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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grandpa's drink (Abuelo's and The Brew)

Abuelo's ( restaurant on the hill at Barton Creek Mall is awesome. It is in a great location for driving to and doing something before or after you eat.(the mall). The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is divine, and the price is right on for what you get...great service, nice portions, and excellent food. When I first walked in I was a little intimidated as I felt "oh my god! I did not know we needed reservations." It seemed that nice to me, but we strolled outside to their patio area for some Friday night live music.

The patio area is very nice with lots of seating, a big gigantic fountain in the middle, and some misting fans to keep you cool while you enjoy their Happy Hour libations. My two gripes for Abuelo's outside area: 1) A BAR.....seriously, this place is nice and should have a bar outside. Waiting to get a drink outside proved to be a little more than I would have really like, but was OK. 2) put the misting fans on 'rotate'. If these fans don't rotate outside to keep your patrons cool and happy, don't be a cheap ass and replace these.

We weren't there for the drinks or the food (but that was the bonus), we were there for The Brew (! I have seen these guys a couple of times before and the company I was with has followed them for more than a decade.  From the Valley to 'Keepin'g It Weird', I found this setting at Abuelo's to be way, Way, WAYY more intimate than that sunset capitol place (and I have seen them their twice before).

Their music is a jazz/Latin/world style and is performed immaculately. Playing some rock classics like Santana and their own amazing spin on The Eagles - Hotel California, to their own original compositions, this band is truly outstanding. Headed by the sizzling classical/flamenco guitar skills of Michael Rodriguez and rounded out by two other Rodriguez brothers, this family pours out rhythms that feed your soul and your soles. The crowd started out a little bit older, but as the band settled into the first half of their set so did the crowd. This music is truly all ages, crosses gender lines, and more importantly EVERYONE gets up. In one video I dropped for them you can even see my crazy ass out on the floor taking a spin (

The Brew does seem to rotate singers as they need, but the core band never changes. The young man currently on vocals did a smashing job. They even introduced a beautiful young lady to do a couple of Celia Cruz songs and those were astounding too. It seems if you take a moment to go support local Austin music, this would be another band to add to your list, support, and enjoy!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Summerland w/Everclear

Back at the Moody Theater ( on the hottest day of 2013 yet, for another show. With The Moody Theater now doing tours of their gorgeous facility, you have to take a moment and go absorb some of the amazing music memorabilia that is on display. I am glad they are doing this and you will be too.

What a great day and place for the Summerland Tour 2013. The brain child of Art Alexakis (from Everclear) featuring some if the best alternative rock band of the early '90's. Sponge, Filter, Live, and of course Everclear, all made up the bill. All of the bands were not only monsters in their time, but currently are in the process of doing new things, including a new album or two, so this tour makes sense on multiple levels. Another great thing about a tour like this is the experience, you get the non stop hit songs and energy from all of theses band and the music just seems to be non stop. With very little time between sets, you barely have time to go pee, much less grab a drink before the next band is up on it again. Alex was the epitome of a great host and MC, introducing each band along with an explanation and what the upcoming band meant to him and Everclear.

Sponge ( was first up for the evening. After being introduced by Alex, as the band who taught Everclear how to be gentlemen on the road, Sponge proceeded to light up the audience. The lead singer was sporting the biggest damn rope chain I have ever seen and the guitarist and bass player where just having a great time. Although the house wasn't packed when Sponge launched into their set. Those in attendance got every drop of energy these guys had to offer! Wrapping up with their hit song 'Plowed', it was exactly what you wanted.

Alex reappeared on stage, gave some quick props to Sponge and then introduced Filter ( as the band that taught Everclear how to be ROCKSTARS on the road. It was the same formula for Filter here, hard and fast. Knocking through their songs with hardly any chatter except for a little story about 'Take A Picture'. Before their final song, the lead singer of Filter thanked Austin,  professed his love for Austin, and asked if Filter came back to headline their own tour, would we let them do it again? Hell yes! 'Hey man nice shot' ended the set appropriately.

