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Friday, December 21, 2012

Drastik IV - Elephant in the Room

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Sunday cocktail (or two)

A little Sunday evening cocktail at Icenhauers ( ). Located on Rainey St., in the ever expanding down town entertainment district, sits a row of quiet little bars. A newly revitalized area that stands in stark contrast to itself. The east side of Rainey is predominantly occupied by renovated homes turned into drinking establishments, some with nice little backyards designed to accommodate a stage. The west side of Rainey has a few newly renovated homes but the stark contrast is the homes that still exist and are occupied by the home owners (I think there is a story in that as well and might just explore that in the near future.) Icenhauers has a nifty story on their website and some really great before and after pictures. It does make me smile and feel good that even though life, progress, and developers have encroached upon this little corner of Austin, they are doing well in preserving it also!

The bar has been described previously as a simply gorgeous, small little house. A very nice seating area out front. The entry has two modest sized rooms to the left and right with seating and televisions for watching what sport is on at the moment. A little farther in and you hit the main area with a well stocked bar to the left and access to the back yard. Floor to ceiling windows let you observe the festivities from inside.

The musical flavor for this late afternoon was provided by The Nightowls ( ) with Ryan Harkrider sharing the vocal leads with his attractive co-vocalist Autumn ( ) The music has that Motown sound with that black tie appeal. No doubt about labeling this band, as they will admit the sound they are going for is in fact Motown. The alternating vocals from male to female are fun and great, and the sound from the band was distinctly better than the last time I saw them at another venue (I will leave unnamed.) This switching keeps it entertaining and allows them a wide variety of tunes they can pull off with great respect.

It was a beautiful evening with perfect weather and a friendly crowd. Everybody definitively had a great time socializing. The Nightowls do it perfectly! With the ability to be great background music to any good conversation as well as performing those favorite tunes that do make you stop talking and listen, they are a great dinner/happy hour/out-for-a-few-cocktails type of band. They do play frequently around Austin so look them up and go.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Caught up in the moment

So it happens, I totally missed a write up of a local performance. More damning is that it was the debut performance of another Austin original.

So here I am again at Stubb's ( ). I said it in a previous post ( ), I love this inside stage. Takes me back to the garage, basement shows I saw in my late teens, early twenties in New Orleans, La. Very dark inside with the exposed ceiling. Bar to the back and bathrooms tucked away in almost impossible to find locations, BUT understand this is better because it is Stubb's. Access to the outside for you smokers from a door just to the side of the stage, a solo pool table cordoned off in another room and most importantly an A_M_A_Z_I_N_G view from the balcony/restaurant above the stage. The stage is well lit and the sound is great.

The Roosevelts ( ) had their debut performance at Stubb's inside. The band is fronted and founded by James Mason and Jason Kloess, formerly of EPMB fame (and more recently the cover band The Good Nights.) Well, no more cover songs here. With a whole new set list of originals, this band is ready to break out and breakthrough! The Roosevelts have that definitive "Austin sound". If you are from around here you know the sound can't be described. If you are not from around then do some music searches on the web, you will find those Austin bands and you will hear and feel that Austin sound The Roosevlets most adeptly keep to. The band also employs the standard arrangement of rhythm and lead guitars, bass and drums keeping tempo, but the keys really pull it all together.

The Roosevelts have melodies and lyrics that are both fun and moving. You hear the songs and are instantly drawn into them like you've heard them before. You are singing the hook two bars in. By the end of the night you will have picked out your favorite tune and will look forward to seeing this band again. I managed to be the outlaw, and against the venues 'strict' "NO VIDEO" soup nazi command at the door, I did capture and record the majority of the show. Watching it afterwards, shows the brilliance these two young men posses. Not just in writing the music and weaving the stories, but in the fun they have on stage! My girlfriend has a stupid band/musician crush on the lead singer and managed to sit and watch all of the video clips like she was at the show AND she has already picked out her new favorite misery...a track about a lady in white or a white dress. Very cool story told in song form, listen for it when you go to a show! Nonetheless my point is that she DID NOT attend the performance, but was still captivated by it. My friends, that is some powerful shit for a new band!

All of these things went through my mind as I watched their performance again on video. It was a VERY large crowd draw for a debut performance. James and Jason can say they have a devoted following. This is not bewildering for a new band, but amazing and admirable.

p.s. - because I was so busy bootlegging the show, I didn't take any photos. So I had to pull stills from some of the video.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Off the (starting) Grid

The Circuit of the Americas is completely, breathtakingly, awe inspiring Kick Ass! You can not look at it on Google Earth or Google maps and think you can comprehend the size of this facility. Just zoom in on the map and check out that round spot at the track side end of the Grand Plaza. Right there, in curve of  Turn 17/18, that is the 12,000 seat Tower Amphitheater! Now zoom out, Yeah, that little dot is the 12,000 seat amphitheater. It takes approx 2 hrs to walk the circumference of the track. This place is huge and more importantly it is gorgeous and fun!

