Thursday, March 30, 2006


fuckin' a...anancy's back...

we await the return of the patioking

he sez patrick's coming back. we'll see..

neruda anthology reading - arts fifth avenue, friday

this from tammy gomez:

March 27, 2006


Tammy Gomez

Gracey Tune


++++ Fort Worth-published NORTH TEXAS NERUDA LOVE, anthology which commemorates Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda,
features local writers and scholars ++++

==> Reception and reading from the anthology, followed by booksigning, scheduled for Friday, March 31st--as part of
Spring Arts Goggle 2006--at 7pm at Arts Fifth Avenue in FW. (Free and open to the public.)

Arts Fifth Avenue, Inc. and Sound Culture/Tejana Tongue Press (community arts organizations in Fort Worth), announce the
release of the innovative anthology NORTH TEXAS NERUDA LOVE, which was co-published by both organizations--with funding from Humanities Texas.

NORTH TEXAS NERUDA LOVE, which features new poems and essays by local writers, is a tribute to the legacy and literary
influence of esteemed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda--whose 100th birth anniversary was celebrated worldwide from
2004-2005. As part of this anniversary celebration, Fort Worth organizations Sound Culture/Tejana Tongue Press and Arts Fifth Avenue, Inc. coordinated a year-long program of literary readings, documentary film screenings, and community lectures throughout Tarrant County.

The program culminated with the publication of the anthology, which features introductions by each contributing writer,
describing the influence and impact that Neruda has had on their own literary and/or personal life. The year-long program,
in fact, referred to Neruda as a “global citizen” whose experiences led him to write about the cultures and peoples he encountered around the world. In the “post-911 world”, writers cannot help but reflect the tenor and spirit of the times, and the anthology demonstrates this with poems evoking compassion and sensitivity to issues and concerns of this decade.

Gracey Tune, founder/director of Arts Fifth Avenue, Inc., is renowned nationally as an accomplished tap dancer and
promoter of tap dancing history and performance. Ms. Tune has one poem featured in NORTH TEXAS NERUDA LOVE--her first publishing credential--which was inspired by Neruda’s BOOK OF QUESTIONS. Quoting Ms. Tune from the anthology: “His [Neruda’s] work encourages the poet within us...”

The anthology will be released publicly at Arts Fifth Avenue (1625 5th Avenue in the historical Fairmount district), on
Friday, March 31st, at 7pm. Contributing writers will read selections from the book, followed by a reception and booksigning.

There will be no admission charged for this event, but copies of NORTH TEXAS NERUDA LOVE will be available for sale to the public.


NORTH TEXAS NERUDA LOVE: poems, essays, testimonios
in tribute to Pablo Neruda

edited by Tammy Melody Gomez

contributors and titles

Gracey Tune - “Questions from the Lake”
Greg Johnson - “Improvised Tribute Poem”
m.m. harris - “I like not knowing” and “Ode to a Green Pen”
Jeannette L. Strother - “Ode to Honeysuckle”
Claudia Acosta - “Para nuestras perdidas muertas”
cesar hernandez - “My dear, Neftali!”
Geethanjali - “A Leader of World Literature”
Susan Vogel Taylor - “Mindlessness and Infinity” and
“Sisters of the Fertile Moon”
Marc Rains - untitled
Josh Khatena - “Neruda, a word”
Tammy Gomez - “in this love”
Helen S. Jones - “Pablo, Jr.”
Robert Wynne - “Ode to the Belt”
Patricia Greene - “Caracolas”
Dr.Teresa Marrero - “Pablo Neruda, ‘Global Citizen’”


gotta love this e-commerce shite. a week ago i pre-ordered the new yayhoos alb, put the hammer down. on tuesday, the _very day_ they said it was shipping (altho the website said it's not "officially released" until june 20th, by which time i'll prolly have worn all the li'l 1's and 0's offa my copy) it showed up in the mailbox at la casa.

these guys take their sweet-ass time in between releases (debut cd fear not the obvious was all the way back in 2001), but when they make a rekkid, they make a goodun. if you like rootsy rawk that sounds like what the exile on main st. stones and sloppy-drunk faces might have if they were real rednecks and not brit posers, with four, count 'em, _four_ top-flight lead singer-songwriters in the lineup (altho they're smart enough to give most of the lead voxxx this time out to dan baird, the epitome of the kind of south-of-the-mason-dixon 'meercun cat that britfops like dick dagger and yankee wannabes like steven tyler made all that money pretending to be), chances are better 'n good that you can't live without this.

lots to like here, from terry anderson (pride of bunn, north carolina)'s "all dressed up," a toon in the grand old style redolent of the spirits of ronnie lane and every picture tells a story; baird's "would it kill you," which recycles the signature riff from humble pie's version of "four day creep;" the high-fuckin'-larious band advert "anything / everything;" and the self-explanatory "gettin' drunk."

lots more acoustic stuff here than on the first alb, as well as poppy toons like producer-gtrist-bossman eric "roscoe" ambel's "hurtin' thing." most affecting moments are a coupla writing collaborations: anderson/baird's "right as rain" and "between you and me" by ambel/anderson/baird. among the covers, the o'jays' "love train" doesn't really work for me, but "roam" does in the same way as, uh, "dancing queen" did on the first alb (and cuts the b-52s' version to shreds imo, altho i'm highly biased -- i'll take gritty rawk over glossy pop most days). hopefully we won't have to wait until 2010 to hear bassist keith christopher's take on the lovin' spoonful chestnut "you didn't have to be so nice" on shiny silver disc.

art 'n' like that

big gallery night this sat'day, april fool's, from 2 to 9pm at gallery 4, 3210 w. 7th street (behind the wreck room, yo), 817-504-9549. on display: new works by calvin abucejo, jesse sierra hernandez, greg bahr, christopher blay, ray liberio, and fernando palomo. there'll be an interactive canvas outside for you to daub on, and the estimable tom finn will be cooking up 70 pounds of crawfish, so you can pinch some tail 'n' suck some head in between feeding yr aesthetic sensibilities. (i tried to bootleg the flyer from myspace but i'm too techno-illiterate to resize the image. guh.)

fort worth photog jodi theodore has her work displayed from april 2nd thru the 29th as part of writing with light at the bradshaw gallery in the dallas public library, 1515 young street, 214-670-1643. reception be's sat'day april 8th from 2 to 5pm.

clear channel: the great satan?

if it looks, smells, and tastes like payola, it prolly is. be glad you didn't step in it. thanks 'n' a tip o' the hat to jerko for the link.

another blog to read

i've been checkin' out the online ruminations of jerko (pronounced YAIR-ko) dabelic, gtrist from sunward. jerko's a thoughtful 'n' intelligent cat and his scrawl is worth reading. imagine: a gtrist that can write in complete sentences. what will they think of next?

art of the jam 45

"hard to believe we've been holding down this gig for _45 weeks_!" said jam-meister lee allen wednesday night, "which puts the one-year anniversary around the third week in may." actually, i looked back in the musty, dusty stashdauber archives and found that the first time i showed up to chronicle events (before i commenced actually _playing_ on the gig) was april 27th last year, and i think he ran a coupla sessions before that, but who the funk am i to argue with the jam-meister? ideas are being booted around regarding how best to commemorate this momentous event; you gots any, hit lee up at fonky fred's (patio now open for biz thursday thru sat'day), the wreck room, or on his impulse of will myspace thingy.

this particular week was made memorable by the presence of rob from velvet jive, a groovy dallas cover band that plays material by zappa and the chili peppers, among others (they actually play "mother people!") and opened up for impulse of will the time we had to fill a sat'day date (with dave karnes on drums, no less) after somebody else cancelled out. in a previous life, rob played dueling basses with lee in a band called the kind buds that specialized in 311 and chili peppers covers (do you detect a pattern here?) when they were both students at west texas a&m university a few yrs back. these days, rob plays contrabass in "a buncha _little_ orchestras" like the las colinas and arlington symphonies. his presence gave me a chance to play "magic fingers" from 200 motels, which i'd drooled with envy watching velvet jive perform a few months ago. (now if i can just get lee the lyrics...) for me, the musical high point of the night was listening to lee pull percussive harmonics out of ron geida's les paul while jamming a fishbone toon with rob and joe "drumzilla" cruz. (later on, the jam-meister took up my long-suffering indo strat to do gtr honors on "stone cold bush.")

it was really drumzilla's night, and not just because he was the only drummer in the house and _couldn't_ sit down even if he wanted to. in addition to lighting some fireworks behind rob 'n' lee, he also got to back the addnerim boyzzz through their now-traditional mini-rush set and an eric johnson cover that had the jamcats collectively shaking their heads in amazement (that young cat tyrell was _breakin' thangs_ on gtr). it's no wonder the jam-meister has called joe "the neal peart of fort worth." steve "vikingo" huber got to flash his classical chops on "eine kleine nachtmusik." (mozart! at the wreck room! why the hell not?!?!?)

there were a coupla ex-brokers in the house -- bassist mark mcpherson, who sat in on an extra-super-ultra-loose soundcheck attempt at jeff beck's "you know what i mean," and trombonist marcus brunt, who moved the big column of air with sufficient force to be the loudest instrument onstage, _unamplified_. one can only hope that his contribution made it onto the recording that wizard o' sound andre edmonson was making on his new mini-digital audio recorder. (dre and the jam-meister are figuring out how to video the jams direct to dvd, too. can a _multi-media jam experience_ be far off? film, as they say, at 11.)

i'm taking next week off from jammin' to do a special thang with my sweetie, but i'll fill this space with some general jam ruminations, and if someone feels inclined to post a blog or bulletin on myspace to cover next week's jam events, that would be groovy too. it's about _continuity_, see?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

for some reason, i find this amusing. it's the website of the actor who played the psycho hillbilly in deliverance. for $19.95, he'll call your friends on their birthdays. he made a cd. he sings "jet."


could be a function of nicotine withdrawal
but i'm having really vivid memories
of the way a hamburger tasted off the grill
of a diner in my town when i was 8 yrs old
cooked by a guy w/a d.a. haircut and greek accent
in a place with a picture of telly savalas and the owner
behind the counter, right above the first dollar
that owner ever made
fries golden on the outside, mealy on the inside
and a shotglass-sized cup of coleslaw on the side
it was good


not zackley _blocked_, but nic withdrawal is worse today than it's been. feel super on-edge. got lotsa stuff i wanna write, but need to do other stuff. wanna see kids, do something outside this w-e. jam tonight (and stoogeaphilia prac sunday) w/b _interesting_.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

my mother, painted by my niece

my mom, kimie shimamoto, painted by my niece, victoria camp. from a photo by mimi flynn.

