Wednesday, March 31, 2010

elite mammoth

when i was 13, i was getting my ass kicked and dreaming of playing guitar in rock 'n' roll bands. sean glover has recorded two albums on his 'puter. are we evolving or what?

mo' HIO vid online

"but mr. liles, you don't understand...we're alcoholics! we can't play our instruments without alcohol!"

henri mayakapongo

caroline collier profiles the congolese refugee artist in this week's fw weekly. photo by jose l. serrato, jr.

dfw punk

this documentary is showing saturday night at 1919 hemphill. it's FREE (donations accepted). go check it out, then come to the grotto (517 university), where the li'l stoogeband will be helping our friend shiny princess linda celebrate her 27th b-day. we hit at midnight. yeah!

arvo part - "psalom"

naps in the library

my buddy tommy's daughter christina vincent is a real goddamn writer.

Sweet Science: A Boxing Documentary

I'll admit up front that I'm not a boxing fan. I was stationed in Korea when Ray Mancini killed Duk Koo Kim in the ring. Prior to viewing Sweet Science: A Boxing Documentary, my favorite boxing movie was the '50s expose The Harder They Fall, which ends with Humphrey Bogart (in his last role, as a sportswriter who's been shilling for a crooked fight promoter) sitting down at his typewriter to pound out the line, "Professional boxing should be outlawed if it takes an act of Congress to do it." But I'm a sucker for a good story, and Dallas writer-director Chris Howell tells a great one here.

Start with a genuine hero: Coach Greg Hatley walked away from a career as a Dallas firefighter and a successful construction business to run a boxing gym with a mission -- to rescue kids from his Oak Cliff neighborhood who were in danger of slipping through society's cracks and into a morass of crime, drugs, and violence. Add a handful of engaging characters, four of the Oak Cliff Boxing Club's top fighters: Hatley's sons Charlie and Greg Jr. (aka "Rabbit"); Dominic Littleton, whose parents have both been in and out of prison since he was five, and is alternately hot-headed and charming; and Big Greg Corbin, pride of his family and his neighborhood, who comes to Coach Hatley to learn the science of boxing, because prior to that he'd been "just beating guys up" in the ring.

Then send them on a quest: the road to the 2004 Olympic boxing trials. Howell takes his time and lets us get to know his characters as they deal with adversity, both in and out of the ring. The result is a beautifully-paced, intimate portrait of the fighters as they battle to master themselves, as well as their opponents, and their coach as he fights to keep them motivated and away from the lure of the street while himself struggling with the club's finances. The soundtrack music, by Eric Mingus, echoes the composer's titanic father's and effectively mirrors the on-screen action.

[SPOILER ALERT] The boxing sequences are compelling and well-edited and the characters are comfortable enough with the camera to reveal themselves candidly. Their openness pulls the viewer into their corner, which makes it heart-wrenching when two of them go down paths that are all too common and have nothing to do with boxing. Ultimately, it's their teammates' resilience in the face of adversity that makes this an uplifting story. The climactic triumph is made more meaningful by the knowledge of what it took to get there and those left behind. [/SPOILER ALERT]

The film's world premiere is at 7:00pm on Monday, April 12th, at the Angelika Theater, 5321 East Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, part of the Dallas International Film Festival. The boxers and filmmaker will be present. Get tickets here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

oh my god

sweet science: a boxing documentary

if you're in dallas april 12 or 15, you owe it to yourself to see this. filmmaker chris howell sent me a screener and i was muy impressed. review to follow on a night when i don't have stooge prac.

ADDENDUM: seriously, you need to see this.

Monday, March 29, 2010

harry partch: "music studio"

HIO @ the kessler postmortem

all three of us agree that it was a watershed. first time in live performance that we've played with the freedom and naivete of the first house recording or the "warehouse session." i feel like i'm making strides on CBG/mallet guitar, without striving to emulate frith/rowe/whomever. the last few moments of the last set were an epiphany on a par with the first time i ever played a shuffle in my parents' basement and made it swing like b.b. -- e.g., "how the fuck am i doing this?" or "is that really me doing this?" thank you, mr. horn. plus my sweetie told me that our process has given her ideas to use in her work. it's a bonusburger.

brother john

i recently reconnected (_not_ via facebook!) with my high school friend john w. (we went to different ones together), who emigrated to new zealand around the time i moved to texas. he'd seen two people shot to death at close range in different incidents at the same bar while he was attending grad school at the university of chicago, and decided he'd had enough of the u.s. his father was an aussie, his mother was a kiwi, and he'd been born in canada. he had to renounce all of the above citizenships to get financial aid to go to school in the states, but luckily for him, none of those old british commonwealth countries recognize anybody else's citizenship, so off he went, to marry, raise a family, make a life.

he was back on lawn guyland helping take care of family business subsequent to his father's death, and he reached out to me through a mutual high school friend's myspace account, but as soon as i read the message, i recognized the phone number. he persuaded me to get on skype, which he'd used to stay in touch with his dad during his father's illness, and i was amazed at how much he still looks like the fella i remember from 30something years ago.

he's playing guitar now and digs blues. we're planning to play music together via skype when he's back at home. (coincidentally, HIO has been discussing the possibility of attempting a skype link if hickey's unable to make one of the shows we're currently trying to book in houston and austin.) i look forward to it.

we talked a lot about days gone by and the folks we know from that time. one of them was michael r., the guy that showed me more stuff on guitar than anyone else, who went from being my idol to being my best friend to being someone i dreaded hearing from because i knew he was going to want something. he was a junkie and died from an overdose while i was in the service. he was 28. i remember feeling absolutely no emotion when i learned of his death a couple of years after the fact, but when i picked up guitar again a few years later, i was astonished by how much i still sounded like myself, and how much of what i considered "myself" i'd learned from him. so i guess he was still with me then. still is now, too.

