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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

7 levels of Hell

The Broken Neck is just a warehouse. Plain and simple. A warehouse. Four walls, a front door, a back door, and a one holer. I am not bitchin or complaining, in fact it is just the opposite...I am praising the bad-assness of this place for any kind of show, Punk, metal, rap, doesn't matter. If it is purely about the music and the crowd, there is NO BETTER PLACE! Look, there's not really any stage lights to speak is just a stage in the back corner. No bar, no nothing to get in the way of you and the band and the music.

Till Death, Doom Siren, Anal Warhead, Civil Victim, Dissent, HellBastard, and KegCharge! Although the order the bands played in changed after the show started it was still some pretty damn powerful shit.

Till Death is a kick ass trio with the Bass player pulling vox as well. This was definitely a hella good way to open up the festivities for the night. This set got the crowd movin (and a nice sized crowd it was) for an early start time.

Doom Siren was another great band from 'Idontknowwherethehelltheirfrom'! Like the band before them, they just jumped up onstage, no frills, fancy lights or explosions, just knock your beer cup outta your hand kind of performance.

Anal Warhead broke out with the same set from the night before, but with a much larger and newer crowd. Still just good music. Great to see these kids from New York kicking it down here and making a go at it.

Dissent is from Houston and at this band definitely had a different sound. A little more hard edge, not so much punk, but still definitely awesome. My Son was with me for this gig and was out of breath after Dissent's set. "Oh my god, that shit was kick ass!" From the look of the rest of the crowd I would say so too.

Civil Victim I believe is from Germany. With a good humored lead singer and a guitarist who wasn't taking an "American Hippie" shit, I knew this would be a great set. UNFORTUNATELY, the lead guitarists rig was not wanting to co operate (probably all the "crappy American beer"). After a few minutes of fucking around with it, the guitarist from Dissent volunteered up his rig and away they went.

HellBastard was supposed to headline. These guys have been around for quite awhile and where here from the U.K. So as exciting as it was to see them live, it would've been better if they had their heads outta their asses, collectively. The real pisser is that the took FORFUCKINEVER to set up. The band that they replaced was already set up and ready to go. ANY WAY..when they finally did go on, it was good. Very good. Like Dissent, it was a different type of music than what we had heard from the previous bands, but rocked out very well.

Kegcharge stoned, sloppy ass drunk would be a nice way to put it, but you know what, after being there for almost 5 hours I think most everybody was. With the crowd seeming to thin, Kegcharge got on stage. Although there was definitely some issues with capability that late and that drunk, there was NO DOUBT that it was what EVERYONE was wanting ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!!!!!!

When they fired it up it went from no crowd to "where the hell did all these people come from?" The action on the floor in front of the band was absolutely heinous and non stop mayhem. For the entire set the bodies did not stop. Bruised and battered, my 19 yr old son left the floor and as we drove away from the 7 levels of Hell night...he simply said "wow! I think I broke my finger."


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday night was Punk night

Another adventure, another club, a different part of town. It was totally awesome and kick ass to see members of some other, very well established bands hanging out, drinking some beer (and in Texas James' case) stirring up the crowd in front of the stage.

Club 1808 ) is located at the corner of 12th and Chicon. Once again, proof that is you wander off of your mainstream normal everyday path you will always find something new and exciting. From the cool ass doorman collecting the money and putting on the wristbands, to the VERY nice bartender/proprietor (Thanks Gene, you're a cool muthafucker) this place is pretty bad ass. It's split into three areas; the main entrance has pool tables, a small dance floor, and a decent seating area in the back by the bar. Out back there is a cool ass little backyard with a stage and plenty of room for QUITE a few people. Back inside and to the right of the front door is a lounge area with ANOTHER stage. This area is where the show was on this particular night. 3 Bands, no frills, just kick your fuckin teeth in music...p.s. - make sure you leave your blood on the floor!

Deadly Reign started things off in true Punk style, fuck the sound check, just play the damn music. Although the crowd was not that big, it still felt great. With the music loud enough to make yer ears bleed, this is what it's all about.

Anal Warhead ) and Civil Victim ) are from New York and Germany respectively,  and did a nice job keeping up the tempo and feel. It was good fun to see the lead guitarist for Anal Warhead was a chick. Nothing wrong with that and some damn good music out there to prove this, but it was still fuckin bad ass to see, hear, and experience that.

Civil Victim was great and loads of fun. The irreverence of the lead singer and their guitarist just played off each other and made Punk fun (really? fun?).

All said, it was a very badass night for punk music on the east side of Austin. The location and environment doubly led to that outlaw feel that so inhabits this genre of music. Get out, experience it, and bleed it!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

An evening at the Inn (pt 2)

Ok, part to and now it is starting to drift off into the late afternoon. Up to go we have Aimless Gun, a small dinner break (damn good brisket by the way), then Michael Dillard, Fremen, and MC Overlord. But you know what, it was still hot as hell!

