Thursday, May 31, 2007

cd sales

katboy forwarded this business week blog entry about declining cd sales. the point is childishly simple, which is prolly why the music industry doesn't get it: finite time 'n' money + more entertainment options = less expenditure on each option. duh. (waitaminute, a _musician_ that reads _business week_?!?!?)

kimio mizutani

through the magic of teague's cd burner, i got to hear a path through haze, the recently reished '71 alb by japanese gtrist kimio mizutani (no relation to les rallizes denudes gtrist takashi mizutani). while les rallizes' music features psychotic paroxysms of psychedelic gtr over simple, catchy bass vamps, mizutani's rec is a good example of early-'70s "jazz-rock" (before the "fusion" tag got applied to what st. lester once referred to as "mahaherbiehancockorea"). some of it -- especially the leader's fuzzed-out gtr tone and the interplay with the electric piano (there's also a string quartet and a woodwind quartet on board) -- reminds me of frank zappa's waka jawaka / grand wazoo period (which i liked). other proximate models: mclaughlin's devotion, or post-kevin ayers soft machine. at any rate, a real fine listen.

fweakly music awards

i don't read the paper myself, but ray liberio (in a shameless bid for ballot-box stuffing) writes:

Well kids I just wanted to let everybody know that we were nominated again this year for best Hard Rock Band and also for Best Hard Rock Album of the year. Now some good friends of ours (Blood of the Sun, Addnerim and The Great Tyrant) are in the same category, but if we make it three years in a row we can retire with dignity and also we'll have another trophy to replace the one that got stolen when all of our gear did. (See how I tug on those heart strings there?) I ain't pullin your leg...the heartless sons-a-guns stole our trophy from last year! Go ahead and Vote for The Great Tyrant, Blood of the Sun and Addnerim too. Vote 4 times and tell em I said it was OK.

Love,
ray from the me-thinks


katboy sez: "4 way tie for first?"

i say, "just a minute, men..."

meezlady @ 1919 hemphill sat'day

i'm gonna be working, unfortunately, but my sweetie is gonna be showing some of her photos in conjunction with bill daniel's texas punk pioneers exhibit at 1919 hemphill this sat'day, 6.2.2007, from 7-10pm. go check her out, why doncha?

les rallizes denudes

teague hit me with another mp3 cd of japanoise last night: a boris 7", gtrist kimio mizutani's prog-psych alb a path through haze from '71, a band called helpful soul that i don't know anything about just yet, and four, count 'em, four albs by les rallizes denudes, a shadowy, mysterious mob that emerged from kyoto university in '67. they had ties to the radical japanese red army faction and a bandmember was involved in the hijacking of a jet to north korea. they recorded sporadically, but continued performing right up to '96, and from the track i'm listening to ("smokin' cigarette blues" from 67-69 studio et live), it sounds like jon's right when he sez les rallizes are where high rise, mainliner, fushitsusha, et al. go their inspiration. violent, chaotic stuff -- it's hard to believe that these guys were contemporaries of hendrix 'n the velvets and actually predated blue cheer; it's enough to make one wonder how much these guys were really influenced by those aforementioned western acts, or what wellspring of weirdness they were tapped into, because this stuff sounds advanced for _now_. yowww!!!

the jams

so here's the deal:
there's no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
there's no rainbow.
all there is, is _this_: the thing itself.
is that good enough for ya?

art of the jam

jam-meister lee allen woke up last night in time to toddle on down to the li'l wreck room with his new bag o' line 6 pod tricks and play some real cool improv shite (rule o' the night: no covers!) with darrin kobetich and your humble chronicler o' events (for the first set, anyway) on gtrs and mike padilla (ex-el salvador birthday bash) kickin' the traps. we set up on the floor again, as there was no soundman, and played to the meager handful o' folks that were there (tell all the people that you see, _it's still open_, carl sez he has no idea when it's closing). no bartender on the "wreck west" side, etc. jon teague and eric harris were in the house, briefly, but took their ex-yeti meeting of the minds to the chat room. reg'lar jamcats ron geida 'n' john shook wound up heading off someplace else, too. da kobe told me that he and his ex-hammer witch bandmate wayne abney will join texas metal alliance (a sorta supergroup featuring ex-gammacide/rigor mortis/when life has ceased musos) for one song at the ridglea theater's "sluggfest xi," an all-day (doors at 2pm) metal meltdown this sat'day, 6.2.2007, with a lengthy card that also includes our faves urizen (who'll debut a new song there) and when faith fails.

finally got to meet steve-o from the caravan of dreams in person. nice cat (thanks for the beers, brah!). he's talkin' 'bout putting together a punk-'zine type compilation of folks' reminiscences of the '80s scene here in the fort (the decade i spent guarding freedom's frontier). sounds like a good idea to me. he also bought a coupla copies of the wreck room stories book, and we yakked about el wreck and "scenes" in general. also why so few folks are chronicling the one we have here in the panther city. and so on.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

the umbrellas of cherbourg

other night, we watched jacques demy's the umbrellas of cherbourg, a '64 french flick in which _every word of dialogue_ is sung to a score by michel legrand. it's a lot more clear-eyed a view of romance than any 'meercun film would ever have shown, and my sweetie points out that baz luhrmann's overhyped moulin rouge owes everything to demy's example.

songs for drella

and speaking of uncle lou, here he is with his velvet underground co-founder, john cale, performing three of the most affecting pieces (that'd be "style it takes," "work," and "hello it's me") from their tribute to v.u. mentor andy warhol, songs for drella.







since his late-'80s resurgence with new york (the alb that preceded drella), lou's perfected a kind of rock chamber music that keeps the edge of the velvets' sound while allowing his songs and lyrics, rather than the sonic assault of the band, to hold center stage.

iloveftw.com redux

hooray! i love fort worth is back!

big g from from philly on uncle lou

my pal geoff from philly said it the last time we spoke, and i concur: "it's funny. my two favorite artists are lou reed and the stooges. lou can be so intellectual and the stooges are totally visceral, yet they both take you to the same place." big g's mom has been ailing, and he talked about going to a show -- the grand opening of some nyc hotspot -- where he spent the opening band's entahr set stressing 'n' obsessing over his recent trials 'n' tribs, then lou came out and played a show centered around magic and loss, his '91 rumination on illness and death, and "made me forget everything i'd been thinking about." of course, we agreed, that's what great art _does_. geoff's still raving about having seen lou perform his '73 alb berlin in its entahrty at st. ann's warehouse in brooklyn. my bro. is waxing so ecstatic that i might have to break down and listen to the damn thing after 30something yrs.

here's uncle lou singing "berlin" live at bataclan in paris, '72, with pianner accompaniment by john cale while nico looks on.

laptop drummer

this guy is pretty good. watch as he demos how to play drums like ac/dc...then the ramones...then "hawaii five-0"...then tommy aldridge...then...AUUUGGGHHH!!! you'll thrill.

ancestry.com

there have been some articles about ancestry.com making its archive of military records available for free through 6.6.2007, but you can actually search for info about anyone, regardless of whether or not they served. i found my father and his brother's ww2 army enlistments, but also my mother's family in the 1930 census and her younger brother's departure from honolulu for san francisco in 1947! fascinating if you're into that kind of stuff.

andrew's three old faves

my philly pal andrew from headlock harmony respondeth to my "three old favorites" challenge thusly:

"Hunger" - Knut Hamsun. 1890s norwegian novel about a starving writer - literally. maybe considered tame by today's standards, this is truly one unsettling account of a hack writer's struggle to feed both his belly and his ego while slowly losing his mind wandering the streets of turn of the century scandinavia. loved how this fella makes himself the intentional outsider and spends most of the novel living (and obsessing) inside his own head while drifting in and out of delusions of affluence during moments of, um... clarity? i guess you could call it that... his true mania is revealed when, quite literally, starving, he rejects offers of food and shelter so as not to evoke the perceived pity of those kind enough to offer help. a lousy human being for sure (hamsun caught much heat for his nazi sympathies and even, allegedly, gave his nobel prize medal to joseph goebbels as a gift - wtf?) - "hunger" contains none of this horseshit and i'm glad i learned of it after i read the book, as i probably wouldn't have opened it had i known before. portrait of the artist as a young psycho indeed...

