Category: MUSIC

West coast by North Texas: Qm connects with Denton in Rec League

San Francisco emcee Qm, a frequent contributor to Denton’s underground hip-hop scene (by way of Rec League, a mash-up of Cali and Denton rappers) just dropped a video (NSFW) for the track “Juice” with his comrade Maclane. Nothing fussy or deep, just your average San Francisco street party. Qm doesn’t confine his partying to the West Coast. In fact, he tipped back a few in Denton in March. The artist answered some questions about his Denton connections, but didn’t get too serious.

 

Qm drops "juice," a party track from 'Take Me to Your Liter."

Qm drops “juice” with rapper Maclane. “Juice” is a party track from the EP  ‘Take Me to Your Liter.”

littledTX.com: How do you know Denton artist Pudge Brewer and the local Fab Deuce hip-hop crew?

Qm: Me, Pudge and Fab Deuce met in Venice beach in 1992. He was an established basketball player in the area and I was looking to hustle some new courts. I was dating Rosie Perez at the time and life was good…actually that’s the beginning of White Men Can’t Jump. Fab Deuce is actually my cousin.

Can you tell me how Rec League came together, and who all is part of Rec League now?

Rec League was formed together on MTVs reality show Making The Band. Diddy saw our talent early on. There’s prolly 50 members of Rec League.

You live way out in San Francisco, right?

Yeah, been living in San Francisco for 5 years now, but I’ve lived in Northern California my whole life.

Given that there’s some serious flyover mileage between you and Denton Rec Leaguers, why bother working together – what makes the creative relationship worth the travel time & effort when RL decides to travel & gig?

It’s worth it because we always have a kick ass time in Denton. We gets lurked.

Is “Juice” a new single or is it from an album, EP, mixtape or what?

“Juice” is off the Take Me To Your Liter EP I did with Maclane. Grab it for free qmmusic.bandcamp.com or tweet me @qmrecleague and I’ll send it to you. Aren’t I a swell guy?

What are you working on right now?

Right now, we are finishing up the remix album for Take Me To Your Liter. It’s got production by Grip Grand (Rec League), Llyght Stevens (Sacramento), TLit (Denton) and Maclane (Rec League). Proe (Rec League) and Llyght Stevens also have guest verses on the remix album. I’m also working on a new solo project for later this year. Email qm@routinefly.Com for features and booking.

What distinguishes San Francisco underground hip-hop and Denton underground hip-hop?

The Bay Area and Texas have always been down to do music independently, so it’s only natural that we work together to forward our careers. Also, Both San Francisco and Denton like to drink enough booze to kill a small village…so we got that going for us.

Are you a DJ as well as an MC? What crews are you working with these days?

I do not DJ. I’m working with Fab Deuce, Gurp City, and of course Rec League. Stop by qmmusic.bandcamp.com, facebook.com/QM, facebook.com/recleague, routinefly.com, or YouTube QM Rec League for my videos. shouts to LittleDTX for the interview and remember to “Rec Your Life.”

You heard it here, kids. Rec your life, and maybe appoint a designated driver?

– Lucinda Breeding.

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Taco Fest 2k13: Sunday’s events

TACO FEST 2K13

What: Total Twit production collective conclude’s its two-day music festival today with bands on two stages.

When: 3 p.m. until close today.

Where: Taqueria El Picante, 1305 Knight St., facing the I-35E frontage road

Details: Admission costs $5, further donations will benefit future remodeling project at the venue and the future purchase of a community PA sound system. Lineup is subject to changes and additions.

On the Web: http://on.fb.me/16hVItu

SUNDAY’S LINEUP: Track Meet, Brain Gang Blue, the Distressers, SeaLion, New Science Projects, the Atomic Tanlines, FOGG, Bukkake Moms, the Half Truths, Special Guest, Varsity Cheerleader and more.

Taco Fest shows bump in local creative businesses

Sven Wilde, the representative for Taqueria El Picante in Denton, said he wanted to help out some of his peers during Taco Fest 2k13.

So he invited them to be vendors at the two-day punk and hardcore music festival.

