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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saturday is "No Duh"

posted by april5k @ 7:59 AM

Hey. The Block Party is this weekend. Ride your bike. You can use your car the rest of the week.



WENDESDAY MARCH 25, 2009
Oh my what do you do when pretty much the only thing going on is a Wednesday night is your own show? Yikes. Well, yeah, so my band is playing tonight (that's Guitars) and we're playing with The McKenzies and Hypernova. Hypernova rocks in the face of death. For serious. Dudes are from Iran. They've got a bit of an Interpol vibe...if Interpol were fun. Doors at 8pm at The Meridian.




THURSDAY MARCH 26, 2009
I've heard the clock is ticking on Teenage Kicks, and I really hope this isn't true, because these guys are just plain too good. They're releasing their 7" for "Electric Girl" at The Mink. And if you didn't get enough Middle East rock last night, Secret Prostitutes are breaking all the Sharia. And as if this show wasn't international enough, You've got Masshysteri from Sweden. Or perhaps you miss keeping it weird in this post SXSW clime, then get your beeps and boops in at Super Happy Fun Land with enough ambiance to choke a horse. You've got To-Night Golden Curls, Lonely Procession, Chin Xaou Ti Won, Modulation Hertz, and The They. Rounding out the night is Austin's Sideshow Tragedy and Jeremy Nail & The Incidents roll into town singing 'bout whiskey and cocaine and making friends with Arthur Yoria at Rudyard's.


FRIDAY MARCH 27, 2009
Holy sweet goddamn, she left her cello in the basement. We can literally party like it's 1999 at Rudyard's Friday night. You've got the everlovin' Drunks and Flamin' Hellcats. Pour one out for Hunter Ward and get to it. Or maybe you like more eyeliner and leather pants. Well then you can go to Walter's for Childman, Morgue City, Anguish in Exile, and Novox. And Walter's means the girls are younger. Well, maybe you want your eyeliner sans-leather pants. Warehouse has you covered with a big ol' show featuring thelastplaceyoulook, Mothers Anthem, Lockehart, Mechanical Boy (someone please tell me who they are, they play like every week), Goodnight Goddess and Another Run. And in a surprise move Jet Lounge has Silence Amonst Chaos. Surprising because 1 - For some reason I thought Jet Lounge closed, and 2 - Silence Amonst Chaos claims they're going to save rock & roll. Them's mighty claims. And I call a big "WUH!?" on Super Happy Fun Land's "6th anniversary show". Um, I recall sneaking beers in the adjacent lot as far back as 1999. Was it called something else back then? Maybe it was. Either way. I'm glad it's still around and you can go see The Wrong Ones, Heptic Skeptic (4th wave ska is reaching the shores, brashe), Dim Hearted and per yooj Organ Failure.




SATURDAY MARCH 28, 2009
Free Press Houston Block Party. All day dudes. Just click on the schedule and choose your own adventure. Everyone will be there. But if you're looking to get away from the crowds you can head to Notsuoh for The Goods, Ladyheat and my current favorites Muhammid Ali.

SUNDAY MARCH 29, 2009
Oh come on, like I'd actually tell you to go see Chris Cornell. Phhhhhht.


MONDAY MARCH 30, 2009
Alright, so I goof on Campfire Stories every week, but they've actually got quite a lovely sound and they're actually not playing Alvin this week. They're supporting Little High Little Low at Super Happy Fun Land. If you liked Ghost Mice at Amy's then this is the show for you. Rounding out the bill are Litost and Aunt Belle. Ozeal & The Eulypians and Free Radicals are doing the free show thing at Boondocks. Oh and dude. Britney's sliming the Toyota Center with the Pussycat Dolls. I need a shower.



TUESDAY MARCH 31, 2009
If you somehow find yourself in Tomball tonight, do some local boys a favor and see Bayou Monster with Weird at Gary's Spot. Bayou Monster has the young dude from Fuller's in it. That reminds me, I want to a musician's "best of", like "best guitar shop", "best sound guy". Maybe even "worst of", too. If you've got any suggestions for categories, let me know!


Alright, that does it for the next week or so. See you at the Block Party.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thursday in Austin: SXSW Day 2

posted by Levi @ 3:48 PM

I had been looking forward to seeing Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down last April at the Orange Show, but it was not to be thanks to rain, so I was glad to finally catch her at the NPR party at the Parish. It was rather strange walking into a dark club at noon and being handed a PBR, but the low lighting must have tricked Thao into thinking it was a regular old night show, cause she sure rocked like it.


Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down


Next up was the Rhapsody party at Mohawk for Wavves. I've talked to a lot of people who saw them in Austin and the reviews have been mixed. A lot of people seem to prefer the record to the live show, but I really appreciated seeing the backbone of the songs without all the fuzz. If you like the recordings, Wavves is worth seeing, but I don't expect the live performance will win over those who have not already heard them, though I doubt that was an issue in Austin.


Wavves


Some bands' on stage performance and demeanor can make them seem like they might be a blast to hang out with, while others', not so much. The next two bands I saw were examples of both ends of the spectrum. School of Seven Bell's dreamy pop tunes didn't lead me to expect a joyous live experience, and although it does fit with the theme of the music, I was surprised at how distant the lead singer often looked. At least guitarist Benjamin Curtis (formerly of Secret Machines) seemed to have a little more fun.






School of Seven Bells



The Wrens on the other hand seem to have the time of their lives each time they perform and play their hearts out like it could be their last show. Yes, they are older than most of the other bands at SXSW, but you'd never guess that based on the energy of their performance. Everyone in the packed tent seemed to agree as the Wrens brought forth the loudest cheers I heard all week.




The Wrens



After that I headed back to Mohawk for a few songs from Trail of Dead before going to Red Eyed Fly for Viva Voca, Loch Lomand, and another killer show by Port O'Brien.

Viva Voce




Port O'Brien


Bounced around to a few other shows not worth mentioning, saw Tricky at FADER Fort, and then over to Club 1808 for Ponytail in probably the smallest space they have ever played. Stuck around for the Strange Boys, Crystal Antlers and then left to try to get into the Playboy party.


The Strange Boys


Crystal Antlers

I'd heard plenty of rumors that Jane's Addiction was the surprise guest but still wasn't sure until I heard the opening notes of Three Days. It was great to finally see the original lineup and they appeared to be happy to be together again, or maybe just happy about the money they'll be making on the NIN tour, who knows, but I'm glad I got in to see it.

Bunnies


Jane's Addiction

Wednesday in Austin: SXSW Day 1

posted by Levi @ 12:44 PM

I've been attending SXSW for about the last 8 years and have purchased a wristband for about the last 5. With the abundance of free un-official night shows this year, I chose not to get a wristband and I'm happy to report that I still managed to see the majority of the bands on my list. While I may purchase one again in the future, at least I now know that it isn't a necessity.

Wednesday began at the Austinist party with Telekinesis at the Mohawk at 11:45am. As their new record was produced by Chris Walla, it's not surprising that they channel a lot of Death Cab for Cutie, and that was fine by me.

Telekinesis


With some free BBQ and free absinthe, things were off to a great start. Next up was Here We Go Magic, which is Luke Temple's new project. He recorded the recently release debut album alone in his bedroom, but is touring with a full band and while I dig the record, I loved the live versions of the songs.



Here We Go Magic


After that it was off to the Radio Room for the Paste party and Port O'Brien, one of the bands I was most looking forward to and they did not disappoint.

Port O'Brien


I stuck around for a few songs from Heartless Bastards, decent for straight-ahead rock, but wasn't really feeling it. Next it was over to Maggie Mae's where I stumbled into Yelle and walked out after a song, watched a bit of Cut Off Your Hands and then headed to Emo's annex for Deer Tick. Jana Hunter had raved to me about him a couple years ago, but I had only recently given him a listen. What a fool I was for not doing so earlier, this was another of my favorite performances of the week.

Deer Tick



Then we went to Peckerheads (what an awful name) and saw a bit of the Phenomenal Handclap Band, they weren't, so it was off to the Levi's/FADER Fort for Micachu and the Shapes who were indeed phenomenal. With grimy beats constructed from drums, synthesizer, and the often percussive use of guitar, this performance was one of my highlights.






Micachu and the Shapes
(a picture of Mica Levi at Levi's by Levi)


For the evening it was back to Ms. Bea's for another Todd P event with Pete and the Pirates, Here We Go Magic, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Telepathe before heading back downtown to the 508 House for a drink and a few moments of A-Trak.

Telepathe


A-Trak

At Paradise I spotted MTV News' John Norris checking out the Harlem Shakes and then went to the Red Bull Moon Tower party for I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, Shepard Fairy, and Monotonix. If you've seen Monotonix you know how they do it, if not, the pictures speak for themselves. Not a bad first day.


Harlem Shakes


I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness


Shepard Fairy








Monotonix

Two Things To Tell You Today

posted by april5k @ 7:22 AM



First off a big ol' congrats to our dear, dear friends Something Fierce for landing themselves on Dirtnap Records. They'll be doing an LP release of There Are No Answers, so that will be the nation's feel good summer jams for 2009. Read their Hands Up post HERE and tell them how proud you are of them.