"The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry" - Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne. barring any obvious jokes about this book's status as an "oral history" - legs mcneil works the same magic he did in "please kill me" and just takes a step back from the subject and let's those who were there tell their tales (although much like "please kill me," and this is not necessarily a bad thing, the actual subject of the book takes a backseat to the wild personal accounts of those who lived it - it's no less enjoyable.) from 50s nudist films to the advent of the mafia bankrolled hardcore of the 1970s and beyond - this thorough telling of the story behind an industry that made it's way from the backrooms of bookstores to a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry is good to the last shot (money shot - that is.) not much of a porn fella myself - i still loved reading this one in all it's sordid glory.

Good Night, Gorilla - Peggy Rathmann. a kid's book, i know, but one i enjoy reading to my little godzilla. sometimes i think it's ok to not be in such a rush to stay older anyhoo and this book just cracks me up... the basic deal is that a zookeeper locks up for the night while bidding sweet dreams to all the furry creatures in his care. conveniently, he lives directly across from the zoo, but unknown to him, the kind yet prankish gorilla swipes some keys and with his mouse pal in tow - stages an impromptu sleepover for all his animal pals at the home of mr. and mrs. zoopkeep - right in their bed! you can never have too much company...

me 'n' lee @ fred's fest 2007

justin jones from barrel delux took these pics of the jamcats at fred's fest a coupla weeks back. somehow or other, the jam-meister was able to get them uploaded on the impulse of will myspace thingy, but i couldn't do the same on mine, so i'll indulge myself by posting them here. thanks, justin! (click on 'em to make 'em big.)







Monday, May 28, 2007

"how do you write about music?"

...steve-o from the caravan of dreams wants to know, after reading my response to his last "assignment" (see previous post). there are a lot of answers to that question, but i can only speak for myself, of course. i think the best place to start might be "_why_ do you write about music?"

back in my misspent youth, when i was still messing with psychedelics, the major lesson i gleaned from the experience was that any insight you have that can't be communicated might as well not exist. this was reinforced years later by my mentor, b.d. trail, who taught me that if your work can't stand on its own, without further explanation, you haven't done your job as a writer. between 1999 and 2002, my 'net buds craig regan at the i-94 bar (sydney, orstralia) and phil overeem at the first church of holy rock and roll (columbia, missouri) graciously granted me unlimited space on a regular and continuing basis to hone my chops and pubbed (albeit electronically) reams upon reams of the kind of stuff that got me sent to the school counselor when i wrote it in my 9th grade english journal. i remain indebted to them. this year, i've done more work that didn't make me sick than i ever have before. i'm actually keeping a list on my myspace blog thingy (the closest thing i have to an "advertisement for myself").

i write about music because i think it's one of the greatest experiences available to human beings, whether as participant or spectator, and i want to share with others the stuff that i think really has merit; why waste their / my time on the other shite? (as john lee hooker said, "nothing but the best, and later for the garbage.") the assignment is "describe what musician X's music sounds like / how it makes you feel / why it sounds and feels this way." i'm interested in the _process_ of music-making, which includes a certain amount of backstory, for the insight it provides into musician X's motivation. at the risk of sounding pretentious, what i'm shooting for is a synthesis of the personal-experential (cohn, lester bangs) and historical-analytical (early greil marcus, peter guralnick) approaches. and an entertaining read, of course.

in practical terms, what this means is that if i'm writing about a performer, i'm going to listen to their music obsessively for the duration of the time i'm working on the piece (and conversely, if there's something i'm listening to obsessively, more than likely i'm going to wind up writing about it here). while i'm doing this, i'm also researching and _thinking_ about my subject. to the untrained eye, all this listening and thinking looks a lot like "staring into space," but it's a necessary part of the process. for a typical piece, it might take a few hours or a couple of days, depending on how familiar i was with the subject at the outset. once i have _an idea_, i sit down and write. on the blog or the couple of online outlets that currently run my shit (that'd be the aforementioned i-94 bar and i love fort worth), i generally publish first drafts (sometimes tweaked after i see my stupid mistakes online, or my wife does). if i'm writing on spec, of course, the client is in the driver's seat, and the research and editorial processes can be more involved...sometimes significantly so.

i dunno, steve -- does that answer your question?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

three old favorites

mi amigo steve-o at the caravan of dreams tagged me with this assignment yesterday:

The Little-Known Favorites. Rules: List and describe three of your favorite books that other people might not be familiar with. Then tag five people.

rock from the beginning by nik cohn. i've blogged about thisun before, but over the years (since i first read it, age 13, when it was still relatively new) it's the formative influence i've returned to the most frequently and with the greatest relish. in a nutshell, it's one 22-year-old wiseacre's take, written off the top of his head in a single weekend of manic inspiration, of the history of rock from its inception up to the then (1969)-present, when he figured "the whole trip was dead." i've tried with varying degrees of success to emulate his methodology, but have a long way to go to capture his quality of insight. unlike greil marcus, who can intellectualize you into thinking you wanna hear music you _know_ you don't like, and legs mcneil 'n' gillian mccain, who managed to capture the whole flavor of a musical era without including a single word of description of the music, cohn's prose manages to encapsulate in a compelling way the heat, excitement, and immediacy of experiencing the originators he describes for the first time. my comments refer to the 'riginal edition, not the cowardly early-'70s revision (retitled awopbobaloobop alopbamboom: the golden age of rock) where he backed off some of his more outrageous original statements (surely not for fear of libel suits?). in the fullness of time, he's also become a noteworthy travel writer (the heart of the world, yes we have no: adventures in the other england) who specializes in the oddball and the eccentric, always with the same keen observer's eye and underlying affection for his subjects that he displayed in rock from the beginning. which reminds me, i still need to get his nawlins hip-hop tome triksta.

beneath the underdog by charles mingus. i always say that all musicians' stories are the same, but not thisun. written during a period (late '60s) when he was off the scene and in 'n' out of mental institutions, this is the titanic bassist-composer's autobiography, an epic journey through his initiation into the ways of manhood via the tutelage of mentors like his muso friend buddy collette's pop and his pimp cousin billy boness; his abiding passions for two women, donna and lee-marie; his stormy relationship with his authoritarian father; his experience of racism (a recurring theme in the recollections of all black musos of a certain day and time, no matter how much some white fans might protest that "it's all about the music"); and his development as a musician (the ongoing dialogue with his friend, the late trumpeter fats navarro, is particularly poignant). in the same way as mingus compositions like "meditations" and the black saint and the sinner lady, the book's narrative interweaves several recurring themes, although some readers might say it lacks resolution (fans will know that came in his '70s musical resurgence); that said, you needn't be a mingus fan to appreciate his writing. i was delighted to find a first edition of this at recycled in denton a decade or so ago.

