The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WE ARE THE CHAMPS – PREVIEWING THE WEEK OF JANUARY 28, 2008

posted by april5k @ 7:50 AM

Neil “The Real Deal” Higginbotham (Diggin’ Bottom)

Over the past year or so I have had the unparalleled pleasure of becoming acquainted with one of the finest indie rock powerhouses to which this fair city could hold claim. With strains of Guided by Voices, Sebadoh, Mudhoney, and etc etc etc etc etc, Lazy Horse delivered non-stop jams with a hearty dose of rock and roll gymnastics. Lead by heir to the throne of Pollard Neil Higginbotham, backed by the magnificent Katy Poland on drums and kicked into high gear (literally) by Charles Larrabee (ex-Mathletes), Lazy Horse pound out the drinkdrankdrunkiest of rough and ready indie rock and roll. Along the way they sloughed off the barnacles and changed the game with the acquisition of Jake “Snakey” Hayward (Monocles, Guitars) on bass. Perfection achieved, the time seemed prime for that step into the big leagues…but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.

I always blamed this city’s indifference on the assumption that nobody cared about the sweetest and purest of indie rock, you know, that mid-nineties sound. But as it turns out, good ol’ Lazy Horse were merely ahead of their time as is evidenced by a stroll past an Urban Outfitters display.

Exhibit A: Lohan

Exhibit B: Click here and check out the Neil-Jake collaboration Fizzy Bubelch doing a sweet little take on Sebadoh's "Happily Divided" (Called "Happy Times" here.)

Even though the times may finally be catching up with these killers, this week sees the final two shows by the best band you never saw. But there’s still time change that, time for this city to redeem itself! I recommend with every stitch that you go to Rudyard’s this Thursday night to see this band that cannot be forgotten. Go to this show and then go back and tell your friends what you heard and bring them to Boondocks on Monday (with Lenny Briscoe and some other special guests).. You. Will. Not. Be. Sorry.

I would also like to recommend emailing secretsaturdayshows@gmail.com for the secret location of the first post-Shady Tavern Secret Saturday Show which is going on Saturday (duuuuuuuh) during the day. It features Mathletes, sings, Time Machine Veterans, Sew What, some band that you can’t do internet searches for and many more.

And here’s the rest…

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 28, 2009

listenlisten at The Mink – The fact that few bands in this town boast such beautiful instrumentation is just one of the reasons to attend this after party for Coffee

THURSDAY JANUARY 29, 2009

Los Campesinos with Titus Andronicus at Walter’s – Ok, so maybe you already bought tickets to this and think you can’t see Lazy Horse, well, it’s Rudyard’s those shows always start later. You can go to both.

Los Campesinos at Cactus (5:30PM) – If you didn’t buy tickets to the show come out and have some free St. Arnold’s at a sure to be killer in-store.

FRIDAY JANUARY 30, 2009

Tax the Wolf, Ellypseas, and We Are Halffnelson at Aztecas - Margaritas, nachos, and rock and roll sounds like a great combination!

Hell City Kings, American Fangs (EP Release!), Arcane Flowers, and The Backalley Sluts at Rudyard's - Bring some soap because you know things are gonna get dirty!

Wild Moccasins at Cactus (5:30PM) – What a great week for in-stores!!!

Fucked Up, Iron Age, The JonBenet, and Black Congress at Walter’s – John Baldwin highly recommends that you go see Fucked Up.

SATURDAY JANUARY 31, 2009

MV+EE, Linus Pauling Quartet, and Wols Rudyard’s– I’m pretty ecstatic about these Ecstatic Peace-ers doing their thing Saturday night. A perfect post SSS activity.

Ume CD Release with Bring Back the Guns and Woozyhelmet – I swear I’ve seen this line-up on a Proletariat flyer…

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers at The Grand 1894 Opera HouseGalveston means you’re one day closer to Houston!

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2009

Ska Fest at The Meridian – Is 2009 the year that ska re-breaks? How crazy is it that the Slackers are now considered “elder-statesmen” of the rocksteady sound?

