Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
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.