Friday, June 30, 2006

pinche bush

dig fort worth cat kid daniel's adventures as an illegal alien in mexico.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

wow! a whole day of acoustic music at fred's

this from jennifer chandler:

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

The ALL DAY EMRAG JAM is this Saturday, July 1 !!
Here is the band schedule:

12 noon - 1:45

2:00 - 2:45

3:00 - 3:45

4:00 - 4:45

5:00 - 5:45

6:00 - 6:45
and the texicano folkrock punk

7:00 - 7:45

8:00 - 8:45

9:00 - 10:00

The Patio is Open:
Monday Thru Saturday
hours of operation: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
beer until midnight

Sunday, June 25, 2006

we jam econo

got my copy of the minutemen double dvd yesterday. because i'm cheap, i selected the lowball option when i preordered and so didn't expect to get it until after i got back from new joisey in july, but they musta upgraded it, so the package actually arrived at mi casa on the same day it did for other ppl who paid for the higher-priced spread. watched it _all_ last night -- both discs. so there.

the we jam econo documentary is great -- comparisons suck, but i gotta say 'twas better 'n the filth and the fury and from the westway to the world; dunno 'bout mc5: a true testimonial, but legal trials 'n' tribs mean we'll prolly never get to see thatun (which might be ok -- dunno if i wanna listen to wayne kramer talk fer an hour 'n' a half anyhoo).

the filmmakers strike just the right balance between ints 'n' music for optimal flow. the extreme brevity of most minutemen toonage means that they're able to give the diehard fan lotsa complete songs (always a plus where this kinda thing is concerned). interview-wise, the film's unifying thread is contempo footage of watt spielin' as he drives the boat around pedro. d. is present via snippets of a full-band int from their final tour in '85 (included in its hour-long entirety in da extra schitt, where you get to hear what a dickhead the college journo interviewer cat was). there are lotsa aging / greying / balding punkeroos -- a good cross-section of musos, friends 'n' fellow-travelers -- as well as watt's mom 'n' pedro neighborhood peeps and few irrelevant ones (richard hell was at least namechecked in "history lesson, part 2," and flea from the chili peppers seems genuine in his enthusiasm, but the wire cat is kind of a stretch).

in da extra schitt, you get complete sets (62 songs in toto!) from the starwood in l.a., '80 (d. breaks two strings while watt sings a lot and cracks back at hecklers who, in the manner of the time, insist on covering the band in loogies); the 9:30 club in d.c., '84 (can see the stupid slamdancing bullshit starting, but at least the perps look like suburban kids rather 'n skinhead nazi fucks); and an '85 acoustic set from an l.a. cable station (where d. 'n' watt are sitting in what have to be the most uncomfortable positions imaginable; you can almost feel their legs falling asleep as you watch them). deleted scenes on dvd's usually provide little more than validation for the original editing choices (in this case, the interminable interview with the cat who directed the minutemen's videos is particularly egregious in that regard) but there are a few gems here. (my fave: the one with minutemen producer spot in his backyard in austin. other bits i dug: saccharine trust gtrist joe baiza demonstrating how d. got his tone; watching d. leap around onstage 'n' realizing what a fuckin' great drummer george hurley is, playin' everything _but_ four-on-the-floor; watt singing an acoustic version of richard hell's "time.") you also get to see the vids for "this ain't no picnic" (which i actually remember seeing on mtv -- _once_), "ack ack ack" (reminiscent of the clip the who did for "happy jack" that was included in the kids are alright), and "king of the hill."

what comes through the most is the love between the cats in the band -- what else woulda kept watt touring for 20 yrs after his bro. d. perished in a stupid van accident (not dwelt on or oversentimentalized by the filmmakers, altho the inevitable "history lesson" will raise a lump in yr throat if you care about this stuff at all). to me, the best band stories are all about the same thing: a buncha ppl growing up together thru music. what makes thisun so evocative for me, beyond the liberating noise d., watt 'n' george made, is their honesty and d.i.y. work ethic, which still serves as a template for any bunch of kids who wanna make their statement without pandering to da star bullshit machine. required viewing.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

the barband hack's hall of shame

here are some songs i never wanna have to hear / play evereverever again:

1) mustang sally
2) brown eyed girl
3) pride and joy
4) johnny b. goode
5) free bird
6) proud mary
7) cold shot
8) midnight hour
9) sweet home alabama
10) soul man
11) hold on i'm coming
12) crossroads
13) cocaine
14) wonderful tonight
15) all along the watchtower
16) gimme shelter
17) brown sugar
18) honky tonk women
19) moondance
20) little wing
21) voodoo child
22) rock and roll hoochie koo
23) funk 49
24) born on the bayou
25) roadhouse blues

if you've ever beeen in a really shitty barband, add yr own...

Friday, June 23, 2006

teenage hormones, the great tyrant

call this a tale of two trios:

fell by fonky fred's to grab a fredburger thursday night 'n' wound up getting to hear the teenage hormones, a rockabilly band fronted by gtrist-vocalist mike cregar (ex-susans). the three-piece could only play a 30-minute set, since their upright slap-bassplayer johnny danger aka "the kid" has a broken femur and foot and a metal rod down his leg, the result of being run over by a car while riding his motorcycle (he's appropriately named, i s'pose). their toonage was rough, a step away from chaos (as the susans' sometimes was), but they had the correct spirit in the same way as lotsa punkbands i usedta go see at raul's and club foot in austin back in the day, altho i wonder whether some of their black-clad friends / fans would know the difference between carl perkins and joe strummer if they met 'em in a dark alley. the hormones' vibe made me wonder what teenage mac curtis musta sounded like when he started playing with the galbraith brothers in weatherford -- a buncha rural kids who grew up playing country music and had to wait until they saw elvis on tv to realize that what they were doing was _cool_. and the hormones' stand-up drummer looked like either a chunkier version of the burning hotels' wyatt adams or a hanna-barbera cartoon of a rockaroll tub-thumper. as my sweetie pointed out, he had a nice mo-tucker-as-kodo-drummer thang goin' on. the hormones be's at the li'l wreck room on july 14th, opening for high school caesar and 100 damn guns. what better way to celebrate bastille day than with some good ol' 'meercun bumpa-chicka?

