Throwback Bingo
Apr
2
7:00 PM19:00

Throwback Bingo

It's time for another night of Throwback Bingo featuring Paul Slavens and our vintage bingo equipment! This month, all proceeds benefit Way Into Music, brought to you by Zounds Sounds School of Music. Come on out for some fun and a great cause.

Prizes every round
Doors at 7, Games begin at 7:30
$10 for the first game card and $5 for every other

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Deep Ellum Arts Festival
Apr
4
to Apr 7

Deep Ellum Arts Festival

It’s the 25th anniversary of the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. This year, the Sons of Hermann Hall will be open to the public as always, and we’re especially excited to feature the Dallas Film Society Mini Film Festival!

The Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) makes its triumphant return to Deep Ellum with a showcase of the best shorts of the last 25 years. The mini-fest takes place inside the iconic Sons of Hermann Hall on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6. 

Check out the full weekend’s lineup of events and more here.

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Stephen Kellog
Apr
9
8:00 PM20:00

Stephen Kellog

Get tickets here:

Doors, 8

Show, 9

*THIS SHOW IS SEATED*

Over the last decade, Connecticut native Stephen Kellogg has performed more than 1500 concerts around the world, raised thousands of dollars for causes close to his heart, been named Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year, and penned singles for artists like "American Idol" winner Nick Fradiani and the platinum selling rock band O.A.R. Stephen’s most recent writing work with legendary guitarist Robert Randolph, has led to a 2017 Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary Blues Record." He's also had his songs covered by international major label acts and released eight albums of his own that have yielded hundreds of thousands of ticket and album sales.

When it comes to performing, CBS radio has called him "the best live act you've never seen" and another writer for No Depression gives him the oddly flattering title "the best songwriter you're not listening to." Filmmaker Peter Harding was so moved by the underground nature of Stephen's story that he made a documentary called "Last Man Standing" which went on to become an Amazon exclusive film. In recent years he’s added speaking to his resume delivering a Tedx Talk on job satisfaction, the key note speech for the prestigious photography summit WRKSHP, and garnering an invitation to speak to the students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on the topics of social justice and 'finding your voice.'

While it's true that Kellogg may not currently be a household name to everyone, he has persisted in building a substantial career that has landed him onstage with some of the biggest and best touring bands in the world (Train, Sugarland, Jason Isbell, Sara Bareilles, and Hanson to name a few.) Kellogg's music has found its way onto the Billboard charts and been featured in numerous films and TV shows. His Americana-tinged, folk, pop, and rock stylings can make his sound hard to define, but to his core, this musician and father of four brings heart and incredible energy to everything he does.

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Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters
Apr
20
8:00 PM20:00

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters

With Rodney Rice

Doors at 7 / Show at 8

$16 advanced, $20 day of (at the door)

Lyrically driven, the songs on Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters blend the band’s old-school country roots attitude with their shared influences of rock and folk. Amanda says of the album, “I think it’s just about life and all that that entails. Including but not limited to death, strangers, birthdays, money, leaving, arriving, seasons, corruption, and love.”

Performing along with Platt, The Honeycutters are Matt Smith on pedal steel and Stratocaster, Rick Cooper on bass, Josh Milligan on drums and harmony vocals, and Evan Martin on keys and Telecaster.

Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters is the group’s third release on Organic Records, and fifth album. Assembling the same the same team as 2016’s On The Ropes Balsam Range’s Tim Surrett steps in for the second time to co-produce this album along with Amanda. Its thirteen tracks were recorded, mixed, and mastered by Scott Barnett at Crossroads Studios in Arden, NC.

There is an empathetic and charming wit engrained in Amanda’s songwriting. She has a knack for accessing a deep well of emotion and applying it to her story-telling, whether she is writing from her own experiences or immersing herself into the melody of emotions in another person’s life.

In the lead off track, “Birthday Song,” Amanda writes with a gentle optimism, “Every time it gets colder I get another year older… I start looking for lines in the bathroom mirror… but when I lay down at night I swear I must have done something right… cause I’m still so damn glad to be here… I’ve been trying to love the questions, and keep on guessing.” Written just before her 30th birthday, Platt calls the song, “a summation of everything I learned in that decade.”

There is an easygoing warmth to the album, enhanced by the its refined arrangement and production; from the upbeat “Diamond in the Rough” to the poetic and observational “Eden” to the very personal, yet universal, “Brand New Start” to “Late Summer’s Child” (an ode to her favorite season) and “Rare Thing” (a song commissioned from Platt from a fan as a love song to his wife that ended up being included on the album. “Your mama said that it would never last… but these years go by so fast… and you’re the song I’m humming to myself as I’m counting the miles… you’re such a rare thing.”) One can feel it even in songs with a more solemn concept behind them like, like “Long Ride,” which speaks of living in the moment in the face of mortality.

Platt wrote “Learning How To Love Him” after hearing an acquaintance of hers talk about learning that her husband of 40+ years was terminally ill. She says, “What really struck me was how she described the tenderness that the news brought back to their relationship.” Amanda sings, “’I woke last night and I felt so afraid, I turned on the light and shook him awake and we stared at the ceiling, listening to the sink drip… I spent my whole life learning how to love him and I never loved him more than I do today.”

