Saturday, March 31, 2007

avant-rock lives in cleveland

from cleveland's home and garden, a band that includes the original pere ubu riddim section of bassist tom herman and drummer scott krauss:

What you are about to see are snippets from Avant-BBQ 2006 from the Miller/Weitzel Gallery in Cleveland. We played 2 improv sets that night. Some of the improv went through a process of "spontaneous composition" and became songs - some bits are interesting ambient pieces. Hope you all enjoy!

The band is: Tom Herman - bass; Keith Konajcik - vocals, clarinet, accordion; Scott Krauss - drums, percussion; Katie Mathias - electric violin; Miss Melvis - guitar; Ryan Weitzel - guitar; Robert Wheeler - synth, theremin


been spending a fair amount of time today on brit writer-muso julian cope's head heritage site, 'cos that's where dan mcguire told me he found a lot of the obscure-but-ass-blistering bands over whose sounds he flowed his verse on the jamnation ceedee. cope's a perceptive writer-fan who always goes too far in his analysis (f'rinstance, he likens sleep's relationship to black sabbath with the doors' to the zombies' "she's not there" -- brilliant!), which makes him _right up my alley_.

i was impressed that dan's musical antennae are finely-tuned enough for him to be hip to fort worth outfits like blood of the sun and yeti as well as obscuro japanese bands like blues creation, white heaven, and fushitsusha. was even more impressed to see that cope's albums of the month have included recs by the tokyo kid brothers (whose rock musical golden bat i saw off broadway wa-a-ay back in 1970) and the flower travelin' band (yet another band that jon teague pulled my coat to). however, when i went to check out the articles on cope's site, i found that they'd been removed because cope's updating them for inclusion in his forthcoming book japrocksampler: how the postwar japanese blew their minds on rock 'n' roll (due to be pubbed in the u.k. in september). looks like essential reading.

here's a latter-day clip of flower travelin' band frontguy akira "joe" yamanaka performing a toon from their best-known alb, satori.

Friday, March 30, 2007

art of the jam

i wasn't there, but apparently, _no one_ is indispensible to the jam. tyrel from addnerim sent me this:

The jam went on. We called Lee, but to no avail. Cameron from Merkin had his drums and I had my Twin and guitar. [John] Shook had his bass rig so Cameron and Chris from Merkin was there, Shook, and [Addnerim bassist] Dustin were there and Lucas from Confusatron traded out on drums for an hour. We jammed some cool shit, Stanley Clarke, Avenged Sevenfold, Vol. 4 era Sabbath and of course Rush. Along with some improv. It was cool.

ftw, 3.30.2007

it's _piss_-pouring rain here in the fort
and i'm lounging around mi casa
with two black cats, waiting to go to work.

if i still had a copy of electric ladyland,
i'd crank up the side with "rainy day, dream away"
and sit out on my front porch with the door open.

los noviembres, studio 817, addnerim, aaa, dead thing, ph7, dirty pool, fwac

so much stuff to do around the fort on gallery night. this from paul boll:

Hi Everyone .....

My little under-the-radar project "Los Noviembres" will be performing it's cool, sly, and dangerous takes on Southside Chicago Blues, Jazz Electronica, French Noir Film Music, Mexican Boleros and Old Time "Sicko" Country Saturday Night (Gallery Night).

The Show is at Eurotazza on Camp Bowie. We play 8:00 to 10:30.

Also, from 4:00 to Midnight (also Gallery night) photographer John Holbrook will be exhibiting his collection "Saints" at my teaching studio at 3325 W. 7th St. The entrance to the studio is around back on Darcy.

There is more info on my latest blog ....

It's gonna be a cool weekend!


i gotta make it to one of los noviembres' shows one of these days, but on this particular night, i'm working late, then heading over to studio 817, where i will hopefully see lotsa li'l red dots on the wall.

if heavy sounds are more your thang, get thee to the ridglea theater, where addnerim be's holding their cd release party for new disco the potential threat.

on the other hand, if you prefer groovier vibes, a-hummin' acoustical acupuncture plays the second of two back-to-back nights at the li'l wreck room with villain vanguard and darrin kobetich.

for a jammier scenario (with burgers 'n' beer), dead thing be's at fonky fred's.

if you're not afraid to dodge traffic/yups downtown, pablo and the hemphill 7 be's at the flying saucer in sundance square.

meanwhile, over at 6th street live, john zaskoda's blooze-rawk band that has the same name as my college band be's performin'.

or, you could just get on the bus with the fort worth arts consortium:

FWAC Gallery Night Bus Tour!!!!!

The Fort Worth Arts Consortium is sponsoring a bus tour for Spring Gallery Night on Saturday, March 31st. For those of you that have not attended a gallery night before, it's a biannual event sponsored by the Fort Worth Art Dealer's Association where local galleries host free receptions for the public.

We'll be visiting several independent galleries including the Firehouse Gallery, Galeria de la Rosa, Warehouse Gallery, Heliotrope, The William Campbell Contemporary Art Gallery, Arts Fifth Avenue and Studio 817.

The tour will leave from the The Wreck Room, located at 3208 W. 7th Street, at 4:00 pm and end around 8:30pm. The cost is $15 per person. Space is limited so please rsvp to or call 817-832-0983 if you're interested in joining us.


decisions, decisions...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

the universal mind of bill evans

wow! there's a five-art documentary on youtube about bill evans, the impressionistic jazz piano genius. each segment (except the last, which is shorter) runs around 10 minutes. fascinating stuff. thanks to james vernon for the link.

A Brief Chat with Unknown Instructors' Dan McGuire

I first encountered Toledo, Ohio-based poet Dan McGuire’s writing on The Way Things Work, debut CD by the Unknown Instructors, the spoken-word-and-improv project he initiated with ex-Saccharine Trust guitarist Joe Baiza and the former Minutemen/fIREHOSE riddim section of Mike Watt on bass and George Hurley on drums. McGuire’s verse is loaded with detailed imagery that brilliantly evokes familiar scenes and situations, like this one from “This Is Where You Find It” (which appeared twice on The Way Things Work, once performed by Saccharine Trust frontman Jack Brewer and once by its author):

Ordering a Rolling Rock I locate
My friends in the sea of hairy heads

Banging as one by devil salutes thrust
High, worshiping four numbskulls

Who work at Pizza Hut, the gas station,
Record store and not at all, respectively,

Together transcending time and space
On what barely qualifies as a stage.

Last year, Prestidigitation Records released Jamnation, a CD of McGuire poems backed (actually dubbed over) tracks of blistering heavy psychedelia by artists both old (‘70s Americans the JPT Scare Band and Josefus) and new (Denmark's Gas Giant, Holland's ILD HU, Japan’s Eternal Elysium). If anything, it’s even more intense than the Instructors, but sounds every bit as organic – quite a feat, given the method of its creation. Currently, McGuire is at work on Phosphene River, another “collaborative compilation” on which the poet performs with like-minded musos Fuzzhead, the Heads, Acid Mothers Temple speed guru Kawabata Makoto, Mammatus, Plastic Crimewave Sound, Residual Echoes, and White Hills.

After I reviewed the second Unknown Instructors CD, The Master’s Voice, for the I-94 Bar, I got in touch with Dan via his Myspace page and the following dialogue ensued. (I’m leaning, Dan’s standing straight.)

DM: I'd like to ask you something if I could, since I rarely talk to anybody who reviews our stuff. Do you think it's the subject matter or the overall conceit of spoken poetry that leads people to the Beat/Bukowski comparisons? The only reason I ask is that 90% of the time that's the referent that is named, but honestly, I don't like Bukowski's poems (they strike me as arbitrarily chopped up prose) or the Beats, other than Ginsberg in very small doses, and neither have had any substantial influence on me.

I know these comparisons are inevitable, but I was curious to see if you could give me some insight as to what lead you to them.

KS: Short answer to your question: Intellectual sloth. We project what we wanna hear on the artifact.

Somewhat longer answer: I think the reason for the Beat/Buk comparisons (mine included) is that people who review music are generally not knowledgeable of poetry or indeed of any litterchur at all outside a very narrowly delimited set of authors (Buk/Burroughs/Hubert Selby) that they probably only know because Lester Bangs namedropped 'em.

I guess I feel the same way when some kid tells me I play gtr like Hendrix when what I'm shooting for is Ron Asheton, Eddie Hazel, Sonny Sharrock. But beauty is in the ear of the behearer, I s'pose.

