December 29, 2006

I did an abundance of Gift Guide stories this holiday season. Four of them to be exact. Three for the Austin American-Statesman and one of INsite.

I worked up the big INsite Gift Guide, which you can see if you download the current issue (December)

- INsite Magazine's December Issue

Then on Thursday, December 14 I had 3 stories appear in the Austin American-Statesman Holiday Gift Guide.

- Give them a taste of Austin
- Lessons make classic gifts
- Ring in the holidays with local music

If you need any New Years gifts... I guess you can consult these... if not... I think they are pretty good reads.

December 21, 2006

Myspace Secret Shows - AUSTIN TOMORROW

Myspace Secret Shows
presented by Chili's
is very proud to present an



Doors @ 7:00PM


December 22th, 2006

The Parish

214 E Sixth St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 479-0474


Entry is limited so get there early to ensure success!
THIS IS FIRST COME FIRST SERVED, so get there early and stay in line

Tell Your Friends

Presented by


(NOTE: repost from a MySpace Bulletin)

December 15, 2006

The Best Advice...

The Best Advice Is To be Quiet

By Sean Claes
So, it seems to be the time of our life when a good number of our family and friends are having children. As you likely know, my wife and I are expecting our second child in April (a few days after our first child turns 3). We’ve got 3 or 4 couples at church that are expecting or just had a baby. A few of my wife’s friends are expecting. Now I find out that two of my best friends are expecting as well! One is expecting his second, and the other is about to embark on fatherhood for the first time.

It hasn’t been too prominent this time around for us, but first time parents, weather they want it or not, are subjected to advice. I was on the phone with my friend Trevor last week as he let me know he’s going to be a first-time daddy. My first thought was “there goes that Jagermeister baby-doll t-shirt I was going to give to his wife for Christmas (I’m still sending it by the way Trev.. she can wear the clothes… just not drink the shots)” but that was quickly replaced by joy, happiness, and genuine thrill.

Then it occurred to me that I should warn him. Not about the trials and tribulations of having a child… not about taking care of a pregnant wife… not about colic or spit-ups or projectile vomiting… but I felt the need to warn him about people who learn he’s going to be a first time dad.

What? Warn him against people? Yes. The simple fact is, many people feel the need to share the most tragic, disgusting, negative stories to first time parents. So I thought I’d write this little ditty to let people know sometimes they should just keep their mouths shut.

What NOT to say/do to expectant parents:
- Don’t tell the story about the person you know who knows someone who had a miscarriage or a stillborn birth. Having a child is scary stuff. What good is it to let them know that you have proof that there’s a chance that this child will be anything other than the baby they will someday send off to kindergarten, college, marriage, and be parents to their grandchildren? There is no good reason… at all. Some people say “well, I’m just being truthful.” There’s a fine line between being truthful, being hateful, and being an asshole… and you’re tripping all over it.

- Don’t tell them that their life is effectively over and say something you think is funny like “hope you did everything you wanted to do in life already.” The commercial says “Having a baby changes everything.” It’s true. Having a baby does change everything. There is a new heartbeat to love, cherish, and center you in your universe. Suddenly having a beer at Hooters doesn’t seem like it’s such a big deal. Suddenly going hunting/fishing/playing music/drinking/building model airplanes/going to the movies/eating at expensive restaurants/wearing the newest clothes/impressing others/arguing or anything else you did before this kid was born becomes a bonus and not a reason for existence. This doesn’t mean you have to stop doing any of these things… it just means it won’t be the center of your universe.

- Don’t tell horrible stories of colic. Sometimes babies cry… a lot. Colic is something that, depending on where you look, happens to 10-20% of children ( That doesn’t mean it’ll happen to their child. They should be aware that it isn’t something that is wrong with the child… it’s a fact of life. If you want to give advice about colic… tell them ways to soothe the baby… don’t point and laugh or tell them “oooh… just you wait until your kid won’t stop crying.” It’s not a revenge thing… if you took care of a baby with colic, or the expectant mother or father was a colic baby and you are their parent, you aren’t “passing the torch” to the next person. You of all people should know what a disgustingly hurtful thing that is to say.

- Don’t tell folks who are expecting their second child – “Watch out, if the first one was an angel, the second will be the devil.” You know what, you told really hateful and crappy stories about having a first child, so you’re opinion on the matter isn’t valid.

- Don’t touch the belly. How would you like it if I walked up to a complete stranger and rubbed up against them? I’d be arrested for assult or indecency or for generally being a creep. What makes it OK for people to touch a pregnant woman without warning or permission? If anything you should keep more of a distance from the expectant mother as by the time she’s showing she likely doesn’t want you to touch her, much less rub her belly. She’s carrying a life, she isn’t Buddha.

- If you had a troublesome pregnancy, don’t tell them about it in graphic detail. A simple, “I hope your pregnancy is going well” will suffice. Just because they are pregnant, it doesn’t give you permission to share your woes. It’s they who are pregnant, not you… stop talking about yourself, you self-centered prick.

- The advice I always give folks who are expecting is… don’t listen to anyone. Every pregnancy is different. Every child is unique. There is no solid evidence that the reason that your kid is a little Einstein is because of the way you raised him. It could be in SPITE of you. You really don’t know. All you can do is love this child more than anything in the world (but that’s immediate and you don’t have to work on that).

- My wife and I were raised very differently. We have raised our first child thus far very differently than the way we were raised. I’d like to think we took the best parts of our upbringing, combined it with the things we saw that our friends have done that we agreed with, and added some personal beliefs. That’s the way to raise a child. Learn from your past and your observations. Don’t listen to angry/hateful people who disguise their negativity as “giving advice.” If anything… land if you have to listen to them… just think to yourself “man… I’ll never do THAT to my kid.”

- It’s perfectly allright to tell the person who asks you personal business about your pregnancy that you don’t want to share that that information is Noneya. None of your business. If they persist, ask them about their last pelvic exam or physical. Watch out though… they may tell you.

- If someone shares a negative story, why not ask them to tell you something positive that came from raising a child. That’ll throw them for a loop.

So, if you’re expecting a child. Congratulations! It’s the coolest ride in the world. Have FUN with it. Like I said, we’re working on our second at this point and we will make sure that this second child is engulfed in the same bubble of love that our first currently resides.

So… Little Claes Too, I am really looking forward to meeting you and touching your beautiful face for the first time in April. I cannot imagine the life changes that will occur with your arrival, but I know that we’re in this together. Claes Family of Four are getting ready to take over the world in 2007!

December 14, 2006

What do I want for Christmas

I know you've been racking your brains to wonder what to buy me for Christmas.

I went ahead and made a list for you on Amazon:

My Wish List

Happy Shopping!

Oh... and if you want a copy of the limited editon Boysen-Claes Christmas 2006 CD you need to message me with your address... and I'll send you one.

December 11, 2006

Facundo Is Back! 12/16/06 @ Flamingo Cantina

Facundo is back! December 16, 2006 @ Austin's Flamingo Cantina

Hosted By: Facundo Productions
When: Saturday Dec 16, 2006
at 8:30 PM
Where: The Flamingo Cantina
6th street
Austin, TX 78701
Facundo Productions

Click Here To View Event

Music Line Up: DJ Manny, Vehicular, Many Birthdays, Young Nick and the Haze Boys, Afrofantastic, and The Carabelas Collective (Feat. Sergio Carvajal, John Diaz, Joseph Serrato, Aldo Ramon and Mickey Madrid)

Spoken word, student short films, and much more!


Many Birthdays Video:

The making of a Vehicular video:
VEHICULAR-Music Video Shoot

Sponsored by INsite Magazine
INsite Austin Logo

INsite - Always Entertaining Under The Covers.

December 2, 2006

December INsite on Stands


Here we are again, the end of a year… and what a year it has been. We’ve had fantastic live shows. It doesn’t seem like it was just this February that we threw or first “official” INsite night with Dramarama, Nooner, Freebleeder, Squint amd Analog Missionary. Thanks to all of the other bands who have played an “official” INsite Night this year. Special thanks to Ben Mills of Beached Cow Productions for helping those shows happen.

During December there will be two big shows happening that INsite has been thrilled to be supporting.

The first is the Fireside Creative Showcase at The Parish Room (214 E. 6th) on Friday December 8 where Bayta Darell, Hundred Year Storm, Nooner, Lonestar Pornstar, and Shrapnel will be playing in support of Fireside Creative’s launch of their online portfolio ( $10 gets you in, a 17 song compilation CD, dinner (come early), and a chance to win a Gibson Guitar signed by Chuck Norris.

The second is Facundo at Flamingo Cantina on Saturday, December 16 where you’ll be treated to live music by the likes of DJ Manny, Vehicular, Many Birthdays, Young Nick and the Haze Boys, Afrofantastic, and The Carabelas Collective (Feat. Sergio Carvajal, John Diaz, Joseph Serrato, Aldo Ramon and Mickey Madrid) as well as spoken word, short films and much more.

Now that THAT is out of the way, welcome to the December issue of INsite. As you can see from the cover Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is out in the theatres and INsite had a chance to talk with Mr. Black and Mr. Gass AKA Tenacious D.