afterward, fell by el wreck to hear the great tyrant, who've been playing a lot lately, and it shows in their tighter, more aggressive attack. since last time i saw 'em, frontman and onetime american idol contestant daron beck (a fine goth to know 'n' be associated with) seems to be sharing more of the spotlight with the former yeti riddim section of tommy atkins (bass) and jon teague (drums). the concept is a heavy rawk band, substituting keyboards for gtrs, capped by daron's hystrionic voxxx (as one listener remarked, "he sounds like what came out of pandora's box"). the sound is dark 'n' brooding, with elements of prog 'n' jazz underneath the veneer of menace. atkins 'n' teague sound like cats who've spent half their lives playing music together (which they have). atkins alternately slings around monolithic slabs o' sound and drives the music with fluid ostinatos, while teague attacks his kit with tightly controlled violence and nary a movement wasted. the drummer's playing combines a concern with basic pulse shared by old-school figureheads like elvin jones, tony williams, and ginger baker with a gift for riddimic invention that's reminiscent of crimson-era bill bruford; you can hear the shape of the toons in his patterns. so riveting was the band's performance that it was only after the fact that i realized the closing toon was, um, phil collins' "i don't care anymore." the great tyrant be's at the darkside lounge in dallas this sat'day, june 24th.

i chumped and split before the headliners, slough feg from san francisco, got very far into their set, but not before stopping over in "wreck west" to say howdy to scott copeland, who'd been holding forth there earlier with accompaniment by virtuoso harpman gary grammer; ex-woodeye frontguy carey wolff, who'd just finished pitching a city-league softball game and be's at jack's off the wall next thursday, june 29th; and mockingbird cartel front cadillac fraf, who hipped me to a series of guerrilla performances a certain band is planning to stage in conjunction with the fweakly's music awards showcase thingy in downtown fort worth this sunday. might make it almost worthwhile to brave the crowds o' trendies intermingling with the yups from the 'burbs who infest sundance square.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

art of the jam 57

to paraphrase harper lee of to kill a mockingbird fame: summer came, and summer meant kobe.

that's right, you heard right: darrin kobetich has returned to the invitational jam wednesday nights at the li'l wreck room.

thangs have been kicking off later the last few weeks, since jam-meister lee allen's been acting manager at fonky fred's in his compadre quincy's absence (visiting noo yawk city). he's brought back tales of stellar times as "josh clark and fort worth's finest" throw down on the patio stage wednesdays from 7 to 10pm. haven't been out there yet myself, but that's a temporary condition. in fact, i may join josh's mob onstage next week, since it's my berfday and i figure what better way to spend the anniversary of my arrival on the planet (within rock-throwing distance of a half century ago) than with a gtr in my hands for seven hours (other four: the wreck jam and then another installment of "stooges at midnight" in preparation for stoogeaphilia's next black dog stand the following night).

my fellow stoogeaphile matt hembree -- aka katboy, aka muffy, better known as four-string scientist with goodwin, the underground railroad, and pablo and the hemphill 7 (who be's at 8.0s for the fweakly music awards thingy this sunday) -- was onhand to kick things off, but for want of a drummer, we woodshedded some toonage but didn't really light any sparks (were i a charging rhinoceros o' the gtr like da kobe, such might not have been the case), and after timely pause, we retired to the bar.

awhile later, lee showed up with his bass 'n' li'l amp, with word that da kobe and joe "drumzilla" cruz were on their way over from fred's. drumzilla wasn't in a playing mood, tho, and i began to regret not having called brandon wallace prior to rolling out of mi casa. "confusajohn" stevens, who can kick the traps as well as light up the strings, was in the house with his sweetie, but they were on the way out when i approached him. josh clark his own self fell by for a beer but told me he'd shot his load at fred's earlier and was prolly heading home soon. then, by lucky happenstance, i looked out the window and saw jeffrey williams hanging up fliers for jasper stone's friday night appearance at el wreck (opening for the estimable eleven hundred springs). jeffrey's a great, if reluctant drummer, and while he initially agreed to "help out for a coupla songs," whatever enthusiasm he held for the prospect seemingly evaporated when he walked in and saw that the shakey-but-faithful house kit wasn't set up yet.

as luck would have it, he wound up at a table where darrin was chillin' out pre-jam. da kobe was insistent: "you're playin', _right_?" he said. it was more an answer than a question. next thing i knew, old jed was a millionaire and darrin was helping jeffrey set up the kit. leave it to a pushy-ass expatriate lawn guylander not to take no.

the starting lineup was the jam-meister, da kobe, matt, jeffrey, marcus brunt on trombone, and me. the sounds emanating from the stage during the opening improv were downright menacing, and L-O-U-D. at times it was hard to tell who was playing what, but somehow it all coalesced nicely. big d was def the dominant onstage presence, with his seemingly endless supply of riffs 'n' ideas, and his forceful solo attack, following the introductory onslaught with a riff from "bag drag" by '70s hard rawkers cactus. these days, he's added to his elecric bag o' tricks, playing a lotta slide on a standard-tuned gtr and sounding damned fine. the jam-meister seemed to get a kick out of not having to call _all_ the toons 'n' changes. he declared it a "no song night," and with josh clark on drums, the jamcats extemporized a bit of hardcore thrasharama on three chords called by an audience member at lee's prompting (that'd be C, F#, and B). hembree hit on a spanish-sounding groove, and there was a lee-initiated improv that built off a lydian mode in G ("that's like an F major scale, but it starts in G," he said helpfully).

at some point, barber mack honcho john shook took over from hembree on "first bass" and spun off inventive lines that had the jam-meister yelling out "bob weir! jerry garcia!" (shook's providing the music for the play goose dance that runs this weekend and next at the rose marine theater; teatro de la rosa leading lights claudia acosta and rob bosquez were in da house, altho regrettably neither of them got to flow verse over the jams this time around.) there were threads of country shuffle, reggae one-drop, 'n' slow blues; most valuable player o' the night jeffrey williams navigated the manifold styles seamlessly, imbuing all of them with seemingly effortless groove. here's a cat who knows intuitively where the pocket is -- lives there, in fact.

it seemed like just a brief flicker of time when wreck room wizard o' sound andre edmonson announced, "you've got ten minutes left." wtf -- two 'n' a half hours flew by like they was nuthin'. there was a fair-sized crowd in the house, too -- several of whom i spoke to said they'd been there several months before (altho i had little recollection of any of 'em, which is more indicative of my general state of mind than any personal qualities of theirs; thanks in particular to the cat who bought me the crown shot -- hope you find a singer for yr band, man). i'd been debating whether to ask the jam-meister if he wanted to pull the plug on the project, what with josh's jam at fred's, the moon's jazz night moving from tuesday to wednesday 'n' like dat. don't think i'm gonna do that, tho. i wouldn't wanna miss out on a summer of jammin' wit' musos of the caliber of da kobe, hembree, shook, jeffrey, marcus 'n' lee. greedy bahstid, me.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"cortez the killer"

neil young toon
one bar each of Em and D
followed by two of Am
perfect jam fodder
you can do that for an hour

covered on built to spill's live ceedee
when the cat kicks on the wah
after the last vocal
and they head off into dual-gtr
supernova meltdown

you might just say
it's right up my alley

Monday, June 19, 2006

ppt and the theater fire for kinky for governor!

