Wednesday, March 29, 2006
If you liked Devin Davis' Lonely People of the World, Unite! you'll dig Love Story in Blood Red. The commanalities don't end at a mutual love for British guitar pop. Devin employs LSiBR bandmates for his live shows and LSiBR guitarist, Kris Poulin, takes some engineering credit for Davis' opus. Kris is a damn good engineer in his own right so you can be sure that all of Love Story's recordings are crisp ear candy.
I know first hand the excellence of Mr. Poulin's studio handy work. He recorded THE LATEST's album. And when disclexington's Sunken Monastery Studio acquired an 8 track 1/2" reel machine, Kris came over, tinkered with it and showed us how to use it. Turns out he has the same machine in his studio. But you don't have to take our word, Kris has worked with many great bands including Bonnie Prince Billie, the Ponys and the Ancient Greeks.
A great studio band can sometimes be a frightful thing on stage but that is definitely not the case with LSiBR. These guys are solid live with masterful vocal harmonies reminiscent of another great Chicago Brit Pop foursome, the M's. Lead singer Jason Frederick can handle the ballad like he's Joe Jackson or rock it like Mr. Davies.
You can download LSiBR efforts (and I think you should) directly from the band site. Their excellent first album is download-able in its entirety via one big zip file, or individually in mp3 format.
Check them out Friday Night at the Gallery Caberet and come early because the support will be fantastic (and I'm not just saying that because I'm in the opener he he). churchbus starts things off playing four almost brand spanking new songs, followed by the all-girl powerhouse - the Spoken Four.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Pay your respects at his site which has several downloads and what else are you doing this afternoon?
Well Nikki, I hope you brought your guitar. I guess you're just gonna have to pick and wait.
*photo courtesy of Nikki's site. Nikki Sudden playing in Athens, Greece circa 2005
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Back when they were only just the Groceries, the now lethal BBtG may have had a few too many epithets thrown at them: post punk, indie, pop...whatever...they were always good and their singer can really belt 'em. I remember a darn good rendition of Purple Rain. I wonder if that is still on the set list?
Late notice, but they're playing tonight at South Union Arts Center - a fairly new and ultra-cool venue on the southside. SUAC is a converted 1880's church complete with a neon cross and a baptismal thingy. I'm going, are you?
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
As a bonus, Tricia Moreau Sweeney (my lovely wife) has nine prints on display in the adjacent gallery. This is work that recently appeared at Schopf Gallery. If you didn't get a chance to see it then, I highly encourage you to see both shows.
Monday, March 20, 2006
This is kind of cool - a feature about the Queens neighborhood where I spent my early childhood - from 1-8 yrs old. We had chinese tenants in the basement who made cheap jewelry and made the place smell nice. My best friends were pakistani and nordic. For some reason we were steered away from the "spanish." Sometimes it was because, we were told, they had lice.
The irish were all but gone from the 'hood when I came along. In fact us Sweeneys were the last of the bunch at least on our block,l Alstyne Avenue.
I sure heard a great mix of music growing up - the irish songs my grandparents always sang, my mother's german children songs, my father's Saturday morning italian opera belt-outs, the "spanish" music booming down the street, and the spooky rock & roll of the town "hoodlums" who my young aunt knew by name (and that always impressed me).
It ain't Archie Bunker's Queens no more.
P.S. The Flash bit is a quick look.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Track: Spray Coat
Comment: The Party Owls were the most memorable of Houston punk bands not only for their humorous communal shows and house parties but also because their members went on to do interesting things around Houston and beyond. Frontman Rob Rice left the band and the scene first for more verdant if not wetter frontiers in Seattle - he ran a record store there, hitting the town a few years before grunge took that scene to new heights. A few other members went on to form Sugar Shack which made it out of the urban sprawl of Harris County a few times, and had some recording success with the help of Tim Kerr and Estrus Records. JR Delgado went on to run the Axiom, founded in the same building as the second (or maybe third) location of the old Houston punk club, the Caberet Voltaire. The Axiom is still going today as the home of Infernal Bridegroom Productions although it is no longer managed by JR. JR did however have a soon to be legendary 50th Birthday Party over the last winter Holidays where many old Houston punk legends reunited.
