Thursday, December 31, 2009

12.31.2009, ftw

they were cutting hours at work today, so i came home at 1pm vice 4:30pm. went to the bank, home depot, and the market with my sweetie. stopped at the home depot hot dog stand and ate three hot dogs with grilled onions and spicy brown mustard and one chicken fajita with pico de gallo. hickey finished mixing the 12.27 HIO sesh with patrick crossland: a 35-minute performance, plus 30- and 5-minute hickey remixes. i think the 30-minute remix is my fave. going to jesse the painter's party this evening but plan to be home before midnight to avoid all the amateurs on the road. the key is leaving before the fire dancer starts. now listening to chicago drummer frank rosaly's new album milkwork. cool stuff; review to follow.

no idea festival @ phoenix project in dallas 1.17.2010

Inner Realms Outer Realms
Seeds and Systems
No Idea Festival 2010-Dallas edition

Chris Cogburn/Jesse Kudler Duo
(Austin/Philadelphia-percussion and tabletop guitar)

Screwed Anthologies
A free improv tribute to DJ Screw
Dave Dove/Lucas Gorham Duo
(Houston-trombone/electronics and pedal steel guitar/samples)

Remi Alvares Trio
featuring Aaron and Stefan Gonzalez
(Mexico City/Dallas-saxophone, bass and drums)

January 17th, 2010
8:00 p.m.
@ The Phoenix Project
406 S. Haskell Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75226
$8 or $5 for members
All ages

The following are bios of the artists playing at No Idea 2010. More will follow soon:

Jesse Kudler:

Jesse Kudler, born 1979, improvises on cheap consumer devices: a no-name electric guitar, hand-held cassette recorders, radios and transmitters, various small junk, and pedals/electronics. He uses a computer to assemble his recorded music. Kudler's work often operates on the extremes of volume, demonstrating an interest in the subtleties that can arise from intense softness or loudness, and it is marked by special attention to the stereo field. Recent interest has focused on both internal (electronic/radio) and external (microphone/speaker) feedback. Beyond simply exploring non-pitched sounds, Kudler investigates their use in creating improvised structure.

Kudler attended public school until Wesleyan University, where he studied music with Ron Kuivila, Alvin Lucier, and a little bit with Anthony Braxton, among others. He eventually became active as an organizer and performer in improvised, experimental, and electronic music, forming a regular duo with fellow student Jonathan Zorn and leading the large electronic improvising ensemble Phil Collins. Kudler has also worked as a recording engineer for various projects.

In his various travels, Kudler has performed with Matt Bauder, Kyle Bruckmann, Chris Cogburn, James Coleman, Tim Feeney, Marcos Fernandes, Brent Gutzeit, Horse Sinister, Bonnie Jones, Jason Kahn, Mazen Kerbaj, Pauline Oliveros, Bhob Rainey, Vic Rawlings, Christine Sehnaoui, Mike Shiflet, Jason Soliday, Howard Stelzer, Christian Weber, Matt Weston, Jack Wright, Jason Zeh, and many others. He has toured the United States several times.

Jesse Kudler lives in Philadelphia. Current and recent projects include: HZL, an environmental electronics duo with Tim Albro; a duo with Ian Fraser; Tweeter, a treble-intensive noise trio with Alex Nagle and Eli Litwin; Benito Cereno (with Dustin Hurt, Chandan Narayan, Tim Albro, and Ian Fraser); duos with Chris Cogburn and Christian Weber; solo performance and recording; and various ad hoc groupings.

NB: His last name rhymes with “muddler.”

Web presence:

Chris Cogburn:

Chris Cogburn (b. 1973) is an active composer, performer, educator and organizer based in Austin, Texas. In performance, Cogburn approaches the physical nature of his chosen instrument with attention to the drum’s subtle and overlooked timbres/textures and an interest in its ability to resonate and transform. Moving across, atop, below and around a single drum with a variety of percussive objects and implements, Cogburn’s unique approach and unconventional conception of the acoustic drum, its function and capabilities, gives rise to unexpected sound worlds suffused with meanings and forms, acute yet infinite.

Primarily working in the field of creative improvised music, Cogburn has collaborated with many of the premiere international artists in contemporary music, including: John Butcher, Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Tetuzi Akiyama, Joelle Leandre, Bhob Rainey, Sean Meehan, Joe McPhee and avant-rock outsider Jandek (his first appearance in the US). Current projects include Cogburn’s inter-media trio with visual artist Antonio Domínguez and guitarist Fernando Vigueras (both from Mexico City); NINA with avant-vocalist Liz Tonne and Baltimore electronic musician Bonnie Jones; and SLIP Watershed with dancer/choreographer Jennifer Monson.

Since 1998, Cogburn has led workshops on creative music making around the US, Canada and Mexico, working in contexts as diverse as inner city community centers, homeless shelters, battered women's shelters, public and private high schools, Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Space and the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico. He has recently received performance and teaching grants through Meet The Composer, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's USArtists International, The Yellow Fox Foundation and The City of Austin; held residencies through Casa Vecina-Espacio Cultural, Seattle Improvised Music, Nameless Sound, Gallery 1412 and Earth Dance; and has performed at the No Idea Festival, Cha’ak’ab Paaxil Festival, the Seattle Improvised Music Festival, FuseBox Festival and the No West Festival. In October 2006 Cogburn was fortunate enough to travel on the Wave Books Poetry Bus, performing solo and with poet/Wave Books editor Joshua Beckman, with a final performance at James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

Beginning in the summer of 2003, Cogburn has hosted/curated an annual festival of improvised music - the No Idea Festival - showcasing a handful of the U.S.'s premiere creative musicians in collaboration with improvisors from across Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the world. Regarded as “one of the finest creative improvised music festivals in the world” (Paris Transatlantic) No Idea aspires to connect creative musicians, providing the space and time where artistic relationships can flourish, leading towards new areas and approaches in the music. No Idea has been held in Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, San Antonio and New Orleans.

For more information:

Remi Alvares:

Remi was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He studied transversal flute at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música from 1975 to 1979 with Rubén Islas.
Self-study formation in saxophone, his professional debut was with Cuarteto Mexicano de Jazz in 1984. Later, he moved to New York City and continues his studies of composition and improvisation at the Creative Music Studio with Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell and Don Cherry. He studied a bachelor in jazz at the Escuela Superior de Música (ESM - INBA) from 1982 to 1987. In 1988, he traveled to Paris where his musical development was strengthened by taking classes with the composer-sax player Steve Lacy.

Since 1991, he has been a professor of saxophone and jazz at the Escuela Nacional de Música from Universidad Autónoma de México (ENM - UNAM).

In February 2004, he traveled to Europe, invited by Georg Hoffman, Swiss drummer, and Tobias Delius, British saxophonist, touring several cities in Switzerland and Holland with them.

In 2005, he took a course in advanced improvisation at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute with George Lewis and Evan Parker, among others.

In June 2006, he was invited to play in the Vision Festival, the most important free jazz festival in New York by Dennis González, Texan trumpet player.

Foundator of Cráneo de Jade, with whom he has co-produced and recorded three CD's. Invited to the Festival Internacional de Jazz Plaza in La Habana, Cuba, in 1997. In October 2005, Cráneo de Jade performed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes as a part of the “Los Diez Grandes del Jazz”, a tribute to the pioneers of jazz in México. In April 2007, Cráneo de Jade atended the VII Festival Internacional de San Luis Potosí.

He has been a member of Astillero ensemble since 2000, performing in France in 2001 and 2004. In October 2006, Astillero joined the 34th edition of the Festival Internacional Cervantino.

Currently, he is a member of Antimateria, Cráneo de Jade & FAS Trio ensembles; he plays a duet with Gabriel Lauber and runs his own trio: Remi Álvarez Trio. He has performed live with musicians like Sabir Mateen, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Joe Morris, Mark Dresser, Cooper-Moore, Elliott Levin, Rodrigo Amado, Dennis, Stefan and Aaron González, Ernest Dawkins, Vinz Vonlanthen, Michael Vatcher, Tayeb Laoufi and the Gnawa Spirit from Morocco. He has performed live and recorded with the Camerata de las Américas.

