Category: MISC

Taco Fest 2k13: The Commonwealth of American Natives earn love from Denton punks

The Nashville three-piece with a long name and infectious hooks got the garage at Taqueria El Picante churning on Saturday night during the noisy, sweltering Taco Fest 2k13.

Bassist Alex Rowe traded vocals with guitarist Edwin Coombs while Ross Winchel pummeled the drums during a set that was all too short.

Between Rowe’s fierce, raspy vocals and Coombs confident shredding, Commonwealth made straight-up punk rock that was poppy-enough to lure in the day’s biggest crowd before sundown, and punk enough to set off a wild mosh pit that bloodied at least one forehead and spilled horchata and beer.

The Commonwealth of  American Natives, a Nashville punk three-piece, made room for a serious mosher during the band's set at Taco Fest 2K13 on May 18, 2013. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

The Commonwealth of American Natives, a Nashville punk three-piece, made room for a serious mosher during the band’s set at Taco Fest 2K13 on May 18, 2013. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

The kids, as they say, seemed like they wouldn’t have it any other way. They lined up at the band’s merch table four deep, shoveling out cash and praise in equal measure.

“We played here last night,” Coombs said. “We were booked with a band we’re touring with, Infected, and it was a great show. We asked if there was a spot we could play today.”

The trio was pushing its latest and third release, a seven inch split with Random Conflict. The seven inch was released by Shit Starter Records.

“This record is really kind of us starting over with a new drummer (Winchel) and us starting over with a new writing direction,” Coombs said. “We really tried to integrate dual vocals. I sing and Alex sings. I write half the lyrics and she writes half. We take one idea and then we write about it.””very lyrically based,” which shows. The Commonwealth of American Natives performed the single day-time set in which vocals were discernible. (Taco Fest is a punk and hardcore bash, and most of the vocals amounted to a roar that sounded like a twentysomething man vomiting up something like “BRAAAAAAAAAAWWWHHH!”)

Rowe said the band is “very lyrically based.”

“I sing these lyrics like I sing songs by other bands, you know, when you sing just to get through the day. That’s how I sing these songs,” Rowe said.

Coombs said the two-track record is a punk rock treatment of daily life, and the struggles it can bring. “Do You Read Sutter Cane” is a tribute to the John Carpenter horror film In the Mouth of Madness (an insurance investigator questions his sanity as he watches the fans of a horror writer seem to lose touch with reality.

“You know how sometimes, you think about all the violence around you and all of the crazy stuff all around you and you start wondering ‘am I the only sane person left?’ That’s where that song came from,” Coombs said.

“Bird in a Cage” is a shout-out to the wage slaves clocking in so they might make music – or follow their true passion, whatever it might be.

The band is on a three week tour with Infected, and heads to Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday. The band continues to Minneapolis, Minn. and, eventually, Chicago.

– Lucinda Breeding.

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A show for the servants: Brave Combo leads benefit for West firefighters

BENEFIT FOR THE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS OF WEST, TEXAS
Who: Brave Combo, Isaac Hoskins & the Charlie Shafter Band
When: 8:30 today
Where: Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial
How much: a suggested donation of $10, proceeds will benefit the fighfighters who served the town of West following a catastrophic explosion at a fertilizer pant on April 17.
SCHEDULE
8:30 p.m. – Brave Combo
9:30 p.m. – Isaac Hoskins
10:30 p.m. – The Charlie Shafter Band
Grammy Award-winning Denton group, Brave Combo brought their nuclear polka sound to the Dallas Museum of Art atrium during Late Nights at the DMA January 18, 2013. The event celebrated The Dallas Museum of Art's 110th birthday.

Grammy Award-winning Denton group, Brave Combo brought their nuclear polka sound to the Dallas Museum of Art atrium during Late Nights at the DMA January 18, 2013. The event celebrated The Dallas Museum of Art’s 110th birthday.