DM: Right, right, right; I'm shooting for James Wright, Philip Levine, Walt Whitman cross-bred with Charles Baudelaire, etc., etc. I think the iconic nature of the Beats and Bukowski makes them the easiest, handiest referent. Probably the same with the Hendrix thing; I imagine most kids would say "Sonny who?" if you told them what you're really aiming for.

KS: It's cultural shorthand. Lazy man's way of communicating. The finer distinctions are for geeks or connoisseurs, depending on your perspective. I can hear Whitman in some of your meter; I think Van Vliet (consciously or un-) was tapped into the same metric stream. Not familiar with the other two cats.

DM: Yes, the same metric stream indeed. I love Captain Beefheart and that is an influence I will cop to 100%. Unfortunately, I can't sing a note, so I just stick to chirping...I think it's good to know your limitations. The other two cats are from Martin’s Ferry, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan, respectively. They write about working class people and sights and sounds I can relate to.

KS: You're in'd you happen to hook up with those Pedro cats?

DM: I met Mike at a fIREHOSE gig many, many years ago and we remained friends. I sent him poems over the years since he's very knowledgeable about literature (probably more so than I am and I have a master's in English). I had been recording my poems with local musicians but they just didn't seem to get what I was after. For instance, I'd say "just jam" and they'd say "what do you mean?" So I asked Mike if he'd want to do something and he said sure, then I asked George and Joe and they said sure too.

Moreover, I always thought these three should have gotten together, and they almost did at one point, so when I saw the opportunity to be a catalyst for that I sprung on it. Joe and I are pretty tight…after we did the first record, he and Jack Brewer asked me to tag along with them when Saccharine played at ATP in England, which I did, plus Joe and I do the editing, mixing, sequencing for the records, so we spend a lot of time together doing that.

The big idea for me was/is to fuse two things that I love dearly, poetry and ass-blistering rock music, so what monikers people choose to hang on it is really only of peripheral interest to me. I'm not looking to impress fact that it is poetry, set down in lines, with metrical consideration. I'm infinitely more concerned that it rocks.

These collaborative compilations I do are all along the lines of the ass-blistering genre, which is my favorite kind of stuff but isn't always possible with the Unknown Instructors, given their highly jazzy sensibilities.

KS: I hear ya, but I think you got Baiza to leave more blood on the floor this time.

DM: Yes; I quite literally forced him to pull the thumb out and go nuts. He was reluctant but eventually was persuaded. I essentially told him that I put together what I consider the best rhythm section in the world for the sole purpose of him going berserk over the top, which for the most part I think he did this time. In other words, the goal was to err on the side of heavier rock stuff as opposed to jazzbo noodling.

KS: In any event, it worked.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

no jam tonight

guh. the jam-meister's li'l amp is still hosed, as is the p.a. on the "wreck west" side, josh clark is back doing his early-evening jam at fred's, and dave karnes and lucas white were both unavailable, so we woulda been drummerless anyway. 'tis a pity, 'cos tahiti from p.p.t. was gonna come out and flow verse over "cosmic slop," cynthia still hasn't gotten to sing "helter skelter," massey was s'posed to bring me his poem that's the last piece o' the puzzle i need so the wreck room book can go to press, and tyrel was gonna bring me a new addnerim ceedee to review for so i guess you could say we're in kind of a lull right now.

pssst...hey, kid, wanna hear some vintage dallas punk?

frank from kettle art posted this link to a page that has the entahr are we too late for the trend? dallas punk comp in mp3 form. injoy!

ugly-ass gtrs

my dutch punk-rock pal tony slug (who, it turns out, is the proud owner of a 'riginal 1965 mosrite, _not_ a "wosrite," as i incorrectly supposed) send a link to some of the ugliest gtrs on earth. be afraid, be very afraid.

stoogeaphilia sked

lotsa scheduling turbulence for the stoogeband.

first: we're _not_ playing the wreck room this thursday, march 29th, no matter what it says in the paper or on the wreck room's myspace calendar. that date was canceled over a month ago. appy polly logies for the confusion.

second: our april wreck room date has changed, from thursday the 19th to wednesday the 25th. the burden brothers are playing two nights, so we got moved. pablo and the hemphill 7's 4.20 date got moved from el wreck to 6th street live, too.

third: we're not gonna play the wreck in may. brian has been working hard to book every band that wants a last shot there before it closes, and we respect that. we will, however, be playing at fred's fest on sunday, may 6th, so there _will_ be an opportunity to get your stooge on that month.

fourth: assuming the j'int is still open, we've been promised the last thursday in june at el wreck. this maketh my heart glad, for june 28th will mark the completion of my 50th trip around the sun, and i can think of no place i'd rather spend it than onstage with my favorite band in my favorite rawk dump. so there.

that is all.

10 micro-mini plays @ jubilee theatre next monday/tuesday

this from tammy gomez:

365 PLAYS/365 DAYS by Suzan-Lori Parks
Week 21: 7 plays from the 365 Plays cycle

SOUND CULTURE in conjunction with
the Jubilee Theater presents

Week 21: 7 Plays (plus three Constants)

April 2nd and 3rd, 2007 – 8pm
Jubilee Theater - 506 Main St.

FREE ADMISSION / open to the public !!


Claudia Acosta Rob Bosquez
Tamitha Curiel Stormi Demerson
KelleyDianne Yvonne Duque
Tammy Gomez Tyrone King
Laney Yarber


for more information: Tammy Gomez/Sound Culture
at 817.924.9188 or

History of the project:
Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks sat down to write 365 plays in 365 days in 2002-03. In this unprecedented project, Parks has made it possible for hundreds of performers to stage all 365 plays from Nov. 2006 to Nov. 2007.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

p.p.t. review @

just penned a review of p.p.t.'s cd tres monos in love for i love fort worth.

gallery night at studio 817, 3.31.2007

this from ray "short term" liberio. click on the poster to make it big.

It's that time again.

Calvin and I have some new works for everyone to see and hopefully purchase. Someone's gotta feed all these illigitimate children of ours! Did I mention free booze, drinks and food? Yeah. It's next Saturday from 2pm until 11pm at Studio 817. Directions can be found here:


Short-Term and Butter Pantz

rock camp usa 2007

this from rock camp meister lee allen:

Rock Camp USA

Now in its twelfth year, Rock Camp USA features intensive performance-oriented instruction given by some of the finest professional musicians in the country. Each Camp is two weeks long and culminates with the young Rockers giving a live performance in front of hundreds of people in their own Concert.

Dates offered:

SESSION 1: June 4 through June 8 / June 11 through June 15
Concert June 16
SESSION 2: June 18 through June 22 / June 25 through June 29
Concert June 30
SESSION 3: July 9 through July 13 / July 16 through July 20
Concert July 21
SESSION 4: July 23 through July 27 / July 30 through August 3
Concert August 4

Hours of camp: 1pm-5pm
Registration deadline:
Age requirements: 10-18
Cost per child: $495
Presented by: Fort Worth Academy of Music
Contact name: Lee Allen
Phone number: 817.732.2208 or 512.507.1058
Camp location: Ridglea Theater
Web site for more information:

unknown instructors review on the i-94 bar

just penned a review of the new unknown instructors disc (the spoken word 'n' improv project featuring poet dan mcguire with ex-minutemen/saccharine trust musos plus, this time out, pere ubu frontman david thomas) for the i-94 bar.

Monday, March 26, 2007

p.p.t., addnerim

i'm in the process (in between putting in more hours at the market, finishing the wreck room book, and continuing work on the music is revolution foundation article) of reviewing new cd's by p.p.t. and addnerim for i love fort worth. i am also empowered to tell you that p.p.t. is scheduled to play el wreck on may 4th with black tie dynasty, and addnerim's cd release party is this weekend, march 31st, at the ridglea theater. so there.


haltom city's pride, the mighty me-thinks, have an unprecedented flurry of activity coming up in late april/early may. to wit, three, count 'em, three shows in just nine days, starting with a killer bill with recent euro returnees blood of the sun at competition music on april 27th, continuing at the wreck room with the fellow americans (former rio grande babies fronted by, um, john price's li'l brother) on cinco de mayo, culminating at fred's fest on may 6th with a cast o' thousands including the gideons and jasper stone.

a sad note: drummer/gtrist/secret weapon will risinger is no longer with the band. the parting was amicable, however, and will, last seen setting up a tent in his living room, will still function in a shadowy, behind-the-scenes brian wilson kinda way, when the inspiration moves him to. and new addition mike bandy (ex-dragworms, currently fronting barrel delux, the band formerly known as helldamncrap) will be joining sir marlin von bungy on ripping dual lead gtr, having already guested on a make mine a double e.p. track, so it's all in the haltom city-riverside family.

