Daily Music
Born Free
Delightfully demented Dexter dispatched dearly dapper Andy Williams.

As etched in entrails by Jeff Lindsay with 2004’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter and 2005’s Dearly Devoted Dexter – and brought to humorous, albeit grisly black light last year by Showtime – the Miami PD blood-splatter “lab geek” turned vigilante descends from a serial-killing landmark in contemporary cinematic dismemberment.

Thomas Harris’ terrifying Red Dragon became Michael Mann’s terrific Manhunter in 1986, still the best Hannibal Lecter film of the lot, but better yet, ground zero for forensic sleuthery going mano-a-mano with sociopathic sushi chefs. At least one college-age cable poacher who found himself delightfully bloodied by the teaming thought to himself, “You could milk that forensic stuff forever.” A millennium later, Manhunter’s FBI profiler, actor William L. Peterson, pounds CBS’ CSI beat into syndication. Call my lawyer!

No one but me remembers Manhunter’s end credits rolling Red 7’s “Heartbeat” – as opposed to Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” at the climax – but the film’s jolted blue chill and the song’s synthetic rigor mortis have fused in my audio-visual cortex no less than “Gimme Shelter” dropping in GoodFellas. Now, Dexter has skinned “Born Free.”

12:39PM Fri. Sep. 7, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

The Other Janis
During the summer of 1981, I shared a big house on Baylor Street with roommates, including Alice Berry. Alice would go on to play with El Vez, Hillbilly Frankenstein, and Clouseaux before she started teaching Spanish at a Houston school but back then she was into rockabilly.

Boy howdy, was she into rockabilly. Every day the needle would be dropped on vinyl and the sounds of Wanda Jackson, Lori Collins, JoAnn Campbell, and Janis Martin echoed through the old house, bouncing off the stairs and sliding along wood floors. It wasn’t long before Alice herself started singing with the Trouble Boys (and landed that much-sought-after opening slot with the Clash on their “Know Your Rights” tour after Stevie Ray Vaughan was booed offstage in 1982) but that summer we were just in record heaven.

I already knew Wanda Jackson’s material so Janis Martin’s records were the most interesting to me, filled with songs like “Will You, Willyum,” “My Boy Elvis,” and “Ooby Dooby,” but I was impressed she had been signed to RCA, Elvis’ label, at age 15. A native of Virginia, Martin was groomed at an early age for stardom, incorporating R&B influences like Ruth Brown into otherwise white hillbilly rock. RCA jumped on her like a duck on a Junebug and billed her as “The Female Elvis.”

11:27AM Fri. Sep. 7, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

Silver Anniversary
Did I really see people "rave" dancing last night at Silver Apples? Yes. Did Simeon Coxe look like an older Garth from Wayne's World? Yes. Clad in what I hope was a white wig and black-rimmed glasses, Coxe stood alone behind his kit, sampler on one side, oscillator on the other, a screen to his right split to show what both hands were doing.

He's no spring chicken, but for the first stop on his first tour in eight years, Coxe seemed spry, cracking jokes in between songs, even if his hands aren't as dexterous as they once were. "Program," "Whirly-bird," and "Lovefingers" from Silver Apples 1968 self-titled were delivered via programmed beats, albeit slooooowwed down from the originals; Contact's screwed gem "You and I" almost sounded like a techno song. Later in the set, Coxe launched into a children's song about a purple egg. While what he's doing isn't as mind-blowing now as in 1967 (what is these days?), he gets props for continuing to make noise, even in a wig.

11:55AM Thu. Sep. 6, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Saturday Night Legends
Down at the Saxon Pub early Saturday evening, a quartet of music veterans known as the Dead Pyrates Society payed homage to old school rock. They’re seasoned rockers, all of them – tough as iron nails and hoisting the black flag in memory of those who’ve passed, including Bucky Ballard, Keith Ferguson, and Uncle John Turner. John Staehely’s presence is enough to give them platinum credentials – he’s played guitar with Bob Dylan, Spirit, Robert Palmer, and JoJo Gunne, which also featured the booming bass of Jimmie Randall, who’s played alongside drummer Mark Hamilton for years. Add a wise-cracking Keith Richards on guitar and what more could you ask for?

