Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bandamonium at The Crown and Harp

This Friday night, November 9th, get ready for a musical adventure that you'll need to be there to believe, we like to call it Bandamonium.  In one evening starting at 8:30 you will go through an entire spectrum of popular music at the Crown and Harp.  To set the night off on the smooth and easy, we have the song stylings of Dallas' Pop jazz queen, or if she prefer president, Emmeline.  A semi-finalist in Dallas' RAW awards, come out and support her Wednesday.  Then come out again Friday to unwind and celebrate.

Next it is time to start the drinking, with Levi Cobb and the Big Smoke.  They'll bring their whisky soaked folk rock and you bring the matches to what could be described as simulteaneously raccous and tuneful.  They'll be passing out copies of their new album at the show.

Next is Denton's finest, your favorite rock band My Kickdrum Heart.  Playing an amalgam of dancing rock from the 50 years, the band is high off radio airplay of their new single, "Falling",  released on Bandcamp.
The snakey slink of Dallas' We'rewolves comes howling at you.  Lyle Brooks of describes it best, "With each minute of each song, one can hear the group evolving more and more into its own atmosphere. Stirring the pot, the Wolves explode from a classic rock launching pad onto an alien landscape. The tune, a voodoo mudslapper, creeps up under the floorboards. Grappling with a flesh-and-bone inertia, the drive gives way to a menacing toe tapping."

And then to bring it on home the sweet fuzz garage grooves of Dead Mockingbirds.    Expectations are they will straight up bring the rock.

So get there early,  stay late and then call someone to carry you home.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rock the Metroplex: Titus Andronicus and Japandroids.

For those of you who are fans of Denton's local rockers, My Kickdrum Heart, this weekend will bring two bands on two nights from two coasts to the Metroplex to rock your collective socks off.
Most likely ready to work out the frustrations of the storm that ravaged their home in New Jersey, Titus Andronicus, comes Tapatio Studios, Saturday November 3.  Tickets are merely ten dollars and local band Soviet has been added to the bill.  Check out this video from their album "The Monitor".

Coming Monday November 5th to Dallas's legendary Trees, Vancouver duo Japandroids , hit the scene fresh off a stint in Europe.  They are known for high energy performances that you don't soon forget.
Here is a video from their latest release "Celebration Rock".


Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to make sure your MP3's are right for internet radio

In today's highly competitive independent music industry you need to do everything you can to stand out.  One thing you can do is make sure the meta data on your MP3s has all the pertinent information.  Here is a except from the submission requirements from Soma FM.

Make sure your MP3 files are high bitrate (256kb or "v0"/Highest Quality VBR). No WAV files please; no m4a files. Check your Metadata! Make sure your artist name and track names are correct. Include the album name where available, otherwise leave blank. Put your website and email address in the comments field. Use the "Grouping" ID field to put the name of the channel you think will best fit. Set the Genre to be something that best describes your music. 

So how does one do that?  Well if you have a I tunes it is a snap.  First go to I tunes and locate the tune.

Then once you highlight the tune go to File and select Get Info.

Here you can enter all the relevant information, including adding the artwork for the track.
Next go to the summary to make sure the information is correct.
You'll be able to look at the bit rate here.  The normal encoder will do that at 128 kbs.  As you can see in the example above a higher bit rate is required.  For this in I tunes go to preferences and chose Import settings.

Import using MP3 encoder, setting custom.
Click on Custom and from there choose 256 kbps.
And there you have it.  Happy sharing.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New single available for download by My Kickdrum Heart

My Kickdrum Heart has released a new single, "Falling", available for free download using the name your price option on Bandcamp.  You can download it from the player in side bar.  Please get the word out and share this with everyone you know.  This single is being released in anticipation of their debut album, "Love in Time of Apocalypse... Sexy Party".  The single has recently been played on Paulcore on KANM, the college radio station for Texas A&M and

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wrist bands, We don't need no stinking wristbands:35+ Math=Day Parties