Barber Mack's "Revolver" Show - Wreck Room, 5.3.2007

John Shook of Barber Mack recently took time off from rehearsals for his band's upcoming Beatles Revolver show (they're playing the whole album, front to back, with a revolving cast of vocalists and a horn section) to answer some dumb-ass questions.

Q: What's the date of the show?

JS: May 3rd -- good to go.

Q: Who have you got on board, musician-wise?

JS: Singers so far -- James Norris, Justin Pate, Joe Vano, Matt Henderson, Scott Griffin, Chuck Brown, Carey Wolfe, Lee Allen, Ray Liberio, Justin "Beef" from Villain Vanguard. Still waiting to hear from Tony Diaz. James said he talked to Chance from the Burning Hotels but he hasn't confirmed a tune yet.

The core group is Ron Geida and Andrew Skates on guitars, Lucas White on drums, and James Norris on keys. We'll have a guest horn section as well as percussion. There will be a few other guest musicians but that can be a surprise. Natty Patty and DJ Marcosis will spin before and after.

Q: Why Revolver? And why now?

JS: I wanted to do a show at the Wreck before they close. I had to do it with Barber Mack 'cos that's pretty much my project/fun band. Since we haven't played a gig since Soundclash last November, I figured it was OK to try something in a different direction. So I've been brainstorming for a while, ways to do more of a concept show, if you will, where the focus is the program of music and it's delivery rather the traditional rock show with 3 or 4 bands on the bill and each one gets an hour to do their thing.

Plus, since I've been doing the Top Secret band with Marcus Lawyer, I've been digging the whole community thing: Players working together to put on a show outside of their regular playing styles and without the confines of being in the "next big Rock band."

Honestly, I picked the Beatles mainly because everybody likes the Beatles and that makes it easier to attract all kinds of folks to come see the show. This being my first attempt at "directing," if you wanna call it that, I wanted to choose music that was already written and familiar to me and any audience. Also, Beatles tunes fit well with my idea to feature different singers. I picked Revolver because that is my favorite Beatles album. And I'm the boss!

Hopefully, I'll have my posters by the beginning of April. I'm gonna try to promote the hell out this thing. So if I want to do my own shows again, I'll have this show (knock on wood) to prove that I can make it happen.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

locks of love

tom'w our friend karizza is coming to la casa to cut my sweetie's hair, 10 inches of which will then be donated to locks of love, a nonprofit that provides human hair wigs to "financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis." you could do a lot worse if you're thinking of going with a shorter 'do.

ftw, 3.23.2007

on the walk home from the custard place
i heard a train in the freight yard, blowing its horn
which i mistook for the sound of an electric gtr
funny -- s'posed to be the other way 'round, innit?

Friday, March 23, 2007

what's playing at mi casa

boris - akuma no uta cd: the more i listen to the strange attractors cd, the more japanese it sounds to me. when i mentioned boris to attractors' gtrist jeremy diaz, he responded, "what, did jon teague get you into them, too?" of boris, teague (he of yeti / great tyrant fame) say, "fucking heavy rocks...with beauty." their music sounds _fundamental_ to me, like the stooges, like late coltrane. it reminds my sweetie of tectonic plates shifting or thunderstorms. real force-of-nature stuff, in other words. starts out with a crushingly heavy drone, followed by a little hardcore, a brief acoustic interval, an extended wata gtr jam, and a taste of blue cheer-inspahrd heaviosity before a return to heavy doom. i need to hear some of their earlier recs.

rory gallagher - live at montreaux double dvd: the other night at el wreck, i was telling lance allen that the guy playing slide on a standard-tuned gtr on muddy waters' 'riginal version of "you shook me" was earl hooker, a factoid i gleaned from an int rory gallagher did with guitar player back in '78. 'twas the same int that inspahrd me to check out son house and blind boy fuller, great acoustic blues players. rory could play the shit out of that style, too, which is just one reason i prefer his stuff to srv, johnny winter, any of those cats. he seems more well-rounded and down-to-earth somehow. this dvd features material from five different appearances rory made at the famous jazzfest (held in the same casino that burned down and got immortalized in d. purp's "smoke on the water") -- '75, '77, '79, '85, and '94 (a year before his death from liver failure following a transplant). the shows are of uniformly high quality, altho the early ones possess a slight edge in energy 'n' excitement, of course ("bought and sold" from '77 is one of the hottest live performances by anybody you'll ever see on vid). the '85 features rory, who generally eschewed the use of f/x, using an octave box and playing a coral electric sitar (!) in addition to his trademark beat-to-shit strat. for some reason, the producers elected to present the '94 show alone in its entahrty. by that time, rory had put on a lot of weight and looked unwell, but still delivered the goods, as was his wont. the acoustic bonus clips are some of the best 'uns included.

frank zappa - you can't do that onstage anymore, volume one double cd: it always makes me feel good when someone tells me i play gtr like fz, even tho i know it isn't true and the person is usually inebriated enough to think that we're playing "the besht muzhik i ever heard _in my life_!" it's what i've been striving for for yrs, tho -- to play like fz (or sonny sharrock), even tho i'm still an illiterate blooze clod at heart. carducci's right about frank, tho: it gets hard to separate the wheat (great, challenging music) from the chaff (silly novelty songs) on his rekkids. these days, when i wanna hear some zappa, i generally reach for uncle meat (his first great alb, imho, the social commentary on the first three mothers of invention albs not having aged particularly well) or this, a mashup of bands spanning the yrs '69-'84 and showing the impressive scope of what fz and his various lineups were up to. prolly my fave fz alb after the orchestral yellow shark and the synclaviered civilization phaze III.

dinner tonight

my first attempt at a wine reduction sauce (altho terry chandler would prolly laugh at my meager efforts): bay scallops sauteed in butter with garlic, basil, lemon juice, and a li'l leftover white wine, served over angel hair pasta with a few capers thrown in to make it fancy. 'twas not bad, if i do say so myself. gonna take a walk to curly's in a li'l bit to get some mint chocolate chip custard to top it off. ooh yeah.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

pete cosey

jon teague recently reminded me of one of the great underrated gtrists of the '70s: pete cosey, who stylistically fits somewhere 'twixt eddie hazel 'n' sonny sharrock, and whose f/x-laden romps through exotic scales 'n' modes colored muddy waters' initially-reviled-but-since-rehabilitated electric mud alb, as well as the series of miles davis albs that preceded the trumpeters' mid-'70s retirement (get up with it, dark magus, agharta, pangaea). just stumbled on some ints the chicago reader did with him in 1997 and 2003. i must go back and hear that music again sometime.

the caravan of dreams

the caravan of dreams is: 1) the name of a late lamented music venue in the heart of downtown fort worth, 2) what mike watt exclaimed when i met him at sxsw back in 2001 and told him i was from the fort, 3) the reason why i won't ever eat at the establishment which usurped its location post-tornado, and 4) the rubric of the best blog i've run into recently, written by a fort worth cat whom i don't believe i know (although that might not be the case, in this biggest-small-town-in-america where there's seldom more than two degrees of separation between any two ppl), but with whom i share a few interests 'n' enthusiasms.

that 1 guy, art of the jam

listen, kids: billy wilson's taste is the gold standard of wreck room roadshows. the ones he's booked over the years -- mark growden, sleepytime gorilla museum, extreme elvis and the extra action marching band, stan ridgway, and now that 1 guy -- are the ones more people remember and talk about than any others. that 1 guy hisself, a classically-trained bassist from san francisco, is the one-man band to end all one-man bands (a genre of which the fort has seen plenty, from nathan brown to professional juice, who opened the show attired in a superhero costume that was reminiscent of the one fred "sonic" smith from the mc5 usedta don on occasion, except that sonic didn't wear an old-man mask with his). dug the way that 1 guy's thang mixes cutting-edge high-tech with wandering-minstrel folklorica, stunning musicianship with self-deprecating stage patter and pantomime, his "magic pipe" a harry partch-like junkyard/home depot contraption that combines one-string bass and tenor instruments with pedal-triggered percussion, a snare drum, and loads of samples, sequences, and f/x, all manipulated by that 1 guy (a.k.a. mike silverman) while singing waitsian/beefheartian songs with titles like "weasel potpie" and "it's raining meat." not just an awe-inspahring conceptualist, he's also an engaging performer. talking with billy 'n' my sweetie later, he was somewhat bemused at ending a tour in the middle of the country, but planned on taking a meandering route back home before embarking on yet another tour in april, visiting orstralia and the u.s. west coast. hope he makes it back to the fort at some point -- billy? the verdict of more than one listener: "this is the coolest shit i ever heard here."