Did I say Keith Richards? It’s hard to ignore Keef’s influence when guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Joe Kennedy played him in a Stones cover band for years. If any one of those elements were different, the Pyrates might come off as ponderous. Instead, they roll like a well-lubed rock machine – big, heavy, and solid. As we headed out, the Pyrates were singing a rocket-fueled version of “The Eyes of Texas” that must have made Gabriel set down his horn and wish he played guitar.

4:39PM Tue. Sep. 4, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

Cardiovascular Blues II
“I need to shave you,” he nodded, holding up a razor.

No kidding. A thick blanket across my chest and another across the shins left me a little… exposed through the middle. He looked down at me. I looked up at him. A woman in scrubs who seemed to have no purpose in this particular operation looked over his shoulder.

By this point, I really didn’t care anymore. They’d given me a Benadryl downstairs, shot me up with a narcotic here, then given me “something to make you forget.” Can I get a prescription for that last one later?

“Both sides,” added the attendant, lowering the blade.

The femoral artery needs only be tapped on one side of the groin in a cardiac catheterization, but I was no position to argue. And who the hell was this onlooker? You can have my phone number later, lady.

10:31AM Fri. Aug. 31, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

Rocky Morales, Con Savos
The death of tenor sax man Rocky Morales last year devastated San Antonio’s music scene. A founding member of the Westside Horns, Rocky worked alongside Doug Sahm for many years in various bands including Joe & the VIPs, Rudy & the Reno Bops, Randy Garibay, Spot Barnett, and the Texas Tornados.

Morales played with old-school flair, influenced by the Mexican community he grew up in as well as the R&B bands of the Fifties and Sixties. That’s no surprise, since Clifford “Honkytonk” Scott was the one who inspired him to switch from alto to tenor sax. The resulting sound was unique in its soulfulness, exactly the touch Sahm loved to use in his various hybrids of rock, country, and blues.

Tonight at Antone’s is the tribute to Morales featuring the Westside Horns, Ruben Ramos, and Larry Lange & the Lonely Knights. Expect some mighty music as the Horns’ gorgeous reeds and brass meets Ramos’ silky Tejano sound and the Knights’ cuddle-up dance tunes. Doors at 7pm, music at 8pm.

2:14PM Thu. Aug. 30, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

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Cute Band Alert!
Even the name is cute. Composed of multi-instrumentalists Keith Poulson, Sherry LeBlanc, and Katie Birdseed, plus drummer Will Slack, the Hunnies are instant nostalgia for early Nineties boy/girl bands like the the Rondelles. Total pop bliss banged out of beat-up amps.

They met "through a series of bizarre coincidences where we all kept running into each other at unlikely places from 2001 to 2006, such as skating rinks, bus stops, New York City streets, and a Dairy Queen in Fort Stockton," explains Le Blanc.

Those coincidences led to a booking at the Parlor, which led to the slapdash formation of the group with original drummer Eric Loftis of the Booby Traps.

Influences? Let's see: "Impromptu sing-a-longs, spirituals involving hand claps, most songs involving hand claps, Bo Diddley, our dads, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Silver Jews, French girl groups from the Sixties, Minor Threat, Neutral Milk Hotel, punk, blues..."

See what you hear tonight when they open for Peel and Prom Nite at Emo's.

11:45AM Wed. Aug. 29, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Katrina Benefit Tomorrow at 311
Tomorrow night, Club 311 (311 E. Sixth St.) hosts a two-year Hurricane Katrina anniversary show and benefit with a stellar lineup of performers, including East 35, V.I.P., the Culprit, Vice & Mic Trey, Goliath, SoBlaqq, Mike Money, Sincere, Two Brothers, Stacy Russell, Philliez Beatz, and D-Ray, among others.

Gutta Gang, Devin the Dude, Chingo Bling, Gerald G, Bavu Blakes and many more are also scheduled to appear for this very worthy cause.

4:05PM Tue. Aug. 28, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Sir Callahan Goes On the Road
This week, Bill Callahan embarks on a month-plus tour, backed by a full band, which includes Shearwater drummer Thor Harris and violinist Elizabeth Warren. He'll be accompanied by Sun City Girl/improvisational virtuoso Sir Richard Bishop, though no Austin dates are scheduled.

However, Bill will be back in town for his lady Joanna Newsom's just-announced Oct. 27 performance with the Austin Symphony Orchestra at the Riverbend Centre. Tickets for that show go on sale Thursday through Front Gate outlets.

1:26PM Tue. Aug. 28, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

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