Stefan Gonzalez:

Stefan Gonzalez - drums - Dallas

Born into the tradition of jazz and creative music, Stefan Gonzalez enjoyed a rigorous and diverse musical education under the tutelage of his father, iconic trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez. After mastering his instrument at an early age, Stefan has worked to push the creative envelope beyond the perceived limits of style, genre and form. Stefan's diverse influences allow him to move seamlessly between Mariachi, iterations of rock and hardcore, jazz and creative improvisation.

Stefan's list of musical influences give voice to the power and immediacy of his furious, blistering and graceful musicianship of his knock-your-fucking-head-off music: "Grindcore movement late 1980's-now, Anarcho Punk Movement of the early 1980's and early 1990's, Avant Garde Jazz movement of the 1960's and 1970's, Noise, Punk Jazz, Harmolodic Theory, World Percussion, Thrash, Speed Metal, Ancestral Beckonings, Hopefulness/Hopelessness, Optomistic Nihilism, Downfall of Morality, Torturous Mortality, Life, Marijuana, and most importantly the disgust I feel for my immediate environment and the legions of idiots spawned from it."

Still in his early 20's, Stefan has collaborated with musicians from around the world in concerts and recording sessions in several countries and continents. Collaborations include: Yells at Eels, Luis Lopes' Humanization 4tet, German Bringas, Famoudou Don Moye, Remi Alvarez, Alvin Fielder, Sabir Mateen, Chris Parker, Oliver Lake, Tatsuya Nakatani, Curtis Clark, Daniel Carter, Faruq Z. Bey and the list goes on..

Stefan's music is a rare blend of maturity, dynamism and sheer power not to be missed.

“Screwed Anthologies”
Improvised music under the influence of DJ Screw:

David Dove (Houston) – trombone, amplified trombone with effects, PA/Screw tracks
Lucas Gorham (Houston) – guitar, lap steel guitar, effects, loops

“Screwed Anthologies” was originally commissioned by labotanica for the exhibit “Screwed Anthologies”:

About DJ Screw:
DJ Screw interview:
Screwed Up Records and Tapes:

Trombonist, improvisor, composer, and educator David Dove grew up learning his horn in the public school band program, while at the same time playing electric-bass in punk rock groups. Before he was out of high school, he began a period exploring a wide variety of musical styles (including 6 years in the band Sprawl). In the early 1990’s, he became dedicated to free improvisation, intensively experimenting with a small group of like-minded Houston musicians (including New Zealander Paul Winstanley and the then-trio Charalambides). A degree of isolation, an eclectic musical background, and a commitment to creativity eventually led him to conceive of a new approach to music education. In 1997, Dove started working at MECA, an inner-city arts community center, where he began to develop this approach. In 2000, Pauline Oliveros (an important mentor) invited him to start a branch of The Deep Listening Institute (DLI) to further his education goals and bring contemporary musicians to Houston. In 2006, DLI Houston became Nameless Sound, an independent, Houston-based organization. Nameless Sound reaches over 1500 young people in Houston every year through creative music workshops in public schools, community centers, homeless shelters, and refugee communities. Dove has given performances and workshops all over the US and some internationally (Mexico, Canada, Scotland, Vietnam, Germany). He has collaborated with many of his favorite local/national/international artists (some very well known, some less known).

Guitarist, lap steel guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Lucas Gorham first met Dove when he was a teenager in 1999. Lucas was playing guitar in a local ‘rock-en-español’ band. Nurtured on his parents’ record collection and turned on to Cecil Taylor by a hip math teacher, Gorham fit right in with Nameless Sound’s Youth Ensemble. By the time he was 19, Gorham was not only a fine improvisor, he’d gained (through Nameless Sound) experience in workshops with some of the premiere names in creative music (including Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, Eugene Chadbourne, Sam Rivers, Leroy Jenkins, and William Parker). Gorham went on to be a key player in Houston’s music scene (both ‘underground’ and ‘above ground’). He fronts (and writes for) for Grandfather Child, an energetic and hard-rocking band with a soul/gospel influence, performing Gorham’s heart-felt songs. Heavily influenced from his time playing in a charismatic church, Gorham calls his music “church music without the religion”. Gorham’s ecstatic tendencies are even stronger in his “Sad Gorilla” solo sets, where three guitars (two lap steels), his voice, and some looping pedals weave a raw-but-soulful web of grooves (and deconstructed grooves), soul, boogie, drone, noise, and improvisation (sometimes done in ‘guerilla’ style public performance). Gorham isn’t chained to his vision. His wide range and open spirit has made him one of the most active collaborators in Houston’s busy improvisation scene.

bye-bye, oh-oh's

2000 - ftw tornado.
2001 - 9/11.
2002 - shitcanned from radioshack.
2003 - met my sweetie.
2004 - moved into our house.
2005 - got married again.
2006 - started stoogeaphilia.
2007 - wreck room closed.
2008 - my folks' illness.
2009 - my pop died; started HIO.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

my scrawl in the fw weekly

a review i penned of the shortest distance's new cd ((if i see at all)) is online now.

hash brown's gear stolen

is nothing sacred?


I was the victim of theft of musical equiptment taken from my
van parked in my driveway(sometime after 1am this morning 12/30)
Here is a list of equiptment taken, any leads or help finding any or
all equiptment will be rewarded.

BRIAN 214-673-0309

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

my scrawl in the fw weekly

better late than never: a review i penned of breaking light's new cd pareidolia (which ran in last week's paper) is online now.

Monday, December 28, 2009

drumbo's beefheart book

longtime magic band drummer john "drumbo" french's book about captain beefheart, beefheart: through the eyes of magic, will be published in the uk on 1.11.2010. it's available to preorder via

12.28.2009, ftw

working early today, then off tuesday. spent a lot of yesterday trawling the web for vu downloads. dinner/recording with trombonist patrick crossland from germany (traveling cross-country with his wife and two children, visiting his aunt in dallas), terry, hickey, michaels briggs and chamy. sarah a. blew out her voice practicing with zanzibar snails earlier; big marcus arrived too late to play with patrick (who had to leave early, as he was heading on to arizona early this morning). terry created a bunch of one-of-a-kind stickers while he was in montgomery. (example above.) next: recording at rahr brewery on 1.15 with an expanded lineup, then 1919 again on 1.30.

the velvet underground - "wild side of the street"

the famous hilltop festival gig, beloved of clinton heylin, is here. (samples below.) "sweet sister ray" is from the boston tea party "guitar amp" tape.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jackass Alert - Fort Worth, West Side

Four kids in a grey GMC Jimmy broke the passenger side windows on two vehicles in front of my house in the 4500 block of El Campo around 5pm this evening. The fella across the street saw it and called the police, but didn't get a tag number. If you're in Fort Worth and see a vehicle matching that description, please copy the tag number and either email me or call the police non-emergency number.

vu live @ the gymnasium, 1967

the quine tapes "jam review"

ha. here's a "jam review" phil overeem and i did of the velvet underground's bootleg series volume 1: the quine tapes via email one night in 2001. which only begs the question, where's volume 2?

stoogeaphilia @ the grotto, 1.9.2010

we hit at 11, in between great american novel (opening) and fate lions (closing). hooray!


if i hadn't been a reader, i wouldn't have become a music geek. i remember with extreme specificity the scribes/scrawl that got me interested in certain artists. with the who, it was an excerpt from lillian roxon's rock encyclopedia that ran in one of those scholastic magazines they gave away at school when i was in sixth grade. the move and small faces: nik cohn in rock from the beginning and john mendelsohn in rolling stone. the rationals and src: john sinclair in jazz & pop. lou reed and the velvet underground: st. lester in creem -- specifically, a dual review of uncle lou's self-titled debut solo album and the velvets' legit-bootleg live at max's kansas city.

that was my freshman year of high school, around the time my dad spent two years in germany on a fellowship and i ran wild, grew hair down to my ass, and would steal his liquor while blasting my records on the good stereo in the living room. (i have no idea where my mother was while i was doing this.) when i started working in the hipi record store in my town when i was 16, i copped both lou reed and live at max's from the used bin for about a buck a hit. max's introduced me to the fascinating world of lo-fi audience recordings, while lou's solo debut remains a fave to this day, especially the second ("wild child") side, in spite of richard robinson's thin production and the presence of musicians from yes.

i got the velvet underground and nico, accompanied by the requisite amount of shit from the older guys i worked with, who laughed at me for liking the stooges, mc5, flamin' groovies, and nuggets, while their own musical tastes ran more towards yes and dan fogelberg. to them, the velvets were "fag stuff," indicative of how reactionary and homophobic 20something "hip" guys were back in '73.

