Archive for November, 2011

The Houses October Built – Review

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

The Houses October BuiltI was invited to a documentary movie private screening in McKinney, Texas last Saturday Night. My first thought was, “Why McKinney, Texas?” In retrospect, it couldn’t have been shown in a better place.

On the invitation it listed an address of a beautiful large home within Aero Country East Airport. We parked in the field next door and there were cars that transported us across the runway to a large airplane hangar. As we entered, we could now see it has been transformed into a movie theater .

The guests ranged from young hip socialites to older professionals.

Fresh off their Grand Prize win at Shockfest Hollywood where they were asked to open for Eli Roth (Hostel & Inglorious Basterds), the filmmakers entered the room. Originally both from Plano now residing in Los Angeles, The Director and Producer, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, came to the front and thanked us for attending. They also made a couple special thanks to the cast members that were in the crowd.

Now to the feature presentation.

The film, “The Houses October Built” is a documentary that sheds light on what really goes on in Halloween Haunted Houses. Both the good and the downright demented. On their IMDb page, it mentions that, “In October 2011, over 30 million people will visit Halloween Haunted Houses.” That is a very large number if you ask me! But it’s factual, I checked. (more…)

Dallas Observer’s ‘Artopia’ Taking Place This Saturday

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

This year’s events have already proved that Dallasites are pretty damn talented, and Dallas Observer’s upcoming event ‘Artopia’ isn’t likely to prove us otherwise.

What is Artopia, you ask? We shall explain, seeing as how it isn’t a word. It’s an amalgamation of the finest artistry offered in the Big D, celebrating the best of local art, including music, theatre, fashion, visual art and performance art.

YouPlusDallas will be on the scene to film the event, Canon 7D’s in hand (or, in tripod), so make sure to come say ‘Hey’ and wave in our lenses. Who knows? You might just make the cut in our video.

Pre-sale general admission tickets are $20, day-of tickets are $30. BUT save yourself some dough by hopping online now and using promo code “youplus” to purchase 25% off tickets. So, might want to get on that.

Limited availability VIP tickets are $45 which includes access to the VIP room. We’re super curious about what’s going on in there because it sounds top-secret and packed with awesome; so if you find out, let us know, ‘kay?

Artopia will take place this Saturday, December 3, at the Dallas Contemporary 161 Glass St Dallas, TX. Event is 8PM-11PM. 21+ Only. Purchase tickets here.

A Case of Cryptomnesia: Ben Rector vs Mat Kearney

Posted by    |    November 29th, 2011 at 11:49 am

First off, let’s address what Cryptomnesia is exactly. It is the appearance in consciousness of memory images which are not recognized as such but which appear as original creations.

What is trying to say is in music, cryptomnesia is one song distinctly reminiscent of another song, almost as if one musician was listening to the other’s work as he or she was composing a new song. It’s also a scratchy, circular waltz by Cold War Kids.

People get sued over this; it’s kind of a big deal. For starters, let’s examine the 1976 case Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music, where a US district court found that Beatle George Harrison had subconsciously plagiarized “My Sweet Lord” from song “He’s So Fine” written by Ronald Mack and recorded by the Chiffons. Harrison had to pay some annoying legal fees, but we’re not saying that the below argument need follow suit; merely that it possesses the necessary elements one might require in a court of law.

In this, the first installment of A Case of Cryptomnesia, consider the case of Mat Kearney and Ben Rector. The Nashville residents share a little more than the same stomping ground: an affinity for the exact same chord progressions.  (more…)

Daphne Willis at The Kessler

Posted by    |    November 26th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Barefoot, Chicago native Daphne Willis sauntered onto the Kessler’s stage on November 25, second on the bill with a trio of female singer/songwriters. Taking her time to tune up after taking her place, the audience waited patiently.

The Kessler is one of the most challenging venues to shoot music in Dallas. When artists go on stage and the lights go down, the venue takes on the guise of a cavern lit by a single candle brighter than the sun. In a controlled environment, this might be an interesting situation to shoot. However, when moving around a stage, trying to be respectful of the audience and working without a tripod, this becomes quite a challenge. That doesn’t mean you can’t gain control of the environment. Suffice it to say that this is one of the more difficult ones to shoot in because of the stark contrast between light and darkness in the venue.

The Tipsy Turkey Cocktail

Posted by    |    November 24th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited! While others clamor to prepare turkey (tofurky!) and all the fixings for their annual feast, I like to prepare something a little more…festive.

Enter our newest LEAF video: The Tipsy Turkey Cocktail.

Steamed pumpkin? Check! Cinnamon & spice? Check! Maple syrup? Check!

Concert Review: Ximena Sariñana at House of Blues Dallas

Posted by    |    November 22nd, 2011 at 5:25 pm

People love things that are cute. That’s an obvious statement; yes, which is why YouTube is filled with enough home videos of puppies and kittens to keep the masses entertained for years, or at least until a different ‘cute fad’ takes its place.