Annihilation Time, No Talk, ANS at Rudyard’s – Come see what these dirty dudes do when they’re not keepin’ it on the “DL”.

Pasadena is Burning featuring B.L.A.C.K.I.E. vs. Cop Warmth, The Sporatics, Giant Princess, sings, Trainwreck Albania, and The Caprolites at Omar’s House (5109 Eula, Pasadena) – Those kids in Chemical City really don’t need us to get things done, do they?

MONDAY FEBRUARY 2, 2009

Broken Social Scene at Numbers – The retroactive indie rock supergroup.

The Killers with M83 at Verizon – Come for the M83 stay for the $12 Bud Light!

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 3, 2009

The Appleseed Cast, Hungry Villagers, and Golden Cities at Rudyard's - Having a Rudz Burger while blasting off through the aural cosmos is surest bet for Tuesday night.

That should keep you busy, right?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

REVIEWSDAY (Boooo, Hissss)

posted by april5k @ 8:37 AM

By now everyone has weighed in with their opinions on Microscopic Metronomes, for the readers of this blog there is nothing new or revolutionary that could be said that would set yet another review apart from any of the others. We have all come to a general consensus that this EP is a good thing. Many in this city have pegged Wild Moccasins as the little band that can. Wild Moccasins are the Barrack Obama of local bands. You open the dictionary to “people’s choice” and it’s the same picture of Cody Swann that your weird-ass dictionary has for “mustache”. (Where the hell did you get that dictionary?) What holds me most in awe is not so much the music, which shimmies through you like your own private Rilo Kiley dance contest, but it’s the machine that these little guys have built. As a musician I can’t help but take notes on how incredibly savvy these guys are. Plenty of bands are young and cute and have good music and many are even incredibly nice people. But what sets the Moccasins apart is that they have all of these qualities and to paraphrase a Houston band of years past they “know how to use them”. Only a jaded fool would not seek to be caught up in the joyful world of Microscopic Metronomes, of the Moccasins themselves and all of the hope that they entail.

Speaking of jaded Fools…(boooo,hissss again)

Also in rotation this morning is the new Born Liars LP Ragged Island. It seems that unforeseen transitions go hand in hand with each of Born Liars releases. That by the time the music hits the shelves it becomes a historical document never again to be precisely recreated in a live setting. In the case of Ragged Island it is a double shame as this stands as a memory book of all the awesome party times we had in 2008. And though it is a permanent document to carry forward, nothing can beat the Liars in the flesh. But with the pending personnel changes it is what we have to hold on to. Spilling beer and indiscreetly smoking inside just isn’t the same without Scott Snot wielding his guitar like Thor’s Hammer above a sea of pumping fists. But I digress. Ragged Island is the sound of a band unconsciously in flux. They start off with a story of where we have all been but then set off in a new direction so subtly that it does little to detract from the album as a whole, but still manages to let the listener know that things will be different from now on. And like it said on my 10th grade history teacher’s wall “the only way to be better is to be different”. Though I was seeking rock and roll comfort in the arms of Ragged Island, I received mixed signals, but found myself far from disappointed and look forward to Born Liars 2k9.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Making the Wild Scene

posted by april5k @ 7:57 AM




Before I get into the night that was the legendary blowout that was the Microscopic Metronomes CD release let’s get a few things out of the way…An EP of epic sincerity was released and little is needed to preface this band. They are THE Wild Moccasins, cute as a button and sweet as apple pie. They aim to please, and please they do. To counter balance this release, our dear friends the Homopolice release the cute-as-a-bottom-sweet-ass-pie CD-R single “Bottom of the Chain”. That makes for a pretty satisfying week for those with their “fingers on the pulse”. Where the Moccasins document this time in their sure and stead rise to national consensus, the Homopolice up their tongue-in-(ass)-cheek cache as the dudes that can give as well as receive. So let’s hear about this above and beyond ridiculous feat our young friends the Wild Moccasins pulled off.


