in the upstairs area along with the massive space that is the general admission spots — was beside themselves, albeit it in a very collected manner.

Then at 10:16, their intro began.

Set up at the back of the stage was what I would say looked like massive blinds, positioned vertically, with a little gap in between each one. Fitting with the title of their new record, footage of some lush trees began to take shape, starting as a small box, before expanding wider so that it stretched from one side to the other, before the top and bottom parts filled out. The visuals were used for the duration of their performance, and they made for a nice touch.

Drummer Brandon Young, bassist Jonathan Jameson, keyboardist Kelly Winrich, singer and rhythm guitarist Matthew Vasquez and lead guitarist William McLaren then walked onto the stage and got ready to deliver 19 songs that spanned nearly all of their releases.

They opened with a taste of their new stuff, and while it was too soon for fans to know the lyrics to songs like from “From Now On”, that certainly didn’t keep them from enjoying them. That track fits the Delta Spirit mold nicely, being slightly atmospheric at times (a feeling that was only intensified by all the visuals), while Young and Jameson made for a very whole rhythm section. The former was already serving up some rapid-fire beats, while Jameson began slapping at the body and neck of his bass as the song neared the end. “COME ON!” Vasquez found time to shout before the third chorus, which compelled the fans to get more into it, even if it was unfamiliar to them.

“It’s so good to be home in Texas!” Vasquez sang in his completely unique gravelly, twangy voice. “I live here now,” he remarked, “And I love every part of it.” “Where do you live?” one woman was heard screaming, but her question went unanswered. Just somewhere here in Texas was all the people were told. He continued, “That being said, I expect a lot of butt shaking, a lot of whiskey drinking, a lot of good times.” The audience erupted in cheers over that, and they were ready to oblige.

Winrich moved from the keys over to the additional drum kit set up at center stage, which was almost hidden behind some of the other equipment in front of it. They went back in time, all of two years, to their self-titled album. They spent a good deal of time on it this night, beginning with “Tear it Up”, which had a good deal of the audience singing along. It was also the song where everyone was offered a true glimpse of how entertaining a Delta Spirit show truly is. At one point, Vasquez brought both hands out in front of his guitar and tapped his palms against the axe, while at another, he lifted his left knee up until it was touching the guitars neck. It may not have been anything over the top, but still, how often do you see something like that? Another highlight came when Young continuously struck the rim of his drums after the second verse, prompting a clap along. “Everybody sing it with me!” Vasquez yelled, as he held back some so the collective voice of the crowd wasn’t outmatched, as the room full of people repeated, “Just tear it up…”.

The applause subsided, and then McLaren led them into the next one, softly plucking at his guitar at first, and building up to “Empty House”. As he did so, Vasquez raised his guitar and sat it atop his head, where he held it right up until the first line. “How could one little speck make a difference to the rest? Well, it doesn’t. No one cared except me,” the two guitarists sang on each chorus; and on the final one, more clapping was required from the spectators. Things took a happier turn when they reached back to Ode to Sunshine, doing the vibrant “Strange Vine”. Jameson was hopping about for the first several seconds of the song; and when they hit the second verse, Vasquez raised one of his legs into the air, balancing on one foot as he continued to strum his guitar. That seemed fitting of the fun vibe the tune has. “Everybody, say ‘Hi’ to William,” Vasquez said before the lead guitarist tore off on a solo, and while he was busy with that, Jameson and Vasquez got right next to one another, then rested the top of their heads on the other’s shoulders while rocking out.

“Look at all you people! It’s beautiful!” exclaimed Vasquez, causing the house lights to go up so they could get a good look at their adoring fans. “Fuck yeah!” one guy shouted. “I love ‘fuck yeah’,” Vasquez responded, and then said on the count of three, he wanted to hear everyone shouting that, so people did.

“Live On” was another new one they broke out, and it quickly pumped the crowd back up with its infectious chorus. Vasquez took his guitar off as it ended, holding it over his head and using his free hand beat the underside of it, making for a cool tone. “Money Saves” followed, and you could feel the excitement spike when people figured out what song it was. Clearly ecstatic by it, they even got their own clap along going, something the band thought was great. They even got everyone singing along to the part before the final chorus, with people singing, “Oh-o-oh-o”, until the noise level was satisfactory to the band.

“Hold My End Up” was perhaps the most interesting of the new batch, simply because of the gradual build it has. It was best seen in Jameson this night, who was very methodical in his playing at first, before getting increasingly vicious, to the point he was slapping the bass by the end.

The line, “I’m a wondering soul,” was all it took to send people into a frenzy. The guy standing beside me, who had seem quite reserved so far this night, began jumping up and down like a madman, as they continued with “People C’mon”. It was, without question, a crowd pleaser, and really seemed to resonate with every person here this night. The refrain of, “…If you’re feeling what I’m feeling, c’mon. All you soul-searching people, c’mon,” sounded more like a message than just a simple line; and the fans took almost complete control of the final chorus, clapping and singing along, before going wild as they let the band know how much they had enjoyed that.

A sample track got them started on “Take Shelter”, a song that often saw Vasquez clutching his guitar, while he just sang into the microphone. Young appeared to be getting quite into that one, especially after the first chorus, and he held my undivided attention on it. He then laid into the kick drum, setting up the forceful beat for “Yamaha”, which may have slowed things down, but it also sent the emotional level sky-high, and nothing else rivaled that this night.

So, how do you follow-up such a soft and emotionally charged song? Well, in Delta Spirit’s case, they did another emotionally charged one, but one that mines a completely different vein. There was plenty of shredding during “Bushwick Blues”, especially during the final minute or so, when it really roared into action. “…It’s no relief. That sounds to me just as sweet,” Vasquez sang, before hunching over his guitar, where he got so involved, he almost didn’t raise back up to the mic in time for the next line.

That song seemed to reinvigorate them; and “Language of the Dead” was another spirited number. As Vasquez sang the first several lines, he faced stage left and walked in place, slowly swinging his arms in a slightly more exaggerated motion. “When this kicks in… you better move your butt!” the singer than informed everyone before their next number. He had gotten behind the piano now, while Winrich moved back to the second drum kit, which also had a keyboard set up beside it. It just took the opening piano line of “Trashcan” for the audience to scream with glee; and that song offered the most unforgettable moment(s) of the night.

Winrich was peer pressured into climbing the scaffolding of the stage by Vasquez. Well, him and the entire room, who were all chanting his name. He scurried up it on stage left, then carefully drug himself along the bars that run across the top of the stage. “Kelly! Look down!” Vasquez shouted as he was about to descend. The vocalist was now at center stage, and after waving to his band mate, he asked everyone to make an aisle for him. He journeyed through the crowd, going a couple of sections deep, before standing on one of the bars that divides each section. “Let’s see how loud you can sing. You know the drill,” he told the audience.

The fans were pitted against one another, though before doing anything, Vasquez stressed he didn’t want to break up any couples, as apparently some were right on the boundary line he drew. He led each side in making some sounds, doing it a few times, before returning to the stage, and since he had no instrument to tie him down, he grabbed the mic stand and half drug it around, half danced with it on the stage.