After spending 3 days working as a volunteer for the inaugural F1 races, it was nice to end the long weekend with a show. There was a performance by Collective Soul on Saturday night at the Tower Amphitheater, but I sadly declined to attend as I knew the daunting task of working another 12 hrs was ahead of me. Sunday came, the Ferrari Challenge, The Pirelli Cup, and The Formula 1 races all went down. Now it was late afternoon and I was ready to check out some music!

Clay Walker  ( ) took the stage moments after we found a nice little spot on the grass, center stage. I am familiar with all of about 2 songs from Clay's catalog, but Mariza was WAYYY more aquainted with his music. To both our joy, Clay did a fantastic job of wowing a huge, international audience with a whole lot of music!

I will not doubt the professionalism and intelligence of Clay Walker or any other artist that has the opportunity to perform here. Even more important, any artist that has the opportunity to perform here after a world spectacle like Formula 1 racing. With a draw of THOUSANDS from all over the world, it would be easy to see a musical act getting lost in the moment and showing off their catalog to a potentially whole new fan base. That is where the professionalism kicks in and pays off... to WOW the crowd!

Clay Walker did just that. Putting aside his catalog for an evening of great music and a good time. Playing his big hit "She won't be lonely long" early on was a surprise, but a bigger surprise was the variety of everything else he played. I am talking about the Commodores, Lionel Richie, Metallica (just kidding), Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley...I was impressed and smiling. Yeah, the songs he played are the staple of any cover bands set list, but Clay acknowledged that and admitted he doesn't do this normally. No doubt sir, no doubt! But you did it well and you did it with a sense of light hearted humor that had the entire crowd entertained.

Clay Walker also played another song that he touted as a new video release for the band, 'Jesse James' and I really like that song. Deep in the Heart of Texas, country music is king. Whether it is your first choice for a night out on the town or otherwise, you have to acknowledge the good time feelings you get when listening to some great music. With much respect earned, I would go see Clay Walker when he comes to Austin next time and be happy to check out a full set of Clay Walker music. Not shy about that at all. Maybe you should too.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Moon(shiners)

Probably going to be one of many posts I will send for all the world to see on the world wide web from S. Lamar, Austin, Texas, USA, home of the One2One! Yes, I will repeat myself over and over again about the layout of the bar and the staff. I don't know who is new to this blog and who is a long time reader (does anybody read this by the way). I have seen the hits on my blog as far as Russia and Germany. I have a few hits in Brazil and a lot from Canada, so I know that there are a few folks around the world that have touched this blog and read about Austin, Austin music, and Austin venues. To the regulars, bear with me, for the newbies here we go...

The One2One ( ) is a new old venue. Arisen from the wasteland of 5th St and relocated to the up and coming, vibrant [art of South Austin on S Lamar. Google them, go to there website, but most importantly...GO VISIT THEM! The layout is pure Austin magic, when you walk through the door you are home. Home to an amazing bar staff, a great owner, great sound, a great stage, and most importantly GREAT live local music. There is no division of rooms here, just simply a large open space with a few tables, an generous sized bar, and a great stage. Placement here is key as the stage is dead center to the back of the venue and the large roomy bar is to the right. Lots of room to socialize or kick up your heels to the music that is flowing from the pretty impressive sound system.

The music this evening was The Moonshiners!/themoonshinersatx ). A fresh group of young men with loads of talent and a pretty impressive resume of bands under their collective belts. The sound of this incarnation is just smart. Chord changes and more importantly some really interesting progression or tempo changes. Wickedly good writing for a crew so young looking. Can't pin point the sound, it is as familiar as it is comfortable. What I mean by that is simple, there were several songs that started out and I swore it was a cover song. Only to continue listening and realizing the lyrics and ultimately the tune really were originals. That was fun and very haunting at the same time. Go see them as I believe for a short while they will have a residency at the One2One and then who knows what is next.


Free Wormz are good wormz

Here is proof that the diversity of Austin live music and entertainment is the tops and just can't be beat anywhere else in the world!

To go from a venue 5 minutes (or less) away that has a rhythm and blues sound to the heart of the downtown entertainment district and a venue that is balls out crazy with "your favorite rock bands rock band" is proof of that first statement. NO WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!!! Austin should be and always remain the center of the music universe!

