Thursday, November 29, 2007

christmas music

i'm not a fan of christmas music. i can tolerate the jose feliciano song and the vince guaraldi charlie brown soundtrack, but a lot of stuff (worst offender: the bowie-crosby "little drummer boy") makes me projectile vomit. however, out running errands today, i got to hear the salvation army bellringer outside michael's on overton ridge singing "white christmas" in the manner of arthur prysock. my sweetie and i took a big detour from the store we were walking into and made it a point to drop a coupla bucks in the gent's pot. apparently he's been in the spot for at least the last four christmases, doing more singing than bell-ringing. cat's got some pipes; he made my day. next time you're out braving the crowds for the _festival of greed_ (that follows the _festival of gluttony_ and precedes the _festival of drunkenness_), fall by michael's and have yours improved.

live jazz in the fort

just penned an overview for i love fort worth, which velton will undoubtedly have online before long, and was delighted to realize there's a lot more going on in this line than there was a few years ago. hooray!


looking forward to the stoogeshow tomorrow night at 6th street live with the fellow americans and one fingered fist, even though i've been preoccupied with other stuff and don't really play enough to feel like much of a muso these days. luckily, sir steffin will be on hand to provide the finesse, i'll make the noises i make, and it'll hopefully be as cathartic as possible for all concerned -- why we continue to do this, i think.

the saints

was in half price this evening and stumbled on a clean vinyl copy of the saints' i'm stranded. the saints were the _other_ band (with radio birdman) that started aussie punk in the early '70s. while saints gtrist ed kuepper lacked the finesse of birdman's deniz tek and chris masuak, the saints had energy on a stooges level, a better riddim section, and a frontman (chris bailey) who looked like he could honestly give a shit about anything. he's kept the band going with numerous personnel shifts right up to the present day, and i was surprised a coupla yrs ago to see him on tv performing with nick cave & the bad seeds. here's some vid of a classic saints performance from paddington town hall, 1977.

"petra's pecado" @ fwcac december 6-7

dallas-based cara mia theatre co. brings the bilingual comedy petra's pecado to the sanders theater in the fort worth community arts center, 1300 gendy st., at 8pm thursday and friday, 12.6-7.2007. tickets are $12 general admission, $10 student. nice to have live theater within walking distance of mi casa. should still be nice weather then, too.

what's on my mind today

watch my father cling
to shreds of identity
he can still recall

we are who we are
when you live with somebody
you see all their sides

interesting how
we acquire all of these things
then they steal away

listening the tabu ley rochereau record, i was surprised to be reminded that congolese music has the same lilt 'n' sway as my favorite ibrahim ferrer sides. then again, i guess that's where the cuban musos got the rumba riddim from in the first place. nice to hear unexpected connections between things i like at a time when i'm feeling kinda disconnected from lots of things in life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

john carter and old-new jazz

i haven't been exposed to the recordings of john carter, a fort worth expat who made his name as that rarity -- a free jazz clarinetist -- in the '80s, but after reading this overview, it sounds like i might oughtta. dude also sticks up for jazz from the years 1973-1990 and links to a screed on that topic by the bad plus' ethan iverson. as it recently occurred to me that there are big holes in my jazz listening between '81 (when i got married the first time) and '93 (when i got divorced), i'll be perusing these lists at leisure when insomnia strikes.

new jazz spot opening in sundance square

may the good lord shut my mouth 'n' open up my mind. this from fw symphony/flipside trio bassist extraordinaire paul unger:

The Scat Lounge will be opening in Sundance Square on December 6th. This is the first real jazz club to open here in a long time. Below is a link to some info about the club and a link to the clubs music calendar. My band is playing opening weekend on December 8th. See you there.

Paul Unger

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Nu-Sonics' "The 'Eureka' E.P."

The Nu-Sonics are a Brooklyn-based band fronted by Alex Sniderman, a Rawk-loving kid from Nashville, of all places, who had his first eponymous album produced by ex-MC5 guitar terrorist Wayne Kramer way back in Y2K, when Alex was all of 19. My Dee-troit and Lou Reed-loving pal Geoff Ginsberg, who’d also pulled my coat to rootsy rockers like Eric “Roscoe” Ambel and Tim Carroll, re-released Alex’s debut on his Real O Mind label in 2002, and I reviewed it for the FW Weekly, causing Anthony Mariani to roll his eyes white upwards and exclaim, “Jayzus, you can’t just write about your friends’ projects!”

