FBOOK EVENT PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1427669520805245/ I love you all
Escapes is going down this year. I am in full on rock promoter mode. i get up in the morning, smoke some herb, make breakfast, life weights, shower, and get involved deep in email land. its fun to talk to all these super cool ppl in awesome bands. theres other stuff too. I cant wait for this to go down in real life. Plz RSVP and help spread the word if you can.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
FBOOK EVENT PAGE:
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
This was a really fun bill to play, and I think a very interesting bill as well. It came together as 2 bills being mashed together, but i think if you look at it from an obtuse angle the common punk thread runs straight thru. I dont know how I am even defining punk for myself these days, other than to say seemingly arbitrarily. pretty much whatever i say is punk is punk, hahaha.
XXXPRSNXXX ("expressions") was from New Orleans. That makes them punk right there, practically. I had seen 2 of their members play in different bands, Dark Dark Dark and The Back Pockets, who I am getting confused with other good band from Atlanta (the other band im thinking of, im sure theyve played bills together). I think the lead singer painted my face during Escapes one year when she was with Back Pockets. Very battle hardened musicians, and they were doing some funky shit -- the guy from Dark Dark Dark was playing a pattern on a foot organ the same time he was playing i think electric banjo, and the drummer had a lot of pad things and electronic looping things he could do, but his style was mainly the thing that stood out --- kinda hard for me to put my finger on it, but he definitely had his own style, his own patterns and stuff. It kinda reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins, in terms of heaviness, or Trent Reznor, but very musical, a light touch at times. They had a bitchin smoke machine strobe light combo going and there were a lot of electronics. They were playing as a 3 piece most the set and then a guy joined them at the end with a moog like synthesizer, with a lot of non keyboard knobs, and maybe a patch bay.
All the first 3 bands got to set up during load in, across the venue, and then Party Girl played on the stage to close the night out. Party Plants played second and we set up behind the semi-portable L shaped bar, with the mics coming over the front of the bar. All the musicians stood basically in between that and the crux of where the stage met the wall, and then we set all the amps up on the stage, and boosted on these other speaker cabinets. I busted out my Sunn bass rig for this show, and both the guitar amps we used were of decent enough size for the space. Charlie was offset so that his drum kit could be heard without being obstructed by the audience from one side and by the band as well from the other side of the bar. We got a lot of nice compliments after the show.....it was our biggest crowd yet, and it felt like we naturally rose to the occasion, so thats a good feeling. Also we debuted 4 new songs, The Grey, Hipster Stew, Voyeur, and Who Forgot to Pay the Electric Bill, so that always makes the band feel a posi-nervous energy that I think is the kind of thing that is fun to translate to an audience.
It was my first time seeing Party Girl.....my buddy had played their record off his computer for me, and I knew a few of them from The Carrots and other bands. I danced the whole time....a lot of it reminded me of Gary Newman at times. I was expecting it to remind me of Blondie, I guess it did a little. Towards the end it wasnt really reminding me of anything, it was just fun. The lead guitar was painted so it was glow in the dark green. I like that song "Romeo" it got stuck in my head. It was cool to see Trotter rock the bass.
Horne + Holt was awesome to open the show, they were the ones who originally it was their show. Jonathan left his like ten thousand dollar amp set up on top of a cabinet about 1 foot wide and 6 feet tall, and i almost bumped into it during our set, i was like wtf is this even doing here still?!? he would have hated me forever if something had happened to that gear I know it ! I had seen the Horne + Holt duo before, but it had been a while.....Randall Holt is a cool musician straddling the line of punk and classical/experimental, and he also used electronics...I think what he was playing was a cello, I guess it might have been a stand up bass, but pretty sure it was a cello. I had a good angle on him for part of his set and he really has some serious bow precision, cool stuff.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Yo! We released our tape, the Party Plants EP. It was a rush getting it together, not in the sense that we rushed it, but we really set out to do a lot from the get-go and we were just in power mode getting it done with deadlines 'n stuff. superstitious about momentum with bands, superstitious about energy....we played our first show in September, and we put out a tape by January! Pretty good! Its a 4 track tape, we did tracking on 11 tracks, so we have a lot in the can already, we just need to have a couple fun overdub / mixing days. The plan is to record a few more songs that we already have written the 2nd half of March, when its kinda a dead time in town as far as taking shows, because everyone is hung over from sxsw still. We will prob be around 16 tracks total at that point and make an LP out of it, goody goody~~!! ....A lot of hard work and a sprinkling of stress, and i think it led to a great success! Special props to Courtney for helping us with the artwork, she knows graphic design, yall! It was engineered by none other than Paul Millar, base band tracking at Flabby Road and then with overdubs and mixing done at Paul's house aka Bug Sound. THE SHOW: The show itself was on an ice day at Beerland! It was freezing! Everyone was worried about driving, i think there were something like over 150 accidents that night. One of those classic cool beerland shows where its cold outside so everyone stays inside the club, mostly. The bill was set for Party Plants // Big Bill // Naked Pictures // Hamburger Kisses // Spiked Punch, and it ended up going