February 25, 2010

Week 25 - Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom - Me So Twangy (20th Anniversary Edition)

(Week 25 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks) 

“But I know that someday you’ll miss me, I know that someday you’ll miss me, I know that someday you’ll miss me soon and I’ll be an empty ballroom.”

-       My Emaciated Heart

Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom
Me So Twangy (20th Anniversary Edition)

Folks that lived in Austin in 1989-1990 probably have heard of the eclectic acoustic jam band Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom. Others who are dedicated Davíd (Dah-Veed) Garza Fans possibly know this band as the band he was in before he embarked on his own impressive and quirky solo career.

Here’s a quick (and hopefully accurate) bio. Three UT students (Garza, Jeff Haley, and Chris Searles) with an acoustic guitar, stand-up bass, bongos, and infectious lyrics came in, busked, captured hearts, recorded a fantastic album in one day, got shot down by a record company in New York, then as quickly as they came in they disappeared. They were just kids. I don’t think any of them were 20. They all moved on… Garza to a solo career, Searles to drumming for bands like Alejandro Escovedo and Shawn Colvin and has become a voice for Green living, and Haley graduated from UT and became a music teacher in New York.

Yes, their time as a band lasted about a year, but left in its wake a lot of great memories and one tape, Me So Twangy. Although I arrived in this area in 1996, I heard of this band because my sister was in college at Texas A&M during the time of Twang Twang. She would talk glowingly about their live shows, Dah-Veed, and “Fishsticks.” I personally came late to the scene and was never able to see them perform at that time.

Well… in late 2009 the boys of Twang Twang re-released their 1990 Me So Twangy on CD. It’s the 20th Anniversary Edition. It was originally only on tape. They did it in style with four sold-out shows at Austin’s soon-to-be gone Cactus Café in December.

Me So Twangy is not only a great time-stamp of Austin music (I hear their busking in the West Mall at UT was a thing of legend) but I believe it stands up to today’s music. The real music with people actually playing instruments, not the electronically playback dance grooves. I’d align it with folks like Matt The Electrician, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Southpaw Jones, and Todd Snider.

Me So Twangy is highly danceable music… the acoustic flamenco-meets-1960s rock kind of dance music. Forget your cares for about 40 minutes and let your body and mind be taken on a ride. Release your mind and your legs will follow. The album gets your feet moving with “Always Give Your Love Away,” and offers high-energy jams throughout the disc like “Blue,” “It’s No Secret,” and “Nicotine Queen.” It’s not all dance jams, they slow it down for “While My Hair Grows Long” and “Quiet.” Of course there’s the obligatory why-can’t-we-all-get-along song “My Wish”  (it’s a college student thing).

The most fun track on Me So Twangy and my favorite has to be “Fishsticks.” Perhaps it’s because I finally was able to hear the song my sister talked about all these years. But it’s a damn good song. “If I were going to a jewelry store / I’d buy you a big diamond ring / If I were going to a candy store I’d make sure to get you some gum and a pair of Shrinky Dinks / But I’m not going anywhere, at least, at least not yet / I may be going to a grocery store, but if I do I won’t forget my fish sticks.”

The CD ends with “Bigstick,” a stream of consciousness spit where Garza proclaims his love for chunky peanut butter among other things.

The disc can only be found at Austin’s Waterloo Records (where it sat at the top of their “Local Top Ten” list for seven weeks). I hear they are almost out of the first-run, so if this review makes you think “I need to get this” or “wow, my sister’s birthday is March 3 and I should totally send her the CD” you should probably get in your car right now and head to Waterloo. If you’re not in Austin, you can purchase it at Waterloo's Online store or on iTunes. They don’t have a local show coming up, but they are playing New York in April. Follow them on Facebook – http://www.tinyurl/twangfacebook for more information and to reconnect.

