Monday, August 28, 2006

fred's is back!!!

jennifer chandler writes:

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

Don't forget to vote for your "favorites" in FW Weekly's Best of 2006.
go to

The inside is OPEN !

Daily Lunch Specials
Daily - BREAKFAST available!

DELIVERY of Lunch Available
for groups of 10 or more.
Click on the
Delivered Corporate Lunches link

THIS SAT (09/02) AND NEXT MON (09/04):

Here are the GOINGS ON this week:

Mon 08-28:
Lunch Special: Texas Style Meat Loaf
HOMEMADE Dessert: Pineapple Upside Down Cake
In the Evening: Western on the Patio and Washers in the Back
(If the rain stops)

Tues 08-29:
Lunch Special: Pork Roast with Green Chili Sweet Potatoes
HOMEMADE Dessert: Jennifer's Cherry or Apricot Fried Pies!!
with D.J. Caddo Shadow Spinning Classic Country Tunes

Wed 08-30:
Lunch Special: Southern Fried Chicken
HOMEMADE Dessert: Banana Pudding
Wed Night Pizza: Magic Combo Pizza
(Marinara Sauce, Italian Sausage, Black & Green Olives, Sweet Peppers, Artichoke Hearts, Thinly Sliced Onions, Mushrooms, Mozzarella & Romano Cheeses)

Thurs 08-31:
Lunch Special: Green Enchilada Casserole
HOMEMADE Dessert: Chocolate Sheath Cake
Playing In THE FORT: Drue Webber (solo guitarist)

Fri 09-01:
Lunch Special: Beef Pot Roast with Brown Gravy
HOMEMADE Dessert: Triple Fudge Pecan Cream Cheese Brownies
Playing In THE FORT: St. Frinatra (cool Jazz)
FRIDAY NIGHT SPECIAL: CHICKEN STACKED ENCHILADAS WITH GREEN SAUCE (Grilled Chicken & Jack Cheese fill Yellow corn tortillas smothered in Terry's famous fire-roasted Tomatilla Salsa)

Sat 09-02:

The Inside and the Patio are Open:
Monday Thru Saturday
Hours of Operation: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Beer til MIDNIGHT !!

sonic's rendezvous band

woo-hoo! easy action records over in the u.k. is about to release a 6-disc boxset on sonic's rendezvous band, the greatest band you never heard of from michigan ca. '74-'80, featuring ex-mc5, stooges, rationals, and up ppl. liner notes are based on an article i wrote a few yrs back that's linked to elsewhere on this blog (under "some old shit i wrote"). kinda strange in light of the fact that these guys only released a one-sided single while they were in existence, but nice that the surviving mbrs (gtrist fred "sonic" smith left the planet in '91) will get some bank 'n' props from this while still drawing breath.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

staples high school

this is random: surfing the web this evening, i found somebody's class-of-1970 high school reunion site with pics of some of the bands that played there, including the animals, the blues project, the beck-page yardbirds (apparently the girl who took the pics had 'em over to her parents' house _for tea_ post-show!), and the young rascals (who actually played the school one town over from where i grew up; we only got the vanilla fudge, but i was too young to go as a middle schooler in '68 -- feh). goes to show how much both high school and rock'n'roll have changed over the yrs.

bertha redux

looks like we can anticipate one or more bertha coolidge reunion shows in da fort during october. keyboard / vibes master joey carter reports that drummer rich stitzel, now based in chicago, is joining bassist aden bubeck in miranda lambert's touring band for some shows that month, and that possible venues for the bertha reunion(s) include the black dog and ovations, a room so new i can't even find it in google local. guh. and we're still waiting to see if joey, sam walker, dave williams, et al. do a reprise of their thelonious monk tribute at arts fifth avenue.

Friday, August 25, 2006

spam musubi

my dtr called me tonight from waikiki. she asked me to check on her grandfather in the hospital, and told me she thinks she might be a displaced hawaiian. that's a possibility: both of her _other_ grandparents (that'd be _my_ parents) grew up dere, before migrating (separately) to new york in the '50s. the question is: can she eat spam musubi?


i don't go to shows anymore; i just go to work and read e-mail. i learn some interesting things that way.

f'rinstance, marlin von bungy wrote 'n' lifted a li'l bit more o' the veil on the me-thinks' freshly-mastered double e.p. marlin and his bandmates will 'n' ray are personable chaps with lotsa musical friends, several of whom participated in the sessions for the double e.p. specifically, mike bandy from helldamncrap played gtr on "bong mcgyver," richard hurley from blood of the sun did the same on "texas gigolo," and the guitar player and frontman from the riverside ramblers both performed on "permanent krokus." the me-thinks had to opt out of their scheduled wreck room stand with max cady and mescalero when the date slipped from sept. 1st to the 8th, but they'll still be on the bill oct. 14th at fredtoberfest with honky, the gideons, and stoogeaphilia.

noted bassplayer, philosopher, bon vivant and raconteur matt hembree aka katboy has a busy month coming up. this saturday, he and his riddim section buddy damien stewart get to do double duty with both goodwin and pablo and the hemphill 7 at, um, gators in euless (an early show -- starts at 7pm). then next week, it's yet another "i wanna be your [black] dog" thursday with stoogeaphilia at the black dog, followed by pablo shows friday at the wreck room (supported by villain vanguard) and saturday at the flying saucer. the following week, it's underground railroad at the speakeasy (see previous post), a kind of shakedown for their whirlwind five-date "u.s. tour," with shows in indiana, kentucky, west virginia, massachusetts, and new jersey. matthew returns to the fort in time to play the black dog again with stoogeaphilia sept. 28th. we'll be mighty glad to see him back. which reminds me, i need to start listening to raw power again.

and it looks as though there _will_ be more avant-garde evenings at sardines. bossman jon castleberry approached jhon kahsen about it, and jhon's leaning toward doing it the second tuesday, every other month. joey carter, chris white, and leonard belota are on board. film, as they say, at 11.

underground railroad surfaces sept. 8th

this from underground railroad gtrist-mastermind bill pohl. who knew prog guys had a sensahumour?