The “Europa” E.P. finds Sniderman in the company of Noo Yawk sesh vets Melissa Houston (drums) and Scott Anthony (bass), with a stripped-down sound that’s reminiscent in places of the first Lou Reed solo album (which I liked). As much as he might protest that “This is a band, man,” make no mistake: this is a songwriter’s record. Luckily, Alex’s pen remains hot and, dare I say, commercial, revealing him to be more of a Nashvillian (Nashvillain?) than he’d probably care to admit, as displayed on my favorite item here, “Nice Guys,” where a disquieting similarity, vocal and groove-wise, to Counting Crows is overshadowed by the fact that Adam Duritz never wrote a line as funny as “Nice guys always finish last / ‘Til nice girls get divorced.” “Elevation” isn’t the Television song but rather, a relationship rumination (“Mr. Right turned out Dr. Strange”) that’s more Jakob than Bob Dylan. For a witty guy with a smooth turn of phrase, it takes big stones for Alex to sing “Words are just no good / For what I have to say” (“Words No Good”). While his real destiny is making a mint off the 18th song on some blockbuster film soundtrack, it’d still be nice to stumble into these guys (‘n’ gal) playing in some sawdust-on-the-floor dive in Lower Manhattan.

tabu ley rochereau

getting ready for the stoogeshow at 6th street live this friday, it occurs to me how little of the music i listen to is in that vein. lately, it's been mostly free jazz, dub, and stuff like congolese soukous master tabu ley rochereau, whose the voice of lightness comp i'm taping for my sweetie in the hopes that it might generate some sparks of recognition from a little boy she's working with who's from there. here's the man performing "esw you wapi" with his former wife m'bilia bel back in the '80s.

Monday, November 26, 2007

don cherry

trawling youtube, i stumbled on this clip of trumpeter don cherry's "brown rice," a hauntingly otherworldly and ahead-of-its-time track from his self-titled '76 album.

besides playing in ornette coleman's seminal quartet from 1958-61, cherry performed and recorded with coltrane, sonny rollins, albert ayler, and much of the '60s euro avant-garde before traveling extensively in africa and asia, playing with local musos wherever he went (as in this example from india with l. shankar and trilok gurtu, 1978). i was lucky to see him with the ornette alumni/repertory band old and new dreams at town hall in nyc, 1979. his death in 1995 came way too soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


my sweetie reports that midnight and augie are now able to hang out and play together without making what dre calls "the bruce lee sound" at each other. although i still think midi was looking for pablo when he was walking around making his mournful sound the other night. "hey, mamlito -- you gotta meet this new guy. he's even more of a mess than you were!"

soundclash 2007 me thinking about soundclashes past and the fact that some of the venues (axis, wreck room) and bands (sin-c, brokers) that have been part of this event in the past now sleep with the fishes. soundclash originator joe vano, who celebrated his 40th trip around the sun today, is still here, though, as is his band, pablo & the hemphill 7, now in their sixth year as a unit. prior to the event i was also thinking about some of the ideas and dreams he and i have kicked around over the years that wound up becoming realities, and hoping that we can conjure some more dreams in the future.

while the weather probably kept some folks away, and at the peak of the festivities (that'd be darth vato's set), the place was jammed to capacity, 6th street live managed to accommodate the crowd, but it highlighted the dearth of venues in the fort with a capacity over 200 except for the ridglea theater, which you need 2000 people to fill (although i must confess i've never been to the rockyard or the rockstar sportsbar). at one point, a wrecker truck arrived and started towing cars that were parked on the south side of 6th street across from the club -- which is exactly what the developers who bought the wreck room threatened to do before brian decided to move. a disturbing note, if it's a harbinger of things to come.

pleasant surprise o' the evening was austin-based dub scientist mcpullish (a.k.a. carson hoovestol), performing with toaster the judge. mcpullish builds the tracks in a studio, stores them on a laptop, runs them through analog gear in a live situation, where he remixes them in real time. on stage, the judge was a dominating presence, an upful and engaging performer who also joined pablo for a couple of tunes during their set. but the real ear-opener was the cd we bought -- barn rockers (night owl dub 5), one of several mcpullish releases available (including two vinyl 7-inches) -- that will help satisfy my dub jones when i run out of lee perry sides to spin.

it'd been awhile since i heard darth vato, but every time i do, they sound like they're getting better at what they do, namely fusing hard rock (at this point i wouldn't even say punk -- for an instant, i flashed on uriah heep, but i suppressed the thought), ska, and reggae influences in a crowd-pleasing melange. their new record will be mixed in january and i'll be waiting to hear what they've come up with.

