Amber Campagna is Deep Ellum Royalty and a Boundless Musical Spirit

Amber and Dad Frank Sr .jpg
Photo by Stephanie Hastings
As you've recently read in DC9, Amber Campagna's family is practically the subject of a new documentary on fallen Dallas musician Frankie Campagna Jr.'s local punk assembly, Spector 45. We got a chance to know Frankie Jr. pretty well here at DC9 over the years, as well as his father, Kettle Art Studio founder/artist/muralist Frank Campagna Sr.

Amber, however, has largely remained a quiet anomaly (remember daughter Amy on The Osbournes?) as far DC9 and local press exposure goes. In recent years, as her father has been, she's been living somewhat in the shadow of Frankie Jr's untimely passing and subsequent legacy, and while that legacy is a fine one, it will be told sufficiently soon enough.

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Nathan Adamson's Vision for Music Utopia: No More Traditional Schools, Banks or Mayors

Courtesy of Nathan Adamson
Nathan Adamson owns and operates a small recording facility and label: FourReelz Records, and Ferralog Studios in Deep Ellum. What caught our attention was the spotlight feature he does for new artists: "Catch & Release", where they record a band in one day, on all-analog gear, then have a release show the very next night. The studio also has a live stage and bar, for the love of Pete.

See also:
-"Local Music 'Mericans" Archives
- Midlake Invite Us Into Their Denton Studio

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Jordan Buford has a Simple Plan to Save the Music Industry: Show Up and Buy Merch

Jordan Buford has been checking out local bands in DFW for about 8 straight years now, for a group called Rya Entertainment, and for a podcast he hosts called "The Real Music Enthusiast" which airs as part of the Whiskeyboy Radio Network.

The great thing about Buford, apart from his genuine music enthusiasm, is how he has no social scene walls, no clique-based boundaries in his music tastes. He's just as likely to be seen absorbing an experimental or indie act, as he is to be amongst the headbangers checking out some metal. He likes a little bit of everything, and doesn't subscribe to any one particular club. It's a great way to live, and to participate. It's an example more of us should follow, honestly.

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Gutterth Productions Co-Founder Michael Briggs has the Coolest Living Room in Denton

Photo credit - Stanton J Stephens.jpg
Stanton J Stephens
At 16, Michael Briggs was a Deep Ellum kid hanging with the late-night, all-ages coffee crowd at old favorite Insomnia Café. Briggs has come a long way for the cause since then, running a great local music podcast called The Violitionist Sessions, which has spotlighted over 100 artists from our own backyard and far beyond, all right from his living room. Brigg's Denton living room, has since become an unofficial live music venue coined Macaroni Island. Briggs is also half of the operation behind very insightful Denton label Gutterth Productions.

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Arthur Stephens Talks Hitting Vanilla Ice's Escalade, Chatting With Iggy Pop About Gardening

Stephens, repping The Great Tyrant
For roughly 25 years, Arthur Stephens has been running Dallas' ASA Audio. Historically, he's a familiar face amongst Deep Ellum's gifted sound-crafters: He mixed at Club Clearview until 2007, then it was on to the sorely-missed Deep Ellum Live, formerly located just a block behind The Dancing Marlin and Angry Dog.

He's the kind of guy you want to sit next to at the bar while he tells his war stories, but he's no relic. Stephens is a part of the present-day arts community as well, he just operates more as a business owner and elder statesman of live music in DFW.

Before we get into recalling local music memories, let's talk about Vanilla Ice's damaged Escalade.
Is Vanilla Ice local? Is he Dallas or Miami? Anyway, there was a night when Luke, my stage hand, was driving the Bobtail and backed into Vanilla Ice's Escalade and did a number on it. Thankfully, he was cool about it.

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Spune's Annette Marin: "Music Promotion is a Lot Like Running a Grassroots Political Campaign"

For three years now, Annette Marin's been a mover and shaker at Spune Productions, alongside Lance Yocom, and had a hand in this year's Index Fest and Untapped Festival. In 2013, she's helping ready new releases from Air Review and Datahowler.

As a student, Marin set out to pursue a career in politics, but found even the most tragically hip music argument over drinks to be a thousand times more pleasant than your typical dust-up over political matters. And so it began for her.

I understand you had a dance-off with a horse at Dada once? How about some other crazy dirt from the clubs?
I honestly don't have any dirt, really! But yes, I had a dance-off with a horse at Dada once. That was pretty crazy.

Who do you love? I know you're big into Yells at Eels. Who else?
Seeing people freak out over Yells at Eels at Index Festival was pretty amazing. What an amazing group of musicians. I saw them for the first time at an art gallery on Halloween last year. Mind blown. Really like Blackstone Rangers, Air Review, The O's, Bravo Max!, Foxtrot Uniform, Zhora, Michael Donner. Too many to name. And of course the entire Spune roster!

