Thursday, November 30, 2006

the best show i have ever seen

at the wreck the other night, caroline collier mentioned that she'd heard the stooges are gonna be at sxsw next year -- which i may also be, for the first time since 2003, if fortune (in the form of the filmfest selection committee) smiles on the teen a go go doco. caroline generously offered to let me use her credential from the fw weekly to get in to the show if that eventuates, but i dunno if i really need to do that. after all, back in 2002 (when i still usedta make _pilgrimages_ to see bands; these days i prefer things i can walk to), i saw ron asheton (the guy i was always listening to on funhouse when i was a snotnose) play all those songs at the beachland ballroom in cleveland and the blind pig in ann arbor with scott morgan's powertrane -- an experience which left me so high i was still skying two weeks hence, in spite of having been shitcanned from my corporate slave gig in the meantime. (christ, i was sure longwinded back then, too.) only thing that's better, in my estimation: playing with stoogeaphilia ('cos if you're a player, it's _always_ better to play than to listen, and it doesn't matter to whom).

december calendar

12/2: pablo & the hemphill 7 @ flying saucer - 10pm
12/9: the great tyrant @ metrognome collective - 9pm
12/10: stoogeaphilia prac @ me-thinks world hq - 7:30pm
12/13: stoogeaphilia @ wreck room - 10:30pm
12/15: me-thinks @ wreck room - 10pm
12/15: the great tyrant @ art prostitute (dallas) - 9pm
12/28: stoogeaphilia @ black dog - 10:30pm

art of the jam 67

not much to write tonight 'cos it's fuckin' _c-o-l-d_ and i'm about to hunker down under a blanket. a pert tight stoogeaphilia played before a pert loose (in a good way) impulse of will and evabody got stoopid. we're gonna do it again on december 13th. what can i say? any night i get to play with ray liberio, matt hembree, jon teague, steffin ratliff, lee allen, dave karnes, ron geida, john shook, and jeffrey williams is a-ok with me. 'twas nice to see paul 'n' nicole, confusajohn, sir marlin von bungy, jesse, anne, caroline collier, amy (#1 stoogeaphilia fan who unfortunately showed up too late to hear us play) and the cat that told me he digs my "psychedelic" gtr wonkage, too. also: someday before i die, i'm gonna get eric harris onstage to jam.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

tom waits for no one

here's an int from pitchfork mag courtesy of mi amigo and fellow waits obsessive andrew in philly.

here comes the hawk

holy cow! just checked the weather and the temperature's about to drop like 40 degrees here in the fort. better layer up before heading out to the stoogeshow/jam tonight.

reggie rueffer @ el wreck, monday, december 4th

that's right, you heard right: hochimen/ex-spot frontman reggie rueffer is doing the fwac acoustic monday thingy at the li'l wreck room next week. ya mo' be theah. maybe you, too?

i don't hate blues

...contrary to what lee allen might believe.
what i dislike is fast van halen shuffles.
(who wants to listen to some mothafucka
lifting weights on the neck of his axe? not i.)

instead, give me the ease 'n' sleaze of jimmy reed,
john lee hooker pattin' his foot on a two-by-four,
muddy standing up to roar his masculinity,
and howlin' wolf calling the hoodoo down.

give me raw wood without the veneer.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

electoral prognostication

wanna see a clash of the titans in '08? fuhgeddabout hillary vs. mccain. try this: obama vs. giuliani. mick farren said it, and i believe it. armagideon time, indeed.

tom waits' "orphans"

yeah, so there's a new tom waits rekkid -- a three ceedee set, to be exact. i ordered it from amazon for my sweetie the day it was released. a coupla decades of married life and a full one of sobriety seem to be agreeing with him. over the yrs, cat's managed to re-invent himself as a kind of one-man harry smith anthology, encompassing every facet of 'meercun music, occasionally stroking the same synapses as harry partch, captain beefheart (who tom apparently digs), and los lobos at their post-kiko weirdest when he's not penning songs that tug the heart in a way only the work of a _real_ romantic (which, as my sweetie points out, is one who's had their ass kicked around by life enough to dust the illusions off of 'em) can do. orphans: brawlers, bawlers, and bastards (for that's the name he's given it) is a great, sprawling mass o' toonage which'll prolly take a whole yr to fully digest (the way joe strummer said about sandinista! when it was new). the ramones covers are better 'n' different than you'd expect, and i'm wondering whether tom is gonna get a buncha shit for writing a song ("road to peace") about a suicide bomber, but for right now, we've got a new fave song here at mi casa -- that'd be "you can never hold back spring," which tom starts out singing as louis armstrong and finishes as himself. who could ask for more / why settle for less?

happy berfday j.h.

wow. jimi hendrix woulda been 64 yesterday, if he'd a stuck around.

Monday, November 27, 2006

extra! extra! civil war in iraq!

apparently nbc is the first straight media outlet to discover that you can use the term "civil war" even if robert e. lee is not present.

pam pride

...(who once owned and operated fort worth's only lesbian jazz bar) has taken over the kitchen at pop's safari room, strategically located between the black dog and fonky fred's at 2929 morton. now i just need to fabricate an "occasion" to take my sweetie there to sample pam's legendary chow. when we ran into her at fred's, pam mentioned there's an event planner who wants to throw a street fair in the area delineated by fred's, pop's, the black dog, 7th haven, la familia, and that yuppie dump on foch street, the name of which escapes me, "that would kick austin's ass." sounds like an idea with some potential. when? "next october," sez pam, "when you don't have to worry about wind and rainstorms." well, duh.

