Oh, yes… I have decided to do a series of interviews with other people involved with local music. I wanted my interviews to be a little bit different, though… I wanted to know what it is that drives the people who are “behind the scenes,” so to say. I have a list of various people involved with everything from venue management, sound engineering, promotions, band management, music reviewers, podcasters, radio personalities, and more.
The first interview is with Jordan Buford, The Music Enthusiast. I met Jordan when he came out to a Sawed-Off Productions show at The Ranch in Arlington on February 19, 2012 to review a show. Sawed-Off Productions is super excited to be working on a series of showcases this summer with Jordan and WhiskeyBoy Radio that will be culminating with the Broadcasting For Boobies event in August.
Jordan’s show reviews are fair, honest, and insanely accurate. He somehow manages to remember the entire set list, technical details about each song, and the length of songs and set times. HE DOESN’T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. At all. The links to all of his pages and info are included at the bottom.
What first made you want to get involved in music?
Short answer; To try to spread my love of music to others and get them to check out the bands I love. Long answer; I didn’t always care for music. It wasn’t until 1999 when I happened to discover Aerosmith that I actually began listening to music on a regular basis. I soon “discovered” some more classic rock bands (Springsteen, U2, etc.), which served as the foundation of my passion for music, but it wasn’t until I saw my first local concert that I wanted to get more involved in some way. Like I said, I just want to expose these bands to as many people as possible, and I’m going to do my damnedest to do so.
What was your first concert?
The first show I ever saw was Aerosmith back in 2001. It was during the bands tour in support of “Just Push Play”. They were the first band I ever became a fan of, so getting to see them live was amazing… I just don’t think I fully appreciated it like I would if I saw them now.
I’ve seen several great ones, and I’m not sure if I can pick just one. Practically every show I saw of The FEDS (which was 25 in all) was amazing. The two that really stand out were their farewell show at The Marque in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January, 10th 2009, and then their reunion performance just a few months ago at the Curtain Club. Both of those will be almost impossible to top.
Well, there’s this band by the name of Rains… Haha! Yeah, that is definitely THE worst, and I don’t foresee any concert ever being worse than that. With the terrible sounding voice of Jeff Rains aside, it was all in how the show was handled that made it suck. I don’t care what band you’re with, you don’t allow your tour manager to come up on stage and call off a show. In my opinion, when you’re on stage, you need to be as professional as possible, and that was FAR from professional.
Who are some of your favorite mainstream bands?
I’m pretty localized with what I listen to, actually. But some bands would be; The Airborne Toxic Event, Bowling for Soup (though in some ways they will always be a local band), Toadies (who will also always be a local band of sorts), Blue October, The Civil Wars, The Gaslight Anthem, Muse, MuteMath, Ludo, The Sounds, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear… I think that may be all of them. My main thing with mainstream music is that it tends to be so cookie-cutter, but I’m up for listening to anything that isn’t.
Who are some of your favorite local DFW bands?
There are oh so many. Trebuchet and Descender are my top favorite acts at the moment. The former is constantly changing up their set so it’s always fresh, while the latter plays some of the heaviest music around. Air Review is wonderful. Fantasma puts on a hell of a show. Night Gallery, Meridian, Secret of Boris, Nothing More… Jessie Frye might easily be the greatest female vocalist currently in the area. I absolutely love Paco Estradas’ music. That’s just a handful, ’cause there’s so much amazing talent around here. I just can’t remember everybody of the top of my head.
Do you have any musical talents? Instruments? Singing? Do you play the spoons?
Yes, I own at the spoons! Haha. No, I don’t. The guitar interests me, and even the drums do a little bit, but I don’t play anything. Maybe I’ll attempt to learn one, one day. Now I did sing in choir during all three years of middle school, so I can sing to some extent I guess, but only in a lower register. You don’t want to hear me singing along to songs, ’cause it sounds terrible (but still not as bad as Jeff Rains).
How long have you been active in the local music scene?
Well, the first time I went to Deep Ellum to see a show was in March of 2006, so I guess I’ve been really active for about six years now.
What prompted you to get involved in local music?
Well, going back further than six years ago, I had just gotten into Bowling for Soup and they were doing a show at the Plano Centre, not too far from my house. It was an all day event put on by Buzz-Oven (I miss Buzz-Oven) and featured all local bands. That was my introduction to the local scene, and it caused me to really get into music in general. Going back to the band I mentioned earlier, The FEDS, after the second time I saw them the bands singer, Matt Slider, talked to me in length. He thanked me for purchasing their stuff, telling me how much he appreciated it and that, whether they acted it or not, any band whose stuff I bought would be extremely grateful for my support. I was only 16 at the time, but those words stuck with me, and in that moment I thought maybe I could do something for the bands I liked to make a difference… Even if it was on a very small scale.
What prompted you to start blogging/writing reviews?
Again, I go back to The FEDS. When I turned 17 and could actually get into some of the venues, I went to see them and another favorite group of mine, Space Cadet, who were playing at Club Clearview. I loved both bands with every fiber of my being, and I wanted to do what I could to help possible get them some fans. Myspace was THE social networking site at that time, and I wrote a blog on there about the show. They [my blogs] were total shit then. I mean, they’re still only mediocre now, but they were bad then. I basically just went over the bands set list and that was all. For example, “They opened with… and then they did… and then they did…” just one long run on sentence plagued with errors. I just kept doing it for the fun of it, thinking if I could turn one person on to a band, than I had done something good. Eventually it caught on with a few of the musicians I knew, whom I couldn’t believe wasted their time by reading them, and I got good feedback, and since a few people began to expect it and looked forward to reading them, I continued doing it.