talk about yr eclectic bills. exuberant hip-hoppers ppt of mavericks' playoff song fame and somber urban rustics the theater fire of new album wonderment are joining forces this friday, june 23rd, for a benefit show in support of writer-muso kinky friedman's gubernatorial campaign. it'll be at dallas' venerable sons of hermann hall at elm and exposition. doors open at 9pm. there'll be a special guest to be named later. while i seldom make the trek to dallas for any reason, this could be a worthy exception. that kinky: he's a uniter, not a divider.

joan jett

nice to hear that joan jett's still rawkin' after all these yrs. while her ex-cohorts in crime from the runaways (creepy angeleno uber-hipster kim fowley's brainchild, an all-girl band that traded in those twin rawk fundamentals trash 'n' sleaze in exactly the same way as the y-chromosomed-in-spite-of-everything noo yawk dolls did a little bit earlier and the ramones did around the same time, to the point of having a completely bogue media-fueled east-vs.-west coast rivalry back in da pre-hip-hop daze when such didn't include gunplay or expensive jewelry) lita ford 'n' cherie currie have reinvented themselves as heavy metal mom 'n' foxes film almost-was turned chainsaw sculptress, respectively, joan continues on her way down the true path of rockaroll (i once saw her, pre-"i love rock 'n' roll" but with the toon's author eric "roscoe" ambel on gtr, i-bullshit-you-not wipe the floor with iggy hisself, then at a low ebb in his career where his band was even more pedestrian than some of the ones john cale usedta tour with and his best song was actually "louie louie" but without beer bottles breakin' on strings like on metallic k.o.) with a sound that, while hardly pushing back any boundaries, will remind the interested listener of a time when the words "pop" and "punk" could scarcely be spoken in the same sentence. (which maybe means that all those bands with numbers in their names that came after green day have more in common with the sweet 'n' suzi quatro than the ramones 'n' pistols like you'd think. or not.) good on 'er.

wow - watt covers beefheart

my bro andrew in philly pulled my coat to this myspace site o' ex-minutemen / firehose 'n' current stooges bassist mike watt, where you can hear watt toonage including a coupla captain beefheart covers ("dirty blue gene" and "my head is my only house unless it rains," to give their names). sounds like nels cline on gtr. enough to send me back to the shed, there to wrestle with the transcription of "peon" that ron geida tabbed out for me like eight yrs ago.

because i suck

...i didn't go to any shows this past w-e. no, fuck that. i'm not apologizing for shee-ot. with (lately) at least five oppos a month to play out, i feel less compelled to hang out in bars than ops normal. (altho, as gawd is my witness, someday before i die i'm gonna go sit in on bryce harp's tuesday-night halo gig. first week in july, right, matt?) it's like this old chief master sergeant i knew in the reserves told me once (and he knew whereof he spoke): as we get older, we get more sentimental. and right now i'm having my biggest kicks hangin' out wit' my sweetie and doing stuff like discovering _her_ rekkid collection. big fave right now: tom waits' anthology, esp. the songs "i hope that i don't fall in love with you," "martha," "tom traubert's blues," "jersey girl" (the best 'n' most archetypal springsteen song brooooce never wrote) and tom's take on "somewhere" from, uh, west side story; the confluence of romantic melody 'n' howlin' wolf vocalismo absolutely slays me, even more so 'n waits' later, more "experimental" stuff, and reminds me of the time me 'n' my best friend / mentor / nemesis michael (r.i.p.) were sitting at the bar in a lower manhattan dive called kenny's castaways ca. '74 when waits walked in the door. "look," my buddy said, "it's _tom waits_!" so waits, of course, gave a little cry of alarm and split out the door tout de suite. smooth fuckin' move, pal. you're not supposed to take notice of celebs in noo yawk city.

been watching more flixxx than usual, too, altho i haven't yet taken the plunge into netflixland (i fear if i did, i'd _never_ leave my couch). we generally watch movies my dtr brings home, or ones we cop on vhs for a coupla bucks at half price. 'twas on this basis we saw a sweet late-'90s coming-of-age flick called dancer, texas that i hadn't seen since my kids was kids, just in time for father's day (the biz between the rancher 'n' oilman fathers 'n' their sons is great, evocative, 'n' understated). yesterday, on my very own hallmark card holiday on which i knew i wasn't gonna see any of my kids, there were only two movies i'd have considered watching. since we'd seen big fish in the last six months, we settled on 25th hour. the final fantasia between father 'n' son brian cox 'n' edward norton as fireman dad drives his drug dealer son upstate to the hoosegow never fails to bring a tear to my eye. reminds me that like his contemporary oliver stone, spike lee's a great filmmaker at least 25% of the time (and we need to scour the racks at half price for a copy of do the right thing).

lo-fi is my-fi

when my dtr requested "pinball wizard" at the wreck room invitational jam last week, i prolly wouldn't have remembered how to play it (notwithstanding the fact that i've known how to since i was a teen-snot and actually usedta sing it to her 'n' her sisters when they was babies -- only kinda audience i'd attempt vocalismo in front of) if i hadn't found a copy of tommy on vinyl at half price coupla weeks ago. funny that what originally turned me off the 'riginal "_rock opera_" (yeah, right) on rekkid was how flat it sounded -- almost like a demo except for some of the li'l psych fillips on "amazing journey/sparks," which just reinforced the connection with the who sell out -- a virtue at my house). in light of the last 20 yrs of studio-glossy spew we've had to listen to (mutt lange and ted templeman have _loads_ to answer for, imo), that _plainness_ now sounds like a plus to these feedback-scorched ears.

being an obscurantist weirdo, i tend to prefer rough to smooth, sonically speaking, and i prefer the demo / rehearsal / audience-recorded live incarnations of lotsa stuff i dig to the studio-slick versions. i'm not the only one, either -- was discussing this with katboy earlier and himsay, "live and demo material really lets you hear what a band _is_." maybe i got this way from teething on albs like five live yardbirds (which was professionally recorded but sounded like a bootleg even by shabby early-'70s standards) and velvet underground live at max's kansas city (which was recorded on an audience member's cassette player and sounded like it, down to the recordist's tablemates scoring drugs on-mic), or trading crappy audience tapes of captain beefheart's magic band (which made me aware, through hearing his toons played note-for-note by musos other 'n those who played on the rekkids, that there was actually order in what i took at first for total anarchy) that were the fuckin' _holy grail_ to my set of teenage musos. in fact, know cats from australia 'n' scandinavia who learned the entahr repertoire of obscuro late-'70s detroit outfit sonic's rendezvous band (who only released a solitary single, and a _one-sided_ single, at that, during their existence) from illicitly-recorded live tapes.

