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Some Good H-Town News to Balance Out the Bad [12/05/2007 04:10:00 PM]:
It just seems like it's been one thing after another lately, doesn't it? Clubs closing down left and right (R.I.P., Cosmos Cafe, the most recent casualty that I've heard about), musicians passing away or getting injured (I'm sure everybody's heard about Pimp C's untimely death -- heck, it made the nightly news last night -- but there's also local musician Chris King, who per the folks on the Last Concert Cafe mailing list was in a car wreck over the weekend and was pretty badly hurt; more info here and here...), folks leaving town (like Lanky or bound-for-Austin Matt Sonzala), and even local video stores and theatres going belly-up or getting torn down (Movies The Store is gone, and the Landmark River Oaks Theatre may soon be, too)...it's been a parade of craptacular news of late.

Dammit, I need some good news. Seriously. Otherwise, no amount of holiday cheer is gonna keep me afloat. So here are some good, happy, to-be-thankful-for things to keep us all from getting too down in the dumps:

  • Super Happy Fun New Home!: Yep, Super Happy Fun Land has reportedly found a new home, over in the east-of-downtown warehouses near the Last Concert Cafe (near the Atomic Cafe, maybe? is that still around?). And thank goodness for that, because not only does this city desperately need a weirdo-music/art/whatever place like SHFL, but downtown is seriously in need of upping its coolness quotient. I dunno if the deal's final yet, but the SHFLers have nailed down at least a date range for the move: January 11th through January 23rd. If you want to help -- having seen the old SHFL, I can attest that moving will be a monumental task -- and email "info" at "superhappyfunland dot com". Help 'em out, eh?

  • Southmore, Too!: I hadn't realized 'til recently that the Southmore House had found a new place to dwell, too -- they're now cohabitating, as it were, with the Bill Hicks Resurrection Labs at 2915 Delafield. Big "thanks" to their Bill Hicks Labs compatriots for putting 'em up...

  • Cactus Does Shows!: Ah, nice... Not that I don't love SoundEx, but when I think of fun in-store performances, Cactus Music is what immediately jumps to mind, mostly because, well, I saw more bands play there back in its Mk. 1 Alabama days. And thankfully, with the rejuvenated, reopened (and freakin' awesome; I blew a ridiculous amount of $$$ there recently on stocking stuffer joke gifts & random CDs) store back with the living, so too are their in-store shows, starting tomorrow. They've got Ben Lee playing this Thursday, December 6th, at 6PM, which sounds intriguing (I haven't heard any of Lee's last few albums, but I liked the first few quite a bit), and then they've got The Derailers and The Gougers on December 7th and 8th, respectively. Hot damn, I'm glad Cactus is alive & kicking again. (Oh, and it's now over at 2110 Portsmouth, across from the 59 Diner.)

  • The Sammies!: Local fave The Skyline Network's answer to the Houston Press Awards, except a lot more straightforward, category-wise. Go, vote, and let your favorite Houston musician/band/artiste bask in the warm glow of local-scenester adulation.

  • Stuff Online at the Free Press!: I'm a confirmed fan of the Free Press Houston, but for some damn reason, I hadn't been able to find much of the mag's content on their Website for quite a long while. Which sucks, 'cause they don't even drop the HP in my part of town, much less the FP. Post-Website update, though, they are an online-music-coverin' machine, with LP4 ringmaster Ramon Medina seemingly leading the charge -- his article on the excellent Hearts of Animals is particularly killer.

  • The Judy's on CD!: Not sure where I saw this first, 'cause it popped up on my Google Reader from all over the place at once -- TSN, Houston Calling, the Hands Up board, wherever. Anyway, the upshot is that the back catalog of inimitable works created by The Judy's, possibly the most-beloved H-town band ever (locally, at least), is now available on CD via the band's own resurrected (was it ever really dead?) Wasted Talent Records label. Just in time for Christmas, naturally; place an order for your nearest & dearest now.

  • Rosa's Ditch Water Photo Zine!: I picked up local photog/scenester Rosa Guerrero's new "fotozine," Ditch Water, at SoundEx last weekend, and I'm very glad I did. Not only is it cool to see actual, real-live paper zines once more (found a few other new ones at Domy, as well), but it's awesome to be able to finally put names to faces for some of the local (and non-local) music folk Rosa's photographed over the past couple of years. For a homebody like myself, that's kinda neat. Plus, she's a darn good photographer -- I think my fave photo is the one of Chris Ryan (I think that's him, anyway) sitting on a chair outside Notsuoh as the Metrorail train blurs past. Or maybe the one with the guy (Tody Castillo, maybe?) crouching down behind his old-school amp, with the amp in sharp focus and the guy blurred. Nice. Get your copy soon, as there're only 50 in existence, and I've got #12 in hand...

There. I feel better now. Maybe the scene's not doomed, after all...

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