Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Now serving the community: DentonRadio.com public seminars

Quickly establishing itself as a voice for the community, DentonRadio.com 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 DentonRadio.com, 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 DentonRadio.com'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.  DentonRadio.com 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, DentonRadio.com is a beacon for local movements, helping to keep communities interconnected, vital and regenerating.  Providing local musicians an outlet for their creativity, DentonRadio.com 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 Radio.com 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