February 24, 2010

Austin - Texas SHAM-Rockfest

Tickets - $12 ($20 for minors)
Buy them here: http://tickets.frontgatetickets.com/choose.php?a=1&lid=40082&eid=46694

(The below information is from: http://texasrockfest.com/Shamrockfest.asp

Gates Open at 3PM on Wednesday March 17th
Times - Bands - Stage 1:  Stage 2: 
3:00 PM Travis Larson Band
3:25 PM Uranium Savages
3:50 PM Streetlight Suzie
4:15 PM Yayo Sanchez
4:40 PM Divide the Day
5:05 PM Trashy and the Kid
5:30 PM Cockpit
6:00 PM Ladyjack
6:30 PM Crank County Daredevils
7:00 PM The Last Vegas
7:30 PM Rikk Beatty Band
8:00 PM Razr 13
8:30 PM George Lynch's Souls of We
9:00 PM
9:30 PM One Eyed Doll
10:00 PM Oklahomos
10:30 PM Agony Column
11:00 PM
11:30 PM LA Guns
12:00 AM
12:30 AM Faster Pussycat
1:00 AM
1:30 AM Broken Teeth
Get Your Tickets Now - FrontGateTickets.com

Agony Column

Agony Column

I am the undead I met with Death, but I rest not in peace The living world howls my name and will not let me rest I am forced to live on, as the ghost of Texas Hellbilly Death Metal My name is Legion, for we are many We were the Devil Chicken the Crow the Bat Lord the Red Wing Viper.... We had names, and we had minions.

Broken Teeth

Broken Teeth

Austin,Tx. Residence.Formed 1999,in order to deliver real rock n roll to a hungry audience that has been caved in and spoon-fed what has been a falloutboy menu, "If Rock N Roll is safe, it's not real rock"! influenced by Motorhead,AC-DC,Judas Priest ,Danko Jones, and the old school way of loud amps,tight trousers with blood and ale,flowing thru the streets.Jason McMaster-Vocals(WatchTower,Dangerous Toys), Brett McCormick-Bass, Jared Tuten-Guitar,David Roy Beeson-Guitar,Bruce (Brucifer) Rivers-Drums.



Heavy Judas Priest-style guitar riffs? Check. Bass lines stolen from Motörhead and KISS? Check. Fat, punchy AC/DC drums? Check. What more could you ask from a band that promises the return of rock? How about anthem-esque hooks, tasty guitar solos and choruses worthy of an arena? Check, check and most definitely check.

Longing for the days of genuine, straightforward rock when Harley-Davidsons roared down the Sunset Strip and smoking was permitted both indoors and out, the members of Cockpit came together as 2003 rolled into 2004. Each player brought her own individual style and flavor to the table, creating a machine greater than then sum of its parts eliciting aggressive, guitar driven, authentic rock 'n' roll.

As fate would have it, the formation of Cockpit coincided with a pivotal time for the music industry. Gone were generous major label budgets and their desire to develop new talent. At the same time, more and more independent artists were emerging, and attracting attention in a saturated marketplace was becoming more and more difficult.

"It was definitely a challenge. We grew up listening to bands like Aerosmith and Mötley Crüe, multi-platinum bands that sold out arenas and toured the world, and as a result we hold ourselves to high standards!" teases drummer Rachael Rine who, along with lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Linda Lou, lead guitarist Alicia Blü and bassist Terrii Kiing, was prepared for the long road ahead. "We knew we would have to find clever, unique ways to promote ourselves," recounts Linda. "We recognized our potential early on," she continues, "but we also understood that we would have to do all the work ourselves, without the muscle of a major label."

"We signed ourselves to our own 360° deal," jokes Terrii. "We acted as our own management, booking agent, marketing agency, merchandising company, street team, webmaster and bank," she elaborates.

Cockpit's development efforts combined with the band's raucous live sets began to attract fans and industry support. The girls successfully landed opening slots for a multitude of national acts and are one of a select few unsigned bands on the 2008 Rocklahoma bill, a four day hard rock festival in Pryor, OK drawing dedicated rock fans from around the world. Several tracks from Cockpit's soon-to-be-released EP, Mission To Rock, can be heard on CMT's newest series, Chopper Challenge.