the 13th valley by john m. delvecchio. i was going to include tim o'brien's the things they carried on this list, which is nominally about infantrymen in vietnam but i like for what it says about the power of stories and storytelling. however, the fact that my middle daughter was assigned to read o'brien's book in high school is probably indicative that more people are familiar with it than is appropriate for this assignment. so, i'll go with delvecchio, which was recommended to me by my writing mentor at what was then tarrant county junior college, the late benard doss (ben) trail (see the permalinks to his work on this blog). ben was a 'nam vet and hated a lot of the litterchur that emerged from that war, but spoke highly of three books in particular, all of which i quickly devoured: kenn miller's tiger the lurp dog, josiah bunting's the lionheads, and thisun. delvecchio was a g.i. journalist with the 101st airborne division, 1970-71. although the action chronicled in the film hamburger hill took place a year before delvecchio's tour, some of the characters and situations depicted in that film have the flavor of his book, and i wouldn't be surprised if someone involved in the production read it (although he's not credited). within the framework of describing a military operation, delvecchio shifts between the points of view of three characters: the platoon leader l-t brooks, his platoon sergeant (and short-timer) egan, and new guy chelini a.k.a. cherry, all three of whom undergo different kinds of inner struggles. the dialogues between brooks and his men might seem to have too weighty thoughts emerging from the mouths of these grunts, but only to a reader who's foolish enough to believe that soldiers are stupid.

ok, steve-o, i took out the papers and the trash. now, who to tag?

dennis gonzalez

wow, talk about yr synchronicities. i just popped yells at eels' ceedee pictogram in the player, opened my email, and found this missive from muso/educator dennis gonzalez:

Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,

It is with a bit of sadness, and enthusiasm for the future, that I announce the end of my association with North Dallas High School after 30 years of service, and the end of the North Dallas High School Mariachi/Estudiantina, as of May 25, 2007, after its run of almost 40 years.

Dina Townsend, principal at NDHS, has released me from my duties - something that I, and a bunch of dedicated students, fought for three years (remember the massive January 2005 walkout?).

But the bright spot in all this is that Mary Davies, principal at Spence Middle Learning Center and TAG Academy has hired me to teach Guitar Ensemble, Estudiantina, and Latin Jazz Studies. It's great to have an opportunity to start anew.

In the meantime, please take a look at the North Dallas High School Estudiantina Website which I began working on several months ago. There is so much information; so many memories, so many images, and tons of videos out there somewhere from the almost-40 years of the Mariachi/Estudiantina's existence, that I invite e-mails, comments, pictures, videos, memories, and stories to NDHSEstudiantina@aol.com. Or you can just hit the reply button.

Enjoy the website, and keep up with all my shenanigans at DENNIS GONZALEZ JAZZ NEWS.

Peace and Light!
Dennis Gonzalez

Friday, May 25, 2007

nguyen family benefit, art of the jam

unfortunately, impulse of will had to pull out of the lineup for the nguyen family benefit because of scheduling conflicts, but it's still gonna be a great event (2-10pm, sunday 6.10.2007 at the li'l wreck room).

the other night at the jam, one of my dtr's friends told me that ppl are starting to think el wreck is closed already. not so. the jamcats will be holding down wednesday nights there until brian pulls the plug. next week, darrin kobetich and mike padilla will be there. so should you be.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

nitzinger review @ iloveftw.com

the review i penned of john nitzinger's new cd kiss of the mudman is up now at i love fort worth.

lou reed at whole foods?!?!?

speaking of myspace boo-shee, got this from lou reed's ostensible myspace thingy:

Lou Reed will be signing his new CD, titled "Hudson River Wind Meditations" at the Whole Foods Market Columbus Circle TODAY! (Thursday, May 24th) at 5PM!
10 Columbus Circle New York, NY 10019

We hope to see you there!

Here's a little bit of what the CD is about:
Stress-reducing practices like t'ai chi, meditation and bodywork are rapidly shifting from "out there" to essential in today's culture, and Lou Reed is an expert participant in the transition. A long-time meditator and an avid t'ai chi student since the 80's, Lou invites listeners into the hidden territory of his inner landscape with the same hypnotic electronic compositions he created specifically to facilitate his own contemplative states.


louie, say it ain't so.

nguyen family benefit, milo the doggie

there's now a myspace thingy for the nguyen family benefit (wreck room, sunday 6.10.2007, $5 donation). as a reminder, this is to benefit a family that lost all their possessions and were flooded out of their house during the recent storms, whose insurance won't pay for any of the damages.

elsewhere on myspace, it appears the i-94 barman may have lost his marbles. if not, how to account for the appearance of a myspace page for his dog?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

bodega train

kid daniel is posting again, about old dallas punks, the wreck room, and how he met his sweetie.

benefit show/silent auction @ wreckroom, 6.10

Sunday Summer Showcase/Benefit and Silent Auction

Date: Sunday, June 10th
Where: The Wreck Room 3208 W. 7th St. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Time:2-midnight

Bands:
Me-Thinks 2-3
Impulse of Will 3:15-4:15
Prophets of Rage 4:30-5:30
Addnerim 5:45-6:45
Barber Mack 7:00-8:00
The Josh Weathers Band 8:15-9:15
Scott Copeland 9:15-10:15
Woodeye 10:30-Midnight

Silent auction items: Sessions Music lessons, Artwork by Jesse Hernandez, Diron Angeles, Chris Dees and D'Arcy Weddington, 1100 Springs signed CD box set...and mucho mas!

Cover charge: $5...only 5 bucks...so cheap you can't afford not to go!

If you are unable to attend the event and would like to make a donation contact me here on MySpace or you can donate online. You can signup for a free paypal account at paypal.com. Once you have created the account click the "Send Money" link and send money to benefit4lan@gmail.com.

Thank you for your help!!

james whiton, b.w.

got a nice email from seattle-based bassist james whiton, who was recently in town with the eric mcfadden trio. james said some very kind things about my wreck room book and the jamcats. doin' some googling, i discovered that back home, he fronts his own band, the downtown apostles, who play an apocalyptic brand of jazz-funk-rock that i dig much from the mp3's i've heard. looking forward to hearing/hanging out with james again the next time the emt visits the fort (after labor day), and maybe if'n my sweetie ever drags me up to seattle to see her baby sis.

read in james' bio that he almost lost his left arm in a car accident back in '94, but endured multiple surgeries and reduced mobility (a la les paul) to rehab it and resume his musical career. it reminded me of my old college roommate/bassplayer, a disciple of tom fowler and john entwistle who turned me onto captain beefheart. he froze his hands and feet while winter camping back in '77 and after talking the docs out of amputating his fingers 'n' toes (he was also a high school track star; beat the cat's time who made the '72 olympic team in his event during the trials but fucked up and broke his collarbone running in a meet while 'luded out), reinvented himself as a punk drummer and started a band with some younger cats, all of whom are still active in music today. he regained his bass facility but not to the extent james was able to, and later gave up playing altogether as part of his recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. last time i spoke to him, he had just survived wrecking his car while strung out on prescription meds he was buying from overseas over the internet. i sincerely hope he's kept it together since then.

dennis gonzalez

around the time i started this blog, i wrote some liner notes for idle wild, a cd by dallas-based trumpeter dennis gonzalez with saxophonist oliver lake.

(back in the '70s, lake, a veteran of st. louis' black artists group, was a fixture on the new york loft jazz scene, and penned the following lines i dig much in his poem "separation":

first the salad
then the meat
then the vegetables..........
"WAIT"
bring all my food at one time on the same plate!

