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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

For whom The Belle Sounds


Love that mid week going out to catch a show thing in Austin. It doesn't have to be the weekend to catch something great. To my point, a miserly $5 gets you some of the DAMN finest Austin has to offer in music, a live music venue, and a fantastic staff. That's right, the One 2 One on S. Lamar.
So, after missing several opportunities to hang it with an old Reagan High School compadre, it finally fell into place. Nothing like hanging out with a friend, among friends, with cold drinks, . And great music.




I have gone on about the wonderfulness of the One 2 One (http://www.one2onebar.com/) many times previously, but you can't wait to get out and see it now. Their new, very bad ass, very comfortable, and very cool furniture is in place. The art is installed on the walls (ask about pricing) and the selection of local brew and custom liquor is sweet (or spicy in the case of the habanero tequila).



First band up for the night was The Belle Sounds (http://www.thebellesounds.com/) A little pop to that Americana sound, made for a wonderful surprise. Better than a happy hour, background music kind of band, The Belle Sounds requested your attention through their whole set. With a couple of catchy tunes and a bubbly, almost most make you blush, personality on the Mic, lead singer Noelle makes the band super easy to enjoy. With her lead guitarist husband just itching to rip it loose, the whole ensemble is another product and source of pride for the Austin music scene.











Oh what a joyous surprise the next band up was. I will back this up a couple of years to start this introduction. Blue Boy Inn charity event included some jaw doing talent, including Derrick Davis (http://derrickdavisband.com/). Performing a pleasant, solo, acoustic set, Mr Davis blew me away with his rendition of 'I wanna be like you' from the Disney classic 'The Jungle Book'. Check out the video here (http://youtu.be/Ka01B6UpfRs)





After spending some time on the upper east coast, we are proud to have Derrick back. With the construction of his version of a super group and a variety of me tunes, he is well on his way.
To my shock and awe, the million dollar man, Matt Slagle, was on bass. I have always said, you never know who you will see when you go out in Austin and catch that live, local, music.




Seeing Derrick Davis with a full band was just phenomenal for me. Should be an astounding performance for you to enjoy as much as it was for my compadre! Sounding more polished and finished then expected or believed by my buddy Paul, it was was nothing short of being a gold LP. The awesome personality of Derrick along with the amazing sync of the band makes this one of the new top picks of who to see in 2014.



Laters

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The coolest man ON THE PLANET



Dale Watson and his Lonestars (http://dalewatson.com/index.htm) BAR NONE! Have you met him? Have you seen him perform live? I have, I am proud to say I have and I will go see him again and again. Just like some of my other local Austin music artist friends (whom I love dearly as friends, associates, and musical performers) Dale is worth following and talking about all the time.


I saw Dale do a set for the first annual Dia de los Muertos (http://livemusicinaustin.blogspot.com/2013/10/dia-de-los-muertos-austin-2013.html) at Fiesta Gardens. Although that was awesome, there are no bones (pun intended) about his performance at The Broken Spoke (http://www.brokenspokeaustintx.com). I recently had dinner there and saw a really nice performance by Lohman's Crossing (http://livemusicinaustin.blogspot.com/2014/02/sounding-better-than-taste.html),but this night was in the dance hall.




Here, being what I would call a typical Honky Tonk dance Hall, is where all the magic happens. The Broken Spoke dance hall is deceivingly HUGE! The dance floor is in typical fashion is long and narrow. Wide enough to make the turn in front of the stage when you are dancing, and then down the stretch. Lots and lots of seating on the left and right sides, front to back and I mean LOTS of seating. The stage is, of course, located at the opposite end of the dance floor from the entrance. So when you walk in, it is nothing but an intimidating sight to behold. A packed dance floor, with a sea of swirling bodies in full speed rotation, and a band somewhere, wayyyyy down at the end.





For Dale Watson and his Lonestars, I have no doubt they feel completely at home and comfortable rocking the house on that stage with it's SUPER, low slung ceiling. So low, in fact, that if the bass player extended the bottom of his bass, it could stand up by itself, floor to ceiling.


