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From Elsewhere: Washington Ave. Passes On + NAP Interviews Annie Lin + Kelly Clarkson on Kanye [9/16/2009 10:49:00 AM]:
Seen some awesomely cool written things elsewhere lately, so I feel compelled to mention 'em here, for the edification of all and because, as said, they're awesomely cool.

  • Houston Press: "Ghosts of Washington Avenue"
    Man, this one makes me want to get all weepy. The Press's Chris Gray had a nice tribute piece to the impending death of the Washington Avenue strip in this past week's issue, and it's great not only in that it shines a spotlight on an area of town that's seen more clubs come and go than, well, pretty much any other area of town I know of, but also because it's the best, most freakishly comprehensive listing of all past/soon-to-be-past (since Walter's will be moving away in the near future). I had no clue Quiet Riot ever played The Abyss...

    As a bit of a caveat to the maudlin-ness, though, I have to say that, personally, Washington Ave. died a long time ago. After The Abyss/The Vatican went down, The Fabulous Satellite Lounge closed, Rockefellers became a "private event" venue, and Mary Jane's turned into an aging frat-daddy bar, those were pretty much the end for me. Walter's closing is pretty much just the final, long-delayed nail in the coffin.

    Good memories: I saw my first-ever "local" show at The Abyss, when my friend Andy's band The Suspects opened for a skinhead ska-punk band I can't remember the name of, and a very large skinhead girl kept stomping on my (foolishly) sandal-wearing feet. (I saw the same band blow The Toasters off that stage a few years after.) My friends and I were pretty much the audience for Too Much Joy's one and only show there, and we yelled loud enough and danced hard enough that the band came up to us while headliners Material Issue played and gave us beer. It was beautiful. I saw Agent Orange play there once, and showed up late to The Smoking Popes' show, just in time to go berserk to "Writing A Letter."

    Lots of memories about Mary Jane's, too, although a lot of 'em revolve around my own band's lame-ass shows there -- we had some good times playing with the likes of Trompedo, Hayflick Limit, & The Lonely Guys (among others) up on the MJ's stage. In the pre-Pam Robinson days, the place was nearly a DIY affair; then-owner Toby always seemed to show up around 11PM to run the sound, even if the show started at 10PM. I remember our drummer having to play soundman for the opening bands at least once.

    When the place was (briefly) the Shimmy Shack, I saw Jawbox there and had to pick my face up off the floor; caught The Gloria Record, Jets To Brazil, & The Weakerthans(!) there in later years. When Mary Jane's/Fat Cat's shut down, that was really the one that hurt...

  • Nonalignment Pact: "Interview: A look at music licensing and copyright clearance"
    I'll admit that I'm a dork when it comes to stuff like this, but I find the whole concept of music licensing pretty fascinating. And yet, I don't really quite get it, y'know? It's intriguing to me in the same way that fusion's intriguing -- it sure seems like a neat idea, but I've got no clue how it actually works.

    So it's cool to be able to get a glimpse inside the workings of the machine from somebody who's actually been there, namely Annie Lin -- who some remember from her time playing on the scene here in town (and, yes, from back in the day at this here site, too).

    These days she's out in SF at The Rights Workshop, after a long spell in NYC working at The Orchard, so she's become (at least, from where I sit) something of a high roller in the music-licensing game. (Oh, and she's still playing live, too, which is very cool.)

    Kudos to Marshall at Nonalignment Pact for coming up with this one; it's seriously one of those things where I read it, smack my forehead, and say, "dammit, why didn't I think of that?"

  • Houston Music Examiner: "Kelly Clarkson offers her 'Moonman' to Kanye West, supports Taylor Swift and Beyonce"
    Thanks to David Sadof for this one... I've always had a soft spot for Kelly Clarkson -- partly because I've watched far, far too many seasons of American Idol and have yet to see anybody survive it the way she has, sure, but partly because she seems to have a lot more of a spark than most pop singer/songwriters out there right now.

    And her recent blog post to Kanye West following his asinine stealing of the MTV Video Music Awards spotlight from Taylor Swift (and seriously, is this going to become an annual thing for the guy? Damn, I hope he at least was drunk like he claims...) cements the deal. It's freaking priceless, and in it Clarkson makes the point that hadn't even occurred to me 'til now (and yes, I know I'm slow), that it wasn't even an award he was up for. Thank you, Ms. Clarkson.

Oh, and if you're ever looking for other stuff we/I happen to think is cool, you can either look at the "More Stuff To Read" section over there on the right or see our/my Google Reader Shared Items page. Should you care about stuff like that, of course...

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