anyway, john got together with michael's sister while he was visiting, and she told him about a gig that michael had played the night before his death that a lot of people who were there said was the best thing they'd ever heard and just happened to be recorded. supposedly the tape is in the possession of carl j., another guy i used to play music with back in the day. last i heard he was moving to florida with his mom, around the same time john and i were making our respective moves. michael's sister told john that carl is being "very mean" and won't let anyone hear or have copies of the tape. i'm starting to think about how i might go about tracking him down. weird journey through the past.

stoogeaphilia/black dotz/bastardos de sancho pics

my sweetie posted some of her pics of stoogeaphilia, the black dotz, and the bastardos de sancho from last friday night's extravaganza at lola's 6th on her photo blog. hooray! click on 'em to make 'em big and leave her a comment why doncha?

kessler tour

call me a shill, i don't care. i like what i like. (such as the fact that stefan gonzalez rides his bike through the opening exterior shot.)

3.28.2010, oak cliff

showed up half an hour late for a 4:30p load-in time. terry was already there, of course. the kessler was decked out with an art exhibit curated by steve cruz of mighty fine arts. we set up our shit on the stage in the li'l room, underneath a big, colorful ice cream cone/globe sculpture which jeff liles later told me was made from a beach ball covered with carpet squares. hickey showed up and he, terry, my sweetie 'n' i walked over to cesar's tacos for some authentic mexican chow (open all night, which liles says can be dangerous) and sodas. (liles ordered some pies from oak cliff pizza for later.) then kat decamped for the fort to process her pics from friday night's stoogeaphilia/black dotz/bastardos de sancho extravaganza (some of which will be up soon, i swear, on her photo blog).

had to wait for the "poets on x+" versifiers to do their thang before we got started. listened to cliff notes impresario carlos salas flow some verse before we headed out to the li'l room to bum everybody out. we all really like working in the trio configuration. it's easy to listen and respond to each other, and we got a nice vibe and dynamic going on through all three sets we wound up playing. got some nice comments and a lot of questions from audience members about the instruments (terry's cigarbox guitars and cigarbox kalimba, and hickey's electric gopichand). we even sold some cd-r's (and gave away the rest, as is our wont.)

i inadvertently knocked the soundpost (my big sis told me the name of the part) off the violin, so terry's gonna have to repair it. duh. i think i'm going to stop bringing the telecaster to HIO gigs, and just concentrate on CBG and percussion. on this particular night, i stuck to terry's 6-string CBG and percussion (chinese cymbals, aluminum bowl and a cymbal that terry placed on the floor in front of the stage). i also used a handheld body massager and fan he brought to generate tones by holding them near the pickups.

my favorite thing i played was at the end of the last set, when i had four tones coming out of one instrument: a pulsing tone from my phase 90 (which i like to think of as the cry of the HIO owl), controlled harmonic feedback, and the tones generated by the massager and fan. unfortunately, it wasn't recorded because terry forgot to turn on his video camera. he did get the first two sets, though, and liles also shot some vid and melissa the bartender and a couple of other folks were shooting photos that we'll hopefully get to see at some point.

i didn't get to see all the other bands' sets, but i made it a point to be up front for pinkish black, the rubric adopted by the surviving members of the great tyrant after tommy atkins left the planet. jon teague is playing keyboards again the way he did in the post-doug ferguson incarnation of yeti, and they're still using tommy's beloved ampeg 300T. perhaps their performance was made more poignant for me by the fact that i knew they'd written all the music the week tommy died, but it was powerful and emotional stuff even without knowing the context of its creation, mitigated somewhat by some technical glitches early in the set. but once paul quigg was able to get daron beck's vocals up with the instruments, we could appreciate the music's full impact. hard not to look for the third man onstage, though...

i missed darktown strutters' set, but telethon were entertaining in a shticky kind of way with their '80s electronic sound, matching costumes, and faux german accents. i wish i'd stuck around to hear tartufi from san francisco, from what i've seen in lyles' vid. the duo play a metallic prog with loops that includes a xylophone and arvo part-like choral voxxx. impressive, but hickey needed to get back to weatherford to "slop the hogs." was good to see wanz dover from the black dotz (enroute to a dj gig), jason reimer from history at our disposal, and daniel huffman from new fumes. all in all, another great night at the kessler and the capper to the best week i could possibly imagine on several levels.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3.28.2010, ftw

hard to believe it was ten years ago today that a tornado -- the first in 150 years -- hit the fort. i experienced it the way practically everyone i know did: on the phone, standing outside, looking at the sky. i'd gotten off work early from work at the tandy center and was surprised when a coworker called to tell me, "we're watching a tornado coming up belknap street." i told her, "um, i think you ought to go get in the stairwell, and close the door."

my sweetie, whom i wouldn't meet for another three and a half years, was still living in the little house on boland street back then and watched it going over her house. the boys at the wreck room ran like hell to escape the flying shards of glass when the windows imploded, then went to rescue the barber who was buried under the wreckage of his shop next door. a guy i worked with at radioshack led a woman and her son down the broken glass-strewn escalator in the middle of the tandy center. another who was a search-and-rescue volunteer found the homeless man who was killed outside montgomery ward's.

i tried to go to work the next day and was amazed at the devastation downtown. i saw a car sticking out of the side of the mallick tower. the guard shack from the parking lot outside tandy information services was sitting on top of the downtown library. the modern art museum was still under contruction then, and people i knew said they saw big sheets of metal from the construction site wrapped around phone polls like gum wrappers. telephone polls snapped in two like toothpicks. i like the fact that they kept the bent girders from the sign near the university-bailey-west 7th-camp bowie intersection and made them part of the new post office.

i couldn't go to work for three days, so i sat at home in benbrook writing a 10,000 word story about a '60s detroit band for a british fanzine. the immediate knowledge that we're all at the mercy of nature was quite striking, and stayed with me for a while. then fucking september 11th happened.