Dixieland, Be-Bop, Soul Rhythm & blues,cool school,Swing,
Avant Garde, Free Jazz, Rock

WHAT KINDA MUSIC U PLAY?
"GOOD KIND"
)

for his part, dennis gonzalez is kind of a force of nature. he's been releasing his own music on his own daagnim label since 1979, and he's also had music out on other labels (in the '80s, copenhagen-based silkheart; more recently, the portuguese label clean feed). over the years, he's traveled around the world, performing and recording with a veritable "who's who" of avant-garde and improvised music. perusing his discography, you'll see names like kelvyn bell (arthur blythe, defunkt, kelvynator, steve coleman's five elements), john purcell (jack dejohhnette's special edition), elton dean (soft machine), keith tippett, louis moholo, charles brackeen, douglas ewart, malachi favors (art ensemble of chicago), carlos ward, nels and alex cline, andrew cyrille (cecil taylor unit), and henry grimes.

since 1999, he's performed in the group yells at eels with his sons aaron on bass and stefan on drums, who also play together in akkolyte and unconscious collective; aaron recently subbed for chris perdue on a ghostcar gig. he ran kera-fm's jazz programming for 21 years, before the station cut its musical programming back to a scant few hours on weekends. beyond that, he's a renowned visual artist, poet, and educator who's taught in the dallas public schools for over 30 years. (early in 2005, when the principal at north dallas high school tried to scuttle the mariachi program dennis spent 27 years building there, several hundred students -- news reports said "more than 200," but dennis maintains it was more like 700 or 800 -- walked out of class in protest. he was subsequently reinstated.)

dennis' musical activities have taken on a new urgency since he began losing his hearing a few years back. always a busy cat, he's released four new cd's since i last checked in with him: a new yells at eels disc, geografia; no photograph available, with boston-based musicians; spiritualized, with the lisbon improvisation players; and a measure of vision with his longtime collaborator, new orleans drummer alvin fielder, along with his sons and pianist chris parker. i'm sorry to say i missed a recent yells at eels performance at a benefit for an antiwar group at arts fifth avenue with jhon kahsen. like jhon, dave williams, chris white, and flipside's work, dennis' expansive ouevre shows the continuing vitality of the improviser's art. i need to catch up on his recorded output and make it to a gonzalez performance soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

benefit @ the wreck room, 6.10.2007 -- hold the date

there's a benefit planned at the li'l wreck room for a family that lost everything in the recent flooding on the southside. it'll be sunday, 6.10.2007, from 2-10pm. the lineup is still in flux but promises to be a goodun. stay tuned.

academica

my sister-in-law in illinois had a 4.0 average her first semester back in school. you go, betsy!!!

cat head theatre

i can't add anything to this.

nels cline

here's a novel idea: every tuesday, gtrist nels cline is putting up a new song from his instrumental album-in-progress with the nels cline singers [sic], draw breath. the disc will be released on cryptogramophone records on 6.26. kinda like hembree's doing with his bindle archives.

acid mothers temple

through the magic of teague's cd burner, i've found the acid mothers temple rec i've been looking for: just another band from the cosmic inferno. it's sixty-plus minutes of in-your-face gtr frenzy, like the live at leeds version of "young man blues" amped up and extended to infinity. yeah!

boredoms

listening to a ton of japrock/japanoise courtesy of jon teague, who gave me an mp3 cd which i thought wasn't registering on my itunes until today, when i noticed i had a ton of new songs by a bunch of japan artists. right now i'm digging the boredoms, friends of nirvana 'n' sonic youth, former lollapalooza main-stagers who had recs out on major u.s. labels back in the '90s. on 1993's pop tatari, they churn out madcap avant-garde noise that recalls early mothers of invention, the residents, the beastie boys, hawkwind, and funkadelic, including a song about coca-cola ("bocabola") and a twisted cover of little willie john's "fever" ("heeba"). by the time they cut 1998's super ae (wherein all of the song titles begin with "super..."), they'd added more krautrock and psych influences, while vision creation newsun from 2001 introduced a new sound, heavy on percussion and acoustic gtrs. fascinating stuff.

felllow americans ADDENDUM

in response to my "ok city bombing obsession" comments in my fellow americans cd review on i love fort worth, head fellow american matt hickey writes:

Basically the whole Ok City/Tim McVeigh theme was done as a bit of tongue and cheek. A ploy to shock and to piss off. It didn't work. Nobody paid any attention to us, probably because we were fucking horrible and didn't know what the flip we were doing. After four years with Explosive Fertilizer, I got bored with the shtick and was ready to move on.

Big BOOM Records (which is just me! Ya, real legit) does come that period, and I kept the name because it just sounds cool to me.

Moving on into the present... there really was no preconceived notion when we came up with the cover art. Some other ideas we had for the cover was a picture of us, and a guy holding his dick in a third person perspective (funny enough, nobody really warmed up to that design). I think we were a little short on ideas when we came up with the cover. The colors looked awesome and so did the artwork. Good enough for us...

The line "shake it up and watch it all explode" is Jeff singing about popping a cork off a bottle of champagne at a party. No nods to the IRA/Hamas/(insert name of the terrorist group of your choice) here, either.

Still awake? Good. Thought maybe you would enjoy some of those anecdotes and get some "behind the scene" perspective. The only obsession I have is Guinness Extra Stout. If I'm feeling especially frivolous I may have a mandarin orange with it. Mmmm...

jeffrey ross hyman 1951-2001

happy belated berfday to joey ramone (r.i.p.). here's a vid of him 'n' his "bruddas" playing "judy is a punk" in 1974, before they got the matching leathers.



and here they are playing "blitzkrieg bop" at cbgb's in 1977. before the dictators covered this on joey's b-day (5.19) in dallas in 2001 -- about a month after his death -- handsome dick looked skyward and exclaimed, "dallas loves you, joey!" and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.



ok, here's one more: "pinhead," with marc bell (ex-dust, voidoids) replacing tommy erdelyi on drums. i saw 'em at the palladium in dallas around this time (ca. '79); nervebreakers opened. proof positive (as if any more were needed) that less _is_ more.

Monday, May 21, 2007

ornettology aftermath

after hearing dave williams' ornettology playing the tunes "the blessing" and "when will the blues leave," i find myself going back and listening to the ornette solos from these tunes excerpted on the bad plus' blog. while both pieces were originally released on ornette's debut elpee something else back in 1958, i first heard 'em in the mid-'70s in versions recorded live at the hillcrest club in l.a., which are the same ones you can hear on the blog. the advantage to the hillcrest sessions is they feature the "classic" coleman quartet (cherry, haden, higgins) along with pianist paul bley (in fact, one of the albums i had was released under bley's name), while something else featured less sympathetic accompanists. i understand that this material has just been released on cd for the first time by some spanish label. it's interesting to hear how fully-formed o.c.'s concept was at this early juncture in his career. even when he plays songs with chord changes (like parker's "klactoveesedstene"), he sounds like himself.

reading and listening

reading today: alfred bester's the stars my destination (imagine the count of monte cristo's revenge saga relocated to 25th century space).

listening:
flipside's raw
yells at eels' home
bindle's "before" (in their myspace player thingy)

jethro tull on the rolling stones circus ADDENDUM

jesse sierra hernandez writes:

and the answer is TONY IOMMI

Where's my Prize?