Local musicians take note, a young and ambitious local band brings together strong openers (and often headliners in their own right), throws that together with free and limited offerings and brings in every “name” in town. When was the last time you saw a sold out all local show? For me? Thanksgiving 1999 at Instant Karma, and that’s a time and place uninhabitable by us all, I will readily admit. Between the show-only silk screened shirts, fucking adorable alien cupcakes, CDs as part of admission, and bases loaded line up there was compensation far beyond your meager $7. These kids did not just do one but many better than the unprecedented success that was The Monocles/News on the March release of Halloween.

So here’s some pictures, dudes…




The Teenage Kicks started off the evening by playing an all together too short set. C'mon guys, we all want to hear more!!!



Next up, Buxton were kind enough to stop short of bringing down the entire house with a set every bit as magic as their mind blowing Block Party set back last fall.



And if you thought it couldn't get any better, you were delightfully mistaken when Cody and Zahira joined Buxton on stage.



By the time Wild Moccasins took the stage the energy and anticipation of anyone and everyone in the 713/281/832 had built to an unprecedented frenzy. The kids delivered what has to be date not just their finest performance but perhaps the most passionate performance delivered to Houston audiences in a good long time.



And then everyone in town got down just like we all knew we would.


Awesome show, phenomenal job my friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

THE NEW RAMON – PREVIEWING THE WEEK OF JANUARY 21, 2008

posted by april5k @ 7:18 AM

What are you looking at? You knew Ramon wasn’t going to be here. But don’t worry, I am. And I’m going to tell you exactly what to do for the next few days.




To start off, here’s the big ticket item for this weekend. Friday the 23rd sees the release of Wild Moccasins’ highly anticipated Microscopic Metronomes at Walter’s on Washington. For a mere $7 you get a free CD and free pizza and cupcakes (while they last) and to top it off, if you’re one of the first 50 people through the door you will get a hand screened poster commemorating the event. And if that’s not enough, bring in a t-shirt and get it screened with a design available only at this show. Even without all these enticements, this show would be can’t miss. Rounded out by the sublime country folk of Buxton, the KERSMASH! power pop of Teenage Kicks, and DJ service provided by ADR of The Skyline Network, you should have worked out your Friday night plans by the end of this sentence.

I also suggest going out to Notsuoh Saturday night for the Future Blondes, Venison Whirled (ATX), and A Thousand Cranes show if for no other reasons than to knock your eardrums down a couple of notches after all that mollycoddling on Friday.

And here’s the rest…

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 21, 2009

Giant Battle Monster, The Delta Block, The Nightmare Affair, Campfire Stories at The White Swan – If you’re into the jazzy-spazzy stuff, some rough and ready politi-punk or some instrumental sadcore, you might be down for this.

Whiskey Bolt, The Dragliners, Sideshow Tragedy at The Continental Club – If you’re looking to get a mid-week alt-country fix go down to Main Street, hit up Tacos a Go-Go and go to this show.

THURSDAY JANUARY 22, 2009

I suggest watching the Lost that you DVR’d the night before. Feel free to leave any other suggestions in the comments.

FRIDAY JANUARY 23, 2009

KRS-ONE at The MeridianIf you’d rather not take my advice on Friday night, you might consider dropping some knowledge old school.

Killola at Chances – This listing caught me by surprise, but if you like kitschy new wave influenced pop, you’ll probably have a great time…maybe not so much if you're sans-lady-parts.

The Caprolites, Battle Rifle, 50/50 at The White Swan – This is the bizzaro version of the show at Walter’s.

SATURDAY JANUARY 24, 2009

Leave Your Genre at the Door 2 with Sad Gorilla, Heptic Skeptic, Satin Hooks, Brains for Dinner, Perseph-1, Fat Tony, Nosaprise, News on the March at Fitzgerald’s- The continuing battle in the “taking back Fitz” campaign.