3.26-27.2010, ftw

this is all kind of a blur in my memory because my sleep cycle is still screwy from opening yesterday on three hours' sleep.

my sweetie _nailed_ her presentation on thursday, got a lot of positive feedback, has been asked to present again, and is starting to think about this as an ongoing project rather than a one-shot deal. (kind of like the li'l stoogeband when we started -- we were only going to play one gig, then five, then it just kind of took on a life of its own.) celebrated with our second tokyo cafe dinner in a week (yuzu yellowtail roll -- hooray!).

i was going to nap after work but detoured to ops check my gear, which wound up waking me up. the switch on the marshall bluesbreaker i got from sir steffin has been sticking; when i trigger it with my hand it works fine, but my foot must be heavier. changed from running shoes to flat-soled leather ones in case the soles were catching. ray very kindly went out to the prac pad to get his big muff to bring to the gig so i'd have a backup. i see a trip to competition music in my near future.

there was already a decent crowd at lola's 6th when we rolled up to load in. ray and hembree were already there, and richard showed up soon after. a lot of friends were present. 'twas good to see jamie shipman, the conscientious projector, who's screening dfw punk at 1919 hemphill next saturday. (view the trailer here.) speaking of texas punk history, ex-nervebreaker bob childress was in the house with his wife vicky, and danced up a storm during our set. made my night, like mike haskins showing up at the grotto in january. someday, maybe we'll get t. tex and barry, too. (and carl.)

also saw j.j. (who's pinstriping clay's drums), cody, rat, calvin, and brady from the h.c./riverside crew (who were amazed when i told them my big sis, whom they met at stooge prac, is 18 months older than me, although she still gets carded buying wine in new joisey); the magical ash; graham (tending bar), billy (not playing with HIO sunday because his best friend passed away tragically in houston this week), and fluff from the wreck room; #1 stoogeaphilia fan amy (who, with my sweetie, made us play "i'm 18" for an "encore" at the end of our set) and teague's squeeze kara; dan and sarah but not kerrie (who was under the weather); and christina, the daughter of one of the jo kelly teachers, who it turns out went to high school with clay stinnett (playing with the black dotz) and justin robertson. uncle walt was right.

the new bastardos de sancho lineup is missing some of the "messkin mad max: beyond thunderdome" vibe that the original duo used to have, substituting a gal (baby becca blood) who shakes a tambourine the way homer henderson's g-f used to with his one-man band. ray noted and commented on the fact that the new guitarist (hose si) sings through a telephone receiver. their stage trip has evolved a little bit, too, with christmas lights around their mic stands and marty robbins' "el paso" as intro music.

the black dotz made us work our asses off to follow them, the same way the dangits did when we played with them at lola's stockyards last year. i'd heard them at the tommy atkins benefit at the kessler theater, which mwanza dover said was a bad performance (going through gutterth productions' p.a., which isn't optimized for a room the size of the kessler). later on, clay told me, "wanz was crying that day while we were playing," to which i responded, "we all were, through our instruments."

my initial take on the black dotz was "they're like les rallizes denudes or the gunslingers" (mainliner was another association i made later), but that doesn't really get it. there's a lot more dynamic variation, light and shade in what they do than any of those other bands i mentioned. wanz calls it "punk rock," but it's a lot more ethereal than that, with his guitar going through an arsenal of effects (half of what michio kurihara had with boris at rgrs).

what grounds their sound and makes it visceral is clay's aggressive attack on drums. i've heard clay in different contexts, but i've never heard him play like this, sounding like john bonham on a stripped-down jazz kit (three drums, two cymbals). the bonham comparison doesn't really cut it, either; what clay's up to is a lot more musical and detailed than what bonzo did. ross boyd rounds out the trio on bass and splits voxxx with wanz for even more variety. the stoogeband will definitely be doing more shows with 'em. if you get a chance to check 'em out, you owe it to yourself. my sweetie took pics, which in the fullness of time will be uploaded to her photo blog.

teague made me promise that we wouldn't play "as long as they'll let us," so we planned an abbreviated set (eleven songs) and opted to hold off on the blue cheer one we've been working on until we've given it a few more run-throughs in the shed. opened with the first three songs from funhouse, then broke the seal on the dead boys "ain't nothing to do" (the black dotz had already played "sonic reducer"), played "future now" for fraf like we always do, segueing into "30 seconds over tokyo," "new rose," "not right," and "final solution" before our aforementioned "encore."

we must have been louder than fuck. ray said he couldn't hear shit in his monitor and had to listen for himself through the mains. i noticed that my guitar fed back any time i took my hands off it, and when i saw andre at the market the next day, he told me that while he used to have to work to get me up in the mix, now he was having to work _around_ me, which he said was not a bad thing. (thanks to cody yates, also in the house, for the twin -- best eight bills i've spent in a long time.) afterward wanz asked me how loud i ran it; he had his on five and turned down to three at dre's request. i told him, "the volume knob's missing, so i just roll it up until i feel it going R-R-R-R-R-R-R in my chest." for someone that doesn't gig often, i lose/destroy an awful lot of equipment. my epiphone's now missing three knobs, and i had to borrow a patch cord from hembree because i crushed the 1/4-inch on the newest one i had.

woke up the next morning feelling like i'd inhaled the entahr state of north carolina, with my voice sounding like louis armstrong. (thank goodness for neti pots.) opened on three hours' sleep. by the end of my shift, i was crosseyed with sleep deprivation. napped a couple of hours before falling by jesse the painter's for gallery night festivities. this year, gallery 5 had an "erotica" theme for their show. nice to see new works by pussyhouse and phil hemsley. my fave was almost-new-dad greg bahr's multi-media wet dream catcher. monday morning quarterbacked the gig with clay, ray, and hembree. 'twas good to see jesse and his sweetie becky; need to get together with them soon.