Denton polka band Brave Combo appears tonight in a benefit concert for firefighters in West. The two-time Grammy-winning band has participated in West Fest since its inception, and founder and front man Carl Finch planned a fundraiser for the town’s public servants. Finch recently took time to field questions about Brave Combo’s long-running commitment to the Denton Arts & Jazz Combo. He also waxed humble about his accordion skills and gave “real” accordion player and Brave Combo member Ginny Mac some serious props. He also talked a little about the band’s late 2012 release, Sounds of the Hollow. 
Littledtx.com: Have you ever felt like BC is an odd headliner for a festival associated so strongly with jazz and blues? Or do you consider BC the deeply “Denton” part of the Denton Arts & Jazz Fest?
Carl Finch: On one hand, I feel like we fit the theme of the festival pretty well, from a musical perspective. From a “Denton” perspective, I think we totally make sense.  How does Denton define jazz, or music, for that matter?  Yeah, we seem to be a good fit with the town.  To be honest, I’ve always thought the word “jazz” in the name of the festival was a little misleading, though it’s certainly the cornerstone.  But, obviously, Brave Combo is not the only band at the festival that isn’t traditional jazz.  And, I say this every year, our set is the family reunion part of the weekend. We’re the comfort food. And we work really hard to do the best show we can. Lots of new songs this year mixed in with the standards.  Lots of people on stage, too.  (Mike Dillon and Joe Cripps chipped in on percussion and Finch’s good friend and NICE MUSICS partner, Danny Jerabek came from Wisconsin to play button box and trombone at the jazz fest.)
Jazz is a huge umbrella, and generally, I think of jazz as being about rhythm — syncopation — and improvisation. Brave Combo is very much distinguished by its approach to polka standards and BC songs in terms of rhythm. And every Brave Combo show I’ve ever been to seemed to have a very improvisational ingredient to it. Do you ever think of Brave Combo as borrowing from jazz – in idea or even in structure – in making music?
If one listens closely to what Brave Combo does, it’s easy to hear a lot of jazz influence, including improvisation, in the BC mix.  We realized a long time ago, decades ago, actually, that making the band a novelty act would not work for long. So we followed our curiosity down as many musical paths as we could, looking for the essence of each and seeing how that fits in a band that’s more like a rock band.  If a listener only wants to hear “The Chicken Dance” or “The Hokey Pokey” there’s not much we can do about that, but most people know that the crazy group dance things represent only about 1 % of what we actually do… The coolest thing about being in Brave Combo is experiencing all the situations where we’re invited to perform, whether it’s a little Polish club in New Jersey, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles or an alternative punk polka festival in Berlin.
Isaac Hoskins plays at 9:30 p.m. today during a benefit for West.

Isaac Hoskins plays at 9:30 p.m. today during a benefit for West.

Here’s a question from the peanut gallery: Ginny Mac. Combo fans are nuts about her. I have always, ALWAYS seen you as the accordion player of Brave Combo. How did you recruit Ginny, and what special something do you think she brings to the group? 
Concerning me being the accordionist for Brave Combo, I can do what I do pretty well.  I know how to make the accordion loud enough to be heard with any band, but I have never been a real accordionist. I have filled the bill, sorta. Ginny is a real accordionist.  We do a few songs where she and I both play accordions and I do get requests for some of my signature tunes, but she’s the real deal and in Brave Combo’s quest to “do it our way but also do it right” she’s a great addition. Makes perfect sense to me, anyway.
 I have been wanting to talk to you about Sounds of the Hollow for eons. As an album, there is a sort of… how do I put this?… a hot intensity to the record. Can you recall what was happening that created an album that wasn’t the sort of signature “fun Brave Combo” recording that feels iconic to Denton Brave Combo fans?
Sounds From The Hollow needed to be made from a practical point of view because Ginny had joined the band. We were playing all these new songs with her and we didn’t have a CD to sell to fans at live shows. So we picked a bunch of the newest things, threw in some BC standards that I’ve always wanted to record and add a few left-field tracks.

Where does the album title come from?

The title comes from an idea I had that music comes from nothing and thqt you can, indeed, make music from nothing.  Basically, it just is, like air.

There’s something very American about this record. The Spanish, the Czech, the doo-wop, the ‘Snowflake Reel’ – they all bring a feeling of American sprawl to them. Did Brave Combo set out to do that, or is it more the result of the band’s many trips to town festivals and cross-country drives?

As well, these modern times are redefining music and the role of music in society.  But it’s like non-news. We should probably talk about this when we have more time, but that’s basically it.

Spune to roll out craft barrels at Untapped Fest

By Megan Radke

Beer and music have always gone hand in hand – where there’s one, there’s often the other. Spune Productions has married the two into an indie music and beer festival that is sure to be one of the most fun of 2013.

In April, the appropriately named Untapped Festival will feature more than 60 brewers and artists like Justin Townes Earle and Deer Tick, who can only be described as a beer festival goers dream act.

September of 2012 hosted the first Untapped, which was originally scheduled to be a block party held at Uptown Dallas’ The Common Table. When the lineup was announced (which featured acts like Akron Family and The Antlers), the brewers and the ticket sales kept growing, and the crew at Spune quickly realized it was time to move to a bigger venue and hosted Untapped at Trinity Groves in Dallas.