down Party Plants // Big Bill // Hamburger Kisses // Naked Pictures // EMHU/S.P. solo. My solo set was fun, just me and a barstool and an acoustic guitar killing some time for the show to go on. I could hear my country bass voice come out a couple times, it was fun to do with monitors, what a feeling of crazy power! ha. Naked Pictures killed it, I didnt realize Lewis is mostly the singer in that band, he is also mostly the singer in Rattlesnake Milk which Chavez plays guitar on (whereas Chavez plays drums in Naked Pictures). Those guys just have an amazing creative output. I saw some video of Rattlesnake Milk from when they played in Lubbock, and man they really put on a show, that bar was feeling it. It was one of those shows that I have the minority opinion on are "good shows to play", that they some how help you long term. I like shows where , hey theres a date and a place and here are the bands and whatever happens happens. Hey it iced out that show, thats what happened. We prob would have had a huge crowd, but as it was it worked out....the ppl there are like our best friends thanks for playing yall!!! Hamburger Kisses I should mention is a new band from the guys who do the band Fellows. It was really awesome to get to play a show with them, it just sucked about the weather because I would have loved to get to play for their crowd some. Naked Pictures probably played best on the night...i know at least i wasnt drinking and to play at 1 AM after not drinking all night, lets just say I played a lot better 2 nights later when we played a show for Willard's birthday. -------------- In other news Spiked Punch - Chill out and Eat a Mango is seeing re-release in Argentina! There will be a bonus track on it, I cant wait to have one mailed to me and post pictures.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Waco Girls // Bottom Chef // Party Plants // The Cocker Spaniels // S T I C K E R S // Spiked Punch, 12/13/13
We played a truly great show tonight. Me and Chris Wigington played in 3 bands --- Spiked Punch, Party Plants, and Bottom Chef. I was asked to play during Bottom Chef earlier in the show, and I was also informed that it was going to be a secret Waco Girls show. The entire bill in that regard was Waco Girls // Bottom Chef // Party Plants // The Cocker Spaniels // S T I C K E R S // Spiked Punch. It was a pretty special show --- there were people there and the bands got paid. Im not sure why thats important to me in my old age, but fuck it, it is so it is. Hey we are doing good. Get paid is a relative term, once the bands split the money up, but at least something to offset our recording. Hey we gotta eat too! My ears are ringing right now and even though it was pretty loud all night, its from one moment (isnt it always) where I spilled Joey's cymbal over on the ground while wrecking his drum kit. I never would have done it except Shane Wood was there and i just had to act the fool for that guy. The night I got arrested I wrecked the drumkit and he was there so its kinda an inside joke between me and him. Joey for his part told me if I did that again he would punch me in the face, so I assured him I wouldnt and I was sorry and I wouldnt do it again, and I didnt.
Spiked Punch practiced yesterday for the first time in a month and Eddy wasnt there, so we played the show without having practiced with him. We played everything perfect. Writing out a setlist and not playing Buddy Cop movie probably had something to do with it, but there was the perfect amount of nervous energy or something, because we were like fucking note perfect the whole show. It helped having Ricky and Casey rocking out in the front row. Ricky stood right in front of me and i was like "oh." Its easier to play a show with someone right in front of you like that, its like youre playing to a whole room because you dont really think past that person, but also you are on full on 100% front row energy. That band really needs to record, hopefully in January. Its comical how good we are and what we are doing right now I think we hit a spot that says "what crack were these guys smoking? these guys are from the future" because I think we really did that, mfuckers! I want to tour with that band this summer really badly.
Party Plants is recording right now, so we unloaded a bunch of shit at the studio with Paul Millar (aka Slugbug) on 4th street. Its some dudes house and his dads, they have it tricked out to only be a studio. It smells like gas on the side of the house in a way thats disconcerting, but the control room and the live room are both sick as fuck. there is a room with all mirrors, Paul said for Reverb. Genius. We start recording tomorrow at 2 PMish. Paul has a beautiful 1" 16 track tape machine and today, to all of our joys, a part came in the mail that allowed us to solve this minor but still noteworthy flutter issue he was having.
So we dropped some shit off before the show(to circle back, this is why we were using Joey's drums the whole night.) After the show, I went back there, had a beer, and we fucked around to try and get the perfect drum sound until 4:30. It was sick. It would have been a good date for my crush, kinda dorky, but arent you supposed to try and impress chicks, whats more impressive to a chick that likes music than having a beer and getting the perfect drum sound with me and Paul? Its kinda cliche, thats what I hate about meeting someone -- anything you do seems cliche, like "oh this is something about me! wow its like my hobby but its really filled with meaning for me, isnt that great?!" im the guy that digs music, get it? dude, that shits not gonna cut it, you gotta get some better looking clothes and some stuff from Ikea before you fall behind the heard. such a psychological trap....anywho, Im looking forward to this recording session, the show tonight was a big show for us....ppl were gonna be there, it was somewhat on our draw, at least we put the show together, but just we needed to play a show where afterwards we could have a consensus that we played well going into this recording session. Especially because we have all been stressing a little bit -- its kinda cool, its a flashpoint, but I think we bit off something manageable and I think we are gonna pull it off, so thats how you do it.
