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Monday, March 11, 2016

WFMU's Super Hits of the Seventies: Hit Explosion

Ages ago WFMU took a shine to Shibboleth and gave us a little airplay so we're very happy to return the favor and contribute a track to this fund-raising CD for WFMU. Learn more at the link below and support WFMU (or your local independent radio station).


Monday, April 30, 2012

Shibboleth + Mr. Toast = iPhone Game Magic

Last year we were asked by our longtime good pal Dan Goodsell to score an upcoming iPhone/iPad game for his lovable Mr. Toast character. We were more than happy to oblige and set about dipping our quills in fresh ink and scrawling away on some unused parchments.

There are three main scenarios to the game (with a bunch of levels in each) so we split the writing up between the three of us. That's a new song by Rich, a new song by Don and a new song by James. And to wrap it all up in a  tasty little package we had our good buddy Blair Sinta play drums.

It's a groovy little game, great for kids of all ages. Plus it's cheap: only 99¢. Go grab your copy - it's the only place to hear new original Shibboleth music.

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

WFMU Fund-Raiser

Last year we were asked by Michael Shelly, DJ at the legendary WFMU in New Jersey, to contribute a track to his upcoming fundraising CD. We were quite flattered to be asked and jumped at the chance to participate. To make things even better, he requested that we contribute a cover of the "Rockford Files" theme song. Perfect choice, since we had been fooling around with it a sound checks for years. So we whipped up our little nugget and sent it to him. Little did we know we'd be appearing alongside such luminaries such as Yo La Tengo and The Minus 5 (among many many others). Take a look at Michael's page here to get a sense of how cool this is:

Even the New Yorker got in on the game and had something nice to say about us:

Shibboleth’s cover of Mike Post’s “Rockford Files” theme is a near-perfect copy, which raises the issue of why it needs to exist, but that raises a second question: why wouldn’t you want a near-perfect copy of the “Rockford Files” theme? (In fairness, this one loosens up the keyboard sound a bit as it goes, venturing into synth-flute territory, and there’s a nice little processed guitar solo as well.)

This is a limited-edition, limited time disc, so contribute before Sunday March 4, 2012 to get your copy.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010


2010 has started off with a bang for little ol' Shibboleth. We're going to be performing and chatting in-studio this Friday on the new KXT 91.7 FM. For those of you that don't already have the inside dope, KXT is a brand spankin' new station in Dallas, playing a lot of great independent music with a nice dose of local artists.

We've been told that Venus Flytrap does not work at KXT, but we're going to appear anyway.

Friday, January 8th
3:30 pm
91.7 on your FM dial

Visit the KXT site for more info:

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Shameless commerce alert - Experiment in Error is on sale on iTunes until January 14. If you haven't already, download your copy today - only $7.99. It's equally as good as the full-priced album. Maybe even better.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Magnet has some kind words

The last line isn't doing us any favor, but we'll take what we can get.

Like Calexico’s goofy cousins, Dallas instrumental band Shibboleth repeatedly raids the Tex-Mex and spaghetti Western genres. There’s no pretense of Cormac McCarthy desert-noir cool here, however, and Shibboleth has fun by crossing many more musical borders. Sometimes veering into calliope and easy listening, Experiment In Error is space-age bachelor-pad music that won’t get you laid.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

"The Big-Takeover" Review

Jack Rabid over at The Big Takeover has some nice words about Error:

Nowadays, instrumental bands have a tough road to find attention. But this Dallas outfit is smart enough to bring back the time, as late as the ‘60’s when vocal-less incursions in the charts were amusingly common, and the jaunty practitioners like Herb Albert and his Tijuana Brass could cross over hits like “Spanish Flea” into the Dating Game Theme. I.e., Experiment is modernly-produced, vintage fun from all over the spectrum, with happy organs you used to hear at sports arenas, the western-guitar rock of the Duane Eddy and the Shadows, bits and pieces of spaghetti Western films, lot of Henry Mancini (the Walkin’ Baby Elephant” kind) “Music To Watch Girls By,” Tex-Mex, and shades of Alpert, The Cars/Devo, and a primary ‘80’s precursor, Wall of Voodoo. With this kind of upbeat joy, you don’t need singing.
Jack Rabid.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Korean of the Year

We've reached the zenith of our careers. As fate would have it, a track from our first CD, A Penny for Your Brain, was used in an episode of the Margaret Cho Show. And it double-turns-out that this particular episode (Korean of the Year) is available for FREE on the ol' iTunes music store this week. So go download it if ya wanna.

Or we could just sum up our particular 8 seconds of... fame. To wit: In voiceover, Cho is introducing her makeup team or "Glam Squad", a group of flamboyantly dressed gentlemen who are shown piling out of a limo, cavorting up to Cho's house, mashing on the doorbell and playfully yelling things like "We're homos!!"