The other thing is that Iranian ex-pats Hypernova are playing tomorrow night at The Meridian. You can read a very lovely write-up by my husband HERE. And um, yes, my band is playing, but pay more attention to the part about these guys risking their lives for rock & roll and that The McKenzies are playing as well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tuesday in Austin: SXSW Day (-1)

posted by Levi @ 3:38 PM

I suppose if you are reading this you are already aware that every year SXSW seems to get bigger and bigger, this year bringing in massive acts like Metallica, Jane's Addiction and Kanye West. (I missed Metallica, but pics of JA and Kanye are forthcoming) The increase in overall scope has led to more shows on the Tuesday before the official music portion of SXSW and at the end of SXSW Interactive, and as such I've been heading to Austin a day early for the last couple years. This year The Western Civilization set my new record for earliest band seen at SXSW, playing @ 4pm @ Gruv as part of the Matthew Wettergreen curated Houston @ SXSW event. I caught a bit of Wayside Drive and Benjamin Wesley before heading off to BMI's Howdy Texas party at Stubb's for some free BBQ and my first free beer of the week.

The Western Civilization


Benjamin Wesley


Next up was Daniel Francis Doyle at NYC DIY show promoter extraordinaire Todd P's Tejas Means Friends party @ Ms. Bea's. Only a few hours in and I had already found one of my favorite surprises of the week. As part of his live show every song seemingly has two parts, the first in which he plays a series of guitar riffs, recording a few moments of each with a delay pedal, and the second in which he plays drums and sings while rapidly triggering the guitar fragments with his left foot. It is truly incredible the way he puts it all together, I suggest you catch him at the FPH Westheimer Block Party on Saturday. While he is from Austin, his sound was much more in line with the stuff coming out of Houston in recent years and I expect many of you will love him.


Daniel Francis Doyle


Not sure if they were security or just enjoying the jams, thankfully this was no Altamont



Next it was back to Gruv for a few songs from a stripped down version of Tha Fucking Transmissions featuring Fat Tony and then off to the IFC Crossroads party for Gomez and The Decemberists.



The venue for the IFC party was Pangaea, a plush Austin nightclub that I doubt I will ever step foot in outside of SXSW, but with a capacity of about 400, a terrific place to see a show like this. I liked Gomez's first few records but haven't followed them since. They did put on a great performance and I'm sure the open bar didn't hurt.




I'm a huge fan of The Decemberists first three records but was a bit afraid they were going to lean towards their new record as they were playing it in its entirety the following night at Stubb's. I was quite happy when Colin Meloy announced at the beginning of the show that they would be playing nothing off the new record. The Decemberists are definitely a band some love and some hate, Colin Meloy's goat-boy wail isn't for everyone, but for those who had stood in line for hours (even over night I heard) at Waterloo Records for the free tickets, the show was superb.



After the show I raced back to Gruv to try to catch B L A C K I E at 1am, but was too late and decided to call it a night early as I knew that option would probably not present itself again for a while.

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: SXSW 2009 Recap - Saturday (April 21)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 2:56 PM

Well here we are now at the end of our tale. We close with three excellent shows of hallowed awesomeness and one that was just, eh, OK:

King Kahn and the Shrines

First up was King Kahn and The Shrines at Waterloo Park. Now I don't know how but somehow from our Motel to the park it went from chilly and cool to hot as hell. But no matter, we got there just in time for King Kahn to be introduced and watched from the back only to realize very quickly that this was better experienced up front. So we made our way to the front and sure enough the experience was night and day. Instead of distant and pleasant the band ripped up with a Otis Redding inspired craziness. Fun stuff to be sure and aces moves from the guy in the bari sax but in the end I think everyone agreed that the club is the better place to experience this kind of band. Big stages like this just never do the trick.

Rusted Shut

We'd planned on seeing Explosions In the Sky but that was sidetracked along the way. I also missed Tara Jane O'Neil so, like many things, at SXSW you take what you can and don't sweat what you missed. But after a lot of hanging around in Austin, we finally got back on course with Rusted Shut and holy shit the motherfuckers delivered. Kill Kill Kill hell yes! My chimp brain needed some ass whoopin' and Rusted Shut was just the ticket. So after screamign and shouting to Rusted Shut I asked Don what he was on and he replied "On? Motherfucker I haven't touched a gotdang drop all day!" snarled Don. Well, if that don't beat all.

Box Elders

We then headed over to Red 7. The Box Elders were playing. It was nice 60's inspired power pop and the guywas wearing a nice combo of a gold suit and black shorts but while pleasant, not very much to write home about. After all we were there for...

Jack Oblivion

Now the Oblivions are a great band, but while I was aware of the Reigning Sound and Greg Oblivion's solo stuff, I had to plead ignorance to Jack Oblivion's solo stuff. Thankfully from the first ring of his guitar and the rough and energetic sound of the band it was probably the most fun show I saw at SXSW - a perfect way to close up. Dancing our asses off to a fine example of American Rock and Roll with a band that was tight as hell but loose enough to convey all the chaotic energy that many Americana bands often forget is core to rock and roll. That's not to say that these guys were hanging from the rafters to get the crowd riled up. They didn't need to - the music did it for them - well, at least for me and my friends. When SXSW ends with drunken dancing, I think we done good.


Rock and Roll, Motherfuckers.
See you next year. that's a wrap.

My SXSW 2009 Posts:

Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part I: (Link)
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part II: (
Link)
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part III: (
Link)

Also,

April's recap (Link)

Labels: , , ,

Suck by Suck Weiners

posted by april5k @ 8:08 AM

Ok, I'm going to be forthright and let you know that I am not the biggest fan of SXSW. I had avoided the stress, anxiety, sunburn and shin splits of this music festival for 28 years before finally giving in...and that was to watch the Monocles in front of a comic book store far, far from 6th street. Oh and watching the Night Marchers from on stage was pretty fun, too. I had no idea who else was playing so what you don't know can't bum you out, right?

Yeah, well this year I made this great big itinerary to maximize the fun that Guitars would be having this past weekend. Well, we took a wrong turn on the way (why did we take I-10? we ALWAYS take 290!) so there went our first chance to catch Handsome Furs. SUCK. So we park the car and head out to see The Uglysuit. Google maps gave me directions to WEST Cesar Chavez. Thanks. So by this time we're hungry and thirsty. Well, we don't have time to make it to see Those Darlin's, they start in 10 minutes and they're 20 minutes away from where we are. Oh, and Quinn Walker is playing at Waterloo, so we know that's impossible. And forget about DeVille and the Mohawk. All the good bands are playing there and the line is two blocks long. So Red Eyed Fly it is for Horse Feathers.



Harry Potter is in Horse Feathers. That's all I've got to say about that.



We step out a bit before they're done and optimistically head to the French Legation Museum for Wavves. I'm stoked. I love Wavves. I can't wait to see them. We wait for the previous band to pay their Death Cab fare and let the party begin. Oh but wait, apparently there was some problem and Marnie Stern says "this is take two" and she's playing. Insert frowny emoticon here. I call bullshit on Marnie Stern. Everyone talks about how she's this great guitar player but she plays the lick a couple times through and then loops it. Now, I know I should be all stoked about a female shredder but she's totally cheating, which might be ok if the songs were really kick ass.



So we missed Wavves and were now 5 miles away from where Herman Dune was playing. So I've missed 5 bands that I really really wanted to see, so far. But things definitely took a turn for the better when we went to the Scoot Inn for No Bunny. No Bunny was far and away the highlight of my weekend. He was all New York Dolls (hose and heels) and Ramones (riffs) and Iggy (he picked a scab and rubbed the blood on his chest) and enter-fucking-tainment. And we could smell his balls from the audience. Pretty punk.



Outside at the Scoot Inn were Peelander-Z. Everyone where I work LOVES Peelander-Z and I always feel guilty that I never go see them when they come to Houston. I watched a bit of their set. Sorry. Don't get it. It's kooky. I get that. Maybe I'm too jaded. Oops. And their drummer causes androgyny boners, which I guess is ok.



And even though we were stoked on good times we gave up on the idea of seeing Handsome Furs at Waterloo (BIG MISTAKE, PROBABLY COULD HAVE MADE IT) and headed to the Moose Lodge to definitely catch Kurt Vile. Well, we get there and Ducktails were supposed to be playing. They weren't. They weren't even on the schedule. WTF? Some fake-fur white boy group that think "pimpin' is HI-LARIOUS" hooked up their turntables and we tried to head to Trailer Space, but couldn't remember the cross street. So we head back for Kurt Vile as he played to us, Indian Jewelry and some dorm dudes in "I <3 Ska" t-shirts. Oh, and Pas/Cal was supposed to play afterwards. They weren't even on the schedule either. The highlight of our trip to the Moose Lodge? When we saw Kurt Vile's band loading in I said "Court is now in Hessian" and made people laugh really hard.

At this point we were starving and went to a virtually empty Kerbey Lane and then went to check into the hotel and meet our other two band mates. There was a lot going on Friday night, but after walking forever I was beat. We intended to take naps and find the bridge show, but we decided to rest for our show on Saturday and we would get to see the Vivian Girls with our VIP passes to Don't Mess With Texas. YAY.

So, it's Saturday morning, we do breakfast at Mother's and head over to Co-Lab where our show is going to take place. We find out that everything is running an hour and half late due to a hungover sound man. Um, ok. We go to get coffee at Spider House where I am offended by the over-PCness of Austin presented to me on the flyer for the Spider House shows. It's that famous Lester Bangs picture only they blacked out that last word on his t-shirt (which in the picture only says "igge" pretty much) and then to top it off, compltely blacked out all the words on the smaller flyers and then put that on top of the words on some of the bigger posters. Austin, you are a bunch of hippie dorks. Way to "keep it weird".