so the rest of the show, i just wanted to blab about my shit, ha, thanks for reading this far, but I watched all the bands and everyone played really good. Stickers, all caps, all spaces, played their first show with a new drummer. he is still figuring out the songs but you wouldnt have guessed, you would have thought he was just playing real minimal. he has a good feel on the open high hat tension buildup. They are doing good, they just need to keep doing it. Thanks for playing with us!! Cockerspaniels killed it --- I have seen Alan like a lot lately playing with Big Bill, and his style in Cockerspaniels is pretty much the same, but it fits the music and the music is a different style. I dont know if those guys practice or if we are all juts getting old, but they were extremely tight. It was really good. Bottom Chef was a fucking wreck....I had no idea who was going to be in the band and it turned out to be Nick Hennies, Chris Smith, Chris Wigington, and me. I dont even know what we did but I talked a lot of shit into the muc for fun at the beginning of the set and tried to make Shane laugh. I think I got some fake laughter from the back of the room from one of my bandmates or something. We played "Makeout party" and "Style Points" (which is really a Coach song) and "Wah Wah" (the lyrics to the whole show were Wah Wah), and then i think that was it, and then the Waco Girls came on stage and kicked us off and those guys did a set. It was really noisey but at least they didnt break the PA this time!! Ha! There was a part where I was leaning on a monitor and I looked at Nick and groaned because I was gonna miss him and it was that time of the show where you think about how youre gonna miss your friend whose been a part of your life for like a while. But he is such a good musician that that moment was mercifully short, I let him know after the show. There was definitely a war whoop coming out of the stage at different points of the night. Anyways the whole show was just great, its the first time ive actually felt like i accomplished something tangible by putting a show together in a while.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
so these arent really ordered at all, other than to say that Cyclops Reap was my favorite record of the year. Heres the other 5.
6. The Growlers / The Coathangers live. I saw these 2 shows pretty close to each other, like 2 weeks apart. The Growlers were headlining a Burger Records tour. This was just the year of west coast music for me I guess. Ive kinda been feeling the tide bring me in that direction for like 2 years, after being a lot into East Coast bands. I still think that shit is cool....Guerilla Toss, etcetc i wont even attempt to name bands, but the DIY circuit over there is probably the most alive and well of anywhere as far as being a circuit. From Toronto and Montreal and Chicago to New York and down the east coast. The Growlers really got the crowd into it. Their music is hypnotic, but it seemed they were also trying to hypnotize the crowd. It was their last show of tour and they said something from stage about wanting to hang out, but I had to dance with the one that brought me. Oh it was pouring rain. Joey gave me an extra ticket. It was really fun going out with him, it reminded me of being on tour some. I like not being the lead guy, like just walking. He is a credible dude as far as having a beard and misfits tattoo as far as if I'm walking in a group with him I feel impervious against random attack or muggings. Im sure some Zetas could take us down, but I try and stay away from anywhere that might happen. Anyways, they were sick. I saw The Coathangers later, which I wrote about at the time (fairly recently). I suspect someone in the Growlers and someone in the Coathangers are in love, but its a pretty vague hunch. They have a lot of photos online where they are wearing eachothers shirts and the person wearing the shirt always looks like they are shrugging like "i know its crazy right, we fell in love with each other". --but im probably reading into something thats not there. Yeah The Coathangers were good in a way that made me want to root for them. They used to be a 4 piece and now they are a 3 piece. They still sounded tight to me making the adjustment on some songs, like as in instrumentalists were having to work too hard, but they just have this survivor aura, and the sound was mellowing out on some songs already for sure, like "aahh, thats it". One track that sounded like the Delta 5 I would say that was true of. I think the 4th chick from that band might have felt like she was the worst musician out of the bunch (<---total speculation) but even tho she was the ditziest one, she was probably super smart. I heard she got married, so good for her. Maybe the "smart" move. Its weird what makes bands tick or what makes bands good. Personality combos that sparkle together. I do reserve the right to say something negative about this bands early career if i ever get drunk enough to be so tactless and unpromoterly, but i guess if you believe in yourself that you should just stick to it, then finding out what you turn into becomes its own reward, which is kinda the same no matter who you are. At the end of the day, the exasperated crush proclaimed "the craziest thing about these chicks is, you might not guess it, but they are like the most solid dudes ever."
7. Spray Paint, the band. -- This band is really writing the book of underground rock history and I completely admire them. They just have always been so into it and now they really know what they are doing. You can tell from what they are doing --- get back from tour do a show at beerland, do another beerland show 2 weeks later, then 4 weeks later play the biggest local show of the summer at hotel vegas, totally off their own draw, then go on tour, record at the right time, and then also they have written a shit ton of music, because they released 2 full LPs on Vinyl this year. Stoke the flames on a steady drumbeat of press. I mean this shit is old shit for them by now, all they have done is throw rock shows since they were at least in college and there have always been people who go to their shows consistently at least since the Tuxedo Killers were on the cover of the Chronicle with bags over their heads, which was like 10 years ago practically. In terms of how to promote your own band, when you should take a show and when you should put your own bill together, I feel like I just try and copy these guys. Their band really nails it on 1) having a good concept for what sound they are going for, 2) writing insanely good music, 3) doing their own promotional scheme and 4) hustling hard. I wish these guys continued success. Hope I dont bug you too much fellas!! I act like an idiot around this band because they get me so pumped up it makes me feel super familiar, but I try to notice that about myself and act somewhat cool.
