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Cory Morrow Will Be Rockin The River This Thursday( Click Here For Info )

Pics 06.21.12: Rockin' the River with Cory Morrow BandPics

Pics 06.14.12: Rockin' the River with Josh Weathers

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Sent In By Reader

I agree with your choice of Chubby's… I wrote this after my Best Burger article.

Chubby's: "Big Nasty" never tasted so good

By Velton Hayworth

At the risk of becoming a Chubby’s poster boy, I plan on making this place a regular stop. If you are looking to shed a few pounds stay away from the big nasty. The hand-made half-pound fat juicy patty topped with chili, crispy bacon, grilled jalapenos and onions, Monterrey jack, and cheddar cheese on poppy-seed free bun (Thank You!) is anything but nasty.

It should be called the “big messy”… because it is a big messy pile of goodness. I chose to forego the knife and fork and use my claws, leaving a foot-high pile of chili cheese stained napkins.

It’s too bad these guys weren’t open in time for's Best Burger showdown because these guys would definitely have been a contender.

Chubby’s menu offers more than just burgers -- everything from tacos to a grilled chicken sandwich or salad (for those who are watching their waist line) and corndogs and mini burgers for the kids. On my next visit I want to try the pizza burger (half-pound patty topped with marinara sauce, pepperonis and mozzarella cheese). Afterward, I'll crawl into a cave and hibernate.

The game is always on (three flat screens) and beer is always cold ($2.75 18 oz. schooners ), so what are you waiting for. Let's get chubby together!

Chubby’s is located at 7618 Camp Bowie W. Fort Worth.

If you would like to throw in your two cents on the beast burger in town drop me a line at I will post your comments.
Thank You



By Velton Hayworth

Wide awake and bored at midnight? Mr. Jack Daniels calling your name but you don’t feel like paying forty dollars for a couple of drinks, some second-hand smoke, and a little social interaction? You’re probably like me .......Read More


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Photo By Velton Hayworth ( DFW.COM )

Notes from the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks Media Day

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Click Here For Photos From The Grotto 12/3/11

By Velton Hayworth

Lets Go Rahr Hopping ....... Click Here To Read More

Malone’s Pub Holiday Hours
Thanksgiving Night 8 P.M.
Day After Thanksgiving 5 P.M.
Christmas Eve 6 P.M.
Christmas Night 8 P.M.
New Year’s Eve 6 P.M.
New Year’s Day 6 P.M.


Click Here For More TCU VS CSU Photos

Weekend ForeCast

Fri Nov. 18th

Goodwin @ The Wild Rooster
With The Demigs And Skeleton Coast

Fish Fry Bingo @ Freds

Scars Heel In Time @ The Rail Club

Sat Nov. 19th

Johnny Reno @ The Scat Jazz Lounge
$ 10 Cover

Woodeye Reunion @ Lolas
With The Me Thinks And Badcreek

Scott Copeland @ The White Elephant

Josh Weathers Band @ TCU Pre Game
Starts @ 12:30

Click Here For More TCU - BYU Photos

By Velton Hayworth

Riding With Fort Worth's Night Riders

I love Fort Worth.  It has world-renowned museums and performance halls, great restaurants, and a vibrant music scene.  Actually Fort Worth has it all–excluding .... Read More

Weekend ForeCast

Oct 20th
Party On The Plaza - Food, Beer, Wine
Music By Poo Live Crew
More Info @

Oct 22nd & 23rd
Fort Worth Alliance Air Show
More info @











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Pho 95
By Lee Escobedo
5302 E Belknap St
Haltom City, TX 76117
(817) 222-3395
Trying to eat healthy on a fast food budget?  For about the same price as most fast food meals, a delicious traditional meal awaits those eager for something different. The vermicelli noodle dish, pho, pronounced “pha," is a delicious Asian meal native to Vietnam. Ingredients include basil, lime, bean sprouts, noodles, and a delicious broth.

Fort Worth is thick with Vietnamese noodle houses, but Pho 95 on Belknap beats them all.  Prices
range from $5 to $8 and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere, friendly wait staff, and a delicious
assortment of boba teas, which are rice shakes with tapioca balls at the bottom.  And, needless to say, your meal will fit into the nutrition pyramid a lot better than what you'll get at most fast food places.

The inside is spacious, easily accommodating parties of 5 or more, and kept pretty clean. There’s usually some cool Asian pop playing on the speakers, and the wait for a table is never very long.

Pho 95 is a 15 minute drive from downtown Fort Worth but is the type of authentic, neighborhood cuisine that will have you coming back for more.


Dead Mau5 @ The Palladium

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TCU 38 ULM 17

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The Weekend Forecast
9/16 Hayes Carll @ Billy Bobs
9/16 Velvet Love Box @ The Capital Bar
9/16 Dove Hunter @ Lola’s Saloon
9/16 World Beneath World  @ The Rail
9/17 The Clean Up @ The Grotto
9/17 The Royal Rhythmaires @ Scat Jazz Lounge
9/17 The Phuss @ Lola’s Saloon
9/17 Big Jack @ Buttons
9/17 Texas Blues Runners @ Keys Lounge

By Velton Hayworth

Plan A Night Out With Dinner, Drinks & Jazz

By Velton Hayworth

A cozy, romantic dinner with a nice bottle of red wine followed by martinis and live jazz at a swank, candle-lit basement bar. Sound like an expensive date? It doesn’t have to be. Read More



By Jay Betsill








2600 West 7TH Street Suite 105
Fort Worth TX 76107
(817) 332-7435
Open Sun-Thurs 11-10, Fri-Sat 11-midnight

When I first learned of the Pizza Inn prototype Pie Five Pizza Co., I was a tad skeptical but also intrigued. The way it was described to me was "if Quizno's morphed into a pizza place, this would be the result."

Upon arrival, you choose between thin and pan crust -- each pizza is 9 inches and costs $6.49 -- and select one of their specialty pizzas or create your own from their plethora of toppings and one of three sauces. Your pizza is placed in a conveyor oven and ready in less than five minutes. After trying my own creation of a pizza that my friend dubbed the "J," my skepticism was erased. I freely admit that I will be a repeat customer.

The design is set up perfect for the young urbanites that populate the West 7th area and want their food fast and on the inexpensive side. On the other hand, we had plenty of time before our movie started so we relaxed and watched the Yankees game on the flat-screen above our booth. And speaking of drinks, beer and wine are available for those who want to hang out. Expect Pie Five Pizza to be a big hit in the vibrant neighborhood.




2011 Music Awards
It’s time to cast your vote.

Fort Worth Weekly’s 14th or 15th Annual Music Awards Ballot is out now in print and online at Compiled by local and regional music promoters, producers, booking agents, club owners, media types, and hipsters, the ballot affords readers the chance to vote for their favorite Fort Worth artists in categories ranging from rock to rap, blues to punk, and all points in between. Voters also will get to cast ballots for song of the year, album of the year, and songwriter of the year.

Voting ends the day of the 2011 Music Awards Festival, SUNDAY, JUNE 26. Last year’s concert was an amazing success: 36 local artists played throughout the day in six West 7th-area clubs, drawing nearly 7,000 people. For the 2011 concert, we’ve added two venues, which means more artists. Participating clubs this year include The Backyard at Capital Bar, Fred’s Texas Café, The Grotto, Lola’s Saloon, Magnolia Motor Lounge, Poag Mahone’s, The Pour House, and 7th Haven.

Slated to perform are some of Fort Worth’s most talented and respected artists, including Calhoun, The Burning Hotels, The Orbans, EPIC RUINS, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Spoonfed Tribe, Josh Weathers & The True+Endeavors, Quaker City Night Hawks, American Idol semifinalist Tim Halperin, The Cush, Stella Rose, Pinkish Black, Fate Lions, The Hanna Barbarians, Snakey Roberts (featuring members of Green River Ordinance), My Wooden Leg, KatsüK, Holy Moly, Secret Ghost Champion, Scott Copeland, Browningham, Luke Wade & No Civilians, Chatterton’s Kevin Aldridge, Clint Niosi, Phantom Caste, Titanmoon, 1945, Skeleton Coast, Dru B Shinin’, JJ & The Rogues, Beauxregard, Alan, Pablo & The Hemphill 7, The Spiral Sound, Maren Morris, Earthquake Country, Jefferson Colby, Sally Majestic, The Hendersons, Derek Larson & The Leavers, Sean Russell, Cityview, Igneous Grimm, and Breaking Light, among others; nearly 50 Fort Worth artists in total, making the 2011 Music Awards Festival the largest gathering of Fort Worth artists ever in the world. As always, admission to the 2011 festival is FREE.

A week before the concert, we will begin selling copies of our 2011 Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards compilation CD. To be recorded at Eagle Audio Recording this month, Frequencies will feature new or previously unreleased tracks from select 2011 nominees, including Telegraph Canyon, The Hanna Barbarians, Stella Rose, Quaker City Night Hawks, Josh Weathers & The True+Endeavors, Fate Lions, The Cush, Rivercrest Yacht Club, JJ & The Rogues, Beauxregard, Derek Larson & The Leavers, My Wooden Leg, Luke Wade, The Spiral Sound, Bravo Zulu, and The Hendersons. The CD will be rounded out by a Calhoun song remixed by The Burning Hotels. Proceeds from the $5-a-pop sale of the CD will benefit the American Red Cross: Chisholm Trail Chapter, the Fort Worth branch of the international relief nonprofit organization. The CD will be released on Wed., Jun. 22, and the CD release party will be 6-9 p.m. at the Love Shack So7 (817 Matisse St.). Several contributors will perform. No cover.

For more information on the paper, go to













4413 Trail Lake Drive
Fort Worth TX 76109
(817) 923-2092
Open M-Thurs 4-10, Fri-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-3
Happy Hour 4-7 M-Thurs

HotTubs Back Porch Grotto feels like a West 7th-type that is not in the West 7th corridor. It is tucked away on a peaceful spot in the TCU/Westcliff area on Trail Lake, across from Foster Park. You may remember this corner locale as a former garden nursery.

We visited this new Fort Worth restaurant on a beautiful Spring Sunday afternoon and dined out on the patio well in view of the three flat-screens behind the bar that were showing the Texas Rangers-Boston Red Sox Opening Weekend game. While relaxing and enjoying the cool patio area, my buddy and I indulged with some chips & salsa. And while it took a while, but my 10 oz Hardwood Grilled Filet Steak arrived and did not disappoint. My buddy had the Big Daddy's Chicken Fried Steak that was so big he did not finish it.

I can certainly envision this being a hotspot for TCU students to hang out while families and businessmen are simultaneously dining. I recommend Hottubs Back Porch Grotto


M & O Grill

By Velton Hayworth

M & O's is a quaint little joint located  few blocks down from the Montgomery Ward plaza in the same building as Leonard's department store museum ( 200 Carroll St. ).  After 24 years as a chef at the Petroleum Club Danny Badillo decided to start his own business with his wife. Now this is the kind of menu I expect out of a chef, all sorts of creations topped with all the fixin's. You have the Tijuana Burger (stuffed with roasted Poblano peppers and cream cheese and topped with guacamole), which is one of my favorites, and the Blue Cow (stuffed with blue cheese and topped with crispy bacon), just to name two. Every time that I've visited M & O's Danny has hand crafted and grilled each burger himself. On my last visit I tackled the chili cheeseburger, and--I mean this in the best way--it was a pile of messy goodness, overrunning with chili, topped with cheddar cheese and piled high with fresh lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and onions, served with fresh hand cut fries. M & O's also runs daily hot plate specials; just call (817)882-8020 to find out what's on the menu. Maybe I will give one of the specials a shot one day, but not until I work my way through the burger menu.  On my next visit I think I might try to dethrone the King George (twice the meat twice the cheese topped off with crispy bacon) and then crawl into a cave and hibernate.


Don't Miss Ozomatli @ The Main St. Art Fest @ 9 P.M.

Read More On The Block Party

Cory Morrow kicks off Texas Music Series at 8.0

Velton Hayworth

The 9th Annual 95.9 The Ranch Texas Music Series at 8.0 in Sundance Square returned April 13 with Texas country music legend Cory Morrow performing in front of a packed house -- or huge cov... Read more

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5300 E Lancaster Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76112
(817) 451-8222
Open M-Thurs 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-4

The amazing quality of BBQ is an important part of living in Fort Worth and everyone has their own opinion on which spot is the best. Some LOVE Railhead. Others swear by Angelo's. Off the Bone on Mansfield Hwy was named best barbecue in Dallas (that's not really in Dallas) by D Magazine. Bailey's BBQ in downtown certainly has its loyal fans as it has been open since 1931! Several of my buddies always insist on the Smoke Pit on Belknap. Cooper's near Billy Bob's in the Stockyards has certainly made a splash since opening in 2010. Personally, I am a big fan of Cousin's Bar- B-Q on Bryant Irvin.

Now you can add Smokey's BBQ to the prominent list of Fort Worth's great BBQ restaurants. We learned of this gem in a recent visit to Eddie Deen's Crossroads BBQ across from Cowboys Stadium. When mentioning that we had come over from Fort Worth, the friendly folks at Crossroads mentioned Smokey's and that it was part of the Eddie Deen's family. Since Crossroads was such a wonderful barbecue experience, we simply had to give Smokey's a shot.

The service was very friendly as it felt like we were at some variation of Cheers as many of the customers were called by name and we felt right at home in a building that was formerly a Dairy Queen. In fact, it stills resembles a DQ with long tables inside and out on the patio. The flatscreen TV inside was turned off as we were there following the lunch rush, giving the place a homely atmosphere. The chopped beef sandwich on a fresh homemade bun was wonderful and the ribs were well worth a return trip to this east Fort Worth establishment that is about a 10 minute drive east of downtown.




Local music gets a lot of attention from us here at the Weekly, and deservedly so. But there are a ton of non-music artists out there in Tarrant County -- painters, filmmakers, writers, dancers, actors -- who are just as talented and worthy of celebration. Enter: the Fort Worth Weekly's Inaugural Visionary Awards. With help from a committee of local arts professionals (curators, directors, educators, working professionals), we selected three outstanding young Tarrant County artists -- painter Michelle Brandley, filmmaker Andrew Disney, and multimedia artist Micah Yarborough -- to each receive a $500 cash award and, of course, the distinction of standing out in a huge crowd. We will fete our winners tomorrow (Thursday) from 6 to 9 p.m. at Artspace 111 (111 Hampton St., downtown, 817-692-3228). In addition to an awards presentation, the event will also feature a live performance from Seryn, the Denton folk outfit whose recent SXSW performance was deemed the overall best by Paste magazine, plus unlimited food from Reata and unlimited drinks all for just $20 per person or $30 per couple. And as part of the event, attendees will get to vote on their favorite piece of local art to appear on every bottle of Visionary Brew, a forthcoming beer commemorating our Visionary Awards by Fort Worth's own Rahr & Sons Brewing Company. We recently narrowed the nearly 100 submissions we received down to five finalist designs. The winner will be announced -- after all of the ballots are tallied -- at the end of the party, and the label and beer will be unveiled at a party around Fall Gallery Night. The designer of the winning label also will be invited to participate in the brewing process, from start to finish. For more information, call the Weekly at

Tickets are available via:

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In anticipation of our inaugural Visionary Awards, to be awarded to three outstanding Fort Worth artists in various disciplines, Rahr & Sons Brewing Company is crafting a special beer for us, the Visionary Brew. But there’s a little problem. We don’t have a label. To remedy the situation, we’re calling on all 817 artists to submit original pieces of previously unpublished artwork suitable for public consumption (no porn, no violence) to appear on every bottle of Visionary Brew. Artists, keep in mind that Rahr’s logo and the Visionary Awards’ logo (the Egyptian eye with the “FW” attached) will also appear on the label and will be added by Rahr during the final stages of production –– you do not need to incorporate the logos into your design. You may enter as many original previously unpublished pieces as desired. There’s no entry fee, and submissions may be made by e-mailing a PDF of your original previously unpublished artwork to Weekly Associate Editor Anthony Mariani at or delivering by hand to the Weekly offices at 3311 Hamilton Ave., 76107. (All original materials will be cared for and eventually safely returned.) Any two-dimensional medium is acceptable, and, artists, understand that your entry will be reduced to the size of a beer-bottle label. Don’t paint a mural on the side of our office building and expect us to be amused. Deadline for submissions is midnight, Friday, March 4, 2011. Five finalists will be chosen by a committee of local curators, gallery owners, professional artists, and critics. A popular vote at the Visionary Awards announcement party during the week of Spring Gallery Night will determine the winner, who also will be invited to participate in the brewing process. A Readers’ Choice winner also will be selected, via online voting. The Visionary Brew and winning label will be unveiled at a party during the week of Fall Gallery Night. Details to come. Questions? Contact Anthony at or 817-321-9717.

