Monday, October 30, 2006

Nonalignment Pact: Music in 7 Days from 7 Writers

Ramon Medina has aligned seven folks who in one way or another contribute(d) to the Houston music scene. Houston may be the pivot point yet the group is scattered across many time zones. The goal is to produce one music review a day with each volunteer assigned a day of the week. I'm proud to be a part of this project and a little bit daunted by the task.

Even though I've been making music for almost twenty years, other than this blog I've never sought out a music writing endeavor. I had opportunities in Houston when de Schmog was at the top of its game. However I firmly believed that writing for the local music press while contributing to the local music scene was not appropriate. Besides back then you had the Public News which wasn't living up to its potential and then the Houston Press, a cookie-cutter paper that didn't even offer a good pay check to make up for its banality (there's no money in making music why should there be in writing about it?). I did do some writing for the Daily Cougar. It was tougher than I thought, back to being daunted.

Anyway I'm looking forward to it. The folks involved have eclectic tastes and offbeat personalities so something good should come of it. For my part I plan on focusing on the Midwest since that's where I'm at. I hope to have contributions from regional musicians and from my friends back home.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Garden of the Dead

A Message from the Mekong Smith Foundation:

You are invited to our Garden of the Dead Sunday October 22nd from 2 pm until after nightfalls. All are welcome to honor the dead in our garden during the reception, or bring/install a piece before the event. Some of the artists contributing are Al Scum, Kilian Sweeney, Tricia Moreau Sweeney, Lisa Yu, Carl Virgo, Jacob Smith and a lot of maybes. If you are a potential maybe, you may as well contribute at the time of the occasion. We hope you can make it and bread of the dead will be available to entice you to come. This event also coincides with the 18th street: Pilsen Open Studios event, see link for more information about that -

Looking forward to seeing you,
Jacob, Lisa and Paloma

Ps And if you want to spend the whole weekend in the south, stop by to see Church Bus play at Bernice's 3238 S. Halsted St 312-326-9460 at 10pm Saturday night.

S-s-s-southsiders! Saturday Night!

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's Friday the 13th Ya Spooks.

That means we're playing out in the cold tonight at the Underscene. Come out! Bring warm clothes.

In other news:

It snowed yesterday in Chicago. Ain't that something?

Kathleen Judge, once interviewed here, answers three questions from John Hospodka.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


churchbus rings in the new season Friday the 13th -11PM- at OVERLOOKED AT UNDERSCENE. We're on when the art's off...

Overlooked no more!

Come on down to the dripping, dusty layer of Chicago that is UNDERSCENE. Our boys from "This Will Be Our Last Song" are back to blow our minds Friday night, or stop by Saturday for an afternoon stroll.

2215 S. UNION (at Cermak Ave.) in Pilsen, Chicago.*
OPENING: Friday October 13, 7 to 11 p.m.
Saturday October 14, 2 to 6 p.m.

Participating artists:

Peter Buczynski
Heather Burkart (
Justin Goh
Kimberly Grove
Lunarburn Studios (
Katherine Perryman (
Reno (

*Located off Cermak near S. Halsted, under 90/94; free parking is available on the west side of building along Union; open studios and group show are on the 3rd floor.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Track du Jour

Artist: The Oilers
Track: Party Starter
Location: RBI Studio (Houston, TX)
Date: 10-03-2006
Comment: I was going through some unlabeled CD's tonight and I came across this forgotten Oilers track. The Oilers was a short lived project of mine with Johnathan (bass) and my brother Christian (drums) from de Schmog and also featuring Jeff Nunnally of Sprawl on keys and Brad "the Breeze" Moore on vocals. This song was a shout out to the Houston Inner Loop Night Life. It's got references to Club Safe Parking, the Lexington Scene and early morning migas, mmmmm. Now it is a shout out to the Breeze - here's to hoping his wrist heals fast. This is part of the non-linear Lexington Street Series. Oh and this isn't the actual song name. I can't remember what we called this song but the first line is "Let's get this party started early 'cause I have to work tomorrow."

click below to listen (requires FLASH)...
track du jour

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lots Going On This Weekend

Tonight I'll be at the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University 18 S. Michigan Ave. looking at Tricia's work. In conjunction with winning the ILNMWA grant, Tricia was given the capacious Three Questions treatment from John Hospodka in this week's Gapers Block. Check it out.

Tomorrow night (Friday the 6th) we're going up to Props Theater to see Brian Torrey Scott's Year part of the All-Things-Beckett Rhinoceros Theater Festival.

Saturday night I have the privilege of playing bass for Hotel Brotherhood for their last concert before the Cashiola brothers set sail for different shores. Ross is heading to Marfa, Texas to work for the Donald Judd Chinati Foundation. Joe is off for Hollywood, baby. I'll miss them guys - they are a great source of inspiration and creativity. The show at the Hideout with Low Skies will most certainly be a blast. Also playing keys with Hotel Brotherhood for this event, Jim Dorling of Town And Country.

Finally Sunday Graham Reynolds' Golden Arm Trio plays the Reversible Eye Gallery. I'm guessing that this show will start at 7 PM like most Eye events. Graham Reynolds recently scored the music for Richard Linklater's film A Scanner Darkly based on a book by Bladerunner author Philip K. Dick.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

JW Apple Jr. - he was my man

One of the great journalists of our time passed away today in Washington. Mr. J W Apple Jr. was a man who knew how to live. He was known for his political correspondence but in his later years, given a lot of leeway at the Times due to his superiority in almost every aspect of his profession, Johnny Apple wrote more and more about what he wanted to write about instead of what the headlines dictated -that's my man! That meant more (as the Times put it) "bourbon and bacon, potatoes and tomatoes, langoustines and mangosteens, barbecue and Bouillabaisse, New Orleans and New Zealand."

I can respect a man who keeps a personal pepper mill in his ready-go bag.

The New York Times obit is the one to read. The Times also has a tribute video on the frontpage of their site.

Good-bye Johnny.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tooting Tricia's Horn

My better half and best friend Tricia Moreau Sweeney just won the annual ILNMWA grant. Her work will be showing at the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University 18 S. Michigan Ave. There will be an Awards Ceremony and Silent Auction Thursday from 5-8 PM. Her work will be on view through December 1st. Tricia and Kathy Richland Pick were selected for this award amongst hundreds of applicants by the sole juror Karen Irvine, the curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

I can't tell you how proud I am of Tricia now and always. We traveled extensively this Summer taking hundreds of digital photographs across the Pacific Northwest. I have been sorting through these photos recently selecting the best. It is a difficult process and I find myself amazed by Tricia's eye time and time again.

Kathy Richland Pick was in the Masters program with Tricia at UIC. I saw her work there and found it to be exceptional. Both artists truly deserved this award.