This will be our first gig since Sept. '05; we'll also be debuting our new trio configuration! [um, that'd be bill hisself on gtr-taurus pedals-vox, matt hembree on bass, and kurt rongey, who now plays drums _and_ keyboards like he was in yeti or something.] This is a sort of warm-up gig for our big North American Tour '06...which only consists of four or five gigs. However, as these gigs will take place in North America, and as they are in different states, we will refer to it as our North American Tour '06. (note the cap's; please use them in any written reference to our North American Tour '06).

Warr Guitar virtuoso, Mark Cook, will be onhand that night with his trio, consisting of Jason Spradlin and Bob Fisher. Hmmm. That might be spelled Fischer. Probably not Fissure. Alright, I'm going with Fisher.

Anyway, Bob is a virtuoso player on both sax and flute. Jason is the drummer for 99 Names of God, one of Mark's other groups. Mark will have just gotten back from playing Progday with the group, Hands, up in North Carolina, so be sure to ask him how that went. Also, be sure to ask him about his Warr Guitar. Say something like, "What is that? It's like a guitar, only the neck's REALLLL wide, and it's got a lot more strings, doesn't it? What is that?" He LOVES explaining it.

His trio will warm up the audience for The Underground Railroad. If you're planning to attend, I hope you don't mind this kind of manipulation; being "warmed up" and all....or the assumption on our part that you, the audience member, might NEED to be "warmed up". You know what? They're not even the warm-up band, anyway. What am I talking about? They're just playing first. We thought that since you're paying five bucks you oughta get two bands.

This whole thing will happen in the live music venue located downstairs from Competition Music, which is at:

3136 E. Lancaster
Fort Worth, Tx 76103

The music will start somewhere between 9:30 and 10pm. Oh yea, no liquor license there, so it's BYOB IF UB21.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

art of the jam 63

looks like jam-meister lee allen's trying something new for the wreck room's wednesday night invitational jam, namely having a band come in and play a set, then play another one with the jamcats (who these days include barber mack bassist john shook and peach truck republic drummer evan jones along with the jam-meister 'n' yr humble chronicler of events) sittin' in.

first band to test the waters in this format was one with which i was unfamiliar, but they brought a bigger crowd than i've seen in el wreck on a wednesday night in many moons. they're called okay james and they do a nice line in shoe-gazey space rawk-cum-groove. their radiohead-ish cd-r e.p. doesn't really do 'em justice (and i think they've gone through a few changes since their last performance, which was at the saffire lounge back in july). they've got ambitions in a sub oslo direction, and while they're a ways from realizing 'em, they're clearly on their way. (i remember trying to book a non-jazz instrumental band a few yrs back, one of the mbrs of which once told me, "we can't go out there without a singer -- they'll KILL US!" that was before sub oslo, bertha coolidge, confusatron, sleeplab, et al. a good town for a band without a singer, is the fort.) mykl, jimi, 'n' jason on bass, drums, and percussion respectively lock it in the pocket while main dude matthew overlays synth squiggles 'n' morricone-esque spaghetti western gtr wonderment on top. you should check 'em out.

when they were done doing their thang, the jamcats intermingled with 'em and took off in some spacey directions, john shook playing a second drumkit instead of his usual bass. lately the theme has been "no 'standards,'" altho we wound up playing "standing on the verge of getting it on" over lee's bride's strong objections and "manic depression" because i didn't figure i could sing any stooges songs. (but to the ppl who requested 'em: go ye to the black dog on thursday, august 31st to hear stoogeaphilia, why doncha?) william bryan massey III got in front of the band to flow inaudible rhymes. matthew had his stage volume pert high, i turned up so i could hear myself, and as a result it was impossible to hear bryan versify or daniel katsuk's g-f jordan when she got up to play acoustic gtr and sing. i was roadtesting a classic 50 (with celestions and _casters_!!!) that i just bought from brandon wallace (now if i can just find a damn big muff for cheap) and playing with noise 'n' feedback like it was a stoogeaphilia show or somethin' (ray and jon, please come home). finally, the other string players sat out so jordan could play a couple _audibly_, accompanied by just evan on djembe. jasper stone stickman jeffrey williams (who did the beautiful metalwork at forella's new downtown j'int embargo _and_ the steel panthers in front of mi casa) did the drum honors for the last bit.

a fun night, but i gotta start showing up later if we're not gonna hit until midnight-ish. it's way too easy to drink too damn much sitting in a bar _waiting_ for three hrs.

me-thinks, the denver strangle

so the me-thinks' long-awaited double e.p. is finally mastered. now just have to wait for pressing 'n' artwork.

while visiting seattle (home of the me-thinks' label, indian casino records), me-thinks frontman / raconteur / bon vivant ray liberio cut a track with the denver strangle, possibly a nom de myspace for indian casino's shadowy money guy. you'll recognize ray-ray's voxxx on "good morning duchess," a prime slab of '80s-orstralia-via-pac nw garage grunt with lyrics about "sittin' on a stoop just getting stupid / waiting for my liver to explode." why, it might just be the greatest mess o' noise to emerge from the emerald city since, uh, sub pop started releasing ben folds five rekkids. or something.