8. The SXSW party at Julian's parents house -- This show was megalooney and the only show i did over sxsw this year, on account of the "I have to work to save up money so i can be a musician" stage of musician-logic. This show was retarded and went from about 9 PM - 4:15 AM. The show was still going there were like 15 guests left who needed to pass out and everyone was in a state of half passing out. Bubbly Mommy Gun played last. This was supposed to be a day show, so it basically started 9 hours late, and it was cancelled for part of the day and then "back on". At that point it was being run on maybe the tiniest margin of error that I have ever run a show on, which I kinda decided half way thru was gonna be the point, or at least it turned out that way. I basically ran it by being able to anticipate the scene -- when Julian's parents were gonna cut us off from doing something, when the neighbors were gonna come by and yell at us, bands acting a certain way. Its not that hard if youve done it a million times ---its more like being at a dinner party at my grandparents how I know that its time my grandmother comes over and tells everyone they have to get seconds -- It was really fun for me. The level of talent was thru the roof, and running that back to back made everyone feel comfortable. At first it seemed like people didnt know what was going on like they were at a sham party at a sham house. Was it safe here? Is this a Scarface mansion? I actually heard 2 separate references to Scarface. Then it kinda turned into a covered atmosphere, like a professional atmosphere, like the room seemed non-nefarious but clear and empty for bullshitting, but i didnt really hear anyone bullshitting -- basically people were just tired from the whole week and were resting up. And it just happened that there was this crazy show going on. Some guy did a cannonball from the hottub to the pool and it had the potential energy of shattering a pane of glass. Im looking forward to the reprise this year, its kinda gonna be a secret, but I think it will be a more fun vibe from the beginning because we will have some return guests who get the drill better.
9. Rooommates -- my roommates were a big part of my life this year. I got to live with Julian, Paloma, Shelby, Melissa, Cole, Peter, and Colin. The changing of roommates has been one major way I mark time-periods in my life. I have fond memories of them all, and I learned a shit ton from all of them, mainly just to hear their different perspectives. In addition, some of these folks made it into the vaunted category of "someone who was there for me at a time when i needed it" and thats something that's going on their permanent records, at least in my book!!
10. Death of Lou Reed -- Lou Reed died close to my birthday. I spent a lot of time with his music right after that, and did a lot of reflection. I ventured into Tai Chi Intro videos on Youtube. I listened to a lot of velvet underground off Youtube that I had never heard before, different concerts etc. Not much I could say about this as sucinct as some of the stuff I read or that Lou Reed contributed, but I recommend everyone check out his life's work.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Party Plants had the rare and distinct honor of playing at the bequest of the Basketball Shorts Krampus Party at Susan's house last night. The party vibe was really good, they hung a pentagram from the roof and all these streamers were coming down too. Very festive. There was like a smashed Santa. A sweet fire going on in the backyard. It was a lot of old friends, and I was psyched to get to play for them. Basketball Shorts wrote 2 or 3 songs just for Krampus, my favorite was Krampus II.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
1. White Fence - Cyclops Reap
I think this is the best record that came out last year, at least that I heard. I didnt hear that many records, but whatever, this one stands up to any record ive ever heard so i guess its good enough!! I like that this record is beautiful, like it sounds beautiful. It reminds me of the Rolling Stones, whatever their first show with Mick Taylor was where he is playing like really ornate frilly lines, kinda regal. I like all the different types of effects and how there is different ideas on each song -- like this ones the Silver Apples one, this ones the MBV one, obviously some Syd Barrett in there, etc. I like the chords, its like basically 5 chords, E A D G B, minors, kinda like the Black Lips, but way more complicated/less obvious. Also the drummers playing are really good, i think there might be 2 different drummers depending on the track, might want to check.
2. Youthbitch Live - 2013 was the year Youthbitch made it down to play Texas for the first time. They had 2 releases last year (2012), a tape, and then an LP on Dirtnap. I bought the LP but left it their van on accident :(. These guys are classic, they are super fun. The main guy reminds me I wanna say of John Spenser Blues Explosion in a fun showmanship way. The lead guitarist reminds me of Flea. The singer (bassist) reminds me of my friend Paloma, like a dude version, and the drummer reminds me of the drummer from the Oh Sees. I think they are all originally from different places, like Idaho and Ohio, maybe one guy from California and they met in Portland where they all went to try and do a band. I like that they have 2 guitarists who can really play the shit out of a guitar and compliment each other nicely in a couple styles -- they can both shred at lead guitar as well. They couldn't play "Cool California" which was on their tape because they had a new drummer and he didnt know those old songs. There is good video of them I posted a while back playing "House of Prebon" if you wanna youtube that, I think its with the old drummer.