“That was great! Give Kelly a big hand,” he said, noting the pianist hadn’t been too keen on doing that stunt. Vasquez then shared a good anecdote about them playing ACL, when his wife saw him doing that, and told him she’d never speak to him again if he did it anymore. “So I promised I won’t, I’ll make Kelly do it!” he said smiling.

That said, they suddenly launched into “California”. The song is a beautiful (albeit sad) one, telling a nice tale of letting go of someone because it’s the best thing, but not necessarily the easiest. “…And though my heart will fight until its dying breath, you’re not for me,” is just one of the exceptionally powerful lines it boasts. Nearly the whole time he was signing, Vasquez had a smile stretching across his face. He had looked the same way for the majority of their set, making it evident he was loving every second of this performance.

He shared another story with everyone during their next break, this one about being on the way to meet his brother-in-law, and being so excited to be getting back to Texas, he drove off from a gas station with the nozzle still in the side of the car. “…I paid the guy eighty bucks, though…” he said of his effort to make the accident right, before repeating how much he enjoyed living in the Lone Star State.

With the night winding down, they pulled out “Children”, which not only worked in a harmonica, but also some more additional percussion, as Kelly got up from the piano at each chorus and beat one of the drums with both a maraca and what looked like a tambourine. McLaren was killing it on that one, really showing off his prowess on the guitar. Soon, the deafening notes faded, but never ceased. “One, two, three, four,” Vasquez counted, as they turned the instrumental bridge into “White Table”. The audience let loose some massive cheers in response to it.

The poignant track concluded their 85-minute long set, as they offered up a few more feats, such as some duel drum solos between Young and Winrich. The crowd was charged with some more singing during an instrumental break, repeating, “Whoa”, several times; before the band sprang into action with a dynamic finish, which had Vasquez thrusting his guitar into the air by his amp, while Jameson banged the headstock of his bass against his amp. The amount of feedback was near deafening.

They waved their goodbyes and walked off stage, but people knew they had to be back.

That’s when someone was struck with a brilliant idea.

“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa,” someone sang, to the tune of “White Table”. It caught on in no time, and soon, nearly the whole room was doing it, leading the band to rush on stage and extend that song just a bit with a brief jam session.

Vasquez later noted they had never been brought into a room like that before, and you could tell they were all in shock over it.

He grinned while delivering the opening notes of “Parade”, the first song of their encore, which tacked 14 more minutes onto their set. This one song wasn’t smooth sailing, either. “Liars…” he sang on the second verse, before abruptly stopping. “I forgot it,” he admitted, just laughing at himself. The thing was, no one cared. After a show like this, that had been so intense from the get go, how could you? He hummed along to it for a few seconds before it came back to him, and he exclaimed, “I know it now!”, sounding thrilled.

Some ladies shouted out that they loved him during the next break, prompting Vasquez to do his best attempt at a high-pitched feminine voice, saying, “Love you, too!” before they got to the title track from this new record. Fitting with the title, “Into the Wide” just has an expansive quality to it, and is quite picturesque, especially live.

It bled into “People, Turn Around”. Both kits were utilized during it, though Winrich used the main one, while Young seated himself behind the other. Is what made it a perfect closer, was the way it just seemed to work with current world events. “Well, it’s time all you people turn around, for the life we’ve been living, messing around. The blood we’ve been spilling will bleed us dry…” It just felt appropriate, and sent a positive message; and after the audience failed when they were first offered to sing right at the start, they redeemed themselves towards the end, yelling out that chorus.

Thus ended a spectacular performance, the likes of which few bands can deliver these days.

The energy Delta Spirit puts into their shows is impressive to say the least, and all five of them go all in, all the time. The music is so rich and full of texture too; having roots in classic rock, but being modern enough it can appeal to anyone.

I had only seen Delta Spirit once before this, and I must say, they were even better this night then I remembered from that show nearly two years ago, and I know I was amazed by that one.

They leave it all on stage, pouring everything into every show, and at times, it’s hard to tell who’s having more fun: the audience, or them.

They’ll be on tour through November 1st, and their full list of dates can be found HERE. Also, if you don’t have any of their records, check them out in iTUNES.

People were already raving about the show as they trekked towards the foyer and out the doors, and if everyone was like me, then they were thinking, “I hope these guys come back to Dallas soon.”

Idol Records Releases New Dead Flowers Single “I’m Leaving”

imageIdol Records has released a new single, “I’m Leaving”, from Dallas rock band Dead Flowers, from their forthcoming sophomore album His Blues.

I’m leaving” was recorded at The Nest Studio in Dripping Springs, TX and produced by Jason Robert Burt.

His Blues will be released by Idol Records on 180 Gram Audiophile vinyl / CD / Download / Stream

The album Release show is Sat. Oct 18 at Club Dada.

Purchase the single on iTunes.

Figure Announces Groundbreaking “Terrorvision”!

imageEDM/Heavy Bass producer and horror enthusiast FIGURE (aka Josh Gard) has announced his revolutionary show TERRORVISION, an innovative, visual representation of the FIGURE musical experience.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday, September 12th HERE. Go to for more details!

Terrorvision has been a concept I’ve been putting together for some time now, something I thought would go really well with my annual Monsters series.

I wanted to create the ability to compile tons of custom edited clips the same way I have compiled tons of music for my sets over the years. I’m a horror buff and I’ve amassed an extensive collection of classic shock theatre and obscure films which is definitely an inspiration for the visual direction on this tour.

Through partnering with Rane/Serato and using their hardware I now have the ability to map these custom visuals to my music on the fly, adding a brand new element to my live show. Many artists look at visuals as a way to simply customize the blank slates of wall behind them. WithTerrorvision it’s another dimension of my music. An intense visual backdrop giving my fans a window into where I draw inspiration; my vision as a producer, coming together on stage where the visuals brings it all to life. - FIGURE

Tour dates:
10/17 - Revolution Live - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
10/18 - Firestone Live - Orlando, FL 
10/24 - Soundgarden Hall - Philladelphia, PA 
10/25 - Skyway Theatre - Minneapolis, MN 
10/29 - Peabody’s - Virginia Beach, VA 
10/31 - The Amphitheater - Tampa, FL 
11/1 - Nightmare Festival - Darlington, MD 
11/6 - Concord Music Hall - Chicago, IL 
11/7 - BETA - Denver, CO 
11/14 - Club Rio - San Antonio, TX 
11/15 - Somewhere Loud - San Diego, CA 
11/20 - Ruby Skye - San Francisco, CA 
11/21 - Lizard Lounge - Dallas, TX 
11/22 - Republic Live - Austin, TX

Connect with Figure:
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube

Snot Reunite For U.S. Tour Playing Classic “Get Some” Album In It’s Entirety

imageLegendary Punk / Funk / Rock band SNOT has announced that they will be reuniting once again for a full U.S tour in which they will be performing their classic “Get Some" album in it’s entirety. He Is Legend, Thira, and Lydia Can’t Breathe will offer support. The tour kicks off on November 28th in Palm Desert, California and wraps up on December 23rd in Pomona, California. More dates will be added soon, so make sure to follow SNOT on Facebook for updates.

