DFWd Hype Project: Jake Paleschic “When It Is Played”

I’ve been meaning to do this one pretty much since I started posting these last week. Jake Paleschic is one of the more intriguing emerging artists in the DFW music scene. His sound blends the feel of traditional American folk music, country and indie rock for a textured, passioned and visceral sound. Today’s track “When It Is Played” is a stirringly beautiful track about the power of a song in a man. Give it a listen below. You can grab the full album (name your own price), Again, At Last, right here.

 

Advertisements

Better Know an Artist (Vol 22): VVOES

VVOES is a Fort Worth based band made up of lead vocalist/guitarist Elijah Wichryk, lead guitarist Rene Floyd, drummer Ricky Williford and bass player Tyler Moore. The band started as kind of a joke band called ill smiths, but when people started taking them seriously and then expecting them to play sets of Smiths covers, they decided to go with a proper name. Anyways, their debut EP drops soon, and they’re playing around town pretty regularly, so get out and say hi to them. The guys sat down for the usual questions and this is how it 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)?

RW: I used to sing with my mom all the time, but by the time I was in Junior High, it was decided.

RF: I started playing guitar because I broke my finger and needed an outlet for my boredom. I was also a band nerd. I played trombone and was a drum major. I have learned that no matter what I do – I will always play music. I found that out about 5 years ago.

EW: I played around on piano and keyboards as a kid and got my first guitar at age 16. Music is my drug and I want to be in and around it until I’m dead.

TM: I started by playing upright bass in jazz band in high school. Once I had gone on my first tour I was hooked and immediately knew I would always play music in some aspect for the rest of my life.

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

RW: Uhhh, dreamy Cheap Trick?

RF: We are calling it scuzz-pop or surf-gaze. It’s shoegaze inspired pop.

EW: Happy melodies with sad lyrics, with the reverb on 10.

TM: “Yes sir, you in the back. What’s that? You said you like being sad and listening to bands from 25 years ago? Well, this song’s for you.”

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

RW: Nirvana and the Melvins. Something about those bands always stuck with me. Best drummers of my generation.

RF: Nirvana is the reason I play guitar. My influences are wide ranging, but for this project, I like to listen to Wavves, Best Coast, and My Bloody Valentine for inspiration.

EW: the Smiths, the National, Beach House, Vivian Girls, Tame Impala, Stax Records.

TM: Joe Lally for showing how to not overplay. Dave Brubeck’s arrangements. Paul Westerberg’s songs about other musicians, for a good dose of awareness as a musician. Peter Hook’s chops and melody. Mike Watt’s vision.

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

RW: I really like “Arsonist of Hearts”. Has all the elements of a pop song, without coming off as corny.

RF: I really like when we play “Who Do You Know” Besides being a great song, it’s chill enough for us to listen to one another and create a nice dreamy soundscape.

EW: They are all personal in some way, but I like lyrics that are vague and open enough to apply to different situations. My favorites to play will depend on how I’m feeling at any given moment. “Who Do You Know” always feels good. I’m most into two new ones that we haven’t recorded yet.

TM: “Arsonist of Hearts”, ’cause it’s real fun to play.

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

RW: Thin Lizzy. No explanation necessary.

RF: Probably Nirvana – We may not have been an even match, but I was too young to attend a Nirvana show when they were playing.

EW: Tame Impala, the National, Alvvays, BRONCHO, the Smiths

TM: Cheap Trick, Richard Pryor, Harry Houdini triple bill. You like showbiz, right? Well, you got three generations in one night at the Staples Center right there, buddy.

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

RW: UMO is pretty new to me, and sick as hell. I wouldn’t call teenagesexxx local, but these boys from Waco are killin it.

RF: Whitney out of the Chicago area is my new favorite band. Local – Pearl Earl

EW: I’ve mostly been listening to a bunch of trap, rap and slow/dark/hazy electronic, and then favorites that aren’t new, but Spooky Black, Girls’ Names, Dawn Golden are a few.

TM: Protomartyr is going to be huge. My dudes in Pujol from Nashville are great. My buddies Andy Pickett and Jake Paleschic from the neighborhood both have just come out with superb new records.