the impulse of will jamcats got a late start, following some equipment dramarama (jam-meister lee allen's long-suffering li'l amp blew a fuse -- who _ever_ does that with a solid state combo?!?!?), but got off the ground with some hot trio action from young firebrand josh clark (who's reviving his early-wednesday-evening soirees at fonky fred's starting next week), the jam-meister, and yr humble chronicler o' events. started out with a bass groove lee spun out, inspahrd by that 1 guy, before continuing with an abbreviated "daylight" for mike gunby (who's leaving the fort for key west this sunday), meters "cissy strut," and a version of sly stone's "if you want me to stay" that veered in 'n' out of reggae one-drop. then john shook (back from playing sxsw with lucas martin and busily prepping for barber mack's beatles revolver show) got called up to play gtr on jaco's "teen town." the jam-meister's li'l bro lance was in town for a music therapy conference, so he and original jamcat rob marruffo were up next, lance taking over the six-string axe to lay down some feelthy jimmy nolen (or, uh, red hot chili peppers)-style chank, while rob sat on the edge of the li'l stage to share lead voxxx 'n' harmonize with lee. ron "the velvet hammer" geida was up next, tearing it up on chick corea's "la fiesta" and fz's "sexual harassment in the workplace" (with lee-boy scat-singing the lyrics from funkadelic's "maggot brain" during his own solo on the latter toon). lucas white had been onstage playing some percussion during the corea toon, and he finished out the night behind the traps with his ex-solomonic/keith wingate trio bandmate chuck brown on bass 'n' yr humble chronicler o' events back on gtr for an amorphous blooze. regrets: i was only 50% complete in my ongoing crusade to get all possible gtrists up on stage, since eric harris (ex-yeti) declined the offer and tyrel choate (addnerim) just got forgotten -- my bad, bro; next time. also, ex-five leaves left chanteuse cynthia foster was primed 'n' ready to rawk "helter skelter," but the opportune moment didn't present itself. feh. next week, fer sure...

that 1 guy pixxx

my sweetie shot these pics of that 1 guy at the wreck room last night. (click on 'em to make 'em big.) what an awesome performer. she sez she's gonna put s'more on her myspace thingy later.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

the strange attractors

just reviewed the debut cd by the strange attractors at i love fort worth.

a sobering thought

reading bob ray sanders' column in today's star-telegram this morning, i was confronted with a sobering thought: that fort worth has had more local service members killed in iraq than all but five other american cities, two of which (houston and san antonio) are also in texas. wtf?!?!?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

free jazz heavyweights to play in austin

this from bassist extraordinaire paul unger:

Spread the word. Cats this heavy almost never make it to Texas. If you can't make it, send Epistrophy Arts a note thanking them. It is nearly impossible to get creative artists like this down here, so when someone manages to do it, they deserve our support.

Paul Unger

Epistrophy Arts presents the 2007 Austin International Creative Music Series. March 29 – April 27

Epistrophy arts is proud to present the finest in international adventurous jazz with 3 special events in historic East Austin Venues.

Advance Tickets for all events are available at Waterloo Records and End of An Ear.

* Thurs March 29 8pm
ICP Orchestra (Amsterdam)
Carver Theater (1165 Angelina Street)

Tickets are $18 in advance at Waterloo Records (600A N Lamar Blvd)
and End of An Ear Records (2209 South First Street).. $20/door.

“If there was a facet of jazz expression that (ICP) didn’t address… it probably wasn’t worth mentioning.” CHICAGO TRIBUNE

The legendary 10 piece ensemble will celebrate their 40th anniversary with a U.S Tour. Few big bands in the history of jazz have managed to achieve the longevity, sustained level of quality and relevance of the ICP Orchestra (only The Ellington Orchestra and Sun Ra come to mind). Like those bands, the ICP Orchestra is a cultural institution; an evolving community of virtuosos gathered in the radical year of 1967 and refining itself into the distinct and complex entity that it is now. At the core of ICP are its founders: pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink whose jazz credentials were firmly established in the 60s with collaborations with Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughn, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy

Misha Mengleberg, piano, Han Bennink, drums, Ab Baars, Michael Moore and Tobias Delius, reeds, Thomas Heberer, trumpet, Wolter Wierbos, trombone, Mary Oliver, violin, Tristan Honsinger, cello, and Ernst Glerum, bass.

* Fri April 6 8pm
William Parker Quartet (NYC, Chicago)
Austin’s Historic Victory Grill (1104 East 11th Street)

Tickets are $13 in advance at Waterloo Records (600A N Lamar Blvd)
and End of An Ear Records (2209 South First Street).. $15/door.

William Parker bass - Hamid Drake drums - Rob Brown alto sax - Lewis ‘Flip’ Barnes trumpet

“the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” VILLAGE VOICE

…"Riveting, nimble and innately listenable, the quartet never falters." DOWNBEAT

Carrying forward the exceptional artistry, creative spark and intuitive playing of innovators Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman, bassist/composer William Parker has been a prolific force driving the New York progressive jazz scene since the 1970’s. Having recorded over 150 albums and backing such artists as Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry and Matthew Shipp. William Parker debuted his quartet in 2002 with its highly acclaimed CD, O’Neal’s Porch, and followed with the 2005 recording, Sound Unity. The William Parker Quartet combines the elasticity of free jazz with luminescent melodies and powerfully infectious grooves. Interacting with a level of musical awareness and communication rarely heard, the William Parker Quartet is poised to explore further uncharted territory in creative music and lead avant-garde jazz well into the 21st century.

* Fri April 27 8pm
The Thing with Joe McPhee (Oslo, Stockholm, NYC)
Austin’s Historic Victory Grill (1104 East 11th Street)

Tickets are $13 in advance at Waterloo Records (600A N Lamar Blvd)
and End of An Ear Records (2209 South First Street).. $15/door.

Mats Gustafsson reeds - Joe McPhee reeds, trumpet - Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten bass - Paal Nilssen-Love drums

“Absurdly cool" DJ MAGAZINE

“The sheer power they can generate from wood, metal, breath and muscle is stunning” BBC

"Tapping into rock's most primal forces with the fire and fury that's something to behold" MOJO

Scandinavian-American quartet The Thing With Joe McPhee will make their triumphant return to Austin’s Victory Grill. The Thing are unique in they way they blend the primal urgency of garage rock with the creativity and imagination of free jazz. In November of 2004 the ensemble thrilled a packed house at the historic Victory Grill. The Scandinavian trio is joined by veteran free jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee a masterful artist whose visions were forged in the fires of the 60s free jazz underground and honed by a lifetime of experiences.

Epistrophy Arts is a grass roots cultural organization dedicated to presenting the finest in adventurous music in Austin Texas. Since 1998 we have organized over 50 concerts with internationally renowned figures in improvised and experimental music. The music we present is on the cutting edge of world culture. Our aim is to widen the cultural horizons of the 'Live Music Capital of The World' by bringing the most daring and uncompromising artists in the world to Austin .

This series is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, The Creative Opportunity Orchestra and individual contributions.

Monday, March 19, 2007

the great tyrant's ugly beauty

took a break on our wedding anniversary (in between a killer roast chicken dinner and a visit to my sweetie's old "thinking spot" at the amon carter) to check out the great tyrant show at the wreck room. 'riginally, they were supposed to play last, but wound up playing first, which worked out perfectly for our purposes.

i hadn't seen a g.t. show since june, and intend not to let it be so long before i catch 'em again, 'cos they've grown by leaps 'n' bounds these past eight months. in that time, they've been writing 'n' rehearsing relentlessly (i know 'cos their drummer, jon teague of yeti fame, plays with me in stoogeaphilia, and he'll frequently have to beg off proposed rehearsal dates with "the tyrant demands it"), and their confluence of frontman daron beck's anti-pop wails and shrieks from the torture chamber (teague: "i want all these emo kids to hear just how ugly keyboards can sound") with the riddim section of teague and his longtime sectionmate tommy atkins' penchant for odd time signatures, hypnotic ostinatos, and general heaviosity (they rock harder at slow tempos than anybody this side of the melvins-esque japanese band boris) is sounding tighter and better integrated than ever before.