Monday, March 27, 2006

keith ferguson, tommy shannon, josh alan friedman

speaking of texas bluesmen and bad-ass writers, here are two of the finest pieces of "music journalism" i have ever read: the tales of tommy shannon, who played bass with both johnny winter and srv, and keith ferguson, who worked the four-stringed axe with the fabulous thunderbirds, both told by josh alan friedman (whom i once saw play the yardbirds' "jeff's boogie" note-for-mothafuckin'-note, on an _acoustic_ gtr, no less) in the pages of the dallas observer a few yrs back. if these don't get to ya, ya got no heart, pilgrim.

the long view of history...

...doesn't favor current american policy in iraq either, according to the international herald tribune.

robin sylar

found this memorial trib to robin from one of the blues rags online (even tho it mainly recycles a piece i wrote for the fweakly). also this from tim schuller on the buddy magazine myspace thingy.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

fred's redux, thelonious, goodwin, robin syler, green party

i smoked what i sincerely hope will be my last cigarette ever at the moon last night. right now, my entire body feels like your face does when you're coming out from under novocaine. i plan to drink extra special double amounts of water the next three days. then i'll prolly be jumpy and irritable for, oh, say the next three months after that. funfunfun.

my sweetie and i went to the reopened fred's friday night (they'll be open thursday thru saturday from now until they get the main cafe refurbed and ready to go) for burgers, beers 'n' jazz by saint frinatra. took my middle dtr and her b-f along. he's considering army rotc; i'm hoping he doesn't -- told him if he's determined to serve his country, i'm not gonna try and dissuade him, but if he's going for any other reason, it's a b-a-a-a-d idea. we had four fredburgers, two with jalapenos and two without (or "two boyburgers and two girlburgers," as patio-meister lee allen put it). "are the burgers not as delicious as ever?" the patio-meister asked us rhetorically after we had chowed 'em down. you betchum. there was something _reassuring_ about sitting on that patio, surrounded by ppl we know 'n' love, eating good food (even substituting chips for fries -- no sink) and listening to brian sharp's crew hittin' "nostalgia in times square," "song for my father," and "linus and lucy" for the godzillionth time. it felt like ... community.

next it was on to arts fifth avenue for thelonious, a tribute to the estimable mr. monk, maybe our greatest jazz composer after ellington, but one whose works don't get performed nearly as often as they oughtta, outside of an occasional "round midnight" here 'n' there. i'd heard nothing about the event (granted, i'm pretty web-centric when it comes to keepin' up with local happenings; don't read the fweakly and only pick up the startlegram to do the crossword puzzle) until her friend poet-performance artist-activist tammy gomez called my sweetie on the afternoon of the show to make us aware. i'm mighty glad she did; i'm fairly certain a coupla the musos involved have e-mail lists that i'm on, but i never heard word one. (note to self: remember to surf to the arts fifth avenue website more often.)

musician-wise, the lineup was pert stellar: the ubiquitous joey carter doing the hard job on piano and vibes, tcc jazz director rick stitzel on trumpet, the solid young bassist danny stone (who seems to be everywhere we go of late), drummer pete wehner (a new name to me, but awesome in a middle period tony williams kinda way), gtrist sam walker (whose brainchild this project was), and dave williams of dave and daver fame on tenor sax. even more impressive was the size (around 80 paying customers) and _attentiveness_ of the crowd -- proof positive that there's an audience in this town for jazz repertory, and that it doesn't need to be relegated to the itty-bitty children's stage at the jazz by the boulevard festival, either. the first set started off with the skewed blues "mysterioso" and continued with the obscuro "light blue," the ballad "ask me now," and a version of "bye-ya" that featured wehner applying some nawlins second-line strokes to monk's toon, then finished with a bravura blast of "brilliant corners," a composition so challenging that it reputedly had to be recorded in sections and pieced together at the editing desk (as carter reminded us, monk never showed the musicians his charts -- rather, he taught 'em their parts by rote, playing them on the piano).

before kicking off "nutty" (a fave of mine from the thelonious monk and john coltrane alb), carter read some quotes from jazz luminaries like chick corea, sonny rollins, max roach, john coltrane, and miles davis that attested to monk's influence. second set was a li'l hotter, as the musos started warming up and playing the toons with abandon, especially carter, who did a good job of invoking monk's spirit by employing some of his signature devices (sparse single-note lines, seemingly random atonal clusters), but also soloed convincingly in his own voice, particularly on vibes. walker's a gtrist of rare economy; he has great ideas but never feels compelled to lay them all on you at once. bassist stone's tempo is solidly grounded in the masterwork of wilbur ware and paul chambers, while his solo work is agile and inventive. dave williams was in his astringent sonny rollins mode, while rick stitzel couldn't help looking professorial while watching the other players in between his own quicksilver solos. when one of the musos "refused the obstacle" at the beginning of "epistrophy," carter shrugged it off: "this is jazz, this is real life -- sometimes we _miss_."

it was a gas to hear toons like "jackie-ing" (which i told carter afterwards was named in honor of alto saxophonist jackie mclean, who grew up in monk's 'hood and used to woodshed with him; in a.b. spellman's four lives in the bebop business, mclean tells a story about hiring monk for a gig when he was a teenage bandleader), "pannonica" (on which carter surprised me by playing piano; i was kinda hoping he'd play vibes to achieve some of the texture monk did playing celeste with one hand on the brilliant corners alb version), and "bemsha swing." only way it coulda been better woulda been if they'd played "ruby my dear." dave williams says there are more jazz repertory-type programs in the works at arts fifth avenue (in addition to their annual django reinhardt festival). they've done a great job creating a community arts space on the southside. must get out there more often. and joey sez there'll be a "3/4 of bertha coolidge" reunion (with danny stone subbing for aden bubeck, who's touring with miranda lambert) at cachonga's on april 22nd.

with unusually good timing, we arrived at the moon just as the goodwin boyzzz were getting into their first number. i _don't_ wanna be the only one to make noise from the crowd, but that wasn't a problem in this particular case, as the place was jammed with fans of goodwin and sunday drive (whose cd's didn't make it in time for the release party, sigh), yr usual moon habitues, and assorted berry street irregulars. goodwin was in full flight, too, in spite of relatively sparse recent live activity. visually, they abandoned their usual matching attire for varicolored shirts, with all the instrument players in black ties, but more importantly, they were clearly feelin' the music: damien stewart pummeled his vistalites with both authority _and_ flash; matt hembree was a comic presence, pantomiming the lyrics in between staging felonious assaults on his bass; a fit-looking new papa, daniel gomez continually defied gravity while making his axes alternately squeal and roar; and tony diaz staked his claim on the ground immediately in front of the moon's mini-stage. "arm and mouth" (which has yet to be recorded for the second c.d.) is becoming the same kind of anthem that "march" was / is, and they played 'em both.

sat'day morning, fell by the house up the street from me where the late madman gtr-slinger and artist (he designed a line of western shirts and amps, and built crazy tricked-out bicycles that looked like motorcycles) robin syler usedta live. his sister virginia is here from new york and was having a garage sale to dispose of some of his possessions; there was also a birthday party-tribute at j&j blues bar last saturday, but because i suck, i didn't find out about it until today. guh. i'm contemplating a break in my self-imposed retirement from scribin' for publication to do a piece on robin, if i can get anyone interested. just a thought.

today, made it out to the trinity park bandshell (old shakespeare in the park location, where i have fond memories of seeing my kids slide down the hill on sheets of corrugated cardboard in between and sometimes during the plays) for the green party. heard johnny case play with a quintet that also included chris white on trumpet and flute, keith wingate on gtr, danny stone (again!) on bass, and dwayne durrett on drums. we signed the greens' petition to get on this november's ballot in texas, where they have 22 candidates running for office, including governor and lieutenant governor, many in races where the republican candidate is running unopposed. met ramsey sprague, the impressive young cat from the tarrant county greens who's done yeoman work organizing around the 1919 hemphill collective. he emphasized that if you wanna sign petitions for kinky friedman's gubernatorial candidacy _and_ the greens, you're allowed to do so as long as you haven't voted in the democratic or republican primary. you can sign a petition for one independent candidate _and_ one independent party; just can't do two of either. also, you _don't_ need to have your voter registration card on you to sign (altho you _do_ need one one record); they greens will look up the number. so there.

Friday, March 24, 2006

haiku for robin s. (revised)

man that cat looked frail
but strap a gtr on him
and he was mighty

fred's patio open tonight!!!

this from jennifer chandler:
915 Currie Street
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 332-0083

Starting Thursday, March 23,
Fred's will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
for burgers and beer !!