"We're excited about how far we've come," declares Alicia, "but even more exciting is the knowledge that releasing our EP will only open more doors. This is just the beginning of many great opportunities for us."

Crank County Daredevils

Crank County Daredevils

"Hailing from the sleazy southern hills of Asheville, North Carolina, the Crank County Daredevils can best be described as the bastard child of Motorhead and early Guns N’ Roses. Their distinctive sound of boot stomping southern sleaze rock n’ roll will leave you begging for more. After several national tours and a few trips across the pond to Europe the fellas in Crank County Daredevils have honed in their rip roaring road show and proven that they are the loudest bunch of gypsies to ever take the stage."

Divide The Day

Divide The Day

Seeking refuge from a stagnant music scene in Southern California, Divide the Day can be best described as hard-hitting, ass-shaking, Dirty Western Rock! As a group of dedicated young visionaries, the band has independently booked a vast number of full US tours.

Faster Pussycat

Faster Pussycat

Hollywood sleaze rockers Faster Pussycat made their mark in the world with a self-titled debut in 1987 and the 1989 gold album "Wake Me When It's Over", which spawned the hit single and video "House of Pain".

In 2007 Faster Pussycat's classic "Bathroom Wall" was selected for Activision's "Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's" for Playstation2. These days the band is busy touring.

George Lynch

George Lynch's Souls of We

George Lynch Souls of We is finally back with “Smoke and Mirrors”, the record that all fans have been expecting since the release of their breakthrough album “Wicked Sensation” in 1990! Critics and fans alike praised the album for singer Oni Logan’s hook-laden vocals and George Lynch’s virtuoso guitar playing. Shortly after touring in support of "Wicked Sensation", Logan and the band parted ways.

After seventeen long years Oni Logan and George Lynch are back together and they found again an incredible chemistry that brought them to write some killer new songs. Joining the line-up are dynamic bassist Marco Mendoza (Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Scott Coogan (Brides of Destruction, Ace Frehley). More than a band, this team is guaranteed to create one of the most explosive shows you can ever experience and shines big time on the brand new recording which is set to bring back George Lynch Souls of We on the map of the most exciting Hard Rock bands around!

George Lynch says “"Smoke and Mirrors", is the record we should have put out as a follow up to “Wicked Sensation” ...better late then never I guess”.

With an career that spans over 30 years, George Lynch is one of the most influential guitarist in modern music. In the 1980’s, Lynch’s guitar playing and songwriting catapulted the band Dokken into a highly successful, muti-platinum act. His work with Dokken solidified Lynch as a full-blown guitar hero, earning a Grammy nomination in 1989 for best instrumental. After recording and touring relentlessly through much of the decade, Lynch left Dokken in 1989 to form George Lynch Souls of We.

Lynch continues to inspire a new generation of guitarists and fans all over the world

L.A. Guns

L.A. Guns

L.A. Guns started in 1982 as a straightup dirty ass rock n roll band. The band was put together by Tracii Guns in his last year of high school.

The band has had some noteable members such as Axl Rose, Phillip Lewis and Marty Casey, but continues today with band members Jizzy Pearl (the Singer) Jeremy Guns (the Bass Player) Chad Stewart (the Drummer), and of course Tracii Guns (the Guitarist).

L.A. Guns has been a work in progress without an end in sight, continually touring and of course writing and recording a huge variety of rock n roll sounds. Some people believe that L.A. GUNS may be the last true rock n roll band that hasn’t had to rely on outside writers or the help or corporate funding to have continued success.

The success of this band is solely dictated by the loving, intelligent and hell raising fans!!!!!!!


One-Eyed Doll


One-Eyed Doll is the Austin, TX based power-rock-duo led by guitarist and singer Kimberly Freeman.

Razr 13


RAZR 13 is a modern metal band based in Austin, Texas, featuring lead vocalist dUg Pinnick (KINGS X), lead guitarist Big Bald Mike, bassist Ryan 13, and drummer Chris "JRAB" Thomas.