while their stage is still all dark 'n' moody atmosphere, and the air between songs is filled with static and spooky electronica, they've dispensed with some of the dressing (no more drapes 'n' flowers) but actually seem more theatrical. in particular, beck, who's sporting a zappaesque goatee these days, has become a lot more physical in his performance. teague originally played with daron on one of the last pointy shoe factory gigs, and says beck approached him about forming a band the night of the final yeti performance, at the wreck, which felt exactly like a large behemoth dying, with atkins holding his hands behind his back for most of the set, and guitarist eric harris repeatedly playing a single note, like syd barrett after his mind came off the rails. forming the great tyrant saved teague from having to endure "what-am-i-going-to-do-now?" angst, post-yeti, and while the drummer says the new frontman was initially intimidated (who wouldn't be, standing where the late doug ferguson once did?), he's effusive in his praise of daron's musicianship.

the two musos from the touring band who were standing by the stage immediately after great tyrant climaxed their set with the beck-composed space-rock hymn "still birth" would prolly be inclined to agree. "best band we've seen on this tour," said one muso. "just beautiful," said the other. and indeed, it was.

the great tyrant be's at 1919 hemphill this sat'day, march 24th, and in dallas at the double wide the following one, march 31st.

herding cats

there's really nothing i can add to this.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

st. patrick's day in japan

those crazy japanese. now they've got a st. patrick's day parade in tokyo -- even if some of 'em think that ireland and iceland are the same place. worth it for the pic of the japanese guy in some sort of bizarre pope-as-leprechaun getup.

von bungy disses dallas

here's me-think marlin von bungy expressing his views on the dallas music scene.

help nitzinger get his ceedee pressed

this from foat wuth rawk eminence john nitzinger:

Hi Kids!

Johnny here.............Hallejuah!.... I finally finished the new album "Kiss Of The Mudman"'s taken seven years!....but now I don't have enough money to have it pressed!.......Medical bills are killing me....kind of ironic, huh?...So, being a band of the's a rare chance to be part of and own a piece of history...I need 15 people to donate $100 each in return you get your name on the album under "Creative Financing"!.....As well as a free CD of "Kiss Of The Mudman!"......$1,500 will press me 1,000 copies....I can use for promotion to labels, radio stations, etc.....This is a way to get a head start as I shop for a label..........I miss playing and seeing you guys and will have a CD release party soon......The CD is awesome!............God willing my health will straighten out and I can start playing shows again............If you want to be a part of this project, send your donation to my office, 2405 Stratford Ct., Fort Worth, Texas 76103.........

I love you all and thank you for your support!

John Nitzinger

Saturday, March 17, 2007


oh, yeah...matt has added a _fifth_ song, the sprawling, dual-stankfinger-gtr infested version of "no fun" from the wreck room, 2.22.2007, to the stoogeaphilia myspace thingy. you just have to use the little sliding doodad to the right of the standalone audio player to be able to hear it.

music is revolution

here's a nice two-part int with former mc5 bassist michael davis that i found while researching a story i'm writing on his music is revolution foundation. like an old isley brothers single, it's divided into part I and part II. a genuinely nice cat whom i interviewed wa-a-ay back in '98; he's had an amazing odyssey since then.

the foundation awards $500 "mini-grants" to help public school teachers provide in-class musical experiences for their students. with art 'n' music programs getting axed every time a school district needs to trim the budget, and the average teacher spending a coupla grand out of pocket each yr for classroom materials 'n' supplies, this seems like an idea with some potential.

one of the foundation's "teacher-heroes" is a friend of mine named phil overeem, who teaches high school in columbia, missouri. he's the faculty advisor for hickman high school's "academy of rock," a popular student club that promotes an annual battle of the bands (remember those?) as well as in-school concerts by regional and national touring acts, has actually booked paying gigs for student bands, and operates a radio station whose dj's have taken over the airwaves at a local college station more than once.

still have to talk to a coupla dudes from the foundation's board about the nuts 'n' bolts of fundraising and grant approval (as we follow phil's application through the process like that "how a bill becomes a law" movie that evabody usedta have to watch in school), but it's been pert enlightening so far. nice to learn about ppl who are actually making stuff happen in the important arena of edjumikashun.

Friday, March 16, 2007


since the wreck room myspace calendar doesn't get updated all the time, i feel the necessity of informing kids who care that stoogeaphilia will _not_ be playing on 3.29 (this confirmed with brian), but we _will_ be playing there on 4.19 (when it says the campaign is playing).

also, the stoogeaphiles be playing the second day (5.6) of fred's fest on a card that also includes merkin, the mighty me-thinks, the howling dervishes, the gideons, and jasper stone.

the me-thinks theyselves, meanwhile, appear to be undergoing more personnel flux (do you detect a hint of self-censorship here?), but have shows booked 4.27 at competition music and 5.5 (cinco de mayo!) at the wreck room. front me-think ray liberio also be's performing as part of the barber mack beatles revolver show on 5.3 (which isn't on the wreck myspace calendar thingy yet). whew!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


here's something interesting: a site for ppl who have stuff they don't want, but don't want it to end up in a landfill. true, you can always have a garage sale or just put it out by the curb, but freecycle offers you another option. all items offered must be free, legal, and suitable for all ages. think globally, recycle locally indeed.

art of the jam

missed writing about last week 'cos i'm working more hours at the market now, and in the middle of an article on the music is revolution foundation, but suffice to say that there was an acoustic set by tongue, followed by a full-on sunward "rehearsal" that impressed a lot of folks before the jamcats (jam-meister lee allen, original jamcat rob marruffo, dave karnes, ron geida, a late-arriving john shook, yr humble chronicler o' events) got up to do their thang.

this week, the jamcats' ranks were reduced due to the absence (in austin, playing with lucas martin) of geida 'n' shook. a planned acoustic merkin set didn't eventuate, and karnes was replaced at the last minute by josh clark, but it wound up being one of the more fun nights in recent memory, from a muso's standpoint at least. course, we had to wait for the mavericks game to end (in double overtime), interrupting at points with "standing on the verge" and a bona fide improv based on a groove josh threw down. after the mavs' flameout, we played failure's "daylight" and "maggot brain" in their honor. 'twas a good bar night, with lotsa folks hanging out in the big room with master o' libations graham, but hopefully kris made a few bucks on the "wreck west" side with us.

also hangin' out: my sweetie (on spring break from school, she'll be there next week for that one guy, too); my middle dtr, her b-f, and a friend of hers from work; karnes (a late arrival) and his le freak pal daniel harville (ex-sugarbomb/coma rally); jon teague and eric harris of yeti fame; sunward gtrist jerko dabelic; a bemused-looking homer henderson and robin sylar's former wife carol; stoogeaphilia's number one fan amy; billy whitewater wilson sans theremin; william bryan massey III (who got up to recite a poem about west 7th street over some of our noise) and rene west. by the end of the night, we'd managed to run all but seven or eight of 'em over to the other side. apologies too to paul the left-handed gtr player who brought his rig but didn't get to play.

from a totally selfish standpoint, i mightily dug playing trio with lee-boy and li'l josh. with fewer instruments onstage, there's more room to operate, both physically and soundscape-wise, and i can blow at will, pert near, while listening to the drums for the pocket and watching lee for direction. the chaos factor was higher than usual -- a good thing, in my opinion; we get more creative when we stop worrying about executing "correctly" -- and we took some of the "standards" ("cissy strut," "war pigs," "manic depression") to places they usually don't go. cynthia foster got up to sing a couple ("little wing" and "dazed and confused") and acquitted herself well, as is her wont, in spite of not having the lyrics and us prolly being louder than we shoulda been during her vocal turns. hopefully she'll keep coming back. an idea with some potential, maybe: having her get up and do something with the yeti guys. just a thought.

even before the final last call, the wreck room family is scattering. learned tonight that mike gunby is headed for key west in a coupla weeks (played both "daylight" and "freaky styley" a second time for him tonight), and graham richardson is departing at the end of the month for a new gig at finn maccool's pub on 8th avenue. i've driven by there a godzillion times and meant to check it out. now i've got a reason to do so. both will be missed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

my evil twin plays beatle music

speaking of parks, here's hawaiian ukelele virtuoso jake shimabukuro, applying his unholy chops to george harrison's "while my guitar gently weeps," live in nyc's central park (where else?).

burnett park

i, s.b. burnett, do hereby give onto the city of fort worth this land for the purpose of creating a place of recreation in the very heart of the city, as a public park and particularly for relief against the heat of our summer, and as resting spot for tired mothers and their children. said park shall be known as the burnett bemorial park, not for my own vain glory, but to perpetuate the memory of my two children, ann & burk, now long gone from me.

