The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Take Five with Nikki Corvette

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:02 AM

If you dig your Rock & Roll poppy, energetic, and fun then the classic eponymous Nikki and The Corvettes album (Bomp 1980) is likely in your collection and if not, you may want to go back and grab the Bomp Re-issue. If you're not familiar with Corvette and her pioneering work, let me try to make the most shallow and simplistic analogy for you - picture the Ramones with 60's girl group vocals and a lot more twang and energy or how about let's just say it's the perfect soundtrack for your hottest sweatiest summer party. Still don't believe me then download and dig the classic He's a Mover. If that doesn't make you want to jump up and down, god knows what could.

Lucky for us though the story just doesn't end with the band disbanding in the early 80's. Instead Nikki Corvette has in the past few years jumped back in the ring with a new band - The Stingrays - and released some new material that is just as energetic and fun as the Corvette's stuff (check out Back to Detroit) . if that isn't great enough news, this Sunday she's playing the Continental Club with Paul Collin's Beat and the Boss Martians as part of the Labor Day Weekend Power Pop Festival.

Earlier this week, we sent Nikki five questions and she was good enough to return them to us with answers. I, for one, couldn't imagine a better way to inaugurate this new occasional feature.


1) Why after all these years return to making music and playing live?

I always loved playing live and really missed it when I stopped but the music business was making me hate music and it wasn't worth it anymore. When I started to play again, it just sort of happened (like so much of my life!). After Bomp re-released the 1980 Nikki and The Corvettes album on CD in 2000 I did a lot of press stuff. Someone who had interviewed me asked me to play 4 or 5 songs at The Bubblegum Ball. I found a young all-girl band called The Pinkz and when we played the show, I remembered how much I loved to perform; it had been so long I had forgotten. We did a few more shows and then Travis Ramin called me to play a festival he was putting on in Minneapolis. It turned out so well that we decided to put a band together and have been playing together since 2003.

2) My understanding was that Peter James (who went on to chart success with The Romantics - the classic “What I Like About You” and the unforgivable "Talking in Your Sleep") co-wrote all the material with the original Corvettes and for all intents and purposes was the other half of the band. Given that he's not in the new band (The Stingrays), what is different in your approach, interaction, and songwriting with the new band in comparison to the old band?

Pete and I did start the band together and co-wrote the songs. At times we had a very different vision for the songs and the band in general but we played off of that and it worked. With The Stingrays, its much more of a band, writing and working on stuff together, as opposed to 2 people running everything, but it works too. Plus, these are people who grew up listening to my music and it put a new spin on it.

3) When you hear a band like The Donnas sing ""I wanna be like Nikki Corvette", I'm going to guess that makes you feel a bit proud of your legacy. Were there any challenges that you faced back in the late 70's and early 80's that you feel no longer exist? Or, to put it another way, how do you think that women such as yourself have cleared the path for the women who followed? Also what do you think that women, particularly women who write and perform their own music, bring to the Rock and Roll vocabulary?

When I realized that not only did people know my band and its music but it had inspired a whole new generation of female musicians, I couldn't really believe it. Although I had heard a few covers of my songs, The Donnas song put it much more into perspective. It was much harder to be a girl in the rock world when I started out, guys didn't want to play with girls and I got thrown off of more than a show or two when they found out there were girls in the band. I ignored all of it and just forged ahead doing what I loved and not worrying what anyone else thought. I am proud to be one of the women who helped today’s female bands rock today.

4) You've put out one album on since returning to music back in 1996. Is there a new album in the works and if so how is that process going?

I was so thrilled to be able to record again especially with Back To Detroit in 2006. It was my first album of all original material since the Nikki and The Corvettes record 26 years earlier (yes, that’s right, 26 years between albums!!!). I felt it was a good representation of who I was now, maybe a little more grown-up but still that crazy Rock 'n' Roll wild child. Although in Japan I have also released 3 new records - Wild Record Party 1 and 2 in 2004 and 2005. They are mostly covers with a few new songs (my version of Pinups) and a 7 song EP of new originals called Rebellious Love Emergency released in the fall of 2006. I am hoping to do some new recordings with The Stingrays but everyone is busy with other projects so hopefully soon. In the meantime, I will be recording next month in Detroit with my new side project, a band called Gorevette with Amy Gore from The Gore Gore Girls.

5) You said in an interview that one lesson you learned was that you should take every opportunity, find the money and the time, and make it happen. Care to elaborate?

When you're young it seems like the opportunities will always be there and I found that is not always the case. I missed out on chances to record with some great bands and musicians like The Clash, Ramones, Cars and several others because I didn't have the time or money or whatever. If you get the chance to do something great, DO IT!!! No matter what it takes!

See you all in Houston!!!!



Links:

Nikki Corvette (Link)

Nikki Corvette on Myspace (Link)

Nikki Corvette on Dollar Records (Link)

Nikki and the Corvettes on Bomp (Link)



Labels:

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of August 29, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT IS ON
Guys who think Tom of Finland is really fucking hilarious
.

Saturday, August 30
Born Liars/ No Talk
@ Rudyards
No band in Houston spits and screams out rock and roll more than the Born Liars. If you read our interview of them a few months back, you'll know that they are just as smart and funny as they are boisterous and rowdy live. At their best, a Born Liars show is something that should probably leave you a bit bruised and a bit hungover but that's OK. You want cerebral "Rock and Roll" go see Steely Dan. You want to go see kitchy boys making terrible by the numbers music then Bayou Fest will, for the most part, fill that niche. Now, if you want Rock and Fucking Roll that spits whiskey in your face, goes off the rails, and demands you not sit on your ass, this is where you want to be. But like any spotlighted show it's the complete bill that gets us up in arms and Ex-Insect Warfare Beau Beasely's local retro 80's Texas punk band No Talk opens. Melissa Launchambon described them as "badass" and said they are "Testeroni - like punk pasta." The question we all really want answered is "How many Tom of Finland books does Beau own?"

ALSO THIS WEEK

Friday, August 29 -


Indian Jewelry/Dizzy Pilot/The Wiggins
@ The Mink

Triple Scoop of great local bands. The tribal Indian Jewelry's new album Free Gold is so freaking epic in its awesomeness that the earth trembles under us when we play it on the massive Free Press sound system. Dizzy Pilot's last EP was a mixed bag but when it hit its marks - take the pitch perfect Heart of a Hurricane - the band proved is could implode your brain and leave you collapsed on the floor drooling. To complete the triple action is The Wiggins whose one man show is still one of this cities best. I guess you could describe it as the kind of low-fi drum machine fueled garagey pop-psyche you'd hear as you are being sucked through a black hole and into a world where chipmunks rule.

Oldies Fest, featuring
The Mighty Hannibal, Barbara Lynn, Archie Bell
@ The Continental Club

The Mighty Hannibal is freaking amazing Atlanta R&B but throw in a dash of "The Queen of Gulf Coast Soul Blues" and then Tighten Up with Archie Bell and you have one incredible show!!!! Seriously having this right next to the Mink show is just torture...maybe I'll just run between venues.

Together We Are Instruments / Awake / Thomas Ayersol / J. Thelonious
@ Avant Garden (8pm)
A solid night of experimental music. Together We Are Instruments' clever beats, lovely interplay, and smart textures make experimental music very easy to digest and that's no insult. Awake falls under the same category but imagine the more serious minded elder brother.

The Octopus Project/Diagonals/Electric Attitude
@ Warehouse Live
Smile, The Octopus Project is in town - a band whose smart bouncy electronic pop gives Austin a good name.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/Steve Winwood
@ Cythnia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

A pretty solid classic rock show. Sure Tom Petty for the most part lost it for me once he began collaborating with Jeff Lynn but his 70's and a good portion of the 80's material is great stuff and Mike Campbell is a guitarist who I've always enjoyed found to be underrated. Chris Gray is already camping out I hear.

G.B.H./Whole Wheat Bread/Krum Bums/Antidote/Dreadful Children
@ The Meridian (6:30PM)

Damn, I looked everywhere in the house but damned if I can't find it. Anyhow somewhere in my old stacks of crap is my first concert ticket - the Dead Kennedys and Charged GBH at the 1983 summer slam-a-thon. So,m naturally seeing GBH still at it is gonna make me smile.

Metal Madness Massacre, featuring
Cerebral Rot, The Brilliance of Suffering, Blood Divine, Crimson Offering, & Fleshhook
@ F.B.I. Rock Club #2

Metal band names rule! If I ruled a country, all parents would have to christen their kids with Metal sounding names.

Lenny Briscoe on the KTRU Revelry Report (6pm on 91.7fm)
Tune in!

Saturday, August 30


Jeremy Enigk/Elaine Greer/Omoreka
@ Walter's on Washington

Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Engigk is often called shoegaze but really it lush melodic pop that feels like the most comforting soft pillow at bedtime. I can't think of a better compliment to Enigk than local chanteuse Elaine Greer whose colorful melodic work is sweet and smart.


Electric Touch/The Riff Tiffs/Jud Johnson Band
@ Warehouse Live
The Riff Tiff's made a believer out of me recently. If all you've heard is their recordings, I highly recommend seeing them live for the full CinemaScope experience. Great band with few shows makes every show requisite.

Electric Touch (in-store) @ Cactus Music (4PM)
It's free.

Saturday Secret Show
Lazy Horse/Wolves at the Door/ Georgia's Horse
@ the Shady Tavern (2PM Free)
YES! IN YOUR FACE JD! Not so secret now, are we! Yes Lazy Fucking Horse - Garagey pop mother fuckers to the highest order. Wolves at the Door have just been accepted to the prestigious University of Low-fi Pop and are stoked for this semester's first class - we're rooting for them. I've not heard the latest incarnation of Georgia's Horse but it's good to know that Theresa and Tiziano are back in the saddle again making dark and textured music.

500 Megatons of Boogie/ Novox/ The New Satans / Caprolites
@PJs Sports Bar
This show just popped in our radar but briefly 500 Megatons are a hoot live and Novox are epic!

