The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of May 30, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 1:07 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT
S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!



Sat., May 31 -
Awake / The Mckenzies / The Gold Sounds
@ The Mink Backroom

The one time I saw Awake I really dug their dense, slow, and, at times, melodic death dirges so much that - even though it was the last few songs in a set - I was pretty impressed and felt that they were doing something pretty unique. The weird thing about them is if you download their albums, it sounds nothing like it does live. So here, check this live youtube video of the song redshift ( Link ). It's slow and brutal yet also very pretty like Codeine as played by The Swans. Neat! The Mckenzies are a band you've already heard me rave about as being a poppy ass-whoopin' so I'll give you a break on the raving but they really are that good! The Gold Sounds have some new tracks on their myspace that are vast improvement over their debut EP from last year. The last release seemed like one from a band that had some nice influences but the songs never got past their inspiration. The new material though suggests a band that may have found its voice. The vocals are more confident, the melodies are stronger, and the band sounds heavier and more urgent. Nice job guys. Well done...and to think I'd written you guys off.

Saturday, May 31
Sad Like Crazy / Rossi Mission
@ Rudyard's

Sad Like Crazy were on a roll back in the 90s. Their jangly indie rock was well loved here in Houston and they even put out two nice albums but then, you know, stuff happened - band members become parents, band members moved to Austin, etc. - and the band kind of simply vanished. So, like a pleasant summer, fans kind of wrote them off as a fond memory. Then, suddenly, this year and out of nowhere word came that Mari, Trey, and Thane just up and got back together which got everyone in a tizzy. Unfortunately for them, they booked their first Houston show in years on the same night as the Hootenanny at the Mink to many a fan's dismay. Mercifully, they are back for a second show and the lovely thing is it doesn't seem to be a reunion on a lark - the band seems ready to pick up where they left off. So come on down and welcome the trio (and their new drummer) back to their old home, eh?

ALSO THIS WEEK

Friday, May 30

Great Unwashed Luminaries / Wood and Felt / Good Night Light & the Red Balloon
@ Notsuoh

Are you up to your gills in guitars? Well, welcome to the land where keyboards and electronics run free. GNL&TRB promise to be the most interesting of the bunch as their compositions have that short and sweet Music for Films "this is a cool idea - let's not have it overstay its welcome" aesthetic.

Old 97's/Hayes Carll
@ The Meridian
Dallas' roots rockin'/alt country favorite sons come south in support of their new album. Woodland's singer/songwriter Hayes Carl opens.

The Dresden Dolls/Smoosh
@ Warehouse Live
For me, there's something a bit contrived about the Dresden Dolls but at the same time I can see their appeal and at the very least it's not the same old tired rock formula so I guess points on that. As for the opening band, a friend of mine loves the Barsuk records' Teen-duo Smoosh but, just listening to the music, I don't get it. The vocals have the kind of phrasing you get to endure during a high school talent show which is perfect for Nickelodeon but beyond that - no. Their lackluster music and skill show the sisters' age but their story is just cute enough to make for an easy story on NPR and the Today Show where nobody asks the obvious question; "Umm, if you are over say 15 (and that's pushing it folks) and you really like this band how creepy are you? Especially if you are a guy!"

The Mother Truckers
@ The Continental Club
The Austin's Roots Rockers have some lovely slide, guitar, and male/female harmonies worthy of the lowliest Texas ice house.


The Defenestration Unit
@ Brasil
Catty-corner from Hollywood and just down the way from Poison Girl you'll find some fine ImprovKrautJazz.


Saturday, May 31

Steve Miller Band/Joe Cocker
@ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Yes nostalgia fans, The Joker and it's perplexing "popatus of love" line is indeed a great song but here is the thing - looming out there you know will be that goddamn Abracadabra song. Fuck that song sucks!

Randy Weeks
(1PM)
Allen Oldies Band (3:30PM)
@ Cactus Music
(Free in-store)
This week a singer songwriter and a cutesy oldies band. The usual Cactus record shopping, live music, and free booze thing.

Saturday Secret Show
@ The Shady Tavern
The secret is all about who is playing. Unfortunately JD and Stacey Tucker are tough cookies when it comes to spilling the beans.


Sunday, June 1

The Bellrays / Architects / Suzy Bravo & The Soul Revue
@ Rudyards
This probably ought to be up in the spotlight
just because of The Bellrays. So, you ask, why didn't I include it? Well yes, The Bellrays' live shows always leave people up in arms with their rock and soul hijinks and that is noteworthy but the support on this bill are hard to get worked up about. Still, if history repeats itself The Bellrays will tear the roof off the sucker giving you damn good excuse to show up tired and kranky to work on Monday.

The Defenestration Unit
@ Discovery Green Park

See above


Monday, June 2

Whorehound/The Trian Woodburns
@ Boondocks
Metal Vs. Rootsy Garage. Who will leave victorious? You'll have to go and find out yourself.


Tuesday, June 3

X/Detroit Cobras
@ Warehouse Live
Happy 31st birthday X! Sure it's been 15 years or so since your last album but, since you guys keep busy with solo albums and that Knitters thing, we'll excuse the nostalgia thing and gladly revel in old warhorses like Los Angeles. The Detroit Cobras should also be worth a few hoots as their take on Rock and Soul classics takes them beyond the realm of coverband and into the more esteemed category of interpreters. Yet, I can't help but feel that if you saw the Cobras at Rudz on their last two stops into HTown, you may find yourself missing the intimacy of those earlier shows.



Wednesday, June 4

Matt Costa/Delta Spirit
@ The Meridian

Matt Costa is the kind of project that sounds awful - former skateboard pro does pop songs. Well, the thing is, he's not half-bad at it! Not perfect mind you - Mr. Pitiful kind of chokes on the chorus for example - but it's amusing enough to perk up your ears. The Delta Spirit are sharper on the songwriting and, perhaps because they are an ensemble, seem a lot more fleshed out with the Pop Rock thing by bringing more energy and snappier hooks; you know - them things you love so much in summer.


Thursday, June 5

Total Abuse/El Desmadre/Black Congress
@ The White Swan
Yippee! Hardcore show! Austin's Total Abuse hit hard and fast, Houston's El Desmadre dodge and weave, while Black Congress are so badass they don't post songs or list band members. If I told you that, say, Roy Mata and Chris Ryan were somehow involved, they'd likely kill me right now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preview - The Sword Tonight @ Rudyard's

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Starting tomorrow I will be moving to a Friday to Thursday format for my previews but I didn't want to overlook this show.

