Feature: The Synaptic Empire Unleashed

•January 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment
Click To Order!

Click To Order!

‘Twas the summer of 1991. I was almost 21 and for some reason that year was the year of elusive employment. I couldn’t buy a job to save my life. I was hanging out in Denton with a couple of friends when their neighbor came downstairs and asked if we would like to hear about a great business opportunity. Being chronically unemployed, I said sure. So while my friend’s wife was making dinner, the husband and I went, optimistically, upstairs to hear about this opportunity.

None of it made sense at all. These people were getting rich selling products to themselves? Gotta rope your friends and family into it as well? It was my introduction to Amway. Pyramid scams. A bunch of bullroar. But, during the seemingly 9 hour sales pitch, a question was asked of me. What would you like to have more than anything? A bit stumped, my buddy piped up “A record label.” Hmmmm, a record label. That hadn’t ever crossed my mind – I was going to be the next Louis Messina, concert promoter extraordinaire – but sounded pretty cool.

So I jumped on it and just a scant 24 years later, I’ve started The Synaptic Empire, the record label for The Synaptic. It was evolutionarily the most logical step forward for The Synaptic. There are many big plans for 2015, but this is by far the biggest. And is already a reality.

We have released the 4th record from Fort Worth’s psychedelic shoegazers The Cush, Transcendental Heatwave, due 1/27/2015 with the first CD release party at The Grotto on 1/30/2015! It’s quite a leap, but I believe in this band and record so much I decided to put my money where my mouth is, got behind the record and made it my first release.

Transcendental Heatwave is available for preorder right now, and will ship 1/23/2015. Do yourself a favor and pick one up!


Preview: Panther Robe/Wire Nest – The Grotto, Fort Worth, TX – 09/06/2014

•September 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

PRWN posterWhen Panther Robe kicked off The Synaptic 4th Birthday Party back in June, the 30 minute slot they were given just didn’t give them justice. “30 minutes gets us warmed up!” remarked bassist Chad DeAtley. DeAtley, along with fellow members Quincy Holloway, Clay Stinnett, Chris Plavidal, Sean French, Colin Arnold, and Chad Walls used those 30 minutes certainly turned some heads with their dual drumming, hypnotic grooves and left field take on instrumental dub and experimental music. So, we at The Synaptic wondered, what would happen if we just let them loose to do whatever they liked and meander a bit? And that’s what they’re going to do! Along with like-minded duo Wire Nest – comprised of Sub Oslo members John Nuckels and Frank Cervantez, The Grotto will be transformed into an experimental wonderland, providing the perfect backdrop to polish off Fort Worth’s Gallery Night. Although both acts have only played handfuls of shows each, these veterans of the D/d/FW scene know how to bring it. Do not make the mistake of missing this first ever pairing of 2 of the area’s more thoughtful instrumental artists. You will kick yourself if you do!

 Panther Robe and Wire Nest co-headline Sat, 9/6/2014 at The Grotto in Fort Worth. 10:00 PM, Tickets $7.00 at the door.

Feature: Five Questions With Baboon

•June 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Baboon at Three Links 2/1/14. See them Saturday at The Grotto in Fort Worth,

Baboon at Three Links 2/1/14. See them Saturday at The Grotto in Fort Worth.

Baboon is one of the most endearing acts of the D/d/FW scene. Born in Denton and moved to Dallas, they were adopted early on in their career by Fort Worth. Arguably the most Fort Worth band to never call Panther City home, the adoration Fort Worth showers this band is akin with the fervor reserved for their brethren band the Toadies. Baboon is the sort of band that can lay off the stage for 3 years and return with a passion and hunger unparalleled by most current acts. I’ve known and watched this band for over 20 years, I’m proud to call them friends, and even prouder they agreed to return to Fort Worth for their first proper show to headline and celebrate the 4th Birthday of The Synaptic blog/podcast, etc. I sent drummer Steve Barnett a few questions to answer, let’s see what he had to say.

The Synaptic: For those who don’t know, could you attempt to describe Baboon and your music?

Steven Barnett: Baboon is mostly very, very loud. Beyond that, we’ve made an effort over the years not to paint ourselves into a corner stylistically. We’ve given ourselves the freedom to be very accessible/poppy or completely irritating and inaccessible. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of about Baboon. I think each of our CDs has been pretty distinct from the others, and the same can probably be said for most of our songs.

TS: Baboon has been more active in the past year than in the preceding 5. Why the sudden spike in activity?

SB: A lot of people wondered about what happened to us there for a while, because we never made any formal announcements that we were splitting. I knew that I personally needed/wanted a break from the band, but I also knew it was inevitable that we’d wind up together again, so announcing a “break up” seemed like a melodramatic thing to do. So we all just did our own things for a while. Any spike in activity lately is purely a result of renewed enthusiasm for the group. As soon as we get bored/boring again, we’ll probably take another break.