there are loads of bands that i never really "got" until i heard the recordings that preceded their signature work. take noo yawk punkeroos television, for example, who i'm listening to as i type this. on their pristine studio artifacts, the clarity of recording 'n' presentation just emphasized the thinness of the gtrs and the weediness of the voxxx, which are still present on the earlier recordings, but augmented with a live energy 'n' spark that just didn't transfer to the studio. or the new york dolls, whose march '73 demos (available in quasi-legit form as hard night's day) serve them better, imo, than either of their studio albs, where producers (todd rundgren and shadow morton) imposed their visions on the dolls' basic rawk blare. one of my fave listens of late has been the shape of things, a fan-recorded tape of the very last show doomed cleveland journo/muso peter laughner ever played with pere ubu, a band he helped found but was ousted from before they made their debut album. i've heard tons of recordings of the toons, both by ubu and by rocket from the tombs, the band that preceded 'em, and i have to say that laughner's contributions to these 'uns give 'em a supernova brilliance that others lack. and the audience chatter is high-fuckin'-larious.

my sweetie says this fetish exists because i'm more interested in _process_ than _product_. same reason i enjoy going to see shows of local bands i like over a period of time as they grow up in public, to paraphrase lou reed, with their pants down.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

skin and bones drum cult

here's what we're doing this sat'day night:

Hello good people. We will convene this evening of June the 17th for an event that will rattle your walls and split the foundation of your understandings of what should and shouldn't be done. You will come to learn that it can and it will be done. This is one show. One show only!

It will be done @ The Wreck Room (3208 w. 7th st. FW) Beginning @ 10:30pm Drummers from AAA, Spoonfed Tribe, Peach Truck Republic, Sleeplab, Confusatron, TOP SECRET, Dia De Los Muertos, and Pablo and the Hemphill 7 will gather for an evening of Creative Destruction, Blood and Firs Show. Following will be an AFTERPARTY @ The Speakeasy (3136 E. Lancaster FW Under Competition Music) w/the DRUM CULT and DJ Universol and Sun Ray and Visuals by D1 and Happy. Music until Dawn. BYOB!


*Note: We were going to begin the evening w/ a listening party of Spoonfed's new EP, but we have just heard it is not completed yet. We apologize for any misunderstandings as we wanted to hear it as well. So you'll have to wait your pretty selves.

With that....come...come brethren.........come to the Conversion.

Your presence is requested,


top secret...shhh in stores

because i'm a lazy bahstid, this from top secret...shhh:

Body: If you desire a copy of the top secret...shhh on vinyl (tansparent green) with a full length cd included, visit these 2 locations:

Fort Worth:
R-Type Records
3404 W. 7th
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
(817) 820-0990

Good Records
1808 Lower Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

Will be available at Waterloo Records in Austin soon, stay tuned.

art of the jam 56

one of these weeks i gotta make it down to fred's to check out the "josh clark and funky town" jam sesh, before adjourning over to the li'l wreck room to do my weekly duties as gtr player / chronicler o' events for lee and carl's invitational jam. lee allen should be a fairly impartial source, being fred's patio-meister as well as the wreck's jam-meister, and he sez the first few weeks of josh's jam have been stellar. this week, f'rinstance, he enthused that "there was a fuckin' _orchestra_ onstage: _three_ keyboard players, a sax player, marcus brunt on trombone, confusajohn and some kid i never saw before on gtrs. these young cats pull out trip-hop beats and rawk the stratosphere!" after that, most of the aforementioned headed off to the moon (the club, not the earth's natural satellite) for the jazz jam (only two more of those left before myles hayes moves to wisconsin). i was ambivalent when i left la casa, glad there's a lotta musical activity around the fort on wednesday nights but figuring that the action at fred's 'n' the moon would cut down on the number of musos 'n' civilians who made it out to the wreck.

i was cheered shortly after my arrival at el wreck by the appearance of matt hembree, bassist extraordinaire with goodwin, the underground railroad, pablo and the hemphill 7, and oh yes, stoogeaphilia, a cat with a healthy enthusiasm for music in all its forms who digs to play as much as anyone i know 'n' more than most. lee had pinged him 'cos he knew he was going to be late after closing fred's (filling in as manager in quincy's absence), which led matt to comment, "i guess i'm one of the cool kids now." matt was lugging his ibanez (since some mad fool broke all the strings off his fender and didn't replace 'em; wonder how that coulda happened?), and since his amp was awol (actually undergoing repairs in the loving care of soon-to-be-papa-of-twins john zaskoda at sessions music), matt would use lee's bass rig.

after timely pause, drummer brandon wallace showed up and set up his kit, then we tried a few things, a little aimlessly at times but making a few connections. (unlike the jam-meister, who has a degree in conducting, i am a sideman and make no bones about it; i always have my best ideas _after_ i pack my shit.) i was kinda-sorta trying to force matt to solo, even tho he hates to, since i figure a cat who can play complex charts, rawk, groove, and have out-of-body experiences onstage should be able to bogart one every once in awhile. looking out and seeing claudia acosta in the house, i called her up to flow verse over "maggot brain," as has become customary, because (matt's words) "she makes 'us' look a whole lot better." we took a break for liquid refreshment when i saw my sweetie in the house (just doing a touch 'n' go; graduation at her school, always a bittersweet occasion, was the next day and she wanted to be well-rested). wizard o' sound andre edmonson spun some manu chao jams and the jam-meister showed up, a little peaked from a day of rawk that started at 10am with rock camp (prepping his students for a performance this friday, 3pm at the ridglea theater).

we invited claudia back up for the next set, starting off with "oye como va" (matt had been listening to tito puente before stepping out this particular evening) and continuing with a spanish-tinged motif that got the jam-meister inspahrd to set up his little rig and add his five-string bass to the stew (or paella). the energy level picked up considerably (like i said, i ain't a bandleader) as the jamcats ('n' chick) threw down on various improv wonderment, whoeverthefuck it is' cover of jacko's "smooth criminal," and led zep "kashmir." barber mack leader-bassist john shook appeared, so hembree ceded his place onstage (and ibanez axe) to the new arrival.

somewhere in there my dtr and a handful of her friends showed up. we made an attempt to play "pinball wizard" at her request and were rewarded with a round of shots. villain vanguard gtrist bryce harp was in the house, getting some training on running the board from andre. bryce hadn't been able to play at fred's because of some amp issues (jayzus, is it something in the air or whut?!?!?), so i invited him to avail himself of "black gold" (as the jam-meister -- tongue planted firmly in cheek, no doubt -- dubbed my long-suffering but faithful indonesian squier) and my trusty, rusty roland "amplet" (which is going to pay smiling mr. zaskoda at sessions a visit this weekend). he proceeded to wow everyone with his greased-lightning chops and free-flowing melodic invention. matt had brought some small percussion instruments along "just in case," which i distributed among aimee's friends to make them part o' the jam, too.