Thursday, May 29
The Sword / Torche / Stinking Lizaveta
@ Rudyard's

The Sword are Austin's central rallying point for Metal glory. Much like Houston's weapon of choice (Golden Axe), The Sword don't simply peddle in Metal tropes, they take them and eagerly dive head-first into its heady waters and don't come back up for air. It's metal that both stupid and smart without winking with irony and thank god for that.

The sunshine state's Torche demand to be seen as well. Check out a stream of their new album Neanderthal here ( http://www.torche-meanderthal.com/ ). Is that not the shit? That opening track is progtastic! Then Grenades has it all - the heavy, the bombastic drums, the great vocals, and the guitars with touches from indie rock, shoe gazer, and, of course, metal. And then... well, this isn't a review of the whole goddamn album. Stream it for yourself while you're toiling at work. Eat up your bosses bandwidth and be hypnotized by the cool flash animation. You know what it's telling you? "Don't fucking show up late you goddamn poser!" You have your marching orders!

Openers Stinking Lizaveta has quite the fan base - Steve Albini, Greg Ginn, and Joe Lally (Fugazi). The band describes itself as an "eclectic style of music [that] incorporates post-rock, metal, sludge, prog, stoner and doom with jazz stylings and eastern influences." I wish I could agree with that characterization or even find them interesting but it's pretty dull and wanky rock that compositionally goes nowhere with solos that sound like a day at the floor of Rockin' Robin. The other two bands on this bill play with tropes and make them new and interesting but this band brings nothing clever or interesting to the table - it's just a rock band with no vocals. Two words - smoker's patio!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Ume, Wild Moccasins, and News on the March Saturday 25 May 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:52 AM

Yea, for though tired, I marched seven stages and five parasangs to the Alabama Ice House. There verily did I bivouack with my friend from the North Eastern region. The provisions were many - Lone Star and Shiner were plentiful here - and after many discussion regarding bananas, Amsterdam, the largeness of Buckees 52Oz drinks, and other such pressing matters the soothsayers did infact suggest that the time had now long past for me to arrive at my destination at the allotted time. Nevertheless, after sacrificing one last Lone Star to the gods I proceeded to march four stages and two parasangs onwards to Numbers 2 for the Free Press Canned Food drive.

I arrived at my destination just in time to have missed The McKenzies which was quite vexing as their skills in producing enjoyable pop is heralded across much of this land. Yet all was not lost for News on The March, The Wild Moccasins, and American Sharks had yet to take the stage. Those in attendance were numerous but the encampment was so large as to render them tiny in comparison. Later that evening I would make my way to the Mink and, even though those gathered were no larger in number than those gathered here, the more proportional size of the venue to the crowd gave the impression of a vast throng. Here the effect was quite the opposite and once one put some distance between himself and those gathered their numbers seemed smaller within the cavernous surroundings. Regardless the crowd was just as enthusiastic as the one I could come to encounter shortly on Main and spirits were high.

News On The March came fourth onto the stage and there they did please many with their excellent vocal harmonies and impeccable guitar lines. These young Hoplites sung their paeans with great skill and enthusiasm causing many in the audience to holler and applaud their skill and artistry. It should be noted that they do favor Fender amps and thus their instruments of choice do jangle in a pleasing manner. Of note is one Austin Lloyd whose work on the Jaguar was particularly enjoyable. With his reverbed tone and extensive use of the tremolo bar he did, as it is often said, bring it on home particularly through the band's rousing crescendo. He and Joe Weber conferred a great benefit to the group with their dueling guitars. This was particularly notable as the played country swing lines and harmonies whilst the soundman found himself taxed by the soundsystem which mocked his attempts to right the issues with the cello. Theirs was a set deemed very pleasing the gods.

The Wild Moccasins though would not be usurped and they took the high ground on the stage with a youthful vitality that όλα τα οντα agreed to be right and good. With Cody Swann and Zahira Gutierrez leading the charge they did conjure uncontrollable dancing from those who did not take heed of the warnings and dared stand too close. Yea for the band did bounce and hop and no mere mortal could thusly resist. Particularly memorable was Spanish and Jazz where Andrew Ortiz's drums marched with Nick Cody's slithering bass and Andrew Lee's reverbed guitar laying forth a strong groove for Zahira's vocals whose rousing chorus pleased the gods more than 1,000 sacrificed she-goats. Yet, despite their mighty grooves, the end of the new morning's first hour lay a mere ten minutes away and text messages to Dunnock and Jeff regarding when Ume would take the stage had proved futile therefore it became prudent to take my leave of Numbers and march five stages and 3 parasangs to the Mink.

When I arrived, to my great dismay, Ume - though headlining - had been already laying waste to all those that stood in their path and, as I made my way to the front, Lauren did announce to all those gathered that this would be their last song. Normally this would have been quite dispiriting except that merely one Ume song is worth more than a full set from the fiercest of bands and, as fortune would have it, they performed an electrifying encore. Taking up the rear of the formation sat Jeff who, bathed in sweat, lay a beat that Heracles himself would envy while Eric, armed with a mere four strings, took the lowlands. At the fore stood Lauren wielding her Telecaster which many admired and feared. The renown of her skill on the axe is such across the lands that anyone who hears the smallest of runs immediately recognizes its source. This evening was no different and she thrashed in a violent blur on blonde hair as her fingers nimbly laid out runs of such fury that those gathered shouted helplessly in response to the force of the sound that was thrust upon their ears. Thus it was that with a mere three songs, Ume made the gods tremble in fear and only after seeing all before them laid to waste Lauren did approach the microphone and proclaim to those who remained standing a meek "thank you."

News On The March

The Wild Moccasins

Ume


Links:
News On The March
The Wild Moccasins
Ume


Labels: "News on the March", ,

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of May 23, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

THIS WEEKS SPOTLIGHT
SATURDAY!
THREE SHOWS!
ONE NIGHT!
O
H CRAP!