feel like a broke-down engine

right shoulder's been sore since july
from a combo platter of computer mouse usage
at the job i quit last month,
humping a heavier amplifier for the stoogeband
and dragging our bags thru airports
enroute to joisey

left wrist has been hurtin'
since i moved a big neon sign
in preparation for taping interviews
for documentary at fonky fred's
making it harder to do rehab exercises
for the aforementioned shoulder

the other night, coming downstairs
from a friend's apartment,
i was goofing around and wound up
stepping off the sidewalk the wrong way
and twisting an ankle on the leg
i tore a muscle on last yr

ah, you gotta love decrepitude

(note: title of this post refers to a blind willie mctell song covered by johnny winter and, apparently, bob dylan.)


started out the weekend with a viewing of equilibrium, a kind of post-matrix remake of fahrenheit 451 about a future where "tetragrammaton clerics" incinerate "sense offenders" found in possession of books, art, and music. was reminded of the film's little hidden enclaves of the past the next day while browsing through flea markets (stopped by the montgomery street antique mall to see "rockin' robin," the new shop run by robin sylar's former wife carol galt, and ran into ex-cellar muso charlie mitchell near the booth where his old bandmate paul sevy hawks his paintings), and later that same night while visiting with fort worth uber-record collectors mike buck, ted tucker, and jim yanaway. guess it's inevitable that if you stick around long enough, you wind up trying to hold onto your own little favored bits of memory.

in relation to the teen a go go documentary, it's interesting to compare the relative longevity of "garage rock" as a genre with that of, say, doo-wop, which was all the rage among rekkid collectors when i started working in stores way back in '73: you'd see all these guys who were younger than i am now but clearly past their moment, all slicked-back hair, guinea t-shirt with tomato sauce stain, red pack of marlboros rolled up in sleeve, who'd have sold their mothers to get a mint copy of "in the still of the night" by the five satins. nowadays you can't give those recs away, but you _can_ make bank on ebay selling obscuro singles by teen-snot garage bands from the post-beatle / pre-psychedelic era (comps like norton's fort worth teen scene series actually increase the desirability among collectors for vinyl slabs that usedta sell for pennies at garage sales; a number of the bands interviewed for the doco indicated that they trashed heaps of what seemed worthless singles back in the '60s). what makes gtr-based forms of primitive rawk more timeless than streetcorner harmonizin', i think, is the energy, abandon, and sense of community that surround them -- all fundamentals which any music that dares to call itself rock'n'roll must have.

because i suck, i missed marcus lawyer's live top secret...shhhh throwdown at embargo friday night, but i did catch a little bit of the kinda shambolic bluegrass band that was playing at the black dog that night while trying to take care of some stoogeaphilia biz. (the stoogeband be's playing at the li'l wreck room this wednesday before the jam instead of our usual "i wanna be your [black] dog" thursday at the dog. we'll also be at the wreck wednesday, december 13th, then back at the dog on thursday, december 28th. in january, "i wanna be your [black] dog" moves from last thursdays to last saturdays o' the month, and we're gonna start breaking in some new stooge-related toonage; the nominal mandate is "anything before the '80s," which covers a whole lot of law, and we've talked about things like alice cooper, pere ubu, and television, to give you an idea.) my sloth isn't meant as a slight of marcos' achievement, tho; his rec is definitely one of my most fave listens o' the yr (others: me-thinks make mine a double e.p. and the little hochimen's tierra del gato).

speaking of the hochimen, ran into reggie rueffer at the goodwin "reunion" show at the black dog sat'day (that "reunion" was tony diaz's joke, since they hadn't played together in two months; the sophomore ceedee is still in the mixing stages) with eaton lake tonics and sunday drive (who are apparently the same band as e.l.t. playing different material; whatthehell?). reggie just got back from a sojourn in ireland, fiddlin' with charlie pride, and spoke warmly of the emerald isle's ppl and music. (planxty, anyone?) he's thinking about the next rekkid and considering a change to a more acoustic-oriented format, which'd actually be more conducive to venues like sambucca he's been playing a lot of lately. reg is actually looking to score a regular gig in fort worth; black dog, are you listening? there's also gonna be a spot reunion show in the fort; good news for all of us who missed the one at dada waythehell over in deep ellum a few wks back.

as for goodwin, reggie's fellow xtc fan daniel gomez discovered the hard way that the black dog swallows midrange. goodwin's evil dictator is typically careful to regulate his stage volume for optimal sound balance, but at the dog, this worked against him (can't have a rawk show without lotsa gtr, after all) until finally after repeated requests to turn up, he was able to take his rightful place in the mix. at least goodwin didn't suffer the same kind of probs the opening eaton lake tonics did with the dog's self-service p.a. bar because newly married frontguy tony diaz is [stage]crafty enough to position himself where he can hear the mains while he's singing (there's method to his madness). the hembree-stewart engine room locked it in the pocket as is their wont, playing with a trifle less abandon than we're used to seeing from them, possibly because the sat'day night audience was kinda like a somnambulant sportsbar crowd in a more dimly-lit room. sigh. (an unsolicited observation for the ladies: when you're steppin' out on a sat'day night, remember that it's almost never a good idea to get toxic garrruuunnnk in the company of guys you don't really know that well. respect yourself!)

