What 35 Denton Could Learn From Oaktopia

Categories: Columns

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Ed Steele
If you build it, will they come? Denton music fans attending Oaktopia in 2013.

In the fall of 2011, I got a gig as an in-house scribe for 35 Denton. It wasn't paid, save for a complimentary wristband to the four-day festival (which is damn near a golden nugget for any young music fan). One of our tasks leading up to the festival's weekend in March was trodding around Denton and asking strangers what they thought of the recurring announcements for bands on the fest's bill. Walking up to strangers is generally a more terrifying experience than being the last mother with a PlayStation 4 in Wal-mart on Black Friday. To make matters worse, most people had no goddamn idea what a 35 Denton, Julianna Barwick or Cities Aviv was.


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Dallas R&B is Bursting with Talent, So Why Aren't More People Listening?

Categories: Columns

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Ashley Upham
Local singer Kirk Thurmond sees a racial divide holding back the R&B scene
Everybody loves to see somebody from their city or town "make it." That's more or less a subjective thing, "making it." Essentially, whenever an artist manages to get the attention of the New York and Los Angeles tastemakers, they wear this vicarious success like a badge of honor. At The Prophet Bar's weekly Wednesday night jam session and open mic night I hear a story that has the makings of local lore, its details battered by years of being retold over and over and over again.

The story goes that in 1995 (or '96 or even '97) Erykah Badu opened for Naughty By Nature (or maybe it was Outkast) at the Bomb Factory and got booed off the stage. A few months later, after catching some steam in the major markets, she started to become the hometown legend she is today.

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The Old 97's Ken Bethea is Still Blown Away By the Toadies' Rubberneck

Categories: Columns

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Jeff Scroggins
Ken Bethea, pictured in 2013 during recording sessions for the Old 97's "Most Messed Up"

This weekend, the Old 97's take part in Dia De Los Toadies Festival at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth as the Toadies wrap up their 20th-anniversary celebrations of Rubberneck. With the Old 97's preparing to reissue their first album later this fall, guitarist Ken Bethea reflects on his memories of the Toadies and their classic album.

When the Toadies' Rubberneck was released in the fall of 1993, it landed farther out of the periphery of the Old 97's than most other music fans in DFW. We were going on our first couple of tours and preparing for the release of our debut record, Hitchhike to Rhome. This was in a pre-internet world, mind you, where getting information about bands was fairly difficult, but we also only had AM radio in our van so we pretty much just listened to whatever came on that.

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Is Garth Brooks' GhostTunes Genius or Chris Gaines Part Two?

Categories: Columns

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Courtesy the label
Chris Gaines, the ghost in the machine for Garth Brooks
After at least six years of radio silence, Garth Brooks brashly stormed back onto the country music scene with with last week's announcement that he would be going on a world tour before releasing a new album in 2015. On the heels of that announcement, Brooks also released his first new music since 2001's Scarecrow, a single called "People Loving People."

In a somewhat surprising twist, he also announced that his music would be available for digital download for the first time on a brand-new platform called GhostTunes. Brooks had long refused to make his music available for download or streaming on major sites like iTunes and Spotify, largely because he didn't want people downloading individual songs from his albums.

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The Serial Silliness of Brad Paisley

Categories: Columns

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Image via Arista Nashville

When Brad Paisley isn't writing and performing sweet, tender songs that make women melt into a big pile of love -- or even haunting songs about death -- he's writing some hilarious, off-the-wall, kind of stupid songs about the things happening to or around him. That's the charm of Paisley, though: He's the perfect balance of sweet and salty. While other country crooners might be singing about a woman's tight jeans and lipstick (not that Paisley doesn't sing about that, too) Paisley's strength is observing his surroundings and singing about them with some, or a lot of, humor sprinkled in.

His songs aren't necessarily accidentally stupid in the way that they are, say, accidentally racist, but they can be purposefully silly. It's something Paisley clearly aims to nail, and he succeeds at it. Ahead of his visit to Gexa Energy Pavilion this weekend, here are some of his silliest moments.

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Is It a Music Festival or a Local Promoter Party?

Categories: Columns

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MIke Mezeul
Now this, this is a music festival
It seems like we've been here before: On Saturday afternoon, Club Dada will be taken over by 13th Floor Music for a "music fest" that includes 15 local bands. As you may recall, a very similar thing happened last Saturday, when King Camel Productions put on its own little showcase. This is not a bad thing, of course; the more music we're able to go see for a decent price the better, not to mention that both lineups have been pretty damn great.

But there are a lot of shows going around these days labeling themselves festivals. How are we to know which are legit festivals and which are just really rad parties being thrown by some generous local promoter? Like, what's even real anymore? Fear not. We have the answers for you.

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The Hardline's "Fun With Country Music" is a Brilliant Skewer of Bro-Country Lyrics

Categories: Columns

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Mike Brooks
The minds behind Fun With Country Music.

For music writers, it seems like there has never been a lower-hanging fruit than the ascension of bro-country into the mainstream. Acts like Florida Georgia Line are getting near-equal airtime on pop and country radio while selling millions of records. What's worse, they're also influencing a class of up-and-comers that are poised to sell millions more of the most mediocre records that country music has seen in a long time. Bro-country's popularity may have made country as a whole a ripe target for criticism, but most of us are just plain gobsmacked by how popular these blatantly shitty records are.

Which is how Corby Davidson, co-host of KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket's The Hardline, got the idea to make fun of country music's serious wrong turn. After reporting about the massive success of Florida Georgia Line's first hit in a regular entertainment news segment, a listener sent Davidson a link to "My Kind of Night" by Luke Bryan. "I got this email from this guy, and he told me that if I thought Florida Georgia Line was bad, I was going to love this guy."

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The Simpsons' 30 Best Musical Cameos: 15 - 1

Categories: Columns

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Still from "Rosebud"
"Have the Rolling Stones killed."

Yesterday we got the ball rolling on our picks for the best musical cameos from The Simpsons' first 25 years on the air, in honor of the show's ongoing marathon of 552 episodes on FXX. We went through the first half of our list of 30 episodes, meaning it's time for us to finish what we started. So, without further ado, we'll count down the list all the way to No. 1.


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The Simpsons' 30 Best Musical Cameos: 30 - 16

Categories: Columns

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Still from The Simpsons' episode "Flamin' Moes"
Look out! It's a Simpsons list, and Aerosmith are invited

Can there be too much of a good thing? Perhaps. Fans of The Simpsons have likely been asking themselves that question for years now, given that the beloved Fox TV show has been on the air for 25 years now and, arguably, past its best for quite some time. But for the past week, we've also been indulged to the fullest by FXX's brilliant idea to air a marathon of all 552 of the show's episodes back-to-back, beginning last Thursday, August 21.

Being the diehard Simpsons fans that we are here at DC9, we couldn't help but get in on the fun. Some of the show's most memorable moments have included cameos from famous musicians, so we decided to round up our favorites. But, in the spirit of the marathon excess, there was just too much to choose from. So today is the first part of our list of the the show's 30 best musical moments. Check back in tomorrow for the conclusion.


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"Smooth" is the Greatest Song of All Time

Categories: Columns

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A great moment in music history.

By Diane Martinez

This summer marks the fifteen-year anniversary of the greatest song of all time. I KNOW. I couldn't believe it either, but fifteen years have come and gone since the first time you heard "Smooth" by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas. FIFTEEN. YEARS. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT!?

"Smooth" is a song that has transcended both time and space. Santana's guitar riffs. The lyrics. Rob Thomas' hair. It's hard to believe that the heavens smiled upon us and gave us this great gift. Santana has worked with more than his fair share of music stars throughout the years, but "Smooth" remains one of the guitarist's best collaborations. But why? Why is this the greatest song of all time? I'm glad you asked. I'll tell you.


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