The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Weekend Update - news from the local music scene - 1 September 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:52 AM

Well a few things to report this weekend.

First off, it was announced today the classic post-punk band The Mydolls will be playing Noise and Smoke II on November 15th. Awesomeness!


In other news Born Liars have a fan in Little Steven who has played the band quite a bit on his Underground Garage radio show. Bill Fool's a bit matter of fact about it all saying " We have been played a bunch on the Underground Garage station and last week Little Steven's assistant e-mailed me saying Little Steven loves us and wants everything we have to play it on the national show." Neat that this band is getting some well deserved national recognition.


Speaking of Born Liars. Ditchwater zine is expanding into the realm of 7"s in the form of Ditchwater Records and the inaugural release (which has been sent off to the pressing plant) will be by Born Liars. If that isn't cool enough the second release will be a reissue of the classic lost Gay Marriage EP (previously unreleased except via a few CDRs) with additional tracks. If you aren't familiar with Gay Marriage here is a review I did of their EP a few years back (Link). Look for the band possibly reuniting for the record release towards the end of the year. That logo was created by none other than the great Daniel Shaw.


Artstorm is also getting into the music release game and it seems that Hearts of Animals is finally looking to release some new material on Artstorm Records. In addition to HOA, the label has plans for other releases including music from Ironic Bong.


Artstorm is located within Caroline Collective which will be the location of a music conference of sorts called BandCamp (Link) later this year. Ian Wells of the KTRU Local Show/ Revelry Report contacted me about it:
"Matt Wettergreen, Phillip Beck (also from KTRU, great guy), and myself are organizing an event at Caroline Collective in late October, called Band Camp. Essentially, we'd like to get everyone in Houston who makes music together at Caroline and have a day-long "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Making Music but were too Afraid to Ask" collaborative session/hang-out/bbq/whatever."

Labels: , , , "Caroline Collective", , "Little Steven", , , ,

Monday, July 7, 2008

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: Artstorm Jeremy Jay @ Artstorm and 500 Megatons of Boogie, The Jonx, and Together we Are Instruments at Rudyards

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Well, by now you already know that the whole Keene St. Party imploded between my Friday preview and Saturday. It went from full steam ahead to dead to an unexpected resurrection at Notsuh. Refunds went from none to some to all. Bands and DJs dropped like flies but in the end five bands held-on and, by the looks of it, the smaller scale version at Notsuoh seems to have been (albeit under much humbler goals) a success. Jeremy Hart at Space City Rock did a nice job of reviewing the whole thing (link). Me? Well, trying to figure out what was going on eventually wore me out - Keene Street burn-out. So, I decided to roll through two shows of a little lower profile.

The first was a pass by Caroline Collective where Artist Patrick Turk's exhibit was coming to a close with K records' Jeremy Jay. It was a pretty low-key affair with Jeremy Jay playing his poppy songs on a small stage on a hot and humid Houston night. It was pleasant and I preferred the more jangly numbers but the audience seemed to sway more towards the songs powered by the more vintage Korg sounds. Sure the crowd wasn't what you'd call a throng but have you ever had one of those crowds where it seems every time you turn your head you find yourself wrapped in a conversation? Yeah, this was one of those crowds - a good peeps crowd - and that's always a pleasant enough way to start an evening.

From there it was off to Rudyard's. I was pretty interested in seeing Together We Are Instruments and they delivered the electronics and textures. The only issue I had was the vocals which were somewhat distracting from what was going on underneath. This was their first time with vocals so I'll let that go. Their strength lay in the electronically generated textures and the ability of the players to feed off each other's improvisations to build into an engaging whole. It's classic Houston Noise/Experimental - the kind of stuff that Super Happy Fun Land hosted often. That's not everyone's bag of tea but their use of beats under the textures was particularly nicely done. All in all pretty nice stuff and worth showing up early for.

The Jonx followed with another standard Jonx-style ass kicking. I mean that seriously even though I've likely said similar things a million times. I was telling Stuart how, after writing about them for so long, I honestly just don't know what else to add. I mean here you have this amazing drummer, a brutal bassist, and an unstoppable guitarist who dodge and parry their way past most bands with their math rock meets punk rock hybrid. The thing that sets them apart is that they take that and combine it with some great guitar and bass lines that you find yourself humming almost immediately. It's not just aimless chord and time changes but honest to goodness hooky songs that I put up with anything out there nationally or internationally. The show Saturday was more of the same - punch drunk hooks cleverly interspersed with sonic blasts of dissonance. If you missed them, see them on August first with Ume and Sharks & Sailors and then try to tell me you aren't impressed.

The evening closed with 500 Megatons of Boogie whose name was a constant source of amusement for some friends ("That was only 100 megatons! You owe us 400!!!") Now, I have to say that I mixed myself up on Thursday's preview and wrote what in effect was a preview for the Squishees and not 500 Megatons of Boogie. Why the error? Ok look it was late true but basically 500 Megatons is an offshoot of the Squishees but with a different drummer. 500 Megatons eschews the crazy time signatures for more straight-up (if not necessarily less histrionic) rock and roll. So, that cleared up, let me just say that Saturday's show was a riot. Guitarist and singer Eriq Fancypants is one mean guitarist and he moves on the stage and grimaces like someone who stuck something electrical and unpleasant in his ass. The band may take its rockin' seriously (consider the heaviness of It Gets Me Blue) but they clearly are just goofy geeks who are just out to have a blast. And Jesus come on down and make with the wine but they ripped a kick-ass version of James Brown's It's a Man's Man's Man's World. Hallelujah! Now if they could only play that in Fortran!

Jeremy Jay popping it up at Caroline CollectiveThe event was the closing for Patrick Turk's
art exhibit
(that's his sparkly daughter)

Together We Are Instruments - I'd recommend pairing them
with a good wheat beer and spinach quesadillas.


The Jonx ripping through their punishing
12-minute epic Scent of the Earth at Rudyard's


500 Megatons of Boogie gave us 501 Megatons of Boogie
especially when they covered James Brown


Links:
More images at my Flickr (link)

Caroline Collective

Jeremy Jay
Together We Are Instruments
The Jonx
500 Megatons of Boogie

Labels: "500 Megatons of Boogie", , "Patrick Turk", , ,