Houston Press Artopia with Sideshow Tramps at Winter Street Studios– What? Do you hate fun?

Houston Music Revival with Memphis May Fire, Runner Runner, Before…There Was Rosalyn, Driver F, Scarlett O’Hara, A Kid Named Thompson, Visceral, Otenki, Novista, Skyscrapers Walk Among Us, Love She Wrote, Bonne Blue, Set It Off at The Meridian – I’m not sure if this is a music festival or a Screamo Band Name Generator is set to explode all over Chartres Street. Anyhow, further proof that there is a lot more going on in this town than we want to admit.

HYPA Fire + Ice Gala with Glasnost at the Downtown Pavilion – Dancing in the streets, for real.

The Last Place You Look CD Release with Nothing More and Glass Intrepid at Warehouse Live– The kids are going ape shit!

The Opium Symphony (1PM) and The Gougers (3:30PM) at Cactus – For those of you who love in-storesSt. Arnold’s is presumed but not guaranteed.

Skyrocket! At The Continental Club – Hey! A cover band? From Tom Petty to The Clash to ELO…covered.

The Oak Ridge Boys at the Grand 1894 Opera House – In case you’ve got a date with your dad.

SUNDAY JANUARY 25, 2009

The Oak Ridge Boys at the Grand 1894 Opera House – Did you stand your dad up last night? Here’s a chance to make things right.

MONDAY JANUARY 26, 2009

Flowers to Hide with Dizzy Pilot at Boondocks – Ease back into that workin’ week.

Alright, that should keep you busy for a few days. I’ll be back on Monday to let you know how your weekend should have gone.






Thursday, January 15, 2009

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Final Transmission.

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:34 AM


Well folks. I've sure had a great time here at the Free Press. I've met a lot of great people, made some wonderful friends, and have been inspired by many local artists. It's been a lot of hard work and it's been fun but the fact is there has been a sea change over the years and it shouldn't be documented by some guy who actually saw the Replacements play Lawndale back in the 5th century BC. No, it should be documented by someone in the eye of the storm. So, I'll finish up this Really Red article I'm working on for the next issue but beyond that I'm just going to go back to writing my dumb little stoner rock songs with my little band and glory in our irrelevancy and the fact that only stoners in the E.U. like our music. (That's a picture of my band taken by Rosa Guerrero at Terrastock this last Summer; I'm in the shadows on the left) But someone out there in our fair city should pick up the mantle and here is all you have to do:
1) Write a preview for upcoming shows every week.
2) Go out to one show every week and take pictures then post a review every Monday.
3) Interview a band every month for a feature in the print paper (which you also will post on line).
4) On occasion do an e-mail interview of touring bands that will be coming in to town as a way to get people interested.
That's it. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Well, it is but here are my self-appointed ground rules:
1) Take the musicians and their art seriously.
2) Get out to a show once a week and create a historical record with reviews and pictures.
3) If you don't like a band don't mention them. An opinion is simply that and just because you don't like something does not mean it is bad; it means it just wasn't meant for you. Plus, what worse insult is there but to be ignored.
4) Never insult or put down any band just because you have the microphone.
5) You can't discover the scene from behind a desk or through Myspace - get out!
6) Drink copious amounts of alcohol.
Why do I mention my own ground rules? Well, let’s just say that as great as things are right now just a few years back things were pretty awful for local music coverage. Nowhere was this more obvious than at the Houston Press who almost seemed to thumb its nose at those “hipsters” and their music but their snarkiness eventually gave way to some real and honest coverage. I can’t help to think that that was largely a response to blogs like this, Skyline, Space City Rock, NAP, and others doing what The Houston Press should have been doing all those years. And that explosion of blogs has been great for the local scene. Hey, now you could have a band and people now will actually give a shit! Imagine that - bands are being taken seriously, they are getting coverage for their music and not their sales or how sexy the lead singer is, writers aren’t “discovering” the scene from behind a desk, and the writing has moved past schoolyard insults as a measuring stick. That is pretty damn great if you ask me.