SATURDAY,
MAY 24

Free Press Houston
Food Drive Featuring:
American Sharks / The McKenzies / The Wild Moccasins / News On The March / Audio In The Pregap / Cave Reverend

@ Numbers
(8PM, $8.00, bring canned & non-perishable food)

I'd like to give a pat on the back to Omar and the rest of that those helped organize this. It's a great idea that helps out folks and it's so painless to help out. I mean look at the line up. American Sharks is a band with a Walker twin. I mean what the fuck? Do I need to tell you anything else to sell you on them? I didn't think so! The McKenzies put on one of the most unexpected pop sucker-punches at the last block party and this will be my first chance to see them since then and I'm stoked. The Wild Moccasins' recent Grey Ghost was a thrill (and thankfully did the band more justice than the previous ambient mic affairs on their myspace) but it's still a far ways away from the boisterous energy that this band throws out live. News On the March straddle the line between Pop and Western Swing. For the pop side dig the song Moving Pictures on their myspace it's a sweet slice of 60's pop that would make Brian Wilson proud. Audio in The Pregap do that 80's thing while The Cave Reverend (yes we misspelled it on the poster) actually was around in the 80's. If you were around back then and remember the Reverend's shows at The Axiom you'll know why I'm so happy to know that they are back with their weird mutant bluesy take on Rock and Roll.


A Benefit for Alex Arizpe, featuring
30footFALL / Spain Colored Orange / The Tie That Binds / Pretty Boys / LJ All Stars / Molotov Compromise
@ The Meridian
($10, all ages, 6:30PM)

First off I have to say kudos to Mike and Molly Rodriguez (Link) on such a lovely flyer. Oh my god; is that not the sweetest?!! Sadly it's the kind of benefit we all hate especially because we here in Houston love our drummers; Alex Arzipe is battling cancer and, like many people, is facing not only a dreaded disease but the accompanying medical bills. Thankfully he has some good friends willing to help out. And having friends like the ubiquitous punkers 30 Foot Fall and ubiquitous indie popsters Spain Coloured Orange certainly helps . Sadly Azripe won't be behind the kit of his old band Tie That Binds but it's nice that the band is pulling a reunion despite this. Pretty Boys and LJ Allstars will bring the poppy punk too while Molotov Cocktail will bring the punky ska.

Ume / The Lymbyc Systym / The Sour Notes
@ The Mink (8PM show)

OK so it's NOT a benefit but goddamn it's Ume with one of my favorite guitarists to have ever stepped out of the heat stricken, mosquito swarming, roach infested, pollution chokehold that is Houston. lauren's unique guitar lines alone are worth my club hopping but the matter of the fact is they will have demos of the new album. Did you hear? Demos! Yes, no more having to log onto myspace to get your fix. That demo for Around the Neck for example is the shit! Eric's Bass sounds massive, Jeff's drums are brutal and Lauren's guitar and voice are like total berserker. The band sounds like Conan cutting down the hordes. Austin's Lymbyc System and Sour Notes also play. The latter has a new CD that a friend described as "poppy and bom bom bom kinda".




ALSO THIS WEEK

Friday, May 23

The Murder Junkies/ Los De Verdad / Rats in the Attic / Riot Up Front
@ Walter's on Washington

It's been almost 15 years since the Murder Junkies lost their frontman, the late G.G. Allin when stupidity finally caught up with him, and so bassist and brother Merle Allin rounded up the troops for a reunion tour. I never bought into the whole GG Allin bodily fluids and violence shtick as being anything more than tedious stuff geared toward suburban boys looking for a way to rebel against their bourgeois upbringing. Eh, I shrug. The rest of the local cats bring punk in many flavors. Los De Verdad can do it in Spanish, Rats in the Attic play it fast and without a hint of metal, and Riot Up Front still hold true the old punk idea that all choruses must have a chorus of guys shouting the lyrics!

HotelHotel/P for Flamingos
@ Notsuoh
If you have that stuff that is really mellow then, yeah, Austin's HotelHotel and Houston's P for Flamingos with their ambient soundscapes may be your ticket.

SHOW TO AVOID THIS WEEK AWARD GOES TO:
Forever the Sickest Kids/Metro Station/The Cab/The Maine/Danger Radio
@ Warehouse Live
Forever the Sickest Kids reminds me why Texas needs to unilaterally force Dallas to secede from the state. While we're at it let's get the banish the Buzz too, OK?


Saturday, May 24

Guy Forsyth (CD release)
@ McGonigel's Mucky Duck

@ Cactus Music
(in-store)(3:30PM)
He's that rare breed - a singer songwriter from Austin. Oh god that joke never gets old.

Secret Saturday Show
Presents
Zine Fest Houston
@ The Shady Tavern (1206 W. 20th).
Hooray for SSS saving Zine fest as, for once, I can say it's not like a complete secret. Jeremy Hart has a nice blog about this (Link)

54 Seconds/Antarctica Starts Here
@ Warehouse Live
Antarctica Starts Here is a swirling whirling vortex of chiming guitars and vocals swimming in a sea of echo that are highly highly recommended. Listen to the slow build up to the crescendo on Karen and you'll know what I mean. Oh yeah and there is an Austin band "headlining" - natch.


Sunday, May 25

They, Who Sound
Improvised & experimental music with 2 different sets per night featuring -
The Efferent Flow Quartet - Sonia Flores, David Dove, Doug Falk and John Martinez
and
Konstantinos Kouzas
@ The Mink Backroom (6PM)
Sunday evening improvised music at The Mink's Backroom.

Infernaeon /Fierce Allegiance /Uncleansed /Hod / Ebonmortis / Funeral Cult
@ The Meridian
Oh it's a metal show. I love that, in the band HOD, all the memebers have the same name "HOD". HOD Play Drums! HOD play guitar! HOD play bass! HOD sing! Take that Joey Ramone!

Bad Ash
@ Notsuoh
Tongue in Cheek punk from Boston that could either be really stupid and fun or really god fucking awful. I figure if there is no middle ground, they have horns, and guitarmonies it's worth mentioning.


Monday, May 26

BLAKE/E/E / Sabra Laval / over sea, under stone
@ The Backroom (The Mink)
Don't be annoyed by the annoying name. Chicago's Blake/e/e play some nice engaging indie pop with some clever arrangements and sounds. Local chanteuse Sabra Laval will bring her moody and engaging folk while Over Sea, Under Stone will provide their brand of keyboard-driven new wave.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Proper Music Preview Tomorrow but tonight - Maiden!

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:28 AM

OK, sorry folks we're running a day behind here on our preview. There is a lot going on tonight but what I do takes some time as I search for the bands, listen to a few tracks, and then either scratch 'em off the list or write some attempt at a pithy summary. Simply put, I got slammed this week but check in tomorrow and we'll have a nice proper music preview - I promise.

If you're looking to do something tonight that is music related check out Space City Rock which is always my jumping-off point for this calendar anyhow. (Link)

One thing that will undoubtedly rock tonight is this....