SNOT guitarist Mikey Doling says of the upcoming tour “I want to let you know we are ready to rock out as hard as humanly possible with all you SNOT heads around the world on our first world tour. I hope you’re ready cause we have a ton of massive energy to bring to you. SNOT is something special to us. We will enjoy playing our debut and only record GET SOME in it’s entirety for you live for all you die hard SNOT HEADS! SAY SOMETHING FOR THE RECORD TELL THE PEOPLE WHAT YOU FEEL!!

SNOT lead singer Tommy Vext adds “Words cannot describe how excited I am to be getting back in the road with my brothers in SNOT. It is a privilege to play with a band that has had an indeterminable influence over countless artists from the bands inception & thereafter. I’m honored to pay tribute Lynn Strait and offer Snot fans on an international level the live experience they may not have yet enjoyed.”

Tour dates:
11/28: Palm Desert, CA @ Shcmitty’s Tavern 
11/29: Las Vegas, NV @ Dive Bar 
11/30: Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater 
12/01: Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue 
12/02: Denver, CO @ The Roxy 
12/04: Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom 
12/05: Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s 
12/07: St. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall 
12/09: Joliet, IL @ Mojoe’s 
12/14: Dallas, TX @ Trees 
12/15: Houston, TX @ Scout Bar 
12/16: San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live 
12/17: Austin, TX @ The Dirty Dog Bar 
12/19: Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red 
12/20: Tucson, AZ @ The Rock 
12/22: San Diego, CA @ The Soda Bar 
12/23: Pomona, CA @ The Glass House

More dates to be announced soon!

Sunday, September 7th – The Picturebooks Powerhouse Performance in Dallas Proves Rock is Alive and Well

Despite being a free show at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, there wasn’t much of a crowd on this Sunday. That can’t be totally unexpected, given the bill consisted of a couple local acts and a touring band that I doubt anyone was familiar with beforehand.

Still, a little more than fifty people or were scattered around the massive patio that houses the outdoor stage; and those who did show up were rewarded with a show that they will not soon forget.

Headlining this night was a duo who originated from Gütersloh, Germany known as The Picturebooks, and this marked the first show of their U.S. tour.

No one really knew what to expect from this group. Even what style they would be was most likely a mystery to all, which made it all the more shocking when they began their set right at 10:15.

There was a lengthy instrumental intro, and right away the onlookers were shown just how heavy The Picturebooks were going to be. The sound the two produced was massive; and Fynn Claus Grabke banged his head and slammed his guitar down to several of the beats Philipp Mirtschink was hammering out.

They immediately transfixed people with that, and after warming up not only the crowd, but also themselves, they were ready to get down to business. “PCH Diamond” showed off the groups’ bluesy rock side, and really highlighted Grabkes’ voice and the great tones he is capable of. Mirtschink got plenty of attention too, though. The drummer held a stick in one hand, using that on the floor tom, while he struck another drum with the palm of his hand for a bit, before grabbing a shaker with sleigh bells on it, creating a cool effect.

They were on the attack, and the word “break” often seemed to be one they were unfamiliar with, as they tackled one song right after the other. They did what was almost like a prelude, with Grabke continuing to belt out the words, before stopping as he went and hastily changed guitars. “Woman what are you doing? Woman, who are you fooling?” he sang after getting back in front of the mic, the first lines from “Woman”, which quickly escalated from its hushed beginnings. It was drenched in raw emotions; and they reeled in the crowd further with it, providing plenty of moments to bang your head to. There was even a point where Grabke needed to adjust one of his pedals, but not wanting to skip a line, he quickly removed the mic and unwound it from the stand so he could hold it as he fiddled with his gear.

The applause that followed was almost as massive as their music had been, and they weren’t about to slack up. “1000 Years Of Doing Nothing” was every bit as catchy as it was powerful; and when hitting a brief lull, both Mirtschink and Grabke let their instruments fall silent and began clapping along. The crowd quickly picked up on that, and decided to help them out. However, the part that got everyone wide-eyed was when Grabke raised his axe in the air — holding it horizontally — before suddenly pulling it towards his face and assaulting the strings with his teeth.

Mirtschink fired up their next number; and sweat dripped from his hair as he laid into his kit, producing some forceful beats. Grabke used a slide for the next couple of songs, one of which I’m fairly certain was a rendition of The Ramones’ “The KKK Took My Baby Away”. Regardless what it was, there was a point where Grabke used his fingers to pluck the strings of the guitar instead of the pick, which just looked cool; and he knelt down to mess with his pedal board at another point, creating a loud buzzing effect.

All night long Mirtschinks’ floor tom had seemed to be trying to escape from him, and before going any further, he moved it back over as close as he could towards him, then started on the rapid, steady beat that persists for much of “E.L.I.Z.A.B.E.T.H.”. It was somewhat haunting in a way, as Grabke nearly whispered into his microphone, but once it roared to life, the kick drum was shaking the wooden boards of the deck.

“Thank you all so much,” Grabke told the spectators afterwards, kind of apologizing for the technical difficulties they had been having, and he laughed it off, joking that since this was their first show of the tour, something had to go wrong. However, the difficulties they were faced with went almost unnoticed by the audience, who was just caught up in this stellar performance.

“This song’s called Fever,” he stated before yet another song off their forthcoming album. Mirtschink laid his right arm over the tom to secure it, which worked, at least until he had to use that hand to drum as well. It was clear by this point that The Picturebooks were a rock band, the likes of which you just don’t see too often anymore. They had been offering up pure, unadulterated rock, which made the next sentence Grabke uttered quite surprising. “This is a cover version of the one and only Madonna,” he stated.

I don’t know if everyone even took him seriously at first, or just thought that was a joke. It wasn’t.

I doubt “Lucky Star” has ever sounded the way these two guys made it sound this night. The percussion was deafening; the vocals were gritty; and to cap it all off, it was an explosion of hard rock. Grabke got super into it, moving all over the stage and whipping his hair out of the way whenever it covered his face. They managed to turn that old pop number into something entirely different, and I actually thought it was one of their best songs of the night.

Mirtschink led them right into their next number, as they brought things back down with the gentle and often sweet, “All Of My Life”. “The Rabbit And The Wolf!” Grabke shouted before they kicked things back up several notches with the song by that name. Mirtschink again used his hand to strike one of the drums for a time on that high-energy number; and as it ended, he finally used the decent sized bell that was set up to his right, which created a good chiming effect.

“This is going to be our last song of the night…” Grabke then informed everyone, which truly seemed to astonish the crowd, and certainly disappointed them. They may not have had many, if any, fans when they rolled in to town this day, but they had made a lot in their short time on stage. He went on to say this was the first single off Imaginary Horse, which is due out exactly one month from this gig.

They ended their 41-minute long set in the same vein it had begun: with a fiery track that evokes some aspects of the blues. It was titled “Your Kisses Burn Like Fire”. They might have been almost done, but Mirtschink wasn’t out of the woods just yet; and after the periodic technical difficulties this night, the microphone he had was hit and subsequently fell out of its stand. No harm, no foul, though.

The crowd was hoping for something more from these guys, and they made it well known.

