Archive for September, 2012

The Waking Artist

Posted by    |    September 28th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

This video is a well done and interesting take on Franz Kafka’s short story The Hunger Artist. Instead of entertaining crowds of people by not eating for 40 days like the protagonist does in the Hunger Artist, Jacob Mendel tweaks the story by setting it in modern times and instead not eating the Waking artist does not sleep. While you could sit and and critique and philosophize for days about this video and it’s connection to Kafka’s story or what it is trying to say, I feel like Mendel replaced the act of food deprivation with sleep deprivation as a means to connect it more closely to the current state of society as it fuels itself with caffeine and energy drinks trying to stave off sleep in the name of productivity only to become numb and delirious with exhaustion.

Fresh Turbo Fruits

Posted by    |    September 26th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Dallas Turbofruits The band Turbo Fruits, who hail from Nashville Tennessee, don’t make fancy music but it’s rowdy and fun and a little weird. In anticipation of their show at Bryan Street Tavern coming up on October the 6th, I did a quick interview with band members Jonas and Kingsley to see what recording their new album Butter was like and what about Nashville influences their music.


1. So I just watched your video for the song Volcano, in it you guys are playing in someone’s living room while a crowd of kids goes crazy around you, is that similar to how you guys got started out, by having shows at people’s houses?

JONAS: Yep! You hit the nail on the head. Most of Turbo Fruits’ first shows were either in basements or living rooms. Regardless of how successful Turbo Fruits becomes, we will always make time for a house party show… always.

2. Do any of you guys play any other instruments besides the ones you play in the band?

KINGSLEY: We Can all play a few instruments besides the ones we play in the band. Not really well though:) I can play a bit of bass, mandolin, keys, and drums but pretty poorly. Jonas can play keys pretty decently as well as drums and I’m sure he can pick around on the bass. Dave can play guitar and a little keys and I’m sure a few others that I’m unaware of. Matt can dabble on the bass a little as well.

None of us really focus on any instrument other than the ones we play in the band but being able to play a few instruments each, definitely gives us some perspective on how to shape songs by giving each other input on what were all doing instrumentally during the writing process.

3. Is there any local music in Nashville that influences you guys or that you like to listen to?

KINGSLEY: I think we’re all definitely influenced to a certain degree by certain local music/musicians in Nashville. I’m personally without a doubt influenced by the country guitar players that play here. Not to the point where I’m playing country obviously but definitely by the technique and style of the players that you see here in town. I think everyone in the band has been influenced in some way by what’s going on in Nashville, especially in the rock scene…but I would say that we’re all more influenced by the overall feel and attitude of what’s going on here, rather than the actual music a certain band is playing.

4. When you guys are touring do you ever go explore the different cities you play in? What places do you like to check out?

KINGSLEY: We always try to explore certain cities we are unfamiliar with while we’re there if we have time. But we’re usually extremely busy and pressed for time to make it to the next city, which can make it much harder for us to do. We usually make it a point to at least go to a restaurant or bar that a city is well known for. At this point we’ve been all over the US and have had time to see and explore a lot of the cities and towns we’ve been to. The bigger cities we’re usually a little more familiar with because we’ve spent the most time in those places (New York, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, etc).

It’s the smaller towns that are usually in between the big cities and require a longer drive to get to the next place…so a lot of the time we aren’t able to explore them because we usually don’t have time to. When we do have time to check stuff out we like to go to well known music stores, bars, restaurants, record shops, and thrift/vintage stores.


The Farm comes to Dallas October 12th

Posted by    |    September 24th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

If you are a country music fan it’s a safe bet that you know who Toby Keith is and about his restaurant  Toby Keith’s I love this Bar and Grill. Who you are probably less familiar with (or not familiar with at all) is the up and coming  group from Nashville called The Farm, who will be playing at Toby Keith’s I love this Bar and Grill Dallas location the 12th of october. The group consists of three members, Nick Hoffman, Krista Marie and Damien Horne who all come from different musical backgrounds. Nick with his fiddle is more of a country music purist , Krista started out as a solo vocalist with a background in opera and Damien first moved to Nashville with his alternative rock band.  While their musical influences are eclectic and you can hear them coming through in the songs the music they make together is definitely country, with clear vocal harmonies and energetic fiddle. If you are a country music fan they deliver everything you love about country music and if you are not a country music fan they might surprise you with a new approach to the genre you didn’t expect.