Friday, November 24, 2006

flying kites

walking past the schoolyard
saw a dad with a li'l girl
trying to fly a kite
while mom ran the vidcam

i'm a few yrs past
chasing kites thru muddy fields
and a couple of my kite flyers
have kite flyers of their own now

i wanted to tell the cat
"give it more string and run with it!"
but i resisted the urge --
let him figure it out on his own

Thursday, November 23, 2006

tom waits

i got all the way through the jam last night
without smoking a single cigarette
altho this morning i felt
like i'd smoked a whole pack
(gotta love the air in bars).

thinking today about tom waits
(another ex-whiskey drinker);
my wife says her life was saved
her last yr of high school in chi-town 'burbs
by a teacher who gave her marlboros and played her waits songs.

back in '74, me and my buddy michael (r.i.p.)
were sitting in kenny's castaways down in the village
when waits walks in. my buddy sees him and yells,
"hey, look ... it's _tom waits_!"
and waits freaks and runs out of the place.

smooth fucking move, pal.

art of the jam 66

an abbreviated post as my sweetie 'n' i are busy today cooking the big bird and kicking back watching movies. the sunward cats came out and played for sessions music last night. wreck room impresario brian generously allowed us to pass the hat (well, the brown manila envelope) to help zaskoda and shook replace the gear they lost in the burglary weekend before last. master o' libations graham let shook borrow his old woodeye rig for last friday's soundclash stand with barber mack. "really, the gear i lost was just cheap stuff i hotrodded," said shook, but's gotta make a living, and he makes his playing gigs 'n' teaching lessons; hard to do without a plank to spank and a box to run it through.

'twas fun watching sunward's onstage dynamic -- the cats with microphones (front dude doug kershaw and keyb man andrew klein) focusing their energy on the audience, while the other three (jerko dabelic - gtr, dave perry - bass, dave karnaggio - drumaggio) work more off each other. they're the fort's very own flaming lips or mercury rev, and they're making a new rekkid that'll be out "in january," says doug. karnes digs the way they let him play "nice juicy drums," while the rest of the instrumentalismo is more about color and texture than blinding chops.

after their set, karnes stuck around to wail wit' the jamcats, who this week included justin pate and brian batson from confusatron and caroline collier along with the usual suspects (allen, geida, shook, briefly zaskoda, your humble chronicler of events) and a new cat on drums whom i hadn't heard before but kicked the traps with much enthusiasm. the jam-meister called a few we hadn't played in awhile -- "tomorrow never knows," a snatch of "dazed and confused," "standing on the verge" -- and lotsa other stuff happened that we didn't plan on and certainly couldn't have predicted. stage volume was L-O-U-D, but the bit of wizard o' sound andre's tape that i heard sounded okay. hard to believe this room will be gone in six months.

my sweetie was there and shot some pics. i dig the way a couple of these look like oil paintings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


oh yeah...spacey popsters sunward be's playing at the li'l wreck room this wednesday night to help out johns z. and s. from sessions music. could this mean that sunward trapmeister dave karnes will sit in with the jamcats after? we live in hope...

stooges redux

oh wow. the stooges reunion alb is done. and they're gonna play at sxsw.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


managed to catch teatro de la rosa's next-to-last performance of boxcar and came away moved as well as impressed. it was nice to see the performance so well-attended; looks like the little theater that could is growing up. since the last time i was at the rose marine, director rob bosquez has taken over as artistic director for fort worth theatre and directed a successful production of death of a salesman for them. but he seems at home at the rose and boxcar's multi-leveled complexity makes it just bosquez's meat. silvia gonzalez s.'s drama delves beneath the socioeconomic dimensions of immigration to explore the struggles for identity that take place within individuals as well as between groups in a diverse society. the action takes place in present-day texas, where a conflicted chicano border patrol officer wrestles with ambivalence over his job while seven illegals, abandoned by a coyote (smuggler) in a locked boxcar, tell their stories and talk about their fears, hopes, and dreams.

some of the characters (the anglo border patrolman played by thad isbell; the young salvadoran played by ronald fernandez, jr.) appear primarily to express different perspectives, but a few standout portrayals compel the viewer to connect with these men on a human level: anthony marquez as the disenchanted cop roberto (particularly in the second act, after his facade of professionalism cracks, then shatters); ramiro mungia as the light-skinned huero; fernando adame as pepe, the old man who's a veteran of many journeys to the north; and especially shawn gann as pepe's friend manuel, the ever-optimistic "master of ceremonies" whose jokes and stories only fail him at the very end. and carlos guerrero davila, as the aztec skull dancer, is a gifted physical comic. a powerful piece, masterfully brought to life.

Friday, November 17, 2006

"the other side" after final "boxcar" performance

tammy gomez sends:

If you haven't seen BOXCAR (written by Silvia Gonzalez S. and directed by FW-er Rob Bosquez), you have only ONE weekend left to do so.

"Inspired by the 1987 tragedy in which 18 bodies and one survivor were found in a sealed boxcar in Texas, Gonzalez's play tells the story of six Mexican men and a teen from El Salvador as they try to cross the border looking for a better life in the U.S."


F * R * E * E Screening of an experimental film by Lubbock-born
filmmaker Bill Brown, which focuses on the land & politics of the U.S./Mexico

“The Other Side” by Bill Brown
43 min., 16mm print

EVEN if you cannot make it to see BOXCAR,
come to this free screening
of "The Other Side"!

1440 N. Main St., Fort Worth

“The desert that marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico is the subject of Bill Brown’s deeply personal reflection on and exposé of the challenges surrounding Mexican immigration. Pensive, raw, and luminous images construct a montage of a land where immigrants leave traces of their struggles and hopes. Traveling along these same paths, Brown shows us “where the idea of America is up for grabs” and explores the vicissitudes of the politics and activism behind U.S. immigration policies. We ride in the cars of activists protecting the rights of migrants, set up water stations, listen to the tales of crossing attempts, learn the history of the land, and watch the shadows creep across the fixtures of life isolated in the desert.”
–Harlie Dover, Brooklyn Underground Film Festival

american hardcore, boxcar, schlankin' it

from sir marlin von bungy:


Magnolia at the Modern

The Magnolia at the Modern is an ongoing series featuring critically acclaimed films. Regular shows times are Friday at 6 & 8 pm, Saturday at 5 pm, and Sunday at 2 & 4 pm (exceptions are otherwise noted. Tickets are $7.50, $5.50 for Modern members. Advance sales begin two hours prior to the show.

