Monday, November 28, 2005

sleeplab, william bryan massey III

just got back from the little wreckroom. heard that sleeplab was playin' the fwac acoustic monday thingy, so we decided to take a walk wreckwards (unusual for us on a non-wednesday night jam schoolnight). i dug their cd ever since jefa laid a copy on me at the jam and of late, i've heard that 1) the lineup had expanded a bit and 2) they're playing the gallery part of experience the art of music, on friday, december 16 at 7pm to be exact. now, i'm not a big fan of the axis, but the gallery lineup on that friday (sleeplab! electric mountain rotten apple gang! dave and daver! tammy gomez! william bryan massey III!) and the one on the main stage the following night (hochimen! goodwin! ph7! darth vato!) makes it pert hard to pass on either night.

tonight's deal wasn't really a gig, more of a "rehearsal-in-public." wreck room wizard o' sound andre had the night off, so jefa had to run the board as well as play, with more 'n a little help from bartender extraordinaire / ex-woodeye bassist graham richardson. besides jefa and his bud fern on nylon-string gtrs, the onstage assemblage included jesse sierra hernandez on congas, michael preble on drums, and matt skates on bass. they were eminently chill and sounded as if they'd been playing together forever -- like the cd, only better. michael's brushes-on-snare-and-bongos sounded like breakbeats at times, and the interplay between that sound, jesse's more organic percussion layer, the two gtrs flowing together like twin streams of water, and skates' bass punctuating and commenting on the proceedings sounded like _the start of something_ (like skates and brian batson playing on the street downtown a coupla yrs back in the earliest, baby-step incarnation of confusatron). fern 'n' jefa have been working on these toons for four or five yrs now; jefa sez he thinks of it more as a project than a band, and wants to include other players in future performances. with that in mind, trumpeter brian sharp and a coupla kulcha far i musos were in the house, taking it all in. as more ppl find out about this, chances are they're gonna want in on it, too.

william bryan massey III was in the house and spent some time visiting with me and my sweetie, talkin' about old times they both remembered but i wasn't around for. there's a gentleness to the cat that belies his "wildman redneck" rep. besides writing, massey does some graphic art with found objects and others he works from wood and metal. "bryan has a cynicism that can only have its origins in too much hope," my sweetie said. "a world of simple pleasures and simple considerations would be enough for him." true of many of us, i think. myself, i'm just glad he's around.

music genome project

check it out: type in the name of an artist or song and pandora will suggest other music you might dig. better than radio.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

what's wrong with the radio?

tuned in doc slavens' show and heard christmas music and some japanese cat speaking unintelligible jinglish. wtf? guess it's movie time...

scandi rawk revisited

was looking through some old vhs tapes when i found the one of the nomads playing at casino el camino in austin during sxsw '99. i was writing for the i-94 bar back then and still had mucho enthusiasm for the '80s-and-later scandinavian bands i was just hearing for the first time, and for garage rawk revivalismo in general. (this was just on the cusp of nuggets / detroit-inspahrd noise a la white stripes / strokes / hives attaining flavor-o'-the-month status, culminating in the arrival of the execrable jet and my totally losing interest in the whole proposition -- that and hearing maybe a dozen new cd's of this racket every month. oy vey.)

still, i remember how exciting bands like the mooney suzuki were when i first saw 'em (gave their good rekkid, the self-released, pre-signing e.p., to nick girgenti in appreciation of his having let me use his lone star strat and concert amp on more gigs over a five-yr span than i used my own schitt on). now, listening to the nomads' fan-cassette comp stagger in the snow and their magnum opus, the sonically speaking alb from '91, they still sound pretty good to these feedback-scorched ears. (was thinking about it while listening to the minutemen earlier today: the year d. boon and co. recorded double nickels on the dime, husker du cut zen arcade, and the nomads released outburst, i'd just gotten back from korea and was working in the b-1 program; something as trivial as rockaroll was the farthest thing from my mind, fool that i was.)

on stagger in the snow especially, there's something charming about the guileless, unaffected way nick vahlberg, hans ostlund and crew swallowed all of rawk history whole (the cool parts, anyway: rockabilly; the noisy pre-beatle pacific northwest frat-rock sound of the sonics, wailers, and raiders; the anarchic brit r&b of the pretty things and kinks and its 'meercun echoes in the work of garage combos like the 13th floor elevators and chocolate watch band; the post-punk psychobilly of the cramps, etc.) and spat it back out with punkoid energy and gtr power on a n.y. dolls / stooges level, busting out with the enthusiasm of suburban kids (solna, a 'burb of stockholm, to be exact) just discovering a motherlode of great music and the thrill of playing it on amplified instruments in front of crowds of peers under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol (like the five live...-era yardbirds, like the 101'ers, like early recordings of the nervebreakers, like the kids up the block driving everybody nuts), with none of the obsessive attention to superficial aspects of style that'd make most "garage revival" bands such a drag -- no vintage gear, no retro clothing. not true of the scandi bands that followed in their wake (e.g., the mc5-aping hellacopters [sorry, ray], the flakeola jivetime matching-suited strokes), but still true of the nomads by the end of their second decade as a band (nick and his modified rockabilly quiff; bearded, balding hans; '77 punk-ish bassist bjorne; workaday hipi drummer jocke). i was lucky to see 'em three times in one weekend in '99 (casino; emo's; bottom of a shitty bill where no one wanted 'em at club clearview), 'cos the events of 9/11 shut down their last attempt at touring the states. our loss.

digging further into the piles of crap, i found a cassette compilation of union carbide productions a friend had sent a few yrs ago. ucp, of course, morphed into the soundtrack of our lives, a band i haven't had much interest in since i saw some vid of their live show, which included their bassplayer wearing headphones. the original band was something else, tho. hailing from the coastal town of gothenburg, they started out as maybe the best stooges simulacrum this side of mudhoney or orstralia's bored!, a wall of feedback-oozing wah-wah gtrs and bellowed voxxx, but to say that isn't to do them justice. you could check 'em out yrself; they just released a comp cleverly entitled remastered to be recycled that's available from all the usual online suspects.

i'm just surprised by how good all this noise sounds when i don't have to listen to it all the time.

sleeplab, hochimen, dave karnes-clint strong

so it looks like the no-shit sked for experience the art of music (friday-saturday, december 16-17) will be out this week, but so far we know that sleeplab will be playing at 7pm on friday and the hochimen at the same early hr on saturday.

and the dave karnes-clint strong aggro i've been ranting about will be at the modern art museum for happy hour on friday, december 2, and on the patio at fonky fred's on saturday, december 17.

organic gardening on the radio

there's this cat named howard garrett aka "the dirt doctor who does a syndicated radio show all about organic gardening. locally, he has a four-hour slot sunday mornings on wbap 820 am from 8am till noon. missed it this wk but def wanna check it out next time he's on.

tks and a tip o' the hat to paul boll for yet another cool hookup.

a functional definition of "ambivalent"

scored a factory-sealed vinyl copy of the minutemen's double nickels on the dime.

it's immaculate, except for horrible crackling noises that totally obliterate my very fave song on the alb: "history lesson (part two)."


Saturday, November 26, 2005

miss kim, ray reed, and the b.t.a. band

saw that the insiders gig at the stagecoach ballroom had canceled, so i was looking forward to a quiet evening at home, maybe a movie, when i got a call from lady pearl's blues sangin' dtr, miss kim. she, her uncle ray reed, and the b.t.a. band were playing at the bluebird over on horne and wellesley, five minutes from my house. kim's sounding kinda beat down these days, with a new dayjob that has her walking a factory floor for 12 hrs a day and constantly shifting schedules -- never a picnic -- plus her son's in navy training on the west coast somewhere. still, she brought the show to robert ealey's old house, to a better crowd than she had the last time we saw her there a coupla months back. it seems like the new bluebird is taking off, which is good news for blues fans and anybody with a sense of the fort's musical history.

they were setting up when we got there and i immediately noticed a coupla new faces. regular bassist quincy brown and keyboardist oscar spruill were absent; in their places were a cat who was introduced as herb on 6-string bass, and another named c.b. on gtr. ray's 18-yr-old son is still playing drums and sounded a lot more solid and assured than he did last time, even tho he insists he's only played the drums three times since then, "and one of them was _last night_." he's really learning how to hit 'em, and more importantly, to _listen_ to what's going on around him. a tight little drummer.

there were the requisite number of equipment probs, as usual centered around the band's temperamental p.a. (pearl was always the only one who knew how to operate it, and unfortunately, she took her secrets with her when she checked out), but the first set was pert near perfect -- i've never heard b.t.a. sound so big and powerful. ray was playing his sister's old 335, which cut through like i've never heard it do before, and he himself was playing lots more assertively and precisely than i've grown used to hearing him. c.b. was a great gtr foil for him, too, growling out the riddim chords or singing sweetly like b.b. on the single-note stuff. he plays with great economy and taste; david blankenship, the cat i used to sub for in b.t.a., was there and commented on how compared to the rawk cover bands he plays in now, the blues world seems like an alternate universe where no one ever overplays and kills the groove. i second that emotion.

when kim got up to sing near the end of the set, she was using a corded mic in place of her malfunctioning cordless and sang with an authority i'd never seen her display before -- relying more on those powerful pipes and less on the over-the-top dancing that's her trademark. her mom's portrait is still a fixture on the b.t.a. stage, but it's migrated from up front to the backline. can't help thinking that somewhere, pearl's smiling when she looks down and sees her dtr work it.

at the start of the second set, ray started calling up the sit-ins, starting with me and david. david had brought his own strat, but i never bring a gtr to a b.t.a. show 'cos i know ray always has a spare gtr and amp onstage and will let me use 'em if he wants me to play. we started out with david playing pearl's 335 and me playing ray's sg (which i usedta do a lot back at the swing club).

