Monday, March 01, 2010

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.


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