Friday, October 31, 2008

end of year boo-shee

sure, it's early, but whatthehell. when i usedta respond to the village voice's whatzit, they'd call for lists this early.

1) boris - smile. in its various incarnations, my rekkid of the yr. the most interesting band currently working imo, and their rubber gloves throwdown back in june was just ridiculous. i was deafened by michio kurihara for three days and damned glad to have been.

2) stumptone - gravity suddenly released. incandescent indie psych from long-lived local underground faves.

3) the great tyrant - "candy canes" 7" w/cd-r. my fave local band o' the moment. so far this yr they've done this _and_ an as-yet-unreleased full-length, there is a man in the house, that's even better; next month, they go back into the studio to track _yet another_. how's that for prolificity? see them live; you owe it to yourself.

4) lou reed - berlin dvd. uncle lou claims this is the best rock movie of all time, and he may just be right. directed by julian schnabel of the diving bell and the butterfly fame, this trumps rust never sleeps with better cinematography. and the music, reviled in its time, sounds majestic.

5) dennis gonzalez jnaana septet - the gift of discernment. latest installment from oak cliff renaissance man/yells at eels mastermind gonzalez and his ever-more-impressive sons. free jazz _is_ thrash, asshole. the boys shine sans pops on portuguese gtrist luis lopes' humanization qtet.

6) sonic's rendezvous band - the second chance. proof positive (as if any more were needed) that dee-troit rawked in the '70s.

7) matt baldwin - paths of ignition. bay area gtrist extrapolates fahey-ismo into krautrock/psych territory.

8) various artists - miles from india. idea: team ex-miles davis sidemen with indian musos for a go at the canon. name to conjure with: pete cosey.

9) johnny case - strays...and other songs. a trio date with the redoubtable fort worth pianner man, accompanied this time by jeremy hull and danny tcheco.

10) the fellow americans - debut no. 3. stripped down and loaded for bear, the hard-rawkin' pride of weatherford, texas, check in with another heaping helping of quirky spleen.

steve steward on metallica

the darth vato bassist/fw weekly scribe spins the best piece of music writing i've read in awhile here. just what the world needs: another fucking muso who thinks he's a writer.

guy klusevcek @ the modern, 2pm, saturday 11.08.2008

other arts impresario herb levy writes:

Guy Klucevsek (pronounced kloo-SEH-veck) has received international
acclaim as one of the most original and unique artists in creative music. After years of study in the Pittsburgh and Los Angeles areas, Klucevsek first emerged to widespread notice as a recording artist in the mid-‘80s as a member of John Zorn-led ensembles. He has since performed in concert and on the recordings of such luminaries as Laurie Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Robin Holcomb, Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Pauline Oliveros, Present Music, Bobby Previte, Relâche Ensemble and many others. He has also produced a steady stream of albums as a soloist or leader (20 so far), beginning with 1987’s Scenes from a Mirage and extending through his upcoming 2009 release on Tzadik, Dancing on the Volcano. Sometimes described as a post-minimalist, Klucevsek’s musical palette encompasses classical, jazz, folk, and world music idioms while retaining an unmistakable singular identity, whether performing his own works or those by the many composers he has commissioned. Without question, Klucevsek is a virtuoso, but his music never presents virtuosity as an end in itself, instead engaging listeners with its uncommon warmth, depth, beauty, and - yes - humor (might his album title Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse provide a clue?). Klucevsek has also collaborated with numerous choreographers and theater artists including Ping Chong, David Dorfman, and Bebe Miller. His television and film credits include an appearance and performance on the long-running children’s series, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and three John Williams scores for Steven Spielberg -- The Terminal, Munich, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Tickets for Guy Klucevsek are $20 for general admission; $15 for students and seniors, available at the door.

Other Arts thanks the Arts Council of Fort Worth; Meet the Composer; Canadian Consulate; Mor-Sel Foundation; Linden Realty, Periplum Artes de la Rosa; & individual donors for support of concerts in 2008.

For reservations, subscriptions, discount cards and more information about these & future concerts, please contact: Web site up soon at

for shame

i just downloaded miles davis' pangaea from amazon for two bucks (.99 a song) because i realized that in this particular instance, i have no investment in "the romance of the artifact."


my dad liked to listen to german opera at pain-threshold volume. it really pissed me off when he and his friends were drinking and put on some of my cream records at the wrong speed and laughed at them. (his mantra: "take that cr-r-rap upstairs to your room if you want to listen to it -- and turn it _all the way down_!") once he and his friends made me listen to an album by a group called the mandrake memorial because one of their sons was in it. i thought it was precious horseshit. my mom liked jazz singers: sarah vaughan, ella fitzgerald. she encouraged me to get into jazz the way she encouraged me to read all kinds of books, and later on, i did.

my big sis liked what i considered "folk singers": joni mitchell, carole king (i knew nothing about the brill building in 1970), laura nyro, tom paxton. (when jesse told me the news about fraf, i came home, searched for "ramblin' boy" on youtube, and cried.) she was also into broadway musicals (i know every song from my fair lady and the sound of music -- interestingly, my second college roommate had a similar experience with west side story, which he inexplicably thought took place on mars), baroque music (which she played on the recorder), and a few out-of-character items like todd rundgren's something/anything and the kinks.

my best friend in junior high school liked roger miller and peter, paul & mary. also the music from marat/sade (he came from an interesting family.) when he discovered weed, it was all steppenwolf, neil young (after the gold rush), and the beatles (let it be). after he was, um, _experienced_, he used to stack all of the doors albums (except absolutely live) up on his record changer along with dark side of the moon and a brit import best of pink floyd and listen to them over and over and over. once when we were tripping at my house, i played white light/white heat in protest and wound up having the god-king of all bad trips. serves me right. to this day when i hear "for love of money" by the o'jays, "bridge of sighs" by robin trower (which once triggered a flashback as i was driving through the gate of an air force base), and "sufficiently breathless" by captain beyond, i think about that day.