Just before giving up hope, the duo returned to the stage, and Grabke let everyone know it was a B-side they had for everyone. “It’s called ‘Hail These Words’,” he said. Then it hit him. “Actually, it’s not a B-side, it’s on the album,” he laughed as he looked at his band mate. It was a good one to end with, providing a sharp rise and fall at a few points during it.

The band left the stage revered by all who had come out to Gas Monkey this night; and people swarmed the merch table when they eventually made their way over there.

A lot of people say rock is dead. That’s far from being true. In mainstream music, yeah, perhaps it is. On radio stations you don’t hear many true rock bands these days, bands the likes of which dominated the charts in the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. But just because you don’t hear any good rock bands on that medium doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

Case in point: The Picturebooks.

These guys had such a robust sound to be just a guitar and a drum kit (I should note, Mirtschink didn’t have a single cymbal on his kit, either), and the music they made was some of the thickest, heaviest sounding rock ‘n’ roll I have heard in a long time. Their live show was every bit as impressive, too. You were often left in awe of the musicianship they displayed; and given how much extra room was left on stage, they did an incredible job of filling every single inch of it.

I’d go as far as saying this was one of the most entertaining and overall amazing live shows I’ve seen from a band, and it would be well worth going out of your way just to experience a show firsthand.

The Picturebooks trek across America will last through the end of the month, hitting Missouri; Michigan; Illinois; Indiana; Minnesota; Nebraska; Kansas; Colorado; Idaho; and California. After that, they’ll return to Europe for a nearly two month tour. Specific dates for everything can be found HERE. You can also pre-order Imaginary Horse in iTUNES, and get a couple of tracks instantly if you do so.

Drama Club Releases “Halloween365 (Never Coming Down)” Music Video; Announces U.S. Tour Dates With Black Veil Brides

imageElectro House / Shock Pop duo Drama Club has released the official music video for their debut single ‘Halloween365 (Never Coming Down).’ The band, consisting of Zero and Andromeda, has also announced that they will be joining Black Veil Brides on their upcoming U.S. tour which includes support from both Falling In Reverse and Set It Off. “The Black Mass 2014" kicks off on October 21st in Niagra Falls, NY and works it’s way throughout the United States wrapping up on December 15th in Albuquerque, NM.

There are no barriers in music as far as we’re concerned, because younger fans, today, are more open to multiple styles of music. We’re mixing up a ton of music for this tour, including a sick remix of Andy Black’s ‘They Don’t Need To Understand’ as well as some Asking Alexandria, The Used, Bring Me The Horizon, and others. Black Veil Brides may be a hard rock band, but there’s ‘No Hate’ in what they do because they create empowering music, bringing like-minded kids together in harmony. We’re also about self-empowerment, following your dreams, embracing your own individuality, and, above all else, self-expression through art and music. This tour is about celebrating NOH8, there is no judgment; it’s all about energy, expression, and acceptance. - Drama Club

The Black Mass 2014 Tour:
Oct 21 - Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theatre 
Oct 22 - Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion 
Oct 24 - St. Paul, MN @ Myth 
Oct 25 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre 
Oct 27 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium 
Oct 30 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues 
Oct 31 - Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee Theatre 
Nov 01 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre 
Nov 03 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield 
Nov 05 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater 
Nov 07 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
Nov 08 - Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House 
Nov 09 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House 
Nov 10 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex 
Nov 12 - Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater 
Nov 14 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre 
Nov 15 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre 
Nov 16 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre 
Nov 17 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE 
Nov 19 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory 
Nov 21 - Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater 
Nov 22 - Worcester, MA @ The Palladium 
Nov 23 - New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater 
Nov 26 - Portland, ME @ State Theatre 
Nov 28 - Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall 
Nov 29 - Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore Silver Spring 
Dec 02 - Louisville, KY @ Expo Five 
Dec 03 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle 
Dec 04 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues 
Dec 05 - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte 
Dec 06 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa 
Dec 08 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Orbit Room 
Dec 09 - St Louis, MO @ The Pageant 
Dec 11 - Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center 
Dec 12 - Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom 
Dec 13 - San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live 
Dec 15 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

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Saturday, September 6th – SpaceCamp shows Off a New(er) Sound at Liquid Lounge

The show at Liquid Lounge this night got off to a little earlier start then I expected.

It was a little before nine when I walked in the intimate room, and there were already three musicians on stage.

With just a couple more songs to go, I never caught the name of this instrumental band, who was good, though that’s just a style I’m seldom a fan of.

Following them up was a singer by the name of Charley Crockett. Now, if you’re like me, when you hear the name Crockett, you immediately think of Davy Crockett, and from what Charley said later this night, he is kin to the historical figure, and that is something he’s proud of.

To be the only person on that stage, he did an amazing job of filling it up. His music was incredibly soulful and very bluesy, and it all came from the heart, as he and his guitar produced one song after the other. “That’s a new one I’m working on,” he remarked at the end of one song, before bridging it right in to another.

“Down Trodden Man” was one of the cuts he did from his latest EP, and it was quite fitting of the wanderer role he had already cast himself in. “…I do believe if I had wings I’d still be lonesome,” he crooned on one line; and despite sounding like it would be a sad song, there were never even any slight undertones of it. Instead, he seemed almost cheerful; and at one point, when he cut out on his guitar, the onlookers decided to start clapping along, something Charley welcomed.

He threw out a few more songs, each one dripping with raw emotions, which was the quality everyone watching seemed to enjoy the most about his set.

Not only was he an exceptional singer and songwriter, he was also an extremely skilled guitarist. It was something to watch as he wailed on his axe, making music that spoke to people on a deeper level than many songs do.

Charley Crockett was the most surprising act to me this night, as I was not expecting to discover such a talented solo artist by coming to this show. I’m glad I did, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

He’ll be back in Dallas on October 8th at Adair’s Saloon, and he has plenty of other tour dates as well. They can be found HERE, and you can download a couple of free songs of his HERE.

Perhaps the most interesting band of the night was Skinny Cooks.

How often do you see a rap and spoken word band perform, using a cello and a xylophone. That’s exactly what Nigel Newton (who played the xylophone) and Brianne Sargent did, though. They were also joined by a drummer and bassist, who really fleshed out the sound, though it was those two core members who received everyone’s attention.

They only got 19-minutes, squeezing four songs into that time and rotating on who provided the vocals. As I said, at times it was more like spoken word, others it was rapped, but no matter what was going on, it was riveting.

Simple, yet complex; with the emotions being conveyed in the music.

I’d definitely be interested in seeing them again sometime.

Their music can found on BANDCAMP.

Paco Estrada was next up this night, and it had been far too long since I had seen the singer/songwriter with a full-band. Making this all the more special was the fact that Zuriel was joining him on the violin.

Zuriel was one of the first members Paco picked up when forming what eventually became Paco Estrada & One Love, a band that started about six years ago, and disbanded four years ago now (man, that makes me feel old.) In the aftermath, Zuriel has only played with Paco once, and that was just a few weeks before this show, making this a special treat for longtime fans.