The successes of On The Ropes [2016] and Me Oh My [2015] have propelled Anna Anne Platt and The Honeycutters onto the national scene and they have been featured on NPR’s World Cafe’s Sense of Place, NPR’s Mountain Stage, Nashville’s Music City Roots, and Folk Alley and they have performed at AmericanaFest, MerleFest, and IBMA. On The Ropes debuted at #39 on iTunes Top 40 Country Chart on release day and landed on a plethora of year end lists including placing #35 on the Top 100 Albums played on Americana Radio in 2016 and landing at #1 on Western North Carolina’s WNCW Radio’s Year End Listeners Poll of Top Albums of 2016!

On The Ropes hit #11 on the EuroAmericana Chart and The UK’s Julian Piper with Acoustic Magazine says, “Amanda Platt has one of those gorgeous heartache-drenched voices that brings to mind Loretta Lynn or Sheryl Crow.”

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Las Culturistas
Apr
23
7:00 PM19:00

Las Culturistas

LAS CULTURISTAS is a weekly podcast (and live show, “I DON’T THINK SO, HONEY”) hosted by Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang. It has been called “addictively bitchy” by Time Out New York and “an unstoppable force of charisma” by The A.V. Club. Las Culturistas was named one of Esquire’s “Top 10 Podcasts of 2017” and Time Out New York’s #1 Comedy Podcast. Their live format, “I DON’T THINK SO, HONEY” – featuring 30 comedians doing one-minute rants on any pop culture pest of their choosing – has been featured at the New York Comedy Festival and the Brooklyn Podcast Festival. In the words of Guy Branum (Pop Rocket): “Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers are fucking culture warriors and we don’t deserve them.”

Tickets, $15. Available here

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Roo Panes
May
9
8:00 PM20:00

Roo Panes

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8pm | Show: 9pm

$17 advance | Door: $20 (Seated)

Get tickets here

Since releasing his debut album ‘Little Giant’ (2014) and ‘Paperweights’ (2016), both to critical acclaim, Roo Panes has racked up an excess of 220M+ plays across streaming services. His highly anticipated third album ‘Quiet Man’ was released June 2018 and saw Roo once again work with renowned producer Chris Bond (Ben Howard, Nick Mulvey). Described as “A British Icon in the making at the top of his game”‘Quiet Man’ is an intimate and emotional album that shows why Panes is one of the most critically acclaimed folk acts in the UK.

Roo Panes’ music is succinct, honest songwriting, from a place of deep personal expression, resonating with universal truths and values. His is a deep voice, one that sounds aged beyond its years, and yet, it’s telling of timeless stories, endless heartache and forever love. It asks that we all find the right way to see the world around us. 


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J. S. Ondra
Jun
8
8:00 PM20:00

J. S. Ondra

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$12 advance | Door: $15

Doors at 8. Show at 9.

Get tickets here

J.S. Ondara offers a unique take on the American dream on Tales of America, his debut album. Ondara grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, listening to American alt-rock and making up his own songs for as long as he can remember. After discovering the music of Bob Dylan, he moved to Minneapolis in 2013 to pursue a career in music. There he began making his way in the local music scene, continually writing songs about what he saw, felt and experienced in a place far different from home. From a stockpile he says is hundreds of songs deep,

Ondara chose 11 for Tales of America. They’re captivating tunes built around acoustic guitars and adorned with subtle full-band accompaniment for an open-hearted folk-rock feel. He sings in a strong, tuneful voice well-suited to the gorgeous melancholy he expresses on the wistfully lovelorn “Torch Song,” or his steadfast infatuation on “Television Girl.”

Ondara sings rueful lyrics in an anguished tone on “Saying Goodbye,” and leaves plenty of room for interpretation on “American Dream,” the first single.

“I knew I wanted a song called ‘American Dream’ on the record, but I didn’t have that song,” Ondara says with a laugh. “I couldn’t find it. I wrote like twenty songs called ‘American Dream’ before I found the one that ended up being the record.”

His persistence is evident throughout Tales of America, which is indeed a classic American tale. It’s the story, told in song, of an immigrant seeking a new life, who dedicates himself to achieving his vision through hard work and determination.

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Comedian Gary Gulman
Jun
14
8:00 PM20:00

Comedian Gary Gulman

Get tickets here.

Gary Gulman is a stand-up comedian who lives in New York City. Originally from Boston, Gary has been a scholarship college football player, an accountant, a barista, a doorman, a waiter and a high school teacher. Now he is one of the most popular touring comics and one of only a handful of comedians to perform on every single late night comedy program. “Gary will be the next giant ex-Bostonian comic to break huge, CK, Burr, Gulman: You heard it here first” raved the Village Voice. He’s made three TV specials, and three albums. Gary marked his 20-year anniversary in stand-up with the “It’s About Time Tour,” selling out theaters throughout the country. It’s no wonder the New York Times wrote “Gary is finally being recognized as one of the country’s strongest comedians.”