at parties in high school, i remember listening to kids' edgar winter and steve miller records. (i liked entrance, children of the future, and sailor, but not the shit that they played at parties.) at my friend dave's house where we all used to hang out because his father was the night janitor at our high school, we'd get spaced and listen to yes and the allman brothers, which i came to think of as more architecture than music. we used to play air guitar to mott the hoople, which was kind of funny because some of us could already play for real. later dave developed a fetish for bruce springsteen, which i found regrettable.

at college, every freshman girl had that springsteen album where he sounds like he's reciting the fucking manhattan phone directory, and billy joel's piano man. i knew half a dozen bartenders on long island who claimed to be "john at the bar he's a friend of mine." (who would claim to be that wasn't?) on a visit to my ex-drummer after i'd dropped out, i walked into his room, found a copy of born to run on the turntable, and immediately smashed it to bits. later, driving to texas, i threw somebody's springsteen mixtape out the window somewhere in mississippi. (sorry, tommy.)

my first roommate in college liked elvis and led zeppelin. we wound up having a band together in which we thankfully played neither. the guy in whose room i wound up spending the most time was into zappa and joe walsh. i was surprised to learn that he wasn't a musician. it was at a party in his room (immediately after a kid down the hall had threatened to kill me for not giving him a cigarette; "he's got a gun, too," his roommate had assured me) where i met my second roommate and started a long-lived friendship based on our mutual enthusiasm for the who's live at leeds. my second roommate introduced me to captain beefheart, a song at a time, and later taught me how to play "kandy korn." we used to go to the library to listen to harry partch and ornette coleman records, to the befuddlement of the people around us.

the guy i roomed with when i first came to fort worth was into "new wave." he listened incessantly to the sex pistols album, the first two by talking heads, roxy music, ultravox's systems of romance, eno, john cale, and phil manzanera. i liked his girlfriend because she knew about the stooges. in particular, she liked "down on the street" real much.

the woman i briefly lived with in austin liked springsteen (sigh), the clash, aretha franklin. we went to a van morrison show together, also saw the huns and some of the earliest big boys shows (tim usedta work in the rekkid store where we did). we'd also go to liberty lunch to see a local band that played a takeoff on the knack called "my scrotem" that i thought was high-fuckin'-larious.

my future ex-wife liked the rolling stones. when we met she also liked '70s crap like starz and angel. she absolutely hated jazz, beefheart, zappa, anything "weird." if i played an unplugged electric guitar in the garage on the other side of the house from our bedroom with the door closed, the "noise" drove her "absolutely insane." she later "accidentally" gave away all my good records to goodwill in shreveport. toward the end of our marriage, she was listening to pearl jam, pantera, and nine inch nails. after we separated, she called me up once asking me to recommend blues albums, then she went through a country phase because she wanted something she "didn't have to share with me and the kids."

in basic training we couldn't listen to any music at all, except the music we marched to. (later on, in tech school, i found it quite hilarious that we marched to the theme music from monty python.) once when i was detailed to clothing issue, i found a newspaper in the trash containing the announcements of both john belushi's and randy rhoads' deaths. on the bus from san antonio to biloxi, i heard rick james' "the other woman" for the first time and thought it was steve miller, in the same way i first heard bto's "taking care of business" in albany and thought it was the rolling stones. duh.

in korea, the kid upstairs from me in the barracks liked journey's escape. i remember waking up to it on days when i didn't have to work and the sound of him ejecting the tape from his jam box to turn it over. the white guys all liked van halen and the clash ("should i stay or should i go") and the black guys all liked grandmaster flash, george clinton, prince, and d train. if you walked in between the barracks while they had their competing stereos going, it felt like having your head ripped in half. when we went on alert, they'd play the william tell overture over the giant voice speakers. i still get nervous indigestion when i hear that music.

when i was an instructor right before i got out of the air force i had to listen to wilson phillips and that fucking lee greenwood song every six weeks at the graduation banquet, right before the air force song.

my first serious girlfriend after i got divorced liked billy joel (boo!) but also the velvet underground (yay!). she had seen pearl jam when she was at the university of kansas in the early '90s. i made the mistake of lending her my tim buckley records, which i was too ashamed to ask for back when we broke up.

my sweetie likes tom waits, elvis costello, and jussi bjorling. i'm finding things i like about all of them. we met at a goodwin show at the black dog and she was a big woodeye fan. the first present i ever gave her was joe strummer's streetcore which i'd just finished reviewing. someone from the paper actually had the nerve to ask for it back. too bad. she also likes nearly all the stuff i like, which i didn't used to think was necessary, but it turns out can be really nice.

akkolyte in fort worth on friday!

grindcore brothers akkolyte are a last-minute substitution on the great tyrant halloween show at the chat room. yeah!

go buy the fellow americans' new cd cd baby. and go see them at the moon on saturday, where they're playing with stoogeaphilia (at least some of whom will be in costume) and transistor tramps.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


...tobias wolff's old school and in pharaoh's army. and my middle dtr's lit theory paper. i'm quite taken with both writers.

jersey girl

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

beer batter

finally found a use for miller lite. mix one can with 1 1/2 cups of flower, salt, pepper, and paprika to make beer batter for fish. dredge fish in flour, dip in batter, and fry in 2 inches of oil till golden brown. ace with cod.

thurston moore/ian mackaye

naked picnic

...the band that got a lot of balls haltom city (merely by planting the seed in a young ray liberio's mind that playing in a band might be a worthwhile thing to pursue) now gots a myspace thingy. go listen to toons now!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

whovid on mtv music

i just wasted an entahr evening watching this shit. (use the full screen mode; it's boss.) in my next life, i'm gonna have a who coverband.

brian's mom passed away

bye, veronica.


back to work for five days. looking fwd to stoogeshow on saturday. trying to decide what to do about PFFFFT!

the '80s were weird, weren't they?

here's scotty mankoff the crazy picture guy playing bass and singing in 1987, age 17.


