Daily Music
Massive Garage Rock Fest Invades H-Town
It's gonna be a good month for garage rock. Hot on the heels of Beerland's upcoming Ground Zero Texas Fest (Dec. 6-9), Houston holds its own with the Texas Gone Garage Showcase Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, at Rudyard's. Most notable is the reformation of Houston's the Mirrors, Greg Ashley's band before the Gris Gris. Go here for more info.

4:25PM Wed. Nov. 21, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Ghosts in the Machine
During the second hottest solar flair-up of the evening last night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, during the second song of the encore, “So Lonely,” Sting sang “Welcome to the Andy Summers show” into the 1978 sound-off. The Police frontman threw in the same line about drummer Stewart Copeland two minutes later, but as Summers’ Telecaster blaze went from molten to nuclear, the show’s scorecard clearly had the shorter, stouter guitarist in the lead. Considering the two tall egomaniacs yin and yanging the UK trio on either side of him for the past 30 years, Sting’s initial Police bulletin rang truest.

Not that the former Gordon Sumner – whose spitting-image son, Joe (in looks, in voice, on bass in a UK trio), had opened the concert winningly with his band Fiction Plane – wasn’t in perfectly fine fettle. Wearing a supremely satisfied grin throughout, Sting kept his throat vaporized with spray and spray he did: 17 of his gilded compositions in 100 minutes. On the final date of the Police’s North American tour, the novelty of the reunion had clearly worn off, but the musical love/hate triangle found its live sweet spots and enjoyed them thoroughly. “So Lonely,” a debut album chestnut, tuned Summers to the key of rip and shred – rend – but it wasn’t the only deliberately jagged edge to the Police 20 years after their disbanding.

2:32PM Wed. Nov. 21, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

1-2-3-4!
There’s nothing quite like the Ramones to get you through the holidays. Friday at Emo’s, longtime drummer Marky Ramone, backed by the Queers, rekindles the band’s best. Here’s the remainder of the interview from this week’s "Off the Record."

Off the Record: You came into the Ramones at the peak of their early career. What sticks out to you the most from the period?
Marky Ramone: First of all, Tommy couldn’t tour anymore. Not that he couldn’t, he just wanted to produce, so he was in the band for three-and-a-half years, and then they asked me to join the group. I joined in the spring of ’78, and the first song I recorded was “I Wanna Be Sedated.” One of the reasons I joined the band was because I knew that Tommy had production experience and that he was going to produce the album I was going to be on. The other Ramones used to see me in Richard Hell & the Voidoids and a band I was in called Dust. They used to be in the audience and they liked my playing. Dee Dee asked me first and then Johnny. They gave me a cassette of the songs that were going to be on the first album and the live show, which had about 25-26 songs. I had to learn all of that in about two weeks.

OTR: How familiar were you with the group before then?
MR: We all knew each other from CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City, which was another club that we all used to hang out in.

OTR: Did you have the sense going into it that this group was really onto something?
MR: No. At the time we didn’t know what we were influencing. Obviously, we had some idea. The English picked up on it a year later, and then L.A. picked up a year after that. Basically we would go to places and we would see bands trying to sound like us opening up for us, 1-2-3-4 with the leather jackets and the jeans and the Converse sneakers, which you see everywhere now. We were very grateful and happy that we were at least laying some sort of groundwork for bands that just wanted to play music.

OTR: The early Eighties brought a lot of change in the mainstream with the rise of MTV and New Wave. Looking back, how did that play into what was happening with the Ramones?
MR: When we did Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, that put us almost into the mainstream. I don’t want to call it mainstream. We were getting more fans, along with the Phil Spector album, End of the Century. What ended up happening was that the radio didn’t want to play punk rock. Then new wave came in, which was a more subtle version of punk rock, and the radio preferred to play that instead of the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, or the Clash. The Clash had a few hits, but that was later on. We sort of persevered and we never changed. We always stuck to our guns and we didn’t wander off to other genres.

12:55PM Wed. Nov. 21, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Being There
“Where is the show again?” asked my mother over the phone.

The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, I’d thought, where last November free jazz maverick Charles Lloyd had huffed and puffed and blown a San Francisco Jazz Festival audience down, down to the ground.

“Legion of Honor, 34th and Clement – the Florence Gould Theatre,” I read off the tickets with dawning amazement.

“Isn’t that … ?” began my mom.