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A.A. Bondy
Jun
28
8:00 PM20:00

A.A. Bondy

Doors at 8

Show at 9

Get tickets here

Nobody remembers if Gladys Broussard won the bingo game by going across or down. She might have even won by going diagonal, which has always been kind of like cheating to me. Anyhow, they had to give her the prize: two 33 and 1/3 long playing albums. The first was a Kiss record. They looked awful, very dangerous. The other album was the Village People's Cruising. It had a few men on the cover, relaxing on their toys. One had a big bulldozer, one an army jeep. Of course, the troublemaker had himself a chopper.

Gladys knew exactly what she was going to do with them. She gave this Kiss record to the Pegue boys who lived down the street and who were always getting in trouble. They couldn't drive the family's one working car in or out of the driveway without screeching the wheels and holding their middle finger up at their siblings left on the front porch. The Pegues played the record for about a month straight. Then it was stolen by the neighbor boy behind them. That boy was always lighting fires and torturing animals. Can't believe what he confessed to. We don't talk about him. His parents were always in church and they kept clothes spotless.

Thank god Gladys sent her grandson Cruisin.' Otherwise, he might have ended up like some kind of weirdo, dressing up in some crazy costume pretending to be somebody he's not.

ENDERNESS, A.A. Bondy's first album in eight years was finished the day before a wildfire burned his house down. He recorded and played everything himself.

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KNON Pajama Party
Mar
23
7:00 PM19:00

KNON Pajama Party

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Starring The Trees, with new music from their 2019 album, “Palace Of Sin”. Also starring: Consumate rock guitarist Mike Haskins and the Mike Haskins experience, KNON’s own DJ Charlie Don’t Park, an all-star reunion jam featuring Alan Wooley, Zen Bubba & Austin Wallace, plus, one-man-band tribute act, The Ramone. At The Sons of Hermann Hall on Saturday, March 23rd! Doors open at 7 PM, show starts at 8 PM! Celebrate the roots of punk, and how the Dallas music scene helped shape the future of alternative rock! Arrive early for free chicken & pancakes from Buzzbrews Kitchen! The Sons of Hermann Hall is located at 3414 Elm Street in Dallas!

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Drivin N Cryin
Mar
16
8:00 PM20:00

Drivin N Cryin

Tickets here.

Celebrating their 33rd Anniversary together, Atlanta-based folk rock act, Drivin N Cryin, have spent most of their career on tour.

In October 1985 Drivin N Cryin played their first show at Atlanta’s famed 688 Club. The band quickly gained attention for their blistering live shows, and amassed a rabid fanbase in the fertile soil of the late-1980s Southeast music scene. Now, 33 years later and after releasing four full length albums on Island Records and one on Geffen Records, founding members Kevn Kinney and Tim Nielsen find themselves enjoying a milestone anniversary for the band, having survived the pressures of fame, a shifting musical landscape, multiple lineup changes, and miles of back roads and highways to arrive here.

With a gold record, 10 full-length albums, and a handful of EPs to their credit, the band still refuses to rest.

In 2012, a documentary about the band, entitled Scarred but Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, was produced. In 2015, a collection of 10 choice cuts from the band’s 4-EP “Songs” series, entitled Best of Songs, was released on Nashville’s Plowboy Records. Additionally, the band was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame the same year. The following year, Drivin N Cryin released a vinyl-only album, entitled Archives Vol One, with a collection of basement recordings from the years 1988 to 1990.

With Dave V. Johnson as their drummer, and the band’s newest member, Laur Joamets, (originally Sturgill Simpson) now being added to the lineup, Drivin N Cryin continues to tour the U.S. to great acclaim.

Island Records re-released their much celebrated Mystery Road album through Universal Music Group (2017) & Darius Rucker cut Straight to Hell on his new album, When Was the Last Time, released October 2017 with guest vocal appearances by Luke Bryan, Charles Kelley, and Jason Aldean.


Mystery Road was named one of “The 50 Best Southern Rock Albums of All Time” by Paste Magazine that year as well. In 2018, New West Records re-released their self-titled 1997 album with a new name, Too Late To Turn Back Now!. The band also finished recording their first new, full-length, album in ten years with Nashville producer, Aaron Lee Tasjan. The album is slated for an early summer 2019 release.

A quote from the band’s lead singer, Kevn Kinney, gives a little insight into what Drivin N Cryin is all about: “We are a band that’s like your record collection.” Drawing influence from a wide array of musical elements, Drivin N Cryin has developed a unique sound over the years. Their name derives from the eclectic nature of this sound: a little drivin’ rock n roll and a little country twang. Comfortable with their past and confident in their future, the band has an arsenal of songs, a full tank of gas, and no plans of stopping any time soon.

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Dylan Bishop
Mar
15
8:00 PM20:00

Dylan Bishop

Dylan Bishop is an Austin based blues singer and guitar player, who thrills audiences with his authentic and well groomed style of playing.  He draws his inspiration from blues greats such as Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Mercy Baby, Frankie Lee Sims, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and many others. Dylan plays all around Texas, and always leaves crowds wanting more. His love for American roots music speaks for itself when you hear him play.