my sleep cycle is still fucked. gotta recuperate today before heading for oak cliff to play the "raided x+" art event at the kessler theater with HIO. yeah!

those crazy portuguese

Saturday, March 27, 2010

scott morgan - "detroit"

Friday, March 26, 2010

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

reviews i penned of new albums by kim salmon & the surrealists and jimi hendrix are online now.

mark murrmann

speaking of the zeitgeist, dig punk photog/ex-maximum rocknroll co-editor mark murrmann. via the rumpus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3.25.2010, ftw

my sweetie gets to stand 'n' deliver at 4:00 pm today. i'll be thinking about her while i'm shilling po 'n' lo for the man.

just got a new podcast episode up. hooray!

and i committed to play a solo electric version of "sleep walk" for the wedding of some young friends. now i have to practice trying to play good. my biggest fear -- solo public performance! -- is about to be realized.


i'm not hip to most of the bands they write about in razorcake, a diy punk 'zine that's also a nonprofit, since i'm the kind of old man that feels as though ray and teague are speaking venusian when they start talking about '90s punk shit at stooge prac. but since i snaked a copy from 1919 hemphill the last time HIO played there (thanks, jamie!), it's dominated my bathroom reading, and i mean that in a good way. overall, the quality of writing is better than in most music rags these days, and they actually do long-form interviews/essays on topics pertaining to the zeitgeist. i need to put my money where my mouth is and subscribe, since i'm not sure our 1919 stands correspond with their publishing schedule.

mark growden @ the kessler theater, 4.29.2010 - save the date

mark growden's coming back to the kessler theater in oak cliff on thursday, april 29th, on a card with bill longhorse trio and fm acoustic (the latter featuring the astonishing bassist jonathan fisher). a ten spot gets you in. yeah!

fort worth people who haven't made it to the kessler yet, you owe it to yourself. it's easy to get to: east on i-30, south on hampton, east on davis. you're there! HIO and pinkish black (ex-great tyrant) be's there this sunday for the "raided x+" art event, starting at 6pm.


my sweetie sez she's gonna be channeling rob when she does her prezzie today.

speaking of the runaways...

"why barack obama reminds me of joan jett"

written by jackie fuchs, aka jackie fox, who played bass in the runaways and went to harvard law with the president. i don't make this stuff up.

milking it

the stooges' first album now receives the deluxe reissue treatment via rhino handmade. the original and cale mixes, plus a second disc of alternate takes and one unreleased song, "asthma attack," which also appears on 7-inch vinyl in two parts, a la j.b. and the isley brothers. all this for 50 bucks...

ADDENDUM: sony just reduced the pre-order price for the raw power box to 60 bucks, and with that one you get three discs, a 7-inch, a dvd, five 5x7 photos, and a book. still, does all of this seem wrong to anyone else?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3.24.2010, ftw

busy rest of week: my sweetie's presentation to texas speech and hearing association tomorrow, dinner at tokyo cafe after i get off work tomorrow night, stoogeband at lola's 6th friday, gallery night at jesse the painter's saturday, HIO at the kessler on sunday. woo-hoo!


geeky internet humor, via katboy. yes!

go with the flow

useful advice from via t.tex.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

further 3.22.2010, ftw

when i was walking through my neighborhood yesterday afternoon, i saw a man and a woman standing in a little treehouse, talking to a girl that was sunbathing on the roof of their real house. strange.

Monday, March 22, 2010

hey, artists in haltom city! your arts council wants to give you money!

if you're an artist of any sort -- musician, songwriter, poet, visual artist, choreographer -- and you live in haltom city, the arts council northeast (formerly artsnet) is now offering grants of up to $5000 to individual artists. it's easy to apply. just go to their website, click on the "grants" link, and download their application. the app is basically two pages plus a budget, unless you're applying for a teaching grant, and takes about half an hour to fill out. who walks away from free money?

3.22.2010, ftw

catbox and trash out, greywater dumped, laundry in, grass mowed. i feel so accomplished. now it's time to promote some slack. this song was the perfect soundtrack for watering my dad's tree and clearing the grass and weeds from shadow and pablo's little corner of our world.

ADDENDUM: took a walk to get a coupla slices from nizza pizza (crust a little thin for my liking but otherwise okay; big joe's in haltom city still rules). took a stroll across the green space by the kimbell and stood on the ground where the wreck room used to be -- sacred space for me. the wreck's gone, so's the doorway where i proposed to my sweetie. at least the little house where she used to live is still there -- for now. stopped by the fw weekly office to see the italian kid; we might have drinks next week. got the cans down to the street. now it's time to fold laundry. and listen to more albert ayler. hooray!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

3.20.2010, ftw/oak cliff

where else but north texas in 2010 would you get snow on the first day of spring? actually the day started off piss-pouring rain, after raining hard intermittently during the night. walking to work, three houses from my front door, the wind inverted my umbrella, and i got splashed by a car on hulen street, so i showed up to open at the market with wet socks, wishing i'd worn the full l.j. ensemble instead of just the top. feh.

the rumors of snow started in the afternoon and the morning forecast had predicted precipitation and temps in the 30s, so i left it to my sweetie to decide whether she wanted to drive to oak cliff to see our friends josh alan friedman and mark growden open the kessler theater. she's in the last stages of prepping her presentation to the texas speech and hearing association's annual convention (she'll stand and deliver this thursday), but wanted to take the night off to hear some tunes and see some friends, so off we went -- with a stop in irving to see her best friend laurie (who's doing our taxes) and her husband, rabbi frank (a music appreciator whom i'd told that josh alan was _right up his alley_).

