The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We're Literally Working for the Weekend

posted by april5k @ 8:09 AM



Hey dudes, my internet has been out so I wasn't able to post here sooner, but hey, I'm here now and that's what counts. There were some pretty awesome things going down over the past week, the Born Liars in-store at Sound Exchange, the surely awesome IndieHouston house party that I missed and then the "why don't they do this more often" Ghost Mice show last night at Amy's Ice Cream. Why are people always complaining that there's nothing to do?

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 25, 2009
Maybe it's off-nights like tonight that have people bored and butthurt. Well, I mean there are things to do, but I guess nothing I'm clamoring to get out to. You've got Slipknot and Coheed and Cambria at Verizon. Awesome. Go to that. Have fun. Oh, The Chieftains at Jones Hall?Aye-sea-sea-aye.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 26, 2009
Oh, guess what? Slipknot's at Verizon again! Is everyone saving up for SXSW? Is there going to be a good show drought for a couple of weeks? Oh and find out which of the Aston brothers' version of Gene Loves Jezebel is playing at The Meridian. And they're playing with Pale. Is this is the same Pale from like 1997? Someone let me know. Ceeplus is DJing, and we all like that. As usual, there are things going on out in Spring at the Javajazz, not to make this into a contest, but can't we get some everynight action going on inside the loop?

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2009
I'm still sticking with the whole theory that SXSW is causing a late February show drought. See, the bands are probably leaving on tour this weekend or even the next to wind their way down to Texas where, God willing they might just come through Houston. This Friday night sees The Delta Spirit bringing their Northern Soul by way of California to Walter's with Other Lives and Dawes. I reckon this show will be what waiters at Chinese restaurants in Charing Cross refer to as "lovely". (true story?) And then remember that time that Arthur Yoria was on the OC? Well, tonight he's on stage at Rudyard's! I went over to The Goods' myspace to check them out, my brain is melting trying to wrap around how their recordings are slick AND lo-fi at the same time. How do you do that? Ouch. They're playing Notsuoh with Female Demand, Jacob Meador, and Winter Wallace. There's also Flogging Molly at Verizon. I never got it, yet I know a lot of folks do. But if you're feeling super adventurous, why not go out to JavaJazz. Thee Armada is playing. I. Triple. Dog. Dare. You. Over at Boondocks they've got Boy Boy doing the electro-trance thing. Or just say screw it all and get baked and hit Last Concert for D.R.U.M. (you know you kind of want to.)

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2009
Ok, the afternoon is easy McKenzies, Cactus, 2PM. Nothing hard about that. But at night, man, this is rough, see, 80's metal tribute band Clairvoyant is playing at Mike's Ultimate Sports Bar in Copperfield tonight, and if you're way out there for what ever reason I won't force you to reveal, do it, it's gonna be great and you know it. There are costumes (mostly). But why lie? Aerosal Warfare (1625 Alabama) is the place to be. It's the Young Mammals CD Release, man it's like there's at least one a week, so I guess I can't complain too much about show droughts. Woozyhelmet and Buxton sweeten the deal. Man, but over at Rudyard's it's Sad Like Crazy! My Education and Exterminating Angels are playing, too. Ugh, and then The Pretenders are at House of Blues, and The Watermarks are playing The Mink with Ladyheat and We Were Wolves. Jeez, you guys were really saving it for Saturday, huh? And I'm not even done yet, you can get your grind on at Numbers with The Juan Maclean, or you can get your grindcore on at the TMMC Clubhouse with 50-50, HRA, N.I.B.I.R.U. and Fan Death. Or go downtown for The Baristas' CD Release. Man, that name does not rub me the right way, but musically, they have a thing going on, and it's a thing that I think if encountered in a live setting, could really come across properly. Also playing are Guns of Detroit (I always get my hopes up that it's going to say "Guns of August"), Charger Fits (is that more coffee shop band-namery?) and Ellypseas. I heard something about a private party at Big Star, but wasn't excluzzy enough for the deets, maybe you can sneak in! And I'm sure that if you're "Pitstomper"'s friend you'll be at his 21st Birthday Bash at Walter's. Ok, I keep thinking "pit" as in "armpit" and I can't get the image out of my head.

SUNDAY MARCH 1, 2009
Sunday is the No Idea Festival at the Art League (1953 Montrose). Seven performers from around the world improvise 3 sets of avant experimental collaboration. Sounds kind of AWESOME to me. And I know this is a traveling event, but how weird is it that we've got the "No Idea" Festival and the "Merge" Music Fest and neither one have to do with the record labels of the same name? And the name says it all as Street Dogs pound it out at Warehouse with Flatfoot56, Ashers, and Hell City Kings. Speaking of Hell, there's hells of metal over at Walter's.

MONDAY MARCH 2, 2009
You can go over to Walter's and see for yourself that William Elliott Whitmore is actually a white dude. Whoa. The blues sees no color...except, um...blue.

TUESDAY MARCH 3, 2009
Oooooooh and the Rodeo starts tonight. Ooooooooh. Let's go get deep fried candy bars and then I'm going to completely Ralph Macchio on the Zero Gravity ride. AND THEN, I'm gonna pet some baby sheeps. And how could a week go by without a Campfire Stories show at the Alvin Bowling Center? Fired for Walking and 500 Megatons of Boogie try for turkeys.