King’s X fans should recognize all three names as Big Bald Mike often provides security at KX shows, Ryan 13 is dUg’s bass tech, and JRAB is Jerry Gaskill’s longtime drum tech and stage manager.

The band's newest addition, Al Shire, is handling live rhythm guitar duties.

The band recorded their debut album in Austin with producer/manager Paul Soroski (PODUNK/SOROSKI ENTERTINMENT).

The Last Vegas

The Last Vegas

The Chicago based, The Last Vegas deliver hi-energy spectacles, with a deliciously trashy, roughed-up edge, eliciting the inner rock star in all of us. Armed with their unbridled, raw talent, The Last Vegas posses the ability to musically beat crowds into submission, leaving fans no choice but to beg for more.

With influences like Johnny Thunders, AC/DC, Black Flag, Misfits, Guns N' Roses and the Sex Pistols, The Last Vegas sought out rambunctious music to get their adolescent blood pumping. The bands' first concerts include Cheap Trick, AC/DC and KISS, influencing them as they grew up in punk rock clubs throughout the local Chicago & Michigan scene.

Uranium Savages

Uranium Savages

Over these last three decades, the Uranium Savages have played with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dr. Hook, Darryl Rhoades and his HahaVishnu Orchestra, the Austin Lounge Lizards, Joe Ely Jerry Jeff Walker, Timbuk 3, Omar and the Howlers the Rhythm Rats, Doug Sahm, the Sons of Sahm, Augie Myers, Marsha Ball, Ray Campi, Alvin Crow, the Geezenslaw Brothers, Steve Fromholtz, Steam/Extreme Heat, Harry Anderson, Chubby Checker, Balcones Fault, the Big Boys, Bubble Puppy, Shiva’s Head Band, Greezy Wheels, Wavy Gravy, Texoid, John Kelso, Joe ‘King” Carrasco. The Explosives, Esther’s Follies, the Next, Ponty Bone, Beto y los Fairlanes, Ro-tel and the Hot Tomatoes, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bugs Henderson, Rusty Wier, Tex Thomas, Ben E. King, the Leroi Brothers, Ray Benson, the Texana Dames, the Tailgators, the Cherry-Poppin’ Daddies, Willie Nelsons …and dozens of other wonderful groups.

The Savages have so far as yet only played in the towns of Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Amarillo, South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, Fredericksburg, Nacogdoches, Manor Downs, San Marcos, Luchenbach and Creedmoor. They look forward after their first 30 years to finally playing out of the state of Texas. There have been over 100 of Austin’s finest musicians that have played in the Uranium Savages group - a list to long to enumerate here – but everyone in the Uranium Savages still is proud of the award given to them in the year 2000 by the Austin Chronicle…”The Uranium Savages - The Best Proof That Drugs Don’t Kill You!”


Yayo Sanchez

Yayo Sanchez swerved into the fast lane before he could legally drive. An energetic on-stage dynamo and a slashing fleet-fingered frontman, Yayo was already a rising star by the (under)age of 14. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact he was making his name in the highly competitive, world-renowned music scene of his hometown turf in Austin, Texas. “I was 9 when my Dad bought me my first Kiss CD,” Yayo says, while also citing such influences as Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, Black Sabbath and Motley Crue. “I was immediately obsessed.

February 18, 2010

Week 24 - Ray Wylie Hubbard - A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint There Is No C)

(Week 24 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks) 

“I can say that Muddy Waters is as deep as William Blake.”

- “Down Home Country Blues”

Ray Wylie Hubbard
A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C)
Bordello Records

Ray Wylie Hubbard is the only person I know that can put as much passion into singing about the Apocalypse as singing about a wasp nest on his back porch. He takes a song about baptism as serious as one about banging pots and pans. With A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) he explores these subjects and much more.