The 50-minute set was an interesting one that covered a variety of albums (and bands), beginning with them going all the way back to Paco’s days in SouthFM. “Blue & Grey” was a song that iconic Dallas band never did much, as the slower pace didn’t fit with their noisy rock shows, though it worked this night, and caught longtime fans a little off guard as Paco started the first line, “Collected all these words to paint this picture for you and try to get you to see…” It was mostly Paco and his acoustic guitar for a while, with Zuriel, the drummer and bassist hanging back, before it really escalated towards the end. Zuriel was even wailing on his violin there at the end, reminding some people of some days long gone by.

From that song from nearly ten years ago, they jumped ahead to some of Pacos’ newer music, doing the sweet love song, which I believe is titled, “The Way That I Love You”. Following that new staple was another new one, and one that quite honestly sounded like a cover. I wasn’t alone in thinking that, either. It sounded phenomenal, though for some reason, it just didn’t feel like one of his, despite the fact that it was. The drummer was crushing it during that song, while the riffs burrowed their way into your head instantly. The lyrics stood out, too, with one line I remember being, “… Burn it to the ground, let the truth be found…”.

“Zuriel just made some shit up,” laughed Paco, who wasn’t really joking, as Zuriel is a master at improve. “This is the song about the girl behind the girl behind the girl,” Paco stated before “She”, a song off 2013’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation EP. “…I could never give you my heart; she left me black and mostly blue. You could give me all the love in the world, but baby, I’ll never give it back to you,” he belted on chorus of that emotional tune about being forever haunted by a past love.

“Harder!” one fan/friend shouted once that one was done, prompting Paco to ask, “Why is that always your go to word?” In retaliation, he said they were going to go softer, joking that, that was a shame for everyone, because they had a really “awesome” totally redone version of a Tool song planned, but instead would just skip over it. He bantered on, saying he and Zuriel were in counseling trying to work stuff out, before sitting up their next tune. “It’s a sad song. But they’ve all been sad,” he remarked, before pulling v2.0 of “Killing Me”, as was performed by One Love. Zuriel looked like this was all second nature to him, and at times, he plucked the strings of his violin, before using the bow later in the song.

“Just like we practiced, just like we practiced,” Paco laughed, who had just earlier stated he sends the tracks to the bassist, so he can listen to the songs he’ll be playing, and I’m fairly certain Zuriel was winging it all night long. The bassist then chimed in, saying he wanted to do “She Talks to Angels”, something Paco was easily persuaded to do. “I don’t know why that happened, but it did,” he stated after finishing the rendition of The Black Crowes song, which was followed by another original from The Anatomy of Letting Go, “Reckless Love”, which again found Zuriel in the zone, since it was from the One Love days.

They had one song left, but first, Paco thanked the openers, saying he happened to find Charley Crockett on the side of the road; and also mentioning the people who had come to this show wearing the band shirts (for the headliner, SpaceCamp), saying “There’s always that guy,” at shows. (For the record, I was one of the guys who had worn the band shirt.) To end things, they did the old standby, “Whiskey Kisses”, which once again saw Zuriel doing a bit of a solo towards the end.

Paco and his band did not disappoint. Then again, they never do.

It was a nice smorgasbord of his music, from his solo records, to his past bands, while also looking ahead to his future. I’m sure I got this point across by now, but it was also fun seeing Zuriel back on stage, going between playing his violin in a more traditional manner, to rocking out on it, to the point it can rival any electric instrument.

I say this every time, and I’ll say it again: Paco is the best singer/songwriter in the D/FW area, and that fact was proven yet again this night.

You can find all of his music on his BANDCAMP; and he should have a new release out by the end of the year.

Wrapping up the night was SpaceCamp; and they had changed things up since the last time I had seen them.

Paco Estrada got no downtime; however, unlike the past SC shows, he wasn’t using his acoustic guitar this time around. Instead, he just stood in front of the mic, using his voice. The other big difference was they now had a keyboardist, who was also responsible for running the live tracks, something they started doing more recently.

Rounding out the band was guitarist Mike Dove and bassist Emsy Robinson, along with frontman Jeremy Rodriguez (AKA Tomahawk Jonez), plus a drummer, whom I hadn’t seen with them before.

They opened with “The Dancer”, and right away, Jeremy  began rapping, “My fears, my pain fall upon your ears so they don’t feel the same…”, putting not only a ton of emotion into it, but also making it sound quite fierce. Paco took over on each chorus; and at the end, he was responsible for tacking on a part of a cover song, singing, “…So I’m never gonna dance again, the way I danced with you,” from “Carless Whisper”.

“We were in Lubbock last night,” Jeremy stated, saying the girls there liked to drink whiskey, and asked if that was true of the girls here. Paco followed that with a rhetorical question. “What college girl doesn’t?” “If This is Goodbye” sounded like a different song live as the sample track got it going; and Jeremy clapped along there at first, causing some fans to join along. He later pointed to Mike when the rest of the instruments cut out; making sure all attention was on the guitarist. When they got to the choruses, Jeremy hung his head, though still danced along; and Paco put an overwhelming amount of emotion into the second one. I’m not sure what caused him to make it even more charged than normal, but it made the already great song even better.

“Do y’all want to hear another song from that same album?” Jeremy asked, referring to the Full Moon EP. “That wasn’t too convincing,” he replied after a lackluster response from the crowd, who did better the second time around. Before they could move on, though, Mike had to change guitars, and then they were off onto “The Lover”. They had redone some parts of it, especially at the end, when both Paco and Jeremy each sang of their different parts in unison with one another, sounding absolutely amazing.

“Faster! Harder!” a patron shouted, leading Paco to inform him they were not Daft Punk. “That’s not a Kanye song?” Jeremy replied, believably feigning some surprise. “Reach for the Sun” came next, and while several of SpaceCamp’s songs are positive and uplifting, that one has to take the cake. As Paco began the final chorus, Jeremy beat his chest, then slowly raised his head until he was gazing towards the ceiling, seeming to look right past it and towards the stars.

“What the fuck is wrong with this stand, Gene? “Why are you trying to sabotage our set?!” Paco joked with the sound man; though the mic stand had been giving them some trouble. They slowed things down and got quite serious with “Surrender to the Night”; then picked the pace back up with “White Horses”, which Jeremy jokingly dedicated to all the women in line for the bathroom. There was no line, though he did say that right at the time one woman happened to walk out, which was hilarious. “What’s the worst that could happen?” Jeremy finished, creating his own echo effect when singing that final word, and it sounded awesome.

“You want to keep that mood going?” he asked afterwards, as the keyboardist started the track to “Dancing with the Devil”. It had barely got going when Jeremy had him kill it, something that perplexed his band mates. “Are you not ready to dance with devil?” Paco quipped, getting a laugh from the crowd. The track sounded fuller when it came back in, just like it should; and that number really exploded when they hit the last chorus, from the singing, to the instruments, everything was in high gear.

“These are all true stories by the way,” Paco informed everyone once they finished. With only two EP’s worth of music in their catalog, they had played nearly everything they had, except for one song. They ended their 50-minute long set with “Before you Die”, which sounded more relaxed this time around than I’ve heard it in the past. It was more behooving of the song, allowing it to become even more emotional than it already is. As usual, Paco added some of “Blue and Yellow” by The Used to the end. “…Rather waste my time with you…” he crooned, before getting to one line he put so much into and held for so long, his face visibly turned red.