Additionally we’ve got an interview with Austin bands Ohn and Hundred Year Flood, Bobby Bones’ New Years Resolutions, and a spotlight on the Corvette in Drive.

The bulk of this issue is dedicated to our gift suggestions. From fashion to gadgets to toys to foodie finds, INsite has got you covered… hopefully. Heck, if you’re anti-holidays, we’ve got something for you as well…read Chuck Loesch’s “Between Rock and a Hard Place.”

That said, I hope you have a fantastic December and I look forward to having the opportunity to bring some great entertainment reading to you in 2007!

Sean Claes
Managing Editor, INsite


Fireside Creative


November 28, 2006

DAX in Austin 11/30

DAX Logo

DAX to Celebrate Release of Two Tracks at Elysium on Thursday

One of Austin..s premier industrial rock bands, DAX (think Nine Inch Nails meets KMFDM meets David Bowie), will be celebrating the release of two new tracks to the new MySpace music store on Thursday, November 30, 2006 with a show at Elysium (705 Red River).

Why celebrate a release of music to MySpace and not the release of an album? Simple. In order to get DAX..s music out to the listening public sooner than later, the band has decided to release songs to MySpace for purchase. This way there will be some new DAX music released every few months, and people can buy directly from the DAX MySpace page .. .

One of the tracks being released, "And the Band Played On," follows the theme of the world coming to an end. According to lead vocalist Dax Callner, "It is a funky, mellow tune that gradually gets more and more intense, ending with an orgy of instruments and voices". Everyone knows if the world is going to end, an orgy is in order.

A rough mix of the dark, sensual dance song, "Suffer," was chosen for inclusion on the Texas Music Magazine ( compilation that was released with the Magazine..s Fall 2006 issue. Its been refined and finalized for its release on Thursday.

You can currently listen to the two tracks on the DAX MySpace page .. . They will be available for purchase on Thursday.

DAX will be playing Austin's Elysium (705 Red River) at midnight Thursday, November 30. Supporting bands will be Saturday's Radar (10p.m.) and Matches for Memories (11p.m.). The show is a 21+ gig and entrance is $5.
Visit DAX online at

DAX is:
Dax Callner - vocals, Erin Markle - vocals, Mark Nine - bass, Forrest Foster - drums, Erik Gard - guitar, Rhoades D'ablo - guitar, Chad Stumbaugh - keyboard

Extra: DAX Tidbit:
The Austin Business Journal editor Lance Williams recently interviewed DAX lead vocalist Dax Callner for a piece about musicians who are also players in the business world (Callner is a marketing strategist, with clients such as eBay, Microsoft, Intel and HP) that will be out in mid-December.


November 27, 2006

Win a Chuck Norris Signed Guitar - December 8

Five unique bands will grace the stage at Austin’s Parish Room on December 8, 2006. The hauntingly beautiful sounds of the intergalactic band, Bayta Darell (bey-tuh duh-rel), start things off at 8:30 followed at 9:30 by Hundred Year Storm (huhn-drid yeer stawrm) the ambitious experimental quartet who released two great albums in three months on two labels and who will be sure to capture your attention for a half-hour before they head out on yet another grueling tour. Nooner (noo-ner) comes up at 10:30, and the boys will bring plenty of their signature catchy ego-rock for the masses. At 11:30 as the witching hour approaches, LoneStar PornStar (lohn-stahr pawrn-stahr) will hit you directly in the face with their funk-driven, ass-shakin, gangsta-style, hard rock. And just when you think the Parish Room’s energy level has peaked, at 12:30, Shrapnel (shrap-nl) will launch a sonic assault of progressive metal music that is sure to send the audience into a hypnotic frenzy. Why the hell are all of these amazingly different indie bands performing together? Simple. They are all part of the Fireside Creative family and are playing to celebrate the launch of the new online portfolio found at Consider this your personal invitation to the show. $10 will get you through the door, get you a 17-song compilation CD of Fireside Creative-friendly bands (that’s 7 more songs than iTunes can give you at that price), and it may even get you a free Gibson guitar signed by Chuck Norris. Yes… Chuck F*&@ing Norris. He’s a former Fireside Creative client too. That’s just how we roll.
Come early and we’ll feed you too.

INsite Austin Logo

November 20, 2006

Every now and then a comic will cross my path that I think is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time... This is one of them, from

Now.. I grew up on Metallica.. and I'd like to think Metallica kind of grew up with me... but St. Anger... man... I can't defend that. I hope they come out with something that knocks everyones socks of next... Something with the venom of Ride The Lightening and the power of "One." Bridge the gap for us Metallica... please?

November 16, 2006

Hundred Year Flood To Play Kyle Friday, November 17

Good Things Come in Twos

Hundred Year Flood To Play Kyle Friday, November 17


Courtesy Photo

By Sean Claes
The small crowd that gathered at the Lucky Cup Coffee House in Kyle, Texas the first Friday of this month was treated to a great Happy Hour concert by Hundred Year Flood. If you missed it, the good news is, they are coming back this Friday (11/17) for another show between 6:00-8:00p.m.

Over the course of the last six years, the members of Hundred Year Flood have made four albums of their signature "original Southern Rock" sound. The latest album, released in April 2006, entitled Blue Angel captures them at their best thus far, and they just keep getting better.

Earlier this year the band got some attention for the Anti-War song "Ain't Gonna Fight in a Rich Man's War" which they released for free as an online download and video using and It found it's way to Neil Young's camp, as well as into the ears of many, many people.

Vocalist/Guitarist Bill Palmer took time out of his schedule to talk with area freelance writer/photographer Sean Claes about the making of Blue Angel and life in a four-member band with two lead singers, two brothers, two marriages (Bill and co-lead vocalist/keyboardist Felecia Ford are married and drummer Jim Palmer and bassist Kendra Lauman are husband and wife), with two hometowns.

Sean Claes: You're based out of both Austin and New Mexico. How does that work?

Bill Palmer:
My brother Jim and I were in a band called The Sharecroppers (with Nathan Hamilton and Marc Utter) in Austin for a while. That band dissolved and Hundred Year Flood was born out of that. For a few different reasons we ended up going up to Santa Fe to play shows and we loved it up there. All of our shows would have really good turnouts, which is so different than the Austin scene.

In December, we moved back here full-time but we go back there and do a lot of work. I run a recording studio up there, Frogville Records.

Last summer, I spent the entire summer up there and produced four records, and we played in a bunch of Festivals, opened for Joe Ely, Ozomotli, and did some stuff with James McMurtry. So, we still spend a lot of time in Santa Fe.

Claes: How does having two brothers who are married to the other two members of the band work out?

We love it. There's really an honesty because we know each other so well. All of our relationships really run deeper because we're family. I think it really gives strength to it; where in other bands might not have it. Also, I think we're one of the only bands out there that it's guaranteed that every member of the band is going to get laid after the gig... and nobody is in trouble.

Claes: Here's the dreaded question, for those who haven't heard your music before, how would you describe it? Alt-country is the buzzword, but that really could mean anything.

That's a little tough. If I say roots-rock people might think we're doing a classic rock or country or rockabilly kind of thing. I'm just as much inspired by the music we grew up on, punk rock, metal, but also country like Willie (Nelson) and Waylon (Jennings). I would say it's original southern rock.

Claes: Tell me about your single: "Ain't Gonna Fight in a Rich Man's War."

I wrote that back in the spring. Of course, that was before the Democrats won back both the House and the Senate (laughs). I'm not sure what to do with that one now.

Anyhow, I woke up one morning and I guess I was kind of irritated about the war. I was thinking of these lines... people think that rednecks and salt-of-the-earth type people all support the president and that isn't true. So I had lines that talked about fishing, hunting, working hard and all of that coming to me so I needed a pen and paper. I couldn't find a pen or a piece of paper. What I found was a page out of my kids coloring book and a crayon. So I just started scribbling these lyrics down. When I finished the song, I grabbed my guitar and started pounding it out and my wife, Felicia, said, "That's cute, a little ornery."

When we got together to pound it out as a band it turned into to this real country-sounding anthem. When we got up to Santa Fe in June I knew it probably wasn't a song I wanted to put on a record, because I don't like to date my records, but I thought maybe it would be a really good song to put where people could download it off the Internet for free and access it. Not only to draw attention to ourselves, but to draw attention to the war and the fact that not all rednecks support the war.

Big John Treadwell, who owns Frogville Records, just for the fun of it, pieced together this little video our of images from the Internet. The next thing we knew it was on the chart of Neil Young's "Living With War" Protest Video ( chart. I think it got up to number 7 (as of press time it sat at 35). It just came from a crayon on a coloring book.

Claes: Looks like it's been doing pretty well at getting your name out as well.

Yes, it really has. Every time we go out to a gig, someone will come up to us and tell us they saw our video or heard our song. I know it has an impact. Anyone in music always wants to utilize a new medium like MySpace. In this day and age, you can have successful records and radio play, but if you do something cool on MySpace it makes it's rounds on its own.

Claes: Blue Angel is your fourth album, released in April 2006.