watching lee 'n' shook playing "dueling basses," hembree remarked, "in a way, i wish i was playing, but i'm enjoying the conversation between those two guys way too much to worry about it." in a phrase, the spirit of the jam. 'twas beautiful. matt 'n' i also agreed we've gotta go sit in on bryce's tuesday night gig at the halo lounge over by tcu one of these weeks. so much jammin' to do, so little time. i wanna do it again next week.

ronald shannon jackson

you can never tell who's gonna turn up with all the 20somethings on myspace. to wit: master drummer and composer / harmolodic pioneer / "punk-funk" innovator / shadowy, elusive living legend ronald shannon jackson, who's touring europe this summer with an all-star aggro dubbed the punk-funk all-stars that includes outer space delta bluesman james "blood" ulmer, ex-defunkt trombonist joseph bowie, and melvin gibbs, who played bass in jackson's stellar '80s band the decoding society. shannon's own website is active again, too, making it possible once again to obtain his magical but hideously rare recordings (samples from which are audible on the myspace thingy). an authentic original, his music deserves to be heard more widely. so sayeth me.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

zappa plays zappa

wow, talk about yr synchronicities. i find a clean copy of apostrophe at half price last night and fall asleep listening to "uncle remus," and this morning i wake up to find a link from paul boll to this new york times story about a tribute to frank dubbed zappa plays zappa, organized / led by his son dweezil and featuring zappa band alumni napoleon murphy brock, terry bozzio, and steve vai. (you need a login to read it but it doesn't cost you anything.) i checked the tour dates on the zappa plays zappa website and no, they're not coming anywhere near tejas, but if i was gonna be in nyc on october 31st, i'd wanna go check 'em out at the theater at madison square garden, where frank always usedta play after he got popular enough that the old academy of music on 14th street would no longer accommodate his crowd (like in the baby snakes flick). man, those were some times.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


saw the sleeplab cats at a mixer for patrons of the kimbell art museum saturday, prior to their appearance later that night at the rose marine theater (which my sweetie 'n' i had to skip, 'cos we were _wa-a-ay_ behind on household chores 'n' like that). turns out that society gigs like the kimbell are the perfect venue for sleeplab, whose low-volume, subtle approach sometimes seems a little outta place on the big rawk stage at the wreck room. jeffa and his crew have been rehearsing a lot in prep for this gig, and the arts patrons appeared to dig their brazilian-influenced sound real much. hopefully there'll be more of these to come.

teen a go go

longtime fort worth rawk promoter melissa kirkendall's been spending progressively more time working on films the last coupla yrs, and now she's directing a documentary, teen a go go, that chronicles the explosion of brit invasion-inspahrd teenage garage bands here in the fort during the mid-'60s. that era of cowtown music garnered national attention a coupla yrs back when noo yawk-based norton records released three volumes of fort worth teen scene, a cornucopeia of teen snot nuggets from back in the day, compiled by local obsessive rekkid enthusiasts larry harrison and david campbell, whose article for kicks magazine ca. '85 got the whole ball rolling with norton honcho / kicks editor billy miller.

i've seen a short teaser for the doc and dug the experience of seeing cats like roger brownlee (ex-frontman for the elite of "one potato, two potato" fame) and larry roquemore (whose band larry and the bluenotes recorded _their_ signature hit, "night of the sadist" -- or "...phantom," depending on which version you heard, based on the myth of the lake worth goat man -- no less than three times) or jazz cafe impresario nick kithas (known in his '60s persona as "the creep" of creep and the deacons) talkin' 'bout days gone by, and my old borders workmate harrison expounding on the significance the period's music has had for him. it'll be interesting to see if kirkendall's able to unearth any period live footage, which seems like a necessary ingredient to make compelling cinema of the subject matter, but could be a tough nut to crack, since most video documentation of these bands was done by local tv stations that tended to wipe such footage almost immediately. anybody got some grainy old super-8 reels out in the storage shed that you'd be willing to pony up?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

ghostcar, me-thinks

speaking of dark improv mystery 'n' majesty, ghostcar, those masters of same, be's back in action, with upcoming shows at the cavern in dallas (june 16th) and denton field day (july 1st). caught 'em last night at the black dog after witnessing a me-thinks performance at the wreck room that was at once chaotic and epic. a last-minute addition to the previously booked three-band bill caused haltom city's finest to have to tear down the backline they'd planned to share with the riverside ramblers, after which ray liberio's amps didn't seem to wanna act right; funny how equipment never malfunctions in the 'shed, only on the gig. they managed to overcome, tho, interpolating the loco gringos' "nurture my pig" in the middle of my fave toon from their soon-come double e.p., "burnout timeline." but i digress.

ghostcar's a larger band than they usedta be. wayfaring trumpeter karl poetschke's returned from his latest series of outta town adventures, bringing his echoplex with him, and it's good to see drummer clay stinnett back on the evening stage in the 817 after a lengthy exile in, um, denton. chris perdue's still on hand to lay down his ever-solid foundation of shifting ostinatos, while tony chapman, who usedta do a two-bass thang with perdue, is playing a stratocaster these days, providing a more linear counterpoint to daniel huffman's swirling palette of colors and textures. most striking change to the lineup is the addition of vibist / keyb man / percussionist dana sudborough, who brings yet another element to the evolving sound sculpture that these guys craft on the fly, in the moment.

so just like you'd expect, ghostcar's new cd, too strong / the art of transition, is quite a different beast than its predecessor, the easter sunday e.p. (which had a pastoral, in a silent way-via-ecm label vibe that weren't quite representative of most of the band's live performances i've witnessed). the first hint comes in the chris perdue photo collage on the new disc's cover: there's _gtrs_ in them thar hills. the opening track, "too strong," crackles with live energy, feedback, and a groove that harks back to the rockier moments of miles' a tribute to jack johnson alb (for those of you who just joined us, that's the prizefighter immortalized in the play "the great white hope," not the millennial collegiate rocker). elsewhere, proximate models include the more "out" parts of electric ladyland, mid-period soft machine, banyan, and native american music (dig poetschke's organic lyricism on wooden flute). nobody in the metromess works without a net like this dirty half dozen, and their new cd is a worthy testament to that fact. so there.

monsoon in nepal

read poet / activist / performance artist tammy gomez' journals from her 1999 journey to the kingdom of nepal here.

top secret...shhh

it musta been about two and a half yrs ago. i'd been dating my sweetie for a coupla months, and we were up at the ridglea theater lounge watching some band; i think it was goodwin. after the show was over, we ran into marcus lawyer, ex-brasco and root 420, pablo and the hemphill 7 bassplayer who was just starting to explore a fetish for turntables 'n' breakbeats. he asked me if i wanted to play on a rekkid.