So Here I am with this huge crowd, taking turns two stepping with Ms Cruz and then my camera. It is a hellified site to see. The great thing is this is a performance everyone can see damn near weekly, as The Spoke is one of two places that I believe Dale would call home here in Austin.



About that performance. It is proof that Dale crosses every damn generational line and racial lines don't exist. As I stood there and had the chance to pay attention, it was proof in seeing everyone dancing with everyone. It is such a good time to be had by all in the most literal translation. I would see someone take a spin on the floor for one song and then the very next song there they are again, but with a different person. Old and young, Dale Watson and his Lonestars IS every persons good time band!


Laters






Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Fat Bottomed girls,

make the rockin world go round"

Freddie Mercury - Queen



and Stateside at the Paramont  (http://www.austintheatre.org/site/PageNavigator/venues/state) along with the Fat Bottom Cabaret (http://www.fatbottomcabaret.com/) presented us with

Midnight Menagerie: Love Hangover

and they did just that. They rocked our world all around. 



Butt first (damn I crack myself up sometimes) about the venue. First time at the Stateside and it was lovely and beautiful. Retaining every bit of that 1930's feel and charm. With the intriguing staircase that leads to the mysterious and romantic balcony, to the decor, the staff, and and even the theatre itself, it was dreamy. Going to a 'Dress up' event and being at this venue, with the staff welcoming you and ushering you to your seat, makes you feel like you ARE in the movies. It may be only a small house of about 300 seats, but sold out, it must feel and look like a thousand. 



Nothing to complain about here. A big beautiful stage, with the comfy red cushioned seats going right up to the edge of the stage. If every performance here is like the Midnight Menagerie's Love Hangover performance, then they are all damn stunning and exciting.




















 



The Fat Bottom Cabaret (http://www.fatbottomcabaret.com/) presented me with my first cabaret, theatre experience here in Austin. With Foxxy Blue Orchid (the evenings emcee) providing us with his 'blue' humor and doing an excellent job of constantly keeping things moving, there was never a dull or slow moment in this show.






Cholo Magnolia, did her thing reppin San Antonio. Ginger Snaps and Remi Martini did their tastiest best. All of us were electrified by the final performance of headliner Coco Lectric. Through it all and through out the evening the ladies from Fat Bottom Cabaret strutted their stuff as well.















With the many different performers providing their own sexy takes on burlesque for the evening, it was tantalizing, titillating, and too die for. Uproarious humor, daring leopard print outfits, feather boas, and a mass of ass, WAIT TIL YOU SEE THE PHOTOS. I am still having fun whittling it down to a dozen or so. I am also wondering what in earth I can get away with before some tight ass douche bag fucks my up by reporting me to any given websites admin for porn.
 

To all and everyone the goes to any future production of the Fat Bottom Cabaret, the girls are all wonderful. Get to the venue early because this is one event where waiting in the lobby and chatting makes it more fun to take your seat and see all of your new found friends on stage. 






For me, seeing GiGi Sparxx and Blazin Bettie on stage and in and out of costume was a smile inducing event. Meeting so many interesting people that were all so happy and excited to be there made this event a life event. So pull up the website and get your tix for the next big one. Hope it will be as fun as this one.

 


Laters

Sounding better than the taste

This is going to be a Two-parter. The Broken Spoke for dinner on one night and then a surprise trip to the dance hall portion of the Spoke for a show and hours of fun on the next night.

The Broken Spoke (http://www.brokenspokeaustintx.com/) seems almost out of place now. With the sprawl of apartment developments engulfing it on either side. 

Yeah, that little, bitty, red spot with the tree next to it...The Broken Spoke. God Bless them, and never let them move it! EVER!


I went to have dinner with Ms. Mariza Cruz and happened to pick a night when Lohman's Crossing was performing. I like dinner and music, especially good music, performed well. It provides something other than the clink of dishes and the drone of others conversations. If you are lucky, and the band is very good (like Lohman's Crossing), then there is always conversation to be had about this song, or that one.