Iron Maiden @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
(insert Dio metal sign here) OK, I know I bitch about nostalgia acts and all but it's Maiden. Ya know Eddie...The Trooper...Run to the Hills and all that! How can it not rock!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Indian Jewelry and a transmission from Muzak...

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:26 AM

A friendly reminder...
TONIGHT
Indian Jewelry's "Free Gold!"
Album Release Party at Sound Exchange!
It's a free BYOB
All Ages
affair
that gets going at 8PM.








..and a show I forgot to mention
TOMORROW
I got this transmission from John Muzak.

Tomorrow, 5/21 at the White Swan
Bart's birthday party!
with cool music from
no.2 pencil
thou shall not kill...except [Adam of bully pulpit]
muzak
the annoysters
how i quit crack
the delta block
the krinkles
hope ypou can make it?
its free &fun!!!!& theryll be cake too!
john





Download Something Fierce on Houston Punk!!!

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 5:14 AM

Houston has a new message board HoustonPunk.com (Link)

To get your attention they are offering Something Fierce's Modern Girl EP as a Free Download! Now get to downloading and, dig it, here is the video for the title track:

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Papermoons & Bright Men of Learning @ The Backroom 16 May 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM


Lets face it, even if Hendrix were to rise from the dead and play a set before 10:30PM the odds of me seeing him would be dodgy at best. I think I'm just locked into that whole Rudyard's time zone - doors at 9 and bands start at 10:30(ish!!!) - sorry. Friday was no different as even the lure of The Wild Moccasins (who put on great lively shows that are matched by some great tunes) wasn't enough to forgo a pre-show round of booze and baseball with some friends over at Griffs*. That is no dis to the Moccasins but just to say that this is just a peculiarity of mine or to put it another way - when it comes to early shows, I suck! Regardless, I did arrive (happily sauced) and Bright Men of Learning and Papermoons put on two lovely sets of finely crafted music. If you were close enough to catch me drunkenly singing along at points - my sincerest apologies.

Bright Men of Learning
are a perfect example of what I mean by craft; they are not trying to reinvent the wheel because BMOL's songwriter Marshall Preddy figured out that reinventing the wheel is horribly overrated. They don't do musical tricks on stage nor do they play around with fancy time signatures, jarring electronics sounds, or anything that approaches overstatement. The band simply plays straight-up rootsy rock. They rely on the basics - sharp songs, a solid voice, and a crack band. It's a band that whittles away at its craft and presents you with a perfectly carved experience that's at once recognizable as part of a tradition and yet true to itself. The band delivered exactly that on Friday. The triple guitar attack led by Ben Murphy, whose ear is simply incredible, is always a kick. (I always wonder if Ben writes his own lines or if they are given to him by Marshall but I always forget to ask.) The effect is always a lovely melodic compliment to the vocals that round the songs out quite nicely. The big thing about BMOL is that, as time has gone by, Marshall's batting average as a writer just gets better and better. You can hear it on the band's releases and lately it's particularly noticeable as there are many unreleased songs which leave you after the show looking for a studio version in vain. "What the Devil" and "Western Hearts" being two examples of two songs that simply kill and will have me first in line to grab the new album.

Papermoons also crafts gorgeous songs that tend toward the understated and organic but the duo swing things a bit more on the folksy side than BMOL. The songs on Friday were played beautifully but the 'Moons secret weapon is their harmonies and the Mink's sound system simply let them down. At least from where I stood, Matt's vocals came through nicely but anytime Daniel's vocals should have been there to punctuate the song they were nowhere to be found. It's a shame because the band does harmonies so well and in a manner I don't hear very many other Houston bands attempting. That should have been frustrating enough to have gotten under my craw and ruined the show but even with one arm tied behind their back the band can still pull off an engaging and gorgeous set. The technical issues simply lost out to the music and that's no accident because the 'Moons, when you get right down to the nub, craft some beautiful songs and as Bill Fool so aptly put it in the Born Liars article "It all comes down to the songs." .

So let me leave you with this thought from Dave Van Ronk which I think applies to both bands.

"When songs get pretentious, overflowery and obscure, the songwriter is proclaiming that he or she is an artist, and the whole concept of "art" as we understand it today is an early-nineteenth-century intellectual construct based on a set of what I consider to be false romantic notions. I think it's a good thing that, back in the Renaissance, people like Michelangelo were treated like interior decorators. A well-written song is a craft item. Take care of the craft, and the art will take care of itself."[1]


Bright Men indeed
Marshall Preddy (r) writes the songs

Johnathan Sage (l) drives the van**

Ben Murphy (l) wondering
"Is Jonathan on the sauce again?"

Papermoons - (l-r)
Daniel Hawkins & Matt Clark

Matt Clark!
Geddy Lee fetish - exposed!

Links
Bright Men of Learning
Papermoons



*Just in case you were wondering. Yes, the Astros lost and no we never could get the guy in the back patio to relinquish the TV. What a dick. Yet I will concede that losing to the Rangers is no better outside than inside.

**Not just any van but the Jman company van. He's not just a great bassist but also a florist! How freaking rock and roll is that?!!

[1] P. 208 The Mayor of MacDougal Street - A Memoir. Dave Van Ronk with Elija Wald (c) 2005 Da Capo Press

Labels: "Bright Men of Learning",

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How would you like to record with that guy who engineered the 13th Floor Elevators for free?

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:26 AM

Fabled International Artists engineer Frank Davis (13th Floor Elevators, Golden Dawn, Lost & Found, etc.) and Bronwyn Lauder (Star Project, Dead Roses, et al.) are working with the Anthony Foundation to select 5 artists on which to bestow free studio time. Pretty awesome, huh? Entires are due by May 31st so jump onto www.anthonyfoundation.org and get cracking!

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of May 16th 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT
BRIGHT PAPER MOCCASINS


Friday, May 16 -
Papermoons / Bright Men of Learning / Ninja Gun / The Wild Moccasins
@ The Mink

First off, congrats to BMOL's Marshall and his lovely bride Jordan on tying the knot last week. Woohoo! As if to celebrate their nuptials this week, we have an enviable local line-up tonight. Papermoons (who we will feature in July) put out a great 7" last year and by the sounds of it, they will likely be ready blow everyone away with their upcoming full length. Add to that a rare BMOL performances (making this a must) and that's two bands with rootsy songs, impeccable musicianship, excellent vocals, and sharp as nails songcraft - what the fuck is with that?!!! The Wild Moccasins ain't no penny ante neither. John Sears's Gray Ghost will be featuring them and with good reason - their shows are energetic crowd-pleasing love fests. I only hope that their upcoming album can capture that. Now, I know what you are saying, "What about this touring band Ninja Gun?" Let's see Papermoons, Bright Men of Learning, and the Wild Moccasins....Hmm...I believe the answer is who gives a rat's ass? I mean they might be good but the locals are already overkill as it is. See you there!