it's a lot different playing with these folks than it is at the wreck room on wednesday nights. i had to consciously work at editing my playing and not stepping on the other cats' toes. later on i found out that neither herb nor c.b. had been playing regularly for a few yrs. herb had probs with a couple of the forms, and ray actually shut down one toon because it wasn't coming together. c.b. musta misheard ray's shouted instructions, 'cos he started in the wrong key a coupla times, but always managed to recover quickly. i'm perfectly happy to lock it in the pocket in these situations, but when i solo, i always feel like i play too much, perhaps recalling the keyboard player in vernon garrett's band who asked me, "do you _fuck_ like a whiteboy, too?" after hearing me make yards of spaghetti at a rehearsal. c.b. told me later, "i can't play all those notes" and he seemed to like it when i replied, "that's 'cos you only play the good ones -- you leave out all the bullshit notes." true dat.

this white dude who was apparently from roswell, nm, got up and blew some harp. his best number was a little walter-like instrumental with lotsa stops. then this giant mofo -- i mean it, he made ray reed look small while ray was on the stand, and ray's not a small cat -- got up and wanted to sing "mustang sally." inasmuch as that toon's at or near the top of my list o' songs i never wanna hear / have to play evereverever again, i didn't drop the gtr and go running off into the night -- that woulda been rude. thankfully, the audience was unresponsive to the giant cat's attempts at soliciting their participation, and after timely pause, he went back to his seat to sulk a bit before leaving.

high point of the evening for me was riding two chords on the extended tag to "steal away" while miss kim did her distinctive thang, to include picking up money that some of the neighborhood sistas in the audience threw at her. there was also a woman named brenda (i think) who got up to sing an r&b toon that had the infamous Imaj7 / IIm7 change i hadn't played since the "kunsan crusaders" showband in korea. i love the showbizzy aspects of black blues clubs; they make the lantern-jawed gtrslingerismo of their white counterparts seem pretty silly.

kim and ray are among the sweetest ppl i know, and i still have fond memories of playing with them in b.t.a. i'll go and see 'em anytime they're back at the bluebird, and i'll keep sitting in with 'em until ray reed (whom i saw without his hat tonight for the first time ever) stops asking me to.

what to do w/thanksgiving leftovers

1) make hash browns from the roasted potatoes. (we had yams too but they didn't really turn out they way they were s'posed to.) later, recycle what's left of those in potato 'n' egg burritos.

2) make turkey sammitches on toasted multi-grain bread w/just a lil bit o' mayo.

3) put away the tastiest turkey bits (that'd be half a breast, as well as 2 ea. legs and wings) for later nibblage.

4) make turkey hash from the leftover stuffing, dark turkey meat from carcass, and some rosemary and mint for seasoning (thanks for the idea, matt). will be excellent recycled for b'fast tom'w.

5) boil the bones for stock. sure, we've already got some stock in the freezer from the last chicken we roasted, but you can never have too much.

all of the above in between napping, listening to dungen (gotta give those swedes credit for being able to evoke '60s detroit psychsters src w/o making me wanna commit ritual suicide) and watching baby snakes, the adventures of crusader rabbit, and pollock.

dave karnes, clint strong, oaklin bloodworth, eric zukowski

was gonna try and split the difference between dave karnes and clint strong at saloui's and pablo and the hemphill 7 at the black dog last night. in the event, we wound up stopping by the dog (where the dancers were movin' and ph7 was groovin') just long enough to drop off some kids' clothes for the refugees from somalia-via-nola that pablo was endeavoring to help out before running back to saloui's to catch the last set. happy 4th b-day to ph7, and may they have many more. we'll mos def be at the wreck room on new year's eve to help you see in 2006.

now, the karnes-strong pairing is something that prolly shoulda happened a long time ago. these days, clean 'n' sober dave is being more selective about the rawk gigs he accepts (currently working with sunward and rahim quazi). he has half a year of teaching rock camp under his belt, and is booking dave and daver gigs in venues other than the black dog, where he and joey carter have raised the level of performance at the sunday night jazz jams considerably. karnes is saturated with the history of the music, from the whirlwind forward motion of bebop to nawlins second line to '70s funk beats. even when he's phoning it in, he's still the best drummer in the fort, hands down, possessing chops, ideas, taste, and swing aplenty, and when sharing the stand with clint, he doesn't get to phone it in. "with clint," he said, "it's just a matter of letting him go and trying to hold on and swing quietly."

clint strong's a name to conjure with among area gtrists and jazz aficionados in general. cat's played with a long list of jazz and country luminaries and worked gigs in reno and nashville, taught master classes at the university level, and made a coupla instructional vids. playing a parker fly with dimarzios (which he pronounced functionally lightweight and "_almost_ as warm as a gibson or epiphone") through a polytone mini-brute (the amp associated with joe pass, the master of playing-a-gtr-like-art-tatum-played-pianner who scared the ever-lovin' bejeezus out of my 19-yr-old self w/his virtuoso alb), clint demonstrated encyclopedic chordal knowledge and near-supernatural fluidity (and he picks _all_ dem notes, kids), unflagging musicality (no showboating-fer-its-own-sake here), and a fair amount of humor. (besides injecting his solos with the jazzman's requisite number of quotes from other toons, when someone persisted in tinkling on the house piano after the band started their third set with some I-IV-V action, impish clint stopped the music to encourage the background tinkler to "play the blues, play the blues.") listening to these two trade furious fours on toons like "tico tico" (clint likes his sambas _fast_) and "st. thomas" was almost more enjoyment than yr average pair of ears could stand. (so much for "swinging quietly," dave.)

along for the ride were bassist eric zukowski and vocalist oaklin bloodworth. eric effectively served as the anchor between his bandmates' headlong rush and the singer's leisurely lope. it was thrilling to hear him and karnes shifting their accompaniment behind strong's solos. for his part, oaklin's ballads 'n' blues have never sounded better than they do fronting this crew. someone really needs to cut a record on him with this aggro (allowing space for a band barnburner or three), soon. so sayeth me.

this was the third time dave, clint, and oaklin have played at saloui's (altho dave and clint just wrapped up three months' worth of gigs at, um, a strip joint that musta been choice, not that anybody woulda noticed). apparently they've become the new saloui's management's reliable backfill whenever another band cancels at the last minute. hopefully they'll be able to parlay this status into a regular engagement, so that folks will know where 'n' when to go check 'em out. while the room was far from empty, there were notably few musos and jazz aficionados in the house -- a situation that'll hopefully be remedied on future karnes-strong-bloodworth gigs.

(oh yeah -- the pesto-based pizzas at saloui's are pert fine as well. nice to have something tasty to soak up all the alcohol. dave's grandpa tempo, who once owned an italian ristorante in the current benito's location, would prolly approve.)

Friday, November 25, 2005


we tried something diff this thanksgiving: "brining" a turkey. our friend andre gave us the idea (he saw it on a cooking show). all you do is soak yr bird in water with sea salt and lotsa aromatic veg (we used celery, shallots, and onions) for at least 4 hrs before cooking. then he suggested frequent turning during roasting to drain all the liquid. (we were too lazy to do that.) a coworker confirmed that she usedta soak chicken before frying it and it made the meat more tender. we wondered if the salt would permeate the meat and make it too spicey, which it didn't. my sweetie's sisters called while the bird was in the oven and were amused / horrified to hear that we had cooked it without first rinsing, which seemed to defeat the purpose of having all the aromatic stuff in the mix. (we also cheated by rubbing mr. turkey with the world's greatest seasoning -- that'd be sea salt [a lil less than usual 'cos of the brining], black pepper, grated ginger and pressed garlic.) tasted fine, and was fairly moist. now we got lotsa leftovers for turkey hash, sandwiches, etc. (not sure about soup -- meat literally falls off the bones w/this process). gotta wait till next yr for the cajun fried turkey or turducken.


to continue with our orgy of ethnic shite, here are some recipes for teriyaki that actually look, um, better than mine.

r.i.p. pat morita

damn. my pal tony slug in amsterdam just sent this notice that noriyuki "pat" morita (who survived childhood tb and ww2 internment to play arnold from happy days and most famously, mr. miyagi from the karate kid) checked out from natural causes, age 73. go easy, brah.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

art of the jam 28

"i have no idea," said wreck room wednesday night jam-meister lee allen.

the immediate situation was "what are we gonna play next?" but the jam-meister's response pointed to a larger existential dilemma: whaddaya do when you've been awake and working yr ass off for over 12 hrs already, the regular drummer is in florida, and the two other drummers you'd usually call are doin' family thanksgiving stuff?

some folks would say, "make the solo acoustic act before you [his name is vic, he sings soulfully in a manner reminiscent of jack johnson the college-indie guy, not the prizefighter, and he was in fallujah, y'all] play until the 'real' bands in the big room [in this case, that'd be mermaid purse and driven] are ready to play," but lee-boy is made of sterner stuff. so he played drums behind vic on one song and bass on another, then made way for amy royer to sing a few until, she reported, vic was "freaking out and asking 'where's the house band?!?!?'"

at that point, i strapped on the indonesian strat and lee continued drumming behind vic, amy, and david "kid" daniel (ex-fort worth cats, ex-icicle and the kid), who was visiting town from corpus christi and stopped by to offer up punk-garage-rockabilly wonderment. at a certain point vic took over the drums, but it still weren't pretty, and after awhile, things sorta petered out.

