As many of our readers
know, this past Sunday was the sixth annual Texas Music Revolution.
For those of you who live either in parts outside of Texas or
else lead very sheltered lives, the Texas Music Revolution, or
TMR as it is popularly referred to, is a showcase of musicians
from all across the Lone Star State that is sponsored by local
radio station KHYI. Two stages
operate in supposed conjunction with one another, and in a matter
of 12 or so hours 17 acts are paraded before the gathered horde
of fans that seems to swell to ever greater numbers in each successive
year. It is a music fan's delight, a veritable smorgasbord of
some of the state's finest alt-country and Americana acts, all
under one roof. Below are some of my scattered tongue-in-cheek
observations of this event, in no particular order, and with
no seeming rhyme or reason.
Congratulations are in order for event organizers, who saw
fit to move the show from South
Fork Ranch to the Plano
Centre. The event seemed to have outgrown South Fork's rustic
confines two years ago. Besides, it was nice to be able to walk
to the car without the fragrant wafts of cow manure filling my
I do have one comment to make on the Plano Centre, before
I continue. Who the heck named it the Plano Centre? I know that
Plano has long held the belief that they are the cultural benchmark
for the rest of North Texas, but come on guys...Centre? We aren't
in England, nor are we some European outpost. Around these parts
we spell it "Center." While I am at it...it ain't colour,
odour, theatre or any or those other hoity toity spellings either.
Hell...my spell checker is having conniptions every time I write
these words this way. So, if I ever get myself into political
causes, my first order of business will be to have everything
spelled in good old American spellings, Of course, since my political
prospects seem dubious at best, I will bet that they will still
be calling it the Plano Centre a decade from now.
The Plano Center(see, it looks fine in American) is a wonderful
venue for TMR. Lots of parking, though I noticed that as the
day wore on, many folks were having to park over at Collin County
Community College's parking lot. There is plenty of room inside
for all of the guests, vendors and artists to mill about. None
of this going in and out if you don't want to either. Both stages
are in the same complex. This is a definite plus. The main hall
where the main stage was is cavernous, able to hold the entire
population of my hometown if need be, not to mention more than
spacious enough for all in attendance. The only negative thing
that I witnessed was that the acoustics in the hippie stage area
were a little less than what I would have liked to hear. A purchase
of several yards of cheap drapery material could solve this problem
though. All in all, though, I think that KHYI may have found
a good home for future TMR's.
TMR always draws a rather interesting group of vendors. There
are of course the usual site based vendors selling food and beverages.
While I feel compelled to recognize that $3.00 for a little plastic
cup of beer is much better than the $5.00 for a little plastic
cup of beer from years past, I am still not prepared to pay that
much for a little damn cup of beer. That was why I made frequent
trips to the beverage cooler out in the car. Let's see...ice
cold Shiner for about $.80 a bottle, or three bucks for a little
plastic cup of lukewarm Bud. Hell...it's a no brainer! Besides
that, I had my hip flask of Pinch (thanks Mary), in the event
that I didn't have the inclination or the desire to make the
trek to the parking lot. As far as food goes, I have had some
damn fine barbecue in my day, but I have yet to taste the barbecue
that is good enough to compel me to separate with $5.00 for one
thin little sandwich. So for cheap skate me, it was a steady
diet of Goldfish, Lunchables, and various other junk style munchie
As far as the other vendors go, there was a booth for W.W. Fairfield's, where
scantily clad little cowgirl hotties were giving away something...though
I could never focus my attention on the promotion long enough
to figure out what it was. Some girl just handed me a pen and
told me to fill something out, and like every other red blooded
male there I did just that, several times! This was a case of
the promotees being far more interesting that the promotion.
and Love and War
in Texas also had booths to promote their establishments
and upcoming events. I happened to notice them in passing every
time I headed for the Fairfield's booth. There was also the T-shirt
guy there, selling all kinds of Americana oriented t-shirts,
a booth for a local music publication, another for a local guitar
store, a CD vendor, and a recruiter for some branch of the military,
though being far too old for conscription I paid little attention
as to which branch. (Also, they were right across from the W.W.
Fairfield's booth, so I really was unable to focus on anything
I do have one thought that kept rattling through my head that
day. With all of the Polaris ATV's that were there, it occurred
to me; just how many ATV's are sold at music festivals?! Somehow
the two don't seem to go together, though they did make for some
fine places to park your keester. (They were some situated near
the Fairfield's booth.)