Blues in the Texas tradition

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Amy LaVere & Will Sexton
Feb
28
8:00 PM20:00

Amy LaVere & Will Sexton

Doors at 7 / Show at 8

Tickets: $10 advanced / $15 at the door

A burgeoning star, Amy LaVere is becoming renowned worldwide for her songwriting, bass playing, and vocals. She sings with a sweet, haunting voice that can turn on a dime from innocent to lusty (“Norah Jones with an added Cyndi Lauper element” — Mojo Magazine; “Spookiness suits her” — New York Times). Whether playing as a duo with her husband Will Sexton or with retro-country sensation Motel Mirrors, she’s an inventive, thoughtful singer-songwriter who has crowds throughout the US and Europe smitten.

Music fans first discovered this “sweet soprano” on This World is Not My Home in 2005, but it was her Jim Dickinson-produced breakout albumAnchors & Anvils two years later that put Amy LaVere on the map.

The success of Anchors & Anvils drew the attention of the UK market, and soon Amy was invited to perform on the BBC’s “Later with Jools Holland” – the appearance introduced her to an international audience, and to Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Jamie Cullum), who she’d later team with to produce Stranger Me (Archer Records).

Spin called the 2011 release “the break-up album of the year,” Paste said it was “among the year’s best,” and it earned a first listen feature from NPR’s All Things Considered. She followed it in 2014 with another critical smash: Runaway’s Diary, a concept album based on her own experience as a teenage runaway, produced by Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars). American Songwritercalled it “boundary pushing… heartfelt, reflective, challenging and consistently compelling.” NPR Music’s Robert Christgau said it was her best yet.

Her most recent release, Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer (Archer Records, 2015), was a surprise for fans just nine months after Runaway’s Diary, recorded with LaVere’s husband and noted guitarist Will Sexton. On Hallelujah, Amy and Will capture the immediacy of the live show they developed on the road together, reveling in a more stripped-down sound and celebrating the freedoms and limitations that come with it in stunning form. No Depression said simply: “pure bliss.”

In addition to her solo records and a tireless touring schedule, Amy enjoys collaborating with other artists. In 2012 she joined an all-star collaboration called The Wandering, composed of Amy, Luther Dickinson, Shannon McNally, Sharde Thomas and Valerie June. They released Go On Now, You Can’t Stay Here (Songs Of The South, 2012) to critical acclaim and sold out shows.

In the afterglow of The Wandering, Amy and Shannon McNally hit the road together and released an EP titled Chasing the Ghost, The Rehearsal Sessions (Archer Records, 2012) which featured songs from both artists recorded live during rehearsals for the tour.

Amy next paired up with noted rocker John Paul Keith to create Motel Mirrors.  Their styles clearly complemented one another, which made for magic on stage and in the recording studio. Their eponymous vinyl EP release was named one of the “10 Essential Albums of 2013” by No Depression.

Although she’s a singer and songwriter first, Amy is also an actress. In 2005 she was cast in the role of Wanda Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line (Twentieth Century Fox).  Since she has appeared in a variety of independent and studio productions:  Black Snake Moan (Paramount, 2006), $5 Cover (MTV, 2009), Woman’s Picture (2011) The Romance of Loneliness (2012) and most recently with Grace Zabriski in Only Child(2015).

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Culture Hole Presents
Feb
26
6:00 PM18:00

Culture Hole Presents

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MentalRrancho, No Idea Festival, and Culture Hole are proud to present a night of experimental sound performance; ESCAPEiSM (Ian Svenonius), Toshimaru Nakamura (Tokyo) + Sean Meehan, and Werner Dafeldecker (Vienna/Berlin) + Valerio Tricoli (Palermo/Berlin). Dallas’ longest running watering hole, Sons of Hermann Hall (established in 1911), will serve as a sonic venous system, as each performance occupies various rooms of its architectural body.

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Ian F Svenonius (born 1968) is an American musician and singer of various Washington, D.C.-based bands including Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War, XYZ, Escape-ism, and Chain and The Gang. Between his numerous projects, Svenonius has released more than 19 full-length albums and more than 20 singles, EPs, and splits. Svenonius is also a published author and an online talk show host.

His first band, Nation of Ulysses, which released its first record in 1990, was highly influential in the punk scene but dissolved in 1992. After a short-lived side-project called Cupid Car Club, Svenonius formed The Make-Up in 1995, who combined garage rock, soul, and liberation theology to make a new genre they dubbed "Gospel Yeh-Yeh”. The Make-Up disbanded early in 2001, and a year later, Svenonius formed the band Weird War, who were also known briefly as the Scene Creamers. Currently, Svenonius is leader of the band Chain and the Gang.

Svenonius' solo work includes the 2001 album Play Power under the fictional pseudonym of David Candy,[4] the book The Psychic Soviet, and as host of Soft Focus on VBS.tv. Svenonius' projects and writings have all shared an anti-authoritarian Marxist political viewpoint.