i was contemplating packing my shit and wondering what movie i wanted to watch when my sweetie and i got home when i saw lee returning to the stand with burning hotels drummer wyatt. did i mention that lee now has a "house backline" of zz ryder gtrs and little-bitty amps that are louder than fuck (and fuck, as you know, can be pert damn loud)? kulcha far i gtrist ron geida got up to put one thru its paces, and things started to get a little more happenin'. before the jams, there was a little discussion -- "nothing too complicated," said the jam-meister, "i just want us to try and have a collective thought here." it was a multi-generational unit onstage: wyatt's so young he hasn't even been born yet (altho he _is_ legal, tabc folks), ron and lee are mid-30s, and i'm pushing fucking half a century. what this means is that the common core o' experience that's usually a precursor to good extemporaneous improv shit wasn't necessarily present (not necessarily a generational thang: in terms of tastes 'n' influences, lee's prolly closer to wyatt than he is to me 'n' ron). p'rhaps this had been on lee's mind since he watched the rock camp kidzzz make hash of a blues at fred's last w-e. if so, he needn't have worried -- besides never having refused a challenge (cream? ummm, ok. black sabbath? uhhh, no problem.), wyatt's a thinker and listener as well as a groover behind the traps.

lee was particularly pleased by ron's suggestion of the frank zappa-penned minor blues "sexual harassment in the workplace" as a jam vehicle. "we did that at a recital when i was in college," said lee. "our choir sang, and then my blues ensemble played that toon." ron to' it up, too, playing furious flurries o' notes and big intervallic leaps that woulda made fz his own self proud. "kid" daniel got up to sing a couple more, to much better effect, then dax from the band ransom reprised his performance on "dazed and confused" from the latest "good" jam tape, and william bryan massey III got up to recite a holiday poem before lee handed his 6-string bass to matt skates from confusatron, and kulcha far i bassist john shook relieved his bandmate ron on gtr. by this time, there were a lotta ppl in the house, which always makes musos play harder. (lee: "i'm gonna have to start using my _big_ amp to play on the little stage." funny how having more bodies in the room soaks up more sound.) around one o'clock, lee took my place on the indonesian strat and ari from dogs with sticks briefly had his hands on the zz ryder. whew!

only non-snazz aspect from my perspective was the garrruuunnnk assholes that started a scrap by the main bar, the details of which i'm uncertain about but resulted in the door cat getting roughed up a bit by responding security and lee getting a cut above his right eyebrow and a mashed thumb. alcohol's a wonderful thing: it makes performers out of ppl who aren't (or shouldn't be), and makes great performers sound like terrible tyros. it also makes otherwise sensible folks behave like buffoons or worse. maybe that's why so many ppl i know on the set are adopting the course of sobriety. better to be in the audience at the circus that in the center ring wearing the polka-dot shoes and the big red nose. just an observation.

other learnings of the evening: 1) caroline collier's gonna start writing for the fweakly. while i'm ambivalent about the rag and the profession of journalism in general, caro's an insightful thinker and a great, thoughtful writer (dig her musings on her myspace blog thingy), so adding her to their roster is def a coup for the paper. i'm looking fwd to having her stuff read to me. 2) between the elusive hochimen (who have allegedly finished their sophomore cd, _finally_) making a rare appearance here in the fort (hell, anywhere) at experience the art of music (that'd be saturday, december 17th at axis), the performance by sleeplab at the same event makes it a can't miss at mi casa. dig this lineup: fern and jeffa on gtrs, jesse sierra hernandez on congas, frequent hank hankshaw / cadillac fraf accompanist michael preble on snare 'n' hi-hat, matt skates on standup bass, and cynthia foster on voxxx. hellz yeah, ya mo be there. maybe you, too?

yeah, art of the jam has lots to be thankful for this yr. let's call 'em out:

- brian forella for lettin' us do this in his house
- andre edmonson for making us sound better 'n you'd think
- graham, carl, lu, and elvis for pourin' the dranks
- all the jammers for their glorious noise
- all the ppl (may their number increase) who stick around to listen
- my sweetie and lee's bride for supporting us in all that we do
- you for reading this bullshit

peace, y'all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

movie night

peeped a copy of living on dreams and twinkies, a dvd featuring our beloved goodwin boyzzz (video'ed at an aardvark show we attended a million yrs ago), as well as some dallas bands. nice production values and some kinda random insights into "what it takes to make it in the music biz," but overall, felt like it coulda been developed more -- some follow-up q: might have drawn out more specifics to make this more of a usable tool for up-and-coming local musos. oh well.

then our friends bysshe and mitch brought over half japanese: the band that would be king, the '93 doc about a bedroom band i'd never really had much interest in but do now. our friends thought the movie mighta been a put on, but we confirmed that it was legit. hj frontguy jad fair (who now lives in glen rose, does visual art, and will record a custom-written song for you for $300!) comes across kinda like lou reed as a hyperactive 6-yr-old, but his music is cool in a guilelessly quirky kinda way, altho it lacks the cosmic value that some of the rockcrit / music geeks the filmmakers interviewed (ironically?) make it out to possess. learned some stuff (f'rinstance: that the 50 skadillion watts label was founded by penn jillette with money he got for appearing on miami vice) and dug the footage of forced exposure / arthur scribe byron coley, as well as the bits with ex-velvet underground drummer moe tucker talkin' and playin'. all boo-shee aside, the version of the velvets' "i heard her call my name" with don fleming on gtr and moe doing her patented drumming-standing-up thang absolutely _rips_ and is worth the price of admission all by itself. cool grandma indeed. thanks to bysshe and mitch for sharing!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

2006 fwcac biennial

it's a few months away, but already, i'm excited 'cos my sweetie (who insists she's _not_ an artist..._really_) sez she's gonna submit a piece to the fort worth community arts center's biennial (the event formerly known as the 39 hour show) next march. here's how it works: artists pay a $5 entry fee and submit a work under 36" x 36" x 36", which can only be accepted at the center (in the former location of the modern art museum, 1300 gendy street) between 9am and 9pm, wednesday march 1st through friday march 3rd, 2006. the event attracts a wide and diverse array of local artists and is bound to be at least as interesting as gallery night from an aesthetic, if not a psychosocial, perspective. they need volunteers to help process and hang the pieces, too. call elaine taylor at 817-738-1938, ext. 21, or email

asian heroes: i've got a few

i am often accused by ppl that know me of being insufficiently reverential about my japanese heritage. i do, in fact, have several japanese-surnamed heroes. f'rinstance: hawaiian ukelele virtuoso jake shimabukuro, who besides sharing a surname with one of my mother's dearest friends, looks a whole lot like i did when i was 10 yrs old; competitive eating champeen takeru kobayashi, who altho very slight of stature can consume industrial-sized quantities of hotdogs, krystal's hamburgers, and other all-'meercun foods; and ex-army chief of staff general eric shinseki, who warned back in 2003 how many g.i.'s it was gonna take to occupy iraq post-regime change and wound up getting shitcanned for his trouble. and who could forget the "go for broke" 442nd combat team my uncle fought with in italy and france during ww2? there are, of course, others. i swear there are.

aden bubeck

yes, folks, that _was_ bertha coolidge / max stallings / brad thompson etc. bassplayer aden bubeck standing behind miranda "you have the right to remain silent" lambert on the cma awards show this week. couldn't have happened to a nicer fella. or a tuffer player.

tks and a tip o' the hat to paul boll for the link.

brit-to-'meercun translator

it's finally happened -- someone built a british-to-american english translator. now maybe i can watch snatch and lock stock and two smoking barrels and understand whatthehell is going on. hooray!

Monday, November 21, 2005

end of year bullshit

when i was a "music critic," i usedta get invited to fill out end-of-year "best-of" lists, as if that bullshit (or my opinion of same) really mattered. since i am no longer one of those, i'm gonna pass on any ones i get asked to do this yr. however, since i'm waiting for water to boil so i can pour it down our sluggish-draining kitchen sink (and i wanna have enough posts to make the last "art of the jam" disappear from "previous posts" -- call me a wonk, it's a game i play with myself, hokay?), here 'tis (even tho it's not quite thanksgiving yet):

1) dungen -- ta det lungnt (double lp). i simply adore psychedelia, especially when the words are all in swedish so i can't understand them. (tks to marcus for the turn-on.)

2) mercury rev -- the secret migration (cd). i also adore beautifully crafted psychedelic pop where i _can_ understand the words. "moving on" is currently my fave song with which to start the day. (tks to damien for the turn-on.)

3) jhon kahsen -- love's bitter rage (cd). the fort worth jazz pianist's magnum opus, a deeply-felt piece with a political theme. i will continue to request the title track (in place of "ruby my dear") each and every time i go to hear johnny at sardines.

4) james hinkle -- straight ahead blues? (cd). a mature work by a cat who's prolly the purest product of the fort worth blues bloodline. meaning he plays a whole lotta stuff besides I-IV-V shuffles 'n' slow blooze.

5) dave and daver -- jazz lines (cd). dave williams' toons sound classic and the band does 'em up like an early '60s blue note sesh. didn't keep 'em from losing their wednesday night gig at the black dog, tho. shame.

6) woodeye -- last show at the wreck room, 11/18. they played every song they could remember, ppl you wouldn't believe were capable of being moved to tears _were_, and at the end of the night, carey wolff still wasn't happy. in other words: the perfect woodeye gig. cool poster, too.

7) napoleon complex -- "god bless haltom city" (cd-r). our current fave rawk anthem. may show up on the me-thinks double e.p. if they ever finish it. hell yeah, hell yeah. (tks to boyo for sharing.)

8) darrin kobetich -- "playing in the hedges" (mp3). what happens when old metalheads go acoustic? maybe something like this: a confluence of tapping, harmonics, and strange-ass chords. good soundtrack for whatever happens to be on yr mind.

9) petra haden and bill frisell (cd). gorgeous voxxx, unobtrusive arrangements, "moon river," "when you wish upon a star," and stevie wonder's "i believe."

10) playing with lee allen at the wreck room on wednesday nights. has its ups and downs, but lots more fun than stealing tires. my fave reality show. the secret ingredient: andre edmonson.

BONUS: listening to saint frinatra at fred's on friday night. and hearing the high school bands from farrington field on the way there.

worst who songs ever

i love the who. really. honestly. but i mean, _come on_:

1) eminence front. if you like this steaming heap of shit, you prolly think combat rock was the best clash alb. you're wrong.