I was first introduced to the Party Owls at one of their House Parties in the then creepy area of midtown Houston. I was all of 17 and eyes wide open at the freak fest in front of me. This song "Spray Coat" stuck with me. My band de Schmog covered it when we were honored to play a show with Sugar Shack at Fitzgerald's in the mid-90's.
This is part of a non-linear "Lexington Street" series of Track du Jours. JR Delgado was a long time resident of Lexington. He also worked at the Kinko's across the street (thank you JR!). The Party Owls was a major reason I got into this whole mess of playing shows and what not. They influenced many other Lexington Street musicians, including Johnathan Sage also of de Schmog as well as the Sprawl guys and others.
Thanks to Justin for providing a second Party Owls mp3 which may see it's way to this site down the road.
click below to listen (requires FLASH)...
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Oh and LP4, Texas Phsychedelic Monstrosity extraordinaire, has recently made available online their second album, for Free! Check it out.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Sadly, for me anyway, I won't be there this year - too many other trips on the near horizon. At least I get to enjoy an always terrific home cooked meal made by our belgian raised sister-in-law and pop that $60 bottle of irish whiskey I've been saving for the occasion.
Anyway if I was in Austin this weekend, I'd be sure to hit one of these New York Night Train events - one at the Peacock on Saturday and one at the Slinky Whistle Bait on Sunday. Lots of good bands, some good eats, and I believe both events are free.
I'd also run over to the Longbranch Inn on Friday and catch Cococoma early (7 PM) and Headache City later (9:15). You won't be seeing double - Lisa Roe, the Cococoma guitarist, drums for Headache City. She is the most rocking-est librarian you will ever meet and that's saying a lot because I've met quite a few rocking librarians. Mike Fitzpatrick plays the farfisa with Cococoma and guitar with Headache City. Check 'em out - see some Motown influenced Chicago garage rock, meet good people. Headache City also features Dave Head who played with the Motards in Austin back in the day.
I'll be stuffing myself, getting boozey and longing for blue bonnets and rock and roll.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
"the spinns can groove a rock beat so well that a couple of weeks ago they played a house party and people were so uncontrolably bouncing up and down that the floor support cross beams broke and the hardwood floor sank in. the floor boards didnt break but the whole floor was bouncing up and down like a trampolin, with the band in the middle getting lower and lower with every beat. Even then the crowd didnt stop and neither did the band (even though the girl who lived there kept trying to get people to step out of the living room, but as long as the music was going, it was an impossible task, even I stood there bouncing up and down thinking, this is awesome, the floor is bouncing, but didnt really think of getting the hell out of there before it went. But it didnt go! In the end the floor was separated from the walls by anywhere between 6' and a foot depending where you were, and that was along the edges, in the middle it was more.Anyways, I thought that was pretty amazing. "
*photo courtesy of Demon Beach Records
Friday, March 10, 2006
Neko Case, on the other hand, is timeless. I wish she could have played more than one song is my only regret (and that the sound was a tad reverb heavy). Her band last night (and for her tour) is made up almost entirely of Chicago players who gravitate towards the Hideout when they're in town. Some of them are accomplished frontmen on their own such as Kelly Hogan who is also a Hideout bartender. Neko's bassist is up at the Hideout every Tuesday with the exceptional "Asylum Street Spanker-esque" Devil in a Woodpile. Jason Creps actually lives in the same building as the Cashiola brothers whose latest project is being recorded at the Disclexington Sunken Monastery Studio. Such a small world. The only player I didn't recognize was Canadian Paul Rigby but let me tell you, that boy can play guitar!