The title track is the classic song about life being a choice, this time in a very Edgar Allen Poe manner with a black sparrow coming to him in a dream. In “Drunken Poet’s Dream” Hubbard rhymes “gasoline” with “mescaline”  “scream” and “dream” and you can’t help but sing along. “Tornado Ripe” tells the story of a natural disaster. “Wasp’s Nest” is a crawling blues song about… well… wasps.  “Pots and Pans” is simplistic and amazing. “Every Day Is The Day Of The Dead” is one of the tracks he wrote for the upcoming movie he wrote called Last Rites of Ransom Pride.

It amazes me how Hubbard can grasp and sing about deeply religious themes in such a moving way. Between his raspy voice, the hauntingly beautiful music, and the words he chooses to paint the picture it’s an amazing listen. On A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) he gives us two such tracks – the revival inspired “Whoop and Hollar” and “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” the song taken from the pages of Revelation. “Black and Red, White and Pale. Death and War, Famine and Pestilence. The end will begin with the sound of approaching hoof beats of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

The rock and roll song akin to his “Live and Die Rock and Roll.” “Rock and Roll’s A Vicious Game” is the killer “Loose.”  It’s actually a post-death memory of someone who never stopped living the “rock and roll” lifestyle. “Now the girl walked like she was on Bourbon Street. In those days she had grown men kneeling at her feet. She took to an old profession as a source of revenue. Now all she’s taking with her is a dress from Sacks Fifth Avenue.”

A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) was released in mid-January and I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with Hubbard and interview him for the cover story of January’s INsite Magazine. You can read that story here - http://insiteaustin.blogspot.com/2010/01/ray-wylie-hubbard-110.html.

You know... it shouldn't surprise me that Hubbard can be so passionate about seemingly trivial things like wasps... he is the one who brought us "Snake Farm," "Screw You We're From Texas" and "Redneck Mother." All great songs by the way. For more about Ray Wylie Hubbard, visit his website - http://www.raywylie.com/

February 16, 2010

Shows that look interesting this week...

So... there are three really cool and different shows coming up this weekend. Thursday is a Reggae Night at Ruta Maya. Saturday is the 33rd Annual Carnaval Brasilaro at Palmer Events Center. Sunday is a Benefit show for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Below is some information about all three shows copied from from Austin's do512.com

Fayuca is a killer three piece reggae rock band from Arizona! They have an original style with hints of punk blended in with their latin reggae rock sound. Come show them a warm Austin welcome!

Don Chani is one of Austin's favorite reggae bands. Drawing from an era that many consider to be reggae’s golden age, the late 60s through the late 70s, and the latin influences of two of its members, Don Chani has carved out a unique sound unmatched by any of its contemporary counterparts.

McPullish is a solo artist who specializes in Live Dub, improvising on the mixing board to create unique and original sounds. He builds his songs from scratch, playing real instruments in the studio and mixing live and direct. He will be opening the night up with his original set.


Ital Palace will be serving up reasonably priced authentic Caribbean plates all night.

Click "I Like It!" for a chance to win free tickets! 2 pairs will be given away each week thru January 20th, and then 1 pair a week for each week after that!

Visit Carnaval Brasileiro's Website for full details!

Austin’s annual CARNAVAL BRASILEIRO, possibly the citys longest-lived and legitimately “Austin Weird” event, is gearing up for its 33rd year as Austin’s biggest, best and perhaps most misunderstood party. Carnaval, which has grown into the largest indoor Brazilian Mardi Gras celebration anywhere on the globe, explodes at 9:00 p.m.,  February 20, 2010 at Austin’s Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road.

The irresistible pulse of samba drums, an endless parade of exotic costumes, and the uninhibited euphoria of over 6,000 attendees have established this Brazilian style festival as one of the most eagerly anticipated blowouts on the areas social calendar. Now, only Carnaval and Eeyore’s Birthday are the last survivors of Austin’s Golden Age of wild parties and total weirdness.

Fueling the festivities, two high energy bands will pump out fiery Brazilian carnaval music. New Yorks Grupo Saveiro is making their seventh Austin appearance. Saveiro has performed at countless carnavals up and down the East Coast and is regularly voted the Best Brazilian Band in the USA by the Brazilian Press Association.. Veterans of Rio’s famous carnaval parades, these ten Brazilian-born musicians have played
individually with everyone from Baden Powell and Marvin Gaye to Sun Ra and David Byrne, but in Austin, they present a heady mix of traditional rhythms: samba, frevo, marchinha, bloco-afro and much more via their battery of pounding, sensual drums.