Drummer Sean Meehan began performing in the late 1980s at the Amica Bunker series for improvised music, located at the Anarchist’s Switchboard and later ABC No Rio in New York City. His work has been presented at some of the most prestigious venues for new music including the Instal Festival (Glasgow), The Whitney Museum's Biennial (New York), Lincoln Center (New York), and Goethe-Institut (Hanoi), but he primarily performs at small, informal spaces and artist-run festivals. For nearly twenty years he and Tamio Shiraishi presented their summer concert series, always in different playful and devious locations throughout New York City. Central recordings include his duo with Sachiko M (2001); Sectors (2005) his double CD for solo snare drum; his duo with Ellen Fullman (2007). Meehan also creates music-related objects for speculative listening.


Toshimaru Nakamura's instrument is the no-input mixing board, which describes a way of using a standard mixing board as an electronic music instrument, producing sound without any external audio input. The use of the mixing board in this manner is not only innovative in the sounds it can create but, more importantly, in the approach this method of working with the mixer demands. The unpredictability of the instrument requires an attitude of obedience and resignation to the system and the sounds it produces, bringing a high level of indeterminacy and surprise to the music. Nakamura pioneered this approach to the use of the mixing board in the mid-1990s and has since then appeared on over one hundred audio publications, including nine solo CDs.

He has performed throughout Europe, North America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia, performing and recording both as a soloist and in collaboration with numerous other musicians.

As an active organizer of concerts in Tokyo, Nakamura has helped many musicians coming to Japan find places to perform, both with himself and with others. From 1998 to 2003 Nakamura and Tetuzi Akiyama ran the concert series Improvisation Series at Bar Aoyama and then later the Meeting at Off Site series of concerts. Both these concert series were crucially important in exposing a new manner to improvised music (referred to as Electro Acoustic Improvisation) to the Japanese public and to foreign musicians visiting Japan, making Tokyo one of the global hotspots for this new approach to music


Werner Dafeldecker was born in Vienna in 1964 and studied the double bass, which he plays with passion. As a musician, composer and sound artist he takes advantage of the manifold possibilities offered by electro-acoustics. His musical projects are often inspired and deduced by outside influences such as architecture, science, photography and film - partially resulting in the creation of graphical scores for various ensembles and instrumental performers.

Werner also focuses on site specific projects, field recording and opposing natural and environmental sounds with synthetic variants. He has built up an extensive sound archive and created several electroacoustic pieces for radio and film. Around ninety sound-recordings are documenting his artistic framework. He held lectures and workshops presenting his work i.a. at University Bellas Artes-Madrid, Hochschule für Gestaltung-Karlsruhe, RMIT University-Melbourne and Edith Cowan University-Perth.


Valerio Tricoli (Palermo, Italy, 1977) is a composer and performer of electro-acoustic music. Since the mid '00 is main instruments for live presentations is the Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape recorder, used as a completely analogue / ergonomic device for live sampling and real-time transformation / editing / mixing of pre-recorded (field or studio recordings) and made-on-the-spot sound sources, the latter usually being vocalizations (including speech and singing), small acoustic and electronic instruments, objects, the amplified sound of the room itself in which the concert takes place and - in the case of group sets - whatever is produced by the fellow musicians.

On a formal level his sets focus on the impromptu creation of a narrative which takes into account the multiple relations intervening between reality, virtuality and memory during the acoustic event: sounds are always hovering between the "here and now" of the concert situation and the shady domain of memory - distant but at the same time present like in a deja-vu experience. Privileging fracture over continuity and by the use of a dynamic range that could often jump suddenly from near-silence to extreme blasts of sounds, an almost tactile feeling of brooding tension is often attained.

His electro-acoustic studio compositions, documented on few records, are aligned to the tradition of Musique Concrète and explore themes of the internal - represented both by the psychological and the physical - and of the occult, which together with the large use of spoken text makes them often deeply existential works, self- investigations of the psychological, emotional and irrational horror within.

Over the years Valerio has been active in some long-term collaboration with other musicians, composers, choreographers and multimedia artists. He is a founding member of the italian avant-rock group 3/4HadBeenEliminated and has been working extensively with Thomas Ankersmit, Antoine Chessex, Werner Dafeldecker, Anthony Pateras, Hanno Leichmann.


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Carson McHone with Jake Paleschic
Feb
21
7:00 PM19:00

Carson McHone with Jake Paleschic

Doors at 7

Jake Paleschic: 7:30-8:15 // . Carson McHone 8:30-10:00

Carson McHone included on Rolling Stone's 2018 Top 40 Country Albums

Years before Rolling Stone was praising Carson McHone's rule-breaking roots music, the Austin, Texas native played weeknights in local bars like The White Horse, keeping dancers dancing and drinkers drinking. With her 21st birthday still in the distance, McHone entertained late-night crowds bearing witness to the good times and bad decisions that fill a busy bar. It was a rare, raw education. She pumped her music full of details from an early adulthood spent in the company of the heartbroken and high-toleranced. In 2015, McHone released Goodluck Man which earned her a cover story in The Austin Chronicle as well as the support of local icons like Ray Wylie Hubbard, who said she "writes songs like her life depends on it." Then she hit the road, touring the U.S. (and beyond) with acts like Shakey Graves, Gary Clark, Jr., and Joe Pug. Her writing style widened and her music evolved. 