"venus and furs" and "heroin" sounded shocking, blasting out of the speakers in my mother's living room, and now they just sound classic, but the vu record that really got to me was loaded, which in some ways was their weakest (geoffrey haslam of mc5 high time fame could make anything sound cloudy; doug yule, egged on by the manager, kept overdubbing instruments; you could almost hear the wheels coming off the cart) but still had a ton of good songs besides "sweet jane" and "rock and roll": the beautiful, mysterious "new age;" "head held high," the velvets' rawkin'-est moment (in spite of the shitty lawn guyland bar band drums); "i found a reason" (i memorized the talking part, which i'd recite for donald harrison in the back of english class).

i never really got white light/white heat, partially because it was at the center of one of the worst experiences i ever had on psychedelics, in my parents' living room, winter of '73. my best bud from middle school, who'd moved upstate the summer before eighth grade, had turned me on to pot and acid and was visiting over the holidays. i decided that since we were in my house, we'd listen to music of my choosing to accompany our trip, rather than stacking up all of the doors albums (absolutely live excepted; you've got to have _some_ standards) and dark side of the moon, as was his wont. when the grinding industrial background to "the gift" started, i started getting chills and by the time cale's droning voice was into lou's narrative (about a guy who mails himself to his girlfriend and winds up dying a grisly death), i was seeing skulls on the stairs.

more to the point, i thought the groundbreaking jams on the second side were boring. i didn't get tony glover's assertion (in rolling stone) that lou was "america's most advanced lead guitarist" (pretty astute observation for a blues guy). at the time, i dug steve hunter's slick licks on mitch ryder's detroit cover of "rock and roll" and the rock and roll animal version of "sweet jane" more than anything uncle lou was laying down on wl/wh. only in the fullness of time was i able to grasp the ron asheton connection, and the fact that lou was trying to do ornette and ayler on guitar, in the same way as sonny sharrock was trying to do trane with his chaos-slide.

the third, self-titled album was my least favorite to start but wound up being the one i reach for most frequently today. i think the story about them losing their effects boxes is bunk; lou's "what goes on" solo is all fuzztone. i do think he was getting more into the craft of songwriting, shifting his concerns from the archetypal to the personal. that's the side of lou's writing that still resonates the most for me -- the human-scale one that recurs on berlin and legendary hearts and magic and loss.

new gunslingers alb in january!

but no texas stops on their u.s. tour this time. hooray!/feh.

12.27.2009, ftw

thanks to hickey for the date correction on the last post. duh.

two good trips to doc's yesterday: television's marquee moon, dictators' go girl crazy and blood brothers, and the first lou reed album, which jenkins emailed to let me know he'd found where somebody stashed it after i left, which prompted my return visit.

saw two of my kids and two of my grandkids yesterday, plus aimee's husband james and her friends brian and mimi. kimie says she and justin are converting their garage to a jam room, so i'll have to go over and play acoustics with her, maybe one day next week. aimee took her home when the boys started getting tired, then came back and we had a nice visit. always good to see her and her friends. no kelli this time, but we've still got her christmas (and birthday) presents in the closet for whenever she emerges from wherever she's staying in the mid-cities.

today i'll burn some cd-r's and figure out what equipment configuration i wanna use for tonight's recording. things will commence at "the hickey hour" (7pm) and we'll cook spaghetti and have dinner and chinwag with the musos (including trombonist patrick crossland, visiting his folks in big d from germany) before we record (hickey's bringing his recording rig again). big marcus said he should be back from nyc in order to get here around 9pm, so we'll have two trombones, plus sarah a. is bringing her harmonium.

got a call from work yesterday so i'm opening tomorrow, but will then have tuesday off. planning to go to jesse the painter's for nye. looks like stoogeprac will have to wait until 1.7.2010, two days before the grotto gig. still don't know our start time for that.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

an HIO manifesto, of sorts... flyer form. terry's staying busy. (click on the image to make it big.)

12.26.2009, ftw

day two of the food orgy. looking forward to seeing at least two of my daughters and a couple of my grandkids today. would like to go for the trifecta but we'll see.

big english brekkie with jon and kara yesterday. fun hanging out with them. afterward took a li'l nap, then watched a lou reed documentary and the julian schnabel film of berlin. my sweetie astutely pointed out that uncle lou is doing the same thing with schnabel that he was with andy in the exploding plastic inevitable daze, altho with different intent and to different effect.

been listening a lot to the recording of HIO at 1919. i'm very pleased with this performance and with the 10.17 recording. big improvement over this time last year when i felt frustrated by the failure of PFFFFT! while i'm playing less this year than last, i'm enjoying it more -- not just in HIO but in stoogeaphilia, as well. and HIO appears to have some momentum, for the moment at least. looking forward to our dinner/recording session tomorrow night.

terry has talked about getting artists and filmmakers to do stuff in conjunction with our next live show. he said folks he talked to about this in denton asked whether he didn't think that it'd make HIO seem like a gimmick and prevent us from being taken seriously as musicians. i think being taken seriously is overrated; besides, we could use something like back projected films to bring some visual interest to a group of people that all look down all the time while performing. worked for the velvets.

passed on drinkie-talkie at the showdown with friends last night. woulda been nice to see 'em, but the warmth and meat-drunkenness were too pleasant for me to brave the cold so i could sit breathing smoke. it's nice feeling like at last, i'm where i belong.

foxy's christmas dinner

if you know writers, at least the kind (like your humble chronicler o' events) that draw on their lives for lots of their material, chances are that you know all of their stories by the time they're written. if you know me, chances are you know this one.

foxy was a guy i knew when i was a teenager on lawn guyland. he was a few years older than me, but he was friends with (or at least a familiar of) the guy who was my idol, then my best friend, then my nemesis between when i was 16 and when i was 21. both of them were junkies, and both of them died when they were in their 20s.

foxy at least had an excuse. when he was 16, he'd gotten in trouble with the law and his parents had signed the papers for him to go to the army and nam. he wasn't in combat -- he was a radio operator in saigon, i think -- but he came back with a junk habit that made him a pariah in his irish catholic family.

by the time i knew him, foxy was one of those characters you'd see shuffling around town, bleary-eyed, his face ruddy from sleeping rough. one time in the summer, my friend john saw him walking around wearing an arctic parka, the pockets filled with ice, a 40 in each one. later on, john encountered him after he'd passed out in an alley, the ice in his pockets melting and running down the sidewalk.

his family put him out, so he wound up crashing where he could. he was sleeping in his brother's van, in front of his brother's house, when the repo men came to tow it away. he spent an entire winter sleeping in one of the forts we used to build out in the woods (for there were still big tracts of undeveloped land on the island in those days) -- a big hole in the ground, not quite deep enough to stand up in, but terraced like a world war I trench so you could sit down and smoke out, covered with a big sheet of plywood.

that christmas eve, foxy's family were saying their prayers before their big christmas dinner, turkey with all the trimmings, when the door flew open and foxy came bursting in, looking like jethro tull in his big army surplus overcoat, and bellowed "I WANT FOOD!" like a wild man. he ran to the table, grabbed the turkey, and was out the door before anybody could say "boo!"

i still remember the last time i saw him. i was working in the record store when i saw him peering in from the sidewalk. my boss had banned him from the store, so i went outside to speak to him. i'd lent him a couple of bucks in a bar one night, and he'd heard that i was leaving for texas soon. he reached in his pocket and handed me a couple of crumpled bills.

"we're square now, right?" he said.

"yeah," i said. "we're square."

the next time i was back to visit, i went to see the guy i relied on to keep me up to date on all of my old peeps, because it was easier than going to see them. he told me foxy was dead.

"how?" i asked.

"how d'you think?" he said.

go easy, brother.