since marcus lawyer departed the fold in early 2006 (jeez, is it just me or does it seem like longer?), pablo has become a different band. they play harder now, and their sound seems more centered around steffin ratliff's guitar than it did in years past. in spite of having to be at work early the next day, it did my heart good to see vano stalk the stage and roar, his dreads full of "metal dandruff" that he got baptized with when the vatos called him onstage at the end of their set to get "the birthday song" sung at him, and to hear him sing old faves like "freedom" and "little man and chiva joe." pablo _still_ hasn't made a proper cd, but hopefully that will be remedied in 2008 (with a disc that, um, includes "the great bash" -- right, joe?).

live at leeds

wow, talk about yr synchronicities. earlier this eve i was listening to the who's epochal live at leeds ('95 ceedee version with all the good early songs appended to the original six-track elpee but not all of tommy, thank goodness), and surfing over to head heritage, what did i find but the seth man waxing ecstatic on said alb, which, in my life, has formed the basis of at least one important friendship and is the only music outside of funhouse that i'd ever want to play note-for-note, hint hint.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

because i suck...

...we didn't make it to my friend gustavo's taco stand today. spent most of the day napping after waking up late and cooking/eating turkey hash from thanksgiving leftovers. most of yesterday was spent napping and watching frank zappa videos while cooking turkey soup. back to work tomorrow, but this evening, will fall by 6th street to help celebrate joe vano's 40th b-day at soundclash, as should you.

electro shock therapy

...wound up being a boss little gathering. the penthouse of the electric building is a cool little space (three floors, with a vertigo-inducing ladder to the roof that rod dove's crew thankfully cordoned off). the bands were set up in a converted water tank, with wizard o' sound andre edmonson mixing sound from outside on the patio, where brandon jones was spinning records. sherry star's video installation was running on the bottom floor, below the landing where jem rodriguez and his nephews from austin set up the bar. jem's 49th birthday is coming up 12.13 and i told him i'd come see him at embargo on the 11th (his last workday before then). jerral sustaita's big canvases of jfk/oswald images dominated the hallways. ray liberio was selling pussyhouse propaganda coloring books while calvin abucejo was a.w.o.l. camping. their new piece, the oil-on-panel "i think i've seen too much", featured allusions to hitchcock's psycho and north by northwest. best in show imo were phil hemsley's mcdubya and especially "ever see a hot shot hit, kid?", but it wasn't really an art-buying crowd. shuttle, a new band including matt skates, scott ivey, james norris, and a dude i don't know on tables, played a rhythmically complex trip-hop. john shook said he'd turned down a money gig with dirty pool (who apparently have a hookup to play baker street pubs an' like that, as well as a new cd) to perform with top secret. shook's still jammin' with lee allen at fonky fred's and lola's (which i'll keep calling 6th street live until brian changes the sign), even playing a show at the blue grotto -- you know, the place next door to sardines that used to be saloui's -- on a bill with rivercrest yacht club). i got to sit in with top secret, as did justin pate. i hope i didn't mess up their groove too much. turan, the band formerly known as sleeplab (before they booted out leader/founder jeff arsenault) was supposed to play after that and fern palomo was in the house, but my sweetie and i headed for la casa to let our new kitten out of "house arrest." hopefully the folks who put this evening together did well enough to wanna do another event.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

english breakfast

after seeing a postcard of one at jesse's, my sweetie says she's going to make me one of these. have to wait till we have a "lying-in" morning, though, preferably one when we're both off from work. after swearing it off entahrly a coupla years ago, i've eaten bacon three or four times this year and figure it won't hurt to do it _one_ more time in 2007.


willie b. notwithstanding, my sweetie 'n' i plan to spend the next coupla days kicking back and adopting an attitude of gratitude for all the good that's come our way, including the kickass meal she's preparing as i type this and what i'm gonna do with the leftovers from said meal tom'w. also, this sat'day (assuming the roads aren't icy), we're gonna visit my friend gustavo's taco stand, which he calls "tacos y mariscos el tapatio," located at 6250 old hemphill, outside el pirata flea market. gustavo offers tacos, tortas, and tostadas in the authentic mexican manner, with shrimp and ceviche among his specialities. sounds muy bueno to me.

the newest member

...of our interspecies family is here. he revealed to us that his name is not boris, but rather augie (after the harvey keitel character from smoke; long story there) and he's quite a climber/talker. he and midnight are still feeling each other out, but in the fullness of time, they're sure to become great buds.

cecil taylor speaks

besides being one of the most interesting musos in the planet, imo, cecil taylor is also one of the most erudite and articulate speakers about music and related topics. (also a fantastic dancer!) best youtube example i could find is a snippet from the documentary all the notes, which unfortunately can't be embedded here. there's also this interview with cecil and david amram from a '94 "beat symposium" at nyu.