2) squeeze box. self-explanatory. "she goes in and out and in and out..." yeah, right. NEXT!

3) who are you. i spent a lot of time in the summer of '78 (just turned 21 and newly arrived in tejas) trying to convince myself i liked this. and that rolling stones disco song that goes "ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo" and has the line about "some puerto rican girls that are just _dyin' to mee-choo." the dawn of the punk era inspired townshend to write a single with the word "fuck" in it, and further down the line, to shave his facial hair and get some very silly looking haircuts in hopes of forestalling the dreaded advance of old age. (it didn't work.) final nail in the coffin: that csi show. curiously, the stooges still seem cool even after the nike and volkswagen ads. (thanks to boyo for this one.)

4) much too much. we're getting a little obscure here (as old whofans love to do), but anyone who reveres townshend as "one of the greatest writers of the '60s etc." should go all the way back to the very first 'oo alb and hear this abortion, which includes the immortal lines, "there was a time i could give all i had to you / but my enthusiasm waned / and i can't bear the pain / of doing what i don't wanna do." hahahahahahahaha. this sentiment, i suppose, could be seen as a precursor to all the whimpering donkeys that currently inhabit college radio, such as it is. perhaps not.

5) won't get fooled again. what years of "classic rock" overexposure couldn't accomplish, spike lee did by using this song as the soundtrack for adrien brody as an inappropriately costumed '77 punk (sorry, the class of '77 didn't have scissorhead mohawks yet, at least in noo yawk) getting his ass kicked by the bensonhurst guidos up the block in summer of sam. one historically accurate point: noo yawk punks _did_ like the who. hell, everyone in ny did (except my mom). why the hell not? i still like the version in the kids are alright real much, tho, even if moon couldn't really play the drums anymore by that time.

6) see me, feel me. i gotta admit it: seeing the fringed woodstockian roger daltrey on-screen singing this one is as embarrassing today as seeing pics of myself as a sullen subteen with buck teeth, coke bottle glasses and 1968 long hair glaring at the camera imagining i look really, um, _anti-establishment_. which is more tiresome, listening to this or counting the number of times the beatles sing "na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaaaaaah" at the end of "hey jude?" (a: it's a tie.)

feel free to add your own.

goodwin addendum

oh yeah...we had a goodwin trifecta this weekend, catching 'em on the good show sunday night, having seen 'em twice the previous day. they played "red," "grace," "dick & jane," and "matt's letter" live in the studio. then we drifted off into blissful unconsciousness. the mp3 of the whole show is on the good show website and matt's threatening to put the goodwin portion on

office phantom

expat fort worth muso / journo / boolfight fan kid daniel has been a busy bloggin' mofo down there in corpus (altho he keeps changing things around -- or have i just stayed away too long?). even better, he's playing music again on a regular basis. check him out.

a tale of los ninos cinco

in between all the toons this weekend, we made it up to rose marine theater to catch the teatro de la rosa production of rob bozquez' a tale of los ninos cinco (my sweet vagabonds and i).

as a playwright and director, southside native bozquez is cooking up some startling and innovative drama. last month, we caught his maricela and the magic shoes, which was sweet and lyrical but in no way prepared us for this tale, which plays out like a dream in which the ugly reality of war is viewed through the eyes of children.

the plot's _very_ loosely based on the story of six teenage cadets who died defending chapultepec castle in mexico city against u.s. marines in 1847, but it comes to us filtered through the art of a troupe of vagabond players (in a time that could be in the past or the future -- such is the nature of legend) who recruit some village children to act out the story of los ninos heroes.

the vagabonds are outlaws in a world where magic and imagination are banned and ppl are forced to work in factories in the "grey towns" (a comment on the exporting of anglo culture, the state of the arts in bushamerica, or both? _you_ decide!). the horrors of war appear only abstractly, in the claps of thunder that punctuate the scenes, and as the monsters and night terrors of a child's imagination, but the children's "deaths" in the play-within-a-play are still chilling. the staging used the center aisle for entrances and exits, and the actors weren't afraid to milk a movement or gesture for laughs.

the cast was uniformly fine, with a number of standouts. as the leader of the vagabonds, adam justin dietrich inhabited the stage with a kevin kline-like range and presence, while adam dapkus' mostly-pantomime strongman showed how effective purely nonverbal communication can be. among los ninos, keanu ramirez (juan) and austin harnsberry (julio) were the most polished, but i particularly dug cruz serrano as juan's scared baby brother, litos. at the end of the piece, when dietrich's magician loses faith in the magical world (and his culture?), serrano reappears as if to remind him that it's through children that these things are sustained.

i'm becoming a fan of teatro de la rosa. their next production, robert nieto's comedy casa rio, starts january 20th. ya mo be there. maybe you, too?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

rock camp, catfiish whiskey, the burning hotels, professional juice, goodwin

"the name of this rock camp." so said fort worth academy of music co-founder / rock camp instructor lee allen, by way of introducing his charges as they hit the stage on the patio at fonky fred's last sat'day. this was the first time i'd seen 'em, since i missed their axis extravaganza the end of the summer and we don't have cable, so i haven't been able to see chris connelly's rock camp documentary. "[that] was a real emotional event," said rock camp-meister lee. "i was in tears seeing all the ppl that were there. then dave and i were running around backstage, laughing like maniacs." (the "dave" in question is fwam co-founder dave karnes, who had to leave before saturday's show to play at a wedding in glen rose.)

while the turnout might have been less than at axis, the rock campers -- three girls, four boys, all of 'em between 10 and 15, from the look of 'em -- did a mighty fine job on material ranging from weezer to ac/dc (including one toon they hadn't rehearsed, according to lee, and managed to pull of credibly). at least they sounded lots better 'n the bands i was in when i was in high school. sure, there was a little chaos factor, but that was mitigated by lee's animated direction from out front, using, um, many of the same techniques he uses with the wednesday night jammers at the wreck room (he has a degree in conducting, after all). big plus: they looked fabulous. my sweetie was there taking pics and declared them "adorable." they were also thankfully free of stage-kid brattitood. when she told her fave, the little mohawked bassplayer in the ramones t-shirt, that if music didn't work out for him, he could have a career as a male model, he exclaimed "like zoolander!" in his typical 10-yr-old kid's voice. only time things kinda fell apart was when lee suggested they play a blues, which is like a foreign language to most ppl born after 1990. they did hokay as long as he was flashing them the "I! IV! V!"'s from up front, but when the bassplayer decided to turn his back on his conductor, the spaceship stopped responding to external control, as the four gtrists and keyboardist stumbled in different directions in search of a key. common knowledge, it seems, ain't that common.

"actually," goodwin bassplayer matt hembree quipped, "it wasn't unlike lots of the jams i've been in." the goodwin guys, who were booked at the moon that night, were added to the bill at fred's as a sumthin'-sumthin's extra for the rock camp kids -- prolly because, as damien stewart sez, "tony [diaz] and matt would play for free in yr backyard if you asked them to." unfortunately, it seems that lee and dave failed to instruct the campers in some of the finer points of gig etiquette -- e.g., if you wanna get booked back, it's not a bad idea to stick around and see the headliner, so that maybe yr crowd will stick around, too. then again, i suppose that isn't applicable when "yr crowd" is yr parents and other family mbrs who might have other fish to fry, but i observed the coupla rock camp kids who hung around for goodwin learning some object lessons in how to rawk, their eyes glued to matt and evil dictator gomez' hands throughout the set. watch 'n' learn, boyzzz: less _is_ more, and you get more power from precision than you do from sheer velocity.

that point was amply illustrated a little later, when my sweetie and i stopped back at fred's to drop off a cd-r's worth of rock camp pixxx for camp-meister lee to put on the fwam website. catfish whiskey was playing, and i was reminded of blues singer vernon garrett's dictum when i briefly played in his band a coupla yrs back. anytime i played a riddim gtr part, he'd say, "no! no! _simplify_ it! then, when all the parts fit together, that's where the _funk_ comes from!" the little bit of catfish whiskey i heard was cluttered, shambolic, and not groovin', and the singer's extremely forced laryngeal constrictions made _my_ throat hurt. (the next sound you hear will be vocal nodules forming.) on a more constructive note, i would just say: pare it back, fellas. let the grooves _breathe_. and _listen_ to each other. and for godsakes, sing from yr diaphragm, not from yr throat.

we stopped by the lil wreck room to hear the debut of the burning hotels, the band that occasional wednesday night jam participant wyatt drums for. and i'll say this for those guys: for their first-ever gig, they had a _great_ turnout. (these are some boys with wide social networks that know how to use 'em.) and i liked the fact that they started out their set with wyatt bashing out a beat before the other cats took the stage. the music wasn't really my bag, tho -- kinda '80s brit-referential, with broad whiteguy voxxx and punk-strumming gtr buried under layers of electro f/x. that and the preponderance of berry street ppl with that backwards-haircut thang going on led us to cut out before our first drinks were drained and head over to, um, berry street for some fuzzy's tacos and goodwin.

walking into the moon, we were hit right between the eyes by a coupla crop-headed cats attired like something out of "sprockets" on snl, doing extremely stylized movements to blaring electro-clash racket. the tall one was wearing a green turtleneck and brown sweater vest over plaid pants, a perpetual expression of studied insouciance on his mug. the little one with the false moustache was dressed all in grey and did a nice line in mechanoid dance moves. then the tall one picked up an electric gtr (one of those line 6 jobbies with no pickups that runs directly into an f/x processor) and started spinning off lines of frippertonic / santana-esque / dimeolic complexity. the music evolved into an extended suite or mix that hurled fragments of classic rock hits (led zep, queen) into a swirling vortex of shifting time signatures and classical-influenced chord structures. there were no mics onstage; between songs, a synthetic voice output device made announcements and introductions. whatthefuuuck?!?!? one thing's fer sure: there was no looking away from these guys, no going to the can or ordering drinks or whatevah as long as they were up. besides "sprockets," the proximate models were the comic-creepy mael brothers from sparks, or a pair of nathan browns doing the music and cheerleading shticks simultaneously. an operational definition of "quirky," a living example of "style-over-substance," only once you recover from the initial shock, the substance is pretty amazing. it was...professional juice.