Austin’s own traditional Rio-style Samba School, the Acadêmicos da Opera, a locally-based group of 35 drummers and 15 dancers, all in elaborate opera-themed costumes, will be making their sixth Carnaval presentation. Their up-close and personal performances—in the middle of the dance floor—electrify enthusiastic Carnaval throngs with an authentic taste of the real deal from Rio.

Carnaval Brasileiro began in the early 1970s to offer UT’s Brazilian students a nostalgic dose of their homeland’s legendary festivities, and is now a local institution attracting partygoers from all over the United States. After blowing the roof off one downtown club, the party immediately outgrew the infamous Armadillo
World Headquarters, as well as the long-gone City Coliseum before nestling into its present venue.

Flamboyant, almost too-scanty costumes, throbbing Brazilian samba, and the uninhibited, spirited atmosphere have earned Carnaval its reputation as the premier such festivity in the USA. The party has inspired fansites on the Internet, as well as helping cultivate a love of things Brazilian in Central Texas, ranging from music and food to Brazilian martial arts.

A portion of the proceeds from Carnaval will benefit the Austin Sunshine Camps, a non-profit organization which provides not only free summer camps for Austin at-risk kids, but year-round mentoring and leadership programs.
Tickets will be available online December 15, 2009, and in several locations.

Envision No Vision: 
Concert and Silent Auction Benefiting the TX School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Envision No Vision, a non-profit concert and silent auction is being held on Sunday Feb 21, 2010, at The Republic Live, 301 W 5th St raising money for The Texas School For The Blind and Visually Impaired. Money raised will benefit a student activity fund, for extracurricular activities, educational tools, special equipment, music instruments/lessons, field trips, summer and winter camps, and even physical training equipment. The Student Activities Fund provides for fun, life-changing experiences that will build confidence and help students overcome adversity.

The concert portion of Envision No Vision is being MC’d by comedian Steve Trevino and will feature six bands. The lineup includes Ouachita, Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township, Tin Can Phone, Rook, The Bus Stop Stallions and The Flametrick Subs. All have graciously donated their time to the benefit.

A Silent Auction will be held with donations from local businesses and artists. Items include dinner for two at Home Slice Pizza, a gift card to Uchi, a pair of 3-day passes for Old Settlers Music Fest, 15hrs of recording studio time, and even a pair of music wristbands for SXSW 2010. With the auction list growing daily there will be more items at the show.

The auction closes at 10:00pm with winners being announced that night. The concert will run from 6:00pm-12:00am. Omni International Beverages will be working with the venue on some great drink specials. To attend Envision No Vision there is a $15 dollar donation at the door or you may RSVP at www.Do512.com to save $5.

February 14, 2010

A "Meanie" Valentine - 1836Ink

I took the kiddos to Wake Up and Smell the Dead Roses Art Market that my friend Robin Orta put on outside the Wake The Dead Coffeehouse Friday (2/12/10) in San Marcos.

This was a "Meanie" Card that my 5 year old picked out to give my wife (as a joke).

It says "I wish a monster would eat your face off."

The inside says "Happy Valentine's, Jerk"

This is from 1836 Ink - 1836ink.com I think the artist is Dan Olson.

It's great stuff.

Happy Valentine's Day.... internet.

February 11, 2010

Week 23 - Powderburn - One Fix


It’s not a vision, It’s a man made mission.
- “One Fix”

One Fix

If you’ve been around the hard rock / metal scene in Austin for a bit you’ve heard of or seen Powderburn. They’re a love/hate band. If you have an opinion about them it’s usually a pretty strong one. Kind of like Vallejo or Bob Schneider. For the record, I fall in the “love” category for all three. So, it makes sense that I choose Powderburn’s One Fix to review for the review that will be posted during Valentine’s Day.