willie b.'s thanksgiving prayer

teague posted this: gus van sant's short film of burroughs reciting "a thanksgiving prayer" from dead city radio. gobble gobble.

proof the rolling stones were always whores

it's a rice krispies ad from ca. '64. not as egregious as the who's '68 recruiting ad for the u.s. air force, i suppose, but still...

nathan brown @ 6th street live (doo-dah, doo-dah)

bulletin from nathan brown:

hi everyone,

nathan brown(ingham) here. in case you forgot, i'm a keyboarder/ cheerleader.

i'm coming into town for the holiday and playing 2 shows.

the first is at 6th street live in fort worth. i'll be playing with don fegin from the theater fire, who'll be doing a solo set. that's thursday (thanksgiving) night. 10pm.

the second is at rubber gloves rehearsal studios in denton, with captured by robots. that's on saturday. 10pm.

after years and years of doing the same damn songs over an over, i've worked up a brand new set of ridiculously high energy lighthearted numbers. i've also switched to playing guitar with keyboards/drums/bass as backing sequences. the fort worth show will be the first time i do this new set. maybe i'll choke, and you can laugh. come out to one or both!

i also have new t-shirts for sale. pink, for girls or sissy boys. light blue, for guys or butch women.

see you there!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

soundclash @ 6th street live, 11.24.2007

communique from pablo & the hemphill 7:


2736 6TH ST.
(817) 877-0666

and DJ JUERTA....


(my daughter loaded firefox on our new 'puter, so i can italicize again. hooray!)

urizen @ the rockyard, 12.21.2007

cd release show for urizen's new e.p. universe be's at the rockyard (2525 rodeo plaza) on december 21st. as it's the first show of theirs in awhile not to feature a hefty ticket price due to an out-of-town headliner, ya mo' be theah, if only to see their robot. maybe you too?

electric shock therapy, 11.23.2007

here's ray liberio's artwork:

Monday, November 19, 2007

my next "big project"

my dad called today from the nursing home to solicit my help with, among other things, getting down in writing what he can still remember, an undertaking akin to capturing the light from a candle flame as it flickers out. of course, i agreed. time to get out my trusty microcassette for a journey that promises to be as illuminating as it is heartbreaking. whatthehell else was i gonna do next year, anyway?

bindle @ 6th street live, 11.16.2007

not much time to write this week due to much work

bindle boys played good
nice size crowd (although a few drifted away before the end)
jesse sierra hernandez was there
and william bryan massey III celebrating his 50th b-day

beforehand, steffin and justin were talking
about gomez (absent due to new fatherhood)
and his propensity for playing weirdo chord inversions
"in fact," justin said, "matt never plays root notes either"
and time signatures..."funny you should mention that,"
steffin said...make bindle "not a good band to sit in with;"
in fact, "a good band to _sit out_ with," they agreed

opening band (quo) soundchecked seemingly forevah
their bassplayer drums in stella rose too
forella (bless him) was up front giving them props
was reminded that part of the fun of a local scene
is watching bands grow up on stage
we walked out to the patio and hung out with sam and jeanne

i'm still not used to all the tables
not many people standing up
funny way to watch a rock show imo

was glad to see that bindle must have gotten
more rehearsal time -- added a coupla toons
("buffet" and "red hair," with steffin
singing the last line) to the eleven they played
at their "public rehearsal" a few weeks before --
a well-paced set

just before they hit
heard kevin telling steffin "i'm not nervous anymore"

they played great -- if there were any clams
or forgotten lyrics, i didn't notice 'em

i feel greedy
hoping they'll do some more shows -- particularly now
that gomez is (i think) available
to play some of that earlier, more complex,
"feel"-oriented material --
i could stand to hear all these songs again

Friday, November 16, 2007

fight song

history at our disposal frontguy / pyramid scheme impresario jason reimer (who was the last muso i interviewed in my tenure as a scribe for the local alt-weekly and whose "long con compilation" cd i've been revisiting of late) checked in to inform me that he's part of a project called fight song, an improv outfit that's a denton supergroup-of-sorts, with a lineup which also includes scott danborn (centromatic), mckenzie smith (midlake), bryan vandiver (h.a.o.d.), and rob gomez. sounds intriguing.

banner ads are evil

here's a wired article 'splaining why you should be careful what you drag your mouse across. sneaky flash programmers use banners to infect your 'puter with "malware."