I have talked about The Dirty Dog ( ) before (see any number of my previous posts for just about every band) so I will keep it short. The Dirty Dog is right in the heart of the 6th St entertainment area. Surrounded by several other notable (but I won't mention here) bars and venues, it has the ease of access and nice street side seating and windows to crowd watch while waiting for your band to get it on. Along with street side seating is a pole...yes a pole as in pole dancing. Although I have never been to an event here where the pole was used by someone who knew what they were doing, it is awesome to watch women and men try to wrangle the pole. The bar is a 'U' shape to the left of the entrancethat services folks all the way around the perimeter. The bar opens up to a rather large floor and large stage with a nice lighting and sound system. Finally to the back of the club sits another bar along the right hand wall and the 'green' room beyond that.

The Dirty Wormz  ( ) pay much respect, love and the hate that hate made right back to the Austin crowd that has welcomed the Wormz and let them call Austin home for more than a decade. The sadness is that no major label has stepped up and put up the 1...2...$3 Million dollars to let the Wormz spread the Infektion and make the 'Outbreak' go nationwide/worldwide. It would be beautiful. With the release of the Dirty Wormz newest lp "Outbreak" they have re established that they are still the hardest ever at what they do and the funny thing is they never went away to have to prove anything.

The Wormz play often enough around Texas that you should be able to catch them quite frequently, although in Austin they average out to be here once per quarter....ehhh. With side projects occupying front man Smackolas time, it is often a wonder that this band takes the stage and puts on a performance to a local crowd (sometimes for free) that rivals any show that I have seen from a hard core, rap, metal, band at the Erwin Center or the ATT Center E V E R!!! Just the showmanship and co ordination of the everything involved with the performance makes this band a must see. Even if you are not fond of their music, the show is, to me, what it is all about and why you go out and see a band. Play the music loud at home or in your car, but go out to be part of the music and with The Dirty will be part of you forever.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

just to be Frank, it was Angie's night!

Frank ) is located just in the beating heart of Austins downtown entertainment district. Right there in between 4th and 5th. A restaurant, a hot dog place, a bar, a music venue. Kinda your one stop shop. I have been there a time or two before. Though the sound is not quite on the level as some other venues, it still provides an intimate setting to check out some music.

With one new voice to here and a couple of familiar faces, I was once again happy to be among the heartbeat and soul of Austin, LIVE MUSIC!

Angie and The Night Owls was first up. Not knowing what to expect or having no expectations at all can sometimes serve you well. You show up with a pre conceived notion of who you are gonna see and what you are gonna heat, then BANG! You do the double take. Angie did this to me for sure. Although I will give a brief nod to the other two acts from this particular show, I am gonna talk big love about Angie.

Lets put it this way...SHE STOLE THE SHOW! It was a knock your sock off performance. Soulful, sassy, loud and proud, she had it all. Covering some Motown, doing originals, she mixed it up and threw it down. When asked if I knew about her or had heard her before I proudly said "No!" The joy of discovering something new and enjoying the hell out of it is so great. Angie's voice filled the room and dare I say she probably didn't need a mic. Find her and take a seat (betcha wont be sitting for long) and take a listen.

Ryan Harkrider ) after doing some back up duty for Angie and then a quick change of his jacket, Mr Harkrider performed again. I am pretty damn sure this set was all new stuff and I cant wait to get my hands on the new disc. Still keeping with his roots, but having a slightly different sound than from his debut release, it is lively and a hugely unexpected sound altogether. Ryan is a showman no doubt! Performing as if he was onstage at Carnegie Hall, you can be assured if you get the opportunity to see Ryan Harkrider perform, he will be the epitome of classy.

Last up on the list this evening was DaHeBeGeBees ). Although the band wasn't with the full ensemble onstage, It was a good shuffling, good music time. I wrote up another review of a performance in which they had they whole band together and in a location that had a sound man and a stage to die for (  ). So I will leave my positive words and excitement for these guys to influence you to go out and support them and live local Austin music.


Sunday is a Funday

Icenhauers ( is finally getting some well needed company down on Rainey street. It is as simple as this, the more places there are to visit, the more people. The more people means more visitors to your bar, and visit this one you should. Everyone is pretty much keeping the houses they renovate very similar to its original residence, however it's the extras that make Icenhauers a true gem to visit.