Spider House was a bust so we went across the street to Antone's where I called double bullshit on Marnie Stern. Eve and the Exiles we're playing there and were the other great band we saw over the weekend. Eve could play the hell out of the guitar and was like 30 years younger than everyone else in her band. Very nice.

Alright, so we head back to Co-Lab and are told that we've been moved to 5:15. Um, ok. Um, I really wanted to see the bands playing between 3 and 6 at Mess With Texas. And now we're missing ALL OF THEM. VIP BRACELETS BE DAMNED. Oh 5:15 came and went. Our new set time was 6:45, but it was between a band that shares management with the Killers and a big label band. We played at 8:30. And I think this is the order it went in: I twisted my ankle, fell off the stage, busted my knee and kept playing. I didn't even realize how much pain I was in until an hour later. At least we didn't stop the song. Then we watched Gliss, the band after us. And they're very lovely. Oh, and there was a mini pony named Cool Whip that I should have gotten a picture of and I'm sad now that I didn't. Oh and we were paid in bottles of vodka and iced tea.

So, now that I can't walk and we've been waiting around all day with no food we go eat. Cause some scenes, tell SXSW to suck it, having missed every cool thing that we wanted to do and head back to the hotel to get all Brtish rock band about it. Party.

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: SXSW 2009 Recap - Thursday and Friday (April 19 and 20)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:06 AM

Yes, you've probably been wondering where our posts have been over SXSW. Well, first off, only I was supposed to to do daily blogging; Levi and April were going to do theirs this week as recaps. So why no posts? Well, lets just say that the rest of my posse showed up Thursday and when you are in the middle of a hurricane you just try to make it through alive.

See here is the thing about SXSW, sure you have all the issues revolving around this big overblown marketing beast where small independent bands scream to be heard above the fray, but forget that. Put that aside and what you have at SXSW is this crush of humanity descending on our proud state capital every year to hear some great music and have a great time. I mean look at this fellow below.




Chris Gray - Responsible Writer

Yes, that's our dear friend Chris Gray of the Houston Press working hard like the excellent writer he is. He's got his press badges, his wristbands, and he blogged extensively throughout. Well, not us. No sir we are down in the trenches with you plebeians. While Chris was jumping from show to show in the evening, we had to pick our shows*, pay for each one, and drink like fishes at our homebase bar on 7th. While Chris was blogging extensively we were either too hungover to type in the morning or threatened with death for typing too loud at the early hour of 1PM. While Chris was bringing you the latest and greatest bands, we were discovering new uses for Guideon's Bible that probably would fall under sacrilege in most denominations. So, no, you are not going to get the full SXSW musical experience here. Neither will you get a run down of all the silliness, weirdness, drama, and genuine party call me insanity of the weekend - this ain't no personal blog. But here is a quick recap of what I got to see from Thursday and Friday. Blogger is being weird right now so Saturday's recap will have to wait.

Thursday 19 April


Consider this a stand-in for all lame SXSW bands
Let this band take the place of all awful and middling bands of SXSW. Ya see, for all the good that you can find at SXSW, you can find something terrible. Now granted, the "Texas Rock" stage on 7th street is the worst crap you will ever hear at SXSW no matter what year it is and even these guys above couldn't hold candle to that shit but in their own bar band/blues rock tropes kind of way they were pretty unbearable.


The Gary
The reason though I'd gone to Ms. Bee's was to see Austin's The Gary whose little CD I really enjoyed. The set was pretty good but hampered by the sound. I actually picked up one of their CDRs last time they came to Houston and really dug songs like Confusion and Damn Machines so I was able to fill in the gaps where the sound failed them but, hey, you know, it's a free show; outdoor sound is always dodgy but the band still played with some great verve - tossing out aggressive bass and some sweet guitar lines. Fun and good to see these guys again.


Elaine Greer's death metal set at Casa de Gallo
Next stop was Casa De Gallo and when I got there I had JUST missed Giant Princess play. The setting was pretty nice - a small little home in an obscure street on the east side and there was a good representation of all your music friends relaxing while enjoying some food and music. Elaine Greer played a great set with Travis on bass being his usual jovial self and Austin lending his skills on guitar, accordion, and backing vocals. The room sounded great, the band delivered, and Elaine's voice carried all the melody, wit, and intelligence of her songs with a charming grace. Of course, if you've read my columns or blogs, you'd know that this is nothing new. Buxton was to follow Elaine Greer but I had to leave to catch an old friend from Austin. No worries, you know as well as I that it's an easy bet that Buxton would take no prisoners. Need proof? That new single they have coming out KILLS! When it comes out buy a copy, then you will truly know of this band's might.


Lou Barlow and Imaad Wasif - Cool Texas Night Awesomeness
After a short break, Lou Barlow and Imaad Wasif were performing outside at Ms Bees and, unlike the Gary's earlier set, the sound was great. Perhaps the surrounding crowd did a good job of corralling the sounds - I dunno. It's the first time I'd seen Lou play with Imaad and I have to say I really really liked what Imaad brought to the performance with his soft melodic phrasing complimenting Lou's guitar and voice. Throw in a cool cloudless Texas evening and what more could you want? Excellent and worth racing out to see! Indian Jewelry followed but the way they were situated the crowd enveloped them to the point where I could not see them at all. Saturday, Erika told me they DID in fact have the strobes on that night but I didn't see any from the back of the crowd. That right there tells you how packed it was. Still they sounded great so no complaints here.

And finally here is one last image of the evening...

Young Mammals and Ghormeh Sabzi (with Sandwich)
Funny enough this was one of the few times I ran into a Houston Band on the street. In fact, overall I found this year's SXSW to have fewer people roaming the streets in general. Last year it seemed that you couldn't turn around without bumping into another Houston band or scenester and even though this particular night seemed to have a good number of scenesters suddenly appear at our homebase SXSW bar that was more the exception than the rule. For what it's worth, I'm gonna guess from what I saw that SXSW attendance dropped to some degree this year

Friday 20 April

Friday ended up being my Battan Death March. Let's just say, I paid for Thursday all of Friday and leave it at that but, using every possible method available to me, I plugged through. Still we did see some good bands along the way.

Themselves
Themselves were pretty fun. They played a smart-ass electronic white boy hip-hop thing. One of the best songs they did involved using the drum machine (sounding like a typewriter) to type our what he was rapping to hilarious effect. My favorite song though was the third to last song which laid this heavy Kraut rock groove on the chorus. Unfortunately when I asked them what that song was their only response was "Oh sorry we fucked up the set. I have no idea what song that was." Ha! Well fucked up or not it was fun and smart stuff.


Deer Tick
By chance Deer Tick was playing and given Tuesday's show in Houston we figured we'd give them another chance and for me this was more a coming to terms with what Deer Tick has become show than anything else. I will say that the band opened with a version of one of the songs off his Jukebox Whore CDR that I hadn't heard in ages so, for me, that was just one of those Oh man, I havent' heard this in ages - I love this song kind of moments. And they closed with my favorite Deer Tick song which was played with all the ornamented beauty of the original. I think here is the thing about Deer Tick; they've become an Americana band. Gone is the signature subtle melancholy of his earlier work and in its place is a good Americana bar band. The kind of band that plays long aimless 12 bar blues songs and has frat guys high-fiving each other (Oh yes they did!). It's a good band but it's not the band I came to love. I'll bet they get a bigger audience and they'll be fine. So good sailing to you Deer Tick.

Jana Hunter
After that is was a race across town to see Jana Hunter at Domy books. I'd missed her Tuesday so I was glad to find that Domy was running a bit behind schedule. I mean c'mon you know Jana: that singular phrasing, that jangly guitar, the slow spacious emotional songs. Much like Lou Barlow's set the prior night, Jana hailed in the cooler evening weather playing her haunting music as the sun began to fall and birds flew across the sky overhead. I couldn't have asked for better.

Babel Fishh And Evak1
Last for the evening was Babel Fish and Evak1 which easily, hands down had the best banter of any band of SXSW I'd seen. I already dug the Babel Fishh stuff but, together, these guys were this brilliant non sequitur stream of consciousness . The whole routine about the Bono Hot Wings just had me rolling with laughter. It was like those two good friends everyone has who can just riff off each others silliness. Unfortunately, the sound didn't do them many favors (the vocals were way too loud compared to the beats and samples). Nevertheless their music, wit, and nerdy charm was easily more than a match for the crappy sound and the fact that there was no room to dance because of tables and chairs. Fun music, smart guys, go see them!

My SXSW 2009 Posts:
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part I: (
Link)
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part II: (Link)
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part III: (Link)

Also,
April's recap (
Link)

*My band didn't apply this year and so I didn't ahve wristbands like I did last year.

Labels: , , , , "jana hunter", , , ,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Music with Jameson and Lonestar: SXSW09: Day Two (Part One)

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 10:59 AM

OW! OW! My head!

OK, maybe I overdid it last night; it's 1PM and I'm just now starting to recover from last night.
I'll catch y'all up soon...Casa De Gallo, Lou Barlow, and a hella lotta booze

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Music with Jameson & Lone Star at SXSW 2009: Day 1 (Golden Cities, Innoculist, Iron Age, Mammoth Grinder, and The Jon Benet )

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 5:48 AM

Whereupon I learned three things:

One - Walgreen's batteries suck!
Two - My satchel's HOA sharktooth button will survive anything.
Third - I look like a complete and utter indie rock pussy to doormen.
I arrived to Austin sans posse. One of my peeps caught a bad bout of food poisoning and wouldn't arrive until Thursday leaving me pretty much on my own for the day. So after consulting the night's shows the way I figured it was, if I wanted to take in some hardcore, this was likely the night to do it. But first a little indie rock over at Jay Crossley's Human Party Virus.

