Saturday, May 31, 2008

ph7 & kids @ fredfest 2008

motor city is burning

Thursday, May 29, 2008

stoogeaphilia @ the moon, saturday, 6.7.2008

todd rundgren

genius or big weirdo: you decide! when i was in high school, my big sis had his something/anything? alb, which i grew to enjoy in spite of the fact that it was _her_ music. my bassplayer in college was a big fan of a wizard, a true star, which i never really got, but then again, he also used to like to listen to the 200 motels soundtrack. then i kinda lost the thread until i was working at sound warehouse on berry street when hermit of mink hollow came out and we spun that one to death in the store. my fave todd moment, however, remains this song, which i had on a 45 by the nazz (it was the flipside of "hello it's me") and usedta blast a bazillion times a day on my _record player_ (before i even had a stereo). take the three chords from the who's "i can't explain," superimpose an absolutely archetypal late-'60s hard rock riff, add spiffy beach boys harmonies, a philly soul bridge, and an electric flag gtr solo, et voila: "open my eyes."

barrel delux cd review @

a review i penned of barrel delux's new cd coat hanger antenna is online now at

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the outlaw chef

terry chandler has cooked four or five of the best meals i've eaten in my life, including my wedding dinner. so imagine my surprise to see his picture plastered across the front page of the star-t's food section today. they gave him a lengthy writeup, including recipes, that details some of his recent activities -- an extended gig running a chuckwagon for a real texas ranch, cookbooks, maybe even a tv show. couldn't happen to a nicer fella.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

larger than life

i didn't know coach jim hayes, but my sweetie did. after reading about him, i wish i had, too. he left the planet last saturday, aged 58. the world is poorer.

aaron gonzalez's age of disinformation

Monday, May 26, 2008

saint frinatra update

from estimable trumpeter, raconteur, and bon vivant brian sharp:

Ahhhhh, that summer solstice upon us and once again it's time for an update - we are about to embark upon Saint Frinatra's Sweatacular '08 - Get It While It's Hot! I hope this finds everyone well, prosperous and enjoying their Memorial Day.

We are still doing JAZZ CHURCH every Sunday at Fred's from 5-8 and the response has been resounding: "This taint your everyday saint!" A good time for all at one of Fort Worth's stalwarts - it's the postage stamp of permanence in that construction zone. Come celebrate the sacrament of the flatted seventh and the diminished ninth with us.

We have ended our twice weekly gigs at DUCE after a year and a half, and we wish to thank Tim and Emily Love for their support and commitment. We thoroughly enjoyed our residence at DUCE and wish the new owners best wishes.

We are currently performing at TEN and Lambert's, and we would like our fans of local music to come out and support our new gigs: The Blue Grotto and The Flying Saucer. As always, we've got to get the party started and parlay this into a weekly gig, so your interest is crucial.

The Blue Grotto June 12 & 26 Thursday 10pm - 2am
The Flying Saucer June 1 Sunday 8:30pm - 11:30pm
The Flying Saucer July 24 Thursday 9:30pm - 1:30 am

The band site is updated with ALL NEW LIVE MP3s available for DL and a Google Calendar that you can sync your Blackberry device, your mobile phone, iCal, or Outlook.

I don't use MySpace much as I prefer to build my own websites, but just in case that is your easiest access:

vagabonds art auction @ gallery 414 this saturday

an art auction to benefit paschal high school's vagabond players will be held at gallery 414 (414 templeton street, one block east of university drive, just north of 5th street) this saturday, may 31st, from 7-10pm. the group is raising funds to pay for transportation to this year's fringe festival in edinburgh, scotland, where they've been invited to perform. among the 25 featured artists are ken o'toole, nick prendergast, jesse sierra hernandez, carol ivey, loli kantor, christopher blay, rene west, mark penland, kate mcdougal, james watkins, and velton hayworth. the $10 admission includes drinks, light refreshments, and music by shuttle.

mo' lips

on kind of a flaming lips kick after watching bradley beesley's documentary and the vids on terry valderas' blog. one terry didn't include was thisun, for a song my youngest dtr used to like to sing.


and i just like the kid in thisun.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

next week

we're going to the fairmount on wednesday night so kat can shoot pics of carey wolff, who's the featured performer for their songwriter showcase and open mic night.

then friday night we're going to lola's for the darth vato cd release/ph7/me-thinks show.