Disclaimer: Your entry into the contest constitutes a grant from you to Fort Worth Weekly for a perpetual non-exclusive license authorizing your design to be displayed by Fort Worth Weekly and Rahr & Sons Brewing Company, to be used on and, and to be used in advertisements and other promotional material by Fort Worth Weekly and Rahr & Sons Brewing Company. All entries must be free of claims and rights of third parties. Fort Worth Weekly and Rahr & Sons Brewing Company reserve the right to make minor modifications to art, text, and context. Entrants retain all other rights to future artwork use except as specified. The winning entrant may sell his or her work but must inform the buyer that Fort Worth Weekly and Rahr & Sons Brewing Company retain the rights enumerated above. Current Weekly contributors are excluded from participating .


By Velton Hayworth
Overall Rating 7.3
2001 8th Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76110-1810
(817) 484-6813

Food – 7.5 – The pulled pork sandwich special was served on toasted buns piled high with juicy smoked pork with the ends charred to perfection and a side of my choice--mac and cheese just like mom makes. The sandwich really doesn’t need sauce, but if it had some that wasn’t so sweet it would have been an eight and a half.

Sauce – 6 – The sauce was a tangy vinegar base with a little heat, but also a little too much brown sugar and cinnamon for my taste. 

Atmosphere – 8 – It’s an in-and-out kind of place tucked away in a small shopping strip. Counter and table seating with two TVs. On my visits one TV has had Family Feud on with the volume up and the other on ESPN, which works fine for me.

Service – 7 – City Pig has no table service. You order, pay, and pick up your food at the counter and help yourself to your choice of soda or tea, sweet or unsweetened. The staff at the counter do their job.  If you’re looking to talk about the weather go somewhere else.

Price – 8 – At $5.99 the pork sandwich is well worth it, but I got lucky and caught the sandwich with a side on sale for $4.99 on my last visit. I give that a 9.

I would highly recommend City Pig BBQ.  The food is good and the price is right.










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Zombie Pin-up Girls To Take Over Fort Worth’s Near South-side2010 Ms. Zombie Pin-up Pageant & Near South-Side Monsters Ball Pub Crawl set for Saturday, Oct. 23.
Fort Worth, Texas. – Cut Salon and Frankeenanstein Promotions are combining to bring the beauty and the BRAINS To Fort Worth’s Near Southside, presenting the inaugural 2010 Ms. Zombie Pin-up Pageant & near South - Side Monsters Ball Pub Crawl, set for Saturday night, October 23, 2010.
The pageant begins at 9 pm at Cut Salon, located at 620 South Jennings Avenue, in Fort Worth’s Near Southside. The public is invited to come watch the festivities, and encouraged to come in costume and take over the streets of Fort Worth for this first time event.
Those interested in entering the pageant should sign up at Cut, or email You must be 18 to enter the pageant and 21 to join the crawl! Be prepared to answer some questions at the photo stage and all entrants will be graded on originality, style and ability to eat the crowd alive. The winner will take part in a Photo shoot at a later date in conjunction with a promotional advertisement for Cut Salon
“There will be fun and prizes for both contestants and the viewing public,” said J. Keenan of Frankeenanstein Promotions. “There’s probably going to be some good debauchery too.”
A pub crawl in costume will follow the Ms. Zombie Pin-up Pageant, with festivities kicking off at 11 pm at the Usual on 1408 W. Magnolia Avenue. The Usual just won several awards in Fort Worth Weekly’s Best of 2010, including “Best Cocktail Bar”, by both the critics and the readers.
The festivities will continue as the ghouls, goblins, and zombie pin-ups head down the block to the Chat Room at 1263 West Magnolia Avenue for a midnight romp, headlined by North Texas’ top burlesque act, The Bella Bombers ( DJ Phlow will be spinning the tunes to keep the mood dead hot.
Both bars will feature $2.00 Zombie Shots all night.

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Tuesdays @ 8:00pm

at The Aardvark: 2905 W. Berry Street

Ft. Worth. (STARTS July 13th) 

For Immediate Release: June 30th, 2010 

Contact: John Dicker, 303-532-4737 x. 801 

DENVER:  Each week Geeks Who Drink hosts live pub quizzes at over 80 bars and restaurants throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington and Virginia.  On July 13th, the Geeks make their Fort Worth debut. 

What is a pub quiz? Very much like the name suggests: a trivia quiz game played in a pub. It's an Anglo-Irish tradition, but our goal is the same: to foster friendly cerebral competition and promote social drinking (and eating) in a relaxed environment. 

How does it work? The quiz consists of eight rounds of eight questions and is played in teams of up to six people. Questions are read aloud by the quizmaster; teams write their answers on provided sheets and turn them in at the end of each round. The team with the most points after eight rounds is the winner. 

Uh, isn’t this just “bar trivia?” Right… and your Grandma’s cooking is just like The Sizzler’s buffet because, ya know, they’re both just “dinner.” The short answer is, of course, HELL NO!   

A Geeks Who Drink quiz is written to scratch the universal itch for trivia (the delight that is banging your head on a table because you know you know the answer) but with more showmanship and originality. We’ll ask a round called “Hunting, Fishing and Drinking: The Three Dude Groups” followed by a round entitled “Wildly Inappropriate First Date Movies (think The Accused).” The questions are entertaining so even if your team is being served a deep dish of last place you’re still having a great time. 

Geeks Who Drink quizzes are also unique in that they include two rounds of audio questions - like name that tune, but with some bite. Examples: Songs We Lost Our Virginity To in The 1990s, Top 40 hits Butchered by David Hasslehoff, Disco Classics in German…   

Geeks Who Drink has a staff of over a twenty question writers and a team of research librarians who fact check every single quiz.  Our mistakes are rare. 

Finally, Geeks Who Drink blogs every single quiz so the day after, players can find photos of the winning teams, the final scores and a small narrative of the evening’s festivities on our website:    

Does it cost anything to play? Nope, it's free.  

Do you need to sign up beforehand? No, that's silly. 

What do you win? Bar cash, Internet fame and  prizes ranging from this to this. And of course, the winning team gets their photo on the blog at  

How do we know you're for real? Well, we have a website and we've been written about in   Entrepreneur Magazine, The Denver Post, Westword, The Rocky Mountain News (RIP), The Gazette (Colorado Springs), The Boulder Daily Camera, The Onion (Austin), and 9 News, (Denver’s NBC affiliate).   We have won numerous Best Of awards from newspapers in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder and Albuquerque.  

To see more media coverage please visit the Press Section of our website. 

Details: The Aardvark: 2905 W. Berry Street. Ft. Worth. Tuesdays @8pm starting July 13th. Free to play. 

Geeks Who Drink: John Dicker, 303-532-4737 x. 801  


By Cohe Bolin

For women who like wine, Grace is the place to be on Wednesdays.

“Women, Wine and Wednesday” offers a great mid-week treat for ladies who want to try new wines hand-picked by head sommelier Ryan Tedder and assistant sommelier Jennifer Kornblum.

Every Wednesday women head to Grace for the tastings that are a bargain at $10, which also includes passed appetizers for the duration of the weekly event. Many times you can meet the winemakers themselves if. They will give you all the information you want to know about the wine you’re drinking. If the winemaker isn’t available, just ask Jenny any questions you have about the wines. During the tastings, passed appetizers are available that complement the wines.

The wine tastings try to focus on women winemakers and are a great way to try and learn about new wines you may not be able get anywhere else.

Recent tastings have included wines from Beth Adams, of Abigail Adams wines. She brought a crisp rose, a viognier, a cabernet and a red blend called “Jam,” which was a great wine to finish the tasting

Adams grew up in Dallas and has worked with wine for many years, on the marketing and sales end of the business.

A small boutique winery, Adams produces slightly fewer than 1000 cases a year. She said she loves the French style rose and explains that her goal is to make the most of the grapes she grows.

The feel of Grace is inviting with owners Adam and Caroline “Grace” Jones welcoming you at the door and maintaining a consistent presence to accommodate their guests on a personal level. Between Jenny and Caroline, “Women, Wine, and Wednesday” has been a success, drawing bar business that will often stay for dinner. Grace also offers half price cigars every Monday.

A few other specials at Grace include “Bubble Hour” where all sparkling wines are half price from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, “Celebrity Bartender” inviting well-known people around Fort Worth to come and bartend for a night benefitting local charities.

Take advantage of the "Wine Me, Dine Me" dinners featuring four courses for $39; and if you want wine pairings with four courses and four wines $59 every week, Monday – Thursday. The menu for this and others are available on their website,



Don Cento, of former Chompsky fame, is now the front man of El Cento, a trio from Dallas. The group includes bassist Dave Prez, of many local collaborations, and drummer Earl Darling who played with Spot in 1992-1993 and Jackopierce from 1996-1999.

The group played in front of a medium-sized crowd at Lola’s Sixth last Thursday night in Fort Worth.

Cento, Prez and Darling sat down for a chat after their performance. Cento and Darling spoke about their past experiences with different musicians around the area while Prez was a little more reserved with his words.

“Dave’s the most humble guy in the band,” Don said.

“And Don’s the chattiest,” Dave shot back.

El Cento’s music sounds a little reminiscent of Pavement’s Steve Malkmus, but their sound is completely their own. They have fun onstage inviting the audience to join in on the banter between the members.

Their music is fun and upbeat, making you want to tap your toes and bob your head. Their sound is unique and their good vibe and quirkiness will make you smile.

Cento (Don) says the group is looking for audiences that may not already know them. He cites some of his early influences as Eddie Van Halen, Pavement, The Talking Heads and Patti Smith.

Playing since age 11, Darling says he was influenced by Kieth Moon, John Bonham and Jim Keltner among others.

Cento also played for a stint with Brad Thompson, a local favorite.

 “Brad played one of the first songs I ever wrote,” Cento said, talking about a song called “Lucky Henry,” that he wrote in 1996.

Cento also does graphic design when he’s not playing with the band, but would like to play music full-time.

“Ideally I would like to make a living playing songs that I write with musicians that I like,” said Cento.

This was only El Cento’s third performance but hopefully we’ll see more of them in the Fort soon


Chubby's: "Big Nasty" never tasted so good

By Velton Hayworth

At the risk of becoming a Chubby’s poster boy, I plan on making this place a regular stop. If you are looking to shed a few pounds stay away from the big nasty. The hand-made half-pound fat juicy patty topped with chili, crispy bacon, grilled jalapenos and onions, Monterrey jack, and cheddar cheese on poppy-seed free bun (Thank You!) is anything but nasty.

It should be called the “big messy”… because it is a big messy pile of goodness. I chose to forego the knife and fork and use my claws, leaving a foot-high pile of chili cheese stained napkins.

It’s too bad these guys weren’t open in time for's Best Burger showdown because these guys would definitely have been a contender.

Chubby’s menu offers more than just burgers -- everything from tacos to a grilled chicken sandwich or salad (for those who are watching their waist line) and corndogs and mini burgers for the kids. On my next visit I want to try the pizza burger (half-pound patty topped with marinara sauce, pepperonis and mozzarella cheese). Afterward, I'll crawl into a cave and hibernate.

The game is always on (three flat screens) and beer is always cold ($2.75 18 oz. schooners ), so what are you waiting for. Let's get chubby together!

Chubby’s is located at 7618 Camp Bowie W. Fort Worth.



Pour House set to open Saturday

By Velton Hayworth

It's been almost a year since XTO bought the building that was home to the Pour House and sent them packin'. It feels more like five years -- I've missed watching the Cowboys and knocking down a fat juicy burger at my favorite downtown sports bar.

But on Saturday, the wait is over. For all you who've missed your dear Pour House, owner Eric Tschetter (aka Cheddar) says he will be opening a new on Oct. 31 at its new location across the street from 7th Haven and Pogue Mahones.

Haven’t talked to your favorite bartender in a while? You're in luck… many of the old employees will be returning, like one of my faves, Ruben.

And with more than 25 flat screens, a huge patio and a fabulous menu (don’t forget Sunday brunch) I can’t think of a better place to watch your favorite sports team or just hang out. To quote Cheddar: "It’s going to be fabulous."

PH will have weekly live music and karaoke night, too. So check it out at 2725 West 7th St. and let us know what you think. For more info, call 817. 335. 2575 or click on PH's new web site

Click Here For Pour House Photos



Owner of the Mule opens Oscar's Pub in FW

Velton Hayworth

Robbie Turman, owner of the Mule Pub in West Fort Worth, has opened a new place called Oscar’s Pub right nearby. It's located a 6323 Camp Bowie Blvd, in the old Eurotazza Coffeehouse spot.

Robbie has mellowed a bit since opening the Mule 10 years ago, and it shows in his new endeavor. Unlike the Mule (which I love) with its live music and karaoke, Oscar’s, which is about half the size, is a laid back quaint little pub with a patio facing the parking lot. Oscars also has four HD flat screens, which makes it a perfect hangout for Monday night football.

Oscar's will be serving Deli style sandwiches in about three weeks. Until then they offer chips and hot sauce.

Why did Robbie name his new place Oscar's? Word is he wanted to name his son Oscar and his wife said no.

Oscar's is opened from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week


It's Time To Get Away

By Velton Hayworth

Does it seem like forever since your last vacation? AAH…fancy hotel, chatting with strangers by a poolside bar while sipping a Pina Colada. What…has the economic downturn hit your pocket? Can’t find the time to take off from work? No problem! Your mini-vacation could be just minutes away. That’s right, grab your suntan oil and your swim trunks and head to Fort Worth’s crown jewel, the Omni Hotel. The Omni’s pool bar with a poolside hot tub on the 3rd floor is open to the public 7 days a week. The eclectic clientele makes it the perfect place to people watch, and with a great bar menu and two flat screens it also makes the ideal place to watch your favorite sports team while avoiding a smoky sports bar. The Hotel hopes to keep the bar open until the end of October (whether permitting). So hurry up…its time get away and forget about all your troubles. You deserve it! Just remember how to get back home. The Pool Bar is open Mon – Wed 11 -7 / Thur – Sat 11 – 9 / Sunday 11 – 6


Hui Chuan Sushi, 6100 Camp Bowie

Em: Hui Chuan is the bipolar friend you knew in college, who was usually fun, sometimes annoying, very unpredictable, but you just sort of liked him anyway. (By "you", I mean anyone, not you personally.)m

Pilgrim: Yeah, it's true there is an inconsistency there. But on average, this is one of the best places for getting a solid sushi experience without the roll-centric crazines of places like Piranha and without making the sake-buzzed drive home from Dallas.

Em: Come on, you don't like the All That And A Bag Of Chips Roll? It's true, Hui Chuan is much more about sushi than it is about a scene. (Which, translated, means you are very unlikely to sit next to a group of squealing girls beginning a bachelorette night out, drinking martinis whose ingredients would make James Bond do a spittake.) The atmosphere at Hui Chuan isn't fancy, which for me is a bonus, because then I can concentrate on the sea bass sashimi.

Pilgrim: The sea bass! That is one great consistency, always incredible. The sea bass is fresh and tastes great; the lemon, jalapeno and cilantro as accompaniments are such an interesting choice. That dish reminds me how good Hui Chuan is when they are on.

Em: Yes, the decision of who is going to get the fifth piece of sashimi becomes a test of our social grace each time. The super white tuna is also (usually) fantastic, served with a light ponzu sauce. Inside my thoughts of both the sea bass and the super white I can hear a siren call.

Pilgrim: The last thing I'm gonna mention is a roll. I know I made fun of roll-centric sushi, but we've ordered the Pikachu Roll the last couple times we've been to Hui Chuan and it really is great. That thick hoisin sauce over the black caviar on top, sweet potato tempura and the eel inside . . . it's making me hungry thinking about it.

Em: Well, if history repeats itself, (which, as we all know, it is wont to do), you won't have to wait long, because we'll be back there again soon.


Have A Jazzy Evening At Embargo

By Velton Hayworth

Jazz fans will want to mark their calendars, because Sunday at Embargo is the new night for Jazz Jam in Fort Worth. The much-loved weekly jam session started about a decade ago at the original Black Dog Tavern downtown, and has moved around, first at the Dog and later to Lola’s at sixth.