Now, I'll say that my allergies were kicking my ass and my allergies don't so much make me sneeze but make me tired and drive like the worst drunk on the road. So, there I was trying to find HPV's venue, realized it was at the sports bar across the street with the huge wide screen TVs, and, being completely zonked on tree and grass pollen, fond myself turned around and inexplicably heading east on 6th street onto oncoming traffic. Mercifull,y I made it across the street with nary more than angry honks from annoyed locals.

The venue itself, I have to say, was a bit odd. A slick if saccharine sports bar in a faceless shopping center where the patrons (thanks to thick glass) went about their business inside as a small cluster of indie rock fans sat outside. The first band up was Golden Cities whose live performance gave me exactly what I expected - a much fuller and bigger sound than their CD could have contained. I don't know why but bands like this just work better live that trapped inside a little shiny disc. I have the same issue with Japan's Mono where I like the CDs all right but live they are phenomenal; Golden Cities is no different. What I think sets them apart from most of the shoegazers is the interplay between the drums and the other instruments. There are these points where guitars and keyboards drift in reverb and the drums flicker about in tight complex rhythms. It's just a great juxtaposition of sounds and just points to why Lance Higdon is one of Houston's best and most versatile drummers. Nice.


Inoculinst followed which was a treat as I hadn't seen them since, jeez, since they played the Proletariat. The band is now a trio and I have to say I really liked how John Hunter's baritone found it's perfect compliment with Ashlyn Davis' soft understated voice though the drummer kept freaking me out as he kept making faces that had him looking like the spitting image of The Band's Levon Helm. The music was perfect for my red eyed zonked state with that same kind of laid back country-ish vibe you get from the self-titled 1969 Velvet Underground album. Nice stuff and, if I may say so, I really have to say I really enjoyed the new line-up over the original one.

So here is where I get to the batteries. See, I tried taking pics here and then the camera went and died. Crap what the hell? Had my Kodak finally gone to meet its maker? Did Golden Cities create some force field? Well, no actually. See I was talking with Danny Mee about Houston music. He was saying how he thought that Houston Indie Rock bands had one disadvantage and that was production. He thought Austin bands albums sound great while Houston bands sound, by comparison flat. I won't get into the discussion here because the point isn't to get into a Houston VS Austin thing but I'll just say it's an interesting view but I simply don't agree. Anyhow, while we're talking he asks if I have any spare AA batteries so I hand him two. Well, thankfully that happened because Angela 's camera also stopped working and a quick look via her IPhone found that Walgreen's batteries are crap. They pump out too much juice and basically overload your camera. Sure enough, after the show I bought some branded batteries (and some much needed Claratin D) and voila my camera came back to life. So if you are a photographer or just play one on TV - DON'T BUY WALGREEN'S BATTERIES.

OK, enough consumer reports shit. Now that I was finally not about die from my allergies and I was armed with real batteries for my camera - hardcore! So here is the funny thing. I walk up to the doorman with my hat and satchel, present my ID like everyone in front of me and he looks at me and says, "Umm what band are you looking for?"

I'm a bit confused but reply, "Mammoth Grinder."

He looks at me again, pauses, mumbles an "Um oh OK, I just thought....", and then trails off unintelligibly. Yes that's right the doorman took one look at me and thought PUSSY! So, then he hands me the ID back with this look of pity like I'm gonna come out is a stretcher or something AWESOMENESS!

Well, when I come in Iron Age is playing and there is a furious jock mosh pit action going on between the crowd and the stage, so, making like C3PO walking through Storm Trooper laser fire, I saunter through the big thick necked dudes and head right to the front of the stage to stake out my territory. Sure I got slammed, I got sucker punched (unintentionally), and literally held onto my hat as I dodged flying bodies. I took one picture and boom my camera was hit so hard that my batteries literally jumped out. Still, once I got my peripheral hardcore spider sense going I was pretty good and once when one stage diver knocked over my hat someone behind me firmly put my hat back on my head. That's what I always find is so cool about Hardcore Kids sure you may get sucker punched but it's all in good fun and they'll help you up if ya fall or prop ya up if you lose your balance; call it good hardcore comradeship and manners. Iron Age was pretty fun too. Big crunchy metal riffs alternating from fast hardcore 1-2 1-2 to some awesome slow crushing shit. Pretty freaking sweet and after all was said and done no matter how many bodies crashed against my satchel, my HOA sharktooth button (which has outlasted every other button) held firm. It was like the seeing the American Flag during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. That pin rules!

Next up was Mammoth Grinder who may not have been as perilous from a spectator's standpoint but that's only because the crowd moved up and gave the moshers no room. And wholly hell did they live up to their rep. Three dudes and a drummer that showed no mercy! It's like the dude would take this deep breath before each beat-down he'd administer to the kit. Crushing stops and starts, brain hemorrhaging riffs, and the ubiquitous cookie monster vocals. Freaking sweet and in true bad assitude they were done in probably 15 minutes. We came, we crushed, we're done. So, then after the set, out of nowhere, up comes Matthew Hines of The Easten Sea and then in the course of our conversation he tells me how he played bass for Mammoth Grinder at one point. AWESOME! I love how so many Idie Rock kids have played grindcore and hardcore. What's with that? Whatever the case, it's awesome but - between you and me - don't tell the doormen.

The evening closed with The Jon Benet who, man, are just so freaking incredible. Last time I saw them at Numbers an inadequate PA sucked the life out of their show but here at Red 7 The sound was great and they just pummeled. The thing I love about this band is that sure they play chimp rock but they do so with this - not to put down other bands - but with this generosity and intelligence that is horribly endearing. Can I say that about a heavy ass band like this? Maybe not, but call it what you like, when they are firing on all cylinders they are just incredible and this night only proved that. Now if anyone can bottle what they do live and put that on record I'd die a happy man.



Golden Cities perform at Human Party Virus
while Jay Crossley lurks in the shadows.


Golden Cities performing outside as
patrons of the sports bar go about their business inside.

Inoculist laying down the mellow
at Human Party Virus.

This was the only picture I got of Iron Age
before the batteries were literally
knocked out of my camera.

Mammoth Grinder lives up to it's name!

Mammoth Grinder.
Shucks, it just gets ya...right here.


The Jon Benet's Michael Murland
is he not the awesomest frontman or what!



And finally...
Insert your caption here....

My SXSW 2009 Posts:
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part I: (
Link)
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part II: (
Link)
Jameson and Lonsetar SXSW 2009 Part III: (
Link)

More Pics on My Flickr (Link)

Also,
April's recap (
Link)

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: pre-SXSW with Deer Tick & Stardeath And White Dwarfs at Rudyards 17 March 2009

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:24 PM

Good morning folks, I've gotta get packing for just got into Austin but I figured I'd let y'all know how the Deer Tick show went last night over at Rudyard's. Yes, I know I missed Jana Hunter and Beach House over at The Orange show but hey, I'll be seeing Jana with Tara Jane O'Neil at Domy Books on Friday so we'll catch up on our beloved miss Hunter then.

Anyhow, let me jump to the penultimate band of the evening - Oklahoma City's Stardeath And White Dwarfs. I want you to take a good look at these photographs...





...and I know what you are thinking. This looks pretty bad-ass. And you are right in that they had a spectacular light show. The set up was amazing with multi-colored lights flashing to the music under a haze of fog. There was only one problem - that's all they brought with them. Let's break it down. The light show was spectacular but their performance and songs were neither here nor there. And this problem was evident from the start. Their choice of opener - a note for note cover of the Butthole Surfers Sweat Loaf. That's right this band starts off with a cover of the Butthole Surfers covering Black Sabbath complete with the piped in intro. Hey, I can hear that album at home guys! NEXT! The second song was actually OK but from there it was downhill: an entire set of cool lights and no content. I mean look, I caught Hearts of Animals play the Mink on Monday night - just one woman with a guitar and a voice - and she blew these clowns away. OH wait, she bothered to write songs! Oh wait, she actually has talent! Oh wait, she doesn't need to hide behind a wall of lights to hold people's attention! It's like the juxtaposition of Celine Dione and Elliot Smith at the Oscars: one, a hollow artifice hiding behind flash and glitz and , the other, a lone individual doing nothing more than simply saying what they need to say without ornament or frills - where the work speaks for itself. Take your pick but I'll take Hearts over Stardeath anytime, thank you.


The evening closed with Deer Tick which was really my reason for going because Deer Tick's John McCauley is also one to lay his soul bare through his music. If you saw him a long while back at Sound Exchange perform sitting on the floor with only his voice and his guitar you saw a phenomenal performance - one that left everyone in the room in awe. That night McCauley demanded your attention both because of his beautifully crafted songs as well as the pure unrestrained emotion. So having seen him perform that show, last year's SXSW, and my endless admiration for his debut on Feow records a few years ago, I had some pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, to my disappointment this performance, while fair, lacked any of the spark an immediacy of his prior performances. It was almost as if the band was going through the motions performing few new songs and losing any momentum with a flat rendition of a Lightning Hopkins song that seemed endless. That may sound harsh and likely makes it sound worse than it was. I mean, I had a fine time and I can't say it was a terrible performance but it just was a long way from that young kid belting his soul out on the Sound Exchange floor.

OK! Time to hit the streets of our capital. See y'all soon.