bad brains

dig some live bad brains now! thanks 'n' a tip o' the hat to tony slug for the link.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

jeff ferrell

went to our neighborhood association mtg last night (that's "neighborhood," not "homeowners," which is one reason why we'd even think about belonging; we've only been to a coupla mtgs so far but intend to do better) and heard jeff ferrell, who teaches sociology 'n' criminal justice at tcu, talk about dumpster diving, the topic of his latest book, empire of scrounge. he's also pubbed tomes on hip-hop graffiti culture (crimes of style) 'n' the struggle to reclaim the streets from the disneyfiers 'n' yuppifiers, a topic of some interest to those of us who dwell in the '107 (tearing down the streets).

ferrell, who's a common sight around the westside, traversing the area bounded by tcu, downtown, and the northside on his bicycle, talked about the "code of honor" among scroungers (find something useful? leave it in plain sight, even if it's not what you were looking for) 'n' their propensity for offsetting the waste that pervades our consumer kulcha. while the popular stereotype of scroungers is homeless ppl with shopping carts, in his yrs of research, da prof found that many are working poor (folks with families 'n' minimum-wage jobs) or "good ole boys with pickup trucks" who make a living taking found metal to sell at the junkyard. being a social scientist, he's more 'n a collector of amusing anecdotes; he sees our social history reflected in the stuff we throw away, and danger in the tendency of municipalities (like houston, where it's against the law to lift the lid of a dumpster) to criminalize scrounging. def food for thought 'n' another book to add to my list of ones to read the next time i take va-ca.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

the remains

speaking of the '60s, the remains -- the boston-based band that opened for the beatles on their last u.s. tour wa-a-ay back in '66 -- have apparently been back on the boards this yr celebrating the _40th anniversary_ of said tour. there's apparently a remains documentary in the works, too. while their "don't look back" was a highlight of lenny kaye's epochal 'riginal nuggets compilation, they (like michigan's rationals) really were a cut above the '65-'68 garage snot pack -- a professional rock'n'roll band known for live energy 'n' stagecraft with zombies-like minor-key-'n'-vocal-harmony songwriting ideas. their live-in-studio a sesssion with the remains has been getting a lotta play around mi casa lately, especially my sweetie's fave, the 'riginal "why do i cry."

yardbirds in "blow up"

my second fave rock vidclip of all time: the yardbirds with jeff beck 'n' jimmy page, in a scene from michelangelo antonioni's 1966 britploitation flick blow up.

"out at sardines"

a small package of great value arrived in the mailbox at mi casa this week: an envelope containing toby guinn's recording of the joshua manchester / jhon kahsen avant-garde jazz performance at sardines last tuesday, which i said at the time and can now confirm is _the most exciting music i've heard this yr_. this is wish-fulfillment stuff, like the night i heard charles moffett's kids crash a marchel ivery gig at the recovery room on lemmon avenue in dallas, or, in a very different way, the night i heard ron asheton and deniz tek with scott morgan's powertrane at the blind pig in ann arbor. it's always daunting to hear a recording of such an event after the fact; the possibility exists that it won't live up to our memory (can we really trust our perceptions in the moment?). thisun, i'm happy to say, didn't disappoint.

if you think avant-garde jazz seems out of place in cowtown, you just don't know yr history. a good number of the musicians who defined the sound of jazz's leading edge from the '50s through the '80s are native sons of the fort and alumni of i.m. terrell high school: ornette coleman, prince lasha, dewey redman, julius hemphill, ronald shannon jackson, and john carter, to name but a few. why, the mayor even gave ornette the key to the city when the innovative saxophonist-composer played at caravan of dreams back in '83! it might seem like sci-fi now, but "out" crews like ornette, shannon's decoding society, and james "blood" ulmer were regular visitors to caravan, that beautiful room with immaculate sightlines and a world-class sound system now occupied by a restaurant that shall remain nameless.

jhon kahsen (ne johnny case) has been a musical force here in da fort since 1969, releasing a varied catalog of his own recordings that include traditional country, western swing, and musique concrete as well as jazz, playing a long-lived gig at sardines -- six nights a week for 23 yrs and counting -- through a number of yrs when live jazz had almost disappeared from the cowtown evening stage, and mentoring loads of younger musos. with the release last year of love's bitter rage: a peace and justice suite, kahsen may have painted his masterpiece, while demonstrating a readiness to achieve ever deeper levels of expression.

manchester's a chicagoan, a photographer and teacher as well as a muso. the percussionist-composer has had his music played on npr. he performs regularly at an open jam hosted by the windy city's venerable association for the advancement of creative musicians, and is a member of the politically-charged improv outfit sir edmund hillary and the sherpas. also on the date: khasen's longtime collaborator chris white on flute and bass (he also played trumpet on some pieces that toby's recorder didn't catch); vibist joey carter, best known for his work with bertha coolidge and the black dog's sunday night jazz sets but also a key contributor to love's bitter rage; trumpeter leonard belota, who once walked into and out of the moon in about a minute when he saw an electric bass onstage, but played with '80s noo yawk avant-rawkers the leisure class and clearly has an affinity for "out" stuff; and bassist daniel stone.

as indicated earlier, toby's temperamental recorder wasn't able to catch all of the proceedings, but as luck would have it, he did manage to capture some of the best stuff. the first track ("free improv #1") joins an improvisation already in progress; chris white had opened it with a lengthy solo turn on flute. the confluence of his dolphyesque swoops and flutters and jhon's ruminative pianner recall the quieter portions of mingus' "meditations" before manchester makes his entrance, recalling another meditations -- specifically trane's, and rashied ali's impression of a boiling-over pot or erupting volcano. kahsen shifts from modality to atonality at will.