For the last intro of the night before his turn up Alex, with a "holy shit, I just saw their set list and its nothing but hit songs", brought out LIVE ( AND THEIR SET WAS JUST THAT....LIVE! The quote from Mariza about this set was simply this, 'Oh my God that was the best performance of the night!' Just doing one hit song onto of the next was almost
overwhelming. Clean, sharp, and pretty damn powerful. Their was a quick apology from the lead singer about being sick, but that wasn't felt on the audience side of the music. Playing 'Lakini's juice' very early in the set, then shortly thereafter rolling into 'Lightning crashes', was nothing when 'Selling the drama' ended having a montage of almost everyone on stage from the tour.

Out strolled the lead guitarist from LIVE, after thanking Alex for the tour he introduced Everclear ( Coming out on stage and having the amps cranked to #11, Everclear just did everything they could to throttle our ears. It was undoubtedly the most energetic and powerful set of the evening. Hearkening back to their roots and almost having that punk feel to the music, Everclear jumped into one of my favorites early on, 'Heroine girl' was fucking awesome to see and hear that song live! Just bad ass! A few songs later out came 'Father of mine' as his tribute to single moms everywhere.  It just powered on from there. 

Can't wait to see what gets cooked up for Summerland '14. Enjoy the photos'til then.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Brew - El Mariachi (live)

Anytime you get to sit down and listen to some latin/world music from a band this good, then the world is just a happier place

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

on the hill

During the Republic of Texas Bike Rally (ROT Rally) I ventured to a venue off the beaten path to go see a local band do their thing. I was a little worried at first, thinking this place was gonna be packed. Much to my surprise Poodies Hilltop Roadhouse ( was not busting at the seams. When you walk in the door it is about what you would think and expect for a Texas honky tonk. Low ceiling, cool wooden floors, one seating area by the bar, another lower with a dance floor, and a pool table or two around the corner from the bar. I didn't get to see the outside area, but that was not why I was here. It was, and always is, for the music.

Unfortunately for me and several others that were not from the hilltop, the service at the bar was busted. Waiting 10 or more minutes to get a beer when there was not a killer crowd is pretty damn sad. The girl behind the bar was doing her best to acknowledge and serve the 'regulars' (folks she recognized or knew by name) and just let the few others waiting suck it. I would say there were no more than 30 people in the bar at that time, and not all standing at the bar at once I might ad. The bright spot is there was a gentleman that would get behind the bar every now and then (glasses and salt n pepper hair), that  kicked ass and knew how to acknowledge folks, pop the tops, and even remembered what the hell I was ordering. Take your chance for having a decent bartender the night you choose to go and make sure the band is damned good and you really want to se them. Hopefully the music will make up for the service.

The Cody Bryan Band ( made their debut here during the ROT Rally. Even though I was expecting a packed house, these young men didn't care and played it up like they were in front of 10,000 people. What impressed me most about this performance, is it seems they developed a set list for a rowdy ROT Rally crowd with good old favorites like Born To Be Wild built into their pretty unforgetable set. The lead singer, Cody Bryan, does a pretty knock up job of keeping the audience in check, asking for people to hit the floor and take a two step spin, and even had us singing along. Good stuff folks.

Cody Bryan Band is getting airplay around Texas, so get your copy of 'Wreck Me' (iTunes or the bands website) and then call up your local station and request some CBB. Look for them around town, and on the road.


a slight return

I love my musical home away from home...the One2One ( It remains at the top of my list for venue, staff, location, and of course... LIVE MUSIC! If you haven't stopped in and checked out the place, you must. Yes! It is not part of the downtown entertainment district, but this should always be your jump off point, end point, or stay and kick the whole evening with great music and talent place. If you take a moment and scan their page for all of the amazing people that are always on stage here, you will definitely make it your place as well.

I dropped in for a special, and now becoming rare, performance form Bobby Bookout ( Currently working on his second studio album and taking a moment to remember his roots, Bobby took to the stage to perform his classic set.  Songs from the first album, some beloved covers, a few very well done new covers, and teasers of his new stuff, it was a great night.

Bobby kicked jumped right into the music and plowed through the set with some neat conversation with the audience here and there. I especially liked one of the new covers Bobby did. It is always a fun show and Mr. Bookout always makes it an amazing evening. I personally was blown away by the cover of Alex Clare's 'Too Close'. Pretty powerful stuff when an artist takes someone else's track, redoes it so that you love it and have that eerie feeling that you know the song, but just cant place it. That is what Bobby did here, if you are gonna cover it, make it your own, don't scareoke that shit!