~ s.b. burnett, 1919

so sayeth the inscription on the wall behind the "briefcase man" statue in burnett park at the intersection of cherry and west 7th streets, which i visited today after taking care of some biz downtown. didn't see many mothers or children there, just a sleeping homeless dude and some smoking office workers, but as my sweetie points out, all of them are somebody's children, too. i'm not sure whether the "long gone from me" means deceased, estranged, or just grown. whatevah, the words made an impression.

dylan hears a who

an inspahrd mash-up: highway 61 / blonde on blonde dylan with dr. seuss. thanks to katboy for the link.

the great tyrant

the great tyrant, who gots a 7-inch coming out on dada drumming this fall and a track on a magma tribute that's due on post replica / daft alliance this winter, be's at the wreck room march 18th, 1919 hemphill march 24th, and dallas' double wide march 31st. so there.

jhon kahsen, dennis gonzalez

local jazz/improv icons jhon kahsen and dennis gonzalez will perform with their respective groups (the anarkestra and yells at eels, respectively) and, tantalizingly, will push their sounds into the night together for the first time evah to benefit peaceful vocations, a group dedicated to edjumikating de yoof on alternatives to military service. happens at arts fifth avenue from 6-9pm on sunday, march 25th. donation is a ten spot.

carla bozulich

my pal terry gallagher provided me, after the fact, with the vocal comparison i was reaching for (but didn't quite get) in my rene west review for i love fort worth: ex-geraldine fibber carla bozulich. carla had the balls to cover willie's red-headed stranger alb in its entahrty a coupla yrs back, and her 2006 alb, evangelista is a damn fascinating listen in its own right.

bertha coolidge/brad thompson, ornette tribute

'twas the day of great bassplayers at the market yesterday. ran into both aden bubeck and paul unger while i was checkin'.

aden, back in town for a few days taking a break from the road and miranda lambert's band, sez that bertha coolidge be's playing a show (with brad thompson, in whose undulating band he, rich stitzel, and joey carter first performed together) at ovation on monday, march 26th. sounds like a good excuse to go chow down on chef keith hicks' awe-inspahring chicken 'n' waffles.

paul, he of fort worth symphony / flipside trio / miles davis tribute fame, says that he and flipside drummer dennis durick are definitely down to do a full-on evening of ornettitude with saxman dave williams if an appropriate venue can be found. i suggested 6th street live, where dave karnes and the erstwhile black dog jazz crew have been doing good business the past few sunday nights. film, as they say, at 11.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

walkin' blues

since becoming a more-or-less full-time pedestrian
i have developed in innate distrust for all motorists.
anytime i cross the street, i try and make eye contact with the drivers
(to see if they're going to stop).

of course, they say that you never see the one that kills you.

Monday, March 12, 2007


watched bloom, the irish director sean walsh's 2004 lovely, lyrical rendering of joyce's ulysses, the other night and found it a lot more comprehensible than i found the novel the first time i attempted to read it way, wa-a-ay back in high school. might have to give it another try now.

spring gallery night at studio 817

final details are here.

happy to report we visited jesse sierra hernandez at his new living/working space the other night. he regaled us with stories of working at the kimbell and doing advertising illustration the old-fashioned analog way back in the late '80s. he's slinging paint again, too; we're looking forward to seeing new work from him soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

rene west review @

i just wrote a review of rene west's new cd this town. it be's online here.

it can't happen here...or can it?

neo-nazis. in columbia, missouri. wtf?!?!?

stoogeapologia ADDENDUM

the barman ran it, along with ig (pronounced "eye-gee")'s love song to the stooges. hit the link 'n' scroll down a bit for his (which he dubbed "the stooges fight poverty in secret"); it's worth it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


so me 'n' the i-94 barman were chewin' the fat about the new stoogerec and he sez, "say it in a review!!!" so here 'tis. maybe he'll run it. maybe not. either way, i promise to say no more about this. for bar non-initiates, 5 rolling rocks be's their highest rating.

OK, let’s get some perspective on this one.

Forget the Detroit-drugs-and-glamsploitation backstory. Forget that they invented punk back in ’71, when the world at large had written ‘em off for a lost cause and was diggin’ prog ‘n’ boogie. Purely on its own terms, this rekkid is what it is: a band of AARP eligibles playing hard, aggressive, angry-sounding, non-hyphenated rock’n’roll. If that sounds like an oxymoron, tell it to Link Wray, if you can find him. Who the fuck else is doing that in 2007? At least on the major label/festival circuit level? (And I’m someone who generally could give a rat’s ass what’s happening in the music world outside my local.) No one else. Only the Stooges. They still stand alone, just like they did in ’73 and ’70 and ’69.

Since the reunion that nobody thought would happen DID happen back in 2003, they’ve toured the world, from Europe to Japan to the Antipodes, and cashed in for all the bands and rockcrits that started namechecking almost immediately after they imploded back in ’74. In doing so, they attained a level of tightness (NOT slickness) and focus to match (some would even say surpass) the monomaniacal fury of their youth. Clean and healthy, they can wipe the floor with bands less than half their age. If this was a new band, we’d all be doing handsprings and cartwheels and hailing the arrival of a new, um, Stooges. But because there are ghosts present (the ones of Iggy ‘n’ the Ashetons’ earlier selves), a different yardstick gets applied.

Compared to the canon, how does it measure up? While it doesn’t have the inadvertent pop sense (and hyper-clean postmodern production sound) of The Stooges, it also doesn’t have a 10-minute song that everybody (admit it) skips through after the first time they spin the rec. It doesn’t have the slinky, sexy acid-funk menace of Funhouse, but how could it? That was the sound of trailer trash losers and no ‘count mama’s boys finding their balls and learning their craft by pounding big stages coast-to-coast. The best moments on that album were accidents that they couldn’t replicate now, even if they wanted to, because 37 years down the road, they’re too skilled; have been for years, which means you get a level of consistency accompanied by a reliance on muscle memory that wasn’t present in those earlier embryonic stages. Rock Action has been slamming the same solid four-on-the-floor since Sonic’s Rendezvous Band daze, and while Ron Asheton hasn’t added any new tricks to his trick bag since around Destroy All Monsters time, he hasn’t needed ‘em, either – why add to perfection?

The Weirdness doesn’t have Funhouse’s totally organic live sound, either; rather, the rec it resembles the most, sonically speaking, is evabody’s least favorite Stooges album, Raw Power, specifically the 1997 Iggy remix. It’s a wall of noise without a lot of bottom end, although repeated listenings reveal more sonic detail than seemed to be there the first time. (How many times did you have to listen to Raw Power – either mix – before you realized how weak the bass and drums sounded?) The songs here hit the same way Raw Power’s did, too – have the same relentless forward motion, although they’re simpler than Williamson’s most complex chord constructions. They go straight for the throat.

If Iggy doesn’t have the same feel for the Zeitgeist as a pampered 60-year-old that he had as a 20something drug punk, is that really so surprising? And while there’s no “streetwalkin’ cheetah with a heart full of napalm” here, some of the Ig’s more silly-ass verbal constructions, replete with self-aggrandizement and pop culture references, are surely no sillier than “I took a ride on a red hot weiner.” Stooges lyrics, even at their most perceptive and smart-dumb, were always just a SOUND. Being a drummer his own self, Iggy understands that every instrument is a rhythm instrument, including your voice. He only rolls out the annoying Bowie opera-voice on two out of 12 songs, and even those are starting to grow on me.

Bottom line: If you’re new to the Stooges, you donwanna start here – get the classics first. But if you’re one of US, who willingly endured 23 takes of “I’m Loose” and all of Bomp’s barrel-scrapings, then you should see this as a godsend. I was prepared not to like this rekkid. Nasty narrowminded jade that I’ve become, I figured Ig and the Asheton boys were just making bank, which is fine – they’ve certainly earned it over the years. But this really is Something Entahrly Other. It’s more than we had a right (any old time) to expect, a logical progression from where they left off, untainted by the stench of compromise, and in 2007, that is a damn rare thing. Bloodied but unbowed, the world’s forgotten boys stand up on their hind legs and roar, one more time.