“There was a time when I wanted to champion traditional country,” says McHone,  “mostly because I wasn’t hearing it in what was being called ‘country’.  I think a lot of roots influenced artists feel the need to defend tradition in this way.  Today though, I want to do more with the form, push myself past where I understand it to be.”

 Dark, driving and evocative, 2018's Carousel captures this period of remarkable growth, shining a light not only on McHone's honky-tonk roots, but on her development as a modern, alt-country storyteller. It features newly written songs and updated versions of tracks that first appeared on Goodluck Man, pushing traditional sounds and themes into a modern context.

 Playing an instrumental role in the process was Mike McCarthy, the now Nashville based, award-winning producer behind albums for Spoon, Patty Griffin, and Heartless Bastards.  McCarthy is well versed in country music but his work is definitely not defined by the genre, which made him the perfect candidate for McHone’s new record. 

Carousel is a latter-day record inspired by diverse sources like Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and American novelist Thomas Wolfe, unconcerned with flying the flag of old-school country. It wears its eclecticism proudly, with McHone singing each song in a voice that is worldly-wise and woozily gorgeous. 

 Carousel kicks off with "Sad," a song about the fraught relationship one develops with darkness, but it’s a fast-moving, high-energy song driven forward by fiddle, electric guitar, and pedal steel. This track sets the stage for an album that tackles edgy subjects without losing its bright melodies. McHone creates her own rule book switching between tempos on "Lucky", offsetting the acoustic guitar of "Spider Song" with the medieval swell of a harmonium, and fills the piano ballad, "How 'Bout It," with a mix of torch-song twang and late-night, jazz-club melancholia.  Originally recorded back in 2015 as a deep-cutting, slow-moving waltz, “Gentle” reappears on Carousel as an anthemic tribute to a love gone cold, with McHone exploring the tension between what we know and what we feel, then honoring a relationship’s fleeting existence rather than despairing it’s demise. 
 
The lyrics are confessional and intensely autobiographical. On “Dram Shop Gal” - one of several Goodluck Man tracks to receive a modern makeover – McHone takes a hard look at the ways in which her worldview has been shaped (for better and for worse) by her many hours in a barroom.

“I was a kid when I landed those residencies,” she says of her days at The Hole in The Wall, where she began playing Friday happy hour as a 16-year-old, and The White Horse, where she eventually took over the coveted Thursday night residency.  “I wasn’t even old enough to be in those bars and they became a home to me.  It’s a dark thing when a bar becomes your home.”

McHone explains that Carousel embraces where she's come from and establishes where her musical interests are leading. “The art I’m making would be lacking if I were to stick to a specific genre.  Carousel is more modern, which is where my interests lie these days, and where my writing is taking me. At the end of the day, it has to be the song that dictates.”

Growing up, McHone rode her horse bareback along the side streets of south Austin, weaving through traffic and empty parking lots to find space to "open up". For any motorist driving past, she must've been a wonderfully unusual sight to behold: a messy-haired young woman riding down the street, bridging the country and the city, the past and the present, the Wild West and modern Austin. 

McHone’s 2018 release builds a similar bridge. Purposeful, pointed, and poignant, Carousel is a compelling ride.

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Elizabeth Cook with Kendell Marvel
Feb
18
7:00 PM19:00

Elizabeth Cook with Kendell Marvel

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Elizabeth Cook is a Nashville-based Singer Songwriter from Wildwood, Florida. As a critically acclaimed live act and recording artist, the New York Times lauds her “a sharp and surprising country singer”. A veteran SiriusXM Outlaw Country Radio DJ, hosting her own show, Apron Strings, nationwide for the last 10 years, she is also a favorite of David Letterman, a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry, and a frequent guest star on Adult Swim’s long-running hit cartoon series “Squidbillies” on Cartoon Network.

In the words of the Drivin’ and Cryin’s legendary Kevn Kinney, “Elizabeth is so far ahead and under the radar you better have a supercharger for that fastback if you’re going to catch up! Enjoy the ride…”

Kendell Marvel, already an award-winning songwriter, having written hits for Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Jamey Johnson and Jake Owen, Kendell Marvel makes his solo debut with Lowdown & Lonesome, a concept album that blends his musical down home country and rock & roll roots. 

Having written 9 out of 10 tracks on the album, Marvel flexes his writing chops and invites listeners on the familiar journey of heartbreak, vices and all points in between. “Gypsy Woman” paints the picture of a love that’s not chasing back while on the title track "Lowdown & Lonesome” Marvel sings about hitting rock bottom and drinking about it. Lowdown & Lonesome is reminiscent of classical country greats Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. combined with the southern rock edge of the Allman Brothers and ZZ Top. “I wrote the song “Lowdown & Lonesome” with Keith Gattis and Randy Houser a few years back and we based the whole album around that track. The songs are real, they’re gritty- a combination of hurt-like-hell heartache and rowdy rebellion.”