Friday, December 25, 2009

HIO @ 1919 hemphill, 12.19.2009

terry horn's video is online now at

los hitters - "hombre respetable"

kinks in spanish? sure! thanks, t. tex...


the artist said: "hear my truth. isn't it beautiful?"
the critic said: "well, yes, but wouldn't it have been better if you'd expressed it differently?"

lordi - "hard rock hallelujah"

nothing says merry christmas like finland's answer to gwar.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

HIO audio from 1919 hemphill, 12.19.2009 available to stream or download now on the HIO virb page. just scroll down and select the file called "12.19.2009; 1919 Hemphill.1."

my scrawl in the fw weekly

it isn't online yet, but a review i penned of breaking light's new cd pareidolia is in this week's paper.

studio zappa

breaking light's blogger profile has a link to this fz download site. must investigate further.

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

a review i penned of the new, johan kugelberg-edited tome the velvet underground: new york art is online now.

the shortest distance

((if i see at all)), the debut album by the shortest distance (ftw activist-musician ramsey sprague) is available online now on a "set-your-own-price" basis from his website. review to follow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

echoes and reverberations: without you, i'm nothing

good news: jeff liles is back scribing for the dallas observer blog. in his latest installment, he asked a buncha local musos and expats (including, um, your humble chronicler o' events) to tell the stories of their favorite instruments. go here to read. (you've gotta click through to the last page and scroll to the end to read the story of the guitar in my profile pic.)

ADDENDUM: but wait. he sez this is gonna be the last one for the d.o. next week, it's a-gonna be on facebook at you know what to do.

HIO in the fw weekly

cole garner hill gives us our 15 minutes of fame here.

"lumpy gravy" for fingerstyle guitar

wow. this guy has apparently recorded a whole bunch of fz toons in like manner.

nazz - "under the ice"

for our brethren and sistren on the east coast. better use has never been made of the intro riff from traffic's "paper sun."

fz day on kosmik radiation radio

...including all of lumpy gravy and a song by the nazz that's more relevant on the east coast than here this week. see the playlist and click on the links to stream here. will be live until 1.1.2010.

sonny sharrock, paris 1984

some sho' 'nuff twisted funk.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

views of contemporary society

i wasn't much of a joiner back in high school. in spite of that, i'm in every activity picture in the yearbook for my junior year, which was my last year in high school. i got a diploma, too. it was the '70s and there were lots of early college admission opportunities for a young snotnose like myself who tested well, even though i was a "z" student -- i worked hard only at baiting my teachers and avoiding doing work. today, they'd take one look at my standardized test stores, compare them with my academic performance, stamp my application "slacker" and shred it after mailing the pro forma rejection letter. but i digress.

the reason i was in all those activity pictures was that on the day the photographer came to take them, a friend of mine i'll call hap and i ditched all of our classes and hung out in the courtyard talking to the picture-taking guy all day long. we're listed in every photo as "unknown" and "unknown." it was a good way (good = funny to me) to end a singularly undistinguished academic career.

we weren't exactly what i'd call good friends -- never went to each other's houses or anything like that -- but we were cheap, easy sources of amusement for each other in the one class (english) that we had together two years in a row. the first year, we would sit in the back of the room screwing around and drawing cartoons for the entire class period while our dotty english teacher (whose name escapes me) spent most of her time interacting with the really _neat_ girls, who adored her.

the next year, we tried the same gambit, but our teacher mr. kennedy was having none of it. at the end of the year, he punished us for our year of insubordinate bullshit by making us read a play -- edward albee's the zoo story, in which we played the only two characters -- in front of the class. i retaliated by composing a piece of free verse, which i handed in the last day of class and which he read aloud to the class with some surprise -- that the slacker bum was capable of actually _producing_ something. he didn't notice, of course, that if you read the first letter of every line vertically, from top to bottom, they spelled out "don't be such a fucking wiseass." i imagined him going through his folder of school memories at some indeterminate point in the future, realizing he'd been had, and dropping dead on the spot. the fantasies of youth.

hap and i actually belonged to one sanctioned organization: views of contemporary society. the nominal purpose of this organization was to bring speakers on the issues of the day to our school. in reality, we did nothing but show grade b horror flicks and have a pizza party at the end of the year. outside of hap and myself, the members were all girls -- not the really neat ones, but not the really hood-y ones, either. as they were a year older than hap and me, and i was an extremely awkward and asocial kid, it was intoxicating being surrounded by _older women_ -- older women who thought that my buddy and i were a hoot, at that, because we worked really hard at being funny in a snidely sarcastic, jaded and cynical way.

we might well have been the angriest, most embittered 15-year-olds that ever existed. hap had an excuse, at least: when he was ten, he'd found his father's body after his dad committed suicide in their garage. we both liked music and would endlessly debate who was a better songwriter: lou reed or john denver. it seemed incongruous that a kid as angry and bitter as hap would dig somebody as fundamentally flat and uninteresting as denver, but like i said, he had an excuse.

the adviser for "views" was my social studies teacher, whom i'll call richie c. he'd been in the navy and seemed to be less caught up in the bullshit of being an authority figure than most of my teachers were. (i saw the same lack of intensity about meaningless bullshit in an older cat i knew during the first of my three semesters of college, who'd also been in the navy. maybe they teach it in boot camp.) his two best buddies on the faculty were tony d., who was from the bronx and claimed to have known dion di mucci (he said that dion was laughed out of the bronx for shaving his legs so they'd fit into those pipestem jeans), and bob k., who owned the first bmw i ever saw and whose cousin danny was the lead guitarist in the blues project, maybe the best band to come out of noo yawk city during the heyday of folk-rock and early psychedelia.

i don't remember all the movies we showed. most of them seemed to have vincent price in them, although i do remember that once we showed cool hand luke, which made quite an impression on me and my schoolmates. there were two non-cinematic attractions i lobbied (with hap's support) to bring to my high school. one was roller derby. the other was jay silverheels, the actor who'd played tonto in the lone ranger. for some reason, the girls didn't think that either of those ideas was worthy of our time and treasure.

gahan wilson

i simply adore this guy's cartoons. click on the image to make it big so you can read the caption. thanks to t. tex, the velvet underground of facebook posters.

this is sort of interesting

thanks to facebook's site analytics, i now know that more men than women are fans of my bands (HIO: 59% male, 37% female; stoogeaphilia: 70% male, 27% female) and that HIO's audience skews younger than the stoogeband's (24% of HIO's fans are 18-24, 41% are 25-34, and 20% are 35-44, compared with stoogeaphilia's 24% between 25-34, 36% between 35-44, and 24% between 45-54). i suppose this kind of defines "having too much time on one's hands."

jazz dead? commercially, yes; creatively, no!

i think newseek might be on to something.

Jason Stein Solo - "In Exchange for a Process"

The solo recital has long been a litmus test of Chicago-based jazz musos, ever since the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians’ ‘60s heyday. It’s how they work out their concepts, on the evening stage – truly growing up in public. Bass clarinetist Jason Stein (Long Island born, now based in the Windy City) carries on that tradition with this recording.

It’s unusual to find a player who concentrates exclusively on that big, unwieldy axe. For Eric Dolphy and David Murray, its best known advocates in jazz, it was just one color in a palette that included an array of other woodwinds. But don’t expect any homage to Dolphy’s “God Bless the Child” solo here. For as great as that trailblazing free jazz icon was, he was also working with a limited vocabulary of effects. You’d hear the same intervallic leaps in his solos with Charles Mingus or on his own records.

Stein is a cat of a different stripe, one who’s endeavoring to explore all the sonic possibilities of his instrument, and not just the tonal ones, either. To paraphrase a trumpet playing friend, he’s one of those guys that’ll do everything to the horn but play a melody on it: play multiphonics, work the pads, blow into the bell, whatever. In the almost claustrophobic intimacy of the solo setting, you can hear the player’s every breath and every vibration of the reed one minute, followed by what sound like feedback squawks and throat-clearing noises the next. Not everyone’s taste, perhaps, but the sounds Stein produces are, at least, consistently surprising.