Sunday, August 31 -

Paul Collins Beat (in-store)
@ Cactus Music (3PM)
Paul Collins plays a free one before hitting the Continental Club


Power Pop Fest, featuring
Paul Collins Beat, Nikki Corvette, The Boss Martians
@ The Continental Club
Power Pop Festival I guess says it all. Paul Collins most famous outfits The Nerves (responsible for the Blondie hit Hanging on The Telephone) and The Beat (The American Beat not the English Beat) have put out some of the best examples of straight up jangly American pop. What can I say about Nikki Corvette but she's cool. Go and read our interview with her ( Link).


House Show/Potluck, featuring
Airon Paul Dugas, Robert Ellis, Cory Derden, & AWAKE (acoustic)
@ 901 Eleanor (free, 5:30PM)

Oh sure you've thrown a house show before but with a Pot Luck? I don't think so. Should be neat! Dugas does a mellow acoustic thing and I've yet to see Awake's Acoustic thing but I trust it will be as cool as their electric version.

Tambersauro / The Quietest / The Pat Sajak Assassins
@ Walters On Washington
In our September issue we spotlight Tambersauro on the eve of their newest release - Theories of Delusional Origin. The Trio has for years been making some of the most amazing proggy mathrock you could hear and last year's split 10" even made my list of top releases of 2007. Now the band is coming out with a new album and it not only delivers on the promise of the band's earlier recordings but expands the band's compositional palate.

Tuesday, September 2 -

GZA @ Warehouse Live
Hi my name is Gary. You may have heard this band I was in called the Wu-Tang Clan.


Wednesday, September 3 -

Love or Perish (ex-Peechees) / The Monocles / The Carpolites
@ Dean's Credit Clothing ($8)
Ex-Peechees Carlos Canedo's Love or Perish is all in your face vocals and guitar with a driving beat that suggests that, live, they may just kick some serious ass. The Monocles are rock and roll fisticuffs plus they have sax on that new song on their myspace - yais! And the Caprolites? Just down and dirty garage.

//TENSE///The Factory Party/The Wiggins/A Thousand Cranes
@ The Mink

//TENSE// sounds like every awesome 80s drum machine and keyboard you ever dreamed of owning. The Factory Party have clearly studied their New Order and Joy Division. We already told you how awesome the Wiggins are. A Thousand Cranes should be reason to remember to bring errrr....the waterpipe this time.

Bleed The Sky/Gigan
@ Jet Lounge

Yuss Metal. OK check out Still Image Symphony on Gigan's web page. That guitar is awesomeness - admit it!


Thursday, September 4
The Donkeys/Listenlisten
@ Rudyard's

San Diego's Donkeys play some pretty and laid back country tinged pop with sweet guitars and nice vocals. Listenlisten's simple rustic music should be a gorgeous understated accompaniment.


LABOR DAY WEEKEND FESTIVALS


Saturday August 30 - Monday, September 1 -
Texas 2008 Music Festival,
featuring a whole latta bands like
The O'Jays, Maze, The Whispers, Marcia Ball, Los Lobos, and Buckwheat Zydeco
@ Eleanor Tinsley Park
Ya got yr Gospel, Smoove Jazz, Soul, Zydeco, Conjunto, and it's got the O'Jays which makes me say "Hell yeah bring on the vintage Soul Train dance footage!!!!
..


Friday, August 29 Monday September 1 -
Rock The Bayou,
featuring a crapload of bands like
Queensryche, Ratt, Skid Row, Y & T, Lynch Mob, Faster Pussycat / Sammy Hagar, Lita Ford, Dokken, Great White, Enuff Z'nuff, Bullet Boys / Alice Cooper, Warrant, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slaughter, L.A. Guns, Dangerous Toys, Lillian Axe / Bret Michaels, Twisted Sister, Jackyl, KIX, Firehouse
I will give Sammy Hagar some love - the guy writes some crap but then occasionally kicks out a great rock song (Rock Candy alone gives him immunity for life). Of course Alice Cooper is OK and Twisted Sister always had the smarts to play it dumb and with a sense of humor but to be honest most of this is like the grand collection of lame 80's metal LA crap. Fuck Brett Michaels and Poison, it was crap then and it's crap now. More power to him if he can score a paycheck on VH1 but please let's face facts - Poison sucked then and they suck now. Yngwei Malmsteen to me was always the epitome of souless guitar histrionics where people are more impressed by technique no matter how poorly written the mateiral or how souless the performer. At least Whorehound and the Hates are playing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Your Brief Linked guide to tonight's Recession Thursday (28 August 2008)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:58 AM


B L A C K I E: Skyline Network raves that their new album, Wilderness of North America, is "like nothing we’ve ever really heard"and Space City Rock says
"[Wilderness of North America is] the absolute weirdest, rawest, most uncompromising, and most intriguing hip-hop I've heard...Top that, Kanye.""Take equal parts fucked-up electronics, distorted pop-cult samples, guitar feedback, video game noise, and angry-as-hell street flow, set it on fire..."

The Mathletes: Sarah Cress at the Houston Chronicle wrote a great little piece on these guys (link). Here is an except:

"the Mathletes, which isn't like any other band you know. It's a lo-fi, indie-pop spectacle with a revolving cast of characters that last year included 30 people. Some regulars include former Infernal Bridegroom Productions staffers and members of the indie-rock band the Dimes....

Mathlete is a little like the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne; a ringmaster juggling layers of props, costumes and instruments to create a jagged masterpiece of art, comedy and performance. At its heart, though, the spectacle is about the music. The songwriter has been dreaming up fragile, sincere, weird songs since he received a four-track recorder on his 16th birthday. Mathlete, now 24, writes about anything, from his earliest songs about a ladybug and his high school friends at St. John's School to a collection of Christmas songs (check out Rudolph Dance Party on MySpace) to songs about animals that contain what he calls "clunky metaphors."

"I like the animal songs. Harry the Hornless Unicorn is about a unicorn born without a horn and feeling incomplete. It Is A Difficult Thing, Being A Mule is about being a mule; you're not a donkey, you're not a horse, you're something in the middle that no one really wants. I write kind of depressed children's songs, I guess."



The Goods: Space City Rock writes:

"This is a gritty, dirty, don't-give-a-fuck kind of rock that's probably most at home on a stage in some hazy, beer-soaked dive where there's as much Fugazi and Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the juke as there is the Stones or Elvis. The songs stagger and lurch from time to time, like a drunk trying to make it down the stairs without spilling his drink, but there's also a hint of OK Go's smart-assed songwriting sense and bumping rhythms. Call it grunge, or "post-grunge," whatever you want; any way you look at it, the Goods ride the line between rock swagger and indie storm-of-noise, and they do it with style."

Giant Princess: Space City Rock (again!!!) wrote this review of some of their demos:

"Giant Princess's self-titled debut recording is an exercise in all the wonderful things you can do with a bad recording of good songs, and I do mean a bad recording. The mix is a "mix" only in the loosest sense of the word, with the vocals all but unintelligible and the organ so far up front you might as well be sitting next to it. That's the total genius of the album. Just like the Pixies forced you to see through the haze of noise into the weird minds of Frank Black and Kim Deal, so are we pulled into the awesomely loose song style that makes up Giant Princess. When you pull the blues up to the red line and speed it up, this is what you get. It's an unstoppable journey of energy and insanity that makes me proud that we're both from Houston.

More and more, I am becoming convinced that the world is actively hiding awesome music from the populace. ...The music industry is struggling at hundreds of thousands of kilowatts to convince us that 3 Doors Down and their ilk has anything at all relevant to say. Meanwhile, artists like Giant Princess have to scream themselves hoarse just to whisper the true evolution of rock and roll.

Rough, amateur, and loud, I guarantee that Giant Princess is just what you need."

Generation Landslide: This is what they have to say about themselves on their myspace:
"Generation:landslide! is a power pop outfit from the wild streets of Houston, TX. Combining intelligent, edgy lyrics with catchy pop melodies...Generation:landslide! is somewhat an anomaly among Houston bands. They prefer to play catchy originals that draw from rock's best traditions, still sounding amazingly fresh and in step with contemporary trends without sounding dated. This approach has allowed them to carve out a special niche in the Houston music spectrum. Perhaps that's why they stand out. "
AND Just Added (from Austin)
The Reverse X-Rays: The Daily Texan writes that“Dense musical backgrounds are evident in the Reverse X-Rays' uniquely artistic sound and the extensive musical skill of each member…” while Austin Sound writes:
"The Reverse X Rays lay down some of the funkiest experimental grooves in town, instrumental bursts that are tight and catchy while still pushing every envelope they can lick.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Music with Jameson and Lone Star: Starting a band? Here are 10 things not to do!

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:22 AM

My band was playing this past weekend which means there are no live reviews today. So, in response to some messages I got on my MySpace, let me instead supply you younger bands with some cranky hungover advice that you can take or leave at your discretion.


1) Don’t play one of those Gorilla productions’ battle of the bands.
No! Music isn’t a sport and if you think that the next big band is going to be found through this ridiculous little Pokémon battle you are sadly mistaken. This preys on young bands who seek fame and not honing their craft.

2) Don’t play a “pay for play” show.
Any club or promoter that’ll tell you that you have to sell X number of tickets to play should be met with the question that posits how far up their ass they would like their ticket shoved.

3) Don’t think that your venue options are limited.
Don’t be an fool and think you can open for Radiohead when they come through town; look for small clubs, shows, house parties, and promoters. If you still can’t score a show that’s already booked try to book your own.

4) Don’t believe that a MySpace e-mail beats your own feet.
Get down to the club and talk with the booker and go out to shows and talk to the bands but…

5) Don’t be a douche schmoozer.
Nikki Corvette made the point that to make music you have to be a fan. So, go to shows and befriend bands you like. But here is the deal - don’t do this for political reasons, do it because you like the bands and admire what they do.

6) Don’t be an arrogant ass.
Don’t act like a prima donna when you are at the club. Help the other bands out. Stick around for their set. If there is some reason you have to leave, be good enough to apologize to the band. Also, if you are opening don’t make a pompous flyer where your band is listed in big letters above everyone else- if you’re not headlining don’t make it look like you are. Also, don’t jack with the person who does the sound unless you like really crappy sound. If that person is terrible, getting into a tiff won't make it any better.

7) Don’t be lazy about promoting your own show.
Bulletin on MySpace, Facebook, local boards, and the like but don’t rely on that exclusively - make your own flyers and put them out. And with enough time for people to see them – perhaps a month before. If you are playing a show you owe the booker, club, and bartenders the effort to try to get people out there.