Outside is pretty unassuming as you walk up, and the owners have taken great pride to maintain that. When you walk in , you would be damned if it didn't remind you of some family members house where you visited when you were little (except for the giant bar in the back room.) Step outside and this is every body's dream that likes to socialize and have friends and neighbors over. A big covered patio with a TV, ample seating, a fire pit, and a really nice nook to have a band perform.

And perform they do. The Good Nights ( ) were doing the Sunday Funday. With free chicken and waffles and some great music, you can never go wrong. NOW although I generally don't care for cover bands, this was really fun. These guys turn it up and turn on the crowd. With plenty of crowd pleasing favorites on the play list, every person there had to sing along to at least one song. The band is fun, they have a great time, they socialize with the crowd, and they play a nice long set split in two. I really like this fact because you can settle into your seat, get comfortable and the show will still be moving along. Do yourself the favor, grab your favorite person and take them to a Sunday Funday and more importantly take them to see The Good Nights!

To give you an idea of their sound here is a video I shot of them doing a cover of another Austin band.

Two for One2One

It seems like the bar was gone too long, but then you walk in and realize you are home! The Grand re- opening of the One2One was a wonderful event! I was there on Wednesday for the soft (or quiet) grand opening and then again on Friday for the real deal. So I will lay upon you fine readers two perspectives of the club.

One2One ( looks good inside and out. Plenty of FREE parking, well lit, easy access from just about any where. Just a quick minute to downtown if you so choose, as well as some decent eats close by. Inside through the double doors and it opens into a giant room! Bar on the right stretching the entire length of the seating area. The decor is simple and nice. Functional art on the wall created by staff and some cool photos. The stage is a monster set up straight ahead of you when you walk in. Large enough to fit even the biggest ensembles. I can say the stage was put to the test on this particular weekend with the likes of  DaHeBeGeBees, Mingo Fishtrap, and MC Overlord. Bathrooms are to the left and right of the stage, and it was very funny to see women continually trying to go into the men's because they didn't know.

Seating is limited, but available if you get to your favorites bands show early. Although, if it is your favorite band, then why the hell would you sit down. This is also the thoughts of the staff and the feeling of most of the bands.

Speaking of the staff...Gregg and Destinee have managed to hang onto their amazing staff of people during the transition and move from the old location to this new beautiful one. They are attentive and pretty quick. Even if there is a delay, they do a good job of eye contact and letting you know. On the floor the service is just as good if you are lucky enough to get a table. Always with a smile, I really love it!

So here is the two for one part. I was there on Wednesday. The Agitators and Karl Morgan, was I lucky to see them. I am EXTREMELY happy they gave it a couple of days with music playing before hitting it hard on the official opening day. The first day the sound was really tough, very tinny and bouncing everywhere, BUT was dramatically different when I was there two days later for the real deal. Stunning how 2 days of performances and some strategically hung curtains made such a dramatic difference. This goes a long way into showing the professionalism of Gregg, the owner, knew there would be hiccups and did everything right to ensure that it was gold on Friday.

For anyone reading this that wasn't there or hasn't gone yet, take my word Dammit! This is a destination for live music in Austin (pun intended). Even the God father of all that is good in Austin music and clubs, Danny Crooks (, came in!

The Agitators ( were the inaugural act. Bring a pretty decent sized crowd with them, I think any place in Austin would love to have these guys come in with all of their cheerleaders. The sound is just right for the clubs, fun, energetic, and a nice mix of originals and covers. The Agitators kept the attention of everyone while they were onstage.

Karl Morgan ( took the stage with his 3 piece next. Absolutely one of the most under rated and flawless guitarists in Austin. In a city so storied in guitar legends and so saturated with talent, that is saying a lot. The thing about Karl is that he makes it look easy, just simply bad assness in an unassuming wrapper. He gets on stage and doesn't even seem like he breaks a sweat. The music is mainly originals and Karl's voice is definitely different than expected when he sings. Although, as a whole,  the band isn't something that makes you get out of your seat and get all excited. It is just Karl's unassuming self that makes you forget about everything and stare...saying to yourself...'Fuckn-A, that guy is the shit!' For any takers, I believe Karl has a regular residency here at the One2One, so take time out and hit up the web to confirm.

SO, Friday night comes, I have two stops to make with the first being here, of course. Unfortunately for me I was only able to stay long enough to see DaHeBeGeBees and miss out on Mingo Fishtrap. Don't EVER let that be your mistake! Grand opening night and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The sound was just kick ass and spot on. It really is now a premier place to catch some quality music in Austin!

