Follow Live Music In Austin

Friday, May 27, 2011

No small feat

Yup, there are certain bars that I frequent. So do you. I am not afraid to wander in somewhere else, but hey, if the places you go play a diverse range of music, go.

One2One ) is definitely one of those places. I have said before, great bar staff, beautiful deck up top, cozy bar and wonderful stage inside. There was a recent charity fund raiser event to help out one of our local video directors after a medical event. The staff happily donated their time on a day off to do their part. Go and patronize this place!

Baby Atlas ) late, late night this was a sweet treat. A cross between Hendrix and Stevie Ray with a voice somewhere between (and maybe a touch of Christopher Cross). A bass player you would not want to funk with, or maybe would?! And a fine fine drummer. No! they are not trying to be double trouble, but their own incarnation of something beautiful and soul searing in Austin music. David Jimenez is quite awe inspiring as guitar and vocals, big man...surprising voice. Look them up and enjoy that amazing blend of rock/blues that those dead guys brought to us and Baby Atlas revives.


Dharma drama

Lucky Lounge ) really is a great, late night, kick it, spot. The nice thing is that they do have somewhat of a regular schedule for some bands and DJ's. Find something or someone you like here and you can probably depend on them being back again at that time next week.

Vinyl Dharma ) is one of those bands. My introduction to them was from one of my friends, "You gotta go see these guys!" Isn't that how it always starts? As I have said before, sometimes just going into a bar or club on any given night will yield something fun, new and exciting. So here I went and here I go.

First of all, YOU, as a band member, musician, performer should ALWAYS,  A L W A Y S play for the audience. Enjoy what you do, have a good time, and think that there is someone in the audience who gives a shit about what they are hearing and be happy that they are not at home watching Jersey Shore! You never know if there is a producer, manager, promoter, guitarist, keyboardist, web designer, or music blog writer sitting there listening. On this night ALL OF THE ABOVE were in the audience.

Really, after a good solid 10 minutes of arpeggios warm up scales we were sorely aggravated. C'mon guys, The Music Lab is for fucking practice and rehearsals, not the bar when the doors are open and there are patrons in there! Our unnamed guitarist friend took it upon himself to go politely talk shit. With much distress from the big man in the group "Why did y'all let him go up there?", our boy came back, the band addressed the issue and began to play. WELL much to our surprise, these guys were good! They busted out with a cover song , played another song and off went our guitarist friend...mumbling to himself on his way back to the stage "these guys are good, now I have to go apologize."

HA! Vinyl Dharma is actually very good, nice to listen too, their demo CD was good, my daughter really liked it (ahhh the opinions of a 15 yr old!). Hopefully the lesson was learned and taken to heart, cause if I stop by on some Thursday night to for a drink and a listen, I will talk bigger shit!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

H.A.A.M. is good (not food)!

H.A.A.M. ). If you have read my blog, if you are in a band, if you know someone in a band, date someone in a band, or have a family member in a band. IF YOU GO SEE LIVE MUSIC IN AUSTIN then SUPPORT the music you know and love in Austin by checking out their website and doing what you can. Please PLEASE support this organization!

The HAAM Battle of the Bands (Corporate edition) happened at Antone's ) on a nice Thursday evening. There were 10 bands battling out for glory in 4 different categories. The order in which they performed is not important, the performance of these bands is what I care about and relate to you. For those planning an excursion out into the Austin nightlife anytime in the future, this is a reference to what might be fun, good, or run for the door shitty!

SOA, White Noise Syndicate, Closet Drama, EPMB, Long Woodson, and Make It Stop were the bands that I was able to listen to and watch. From 80's rock covers to original southern roots rock to a cacophony of effin noise that made me walk out...this event covered it all, and THAT my friends is a GREAT thing!

SOA (Sounds of Ascendant) hit the stage and bashed out breath taking amount of cover songs in the time allotted. The mash up was an entertaining blend of 80's and 90's rock and hard rock. They blended the songs well into each other and for the limited time they had onstage they really jammed the music down on the crowd. Hard, fast, and fun...everyone was singing along to their "old" favorites. This was a very cool set and I would love to go to someones house, pool party, corporate event and be able to hear these guys play all night instead of the radio or someones ipod! I don't know if you would be able to be out on the town on any given evening and run into them, but keep your eyes and ears open.

White Noise Syndicate ) was next on the stage for this musical shoot out. With hard rock edge and originals on their list, this band came to play. Overall their performance was good. Not the fun, dancing, singing along type of performance that means the world to me, BUT this would be a good band to go hang out and have some drinks while they are playing.

Closet Drama ) was a very cool band to listen to. With their pop/punk type of originals music they were another band on the list of many, MANY Austin bands to drop in and catch on a whim. It was a nice performance up there on the stage in ANTONES, mashed up in there with the other bands. Not mind blowing or completely original, but not horrible either.
Eagle Pritchard Murray Band ) to their fans, friends, family and all others they are affectionately know as EPMB (funny to hear one of the judges knock the band playfully about their name being too long). I don't think it is the type of music so much as it is their infectious attitude onstage. They are smiling, laughing and having what appears to be a genuine good time while performing. The music is very likable and easy to sing along with and dance too. All of this will always translate into a good time for anyone that is in attendance.

Long Woodson ) had plenty of jokes about the sexual reference of their band name. The music was a cool-laid-back-country-rock-Tom Petty-kind of sound. This is very good stuff for the large out doors shows and festivals. The really odd thing about this performance was the non stop referencing from the band of  "Are y'a'' ready to rock!" and then they didn't. GRRRR, really dudes, don't set that shit up if you ain't gonna produce. Dont get me wrong, but when somebody says that now a days into a mic, they had better be ready to produce and rattle the fillings in your teeth.

Make It Stop ) DAMMIT man! I never really wanted to talk shit in the blog about any ones performance, but DAMMIT! I don't know what the fuck to say about this. I am sure (and surely hope) that these guys really like what they do and have fun at it. maybe it was an off night...I don't know, could be any number of scenarios...or it could just be that this performance sucked! It was fucking painful to hear. Make It Stop, Shut The Fuck Up, Are You Serious, or Stop The Music would all fit about the same. It was really bad. The guitars were just bad, the vocals were all over the place. I was hanging with one local Austin Texas Music Hall of Famer, this band stopped our conversations and this local legend, a mutual friend, and another young man who happens to be an amazing guitar talent (will be on stage this year at ACL, how about that) all walked out. Sorry, I had to go. Look back through my blog, I don't trash and bash. I have seen and heard everything, from the local hard core punk scene to national country I have an understanding and an opinion. I am about THE PERFORMANCE, but dang...the music has to be part of that also.

On to the next one...

P.S. - There were 4 awards to be given...EPMB did win one of the categories. Since I bailed, I dont have a list of winners and the H.A.A.M. website doesnt list who won...

Grand Prize - A day of recording at Austin’s Bismeaux Studios and (4) three-day passes to ACL
Best Original Band - $500 gift certificate to Strait Music
Best Cover Band - $500 gift certificate to Strait Music
Fan Favorite - indoor gig at Stubb’s and a $500 gift certificate to Strait Music

Monday, May 2, 2011

...and the Million Dollar man showed up

with pesos!

Lucky Lounge ( ) on a Tuesday night and this place is fuckin jumpin jumpin jumpin! The Fremen with MC was a straight up TAKEOVER!

I am, to this day, pleasantly stunned that Lucky packs them in and has these live show as often as they do. People just love the Lounge! For a DJ I think this is top notch, grade A, late night chillin relaxin, dancin and groovin place. For live music the sound man for Lordship Ent. did a bang up job tonite. One of the best nights of live music sound I have experienced so far. To date I have not yet still been upstairs...ehhh fuckin whatever. all the action is down by the bar and in front of the stage anyway!

The Fremen ) came on stage hard and strong. This was without a doubt one of their most powerful sets to date. All of the comparisons to a Sunday morning hangover soundtrack where thrown out the window tonite. Funny thing about that is although they did the same songs (and I bragged to a friend about that Sunday morning sound), I didn't even recognize the set. It was strong, powerful, and completely in your ears, in your face and in your mind! The time is getting closer for that album to drop. Come get some while its hot and still free...may not be for much longer.

MC Overlord ). The website is only slightly deceiving as he is no longer a 10 Hip Hop Artist of The Year...but is in fact now a proud member of The Texas Music Hall of Fame inductee. So this night was the night of a million stars. The big guys first appearance as Overlord since the award and there was some serious fire power in the building tonite. Besides the AMAZING talent that was performing onstage, there were a multitude of other local and national people in the house. Many of these people have been a part of MC Overlord in one shape or form. Maybe not necessarily paying their respect, but for damn sure supporting the piece of Austin music history that he now is and will always be.

Oh yeah..guess I have to talk about the show (as if you don't know how it went or couldn't guess) if you haven't experienced this yet and been a part of this here ya go...

Besides the standard set list the they throw down, there were some new tunes in here which was absolutely AWESOME. MC Overlord NEVER fails to entertain the crowd and always takes it to the next level, and tonite was no exception. There were so many people that jumped up on the stage and made guest appearances it was like a late night live talk show with all the music and almost no talk. Now Overlord doesn't do a VH1 Storytellers, but he does share with the audience, which makes ever single performance absolutely worthwhile.

The guests tonite ran the spectrum from a guest appearance of his regular drummer to the incomparable Les Fisher ( ). Onstage with guest vocal appearances was a very RARE appearance by Mike Dill (been too long for that man) to a very special appearance by Phranchyze ( ) which I was absolutely blown away by with that lyrical masterpiece!


p.s. - The "million dollar man" as quoted by Les was none other than Matt Slagle on Bass for the evening with Overlord!

It is another premier show!

A nice Sunday drive out to Seguin to see a band perform, not a bad way to spend a few hours. It is only a 30-45 minute drive, somewhat the same if you were going from one direction in Austin to another and using I-35. So if there is an event that you wanted to do but thought twice because it was out of the city...just go.

The Ryan Mars ). Although these guys, as a group, are making their debut jump into the Austin music scene they are not new to the music scene.

Playing a Benefit for The Ronald McDonald House is definitely the way to do it for premier show. The country sound of The Ryan Mars Band is definitive. With their country roots showing their performance was fun. An outdoor venue can always present a challenge sound and crowd wise, and a college university is no exception and I must say they carried it well. The small things I could complain about are bullshit things of note that would be fixed by playing at any bar with a decent sound man, nuff said. It will be nice for these guys to get some live performances in under their belt to sharpen up the sound and vocals, but nothing devastating to them as a band. Although an ass load of rehearsals really improve the cohesiveness of any band, I whole heartedly believe it is the LIVE PERFORMANCE and interaction with the crowd that makes a band. This is why I look forward to these gentlemen hitting up more shows and seeing how they grow over the next year or so. The personal timeline of a year or so is just my experience in following any of the bands that I see and write about. Without question it seems that after about a year or so of playing gigs, EVERYONE of theses bands just appears more comfortable and sharper from the same time a year earlier.

The set for Ryan Mars Band consisted of a two-parter...The first half was composed mainly of originals which were standard fare for any country band, and then the second half which was mainly covers. I really liked the way they did this. It was very fun for the crowd. a whole lot of audience participation. Ending with the uptempo original was great and they way I always believe you should leave the crowd...on their feet.