The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Monday, March 30, 2009

posted by april5k @ 1:53 PM

This is how I feel today.

Holy cow. Lock in your votes now, because ain't no festival gonna top this year's Westheimer Block Party. While I've been lucky to have participated in some major fun over the past year or so, this past Saturday topped it all. So many good bands, so many good friends, why did it have to end? So there were a bajillion things to see and do, and all I can do is tell you about the things I took in, so here goes...

Just like last time, I was pretty much anchored to the Secret Saturday stage over at the Austin Layne hotel. And real quick, let me just express my gratitude to Carl (Karl?) and the rest of the folks at Austin Layne. You guys rule. You're the best. Anyhow, I had a couple of errands so I missed the very first hour or so of bands, so sorry if I missed you.


The first band I caught (ok, I admit there was another band but I don't remember their name and they were not what I would classify as "good" so let's just skip over them) were Searching For Signal on the outside Mango's stage. Dear Searching For Signal, I have never heard of you, and for a second I thought you were The Eastern Sea because you kind of have that sound and your singer kind of looked like Tomas Garcia-Olano. But you are Searching For Signal, and you were really quite lovely. Thank you.


A search for my band mate, Stacey, led me to to the Avant Garden parking lot where her brother's band Tambersauro were solving some quantified omega equations or something. My AP Calculus helped me enjoy Tambersauro while the jumpsuits helped them keep things (co)efficient.


Before I left that stage I was approached by Andy from our Austin friends Your Kisses Cause Crashes (I'm so sorry I missed you guys!). Ruby from The Pons was short one bass amp. Don't you worry other Austin friends, april5k's got you covered. After a very disconcerting (and concert-dissing) power outage The Pons made it happen. Jesus Christ, I love The Pons! Not only did they make like Willie Mays when I ate it off the Co-Lab stage last weekend, they are the sweetest, sugariest, most teeth-rottingest power-pop band this side of the Mississippi. You melt down all your Matthew Sweet and Superdrag albums and somehow they'll turn into The Pons CD. It's not lies, it's science.


The early afternoon proved to be very hectic. I was rushing back and forth trying not to miss my favorite acts and in all the chaos totally missed Airon Paul Dugas (not a good day for APD/Guitars relations but we'll survive). But I DID catch some of Sew What's set. Cory's new accordion made my day. And I did get to hear my favorite song and humbly admitted to Stacey that their "we had a short hello, let's have a long goodbye" song makes me tear up each and every time I hear it. I'm sew glad that I didn't miss their whole set. (Boooooo, that was a bad joke.)


I scrambled outside, trying to soak in all the awesome possible, and who did I stumble upon, but Dead Roses. Even with an iPhone on the drums, they're still better than your band. Probably the most rock & roll band in town...that actually sounds like rock & roll.


Alright, and now here's two pleas for understanding: Dear Desmond Zavala, if you are going to break up, how about you do it AFTER the block party, or how about at least you give the poor dude running the stage a heads up. And hey, Cry Blood Apache, how about at least giving the aforementioned heads up that you'll be a no-show, too. WEAK. Anyhow, it wasn't too big of a disappointment because we were all treated to a little A Thousand Cranes action (is that what it's called when it's just Domokos? Or do I just say Domokos made some sweet noise while Coach Springer yelled and KinKaid put on a fashion show?)


Thankfully, American Sharks helped pick up that two-band slack by rolling up a bit early. And I'm surprised that I was surprised that the Sharks' new drummer is none other than Mr. Jeoff Johnson. Seriously, I should have just known that. Anyhow, I really hope that Mike's big woolly sweater was a cover-up for a catsuit for his Bolt set later on. Did anyone catch Bolt? I was sad to miss them.


It was during the Wild Moccasins supes-crowded set that I learned a neat trick for my camera. My viewfinder flips up, but if you turn the camera upside down you can hold it over your head and take pictures. Take that teeming masses! And I'm pretty sure that anyone who would read this was probably there checking out the Jonas Brothers poster on Andrew's kick drum, so what else can I say?