11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
beer until midnight

Fri 03-24: Saint Frinatra
Sat 03-25: Standard Transmission
Fri 03-31: Saint Frinatra
Sat 04-01: DEAD THING !!!

monk tribute - arts fifth avenue - tonight!!!

as monk-obsessed as i've been of late, it seemed like kismet to see this on the arts fifth avenue site:

Thelonious Sphere Monk (b.1917 - d.1982)
"You know, anybody can play a composition and use far-out chords and make it sound wrong. It's making it sound right that's not easy." Thelonious Monk, 1961

Friday/march 24 - $10 per person
doors open 7:45 - music starts 8:30 pm
call 817-923-9500 for info or reservations

In keeping with our Jazz Heritage Series, please come and enjoy a live music tribute to Thelonius S. Monk featuring some of Fort Worth's most noted jazz players, with documentary film footage shown before show and during intermission.

Musical Artists: Joey Carter, Piano/Vibes * Rick Stitzel, Trumpet * Danny Stone, Bass * Sam Walker, Guitar * Pete Wehner, Drums * Dave Williams, Tenor Sax

green party benefit - trinity park - saturday march 25th

this from marcus lawyer:

If you want to see me and Jen in a kick ass band together, come to the trinity bandshell off 7th (by the duck pond) at 4:30. we will, we will rock you. well, actually, its quit smooth and groovy and not rockin at all, but you will be intalectually rocked.

we...are...the Alarm Clocks!!! time to wake up...pow! also in the band:
-jeff a from sleep lab
-james norris from... like 10 bands
-forrest ward from the earth
-brian batson fro confusatron
-quincy miller from your self conscious
-damascus from the truth and big d
-silence from the the town of funky
-and more!

positive social change is in need folks, come learn what you can do to make it a better community and world.

Kick off our local ballot access drive with us and local
Green-supportive artists!

Saturday, March 25
From Noon 'till Dusk
In the Trinity Park Shelter House
On 7th St, 2300 Block, Just West of downtown Fort Worth
Performers include:
Tammy Gomez - a gifted poet and performance artist
Manifest Destiny's Child - experimental improv drum and guitar sounds
Clint Niosi & the Silver Lining Cynics - a guitar-wielding lead singer
with a backup band
Curtis Heath & Guests - american roots-ish lead singer with unusual
backup instruments
The Shortest Distance - a guitar-wielding hippy singer
Jason Eklund - american roots singer/songwriter
Autonomy Star - a poetry singing pianist
Jhon Kasen (Jhonny Case) & Guests - a jazz pianist and prodigy with
special guests
Rose Ann Meredith - Fort Worth poet
The Alarm Clocks - musicians and poets performing conscious raising songs
Bring your own chair, and an extra one if you have it or a cover to sit on Bring your own food.

Groups are invited to display and receive donations for lilterature, wares, food, etc.

Diane Wood

art of the jam 44

a real mixed bag, this night, starting out with great enthusiasm and ending up as a pretty conclusive argument against j.w.i. (jammin' while intoxicated).

when we rolled into the wreck room for this week's wednesday night jam, friday happy hour chanteuse amy royer was bending ears with the tale of the day she'd just spent at the hard rock cafe in dallas, auditioning for some reality show ("this is my autograph pen! i was signing fuckin' _autographs_ after i played!!!").

bartender / ex-woodeye bassist / proud papa of a soon-to-be-one-year-old / connoisseur of da good schitt graham richardson was effusively praising the previous night's headliner, the hard lessons ("their drummer was a dwarf!!!"), a hard-rawkin' trio from the motor city who'd worked the room as if there were 300 ppl there, even tho there were only eight. graham also told a funny story about the guy from the same night's opening band who offered to do a _comedy act_ to fill time when one of the scheduled acts canceled.

after timely pause, jam-meister lee allen arrived, dead on his feet from doing demolition at fred's in preparation for this week's reopening (burgers 'n' beers on the patio only, thursday thru saturday, until the main building gets refurbished) and hunting locations for the summer session of the fort worth academy of music's rock camp (if you know of a space with four 10' X 20' practice rooms and an office for $4 a square foot or less, contact lee via fred's, the wreck, or his myspace thingy).

to my highly jaundiced ears, first set was the best. we improv'ed more than we had in awhile, with the jam-meister calling toons by key and mode ("let's stay in A, only make it minor this time, and _dorian_ -- that's the one with the F#"). sunward gtrist jerko dabelic had set up his matchless in the window of "wreck west" -- a lot of amp for a small room, and a striking contrast with darrin kobetich's mini-marshall from last week. as a result, "tomorrow never knows" was pretty much an orgy of f/x, with the rest of the jamcats inaudible. after claudia acosta added some spoken word to "maggot brain," the set ended with the jam-meister trying to conjure "a blues with no solos," which didn't eventuate -- seemed like cats weren't listening, to lee's direction or each other.

with his musical twin (kulcha far i, jasper stone) john shook taking over from lee on bass, ron geida essayed a j.b.'s-style riff that morphed into a stab at jeff beck's "you know what i mean." jerko started playing something by radiohead, i believe, and i walked into the other room to hang with my sweetie (last week of spring break for her school) and me-thinks frontguy ray liberio (who'd done his usual vocal turn on "war pigs" earlier). from graham's bar, i could hear fiddle man steven "vikingo" huber attempting to initiate his opus "dry hump burn" (the very first toon i ever played at the jam), but collin herring band drummer billy walters (who'd stepped in for joe "drumzilla" cruz) wasn't feelin' the 7/4 (in spite of the fact that billy's been overheard at his straight job singing oddball time signatures with his sectionmate jeremy hull) and eventually one of the gtrists took the toon down a more prosaic rock path that sounded like "all along the watchtower" or something. (next time maybe just say "it's in 7," steve?) by the time justin pate (ph7 / confusatron) got up to front the jamcats during the last set, the collective level of inebriation had risen to a point where further attempts at description would be futile. and that's all i have to say about that.

a wednesday night first: there were actually more civilians checkin' out the jam than the "real" bands in back. one thing i like about sxsw season: i'm not sure why, but i get to see more asian dudes and wimmin in bands than i do the rest of the yr (like the bassplyer from bailer, three nice cats from denver who came to check out the jam before playing their own set). when we walked back in the big room during coexist's set, the band (from huntington beach, cali) was closing with a toadies cover ("i come from the water") as though they knew whose town this was.

next week: back on the big stage, with an andre edmonson mix. yippee!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the return of jesus de la cruz

we don't often venture out on monday nights, but had to make an exception this week for the triumphal return to the fort of jeremy diaz a.k.a. jesus de la cruz. that's the handle he went by when he played with dead sexy, denton-via-como's entry in the glam-cum-detroit ramalama sweepstakes, and i was reminded of it by the praying hands motif on his gtr strap. the boy knows the good schitt and is the most alive presence on any stage he's ever graced; monday night, he supplied the sting in this damn town's three-gtr assault as the austin garage punkoids kicked off a week-long post-sxsw tour with seattlites the new fangs at the little wreck room.

this damn town has undergone a few lineup changes since the last time i saw 'em, and the more subtle, rootsy, solo-john-doe-ish vibe of their first set o' recordings has been replaced by something a lot more primal and louder than fuck (and we all know how loud fuck can be) -- imagine if the sonics had recorded at sun studios using blue cheer's equipment. chalk it up to tom kodiak's gtr taking the place of kari luna's pianner (altho kari's all over the freshly minted 7-inch -- "tattered" b/w "i got no use," on pink vinyl, no less -- that my sweetie scored from the merch table along with some stickers for her bike). jeremy's got my old twin reverb (had to deal it off to pay an attorney coupla summers back but i wanted to keep it in the family) and had it cranked all the way up to 7 (loudest i ever ran it was on 5 and that sent the kid at craig's music in weatherford running out the street with his hands clasped over his ears). i overheard soundman jon teague (whose own band, the great tyrant, are no strangers to extreme volume their own selves and open for shaolin death squad this saturday) telling this damn town front / ex-gospel swinger alex cuervo, "your amps are louder than my whole p.a.!" in response to a monitor beef. drummer (and alex's fiancee) alyse mervosh hits hard and keeps things moving forward onstage, and the whole mess was swimming in a sea of swampy 'verb. the crowd (better 'n usual for a monday night, as befits such a momentous event) seemed to dig it real fine.

jeremy's got another project percolating that sounds like one to watch. on paper, the strange attractors might look like a dead sexy reunion -- the lineup includes frontcat kevin pearce and bassist jen tran -- but they insist it's not. from j.d.'s description, sounds like spacey psych with mind-melt gtr, but we'll have to wait until they get some recordings out there. can't wait to hear 'em.


these people are apparently from brooklyn, but their version of "tennessee waltz" can make you weep. thanks to lani for the link.