With a short break to set up, we now have Aimless Gun ( ) onstage. Billy had the raw pleasure of seeing and hearing Aimless Gun perform an acoustic set some days back. Now it was his turn to hear them in their full glory, plugged in and all.  I really like the energy that Aimless gun is starting to show onstage. Musically these guys are there. Lyrically you can start dedicating songs to girlfriends and creating ringtones. They really just have some good sounds that are so easy to just sing along with (very important for bringing in the audience, and making that gold record). The catalog of what Aimless does onstage is so very impressive and I have seen it and experienced it first hand, when are you going to? With the up tempo tunes and the sing-alongs, there isn't much that the audience just simply doesn't dig here and it is somehow breathtaking.

At this point in the evening there was a little dinner break. After a while Billy came back from the lake and to this day he wont stop talking about "swimming with The FreeFlow, diving off the dock with Aimless Gun, and kayaking with Michael Dillard!" Like I have said, Austin musicians are more than songwriters and performers, they are people and they are inspirations for this city!

Michael Dillard ( ) now had his turn to hop up onstage and melt away like everyone else. As the evening hours were creeping on and the sun was setting, Michael was still enjoying the heat. With the crowd actually growing larger, it was yet another set that had the crowd just being able to chill, enjoy some cold refreshments, and drift away with the music. Being joined onstage by William Harris of Fremen, MC Overlord and friend (Billy Tompkins), it was a perfect way to close to this set. I don't think there was really anything else that could have made the setting sun on the lake any more enjoyable than this set (besides some beautiful company I guess - mijita).

Fremen ( ) now had a very interesting spot in this day of music, they performed directly ahead of Overlord. What a great spot! Fresh from the studio with Ter'ell Shahid (Overlords amazing and soulful vocalist) these cats have some inspiration behind them to make this night kick off very tight and very right!. With the custom stage lights in place, thanks to Billy and Miles for the tree work, it was gonna be a hot set. The crowd really did swell at this point and it was right on the mark for all that we heard and experienced. To those who have missed out, don't worry, there will be more sightings of the Fremen and for those who haven't heard, the CD wont drop soon enough so go check this set out!

...and then there was one. Not just one, THE one. MC Overlord ( ) with all of his imposing stature and presence, completely launched the night into a whole new level. Under the stars and all fired up, this was truly a great way to be a part of that Overlord music. For a day that started out with gunshots (sure ask anyone that was there!) it definitely ended with an explosion. Michael Dillard joined the performance in the end and MC Overlord even had Billy back onstage again. I will tell you when this next album drops the future may not be able to contain him, so go be a part of it now!


Blue Boy Inn

It was a very nice day at the lake. The Blue Boy Inn is a very cute, quaint cabin in Spicewood. Lovely accommodations, beautiful access to the lake, and a gorgeous yard and deck to enjoy a cool fall weekend in Texas (unfortunately, it is only in the mid to upper 80's during the fall with about 90% humidity on the lake). In the yard and by the dock it was very nice, but watching the bands on stage with no air circulating around them, they were melting. Nice thing was that the music was just as hot, so it was all good!

The list of bands was so hot and bad ass, I couldn't believe it. This next time this happens, I hope for more press and promotion, and for more folks and bands. It was great. To know what Austin musicians can do this is very inspiring. Wouldn't give credit to any other city in the world to have a musical community with such a powerful, smart, and moving presence than Austin.

The FreeFlow, Ryan Harkrider (acoustic), Derrick Davis (acoustic), Aimless Gun, *dinner break*, Michael Dillard, The Fremen, and MC Overlord.

Now what makes ALL of these performances very special was that my son, Billy, was with me to enjoy. I have only caught one performance of The FreeFlow previously, so this is good.  The acoustic performance by Ryan Harkrider is something that I have never seen before. Derrick Davis is some new sounds that I will relay to you. Aimless Gun, as you know, is a favorite, much like Michael Dillard. The Fremen have new life, as they have finally (with the production of Mr Ter'ell Shahid), put the tracks down for a much anticipated CD. MC Overlord, well this is the man who helped inspire me to start putting the music in print, so he will ALWAYS be my primo.

The social aspect of this day was very importan,t as you get these guys together to make a day out of it, the next thing you know, it's a full on 2 day benefit for whatever you could imagine. The FreeFlow ( ) started about 2:30. I really, REALLY love these guys. I think this is just good beer drinking (or maybe even a drink with an umbrella in it would be more appropriate) kind of music. You get to just kick back and listen. Without question they do the BEST Marley mix I have ever heard. To listen and look around at the audience, see and hear everybody singing along, it is nice to know these kids have the audience hooked. In my own humble opinion, I would love to hear that Marley tribute be just a little bit longer. NO! don't change up the songs, but ahhh it is so good to hear the way they lay it down and even better to feel it in the crowd. There is more to come from them and you should keep up via their Reverbnation page. GO! check them out, order something fun to drink and sing along, don't worry, everybody else will be too!