8) Don’t wait for that big record contract.
Sorry, but it isn’t gonna fall in your lap. Most labels have whatever money they have already allocated to their roster of artists so your odds are slim. Sure, try the local labels (Mia Kat, Cut Throat, Team Science etc) but the odds are your first release (if not all) is one you’re gonna have to record on your dime. That means recording at home on whatever equipment you have available to educate yourself. Once you are pretty happy and have experimented enough, take your hard earned pennies and go to one of the local indie studios (Dead City, Digital warehouse, Pigeon Eater, just to name a few) and talk to the engineer about what you want. Don’t play around with your studio time, you’re not the Beatles! Once you’ve got a final product then try shopping it to the labels. If they balk, then make a CDR or get a small run manufactured. Sell them at shows and, if you want, put them out digitally via a service like Tunecore.

9) Don’t get a manager.
Who the helk do you think you are that you need a manager? Do it all yourself - book your shows, make your own albums, and promote yourself. Don’t have someone be your mouthpiece. If you should ever get to such a stage where things get so big that you need someone to handle this stuff, at least you’ll have a good idea of what they should be doing for you. So the be pithy…

10) Don’t think someone else should wipe your henie.
DIY - write, play tour, record, make your own mistakes. If you want to make music, that’s what it comes down to.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of August 22nd 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT IS ON
Ye Olde School Metal

Saturday, August 23
Judas Priest / Heaven and Hell / Mötörhead / Testament

@ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Right, ironic isn't it, after giving Chris Gray shit about too many goddamn classic rock posts that I pick this. But I have to put turn-in my cool badge and admit this is a pretty bad ass line up...well except for Testament. Fuck Testament! I mean lookit - Priest, Black Sabbath (yeah that's right Sharon O. This is goddamn Black Sabbath too!), and Lemmy! If there was ever an excuse for paying for overpriced beer in a plastic bottle in a (more than likely) muddy field - this is it! I know what you're thinking "Dude - the Jon Benet, Something Fierce, Babelfishh, for god sake - Rad Rich's Birthday Bash!" Well sure, but consider the triumvirate. That's like the Ark of the Covenant of late 70's early 80s metal! You know where your face begins to melt because it's not meant for mortal eyes! What ever happens don't gaze upon Lemmy mole or Rob Halford's cod piece. The clincher - the most important reason to go - is to bow down to the Dio. Yes, that's right how many times have you made a Dio metal sign at a show? Right! He may sing about rainbows but metal wouldn't have it's universal symbol were it not for Black Sabbath's second frontman and unlike the Ozz, Dio has managed not to become a sad parody of himself and he can still belt it out like the old days. So rock on oldster metal. Rock on! \m/

ALSO THIS WEEK



Friday, August 22

Rudyard's 30th Anniversary Party,
Part 1 featuring
Spain Colored Orange & Three Fantastic
@ Rudyard's

Wow Number's, Fitzgerald's and Rudyard's all celebrate 30 years. What was going on in 1978 that all these local landmarks went up in the same year? I dunno but we're glad all three are sticking around. For its celebration, Rudz is having three nights of solid local bands. [Actually I'd probably make all three shows the local spotlight were it not for a clear conflict of interest.] Friday kicks of the trio of shows headlined by the poppy psychedelia of Spain Coloured Orange a band that somehow survived the dreaded Houston Press Music Awards Cover Curse - quite the feat!

Eye Against (final show)/The Jonbenet / The Last Place You Look / Supremacy / Grave Robbers / Indisgust / Euphilia
@ Fitzgerald's

Eye Against has been making loud chunky screamy metal for a decade but lo the god of metal is not kind and their time at Valhalla is nigh. Tonight will be your last chance to see them and flighting them away to the great hall will be the always ass kicking Jonbenet and other heavy friends.


Amplified Heat / The Mighty Orq / Splithoof / SCH
@ The Meridian
Austin's Amplified Heat bring their Hendrix meets ZZ Top shuffle down to Houston again and, if you haven't seen them, it's worth checking out.


Shake & Pop, featuring Witnes, Squincy Jones, Gracie Chavez, & more
@ Boondocks
also
DJ Jester the Filipino Fist/Dayta/Ceeplus
@ The Mink

They are the DJ's they are what they play. They've got believers who believe in them.



Fahl & Folk (CD release) / Carrie Ann & The Apocalyptics / Lisa Novak / Rich Hopkins / LL Cooper
@ Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
Record release for local folkies. F&F aren't my thing but, if you follow the folkie scene in Houston, I'm sure the supporting bands alone are likely to make you dance a jig.

Guitars
On KTRU's Revelry Report (6PM)
Woo! Tune your radio in for a MonocleLennyBriscoeAlarma-tastic show!


Saturday, August 23

Rudyard's 30th Anniversary Party,
Part 2 featuring
Poor Dumb Bastards, ..., & Something Fierce
@ Rudyard's
Sure, Poor Dumb Bastards have been doing their thing since the 90's and they are a lot of fun to see but right now the opener is who is on an amazing roll. Something Fierce are a band that's taken its pop punk craft and sharpened it so much since their first release, Come for the Bastards, that in retrospect that first album seems as thin as a cardboard cut-out . With two 7" - "Teenage Ruins" and now "Modern Girl" - the band has gone from student to master in the pop punk dojo. I suspect that, if they are able to keep the songcraft up at their current level and drop that into a full album, it would be the musical equivalent of taking a grenade, pulling the pin and holding in your mouth. BOOM! But bands like SF are bands that I've said so much about that I really just can't add anything more to the accolades. So fuck that! Let the music do the talking! Here's Modern Girl.





Rad Rich's Birthday Bash,
featuring
Machete, Luxurious Panthers, Streetwise, The Takes, UYUS, Smugglaz, American Sharks, Full Contact, & more
@ Notsuoh
Well crap! I was going to make this my featured show of the week but goddamn if I can find a poster or much confirmed info on the web on this show. That's actually par for the course for Rad - a Houston punk rock icon since the 80's. He turns 15 years old today and will likely grace the Hands Up Board with an obtuse post from some exotic city today with more details. Happy Birthday Mr. Punk!


You Ain't Grunge,
featuring
Smoke Eaters (Foo Fighters), Deus Machina, Full Release (The Toadies), Sun Machine (Stone Temple Pilots), Darwin's God (Soundgarden), Dine Alone (Deftones), Cellcyst (Korn), Numero Unos (Screeching Weasel), Brown vs. Board (Rage Against The Machine), & Meaningless Conflict (Helmet)
@ Fitzgerald's

You ain't grunge is likely the most appropriate name for this festival of bands who, for the most part, are covering bands with no grunge connections whatsoever. Homework assignment for these bands - listening to Superfuzz Bigmuff. Essay due Monday.


The Sans-Bayonet (record release) / B-Side / Breathe In Your Neighborhood / Dim-Hearted / Dee-Rail / The Barista
@ Walter's on Washington
Yes the vocals are pedestrian and the mixes are no better but it's a local record release and thus will get a mention simply because of that. (OUCH!)

Red Alert / Oxblood / The Broadsiders / Lost City Souls/Coptic Times
@ Numbers

OI OI OI bands from the mildly amusing 1979 English Red Alert to mildly amusing Dallas' Broadsiders. My thing is I just want to tell the bands "Hey, pick up the tempo!"


Texas Johnny Boy & Milton Hopkins
@ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Ahh good old Milton Hopkins! I haven't seen that dude since I recorded him for KTRU ages ago. Yes, he's related to Lightnin' and this should be a pretty nice laid-back evening of Texas Blues.

J'ando (in-store)
@ Cactus Music (4PM)
Free Instore. Hooray!

Secret Saturday Show
@ The Shady Tavern
Free afternoon show at the ST! Hooray Hooray!

Sunday, August 24
Lucas Gorham & Dave Dove
@ Avant Garden (6PM)
Part of the They Who Sound series where unlike, all those bands who tout themselves on Myspace as being experimental out of ignorance or misguided arrogance, it's the real deal.


Rudyard's 30th Anniversary Party,
Part 3 featuring
Dollyrockers, Bring Back The Guns, The Trian Woodburns
@ Rudyard's
Hopefully, you got the word that Bring Back the Guns moved to Sunday from Friday Night. The Quartet has long been one of Houston's most energetic live bands and last year's album was phenomenal. Headliners Dollyrockers play straight-up bar rock and the Trian Woodburns play some nice down homey rock that I think sounds pretty cool when they whip out the acoustic guitars. Hope you enjoy the hangover on Monday.

Monday, August 25

B. / Hollywood Black / Dignan /Homer Hiccolm and the Rocket Boys
@ Walter's on Washington

B's over the top energetic frantic instrumental proggatastic shows are awesomeness in my book. If you loved (late) Blades and adore Tambersauro then these guys complete the trinity. They are playing with Hollywood Black who are hot off the heels of their newest album and McCallen's finest Dignan whose 2007 release is impeccably and richly produced indie pop.


Babelfishh/Brandon West
@ Boondocks
Admittedly, I have a pretty limited rap vocabulary but Babelfish is one local act that's just off kilter and crazy energetic enough to replace my morning coffee as a way to wake up.

Tuesday, August 26

Roger Creager (in-store)
@ Cactus Music (6PM
)
Free Instore. Wooo!


Teenage Kicks
On the KTRU Local Show (8PM)
Local Punky Powerpoppers teenage kicks invade the local show! Awesomeness!

Wednesday, August 27

The Cute Lepers / The Powerchords / Avenue Rose / Alarma!
@ Walter's on Washington (8PM, $10)
Seattles' The Cute Lepers may play nice if disposable power pop but my money is on California's Powerchords who play the P pop with an energy and a wit that does what pop should do - be fun. Of course Alarma is always fun too so make sure to show up early.

Thursday, August 28

The Pleasure Kills / The Greatest Hits / Guitars
@ Rudyard's

San Fransisco's The Pleasure Kills do power pop in a 60s vein so if you dig Austin's Ugly Beats this might be up your alley. Guitars is this nutters supergroup made up of members of the Monocles, Lenny Briscoe, and Aarma - a recipe for awesomeness!

