Hearsay: Wednesday, June27, 2002
8.0-clock Rock

People with really big brains and lots of time on their hands came up with this theory about 20 years ago that the artistic age in which we’re living is one of “everything goes.” It’s called post- modernism, and — though I know you know this, bear with me — its nature is a negative image of modernism, whose promulgators believed in very strict boundaries between high and low culture. Take, for example, architecture: Modernists said, “Let the local vernacular conform to our new buildings,” while postmodernists said, “Let our new buildings conform to the local vernacular.” Most early pomo practitioners were, as you can imagine, liberals (also with big brains) who began tweaking those aforementioned boundaries as a way of incorporating the voices of the common man — the multi-cultural common man — into their highly stylized works of art.

It’s taken a while for the postmodern sensibility to reach pop music audiences, but it finally has. As it was once taboo to admit to liking, say, hair metal, saying you do is now a sign of courage. Same with the places Fort Worth folk choose to spend their nights out on the town, checking out live local music: There are as many hipsters at a qualitatively “cool” place like the Wreck Room as there are at what is perceived as a swanky, cheesy, pick-up bar like 8.0. Anything goes, ’member?

So imagine HearSay’s delight, showing up at the 8.0 outdoor patio one Monday afternoon for lunch — on a threat from a friend — and seeing the ubiquitous jazz drummer Dave Karnes hanging out in the vicinity of a set of skins, listening to nearby bassist Byron Gordon and vibraphonist Joey Carter churn out ... jazz. Jazz? At 8.0? During the day?

Yep. Friday, June 21, was the first installation of what will be a Mon-Wed-Fri, noon-2pm gig for at least the next two weeks or until 8.0 management says otherwise. But they’re pretty jazz-friendly there: The vocal jazz quartet Carrie Glenn has been holding it down Friday nights over the past month, and Wasted Potential has become a Saturday-evening mainstay. Yvette Winter, an assistant manager at 8.0, is hopeful that Karnes et al will become regulars at the bandstand. “It breaks up the humdrum of an office day, coming here for lunch and hearing jazz.”

Karnes, one of Fort Worth jazz’s most steadfast emissaries, said he believes live jazz raises the coolness quotient of any establishment — or city, for that matter.

“It’s good for Fort Worth,” Karnes said. “It makes [locals] feel a little prouder. Like, ‘Fort Worth is getting pretty hip. There’s a jazz band on the corner,’ you know.”

The bottom line: Talking postmodernism with HearSay is fun. Dave Karnes really is everywhere, like oxygen. And the home team at 8.0 needs your support. You never know — by showing up you might start a trend. And isn’t that the quintessence of cool?

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