More Pics on my Flickr (Link)

Labels: , ,

SXSFOX

posted by april5k @ 9:04 AM



Alright, I'm gonna make this as quick as I can. SXSW is out there and it's calling my name. Oh but before I dive in, I saw Deer Tick at Cactus last night, yelled out "Diamond Rings" and they played it, and they KICKED ASS. Also, check out the Condo Fucks record (on Matador) if you get a chance. Alright, let's go.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 18, 2009
I am going to be self-aggrandizingly blunt and suggest you go to the Kevin Seconds, Kepi Ghoulie, Lenny Briscoe and (last-minute addition) Delta Block show at The Mink. Lenny's stand-in bass player is a fox...of the Micheal J. variety. Alright, if it wasn't SXSW west week I would be going to the Sew What, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Samuel Doores show and Sedition Books. But it is and were I not wrangling foxes, I would without a doubt be at Rudyard's for Crystal Stilts, Women, and Chase Hamblin, definitely definitely a fine show. The Meridian's got Airborne Toxic Event and Alberta Cross tonight. Notsuoh has The Ignorant and The Frontier Needs Heroes. SHFL brings you Afuche, Intercept, Amo Joy and The Lonely H. And finally, from the worth mentioning pile you've got Free Radicals at Avant Garden. Everything else is just embarrassing.

THURSDAY MARCH 19, 2009
Before you OD on the irony with Elton John and Billy Joel at Toyota Center stop by SoundEx at 7pm for The Mathletes and One Happy Island. If you're not down with the piano pop you've got The Motion Sick at Nostuoh and Canja Rave and CLP at SHFL. Is there really nothing going on at Rudz?

FRIDAY MARCH 20, 2009
If you're actually still here on Friday you should go live it up at Rudyard's with Born Liars and Pat Todd and the Rank Outsiders. For cleaner living souls you've got The Western Civilization at The mink with Conversations with Enemies, Gretchen Schmaltz and Mothertone. The White Swan has Tax the Wolf, B.L.A.C.K.I.E. and Desmond Zavala, an all round solid local show. If you understand any of the following: Archaic 3, U Not I, Redlix, Bows and Arrows, and bythetimeyoureadthis; then Walter's is the place for you. Or try this one: Chin Xaou Ti Won, The They, Accoustic Muzak, Carlos Pozo, TEF, and Serum Fantis. Got it? Then go to Notsuoh. Oh and Kinky Friedman is at the Mucky Duck. B.T.W.

SATURDAY MARCH 21, 2009
Still here!? Wow. Ok well, might I suggest Phosphorescent with listenlisten at The Orange Show? Better than not being in Austin, for sure. Also, you probably won't go wrong with Andrew Bird and Heartless Bastards at House of Blues. For my money I'd say you'd go wrong with Thursday at Verizon, but hey, who am I to judge? I have not idea what's going on with the random band explosion at The Meridian but you've go Martin Atkins, The Queers, Los Skarnales, Simpleton (they're still around!?), The Cute Lepers, BPC, Chant and Whorehound. Maybe this is on two different stages? I dunno. Rudyard's brings you Skeleton Witch (not Dick), Kylesa, and Black Tusk. Fiery Furnace Amanda Palmer brings it to House of Blues and that will probably pretty good as well.

SUNDAY MARCH 22, 2009
I gotta say I hope that I'm back in time because there are quite a few ace shows on Sunday. Most exciting for me personally is the return of Airon Paul Dugas at The Mink with The Crash Kings and Paris Falls. Ooooooh then also exciting for me is the show at Super Happy Fun Land. You've got Talk Normal, US Girls, Sgt Dunbar & The Hobo Banned, Golden Animals, and focus of my stokedness Boo & Boo Too. Ugh, and then there's Japanther, THEART, Muhammid Ali (arrrrrgh), Fat Tony, Female Demand, Caddywhompus, and My Name is John Michael at Caroline Collective. Not stressing me out as much are these shows...Star Fucking Hipsters (ex-Leftover Crack and Chocking Victims, oh my favorites!), Molotov Compromise, O Pioneers!!!, Blackmarket Sydnicate and Rats in the Attic at Walter's; Bogart and the Addictives with Gospel Gossip at Notsuoh; TK Webb & The Visions with Appomattoxrun at Rudz, The Texas Metal Fest featuring Carcass at The Meridian, and Silence Amongst Chaos at The White Swan. Oh and AIDS Wolf with Fiasco, Cop Warmth and B.L.A.C.K.I.E. (versus?) at Numbers will be hot as will ZZ Top at Reliant.

MONDAY MARCH 23, 2009
Rock like you're in an iPod commercial with Chairlift, Yacht and The Tontons at Warehouse or go to SHFL for Drew Danburry, Viking Moses, The Wild Moccasins, The Pictish Trail, Golden Ghost, Rozi Plain, and The Deep Sea Goes. Your choice.

TUESDAY MARCH 24, 2009
SHFL's got Ginsu Wives (that's silly!), Mose Giganticus, and Rainbows in Your Wildest Dreams and Rudyard's has got The Moaners. Don't like those? Go to Alvin Bowling Center for The Ghost Stories, Unzipped, The Fuct, and Campfire Stories. It's story time, obvs.

Alright, I'm getting the hell out of here, Austin is calling, yo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Music with Jameson & Lone Star Special Investigation - H-POP's Seamy Underbelly - Turtle Porn

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:42 AM

For many at last night's Papermoons homecoming show at Walter's, it was a night of lovely music. Phillip Foshee's opening set of heartfelt acoustic songs rang trough the room with an angelic grace. The Papermoons themselves seemed happy, in high spirits, and were excited about playing SXSW thanks to some help from the lads at Indie Houston. And everyone basked in the glow as News On The March expertly brought in some sunshine to the cold rainy night with their bright harmonies that foreshadowed trips to Galveston in the hot summer months ahead. A typical night of H-pop right? So one would think but, last night, behind the lovely strains of the cello, the rich melodies, and the twang of the guitars lurked a dark side.

It's a dark side that isn't brought up very often but we've heard the rumblings about this for quite some time and we at the Free Press we have uncovered the awful truth. Look if you will at what our undercover cameras found at last nights show (click on the image to see the detail).


Sick, isn't it?! That's right, News on the March, those happy smiling Houston Popsters you've come to love and adore, are here engaging in turtle smut. We originally thought this was just isolated to these few sick-o indie pop stars until we spoke with our own April Patrick (who, to our dismay, was developing a sex toy shaped like a turtle's shell) who boasted, "I'll make millions from News on the March alone!" Millions? Alone? Clearly this went beyond simply one band. Therefore we posed for months as a N.A.P.T.L.A. (North American People Turtle Love Association) representative and, though many wouldn't talk out of fear or shame, we eventually did gain the trust of various local musicians and slowly they opened up to us, exposing the perverse exploitation of our reptile friends. Consider the following statements:

Beau Beasely of Homopolice is non-chalant about the matter, "Yeah, I just watched a video of a turtle raping a shoe. It was kind of sexy."

Ben Murphy, guitarist for Bright Men of Learning and Tody Castillo, raves, "There's not much I love more than turtles...maybe monkeys. For the record, honestly, any thing tiny and cute will do."

Erik Bogle of Bring Back the Guns says,' "I feel that turtle porn is the muse that Houston's indie pop scene has been lacking."

Anna Garza, promoter extraordinaire, is also an enthusiast "I think turtle porn is awesome! Everybody deserves to get their freak on! You can quote me on that!"

Justin Crane of Nonalignment Pact, like many, retorted with a twisted logic when challenged; "It's OK to watch violent ninja turtles go around destroying things, but it's not OK to watch a turtle make sweet love to a shoe? I think your values are screwed up!"

Phillip Fosee, may not engage in this behavior but like many he defends it; "My opinion... I think musicians (and only musicians) should be allowed to take inspiration from anything they want, however bizarre or grotesque it may be. I think it's beautiful that someone could be inspired this.. That inspires me. So in a way, I am inspired by turtle porn. As for how evident this is in the music I create, and whether someone may find it offensive... Well... That's for my elected government representatives to decide. "

Niki Sevven of Something Fierce simply expresses her thoughts in Haiku:

turtle porn is skank
houston indie pop is shamed
awesome! party time!
I know what you are thinking. Isn't this going to wreck careers, ruin lives, and possibly destroy the entire H-Pop scene? Yes. Yes. and Yes. But when you look at the video below I think you will understand why we have to speak out stop this epidemic now!




Thursday, March 12, 2009

Still Too Bored

posted by april5k @ 10:29 AM

I'm sure ya'll saw Too Bored Productions' great Young Mammals CD Release Video last week (I'll stick it on the end there) but here's the newest video. This time Scotty D and the crew head to New Braunfels to splash it up with Christo-thrashers White Sails.



