Forever Came Calling, Contender

I don’t care if you call it “melodic punk,” “post-hardcore,” or “emo,” whatever; the music San Bernadino band Forever Came Calling makes on its debut full-length is flat-out great, great, great, awesomely melodic, beautiful-yet-fiery rock that doesn’t stroll…

Q-Fest Preview: Gayby

Bikram yoga and comic books come together in Gayby, a movie about Jenn (Jenn Harris), a thirty-something yoga instructor who decides that single life isn’t enough and asks her gay best friend Matt

Bad News: Ben Horne, Former KTRU Station Manager, Died While Mountaineering in Peru

Got some news today via the {KTRU} folks and wanted to pass it along. Apparently former KTRU Station Manager Ben Horne was on a mountaineering expedition in Peru with climbing partner Gil Weiss when the pair went missing…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Buxton + Fitz Big Ass Summer Party + Art Institute + Chris Bean Memorial + Caroline Sessions Finale + More

Oh, wow. It’s looking like one hell of a Saturday (July 28th, to be precise) today/tonight, I’ve gotta say. Before I get into the list, though, I just wanted to mention a couple of things…

Today/Tonight: Remembering Chris Bean, at Big Star Bar

Damn. It sure feels like this has been happening a lot lately, and it really, truly sucks — by my count, that’s three young, cool people gone in the past 12 months, with Chris Bean the latest. I didn’t know the guy, but I’ve heard good, good things about him…

Final Caroline Sessions Show Ever, Tomorrow Night

Some bittersweet news for tomorrow night (Saturday, July 28th), I’m afraid, from the folks behind The Caroline Sessions series of low-key acoustic shows that’ve unfolded…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Omotai + Buildings + Fiskadoro + Art Institute + Mynabirds + Deep Time (MP3s!) + Mixed Media + More

sigh. Totally blew most of last weekend — being on the road between here & San Antonio sometimes makes the show-rundown thing problematic, as does being exhausted from dealing with two munchkins who are less like children & more like perpetual-motion machines…

Q-Fest Preview: Wariazone & Rites of Passage

The Asia Society Texas partners with Q-Fest to present “Focus on Asia,” two documentary films that examine the notions of gender and identity within Asian cultures. The presentation begins with Wariazone

Q-Fest Preview: Beauty

Last year, Beauty was submitted as South Africa’s entry into the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards. It’s easy to see why, as Oliver Hermanus, wearing the hats of both director and writer…

Musician to Musician: Sideshow Tramps

I usually do these interviews by email, but when Craig Kinsey of the Sideshow Tramps invited me over to talk in person, it was a hard assignment to resist. For several years now, I’ve been wondering how Craig Kinsey and his Sideshow Tramps…

Q-Fest Preview: Cloudburst

Q-Fest kicks off at Museum of Fine Arts Houston Thursday night when the Southwest Alternative Media Project partners to bring award winning director Thom Fitzgerald‘s third feature Cloudburst to town…

Tomorrow: Readings from E. G. Bandera-Duplantier’s Bayou Flesh at Khon’s Bar

Fans of {The Manichean} — or of literary-type things in general — might want to head over to Khon’s Bar (2808 Milam), because Cory Sinclair & Justice Tirapelli-Jamail will both be reading selections…

Killer Joe

Killer Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) kills people. For $20,000, he will take care of any problem you have, permanently. That is, when he’s not tied by his day job as Dallas homicide detective. And that’s the good news…

St. Vincent, Strange Mercy

My first introduction to St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) was her album Actor, which I admittedly enjoyed a bit too much. I only can say now that I enjoyed it a bit too much, mind you, because after hearing Strange Mercy

Tiger High, Myth is This

Is it funny to anyone else that baseball season started relatively recently, and here I am listening to all of this music that I really don’t end up liking in the end? I mean, I’m not saying it’s “ha-ha” funny, but the fact is that I feel like I’ve been having a rough time lately…

From Beyond, One Year EP

I think what I’m liking most about From Beyond One Year EP is that while it is heavy, make no mistake about it, it’s not too heavy; it’s just the right amount of stomping, crushing thunder so that it doesn’t get dragged down…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Toadies + Helmet + Ume + The Ex-Optimists + Rock Baby Rock It + Art Institute + More

Gotta keep this quick, quick, quick folks, which sucks somewhat, because tonight — Friday, July 20th — is looking extremely damn full. Apologies for giving anybody short shrift in this little writeup, but I’m barely able to stay afloat at the moment…

The Ex-Optimists, “Nitemare City”/“February”

I’m honestly kicking myself now for not listening to this sooner. College Station band The Ex-Optimists have been on repeat in my headphones for a while now, drowning me in a turbulent squall of Sonic Youth guitars, driving ’90s indie-drone-rock melodies…

Bang Bangz, Bang Bangz EP

For all the layers of sound on Bang Bangz’s debut EP, there’s a quiet, somber darkness that’s worked through the whole thing, from start to finish. Simply put, it’s a “night” album, but it’s not a “whoo, I spent all night partying with my bros” album…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Cory Branan (MP3!) + Blind Pilot + Clory Martin + More

Trying to be a little more timely for today (which is Sunday, July 15th), at least… Before I get into the shows going on today/tonight, though, I wanted to point out something I realized while scanning through the show listings yesterday…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Daniel Johnston + Roky Erickson + Square and Compass + Holder + The Lotus Effect + The Dead Revolt + More

