Page 1


Natural Child at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on Aug. 31. Photo by Ed Steele


Little d After Dark

October 2012


Photo by David Minton

Bone Doggie can’t keep the hint of irony out of his rasping voice when he names the date he and the Hickory Street Hellraisers were born into the personae they now enjoy. “I can tell you exactly when the band we have now came to be,” he says, pausing to exhale a long drag from his e-cigarette. “It was at Denton’s Day of the Dead last year.” Makes sense. Story by Lucinda Breeding


opening shot


good dates



editor’s note

F E AT U R E S >>





the alchemist If you’ve never had a

something for himself Will Johnson is a staple among

Texas musicians, having long played in and toured with his share of rock

Jägerbomb, you’re in for a vaguely

bands across the state, including his group, Denton-based favorite

licorice-flavored trip down memory lane.

Centro-matic. And because of this, making time for his own solo record


releases can be challenging, Johnson says.


work the room Head to the

get on the list Spune Productions wears many hats these days:

rockin’-est country venue this side of the

booking agency, artist developer, record label and promoter. Whether


music lovers are out to see a favorite big-name artist at the Palladium




Courtesy photo/Matt Pence

flavor junkie Oatmeal chocolate-

the Dallas-Fort Worth-based company is likely behind the show. On >>


b-side beat

Ballroom or hoping to discover a new indie favorite at a local festival, Oct. 5 and 6, Spune will play host to the first Index Festival.


arranger and trombone player David Pierce unveiled both his undying

all hallow’s fun Nearly four years ago, Denton decided to cele-

affection (get it?) for Halloween and Cirque du Horror. This year,

brate Halloween good and proper. That’s when Denton composer,

the show’s bigger and better than ever.

Publisher Bill Patterson Managing Editor Dawn Cobb

Advertising Director Sandra Hammond

940-566-6879 |

Advertising Manager Shawn Reneau

Features Editor Lucinda Breeding

940-566-6843 |

940-566-6877 |

Classified Display Julie Hammond

940-566-6820 |

940-566-6819 |



chip creme pies with bourbon milk? After you’ve done your homework, dear.



Contributing Writers Alyssa Jarrell, Megan Radke, Rachel Watts Designer Rachel McReynolds Photographers David Minton, Ed Steele, Chris Newby On the cover Photo by David Minton

The contents of this free publication are copyrighted by Denton Publishing Company, 2012, a subsidiary of A.H. Belo Corp. (, NYSE symbol: AHC), with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Little d After Dark is published monthly by Denton Publishing Co., 314 E. Hickory St.

have your people call our people


to submit an event for little d’s calendar, e-mail




Riggs, Slater, Hamilton Jazz Experience, 5 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf. Earl Bates’ Celtic Sessions, 7 p.m. Free. Abbey Inn Restaurant & Pub. UNT Concert Orchestra, 8 p.m. Free-$10. Winspear Performance Hall. The Tontons, Cowboy Indian Bear, 8 p.m. $6-$8. Dada. Zammuto, Lymbyc System, Bethan, 9 p.m. $12-$15. Dan’s Silverleaf.


Stepdad, the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, 7 p.m. $8$10. Dada. Inspectah Deck, DJ Yeahdef, 8 p.m. $12-$14. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. A Taste of Herb: A Tribute to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, 9 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf.


Menomena, PVT, Team Tomb, 7 p.m. $16. Granada Theater. Mister Joe & Friends, Le Not Quite So Hot Klub du Denton, 8 p.m. Free. Banter. Merchandise, the Young, Wiccans, 8 p.m. $8-$10. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. The Lord Huron, Night Moves, 10 p.m. $10-$13. Dan’s Silverleaf.



Screaming Females, 7 p.m. $8-$10. Dada. Mario Cruz, 8 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf. Mind Spiders, Lenguas Largas, Occult Detective Club, 9 p.m. $5$7. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.


Dallas Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. $10-$20. Winspear Performance Hall. Paul Slavens and Friends, 10 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf.

10 Riggs, Slater, Eckels Jazz


Eric Johnson, 7 p.m. $25$50. Granada Theater.

Experience, 5 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf. County Rexford, 7 p.m. Free. Abbey Inn Restaurant & Pub. Bombay Bicycle Club, Vacationer, 7 p.m. $16. Granada Theater. UNT Concert Band, 7:30 p.m. Free-$10. Winspear Performance Hall.

Columbus Day

14 UNT College of Music Gala,

4 p.m. $25-$100. Winspear Performance Hall. The Afghan Whigs, Centro-matic, 7 p.m. $29. Granada Theater. Wild//Tribe, Long Knife, Terminator 2, Deadline, Mean and Ugly, 9 p.m. $8$10. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. The Dead Kenny G’s, 9 p.m. $8. Dan’s Silverleaf.

21 Matt Wertz, Steve Moakler,

7 p.m. $17-$25. The Kessler. Human Inc., 8 p.m. Andy’s Bar. Dark Dark Dark, Emily Wells, 10 p.m. $9-$12. Dan’s Silverleaf.



23 Jeff the Brotherhood,

24 County Rexford, 7 p.m.

Castle, Deep Time, 7 p.m. $11-$14. Dada. Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, the Brothers Comatose, 8 p.m. $10-$15. Dan’s Silverleaf.

