March Music Madness

This month is going to be full of noise.

Whew! Just let me breathe for a moment. I’m currently in the process of reviewing three albums by today, and planning several things. When I say “several things,” I mean 35 Denton and SXSW, and that’s just in the duration of two weeks. Last Monday I was at a Radiohead show in Dallas (click here for my videos), which prepared me for concert mode, and seizure-dancing with maracas if SXSW bands feel inclined to do so. However, one arena concert will not fully prepare me for the onslaught of music about to occur.

Beautiful Austin before the annual invasion

Every March bands parade through Texas (and usually most of the U.S) while they make their way to SXSW. 35 Denton is the weekend before SXSW’s music portion really kicks in. This year’s lineup boasts bands such as The Jesus & Mary Chain, Atlas Sound, Best Coast, The Raincoats, Mountain Goats, and more. SXSW includes more than 2,000 bands.

As thrilled as I am to satisfy my shoegaze heart’s desire for The Jesus & Mary Chain, it is also one of the most stressful times of the year for me. Luckily I am not currently in college, so I have time to plan everything, but the level of press I am providing this year is far above anything I have ever done. On one hand, I feel a sense of accomplishment, and promise that my worries of not having a successful future is merely temporary self doubt. On the other hand, am I going to survive?! The amount of walking/awkward running will surpass the previous festival workouts.

It may seem like I’m just complaining (well, I kind of am, aren’t I?), but I certainly enjoy the craziness. 35 Denton is much more relaxed and laid back. It is a way to see bands without the mayhem and large crowds, and SXSW offers an atmosphere and musical experience unlike any other in the world.

This year, I will be taking photos and reviewing shows at 35 Denton (which goes along with the Air Review interview already completed), and then it is off to SXSW on March 14-20. So far, I know there will be an interview with Brooklyn’s Ava Luna, photo-taking at Spin‘s Austin Throwdown and Rachael Ray’s Feedback parties, and reviewing/taking photos at many day parties.

There are some other possible developments that are really exciting. I will be interviewing other bands, and may be attending a few other events that will for sure get me giddy if they end up being confirmed. Here’s to musical bliss and sneaking in saltine crackers for the next few weeks!

500XPO at 500X Gallery

Starting February 18, an exhibition titled 500XPO will be at 500X Gallery in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas. My photograph titled The Shock of It All will be included.

Photograph that will be featured at 500X Gallery

The juror is Aaron Parazette, whose work has been seen recently at the Dallas Comtemporary. I’m very honored to be a part of this great show that more than 70 artists will be a part of. The last day to see the show is March 4. Come by and have a look!

Art auction benefit for Alley’s House

When: February 4, 7-11 p.m.

Where: Rising Gallery- 800 Jackson St., Dallas

Tomorrow I will be taking part in the Incrementum II art auction at Rising Gallery for the non-profit organization Alley’s House.

Located in Dallas, Alley’s House provides teen mothers with tutoring, counseling, and guidance. A few months ago I was given a tour of the facilities, and was able to see the myriad of ways Alley’s House supports young mothers. Their services include G.E.D. tutoring, classes on parenting, and providing clothing for the children.

Even if you won’t be able to purchase a piece of art, come by and support a great local charity and admire the beautiful artwork.

Tickets for the benefit are $25. Click here for more info.

It’s film festival time in Fort Worth!

Because we can’t let Dallas have all of the fun, Fort Worth’s Lone Star Film Festival has arrived as a remedy to long Dallas drives all for the sake of watching an indie or foreign movie.

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (Photo credit: Zeynofilm)

Possibly the best aspect of the festival is that there are only two venues (with additional programming at the Fort Worth Library), and they’re within a relatively close driving distance. Both the AMC Palace 9 and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will hold screenings, though most of them will be at the former. There’s going to be screenings everyday until the 13th. Just remember that the Modern’s screen is smaller than the average movie theater.  Below are just a few of the movies I’m thrilled about watching.

The Descendants, starring George Clooney, has already been screened, but there’s still a multitude of offerings . I’m personally interested in seeing We Need to Talk About Kevin after reading the book a few months ago. If the movie stays with me like the novel, there might be a few restless nights. Plus, the film stars Tilda Swinton, so that’s reason enough. The Turkish flick Once Upon a Time in Anatolia sure looks like an interesting prospect. It’s dark, atmospheric, and has a movie title derived from a Spaghetti Western- what’s not to love?

If you would like to read more about my top 5 picks for the festival and the picks of programming director Kelly Williams, click here.

Ticket info


Trailer for We Need to Talk About Kevin

I have joined a conspiracy

No, I’m not announcing my conformity to those “who really shot JFK?” type of mindsets, I’m joining an art conspiracy.

Art Conspiracy is an annual Dallas charity event that auctions off artwork to benefit certain non-profit organizations or programs. This year, Art Conspiracy 7 is raising funds for Musical Angels, which- as the website details- is a “non-profit teaching organization that provides free music lessons to hospitalized children.” Along with more than 150 other artists, I’ll be donating a painting to the cause. Bids will start at only $20, so you won’t have to shell out the cost of month’s rent to buy a piece of art.

The fun starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 12 at 511 West Commerce St. in Dallas. Tickets are only $11.50. Local bands Datahowler, The Hope Trust, and J. Charles and the Train Robbers will be the musical entertainment for the night. From the look of things, this won’t be like a stuffy gallery full of yuppies dressed as if they’re at a formal dinner. It will be quirky and fun, (sort of) like me.

You can purchase tickets here if you want to be where all the cool, artsy kids are:

Here are some videos from last year’s shindig. Notice the instructions “wave your hands in the air like you just got your nails painted” in the first video. Gotta love the creative types.