Hearsay: Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Listen … Or Else

I’m still a little torn about the No Idea Fest. The gathering of noisicians, free jazzbos, and sound artists that has been taking place in select venues every year for the past five and that was at Lola’s Saloon Stockyards last Tuesday, Mardis Gras, was sort of good and sort of not: Good because Fort Worth –– actually, all of North Texas –– needs a little break from the genre and party music that dominates local stages, but not good because, well, deep-listening music is best appreciated either at home or in a concert hall, not really in a bar-bar. The sound artists sometimes got as quiet as a whisper, forcing fans and regulars alike to lower their voices accordingly. Most did. Some didn’t, and they were strongly advised to get with the program. At one point, after the audience had seemingly had enough of two rednecks talking at regular volume during some particularly quiet passages, a large hipster got up and told them not so quietly to shut the fuck up. The rednecks skedaddled, manifesting the problem inherent to deep-listening shows in less-than-quiet places. At what point does someone’s freedom of speech impinge upon somebody else’s right to listen deeply? The argument could be made that the rednecks should have just gone someplace else –– they were definitely trying to be obnoxious and/or just celebrate Mardis Gras. But isn’t the average redneck the kind of person whom deep-listening artists should be trying to win over? To “enlighten” them? Seriously. Maybe the large hipster should have resisted the urge to threaten to kick their asses and instead invited them over to his table. Anyway, though I was there for only a few minutes, I was impressed by the sounds, sure, but also by the number of people who paid $10 at the door to get in. Chances are the crowd would have been bigger had the venues not been switched at the last minute –– a code violation at the original location, Lola’s Saloon Sixth, forced the transfer. There still were enough people “representin’” to warrant a return visit next year. Just hopefully not at a bar-bar, let alone one in the sybaritic Stockyards. And hopefully not during Mardi Gras. … I guess my bitching about the lack of Fort Worth bands at SXSW is finally paying off. Three more Cowtown acts will be playing sanctioned showcases: a perennial Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards nominee, Texas Music singer-songwriter Jason Eady, and Fort Worth teen scene greats The Elite and The Excels. The bands join Complete, Bosque Brown, Telegraph Canyon, Green River Ordinance, and Jessie Frye as 817/Fort Worth artists who’ll be playing the annual music festival and conference that takes place in Austin, this year on the weekend of March 20. Eady will play a showcase sponsored by County Line Magazine at The Ranch on 6th Street. The Excels and The Elite will both play on Friday at the Continental Club as part of the Ponderosa Stomp Revue, put on by the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to acknowledging the cultural significance of almost-forgotten roots and R&B artists. Visit www.sxsw.com.
Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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