So keep up the good work kids. Keep it DIY and left of the dial.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Music with Jameson & Lone: New Year's Eve at Indie Houston World Headquarters 12/31/2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

I remember having a conversation with April 5K a while back about the music scene. Her basic premise was that there has been a sea change in the scene with an old wave is finding itself pushed out by a new wave of kids and a lot of the grumbling about “The Scene” had to do with an old guard not willing to recognize or accept what was overtaking them. I think to some extent April had it pegged. Nowhere was this sea change more apparent than at Indie Houston’s hugely successful New Year’s Eve party. You want to know where the kids are? You want to see DIY? You want to see community and celebration? This was the place. For all you old old old schoolers out there let me just say – remember Lexington? You remember the parties we’d go to on that street? OK Imagine that vibe. It was there - alive and well. Bands playing great music, people having fun, and sharing hugs; you know one big happy family. From beginning to end it was the best way to ring in 2009 you could possibly imagine.

I missed openers Ghormeh Sabzi but arrived to catch Galveston’s Darwin’s Finches who apparently come with their own dancing neo-hippie fans. Kicking-off with a song that cops a Stooges riff is not a bad opening gambit and the flailing abrasive guitar work of Justino Saladino grabbed you by the collar and shook you to the core all night. As performers, they understood how to dig into that primeval cromag thing that made you whip out that Dio devil sign and when the material matched the performance it was earth shattering. One song…something about a party. Holy Rob Tyner! Justino’s nervous stuttering phrasing on that song killed!!! Seriously, the energy of the performance and the primal rock and roll power coming off the stage felt like the band was channeling the MC5 in all its glory. That's not to say that every song pegged it to that level but, for the most part, I can see why people have been bandying their name about - here's serious island rock and roll.

Next came The Tontons whose set was probably one of the best I've seen them do. Being the focal point of any band is no easy chore and you have to give it up to frontwoman Asli Omar (whose vocals are singular in the scene) for channeling the music like a jazzy priestess when she sings. But the wonderful thing about the Tontons is it's not a one woman show - the rest of the band is phenomenal. I generally rave about guitarist Adam Martinez channeling Hedrix but this time I was on bassist Tom Nguyen's side and, man, that dude can rip like no man's business. There's this Bossa Nova song they do, which I never particularly cared for, but they completely tore that one up on Wednesday and when Tom started getting all Geddy Lee on the bass I wanted to shout "You bastard! Stop, I don't like that song dammit!" and then concede that they were just too hot to let any song not come across as anything less than stellar.

So here you have a band red hot on new year's eve and what do they do after their set? Do a video shoot. A little backstory first - they were scheduled to do a video shoot from 7-9pm but for reasons unknown they didn't do it at that time and just got bumped up to third on the bill. That's fine; nobody was complaining. I sure wasn't as I would have missed them perform had they started early and I was loving the film crew's lighting (great for taking pictures) but here is the problem - I don't care to see the Tontons lip-sync. I'm sure the results are great but, given the brilliance of their live performances, it's horribly dull stuff to sit through. It's kind of like driving a car over 100 mph only to then find yourself in a 5mph school zone. You guys have fun; I'm gonna refill my beer.

Riff Tiffs eased the party back into gear. I'll admit it was weird seeing Tom Nguyen filling in for Althea Topek on bass but he didn't miss a step and within no time that thought was put the background. Pausing the set, IH's Robert Delossantos, counted down to the New Year and the night continued with hugs, kisses, fireworks, and the Riff Tiffs which made you hopeful for 2009. What can I really say but what better way to hear Houston's best shoegazers' jangly and atmospheric guitars than framed by swaying trees under the shimmer of stars on a chilly New Year's Eve.