Released late last year, Powderburn has really matured on this CD. It’s their first release since 2007’s Echoed In Red EP. One Fix has Powderburn coming off less like a metal club band and more like someone that could hold down a stage at bigger venues. They’ve got that Metallica-meets-Alice In Chains –meets- Breaking Benjamin sound that is too soft for Ozzfest but too hard for Austin City Limits Music Fest. Which is, perhaps, why they are still rocking the smaller clubs.

But don’t get me wrong, this band is sponsored by Jagermeister and does a show up right. This isn’t just four guys with instruments that stare at the ground. A Powderburn concert is an event with lights, shots, and many times scantily clad women giving away schwag.

But… on to the CD. One Fix is a good ten-track 45-minute ride full of sweet hard rock. The album kicks off with the five minute “Black Untold” that gets your blood pumping before going into the title track. “Slowly Divide” could be a Metallica ballad. “One By One” will have people in the crowd at a live show chanting.

My favorite track on One Fix is “Break Away” a jam that seems to be about a blackout and waking up not sure where you are. Growing up on the border, I can appreciate this song. “Then you wake up famished / and your friends have vanished / the girl speaks Spanish / and you can’t understand a thing.”

The epic seven minute “A Small Victory” ends the album nicely. I’d complain that they’ve only put out 4 albums in 10 years, but it seems Powderburn is doing things on their pace in order to turn in an album full of well structured and well thought out songs. As the old school saying goes “all killer and no filler.”

If you’d like to get the album, there are a few packages available on their MySpace Page and if you scroll down, you can get the whole thing as a download for free by signing up to their mailing list.

Powderburn is Ken Lockman (Vocals/Guitar), Eric Anthony (Lead Guitar), Greg Enkler (Bass), and Patrick Swift (Drums). Find out more about them on Facebook, Reverb Nation, or Twitter. You can also catch them live in Austin at Club Encore (611 Red River) on February 26.

February 9, 2010

Friends of the Cactus Cafe present Plan to preserve legendary venue

(Copied from http://www.savethecactuscafe.org) 
Non-profit, Friends of the Cactus Cafe, formed
Plan presented to preserve legendary venue

Austin, Texas, February 8, 2010Members of SaveTheCactusCafe.org filed legal documents today to create a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Friends of the Cactus Cafe, to support community and student efforts to keep the Cactus Cafe open in a manner that preserves its fundamental character in its current location, and to fund ongoing programs for students using the legendary music venue as a resource.
Initial board members of the non-profit organization include Wiley Koepp, who launched the Facebook group Save the Cactus Cafe, now with over 22,000 members; Austin attorney and political consultant, Reid Nelson; and Paul Oveisi, a member of the Austin Music Commission and owner of Momo’s Club. Additional board members will be added in the near future and will be drawn from the business, music, and university (including students and faculty) communities, donors, and others.
“We want to preserve the ethos that makes the Cactus Cafe what it is today and help it build upon its well earned reputation in a way that allows greater opportunity for students in managing and performing in the club,” organizer Koepp said.

Friends of the Cactus Cafe will kick off a fundraising drive this week to fund the SaveTheCactusCafe.org campaign aimed at convincing the Texas Union management to formally commit to keeping it open and adopt the organization’s plan to provide ongoing financial support for Cactus Cafe operations and fund programs that will include student internships, Cactus Cafe student performing artists-in-residence and marketing projects undertaken in conjunction with the business school to better promote the venue.

“We think our plan will provide a secure financial future for the Cactus Cafe, and assist the University and the Texas Union in these difficult economic times and beyond,” Nelson said. “A profitable Cactus Cafe benefits everyone.

The group sought input from members of the Austin community and University students in an organizational meeting held this past Saturday, February 6, and after incorporating their suggestions and gaining their endorsement, the group finalized their plan and made the decision to move forward with forming Friends of the Cactus Cafe.