Recession Thursdays,
featuring
The Mathletes, B L A C K I E, The Goods, & Giant Princess
@ Numbers

This one's gonna be awesome just nobody break up or get sick eh? More deets on Thursday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Riff Tiffs, Wild Moccasins, and Eastern Sea warehouse Party

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Warehouse Party!
Peeps! Heat! Sweat! Dancing! Great Music! Mystery Beer!
Awesomeness!

Chris Gray was going on a while ago about alternative venues and I have to say that a sweaty hot warehouse is a nice change of pace from the usual club de rigeur. I have to admit that I had a little problem finding 2220 Commerce so I went across the street where there was a hardcore show to ask and they really nice and pointed me in the right direction.*
Once I found the warehouse entrance there outside were the Wild Moccasins, Elaine Greer and Austin Lloyd, John Sears, Tom Martinez (Tontons), Carlos Sanchez (Young Mammals), Joe Mathlete, and...well let's just say it was a party - an over by curfew party! Hell even 21-year-old Carlos Sanchez said "Am I the only one who feels old here?" Right Carlos! Not that anyone paid him any mind because the moon was full, the night cool, and the Astros even throw in some fireworks for good measure - good omens all.

The Eastern Sea started the evening with a sweet set. I really loved their set at Walters a few weeks ago. They are clearly having a ball making music and that enthusiasm carried through both performances. The songs are sharp and clever folky pop with great harmonies and some nice guitar work. The only thing is, this was a warehouse party and as such, you weren't going to get the nuanced mix that Terry gave them at Walter's a few weeks back so I felt that some of what makes them great was lost (particularly the harmonies). Regardless of any limitations, the music carried though to the point where people were swaying to the music and enjoying it and that is all that matters. I'll say this about the Eastern Sea. I've heard a few tracks on myspace of their EP but there is something restrained in those recordings and what is missing is the playful energy and joy of their live performances. Perhaps that's asking for a lot out of a recording but a band as good as the Eastern Sea deserves a recording that captures the energy of their music living and breathing in front of you. All of this is just a long way of saying that I really get a kick out of the Eastern Sea and hope they make their way down to Houston more often.

Next up was, yeah, you guessed it, The Wild Moccasins. Yes, I may have to purposefully have a Wild Moccasins review blackout because this is getting ridiculous. But it's so hard to do because they are so much fun. Friday they were as great as ever and they even threw us a few curve balls with a secret weapon - the dude! Yes, to the left sat a guy with a black garbage bag whose job it was to toss out what looked like sealed pastries and balloons. Now that's a freaking special effect! Balloons above a crowd are the great equalizer! Even the biggest thuggiest tough guy will invariably smile and bounce it back in the air. Sure, it's silly and childish but you know what? That's OK. It's not dark or ironic, or heavy - it's fun. Fun is OK folks! And fun music doesn't mean it's vacuous or cookie cutter fluff. There is craft and care put into what the Moccasins do. If you abhor the Moccasins or my "Mickey Mouse" taste in music that's fine. I'll tell you what;
you keep going to "adult" rock shows and I'll keep hopping and singing the Wee Ooo Eee Ooos with Joe Mathlete on Fruit Tea.

Last up was The Riff Tiffs. I'll make a confession, I didn't particularly get into the Riff Tiff's album Afflictinnittus. To me, it sounded pretty but something just seemed to be missing. I could never put my finger on it so I shrugged off seeing them until this show. The thing is, like the Eastern Sea, the Riff Tiffs are a better band than their studio work would suggest. The Riff Tiffs are all about the sonics they produce live and
Afflictinnittus just misses it totally. Live it's this big wave of notes that ebb softly then build into a tsunami of sound - I'm talking brilliant dynamics. Compare that expansive sound to the recordings and the band in the recordings sounds isolated from each other and compressed. Capturing the energy and force of their live show is what some engineer needs to capture - anything less and they fail. So what I'm saying is nice set guys.

Attention Eastern Sea!

We give-in to your cuteness!

The Eastern Sea - hmmm not sexy enough...

....Oh no wait! now we're tallkin'!
YES! Pale sweaty shirtless dudes!
Eastern Sea Hotness!


Now do you see what I mean?
The Moccasins are the party!!!


The world famous Wild Moccasins
state of the art light show!!

A Lite-brite!

If you read Hands Up Houston this week you likely saw this:
"I don't like the local kiddie indie pop bands or freak folk bands that are now all the rage. They need to go join the Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney channel. Usually any band that Ramon LP4 jerks-off about every time he posts I know not to listen to."
Andrew, of course, dressed appropriately.

Austin Lloyd or Charleston Heston in Planet of the Apes?
You decide!

Some bands spend millions on lights, props, and sets.

Fuck that! The Wild Moccasins
just had this dude toss out pastries and balloons!

Hell yeah! Balloons!

You can never go wrong with balloons!

Cody Swann
Neil Diamond "Hot August Night" FAIL!


This is really what the Riff Tiffs looked like without flash

Look that woman is dancing! In Houston!

We have attained Riff Tiffs nirvana!
The Riff Tiffs doing their best
Mudhoney impersonation!


....and that's a wrap!
Links:
More pictures on my Flickr (Link)

The Eastern Sea (Link)
The Wild Moccasins (Link)
Riff Tiffs (Link)

*Andrew Ortiz later ran me a breakdown of who was playing and it sounded like a pretty sweet bill. So hey hardcore promoters you need to give me a heads up; we love the hardcore too.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The White Swan Fisticuffs

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:51 AM

Well the White Swan's staff pulled a doozy on Thursday - getting in a fisticuffs with its patrons. We wanted to get both sides before we blogged about it so here is what both sides have to say and you can decide for yourself.

The incident is blogged here in Live journal (Link) and here is an abbreviated version:
"Last night a couple of friends and I went to go see my friends' bands play at The White Swan. ... It all started when a (female) friend of mine who will remain nameless for now accidentally left her car keys inside and knocked on the door after closing and simply asked if she could get her keys... then for no reason, one of the OWNERS and employees started to brutally assault her and at least four other people (two of which were girls). One of them was beaten in the head by the butt of a shotgun so badly that she had gashes in her head pouring blood all over and had to be taken away in an ambulence.

As soon as I realized what was happening, I stepped in to defend my friends and next thing I know, the owner of the place puts a gun to my face and threatens to "Blow my fucking brains out" and immediately after he beat me with the end of the gun too . I was covered in blood and had to go to the emergency room as well.

Both of the men were arrested last night and a couple of people are pressing charges."


Alex Martinez of The White Swan called and here is a paraphrased account of what he told me:

The bar is closed and there are three employees. Martinez hears a loud banging on the door and people shouting to open up. He eventually approaches the door to see what's what. Outside he encounters three women and one man. One woman outside tells him she needs her keys. He says "We're counting money and I can't let you in right now."

She replies, "So you're not going to do anything about it?"

"Not right now." he says and starts to go back in the club.

"Fuck you!" she shouts.

"What?" he says.

"Fuck You!" she says

"No, fuck you!" he says and she spits at him. He shoves her away then the woman's male friend comes at him and they get into a fight. Eventually, he's fighting the guy and the three women and tries to get back inside. The other two employees inside block the door to let Martinez in and try to close the door but the group outside is holding the door open. Martinez goes inside to get the shotgun and tells them to "Get the fuck away from the door!"

"Are you going to shoot me?" one woman shouts.

"I'll shoot you if you don't get away from the goddamn door!" he shouts. Martinez tells his guys to go out the rear exit and around to lock the front door from the outside (the door at this point won't lock from the inside). The two White Swan guys go out, lock the door, and they get attacked and on the way back to the rear exit.

Martinez calls 911 at this point but, as he's with the operator, he notices the police lights outside. The White Swan employees are all taken by the cops for questioning and are eventually released and told that the DA won't press charges but that they could if they wanted to press charges against the kids.

Martinez says he doesn't want these kids to go to jail but he's been met with so many threats and phone calls that he may have to. "I have pictures of my guys and the damage done to the venue and the police report backs me up but i don't want this to go any further but I do want the parents to know what happened because I'm a parent and they deserve an explanation. I'm a parent so I'd want an explanation but they've only heard one side. There were a lot of bad choices made on both sides."

Labels: "White Swan"

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of August 15, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT IS ON
FREE SHIT!
I was talking with a friend this afternoon about being broke-ass! Well how appropriate because this week if just made for penny pinchers as there are a slew of great shows that will cost you nothing. Like a rolling stone, like a rolling stone, like the FBI and the CIA, and the BBC--BB King, and Doris Day...Matt Busby. Dig it, dig it, dig it:



FREE THING #1


Thursday, August 14 - Sunday August 16th
Two Star Symphony Orchestra
Synesthesia
@ Rice University, Hamman Hall,

(entrance 20 and 21 off Sunset Blvd.)
(Seating begins at 7:30 - first come first serve)
(8PM) FREE!
Described as "a fusion of light and sound designed and directed by Matthew Schlief" this is probably the biggest thing going down this week. Matthew Schlief (Rice) will be incorporating some new stage light technology, Genevieve Durham DeCesaro (Texas Tech) is handling the choreography, but the star of the event will be Houston's Two Star Symphony whose music never fails to tickle our ears with a cleverness and wit that is never self conscious or precious. If you missed out on their packed show at Rudz a few weeks ago, you should make it a point of seeing this. The quartet will actually be augmented by some great local musicians - (Chris Bakos (bass), Cathy Power (marimba/percussion), Kirk Suddreath (percussion) and John Duboise (clarinet) - which will be a treat. I can't recommend this more highly.


FREE THING #2


Friday, August 15 -
Warehouse party w/
Riff Tiffs, The Wild Moccasins, The Eastern Sea
@ 2220 Commerce

(9PM) FREE!
Well if you didn't get enough of the Riff Tiffs and The Eastern Sea last night you can see them again but this time with the Wild Moccasins. Like I said last week...You want to know where the party is, it's wherever the Wild Moccasins are playing on a given week. This just proves that point. Bonus this warehouse party is guaranteed to come with a roof and since you have to bring your own beer, you know your favorite beer will surely be available.




FREE THING #3


Wednesday, August 20 -
Release Party For Ditchwater Zine #2
Featuring Chocolate Crucifix
@ Sound Exchange
(7PM-9PM) FREE!

