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 RamonLP4
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Rewind – Rocky Moon and Bolt’s American Honey Album Release party at Fitzgerald’s 07/30/2011

Rewind – Rocky Moon and Bolt’s American Honey Album Release party at Fitzgerald’s 07/30/2011
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I’m not going to waste too much time here with an introduction because I have a lot of bands to cover here so let’s get right to it shall we?

LLORNA

Llorna – Mostly Harmless

Kicking things off was Llorna.  They came, they played, I found myself checking my watch.  They weren’t bad but there was nothing really unique enough to grab onto and hold my interest.  Next.

J.W. AMERICANA

J. W. American – Now the party has started!

Nice shoes, coach.

As if in sharp contrast to the openers, J. W. Americana came in and showed people how it’s done.  Sure you could argue that J. W. American isn’t breaking any new ground but they take those cliches, cheerfully thumb their noses at the audience, and do the whole thing with a shit load of energy and wit that makes a song about Hot Dogs sound like some fucked-up version of the E-Street Band or a song about Beltway 8 sound like early Butthole Surfers.  In other words, J. W. Americana knows how to take what could be old tired cliches and make them seem fresh and fun.  That’s no small compliment.

LISTENLISTEN

ListenListen – Why is this band not the hugest thing in Houston?

ListenListen – Jeez I got no caption here. They were just amazing is all.

If you want a band that plays it with intelligence and never underestimates its audience, then ListenListen is your band.  This is easily one of Houston’s best bands and they blow me away every time I see them.  It’s music with nuance and dynamics.  It’s music that is emotive and powerful.  It’s music that has as much respect for the silence between the notes as the notes themselves.  The result is powerful music and it does so not by volume or theatre but with a quiet thoughtfulness.

TAX THE WOLF

Tax The Wolf – Fun for both musician nerds and regular folk.

Tax The Wolf easily wins the Best Drummer Hair competition.

Going from the quiet introspection of ListenListen to the jazzy party of Tax The Wolf is kind of sick but fun.  TTW are just a flurry of ideas that blur by you.  It would be unfair to call them Prog in the traditional sense but their use of complex chords and melodic guitar lines that have a jazzy feel makes them unique in Houston’s indie scene.  Yet, unlike their Prog cousins, TTW doesn’t compromise fun for technical skills so guitar nerds can enjoy the technical aspects of the performance while everyone else (those people who could care less what a diminished 9th is) can just dance their asses off.

sIngs

sIngs – best set of the evening

I know this is going to sound weird but I have to admit, the best set of the evening had to go to sIngs.  If there was a set that took risks, challenged the audience, and kept surprising you with the unexpected, it was this one.  Brett Taylor led his players like some kind or stoner wizard who was creating this odd strange little world.  The songs at times veered toward the noisy and off kilter yet there was something in Taylor’s compositions that kept the whole thing together in a very human way that seemed earnest, real, and alive at that moment. Well done, sir.

YOUNG GIRLS

Young Girls – Aaaand we're done!

Unfortunately, I came down stairs to catch Young Girls only to hear the last five bars of Six Pack Stab.  I will say this much.  It sounded awesome and if any band had the ladies dancing (and dancing well I might add), it was Young Girls.  If you are in another Houston band, that right there should make you jealous.

ROKY MOON AND BOLT

Mike Hardin does his best Thin White Duke

The balcony was the best place to view the RMAB spectacle.

Finally, we get to the headliner – Roky Moon and Bolt – and from the get-go it looked like the band was up to something. Stagehands came out and unveiled banners and a giant lightning backdrop. After a self-promoting introduction by Zen Hill’s Ross Wells, the lights dimmed and Edith Piaf greeted the crowd as the band slowly made its way out in full glam rock makeup and costume. After the long long long intro, Mike Hardin finally came out in a white suit and the band kicked in full force. Stobe lights, flashing lights, costumes…it was a huge spectacle and the band was playing more broadly than ever. You just couldn’t pull this off in a smaller club and sure enough the balcony seemed to give a better perspective than front stage.

Now here is my personal bias and you guys can disagree with me all you want but to me what makes Roky Moon and Bolt special is that they play music that is big but the frills were never there; the music and the performers were big enough personalities that none of that was needed. Yeah, I get it – this was supposed to be a fun lark and they played with no less heart than any other time I’ve seen them but, to me, all the frills were just a distraction and I felt that, because of those frills, this performance lost a lot of what makes RMAB special for me. Thankfully, it appeared I the only one who felt this way.

  • admin

    B is apparently so against self promoting that he won’t even name himself online. I did not see where Ramon calls anyone garbage. It is only you who is talking that kinda trash. You do so anonymously. When I met Ross, we enjoyed each other and neither of us thought what the other does is garbage. So it’s probably not fair for you to act as his defender or speak on his behalf. Particularly so if you are an anonymous chickenshit coward. I am fairly easy to find if you would like to discuss.

    Omar

  • RamonLP4

    See here is a problem; you have to be able to write a cohesive argument in your comments for me to be able to reply back. Given the poorly written and vague nature of your original comment I tried to cover all the possible bases. If your point was indeed to say that all we do is self promote, then I think I answered that pretty fully especially given you never rebutted a single thing I said.