my stock response: "sure. just tell me where 'n' when."

his reply: "what are you doing _right now_?"

so off we went, to meet up at marc's old house on west 7th street. the front room was a jumble-sale mash-up of instruments 'n' recording gear; a drumkit sat in a room off to the side. marcus played us some of the music he'd been working on, including one that wound up evolving into the ph7 toon "rude boy" (their best recording to date, imo). then he 'splained the concept for his project to me: how he'd layed down some basic riddim beds, and was recruiting local musos -- a _shitload_ of 'em -- to flesh out the tracks. all the players would record their parts separately, listening to the tracks through headphones; nobody would know who they were playing with.

i played a les paul recording model he had, plugged straight into the board -- not a setup i'd have chosen, as it gives you _absolutely no tone whatsoever_, but i figured whatthehell. he gave me a few sketchy instructions: "play something repeating that lasts eight bars, then change it." i listened to the track once, then he rolled tape while i improvised according to the direction he'd given me. afterward, i listened to a playback and he asked if i wanted to do it again. i said no. "that's pretty much the way it's gone with everybody so far," he said. i thanked him for letting me participate and my sweetie and i headed east down west 7th just as the first rays of sunlight were becoming visible over the horizon.

over the next few months, i'd hear from this or that local muso that they too had added a piece to marcus' "secret project." ultimately, something like 40 of 'em participated. last yr, when nearly every musician i know got on myspace ('cos it's _free_, see, rupert murdoch and highly questionable terms 'n' conditions of use notwithstanding), it was inevitable that a top secret...shhh page would appear there, and in due time, it did.

other changes took place. marcus started hosting amorphous gatherings of musos and deejays in venues like the black dog and fred's. in the spring, marc's departure from ph7 was announced, and the reggae rockers played their first show with matt hembree on bass. not long after that, i ran into marcus at the wreck room and he showed me _the rekkid_, no longer a rumor but a palpable reality at last, on gorgeous green vinyl. bart rose at first street audio mastered it; dude called chris shoppe put up the money to get it pressed. "i'll have the packaging in about a month," marcus said, and in the fullness of time, a vinyl release party was held at the metrognome collective, with attendant jam and hoo-hah in the fweakly, who went so far as to nominate top secret...shhh for "album of the yr" in its music awards poll.

so now it's here: an impressive achievement for its creator, the soundtrack for a summer in the fort, a souvenir or keepsake of a moment in time for an eclectic 'n' diverse music scene that's richer 'n' deeper than it often gives itself credit for. i have the rekkid spinning on the turntable as i type this. i've been listening to it for a week or so now, here at la casa and also on my 'puter at my straight. marcus thoughtfully included a cd version in the package for all the digital-only technology slaves; clearly, tho, the way to hear this thing is on vinyl. there's so much more low end on vinyl, and low end's an important part of the sound.

track by track:

"the allnighter" opens with a clatter of drums; imagine a groove kicked by one humongous-ass drummer with the pulse of confusatron stickman lucas white and the imagination of ubiquitous jammin' mofo josh clark. ex-engine of the ocean / current double happiness axeman brett bledsoe lays down a line that puts me in mind of something blackbyrd mcknight mighta played on an old headhunters side, while the milesian groove comes courtesy of alan band utility muso extraordinaire douglas edward, with embellishment from rick nelson on strings (before he went off to tour 'n' make bank with the polyphonic spree) and kyle "monkey brainz" on acoustic.

"hit it" is anchored by teenage trapmeister cooper heffley (who now makes his bread 'n' butter with even younger country songbird maren morris). a lotta this groovaliciousness puts me in mind of stuff like early beck, beastie boys riddim beds, geggy tah -- the '90s as nostalgia, wtf?!?!? local jazz eminence joey carter makes his statement here via fender rhodes 'n' f/x-laden solo.

"the groovy van" opens with the sound of justin pate's van door being slammed (which he replicated at the release party by pulling his ride up to the pad). it's another keyb-driven track, in this case justin's fonky hammond sound, with marcus playing an absolutely _feelthy_ groove on fuzzed-out bass. big surprise here is the blast of blues harp from quincy holloway, reminding us that he was once the gospel swingers' frontguy as well as the one cat in sub oslo who could never stop playing. prolly my favorite track on the first ("day") side -- that's right, there's _conceptual continuity_ here, just like the rockin' / mellow sides on ancient original sound golden oldies albs.

"i'm in the mood...swing" is the track i played on, and barber mack bassist john shook 'n' i instantly identified each other when we heard the final mix (altho i woulda guessed somebody other than jen cooper was laying down the sinuous vocal part). marc definitely tweaked the gtr a bit, and i'll admit i'm mighty pleased with the resultant retarded 'n' slightly outta toon '60s buddy guy sound.

"introducing...the end" has a hypnotic vibe, resulting from the interlocking of four separate percussion parts (most notably ph7 / confusatron / aaa maintstay jonathan irving's congas), coby queen's bass, and sub oslo / stumptone gtrist frank cervantez' octaves.

"please relax" has frank rockin' the four-stringed instrument over a spacy stew of synth from james norris, marcus' gtr (didja know he usedta play a left-handed gtr upside down in root 420 'cos it was the only one available?), and dave karnes' drums. karnage's beats remind me of the stuff i usedta hear him play on the tour we did together as nathan brown's r&b, when looking over my left shoulder onstage every night 'n' seeing dave there made the other 23 hrs o' the day tol'able.

turning the rekkid over to the "night" side:

"feelin it" slows down the tempo and hits you right in the solar plexus with a miguel veliz bassline that reminds me of sub oslo shows where you'd _feel_ his line more than you'd hear it. more than any other track here, thisun nearly _demands_ a subwoofer. if miguel doesn't hit "the brown note," he's mos def in that area of the color spectrum. caroline collier told me she'd drummed on the track i'd played on, but the lysergic gtr here is actually marc's. c-tron reedman brian batson plays some trippy wood flute as well.

"what is lost?" just might be my own fave piece on the whole alb, and it's the one on which marcus supplies most of the music to provide a chill, peaceful vibe for ashley myrick's vocalismo (can someone tell me when wordless portishead-like femme vocalics became such a signature sound here in the fort?) 'n' chanci shoppe's spoken word performance, with just a taste of nylon-string solo from sleeplab's fernando palomo.

"confusion resolution" works off the tension between the haunting (and uncredited) pianner ostinato, james norris' break beat and ex-confusatron / current sleeplab man scotty ivey's drumkit. darrin kobetich turns in a virtuoso performance on mandolin and dobro, while the synchronized vocal gymnastics of hanalei lamar and liza reyes recall something edie brickell did on a rob wasserman album a decade or so ago.

