7 Of Our Favorite DFW Tribute Bands

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Courtesy of Alcohollica
Cover bands, impersonators, tribute bands, they're often the next best thing to the original act. Tickets are cheaper, and lines are usually nonexistent to get inside the club. Some of the band members even look and sound as if they're channeling their idols as their instruments ignite the stage. Zoso (Led Zepplin), Live Wire (AC/DC) and Strutter (KISS) are just some of the more popular ones enjoying the scrapes of fruit left behind by the originals.

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Wanted -- Punk Rock Strangers To Crash Party In Van, $20

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Yes, for the princely sum of $20, you could get in a van with a total stranger somewhere in South Dallas and go to commit property damage somewhere near Greenville. That's the latest enticing proposal out of our local Craigslist, always a font of good ideas and totally above-board goings-on.

Even better than the idea of the whole thing is the post itself, which seems to lose its own impetus by the end, deciding that actually, this wasn't a good idea, but hey we've spent ten minutes thinking about Caesar now, and this birthday party will be cool as shit, so why not go for it?

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Top 10 Places to Grab Grub and Catch a Concert in One Spot

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It's Friday night, and after leaving work a bit later than you had hoped to, battling the traffic to get home, and finally making it out the door again for a night of steam-blowing revelry, mapping a night out is often more daunting a task than you'd prefer. It's late to the point that visiting separate establishments for drinks, dinner and then a concert -- not to mention finding a parking spot or having to valet at each locale -- leaves most just wanting to surrender to the allure of Netflix and a jar of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter.

Thankfully, the greater Dallas area offers multiple options where one-stop grubbing and gigging are not only possible, but highly desirable. Such a combo of convenience and quality will leave most only wondering about where their hangovers will be cured the next morning. Here are the 10 Best Places to Grab Grub and Catch a Concert in the Same Spot.


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Dallas Musicians' 8 Most Memorable Gigs: A Strip Club, an Art Museum and More

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Courtesy of Don O
Socrates once said, "Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful." And nowhere is this training more apparent than when a band takes the stage at a live music venue.

The importance of live music venues has spawned numerous articles, books and blog posts. Rolling Stone even created an interactive map of some of the best music venues in America. But what is it about attending a live gig that sparks so much interest? In a recent article "10 Fabulous Music Venues," reporter Dana Joseph of CNN says, "Nothing beats the Adrenalin, the exhilaration of a watching an amazing performance live in a beautiful space, or the rush of discovery that comes with witnessing the birth of a newcomer you know will become a massive star." Attending a live show is a ritual of artistic and social communion. It's one part a religious ceremony and the other a school of hard knocks for bands trying to reach the pinnacle of their career.

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20 Reasons Denton Is a Music Fan's Paradise

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Ed Steele
<3 U DENTON
We do not know if you can buy, say, a taco with a song in Denton. We haven't tried it. But we wouldn't be surprised if you could.

You can see Denton's musical influence all over North Texas. It's where so many of our best musicians found their voices, where our promoters and venue owners and, yes, media members got their start. But it's also where so many of them stayed, and there are certain shows and certain weekends where little d feels like the epicenter of something big enough to cover the earth.

We, the writers of DC9 at Night, got together and shared a few of our favorite things about our neighbor to the north. Some are directly about a specific music experience one of us has had there, some are more general.

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The Ten Best Texas Psychedelic Rock Albums

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Moving Sidewalks. Photo by Galen Scott
Most people have heard of psychedelic rock -- a mid '60s music closely associated with the psychedelia counterculture. But what you might not know is that its roots started right here in Texas, with 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson first using the term almost fifty years ago in 1965. Since then the psych tag has taken on a life of its own, splintering into a countless array of sub-genres, scenes and new musical trends. Still, nothing's been quite like the classic psychedelic rock from the early period. From its first steps to Austin's internationally attended Psych Fest, Texas has always been at the heart of psychedelic rock (regardless of what the West Coast says). In celebration of this fact, but mostly just because it's really, fucking good music, we're running down our ten favorite Texas psychedelic rock records (in reverse order).

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The Nine Best Guitar Repairmen in Dallas

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Charley's Guitar Shop
Every working guitarists knows that if he doesn't have a good guitar doctor, his dreams of being a master shredder who destroys the crowd with rakes from his pick as he slides it up the string are dead. From a broken headstock to a cracked neck, a guitar technician is a master of skills. He's an electrician, a plumber, a physician and a surgeon. But if a guitarist wants to shoot fireballs out of his guitar, he'll need more than just a technician; he'll need a guitar master.

But how do you find a guitar master? It's not like he's listed in the phone book under "Guitar Master," although you can buy a Guitar Master Certificate for $10,080 from the Berklee College of Music. (Let me know how that goes.) And when you do find one, how do you know he can handle the job, making the right repair in the shortest amount of time? A guitar master must know how to diagnosis the problem when the only explanation he's offered involves slurring through a mouthful of tears, or an, "Oh, my bad, man, do you think you can fix her by tomorrow?"



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Antiphon by Midlake: The Best North Texas Album of 2013, According to Our Readers

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Brantley Gutierrez
As we near the end of our coverage of the year that was, we've gathered the votes (over 300) on the finalists for North Texas Album of the Year. Among those featured were remarkable statements from new bands (like Radioactivity's self-titled release), and Midlake's Antiphon wasn't the only surprisingly forward-looking album by a heavyweight.

But it was your favorite, by a hefty margin.

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Fifteen Blues Artists to Watch in 2014

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Christian McPhate
Jason Elmore
Every generation has an underground music scene that only an elite group of fans and the NSA know of. In the '60s, psychedelic music, for example, exploded onto the hippies' counterculture scene with music by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. (And let's not forget the Velvet Underground.) In the '70s, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Ramones dominated garages and small venues across England and North America until bands like Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica accepted the mantle in the early '80s, with rappers N.W.A., Public Enemy and Run DMC emerging out of Compton, Long Island and Queens to carry on the underground tradition when the headbangers moved into the arenas.

And yet the earliest incarnation of the underground music scene actually occurred as far back as the '20s when Delta bluesmen such as Freddie Spruell, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson crooned "Milk Cow Blues," "Honey Bee" and "Crossroads" in small smoky shacks that served homemade whiskey and deals with the devil for that perfect tone.

So in honor of the new year, we here at the Observer have consulted with the wisdom of the blues' seers at KNON, blues artists from across the DFW area and the Net to generate a list of blues artists that doesn't include John Mayer (although he's an amazing guitarslinger), to watch in 2014 (and hopefully inspire a few program directors to change their formats). Here it is in no particular order. Enjoy.


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12 North Texas Artists to Watch in 2014

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Mike Brooks
Somebody's Darling performs at the Libertine in December.

It's getting to be time to focus on 2014: A year we think will be a good one in North Texas music. Here are 12 of the artists and bands we expect to be on everyone's year-end highlight roundups this December.

See also: Five Local Rappers to Watch in 2013


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