"free improv #2" opens with chris moving to bass (and goddamn, i gotta ask him to burn me another copy of the cd-r of his "outside" outfit with, i believe, some weatherford college cats that gigged at the black dog a coupla times back in '04) and playing an intro with gtristic facility before settling into an ostinato that sparks a melodic conversation between kahsen and carter. (listening to this, my sweetie remarked, "these guys have to be the best _listeners_ in the world." true dat.) as manchester's riddimic patterns grow more complex, belota enters, bobbing and weaving like freddie hubbard usedta when he was playing "out" with ornette / dolphy / coltrane et al. khasen introduces a new theme, white responds and belota comments, with punctuation by manchester. the riddim section starts a traditional-sounding walk, over which kahsen flows cascading lines and carter adds shimmering counterpoint before kahsen concludes the piece with some spanish-tinged lyrical flourishes.

carter initiates "free improv #3" on unaccompanied vibes. it's hard to believe an instrument with such a delicate sound can be played with such intensity, but joey proves it's possible, with manchester shadowing his every move. then kahsen unleashes a roiling solo as the accompaniment shifts underneath him like tectonic plates before white jumps in with a speech-inflected rush of notes. (the classic chris white story: the time he 'n' his ex-wife were scrappin' and he came home to find his upright in pieces in the kids' wading pool.) kahsen continues the spirited dialogue with white and manchester before winding things up on a contemplative note. it's only about 37 minutes, but so were a love supreme and what's going on. hopefully, there'll be an "official" release of this (and maybe some of the other recordings from that night that are supposedly floating around) -- as well as more evenings like thisun at sardines.

Friday, August 18, 2006

art of the jam 62

the character in this scrawl that never really gets talked about but should is the li'l wreck room its own self. my living-room-three-miles-from-my-house isn't going to be with us much longer -- cat who owns the bldg finally got an offer he couldn't refuse from the developers who are gentrifying/yuppifying west 7th, and forella's lease is up in a yr -- and graham the master o' libations got me thankin' 'bout that fact when i fell by the bar to set up my shit and wait for jam-meister lee allen to get there from fonky fred's.

graham's making a list o' bands he's seen (or heard from behind the bar) at the wreck since it opened back in '97, with an eye toward exploiting a local connection to get spin magazine to do a piece on the j'int before it closes. sounds like a good idea to me. in fact, somebody oughtta write a book about el wreck -- the story of a community with a lotta heart, as well as all the boo-shee you'd more commonly associate with a rawk room. but i digress.

so anyway, seeing graham's list, i started asking ppl at the bar what was the best show they ever saw at the wreck. graham was telling his story about the time he showed sexaganarian swedish psych-rockers trad gras och stenar how to do tequila shots ("the dude was telling me about watching elvis on his comeback tv special back in '68 and how he saw _lights shining around him_; some ppl don't _need_ to do psychedelics"), upon hearing which my former editor was once moved to remark, "wow, things like that never happen at the aardvark!"

other bar patrons remembered nights like the one when the boss martians played their hearts out in front of eight ppl (including graham, wizard o' sound andre edmonson, forella, and yr humble chronicler of events); a doosu / phleshpipe show "where everybody i went to high school with showed up"; the night extra action marching band came to town with a 300-pound elvis impersonator in tow and marched down west 7th; the one when mark growden played accordian on the bar; the last-ever woodeye show; and loads of others with the likes of slobberbone, spoonfed tribe, sub oslo, yeti, and loads more.

myself, i first went to the wreck with coworkers from the rekkid store where i usedta moonlight. we'd drink black 'n' tans and sit on the moldy couches back when it really looked like somebody's rec room, e.g., the room in a suburban house that gets taken over by the teenagers. there was no stage then, no soundbooth. a lot has changed since then, and the dump has mutated 'n' grown into one of the best rawk rooms anywhere thru the love 'n' care of cats like andre and graham and carl and michael contreras and tim burt and elvis who've poured their hearts 'n' souls into it like a "band shot" of whiskey. my sweetie 'n' i had our wedding party there 'n' i plan to have my 50th berfday party there before they strike the tent.

things are slow this particular wednesday night, however. maybe it's the goddamn heat; when we leave at 2:30 the ground is still fuckin' _hot_. the josh clark jam at fred's runs from 7 till 10:30pm and has drawn away some of the musos 'n' audience we usedta get. and the jam-meister allows that "maybe there just isn't an audience for what we do," a down thought but maybe realistic.

we were drummerless for awhile; joe "drumzilla" cruz was in the bar earlier but split. says his back's feeling better, anyway. we tuned up and waited until william bryan massey III walked in the door with one of his poetry books in hand, figuring to flow some verse; we dragged him up onstage and plopped him down behind the drums instead. 'twas cool playin' trio with lee 'n' lizard. a dude with a dog showed up and played drums for awhile; later, dre told me it was evan jones from peach truck republic. i'd heard them play once at a katrina benefit while we were playing in the li'l room next door. dug evan's style 'n' groove and hope to jam with him s'more. i actually played a solo on "la fiesta" that wasn't embarrassing. i think stoogeaphilia has opened me up, or at least made me less self-conscious about playing sloppy.

my back's been hurtin', too, and after getting a therapeutic massage (!) tuesday, i was thinking about body mechanics and realized that maybe some of my problem comes from my propensity for turning sideways to look at the other jamcats while i'm workin' the wah. might start setting up my pedals facing the other musos instead of the audience (what audience?). in stoogeaphilia, this isn't a problem because i stand stage left and don't have to hyperextend anything to see the other players, plus we actually rehearse (well, sometimes) so there isn't as much necessity to cue visually.