Local Zine Ditchwater #1 sold out long ago with pictures of various local music luminaries (we particularly liked the Waldo-like "Where's Jandek" page). We don't know what's in this second issue beyond the cover on the flyer (right) but the important thing is Chocolate Crucifix will be playing and they claim they will play like a billion songs in 8 minutes. OK maybe it was something more like 70 songs in 8 minutes but I can't find the post they made on HoustonPunk.com for the exact number. Still you get the idea - it'll be over before you know it and the band comes armed with Smarties. Hardcore, candy, zines, BYOB, and you can even get some record shopping done. Awesomeness!
[Full Disclosure: Ditchwater zine is published by the curmudgeon's wife .]


and don't forget there's also -
FREE THINGS # 4 - 10


Friday August 15,
DJ Jester
on The Revelry Report On KTRU
(6pm – 7pm)
FREE!
If you are cheap AND lazy this is the event for you! Wooo KTRU!


Saturday, August 16,

The Gougers (in-store)
@ Cactus Music
(6PM)
FREE!
Another free in store at Cactus.

Saturday, August 16,
Saturday Secret Shows
@ The Shady Tavern

FREE!
Another free show of secret bands.


Saturday, August 16,
Left Alone Art Opening
Featuring the photography and video work of Rachel Hewlett, Kristy Peet, David McClain, Jennifer L. F. McNichols, Ben Aqua and Mike Ruiz and a video installation by Frederique de Montblanc.
Music By DJ Plank
@ Artstorm (located within Caroline Collective)
(7-10PM) FREE!
Artstorm openings are always fun combining solid art, music, and booze. This one should be no different. Thanks skyline for the reminder.


Saturday, August 16 - Fever Tree Rising
KPFT Simulcast
(4:30PM) FREE!
@ Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
(probably not Free)
I'm a bit confused as to whether Dan Electro's will be charging but the simulcast is free and can chill at home to an updated line-up of a classic Houston 60's Psych band.

Monday, August 18
The Watermarks / Death By Texas
@ Boondocks
FREE!
If it's Monday, it's free music night at Boondocks!

Wednesday, August 20
Bun B /Orgone / DJ Ayres
@ Warehouse Live
FREE!
He ran away with the Houston Press Music Awards, but the Houston Press pretty much blew-off writing a feature on the winner this year which spares Mr. Bun the HPMA cover curse.


ALSO THIS WEEK (...and not free)


Friday, August 15

CEX/Stove Blow/ Best Fwends G Styles
@ The Mink

Rjyan Claybrook Kidwell peddles computer driven dance music, Houston trio Stove Blow peddles in the proggy, while Austin's Best Fwends has them all beat. Why? They have a brilliantly trashy cover of James Gangs' Funk 49 on their myspace. You can never go wrong with James Gang! Download it and thank me later. Fuck Yeah!
err never mind that whole James Gang thing.


Nate Singleton & His Sideshow Tragedy/The Literary Greats
@ Rudyard's
If you're looking for a more rootsy way to spend your Friday, Austin's Sideshow Tragedy and Houston's Literary Greats might be just up your alley.


Saturday, August 16


Nine Inch Nails/A Place To Bury Strangers
@ Toyota Center
You may remember the headliner from the soundtrack to Quake.

Arthur Yoria / Pale / Glasnost
@ Rudyard's

Prolific pop tunesmith Arthur Yoria hits Rudz.

Freddie Steady / Fever Tree Rising
@ The Continental Club

Fever Tree Rising is some incarnation of Fever Tree - a late 60's Houston psychedelic band who scored a minor hit with San Francisco Girls back in the day. I can't say I'm particularly into their stuff but from a historical standpoint it's kind of interesting.

Sunday, August 17

Ghost Town Trio/ Tin Armor/ O Pioneers!!!/ Bright Men of Learning
@ The Mink (Early show - 8PM)
Ohio's finest versus Houston's finest. No offense to the out-of-town bands but the locals alone are worth the admission and
the Monday hangover. Eric of Oh Pioneers' always looks like he's about to have an aneurysm on stage at any moment and Bright Men of Learning is one of the sharpest group of rootsy rock lads in town.

Super Happy Fun Land Annual Leo Party, featuring
Poopy Lungstuffing, The Annoysters, Acoustic ?, A Bubble in the Sun, Michael Fletcher, Concrete Violin, The Delta Block, Lluvia Dr
eams, & more
@ Numbers
Super Happy Funland may be in exile for the moment but their traveling band of SHFL regulars should be quite fun.

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band/Asleep At The Wheel
@ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Even if you're not from Texas, Lyle wants you to know that Texas loves you anyway.



Thursday, August 21

The Melvins / Big Business
@ Warehouse Live
The Melvins are doing more than touring with Big Business they now are 50% Big Business...no really they are. I don't know but that combination sounds like a whole lotta ass-whoppin' to me.

Xiu Xiu/Carla Bozulich/Common Eider, King Ider
@ The Orange Show (7PM; $10)
Xiu Xiu is to be honest a little to histrionic for my taste. But The Geraldine Fibbers' Carla Bozulich looks to a lot more unpredictable and interesting. She's an artist who takes chances and jumps between the abstract and the more straight ahead but hardly with the preciousness of the headliner.


Recession Thursdays, featuring
Something Fierce, Generation Landslide, Alkari, & Television Skies
@ Numbers

More deets on Thursday of course but it's going to be awesomeness...errrr...I mean Clutch. This is after all an Omar Afra organized show. If Omar's behind it, it's clutch!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

The UK's Earache Records to Reissue Insect Warfare's World Extermination

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 11:59 AM


The long esteemed UK Grindcore/Death Metal label Earache (Godflesh, Napalm Death, Ultraviolence, Deicide, Adema, et al.) is currently in the final stages of inking a deal with former members of Houston's Insect Warfare to reissue last years World Extermination album. According to Beau Beasely they are licensing the album for 5 years with an initial run of 5,000 CDs and a couple thousand LPs. "The label wants to go all out with a gatefold, liner notes, and stickers so we're going to have to take some time and work out the new layout. " And what will the band be doing with the extra cash they are getting from Earache? For Beasely that's easy, "I'm putting my share right back into my music."

Well deserved!

PS. Beasely's retro-80s punk band No Talk will be playing Rudyard's on August 30th with Born Liars.

Insect Warfare (Link)
Earache Records (Link)

Labels: , , Earache

A brief linked guide to Tonight's Recession Thursday - 14 August

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM


Riff Tiffs - Houston's most popular seasonal band headlines specializing in shimmering guitars and melodies.

The Eastern Sea - You may not know Austin's Eastern Sea (though they have Houston Ex-pats in their ranks) but you'll enjoy their excellent sense of melody and endearing and smart ass banter.

Earnie Banks - Baseball Hall of Famer Earnie Banks is sounding good for his 77 years. Who would have known the Dallas born retired Cub would be so into Minus the Bear Indie Pop.


Electric Attitude - "This band, from Houston, was an energetic bunch. Singer Blake Shepard is young but a born showman, and he romped through his Stooge-y punk-boogie tunes." at least that's what they have on their myspace.

Old Coyote - Austin's Old Coyote play pretty melodic indie pop. Nice stuff.

¡alarma! - Like all good rock and roll, there is something so awesomely trashy about Alarma that makes me shout "AAAALARMAAAAA!"

Lazy Horse - Some of the smartest garagey rock coming out of Houston. We are the Champs indeed!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Paris Falls @ Sigs / Tody Castillo & Wild Moccasins @ Rudyards 08 August 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Paris Falls may have gotten a late start at Sig's Lagoon and had to leave their patented light show in the van but none of that mattered once they hit the first notes of Shelter from the newest album. Damn they kicked it with some emotion and the room sounded great - intimate and with some unexpectedly great acoustics. You'd think that a long rectangular room like that would sound like crap but the high ceilings probably made up for any rectangle issues because Michael Deleon's drums sounded massive - even when compared to the albums. Mind you, the albums sound great but Friday it was like hearing the albums with a bigger and fatter sound. You start with a great room mix then throw-in some solid tunes and the rest is gravy. The audience's enthusiasm on Friday night was surely a testament to that. For the uninitiated, Paris Falls are a band whose harmonies, guitars, and that crazy organ/electric piano sound evoke the more rough and tumble side of late Let It Be Beatles but that description is much too simplistic. After all, the important thing isn't the point of reference but where they take it and Paris Falls shouldn't be accused of mere mimicry. Like Gold Sounds, Paris Falls seems to have gone back and looked at some classic rock, torn it apart, and rebuilt it to make their own statement. Go and listen to Shelter off the new album or the exceptional pop gem Lucky from their last album and see if you don't pick a moon dog and radiate everything you are.

From there it was off to see the Wild Moccasins and Tody Castillo over at Rudyard's. I know what you are going to say, "The Wild Moccasins - AGAIN?" Yeah yeah, I actually was thinking the same thing. That is, until I walked in and heard them playing. Sure I've seen them a lot lately but this is music that breaks any clouds hanging over your head. Feeling down? Leave the pills and your psychoanalyst behind and just catch the Moccasins live. Everything - Andrew Ortiz and Nick Cody's enthusiastic rhythm section, Andrew Lee's sharp guitar work, and Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann's sweet harmonies - builds into live shows that follows in the fine Houston pop tradition of bands like De Schmog and The Dimes who combine writing, musicianship, and performance into something that is joyous and fun. Friday was no different with the band hitting all the right notes and hoppin' so much that my low-rent camera could barely keep up. But that's typical. Look folks, if you want to know where the party is, it's where the Wild Moccasins are playing on a given week.

The evening closed with Tody Castillo who may not have jumped up and down like The Moccasins but, if you were able to downshift a bit and listen, you got a good dose of straight-up melodic rock. Now having heard them play their originals live, his covering Tom Petty at the Hootenanny a few week's back makes a hell of a lot of sense. Castillo and his band just dropped hook-riddled no-apologies rock and roll. Perhaps because of the Moccasins, Castillo's rockers were a hell of a lot more fun. For better or worse, songs like Brainwashed simply sound better live than on his eponymous album. That's because, on stage, Castillo and his band discard the studio glitter and just rip the songs through their raggedly overdriven Silvertones. Hey, with a whiskey in one hand and a Lone Star in the other, that's all you need.