Scheduled next were The Mathletes, but as they set-up we got a treat - Fat Tony commandeered the stage. It was as if he looked around at people just standing there chatting and having a good time and thought "No, no, people! This will not do! This is a party! This is serious business!" So, holding a jug of wine in his hand, he strutted on stage and barraged us with rhymes until people were talking this party thing seriously. Standing? Unacceptable! Chatting? Unacceptable! Dancing! Yes, now you're with the program! So, ladies and gentlemen if you are going to crash a party, take a lesson from Fat Tony!

After the Fat Tony power-up, it was time for The Mathletes to carry the torch and they did not miss a beat. Opening with Pavement's "Summer Babe" they stubbornly refused to accept any beat that was not up-tempo. You in the front dance! Joe Mathlete commands it! He will sing Pinnochibot and, yes, I liked it when the horns better for the coda too but dance dammit! Actually that was the only song where I missed the huge Mathletes full-on ensemble. Other than that one song, the smaller and more stable Mathletes were no less about pounding your skull into a joyful, happy, melodic bliss than the Mathletes of old. They sing, you dance - it's the natural order.

Unfortunately, right after the Mathletes set, the cops came in around 12:48am and closed down the outdoor stage. Someone seemed worried worried about the cops hassling people but I shrugged it off; If you have an a-hole cop shutting down a show, you're gonna know immediately - when the cops come in and all chill and have a look that says "sorry to ruin the party" odds are they aren't there to mess with people. As it turned out moving things indoors seemed to have worked in Giant Princess' favor anyhow. The party was moved indoors and what you got you got was all this energy confined to a small room and Giant Princess feeding off this like some crazy sci-fi energy monster. Hands down, Giant Princess was the highlight of the evening. With drums raging, the keyboards oscillating, the bass thumping, and Colin looking like he was possessed by some demon, holy shit it was like a Rock 'n' Roll tent revival. Seriously, it was like the insane energy of a hardcore show but with an Indie Rock band instead. People atop people's shoulders, bumping into each other, screaming shouting - holy crap! It was Rock and Roll giving you an epileptic seizure. Diego instrument of choice I think sums up the band in two words - Fun Machine! All hail the Fun Machine! All hail Giant Princess!

The last band I saw was Time Machine Veterans (sorry I missed B L A C K I E) . Now mind you TMV started last week as a trio - Carlos (Young Mammals), Andrew (Wild Moccasins) and Jaime (Giant Princess) - but somehow by the end of the night it was, what 10 people? Insanity! As they were setting up (which took forever) I commented with my tongue in my cheek "How you say...clusterfuck?" But that was kind of the idea, pulling off a big huge clusterfuck kind of like the Mathletes used to do but with more chaos. Guess what? They pulled it off. Keeping the songs (well, more like riffs) simple, the band just shouted and bludgeoned its way through the morning to everyone cheering, dancing, hopping, and carrying various bodies overhead. It's great to see all these indie bands jump together, throw caution to the wind, and create this supergroup (which seemed to have expanded to include members of Buxton, News On The March, Elaine Greer, etc.) whose sole purpose was to have fun. To me, Time Machine Veterans only strengthened April's thesis - The new wave was here, has been here. Thanks Indie Houston for leading the charge.

Galveston's Darwin's Finches providing a much
more rocking soundtrack to George Lucas' THX 1138

Given the choice of
looking fashionable or warm legs

The Tonton's Asli Omar chose the former.
"OK, You've guys just put on a really phenomenal set!
People are stoked!
I've got an Idea!
Let's kill that momentum with a video shoot!"


The Riff Tiffs ring in a shoegazing New Year

Indie Houston's Robert Delossantos leads the countdown
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Happy New Year!

Fat Tony shows you how to Party Crash in style!

B L A C K I E ponders the ramifications of the Mathletes
covering Pavement on the space-time continuum.

Holy crap! IH World Headquarter's is
being attacked by Giant Princess!

...can't hold out much longer!
...Giant Princess...too powerful!
AAAAAAARRG!!
We've lost the Cameraman sir!

Giant Princess is down!
Repeat Giant Princess is Down!
Hail Hail Time Machine Veterans!