daniel katsuk from a-hummin' acoustical acupuncture was back from denver with his g-f jordan, who sings 'n' plays acoustic. she got up with evan, lee 'n' me and we followed her thru a couple of her 'riginal compositions. she's got a cool, percussive style on left-handed acoustic, and writes 'n' sangs her own in a fonky, patrice pike-like vein. she's easy to play with and we made a few connections before the backing musos left the stage so she could play a couple solo. then katsuk got up to front the trio and laid down some real nice freestyle over a funk groove. definitely a cat with a beautiful spirit. finished out with josh clark on traps and the jam-meister inventing a form on the fly (something we hadn't done in awhile). adam the actor got up to versify but we were outta gas; i started "maggot brain"-ing but the jam-meister said, "i'm not gonna play that." finis.

oh, yeah: it wasn't recorded, because somebody stole the fuckin' video recorder out of dre's booth. so if you weren't there, kid, you really 'n' truly missed it. so there.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

dave karnes - baker street pub - wednesday, august 23rd

speaking of clint strong, i do believe he'll be on the gig when dave karnes brings his hard-swinging jazz combo (usually a trio plus vocalist oaklin bloodworth) to baker street pub on camp bowie blvd, of all places, next wednesday. i might have to take the night off from the jam for the occasion -- clint and dave are both masters o' their respective axes, and it's a rare treat to get to hear them pushing each other to ever-more-rarefied levels of invention. you should check 'em out, i think.

clint strong

here's vid of a babyfaced clint strong on austin city limits back in prehistory. what a player!

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

impulse of will

jam-meister lee allen posted new content on the impulse of will myspace page for the first time in _forever_: some pics from rob marruffo's b-day party back in june with the jamcats looking like our soul has been psychedelicized, and some blather i penned for this very blog like a yr ago. (how time flies.) it's hot as hell here in the fort, but we're still sho' nuff doin' it every wednesday night at the li'l wreck room, with wizard o' sound andre edmonson twiddling the knobs and master o' libations graham richardson pourin' the dranks. y'all come, hokay?

outcats on disc?

most eagerly anticipated cd-r at my house is the recording of last week's johnny case / joshua manchester / chris white / leonard belota / joey carter / daniel stone free-form throwdown at sardines. local muso-audiophile toby guynn managed to capture about 37 minutes of the evening's performance, and there were other recorders running, too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

like '80s metal? play bass? read this!

so the mullet malicia / riverside ramblers are looking for a bassplayer. (apparently they're digging what they're hearing from another band who shall remain nameless but not stoogeaphilia, who recently added a second gtrist, and their current bassplayer wants to go back to stranglin' the 6-string axe.) if you think you're man enough, hit them up at their website / myspace thingy why doncha? even if you're in four other bands...

jesse goldberg

unbelievable. i usedta live with this guy and about five others in a 3-bedroom apt in aspen. it was an extremely dissolute period in my life. the four guys in the band i was in (not including jesse) usedta drink a gallon of wine every morning, a gallon of vodka every night, eat tetracycline like it was candy, and indulge in lotsa other recreational substances when we weren't working our shitty restaurant jobs. jesse had a gig at some ski lodge bar that looked exactly like j&j's hideaway, where he'd play like billy joel and elton john songs as well as his own shite and insult people. he also wrote a campaign song for john anderson (the presidential candidate, not the country singer). somewhere there's a tape of us playing "do you love me" with jesse singing, and "louie louie" with my friend bruce making up all the words. amazing the things you find surfing around the intarweb.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

miz piper sez...

when i was taking my granddtr to the super wal-mart to buy her school supplies earlier this wk (she starts kindergarten on monday), she asked me, "why is yr hair old?" i told her, "because _i'm_ old." it seemed to satisfy her.


went to see helldamncrap at fonky fred's the other night. the haltom city-based alt-country rawkers bring out a crowd full of usual suspects like the me-thinks, asian media crew (they've got a fan club now, y'know) videographer / pussyhouse propaganda art criminal calvin abucejo, riverside ramblers front dude steedo, and lotsa other appreciators o' fine music. who'd a guessed that mike bandy (helldamncrap singer / multi-instrumentalist who once scared the bejeezus out of me when stoogeaphilia was practicing out at me-thinks world h.q. by dancing around the shed brandishing a machete) has a singing voice kinda like michael stipe with balls? or that he plays gtr solos in the classic kingsmen / dave davies mold (in other words kinda like what i do in stoogeaphilia minus the distortion / feedback, until he laid his acoustic w/pickup across the monitor at the end of the last song, putting me in mind of the old woodeye toon "country feedback")? the rest o' the band -- that'd be vinny on voxxx 'n' gtr (turn up the treble on that tele, dude), rat from the asian media crew on bass, trucker john from one fingered fist and another band i'm not supposed to mention on drums, and j.j. on harp -- sound like the charlie daniels band (minus that fuckin' fiddle) on bad strychnine, or the velvet underground if they'd grown up in arkansas. the last toon caused a momentary "whatthefuck?!?!?" moment before i realized it was eddie rabbit's "drivin' my life away," sung by j.j. in a manner reminiscent of harry shearer in a mighty wind. if there'd been a machete available, i'd a been dancing around fred's stage (like cadillac fraf did the last time the me-thinks played there) my damn self.

paul williams

not the annoying composer of cloying pop tripe but rather the ex-sci-fi geek who, as editor of crawdaddy! mag back in the '60s, pert near singlehandedly 'riginated the rockwrite genre, for good (he pubbed the earliest writings of peter guralnick and richard meltzer) or evil (ditto jon landau). when i first stumbled on him as a snotnose back in '70 or so (a thin volume called outlaw blues drawn from his crawdaddy! output), i didn't revere williams' "i'm-a-fan-and-this-is-how-i-respond-to-the-music" style as much as nic (rock from the beginning) cohn's hip-shooting wiseassismo or saint lester bangs' epic rants, but in the fullness of time, it's worn a lot better than lotsa other stuff, and he held onto his sense of wonder well into the '80s (the map) and '90s (back to the miracle factory). i recently found a copy of the crawdaddy! book, a large-format, williams-edited anthology of pieces from the mag's '66-'69 heyday, and it's been a gas to revisit the ones i'd read previously 'n' discover the ones i hadn't. besides the writing, which is a far cry from the ad copy or mental masturbation that passes for "rock criticism" in the now, there's the subject matter, which is eclectic 'n' varied enough to make me nostalgic for a time before reductionist marketeers and media wonks divided 'n' conquered the audience to the point where every imaginable demographic segment has its own genre of music, magazine, radio / tv station, uniform, etc., and absolutely no tolerance for anybody else's schitt.