I think it's our strongest work. I feel like with Blue Angel my writing had gotten stronger and our fluidity and chemistry as a band had gotten tighter. We had really started touring as a band in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. We were really growing as a band, starting to play to greater numbers of people. I think that when you experience any kind of success as a band, you can really hear that confidence in the music.

In our career, Blue Angel was a break-over period for us when we realized our songs didn't have to necessarily just be simple tracks. They could be deeper, painful, and/or complex. All of our work since then has been taking it further down that road.

Claes: What are some of your favorite songs on Blue Angel?

That's easy, I'll say this. My favorites aren't necessarily anyone else's favorites. "Don't Go" is my absolute favorite. Felicia had to stay home with the kids, so the other three of us went into the studio and started playing a verse-chord structure in a circle and kept it going for about four or five minutes. The next night, Felicia came in and I asked is she'd like to write some words for it and she wrote this song in 30 minutes. She just started singing it and it was beautiful. It was anti-war in the matter that it was anti-husband going to the war. Only a woman could have that perspective. That's my very favorite, hands down.

"Kingdom of Cold," a song that I sing, is probably my other favorite on the album. I think that song is everything I've been shooting for, a real cool alternative-rock kind of edge with a country vibe.

Claes: You're playing Kyle's Lucky Cup Coffee House (corner of FM150 and Jack C. Hays Trail) again this Friday, how was it last time?

It was fun. It wasn't a really large crowd, but people were very attentive. The way we feel is, if people enjoy, it doesn't matter if there is ten or ten-thousand people, if you feel like what you're doing means something to the ones who are there... and they had free beer.

Sean Claes ( is a freelance entertainment writer in Central Texas.

November 14, 2006

December 8 - Parish Room

Five unique bands will grace the stage at Austin’s Parish Room on December 8, 2006. The hauntingly beautiful sounds of the intergalactic band, Bayta Darell (bey-tuh duh-rel), start things off at 8:30 followed at 9:30 by Hundred Year Storm (huhn-drid yeer stawrm) the ambitious experimental quartet who released two great albums in three months on two labels and who will be sure to capture your attention for a half-hour before they head out on yet another grueling tour. Nooner (noo-ner) comes up at 10:30, and the boys will bring plenty of their signature catchy ego-rock for the masses. At 11:30 as the witching hour approaches, LoneStar PornStar (lohn-stahr pawrn-stahr) will hit you directly in the face with their funk-driven, ass-shakin, gangsta-style, hard rock. And just when you think the Parish Room’s energy level has peaked, at 12:30, Shrapnel (shrap-nl) will launch a sonic assault of progressive metal music that is sure to send the audience into a hypnotic frenzy. Why the hell are all of these amazingly different indie bands performing together? Simple. They are all part of the Fireside Creative family and are playing to celebrate the launch of the new online portfolio found at Consider this your personal invitation to the show. $10 will get you through the door, get you a 17-song compilation CD of Fireside Creative-friendly bands (that’s 7 more songs than iTunes can give you at that price), and it may even get you a free Gibson guitar signed by Chuck Norris. Yes… Chuck F*&@ing Norris. He’s a former Fireside Creative client too. That’s just how we roll.
Come early and we’ll feed you too.

INsite Austin Logo

November 10, 2006

November INsite on Stands

INsite Austin Logo

Ah... November. The leaves change color as we head into a season where the groud will be carpeted in a beautiful layer of fresh snow…. Um… wait a minute… the is Austin, Texas and the only way leaves change is if you spray paint them. The thing that sets Austin apart in November is the plethora of entertainment that will hit the city.

As you can see by our cover, Blue October is coming to play their hometown crowd. They’ve booked two nights at Stubbs in November (24 and 25) and we had a chance to talk with them about their carrer, fame and Zayra. We also talk with punk rockers Dead To Me who are opening for The Riverboat Gamblers this month at Emo’s.

Mixing art and music, we spoke with the fine folks at Gibson who are unleasing their Austin GuitarTown late this month. Attack of the 10-foot guitar! Also, we’ve got a spotlight on ME Television as it turns one and looks toward the future.

In movies, we catch up with Volver star Penelope Cruz and the many personalities of Robin Williams.

Since it’s November, you don’t have to prove you’re naughty or nice to indulge yourself in some great cuisine. If you haven’t discovered Sao Paulo’s Restaurante in the last five years, you need to orient yourself. Read our food feature on them and then visit.

In sports we’ve got a feature on the adventure group, Hill Country Outdoors. For those who follow UT sports, Thanksgiving means more than just turkey, it means Bevo is going after those Aggies again. In pro sports, we’ve got a NBA preview.

Of course contributer Bobby Bones is back with his early list of things to get a man for the holidays and Chuck Loesch offers up a suggestion to *gasp* go to a store and buy a CD. All that, music listings, restaurant suggestions, monthly happenings in Around Town, photos from last month’s entertainment in INsite Hindsite, and much more…

Save some turkey for me. I’ll take it on buttered bread with a little bit of salt and a dash of ketchup.
Sean Claes
Managing Editor, INsite Magazine

INsite Austin Logo

INsite – Always Entertaining Under The Covers.

October 17, 2006

Chuck Norris

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.


Click on the image for more.

October 10, 2006

Loss Rayne To Release Debut with Week Long Party


AUSTIN, TX - Austin-based rock-infused blues band Loss Rayne and Austin’s A-Valve Studios are gearing up for a big week to release the band’s debut album Fragile Mind on Enemy House Records.

The band will bring their music to KLBJ on Tuesday (10/10), Fox 7 News in the Morning on Friday (10/13), and Alligator Grill on Saturday (10/14).

Loss Rayne features the twin powers of Kasi Painter on the sultry powerful vocals and the humble yet brilliant Keenan LeVick on guitar. Patrick Durrett and John LeBas keep the rhythm down playing bass and drums, respectively.

First, the Loss Rayne foursome will be a featured guest on Loris Lowe’s Local Licks Live on KLBJ (93.7FM). Previous to this, they were featured on October 2, 2006 on KVRX (91.7FM).

For those who like breakfast rock, Loss Rayne will be playing the Fox 7 News morning show on October 13. Virtual coffee and donuts are on us.

Finally, the band will be having their Fragile Mind CD release party at The Alligator Grill (3003 South Lamar, Austin, TX) with support of Brandon McHose (8:00p.m.) and Ryan Davis (9:00p.m.). Loss Rayne will hit the stage at 10:00p.m.

As an added bonus, the legendary Malford Milligan and his band will close out the night, playing at 11:45p.m. until evening’s end.

A-Valve Studios, the studio where the band recorded Fragile Mind with Paul Zanetti, will co-host of the CD release show. The album was produced by Rob Hinton of 2222 Productions.

Details at a Glance:
October 10: 10:00p.m. KLBJ (93.7FM)Local Licks with Loris Lowe (Radio)
October 13: 7:30a.m. FOX 7 News in the morning (TV)
October 14: 8:00p.m. - ?? CD Release Show at Alligator Grill ($10)

Loss Rayne


October 9, 2006

KISS Fall Fest review

I was one of the honored guests (photographer) to attend 99.5 KISS FM's Fall Fest in Selma, Texas on Saturday.

10 bands in one day... the photo passes weren't granted until the last five bands... so I wasn't able to shoot HURT which was the band I was really interested in shooting (I interviewed the guitarist for current issue of The Edge Magazine -

My mini-review (My may differ..)

12:30 – 1:00 Eighteen Visions - Not bad... but forgetable. i couldn't really tell you anything about them...

1:05 – 1:35 Hurt - opened main-stage... was great hard rock music with that Tool "dude's got issues" feel... lead singer jumped off stage and climbed over the barriers almost to the lawn during "Rapture."

1:35 – 2:05 Black Stone Cherry - The Allman Brothers Band meets Jackyl and they have a musical kid.. not in a great way.

2:10 – 2:50 Earshot - They assumed up until their final moments that everyone knew who they were.... They assumed wrong... but they weren't a bad band. Entertaining..

2:50 – 3:20 Lostprophets - Missed them.. I was getting my photo pass situation set up

3:20 - 4:05 Avenged Sevenfold - Prima Donna bitches (read my MySpace Blog for the whole story -

4:35 - 5:25 Breaking Benjamin - If John Mayer had a metal band... I got one of their picks... but it didn't say the band name...

6:00 – 6:55 Stone Sour - Good stuff... entertaining. Lead singer is from Slipknot...drummer from Soulfly...

7:35 – 8:55 Staind - Good band... Did a Pantera cover... I got really thirsty at this point and ended up hanging out with a few folks I know and slamming 5 sodas in an hour... for the record... 2 Sunkists, 1 Root Beer, 1 Big Red and 1 Dr. Pepper will REALLY get your heard going.

9:30 – 10:45 Alice In Chains - Disappointed a little bit. I mean in their corner.. they did wait almost 10 years before performing as Alice In Chains... Comes With The Fall's William DuVall did a good job.. but it really seemed like an Alice In Chains cover band..but with all surviving members.... I only stuck around for the first 5 songs.

October 6, 2006

Five Years of Mr. and Mrs. Claes

Five Years of Mr. and Mrs. Claes • 10/06/06.