Paris Falls - no light show but lots of rock!
ADD band Jen and Ray -
Keyboards, Bass, Guitar...

I think the only thing that they didn't play was a viola.

Oh no wait Jen plays that as well!


There is no better reason to overcome
the pull of the couch on a Friday evening
than The Wild Moccasins.
Just think of them as
Houston's
super ninja party attack force

Andrew lays down some
sweet reverbed tremolo goodness.


Tody Castillo the perfect musical
accompaniment to a Jameson and Lone Star


Tody Castillo and band takes the audience down.

And we leave you this week with bathroom art by Joe Mathlete:

If you didn't have any Problems - Joe Mathlete
Life is like a cow! - Joe Mathlete

Links:
More pics on MyFlickr (
Sigs Lagoon and Rudyards)

Paris Falls (
Link)
The Wild Moccasins (
Link)
Tody Castillo (
Link)
Joe Mathlete (
Link)


Labels: , ,

Friday, August 8, 2008

Feow Records Closes Shop

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 3:54 PM

Sad to say but one of Houston's most promising labels of last year Feow Records has quietly closed shop. The Jana Hunter, Matt Brownlie, and Arthur Bates conceived label started the fall of 2007 with two amazing and well received releases by Deer Tick and Bring Back The Guns. At the time, given the power trio masterminds, it seemed that the label would continue with more solid releases but clearly that was not to be. Thankfully, all the artists concerned will still be making music. A label rises, a label falls, and a new ones take it's place - it is the circle of life.

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

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 10:00 AM

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT
is on Chilling!


Yes, that's right! After two weeks of Houston music insanity it's time to chill. There are some good shows out there this week but let's all just take a nice breather and relax this week. Errr well...that and I was busy interviewing Tambersauro last night for next month's issue (the new CD is killer by the way). As a result I find myself typing this on my lunch break. So pardon the abbreviated nature of this week's preview.

THIS WEEK



Friday, August 8


Paris Falls/ Airon Dugas, Bobby DJ
@ Sigs lagoon 7PM
Free

Paris Fall's new album Volume II has been spinning in my car for a while now with it's beatle-esque organ and Gibson fueled rock. They also have probably one of the most ingenious light shows I've seen and given it's been a while since I've seen them play their own material all I can say is "Woo! Taco's Au-go-go and free rock!" - sounds like the start of a kick ass evening.

Tody Castillo / The Wild Moccasins
@ Rudyards $3
Later, after Sigs, you can head over here for the bargain priced little can of whoopass. It's a nice little out-of-the-blue show that just appeared on our radar earlier this week. Combine the rootsy sound of Tody Castillo with the youthful poppy energy of the Wild Moccasins and you've got a pretty sweet evening of music. YUSSS!

Finnegan
on KTRU's Revelry Report 6PM
Music for your drive time.

Hayes Carll (in-store)
@ Cactus Music (5PM)

Friday's free instore #2.

World's Most Dangerous (CD release) / The Trian Woodburns / Hell's Engine
@ Dan Electro's Guitar Bar

It's a CD release for some band with an annoying myspace layout. Thankfully ADR (link) and Chris Gray (link) were able to survive this side scrolling and video bloated wasteland of a myspace page and post something about these guys.

Saturday August 9

Asylum Street Spankers
@ McGonigel's Mucky Duck

The Mucky Duck brings you ASS. ASS from Austin. A lot of people really like ASS. I have to admit that ASS is pretty good. If you like rootsy Americana stuff then you probably like ASS too. In fact, you probably own some ASS and if not you can always grab yourself some ASS after the show - you know the shiny round kind. OK that joke went on a bit long didn't it?

Craig Kinsey
@ The Continental Club

The Sideshow Tramps most honourable reverend Craig Kinsey kicks it solo. I haven't seem him pull it solo but I suspect that it still ends up with a bunch of folks dancing and hootin' and hollerin'.



Sunday, August 10



Nebula / Totimoshi / Whorehound
@ Rudyard's

And on the 7th day the Lord said "Let there be rock!" and so he created Whorehound and saw it was good.



Tribute to Kirk Carr, featuring
Violence of the Sun / The Anarchitex / The Trolls / The Hightailers / Nema
@ Dan Electro's Guitar Bar (3PM)

Kirk Carr played in various Houston bands including the Pain Teens and The Trolls. Sadly he passed away in May of this year but his friends have put together this little shindig in his honor.



Monday, August 11



Yndi Halda / Antarctica Starts Here / listenlisten / Wood & Felt
@ The Mink (Backroom)

I don't know much about the touring band and goddamn if everything isn't licked to myspace (which is blocked from where I type this) so let me just recommend this based on Antarctica Starts Here's brilliant jangly atmospheric shoegaze and listenlisten's rootsy goodness.

Lenny Briscoe /Lazy Horse
@ Boondocks
Boondocks continues its free Monday shows with the faboo Lenny Briscoe and the toppermost of the poppermost Lazy Horse.


Tuesday, August 12

The Mckenzies @ KTRU's Local Show
8PM Free
OK so you won't get the bubble machine over the radio but that's no reason not to tune in and check out one of Houston's best pop bands.



Wednesday, August 13

Old Farts Early Show, featuring
Something Fierce, The Mathletes, DJ Under Warranty, & DJ Lawncare
@ The Mink
Yes with an appreciation for the working stiffs who have to get up early and punch the clock here you have the high melodic punk energy of Something fierce mixed with the awesome melodic geek pop of Joe Mathlete. Great Idea! Hope this one
continues!



Thursday, August 14

Recession Thursdays, featuring The Eastern Sea, Earnie Banks, Alarma, Lazy Horse, Old Coyote, & Electric Attitude
@ Numbers

Last week we took a breather but we're back in force. Dig it. the Eastern Sea blew my pants off a few weeks back at Walters and Lazy Horse and Alarma are so bad ass that if I could explain to you their awesomeness it would kill you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Secret Saturday Festival in Pictures

posted by april5k @ 1:01 PM

This was probably one of the most fun weekends EVER. JD is mayor of good times. (I think Airon might be chief of police of good times for his stylish bouncing of underaged drinkers.) I tried to get pictures of everyone but missed out on one or two each day due to my camera being in a location other than in my hand. But everyone was above and beyond good and at $5 for a two day pass probably provided the biggest bang for your buck of all time. So here it goes (click on the pictures to go see the rest of the sets)

DAY ONE


CO-PILOT - I forgot to grab my camera out of Pope Jon's truck before he left so unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of these guys but their set can be summed up in two words: FUCKING EPIC.

THE GOLD SOUNDS - I had heard these guys at JD's the night before and was ready to be blown away. I was not disappointed. Guitarist, Chris, not only played with his teeth and behind his head, but smashed his guitar.





LENNY BRISCOE – Though I see JD and Stacey more than I see my parents, I have yet to see a full Lenny Briscoe set and I was very happy when they played Saturday. Here’s a video of them playing the Jessica Six song “Vendors of Greater Things”





THE TONTONS – Though I’ve technically played a show with The Tontons I had yet to actually see them in action. After Saturday’s set I can see how it was smooth sailing for them to win best new act. Nicely done.




LAZY HORSE – Oh Lazy Horse, how do you always guarantee a good time? Even down by one member this weekend you guys are still the best.




HEARTS OF ANIMALS – It was also my first time seeing Hearts of Animals and I was not disappointed. Very sweet sounds for a very sweet afternoon.



LIKE YEAH – Tess is a SSS staple and continued the vibe of sweetness into the late afternoon.



SOMETHING FIERCE – Duh, this is always good, do I have to tell you that? The addition of a surprise dancer kicked this afternoon back onto the high intensity party wagon.



PERSEPH 1 – I had been meaning to catch her set for a while now. I’ll admit I’m not the hugest hip-hop fan, but I heard her tracks on myspace and I was down. This was the perfect set for the early evening.



BAREFOOT AND THE BEAR – I saw him just as he was ending his set that apparently was a private performance for Neil from Lazy Horse. I’m sorry I missed you.

UME – This is another no-brainer, do I need to tell you that Ume was good?



GUITARS – From the stage I missed out on some of the action behind the scenes. Apparently, the former drummer for ¡ALARMA!, up to drunken jackassery, was stealing tambourines, etc, which was quickly ended by our hero Neil from Lazy Horse. Nice bouncing, my friend.




YOU (GENIOUS) – Very entertaining hip-hop, I’m sad that I didn’t get to see his full set but I loved what I saw but then I believe I had to make a detour to India (code wordz).



LISTEN LISTEN – As the sun came down, Listen Listen brought us all to a mellower state of mind for a post-cop-calling rock festival.



ELAINE GREER – I am always so conflicted whenever I see or hear Elaine play. There are two voices inside my head one that is just pure jealousy and envy, I always opt to listen to the other voice which tells me that this is the most wonderful thing I could possibly be hearing at that moment.



SEW WHAT – Another familiar face for SSS regulars, Rachel is always bringing more and more to her performances and this evening it was with the addition of Cory Durden, the best one man band I know!



AIRON PAUL DUGAS – Taking a break from his doorman duties, Airon closes down Saturday night with a set that literally brought me to tears. This man has a voice like southern angels. If you didn’t stick around for his set, you blew it.



Here are some shots of some of the various people hanging around, this one pretty much sums up the whole weekend:





DAY TWO


DUNNOCK’S ILL ADVISORY – I got to the Shady just as he was starting and had a torta to tend to during his set, I wish I had seen more but I would like to know if he played a song that I think is called “Hate”.



PARIS FALLS – Here is a challenge for Paris Falls: be more wonderful. Seriously elegant and beautiful. Stellar.



EVAK 1 – I only caught the very beginning of their set, I had another trip to India to make, but fortunately I did get these shots.



GIANT PRINCESS – Yet another one of those no-brainers, these guys are never going to disappoint you.



NEWS ON THE MARCH – Much hyped and much worthy. Their entire set was a big fuck-you to Lomax’s Press article about Houston sucking.



NOSAPRISE – Another very entertaining Hip-Hop set. He opened with my favorite song of his and delivered hit after hit.



THE MCKENZIES – I’ll keep it short, this was hands down my favorite performance of the weekend. Amazing. Wonderful. Fantastic.