"ne exite'" boasts a matt hembree bassline that its creator ruefully noted "contains as many notes as were played by all the other bassplayers on the record," but also serves to sketch out a spacious harmonic framework for daniel katsuk's acoustic improvs to inhabit. billy wilson's theremin and darryl wood's vocal samples add haunting atmosphere to the track.

now the only question that remains is, "when's he gonna do the _next_ one?"

Friday, June 09, 2006

dead kings pillow on myspace?!?!?

speaking of defunct-but-legendary bands from the fort

ex-woodeye front / dead kings pillow bassist carey wolff told me this existed

i told him, "nothing is _ever_ over on the internet"

he said, "honchie would like to be dead kings pillow"

i said, "yeah, but they're not destructive enough"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

art of the jam 55

art o' the jam qualifies for aarp membership (metaphorically speaking) with maybe the best night o' toonage we've seen at the li'l wreck room in better 'n a yr of wednesday nights. and that covers a whole lotta law.

it was velvet jive bassist rob marruffo's berfday celebration, so his pal jam-meister lee allen wanted to kick thangs off at 8pm -- unheard of in muso-time, but y'know. rather than a "jam" per se, the night was shaping up as a mammoth extravaganza with a card that included impulse of will (the wednesday night jamcats, to you), velvet jive, the kynd buds (lee 'n' rob's college band with lee's li'l bro lance -- who was driving in from faraway canyon, tx, for the occasion -- on gtr), blues gtrist-singer texas slim (a.k.a. robin), and stoogeaphilia playing another "stooges at midnight" set.

i got off work around 6:30, rolled in the house around 7 and was out the door 10 minutes later with wizard o' sound andre edmonson in tow. in place of my usual roland cube 60 "amplet," i was carrying matt hembree's peavey classic 50 -- a more suitable rig for stoogerama. while the roland's surprisingly dark 'n' warm and plenty adequate for the wreck stage with andre manning the board, stoogeaphilia calls for a li'l more power 'n' volume, and the peavey surprisingly provides it -- a crunchy li'l amp with a lot more balls 'n' mids than i'd expect.

while andre did some tweaking with the stage lighting, i shot the shit with happy hour bartender michael contreras and black dog tavern impresario tad gaither (in whose room stoogeaphilia now has a regular monthly gig which hembree has dubbed "i wanna be your [black] dog thursdays"), and contemplated taking a nap. after timely pause, the musos began rolling in: berfday boy rob, along with his velvet jive bandmates jimmy (drums) and casey (gtr) and texas slim (who could pass for jimmy's twin, altho they're unrelated), the jam-meister and his bro.

the stage looked like gtr center with its array of amplifiers: besides my borrowed peavey and lee's monolithic bass rig, there was his brother's line 6 amp and pedalboard, casey's red knob fender and vox board (plus a coupla extra analog stompboxes), and rob's ampeg. it was also a _night of stratocasters_: besides lance allen's les paul and texas slim's flying v, there were _four_ of leo fender's toilet seats onstage during the course of the night, between my indonesian squier, casey's, villain vanguard axe-slinger bryce harp's, and ph7 / stoogeaphilia git-fiddler steffin "razor" ratliff's.

things started out with a little sound check improv action, with the velvet jive cats, the jam-meister, his bro and me, leading into jam standard "manic depression." sounded 'n' felt good. then lee played a set with jimmy, casey, and texas slim that included "sunshine of your love" and a coupla freddie king toons showcasing robin / slim. with rob taking over on bass 'n' voxxx, velvet jive played a set that featured their usual complement of zappa covers (i got to sit in on "magic fingers," and only regret that they didn't get to play "village of the sun," which casey told me they'd just broken in). dig those three-part harmonies. i was also onstage for the jamcats' "theme" (that'd be funkadelic's "standing on the verge"), with jam godfather / gideons frontman carl pack providing backing voxxx before he sang lead on his usual feature, "come together."

after winding up their now-regular wednesday stint at fred's, drummer josh clark and the aforementioned gtrist bryce harp fell by to blow off some steam. josh played a groovy drum 'n' bass duet with the jam-meister and got some sparks flying on a full-band feature with bryce on gtr, the details of which are hazy in my already-shakey memory because by this time, the other stoogeaphiliacs had begun to arrive and i'd had a coupla shots. then the kynd buds, an aggro whose original incarnation boasted two gtrs _and_ two basses but no singer. this particular night, it boiled down to the velvet jive riddim boyzzz with lee 'n' his bro on gtrs, and _three_ singers. they played aggressively, but with precision, on material that included fishbone's "servitude." me-thinks / stoogeaphilia frontguy ray liberio joined 'em for a moment to sing black sabbath's "fairies wear boots."

as the kynd buds vacated the stage, stoogeaphilia took it over and immediately inundated the wreck in waves of feedback, which persisted even as dre was soundchecking jon teague's drums and ray's voxxx. i hadn't had time to make out a setlist, so jon, ray 'n' i did so on the fly at the bar. steffin's obviously feeling more comfortable with the material (next time out, he's gonna take on the role of the saxophone on "funhouse," 'cos he doesn't think it sounds crazy enough right now) and fills out the sound nicely with little ornamental flourishes, washes of feedback, and in-yr-face solos. matt had his shirt off almost from the git-go, and was doing all these crazy hendrix-style moves with his bass. (he's gonna try combining his minidisc recording of the set with dre's board mix to come up with a "total stooge experience.") teague has become my fave drummer to play with.

after the first coupla songs, my eyes were stinging with running sweat, but it didn't matter. this is the only band i've ever been in where i get endorphin-high at _practice_. on a gig, an out-of-body experience is almost a guarantee. my favorite moment came during "tv eye" (which wasn't on the list but just seemed like _the right thing to do_), when ray walked to the bar to get a beer, leaving the band hammering away in A. by the end of the song, jon's snare head was trashed and matt was snapping bass strings with his fingers. i love this shit -- reminds me of why i started playing music (besides trying to get girls and having an excuse to get out of my parents' house to party).

afterward, regular jam supporters paul 'n' nicole told me they were surprised when they arrived and couldn't find a place to sit. i went home spent 'n' blissed. all 'n all, a great night. i told lee that marruffo needs to have another berfday again soon.

fine line live founding mama cindy chaffin has a new online home, and while i'm not totally familiar with the circumstances surrounding her recent (and _abrupt_) departure from the website she started, i do know that for the past four yrs, she's been a great, passionate chronicler of local music, a booster of this here blog, an early partisan of stoogeaphilia, and an enthusiast of matt hembree's hair -- all good reasons to check her out.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

wow, a replacements reunion of sorts

katboy might have known about this, but i sure didn't. damn, whatever happened to my copies of tim and pleased to meet me?

mark twain

i was reminded of this bit, from mr. clemens' extracts from adam's diary, by a quote in a review of a hip pocket theatre production in last week's startlegram. who said print newspapers aren't worthashit?