On October 6, 2001 my wife and I walked down the aisle.... actually... she walked down the aile.. I just walked back with her. Anyway...Here's a little trip down memory lane...

Five years ago Jodie Lee Boysen and Sean William Claes were joined at the last-name. We'd been joined at the hip ever since we started dating in December of 1998. I've never met another person who can finish my thought, share my dreams, comfort me, and keep me going like Jodie. I've been a blessed man for the last five years and I hope to be blesssed for another 75.

We were married at the First United Methodist Church in San Marcos, Texas

We honeymooned in Gruene, Texas where we danced to The Derailers and left during their song "There Goes The Bride."

We've been through many changes in the last five years, but one thing that has never changed is the love I feel for my wife. I love you darlin'.

Let's do lunch.

p.s.: to anyone who's reading this: I hope you like our custom-made monogram. It really helps to have an amazing and award winning graphic designer as an even more amazing friend. He designed this for our wedding program. Click the monogram to go to Rolando Murillo's Website... he's also the one who designed the logo (the camera inkwell).

October 3, 2006




Help keep the Live Music Capital of the World healthy! Join Austin businesses as they give back to musicians by supporting the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) on Tuesday, October 3, 2006, for the first annual HAAM Benefit Day.

Mayor Will Wynn declared Oct. 3, 2006 "HAAM Day" and asks businesses across the city to donate at least 5% of the day's proceeds to Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. "HAAM has proven its success in its first year of services with more than 450 member musicians now receiving medical, dental and mental health care services," says Mayor Wynn. "We applaud our musicians for all they bring to our economy and in return we need to show our support to the Health Alliance so it can continue to keep them healthy and able to do what they love."

Some of the participating businesses:
Time Warner Cable Austin .. Sony Online Entertainment .. Gibson Musical Instruments.. White Lodging .. HEB .. GSD&M .. Lucas Arts .. Charity Partners of Austin .. KGSR .. Austin Chronicle .. Anthony Nak .. Hyatt Lost Pines Resort .. Texas Monthly .. Waterloo Records .. Continental Club .. Antone..s .. El Arroyo .. Güero..s Taco Bar .. ME Television ..Threadgill..s World Headquarters .. Amy..s Ice Cream .. BookPeople .. Ruby..s BBQ .. Waterloo Icehouse .. The Parish .. Jazz Kitchen .. Sweetish Hill Bakery .. The Iguana Grill .. Jo's .. Hotel San José .. Austin American-Statesman .. Thundercloud Subs .. Antone..s Records .. Mariposas Spanish School .. Delaware North Companies .. Beerland .. Music Lab .. Flamingo Cantina .. Shady Grove .. Sweet Charity .. P.S. by Sweet Charity .. Maria's Taco Xpress .. Sparks Gifts and Cards .. 34th Street Cafe .. Blue Star Cafeteria .. Santa Rita Cantina .. Music Produced by High Beam Events

Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
P.O. Box 301496
Austin, TX 78703

September 28, 2006

The Real World Season 19 Open Casting



Bunim/Murray to Look for New Stars in Austin, TX area.

Buffalo Billiards
201 East 6th Street
Austin, Texas 78701

On October 1, 2006 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Casting Directors from Bunim/Murray Productions, producers of the perennial hit MTV show “The Real World” will be holding an open casting call at Buffalo Billiards 201 East 6th St., Austin, Texas 78701. Applicants are asked to bring a recent picture of themselves (which will not be returned) and photo ID. Must be 18-24 years old.

Seven lucky people will get the opportunity of a lifetime when MTV hands over the keys to a new fantasy pad this year for the show’s 19th season. The Real World, MTV’s longest running show, is a documentary series about seven strangers who spend five months living and working together.

So what does it take to get on the show? “We look for characters from real life; people with strong personalities who are unafraid to speak their minds,” says Jonathan Murray, an Executive Producer of “The Real World.” Past seasons have been populated with cast members from all walks of life, who have shared their daily experiences openly with millions of viewers. Fans of the shows will remember alumni such as the irreverent Teck; Pedro, the HIV/AIDS educator; and Melissa, the hilarious firecracker from the “The Real World: New Orleans” cast.

The challenge will be met as the Bunim/Murray casting department screens tens of thousands of applicants during open casting calls across the country. All of the applicants have one thing in common: they want millions of television viewers to know their name… and who they are.

Everyone between the ages of 18 – 24 is encouraged to bring a recent photo and identification to the open casting call at Buffalo Billiards from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

September 27, 2006

Naturscapes Exhibition - San Marcos


Three of my photos have been chosen to be a part of San Marcos, Texas' 2nd Annual Naturescapes Photography Exhibition. Last year I had three photos in as well, and I won 3rd place in the "People and Pets" category. This year I've got an entry in each of the three areas: 1. Scenery, 2. Wildlife and Plants (my "DUCK!" photo above is a contender), and 3. People and Pets.

The Naturscapes Exhibition will be on display from now until October 27, 2006 at the San Marcos Activities Center's "Walker's Gallery." Click my duck photo to go to the Activity Center's Homepage.

If you are in San Marcos this Friday, come on out for the opening reception and see if I take the big $400 best of show!

Naturescapes Awards Reception
Friday, September 29, 2006
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
San Marcos Activity Center
501 E. Hopkins
San Marcos, Texas 78666

The competition is sponsored by the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and the Hill Country Photography Club.

As an added bonus, Jerry and Jim Kimmel, the former the photographer, the later the writer, will be on hand signing copies of their newly published "The San Marcos, a River Story" (Texas A&M Press) and some of the photos from the book are on display as well.

Hope to see you out there.

September 20, 2006

Rest in Peace Don Walser


I heard a few minutes ago that Don Walser passed away due to complications from diabetes...
I found a News 8 Austin confirmation.

What a musical treasure Mr. Walser was to the world. Thanks for the yodeling and keeping Western Swing in the ears of the masses.

Anyone have any Don Walser memories to share? Here's as good a place as any I suppose.


Here's the story:

Don Walser dies
Updated: 9/20/2006 3:30 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

Long-time Austin musician and yodeler extraordinaire Don Walser died Wednesday.

His manager confirmed his death to News 8 Austin. Walser died of complications from diabetes.

An accomplished singer, guitarist and songwriter, Walser spoke about how he hoped the songs from those albums would live long after him in an interview with News 8 Austin in 2002.

"If you think of me 20 years from now after I'm gone, with some of music, I'll feel good about it. But it's got to earn it like those old songs that I'm singing, you got to earn it,” Walser said.

He retired from live performances three years ago. Walser is best remembered for his series of records in the 1990s produced with Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson.

Walser, who turned 72 last Thursday, was a country music icon in Austin. He had the fortune of a late-life career revival. He was a regular performer at Jovita’s, The Broken Spoke, the Continental Club. And he was also famous for bringing country music to Emo’s. He attracted a unique fan base, often opening for the Butthole Surfers.

He's also known for keeping western swing alive by performing the music of Bob Wills and Eddie Arnold.

A reviewer for Playboy magazine once referred to Walser as "the Pavarotti of the Plains."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

The next big concert...Thunderpalooza!


The next big Austin concert is going to be held in Kyle, Texas!

Thunderpalooza is going to be HUGE. It'll be held on November 3-4 2006 at Kyle's Thunderhill Raceway (24801 IH-35).

The Beach Boys are headlining and it'll have a lot of Austin and regional bands playing the 2 day event.

What is Thunderpalooza? 2 days of music to benefit uninsured children & breast cancer prevention in the Austin area.

Click on the poster below to visit the Thunderpalooza site.


Make plans to come to Kyle and rock out!

September 18, 2006

2006 ACL Music Fest Memories


Had a fantastic time at ACL Fest this year.
As you see by the above photo, I met Matthew McConaughey for a moment after a great set by a new-to-me artist named Mishka ( good times.

OK.. day by day..

Friday: For the early day I parked at the Post Office (I wasn't supposed to... since it was still open.. but hey... I'm a customer sometimes!) and I got there before the gates opened...I took the shuttle (I think I was on the 3rd bus) which was surprisingly easy to do. I wasn't a big fan of moving the shuttle from where it was last year...I think there was much more apparent parking closer to UT... but hey.. it wasn't too bad.

I took my picture with a mascot squirrel... no clue what it represented.. but it was a mascot and I needed a photo with it...

Now... I'm a fan of the smaller stages and the "less hyped" bands. So... you won't see my taking on and on about MUSE or The Raconteurs or Ween. I didn't stay for Massive Attack or rush to see I can't comment on those shows... I will comment on what I did see though...
Musical highlights for Friday:
- Seeing Autumn sing with Joy Davis (and learning that Joy Davis is Patrice Pike's sister) on the BMI Stage.
- Terri Hendrix playing a fantastic set on the Austin Ventures stage.
- Catching Matthew McConaughey introduce Mishka and catching his set... then meeting Matthew as well as Mix 94.7's Sandy and his girlfriend Trisha. (BMI Stage)
- I really enjoyed David Ford (click photo below for Web site) who, if I remember correctly. introduced himself as "another whiny Englishman" (AT&T Blue Room Stage)
- Wolf Parade was a pretty interesting band.
David Ford
David Ford Plays the AT&T Blue Room Stage on Friday

After Nickel Creek I actually left and picked up my wife to come back for Van Morrison. It was a bit of a pain to get back... finding parking in downtown Austin was a pain... I finally pain $7 to park in the garage across from Antone's... and we got to the busses at about 8:30.... only to find out the busses stopped "delivering to ACL" at 8:00p.m. which was actually nowhere in print... we decided not to be the ones who yelled and cursed and stomped off (there were a few..more on that later) and we actually got on a bus and went...

