A Guide to the 2012 Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase
The Prophet Bar, 2548 Elm St.
Joseph SoMo, 6 p.m.
Joseph Somers-Morales (SoMo) has been on fire lately. From the release of his My Life mixtape to being "shouted out" by Maybach Music Group's Wale on Twitter, SoMo and crew show no signs of slowing down.
Year of the Bear, 7 p.m.
This Fort Worth trio was born from the ashes of Lift To Experience, but their music is a little less fire and brimstone. This summer's "Super 8 / That Violent Light" 7-inch pointed to more of a '90s jangle, heavy on the reverb.
My Wooden Leg, 8 p.m.
Nestled quite comfortably in the Best None of the Above category are Michael Maftean and Joshua Jones of My Wooden Leg. The duo is a little of everything, as heard on their new album, The Jealous Disco, but they call themselves a Gypsytronic Balkan rock band.
Datahowler, 9 p.m.
Electronic "wizard" Ross Edman just got his new EP, The Crystal Gazers, funded via Kickstarter. Check out the live magic for a hint of what you might be getting.
Playdough, 10 p.m.
Doug Krum does his share of playful boasting on his new mixtape, Writer Dye: Deux or Die, the sequel to the Writer Dye mixtape he put out in 2010. Both find him sampling and re-imagining classic rock and hip-hop songs. "I know there are people just into making all original music, and that's dope," he says. "And I do that here and there, but I really like samples."
Nervous Curtains, 11 p.m.
As the main songwriter for Nervous Curtains, pianist Sean Kirkpatrick is the driving force of the group's elegant, somber sound, but drummer Robert Anderson and fellow keyboardist Ian Hamilton save it from becoming too arch. With that minimal setup, there's still a labyrinthine feel to latest Fake Infinity -- it's almost metal in concept, but Krautrock in its execution. This time the themes are success and failure, and the lyrics are definitely more abstract than Out of Sync With Time, but its references are grounded a bit more in reality.
Quaker City Night Hawks, midnight
Is there a shortage of sleeveless jean jackets this fall? It might be Quaker City Night Hawks' fault. The Fort Worth group's song "Ain't No Kid" was just featured, rather appropriately, on the TV show Sons of Anarchy, and a follow-up to last year's ¡Torquila Torquila!, tentatively titled Honcho, is coming soon.
Tum Tum, 1 a.m.
"Yeah Doe" has quickly gained the support of the blogosphere and DJs across the country, delivering a powerful punch over rolling snares and a menacing 808, produced by California-based producer Bux, who was discovered by Mason "Bric" LaDue, Tum's A&R and right-hand man. "That's what be wild about everything," Tum said of the connection. "People say social networks don't work. Social networks really do work!" From an outsider's perspective, Dallas music has always been synonymous with boogie, a subgenre of Southern hip-hop music. As of late, we've seen the rise of new hip-hop artists like A.Dd+. "There's a whole lot of different music out here now and I love that," Tum says. "Nobody sounds like each other. There's a whole lot of music out here people can adapt to instead of focusing on one part."
Reno's (Outside), 210 N. Crowdus St.
Vanessa Peters, 6 p.m.
In the years between 2009's Sweetheart, Keep Your Chin Up and her latest, The Burn The Truth The Lies, Vanessa Peters endured the changing tides of a relationship and the dissolution of her band. She landed back in Dallas, where she recorded a Christmas album last July, which reignited her passion for music. For her latest, she enlisted the help of engineer Jim Vollentine and a pretty killer backing band: John Dufilho, the Polyphonic Spree's Jason Garner, Buttercup guitarist Joe Reyes and keyboardist Rip Rowan, who produced the album.
The Gorehounds, 7 p.m.
If you love the pomp and gore of the Cramps, you will love this cover band. 'Nuff said.
The O's, 8 p.m.
Everyone loves the O's, and how could you not? Taylor Young and John Pedigo are still funneling out the folk jams from last year's Between the Two, but you'll no doubt hear some new tunes as well.
Salim Nourallah & Treefort 5, 9 p.m.
The spring release of Hit Parade, Nourallah's latest album with his Treefort 5, found the Dallas producer getting back into the habit of making great pop songs and expressing his love of all things '60s and '70s.
Danny Rush & the Designated Drivers, 10 p.m.
Singer and guitarist Daniel Folmer heads up an Americana band whose recent release, Brown and Blue, sprouted out of Folmer's existential transition from despair to peace.
J. Charles & the Trainrobbers, midnight
It's an impressive feat that J. Charles & the Trainrobbers are nominated for Best Americana/Roots act in this year's DOMAs without having released a full-length album until a few weeks ago. Upon Leaving is a stunner of a country-rock record that adds to the impressive year in North Texas country and roots.
War Party, 1 a.m.
Fort Worth just keeps on spitting punk bands out of its basements, and War Party is just one of many in the Lo-Life Recordings cabal. Classic punk that toes the line between war and, uh, partying.
LaGrange, 2704 Elm St.
Black Market Pharmacy, 6:20 p.m.
This laptop trio was just involved in the Silent Disco, but this performance will be neither silent nor a disco. Their new Aura Borealis EP is full of glitchy beats and heavy bass.
The Breakfast Machine, 7:20 p.m.
This Arlington group competed in our Rock the Park event this past spring, in hopes of landing a spot on the Homegrown Festival lineup. They didn't win, but their live show was certainly captivating. They swing somewhere between rock and pop, and singer Meghann Moore had pipes that would blow your bangs off your forehead.
Jessie Frye, 8:20 p.m.
This Denton darling has been steadily rising in profile since the release of last year's Fireworks Child. A new album is in the works, so catch her now before she hits the big leagues.
Bad Design, 9:20 p.m.
Recalling the post-punk and hardcore bands that frequently played Rubber Gloves in the late '90s, Denton four-piece Bad Design just released a new self-titled album on Gutterth Records, their second LP since forming in 2009.
Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things, 10:20 p.m.
Napalm Beach, the latest album from Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things, wasn't one of those psychedelic albums that abides the loud-quiet-loud formula. The group's gone from a duo to a quintet, which helps balance their more experimental meanderings.
Mohicans, 11:20 p.m.
Dave from Mohicans seemed to be challenging the members of A.Dd+ to a basketball game on Twitter last week. Can someone make this happen? In addition to B-ball, the duo also has some new tracks, hopefully pointing to a follow-up to 2011's Uncas.
Diamond Age, 12:20 a.m.
The solo project of Matt Leer, Diamond Age has gone from a vessel for reinterpreting This Heat guitarist/bassist Gareth Williams' Flaming Tunes album to creating original songs, via loops, tapes, guitar, synth and "smoke and mirrors." His upcoming album on Pour Le Corps, Broken World, is an excellent distillation of past, present and future tense.
Vulgar Fashion, 1:20 a.m.
Denton death disco duo Vulgar Fashion have garnered a lot of buzz from fans who appreciate an avant garde approach to electronic music. Check out their Violitionist Session for a better idea of what you can hear and see at their DOMA showcase performance.