I Love Lucy Day

22 Green Brigade Marching Band, 7 p.m. $10. UNT Coliseum.

Earl Bates’ Celtic Sessions, 7 p.m. Free. Abbey Inn Restaurant & Pub. Busdriver, Nocando, Open Mic Eagle, 8 p.m. $12-$14. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Chris Cortez Trio, 9 p.m. $10$15. Dan’s Silverleaf. The Demigs, the Dig, We Shared Milk, 9 p.m. $5. Hailey’s Club.

16 Lower Dens, Jennifer

Diarrhea Planet, 7 p.m. $11-$15. Dada. Paul Slavens and Friends, 10 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf.

Free. Abbey Inn Restaurant & Pub.

31 Earl Bates’ Celtic Sessions, 7 p.m. Free. Abbey Inn Restaurant & Pub. Peelander Z, Electric Eel Shock, 7 p.m. $10-$12. Dada. Tomahawk, Pujol, 8 p.m. $29. Granada Theater. UNT Concert Orchestra’s Halloween Spooktacular, 8 p.m. Free$10. Winspear Performance Hall.

28 Cirque du Horror, 5 p.m. $7$15. Dan’s Silverleaf. The Smithereens, 7 p.m. $25$51. Granada Theater. Nas, Lauryn Hill, 8 p.m. Palladium Ballroom. Granada Theater. My Empty Phantom, 10 p.m. $6-$10. Lola’s.

29 Global Rhythms with Andy

Narell and the One O’clock Lab Band, 8 p.m. Free-$10. Winspear Performance Hall. Mario Cruz, 8 p.m. Free. Dan’s Silverleaf.



Link Chalon, 6 p.m. Free. Banter. Paper Diamond, 7 p.m. $16. Granada Theater. UNT Wind Symphony, 7:30 p.m. Free$10. Winspear Performance Hall. Rich Perry, Alex Sipiagin, Donald Edwards, Lynn Seaton, Stefan Karlsson, 9 p.m. $15. Dan’s Silverleaf. Breathing Problem, Public Health, 9 p.m. $1-$3. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Siberian Traps, Mailman, Solo Sol, 10 p.m. $5-$9. Lola’s.


Index Festival, 5 p.m. $28$38. Trees. Lost Immigrants, 6 p.m. Free. Love Shack. Flobots, Astronautalis, Gallerycat, 7 p.m. $15. Granada Theater. My Jerusalem, Dana Falconberry, 8 p.m. $8-$10. Dada. Cleanup, Boyfrndz, 9 p.m. $7-$11. Lola’s. Inter Arma, Baring Teeth, Lions of Tsavo, Bludded Head, 9 p.m. $5-$7. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Infidelix, Lace Tunes, Ewok the Kid, Frank Twitchy, 9 p.m. Hailey’s Club.


Index Festival, 2 p.m. $28$38. Trees. Alex Cannon, 6 p.m. Free. Banter. Cory Morrow, American Aquarium, Holy Moly, 7 p.m. $16-$29. Granada Theater. The Scary Mondelos, Gonzo City, 8 p.m. Andy’s Bar. Acoustic Distortion, 8 p.m. Free. Banter. The Wee-Beasties, Enormicon, Poor Dumb Bastards, Tricounty Terror, 9 p.m. $5-$7. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Somebody’s Darling, 9 p.m. $5. Dada.

11 Devin Leigh, 6 p.m. Free.

12 Chris Watson, 6 p.m. Free.

13 James Hinkle, noon. Free.

18 Link Chalon, 6 p.m. Free.

19 Ben Smith, 6 p.m. Free.

20 Foxtrot Uniform, noon.

25 Ian McFeron, 6 p.m. Free.

26 Rudy Cervantez, 6 p.m.

27 Lucas Bevan, noon. Free.

Love Shack. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Total Life, 7 p.m. $25. Granada Theater. Spookeasy, the Hanna Barbarians, My Wooden Leg, 8 p.m. $5-$8. Dada. M83, Sun Airway, 8 p.m. $30. Palladium Ballroom. R. Stevie Moore, 9 p.m. $11-$13. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.

Banter. Afro Deezy Axe, 10 p.m. The Abbey Underground.

Love Shack. Woods, Widowspeak, 7:30 p.m. $11-$15. Dada. UNT Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m. Free-$10. Winspear Performance Hall.

Love Shack. Roger Creager, 7 p.m. $16-$30. Granada Theater. Acorn Bcorn, Sol Tax, the Red Death, Tricounty Terror, 9 p.m. $5. Hailey’s Club. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Charlie Shafter, 9 p.m. $15-$20. Dan’s Silverleaf. Mount Carmel, Old Warhorse, 9 p.m. $6-$8. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.

Love Shack. Ronan Delisle, Addison Frei Duo, 6 p.m. Free. Banter. Danny Rush & the Designated Drivers, the Holler Time, Old Warhorse, 8 p.m. Andy’s Bar. Baloney Moon, 8 p.m. Free. Banter. Space Camp, Ghost of Industry, Isaac Pierse and the Arbor, 9 p.m. $5. Hailey’s Club. Frontier Ruckus, Buxton, Chambers, 10 p.m. $7-$10. Dan’s Silverleaf.

Free. Love Shack. Jack Ingram, 7 p.m. $17.50$40. The Kessler. 1140, 8 p.m. Free. Banter. The Raven Charter, Fantasma, Secret of Boris, 8 p.m. The Abbey Underground. JJ Grey & Mofro and Galactic, 8 p.m. $25. Granada Theater. White Horse with Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland, 9 p.m. $10. Dan’s Silverleaf. Ben Kweller, 9:30 p.m. $22.50$30. The Kessler.