All right, have fun and keep it clean.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OMIGOD YOU GUYS!

posted by april5k @ 7:43 AM



Um, so yeah. I saw Legally Blonde last night at Hobby Center...um. So, yeah. Wow, so ok, it was (AWESOME) and it was like blonde-girl Mecca. It was like a towheaded Wailing Wall. It was the mothership calling us all home. Wow. To top it off, it wasn't the MTV reality show chick, it was the real deal, Laura Bell Bundy. Alright, now that I'm done with my confession, let's jump into the upcoming weekend.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2009
Lake Charles based Magnolia Sons are making quite a habit of playing Houston, this is the third or fourth go for them so far this year, I believe. If you like Tom Petty, there is a lot to love about Magnolia Sons, I highly recommend checking them out tonight at Notsuoh with Sequoia Prep School. House of Blues becomes the House of Metal tonight, hosting Cradle of Filth with Satyricon. And for those missing out on the aforementioned blues, The Snake Charmers are releasing their CD tonight at Bohemeos. They're joined by Robin Kirby, Otis Futhermucker, and Helicopter Jones. And here's a link to a blues name generator.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 19, 2009
At risk of falling prey to cronyism or nepotism, for that matter, I say get on over to Sound Exchange at 8pm to get in on the sweet Born Liars record release action. The Born Liars playing at Sound Ex is like church service, don't be a half-assed believer. Opening up are the always killer Welfare Mothers. And this is the first time I get to see the Liars with Beau. HOLY SHIT I'M STOKED!!! Of course afterward you can take the party over to Rudyard's for Bunny's birthday blowout. You might know Bunny from The Contingency, or you might know him from the Camel guy circuit. Well, Skeleton Dick is his new band and this is their first show. Jumping Stray, and A Dream Asleep are also playing. And unfortunately The Monocles won't be playing, in case you have one of those flyers.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 20, 2009
The ebb and flow of popularity had brought ...And You Will Know US by the Trail of Dead back to the club circuit, specifically, Walter's on Washington. It's been years since I've seen this band in such close quarters, and I can testify from experience that, material withstanding, this will be one hell of a show. If you don't think you can make it but still what your Trail of Dead fix, you might be able to catch them earlier at Cactus (5:30pm). The very lovely Funeral Party and Midnight Masses open up. Over at The Mink we've got Electric Attitude packing them in with The Goods, The Wonderful Avenue and Alkari.

But perhaps you would like some nostalgia for your Friday night? Then hit up the Continental to see The Suspects. Or maybe you just want something that feels nostalgic but is all new? Then go to Rudyard's for Hell's Engine who are revving their engines with Shit City High, Blower and The Wrong Ones. Dirt rockin' all the way. And Boondocks plays home to the launch of the HipHop heavy Heads Up Houston featuring Dave Wrangler. Stop by to see what other body parts Houston can manage to put up.



SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2009
Alright, so the internet has told me that I hate cover bands. Well, I guess by-and-large, that's true. Though "hate" is kind of a strongerword. Perhaps "disaaprove" is more accurate? Anyhow, as with any rule there are bound to be exceptions and the line up of Danseparc Is For Covers definitely qualifies. First off you've got members of Future Blondes, Indian Jewelry and The Entertainment System (keep talking...) as Diamonds & Pearls; a Prince and the Revolution cover group. HOLY SHIT. SOLD. And to top it off PLF is flying off the handle as Slayer and Chocolate Crucifix are Go-Going on Vacation. Unfortunately, The Caprolites won't be performing their Jesus and Mary Chain set. Our loss compltely.

Ok, so if Lucinda Williams is playing at Warehouse Live and Loretta Lynn is playing at Arena Theater, what would you do? Personally I would go with the country music royalty, not only is "Rated X" one of my all time favorites, Lucinda Williams is pretty intense... And then over at Rudyard's is a very out of the norm show with top 40 strivers Shea Van Winkle, Beryl Grady and The Danimals. And whoa America is playing at the Stafford Centre. Whoa. Oh and The Dollyrockers are doing the Cactus thing at 5pm. Check it!

Ooooooh and over at the IndieHouston house (1816 Calumet) you've got current "it-boys" (and well deserved, at that) Muhammad Ali, Tax the Wolf, The Tontons and Giant Battle Monster. No excuse people, no excuse.



SUNDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2009
I almost said all this stuff about not knowing if you'd care about Sunday night's events but then I remembered the News on the March show at The Mink with Elaine Greer and The Gills. That was a close one!

MONDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2009
Go to Boondocks. Go to Boondocks. Go to Boondocks. It's Earnie Banks and The McKenzies! Go to Boondocks!

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2009
Start the evening off right by heading over to Amy's Ice Cream at 8pm for Ghost Mice, Sew What and Robert Ellis. Then... But daaaaaaamn Son Volt is playing at the Continental! Ohhhhhh noooooo! (Ohhhhhh yessssss!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Devil Loves The McKenzies

posted by april5k @ 7:23 AM



I'm not going to ignore the obvious. Everyone in town has compared The McKenzies to another little band that also recently released an EP. Sure, line-up wise there are glaring similarities but where that other band were lovingly fed the worms of tweeness by the indie rock mama bird, The McKenzies are at most the evil twins booted from the nest left to subsist on cigarette butts and half empty bottles of MD 20/20.

The McKenzies are rooted in far more punk territory than their de facto doppelgangers. They delve into the darker subjects of rejection and heartache yet emerge as shiny and happy as the bubbles from their live show bubble machine. Lead-off track "Shall We Booty Dance" is a condemnation you can dance to...in hell. "Run Run Run" is definitely the hit, with the awesomely catchy chorus and up and down beat that will have you once again, shaking that ass. And just as you're worked into a frenzy (by The McKenzies! ...oops) it brings you gently to the ground with a grinding outro.

"This Lonely Heart" is a beautiful down tempo number full of longing and desperation. It serves as the perfect "couple's skate" interlude for a rollicking dance party of an EP. Strains of girl-group majesty are reconfigured in a manner reminiscent of a more technically skilled (and less lo-fi) Vivian Girls. They pick the pace back up with the out-and-out Rondelles-esque "My Baby Doesn't Understand". The McKenzies knack for indie pop with an edge is most apparent on this track bringing to mind times of dancing and drinking to the punky poppy indie dance bands that used to grace the stages of places like The Oven way back in the day. Album closer "The Devil Loves Us" is a great send off track, all breakdown and drum cadence one minute and sweet harmonies gently nudging you towards that repeat button to relive the magic all over again.

These songs would fit seamlessly on a mix tape consisting of The Crabs, Wolf Colonel, Cub, Heavenly, and any more of those hard hitting, danceable indie pop bands of times, regrettably, passed.