(jesse's prize is currently being forged by dwarves under the mystic mountain.)

code red

code red, the band fronted by knon-fm reggae dj tunde obazee, with shane flores (ex-root 420, the band that became pablo & the hemphill 7) on bass, be's at fonky fred's this thursday, 5.24.

keep it together

most anticipated rockread at mi casa (after julian cope's japrocksampler): rich deakin's keep it together: cosmic boogie with the deviants and the pink fairies. the author's the webmaster for funtopia, a fan site for expat brit writer-muso mick farren, and the deviants and fairies were gangs of anarchic weirdos who blazed a trail through the '67-'74 brit underground, paralleling in certain ways the trajectories of the stooges and mc5. (radio birdman founder deniz tek witnessed a fairies performance in london while enroute from michigan to orstralia to attend medical school, '71, and thought they were "better than the stooges.") book's due out in june.

the fellow americans

oh, wow. the fellow americans review i wrote is up now at i love fort worth.

dream

last night i dreamed my old man was giving me a haircut, something he's never ever done (my mom usedta cut my hair when i was a snotnose after i refused to go to the italian barber that my father used). lately he and i have been talking more than we have in a long time. he's starting to lose his memory and can no longer work on the math and physics he loves, so he's taken an interest in what goes on in his neighborhood, and in my life, too. everytime we talk, he'll ask, "do you like your job?" and he thinks that it's good that i do, even though it's only bagging groceries in a supermarket and writing about stuff that maybe 2,000 people in the whole world would give a shit about. we've gotten over being irritants to each other. when we talk, i try to speak with empathy about what i know of his life, and i'm starting to regret all the years when we didn't talk at all. what seemed to my younger self to be self-aggrandizement and work-centeredness seems now, in the fullness of time, to be him doing what he knew how to do to provide us with a good life and a secure future, which is the best any of us can do for their kids, i think. if we're lucky, we get to spend half our lives forgiving our parents for being human, and the rest forgiving ourselves for the same damn thing.

wreck room book at sessions music

while i am beginning to suspect that the second printing was an ill-advised act of hubris, and i'm somewhat mortified by the banner which owner john zaskoda has devised for its promotion, i should inform you that my book wreck room stories: true tales from the home of rock 'n' roll in fort worth as told by the people who were there is available at sessions music, and that you should go there to support zasko, who's always done a good job of keeping my ill-treated equipment in good repair at reasonable prices.

underground railroad, addnerim

fans of blazing chops and highly compositionally evolved rock music will wanna check out progfathers the underground railroad and their young acolytes addnerim at the rock star sports bar, 7120 south freeway in the fort, next saturday 5.26.

dinner tonight

i'm making dave champion's shrimp fra diavolo: basically, just sauteeing garlic and parsley in olive oil, then adding the shrimp (shells on to keep 'em from drying out), whole tomatoes and hot sauce (in this case i'm subbing sriracha and keeping the proportion moderate, since my sweetie can't handle heat on an outlaw chef level), then serving over pasta or rice (i'm thinking pasta this time, even tho we just ate at sardines last night). thanks, champ!

after that, we're gonna watch wayne wang's smoke and blue in the face (which together comprise the greatest cinematic love letter to noo yawk city this side of spike's 25th hour) back-to-back. i never get tired of watching "augie wrenn's christmas story," or jim jarmusch smoking his "last" cigarette.

choice of colors

walking around my neighborhood
i find it more unpleasant
having insults and obscenities
yelled at me by white men
from black suv's
than being panhandled
by little black kids
from the high school

Sunday, May 20, 2007

quarter horse

...is the new name for the bobby zanzucchi-steffin ratliff project. just thought you oughtta know.

ornettology

listen kid -- if you weren't at sardines (website still down, guh) tonight, you missed the best night o' music in the fort this year. i shit you not. that'd be dave williams' ornettology, playing the music of native fort worth son ornette coleman. the band -- daver on tenor 'n' alto saxes and chris white on trumpet 'n' flute, along with the flipside trio riddim section of fort worth symphony assistant principal bassist paul unger and drummer dennis durick -- focused on ornette's early work (his two albs on the cali-based contemporary label and the first three epochal atlantics) as lovingly transcribed by daver over the last coupla months. "a rehearsal would have been nice," chris white opined, but these cats are saturated enough with ornette's song that it woulda been redundant.

the first set was wish fulfillment incarnate as they essayed the bona fide coleman classics "ramblin'" (with unger staying close to the charlie haden bass solo that inspahrd ian dury's "sex & drugs & rock & roll") and "lonely woman," and rendered "blues connotation" in the manner of trane with elvin ca. '61. in general, they hewed to the spirit of the 'riginals rather than the letter, which meant that daver played a lot of tenor, chris soloed on flute as often as trumpet, paul bowed some of his walking lines a la david izenzon and dennis made his drums as organic an extension of self as higgins 'n' blackwell at their most free. ornettology achieved transcendence in their second set, after receiving the enthusiastic huzzahs of the assembled jazz cognoscenti, taking full possession of the material, finding the gutbucket shuffle implicit in "the blessing," and closing with "una muy bonita." personal high point: watching chris white _leaning into_ his solos and dancing to durick and unger's alchemy, caught up in the spirit of the music.

then dennis durick (is there a more inventive, swinging jazz drummer in the metromess? i think not) headed off to sit in with the jazzcats at 6th street live, while paul unger retreated to la casa to spend some time with his parents (in from oregon). also in the house: bassist extraordinaire brandon nelson, who now plays with an army band in new york; guitarist keith wingate, who's been sittin' in some with jhon kahsen of late; and jhon himself, who promised that sardines will be hosting a tribute to saxophonist rachella parks, a "guitar night," and a "women in jazz" night in addition to an encore performance by ornettology. daver promises more gigs, and i understand that the evening's proceedings were digitally recorded. all for the good: this band needs to be heard more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

jethro tull on the rolling stones circus

in the revised rock and the pop narcotic, carducci admitted to a fondness for jethro tull, which i shared as a snotnose for their first three albs. here they are lip-synching to "a song for jeffrey" from the first one, this was. the slide gtr is by the then-recently-shitcanned mick abrahams, who went on to obscurity with blodwyn pig. who's the dude playing the left-handed strat, you ask? helpful hint: he's from birmingham. he more famously played an sg. best guess wins an iron crucifix.

Friday, May 18, 2007

tonight at the market...

...i heard a band that played 70% of the songs from my "barband hack's hall of shame" (found somewhere else on this blog...i'm too lazy to search it out). if they'd played "brown eyed girl," my head would have exploded and confetti and skittles would have rained down on the astonished crowd.

the fellow americans

just got the new cd by the fellow americans and plan to review it for i love fort worth tom'w.

meezlady

my sweetie put some examples of her photoshop magic up on meezlady. the second one in particular (cowtown tx 92) looks boss when you click on it to make it bigger.

lou reed

in the current perfect sound forever, thom robinson proposes a reassessment of neglected lou reed albs. i'm right there with him, 'cos while i consider myself a lifelong (well, since high school, anyway) fan of uncle lou's, i'm not a fan of any of his "big" (artistically speaking, not commercially) albs except for the late-'80s "return to form" new york. i found the bowiefied transformer too precious, except for three songs ("vicious," "satellite of love," "i'm so free"); i generally don't like "important" albs like berlin (bob ezrin gearing up for the wall in the same way the mc5's back in the u.s.a. was jon landau gearing up for born to run); and while the blue mask contained lou's most scorching _rock_ music since the second velvets album, his true forte since that alb's "i heard her call my name" has been as a songwriter, not a sonic innovator, and two of the blue mask's ten songs (i'm thinking of "women" and "heavenly arms") are as trite as transformer's "perfect day" and "new york telephone conversation."

robinson specifically touts the bells, legendary hearts, and ecstasy as being worthy. never was much into the first of these three, even though it had a guest cameo by ornette's trumpet-playing accomplice don cherry on it. the second is one of my faves, as i've written elsewhere on this very blog. robinson crabs about the mix favoring bassist fernando saunders over lou and ex-voidoid bob quine (r.i.p.)'s gtrs, but a dominant, melodic bass (played by saunders or the also-excellent rob wasserman) has been a feature of all of lou's latter-day recs; this is just where it started. the third is one i remember being quite enamored of when it was released in y2k, in spite of its containing an 18-minute song ("like a possum") and another that was kinda shocking-for-its-own-sake ("rock minuet"). on ecstasy, uncle lou confronted the death of lurrrve in the same clear-eyed way he examined sobriety on legendary hearts, urban decay on new york, and death on magic and loss. and it contains one of his very best songs, "baton rouge," wherein he somewhat wistfully conjures a plausible road-not-taken (straight life, family, dog, backyard barbecues) only to blow it away like smoke at the end. not bad for a guy who's spent the last 20 yrs or so denying his speedfreak-junkie-queer past (documented with great voyeuristic relish by saint lester, mcneil 'n' mccain, victor bockris, et al.) and actually went to the extent of making a spoken word alb with cameos by steve buscemi and willem dafoe as if to prove he's _not_ the creepiest guy in noo yawk.

art of the jam

no jamcats this week, because jam-meister lee allen went to the house of blues in dallas to hear the deftones and lucas white went to tarrant county convention center to hear tool. the howling dervishes, who deserve better, played their set of gritty retro garage-punk fury to chuck rose's wife and johnny singularity's g-f while ron "the velvet hammer" geida and john "johnny peckerwood" shook supported the bar and i sat up in the booth with jon teague talking about japrock, the new great tyrant video, etc., before i got to sit in with the dervishes for one song at the end. (see 'em tom'w night, 5.19, at the moon on berry st.) lee sez darrin kobetich will be back at the jam in a coupla wks, and that he might be putting something together with darrin and mike padilla (ex-el salvador birthday bash, back from austin). and i might be doin' some jamming down in chuck rose's bomb shelter the next time terry valderas is back in town.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"sex, drugs, and updating your blog"

katboy sent a link to a new york times article about how blogs, myspace, youtube, etc. have changed both the marketing of music and the relationship between performer and fan. an interesting read, and a useful compendium of ideas for anyone trying to exploit technology to support a career in music.

opening the can of sardines

listening to ornette's opening the caravan of dreams from back in '85 and trying to imagine a drunken and recently-divorced chris white dancing ecstatically to this music (he told me the story at the last sardines avant-garde evening). looking forward to hearing chris playing o.c.'s music with daver williams and the flipside trio riddim boyzzz at sardines this sunday. hoping chris 'members to bring me the cd-r of his "out" quintet with a bunch of weatherford college kids from a few yrs back.

new song in the bindle player

katboy's wisely rotating content on the bindle myspace thingy. this week he's changing out music -- bye-bye "10,000 miles," hello "state of girl." rawk!

i dreamed that i was watching a bindle reunion show at my 50th b-day party. the last time i dreamed something like this, i was playing stooges songs with the me-thinks in my maidenform bra. (the time before that i was playing with the who, only they were all in wheelchairs. guh.)

silent march, fw tx, 3.28.93

you have to dig deep in the star-telegram archives to find anything on the silent march that took place in downtown fort worth on 3.28.93, and then it'll cost you $2.95 to read the whole story. on that date, 10,000 people marched to the downtown courthouse to protest an all-white jury's sentencing an avowed white supremacist to probation for the shotgun killing of a black man from arlington. my sweetie remembers, and she posted some of her pics of that day to her blog.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Shape of Jazz to Come - May 20, 2007, 6pm

Dave Williams' Ornettology Quartet performs the Music of Ornette Coleman May 20, 2007 6pm

Dennis Durick – Drums
Chris White – Trumpet
Dave Williams – Saxes
Paul Unger – Bass

May 20, 2007 6pm
Sardines Ristorante Italiano
509 University Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76107
817-332-9937
Call For Reservations

bobby zanzucchi @ wreck room tonight

ex-sleepy atlantis frontguy bobby zanzucchi and his musical accomplice steffin ratliff (bindle / pablo & the hemphill 7 / stoogeaphilia) be's at the little wreck room for tonight's fwac acoustic monday thingy. yeah!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

mother's day

today was mother's day, so i got to help set up for the mom's day jazz brunch on the patio at the market. then on my lunch break, i went and sat and listened to saxman johnny guadarrama play "georgia on my mind," accompanied by daymond callahan on keys, byron gordon on bass, and danny tcheco on drums. between johnny's testifyin' on alto and daymond's swelling organ chords, it was just like going to church.

flattery

i just penned a review of flattery: a tribute to radio birdman, volume 3 (compiled by my pal dave champion, the canadian king of scandi rawk, and his friend jake starr of d.c.'s adam west) for the i-94 bar.

kurt rongey

i'm gonna be reviewing kurt rongey's new alb, with form it threatens silence, for i love fort worth.

kurt's prolly best known as keyb player/vocalist/drummer for fort worth prog-meisters the underground railroad and air personality/program director for dallas classical station wrr, but he's been releasing albums of his own challenging, classical-influenced compositions since book in hand wa-a-ay back in 1991. his second release, 2000's that was propaganda, was a concept album about the soviet union. instrumental tracks for with form it threatens silence were completed in 1995, with vocals added in 2005 and mixing done a year later.

the label through which all three albums are currently available, mindawn, has a unique business model: its products are available by download only, and you can audition them three times at no charge once you download their standalone player (which i'll be doing while i'm off work on tuesday).

the underground railroad, meanwhile, has shows set for may 19th in austin and may 26th with addnerim at rock star sports bar off i-35.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

meezlady

my sweetie made a blog with her photos. it's called meezlady. i could attempt to explain to you the provenance of the name, but then you would think i was...a little odd. she takes good pics, tho. you've seen 'em here, and in the wreck room book. there are even more at her myspace thingy. check 'em out.

los noviembres

paul boll writes:

Los Noviembres will be performing two shows this evening. The first will be at the Kimbell Art Museum and the second on the patio at the cool, secret, and dark (kinda like Los Noviembres themselves) Mambo Downtown.

Kimbell Art Museum 5:15 to 7:30 $10.00 for non-members of the museum
Mambo Downtown 8:30 to 11:00 Free


(hint: mambo is in the park central hotel at 1010 houston.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

ornettitude

it's on: the ornette coleman tribute at sardines, that is. saxman dave williams says it's so. next sunday, 5.20.2007. joining dave will be the phenomenal flipside trio riddim section of f.w. symphony bassist paul unger and drummer dennis durick, and multi-instrumentalist chris white, the man who loves playing "outside" more than anyone i know. lovers of jazz, creative music, or great musicianship in general are strongly urged not to miss this. starts at 6pm, so plan on eating dinner there, why doncha?

pet sounds

the other thing i can't stop listening to lately: pet sounds. in my foolish teen yrs, i thought the beach boys were wimpy because they didn't have enough loud gtrs. in the fullness of time, i figured out that they were the biggest influence on my first-or-second fave alb of all time, the who sell out, as well as lotsa other stuff (like beatles sgt. pepper etc.). the reish cd i have now features mono 'n' stereo mixes back-to-back, so anytime i put it on, i actually get to hear the album _twice_. my only question: when is will risinger gonna make _his_ pet sounds?

the clash on youtube

boy, was 1978 a great yr for music or what?!?!? these guys might not have been "the only band that mattered" to anybody but cbs (see? b.s.!), but they were sure one exciting live show, even after mick jones bought that horrible flanger thingy -- as long as they still had topper on drums! right, chuck?