Love Shack. Brandon Jones, 6 p.m. Free. Banter. Stars, Diamond Rings, California Wives, 7 p.m. $20. Granada Theater. First Aid Kit, Dyland LeBlanc, 7 p.m. $27. The Kessler. Scrote, 8 p.m. Free. Banter. Spectral the Pusher, Kid Beer, 9 p.m. Free. Hailey’s Club. The New Trust, Pswingset, Birds of Night, 9 p.m. $6-$8. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.

Free. Love Shack. Cats & Dogs: A Benefit for the Denton Humane Society, 5 p.m. $6-$8. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Drew Phelps, 8 p.m. Free. Banter.

Love Shack. Cirque du Horror, 4:30 and 9 p.m. $7$15. Dan’s Silverleaf. Mara Penatzer, 6 p.m. Free. Banter. Smells Like Someone Died, 8 p.m. Andy’s Bar. Crocodiles, 8:30 p.m. $11-$14. Dada. Ghostland Observatory, 9 p.m. $35. Palladium Ballroom. Mothership, the Spectacle, Red Light Kills, Shaolin Death Squad, the Phuss, Trebuchet, 10 p.m. $5-$7. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.


OCTOBER 2012 MUSIC at Denton venues MUSIC elsewhere




Little d After Dark

MUSIC at UNT STAGE & SCREEN October 2012

Gaslight, steampunk and lost Gypsy dances


he name Bone Doggie started coming up in conversation with local musicians about three years ago. Folk-soul singersongwriter Ashley Gatta had started a regular date at what is now Denton Square Donuts and named it “Song and Story.� Bone Doggie was in on those early sessions. I first encountered the man himself one night at Andy’s Bar. I was there to meet with a source — but ended up giving that source the short shrift. I was distracted by Bone Doggie and the Hickory Street Hellraisers on the stage, commanding the room. Bone Doggie was a sight — with long, frazzled hair, a rakish grin and the kind of voice all of us shower singers would sell our souls to have. He was confident — not too trained, but confident. And those

pipes, those rattling, scratchy pipes that sounded like the illegitimate lovechild of Tom Waits and Janis Joplin. What really caught my attention was the electric zeal of the Hellraisers, whom Bone Doggie calls his “ragtag crew of miscreants.� Every person on stage was besotted with the music. What was that they were playing? An Irish reel bred with a blues-rock heartbreak ballad? They were all caught up in the joy of being on stage, making freakishly happy music and sharing it. What is this music? I was stumped. After we met over the summer, Bone Doggie would prove to be as intense in person as he is on stage. And he finally told me what the band’s genre is. Think gaslights and steampunk and lost Gypsy dances. The Hellraisers makes something that is all three.

Take note In the September issue of Little d After Dark, the original photo used for the cover illustration of Fergus & Geronimo and the photos accompanying the story were unattributed. Photographer Bradley Kerl took the shots of band members Jason Kelly and Andrew Savage.

— Lucinda Breeding

DeSnT atnod nON’sLY

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October 2012

Little d After Dark




by rachel mcreynolds, mariel tam-ray and lucinda breeding

The drink 1 1/2 oz Jägermeister 1/2 can Red Bull energy drink Fill a shot glass with Jägermeister. Drop the shot glass into an highball glass, or other tall glass, filled with a half of a can of Red Bull. Even if you’ve never tasted a Jägerbomb in your life, you have. You just didn’t know it at the time. Jägerbombs, a staple among the get-drunk-quick crowd (you know who you are), also happen to taste like childhood cunning — like mornings spent pretending to be sick under the covers, hoping your mom won’t take your temperature, that she’ll let you stay home from school without going to the doctor. Jägerbombs taste like narrowly missed pop quizzes and skipped PE and hope. Like cough syrup, basically. Delicious, licorice-flavored cough syrup. So pop this dandy little shot in your mouth and bruise your eardrums with some room-rattling bands, before settling into your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sheets and dreaming of schemes gone by.

The tunes While you’re sipping, listen to these anti-establishment bands: Shaolin Death Squad (a Denton band that takes a machete to a Beethoven symphony, reorders the themes and plays it with amp-destroying volume), Sex Pistols (the original purveyors of spit and vitriol with a sneer), The Clash (fiery, world-wise punk rockers not shy about tackling politics or dabbling in different sounds from around the globe).