     Local music label super heroes have done it again.  I Love Math Records, which brings Denton show after show of pure music goodness, is providing the people a auditory feast of unimaginable proportions for the astounding price of ......... nothing, nada, zilch, $0.    Put your hands on your ears so that your brains don't fall out for this next one, there are 22 bands performing over 4 days, and wait no the price did not change, it's still free.    Head honcho, Charlie Hunter, must have lost his mind or surely did while putting this extravaganza on for us. These shows are I repeat free, so spend your money on the bands.  Here are the links to the lineups, which are of course subject to change at any moment.
35 + Math = Day Party #1

35+ Math=Day Party#2

35+Math= Day Party #3

Posters by Abigail Buford

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Now serving the community: public seminars

Quickly establishing itself as a voice for the community, has taken the next step in it's mission as a media advocate for the city of Denton.  This past Saturday, February 25th president of, Jake Laughlin, hosted the first in what promises to be an enlightening series of seminars for musicians at local artistic focal point Banter Bistro.  The event began with the soothing song styling of local popsmith Ashley Gatta to a crowd a little unsure of what to expect.  Any doubts regarding the value of this event were quickly answered with the dynamic opening session of's visionary leader Jake Laughlin and his presentation on public speaking. Using personal experience to bridge the gap, Jake brought home his point of making the uncomfortable comfortable and in a meta-moment put the crowd at ease and had them engaged.

     Following up were the artists, Bone Doggie and Ashley Gatta, discussing the finer points of stage performance, really honing in on what techniques can be used to connect with an audience and create the moments that make making music so worth while.  The event was well served by having artists with such different personalities and stage shows, share their perspectives on the myriad of ways an artist can choose to engage with their fans.  Their presentations flowed easily into meaningful dialogue with those in attendance, unearthing the different challenges faced by musicians and sharing those experiences.

     With high quality information and musical performances interjected throughout the seminar, the event was  a great success that I look forward to attending again.  Future topics promise to run the gamut of stage performance to music business. is quickly becoming a force in the community for  advancing issues of  music and local interest.  In a world that attempts to give an impression of being dominated by multi-national conglomerates and olds style media companies who owned dying modes of  information dissemination, is a beacon for local movements, helping to keep communities interconnected, vital and regenerating.  Providing local musicians an outlet for their creativity, also allows the world to see what's cooking here in Denton, and share with them this great music and art city, which is begining to make waves in the world at large.

Friday, February 24, 2012

This weekend in Denton: Wise Ruby, The Demigs, Grigsby album update

        You know, I often wonder where I can get a donut with bacon on it and enjoy live music at the same time.  Well thank your God, Allah, Buddha, Zeus, et al. that we live in Denton because at Denton Square Donuts you can have it all.  This Saturday February the 10th beginning at 10:00 a.m. you will be treated the twin delights of Earth Shine and Wise Ruby.   Earth Shine is led by the super talented Tonya Blum and will knock you socks off while leaving your shoes on.   Following up will be the superb song smithing of Wise Ruby, who will lift you up with the transcendent harmonies of Julie Livingston and Kathy Herr, anchored by Neal McCord.  The fates were unkind that I have a prior obligation this morning, and have to miss this family friendly event that surely will not disappoint.

    For those of you looking to leave the kiddos at home with a baby sitter, there is no other place to be but Rubber Gloves for our good friends The Demigs.  Those of you who missed last week's rock clinic at Andy's, you have some classes to make up for, and Saturday night will get you some much needed rock and roll credit.  These guys are ready to light up 35 Denton and beyond, so catch them now and you can say "I heard them before they were such rock stars."  Filling out this tasty bill, is Darstar and How's My Driving.

     Finally for those of you awaiting the release of the new Mathew Grigsby album, it is set to be released on March 31st. Matt is hard at work finishing of what promises to be a highlight of 2012. Twisting the knobs and filling out the sonic palette is Taylor Moseley of The Shelbi Vinyl.  A release show at J&J's dirty basement is set for that night with the aforementioned Earthshine, My Kickdrum Heart and The Shelbi Vinyl  playing in support of Master Grigsby's big night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


"Fortes fortuna adiuvat"
"Fortune favors the bold"

The events of this story are all true, the names have been kept the same to regain their innocence. The facts may have been dressed up because that's what memory does and to make a better story.

