Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gypsy Punk Rock!

If you missed Gogol Bordello, you missed the biggest party Austin had to offer this October. tsk tsk This has been the only show I've been to in a LONG time (I'm talking a looooooong time) where the entire crowd was "into" the show. Everyone was dancing, clapping, gypsy punk rocking, and having a great time. THESE are the best kinds of shows. (nothing more that I hate than people at shows being vegetables or talkative a-holes). My friend, Todd (seen below), was perfect example of what a great night of gypsy punk rock can do, pure enjoyment.
If you missed it, it was probably because Gogol Bordello was quickly sold out, and for good reason. Me, Gina, Sean and my awesome teammate Lucille Brawl all held fast to an "intense" crowd full of sweat and cheers. Sure people pushed by to get to the front, but just as many people pushed to get out for a breathe of air and we had a great time jumping around to the always entertaining Ukrainian Punk Rocker!
If only every show could be this entertaining.

My Gogol Gang (left)
Eugene Hütz (right)

Just another reason Emo's is one of my favorite venues; that same show at other "large" venues just wouldn't have been the same (who else would tolerate all the punk-asses and broken glasses?). :-)

Now for....NEW MUSIC
I recently happened upon some new music. Deidre and I ventured over to the Carousel Lounge saturday night to see local power pop trip, Basic. We rarely hit Carousel, but the place has awesome vibe, plus is BYOL (not that we needed that). Basic had the whole crowd dancing too, and even singing alongOpening was "Count Dracula and his Weed Smuggling Jam Engine"

(try saying that 3 times fast, or better yet try fitting that on your marquee or poster). I'd heard the name, but hadn't heard the sound, so we were pleasantly surprised to hear a group of talented musicians. Now, the singer, he was a bit on the awkward side (nothing wrong with that... Keep Austin Weird man), but his constant pacing made me a bit uncomfortable. If I were this guy, I'd be scared.....

Preston Dukes - guitarist/weed smuggler (right)
Ct. Dracula?? (left)

In addition to great jams, the innovative group had a live 8-track reel-to-reel running to record the show LIVE (ohhhh you know I love it already) and several video cameras running to record "surveillance" (as they called it). A very interesting group that I am looking forward to seeing again (and maybe again).
Are you going to FaFaFunfest? I don't know if I'm gonna shell out the money. *sigh*
more later.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WHOA horsey!

Jumpin gee willickers, I've seen TONS of good local (and touring) music the past few weeks. So, apologies for the long update. It's been a musical rollercoaster, and I just got off to puke. (I think I'll get back on it this weekend though - I'm a glutton for punk-ishment).

FIRST was Gito Gito Hustler, all girl Japanese Punk Rock. Really, you can't go wrong, right? Dg, Gina Pina and I scarfed down some eastside comida then hit the "love-n-roll". Some Hotrod Honeys met up to make the all-girl evening even cuter.

(photos by gina pina)

The Diagonals may be my new favorite local band; at least live. I know I know I know, I say that about EVERY band. (and yes, I've been told I have too many favorites... but suck it, these guys rock and are movin up my list). Equipped with two new members, and fresh off of my very own KOOP Benefit (and birthday party) the Diagonals have fined tuned their rock-i-ness and deliver it will smiles and soul. I highly suggest you check the next show out (or two or three). (not to mention, the somewhat passe "hey that's wiley wiggins - the dude from Dazed & Confused" reference - so ladies, if you want to bear his children apparently it's ok to come out and scream it to the world) No word yet on recordings or record releases, but the live shows seem to be "where it's at."

OK, now really, for reals, honestly, Horse +Donkey IS one of my favorite local bands. (what? shut up - I can have at least 3 favorites). I've seen them, hmmmm, 3 times in the past few weeks. My first show at new-ish local venue, Lamberts. I don't know if it was me, the stintch of BBQ, the obviously tired band or the overall "atmosphere", but it was not my best experience. None-the-less a great show, aurally, from H+D.

Then we see them close out the evening of a fundraising party at Rhizome Collective, which luckily is right near my house. A bottle of tequila and short bike ride later, I'm swept off into the musical bliss that only Horse+Donkey can provide. (like a drug, you should try it sometime... $5 a hit).
Lastly, to my pleasant surprise, H+D plays inside while I get ready for the Gypsy Punk Rock Party (that is gogol bordello) at Emo's. I notice that I've seen this guy (aka - Jason Callahan of 'i eat records') at quite a few Horse+Donkey shows lately. Word on "the street" is there is a Horse+Donkey LP (ahem, does that mean vinyl???) on the way?

be back soon with more info on .....Basic

Count Dracula & Some Weed Smuggling


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Music Week!

WOW - two major releases from two of my favorite bands this week, and they've been on heavy rotation. I am flooded with new music; it makes me sooooo happy. One's not local, but whatever..... First is the brand new album (3rd) from The Octopus Project, "Hello, Avalanche". Still true to their roots, The Octopus Project produces another instrumental masterpiece, mixing distorted guitar, frantic layerd drums, and of course the beloved Theremin. Yvonne has really mastered this ability (have you ever TRIED to play a theremin, it is NOT easy) and she shows off her award winning talent superbly. Fav track so far... hmmm... "Ghost Moves" but it could and probably will change many many times. You can pick up this new album from the local record shop, online at http://www.theoctopusproject.com/ or at their upcoming show at Emo's on November 16th.