I should also add that this was recorded at Pigeon Eater and is perhaps the best sounding thing I've heard from them yet, I hope they find a new home soon!!! Also, this was released in part by the gang over at IndieHouston, and is a testament to how quickly some kids with a passion for local music can turn a scene around.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Activity Overload!

posted by april5k @ 10:08 AM

There was a lot going on both in live music and my personal life this weekend and I tried to cram it all in. In between birthdays, going-away get togethers, and band practices I managed to make it out for a while to the Charity Water event on Thursday and the McKenzies CD release on Saturday.

Thursday night's Twestival took place at Caroline Collective and I made it just in time to catch Wayside Drive. Now, I've seen this band's name floating around for the past couple of years and in context it conjured ideas of a nu-emo/pop-punk, sound the types of which you would hear at joints like JavaJazz. Wow. Was I ever wrong. Wayside Drive make no bones about their affections for bands like Radiohead and The Cure (covering both in this night's set!) and have no problems of making the most of their line-up's abilities. Between the computer driven affects, the instrument switching (bass to cello!) and vocal swapping there is a whole heap of goodness to be found in this proudly alternative band. Fans of the aforementioned bands and any other darkly humored British acts would be quite pleased checking out Wayside Drive.

Friday night I managed to check in on the McKenzies show at Walter's. Though I figured I would arrive mid-first act, the show hadn't started yet so I just made the rounds talking to different folks finding out how the previous night's shows had gone. After a bit Joe Mathlete took the stage for a solo set. I've gotta say, as awesome as The Mathletes are, there is just something about seeing Joe on his own. While always evident are his love for TMBG and Magnetic Fields (he covered "Yeah! Oh Yeah!, performing both vocals himself), Joe's solo performances strip away the spectacle and leave you with his heart beating in your hands, at your mercy, and fortunate for us all, Joe is not a hard guy to love. Our hopes and heartaches rise and fall with his tongue-in-cheek confessions.

Before I had to rush off to meet my soon-to-be ex-Houstonian friends, I caught part of Built By Snow's set. WOW. They kicked it off with a DEAD-ON cover of "Girl U Want", which immediately made me regret having friends that would dare move away from this city and oblige me to leave and spend time with them. I stayed a bit longer to really take it in and longed to be caried away in their synth-heavy indie-pop done right. It's so very rare that a band where everyone but the drummer is playing both guitar and keyboards will sound like anything more than regurgitated Rentals cast-offs. But Built By Snow have a solid foundation of highly competant songwriting that allows for them to fill in the instrumentation any way the like. They could have been playing spoons and jugs and the songs would have been just as formidable. I cannot wait to see them again at the Merge Music Fest.

I'm still kicking myself for having collapsed after a busy Sunday and missing the show over at Diverseworks, but I do have my McKenzies EP, and I'll tell you about that tomorrow!

DONE!

Friday, February 13, 2009

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, DUDES!

posted by april5k @ 10:43 AM

I've got a very special gift for you this Valentine's Day: EXCLUSIVE HOMOPOLICE VALENTINES!!!

Save 'em, print 'em, give 'em!!!











Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Let's hear it for VD!

posted by april5k @ 7:47 AM



Unfortunately, I didn't get to get out as much as I would have liked this past weekend and as much as I would like to tell you how much fun the show we played on Friday was I don't want to fall into a pit of self-aggrandizing boorishness. Suffice it to say that Your Kisses Cause Crashes are a great little upstart band from Austin and they've been reaching out to Houston bands to build a larger network of musicians and create awareness for both respective scenes, The Western Civilization keep the 2k9 momentum going with yet another show-end stage rush orgy of singing, dancing and audience participation. Oh and The Pons? MAGIC. Go right now and hear for yourself. GREAT!

Anyhow, here I am again, giving you a heads up on this weeks activities and I'm gonna try out a new format for this...

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 11, 2009

Well, it seems like another local music causality of the past year has been the Wednesday night rock show. It seems that a void has been left by the end of those ever-present mid-week He Said She Said events, and someone needs to step up and fill them. I appreciate your weekend efforts, but we're not working for the weekend around here. We're livin' it up full time...or at least we'd like to. So yeah, unless you're a regular at the Mucky Duck heading out to see Patrice Pike or you're a regular at the Continental stoked on the reoccurring Whiskey Boat gig or you're a kid out in the North Side and you're gonna wash the dishes everynight so you can check out Vanna, Belle Epoque, As Fire Burns Black, Zemira, and As Blood Dries at JavaJazz on a school night, your live entertainment option seems to be the Bootown Benefit at Rudz. Ok, so there are zero details out there on this and as much as I love a good benefit, I regret that all I can tell you is that Bootown is a theater group and they are having a benefit. Which I've just told you twice. (If anyone has details on this, by all means post them in the comments so people will know more!)

Oooooh and here's a highly, highly, highly recommended late edition to the Wednesday night events: Cedar Boy Bailey, Framework, and the Ride Home tonight at Notsuoh.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2009

Thursday packs a more considerable punch with a whole buttload of goings-on. We've got two benefits happening. The first is the Human Party Virus 09 Fundraiser at Rudz with Giant Princess (I will not rest until everyone in this town is singing their praises...or better yet their songs at their shows...), David Israel, and Jay from Woozyhelmet. Jay intends on having his solo CD available at the show and wants to give it to you for free, so that's a kind gesture worth $6 and your time on a Thursday evening. And I believe the proceeds go to a showcase at SXSW.

Across the 'Trose at the Caroline Collective we've got the Twestival benefitting Charity Water, an organization devoted to bringing clean drinking water to communities in need. Affilitated with Twitter and taking place in over 175 cities all over the world, the Twestival not only features performances by Red Eye Carl and the Pirates, Wayside Drive, the Snake Charmers and Blue Funk, but boasts appearances by Houston FlashMob and Sexy Attack. And if that's not enough St. Arnold's is counted among the sponsors. St. Arnold's is a local organization devoted to bringing delicious beers to people supporting good causes.

And here's where things get really rough. Not only are there two benefit shows going on Thursday, but then there's is an amazing road show over at Walter's. The Annuals, Jessica Lea Mayfield and What Laura Says (did they drop the "Thinks and Feels"?). Ugh, that's a real solid line-up. What do you do!?