    Perhaps you should consider how a debate works. One person posits a particular point of view with specific assertions and conclusions, a person from the opposing side then replies to that person with specific things meant to counter that point of view, then the first person can then comment on those particulars and it goes back and forth until one side agrees or at least agrees to disagree. That’s the way it usually works.

    Apparently your idea is to make a vague attack and then in response to an attempt to properly address any possible concerns thatcould be gleamed from your attempt to comment, you simply resort to insulting the other party [“Put down the bong”, “a shot at this worthless, self-promoting publication”]. Why do that? Well, because you have nothing else to work with.

    Let me just say that if you and Ross Wells “had lunch the other day and are still laughing about this” then clearly I overestimated him.

    Let me suggest that if you wish to continue to go along this route that you simply supply some specifics on which to base your point of view. Also, you may want to address the specific things I said in response. Also, you may want to address what the hell any of this has to do with a review of Roky Moon and Bolt. Barring that, I really don’t see the point of this. I have little time for narcissistic snarky people with no sense of decency and who choose to hide behind pseudonyms.

    We may not be perfect but I stand behind our publication, my work, and the people who work hard to highlight many of the artists, musicians, and points of view that often are overlooked by larger publications.

  • B

    You don’t get it do you – it had nothing to do with Ross WELLS (if you’re going to try and debate a topic, at least know who the players are). Ross and I had lunch the other day and are still laughing about this. Put down the bong and pay attention.

    It was a shot – a shot at this worthless, self-promoting publication. I think you clued in on it somewhere between the 3rd and 6th paragraph. Still laughing, I wondering if you understand that because it took you 7 paragraphs to talk in a complete circle, regarding two topics you seemingly know little about, that this is really all you’ll probably ever do in life….wear dirty clothes while promoting this bunch.

    Rotsa Ruck from 140 character land….

  • RamonLP4

    Thanks concerned listener. No need to post anonymously. I honestly appreciate the error correction.

    I’ll do you one better – I interviewed Mike Hardin only last week and noted the title correctly in that article. The only mitigating factor that I can say in my defense is that I was working off of very little sleep on Sunday night trying to get reviews and articles ready and, while I tried to copy edit the body, I somehow overlooked the title. I’ll add that to my list of things to not forget.

    I sincerely appreciate you catching that and to all who are reading this now, the title originally read as “Rewind – Rocky Moon and Bolt’s American Honey Album Beauty party at Fitzgerald’s 07/30/2011″ I apologize to all our readers, Rocky Moon and Bolt, and Zen Hill for the error.

  • Concerned Listener

    All misguided speeches and lukewarm impressions aside, let us not forget that the Roky Moon and BOLT! album is actually called ‘American Honey'; a google search or a scan of any local publication last week may have told you that.

  • RamonLP4

    Shea Serrano in the Houston Press describes the speech in question as follows:

    “The guy from ZenHill Records is onstage. The show is about to start. He’s talking about how when ZenHill started they had designs on “starting the grooviest little record label in Houston.” He’s sounding very much like a proud papa right now. ”

    Note what Serrano takes away fromt he speech: ZenHill, ZenHill, ZenHill. I note he doesn’t summarize the speech with anything about RMAB.

  • RamonLP4

    So you think the Ross Hill’s speech was garbage? Am I following you?

    Sorry, but that’s a pretty vague and unfocused comment. Let me try to break the 140 character world you apparently live in and try to reply in detail to your thoughtful and exhaustive commentary that no doubt will be toted up in future decades as an example of rhetorical greatness.

    I feel it was a pretty fair assessment of his introduction. I think a speech where most of it is about the label and the last few sentences have to do with Rocky Moon would be considered self-promoting. Some people would argue that this is OK; he’s proud of the work he’s done and therefore he’s entitled to boast but it was just a bit braggy for my taste. That being said, that doesn’t in any way put down his and Dan Workman’s work with Sugar Hill, Zen Hill, or any of their other contributions to Houston.

    As for the whole FPH as a promotional tool for Fitzgerald’s. I reviewed two shows this week and only one was at Fitz but Omar does not dictate what shows to review, what shows to preview, or what bands to interview. He is only one of the owners of Fitz and the FPH’s not anything approaching a dictatorship; it’s more a loose collective of people.

    Now sure, I put this as show of the week but given that 29-95, Houston Press, Houston Calling, and Space City Rock all gave this show press that would suggest it was kind of a big deal. Should I simply NOT mention any shows happening at Fitzgerald’s? Is that your solution? Next Week is the Girls Rock Camp Showcase which I plan to put as show of the week? Should I penalize the young women of that camp and not highlight the good work done by the GRCH organization because someone like you perceives my job as to be a shill for Fitz?

    Let’s consider one thing here. If I were just here as a Fitz cheerleader, I’d be just shouting hollow accolades so wouldn’t my review have been a lot more rah rah? I don’t quite follow how my lukewarm response to the headliner’s glitzy stage show could be considered anything but one person’s honest reaction to a show.

  • B

    “self promoting…?”

    WTF do you think this garbage called the FPH is….? Fitzgeralds…self promoting perhaps?