An Interview with My Band Crush: California Wives

Posted by    |    September 21st, 2012 at 4:16 pm

California Wives, Stars, and Diamond Rings will play at the Granada October 13, 2012.

Usually when I go to a show or interview a new band I find them on Spotify and listen to them for a good hour or 2. That’s if I like them. When the relationship goes beyond like, their songs continue to dominate my Spotify in my car, on the treadmill, and the ultimate of all cherished playlist playings: while I’m getting ready to go out. My relationship with California Wives‘ first album, Art History, quickly escalated from like to love so clearly I was thrilled to get to ask their front man, piano man, guitar man Jayson Kramer a few questions before their show in Dallas.


You were on track to go to med school. When was the moment you knew that you wanted to completely change the path you were on?

I distinctly remember the moment when I first thought to myself “this is not what I want to be doing.” I had just finished my MCAT…meaning I had just walked out of the building after taking the exam…and I remember feeling absolutely no enthusiasm to pursue that career anymore. For the first time in a long while, I had no exams to study for and no internships to attend. I felt no pressure to compete for spots in medical school. I could actually think about what I was doing for the first time in a long while and everything inside myself was telling me that this wasn’t the right thing to do. I’m glad I listened to myself. I think a lot of people feel the same things I was feeling that day, but for whatever reason…maybe social pressures, family pressures, economic pressures, whatever…they just keep going down that path. That can’t be good for you.


You just released your first LP, Art History. What’s the most exciting part about putting out that first album?

From the moment we came together, we’ve been talking about making that all-important debut record. Obviously we had a lot of searching to do before we felt ready to get into something like that. We tried a lot of different ideas and explored with a few things until we found a sound we really loved. It was a pretty long and emotional journey. I can definitely feel all of that when I listen to this record. I think what’s most exciting for me is that we kept working on something we believed in and this record is a representation of all that work. We are very proud of this record and are very happy that we can finally share these songs with people.


What was it like seeing your video for ‘Purple’ during the MTV VMA’s? 

It was a pretty surreal experience. We kind of talked ourselves into thinking it wasn’t going to be a big deal. But when we saw the ad go on after a Nicki Minaj commercial, I think we were all shocked. It’s a weird to think that your music is being witnessed by that many people at one time. For so long, we were just a local Chicago band trying to figure out the foundation of our music. There’s still a really long way to go to be the band we aspire to be, but that felt like a pretty large step in the right direction.


In 2 words, how would you describe your music?

California Wives! It’s really tough to describe our music in only two words. I think the blend of influences we’ve come up with is unique, so we’re hoping that one day when people talk about us, they can use our name as the adjective….”you know, it’s just California Wives!”


How do you prepare to go on tour? 

Rehearsing has never felt like a chore for us. It’s actually a pretty normal part of our lives. So in that regard, we don’t do anything differently. I usually wait until the last second to decide what I actually need to bring with me. I waited until the day before to start planning out what I needed for this tour. A few shirts, a few pairs of pants, some books, some music, skateboards…that’s all you really need.


What artists have influenced you most as a group? 

We’ve always loved 80’s new wave groups, but we also love those loud guitars from the 90’s. If I absolutely had to pick only a few bands that pushed California Wives down this road, I would probably pick New Order, The Stone Roses, and maybe the Smashing Pumpkins. I feel like I’m selling us short by just using those three bands because some people will dig for only those influences in our songs. It’s quite the blend of influences, so what fascinates us is what people pull out of the music on their own. That’s always interesting.


I’m a huge New Order fan, and obviously you are too. How did it feel to find out Peter Hook wanted you to open for his headlining set at Chicago’s Metro Cabaret, especially since that’s where y’all are from?