But now Joey Carter and his compadres have brought the Jazz Jam back Downtown on Sunday nights. The quartet of Carter ( vibraphone ) , Paul Metzger ( guitar ) , Drew Phelps ( bass ) , and Pete Wehner ( drums ) will play mostly jazz standards and a few originals. Musicians will be drifting in and out throughout the performance for open jams.

 Cater says Embargo manager Jem Rodriguez approached the quartet about jump-starting the jazz tradition, and things get under way around 9 p.m. Sundays. Embargo is at 210 E. Eighth St. 817.870.9750



By Ken Shimamoto 

Listen: There’s a record store open on the west side, in the corridor near West Vickery that, if I were a wagering person like Pete Rose, I’d bet is gonna become the hub of a lot of interesting activity in the next couple of years. It’s located at 2111 Montgomery Street,  just north of the Montgomery Street Antique Mall, where the flower shop used to be. They’ve been open about a month now after relocating from Hurst; their sign just went up this past weekend. They’re open from 11am to 7pm, Tuesday through Saturday. You can give ‘em a call at 817-732-5455. 

I just went there today for the first time and it’s a crate digger’s paradise. They’ve got yards and yards of vinyl, as well as CDs, a small room full of books, another full of posters and photos, and racks upon racks of vintage clothing (including silver cowboy boots!). They keep the rock, metal, punk, and world/jazz/R&B up front, country and other stuff in the back. I spent half an hour there and came out with clean vinyl copies of Family’s Fearless, Electric Ladyland (record club pressing but immaculate), and We’re Only In It for the Money, and I saw multiple copies of lotsa desirable artifacts (at least four Piper At the Gates of Dawns, f’rinstance) in varying conditions but all reasonably priced. My sweetie copped a couple of vintage garments, and I found a hardcover copy of the Neil Young bio Shakey. Next time I need to dig deeper into their jazz and funk stacks. 

As accustomed as I’ve become to the convenience and selection of online sellers like Amazon, for someone like your humble narrator of events, who grew up in record stores and remains enamored of The Romance of the Artifact, there’s nothing to top the thrill of digging through stacks where you know at any moment you might stumble on something that’ll quicken your pulse – not to mention the tactile sensation of handling and listening to a vinyl record. Listening to the two 20somethings behind the counter talking record store dude talk was an added bonus. Expect to pay more than at Half Price Books, of course, but it’s worth the extra scratch to dig the total experience.









Joe and the Sonic Dirt from Madagascar’s Match of the Day

By Ken Shimamoto

Call Matt Hickey “Mr. Misunderstood.”

Reviewing Search for Numb, the debut full-length from his band the Fellow Americans, I accused him of harboring “an unhealthy obsession with the Oklahoma City bombing.” (The song I quoted in support of this thesis, Hickey insisted, was about a bottle of champagne.) That very same disc garnered praise from no less of a personage than ex-Village Voice music editor Chuck Eddy on the basis of a T-shirt Hickey was wearing in the CD cover pic, which Eddy assumed was a Pere Ubu referent when in fact it was the name of another, even more obscuro outfit. Hickey then demonstrated his penchant for the quixotic and willfully perverse by releasing a CD that folks who know will tell you was the best thing he’s ever done (even going back to his pre-Famericans band, the late, lamented Rio Grande Babies), then turning around and breaking up the band before they’d played a single show in support of said CD.

Full disclosure: Matt Hickey is a friend of mine. We sometimes drink beer at the Bull & Bush together. After he’d pulled the plug on the Famericans, I coaxed him out of “retirement” to play a farewell show with Stoogeaphilia at the Moon. I invited him to play with me in the improv band PFFFFT!, in which context he sat on the floor behind my amplifier, playing nearly-inaudible synthesizer. It seems he didn’t like the pressure of performing live with the Famericans, particularly when he was serving as frontman after singer Jeff Price bailed while copies of Search for Numb were still hot off the presses. When PFF(F)T! joined forces with Terry Horn and Mark Cook’s Yanari to be reborn as the Hentai Improvising Orchestra, Hickey built himself a simulacrum of a traditional Indian instrument called a gopichand from a Folger’s coffee can and bits of guitar detritus. Terry and Mark call him “Gopi-Matt.”

Hickey’s an Uber-Angophile – he digs soccer and Guinness -- whose ears are big enough to dig PiL and Throbbing Gristle as well as Blur and, um, Deep Purple. He lives in Weatherford with his novelist wife and they raise horses. He’s always having to leave the gig early so he can muck out the stables or whatever it is people who live in Weatherford do. He has a quirky sensahumour and likes random weirdness, which perhaps explains this, the debut release from his portentously named solo project.

Match of the Day comes to you in a manila project folder, probably filched from his day job, that lists the contents as “1 CD-R, 1 Photocopy of the album cover,” the total selling price as 99 cents (he’ll sell you a copy via his Myspace thingy for two bucks postpaid), and the net profit as “priceless.” The music consists of a single track, 45 minutes long, which sounds like the noise a cassette makes while it’s getting mangled by an unruly tape player. Hickey says the piece was kloodged together from several shorter pieces, which appear to have been overlayed on top of each other – “A aural loaf I refused to pinch.” He adds, “It was fun, though, throwing everything into the mixer and hearing what sonic cacophony came of it.” If you listen to it long enough (a feat it took me three tries to accomplish), you can actually hear variations within this sonic soup – kind of like the snippets from Beethoven that Lou Reed claimed were woven into Metal Machine Music.

I heartily recommend this disc to any club sound technician who’s been searching for a soundtrack that’s guaranteed to clear the room at closing time.



By Ken Shimamoto 

Some outdoorsy friends of Velton’s just moved to town and were looking for some activities they can do in and around the city. There’s actually more available than you might think for those whose idea of an outdoor adventure involves something more strenuous than a stroll through the Botanic Gardens. 

To begin with, the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, situated on 3600 acres on the northwest side of town (four miles west of I-820 on Jacksboro Highway), has 20 miles of hiking trails that meander through forests, prairies, and wetlands full of native plant and animal life. The Nature Center was always a favorite field trip location back when my kids were in school. Sometime I’ll have to tell you the story of the time I got us lost there around closing time; it was a real hoot, although they might not have thought so at the time. If you have school-age kids and want a more expert guide, you can sign them up for a Summer Natural History Adventure by calling 817-392-7410. (There’s a schedule downloadable as a PDF from the “Summer Adventures 09” link on the Nature Center’s web page.) 

It was a definite eye-opener for me back in May when Tarrant County tax assessor-collector Betsy Price was in the Star-T riding her bike the 10 miles from her home off Hulen to her downtown office on Bike To Work Day. “We wouldn't be the least bit insulted if you didn't renew your car registration, and rode your bike," said she. For a public official in Fort Worth, that’s HUGE. And indeed, in addition to the currently existing 40 miles of paved bike trails currently in existence along the Trinity (there’s a link to a map here.), the first phase of the city’s Bicycle Blueprint, implemented in 2007, provides for 60 miles of marked bike lanes on city streets. (You can download a map of the routes as a PDF file here.) Of course, for this to work, motorists will have to get used to the idea of sharing our streets with cyclists, so watch out and wear your helmet (and for goodness sakes, if you’re gonna ride at night, get a light), but we’ve definitely taken a couple of steps in the right direction. 

We have friends who canoe down the Brazos every year, and our neighbor just bought a kayak, but I didn’t have any idea that there were opportunities to enjoy the sport closer to home. There’s a meet up group online for folks who’ve already dipped an oar in the water, while May Club Outfitters can have novice kayakers out on an area lake for as little as $100 for three hours. They also offer pricier out-of-town daytrips to Port Aransas or Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

So, slather on the sunscreen, get outside and have fun!



It Takes All Types

By Velton Hayworth

I was surprised at how many of my friends said they would love to see George Strait when I told them I was taking photos of the crowd before the concert for DFW.Com. And they were surprised that I could not name a George Strait song.

After my friends were kind enough sing a few for me I realized I was familiar with several. I guess all those years eating at the Dairy Queen paid off. Aw, come on, you’ve got love the stroke-in-the-basket (country basket) deep-fried steak fingers, fries, extra Texas Toast and gravy. Only $5.29 at your local diary Queen.

Bet you never heard this one…What do you get when you play country music backwards? You get your wife back your car back your dog back and so on.

The show started at 7:00 and I was not in the mood to fight traffic so I left my house at 3:00, met no resistance, and was at my destination in about 20 minutes.

With plenty of time to spare I decided to grab a bite to eat at Joe's Crab Shack right down the street from the stadium. Around 4:00 I overheard the manager telling the bartender that they were about to start marking tires. He informed me at this time any car left the parking lot more than 2 hours would be towed. Perfect. Just enough time to walk to the stadium snap a few shots and avoid the $40 dollar parking fee (which should be a crime).

So I’m off to the show with a belly full of fish and chips. Time 1600 hours--thousands of fans are already filling the parking lot and the tailgate parties were kicking. The diverse crowd of young and old, freaks, geeks, kicker’s, yuppies, and working class Joes were all friendly and filled with anticipation. I just hope they still had smiles on their faces after the show.
Complaints of bad sound quality, especially in the upper deck and long lines for concessions that ended up running out of food left many with a bad taste in their mouth. Or in some cases no taste at all.

I hope they get all straightened out in time for the Jonas Bothers show on June 20th.
Would you want to deal with 60 thousand pissed off teen-age girls?.

Click Here For Photos


PHO 95 

By Ken Shimamoto 

So David Carradine is dead. While I wish the man a gentle journey and bear him no ill will, I find it creepy-weird that his demise may have been brought about by some Michael Hutchence-like bizarre sex thang. More to the point, I never liked the Kung Fu TV series, the source of more ign’ant folks’ Asian jokes during my high school years than I care to recall, and I was still hearing the same kind of boo-shee when I first set foot in the Fort 30 years ago. 

So what’s all this have to do with Pho 95, the Viet joint located in the Nguyen Loi shopping center at 5302 East Belknap in Haltom City? Well, nothing…and everything. While there are a goodly number of places to scarf worthy Vietnamese chow on that strip, Pho 95 is our favorite for sentimental reasons: it’s the place where Ray Liberio met us to show us the designs for our wedding invitations, just over five years ago. And they do throw a righteous bowl of pho (you can still see in the menu where they inked over the designation “Honky Bowl” for their large-size portion), as well as fresh, light boiled-pork-and-shrimp spring rolls with a tasty peanut sauce. Their fresh limeade is killer, too. Today we also ordered some food to go for dinner, since my sweetie was busy painting and I didn’t feel like going to the market on my day off. Barbecued beef with white rice was sweet and aromatic, the pickled cabbage that accompanied it providing a tangy counterpoint, while a half chicken was redolent with Chinese five spice, complemented by a curried rice. 

My favorite thing about Pho 95, though, is seeing the clientele there (and it’s almost always busy, if not packed) – the Anglo extended family (the father presumably the owner of the “Vietnam Vet and Proud of It” decal in the window of one vehicle parked outside) sitting side by side with their Asian neighbors, the working folks of all ethnicities enjoying a hearty, affordable lunch. Stepping outside after our meal was done and returning to our car (with the “Crema Internacional Super Exfoliante” ad playing on La Bonita for the hundredth time today), I paused and reflected on the diversity Cowtown’s achieved since I first docked here, and how good that makes me feel about claiming her as home.



Going Across The Pond

By Velton Hayworth

What… no one else would give you a gig so you had to buy your own music venue?

I’m sure Danny Weaver ( the owner of the Aardvark and lead guitar player for Holy Moly) has heard that joke a thousand times. Fortunately H. M. has no trouble getting gigs outside of the Vark.

Danny and his band will be going on a one-month, 19-show tour through Europe. And Saturday hundreds of fans poured through the door for the Holy Moly send-off party, dubbed the "Going Across the Pond Show."

The Cow Punkers (Holy Moly) tour will include stops in 17 cities throughout Holland and Belgium.

Through the years the Aardvark (on the TCU campus) has hosted acts such as Son Volt, Robert Earl Keen, Bowling For Soup, and 10,000 Maniacs, just to name a few. And don’t worry, there are plenty of great shows scheduled at the Vark while Danny and his band are gone. And if you're not in the mood for music you can stop in and knock down a BBQ sandwich. (The sauce rocks … thick, tangy and spicy.)

The Vark serves food Tuesday thru Sunday until 2. Check out the menu at the-


The Ox Magnolia and Bob Fante’s Proud Now American 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Eaton Lake Tonics’ Tony Ferraro, as I was recently reminded, was one of a handful of young, hip guys (now in their early 30s) who worked at CD Warehouse on South Hulen back when I was divesting myself of my collection for the third or fourth time while I was scribing for the FW Weekly on a regular basis as my primary source of income. It seemed to me at the time that my visits to their store were greeted like the coming of Santa Claus, the ice cream man, and the Camel girl might have been. These days it always gives me a kick when I run into one of them and learn what interesting creative endeavors they’ve been up to. 

Proud Now American is a split LP (downloadable for free at the URL above) by the pseudonymous personae of Tony and his pal, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea’s Caleb Gray. Bob Fante, of course, has already produced one of my favorite releases of this year, the Rancho Folly V full-length, and Tony has characterized the set in question as a “diaspora-themed romp.” That’s a resonant theme for me: after all, we’re all immigrants here, a fact we occasionally forget at our peril. 

However, I must confess: I suck at reviewing music of which lyrics are a key component. Perhaps it’s because I lost the facility for remembering song lyrics around 1973, before which I can remember the lyrics of songs I don’t even remotely like. Perhaps it’s because in the battle between these feedback-scorched ears and the tag-team of a singer’s occasionally less-than-stellar elocution and the recording-and-mixing engineers’ craft, it’s the lyrics that lose out, crushed like a shrimp between whales. 

That’s kinda what happens on the five Ox Magnolia tracks here, which on a purely musical level are gorgeously crafted, disheveled-sounding indie pop in the manner of M. Ward or Elliott Smith, the rough-hewn acoustic textures bumping up against echo-laden backing vocals and oddball instrumental touches like the kids’ xylophone on “Jack Russell Kilt” and “Amerikanadian,” or the percussion instrument that sounds like running water on “British Columbia MO.” It’s psychedelic in the same bleary-eyed way as Alexander “Skip” Spence’s Oar or post-breakdown Syd Barrett. 

First Bob Fante track “Go Go Supertoy” unfolds at a glacial pace, with Tony adopting the persona of an immigrant lad as he sings, “Untried arrangements / I’m proud now American / You can’t get me to shush if you tried / When it was time we gave all that we had / You can’t regret the life that you didn’t lead,” followed by a wobbly and slightly distressed guitar solo. “Children In Fur Coats” is the kind of opaque, slightly skewed pop rock for which ELT is justifiably well known, the lyrics providing reassurance that “You’ll always have a home here / You don’t have to fight for your right to be free.” “Diaspora” is a crunching, anthemic rocker, its narrator now assimilated enough to offer a challenge: “Goin’ out tonight / To set the floors on fire / And I’m gonna fall in love with an American girl…You called us your niggers / You can call us your worst but we said it first.”  

The glove’s down. The gleaming package filled with generic pop thrills has been revealed as an empty vessel, and the conglomerate that was shilling it is bankrupt. The only entertainment left is that which you and your friends can create and cast out on the ether. Better get to it.


Dove Hunter’s The Southern Unknown 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Call me an old stick in the mud. As shitty a scene supporter as I am, I’m just now getting around to hearing this excellent rekkid, which was released almost a year ago. I haven’t even made it out to see these guys – even when they were playing on a Saturday afternoon at the Ginger Man, a relative hop-skip-and-jump away from mi casa. Mea culpa. But my interest was piqued hearing Jeff Liles waxing ecstatic about their performance at Good Records on Bill Wisener’s birthday/Record Store Day, and like a candygram from the gods, I got a copy from the drummer’s wife when I saw her shopping at my straight this week. (Thanks, Andrea!) 

The guys in Dove Hunter – who employ ecceNTRIC capitalIZATION on their Myspace page, possibly to differentiate themselves from a Seattle outfit that’s using the same moniker – have an underground bloodline as illustrious as my beloved Stumptone’s, with a lineage that includes Denton’s Mazarin, History At Our Disposal, and Sub Oslo, not to mention old Wreck Room faves Doosu.  

