Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chromeo @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

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4:00 PM
There are bands that make dance music then there are bands who can make you dance.  Canadian duo Chromeo combines the two in spectacular fashion.  These rhythm makers that produce booty shakers, Dave 1 (David Macklovitch) and P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel), have been making music for a decade now and have damn near perfected their sound.  Touring in support of their soon to be released album, White Women, Chromeo packed packed the House of Blues in Dallas for a night of dance, a night of fun, and simply put, a night they will never forget.
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March Madness Music Festival @ Reunion Park, Dallas, TX

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9:42 AM
This weekend in Dallas, there was a perfect storm.  And I'm not talking about the weather.  Sure, Saturday and Sunday weren't mild by any means and the constant threat of rain did sour what would have been an amazing, although already great, weekend.  Fans of music, as well as fans of basketball, ventured to downtown Dallas to partake in a free three-day music festival known as the March Madness Music Festival to coincide with North Texas's hosting of the Final Four.  Nestled upon the remains of the Reunion Arena, Reunion Park provided a perfect location for a festival of this magnitude.  It doesn't hurt that Dallas's iconic skyline was the backdrop to the festivities.  The festival gained national recognition when the announcement of the final day headliner was to be Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, with other notable headliners in Jason Aldean and the Killers.  And with a lineup with this, I doubt anyone walked away disappointed.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Photos: Big Folkin' Fest @ Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX

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12:59 PM
Over the course of two days, plenty of folks had a folkin' good time at the venues of the Prophet Bar in Deep Ellum, Dallas.  The event was well-attended, with crowds amassing the three indoor stages both days and the outdoor space on Saturday.  It didn't matter if you were well-versed in folk, the schedule of performances surely had something for you.  Only in their third year, the Big Folkin' Fest has a bright future and a definite niche in the North Texas festival season.  I tried to make it to each set to get a taste of each band's music, but I missed out on a couple late night performances on Friday.  I also had to skip out early on Saturday to take care of a sick wife.  But I had a lot of fun and you should go ahead and make plans to attend next year.  I promise it will be a good time.
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Experience Hendrix @ The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO

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2:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
For just a fleeting moment, I was 14 again.  Holding my first guitar, trying to get my guitar face just right in the mirror.

If some years ago someone would have told me that I would not only be seeing, but photographing the likes of Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, and an assortment of other bad asses of the guitar, I would have likely told you that you had lost your mind!  But on a random Thursday night in St. Louis, the impossible became possible.  The Experience Hendrix Tour came to the Fabulous Fox Theater with an assembled cast of musicians like none other. The lineup included the previously mentioned Zakk Wylde and Buddy Guy along with Eric Johnson, Dweezil Zappa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Doyle Bramhall II, Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos), David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Mato Nanji (Indigenous), and Brad Whitford (Aerosmith).  Also included were top notch musicians Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys & Jimi Hendrix Experience), Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble), Tony Franklin (Kenny Wayne Shepherd), Noah Hunt (Kenny Wayne Shepherd).  This illustrious group was traveling together for one purpose, and purpose only:  to celebrate the love of all things Hendrix.  In my estimation, the Fox was at capacity, or darn close to it, as those in attendance truly did witness a guitar player’s heaven on earth.  Billy Cox played emcee to this well-orchestrated, three-and-a-half hour jam session.  Opening the show, Mr. Cox performed with Stan Skibby and Dani Robinson as they recreated the magic of Band of Gypsys.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spillover Music Festival @ Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX

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4:00 PM
For most music enthusiasts, March marks the annual descent to Austin, TX for South by Southwest (SXSW).  But for those who haven't made it to the now corporate carnage, or choose not to go, Dallas offers the second best thing:  Spillover Music Festival.  Brought to you by the good people at Parade of Flesh, Spillover offers a day's worth of wonderfully diverse and talented musicians, all of whom spent the entire week cramming in shows for the masses.  And by masses, I mean those who happen to be at the venue at the time.  Fans?  Maybe.  Music lovers?  Possibly.  That's where SXSW and Spillover differ.  The hundreds of people running back and forth between Club Dada and Three Links are pure music fans.  Fist pumping, dancing, singing along, and flat out enjoying themselves, these are all things you saw in Deep Ellum on this blustery, cool Sunday in Dallas.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Hurray for the Riff Raff @ Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis, MO