i've been to the kessler three times in the past month (tommy atkins benefit, HIO videotaping, and last night), and each time, it's come a little further along. last time the stage was up (removable to clear the space for the dance studio that operates in the big room during the week); this time, the bar was open (on a cash-only, sign certifying you're 21 basis), dj mr. rid was spinning vinyl, and the space was tricked out with james bland's great photos of the last 30 years of dallas music (my sweetie's fave was one of the rueffer brothers back in spot daze).

jeff liles, booker/scribe/spoken word artist extraordinaire, introduced me to some oak cliff folk like carlos salas, who owns the cliff notes bookstore in the "x+" arts district; the sweet science filmmaker chris howell; and mighty fine art gallery owner steve cruz. there's some really nice stuff happening in the cliff. (i also finally got to meet cindy chaffin, whom i've known for years online, in the flesh, and saw anne bothwell from kera's arts blog, who once interviewed me for a job at the dallas daily that i didn't get.)

dallas slam poet jason carney led off the card. i'll admit to having an extremely ambivalent attitude towards spoken word performance, possibly dating back to when i used to moonlight at borders and we couldn't play music in the music store during open mic poetry night, or perhaps to when stoogeaphilia used to play the "new" black dog tavern (r.i.p.) on nights when the slam poets did their thing, and we had to make sure not to talk too loud, or clink glasses while they were declaiming. i particularly liked it when a poet would get up and flow verse about writing and flowing verse -- sort of their equivalent of rock bands writing songs about playing in rock bands, i suppose.

there's nothing precious or self-aggrandizing about jason carney's performance, though. he's appeared on national tv (def poetry), but since i never watch tv, this was my first exposure to his work. he tells truths about all kinds of human relations, sometimes harsh, sometimes sweet, always honest. i fucking wept when i heard his poem "southern heritage," which is how, in my dotage, i respond to people who really get it right.

the evening, which liles billed as "black saturday," was in part to celebrate my friend josh alan friedman's finally finding a real publisher for his "autobiographical novel" black cracker, his account of his experiences as the only white kid in the last segregated school on lawn guyland in the '60s. i read it in manuscript back in 2008 and am delighted to see it rescued from the kindle ghetto. josh's tale is surrealistic in the same way that catch-22 is surrealistic, which is to say in the same way that only real life can be.

josh played a set of material drawn from his albums blacks and jews, the worst!, and famous and poor, showcasing his killer "atomic acoustic guitar" technique. i particularly dig the rhythmic guitar-slapping things he does that remind me of corey harris when i saw him at caravan of dreams but really go all the way back to charlie patton, but i also know his dark secret: underneath, he's really a lawn guyland rock guy; scratch down a couple of layers below his robert johnson and you'll find leslie west. (he encored with "you've got to hide your love away," which i initially mistook for eddie vedder from the men's latrine.) his version of "jeff's boogie" remains a fave, as does the nyc vignette "harlem time."

it was a pleasure seeing mark growden break the seal on dallas, in the company of some other folks (billy wilson, carl and tina pack) that used to see him when he played the wreck room, our late, lamented playground in ftw. never were a performer and a venue better suited for each other than mark and the kessler. the dallas folk might have heard his music played on kxt, but nothing could have prepared them for his live performance, which is sonically striking ("we have a marketing problem: i play banjo and accordion"), profoundly emotive, and undeniably sexy. (the pair of stylishly turned out older dallas ladies sitting in front of us cut out after mark sang leonard cohen's "i'm your man," i'm convinced because they were about to lose their shit.)

it was interesting to hear how the structure of mark's set has changed since he played three shows in the fort a couple of months back, but he still intermingles songs from the new album, saint judas -- including faves at mi casa "coyote" and "faith in my pocket" -- with others he'll be recording with his "banjo band" in tucson in a couple of weeks. the crowd ate it up, gazing at the performer in rapt amazement, even allowing themselves to be cajoled into singing along when mark went off-mic and stepped down from the stage to sing the climactic "the gates/take me to the water." i'll bet the place is packed when he comes back in six months.

kudos to liles, production manager paul quigg, and kessler developer edwin cabiniss for making this event happen. we woulda hung around afterward but it was starting to snow during the show, so we beat it back to the fort, where it actually stopped snowing just as we hit the city limits. sigh. a great night at the kessler, with many more to come...

westerberg on alex chilton

from the nyt.


electric jug! also like the way the guitarists both play with fingers vice picks.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

HIO: the animated series

yes! now we have our own, just like the archies and the jackson five. thanks to mr. horn. waiting for hembree and marcus to make their first appearances (in this little concert by the beach, i assume they're driving the truck). and the one where all of us have animal heads. full disclosure: the music was composed by terry. i don't play violin nearly as well as the character in the animation. and we don't have samisens...yet.

Friday, March 19, 2010

what we're doing on gallery night

click on the graphic to make it big.

buddy guy in "festival express"

3.18.2010, ftw

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3.17.2010, ftw

watched the stooges' rock and roll hall of fame induction on vid clip. thought billy joe sounded like a fool. my favorite moment during his speech came when iggy looked at rock action and spat on the floor of the waldorf astoria. not gonna lie, i cried when i heard what he, james, and rock had to say. when they played, they sounded tough and tight but i had to tune out when ig went down into the crowd. definitely the wrong room for them. watched the escaped maniacs dvd afterward for a palate cleanser. it's like my buddy geoff from philly says: the stooges _always_ win.

came home from work to a houseful of kids: two of mine, a son-in-law, and two grandkids. it was nice spending time with them on my big sis' last night in the fort. tomorrow my sweetie 'n' i will celebrate five years of marriage. i am grateful every day for my good fortune.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3.16.2010, ftw

my sweetie 'n' i took my big sis to see warhol: the last decade at the modern with laurie and rabbi frank.