professional juice is the brainchild of cory helms, who plays bass in the chemistry set (and apparently composes their wiseass e-mails), and with rahim quazi. cory's a monstrously talented gtrist, bassist, keyboardist, composer, and synth programmer, but he presents his stuff in a way that's easily (and perhaps best) appreciated on the level of pure entertainment. his partner in crime, thad, has dance moves that bring to mind a hyperactive 10-yr-old i once saw at a wedding. i'd seen them do their act at the wreck room months ago, when it was less evolved than it is currently, and been mildly amused, but this time, it seemed like the most original thing i've seen on the boards in a yr. they have a coupla demo e.p.'s that you can cop from cory for a five spot apiece, but their goal is to release a studio-recorded full-length. i can't wait to hear it.

speaking of which, goodwin is _this_ close to having their sophomore cd ready to go, and from the two sets they played at the moon, i'd say they're also approaching a new pinnacle of performing prowess. (funny what spending a few months on a recording project will do for ya.) tony diaz 'splained it this way: "on the first album, a lot of the songs had been developed with nathan [brown] on drums, before damien joined. this time, it's all damien." because i suck, i can't recall the name of the toon they used to close both their afternoon show at fred's and their first set at the moon, but it's an anthem of epic proportions, sure to take its place next to "march" and "weight" in the goodwin canon. same goes for "revelation of revolution," which features tony in full cry and looking for all the world as if he's been watching old vids of the who or something, except he's stolen all of townshend's moves instead of daltrey's, an indicator of good taste, i s'pose. the dreaded "telekenesis vs. indifference," which is almost prog-like in spots, has come a long way from its earliest live airings, when it left some devoted fans scratching their heads, while "two again" plays to all goodwin's signature strengths. even the revived bindle-ismo of "trading up" doesn't sound out of place, showcasing the, um, _mellower_ side of tony 'n' matt. more than half of their live show is now new (read: unreleased) stuff, and as a unit, they're sounding more assured and playing much harder than they were at a similar stage in the first album's evolution. all of which leads one to the conclusion that the new alb should be a corker.

btw, on the same night all of this was going down, the reverend horton heat, the flametrick subs, and high school caesar were heating up the axis with psychobilly madness, while the brokers, sally majestic, and rudy vasquez jr. were cooling down the black dog with reggae, ska, and dub. as robert ealey usedta say, "you don't get this everywhere!"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

ph7 birthday bash-with-a-purpose - black dog 11/25

this from pablo and the hemphill 7 frontguy joe vano re: his band's 4th b-day bash at the black dog this friday, november 25th:

This year the the PABLO birthday bash is going to have a give back
purpose.... we will be taking donations at the door and thru the night
for a group of displaced and in need Somalians.

the short story is..
Between 200 and 250 Somalians have arrived from their homeland
and have "settled" in a section 8 apt. complex in SE Ft. Worth (stop 6).
Very few speak english, very few are employed, there are many babies
and small children, many do not have shoes...and clothing for the winter.
They are afraid for their lives...and need some love and help.

*clothing for children sizes 2t to 6 years.
*disposable diapers
*winter outerwear(sweaters,coats,shoes,ect.)
Please, I know you have closets full of these things I mentioned...
tell your friends about this story and have them come out with stuff...
It will be well worth it.

remember John Lennon... " so this is christmas...and what have you done?"
It's not to late to do something.

woodeye's last waltz

"good bands shouldn't have to break up," my friend damien sez. "they just don't have to play together all the time."

a few months ago, i was thinking what a great band woodeye is. surely, i thought, we here in the fort are fortunate to be able to hear 'em whenever they venture out every few months. carey wolff's heart-wrenching songs and sarcastically self-deprecating wit (as if to say "i really don't care about these things" when you know he _had_ to, to have written about 'em), scott davis' economical raunch 'n' twang, graham richardson's cowpunk grace, and kenny smith's unerringly solid riddim: so much to appreciate. who cares if they're never gonna be the "next big thing?" _fuck_ "next big things." they've got something better: a real connection with an audience that happens to be "us."

then a coupla months ago, i started hearing rumors that woodeye was gonna celebrate ten years as a band by folding the tent. in a certain way, it made sense. carey and graham both have new babies, after all, and carey's about to finish his schooling in, um, forensic anthropology or something equally arcane. scott and kenny are both playing together in chatterton, quaker city, and singer-songwriter jason eady's band, and scott just laid down some lap steel on a track local composer paul boll wrote and produced for the currently-in-production film of joe coomer's novel the loop. (the loop in the title is none other than our own 820; from the description on amazon, the plot sounds like something out of a woodeye song, but the protagonist is gonna be played by people mag sexiest-man-in-the-universe matthew mcconaghey. go fig.) everyone's busy enough that maybe they just don't have _time_ to be woodeye anymore, i thought. but that didn't stop me from selfishly not wanting the party to end.

suspicions were confirmed when the posters -- a collaboration between pussyhouse propaganda art criminal ray liberio and wreck room artist-in-residence and woodeye album art creator jesse sierra hernandez -- appeared on the windows of the wreck room (and subsequently on the walls of numerous fans who snagged 'em, which is as much a testament to the esteem in which carey 'n' crew are held as it is to the enduring popularity of the dia de los muertos motif). yes, this really _was_ happening.

the night of the show finally came, and the wreck room was packed with pert near everyone we know that wasn't working. the eaton lake tonics sounded tuneful and rawkin', their sound veering from gram parsons-esque twang to peppy pop-punk. only delta was the gtrist's tone, which sounded like the cat was overcompensating for playing a telecaster by rolling all his highs off, resulting in an oppressive, squealing fuzzball sound. dude, get something with humbuckers that'll really ring when you run it straight through without f/x. a tele custom or an sg, maybe. just an opinion.

woodeye took the stage and almost immediately ran headfirst into tech probs, specifically the strap button on graham's thunderbird bass going south. "we wouldn't be woodeye if we didn't screw _something_ up," carey quipped as graham scrambled to tune the eaton lake tonics' bass. (during the next song, ray liberio performed emergency repairs with a toothpick so graham was spared the ignominy of playing his last woodeye show on a borrowed instrument that just didn't have the punch of his varsity axe. god bless the me-thinks and all who sail with them.) i heard most of the show from directly behind scott davis' amp (talk about a textbook example of great tone). carey was resplendent in a suit jacket (having just come from an art show at velton hayworth's warehouse), playing an electric gretsch instead of his usual acoustic-electric. i could highlight individual songs, but my sweetie pointed out the most striking thing about the evening: "how much their crowd loves them," and that's a fact. it goes beyond knowing all the words to the songs; looking out at the faces in front of the stage, you could see the way ppl had _lived_ those songs as different ones' faces would mist over during one toon or another. (mine was "the fray," and then my sweetie and i danced to "our song" just like we did when they played it at our wedding party.) i really hope carey saw that, too, no matter what he says.

graham was stalking the stage in his trademark fashion; it's been interesting to observe his sartorial evolution over the yrs, from straw cowboy hat to ballcap to mohawk. now he has a photo of his son kai taped to his bass. scott davis has really come out of himself in the last coupla yrs, and is now as dynamic a stage presence as graham is. original drummer eric salisbury, now managing director at jubilee theater, was stageside, recalling how "we were a band of guys in our 30s [prolly more like late 20s, but nevermind] when we had this kid from tcu over to play gtr and realized, 'this is the way we're going to sound'...scott really made the sound of the band." i felt like i was watching a movie a few minutes later when scott looked over at his chatterton bandmate chris edmiston during a song he prolly hadn't played in seven or eight yrs and said, "i'd never played gtr before this. i played _bass_. now i'm bored out of my mind playing this song." eric and chris jumped onstage at different points to sing backup, and kenny smith moved over to keyboards to make room for eric behind the traps. when scott had to leave the stage momentarily (nature calls even during yr last show ever), carey and graham reminisced on-mic about all the great bands they'd shared the wreck room stage with over the yrs, and you might have heard a little bit of shared pride in their voices. overall, there was a nice valedictory feel to it all.

at the end, when they'd played every song they knew, carey was typically dissatisfied: he thought his voxxx were too low in the mix. "we played a shitty show," he said. the crowd disagreed; they wanted more. "maybe that's okay," graham said. "maybe they'll come back when there's a carey wolff solo show." then they all hugged, drank yet another round of jager shots, and eventually, went home.

yeah, a bittersweet night.

Friday, November 18, 2005

cringely on google

is google really the evil empire? this pbs wonk appears to think so.

bend studio, paul slavens

wow, what'll they think of next? a yoga studio that has concerts! sure, it's in dallas, but dr. paul slavens is playing there in january, and my sweetie is an old ten hands fan, so i gotta send 'em a check posthaste to make sure we can make the gig. max cap is 80, so gotta hurry.

thanks to marissa for the original link.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

art of the jam 27

spoonfed tribe was playing in the big room last night, so we figured we'd start early over in "wreck west," play until they started, then get up again during their break (if they took one). in the event, their drum roadie (!) wound up setting up their percussion stuff in the little room for after their "real" set and we knocked off about 45 minutes too early, but it was still a good night.

got there and found some young cats from denton (i think the singer's name was vic and his gtr-playin' bud's name was travis; i didn't catch the drummer's name) setting up to play with two acoustics and a djembe. jam-meister lee allen had said it was gonna be a percussion-heavy night, so i brought along bongos and a tambourine (which wound up going unused, pert near) along with the indonesian strat and "amplet." vic played some nice 'riginals as well as a whole heap of jack johnson 'n' sublime songs.

amy royer, whom i'd never heard before although i'd seen her around a bunch, got up and sang one of her own, which was great. she's got a voice with real power and range and doesn't overemote like some chixxx will tend to, just hits all the notes real fine and sounds like she means it. then she stayed up for a coupla jane's addiction toons ("jane says" and "summertime rolls") that got the rowdy wreck room regulars sangin' along. (it was a strange crowd starting out, part college fratboy types, part older ex-fratboys, part regular wreck folk, almost as if the moon, the torch, and the wreck had collided.) jam-meister lee plugged in and played a coupla toons with amy and the cats. i tried to, but the powerstrip wouldn't cooperate. feh. maybe next time.