3. Pau Wau Summer Boat Party - I played the boat party playing guitar as a member of Bill Baird's band/ensemble. On the bill were Living Grateful, us, Cartright at the very end, Chris Catelina, and pardon me, i forget, there may have been one more band. Gotta stop a sec and give it up to Nick Cornetti who put the whole thing together. I feel like that guys only real reward on the show is that the show exists, and that is truly altruistic. After the rental of the boat ('spensive), paying the bands, kegs , etc , the show is basically geared to where its obviously impossible to make money, bets case scenario is breaking even and worse case scenario i would say is you fuck something up and it ends up being really expensive for you, and yet I think the general misconception is that someone would do that because they were trying to make money, when really the only reason is they wanted to make someone incredibly sweet happen. Those guys werent pussying out about the fact that the way to do that would be to do a shit ton of work and a bunch of organizing and putting your ass on the line. Cartright almost didnt get to play also, his band would have been the first one to get cut if things hadnt gone on time enough. He played drums in Bill's band and it was really fun to practice and play with him. I felt a little bad, because we disappeared to get tacos during practice the morning of the show and he was on a schedule, but it all worked out. Or the story was something like that. Was Sam Sanford involved? I think taco window was closed so we had to go the other Taco Window and it was like 2:50 and they close at 3, its not really important. What is important is that it was the most fun I had all summer, and the time i got to have special memories with some of my friends, the kind where you look back at life and if you dont have any of those memories you just feel like shit, like you wasted your life. So thx Nick. Also it may have been Living Grateful's first show, or one of their first ones ... I remember telling Greg "you got me all pumped up" and I jumped off the high dive a few times, it was really fun. Those guys are really good, even if one of their songs does go "stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again," I love the slow quarter notes the drummer can do, hes got a great hand, and having Gina who I met on that boat party on bass is really good. I like Catelina going with the Fear and Loathing look, he seems to be enjoying it. The piano man. Greg and Ryan its cool to see how those guys sticked together, they are kinda like the survivors, the dudes who are left in a way (really everyone is still left in that band, I just think its cool they have a longtime musical bond and you can tell by the way they play together it just conveys joy and fun and other cool shit that i associate with those guys's vibe.)
4. Shooting BB Guns at the Owl during E.A.S.T -- The Owl was a funny place to be in 2013. I wonder what the vibe there will do coming up. Red is a hilarious host. I hope that place still goes strong. Red posted online that there would be free margaritas for E.A.S.T. Sunday the first week that E.A.S.T was going on (when the weather was good). Whats with everything in town having to be 2 weekends in a row, huh? Anyways, that was an aside, the I think i smoked some weed and cleaned up my house in the morning and headed over there around 2:30 or 3. I forget if anyone was even there yet, i just started loitering and meeting whoever was there, since I just biked down by myself. I had a really awesome day at EAST the day before...I stumbled into it, i was just on Caesar Chavez at 9 AM on a Saturday to get my fucking car door fixed :) :). I should start a top 10 hassles of 2013 list, that would be on there. Anyways, there were indeed free margaritas. This was right after I got out of jail for a PI on my birthday and it was my first time going back out and having fun, because you gotta get back up when life kicks you down, am i not right? Just Im gonna try to hold myself a little closer to a standard of common sense, i guess. Builds character, as my cousin said. We played some poker for no money and got into some really "all in" hands, it was a cool way to meet some strangers, and then we ended up shooting a BB gun at cans on the wall. It was really awesome, every time we made a shot we felt so manly (there were a bunch of chicks setting up for a show while we were doing this). Just goofy, dorky fun.
5. The Memories - Love Is the Law - The Memories are still all young dudes, and they play clean lines like they are carving up a wave. hahaaa. Put that to copy. I like their style, I think this band might hit a slump, but they might not, ive been wrong on that before. Sometimes I have thought a band was in a slump at a time and it turned out they were making cool shit all along, i just didnt get what was happening at the time because my ear heard their logical progression as something different or something, so I didnt get their music? Whatever, not important. I like these guys perspective, like they are perched in a tree overlooking a canyon. If I were to guess, I think the Memories came about as like a conception in opposition to White Fang, like it was softer, but just as West Coast, but also going for a specific wanderlust of love emotion. Sometimes bands that are made up in opposition like that, its like, well what are you gonna do for the next album (they have a few releases as The Memories already, but only one LP, I believe), like what direction does the music have to take? Or that it changes sound more slowly, I guess is another way to put it, especially if you are younger. And those guys are doing a lot of touring, I believe. Its hard to say as an outsider really, but I really liked this record alot as evidenced by the fact that I listened to the shit out of it.
stay tuned for part 2!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
yo. so I put on a show tonight at Beerland. The bill was Polio Club // Ruby Fray // Spiked Punch // Party Plants // David Israel and the Israelites. It was really enjoyable for me. It was a lot of work to put it together, but it was just nice. all the door went to the bands, all the bands were good (5 good bands in a row), I had fun playing in both bands I played in. A bunch of people watched Party Plants. I dont mean to sound cocky, but i feel like people are catching on.