Monday, October 27, 2008

neat neat neat

don cherry/blood ulmer/rashied ali

fz & moi in '68

while we're at it, here's some more old zappa vid from the jcb time.

eugene chadbourne

back in the mid-'90s, larry harrison sold me a copy of pachuco cadaver by the jack and jim show (a pseudonym for eugene chadbourne and jimmy carl black), a collection of beefheart covers played by what sounded like hillbillies who laced their moonshine with acid. chadbourne was on the lower manhattan scene in the '70s and now lives in greensboro, north carolina. genius or charlatan? _you_ decide!

jimmy carl black

sad news this a.m. from his latter-day collaborator eugene chadbourne via big mike: jimmy carl black, "the indian of the group" in the original, anarchic mothers of invention and ex-beefheart sideman, is dying of cancer.

died pretty

in a just universe, these aussies woulda been as big as u2 or r.e.m.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

crawdaddy! blues '66

before there were battalions of (now superannuated) whiteguys with greased-back hair and little soul patches, ex-sci fi fanziner turned rock journo pioneer paul williams interviewed eric burdon and howlin' wolf in one issue, john lee hooker and the paul butterfield blues band in the next of his embryonic rag that bore the name of the dump in richmond, surrey where the rolling stones got their start. ace quote (from butterfield drummer billy davenport): "i wasn't worried about the sound. i was worried about who was going to pay me."

the solution to the global food crisis?

the humble potato.

weird shit i dreamed last night

i was at work, only the layout of the market and the parking lot was much different. a guy was shooting a ww2 german schmeisser submachinegun at somebody's parked car. i tried for a long time to call the police but was frustrated by the phone system and the goddamn cellphone. when i finally got them on the line, i couldn't describe the guy's vehicle that was being shot at. then i was in some appalachian town called "eldorado" where it rained all the time, trying to get a job with the newspaper and convince them that i'd be able to get to work riding my bicycle. must have been the tequila shots.

my myspace thingy

...has been updated with fresh PFFFFT! toonage, family pics from this weekend, bloggage on fave recs and gtrists. hooray!

oh, great, we just attacked syria

i've long harbored fears that dubya would get us involved in a scrap with iran on the way out the door as a parting "fuck you" to his probable successor, kinda like his pop did with somalia. i wasn't anticipating this, however.


while it's been awhile since we saw alan on the boards, alan mastermind chris hardee played me a coupla tracks last night that sounded gorgeous and make me anxious to hear more.

thrift art auction

christopher blay's thrift art auction at studio 5 (jesse sierra hernandez's new space) was a fun event designed to examine the value of art and who determines what it's worth. chris auctioned off 30 pieces he'd found in local thrift stores for prices that started at half a buck and rose in .50 increments through spirited bidding to prices that sometimes reached the lofty $20-$30 mark. jesse also auctioned a nude (which he's called "the most erotic thing i've ever painted") to help defray cadillac fraf's medical expenses. thatun went for $300, causing one to wonder which is worth more -- art or friendship?

PFFFFT! 10.19.2008 audio online now

for those who missed it (which is evabody but levi and ron), the audio from PFFFFT!'s 10.19.2008 fairmount stand is online now at katboy's PFFFFT! archive. for what it's worth, i think we played a pretty good set. november 16th might be the last time.

james lassen and devon nowlin

caught their show at gallery 414 last night. pretty awesome stuff. james' stuff reminded me of guy peellaert (dutch guy who did lotsa album art and the rock dreams book with nik cohn back in the '70s), altho he says he never heard of him. i dig the way his vibrant colors explode with life. he paints from photos and some of his canvases have the in-and-out-of-focus quality of photography. devon's colors are more subdued. this batch of her paintings were based on pics from the '50s mag the ladies home journal, with spectral figures overlaid on 'em to make a statement about alienation and the disparity between private/public faces. show runs until november 25th; worth checking out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the 'mats

...are having their whole back catalog reished, allowing me to accumulate the ones i want (that'd be sorry ma... through pleased to meet me) from others' hpb/amazon divestitures. hooray!

"this day is call'd the feast of crispian"

from willie the shake's henry V.

even better

i've got monday off, too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

my back hurts

...from lifting tubs of peanut butter without handles and stacking them four high. grrr arrrghhh!

"music is no joke and it's not for sale"

ian mackaye speaks. you listen.

astral weeks

the rekkid i always usedta give to women i liked (i've bought my last copy). got hip via st. lester's piece in stranded. van's gonna play it in its entahrty next month for a live recording/dvd shoot. i think it's funny he puts his logo over all of these vids. and looks like mole from the wind in the willows.

buena vista social club live @ carnegie hall

...streaming vid courtesy of mojo. there's supposed to be a dvd of this that adds footage that didn't make the cut for wim wenders' 1998 doco, but i haven't been able to find it yet.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

this weekend

my big sis and youngest niece are gonna be in town friday night and saturday (looking at colleges, including smu). it'll be nice to hang out w/o stressing over mom 'n' pop isu's. and i've got all day saturday and sunday off w/my sweetie. hooray!

the fellow americans cd review @

a review i penned of the fellow americans' new cd debut no. 3 is online now at

ADDENDUM: further full disclosure -- my sweetie took the pics on the cd cover.

tony slug to texas cometh

over the transom, via myspace:

Tony Slug of Amsterdam punk band The Nitwitz (which also featured Texas punk icon, Mikey Offender), and the trans-global "Rock City" outfit, The Hydromatics (which featured members of The Hellacopters and Sonic's Rendezvous Band), has Joined Shit City High! His energy and "Mad Max" guitar style is incomparable to anyone living!! He will be joining the band for their show with The Misfits Nov. 29th in Houston, TX, which will be a rock 'n' roll overdose that hasn't been seen since punk's "golden years!!" The band will then hit the studio in NYC to record their new album "The Agony and Fury of Rock 'n' Roll!" with new member, Tony Slug. If that wasn't news to blow your socks off...the new album is going to be produced by famed producer Tony Visconti(Bowie, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy)!! Next year the band will be hitting the road, touring the States, Europe and Japan, so look out for these rock maniacs when they come to "Destroy Uranus!!" Welcome to the family Tony!!