Jeremy was excited when talking to me about them using the sample tracks now, especially after how it has gone over at their other recent shows. I was quite intrigued to hear it, but at the same time, I’m one of those people who’s typically not a fan of the use of tracks.

It doesn’t work for every band, often detracting from the sound in my opinion, but for SpaceCamp, it fits. The band has such a unique sound in the first place, describing themselves as trip-rock, and the use of the tracks really did help give all the songs the perfect feel. It really was like you were hearing the recordings live, though they had that raw quality that can only come with a live performance.

I dug it, and it sets the stage for a whole new SpaceCamp.

You can purchase both of the bands EP’s over in iTUNES.

This was a very diverse night of music here at Liquid Lounge, but one that was overflowing with talent, making it a solid night from start to finish

The Phuss Release New Music Video; Announce October Tour

imageDallas favorites, The Phuss, recently released a video for “I Don’t Feel Good”, one of the singles off their forthcoming LP - their first since signing with Magnetic Eye Records.

The footage was filmed a few months back, and takes place at a house party. Basically, it perfectly embodies everything The Phuss is about.

Both the video and the song are about letting loose and having a good time, and if debauchery happens to be involved, well… that just makes it all the better.

The release date for On The Prowl is slated for October 14th, and in support of the record, the trio will be hitting the road, going down to Florida and up the East Coast, before heading back and eventually ending it in Oklahoma.

They’ll be spending nearly the whole month out traveling, and if they’re coming to a town near you, you don’t want to miss out on the gritty, raw performance they are known for.

Tour dates:
10/2 - Dallas, TX @ Three Links

10/3 - Austin, TX @ Spider House Ballroom

10/4 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

10/5 - Pensacola, FL @ The Handel Bar

10/6 - Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub

10/7 - Gainesville, FL @ Loosy’s

10/8 - Atlanta, GA @ The Basement

10/10 - Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway

10/11 - Richmond, VA @ Wonderland

10/12 - Washington DC @ The Velvet Lounge

10/15 - Baltimore, MD @ Club K

10/16 - Philadelphia, PA @ Dobb’s

10/17 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Wonderloft

10/18 - New York City, NY @ Piano’s

10/19 - Providence, RI @ Dusk

10/20 - Cambridge, MA @ T.T. the Bear’s

10/21 - Albany, NY @ The Low Beat

10/23 - Detroit, MI @ The Lovely Touch

10/24 - Louisville, KY @ The Mag Bar

10/25 - Ft. Smith, AR @ The Elephant Room

10/26 - Tulsa, OK @ The Yetti


Mothership Reveal Details of Sophomore Album, Mothership II

imageRipple Music and Dallas, Texas-based riffers Mothership are excited to finally reveal the details of Mothership’s highly anticipated second release, Mothership II. After months of playing their new tunes to sweaty, ecstatic masses both in Europe and on across the United States, the trio is excited for fans to finally hear the album in its entirety. For the album art, the band chose good friend and incredibly talented artist Zach “EZ” Nelson (Instagram – @ezwheelin) to hand draw his version of the galactic Valkyrie who also appeared in another form on the cover of the band’s debut album. For the album’s engineering, Mothership returned to Kent Stump of Wo Fat, who also lent his magic to the group’s eponymous debut album, at Dallas’ Crystal Clear Studios. Mothership II will be released on single LP gatefold vinyl and on digipack CD.

US: November 11th
Europe/UK: November 10th

1. Celestial Prophet
2. Priestess of the Moon
3. Shanghai Surprise
4. Holy Massacre
5. Centauromachy
6. Hot Smoke & Heavy Blues
7. Tamu Massif
8. Astromancer
9. Serpents Throne

The CD will have two bonus songs:
1. Eye of Sphinx
2. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl


Beauty In The Suffering Release “Juliet (You’re Mine)” Lyric Video


Oklahoma City based Industrial Metal band Beauty In The Suffering have released their official lyric video for their new track “Juliet (You’re Mine).” The track, originally premiering with Bloody Disgusting was written, programmed, arranged, performed, and produced by DieTrich Thrall and features drums from Chris Emery (American Head Charge). The track can be purchased using the “name your own price” model on the band’s Bandcamp here.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen Earn 4 IBMA Award Nominations, Including Instrumental Group of the Year

imageHot on the heels of their Aug. 12 Compass Records release, Cold Spell, Washington, D.C.’s Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen learned they received multiple 2014 International Bluegrass Music Award nominations, including a repeat nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year. And last week, the album entered Billboard’s Bluegrass Music Chart with a Hot Shot Debut at No. 3.

The Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association also nominated bandleader Solivan for Male Vocalist of the Year and Mandolin Player of the Year, and 2013 Banjo Player of the Year winner Mike Munford earned another nomination for that award. In 2013, guitarist Chris Luquette received the Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year, a performance award. The band, which also includes bassist Danny Booth, was nominated for Recorded Event of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year in addition to the Instrumental Group nod.

The 25th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards will take place October 2 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, N.C., as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Week.

In addition to appearing in Raleigh, the band’s got a full schedule of tour dates through October, starting with a week in Sorrento, British Columbia, at the Nimble Fingers Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Festival. (See list below.)

Following their appearance in June at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, No Depression’s Jake Schepps wrote: “Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, with their blazing IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Mike Munford, put on a fantastic show … I love this band. Great energy and superlative musicianship.”

The band’s 2013 Compass Records debut, On The Edge, reached the top 10 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Albums chart. With guests Leon Alexander, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Rob Ickes and Megan McCormick, Cold Spell is poised to do the same. For a look at what the excitement’s about, view their performance of “No Life in This Town,” recorded by videographer Dan Foldes at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

For ticket information and show updates, check

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen tour dates:
Aug. 23-29 – NimbleFingers Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Festival, Sorrento, B.C., Canada
Aug. 31 – Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival, Woodstown, N.J.
Sept. 4 – The Tractor Tavern, Seattle
Sept. 5 – Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland, Ore.
Sept. 6-7 – Sisters Folk Festival, Sisters, Ore. (with Peter Rowan)
Sept. 12 – Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Sept. 13 – The Cooperage (RiverFolk Concerts), Honesdale, Pa.
Sept. 14 –Hill Center (American Roots Music Series), Washington, D.C.
Sept. 14 – Hampstead Hill Festival, Baltimore 
Sept. 18 – Ashland Coffee & Tea, Ashland, Va. (CD release show)
Sept. 19-20 – Berlin Fiddler’s Convention, Berlin, Md.
Sept. 20 – Dogfish Head Brewpub, Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Oct. 1 – IBMA World of Bluegrass (live broadcast), Raleigh, N.C.
Oct. 2 – MerleFest Bluegrass Ramble, Raleigh, N.C. 
Oct. 4 – Albino Skunk Music Festival, Greer, S.C.
Oct. 10 – Station Inn, Nashville
Oct. 17 – Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival & Chili Cook-off after-party, Night Hotel, Dallas
Oct. 18 – North Caroline High School (Caroline County Council of Arts benefit), Ridgely, Md.
Oct. 19 – Philadelphia Folksong Society (with Spuyten Duyvil), Philadelphia
Oct. 24 – Palmetto Brewing Co. (the Loading Dock Series), Charleston, S.C.
Oct. 25 – Edisto Island Mostly Bluegrass Festival, Edisto Island, S.C.

