Reverent at the Ridglea Theater, (c) 2007 by Peter Orozco
News and Updates
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Dynamic range comparisons I've added a new series of comparisons to the site as of today, where I review different versions of albums and compare how they stack up as a result of the Loudness War. If you haven't heard of the Loudness War, it's the phenomenon of continually escalating volume levels in releases of popular music in an effort to "one up" the rest of the industry by having the loudest CD on the block. This practice leads to ever more compressed and lifeless sounding recordings that over time have crushed dynamics and strangled vitality in popular music. Check it out.

Album and Dynamic Range Comparisons

Lots of additions have been made to the local artists music collection over the past few months, as well as some titles added from my most recent trip to Canada for the Celtic Colours Festival. The local CDs include some very rare albums and compilation discs. See the complete lists on the Local/Indie CD Collection and Non-Local / Indie CD Collection pages.

Ellen Once Again follow up interview

Ellen Once Again follow up interview Back in 2012, I interviewed an up and coming, very talented singer/songwriter named Ellen Once Again. She had released her debut EP, Spreading the Love, after becoming a YouTube sensation in 2011, soon to be followed by her sophomore release, I'm Feeling Lucky, in 2013. Now, three years later, I catch up with Ellen again to find out about her growth as a musician and songwriter, an average "day in the life," and the many places her music has since been featured.

Ellen Once Again follow up interview

Live at Lost Art Open Mic CD I reached a personal milestone today when I packaged the last of the Live at Lost Art Open Mic CDs, 3 years, 9 months, and 10 days after the first production copy was packaged in the early AM hours of the CD release day. It's not commonly known that these CDs were not all burned and packaged at one time, but were actually assembled as needed when stocks at hand ran low or when additional copies were needed. Today the final copy was sealed.

Lost Art Open Mic main page
Download the complete Live at Lost Art Open Mic album in mp3 format

Silver Loves Mercury at Wit's End A couple of weeks ago I sat down with Kitty and Roxi of Silver Loves Mercury for a chat about the band's music, history, views on the local scene, and what to expect from them in the days ahead.. Read the full interview and also check out the photos of the band's recent shows in Live Photography.

Silver Loves Mercury interview
Silver Loves Mercury photo galleries

D.I.K at Trees Be sure to take a look at the photos from the recent 4th of July show at Trees featuring Among the Ruin, Silver Loves Mercury, Designed in Kaos, and RivetHead. Of the featured acts, I captured some shots of Designed in Kaos and Silver Loves Mercury doing what they do best in what were a set of killer performances. Headliner RivetHead also delivered the goods in a really big way with an extended set.

Silver Loves Mercury at Trees This set of Silver Loves Mercury photos includes what I consider to be some of my best shots taken of the band to date.

The Razorblade Dolls at the Curtain Club Check out photos from the first Razorblade Dolls show in six months. Anyone who has kept up with this site through its various incarnations will recognize the RBD as one of the few bands I've stuck with throughout my entire time doing live photography. The show last night did not disappoint the packed house of fans and followers looking for their Razorblade Dolls fix. Drumming duties were shared between original RBD drummer Kaven for the first half of the set and second RBD drummer Rezin for the second half. After the main performance, the audience was treated to an encore featuring all six current and former members of the band on the stage together.

The Razorblade Dolls - Curtain Club, June 21, 2014

MADWAK at the Gas Monkey Bar N Grill Four new live photography galleries have been added to the site. Check out shots of Kin of Ettins, MADWAK, Silver Loves Mercury, and Generator. The Silver Loves Mercury and Generator shots are from my first time photographing live music at the newly reopened RBC (formerly known as the Red Blood Club). Silver Loves Mercury at the RBC Silver Loves Mercury at the RBC So far, the venue has been promising with good sound and a good lineup of acts booked to play. Unlike at a (sadly increasing) number of others venues, I can always hear every instrument clearly in the club's sound mix.

MADWAK played a set at the Gas Monkey Bar N Grill, a great venue with a large, spectacularly lit outdoor stage and great sound. They were the penultimate act in a night that also featured the likes of Honey (pictures to come later), Electro-Shock Machine, and Enamored. As with the RBC, the photos from this show represent my first time shooting at the venue. As with the RBC, I will be back again.

Generator at the RBC The Wit's End Kin of Ettins show was a good, if disappointingly attended, set, coming right on the heels of my interview with Designed in Kaos. If you haven't seen this band and are a fan of doom metal, you should make it a priority to come check out one of their shows. They play some great original music plus some killer covers of Black Sabbath.

Kin of Ettins - Wit's End, May 3, 2014
MADWAK - Gas Monkey Bar N Grill, May 10, 2014
Silver Loves Mercury - RBC, May 17, 2014
Generator - RBC, May 17, 2014

Kin of Ettins interview Check out the second in the new series of interviews of local bands and musicians. This interview features Jotun and Teiwaz of seasoned doom metal outfit Kin of Ettins, whom I sat down with for a talk back in mid-May. We discuss the band's history, touring, music in general, and the upcoming album release for Doom Upon the Slain.

(Band photo courtesy of Ryan Gully)

Kin of Ettins Interview

Designed in Kaos interview It's been a while since the last update, but I've been busy with multiple shows and interviews which will be added to the site over the coming weeks. Back in early May I sat down for a talk with three members of Designed in Kaos, a new project featuring current and former members of the Razorblade Dolls, but one entirely with its own separate sound and identity. Take a look at it in the Interviews area of the site.

Designed in Kaos Interview

Designed in Kaos at the Rail Club The third live Designed in Kaos performance was a spectacular display of musical aggression and energy. This was my second time seeing the band play a complete set. The sound was good, but attendance could have been better at a show which also featured Rise Above Chaos, Deathstar, Exalt the Throne, Southern Chaos, and Other Oddities. Despite the poor attendance, all members of D.I.K delivered mightily.

Designed in Kaos - Rail Club, April 12, 2014

Headed out for a road trip to Toronto and the Reservoir Lounge, and a musical date with Canadian jazz singer Alex Pangman, whom I've followed since 2000. I only took a few photos at this show using a comparatively underpowered pocket digital camera.

Silver Loves Mercury at the Curtain Club Check out a short gallery of photos of Tuesday night's Silver Loves Mercury show at the Curtain Club. This Robert Miguel-produced show also featured Tennessee-based metal act Roses Unread, a great live act making their way on a regional tour across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and back to Tenessee to finish. They are well worth checking out next time they come into town.

Silver Loves Mercury - Curtain Club, March 25, 2014

Last update before the spring road trip!

Posted images of CDs in my collection of local music. This includes everything from demos handed out at shows to full blown major label releases. These are mainly Dallas-Fort Worth area acts, but a few touring acts from other areas of Texas are included as well.

Local CD Collection

With These Words at Tomcats The first of two With These Words updates went live this morning, covering the years 2007-2009 and comprising a total of 777 classic photographs of the band from various venues. This is the largest single upload for a single band to date and includes material that goes all the way back to when I had just started out photographing live shows. As such, most of these photos are not representative of where I am at today as far as ability and skill level. It was, however, long past time for me to get this material out there.

This is the first of two planned uploads of With These Words material. Look for the second sometime in late April or in May.

With These Words - 2009 Gallery | 2008 Gallery | 2007 Gallery | With These Words Main Page

Silver Loves Mercury at Wit's End Silver Loves Mercury was the highlight of last Friday's show at Wit's End. The band delivered a powerhouse performance which also happened to be the second set with new bassist Nikki. I saw Nikki's first SLM performance six days earlier at Hailey's in Denton and was impressed both by his chops and by how well he fit into the band, which now seems a tighter operation than ever. The Wit's End show also yielded what I feel to be many of my best SLM photos yet.

Silver Loves Mercury - Wit's End, February 28, 2014

Storm the Sun at Wit's End Posted pictures from last night's Storm the Sun performance at Wit's End. Jagged Row and Blameshift also played the show, both of which are worth checking out. I missed all but the last song of Jagged Row's set as I arrived late, but what I did hear of them was enough to guarantee that I will be checking them out again soon.

Storm the Sun - Wit's End, February 21, 2014

RivetHead The RivetHead gallery has finally been given its (very) long overdue update, with 247 photos covering the entirety of 2012 and 2013 now up. Previously only the March 2012 Curtain Club plaque show was represented on the site. RivetHead shows are always a real treat and the band delivers the goods every time with a spectacular stage show and performance. If you missed any of these sets, then you missed out.

Trica of Nevermind the Darkness On the 1st I made the trip out to Shreveport to see Nevermind the Darkness at the Riverside Warehouse. Although a number of local acts I follow have played this venue, this was my very first visit out there. The show that night was a benefit for breast cancer research and featured NTD along with two other bands. The set was good, the sound was good, and it was all for a good cause.