"Tony Slug is the greatest Dutch genius since Vincent van Gogh."
- Happy Tom - Turbonegro

Check out Tony Slug's Bands!

stoogeaphilia @ the moon, saturday, 11.1.2008

artwork by raymond liberio. (click on it to make it big.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

r.i.p. warehouse #58

was sorry to learn today that warehouse #58 a.k.a. "me-thinks world headquarters" was gutted by fire last night. the mighty me-thinks and the seven or eight other bands that shared the space had since moved on to _a secret location_ somewhere else in haltom city, but the warehouse held loads of memories for the h.c.-riverside crew and shall be missed.

jesus' blood never failed me yet

speaking of gavin bryars...

papa wemba

yeah, he sang on that peter gabriel song, but i didn't realize it when my buddy brian pulled my coat ca. '95 to wemba and that other master of congolese soukous, tabu ley rochereau. i love the lilt of the interlocking gtrs and the way the vocal rides on top of 'em. and the riddim, of course.

glenn branca

yells at eels bassist aaron gonzalez is gonna be one of 100 gtrists (and bassists) participating in a performance of glenn branca's "symphony no. 13 (hallucination city)" in st. louis on november 16th. should be quite an experience!

buena vista social club

hembree says theirs was the best show he ever saw, and this is my fave song from the film that introduced them. ibrahim ferrer, ladies and gentlemen!

the fellow americans

it's here! that's right, the new cd by the fellow americans is back from the factory, and a fine, rawkin' slab it is, too. in the fullness of time, will run my review, but don't take my word for it. come hear matt, hal, and caleb do it live at the moon on sat'day, november 1st, with stoogeaphilia and transistor tramps. there'll be ppl dressed as skeletons. it'l be cool.

"flippin' lids @ the fairmount" #2

hembree sent a snippet of audio from last sunday's fairmount stand. i think we sounded damn fine. unfortunately, no one was there to confirm/debunk this impression besides levi and ron, and they're always very kind. (hence the title of the piece: "for levi and ron.") my sweetie thinks it's because we're TOO LOUD. don't know how much longer we'll hold onto the gig, but we'll do it at least once more, on november 16th, with the missus (who are all nice boys that like the li'l stoogeband and one of 'em kinda looks like jack rabid). come meet them, and wave to us as the waters close over our heads.

awesome can wait the new band led by ex-rio grande babies drummer ricky chewning. fellow american matt hickey is producing them. here's their first vid.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

otis rush

i first copped otis rush's original cobra recordings on vinyl after reading st. lester's spiel on it in the village voice. it's a blues alb that's more than just the usual shuffles and sad bastard shit. some of it's downright r&b jumpy. like his contemporary magic sam, rush excelled in minor keys. powerful singer, great understated gtrist. led zep copied (but didn't improve on) his signature tune "i can't quit you, baby."

skitz o'fuel @ the fairmount, 10.26.2008 fraf's pal from amarillo. he's playing a bene for fraf at the fairmount this sunday.

speaking of which, the fairmount's levi ray gots his own myspace music thingy here.


40 yrs ago this halloween. how weird is that?

the pungent sound

a cryptic communique from the fruit of the haltom city-seattle connexxxion seems to indicate that release of their e.p. (in digital form only) is imminent.

Monday, October 20, 2008

my big sis says...

...that our dad has punched one of his caregivers in the stomach and thrown his tray. i suspect this is because he's frustrated that he can't feed himself. she also said he told her that he'd seen his mother (who died in 1982) and that she was relieved when he told her that he hadn't killed anyone in world war II. (since he's been in the nursing home, my dad has become fixated on the idea that his older brother, who died several years ago, has been telling their mother that he killed someone while he was in the army.) she said he seemed content and i told her that it's better that he be at peace rather than troubled before he checks out. at this point, i think that's the best we can hope for. a down thought.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

dinner tonight

sea scallops with bacon, garlic, diced tomatoes, and thyme over angel hair pasta. it's a keeper.

i'm with linus

burrito project bene pics @

my sweetie posted some of her pics from the fort worth burrito project benefit on her photo blog. (click on 'em to make 'em big.)

fw burrito project benefit

i'll admit i've grown kinda weary of blogging shows i've played, but lemme just say that if you weren't there ("there" being the parking lot between 7th haven and poag mahone's on west 7th near monkey ward's yeserday), you missed it.

"it" being hot sets from the fellow americans (whose new rec debut no. 3 is killer and due momentarily; caleb the drummer has settled down, no longer feeling it necessary to frenzy out with fills, instead locking it in the pocket with hal the bassplayer behind frontman matt's monotonic menace on voxxx and molten blast on gtr), the great tyrant (for my money the best band in fort worth right now, always pulling something different and interesting out of the hat live; their full-length cd there is a man in the house would be top 3 for 2008 if they'd just release the damn thing, and they're about to go into the studio to record yet another), eaton lake tonics (their clever, quirky indie pop sounds a lot bigger and more forceful in the great outdoors with an andre edmonson mix), and, um, stoogeaphilia (the addition of richard hurley's gtr has made the sound huge; i particularly enjoyed the old fella -- a drummer himself, apparently -- standing behind us watching jon and matt work; first tony ferraro and then a lady from the audience playing tambourine; and seeing tommy atkins smile while we played). the li'l stoogeband had the biggest crowd by virtue of playing last when there were more bandmembers/significant others present. hopefully jimmy had a decent night after the parking lot was cleared; the burrito project got half the bar and all the tips that night. muchas gracias to the haven for their generosity, and big love to wizard o' sound andre and #1 stoogeband fan amy for making it happen.

my sweetie got some good pics, which in the fullness of time will be posted to her photo blog.


flower travellin' band in nyc, november 22-23

damn, wish i could make it to one of these shows.

louis ck

i have no idea who this cat is, but this is a hella funny bit.

a coupla rekkid reviews @

reviews i penned of boris' smile and the aussie do the pop! redux part one comp are online now at

Saturday, October 18, 2008

both of my bands got "blotched"

the italian kid gave them some virtual ink in his latest "weekender" on the fw weekly's blog. thanks, ant'ny!