- Van Morrison was freaking amazing. Worth every inconvenience... We actually waited longer in line to get back to the parking garage than the performance...but it was damn well worth it. My wife and I were happy campers.

After securing the little girl with my parents for the day...after lunch at Central Market (you need to eat here if you've not before...) the wife and I headed out to ACL. We ended up paying $10 to enter the same lot as Friday night... We got there just in time for Ian McLagan and the Bump Band (3:30ish).

Musical Highlights for Saturday:
- Ian McLagan is great. I've caught him at his free happy hour gig at Lucky Lounge before and it's a good time. This was no different... my wife said it was probably her favorite performance of the day. (Washington Mutual stage)
- TV on the Radio was great. I'd never heard of them, and probably wouldn't have picked up the CD to play it if I saw it (I'm usually not one for bands who's names have more than 2 words or are phrases or sentances.)
- To see Los Lobos at 4:30 in the afternoon was phenominal...
- South Austin Jug Band (click photo below for Web site) at the BMI Stage was really good too. I hadn't seen them live for about 2 years. Better than I remembered.

South Austin Jug Band
South Austin Jug Band pose for a quick photo just before playing the BMI Stage

After SAJB we headed out... I actually went to Los Lobos at Antone's on Saturday night. I dropped my wife off at home, took a shower and took my dad with me to Antone's. We parked at a lot I know people it was free... but about a 8 block walk to Antone's. So... after seeing Los Lobos at ACL.. I saw them at Antones again. Amazing both times. I swear Los Lobos is probably my favorite band still producing original material.

The parents were leaving, so we went to lunch and when we came home my wife wasn't feeling too well... so I grabbed up my 2 1/2 year old and headed to ACL. Yeah!
Sadly, we made it there about 20 minutes after The Biscuit Brothers finished their set (they are one of my daughter's favorites) and actually they were knocking down the entire Kiddie Limits that she had so much fun at last year. My fault for not getting to the grounds until after 4:00.... Oh well.. better planning next time. The stage manager of Kiddie limits was really nice and actually played with my little girl for a little while... so she had some fun...and found a beach ball.

Musical Highlights from Sunday:
- Walking across the lawn explaining to my daughter that "That's the lady from Rockstar Supernova" on the Austin Ventures stage during Patrice Pike's set.
-Buckwheat Zydeco on the Washington Mutual stage was great. Only the second time I've seen them.
- My daughter danced for three straight Son Volt songs... AWESOME.
- White Ghost Shivers is a really interesting band... in a good way. They played the BMI Stage...
- New Monsoon was damn good as well... (BMI Stage)
- As we were leaving Ben Harper was playing the AMD Stage... As we grooved towards the bus I explained to my daughter that the man on stage was the guy she almost tripped two hours earlier... We were back in the Media area (water and snacks rock!) and Ben Harper walked through and said hello to G-Love (who was being interviewed)... well my little one decided to walk behind them to go around just as Ben was turning to walk away... I wished I'd asked for a photo.. but it was a pretty priceless memory.

Ben Harper and G. Love
Garrett "G. Love" Dutton and Ben Harper during a backstage interview

Some things I didn't like about ACL...and none of it is the organizers fault:
- Some people are asses. Most of these people are over 40 and think they have ownership of the world. They have a precious little bit of real estate that they are standing on.... and they are ready to unleash their "I'm superior to you" rant on anyone who *gasp* may want to get by. There are no assigned seats... and it's much easier to move for a moment and let someone by then tell them off.

- People who complain as a past time. Think about it.. I heard over and over "They should have done better at the busses" Allright..l I think they did as well as can be expected. If you stay until the end of a night of music and you're relying on a shuttle to take you home... you're going to wait... a LONG TIME. Get over it. Friday night was John Mayer and Van Morrison. If you wanted to see them all the way through... you saw them with about 30,000 others. Shuttles take about 40 at a time. suck it up. They did a great job at moving folks from one place to another.

- People who don't understand cell-phone ettiquite. So... there's this girl who is probably going to go to Vegas for new years but maybe not because Melissa is a flake... but she still might go... and oh.. by the way one of her friends was just going into surgery..and her parents are in San Diego but are thinking of going to Vegas for the weekend. Oh... and she told work that she needed the day off because she bought plane tickets and they wanted her to work on Friday but she said she couldn't because the tickets were unrefundable... but she was actually just going to ACL...

How do I know this? BECAUSE SHE TALKED LOUDLY ON THE PHONE the whole frigging shuttle to the fest... the whole bus knows now. dammit. Using a cell phone in an enclosed area with others is just like picking your nose in your car... IT'S NOT PRIVATE.

Hope you had a good ACL. Click the photo below to see ALL of my ACL photos

ACL Fest

Who is this squirrel?

September 12, 2006

Sexy Back

So.. I really don't like pop music with more synthesizers than musicians... but I really dig the new Justin Timberlake song "Sexy Back."

Maybe it's because it's probably being used in strip clubs all over the world. I seem to like strip-club songs... but I don't like going to strip clubs.

Example? OK... some great songs that have made it to the pole...

- "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails
- "Dragula" by Rob Zombie
- "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Motley Crüe
- "Take It Off" by The Donnas
- "Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC
- "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran
- "Little Red Corvette by Prince
- "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by Scorpions
- "Hot For Teacher" by Van Halen
- "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson
- "You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker
- "Angry Johnny" by Poe
- "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet

By the way...I googled and browsed people's lists of strip club songs to come up with these... since I've not been to a strip club for about 5 years when I attended a buddies batchelor party. Not that I'm opposed to going, it's just a $12 6-ounce beer isn't my view of a good time... and I've never been one to "girl watch" so it's kind of always been lost on me.

Here's a list I found...

This is from a band out of Canada called The Pariahs . Pretty strong list I mean, you may not like a lot of the bands but the songs rock.


1 SLOW RIDE Foghat
2 IM GONNA CRAWL Led Zeppelin
3 STIR IT UP Bob Marley
6 STRIPPED Rammstein
7 STRAY CAT BLUES The Rolling Stones
8 HARLEM SHUFFLE The Rolling Stones
9 HOT LEGS Rod Stewart
11 SO WHATCHA WANT The Beastie Boys
12 NO DIGGITY Blackstreet
14 I NEED SOMEBODY The Stooges
15 ROUGH RIDER The English Beat
17 LOOKS THAT KILL Motley Crue
18 CHUNK (PORT DOVER) Junkhouse
19 BRICK HOUSE The Commodores
20 FIRE The Ohio Players
22 GIVE IT AWAY Red Hot Chilli Peppers
24 BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGICK Red Hot Chilli Peppers
25 SEX AND CANDY Marcy Playground
27 PEACHES The Stranglers
28 DO ME, BABY - Prince
29 QUEEN OF PAIN The Cramps
30 FEVER Peggy Lee
31 EDGE OF THE WORLD Faith No More
32 BABY GOT BACK Sir Mix-A-Lot
33 I PUT A SPELL ON YOU Screamin Jay Hawkins
34 LOUD LOVE Soundgarden
35 THE STRIPPER Burt Bacharach
37 MOVE OVER Janis Joplin
38 TAHITIAN MOON Porno For Pyros*
39 SWEET EMOTION Aerosmith
41 GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS Motley Crue
45 CHINESE SURPRIZE Latin Playboys
46 NIGHTCLUBBING Iggy Pop and David Bowie
48 FLOWER Moby
49 SLEEPWALK Santo and Johnny
50 I FEEL LOVE Donna Summer

and pretty much the entire recorded output of Barry White.

September 11, 2006

Where were you

In rememberance
So, since this the the 5th Anniversary of September 11, 2001 I thought I'd share my story of where I was. Much like my parents generation can tell you what they were doing when Kennedy was assassinated, most of us can remember exactly where we were when those planes hit the World Trade Center.

I was starting my second day at a new job, as the Communications Specialist in Austin, Texas for a Federal Grant that did disability research. I remember being introduced to my cubicle, and trying to settle into a position that I was feeling excited and scared about taking on... and then suddenly my boss walked out of his office and casually mentioned that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Talk about all of my insecurities about being in a new position flying out the window.

I was lucky enough to not have any loved ones or friends perish in the attacks. One of my old college roommates was away from her desk at the Pentagon when that plane hit... but nobody I knew personally was injured or killed... but America as a whole lost something that day...and I think the world lost a little bit of something as well.

I remember how everyone seemed to be together in their love for America in the immediate time following the attack. 90 percent of the cars I saw had a flag magnet or sticker or something pro-American hanging from it. I never did any of that because I always wore my support for my country in my thoughts and actions... but it was really heartwarming to see all of those pieces of support.