Photo by David Minton


Little d After Dark

October 2012

rockin’ rodeo


by lucinda breeding

Cowboy hats and Harley shirts Rockin’ Rodeo corrals country, Red Dirt and rock


loyd Banks remembers when he went to the University of North Texas, and the times he went looking for fun after class and on weekends. He recalls walking along Fry Street and stepping into the bars for a drink and some live music. “When I was at North Texas, we had Fry Street and that was all we had,” says Banks, the owner of Rockin’ Rodeo, Denton’s largest live music venue. “Fry Street was cool, but I got so tired of going to the same two or three places and they were all a capacity of 72. Venues that small are great, and you can see a lot of great live music in a venue that size, but that was all we had. If you got there late, you had to stand in line until people left.” Banks has a sister who attended Texas A&M University. ROCKIN’ RODEO Back then, he 1009 Ave. C. Hours: envied the 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. larger bars Wednesday through that students Saturday. Bottle beer and College and cocktails served. Station resiStanding invitations: dents had to Wild West choose from. Wednesdays, with Banks now hip-hop, country and dance music; live music owns Rockin’ Rodeo, where people can hear country, Texas Thursdays; girls’ night country and Red Dirt music, Fridays. near UNT. It’s got one of Denton’s larger dance floors, dusted with sand for the benefit of local couples who enjoy two-stepping and Western swing dancing. “If you go to any college town in the state of Texas, you’re going to find two or three big places to catch live music or go dancing,” Banks says. “That’s what it seems like to me.” Rockin’ Rodeo feels like your no-frills country music tavern — the pool tables are in the southwest corner of the bar, and a few flat-screen TVs are mounted to the walls for patrons who want to watch the big game or the rodeo. A big bar flanks the dance floor — situated deliberately in front of the stage — and a second bar is along the wall opposite the entrance. And yet there are frills at Rockin’ Rodeo. Banks has a long, roomy stage along the north end of the bar. Curtains can be pulled toward the center of the stage for smaller bands or >>

October 2012

Couples take a spin around Rockin’ Rodeo’s dance floor on a recent warm September night.

Roger Creager opens his set at Rockin’ Rodeo with a bang.

Photos by David Minton

Continued on 8 Little d After Dark



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acoustic acts. Or they can be pulled all the way open for big bands. Rockin’ Rodeo has probably the most photogenic lighting design in Denton aside from the Campus Theatre — a plus for fans who want to save a memento of that night they saw Eleven Hundred Springs, the Eli Young Band or Josh Abbott Band on their smartphone. Banks says when he took over the club seven years ago (he owned the Fort Worth Drive venue the Groovy Mule 10 years ago and owns another bar in Abilene), his plan was to entice locals and college students with a busy calendar of live music. “We never wanted to do just one genre,� Banks says. “I wanted to get national and regional touring bands in. I wanted to do pretty much any kind of music we thought would bring people in. I wanted to give people a nice, big place and a good sound system.� These days, Banks splits the stage 8

between rock, country, alt-country, Texas country and Red Dirt rock and country. That’s what brings patrons in the door, he says. “We have some bands that always bring people in but aren’t country, like the Toadies,� Banks says. “We’ve had Aaron Watson here and there were 70 to 100 people crammed up against the stage, but the back of the room is empty. With the Toadies, the place was packed and everyone was crammed up against the stage and the whole bar was full.� Banks says the bar has introduced him to some of his favorite bands. Right now, he’s fond of the Dirty River Boys, a band that’s growing in popularity. The business does give him the first glimpse of musicians destined for stardom, too. “When I used to own the R Bar, these two guys walked in and asked if they could play. I was like, ‘Sure.’ Those two >>

Continued on 9


Continued from 7 >>

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Little d After Dark

October 2012

Continued from 8 >> guys were the guys who formed the Eli Young Band,� he says. Another starving artist called the R Bar and asked if he could come in and sing for $50. He was on his way to Austin and wanted to stop in Denton. “It was David Cook from American Idol,� Banks says, referring to the winner of the seventh season of the blockbuster television singing competition. He’s not in it to spot future stars, though. Banks says he simply wants to keep the doors open for working men and women who might need a cold beer and a tempo to dance to. He says he loves getting to know his customers. “What we pride ourselves in is throwing a party,� Banks says. “We throw the rowdiest, loudest party in town. We’re yelling to the crowd, and I’ve never had a problem making a fool of myself on that stage. We just want to throw a party. And I think we do that. “I can tell you that I’ve seen a guy in a 10-gallon cowboy hat get up and move it to a hip-hop song you’d think he’d never like.�

“What we pride ourselves in is throwing a party. We throw the rowdiest, loudest party in town. We’re yelling to the crowd, and I’ve never had a problem making a fool of myself on that stage.�

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached by calling 940-566-6877 or sending an email to

— Lloyd Banks, owner of Rockin’ Rodeo I1


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Little d After Dark


Join us for a Foodie Truck Festival to celebrate the return of late-night weekend service on the A-train with fabulous food, beer and wine, live music, arts and crafts, and all your friends! Need more details? www.DentonIS Brought to you by:

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Little d After Dark

October 2012

index festival


by megan radke

Planting their roots at Trees Spune puts together two-day festival at Deep Ellum haunt


pune Productions wears many hats these days: booking agency, artist developer, record label and promoter. Whether music lovers are out to see a favorite big-name artist at the Palladium Ballroom or hoping to discover a new indie favorite at a local festival, the DallasFort Worth-based company is likely behind the show. On Oct. 5 and 6, Spune will play host to the first Index Festival at the iconic Deep Ellum venue Trees. Index Fest will feature nationally known artists such as Portugal. The Man, Cold War Kids, Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, Washed Out and Grimes, along with local favorites Telegraph Canyon, Air Review, the Angelus and many more. “Index is a way Spune can grow with artists we’ve booked for the first, second and third time in D-FW,” says Annette Marin, a marketing coordinator with Spune. “It also gives us the opportunity to highlight up-and-coming acts and work with them as they mature.” GZA was a surprise, and recently announced, addition to the festival. Marin says his performance is the one she’s most looking forward to. “I’ve probably listened to Liquid Swords 10 times since the announcement,” Marin says. “What a great album to revisit.” >>

October 2012

Continued on 16

The Angelus. Courtesy photo


Grimes. Courtesy photo

5 p.m. Oct. 5. Doors open at 4 p.m. With Portugal. The Man, the Heartless Bastards, Grimes, Elite Gymnastics, Myths, Hacienda, Air Review. 2 p.m. Oct. 6. Doors open at 1 p.m. With Cold War Kids, Washed Out, Surfer Blood, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., DIIV, Telegraph Canyon. $28 single-day tickets, $38 for both days. Trees, 2709 Elm St., Dallas.