Friday, October 17, 2008

parking for the burrito project benefit tomorrow

use the montgomery plaza lot. it had to be good for something.

one fingered fist in the star-t!

they made it to the front of the "your life" section as part of a preston jones story on the big impact of li'l clubs (duh). the pic was taken at the fairmount the night of the fraf bene. in the online versh, you have to click on the pic of the chat room and scroll. ben rogers and levi ray got quoted, too. hooray!

top 10 records to listen to while depressed

1. astral weeks - van morrison
2. in a silent way - miles davis
3. magic and loss - lou reed
4. workbook - bob mould
5. pink moon - nick drake
6. bookends - simon & garfunkel
7. "duk koo kim" - sun kil moon
8. berlin - lou reed
9. closing time - tom waits
10. mahler symphony no. 9 - bruno walter/vienna philharmonic

'net surfage good for brain?

Luis Lopes - Humanization 4tet

A week or so ago, my friend Anthony Mariani was spielin' on the FW Weekly's blog thingy about how listening to jazz makes you hip. Quoth the Italian kid: "Most of Coltrane’s free compositions and moments really exploited the notion that jazz...could sensibly and artfully reflect the rhythms of life: sometimes falling in perfect sync, sometimes just bouncing all around or into one another, and all the while leaving in their wakes contrails of color and mood. AS WITH LIFE, you have to slow down and pay CLOSE attention to what [jazz musicians] are doing to have the best experience possible."

Now, I happen to agree with his point about jazz reflecting life's riddims and requiring your full attention to fully appreciate it. (As far as hipness goes, I'm with Tower of Power: "Hipness is what it is; sometimes, hipness is what it ain't" -- how's that for obliqueness?) My fave musical artiste Of All Time is probably Charles Mingus, whose best album, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, features exactly the kind of ebb and flow Mariani describes, a musical environment that changes and shifts from moment to moment like a busy cityscape; in the past, I've bought any recording I could find from Mingus' 1964 European tour to hear the way the musicians transformed the set, which was essentially static, from one night to the next.

But you need time and attention to pick up on such subtlety, and lately I've been kinda busy between work, trying to book shows for a couple of bands, and just the normal (and some not-so-normal) stuff you have to do to get through life. All of which is by way of explaining why I'm just now getting around to reviewing this superb CD, which bassist Aaron Gonzalez gave me when I saw him play at Lola's with Yells At Eels back in August.

I first met Aaron's father, trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez, 30 years ago when I tagged along while a guitarist friend of mine went over to jam at his house. Dennis had just released his first album Air Light (Sleep Sailor), and he and his wife Carol were very gracious. Dennis went on to perform and record with a veritable "who's who" of the jazz avant-garde, from AACM veterans to European upstarts, but in 1994 he retired from music, except for what playing he did as a teacher in Dallas public schools.

It was his sons that brought Dennis back to playing in 1999. After playing with their dad in an accordion-led trio playing traditional Mexican music, bassist Aaron and drummer Stefan -- who also perform together as the grindcore duo Akkolyte -- invited him to join them in a new venture: a trio playing jazz and improvised music. Since then, they've released three CDs (one a double) and toured North America and Europe several times. While a Yells At Eels lineup that included tenorman Rodrigo Amado toured Portugal last year, he and the brothers recorded the Humanization 4tet CD under the leadership of guitarist Luis Lopes.

As a guitarist who teethed on Hendrix and Buddy Guy and reveres masters of the simple like Ron Asheton and Eddie Hazel, I'll admit to having a bias against most jazz guitarists. While I definitely admire what they do and certainly am not up to their technical level (I once tried to jam with Keith Wingate and felt like a five-year-old attempting to converse with an adult), what they do doesn't always move me. There's something about the dryness of most jazz players' tones and the precision of their attack; I want somebody that leaves more blood on the strings, like Sonny Sharrock or Pete Cosey.

That said, I quite enjoy Luis Lopes' playing on this, his first recording as a leader. His fretwork has some of the hallmarks of guys I dig like Bern Nix from Ornette's original Prime Time band (his tone and some note choices on lead-off track "Cristadingo"), Extrapolation-era John McLaughlin and early John Abercrombie (particularly Lopes' tasteful use of effects). His staccato solo on that opening cut is a good example of his style: Lopes isn't flaunting technique for its own sake, he's milking it for its expressive potential. His compositions (which include dedications to an Italian film director, a British scientist, an American musician and a Mexican painter) provide open-ended frameworks for exploration.

Saxophonist Amado's a fully-formed and expressive improviser, part of the reason why the late Dewey Redman told me (when I interviewed him for the Weekly back in 2003) that American musicians can't command top dollar in Europe anymore: "They've got their own set of musicians now." Amado's burry tone and thematic ideas recall Sonny Rollins; the unison lines he plays with leader Lopes on some of the tunes recall both the late-period Pharaoh Sanders on Sonny Sharrock's Ask the Ages and John Surman on McLaughlin's Extrapolation, as well as Rollins when he employed Jim Hall.

Aaron Gonzalez has the same dark sound and highly physical approach to the bass as Ornette's longtime accompanist Charlie Haden. I once had the privilege of standing next to him onstage when we played together with a noisy rock-based improv outfit called Kamandi. At the end of the night, Aaron showed me his left hand: there was skin hanging off every finger. His lengthy pizzicato intro to "Long March (For Frida Kahlo)" is somberly lyrical. Elsewhere he drives the band hard, swinging with forceful abandon.

The Great Tyrant's Jon Teague, who's subbed for Stefan Gonzalez on a Yells At Eels gig in Dallas, once speculated aloud what it must have been like "growing up in that house," where role models and exemplars like Alvin Fielder, Andrew Cyrille, or Famoudou Don Moye were frequently present. Stefan's his own guy, though, behind the traps, an explosively aggressive player who can also be very delicate. On "4 Small Steps," there are moments when his cymbal-and-snare work is reminiscent of the Elvin Jones "erupting volcano" effect from Trane's Meditations. And these guys are just getting started.

