Thankfully, more local acts are embracing the idea of releasing live material. And though a pair of new live releases -- Datahowler's Modern 'til Midnight and the Quaker City Night Hawks' Live at Magnolia Motor Lounge -- couldn't be more different stylistically, each makes a compelling case for the talent of each act.
Datahowler is a one-man affair (musical multitasker and Dallas native Ross Edman) stitching together atmospheric synths, drumbeats and smart samples to create intoxicating swaths of sound. He performed as part of the Modern's occasional Modern 'til Midnight concert series in April and now you can download his 30-minute set just by going to his Facebook page (facebook.com/datahowler) and clicking on the "Exclusive Album" link.
The rowdy, devastatingly skilled Quaker City Night Hawks are enjoying an extremely productive 2012, having conquered South by Southwest and working on a follow-up to their killer debut ¡Torquila Torquila!. The band is a regular presence on the Magnolia Motor Lounge stage, and this six-track compilation (available on iTunes) demonstrates precisely why it's not crazy to suggest QCNH might be one of the state's best bands. (datahowler.com; thequakercitynighthawks.com)
Congrats to Dallas-based singer-songwriter Maren Morris, who won "Artist on the Verge" honors at the New Music Seminar in New York City earlier this week. Morris, one of three nationwide finalists, won "over $200,000 in marketing, promotion, music equipment and consultations from some of the top industry leaders in their respective fields," according to the event's website.... The North Texas booking/management juggernaut Spune Productions has added another venue to its roster: Fort Worth's Cendera Center. Its first two shows on the calendar: The Flatlanders and the Orbans, on Aug. 3, and the real jaw-dropper, an evening with Lindsay Buckingham on Aug. 24. Tickets are on sale for both concerts at cenderacenter.com.... The Fort Worth Weekly music awards will be held at various Fort Worth venues Sunday.... St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) has joined forces with David Byrne (and with an assist from Dallas-based producer John Congleton) for a new album, Love This Giant, due out Sept. 10. St. Vincent and Byrne will play Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium on Oct. 7.
Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713.