Time Machine Veterans - think of them as
The Superfriends of the Houston Indie Scene

Remember when TMV was billed as a trio?
That was last week.

Colin (Giant Princess) in a subdued moment
during the TMV's set.

Happy Sparkly 2009!

Links:
Indie Houston (Link)

Ghormeh Sabzi on myspace (Link)
Darwin's Finches
on myspace (Link)
Tontons
on myspace (Link)
Riff Tiffs
on myspace (Link)
Fat Tony
on myspace (Link)
Mathletes
on myspace (Link)
Giant Princess on myspace (Link)
B L A C K I E on myspace (Link)

Labels: "Darwin's Finches", , , , , ,

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Music Crumudgeon's preview for the week January 2, 2009

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

This week we're still nursing a mild hangover from the Indie Houston New Year's Eve party. So you should also check Space City Rock and Skyline Network for suggestions but we're going to keep it brief and linkless this week.

Friday, January 2

Born Liars, Golden Boys, The Backalley Sluts
@ The Mink

Kick off this first weekend of 2009 with Houston's rowdiest garage rockers, some dudes from Austin that everyone raves about, and some local glammy sluts.

The Sour Notes, Spain Colored Orange, listenlisten
@ Rudyard's

If you want things a bit more nuanced then this show (an album release for Austin's the Sour Notes) should be more your ticket with SCO and the understated cabin rock of listenlisten.

Also on Friday:
- John Evans (CD release), Rich O'Toole @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
- Go Go Garcia, Prepmode @ Boondocks


Saturday, January 3rd

Grand 1894 Opera House Birthday & Reopening, featuring Jerry Jeff Walker
@ Grand 1894 Opera House (Galveston)

Hooray Galveston Opera House is Reopening!!!! How can that not brighten your new year?

Caddywhompus, Searching For Signal, White Horse Tabernacle, Smiley with a Knife
@ Notsuoh

Caddywhompus has members of Rff Tiffs - That's all I need for a recommendation.

Dirty Honey, featuring Brett Koshkin & Flash Gordon Parks
@ Boondocks

DJ's at Boonnedocks means get yr heinie in gear.


Sunday, January 4th

Potluck Benefit for Airon Paul Dugas,
featuring Lenny Briscoe, Ellis and Hart, Rhett Burch, & Sew What
@ Stitched Tire House (1506 Caywood Ln.; 7PM, $5-$10 donation)

Second benefit for the beloved folkster who is recovering from a scooter vs. car collision, medical costs, and lost work. We're all hoping that 2009 is kinder to Dugas. Help make it so by coming out.


Band Camp: Touring
@ Caroline Collective (4820 Caroline, 1-3PM)
Check out the link for deets. I think this is Band Camp III and they'll have Gretchen Schmaltz of The Western Civ. share her experience with bands. Also someone from The Messina Group and some dude with a credit card machine you can use on the road. Our highly trained staff of researchers report the machine looks a lot like MST3K's Tom Servo.

Monday, January 5th

Agartha, Darwin's Finches
@ Boondocks
Galveston's Darwin's Finches ripped it up at the Indie Houston NYE party. Come out and see why.

Folsom, CDC, Call To Preserve, War Pigs, Wrong Again
@ The White Swan

Haven't had a chance to check out these bands but all I can say is if your band is named after Sabbath's War Pigs and you don't kick-ass, may God have mercy on your soul!


Wednesday, January 7th

Sideshow Tramps, The Magpies
@ The Continental Club

From recently discovered tablets that present additional details on the Creation story in Genesis. "On the 8th day God found Adam and Eve to be horribly boring and yeah to liven things up God did create Sideshow Tramps to spice things up." Though not fully translated at press time the tablets seem to suggest the true reason for Adam and Eve's banishment from the Garden had to something do with the subsequent SST lead party.

