Hearsay: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Future Rearview

If 2008 goes down as anything, it was the year when Fort Worth artists finally started breaching the dam that separated them from the national mainstream. Yes, the past couple of years in general have been kind to the locals (The Toadies, Sky Eats Airplane, Play Radio Play), but this past 365 days really spread the wealth around. And, to toot our own horn, you heard about most of the accomplishments here first, starting with a decision by entertainment production company – and Disney’s main competition – Walden Media to use a Burning Hotels song, “Stuck in the Middle,” in an upcoming Walden movie, Bandslam (née Will, née Rock On), starring High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens, Lisa Kudrow (Friends), and Barbie Doll Alyson Michalka from the tweener pop duo Aly and AJ, with a cameo by David Bowie. The four Hoteliers also are slated to appear as themselves in the film. In two other cinematic developments, Arlington’s The Bright had a song in a recent episode of the wildly popular MTV DELETEed reality show The Hills, and members of Fort Worth-cum-Austin-cum-Los Angeles’ Oliver Future – including Jordan Richardson and Sam Raver – wrote and performed the score of This Is Not A Robbery, a documentary about an 87-year-old gentleman bank robber that screened at Robert DeNiro’s 2008 TriBeCa Film Festival. Richardson, who lives in the aforementioned town of tinsel, where LC, Audrina, and Heidi stab one another in the back for millions of viewers’ voyeuristic pleasure, was recently tapped to play drums in singer-songwriter-axman Ben Harper’s new band, The Relentless 7. This past year also saw some returns. Former Fort Worthian and major-label darling Shea Seger got back into music after a seven-year hiatus, penning two songs for an upcoming indie movie about, uh, trains (or something), and two supremely talented guys who moved away a while back – singer-songwriter Daniel Katsük (Colorado) and one-man-R&B-band Nathan Brown (Little Rock) – are back in town. Katsük, who made his name by performing with contributors, has a full-time band behind him now: the three guys from Sally Majestic. And Brown, who now goes by simply Browningham, has started a multi-faceted “record” label, The Dead Media, specializing in 8-track players – Brown repairs and sells them and also is releasing new music on them from him and other artists. Two other similar record label-ish projects also got under way in 2008. A couple of months ago, North Texas music blog We Shot JR started its own imprint, We Shot JR Records, specializing in vinyl-only releases, and just last month a couple of Fort Worthians started One Hundred-Second Dash, an online compilation CD series featuring bands from all over creation but mainly from North Texas. … Amazing, that for all of the breaking out by local musos, the industry’s allegedly biggest breaking-out forum, SXSW Music Festival, was scandalously short on Fort Worth bands this past year. Only six made the cut – Calhoun, the old-fashioned-country outfit the Quebe Sisters, Black Tie Dynasty, (the late, lamented) PPT, Best Fwends, and The Theater Fire. Of the six, two (Black Tie, PPT) were brought along by their record label (Idol Records), and two others were invited probably only because they fill a programming niche and have played South-by every year for, like, the past 15: the geek-pop duo Best Fwends and the alt-old-timey Theater Fire. What? Don’t SXSW big shots read this column?
Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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