Archive for September, 2011

YouPlusDallas Photo Gallery: Austin City Limits 2011

Posted by    |    September 30th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Austin City Limits Music Festival Photo Gallery 9.17.11

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YouPlusDallas Photo Gallery: Incubus with Young the Giant

Posted by    |    September 30th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Incubus with Young the Giant at Gexa Energy Pavilion 9.29.11

Photography by Cory Allison
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Incubus with Young the Giant at Gexa Energy Pavilion

Posted by    |    September 30th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

The West Coast invaded Gexa Energy Pavilion last night as Newport Beach band Young the Giant and Calabasas band Incubus took the stage – the latter arriving much later than anticipated.

The weather made for a perfect California vibe along with the outdoor setting. Indie rockers Young the Giant must be getting used to the heat by now from spending so much time in Texas as of late.

They kicked off the evening with stand-out songs “I Got” and “Guns Out.” The way lead singer Sameer Gahdia sings “yeah” in the twelve tracks that make up their self-titled album, I’d say about anything to make him agree with me.

“This is called ‘St. Walker,’” Gahdia said, sounding more tired than the band’s explosive ACL performance, cutting long notes with ravaged screams.

During the slower-paced version of “Islands” (if you can make “Islands” any slower) Gahdia’s voice smoldered along with drummer Francois Comtois’s harmony.

“Come on, it’s a[n] [expletive] rock concert, you paid money for it!” Was Gahdia’s encouragement, asking the audience to stand up for their closing song, “My Body,” or that song that you know even if you think you don’t know who Young the Giant is. (more…)

YouPlusDallas Photo Gallery: Salim Nourallah with Jason Corcoran and Jason Bonner at All Good Café

Posted by    |    September 27th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Local musicians Salim Nourallah, Jason Corcoran of Gaston Light, and Jason Bonner, formerly of THe BAcksliders, gathered for a songwriter’s round at All Good Café this summer. I’ve seen Nourallah’s name lit up on marquees all around North Texas, except he and I never seem to be at the same venue. So I made him a priority. And for good reason. And the Jasons rounded out my penchant for guitar trios.

Nourallah performed “Western Hills” and “Stranger in My Own Skin” from 2009 album Constellation – the latter packed with heavy imagination and bravery. His distinct voice made the entire evening seemingly go in slow motion, like the part of a movie where the truth comes through a lie.

Nourallah’s fifth solo album, Hit Parade, is completed, and CD and vinyl will be available in the spring of 2012. It is available for download this October 9, when you pledge here.

Corcoran’s relentlessly melancholy lyrics can be heard on his album Peel released on Idol Records last week.

As for Bonner, I’m not so sure what’s going on with his solo career, but he can still rock a mean acoustic guitar. In the meantime, here’s our photo gallery: (more…)

‘Pan Am’ Takes Flight on ABC This Sunday

Posted by    |    September 23rd, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Photo courtesy of Access Hollywood

This Sunday, one of ABC’s newest Fall television shows, ‘Pan Am’, will fly into our television sets, reminding us of a time when suburbia reigned, and an unconventional class of women forfeited stay-at-home mom-dom to see the world. A recent article from the New York Times notes the differences between newcomer ‘Pan Am’ and the inevitable comparisons to its retro-rival, ‘Mad Men’, stating that the latter is by far a better show. Come Sunday, you’ll have to decide for yourself: Team Open Airways, or Team Madison Avenue.

The cast includes Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Michael Mosley, Karine Vanasse, Mike Vogel and Kelli Garner.

Watch for ‘Pan Am’ Sunday nights on ABC at 9pm CST

Tim Halperin, American Idol Alum, to Live In a Cage For 28 Hours. We’re Not Joking.

Posted by    |    September 22nd, 2011 at 8:09 pm

If you have ever wanted Tim Halperin to be locked up in a cage, you’re about to have your exact wish come true. Except there will probably be more people around than you’d originally hoped.

As we mentioned in our recent interview with Halperin, he will end his American Idol contract on the same day his debut album Rise and Fall is released, which is this coming Tuesday, September 27.

To promote the release, Halperin will live in a cage at the Shops at Legacy in Plano, 7201 Bishop Road, from Monday, September 26 at 5am until Tuesday, September 27 at 9am. Seriously. He will live in a cage for 28 hours.

A stationary metaphor for ‘American Idol Jail’, this is probably the only time sweet Halperin will ever be behind bars.

He has not exactly been quiet about his discontent with his American Idol contract, stating:

“Due to my American Idol contract, I have not been able to sign with a record label, so this release is independent and I am relying on my support network to get the word out.”

Hence, the cage.

Here are Halperin’s words to his fans: (more…)

Q&A with Boyce Avenue

Posted by    |    September 19th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

YouTube sensation Boyce Avenue is masquerading as a highly successful label-driven trio. The reality is, they are a do-it-yourself, break-out-the-elbow-grease, up-hill-battling band that relies on word of mouth and music video re-posts to get their name stuck in the interwebs.

Honest vocals and beautiful covers of popular songs (think “Umbrella” and “Lovestoned”) naturally caught on with the YouTube generation, making the band name wildly recognizable.

The band of brothers, Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano, are as genuine and sincere in person as they are in their songs (both covers and originals). YouPlusDallas sat down with the trio for a Q&A session the last time they were in town.

Catch them tonight at the Granada Theater, doors at 7PM

You gained recognition for your gorgeous acoustic covers of popular songs; what made you want to start your career that way?

Alejandro: Just a [way] of getting out there. The thing of our time seems to obviously be the Internet. We noticed that there [were] a lot of views on YouTube, and people searching those kinds of songs, and it was something we had already been doing. A lot of musicians start off doing that. People just seem to grab on to it.

