HPMAftermath: 9 Bands, 7 Bars, 1 Wristband, A Ton of People, & 1 Very Sore Foot [7/28/2008 01:39:00 AM]:
Yeah, I got out there a bit late -- I didn't make it to this year's Houston Press Music Awards Showcase downtown 'til 6PM or so, which meant I missed 2 hrs' worth of cool-ass bands. Perils of domesticated life, unfortunately; it gets hard to force myself to hop in the car & abandon the wife & midget, even for a few hours. But after cramming down some leftovers for dinner, I finally jumped in the car & went, parked beneath Bayou Place, and emerged into the summer-evening heat to see as many bands on the schedule as I could. Some I missed (The Wild Moccasins, Miss Leslie, Two Star Symphony, Flyish Fish Sailors...sigh), but the ones I did see were just about uniformly awesome. H-town reaffirms my faith in its homegrown music, once again.
Rather than blather about the thing as a whole, btw, I thought this time out I'd try my best to remember the mental notes I was making during each performance I caught (turns out I didn't have Blogger Mobile set up like I thought I had, or I would've done more than mentally make notes; argh...). Oh, and I tried to take pics, but it got to be progressively more & more of a pain, so I eventually gave up. Gotta ditch this camera & get a new one, dammit. The whole set of pics is here, those who care...
The Scattered PAGES @ The Flying Saucer:
Pale @ Venue:
- First place I came to, so what the heck; I always like the PAGES (or is it just "Pages," now? no freakin' clue).
- Damn, the crowd for these guys is a lot more receptive than the last time I saw 'em play, over at Venue.
- The music definitely fits the vibe of the place, too.
- Down side? Not everybody's there for the band -- seems like half the room's there to drink fancy-shmancy beers & socialize.
- Can't get a view of the band that doesn't involve a big column or standing real close to somebody's girlfriend; time to move on.
The Tontons @ Venue:
- Man, I haven't seen these guys in forever -- seriously, the last time I saw 'em, I was still in a band & they were like Ultramagg's proto-emo/indie-rock pals.
- They've evolved, for sure; now they're more like a cross between Radiohead & The Killers.
- Makes sense, really -- Calvin's voice always sounded ill-suited to the whole emo thing, to me -- this fits a lot better.
- Mmmm, smoke machine.
- Why aren't these guys played on The Buzz by now? They blow most craptastic Buzz Bands out of the water, they're still alive and/or releasing music (gotta love how "Your New Music" includes music by a dead guy named Kurt and a good dozen bands that don't exist anymore), and they're relatively accessible.
- Crowd seems to like it; bouncers aren't into it, but the folks watching are.
- Hrm. Where the fuck is Jowell? He said he was going to try to get here about now...
- Why can't I check my email in here? Are the walls lined w/lead or something?
- Is that Hank from Southern Backtones filming everything?
- Wait a second...I think I know the crew 2 tables over from the Hash House Harriers. Weird.
- Last song, heading outside to figure out what next; got a text msg from Jowell telling me I'm on my own. Ah, damn.
- The Tontons are next, so back in I go.
- David C. Sighting #1.
Black Math Experiment @ The Real Sammies:
- Holy fucking shit. I should just go home now; nothing will top this.
- (Okay, so that turned out to almost be true.)
- Ramon Sighting #1.
- Asli is amazing, like Nina Simone fronting The Experience.
- Love how she's sultry & playful, all at once.
- Never seen so many guys w/cameras taking pictures of the same woman at the same time.
- The band seems honestly humbled by the reaction they're getting.
- Hey, a Jay Lee Sighting!
- Raw and awesome; the bass makes my chest vibrate, & I love it.
- Band's almost done -- time to try to catch part of Black Math Experiment.
- God damn, BME's a long ways off; The Real Sammies is all the way past Notsuoh.
- Nice chat w/Rosa on the way up -- she's going for Wiggins, so I might, too.
- Ramon Sighting #2.
- Whoops...passers-by inform that Wiggins're done. On to Sammies.
Buxton @ Butterfly High:
- Fuck, my feet hurt. Ingrown toenail surgery sucks ass.
- Damn, missed most of the show.
- For a reunion of a now-defunct band, they seem totally into it.
- Heck, why'd they quit?
- That Jef With One F, he's something else.
- Final song reminds me (favorably, somehow) of musical theatre, like a Rent outtake.
- Ah, for a toilet-paper gun/leafblower that actually works...
- (Apparently the key is better-quality toilet paper, as half the crowd informs Jef after. How do they know this? I'm afraid to ask.)