I hadnt seen Emily Beanblossom since we played with her band Christmas 2 years ago. Joey Reyes and 2 of the guys from Ghetto Ghouls were in her band Ruby Fray and they really kicked ass. Shes talented, but also shes really gotten a band together too. David Israel is playing with the pedal steel guitar player from John Wesley Coleman and you can tell that guy is getting better from playing a bunch of pedal steel in good bands. Thats the best way to get better, is to have your bands be putting a lot of energy into their bands in a way where you are able to just lay back and play, <---personal opinion. A shit ton of people had to work tomorrow, but I didnt have to, so I got to see Polio Club. They played their set in backwards order, it was cool. The show basically went until 2 AM real time, not bar time. I think this guy was supposed to record us off the board, but it never happened. But hopefully next time!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
So I went to see the Coathangers and Guitar Wolf. Lately Ive been asking myself "hey wheres the passion?" Ive kinda had this feeling that I know it was in there somewhere, but I didnt really know what the deal was it seemed like it had been a while since Ive seen it. Well, I'll tell you, after hanging out with Youthbitch, I kinda realized that it was OK to get all excited about certain things, like when youve been listening to a band for a year and you think they are awesome and then they are spending the night on your floor! sick!! it feels nice to feel good in a way where its like the new day actually brought something that expresses the vastness of life rather than the same old same old.
So yeah, I didnt even know there was a Coathangers show today until this morning I saw it online they posted something that they were playing with Guitar Wolf who Chris had mentioned the night before he was thinking about hitting up but he didnt say anything the Coathangers playing. I got really psyched. Also, after seeing the Growlers I had a really good recording session, but today I think was pretty much crap (I donno ill have to go back and check) and so I wanted to go out and see a really good band in case that magically helped me record better the next day from being closer to the pumped up energy. But yeah, seeing The Coathangers imagine like this new version of me is psyched to take the trip and see an awesome band and that part of me wants to turn every time i see an awesome band into people crashing on my couch, but then sub in really hot girls for the band, and that kinda changes how it goes. I definitely wanted to hold on til the end of the night and find my way back to my buddy's house where they are crashing, but something in me felt like it was a bit dicey. Or dicey is not the words, but it didnt seem like a probable thing that would probably happen where my life was different than the same old same old in that particular way on that night. It seemed like it was plausible but might be a little bit of a stretch. Which leads me to the question Im still not able to answer, which was if the only thing that kept it from being a reality was my own skiddishness. I knew the baseline was I would see a kickass show and try and talk to them or something. Chris ended up not making it to the show, so I was there by myself, so my loitering skills were left a pretty thin margin of error. There were some cool dudes there and they were so nice to me like bringing me into conversation and stuff, but eventually the topic turned to shows and booking and shit and I fear I started to sound like a ponce. Its really hard to sound cool around girls sometimes, especially ones that get lots of attention. During their set some dude brought them beers or like reached out his hand or something and then like involentarily kissed it in a weird dog slobbery kind of way. The whole thing was like slow motion trainwreck style. So then you are trying to go talk to a girl after seeing some other dude do this shit which you know happens to them every night and it just seems like a minefield, you know, like love is a battlefield, because the enemy is within all of us in that way as far as brain short circuiting, and it seems like to get anywhere I would have to pitch like the equivelant for me of 9 shutout innings (improbible). I think there is this weird thing left over from childhood, awkwardness about being like the 4th person walk up to a group of kids and say like "hey can I play?" But yeah while talking with these cool dudes, if I hadnt started talking like a ponce, which is to say talking about boring shit like what my bands are doing and how great everything is, they would have probably kept just talking to me forever and that is a major cool guy attribute, and had i been able to do that I probably would have gotten a chance to talk to the girl in the band i wanted to talk to in a natural conversational way, not in a dog slobbery way, but too bad i fucked up / pussed out and left. But it was still a kickass show, and I found out they are dropping a record in March so Ill bet theres a good chance they are back to promote it. And furthermore talking with those dudes now we might end up playing a show with them who knows, so it would be cool to play with some cool guys, id definitely love to set that show up so it wasnt all for naught i guess.
One song they played during their set I saw online afterwards called Trailorpark Boneyard. I was watching it on the internet after the show and I heard the lyrics and they made me really made me sad. Great song, i like wanderlusty type stuff, and like driving thru the desert rock, and the low chord comes at a really good time. I think the second verse is really sad. And Im trying to figure out, is the 3rd verse, like she comes back thru a town and then some guy she was with last time wants to get with her but then her reality has become like rejecting all these dudes from different places, so now shes trapped in this cycle where theres always these dudes with like hurt feelings because theyre not gonna get laid again and people are always getting mad at her when she hasnt done anything thats her fault? Maybe that would be a good question to ask her, if I get a chance.
Oh Sike, i get it, its really about she went back to try and get with this one particular dude, but the relationship didnt work out, and its about the dichotomy of how she cant be with someone while living nomadically, but that you go back and it doesnt necessarily work out. So its kinda frustrated in that way I guess, but I think its cool that she's still searching for the true love, thats a very idealistic thing to do. Solid!