Texas Woman’s University student Billie Buck brought Lunar Imports Emporium, a project she shares with Thomas Cromwell, a University of North Texas student who is studying fashion merchandising. Lunar Imports is a creative re-use business that sells handmade clothing and recycled goods.

Buck said she uses existing clothes, and either alters or embellishes them. A regular T-shirt might become a one-shoulder top, and a pair of jeans might become a pair of shorts with some added designs.

“I learned that in middle school: make your clothes fit you. Still do it today,” Buck said. “We take found clothing, bleach the shit out of it, change it up and recycle it.”

Buck, who is Wilde’s roommate, also painted the murals inside Taqueria El Picante. The small taqueria is dressed up in bright colors — one wall resembling a starry sky, and the opposite bearing a purple cat drifting in the sky between a cactus and a painting of the virgin de guadelupe. There’s a message, too: “Taco cat will set you free.”

Cromwell said Lunar Imports is a pop-up shop that sets up at events and shows that attract customers who have no qualms with buying clothes that came off a rack as mall-ready fashion, but have been reinvented with scissors, thread, lace, appliques and whatever whims might come to the designers.

“What really has impressed me here today is really all of it,” Cromwell said. “This isn’t a typical punk hangout. It’s all of these subgroups. Seeing people create this strange imagination of aesthetics is really cool.”

Cromwell said Lunar Imports wants to dress every type of patron who attended the fest.

“We’re not just about doing small sizes,” he said. “We want to make clothes for all kinds of bodies, because all bodies are beautiful.”

The idea of all-bodies-welcome was a theme on Saturday for vendors and patrons. Total Twit, a Denton production company founded by Alli Play-Nice, is intent on booking punk and harcore bands that include women, people of color and queer artists. Total Twit booked the bands for Taco Fest. The taqueria has become something of a default venue for the production and booking company, and Alli has been up front about Total Twit shows being a place where no racism, sexism, homophobia or ableism is tolerated.

Liz Hernandez, also a friend of Alli and Wilde, debuted her tamaleraMasa de la Raza, at Taco Fest. The booth served three varieties all-organic, vegan tamales. Masa de la Raza will begin serving tamales at the Denton Community Market on May 25. Hernandez also brought her pop-up zine library, Puro Pinche, to the festival.

“The idea behind the tamalera is to serve food made in the mesoamerican tradition,” Hernandez said. “And it’s also to educate people about the Chicana and Latina struggle in everyday life.”

How does a vegan tamale educate foodies about the cultural importance of Latinas, as well as their struggles?

“I think food is  inherently an exchange of identity,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she grew up eating and making foods in mesoamerican tradition, which to her has to do with organic foods cooked and assembled simply — with corn as a staple. The vegan part of the equation has a political dimension to it. Call it protest through flavor and deliberate avoidance of animal products.

“By choosing veganism and not using meat or animal products, we are not supporting an imperialist industry that has exploited the Latin American population since it’s robbed us of our land,” Hernandez said.

Mesoamerican history treats corn with some reverence. Hernandez said historical mesoamericans studied their staple crop, looking for ways to make it as vital as possible, preserving proteins for warrior and clan alike. Community market and festival patrons might not be looking for a historical and cultural anecdote with a tamale, but conversations often get rolling when food gets handed across a booth.

Buck said Taco Fest was a good spot to sell her goods, while Hernandez said it was a chance to road-test her savory tamales (She’ll likely introduce her sweet and breakfast tamales at the Denton Community Market, which is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through November in Denton Historical Park, at 317 W. Mulberry St.

“I absolutely love finding the right piece for the right person,” Buck said. “When someone tries something on and they see it looks perfect on them, they light up. I love that.”

Jaffe announces festival performance

Kirtland Records reports:

Sarah Jaffe announced that she will be joining her Spring tourmates Why? for this year’s Northside Festival in Brooklyn, New York.  Jaffe (who honed her considerable skills in Denton before re-locating to Dallas) and Why? will be joining an already impressive list of artists confirmed for the fifth year of this growing DIY festival including IceageThe MenSwansThe Walkmen, and Twin Sister.   Jaffe and Why? are scheduled to perform on June 16th and the festival is from the 13th through the 20th.  Please visit www.northsidefestival.com  for the most up-to-date information on the schedule, venues and artists confirmed to play.”