So as you can see it's a perfect fit.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Dallas Observer Music Awards 2008

Hard to believe, isn't it? Another year has slipped through our fingers and toes. The murky beast we call “time” has feasted upon the cooler months, leaving nothing but the dog days and we once again find ourselves face-to-face with an awards show. The blessed event in question is The 2008 Dallas Observer Music Awards. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual orgy of ballot-stuffing, drink tickets, ignored speeches, and the hallmark of the season: questionable nominations.

With that last one in mind we're proud to announce that we, humble Shibboleth, have been nominated in a duet of categories:

- Best Funk / R&B
- Best Jazz

We'll let that sink in for a moment... here's a puppy...

It should come as no surprise that we don't think of ourselves as fitting into any of the above categories (except maybe when we back up Bobby P). That being said, we've spent the past eight years staring blankly at the floor whenever somebody asks us what kind of music we play, so who are we to complain? Perhaps the best classification we've ever (over)heard was from some nameless sorority princess who complained to her friend that we needed to “stop playing that Pac-Man shit and play something funky.”*

The fine folks at the Observer were suitably confused by this nomination as well.

Since the odds are there will never be a Best Pac-Man Shit category we'll just say that it really is nice to be nominated (by our peers, no less) and we'd really appreciate your vote and the vote of anybody else that you think might spare us a vote geez don't make us beg c'mon just vote will ya geez.

It is also worth noting that James, our estimable bass owner/player, has promised that if we win he will drink thirteen beers and perform a slap-bass solo on stage. If that doesn't invigorate the voting population than we don't know what will.

Go here to become part of history:

* True story.



Friday, May 16, 2008

Q&A in Quick

Must be a slow news day, because we ended up on the cover of Quick magazine. We had a nice chat with Hunter Hauk the other day and somehow he managed to transcribe our ramblings into semi-coherent answers. Read the full piece here.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Observer Observations

Pete Freedman blogs and posts a track, The 1912 Horsey Rebellion.

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Dallas Observer Review

The Dallas Observer takes a mighty whack:

"Captaineered" by Stuart Sikes and aided by Jim White on drums and Chris McGuire and Randy Graham on horns, Experiment in Error showcases the band's skill at playing with all kinds of riffs and musical ideas.

Take the rest of the joyride here.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pegasus News Review

Catherine Cuellar from Pegasus News writes:

If soundtracks for Spaghetti Westerns and '60s sex comedies were free from cinematic distractions, or the Stax recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee hadn't been torn down and replaced by a museum, their resulting music might compare to Experiment in Error...

Check out the full review here.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Gordon Keith Show pt. 2

As promised, the video from the Gordon Keith show performance is online. It's tiny, but the sound is quite good. You can check it out on our video page or with it's video-kin over at the You Tube.

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A little write up in Quick (and a tune)

The fine folks at Quick have also enblogulated a tune from the new album. Sample "Bill Cosby" over at the Hot 'n' Fresh blog.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dallas Morning News Review

The DMN has their say:

The Dallas band's excellent second CD is a Whitman's Sampler of instrumental rock: Booker T.-style jams sit side-by-side with surf tunes, synth struts and sci-fi cowpoke ditties. On the off chance you miss the humor in the music, check out the song titles: "Meatballs," "Bill Cosby" and "These Are My Cousins Gastro and Cydebar."
- Thor Christensen

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Review

The first review is in:

The music made by Shibboleth (Rich Martin, Don Cento and James Driscoll; the threesome is joined by drummer Jim White here) is a gleeful amalgam of almost every genre under the sun. Error, the Dallas-based instrumental trio's sophomore effort completed with help from local ace Stuart Sikes -- following 2003's self-titled debut -- further cements these dazzling, dexterous artists as some of the Metroplex's most exciting. Personal fave: the electro-surf-grungy Meatballs. The disc hits stores Tuesday; the band will play a CD release party at Dallas' Sons of Hermann Hall on May 17
- Preston Jones

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Gordon Keith Show

On Wednesday we had the high honor of musically guesting on the upcoming episode of the Gordon Keith Show. We pulled out several of the stops and performed the title track from the new album, "Experiment in Error" with Justin Smith on rhythm guitar and Brian Wesoloski and Dave Monsch on saxes. It was a blast, and informed sources tell us that the show itself was quite good, especially the interview with Ashton Kutcher and Rob Corddry. All we can vouch for is the quality of the veggie tray in the kitchen.

If you miss the broadcast, it'll be posted online in the near future.

Saturday May 10, 2008
11:35 PM
Channel 8 (WFAA)

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Album Release Party

On Saturday, May 17th we'll be setting up camp at the Sons of Hermann Hall to celebrate the release of Experiment in Error. The lovely ladies of The Lollipop Shoppe are throwing this party and if history is any indication it'll be a hoot. Or a doozy. Probably not both, but anything is possible... There's gonna be DJs, and dancing and all sorts of decorations, just like when we were kids.