Friday, August 11, 2006

art of the jam 61

an eventful evening, marked by several reunions and one notable interruption.

spoke to jam-meister lee allen early in the eve, who said we'd be on the big stage, and that joe "drumzilla" cruz would be back after a lengthy hiatus. then it turned out he wouldn't, having hurt his back while exercising earlier in the day. in the event, drumzilla showed up, a li'l stiff but still performance (but not set-up) capable. no worries, the jam-meister set up the long-suffering house kit, which functioned acceptably with the addition of lee's cymbals and a chair that had to serve in place of the missing drumstool. 'twas a gas to have the basic trio that soldiered through almost a yr's worth of wreck room wednesday nights back together.

lee wasn't into vocalizing this particular night, so we ran through some funk, some blues, and instrumental versions of some jam "standards" including "standing on the verge," "come together," and "maggot brain." somewhere in there, josh clark took over from joe behind the kit, busy barber mack leader john shook joined in on second bass, and _both_ leo saenzes, father 'n' son, of latin express fame took the stage. leo the elder blew stellar trumpet on a coupla toons ("before he realized he wasn't getting paid," one wag quipped) before heading off for "where the wimmin are." leo the younger stuck around to add his brittle-toned but fiery funk 'n' fusion gtr to a mix that included "chameleon," "teen town," and "school days."

'twas during the second set that my middle dtr and her boyfriend stopped in and informed me that her older sister was having her baby by c-section as we spoke, so i informed the jam-meister (who was about to call slide gtr master dru webber up to play through my rig) that i was out, asked wizard o' sound andre edmonson to make sure my gear got packed up, and headed for harris southwest to meet my new grandson (7 lbs, 1 oz; 20 1/2 inches -- he's gonna start driving next wk). no sooner had i arrived than the nurses started running evabody but immediate family out of my dtr's room, so i returned to the wreck to load out my gear and give andre a lift back to la casa. lee reported that a few of the civilians he'd talked to really dug the evening's musical goings-on, including ben the bike guy, who said "i don't usually dig everything you guys do, but there was a lotta good stuff tonight."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

the theater fire on npr

heard this on the way back to work the other day 'n' was duly impressed that they'd been promoted from "experimental/avant-garde" to "indie-rock." why, the cat didn't even say that they sounded like steely dan...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

johnny case, joshua manchester

most exciting music i've heard so far this yr: an evening of free improv put together by pianist-composer-activist johnny case at sardines, of all places, featuring drummer joshua manchester. also on the set: leonard belota (trumpet), joey carter (vibes), daniel stone (bass), and mvp chris white (trumpet, flute, bass). johnny pulled it together on the quick when manchester called from his sweet home chicago to try and hustle a gig while accompanying his wife on a biz trip. tuesday's usually a dead night at the restaurant, and these cats dream about making music totally extempore, without the constraints of heads, chord changes, expectations, fans. the vibe was redolent of classic '60s dates like dolphy's out to lunch 'n' cecil taylor's unit structures. from moment to moment, a different man might be the "leader," with the others listening and responding empathetically. when we got there, johnny was hammering out tone clusters a la cecil (i finally figured out who he reminds me of: jaki byard, a cat steeped in tradition who can also go "out"). this led to a dialogue between belota on ruminative harmon mute and chris white playing smears and flurries of notes on open horn. (when not playing, leonard had his eyes closed a lot of the time; i'd like to have seen the movies that this music was making inside his head.) joshua, who plays regularly at an open jam sponsored by the aacm (still active 'n' vital after all these yrs), can play total sprung riddim a la sunny murray or his homeski famoudou don moye; there were times when the only repeating figures onstage came from joey on vibes or young bassist stone. chris white opened one piece with a virtuosic turn on flute, which manchester, stone, and case built to an intensity. then white moved to bass, playing a legato line with lotsa intervallic leaps that reminded me a bit of one local muso's comment that "chris' bass playing is a lot like his flute playing," and the music spiralled to an even higher level. carter kicked one off with his usual deft four-mallet work, and case, white, and manchester rode it out till they had nothing left to add. there are moments when this music flows like a mountain stream; at others, it surges like an erupting volcano. at all times, it's like looking at the world with new eyes. be nice if sardines could do this kinda thang on a reg'lar basis. while not jam-packed, there were a good number of music appreciators in the house; some of 'em even ate food. if you weren't there, you missed it, kid.