Thursday, November 15, 2007


...the "jimi hendrix at woodstock" dvd yesterday, my favorite part came when jimi was backing his memphis pal/recent 'nam returnee larry lee's solo on "lover man" and spontaneously broke into the dance steps they used to do while playing in r&b bands on the chitlin circuit. a very human moment from an otherwise iconic performance.

me-thinks do dallas again

this just in from the mighty me-thinks:

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are playing across the county line over in Deep Ellum this Saturday night. It's at a place called Reno's Chop Shop on Crowdus. I'll put the info below. It's a benefit concert for some Dallas friends that got caught up in a brawl and ended up stabbed. These are working people like you and me and they need not worry about paying medical bills and keeping up with rent...just getting healed up for right now. This benefit is for them. It'll only be our second time out in Dallas (thanks Loco Gringos!...come back soon) because we are the laziest band in the world. I am actually surprised we're doing it...but we are! So come on out to Reno's. There will actually be stuff going on all day long starting at like noon but we won't be on until 9 or after. We hope to see you there and we'll have some beers and play some sloppy rock for you. Cheers!

The Me-Thinks

Reno's Chop Shop
210 N Crowdus St
Dallas, TX 75226

modern music in downtown fort worth

bulletin from other arts:

Other Arts has a pair of concerts in early December that I want you to know about. Pianist Louis Goldstein will be performing Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories (1983) on December 2nd, and John Cage's Sonatas & Interludes for prepared piano (1948-1950) on December 3rd. Both concert begin at 7:30 PM at Van Cliburn Recital Hall in the Maddox-Muse Center, 330 4th Street just east of Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth.Tickets are available through Bass Ticketing 817 212-4280 or at the door on the evening of the performances. Tickets $23, $18 for students and seniors &, if you buy tickets to both concerts, there's a discount of $5/per ticket ($36 for both concerts; $26 for students and seniors).

Throughout his long career, Cage was interested in subverting any learned habits he may have had as a composer. The prepared piano (an instrument that has been altered by inserting mutes of various types among the strings of the instrument to radically alter the sounds) was one of the earliest strategies he used to try to de-familiarize the musical process for himself, and the Sonatas and Interludes is the culmination of his works in this mode. The preparations of the piano's strings often result in haunting, otherworldly sounds and the hour-long work is really quite lovely, full of charming melodies.

Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories is an elegant, meditative work of crystalline melodies and shimmering chords. Subtle shifts in rhythm and harmony take on mysteriously heightened dramatic weight in in this lengthy (more than ninety minute) work.

Pianist Louis Goldstein, on the faculty of Wake Forest University since 1979, has focused primarily on the performance of modern and contemporary music for more than thirty years. His recordings of these two works have received lavish praise.

Triadic Memories and Sonatas & Interludes are unlike anything else you have heard before. Both are major 20th century works for piano receiving their Fort Worth premiere by a masterful interpreter of contemporary music and this is an extremely rare chance to hear them performed in concert. I hope that you'll attend one or both of these concerts.


arty metallers urizen are fast-tracking the mastering of their new cd to have it ready for a mid-december release. drummer julio escamilla says it sounds like "video game music with metal." if it's as good as their first one, it'll be a worthwhile listen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

going out

been off the set for a few weeks for a variety of reasons, but will prolly venture out this thursday to hear darrin kobetich at fonky fred's, and friday to hear bindle at 6th street. working thanksgiving day, then next friday (11.23), we'll head over to the electric building (7th and taylor) for "electro shock therapy," a party/art exhibit on the roof with dj's narcosis and philter, bands including sleeplab and top secret, and art by jesse sierra hernandez (who painted the pic of my mug that's currently the default image on my myspace whatsis), greg bahr (jesse's old studio 4 compadre), jill foley, christopher blay, sherry star, ray liberio, calvin abucejo, phil helmsley, jerral sustaita, and more. libations by jem rodriguez, security by rod dove, sound by andre edmonson, making it a sort of fort worth nightlife "best of all possible worlds." admission's $8 and things are supposed to kick off at 8pm. then next saturday (11.24), back to 6th street for soundclash. it'll be nice to see some folks we haven't in awhile.

ornette and cecil in portland in february

wow. ornette coleman and cecil taylor are both playing the portland jazz festival in february. i don't make pilgrimages to see bands anymore, but if i did, this would be an occasion to do so.

Dennis Gonzalez NY Quartet's "Dance of the Soothsayer's Tongue"

Dennis Gonzalez is a Dallas-based musician with deep connections to the history of post-Coltrane improvised music. To provide some recent examples, the rhythm section on his 2002 recording "Old Time Revival" brought together the titanic bassist Malachi Favors, best known for his work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and drummer Alvin Fielder, the Art Ensemble’s original drummer who also played with Sun Ra’s Arkestra during its ‘50s heyday in the Windy City. Dennis’ "Nile River Suite" from the following year marked the return to recording of bassist Henry Grimes, who did trailblazing work with Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, and Albert Ayler in the ‘60s. His "Idlewild" from 2004 featured his fellow Renaissance man, Black Artists Group/World Saxophone Quartet veteran Oliver Lake. And so on.