 DaHeBeGeBees ( were in full accompaniment this evening.  I have seen them recently and they were missing a few parts to the ensemble, and what a difference that makes. The sound is hard to describe although I think they put the fun in funk. The horn section is just spot on for the sound, the duel vocals are definitely an integral part, and lastly a rhythm section that just bounces you on the floor. They make you dance and groove no matter what!. [] to see a song from that grand opening performance. Make your decision and then make tracks.

Like all Austin music be prepared to go to a show and watch who you are rubbing elbows with at the club or bar. Austin musicians vigorously support each other and attend each others shoes. Make it a point to go out and do it, Support live local music in Austin and patronize the One2One.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shiny Hot Sauce Ribs and Moonpies for dessert

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival 2012 was at the new Fiesta Gardens location. My personal opinion is this; the location was so much better. Parking was pretty damn easy, traffic walking to and from didn’t feel life threatening, and the layout was really patron friendly. The booths were lined up around the perimeter and the pavilion in the center housed not only the blind tasting part of the event but the stage for the musical performances as well. 

I have attended the last three Hot Sauce Festivals (and plan on continuing that) and written up the respective blogs for them too. This is the first year I took the time to solicit some of the vendors and try what was available. DAMN! There was some good hot sauce out there that we tried. The one that I will call out by name here was the unanimous winner between my girlfriend and I was My Chihuahua Bites ( – Queso Blanco. We have found their hot sauce at our local HEBPlus in Kyle, sadly…no Queso Blanco. Check out their website and tell me where you find it.

The live local music blends pretty damn well with the festival. If you are not standing in front of the stage checking out the band(s) you can still hear them all around the park. It makes for really good ambiance when you are waiting in one of the many, many lines or while your mouth is burning from that last habenero sauce you tried. The music I heard this year was wonderful (not that it hasn’t been wonderful in the past), but I really was diggin on Mike and The Moonpies and REALLY had a great time with Shiny Ribs.

I will be honest and say that I only caught the last 10 minutes of Mike and The Moonpies (, but they definitely snapped my attention as soon as I got there. With some fun covers and smooth originals they drew your attention and drew the crowd. Although the sun was still cooking the crowd they definitely made it worth hovering in the heat and shuffling your feet. Although I will try to avoid being at another performance of theirs out doors in the heat of the day, I will tell you to make a point of checking them out anyway, anywhere. In a nice bar with seats, a table, and food…Hell yeah!  

SO here is the challenge put before everyone in attendance that day and to you reading the blog…do a search on Google for Shiny Ribs ( and you are assured that the only thing you will find IS about this band! This is the command from their lead singer and showman, Kevin Russell. I had a preconceived notion of how freaking great this performance would be because the make up of the band includes members of The Gourds. Oh what fun! “It was unexpected to see them perform a song that was so popular in its time. I mean Really! Who the Hell covers TLC’s - Waterfalls?”  The Shiny Ribs do and they did it well. In their other incarnation I mentioned before, they are known for doing a cover song here and there and make it a countrified, hell yeah, audience singing along, kind of event.

Whether you see them acoustic or plugged in this is one of those Austin originals you have to see. I am glad to have seen them and will happily take you along for the ride next time they fire up a set.


Ancient History

I was recently reminiscing to my girlfriend about the 'good ole days'...OH Please! Whatever!...and stumbled across my first music review/write up. I was astounded and dumbfounded. To say the least I was extremely happy. To me this validates what I do. To think that I have been doing this IN AUSTIN, for 25 years!!!

It warms me and chokes me up at the same time. To all of you reading this, to all of you that take the time, to all of you whom I call my friends. To MC Overlord and EVERY stinkin musician that he has introduced me to. To the families of those artists, their friends, my kids, my girlfriend, TO EVERYBODY...thanks. 

I was really taken aback when I saw this article and re read it. So here it is for printed 25 years later. Check out the photos as well.

THANKS...and yes there is still more to come. I ain't going down until the big man says it's time!