Monday, March 20, 2006

personal to sparky's girls

...who, i'm told, occasionally read this spew: had a nice msg from my doc today. my cholesterol levels, while still elevated, are not sufficiently scary to warrant meds. total, ldl, and triglycerides are all down significantly, hdl zackley the same (which should change when i start, um, riding my bike). now if i could just do something about the cigs (which, unfortunately, i still smoke like a fiend when in proximity to alcohol, musicians, work, etc.). unfortunately, none of the therapies i believe would be most effective (hypnotism, acupuncture, the ludovico technique) are covered by my medical insurance. feh.

hope all's well your way.

much love,


dave hickey, latin express, sleeplab

this is gonna be another one of those "cats 'n' dogs" posts...too much _stuff_ going on to sit 'n' scrawl at length.

i'm not a great reader anymore. time was when i'd _always_ have four or five books going at any given time. these days, it seems i don't have the attention span to read a cereal box, let alone a lengthy tome. lately, tho, i've been re-reading some fave music books (nik cohn's rock from the beginning in its original, hip-shootin', borderline libelous glory; paul williams' outlaw blues, reminding one how naive ppl were back in 1967, and that such naivete is not necessarily a bad thing) and especially _essays_, which are just the right length for me to digest before i konk at the end of the day. my sweetie's currently working her way thru ralph "invisible man" ellison's shadow and act, while i'm deeply diggin' a volume laid on me by paul boll, a cat who's almost too literate 'n' culcha'd to be a muso (altho he's a fine one): dave hickey's air guitar. hickey's a texas who was present at the creation of lotsa stuff back in the '60s, and the essays in this book explore from different angles the weighty topic of how human beings respond to art in all its forms. that he manages to pull this considerable feat off without coming across pompous or didactic speaks to his considerable skill as a scribe: above all, hickey's a great storyteller, and his love of his characters and his subject matter comes across in every paragraph. a righteous read, fo' sho'.

so sat'day night we went up to the saenz hall on the northside to help an old air force bud 'n' his lovely celebrate 20 yrs of wedded bliss, as well as their dtr's 3rd b'day, and hear latin express, who played at the couple's wedding reception way back in november of '85. (i drove from abilene with what was later diagnosed as walking pneumonia for the original event.) it wound up being quite a sentimental evening for me, getting reacquainted with some cats i hadn't run across in yrs and seeing what good men they've become. also got to sit in with latin express, which is always a gas, somewhat mitigated in this case by the fact that when i went up they were playing "mustang sally" and carlos saenz had torn his rig down to allow his bro. leo to play guitarron while their pop, nicho, was tearin' it up on accordian. while i don't think i really added anything to the stew _musically_ (altho that didn't stop my air force buds from goin' off, and they weren't even garrruuunnnk yet), it as a gas to stand up there and hear leo and his pop playin' some old gooduns that i'd previously heard them playing in nicho's living room while his wife rosa pushed plate after plate of insanely good mexican chow my way. once my onstage interval was up, i got to kick back with my sweetie and watch the dancers show their stuff (i don't dance; asian dudes shouldn't -- it's like wearing cowboy hats). nobody, but _nobody_ fills a dancefloor like latin express. es verdad. the lineup's changed a bit -- most notably, john olmos has replaced leo saenz III on bass, and estevan saenz on brass 'n' congas has grown at least a foot and a half since the last time i saw 'em -- but they're still a great band, one of the fort's finest.

after that, we tipped over to the li'l wreck room to catch sleeplab. (regrettably got there too late to catch most of darrin kobetich 'n' steve huber doing their acoustic gtr 'n' violin duet thang, but look fwd to doing so at a later date.) it's been a gas watching jeff arsenault, fern palomo, and jesse sierra hernandez build their thang up over the last few months from its somewhat tentative beginnings sittin' in at the wreck room's wednesday night jam. first, confusatron bassist matt skates jumped on board, followed by hank hankshaw's occasional snare drum accompanist michael preble. next thing you know, ex-confusatron stickman scott ivey added his traps to make a bona fide _percussion section_. i missed their last show, which wreck room wizard o' sound andre edmonson said pulled 80-100 ppl on a thursday night, so i was unaware that james norris and crystal casey had been added to the lineup. james, of james and myles fame, doesn't vocalize with this unit; rather, he tinkles the fender rhodes, adding an incandescent texture to the mix, and leaves the tonsil-tickling to crystal casey, whose bell-like tones and lyrics in a variety o' languages serve as an auditory fulcrum for the sound, which isn't zackley brazilian jazz in the manner of jobim or gilberto -- harmonically, it's a little more monochromatic and more groove (vice melody) oriented than those composers' work; rhythmically, it's static in the same way as dub and electronica, which just means "hypnotic" to the connoisseur of chillness. icing on the cake on this particular occasion was saint frinatra's brian sharp, making periodic milesian interjections on muted trumpet 'n' flugelhorn. among 817 bands, sleeplab is comfortably relaxin' into a niche between masters o' the groove like sub oslo, pablo and the hemphill 7, and confusatron, and gentler spirits like ahummin' acoustical acupuncture. it should come as no surprise that they're very stylish visually as well, since there are a coupla top local graphic artists in the lineup. and no, they're not from belgium.

this damn town

this damn town, the austin-based rootsy punkers fronted by alex cuervo (ex-gospel swingers) and featuring the fort's own jeremy diaz (ex-dead sexy), be's at the wreck room tonight as part of their ongoing "sxswreck" ramalama. ya mo' be theah, if only to have visitation rights with my ex-twin reverb. so should you be.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

if bush ruled the world

the international herald tribune points out a few of the flaws in dubya's new national security strategy.

patti smith - kera 90.1 fm - 7pm tonight

this from ex-nervebreaker / current punk rock dinosaur mike haskins:


The inside story of Patti Smith's classic album, Horses, on it's 30th anniversary. Interviews with Smith, her collaborator Lenny Kaye, and others detail the impact this album had on both rock & roll and their own lives. The songs from Horses are also presented live from a June 2005 London concert with Patti Smith back by her band and special guests Tom Verlaine and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

techniques of advo-persuasion

in doing some research for work, i stumbled on this int w/psychiatrist-advo consultant clotaire rapaille, where he talks about appealing to ppl's reptilian brain to sell products. fascinating and scary stuff, but he makes some interesting points.

"let the products sell themselves / psychological methods of selling / should be destroyed" (d. boon)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

sci-fi list

because i am a geek, i was excited to discover this list of 100 sci-fi books that somebody thinks you oughtta read. (i got this way because when i was young, my dear old grey-haired mom usedta buy books that were nothing more than lists of books and leave them lying around the house for my sister and i to discover.) wow, i wonder where i can find a copy of the stars my destination by alfred bester? haven't read that 'un since high school.

johnny case

as part of our three-day celebration of wedding anniversary #1, my sweetie and i fell by sardines to hear some good jazz from johnny case and got much more than we bargained for.

walking out of the rain and through the front door, we were hit with a high-velocity blast of sonny rollins' "oleo" that made us feel like we'd been transported back to some '50s harlem dive. tearin' it up on tenor was big apple-based, fort worth-bred multi-reedman mario cruz, a former case protege and veteran of jaco pastorius' '80s big band with a mellifluous tone and seemingly endless stream of ideas that poured out of his horn like honey, whether he was masterfully building and releasing tension on a blues or conducting an exhaustive investigation of every melodic possibility inherent in a ballad like "april in paris," which was preceded by a lengthy bandstand discussion of a visit johnny and his wife recently made to the city of lights. the tenorman's presence seemed to inspire the other players -- johnny, young bassplayer danny stone, and johnny's regular drummer don sowell -- to ever-higher flights of exploration 'n' invention. for someone like me who's been on a tenor kick lately (listening to the coltrane live-at-the-half note one up, one down and live at carnegie hall with monk sets), it was _wish fulfillment at its best_. much respect to messrs. cruz, case and co.

johnny's playing the green party benefit in trinity park next saturday, march 25th; he starts at 12 noon, so get there early. he's also slated to play this year's "jazz by the boulevard" fest in september, and sez he picked a later time slot this year (5pm) than the one he played a coupla yrs back, so that "maybe there'll be some people there, but i'll still be able to make it to the [sardines] gig."


one of the best-kept secrets in post-millennial rockaroll be's the yayhoos, a quartet of rootsy, _seasoned and mature_ mofos with a bloodline that includes joan jett's blackhearts (for whom yayhoo eric "roscoe" ambel wrote "i love rock and roll"), the georgia satellites (yayhoos' lineup includes both dixie-fried frontguy dan baird and _original_ frontguy keith christopher, and yayhoos drummer terry anderson penned their second single "battleship chains"), and steve earle (who's employed both ambel and christopher in his touring band). four lead singers! four songwriters! the mind boggles. i once saw 'em in big d at poor david's on a goin'-to-sxsw chump-change gig where the audience consisted of 24 people, eight of whom were on the guest list. roscoe let me play his telecaster; he uses the heaviest strings imaginable (.013-.056) and he _bends_ 'em, too. their new alb put the hammer down is released june 20th, altho you can pre-order it now and have it ship march 28th. sound samples on their website.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


now here's some blog action i can get behind. worthwhile for the vidclips alone.

f'rinstance: the infamous clip of the stooges at the 1970 cincinnati pop festival, featuring ig 'n' the boyzzz ripping through "tv eye" and "1970," complete with audience walkage 'n' peanut butter smearage. injoy!

ex-negotiator calls bush out on india nuke pact

from the l.a. times:

Bush Confronted on Nuclear Pact

While speaking about Medicare, the president gets a surprise challenge
from a negotiator of the nonproliferation treaty that India never signed.
By Peter Wallsten
Times Staff Writer

March 16, 2006

WASHINGTON — Two weeks after signing a controversial nuclear cooperation
agreement with India, President Bush had a surprise encounter Wednesday
with one of the original negotiators of the very anti-nuclear treaty
that critics say is threatened by the deal.

The exchange capped an afternoon of unusually confrontational questions
posed to Bush by a public audience — a change for a White House that has
frequently organized friendly crowds to show Bush in a positive light.

The India challenge came from Lawrence Weiler, 85, a resident at the
Washington-area retirement center that was the venue for the Wednesday
event, intended to promote the president's new Medicare prescription
drug program.

When Bush opened the floor to questions, and one man stood to thank the
president for making U.S. civil nuclear technology available to India,
Weiler could not contain himself.

"Mr. President, there are some — and I guess I would include myself —
who have different views about the Indian agreement, because they're
concerned about the effect that the agreement will have on the capacity
of India to stimulate its own production of nuclear weapons," he said.

Weiler told Bush that he was one of the few surviving negotiators of the
1970 Nonproliferation Treaty, which was ratified by the world's major
nuclear powers and more than 180 other nations to limit the spread of
nuclear weapons.

India never signed the treaty, and critics charge that Bush's plan to
let U.S. firms begin sharing civil nuclear technology with India would
help that country expand its weapons program and invigorate a nuclear
arms race by inspiring other nations to ignore the treaty.

