February 2012

KXT Happy Funtime Fest

When KERA 90.1 FM, Dallas' long running National Public Radio outlet for North Texas, spun off a second station devoted to music, expectations were high. This station is KXT 91.7. Thus far, it has been off to a great start with many local events, living up to the need for music not normally heard on the corporate FM dial.

KXT has upped the ante with a new festival being held June 1 at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas. The event is called the KXT's Summer Cut- Happy Funtime Fest, and they have assembled an impressive line-up of local, regional and indie bands. This should make the event successful based on the bill alone.

Blah Kesto

This is beautiful.

A colorful Rorschach test greets you when you fenture to Blah Kesto’s album Pareidolia on Bandcamp. Ambient tones sustain, and classical violins swell into the picture. This is the “ambient, classical, electronic, indie” of this Dallas band who’s just trying to fill the distance between thoughts and words. Let them fill your head with thoughts without using any words.

Will Johnson is Keeping Fans Satisfied

Back in 1995, an unknown talent in Denton decided to start up a band. Little did music fans know that Will Johnson and Centro-matic would become a massive hit with Dallas music fans. Their alternative music spoke to my generation, and Centro-matic shows would pack the house at even the largest clubs. Today, Centro-matic is still creating great songs, but Will Johnson is expanding his horizons with some new collaborations on the way.

A Look at 35 Denton

It's only a few weeks until the four-day long music fest, known as 35 Denton, takes the stage. Since 2009, the hottest local bands in the area have been part of this music collaboration. This year it takes place March 8-11. Why Denton and not Dallas? Even though the Big D is a larger city, the musical and artistic feel of Denton makes the city a much better backdrop for the event. After all, one of the most well-recognized music schools in the country, the University of North Texas, is only a few blocks from downtown.

Mystery Skulls

“You” is my favorite track.

Need some Dallas synthpop? Check out Mystery Skulls. This is the kind of thing that I’m absolutely certain would be great to see live. Go to their Bandcamp and buy the five tracks there for one dollar, but if you really want to experience this the right way, seek this guy out and make sure he’s playing shows.

Sunday Actors - 'Home Movies'

James Henderson's sweeping baroque indie pop borrows from all sorts of decades past to ultimately sound fun, fresh, and present. Bonus points for bell flourishes.

The Farstar

The Farstar has released two full length albums, one in 2003 and one in 2012. That’s quite a bit apart. I wonder what the story is on that situation. They state influences from Sunny Day Real Estate, The Smiths, Radiohead, The Cure, Minus The Bear, and My Bloody Valentine. I can see most of those, although I’m seeing The Farstar as quite a bit less like to jade me as quickly as most of those bands. I feel like I could hang out with these guys and love to watch them play.

I’m going to focus on their 2012 full length album, “God Be With You, Heaven Knows The Devil Is”. My favorite track is probably the very first one. It’s called “Airtight”, and it’s catchy and emotional. He says he doesn’t believe in love at one point. He puts a condition on it, but anytime you say something like that, it’s a pretty strong statement. There’s a really great synth after all the long vocal segments, and all the rhythm instruments keep the song really focused for the whole four and a half minutes. It’s even got a sweet guitar solo.