as it appeared in "The Spur" 1987


It's concert season year round in Austin, "the Rock-n-Roll capital of the world," as many artists, including David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, have said.  These are just a few of the bands which hit the Austin music scene which Reagan students enjoyed.
The season began on September 10 when Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen (pronounced Ing-vay) stopped at the Austin Opry House. "He's a technical (guitar) wizard and his misc is quality work."  That is how senior Greg Allen described the guitarist. Greg also said, "his show was pretty good, but I've seen better."
In October, Austin shook with the sound of the long awaited new Van Halen, Queensryche and Huey Lewis. It started on the fourth with Van Halen playing to a capacity crowd. "It was awesome, " senior Chris Miller said. "I went to see them so I could compare Sammy Hagar to David Lee Roth."  Senior Roger Harvey said, "The thing I remember the most about it was the bass going through my body, and me pants were shakin'."
Queensryche played the Austin Opry House on October 6.  "They have good music and their concerts are great, " said senior Angie Anderson. Allen said, "They have such a beautiful style of music, yet a slight unrefined edge that makes it (their music)stand above the rest. Another thing is that their lead singer has an incredible four octave voice."
Huey Lewis played October 27 at the Erwin Center, and junior Thelma Ortiz was there.  "It was my first concert, and I thought it was great. He's one of my favorite rock singers, " Ortiz said.
The fall months came and went. Then winter hit, and with it the really hot concerts slammed into Austin. On November 15, Triumph played at the Erwin Center with one o fthe most high powered shows that Austin has seen in  a long time.  Paul Kelley, a senior, said. "It was fantastic. Their sound was really great, and their laser light show was the best that I have ever seen, even better than their last tour show." On October 28 David Lee Roth played to a rally hot audience in the Erwin Center. Some of the hits he played were "Yankee Rose," That's Life," California Girls," and Going Crazy."  "I never cared much for Van Halen," said senior Steve Bork, "but I like DLR a lot. The band was really good. They put on more of a show than a concert."

On December 2 Lionel Richie played to a full house, including sophomore Sandy Rodriguez.  She said "It was jammin'. It was a blast, you know. the best part of the whole concert was when they (Lionel and Sheila)sang a duet and she was in her skimpy outfit, and Lionel was all sharp lookin' with his stage set up. It was totally awesome."  December 12 revealed a new tour band for Journey, along with a very hot show. "It was vogue, alive, and very moving," said Ortiz.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Green Affect

Third time at ACL Live at The Moody Theatre ( ) and I can say this should be one of the premier places in Austin to go see a live music performance. The vibe of the place is just perfect for any type of music and entertainment. The perfect mix, built for aural pleasure and visual enchantment. The history that the Moody Theatre showcases is just awe inspiring and wonderful, and tonight was just another piece added to that legacy.

So, where to start….at the beginning I suppose.

Nelo ( ) was a surprise and a perfect way to warm up the crowd for the headliner. Not deterred by the shambling in audience, they threw down a really good set. The music, warm and energetic, and the performance seemed a little tame. I would venture to guess that if you catch these local boys on a stage somewhere around Austin on a less intimidating set, they would probably light it up and be tons of fun. As the openers here in ACL, I don’t think they had the opportunity to let it loose, but DAMN straight they had that feel, as if any minute they would just rip it wide open. Like most every other band I see and experience for the first time, I WANT to see these guys again! Hit up their link and support live, local Austin music.

Although this was Pat Green ), touring the nation, a local celebrity sensation. There was just more to it than that. The musicians in the band are all local boys too. This is the real pride and joy of Austin music and the Austin music scene. Someone local makes it big, and takes us along for the ride. Yes the spot onstage is earned and if you are there, you made it, it's yours.

I must admit I didn’t know the music, save for what my girlfriend has played for me on any given Sunday BBQ'ing in the backyard and drinking beer in the front. I know the ubiquitous ‘Wave on Wave’ and love it…dude, good music is good music! It knows no boundaries; there are no genre lines! But, the energy from the crowd and the singing along of every damn song was very fuckin cool.

“It was awesome being as entertained seeing [Pat Green] this time like it was the first time” was Mariza’s feelings as the show started. Part of the excitement of being at a live show is the surprise of hearing one of your favorite songs to a slightly different arrangement. Jumping up out of her seat and dancing happily to ‘Carry On’, my girlfriend Mariza is proof of that previous sentiment. From there on out it was just non-stop celebration in the seats (except for the three douche bags in front of us on their cell phones – see photo above). The folks next to me and behind me were just happily singing along and really proving a night out with Austin music is ALWAYS worth it.

My neighbors have been Pat Green fans since he was playing the colleges, like down in San Marcos at Southwest Texas State, entertaining the youth then and the long in the tooth fans now, LOL. My neighbor Kevin somehow lost his Pat Green faith along the way, but this particular night and performance restored him. With a giant grin he proudly told me how much fun he had, how great the show was, and that he would do it again!

The end of the show is where I lost my voice and was most impressed by the whole performance. Pat Green closed with ‘Wave on Wave’…duh!...and did his introduction of the band. All those local central Texas people on the stage and I screamed and cheered for my friend Slagle. As the song came to a close, Pat Green graciously let the audience take it out as the band members left the stage. Cheers to you Pat, THAT sir, WAS BEAUTIFUL!

