A Guide to the 2012 Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase
Trees (Inside), 2709 Elm St.
Summer of Glaciers, 5:40 p.m.
Angelus bassist Ryan Wasterlain went the solo route with project Summer of Glaciers, and released Small Spaces this past spring. Now rounded out by vocalist Miranda Alvarado, the duo make some beautiful elevator music.
Pinkish Black, 6:40 p.m.
Summer of Glaciers
To the multitudes that got wind of Pinkish Black's self-titled debut LP via online tastemakers such as Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan and Cvlt Nation, the Fort Worth-based duo's new album must have seemed like a bolt from the blue. Released on Handmade Birds, the imprint of Denton musician R. Loren (Pyramids, White Moss, Sailors With Wax Wings), Pinkish Black is a fully realized piece of work by musicians in command of their materials: dark, brooding, intense and ultimately cathartic. It's also the culmination of more than 20 years of music-making for two of the most prolific musicians the Metromess has produced -- a refinement and distillation of all they've done before.
Blixaboy, 7:40 p.m.
Wanz Dover (also nominated for Best DJ) made up his own genre to describe his music as Blixaboy: Futro. An EP, Intro to Futro, was released earlier this year, and Dover keeps refining techno and dubstep. Seeing him do it live is an added bonus.
Mystery Skulls, 8:40 p.m.
Mystery Skulls, the R&B/synth-pop project of Luis Dubuc, rocked Homegrown Festival in May and then Dubuc took off for the West Coast. Here's your chance to catch him after some hardcore touring and recording. Hopefully we'll hear some new tunes from a possible new EP.
Dustin Cavazos, 9:40 p.m.
Who is Dustin Cavazos?
Dustin Cavazos ... a Mexican dude who raps. Just here, rapping. Writing songs. Hanging out with friends. Playing video games. Riding my bike.
How do you define success?
Success is defined on so many levels. Everyone has their own idea of what success is. I think if you look at the root of success, I think anybody, the gist of success for people is being happy. For me, success would be being happy and seeing the people around me as happy. What's the point of being happy if your best friend isn't doing so great? Or the people you grew up with aren't doing so great? There has to be happiness all around.
The Phuss, 10:40 p.m.
This Fort Worth punk trio released their sophomore album, produced by the Toadies' Vaden Todd Lewis, earlier this year. The tempos rarely change, the riffage is the type that raises blood pressure and angst fuels each track. See what the fuss is about.
A.Dd+, 11:40 p.m.
It's hard to think of a local hip-hop act that's raised a higher profile this year, or perfected the art of hip-hop storytelling more than A.Dd+. A long-awaited mixtape, Dive Hi Fly Lo, should be dropping any minute now.
Daniel Hart, 12:40 a.m.
Violinist Daniel Hart has been around. One listen to his 2012 album, The Orientalist, and you get a sense of that instrumental wanderlust. Joyful single "O Sangeeta" will get stuck in your head for days.
Trees (Outside -- DJ Stage), 2709 Elm St.
Yeahdef, 6 p.m.
Tape Mastah Steph, 7 p.m.
Track Meet, 8 p.m.
Wanz Dover, 9 p.m.
DJ Sober, 10 p.m.
Dada (Outside), 2720 Elm St.
The Rich Girls, 6 p.m.
I saw these guys at Double Wide on Halloween weekend, and their sax player, who was dressed as the sax player from Lost Boys, had a great ass. What else ... oh, and they did some great covers of Hall & Oates as well.
John Singer Sergeant, 7 p.m.
John Dufilho's alter ego, John Singer Sergeant, is sure good at sharing the spotlight. His self-titled album, out this past spring on Kirtland Records, featured the vocals of Sarah Jaffe, Ben Kweller, Rhett Miller, Apples in Stereo cohort Robert Schneider and others, while Dufilho played the backing music. Who might show up this time?
Brain Gang Blue, 8 p.m.
"Party On," the single from Brain Gang Blue's Numb EP, was the party anthem we all wanted. But beyond that, the rapper and producer heightened his profile by getting in some production credits with current superstar Kendrick Lamar in Dallas over the summer.
Hunter Hendrickson, 9 p.m.
When it comes to finding an opening act for a touring guitar virtuoso, Dallas guitarist Hunter Hendrickson's phone number has been at the top of talent buyers' lists recently. Whether it was John Mayall or Victor Wooten, the young Hendrickson and his band properly shredded the stage before the well-known headliner took their turn at it.
The Blurries, 10 p.m.
Last fall's Paper Cuts was one of those sleeper albums. It required multiple spins to not just seem like some track-by-track affair, but a cohesive whole. After a few passionate tumbles in the sheets, a bigger picture emerges, as does their inspired take on '80s guitar pop.
Mariachi Quetzal, 11 p.m.
They're a 10-piece mariachi band from Denton, so you know they know how to fill a room. Also, when's the last time you saw a mariachi band at Dada?
Oil Boom, midnight
This group's summer EP, Gold Yeller, houses one of our Best Song nominees, "The Great American Shakedown." If you're a fan of hand-claps, hip-turning riffs, songs about black gold and the kind of rock and roll that makes you want to pour a beer on your head, then check them out.
Snow Tha Product, 1 a.m.
Claudia Feliciano has lived in Fort Worth for the past three years, but she's flown under the local-music radar. Google her alter ego, Snow Tha Product, though, and you'll find a wealth of YouTube videos with hundreds of thousands of views, a handful of mixtapes and a Twitter account with 25,000-plus followers. "When I started about five years ago, female rappers were dying out," the 24-year-old says. "I started putting stuff on YouTube and MySpace, and people started paying attention."