Hearsay: Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Southern Goth

I think I may have seen Deadman’s first show, about five years ago in somebody’s homey backyard on the West Side. Not as “groundbreaking” as I’d heard (the band, not the backyard), but there seemed to be a good deal of potential there. Frontman Steven Collins and company’s tuneage had a tinny edge and melancholy bent – the two main ingredients in Wilco-esque grandeur – and wrapping up the whole package was a vibe that can probably be described only as spiritual. About a year or two later, I wandered into the Wreck Room, where Deadman just happened to be playing. The tin had been burnished to a warm luster, and a decidedly old-timey C&W influence had popped into focus. That hymnal, Southern-Gothic, gospel feeling, though, had remained firmly intact. Based on some tracks from the band’s new album, Severe Mercy, not much has changed since then, which is a testament to the solidity of Collins’ vision and also to his ability to articulate the evidently well-defined sounds in his head. As far as CD release shows go, Collins’ band is doing something a little off the wall in playing three nights in a row in all three major North Texas music towns – bands typically don’t want to cannibalize their audiences. The first show is tomorrow (Thursday) in Dallas at The Cavern (1914 Greenville Ave., 214-828-1914), the second is Friday in Denton at Hailey’s (122 Mulberry St., 940-323-1160), and the third is Saturday in Fort Worth at Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St., 817-877-0666). Admission to the Hailey’s show is $6-8 and $6 at The Cavern and Lola’s. Austin’s The Come Latelys will open all three gigs. Visit www.myspace.com/deadman. … Deadman’s brothers in Southern Goth, Dove Hunter, will ramble into the Granada Theater (3524 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 214-826-1885) on Saturday with The Black Angels to open for legendary Texas psychedelia merchant Roky Erickson of the 13th Floor Elevators. Erickson’s is perhaps one of the most poignant stories in rock ’n’ roll. From a brief career as a hard-edged teenybopper, the singer-songwriter got into psychedelic music, which in turn got him into drugs, which in turn got him into a hospital for the criminally insane, where the treatment reportedly wasn’t kind. He spent the following years in recovery and locked in battles with unscrupulous managers. He made his first live performance in a decade in 2005. If you get the chance, don’t miss this honest-to-goodness Texas icon. … Local alt-country singer-songwriter Chad Percy, a.k.a. Cadillac Fraf, wrecked his scooter last week and is in intensive care. Fraf is one of the smartest raconteurs around and just an all-around great guy. People interested in contributing to his recovery fund are encouraged to visit The Chat Room Pub (1263 W. Magnolia Ave.), The Fairmount (600 W. Magnolia Ave.), Lola’s Saloon (2736 W. 6th St.), or Spiral Diner (1314 W. Magnolia Ave.), where collection jars have been set out. … The Fort Worth Burrito Project, the local chapter of a national anti-hunger campaign, is holding a benefit show for the cause on Sat., Oct. 18, at the 7th Haven (2700 W. 7th St.) and is looking for some bands to fill a few available time slots. Visit www.myspace.com/fortworthburritoproject.

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