After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her. At first I thought she talked too much; but now I should be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life. Blessed be the chestnut that brought us near together and taught me to know the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

amazing discoveries

has anyone else but me noticed that on the beach boys' version of "barbara ann," during the break after the second verse, somebody (prolly mike love) distinctly says, "come on, teens, let's masturbate"? i'm not making this up.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

peter tosh en francais

for all you francophones, here's a nice site dedicated to reggae great peter tosh.

Friday, June 02, 2006

the wonder

since re-reading clinton heylin's scholarly-but-essential tome from the velvets to the voidoids, i've been going back and listening to (among other things) my television bootlegs. (remember kids, bootlegs are bad. don't buy them. i don't. geez, i gotta re-read the intellectual property agreement i signed at work. if i say something funny there, does it belong to my employer? feh.) searching online for some discographical minutiae, i stumbled on the wonder, a labor of love by an obsessive brit who appears to really love this noise and does his homework, as _those people_ are wont to. it's everything a fan site should be.

myspace t&c furore

Received from Billy Bragg's press office. Watch yourself if you are
putting your own music on Myspace!

"Someone who we work with was bright enough to read the small print
of the MySpace terms and conditions and found that once an artist
posts up any content (including songs), it then belongs to My Space
(AKA Rupert Murdoch) and they can do what they want with it,
throughout the world without paying the artist. Because of this
we've had to take all of Billy's songs down. I'm working on getting
small clips put up instead, but in the meantime please visit to listen to and download songs.

Below is the offending clause. We are hoping to start a small
revolution (in true Bragg style) to try and put a stop to this. You
can do your bit by posting out a bulletin to all your friends, esp
artists, and badgering Tom with e-mails letting him know how unfair
this clause is (not least because you can't hear Billy on here

Thanks for your help and support. The amazing thing about My Space
is how fast we can all communicate so if we all do our bit we
should be able to change this.

Take Care

Sarah, Bragg Office xx

TERMS: (as of 17th March 2006)

"By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content, messages,
text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, profiles, works of
authorship, or any other materials (collectively, "Content") on or
through the Services, you hereby grant to, a non-
exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with
the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees)
to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly
display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content
on and through the Services. This license will terminate at the
time you remove such Content from the Services. Notwithstanding
the foregoing, a back-up or residual copy of the Content posted by
you may remain on the servers after you have removed
the Content from the Services, and retains the rights
to those copies."


wow, there's a whole night of sleeplab on sat'day, june 10th. that's right, jeffa and crew will be following up their 5:30-7:30pm cocktail hour at the kimbell art museum with a stand at the rose marine theater starting at 9pm. a fine 'n' mellow time is guaranteed at either venue (or both).

they're also playing this sunday at the wreck room for jesse sierra hernadez' b-day. start time is 3:30pm, i do believe, and they have some asshole rock'n'roll gtrist (um, that would be me) sitting in.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


speaking of improv wonderment, turns out ghostcar be's at the black dog next friday, june 9th. looks like i'll be making a mad dash from seeing the me-thinks at the li'l wreck room to hear carl poetschke, clay stinnett and co. weave their spells over cantankerous ol' conspiracy theorist tad gaither's new pad.

art of the jam 54

ma-a-an, is the fort becoming a jammin' town or whut? the question is rhetorical -- just dig the profusion of groove 'n' improv-heavy bands like a-hummin' acoustical acupuncture, confusatron, villain vanguard, standard transmission, sleeplab, and barber mack (now holding down first thursdays each month at fonky fred's), marcus lawyer's plethora of projects (of which top secret...shhh is only the most conspicuous), and the shadowy and mysterious skin and bones drum cult (appearing at el wreck on june 17th, with the almost de rigeur speakeasy afterparty to follow). add one more to the list: a weekly wednesday 7-to-10pm fred's throwdown masterminded by ubiquitous drummer josh clark (which one wag -- ok, it was matt hembree -- dubbed "bread 'n' jam wednesdays"). this week, wreck room wednesday night jam-meister lee allen reported that there were 20 musos in attendance, many from the aforementioned units, attaining levels of groovaliciousness that approached the stratosphere. sounds like one to check out (before migrating to the wreck room, of course, for lee 'n' carl's jam).

myself, i missed out on the fred's festivities again this week (late day at work which _almost_ resulted in my falling asleep and missing wednesday night entahrly; must remember _not to sit down_ at la casa on jamnights). i was mighty glad to have waked up, tho, after having my first oppo to stand onstage next to villain vanguard gtrist bryce harp, a great player and really nice cat who made his wreck jam debut last night. i was greatly digging his beautiful tone and creative ideas, including some two-handed tapping wonderment he said later he'd only come up with that afternoon, even tho i swore i'd rip my fingernails out before i'd play another srv toon (um, we played "texas flood"). and when he started in on "hot for teacher," i felt the absence of joe "drumzilla" cruz, whose double-bass-pedal foot musta been itching wherever he was at. (brandon wallace, the stickman-o'-the-hour, gave the song a country breakdown feel.) only other jamcat who sat in was an older dude (whatthehell am i talking about, i'll be 50 next yr?) whose name i didn't catch but gave it hell on a coupla fonky ones. (and no, i'm not forgetting jam_chick_ claudia acosta, who flowed verse over "maggot brain" as has become customary.)

highpoints of the evening for me: 1) when the jam-meister instructed the audience, "call out a letter between A and G. you can add a sharp or flat if you want," and we played their "request." (thankfully, no one requested F-flat.) the result was a ska-flavored throwdown on D-flat to C to F. 'twas fun; gotta do more of that. 2) seeing my dtr and her friend mimi in da house. (i'm funny that way: always dig it when i see my kids while i'm playing.) miz aimee informed me that she thinks my playing has improved in the last coupla yrs, which i told her i attribute to a yr of spending wednesday nights in the company of the jam-meister, the wizard o' sound, and the master of libations. 3) seeing poet / spoken word artiste / sunlit doorway tammy gomez at a table with my sweetie and making a mental note to invite _her_ to flow some rhymes the next time she makes the trek out to west 7th on a wednesday night.

next week: the long-awaited (and prematurely-announced, by me) rob marruffo berfday throwdown, starting early early at 8pm, with a card that includes rob's band velvet jive, lee and rob's college band "the kind buds," and another installment of "stooges at midnight" with stoogeaphilia in addition to the usual jam suspects. dig: if you've been meaning to check out da jam but can't make it out ev'ry wednesday like some of us fools (unnerstand,, band rehearsals, whatevah), this'd be a good one to make an exception for.