5 Rolling Rocks

Friday, March 09, 2007

my name is buddy

best xmas gift i ever gave anybody (back when I was still working in rekkid stores, a decade ago): the cd reish of the anthology of american folk music, the groundbreaking archival document compiled by harry smith, the man who invented "roots music" as we know it, and released on moses asch's folkways label back in 1952. the set has a li'l bit of every kind of american music you could hear in the first half of the twentieth century, from the carter family to blind lemon jefferson, and it started a revolution that initially seemed to peak with the apotheosis of bob dylan but has had lasting repercussions that could be felt as recently as y2k, when the soundtrack to o brother where art thou? made a pop star out of septuagenarian bluegrass singer ralph stanley. the biggest kick i got out of it, tho, was hearing from my sister after the fact how into it my nieces, still tee-tiny back then, were -- they actually had favorite tracks from all this antique noise. an edjumikashun in a box, and i brung it.

over the yrs, ry cooder has established himself as a kind of walking harry smith anthology, covering the whole globe as well as 'meercuh -- most notably with the buena vista social club alb he produced, but also through his work as a soundtrack composer (paris, texas, for one) and albs like 2005's chavez ravine (an evocation of a departed chicano los angeles). it's prolly unimportant now that he was the well from which sprang almost virtually good lick keef richards played during the rolling stones' '69-'72 hot streak (gram parsons can claim the rest of 'em), or that he played the slide licks that helped karate kid ralph macchio appear to be waxing steve vai's tailfeathers in the climactic scene of crossroads. i kinda lost the cooder thread in the late '70s, when albs like jazz and bop till you drop started to sound a li'l _precious_, but i still have fond memories of his '72 alb into the purple valley, an evocation of the '30s dust bowl era that was one of the few tapes i owned when i first came to the fort and was living in the since-demolished apartments behind ridglea bank.

it was the memory of that rekkid and, um, a weakness for pictures of realistically-drawn anthropomorphic animals (probably dating back to a childhood love of the wind in the willows) that led me to cop cooder's new alb my name is buddy, a lefty depression-era parable featuring a talking cat, mouse, and toad; a pig named after j. edgar hoover; joe hill; hank williams; and much, much more. the ceedee comes packaged in a li'l storybook filled with vincent valdez's beautiful illustrations (the greening of the rekkid industry has worked out well for me in this regard; i could never read the tee-tiny print on jewelcase slicks). buddy red cat, a kind of tom joad-woody guthrie figure, leaves the farm, gets his consciousness raised by lefty mouse, and accompanied by the reverend tom toad, a gary davis simulacrum, they have numerous adventures as they make their way west. the songs have the sound of original dust bowl ballads 'n' folklorica, but they're all 'riginals, sporting lyrics that reveal that this onetime beefheart sideman has a beef in his heart about america and the history of injustice 'n' intolerance therein, tempered by a love for its ppl 'n' music.

the musos on hand include a who's who of cooder collaborators, plus a few new faces: chieftain paddy moloney; old folkniks pete and mike seeger; bluegrass daddy roland white (bro. of the late gtrist clarence); fellow connoisseur of american weirdness van dyke parks; tex-mex accordionist flaco jimenez and soul singers terry evans and bobby king (all of whom entered cooder's musical universe with the bicentennial yr's chicken skin music); and drummers jim keltner and son joachim cooder. modestly subtitled "another record by ry cooder," it's a nicely crafted little movie for yr ears, perhaps a bit too npr for some folks' tastes, but definitely something i'll be reaching for whenever i need to settle back with a cat in my lap to take a break from all the feedback.

dinner tonight

flounder (breaded 'n' fried like my moms usedta make, but with lime juice in place of soy sauce to season it), bok choi (becoming a favorite at mi casa, steamed but still slightly crispy), and yellow hominy. still remember the taste of the dinners the fish market in my lawn guyland town usedta cook. the bound breading and deep frying they used held the crumbly white fish together, too; my mom's always came apart in the pan (as did mine tonight). flounder's usually a little pricey for us, but its flavor is just a li'l bit more delicate than the tilapia fillet we usually get.

my sweetie (who started two wks of spring break today) is crashed out. was afraid she's coming down (again) with the lingering crud that's been going around. fixed her a green tea with lemon and honey to soothe the throat before she conked.

more weirdness

i'm noticing, as i listen repeatedly to the new stooge alb, how different it sounds on different players: the "good" one in the living room (which wouldn't play it; disc skipped, for some reason), the mediocre one in the bedroom, itunes on the 'puter. with repeated listens, voxxx and gtr solos aren't as buried as they seemed at first. interesting (as natty patty always say) how perception really _is_ reality.

blood of the sun review @

my review of blood of the sun's new cd, in blood we rock, is here.

so long, hank

oh, btw -- american man o' ltrs charles bukowski checked out on this date, 1994.

all stooged out

so in between scribing a review of blood of the sun's new ceedee we rock in blood for, i've been alternating spins of the weirdness with the easy action heavy liquid box (which i got as part of my payment for services rendered on another project), noting how much more conventional of a band the williamson-era stooges were than the 'riginal unit, substance abuse patterns and james' penchant for gtr immolation notwithstanding (it actually makes sense now that williamson's choice for a utility muso, scott thurston, went on to work with jackson browne and tom petty), but also finding it interesting that i can listen to reams of rehearsal tapes and audience recordings by that lineup, whereas when it comes to funhouse, i just wanna hear the pristine artifact itself, unadulterated with extra shit (e.g., "bonus tracks"). maybe it's because raw power in all its various forms (bowie mix, bootlegged radio broadcast of rough mixes, iggy remix) is such a frustrating rekkid for me, and there never was a "definitive" legit release of the later material ("open up and bleed" etc.), while funhouse just feels perfect and _sufficient_ -- same reason i still prefer the 'riginal vinyl the who sell out to the remastered cd version, and would have no interest in outtakes from a love supreme or astral weeks, were such animals to exist; as i just wrote re: ron asheton's guitarissimo in a stooge review i sent the i-94 bar cat at his request, "why add to perfection?" and the new stoogerec continues to grow on me. i may have to lobby for stoogeaphilia to cover "free & freaky" as well as the other new toon we were already gonna play.


here's lit brit expat mick farren on obama from the l.a. weekly. i've never worked for a political candidate before, but if i was gonna, this cat is the one.

asian pacific timeline 1940-1949

that crazy tony slug. whenever i get a msg from my dutch punk rock pal (nitwitz / hydromatics, who's also a serious history buff), i never know if it's gonna be rawk-related, purely slanderous, or something like this.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the weirdness

ok, so now it's here (arrived in a mailbox that also brought the new blood of the sun and the williamson-era heavy liquid box on easy action -- for which thanks, carlton -- to mi casa). yep, the first new stooges album in 34 yrs (and i bought thatun one the day it came out, too).

first impression: it ain't half bad, nowhere near what the reviews i've read led me to expect. the performances rawk, and while the songs don't sound like the ones on the stooges or funhouse, they do sound like what that band would be doing were they still active in 2007 -- imagine that. what's missing is the shock of the new, and no, they're not taking funhouse-type chances anymore, but at this point, this lineup of the band has been gigging hard for going on four yrs now, and they sound tight and focused (_not_ slick) in a way they never did back in the day, without losing the undercurrent of sexy menace that's present in all their work.

the only real gripe i have is with the mix, which resembles more than anything the 1997 iggy remix of raw power, with riddim gtr mixed up front, right in your face, creating an auditory effect similar to the stage mix at a club with a hearing-impaired or inattentive sound man. the other proximate model: the, um, sex pistols alb, the _real_ template for the bassless garage-punk band (fuck the white stripes and the wave of detroit nostalgia they rode in on). it's probably also true that the asheton boyzzz got plenty of practice playing without regard for the low end theory after original stooge bassist dave alexander left the band and was replaced by non-musicians.

indeed, the bass here is virtually inaudible -- somebody's way of letting us know that watt's a hired gun? or maybe it's indicative of how much of the time watt is restricted to playing tonics in lock-step with ron's riddim (in his voluminous online diary, the ex-minutemen bassist, surely punk's equivalent to pepys or proust, wrote that iggy had instructed him not to "get all _musical_ on me" during his first rehearsals as a stooge). a third possibility: that whoever mixed the rec (i'm thinking iggy here) has ears that are so scorched in those freqs that he doesn't even notice their absence, which would account for the bass-free mixes of both the weirdness and the '97 raw power.

the drums here are recorded much better than the ones on raw power, which is to say that albini probably took _levels_ on them, at least. ron's solos are mostly buried in the mix, altho what's audible is fine. he hasn't added a lotta licks to his repertoire since 1970, but he had everything he needed back then, and still does. steve mackay's along on sax, but his rides mostly lack the manic coltrane-sanders intensity of those on funhouse, largely because none of the songs have the kind of hypnotic reptilian groove that "1970" and "funhouse" did. only on the closing "i'm fried" does he get to cut loose and honk 'n' squall with the abandon of old.