Weiler, who worked for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, went on
to ask Bush to consider adopting a "no first use" policy on nuclear
weapons as an additional enticement to keep the treaty intact.

"The basic bargain there was that other countries would give up their
nuclear weapons if we, the nuclear powers, would engage in a program of
nuclear disarmament," he told Bush. "The point is that we cannot expect
that agreement, that basic agreement, to hold if the United States … has
the position that we might initiate a nuclear war if it is necessary."

Bush nodded but made no promises. "I'll take your words to heart, and
think about it," he told Weiler. "Thank you. No commitment standing
right here, of course."

Bush had not been challenged directly on the deal since his trip to
India this month, which aides hailed as a success due largely to the
agreement between the U.S. president and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan

As part of the deal, which requires the approval of Congress and of the
45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, India agreed to open 14 of its 22
nuclear reactors to international inspectors for the first time.

India retains the right to keep its other reactors secret for military
purposes, and to build as many additional weapons-producing facilities
as it wishes. Bush on Wednesday called the agreement a victory for
limiting the spread of weapons.

"Part of the Indian deal is to actually get them to formally join some
of the institutions that you helped — your work created," Bush told Weiler.

Earlier in his comments, Bush praised the agreement as a boon for the
environment and a way to cut U.S. gas prices.

"When India's demand for fossil fuels goes up, it causes the price of
our fossil fuels to go up," he said. "And so, therefore, to encourage
them to use a renewable source of energy that doesn't create greenhouse
gas, this makes a lot of sense."

The agreement is also backed by nuclear technology firms that stand to
make billions of dollars by selling to India.

As the White House prepares to lobby Congress to approve the deal,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signaled one of its contentions in a
Washington Post op-ed article this week when she predicted the agreement
would mean "thousands of new jobs for American workers."

But Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who has spearheaded a coalition to
oppose the deal, questioned the contentions made by Bush and Rice.

He said that India currently produced a tiny fraction of its power from
oil and that its clear aim was to sharply escalate its weapons production.

Markey pointed to reports this week that Russia was considering reviving
an old proposal to sell nuclear technologies to India — a deal that the
U.S. once helped block — and that other nations such as China and Iran
would follow suit.

"It's a domino effect that will lead to the complete collapse of the
nuclear proliferation regime that's been protecting our planet for a
generation," he said.

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

da tube

ever notice
how being in a room
with a buncha ppl watching tv
is like being surrounded
by a buncha ppl on the same drug
that you're not on
or maybe a roomful of autistic ppl?

pablo's back!

that's right. pablo and the hemphill 7 (now including, um, 3/5 of the late, lamented bindle, since matt hembree replaced marcus lawyer on bass). wreck room. april 8th. be there. aloha.

art of the jam 43

if i was gonna make a movie about the wreck room, i'd prolly use last night as the model, prolly 'cos it was so atypical. there were knots of sxsw ppl who looked like they were cloned from each other, there were a wide spectrum of interesting inebriates, there was the anxiety-producing appearance of two of fort worth's finest out front near closing time (in response to a call from a garrruuunnnk patron who wound up wearing the silver bracelets and riding in the car her own self -- guh). and oh, yes -- there was the jam. that's lee and carl's invitational jam, for all you uninitiates, relegated to the li'l "wreck west" stage by the first of two weeks of sxsw-related shows.

of course, the french band that was skedded to headline canxed at the last minute, so local crowd-bringers the burning hotels manfully stepped into the closing slot. they'd just played the aardvark the night before, but so loyal is their crowd that attendance was at least decent, especially for a wednesday night. the original jam game plan was to play short sets in between the "real" acts, but inspahrd by the example of hank hankshaw, who played acoustic with a mandolinist and drummer through most of the main-stage activities on monday night, jam-meister lee allen figured he could get away with playing acoustic with darrin kobetich while the main stage was occupied. in the event, the new pickup and fresh strings on his les paul musta been too good to shreddin'-ass mofo darrin, and the proceedings that went on over in wreck west for most of the evening were assuredly electric (in more ways than one).

to begin with, there was so much gtrist detritus onstage that you woulda thought you were in gtr ctr or something; all that was missing was some zitface cycling through the changes to "smells like teen spirit" or "enter sandman." in addition to darrin's imposing pedalboard was one belonging to jam mainstay ron geida (who was onstage on fred's patio with jasper stone last saturday night when flames started shooting out of the cafe's eaves). in front of the stage was fw symphony violinist (and darrin's duet partner; they be opening for sleeplab at el wreck this saturday, march 18th) steve huber's pod thingy, and back by the drums was my more spartan setup. in addition to the aforementioned string-stranglers, "confusajohn" stevens made a brief appearance, and tyrell from addnerim -- yet another of the zoo music posse that also includes ron and four-string theorist john shook, who was in the house but not playin' on this particular night -- essayed some rush toons (to the extreme delight of joe "drumzilla" cruz), and performed his feature "strawberry letter 23," displaying mastery of shuggie otis' signature gtr line on the bridge sans help from ron.

things took awhile to get started, as the acoustic performer who was s'posed to quit at 8:30 ran over..._significantly_ over. things started slow but picked up when darrin arrived. da kobe's an assertive and in-yr-face player, even when he's just warming up, and he brought with him some of the spirit o' the jam from last summer, when things hadn't _defined_ themselves quite yet. thus, after the weekly ritual "war pigs" (minus the contribution of me-thinks mouthpiece ray liberio, who was in dallas with his band boyzzz watching the hellacopters) when the jam-meister was bemoaning the fact that the jamcats don't know more metal toons, darrin simply shrugged, "make something up. let's play some funk," and away we went.

for me, the high point of the night was the last set, after the burning hotels had quit and some of the crowd filtered over to wreck west -- especially a thunderous "tomorrow never knows" with darrin, lee, vikingo, ron, and dave karnes on drums. as his sometime co-conspirator jerko dabelic (sunward, ex-delfi) points out, ron's more than a shredder -- besides having inventive ideas and flawless execution, he's also mastered the art of using f/x to create atmospheres 'n' textures, including an organ-like sound he's been known to break out to good effect on "standing on the verge." (jerko provided vocal support to the jam-meister on "tomorrow never knows" and got a minute amount of axe time at the end of the set; today, the sunward boyzzz are austin-bound for a li'l sxsw action of their own.) also: waking up onstage and realizing that we were playing "mountain song" by jane's addiction.

wreck room wizard o' sound andre edmonson promises he's gonna get a recording setup over in wreck west, so such moments won't go undocumented on those occasions when the jamcats are unable to use the big stage.

fred's patio reopening next weekend!!!!!

this from patio-meister lee allen:

reds PATIO will be re-opening Thursday-Saturday NEXT WEEK

BANDS: contact me if i told you gig was cancelled, cuz it ain't.

FANS: c'mon, Burgers and Beers outside only.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

hochimen, insiders

my sweetie's on spring break, so we took a walk around the 'hood monday night, stopping off at fonky fred's, where terry and jennifer are holding nightly b.y.o.b. get-togethers until they can get the patio, at least, re-opened. pick up a six-pack and stop by to tell some lies around the fire, why doncha?

on the way home, we fell by the wreck and caught a coupla sxsw bands. watching these people play, i finally figured out what you're supposed to do to be a success in indie rawkdom these daze: have like six guys in yr band, including four gtr players, and everybody changes instruments after every song. or something. as a listener, it's fun to play "spot the influences": a little radiohead here, a little wilco there, a soupcon of white stripes, etc. who needs a $300 wristband? you can have all the sxsw fun you want right here in the fort, and not have to eat the gawdawful fajitas on 6th street.

tuesday night, saw reggie rueffer and the hochimen play after two austin-bound nashville bands and before one crew of locals that apparently pissed a bunch of ppl off with an immodest post on myspace the other day. remember, boys, it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

i read in reggie's e-mail that the hochimen were gonna hit at 9. yeah, right, as if. no one in the history of the wreck room has ever hit that early, but no matter. and the new cd, tierra del gato, will be out this thursday. (damn, my sweetie even brought an extra ten spot. we had to content ourselves with going home and listening to totenlieder yet again.)

the new songs sound great -- not exactly pop toons, but rich with melodic complexity and lyrical intelligence -- the old 'uns are transformed in performance the, um, coupla times a yr these guys hit the boards, and the band has great presence onstage: reggie seems to be folding up on himself and he'll slink around the stage like a spider before darting back to the mic just in time to hit his cue; on gtr, unt jazzcat ed mcmahon (who was in one of the final ten hands lineups and has played with reclusive legend ronald shannon jackson) lays down a barrage of spiky, skronky avant-rawk fret damage to compliment and contrast with brother chad rueffer's round-toned melodic style.

watching the rueffer brothers work, you wouldn't think they had another life as hard-core honky-tonk country entertainers (think george, merle, johnny -- the old gooduns), but they do. for proof positive, be at the wreck on friday, april 14th, when the insiders open for eleven hundred springs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

sleeplab, brian sharpe

looks like trumpeter brian sharpe of saint frinatra fame will be sittin' in with sleeplab at the wreck room on march 18th. the plot, as they say, thickens...

communique from terry chandler of fred's texas cafe

Howdy. As you may have heard, Freds had a fire in kitchen on Saturday night. Looking like a blessing in disguise. Damage fairly minimal considering. Thank the Great Spirit that no one was injured. Fire Dept arrived in 3 friggin minutes.Good time y'all, 1 more minute and Freds would have been history. Hurray FWFD. If anyone knows any fire fighters to forward this e-mail to I would appreciate it.
Drop by and see us on the patio, evenings 7ish until we get a temporary ice house liscense for the patio, until then byob. Please forward this to all appropriate Coolyons and Fred Necks. Thank you all for being such good friends.TC

Monday, March 13, 2006


because i am a wonk, i was interested to see this list of the top 150 children's books of all time. because i suppose i am old-fashioned, i am mystified that go ask alice is among 'em. i mean, it's not last exit to brooklyn, but still...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

fire at fred's!!!

this from jennifer chandler:

915 Currie Street
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 332-0083

We had a heck of a fire last night !!! Five fire trucks and 40+ fireman saved the place from burning to the ground.
Thank you to our great staff who got everybody out, our wonderful supportive customers and to the firemen !!