Monday, August 07, 2006

insomnia haiku

deleting e-mail
thought that i'd get up and write
need ideas first

haiku for my ex-father-in-law

sorry i missed you
at the hospital tonight
you're my hero, man

haiku for the human condition

briefly, here it is:
women want security
men want approval

helldamncrap @ fred's, thursday

damn, this week is filling up: rustic haltom city redneck rawkers helldamncrap be's at fonky fred's this thursday. to sweeten the deal, it appears that angel the broilerman has figured out william bryan massey III's secret for a perfect medium-rare fredburger. life shouldn't be this good.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

fish and friends @ wreck room, monday

chris fisher, steve moore, and dave gaylor will be performing 16 songs of "acoustic hell" at the wreck room's fwac acoustic monday thang this week. "we figured we might as well play there before they close the place," said fish, who added that he's had "almost 24 hrs" to learn the songs.

outcats at sardines tuesday

avant-garde jazz at sardines? it's a-happenin' at 9pm this tuesday, august 8th.

scenario: chicago-based percussionist joshua manchester called long-standing sardines ivory-tickler johnny case to see about the possibility of hustling a gig during a brief visit to the fort. it occurred to johnny that tuesday's usually a slow night for the restaurant, so it was decided: after playing an abbreviated version of his normal dinner set from 7 to 8:30pm, johnny will break to allow his guest and some local friends to set up. never heard of manchester, but with a line-up that includes multi-instrumentalists joey carter and chris white and young bass firebrand daniel stone as well as case (who recorded an album in the free idiom back in the early '80s), it's an occasion ripe with possibilities.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

real-life "cool hand lukes" in fort worth

i couldn't believe it when i read this story in this morning's paper. what's missing from the online version: the pic of decapitated parking meters. the colossal irony: these three dudes committed thousands of dollars of property damage for less money than it takes to buy a pack of smokes. hope they can eat lotsa boiled eggs...

the theater fire, white ghost shivers, dylan sneed

hadn't been to a theater fire show in forever, so when they were playing in our living-room-three-miles-from-la-casa (that'd be the li'l wreck room to y'all), hadda go check 'em out. in the coupla yrs since i last beheld 'em, they've released a new alb, everybody has a darkside, that won an award from the fw weekly, and gigged fairly relentlessly (if usually outta our west 7th st.-centric orbit).

aprell feagin no longer performs with the band, her place onstage taken by babyfaced multi-instrumentalist james talambas, who did some groovy choreography in tandem with fellow trumpeter jesse brakefield (the theater fire mak show?!?!? ooh, yeah...) as well as throwing down on keys 'n' washboard, and on one song, jumping into the crowd to wail on the stage, speakers, and giant electric fan with drumsticks.

in fact, multi-instrumentalismo remains a theater fire calling card. between 'em, these seven, count 'em, seven cats play so many instruments that you'd think they were the band or somethin' (or maybe, uh, bright eyes, to use a more _contemporary_ comparison). with the exception of riddim boyzzz mark castaneda (bass) and nick prendergast (traps), _somebody's_ switchin' instruments after nearly every song. at diff points in the evening, leader don feagin performed on both electric 'n' acoustic gtrs as well as fiddle; other main guy curtis heath played accordian, banjo, mandolin, and gtr; brakefield put down his trumpet to blow harp on one number; and sean french covered pedal steel, xylophone, banjo, mandolin, and electric 12-string. long time ago, when i expressed puzzlement at why his band was classified as "experimental / avant-garde" by the paper i was writing for at the time, don replied, "the only thing 'experimental' about us is deciding what instruments to play when we have a new song."

theater fire music feels _timeless_ and essentially american, inhabiting a time-space somewhere between the civil war, the dustbowl '30s, the deep south as flannery o'connor 'n' the rolling stones imagined it, and fonky fairmount last week, playing musical cards like country-blues, zydeco, mariachi, appalachian murder ballads 'n' velvet undergrond hypno-drone (as in the extended intro to their opening number). they evoke the "old, weird america" that hank williams _the elder_ 'n' skip james lived in, and they have the balls to sing a song about testicles (as curtis heath did for their _second encore_).

before them, austin-based white ghost shivers played an entertaining mix of '30s-styled sounds that had me flashing on ray liberio as a giant cat in a max fleischer cartoon, walking down the street to the sounds of a bass saxophone (which gives you a clue to my state of mind at the time), and opener dylan sneed had extremely good posture, evoked the spirit of townes van zandt, and made me conscious of being very uncomfortable hearing a guy wearing an acoustic gtr and harmonica holder saying "i'm _dylan_!"

Friday, August 04, 2006

listening to old shit

since my sweetie bought some more storage thingies that allowed me to organize the sprawling chaos of rekkids 'n' ceedees at la casa, it's been a stone pleasure to be able to actually _find_ shit. so we've been listening to stuff we hadn't heard in ages like small faces (sure, a poor man's who, but steve marriott's arranbee belting sure beat the shit out of roger daltrey's -- compare versions of, say, marvin gaye's "baby don't do it" for proof). plus, inspahrd by recent exposure to young cats like jon teague 'n' richard hurley who _know_ the vintage '69-'70 shit i was listening to as a snotnose back before the earth cooled, i've been trawling for some of said shit online, and have made a few rediscoveries. to wit: the '70 alb by silver metre, the band led by ex-blue cheer gtrist leigh stephens and featuring mickey waller, the world's greatest sloppy drummer from jeff beck's truth and rod stewart's every picture tells a story; a compilation of stuff by src, a late-'60s psych mob from detroit about whom i once wrote a lengthy feature for some prolly defunct brit rag, after which i didn't wanna hear their stuff for awhile (and mea culpa for taking a fuckin' yr to send copies of said story to the bandcats; i was, how you say, between jobs and money got pert tight for awhile); and an alb by blodwyn pig, the bluesy-jazzy outfit formed by ex-jethro tull gtrist mick abrahams, that includes all three of their songs that my college roommate taught me before we both dropped out, way, waaay back in november of '75. it sure feels weird (but good) to be listening to this stuff in 2006.