TS: There were rumors following your incredible Three Links show back in February, are there any definite plans for recording new material?

SB: There are no definite plans for anything, but there are various ideas swirling around. We’ve talked about writing new material. I’ve got tons of old unreleased Boon stuff (studio recordings, live recordings, live videos) that I’ve toyed with the idea of doing something with. James (Henderson)and I talked about the idea of writing new songs, but rather than slaving away for months in the studio, just recording them live. We’re really just making it up as we go at this point.

TS: You’re a pretty avid film buff. In the Criterion (would there be any other edition?) film “Baboon”, who would play the members of the band?

SB: Well obviously Zach Galifianakis would make an excellent Mike (Rudnicki)…or maybe Nick Offerman. Dennis Quaid as Andrew (Huffstetler) . James would have to be played by someone British, period. Bart (Rogers) is a tough one…maybe Mark Harmon? For me, Christopher Walken or maybe David Byrne (he counts as an actor, right?).

TS: Horseheads, moustaches, ascots, matching outfits, whistles aside, without giving anything away, can the good people of 817 expect any surprises this Saturday?

SB: Yes. See you Saturday!

Baboon plays with The Cush, The Skeeves, Huffer and Panther Robe for The Synaptic’s 4th Birthday Party, Sat 6/21/2014 at The Grotto in Fort Worth. Be sure to get your tickets here and don’t miss out on any of the fun!


Feature: Meet The Cush

•June 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment
The Cush at Lola's

The Cush at Lola’s

The collective amount of time I’ve known the members of The Cush could make up a lifetime. Weddings, shows, various bands, various sounds, hell, Burette Douglas was even in the first band I ever put on stage at the Weatherford National Guard Armory in ’92 (there’s footage somewhere…) and I couldn’t be prouder of where these four have wound up musically, on the verge of releasing their incredible 4th album, Transcendental Heatwave, I knew this show was a no-go without them on the bill. Burette and his wife, bassist/vocalist Gabrielle Douglas  answered a few questions for us leading up to Saturday night’s, pardon the term, face melter of a show.

The Synaptic: Describe The Cush for the uninitiated?

The Cush: Texas psychedelic, space rock and all that it entails with male/female harmonies. We can get loud and rocking, then turn it around to space cadet country, and then throw in some kraut rock.

TS: Who makes up the current lineup of the band?

TC: Burette Douglas- Guitar/vocals Gabrielle Douglas– Bass/vocals Josh Daugherty-Guitar/Steel guitar Todd Harwell– Drums

TS: The band’s 4th record is upcoming, what can you tell us about Transcendental Heatwave?

TC: It rocks man. This album was mixed by David Castell, whom we worked with on Buck Jones‘ album, Shimmer. We always wanted to work with him again, and really psyched that here we are, almost 17 years later, making a record together again!

TS: Panther Robe’s Chad DeAtley tried to skirt the question, but maybe you can answer honestly. In a street fight between The Cush and the members of Panther Robe, who would win?

TC: Panther Robe, they out number us 3 to1, and he who wears the panther robe is invincible.

TS: Aside from the new record, what’s on the horizon for The Cush, and what can the audience expect this Saturday night?

TC: You never really know what is over the horizon, hopefully good things! But, we are planning a European tour, more new music, and videos! Saturday night the audience can expect the unexpected!

The Cush plays with Baboon, The Skeeves, Huffer and Panther Robe for The Synaptic’s 4th Birthday Party, Sat 6/21/2014 at The Grotto in Fort Worth. Be sure to get your tickets here and don’t miss out on any of the fun!

Feature: Meet The Skeeves

•June 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Skeeves walkinI came across The Skeeves a few years back while working on the FW Music Co-Op Compilation CD. They were nowhere near my radar until I heard their track and was instantly intrigued. The Fort Worth based quartet wound up being a favorite not only on the comp, but live as well. Interchanging instruments, sharply dressed, The Skeeves made an impact and are about to release their second cd in the coming months. This is definitely a band to watch for, and one not to miss on 6/21. I sent The Skeeves multi-instrumentalist Victor Salinas a few questions so you all can get to know The Skeeves.

The Synaptic: How would you describe The Skeeves?

Victor Salinas: Texas post punk soul

TS: Who are The Skeeves?

VS: We are four guys trying to make some good tunes. Sr on vox/lead guitar/keys, Lyle on everything, Jr on drums/keys and Victor on bass/keys/vox.

TS: What can listeners expect from the new record? How was working with Matt Barnhart?

VS: A fuller better album and hopefully listeners will agree. Working with Matt was great and easy. We still need some more studio time before this album is complete, so we will be working again with Matt.

TS: Are The Skeeves above making a national spectacle of themselves to get noticed in 2014/15? Sex scandal? Embezzlement? Political aspirations?