I remember watching slowly as the "Pro-America" items started disappearing and people just melted back into what they were before 9/11. The "death of plastic patriotism" I call it. You still see magnet ribbons that say "support our troops" and pro-and anti-Bush stickers (especially in this area) but gone is the great sweeping love of country that was so apparent 5 years ago. It's really sad. I wonder what people thought as they removed the flags from their cars, trucks, and SUVs. Was it because they were torn and tattered from wear, or that it wasn't fashionable to be patriotic anymore?

I guess we'll never know. But, please, wherever you are, please take a moment to honor those who died needlessly that day. This day isn't about politics, it's about remberance.

So... to quote Alan Jackson: "Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?"

September 6, 2006

Observations of life....

Mor observations of your fellow man.
Kobe and Stoners
I had lunch at Kobe Steakhouse in San Marcos the other day. The other couple we ended up sharing a grill with was an incredibly stoned college-aged couple.

Now, these folks were very seasoned smoking vetrans and it took a little while to pick up on it.. but once I figured it out it was one of the most entertaining lunches I've had in a while...

It was like eating lunch with a combination of Napolean Dynamite and Beavis and Butthead...

- huh huh huh... do we like... get free refills on the soup?
- Man.. that rice is FRIED! huh hu hu huh...
- This place is amazing... they give you LOTS of food... huh huh...
...and the clincher... in case there was any doubt that they were stoned:
- Man.. if we went to get a pizza right now, I could only eat like one or two slices.

What do they put in Cheetos that makes them so damn addicting? I opened a bag at lunch yesterday and I had to force myself to stop eating them. The cheese remnanents on my fingers was about to permanently affix itself and force my hand into a three-prong Cheeto-eating crane.

I think it's the fact that it's a cheesy carb. That's the clencher. It's breaded... but with cheese. That's genious.

I curse the Martinez Family
We recently (6 months ago) had to get a new phone number (long story... short version is Time Warner are lazy bastards that screwed me out of my old number). Ever since then We're getting 2-3 calls a day from someone that is looking for the Martinez family who undoubtedly had our phone number.

Damn you Martinez Family!

Maybe I should start acting like I'm "José Martinez" and field these calls..which would really screw them up. I'll sign up for everything they ask about... and then when they verify my address... I'll know where the bastards who caused my dismay live...Mwhahaha!

Hmm... *light bulb*

August 30, 2006

I had a very interesting weekend...

I had a very interesting weekend... here's some highlights.

What's a little Shakira among family?
So, a highschool buddy of mine got married last weekend. My friend Hootand I went to Denton to the wedding and reception. It was an interesting time for many reasons... The groom, I thought, would always be a batchelor...and a college student. He's one of the most intelligent people I know... and has 3 Bachelor's degrees, one Masters and is working on his Doctorate.... he's been in college for about 17 years. But he found a fantastic woman to marry (I think.. I only met her at the reception) and here we are at a country club at the reception...

Now.. I hadn't seen the groom's family for about 17 years... his little sister (who had a troubled childhood to put it nicely) has a 14 or 15 year old son... The groom's parents divorced about 18 years ago... his dad married the secretary (welcome to the stereotype y'all) and they now have 2 sons... the age range about 12-15. Yes... the groom's half-brother and nephew are the same age. OK... that about sets the scene...

The DJ plays Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie." The Groom's Step-mom, her two sons and her GRANDSON are dancing in their chairs singing along with every word... not the chorus. I'm talking these four lip synching:
"Senorita, feel the conga, let me see you move like you come from Colombia"


Hoot's Music Collection
So, I'm a music writer, CD reviewer and avid music fan. I would be hard pressed to get hold of a CD that was before 2005 in my truck... I'm always listening to new stuff.

I take this trip to Dallas with Hoot... who hasn't bought a CD in a long time. His iPod was the music for the trip... Let me tell you...I got caught up on my Billy Joel, Eagles, and Guns and Roses. Oh.. and then there's the Reality Show music.. I never thought I'd ever hear from Bo Bice, Carrie Underwood and Marty Casey again... well.. I heard them all. Dude bought Buddy Jewel!

So I made the comment that he didn't have any music that came out after 2001 and wasn't connected to a reality show in his iPod.. he took that challenge... He opened up his "purchased" songs and there were 170 of them...he said 50% would be new songs. Well.. we went through 100 of them before we stopped at McDonalds for lunch (next story) and only 20 of them that were new... and 18 of them were bought for his wife (including "Hips Don't Lie" which we can never listen to again without shuddering). He claimed Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" and Blue October's "Hate Me"
While on the road from Dallas to Houston, my friend Hoot and I stopped off at a McDonalds for lunch. First, there were about 12 people working the store... but the 2 lines 4 deep weren't moving at all...for about 5 minutes. Yeah... but that's not the disturbing part. That's just McDonalds. So, we order and are waiting off to the side, like good McDonalds drones and suddenly this teenage anglo boy walks up to the register... the following conversaion actually occcured. I swear...this is almost verbatim.

McDonalds Employee: Can I take your order?
Teenage kid: Yeah... now do'n mess this up...aayte?
I wan't two double cheeseburgers... (pause)
...ketchup and mayo? (pause) I ain't havin' none of dat. that secret sauce you got?
McDonalds Employee: You mean special sauce?
Teenage kid: Yeah... gimme that.... and bacon.
McDonalds Employee: ...
Teenage kid: You got tha bacon?

Now.. he goes and orders about 3 other things like that.. then at the end when the cashier tells him the total... he hands him a $20 and says... "This is for the cheeseburgers..."
We were laughing so hard that I couldn't hear the rest of the conversation...

August 24, 2006

My views on politics are just that.. my views. I'm not here to share or push anything on you....
You see...Some people are pro-war... some people are anti-war some people just like "War Pigs."
Some protest...some complain... and some... like Austin's Hundred Year Flood... write a song and make a video.

Here it is:

Posted By:Hundred Year Flood

Get this video and more at

(Thanks Micha'el)

Visit them at:

August 22, 2006

Resealable socks...

I just got a new pack of socks. There are a dozen pair in the package. They came in a resealable package. Is this really necessary to have zip-loc sock bags? Am I doing something wrong by discarding the bag when I decide to wash the socks before wearing them? Am I supposed to save the bag and use it to store them once they are clean?

Why in the heck do socks come in a resealable bag?
I guess I'll have to write to Haynes about this...

Also... I was driving my little one to daycare today and I saw two people driving with no shirts on. Come on folks, I know it's hot out there, but unless you passed out in the parking lot last night and woke up with no clothes on, there's really no reason to be driving topless at 9:00a.m.

Random thoughts for a Tuesday.
Thank you.

August 18, 2006

The Dirty Dog - Stars Hang Here

You never know who you'll run into when you hang out at The Dirty Dog Bar on 6th Street. I had gone down to see Loss Rayne perform and I happened upon this scene.

An Aluminum Longhorn

This photo may just look like any other group of dudes hanging out at sixth street... but these guys are some of the cast members of a yet untitled Kimberly Pierce Project that is filming in Austin right now.

I didn't get everyone's name (it was a bar... not an interview) but the man wearing the camo pants is Channing Tatum (Star of Step Up) and the one on the far right is Joseph Gordon-Levitt (you may recognize him from his work on Third Rock From The Sun).

Happy Friday.

August 17, 2006

Recycling, Biscuits, Education, and Smoking

Watch out... I'm flying off on a tangent here...


The other day I was helping my wife’s work a little bit. We were going over old things and recycling some of the materials that weren’t needed for archives and was out of date. Well.. we kept throwing things into the recycling bin.. and I kept looking at the word. The prefix “re” is an odd one. It assumes that it’s a repeat of something that’s happened before… so re-cycling is actually cycling again. Although the recycling bin was on wheels, I doubt that it’s been cycling.

Speaking of cycling… Lance Armstrong is retired… but if we look at the meaning of the word.. it just means “tired again.”

Refried Beans – I don’t think I’ve ever had “fried beans.” I think that would be damned good though… individually breaded beans. Like a carb-carnival in your mouth. Yummy.

On another note, I was making biscuits yesterday… yes I’ve become quite the “Johnny Homemaker” since I’ve started working from home… First thing I ddid was take the frozen biscuits out of the bag ( OK not that much of a homemaker…) and set them up to “rise.” Little did I know, the frozen biscuits had to rise for 6-8 hours… it was 4:00p.m. when I decided to make them….so… here I was at 11:00p.m. making biscuits…

Anyhow, while reading the directions it told me to “place on center rack in oven.” Now, I don’t know how tall your oven is, but mine only has 2 racks… a top and a bottom. I don’t have a center rack. There’s a slot in the center of the oven to put a rack, but technically its not the center rack unless there’s a rack above and below.

Maybe that’s a side-effect of working at a job with PhDs for over 4 years… I keep seeing things too literally. Like Is it “no child left behind” “Not any children left behind” “No humans within school ages left behind?” How about - “Everyone advances!”

This may be a little Ricky Bobby of me (I’ve yet to see that by the way) but I believe there should be a first place. I’m not of the school of mind that all things are equal… every kid should be on the same level, get the same rewards no matter what effort they put into the work. I think those who can do so should be allowed to advance.