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Max Stalling's Valentines Dance & Party
Feb
16
7:00 PM19:00

Max Stalling's Valentines Dance & Party

Max Stalling's 16th Annual Valentines Dance & Show at the world famous Sons Of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum in Dallas. Special music guests Jason Eady & Courtney Patton. A Dallas Tradition! Advance tickets go on sale January 1. Everybody in attendance has a chance to win a Max Stalling/Shiner Bock neon sign. Shiner Beer Jason Eady Courtney Patton Eady

Tickets here

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Howie Day
Feb
15
8:00 PM20:00

Howie Day

This show is seated.

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Howie Day’s emotionally resonant lyrics and inventive melodies have earned him both critical praise and a legion of devoted fans. He is known for his energetic, heartfelt shows, where he connects with audiences through the strength of his songwriting and his quirky sense of humor. Day’s warm tenor voice “soars into fluttering, high registers, but also grates with real, pleading grit,” as one critic put it. After sales of over a million records and two Top 10 hits, Day is back on the road in support of his new studio album, Lanterns.

 

A native of Bangor, Maine, Day began playing piano at age five and guitar at age 12. By 15, he was writing his own songs and performing across New England. Shortly after graduating high school, Day became a fixture at college coffeehouses across the U.S. He wrote, financed and released his first effort, Australia, which was named Best Debut Album at the 2001 Boston

Music Awards. The Boston Globe called Day “gorgeously seasoned, far beyond his years” with “a brave, beautiful singing voice.” During his relentless touring schedule, Day began experimenting with effects pedals and loop-sampling techniques as he performed, layering live percussion with vocal harmonies and guitar parts to become a veritable one-man band. He went

on to sell over 30,000 copies of Australia as he navigated the independent music scene and continued to hone his craft.

 

After signing with Epic Records, Day released his major-label debut, Stop All The World Now, and hit the road to support it. The constant promotion paid off: Stop was certified gold in the U.S. and spawned two Top 10 radio hits: “She Says” and the platinum single “Collide.” After three subsequent years of intense worldwide touring, Day moved to Los Angeles and returned to the studio. His next release, Sound the Alarm, built on the emotionally complex spirit of its

predecessor and delved into Day’s journey from indie wunderkind to platinum-selling artist. Its lead single, “Be There,” became a staple at modern AC radio.

After parting ways with Epic and relocating to New York City in 2010, Day released the Ceasefire EP on his own label, Daze. Over the next two years, as a reenergized Day toured North America, Australia and Asia, new songs began to emerge and evolve. His fourth full length album, Lanterns, was recorded in Boston with producer and longtime friend Mike Denneen. Awash with a warm musicality and unique instrumentation, the album also features guest vocals from Aimee Mann. Lanterns was released in April 2015.

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Great Lake Swimmers
Feb
13
8:00 PM20:00

Great Lake Swimmers

Great Lake Swimmers

with Native Harrow

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2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. Over seven albums, multiple EPs, live broadcasts, and reissues, the Toronto-based project led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker has established itself as a beloved indie folk act in their native Canada and beyond. The CBC has called them “a national treasure” while their music has taken them around the world, sharing a sound that is at once familiar and distinct, using the tools of folk music as the starting point to delve deeper.

 It’s this contrast and evolution that brings them to their latest release, The Waves, The Wake – a metaphor for the future ahead, and the past trailing behind. Abandoning the acoustic guitar, this new collection of songs sees the group branching out to include new sounds such as harp, lute, pipe organ, woodwinds, congas and marimbas, alongside the more familiar flecks and chimes of the banjo, piano, and 12-string electric guitar. The stunning acoustics of the historic, 145 year old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the atmospheric touch to the album, under the guidance of co-producer Chris Stringer (Union Sound). This record is about the songs, first and foremost, and was made with many of Toronto’s most talented players, including arrangements by Drew Jurecka and electric guitar appearances both atmospheric and spirited by Kevin Kane (Grapes Of Wrath). Long time collaborators Erik Arnesen (banjo, guitar), Bret Higgins (bass), and Josh Van Tassel (percussion) also contribute their considerable musicianship.

“The Talking Wind” opens the album solely with woodwinds and vocals, setting the tone with its scaled back, minimalist approach. Similarly sparse arrangements on “Falling Apart” pair a meditative, layered piano with an appearance by renowned harpist Mary Lattimore alongside Dekker’s haunting, plaintive vocals. Bridging the album to the group’s past work, the lonely jangle of “Alone But Not Alone” is a study in song-craft; “Side Effects” matches lyrical substance to musical motifs with its expressive vibraphone, tempo variations, and vocal effects.

But perhaps the album’s centerpiece is the entirely a cappella “Visions Of A Different World” with its ghostly, longing vocals nakedly bearing its message.

Great Lake Swimmers have twice been nominated for Juno Awards, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize, and won a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Folk/Roots Artist/Group. They have shared the stage as support for such musical luminaries as Robert Plant, Feist, and Calexico, and have appeared as headliners for many of Canada’s major Folk Music festivals. Their relentless touring schedule and countless live shows have helped them develop devoted fan bases across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK and many points beyond. Mojo dubbed them “Ambient Zen Americana” and Exclaim has described them as a “cherished blend of folk and orchestral indie pop.”