My personal side note is that this performance was extra special as one of my friends with whom I have drank beer with and done shots with, Matt Slagle (!/slagleslaaaag ), was on stage. It was a very prideful moment to watch him there, see him there, and feel the rhythm he was providing on bass guitar. I have poked fun at him ( ) and taken some ridiculous pictures of him along the way as well. Seeing him outside after the show was nice after a year absence was vey nice, but a short lived reunion as he was on his way to the next gig in Alabama.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The lyrics to life

The Dirty Dog ) does have a lot going for it. Great location, huge interior area for shows and crowds, a great stage, sound, lights, and a staff that is pretty damn attentive. Another great time on schedule here. Now, they do have a helluva schedule, so you need to keep up with them on the web and take advantage of all the good times to be had. 

Keeping the house moving through the whole night was DJ Villa ( ). Providing the mid line entertainment and ambiance while we partied, mingled, and drank. He also did a kick ass job onstage for both Drastik as well as Overlord. It was spectacular and I hope more of the special spur of the moment mixing happens again and again, when you are there to experience it.

Drastik IV ( ) has a lot of energy. Theses kids have the idea, get the audience involved, make it interactive, and everybody will smile and remember you for how much fun they had. Drastik IV has a video on YouTube, 'Elephant in the Room', check it out here ( ). This would give you a small view of what they are like live...and live they are. With the awsome performance that they put on I will enjoy seeing any of you at another one of their shows with more bands along the same line of that harder edge music. They do have a song they tout as their "6th street anthem" that they should definitely leave for last. What a perfect way to close out the set and get the audience completely going. Go see them and you will know what I mean.

Michael Dillard ) was next up. Dillard is always fun to watch because of his intensity on the mic. His music is unquestionably Austin, but his new stuff definitely takes his sound in a different direction. He has the crowd backing and everyone singing along so make sure you make it out to a show, enjoy the new stuff, and grab his debut EP while it is still available and check out his video from the debut disc ( ).

Jess and the Echoes ) topped off the evening before the showstopper. With her swaying sound and her voice that is tight with the music, it makes you feel like you should be watching her perform outdoors at one of our many festivals with 3,000 other people enjoying the sound also. She definitely brought a crowd with her and you gotta love one of your openers when they help pack the house and keep them interested.

Out on the stage came 'the man of the hour, with Tomahawk power', blowing the shit up once again.
MC Overlord ) came onstage and schooled us on why he is a 'record breaking 10 time Austin Music Award winner' and Lifetime Achievement award winner. The opportunity to see him now and enjoy a live set is better than ever. With a completely revamped set list and a lot of new music with some different old pieces mixed in, it is a more electrifying show than I have ever seen in the last decade. Now granted, I haven''t had the unabashed joy and laughter of seeing him forget lyrics, but that is what age and Jager will do to you. The audience didn't care, pushed up to the stage singing along, every audience member out there felt like it was their show and we were ALL part of the good times and great music.

This is one of the reasons you always go do live local music, you never now who will show up or what will happen...and at an Overlord show it can be both. So just go do it, support it, and love this city!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

At The Skylines video interview

Here is the video interview with Chris Shelley from At The Skylines. This was shots minutes after their set at Emos in Austin, on the 'Scream It Like You Mean It' tour.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Battered and Bruised

"Scream It Like You Mean It" ) tour,  photos from the Austin, Texas stop.

The new Emos, Emos East ) is a really great addition to the live music expansion happening here in town. With the other renovations happening (East Austin Revitalization Project) in this part of Austin, it is perfectly suited. I had frequented this location and building back in the day when it was The Back Room. Now that I have been to the new incarnation, I can truly say that I am glad this is in that location and Emo's East is a great addition to the live music accessibility for performers and road shows that come to Austin. I love it!

For those of you who were lucky enough to have seen or been in the old back room, I was very happy to see that they left the original bar that was at the front of the game room side of the venue.

Now Emos East is just one GIANT open space, a grandiose version of the Red River location. The bleachers are still there in the back and on the side. There are some tables for sitting and enjoying a drink (especially if you are sent to the back of the club by your kid, while they enjoy the show down front!) The sound is fucking awesome for the bands that want it loud and in your face. A decent smoking section outside, for you chimneys out there. Parking is just about as stupid as it was before and not any safer than down town. Plenty of creepy ass weirdos starring down from the apartment balconies while you get out of your car (LOCK YOUR SHIT UP!).
A great stage, awesome lighting, and apparently the bands love the sound man (with or without a beard?!)