“It’s a first for Trees, but it’s going to be killer.” GZA. Courtesy photo

Little d After Dark

— Caleb Dickerson, a member of the “Spune Army” 11

Photo by David Minton

by lucinda breeding >> features editor


one Doggie can’t keep the hint of irony out of his rasping voice when he names the

date he and the Hickory Street Hellraisers were born into the personae they now enjoy. “I can tell you exactly when the band we have now came to be,” he says, pausing to exhale a long drag from his e-cigarette. “It was at Denton’s Day of the Dead last year.” Makes sense. Bone Doggie and the Hickory Street Hellraisers have gathered good ol’ steampunk steam in the last two years by slinging face-melting — wait for it — Gypsy Americana. See, when you put it like that — Gypsy Americana — the “face-melting” part feels all kinds of wrong. But then you see this outfit live. Abby Messerli, known as “The Duchess,” boogies hard and fast in a curve-skimming red dress, her trombone whipping this way and that when she isn’t calling Gabriel down with crazed blasts aimed at the rafters. Christopher “Ghost” Morehead (who lives up to his nickname with pale skin and long-as-hell, stringy limbs and sharp cheekbones) glowers through sooty guy-liner, digging a hole in his guitar. Greg “Thumper” Beach slaps the bass double-time, deadpanning at the audience under a porkpie hat. Kris “El Chupa” Cordell works up a sweat behind the drums, never nursing a grudge about the comped drinks that never seem to make it to the back of the stage. Then there’s the man known by most local movers and shakers as Bone Doggie. The short guy born Brett Coleman hollers over a throat that’s one part God’s gift, one part smoking habit (hey, he’s down to a half a pack a day now that he’s got the e-cigarette). When it’s time for the frontman to take a solo, he struts to the front of the stage in dingy white spats and delivers a fevered set of phrases on the bouzouki that singe the faces in the front row. “I guess we knew we were onto something at the jazz festival last year,” says Cordell, who has played with Bone Doggie for years — since the time when Doggie was playing bass with rock bands. “We were on the Celebration Stage on the midway, and we had a huge crowd. And it kept growing.” Bone Doggie got to Denton 15 years ago. The Kansas City, Kan., native moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1975 and graduated from Carrollton’s R.L. >> Continued on 14


Little d After Dark

October 2012


Track for track: Live performances A LITTLE BAR IN TEXAS With a trill from the bouzouki and a churrr-wang from the guitar, this song turns into a folk dance about a fictional Denton bar (the Tyrannosaurus Rexus). Bone Doggie rasps out “Opa!” between folksy verses. “You’re a bastard, Will O’Grady/Get’cher mitts off my old lady/Well she was with me when I first come in!” Pretty soon, a pint of Guinness is emptied over someone’s shoes — and “the bodies start to flyin’ everywhere.” Live, the band picks up the pace with each chorus.

BABY GOT SWING A song the Asylum Street Spankers would do if Tom Waits had taken over the band. Swing-rock spiked with absinthe-flavored rockabilly, this song is that reliable tribute to that one very special pair of batting eyelashes. Christopher Morehead takes the ax for a walk during a solo, and bassist Greg Beach keeps the whop-adoo rhythm razor sharp.

Continued from 13 >> Turner High School. “I got here as fast as I could,” he says. “I got here and just loved this little town.” Bone Doggie is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, but music has been a part of his life for a long time. For decades, Doggie charmed roadhouse crowds with his bass. “I went from playing bass in rock bands to playing Irish bouzouki. I was a big, big prog rocker. Big,” he says. “Yeah. I played bass and I was [expletive] good at it. “I’ll tell you exactly when I knew when I was done with that scene. I was at a gig. Two words: ‘Comfortably Numb.’ Pain threshold. I blew out an amp. I was done. “A big part of it is my Irish roots, but it’s also that I’ve never been a fan of pop music. I like stuff that’s different, stuff that isn’t popular.” American music of the 1920s and ’30s is far from popular, and Bone Doggie says he got obsessed with it around 2004. When he started developing a solo act, it seemed that the music of Irish, Scottish and Welsh immigrants to America bore a relationship to the Delta blues. For Doggie, both “green grass,” which is Irish traditional music, and bluegrass, the amalgamation of Irish trad and the folk music of Irish immigrants, shared a musical vessel with the blues. All three share an intensity, and all three have an ancestral