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Saxon’s Biff Byford Fronts Film Concept Group, The Scintilla Project - New Album ‘The Hybrid’ Coming Next Week

image“Scintilla”, a science fiction thriller, is set deep underground in the wilds of a former Soviet state where strange genetic experiments are taking place. A war weary mercenary is hired to lead a company scientist to the secret underground laboratory and with his team of mercenaries to steal the research in the laboratory. Along the way the good people face dangerous militia involved in a bloodthirsty civil war, strange monsters lurking in the abandoned tunnels of the old Soviet bunker and finally they meet the scientist running the genetic experiments and her terrifying secret.

The film has inspired a newly formed super-group THE SCINTILLA PROJECT, fronted by SAXON’s own BIFF BYFORD, who will be releasing their album The Hybrid in the U.S., featuring songs inspired by the film, onSeptember 2, 2014 via UDR Music. Select tracks on the record are co-produced by world-famous heavy metal producer Andy Sneap, who also plays guitar on these tracks.

Biff Byford states, “I was introduced to Lionel Hicks by Toby Jepson while recording ‘Call To Arms’. This was leading SAXON to write a song for the Lionel Hicks produced film ‘Scintilla’. As the film developed through production, our minds began working – maybe we could put together a concept album based on and inspired by the film. While I was having a break from writing with SAXON, Lionel Hicks, Anthony Ritchie (both ‘Balance Of Power’), and I decided that I would produce and also sing on the album. I brought in Andy Sneap to co-produce and play guitar on some tracks.”

1.      Scintilla (One Black Heart)
2.      Beware The Children
3.      Permanence
4.      Some Nightmare
5.      Angels
6.      Pariah
7.      The Damned And Divine
8.      Life In Vain
9.      No Rest for The Wicked (SAXON recording as featured in the film – taken from ‘Call To Arms’)

Biff Byford (vocals)
Lionel Hicks (drums)
Anthony Ritchie (bass)
Andy Sneap (guitar)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 – Wesley Geiger Tells Some Tales at Trees

The show at Trees this night was all in celebration for the new record Somebody’s Darling was releasing, and they had orchestrated a great bill that involved some friends of theirs. Friends like Wesley Geiger, who had been charged with opening the show.

Seeing a solo artist on the stage at Trees is a semi-rare sight; but even by himself, Wesley easily reeled in the crowd, which grew gradually as he mesmerized people with his opening number. He addressed the audience after that, mentioning what an “honor” it was to be sharing the stage with Somebody’s Darling. He also noted that he did not have an album out yet, but would be releasing one come November. “…I’m going to be playing some songs off it…” he said before doing a song I believe he said was titled “Shine On”. “…Sometimes it looks dark, but it just needs a spark…” went one of the lines.

It was already clear the common thread between his songs was they all focused on telling stories, all of which were rich in detail and emotion. “How y’all doing tonight?” Wesley asked once he had finished that tune. He informed everyone that he had lived in California for a while, and had actually just moved back to Texas recently. “I don’t know why I ever left,” he remarked, drawing a lot of cheers from the crowd with that one. He added he had spent a lot of time in the desert during his travels, which was where most of these songs came from. He proceeded to pluck away at his acoustic guitar, an anguished look spreading across his face on the little intro he gave “As the Crow Flies”. He was quite expressive during all of these songs.

He kept the sort of storytellers vibe up by noting this next song was one of the first he ever wrote, back when he was still in high school. If I heard correctly, it was titled “Tired Town”; and once it had been completed, he again told the onlookers he didn’t have any merch, but encouraged everyone to go get the new Somebody’s Darling album. His forthcoming debut record will be titled El Dorado, and now he did the title track from it. “…It’s a mythological city…” he said, which everyone surely knows. “It’s also a real city in Arkansas,” he finished, which was something probably not everyone was wise to.

I thought “El Dorado” was the best track he did this night. It told a story of searching and longing, about people who just wanted to find something to help make them complete. Already, his set was nearly over, and he finished with a song he said was real special to him. “It’s done me a lot of good spiritually. Emotionally, mentally, physically,” he said, chuckling a bit as he said those last two words, which appeared to be added more for fun. You could tell it was another song he really connected with, and it was a good end to his 35-minute long set.

Wesley Geiger was a perfect opener for this bill, and the Americana singer/songwriter spun a series of songs that intrigued you. You got the sense he has already lived a long life, and he’s put his experiences to pen and paper in a perfect manner.

Again, his debut, El Dorado, is apparently due out in just a few months, and judging by the taste everyone got this night, that will be an album well worth having.

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 – Somebody’s Darling Rolls a Homecoming and Album Release Show into One Grand Event

This night wasn’t all that different from October 6th, 2012.

Well, it was considerably warmer than that October night nearly two years ago; but the other circumstances were quite similar.

Back in late 2012, Somebody’s Darling finished up a tour in their hometown, a show that also served as the album release party for their sophomore record, Jack City Shakedown.

The venue was different this night, and Trees can accommodate far more people than the club they did their last CD release at. The space was needed, too. This was also their first show back since completing a tour, which included some dates in Wisconsin and Illinois earlier in the month, while this Dallas show was their fourth straight, after doing a run through Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

Trees was pretty packed even during the main support act; and when 10:30 rolled around, people were already claiming their spots in front of the stage. By the time the curtain opened at 10:50, you were pretty much stuck where you were at, as folks stood shoulder to shoulder with one another.

The band had promised to play everything off the new album Adult Roommates, and they began tackling the release with the sixth cut off it, “Vowels Flow”. “Where’s your honey? Where’s your soul?” singer and rhythm guitarist Amber Farris crooned at the start, adding a lot of soul into the roots/rock number. Their performance exploded before the final chorus, when the quintet went all-out on the instrumental section, and Amber hunched over her guitar, tearing it up, as she first walked over to lead guitarist David Ponder, and then went to bassist Wade Cofer on stage left, before returning to the main mic.

“Alright!” she shouted in her twangy voice, as if to say they were just getting warmed up. With that, they went into the newly released single and lead track, “Bad Bad”, with Nate Wedan laying down a beat that was perfect to bob your head to. These songs may be new, but they have been worked into the live shows for months. Even back in January and February (the last two times I saw them) they were doing large amounts of new material. So, their fans are familiar with them, and that was what was cool about tonight. People already love these songs, and “Bad Bad” was one that received some mighty cheers as they started it.

The night wasn’t entirely about the new stuff, though.

“Where you at, Dallas?! Where you at?!” Amber asked, getting a loud response from everyone. “Let me tell you something,” she added. Nate had already started on the drum bed for the next song, and Amber then jumped right into the lyrics. “Well, I believe God made a lover for me…” she sang on “Back to the Bottle”. They played half of the songs from that previous release, and this one raised the excitement level considerably, especially during the instrumental jam, where the keys Mike Talley was playing where highlighted. David and Amber stood back to front with each other as they cranked out some notes, and shortly after, she and Wade were face to face with one another, rocking out. Her face was seldom seen during that time, as it was shrouded by her long, curly locks.