tone23

my bro and ex-bandmate jay hardesty in nyc is working on tone23, a piece of music software that's getting some blog buzz. pretty neat stuff, if a little (read: a lot) over my head.

bindle, goodwin

these days it seems that all i wanna hear (besides a little tom waits and thelonious monk) is the five tracks that matt hembree has on his bindle myspace thingy. this sadly defunct fort worth outfit, whom i never heard during their actual existence, has become one of my favorite bands of all time, and "yusuf" (which is also audible on my myspace thingy) is definitely one of my fave songs etc.

more to the point, goodwin, the currently-functioning band including bindle survivors hembree, daniel gomez, and tony diaz, is performing tonight at the moon on berry street. as i am closing the market tonight (where sleeplab's performance regrettably and perhaps unnecessarily got weather-cancelled last night), i will probably go home afterwards and collapse in an exhausted heap. but that doesn't mean you shouldn't brave the tcu brats to catch the smartest 'n' most rawkin' pop-rock outfit this side of the hochimen (speaking of bands with illustrious precursors). just for fun, if you _do_ go, ask gomez when the new cd is gonna be done.

animal rescue site

i couldn't resist this challenge from cantankerous lit-brit mick farren:

This is so simple a dog can do it. The Animal Rescue Site needs lots more people to click on it daily to meet their quota of the free food donated to abused and neglected animals. The way it works is that their corporate sponsors/advertisers donate food in exchange for advertising, but these donations are calculated by the number of hits on the site. Thus use the link above to go to the site, click on the purple box "fund food for animals". It doesn't cost you a thing and takes about a minute. It would probably take another minute to email the link to everyone you know. Do it now, humans.
The secret word is Purr

Thursday, May 10, 2007

sonic's rendezvous band on youtube

wow! there's some live vid of legendary / obscuro detroit rawkers sonic's rendezvous band on youtube. they're playing their sole rekkid release, "city slang," ca. '78.

stumptone, howling dervishes, sleeplab

was at work yesterday and ran into gtrist frank cervantez, ex-sub oslo, who's been playing with stumptone. frank informed me that stumptone is playing at rubber gloves rehearsal studios' 10th anniversary bash on friday, 5.18.

also ran into bassist johnny singularity from the gideons and howling dervishes, the latter of which will be performing at the wreck room next wednesday, 5.16, before the jamcats. he also said original gideons drummer terry valderas a.k.a. vernixx (also ex-e.s.p / toadies / parasite lost), currently in exile in oklahoma, is looking to spend more time back in the fort after playing fred's fest with the gideons -- a good thang for lovers of creative beats.

speaking of the market, tonight (barring rain, of course) the patio there will be the location of a performance by sleeplab, a band that i never see anymore because i'm always playing at el wreck with the jamcats when they're at embargo. they're also at 6th street live tom'w night, 5.11, and in the ridglea theater lounge next sat'day, 5.19. so there.

sly stone

as jam-meister lee allen pointed out last night, "if you want me to stay" was _not_ composed by his beloved red hot chili peppers, but rather by sylvester stewart a.k.a. sly stone, a psychedelic soul originator who inadvertently, perhaps, answered the musical question "what would hendrix have done if he hadn't checked out the year after woodstock?" by descending into a coke-induced miasma after dropping there's a riot goin' on, a true testimonial to the death of the hipi dream and surely one of the best albs of the then-new decade, in 1971. now he's back on the boards, his canon has been reissued, and he's ripe for rehabilitation if the young bloods only know where to look.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

stoogeaphilia at fred's fest

calvin abucejo of pussyhouse propaganda sent a coupla pics fom sunday's stoogeset. thanks, calvin!



howling dervishes and gideons at fred's fest

here are a few pics my sweetie took of the howling dervishes and gideons rippin' it up at fred's fest. a pity that chuck rose's wife michelle sez she and her friend were getting hassled by two jackasses that were heckling the bands during both of chuck's sets. way to fuck up a good thing, dudes.







herro kitty

here's another pic that wouldn't upload on myspace, taken by justin jones at fred's fest, of me playing ray liberio's hello kitty gtr with impulse of will. that kitty has _claws_! wizard o' sound andre took some pics during the stoogeset that i'll try to get posted later.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

what the book looks like

for some reason i couldn't get this to upload on myspace, but here's ray liberio's cover art for the wreck room book. pics of cary blackwell (front) and carl pack (back) by my sweetie, of course.



git shit

got my varsity indonesian axe back from sessions music today, luxuriously appointed with 'meercun strat electronics 'n' scratch plate. we'll see how she behaves on jam night. the peavey is a more disappointing story -- zasko's convinced it's a transformer. film, as they say, at 11.

cleaned up james' chinese squier tele today and threw a new set of strings on. discovered the major flaw in the squier tele's design. while leo fender's original telecaster design was simple, practical, and ergonomic, with the strings running through the back of the body, the squier tele's weak, bullshit-ass design has them running through the tailpiece so you have to lift the individual bridge saddles to thread the strings through 'em, which is hard to do without bending or crimping the strings, weakening them and making them more prone to breakage. duh.

dinner 5.7.07

yesterday was my grandbaby's sixth b-day and
because i suck as a grandparent,
i didn't get her present yet.

we had my middle dtr over for dinner
along with her b-f james and her friends mimi
and michael. michael's about to deploy to iraq.

he's a rifleman in the 2/504th infantry,
82d airborne division.
he'll be in-country for 15 months.

we served them fried tilapia, brown rice,
black beans, and that tomato and purple onion salad
with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

we told michael he's welcome here
anytime he's back in town.
here's hoping he comes back safe.

me-thinks at fred's fest

q: what's the first piece of equipment you replace if you're the me-thinks and you get all your shit stolen?

a: the smoke machine!







Monday, May 07, 2007

fred's fest 5.6.07 pics

and here are a few shots i took at fonky fred's on sunday after playing with stoogeaphilia and impulse of will.









me-thinks wreck room pics

here are a few shots i took while playing asian media crew the other night, some of 'em digitally enhanced by my sweetie. click on 'em to make 'em big.









further bindlage

matt hembree's been busy. after playing gigs with pablo & the hemphill 7 and stoogeaphilia this weekend, he finally got around to fleshing out the content on the bindle myspace thingy with a bunch of photos and an edited version of the bindle bio from this very blog. now if he could just buddy up with that studio or whatevah that gives you a fifth song on your standalone player so he can upload "yusuf"...

flood damage not insured?

seems that a lot of damage from last wednesday's flooding might not be covered because the homes/businesses weren't in an historic flood area. ng.

the leisure class "i love you more"

hard to believe that leonard belota once played with these guys, but they say he did. tough stuff.

cinco de mayo, fred's fest

it's another one of those "haven't posted in a coupla real eventful days; what do i remember?" kinda posts.

sat'day was, of course, cinco de mayo, and i got to hear some of latin express' set at the market (everytime the sliding doors slid open, anyway). their set hasn't changed much in the last few yrs, but i'm always glad to hear 'em -- it's kinda reassuring (as katboy sez, "like realizing the value of pi is still 3.14"). also saw kenneth, the drummer from lady pearl's b.t.a. band when i usedta play with them at the swing club at evans and allen a coupla yrs back, whom i didn't recognize at first; mea culpa. when i got off work, went home to a dinner of potato 'n' egg burritos (an eggy day; my sweetie sent me out the door that afternoon on a spinach 'n' asparagus frittata that filled me up real good) before suiting up to join the asian media crew in documenting / disrupting the me-thinks' "drinko de mayo" show (second stop on their three-date "tour" of fort worth) at the wreck room.