inheritance from acoustic jammers. (Imagine scrappy Irish railroad workers unwinding with guitar and hand drums, and American slaves recalling their motherland on the upturned bottoms of whiskey barrels.) All of that mixed with the prog rock in Doggie’s blood. Something fresh was hatching. Eventually, Doggie started jamming on bouzouki with John Thomason on guitar, playing Civil War music and 1920s tunes. They added two hand drummers. The jams happened at Thomason’s place on Hickory Street. “The Hickory Street Hellraisers began there,” he says. “I started doing open-mic nights at Banter, and I’d never ever done them. I was never a frontman. I never sang. I could sing with a gravelly voice. I knew I could do that,” Bone Doggie says. The open-mic nights connected the frontman with Beach and Morehead. By that time, Bone Doggie was stewing up a sound that mashes swing music with blues, folk, green and bluegrass and lots of theatrics. He was also writing music for the first time. The Hellraisers were becoming a pub band that would draw drinkers to the stage even though they showed up to do anything other than listen to music. “I was doing open mic, doing stand-up, and Bone Doggie asked me if I still had a bass,” Beach says. Beach moved to Denton from California

with his family when he was 7. He went to the University of North Texas to pursue a degree in jazz studies and master the trumpet. “Somewhere along the way — and I know this is going to sound weird — I kind of just lost my love for it. I put the trumpet down,” Beach says. “When I saw the Hellraisers, I was immediately a fan for the same reason as the other guys in the band. The energy. The passion. When you go to a Hellraisers show, you can’t help but move.” It was energy and passion that made Bone Doggie chip a tooth on a microphone at the Abbey Underground, one of the band’s regular venues. Doggie says he played through the set with a bloody mouth. “It probably added to the overall effect,” he says. “Though the Duchess says I did lisp through the rest of the night.” Morehead knew Carrek “Bam Bam” Coleman, Doggie’s son and longtime bassist, from open-mic nights at Banter, too. They’d played together and before long, Morehead was opening for Bone Doggie. “I loved it,” Morehead says of his first glimpse of Hellraisers action. “I just loved it. It was completely different. It wasn’t quite folk. It wasn’t quite rock. I listen to everything, but I grew up listening to punk and glam. I’m into the theatrics.” The band dresses the part, wearing steam>>

Continued on 15

HARD ROAD WALKIN’ Most Hellraisers songs are about dancing on that thin line dividing damnation and redemption. This song betrays Doggie and Co.’s blues-rock chops. A cheer for the everyman struggling to make rent and groceries, it’s an optimistic call for a stroll on the bright side. Our only prayer is that it’s never co-opted by a future presidential campaign. With guitar licks worthy of Springsteen and drumming that suggests Keith Moon, it’s too pure to wear a jingoist brand.

Photo by David Minton


Little d After Dark

October 2012

Continued from 14 >> punk-influenced garb — from Doggie’s garter armbands and scarlet vest to Messerli’s Betty Boop shift and Morehead’s black top hat. Doggie structures his set list as a miniature three-act opera, weaving song stories (“A Little Bar in Texas”) and murder ballads (“Herr Vasser’s Wife”) through pub roasters until winding everything down with a straight-up working man’s anthem, “Hard Road Walkin’.” “The Hellraisers are all, to a man, entertainers,” Doggie says. “The theatrics

Messerli says it was watching the Hellraisers that schooled her in performance. Messerli was a kid who saw President Bill Clinton playing saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show and fell head over heels for brass music. She ended up playing trombone, and was in the habit of standing still while playing, eyes cast down at the music on the stand. Messerli says she joined the band for the experience. She’d been in a ska band before joining Bone Doggie, which might account for her 1940s-era stage style. Being with the Hellraisers “taught me that you don’t have to play off the page,”

The theatrics came with the music for the Duchess. “When the Hellraisers are playing, it’s impossible not to dance,” she says. Bone Doggie says Messerli is his wingman. “I hope I always have this one,” he says, pointing at Messerli. “She keeps the Hellraisers’ feet on the ground. I don’t ever want to be without the Duchess. Whenever we’ve needed to audition a new band member, they have to pass the Abby test. If the Duchess doesn’t want ’em, they don’t get in. And every now and then, I get these ideas, and she’ll be the one to tell me if they’re not going to work.” Take, for instance, the matter of Doggie’s murder songs. “Herr Vasser’s Wife” is a seven-minute song about a married woman meeting a messy end. “He kills so many women in these songs,” Messerli says. “I’m threatening him now. I’m like, ‘If you kill one more woman in a song … .’” Messerli gives Doggie a side-eye and

The Hellraisers were becoming a pub band that would draw drinkers to the stage even though they showed up to do anything other than listen to music. are extremely important to me. And to the band, I think. Everything you see happening up there, it’s an extension of our personalities. Even when I was playing in rock bands, I thought it was important to put on a show. You want to connect with your audience.”

she says. “It taught me to do improvisation, something that had always been a mystery to me. I have a lot of influences, like Tower of Power, and that kind of style. Being part of the Hellraisers has taught me that, when in doubt, just blow.”

the maestro lets out a gravelly peal of laughter. “Yeah, she has threatened me, for sure,” he confirms. Like Denton’s Brave Combo, the Hellraisers have a fan base that reels in punk rock buffs and the Lawrence Welk set. “Sometimes the people you’d never expect to like us end up liking us the most,” Cordell says. “We played Roanoke, and there was this old cowboy guy over to the side just eating it up. He was digging it for sure.” Doggie brings material to the band, and each musician adds another layer to the music. They get together every Wednesday at Morehead’s house for jamstyle rehearsal. The musicians says ego hasn’t crept in to gum up the system. “We’re pretty straight with each other,” Morehead says. “We all respect one another, and if we think something isn’t working, we let one another know. And if you have an idea, but someone else has a better one, you let go of your idea.” The band is about to go into the studio to record an EP. Cordell says the band is burning up fun as fast as it can. “It’d be nice to be able to make a >>