It was a true honor to open for Peter Hook in Chicago. The greatest part of the whole experience was how nice he was to us when we met him. He was very pleasant and he seemed like a very down-to-earth guy. We did get the chance to watch him sound check and heard one of our favorite New Order songs (“Dreams Never End”). That was pretty incredible. It was also our first time playing the Metro, which is a venue that I’ve been going to for years now. I remember seeing shows there as a kid and wondering if I would ever get to play that stage. It was a pretty special night for us.


Are you excited to come to Dallas?

Very much so! The last time we played SXSW was the first time we had ever been to Texas. I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to get back. The food…so good! And the people…so nice!


New ‘Voice’ Judge Shakira is Pregnant

Posted by    |    September 20th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

It’s going to be a big year for the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer. Shakira recently announced that she is pregnant with her first child with Spanish soccer star, Gerard Pique,and that she will be joining NBC’s The Voice along with Usher in the spring of 2013 when CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera take a break.

Both Green and Aguilera want to take time to focus on their music careers but are set to return the following season. It was the same situation for Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez with American Idol. The judging panel of The Voice’s future may be uncertain, but for now a pregnant Shakira can do nothing but help the already buzzworthy reality show.

M83 and Sun Airway at Palladium Ballroom 10.11.12

Posted by    |    September 20th, 2012 at 11:10 am

I love finding bands that can wake you up in the morning, keep you calm during rush hour, and put you in a dreamy trance at night. One of the first bands that comes to mind is M83. Their song “Wait” has helped me drift off into a blissful snooze about 3 times this week. Another band that comes to mind is Sun Airway, which is serendipitous because both of them are performing at Palladium on October 11. Get hypnotized by their ethereal, glistening electronics while being simultaneously stimulated by ambient pop. It may feel a little weird, but it will definitely feel a little awesome.

If you aren’t yet familiar with Sun Airway, get a little taste with their new music video “Close” featured above.

The Oak Cliff Music Festival

Posted by    |    September 18th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

For the first time ever in Dallas, Oak Cliff is throwing its own music festival presented by the Kessler Theater! From noon to 8pm on November 3rd  you can hang out on West Davis and enjoy live performances from Joe Ely Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Lucky Peterson and many more. This is a great opportunity not only to get to check out local acts from Texas in general but also more local groups from Oak Cliff. While this is the first Oak Cliff music festival it definitely  won’t be the last.


Q&A With Mikey Wax: Rising Star of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Posted by    |    September 18th, 2012 at 8:15 am

Mikey WaxSo You Think You Can Dance has become a major music industry influencer over the years, from literally transforming Christina Perri’s life to popularizing artists like OneRepublic, Adele, Goldfrapp and even Lady Gaga. This season of SYTYCD is sure to continue the star producing tradition, this time with Mikey Wax at the helm. His song, “Counting On You,” was chosen as the elimination song for season 9, but this young singer/songwriter from Long Island, New York has been working hard at stardom for years, touring with artists like Josh Hoge, Tyler Hilton, Ryan Cabrera. YouPlusDallas asked this rising star a few questions before SYTYCD airs its season finale on September 18.


Index Festival at Trees in Deep Ellum 10.5 – 10.6

Posted by    |    September 13th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I love a good music festival, especially when I don’t have travel out to the desert to see it (Coachella…) or a field in Tennessee (I’m lookin’ at you Bonnaroo). Index festival is happening right in the comfort of my own city and it looks awesome. Held at the very cool Trees in Deep Ellum, it’s two days of music including Cold War Kids, Grimes, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Washed Out, Air Review, Portugal. The Man, and more.

The name “Index” is the combination of ‘indie’ and ‘next’. The festival showcases indie bands that you already have on rotation as well as up and coming indie acts. Come to see some of your favorite bands and leave with a  whole new list of songs you’ve Shazam-ed.

See you there!

The eclectic sounds of Dark Dark Dark

Posted by    |    September 13th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

 On October 21st the band Dark Dark Dark will be  bringing their blend of New Orleans Jazz and European folk music to Dan’s Silverleaf , playing songs from their newest album Wild Go. Sound like an intriguing mix of music? It really is, especially when you add in some Americana and pop influences into the mix. It all comes together to create a sound deep with feeling that is both familiar and strange.