Humanization 4tet is the kind of record that rewards repeated listenings -- like a good book or a fine painting, you can always find something there that escaped your notice before. And if that ain't hip, I don't know what is.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

magic sam

if you think blues is boring, watch the late samuel maghett (r.i.p.) tear it up on earl hooker's gtr. (you gotta stick with it till the second song.) his west side soul alb is essential, but he never got down like this on rekkid. hooray for right-hand muting!

and finally

here they are in the '90s again, playing a song from their '73 (not '60something...sounds like phil had a li'l memory lapse there) alb freeway madness, first thing i heard by them way back when.

and yet again

here are the still unrepentant pretty things playing their psych masterpiece s.f. sorrow live at the ass-end of the '90s. sorrow was supposed to be the first "rock opera" but, with typically spinal tap-like bad luck, the pretties were signed to motown subsidiary rare earth in the states at the time and the label sat on the alb for over a year, until the who got their first with tommy.

still more pretty things

and here they are in '67 (not '69 like it says on youtube), freaking out. the drummer that looks like nathan brown is john alder aka twink, who went on to form the pink fairies, who were even more anarchic.

more pretty things

here they are at a festival in holland, '65, looking wilder than any of the other brit r&b outfits (including the stones). speaking of which, do you think dick taylor (the guy playing the 335) got shitcanned from the stones for his stage presence?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

pretty things

well, what do you know. here they are playing selections from parachute on french tv in 1971.


here's the greatest band from norway never to make it in the u.s., 1994-2005. led by a guy that called himself captain poon (archenemy of turbonegro's happy tom), fronted by a tv newsreader who went by the handle biff malibu.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

james lasson/devon norwin @ gallery 414

speaking of which, james lasson (better known to some as the drummer with great american novel) and devon norwin gots a show at gallery 414 from october 25-november 23. according to james, it's representational art with a twist. check it!

thrift art show @ studio 5, 10.25.2008

christopher blay writes:

What is the Value of Art? Who Decides? The Thrift Art Auction is a low brow aim at the highbrow concept of art value. The auction bidding starts at .50 cents ( a very socialist, we're all equal ideal from the commie bastards). The works (in the Marxist sense of the word ) are from local Thrift Stores and I make a sweet Capitalistic profit that I then use to buy more Thrift art and continue the futile cycle that may never resolve the questions! So come, bring your own beverage (to keep the cost low) and help determine what art is, and what its worth. The auction preview reception is from 8-10pm and the auction begins at 10pm and reception ends at midinght.

When: Saturday, October 25
Where: Studio 5 (Jesse's Studio), 1018 Shaw Street.
Time: 8pm-12am. with auction starting at 10pm.
Lost?: call Chris 682 551 9213

richard thompson

three from shoot out the lights, his '82 masterpiece with then-wife linda. because these were shot the following yr, she's not in 'em.

Monday, October 13, 2008

flying fish @

some scrawl i penned about flying fish is online now at

1,000 recordings to hear before you die

how did kavin know i'm a sucker for lists like this?

lester bangs speaks

wow. an audio int with the writer who prolly had more influence on my musical taste as a snotnose than any other. hiya, les.

suicide interview

...from the jewish community online, believe it or not. thanks to the barman for the coat-pull.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

four word film reviews

three gtrists accompanied by a tractor

actually bass and two gtrs. my brother-in-law found this. hey, bill, do ya think you might wanna try this with darrin and kavin?

tokyo cafe @

some scrawl i penned on tokyo cafe is online now at


...started out with high rise II courtesy of the barman. listening now to nick drake's pink moon to take the edge off before work. got the h&k back from marlin's last night and need to ops check it before the fraf benefit tonight. i wrote 1000X "i promise not to try and destroy my equipment." have to remember to tell the stoogeaphiles that we forgot the A-B-C-D walkup between the intro and verse of "18" at prac. and the venue got the billing wrong in the ad, so i have to find out if 1) the fist doesn't mind playing before the transistor tramps and 2) richard doesn't mind playing two sets back to back. also want to see if richard and i can fire sideways and have levi mic our amps so teague can hear me without ray losing his hearing for a week. some ppl just have to have something to worry about.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

thar be cadillac fraf t-shirts

brian waits made 'em, ray liberio designed 'em, based on artwork of fraf's. they come in grey, fatigue green, and black. shortsleeves go for $15, longsleeves $20, hoodies (only three made) $40. they'll be on sale tom'w night at the fairmount during the stoogeaphilia/one fingered fist/transistor tramps/ash adams music 'n' magic extravaganza, so bring some extra coin. some shirts will also be available via mailorder for folks who can't make it to the show. thanks to danielle for the coat-pull.

non-recreational listening

ray's making cd-r's for all the bandboys, but i'm spinning the mc5's high time on vinyl to get the lyrics to "future now" and remember how the gtr to the slow part at the end goes. (structurally, the song's very similar to fleetwood mac's "oh well.") funny how the five's best political lyric (penned by rob tyner) came near the end, long after they'd severed ties with john sinclair and the white panthers. playing those shimmering chords (using the phase 90 to simulate what was probably the tremelo from a fender amp), i'm reminded of doing the same thing in my room when i was a snotnose, before i'd ever been in a band. a weird feeling. i'm hoping the slow part works so we don't have to drop it (as wayne kramer, deniz tek, and scott morgan did when they covered the tune on the dodge main cd).

further sluggage

i first encountered tony ca. '99, when i "interviewed" him (via e-mail) for the i-94 bar while he was in the hydromatics with scott morgan and nicke hellacopter. (in europe, he's also well known as the main guy in 'riginal dutch punks the nitwitz.) when i finally met him in person at sxsw in 2003, he gave me a copy of the hydromatics "dangerous"/"heaven" 7-inch that he released, which i'm now happy to say i can listen to at mi casa since i got a turntable. i got to see tony play at club 505 with a band called the spades, whose singer benvis had the best line of the weekend (during their soundcheck, to the soundguy): "can you speak dutch, please?" as previously mentioned, he's 6'4", and he wears his les paul lower than jimmy page, even, as a result of which he holds it almost vertical when he plays -- quite a memorable sight.