I can not say that this was the best chicken fried steak, I can say that we were over charged by a waitress who pretty much didn't give a crap (not the word I wanted to use). I would rather think of it this way, I would have rather paid that tab for the drinks and the band, not the food and service that night. Sorry! It pains me to be a dick, but I am also not going into detail because I am not a food critic. I am a normal guy, that works for a living and when I go out I want to enjoy my company, where I am at, THE MUSIC, and get what I paid for.




Back to the band. Lohman's Crossing (http://www.lohmanscrossing.com/) is fronted by a voice (Lefty Rainbolt- that's right, Lefty) that I would say is pretty much perfect for the country, Americana, southern rock style this quintet does. When you have that much talent on one stage you don't really need amplification or drums. They did it all with guitars and mandolins, fiddles and a squeezebox, and seamless enough for you not to care or notice the change ups. In the hour and a half we hung out there at the restaurant portion of the Spoke, I heard damn near everything I could want to hear. Go to their web page and read up on their repertoire yourself.

Like I said earlier, in between bites and our own humble conversation, both Ms Cruz and myself were kept entertained with Lohman's Crossing. It made it all go down that much smoother. Next time I am purposefully finding something to eat in Austin or the central Texas area, and want music with my food, I will look for Lohman's Crossing to keep it sounding as good as I can taste!


Laters


Monday, February 10, 2014

Have you Been? Well I have...

Cheatham St. Warehouse (http://www.cheathamstreet.com/) has a pretty amazing Texas Country Music history. Seems like anyone and every one should (and would be) honored to play here. I can only think of one other place in Central Texas that has a history behind it like Cheatham St. and that blog post is coming up very soon.

What I would call your typical Texas dance hall. Unassuming on the outside, located RIGHT next to the RR tracks, and parking that makes it just as fun to get there as it is to leave. Cheatham St has those low slung ceilings inside, and is a long, somewhat narrow, but boxy venue. With the stage on one end and seating directly in front of it as well as along the sides, this makes for a small two stepping area, but I am sure the tables can be slid back to make room for some serious dancing fun. There are some pool tables in the back and the bar runs along the side next to the entrance. This set up makes for some awkwardness when a band is fired up, the place is jumping, there is a line at the bar, and then folks are filtering in. The sound is good so there is not a bad seat in the house if you came to listen.

On this particular night it was William Clark Green headlining with special guest the Cody Bryan Band.


I had the pleasure of hanging out with the guys from the Cody Bryan Band for a pre-show dinner. They really are a fun group of young men. All of them are really down to earth, normal guys with daily life struggles. Girlfriend drama, not having a girlfriend drama, money, and just trying to make it happen. Eating at Alvin Ords there in San Marcos was a treat, and there were laughs to be had all around. The band even had time to stop and admire an advertisement for the show they were playing at that very same evening. The drummer took the time to make sure all those who pass that poster there after would know who was performing at that gig!








The Cody Bryan Band (http://codybryanmusic.com/main.php) definitely have their eyes on the prize and are really aiming for the big time. All those who have seen them previously know this and are hoping and wishing for that good fortune to find them. Hard working, playing every damn show they can turn a crowd for, and staying positive will at least generate them a legion of loyal fans that would make any group of musicians happy.

This evenings performance by the Cody Bryan Band was pretty spectacular. Seems like they did some new stuff and rocked out some old favorites. The Cody Bryan Band does do a good job of keeping the crowd centered and entertained with a mix of covers and originals. Cody Bryan himself even got naked this night on stage. That's right ladies...you missed it! Cody Bryan performed a song WITHOUT WEARING HIS GUITAR!


William Clark Green (http://www.williamclarkgreen.com/index.html) had the college crowd packing it in at Cheatham St Warehouse. It was a performance that did see some folks take a twirl and a swirl on the floor. I was terribly thrilled, a couple of songs into the set, when I realized I knew this music. Not quite the fast tempo of other modern country, but it was just right for this chilly night and the young crowd keeping warm. I found myself, along with the whole crowd, singing along about your chick liking The Beatles and you liking The Stones. What was fun (and more important) is pretty much all in attendance liked William Clark Green.



I look forward to being able to check out William Clark Green again with my girl, who doesn't like the Beatles or the Stones, but she loves her country music and I'm sure William Clark Green too!

Laters