And remember, guys, June  marks the release of Disney/Pixar’s release, The Blue Umbrella, a short film that feature’s Jaffe’s voice. The short film will screen before the animated feature Monsters University, the sequel to Monsters, Inc. 

Taco Fest 2k13: Sights & Sounds from day 1

Before the fall. A skater launches himself into the air -- and then loses his board --  on the giant half-pipe at Taco Fest 2k13 on May 18, 2013.

Before the fall. A skater launches himself into the air — and then loses his board — on the giant half-pipe at Taco Fest 2k13 on May 18, 2013. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

No Outlet performs inside Taqueria El Picante at Taco Fest 2k13. The two-day fest -- which continues today -- is a punk and harcore music bash featuring mostly Denton, and Dallas-Fort Worth bands. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

No Outlet performs inside Taqueria El Picante at Taco Fest 2k13. The two-day fest — which continues today — is a punk and harcore music bash featuring mostly Denton, and Dallas-Fort Worth bands. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

An old mattress with a brief suggestion spray painted on it rests against a wall in between sets at Taco Fest 2K13 at Taqueria El Picante, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Denton, TX. Photo by David Minton.

An old mattress with a brief suggestion spray painted on it rests against a wall in between sets at Taco Fest 2K13 at Taqueria El Picante, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Denton, TX. Photo by David Minton.

A skater who calls himself Domino checks out the crowd at Taco Fest 2K13 at Taqueria El Picante, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Denton, TX. Photo by David Minton.

A skater who calls himself Domino checks out the crowd at Taco Fest 2K13 at Taqueria El Picante, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Denton, TX. Photo by David Minton.

No Outlet grinds through their set at Taco Fest 2K13 at Taqueria El Picante, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Denton, TX. Photo by David Minton.

No Outlet grinds through their set at Taco Fest 2K13 at Taqueria El Picante, Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Denton, TX. Photo by David Minton.

Taco Fest 2k13 kept the punk and hardcore music going with a stage inside Taqueria El Picante and another in the taqueria garage, which doubled as an outdoor stage. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

Taco Fest 2k13 kept the punk and hardcore music going with a stage inside Taqueria El Picante and another in the taqueria garage, which doubled as an outdoor stage. Photo by Lucinda Breeding.

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.

Tacos + punk + hardcore = a fest only Denton could dream up

TACO FEST 2K13

What: Total Twit production collective presents a two-day music festival with bands on two stages.

When: Starting 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Taqueria El Picante, 1305 Knight St., facing the I-35E frontage road

Details: Admission costs $5 each day. Lineups are subject to changes and additions.

On the Web: http://on.fb.me/16hVItu

SATURDAY’S LINEUP: Negaduck, Primitive Orgasm, Sin Motivo, the Sentenced, Mean and Ugly, Chainchomp, Contusions, Estonia at the 1944 Olympics, No Outlet, Macaulay Culkin, Night Crimes and more.

SUNDAY’S LINEUP: Track Meet, Brain Gang Blue, the Distressers, SeaLion, New Science Projects, the Atomic Tanlines, FOGG, Bukkake Moms, the Half Truths, Special Guest, Varsity Cheerleader and more.

"I never thought of the taqueria as a (DIY) spot," said Sven Wilde, who morphed his business, Taqueria El Picante into a taqueria-punk venue in Denton. "People just seemed to want it." The taquieria is the hotspot for this weekend's Taco Fest 2k13, a two-day bash celebrating a growing punk & hardcore music scene. Photo by David Minton.

“I never thought of the taqueria as a (DIY) spot,” said Sven Wilde, who morphed his business, Taqueria El Picante into a taqueria-punk venue in Denton. “People just seemed to want it.” The taquieria is the hotspot for this weekend’s Taco Fest 2k13, a two-day bash celebrating a growing punk & hardcore music scene. Photo by David Minton.

Tacos and punk rock go together like peanut butter and jelly, as far as Denton’s Ally Alli Play-Nice* and Sven Wilde are concerned.