So I am going to break through the imaginary wall of writer and reader to share a story about how I got to today and why it is the best time of my life.  For those of you know that know me, it is possible that I shared the story of how I reentered the music life.  The story starts by choosing a career going door to door selling stocks and bonds, which coincided with the day the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression began: October 9, 2007.  Technically that day was a Tuesday and I started on a Monday, and I had already begin knocking on doors for 8 weeks, but I digress.  Knocking on doors is an experience all it's own and rejection is parcelled out in, no-one's-home's, not-interested's, and get-the-hell-out-of-here's. It was also a time of much walking and thinking.
      The thought that returned more often, as I marked the number of doors that knuckles met with was, "This is an awful beat down, had I only put this kind of effort into music then certainly by now I would be making a living doing music."  This thought put to death the idea that I could make a living as a salesman and for a time caused me great sadness, as if I had found the keys to a treasure chest I once had, but disgarded because I never believed I would find the key.  All the while the environment around me continued to disintegrate and the financial crisis deepened, fear began to take hold of the minds of those I would encounter.
    As life does often time bring about, fate intervened and one of the doors that was opened was a kind couple, an artist and a musician and my life as a musician began anew.  The exciting way to tell this part is that I got signed to a record label because of my incredible talent, which in a sense was true.  Perhaps a more accurate way to describe the experience was that I did someone a favor in return for a demo.  I have found and continue to find that blindly doing good turns for people provides more opportunities than just about anything.   So I gave some financial advice in return for a demo.  When the demo was done, one Lynne Messinger, currently of  When Girls Collide and formerly of Unknown Gender, was so impressed that she offered to record an album.  Seeing this as my opportunity for redemption I jumped one foot into music and one foot into my career as a financial advisor, and one foot into the board of my church, and one foot into basketball and one foot into mentoring kids at the school I used to work at, and one foot into a health supplement business.  As it is plain to see I was running out of feet.  This occurred in November of 2008, as the country elected its first president with a black parent, the market continued to crash and my wonderful wife and I were expecting our second child.
      The album took over a year to record due to the rust of not having performed at a high level musically for almost seven years, my producer's equipment malfunctions and experimentation with mixing.  When it came time to release the album, my financial reserves had been spent and my career at Edward Jones came to  an end.  The desire to take care of my family necessitated a move to North Texas. This move put a bind on the relationship with my now friend and former producer and has put our relationship on hold for nearly two years now. At some point I will muster up the courage to at least reach out to a person that was kind to me during a challenging time of my life.
       At this point I am going stop telling the story because I am still in the middle of it and finish off by saying how happy I am that my family moved to Denton.  We have been blessed by so many friendships and great relationships in a community that has fostered our growth.  Music has become my career thanks to support of so many.  I am amazed at places like Banter Cafe which cultivates and provides love to so many artists beginning their journey.  Endeavours like Denton show what can be accomplished by persistent effort and maintaining a vision.   Artists looking to take their crafts to next level are fortunate to have labels like I Love Math Records tell them "Yes this is good, let's make a record."  It is familiar to those I have frequent contact with, to hear me self prophesize about the coming renown of Denton and its music scene which is about to pop.  To mangle a movie quote "I believe in Denton."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Time is Nigh Upon Us: Denton 35

That's right folks in less than a month now Denton 35 and all that musical madness will be here.  You have probably heard that Jesus and Mary Chain is headlining this year's event causing a lot of excitement.  In addition to the official events be sure and keep your ear to the ground regarding day shows and some after party good times and good tunes.   In order to make sure our local boys and girls don't get lost in the shuffle, here are few of my local faves to be sure and check out while you're enjoying the festivities.