Continued on 23


October 2012

Little d After Dark


index festival

Continued from 11 >> Organizers have also lined up a number of food trucks, which have become a staple of local festivals, as well as a fully stocked beer garden. The cozy Trees may not seem like the usual choice for a festival, but the people at Spune have made sure it won’t be an overcrowded mess. Two stages will be set up outdoors, and the venue’s indoor stage will also be used. “Trees is, handsdown, one of the bestsounding rooms in Dallas,” Marin says. “It has a lot of surrounding space for true festival-style atmosphere.” Caleb Dickerson, a member of the production company’s so-called “Spune Army,” a group dedicated to helping out at shows, says he’s most excited to see Surfer Blood and Atlas Genius. He’s also happy about the choice of Trees as the festival’s home. “It’s an amazing venue to start off the first Index,” Dickerson says. “It’s a first for Trees, but it’s going to be killer.”

Festivals such as Index, Spune’s recent Untapped Festival, 35 Denton and Homegrown Festival are, organizers say, in the unique position of exposing the rest of the country to the growing North Texas music scene. “Dallas music has come a long way out

The cozy Trees may not seem like the usual choice for a festival, but the people at Spune have made sure it won’t be an overcrowded mess. of the dark in the last year,” Dickerson says. “More quality bands are sprouting up and people are getting back out and supporting live music again.” MEGAN RADKE is a University of North Texas music graduate who’s obsessed with music. She lives in Dallas. 115 Industrial, Denton 1004 S. Maple, Sanger




Little d After Dark

October 2012

will johnson


by rachel watts

Celebrating the cerebellum Will Johnson taps his higher cognitive functions with new solo album


ill Johnson is a staple among Texas musicians, having long played in and toured with his share of rock bands across the state, including his group, Denton-based favorite Centromatic. And because of this, making time for his own solo record releases can be challenging, Johnson says. Patiently, he decided to shelve the release of his own work, Scorpion, for two years, and instead concentrated on several of his other projects. “I believe in hurrying up, then waiting. Airport dream customer,” Johnson says. Scorpion is as stripped-down and stark as the five wintry days during which Johnson and Centro-matic producer/drummer Matt Pence recorded its 10 tracks. There is very little percussion — no beats of the snare or crashes of the cymbals to speak of — just as there were no leaves on the unadorned winter trees outside the Echo Lab studio near Argyle. The minimalist sound makes the album feel a little bit ambiguous and meandering at times, although it may be because Johnson’s entrancing vocals seem to thrust you into a daze. “The main inspiration for this session was weather,” he says. “We recorded in the middle of winter. It got into the writing.” After a wait of nearly eight years since his last solo album, Vultures Await, Johnson says this album is different in its approach. An example: His two previous solo records were fully written before going into the studio. This one wasn’t. “When I pulled into the driveway of the studio, I had three songs in hand that I wanted to use for this record,” Johnson says. “After that, I realized I needed some groceries for the week, so I backed out and went to the Kroger. It’s a fairly long drive, and I thought that experience would bring another song or two, but when I came back to the studio I still only had three songs.” Johnson describes his creation of this album as being very “front of brain.” “I had ideas for the sequences going in, and those experiences were mapped and Courtesy photo/Matt Pence

October 2012


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“I believe in hurrying up, then waiting. Airport dream customer.” — Will Johnson

WILL JOHNSON IN DALLAS With Anders Parker. 8 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. Cost is $12, $13.50 online. Call 214-9481546 or visit

Continued on 23 17

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Little d After Dark


October 2012

day of the dead


by lucinda breeding

Creepy crawlies Get the heeby-jeebies with a daylong All Hallow’s fest in downtown Denton


early four years ago, Denton decided to celebrate Halloween good and proper. That’s when Denton composer, arranger and trombone player David Pierce unveiled both his undying affection (get it?) for Halloween and the first original score for Cirque du Horror. The original Halloween musical featured a scrappy chamber orchestra, a mess of local talent and music, music, music for a standingroom-only crowd at Dan’s Silverleaf. A pageant of stinky monsters, lonely demons and nervous pumpkins kept an all-ages audience enrapt. Last year, the event turned into a full-fledged street festival that attracted thousands. Cirque du Horror had two showings on the street.

Denton’s Day of the Dead returns starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 27 on Industrial Street. Only it’s bigger and better. For parents and kids (or grandparents and kids), the pumpkin patch will have games, activities and music for most of the day, and trunk-or-treating will satisfy the costumed little ones. The truly courageous can take a gamble on the coffin races — pine boxes on go-cart wheels — to get the adrenaline going. Denton bands will perform and vendors will sell food, T-shirts, handmade Halloween and Dia de los Muertos trinkets and more. A crowd favorite from last year’s festival, the salsa cook-off, will be back. So if you have a dip that could start a funeral pyre to burning (sorry, we couldn’t resist), sign up soon. An innovation: a costumed twilight parade. This march around the downtown Square is perfect for any ghouls, zombies, sexy nurses or parodied political demigods hiding out in dorm

rooms, closets or attics. The parade will be led by a funeral barge and big Dia de los Muertos skeleton puppets. The parade is open for any and all creative souls who want to whip up a costume. This year, the crown jewel of Denton’s Day of the Dead, Cirque du Horror, returns to Dan’s Silverleaf. The first show will be at 4:30 p.m. The second show starts at after the close of the street festival at 9 p.m. The final show will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Dan’s is located at 103 Industrial St. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $7 for children and seniors age 65 and older. To reserve tickets now — because Dan’s can feel as snug as a casket (won’t someone stop us?) — visit or cirqueduhorror .com. LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached by calling 940-566-6877 or sending an e-mail to

A pageant of stinky monsters, lonely demons and nervous pumpkins kept an all-ages audience enrapt.

