H.A.A.M. ( http://www.myhaam.org/ ). 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 ( http://www.antones.net/ ) 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 ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/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 ( http://closetdrama.fourfour.com/home ) 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 ( http://www.facebook.com/epmbmusic ) 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 ( http://www.longwoodson.com/fr_home.cfm ) 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 ( http://makeitstopband.com/ ) 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 acts...so 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