Cop via

breaking light @ 1919 hemphill, 12.19.2009

kavin allenson posted a 17-minute snippet of audio from breaking light's set here. at whatever point finishes processing, we'll have HIO video available, too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

pete cosey


multivitamin, baby aspirin for the heart, and allergy meds.
neti pot for my sinuses, glucosamine and condtroitin for my knee.
tramadol (which is related to amytriplene, which whacked my daughter out
and contributed to her dropping out of high school) for headaches
if the neti pot doesn't work.
eye drops for glaucoma.
it doesn't get any better from here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

early velvets

the delfonics "la la means i love you"

anybody remember soul music? (thanks to kara for unleashing the memory stream.)

1919 hemphill 12.19.2009 pics @

my sweetie posted some of her pics of last night's breaking light/zeitmorder/HIO show at 1919 hemphill on her photo blog. click on 'em to make 'em big and leave her a comment, why doncha?

12.19.2009, ftw

hot oatmeal and blueberries for brekkie, then after timely pause, i walked over to doc's. i'd seen jenkins in the market the other day and he said he had "some new shit, but nothing that's really up your alley." found an okay copy of the kink kronikles (which has english singles that you can't get anywhere else and besides, i'm kinda on a '60s pop kick, listening again to zombies odessey and oracle, brian wilson's smile, an' like that), a clean original flamin' groovies flamingo (i understand that this and teenage head have been reished lately and if i ever run into the latter i'm gonna have to cop it), and a reish third velvet underground album. all of this plus an important piece of costuming for my sweetie for a party we're going to next week. in the new year, i gotta start limiting my visits to maybe one a month, but we'll see.

got a stack of new cd's to review from fully altered media, which in the fullness of time will get reviewed and pitched to the fw weekly.

ops checked my HIO rig (using the hughes & kettner vice the fender because i can't even imagine loading the twin upstairs at 1919 hemphill). found that while i really dig the sound of the twin more, it's nice to be able to move all my shit in one load, like the old wednesday nights at the wreck when i was using the cube 60. using the overdrive channel on the h&k and the "blues" setting on my marshall bluesbreaker, i was able to get some truly disgusting tones, perfect for the heavy, drony thang terry was wanting to try for this show. also packed the mxr phase 90 because it adds a pulse thing to feedback (which you can actualy hear on the gunslingers record) that ray used to sing along with before i stopped packing it for the stoogeband. also bringing the vox wah, e-bow, and my 3/4" socket wrench (because i seem to have lost my metal slide).

had chinese takeout from szechuan with terry and jo, who left for montgomery this morning. always good to hang out with them. terry took jo home, so she could take their dogs to the kennel, and came back to pick me up for drinkie-talkie at the chat room. we loaded my shit in his short. my sweetie would meet us at 1919 later.

hadn't been to the chat in ages. not many people there, just cap'n dave and chuck brown and some show about police chases on the tv.

i'm ashamed to say i'd never set foot in 1919 hemphill before this occasion. hard to believe they've been there seven years now. the spot is completely volunteer-run, and the ones we met were some nice, committed folks. they had a propane heater in the upstairs area where we'd be playing -- a bigger spot than i'd anticipated, with house p.a. to boot. ramsey sprague never made it, so for this occasion, HIO was terry, hickey, hembree, sarah alexander, michael briggs, michael chamy, and your humble chronicler o' events. but first, breaking light and zeitmorder.

breaking light is kavin allenson, solo guitarist and sometime collaborator of bill pohl and darrin kobetich's, playing electric guitar with loops. kavin's a bluesy player with lots of classic rock roots, and his first episode was kinda floydian, using an e-bow and slide in tandem with lots more finesse than i'd display later. then he set up a rhythm by tapping on the damped strings before layering a bunch of parts, over which he'd improv. he told me to give him a signal five minutes before he needed to stop, and after i did, he played a swelling, hymn-like piece that was the high point of his set.

zeitmorder is jon teague's solo synth project. he was supposed to roll it out at firehouse gallery back in may, but that didn't eventuate. still waiting for a release of recordings, too, on nathan brown's 8-track label, but then i couldn't listen to 'em anyway. duh. last time i spoke to jon about it, he was talking about dressing up as his dad in the suit he wore to mustachio last year, but after setting up a daunting array of modules and patch cords, he donned a bundeswehr camouflage jacket with ski mask and goggles for a kind of germanic commando ninja effect and started his performance. the first episode had a world war II aerial bombardment kind of feel, replete with droning bass tones and howling sirens. then he set up some break beats and played kraftwerk-like synth lines over them, a sort of apocalyptic dance music, and followed it with a lyrical episode. the music had some visceral and emotional weight; the rhythmic component really made it work, along with the thrill of watching him orchestrate it in real time (a one-man improvising orchestra, if you will). it also reminded me a great deal of the great tyrant. no surprise.

after timely pause, HIO got started. later on, herb levy told me (and i agree) that it worked well because everyone had their own amplification, rather than relying on the p.a. the only thing i wish i'd done differently was having a mic set up so hembree could play his small instruments. as it was, he played a bit of percussion, but mainly stuck to bass. i'd have had him and hickey turn up, too. oh well. i was mainly responding to what sarah and michael b. were doing with their voices and chaos pedals, as well as hembree when i could hear him. chamy created big, powerful washes of sound, and i alternated between straight guitar with lotsa f/x, e-bow, string scraping, sonny sharrock chaos-slide, and feedback. hembree recorded audio and terry shot video. we'll hear/see 'em sometime in 2010.

we've got recordings coming up on 12.27 and 1.15, and shows on 1.30 (1919 again), mid-february in denton, and 2.28 at lola's 6th (good show showcase). as terry says, it'll be interesting to hear what we sound like by the end of february.

my sweetie split before we wrapped so she wouldn't leave jesse the painter and his girl becky sitting at benito's. terry carried me and my shit over there, then joined us for a late dinner (he'd never been to benito's before either). always good to see our friends, and hoping to set up a dinner with them at piola's soon. i can't remember a better day. no headache, either.

Friday, December 18, 2009

emily elbert @ the kessler theater, 12.27.2009

liles sends:

Award-winning singer/songwriter Emily Elbert will be home for the holidays, performing at The Kessler Theater in Dallas.

• Sunday, December 27 at The Kessler Theater, an open house from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to those of all ages.

Emily will be performing new songs that will be on her second CD – to be released this spring - and some old favorites from her debut album, Bright Side. She'll also perform her jazzy, acoustic versions of rock classics by Michael Jackson, The Allmon Brothers, and Jimi Hendrix, along with covers from artists such as Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and John Mayer.

The native Texan now lives in Boston where she is a junior at Berklee College of Music and maintains an active touring schedule. She recently returned from Scotland, where she was a guest of the Burnsong International Songwriting Contest, played for Scottish Parliament, and was broadcast on BBC radio. At twenty-one, Emily has performed her soulful, jazz-infused folk/rock music at over 300 shows, from Alaska to Puerto Rico. Boston's WUMB radio selected the Texas native and Berklee junior as Best New Artist of the Year in 2008 and this summer, Falcon Ridge Festival in New York chose Emily for their annual Emerging Artist Showcase.

The Kessler Theater originally opened in 1942 and is currently in the process of being renovated. A soft opening is planned for February.

On December 27, Ruby Jane, a 15-year old singer and violinist from Austin will be the opening act. Video clips of both performers are available here:

The Kessler is located in Oak Cliff at 1230 West Davis Street.

Mo' Clean Feed Records

The demand for free jazz and creative improvised music must be a whole lot greater in Europe than it is here in these United States, because the folks at Clean Feed Records in Lisbon continue to release interesting, challenging recordings at a rate that would probably break the bank at an American label. Once again, it’s a varied bunch:

New York-based accordionist Will Holshouser and his drummerless trio meet up with Portuguese pianist Bernardo Sassetti on Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns. Together, they produce a music of lush romanticism, highlighted by Ross Horton’s trumpet, which alternately waxes lyrical and sings sassy, and Dave Phillips’ lovely work on arco bass. This is chamber jazz at its best, alternately wistful and playful, cast from the same mold as Dave Douglas’ Charms of the Night Sky. The title refers to the music’s European setting (recorded in Portugal) and “the mysterious link between alcohol and spirituality,” which sounds good to me.