There was ample security on hand for this event, though there
appeared to be little need for their services as the crowd all
seemed quite affable. How do I know there was ample security
on hand? Because they were all gathered around the W.W. Fairfield's
TMR has the habit of drawing one of the most eclectic crowds
you can ever hope to be a part of. Just a quick perusal of the
parking lot is evidence to that. There are upscale cars parked
along side work worn pickups. Deadhead stickers alongside Parrothead
license plates next to trucks with their NRA stickers. The vehicles
simply mirror the crowd inside. Young urban professionals lined
up beside aging hippies who are talking with cowboys who are
making fun of me...since I seemed to be the only person in the
crowd who thinks that bright yellow Hawaiian shirts and jeans
and sandals are a fashion statement that will never be passe.
Ah well...so much for trying to remain nondescript.
One thing that did become apparent to me as I observed the
throngs of people making their way through the Plano Centre,
and that was that plastic surgery is alive and well and making
a killing in Dallas, Texas. Too bad that back in my crazy college
days I didn't see the joy and money that could be had in augmentations!
Here was a career with my name on it! I understand the desire
to want to look your best, I just can't afford to look my best!
And while I am on this topic...ladies...if your are toting a
gut around that compares to mine (and those of you who know me
know that is rather ample), please refrain from wearing mid-drift
tops. You aren't doing anyone a favor, especially yourself. We
both know that they are no more comfortable than big baggy t-shirts!
Guys. This one is for you. Let's face it...we are all getting
older. The comb-over is a thing of the past, something that our
fathers did. Either go bald gracefully as I have chosen to do,
join the ball cap set, or lay down the bucks for the implants
(see plastic surgery above).
All in all, though, as in years past, this was a very pleasant
crowd to be a part of.
Once again KHYI had
a stellar line-up for TMR. It never ceases to amaze me that a
person can see so much fine entertainment in one place for such
a low price. Forget those $65.00 season passes to Six Flags!
At roughly a dollar an act, TMR is the best entertainment value
of the year for DFW.
The previous night's hangover was still
looming large as I made my way into the hippie stage area
to catch Rockzillaworld perennial favorites the
Domino Kings. I wasn't really sure at this point that I was
ready for any auditory input, least of all loud audio input,
but Newman and company convinced me otherwise. They delivered
up a rather cocky and mood setting set that cranked me up for
the remainder of the day. (Note to self: keep a copy of Life
and 20 in the CD player for those mornings when I really
need a jump start!)
One thing that I did notice about many of the performances
at this TMR that I hadn't noticed in previous years was that
many of the performers were willing to take some chances with
their sets and play some tunes that weren't expected from them,
in others words they seemed a little more willing to lay it on
the line for the sake of performance rather than taking the safe
course and play the songs the audience expected from them. Case
in point, Kevin Deal
and Full Metal Racket closed out their set with an exceptional
rendition of "The Mississippi Kid," a decision that
I know Deal didn't make until right before showtime. However,
it proved to be the right decision. (Note to Kevin: listen to
Kim from now on!) The bluesy harp solos by Deal and the delta
style vocals and mandolin playing by Freddie Spears proved to
be a real crowd pleaser, luring folks back into the room that
had already starting moving to the outdoor smoking area.
Another argument that looms large for this spirit of chance
taking was Davin James'
entire in-their-face-kick-em-in-the-ass set. James spurned many
of his own tunes to play some serious rock and roll and blues.
Hell, I was keeping my eyes on the ceiling waiting for the fire
sprinklers to kick on at any minute; his set was so hot. No wonder
he was the hands down choice for guitar player of the year by
the Rockzillaworld readers.
Speaking of in your face sets, Trent
Summar and the New Row Mob delivered up their usual on stage
antics. If you have yet to see a live Trent Summar show, then
neighbor, you don't know what you are missing. Summar et al delivered
up some great tunes with pure punkabilly attitude. It is a show
that has to be witnessed to be believed.
There were many other performances that are worth making mention
of here; Bruce Robison,
Larry Joe Taylor,
Jack Ingram (a TMR mainstay)
and many of the other artists that were there put on exceptional
shows, but space constraints limit me from going in to detail
on each performance.
One thing I was wondering about. With the abundance of female
talent in the Texas music scene, where were they at TMR? Last
year, Rosie Flores and
Allison Moorer kicked
some major ass at TMR. This year, the one lone female act scheduled,
Heather Myles, was
a no show. Consider this my vote for a few more artists of the
fairer sex at next year's TMR.
All in all, though, KHYI and their sponsors once again did
a tremendous job putting together and pulling off another exceptional
program in what has become one of the truly big events in the
annals of Texas music. Now, what say we all head over to W.W.
Fairfield's for a few drinks?! I have to anyway, just to make
sure that I wasn't signing over the deed to the house when I
was filling out whatever it was they had me fill out. Gotta learn
You can contact Scott Snidow at: scott-at-rockzilla.net