EDIT: actually after listening again, i have no fuckin clue what its about but im pretty sure my theories make no sense. And if i get a chance to talk to her im gonna ask her how tall she is and if she played basketball.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Im in the shed yall. I got my 8 track set up in the house for a while while one of my roommates is out of town and all 3 bands are gigging and practicing. My 2 weeks are done over at JJs although I can still pick up shifts there. After my last shift (wednesday 2 pm) i went home and then Friday night I came out of my house to go to a band practice only to realize I still had one of the carr toppers on my truck. ha. Ive been demoing new Spiked Punch and a lot of things are coming out of the process which is cool. I am working on my drumming mechanics on a drum pad currently, which is really something that came out of RXR practice. Different stuff is coming out of different practices, I feel like I have the luxury of concentrating on different techniques than how I previously thought about music. Playing bass in Party Plants and having no responsibilities in that band has been super awesome. I love playing Graham's songs and I love being in a rhythm section with Charlie. I usually think about keeping the song going in that band, which is I think a key to making music sound good. With drumming if I drum a 4 bar loop I am really concentrating on the last bar, and not having it slow down or speed up. Being able to do that 4 times is ok, or 20 times is better, but eventually you have to be able to do it for a whole song, every song. Ive been practicing slow quarter notes because I want to get that more precise and in my head after watching the drummer from Chris Catalina pull that off to great effect this summer. The tempos on the demos so far are a little all over the place....maybe just for a mesaure or two, but its definitely making progress. That's the other thing I'm secretly hoping comes off all the drum practice....that for instance no matter what instrument i track first, that it is in tempo the whole way thru without me needing to have a metronome playing along. I think its just about getting that internal clock built up. I think drum pad stuff is going to prove to be more of a morning/(sober) thing. NEXT SHOW ---- REVERSE X RAYS PLAYS AT JOEYS HOUSE WITH SLUGBUG + POLIO CLUB -- KICK OFF HALLOWEEN RIGHT, Fri Oct 25th. Then Party Plants and Spiked Punch are playing with Polio Club, David Israel, and Ruby Frey @ Beerland Wednesday November 13th.
I saw the Growlers at The Parish which was a mind-numbingly awesome show. They are on my list of top bands in america right now. I am getting really into this idea of hybrid-style as far as being a style for your band. Kinda like how people are "its the first blend of hip-hop and opera....hits a hip hopera!" I am all about the idea of trying to combine things, but I think they have a really interesting synthesis. I liked watching all of them, but maybe its cause I play bass a lot lately, i felt at most home watching the bassist (when not watching the front man, who was great). Cant wait to see those guys again. The Burger opening lineup, sad to say I didnt catch all of it, we waited for a break in the rain before heading over. I am excited about the Halloween show at Hotel Vegas, Im gonna get there super early I guess. I think that is their "A" lineup (that will play Haloween) and they were promoting their "B" (or "fakey style") lineup having them open for the Growlers. Those guys are incredible promoters, i think the way they have stuff organized shows they really care, or maybe they are geniuses. I donno. I think it stems back to the emotion of your formative period where you just really really love music, so bad that it hurts, and that is the origin of all musical expression that people make later in life. Its not the worst thing to be bound to.
Check out the Spiked Punch facebook page if you dare, we are trying to upgrade it some.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I had a near breakdown today. My boss let me out of delivering sandwiches on my bicycle a couple hours early, and I chilled at my parents house, actually went grocery shopping (been outta food for days, spent a lot on eating out without really enjoying it), got some goddamn glue traps for this fucking huge rat that is in our house and watched the UT football team actually win a game, which really made me feel better, as stupid as that is. Take that K State! I also strategically placed a shit load of Baking Soda Packets around the house and it has started absorbing the rat smell nicely.
Yeah, so there was some shit going on making me feel bad. Also making me feel bad was that Zorch opened the Flaming Lips Gallery in Oklahoma City and I didn't get to go or be in the band. Waah. It really does feel beneath me in a way that I know is cyclical thinking along the lines of "I'm the best musician in the world, nobody appreciates me! Why does this guy get it when I don't get it when Im the best guy in the world?!?" What do you call that, letting the narcissist angle run wild? Fact is Zorch knows what they are doing and they have been doing it hardcore for 4 years. They were promoting their shit the whole time and they opened a warehouse space, so they can actually offer something of value to other people. And they do it with love......not only would it be worth it to concoct this entire scheme on face value just from a musicians standpoint if that meant that you got to do the shit you wanted to do with your music, but also running a venue is kinda sweet and leads to some sweet times, so I could see how an artist could draw from that experience as well.
it is annoying to me to wake up one day, after being really hardheaded in a way about keeping myself separate from those thought trains about promoting music in the name of artistic purity / absolutely essential punky dropout philosophy to wake up one day and realize that I explicitly hadn't promoted my shit and now I wish I had like 1000 facebook likes because that's like a basic hustley thing you have to do in order to ... promote? get gigs? create a certain kind of impression as a whole to those who I might be interested in having them promote my music? the difference between hitting the big time and no one giving a shit about you? I still don't really fucking know, but the cool thing that makes it actually tie together is that I have stumbled into a period of my life where doing this promoter shit is a prerequisite for individual band members to take shit seriously, and that's the difference in the project gaining any momentum or not, so it actually is weirdly the thing that makes it whole. Its kinda which came first, the chicken or the egg, kinda circular in that way, but if people are taking us seriously (are they? or is this illusory?) we might as well take ourselves seriously. Hey, its all in your head!