"Dance of the Soothsayer’s Tongue," just released on the Portuguese Clean Feed label, is the latest outing from a group last heard on 2003’s "NY Midnight Suite": besides Gonzalez on trumpet, there’s Ellery Eskelin on tenor sax, Mark Helias on bass, and Michael T.A. Thompson on drums. The album’s centerpiece is a 34-minute segment from a technical issue-plagued 2003 recording concert at Tonic, a venue on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that closed its doors in April 2007. The remainder of the disc is devoted to music that Gonzalez and Thompson were inspired to compose by the music from that night.

Gonzalez is a muso who’s attuned to music’s magical and spiritual dimensions, and his work often has the spacious and cerebral quality of classic ‘70s recordings on the ECM label. Like Bill Barron, who played trumpet on Cecil Taylor’s "Conquistador" album from 1966, Dennis’ musical voice is often the calm amidst the storm. That said, the live dynamic of the group on this recording (beautifully captured in spite of any mechanical problems) is stunningly raw and alive; there’s plenty of sweat and blood encoded in the sectors of this shiny silver disc. Most valuable player here is drummer Thompson, a sensitive, listening percussionist who shifts from floating free time to thunderous polyrhythmic fury like some hybrid of Sunny Murray and Elvin Jones, even dialoguing with Gonzalez’s horn to good effect on their opening duet feature, “Reaching Through the Skin.” Also noteworthy is Helias’ singing arco bass on the tour de force “Afrikanu Suite.” The live tracks and subsequently recorded studio ones blend seamlessly.

"Dance of the Soothsayer’s Tongue" is another worthwhile release from a consistently engaging artist. Cop from

Monday, November 12, 2007


here's vid of stumptone playing at the modern art museum back on 10.20.2007. makes we wish i'd made it to the gig, especially since stumptone guitarist frank cervantez let me hear an advance copy of their new cd, "gravity suddenly released," which echo lab/two ohm hop honcho dave willingham engineered in between road trips with the polyphonic spree. it's highly addictive listening and should get a lot of people's attention when it's released next february or march.

she: bike/spoke/love

caught the last performance of tammy gomez's play "she: bike/spoke/love" at the sanders theatre in the fort worth community arts center last night. the sanders is a cool, intimate space and the ideal location for the piece, which combined video, live and dj-spun music, spoken word and...bicycling. the story deals with a young bicyclista's struggle to achieve autonomy and interdependence with others against a backdrop of current events here in the fort, with political, magical and spiritual elements. some of the show's finest moments come when the cast and dj carlos juarez (aka DJ SOL*LOS) fill the space with vibrant movement and explosions of sound, but "she: bike/spoke/love" is most powerful when it explores the inner worlds of esa (dominique fay) and her mama (dina lee chavez), both of whom gave particularly strong performances -- a nice surprise in the case of fay, who's a first-time actor here. also fine were maria solano as esa's friend ella, ramsey sprague as esa's fantasy "perfect guy" el sabe, and cesar hernandez as homeless dude/sage basco. the company is looking for other opportunities to perform the piece in schools, theaters, parks, or wherever; interested parties should email

ADDENDUM: i like the way ramsey's guitar is emblazoned "this machine kills fascists," just like woody guthrie's. and dylan's.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

r.i.p. norman mailer

norman mailer died today, aged 84. even when he was full of shit (imagining himself duking it out with hemingway), he was a great writer. advertisements for myself and the naked and the dead made the biggest impression on me, but the armies of the night and miami and the seige of chicago were important countercultural chronicles. and he helped found the village voice.

sly stone

human jukebox big mike richardson posted this vid of sly stone -- the man who invented '70s soul -- on tour in europe _this year_, singing "if you want me to stay," a song i miss playing with the impulse of will jamcats. think i'll go put on there's a riot goin' on.

"baby snakes"

ah, thanksgiving approaches. time once again for my sweetie 'n' i to cook a big dinner and eat it on the floor with the, _cat_...while watching baby snakes, a film of a 1977 frank zappa concert at the palladium (3rd and 14th) in nyc, with claymation by bruce bickford that some folks might say is disturbing. but hey, not us -- you can keep your "alice's restaurant."

Friday, November 09, 2007

dennis gonzalez

waiting to cook birthday food for my daughter, listening to dance of the soothsayer's tongue, the new cd by dennis gonzalez ny quartet. dennis' website is out of commission for now, but there's a great interview from april 2001 at and of course there's still the yells at eels myspace whatsit.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

stoogeaphilia @ 6th street live, 11.30.2007

that's right, kids. the li'l stoogeband got promoted from thursday to saturday. with one fingered fist and the fellow americans for added goodness. we're so excited that ray even made a poster.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

rekkid store ppl

speaking of 6393 camp bowie (where i worked three different times: '78-'79, '80-'81, and '93-'95), i saw charles and barbara buxton at the market yesterday and told my coworker, "that's the man who brought me to fort worth" (which he did, to open peaches -- thanks, charles!). now their son works at the last surviving wherehouse music and their daughter works at borders with dan lightner and larry harrison. full circle.

tom finn's mixes

tom finn, hot sauce maker and crawfish boiler extraordinaire, who usedta buy krautrock records from peaches at 6393 camp bowie (the store i came to the fort to open in 1978), fell by the house (which he says he was hired to clean in 1972) to drop off three mix cd's of cool cover toons he just put together. still on my lee perry binge, but the tracklists look pert darn snat. "just listen to 'em and pass 'em on when you get tired of 'em," he said. yeah, right, tom. as if. looking forward to having him back to la casa for din-din when skeds allow.

found prose

this from the well-annotated (as opposed to highlighted) student copy of the seamus heaney translation of beowulf i just picked up on line. respect to the author, whoever he (almost certainly a he) is.


Begin with a scene of men sitting around, at an airport or a bar or shopping mall, watching the game on TV. One guy looks around, takes stock, knows better, observes for a few minutes, then gets up and leaves. It is a waste of time and attention, and his time is better spent elsewhere, or in other pursuits. Then it can sort of be his subsequent rejecting of things, in turn, as he experiences them, perceives them, understands.

But what does he accept or embrace? What can he at last pursue and do and care about and pay attention to? What can he give himself to wholeheartedly and feel it is worthwhile?

What it means to settle on -- to choose -- those things that matter and focus on them; to live a life that matters by doing so.

albert ayler doco in austin

wow. if i was gonna be in austin on the 21st or 26th of this month, i'd definitely make it to the alamo drafthouse, where they'll be screening my name is albert ayler, a new documentary which tells the story of the great and ill-fated free jazz pioneer's life and music.


tackling household chores with a lovely bath of dub reggae goodness from lee "scratch" perry's arkology washing over me. life good.


some folks prefer the i am the upsetter box set, but arkology is where i first experienced perry's genius, and dub's one genre where it's _good_ to hear all the versions in sequence.

as an alternative to the "in bed" game, try appending "in-a babylon" to any phrase that comes into your head.

ph7 this weekend

speaking of sir steffin (and katboy), pablo & the hemphill 7 be's at the flying saucer downtown this sat'day. then on sunday, they'll head down to san antonio for the annual bob marley festival, where they'll play at 3pm. ites!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

m. ward

sir steffin pulled my coat to m. ward, a portland-born, new hampshire-based singer-songwriter and faheyesque guitarist who's been associated with folks like bright eyes, norah jones, and beth orton. his last album, 2006's post-war, is concerned with how america will heal after the current madness is over -- optimistically assuming that's going to be sooner than later. will have to hear more.

she: bike/spoke/love -- 2 shows sunday

tammy gomez writes:

We're getting ready to rumble, for two more shows in the 817, so dust off your bicicletas ($5 admission if you bike/walk/skateboard/bus to the theatre) and join us THIS COMING SUNDAY! Our premiere in September was standing-room only so please arrive early or send reservation requests to TODAY!

Two Shows
Sunday, November 11th.
2pm - matinée performance
7:30pm - evening performance

Sanders Theatre at
The Fort Worth Community Art Center
1300 Gendy St, Fort Worth
(The southeast corner of Lancaster & Montgomery)

Please email for more information.

