Jefferson Freedom Café in Fort Worth will present a rare screening of Blacks And Jews. The 2005 documentary chronicles the death-defying career of iconoclastic writer-guitarist Josh Alan. He was the only journalist to cover Times Square during the era of Sodom and Gomorrah; writer-half of the Friedman Bros, once New York’s most feared cartooning team; and became an atomic acoustic blues guitarist in Texas. The doc’s “second-act” concerns Josh’s childhood as the only white kid in an all-black, dirt-poor segregated school on Long Island in the 60s. All strange but true.
At movie’s end, the lights go up on Josh Alan live.
Jefferson Freedom Café, Sat. Sept. 20th, 7:30pm 1959 Sandy Lane Fort Worth, Texas 76112 817-424-2727
my youngest niece sent this -- the u.s. postal service's very own internet movie. i can't believe this is legit -- what could they possibly have been thinking? did m. night shyamalan have a hand in this? is this why they needed that last rate increase? wtf?!?!?
spoke with ex-sonic's rendezvous band bassist gary rasmussen by phone this morning. he's got a busy weekend ahead debuting a new band with some dee-troit pals, smokin' moses, at the motor city's labor day arts, beats and eats fest. the band originally got together for an upcoming pbs special where present day bands play music from detroit's illustrious rockaroll past. other than that, he's been building a studio ("we had a hurricane come through and knock down some cherry trees, so we harvested the wood and used it in the studio") and playing a range of gigs even more variegated than matt hembree's -- from handling the upright bass in a trio playing jazz standards to trying his hand at lead guitar with a country band. release of a compilation of material from gary's '60s/early '70s band the up (with liner notes by yr humble chronicler o' events) on brit label easy action records is now pushed back to october.
once again, i'm happy to be able to express my statistically insignificant preferences in the fort worth weekly's "best of 2008" poll. you can vote now using the ballot in the paper or online at fwweekly.com. issue runs september 24th, so you've got time to cogitate.
I want to start a page similar to Craig’s List on iloveftw.com to help generate some traffic. So if there is any thing you would like to sell, like a car, books, stereo, dog or whatever, send me the info and I will post it for free. I will put the page up after I get a few listings. Send info and any photos to email@example.com
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is offering Metromess residents financial assistance to help them get out of polluting vehicles. Under the Aircheck Texas Drive A Clean Machine Program, motorists may qualify to receive vouchers for $3,000 toward the purchase of a newer car or truck, $3,500 toward the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, or $600 for emission-related repairs. Recipients must meet income requirements (for example, a family of four can earn no more than $63,600 a year). Vehicles must have been registered in a participating county (including Dallas, Denton, Parker, and Tarrant) for at least 12 months and passed a DPS inspection within 15 months of application, be driveable and gasoline powered, and either have failed an inspection within 30 days of application or be at least 10 years old. For information, go to http://www.nctcog.org/trans/air/act/.
found this when i was trawling on amazon and snapped it up because it's one of those records that i'm always on the lookout for (like the detroit alb i found on vinyl in new joisey). i first owned it when it was new and i was 14. i think it was out for a week before jimmy page slapped an injunction on epic (the yardbirds' label in the states) for releasing it. the official line was that the performance and recording were substandard, but i figured he just didn't want ppl to know where "dazed and confused" came from. (actually it came from jake holmes, a folksinger who was making the rounds of greenwich village clubs around the same time the yardbirds docked in manhattan to play this gig at the anderson theater and record tracks that appeared in the late '90s on cumular limit.)
thatun went the first time i sold my rekkid collection back around '74 or so. after that i seem to remember having a bootleg vinyl versh (you could tell because the james grashow woodcut on the cover -- same guy that did the artwork for jethro tull's stand up -- was in black and white rather than the original color). this ceedee versh, remastered on march 30th of y2k -- "exactly 32 years after its recording!" -- is definitely a boot, but so are my fave versions of a few much-loved albs (like the italian ish from a decade or so ago of the rationals' one lp that has all their early singles as bonus tracks; or the boot of the who's my generation with a buncha extra stuff but most crucially, the actual released version of the title track, which mca replaced with an alternate take on their double-disc remaster...duh). the only non-snazz aspect of this package is the inclusion of two partial songs from the soundcheck, which as soundchecks go sounds pretty shitty. sometimes more is less.
the yardbirds are one of those bands (the who, the small faces, the mc5 and the stooges are others) whose catalog i've owned innumerable times (but not nearly as many times as it's been reished), and over the yrs, my relationship with the music (and the artifacts thereof) has changed. so, when i was making a mixtape for the grubbermeister a coupla months ago, i had to admit to myself that some of their early merseybeat-sounding stuff sucks balls and is kinda embarrassing to listen to, considering their hefty rep. and in the fullness of time, this last-gasp, sloppy, out-of-tune document sounds better 'n ever to these feedback-scorched ears. by the time it was recorded, singer keith relf and drummer jim mccarty were acid-addled and latecomer page was plotting his next move (with ideas he developed during his yardbirds tenure, having escaped the confines of the studios where he sat out most of the '60s). their then-current recorded output was misdirected pop dross and they were about to fold the tent, but they could still deliver the goods live.
myself, i was never a big led zep fan -- too _popular_, or something -- but i loved the first zeppelin alb and live yardbirds for the same reason: the tone page got from that psychedelic-painted telecaster through a wah-wah pedal (which i discovered i could replicate in my very first band when i used a handkerchief to freeze the shitty univox wah they gifted me in its bassiest position), and the way his playing sounds like it's constantly teetering on the verge of chaos. comparing recordings of the live page-era yardbirds with the available live recordings (on youtube vids and bbc sessions) of the previous jeff beck incarnation, i gotta say that page delivers what beck (hero of my misguided yoof) only promises. as the liner note scribe points out, evabody onstage made mistakes that night, but they hardly detract. the difference between the artist's intent and the audience's response is excitement. yeah! after that, page went on to become something else entahrly. (while i'm still not exactly a fan of any of 'em, i've lately reached the conclusion that if you say you dig '60s-'70s rock but don't like the beatles, pink floyd and led zep, you're kidding yourself.)
oh, yeah...whoever collated the booklet with the liner notes was on crack. most definitely.
if i were looking for another gtr, which i'm not (i like my son-in-law's tele real much), this might be a suitable sub for an sg. same body style and batwing headstock as the crestwood deluxe deniz tek played in radio birdman, and musician's friend is selling 'em for two and a half bills.
a review i penned of the new cd by sonic's rendezvous band on easy action records is online now at the i-94 bar. this means that as of right now, i've done as much writing "for publication" (i.e., not for this blog) this year than i did in all of 2007. hooray! (and thanks to the barman and velton for pubbing my scrawl.)
Pianist Johnny Case celebrates 25 years of providing Live Jazz Nightly
YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE JAZZ ANNIVERSARY / DOUBLE CD RELEASE PARTY
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
7:00 PM to 11:00 PM - NO COVER - @ Sardines Ristorante Italiano 509 University Drive Make Reservations at 817-332-9937
Hear the Best in Live Jazz with Jhon Kahsen aka Johnny Case
Music friends expected to appear include: Jeremy Hull, Daniel Tcheco, Joey Carter, James Vernon, Jon Pointer, Mario Cruz, Chris White, Keith Wingate, Duane Durrett, Pat Brown, Leonard Belota and others.
eye doc says i'm definitely losing some nerve mass in my right eye, so i've gotta go back to get rechecked in three months, and get my eyes dilated again in six months ('cos that's what insurance will cover). he's just getting a baseline, really. says if it's glaucoma, the peripheral vision will be affected first, and it's treatable with eyedrops. so i don't need to learn braille. yet.
...i've got an eye doctor appt in the afternoon (i was told 2 yrs ago that i'm at risk for glaucoma, which makes sense as my ma has it). my big sis told me she's getting cataracts (both of my parents have had cataract surgery), which she sez she wears dark shades as a precaution against (and i thought she was just trying to be cool). might take a walk down to salon 707 on boland street, across from the little house where my sweetie usedta live, to get a haircut 'cos i'm tired of looking like i'm wearing my andy warhol wig. gotta nip that shit in the bud before i revert to my former "bearded breck girl" appearance.
altho i grew up on lawn guyland, an hour's train ride from manhattan (every dipshit on the island says they're "20 minutes from the city," but it's not true), back during the dawn of punk, i spent my teenage years playing in stupid blues rock bands and didn't really "get" punk until i was living in austin in '79 and heard the heartbreakers live at max's kansas city. imo, they were better in this post-richard hell incarnation than even the dolls were: a strung-out, profane bowery boys/dead end kids/east side kids of rockaroll that looked like a whole band of harvey keitels from taxi driver.
the barman just posted an int with johnny thunders' gtr-slingin' foil from that band, walter lure, a nyse stockbroker for the past 24 yrs, who holds the distinction of having had _everyone who was ever in a band with him_ die -- not just the hb's but also his own outfit the waldos, too. he's still kickin', tho, and recently toured europe, where he recorded a live alb that'll be released "soon" (check his myspace thingy). altho he usedta carry a lot of the gtr load in the hb's while johnny was singing/incapacitated, he doesn't always play gtr now (boo!), but appears to have a coupla asians in his band (yay!).
meanwhile, someone's posted an entahr heartbreakers' max's set from '79 on youtube. like, um, heroin from the gods...
fish couldn't fix the h&k, so i have to see if marlin's amp guy can do it, and if not, go to the dreaded factory-authorized service guy in dallas. meanwhile, gotta see if i can borrow an amp for sunday's stoogegig at lola's. this is what i get for being a stupid asshole.
my sweetie 'n' i joke that in our dotage, we'll be considered weird because we don't dye our hair or have multiple body piercings or tattoos. in fact, i've been surprised to see how many westie soccer moms and middle aged folk that come in the market are tattoo'd 'n' pierced.
my oldest niece, who just graduated from the most expensive college in new joisey with a fine arts degree and has her own business making wrestling gear (her b-f's a wrestler), wears ink and has piercings. her parents don't dig it, and let her know by emailing her "interesting articles" about tattoo removal. this was a favorite tactic of her grandfather, only he'd send hardcopy "interesting articles" he cut out of the paper. (her mother would be mortified by the comparison.) when we were going through the piles of paper in his old house last summer, i found loads of envelopes filled with clippings he'd received from his friends. i told my niece, "this is what people used to do before they could email each other links."
went with my niece to a diner to complete my nj experience. had a big breakfast (homemade corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, real homefries, toast, oj, coffee) before stopping by to see my ma. my big sis generously offered to let me take her gtr home with me, but i didn't wanna complicate the check-in process. besides, i never play at home.
slept most of the flight. lots of the country was overcast, but only scattered clouds on arrival at dfw. texas sure looks flat and barren after nj. 183 was a parking lot. flight arrived 20 minutes early but had to wait for another aircraft to clear the gate. twas good to see my sweetie again.
stopped at benito's on the way home and saw the usual number of ppl we know (greg barr 'n' wife, chris plavidal from stumptone 'n' family, chuck from the gideons 'n' michelle). food tasted good. had planned to go to the chatroom to hear great tyrant 'n' restaurant, but once we got home, i didn't wanna be anywhere else. spent the evening hunkering w/our pointy-eared overlords and crashed early (i'd been up since 6am local).
good trip overall. happy to be back.
ADDENDUM: also contemplating a convo i had with my big sis on our shared propensity for drinking to the point of oblivion.
before i went to joisey, i started re-reading peter guralnick's feel like going home and lost highways, two essential tomes of roots-music scholarship that definitely helped shape my thinking about music when i read 'em back in the '70s. prolly best known for his two-volume elvis bio i haven't read, guralnick's a fan of blues, rockabilly, and real country music who started scribing not because he wanted to be "a critic" but just to pull people's coats to music 'n' musos he dug, a motivation to which i can relate. sad to realize the musics heloved so well are now dead or dying, but still worthwhile to be reminded of 'em.
up in princeton, found a copy of the "rock issue" of waxpoetics, a journal (and rekkid label) usually devoted to hip-hop and related musics. cover bore iconic shots of bad brains' (second most viewed dvd chez liberio) frontguy h.r. and '68 comeback special elvis, and inside were well-researched and written pieces on those and the likes of my teenage faves the blues project, the rascals, nawlins rockaroll godfather dave bartholomew, black brit dj/filmmaker/clash associate don letts, post-hendrix axeman ernie isley, and glorious obscurities iron knowledge, sixto rodriguez, and black merda. a worthy read, this.
in a little while, my niece will come and pick me up to take me to the airport in newark. enroute, we'll stop off and see my ma one more time.
ma doesn't know where she is, but she knows she's safe and everyone there treats her kindly. i don't think she's unhappy.
yesterday i talked to my dad's nurse, who had some pretty good insight. said that a lot of his abrasive antics are just attention-getting behavior, and under all his bluster and bullshit, he just wants to be loved (as do we all). it's just a shame he doesn't have a better way of showing it. he was emotional/apologetic when he realized i was leaving, but i got to tell him what i needed to.
i was struck by how much rocky hill, nj, looks just like the town on lawn guyland where i grew up. or maybe after living in texas for 30 yrs, every place on the east coast kinda looks generically the same to me.
had a nice japanese dinner in princeton last night, then went to the record exchange (one of my fave rekkid stores left in the country). the parking lot next door was torn up to make way for some mixed-use residential-commercial space. my gawd, i thought, it's happening everywhere.
found a used copy of the ray charles comp on rhino that mysteriously disappeared from the house, so we'll have "georgia on my mind" and "america the beautiful" next time we need 'em. and a clean vinyl copy of mitch ryder's detroit alb, so i can slip it on in between the rationals and bob seger's smokin' o.p.'s and feel pure 'n' happy. also a mag to read on the plane, altho i suspect i'll sleep most of the way home.
spent a coupla hrs with each of my folks again yesterday. ma wasn't as talkative as the day before. it's almost as if the novelty of my being here as worn off already. it was cooler outside than the day before, so we sat outside in a courtyard, watching birds and planes flying overhead, and a lady who walks around kicking all the plants.
stopped at my sister's fave pizza joint enroute to see my dad. had a coupla slices and listened to a south brunswick cop talking about some guy he'd arrested, all record of whose bust (including the dispatch call) had disappeared. the pie tasted bland to me. surprising, since i'm not smoking at all this trip.
taking my dad outside in the wheelchair required a 20 minute ordeal of preparation. i was surprised at how tired simple actions make him. in the event, he was only in the chair for about five minutes, outside for maybe 30 seconds. it's interesting that neither of my parents really likes being outdoors. also that even in his calmer state, he still has the capacity to generate some vitriol and spleen about my mom. it's interesting to observe what persists in a disintegrating personality.
went home back to my sister's, played gtr for an hour (she -- a fahey fan -- seems to have an inordinately high opinion of the three or four solo fingerstyle acoustic pieces i can play), read some of joyce's dubliners and took a nap. my niece cooked dinner (chicken with peanut sauce, rice and snow peas) while her parents 'n' i talked about her and her sisters.
sat doing 'puter bullshit with my sis while my brother-in-law watched olympics. chatted with my sweetie online and found z-grade youtube vid of the blues project (new york's "jewish beatles," a fave from my snotnose yrs) and jeff beck (gtr hero of my yoof and loudest concert i've ever been to ca. '76).
altho i never watch tv at home (and don't miss it), i always wind up watching some bullshit when i stay at other ppl's houses or in hotels. documentaries, police procedurals, the other night a weird indie flick about a kid who eats paint and his big brother on the run from crazy psycho uncle. last night i watched the original a star is born until i realized how unappealing i find both judy garland and james mason.
my sis doesn't ordinarily drink coffee, so she makes it like trucker speed. time for one more cup before i head out to see the folks again. maybe i'll look for a diner today.
kinda like improvising music, hanging out w/my parents in their mentally diminished state requires paying close attention to their nonverbal cues and adjusting my riddim to theirs
with that in mind, i spent an enjoyable coupla hrs with my ma this a.m. and my dad this arvo, having the same convo over and over every few minutes
while it might be wishful thinking on my part, she seems more with it than most of her compatriots, including her sensahumour
i couldn't help busting out laughing when, after a particularly incoherent exchange with one of said compadres, she said, "i don't understand why god doesn't just kill us before we get this useless"
she said she wasn't making many new friends; she thought it was funny when i pointed out that making friends would probably be diffficult if she can't remember anything new and neither can the ppl around her
it seems the hospice-talk about my dad was premature
when i went to see him, he had just devoured his entahr lunch but still had room to eat supermarket sushi i brought him
it was probably a good idea to reduce his antipsychotic meds, as he no longer rages and fumes the way he was doing the last time i saw him
he seems amused by his surroundings now, and was very insistent that i should take everybody out for a big japanese dinner ("even your mother, whether she wants to go or not") on his dime ("i have money, i just don't know where it is")
thinking a lot about language and memory and the way we use them to make sense of the world
altho i'm not a beatle fan, i had the song "strawberry fields forever" stuck in my head at the airport waiting to come here. on the plane, read tobias wolff's this boy's life and slept.
it always amazes me when i come here how green new jersey is when viewed from above.
my niece picked me up at newark. she's making wrestling gear for money now, and thinking about moving to pennsylvania with her boyfriend, who's a wrestler and a good shit from ohio. her father keeps finding apartments in the local area that they "might be interested in." i can relate.
my big sis was taking her middle dtr back to school at rpi and didn't get in till past 11pm.
my mom's short-term memory is pretty much shot. she's having more trouble getting around, too. even sitting up in bed required assistance. i'll go back and see her, and my dad, today.
we ate some mexican food that was so-so. looking forward to benito's on the way home.
drank beer and watched olympics with my brother-in-law until i fell asleep in the chair. my youngest niece made up the bed for me and i went to sleep to the sound of crickets and frogs that i remember from my childhood.
thirty-one years ago today, i went to open the rekkid store where i worked on lawn guyland and was greeted by a line of weeping elvis fans. honestly, i'd always thought of him as kind of a joke. when i was little, i thought he was italian because everyone i knew who looked/acted that way was italian. thought he had something to do with my uncle frank, because they were both in the army in germany around the same time. my lead singer in college had an annoying habit of playing elvis tapes in his car, and doing elvis impersonations. when i read greil marcus' mystery train chapter (and extensive footnotes) on the el, his music started sounding like something i might be interested in, but i never really "got it" until about 10 yrs ago, when i was stuck in my apartment for a coupla days with a bad respiratory infection, a lot of nyquil, and the sun sessions. his version of "blue moon" was otherworldly, like some fever dream.
at the recommendation of our friend karizza, we took a walk through the neighborhood over to the tokyo cafe at 5121 pershing (just off camp bowie, near the merrick street intersection). shame on us, we've been in arlington heights for over five years now, but hadn't made our way there till today. then again, i'm the world's worst japanese person (this is the food that my mom usedta make that i turned my nose up at in favor of hamburgers and pizza -- duh); while it might not be entahrly true that i'd never have developed a taste for it if jon teague hadn't pulled my coat to boris, the flower travellin' band, and les rallizes denudes, it might as well be.
japanese food's not like chinese, which hits you over the head with big, brash flavors; on the contrary, it's very delicate, with layers of subtle flavors that you experience in succession. it's also very pleasing to the eye. we started out with gyoza (little steamed pork 'n' veggie dumplings that finished with a hint of ginger), then miso soup (the broth rich with shiitakes, bits of seaweed and tofu), salmon tartare (refreshing with flavors of mango and lemon), blackened albacore, tempura and calamari rolls, and for dessert, a peach-blueberry tower constructed of cream cheese and little cinnamon tortilla chips. the food was beautiful, the surroundings relaxing, the service prompt and attentive. all within walking distance of la casa. we'll definitely be back. nice to have another neighborhood spot to go to.
this got stuck in my head after i saw that chaka khan is playing winstar on the "how the mighty have fallen" tour. back in '74, all of us rockarollas secretly loved this song, the best stevie wonder song he never recorded.
here's molly horn's vid of us playing "chinese rocks," including my rubber-legged performance. (this afternoon, i'm pondering how to break the linkage between overindulgence and playing music that really has its roots in teenage stage fright but has persisted for over 35 yrs.) note how katboy's repositioned to preserve our onstage longhair/shorthair balance -- very feng shui of you, matt. richard hurley played his ass off and rekindled my sg envy _yet again_ with a beautiful '65 -- same model as my first good gtr. thanks to fairmount soundguy clay -- who confided that he's more used to mixing country music than the kind of noise the li'l stoogeband, one fingered fist, and the the fellow americans lay down -- for the great mix. (i could even hear the vocals from the first two bands!) the new three-piece fist, with josh and will splitting the difference vocally, sounded more focused and driving than ever. and the fellow americans were as tuneful and heavy as always. gonna try and book an eclectic bill with yells at eels in november.
one of the last of the old time record men -- the older dudes who really, really understood and loved the music -- is gone. jerry wexler, at 91, from congestive heart failure. it's astonishing how much of a contribution one man could make to the music of his era.
...but hoping i'll recover before the stoogeshow at the fairmount tom'w night. last time i played a show while really sick was subbing with a bluesband, outdoors at a mexican restaurant in arlington, in between getting shitcanned from radioshack and starting to freelance for the fw weekly. i had a fever and my nose was running like a faucet. i saw a couple of former radioshack coworkers from a few yrs previous eating dinner there. they musta thought i looked very debonair, slinging snot onstage in between tequila shots. talk about no fun.
ADDENDUM: i blame the kid with the phlegmy cough who was shopping with his mother yesterday. eccchhht.
scott morgan was waxing ecstatic over this guy when i met him in austin 10 yrs ago, and cope goes apeshit over his new alb in the latest arthur (reprinted from head heritage). here he is in vegas earlier this yr, starting with a john lennon cover and then slowing it down for the ladies.
...the temperature was a little milder, so we ate dinner outside. my sweetie cooked a feast: english stilton on crackers with sliced pears and port wine, followed by another marinated london broil (bloody the way we like it), oven roasted potatoes, and kale (eating a lot of leafy greens lately) with our usual cheap red, then carrot cake and more port for dessert. tomorrow night i'll make hash from the leftovers.
thinking about cultivating a garden so we can grow our own food in our dotage -- keep our minds occupied and our bodies exercised. my sweetie starts her new school year next week and she's energized from the conference she attended a coupla weeks ago. i'll be heading up to new joisey next week to see my folks, who are in varying stages of decline. but tonight was just fine.
listening to the new motorpsycho record (if you go to their myspace thingy, you can view a complete concert from 2002) and reading the new arthur mag, copies of which justin robertson informs me are at the chat room. i say check it out.
those who enjoy bluegrass with their beer (or vice versa) will want to note that the blackland river devils (an outfit led by virtuoso gtrist darrin kobetich) will be playing at the rahr brewery at 1pm this sat'day, august 16th. sounds like a good excuse to go take the brewery tour and quaff a few suds while diggin' some high lonesome sounds.
My name is Velton Hayworth and I run iloveftw. com. Recently I have been working with a friend who volunteers at the Presbyterian Women's Shelter. Every third Tuesday of the month volunteers bring in food for the women and children at the shelter. Last Tuesday we cooked burgers and had chips, salsa, and home-cooked beans, with home-made brownies for dessert. The folks at the shelter do everything they can with their very limited food budget, but anything extra like this is a huge and very much appreciated treat.
On Tuesday the 19th we will be ordering pizza from Perrotti's. We will also be bringing fresh salad, chips, and sodas. (I know sodas are not the the healthiest thing to drink, but again this is a rare treat--especially for the kids.) We have decided to start serving pizza on every third Tuesday of the month and I am hoping some of you would like to help. We are looking for people to donate sodas and chips. (They love Cheese Puffs.) You can drop chips and sodas off at Malone's Pub Mon – Fri, 3 pm to 2 am, Sat and Sun 6 pm to 2 am. If you would like to donate money please write your check or money order to Perrotti's Pizza and send it to Velton Hayworth, 1020 E 2nd St., Fort Worth, Texas, 76102.
not to shill for my employer, but martin yan is coming to central market in september. pre-dating the celeb chef trend, i usedta watch his show yan can cook back in the early '80s not so much because i was into food as because where else was i gonna see an asian lunatic on tv back then?
ADDENDUM: feh. apparently martin's class has been sold out for months. oh well.
Caught up with Yells At Eels -- the Dallas-based free jazz outfit consisting of trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez (whom I first met 30 years ago!) with his sons Aaron Gonzalez on bass and Stefan Gonzalez on drums -- at Lola's the other night, after missing Fort Worth appearances they'd made at 1919 Hemphill and Arts Fifth Avenue. (I suck as a fan.) In fact, I hadn't seen them since they played the Wreck Room in 2002, but I'd followed their evolution through more recent recordings -- 2006's Geografia and this year's The Gift of Discernment (credited to Dennis Gonzalez Jnaana Septet). They've toured the U.S., Portugal, Poland, and Mexico, and played in loads of different contexts, including the brothers' thrash duo Akkolyte and Age of Disinformation, an ambient experiment of Aaron's (including Jon Teague on live electronics) that he plans to release on his Inner Realms Outer Realms label. (I got to play a show with Aaron last fall in a one-off improv outfit that was kind of a precursor to PFFFFT!.)
Before they hit, I got to talk with Stefan (who's getting ready to head to New York to play some shows with Puerto Rican hardcore band Cojoba) about taking drum lessons from Ronald Shannon Jackson and playing double drums with Alvin Fielder (on The Gift of Discernment) and Famoudou Don Moye (on a soon-to-be-released recording as Renegade Spirits). Aaron described some very vivid and bizarre dreams he'd had, to his father's great amusement. Since I saw 'em last, the brothers have gotten fiery. They both fairly dance on their respective instruments in the same way that Cecil Taylor does on piano, and are totally fearless as improvisers. Their performance was both powerfully physical and intensely emotional. When I mentioned to Teague (who subbed for Stefan on a YAE gig in Dallas earlier this year) that their hardcore background seemed very compatible with a free jazz context, he laughed and reminded me, "'Free Jazz Is Thrash, Asshole'" (title of a tune from YAE's 2002 release Pictogram/Home Away from Home). Their dad remains a touchstone, hitting pleasure centers from '60s Miles (something I'd never noticed in his playing before) to Don Cherry to Lester Bowie, using a Digitech harmonizer to transform himself into a one-man brass section, calling an Ornette tune ("Happy House") for Fort Worth.
Afterward, Aaron gave me a copy of a CD he and his brother recorded in Portugal last year with guitarist Luis Lopes and saxophonist Rodrigo Amado as the Humanization Quartet. It's the best representation I've heard on disc of the way he and Stefan play now. I'm looking forward to hearing the Renegade Spirits record (due in October on L.A.-based Furthermore Recordings) and having YAE back on the boards in the Fort again before too long. One idea: a YAE/Stoogeaphilia bill, so Stefan (who's started playing bass clarinet) can join us for "1970," "Funhouse," and "L.A. Blues."
my sweetie posted some of her pics from last night's yells at eels show at lola's on her photo blog (click on 'em to make 'em big). 'twas good to see this family of musical explorers on the boards in the fort again. hope to see 'em again soon.
all day long i've been listening to the scientist radio station at pandora steve steward sent me. i've thought about putting on other music, but dub is so damn addictive, i just can't. makes me feel like i'm in broken flowers or something.
i've decided my son-in-law's squier tele is my fave gtr of all time and tom'w, i'm hoping mr. chris fish will help me hunt down and eradicate the short that's making my h&k hum when the overdrive is on.
last night at stoogeprac (second with hurley; three hours went by like nada), once it was established that hembree, teague, and i all like the song "apostrophe" by frank zappa, ray-boy started singing thisun (and i completed his line). not that we're thinking of playing it or anything. that's a different repertory altogether.
after binge-ing on ed kuepper last week, i've been digging out some of my other old orstralian rawk recs, including those by the new christs, the band singer rob younger (the last angry man) started after radio birdman broke up the first time. while their distemper remains one of the great albs, i'm still partial to the old born out of time comp (which usedta be the only thing of theirs you could get in the states), not least for this, the title toon.
i don't care what anybody says. i love this fucking song, and i love the first side of the album it came off as much as i love the first side of kick out the jams (in a different way, for different reasons). just as the who sell out will forever (for me anyway) represent a fictitious english summer that only existed in my imagination when i was 13, so "america" by simon and garfunkel will ever represent how i (at age 11) imagined it was going to feel to be a young adult.
roasting a chicken before going to stoogeprac tonight. just squeezed lemon juice on it, stuck the squeezed-out lemons in the cavity, and rubbed with ground black pepper. we'll have hominy and broccoli with it.
the other day i made hash from the leftovers from a london broil my sweetie made the night before. cut up potatoes and sprinkled with ground pepper, cubed the meat and shredded some ginger over it. sauteed a coupla shallots in butter, added the rest of the stuff with the au jus (apologies to our veggie friends, but in my book, two eyes on front = predator/carnivore), let it heat and turned it a few times before adding some milk and letting it cook down. unlike canned hash (which i also like), this stuff doesn't need to be oooked until crispy. add some buttered toast and yummm. poor people food is good.
got a chuckle from this. the closest i got to anything this creative during my brief university stint was showing porn flicks on the wall in our dorm's lounge (which was visible from the street) and blasting muddy waters from my window through my band's p.a.
katboy finally finished eq-ing the recordings of PFF(F)FFT!'s (that's the "classic" lineup plus daniel huffman of comet/ghostcar/flaming lips/day of the double agent/polyphonic spree fame on gtr and chromachord) 7.27.2008 stand at the fairmount. you can hear 'em at (where else?) katboy's PFFFFT! archive.
so the great tyrant _isn't_ playing at lola's next friday 8.8, but yells at eels is. yae has a new album, renegade spirits, coming out in october on furthermore recordings. the l.a.-based label also plans to release new toonage by saxophonist azar lawrence, featuring his former mccoy tyner bandmate alphonse mouzon on drums.
my sweetie 'n' i took teague out to lunch at wasabi sushi (in the same shopping center as half price books on south hulen) for his b-day. good place (in spite of the cheesy jazz-lite soundtrack) -- nicely appointed room, fast service, and everything tasted fresh. we ordered from the lunch menu. started with miso soup. i had a three-roll plate with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna and spicy salmon rolls. she had an avocado roll in place of the tempura. nice contrast between the hot wasabi and sweet shaved ginger on the plate, and the waiter brought extra ginger when i asked. teague had tempura udon (soup with batter-dipped and fried shrimp, sweet potato, green bean, carrot and eggplant on the side) that looked boss as well. lunch menu runs between $8-$10 and was more filling than this kind of thing often is. we'll go back.
I'm writing an autobiography in record reviews. I blog at
I've written about music for publications (hard copy and online)
including the New York Observer, Dallas Observer, Fort Worth Weekly, I-94 Bar, First Church of Holy Rock and
Roll, Polish Jazz (Poland), Shindig (UK), Funhouse (Italy), and The Big Takeover.