"everybody's digging this real mellow vibe," said the jam-meister before we got up. "let's try and keep it going. gotta regulate our volumes."

"sure," i said. "donwanna get up and bum everybody out."

took us awhile to get it together. the new monitor was buzzing a bit at first (wizard o' sound andre edmonson had to do a lot of tweaking of wreck west's sound system while the denton cats were up, too), and of course my "amplet" always makes a shitload of noise -- i traded jim crye my reissue fuzzface for the yellow dod overdrive i use now on the theory the newer box would be less noisy than the old 'un; hahahahaha. the last time we'd played in the little room we almost cleared it by playing TOO LOUD but this time comparable volume settings didn't produce the same effect. uh, must have something to do with there being _more ppl_ present. deadens the sound, y'know.

tuning probs fukkked up "bobo" before amy joined in on "come together" and william bryan massey III, celebrating his 48th trip around the sun (wow, the cat's the same age as i am), did some spoken word over bastardized led zep improv madness while i discovered that the feedback on the little stage isn't as happening as on the larger one. my sweetie was in the house all night talkin' with all three of the me-thinks (who keep popping up in my dreams -- once, i dreamed i was playing stooges songs w/them in my maidenform bra; another time, it was all of live at leeds, nekkid...wonder what freud would have to say about that?). kulcha far i boys were on the set, too. we wrapped up with "manic depression" and then spoonfed didn't start for a good long time. oh well. i'm glad the ppl i talked to afterward seemed to dig it, or at least they said nice things.

next week we'll still be in "wreck west" 'cos the mermaid purse is playing in the big room the night before turkey day. the week after that, jam-meister lee has a gig in austin with the original "impulse of will" cats, so my mission is to try and keep it together, especially on the bass and vocal fronts. got a coupla kulcha cats and amy royer tentatively committed to comin' out that night and hoping to line up a few more before the last day o' november. film, as they say, at 11.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

man in black online

wow! johnny cash's website has 19 streaming songs online! it's almost enough to make me wanna go see the new biopic, even tho i suspect that joaquin phoenix has a high, wimpy voice. in fact, i'd bet on it! still, good to be able to hear "ring of fire" and "man in black" at work.

thanks 'n' a tip o' the hat to damien for the link.


who's da groovin'-est band in da fort? pablo and the hemphill 7, that's who. and this unruly youngster celebrates four yrs as a band at the black dog (where else?) on friday, november 25th (same night as the karnes thang, i know -- will require some time management to zip from saloui's to the dog in order to not miss a moment of the goodness).

ph7 will also headline new year's eve at the wreck room. supports haven't been confirmed yet, but the rumors are intriguing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

dave karnes! clint strong! saloui's! 11/25!

if you dig 1) drums, 2) gtrs, 3) jazz, and/or 4) all of the above, get thee to saloui's (or whateverthefunk they're calling it now -- i've heard "the blue grotto" but the sign remains the same) at 9pm on friday, november 25th. appearing that night will be dave karnes (drums), clint strong (gtr), and a bassplayer to be named later. while there may be cats in the metromess as adept on their axes as dave and clint, there be none finer, and this promises to be a must-hear for anyone who digs quick thinking along with exquisite chops. ya mo' be there...maybe you, too?

no f*cking hamburglar jokes

this just in from fred's patio-meister lee allen:

Sometime Sunday morning, a thief dubbed “spiderman” by the Fort Worth CSI robbed the safe at FRED’S. This guy is a PROFESSIONAL. The officers on the call knew who and what had happened the second they walked in the door. Spidey cases the joint, finds out where the safe is, scales the walls, cuts several holes in the roof, uses a scope to find motion detectors, jumps down through the hole with power tools, then methodically and patiently cuts a hole through the safe. This could all take up to 4 hours.
Mission Possible. However exciting this may have been for him, he hurt FRED’S more than say some of the larger corporate places he has hit like Lowe’s or Michael’s MJDesign. Thanks to all of FRED’S friendly patrons, we had an incredible record breaking weekend and this bastard took Saturday night’s bank. Needless to say, new security measures are already in place.
I am writing this to ask for your help in organizing a live music “Event” on the Patio. Not a fundraiser or benefit, but a winter festival to clear the air, if you will. Saturday December 10, weather permitting, FRED’S will host a day of live music on the heated Patio. 12pm-12am. If you or your band is interested in performing at this event, send me a message on myspace, and I will give you my contact info.

Fred’s would like to thank everyone for their continued support.


mark growden; woodeye

was watching phil fagan's 2003 film of mark growden playing at the wreck room. growden's a performer my sweetie imagines as "the house entertainer from the cabaret at the end of the world" (imagine eddie vedder on belladonna reincarnated as a delta blues singer, or the unholy love child of jeff buckley and tom waits doing a fin de siecle lounge act) and he's now clean 'n' sober and touring again (altho he donwanna play clubs, which makes the memory of seeing him flamenco dancing atop the wreck room's bar while playing accordian all the more precious). biggest surprise in the vid, tho, was the snippet of growden (on bass sax) and his drummer playing "motel room" and rem's "country feedback" with woodeye, who'll dance their last waltz at the wreck this friday. just a reminder that it's wise not to take performers (or ppl in general) you love for granted -- there won't _always_ be another chance to see 'em.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

johnnies 'n' insiders

finishing out the evening with some hardcore country faves: johnny cash at folsom prison (in its expanded cd version) and johnny paycheck's the real mr. heartache: the little darlin' years.

the cash is stone classic, of course, and actually improved by the inclusion on the cd version of some between-songs banter that was understandably excised from the 'riginal elpee version. the naked sentimentality of some of the songs is excusable, even _necessary_, in light of the setting where these recordings were made. as my sweetie points out, cash doesn't sound like a "country" singer; he's more of a rockabilly or more accurately, a pure folksinger, telling stories of _real ppl_ through his songs.

it doesn't get much more real than some of paycheck's early hits like "a-11," "the real mr. heartache," "he's in a hurry (to get home to my wife)," "the ballad of frisco bay," "(pardon me) i've got someone to kill," and the bobby bare-penned "motel time again." forget his later, "outlaw" / "take this job and shove it" period; sixties paycheck is classic honky-tonk, which is to say, urban whiteguy's blues, or working class cole porter. reggie rueffer turned me onto this stuff a coupla yrs back, and he and his brother chad routinely perform it in real-life honky-tonks as the insiders. i haven't been to a show in awhile, a situation i need to remedy. perhaps november 26th at the stagecoach on belknap will be the opportunity.


because our major weekend activity has become walking, and we really don't dig the axis, we missed out on soundclash this w-e but did catch the final night of george c. wolfe's the colored museum at jubliee theatre (a wildly satirical look at a serious subject, namely how the loss of identity has contributed to the pain of black 'meercuns). while all of the vignettes weren't equally effective, the production in general just reinforced my belief that rudy eastman's little-company-that-could is consistently presenting the most interesting theater here in the fort.

next friday, of course, we'll be at the little wreck room for the last-ever show by woodeye, who are celebrating a decade together by folding the tent. carey wolff and crew are capable of bringing a tear to the eyes of lotsa ppl of whom you wouldn't think it possible, and all of 'em will undoubtedly be there to hear their faves in person one last time (and maybe steal one of the posters jesse sierra hernandez and ray liberio collaborated on for the occasion).

on sat'day, we'll prolly fall by the wreck to hear the debut of the burning hotels, a band featuring frequent wednesday night jam participant wyatt (a young cat who clearly digs the good old schitt) on drums, before heading over to the moon to hear goodwin take one small step for brainy pop-rock, one giant leap for...oh, nevermind.

next sunday, we're heading for the northside to check out rob bosquez' a tale of los ninos cinco at the rose marine theater. could get used to doing this live theater thang.

the outlaw chef

words cannot express how much we dig fonky fred's, and i have too many favorites from among outlaw chef terry chandler's friday night specials to hold any one up above the rest (altho the green dragon pork, the whole mesquite roast duck, and the sirloin roll with cheese 'n' green chilies are all likely candidates), but last friday's cornmeal-encrusted tilapia filets with mango salsa, black beans, rice, and homemade sour cream just might be the most satisfying meal i've eaten in a year, boasting the most complimentary balance of flavors 'n' textures imaginable.

hearing gary grammer blow blues harp on wayne shorter's "footprints" with saint frinatra (the confluence of blues 'n' jazz idioms putting me in mind of paul butterfield's epochal east-west alb) wasn't bad, either.


cleaning up la casa in prep for having folks over, spinning the confusatron hooped cd-r they were hawking at gigs a few months back, from a show a year or more ago (can hear brian batson offering holiday greetings and saluting the black dog's fajita taco guy). while lacking some of the dynamism of their more recent shows, the set has a real nice, organic flow. it'd be hard to imagine anybody's life that wouldn't be improved by having this music around. i've heard other recordings -- a live one andre edmonson recorded at the wreck room, some mp3's from justin pate's house that usedta be on their website. wonder if they're ever gonna release a "bona fide" cd?

punkrawknroll pixxx

btw, jennifer goldfinch, the photog who took the gospel swingers shots linked to in the previous post, has a cool site w/lotsa live photos of such worthies as scandi "deathpunks" turbonegro, san diego's late lamented dragons, noo yawk garage kings the mooney suzuki, alabamian punk-bloozers the immortal lee county killers, and the normals, a buncha nawlins punks i saw in austin back in '79. unfortunately, she didn't post any pics of the normals' bassplayer, a redheaded kid who looked like he was 12 yrs old and did this neck-thrusting thang on every toon that put him at serious risk for spinal injury and prolly qualifies him for some kinda disability today.