iggy only uses his annoying bowie opera voice on two tracks (title and "passing cloud"), thank gawd, and the second one is actually an ok song, which gives this alb a better keeper-to-stinker ratio than, say, the first alb. i can't comment on the lyrics 'cos i never listen to 'em (altho i did eventually memorize the ones on the classic albs from immersing myself in their bath o' noise on a regular basis for long enough, as i'm sure will eventually happen with thisun). as a pampered 60-yr-old, iggy doesn't have the insight into the punk life that he did as a 22- or 23-yr-old stoner kid (albeit one with a keen observer's eye) -- duh.

i will say this, however: if this was a new band, we'd all be waxing ecstatic over this rekkid. i'm certain that i'd rather hear these guys play "my idea of fun," "free & freaky," and "she took my money," live or on disc, than "we will fall," "ann," or "l.a. blues." in fact, truth be told, while it can't touch the earth-shaking sturm und drang of the stooges' three original albs (what could?), the weirdness wipes the floor with everything iggy and the ashetons have done apart from each other, with the notable exception of scott asheton's stint in sonic's rendezvous band. so there.

nik cohn ADDENDUM

here he is in manchester, contemplating a graffiti jungle amid "a labyrinth of condemned flats": "we walk the walls as though touring a gallery, but no clean, well-lit space could be so physical. the frescoes have the impact of a last defiant yell. in another six months, a year at most, all of this will be rubble. meanwhile, the images rise up, and roar."

nik cohn

before st. lester, before carducci the didact, 'twas nik cohn's rock from the beginning that started my infatuation with rockwrite. but cohn's done other worthy stuff, post-penning the new york magazine story that became saturday night fever. in the fullness of time, he's become quite an effective travel writer, of all things, applying that same wiseass know-it-all voice to explorations of broadway (the heart of the world) and "the other england" (yes we have no, my current read).

i've found a few passages in cohn's chapter on liverpool in yes we have no that seem relevant to what's happening in the fort today. regarding the once-great city on the mersey, he quotes beryl bainbridge's english journey: "all the landmarks i remembered, gone without trace...someone's murdered liverpool and got away with it."

but then he adds, "and yet, it's not that simple. each time we think the body's stopped twitching, and we're ready to nail down the lid, it ups and gives us the long as there's still football, and water in the mersey, the game's not up. 'they may have cut off my bollocks,' as one man says. 'but my dick doesn't know that yet.'"

amen, bro.

breathing in

celebrating book near-completion with a bath of pop-rock: psychodots, goodwin, died pretty, hochimen. the band tongue be's performing an acoustic set before the jam on the small side of the li'l wreck room tonight, then il karnaggio is gonna try and coax some of his sunward bandmates to join in the fun 'n' festivities. myself, i need to jack with my big (peavey) rig and see what was causing all the crackling noises at the last stoogeshow, but i also plan to take a long walk and spend some time in the sunshine today. supermarket checking isn't the carpal-tunnel inducing repetitive-stress nightmare that office hell was; in fact, there's enough bending 'n' stretching to make it a pert fair workout. all the aches 'n' pains in my right shoulder and left ankle are gradually subsiding. life's damn good.

avant-garde sound clips

to whet your appetite for the march 25th avant-garde hoedown at arts fifth avenue, here are a coupla snippets from chicago drummer joshua manchester's minidisc recording of the first avant-garde event at sardines a few months back, when he performed with jhon kahsen, joey carter, daniel stone, chris white, and leonard belota. we have track 1 and track 7. enjoy!

tahiti's movie on spielberg's site

see ppt member tahiti's short film box on steven spielberg's site account holders can vote and help tahiti compete for the oppo to get a film funded. dig the appearance of tahiti's fellow funkytown filmmaker j.d. jimmerson IV (da killa) in this impactful li'l snippet of cinema.

carey wolff review on

so i'm gonna be reviewing local cd's for first one's up now: carey wolff's i'm still the darkness. somehow the quote in the last sentence got truncated; it should read, "those days are gone, but you're still holding on" (but you knew that already). if you've got stuff you'd like reviewed, ping

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

william carlos williams' "the use of force"

most powerful piece of writing i have encountered lately is thisun by the physician-scribe william carlos williams (1883-1963), which my middle dtr unearthed while helping her b-f prep for a sociology paper on healthcare as a social issue. read it and weep.

avant-garde jazz at arts fifth avenue, 3.25.2007

tammy gomez posted this as a comment, but not evabody reads those, so i'm giving it its own entry here:

so, yep, no avant-garde jazz tonight by John Case and his tribe of musicians.

BUT---and, ever so but---there WILL MOS DEFINITELY be avant-jazz IN THIS CITY on Sunday, March 25th, 6-9pm,
at the intimate little cool spot for jazz, ARTS FIFTH AVENUE. this is a bene for "Peaceful Vocations" the all-volunteer org, local to the 817, which is trying to inform (just the facts, no arm twists) young students about their rights & options vis a vis MILITARY ENLISTMENT.

We're calling the event: MAKE ART, NOT WAR.

Guess who's performing? Okay, don't guess. Lemme tell you:
John Case (and annointed accompanying jazz players, as yet to be announced) AND
Dennis Gonzalez (as Yells at Eels, which includes sons on drums & bass).

This is thrilling, and yes this comment is becoming a column--sorry--, thrilling becuz
these 2 jazz-elders in the DFW have wanted to, but have NEVER BEFORE shared a bill together. I spoke to Mr. Case at Sardine's last night, and he says he is open to an improvisational moment w/ Gonzalez.
omigod. can you imagine...?

spread the word: 3/25/07 @ 6pm for $10 and a good cause.

book me, danno

just finished editing the last interview (with master o' libations / woodeye bass-thumper graham richardson) for the wreck room book (which i've saddled with the lengthy handle of wreck room stories: true tales from the home of rock'n'roll in fort worth as told by the people who were there. all that's missing now is a picture (for the cover), a preface, and a poem, and it'll be ready for william bryan massey III to show me how he does his publishing magic.

i hope that i have done justice to the subject.

no avant-garde tonight

drat...apparently sardines is closed for emergency repairs, so the anticipated avant-garde evening sleeps with the fishes for now.

aussie webzine: "stooges no, me-thinks si"

dee-troit/garage/punk-obsessed aussie webzine the i-94 bar, which recently panned stooges reunion alb the weirdness, just ran a more favorable review of the mighty me-thinks' make mine a double e.p. the bar, which uses a scale of rolling rock beer bottles in lieu of stars, awarded haltom city's pride 4 rolling rocks, easily eclipsing the scrappy little hustler from ann arbor and his crew, who garnered only 2 1/2 rolling rocks. (yeah, i know, art isn't a competition, and ig 'n' the boyzzz will earn millions this year, while ray, marlin, will, and trucker will make beer. what the fuck ever.) makes me proud to have once scribed for the bar.

what with the all music guide's mark deming having also given the weirdness thumbs down, i'm almost dreading its incipient arrival in my mailbox. but honestly, it'd be extremely unrealistic to expect guys pushing 60 who cut three, count 'em, _three_ world-shaking recs as snotnoses to do it again this late in the day. what they're doing here is what evabody with a virgin contract and a megabuck tour in 2007 is doing: making money. good on iggy for making it happen for the ashetons while they're still healthy enough to enjoy it. myself, when i wanna hear stooge music, i'll continue doing what i've always done: slap on my vinyl copy of funhouse. which, as we're fond of saying around mi casa, is _enough_.

but i digress. kudos to the me-thinks, and to indian casino records honcho jack bensonhurst: let's see what you can do with _that_.

Monday, March 05, 2007


here's a pic my sweetie took the other day on the patio behind the wreck room: jeffrey williams' metalwork and the remains of a piece of quincy holloway's old "marshall amp" stage backdrop against a very distressed bit of wooden fence. enjoy it while you can.

carey wolff

carey wolff's new ceedee, i'm still the darkness, is out now, and i'm reviewing it for, so i'll say little about it here, except that "nineteen years" is an early candidate for song o' the yr at mi casa. cat's still got it.

spring gallery night at studio 817

this from jesse sierra hernandez:

Spring Gallery Night
March 31st 2007
2- 11 pm

Works of Art by:

Calvin Abucejo
Christopher Blay
Celia Cortez
Velton Hayworth
Phil Hemsley
Ray Liberio
Fernando Palomo
D’Arcy Weddington

2300 Shamrock Suite G
Ft. Worth, TX 76107