AWAKE – I believe I’m fated to never see Awake in their natural state. I played a show with them once and they brought the noise, this time they brought the acoustic. And it was great. Droney and intense and oddly wonderful in the open-air setting.



THE MONOCLES – Hey I heard 15 people asked for a copy of their unmastered album. One of them was Gar Wood.



THE MATHLETES – Another set that got cut short by a trip to India, but I was glad to hear their Wire and Talking Head covers!



TEENAGE KICKS – I was super bummed that I missed the beginning of their set, but I edged my way up to the front behind the monitor and got the shit rocked out of me.



ROBERT ELLIS – Let’s just go ahead and call him the most pleasant surprise of the entire weekend. I suggested that Pope Jon and Airon start a band like The Band with this guy. SHIT!



CORY DURDEN – Cory beautifully ended the weekend with his man-of-many-talents act. Multiple guitar effects, a trumpet and beer bottle slide. It was a magic moment when at the end of his set he stepped into the audience only singing, loops of sounds piling into layers as the first raindrops fall as the festival comes to an end.



Upon the end of the festival JD thanked everyone, including the neighbors who called the cops.




Here are some folks from day two:




All in all this was one of the most fun music festivals you could ever hope to be a part of or attend. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Labels: , "secret Saturday Show",

What is a song?

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:57 AM


Conversations, not conclusions

By Omar Afra
I am not an asshole. This is not a thesis, just a rant. Take it for what it is.


Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. ~Henry David Thoreau


What is a song?
Sounds like such a simple question? You may say there is not a simple answer. What is simple is the fact that what constitutes a song has really been lost. There has been much discussion in Houston lately pertaining to the music scene and what folks can really do to make it better and convince people to go to more shows. What better solution than to write stellar songs? Well, to do this people need to know what really makes a song. Therein lies the tricky part. A song is more easily recognized than defined. To understand this, you need to erase all of the baggage that contemporary culture attaches to the word song. Forget about singer-songwriters. Forget about top 40. Most importantly, forget about ‘structures’ like verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus. Then what is a song? I am not sure I can tell you but I am very sure I can tell what is not a song. A song is not a collection of ‘riffs’ in the same key. A song is not a melody smashed on top of musical masturbators rocking out. A song is not a catchy hook with unfortunate verses crowded around it. Fact of the matter is that many critically acclaimed bands, even local heroes, have everything it takes to be a great band except for the elusive song. Bands spend decades honing their chops, developing their own sound, deciding on the coolest pair shoes, and playing before thousands of people. Many a great local band here in Houston make it just short of the mountaintop but fall short because they have no songs. Now a ‘piece of music’ can be great and popular yet not be a song. Huh? Ya see, there are great bands out there with no songs. Shitty bands write great songs. There are also terrible pieces of music that are indeed songs as well. Conversely, many great bands do not write songs. Know what I am saying? Neither do I. Now, you may be saying to yourself that experimental and fringe music takes the blame here. Not at all. This is not a genre specific argument. Band of all breeds differ on this one critical detail. For lack of a better example take Jimi Hendrix for instance. There were legions of hyper-talented guitar players during hat era that get not an iota of the same credit as Jimi does yet were comparable guitar players. Why did he get the kudos for revolutionizing the instrument? Simply said, because he put his wondrous playing in the context of great songs. Another example would be the world of indie rock. With countless new bands born and dying every 15 minutes, why are only a handful remembered despite us living in an age where recording, producing, and delivering music has become so easy thanks to technology. Again, songs. So many of these bands are so focused on peripheral factors like aesthetic, soundscape, identity, and novelty that they lack a vehicle to deliver these things. As I see it, counter-culture music was once leaning more towards literature and has veered to lean way too far towards entertainment. Not just that, but learning music has become frowned upon by the masses. Which brings me to my sad yet sobering hypothesis. We are entering an era where our brightest days are behind us just as literature was in Europe shortly after the apex of Shakespeare or Star Wars after Jedi. Yeah, there is more to come but it won’t be is good as it’s predecessors. Where are the Stevie Wonders of our generation? The Ramones? The Willie Nelsons? Now, I am sure I sound like a cantankerous old man and I have to mention that amazing songs are being written everyday around the world d and here in Houston. Local artists like Fat Tony, The McKenzies, Craig Kinsey, Satin Hooks, and countless others all push the song-peddling envelope. Nonetheless, the problem of putting songwriting on the backburner persists. Do I have any solutions? Shit no. But I can make a few suggestions to the many musicians that complain to me of the status of their band, scene, or city? Do yourself a favor and study music, listen to the greats, and dig deep in your soul and internalize what a song means to you. Who knows, you just may prove me wrong. I actually need that. I pray to Allah you do so.

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Part II - Sharks and Sailors, Ume, & The Jonx @ Walter's 01 August 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:02 AM

My pulling up to Walter's couldn't have been less graceful. Upon exiting my car, my cellphone fell out of my pocket and right into the gutter. Thankfully, Team Science mastermind Aaron Danger and Amy's Ice Cream slinger Peter Lee were able to rescue my cell phone with a tire wrench and a discarded fountain drink cup. Coolness! If I loved the Team Science label before now I really really love it! Thanks Guys.

Inside, The Jonx were just about to launch into their set which was par for the course of a Jonx set. For those of you not familiar with this band, it's a trio that combines sharp proggy skills with a punk energy and droll melodic lines. It's a great combination and one that always kills. Much like everyone playing on Friday, what you had was sharp players employing their skills to deadly efficiency. I suffered a worse mix by being at the front of the stage than a few feet back where I could hear the room mix but it's too much of a kick to see Trey's bass runs, Stuart's guitar work, and Danny's drum assault up-close. Closing with Highway at Night was particularly smart as you got a full helping of the fat bass, the post punk guitars and the unrelenting drums pulsing around one groove to great effect. Right afterwards some joe I'd never seen before at the bar was commenting to his friend, "Hey you having a good time? Yeah, I guess I picked a good night. That was pretty good not like that band the Guilloteens I saw at Christmas. They just broke their instruments. That was their talent breaking shit. What kind of kiddie crap is that?" This discussion was hilarious as across the way on the other side of the bar was the FFG's own Roy Mata. Ha Ha Roy, you suck!*

Ume also falls into the category of bands whom I've seen doing what they do so well and without equal for so long now that it's easy to take their brilliance for granted. Lauren and Eric told me that the finishing touches are being put on their new album which is great to hear. The newer material they play live has some lovely pop hooks without sacrificing the elements that made this band so mind blowing on their first release so bring it on. So what did you get if you saw them Friday? On the drums, a straight and powerful beat from Jeff and, on the bass, Eric swaying away as he held down the melodic bottom and then there was Lauren. I think every time I see this band I have to go on about Lauren's incomparable marriage of impeccable technique and jaw dropping performance. It's really easy to mock performance as a distraction from the music but Lauren's thrashing and posturing never feels put-on and act as a focal point for the music's energy. Let's face it - it looks cool as shit but it also never detracts from her guitar playing which is as impressive for its skill and ingenuity as it is for running the gamut of melodic hooks and pure wild-abandon noise. I put her up there as one of my favorite guitarists. Cody Swann of the Wild Moccasins, someone who'd never seen Ume before, said that it made him want to reevaluate what he does. Yeah, that was my initial reaction too.

Last but not least, closing the trio of trios, was Sharks and Sailors who were celebrating their new album Builds Brand New. Like everyone else here, Sharks and Sailors are a band whose skills I think are top-notch as musicians and writers who can deliver the goods with seeming ease. The nice thing about Sharks and Sailors is how they've evolved over the years and brought along a lot more space into their songs and incorporated a fresh melodic sense with the addition of Melissa on lead vocals. The new album doesn't pull any punches when they get brutal on the show-stopping heavy Rickshaw but it also takes time to get a little spacey with a song like Condor. Friday's performance ran that gamut with grace and skill by taking a mathematical aesthetic and backing it up with power and emotion. Mike's guitar playing is sonic goodness, Melissa's bass always has this wonderful fat tone that fills the room, and Phil's drumming can be powerful and brutal but he knows how to hold back and not overplay when the song calls for it. With each person bringing their unique talents to the whole, they are the A-Team band. Hmm, lemme see, that would make Mike Hannibal, Melissa would be Face, which leaves Phil to be BA Baracus and Murdock rolled up into one. That may be about right as, during the set, one person shouted out "Your drummer scares me!" As one whose seen his expert skills outside the drum kit (e.g. his awesome dance moves and rapping) I will second that.

Team Science cell phone rescue Squad!
Peter Lee (l) and Aaron Danger (r)

The Jonx at battle stations

Drummer Face #1 - Danny Mee

DJ Under Warranty shows off his wares.

Ume
The Three Amigos of ass whoopin'

Lauren makes even
Jimmy Page's guitar moves look lame!


Lauren belting it out!

Sharks and Sailors before the show
Note that Phil is already sweating

from just the soundcheck.

Bassist Melissa in mid-flight.
Drummer Face #2
Phil "Your Drummer Scares Me" Woodward


Mike dodging yet another
blast from the paparazzi

(OK actually it was his very proud dad.)

The crowd "Oh here here! Jolly Good that!"
LINKS:
More pictures on my Flickr (Link)

The Jonx on Myspace (Link)
Ume on Mypsace (Link)
Sharks and Sailors (Link)



* I kid of course.

Labels: , ,

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: PART I: Papermoons & Elaine Greer @ Boondocks 30 July 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Wednesday the Papermoons were playing their last show in Houston before their departure to far off lands. Their new album New Tales has been spinning endlessly at work, in my car, and in my head. So, given my obsession with the music (not to mention the good and endearing nature of Daniel and Matt), this was required attendance. This show could have been bittersweet and sad but it was instead a very joyous affair of friends and fans there to celebrate the 'Moons and their talents. If you missed out on seeing the Papermoons live or haven't heard their new album of Team Science, you have and are missing out on one of Houston's best bands - ever! Let me just take that up a notch. While people like (well, you know who I'm gonna pick on so let's not name names. let's just say) Mr. L. have taken so much time complaining about how so and so touring act misses Houston or how our bands are second rate and nothing more than a den of hipsters, right under his and many other self-fulfilling prophets' noses lie bands like the Papermoons who have taken their art and polished it into a Zen-like perfection that can go against any touring band. Those of you who missed them live because you bought this line have no sympathy from me but I do recommend you listen to the new album (which, for me, is shaping up to be in 2008 what Lemming Baby was for me last year ) and to catch them whenever they return.