Thursday, January 8th

The Kickback, Free Radicals
@ Notsuoh

Funky Funky Free Radicals! Hooray!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Something Fierce

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Photo S. Garcia
Something Fierce has been one of Houston’s most prized exports with their mix of punk energy, catchy melodies, and an undying DIY ethos. Their newest album - “There Are No Answers” - easily surpasses their debut album with songs so sharply written that they will run you through like a katana with Toshiro Mifune at the other end. We loved the new album so much that we immediately poked and prodded Niki Seven and Steven Garcia with questions as they prepared for their upcoming tour and here is what they had to say:

On the new album vs. the first album:

SG: We've definitely fine-tuned our love for powerpop over the last few years. I know that I've gravitated to writing razor-sharp pop songs, while maintaining an even darker tone in the lyrics. We took more time [on the new album] and that gave us a lot of opportunities to think about real production for the songs.

n.7: I've definitely enjoyed the freedom that we've had with this album. 'Bastards' was recorded in two days from start to finish; 'There Are No Answers' has been a long two-year road in writing and months of recording. We've had more time to explore with the songs and figure out what sounded right. Most of the songs on this album don't sound anything like they did when they were originally written.

On writing songs and tracking albums:

SG: I start writing a song with a feeling in mind. I pound away for hours at a time on my own or through various band practices. We can feel the song "working" or sense it slowly dying. It's a real disappointment when a song dies out because I feel like I missed an opportunity to seize what was there. When the song does work, we pour our hearts into thinking about what the final version will sound like.

n.7: We've all developed an instinct we can tell right away which direction [a song is] going to go.. whether it's going to be great, whether it needs work, or if it just needs to be put out of its misery as quick and painless as possible. “Modern Girl” has been recorded at least three times. I would have been disappointed releasing one of the previous versions, but this version I think has captured the very best this song has.

SG: There has to be real thought injected into your recordings because those are what will live on beyond the band. Making a good album is very much like making a mix tape. The track listing matters to me, and I had this one song that I could not fit anywhere. The pacing was so different; the beginning and end too abrupt. Finally, we made the decision to cut it from the album, and I think it was a good choice.

On Singles:

SG: We got the idea [of including songs from singles] from looking at punk bands like The Buzzcocks, It's a fantastic way to keep the songwriter away from writing an "album" and instead just focusing on each individual song.

n.7: The Buzzcocks are my absolute favorite band. 'Singles Going Steady' is an amazing record and the notion of creating an album out of singles released for years and years is incredibly genius. For us, I think it just keeps us thinking about the present. It keeps us focused on writing new songs and not re-hashing old ones time and time again. It's also a great way to keep people interested in a band. It looks like you're doing more if you keep releasing all these singles than if you just do an album every two or three years.

On lessons learned:

SG: I've learned how to design lots of artwork, master for vinyl, play bar chords, fold a map, order at Hot Doug's, record with two amps at the same time, book national tours, clean a bird off of a windshield, clean beer off of my guitar, share a van with five other people, wear a tuxedo for my brother's wedding, maintain sanity on a 16-hour drive, find ways to get a free motel room, wear thermal underwear, and most importantly, I've learned that water freezes if left in a van overnight at freezing temperatures thus causing the unfortunate result of being temporarily non-potable when you are dying for a drop of something to wash down the previous night's...everything.

n.7: Don't give Andrew a glove. Don't sit next to Andrew when a rap song is on. Don't give Andrew a camera and access to your laptop. Steven knows most of the words to some Spice Girls songs. Don't share a blanket with Jeoaf (Monocles) .. he will take it all. Steven is willing to pay me $5 every time I change his strings. 80's music is good for driving 8 solid hours through the night when everyone else falls asleep. Wisconsin beer has a higher alcohol content than Texas beer .. pace yourself!! iPods and books are essential for keeping up your sanity. Yes, boys can pee anywhere and in anything (and if they manage to pee into a sprite bottle, they will carry it around like a trophy). [While on tour] I have now seen more of Andrew's ass then I ever hoped I would.

…I love it and I can't think of any other way I'd rather waste my life.

Links:
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Something Fierce.com (Link)

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