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The official Space City Rock Blog, featuring news on local Houston musical happenings and occurances, random venting about various things, and fervent ravings on the wonders of music, art, film, and anything else.
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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:
  • 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.
HPIM1602 Pale @ 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.
HPIM1606 The Tontons @ Venue:
  • 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.
HPIM1610 Black Math Experiment @ The Real Sammies:
  • 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.
HPIM1619 Buxton @ Butterfly High:
  • 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.
Spain Colored Orange(?) @ Havana Latin Grill and Bar:
  • 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!
HPIM1625 Sharks and Sailors @ Notsuoh:
  • Hey, at least I'm here early for S&S.
  • Need...soda...
  • 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.
HPIM1629 Bring Back The Guns @ Dean's:
  • 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.
Young Mammals @ Butterfly High:
  • 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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