The re-building will start today.
Maybe it is wishful thinking but I am hoping to get the Patio open for beer and burgers on the grill by this week-end. I will keep you posted.

If anyone has pictures,
please e-mail them to me or give them to me in person.

I hope to see you all soon, Jennifer Chandler

Saturday, March 11, 2006

lady pearl's red shirt

i have a red shirt that i got from lady pearl
the last time i saw her
"the band is wearing red and black," she said
but i only had a green shirt

so the guy i usedta sub for in her band and i
tore ass over to her house
and grabbed two shirts off her closet door
scaring the bejeezus out of her grandchildren

i got the flannel one
i took it on the road with nathan brown
and thanked her for giving us a good show
every time i wore it

the thing is, this one weekend
i was too busy writing to go sit in and play
but i figured it was no big deal --
there'd be other times, i thought

but there weren't
she complained her leg hurt
when she spoke to her brother on the phone after the gig
and by the next morning, she was gone -- heart attack

it's always a mistake
to take people and things you love for granted
and you're always best advised
to treat each parting as though it'll be your last

hochimen - cd release - wreckroom - 3.14.2006

they're playing first tuesday night, 'round about 9pm-ish (reggie sez), opening for two bands from nashville enroute to sxsw.

reggie's picking up the cd's on sunday, so bring an extra ten spot witcha. (as totenlieder remains a fave spin around mi casa, you know i'll be.)

"i cheat the hangman"

former yugoslav president slobodan milosevic did a hermann goering, checking out in prison in the hague while his trial for war crimes was still in progress. inasmuch as i am not down with many of our government's adventures overseas, i don't feel bad about having participated, as an air force reservist, in operations deny flight and decisive edge, watching bosnia ca. '94-'96. except that we didn't do anything to stop the srebrenica massacre.

all look same

do all asians look the same? can you tell the diff between chinese, japanese, and koreans? i did much worse at this than i'd like to admit. try it yrself.

b.t.a., raymond lemmon, cookie mcgee

The soul of Man must quicken to creation.
Out of the formless stone, when the artist united himself with stone,
Spring always new forms of life, from the soul of man that is joined to the soul of stone;
Out of the meaningless practical shapes of all that is living or lifeless
Joined with the artist's eye, new life, new form, new colour.
Out of the sea of sound the life of music,
Out of the slimy mud of words, out of the sleet and hail of verbal imprecisions,
Approximate thoughts and feelings, words that have taken the place of thoughts and feelings,
There spring the perfect order of speech, and the beauty of incantation.

- T.S. Eliot,
Choruses from "The Rock"

robert ealey and lady pearl are gone, but the house that he built and the band that she led are still going strong.

every so often, when life starts sapping the juice from yr soul, you need to get a dose of something real.

so friday night, my sweetie and i headed over to the bluebird blues club, which thankfully seems to be thriving since sam harris reopened it last fall. (he's got bookings on his calendar as far ahead as june; a positive sign.) when we walked in the door, the place was jam-packed, but rapper 'n' first-time bluebird visitor tahiti kindly offered to share a table and hooked me up with a copy of his cd the birth of whack. nice cat, just finished making a movie with mr. aggravated foe (j.d. gimme a call pls) and about to head to sxsw with his dallas co-conspirator pikahsso.

i usedta sub on gtr with b.t.a. when they held down a sunday night gig at the swing club (r.i.p.) at evans and allen on the east side. the swing club was an unimposing cinderblock building with no sign out front; you had to _know_. inside, it reeked of grease from the fish dinners they usedta cook in back. after a night there, my leather jacket and amplifier would smell like fish for a week. sometimes you'd play for four hours without a break, unless somebody took yr instrument -- lady pearl's brother / b.t.a. gtrist-vocalist ray reed likes to play _long_. some fine and mellow nights were had there, and the music flowed like sweet healing waters.

at the bluebird, b.t.a. was casting the same vibe: the whole history of black music, from country blues to its '50s urban variant to '60s soul to more recent developments in r&b, gets thrown into the pot and used in service of _the groove_. ray was in an elmore james frame of mind, so besides his take on the slow blues "it hurts me too," we got to hear a bunch of shuffles featuring elmore's signature lick. wearing his bandleader hat, ray was working hard to keep his musicians on the same page. while _most_ of the cats are veterans saturated with the music (exception: ray's college-age son on drums, who claims never to practice but has a great natural feel), there are occasional, um, _disagreements_ about the form, which ray resolves in the moment in a way lee allen could appreciate, directing the band with facial expressions, body movement, or the occasional shouted direction. i miss the no-frills precision of diminutive bassist quincy brown, but the current b.t.a. lineup is highlighted by the interplay between ray, who throws splintered shards of notes at will, and the second gtrist (damn, didn't catch his name), who's acquired a strat and a vox amp in addition to his 335 since last time i saw the band and has a searing sound that cuts through like a razorblade, playing _only the good notes_.

one of the attractive features of a b.t.a. show is that, when it's happenin', you don't just get a band -- you get a _revue_. guest musos at every position are jumping up seemingly at will or when called up by ray. there's a long tradition of this in the b.t.a. band; lady pearl herself could play gtr, bass, or drums, and her dtr miss kim is no slouch on the traps herself, as she proved when she took over the drum duties at one point on friday night. now yr _authentic_ (read: black) blues audience is hip that when it comes to this music, instrumental prowess ain't shee-it; rather, it's an art form that's all about _vocal_ expression. instead of an onslaught of gunslingin' gtrists, you'll hear a succession of soul-wrenching singers -- every one of 'em a star, trust me. fuck american idol, this is the real deal.

at the bluebird friday, we were fortunate to hear raymond lemmon, an east side legend whom i hadn't seen since the swing club a coupla yrs back. raymond is a hard-livin' dude who usedta share stages with pearl back in the day, a soul man in the solomon burke or wilson pickett mold who stands on the dancefloor and roars his masculinity while the band stretches out on a I-IV vamp, extending and building tension until the simplest of musical forms is transmogrified into a cleansing, purifying ritual in which everyone, performer and audience, has a part to play, a genuine soul-rinsing, and at the end everybody is drained, it's the best kind of release imaginable. later raymond gave me a cd-r of a performance of his with b.t.a., taped at a tribute to pearl at j&j's back in january. it's an echoey audience recording, and the music's rough, but it feels right, and now i have an artifact to prove to ppl that donwanna venture down to the bluebird that raymond at least exists. it's an enduring disappointment that lady pearl never released any recordings during her lifetime; there are some live tapes floating around that she was reviewing at the time of her death. somebody with a coupla grand in pocket needs to put something out on her purely for historical documentation purposes, imo.

also in the house: dallas gtrist-singer cookie mcgee, who plays an sg with a tone like molten silver and performs in a freddie king bag, which makes sense, since she grew up playing in bands with freddie's kids. (she's also toured europe an recorded for the brit jsp label.) after an initial near-trainwreck before ray and the bassplayer she brought (whom i recognized from vernon garrett's band of a coupla yrs ago) caught on to her approach on freddie's "i'm tore down," she pushed and drove the band to new levels of intensity and made ray work his ass off, trading lines that brought smiles to both axe-slinger's faces. cookie sez she'll be back at the bluebird in june, although the date isn't on their online calendar yet.

when miss kim hits, it's _showtime_. in the three yrs and change since her mom's passing, she's grown more comfortable wearing lady pearl's mantle, and her command of material, stage, and audience has grown. she drives the audience to quasi-religious ecstasies that are part sexual display (especially when kim's cousin cookie -- that's right, there were _two_ cookies in the house -- gets on the floor and starts workin' her thang), part catharsis, and part exorcism. she's a force of nature: strutting, shimmying, snarling, even _purring_ like a cat before hitting you smack dab in your earhole with pure vocal power. you gotta have this, papa. miss kim, ray reed, and the b.t.a. band will be back at the bluebird on income tax day, april 15th. if you miss them, your life will be poorer.