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2:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
"I've been havin' some hard travelin', Lord." – Woody Guthrie 

You may be asking why I opened this article with a line from a Woody Guthrie song.  This my friends would best sum up the musical career to date of Alynda Lee Segarra, founder and architect, of Hurray for the Riff Raff).  At 17, Alynda ran away from her home in Bronx, New York and took to a life of traveling and playing music.  After a couple of years of riding freight trains and wandering from coast to coast, she found a home in New Orleans.  Alynda wound up playing a washboard in a band known as The Dead Man Street Orchestra.  As more traveling ensued, Alynda met other musicians which evolved into Hurray for the Riff Raff.  During this time, Alynda was also searching for her signature sound which NOLA musicians Dan Cutler and Sam Doores helped her achieve.  If you were to pin down the sound of Hurray, it would be classic American Folk.  But if one was to analyze Segarra’s voice, you’d find flavors of Natalie Merchant, Nora Jones, and Cowboy Junkies lead singer, Margo Timmins.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Roundheels @ Plush, St. Louis, MO + Interview

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3:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
If you were to look in the dictionary under the word persistence, you might find a picture of Roundheels' drummer, Eric Moore. Over the past few years that I have covered this band, the changes have been many. But Eric Moore has been persistent in his search to put together the perfect band, and with this current version of Roundheels, he may have finally succeeded.  Like Timothy Leary conducting experiments, Moore has done a ton of experimentation with different musicians and musical styles.  For the completion of this latest Roundheels roster, Moore recruited the services of guitarist Justin Fremont and bass player Patrick Mulvaney.  I would venture to Plush to catch Roundheels' last local show before embarking on a 19-city mini tour.  When I last covered the band, their sound was leaning toward an 80’s punk rock/new wave sound.  After hearing the first chords from Justin’s guitar during the band’s setup, I could tell with great certainty:  this was gonna be something different.  The power that came from those opening chords immediately brought visions of MC5 to mind.
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

White Lies / Frankie Rose @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX

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2:05 PM
Five years.  Had it really been that long?  My first opportunity to catch White Lies was at Webster Hall in New York City in February of 2009.  Much to my disappointment, I was unable to attend the show and was left wanting as I knew the Brits wouldn't be touring the US on a consistent basis.  So turn the page a half decade later, the boys from London would be making a stop at the historic Granada Theater with Miss Frankie Rose.  A great lineup at a great venue.  Sign me up.
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yuck @ Good Records, Dallas, TX

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5:21 PM
It was almost three years to the day I last saw Yuck.  The first time, they were opening for the Smith Westerns at the Loft.  I just happened to hear a preview of their album days before that show and I became super excited to see them live.  They did not disappoint.  So much so, I felt bad for the Smith Westerns, because they were a tough act to follow.  Much has changed since that show.  Lead singer Daniel Blumberg left the band last year, hence promoting lead guitarist Max Bloom as the new lead vocalist.  He doesn't pack the same punch as Blumberg but the band as a whole still sounds as solid as ever.  Just a little toned down.  Before their set at Tree's, the band made time to grace the Astroturf at Good Records.  Playing just five songs, four from last year's Glow & Behold, the band sounded tight and loud.  Ending with "Operation", one of my faves from their self-titled debut, you could tell the spark was still there, it had only altered a bit.  Their new stuff is pretty good as well.  
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Jake Bugg / Albert Hammond Jr. @ House of Blues, Dallas

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1:30 PM
I'm not going to lie, I went to this show to see Albert Hammond Jr.  Not afraid to say it.  As a mega-fan of the Strokes, it's not unusual to follow the band's members and their personal endeavors.  That being the case, I have really enjoyed Albert's solo stuff.  So, goes without saying, when I heard he was coming through Dallas, albeit as a supporting act, I jumped on the chance to cover his performance.  But fate, and poor communication, had other plans.
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