ALSO THIS WEEK


Friday, May 16 -

Fired for Walking / Mr. Gnome / Treehouse Project
@ Rudyard's
Fired For Walking play music like the last 17 or so years didn't matter - it's 1991, grunge has yet to be a dirty word, and Soundgarden and Nirvana are still on indie labels. You can either ride shotgun with their souped-up rock or take the Metro.

The Reverend Horton Heat / Nashville Pussy / Backyard Tire Fire
@ The Meridian
Our good colleagues over at the Houston Press always put on a nice party each year with their HPMA showcase. Local bands and their fans have a great time every year and the local bands get sauced at the Rice hotel. Great event but each year we have to ask the same question. If this is a party to announce the nominees and the forthcoming day for the HPMA showcase is about Houston music why would I care about seeing these national acts? Really, I'm asking sincerely.


Peabo Bryson
@ Stafford Centre (Stafford)


Admit it, you wish you had a name as cool as Peabo!


Saturday, May 17 -

Radiohead
@ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (sold out)
What part of sold-out don't you understand!



ERASEtheVIRUS / Come See My Dead Person / Deus Machina
@ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
Mandolins, violin, banjo, and vocals that sound like Tom Waits captured by rambunctious drunken Gypsies well er... or something like that. Come See My Dead Person is about the only band that can come close to the kind of manic energy of the Sideshow Tramps which is saying a lot.





Sunday, May 18 -


Straight Jacket Nation / Iron Lung / Hatred Surge / El Desmadre
@ The White Swan
Oh Hardcore I love you. Let's see. El Desmadre and Iron Lung make no mention of the show but Australia's Straight Jacket Nation and Austin's Hatred Surge do. Is it happening or is it not? Are bands not mentioning it because they are playing Choas in Tejas in Austin this week as well? Who knows, who cares, this is hardcore just go down and take your chances - don't be a wuss.

Spain Colored Orange / Program / The Factory Party / DJ Ceeplus
@ Lucky's Pub (1801 St. Emanuel; free, 18+)

Spain Coloured Orange are proud to announce that they are working "with producer Bill Racine (Mates Of State, Rogue Wave, Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Whirlwind Heat, Sparklehorse)." Cool, it's late and I'm tired! I love cut and paste when it's this late at night.


Monday, May 19 -

Inner Lights/!alarma! @ Boondocks
Yuss! Alarma is playing. Do I have to say anything else? OK They fucking rule! :)


Tuesday, May 20 -

Indian Jewelry (record release)
@ Sound Exchange (8PM)
Damn I'm gonna miss this. Indian Jewelry will be coming right off of their tour and their second album this year "We Are free". Damn those fuckers I just bought "We are the Wild Beast" two weeks ago! Who do they think they are? Guided By Voices?



The Police / Elvis Costello and the Impostors
@ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Remember in Terry Gillian's The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen where Sting appears for 15 seconds and is ordered killed? I love that scene. At least Elvis isn't just peddling nostalgia and even if you are like me and you think that nothing can quite match his work with the Attractions, ya gotta give the man his props for sticking to his guns and not compromising.


Wednesday, May 21 -

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
@ The Continental Club
If by Damn Big you mean a washboard, drums and a guitar....well I'm not buyin' but if you mean some damn big energetic blues we'll I'll meet you more than halfway. Rev. Payton's vocals may be merely serviceable but the instrumentation is excellent and carries these cats' take on old timey music.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

This week's preview - Part I (Thurs 15 May)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:13 AM

Sorry folks our June deadline got moved up (it's today in fact) and I haven't had time to put together the preview but here is what is going on tonight. Sorry for the lack of links but I'll have the rest of the week up tomorrow.


THURSDAY 15 MAY

Recession Thursdays, featuring
B, Rise Over Ruin, Shina Rae, & Giant Battle Monster
@ Numbers (8PM, $5/$7)

Week two of our bad ass shows.

Meatglove / How I Quit Crack Cancelled
@G.R.A.B. BAR
The G.R.A.B. is closing so whoop it up.


Old 97's (in-store)
@ Cactus Music
(5:30PM)

The Dallas alt-country juggernaut play for free. Neat.


The Phenomenauts/The A.K.A.'s (Are Everywhere!) / Maldroid / Something Fierce
@ Walter's on Washington

Really goofy high concept stuff - think garage via Devo. Their Phenomenauts' van was pretty kick ass too though it's sadly passed on. Ace-in-the-hole local awesomeness Something Fierce opens.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: How Metal are you? (Golden Axe, Jonx, Hearts of Animals, Young Mammals, & Wicked Poseur)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:17 PM

Yes Houston Indie kids, this week we will discuss your lack of Metal worthiness but first let's have a recap of this weekend's shows eh?

Friday Evening
Wicked Poseur, Young Mammals, & Hearts of Animals
at the Orange Show
Ahhhh, did you smell that too? The animal may have been an unrecognizable blob of fur but the smell was not - that was the smell of fresh roadkill. So, as I walked my way over to the Orange Show, I kissed away any appetite I might have had earlier. Mercifully, I wasn't really coming down for the loose meat sandwiches or even the fabulous art cars for that matter (don't get me wrong the art cars were a hoot especially the one that shot the flames 30 yards into the air) but I was here for the music - the cool evening and the art cars were simply a bonus.

Hearts of Animals opened with an excellent set - no surprise there. I hadn't heard these songs live since the Casiotone show so Friday it was as welcome as the cool breeze blowing that evening. The big kick was hearing that new song that Mlee performed two shows ago enhanced by Cley Miller's guitar work. The song had previously used that Trio Da Da Da Casio beat but this night Cley took Mlee's pre-written parts and added his unique style that gave the song this additional level of interplay and warmth that wasn't there in the previous performance. Cley may not be a shredder but he has a feel for the instrument that is enviable. His contribution here was a testament to that and a great compliment to Mlee's skills as a writer.

