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‘The Growlers’ prove power of live music

With it being "the summer of The Growlers" in the family home, it was only fitting that the missus and columnist journeyed last weekend to the Granada Theater in Dallas, Texas, to celebrate our first wedding anniversary a week early. Tickets count when it's the "paper anniversary," right? They do when this is the show attended.

With Mexican dinner cravings sated at the nearby Gloria's Restaurant, the walk to the legendary theater located in the Lower Greenville District was short. The band made up for the short walk with a long night's set to satisfy the musical cravings for the packed audience to fill the intimate venue.

From the opening notes of "Heaven In Hell," The Growlers were greeted with an audience ravenous for their music and presence. Singer Brooks Nielsen may have been crooning to the worshipping masses when offering his indelible vocal sound to "1 Million Lovers." From the opening notes of "Monotonia" a celebration of spontaneity  filled the audience as Nielsen sang the Spanish chorus "Y la monotonía es un asesino lento" and later flipped it to its English translation, "And the monotony is the slow killer." With an audience caught up in the ride., there was to be no monotony.

The night's set list cascaded through fan favorites that, in performance, turned into transcendent moments of musical flourish during "Problems III" and "Love Test." A true group of romantics, smiles washed over band faces as the audience recited song lyrics above the sound of instrumentation.  There's nothing like a crowd that loves a band's music enough to accompany like this audience: •The Growlers — "Rare Hearts" —

The band's latest disco friendly single, "Natural Affair" was received as warmly as any deep track. This is where Los Growlers kicked in and took the song into a jazzy interlude that reached peak when lead guitarist Matt Taylor's usual surf guitar sound transitioned into an almost saxophone-like solo. It was "beach rat" experimentation at its finest.

A return to form rose with "Humdrum Blues," a columnist favorite. It's hard to pick favorites in a night filled with them. The Growlers pushed the fantastic "Chinese Fountain" into a group celebration to the modern romantics caught in their swoon.

The fan worship of Nielsen is strong and he appears to worship — or at least to be in awe of — the passion of the packed house who reached to touch him and share his words from their perspective. As he crowd surfed atop adoring hands, there was every sense of the perfection found in a great live music experience.

With one of the closing numbers being "I'll Be Around," it's a thought all could get behind. His voice and this band are rare treasures that continue to develop and create great things. New music built on the bones of older forms to make something unique and timely marks The Growlers' difference.

As the audience drained from the theater, a trip next door to Sanders Granada was soundtracked by a drummer/DJ duo, Face Mode. While taking old structures and adding life to them in the setting, it felt like another step in the modern rock and roll evolution. Each small step leads to another leap, they say.

Leap away, leap away. 

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It was 50 years ago today when music made a statement that sometimes words couldn't get right at Woodstock: •Jimi Hendrix — "Star Spangled Banner" —

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The Constitution's Glen Brockenbush joined the goons to interview and suffer for this week's edition of Today's Best Soundemonium! with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist for our version of "The Hot 2s, Not Ones Special" at Red Dirt Reloaded. Taking a cue from the internet interview show "The Hot Ones" from the First We Feast crew, we ate a lot of buffalo wings with an increasingly hotter lineup of sauces while talking ... a lot. 

Many thanks to Thanh "T.L." Le for his 1GCrew Outer Space sauce, Chef Kirby for cooking up the fine feast and devising a special sauce with some kick, and Ms. Crystal for managing the whole shindig and joining the feast for the "last dab" wings covered in a concoction of all the sauces. 

I hope you tuned in and learned a little bit about us, enjoyed the pain inflected by ever-increasing hot sauces and that you joined us in keeping a classic song in mind the entire night: •Johnny Cash — "Ring of Fire" —

I can assure you, the hurting went deep.

Jokey McJokerson had a funny one with this week's joke set-up. Here’s the punchline:


Jokey’s Corner — TBD will be featured for Comedy Night for the weekly Saturday night series to be held in the Summit Ballroom at the Apache Casino Hotel, 2315 E. Gore. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets for the 21-and-up show are $10 and may be purchased at the casino cage or online

Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: or; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or:

And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us:

#Sundaymonium — Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week’s show followed by this latest show: 6 p.m., Gannon Fremin; 6:30 p.m., "The Hot 2s, Not Ones Special."

Tune in after Sunday’s show at 7 p.m. for the Steve-O’s weekly show, B-Sides Besides.

Visit, “like” (“love”) and follow our Facebook page:

Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains —

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