The Hideout is one of my favorite Chicago live venues but I have a love/hate relationship with the place. It is home to many of the city's finest musicians and along with Fitzgerald's out in the western 'burbs it is home away from home for Bloodshot Records, one of Chicago's finest labels. But of late, the club has steered away from the hideout feel and seemingly is trying to go Big Time. The problem is it's a pretty small place and when crowded it is sucky especially in winter and especially post E2/Great White when the city is coming down a lot harder on capacity violations. The venue has also become insular catering almost exclusively to their little nest of musicians. I tried to book the excellent Australian rock-a-billy band Red Hot Pokerdots at the Hideout and they wouldn't hear of it even though two of their respected bartenders put in a good word for the band. Well enough criticism - an awful lot of good things keep crawling out of this scene so let's enjoy it while it lasts.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Track: Intro-Wages-Opposable Thumbs
Comment: This audio triptych is comprised of tracks from Sprawl's 1993 release The Man with the Yellow Hat. The album is representative of a transitional time in Sprawl's career. Dan Robinson, the original guitarist and a co-founder, left and was replaced by Joey Salinas. Dan's departure further snapped the band's academia roots (the four founding members met while attending Rice University). Simultaneously, Nick's burgeoning infatuation with digital recording found an outlet. Nick was one of the first musicians I knew to work with ProTools (this was back in '93 and I think he was using ProTools 1.0!). Throughout their playing career, Sprawl was met with "poser" criticism. You know, a bunch of upper middleclass white boys jumping on the Funk band wagon. Maybe, but Sprawl consistently demonstrated a love for the music and musicians they emulated. I lived across the street from the Sprawl House for a few years. I can attest to the diversity and depth of their music collections and their passion for various african american music forms. This triptych is unusual in that regard too; it features guest vocal tracks from Houston area soul singers and rap artists. At a time when Houston's rap scene was dominated by Rap-a-Lot and the Geto Boys, Sprawl's collaboration revealed to the suburban white youth a more intellectual (if you will) side to the Houston rap scene.
click below to listen (requires FLASH)...
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Yes, a message from Kathleen...
Hey all-If you don't watch TV, like me, thought I'd let you know in advance about a friends band who'll be on the Tonight Show.
Neko Case (music act - so i think they usually play towards end of show) NBC?s Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 9
Strangely not only is the band composed of friends, but largely folks I have either lived with or currently live with....is the water in our 100 yr old building responsible for this? I keep drinking it, but my ukelelee playing has yet to improve..?
Here's the Band:NEKO CASE (singer, guitars) http://www.nekocase.com/ http://www.thenewpornographers.com/
KELLY HOGAN (backup singing) currently plays with a million bands http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/artists/kellyhogan/
RACHEL FLOTARD (backup singing) currently plays in VISQUEEN http://www.visqueenonline.com/
JON RAUHOUSE (pedal steel, guitar, banjo, hawaiian guitar) has played with too many to list http://www.jonrauhouse.com/
PAUL RIGBY (guitars) plays with many bands up in CANADA http://theband.hiof.no/band_pictures/Paul_Rigby_150dpi.html
TOM V.RAY (Stand up bass) currently plays in DEVIL IN A WOODPILE http://www.devilinawoodpile.com/
JASON 'Sandy' CREPS (drums) currently plays in LOW SKIES http://www.lowskies.com/
I will be on the road w/ the above gang, in support of N.C.'s new CD 'Fox Confessor Brings The Flood', at the below clubs/cities
Maybe I'll see you there?--Yours-Kathleen:
WED 3/29 MINNEAPOLIS, MN @ FIRST AVENUE
THU 3/30 MILWAUKEE, WI @ PABST THEATER
FRI 3/31 CHICAGO, IL @ THE VIC
SAT 4/1 LANSING, MI @ THE TEMPLE CLUB
SUN 4/2 TORONTO, ON @ DANFORTH THEATRE
TUE 4/4 MONTREAL, ON @ LE TULIPE
WED 4/5 BOSTON, MA @ THE ROXY
THU 4/6 NEW YORK, NY @ WEBSTER HALL
FRI 4/7 NEW YORK, NY @ WEBSTER HALL
SAT 4/8 PHILADELPHIA, PA @ THE TROCODERO
SUN 4/9 WASHINGTON, DC @ 9:30 CLUB
TUE 4/11 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA @ SATELLITE BALLROOM
WED 4/12 CHAPEL HILL, NC @ CAT?S CRADLE
THU 4/13 CHAPEL HILL, NC @ CAT?S CRADLE
FRI 4/14 ATLANTA, GA @ VARIETY PLAYHOUSE
SAT 4/15 MEMPHIS, TN @ HI-TONE
MON 4/17 DALLAS, TX @ GRANADA THEATER
TUE 4/18 AUSTIN, TX @ LA ZONA ROSA
I first saw Neko Case in the goth-operatic setting of the Chicago Theater opening for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. She had a tiny band and looked small on that big stage in front of thousands of people. She wowed the crowd who obviously didn't know who she was. During a moody lull in one of her songs someone cried earnestly from the crowd "who are you?" Neko Case brother!
