Featured Music: Wednesday, December 07, 2005
For The February Chorus’ upcoming benefit show for a cancer victim, one of the Chorus’ members designed the event poster.
Spot the corporate whore. Hint: Look for the jackass in the t-shirt emblazoned with the name of his multi-platinum band. (So classy.)

Get up and get angsty with your favorite local music blowhard in full sail.

Most if not all celebrity rock stars are essentially prostitutes. They’d sell their mothers down the river to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone or on MTV. Stars’ willingness to do anything at any time is probably why they’re successful. Still, whore-ish behavior is whore-ish behavior.

HearSay wasn’t surprised to learn recently that a bat mitzvah for some millionaire businessman’s daughter featured performances by several obscure, hard-working, blue-collar bands — the Eagles, Stevie Nicks, Kenny G, Tom Petty, 50 Cent, Ciara, and the single popular music outfit that above all others in the universe I wish would just die, Aerosmith. None of the performers, according to reports, knew the guest of honor. Why’d they play? Why else? Money. Fiddy got $500,000. Aerosmith got a cool mil. The total cost of the entire extravaganza, which took place at the famous Rainbow Room in New York City: $10,000,000. That’s the number “10” followed by six zeroes. Ten. Million. Dollars.

Aerosmith’s living joke of a frontman Steven Tyler would say he’s earned the right to charge out the ass to play — what’s the difference if there are 100 people willing to watch him suck or 10,000? I’ll tell you: The type of people. A hundred fans ain’t the same as 100 spoiled brats. Playing to fans — passionate, proactive-listening fans — is what making pop music is all about. Playing to silly rich kids merely to cash a fat check is just a gross display of conspicuous consumption. No wonder the under-developed world hates us.

Some of y’all will say, “Well, what do you expect from a bunch of classic rock has-beens, a jazz charlatan, and a couple of generic rap and R&B acts?” (Note: In mainstream rap and R&B, the concept of “selling out” doesn’t exist. Most rap and R&B performers are glorified party clowns, anyway.) I don’t expect much, true, but you can bet that every yokel who regularly tunes in to KZPS/92.5-FM (a.k.a. “K-sleepy-S”) — the only commercial radio station in North Texas that plays crap like the Eagles, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, and Aerosmith — loves the bat mitzvah rockers.

The “K-sleepy-S” listener needs to feel the steely sword of righteousness, my friends. For the love of every awesome local band that’s never received a moment’s worth of airplay on commercial radio here or anywhere, we’re making this demand: Every local scenester who either owns or knows somebody who owns a c.d. by any of the aforementioned bat mitzvah rockers must destroy it immediately. Complete annihilation is all that can save us.

For the record, no, I wouldn’t think less of any struggling local artist for banking a cool mil — heck, for banking a cool Benjamin — to perform at some brat’s bat mitzvah. Local musos always need money. Steven Tyler doesn’t.

Local Round ’Up

In illustration of the injustice that is the music industry, one of the best bands in North Texas — and probably one of the best unknown bands in the country — is playing two shows this weekend, and one of them is for charity. Now even though I know dreadful Aerosmith would generate more income for a worthy cause, I still wouldn’t book them for my fund-raiser over The February Chorus. Or I would, then I’d kill myself out of lack of self-respect. After performing on Saturday with Coma Rally in Dallas at the Double Wide (3510 Commerce St; 214-887-6510), the Chorus will hit the Aardvark (2905 W Berry St, FW; 817-926-7814) on Sunday with The Chemistry Set, High School Assembly, Professional Juice, and the Wish List. You may have noticed at certain clubs around town a poster for the event that basically reads “Bleeding Heart Machines” and that resembles the celebrated “I [heart] NY” logo. Proceeds will benefit “Ma,” the grandmother of a friend of several of the performers; Ma is battling cancer and enormous hospital bills. In addition to the brain trust of Flickerstick’s Brandin Lea, ex-Soviet Space-man Jordan Roberts, and violinist Doug Polhamus (Alan, Flickerstick), bassist Taylor Craig Mills (late of Voigt, currently with High School Assembly and doing his own stuff) will be joining the Chorus onstage. “It’s good shit, y’all,” writes Roberts in a mass e-mail. A professional graphic designer, Roberts designed the poster. “See it while you can. Who knows when we will do the full-on band thing again. We are actually practicing before these shows, if that says anything.” The music starts at 8pm. ... Contrary to popular belief, Fort Worth is lousy with good rooms. There are the ones we all know — Axis, The Horseman, the Wreck Room — and the ones we really don’t, especially a new hangout in the Stockyards (of all places). I guarantee: Once any professional North Texas-based musician who’s ever played the Black Dog Tavern takes a gander inside the recently opened Silverado Room, he’s going to slap himself for ever making an orchestrated peep at the Black Dog. (Much as we love the old Throckmorton joint — whose owner, BTW, is in the process of moving the club to fresher digs near the Cultural District — we can’t say we’ll miss the non-stage, merely a two-foot-by-two-foot area in the corner of the bar cordoned off by strategically situated tables and chairs.) Saloon owner Darren Rhea, a self-described music lover who also owns the Neon Moon dance club next door, says he’s always wanted a live music club. A few months ago, when Neon Moon’s neighbor, a clothing retailer, disappeared, Rhea took action — $30,000 later, the Silverado Room was born. Several weeks ago, a “soft opening” took place, and since then Rhea has been working out the kinks by hosting little-known original acts and cover bands. His ultimate goal — and it’s a lofty one — is to recreate in the Stockyards the long-lost and beloved Caravan of Dreams. Obviously, he’s not going to be able to replicate the defunct Sundance Square club’s highly praised sound layout: The Bass family, the Caravan’s owners, reportedly modeled the club’s PA system after the one used by U2. No, Rhea wants to bring to town the kinds of acts that normally played the Caravan and pretty much haven’t had anywhere to gig locally since its demise. Folks like Buddy Guy and Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal. Will there be any room for local acts? Rhea thinks so. What about local rockers? Absolutely. The club will be open Wednesday through Saturday, and every day except Thursday is already spoken for. A tentative Thursday night plan involves some sort of Acoustic Mafia Lite. The way Rhea sways depends on supply and demand, and, even though he says he’s deep into music, he’s slightly unfamiliar with the young and dare we say “hip” acts that HearSay writes about ad nauseum. My advice to local rockers (that means you, February Chorus, A-Hummin’ Acoustical Acupuncture, Collin Herring, Tim Locke in all your various incarnations, Goodwin, April Geesbreght, The Burning Hotels, Alan, The Theater Fire, Stephen Pointer, Green River Ordinance, Cory Watson, Chatterton, and any other band I may be overlooking), contact Rhea at 5412 Woodway Dr, 76133 or e-mail him at dlrhea@aol.com. You won’t be disappointed: With its soft brown hue and murals of Stockyards life circa 1890, the room is spacious yet warm; the stage is decent-sized; and the patrons — seated at the tables all around, the booths, or the bar — are exceedingly attentive. They actually pay attention, and they clap when they’re supposed to. Imagine that at the old Black Dog. ... You know HearSay: Always trying to help our town’s worthy yet underexposed bands get some press, air time, face time, or all of the above. Somewhere out in cyberspace, a cool young guy named Chris has just started putting together a series of 15-minute radio-type shows on local acts. You can either download the program onto the pod player of your choice or listen online at www.dfwmusicpodcast.com. The show takes the form of: song, brief and highly sympathetic interview, song. Previous sessions have featured Kevin Aldridge of Chatterton and Scott Copeland. Interested local music guests are encouraged to write chris@dfwmusicpodcast.com. ... Of the many reasons to love singer-songwriter Jeff Price, his self-confidence is foremost. Not long after he relocated to the Fort from Austin, he played a show at the Ridglea and Vine Wine Room, where a handful of functioning alcoholics were making a racket — shouting and laughing, simply behaving like stupid, self-involved, ignorant assholes (which they probably are in everyday life sans booze). Undaunted, Price continued strumming and singing, smiling occasionally to let us non-assholes know that he wasn’t nearly as upset as we were about the philistines. He was essentially saying, “I got bigger fish to fry,” and his capacity to focus on the big picture in deference to details, details, details is nicely encapsulated on his second full-length, the recently released Like Parallel Lines. Scenesters like HearSay who would do well by not sweating the small stuff all of the time should visit www.myspace.com/jeffprice.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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