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Indie-Verse's Eric Landrum: "I Would Put on My Grandfather's Loafers and Moonwalk on Their Stoop"

Brian Harkins
Eric Landrum and a Pulp poster
Eric Landrum has sacrificed a lot as a music fan working in radio promotions, but what's really kept him on the clock is his passion. No matter what kind of laminate or credentials Landrum has scored over the years working live broadcasts at concerts or meet-and-greets with national touring artists, he has always shown the enthusiasm of the fan waiting outside the venue for eight hours. He takes in his favorite artists deeply, and absorbs an impressive and engaging amount of knowledge about them.

So it was nice to see him get the break he deserved, moving beyond promotions and into programming music at CBS Radio affiliate Indie-Verse, which he launched in 2008. It not only streams online, but broadcasts locally on FM radio on the HD2 band.

I've known you a long time, and have enjoyed witnessing your enthusiasm for music firsthand through the years. Where did it start, though? What made you fall in love with it?
My first experience with music, that I can remember, was seeing Michael Jackson on the Thriller tour. When I was a little kid, I had to have everything Michael Jackson. I would put on my grandfather's loafers and moonwalk on their stoop. And seeing him in concert made me decide, more than likely subconsciously at that age, that I wanted to dedicate my life to music is some form or fashion.

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Deep Dallas' Jessica Martinez Wants to Be Your Guide to the Music Scene

Jessica Martinez has been running a Facebook fan page called Dallas Music for close to two years. She's kept it simple and reliable, posting local music content and gigs, and she's let her fandom for our artists shine through, something reflected in her some 2,600 followers. They've covered hundreds of shows, and her organization has done music booking for several community events, including PARK(ing) Day Dallas, Cedars Food Park, Deep Ellum Outdoor Market and Uptown's Art Uprising, and produced two Deep Dallas Studio Sessions with The Roomsounds and The Will Callers.

Recently, she left her job to start focusing on this project full-time, and start constructing her own website version of that fan page, called Deep Dallas.

Was there something profound that happened in your life that ignited your motivation for this?
The music scene found me at a time when I really needed a friend. I was just out of a serious relationship and found myself alone and lonely. Vowing to never let that happen again, I made it my mission to expand my circle of friends, start going to new places and doing new things. LaGrange, so sad they are closed, used to host a weekly open mic and I started going there every Tuesday night. They had a great sound system and it drew quite some talent. I just stumbled upon it on a bike ride one day and literally fell in love. I met so many amazing people and always left feeling so happy. Man, I was hooked.
Aside from me and a few friends, there weren't many people in attendance. I started asking questions like, "Why am I the only person coming out week after week?" More people needed to know about this. Basically, I got mad.

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Josh Florence Talks About Homegrown Festival, Super Moons, the Night City Tavern Was On Fire

Josh Florence has a DOMA nomination or two under his belt, and was part of the team that made Homegrown Festival such a great success again this year. Further, he's an owner of prominent music spots Dada (reopened two years this January) and City Tavern. Florence tends to be an enthusiastic force for a lot of local artists, and it makes all the difference in his venues.

You're such a music guy, so I have to ask. Do you own or play any instruments yourself? Have you ever?
I own pretty much everything but a bass at the house. I know just enough to get a few beers in me and think I can play. I try not to do it in public very often. I'm meant to be behind the scenes.

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The Curtain Club's Mark Whitford: "You Watch a Good Concert. You Feel a Great One."

If you go to the Curtain Club or Liquid Lounge and ask for Mark, chances are you're not going to be pointed in this guy's direction. He's not only known as "Whit" to those on the corner of Main and Crowdus, but to everyone chummy with him since about eighth grade.

Mark Whitford is the GM at the Curtain Club and Liquid Lounge, and can be seen behind the bar, in the books, and hard at work on the booking. National acts may not be the most common sight on their bills, but over the course of 15 years of life in Deep Ellum, they've had Henry Rollins, Dick Dale, Soul Asylum, Corrosion of Conformity and My Chemical Romance grace the stage. More importantly, they've played host to a staggering number of local rock acts over the years, many of which are preserved on the walls.

Congratulations on the longevity of Curtain Club and Liquid Lounge. What do you suppose the method to the madness is?
A group of guys that worked at Trees and a group from Rick's Place in Denton teamed with other partners to form the Curtain Club, so there was a lot of experience involved from the beginning. The focus was, and still is, on showcasing local talent. A lot of time, thought and effort were put into the venue and its operations and we've been fortunate enough to have top-notch sound engineers throughout our tenure here.

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