The new tracks are something altogether different also. To me it seems less of the bluesy rock tracks from the first album and more of the roots rock sound, i.e. - the track 'Home' that seems very Johnny Cash-ish. It will no doubt be another awesome album.

While all in attendance were in receipt of some classic Bobby Bookout, some scorching blues licks and amazing guitar work by the inspirational Blake Atwell ( it is to be noted that Bobby is seeking and soliciting help from us all in trying to get the second album completed. If you feel so inclined to help out and be a part of something pretty damn cool (and maybe get something special from Bobby depending on your level of monetary assistance) jump to his page and email him.


Double trouble

I am going a little out of the norm here. Although I did see both Tee Double and P-Tek live at a performance, I will not be talking about the venue and straying a little from a review of the performance  and more of their individual styles as Hip-Hop artists.

P-Tek The Professor! ( was crazy phenomenal. I didn't know what to expect and what I heard I didn't expect! In one aspect it was typical good. You know, it was a live vocal performance over the pre-recorded track, but the technical aspects of the music would have made it near impossible to reproduce, fluidly, live. P-Teks voice is recognizable as his own, even when he gets amped up and starts to put the passion behind his voice, he still has his own timbre to his music. I do believe that P-Tek is part of Brain Ninjazz Edutainment, if not, he still has an association with them for all of the guest spots on his disc (my personal favorite is Doc Deuce talking about getting it on with his 'own personal Fun, Fun, Fun Fest'). The content that he raps about is heady and deep. Smart lyrics that are as far out left field as you can get while being conceptual and witty. As for the music...

I was lucky enough to have P-Tek drop me his disc. I have blasted it on repeat since then, with only a couple of exceptions (Magna Carta Holy Grail and Tee Double)! I would say that the nickname "The Professor" should and would stick because of the lyrical and musical genius this album is. It sounded crafted and created in the most positive way possible. Like The Professor from Gilligan's Island, P-Tek creates some music and rhymes from seemingly nowhere, then blasts them to the great joy of your ears! Pulling you in all directions, throughout the disc the music sounds current, up to date, and at times almost futuristic. BUT, the disc is so totally retro I was laughing at things that I picked up and how they translated to me. I heard pieces of BDP, Sugar Hill Gang, and 3rd Bass (yup! I said that and that is what I heard). Please jump to his website, give him a listen, go out and support the hip-hop scene in Austin, Texas and P-Tek 'The Professor' will leave you with a smile.

Tee Double ( and I have that common thread of going to school here in Austin, Tx in the late Eighties and early Nineties (McCallum for Tee and Reagan for me). Austin is not much of a different city now from then to now. Oh yes it has changed over the last 2+ decades, but not anymore than your hometown has grown and changed over that same time span. This common thread does put my brain on backspin though, thinking of life in Austin 20 something years ago and what shaped and influenced our lives and our musical tastes. How we have developed our opinions and singular paths now from then is surprising as diverse and different as our musical backgrounds are. I am happy that I have maintained that connection with the music world by writing about all of the awesome and diverse things that Austin, Texas offers not only to it's children, but the rest of the world. I am even happier to have reconnected with a child of the city that has chosen to stay, create, and maintain something worth while for the city of Austin to be proud of! I am sure that I could write a book, go on and on, and yet that has nothing to do with the blog or the artist known as Tee Double.

Tee Double on stage is smooth, serene, and yet deadly serious and focused. Stabbing his rhymes into your head with crazy precision making you think with his pointed lyrics. A gifted and talented producer and exquisite creator of beats, his is 100% Austin and original. Sounding (IMO) a lot like Too Short, if Short was intelligent, political, and had stayed off the pipe. His voice is low key, but the stories he weaves are deep, intellectual and no doubt the reason that the City of Austin has graced him with his own day (September 30th). Go to his web page to really get a glimpse at all of the work he has done for Austin and the Hip Hop community here.

The disc that I am proud to be listening too (in between the new Jay Z and that P-Tek dude) is pretty powerful shit. It has a completely retro sound to it, but he maintains and weaves the story intricately throughout the whole disc. It all ties together musically! The lyrical content is sharp, as I said, and you have no trouble picking up Tee Doubles pride in his home town. With absolutely no hesitation I tell you to go see Tee when you can, the problem is that he is in such high demand, his performances seem to be opening for some of the biggest names in the music game.