Second is the brand new album (7th) from Radiohead, "In Rainbows". Instantly this album became popular due to it's unusual distribution method. "In Rainbows" at first will only be available online, and fans can "pay what they wish". They mean it too, you can download it from http://www.inrainbows.com/. When you order the album online it has a blank space to enter your price. You can pay $0 (except there IS a $1 credit card fee) or you can pay $10 (about what I ended up paying... 5.5 pounds?). Current controversy is fans being upset over the low quality of the digital downloads and cries of "promotional schemeing/lying". In my opinion, they didn't HAVE to pay for it and I don't know if I'd hear a difference in quality. You are listening to the music, right?!?! All promotional distribution antics aside though, this is ANOTHER stellar release from one of my long time favorite bands. It includes songs that I've heard from Live performances in the past (i.e. 'Big Ideas' which is now called "NUDE" and a verse short but still one of my faves). Plus they add new material that continues to keep Radiohead innovating above and beyond popular rock music. Fav track so far.... "Jigsaw Falling Into Place".

These two things have made an otherwise stressful crappy week bearable. Who is releasing new music next week???

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sonic Youth realizes they are not in tune!

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. The place was packed by the time Meat Puppets started. Most of the crowd was wondering why this band on stage covered Nirvana so much (haha idiots). Who was allowed to book a private party inside Stubb's during Sonic Youth rendering inside bathrooms off limits? There was a 50 person line for the Port-A-Johns (ew) and the Stubb's water coolers were emptied before the show started..tsk tsk. Gina tracked down an employee to make them refill them, though I never saw the likes of them as I rushed to get a good spot.

The stage front at Stubb's was a mixture of show-going chatty assholes and uber-fans, with the still heat sparing no one. I positioned myself near the front right speakers next to good friend/show mate, Doug (Austin Sound); perfect distance to somewhat see and record (shhhh). The dense crowd poured sweat and cheers, sure to not let the heat get them down. This guy in particular (see below) made my show experience more enjoyable, literally “rocking out” the entire time! Thanks dude. I much prefer the tall guy blocking my way but enjoying the show to the short dude behind me chatting the whole time about his new car/job/blahblahblah oblivious to the music he PAID to see.

How on earth does Thurston Moore still look like a teenager? (Whiskey Tango’s )

Where does Kim buy all of her sparkly tops? (Austinist)

And just how many guitar techs do 30 guitars require? (Austinist)

(my best picture of Thurston)

Sonic Youth rips out another amazing 80+ minute set, featuring gems from old and new (my personal fav being “Jams Run Free” and Sonic Youth STOPPING to TUNE before Bull In the Heather…. Gina said “Since when does Sonic Youth stop to tune???). Among the numerous “woooooos” (how did this become a native Texas show call???) I overhear hilarious conversations such as, “Who needs the Rolling Stones when we have Sonic Youth” (kudos brother), “Play some Skynard” (yea idiot, they’re going to skip “Incinerate” for fucking Free Bird), and of course my sister’s timeless “That left me Thurston for Moore”. (hahahaha you’re so punny gina pina)

How the hell does Thurston Moore still look like a teenager? (Austinist)

After a disappointing 2nd encore fake-out we venture inside for the “after party” with PEEL!

Elated to have Josh P. back from his PEEL absentee, we top the night off with our fav songs and a few new tunes from local darlings. A triple bill that kept me entertained from 8pm-1am, nice indeed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wall Of Sound

I can't believe we didn't blog about Wall Of Sound immediately after it happened (it's taken us this long to recover really). We had an incredible weekend. Danny, Deidre and I shacked up in a pimp hotel in Downtown Dallas Friday night drinking and eating Sal's Pizza! Then met up with Jennifer the next morning for a full day of music in the ball park.

The venue set-up seemed superb, with great parking, three stages, and drinks in the parking lot before the Lemurs begun our afternoon with a splendid set; sadly the last with Keyboardist Sean Conner. (you will be missed my friend).

Then a dreamy set by Austin locals, Tack's the Boy Disaster, who ironically we never catch locally. The main stage was set so perfectly so when one band finished on stage 1, stage 2 immediatley began to rock out.

Thanks to the Lemurs Dg, Jenn and I had supreme backstage access. We rocked out all afternoon with Ghosthustler, The Paper Chase (a personal fave), Black Tie Dynasty, and Brothers and Sisters.

A surprise audio gliche (or the supreme rockin twang of Brother Wills voice) unfortunately knocked the audio out for a songs lengthm but no sooner could we grab another beer then they had it back up and running.

Local vendor booths provided entertainment (and booze) for the masses and by mid-afternoon Dg and I were, well... (see below). :-) White Denim was a day favorite for me, as it was my FIRST time to see the Austin Trio. Engaging the whole crowd, and even inviting a audience member on-stage, the gents' rocked the crowd to it's core.

The evening ended oddly, and between audio mix-ups and delayed stage set-ups the three headliners, Ghostland Observatory, Midlake, and Explosions in the Sky were left with lethargic fans and shortened sets. Overall though the festival was a HUGE success. Kudos and hats off to Lance Yocom, orchestrator of the event. We hope you continue to bless Fort Worth with a Wall of Sound.
It was a long road home to Austin, but we're glad to be back in our own beautiful city. HOORAY AUSTIN!