Well-traveled Israeli-born altoist Michael Attias has a pensive sound, influenced by Lee Konitz and Jimmy Lyons (both of whom have compositions covered on Renko in Coimbra), with an acrid tone and acerbic ideas. He’s ably supported here by bassist John Hebert and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. The three can play with Art Ensemble of Chicago-like minimalism (“Do & the Birds”) or David S. Ware-ish intensity (“Fenix Culprit,” featuring a cameo by pianist Ross Lossing), sounding their best on “Universal Constant,” where their dialogue moves from abstraction (with Satoshi applying some extended techniques to his traps) to something approaching funk.

Empty Cage Quartet are so called because the members’ initials spell out MTKJ. “We are not conceptualists,” trumpeter Kris Tiner insists, in Gravity's liner notes, which rival Cecil Taylor’s for density (if not obscurity). He and his mates Jason Mears (sax, clarinet), Ivan Johnson (bass) and Paul Kikuchi (drums) play through alternating sections from two pieces (“Gravity” and “Tzolkien”) that sound through-composed but are probably improvised, their horn polyphony and tightly-tuned drums evoking an agreeable collision of Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” with Out to Lunch, Point of Departure, or one of those.

Voladores is the latest outing for Tony Malaby’s Apparitions. On tenor, Malaby raises a plaintive cry like mid-‘60s Ornette on the previously unrecorded Coleman composition “Homogeneous Emotions,” and gets a burry, Sam Rivers-like sound on “Old Smoky,” where he’s as forceful as Rivers can be in a trio setting. On “Dreamy Drunk,” he comes across like Archie Shepp channeling Ben Webster and makes effective use of multiphonics. The basic horn-bass-drums trio is augmented by John Hollenbeck’s tuned percussion, which adds textural variety to the proceedings. On “Sour Diesel,” Hollenbeck injects melodica into the harmonic mixture (the way Jack Dejohnette used to on his ECM sides) while Malaby follows a circuitous melodic path on soprano. Might just be the pick of this litter.

To play the bass clarinet is to invite comparisons to Eric Dolphy, but Jason Stein -- a native Lawn Guylander now based in Chicago -- volunteered to be thrown into that briar patch after switching from guitar as a teenager. On Three Less Than Between, he’s creating a vocabulary for his instrument on the fly as he goes: growls, squeals, intervallic leaps, and staccato lines, aided by a rhythm section – bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Mike Pride – that’s equally inventive in supporting him. “Isn’t Your Paper Clip” explodes with energy, culminating in an old-fashioned clattering drum solo; the denouement is a relatively straightahead interlude with walking bass, followed by a restless bass solo with sympathetic drum accompaniment.

Nicolas Masson Parallels’ Thirty Six Ghosts is proof that the land of William Tell has produced more than just watches and chocolate. The Shorteresque tenorman and his all-Swiss quartet (which features electric piano and stand-up bass) play a mostly introspective brand of jazz that’s informed by a love of 20th century composed music and, less audibly, alt-rock. Not surprisingly, the proximate model here is a less wired/weird version of early ‘70s Miles, particularly on the relentlessly funky “Hellboy.”

The Godforgottens is the name adopted by Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo and the Sten Sandell trio. On Never Forgotten, Always Remembered, they perform three lengthy extemporations – the longest nearly 20 minutes – with titles that are variants of the album’s title. On “Always Forgotten,” they create brooding, oceanic swells with Sandell playing first-time Hammond B3 as well as piano. “Never Remembered” starts with a cascade of drum thunder from Paal Nilssen-Love, over which Broo and Sandell spar. “Remembered Forgotten” starts as a duel between Broo and Nilssen-Love before Sandell and bassist Johan Berthling enter the fray. Their interchanges can be either exhilarating or exhausting, depending on your point of view.

Worth checking out. Cop via

Thursday, December 17, 2009

12.17.2009, ftw

caves show went well, albeit with fewer peeps than last time. will have to find out from ray whether we got a payout. magnus kicked ass -- sort of a heavy prog with lots of tempo changes and complicated fret-math. they play more notes in one song than we do in an hour. we did what we always do. sound onstage was great. i could hear myself, hembree, and teague really clearly. ray less so, which caused me to blow some cues -- feh. having monitors is overrated. hope that caves' owner doesn't pull the plug on bands next year.

my gear's hurtin'. i need to see if i can reattach the volume knob to my amp. i took the tele along, in addition to the epi, in case i busted another string, since the dangits wouldn't be there to help if i did. (actually a couple of them were there for the start of our set; didn't go the distance, but who can blame them on a freezing-ass wednesday night?) when i plugged it in to tune, i pushed the jack into the body. i need to pull the plates off and tighten up the jack, as well as all the knobs. but i'm lazy. maybe saturday.

we had an offer of a show in austin, but it turns out teague can't get the day off, as the date's the same as inventory at hpb, and he's the inventory manager at his store. feh. on a more positive note, found out that zeitmorder (a very literal germanization of "time killer"), his solo synth project, will be on the bill with HIO at 1919 hemphill this saturday. i've been wanting to hear his solo stuff. he and kara will be joining us for big english breakfast on christmas day. this makes me very happy.

saw jenkins from doc's while i was shilling potions and lotions for the man. said he hadn't gotten in anything that seemed up my alley, but i'll probably pay him a visit saturday anyway.

day three without a headache. thank you, neti pot.

the replacements' "let it be"

i came to these guys late, but they get points for being hembree's favorite band (well, maybe after buena vista social club). from slate. bob stinson was as tragic a figure as exists in rock 'n' roll.

are johnny cash's late recordings "traditional?"

from the rumpus. this speaks, i think, to terry's recent obsession with folk music.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



vijay iyer on monk

from jazz times.

muppets, again

a long-form explication of the muppets from ifc. most excellent. thanks to katboy for the link.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

one man's life and death in photos

my sister-in-law posted this on facebook: a story about a guy who took a polaroid photo every day for 18 years. at first i thought, "like the harvey keitel character in smoke" (for whom auggie is named), but this is even more compelling.

patient voices: migraine

my big sis sent me this interesting article on migraines from the nyt. wow, did i just type that?

the vu @ the nypl

here's an okay account of the recent "reunion" david fricke interview with lou reed, mo tucker, and doug (_not_ "david") yule at the ny public library. (additional crabby old man note: it was cafe bizarre, not "bazaar." jayzus.) from the rumpus.

HIO on reverbnation!

now you can hear six tracks (out of nine) from our 10.17.2009 recording bash here. yeah!

Monday, December 14, 2009

HIO @ 1919 hemphill, 12.19.2009

no harry; rather, breaking light. HIO online here.

the move's "shazam"

from dropout records. if you don't know it, you owe it to yourself.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

hochimen and dangits pics @

my sweetie posted some of her pics of the hochimen and the dangits raising the roof at lola's 6th last sat'day on her photo blog. click on 'em to make 'em big and leave her a comment why doncha?

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

a review i penned of the hitmen's reissued tora tora d.t.k. live album with a _shit-ton_ of extras is online now.


nervebreakers @ antone's record shop, 3.21.2009

the vu become a coffee table book

my big sis sent me this link to what looks like a must for velvet underground fans. start saving your bottle caps, because the trade edition is going to run you 50 bucks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

HIO haps

after attempts to book harry has a head like a ping pong ball and the reformed ohm (nathan brown and s. forest ward) fell through, we got breaking light (kavin allenson's electric-guitar-and-loops project) to open for us 12.19 at 1919 hemphill.

also learned last night that we'll be on the bill for the february 28th good show showcase at lola's 6th, with the underground railroad and the better death. hooray!

a yardbirds boxset?

you might yawn, because these guys have had their catalog reished more times than anyone but maybe the small faces. but the fact that it's going to be on brit label easy action, whose honcho carlton sandercock released the yardbirds' bbc sessions before the majors and was responsible for cumular limit, the best document of the band's jimmy page era, should make you think twice. also, he's threatening six cd's and a dvd, so there's no telling what treasures he might have unearthed.