Young Mammals followed with their first set since the Block Party and the band was at its most playful and energetic. They ripped through familiar songs with all the verve you'd expect then, out of nowhere, they threw in two new songs. Both songs were great but the first had an added treat - Mlee Suprean guesting on guitar and lead vocals. The song was great and it was funny how well Mlee and YM meshed. While the music was clearly classic YM, the vocal melody was all Mlee which only highlighted how gifted she is with pulling melodies out of the air. I couldn't make out her lyrics but it didn't matter, her voice and phrasing are always a kick. To hear her writing new material is always thrilling and collaborating with YM shows just how nimble she can be. The other new song was also a blast with Iram leading the charge. If a band is defined by their drummer then Iram certainly sets the tone for the band with a scrappy playfulness that is irresistible. At one point, Carlos leaned over to Iram to say something along the lines of "This feels weird." Iram smiled, leaned over, touched the tip of his drumstick to Carlo's teeth, gave him a quick flick, and laughed. That jovial gesture pretty much summed up their set.

Wicked Poseur closed the evening and their set also delivered in spades. Arthur Bates was in fine form; he's the sweetest drunken smart-ass you'll ever meet. Earlier in the evening, Arthur was rambling and riffing on anything and everything and during the set he was no different causing Chris Cascio to start begging Arthur to "Just Play!" even as he was laughing. All Tom foolery aside, the songs and the two guitar attack was a blast. Earlier this month, Ben Murphy made a point about solid state amps and how tubes may get all the love but anyone with a good ear who knows how to put it to good use can make any amp sing. Even as a devoted fan of tubes, I had to concede his point; he not only won the discussion, he won it decisively. As if to rub my nose in it, Chris, with my most reviled solid state amp (a freaking Peavy), was ripping it up with sounds that couldn't have been more perfect for the material. It's funny but for all the electronic aspects of Wicked Poseur, the guitar work is what makes it rip like Led Zeppelin doing Can. Arthur' vocals were at their brattiest while Chris' danced, swayed, and moved like his life depended on it. Great band, great songs, and a great performance - pretty par for the evening.

Saturday Night
The Jonx, Golden Axe, & Awake
at The Mink Backroom
I have to apologize for missing Awake. Last time I saw them, they played an inspiring set. I wish I could say that I had a damn good reason for shirking my journalistic duties but the truth of the matter is I was drinking whiskey and chilling at a friend's house and time just kind of got away from me. Chris Gray would later comment that I seemed in good spirits. Yeah, after three glasses of whiskey, I'd better be!

When I arrived, Golden Axe had just started and the crowd was eating it up...well eating it up in the way Houston Indie rock kids do. If you were looking for heavy metal parking lot - this wasn't that crowd. [See epilogue for a fuller discussion of what I mean.] But all teasing the crowd aside, my favorite thing about Golden Axe is how they take something that is so riddled with clinches and make it work. If you don't think Metal is capable of intelligence and wit, you clearly have never heard Golden Axe. There is no other band in Houston that can make me laugh out loud without uttering a word. Warren Hatfield and James Love make Metal that's droll without a hint of a nudge nudge or a wink wink - theirs is a metal guitar led assault that makes no apologies. I grew up with so many amazing metal guitarists who could run circles around most mortals but their Achilles heel was that their compositional skills were never on the same level. Warren has such a sharp sense of composition atop of his fretwork skills that it should make people like Yngwie Malmsteen and their followers hand their heads in shame. Long live the The Axe!

The Jonx closed the night and reminded me just how wonderful a trio they are. The trio plays music like a drunken mathematician raving about a favorite theorem. Yet, for all its mathrock qualities, the Jonx music is never cold - it drips with feeling. Stuart Smith's guitar is as capable of crunching out dissonance as it is capable of throwing out a lovely melody, Trey Levigne's bass work is always aggressive and muscular, while Danny Mee's drumming is ever nimble and powerful. Together they interact in the same manner as one of those Japanese animae robots where various robots combine their powers into one super-robot. Appropriately, all before them were crushed into submission. I'm so glad that Danny Mee's move to Austin didn't mean the end of the Jonx.

EPILOGUE
(Due to the limits of our template's layout - please, click on image)




PICTURES


Hearts of Animals' Mlee Suprean
Miss coolness herself

The Dimes
They is On Fire!!

Wicked Poseur's Chris Cascio
gets his Jimmy Page on.

Golden Axe's Warren Hatfield
Wow! Tough crowd!

The Jonx's Trey Levigne
as the Hulk



LINKS & CREDITS:

Bloodstock photo by John Ashby
(Check out his flickr page - amazing stuff)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnashby/

More pictures on my Flickr Page:
Hearts Of Animals, Young Mammals, and Wicked Poseur (Link)
The Jonx and Golden Axe (Link)

Band Links
Hearts of Animals

Young Mammals

Wicked Poseur

Awake

Golden Axe

The Jonx


Labels: "Golden Axe", , , ,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of MAY 8, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:10 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT
OUR FIRST RECESSION THURSDAY




THURSDAY MAY 8
Recession Thursdays featuring
Cop Warmth
/ Rusted Shut / / Midnight Pilots / Nosaprise
@ Numbers

Hey kids. Are you down and out? Is the higher price of gas and everything else outpacing your meager paycheck? Trust me, we here at the Free Press feel your pain. Our maniacal overlord, Omar, has us toiling in the mines for 23 hours straight and then he beats us senseless for the that last hour. Now, I'm not complaining - it's not a bad gig - but even we have to admit that the monthly $10 he pays us doesn't go as far as it used to at the company store. Well, now we have a damn good use for that hard earned $10 - Recession Thursdays at Numbers! An Ian McKaye approved five bucks gets ya in the joint and the drinks are cheap enough where you can dine off booze like good Saint Arnold intended.

This first outing we have the block party's show stealing sidewalk guerrilla gutter rats Cop Warmth who have never not put on a good show. These guys are like sharks and the second they stop moving they die. We also have Rusted Shut - the band that would not die no matter how many times you try to kill it. They are as tenacious as a Grey Goose - Lord Lord Lord! Midnight Pilots play big rock and Hip Hoppers Nosaprise just finished releasing their new album it looks like this (Link).

Right, well, there you are then. Come on down!


ALSO THIS WEEK


FRIDAY MAY 9

Pre-Art Car Parade party thingey
Featuring - Hearts of Animals / Young Mammals / Wicked Poseur
@ The Orange Show (7-10 FREE)

That is a pretty sweet bill and I know what you are saying - Free beats $5. Yeah yeah, I hear ya but remember that Jana Hunter show a few years back where roaches kept crawling behind her - just far enough where she didn't notice but just close enough to freak out the audience? Yeah, our Thursday thing will have none of that. Now that I've gotten sidetracked, let me just say that this should will be pretty awesome as most of these bands seem to be incapable of not delivering the goods on stage so naturally I'll be there and armed with a can of Raid.


