The Best North Texas Experimental and Noise Acts

Categories: Best Of

Peter Salisbury
If you're looking for the best local noise music, Bludded Head has an offer you can't refuse
It's no secret that Dallas is an arts-minded city, one that is welcoming to experimentation and exploration in all its forms. This city's experimental music groups pull from a variety of wells for inspiration, from metal to electronic. When polled local music experts earlier this fall to help set our nominees for this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards, the artists they came up with for the Best Experimental/Noise Acts only reinforced that fact. Regardless of the source of their creativity, each of these bands have a penchant for pushing boundaries, drawing a linear thread through our city's vibrant experimental music scene.

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The Best Concerts in Dallas This Week, 11/17-11/23

Categories: Previews

Courtesy the artist
Jeezy's grown out of his "Young" phase, but even grown-ups can wear backpacks

This week offers a rather good mix of concerts for your entertainment pleasure. Blonde Redhead plays Granada Theater, horror punk outfit the Misfits play Gas Monkey Live, metal Gods Slayer play in the suburbs at Verizon Theatre, Jeezy (formerly Young Jeezy, but not yet Old Jeezy) is set to explain how he's seen it all at South Side Ballroom and Hoodie Allen will do rap stuff that your parents approve of on the very same stage. So make haste and get thee out to some concerts before we're all snowed in for the winter.

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Denton's No Touching Find Inspiration in the Honest and the Strange

Categories: Interviews

Matt Wood
Philip Gage and Elana Nelson of No Touching

Inspiration is a strange beast. For Philip Gage, the leading track on No Touching's EP came to him in response to a 7-Eleven clerk who he had a less-than-pleasant experience with. The track, "Big Mama," started as a joking poem-rant from Gage to bandmate Elana Nelson, but eventually developed into full songwriting and even the formation of the band.

These and other idiosyncrasies define No Touching, a punk band with a tinge of pop and a growling ferocity. But beneath the genre of characteristically simple chord progressions exists rhythmic complexity, strong vocal performances and outstanding songwriting. With their self-titled EP fresh out of the gates from Civil Recording this week, the band is ready to start booking shows and taking Denton by storm.

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Sturgill Simpson at Club Dada Could Be Dallas' Craziest Show This Fall [UPDATE]

Categories: Previews

Sturgill Simpson on Facebook
Sturgill Simpson's Saturday night show at Club Dada is mega-sold out
2014 has been a rough year for country music. Florida-Georgia Line is selling more records than anyone else in the genre, Luke Bryan is the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, and any traces of Willie, Waylon, and Hank seem to be stamped out of country music's most popular acts. Except, fortunately, for Sturgill Simpson.

The buzz around Simpson is fierce this fall, and it's not exclusive to country fans. He's appeared on NPR and performaned on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. So his coming to Club Dada on Saturday night for his first-ever Dallas appearance is a big deal -- so big, in fact, that you might not even be able to scalp your way in. Things could be about to get interesting.

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The 2014 Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase Schedule

Ed Steele
The DOMA Showcase is just a few weeks away. Time to start planning your night

Now's when the real fun begins. Voting has been open for the 2014 Dallas Observer Music Awards for just about six weeks, and we're in the home stretch. (If you haven't already voted, you'd better make your way over to and make sure your voice is heard!) The awards ceremony is set to take place at Granada Theater on Tuesday, December 9.

All that's left to sort out is who will be playing the showcase, and where. This morning we have the full showcase schedule for you, which includes more than 60 artists and runs from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, December 6 in Deep Ellum. Time to get out your spreadsheets and start planning.

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The Best Concerts In Dallas This Weekend, 11/14-11/16

Categories: Previews

Christian McPhate
Willie Nelson last played the area for his 4th of July Picnic in Fort Worth over the summer

It's so cold. It's so cold outside. What might keep your mind off of the frigid temperatures, however, is some live music. Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson are coming through to Club Dada and WinStar, respectively, in an attempt to keep country alive. The Black Keys are apparently big enough to play American Airlines Center and Big Freedia is going to start a massive twerk-a-thon at the Granada. Enough chit-chat, though. Here are your picks.

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Revisiting North Texas Comp Sunny Teriyaki Hamburger Breakfast and Its Ties to Today

Categories: Texas History

James Bland Photogrpahy
The Sparrows, with Carter Albrecht (middle) and Danny Balis (second from right).

Music compilations are something of a dying breed these days. Sure, there are some great choices to be had in the Best Music Compilation category in this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards, but the essence of the compilation has been greatly diminished in the years since CDs were superseded by the advent of mp3s and streaming services. That wasn't always the case, though. Once upon a time, North Texas had a rich tradition of such releases, the killer Tales from the Edge series and the many offerings from One Tone Record's Buzz-Oven.

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Can Fun Fun Fun Fest Stay Texas' Coolest Festival?

Categories: Columns

Mike Brooks
Kowabunga, dudes! Fun Fun Fun Fest featured beautiful weather and lots of crowd surfing in 2014
Music festivals are a tough business. It's hard to make them stick. Organizers don't usually expect to break even for the first five years, often longer. Even if a festival survives, it's not the end of the story. Maintaining what you have often means expanding your model and your audience. But for many festivals, that goes against what makes them great in the first place.

Exhibit A: Fun Fun Fun Fest, which took place last weekend at Auditorium Shores in Austin. Now in its ninth year, its voluminous credibility is built on its status as a small, well-curated event. But while this year's installment was an overall success, there were hints of a festival that's hit a crossroads.

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Busking with the Jayhawks on Lower Greenville [VIDEO]

Categories: Busking

Globe Trek Productions
Gary Louris of the Jawyhawks posted up at Aw Shucks for our 20th busking episode
For those of you keeping count at home, this morning's installment of our busking series marks a bit of a milestone. Since the folks at Globe Trek Productions started these band-on-the-street videos last year, they've brought us an array of great performances, from local and touring bands alike. This one marks the 20th video that they've produced for us. Here's to many more.

Appropriately enough, then, this new video, featuring Gary Louris of Minnesota's the Jayhawks, mixes things up a bit with not only an electric guitar but also some live artwork, courtesy of a mysterious companion named "Jacques." Keep it weird, guys.

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DC9 at Night Mixtape with Donny Young

Categories: Mixtape

Thumbnail image for donnyyoungpic.jpg
Wanz Dover
Donny Young has been DJing around Dallas for nearly two decades

Donny Young has been an active part of the Dallas DJ community since the early '90s heyday of rave -- first as a fan, and then as a DJ since 1996. Young is mostly associated with the DJ crew Motif and their parties. He has been a constant face amongst the local techno and house party scene, bringing his two decades' worth of experience to his reliably deep and floor-friendly DJ sets. For this week's Q&A, Young connects a few dots between his identity as a DJ and where he fits in the cogs of Dallas dance history.

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