VS: Of course not. Stay tuned!

TS: When was your last show and what can the audience expect from a rested The Skeeves on the 21st?

VS: Our last show was last year. You should expect a rowdy good time with a nice mixture of old and new songs!

The Skeeves plays with Baboon, The Cush, Huffer and Panther Robe for The Synaptic’s 4th Birthday Party, Sat 6/21/2014 at The Grotto in Fort Worth. Be sure to get your tickets here and don’t miss out on any of the fun!

Feature: Meet Huffer

•June 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Photo: Dark Horse Images

Photo: Dark Horse Images

From the ashes of the wonderful yet barely known Velia Shrine, comes Fort Worth’s Huffer, a traditional 3 piece combo, guitar/vocals, bass and drums. Huffer has been playing quite a few shows in 2014 and gaining quite a bit of attention around Fort Worth, even being nominated for Best New Act in the upcoming FW Weekly Awards. They were a shoo-in for The Synaptic 4th Birthday Party at The Grotto, and are sure to turn some heads. I asked guitarist/vocalist Chea Cuevas a few questions to help everyone get acquainted with Huffer.


The Synaptic: What is Huffer?

Chea Cuevas: A three piece rock band from Fort Worth Texas.


TS: Who’s in the band and how does it differ from your last project together?

CC: We consist of Jeremy Nelson(drums) Rob Navarrete(bass) and myself Chea Cuevas(guitar/ vocals). We used to be in an instrumental metal band together. We decided to do Huffer as a totally different project. Something none of us had ever done before musically.


TS: Do you attribute at least some of your recent success and attention to your tremendous beards?

CC: Maybe, I hope that it’s more about the music than our beards. Being that our drummer recently shaved his off ha!


TS: Have you guys ever collectively mooned anyone? If so, you are aware that it’s against the law?

CC: We have not. Yet.. After the 21st we may have a different answer to this question. As far as legalities go. What happens at The Grotto stays at The Grotto right?


TS: What do you strive for people to hear in Huffer’s brand of rock and what can we look forward to on the 21st?

CC: 90’s rock with some metal influences. Expect nothing short of a party!


Huffer plays with Baboon, The Cush, The Skeeves and Panther Robe for The Synaptic’s 4th Birthday Party, Sat 6/21/2014 at The Grotto in Fort Worth. Be sure to get your tickets here and don’t miss out on any of the fun!

Feature: Meet Panther Robe

•June 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Panther RobeThe early wildcard on The Synaptic’s 4th Birthday Party is Panther Robe. Playing their first Fort Worth show, they were a no brainer for inclusion, as The Synaptic is all about different textures, styles and sounds. In advance of their opening set on 6/21/2014, bassist and old friend Chad DeAtley (Doosu, Dove Hunter) was kind enough to answer a few questions for us to get acquainted with Panther Robe.

The Synaptic: Chad, could you describe just what a Panther Robe is and what one might sound like?

Chad DeAtley: The Panther Robe is an article of clothing that you would drape on yourself. The head of the great cat would act as a visor of sorts. The fangs would hang down obscuring parts of your vision. The rest of the pelt serves to warm and protect it’s wearer. You become adorned with it’s power. You can see things others cannot. You hear what no one hears. You can challenge anyone and no one will challenge you because, you are wearing a god damn black panther and that’s pretty sweet.

TS: What is the lineup of this new project?

CD: The roster is: Quincy Holloway and Clay Stinnett on drums and percussion/ Chris Plavidal on trumpet, melodica and guitar/ Chad Walls and Sean French on synths and cool noise making stuff/ Colin Arnold with the guitar and vocal sounds/ me, I play the bass guitar. We’ve been fortunate enough to have John Barker run visuals on a couple shows and John Nuckels doing some mixing/effects/sound stuff.

TS: What brought you fellas together? Longtime friendship? Cosmic forces? Massive financial gains?

CD: The idea for the band requires like-minded individuals who can mind meld. Each person gravitated toward the project instinctively.

TS: We look forward to seeing you guys on the 21st, what might the audience expect?

CD: The audience can expect to hear some dudes playing some instruments. That’s all that I can guarantee. Each show has been different. We don’t have a setlist or even an established idea of what is going to happen. We hope to one day be slightly more organized but, right now we are having fun just feeling each other out.

TS: Lastly, in a streetfight against fellow billmates The Cush, who would win? Would you use your numbers against them? Dirty tactics?

CD: Panther Robe has Clay and Quincy. Those guys eat souls so, good luck with that. Nobody would ever want to fight The Cush anyway, they are way too warm and friendly. Now Baboon, that’s a different story……

Check out Panther Robe’s first set recorded for your pleasure on their Soundcloud page here and be sure to get to The Grotto early for their set on 6/21/2014 with Baboon, The Cush, The Skeeves, and Huffer. Get your tickets here!