Friday, March 10, 2006

ruby my dear

this song, by thelonious monk, just might be my very favorite song of all time.

kid daniel on the fort worth cats

here's a snippet of foat wuth punk history from one who was there.

art of the jam 42

color me ambivalent

just wasn't feelin' it this week

perhaps my perception was influenced by the fact that right before i left the house,
i got to talk to my two dtrs from whom i hear once in a blue moon
about all of their trials 'n' tribs with which i woulda been trying
to help them out, if only i'd known about 'em

spent most of the night sittin' at the bar, listening to cats playing
stuff they had rehearsed (which i feel the same way about as i usedta
feel about bands that would show up at bluesjams and just play their set),
or dipping into a well of collective memory that i don't share

it was the, um, _whitest_ i think wednesday night has ever sounded
after awhile, i got bored listening
(my issue, not anybody else's)

plus i was babysitting a young cat i know
who has a _restraining order_ to keep him from drinking,
who walked in the door, handed me his car key,
proceeded to get garrruuunnnk, then disappeared after graham cut him off

(heard from him and returned his key the next day, but jayzus --
kinda ironic, in the non-alanis morissette sense,
in light of some of da other schitt
i was talking about earlier, doncha think?)

solely in my capacity as chronicler o' events, i should note:

- jerko dabelic from sunward showed up and played gtr (finally!); you could tell the jam-meister dug his spacey atmospherics on "maggot brain"

- caroline collier played some drums; she has a piece in the new fweakly about slowride, which is funny to me because "slowride" was the title that a. mariani applied to about three different music features i wrote about different bands for that rag

- justin pate came back to retrieve some gear he'd left after the darth vato show last saturday and wound up sticking around to sing a pink floyd song

- the gtrist and drummer from a band whose name i didn't catch played "strawberry letter 23," with ron geida reproducing shuggie otis' cascading gtr line in the bridge

- the same gtrist played a buncha rush songs with the jam-meister and drumzilla near the end

- i armtwisted mark neumann from bombshelter into getting up and singing "folsom prison blues" and "wicked game"

- steve huber sang his tom petty song again; he and darrin kobetich are opening for sleeplab at the wreck on march 18th

- jesse sierra hernandez from sleeplab (who sez his ol' pardner greg barr is coming out of retirement to show with jesse, fern palomo, and christopher blay on gallery night) played congas but was mostly inaudible (onstage, at least) due to the stage volume

- dave karnes (sunward, rahim, dave and daver, his own trio) and his pal daniel harville (coma rally) showed up to hang but not play

high points for me: john shook and the jam-meister doubling the line on "teen town;" ray liberio singing "war pigs" and "come together;" standing next to brian massey onstage during "maggot brain" -- in other words, the jam's "greatest hits"

observation: improvements in accuracy have led to a decrease in spontaneity
which is what drew me to this thang in the first place
perhaps it's time for me to stroll -- let some other cats take it for awhile
'n' bring some fresh ideas to the party

or maybe not
small stage the next two weeks
short sets between sxsw bands
you never know what's gonna happen on wednesday night

b.t.a. pics

my sweetie took these pics of lady pearl's b.t.a. band (that's "better than average," if you're wondering) a coupla months back when they played the bluebird at horne and wellesley (they're back there tonight; ya mo be theah -- maybe you, too?). imo, they're the most legit blues thang you can see / hear in this area code. as a frontwoman, lady pearl's dtr miss kim is the whole package -- a powerful belter and whirlwind dancer. up front when she's not there, her uncle ray reed sings 'n' plays the old gooduns -- jimmy reed, lightnin' hopkins, b.b. and freddie, albert collins -- in the grand style. "the blues," he sez, "ain't nothin' but a good person feelin' bad," and you get the feeling he knows whereof he speaks.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

rappin' with anancy

talked to josef the other night
first time in months
he's busy being a daddy for the second time
and becoming a homeowner (trying to keep the lights on).

miss buying coffee from him
and spending two hours shooting the shit
back when he used to work downtown
and i used to go pay my child support.

talkin' about how he wants to start a new thing
(maybe open mic poetry in his 'hood -- an idea with merit)
and how the scene's about to change
(we really losing the wreck in two yrs? jayzus.

i just hope they stay open long enough
to have their tenth anniversary
and for me to have my 50th birthday party there
that'll be june 28th, 2007.)

things always change -- waiting for the next one,
whether it's the speakeasy, or the metrognome
or spending more time digging in my garden.
i'm gonna miss my living room, tho.

Monday, March 06, 2006

b.t.a. - bluebird - friday

lady pearl's b.t.a. band featuring miss kim and ray reed. at the bluebird blues club, horne and wellesley, in como. 10pm friday, march 10th. be there. aloha.

me-thinks, stoogeaphilia

so the little me-thinks made their triumphal return to the evening stage saturday, along with darth vato, who were celebrating their "skacentennial" (100th show). can it really be that the last time they set foot onstage was the fweakly's spring rally thingy at la grave field last april? well, um, yeah. this was originally gonna be the release party for the long-awaited double e.p. (on a single cd, no less), but that ain't gonna be ready until the summer, so one idea that was discussed was playing _somebody else's_ rekkid (turbonegro's ass cobra) in its entirety.

in the event, the me-thinks chose to stick with their own material, but only after paying homage to the denim-clad "deathpunks" from oslo with three, count 'em, three turbonegro covers at the _beginning_ of their set: "back to dungaree high, (including the "hello, hello, it's good to be back" bit from turbonegro's darkness forever live alb), "denim demon," and "i got erection." after that, it was down to bidness and the real meat of their set, including toons like "bong macgyver," "permanent krokus," and "rock and roll over" that are already hits at mi casa, and best of all, the me-thinks' rawked-up version of "god bless haltom city" from resident closet genius will risinger's "solo" project, napoleon complex. in the process of rehearsing and recording their toonage over the past year, these guys have gotten tighter than a fly's asshole, and the sizable crowd -- half cheerfully rawkin' inebriates from the haltom city / riverside posse, half heavily-cologned tcu frat cats -- ate it up.

in an unprecedented flurry of activity, the me-thinks be playin' the wreck room's 9th anniversary party april 29th (with dixie witch and the gideons), then performing at fredfest on may 6th. the world may come careening off its axis.

my sweetie was feeling indisposed and i had been running on fumes since wednesday, so we cut out before the vatos' set (which was marred by some equipment malfunctions, i heard later) and only heard about the afterparty at, um, a secret location second hand, after the fact. (one of these days i'm gonna have to make it to one of those, but my old, day-working ass just can't seem to drag itself to any event that starts when the bars close. shame.)

next day we had stoogeaphilia practice at "me-thinks world h.q." out in the northern extremity of the city. five hours blew by like no time at all and we were able to work through the rest of funhouse (we're not rehearsing "l.a. blues"), "search and destroy," and a coupla toons from the first album. so far we've been unable to find a violinist who seems suitable for playing the john cale viola part on "we will fall," but we've got phone numbers for a few sax players, jon teague's great tyrant bandmate daron beck has offered to play the one-note piano on "i wanna be your dog," and we have at least two volunteer handclappers. a few more weeks of this and we'll be ready to take it to the stage.

also discovered a great pizza joint, big joe's, at 5111 north beach, just south of loop 820. it's only been open three weeks, but my sweetie says you can tell by the smell when you walk through the door that they use the right olive oil, herbs, and cheeses. she also reports that the pies are east coast size, with slices that have to be folded in half to fit on the standard-issue lisanti bros. paper plate. the small taste i had bore that out, so it looks like i'm gonna be stopping by big joe's for a pie enroute to my next stoogeaphilia prac. yeah!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

peter tosh

also this weekend: scored a vinyl copy of peter tosh's equal rights -- one of a half-dozen reggae albs than anyone who digs music should own. (others: marley legend, burning spear harder than the best, bunny wailer blackheart man, the harder they come and rockers soundtracks.)

hearing it makes me 'member seeing tosh at the palladium in dallas, summer of '78, right after he'd appeared on saturday night live with dick dagger. at the time, north texas still seemed like a kinda reactionary place to me (this was the era of savvy's, texxas jam, zz top, an' like that). tosh and his band (al anderson! earl "wia" lindo! sly dunbar! robbie shakespeare!) laid down the mighty one-drop and passed around spliffs the size of ears of corn. when they launched into "african" ("doesn't matter where you come from / long as you're a black man / you are an african"), the cat i was there with looked around the tee-totally anglo audience and said, "he's either going to win them over or really, really lose them, _right now_."

the song ended.

tosh strode up to the microphone and demanded: "is reggae music not a great music?"

there was a pause.

then the audience roared with affirmation.

i'm tearing up now as i type this.

it was maybe the first time it occurred to me that this might be a place where i wanted to spend the rest of my life.

not the baseball team

had a nice surprise while digging through the stacks of vinyl at half price books last night after the play: a clean copy of the fort worth cats' earthquake at the o.k. corral elpee (on vvv records!!!).

while they don't enjoy the same hip cachet as later texas punkoids like the big boys and butthole surfers, or even contemporaries like the nervebreakers and telefones, there are plenty of middle-aged punk survivors here in the fort who cherish memories of watching these, um, cats play at the hop and zero's. i am one of them. as such, i'm not really qualified to make any critical judgments about this rekkid, altho i will say that back in the day, i perceived the cats as being just this side of an elvis costello ripoff -- an impression that was prolly due to the jazzmasters john seibman and mike neal played, and the quiver in "johnny icicle" seibman's baritone, and is reinforced on this slab o' vinyl by the steve naive-ish farfisa he plays, which i don't remember them using in live situations. little did i know back then that the main guys, at least, were veteran musos in their mid-20s who'd been playing since the '60s -- seibman in a late-period lineup of the nomads of fort worth teen scene fame, mike neal as a one-man band ("...and the invisible cowgirls"), in which capacity, i'm told, he still performs today.

unlike the nervebreakers, who'd been together as a band since roughly '72 and didn't have to change their style one iota to open for the ramones / sex pistols / clash / police et al., the fort worth cats had teethed on surf music and r&b, and their music sounded like that, with the addition of a ska-like riddim that they prolly stole from tejano polka, perfect for pogoing to in those daze of devo, the b-52s, and joe "king" carrasco & the crowns. while it might sound a just a tad bit contrived and dated now (unlike the nervebreakers' contemporaneous stuff, which boasted a little more gtr grit and aggro, altho both seibman and neal wiped the floor with tex edwards as vocalists), the rec has a crackling live energy that elevates it above more studio-sterile period artifacts like the telefones' album or the live at raul's compilation. my sweetie and i are real glad to have it here at la casa (even tho it doesn't include my all-time fave cats toon, "get it off your chest"), and we can't wait to have kid daniel autograph it the next time he's in town.