gospel swingers

woke up this morning to the sounds of the gospel swingers '60s mod r&b-influenced garage rawk stomp my sweetie threw on while fixing the tamales 'n' eggs and was reminded what a great band this was. i consider it a tremendous miscarriage of justice that these ppl never got the same recognition accorded to now-expired flavors o' the month like the mooney suzuki, the hives, and the white stripes, 'cos they were at least as musically meritorious 'n' entertaining as any of the above. these days, frontguy quincy holloway teaches art in the fort worth public schools, while his "other" band sub oslo still exists, albeit intermittently. bassist alex cuervo moved to austin to continue his john doe-like roots-rawk explorations with a revamped this damn town, while organist kari luna apparently didn't make the trip. drummer hank tosh has a picture-framing business, which is almost guaranteed to be more lucrative than the gospel swingers ever were.


because i am one of "those ppl" (altho def not a trekkie), i'm amused by the idea of star trek: the next generation rendered in the style of dr. seuss. perhaps you will be as well. perhaps not.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

art of the jam 26

some days seem to have a theme. yesterday's was "everything relates to everything else."

i've been listening a lot to wreck room wizard o' sound andre edmonson's tape of lee and carl's invitational jam from october 26th, even though experience has taught me that fixating on any particular week's recording as "the _good_ one" invariably makes the next few weeks on the set seem shabby by comparison -- nothing like setting yrself up expectation-wise. in particular, there's a four-song sequence on the tape i particularly dig, starting with singer dax from the band ransom improvising lyrics over a particularly feedback-laden "dazed and confused" and the subsequent fonky jam (which i've dubbed "dax in orbit"), an effect-heavy spoken intro from jam-meister lee allen leading into an uptempo "maggot brain" that i'm less ashamed of than i am of most examples of my gtr wankage, followed by another extemporaneous trio invention anchored by a phat damien stewart groove. anyhoo, i pulled up in front of the house just as the last notes of the aforementioned "maggot brain" were dying out on my car stereo, walked in the front door and heard the cd my sweetie was listening to when she departed for the gym: mike watt's all-star "wrestling record" from way back in '94, ball-hog or tugboat? (we've been thinking a lot about watt and his fallen comrade d. boon, what with the minutemen documentary coming to denton next month.) the song: the 13-minute "maggot brain" that watt cut with j. mascis on gtr and funkateer bernie worrell on keys.

changed into my runnin' kit and headed out to the track at the middle school down the street (tryin' to get back in shape after seven or eight yrs of being a total sedentary shitbag). 'nother topic that's been on my mind a lot lately has been kids going off to war. (there's another funkadelic jam that applies here: "march to the witch's castle." dig it.) i got to the field to do my pathetic old fart's running-till-i-get-winded-then-walking-till-i-catch-my-breath thang and what do i see but the jr. rotc kids out practicing for drill team with their instructor, an active duty cat that prolly saw the gig as a way to get back to the fort after doing his time in afghanistan or iraq. the kids look like freshmen or sophomores, and they're mostly girls: li'l long-haired chicanas who look like my youngest dtr, marching with their eyes on the ground in front of them, carrying their wooden mock-rifles. cute, and sad.

arriving at the wreck expecting nothing special -- sure it's gonna be a comedown from the stellar night two weeks ago, and hoping it's not a repeat of the scary-weird vibe from the previous week -- i was gratified that at least matt hembree's ever-agile-'n'-inventive bass was gonna be in the evening's mix. he and i spent some time talking music stuff with a left-handed gtrist who said he was just there checking things out, preparatory to coming back with his axe next week. we started the set the chili peppers' "freaky styley" temporarily masquerading as rick springfield's awful "jesse's girl," followed by the slowest version of "standing on the verge of getting it on" ever heard, before bringing up dave karnes for some hot drum 'n' bass duet action with his fort worth academy of music rock camp compadre, jam-meister lee. then dave's pal riley shaw, who fronts an '80s cover band that gigs about once a year, got drafted to come up and sing a couple, only to be frustrated by our collective inability to play any of the songs he mentioned. (we're gonna work on that before next time, riles.)

yeah, we'll fuck up _anybody's_ request. just ask ben the bike guy, who wanted to sing "a calypso-punk version" of blues traveler's "runaround" and got mutated ska a la darth vato. or matt hembree, who still had the hook from sally majestic's "bobo likes to do it from behind" (which they perform as ska but we do as reggae 'cos damien was behind the traps the first time we played it) stuck in his head midway through the next day.

second set saw anti-hero artiste william bryan massey III (who'd kicked the traps at previous jams) taking the mic and center stage to recite some of his poetry over a cacophony of funk 'n' feedback. also in the house: head me-think / pussyhouse art criminal ray liberio, whose poster for the final woodeye show on november 18 (a collaboration with wreck room artist-in-residence jesse sierra hernandez) has become a popular item to steal off the club's window, and teatro de la rosa program director claudia acosta, whose next directorial effort, local playwright rob bosquez' magic-themed a tale of los ninos cinco, is at the rose marine theater from november 11-13 and 18-20. (wizard o' sound dre knows her from his pre-wreck room daze in theater.) pablo and the hemphill 7 bassist marcus lawyer was also in attendance, having just put the finishing touches on his long-awaited "mystery project," realized in great secrecy over the past coupla yrs, utilizing scores of local musos. lee drafted marcus to play bass in an "unknown trio" with two other musos, none of whom had ever played together before. marcus' trio-mates were jon hill (returning to the jam after way too long) on gtr and wyatt from the burning hotels (who play their first-ever gig at the wreck on november 19, opening for greatness in tragedy) on drums. the boys done good, too.

musical highlight o' the evening, to these feedback-scorched ears, at least, was a lovely and elegiac "maggot brain" with jam-meister lee burning lyrically on my gtr, hembree wrestling the four-string axe, and joe cruz outdoing himself on traps, all dedicated to lee's friend quincy, whose grandmother had just passed after a protracted illness. lee told me this afternoon that quincy heard it from down the street, too. sometimes the schitt just _works_. makes me think the late albert ayler was onto something when he titled an alb music is the healing force of the universe.

next two weeks, the jam will be relegated to the small stage by the window in "wreck west," since they've started booking some _real_ shows on wednesday nights: spoonfed tribe on november 16th and mermaid purse on november 23rd. stop by and have a drink with lu, why doncha?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

minutemen movie in denton dec. 22nd

we jam econo, the documentary film about iconic cali punkrockers the minutemen, is screening in denton at a venue to be determined on december 22nd. i tried like damn to interest the smiling folks at the museum of modern art, but no dice. everyone i've heard talk about this movie says it's a must-see, so i guess it's a suitable occasion for a rare trek up to denton county (even though the last time i was there the skies turned black and a tree trunk fell through my roof).

Monday, November 07, 2005

asvab on campus?

the armed services vocational aptitude battery is a placement test the armed forces use to decide who's gonna to do what job once they make it through boot camp / basic training. i first saw one at the recruiting station around the corner from the texas employment commission in downtown fort worth in january 1982, when i went in to talk to a recruiter about enlisting in the air force. now they're apparently administering this test to high school students, sometimes under the pretext of it being mandatory. when i was on active duty, we always hated recruiters because, well, um, they lie. the ones in fahrenheit 9/11 were typical; it's like any other high-pressure sales gig. when i worked for the local alt-weekly rag, i wrote a piece about some of the sleazy tactics they were using before recruiting numbers tanked post-"mission accomplished" in iraq. now they've gone one step further -- from strong-arming schools for personal information to pre-qualifying prospective recipients of their sales pitch.

thanks to tammy for the link.


proof positive that google has a sensahumour.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

da sunday jazz

clint strong canceled an hour before the gig, but nfl eagles fan paul metzger's 6-string antics more than made up for it. my sweetie and i went three for three with joey carter (the modern with james hinkle friday, fred's with dave and daver sat'day, the black dog sunday). a pleasure to see four guys (metzger, carter, drew phelps and dave karnes) working at such rarefied levels of improv and spontaneous communication. oaklin bloodworth's vocalismo and kwazi vann testifyin' on big-toned tenor were the icing on the cake. we had to cut out after an _insane_-tempoed "cherokee," but there was still a houseful o' musos and civilians, as well there should have been. nothing like seeing great players doin' it up the way it's s'posed to be done. inspiring stuff.

mad happy

my sweetie was perusing the latest arthur mag (pick up for free from the stack on the floor at the wreck room while it lasts, or cop for a penny with any order to forced exposure) and noticed an ad for a new alb by mad happy, two sweet joisey kidzzz on the hip-hop / electro-clash tip transplanted to florida who mos def got the best of a ridglea lounge bill they played with nathan brown's r&b and mr. aggravated foe a coupla yrs back. turns out their newie, renegade geeks, was produced by another fun couple, none other than ex-talking heads chris frantz and tina weymouth (who are prolly still cashing the residual checks for "genius of love"). hope this connexxxion helps mike 'n' rivka shift some units and stay far ahead of the tax / rentman.

mind if we dance wit showdates 2

justin pate solo at the moon on monday november 7th, and at the black dog after (and during?) poetry on tuesday november 8th

soundclash II with ph7, darth vato, kulcha far i, and the brokers at the axis (sigh), sat'day november 12th

spoonfed tribe (with lee and carl's invitational jam in the li'l room) at the wreck room, wednesday november 16th

woodeye's last show ever at the wreck room, friday november 18th

goodwin at the moon, sat'day november 19th

mermaid purse (with lee and carl's invitational jam in the li'l room) at the wreck room, wednesday november 23rd


dre's mom says it's just
breathing in and breathing out
twelve times a minute

james hinkle, saint frinatra, mike richardson, robert ealey, dave and daver, hank hankshaw

once again this w-e, we decided to mix healthful exercise with our nightlife, so we walked from la casa (near hulen st.) to fonky fred's on currie and saloui's on university (which i guess is gonna be renamed "the blue grotto" soon, according to the cat who just bought it). the evenings were mild and clear and very conducive to this kind of peregrinatin', as well as sittin' out on fred's patio (recently upgraded with new fencing, new paint, strings of white christmas lights, and aluminum light poles with built-in gas heaters).

first stop on friday night was the modern art museum, to meet my middle dtr and her b-f and hear james hinkle holding forth with eric zukowski on bass and joey carter on vibes, dipping into the jazzier side of his extensive repertoire of toonage. as james (who went to ut in austin to study painting but spent more time jamming in clubs than he did slinging paint in the studio) said, "we feel it's appropriate to be here 'cos what these cats were doing -- charlie parker, charles brown, robert ealey, u.p. wilson -- _was_ art." unfortunately, tadao ando's massive marble 'n' glass lobby swallows sound, or rather, amplifies audience conversation to a level where the lightly-amped three-piece was barely audible, even from 20 feet away. my sweetie informs me that the weakly said james' new cd, straight ahead blues?, has been shortlisted for the 2005 blues grammy. it'd be a sign of a just universe if he won, having come close a coupla yrs back when johnny mack's hinkle-produced gave myself the blues made the same list but not the final cut.

as my dtr hadn't eaten anything substantial in over 24 hrs, we departed the modern after a few minutes and headed to fred's for burgers 'n' jazz all around. terry's specials are legendary, and justifiably so, but i've been having to curtail my red-meat consumption of late and consequently, i've had to reluctantly pass on offerings like this weekend's 22-oz. porterhouse (sigh). but giving up fredburgers would be like giving up sex, or music, i.e., ain't gonna happen. (have tried to be more moderate in my consumption, tho.) musically this week, saint frinatra was stripped down to the basic quartet, with brian sharp contributing his trademark whiskey-and-nicotine-soaked hipster quips in between trumpet solos.

the kids were flagging, so we left them to head home to catch some sueno and trekked on to saloui's-soon-to-be-"the blue grotto." i'd never set foot in the joint before but found a nice brick-lined barroom with a warm vibe kinda like the way the old hop on berry st. usedta be back in the day. mike richardson was getting ready to start, his keyboards and brace of acoustic gtrs set up in the little "amphitheatre" at the end of the bar. now, big mike -- who plays in the party crashers, their side project the exploding chihuahas, csn&y cover band 4 way street, and a doors tribute band, besides holding down a coupla regular weekly solo gigs and who knows what-all -- must know _thousands_ of songs, but for purposes of this saloui's gig was focused on keeping thangs soft 'n' quiet.

(actually, the whole enterprise reminded me mucho of a pianner-bar gig i'd seen jesse goldberg, yet another expat lawn guylander (we are legion), do in aspen the winter of '79-'80, when i was there trying to make a rockband with some other noo yawk micreants. jesse, whose claim to fame back then was having written a campaign jingle for john anderson's presidential campaign, used to do an act where he'd insult bar patrons in between playing their requests and his own billy joel-esque originals. i was amazed he got away with it without getting his ass kicked. somewhere there exists a tape of all of us along with jesse playing "do you love me" and "louie louie" with my bud bruce making up half the words that's pert fuckin' high-larious. but i digress.)

so anyway, we sat and listened to big mike sangin' songs that'd cause us to punch buttons if they came on the radio in the car (i'm a big music snob, remember), but the cat performed with such skill (not only does he hit _all_ the notes, including the tricky high ones, but he can actually change the timbre of his voice to match that of whoever he's covering, whether it's elton john or bob seger or roger daltrey or even the dreaded billy joel his own self) and sang with such soulfulness that we just had to dig it. then, home to check out the new dungen vinyl double elpee that just came in the mail and the cd-r of the first set from last week's wreck room wednesday night jam (aka "dax in orbit").

sat'day my sweetie remembered the clarence "gatemouth" brown ceedee i'd ordered from sumter bruton at record town a few weeks ago, so we headed over to the shop before continuing on to thrift town on storied jacksboro hwy. to cop some new-old threads. the gatemouth disc was backordered, but there was something even better: a cd-r of the '73 live at the bluebird elpee by robert ealey and his five careless lovers, a band that included sumter b. and freddie cisneros, aka "s.o.b. sammy" -- "that's 'south of the border,'" sumter 'splained -- on gtrs, jackie newhouse (who was playing with stevie vaughan the first and only time i heard him in the flesh, on 6th st. in austin back in late '79) on bass, and mike buck (he of fabulous thunderbirds / leroi brothers fame) on drums. i'd had this on vinyl back in the day but my future ex-wife donated it to goodwill in bossier city, louisiana, along with all my other good rekkids ca. '90 and it'd be worth a pile of money today, but sumter was generous enough to burn it for me and even let me take the cover art over to the xerox place next door so i could have the compleat artifact.

listening to ealey and the five careless lovers now is a trip, and not just for the sobering realization that i used to take it for granted that this music would always be around (in the same was as a teenager i assumed there'd be a big hipi rock festival in upstate new york every summer for the rest of my life). i never set foot in the bluebird until '78, but hearing the old room's ambience digitally reproduced (from t-bone burnett's original analog recording, which is phenomenally clear and loaded with presence for an early '70s live thang) was nothing short of spooky. as someone who grew up in the empire state surrounded by black ppl who were disdainful of blues as "countrified" and whites who preferred the heavy english variant on blooze to the genuine article, it was a revelation to me coming to the fort and hearing bands like the thunderbirds, ealey's various outfits, the juke jumpers et al. playing the real schitt the way it was meant to be played.

i learned so much about blues (and r&b and jazz and rockabilly and western swing) from hanging around record town and listening to sumter and his dad ("big sumter," we usedta call him) spinning sides and talking story. it made my heart glad that the ealey rekkid stands the test of time even better than i expected it to. it's a nice cross-section of the kind of material robert liked to sing: slow blues 'n' shuffles, gospel-based shouters, a soupcon of rock'n'roll, and even a boogie (john lee hooker's "boogie chillun," a signature toon for ealey and u.p. wilson when they first hit town). it'll be nice having it around to put on in between the ealey and juke jumpers discs that sumter and jim colegrove released a coupla yrs back.

turns out sumter had been playing at pop's safari (think the wreck room for older folks, just around the corner from fred's) the night before, and he was playing at saloui's (!) with hank hankshaw that very night, so we decided to stop by after checking out dave and daver at fred's.

it's a mystery to me why dave karnes and dave williams haven't yet managed to find a following as loyal as the sunday jazz crowd at the black dog or even the throng that flocks to hear saint frinatra (and eat terry chandler's boss chow) on friday night at fred's. this saturday night was a one-off, but hopefully terry was impressed enough to wanna book them back. karnes and williams are prolly the top players in town on their respective axes (traps 'n' tenor, respectively), and they've always enlisted great musos to collaborate with them. at fred's, besides jubilee theater/saint frinatra regular chris white on bass, they had leonard belota on trumpet, joey carter on vibes and oaklin bloodworth along to sing the good old ones. (when i hit the lottery, i wanna cut a rekkid on oaklin, backed by this unit.) while it was a relatively restrained outing for dave and daver (restaurant gig 'n' all, albeit one under the stars), foregoing the killer williams 'riginals from their jazz lines ceedee in favor of standards, they started to cut loose a bit on "softly, as in a morning sunrise," and dave karnes graciously made room on his drum throne for saint frinatra's ron thayer and a pint-sized nawlins cat to sit in. karnes said that monster gtrist clint strong will be on the black dog gig tonight, so we'll be heading out there for a bit later (altho we'll have to leave early -- school night etc.).

(comedic high point of sat'day evening: at one point, ron thayer asked dave karnes, "so what do you think of the drums?" to which the fort worth academy of music instructor replied, without missing a verbal beat, "i wouldn't recommend that anyone ever play 'em, especially youngsters!")

finished out the evening by strolling back to saloui's, where sumter was tearin' it up with hank hankshaw on riddim gtr/vox, hank's wife jill on percussion, and bassist scott harpster. this drunk (but not yet garrruuunnnk) kid kept requesting grateful dead songs (maybe 'cos he saw scott's hair and figured "they're old, they have gtrs, therefore they must know..."), so hank mollified him with bobby bland's "turn on your lovelight" (which the dead covered on live dead, not that the kid would remember) -- it was funny hearing sumter play that one after listening to him do it on the ealey rekkid earlier in the day. just be glad you missed the drunk kid bellowing the first two verses of, um, "texas flood" from the bar while hank 'n' co. played a slow blues. gotta love alcohol: makes _everyone_ a performer, including those who clearly ought not to be.

i'd only ever thought of hank as a country/rockabilly singer, but of course, he can sing the shit out of blues and arranbee, too -- in that way, he's the consummate texas entertainer (with the pipes 'n' persona to go with the mantle). sumter's gotten jazzier with maturity (his inversions on willie nelson's "night time" seemed to confound scott harpster until after the toon was over, when the bassist belatedly realized, "ahhh...I, VI, II, V!"), and he sometimes phrases behind the beat in the manner of his idol t-bone walker (no eric clapton grandstanding or mike bloomfield mock hysteria for this boy), but he's still enough of a showboat to rip off a few choruses with his gtr held behind his head a la t-bone. when my sweetie told him, "you make that look easy," he modestly replied, "it _is_ easy!"

finally, home to audition the day's other record town acquisitions (charlie christian and dizzy gillespie live at minton's and monroe's, 1941, and sonny boy williamson II's classic trumpet sides) before drifting off to blissful sleep, happy to live in a town where you can hear so much great music in an evening's stroll from la casa.