Opening was local chanteuse Elaine Greer who played a great set backed up by bassist Travis Smith and the multi-talented Austin Sepultavo. The former I think is likely the world's happiest bassist - bouncing on the stage with a "look at me Ma" glee. Austin meanwhile is the Swiss Army Knife of sidemen employing guitar, lap steel, and accordion as well as taking backing vocal duties throughout. Elaine performed a set of her folky pop with a sweet voice and a charming disposition. She goes on stage and sings her songs with a combination of humility and joy that immediately draws you into what she's doing. Combine that with music that is lovely and smart and you have a winning combination. It was a sweet show even if we never figured out just what the hell those weird sounds were that rose from the PA at inopportune moments.

At about 11:30 the Papermoons took the stage and it seemed that everyone was downstairs prompting Matt to shrug an "Oh well" before launching into the set. He needn't have been worried as the second the first notes hit, as if by magic, the entire room was filled. And what a set! The last time I saw them at the Mink Backroom the sound was somewhat dodgy (at least from where I stood) but this time the sound was perfect with the drums sounding gorgeous, the guitar painfully beautiful, and the vocals soul-melting. And you wonder why I abhor large venues? Here is why you can't beat the intimacy, immediacy, and connection of a small room like that of the upstairs at Boondocks. Here you could simply submerge yourself in the songs and sing along (though in my case, singing very quietly since the songs are too good to ruin with my singing). And the crowd ate-up what they had to offer which was most of their short catalog. Matt's ability to play little loops and similar small touches with his delay pedal at times was a detail I'd missed previously but, perhaps because I'm now so familiar with the new album, I was quite taken by it this time. That kind of texture I'd always figured was a nuance only to be found in the studio but Matt clearly is a clever enough guitarist to pull it off live. That kind of attention to sound is what makes this simple duo so much more than many larger ensembles. It's the sound of two people who are of one mind about the music they are creating and have carefully thought about what they are doing. If Buddha were in the crowd, he'd likely say they have achieved "the true Dharma eye...the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters" and found himself singing and clapping along with the rest of us as they played an encore of "Bad Nope" from their 7" debut. Mind you, the crowd wasn't just singing and clapping along, they were hitting all the stops just right which prompted Elaine Greer to turn and say in jest "Nah, we've never heard these songs before have we?" Nope, Elaine, why would you think that?

Go n-éiri an bothar leat, Papermoons.

Elaine Greer's lovely and smart songs
got the house moving.


Austin Sepultavo
the Swiss-Army Knife of sidemen.


If you missed the Papermoons this time 'round,
you missed on one of Houston's best bands - ever.


Matt Clark - He may not be playing Malmsteen-

like arpeggios but I guarantee, if you listen to
what he does, you'll come away with a lot more
about what a guitar can do beyond empty scale runs.

Daniel Hawkins' drumming
emphasizing emotion over complexity.

Ben Murphy of
Bright Men of Learning & Tody Castillo

joins in on
Lazy Bones.


LINKS:
More pictures on my Flickr (Link)

Elaine Greer on Myspace (Link)
Papermoons on Myspace (Link)

Team Science Records (Link)

Labels: ,

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the Week of August 1st 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:17 AM

THIS SHARK WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT
The endless music feeding frenzy!


Fuck it! This is like a Bataan Death March! We are overwhelmed with good shows that we don't know where to start! I feel like a drowning man with all these solid shows so let's just go down the list here....


BADASS SHOW #1

Friday August 1st

Sharks and Sailors (CD release)
with UME, The Jonx, and DJ Under Warranty
@ Walter's on Washington

Yes, that's right, the clever lass and laddies at Sharks and Sailors chose Shark Week to release their Builds Brand New CD. If you are like me, this is seemed like way too long between releases - nigh 3 years (2.5 years to be exact). Thankfully, it's worth the wait and the band has done a wonderful job of using the studio to expand their sound, songcraft, and interplay into realms the first EP would have never suggested. Required! As if this weren't enough to seal the deal, Houston Ex-pats Ume will be playing. Essential! If you've read my columns by now you know that I think Lauren's guitar skills make her as deadly as Itto Ogami. Enough said! Then, they have the nerve to throw in The Jonx who throw out great melodic hooks then juxtapose them with jarring rhythms and dissonance - one of the most painfully great bands this city's ever heard. Imperative! Bonus DJ Under Warranty is none other than ADR of Skyline Network! Requisite! See you there!

BAD ASS SHOW #2

Saturday and Sunday, August 2nd & 3rd

Secret Saturday Shows Festival,
featuring
Guitars, You(Genious), Hearts of Animals, Teenage Kicks, the Monocles, Cory Derden, Listen Listen, Elaine Greer, News on the March, Airon Paul Dugas, the McKenzies, Evak 1, Lazyhorse, UME, the Mathletes, Nosaprise, Giant Princess, the TonTons, Sew What, Lenny Briscoe,the Gold Sounds,Dunnocks Ill Advisory, Like Yeah,CoPilot,Perseph One, Awake, Bigfoot and the Bear, Ledaswan, Robert Ellis, Paris Falss, and more
@ The Shady Tavern
This is a killer show that will make the Houston Press Music Awards showcase look wimp-ass in comparison. First you have a shit load of bands but unlike the HPMA showcase (who we do love so don't take this badly) there's none of that crappy stuff (like bands who look to the Buzz for musical inspiration). No, my friends, this is an all-beef Kosher dog compared to the mystery meat filler you can find at the HPMAs. Umm...OK, well maybe that's a bad analogy as they will be serving vegan food but you get the point. Two days of non-stop incredible music that sticks a finger in the eye of any writer that thinks Houston doesn't have shit going on and that its music is second rate. Consider this the final nail in that line's coffin! Kudos Secret Saturday Shows!


BAD ASS SHOW #3

Sunday August 3rd

Hell City Kings, The Trian Woodburns, and Whiskey River Revival

Benefitting Texas Children's Hospital
@ Rudyard's

This is the kind of story we love to hear. Given that Hell City Kings guitarist (and Born Liars bassist) Bill Fool may be the personification of Rock and Roll excess, you may ask how does the hard drinking/hard rockin' master fit-in with a benefit for Texas Children's Hospital? Well, in case you were not aware, Bill is also a proud daddy who just dodged a scary bullet. Picture this, here you are a with your newborn and you find out that your child has a heart defect that will require surgery. Not only do you have to deal with the fact of your newborn is going under the knife but then the massive bills that will follow loom on the horizon. (Let's face it Rock and Roll rarely pays the bills.) But here's where the story takes a wild and unexpected good turn. At the 11th hour the doctors check the wee Fool and, miracle of miracles and to the doctor's amazement, the condition disappeares. Somehow the heart fixed itself and the surgery was canceled. So, given that the benefit was already set-up, Bill simply changed the benefactor to the Texas Children's Hospital and we can all shout "Hooray!"


ALSO THIS WEEK
EVEN MORE BAD ASS SHOWS



Friday August 1st

Leave Your Genre at the Door!, featuring
The Ton Tons, Perseph 1 & Andacc, Hueman, Kam, Evak 1, The Television Skies, Satin Hooks, Lower Life Form, Babel Fishh, Two Star Symphony, Peekaboo Theory, B.B. Aeroplane, & Dirty Dez
@ Fitzgerald's ($10; 7PM)
A shit-load of many of the finest Houston bands because we just don't have enough going on this week. Ton Tons, Perseph1, Kam Satin Hooks, babel Fish, Two StarSymph...Oh get it over with and just kill me!


Saturday, August 2nd

Cop Warmth, B L A C K I E, The Delta Block, Cheney Youth, PWI
@ Francisco's (basement)
Fransisco's? As in The rehearsal studio at McKinney? Neat!

Giant Princess, B L A C K I E
@ Notsuoh
If You are not dead from day one of the Secret Saturday Fest and can handle Jim Pertle's acerbic wit, here you go! Neatness!

Data vs. Data, Flowers to Hide, Wicked Poseur
@ Rudyard's
Alternately, if you are still up for more music after hours and want to avoid downtown, eat some great food, and catch some sweet jams this may be your option.

Texas Ska Fest, featuring
Los Skarnales, LosP2, 2Ten11, La Dona F, The Failed Attempt, Molotov Compromise, & The Pocket
@ Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
If you can handle day one of Secret Saturday Fest and can still dance to this, you are unstoppable!


Soul Blues Festival, featuring
Betty Wright, Bobby Bland, Willie Clayton, & more
@ Arena Theatre

Bobby Bland's 1961 album Two Steps from the Blues is Houston R&B gold and if you've never heard him sing Cry, Cry, Cry I suggest you do so. Damn that's good stuff!


Sunday, August 3rd

Despise You, Naw Dude, Pretty Little Flower, Chocolate Crucifix, Satannabis
@ The White Swan
I don't know much about the first two acts listed but PLF, Chocolate Crucifix and Satannabis are worthy of anyone's hard earned money! UPDATE! Chocolate Crucifix will be bringing Smarties!


Monday, August 4th

The McKenzies/Earnie Banks
@ Boondocks
Woohoo, indie pop thine last name is Mckenzie!


Wednesday, August 6

Valient Thorr (in-store)
@ Cactus Music (5:30PM)
HOLY SHIT! MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED!

Valient Thorr. Early Man, Skeleton Witch, Golden Axe
@ Rudyards
Just found out about this. My head just exploded again!


Thursday August 7th

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Balaclavas (LP release), The Wiggins
@ Walter's on Washington (8PM, $10)
BLACLAVAS LP RELEASE ALERT! Yes, I already bought my copy of Inferno at Sound Ex last week! The CD is it's wimpy little brother by comparison. God Vinyl sounds sweet! Go! Buy! Rock!

The Points, American Sharks (Record Release), The Monocles
@ Rudyard's
This show was looking pretty bad ass but now I find out it's going to be an American Sharks release as well? Awesome!

Recession Thursday
featuring,
Guitars, The Annoysters, and more

@ Numbers

More details on this week's Omar fest this Thursday!