And here's the other video:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where the girls are

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:56 AM


To be a female musician in Houston..
By april5000

When I first started becoming involved with music there was no notion that it was only for boys. Sure, all of the bands were full of guys, but when I was young all of my friends were guys so I just didn’t notice that things we’re more than a little off-balance. I just saw really cool people doing really cool things and couldn’t think of one reason why I couldn’t yell Prince songs to the strums of a tennis racket guitar (which was a Prince brand racket, oddly enough) to an audience of Ninja Turtles. But as I got older and replaced the catgut with round-wounds, I started experiencing first hand that not every 4-Point stag is keen to let you in on the Reindeer Games. Awesomely enough, in the past few years it seems that this “boys-only” rule is going the way of Jim Crow, Gay Marriage Bans and Grass Illegality. More and more guys are abandoning that outdated notion that only boys can rock & roll.
   And no more is this more obvious than our own backyard. In all aspects and all capacities, women are essential to the awesome directions the Houston music scene has been taking as of late. From the roles of musicians to photographers, to promoters, to producers, the ladies of Houston enrich and nourish the community at large and without them, I hate to think of the sorry state we’d still be in. I’ve had the unparalleled pleasure of hearing what many of these great women have had to say on various topics. And with the space I have been allowed, it is with great pride and appreciation I present to you a unique glimpse into the experiences and perspectives of the women of the Houston music scene.
    This month we’ll be exploring the essential experience of being a female in a realm that has for so long been male dominated and controlled. From artists like Rolling Stones to Pavement and all the way to svengalis like Phil Spector to Kim Fowley, men have always been taken seriously as artists and forces behind the scenes, while women were ones to be in some cases written about and wooed, and other cases manipulated and sculpted. Yet, there were always the Moe Tuckers, and the Patti Smiths, pounding out a rhythm unencumbered by the limitations of gender roles as dictated by the status quo. Today it seems that ratio of men to women in music approaching stasis, as evidenced by the women I spoke to. By and large it seems that females are readily accepted by their male peers, though moments of friction do arise.
    Asli, of The Tontons expressed a reoccurring sentiment, “Probably the most common experience I have had being a female in a band is people assuming that I am a band member’s girlfriend, I get asked who I’m with a lot.”
    Artist/Promoter Kam had the same tale to tell, having been told by security at her own show "band girlfriends aren't allowed in the green rooms”.
    Melissa from Sharks and Sailors shared a similar experience, “Occasionally venue employees (in Houston and elsewhere) would think I was lying when my band was loading equipment into a club and I'd have to repeat ‘Yes, I'm IN the band.  I play an actual instrument in the band.  No, I'm not trying to get in free and I'm not someone's girlfriend, so please let me load my gear.’ Though, she admits situations like this are becoming fewer and farther between. It seems that the farther from Houston you go, the more problems you encounter.
    Dominique, vocalist/bassist of The Delta Block, has been literally beaten up for having the gall to ask for her band’s cut of the door.
    Sometimes it’s the audience, as evidence by an experience of Ema Kid vocalist/bassist of punk outfit Penny Arcade who was once told “Wow, I thought you were great and I was surprised too cause I wasn’t expecting you to be good because well…you know, you’re a girl.”
    And Natalie of Wayside Drive found a perfect way to counter the gear snobs. “They would ask me what kind of gear I was playing and you know what kind of guitar my guitar was. It’s like they didn’t take me seriously. I worked at Guitar Center for about six months, got familiar with all the gear, I worked in accessories. Now I’m at a point where I can tell them what they’re playing and I know more about their gear than they do!”
    But these clashes aren’t just happening out in the clubs, sometimes it’s going down in the practice room. Stacey of Guitars and Lenny Briscoe had this to say about a former outfit. “I was blatantly ignored. They would walk into my home when we would practice, look at my husband, who was the drummer, and tell him ‘Will you tell your wife to play this instead?’” An experience shared by Dominique who also was faced with friction by a stand-in band mate “He bold faced refused to listen to me and my suggestions as to how to play the song, and simply told me ‘I’m following (guitarist) John.’ He wouldn’t even look me in the eyes when he spoke to me. It was quite obvious that he couldn’t handle taking directions from girls.”            
     Fortunately, sometimes it’s a little lighthearted competition, “I think the farthest it goes is to see just how much gear I can haul around," says Gillian of News on the March.
    And as much as we’d like to make this a black and white, cut and dry gender issue, being a female in a band often means facing oppositions from other women. Asli had this to say, “it’s been my experience that when you're in a band with other females they tend to compete with you.” As if feeling the need to compete in musicianship wasn’t enough. Zahira of Wild Moccasins adds, “I've definitely had experiences where I’ve read that I wasn’t pretty enough, and then they don’t mention if I’m talented or not. 
    Not all of the ladies I spoke with faced any of these obstacles; many have had the good fortune of either life long equality with childhood friends or sharing common goals and interests with open-minded band mates. Those that haven’t been so lucky have found ways to get by. Anna, formally of Hands Up Houston, and now a promoter on her own, says, “I purposely didn’t socialize with any of the touring bands because of being seen as a groupie. Male musicians tend to think that if you’re female and you’re nice to them you’re hitting on them, they don’t take you seriously.”
    Rosa of Ditchwater took an opposing approach. “I want to be more Mae West about things than trying to go in and bulldoze my way through anything”. When describing her dealings with less than level-headed hard rockers, “That’s what boys are used to.”
    I received similar replies regarding the charms of the fairer sex from other females like singer-songwriter Elaine. “Sometimes it's helpful because people tend to be more impressed when you don't completely suck." And Asli had this to add, “I think that having females in a band adds a level of sensuality, and balance that is necessary. I think it’s harder for us to win the approval of an audience but if and once you have it then its easier for us to captivate an audience in a way that most men can't.”
    But in the end, it seems that this biggest source of competition comes from within. Amye of Wols admits, “I think I'm always more concerned with proving myself to myself rather than other people.” Mlee of Hearts of Animals and sometime collaborator with Amye shares a similar outlook. “I guess I have not really felt that it was ever my gender that caused me to feel the need to prove myself in a band situation, but rather my insecurity either in my skill or creativity.”
     I hope that this month’s insights into the experiences Houston women have had gaining equal ground in the music community has been at worst and entertaining read, and at best enlightening. I would like to thank all of the wonderful ladies who contributed to this and future articles in this series. When I first started contacting women in the scene, the responses came fast and frequent. If I missed you in my initial call, please feel free to contact me at april5k@gmail.com, your insights are enthusiastically welcome. Next month I will be looking at what roles females are playing in this music community and their drives and interests.

You Have Seven Things To Do Today

posted by april5k @ 7:20 AM



Hey, remember Monday when I said I'd tell you more about the Muhammid tape on Tuesday? Well, yeah I didn't quite have enough time to finish writing about this heap of releases I've got over here, and I've gottta tell you about the weekend today, so how about tomorrow I tell you all about Muhammid and Teenage Kicks and Young Mammals, and anything else I've got lying around? Deal? Deal. Here's your weekend...

WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2008
Once upon a time, national acts of respectable popularity would come through town and allow for a local opener. Now, I don't know who's calling these shots, but why is it that shows like Tokyo Police Club at Walter's have got two fellow touring bands on the bill but no local bands? It's Ra Ra Riot and Ruby Coast, btw. Anyhow, this is probably going to be a decently sized show, these are good bands. But how great would it have been for an up-and-coming local band to open this up and get that exposure? No wonder, man. No wonder. But seriously, local bands, more often than not, get to open for the desperate touring bands that only a handful of people are aware of, forcing the local bands to draw the same 10 people that see them every week, it used to go both ways. Ugh, ok, nevermind, back to the shows...Reba McEntire is playing the Rodeo tonight. Have you seen her? She's kind of awesome live, if you're into theatrics and costume changes, that is. If she doesn't do that stuff tonight I'm sorry, she did when I saw her. Oh and maybe stop by SoundEx and give Beau some birthday discipline (does he work there on Wednesdays? I can't remember).



THURSDAY MARCH 12, 2009
Start off the night by going BACK to Sound Exchange for Richard Ramirez and Concrete Violin as they give you the old aural "bad touch" at 8pm. And the BIG DEAL tonight are the excellent excellent Papermoons at Walter's. They're joined by News on the March and Phillip Foshee. It will be excellent (excellent). Also making a big return is Super Happy Fun Land. You can go check out The Wrong Ones with The Ginslingers. I don't know much about the Ginslingers, but if they're playing with The Wrong Ones at SHFL, I'm guessing there's a JT Army connection. When I checked Agartha's myspace and saw that they listed King Crimson and Santana among their influences, I tried to construct that sound with my mind before pushing play. Wow. Dead on. They're playing with Houston newcomers Football, Etc at Rudz. And if you're in for some surprises go out to Notsuoh for Sorry=OK-Yes, I have no idea what the deal is with these guys. Are they really from Italy? Why do they have car names? Why are they extensively touring Texas and then back to Italy? Why do they only have one song? Where can I hear more? Oh man, and the The Witz are from Arkansas and man, I'm into this, too. Who are these people? Also playing are Riot Up Front, Brutally Normal and The Kamikaze-Oveture, which is weird b/c this is like a half punky-thrashy show and then a rocking proto-punky-garagey show. Definitely a mixed bag, but it's gonna sound AMAZING. I think I'm gonna have to be there.



FRIDAY MARCH 13, 2009
Kick off the evening with former Small Face Ian McLagan over at Cactus at 5:30pm, but if you miss that you can catch him later at The Continental with locals Ragged Hearts. If you're looking for something of beautiful and breathtaking intensity this Friday evening, might I suggest The Mink for your show-going pleasures. Forests are bringing you this week's CD Release show and they'll be joined by Co-Pilot, Robert Ellis (a.m.a.z.i.n.g.) and Golden Cities. If you're looking for something substantially uglier, then head to Rudyard's for Riverboat Gamblers and Fired for Walking, and get your ears man-handled by rock & roll. John Hodgman co-hort Jonathan Coulton is yuckin' it up at House of Blues, and while I'm not always one for joke-rock, Coulton's state songs from the Areas of My Expertise are pretty killer. B-Side (BEE-Slide?) is getting all trip-hoppy at Super Happy Fun Land so go do and do whatever is people do to trip-hop (acid? drink shots out of test tubes? I really don't know, I imagine a lot of reclining). Local weirdos Vicarious Me do their thing at Notsuoh and finally to segue into some hilarious news I heard I'll mention that tribute bands Black Dog (Zeppelin) and Tomorrow's Dreams (Sabbath) are playing Fitz. Did you know that Utah recently passed the "Truth in Music" bill in order to protect musicians from tribute and cover bands from cashing in on their name? It was endorsed by Bowzer from Sha Na Na. For. Real.