AP file photo

October 2012

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October 2012

oatmeal chocolate-chip creme pies


by alyssa jarrell Photos by Chris Newby

Snack like a grown-up Spiked reboot of after-school treats sure to appeal to the big kids at heart


emember when you were 6 and refused to take a nap after getting home from a long day of school? I mean, school was crazy busy and all — what with the taking care of the class guinea pig, making butter by shaking up a jar, show and tell, and story time. Yet, somehow I never felt I needed a nap — naps were for babies and little kids. October 2012

and mini cans of Pringles. Her parents even kept a box of Ritz crackers and a can of Easy Cheese around for her snack. Despite all of the tantalizing treats given to us at the end of the school day, all I ever really wanted was milk and cookies. But my parents wouldn’t budge. So I decided to make for you what was never made for me: an after-school snack worthy of our time and efforts. I know we are “grown-ups”

Of course, I may have refused — but my parents always found me fast asleep, curled up somewhere warm and cozy. Outside of naps though, the other great thing about being that age was the always amazing after-school snack. Remember those? I bet you had those healthy parents who made you the apple with peanut butter, or the “ants on a log” celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins. My neighbor Amy always got to have the processed store-bought stuff: the little packs of Goldfish


Little d After Dark

Continued on 22 21

Continued from 21 >>

Oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies

Bourbon-creme filling

and supposed to be making healthy snacking choices, but I just don’t care about how many ways you fancy up hummus and veggies; sometimes you just need something sweet and ridiculously indulgent. C’mon. We work way harder now than we did back then, right? We deserve this tasty treat! We deserve a nap too ... but we’ll focus on

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup quick-cooking oats 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup salted butter, softened 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted 1 tablespoon heavy cream 2 tablespoons bourbon

Sometimes you just need something sweet and ridiculously indulgent. what is actually attainable for now. Friends, I give you the oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie sandwich with bourbon-creme filling, served with brandy milk punch. Laced with the good stuff and chock-full of calories, this “snack” is worth taking a 10-minute break for. It may even give you the boost you need to finish up your busy day. So, enjoy! And rejoice that there is more to the world of snacks than celery covered in peanut butter and raisins. ALYSSA JARRELL is an adventurer in the kitchen who enjoys giving her culinary creations to family and friends. Her website is

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat (nonstick baking mat). Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about 3 minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.


Place the butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together. With the motor running, add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the heavy cream and bourbon and continue to beat until smooth. Set aside until ready to use. When the cookies are cooled to room temperature, spread 1 teaspoon between two cookies.

Brandy milk punch 2 ounces brandy 1 ounce simple syrup 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 ounces milk freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish Combine all the ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg and serve immediately.

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Little d After Dark

October 2012

will johnson


Continued from 15 >>

from 17 >>

prepared,” he says. “The Scorpion session fast became an effort to get the truest document of a musical stitch in time for Matt and me.” He describes the recording process as something akin to a weeklong boot camp — one that’s, of course, much quieter and more laid back. Johnson would wake up, write and record demos on a four-track machine before Pence would show up to record more developed versions of those songs. The pair would then get a couple of songs recorded and fully mixed by the end of each day, Johnson said. They did this for five days straight. “Sometimes this type of thing really does not work out, but I felt like these 10 songs made some sense together,” Johnson says. Centro-matic bandmate Scott Danbom and musicians Howard Draper and Mikey Kapinus are also featured on Scorpion. The album was released Sept. 11, and Johnson opted to do a self-release directly to the fans, to cut out the middle man. “I enjoy a direct connection between fan and artist,” he says. “Fugazi is an example of a band that did a phenomenal job with that. In turn, I think that created a richer

living, but that’s what we all say about every band,” he says. “We just want to have a good time.” Beach says the dividends from the hours of work come during gigs where bodies shuffle to the stage. “You’ll see heads bobbing, people dancing. Drinks coming to the stage. That’s when you know the audience is feeling it,” Beach says. “When you leave a Hellraisers show, you’re gonna leave tired. You’re going to have had an experience.” LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached by calling 940-566-6877 or sending an e-mail to

Courtesy photo/Matt Pence

connection between them and their fans.” Johnson is currently on his 28-date tour, stopping in Dallas on Oct. 2 to perform at the Texas Theatre, a building he is excited to set foot in for the first time. He anticipates a greeting of familiar faces before continuing his trek to Spain and Norway, then moving on to finish his tour in the Netherlands. “I like a change in atmosphere. That keeps a person learning,” Johnson says.

“Even if it doesn’t work out or it only happens once, you’ve still learned something — there’s still something of value to take from it.” RACHEL WATTS enjoys participating in the local music scene and co-owns a small independent record label called I Love Math Records. She lives in Denton.

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October 2012



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Little d After Dark

October 2012

October Little d After Dark 2012  

Monthly entertainment magazine of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

October Little d After Dark 2012  

Monthly entertainment magazine of the Denton Record-Chronicle.