Actually, yes. One Google later, we knew the Florence Gould Theatre to be downstairs in our favorite building in San Francisco, one of our favorite places on the globe. A singular museum, certainly, but more so a time honored sanctuary for us, situated on a golf course overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. The Marina’s Palace of Fine Arts feted the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, but crumbled steadily until it was completely rebuilt in 1975. The Legion of Honor opened November 11, 1924, and seven days shy of 83 years later, mother and I marked her birthday in a theatre where the likes of Andres Segovia and Duke Ellington once played for audiences of no more than 300. Purchasing two tickets in August to the see Tord Gustavsen help highlight the S.F. Jazz Festival’s 25th Anniversary because of the date he fell on suddenly had the air of an exceptional idea. The Swedish trio held up its end of the piano.

11:09AM Mon. Nov. 19, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

At the Cactus With McCue
The world is seemingly filled with sensitive singer-songwriters agonizing over lost love and metaphorical rivers that are wide and deep. Anne McCue isn’t one of them. OK, she occasionally writes of romance and the mundane parts of life, but the Nashville resident’s ace up the sleeve is her guitar playing. Where most folkies are content to strum an acoustic guitar and leave the heavy lifting to a sideman, the Australian McCue can stand toe-to-toe with nearly any guitar slinger you might name.

Her appearance at the Cactus Cafe last night was a loose-limbed affair. She was breaking in her new rhythm section, locals George Reiff on bass and Rick Richards on drums, but if the slim blonde hadn’t mentioned it was their first show together, you might not have known. Highlighting songs from her latest, Koala Motel, she used every guitar in the battery she brought on stage, from the National steel to the Danelectro 12-string to the lap steel, and each allowed her the freedom to explore a different type of roots music, including swampy Creedence stomp, ethereal blues, and countrified jangle.

12:01PM Fri. Nov. 16, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

Looking Over the MGs and a San Antonio Benefit
Let us stop and reflect for a moment on Booker T. & the MGs. They returned to Austin for the second time this year last Thursday, and it was sweeeeeeeeeeeet soul music by the chairmen of the board. That they returned with William Bell and Eddie Floyd and had Jimmie Vaughan guest on guitar was merely icing on that black-and-white confection of a band.

Plus, I got to meet Eddie Floyd by accident and thanked him for doing the show by telling him about my nephew Tyler, who attends the American YouthWorks program, the recipients of the evening’s proceeds. Naturally, the best part was the schmoozing and seeing unexpected longtime friends like Seventies Playmate Janet Quist. It was such a glittery affair, I fully expected to run into my brother, and voila! There he was, two tables down, surrounded by more beautiful women than Brad Pitt announcing he’s single.

5:14PM Thu. Nov. 15, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

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Extended Play
Ten Pounds to the Sound hosts a benefit tonight at Austin Figurative Gallery (301 Chicon) for the No Idea Festival 2008, the annual improv gathering tentatively set for Feb. 14-17 and featuring the Weird Weeds, experimental Japanese guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama, Damon & Naomi collaborator Bhob Rainey, and NYC-based percussionist Sean Meehan. The event spotlights San Francisco oboist Kyle Bruckmann alongside Kurt Johnson and festival organizer Chris Cogburn, as well as a solo performance from local clarinetist Jon Doyle.

For the seventh consecutive year, Mother Egan’s Irish Pub (715 W. Sixth) celebrates the birthday and “Eternal Life” of Jeff Buckley on Saturday, this time benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank and featuring Ryan Holley, Jade Day, and Tina Rodriguez, among others.

11:43AM Thu. Nov. 15, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

'Dirt' in Your Third Eye
Wednesday nights at Club de Ville have gotten a lot cooler now that the Psychotropic DJs have taken over from Seattle. Tonight, however, the added treat is a screening of Scott Conn's documentary, A Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin, Texas During the 1960s, featuring interviews and archival footage with folks who were there, man. 9pm, followed by the DJs.

2:53PM Wed. Nov. 14, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

You Got Your Electrons in My Phonons
Saturday night at Ceremony Hall, the New Music Co-op presents Electrons & Phonons: New Music for Instruments and Electronic Sound, which is pretty much what it sounds like. Eight local musicians, including Kirk Laktas of My Education, Doug Ferguson, and Travis Weller, among others, demo found objects and hand-built contraptions as instruments.

Local experimental vet Rick Reed is "the proud owner of a vintage synthesizer called a Synthi AKS. It was made by an English company called EMS sometime around 1971 or so. They only made about 800 of them. It's such an unusual instrument that I thought I might talk a little about both the instrument and the company that made it."

Reed recommends going here to see why this is remarkable. Grab your turtleneck and blazer and be there. 8pm, $10.

10:58AM Wed. Nov. 14, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

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