Monday, November 05, 2007

great tyrant toonage coming

drummer jon teague sez the long-heralded great tyrant 7-inch on dada drumming is headed for the press and will be available soon. included with the rekkid will be a ceedee with four more toons. anyone who caught the tyrant's set at the chat room or knows the various members' work from yeti, the pointy shoe factory, or, um, american idol should be excited to hear. (for background, here's an interview with tyrant frontman/ex-idol contestant daron beck.)

i was at this show

hahaha. i'd forgotten that during this song, townshend ran around in circles until he unplugged his guitar. hard to see from the nosebleed seats, or to process as a 14-year-old shithead at my first concert.

the war

speaking of documentaries, i've caught a few minutes of ken burns' the war on different people's tvs and figure that in the fullness of time, i'll have to view the whole thing. as a confirmed non-tv watcher and sporadic history buff, the last coupla things i watched on tv that really piqued my interest were burns' documentaries on the civil war and baseball (i only experienced jazz vicariously, through john bargas' nightly "i can't believe he didn't mention..." rants), and the oral history-based dramatic series band of brothers. this would seem to make the war right up my alley; some of the talking-head interview segments even looked like the ones from b.o.b. back when the earlier burns shows were new, my dad was taping them off the box and sending 'em to me. sadly, he's not able to do that now.

39 pounds of love

watched 39 pounds of love, dani menkin's 2005 doco about texan-born israeli animator ami ankilewitz, who suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy and decided on his 34th b-day that he was going to travel to the u.s. to realize his dreams: to confront the doctor who examined him when he was a year old and told his mother that he wouldn't make it past age six...and to ride a harley. proof positive (as if any more were needed) that stories from real life can be much more compelling than anything you could make up.

"pictures of lily"

speaking of the 'oo, here's vid of them in the studio, recording one of those great '66-'68 superpop singles (best heard on meaty beaty big and bouncy, the first and still champeen who compilation because it ends in 1970) from their post-r&b, pre-tommy, beach boys-influenced phase that found its fullest fruition in the who sell out. stumbling on them when i was 12, what they were singing about (masturbation and adolescent revenge fantasies) seemed a whole lot more _relevant_ than what, say, the beatles (love) and the stones (being the devil) had to offer. and then live at leeds arrived.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

"baby don't you do it"

wow. this month on head heritage, the seth man waxes (no pun intended) ecstatic on my fave who b-side from the time in between who's next and quadrophenia, and the best song i heard them play at forest hills in '71, which somehow slipped through the cracks of the multiplicity of digital-age who releases. makes me kinda wish i hadn't sold my record collection (not for the last time, either; duh) when i was 17.


we forgot to set our clocks back.

more mc5 vid

here's some late mc5 action, from a 1972 show in england. i particularly like the way ex-teenage beatnik rob tyner interpolates a bit of john lee hooker into a song from back in the u.s.a.. and wayne kramer's solo. and fred "sonic" smith's space suit.

bye-bye adventure club

wow. just heard via katboy that 102.1 kdge-fm just fired josh venable from "the adventure club." while i hadn't listened to the show since i stopped having to drive to louisiana once a month to do my reserve thing, it was still the best rock show in dallas. this is the worst thing to happen to big d radio since dennis gonzalez's jazz show got dumped by 90.1 kera-fm.

Friday, November 02, 2007

outlaw chef @ central market, 11.6.2007

communique from fonky fred's:

Tastes & Tunes of Texas
915 Currie Street
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 332-0083

On Tuesday, Nov 6, Terry, Bulldog and Dan Carey will be pulling their historic Chuck Wagon to Central Market. Come join the Outlaw Chef and the Ought Zero boys for a special night of live fire cooking instruction.

The Menu
Beef Short Ribs
Simmered Cabbage
Charro Beans
Sourdough Biscuits
Apple Cobber

The class starts at 6:30pm on Tuesday. The class is almost full so if interested, call the Central Market Cooking School at (817) 989-4700.

sounds of saturn

wow. farren posted a link to some sounds recorded by the cassini-huygens space mission to saturn and titan, and guess what? it really _does_ sound like sun ra! maybe he was on to something after all.

rose marine theater on youtube

dig -- the rose marine theater now has its own "television station" on youtube.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

halloween @ the chat room

made our first-ever visit to the chat room last night. while the j'int was packed to overflowing for the evening's festivities, it seemed like a congenial li'l neighborhood spot in the manner of that-place-we-can't-go-anymore (sigh), and we vowed to visit again on a "normal" night for a post-benito's drank. caught the tail-end of cadillac fraf's set, on which he appeared to have had backing from matt skates, scott griffin, and jon teague (who was still playing synth while wearing one of those chinese restaurant waitress dresses and elvira wig). then heard a thunderous set by the fully costumed great tyrant (and saw jon's riddim section mate tommy atkins laugh onstage for maybe the first time ever -- he should keep the black roman emperor getup for reg'lar shows, too, i'm thinking). had to cut out before the panther city bandits played 'cos it was a school night for my sweetie, but we'll have to catch them another time. saw lotsa wreckroom peeps and market co-workers, too. all in all a good night, and managed to get home in time to gulp excedrin and forestall yet another incipient skull-splitting headache. hooray!