November 17–19

The documentary American Hardcore traces the lost punk-rock subculture from its early roots in 1980 to its initial flameout in 1986.

"This documentary is an enlightening journey to a dark corner of contemporary punk’s dank little basement. It will surprise some to hear how articulately some of the former performers explain the dark impulses that propelled them." — Scott Martelle, Los Angeles Times

R for language and drug abuse
100 minutes, English

speaking of da arts, this is also the last weekend for boxcar at teatro de la rosa. and jesse sierra hernandez's schlankin' it at gallery 414. you go now!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

me-thinks double e.p. is here (finally)

I. the setup

so how _do_ you have a cd release party without, um, cd's? "we were gonna give away hasslehorse cd's," said me-thinks frontguy ray liberio, referring to the precursor to "fort worth's shittiest band." "i've got lots of 'em at my house. we were totally influenced by pavement and guided by voices, except we used huge stacks and were louder than both of them put together."

all in all, the band considers the show (where fans who bought t-shirts received vouchers they can redeem for the new opus, make mine a double e.p.; it's also available online from indian casino records) to have been a success. "i threw up in my backyard later," said ray, "and [indian casino honcho] jack bensonhurst threw up on my amp in the back of trucker john's truck. my amp is going to have that puke stain on it for months!"

II. the romance of the artifact

it comes in an environmentally-friendly cardboard digipak, the two cd's -- subtitled worse and worser -- facing each other in such a way that you can imagine the labels rubbing off after awhile. the original idea was to have a double e.p. on a single cd, but then the band boyzzz figured they could spend more of jack's money this way. "plus," said ray, "this way you have to get up to change the cd more often."

III. the thing itself


"speed hair": a re-recorded version of a toon that 'riginally appeared on their rock and roll another e.p. (my first exposure to the band), this pulls you in right away with the intro gtr hook and pummels you until you're lying insensate in the alley outside. or something like that.

"super fucked - big drunk": a me-thinks manifesto of sorts ("we go smokin' and drinkin' all night / we'll never make our money back but we're feelin' alright"), this shows just how far their recording trip has come, with nifty percussion and cool arrangements augmenting the wall-o'-sound attack.

"rock and roll another": lots to admire here, including the layers of gtrs and crisply-recorded drums. it should be noted that these tracks predate the recent personnel shift wherein will a.k.a. boyo moved to second gtr and trucker john was brought in to drum.

"burnout timeline": my fave toon on the _first_ e.p. of this set, this is a flag-waving rawk anthem with big gtrs and plenty of nostalgic allusions to the me-thinks' misspent youth, the dog star and the loco gringos in particular. could this mean they're, uh, growin' up? naaah.

"texas gigalo": this has richard hurley from blood of the sun laying down sleazy leads all over the place, particularly on the live at leeds-like jam section. ooh yeah.


"bong macgyver": a song about the guy back in high school who could make a pipe out of anything. you knew him. we _all_ did. admit it. mike bandy from helldamncrap plays lead on this. he knew him too.

"permanent krokus": the tracklist says this is "partyboy," but don't you believe it. the lyrics illustrate one way in which explosive-related injuries could be integrated into the metalhead lifestyle. steedo and art from the riverside ramblers (who have apparently changed their band name again, this time to shotgun messenger) provide idiomatically correct vocal and gtr support.

"partyboy (drinks to infinity)": at el wreck, boyo introduced this by saying, "this is about high school," and it probably was. to get the full effect of marlin's gtr solo, you have to imagine him standing on one leg drinking a beer while he plays.

"mr. hardly matters": by me-thinks standards, this is almost jazz. (a secret revealed: i've been to boyo's house. he has bill evans rekkids there. and dave brubeck.) a little light relief leading into...

"god bless haltom city": the patriotic song they sing at me-thinks football games, this was appropriated from will's "solo" project, napoleon complex. "we ain't tryin' that hard, but we're doing alright" indeed. these self-styled underachievers rawk like a texan turbonegro without sacrificing their penchant for self-deprecating bullshit, and make it all look like laughs and high times. gawd bless the me-thinks!

end of year boo-shee

where in the hell did 2006 go, anyway? i blinked and it was november, and january seems like a long, l-o-n-g time ago. whatevah.

anyway, my pal phil overeem, who pays more attention to these things than i do, informs me that both the "dean of american rockcrits" robert christgau _and_ his evil minion chuck eddy have been given the bum's rush by the village voice. perhaps this means that whoever is taking their place will realize that i am no longer a "real" rockcrit and stop sending me a ballot for their annual pazz & jop poll. perhaps not. while i admittedly operate within a very circumscribed 'n' predictable orbit, if somebody were to ask for a list of good rekkids released this yr, i'd include the following:

1) various, top secret...shhh
2) hochimen, tierra del gato
3) me-thinks, make mine a double e.p.
4) sonic's rendezvous band, easy action box set
5) boris, pink
6) yayhoos, put the hammer down
7) george clinton, how late do u have 2bb4ur absent?
8) radio birdman, zeno beach
9) ghostcar, too strong / the art of transition

i should mention that i haven't yet heard the rekkids released this yr by ornette coleman, the who, sonny rollins, charles mingus, the theater fire, or black tie dynasty. perhaps i will.

of equal significance to any rekkids were the releases on dvd of two fine, fine, supafine rawk docs: we jam econo and new york doll.

also important in my neck of the woods (to me, at least): the emergence of fred's cafe as music venue; jhon kahsen's bimonthly avant-garde evenings at sardines (next one's the second tuesday in december, so mark yr calendars); sam walker's thelonious monk tribute; and new bands barber mack and stoogeaphilia. (yeah, i play in one of 'em. you wanna fuckin' fight about it?)

next yr, i wanna do a better (e.g., more consistent) job of supporting the arts other than music here in the fort, which i always intend but often fail to do. my bad.

"so then the scotsman says..."

best bono joke of the week.

best bacon sammitch on earth?

not since lock stock and two smoking barrels have i been so befuddled by something that's ostensibly in english. baps? butties? wtf?!?!?

art of the jam, um, 65

it had been a real long time (september? i thought it was july. crikey!), but the combo platter of listening to the old cats that used to play at the cellar (legendary fort worth beatnik dive that lasted from 1958 to 1972 where jfk's security detail dallied, the waitresses wore bras and panties, and the music never stopped, even when an obstreperous patron was getting thrown down the stairs) talk story for the teen a go go doc, and the news that the evening's jam would be a "healing party" for a coupla muso buds who just had all their gear (and in the case of one of them, the entire contents of his music store) stolen made it mandatory that last night would mark my return to the li'l wreck room's wednesday night invitational jam. and so it did.

it seems there's been a scarcity of gtrists at the li'l jam of late -- incredible in a town like fort worth where seemingly every other person you meet plays the damn thing. but that's what jam-meister lee allen reports: a lot of times in recent weeks, it's been a three-way bass symposium between hisself, barber mack / jasper stone low-end theorist john "johnny peckerwood" shook, and ruben from denton-based jazzy hip-hoppers liquid bounce with not a six-stringer in sight. not a problem on this particular night, howevah. besides myself, git-fiddlers in attendance included my pal ron "the velvet hammer" geida, confusajohn stevens, jerko dabelic from sunward, andrew skates and sessions music bossman john zaskoda (if i forgot to mention it, 'twas shook and z-man who lost their respective rigs.) only two gtr amps onstage, tho, since confusajohn's ampeg was having tube issues. also onstage: a _fourth_ bassplayer, chuck brown; sunward frontguy doug kershaw, running his fiddle through ron's pedalboard; and ubiquitous drum cat josh clark, the one man who can't leave the stage (except for intervals when lucas white wasn't playing with james norris' keybs 'n' synths). in the house but not jammin': matts hembree and skates, jonathan irwin, joe vano, caroline collier, william bryan massey III. missing in action: evan jones.

my sweetie had to cut out early, so right out of the box, lee-boy called "maggot brain" and claudia acosta got up to flow verse. (i dedicated the piece to fast eddie. a weird year, thisun, full of grief 'n' loss for ppl we know.) then "manic depression" and "cosmic slop" (jeez, wonder if lee missed playing our "standards"?). doug kershaw (not the ragin' cajun, altho they share a name and axe) got up to weave chromatic wonderment with his gypsy fiddle (why do these string players all wanna make their shit sound like gtrs?!?!? if i had an instrument that sounded like that, i wouldn't put _anything_ on it!). lee and josh made damn near everything fonky, this particular night. then the velvet hammer 'n' i sat down and it was time for jerko and confusajohn to go head to head (imagine johnny greenwood and srv trading solos over a deep, deep groove and you have some idea of what the goings-on were like; for my money, the best "set" of the evening). then things got bloozier as zasko and stevens reprised their respective roles from their merchants daze. with andrew skates and geida up, it was time for josh to fire up the one-drop for a li'l barber mack mini-set, and then ray liberio (clearly pleased that he finally got the me-thinks' double e.p.'s in, only four days after the release party) got up to sing the most bottom-heavy "war pigs" of all time. jordan franz requested a mellower groove before she got up to improv some lyrics, so that's what she got. finished out with lee-boy and shook playing dueling basses on stanley clarke's "school days."

throughout the proceedings, graham the master o' libations was collecting donations for shook 'n' zasko in a manila envelope behind the bar. prior to the event, one wag commented, "that'll do a lot of good: 20 musicians who give a dollar each." there was actually a fair sized crowd for a wednesday night, more 'n i'd seen in a few months before i disappeared from jamdom for awhile. not sure how they did monetarily, but there'll be other oppos to help the fellas out: this saturday afternoon at fonky fred's and next wednesday (which wreck impresario brian forella sez is the best bar night of the yr) at el wreck; the lineups will be announced, but bands who wanna play should contact lee. i repeat, contact lee. contact lee. you get the idea.

all night long i was thinking about the cellar cats and the way, in this setting, styles and genres crash into each other and occasionally meld; it's always been that way in the fort. "where else can you do this?" lee asked afterward. "wherever it is, i wanna go there!"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

me-thinks wreck room pixxx

here are some pixxx i took while i was asian media crewing it at the me-thinks show at the li'l wreck room last week.

deep sea diaries

check out spacey improv whatsit by a socal outfit for which a cat i met via the blogosphere plays bass. pretty sick.

when you're working at home can never have too many cats on your computer desk. especially if they like to lie down on the keyboard.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


lee allen writes:

tomorrow night at the wreckroom we are going to have a party for sessions music owner John Z. and bassist John S.

These guys lost everything in the store to a spineless, piece of sack of shit, pussy petty thief who deserves a country ass-whoopin.

Please come show your support for two of Panther City's most talented musicians and friends to the music community.

While i hesitate to call this a benefit, we will have a designated donation envelope at the bar to help in the recuperation of some musical instruments as they have NONE. This is a party to help with the healing process. Your presence is what heals.

we need you. come play with us. it is fun. we jam. rock.

NEXT WEDNESDAY: day before thanksgiving full on BENEFIT:
Bands TBA

(look for something saturday afternoon at FREDS)

movie crew mantras

the first one: "it is what is."
the second one: "we'll figure it out."
to which jem rodriguez adds: "we'll do it different next time."

montgomery street cafe

took a walk this morning
past the little house on boland
where my sweetie used to live
and stopped by the garage apartment next door
where fast eddie passed
to say so long to our friend.

afterwards, i stopped by
the montgomery street cafe
and had a chicken fried steak for fast.
place looked exactly the same as it did
the first time i walked in there, 28 years ago:
same mural and signs on the walls,
same lady taking your order.

like eddie woulda said:
it was _terrifyin'_.
and fast, you wouldn't have believed it:
just as i was getting ready to leave,
sam and dave came on the radio.
it might not have been your song
but it was them nonetheless.

stuff that's good stays good.

Monday, November 13, 2006

for fast eddie

fast eddie cashed out today
at home, with his friends by his side
(man had a lot of friends).
i guess you could say
he did it his way -- never left his perch
no hospital wards for fast.

fast grew up somewhere up north
but he got here as quick as he could.
went to the nam and saw some things
he didn't like to talk about.
he minded his own, never had a bad word
for anyone.

now i'm not saying
that fast was connected,
i'm just saying
that he knew people.
in vegas, they called him
john garfield.

and wasn't it a time
that new year's eve when fast
started out at one end of west 7th
and worked his way
all the way down to the other end --
one bar at a time?

"now eddie," said trumpet-playing brian
that tends bar at the hideaway
at the end of his run,
"next year, i'd be most appreciative
if you'd start out _here_
and work your way down _there_."

wherever you are tonight, brother,
i hope you hit that big trifecta
and fill out that inside straight.
just wanted to let you know
that i'm looking out for katmandu
until it's time for us to meet again.

jimmy reed the emancipator

joe nick patoski said it, and i believe it: jimmy reed set the stage for martin luther king. if this sounds implausible to you, it won't after you read joe nick's oral history from the summer y2k ish of the late, lamented blues access.

sessions music - stolen equipment alert

john zaskoda writes:

Please be on the watch for this stuff...

1. 1962 Marshall Bluesbreaker 2x12 combo (small dent in the front left grillcloth)
2. 1966 Fender Jazzmaster (White/tortoise and mix-matched knobs)
3. Fender Mexican Telecaster (painted green with gold knobs)
4. Epiphone Standard Les Paul (cherry sunburst)
5. Agile Goldtop les paul Style guitar (w/p-90’s)
6. Ibanez RG220BK guitar (black on black)
7. Ibanez Soundgear Bass (cherry sunburst flamed)
8. 1963 Gibson Melody Maker (modified w/ humbuckers and missing truss rod)
9. Fender Fretless Jazz Bass (Green with chrome bridge cover)
10. Fender P-Bass (Black headstock)
11. Gallein Kruger 1x15 combo
12. Fender Cyber Champ 1x12 combo
13. Nemesis NC410 Bass combo amp
14. Ampeg 200h bass amp
15. Peavey Bravo 1x12 amplifier
16. Epiphone Acoustic Guitar
17. Fender Acoustasonic amp
18. Martin 00016cxe Guitar (has a small sticker on pickguard that read “lil pepe”)
19. Mackie 608 PA amplifier
20. Carvin PA Amplifier
21. (2) pair of EV 1502h PA Speakers
22. (2) Sennheiser e835 mics
23. (2) Shure SM57 mics
24. Behringer 16 channel board
25. Epiphone Valve Jr (new in box)
26. MAxon Overdrive
27. MXR Phaser (orange)
28. Vox Wah
29. Boss DS-1 Distortion
30. Ibanex ts9 Tubescreamer
31. Boss GE7 Graphic Equaliser
32. Boss TU2 tuner
33. Compaq IPAQ pocket PC
34. Canon digital camera
35. Numerous NEW Allparts packaged items (pots, knobs, etc….)
36. Over 100 packs of strings (all major brands)
37. (2) pair of Gemsound Monitiors
38. Fender P-Bass (sunburst)

nips hit with git pick flick!

my dutch punk-rock pal tony slug writes:

Ken, did you see WILD ZERO ?
If you're a B-movie afficionado, this is it !!!

You get UFO's, ZOMBIES, transsexuals, ALL KINDS OF drugs, the great GUITAR WOLF (who has a laser cannon AND a SAMURAI SWORD in his guitar neck ! PLUS uses his metal guitar picks as NINJA THROWING STARS TO KILL ZOMBIES !!!) Yakuza intrigue, featuring a flowerpot hairdo having gangster running around in speedo's, decapitations galore, I mean, the fun doesn't end.

The COOLEST thing yet is the "drinking game". Every time one of the rockers combs his hair, yells "LOL AN LOOOOLL !!" or a zombie gets whacked you see this little beer mug in the corner of the screen and you're supposed to drink a beer.

I will GUARAN-FUCKIN-TEE you you'll be semi wasted halfway through the film.

If you wanna have a senseless good time watching a B-movie, make sure it's WILD ZERO

I'll give it 8 out of 10 (ninja) stars !!!

And God bless Bass Wolf (RIP) where ever he may be.

first church of holy rock and roll

a million yrs ago, i usedta scribe for a webzine called the first church of holy rock and roll, owned and operated by one phil overeem, aka the reverend wayne coomers. phil's an omniverous music lover who teaches language arts and runs a very cool music appreciation program at hickman high school in columbia, missouri. he even bought a pizza for me 'n' nathan brown when we were playing on the street in columbia (altho he kept yelling for velvet underground toons while we were playing nathan's set). the first church folded the tent a few yrs back, but it's apparently been born again, and phil's rants are always worth reading.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

them was bahstidz wot dun it

john zaskoda of sessions music writes:

Hey Folks,

This morning I arrived at my shop only to find it was robbed. All of my valuable inventory and personal instruments were taken, not to mention a number of items that were either in the shop for repair or consignment. In addition, Johnny "Peckerwood" Shook's entire rig was taken. A complete wipeout.

When I opened this shop, I promised myself that it would be the most musician friendly place in town. Because I am an active working musician, I felt it my duty. No one can argue that Sessions has been a friend to a number of bands.

Please spread the word about this. If I have never asked, now is the time when I need your help the most. Awareness is key.


Later this afternoon I will be posting the inventory that was taken. I am currently in the process of making sure it is accurate as I am discovering more and more things missing.

Rest assured that I WILL bounce back.


arvel stricklin, freddie cisneros, john nitzinger

in a week that's had a lot of highlights, i gotta say that the ultimate came tonight, when the teen a go go crew headed over to the keys lounge on westcreek to see some of our interview subjects sit in at mace maben's group therapy sunday night blues jam. we got a taste of what it musta sounded like at the cellar in fort worth in the mid-'60s when cellar mainstay, gtrist-singer arvel jr. stricklin took the stage with his old bandmates charlie mitchell on bass and randy "panda" woolery on drums, and the added bonus of freddie "little jr. one hand" cisneros on gtr.

i first saw freddie play with sumter bruton in robert ealey and his five careless lovers at the bluebird back when robert owned it in the late '70s. in the '60s, he played in the torquays, jim jones and the chauntays (whose "baby" appears on one of the norton fort worth teen scene comps), and reverend filmore and the swinging flames. as a kid who got bit by the blues bug before the beatles hit and was playing in clubs at age 13, freddie says "i was obsolete by the time i was 15!" he was instrumental in steering johnny reno and james hinkle, among others, to the truth of the blues. there are truckloads of gunslinger gtrists out there, but none of 'em play with the soul that freddie had back then and still does today (or the smoothness and inventiveness that arvel displays, for that matter). these days, freddie operates the mercy guitar hospital and plays with a blues band in prescott, arizona. a genuine fort worth original, to be sure.

as if that weren't enough, john nitzinger's wife judy sent me a pic of teenage johnny playing at the cellar, a lingerie-clad cellar waitress on either side of him. this shit is gettin' _fun_.

"teen a go go" website is live

so the website for the teen a go go documentary is live now. like all film websites, it's a work in progress, but you can check it periodically for updates as this beast comes to life.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

the realization of a dream

tonight i got to fill in for calvin from the asian media crew when the me-thinks played the li'l wreck room (which apparently is folding the tent in april, two months too early to host my 50th berfday party there -- shame). the pride of haltom city might not have had cd's yet, but they played a tight 'n' rawkin' set (changes in their pre-show substance abuse patterns have brought dramatic improvements in their stage trip). the fellow americans (ex-rio grand babies with new babyfaced frontguy) did a worthy job as openers. we had to cut out before headliners legends of the south really got into their thang 'cos i'm a wuss and needed to pay back sleep. so there.

back in town

...from filming teen a go go interviews in austin and houston. the main differences i observed between traveling with a film crew and a band:

1) the food and accommodations are better with a film crew.

2) the conversation is generally more intelligent. (director of photography james sterling johnson oughtta be teaching a film course somewhere. seriously.)

3) there's less farting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"teen a go go" a go go

heading to austin and houston for the next coupla days to tape interviews with jeremy diaz aka jesus de la cruz (dead sexy, this damn town, strange attractors) and king coffee (butthole surfers) for a younger point of view, mike buck (fabulous thunderbirds, leroi brothers, fort worth record collector) and joe nick patoski (rolling stone and texas monthly journo and srv biographer) for expert testimony, and crucial scene vets mark stevens aka mark e. baby (kfjz deejay) and arvel stricklin (cellar house band muso). over the past few days, we've gotten good stuff from the elite, larry & the bluenotes, the orphans, red young (the committee), sumter bruton (local music historian and record town honcho), john nitzinger and ron marcott (barons), recording engineer phil york (sound city studios), and bugs henderson (mouse & the traps and full-time cellar dweller), among others. shooting continues through the 19th in fort worth, chicago, and l.a. still need to lay hands on some of the archival footage we've been pointed to. then director melissa kirkendall and director of photography/editor james sterling johnson get to put it all together in viewable form in time to meet sxsw's submission deadline. yeah!

the truth magazine

just what the world needed: another up-and-coming webzine, packed with poetry, rants, fiction, criticism, etc., by young-and-mainly-unpubbed scribes. new content every month or so. bog knows why, but they wanna do a print version, if they can get some scratch. dig 'em.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ee-reck-shun? what ee-reck-shun?

well how 'bout them apples. the dems took back the house. senate's still too close to call. will wonders never cease.

Monday, November 06, 2006

asian media crew, me-thinks

it's long been an ambition of mine to be a member of the asian media crew along with rat and calvin, those two wacky guys from haltom city whose mission is to provide audio 'n' video documentation of the me-thinks' crazy life. this sat'day, when the pride of haltom city hold the cd release party for their hot-off-the-presses make mine a double e.p. (at the wreck room, where'd you think?), i will finally get to live my dream and proudly don the piss-and-fish-sauce-stained yellow jumpsuit. hooray!

ugly-ass gtrs

my dutch punk-rawk pal tony slug sent a link to the ugliest gtrs on earth. be afraid.

red young

a coupla wks ago, i read paul boll's blog post about local keyb legend red young with great interest. yesterday, i got to meet red when he taped an interview for the teen a go go documentary. before he left town in '67, red (he went by "pinky" back then) and his band the committee used to play for the teens at the candy stick a go go and blue cat a go go, even though the musos were more into james brown and ray charles than the beatles. he gives an engaging, insightful interview, too. lately, red's been on the road with eric burdon, and he's holding down monday nights at ovations with jimmy smith-like hammond b3 wonderment the entahr month of november. the "organ queers" will undoubtedly be there; maybe you, too? (i gotta find an address for this j'int. pablo?)