I also feel compelled to mention that Le Freak is playing at House of Blues. C'est Chic.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2009

Friday is a tough call too! First off we've got a crazy good show at The Mink with Balls Deep, Muhammed Ali (FUCKING INCREDIBLE), O Pioneers!!!, Gnaugahyde, sIngs (BLOWING YOUR MIND), Fight Pretty, Limb, DJ Psychedelic Sex Panther (HELLS OF HITS), and Mr. Jacob Calle. I'm sure there will be shenanigans, but I do not call shenanigans.

As AMAZING as that show is, I'v gotta say my pick for Friday is the Tax the Wolf, Ellypseas, Ghormeh Sabzi, Desmond Zavala show over at Notsuoh. I had the pleasure of being right up in a Ghormeh Sabzi performance a couple of weeks ago and I fell for it hard. Like I said, Daniel Johnston without the creepfactor. Tax the Wolf, Ellypseas Desmond Zavala also seem pretty great from their tunes up on Myspace and I'm really looking forward to catching them in action. This is gonna be a great way to spend a Friday night.

For the Rustmouth Chafings fans there's the H-Town Blues Festival at Reliant Arena. And then ArtStorm is killing it with Voluptuous Tusk, A Thousand Cranes, and Organ Failure. Over at Rudyard's you've got Amplified Heat with Forever Changes and Ripe. It's literally a choose your own adventure kind of night.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2009

Hopefully, your Valentine is into rocking out as much as you are because there's a lot to choose from. By-and-large I urge you to go to Walter's for The McKenzies CD release. These guys are fantastic and really know how to bring the audience into their performance and make sure everyone just has the best time. They're joined by The Tontons, The Mathletes and Built By Snow and you will have a wonderful time. Promise.

There are a bunch of other good shows going on. Last Concert Cafe welcomes Heartless Bastards, a sweet little garage rock band enjoying a lot of attention from blogs all over the country. Austin's The Boxing Lesson jams it with The Calm Blue Sea at Rudyard's. For those of you with tougher ears head over to the T.M.M.C. Clubhouse (2305 Lyons) for Dropdead, Hatred Surge, PLF, Rusted Shut, Dissent, Battle Rifle and the soon to be legendary N.I.B.I.R.U. (featuring ex-Insect Warriour Neil Dossy). The Usual welcomes home the 50 Cent-spurnned Cornbread at My Bloody Bunny Camp also featuring Fat Tony, You(Genious), Dee Rail, iPod Ammo, and Young Squaddy. And of course there's the My Bloody Valentine Gothic Beauty Pageant at Numbers. Goth on brothers and sisters. And finally, if you're just looking for something to do in the afternoon, you've got Love Fest at Cactus featuring The Mighty Orq and The Duo and that starts at 1pm. PHEW!

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 15, 2009

On Sunday things simmer down a bit but you've still gotta choose between the crazy avant-garde-experimental-art-anti-rock showcase of Maggie Nicols, Fred Frith, and Susan Alcorn at DiverseWorks. This is some "like whoa" business going on and advise the serious folks not to miss this. It's literally "too cool for school". Maybe you're not up to the challenge, that's totally cool, that is some advanced level music going on there. You still have options. You can thake the physical challenge at Walter's with Gigan, Necrotic Void, Diminished and Dismembered or you can (and I can't believe I'm suggesting a show at this venue) head out to Scout Bar for American Fangs and The Last Place You Look, who both dropped new albums last week.

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2009

Closing out the rock round-up week is Hank the Third at the Meridian and another one of those crazy Alvin Bowling Center shows featuring Then Something Happened, Linda Ln, Sunrise & Ammunition and Litost.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Interview: Dee Rail

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:35 PM


By Anthony Obi



"Cats love to steal my shit, I call 'em turd burglars."


Born April 2nd, 1985 was Dee Rail, a Houston based Hip Hop artist with a heart of (black) gold (more along the lines of the Texas tea variety than Care Bear-esque). He is a man passionate about good times, good wine, good music, and good pine. On his records he sings of introspective insights, pain & pleasure, night time escapades, and smashing the shit out of any rapper he deems to be lacking in the talent department. A member of Devin the Dude's Coughee Brothaz crew, Dee Rail assembles all-American stoner wit, boyish charm and lung wrenching inner city blues into a Martini-like shaken not stirred collage of rap-croons.

When did your interest in music begin?

Ever since a nigga first heard some music I gravitated toward it. Been making songs ever since I figured out what I was doing. When I was 11, I made my first personal mix tape called "Yo Mama." It was a mix of my favorite songs from the nightly top 5 at 9:00pm on 97.9 The Boxx and 104.1, plus snippets from various sounds I liked. Had some Rocky Horror Picture Show and Twilight Zone samples thrown in there too with me announcing over everything on the tape.

What motivates your creations?

Big blunts, bad bitches brew (the Miles Davis album and secreting vaginas), as well as beautiful bangin' beats. Man, really... the idea that one day all this work will be worth my efforts motivates me more than anything. Knowing that possibly Hip Hop fans years down the line will continue to jam the Dee Rail is all I need.


What artists would you cite as your main influences?

My biggest influences are Sublime, Al Green, Nas, Devin the Dude, Outkast, BlackStar (Mos Def & Talib Kweli), and Donell Jones.

Tell me about your fall/winter 2008 tour with Devin the Dude & The Coughee Brothaz. What experiences left the biggest mark on you? How did you first connect with Devin and his group?

The parts I can actually remember were unforgettable. Rockin' Emo's outside stage was a lifetime achievement. It has always been a dream for me to perform to a full house there and we definitely did the damn thing. Devin first introduced me to the Brothaz. I met him at a Big Daddy Kane concert in Feb. 2007 at Warehouse Live. I called him a week after I did my first NY show in April, and we linked up at the Coughee Pot [Devin the Dude's recording studio]. We got together and went through a gang of each other's songs and familiarized ourselves with one another's music.

Outside of the Coughee Brothaz, do you have any affiliations and alliances?

I fucks with Tha Coughee Brothaz, Fat Tony and iLL Faded. Shout out to Tony, Coache Johnson, and Domino!

What are your ultimate goals for 2009?

I want to be recognized as the artist that I am. I plan to make a bigger dent in the local scene and perform on choice occasions including the My Bloody Bunny Camp valentine's day party this February 14th. Right now I'm completing the W-Tour ‘09, which is something I would prefer to talk about in person with whomever is interested.

Find out more about Dee Rail @ http://www.myspace.com/deerailmusic

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spain Colored Orange

posted by Free Press Houston @ 6:56 PM


By Adam P. Newton Photo by Eric Hester

While it may be a familiar and clichéd whipping boy for the masses, there really is no disputing that the modern music industry sucks and sucks hard. There are all manner of stories chronicling how major record labels are willing to drop a popular band over artistic differences (Reprise v. Wilco) or mine a popular act’s back catalog once they’ve left the fold (Capitol v. Radiohead). In the case of Houston’s own Spain Colored Orange, the band recorded a full-length record a couple years back, only to see their efforts locked away by their record label because of a contract dispute. Thus, as the band continues to build a reputation as one of the hardest-working outfits in Houston, I decided to chat with Gilbert (lead vocals and keys) about that record, their personal take on the music industry, and what keeps them excited about making music.

“Yeah, it was quite the hassle. Sneaky Like A Villain is coming out - finally. We're off of Lucid Records and signed a music licensing deal with Shout It Out Loud Music (Brooklyn, NY). The good folks at SIOLM are releasing the record. We are ready to go back into the studio to record a new(er) album. This time around, we have promised ourselves to have it released by November 2009.”

As I’ve heard of more than a few indie outfits going the route of creating a licensing agreement over signing a traditional record contract, I asked Gilbert what advice he would give to other up-and-coming groups.

“Handle your own business best you can. Record labels aren't miracle makers. They're good for 3 things: paying for the recording, manufacturing, and distribution. I would say - expect to get the run-around from the music industry. I've come to accept that it's part of the business. I don't like it, but I understand it (as it buys time).”

Since the creation of Sneaky Like A Villian, one would expect for this experience to have prompted growth within the band in terms of songwriting and band chemistry.

“Well, the music and songwriting has gotten a little more exciting for me lately, but what do I know? I always feel like I play with the best musicians in town. But again, what do I know?”

Moreover, the record label concerns must have taken a toll on the guys, but they remain consistently focused on making music and playing shows.

“We love doing it. Writing and performing are the two things we do best together as a band. Well, that and happy hour. There's nothing like a good show! People say we play too much, perhaps. We spread ourselves out a little though. We'll play a party for MFAH, The Continental Club, The Scout Bar, Discovery Green, Rudyard’s (our favorite), Boondocks, Warehouse Live, Walters, The Mink, or even a warehouse party. All of them have different crowds, so it's totally worth it. Entertaining folks is a blast and it always involves having a good time; sometimes, too much of a good time.”



With Sneaky Like A Villain finally available to the band and its fans, we can expect from great things from the upcoming Spain Colored Orange release, not to mention some touring.

“The new record will contain sex talk, lies, god and the devil, she left me for him/she left me for her, last call, love, a smoky kiss, and perhaps a melody here and there. We do plan to go on tour this summer with The Sour Notes (from Austin).”

Finally, we talked about what makes Houston a great city in the eyes of Spain Colored Orange.

“Arthur Yoria is pretty amazing live and recorded. We always have a great time playing shows with him. I also dig Dizzy Pilot, You(Genious), Paris Falls, Motion Turns It On, and Buxton. I'm sure there's more, but that's all that comes to mind. Our favorite place to play in town is Rudyard’s. We just started doing shows at The Continental Club and it's a pretty awesome place to play. Also, there's Boondocks and The Mink that are really cool, but, once again, what do I know?”
Spain Colored Orange performs February 14th at Continental Club
www.myspace.com/spaincolouredorange

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You will never escape this flyer

posted by Free Press Houston @ 2:02 PM

Head On Apply Directly to Your Weekend

posted by april5k @ 8:40 AM



Well, forgive me if I'm concise, I have a crucial TMJ headache at the moment and my coherency is suspect. Anyhow, I'd like to tell you a little bit about this show on Saturday at Walter's. Space City survivors Spain Colored Orange headline a sure to be fantastic show. They're joined by Austin's Al Shire & The Henchmen, which can best be described as Alkaline Trio with horns. It's not as crazy as it reads, it's really quite great and it reinforces this whole "THE NINETIES ARE BACK!" business that's been floating around as of late. Rounding out the band side of things are the always stellar, super lush and forever dreamy Paris Falls. And the whole thing is MC'd by The Misfit of R&B, You(genious).

But that's Saturday, how about tomorrow (that's Thursday, yo) night you do yourselves a HUGE favor and go straight to The Mink after work for Au, Wild Mocassins, and listenlisten. The show starts at 7pm and you can DVR The Office. Au are from Portland and sound like magic, and I'm not even going to pretend like you don't know what Wild Mocassins and listenlisten sound like (hint: magic, too).

And then on Friday you want to go to Rudyard's because you can't miss Appleseed Cast, Golden Cities and The Hungry Villagers. These are the kind of shows Moonmen have on the Moon, all air (ok maybe no air) and space and feeling good. I recommend the fish tacos for a night like this.

And here's the rest:

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2009
Whiskey Boat with Ragged Hearts at The Continental Club - Hard drinkin' music for hard drinkin' dudes.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2009
The Lash Outs with Bald Eagle Burger at Rudyard's - The Lash Outs are from Dallas and play that kind of punk that dudes in black band t-shirts jam. Bald Eagle Burger have this Shellac-y thing going on with mad dad vocals.
Jambi's Revenge at Jet Lounge - I think this is called "Soul Patch Rock", it's like Yes and Queensryche and maybe the Foo Fighters, so get your labrets in gear.
The Bridge at Cactus at 5:30PM and then again with Beetle at The Continetal Club - If you owe your mom a night out she will love this.
Th' Legendary Shack Shakers with the John Evans Band and I Am Mesmer - If the men in your mom's life are named Jim, Jack and Jose she would probably have even more fun at this show.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6, 2009
The Pons with Davie "Fathands" Graves, Sad Gorilla, Elaine Greer, Buxton and Paleo at IndieHouston HQ (1816 Calumet) - Whoa! Hold the phone smokey, that is a crazy amount of good times going down in one place. I advise that you hang on to your asses because you will party them off.
Mission Control featuring Mic Skills (CD release), DJ Remix and some more at The Mink - Saving hiphop one hipster dive at a time!
Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers at Aubrey's - Taking back country music one lap steel at a time!
Mother's Anthem, Better Luck, Dreaming of June, The Last Great Assault, Adam Rogers, Sleeping With Giants and Kill the Theory at Fitzgerald's - Something something eyeliner, something something marching bands, something something emotions, something something RARRRRRRRRRRRR! Happy birthday Jenn!
Underdriven, Light, Black Queen Speaks and Funk G at Fitzdown - I was totally prepared to say something jaded and snarky about this little companion show but Underdriven were actually a pretty nice surprise and I like nice surprises.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Tickle Me Pink, The Becoming and Another Day at JavaJazz - Ok, you guys have got to stop it with these names. I know "The Beatles" is already taken, but this is worse that "Chocolate Watchband" and "Peppermint Handjob".

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2009
Don Caballero, DD/MM/YYYY, Novox, Fucking Thief (ex-By the End of Tonight) at The Meridian - A party place for party people.
Free Press Houston 100th Issue Celebration featuring Monotonix, State Radio, The Tontons, American Fangs, Tha Fucking Transmissions and Rebelution at Numbers - If you start doing your reps now, you might have enough muscle mass to join all the throwing of persons and instruments that will definitely be errupting.
The Western Civilization, The Pons, Your Kisses Cause Crashes and Guitars at Rudyard's - For an added treat come punch me in the face!
Gov't Mule with The Disco Biscuits at House of Blues - Hey there jam banders.
Jesse Dayton at The Continental Club - This is a pretty great weekend for those about to twang.
Dirty Honey featuring Brett Koshkin at Boondocks - If you feel like dancin'...
The Bad Plus at Cullen Theater - For those who like their covers weird and jazzy.
Randy Weeks (1PM) and then Denice Franke and Clive Gregson (3pm) at Cactus - For the in-store inclined.
Campfire Stories, Litost, Candid, Giant Battle Monster, Sunrise and Ammunition and Darwin's Finches at the Alvin Library (6pm-10pm) - I can't say I know much about these other bands playing but I can highly recommend catching Darwin's Finches, they're kind of wonderful.

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 8, 2000
Sunken Teeth, Dark Castle, We Both Know, Campfire Stories, Litost at Walter's - Wow, all this stuff sounds weird and noisy and awesome. Kind of an XRXBX thing. Nice.
Gorilla Productions Battle of the Bands at Fitzgerald's - I mention this show only as a public service announcement. Why do bands keep getting mixed up in this stuff? Is it the only way you think you can get a show? We're here to help, get in touch and we can point you in the right direction.

MONDAY FEBRUARY 9, 2009
Devotchka and Crooked Fingers at Warehouse Live - I didn't realize this show was coming up so soon. This is going to be really good. Promise.

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2009
Loney, Dear with News on the March and Alkari at Rudyard's - YIKES! This week is getting kicked off hardcore with good shows right off the bat.
Agnostic Front, Mongoloids, Your Mistake, Roots of Exile, Crows Feet - DOUBLE YIKES. Somebody will probably get something kicked in.
Streetlight Manifesto, A Wilhelm Scream, The Swellers, The Stitch Up, The Unlikely Heroes at JavaJazz - I don't know why I'm not used to it, but it always kind of takes me by surprise when I see these Warped Tour types playing all the way out in Spring. (April, GET OVER IT.)
After Time Has Passed (CD Release...on a Tuesday!?) with Campfire Stories at Alvin Bowling Center - Now I haven't actually been, but I've seen video and heard first hand accounts, and it seems like a show at a bowling alley is an incredible idea.

Ugh, ok now get out there and get to it...I'm gonna find some Advil.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Weekend In Lists

posted by april5k @ 9:44 AM

So let’s see…

I cherish with fondness the St. Arnold's Brewery.

There was Thursday’s In-Store at Cactus by Los Campesinos. Now, I had planned to make the Lazy Horse show at Rudz that night and was supes bummed about missing Titus Andronicus (I heart them).

All My Favorites LIVE!

And then Friday it was back to Cactus for Wild Moccasins’ first ever In-Store. They floated the keg tremendously. I heard that the Fucked Up show was REDICK. Anyone wanna weigh in on that? I’d like to know the deal.

Saturday saw me dragging my old man outta bed to make it to the Secret Saturday Show in Exile (is that okay?) that was scheduled to start by noon but you know how musicians are…3pm is the new noon. Hours upon hours of sunshine, beers, BBQ, and bands is enough to fry anyone’s brain, so it’s no-duh that I was closed for business by the time I had intended to catch MV+EE at Rudz (another big bummer, I heart them, too)

You want The Beatles to do WHAT on your chest?

First up was Ghormeh Sabzi which included Jaime from Giant Princess and Andrew from Wild Moccasins. Ghormeh Sabzi, where have you been all my life!? Seriously. Homeboy, Cameron was throwing down some major Danny J sans-the-baggage sweetness that you should definitely get out there and hear first-hand (which you will have the chance to do February 13th at Notsuoh).

Madilynne knows What.

Sew What played second and no doubt Rachel and Cory raise the bar with each performance but they set the limit at INSANITY by being joined by Madilynne Agan (daughter of Welfare Mother’s BC Agan and the ultra-lovely Lacey Bayreuther) on drums. REDICKDANKDONKULOUS.

Assholes.

Playing third were some washed-up never-beens that grasped desperately for cred by allowing the afore-mentioned BC Agan to sit in on the six-string.

Octo-Rock

Setting the party back on track was one-man-megaband Lucas Gorham, and this was where not just one but BOTH of my cameras died.

I made some feeble attempts at capturing sings with my camera phone, but the sun was heading down and the party was about to essplode…and as bright as sings is, there wasn’t enough light to tell what the heck is going on in the pictures.

Shit was non-stop as Mathletes took to the Tucker’s kitchen. A couple of weeks ago I came clean regarding my distaste for Pavement, but sure enough the Mathletes, the cheeriest dudes in dudedom play “Summer Babe” and remind me “oh yeah, I do like that song!”.

Following Mathletes, the Time Machine Veterans overflowed into the living room rocking their sweet-sweet late-nineties intensities into the sunset.

Closing out the night was a spur-of-the-moment set from The Takes. The Takes spilled their aggro-awesome punk all over the Tucker’s living room just like…the forty they spilled all over the Tucker’s living room.

All Ages Show.

Did anyone make it out to the Pasadena is Burning party last night? I’d like to hear how that went down.

See you tonight at Boondocks.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Really Red

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Photography copyright Ben Desoto
Used By Permission


It was 1978 when Bob Weber, a skinny middle-class college graduate, walked into Sound Exchange and saw a notice from a band looking for a drummer. He had been playing drums in a small jazz ensemble but hadn’t felt particularly inspired. Behind the counter was the band’s singer, Ronnie Bond, a Canadian known for his “encyclopedic knowledge of 20th century music” and for “spitting revolution to the natives.” Ronnie invited him to try-out and Bob knew immediately that Ronnie had the inspiration he had been searching for.

Ronnie along with bassist John Paul Williams and guitarist Kelly Younger had been friends for years. “We had similarities.” says John Paul, “We were all looking for answers. We started out as teenagers. We did drugs, we hung out at Love Street Light Circus, we got into meditation, we listened to Roky Erickson's 13th Floor Elevators, Red Crayola, early Pink Floyd and the Who, the Stones, MC5 and the Kinks which were my favorite band. Those were revelatory times where we were discovering life, women, looking for answers. Ronnie, Kelly and I lived together for years. We always had the coolest house around. We had our studio at our house and practiced a lot. As a group we went through different musical incarnations prior to becoming Really Red. “

“Ronnie, John Paul and I had been in different cover-blues bands over the years.” says Kelly, “We had recently let go of another guitar player, Curtis Riker, who wanted us to be Cheap Trick. Bob came to practice and we hit it off right away.”

John Paul recalls the audition “I will always remember him auditioning after all of these other drummers came with their giant drum kits and hard rock and roll beats. Bob came from more of a jazz background; he was a studied drummer who knew how to play technically. He wasn't as big and strong as some of the drummers we tried but we knew if we miked Bob we could get the big sound out of his drums. As odd as it seemed, he was the perfect fit for our group. “

“Then,” says Kelly,“a Legionnaire’s Disease show showed us the error of our ways. We were meant to be a punk band. And we were damned good at it. “

That revelation changed everything! With a seemingly unstoppable fury, Really Red raged with music that was fast, loud, and intense. It was a band with something to say and the band’s mixture of sharp socio-political lyrics and a ferocious sound demanded people’s attention whether it was through their classic recordings or their legendary live shows. The future was now, the future was Punk, and, while the future came to an end six years after Bob walked into Sound Exchange, there was no denying the frenzied and insistent energy of the music. ”Punk is a lizard,” explains Bob, “scrambling and shouting and pulling on the restraining cables of a Saturn 5. “

John Paul notes that heeding the call of Punk took a lot of dedication, “If memory serves me correctly, we practiced on Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes all day on Sunday. No excuses. There was no leader in this. Kelly, Bob and I would jam for hours and hours. Either Kelly or I would come up with a riff and we would hammer until it became something. Bob, Kelly and I did the music and Ronnie would spend a lot of time thinking about what he wanted to say and eventually come up with some lyrics and a vocal.”

But, Bob explains, it wasn’t just simply aimless jamming, “This is what I think was special about Really Red. Many of the songs developed from tossing around structural concepts and expressing ideas verbally before the music happened. It's a different method than jamming and waiting to hear something that you like.”

At this, Kelly scratches his head, “Wow! I must have been unconscious. I thought it kinda’ just “HAPPENED.”

The recordings (most of which were cut live) were something Bob recollects as being like “kids on Christmas morning” while John Paul remembers it as being both “fun and a pain in the ass at the same time.” He goes on to lament “It's too bad Andy Bradley didn't take good care of our original tapes. We'll never remix some items that should have been louder as an example Dennis Grevsky's sax playing. He was one of the best sax players ever. “

Kelly agrees, “The only regret I had was Dennis Grevsky’s sax solo on ‘No Art in Houston’ being mixed so low. It was a great solo. Thanks Ronnie, you dipshit.”

The band’s recordings were all on CIA (Completely Ignorant Adults) Records an organization that was less a traditional label and more of a local collective. Bob describes it as having been “a cooperative of highly motivated individuals testing the black waters to see if there was anything alive or dead in there. For instance, the Mydolls would be working on a project or organizing a show. We'd get together and share contact information, make phone calls, write some letters, toss out some ideas for a leaflet and talk about the best places to get it out there on the street. Sometimes Kelly would copy things, because he worked in a print shop. Kwik Copy first opened in the early 80's and people were finding different ways to disseminate propaganda. “

John Paul adds, “Really Red proved that you can self-produce your own band. We would press 45's and send them to college stations and use the play list in return to determine where our market was. “

That market wasn’t simply regional; the band met with some national recognition thanks, in large part, to a fair amount of touring. Bob recalls, “We did four cross-country tours: 1980, '81, '82, & '83. 1982 was our mid-west 'Cowpunk' tour. The other three were round trips from Houston to Vancouver and back in two weeks. Otherwise, it was anywhere we could get on a weekend trip. “

John Paul loved touring, “The tours were great. We all had to bring our own money. We loaded up the van with equipment, Lone Star Beer, our Texas flag, and hit the road plenty. We typically would only play in town for one weekend per month so we wouldn't wear out our scene and that idea worked pretty well. We had some great gigs and some lousy gigs. We played in front of a Sheriff and a few of his friends in California and we packed houses in Seattle and San Francisco. We bombed in front of Nick Lowe and Rockpile. We played a Legionnaire’s hall in Reno, gambled and played around all night, and drove like mad to UC Davis. We played for a dollar in LA and the concert at UC Davis in California was a day to remember. We played in Vancouver. We ate lots of sushi and stayed up drinking and driving for hundreds of miles. We listened to great compilation tapes that Ronnie made mostly which would be music from so many genres from punk to country to rock to oldies. “

Bob’s favorite story was meeting SPK at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis but he’s a bit dodgy on the details. “Ask me for details another time, suffice it to say I was still learning the meaning of performance art. “

Kelly doesn’t do much to fill in the details, “SPK was too much for me. I had to leave. Not to mention the fact that I had to clean cow guts off of my Marshall amp.”