12.12.2009, ftw

last night: yummy sausage, peppers and onions with baked potatoes for din-din, then off to the big rawk show at lola's 6th. good to see chad and reggie rueffer (reg with new g-f kim), frank logan, graham richardson, jesse sierra hernandez, phil hemsley, tommy and marissa ware. lotsa new kid pics and new relationship news.

lotsa musos in the house for the hochimen set, including ryan thomas becker from eaton lake tonics/rtb2 and daniel gomez from goodwin, both of whom know what good is. ed mcmahon's played guitar on two great records this year (bonedome's thinktankubator and the better death's self-titled debut), and reggie and the boys had a couple of new numbers in their set, one sung by chad, which will be recorded while reggie's free from charlie pride commitments for the winter. a couple of totenlieder songs in the set i hadn't heard live before -- "the funeral gig" and "death in captivity." reggie moved like a spider while singing his convoluted-yet-beguiling melodies. behind him, the two guitars and drummer demonstrated that incredibly complex music can be played aggressively. one of my favorite bands of all ti-i-ime. nice to see so many folks out for a 9pm start, too.

the dangits' frontguy mike noyes told me the writeup i did on them for the fw weekly "made my mother very happy," and as she was actually in attendance, along with his in-laws, i bought her a drink (crown and coke). bassist paul blank looked for all the world like a younger graham richardson and wore a natty three-piece suit with boutonniere like a lost wedding band muso, a sartorial touch matched only by my friend frank's plaid shoes. whether or not they were feeling any additional pressure to deliver, the dangits brought all the requisites for a great rawk show -- speed, power, flash, humor -- to the stage at lola's 6th, playing a set that proved why they're the most exciting new band i've seen in at least five years.

spent most of max cady's set socializin' out on the porch while my sweetie took band shots of the dangits (since drummer mark baker is now a permanent member), and had to cut out as the me-thinks were starting, as my headaches have still not entahrly departed. the good news was that one tramadol seems to be doing the trick since i started neti-ing, and i was able to drink beer without triggering another skull-splitter.

listening to clean feed goodies today and debating whether or not to try to make the dave burrell show in dallas tonight. it would suck getting a headache there and having to haul ass all the way back to the fort. we'll see.

Friday, December 11, 2009

the wolf

it gets no more real than this.

great jack rose int

from arthur, of course.

i'm your man

my sis wanted to hear a versh of this song "by someone that can _sing_." i told her, "i think i have just the thing."

12.11.2009, ftw

last night i used a neti pot for the first time (the saline stung like a motherfucker; have to use only half a packet next time like the, um, instructions said to) and proceeded to sleep for almost 12 hours. had to leave work early yesterday due to an incipient headache. came home and took tramadol, which knocked me out for three hours. determined to make it through work today, although it seems that all that stuff does is make me sleep, and i'm foregoing coffee today as it's a vasoconstrictor.

my sweetie the scientist reckons my headaches are due to sinus congestion, which tracks with what i know about migraines being caused by blood flow increasing through constricted vessels. if my sinuses are swollen, that might impede the flow of blood leaving the brain; thus, headache. the butterbur, which is a vasodilator, helped, but not enough. so i'm taking sinus meds, have tried a sinus spray and the neti pot. the p.a. i saw the other day seemed more concerned with treating symptoms than addressing causes, which reminded me of the m.d. that put my oldest daughter on amytriplene when she was in high school, which made her a zombie for like six months, when in reality it now seems she was just dehydrated from drinking no water and five cokes a day. duh.

hoping i can make it through the big rawk show at lola's 6th tonight, although i'm not sure i'll be drinking any beers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

gutterth compilation two ADDENDUM

while i regret i'm missing their dead week print show tonight, the least i can do for the gutterth productions guys is write three-word reviews of all the tracks on their compilation two (which, if you haven't downloaded it yet from their site, what are you waiting for?).

dust congress - languid stringband dirge.

shiny around the edges - indie noise duet.

drink to victory - crushing muffled heaviness.

ryan thomas becker - raw quivering plaint.

mount righteous - farting tuba pop.

sunnybrook - tuneless hipi chant.

new science projects - earnest folkie punk.

doug burr - chiming sentimental arpeggios.

the timeline post - soft, then LOUD.

burntsienna trio - acerbic muso's complainogram.

kaboom - lithium garage skronk.

daniel folmer - narcoleptic pianner ballad.

the house harkonnen - bracing heavy rifferama.

dear human - the drummer's band?

power animal - underground "children's music."

dirty water disease - relentless sinister noisefest.

eyes and ears - bright lysergic sunsplash.

sarah jaffe - whiskey voiced lament.

record hop - languid grunge waltz.

sleep whale - hallucinatory dreamland pop.

geistheistler - excruciating feedback interval.

history at our disposal - shambolic nightmare landscape.

delmore pilcrow - tweedy farfisa shuffle.

hotel hotel - stately remembered symphony.

rtb2 - off kilter rockarama.

vexed uk - icy teutonic chorale.

the heartstring stranglers - rustic diy tango.

nervous curtains - '80s britpop tango.

sabra laval - floating saloon chanteuse.

true widow - minimal pulsing throb.

glen farris - sweet folk primitivism.

doyen - echolalic caterwauling waltz.

the angelus - rockin' anglo-saxon ballad.

florene - solar echo disco.

Mark Growden's "Saint Judas"

One of the most striking live performances I’ve ever witnessed took place when postmodern troubadour Mark Growden performed his apocalyptic cabaret act at the late, lamented Wreck Room during the winter of 2003. Weather was bad and the crowd was small, but the composer and multi-instrumentalist held us all in thrall with a highly individuated approach to music making that cut through his music’s folkloric trappings – as though Harry Smith, Kurt Weill, and John Cage had been reincarnated in a single body. He sang into the back of his banjo to generate sympathetic vibrations from its strings, dropped and slapped his lap steel while playing it for percussive effect, and ended the night standing on the bar, serenading the last-call holdouts with his accordion.

More to the point, Growden’s songs packed a mighty emotional wallop that went beyond their visceral immediacy. “Digging Up the Bones” grafted the power of incantation onto a mutant Delta blues. The psychosexual situations depicted in the self-explanatory “Fuck Boy” and “The Nasty” made certain audience members titter nervously as they squirmed in their seats with visible embarrassment. (More recently, he’s downplayed that aspect of his musical persona to avoid being tarred with the “novelty act” brush.) The weary waltz “Inside Every Bird” was transformed into a sing-along for the end of the world.

Now left-of-center music aficionado Billy Wilson -- who originally booked Growden and other Bay Area outsiders like Stan Ridgway, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Extreme Elvis and the Extra Action Marching Band at the Wreck – is bringing him back to Cowtown. In late January, Growden will play a pair of shows at both Lola’s locations: Thursday the 28th in the Stockyards, then Friday the 29th on 6th Street.

The Lola’s dates are part of a “slow tour,” with multiple performances in each city, promoting Saint Judas, Growden’s first studio album in an incredible eight years, which Porto Franco Records is releasing next month. (Copies will be available at the shows, or you can cop now via his website.) At home in San Francisco, he plays concerts in theaters as well as ad hoc, “site-specific” performances; on the road, he’ll play in bars or wherever else he can. He’s even talked about busking on the Stockyards streets before the show on the 28th.

Sure, comparisons are odious, but Growden’s new music invites several. On Saint Judas, he takes ownership of Leonard Cohen’s declamatory blues “I’m Your Man” in the same way as Jeff Buckley did with the poet laureate of somber songcraft’s “Hallelujah.” Like Tom Waits, he’s composed a lot of music for dance, theatrical, and film productions over the years, and he co-produced Saint Judas with engineer Oz Fritz, who did similar honors on the gravel-throated Angeleno’s albums Mule Variations, Alice, and Blood Money. There are no coincidences.

For non-San Franciscans, one of the special pleasures of listening to Growden on disc is the opportunity to hear his full band, which rarely ventures far from the Golden Gate. Not that there’s anything wrong with hearing him with the more stripped down ensembles he brings on the road (particularly the excellent standup bassist Seth Ford-Young, who’s been working with Growden for years), or solo (as he’ll be appearing live this time around). But while such minimal settings showcase his strengths in bold relief, the accompanying musicians on Saint Judas add depth and richness to the songs.