Backwater Opera

Boxcar Bandits

Ella Minnow


Spooky Folk

The Demigs

Young and Brave

More to come as we get closer to Denton 35.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Double Dose of Demigs:35 Denton presents Burning Hotels and Dallas Showcase

Get ready folks because here it comes, 35 Denton is nigh upon us.  In preparation, 35 Denton is offering us  showcases to get you good and hungry for the musical feast about to be laid before us.  One band we are doing everything we can to get the word out about is our good friends, The Demigs,  who will be playing showcases on Friday night at Andy's in Denton and again Saturday night at 2826 Arenetic, down Dallas ways.   This year we aim to rectify The Demigs position as DFW's most under appreciated band and share with the world their great music.  The band is ready to begin recording "Welcome to Hard Times",the follow up to 2011's critically acclaimed "Cities Can Wait", in the comfy confines of Shady Lane Studios.  Throw into that mix a busy live schedule and producing new albums for other local bands, 2012 promises to be a busy and productive year for the band.  Here is a great song from "Cities Can Wait"

Headlining Friday night's affair will be DFW's hotter than a fire cracker, modern new wave confectioners Burning Hotels.  


The Hope Trust brings it's alt rock via a Wilco, Spoon ,(two of my all-time favorites),something all their own brand of music.

Words fail to describe Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers brand of steel guitar country drinking music.

Saturday night at Arnetic starting at nine.

Mexican Lions

Thursday, February 9, 2012

You're not an artist; You're an actor: Sealion

Looking to forsake moody music for a bit and just get a little bit of frenzied rock, then look no further than Sealion.  A sweet confection of high energy and cool, Sealion gets in and gets the job done, no fuss, no muss.  Punk, surf, and garage pop all blend together upbeat and smooth, with nothing clocking in over the 4 minute mark. Their debut "Keep the Camera Rolling" was produced by Dallas hidden gem in his own right Salim Nourallah.  The album swells with confidence bordering on brashness to give you a weird spaghetti postmodern Clint Eastwood western soundtrack.

Sealion plays this Saturday February 11, 2012 at Club Dada.  Doors are at 8:00 p.m..

Also playing The Hormones, The Vliets and Sir Name and the Janes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I love the earth so I recycle, videos of my friends

Do you wonder how one cranks out blog posts, writes songs, rehearses, manages a band, has a day job (just a bit longer) and a family?  Recycling.   That's right sometimes you just have to take something that is already there and put it into another package, providing value in new form.  In that spirit, here are some videos of fiver artists reviewed in this here online publication.
Kaleo Kaualoku from Spooky Folk with "Bible Belt"

Bone Doggie and The Hickory Street Hellraisers "I Love Jesus But I Drinks A Little Bit"

Matt Grigsby " Never Fall Again"

The Demigs " Sophisticates and Sedatives"

Seryn " Beach Song"


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Party at the edge of town: I Love Math at Airlock Studios

For those of you who missed the great show put on by local record and musical enthusiasts I Love Math Records, here is your opportunity to get out and have a truly Denton music experience.   Airlock studios is the place to catch a line up of Denton's finest, headlined by My Baby Robot faves The Demigs.  Be prepared for an industrial experience as Airlock is located in an actual industrial storage facility out 380 on the west side of I-35.   Co owner of I Love Math Records and music enabler, Charlie Hunter, provided a list of dos and don'ts about how best to enjoy your experience at the friendly confines of Airlock and this is what he had to offer.
      Carpool, it's a good thing to do.
     Bring money and buy band merch, use what you would have spent on a cover.
     Tip your bartenders.
      If you like the vibe, rent a rehearsal space.  Not only is Airlock a venue, but a rehearsal
      space as well.
      Be disrespectful of the bands.  If you do not like what you are hearing or want to talk, go outside.

Follow these simple guidelines and enjoy the following line up.

 The Demigs
New Science Projects
Baruch the Scribe

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Start your own damn label; Bandcamp

A major force moving us toward a post-mega record label, artist selling directly to the public, world, Bandcamp has set the bar for music downloads and ease of use.  With no set up fees and the ability to download your music and artwork with the greatest of ease Bandcamp has created a super user friendly experience for the artist ready to release his or her own work on their own time table when they the work is ready.  With a fee structure that is easy to understand and pays the artist first Bandcamp is by far the service that puts the most money back into a musicians pocket.   Let us break it down, Bandcamp collects 15% for the service they provide so when you sell an album for say $10, then they generate a $1.50 credit to Bandcamp and you get the $10 deposited in your paypal account.  This process continues until the amount you owe bandcamp and a sale match up.  So once you owe them $10, you make that $10 sale the money stays with Bandcamp.  On top of that once you reach $5000 a month in sales that percentage reverts to 10% and it isn't per band but per account.  So you labels with several artists get an added benefit by sticking together.

      Once you get your account, set up is a whip.  You will need wav files of your songs, some artwork to upload and paypal account and you are ready to go.   At this point you add as much information as you would like and set your price.  The best part of deciding what your work is worth is the name your price function which allows listners to pick the amount they pay.  You can simply set a minimum or not, per the Bandcamp home page "On name-your-price albums, fans pay an average of 50% more than the minimum."  My own experience with Bandcamp bears this assertion out.  You also have the option of up to 200 free downloads you can give to fans in exchange for an email address or just the desire to get the music out there.  The interface is easy to use and the statstics are meaningful and easy to interpret.  So musicians, no more excuses, no more waiting for the label to come rescue you. Let the world know what you to offer, start your own damn label.  Bandcamp

Featured Bands and Label:
My Kickdrum Heart
The Demigs
Spooky Folk
Dang! Records

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Give me something sharp: Spooky Folk

 "Give a songwriter a band and he might take over the world" sums up what we have here with Denton's rising stars, Spooky Folk.    Beginning to breakthrough into the upper echelon of DFW venues by knocking people dead live and stacking bodies by the door, this experience is begotten from a synergy created around songwriter Kaleo Kaualoku and band members Petra Kelly, Chris Brown, Scarlett Wright and Jesse Clay Perry.  Now to say  Spooky Folk is a songwriter with a backing band would be so off the mark that I can't believe that you suggested it. Shame on you. Spooky Folk accomplish the rare feat of giving a unique voice a unique sound.  (Bad writing but true.)  Kaleo's lyrics speak about what it is to live in the great state of confusion that is North Texas.  A song like the standout "Bible Belt", speaks for us who live in this part of the world widely associated with Rick Perry, cowboy hats and barbeque.   The band is able to capture the crazy-making experience of being where on Sundays you are expected to go to church, then when you walk out the door, some of the very same people drop an N Bomb or call for bombing a faraway place; and still you have to figure out how to love them.  The music en-lightens us through joyfulness while we live in this North Texas world which at times is perhaps too surreal for it's own good.  Boisterous and fun, get your favorite cut of meat and enjoy yourself some Spooky Folk.

Spooky Folk is found on I Love Math Records.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The improbable impossible:

How many cities could boast a 24 hour a day radio station that played only artists from that city?  Surely your mind thinks of cities like New York, L.A., London, Paris or even smaller places like Seattle, Austin or Nashville that merely number just over a million people in the population.  So the idea of starting radio station devoted to the artists of a town of just over 100,000 residents seems improbable and that after about a day or two the well would run dry.   Not so, says founder of Jake Laughlin, in this exclusive interview   In the interest of full disclosure Jake is my friend so it wasn't hard to get an interview. 