ADDENDUM: oops, duh, carey's not playing the fairmount until the following wednesday, june 4th. so there. and we'll definitely be at jesse's berfday party on the 31st.

carl pack table

pussyhouse propaganda created this tabletop for lola's saloon. thanks to calvin for the pic.

poetschke on improvisation pt. 5

another installment from karl poetschke:

prt. 5

when improvising with an audience present ,it is important to remember that they too are a contributing presence in the music. many times improv groups will forget this fact and sink too far into their own world and alienate the listeners. this will inevitably drive them away. the listener plays a role in the overall energy in the space that the band borrows from in order to create. here are some ways to coax the listeners into the music and redirect their energy into the music.

eye contact.

look at your people. hold eye contact with some of them. scan the audience while playing and respond to their emotional state in how and what you play. this refers back to a point i made in part 1. become aware of the overall emotional state of the audience and use it to follow the music into new directions. this will create a positive feedback loop between the performers and the audience and you will find that the energy will begin to multiply within this loop and the music will grow with it. this requires, as stated before, that you don't let your mind get cluttered with too many irrelevant thoughts and you are using your "guts" literally feeling, reaching out from your "one point" or your center of gravity located just below the naval.

this is a very powerful place to direct your awareness. in order to achieve this, sometimes i would wear a cloth belt tied around my one point. the contact between it and my skin would help remind me to place my awareness there instead of in my head.

a way to coax the listener into the music is playing softly. make them have to listen in order to hear you. sometimes i would only play no louder than the background noise in the venue. in other words i would let the space direct my volume. as long as i could hear the glasses clinking, people talking or any other noise, then i was allowing it to inspire my improvisation. after you have invited the "space noise" into the music, then you can take it higher.

also it is important to remember that music with dynamics is always more interesting to listen too then something that is always loud or always soft. in a group that is centered around drums, bass and guitar, it is the drummer who has the most control over dynamics... if everyone is listening together.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

fearless freaks

watched the flaming lips doco the fearless freaks last night (thanks, calvin!) and besides the fact that the lips have been cited as an influence on hasslehorse, i can see how the story of their growing-up-together through music in a backwater town would have resonance for the haltom city-riverside crew.

the specials

what goes better with hot, sticky north texas heat 'n' humidity than english ska from 1980 with japanese subtitles?

that was so good, let's have another. when i came back to fort worth from colorado in the spring of 1980, i owned two cassettes: the debut albums by the pretenders and the specials. i listened to them both incessantly. this stuff still sounds pretty good to me. i understand that horace panter a.k.a. sir horace gentleman, the bassplayer, has written a book.

dennis gonzalez on "now's the time"

here's the first of a six-part radio show about dennis gonzalez from ottawa's ckcu-fm. thanks to aaron gonzalez for the link.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"of course i love you"

from katboy's pfffft! archive: later on in the set, when we notice that all of the people are gone, and you can _hear_ all of us collectively losing our balls while playing, which is funny in itself, but this is, by consensus, a favorite example of how it sounds when what we're doing _works_. real "hollow bone" stuff.

louis armstrong's collages

who knew that the first great jazz soloist was also a visual artist? wfmu, that's who. (as always, click on the images to make 'em big.)

vote for we

from stoogeaphilia:

That's right, kids...the li'l STOOGEBAND is nominated for "best cover/tribute band" in the FW Weekly music awards thingy. We feel this is a fitting end to a year in which we were responsible for the first noise complaint at the Chat Room, and made a speaker catch on fire at the FW Burrito Project benefit at Fred's.

But not only that...Ray's band the mighty ME-THINKS is nominated for "best hard rock," Jon's band THE GREAT TYRANT is nominated for "best heavy metal," Matt and Sir Steffin's band PABLO & THE HEMPHILL 7 is nominated for "best live band," and Matt and Ken's band PFFFFT! (not PFFFT! like it says in the paper...long story; ask Matt) is nominated for "best avant-garde/experimental," as is Matt's _other_ band THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD.

But wait, there's more...Matt's OTHER other band, GOODWIN, is nominated for "rock album of the year," "song of the year." _and_ "artist of the year." And Matt himself is nominated for MVP. So there.

So vote for for them...but above all, vote for Matt.

Matt Hembree. The people's choice. Your _only_ choice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a gross undercarriage of justice

i haven't seen the ballot yet, but there's a rumor that PFFFFT! has been nominated for a fw weekly music award. not sure which one, and it's kinda moot anyway -- after all, who'd vote for us? not the ppl we ran out of the chat room last sunday! (all bullshit aside, we did have a nice well-received third set, and the recording of the first one i've heard on katboy's archive doesn't sound half bad, either. if i do say so myself.)

me-thinks on youtube!

it's the infamous "bandy-busts-his-head" version of "texas gigalo." special guest appearance by steedo from shotgun messenger.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

greg ginn @ the moon this thursday, 5.22.2008

two bands featuring the man who arguably started the whole d.i.y. amerindie thang as leader of (sorry steve) black flag and founder of sst records will be at the moon this thursday, leading two different instrumental outfits (albeit ones that share some personnel). jambang sounds less like the grateful dead than any self-identified "jam band" of which i'm personally aware -- in fact, to these feedback-scorched ears, they come across more like, um, krautrock meets the raveonettes meets neil young or something, and apparently they also have some kind of freaky-ass visual accompaniment a la sub oslo. the texas corrugators (or "greg ginn & the taylor texas corrugators," to give them their full name) have a very beefheartian take on what purports to be western swing. kudos to steve steward for bringing this p*nk originator's latest musical brouhaha to the fort. just don't ask him to play "nervous breakdown" or "my war."

on the other hand...