ADDENDUM: paulo bolla sez ovations is at 6115 camp bowie blvd, suite 112, next to cafe aspen and across the street from la madeleine. so there ya go.

call for musos 'n' artists

kimberly walker writes:


There will be an expo held at
The Coffee Beanery Nov 10-11.
3301 Altamesa Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76133
(817) 361-1515

I am looking for musicians, artists of ALL types (including photographers) to set up booths and display your works, as well as area businesses !!
The Musical Area is Volunteer plus tips, and of course you can peddle your band wares for sale also! Anyone who has interest please contact me ASAP for more details!



Sunday, November 05, 2006

proof g.i.'s aren't stoopid

turns out a 1999 simulation run by the u.s. military pretty much forecast the current sitch in iraq. maybe one reason why the editors at army times are calling for the secdef's removal.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

one fingered fist, addnerim

fell by the li'l wreck room for the merkin-addnerim-one fingered fist trifecta. had to bail early 'cos i gots phone calls to make in the morning and the second day of teen a go go shooting on tom'w, so will have to catch merkin another time. addnerim were certainly happenin' in the chops department and had an admirable rapport with their sizable crowd, but for my two cents, one fingered fist took the show with their short, sharp shocks of hardcore punk fury, tempered with a fair amount of humor (no accident that they were borrowing the me-thinks' backline for the occasion). most memorable lines of the evening (for different reasons): "damned if i do, damned if i don't" (addnerim) and "that's not a knife, this is a knife" (one fingered fist).

kobetich & huber

fell by fonky fred's to scarf a fredburger and listen to kobetich & huber (that'd be virtuosi darrin kobetich on acoustic gtrs and steve huber on electrified violin) with the concrete jungle tribe (two percussionists, joined at times by peachtruck republic's evan jones) and lee allen (wreck room wednesday night jam-meister and fred's patio-meister/fire-meister) on bass stir up a swirling scirocco of modal mystere, playing with the abandon of dervishes and occasionally conjuring images of kif-satiated bedouin tribesmen around a saharan campfire. an added bonus: the stunning vocal stylings o' newcomer kristina moreland, who brought an interesting voice, good improv ideas, and nice organic flow with the musos to the table. pert awesome, it was.

r.i.p. fred "sonic" smith

synchronicities abound...just got home from the first day of shooting on teen a go go (which included all of "the fab four from fort worth," the elite of "one potato, two potato" fame, and elite bassist bob barnes' li'l sis) and popped in an mc5 disc when i saw my dutch pal tony slug's myspace post reminding us that today marks the 12th anniversary of fred "sonic" smith's passing at age 45. if ya don't know who sonic was, you could look him up.

Friday, November 03, 2006

shin joong hyun

dig this international herald tribune piece about shin joong hyun, south korea's original rockaroller, who gave up his career rather than kowtow to a tyrant. at the peak of his success in 1972, shin was jailed on drug charges and had his music banned by his country's government after he refused to write a song praising dictator park chung hee. shin recently completed his farewell tour and will retire to a house in the country. much respect to you, sir.

farren skewers bush

while his fiction sometimes leads down some deep rabbitholes, '60s revolooshunary turned l.a. city beat gadfly mick farren's columns are generally, um, on point, like this allusion-packed deconstruction of bush 43's presidency. read it and weep -- or better yet, vote.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


surprise, surprise -- francis davis at the village voice digs the new ornette rekkid. he even mentions town hall, 1962, the one i haven't been able to stop listening to for the past coupla weeks. and sonny rollins. and mingus. giants once walked the earth, and occasionally still do.


teatro de la rosa opens its new season this friday with silvia gonzalez s.'s boxcar, a piece that's definitely topical in a year when our government is seriously considering building a fence across the border to the south. the action takes place in a sealed boxcar where a group of seven immigrants await rescue from the murderous heat. rob bosquez directed and appears along with fernando adame and carlos guerrero. the show runs through november 19th at 7:30pm on fridays and saturdays, 2pm on sundays. tickets are $12 ($7 for students 'n' seniors). remember, kids: "theater is life, film is art, television is furniture." es verdad.

rockin' robin

blues gtr madman robin sylar departed the planet last december, but later this month, his former wife carol galt will be opening a shop in the montgomery street antique mall that will have a lot of his distinctive style. robin's sister virginia parkhouse writes:

It will be called "Rockin Robin" and will sell 1950-1970's rock and roll/blues memorabilia, records, music equipment, stage clothes, funny weird stuff Robin would have liked from garage sales and estate sales.

a memorial website,, should be online in early december. musically and otherwise, sylar was a genuine original and any attempt to keep his spirit alive in foat wuth is definitely welcome.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

kerry's gaffe a ripoff from fw garage band?

sigh. it's not bad enough that senator kerry seems determined to prove that even with the reps' credibility at a low ebb, the dems could still fuck up a wet dream. what makes it even worse is that the junior senator from massachusetts appears to have lifted his bungled line from "don't burn it," a slice of nam-era punk protest penned by teenage gtr whiz johnny nitzinger for fort worth garage outfit the barons ca. '66 (interested parties are directed to volume 3 of norton's fort worth teen scene comp). dig: "tell your boy he better go to school / so he won't wind up being a fool / study hard and really learn / so he won't get a card that says 'don't burn'." (post-boomers, ask yr mom and dad about the draft. please.) how sad that 40 yrs down the road, the barons lyric's still topical.