Cause its like thinking "if those guys really knew what they were doing and it took them 4 years, then what the fuck am I supposed to do, ill be xx yrs old in 4 years" like I don't got that kinda time man. Why is life so cruel to me, that I just wanted to be making music for music's sake* (*be socially awkward thru my mid 20s at least)? Did I guess wrong, sorry kid that's not how its done? And yet, what I learned in all that time is what in my mind separates me from the pack much more than good genes or something. --and isn't it kinda taken at face value that its dangerous for musicians to get too fat in terms of still being able to write good music? (I don't know, maybe that's BS invented by the people-who-don't-want-to-pay-musicians guild.) But what journey am I trying to create? Honestly, the real answer is I'd like for someone to send us on tour for a year, because I want to do like a total emersion thing so I can die happy and be happy getting tied down to raising a family later in life etc cause Ill have already ascended to some peak, and I'll be able to have the musical and otherwise general knowledge that you gain from that experience for the rest of my life. If that's not how it shakes out, I still am currently bound to just doing whatever I can, which seems to be like a monk's life as a musician, not a bad consolation, and which has me at this moment playing in 3 bands, planning to record and tour with sxsw, and that's not so bad, but its a hard time for me as I realize that by the next time I tour, it will have been 2 years since the last one. I missed a year. Fortunately the last tour was really fucking good. And actually I think the next tour I do will finally be with my own band in a way where we are actually blowing people away, thats the hope at least for Spiked Punch. A couple gigs to warm up, "you cant cook with cold grease," -floyd mayweather, and boom. Maybe Im crazy, but I really believe in that band, that we have what it takes.
again that's circular logic tho if you think about it. Its just an expression of the ego...believe vs. doubt I'll take believe every time, but ok what would a booking agent say? Someone who is impartially paid to move the units. They would say "Oh what you just said groups you in the same category as everyone who plays music, so you have told me nothing except that you are amateurs." The finer points of that sort of negotiation is probably better left to Berklee grads, but its a K-Hole that is very easy to fall into when describing your music. That's what my prejudice against art degrees is...that they train you on the business side of things....that its about who is able to describe what they are doing the best, not about who is actually doing the best stuff.
The good thing about this summer is we set achievable goals (which we did), and also that the goals upped the ante so far. I gigged like 7 times in September, and am playing in 3 bands so there is never any pressure on any of the projects, things can kind of go in their own natural waves, and the holes get filled in by the other projects so I am always able to be working on something in a band setting. Im better at bass, guitar, and drums than I was at the beginning of the summer. Spiked Punch got back together, and Reverse X Rays played our first shows in over a year. There have been no "bad gigs." I am really proud of how Spiked Punch is going. At the beginning of the summer we weren't even a band, and now I feel like we have kinda gotten out there a bit. Promoting the band has become a part of the project. We played 3 house shows with reverse x rays, joey went on IBN UBO tour, and then we played 4 shows with touring bands in the first half of September, one of which was a cool roadtrip to San Antonio. Our facebook likes are past 200! woo!! (/sarcasm) . I feel like I can check off that I spent some time on the scene for the summer, I did that cool Bill Baird boat show as a guitarist, the cool recording sesh postgame, and learned another new set for Party Plants which might be a magic in a bottle new lineup. I like that band cause I don't have to do any of the work* in a way (*lug an amp). Shane went on a Gender Infiniti tour and just now got back, so RXR starts up with practicing tomorrow night. We really have made great strides. I have gotten a lot more back in shape as a musician after working that job for the state to save money so I could work less and do more music. In that way I guess I am still in the game. But that's cyclical logic....certain shit I had to do and then I was gonna do some other shit later? Its actually working, but there is sort of a question of resources. Anyways for an Austin band it all leads up to SXSW, and there is no point in trying to book a tour for the winter, we might as well wait until Spring, and see if we cant hook anything up. I think we have some surprises planned for the next couple months as far as what we do, and everyone in the band is looking forward to it.
Anyways, it feels good to get it all out, lets hope theres a dead rat in a glue trap waiting for me by my refrigerator in the morning.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Found some youtube videos of a House venue in Portland called House of Preblon.....includes New Sunrise around the era of when they hit up Escapes, for a memory of what these guys sounded like
NUDE SUNRISE @ House of Prevon:
YOUTHBITCH: (Cool California Live)
"don't stand in the front if youre not gonna dance" "its my house!"
bass player singing, rockstar moves:
cool guitar line, this seems to be the main way the band is usually organized: