Ten of Our Favorite DFW Music Community Members: The Best of Local Music 'Mericans

Image credits below.
It's been a ride. For nearly four years, I've enjoyed writing the Local Music 'Mericans column, getting to know some of my neighbors who are in love with music at least as much as I am.

As a tribute to this column known as Local Music 'Mericans, I've been asked to list my top ten Q&A's in the history of doing the column. And while it really is true to some extent that every one is special to me, there were definitely a handful of people I walked away from feeling especially educated and inspired. And, while only picking ten is a chore from a pool of over 150 interviews, what follows is a handful of true "Local Muse" from people right here in our own backyard that made me want to be a better person and music fan.

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KNON's Mark Ridlen a.k.a. DJ Mr. Rid, on the Thrill of Vinyl

Sonic Assmebly's Mark Ridlen, aka DJ Mr. Rid.
He's known as "DJ Deluxe" at weddings and parties, and "DJ Mr. Rid" at local music gigs and at his rather cool all-vinyl Monday residency at the Double Wide. He's known as Mark Ridlen when he co-hosts a radio show with Reid Robinson on FM 89.3 KNON called Sonic Assembly Power Hour, which airs Tuesdays from 10 p.m. to midnight. What does Mom call him? She doesn't call him anymore, probably. He's too damn busy to talk, is my guess.

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How Joy Hom Moved to Dallas with Nothing and Built a Successful Career in the Music Business

Joy Hom
Being a box office attendant may have been Joy Hom's foot in the door of the music business, but that doesn't mean it was an easy stepping stone. It takes a music fan dedicated enough to still be sober at the end of the night to do things like...totaling dollar figures. Who wants to have to worry about such daytime affairs, at night during a kickass show?

If you hit The Door in Deep Ellum for shows, you might recognize Hom's face. She worked just about every station in that venue while paying her dues, but when the dust settled, she ended up kicking ass in music management. Now, on the eve of packing her bags and chasing the next music career move, she's found herself in high demand, and at shows happening all over the country, for her live event ninja skills.

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The Craziest Thing You've Ever Seen in Deep Ellum: A Poll Four Years in the Making

Mike Brooks
Just another night in Deep Ellum
It's now been over four years of gathering dirt and data in Local Music 'Mericans Q&As, and we figured it was high time to give you a fun retrospective of some quotes from some of the more recurring questions we've asked our local music luminaries in the column. Mainly......

What's one of the craziest things you've witnessed at a show in Deep Ellum?

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Meet Mollie Reyes, Former Hailey's Booker and School of Rock Mansfield's New "Principal"

Mollie Reyes
School of Rock's Mollie Reyes is quite the character. She's animated, never taking life too seriously, but she's in a new position for the school that can be easily filed under high-pressure: one that wedges her in between the parents of suburbia and the youngsters of the metroplex who are dying to start rocking. Thankfully, after speaking with her, we learned that the parents aren't nearly as tense as they're portrayed in a lot of our favorite John-Hughes-esque coming-of-age films. Reyes has found them supportive and largely musically interactive themselves. Reyes also spent a spell booking live music in Denton, and she knows her bands. It was great to get to know her, and School of Rock (which operates quite a handful of branches around DFW) a little bit better on the eve of her bump up to GM the new SOR outlet in Mansfield.

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Tape Mastah Steph on Cassette Mixing and What He's Learned from California and Texas

Pitaru & Callie Dee Presents

Nevermind turntables. Stephan Gaulon, aka "Tape Mastah Steph" likes to mix with cassettes.

Born in France and imported from the San Francisco area in the early 2000's, we briefly spoke to Tape Mastah Steph in December while gathering a year-end salute to some of our loved lost locals (Tape was close to late DJ Quick Chris), and found a pretty compelling story in his endeavors after Gaulon relocated here from the Bay area 10 years ago and becoming not just a local hip-hop scene fixture, but a local music fan in general, an avid collector and supporter in our record stores, and a damn fine example of upstanding character for the next round of kids that are watching him spin.

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Jeff Schattle on the Basement Reunion Shows and the Next Great Dallas Rock Band

Barry Bond
Back in the Day. L to R: Schattle and (gasp!) Clint Barlow of Trees.
Jeff Schattle has been working and/or watching live music in Dallas for a solid 27 years. From historic spots he worked like Dallas Music Complex, Bronco Bowl, Deep Ellum Live, The Basement, Bomb Factory, Lakewood Theater and more, Jeff Schattle has worked, and born witness to, the evolution of Dallas' local metal and rock scene, starting in the early half of the 90's and rolling into the present. He's been especially passionate about carrying the flag of legendary rock club The Basement, whose history is an ode to great many Dallas bands that went on to at least tour as national acts, if not make a half decent buck in the rock racket.

Schattle is also on the tail end of a tough battle with Pancreatitis, and even had to ring in 2014 from a hospital bed. He seems on the mend today though, as we check in with him about live rock in Dallas, past and present.

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Jantzen Ray on the One Thing You Should Know Before Starting an Internet Radio Station

Deep Ellum On Air
Jantzen Ray (foreground) at the helm of DEOA for John Pugs (OF KLLI's "Pugs and Kelly Show" fame) new show on the internet station.
Jantzen Ray, who we've checked in with before at his outpost of DeepEllumOnAir.com, is watching as his alumni radio show, The Jagger Mafia, is being put back together to return to KDGE. He hasn't taken it personally that he's not a part of their current lineup, but it was still one more reason it seems to be a good time to check back in with him about the present. He's also got more shows on DEOA than ever, and he's building a benefit show to get Keyboard Bob a new keyboard. One that actually works.

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David Wilson: Guitar Player, Sound Man, Photographer, Festival Talent Buyer and More

David Wilson
Wilson, doing his best 'Sy from One Hour Photo'
We're always happy to hear about the prospect of [DARYL] getting back together for a one-off show here or there, but I honestly can't fathom where their guitarist David Wilson would find the time these days. Wilson needs to be first in line to be duped on a 3D printer, or perhaps properly cloned. Wilson worked for the DO for a bit, played with Weezer's Matt Sharp in The Rentals for a tad, and did live production in Chicago and spots around DFW. Now, he's holding down a full time gig at Microsoft, runs sound at Sons of Hermann Hall, has his own freelance photography business (his photos are nothing short of kick ass...the man is no hack), serves as a talent buyer and event planner for Richardson's annual Wildflower Festival, and makes it point to get out and see bands he likes, even shooting them pro-bono sometimes just for fun. Whew.

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Diana Prevenslik, Rockabilly and Roller Derby Star, Is the Kessler's New Marketing Manager

Michael Ownes Photography
Diana Prevenslik has plenty of experience with Dallas culture. She was a member of rockabilly outfit Sawed Off Sick and also a skater -- a good skater, at that. In the world of Texas roller derby, she was "Panther City Princess" under the Dallas Derby Devils. Prevenslik also spent time serving in the National Guard, doing play-by-play announcing at derby bouts and becoming a big Dallas music fan.

Now, she's the Kessler Theater's new secret weapon, handling PR and marketing affairs. Sounds like a fun gig.

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