Ximena Sariñana  (pronounced: hi-MEN-a sari-nyanah), one of Mexico’s most talented exports, is freakin’ adorable. Like, surprised kitty status adorable. This weekend, in the House of Blues Cambridge Room, Sariñana took the stage to massive applause, consulted her black Macbook, and opened her set with “The Bid,” off her latest album.

A crossover artist, Sariñana has a massive following in her home country. Her 2008 album, Mediocre, was praised by Rolling Stone as “one of the strongest debuts from a female singer-songwriter since Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me.”

Presently, Sariñana is taking on a new challenge for herself: bringing her music to the States with her first (90%) English self-titled album, released this July on Warner Bros Records.

Relentlessly watchable, Sariñana brings the colloquialism “smiling with her eyes” to life. During the song “Shine Down,” co-written by TV On the Radio’s David Sitek, she energetically bounced up and down between verses, politely gleaming at her band.

“Hola, como estan?” Sariñana asked coyly, smiling to the audience, her long, curly brown hair pulled into a side ponytail resting on her shoulder.

“I just released my second record, which is my first record all in English,” Sariñana began, introducing her latest single, “Different,” a cheery, piano-driven alt-pop song with a sunny whistling melody that appears in all the right places. “Gracias por entender,” she said, later thanking the audience in two languages, leading into the notion that the night’s set would be akin to a Spanish (or English) lesson. (more…)

Band On Radar: The Static Jacks

Posted by    |    November 17th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Photo courtesy of

New Jersey Boys the Static Jacks are having a pretty righteous year. They recently wrapped a tour with the Wombats and the Postelles, and debut album, If You’re Young (the cover art of which could double as a softcore porn DVD cover) released this summer on Fearless Records. Their music is charged with will-to-live guitar riffs, a keen take on youthful antics, and the misguidance of elders. We caught up with guitarist Henry Kaye to find out about the band’s upcoming UK tour, a Wombats love affair, and why they suck at football.

You recently had a show at the Granada Theater in Dallas, where you lost two games of parking lot football to touring partners the Postelles. What gives?

Well, basically we got to the venue early and had some time to kill. The Postelles had a football in their van, so three of us played three of them in the parking lot, and unfortunately they scored twice, we scored once, or something. I’m trying to block it out of my memory as much as possible.

Would you say the Postelles maybe have a little bit more athleticism than the Static Jacks?

No I wouldn’t say that. I’m still really confident in our abilities to beat them. It was a bad day. There was an interception for a touchdown. It was one mistake; but no, we are definitely more athletic than they are.

You just wrapped a tour with the Wombats. Browsing your twitter feed, it seems you guys have some serious bro-love for them. Truth?

Yeah. The Wombats became our best friends. We just partied with them a lot. The last night on tour in Seattle, they brought us and the Postelles out onstage for their final rock out jam. We love those guys, they love us and I hope we get to play with them soon. (more…)

Giveaway: 2 VIP Passes to Young the Giant – Tonight!

Posted by    |    November 16th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

By now, you’ve inevitably heard of up-and-coming band Young the Giant; and if you haven’t, dude seriously, where have you been? They blew audiences away at this year’s VMAs, they’re hot off a tour with Incubus, the band’s single “Cough Syrup” is currently at the #2 spot on Alternative Radio, and they recently announced their first heading tour, kicking off in 2012. In short, they’re blowing up faster than a premature stick of dynamite.

The band is in Dallas right now. And we have two VIP passes for you, our dear readers.

Young the Giant has two special Windows Phone shows in Dallas, tonight and Thursday, at 7pm. Complimentary food and beverages will be served, meaning alcohol will be present; ergo, the show is 21+ with a valid ID to get in.  Capacity is extremely limited, due to the extreme awesomeness of the event, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

RSVP and get event info here; but if you want two VIP passes, follow us on Twitter and RT to win. We’ll DM and announce winners at 4PM today.

For more information on Young the Giant, check out our ACL Day 2 recap, Incubus with Young the Giant concert review, and interview with YTG guitarist Jacob Tilley

Photography by Cory Allison

Fifteen Minutes with The Wilderness of Manitoba

Posted by    |    November 10th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

No, we didn’t move to Canada and attempt to camp for a quarter of an hour, only to abandon our effort. The Wilderness of Manitoba is a six-piece outfit from the chilly climate of Toronto, made up of multiple singing multi-instrumentalists. Their music is a blend of harmonies and honeyed vocals crafted to calm listeners into a pretty dream-like state. We caught up with Will Whitwham to learn about the band’s vocal-minded songwriting, and how it is possible the entire band lives in the same house.

With four competitive songwriters in the band, when it comes time to decide what will go on the EP or what will go on the album, how do you decide which songs to use?

The album will typically have mood going throughout. I think that’s how we make the call. We kind of go by how it usually feels, or, would that fit together?, because all kinds of music is being brought to the table. With the next album, I think we’ll probably widen the sound more. It’ll be a little more varied than it was in the last. You want to kind of mess around with more things, or try out more ideas. We just sort of react on what fits best together into whatever that album is as a whole. (more…)

YouPlusDallas Photo Gallery: Ra Ra Riot

Posted by    |    November 9th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Ra Ra Riot @ @ Granada Theater 11.3.11