Dallas artist Sarah Jaffe made the bill for the Paste Untapped Festival in Fort Worth on April 20. Photo by G.J. McCarthy.

Dallas artist Sarah Jaffe made the bill for the Paste Untapped Festival in Fort Worth on April 20. Photo by G.J. McCarthy.

“We were very pleased to realize how strongly the event resonated with our city,” said Matthew Harber, Spune’s co-owner and CEO. “Spune has always had an inclination towards the non-traditional and what started as a weekly local music program at a house bar in Uptown, of all places, eventually spawned Untapped.”

Annette Marin, Spune’s marketing coordinator, noted that the Untapped idea also came from discussions about typical beer festivals and typical concerts, noting that beer festivals don’t often play host to big names, while shows with great lineups don’t always serve the great brews.

This year’s festival will be held at the up and coming Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth, Spune’s home base.

“Once again we opted for a unique location,” Harber said. “It says something that in 2013 both the Fort Worth Music Festival and the Toadies fest are happening at Panther Island Pavilion.  But we are hosting our event in a different part of the development – in the corner of a parking lot. That is a challenge but like with the Dallas event we aim to take an unexpected piece of property and make it shine. “

Along with Justin Townes Earle and Deer Tick, April’s Untapped will also feature Sarah Jaffe and Tennis. Beer fans can look forward to local brewers like Deep Ellum, Rahr, Lakewood, Firewheel and Denton’s own, Armadillo Ale Works. Harber says that the artists were handpicked for the festival, as Spune has worked with each of them in the past. Harber also notes that hosting so many local breweries is a definite draw for patrons.

Nashville singer-sonwriter Justin Townes Earle is on the bill for the Paste Untapped Festival on April 20 in Fort Worth. The event is the brainchild of North Texas recording label and star maker Spune.

Nashville singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle is on the bill for the Paste Untapped Festival on April 20 in Fort Worth. The event is the brainchild of North Texas recording label and star maker Spune. Courtesy photo

Spune will be partnering with Paste Magazine to present a series of Untapped Festivals across the country, including another installment in Dallas in September and stops in Nashville and Atlanta in the fall. Harber says Texans can expect big things from the Dallas edition of Paste Untapped.

Concert goers and beer drinkers have three options when it comes to tickets for April’s Paste Untapped. For $58, a VIP ticket will give patrons concert access and first tastes of the beer.  Fans should note the value of the VIP option, as at last year’s festival, the most popular brews had a tendency to run dry rather quickly. For $30, fans can get a combination concert and a beer ticket. A single concert ticket can be purchased for $22. Tickets can be purchased at Untapped-Festival.com.

Denver outfit Tennis joins the indie line-up at Paste Untapped Festival in Fort Worth. Tennis blends girlish vocals with nostaligic electronic pop.  Courtesy photo.

Denver outfit Tennis joins the indie line-up at Paste Untapped Festival in Fort Worth. Tennis blends girlish vocals with nostalgic electronic pop. Courtesy photo.

Harber says that this Untapped might be a bit more rowdy than last year’s event in Dallas – in a good way.

IF YOU GO

When: April 20, 2013

Where: Panther Island Pavilion 395 Purcey St., Fort Worth 76102

Details: VIP Ticket $58, Concert+Beer Ticket $30, Concert Ticket $22

On the Web: Untapped-Festival.com

35 Denton in Pictures: David’s Saturday Recap, Part 1

Photographer David Minton fights the long lines and torrential weather to capture the Mainstage and local heroes.

Sarah Jaffe performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Sarah Jaffe performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Sarah Jaffe performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Sarah Jaffe performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Sarah Jaffe performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Sarah Jaffe performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Paris Pershun of A.Dd+ on Main Stage Two at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Paris Pershun of A.Dd+ on Main Stage Two at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ on Main Stage Two at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ on Main Stage Two at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

The crowd from the main festival area shows up to The Hive for The Cannabinoids featuring Sarah Jaffe show which was moved due to severe thunderstorms at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

The crowd from the main festival area shows up to The Hive for The Cannabinoids featuring Sarah Jaffe show which was moved due to severe thunderstorms at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

A.Dd+ performs with The Cannabinoids at The Hive during 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Music fans peer out a foggy window at The Hive for signs that the rain has slowed. Several shows were moved to The Hive from the main stagesw dur to severe thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Music fans peer out a foggy window at The Hive for signs that the rain has slowed. Several shows were moved to The Hive from the main stagesw dur to severe thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon at 35 Denton, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC