I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
Preston Barta // Critic
2014 turned out to be yet another rockin’ year for the folks at 91.7 KXT, who have made Summer Cut into one of the must go-to attractions of the season.
KXT’s first summer kick-off concert featured an exceptional lineup of national and local artists, including Grammy Award-winning band The Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, Fitz & The Tantrums, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Telegraph Canyon. Since then, each year has gotten more impressive, from The Avett Brothers to Matt & Kim.
At no surprise, Friday night was a hot one, but that didn’t stop the crowds from swaying back and forth with a cold beer in hand to the sounds of Iron & Wine, Death Cab for Cutie, The Hold Steady, The Unlikely Candidates, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, The Oh Hellos, The Orbans, The Wild Feathers, and Valise.
+ Iron & Wine‘s emotional, fun-filled and comedic performance. Frontman Samuel Beam, who rolled without any assistance, managed to keep fans engaged when he messed up his lyrics, between songs while tuning his guitar, and when his guitar strings broke midway through a big track.
+ The Oh Hellos stabbing their tom to death with a drum stick (along with their sick harmonies). The Texas-born eclectic folk rock group dazzled in its afternoon slot, energizing a moderately huge, but more or less reluctant, sun-weakened crowd.
+ Death Cab‘s captivating performance. The Washington band played a wide variety of hits, seemed enthusiastic and profusely thanked an absolutely eager crowd.
+ The Orban‘s killer track “New Dress” live.
+ Watching all the older people in the crowd bustin’ a move during The Hold Steady.
+ Food trucks, always.
– Thao & the Get Down Stay Down‘s set interrupting Iron & Wine‘s performance. Nothing against their performance, but their more rock genre of music clouded over Iron & Wine‘s mellow tunes.
– Beer will set you back a pretty penny, but that’s not new at concerts.
– And the usual sights, smells, and standing.
Overall, Summer Cut ’14 was a success. KXT continues to solidify their mark as the coolest station on Dallas’ radio waves. They bring together great, entertaining bands, and give you your money’s worth.
For information on upcoming shows, visit kxt.org.
Feature Photo: Death Cab for Cutie closing out Summer Cut 2014. Photo taken by Robert Rigdon.