mo' sir doug

when i briefly lived in austin at the ass-end of the '70s, i usedta go see sir doug (sans augie but with his son shawn on lead gtr) at soap creek saloon, which was also the first place i ever heard the mc5's "i can only give you everything" (they had it on the jukebox). when i was stationed in korea in '82-'83, i usedta go to the base library and listen to the doug sahm and band lp (the one with "is anyone going to san antone") through headphones. when i was stationed in abilene in the late '80s, i saw him with lou ann barton, playing in a strip joint because it was the only place in town that had a stage and a p.a. that wasn't a church.

much like gatemouth brown, doug swallowed texas music in all its forms whole. the san antonian was a big influence on another big t-bone walker fan, sumter bruton -- check out his alb the last real texas blues band to grok that side of his persona to the fullness. he grew up playing bob wills fiddle tunes, and was authentic enough a tejano to stand onstage next to freddy fender and flaco jimenez in the texas tornados. bob dylan dug him. you can't name a more original or organic 'meercun musician.

strung drawn and quartered what they're calling the confluence of kavin allenson, darrin kobetich, and bill pohl. they gots a myspace thingy with streaming music here.


mr. richardson also reminded me (by asking if the cat was named after augie myers) of this '69 hipi ditty by that great texan, doug sahm, whom i also thought was italian when i was 12 because i'd never heard a tejano polka back then.

fraf on the move

linc writes:

Today Fraf is moving from the hospital to Courtyard Rehab Suites. It is on the west side of town at 8001 Western Hills Blvd (76108) and 817.246.4953. He will be in suite #110A.

thanks to big mike...

...i remembered that my fave beatles alb is let it be. once upon a time, i usedta sing these songs with my oldest, gtr-playing dtr.

Friday, October 10, 2008

wine auction for women's shelter

my buddy velton writes:

Wine Auction Benefiting the Women's Presbyterian Shelter
October 14th 7 P.M.
@ Zambrano's Wine Cellar / 910 Houston Street / Suite 110
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

My name is Velton Hayworth and I run Recently I have been working with a friend who volunteers at the Presbyterian Women's Shelter. We've been ordering pizza from Perrotti's for the women at the shelter on every third Tuesday, and supplying drinks, fresh salad and 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--which is where this Tuesday's wine auction comes in. Every penny from this auction will benefit the women's shelter and pizza night. Cef, the owner of Zambrano's Wine Cellar has been kind enough to donate several bottles of wine and a cheese and wine tasting for four. Admission is free, and you are not required to make a bid...we'd just love to have stop by so we can inform you of other volunteer opportunities at the shelter. Hope to see you there, every little bit helps.

tony slug pal from amsterdam -- he's the one in the middle in the pic above, with beardless me and pat todd from the lazy cowgirls; you can't see the top of his head because he's goddamn 6'4" (those lowlanders are the tallest ppl on earth, evidently) -- is moving to olympia, washington, where he'll at least have the best chance of getting a decent beer as he would anywhere in north america.

here's vid of tony when he was in '80s hardcore band bgk, with whom he actually played a date in odessa, tejas.

and here's an int with tony from noise for heroes fanzine back in 1990, when he was in his post-bgk rockaroll outfit loveslug.

lots more vid 'n' self-mythologizing on his myspace thingy. welcome to 'meercuh, sluggy.

bike riders get tax break

from the nyt via today's star-t:

WASHINGTON -- People who pedal to work each day have long sought a federal tax break for biking similar to those given for parking or riding public transit. Last week the credit suddenly became law. It takes effect in January, and was among the provisions added to the $700 billion financial rescue.

beauty & the beast @ the moon, november 7th

that's right, kids...haltom city's pride, the mighty me-thinks, be splitting a bill with younger, cuter rawkers stella rose at the moon on 11.7.2008. front me-think ray sayeth, "i can't wait to empty a room of pretty girls and frat boys!"

happy berfday monk

on this day in 1917, the great thelonious monk came into being. and lucky we were that he did.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

douchebag developer threatens deployed reservist over landscaping

if you're looking for a home in the seattle area, you might wanna think twice about buying into this development.

henri, the black cat existentialist

30 seconds

if we can pull this off, it'll be incredible.

happy berfday john

here he is, age 23, about to change the world. woulda been 68 today. imagine that.

fw weekly best-ofs

...are online now, in case you don't like to read while you're on the crapper. note especially what they had to say about matt hembree ("mvp musician" under "on the town") and pussyhouse propaganda ("graphic/web designer" under "culture").

'cause momma said share

artwork by ray on it to make it bigger.

r.i.p. ruedi rymann

i didn't make this guy up. my sister sent the link to me.

fraf moving on his own and responding to people's presence and touch. his buddy linc made a myspace page with some of fraf's music. check it out and send him some good thoughts.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

new christs

the answer to the question, "what's orstralian, has been making records for 20something years, has the status of gods in europe, and can't get arrested at home?"

i divested myself of some of their discography while i was scribing for the paper and living on albertson's pico de gallo and tortilla chips, but i kept distemper (one of the great ozrock albs), born out of time (one of the great ozrock comps), and lower yourself, from whence the first song below cometh.

uncle lou vid premiere

the vid for "caroline says II" from the berlin dvd est ici la.

debate week

i thought this was pretty funny:

farren had a more disturbing take on it.

if joe strummer was here, he'd be turning in his grave

topper headon on clashsploitation. thanks to the barman for the coat-pull.

peter green plays for you

courtesy of mojo.

ADDENDUM: they also posted this video "best of" that will get you up to speed if you don't know the backstory. the man from bethnal green was the _only_ one of the brit blues guys to earn his rep, imo.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

the great tyrant

...whose debut full-length cd is the most anxiously awaited release of the season (by me, at least), gots some fun shows coming up, including the burrito project benefit at 7th haven on sunday, 10.18.2008; their annual "dress up or stay home" halloween bash at the chat room; and thanksgiving night at lola's with the mighty me-thinks. watch their myspace thingy for more details.

mercury rev

speaking of which, listening now to their new instrumental alb strange attractor that i downloaded free from their website in return for signing up for their mailing list. it's as different from deserter's songs and the albs that followed as those were from yerself is steam and boces -- a hazy, hallucinatory dreamscape. the blather i've read about their _other_ new alb snowflake midnight talks about "ad hoc computer programs and random note generators," reminding one that they were proteges of lamonte young acolyte/original velvet underground participant tony conrad at suny buffalo. if the flaming lips are the new beatles, can these guys be the new pink floyd?

transient songs

...the nom de roque of haltom city godfather jon frum (ex-hasslehorse, ex-jon doe) has a new song online. my sweetie thinks it sounds like mercury rev.

blue cheer

another idea of jon's (not this song in particular, but i couldn't help noticing how much dickie peterson sounds like ray-boy in this clip).


last night, when the li'l stoogeband was discussing other shit we could play and teague mentioned the dictators, i was reminded of one of the best shows i ever saw in my life.

fraf now in the richardson tower at harris, room 478. thanks to kat for the coat-pull.

"hey, lemmy..."

"...what do you think of when you think of canada?"

king crimson live in central park, nyc, 6.25.1973

larks' tongues in aspic, part 1

hey, bill...

Monday, October 06, 2008

set times for modern at midnight

it's _next_ friday, 6pm till midnight:

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM - MUCCA PAZZA (29 piece 'circus-punk' marching bandperforms in the crowd and on stage)
10:10 - 10:50 - DOVE HUNTER
9:30 PM - 10:10 PM - MOUNT RIGHTEOUS (performs in the crowd)
7:50 PM - 8:30 PM - STUMPTONE
7:00 PM - 7:40 PM - BABY DEE

was also happy to see stumptone be's at lola's november 14th and december 5th. their gravity suddenly released remains one of the best albs of this yr.

ADDENDUM: thanks 'n' a tip of the hat to awesome illusionist ash adams for noticing that the date is actually next friday, 10.17, vice this friday. duh.

things i learned from wikipedia

gorp, an acronym for trail mix, stands for "granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts." the secret chiefs are "transcendent cosmic authorities responsible for the operation and moral calibre of the cosmos, or for overseeing the operations of an esoteric organization that manifests outwardly in the form of a magical order or lodge system." just in case you were wondering.

monks movie

yeah, that's right! too wild for the '60s, these guys mighta been just wild enough for the oh-oh's. (and i think clay was channeling gary burger during the last set PFFFFT! played at the fairmount on 9.21.)

new songs on the PFFFFT! myspace player

matt updated 'em.

lou reed dvd review @

a review i penned of lou reed's new berlin dvd is live now at the i-94 bar.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


the last couple of yrs, i've become hyperaware
that i have more time behind me than i've got ahead.
not so much in the sense of fearing mortality,
just realizing that it's better to be here now
(rather than obsessing over the past
or fretting over the future)
because ultimately, this is all we've got
so better make the most of it
'cos there isn't always gonna be a "next time."

the nietzsche family circus

enjoy. (keep refreshing the page for more.)

"flippin' wigs @ the fairmount" #1, set 2 audio online now!

set 2 of PFFFFT!'s 9.21.2008 fairmount stand is online now at katboy's PFFFFT! archive. the set begins with an unknown kid who just came in off the street started playing tony's synth. (dude, if you're reading this, get in touch!) the set also features vocal rantings by clay.

we'll be back at the 'mount flippin' wigs on sunday, october 19th. y'all come.

and btw -- karl poetschke will be back in town late november-early december timeframe and wants to book a ghostcar gig. any ideas?

a face in the crowd

it's funny that my sweetie wanted to watch this "because i finally figured out who palin reminds me of" the night farren blogged it. there are no coincidences! (and, um, she meant the andy griffith character, not the patricia neal one.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

theme from "shaft" you've never heard it before:

fraf update

my ex-editor 'n' i visited fraf thursday night and heard some good news from his mom: he's breathing on his own and has a gag reflex! he's in room 2205 in the bloxom tower at harris methodist downtown. visiting hours are 11am-12noon, 2-3pm, 5-6pm, 8-9pm, and 11pm-12midnight. go see him and talk to him, and give his family members some ups, too. there are a lot of cards and pictures there that friends have left.

btw, i found out his full name is chad morgan percy. (sorry, fraf.)

here's some info his friend linc posted on myspace a coupla days ago:

Tuesday they did some reflex testing which Fraf responded to. You know, little rubber mallet just under the knee caps? He did well and everything worked as it should and apparently that means there isn't any damage to the brain stem (or if there is it's very minimal). That's great because from what I read of the posturing he was doing they were related to injury of the brain stem.

Wednesday they remove his feeding tube and respirator from his mouth and give him a tracheostomy to reduce his chance of infection and pneumonia. They will also do another round of brain scans and tests.

His brain is still swelling a bit but the swelling in his face and hands has gone down a ton.

Keep reaching out to him and drop by to see him!


As you can imagine, Fraf has no health insurance. His mom is working with social security and the hospital, but ultimately Chad's gonna have some mammoth medical bill. All of that will pay for the hospital, but anything we can do to help him get any top-notch rehab he needs to just help with rent and what-not after the fact will be welcome.

There are now collection containers at many "Fraf-friendly" places around Fort Worth. You can go to Lola's on 6th street, the Chat Room, the Spiral Diner or the Fairmont which are all on Magnolia, as well as Liberty Electric Tattooing on 7th street. I think Kat is setting all of those up and may end up putting more of them out.

There should also be a donation pool set up on in the next few days so that folks can donate online and from out of town. Dave from the Chat Room is setting that up.

Last, I have set up a fund via PayPal. To contribute simply send a donation via PayPal to - all money will go to his mom to help with him. If Fraf actually gets the money the hospital will be able to attach it to his medical bill so we want to keep it out of his hands for now.

Also everyone needs to thank Diana when you see her and his roommate Kelly. She is doing a ton of work to get Chad's scooter out of impound and paying the expenses. Typical sweetheart Diana! Kelly has been digging up all kinds of important docs the hospital needed for social security claims and whatnot.

I know there are a lot of other folks helping out, and thanks to you all!

Don't forget to check his website.

This is probably the last blast message I'll send and keep the rest at