quite an eye-opener, as i don't really think about andy slinging paint, and i didn't realize how productive he was toward the end of his life, exploring new media (although the collaborations with jean-michel basquiat mainly seemed self-indulgent, i dug the way certain motifs -- particularly the last supper -- recurred in several of the pieces). and the "urine and acrylic" pieces made me wonder who peed first, andy or andres serrano. some of his self-portraits were undeniably striking, as were the big rorshach-looking pieces where you could see actual brushstrokes. but nicholas nixon's photos of the brown sisters (his wife and her three sisters, shot annually from 1975 to 2007) were probably the most impactful thing i saw today.

ate at cafe modern beforehand, where chef dena peterson does magic in the kitchen, undercut a bit by the service (which, in fairness, may have been overwhelmed by the spring break crowd). then stopped at pho 95 in haltom city enroute to stoogeprac, where my big sis got to see what i was doing all those nights since i was 15, albeit with collaborators and material that i dug less than the ones i have now. opening instead of working midshift tomorrow, which hopefully means i'll get to spend more time with my kids/grandkids in the evening.

the italian kid in print

an excerpt from my pal anthony mariani's novel-in-progress, the book of etna, is included in no record press' the red anthology of hitherto unknown writers, volume 3. their website is less than helpful and even the amazon book page says fuck-all about the anthology's contents, but i read an early draft of etna several months ago and was muy impressed. folks who've only read ant'ny's scrawl in the fw weekly, village voice, an' like that are in for some surprises.

srb in 1991?

maybe fred sitting in with scots pirates?

the stooges _always_ win

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

a review i penned of the new gunslingers album manifesto zero is online now.

3.15.2010, ftw

i find it really disturbing when customers at work come up to me and say, "hi, i have cancer/diabetes/you-fill-in-the-blank and my doctor says i should do X, Y, or Z, but i don't want to do that. what do _you_ think i should do _instead_?"

yesterday was, near as we can figure, midnight's 13th birthday, and we gave him the best b-day party he's had since his "over-the-hill" party when he was two: his own plate of chicken (we had chicken korma with collard greens and mango), decorations hung at cat-level, a cm fruit tart with candles (he surprised us all by eating some of the custard after we picked the fruit off). he's still sleeping it off, five hours later.

going to see the warhol exhibit with laurie and the rabbi, then pho 95 and stooge prac in the evening.

rain on the roof: you'd think it'd make it _easier_ to go back to sleep.

Monday, March 15, 2010

pat macdonald

t. horn pulled my coat to this track. i was surprised/moritifed to discover it's the same guy from timbuk 3 of "the future's so bright..." fame, who my sweetie used to go see in iowa when they were still "pat macdonald and the essentials." uncle walt was right.

dalek (with an umlaut over the "a")

pronounced "dialect." mc dalek and producer oktopus. jon teague posted this on fb. pretty intriguing sound.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3.13.2010, ftw ADDENDUM

just remembering this: as much as i dislike irish music, i walked outside on one of my breaks yesterday and just as one of the bands that were playing on the patio for st. paddy's day (early) started their cover of richard thompson's "galway to graceland." it wasn't a particularly good version, but it still made me mist up. go fig.

bill hicks movie

another one i wanna see.

yells at eels and louis moholo-moholo in dallas

runaways movie

this looks like it's gonna be good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

3.13.2010, ftw

made me happy to see southside magic realist rob bosquez at the market today. he's got a performance 4.30 (one night only) by his teen troupe at the rose marine theater. gotta save the date.

mr. horn came over and helped my sweetie edit some sound samples for her presentation to the texas speech and hearing association, who'll hold their annual conference here on 3.25. it's really coming together nicely. wish i could find a way of being there when it goes down.

nizza pizza passed the audition. and yes, tuesday night _is_ dollar slice night. sounds good to me.

looking forward to hosting my big sis from new jersey tomorrow through thursday.

no one knows about persian cats

having read persepolis and heard acrassicauda, i'm now kinda stoked to view this doco about an iranian indie rock band. (some sound samples are here).

3.12.2010, ftw

bailed early from the big rawk show last night. this week at work kicked my ass. getting off early tonight to avoid o-t and we'll walk to nizza pizza on university to see what the fuss is about.

getting ready for my sister's arrival tomorrow. she'll be with us until thursday. scheduled an out-of-cycle stoogeprac for tuesday so she can get to hear the band. got her some me-thinks earplugs for the occasion last night. hoping we'll be able to get the kids and grandkids out while she's here. at least some of them.

can't place anything new with the fw weekly till late next month, but have a bunch of stuff coming (new jeff beck and hendrix cd's, small faces dvd) that i'll review for the i-94 bar.

working on hustling some HIO shows in austin and houston with austin band clear spot in between when terry and my sweetie get out of school (basically we've got a two-week window in mid-june). probably try and book something with tony, luis, and domingo at 1919 or the phoenix project, too.

will play the run of shows the stoogeband has booked, then probably call it down for the summer. talked to ben schultz from magnus last night about possibly doing something with them at sunshine bar, and we're not averse to doing something at doublewide or in oak cliff if the oppo presents itself. we'll see what happens to jon's sked when he and daron are up and running again as pinkish black.

this week i also got to reconnect (via skype, yet another way to waste time on the intarweb) with a cat who was my best friend in high school (we went to different ones together), emigrated to new zealand around the time i moved to texas, and is currently visiting his family on lawn guyland. a real nice surprise. he's playing guitar now. i know he'll be resistant, but i wanna see if i can get him to jam via the link.

sonny boy williamson

Friday, March 12, 2010

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

reviews i penned of patti smith's just kids and an oral history of the replacements are here.