SATURDAY MARCH 14, 2009
Make sure to go be a good member of the Texas Music Community at the Human Party Virus Annual Symposium-slash-Fundraiser. Bands that will physically be at the Last Concert Cafe include: Buxton, David Israel, Benjamin Wesley Winder III (Buffalo Wild Wings), Hollywood Black, Joe Mathlete, Elaine Greer, The Mayapples, Giant Princess (awesome!), The Always Already, American Sharks, Tambersauro, Moth!Fight!, show organizer Jay (Woozyhelmet) and more good members of the Texas Music Community. Starts at 11am. If you're not all worn out from all the tortilla blunts that you will undoubtedly be smoking all day you're gonna have some tough choices to make. At the Orange Show you've got the Heartworn Highways Benefit for the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe. It's a tribute to Townes Van Zandt featuring Robert Ellis (still amazing), John Hogan, Matt Harlan, John Evans, and Carey Wolf. Dudes, I advise you take your special ladies to this show. Not only is it for a good cause, it's for a good cause in your pants. But over at Notsuoh, Muhammid Ali is playing and I did say I was never going to not see them if I could help it. Yikes! Tough call, indeed. Also going down tonight is non-threatening, non-sucking UK songstress Adele at Warehouse Live. And then you've got SHFL house-band Organ Failure (still the house band?) with Treasure Mammal and Poopy Lungstuffing. You've got Death From Afar, Zike, Brutally Normal and Mugero at the White Swan thrashing it out for FREE. Or just say "fuck it" and actually go see Billy Bob Thornton at House of Blues.



SUNDAY MARCH 15, 2009
Ten years ago you would have had to give your little brother a ride to the Madball show at JavaJazz, but it's not 1999, and though they are playing there tonight, he wants to go see Enter Shikari at Walter's. SHFL is making sure you're never bored again by putting on shows night-after-night, Sunday finds Beloved Binge and Football Etc hitting the stagish-area (do they have stage now?). But to really party down Domingo style head over to Azteca's for margs, queso and zero pretentiousness at the second Mexican restaurant festival of the weekend. It's chock full of rock AND hiphop so it's got something for everyone! The line-up includes Thavius Beck, K-the-I???, We Are Halfnelson, Another Run, Motion Turns It On, All In Your Head, Nosaprise, Female Demand, B.L.A.C.K.I.E., Tax the Wolf, Spain Colored Orange, and Ellypseas.

MONDAY MARCH 16, 2009
Thee Ohsees (The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees and formerly OCS, Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite) are amazing and will carry on their amazingness on stage at Notsuoh and to top it off they're joined by Fresh and Only, Young Mammals and Wild Moccasins. The only downside to this show is that it's on a Monday night. Ugh, apparently no one got the memo that it was Monday because you've got Casiotone for the Painfully Alone at The Mink and then Dark Dark Dark, listenlisten, Vandaveer, and Robert Ellis (going for a trifecta) at 6524 Minola. And hey, Hootie's at the Rodeo. YEE.HAW.

TUESDAY MARCH 17, 2009
Here's where you start to really feel the approach of SXSW, I mean, yesterday was kickin' but tonight you've got more to choose from than your usual Tuesday night. My definite pick is Deer Tick at Cactus at 5:30 and then again later at Rudz. I am a HUGE Deer Tick fan. They share the stage with Stardeath & White Dwarfs, Wintersleep and Tigercity. Then you've got Pterodactyl, The Coat Hangers and The Wiggins at The Mink. The Orange Show has got dreamers, Beach House joined by Jana Hunter, show stars at 7pm so you might be able to squeeze this in with another show. Notsouh has The Boy Bathing, Willie Heath Neal, and Charlie McCalister while Walter's hosts Sugar & Gold, Bart Davenport, The Botticellis (ROCKIN') and Grandfather Child. Fitzdown brings you Peelander-Z, Quaff, Letters to Voltron and Halo Stero. SHFL's got Brown Shoe, Attack in Black, Shotgun Jimmie, Silence Amonst Chaos and Laura Goldhammer & The Silver Nail.

Did I miss anything?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hot Winter Night

posted by april5k @ 11:16 AM



I am so stoked that I finally got to see Muhammid Ali. I’ve been jamming their 26Tapes release (more on that tomorrow) bunches, and Little John and Dirty Jeff and I are knuckleheads from back in the day, so I’ve had no excuse for not seeing them sooner. But now that I have, I’m never not seeing them ever again if I can help it. It’s situations like this that make this job so easy. Here I’ve got some dudes I’ve known forevs, and have always been down for the music they’ve made and then WAHBAM! It’s like when the alchemists finally strike aqua vitae. How proud am I of these dudes? Man alive. They are RIPPIN’. It’s like you get some Jesus Lizard and some Sonic Youth and some Dinosaur Jr, and some early Flaming Lips even and throw a Wipers’ cover in there and you just freak out and scream along and forget about hoping for the best because it’s already here. FUCK YEAH. Just walk away. You are permanently rocked. And this is why they make this job easy, you can’t act like I’m just blowing smoke up my friends’ asses, because everyone knows they shit is crucial, yo.



Following Muhammid, were We Landed on the Moon. I wish I had more insight into the context of the how and why of this band being on this bill. Nothing against the band, they just seemed tacked on, and sorely under-promoted. From their myspace it seems they’ve got a decent press force for an unsigned band so I’m imagining a stack of un-circulated handbills lost in a pile of junk mail in someone’s apartment. As for the band itself, they were clean and spunky, an image-ready pop band. They were quite lovely, all around, but perhaps suffered from being an over-the-counter remedy to the gloomies in the wake of Muhammid’s speedball of aural annihilation.



Now, all the flyers said that this was a CD release for Benjamin Wesley Winder, III, and maybe it was due to the fact that I swung by the merch table at the end of the show, but I didn’t see a single copy of said release. I was hoping to get my hands on one, but to no avail. This is the first time I’ve seen BW3 outside of his many outfits, and though miles away from this reference, I was left with notions of Paul Simon’s Graceland and mid-career U2, if only from the world beat leanings of his synth settings. Add Max’s Sax-on-the-Beach blend and you’re left in a froth of urban isolation taking a walk on the mild side of some smooth electronic grooves.



Closing out the night was the debut of the band Houston has been waiting for, Bolt. Parts American Sharks, Monocles, and Black Black Gold, they’re the kind of band you wanna root for like Seth Rogan wooing a 10. Carrying on singer Mike Hardin’s tradition of leading consummate party bands, Bolt were all-in-all great fun. And part of that fun for me was definitely placing the riffs in the songs, where as in execution they are a four piece rock and roll band, they are in result more a akin to a glam rock Girl Talk. They opened with their myspace track “Hot Summer Night” which bounces along like “Personality Crisis” in sensible shoes. And while I could have gone for a bit more theatrics, I can tell that where there are Queen, Mott the Hoople, and Bowie albums, there will be fans spraying these dudes down with beers in the near future. They closed out their set with “The Man Who Couldn’t Save the World” (guys, I’m calling you out on that, too obvs, yo) a noble jaunt into the epic glitter stratosphere with winding guitars and emotive pleas for a life better understood, lyrically delivered in heartbreaking terms, all the while toying with the resigned isolation of Major Tom really making the grade.



Ooooh, and how could I forget Jeoff’s epic bouncing of drunk douche #5392. One minute dude is in faces, next minute dude is on the ground, and approximately .3 seconds later dude is in cuffs. Whoa dude.

So yeah, Friday night at Walter’s was a good good time. But what about Weird Weeds at Sound Exchange? How was that? Bad, dudes, bad. Like, in the Michael Jackson way. The Super intense experimental freak folk droning out to the lonely neon light of the SoundEx “We Buy CDs, LPs” (not tapes no more) sign was one of those mellow crests you find yourself a top of when drifting lazily through the poetic rhythms of life. Tighter than a pair of Cheap Mondays, Weird Weeds at times struck notes of a long forgotten band from the Northeast, VI Foot Sloth, the erratic beats and intently plodding strings sucking you into your mind’s often neglected intellectual pleasure centers until you think there’s no turning back then suddenly you’re awash in the soothing chimes of late 90’s emo guitar (the good kind). It was a great way to spend an evening alone with everyone else. To top it off the female singer told my all time favorite joke about penguins going to the zoo. Bonus.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

HIGH SCHOOL NEVER ENDS (or why I like Slayer and Geto Boys over Animal Collective)

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:27 PM


By Nedbones
Illustration by Tim Dorsey

What happened? How did I become alienated from a scene that punk rock helped create? I don’t get the fashion, all the bands sound the same, and don’t get me started on the lyrics. (Let’s just say, Bob Dylan would go “I don’t understand these lyrics”) Even though Fat Mike from NOFX wrote “The Separation Between Church and Skate”, about how punk rock was becoming safe, to me it still can be applied to indie-rock and the scene today. What punk stood for-- dissent, anti-authority, anti- conformity, individualism, and thinking for yourself-- has been replaced with noodley guitars, horrible metaphors of emotions, rehashed 70’s and 80’s sound (not to mention fashion and drugs) and worst of all, dance music. Indie music nowadays sounds like that mind numbing modern rock, TRL bullshit that made me like punk to begin with. Every show is the same. First some rip off of a Joy Division riff, then dancey drums, and some chant of “yeah” and finally getting the audience to clap hands in unison.