How many shows would you say you have seen?
As of answering this question, the count stands at 389. I keep a running log of every show I attend, as well as the number of times I’ve seen an individual band… I guess that makes me a music nerd.
Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs? Boy shorts?
I’m really liking thongs right now. The way they ride up in the crack is comforting in a weird way… HAHA! Kidding, kidding. Really, boxer briefs is my preference.
What is the worst thing you have ever done to someone you didn’t like?
Ummm… I don’t think anything, mainly because I don’t think there’s anyone I really dislike or hate.
Who was your favorite interviewee?
I haven’t done too many… Matt Slider was great, because he is one of the few musicians whom I actually idolize. Wild Child was really great to, though. Seeing as I had never even met them before doing the interview, they proved to be real easy to talk to and were very friendly.
Where do you see The Music Enthusiast going in the next year? Five years?
I’d like to think a year from now The Music Enthusiast will be a bigger local brand. Some people consider me a celebrity, which I think is crazy. I mean, I’m just a guy who loves music and goes out to concerts. That’s all. Still, I’d like the blog to get a little more attention than it does, but that will happen in due time, especially since its taken six years to get to the point it’s at now. Five years? Well, in five years I will have been blogging about concerts for over a decade. That’s insane to think about. I don’t know. I’m not looking for fame, but if it happens to find me… I have a good friend I’ve met through the scene, Brendan Williams, who has told me for a couple years now he wants to see me writing for Rolling Stone one day. It’d be cool to think that maybe that could happen, you know? Like, having national level bands saying “I want The Music Enthusiast to come out to our show and review it.” Who knows, maybe I’ll be a radio personality since I’ve started doing this podcast and have gotten great feedback from Matt (WhiskeyBoy). I do know one thing for sure, though, life is a journey, and I’m going to savor every step of this, no matter where it takes me.
What is one thing you wish would change about the local scene here in DFW?
I wish that people would realize how many great bands are actually out here. When I first started going to Dallas, the parking lots would be fairly full but then soon tapered off and were nearly empty as Deep Ellum sit on the brink of collapse. People are definitely getting back down there now, but I don’t think many people really realize the full extent of the talent that resides in Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, or any of the suburbs. It’s out there, they just need to support it.
What is one thing you hope NEVER changes?
The neighborhoods, specifically in Deep Ellum. Every few years it seems like there’s talk about renovating the area and giving it a complete facelift or something. If you did that, you do away with the character of the area, which is exactly what makes it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for change if it is beneficial to the area, but not demolition to build condos and such. As long as the area has been a staple of Dallas it should be considered a historical landmark and preserved, but to tell the truth, I’m skeptical of if it will survive for another 100+ years.
Do you like sushi?
I’ve never had it, and I don’t expect I’ll try it either. (My taste-buds are quite picky.)
What do you do with what little spare time you have outside of seeing shows, writing, and podcasting?
I do like exercising and fit it in just about every day. I’m also a big fan of TV and usually watch a good bit of it. Sadly I think that’s about it, I don’t have many hobbies or anything.
Do you have any upcoming shows you want to, as we say at Sawed-Off Productions, WHORE out???
Ha. Whore out is the exact word I use when wearing my The Music Enthusiast shirt. Of course our shows. April 6th at the Ranch with Black Dutch Sioux and the benefit show on August 3rd and 4th (also at the Ranch). I can’t wait to see Air Review on March 24th. They’ll be at Club Dada and the show is being presented by the Homegrown Festival (which by the way is something else I’m looking forward to. It’s the festivals third year and is shaping up to be its best yet.) The Texas Music Unites launch party on March 31st will be great, what with Moving Atlas, Dawn Over Zero and so many other killer acts performing. I can’t wait to see Quiet Company and Smile Smile at Club Dada on April 6th. The Deep Ellum Arts Festival is also going on that weekend and Jessie Frye will be playing it April 7th. The amount of talent she has is mind blowing. Ishi and The Soldier Thread will also be at Trees that night, and Ishi’s new music is astounding! I could go on and on, but I’ll stop myself there.
Are you aware that sometimes you are absolutely hilarious?
Hilarious? No. I know I have my moments (which are generally few and far between) but I didn’t think they were that good, so thanks! I tend to have more of a dry sense of humor, which some people just don’t seem to get.
How the hell did you get hooked up with WhiskeyBoy Radio?
I ask myself that same question every now and then… Just joking. I’d seen Matt at shows for a long while, and he had noticed me, too. I saw his shirt with the website WhiskeyBoy.US, but never visited it. He evidently noticed my blog from other bands posting when I did show reviews about them and began to check it out occasionally. At the end of June this past year he messaged me on Facebook introducing himself and saying I could meet him at a show that night if possible. I did and at first got on as the guy who updated their concert calendar. He told me he’d find something else for me to do with the station, and after a few months he asked me about hosting my own The Music Enthusiast Podcast on the WhiskeyBoy Radio Network he was about to start up. We just seemed to hit it off, I guess partly since we both love local music and aren’t doing what we do for personal gain.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
Ha! It’s funny that I think this is the hardest question of them all. It’s cliché, but flying would be pretty cool. That way you could take off and go wherever anytime you wanted to.
How did you first discover what a donkey show is?
I’m not really sure how I first found out what one was… But I’m somewhat interested in seeing one take place.
Links to all of your pages???
Okay, now everyone go stalk Jordan and like him and read his posts and listen to his podcasts. Seriously. It will lead you on a path to better music choices.