Denton's the Plunge Dive Headlong Into Doom-Metal

Categories: Local Music

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Plunge via Facebook
Denton's Plunge even got lo-fi with their photos
Plunge started as just a name, and the band that later formed under it sought to replicate the sound of the word itself. The chugging, sludgy doom-metal band that resulted is pretty spot-on.

In bassist Cade Bundrick's room before a show at Gatsby's Mansion, the house venue he lives at and helps run, the three members of Plunge riff back and forth about everything from shattering cymbals to what they call "wiener rock" (don't ask).

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Michael Schoder Sold Records in His Car Before Buying the Granada

Categories: Local Music

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Bill Ellison via Flickr
Michael Schoder has been packing the Granada with concertgoers for a decade

Mike Schoder is calmer than a well-fed cat in the 'burbs, but don't let that fool you. There's nothing complacent about him. The owner of the Granada Theater and the adjoining Sundown at Granada, Schoder could easily be mistaken for a surfer bro, thanks to his long golden hair that he keeps pulled back into a ponytail. But he sounds a little bit like Iggy Pop and, appropriately for a businessman, he has an insane memory. Attention to detail is key.

Today Schoder is relaxing at the Sundown on a late summer afternoon. He's just gotten off the phone regarding some upcoming renovations to the theater, but he's laid back as can be. When you own two businesses with 60 employees each, this is just another day at the office.

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Glamorama's Blake Ward is a Club DJ with a Vision

Categories: Local Music

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Remy Ryan
Blake Ward is one of Dallas' most popular DJs

There's something special about the Beauty Bar come Saturday nights. Amidst the 1950s-themed decor and glittery, soft-hued color scheme, the tiny Knox-Henderson bar has two very important ingredients: Good drinks and even better music. In the case of the latter, that's all thanks to Blake Ward.

"DJs facilitate the human mating ritual, so you want people to have fun," explains Ward, the resident DJ for "Glamorama" dance night that takes place every Saturday night. "I'm fortunate to play at Beauty Bar because the crowd is really receptive to what I play. The owner Brooke [Humphries] lets me play whatever I want, the staff is the best in town and the patrons love to party."

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Granada Theater's First 10 Years: Our Favorite Memories

Categories: Local Music

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Drew Gaines
Granada Theater's iconic marquee has lit up with concert dates for a decade now

This month, the Granada Theater is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a music venue. It was then that Michael Schoder bought the then-movie theater and transformed it into the concert venue we know and love today. To help mark the occasion, we decided to pull together our favorite memories from the Granada throughout that first decade. We even collected the memories of some of the Granada's own staff, past and present. They aren't all concert memories, per se, but they're just the sorts of things that make the place so special.


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Centro-matic to Call It Quits After December Tour

Categories: Local Music

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Rachel Parker
Centro-Matic playing the Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase in 2011.
Yesterday afternoon social media started to fill with laments when word trickled out that one of North Texas' most lauded and best loved artists, Centro-matic, would be calling it quits after their upcoming December tour.

The group's fervent fan base is sure to make their 14 remaining dates as a band a hot ticket, and there's little doubt that their final two shows at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton on December 19 and 20 will sell out quickly. Rightfully so, as there are few bands who have meant as much to the area as Centro-matic.

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Jacob Furr Celebrates Life in the Wake of Devastating Tragedy

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Brain Carroll/Jacob Furr Facebook

Folk singers are storytellers. The best ones are able to take the most simplistic subject matter and make it ache with beauty. The great ones can also take life's greatest complexities and unanswerable questions and present us with a new, relatable vision with which we can view such big-picture wonderings. Fort Worth's Jacob Furr, 28, has been that type of troubadour for some time now.

Last August, Furr, his family and friends faced the harshest side of life's possibilities when his wife of three years, Christina, died of cancer. It's not a stretch to say that even though he's still quite young, the passing of his wife, whom he had known his "whole life," will likely be his most excruciating artistic inspiration, regardless of how long he lives.

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Danny Rush Introduces His Danny Diamonds Persona to the Violitionist Sessions

Categories: Local Music

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Still from "Hot Summer" on the Violitionist
Danny Rush a.k.a. Danny Folmer a.k.a. Danny Diamonds and his band playing for the Violitionist
You could probably refer to Danny Rush with just about whatever surname you want to at this point. That's pretty well what he's started doing. Many know him through his musical exploits in Denton as Danny Folmer, some as Danny Rush, and nowadays he calls himself Danny Diamonds. We just, of course. Through his work with bands like the Paper Chase and the Designated Drivers, Rush has established himself as a uniquely gifted, if sometimes enigmatic, songwriter over the years.

Naming aside, Rush has a new record out, the self-titled "debut" for Mr. Diamonds, and it's pretty great. (More on that record in this space tomorrow.) There's also a new Violitionist session out that features Rush and his band, in which he manages to kill two birds with one stone: He breaks down some of the naming confusion and tears through a handful of new songs. Check out the video after the break.

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At Dia de Los Toadies, Hometown Pride Was the Main Attraction

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Dia de Los Toadies Facebook Page/Michelle Pelissero
The Toadies on Saturday Night in Fort Worth.

Dia De Los Toadies Festival
With the Toadies, Old 97's, Ume, Quaker City Night Hawks, Pleasant Grove, Somebody's Darling, Residual Kid, The Longshots and Blank-Men
Panther Island Pavilion, Fort Worth
Saturday, September 13, 2014

With apologies to the out-of-town artists that performed during Saturday's Dia de Los Toadies concert at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth, the event was indeed a parade of musical civic pride. And with further apologies to any attendees under 30 years of age, and there were a good bit of you there, you may have enjoyed the near flawless sets from such pedigreed acts as the Toadies, Old 97's and Pleasant Grove, but you likely did so without the nostalgic gut punch that most of us older folks experienced.

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Pleasant Grove Have Weathered Personal Demons and Are Ready to Bounce Back

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Marcus Striplin
Pleasant Grove are preparing to release their first album in a decade -- after they play Dia De Los Toadies Fest

This Saturday in Fort Worth at Dia de Los Toadies, on a line-up filled with promising talent and proven veterens, there may not be a band that represents the past while pointing to the future as vividly and dramatically as Pleasant Grove does.

The five-piece, formed in late 1998 by Marcus Striplin and Brett Egner, quickly became a prime local purveyor of stellar, contemplative, folk-tinged indie rock. Their excellent self-titled debut in 2000 certainly impressed, as did the locally beloved 2001 LP Ascultation of the Heart. The group's final album, 2004's Art of Stealing is a stunning collection that holds up remarkably well a decade later, much like the better albums from a couple of the revered bands they'll be sharing the stage with on Saturday such as Old 97's Hitchhike to Rhome and Too Far to Care, and of course, the Toadies Rubberneck.

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Off the Record is a Stylish Bar and Vinyl Shop Hybrid in Deep Ellum

Categories: Local Music

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Jeff Gage
Off the Record is a new combination bar and record store in Deep Ellum
Watch out, Deep Ellum; there's a new gang in the neighborhood. Well, sort of. The folks behind Club Dada rolled out a brand-new venture Tuesday night with the soft opening of Off the Record, a unique combination bar and record store in the space adjoining the Elm St. music venue. (It was, in fact, previously the backstage area for visiting bands at Dada.)

With over 20 beers on tap, a full liquor bar, and a selection of roughly 2,000 records on vinyl curated by Lower Greenville's Good Records, the new venue presents a fascinating and stylish new addition to the neighborhood.

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