At The Skylines ) first up again. I saw these guys at SXSW in March and was blown away. An opener my ass, they pounded the shit out and had the early crowd from go! With a recent birth in the band family, there was a loan in singer who ran with the task like he was part of the band from day 1! If you didn't know the band or weren't familiar with them then you didn't notice. I am telling you, catch these bad ass guys out on the road and just see what I mean...Why are you opening? Lets get them moved up on the bill. With the sound, energy, and audience reaction, I will love an opportunity to see them again, and MOST DEFINITELY with a longer set. I want MORE...and you will too.

BTW - we did a video interview with Chris, lead singer of ATS. It was great, it was fun. If you are a fan of the band you will get a neat inside view of some things that you never knew (and maybe didn't want to!)  []

Although I haven't had the pleasure of knowing Glasscloud ) before this show, I will tell you that I am glad I went, glad I heard them and you will be too.  Yes, they would be put in the same category as the other bands ("Screamo" as I am told by my daughter), but what you get and what they are is a little different. Vocals are right there like the other bands, but musically that is where the breaks come on. The guitar player was scary bad ass, I mean along the lines of virtuoso. At several times I would swear he was playing with 10 fingers and not just a pick and the fact that it is an 8-string guitar. Expecting that there is some classical guitar training in his background, but this could just be insane, self taught talent. Go see them, watch and is intelligent, and it seems that they like to showcase that.

On a side note, I did get to meet their drummer, Chad, and spoke with him for a hot minute (it was 110 on the black top asphalt.) After hearing and seeing them perform, I was not surprised in the least bit how friendly and well spoken Chad is. Fun fact is that they do like to jam new stuff in the van when they are traveling from gig to gig. Being handed discs all the time they DO actually try to listen to it (in the CD player of the van at that exact moment was 'Inside the Beehive' - Chad also has mad respect for Justin Bieber...(the new album actually does kick ass!)

Secrets ), sadly I only caught the last couple of songs here as I was outside doing a video interview with another band (check it on YouTube). What I did catch was great and full of energy. With the lead singer standing on the barricade and lurching out into the crowd, it was pretty intense. As a fan, this is what you come early for, this is what you fight for (to stay down in front), this is why live music will always kick ass and be an integral part of our lives. The apparent love of the fans from Secrets is what makes me smile when I go to a show and see that from a band.

Close to Home ) was right there with the other bands. I am telling you, whether you get the opportunity to catch this band on this tour or it is another tour at another time. You MUST take the time to go check them out on a bill with many other bands. It is very fun and these guys in CTH like to be showy and laugh and smile onstage. Great stuff!

Like Moths to Flames!/likemoths ) is just as fun and lively as the other bands. Driving the audience into a frenzy with the music and commanding your attention the whole time they are on stage. Another band that would definitely be worth while seeing again or catching on a big bill like this one.

 Abandon All Ships!/abandonallships ) really impressed me with their sound. I hate to make comparisons, cause what I hear is never what you hear or think. I even sent my girlfriend a text about these guys as soon as I heard them. Something that I knew she would like, and our tastes don't always match up. As far as the performance, right on the money with the other bands. Full of energy, audience participation, and general "I don't give a Fuck, I am here for a good time" it was great and I would take my girlfriend to see these guys. 

 Woe Is Me!/woeis ) was pretty intense. Demanding the circle pit, and make sure you take someone down with you. Damn good fun. It must be great to be higher up on the food chain, but after a few hours of mind numbing, blistering sound, you would think you would be tired of it. NOPE, not with this audience. Woe Is Me just whipped them up into a new frenzy.

We Came As Romans!/wecameasromans ) the statement of 'blinded by the sound' would be applicable here. Just huge sound coming from WCAR and the activity on the stage and in the crowd was mind numbing. I couldn't focus and the crowd was just insane. This was a breathless set.
Sorry for the lack of photos, but of course we had a camera issue during the WCAR set.

 Attack Attack! ) were the men of the late hour. This is what most of the kids came to see. DO you wanna know what it was like from the audience perspective when these guys came on stage...EVERYONE forgot about their pain and dove into the fray.

With poignant words for a lost and hopeless generation, the lead singer drew great applause and cheering while they launched into another barrage of songs.

Angel was dead tired with a hurting ankle and wanted to go, but decided "No, I want to stay til the end." I think this was undoubtably the sentiment with every one. 'Let's make it to the end!' Good thing they all did, with a thank you and good night Attack Attack! left the stge, only to be pulled back for one more song. YUP! it was the one every one wanted to hear and the place just exploded.

Photos by Angel Skye!