ok, the allman brothers band...

thanks to frank cervantez for the link.

small faces dvd

out 3.30. hooray!

sci-fi raygun decal

jeez. this is almost enough to make me wish i still had a car. almost.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3.11.2010, ftw

burnt out from inventory. glad that only happens every six months.

saw mr. horn and his new six-string cigarbox guitar tonight. three sets of courses. i tuned the courses in unison, but of course you could use some other interval. action's high, but that's fine. played it with a slide, bow (sounds like hickey's got some rosin; must bum some), screwdriver, and shish kabob skewers. bet it'll sound huge plugged in.

been brainwashing myself with HIO recordings tonight after an abortive attempt to do a podcast (not feelin' it): 3.7.2010 kessler, 2.27.2010 lola's, 2.28.2010 kessler. terry and i agree that the first one is as close to our original intent for this band as anything we've recorded. i think the second is pretty badass too. those two, the 10.17.2009 and 12.27.2009 house sessions, and 12.19.2009 1919 hemphill are my favorite things we've done so far. terry and i are plotting another couple of recording sessions.

and oh, yeah -- i found the revenant albert ayler box set online for ridiculously cheap. hooray!

patti 'n' lenny @ st. marks for jim

bringing it all back home. thanks to farren for the link.

owl and the octopus

hear t. horn's sound art works in progress here.

the high numbers

behold the 'oo before they were the 'oo (well, after and before, actually). from the amazing journey dvd. i love that moon really does look like a little child, and townshend looks like a complete douchebag.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

complete HIO live @ the kessler 3.7.2010 audio online now!

it's here. (you gotta scroll down.) three cigarbox guitars, no waiting. and i got to scrape a li'l violin. my fifth grade strings teacher would be so proud.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

nizza pizza on university drive

dollar slices on tuesday?!?!? well, that's what cary blackwell and tim burt said. must investigate.

bluegrass from nagoya

those damn clever japanese. live at the armadillo, of course. thanks to katboy for the link.

h.b. o.c.

Monday, March 08, 2010

stoogeaphilia @ lola's 6th, 3.26.2010

ray's poster. click on it to make it big.

3.7.2010, oak cliff, dallas, ftw

HIO opted out of our early a.m. sunday recording sesh inside the vortex outside the modern due to rain. rode over to the o.c. with mr. horn and met up with hickey outside the kessler theater. dance class had just gotten finished when we rolled up, and they've got a stage in place now. we could see the aftermath of the past two nights' benefit jams for sandaga market jazz venue.

jeff liles shot video of us in the upstairs green room, in front of some mirrors with some hanging lamps. looked real v.u.-like. he wanted three-minute pieces, but we suck at controlling time, so he wound up shooting five snippets of four or five minutes' duration apiece, using both a static and a handheld camera. all three of us played cigarbox guitars, terry through his laptop, plus i sawed away at a violin and dropped my keys on a cbg.

my fave moment came when i was playing the violin and the contact mic fell off, so i started tapping on the mic with a screwdriver, then moved to the cbg. jeff's posted three clips so far, one a compilation of bits from different pieces, and terry has the raw footage from the static camera, edits from which will wind up on at some point. when we fell by jeff's apartment to watch vid and pick up a dvd, he made us smoothies from the contents of a couple of unused catering trays from the previous night's show. a top fella.

onward to the phoenix project through dense traffic (accidents in both directions on i-30 around downtown). we arrived late but jessica (my middle daughter's ex-roommate who runs the phoenix project) said they'd just gotten there too. changes in the phoenix since we were there last -- they've got a decent little heater inside, similar to the one at 1919 hemphill, so no more hobo fire outside.

the stage was different too, but terry still wound up wearing half of it on his pants. i got a copy of their zine ...from the ashes, which included a review i wrote of aaron gonzalez's age of disinformation and a history of the daagnim collective by his dad dennis gonzalez.

michael chamy showed up to augment us, as did terry's teacher friend who was going to play chess on camera while we performed. two out of four bands didn't make it, which meant that the other chess player was absent, so jessica volunteered to step in instead. we wound up playing twice, because there were sound issues at first which made terry inaudible, then hickey had to leave to "slop the hogs" before we played again.

so the "world tour" is now complete, including a couple of performances we hadn't planned initially that wound up being among the highlights. we definitely learned a few things about what works and what doesn't with this project that we'll be applying in the future.

home to steak sammitches, then off to lola's 6th with my sweetie for tommy atkins' wake. good to see so many good folks there together, albeit for the worst reason you can possibly imagine. overall, it was a pretty good day.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

HIO @ the kessler theater, 3.7.2010

thanks and big love to jeff liles for the vid and the cool spot to play.

ADDENDUM: there's another clip here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

yells at eels @ the kessler theater, tommy atkins benefit, 2.28.2010


An unreal haul at Doc's this evening: John Abercrombie's "Gateway," Charlie Haden's "Closeness" and "The Golden Number," Charlie and Hampton Hawes' "As Long As There's Music," Sam Rivers and Dave Holland's first duet album, and the first Beastie Boys album. Last week it was Eno's "Before and After Science," Shannon Jackson's first Decoding Society album "Eye On You," and Patto's "Roll 'Em Smoke 'Em Put Another Line Out." This is not the way to reduce one's credit card debt. But it's nice getting reacquainted with the music, and sharing it with my sweetie.

basement cat jr.'s first day of school

we've gotten an unreasonable amount of amusement from this idea.

new HIO remix

it's "the owl and octopus remix." it's terry's latest remix effort. it's at

rory gallagher

at stoogeprac, hurley and i always wind up talking about '70s rock spuzz like this guy. if i ever see a copy of his live in europe alb, best believe i'll buy it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

davey williams

alabama experimental guitarist. leave it to t. horn to discover such a creature.

new podcast episode up: so long, tommy


my scrawl in the fw weekly

goddamn i wish i hadn't had to write this. go easy, friend.

