Hearsay: Wednesday, May 07, 2008
On the Verizon?

A marketing person from out of town called me recently and asked about the venues in Fort Worth. I said, well, we have 8.0 Bar and Cafť, Bass Performance Hall, Billy Bobís Texas, The Horseman, the Ridglea Theater, and a handful of rock clubs. Mostly, they all cater to specific audiences, and what Iíd like to see ó and what we donít have ó is a place that caters to all kinds of music, from indie-rock to opera, and thatís also open to other types of performance art, such as ballet and touring theater. Maybe we could use something like the Verizon Wireless Theater in Houston ó itís centrally located (in downtown H-town), has a sizable yet intimate maximum capacity (about 3,000), and, best of all, does everything. Verizonís May schedule includes a show by mealy-mouthed rapper Soulja Boy, followed by a roller derby game, followed by a heavy-metal fest, followed by a smooth-jazz concert, followed by another roller derby game.) Were the venue an amphitheater, Iíd be the first one in line to help carry the building here from Houston. Alas itís not, but if someone (a-hem, the Bass family) is interested in helping bring to the Fort a decent-sized place where folks could see all different kinds of stuff, he or she would do well to look to Houstonís Verizon for inspiration. I know local musos would be happy, considering that the indie scene, venue-wise, is in flux. The legendary Wreck Room is gone, and the Aardvark is still here but has grown up. Coupled with the fact that the recently opened Lolaís has focused mainly on excellent touring bands, a lot of local bands and performers have been relegated to playing joints that were formerly somewhat skeptical of live local music on a regular basis but have opened their stages to meet the demand: places like the Blue Grotto, the Chat Room Pub, and, on certain nights, the Red Goose and Rick OíSheas. Lolaís, according to plan, has already begun incorporating weekly free shows into regular rotation Ė owner Brian Forella also owned the Wreck Room, and a lot of Lolaís weekly performers are holdovers from the Wreck days, including singer-songwriters Scott Copeland and Carey Wolff. Still, thereís enough music to go around, to satisfy the demands of the clubs, the bars-cum-clubs, and a Verizon-type amphitheater. Seems like the commonly accepted death of Dallasí Deep Ellum entertainment district has left Fort Worth an opening to gather in some of the spoils and the spotlight. Iíd hate to see the opportunity go to waste. Ö Who says the scene is in flux? Tame Ö Tame and Quiet, and Deep Snapper and Itís Un-American To Be Sad (formerly the Black Lights), thatís who. The three indie-rock outfits will be at the Chat (1263 W. Magnolia Ave.) on Friday to play a benefit gig for ďThe Pagan Holiday,Ē a relatively new alt-indie radio show on KNON/89.3-FM Sunday nights from midnight ítil 4 a.m. TTXQ recently added bassist Pat Ferguson (Deep Snapper, Raised By Tigers) to the line-up, making the band a quartet, and is currently fleshing out material for a new album, the bandís follow-up to its sparkling 2007 debut, Tin Can Communicate. Visit www.myspace.com/tametameandquiet.
Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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