“Thanks, goddammit!” exclaimed Amber after brushing the hair from her face. “How you doing, Trees?!” she then asked, getting another rise from everyone. “That feels good. I love you guys!” she remarked with a warm smile on her face. As she spoke, a large cloud of smoke billowed out from the stage towards the audience; and then they went for one of their heartbreakers. Upon hearing it back in January, “Come to Realize” was an instant favorite of mine; and I do believe they made some tweaks while recording it. It sounded more fleshed out than I recalled, though it’s still wrought with emotion. “So I think about the morning, the way the coffee fell, and I came to realize I was by myself. And I wanted to know, was it me? Was it you?” goes the second verse of the song that epitomizes heartache. Wade lent his voice to the track, helping with some backing vocals on the chorus, and together, he and Amber sounded quite impressive.

“We’re selfish, and we like to throw parties for ourselves,” Amber joked afterwards, saying that was why they had The Suffers open up for them (that soul band from Houston had a party going in their own right.) “Let’s do it!” Amber finished, informing everyone this next song was titled “Set It Up”. David served up a superb solo during it; and upon finishing it, Amber mentioned that everyone in the band had done some writing on this new album, something that hasn’t happened in the past.

Mike was responsible for writing the next one. “It goes like this,” stated Amber. Mike and Wade crooned along with her on the profound chorus of “End of the Line”, “This is the oldest we have been; this is the youngest we will ever be.” There were many haunting elements about it as they slowed the pace down; and upon reaching the final chorus, the crowd burst into another round of cheers.

“Where you at, Dallas?!” Amber again asked, before informing everyone they had got home at five in the morning after their show in Austin. “This is why we do this,” she said, beaming at all the North Texas residents who had come out to support this night. David showed off his skills with another slickly done solo during “Same Record”; and once it was over, Amber asked for everyone to give it up for Wesley [Geiger], who had opened the show. “Once again, we’re selfish. We like to throw parties,” she joked.

“Alright, now here we go,” she said, as they brought out another oldie in the form of “Weight of the Fear”. The one thing with older tracks a band has been playing for a few years is that they have done it so many times, it’s just second nature. That was highlighted with that staple from Jank City. The clap along that came at the lull made everyone a part of the song; and David was killing it, often capturing everyone’s full attention.

“Cheers, Dallas!” Amber shouted, making a toast to all their friends and fans. “…We’ve been a band for a long time, and we’re excited to still be doing it,” she said, speaking of having a chance to put out yet another record. That said, they kept going with album number two, by doing “Keep Shakin’”. The amount of cheers and whistling that followed the end of that song was unreal. Everyone here was a die-hard Somebody’s Darling fan, and they were making it well known.

“Can I introduce the band?” asked Amber, who then took a few minutes to introduce “Red Pants on guitar” (AKA David Ponder), as well as Nate “Grizzly Bear”. “I stole the best bass player in town, and I don’t feel bad about it,” she remarked before naming Wade. Once that was taken care of, Amber swapped out her electric guitar for an acoustic. She said a few of them had a hand in writing this next one, as did Jonathan Tyler (of Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights.) It was the next to last song off the album, “Smoke Blows”, and despite the acoustic, it wasn’t that slow of a song.

The five-piece even dug all the way back to their first album, and the lone track they did from it was “Cold Hearted Lover”. Even now, it’s still a beloved tune, and peoples reaction to it this night proved that. Afterwards, something surprising happened. Wade, who is usually silent sans the backing vocals, spoke. “You guys know how to bounce?” he asked. “Come on, we need everybody to bounce,” he said, trying to get some movement going before one of the singles off Jank City Shakedown, “Cold Hands”. There wasn’t much jumping about, though Amber did try to get another clap along going. It started off slow, with few participants, though. “I see you in the back. We’re not starting till you’re all doing it,” she told the audience, prompting some more people to get involved. “I need this!” she shouted enthusiastically.

No sooner had they finished, and then David started them onto to the next one. Amber just laughed and shook her head. “We weren’t gonna do it, but let’s do it. Screw it,” she said. In the last year plus, they’ve made Faces’ “Stay with Me” into a staple of their longer sets, and I don’t think anyone would have viewed the night complete if they hadn’t done it. It became a massive sing-along, not just with the crowds aiding them, but also some of the many musicians who had come out to support their friends this night. Most of Goodnight Ned got up on stage and helped on the choruses, as did Corey Howe, from Dead Flowers.

“We’re happy that Trees let us party here tonight,” said Amber, thanking the venue one last time before they wrapped their 68-minute long set up with the final track, “Keep This Up”. More clapping was required as they gave their set a fun sendoff, as was singing. Even if people didn’t know the lyrics, the refrain of, “How can I keep this up?” was easy to pick up on.

If there hadn’t been a couple of songs missing, you would have thought they were done. But everyone knew better, and after a couple minutes of shouting, Amber ran back down the stairs from the green room and out on the stage.

“We got to get the boys out!” she said, looking that way. David returned, as did Nate, who simply sit behind the kit and watched his band mates during “Two Lords”. Amber had her hands free, and David grabbed the acoustic. “…It’s super meaningful to us. We wrote it about a buddy of ours,” she said before the song, which deals with two fellow musicians who took their own lives. “…I wish I could have told them I’d hate they way they leave,” went one of the lines of what was a chilling song, and one only those familiar with the D/FW music scene will truly understand and appreciate.

The full band was intact now, and they had saved their biggest two for last. “Wedding Clothes” was one; and as Nate rolled them into the last song, he proceeded to clap along to the beat he was delivering on the kick drum. Much of the crowd joined along. “Generator” was the final song they had to do off Adult Roommates, and it has been a routine closer for many months now. “Thank you again Dallas for coming out…” Amber said during the instrumental break, pointing out that the album wouldn’t be available digitally until September 16th, so everyone here was getting the “exclusive”.

That powerhouse number concluded not only their 14-minute long encore, but also one epic night.

This was what an album release show should be. A club packed with fans who are anxious not only about getting their hands on the latest release from a band they love, but also seeing them pull out all the stops to make this something more than just your average show.

The last few times I had seen Somebody’s Darling they were clicking on a level that affirmed they were one of the areas’ best. That was still holding true this night. The showmanship, the musicianship and even the way it was all executed was no different from that of a bigger ticket act you’d pay good money to see here at Trees.

That’s why Somebody’s Darling has built such a solid reputation not only here in Dallas/Fort Worth, but even in the Mid-West — where they often tour. That’s why they can pack out pretty much ever show they do: because they deliver an experience each time they take the stage.

It’s only been five years since they released album number one, and each follow-up they’ve put out in the last few years has proven to be a cut above their previous material. With Adult Roommates, they’ve crafted something that has more depth and feeling and in a more mature manner than their previous stuff; and in a couple of years, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll be talking about another album, where they have outdone themselves yet again.

“Bad Bad” is available as a single, with the full album dropping on September 16th. In the meantime, if you don’t have their first two records, you can get them in iTUNES (as well as pre-order Adult Roommates.) Their next show will be on September 13th at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth (as part of The Toadies Dia de los Toadies music festival). They also have a short tour planned in October, with shows in Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh, NC, on October 17th, 18th, and 19th, respectively. Specifics can be found HERE.