And it makes sense. Tacos are simple and spicy affairs, messy food you eat with your hands and wash down with a cold drink. Punk is young, bare-knuckle conviction screamed into a microphone and caterwauled from a guitar.

Punk and tacos have no pretense, and neither do Alli and Wilde.

Alli, the front woman of the rising Denton punk band the Atomic Tanlines, met Wilde, local music fan and owner  representative of Taqueria El Picante, at a bar.**

“We started dancing with each other,” Alli said. “We caught other’s gaze. He was dancing really silly and I started dancing right next to him.”

“It got some attention, if I remember right,” Wilde said.

“Oh, yeah. The dance floor cleared out around us because we were dancing crazy,” Alli said.

They got a drink afterward and a fast friendship was sealed. Saturday’s Taco Fest 2k13 grew out of an instant connection.

But first came the punk and hardcore shows Alli booked at the small taqueria (which Wilde calls Denton’s oldest taqueria).

“There needs to be more DIY places in Denton,” Alli said. “I just asked Sven if I could book a few shows at the taqueria and that was pretty much it.”

Wilde served up tacos for the first few shows, and eventually started making tamales for the young bands and fans who gathered to watch. The birth of Saturday’s Taco Fest 2k13 is a weekend celebration of this Denton concoction – tacos, cold drinks and punk music.

Taco Fest is the first big test of Total Twit, Alli’s fresh young production and booking group that aims to increase the profile of female, ethnic and queer artists in Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth.

“Sven and I are part of the local queer community, and we’re a couple of kids of color,” Alli said.

Another part of Total Twit’s mission is space.

“There aren’t a lot of DIY spaces for punk and hardcore music in Denton, which is a real shame because the punk and hardcore scene in Denton is exploding right now. The number of bands has tripled in the last year. And all the best punk bands in DFW have played the taqueria,” she said.

Ally Play-Nice, shown here growling into the mic at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, has started Total Twit, a booking and production company that specializes in getting more punk and hardcore music gigs fronted by women, people of color and queers.

Alli Play-Nice, shown here growling into the mic at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, has started Total Twit, a booking and production company that specializes in getting more punk and hardcore music gigs fronted by women, people of color and queers.

Total Twit is upfront about its show policy: no sexist, racist, homophobic or ableist attitudes or behaviors are acceptable.

“If your music is sexist, racist or any of that shit, sorry, you’re not playing the taqueria,” Alli said. “Sometimes people get upset with me for talking about it. They’re like ‘why do you even need to bring that stuff up?’ I bring it up because there aren’t many spaces in the music scene for women, people of color and queer people.”

Taco Fest is a fundraiser for the taqueria and a community PA system.

“My parents started the taqueria eight years ago, and I’d like to give it more of my own aesthetic,” Wilde said. “I’d like to stretch the kitchen. I’d like to have the seating area be just a seating area, with no refrigerator and no buffet table. We don’t have a buffet, but we have a buffet table. I’d just like to make some changes.”

Alli said that if there’s anything left over, she’d like to work on getting a sound system that Total Twit could rent out to bands.

“PA systems are expensive, and not really easy to move around, and I think it’d be cool to have a community PA we could rent out to other bands,” she said.

Taco Fest starts at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Taqueria El Picante, 1305 Knight St. The bands will play 20 minute sets on two stages — one inside the restaurant and the other in the garage.

Alli said all the bands are worth the $5 cover for both days. Some acts, though, she’s excited about.

“Negaduck is a band that was around two or three years ago, and they’re having a reunion. They’re just really rowdy hip-hop. They’ll fit in great.”

Alli also looks forward to seeing Brain Gang, a new band called Contusions, and Sin Motivo.

“Saturday is a Golden Triangle punk-hardcore show, and Sunday is our party-on day,” she said.

Wilde said the pair hopes to make Taco Fest a semi-annual bash.

“I think we should think about doing another Taco Fest after school starts,” he said.

 – Lucinda Breeding

* Alli spelled her name during the interview, and we still managed to get it wrong.

** Wilde will inherit the taqueria from his mother, who owns the family business.