This collection has the same bluesy, mind-warped rustic vibe as ancient psychedelic classics like Spirit’s Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus or, on a slightly less exalted level, Captain Beyond’s Sufficiently Breathless. They employ “traditional” instruments like banjo and steel guitar with brilliantly subversive intent. Of particular note in this regard is Josh Daugherty’s pedal steel, which rather than lilting like a Nashville cat’s, screes and squalls like a banshee in the manner of Glen Ross Campbell’s from his daze in the ‘60s psych band the Misunderstood – a stirring sound. 

There’s a heavy Zep III vibe to The Southern Unknown as well, an association that springs as much from Jayson Wortham’s alternately spectral and soulful vox as it does from the band’s seamless integration of acoustic and electric textures. And Quincy Holloway, who started out kicking traps for Cowtown punk bands before evolving into the octopus-armed propulsive force behind Sub Oslo’s dub reggae bath, has matured even further into a master of complex, ever-shifting riddimic patterns that always serve the song without calling attention to themselves. 

Note to self: Be sure to catch these guys when they play Lola’s Stockyards on June 13th.



By Ken Shimamoto 

I am the first to admit it: I spend too much time on the goddamn computer. 

And I’m not even as bad as some people I know. Sure, I blog and I’m on Myspace (mainly to promote my bands, see?), but so far I’ve resisted the urgings of folks I know to get on Facebook (They: “It’s a great way to reconnect with the people you knew in high school!” Me: “But I hated those people!”) and Twitter. My wife and I are probably the last Americans not to have cellphones, and our TV exists only as a monitor for our VHS and DVD players. But I still find myself obsessive-compulsively checking email 20 times a day. Admit it, you do, too. Would hate to miss something, y’know? 

My wife noticed something when she was riding her bike yesterday morning – a beautiful spring day when lots of folks in Arlington Heights were out working in their yards or walking their dogs. There are two distinct kinds of behavior in our neighbors. One set are actively engaged in their immediate environment, looking and commenting at things, greeting the folks they meet, responding in kind when they’re greeted.  

The other folks seem constantly distracted, intensely focused on things that are Elsewhere. Those in the second group are the ones with iPod earbuds or Bluetooth headsets in their ears. Throw a friendly, “Nice day for walking, isn’t it?” their way and more than likely just keep walking. Or, if they’re especially polite, they’ll remove their earbuds from their ears, or hold up a finger signaling “Waitaminute,” while silently mouthing, “Just a sec.”  

I’ve noticed the same thing at my straight job: folks strolling through the market, talking to their “imaginary friends,” texting, Twittering, listening to their iPods, kids playing handheld games. It’s certainly changed the experience of working in retail. When I was a cashier, I could conduct entire transactions without ever interacting on a human level. There’s a copy shop on Camp Bowie that has a sign, telling their customers, “We’ll be happy to serve you as soon as you’re done talking on your cellphone.” I think that’s a reasonable request. 

Local artist James Lassen has done a series of paintings depicting the way cellphone use has changed people’s public behavior. It certainly begs the question, “How can you claim to be part of a community when you never interact with anything in your immediate physical environment?” 

This phenomenon has even affected families, who come home from work and school to engage in a kind of “parallel play” on their ‘puters and phones instead of having actual conversations. 

Now Adbusters magazine is challenging its readers to “do the unthinkable: unplug. Say good-bye to Twitter and Facebook. Turn off your TV, iPhone and Xbox. For seven days, reconnect with the natural world and the people around you. You’ll be amazed at how the magic creeps back into your life.” They propose doing it next week, from April 20th to the 26th. 

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I won’t be able to do it next week because I’m working on a story on deadline and trying to set up a band practice. But I’m going to do it, and soon. While the weather’s still nice, I need to spend my days off taking some long walks and seeing what’s happening in our town instead of sitting hunched in front of this screen here.  

But give it a shot, why doncha? You have nothing to lose but your eyestrain, your neck aches, and your carpal tunnel syndrome. And you have a whole world of experience to gain.



The Trinity Shakespeare Festival debuts at Texas Christian University

FORT WORTH, TX (April 1, 2009) —  Ticket sales for the upcoming Trinity Shakespeare Festival on the TCU campus will begin April 27.  Buy them online at or in person Tuesday through Saturday afternoons, beginning May 19, at the Bushman Theatre box office located in the LaLonnie Lehman Lobby in Ed Landreth Hall (W. Cantey Street side).  Tickets are priced at $20/adults, $10/students and seniors and anyone with a TCU ID.

The Festival will be producing two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays: his tragedy of young love Romeo and Juliet and his delightful romantic comedy Twelfth Night: or What You Will.  The Festival will open its inaugural season with preview performances June 9 and 10, followed by a revolving schedule through June 28.  The plays will be produced in Texas Christian University=s two newly renovated, intimate (indoor/air conditioned) theatres: the Jerita Foley Buschman Theatre and the Marlene and Spencer Hays Theatre.

The Festival plans on using both professional actors and student actors from TCU’s award winning theatre program to provide a mix of experience and energy to the productions.  Fort Worth has gone without summer Shakespeare events since the “Shakespeare in the Park” productions disappeared from the local theater scene almost ten years ago.

Performance Schedule

Twelfth Night     Romeo & Juliet

Preview  Tues. June 9 7:30pm ½ price Preview Wed. June 10 7:30pm ½ price

Opens: Thurs.. June 11 7:30pm  Open Fri. June 12 7:30pm

Sat. June 13 7:30pm    Sat. June 13 2:30pm

Sun. June 14 2:30pm    Sun. June 14 7:30pm

Fri. June 19 7:30pm    Thurs. June 18 7:30pm

Sat. June 20 2:30pm    Sat. June 20 7:30 pm

Sun. June 21 7:30pm    Sun. June 21 2:30pm

Thurs. June 25 7:30pm   Fri. June 26 7:30pm

Sat. June 27 7:30pm    Sat. June 27 2:30pm

Sun. June 28 2:30pm CLOSING  Sun. June 28 7:30pm CLOSING

For additional information, visit the website at


Sent In By Reader

Thanx Adam

Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore (?) ...

This is not just the title of an excellent Phil Collin's tune, but a question on the minds of many music-loving Fort Worthians such as myself. Anybody that has been even casually acquainted with DFW music over the past couple of years can all agree on one thing ... er' things ... they have changed. I'm not just talking about how clean and posh The Aardvark now looks or how The Chat Room has become the place to be seen. I am talking about loss.

Regardless of your local musical tastes, it's likely that you know of a band that has recently played its final show. I'm not just talking about some group of highschoolers that perform at the Door every Saturday and had to call it quits because the bass player thinks his band should play something more than just My Chemical Romance covers and the angst-ridden singer strongly disagrees. I am talking about local heavyweights that have been knocked out ... for good.

I guess I first began to notice this recent white-flag-waving trend when local hard rockers The Feds decided to pull the plug on their very loud music back in October of last year. The Kansas City transplants had been a staple of the DFW scene for some time, and whether you're a fan or not, its hard to recall a time when they weren't around. As is also the case with the equally long-lived Flickerstick, the emotional rock veterans who valiantly trekked along after their major label legs had been cut out from beneath them. Having been on hiatus for most of 2008, the band decided to host a couple of farewell shows in the area to formally bid adieu to fans. Having personally attended their final Dallas show at the House of Blues and hearing the response to lead singer Brandin Lea's question "Who came from out of state to be here?"; I can officially say that Flickerstick's following reached far beyond merely a regional status and the out-of-staters turned out in droves. Next on the chopping-block are Neo-New-Wavers Black Tie Dynasty. Arguably one of Fort Worth's most successful bands to emerge as of late - in that they actually received considerable radio airplay - these boys recently decided to pawn their synths and call it a day before any further musical burn-out set in. Then you have relative newbies like Cobralush (formerly Pretty Baby) fronted by Rockstar Supernova cast-off Zayra Alvarez and backed by local MVPs Dave Karnes and ex-Sugarbomb guitarist Daniel Harville. As any teenage bride will tell you ... it really sucks when you go through all the trouble of a name change only to end up getting things anulled shortly thereafter.

There are also two soon-to-be break-ups just around the Trinity River bend. And the first one is going to hit the rastafarians squarely in the dreads. After 7 years of reggae-ska-punk-rocking their way to alcohol sales records, Darth Vato is breaking-up. Band bassist Steve Steward even blogged about the downfall ever so poignantly on the bands myspace page ( *note: this is required reading for all local musicians!) Another soon to be no-more leaves me scratching my head: Calhoun? After being a hired gun for both Zac Maloy in the early 00's and the aformentioned Flickerstick until their official cessation, I really thought that singer-songwriter Tim Locke had truly found his musical groove with his most recent project. The band's latest album Falter, Waiver, Cultivate was extremely well received by critics and fans alike. The music combined the best of Mr. Locke's many past musical worlds - from the folkier, acoustic side of Grand Street Cryers and his own solo material to the bombastic rock of the all-too-short-lived Coma Rally. I can only hope that unlike his fellow acoustic mafiosos John Price and Collin Herring, Tim decides to stay on the musical radar.

Look, I'm not saying that there aren't still plenty of good bands to listen to in the 817, but when such a large portion of Cowtown music falls by the wayside, this jaded 25 year old can only hear the continued reverberations of Mr. Locke when he bellows "These are the dead days!"
- Adam Hull



Lost Country’s When We Danced 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Spring is here and having just celebrated a half century making music, Lost Country honcho Jim Colegrove has just released his band’s sixth (can that be right?) CD on his Cool Groove label. The disc features the same blend of voices (four, count ‘em, four lead singers!) and influences (a veritable cornucopia of blues and country-rooted musics) as its predecessors. This time around, Colegrove’s Woodstock pal Jeff Gutcheon has been supplanted behind the ivories by ex-Juke Jumper Craig Simecheck. More to the point, producer Colegrove has invested the tracks on this latest opus with a glossy sheen that’s, dare I say it, “radio-ready.” Guitars ring, snare shots crack like rifle fire, and vocals carry just enough reverb to make them sound massive. 

When We Danced is the first Lost Country outing to feature all original material, with nary a cover to be found. Pick of the litter is “I Could Swear It Wasn’t Raining,” a stately C&W ballad in the grand style, penned by steel guitarist David McMillan in collaboration with Colegrove, whose western swing-y “Hybrid Baby” is both topical and witty. (On first listen, I had to stop for a minute before I realized that the line “She’s a combination and she goes both ways you see” was about a car. Duh.) I doubt that Colegrove intentionally set out to summon the shade of Ronnie Lane on “Nowhere to Go,” but song’s nostalgia for late lamented places -- which should resonate for listeners, like this one, who are having trouble adjusting to some of the changes to the face of our fair city – resounds with the same kind of sweet regret as the ex-Small Face and adopted Austinite’s best toons. The same bittersweet sentiments inform Colegrove’s “It Don’t Work Anymore” and “Right What’s Left.” 

Susan Colegrove turns in a bravura rockabilly vocal turn that’d do Wanda Jackson proud on “Baby Let’s Go,” and expresses a very modern impatience with the pace of things (“It takes too long to eat my dinner / It takes to long when I want to be thinner”) on “It Takes Too Long,” a lazy, loose-limbed rocker that lopes along like something Cosimo Matassa might have cut in Nawlins back in the ‘50s. Big surprise here is bassist Rob Caslin, who’s been gigging with jangly rockers Great American Novel when not busy with Colegrove and Co. He penned and sang the title track, a good-timey Appalachian hoedown, and “Little Creeps,” a galloping Buddy Holly-esque take on the same premise as Randy Newman’s “Short People,” with wobbly slide guitar from Colegrove. Lost Country will be at the Keys Lounge (5677 Westcreek) this Saturday, May 4th, and at Mambo’s downtown (1010 Houston) two weeks later, on May 18th.


White Elephant's Annual Battle Of The Bands / March 31st 2009

By Velton Hayworth

Last week a friend asked me to come out to and support a buddy of his playing in the battle of the bands at the White Elephant Saloon. I haven’t been to a battle of the bands since the 80s but what the hell--I’m always up for a party and a few Jager shots, and a party it was!  The Elephant was at capacity while helpless fans stood in line at the front door anxiously waiting for guests to leave so they could get in and support their favorite band.
 It was the final night of the contest, and after weeks of elimination rounds it came down to two bands: John’s Guns, and the Hawkes. The chanting crowd (which was very diverse) was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think.  JOHN’S GUNS!!!!!!!!!!  JOHN”S GUNS!!!!!!!!!!  HAWKES!!!!!!!!!!  HAWKES!!!!!!!! Tell you the truth, excluding a little Willie I’m not the biggest fan of country or that Texas songwriters stuff, but I do know quality talent, and both bands put all of theirs into an exhilarating performance for the house.  I hated to see either band lose, and in the end I felt that neither did, but there did have to be a winner. John’s Guns is more Texas songwriters and The Hawkes are more traditional country (no fiddle but a great steel player). There are those who like apples and those who like oranges, and I think that was the deciding factor… musical style.
Prizes included a custom-made guitar donated by the sponsor, KHYI Radio, an opening slot on the Tommy Alverson’s “ Family Gathering “ Concert, a spot on the 2009 Shiner Sunday live broadcast on KHYI-FM 95.3, a free music video produced by Mack’s Yasgur Productions...and the list didn't stop there. I could tell the entire crowd respected both bands, and with so many things to gain there were no sore losers, no broken  bottles against the chicken wire, no mayhem...not even a boo after the winner was announced. The runners up shook hands and congratulated the winners with a sincere smile and a see y'all next year. Maybe we’ll see you next year.  Who might have some country in your closet waiting to come out.  And by the way the winner is...








The Hawkes / Click Here For More Photos

Fante’s Rancho Folly V 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Bob Fante is merely the latest nom de disque of Domenic (aka Tony) Ferraro, the mastermind (with Ben Rogers) behind the One Hundred Second Dash online music compilation (currently in its second volume, with a third in progress as I type this), and an integral component of the floating musical crap game that includes (but is not limited to) the Eaton Lake Tonics, Scene Girls, RTB2, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, and probably a few others that I’ve forgotten. (Or could it be an oblique reference to John Fante, the Italo-American novelist who influenced Kerouac and Bukowski? You decide!) 

Rancho Folly V is downloadable for free from the ELT Myspace thingy (URL above), but don’t kid yourself that that’s an indication of its value. In fact, to these feedback-scorched ears, it’s an early contender for the best release of this still-young year. I’ve seen Tony perform many of these songs live with his various bands on numerous occasions over the last couple of years. One of my favorite performances was one where he appeared solo at the Cadillac Fraf benefit at Lola’s last December. Hearing the songs “naked” in that context really opened my eyes to the quality of their craft. This album, recorded in Tony and Ben’s living room, kind of works the same way: The close-mic’ed intimacy of the setting really lets you hear the songs breathe, rather than distracting you with a glossy veneer.  

That said, there’s a lot here to beguile the ear, and I’m pleased to note that all my favorite bits of my favorite live songs have made it to their recorded versions: the military tattoo the drums play on “Lonesome Foghorn Cove,” the handclaps on “Your Eternal Soul,” the ukelele on “The Only Man With Any Problems,” the Beefheartian contrapuntal guitars on “Tom Fogerty” (which have a whole different feel when played acoustically rather than on Tony and Ryan Becker’s Telecasters). There are new favorite bits, too: the electric guitar on “Watch Me Hide,” the hand percussion and Hare Krishna chorus on “O’er the Lawn.” 

The lo-fi production sound and minimalist backing beg comparison to the likes of M. Ward, Conor Oberst, and Paul Westerberg (seriously, “No We Can’t Be Friends,” could be a late-period ‘Mats outtake), and that’s the league Tony’s operating in, songwriting-wise. He writes gorgeous pop melodies, which he sometimes breaks up with dissonance, backward-masked weirdness, and found sounds (perhaps why the FW Weekly has always classified ELT as “experimental/avant-garde,” although Tony avers that “I don’t care what you call it”). Lyrically, he casts the magnifying glass on little bits of life and makes them feel cinematic in scope – from the Waitsian circus-at-the-end-of-the-world of “Watch Me Hide” to the sweet relationship saga “Monty and Lettie” to the garage psychedelia of “Sidewalk Glow.” 