- Undaunted, Jef uses leafblower on tables & people's clothes. Sometimes you improvise, yo.
- Lady from the Press looks like she's ready for BME to get done.
- Nice to actually meet Jef in person; damn nice guy.
- And weirdly, he looks almost exactly how I'd pictured him, which hasn't ever happened before.
- Quit bugging Jef so he can load out, time to hike down to Notsuoh.
- According to people walking ahead of me, BME didn't play "You Can't Kill David Arquette," for some reason.
- Run into Justin & Larry Prkl8r (aka "my sometime accountant") @ Notsuoh while waiting for Hearts of Animals.
- Oh yeah, Buxton & Spain Colored Orange're right now, too...can I do all three?
- Larry heads off to talk to Jim Pirtle, so I tag along w/Justin to Buxton.
- Sounds like Twotenanny was good, if hot/packed; Sharks and Sailors as The Police == good.
Spain Colored Orange(?) @ Havana Latin Grill and Bar:
- Never been here before; odd little bar.
- Wow, these guys are good live.
- And they sound different from A Family Light, too; louder & more countryish.
- Actually, reminds me of Lucero or Springsteen more than anything folky.
- Normally it really bugs the shit out of me when the singer explains the song before they play it, but here I somehow don't mind.
- Ah, and there's the Björk cover from last night @ Twotenanny. Justin says it's better here, but it may be that the sounds better.
- I really hope these guys record something new soon...
- Halfway through, so time to head over to Spain Colored Orange.
Sharks and Sailors @ Notsuoh:
- Um. What?
- Who the fuck is this? Did SCO & Espantapajaros get switched?
- Lot of people here to see Spain Colored Orange, but I honestly can't tell if it is them.
- If so, Gilbert looks like the love child of Santana & Tommy Chong these days.
- Whoa -- I haven't seen this band in a decade, since The Oven was still around. [NEXT-AM UPDATE FROM JUSTIN: It turns out that was, in fact Spaincoloredorange and the bearded guy was Gilbert. It seems they have changed.]
- Lots of funky horns, R&B rhythms, and keys.
- Why don't they require that bands have a big poster behind 'em w/their name? Wouldn't that be good publicity for the bands?
- Eh. Not doing much for me.
- Justin stays to see who the band actually is; I bail and try to catch Hearts of Animals.
- Ah, crap. HoA's backing band (I think?) Young Mammals just passed w/their gear.
- Yep, the set's over. Sorry, Ms. Mlee!
Bring Back The Guns @ Dean's:
- Hey, at least I'm here early for S&S.
- Wow, I've got a whole bench to myself. Lean back & close my eyes for a sec.
- Ramon Sighting #3.
- Hey, now I've got ADR from Skyline sitting next to me. Trippy...
- Stand up on bench to see the band, 'til I feel all vulnerable & exposed and sit back down.
- These folks still rule; "Fix Your Radar" rips the roof off. Like old-school Jawbox come back to life.
- David C. Sighting #2.
- Ramon & David C. are taking a picture of S&S's drummer at the exact same time, barely three feet apart. This cracks me up, proving I need sleep.
- Damn, partway done -- better go next door to see Bring Back The Guns.
Young Mammals @ Butterfly High:
- Dear God is it hot in here. I can't breathe.
- Good old Matt...
- Sure hope that fratguy in front of him doesn't do anything stupid while Matt's all wrapped in that plastic banner.
- David C. Sighting #3.
- Ramon Sighting #4.
- Damn, the sound sucks. What the hell? Why's it sound like BBTG are playing through toy speakers?
- I can't do this; I've got to get out.
- Heading south to catch Young Mammals.
- Oh, wow. Tie w/the Tontons for best fucking performance of the night.
- I've never seen a crowd at the HPMAs react to a band the way these folks are digging Young Mammals.
- They're so damn driving, it's awesome.
- The drummer (Iram, I think?) truly is the engine of the band. Damn shame he's moving away...
- I think Clay's trying to get people onstage w/the band.
- Holy cow -- they just transformed the whole place into an indie-rock dance par-tay.
- Nice to see smiling faces all 'round; these people know they're witnessing something special.
- Only seen the band live once before, but this blows that performance out of the water. Incredible.
- Ramon Sighting #5. How does he move so damn fast?
- After, they're all genuinely nice guys, friendly & humble & all.
- Clay's kind enough to take me down the street to his car to give me a CD.
- Part of this wants this to continue all through the night, but another part of me says "hell, no."
- Time to hike back to Bayou Place & the car.
- On home...
I hurt. Damn, I feel old. Nighty-night, all.
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