Deaf Angel On Valentine's Day I had the pleasure of finally catching another Deaf Angel set. Though I've been acquainted with this band for nearly 4 1/2 years, occasions on which I have managed to catch one of their performances have been few and far between. This was my first D.A. show since December 2012, and before that, although I did see singer Tina join Pulse onstage for a couple of songs once, the last time I saw the actual band play was way back in October 2009. They have changed their musical style over the years, increasing the energy while still keeping it real with powerful, melodic hooks and vocals (melody in metal being something that is becoming more and more of a rarity these days).

RivetHead - 2012 Gallery | 2013 Gallery
Nevermind the Darkness - Riverside Warehouse, February 1, 2014
Deaf Angel - Curtain Club, February 14, 2014

No update today - not going to compete with football. Enjoy the Super Bowl, if that's your thing.

Rah Stitchez of Designed in Kaos D.I.K's first show was a real crowd pleaser, with current and former members of the Razorblade Dolls along with percussionist Tad Bryant and frontman Joshua Burleson delivering the goods in a big way. Rarely have I ever seen such an auspicious debut by any band, particularly in a music scene dominated by derivative, cookie cutter metal acts. D.I.K fuses metal with hardcore industrial rhythms in a manner wholly separate and distinctive from that of the Razorblade Dolls. Be sure to check them out.

Joshua Burleson of Designed in Kaos That same night saw performances by RivetHead at Trees, and also the "Chicks Who Rock" themed show at the Gas Monkey Bar N Grill in Dallas. I was able to catch the Gas Monkey performance by Nevermind the Darkness, the second band to play, but missed the other acts (Adrian & The Sickness, MADWAK, and Silver Loves Mercury) due to a schedule conflict with the D.I.K show at Reno's. I have, however, seen MADWAK and Silver Loves Mercury plenty of times before and feel safe in vouching for the electricity of their respective performances that night. It was a great show to a capacity crowd.

Check out some close ups from the D.I.K show at Reno's Chop Shop, as well as newly added photo galleries for two Kin of Ettins shows from last year, in the Live Photography area of the site.

Designed in Kaos - Reno's Chop Shop, January 18, 2014
Kin of Ettins - O'Riley's, June 22, 2013
Kin of Ettins - Reno's Chop Shop, October 13, 2013

Silver Loves Mercury at Trees Five galleries of photos were added today, three for Storm the Sun and two for Silver Loves Mercury. December 7, 2012 was my first ever time at Fort Worth's Rail Club, a venue which proved to be perfect for band photography with the stage lighting and the second level above the stage. The show was memorable not only for the stellar lineup of bands that night, but also for Roxi's characteristically exuberant performance. The more recent Trees show on December 20th also featured Bit Rot and the Razorblade Dolls and was another solid band performance.

Silver Loves Mercury - The Rail Club, December 7, 2012
Silver Loves Mercury - Trees, December 20, 2013

Storm the Sun at the Curtain Club Storm the Sun was formed from the ashes of Embrace the Embers and features former Mourning Fury and Fallen South vocalist Chase Ditto, someone I have known ever since I first began following the Dallas music scene in 2007. The 406 South Haskell show featured a killer performance bursting with adrenaline and energy, a description which in fact is fitting for every Storm the Sun performance. In September, Herb Crookall (formerly of Reverent) came in as a replacement on guitar and proved himself more than capable of handling the band's heaviest, most adrenaline fueled licks. A back to back set of performances at the Boiler Room and Wit's End - on the same night! - helped close out a very promising year.

Storm the Sun - 406 South Haskell, April 20, 2013
Storm the Sun - Curtain Club, September 20, 2013
Storm the Sun - Wit's End, November 29, 2013

Nevermind the Darkness at Wit's End Two new galleries of photos went up today, spotlighting two Nevermind the Darkness shows from October 12 and January 4, at Wit's End and Poor David's Pub. The Poor David's show was only my second time visiting that venue and only my first time seeing a complete set there (I previously caught the tail end of a Def Maybe set in November 2012). Despite the poor attendance at Poor David's, the set was rockin'. The Neverending, which played immediately before NTD, was a good act with a solid set and an interesting Black Sabbath cover to boot.

Nevermind the Darkness - Wit's End, October 12, 2013
Nevermind the Darkness - Poor David's Pub, January 4, 2014