It’s almost like some guy sitting in his living room on the south side made The White Album or something – it’s really that good. And he’ll perform it live at the Fairmount on April 21st



Chad Rueffer’s Be Where You Are Now 





By Ken Shimamoto 

The torch of honky-tonk country – the music that evolved when economics took the big western swing bands off the road in the ‘50s and forced them to pare down to the essentials of steel guitar, fiddle, and rhythm section – continues to burn brightly in the hands of the Insiders, kings of Pearl’s Dancehall & Saloon in the Stockyards, fronted by guitarist-singer Chad Rueffer and his fiddler-singer brother Reggie (when Reg isn’t on the road with Charlie Pride).  

It’s been five years now since Chad first demonstrated his estimable songwriting chops with “Miranda…You Ain’t Right” on Me and My Heart and My Shoes, the Insiders’ premiere studio effort. This time around, Chad takes the spotlight, producing the disc and penning five of 12 tunes, accompanied by his brother on fiddle, bass, and harmony vocals, with Derek Spigener from the Pride band on drums and Johnny Cox on steel. They all play like the pros they are, beautifully recorded by Joey Lomas. 

Chad’s lived-in baritone – a vocal range that many commercial radio listeners may have forgotten existed – is the perfect vehicle for the classic Tin Pan Alley tuneage favored by the honky-tonk legends he emulates, and own songs are cut from the same cloth: the sprightly shuffle “Whiskey Binge” (which has “radio hit” written all over it), the Johnny Paycheck homage “Don’t Get In Much Anymore” (which contains the classic lines “I can’t ever get to sleep here / It’s haunted by memory / Maybe you can exorcise / The devil out of me”), the road-weary muso’s saga “Leaving the Highway Behind,” the prisoner’s lament “Locked Up and Lonely.” 

The covers include two by Rueffer favorite Skeets McDonald alongside others by Bobby Bare, Faron Young, Roger Miller, and a version of Bob Wills’ “If No News Is Good News” that features instrumental work reminiscent of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. But the best songs here are the title track, which sounds like nothing so much as Richard Thompson fronting Merle Haggard’s Strangers (the high lonesome sound of Appalachia being nothing more than an echo its Anglo-Saxon ancestors’ keening, after all), and Reggie Rueffer’s “Crumbling Heart,” a reminder that it’s been far too long since we heard from his rock project the Hochimen.  

While the rest of the U.S. of A. may be boot-scootin’ to music that sounds like pickup truck ads, fans of real country here in the Fort are fortunate enough to be able to head on up to Pearl’s anytime Chad and the Insiders are playing, and take a long, cool drink from a deep, deep well.

Ghostcar’s New CD Is Online Now 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Maybe it’s true that nobody buys CDs anymore. That’s what Indian Casino Records honcho John Frum said when I interviewed him for a Fort Worth Weekly cover story awhile back. Dallas writer-muso Jeff Liles says that he’s trying to convince Bill Wisener of Bill’s Records fame to give away a CD with every vinyl record he sells. For the digital-only slaves, the iPod has become the weapon of choice, while the savvy labels are manufacturing vinyl again (in small runs) for those still infatuated with The Romance of the Artifact. 

Ghostcar’s leader-trumpeter Karl Poetschke is still talking about releasing a new CD, but he’s also made all of the tracks (which remain untitled except by number) available online: “Ghostcar 24,” “…21,” and “…16” can be streamed from the band’s Myspace page, while the other six tracks are downloadable from its page on the ReverbNation site. (They’re in good company; the pianist Vijay Iyer has all of his albums streaming in their entirety on his website, banking on enough serious listeners being willing to shell out for better-than-MP3 quality to make the enterprise worthwhile.) 

The band, which had been on hiatus while Poetschke – who now resides in Arizona -- was off playing on cruise ships and working as a wilderness guide in Alaska (really!), reconvened last weekend for a show at the Lounge in Deep Ellum. Bassist Chris Perdue has been taking care of family stuff, guitarist Daniel Huffman was on the road with the Polyphonic Spree last year, and force-of-nature drummer Clay Stinnett kept his chops up playing with blues and cover bands (not to mention PFFFFT!) before hooking up with ex-Baboon musos as The Boom Boom Box and playing their third show to 3,000 people, opening for the Toadies in Houston. 

Like Urizen, a band Caroline Collier profiled in the February 18th Weekly, Ghostcar is misunderstood. In Urizen’s case, I’ve often thought that the band’s own marketing might be holding them back from finding their “real” audience. While they bill themselves as black metal and have opened lots of Ridglea shows for touring Scandinavians, Urizen’s really an art project a la Devo – high concept and high yuk. (Maybe their recent foray into Denton will strike some chords with the black turtleneck wearers there.) In the same way, while Ghostcar gets tarred with the “jazz/improv” brush because of the trumpet, they’re really perfect fodder for shoegaze/trance listeners, with Huffman’s heavily processed guitar sounding like an entire orchestra at times and the Perdue-Stinnett engine room laying down a relentless groove. Now Poetschke is employing effects in a way that goes far beyond the ‘70s Miles comparisons he’s drawn since he was Sivad way, wa-a-ay back in ’97. 

Give the tracks a spin and then drop Karl a line. He’s looking for ideas to title the tracks.



Robinson's Bar B Que

By Velton Hayworth








There will always be a special place in my heart and my stomach for good ol' Texas BBQ. The craving starts every couple of weeks and ends with a pile of sauce stained napkins and a belly full of ribs at one of my favorite BBQ joints. Thanks to a late-night yahoo who drove his car through one of my favorite joints, the Pit (putting them out business, foundation damage), I find myself driving to the other side of town to another one of my favorites, Robinson's BBQ (Kansas City BBQ with a Texas twist). J. W. Robinson started his business over 20 years ago in a mobile van off Berry street and later moved into a permanent stronghold at 1020 E. Berry St., Fort Worth, Texas, 76110. It seems like every time the conversation about the best BBQ in town comes up I always hear the same couple of names. Don't get me wrong, they are decent establishments but they're not the best. They will continue to thrive resting on their laurels and schooners of beer, but if you want some of the best BBQ in town, Robinson's is your place. If you feel like going out and knocking down a few brews with your buddy's go somewhere else (Robinson's doesn't serve alcohol), but not before you pick up a couple of pounds of delicious hot links for you and your friends on the way to your favorite watering hole. The links make the perfect happy hour snack. Smoked to perfection, cut into bite-size morsels and served with bread and J. W.'s famous BBQ sauce. You go to Robinson's to eat great BBQ and that's it. There are no big-screen TVs, young waitresses in tight jeans, or loud cuntrey music--just a few tables, friendly service, and melt-in-your-mouth BBQ.
So what are you waiting for? Time to kick back with some friends and a couple slabs of ribs to go and watch the game. Let your friends bring the beer.


No Idea Festival 2009 in Fort Worth

Annette Krebs (guitar, electronics - Berlin)

Mike Maxwell (electronics, kalimba)
Sarah Alexander (vocals, electronics)

Jason Kahn (percussion, electronics - Zurich)
Chris Cogburn (percussion - Austin)
Zanzibar Snails' Michael Chamy + Nevada Hill (drones)

Tatsuya Nakatani (percussion - Pennsylvania)
Dennis Gonzalez (trumpet)
Stefan Gonzalez (percussion)
Aaron Gonzalez(bass)

Tuesday, February 24th
@ Lola's Saloon
2736 West 6th Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107


The Song Lives On @ Bent Lounge!

By Velton Hayworth

The Pour House is gone but the karaoke lives on. For those of you who miss Sunday night Karaoke at the Pour House there's no reason to fret, it just moved up the street a few blocks. Bent Lounge has taken in the PH DJ, staff, and most of the regulars on Sunday night to keep the party going. I ran into John, the manager of Bent Lounge, outside his club on the way to my favorite watering hole (Rick O Shea's Pub) a few Sundays back and he informed me of the karaoke, free hookahs, and $2 wells every Sunday night. I'm not a big fan of karaoke and I don't smoke but I was more than willing to knock down some $2 vodka and sodas. I was surprised--for a Sunday night they had quite the crowd. Everyone from the staff to the guests were very pleasant and having a great time. I went upstairs where the music wasn't as loud, ran in to some friends, and after a few $2 wells soon forgot it was karaoke night. Bent has a great sound system--it's a dance club on the weekends--and there were times I couldn't tell if I was hearing the original song or one of the many guests downstairs belting out one of their favorite ballads. I have been coming back every Sunday since, usually starting out at Bent and finishing up listening to some free local artist at Rick's. Last Sunday it was Stella Rose and Brandin Lea of Flickerstick. (Great show!) If you are looking to get out and relax on a Sunday night without putting a ding in your pocketbook check out Bent. Who knows, you could be a star! Bent is located at 907 Houston St.

Photos From Last Sunday @ Bent And Rick O Shea's



By Ken Shimamoto 

There are certain places here in town where I’ve just been eating forever: Kincaid’s, Zeke’s, the Montgomery Street Café. Whenever we get in the mood for Chinese, it’s usually takeout from Szechuan  -- a spot that’s been doing business at 5712 Locke, just off Camp Bowie Blvd, for over 30 years now – that we’ll use to satisfy our hunger. 

When I was a teenager working my first job, I had my first adult experience of going out to appreciate a good meal when my best bud and I used to go out on payday and eat huge Chinese feasts: soup, appetizers, an entrée for each of us plus an extra one, all three of them to be shared between us. These days we tend to eat our Szechuan feast at our own kitchen table. We haven’t taken advantage of their takeout service yet, however. 

We always start out with Szechuan’s hot and sour soup, which is the best food I know of to clear up your head when you’re suffering upper respiratory distress, better even than Benito’s chicken soup. Our preferred appetizer is the fried scallops, served on a flavorful bed of bean sprouts and scallions. For entrees, we’ll choose between the moo shi pork (a favorite of mine since teenage days, with those paper-thin pancakes and black bean sauce) and the sesame chicken, which my sweetie swears that Szechuan does better than anybody. Pretty conventional and gringo-fied, perhaps, but it always hits the spot.



By Ken Shimamoto 

Fort Worth Independent School District’s World Languages department is partnering with the Kimball Art Museum to present an event that brings together language, art, and culture. It’s happening at the museum from 6 to 8pm on Friday, February 13th. 

Student tour guides will share their insights about Kimball masterpieces as they relate to their studies of French, Japanese, German, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and American Sign Language. Display tables will provide information about World Languages classes. 

For more information, call FWISD Director of World Languages Carrie Harrington at 817-871-2518 or Kimball Education Coordinator Connie Hatchette at 817-332-8451, ext. 207.



By Ken Shimamoto 

I suck at supporting worthwhile local arts venues as much as anyone. But it really gave me pause a few days ago when I saw the following disclaimer on Arts Fifth Avenue’s online events calendar: “All Events are pending on funding from the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.” I felt even more unease when I read the squib at the bottom of the page: “We have tried to serve our community the best we can - if we close it is not because we did not do our best.” That verbiage has since disappeared from the page, but it still made an impression. And they’re still not adverse to accepting donations via

A5A (as their friends know them) – brainchild of dancer Gracey Tune (yes, sibling of Broadway’s Tommy) and percussionist Eddie Dunlap (ex-Master Cylinder and for 20+ years a mainstay of the Jubilee Theater’s pit band) – is not only the home of the Fifth Avenue Jazz Collective, LaFeet Tap Ensemble, and the Mondo Drummers, it’s a family-friendly, neighborhood-based arts outreach organization without peer in this here Town of Cow.  

The joint’s played host to a Django Reinhardt festival six years running. Just this month, they’ve got a “Jazzy Valentine’s” with the Jazz Collective and Melinda Allen skedded for the 14th and drama with SceneShop’s The Interrogation of Vince Bannon on the 28th. Monk tribute project “Thelonious” will be there on March 14th (I’ve gotta ask Joey Carter if they’re gonna play “Ruby My Dear”). And prodigal son Tommy Tune will be back in the Fort on May 25th to help celebrate A5A’s 20th annual National Tap Dance Day.


Hungover With Chuck

Mimi's Cafe

Hello everyone. Yes it's been a while since I have sat at the keyboard and I am sorry. After I got back from Chicago I had to spend a week in detox. The food and booze there were so over the top that when I got back I spent three days chilling at Possum Kingdom and another four days on the couch before I could touch a drink. If you have never been to Chicago the food will ruin you for the rest of the planet. Hence I have trouble sitting down and writing about some of the lovely places I go to while recovering from my hangovers. Another reason I have not published in two months is because most of the places I have eaten have been total shit. Yes, Chicago ruined me, but the places have not been up to snuff even after I readjusted. I will not write about something that I do not like. For the last month I have only been one place that I would recommend and that's Mimi's Cafe down at Citiview. Open at 7am daily.

First, they serve some breakfast dishes all day, the rest until noonish--later on the weekends. The eggs Benedict is awesome and the muffins are like heroin. If I don't get a buttermilk spice muffin while I am in there then its not me, an alien has taken over my body please shoot to kill.... For those who booze for breakfast, they have wine and beer. They do the whole spread, omelettes, waffles, lotsa French-influenced dishes, and even seasonal items. Currently it's banana chocolate chip pancakes and muffins. If you are wanting something healthy, they have granola or whatever tree bark the kids are eating these days. If there's room left after breakfast the desserts are really good. I would recommend the mini mousse combo, its tasty. Lastly if you go on a Sunday, the church going population manages to pack the place after being filled with the holy spirit, so get there before 10am. If you have a place that you go to nurse your hangover I am very interested in hearing about it. Don't leave the house and have a recipe that cures what ails ya? I would love to hear that too. Email me at


Click Here For More Info


Jubilee Theatre

January 30 – February 22

The Bluest Eye

Adapted by Lydia R. Diamond from the novel by Toni Morrison
Directed by Ed Smith

Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is a story about the tragic life of a young black girl in 1940’s Ohio. Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove wants nothing more than to be loved by her family and schoolmates. Instead, she faces constant ridicule and abuse. She blames her dark skin and prays for... Go To To Read More


Granny Knows Best

By Velton Hayworth









One of the many charms of Fort Worth is its abundance of Mom and Pap Mexican restaurants. In the land of Walmarts and corporate giants I do my best to support the family owned business. One thing I have found is that just because a restaurant is family-owned doesn't mean that it is any good and just because the next is a chain doesn't always mean it is bad, but I still try to stick with the familia, where I usually find the food to be the best. One favorite of mine and of many other Northsiders is Granny's Tacos. Pedro and Patricia Herrera started their family business in an old automotive garage 37 years ago. It was the one-stop place to grab a taco from Patricia while Pedro inspected and changed the tires on your car. Pedro also ran a tax return business out of the same building. The auto shop and tax business closed down years ago, but fortunately the tacos remain. Granny's is stilled owned and operated by Pedro's and Patricia's family who continue to serve Patricia's original recipes. My favorite is the pork taco (Guisada style, melt in your mouth pork) for $4, topped with cubed potatoes and beans, wrapped in a fresh homemade flour tortilla and served with a side of homemade Verde sauce. Granny's also offers bean, potato, beef, and chichirone tacos. The tacos are the size of a brick; I have a huge appetite and I'm still one and done at Granny's. Granny's does not offer any indoor seating or restrooms and is to-go only,( They do have 2 picnic tables on the side of the building. ) it is literally a hole in the wall. ( I mean that in the best way.) If you are looking for chips, queso and fajitas go somewhere else. If you are looking for a good ol' homemade taco that will put you into sleep mode Granny's is your place. Granny's is located at 703 E. Long St., Fort Worth, TX 76012.