I think there are some children who have certain disabilities (mental or physical) who are not going to advance at the same level. It serves an injustice to not allow kids who advance faster to move ahead.

I think that causes more animosity towards the child who needs that extra help. The children who need the extra help should receive that help… they shouldn’t be “left behind” or made examples of or hidden away in another classroom next to the janitors closet…. They deserve an education and if it takes extra work to get it done, so be it..

Now, teachers are the hardest working folks on the planet. If it were up to me teachers would be the highest paid profession in the world. So many rules, regulations, checks and balances… THEN they have to take care of the kids and *gasp* be able to teach them…

Oh…I mentioned janitors. People, do yourselves a favor and make friends with your custodial staff. Janitors hold the place together. If you learn one thing from this little blurb of my thoughts…learn this. The custodial staff RULES. Executives come and go, but custodians, to quote ‘The Breakfast Club” are the “Eyes and Ears of the institution.” If you ever want to know what is going on… two people know: The smokers and the custodians.

Smokers know things because smoking is the great equalizer. The secretary, executive, PR person, and accountant all huddle around an ashtray about 3 times a day. It’s like the water cooler…but cancerous.

Maybe I should go back to making biscuits…
Until next time.

August 12, 2006

Kyle, Texas Daily Photos!!

An Aluminum Longhorn

I came across a blog of daily photos from Austin, so I thought I'd take a stab at doing it for Kyle, Texas.

It's where I live, just a short shot south of Austin and north of San Marcos.

I'll do my best to take a photo a day... or at least 3-5 a week.

Follow this link to find my daily photos as well as a little explanation about the shot....and/or what's in it.

Hope you enjoy.

August 10, 2006

Nooner/The Addictions/ 21 Down/ The Personals TOGETHER ALL LOCAL INSITE NIGHT at Stubbs...

Want a sneak-peek for your ears?
Come on out... Just $10 at the door and all the music your mind can handle.

See you tonight.

August 8, 2006

Patrice Pike on Rock Star: Supernova

Austin Rocks...
That's not new news... let's support our local in Rock Star: Supernova.

Patrice is now one of TV's Top 10 Rockers!

We need all you fans and other supporters to vote for her as often as
Fans like you have the ability to keep her on the show and slaying the
judges with killer performances for 10 more weeks.

Tune in to the show, vote frequently (voters have more than two hours
after the show) and tell your friends.

"Rock Star: Supernova"
The Tommy Lee Project
CBS Summer Series

Tuesday Performances/8 p.m. CDT, August 8
Wednesday Eliminations/7 p.m. CDT, August 9

Catch all the show performances, view new photos of Patrice and post

Keep up with the discussion at

Supernova Logo

August 7, 2006

A Feature on Me - Wow....

So, I'm from Laredo. I worked for a time at the Laredo Morning Times. I met a lot of writers. Recently, I reconnected with a writer acquantience from Laredo - Mike McIlvain.... he interviewed me for a story in the July issue of LaraDos magazine... I didn't realize he'd posted it to his blog as well...

So... click on Mike to get to his blog and my story...

Sean Claes photo
Thanks Mike.

August 6, 2006

August 2006 INsite online and on stands

INsite Austin Logo
Letter From The Editor

Its August. Time to start preparing for back to school or to deny the fact that school will begin soon and just have a good time. If you arent in school anymoredisregard everything but the last five words of the above sentence. Thats what were here for to remind you that no matter what there is to do in life, you should always take time to enjoy yourself.

As you will see from our cover this month, weve got interviews with Will Ferrell and Kevin Smith. I dare you to go see Talladega Nights and Clerks II and not laugh your butt off. Weve also got a great feature on Austins Alejandro Escovedo who is brining his The Boxing Mirror tour to The Backyard. We also talk with Kevin Fowler about the upcoming two-night stand at Midnight Rodeo.

All that and features on Birds Barber Shop, Art In Public Places, El Rey Restaurant, and 365 Days, 365 Ways. Of course dont forget our monthly DVD and CD reviews and columns by Bobby Bones and Chuck Loesch.

Weve got some great photos for you as well from our monthly INsite Hindsite to this months special Driving on Julys Custom Sounds Texas Heat Wave, to a spot dedicated to the Warped, Ozzfest and Sounds of the Underground tour.

In off news, I posed for my first album cover this month Im on the playground in Austin reggae/rock/funk band Full Services Recess. Im not supposed to tell you they are having an all-ages Fansaw Appreciation Night on August 12 at the Rockin Tomato (3303 S. Lamar) so I wont.

Speaking of August 12, it is also the night were going to be throwing a little shindig of our own. INsite Night at Stubbs (801 Red River) will feature Nooner, The Addictions, 21 Down, and The Personals. What a line-up! Its an all-ages show so grab the nearest music lover to you and come on out. Free water to the first 10 people who come up to me and recite a memorable Clerks II quote.

Have a memorable August.

- Sean Claes
Managing Editor, INsite
INsite Austin Logo

INsite – Always Entertaining Under The Covers.

Join INsite on MySpace and get frequent updates and INsite Extras delivered to your MySpace via bulletins and our blog (subscribe to it today!)

August 4, 2006

Updates to seanclaesDOTcom

Updates to Sean Claes DOT com

I've just had a chance to update my site with some of the things I've been writing and shooting for the last month.

Find everything online at:

Kevin Smith - Clerks II
Kevin Fowler - Plays 2 Nights in Austin in August
Birds Barbershop - Austin's New Rock n' Roll Barbershop

Entertainment Photogrpahy:
Loss Rayne @ The Dirty Dog
Reel Big Fish @ The BackRoom
Big Blue Hearts @ The Gibson Guitar Showroom

CD Reviews:
Alteza - Mexico to Texas
Ryan T. Briggs - Let It Roll
The Dog Waggers - Chasin' Tales
The Flying Club - Far and Away
Freebleeder - Drink and Destroy
Jenny Hollub - Decide.
Tom Petty - Highway Companion
Plane of Existence - Kinetic
Slayer - Christ Illusion
Smile and Nod - The Ties
Various Artists - Texas Unplugged Volume 2
Various Artists - Cow Hear This 3
Various Artists - Blues Guitar Women
Hank Williams III - Straight To Hell

I also have a MySpace Account.

Visit the Sean Claes Archives for material I've done in the past or to simply say hello… it also doubles as my messageboard.

July 25, 2006

A Birds Barber Shop Blurb

Birds Barbershop Logo

By Sean Claes
Hairstyles are like fingerprints. Everyone has a unique look, and your hair is an extension to who you are. When it’s time to get a cut there’s few choices – barber, chain store, or salon.

What if you don’t have a barber, don’t want be herded through the process like a sheep, or you don’t want to take out a loan to get a good haircut? What if there was a place where you could go and get a salon-quality haircut without salon pricing? What if you don’t need wine and crackers? What if there was a place that you could get a salon-quality haircut AND a straight razor shave?

Enter Austin’s newest hair-cutting kid on the block – Birds Barber Shop (2110 South Lamar). The barbershop-salon combo, which opened on May 20, 2006, is the brainchild of two childhood friends from Laredo, Texas – Michael Portman and Jayson Rapaport.

“I’ve been kind of describing Birds Barbershop as the Jet Blue Airline of haircuts. We still get you from LA to New York, and there’s still a little bit of pizzazz to it,” Portman said. “There’s this whole phenomenon of ‘affordable luxury’ these days. Design and quality shouldn’t be exclusive to the wealthy.”

See the August issue of INsite Magazine in Austin, Texas for the remaining part of this story...

(A variation of this story is in the current issue of LareDos in Laredo, Texas and will appear in the August issue of INsite Magazine in Austin, Texas)

July 21, 2006

Hellapeno FREE after Los Lonely Boys tomorrow

You know that Los Lonely Boys and Shawn Sahm's Tex Mex Experience are playing at Stubbs tomorrow (probably to a packed house as it should be)... but did you know that Austin's Hellapeño will be playing a free set inside Stubbs AFTER Los Lonely Boys finish up?

That's right.. it's inside Stubbs and it's FREE.
Is free cheap enough for you?
Pick up one of thier debut CDs while you're there. It's pretty damn good...

Here's a link to an interview I had with Dave Derrick, lead singer of Hellapeño. You can find it in print in the July 2006 issue of The Edge Magazine.


July 20, 2006

NO DIVING - Five Mile Dam in San Marcos

Anyone want to go for a swim?
Seems that drought has caused San Marcos' Five Mile Dam to dry up.

I was out there today and I was shocked... I snapped this shot.
5 mile

If you click the photo you'll go to a site that has a photo of what Five Mile Dam usually looks like.

July 19, 2006

Kevin Smith on Austin/Joel Siegel on Kevin Smith

So, Joel Siegel walked out of a Clerks II screening.
Read story on NY Post Online

If that doesn't make someone want to go to the movie, nothing will.

Read my interview with Kevin Smith in INsite's July 2006 issue...on stands August 4.

Sneak preview clip... for all you MySpacers...