The shows could get out of control at times as John Paul recalls, “We were playing a gig at the Island when a bunch of ‘punks’ started throwing fists in the name of being punk and hurt Diana of the MYDOLLS. That is what ‘I Refuse To Sing’ was about. We had holes in our jeans because we wore them out working but people thought that was cool. Much of the so-called punk scene was nothing but an excuse for some to act like idiots. It was also a reason for people to act out violently. I remember some jerks spitting and throwing beer on Kelly at a show with 999 and The Stranglers in Houston. Kelly, Ronnie and I flew off stage to fight. I never thought that behavior was cool. It was an invitation to kick somebody's butt. I think the punk scene brought a lot of shock and awe but it was all rock n roll to me. I liked to play fast and loud with lyrics that meant something. I didn't give a shit what you called it.”

The touring led to the band being featured in the seminal 1981 compilation “Let Them Eat Jellybeans” on Alternative Tentacles something the band seems to almost shrug-off now. ”Outside of being a real honor and an ego boost, “says Bob, “it was just business, I guess. We did end up opening for the DK's at U of H in '84. That was the largest captive audience we ever played for.”

“The only thing I remember,” says Kelly, “was Jello and Ronnie going toe to toe. God only gives you so many syllables in your life. Man, those two could TALK! “

Really Red’s notoriety also brought them an offer from The Clash to perform with them in Houston, Austin, and possibly throughout the entire Texas leg of the Combat Rock tour - an offer the band famously refused. “Yes, we turned down the Clash.” says John Paul, ”My memory was that we were offered a pittance to open for them and, when we saw the rider and all of the ridiculous demands they had, we decided we did not want to compromise our principles just to open for them. We were not going to grovel at the altar of the Clash for the sake of exposure. I never liked Mick Jones anyway. I did like Joe Strummer and thought he was a good songwriter. When I think of this time, I think we should've done the gig and not been so naive. We should've gone for it and used the press to OUR advantage. “

When I ask them what they accomplished 25 years ago Kelly retorts “Accomplish? Pussy. Stardom. Wealth. We failed. But we left with a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.”

That is about all you could really expect given the era. As John Paul puts it, “The era was encapsulated by young people trying to understand themselves. It's always easy to look back and think that people knew what they were doing but most of us were flying by the seat of our pants. Anyone who says different is lying.”

This article is dedicated to Bill Steen, remembered as a true artist representing the Montrose.

Links:

Left of the Dial Magazine published a great interview with Ronnie Bond in 2004. It has been republished on line at their Website. (Link)

Really Red Myspace Fan Page (Link)

Break My Face article (Link)

Ben DeSoto at zendfoto.com (Link)



DISCOGRAPHY:

1979 - Crowd Control/Corporate Settings - (45 rpm 7”) 500 copies; unreleased
C.I.A. Records/Shepherd Wong Music

1980 - Modern Needs/White Lies - (45 rpm 7”)
C.I.A. Records/ Shepherd Wong Music

1981 - Despise the Moral Majority EP - (33 rpm 7”EP) 500 hand stamped jacket
C.I.A. Records/ Shepherd Wong Music

1981 - Teaching You the Fear - (33 rpm 12”LP) 2500 copies; three sleeves
C.I.A. Records/ Shepherd Wong Music

1981 Let The Eat Jellybeans - (33 rpm 12”LP) “Prostitution”
Alternative Tentacles compilation LP

1982 - New Strings for Old Puppets - (33 rpm 7”EP) four cuts
C.I.A. Records/ Shepherd Wong Music

1983 - Cottage Cheese from the Lips of Death - (33 rpm 12”) “Nobody Rules”
Ward 9 Records compilation LP

1984 - Rest in Pain - (33 rpm 12”LP)
C.I.A. Records/ Shepherd Wong Music

1991 - Really Red - compilation
A.N.06 Angry Neighbor Records/ Shepherd Wong Music

2006 - Texas Hardcore - compilation
Hot Box Review/ Shepherd Wong Music

2006 - American Hardcore:The History Of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 - (CD/LP) Soundtrack “I was a Teenage Fuck-up”
Rhino Records

2006 - American Hardcore - DVD
Sony Pictures Classics



Postcript:
Ronnie Bond tried to contribute to this article but his internet was down and by the time he was back on-line it was past our deadline but he did want to add one thought that clearly stuck in his craw. So I just wanted to add this one comment into the record for posterity. Ronnie writes, "Really Red has been referred to over the years as one of the first generation of Texas/North American punk bands. That much is true but along with that there seems to be a perception that we were all "older" guys. Although it is a matter of no real importance but in the interest of factuality; we were all younger than all of the members of The Clash, UK Subs and The Ramones and certainly we were no older than members of the Dead Kennedys, Flipper or a lot of other bands from that era. Somehow, I keep hearing references from people that we were "older" than most.I'm just a sayin'.....

Second Postscript:
If you are interested in other Houston bands of the era Bob reccomends you seek out "Vex, Legionnaire's Disease, AK-47, Plastic Idols, Spermwhale, The Ruse, Mydolls and Degerenrates, Culturcide, and even the Judys if you can handle that stuff. "

Third Postscript
Really Red- Live @ The Island, Houston, TX May 1983
(Video posted on You Tube by Shawn Kelly of Rotten Piece):

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