Guitarist Myles Boisen sounds as if he drank long and deep from the blues well; dig the long lunar notes he coaxes from his axe on the opening “Undertaker.” Cellist Alex Kelly blends his sound with Growden’s accordion in the ensembles and solos like a gypsy violinist on the haunting, desolate “Coyote,” which features the most interesting use of children’s voices (as –- what else? -- howling coyotes) since producer Bob Ezrin told his own children that their mother was dead and recorded the resultant chorus of lamentation for Lou Reed’s Berlin.

Percussionist Jenya Chernoff does interesting things with sprung rhythms, while trumpeter Chris Grady makes his horn sing sassy with a full array of slurs, smears, and muted wails. But the most amazing instrumentalist here is Growden himself, blowing a full-blooded baritone sax and playing a gorgeously ethereal flute solo…on bicycle handlebars. His most expressive instrument, though, is a singing voice animated by equal portions of power, pain, and passion, allowing him to inhabit any text he sings the way an actor would.

Listening to the Crescent City jazz fanfare that opens the title track and the loping second line strut that propels that song, “Everybody Holds a Piece of the Sun,” and “Take Me to the Water,” one can’t help but be reminded of the Katrina diaspora. That association is heightened after Growden sings, “If the gates that hold the tears of this world were to open / We’d all be washed away” on “The Gates” (which precedes “Take Me” and is the album’s centerpiece).

The air of despair that hangs heavy over much of Saint Judas is offset by “If the Stars Could Sing” (“…they’d surely sing of you”) -- of all things, a high lonesome country song that reveals a new, tenderly romantic side of Growden – and “Faith in My Pocket,” which starts out with Growden mistaking a trucker’s discarded cigarette for a shooting star and ends up revealing itself as a prayer of sorts. “I’m gonna lay a fat kiss on the cold wet cheeks of Winter / And watch her blush,” Growden sings, and as we enter this sad season, we could do worse than to follow his example.

free jazz a crime?

maybe, in spain! thanks to pedro moreno for the link.

jack rose obit/bio

...from the philly inquirer. thanks to andrew for the link.

christmas @ arts fifth, 12.19.2009

johnny case sends:


Arts Fifth Avenue

Saturday, Dec. 19 8 pm

Featuring Johnny Case, Duane Durrett, Drew Phelps
And vocalist, Sandra Kaye

Tap by Gracey Tune, Dale Luna and 24 Feet of Tap

Silversmyth Jewelry and Art by Lynn Hunt

Tasty Morsels and Libations

Arts Fifth Avenue
1628 5th Avenue
Fort Worth TX 76104


$10, $5 students, 12 and under free

Reservations recommended

"goodnight keith moon" interview

the authors of everyone's favorite viral fb kids' book parody talk to concentrate. of course, they're from ann arbor.

12.10.2009, ftw

still working my way through the clean feed stack. new the big takeover arrived yesterday and no time to read it yet. new headache strategy appears to be working; we live in hope. big music weekend coming up if i can just make it through the next two days of work without getting sick. runny nose/scratchy throat this a.m. feh.

what's wrong with this picture?

just saw a land rover ad in the economist with the headline, "eyes on the front, back, and sides of it's head."

gutterth compilation two

out now and downloadable free. you know what to do!

wes race the blues fan's blues uberfan: this kansan was present at the creation of alligator records, hound dog taylor's road manager in the '70s, living blues scribe (which is how i read his scrawl as a teenager), poet and spoken word artist. i first met him at the keys lounge when the band i was in hosted a food back benefit, christmas '98. when i played in lady pearl's b.t.a. band, he used to come to the swing club and flow spiel when ray reed sang lightnin' hopkins' "mr. charlie." he produced robin sylar's records and has one of his own, from which the tune in the vid below is drawn, but if i had the resources, i'd release the tracks he cut with remixer harry hoggard around the same time and bend some people's minds. thanks to t. tex for the link.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

steve albini: secret santa?

yeah, apparently. but not any more.

my scrawl in the fw weekly

a music feature on the dangits and a review of colorado jam band dude turned nyc undergrounder eric deutsch's new cd hush money are in this week's paper and online now.

dave burrell directions for saturday

dennis gonzalez sends:

One of the most important concerts that my son Aaron's Inner Realms Outer Realms events production company will put together this year is scheduled for next Saturday night, December 12, 2009, at Sandaga Market, a couple of blocks west of Downtown Dallas, 1325 E. Levee St., 75207, with doors at 8 pm. Jazz piano legend Dave Burrell will present a night of solo piano, and it is an event not to be missed. So please save up your $15 and put it on your calendar. And bring someone with you. Let's fill the place...Aaron would appreciate it and Dave Burrell would appreciate it. See you soon.

Take Continental Avenue west from downtown Dallas and turn right onto Riverside Blvd., go about 5 blocks to Leslie St. and turn left. Go to the end of the block all the way to Levee St., and turn right. Sandaga will be on your left....look for all the cars!

listening now to dave's high won - high two on arista freedom, with the late sirone on bass and a 19-minute west side story medley. inspirational stuff. between this and the big rawk show at lola's 6th on friday night, this is going to be quite a weekend of music.

12.9.2009, ftw

HIO drinkie-talkie postmortem: stopped off at doc's enroute to the b&b to cop the van der graaf generator rec that jenkins was holding for me, and picked up a dave burrell 2lp on arista freedom for six bucks.

journo was a nice cat. asked smart questions. we were a gaggle of giggling schoolgirls. be interesting to see what he makes of it. after, went to the oyster bar so terry could get his clam strips. hickey had to return to the b&b, as he inadvertently walked his tab. he and i split grilled fish tacos.

headache started when i got home. another skull splitter. took a couple of hours and two tramadol to finally put it to bed. contemplating the possibility that i might not be able to drink alcohol for awhile. but where will i get my personality from, then? bothers me to be worrying my sweetie. luckily for me, midnight the nurse-cat followed me through my odyssey of misery; every time i relocated/repositioned, he'd be there, lying on my chest or legs and purring.

no work today, so will spend some time getting better acquainted with the new mark growden cd and the latest stack of clean feed releases. yeah!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

theme: punk 'n' roll wimmin and xmas songs i don't hate

one of the few songs on the xmas muzak track at work that doesn't make me want "to fwow up":

the pretenders' first album got me through the transition between colorado insanity and moving back to texas, spring of '80; saw 'em in some dump on northwest highway with dan lightner the first time they toured the states:

this has nothing to do with xmas, but i saw her wipe the floor with iggy once. no shit:

faith in my pocket

an early candidate for my fave song from mark growden's new album saint judas.

st. lester: free jazz = punk rock

or as the gonzalez boys would have it, "free jazz is thrash, asshole." this is pretty much where it starts for me, conceptually. thanks to t.tex for the link.

Monday, December 07, 2009

wine and headaches

interesting blog article on red wine headaches from uncle tommy, who should know.

jacob wick - THIS IS IT

mr. horn posted the vid of the 11.27.2009 phoenix project performance -- with stephen lucas, sarah alexander, mike maxwell, terry horn, and yr humble chronicler o' events -- to the HIO virb page. dig.

other people to whom i bear no resemblance

rock 'n' roll high school star p.j. soles:

"strokin'" sanger z.z. hill:

the far pavilions author and simpsons catchphrase inspirator m.m. kaye:

t.r. the japan-appeaser

from the nyt: how the stage for pearl harbor was set by _theodore_ roosevelt's foreign policy. by the author of flags of our fathers. fascinating. (to me, at least.)

the harder they fall

josh's screed reminds me of the one bogart's sportswriter pens at the end of the harder they fall: "professional boxing should be banned if it takes an act of congress to do it!"

black cracker online: football hate

apparently my noo yawk homeboy josh alan friedman doesn't like football. neither do i, but because i play music in bars in texas, where (as he notes) during football season you have to wait for "the game" to end before beginning your set, i've developed the ability to talk about sports as though i 1) know anything about 'em and 2) giveashit. it's been really interesting to me this season, watching my english major daughter get all geeked over tcu football. kind of like when the yankees and mets started signing japanese pitchers and my dad -- who took me to _one_ yankee game when i was a kid, under duress -- became a baseball fan.