We'll be doing two sets that evening. The first will feature songs from Experiment in Error and some other nuggets. After a break (and some dancing by you, the energetic audience member) we'll return to the stage and tear through a set of covers featuring the vocal stylings of Trey Johnson, Justin Smith and Sean Halleck. But that's not all.... we'll be closing out this set with a handful of songs - including four brand-new ones - from Bobby Patterson.

After that... more dancing, although we'll most likely be down in the bar enjoying a frosty brew.

Did we mention the horn section? And the background singers? You're not gonna wanna miss this....

Saturday, May 17th
3414 Elm Street, Deep Ellum, TX
Doors 5pm
Show 9pm

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Bobby Patterson Demo (limited time only)

The esteemed Robert Wilonsky has crafted a lovely post top-lining one of our latest endeavors -some new Bobby Patterson music. Check it out and download the exclusive-to-unfair-park track.

Read, download, enjoy


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Idol Records

Great news ladies and gentlemen. Shibboleth has just signed with our good friends over at Idol Records. The official release date for the new album, "Experiment in Error" is still TBD but it's right around the corner, to be sure.

We're totally stoked about teaming up with such a quality label with such a quality roster. It's almost like we're a real, live, grown-up band and everything... Fiiiiiiiinalllly.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Some New Bobby Patterson Music

That's right folks. We just finished a couple days in the studio with our buddy Stuart Sikes laying down rhythm tracks for some new Bobby Patterson songs. We were joined by the ever-trusty Matt Kellum on the ol' tubs and a couple of newbies to the cast of characters: Justin Smith on guitar and Chad Stockshlager on organ.

At this point we're not sure what shape this project will take, but we've got some good ideas. Stay tuned. This promises to be a good one.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Rejected Once Again

Good news folks. We've further cemented our outsider status by being rejected by the SXSW festival for the 7th year running. We couldn't be happier or more proud. Who wants to play their lousy festival anyway? We're holding out for the next Isle of Wight.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007


Annnnnnnnnd.... we're done. A few days ago we sent the mixes off to our good friend Kirk Wheeler for a quick mastering job under his deft touch.

What's the next step; When is this thing gonna be out you ask? At this point we're going to burn off a few copies to hand out to a few friends in the music "industry" with the (let's face it - most likely vain) hope that we can get a little help pulling this scene together. Failing that.... we've got a pretty good idea up our sleeve. It'll take more time, but it'll be worth it.

In the meantime, you can hear a few of the new tunes on the front-page of the ol website.



Sunday, August 19, 2007

Reunion Tower Revue and the 2007 DOMAs

Another Dallas Observer Music Awards show has come and gone. And naturally we didn't win anything. Heck, this year we weren't even nominated for anything (not that we're bitter or anything). In spite of our low profile we did have the unique pleasure of providing all the music for the show. The house band, if you will.

It went like this: In November of 2007 I (Don) and the beloved Trey Johnson (of Sorta) dreamed up a show we dubbed The Reunion Tower Revue. It's a sort of survey of the history of Dallas music - songs by Dallas artists (big and small), songs about Dallas, songs that tangentially reference Dallas, and songs recorded in Dallas. We found 20 great old songs and asked some of Dallas' finest current singers to sing them with Shibboleth backing everybody up. And not just the four-piece. No that would be too simple. We added three background singers, two horn players, a five-person choir, and pedal steel. And to top it all off, this was our first show with the amazing Bobby Patterson. The first of many as it turns out. All for charity as well.

So after a month of mind-numbingly hard work, and in spite of an ice storm, the show went on and was a resounding success. We couldn't have been prouder.

As it turns out Senor Robert Wilonsky from the Observer was in the audience that night in December and was quite taken with the show. So taken, in fact, that several months down the road he asked us to put the show together again - this time as the sole musical act at the awards show. Wow. So we did a little tweaking to the show - added some new singers and some new songs - and pulled it off. Again.

Chances are this isn't the end of the Reunion Tower Revue. Keep your ears and eyes open.



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Backing Up Bobby Patterson

Since December 2006 we've had the good fortune to back up the great soul singer Bobby Patterson. It's been a total blast working with him and with an extended version of Shibboleth that includes vocalists Jenn Nabb, Justin Smith, Samantha Pratt, and Amy Curnow as well as horn players Randy Graham, Brian Wesoloski, Roman Dudock and Chris McGuire.

For some more background on how this came to be check out this article by the great Hunter Hauk.



Monday, June 04, 2007

New Videos

Hi kids. We've posted some new videos on YouTube (and MySpace and all those other places you're supposed to post videos). We shot these little gems last summer in Don's loft. Very low budget - an Apple iSight captured our lovely visage and the music was performed and recorded live. Hope you enjoy 'em.