[This just in]
Dead Roses, Future Blondes, and DJ Cub
@ the River Oaks Theatre (Midnight Free)
Attention dude pissing in the men's room and talking on the phone about how bummed you were that Future Blondes didn't play at last week's show - this may be your week!


[This just in as well]
Death Head opening
With DJs Rad Rich and Jennifer Allbritton
@ Aerosol Warfare Gallery

Just saw this posted on HUH "Rad Rich, Myself and someone else I don't know will be djing all punk rock vinyl"...Jennifer Allbritton.

I tend to overlook these events as I'm not an art critic but the DJs make this worth a stop and a mention. Me? I'm gonna drop on in on the way to the Orange show. Also check out the cool poster - sweet huh?



SATURDAY MAY 10

Awake/Golden Axe/The Jonx
@ The Mink
So were up to two days and you say you haven't had enough? Well, if this doesn't pummel you into submission I don't know what else will. It's been a while since I've seen Awake but I remember really diggign' it and being shocked at how different it was from their recordings. Golden Axe is an instrumental metal band that proves the old adage of less talk more rock. "Why muck up the rock with lyrics?" is the Axe's rhetorical question. The Jonx meanwhile are simply incredible - excellent on every level and a thrill to watch. I can't tell you how glad I am that Danny Mee (drummer who moved to Austin) didn't leave the band. This show will kill!



SUNDAY, MAY 11

Blood on the Wall w/ Flowers To Hide, Minipop, Wicked Poseur
@ Walter's On Washington
OK, I admit the touring bands are not my thing but I figure y'all might be so here you are. Click the link my friends and decide for yourself. Locals Flower to Hide and Wicked Poseur though should deliver in spades!


They Who Sound
Improvised & Experimental Music
2 different sets per night
David Dove / Jawwaad Taylor +
Perseph One / And Accelerator
@ The Backroom (The Mink) 6pm $5
Coolness! This is a new showcase over at the Mink Backroom. It's a bit early - 6pm- but it looks like a great idea. David Dove is a wonderful player with the instincts and brains needed to pull off improvisation and make it engaging and thought provoking. Local Hip Hop queen Perseph One jumps in with Jawwaad Taylor which should make for an interesting time. Cool idea. Kudos to the Mink for putting this on. [Sidenote: the Tuesday $10 bottle of wine deal at the Mink is badass too. ]


MONDAY, MAY 12

Ace Frehley/Hell City Kings
@ The Meridian
Ace Frehley need I say any more?



Ryan Scroggins and the Trenchtown Texans
@ Boondocks
Very cute ska/ reggae stuff from some ex-Skarnales. Kind of like Jakie Mitto eating BarBQ while drinking a Shiner!



WEDNESDAY MAY 14

The Cave Singers/Dark Meat/Quiet Hooves
@ Walter's on Washington
Seattle's Cave Singers really should be worth seeing; they do some really nice folk rock thats quiet, patient, and sparse - music that creeps up on you. Kind of an odd pairing to put them with Athens, GA's Dark Meat who could either be really high-energy fun on stage or merely an annoying group of bored theater majors.


Brown Bird, Sabra Laval, & Cory Derden
@ Boondocks
Folk-a-rama numba 2! If you missed Sabra and Cory a few weeks ago now you chance to see them again and if you caught them last go round then do it again!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Jon Benet, Sharks and Sailors, Oh Pioneers, and Closet City @ Walters Dead Roses and The Wiggins @ River Oaks

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:19 AM

Let me just say that doing yardwork and getting covered in a blanket of pollen before heading out to see a Jon Benet show may not be the smartest idea. Nevertheless, a short nap, some Mountain Dew, some Claratin, and I was pretty good to go...well at least for most of the night.

Over at Walters, I got in early enough to catch the opening band, Closet City, who played a short but pretty solid set. Given the heavy riffing, the vocalist screaming, and the loud-ass drummer you'd have thought these guys would move a bit more but no. The guitarist, for example, would run through these great riffs and aside from his fretting hand nothing moved. But performance aside, the music was pretty solid straight-up hardcore with metal tinges. PS guys, you don't have to ask people meekly to come on up closer to the stage, just rock and they will come.

Oh Pioneers were, for me, the biggest kick of the evening. Eric was, as usual, busting his lungs with his vocals and squeezing every ounce of emotion he could out of each song. That was no surprise but with Papermoons filling in as Eric's rhythm section, the songs played as they've never done before. The bass was a revelation as it filled out the sound from the more thin sound and almost Big Black-like crunch of the Chris Ryan era. That's no complaint on those shows (which were great) but the songs clearly needed that low end to give them some color and warmth. Nice surprise guys.

Sharks and Sailors followed with another solid set. I stood in front of Mike's amps and got the full dose of the stereo Marshall/Mesa amp set-up which is really sweet. [ I always wonder how it would sound if those cabinets were more spread out. Would it have any effect? Just wonderin'. ] Phil and Melissa proved why they are such a formidable rhythm section with their great bass lines and powerful drums. The best moment was the closing song (Condor?), which plays it smart enough to hold back and play-up the dynamics for all it's worth. The song swings into this shimmering atmospheric part near the end then roars into a a full force coda that simply kills. When is that new album coming out?

The Jon Benet closed the evening and proved why they have it so tough as a band. Here is the Jon Benet's problem. How the hell do you get what they do onto a recording? Their shows are simply incredible. Micahel Murland is a great frontman. He howls, screams, spits, and flings his body about getting all the boys up in front of the stage in a frenzy of fists in the air and screaming. The guitars are loud. The drums unstoppable. That force that hits you live is why, no matter how great they are as a band, their albums leave me cold. It's like that first MC5 record. Imagine if they'd recorded that in the studio? No way! It's impossible and they knew they couldn't do that! The Jon Benet should maybe consider the same - get the sweat, spit, and bruising of their live shows on a release. That would be incredible. Oh the curse of being TOO good live!

At Midnight, I headed off to the River Oaks Theatre as I heard The Wiggins and Dead Roses were playing upstairs. Mind you, by this time, I was pretty beat but it was on the way home - why not? I got there and found a small wedding party, the Young Mammals, and the Wild Moccasins hanging out. It was pretty low-key affair as the next hour consisted of the bands setting up and, if I was beat when I arrived at midnight, by 1 am (when things started) I was furiously nodding off. The Wiggins' set was, to be honest, a disappointment but it was still an honorable try. His hand, wrist, or arm (I'm not sure which) was injured and he clearly was having trouble playing guitar as his set went on. Finally, after about four songs, he just couldn't physically do it. He apologized, gave it one more failed attempt, apologized again, and sadly ended his set. Well, at least he gets points for a valiant effort.