*photo courtesy of the West End Culture Centre - Winnepeg
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Devin Davis is that man and "Lonely People of the World, Unite!" is that album. Just listen to the first song from the album, the song Iron Woman and the very first verse:
Friday, March 03, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Artist: Stag Party
Comment: Stag Party recorded an EP and hoped to have it released on an indie label instead they released it for free to you and to me. It may not be the next big thing, but the EP is well worth a listen and you can download it from their site for Free! If you didn't see Stag Party live, check out this review from the Reader to see what you missed:
"I don't know how I didn't hear of these local drama kings sooner: in a little more than two years they've opened for Interpol, !!!, David Thomas & Two Pale Boys, and Gravy Train!!!!, and now they're headlining the Bottle on a Friday night. They've got the tense, careening go-go guitar and nasal, pissed-off vocals of PiL plus the histrionic creepiness of Nervous Gender, and they're glammy in a way that's halfway between Bryan Ferry and T. Rex. The song structures on their forthcoming debut EP are like unraveling story lines: the melancholy bass tiptoes around the guitar like a cartoon injun stalking a cowboy's timid horse, which gallops off in a panic and leaves a sparkling cloud of disco-scented dust. The schizoid vocals drift into and out of focus--sometimes in hot pursuit of the rest of the group, sometimes distant and detached--and the hi-hat-happy drums chop the whole picture into confetti. Usually when I do a lot of name-dropping to describe a band, it's because they're too boring and derivative to praise on their own terms--and these guys definitely have one foot in the trendy dance-punk camp. The other foot's the one that counts, though. Trust me--Stag Party's shameless affectation is breathtaking. --Liz Armstrong"
click below to listen (requires FLASH)...
- ► 2007 (31)
- Love Story in Blood Red
- Nikki Sudden dead at 49 beating his heroes to the ...
- Houston Indie Post Punk Purple Rain Band playing C...
- Wounded in America
- me olde neighborhood
- New Track du Jour - Party Owls
- a new twist on rock show flyers
- If I had my d'ruthers I'd be in Austin this weeken...
- Tuesday Night the Spinns: a message from Roberto
- The Hideout goes L.A.
- New Track du Jour: Sprawl
- a Message from Kathleen...
- Any musician who has stuck a toe in the chilling ...
- Hey Southsiderrrrs! Tomorrow Night ->
- New Track du Jour: Stag Party
- ▼ March (15)
- Broad Tosser
- Urban Djin
- Hotel Brotherhood
- the New Town Drunks
- THE LATEST
- Headache City
- the Ponys
- the M's
- the Camaro Rouge
- Galactic Inmate
- Hotel Brotherhood
- Turpentine Brothers
- Northern Liberties
- Cause For Applause
- Drums and Tuba
- Stag Party
- the Skull
- Bobby Conn
- Aspic Tines
- J.W. Americana
- the Ron Titter Band
- Texas Guinness Lovers
- Attic Ted
- Linus Pauling Quartet
- Fatal Flying Guilloteens
- Devin Davis
- Neko Case
- Love Story in Blood Red
- Bill Tucker
- Bright Men of Learning
- Golden Arm Trio
- Two Star Symphony
- S.S.Records (record label)
- My Mind's Eye Records (record store/Cleveland)
- New York Night Train (webzine and label)
- Hands Up Houston (shows and music forum)
- Goner Records Forum
- Houston Punk Archives
- Electrical Audio Studio Forum
- Keith Herzik (silk screen poster artist)
- Black Hole Press (T-shirt print shop)
- Kathleen Judge (silk screen poster artist)
- el Goodo Audio (ProTools Recording Studio/Chicago)
- Birdhouse Museum
- Robot Machine Gun