Hungover With Chuck

Okay, once again my attention has been diverted from writing this article. Between the stress of the election last month and the insanity of the holidays I have requested asylum in the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels--several actually. So when it comes to being productive I have been running away from my computer screaming as soon as I finish setting up my fantasy hockey team for the week. Velton has been kind enough to register a domain for me to start my own website. I will tell everyone about it in due time. It needs a lot of work and when its finished I will be happy to share. For now think of it as a wrapped gift under the tree…. It's with a heavy heart I confirm the loss of our favorite eastern European cook, George and his Chicago style establishment. For those who called Sweet Home Chicago their hot dog home away from home, we must now move on. They closed their doors a few weeks back and all the equipment was sold off. The place is empty! There is Westcreek Food Mart on--you guessed it--Westcreek just north of where it meets McCart. The proprietor of that market was briefly a partner with George, but it's not the same. Anyhow I just wanted to throw that out for everyone because I was going to write this months Hungover with Chuck about George's tasty Chicago style hot dogs and his heavenly Italian beef sandwiches, but no such luck. I know this website is dedicated to Fort Worth, but I did find a place in Arlington, Danny's Pizza, and will be checking it out.
All of that being said, we move onto my hangover hangout as of late; A&D Buffalos on Belknap just east of Beach Street. Velton and I have been eating their wings and they are awesome!!! They have much more than just wings. deli sandwiches, gyros, burgers, fried fish and shrimp, even fried rice. The heart of the beast is the tasty wings with choices of Buffalo, lemon pepper, BBQ, Parmesan, or teriyaki. Orders start at 10 pc and go to 100 on the menu, but I haven't seen an order they couldn't fill yet.… I usually get an order of 30 hot wings, fries, and a Philly Cheese Steak that keeps me comfortable on the couch through the Sunday night game. The hot wings will make your face sweat, so be prepared. If you are adventurous it goes up to extra hot, but I haven't gone there yet. For more information check out their menu at
Business hours are Mon-Thur 10:30a-9p Fri-Sat 10:30a-10p and Sundays 11a-9p. Wings are reasonable also: $18 for 30 wings including tax. If you have a place that you go to nurse your hangover I am very interested in hearing about it. Don't leave the house and have a recipe that cures what ails ya? I would love to hear that too. Email me at




By Ken Shimamoto 

My sweetie’s been out canvassing for a local charity and her travels have taken her to some old favorite spots in the heart of the West 7th construction. We hadn’t really been to Pop’s Safari Room a lot since she quit smoking a couple of years back, but we’ve always thought of Perry Tong’s cigar and wine bar cum restaurant at 2929 Morton as “the Wreck Room for more sophisticated and mature folks.” Don’t be put off by the iron grating on the front (which Perry says will be going the way of the “Cold Ass Beer” sign at fonky Fred’s just down the street once he figures out what kind of façade his new neighbors are going to have). Even if you’re a non-smoker (unless, of course, you’re a dyed-in-the-wool anti-tobacco nazi), there are good reasons to give Pop’s a whirl the next time you’re thinking about dining out.  

Pop’s menu covers the whole waterfront, from affordable to opulent. Appetizers range from $1.95 for small nachos to $13 for escargot. Most burgers and sandwiches are $8, while dinner entrees top out at $30. Chef Richard Wilkes, an affable expat Lawn Guylander by way of Philadelphia, the Culinary Institute of America, and Duce, prepares a menu loaded with subtle, complex flavors. In a mood for seafood (as I often am) on a recent visit, I chowed down on the ahi tuna and shrimp combination – the delectable smokiness of the lemon and white wine-seared tuna offset by the sweetness of a wasabi cream sauce – while she had an equally tasty pan-seared salmon. Both came with perfectly seasoned and still-crunchy carrots (we’re definitely advocates of veggies that haven’t had all the nutrients cooked out of ‘em). Next time there’s an occasion, we might go for the mahi rocafella and crab cakes (since she’s a crab cake fanatic). While we’re usually swillers of cheap Bordeaux or Aussie shiraz, our server recommended a nice, well-rated red that complemented our meal perfectly.  

The dining room doubles as the house wine cellar, and our dinner was briefly interrupted by the sommelier flipping on the overhead light to retrieve some bottles for a large party (on this particular night, Pop’s was playing host to a dinner for the Navy from the JRB, and Perry’s always been a favorite of the base’s Marine contingent, based on his possible relationship to a pre-Revolutionary Connecticut publican who was a favorite of the early Leathernecks). Overall, though, service was gracious, and the whole experience left one with a warm, fuzzy glow. 

Oh, and they’ve got specials, too: Monday night it’s a $1.50 for a Lone Star longneck, Miller, Coors, or Bud light, and a five spot gets you a sirloin burger with fries. There are free wine tastings on Tuesday nights, while Wednesday evenings, it’s Aussie Wildflower Merlot or Chardonnay for $2.95 a glass, $6.99 a bottle, or $69.99 a case. And there’s live music Thursday through Saturday nights; Sumter Bruton and Mike Price will be bluesing it up there on Friday, November 21st.


Hungover With Chuck

Okay, so yeah it’s a week into the month and yes I am finally getting around to doing this. What can I say, my choices were sit at the keyboard and write or go out to the lake and drink for a few days, so here we are a week into October...
After reading Velton's piece Barflies on a Budget it made me think back how many times have I woke up broke and hungover? What's worse is over the course of my drunken evening I had made plans for the next day with god knows how many people to do several things all of which I had non sufficient funds to participate. So I am going to throw everyone a bone that very little people know about. Sundays only during football season Rick O'Sheas opens @ Noon for football. They have been doing this for about five years now during football season, but this is not the miracle. Danny Baran sets up the sweetest hotdog bar. Want a chicagodog, its there. Chili cheese dog? Yup and plenty of combinations in between. This is still not the miracle. Hotdogs are $1. You read that correctly, if you are Cartman that's a hundred pennies of Kyle's money you can roll around in or getcha a dog and watch some football. All that and they have $2.50 domestics on Sundays. You can even live the High Life and go cheaper. The miracle is this. You wake up on a Sunday morning hungover and starving with maybe $20 in your pocket, they've got you covered for your football-watching afternoon. Need a place for you and your friends to watch the game and you don't have money or time for "brunch?" They've got you covered... Food, beer, and football. Rick O'Sheas has the Sunday ticket to boot so those pesky out of region games are there for you. There, I did my good deed for the month, now I must go back out to my cave and ponder the election. Gotta get pretty hammered to vote at all in this one and it will be interesting to see who I voted for once I have sobered up. For more info on Rick O'Sheas check out
If you have a place that you go to nurse your hangover I am very interested in hearing about it. Don't leave the house and have a recipe that cures what ails ya? I would love to hear that too. Email me


It's Time For Some Good Ol' R&B!

By Velton Hayworth








That's right, ribs and beer, and maybe some rhythm and blues depending on the night. After years as a waitress Sammie Gathings purchased The Pit from the previous owner in 1948. The Pit was family owned and operated until a few years back when Robert Gathings (Sammie's son) decided to get out of the BBQ business and become a landlord. Since that time we have seen many restaurants come and go including BBQ, Mexican food, and a bistro--all different owners, all failed. Robert eventually got tired of being a rent collector and decided to reopen The Pit and start serving all the original family recipes.  Aaaaah, lucky me!  Now my belly is filled with melt-in-your-mouth ribs (voted best ribs by Fort Worth Weekly) on a regular basis.  One thing that is not original is the newly constructed outdoor music stage--generously donated by the Teaugue Lumber Company, and the perfect addition for enjoying the beautiful Texas fall. The music flows five nights a week, including a Tuesday night jam session, and varies from rock to country to blues to R & B and rockabilly. There is never a cover at The Pit, so come on out and grab some ribs and homemade onion rings and chase them with a cold beer on the patio. Don't like beer? You're in luck.  The Pit has a great wine selection; just bring your own cheese plate.  And by the way The Pit is currently looking for bands for October and November. If you are interested call 817.332.7488 between 2 – 5 pm and ask for Brandon.

702 North Henderson Street / Jacksboro Highway / Fort Worth, Texas 76107



By Ken Shimamoto 

Lately, life seems to be full of reminders that “You’ve lived a long time.” It’s been ten years now since doctors and cops started looking like children to me. Next month, it’ll be 30 years since I first came to Fort Worth, to open a record store on Camp Bowie Blvd. (As the cliché goes, “I wasn’t born here, but I got here as fast as I could.”) A lot has changed since then. My first weekend here, I went to the Albertson’s on Camp Bowie to buy a dozen eggs and a frying pan. The cashier told me, “I can sell you the eggs, but not the frying pan.” Since then, they’ve repealed the blue laws here, but you still can’t buy beer or wine at the market until after noon on Sundays. 

The first place I lived in Fort Worth was a red brick apartment complex on Winthrop, in the shadow of Ridglea Bank. Since then, those have been torn down and replaced by public housing. My apartment looked like it had formerly been two apartments; although ridiculously small, it had seven rooms. I had a mattress and a wooden crate I used as a night table. Talk about your “Seven Rooms of Gloom!” I remember walking from there to the Ridglea Theater through freezing rain to see, um, Superman

On New Year’s Eve 1978, I was driving to Dallas when an ice storm started, the kind where the water freezes as it hits your windshield and it’s impossible to melt with your windshield defroster. As I crept along I-30 at a snail’s pace with my head out the window trying to see, it occurred to me that a friend and coworker who’d come with me from Dallas to open the store lived nearby. I exited at Merrick Street and made my way to Stuart’s crib, the bottom floor of an old (vintage 1911) house at the corner of Collinwood and Sanguinet (now replaced by condos). I wound up staying there until I left for Austin the following summer, sleeping in the unheated porch in my rated-to-20-below down sleeping bag. Saturday mornings, we used to check to see if any drunks from the Showdown had plowed through the hedges outside. 

When I got back from various misadventures in Austin and Colorado in February 1980, I moved into a duplex on Templeton, off 5th Street near University, just down the street from what’s now Gallery 414. It had gas heaters I was afraid to use, so when it was cold, I’d get in bed wearing every stitch of clothing I owned and shiver myself to sleep. When it got hot, there was no AC and the windows were painted shut. If Dan Lightner hadn’t brought me an electric fan, I’d have died. As it was, I’d sit in front of the fan until I’d sweated out nearly every molecule of moisture from my system, then I’d walk three blocks to 7-Eleven to buy more cigarettes, Gatorade, and beer. 

The two guys who lived on the other side of the duplex were truck drivers and were always offering me stuff they’d stolen. One night I heard the guy who lived in the house on the other side, who’d apparently run afoul of some merciless people, pleading for his life. The next day, he and his family had vanished without a trace. I finally moved out when I came back from a trip to Austin and the toilet started shooting water out of the tank. Because I was too stupid to know how to turn off the water and my landlady said she’d send her son to deal with it “later,” I got in my car and went to spend the night at the Rio Motel on Camp Bowie.  

The next day, I got off work and went back to the apartment. My landlady’s son apparently still hadn’t been there, because water was still shooting out of the toilet and the place was like a swamp. I threw all my worldly possessions in the trunk of my car (I could still do that back then) and headed for another motel, on Las Vegas Trail this time. I wound up moving into an apartment in the 2800 block of the LVT and when I got my license suspended for a DUI, my future ex-wife would come from her parents’ house in Benbrook and pick me up on the way to the store on Camp Bowie where we both worked.  

The guy in the apartment next door used to beat the shit out of his girlfriend. One night I was going downstairs to use the phone and encountered the two of them on the landing, where he was in the process of throwing out all of her clothes. She kept throwing dimes at me and telling me to call the police. 

I remember the day John Lennon was shot: I woke myself up by spilling a glass of water on my head just as the radio kicked on with the story of his murder. On the way out of the complex that morning, we noticed that someone had burned the apartment office during the night. 

We eventually moved into a house on West Gambrell near Seminary Drive. We lived there until the company I was working for (another record chain) moved me to Memphis to open yet another store. Things went south there fast and I got shitcanned after somebody hit the till on my shift and the manager needed someone to blame. We wound up staying at my future ex’s in Benbrook until I enlisted in the Air Force, figuring that our first baby was on the way in six months and we were going to need medical insurance. My future ex moved in with her grandparents, who lived on Southwest Blvd near the Weatherford traffic circle, and I went off to basic training, tech school, and Korea. 

Two of my children were born in the hospital at Carswell, which is now a women’s prison. I got home when our oldest was eleven months old and she walked for the first time a week later. The first night I was “back in the world,” I carried her outside to show her the moon and she said, “Moon.” We wound up living in a little shitbox house off 377, between the Weatherford traffic circle and Benbrook. The people next door raised goats. One day, a balloonist set down in the field of what’s now Leonard 6th Grade Center and all the neighborhood kids got a thrill out of running down there to check it out. 

After Carswell, I was stationed in Abilene and Louisiana for a few years, but when we came back, we wound up living in a house in Benbrook that was built on top of a landfill and had a lot of foundation problems. The neighborhood was notorious for it, in fact.  

When my future ex and I split up, I moved into an apartment near our old house off 377 that I called “Hell.” I’d sit at home when I wasn’t working, drinking whiskey and listening to the couple upstairs having noisy sex. When I used to go running in the neighborhood, I’d find used syringes and burnt spoons on a nearby corner. My ex’s best friend lived in the same complex and had her car bombed once. Eventually the noisy-sex couple moved out and were replaced by a guy who introduced himself to me by saying, “I’m not a child molester.” He used to like singing along with his Whitney Houston records at 3 in the morning. When I’d go up to complain, he’d be extra super double respectful, then as soon as he couldn’t see me (literally two seconds later), I’d hear him muttering, “Fuck you, motherfucker.” Then there was the time the scary Viet vet guy with the crossbow had a face-off with the guy across the way with the shotgun while I was on my way back from the laundry room. Good times. 

I moved from there into what my daughter called the “divorced dad apartments” in Benbrook, also off 377. The landlord was a large animal veterinarian who used to take care of Nolan Ryan’s horses. His office was right next door. One night a hog was giving birth and it sounded like a slaughterhouse. The lady next door was an LPN who was always giving me fruit and hamster cages. The kid who lived with his mom downstairs was always practicing Soundgarden’s “Spoon Man” on the bass. I retaliated by practicing Captain Beefheart solo guitar pieces. In the summertime, there was a snow cone place in the parking lot across the street where I used to take my kids. 

In 1997, my middle daughter found me another duplex in Benbrook, which coincidentally happened to be next door to her then-best friend, and she moved in with me a couple of years after that. We had two cats and a cat box that smelled, my wife now says, “like the Earth’s entire supply of ammonia.” That was the place where, while scribing for the FW Weekly after getting shitcanned from my high-dollar corporate gig at RadioShack, my daughter says I put on 40 pounds “because you spent a year sitting on your ass 25 feet from the refrigerator.”  

While I sold off all my records, books, and musical equipment to pay my child support, I subsisted on a diet of peanut butter sandwiches, hotdogs, tortilla chips and Albertson’s pico de gallo. My children knew I was seeing my wife even before I introduced her to them because suddenly, there was fresh food in my refrigerator. At first, she was known to them as “The Fresh Food Lady.” While I was on the road with Nathan Brown in 2003, she, my daughter, and my daughter’s best friend cleaned and decorated the carport. When I got back, it was the homiest I’d felt in years. 

We moved into our current home in Arlington Heights in the spring of 2004 and were married in 2005. We like our neighborhood a lot and plan to stay here for the rest of our lives. Anytime there have been big changes in my life – when I got out of the service, when I got divorced, when I lost my job – people I grew up with in New York have asked me, “So, when are you coming back?” I tell them, “You must be out of your mind! This is home now.” And it is. I’ve spent more than half of my life here. So there.



By Ken Shimamoto 

You’ve gotta hand it to the smiling folks at Camp Bowie District, Inc., producers of that annual late-September event, Jazz By the Boulevard. Each year since its inception, the fest has grown in scale and scope, attracting marquee talent -- usually in more of a smoove “jazz” vein than some of us would like, but that’s just crabbing. Having large dollar sponsors like Cadillac, Coors, and, um, Chesapeake Energy can’t hurt. Oh, and by the way – it’s free. The weather this weekend promises to be favorable, too – sunny with highs in the mid-80s. Yeah! 

Friday night’s headliner is Buddy Guy, almost the last of the great Chicago bluesmen, who’s graced stages like Caravan of Dreams’ and Main Street Arts Festival’s in years gone by. He hits at 9:45pm, preceded by flautist Dave Valentin, who’s known for a string of albs on GRP. The act I’m more interested in hearing, though, hits at 6:30pm: tenor saxophonist Mario Cruz, a Fort Worth native just returned from the Big Apple who threatened to blow the roof off Sardines during Johnny Case’s recent 25th anniversary bash there. 

Saturday’s headliner, guitarist Lee Ritenour, is considerably less interesting to this crusty old curmudgeon than the act that precedes him (at 7:45pm): Nawlins expat Adonis Rose’s Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra, with guest artist, trumpeter Randy Brecker (who’s played rock in Dreams and funk in the Brecker Brothers with his late sibling Michael on tenor; I saw him back in ’74 when he was part of guitarist Larry Coryell’s fusion band Eleventh House). You might wanna show up earlier, though, to catch guitar-slinging rancher Tom Reynolds and moonlighting FW Symphony bassist Paul Unger doing their Django-inspahrd thang (12:30pm); the always-entertaining Mondo Drummers (1:30pm); and the aggregation of local “usual suspects” that gigs under the rubric Fifth Avenue Jazz Collective (4:30pm). 