new york doll

finally viewed the dvd of new york doll (thanks, tommy 'n' marissa), the documentary about late new york dolls bassist arthur "killer" kane and how he wound up working at the church of jesus christ of latter day saints' family history center, and how he joined his surviving bandmates (that'd be david johansen and syl sylvain) for one last show at a 2004 brit festival before shuffling off this mortal coil a coupla wks later from undiagnosed leukemia. the flick was sweet 'n' not at all exploitative; you coulda imagined it ending with arthur returning to his mormon library gig but his untimely passing made the tale of his life's weird trajectory even more poignant, as do the hymns that david sings at the end of the flick and in the extra shit on the dvd. as my sweetie points out, it's as if reconnecting with his bros and sharing the stage that one last time made arthur's life _complete_ or something. (proof positive, as if anymore were needed, that scott fitzgerald was _way_ off base when he wrote that there are no second acts in 'meercus lives.) now, i'm more motivated to hear the dolls' (or david 'n' syl's, at least) arthur-less reunion alb, titled with great self-awareness one day it will please us to remember even this. as we know it shall.

art of the jam 60

"so, are you guys gonna wait for scott before you start?" wreck room master of libations graham richardson wanted to know. the midnight hour was approaching, and the li'l stage at wreck west was silent.

"what, is scott copeland coming out tonight?" i asked. jam-meister lee allen had just called, informing me that he was on his way from fonky fred's with drummer josh clark in tow.

"no -- he's gonna be here _tomorrow_ night." the master of libations always has the best quip o' the night.

art of the jam is tired but clean. i'd missed a total of three, count 'em, three wks due to va-ca in new joisey, my sweetie's b-day at sardines and visiting my youngest dtr and her new baby out in benbrook. as a result, i wasn't there the night quincy holloway from sub oslo came down to blow blues harp like he did on the top secret...shhh rekkid (and a few yrs ago as gospel swingers frontman), or the night velvet jive bassist rob marruffo soloed on upright bass while the jam-meister played grooves behind him on 5-strig electric.

anyway, we hung out and drank and shot the shit with jesse the painter about his upcoming solo show and the way baseball is a game of waiting and possibility.

after timely pause, the jam-meister showed and set up the drums. i plugged in my roland "amplet," recently returned from a va-ca of its own at sessions music. after further pause, barber mack leader-bassist john shook (a busy cat this week, with gigs at fred's last night and the black dog tonight) arrived and plugged in his 4-string axe. lee's rock camp compadre dave karnes (who's sitting in with saint frinatra at fred's tonight and has a gig with his own jazz trio at baker street pub on camp bowie blvd, wednesday, august 23rd) showed up and kicked the traps for the first coupla numbers: a hyper-driven version of the fonky meters' "cissy strut" and a very funked-up rendition of jaco's "teen town."

li'l josh arrived and we continued in a funk bag -- specifically, p-funk -- with the jamcats' unofficial "theme," "standing on the verge of gettin' it on." after that, i'd promised my sweetie the most fucked-up, dissonant, feedback-juiced "maggot brain" of all t-i-i-ime in memory of a wayward cousin of hers who'd just departed from the cumulative results of too many yrs of bad lifestyle choices. peace to her and solace to those she left behind. my last toon o' the night was another jam "standard," stanley clarke's "school days," with duelling basses from lee-boy and shook over li'l josh's thump.

next, paul the left-handed gtr player got up for awhile 'n' i went off and got stoopid. the addnerim boyzzz were in the house but not playin', as were jasper stone drummer jeffrey williams and ex-yeti gtrist eric harris (whom i'd seen at the black dog when stoogeaphilia played there last thurday). eric wasn't into playing on this particular jamnight but indicated that he might be if his old bandmates jon teague 'n' tommy atkins could be persuaded to play. we live in hope.

jews that rock

loved the book. who knew there was a website, too?

r.i.p. arthur lee

another '60s icon checks out: this time, it's arthur lee, ex-love frontman, at 61, in memphis, of leukemia. will have to give love's forever changes a spin this w-e. go easy, bro.

seaside heights

we were gettin' ready to go on va-ca when my sweetie saw this pictorial in the village voice of seaside heights, nj, the jersey shore town complete w/boardwalk 'n' amusement park where she usedta go as a kid. who'd a thunk it'd still be happenin' 25 yrs down the road? we went and hung out for an afternoon w/my big sis, then went back during the week so we could shoot pics of the sun setting / rising (altho it wound up being overcast), as well as the boardwalk and twin (!) amusement parks by night, eat softshell crab sammitches and slices of pizza the size of yr forearm, hear the carnie barkers' pitches (the newer park was mostly staffed by bored teenagers but as you got closer to the old pier, the shtick factor got higher), watch fireworks on the beach, and stick our feet in the freezing-ass atlantic. it were awesome.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


just got back from fred's. the first fredburger from the new grill was so good i fuckin' wept. 'twas good to be home. found it fitting that my bro. ron geida, who was playing with jasper stone the night back in february when the cafe burned, was onstage tonight with barber mack.

also, jesse sierra hernandez' upcoming solo show (which he's entitled "schlankin' it" -- long story better told by him than me) is on the 21st, not the 14th of october like i wrote in earlier post. he sez he's been energized to do new work, even going to his studio during his lunch hours from the kimbell. this should be rilly somethin'.

hooray! fred's is back!

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

The doors will be opening
TONIGHT at 6:00 p.m. !!
(Thursday - Aug 3)

The first person in the door will get
"The First Fredburger" for Free!
Good Luck and see you tonight!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

little walter

ha! heard a snippet of classic chicago blues harpman little walter on npr this morning drivetime, at the ass-end of a story about the midwest heatwave. his hate to see you go ceedee remains a perpetual fave at mi casa.