While I was really dead, I stuck around for most of the Dead Roses set. (Hey, I actually liked them with a drum machine.) Ralph's vocals were outstanding and the guitars sounded great. It was probably the quietest Dead Roses show I'd seen but still solid. Bonus were the Betty Page films running behind them which (along with my fatigue) added a surreal quality. Lovely set but after about 2am I had to turn-in before I fell asleep on the road. Still, it was worth sticking around to see.

One last thing, the 2am departure meant I didn't make it to Dunnock's birthday shindig at the Mink so, hey Dunnock, Happy Birthday.

Closet City: we rock but we don't move much

Oh Pioneers, Your rhythm section kills!!!

Sharks & Sailors: Yes, they has a Tambourine!

The JonBenet: Inciting a riot!

The Wiggins: ...and JEM!!!

Dead Roses rock with Betty Page!

Links:

The Jonbenet
Sharks and Sailors
O Pioneers!!!
Closet City

Dead Roses
The Wiggins
More Pics:

Dead Roses & the Wiggins (Flickr Link)
Jon Benet, Sharks and sailors, Oh Pioneers, Closet city (Flickr Link)

Labels: , , , Oh Pioneers", ,

Thursday, May 1, 2008

BORN LIARS

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Photography by Rosa Guerrero
(L to R: Shane, Bill, Jimmy, Scott)

A Friday night at Rudyard’s and the audience is being sucked into the vortex of chaos on stage that is Born Liars. Bodies are crushed at the front of the stage in an orgy of sweat and dancing. One woman is dancing and so engrossed in the music that she doesn’t realize she’s knocked my beer out of my hand and sent it crashing onto the floor where it is helplessly kicked around by the crowd until it’s finally trampled into tragic shards of glass and beer. Behind the microphone, guitarist Jimmy Sanchez taunts the audience as a barrage of feedback, notes, and noise surround him. Bassist Bill Fool, ass-crack exposed with his low cut jeans, eggs Jimmy on while some overzealous drunk pulls Guitarist Scott “Snot” McNeil’s microphone into the audience. All the while, drummer Shane Lauder just sits back and laughs at it all. “When we walked out after that set,” recalls Bill, “If I hadn’t had boots, I’d been cut up; there was broken glass everywhere! I’d never seen so many broken bottles! Hell, we had girls fighting! Lemme say that again - GIRLS FIGHTING!“

Houston audiences may have a reputation for being stoic but not at a Born Liars show. “I don’t want to hear [complaints] about Houston. That’s all those bands that don’t move [on stage]! ” vents Bill who clearly thinks a band has to incite its audience out of passivity, ”We’re not waiting for an audience to react; a band has to give the audience permission to move otherwise they’ll sit there.” Yet, the band doesn’t merely move on stage, as Bill explains it, they scoff in the face of failure with every performance. “Our songs aren’t played the same way twice. We’ll play three songs that’ll crumble but then the next three will work. This isn’t paint by number’s stuff. We’re the kid with the crayon [manically scribbling outside the lines]. It’s all feel. If a band feels it, the audience will recognize it.”

“There’s chemistry.” says Scott, “We’re all friends. We hang out together. We drink together – it’s an alchy band.”

“It sounds cliché but we don’t get on stage without drinks.” says Bill ”A few drinks and that’s when the vulgar put down jokes start flying.”

“And if we don’t have anything to talk about [on stage], we make fun of Shane.” laughs Scott. “Shane once said we need to be more PC and not make people uncomfortable.”

“So, of course,” Bill interjects “ at our next show, we get up and immediately it’s ‘Great to be back at this fag bar!’ We taunt the audience for being white and then take it out on Shane.” Then he says, almost acknowledging Shane’s concerns that this could all be misconstrued, “But it’s all a joke – there’s no hate.”

“Now word’s getting out and people hear rumors we’re a party band and people get expectations.” says Scott.

This sets Bill off on a tangent, “Shit, the hipsters get word of a good time! Fucks with beards! They’re 22 and think they are alcoholics with their clothes from American Apparel talking about their stupid record collections! They’re the 2K version of Preppies! Years ago they’d have been listening to Bananarama and drinking coronas!”

When I ask why Garage doesn’t seem to get much respect around certain circles, Jimmy objects “Garage is a chicken-shit way of not saying Rock and Roll! Garage? That’s all Rock and Roll - The Sonics, the Standells…. We’re really more so punk rock – Dictators, Johnny Thunders, Ramones…real American Punk Rock.”

“I’m not into music to be into art.” says Bill “This is all about late nights and shitty mornings. I’m in it to rock! We’re not trendy. This isn’t intellectual – it’s the opposite of intellectual. We don’t expect to make a dent in history…but then did Richard Hell or the Ramones? It all comes down to the songs. I’ve seen horseshit half-assed punk bands and they have no songs to save their lives. I love what Jimmy writes and if I didn’t, you’d know it. I’d be leaning by my by amp and after…I’d let Jimmy know!”

“Jimmy brings in bare bones songs and we’re given free reign.” says Scott, “Not once has he said ‘don’t do that.’”

“We add a lot.” says Bill, “We’re not Jimmy Fucking Sanchez’s backing band! We’re all individuals and what you hear on that new 7” is us.”

That new Born Liars 7” on Cutthroat Records was recorded in the practice space by Jimmy and Shane then mixed my Joe Omelchuck at RBI. “Cassidy put that out.” says Jimmy, ”No record release, no promotion and we’ve already sold really well – all word of mouth. Everything we’ve done has been word of mouth.”

Talk of the 7” leads to discussion of Low-Fi which the band abhors as an aesthetic. “It’s cool and hip to be Low-Fi,“ says Bill “but [the bands they are trying to emulate] weren’t trying to be low-fi. The New Bomb Turk’s first album is one of my favorites but then Billy Childish gets his hands on them and all the energy is lost.”

Before we finish our beers at Lola’s, I ask if Rock is irrelevant and Bill retorts, “Rock isn’t relevant because it’s not relevant to the major labels and so it’s dead to the public and I could give a shit. Relevant? Rock and Roll will always be relevant as long as there is booze and dive bars!”

Born Liars are recording their next album at Chris Ryan’s Dead City Sound. The CD will be released on Pat Todd’s Rank Outsider Records and the LP will be released on Cuthroat Records.

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