On Sunday, alto saxophonist David Sanborn (whose tone is prolly etched on the synapses of anyone who watched Saturday Night Live and/or Late Night with David Letterman in the ‘80s. (He also hosted the worthwhile Night Music show in the ‘90s.) After the fest shuts down at 8pm, hardcore jazz aficionados can take a couple of hours to grab something to eat (maybe at Sardines?) before meandering over to Lola’s at 6th Street and Foch, where Dave Karnes and his crew will be holding forth, or the Scat Jazz Lounge downtown, where Quamon Fowler (whose quartet plays Jazz By the Boulevard at 3pm) hosts a jam.



By Ken Shimamoto

"Best chicken fried steak?" My friend wanted to know my pick.

"Undoubtedly Montgomery Street Café," I replied without hesitation.

I've been going to the café for 30 years next month (because the man who brought me here, whose memory is more reliable than mine, says that's when we came here from Dallas to open a record store). My old roommate, who'd discovered the joint when he had a job in the neighborhood – it's a great working stiff's type of place, as its hours (6am-2pm Mon-Sat, 6am-noon Sun) attest -- first took me to the southwest corner of the 2000 block of Montgomery and Dexter, and I'm eternally grateful for that. At least one of the waitresses – whose banter is as much a part of The Total Experience as the food -- has been there the whole time, as has the mural on the wall, which doesn't depict anything particularly historical, but does convey the sense the place has of things that stay good over time.

The café's breakfast and daily lunch specials are all fine, home cooking the way you remember it (if you grew up in the south) or imagined it (if you got here as fast as you could, like me). But the chicken fried steak really is the queen of the menu. It's not the biggest I've ever seen (a toss-up between fonky Fred's and a place called the Purple Onion between here and Wichita Falls, where you could order it as a side with any entrée), but it's one of the noblest, especially when combined with the café's mashed potatoes, pinto beans, and fried okra -- you get three veggies with your lunch special, and they're among the best fresh vegetables I've ever enjoyed in a home cooking-type establishmnent. Desserts are good, too. Make sure to bring cash, though – there are no credit cards accepted.

One wonders what'll become of this Fort Worth gem once the Bass boys start demolishing some of the industrial stuff on Montgomery to make way for all the new "western heritage" stuff they've got planned. Hopefully they'll be able to find a new clientele, or draw enough old loyalists to stay afloat.



By Ken Shimamoto 

It’s that time of year again, when triple-digit temperatures (even long after sunset) give way to something a little more tol’able. Kids are back in school, football season’s just starting, and my sweetie ‘n’ I can revive our custom of perambulating around Arlington Heights, enjoying the cool of the evening. 

A favored destination on these jaunts is Curly’s Custard, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Camp Bowie, Clover Lane, and Crestline. (The street address is 4017 Camp Bowie.) Curly’s has been a neighborhood institution since 2002, in the same way as Blue Bonnet Bakery and Kincaid’s are. Their website hasn’t been updated in a couple of menu/façade changes, but you don’t need to see a menu to know what’s good. 

Curly’s “concretes” are like gelato or other high-end ice cream, without all the business of having someone manipulating it with their hands (the appeal of which I never got). You can get ‘em with fruit, nuts, or candy whipped in (like a Dairy Queen Blizzard on steroids), or in a sundae (my favorite is Death By Chocolate), but generally, a small (“kid’s”) portion is sufficient for we, as my sweetie ‘n’ I aren’t generally big dessert eaters. 

There are a few hot items on the menu as well, the 800-pound gorilla of which is the noble Hebrew National frank (best hot dogs in the world, made from 100% kosher beef). My sweetie likes hers with sauerkraut (the German Dog), while I prefer mine with just yellow mustard and diced onions. I haven’t mustered (heh heh) the courage to try a chili dog yet, because the seating is all on picnic tables and wooden benches, sans utensils, and I’m the kind of hot dog eater who tends to wind up wearing most of the chili. 

(Fondest Curly’s memory: Getting caught in a spring shower after ordering a couple of dogs, which we wound up consuming under the awning at The Look, which formerly had the location now occupied by Winslow’s.) 

The other reason to go to Curly’s is to observe the folks there, from the fresh-faced teens behind the counter to the neighborhood folks, young ‘n’ old, who congregate in the little patch of green in front of the service windows. (There’s a drive thru on the other side, but you’d be missing the best part of the experience.)



ungover With Chuck

It’s the most wonderful time of the year... I remember hearing Andy Williams say that about Christmas as a kid. As an adult I believe it applies to September. The temperature drops to something reasonable, kids are back in school (the parking lot behind my apartment doubles for a daycare center in the Summer), and lastly football returns. Velton tells me he can smell football in the air this time of year; he’s not kidding, and he appeared to be sober at the time, but don’t hold me to it. So when I thought of where someone would like to nurse his or her Sunday morning hangover I thought, football is a must.
I haven’t been to the Pour House many times over the years. It’s just not my scene, but I had heard things about the updated menu etc… so Sunday my trusty companion Nic and I gave it a shot the last Sunday before the football masses crowded the place. For starters they have a Bloody Mary bar; for you traditionalists who are big on drinking your hangover away, have at it, decent selection of items for you to pour over your breakfast vodka. Myself, I am more of a screwdriver and fried food person. The screwdriver was not bad, our bartender looked like he could use one himself. Nic informed me that the Mimosas were $1 each so I switched to that after a couple screwdrivers. Its cheap sparkling wine, so don’t be surprised when it comes back to bite you in the ass later that afternoon. Beer drinkers know better and usually stick with what is tried and true; unfortunately for me I am a masochist.
Onto the food, they have updated the menu; the brunch menu is about a dozen items served Sunday from 11am-3pm, some standards some derivations. The Eggs Benedict Mexicana looked interesting but I decided on the PH HANGOVER Huevos Rancheros. They were as advertised, spicy and tasty. Nic was conservative and went with an omelet. Not bad, eggs were fluffy. I had to steal some of her toast to pick up what was left of my Huevos, so if you are going to go for it don’t for get a side of toast. In addition to the Brunch menu they have a descent selection of items: burgers, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and entrees. Really, and not just a couple of each, this menu should satisfy even the nastiest of hangovers. We’re talking ribeyes, mahi-mahi, and chicken Parmesan. For you hardcore football fans who will be spending the entire afternoon, they have .25 wings during the football games, $2.00 pints, and a nice list of other drink specials that last ALL DAY SUNDAY.
If you’re going, make sure you go early because depending on when the Cowboys play seats will be at a premium. Also they do have NFL Sunday Ticket for those who don’t and wish to watch games not televised locally. For more information check;
If you have a place that you go to nurse your hangover I am very interested in hearing about it. Don't leave the house and have a recipe that cures what ails ya? I would love to hear that too. Email me
More Hungover With Chuck



By Ken Shimamoto 

Last year’s first installment of its three-year “Mahler Cycle” represented a high-water mark of sorts for Miguel Harth-Bedoya’s Fort Worth Symphony. One symphony muso remarked that the orchestra’s perfomance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony was “the best we’ve ever played.” Perhaps that’s part of the reason why, while orchestras around the country are cutting back, the FWSO is actually adding chairs. 

This week, they perform the second installment, starting on Thursday with “The Man Behind the Music,” a multimedia evening presented by Prof. Carol Reynolds featuring selections from Mahler’s vocal works sung by mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzner. The orchestra performs Mahler’s Sixth (“Tragic”) Symphony on Friday, his Seventh Symphony on Saturday, and Second (“Resurrection”) Symphony (with Mentzner, soprano Jessica Rivera, and the Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale under the direction of David Thye) on Sunday. 

Single tickets start at $15 and are available online or by calling 817-665-6100. If you can’t make it to the Bass Hall, WRR 101.1FM will broadcast (and stream) Friday’s performance starting at 7:30pm.


Kerry Dean’s El Heladero 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Coming off the peak of Darth Vato’s latest ‘n’ best ceedee Oh No, We’re Doing Great!, inspahrd by the biz model if not the music of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, DV frontman Kerry Dean booked a coupla days at Dallas’ Skyline Studios and laid down some song ideas he’d been kicking around for a few years. He’s made the 11 tracks of El Heladero (that’s “the ice cream man” en ingles) downloadable for free online, although physical copies are available for $12, and you’re welcome to donate to Kerry’s next project via Paypal if you dig it. While I’m hardly an early technology adopter and remain highly enamored of The Romance of the Artifact, I do notice that I’m downloading enough music lately that it’s become a commonplace occurrence – an idea whose time has come.  

The story of Darth Vato is really the story of Kerry Dean’s developing the courage to be himself – a rather sweet-natured, whimsical soul – onstage and in the toons he writes, rather than some other, “edgier” character that the audience might find more interesting. The risk and danger inherent in this undertaking was manifested in a solo acoustic show at the Moon a few years back where he wound up horizontal garrruuunnnk onstage (alcohol: the shy guy’s social lubricant…or not). He’s been getting closer with each DV release, though, and finally, with Oh No’s hidden track (a cover of the Standells’ garage grunt classic “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White”), a live solo rendering of the Minutemen’s “History Lesson, Part II” at their Lola’s CD release show, and this record, I think he’s there. 

With the exception of a coupla tracks his pal Daniel Hardaway decorated with deft ‘n’ sly trumpet solo wonderment (straight-up mariachi blare on the title track, Louis Armstrong on acid on “Locked and Ready”), Kerry carries the whole show here all by his lonesome. If some of the tracks seem like sketches of songs waiting to be fleshed out, that’s almost the point: he wants you to see the lines in his design. And showing off his chops as a riddim guitarist (dig the instrumental “Todo Un Poco”). Stylistically, these songs don’t differ much from what his band usually lays down, but he’s imagining more believable characters (the street vendor in the title track, the partner in a relationship gone south in “Everything Went Wrong”) and writing more heartfelt confessionals (“Put On Your Red Dress” and the emo surfer’s suicide note “The New Wave,” which just might be the best thing he’s written). While Darth Vato remain the party band of choice for inebriated frat daddies, the big lug up front’s got heart aplenty, and he’s not afraid to show it.


Kavin.’s Acoustic Church’s Westward 

By Ken Shimamoto 

Kavin Allenson’s a guitarist from Burleson who hit the boards in 1998 after 25 years of playing, was a semi-finalist in a B.W. Stevenson songwriting contest in 2000, played in an acoustic Pink Floyd tribute band (!) with Glenn Milam from 2001-2004, and released a CD, Texas Tonefreak, in 2006. Since then, he’s pulled tight with estimable Fort Worth axe-slingers like Darrin Kobetich and Bill Pohl (their next three-way collision takes place at Hip Pocket Theatre on September 7th). Back in February, he took part in the RPM Challenge, writing and recording an album in a month. The result is Westward

Kavin’s saturated with classic rock influences – the Eat A Peach-era Allman Brothers in particular come to mind, listening to the spacey layers of leisurely, melodic guitars – and the masterwork of Leo Kottke (sometimes very literally; listen to “John’s Rag” and tell me which song off 6 and 12-String Guitar it reminds you of). The opening “Hippolyte” showcases his strengths – rolling fingerpicked patterns on a crystalline-textured acoustic, supporting a lilting slide line that recalls the pedal steel part from Thunderclap Newman’s “Hollywood Dream” (if anyone in the 817 remembers thatun).  

The title track has Kavin singing in a serviceable guitar player’s voice over interlocking guitar parts like Duane ‘n’ Dicky might have played, except for the flanging. (Full disclosure – he gave me a songwriting credit for part of the lyrics.) The Indian-flavored “Climbin’” (with percussion accompaniment from Phil Waite) has the same rhythmic feel as Darrin Kobetich’s “Playing In the Hedges,” but wedded to a lighter harmonic palette. The solo guitar piece “Eulogy: February 5th” is somber and lovely. 

Things start to get really interesting with the next couple of tracks. I’m not even certain how the sounds on “Sunwind” were generated – something to do with a slide, perhaps -- but they create a lysergic sci-fi atmosphere that’s quite striking. “DrumznBass” is a showcase for drummer Waite and bassist Eric Allenson, with Kavin presumably providing the weird electro-F/X. Finally, “Runnin’ Out of Time” is a down ‘n’ dirty blues with a gruff vocal from Kavin that recalls Mark Knopfler, and more carpe diem lyrics. 

All in all, not a bad month’s work from a fella who clearly loves to play and does it well.


Gutterth Productions’ Gutterth Compilation One

By Ken Shimamoto 

How cool is this: A double CD compilation of local bands that you can download free from the label’s website. But wait, it gets even better: The compilation’s a corker, a diverse array of sounds with nary a clunker among its 34 tracks. Hooray! 

Gutterth Productions is the rubric adopted by Michael Briggs and Brent Frishman, two music-loving buds from Carrollton. They promote shows and release albums by bands they dig. So far, they’ve done shows at pretty much every indie-friendly venue in Dallas and Denton. Their next one, Episode XXIV, will be August 14th at Rubber Gloves, featuring New Science Projects, Baptist Generals frontguy Chris Flemmons, RTB2, and Kaleo Kaualoku. Their catalog includes discs by New Science Projects, Daniel Folmer, Malise, Parata, and Sean Kirkpatrick. Their product’s available at Good Records in Dallas, Recycled Books and Strawberry Fields in Denton, and via iTunes and Emusic as well as at shows and via the Gutterth website. 

Compilation One has a heavy Denton art vibe, comparable to the Pyramid Scheme’s Long Con Compilation from a couple of years back – it’s really that consistent. At the same time, it’s such a mixed bag that it’s impossible to categorize, so rather than giving any of the 34 performers (including 817 residents RTB2/Ryan Thomas Becker, The Great Tyrant, and The House Harkonnen) short shrift, here’s an array of three-word observations for your edification and enjoyment (and because it amuses me). The first disc:  

Emil Rapstine – Moody folk balladry.

MOM – Delicate wintery atmospherics.

New Science Projects – Bent Appalachian gospel.

Knee Pad – Crunchy screamo rifferama.

Glen Farris – Depresso somnambulist waltz.

Silk Stocking – Brechtian apocalyptic cabaret.

Daniel Folmer – Sweet melodic pop.

Shiny Around the Edges – Ethereal freak folk.

Fair to Midland – Floats, then pummels.

The Lights of Dragna – Dynamic instrumental rockarama.

Sparlin, Jessels – Gentle rustic whimsy.

RTB2 – Lo-fi experimental Zep-ism.

Sean Kirkpatrick – Hallucinatory dreamscape songster.

The Timeline Post – Sumptuous choral psychedelia.

Shaolin Death Squad – Orchestral operatic prog.

Parata – Slapdash synth glam.

Dust Congress – Soaring Britfolk hymn. 

And the second:  

The Great Tyrant – Grand Guignol menace.

Sarah Renfro – Bluesy folk diva.

The International – Waitsian saloon balladry.

Florene – Spacey motorik jamz.

The Spectacle – Unironic metal thunder.

Tex Winters – Wobbly Rokyesque rant.

The Alexander – Roiling 6/8 passion.

Delmore Pilcrow – Sleepy, loping pastoralism.

Joey Kendall – Religious obsessed poesy.

Miss Celia – Winsome nature gal.

The House Harkonnen – Blistering black metal.

The Heartstring Stranglers – Mutated klezmer swing.

Real Live Tigers – Urban existentialist duo.

Ryan Thomas Becker – Tremulous devotional balladry.

Sunnybrook – Enervated Ambien anthem.

room 101 – Galloping minimalist fury.

Will E Lee – Gangling balladic benediction. 

So there! All in all, it’d be hard to imagine a better way to expand your musical horizons on the cheap.



By Ken Shimamoto 

Lately, it seems as though I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time visiting places that aren’t going to exist soon (Kincaid’s, J&J’s Hideaway). It’s gotten to where I’m even dreaming about long-gone pieces of Fort Worth that I remember. But, as we’re constantly reminded, change is inevitable, and since my wife and I are committed to spending the rest of our lives here, it behooves us to find a way to roll with all of that. 

I suppose to a lot of folks, we seem like odd ducks. She rides her bike to work and on most errands that don’t require lugging big heavy objects. It took her five years to get her car’s odometer over 20,000 miles. When I got a job six blocks from our home, I gave my daughter my car. At the time, she was living near TCU but traversing the 817 from Arlington (where her niece lives) to TCC Southwest (where she was a student) to Cityview (where her husband works) to Benbrook (where her mom lives) to Las Vegas Trail (where her big sister lives). If I have to rehearse or play a show across town, I’ll catch a ride, but otherwise, I’ll hoof it most places. 