You released your album, All We Have Left, last year; what sort of response have you received so far?

Daniel: Good. One thing we’ve always been proud of is that, while a lot of people discover our cover videos, our original music does very well. People rally behind it; it sells just as well as any other album we’ve ever put out. The fans have been really excited about the album. A lot of them were really patient, because it had taken us some time. We do everything on it ourselves – we produce it ourselves, we finance it ourselves – it’s just been a very personal project. I think they appreciate seeing it come to life and finally come together. (more…)

Cee Lo Makes Everyone Feel Awkward, Chromeo Remembers DJ Mehdi, My Morning Jacket Shows the True Meaning of Rock & Roll, Stevie Wonder is the Great Harmonizer, and Day Two of ACL

Posted by    |    September 18th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Significantly more people crammed into Zilker Park on day two of the 2011 ACL festival than day one. It had been forecasted that the weather during the 10th annual festival would be in the triple digits, but Saturday began in the same overcast haze as the day before. Again, the sky broke as festivalgoers wearing Native American headdresses, Where’s Waldo shirts, and no shirts at all ran toward Young The Giant in the warm rain.

Fresh from their show-stealing performance at this year’s VMAs, Young the Giant is the complete antithesis of what you’d except from a VMA performance; their music isn’t pop, performance art, or anything you will hear remixed at a club. It’s straight California rock.

YTG kicked off their set with the walking melody of “Apartment,” the first track on their self-tiled album, following with the Vampire Weekend-meets-Sam Cooke sound of “I Got.”

“This song’s called ‘Guns Out’,” frontman Sameer Gadhia said to the soaking audience. “I want you guys to dance along with us, that’s right.” Gadhia’s voice is infallible. He radiates energy – his body must be bruised up from hitting the tambourine so hard against himself. “We’re going to keep on goin’,” he said, introducing recent single “Cough Syrup,” asking the audience if they knew the words. “If you do, sing along.” As they wrapped their set with “My Body” everyone finally seemed to realize that yes, they have heard of these guys before.

Turning the corner of the park later in the day, the crowd at Skrillex was ridiculous, practically overlapping with the crowd gearing up for Cee Lo Green’s performance on the far end of Zilker. (more…)

Coldplay Draws the Bigger Crowd, Kanye is Still Saying Weird Things, and Day One of ACL

Posted by    |    September 17th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Early on Friday afternoon, ACL seemed as though it would suffer the same fate as this year’s Lollapalooza as the sky broke open and poured heavy rain. Festivalgoers ran down Barton Springs toward Zilker Park in white tanks and neon shorts, mud splashing up on their calves.

The 10th anniversary of the ACL Festival has brought headliners Arcade Fire, Stevie Wonder, My Morning Jacket, Coldplay and Kanye West, the latter two who will play tonight.

Today, Foster The People took to the Google+ stage where a hearty portion of festivalgoers gathered to see what these “Pumped Up Kicks” people were all about. Not sure this was the best stage for their performance; when FTP were first added to the ACL lineup, they were beginning their popularity ascent. Now that the band’s name is as recognizable as other acts at higher billing, the Northwest area of the park was crammed with an inane amount of sweaty, cheerful people, unknowingly dancing to a song about a trigger-happy outcast.

As night fell on the Austin Ventures stage, soulful Sara Bareilles recalled a conversation she had with a police officer earlier in the day, noting that people never fight at ACL, and promptly requested the audience to get in a fight. It didn’t go over too well, so she launched into a peppy cover of Mumford & Sons’  “Little Lion Man.”

“Is there anybody out there? Did we make it to Austin City Limits?” Chris Martin asked the massive crowd gathered at the AMD stage before singing famed hit “Yellow” and a slow-paced version of “In My Place.”

10 minutes to Kanye West’s set, a bridge of people stood between the AMD and Bud Light stages, trying to get the best of both headliners’ sets. People walked to Kanye humming Coldplay songs, and vice versa. (more…)

Interview With Astronautalis, and Words That Begin With the Letter ‘D’

Posted by    |    September 13th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I am following Astronautalis around the state of Texas. The St. Paul resident via Seattle by way of Dallas post-Jacksonville indie rapper, née Andy Bothwell, has played multiple shows within miles of my whereabouts over the past few days, and I’ve been getting to know him during the two hour-long catharsis sessions that are his concerts.

If you’re a fan, you already know about his nomad-meets-drifter ways; but if you’re not (yet), well, it’s imperative for you to understand where he comes from in order to envision where he’s going.

Tonight he is performing at Club Dada in Deep Ellum, just after having wrapped a stint at SXSW. A nine-time veteran of the Austin music festival; this year’s showcase marked the first time he was able to perform with a live band, as opposed to the talents of his laptop.

His hair disheveled, Astronautalis works the Dada stage, moving his legs so quickly he appears to be running in place – arms outstretched, like an extra in a zombie movie – as he belts out “The Wondersmith and His Sons [Pomegranate, 2008].” As the song ends, Astronautalis stares at the ground, as if to hold the end of a scene. His eyes still fixated on the floor, he breaks into a wide smile, and Andy looks up, graciously thanking his audience for their applause.

“Let’s do some freestyling, shall we?” Bothwell refers to his signature act, calling upon the audience to suggest random nouns that he will incorporate into a rhyme scheme.

Sweating from a combination of an energizing performance and the Texas heat, he channels Usher, gradually removing his clothing: the suspenders go, then the white button down, all the way to his white undershirt. When he speaks, his vocal fry is tattered and alluring. “They’re pretty awesome, right?” He says of his band, “I’m never going back to the laptop.” (more…)