Sean Claes: What keeps you doing regional premieres in Austin?
Kevin Smith: I screened Chasing Amy here for SXSW in 1997. I had a really good time doing it. It wasn’t until Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back that we had a screening for the Austin Film Society. It was a great audience with a wonderful Q&A. So, we came back for the next one, Jersey Girl. So when we were working on Clerks II it was a no-brainer.

I totally like doing that. I love the Paramount Theatre. I love the Q&As we do afterwards. The Austin audience is really cool, they don’t let you off easy. It’s not like screening a film at the Toronto film festival where you have to take off like 40-percent of the audience reaction because they like anything. These people, they don’t let you slip by with meager offerings. Also, the calibur of questions are better here than they are other places.

But also, I owe the city of Austin a debt of gratitude because Austin gave us Richard Linklater and Richard Linklater gave us Slacker. Without Slacker I would have never thought about being a filmmaker myself. Coming back here is like going to mecca to some degree. It’s kind of a nice way of saying ‘thanks’ because without this city I would have never been a filmmaker.

So if you hate my shit blame Richard Linklater and blame the city of Austin.

July 17, 2006

Live Music Photo Update

I saw 25 bands play last weel...and I took photos of 24 of them. The only band I didn't get a chance to photograph was Austin's Loss Rayne ( but I'll change that soon.

Want to see my photos? Here's three... and you can click on any of the images to get to the other 253 shots from the three big shows last week....

Band Pose
The Malford Milligan Band plays at the San Marcos River Pub in San Marcos, Texas on July 16, 2006.

Rick Clark
Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, Micky and the Motorcars play Kosciusko Hall in Kosciusko, TX on July 15, 2006.

All That Remains, The Red Chord, Strapping Young Lad, Between The Buried and Me, Walls of Jericho, Full Blown Chaos, Bad Acid Trip, Norma Jean, Bleeding Through, Unearth (pictured), Atreyu, Black Label Society, Ozzy, Dragonforce, Lacuna Coil, Hatebreed, AX7, Disturbed, System of A Down play Selma's Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on July 11, 2006.

July 9, 2006

A Blog About a Story on Blogging on Another's Blog


OK... I used to work at The Laredo Morning Times as a "paste-up" and Advertising designer... the term is "composing."
Well.. I went off and got a degree in journalism and have written for a bunch of places... including some features for The Times.

I also met a lot of cool and interesting people. One of which is Mike McIlvain. He was a reporter at The Times.. then he left... then I left... then we ran into each other at Gruene Hall New years 2002...then we e-mailed back and forth... he worked at The Times again and now he's writing freelance (as am I).

So, he e-mailed me that he was working on a story about blogging for a story in LareDos, a monthly magazine out of Laredo. I gave him a few quotes... and he included them in the story.

For those not in Laredo and who have no access to the June issue... Mike blogged his story about blogging. so I'll link to it, since I'm in it.

He contacted me last week and I was interviewed for a feature on me (as an entertainment writer) in the next issue of LareDos. I'm humbled.

So this is my blog about being included in someone else's blog within a story on blogging.

July 7, 2006

CD Dump... some reviews

I was looking at my personal stack of CDs I've been trying to get to, and I thought I'd write a few words on some of the discs I won't end up getting to for a full review. I'll publish it as a blog so hopefully some music-loving folks will give it a read and take some time to check these artists/CDs out for themselves.

Mexico to Texas
I met the lead-singer of Alteza, Jonas Alvarez, at a Los Lobos concert at La Zona Rosa in February and he handed me the band's debut album -Mexico to Texas.
I have been listening to the CD off and on again ever since.
I'm torn on this one. When they sing in Spanish, like on the album opener "Sueños de Alegria" or the classic "El Pescador" they sound superb both vocally and musically. But when attempting a song in English, like "The Curse" or "Fred Mendoza" it comes off like the song was written in Spanish and Alvarez just translated the words. It's not bad, but it doesn't sound right.
That said, they rock on the Santana-infused "Curandera Woman" which is an English sung song.
I think Alteza will get better in time, and I look forward to seeing the English lyrics catch up with the musicianship. Once they do, perhaps they can step up to the Los Lobos or Santana plate for Austin.

The Dog Waggers
Chasin' Tales
I've had this CD for a long time. I'd say over a year. This is a really good acoustic guitar/americana/rock album -really good music for this Hill Country area. They remind me a lot of the Austin Lounge Lizards in their style. I remember wondering why I'd not seen them playing Old Settler's Music Festival or out at Gruene Hall on a Sunday... then I saw why... they are from Virginia.
The music is a mix of serious songs ("Hey There Jack," "Graveyard Shift") and songs that have a little humor to them ("Know Your Limitations," "The Family's Reuniting"). Good Texas Hill Country music from Virginia. The picture that says a thousand words within the CD booklet says it all... it's a Virginia license plate that reads GRUENE.
Look them up -

Jenny Hollub
Kyle, Texas musician Jenny Hollub is a music teacher, choir director and all-around good person. She's also a neighbor of mine. When I put on a music festival in my neighborhood in June, she was one of the performers.
Before the performance she gave me a CD to enjoy. I really did like it. She's got a kind of voice that is soft cozy but has that edgy attitude.
"Whole Wide World To See" has an acoustic guitar groove that is infectious. It also has the best line of the album "You can do the thinking / I'll do the drinking / she'll do the driving / we'll be surviving / here we are for the whole wide world to see."
The only reason I didn't review this one was it was a 2005 release...and I somehow cracked the CD and can't play it anymore.

Plane of Existence
The only reason I didn't review this four-track EP (released in February) before this is, I don't like to review EPs. It's a thing to me, I have so many full-length CDs to review that EPs take the backburner.
That said, this EP from Austin's Plane of Existence is damn good. It's got great musicianship and the vocals are spot-on. I was surprised to find out that the band is all under 21. A very mature sound that fits nicely into the Austin scene beside folks like Wideawake and Vallejo (whom they've opened for recently).
All of the songs on Kinetic are well done. My personal favorite is "Eternity Tonight." It seems to be a song about being in that moment in a doomed relationship where it's make-it-or-break-up.
You can hear all of the tracks on Plane of Existence's MySpace, I'd recommend you check that out (

Smile and Nod
The Ties
This four track EP is a nice introduction to the Austin band who have a sound that is perfect for radio. They are kind of like a metal-free Alice in Chains. Lead singer Sean Maxey seems to channel Layne Staley on "Place Setting." David Butler's guitars create a great soft undercurrent on "Breeze." I'm looking forward to hearing more from this group.

Various Artists
Texas Unplugged Volume 2
Palo Duro
If you are a fan of acoustic guitar-driven Texas music, you've already bought this one. Palo Duro Records is a great provider of good Texas music, and this record, released in February is no exception.
Some of my personal favorite acts in the genre like The Derailers, Walt Wilkins, and Johnny Bush sit alongside Max Stalling, Two Tons of Steel and Dale Watson on this 12 track sampler of great tunes.
It's just as good as Volume 1.. and that is a good thing.

Various Artists
Cow Hear This 3
CBUJ Recordings
Another in the great number of compilation CDs of Texas music. I hate to say that, but there are so many out there, and so many are so good. Cow Hear This 3 presents classic hits like Willie Nelson's "Crazy" alongside notables like Gary P. Nunn ("Perfectly Normal"), Robert Earl Keen ("Out Here In The Middle"), and Jason Allen ("Your Heart Turned Left") and eleven others.
While most of the artists I'd heard of, I was pleasantly pleased with one I hadn't heard before -Zona Jones has a comical song about a ghost-hooker called "The House of Negotiable Affestions."
Like with Texas Unplugged Volume 2, you can't go wrong with this one.

Various Artists
Blues Guitar Women
Ruf Records
This double CD set is a great introduction to some of the best guitar slingers in blues who happen to be women.
The first CD is full of contemporary blues players and standouts are Sue Foley's "Mediterranean Breakfast," Ruthie Foster's "Woke Up This Mornin,'" and Ana Popovic's "Navajo Moon" is amazing.
The second CD is Traditional players and between Etta Baker, Memphis Minnie, and Precious Bryant it'd be an injustice to pick a favorite.
You can't go wrong with the blues, and this CD is a nice addition to any CD collection.

Hank Williams III
Straight To Hell
Bruc Records
If you've never heard Hank Williams III, you should go out and buy this CD right now. Straight To Hell is a 2 CD set that was released in February 2006. It's country, but it's nothing like you'll hear on the radio. This is pure outlaw country the kind I'd imagine Hank Williams Sr. would be making had he lived in 2006.
Disc one is the country album. It's a big leap forward from his 2002 Lovesick, Broke, and Driftin in terms of a true representation of who Hank III is. He channels his Grandfather on "Country Heroes," "Low Down," and the disturbing "Angel of Sin." And he interjects a little outlaw into tracks like "Dick in Dixie," "Pills I Took," and "Not Everybody Likes Us."
Disc two is a demented ride through the mind of Williams. A little eerie, but when you take into account that Williams was the bassist for Superjoint Ritual, has a punk band by the name of Assjack, and has a huge pot leaf on each of his's easier to understand.
Hank III is awesome on disc, but to really get a picture of who he is, check him out live. You'll be blown away.