Michael Gruber Puts a Dallas Spin on DJing Stars Hockey

Categories: Interviews

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Mike Mezeul
When the action is intense at for the Dallas Stars, Michael Gruber sets the musical tempo
Going to a hockey game is fun for a lot of reasons: The breakneck pace of the game, the physical game play, the fights, the goals and the music. Let's face it: Hockey has always had a bit of a leg up on the other North American sports for music. While the hegemonic NFL uses a lot of Top 40 and classic stuff, the MLB uses a lot of corny stuff and brief walk-up music, the NBA uses some rap and some stock beats during possessions, the NHL has always been more dynamic. An NHL DJ needs music to play for the team on the power play and the penalty kill, during a fight, after the fight (if the home player wins or loses), if the home team scores a goal or if they allow a goal, and so on and so forth.

For as much nuance the game of hockey has, the craft of putting music to the game requires just as much, if not more nuance. You have to capture the emotions of the game and crowd into a song, for three periods and for a multitude of changing conditions. For Dallas Stars arena DJ Michael "Grubes" Gruber, this is his life.

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At Brass Tacks Barbershop, You Can Get a Haircut and See a Concert

Categories: Interviews

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Jordan Mieth
At Brandon White's Brass Tacks, you can get a haircut and see a concert all the same time

Brass Tacks is a new barbershop in the heart of the Bishop Arts District that people actually enjoy waiting in. Grab a stool or relax in one of the ridiculously comfortable chairs, have a hot or cold beverage and watch a fun '90s film on the TV, something like Desperado or Batman Returns that you remember watching as a kid with your dad or grandfather, but hadn't thought about in years. With its gorgeous vintage chairs, dark wood finish and Art Deco sinks, the barber shop is its own little work of art.

But on the right day, Brass Tacks transforms from simply a stylish barbershop into something far more unusual -- say, a concert venue, as it did recently when Leon Bridges did an in-store performance. It's all part of the unique vision of owner Brandon White.


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Wesley Geiger Searches for Artistic Gold on Debut El Dorado

Categories: Interviews

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Will Von Bolton
Wesley Geiger doesn't mind getting a little dark for the sake of his art

There is something almost magnetic about a good sad song. According to science, that irresistible attraction to songs that make us a little teary eyed comes from our brains' penchant for nostalgia. When we hear sad songs, we think of better times, and in turn actually end up happier than we were before. There's also a great deal of catharsis in listening to this music, something that Wesley Geiger is intimately familiar with.


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Denton Vet Chris Pickering Returns Home for Thanksgiving with Future Punx

Categories: Interviews

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Heather Strange
Future Punx will be in North Texas for a pair of concerts this week

There is an undeniable American fascination towards New York City, and perhaps from the world, where everything and anything could be a cultural metaphor. For better or worse, the pulse of this metropolis continually re-kindles creativity in everything from cuisine to art to fashion. And music. One such band with roots in North Texas that felt the pull of the City That Never Sleeps is Future Punx.

"Where in Denton there's kind of a crowd of people that go to shows and there's shows that happen all the time, but there's pretty much one cool thing happening on any given night," says Chris Pickering, guitarist of Future Punx, who are based in Brooklyn. "But here, there's like a hundred cool things happening, like, every night."


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Local Over Everything Flies the Flag for Dallas Music on the Radio

Categories: Interviews

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Karlo X. Ramos
Brothers in arms, the trio behind Local Over Everything are out to champion Dallas music

On Thursday night, the Deep Ellum on Air show Local Over Everything began its second season. The show's hosts Rodney Blu, Mo the Bear and Simon Phoenix brought in Dallas rapper Blue, the Misfit to mark the occasion. The show has done well with its unconventional, but authentic program format. Local Over Everything gives listeners the feel that they're hanging out at their homey's stoop rather than listening to a simple radio show.


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Daniel Huffman's Vinyl Records are One-of-a-Kind Works of Art [VIDEO]

Categories: Interviews

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Juan Vargas
Daniel Huffman's vinyl records are beautifully made works of art
In March of 2011, the Flaming Lips released a limited edition collaborative 12" EP with Neon Indian that lit up the internet. It was a fascinating alliance, but the pictures of the actual vinyl records were just as exciting. No one had ever seen vinyl like this before. Every copy of the record had its own unique splatter of colors and there were no labels on the vinyl because they would have obscured some of the incredible artwork.

These records, designed as one-of-a-kind works of art that were only available at Good Records in Dallas and Guestroom in Oklahoma City, were soon going for obscene prices on the Internet. The man behind it all was Dallas native Daniel Huffman, known to many for his one-man-band New Fumes.

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

Categories: Interviews

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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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Who Loves the Sun Books the Bands That Denton Deserves

Categories: Interviews

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Matt Wood
Garrett Gravley (left) and Albert Louis are the duo behind Who Loves the Sun

In the dull roar of a post-homecoming crowd at Crooked Crust in Denton, Garrett Gravley has his dining choices mocked. The perpetrator, Albert Louis, scoffs: "Dessert bread sticks and beer?" To which Gravley explains, "He's always making fun of how I eat."

This is the makeshift office space of Who Loves the Sun, a Denton booking entity that's been putting together shows for almost a year now. Gravley and Louis reach out to bands in the area and beyond, enticing them to play in Denton and Dallas at staples like the J&J's basement, Club Dada and, of course, Rubber Gloves. The two meet here once a week to flesh out upcoming shows, map out bands to contact and make jokes about Guy Fieri.

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Ronnie Fauss Mines the Demons of Everyday People on Built to Break

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy the artist
Music is a part-time gig for Ronnie Fauss, but "Built to Break" is a great record all the same

This week, Dallas-based songwriter Ronnie Fauss released Built to Break, his second full-length effort for the New West Records imprint Normaltown. Of course, that total doesn't include the handful of killer alt-country EPs Fauss delivered before his 2012 Normaltown debut, I Am the Man You Know I'm Not. Since 2009, Fauss, who was raised in Houston before moving to town years ago, has been as reliable of a source of solid roots-rock as there is to be found in North Texas. This new album successfully continues an impressive streak of simply offering up one enjoyable collection of songs after another.

The tunes on Break often deal with folks living less-than-ideal lives, which, in reality, accounts for most people walking the earth. But instead of simply stopping with general themes and greeting card-style blanket statements, Fauss deals in specific details. Just as the artists he looks up to such as Todd Snider and John Prine have done for years, Fauss exposes the individual crevices in relationships and intimate inner-thoughts.

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Dallas' Prism Cloud Meld Classical Music and Indie Rock on Golden Star

Categories: Interviews

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Sarah Fun
Collin Pollitt and David Sanchez of Prism Cloud offer their different perspectives.

Prism Cloud, like innumerable bands, started in a garage. But instead of plunking around on guitars haphazardly and figuring it out themselves, they pulled from experience with a different genre: classical music.

With this approach, Collin Pollitt and David Sanchez use their broadened perspective to manipulate a seemingly straightforward subset of garage music to make it powerful while retaining a guise of simplicity. What results is a record, Golden Star, that's easily enjoyed but was meticulously crafted with the precision of classically trained musicians.

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