ADDENDUM: oh, duh. besides tommy atkins' obit, there are also reviews i penned of new cd's by saxman johnny butler and blakeyesque drummer tobias gebb. so there.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

3.3.2010, ftw

listening to hembree's audio and watching dre's dvd of HIO's stand at lola's 6th last weekend, there are several moments that made me laugh out loud: 1) tony's bombastic intro, followed by scraping/rumbling sounds; 2) hickey's singing greeting card; and 3) hembree's sliding-tube instrument. very pleased with the sound of the stripped-down lineup at lower volume.

this sunday, we plan to play three times: 1) recording inside the vortex outside the modern; 2) at the kessler theater for jeff liles' video camera; and 3) at the phoenix project with forest ward, chasing the muse, and violent squid. we hit at 2p so hickey can get back to weatherford in time to feed the animals. then back to ftw for tommy atkins' wake at lola's 6th.

looking forward to stooge prac tomorrow night, and hoping we can sked one for the tuesday that my sister's here from new joisey, in between inventory and sxsw. i'm riding the train to austin and hoping to connect with musos from this band (clear spot) that wants to book shows with HIO in austin and houston. shooting for the time between mid-may, when terry's school finishes, and late june, when my sweetie's does.

valleys of neptune

a new hendrix rekkid in 2010? hmmm. all studio recordings from '69.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

allegro non troppo - valse triste

it must have been 30 years since i saw this film, but i still remembered this sequence. very sweet and sad.

the worst song of all time

i hate this song more than any other. and why, pray tell, does numbnuts need a marshall?

happy berfday uncle lou

here's the song that got me back into music in '89.

3.2.2010, ftw

we like nice food, but when i'm by myself, i eat peanut butter sandwiches -- a vestige of my single life, when i used to read cookbooks while eating pbs's. don't miss that -- or the overflowing ashtrays. or the urine-reeking catbox in the bathroom.

2.28.2010, oak cliff ADDENDUM

paul quigg, the kessler theater's production manager and muso (decadent dub team, ex-nervebreakers/superman's girlfriend/vibrolux), said something i found hilarious. i'd remarked that the crowd at the benefit was a tough room, consisting as it largely did of musos either waiting for their slots or chillin' out in the aftermath. "yeah," he said. "a _real_ jury of your peers."

liles in the smu daily mustang?!

here's a well-written profile of my friend, former mayor of deep ellum and dallas observer scribe, cottonmouth tx/decadent dub team spoken word artist, filmmaker, dj, and now kessler theater talent buyer/mayor of oak cliff jeff liles, from the smu daily mustang, of all places. go fig.

daron beck & will kapinos - "i put a spell on you"

another gem from the tommy atkins benefit @ the kessler theater in oak cliff, 2.28.2010. if screamin' jay hawkins could hear this, it'd probably scare the shit out of him.

Monday, March 01, 2010

mo' black dotz from the kessler last night

mo' HIO audio online

matt hembree's recording of our 2.27.2010 stand at lola's 6th street is here. the full magnificence of katboy's HIO archive is here. big marcus is featured prominently (listen for the quotes from hindemith and wagner that he swears are in there a la uncle lou with metal machine music), as are hembree's better-recorded-and-mixed (thanks, dre!) small instruments.

sly stone documentary?

yes, please...

earworm o' the day

don't ask me why.

2.28.2010, oak cliff

HIO played the tommy atkins benefit at the kessler theater in oak cliff, two blocks from where i used to live when i first came to texas. kara howell from darktown strutters did an incredible job organizing this on three days' notice. gutterth productions donated their p.a. and michael briggs ran sound for the gig. carol gonzalez cooked a bunch of yummy vegetarian eats, and a local pizzeria donated some pies and gave kara a good deal on some more. folks were generous and the money's going to make a tough situation a little easier.

the theater's come a long way since my sweetie and i last visited about five months ago. jeff liles gave us the nickel tour when we arrived. the room sounds great already, although paul quigg said they still have a lot of treatments to add. the kitchen and bar remain to be finished, as do the restrooms, and the stage still needs to be built. no matter. people made it work. the whole evening was d.i.y.-ismo at its best.

only non-snazz aspect was that i'd forgotten oak cliff's dry; thirsty fort worth peeps were making lots of beer runs throughout the evening. kessler impresario edwin cabaniss said their liquor license just came through, so when the joint formally opens on 3.20 (josh alan friedman's black cracker book release party with mark growden), that won't be an issue. wfaa-tv was there and their coverage is here. briggs' photos of the event are here.

i caught up on a year's worth of hearing bands, and it was good to see a lot of folks i don't see often enough in an outpouring of support for a beloved cat who's now gone. i still wouldn't want to live anywhere but fort worth, but if i did, it'd be oak cliff. terry and i had to cut out before akkolyte and yells at eels played because t.'s got school to teach today, but wanz dover's new band the black dotz (with clay stinnett on drums), a cat from record hop doing a john lee hooker-esque blues thang, nervous curtains, naxat (one cat playing with pre-recorded backing tracks a la professional juice or nathan brown, putting me in mind of a guy i knew on lawn guyland back in '73), and darktown strutters made strong impressions. must hear more.

on this occasion, HIO was matt hembree on bass and small instruments, the invisible matt hickey on gopichand samples, terry horn on cigar box guitar, record player and laptop, billy wilson on theremin, and your humble chronicler o' events on guitar. hembree's recording of our set is here. dennis gonzalez said kind things about our set, and later, jesse hughey from the observer (who missed us but has been working his way through the box set like the good journo he is) said that he could tell we listen to each other, unlike a lot of experimental musos, which made me happy that he "got" it.