Since the price of gas hit $3.50 a gallon, however, more and more acquaintances have expressed the idea that maybe decreasing their reliance on petroleum might not be such a crazy idea after all. Even in the car culture that is North Texas, where everything is spread out and folks assume out of hand that they’ll need to get in the car to go obtain all their life’s essentials, consumers are now faced with the tough task of differentiating between need and want – and realizing that they can’t continue living in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. 

There at least seem to be more bicyclists in the Fort now than in years past – and one hears that when the east-west bridges to downtown are redone, they’ll include bike lanes, which would have been sci-fi just a couple of years ago. If more folks are truly going to be biking to work, we’ll hopefully see an attitude adjustment on the part of motorists who share the road with ‘em. My wife is a big advocate of helmet wearing (and bike lights), with good reason: practically everyone we know that rides a bike on the road in Fort Worth has been hit by a car at one time or another. “They don’t expect you to be there,” as one regular rider remarked, “so they just don’t see you.” 

More to the point, it’s time for the Fort to pony up and provide its residents with public transportation worthy of the name. God bless the T and all who ride on her, but while it’s true that most Fort Worth residents may live within, say, a half-mile walk of a bus route, it requires a lot of planning and time-budgeting if you’re going to use the bus as your primary mode of transport. When my daughter was living on University Drive and commuting to a job on South Hulen, she used to spend six hours a day on the bus to work a four-hour shift – and there were plenty of occasions when the bus ran late or didn’t show up at her stop at all. 

The planned light rail will do a good job of connecting cultural, entertainment, and tourist destinations, but the coverage zone excludes large chunks of the city, i.e., all the primarily residential areas. It’s a conundrum: the T is reluctant to run more buses or add more routes because they might not be used, while many potential bus riders who can’t afford to be tardy remain hesitant to rely on a mode of transportation that’s inconvenient at best and unreliable at worst. But given the state of the economy and the fact that, face it, folks – cheap gas ain’t coming back – the current spurt of growth in this, the nation’s 19th largest city, seems like a moment of opportunity for mass transit providers.




By Ken Shimamoto 

When I moved back to Fort Worth in the spring of 1980 after the debacle of debacles in Aspen, Colorado -- an extremely misguided attempt to start a rock band that deteriorated into a four month binge on alcohol, controlled substances, and tetracycline, and resulted in my being escorted to the airport by the local sheriff’s deputies and asked never to return – I moved into a duplex in the 300 block of Templeton, off University and 5th Street. The guys on the other side of the wall were truck drivers who liked to steal stuff and would always offer me some, which I invariably but graciously declined. One night I heard the neighbor on the other side loudly pleading for his life from some hardcore invidivuals he’d run afoul of. The next day, he and his family had evaporated without a trace. I was afraid to use the gas heaters, so when it was 40 degrees at night in March, I’d get into bed with every stitch of clothing I had on and shiver. There was no AC and the windows were painted shut, so when it got ungodly hot in May, I’d sit motionless in front of the rotating fan that Dan Lightner (bless him) brought me until I had just enough moisture left in my body to sustain me for the walk to 7 Eleven to buy more beer, Gatorade, and cigarettes. 

In 2003, I was surprised when Jesse Sierra Hernandez invited me to his art show and the location turned out to be Gallery 414, a little house at 414 Templeton, just down the street from my old duplex (which still stands). It seemed a quaint location, with eccentric hours (noon to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and by appointment), but it turned out to be a very congenial, well-lit space, with a back room that was suitable for the larger pieces Jesse likes to do. That was the show where I was blown away by the religious imagery of his pieces they hung in that back room, and especially by Cortez the Killer, which combined Conquistador and modern military imagery to make a powerful statement about the coming war with Iraq. (Sadly, that piece has since been lost.) Jesse also chose Gallery 414 as the site of his show Schlankin’ It in 2006, which was the first time I saw him actually depict himself in his work. 

Turns out the space has been in existence since September 1995, when arts patrons Bob and Razz Fiesler bought the space with the idea of creating a venue for diverse artists of varying experiences, both established and new to the local art community. The list of artists who have exhibited or curated shows there reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Cowtown art community. Starting in late April, the gallery played host to A True Story, a group exhibition by 22 students from across the Metromess involved in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s Teen Artist Project. The last weekend in May, Gallery 414 was the site of an auction of works by 25 local artists to help Paschal High School’s Vagabond Players raise money to travel to this year’s Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where they’ve been invited to perform. While the gallery is currently closed for the summer, they’ll reopen September 13 with Chris Valle’s Paintings from the Altered Series.



By Ken Shimamoto 

I’ll admit it: I’m cheap. Maybe not to the extent that my late ex-father-in-law, of whom it was once said, “He’d drive across town to save a nickel,” was, but these, after all, are different times. It wasn’t three bucks a gallon for gas back then. In my case, that’s hardly relevant: when I scored my current straight, which is six blocks from mi casa, I gave my daughter (who needed it more) my car and started hoofing it most places. Within three months after doing this, BTW, I had shed 20 pounds I put on at my previous soul-destroying (and sedentary) employment. Who needs to drop big bucks on a spa membership? Just walk. Or ride a bike, like my sweetie does. But I digress. 

When I was really scuffling and frugality was a necessity, not a choice, I learned that you can have as much fun on the cheap as you can if you drop a bunch of coin – in some cases, maybe more so. And Fort Worth is a great place to do so. Here in, ahem, the 19th largest city in America, you can have a world-class cultural experience, enjoy a renewing sanctuary, or be entertained for a mere fraction of the cost of a tank of gas. 

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (3200 Darnell), f’rinstance, holds an astonishing 3,000 works by modern masters from Picasso to Pollock to Warhol in its permanent collection, on display in Tadao Ando’s strikingly designed structure which is as much of a modern art masterwork as the artifacts housed within. Admission is regularly $10 ($4 for students and seniors), but you can visit the museum for free on any Wednesday and the first Sunday each month. Museum hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday and 11am to 5pm Sunday. There’s a full schedule of movies, readings, and other activities as well, along with Café Modern, rated one of America’s best restaurants by Gourmet magazine, with a lunch/brunch menu that’s mostly under $15 an entrée. 

The Kimball Art Museum (3333 Camp Bowie Blvd) is a world-class museum that’s hosted exhibitions that traveled nowhere else in the United States. The small (350 works) permanent collection focuses on quality, not quantity, and includes antiquities from Egypt, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, as well as European masters, omitting 20th century and American works because of the proximity of the Modern Art and Amon Carter museums. Again, architect Louis I. Kahn’s setting for the art is stunning, particularly the reflecting pools outside (adjacent to a lush green space that invites loungers and Frisbee players when it’s not too God-awful hot). Best of all, it’s always free to view the permanent collection, and special exhibitions are half-price all day Tuesday and from 5-8pm on Friday. Museum hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday (except Friday, when the museum stays open till 8pm) and noon-5pm Sunday. 

The Amon Carter Museum (3501 Camp Bowie Blvd) has a lot more to offer than the Western art of Remington and Russell that its founder, the newspaperman and philantropist whose name it carries, used to like to collect. In fact, it holds one of the world’s finest collections of American art, including 20th century modernists and photographers. Admission to see the permanent collection is always free, and the museum’s open late (10am-8pm) on Thursdays. The rest of the week (Tuesday-Saturday) it’s open 10am-5pm, except Sunday, when it opens at noon. 

Regrettably, it’s not longer possible for kids to enjoy the works of the Bard of Avon (and sliding down the adjacent slope on pieces of corrugated cardboard) at Shakespeare in the Park (a favored summer activity when my kids were small), but our other favorite hangout, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden (3220 Botanic Garden Blvd), remains a shady refuge and haven from summer’s heat. Texas’ oldest botanic garden, it’s open every day from 8am to dusk, and admission is always free. For a special experience, the Japanese Garden is open from 9am-7pm daily, with adult admission $3 (weekday) or $3.50 (holidays and weekends), $2 for kids, .50 off for seniors, and children under 4 free. The Garden also plays host to the Fort Worth Symphony’s Concerts in the Garden with fireworks climaxing every performance, Fridays and Saturdays through July 5th. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the gate, with $5 parking at nearby Farrington Field.  

For the more audacious outdoor types, the Fort Worth Nature Center (Jacksboro Highway, four miles west of I-820) offers 3600 acres of wilderness including forests, prairies, and wetlands, including 20 miles of hiking trails. (If you know my kids, ask them about the time I got us lost there around closing time. It was a hoot.) Summer hours are 8am-7pm Monday-Friday and 7am-7pm Saturday-Sunday. Admission is $4 adult, $3 senior, and $2 kids, with free admission for children under 3. 

While the Fort’s always been a great place to hear live music on the cheap, we can think of no more congenial set/setting than the patio at Central Market, which hosts “Thursday Night Live” presented by the FW Weekly Thursdays and “Burgers and Bock” Saturdays and Sundays from March to October. Bands play from 6-9pm, admission is free, you can buy a beer, wine or margarita for less than you’d pay in lots of live music spots, and the Market chefs are cooking a better-than-just-OK burger on Friday-Saturday nights. (Full disclosure: Yeah, I work there, in the bulk department. If you come there, please monitor your kids and keep them from sticking their bare hands in my bins, OK? And weigh and price your snacks before you graze. Thanks!) 

Finally, if you don’t feel like going anywhere, you can do what my sweetie ‘n’ I do lotsa weekends, which is fall by Half Price Books (5417 South Hulen St or 6912 Ridgmar Meadow Rd) to cop an inexpensive used book, rekkid, CD, DVD, or VHS tape and while away the hours back at la casa. (I’m currently reading the complete works of Anthony Bourdain on the cheap thanks to HPB.) Ain’t life in Fort Worth grand? 

Web resources: 

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth:

Kimball Art Museum:

Amon Carter Museum:

Fort Worth Botanic Garden:

Fort Worth Nature Center:

Central Market Events:

Half Price Books:


Groovy Grotto Jam

As summer heats up Ft. Worth, live music and associated drinking do double-time. In recent years, with the expansion of Fredfest, the Ft. Worth Weekly’s music awards showcase, Wall of Sound Festival, and Jazz by the Boulevard, outdoor music festivals are quickly becoming THE good reason to hang out with thousands of well-connected and quite talented neighbors.

The Blue Grotto is heating up, too. After the tectonic shift in cultural district culture, folks who once counted on a familiar welcome at the Wreck Room, 7th Haven, or as far away as The Cellar now find better barstools at the Blue Grotto. The cozy and clean refuge maintains some of the fading-from-fashion elements that make the city a different place to live.

On any given night, the Grotto is populated by musicians who might or might not be playing. If you’re good and local, you’re usually invited to join in the festivities. Keegan McInroe and Mike Maftean from Catfish Whiskey host an acoustic jam on Tuesdays. The cheap-beer enthusiasts listen, make merry, and spill onto the front patio. Most things still go at the bar, making it a nice alternative to its increasingly uptight competition. It’s not that nearby live music joints don’t sound better or offer more diverse calendars - they do. But the Grotto keeps it all in the family. Outlaws, not businessmen, still write the rules of conduct.

Owners Rick Cashen and Cody Hicks have been planning a benefit festival for over a year now, but such a big undertaking requires a team and a network. Over the last year, while local musicians discovered the joys of playing inside their brick walls, the owners added former Torch bartender Cody Admire and Wreck bouncer Roderick Dove to the bar staff.

In addition to the ambiance Admire and Dove give the place, they also worked with local musos to design and schedule the Grotto’s foray into festivals. On Saturday, June 14th, a flatbed trailer will roll into the parking lot, where volunteers will deck it out with a sound system. A variety of local songwriters and bands, collected by Dove and Proud Warrior/Katsuk/Sally Majestic member Scott Vernon, will perform from the stage from noon until 10 PM. Afterwards, the festivities and music will continue inside. Every penny of the 7$ cover charge goes into the coffers of the Humane Society of North Texas.

Songstress Jordan Franz, who sings at times with Katsuk, will open the fest while good souls wash dogs free for attendees. Chris Hardee and his powerfully emotive band Alan follow, which sets the stage for the rock’n’roll grit of Stella Rose at 2. McIntoe and Maftean then contribute their skills via guitars and modern-folk storytelling in song. The good times (and hot sun) follow with Iocane Powder and Four Corners.

The new, electronic-Ft. Worth funky and witty emcee’s in Rivercrest Yacht Club brave the heat at 6. Merkin’s artistic intensity bridges RYC and night shredder showmen Early Pearl and Exit 380.

Finishing up the night inside are country troubadors Last Call and the progressive ambient hard rockers Proud Warrior. The rambunctious headliners are talking pyrotechnics and strobe lights. If they don’t manage to burn the Blue Grotto down, let’s hope the music and revelry will continue far into the future.

The Blue Grotto. 517 University Drive. Groovy Grotto Jam-Humane Society Benefit. Saturday, June 14th. Noon-2AM. 7$. 817-877-9947.








Texas Ballet Theater



By Ken Shimamoto 

Fort Worth’s very own opera company – one of the 14 oldest in the United States -- was started over coffee one morning in 1946 by three “ladies who lunch,” two of whom ...... Click Here To Read More




Kimbell Art Museum



By Ken Shimamoto 

An annual spring event here in the Fort – like Gallery Night, Main Street Arts Festival, Mayfest, and hailstorms – Fredfest has gone through some changes ..... Click Here To Read More



By Ken Shimamoto 

When I was a snotnose, I used to roll my eyes white upward every time my sister wanted to watch the ballet on TV. The stuff just didn’t move me. Then ..... Click Here To Read More



By Ken Shimamoto 

I loved the Wreck Room. It was my living room, three miles away from home. My sweetie ‘n’ I had our wedding reception there. I played shows with Stoogeaphilia there ..... Click Here To Read More



By Ken Shimamoto 

A number of years ago, when my children were still small, we were walking downtown when we a homeless man approached and asked me for money. ..... Click Here To Read More


By Ken Shimamoto 

Approaching the 25th anniversary of his long-running gig at Sardines Ristorante Italiano, where he’s performed six nights a week since 1983, the prolific jazz pianist ..... Click Here To Read More


Shirley Clarke’s Ornette: Made In America DVD 

By Ken Shimamoto 

When I met Mike Watt at SXSW a few years back and told him I was from Fort Worth, he immediately exclaimed “Caravan of Dreams!” I had to tell the ex-Minuteman .....Click Here To Read More


Wes Race’s Cryptic Whalin’!

By Ken Shimamoto 

A few years back, when I briefly played second guitar for Lady Pearl’s B.T.A. Band, subbing for a muso who was also a schoolteacher and so used to like to miss the ..... Click Here To Read More



By Ken Shimamoto

I love the American myth of baseball. I love it much more, in fact, than I love watching any games, which are .....Click Here To Read More



By Ken Shimamoto 

You and me, we'll start something up. A bar, maybe. Two Irish kids from Brooklyn, how could we not have a bar? Green beer for St. Paddy's Day, free hot dogs for Monday Night Football. Think about it. Old fashioned jukebox sitting in the corner… Click Here To Read More



By Ken Shimamoto 

Caught Jubilee Theatre’s production of Romulus Linney’s A Lesson Before Dying last weekend – first time I’d been out to the tradition-rich downtown theater this season. There were a lot of..... Click Here To Read More


The Great Tyrant’s “Candy Canes”/”Walking Through the Walls” 

By Ken Shimamoto 

We saw tears trickle down his cheeks and fall on the keys, which, though wet, were now struck in a strongly dissonant chord. At the same time he opened his mouth Click Here To Read More


By Ken Shimamoto
These days, the opportunities to hear live jazz in Fort Worth are more plentiful than they’ve been in quite a few seasons. Back in the ‘80s, world-class jazzers like Cowtown native.......Click Here To Read More


Cantina Laredo

Sent In By Simone MacDonald

In Fort Worth we love the new hot spot and most will try it once even if it is not. Please let me save you time.....Click Here To Read More
Montgomery Plaza - Fort Worth

Sent in by one of readers.

1. If you’re considering purchasing a condominium at Montgomery Plaza, be sure to wear a jacket and tie.....Click Here To Read More




"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."
— Oscar Wilde

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
Oscar Wilde

emi g's fort worth / Barrys Tickets / Dance Clubs