What is your vision for the radio station? 
 “I want to become a tool that shows people what Denton has to offer (music, businesses, etc.)! I hear people say all of the time “there is nothing to do in Denton,” but that’s ridiculous! With all of the artists, music, venues, and cool stuff around town a person can get exhausted just trying to decide what to do! If there was something that could let the ‘bored’ people know what’s going on…”
What were some of the biggest challenges to getting the station started? 
 “Well, I had absolutely NO money when this idea first occurred, so we had to crowd fund it and get and a lot of businesses donate time and resources to get to this point, and that took quite a while!”
What does an artist have to do to get his material on Denton 
 “All they have to do is come to Banter Bistro on any Thursday at 7 and register! We also prefer that they bring their tunes to us on a CD with them (though they can email them to us if necessary). Also, just to make sure we will be there that week (there are some weeks we are not) they should send us an email at”
Any additional information you think we should know?
“Additional info? Hmmm… All I can say is ‘BIG things are coming!

And with what we've seen Jake accomplish so far, there is no doubt that big things are in store for the Denton music scene and

See also: Doggie Time
               DentonRadio The Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back to School Binge: I Love Math Records presents Spooky Folk and The Demigs

Rubber Gloves is where you need to be Saturday to satisfy your beginning of the semester rock and roll needs.   Many of you had a tough 3 hours of classes to attend this week and the rest of us have jobbie jobs, so what is required is some rock and roll release.   Denton up and comers Spooky Folk bring their brand of rock through a Beck Lips folk blender to headline the show.   You may ask, "Why did you put the Demigs, who are not headlining the night in the headline of this here article?"  Well readers that is because as says the Demigs are "a criminally overlooked jewel of pop artistry."   We aim to rectify this situation and bring a bit of justice by sharing our own praises of the band which we reviewed back in August, and exhorting you to get out early to catch them in all their majesty.  
Also playing

Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers

Young & Brave

Paper Robot 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Folking Music at Crossroads this Friday

What are your plans this Friday 1-20 two thousand and the twelve?   Change them because you absolutely must a Folking good time instead.  You may ask, "Where do I go to have such an experience?"  Well I'm going to tell you.   Crossroads Bar 1803 North Elm St Denton Tx, 76201, Just a couple blocks south of W University Dr right by the TWU campus**  that's right I copied and pasted from the website.  On this evening you will be entertained, dare I say enlightened, by not one but two terrific songwriters.  None other than one Billy Ratcliffe and one Mathew Grigsby shall be laying heart and soul  on the line for your edification.  Billy, a maestro of finger picking, will dazzle you with his guitar work and songsmanship.  To finish off the evening and bring it on home Mathew Grigsby knocks you out with his heartfelt brand of gritty and often humorous songs that would make Townes Van Zandt proud.  So clean up your ear holes so that you may be presentable for a  "Folking Good Time".  All puns intended.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Best little late night open mic in Denton Cross Roads Bar

For those who would play a brand of music a little, how would you say, more raucous than the general coffee shop brand of open mic, there is now a place for you.  Crossroads Bar is the place to be Tuesday nights for some of Denton's finest songwriters and performers.  This weekly event is hosted by song smith extraordinaire, Matt Grigsby, who will play few tunes himself to get things started.  Been wondering what to do on a Tuesday nights?  Then look no further than Cross Roads Bar, and you get to keep your soul to boot.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Seryn Baroche Folk A list of words and phrases to describe the music

This week instead of the typical review the music in well formed out thoughts that fit into the structure of paragraph, I have decided to provide a short list of words I thought of when listening to This Is Where We Are by Denton group Seryn.   The music is acoustic in nature and has some wonderful things going on texturally  but before my thinking mind gets in the way here is a list.
Joyfully, celebrating life, calming, reflective, harmonious, the end of winter when you know spring is coming, lively, blooming, alive, sunshine, happy.

Ok this may be an innovative attempt to reviewing music or just a lazy post,  figuring out ways to describe music is kind of like describing making love.  You really have to be there to enjoy it.  Fortunately, all you have to do is click and orgasmic experience is yours.
(Did that get a little weird, I hope it wasn't weird, it wasn't? ok good.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Kickdrum Heart playing in support of Taylor Moseley Box set release

Our friend Taylor Moseley is releasing a box set of his various projects over the years.  My Kickdrum Heart is playing in support at Banter Cafe right before the parade over to Haileys

Here is a link to Taylor's baby, The Shelbi Vinyl.