on the way in, heard the panther city bandits starting up and wondered, "wtf -- is _broooce springsteen_ opening for the me-thinks?!?!?" before the end of their set, tho, the bandits (playing their first full-on "show" after a preliminary icebreaker at the chat room) had won me over with their hot combo platter of anthemic heartland rock, slammin' punk, and dropkick murphys-ish irish beer-drankin' songs. they have two capable singer-gtrists, a tight riddim section, a gal on wurlitzer pianner, and a sound that's varied enough to hold yr interest song to song. best new band i've heard in awhile, i'm thinking.

next up were the fellow americans, who have a new ceedee coming just any day now, and attempt to answer the musical question, "what would it sound like if the remnants of the rio grande babies (r.i.p.) joined forces with john price's much cooler li'l brother?" the ex-babies continue to rawk aggressively, while baby-faced jeff price looks like he belongs in front of another band -- something emo-ish, p'rhaps -- but once he gets his confidence up, a coupla songs into the set, his performance has a kind of goofy charm (now flailing arms like a 3-year-old on a sugar-'n'-adderall high, now posing and pointing like he was john foxx or something). and he put in a plug for my book. thanks, jeff.

with their keyboard-heavy theatrical metallic prog, dentonites shaolin death squad seemed a little out of place on this bill, but they brought their own crowd and rocked in their own quirky, mask-wearing way, playing selections from their intelligent design cd. i walked around and heard the story of a friend who got flooded out of her house; the southside took it hard in last wednesday's storms, with lotsa power outages, fallen trees, and uninsured flood damage.

then the me-thinks, sporting new gear they just got to replace what was stolen from their warehouse by the motherless, fatherless bahstids a coupla weeks ago. mike bandy from barrel delux is a worthy addition on gtr; he's wild and abandoned where sir marlin von bungy is solid and steady, and with time, this tandem has the potential to come up with some really good things. for the time being, bandy's still finding his way into the material from the me-thinks present the make mine a double e.p. on drums, trucker jon simpson sounds like he owns these songs now, and up front, ray liberio remains evabody's favorite jovial inebriate. "this could be our last time here at the wreck room," he said, and he and his bros toasted each other and the crowd and played like they meant to blow the walls down all by themselves. the boys played a coupla new ones i hadn't heard before; time will tell how things are going to work with songwriting secret weapon will risinger relegated to "spiritual advisor" status. (thanks to ray's g-f linda for shilling books for me along with me-thinks merch.)

sunday morning i walked over to walgreen's to buy some 9Vs for my stompboxes, and we breakfasted light, figuring to scarf fredburgers before the stoogeset at fred's fest, skedded for 3pm. i was "working a double," as they say in the service industry, since impulse of will was playing immediately after stoogeaphilia, but i wasn't alone: so were chuck rose and blake hestir (howling dervishes / gideons), ray liberio (stoogeaphilia / me-thinks), and carl pack (guest voxxx with impulse / gideons).

my varsity equipment still at sessions music for repair, i was carrying james hunter's squier tele and borrowing will risinger's dr. z (same amp i used for fredfest last yr, in fact). we arrived at fonky fred's midway into tongue's set. the cleburne-based trio's mid-tempo grunge-rock sounds good outdoors, so good in fact that wreck room impresario brian forella added them to the baboon/beautiful disaster bill this coming friday. singer-gtrist daniel ferry sez they have new cd toonage coming soon, too.

my sweetie 'n' i hung out with katboy and scarfed fredburgers while merkin played maybe the rawkin'-est set i've ever heard from them. the river oaks threesome sounded born-again hard, with drummer cameron slamming the beats. (is it my imagination, or have they speeded up the tempos on some of their toons? for a minute, i thought they mighta watched that thing you do or something.) cameron had his drumset covered in budweiser labels and asked all of the musos present to sign his kick drum head. jon teague wound up using cameron's kit to play the stoogeset because he forgot he'd given daron beck the keys to the great tyrant's prac pad and so couldn't retrieve his own drums.

stoogeaphilia got delayed by a sprinkling of rain, which sent john zaskoda and brandon wallace off to sessions music to replace the mains from wizard o' sound andre edmonson's p.a. we planned to play 12 songs in our 45-minute slot, which meant minimal time between songs for tuning (and teague told me, "make sure we have eye contact before you start anything. i need to have time to swill."). in the event, we dropped "funhouse" because ray didn't have his lyric cheat sheets. the only egregious clam of the set was mine, when i misread the setlist _that i wrote_ and played the first chord to "i got a right" instead of "not right." duh. and i broke a string two songs into the set. fortunately, sir steffin had just done a setup on the "hello kitty" squier strat that the ppl ray works with had given him, so i used that for the rest of the afternoon. (ron geida and marlin von bungy, bless them, both offered to lend me gtrs, but i told 'em both that i wouldn't know what to do with an instrument that wasn't truly second rate.) the hello kitty gtr had a single humbucker by the bridge and no volume control, only tone, so it took away all of the bad choices and sounded pretty ballsy through will's dr. z. the stoogeaphiles rawked hard, as is their wont, and i hopefully redeemed myself from my drunken collapse before we had a chance to play at fredtoberfest.

jam-meister lee allen had had a rough week, what with the full schedule of bands at fred's -- the eric mcfadden trio and honky in addition to the two-day fred's fest extravaganza -- and he'd wanted to make sure that impulse of will's set went well, to the point of trying to schedule a _rehearsal_ and actually _writing a setlist_. in the event, he wound up calling 'em "a la carte," keeping the jamcats guessing from when we hit until we quit (which just means it was a typical impulse of will set). the lineup was ron "the velvet hammer" geida and yr humble chronicler o' events on gtrs, john "johnny peckerwood" shook and the jam-meister on basses, and lucas white on drums. we opened with failure's "daylight," continued with "come together" sung by carl, essayed eric mcfadden's "the ghostmaker" and jeff beck's "you know what i mean," played "manic depression" in response to zaskoda's request for hendrix, and finished with (what else?) "war pigs," sung by carl.

the howling dervishes weren't chuck rose's first band (that honor being reserved for cringe), but they were one of 'em. the early '80s dallas punkers survived long enough to be part of the deep ellum era, and were reactivated last year with blake "johnny singularity" hestir from the gideons on bass. chuck and tom battles alternate voxxx and play dueling telecasters, an awesome sound. after that, the gideons reconvened with original drummer terry valderas back from the wilds of oklahoma to reclaim his thumper throne. terry and chuck have also been doing some jamming on the side ("if you listen to the gideons, you can hear us improvising garage rock," sez terry), and he promises to be a more regular visitor to the fort. (i suggested he fall by the wreck on a wednesday night while it's still open.)

by this time, my attention span was starting to flag, so we cut out before darth vato and holy moly (a unit apparently fronted by aardvark impresario danny weaver) played, altho i did get the chance to introduce one of the panther city bandits to the vatos' steve steward, a dropkick murphys fan. went home and collapsed in an exhausted heap. many thanks to outlaw chef terry chandler for hosting fred's fest, jam-meister lee allen for puttin' it all together, and wizard o' sound andre edmonson for making it sound good. and to all of the fred's staff for dealing with the influx of beer-swilling, fredburger-gobbling music lovers.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

no rain

when asked what he'd do if rain threatened the weekend of fred's fest, outlaw chef terry chandler said he'd point a hatchet at the storm and _ask_ it to split itself. "it worked for my wedding," he said. here's hoping it works for two days.