Top Records for May 2016

So….., May sees the return of my favorite band and one of my favorite young solo artists, and they dropped a couple of the best records of the year thus far, and even after that, there’s several other great records out this month, as well as a few highly anticipated local records. By all means, let’s do this.

1 Radiohead “A Moon Shaped Pool” 9.1
2 James Blake “the Colour in Anything” 8.7
3 Car Seat Headrest “Teens of Denial” 8.6
4 Anohni “Hopelessness” 8.4
5 the Hotelier “Goodness” 8.4
6 Chance the Rapper “Coloring Book” 8.4
7 Modern Baseball “Holy Ghost” 8.3
8 Hard Working Americans “Rest in Chaos” 8.3
9 Karl Blau “Introducing Karl Blau” 8.3
10 Quaker City Night Hawks “El Astronauta” 8.2
11 Jessy Lanza “Oh No” 8.2
12 Trashcan Sinatras “Wild Pendulum” 8.1
13 Daniel Markham “Disintegrator” 8.1
14 Andy Shauf “the Party” 8.1
15 Mudcrutch “2” 8.1
16 Kvelertak “Nattesferd” 8.1
17 Gregory Porter “Take Me to the Alley” 8.1
18 the So So Glos “Kamikaze” 8.1
19 Yak “Alas Salvation” 8.1
20 Big Thief “Masterpiece” 8.1
21 Flume “Skin” 8.1
22 Against the Current “In Our Bones” 8.1
23 Death Grips “Bottomless Pit” 8.1
24 Marissa Nadler “Strangers” 8

25 Kaytranada “99.9%” 8

I’ll see you next month with some more highly anticipated local records, hopefully. Happy listening.

 

 

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Better Know an Artist (Vol 30): Jake Dexter

Jake Dexter is a local indie hip-hop artist with a tinge of pop and soul to it, kinda like the old school sound with poppy beats and a spoken word vocal. His newest album, Echoes, dropped last year, and his track “Who I Am” featuring Daniel Gonzales took off a bit on SoundCloud with over 100,000 plays. Jake sat down and played our little game for us, so this is how that went…..

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

JD: I started playing music when I was in Junior High. My dad used to run night clubs in the area and I would see the bands perform at his clubs and just fell in love with music.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

JD: My music is like if pop music, soul music, hip hop music and funk music all had a baby. That would be my music. LOL

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

JD: Writing wise, I am heavily influenced by artists such as Bob Schneider, Matt Wertz and the Reign of Kindo, and Jason Mraz because that’s what I grow up listening to. But compassion wise, my biggest influence is Jon McLaughlin. I do a lot of piano work live and his compositions are what inspired me to push mine to their limits.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

JD: The songs off my new album, Echoes, mean the most to me, mostly because every single song is about something or someone who has been in and or out of my life.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

JD: If I could open up for any artist in the world, it would probably be Steve Miller or Stevie Wonder. Both of them are unbelievable artists and composers and have been consistently pushing music their whole life.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

JD: Two of my newest favorite artists are Sleeperstar and Michael Toucher.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

JD: Waiting for My Rocket to Come by Jason Mraz. Always gets me through the hard times.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

JD: It’d say one of my favorite things about the DFW music scene, as an artist, is that most venues have their own sound system. Providing your own sound stinks. I am also a fan that so many people are open to the music scene, and will go to concerts randomly, just from invites. The worst thing is the parking. LOL.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

JD: Recently my favorite venues to play at are Trees, and Wit’s End. Wit’s End especially. It’s got great sound, like Trees and some of those other venues, but at the same time, has that close knit home-y feel to it. Very comfortable. As for going to see shows, it would be the same.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

JD: There are so many great acts in the DFW, it’s hard to just pick a few. But I would say Mitchell Ferguson, Trent Rush, Carter Davis, and Quentin Moore are a couple of great ones to look out for.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

JD: Hmmm, one thing most people don’t know is that I’ve spent the last 5 years touring as a keyboardist for differet nationally and internationally touring country bands. My music is very hip-hop/Jazz/soul based, and I do spoken word vocals, basically the exact opposite of country music. lol. So, I’m sure some would be surprised if they knew.

Thanks to Jake Dexter for shooting us a submission. You Deep Ellum cats can catch Jake and his band at the Prophet Bar this Thursday (5/26) opening for the Louisiana Purchase, and keep an eye on JakeDexter.com for more shows.

Granada Theater Announces “Free Week” July 18-24

The Granada Theater has paired up with KXT and the Dallas Observer to bring about a week of free shows at one of the city’s favorite venues. The free shows will run July 18 through the 24th and will be offered on a first come-first serve basis. Also available for you line-skippers, $5  gets you in the door with a beer in your hand (on sale Fri, May 20).

The Schedule?

Tuesday, July 19th
Seryn
Quiet Company
the Azalea Project

Wednesday, July 20th
Ishi
the Octopus Project
Son of Stan

Thursday, July 21st
Vaden Todd Lewis (of the Toadies)
Amber Ferris (of Somebody’s Darling)
Brent Best (of Slobberbone)

Friday, July 22nd
Cory Morrow
Driving N Cryin
the Vandoliers

Saturday, July 23rd
Roky Erickson
Natural Anthem
Moon Waves

Sunday, July 24th
Quaker City Night Hawks
Dead Flowers
Oil Boom

KXT Announces Lineup for New Summer Concert Series, KXT Sun Sets

With the Belmont Hotel undergoing renovations this summer, KXT’s popular Barefoot at the Belmont series is on hiatus for 2016. In its place, KXT is bringing in a new series, KXT Sun Sets at the Pool at Dallas Power & Light. The series, like its predecessor, will present six intimate shows, centered around both national and local artists at Dallas Power and Light’s rooftop Pool Deck. The schedule kicks off Thurs, May 26, and tickets will be available at 10:00 the Wednesday before the event.

the Lineup?

Thursday, May 26
Matthew Caws (of Nada Surf)
Calhoun
(tickets available Wednesday, May 18 at 10am)

Thursday, June 16
Barns Courtney
Reinventing Jude
(tickets available Wednesday, June 8 at 10am)

Thursday, June 30
the Wind and the Wave
Jacob Metcalf
(tickets available Wednesday, June 22 at 10 am)

Thursday, July 14
John Doe
(tickets available Wednesday, July 6 at 10 am)

Thursday, July 28
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Charley Crockett
(tickets available Wednesday, July 20 at 10 am)

An Additional date will be announced soon.

Stream: New Quaker City Night Hawks LP “El Astronauta”

Heads up, peoples. You can currently head over to Soundcloud and stream the new record from Fort Worth faves, the Quaker City Night Hawks, El Astronauta, in full. You’re going to want to stop what you’re doing and get on that. Look, I made it easy for you.

 

Better Know an Artist (Vol 29): Charlie Beaman (ABACABA, Pearl Earl)

So, a while back, I did a Better Know an Artist with Ariel Hartley, lead singer of the excellent Denton psych-rock band, Pearl Earl. Well, 2 members of that band, Charlie Beaman and Bailey Chapman (along with Benjamin and Taylor Copeland), also moonlight with Denton garage band, ABACABA, who just released an excellent self-titled LP. Charlie (keys) took some time to answer our timeless questions, and that went something like this:

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

CB: I was born in Midwest City, OK, and moved to Texas at age 6. I took piano lessons at a young age and then stopped because I became bored of it. At 12, I received my first bass and began playing birthday parties and other small events with other kids from school. My first venue to play at was the Curtain Club in Deep Ellum, TX. Right then, I knew I wanted to play music for the rest of my life, and since have. At age 16, I picked back up keys and that’s what I mainly play now.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

CB: I would describe ABACABA as Garage/Prog without the 4 minute jams for each instrument, but carries an almost cinematic feel.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

CB: Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Medeski, Martin and Wood, pretty much all of Josh Homme’s projects, and Ween. The way Ween puts together their albums is fascinating to me.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

CB: “Grumpy Couch”, just because it’s nostalgic for me. It was written about a coach that was used for timeout when I was living with my older cousins and one of their young sons. It was a song that had been in my mind for a long time before it all came together. I am pretty proud of it.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

CB: Ween

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

CB: I’m starting to play bass and be part of a new group called Particular People. It’s a mix of a lot of different musicians coming in and recording their own parts to each song. It’s been a really fun process.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

CB: Ween’s White Pepper

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

CB: I honestly have no complaints. In the past 2 years that I’ve been back, everyone, whether it be Fort Worth, Dallas, Denton has been very nice and welcoming. 35 sucks to drive south on. That’s about it.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

CB: 3 Links. Great staff, stage and sound.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

CB: Particular People, Pearl Earl, Mink Coats, Cozy Hawks, Criminal Birds, Dead Mockingbirds, Sealion, Party Static, Lochness Mobsters, the Aquaholics.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

CB: I can talk to all animals except fish.

There you have it, folks. Shout out to Reverse Aquaman Charlie Beaman for taking time out of his day playing with every band in town. Go find you an ABACABA show or a Pearl Earl show or, you know whatever he’s doing that day, and check out the new record below.

 

Better Know an Artist (Vol 28): Alexandria Rhea

Alexandria Rhea is a name you’ve probably seen popping up a lot lately in the area, often with bassist and frequent collaborator Maria Demus. Armed with an angsty folky jazz sound, Alexandria wields her simple, charming voice around some gentle guitar playing. With a fresh record ready to drop anytime now, you’ll be hearing much more from her shortly. Alexandria sat down to answer those age-old questions. This is how that went down.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

AR: I’ve been playing music ever since I was a toddler. My mom and dad (and grandparents and aunts and uncles) surrounded me with love and support and damn good music to listen to. If it weren’t for my mom’s extensive collection of Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, and Steely Dan, I just wouldn’t be the same musician. I think I always kinda knew that music is something I’m gonna play forever. I’m so grateful for this gift.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

AR: This question is always hard to answer for some reason. It’s like if Joni Mitchell, Django Reinhardt, and Al Green all had a test tube baby, it would maybe be me. It’s funky lady jazzy souly folky.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

AR: I think a lot of the Motown I listen to shines through what I play. I love Aretha, I love Sam Cooke. I love Aaron Neville. The rawness of soul appeals to my songwriting. I’m way into P-Funk, they just make you feel 100% cooler, like you got shit under control and you’re at peace with the cosmos. I also love a lot of female driven music from the 90’s. Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morrisette, those women were so badass in my preteen eyes. I love CSNY, especially “So Far”. The entire album is flawless. My favorite group on any given day is Steely Dan. Just because. Thanks Mom!!!

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

AR: “You are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder takes me right back to my childhood. “Me and Bobby McGee” does the same. Dancing around the house with my mom and brother with complete abandon. “Dirty Work” by Steely Dan….because….just because. “Black Water” by the Doobie Brothers and a rendition of “Why” by Leon Redbone both take me to a time of growth, love and heartbreak. Oh, and I love “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls. My daughter and I are currently bonding over the Spice Girls and the Doobie Brothers.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

AR: Hmm…Simon and Garfunkel, because I bet we would kick it after the show.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

AR: I’m loving what Leon Bridges is doing for and with music. That guy has got it. I just started listening to Brandi Carlile and I’m in love.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

AR: Magical Mystery Tour, I was gonna name a bunch but the rule is that you only get one, right?

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

AR: I feel so fortunate to be a part of this community. I feel it growing and myself with it. I’m finding my voice here. I’ve met so many awesome music makers. And the support from the community is just outpouring and crazy generous. So many fans, booking agents, record labels, managers…resources are abundant here. My love for music is overflowing and I’m so happy to be surrounded with all these fine women and men expressing souls alongside mine. Fort Worth is my little musical nest right now.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

AR: They all have something special but Lola’s is probably my current favorite. Camaraderie is always available, it’s low key. The Cellar (RIP) will always rest in a soft spot in my heart. It was the first place I ever played at that also served alcohol. It was hit or miss–many a night, I played to two people, one of them being the bartender. But I still had fun.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

AR: Deanna Valone, Ansley, the Hendersons, Denver Williams, War Party, Jefferson Colby, Luke McGlathery, Vincent Neil Emerson, Nina Ty, Frisky Disco, Jordan Franz, Ginny Mac, Poppy Xander, Magnatite…the list goes on.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

AR: I can pick up a pencil with my nose

A big thanks for Alexandria Rhea for taking the time to sit down with us. She’s got her own toddler running around there, so you know I can relate. Anyways, her new record should drop anytime now, so keep an eye out for that, and if you see her playing around town, get out and help a mother out.

Photo Credit: Steve Watkins