Now on to Saturday, July 14th, and while it’s not the busiest Saturday we’ve had lately, no, there’s still some very, very cool stuff going on, even though I’m getting this up a little bit late… First, though, some notes on upcoming (or not, in this case) shows & such…

QuestLord: A Peek at a Brand-New-Yet-Old-School iPhone Game

As mentioned recently, once upon a long, long, long time ago, I used to play video games quite a lot, even though I’ve been far from it since, um, high school. These days, I’m the Crochety Old Dude left in the dust…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Second Lovers + The Wheel Workers + Scott H. Biram + Cinderella + More

Damn…it’s Friday, July 13th, and the weekend’s completely crept up on me, I have to admit; just had too much going on to keep track of the days, y’know? Now that I’m focusing back on things musical, though, I’m getting psyched about what’s going on this evening, for damn sure…

Second Lovers, Wishers, Dreamers & Liars

These days, it’s getting hard to throw a rock in this city without hitting a roots-rock/indie-folk-country band, and while it’s true that a large number of ’em are good, it can be tempting to get jaded and cynical each time a new one comes along…

Awesome Things to Watch: New Video from Justice

Okay, so I’ll grant that the shiny-yet-dystopian future depicted in Justice‘s brand-new video for “New Lands” isn’t the nicest place & is obviously corrupt as hell, but the game depicted therein might well be the most badass sport ever invented…

B L A C K I E, GEN

B L A C K I E — that’s all caps, no spaces — seems like the type of musician who doesn’t want you to hear his music. It almost seems as if the first track on GEN, “Gen I,” is a test to see if you can make it to the rest of the songs…

Polly Paulusma, Leaves From The Family Tree

At first listen, I want to easily throw Polly Paulusma into a category with Jewel (before Jewel went country) and call her some kind of female singer/songwriter and have that be the end of it. The more I listen to Leaves From The Family Tree, however…

Damn Shame: Benefit/Memorial Show Tonight for Local Punk/Activist Chuck Schambaugh

I never got to meet Chuck Schambaugh, sadly, but it kills me even still to hear about somebody so young (he was only 25) leaving so suddenly, especially when they’re a hardworking, heart-in-the-right-place part of the scene here…

Messy Sparkles, Feeling Good Forever

I’ve been listening to a whole heck of a lot more techno music lately, and it definitely hasn’t been on purpose. I keep getting these bands that have songs with those modern disco beats in the background, but yet they sound like an indie-rock band…

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: the last place you look + Knights of the Fire Kingdom + Vinal Edge Opening + Babelfishh + More

It’s Saturday now, July 7th, and there’s nearly as much cool, cool stuff going on today as there was yesterday. Here goes: Nava’s Beardy B-Day Bash, featuring the last place you look, Nothingmore, & Recovery Room @ Warehouse Live (Studio) Ah, yeah. I swear, those guys in the last place you look are flat-out great, […]

Vinal Edge Grand Opening Event: Hamamatsu Tom In-Store Performance

Just to follow up on the other week’s blog post about Vinal Edge Records moving from the Far North into the Heights

Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: The Eastern Sea (Rev’d!) + Young Mammals + Belle Manoir + Fat Tony + Close Your Eyes + More

Holy wow, y’all. It’s Friday, July 6th, which means the weekend’s started, and damn, it’s a busy, busy, busy one, in the best possible way. Before we dive into it, though, I just want to give a heartfelt thumbs-up to {The Tontons}

The Eastern Sea, Plague

Grace — that’s what it is, I think. There’s this weird, serene feeling I get whenever I listen to The Eastern Sea, this strange calmness that rolls over me like a wave (appropriately enough), leaving me drifting along, pulled by the music…

Mogwai, Earth Division

Scottish instrumental institution Mogwai continue to soldier on with their latest release, Earth Division. On their 19th effort, they still continue to pursue new ideas; Earth Division is a mellower Mogwai than we normally see…

Dead Sara, Dead Sara

When I first heard Dead Sara, I didn’t know exactly what to make of the band. I knew that they had a quality of rock that made them sound like a harder version of Melissa Etheridge. That was as far as I got in my ideas, and then something very simple…

The Danks, Are You Afraid of the Danks?

This album opens with a fast drumbeat that reminds me of the way many Green Day albums have opened. There is an occasional bass line here and there that reminds me of something out of Green Day, too, but otherwise, that’s where the comparison ends…

Bad News & Help Needed: Tom Carter (Charalambides/The Mike Gunn) Hospitalized in Berlin

Received some tragic news recently from the Nameless Sound folks, about Houston expat & psychedelic/experimental music icon Tom Carter. Oldtimers might remember him from long-long-long-gone psych-rock band…

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview

This is not the Steve Jobs you remember from the keynote speeches at product unveilings. This is Steve Jobs in exile like Napoleon or Machiavelli, patiently planning his triumphant return. Here he is not the master of the universe…

I Am An AFOL: Regarding This Week’s TexLUG Brick Fiesta LEGO Convention & My Outing As An Openly Open Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL)

Last summer I grabbed a bag of LEGO bricks from my parent’s attic: a lost island/pirate jail scenario, soldiers around a campfire, a boat, and a monkey. This sent me spiraling into a world of acronyms, toy snobbery, and fun…

The Legend of Zelda, Done Orchestra-Style

As with probably pretty much every guy my age, yes, I once had a Nintendo (one of the early ones, before all the extra letters got added in later versions). Okay, I didn’t have it, technically; my parents bought it for all three of us, my two brothers & I. And we played the crap out of that thing…


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