monk / trane

for lovers of vicarious thrills, nothing beats witnessing an artist in the process of becoming him / herself, even if it's from the vantage point of half a century later. to wit: thelonious monk quartet with john coltrane at carnegie hall, an incredibly clear and presence-rich live recording from the year of my genesis (1957), recently unearthed and released on shiny silver disc by venerable jazz imprint blue note. through the mists of time, we get to hear trane -- who'd been shitcanned from miles davis' band six months earlier for junk usage (and, um, perhaps to make room for sonny rollins, who'd just come out of his first "retirement"), spent the summer kicking his jones and beholding the godhead at his mom's house in philly, then leaped headlong into the craggy harmonic complexities of monk's challenging music, and never looked back -- unfurling his "sheets of sound" to the amazement (or outrage, depending) of all who heard 'em. a sound of historical import to match the sides monk unknowingly cut with charlie christian at monroe's in harlem back in '39.

ill communication

man, ever since i heard "sure shot" over damien stewart's ipod in between goodwin sets at the american airlines center last weekend, i've been wanting to hear the beastie boys' ill communication alb. i know most folks-in-the-know say paul's boutique is their best rekkid, but ill comm is the one i was hearing when i was moonlighting at blockbuster music 10 yrs ago, and it's the one of theirs that evokes the grooviest memories for me. so there.

recuerdos de mi mama

fell by the rose marine theater last night for the premier performance of recuerdos de mi mama: tributo a la epoca de oro, claudia acosta's sweet, funny remembrance of the golden age of mambo and mexican cinema. the show's a swirling pageant of eye-catching action, the theatrical equivalent of a night out in a pulsating dance hall, with music and movement serving as the backdrop for a half dozen small romantic dramas as the evening unfolds. the dialogue, in both spanish and english, is skillfully woven together in such a way that speakers of either language can easily follow the plot. the cast is uniformly stellar, bringing their array of zoot-suited pachucos and immaculately coiffed and perfumed mambo divas to vibrant life through dance and pantomime. adam dapkus (el), who previously made an impression as the strongman in a tale of los ninos cinco, is a particularly gifted physical comic, as is julio negron (el tonto), whose facial expressions speak volumes. as la coqueta, stephanie sandoval is mambo heat and passion incarnate, while rob bosquez shows he has skills as a performer as well as a playwright in a turn as a local mobster. the show's most touching moment comes when ama, "the queen of mambo," encounters her younger self (natalia dominguez) on the dancefloor. a feast for the eyes, and one that would prolly reward repeated viewings.

concurrently, the rose marine gallery is displaying works on metal by retired teacher guadalupe r. patino. recuerdos de mi mama runs weekends through march 19th, with performances at 7:30pm on fridays and saturdays and 2pm on sundays. teatro de la rosa's next production, a taming of the shrew set during the mexican revolution, opens may 12th.

Friday, March 03, 2006

ghostcar / 99 names of god

improv aces ghostcar (minus gtrist daniel huffman) and prog monsters 99 names of god (featuring mark cook on the amazing warr gtr) be's at the black dog on saturday, march 11th. you go there!

hag / swing

nice village voice piece by eric weisbard on the topic of merle haggard as avatar of swing.

even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes

this morning on the way to work, i was punching buttons when i heard the tinkling opening harmonium (?) notes of the velvet underground's "sunday morning" emanating from...ktcu! a nice surprise from an unexpected source.


just copped the february arthur mag, which is worthwhile for a coupla pcs of scrawl on life during wartime: michael brownstein's excellent poem "if you see something, say something," and david reeves' tongue-in-cheek rant about why hypstaz should be lining up to sign up for the big win in iraq. dark, true, funny stuff.

let george do it

the new george clinton double cd, how late do you have 2bb4ur late?, arrived without much fanfare last fall -- strange that a major release by one of the two or three most significant artists in black music who's still treading the boards should go so ignored. anyhoo, it's big 'n' sprawling in the way only george can do: so far, i've heard beatle references and classical gtr in addition to the usual stew of choral shenanigans, pitch-shifted recitativos, hip-hop (which uncle jam incorporated into his music as long ago as 1983's "nubian nut"), hendrixian acid-blooze gtr, cameos by prince (weird to think of him as one of the old guys) and bobby womack (on a medley of r&b classicism), and so on. i haven't even listened to the whole thing yet, but i can already tell this is gonna be one of my _obsessive listens of the spring_. yeah!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

watt / nels

wow! it's mike watt interviewing nels cline on the watt from pedro show. one of my heroes (who i'm inexplicably proud to say is the same age as me and william bryan massey III) interviewing his frequent co-conspirator, the man who's been justifiably called "the most dangerous gtrist on earth". damn, does it get any better than that? groovy music too.

art of the jam 41

"i hate to be the one to tell you," jam-meister lee allen told me last week, "but nobody else is gonna do it: you have _annoying buzz_."

i felt great shame. i knew it was true. sure, single-coil pickups are always noisy, but the indo strat had developed some kinda short that was making the stage at the wreck room's wednesday night invitational jam sound like a nest of hornets. something had to be done.

so i carried my ailing axe over to sessions music, where player/owner/teacher john zaskoda promised to fix el short and set up my action (remember, brotha, not too low and _don't_ put those extra two springs in the back -- i like my action high 'n' elastic), and even let me borrow a gtr so i could make my reg'lar wednesday gig. i chose a semi-hollow washburn with a nice action and a pickup switching setup that wasn't as cornfusing as the one on z-man's jazzmaster that he originally offered me. it'd been yrs since i played a gtr w/humbuckers on it and i was wondering if my feedback-scorched ears could even hear some of those freqs, but it turned out to be a real nice piece o' wood -- even the jam-meister approved. (should have my varsity axe back by this weekend, tho.)

mid-day on wednesday, i got word from lee that we'd be on the li'l stage over at "wreck west." seems the crossover on the big p.a. failed in the middle of jon hill's birthday party during the fwac acoustic monday thingy, and wizard o' sound andre edmonson was gonna be busy making some emergency repairs (altho he still took time to get us set up and sounding as good as we were gonna sound on the small stage, bless him). we wound up starting late, as i had to go to the airport to pick up my sweetie (returning from seattle, where they had the memorial mass for her mom the day before) before collecting gtr ace ron geida (whose fretwork on kulcha far i's as-yet-unreleased we are one shiny silver disc i've been diggin' much of late), and the jam-meister was busy at fonky fred's, where they were celebrating texas independence day with eleven hundred springs a day early due to predictions of inclement weather (altho jeez, you could make money betting against the weatherman here in tejas).

when ron and i rolled into wreck west, we were greeted by joe "drumzilla" cruz, who'd already been there long enough to set up the house kit, and a coupla dudes (robo and jinx) who were wanting to know if they could jam. i gave 'em my stock answer, which is 1) it's an "invitational" jam, and 2) i ain't the jam-meister. in the event, we wound up having enough jamcats on hand that we weren't able to get 'em up, but hopefully they'll make it back another time. steve "vikingo" huber was in the house, taking a break from a knuckle-busting repertoire that maestro harth-bedoya is inflicting on the cats in vikingo's _reg'lar_ band (that'd be the fw symphony) to make his fiddle sing sassy and vocalize on a coupla toons (by, um, cake and tom petty) that he'd rehearsed with ron and mr. geida's musical twin, low end theorist john shook (sporting a new look, having divested himself of his dreads since last jam, p'rhaps 'cos he doesn't wanna be typecast as a "reggae bassplayer," thankfully retaining his powers on the four-stringed instrument in spite of having lost his locks).

after timely pause, lee showed up and we opened with "a happy song" [NOT] -- failure's "daylight." besides that, 'twas a bluesy first set, highlighted by I-IV-V's both fast ("ice cream man") and slow ("sexual harassment in the workplace"). the jam-meister dug deep in his songbag and pulled out a coupla jam staples we hadn't played in awhile -- "la fiesta" and "manic depression." cody, a gtrist who'd played acoustic on a few jams back in the summer, showed up with his paul reed smith and some beads to help us celebrate "mercredi gras," and burning hotels drummer wyatt adams (who has a lot of r&b grit in his style for a trendy young cat) did his usual yeoman stickwork on a few numbers.

lee sang on the slowest version of thomas dolby's "hyperactive" ever performed, and a quartet of cody, shook, drumzilla and me played a version of funkadelic's "cosmic slop" that was more of the latter than the former, although it did boast a nice bass solo from shook and gave drumzilla a chance to frenzy out a bit. playwright rob vasquez showed up along with some jubilant teatro de la rosa peeps, obviously stoked at the imminent opening of claudia acosta's recuerdos de mi mama, which opens this friday and runs through march 19th. rob provided some vocalismo on "maggot brain," my part of which was dedicated (once again) to my sweetie's mama and also to jeremy hull's dad. as my sweetie's nephew would say, fun and love to y'all.

last set was the loosest and funnest, at least from a muso's point of view, with lee busting out some rush "spirit of the radio" action, somehow managing to interpolate our latinate take on jimi's "third stone from the sun" in the middle of it. ray liberio took a break from prepping for the me-thinks' first gig in a year (that'd be this saturday at the wreck with darth vato) to sing "war pigs" with the jamcats and spread the spirit of haltom city brotherhood. then there was some no-fooling amorphous fonky improv action, followed by a drum 'n' bass interlude by drumzilla and the jam-meister, culminating in a version of "teen town" with lee and shook doubling jaco's line on bass and gtr. yeah, john shook was definitely the jam's "most valuable player" this week.

this saturday, as gawd is my witness, andre and i are gonna get together with lee and upload some mp3's up on the impulse of will myspace thingy. we were gonna do it a coupla wks ago, but that was the weekend i had the crud and slept for 36 hours. we still have something like four months' worth of jam video to review, but that task is gonna have to wait a bit. in any event, there'll be no new recordings through mid-march, as we'll be comfortably ensonced in wreck west with elvis behind the bar as the big room plays host to a buncha sxsw peeps. you oughtta check it out.