Hot enough for ya? The music scene, we mean. The metaphorical mercury has hovered around the century mark for months, with scant relief in sight. Contrasted with the actual weather -- a break would be nice, Mother Nature, just sayin' -- this sizzling streak of homegrown talent is actually a good thing; it's ignited a conflagration of national proportions. Seriously: Just check in with Sarah Jaffe or Neon Indian or Telegraph Canyon, a few of the many locals turning heads beyond the state's borders, and see how their 2010 has unfolded thus far.
And there's no indication things are going to cool off anytime soon, so let's take a look at five scorching hot North Texas talents on the rise. (Speaking of hot: The oh-so-appropriately named Burning Hotels headline the latest installment of the Good Show Live Music Series, at Lola's Saloon Sixth on Saturday. Don't miss it.)
Aledo's Daniel Hunter walked away from the world of major labels when it became clear they wouldn't allow him to do things his way. Freed from both his contract (after releasing just one full-length album, 2008's Texas) and his nom-de-tune, PlayRadioPlay!, Hunter attacked his art with renewed enthusiasm. The result -- Ancient Electrons, a sprawling, kinetic tour de force -- was one of the best local albums of the year, complemented by a slew of appearances on area stages. Analog Rebellion will appear next Sept. 25 at Frisco's inaugural OysterFest. www.myspace.com/playradioplay
The Black & Blues
A high-powered quintet culled from all over the Metroplex, this Keite Young-fronted outfit already has generated some serious buzz, based on just a handful of live performances (the group came together in April). Recently, the Black & Blues, which also counts Mark Lettieri, Mattie Calloway, Matt Skates and Evan Gentry among its ranks, laid down tracks for a forthcoming EP at Valve Studios in Dallas. Billed as an "amalgamation of rock, electro-funk and soul," the Black & Blues will play Sept. 9 at Fort Worth's Where House. www.reverbnation.com/theblackandblues
Using colossal, galaxy-conquering slabs of sound that immediately catapult the listener back to the heady, psychedelic days of '70s stoner rock, Fort Worth-based super-group Epic Ruins -- Jordan Richardson, Steve Steward, Sam Anderson and Jeff Dazey, with a slew of cameos from local luminaries -- builds tunes to blow your mind. The foursome is putting the final touches on its spaced-out debut album, The Void Mariner and the Mystic Boogie of the Sacred Line, which I had the chance to hear earlier this year. It's thick, pummeling and magnificently weird, one of 2010's most unique local efforts. Epic Ruins makes its live debut Sept. 17 at Lola's Saloon Sixth. www.facebook.com/epicruins
Although Oil Boom -- the trio of Brian Whitten, Ryan Taylor and Dugan Connors -- is based in Dallas, its members hail from Oklahoma (Whitten and Taylor) and Missouri (Connors). The band's Midwestern embrace of hard, elemental rock tinged with a hint of Americana rust evokes such critically acclaimed acts as the Black Keys or, closer to home, Fort Worth's own expert fusionists, Josh Weathers and the True+Endeavors. Tracks such as the phenomenally flinty Mind in Trouble cry out to be heard in a dimly lit, tightly packed club. The band is in the process of recording its debut album. www.myspace.com/oilboom
Along the lines of the much-lauded Telegraph Canyon, Denton quintet Seryn's self-described "baroque folk-pop" feels like a big, melodic hug from an ambitious group of talented musicians. The band has racked up plenty of critical accolades for its intense live performances, a blend of intimacy and explosive drama. Anticipation runs high for the debut full-length, due out this year and recorded at Austin's Ramble Creek Studios. Seryn's next local appearance will be Sept. 11 at the Granada Theater, warming up the crowd for Sarah Jaffe. www.myspace.com/serynsound