All the dance-punk bands sound like samples of the worst bands of the 80’s, jigsawed together by a Mac with lyrics more absurd than Camus. My mom put it best. “The 80’s sucked then and it sucks now.” I hate that formula shit. I know punk was known for just using three cords, but to us it is like what an old blues man said, “It isn’t how the notes are played, but WHY they need to be played.”
Content: That’s what indie rock is lacking. As Fat Mike said, “Confrontation and politics...Replaced with harmonies and shticks. When did punk rock become so tame? These fucking bands all sound the same!”
Punk was ideal, an attitude you could never lose. In middle school I was a nerdy kid who read sci-fi novels (Doom series, Animal Farm, Star wars: Extended universe, and Phillip K. Dick), comics, and played Magic the Gathering and D and D. So I got picked on all the time at school and on the bus. I was an outcast, a loner, unpopular, and I didn’t care. That’s when my friend Hunter let me borrow his NOFX CD. By the 9th grade I was a punk/ska kid. Nerdy kid no more, now I drank, talked shit, did drugs, and tried to get with punk girls (poorly). Punk was the Hulk of the nerd Bruce Banner. (Yes, a comic reference.) Punk allowed me not only to be an outcast, but also to be proud of one. More importantly, I was feared. Sure we fought about who was “more punk” and fashion played a part, but it was anti-fashion. It was a “fuck you” to preps and kickers, our mortal enemy. You could get beat after a show at Fitz for having blue hair or a mohawk, so it was more about individuality than fashion. The Houston punk/ska scene was fun and there was a weird feeling of community, filled with crazy bands like 30footFALL, Middlefinger, and Bickley, the first punk show my mom took me to at Fitz.  I miss that. I miss going to a show and everyone knew everyone, no matter what school you went to. Reagan, Lee, Jones, Waltrip, HSPVA, whatever. (Except Lamar and St. John’s. That where all the poser and preps went.) It was singing “I wanna fuck the pink Power Ranger” (a Bickley song) at the top of your lungs with your best friend and stage diving into the pit. There was the raver scene, but most of the real ravers were old ska kids who were cool and enjoyed the same community feel, unlike the preps and poser who just wanted to get fucked up. Above all, I felt alive and part of something. How does this relate to indie-rock? Well the funny thing is that most of my punk friends from high school hate indie-rock and scenester shit. Most listen to grindcore/metal and hip-hop/dancehall. Also to note, I always noticed that punks always had a cool relation with the thugs. Both of us were poor (mostly) and we both hated the rich ass preps. No wonder that by the time I graduated from high school, I would bump Tupac, Biggie, Geto Boys, Fat Pat, Screw, Wu-tang, Eight ball and MJG, and of course N.W.A and Ice Cube. I could write a whole other essay on the parallels of punk and hip-hop, but lyrically for me, they dealt the same issues: drugs, poverty, making ends, seeing friends die, bitches, and of course bling. (Is there really a difference between an iced out watch and a spiked bracelet?) Indie-rock has no content, no songs about the real world and real life issues.
Life isn’t about unicorns playing Crossfire with ninjas. Not everything is about girls, one-night stands, clubs, being cool, and partying. You know who cared all about that stuff? Preps. Hipsters are the new preps. So the scene is high school all over again, the preps make the music and I am yet again in the corner reading a Neal Stephenson novel and playing my Nintendo DS. Now I listen to metal/grind core, punk, and Hip-hop/screw/nerd core. Now I have gone back to what I was in middle school: A nerd.
That’s why I alienated myself from the scene. The scene isn’t a collection of poor (keyword) misfits, losers, and rejects who just wanted to skate and read comics. It’s all the preps in high school that went to college, finally read a book or two and pretend to be intellectual with music. So, in a real punk rock fashion: THE SCENE CAN FUCK OFF!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Scene Police On My Back

posted by april5k @ 9:04 AM



Man alive, could I have been any sicker the past few days? Whoa. So, here I am, a day late and far more than a dollar short. But I'm here none-the-less. Let's dive in.

THURSDAY MARCH 5, 2009
Tonight, half of your choices are of the hootin' and hollerin' variety and the other half are just plain hollerin'. You can hit the Rodeo to check out Clay Walker hypnotizin' the moon, you can get your fix with Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers as she's joined by Heather Myles at Blanco's, or you can drive south (kinda) of the Montrose to see Suzy Bogguss at the Mucky Duck. For bit less twang Quiet Life & the Calamity, Samuel John, In the Cool Of The Day and Hungry Villagers should fit the bill nicely. But if you want to go full-tilt, Asleep at the Wheel and Ray Benson are doing a thing at the Grand 1894 Opera House. If you're not country or if country isn't cool or whatever, there's the Take Action Tour at Warehouse. You've got Cute Is What We Aim For, Meg & Dia, Breathe Carolina, Every Avenue and Anarbor. Your little sister will have a blast! Other than that if Lecherous Nocturne, Embryonic Devourment, Asunder, Demonical Geneuflection, or Cerebral Rot sound like your idea of a good time, Jet Lounge is the place to be.

FRIDAY MARCH 6, 2009
Kick off the evening with Rick Broussard at 5:30pm at Cactus. You know what that means. Have fun. But the main attraction for tonight definitely has something for everyone not only is it the Benjamin Wesley CD Release, it's the first Bolt show and they've got heavyweight champs Muhammad Ali and neighbors from the not so far east, We Landed On The Moon joining them. Good times. Oh it's at Walter's and there's free barbecue and a keg. Nice. There's another CD release going down at the Mink for Hero & Rad with a bunch of other hiphop buddies including Hueman, Mic Skills, DJ Vanjo One, Karina Nistal, and Damien Randle. And guitar nerds take note, Alejandro Escovedo is dropping by the listening room at Nia Moves (508 Pecore). Oh and betterLUCK are "setting the pace for the pop-punk/punk genre" (um, have they ever met Something Fierce or Teenage Kicks?) at Rudyard's. Twenty-one and up Thee Armada fans will dance the night away with openers The Favorites, and Esther LaVonne & The Rottens. Miles away stylistically and geographically are Lucas Carpenter, Darrin Love and The Invicible Czars over at Notusoh. Soul fans have a tough call tonight; Erykah Badu at the Arena or Gladys Knight at the Rodeo? That's pretty tough. Does Gladys Knight having Solange with her tip the scales? But if you're like most people and you like to stick with your dear, dear irony you've got Journey tribute band Frontiers at The Meridian and Dokken at Scout Bar. If you change you're mind on the way out to Scout Bar maybe hit The Pitt in Pasadena for Rage on the Stage 3.

SATURDAY MARCH 7, 2009
Wow, there's a whole lot going on tonight. First off in the afternoon, 1pm to be exacty, the rowdiest teenager in Texas, Jenny Wolfe kicks it up at Cactus, but she'll be at PJ's later so you know, pick and choose. But yeah kind of a Mary Weiss meets Avril Lavigne thing going on. Weird. I think the sure thing would be to start off with The Weird Weeds at SoundEx at 8pm. This is one of those cool things that we should really embrace as a "scene" for whatever that means. It's a badass freak folk deal, it'll impress girls. And then, whoa. What to do next? Well, time allowing I'd say go to Walter's and get in as much of the Motion Turns It On, Smiley with a Knife, Continental Self and Golden Cities show as you can. And then make sure to bring along your pjs cause the're a Pajama Jammy Jam Kegger Party at the Analog Warehouse (2010 Commerce). Get s-tanked and then get pantsed (it's the elastic waistband, dude) to the sounds of The Tontons, Heptic Skeptic, Female Dmeand, B.L.A.C.K.I.E., Babel Fishh, Evak 1 and Nosaprise. $8 if you're in pajamas, $10 if not. But if that doesn't sound like fun to you there is plenty of other stuff. You can get your downtown on at Notsuoh with Skittle Crew, Pimpadelic, Heavy Stoned and Opia. The Last Starfighter are blasting off with a load of bands at Numbers. And One Night with Queen: A Tribute to Queen is sure to entice at House of Blues.

SUNDAY MARCH 8, 2009
These recommendations are for those of you who won't be at the Rodeo for the Jonas Brothers, you maybe few, but I still care about you. Oh yeah, and I guess about half that group are at Hoobastank at The Meridian. Damn. Well, I guess I'll address this to the one person with nothing else to do today. Hey JD, make some vegan sloppy joes, get high and play with the dogs. We can do something tomorrow.

MONDAY MARCH 9, 2009
So, as much as I'd like to go off on a tirade about the Southeast and their obsession with folk-punk that alllllllllll sounds. the. same. I can't. It's Tim Barry, dude. Avail, dude. AVAIL. DUDE. Austin Lucius and Josh Small are in tow, and good times are to be had. Oh and it's where else but Walter's! C'mon JD! Are you with me! Oh, I mean unless you want to see The Urgency at JavaJazz...but I don't think that's the same as Alan Nelson's The Urgencies. So yeah.

TUESDAY MARCH 10, 2009
Ok, last night my husband had to go work at Gary's Spot in Tomball and now I see there's a show going on there. It's After Time Has Passed, Nothingmore, and The Crisis, so you can drive a lot and go to that. Other than that I really have no clue. Band practice? Start a band and practice? Do that, then let me know when your shows are.