...two upful pieces from sunday's star-t: one on the renewal of the old seminary south mall, and another on an exhibit of photos by homeless veterans.

now swim back

one of jesse sierra hernandez's most powerful politically-themed works, inspahrd by the anti-immigrant legislation in farmer's branch, is now viewable on the artist's blog. (click on the image to make it big.) particularly timely in light of the election of the anti-immigrant movement's leader as mayor of that burg.

Monday, May 19, 2008

PFFFF(F)T! @ the chat room, 5.18.2008

we cleared the fucking room last night. _twice_. but then we came back and redeemed ourselves. wish we'd had a soundman 'cos william bryan massey III was there when we started the first time and it woulda been nice to have had him flow some verse over the jams. oh well. ray liberio was _the only human being in the house_ for the second set. (by the end of the first set, all that was left in the room besides us was the bartenders.)

tony chapman scored a nice chet atkins gretsch that's a beautiful piece of wood but a feedback monster. maybe it was the opening blasts of feedback that scared the folks off. dude told me later that all the ppl on the patio liked our shit, it was just too loud. strange, because i'd swear we were louder the week before. hembree tried hanging his microphone from a rafter this time. we'll see how the recording turned out.

in between sets, tony told me stories about ghostcar bandleader (and long-distance remote control spiritual advisor for this project) karl poetschke and drank his beer out of a shot glass. clay stinnett painted a drum head for wyatt adams from the burning hotels, then had to listen while wyatt gave him shit about the pentagram on his t-shirt. we talked about the impossibility of getting girls via playing free improv. clay said it'd been working for him for years, but i pointed out that he was young and cute.

like the black dog (r.i.p.), the chat room doesn't seem to come to life until midnight. maybe that's why every band i ever saw play there (with the exception of cadillac fraf) sat around waiting until 11:30 before they started. matt said tony and i are playing more washes of sound and less notey, rhythmic thangs and i allowed that maybe we're learning how to play with each other. we sounded punkier and angrier than the first two times -- clay's been on a nirvana kick, and we were talking about melvins and hip-hop on breaks.

a few minutes into the third set, eric harris (ex-yeti) showed up and plugged in his shit. i've been trying to get him out to jam for over two years. matt said it was like a warm fuzzy wave of sound emanating from eric's side of the stage (or floor or whatevah). he played some beautiful melodic stuff. hope he comes out to jam with us again. next time will be 6.29.2008, the day after my b-day, with jeremy hull subbing for matt while hembree's in tennessee.


the first guy i ever idolized is 63 today. while he's stepped on his dick as often as anybody has over the years, it's no exaggeration to say that if i'd never seen his band's picture in some scholastic magazines newspaper they gave out when i was in 6th grade and gotten _obsessed_, i would be a different person than i am now, and therefore i owe him. big. watch him starting around 1:50 into this vid: both self-parodying and totally great.

and jeffrey hyman from forest hills, queens, would have been 57 today. it breaks my heart to think that three of these guys are no longer living.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

poetschke on improvisation pt. 4

just in time for tonight's PFFFFT! show at the chat room, here's the latest installment in karl poetschke's "the art of improvisation":

Prt. 4

the unfolding cosmic law as it appears in improvisation follows this path:
death brings life
life brings re-birth
re-birth brings movement
movement brings change
change is inevitable and brings chaos
chaos brings death that brings life..and so on.

this is the path on which we come to the art of transition. now that you are fully present in the music via. observation of the minds actions and you have achieved a degree of physical mastery of your instrument you have become a "hollow bone" so that the music now flows through you with maximum efficiency (maximum effect with minimum effort).

i will refrain from getting into too much explanation on this because i feel that at this point the true learning is experiential in nature.

this is how it works for me:

"death brings life"-- the death of my pre-conceived ideas about what i think should happen in the music opens a "womb space" for creativity (life brings re-birth)

"re-birth brings movement"-- i begin to move in the music with total freedom

"movement brings change"--this freedom "changes" the way i respond in the musical conversation

"change is inevitable and brings chaos"-- with all the movement and change, eventually there is some chaos and i ride it like surfing a big wave that will eventually crash into the shore.

"chaos brings death"--this is the point of experiencing the art of transition. all that has happened so far in the music leads up to a point when to whole band lets what was happening "die" and moves together as a whole into a new direction.

and then it all starts over.

this concept is displayed in its fullness in "too strong" on the cd entitled "the art of transition".

Saturday, May 17, 2008

1000 true fans

that's all you need to make a living playing music (or doing art, or whatevah) according to this blog. thanks to the barman for the link.


ray-boy likes these guys the same way hembree likes the early replacements. it's easy to see why. garage-stooges devolution from the ass-end of the decade i missed guarding freedom's frontier.

Friday, May 16, 2008

the who's "a quick one"

more content @

jesse's getting more paintings uploaded every day. the hi-res images take awhile to download, but click on 'em to make 'em big anyway. your day will be better for it.

r.i.p. will elder

my friend darren further informs me that will elder, who i didn't realize was a co-founder of mad magazine, just left the planet at age 86. willie, we hardly knew ye...

my ma and les rallizes denudes

was awakened this a.m. by a call from the assisted living joint in jersey where my ma lives, informing me that she'd fallen last night. my big sis says ma's been having hallucinations, too -- just like dad. a disturbing start to the day. we were planning to head that way this summer some time. will have to see what my big sis finds out.

while i was chatting w/her online, a young friend from here in town hit me up to let me know about yet another new les rallizes denudes release, so now i'm downloading it while i wait for the coffee to make. (thanks, darren!)

ADDENDUM: first track "zouka no genya" _destroys_ -- imagine dick dale's deltones mashing it up with the funhouse stooges, or a much more frenetic '66 velvets, or the end-of-song feedback meltdowns from live at leeds extended to epic length. yeah!

FURTHER ADDENDUM: first and third tracks on the first disc are the best, most out there things i've heard from this band.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

transistor tramps

speaking of haltom city, axe-slinger extraordinaire richard hurley (formerly of pee-pee, three men and a baby jesus, guy 2000, and blood of the sun) has a new project with his squeeze elle chaos (ex-slick lady six) on voxxx: the transistor tramps. the '80s-redolent synth-pop trio (shades of pretty baby) has been busily writing tunes and will lift the veil at the "jam out with your clam out" texas women's music festival at the curtain club in deep ellum, 6.27.2008.


ray liberio likes these guys real much. i always thought they were some kind of joke-band, but they've got some pretty cool shit going on musically, besides being as funny as a fish.


hey kid, you wanna see some tom waits video?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

my sweetie on myspace

my middle dtr, who's a pretty perceptive judge of character, says, "kat is a doer, you're a lounger." guilty, i suppose. (part of my creative process involves sitting staring into space -- about eight hours of that for every hour i spend actually writing.) but tonight, for some reason, my sweetie spent most of the evening dinking on the 'puter and adding some vids (and even a song!) to her myspace thingy. because they're all pretty emblematic of who she is, i of course think they're wonderful. perhaps you too? (wow, this and jesse sierra hernandez online, all in one week!)

guitar face

this is a variant on a game we used to play when i was a teenager, which we called "faces 'n' attitudes of rock 'n' roll" way back then. example: being jerked off with steel wool? that's alvin lee. being lifted up to heaven by god, by your moustache? carlos santana. get it?

the pine barrons

indian casino records honcho/former hasslehorse frontman john frum just posted "installment #2 of the haltom city preservation society archives." this time, it's the pine barrons -- a recording project that involved frum and all of the original me-thinks. more grist for the haltom city story i'm currently up to my elbows in (10,000 words and counting). film, as they say, at 11.

paul unger trio @ scat jazz lounge tonight

Just wanted to let you now that my swing trio is playing Wednesday night at the Scat Jazz Lounge (4th & Houston Streets, Sundance Square) from 8 - midnight. We'll be playing jazz music from the 30's, 40's and 50's, much of it centered around the late gypsy guitar legend, Django Reinhart. With me will be Steve Story on violin and Tom Reynolds on acoustic guitar. See you there!

Paul Unger

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

meetings with remarkable men

stinnett's take:

higher vibrations, cheap libations, if at first at first we don't succeed we will try and try again, so heed the call, our cups runneth over, you're gonna miss us when we're gone, so be here to love us................come to the chat room on sunday night the 18th about 10pm for another experimental session of cosmic mayhem, musical that is.

miles from india in nyc

here's yet another nyt piece, thanks to other arts honcho herb levy (who's currently working on his calendar for next season). sounds like the kind of blue toons didn't work as well as the in a silent way-and-later ones, but shee-it, i coulda told them that.

git shit

in the wake of my recent decision to forego the purchase of an epi sg clone so as to finance the publication of the haltom city saga in which i'm currently immersed, a mysterious benefactor has offered me the "extended loan" of an epiphone sheraton II -- a pretty sweet semi-hollow axe. while it really is true that i sound the same no matter what shit i'm playing, i'm a-thinkin' that this relatively fine piece o' wood (in comparison with the $150 gtrs i'm used to playing) might be _just what the doctor ordered_ for a new and secret project, the details of which cannot yet be disclosed. hooray!

ADDENDUM: i always liked epi's casino line of semi-hollows with p-90s because they remind me of my old gibson es-330. john lennon played a casino in the early '70s, but i traded my buddy dave relethford a strat with funky intonation for his brother's old broken-and-repaired 330 because paul schramm, the first gtrist i ever heard play zappa and beefheart music (besides the 'riginals), usedta play one.

Monday, May 12, 2008

denton in the nyt

oh boy. the nyt travel section just did a writeup on denton. could this mean an influx of yankees is about to invade rubber gloves and hailey's? but don't worry, locals -- the journo neglected to mention j&j's pizza.

ADDENDUM: my gawd, that's justin robertson's pic on page 2!!!

darrin kobetich cd review @

a review i penned of darrin kobetich's new cd the end of one enchanted evening is online now at you can cop it at any of darrin's several local gigs this weekend. from the man himself:

05/16/2008 09:00 PM - Bronx Zoo
701 Carroll St (next to Montgomery Plaza, off 7th St.)
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Solo - Tarantula Pants opens - - -
www. bronxzoo. com (817) 870-0008
05/17/2008 03:00 PM - Trinity Park Band Shell
W 7th St / Stayton St
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
La Paz at the park II Outdoor music festival FREE!!! kids, parents, and pets all very welcome Trinity Park Band Shell Just west of Downtown FTW @ W 7th St / Stayton St FTW 76107

05/17/2008 08:00 PM - Andys Bar
Sunday 5/18 2pm -4 Mom's Art Show
Wine Styles in Montgomery Plaza
7th Street@Carroll
Fort Worth, TX

maybe pangloss was right

check this nyt story (thoughtfully reposted on the arthur mag blog to spare you the registration horseshit) about the need to "right-size" american agriculcha. fascinating reading.

les rallizes denudes

scored a copy of le 12 mars 1977 a tachikawa from forced exposure. it's better recorded than most of their stuff i have, and mastered loud as fuck to boot. it's an everything of japanoise, an orgy of drone and feedback. (leave it to those clever japanese to beat the velvet underground at their own game.) i'm not even bothered by mizutani's less-than-snazz vocalizing, or the persistent amp hum (to someone like myself who's been playing single-coil pickups for years, that 60-cycle hum is as familiar and reassuring as a heartbeat).

PFFFFT! @ the chat room this sunday, 5.18.2008

We're doing it again...

No rehearsal
No setlist
No preconceived plan

Chasing the inspiration of the moment
(Or our own tails*)

Clay Stinnett is on drums
Matt Hembree is on bass
Tony Chapman is on guitar and synth
I'm on guitar

We'll start 10ish

Hope to see you there

* You didn't know musicians have tails?

"the undefeated champion of musical modernism"

the who @ isle of wight 1969

ray liberio claims to have seen the dvd of the who at the 1970 isle of wight festival 100 times. here they are the year before at the same place, with the same gear, but not quite the same material (back then they were still playing the live at leeds set, without all those songs that weren't good enough to make the who's next cut). and entwistle wasn't wearing the skeleton suit. the songs: "heaven and hell," "i can't explain," and "fortune teller."

"neanderthal punk-metal gods with a psychedelic sheen"

"monkey man" around the world

from jamaica (the maytals)...

ro the u.k. (the specials)...

to japan (melt banana)...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

further poetschke improv thoughts

in response to the latest installment of karl poetschke (a.k.a. gabriel wolf)'s thoughts on improvisation (which had to do with training your ear), i wrote back, "i've heard some interesting harmonies/dissonances on the recordings when i've misheard matt's tonal center."

his response:

no matter how tuned our ears are, there is always a 10% factor of chaos that will be present. learning to accept and ride this chaos (surfing it) will usually bring about some of the most interesting musical exchanges.

it seems in improvisation, as well as with life, there is this cosmic sequence:

death gives life
life gives rebirth
rebirth gives movement
movement gives change
change is inevitable and brings chaos (and opportunity)
that leads to death
and then it starts over...

happy hunting!

ppt vid for mother's day

anthony mariani

my former editor is writing/illustrating an "experimental novel...basically a really long, narrative tone poem" and from the 50something pages i've read, it's really good. maybe even great. film, as they say, at 11.

more poetschke thoughts on improvisation


"one foot in the past and one foot in the future leaves you pissing on the present".

now that you are aware of your thoughts (thoughts being a product of past experiences and assumptions of the future) and not harping on them while performing. your ears are open to what is happening right now and you are focused on the present. the trick now is, can your body transcribe what you are hearing and execute it on your particular instrument of choice?

this brings us to my last statement in part 1...

"... that you have already acquired enough technical mastery of your instrument that your body can readily and easily play the instrument without too much resistance."

physical mastery of your instrument is essential in being able to re-produce what you are hearing in your minds ear with out having to think about it...which slows you down or shuts you down altogether. this is called "ear training" and you don't have to know "music theory" or have "perfect pitch" to do this. as part of your practice routine try this...sing a note then play it on your instrument. it may take a few trys to find the note but eventually you will begin to get it the first time. if you are practicing as a band or with a friend, turn your backs to each other and try to play what the other person just played. it can be frustrating at first but in time you will burn open the path from your ears to your instrument. drummers have to be a little more creative with this practice but they too can benefit by playing back rhythms and even some tones on their tom-toms via. elbow pitch shifting.

you may find that this practice has a meditative quality to it and will further advance your ability to play in a "no-thought" space. the idea is to become a "responder"in a musical conversation instead of a "reactor" and it is through this gateway that we eventually come to "the art of transition".

jesse sierra hernandez online

for years, i've been encouraging local paint-slinger jesse sierra harnandez to get an online presence. now, he's finally done it. check him out here.

PFFFFT! dates

i'm too lazy to maintain another myspace page (plus i'm out of email addresses to use), so here's the skinny. all dates at the chat room (thanks ben). go-time is 10pm (or whenever the sporting event/other band/whatevah) is over:

may 18th (next sunday!)
june 29th (with guest bassist jeremy hull subbing for katboy)
july 20th
august 24th

Saturday, May 10, 2008

shotgun messenger cd review @

the review i penned of the new shotgun messenger cd is online now at

Friday, May 09, 2008

decisions, decisions

so this evening my sweetie 'n' i decided that since i like using my son-in-law's telecaster so well and for all intents, it's a new gtr to me, rather than dropping a chunk of our tax return on a epi sg like i was planning to, we're gonna use that particular pile of money to finance our extremely limited edition of the haltom city-riverside story i'm working on now, which will also be pubbed here. it just seemed to make more sense. what we're thinking of is one "stashdauber press" thingy a year, whether mass-ass (yeah right as if) or very limited like thisun. so there.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

worst musician ever?

i say yes.

ADDENDUM: but wait...there's also a tribute band. who are actually "better."

Tell the Truth Until They Bleed

I'm in awe of Josh Alan Friedman. Not just because I once saw him play Jeff Beck's effects-laden Yardbirds-era homage to Les Paul, "Jeff's Boogie," note-for-note, on an acoustic guitar, no less (maybe ten years ago, at the now-defunct Borders at I-20 and Hulen, during my last sojourn in what used to be called "the record biz"). Au contraire.

This expat Noo Yawker, who's maybe a year older than me and got to Texas about a decade after I did (in 1987, he), penned two of the very best examples of music journalism of which I'm personally aware, while scribing for the Dallas Observer in the late '90s: profiles of Keith Ferguson and Tommy Shannon, who shared the distinction of having played bass for both Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as the misfortune of having struggled with addiction and the law. Friedman caught Ferguson near the end of the line, battered but unrepentant, while the redemptive ending of Shannon's story was marred by his friend Stevie's death just four years after the two of them attained hard-won sobriety together. Friedman's clear-eyed portrayals of both men were notable for their compassion and empathy: you got the feeling he genuinely liked and respected his subjects. (Just read the last two paragraphs in the Shannon piece.)

Both of these pieces are included in the recently-published Friedman anthology Tell the Truth Until They Bleed: Coming Clean In the Dirty World of Blues and Rock 'n' Roll, the title of which comes from an exclamation Jerry Lieber made in response to a recollection by his fellow songwriter Doc Pomus of some record company president's thievery. Friedman's lengthy profile of Lieber, previously unpublished, sets the tone of the book, which documents the sea change that took place in the music business in the '70s, when the corporations took over from the madmen, visionaries, and old-school thugs.

Friedman was there, working at Regent Sound Studios in New York, where his assignment as a teenage "assistant engineer" was to organize and catalog a sprawling warehouse that held 50,000 forgotten reels of tape (chronicled here in "Adventures At the Bottom of the Music Trade"). Also included are the story of his degrading days as singer Ronnie Spector's boyfriend and shorter profiles of producer Joel Dorn, for whom he worked at Regent Sound; bassist Chuck Rainey, who played on hundreds of hits but couldn't get a gig in Fort Worth in the '90s; saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman; and R&B session guitarist Cornell Dupree, who was known as "C.L. Dupree" when he played the dives on Jacksboro Highway. Friedman tells his stories well, knows whereof he writes but doesn't come across like an academic or pedant. Instead, he lets you hear the rhythm of his characters' speech and gives you a sense of their humanity.

A few minor proofreading gaffes that only a Texan or an unreconstructed music geek would notice (it's Buda, not Buddha, Texas; Arnett, not Arnette Cobb; North Richland, not North Richmond Hills; and Silvio's, not Civio's blues club in Chicago), but that's just nitpicking. Friedman's the best music writer we've got right now, bar none, and this is a terrific book.

Oh yes -- and Friedman's apparently on TV tomorrow evening promoting the book.

fredfest pics @

my sweetie just posted a bunch of her pics from fredfest at go check 'em out and leave her a comment why doncha. (click on the images to make 'em big.)

the roots of heavy metal on kosmik radiation radio

subtitled "the heaviest riffs from 1964-1972," this stuff is the air i grew up breathing. available to stream through may 21st.

ben and eric to remix restaurant

talking to chat room making-shit-happen guy ben rogers, heard that he and soundguy eric ortiz are gonna be doing some remixes for rootsy texas-expat l.a. weirdos restaurant. yeah!

new yells at eels cd

also copped a new yells at eels cd the gift of discernment which i will review here in the fullness of time.


my 28-year friend and former bandmate jay (now remarried and living in london) sent a link to this unmoderated political flesh feast.

earth, sun kil moon, josh alan friedman

got a fresh cd-r courtesy of my musical guru frank cervantez, bearing new toonage from earth (speaking of dudes that play telecasters; can always use another infusion of "heavy mellow" at mi casa) and sun kil moon. also a new anthology of josh alan friedman's music writings. film, as they say, at 11.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

jon doe

i'm now 9200 words into the haltom city saga and still have four, maybe five major interviews left to conduct. this thing is becoming a monster. i've been immersed in recordings of h.c. bands from the '80s-'90s like the beauty mutants, pee-pee, three men and a baby jesus, where's the baby, inch man, hasslehorse, the custom blare, and this 1989 demo from jon doe, a pretty advanced high school band featuring what might be the very first recordings of ray liberio on bass and the vocal stylings of the m.i.a. lorenzo (a.k.a. loel) aguirre. it's "installment #1 of the hc preservation society archives," which means there should be more to follow. back to work...

john holbrook photographs death row inmates

this from fort worth photog john holbrook:

John Holbrook has just completed his most recent project of nine months; Holbrook has photographed the inmates on Texas death row.


A documentary about these photographs recently started filming . Doug Burgess with WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas said that a 5 minute piece will air on WFAA in early June and then will be licensed to CNN. In addition, Burgess is doing a 'long form' documentary piece that will take additional months to make. Burgess has begun going with Holbrook to death row in Livingston, Texas to continue this project.

An American and European tour of Holbrook’s photographs is being scheduled. John Holbrook will be attending the opening show in Oslo, Norway in October 6th thru 13th of this year. This Oslo show will be in the capitals ‘National Red Cross Center’. The show will then travel to London and Orleans, France and many other venues throughout Europe. The American tour schedule is being orchestrated by Dr. Rick Halperin who is a member of Amnesty International. One of Europe's most renown abolitionist Sandrine Ageorges . scheduling shows for Holbrook in Europe.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

stumptone pics @

my sweetie's pics from last sat'day's stumptone show at lola's are online now at (you can click on 'em to make 'em big.)

she made a neat quicktime movie from her fredfest pics, but there are still some file size issues to resolve before she can get it posted. film, as they say, at 11.

Monday, May 05, 2008

flower travellin' band redux?

holy shit! seventies japrock icons flower travellin' band are getting back together!


oh, btw and fwiw -- i watched juno with my dtr the other night and i think it's as sweet and true a depiction of kids of a certain age as were ghost world and, um, harriet the spy. so there.

"angels in america" @

a preview i wrote of the upcoming fort worth opera production of angels in america is online now at

scrawl, shows, rekkids, massey

have been kinda lazy with the bloggage of late, as i'm deep into the history i'm writing of the haltom city-riverside crew, which will be pubbed here and in a _very_ limited edition (just for the crew, like a high school yearbook, dig?) by, um, stashdauber press, prolly this summer. lots more work to do on thatun, however, before it's ready for prime time.

for that reason and because my sweetie is still busy putting in her local plantings, we missed the first night of fredfest's "matt hembree weekend," but katboy informs us that during pablo's set, "the fort" (fred's patio) was jammed with people from the stage to the entrance. with the outer area fenced in, this year's turnout was prolly the best they've ever had, in spite of all the construction that's going on around the cafe.

we did, however, catch an incredible set by stumptone (whose new alb gravity suddenly released sounds _even more incredible_ on vinyl) at lola's, with an opening solo set by ex-mandarin mainman matt leer (a.k.a. "the diamond age") in place of history at our disposal, who had to cancel because their drummer wasn't back from jazzfest in nawlins (altho mastermind jason reimer did make it to the show and ex-h.a.o.d. drummer clay stinnett was also in the house, so maybe they coulda played after all -- sigh). playing a fender jaguar with a sampler and a bunch of f/x, leer made music that was surprisingly rhythmic and visceral, stacking loops on top of loops, blowing a plastic flute and even singing over the resultant musical architecture. he's got an album, the emerald curse, that's downloadable from bird and whale (you gotta scroll down). surprisingly thrilling stuff.

had to work early on sunday but as soon as i got off, we made haste to get to fred's in time to scarf a fredburger and catch the mighty me-thinks, who played the tightest set i've heard from them in awhile, with new toonage to boot. bandy looked none the worse for wear after his onstage aardvark mishap, and his and marlin's gtr tones made evabody else's shit the rest of the day sound like so much processed cheez. i got copies of new cd's by darrin kobetich (which i'll review for in the fullness of time) and shotgun messenger (which i'll review for the i-94 bar). the stoogeband played hard and sloppy as always and got a good response. we invited william bryan massey III (whose sons and their friends were parked right in front of the stage during our set, along with a little girl whom i sincerely hope was wearing earplugs, altho i doubt it -- come _on_, mom and/or dad!) to join us during the "meltdown" part of "little doll" and he gave the crowd something to remember. sorry 'bout the beer on the monitors, dre.

wouldn't you know, massey's on youtube now. it's about damn time.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

i'd throw up, too, if i was onstage with the knack

i absolutely cannot pass up any story the headline to which includes the words "tom petty" along with "vomit bill," as this one does.


what can king crimson do that a 12-yr-old japanese girl can't? let's see...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

tom waits press conference

if you're not doing anything at 9am est (that's 10am in texas) on monday, 5.5.2008, click this link.

ADDENDUM: bottom line -- waits is playing the palladium in dallas on monday night, june 23rd.

Friday, May 02, 2008

dinner with my dtr

had dinner this evening with my newlywed dtr at the groovy and reasonably-priced old neighborhood grille on park place. she told me she's been listening a lot to m. ward's post-war, which we gifted her for her b-day last november after sir steffin pulled my coat to it. she 'splained how she's been relating different songs from it to different ppl in her family. "requiem," f'rinstance, she relates to her and her husband's deceased grandfathers. (so long, al.)

"right in the head" she dedicates to her friend michael, currently serving in iraq.

"chinese translation" she associates with "all the young men in the world"...and her best friend mimi.

"eyes on the prize" she claims for herself and her husband. "magic trick" is her little sister's, while "rollercoaster" is her big sister's. i'm listening to them all now with new ears, and a tear in the corner of my eye. pretty insightful of her, i'm a-thinking.

the temptations

time for a li'l psychedelic soul with the norman whitfield-produced, dennis edwards/eddie kendricks-fronted lineup of the temptations. before replacing david ruffin in the tempts, dennis sang lead in the contours of "do you love me?" fame.

mo' fredfest @

a preview i penned of fredfest is online now at

mo' pfffft!

katboy posted the second set from 4.27.2008 this morning.

sound's a little better than the first set but not up to the pristine quality of 4.20. (matt moved the mic.)

the "oops, oh shit" of the night is definitely our attempt to play along with "angel of the morning" that tony's keyb rig was sending through the monitors.

the "aha!" o' the evening is definitely when a guy in the audience makes a sound and we all hear it and immediately imitate it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

fredfest this sat-sun

here's ray liberio's poster for this year's fredfest. (click on the image to make it big.) feast your eyes, then read the lineup and realize you _must_ go for at least some portion of this weekend. you owe it to yourself.


since hembree distributed the pfffft! recordings to the band boys, i've listened to little else, but we got together last night with the stoogeband in preparation for fredfest. ran through the set plus a coupla extra toons (in case we get to play longer than our scheduled 45-minute slot) and three hours were gone before you could say "shee-it fahhhr!" got to meet robert who played bass in pee-pee, 3 men and a baby jesus, and guy 2000, and i'm hoping to pick his brain for the history i'm writing of the haltom city/riverside crew. teague commented favorably on the sound of my son-in-law's tele, so i think i'm gonna start using it for stoogegigs as well as pfffft! outings -- it's got a gnarly, nasty, in-your-face bark, without some of the subtleties of the strat, but who needs subtlety? just have to make sure to leave the wah off for the intro to "1970" (which we haven't played, seemingly, since 1970). forgot how physically draining it is playing stooge music -- but in a good way. by the time we quit for the night, evabody was pretty much spent. the way it should be.

the worst songs ever -- really!

oh. my. gawd.

finally, a list of "the worst songs ever" that actually lives up to its name. the first one in this "treasure trove of musical excrescence" is the reason i stopped listening to am radio in 1970. the second one is my pick for the worst goddamn song of all ti-i-ime. the bobby goldsboro song still makes me want "to fwow up," 30 yrs later. go ahead, try and listen to all of these without projectile vomiting. i dare ya.