Ryan Harkrider ( ) strolled up onstage with just him and his guitar. Very excited to hear and see this new twist for Ryan. It was great. Ryan has absolutely learned the way to capture the crowd. The music and sound is catchy, fun, and poetic, but to be able to make the audience laugh and laugh at yourself all while bringing an amazing stable of tunes to the table, WOW! Ryan really does have a great rapport with the audience and it makes it so fun to be at one of his performances. As I am sitting there listening, my friend comments on how Ryan, Derrick, and Michael (and even Cody from Aimless Gun) have the potential to be the new, modern day Outlaws. Musically if you don't know what I am talking about that would be Willie, Waylon, Hank Jr, and D.A.C. Look them up! The ability to get up onstage, any of these three or four guys, on any night, in any line up order, as an acoustic set and completely stun the house. That is a good ticket! My smart ass remark to follow was simply this "You know what makes these acoustic performances so fun and special? It's when one of the other artists just jumps up onstage, and fills in a little guitar or vocals...just for the hell of it!" C'mon , if all these guys are good friends, it's never hard feelings or an ego when someone else jumps up onstage with you, it's just good fuckin fun for everyone!

Well lo and behold, with a whisper from Will Harris, Derrick Davis was all of a sudden onstage with Ryan. The chemistry was kick-ass. EVERYONE loved it, it was just really fun. Derrick dropped in for a couple of songs (check out the video from the second song here ). Ryan finished off the set be leaving the stage and streaking for the lake. OH! did I say streaking, YES! Off with the shirt, down the steps to the dock, off with the shorts, then it was in the air to the water and I do believe that the moon was out that afternoon!!!!

As Derrick Davis ( ) mounted the stage next his comment before beginning his set was "How do I top that?" "Just do you set naked onstage!" LOL! not today thank god! Just another stellar performance, god music and good fun. I loved sitting in my lounge chair, drinking a margarita, and chilling to Derricks jams. NOW what got me up outta my seat and got my blood pumping and had me singing along (rather loudly and probably quite obnoxiously) was his final tune and very nice rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You" from the children's favorite and Disney classic "Jungle Book"! What a GREAT way to end the set. Nope! no nudity or running for the lake, but special in its own way.

This has to be a two-parter. So be prepared!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Love That Chicken

Our heroes, icons, legends, and those people we look up to, when you see them out and about doing everyday , normal human things it is oddly humbling and awe inspiring at the same time. You see that person onstage or on television and then you see them in public at a fast food restaurant you just can't shake off the amazement. You even do silly things in your mind to justify that "it can't be!", but you know it is.

So here I sit in a Popeye's Fried Chicken on Wm Cannon with my two sons. We are having some dinner and enjoying the moment, as the three of us haven't hung out together in over a year. I see this man walk in and knew instantly who it was. There is only ONE person in the entire city of Austin (or really anywhere for the truth of it) that looks like him. It stopped my conversation cold and dead in its tracks with the boys. Stephen is 19 and while Billy is 11 and the both stared at me in a curious manner.

"Oh my god...that's Malford Milligan!" ( ) and quicker than hell turned to both of them and said, "SHUT UP! Do not say you don't know who that is." Of course the response anyway was "Who?". Arrrrggghhhhh! I just felt my heart break, did you feel it too? Dammit, I suck, I can't believe that my sons have been raised in one of the GREATEST music cities in the world and here before us was undoubtedly one of the greatest blues singers and amazing guitarists our fair city has had the pleasure to call it's own.

The humiliation set in...OK I am over it! After he ordered his food (while I kept shhhsssshng the boys) I waited. Then the opportunity came up as he strolled over to a booth to wait for his food. I, ever so smoothly' (like that of a giddy twenty something Mike Dill seeing Justin Beiber) and loudly stated "Has anybody ever told you that you look just like Malford Milligan?" [in my Homer Simpson voice] DOH!! I can't believe I just said that! WHAT A FUCKIN DORK!

He turned with a huge smile on his face, while replying to my idiocy, "That's because I AM Malford Milligan." Woo Hoo, Jackpot! Ahhh now on to the next stupidest thing in the world to say, "I am a huge fan Mr. Milligan!" (again with the stupidest shit you could say to an icon and a musical hero of yours) he hasn't heard that shit a MILLION times before. I then gushed about seeing him at Antoines "yeah I hang out there alot." and seeing him at Blues on the Green.

I introduced my boys and then did the last and stupidest thing of all.....yes! I name dropped. OHHHHH what an idiot I be. You know, in working with these bands I follow and in meeting new people ALL the time, you would think I know better. HA! I guess I am human too, LOL! None the less, it was wonderful to meet him and of course he was the nicest, most amicable people you would ever meet. Didn't get my picture with him (wanted too) and didn't tell him I am a writer, but I still met him....and YES! I will forward the link for this blog to him. In hopes of being invited to a show, meet him again on a professional level, and see another great performance!

Love That Chicken from Popeyes!!!


P.s. - BTW the name I dropped was Overlord, of course! Ask me about it and I'll tell you what Malford said.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Live from Burger stadium! An Angel will be on the field tonite :)