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

RW: QOTSA’s Songs for the Deaf

RF: Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm

EW: I’m bad at decisions… The National’s High Violet

TM: Miles Davis’ Bitches’ Brew

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

RW: The way bands really support one another. It’s a network of really good hearted individuals.

RF: Favorite: the fact that any given night you can see world class bands without really trying. Fort Worth has some of the best bands around and hardly anyone knows. Least Favorite: Fort Worth has some of the best bands around hardly anyone knows. (Editor’s Note: I see what you did there.)

EW: I focus on the positives. The good energy and encouragement from local musicians and that there are so many venues to play at. There’s no hate in my blood.

TM: Favs: my friends. Least favorite: my friends

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

RW: Really stoked about the Under Where. It’s the sequel to the Wherehouse that touched all of our hearts the last couple years.

RF: Doublewide – Yoohoo Yeehaw

EW: I’m still bad at decisions… I’ve seen so many great shows at Trees and Three Links. 1912 in Ft Worth because it feels like being in a Nicolas Winding Refn movie. The Boiled Owl, because it feels like home.

TM: Three Links Deep Ellum. Best staff, best sound.

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

RW: Teenagesexxx and the Loafers have new albums out on Dreamylife! As well as Andy Pickett! Damn fine music.

RF: If you are into the blues, catch John Zaskoda whenever you can. He’s one of the best guitar players I have ever seen. I also really like Sealion, War Party, and Pearl Earl.

EW: Field Guide rules. I really feel Honor System, War Party and Rat Rios too. Pageantry is moving into a new level, definitely catch them if you can.

TM: Loafers and Teenage Sexx. Both Waco ex-patriates. I’m still bummed they moved to Dallas and not Fort Worth.

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

RW: I haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies.

RF: I lived in Alaska for 4 years.

EW: I just learned something about Rene. Thanks, Asa’s Records! I lived in Japan for 4 years. Ante up.

TM: I can’t stop watching Air Disasters on Netflix.

Much thanks to VVOES for taking the time. You can catch them laying down grooves for all your chilling needs around town. Their new EP will be available soon, but for now, here’s some of their demo tracks from their time under the ill smiths moniker.

 

 

BKA TBT (2/18): Daniel Markham

TBT Update: Daniel (as always) is a busy bee, so there’s always shows to announce for him, but this weekend are a couple rarer ones for him. Friday night, he’ll be making a Fort Worth appearance at Fred’s opening for Jake Paleschic along with Austin’s Carson McHone. It starts at 8, and it’s free, so you Funkytown folks have no excuse (unless you’re me and your little ones are up screaming). Saturday, he’s back at home at the usual stomping grounds, Dan’s Silver Leaf along with the excellent Birds of Night, opening for the great Alejandro Escovedo. A little further down the line, he’ll be performing a free show with Claire Morales (performing Harmony in Hell) at Brass Tacks Barbershop (John Kuzmick & Leah Lane support). Then, later in March, he’ll be appearing at Denton’s answer to SxSw, 35 Denton (the amazing Charles Bradley will be headlining the main stage this year). So, plenty of chances to catch one of DFW’s rising stars.

Daniel Markham, a true rock-n-roll singer/songwriter from Denton, crafts sounds that recall sounds from all over the rock spectrum, from Nirvana to R.E.M. to Toadies and Guns N Roses, with an occasional hint of alt-country (because, Texas). Definitely, an artist I would have been all over back in my high school and college days. I think he’s going to be a bright spot on our local music scene for a while. Daniel sat down (on his birthday, no less) to answer our overly repetitive questions.

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)?

DM: My grandfather started playing guitar again later on in his life. I was playing the Alto Sax in band at the time, but I loved Nirvana. He taught me how to play chords. He bought me a guitar for my 12th birthday. After that, I never looked back. I never thought about making money with music, but I’m very fortunate that I get to!

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

DM: I’d just call it Rock & Roll.

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

DM: I like so many bands. R.E.M. is my favorite. I love Black Metal and Doom bands. I also like Lana Del Rey. I dunno. I love it all, I guess.

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

DM: I wrote a song called “Downhill” for a dear friend who passed away. I wanted to write a song that made him a super hero. I still love playing it.

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

DM: R.E.M., Pantera, or Buddy Holly. I think our music would fit with any of that stuff.

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

DM: I love so much music. DFW is blessed with a great music scene.

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

DM: Failure’s Fantastic Planet

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

DM: I like that there are so many great bands working hard to make great music. I kinda hate how self-congratulatory it can all be, though. I don’t know.

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

DM: Dan’s Silverleaf is my home. They’ve treated me like a king since I moved here. It’s the best sounding room. I couldn’t live without Dan’s and everyone involved with it.

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

DM: Siamese, Claire Morales, Bawcomville, and Jake Paleschic

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

DM: I’m probably wearing Superman underwear most of the time.

Thanks a bunch to Daniel Markham for getting this back to me so promptly and giving some really informative answers. I feel like we really got to the heart of this emerging artist. Keep an eye out. Daniel will be performing at Sundown at Granada Theater on Dec 4. Get tickets here and check out his most recent album, Pretty Bitchin’ below, along with his recent Halloween record with Claire Morales, Harmony in Hell.

Photo Credit: Karlo X. Ramos

Better Know an Artist (Vol 15): Keegan McInroe

Keegan McInroe is a local Americana artist whose name I’ve heard buzzing around for years around these parts. His latest album, Uncouth Pilgrims, is drawing some critical praise and generating some nice buzz in the area, as it shows off his intricate and detailed songwriting skills. I reached out to Keegan to do the thing, and he said yes, so here we are.

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)?

KM: I first got a guitar for my 17th birthday, so I was kind of late to the music thing. I’d written poetry before, so songwriting came natural enough. After high school and high school football, music became my outlet in college. I’d sneak off at parties and play in rooms where I’d find guitars and people would come in and listen. Enough drunk college friends told me I should be playing in a bar, so eventually I did.

It became a more feasible reality to me when I was studying my senior year in London (through the TCU London Center). I started playing this open mic night down the street from the student housing I was in, and the enthusiasm and compliments coming from total strangers from various places around the world kind of gave me the confidence that perhaps I could make a living playing music.

After I graduated, I was waiting tables when I left on a five week tour of the west coast with my former band, Catfish Whiskey. I had to quit my job before I left, so when I got back, I just decided I’d see if I couldn’t make a living playing music. That will be ten years ago in May. I’ve been eking out a living from my music ever since.

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

KM: Texas Folk Blues is a typical response. Americana is another.

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

KM: The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty album was the album that made me want to play music myself. Ben Harper and Jim Croce were both early influences, then Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Willie Nelson, particularly from a songwriting stand point, became major influences. Mississippi John Hurt and Townes Van Zandt are the two biggest influences on the finger-style playing I often employ these days in my solo stuff.

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

KM: “Mozelle,” which is the title track from my first solo album.

The day my grandmother Mozelle died, I was living in Fort Worth. I got the news on a Wednesday morning, hopped in the car and headed to Levelland, TX, where she and my grandfather lived, just 30 miles west of where I grew up in Lubbock. Between that evening and the morning of her funeral, I wrote “Mozelle.”

The song is told from the perspective of my grandfather reflecting back on their life together after their death. It is essentially the song and event that kicked off my solo career. It also meant a great deal to my grandfather and my mother, which, of course, makes it that much more meaningful to me.

But I don’t play it anymore. The last time I played it was at my grandfather’s funeral in 2010.

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

KM: Good question…ah, it’s a toss up between Willie Nelson and Tom Waits — but if I had to choose, it’d probably be Willie. I know we have some extracurricular activities in common that I can imagine would lead to great conversations. And I think it would probably be less intimidating than opening for Tom Waits. How do you open for Tom Waits?

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

KM: Sure. We’re blessed in Fort Worth and the area with an enormous amount of songwriting talent, so it’s hard to even begin without going on and on, but I’d say amongst my favorite locals are Vincent Neil Emerson, Kenny Uptain, Katie Robertson, Jacob Furr, Deanna Valone, Jake Robison, Jake Paleschic, Leon Bridges, Ginny Mac, Brandon Adams, Lindsay Hightower, and the Quaker City Nighthawks.

Overseas, I’d say Michele Bombatomica and the Dirty Orkestra out of Italy, Blackwell out of London, Moonshine Wagon out of Spain, and the Voltz Brothers out of Germany.

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

KM: Hmmm…Grateful Dead’s American Beauty or Tom Waits’ Raindogs or Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks or Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger…do I have to pick…? If I have to pick right now, probably I’d pick Raindogs, but ask me tomorrow and that very well and probably would change.

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

KM: I can’t speak so much to Dallas, as I’ve not really spent so much time in that scene, but my favorite thing about the Fort Worth music scene is how inclusive it is. It doesn’t always translate to inclusiveness in the press or in the venues — it sometimes does — but certainly amongst the musicians is this great camaraderie and willingness to help each other out, support each other, play on each others’ records, play together live. It’s really lovely.

My least favorite thing is a little harder, because I really love the Fort Worth music scene. If I had to critique anything, I’d go back to what I kind of alluded to in what I liked: sometimes the inclusiveness amongst the musicians doesn’t translate into inclusiveness from the press, venues and booking agents. There’s a lot of amazing talent in this town that often goes unnoticed, unrecognized, but I don’t see it as a huge problem. When you have talent bursting at the seams of your scene, it’s gonna be hard to cover everyone and everything all the time.

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

KM: I don’t have a favorite, per se, but one of my favorite places to play is Fred’s, the original location. I liked it better when it had dirt floors and a fire pit way back when and wasn’t as “West 7th Street”, but it’s still a great chill place to set up and just disappear for about three hours into your music. It doesn’t hurt that one is rewarded with one of the best hamburgers in town after.

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

KM: I kind of touched on how hard it is to narrow this down in the above question, but Deanna Valone is someone I just recently had the pleasure of meeting and getting to hear. Ginny Mac is always top notch. If you haven’t seen a Quaker City Nighthawks show, you should probably hurry up and do that. And someone I didn’t mention above that I really enjoy is Luke McGlathery, who I understand is about to put out a new record.

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

KM: I lived in a haunted/possessed house in Lubbock, TX from the age of four to the age of 11. Not sure how fun that was or is…but that’s the first thing that popped into my head, so there ya go.

A big shout out to Keegan McInroe for sitting down with us. Be sure to check out the new album, Uncouth Pilgrims below and catch the album release party at Lola’s on Feb 13. He’s also currently on residency at Fred’s (his favorite venue up there) with Jacob Furr and Stefan Prigmore on Wednesday nights this month, so you’ll have plenty of oppurtunities to go get some Keegan in your ears. Catch you next time, and keep supporting local music.

photo credit: Jeremy Hallock, Dallas Observer

Better Know an Artist (Vol 5): Daniel Markham

Daniel Markham, a true rock-n-roll singer/songwriter from Denton, crafts sounds that recall sounds from all over the rock spectrum, from Nirvana to R.E.M. to Toadies and Guns N Roses, with an occasional hint of alt-country (because, Texas). Definitely, an artist I would have been all over back in my high school and college days. I think he’s going to be a bright spot on our local music scene for a while. Daniel sat down (on his birthday, no less) to answer our overly repetitive questions.

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)?

DM: My grandfather started playing guitar again later on in his life. I was playing the Alto Sax in band at the time, but I loved Nirvana. He taught me how to play chords. He bought me a guitar for my 12th birthday. After that, I never looked back. I never thought about making money with music, but I’m very fortunate that I get to!

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

DM: I’d just call it Rock & Roll.

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

DM: I like so many bands. R.E.M. is my favorite. I love Black Metal and Doom bands. I also like Lana Del Rey. I dunno. I love it all, I guess.

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

DM: I wrote a song called “Downhill” for a dear friend who passed away. I wanted to write a song that made him a super hero. I still love playing it.

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

DM: R.E.M., Pantera, or Buddy Holly. I think our music would fit with any of that stuff.

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

DM: I love so much music. DFW is blessed with a great music scene.

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

DM: Failure’s Fantastic Planet

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

DM: I like that there are so many great bands working hard to make great music. I kinda hate how self-congratulatory it can all be, though. I don’t know.

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

DM: Dan’s Silverleaf is my home. They’ve treated me like a king since I moved here. It’s the best sounding room. I couldn’t live without Dan’s and everyone involved with it.

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

DM: Siamese, Claire Morales, Bawcomville, and Jake Paleschic

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

DM: I’m probably wearing Superman underwear most of the time.

Thanks a bunch to Daniel Markham for getting this back to me so promptly and giving some really informative answers. I feel like we really got to the heart of this emerging artist. Keep an eye out. Daniel will be performing at Sundown at Granada Theater on Dec 4. Get tickets here and check out his most recent album, Pretty Bitchin’ below, along with his recent Halloween record with Claire Morales, Harmony in Hell.

Photo Credit: Karlo X. Ramos

Better Know an Artist (Vol 3): Kenny Uptain

Kenny Uptain is a talented songwriter from Fort Worth who’s been floating around the local scene for a while. Probably best known as the front man for the group, Foxtrot Uniform, he can currently be found in residency every Sunday on the rooftop at Live Oak Music Hall along with Quaker City Night Hawks’ Sam Anderson, and with his new neo-folk project, Chucho. Kenny took the time out of his hectic schedule to answer some questions for us that we were all dying to know the answers to (you know, the ones we ask everyone).

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)?

KU: I first got into music when a kid brought a guitar to speech class when I was 15. I didn’t know how to play it, but it sounded kickass. I saved up for a Squire guitar and a little crate amp and spent countless hours in the bedroom playing blues leads. When I was 16, I got an offer to play lead guitar in the Kurt South Band all around the Fort Worth area. I haven’t left since.

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

KU: I take words very serious. I don’t need big words nor do I need the premise of the song to be serious, but I hate cheesy lines or lines that don’t fit perfectly in the allotted space. I wouldn’t know how to tell people about it to make them interested in listening. I just know I take it more serious that anything else I do, which might not be saying much.

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

KU: Willie, John Prine, Roger Miller, Townes, Blaze, Doug Sahm, Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb, Waylon, ZZ Top, JJ Cale, Father John Misty. I could go on forever. I really enjoy Willie Nelson for the simple fact that if you dive into his material, your life will be changed, and it will have had nothing to do with the songs you are familiar with. He may be one of the best singer/guitar player combinations of all time. That, and he can write the fuck out of a song.

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

KU: Songs make me happy or sad or mad or whatever it is I’m feeling at the time that I write them. After the writing process is done, I tend not to dwell. It was written to get whatever feeling I had at that moment out into the world so I could be done with the feeling. I’m pretty ADD that way. So, to answer, I have no song that stands out a lot to me.

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

KU: I’d like to open for early 70’s Willie Nelson. Because I wanna get blasted with the guy that was about to knock the whole country game right the fuck out of the park.

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

KU: David Matsler, VNE, Jake Paleschic, Jacob Furr, Blue Healer, Father John Misty and a ton of shit that ain’t new.

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

KU: Doug Sahm Doug Sahm and his Band

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

KU: There seems to be no competition. Between artists, musicians, venues, bars, etc. It’s an all embracing, ever evolving crazy scene that seems to have no one holding it back. I suppose what I like least would be the amount of beards I see. They used to be unique.

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

KU: As a band, I love playing Lola’s. When you have the right bill and the sound is on, that place will melt the fucking soles of your shoes to the floor. I love the Live Oak Music Hall for a listening room, and the Chat Room is surprisingly and easily one of the raddest spots I have ever played in the area. These are all for playing. When it comes to seeing a show, I’m a Lola’s dude.

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

KU: Holy shit, if DFW only knew. There’s Fort Worth cats like David Matsler, Jake Paleschic, Vincent Neil Emerson, Jacob Furr, Sam Anderson, Ben Hance, Andy Pickett, Nolan Ryan Robertson, and a shit ton of others I’m pissed to be forgetting that do shit I only wish I could do. Such great eclectic talent in Fort Worth. In the DFW scene in general, there’s Daniel Markham, Wesley Geiger, Beau Bedford and all of the dudes that have played with and as the Texas Gentlemen (Leon Bridges’ original backing band, btw). I know I’m forgetting a ton, but I’m proud to know such an eclectic and rad group of artists within an hour drive every which way.

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

KU: I’d rather people not know…

 

Much love to Kenny Uptain for taking the time to sit down with us (on his electronic device). Check out Chucho’s EP Monotonic Tailpiece below and catch them live at Lola’s with Keegan McInroe and Jacob Furr on Thursday, Nov 19. Kenny can also currently be found every Sunday on the roof top at the Live Oak from 8-11 with Sam Anderson.