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Corb Lund: No Rest for the West Tour
Feb
7
7:00 PM19:00

Corb Lund: No Rest for the West Tour

corb lund 3.jpg

Doors at 7 / Show at 9

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With Jaida Dreyer

Corb Lund is an alt-country singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada. He grew up in a ranching and rodeo family in the foothills of Southern Alberta, then spent the early years of his career writing songs and playing bass for the indie rock band called the smalls. 

Lund’s music reflects his Western heritage and rock and roll roots. His distinct blend of Americana-meets-roots-meets-alt-country has attracted accolades from critics in Canada and the U.S., who have called him “one of the best contemporary country songwriters” (Popmatters) and one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” (Rolling Stone Country). 

Lund’s 2015 release, Things That Can’t Be Undone, was produced by Grammy Award-nominated producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton). His previous record, 2014’s Counterfeit Blues, was recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN, and was the focus of a 2-hour CMT special. Previous to that, 2012’s Cabin Fever debuted at #1 on the Billboard Canadian Charts, and Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer is certified Platinum in Canada. 

Along with his band, the Hurtin’ Albertans, Lund tours extensively throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Currently signed to New West Records, Lund is an eight-time Canadian Country Music Awards Roots Artist of the Year, the 2017 BreakOut West Roots Solo Artist of the Year, and has many other awards and accolades, including a JUNO Award, under his belt.

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William Fitzsimmons
Feb
4
7:00 PM19:00

William Fitzsimmons

Tickets here

*THIS SHOW IS SEATED* 

Singer-songwriter and music producer William Fitzsimmons’ latest record, Mission Bell is a chronicling of the tumultuous last year of his life, particularly of the separation from his second wife. An initial version of the album was originally recorded in Fitzsimmons’ home studio in the summer of 2017 but was subsequently abandoned during the course of, and as a result of, the separation.

In 2018 William traveled to Nashville, TN to start recording the album over from square one. Working with producer Adam Landry (Deer Tick, Los Lobos, k.d. Lang, Vanessa Carlton), Fitzsimmons spent a month’s time rebuilding the lost record, with contributions from friends, including Abby Gundersen and Rosie Thomas. The resulting 11-song album tells the story of a decade-long marriage destroyed and eventually rebuilt from the ground up.

The process and the results are both painful and healing, but also respect the complexity of humans, especially at their worst. This is not an exercise in “good-guy, bad-guy” songwriting; rather an attempt to find empathy, even when people are at their most depraved. Mission Bell includes songs about betrayal, but also reconciliation and forgiveness.  Choosing to go deeper than mere absolutism and fate, these are stories of people doing their best, but still managing to often destroy each other in the process.

Having to let go of the first version of this record was incredibly strange and something I’ve never done before. But it was the right thing to do.  That record was made at a time when nearly all involved, including myself, were living dishonestly and selfishly and poorly, and it was clear in the results. When I was forced to see the truth of how rotten things had become inside and around me, I deleted every note and every word.  My dear friend and manager, Rishon, connected me with producer Adam Landry, and together the two of us spent weeks upon weeks breathing back life into a project that I thought was lost for good. By the time we finished, I felt like I had reclaimed something that was taken from me and I remain terribly proud of this work as a result,” says Fitzsimmons.

Sonically, Mission Bell is Fitzsimmons’ first analog tape-centric album. The sounds are raw, real, and tangible. The familiar comforts of acoustic guitars are present but now joined generously by synthesizers, electric guitars, drum loops and violins.  “Cutting to tape was new and honestly rather terrifying to me. There’s no “we’ll fix that in post” kind of shit going on. What you play is what you’re gonna hear on the record. But there’s a specialness you get in a performance when you don’t have a parachute. You either play it like it matters to you or you don’t and I think that comes through so clearly in the recordings.”

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Fitzsimmons currently resides in Nashville, TN.

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Rachael Yamagata
Feb
2
7:00 PM19:00

Rachael Yamagata

With Radnor & Lee

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Doors at 7

Yamagata unlocks your pain and gives it permission to breathe.

"Along with the bad-assery, Yamagata brings a world-weary passion to her singing. Her voice is a soul-baring, sultry instrument that commands center stage at all times. She has that deliberate, I’ll-sing-the-note-when-I’m-ready pacing that helped make Amy Winehouse great, and before her Billie Holliday.” Associated Press

The singer-songwriter unveils a dark fire burning within her obstinate self.” Paste

“Some singer/songwriters wear their hearts on their sleeves. Some of them also make sure they’re dripping with blood. Case in point: the ultra-emotive singer/pianist Rachael Yamagata.” Digital Trends

“Catchy and engaging, but consistently smart to boot” -- Mother Jones

“Like Screaming Jay Hawkins meeting Patsy Cline in a studio built by Sam Phillips and David Gold with Daniel Lanois producing, Tightrope Walker is all soul-fever dreams and bittersweet echoes, Yamagata’s breathy, sensuous vocals leading rumbling drums and swampy guitars, ghostly keyboards, and sorcerer’s tones.” - Electronic Musician

'More classy soul-baring pastorals from upstate New Yorker... a sonically rich experience that repays closer listening... Yamagata’s voice is superb at evoking languid heartache... This is an album of immersive and emotive pleasures’ – Uncut

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