So I was setting up my biz for the Lenny Briscoe set and Mr. Cody Swann was tearing down his when homedude wanted to do a little guerilla set of his own. While Cody and I were both doing our best to pretend it wasn't happening, JD handled shit. Thanks JD. You tell that guy where to go. Ok, since I was on stage for Lenny Briscoe the most I can tell you is that there were some punks skanking, Rad Rich was rocking, and I bass-humped Little John of Muhammid Ali's head. (BTW - Thanks for taking the pictures Shannon Snot!)


Surprise! I was still on stage when Guitars played. I can report that singing and dancing and clapping and maybe even some shucking and jiving took place. And a whole heap of merch sales. Thanks WBP attendees, our new tour appreciates the fiduciary support. (I just wanted to use the word "fiduciary"...goods were exchanged after all.) (And these photo creds go to Andrew "Red Rocket" Keith.)


Spicing things up next were The Mathletes. A funny thing that happened earlier was that Joe Mathlete was selling drawings at the Austin Layne stage and Dan the Bother (of Hands Up board fame) showed up with his daughter, Emma, who, taking a cue from Joe, made a KILLING selling her own art. Truth.


I only caught a tiny bit of the always wonderful listenlisten, as I had been pinned down to the same stage for far too long and variety was calling.


I ran across the street to catch a little bit of Sideshow Tramps, desperate not to miss Muhammid Ali at Mango's. I got a little bit in pre-sunset and post, and was lucky enough to catch the part where Scott Snot breaks it down (my favorite part).


I know, I know. Buxton had sparklers. I missed it. It was a tough call. Muhammid's my favorite thing going on these days and I couldn't miss it, man. I just couldn't. Though I love Buxton, I think it might have been worth it.


Maybe I should mention the reason Muhammid is my current favorite local band is because I haven't seen Homopolice live in MONTHS. So uh, yeah, now I'm stuck between a rock (...& roll) and a hard place (HINT: THE BONE ZONE). Who's my favorite now that I've seen them both back-to-back. Too tough to answer my friends. But Homopolice were joined by Rusted Shut and Concrete Violin and there was so much writhing and touching and bleeding I started wondering about the price points on straps-ons. By and large, dudes stole the show. I was beaten and battered so hard that I had no choice but to head straight home. Nothing could have topped that. Anyhow, you should check out all the Homopolice pics HERE.

So yeah, um, best day ever. Thanks.

5 Comments:

At March 30, 2009 7:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

west fest was so freakin awesome
homopolice was insane
you should have stayed for HEALTH

 
At March 31, 2009 1:14 PM , Blogger Matt Hines said...

this block party was a disgrace when it comes to organization. If we want Houston to have a legit festival (which i do), the trick isnt just to book a shit ton of bands and say your prayers... its to deliver a solid package.

first, get your stages set with good equipment and make sure it doesnt sound like crap, why would i want to pay twenty dollars to see some one make noise on a horrible PA? (and for christ sake news on the march didnt even get to play because helios downstairs didnt have mics...give me a break). it may be "indie" or "punk rock" but a lot of legit festivals pull it off in a more professional way.

second, organize loading for the bands which means find some designated areas where people wont get their shit stolen or be forced to pile gear to the ceiling. If you cant provide that, you are going to slowly lose bands trust and patience.

Third, make sure stuff runs on time, i dont care who the hell you have playing your festival if there is no assurance you will even get to see them at the posted time.

I know this takes work, and you guys have worked hard on this but this is a REAL JOB. not just a fun activity for the city of montrose to parade around. The people of houston have a stake in this and it is just as much their responsibility to respect this event and its location. Its a serious thing, so we need to take it seriously before we find ourselves biting off more than you can chew.

I love free press houston with all of my heart. I read the paper every month and love the people who put it together, i just want you to know that i believe in your goals and respectfully think a different direction with the block party would more fully achieve those goals.

-matt

 
At April 1, 2009 7:50 AM , Anonymous Omar said...

Thanks for the insight Matt. All I can say is we are on it. Frankly, we were way under capacity. We need help from the city, sponsors, and wayyy more volunteers.

 
At April 17, 2009 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

raman medina's playing really sucked big hairy dick.

 
At April 17, 2009 1:44 PM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Guilty as charged. Homopolice ain't got nothin' on my fretwork.

 

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