“The support from the community and students for the plan was overwhelming,” noted board member and Music Commission Member, Paul Oveisi. “As someone who is both involved in and who deeply cares about the music community in this city, I am honored to be part of this effort.”

Details of SavetheCactusCafe.org’s plan follow.:
Short-term goal: convince the Texas Union management to formally commit to keeping the Cactus Cafe open through a plan that preserves its fundamental character in its current location, provides a secure financial future for the legendary venue, and builds upon its current operating model to allow greater opportunity for students in managing and performing in the Cactus Cafe and interfacing with local and national music professionals.
Long-term goal: provide ongoing funding for operations of, and ongoing programs through, the Cactus Cafe as described below.
This plan addresses the concerns expressed to date by university officials, Texas Union management, students, the Austin community and the American music community at-large regarding the decision to close the Cactus Cafe. It will:
1. Maintain those elements about the Cactus Cafe most cherished by the community, including continuing its offerings of live acoustic music in its current space in the Texas Union.
2. Assist the University in meeting its budget by insuring that the Cactus Cafe is profitable.
3. Provide greater access and control to students in Cactus Cafe operations, including management, booking and performing.
4. Assist the University in furthering its missions of teaching, community involvement and support for the arts.
I. Formation of a non-profit Cactus Cafe support organization
SaveTheCactusCafe.org is forming a non-profit organization to support the Cactus Cafe and this plan to save it. This organization will:
(1) Begin fundraising now to fund the Save the Cactus Cafe campaign to get the Union management to formally commit to keeping it open and adopting this plan and (2) Provide ongoing financial support for Cactus Cafe operations in a way that addresses student access and control concerns with regard to the venue.
Board Members will be drawn from the business, music, and university (including students and faculty) communities, donors, and others.
II. Financial Support for Ongoing Cactus Cafe Operations
Upon a formal adoption of this plan by Texas Union management, a portion of the funds raised will be used to make up any shortfalls in the Cactus Cafe operating budget
III. The Cactus Cafe Student Initiative
The remainder of funds raised will be used to support the following programs:
· Internships for students in both the business and technical areas of the music business: producing shows, booking talent, marketing, etc.
  • Cactus Cafe Student Artists in Residence Program: A number of students will be chosen through competition to become performing artists-in-residence at the Cafe, both opening for national acts and headlining, and would receive an annual stipend to support their residency.
  • Ongoing workshops on both music and the music industry, allowing students to interact with and learn from community and national professionals in the music industry
  • Marketing and other revenue enhancing projects, in partnership with the business school, aimed at increasing the revenues of the Cactus Cafe by capitalizing on its iconic brand which has been built over the last 31 years.
ABOUT: SaveTheCactusCafe.org is an eclectic group of music lovers from all over the world who are dedicated to preserving Austin’s iconic music venue in its current location in the Texas Union.

February 6, 2010

Reverse Garage Sale At Kyle United Methodist Church


WHERE- Kyle United Methodist Church

WHEN- Saturday February 13,2010 from 7a.m.-3p.m. 

(FOR) WHO- The Pathfinder's Residential Program, part of the Burke Center in Driftwood, Texas & the New Life Children's Center in New Braunfels, Texas

WHY- Both of these facilities provide a safe, structured living environment for abused and neglected children.  Our goal is to 'sweat the small stuff' for them by collecting the everyday items that these kids (ages 11-17) are in need of.  The items listed below are on their 'Wish List'.

pillows- new
twin sheet sets- new
socks (calf for boys, no-show for girls)
men's and women's toiletries-no sprays or glass
sports and gardening equipment
gently used current clothing
men's undershirts, round neck, all sizes
brightly colored yarn
lip gloss
school supplies
journals- no metal spirals

February 4, 2010

Week 22 - Two EPs - A Good Rogering & Fulton Read

(This is Week 22 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks. See the rest here.)

Disclaimer: I don’t normally review EPs. I believe it actually represents 1/2 of an album. I believe that if a band presses up an EP they should split the CD with another band and make it a full album… a split EP between 2 bands. This way you don’t waste CD space and you get the bonus of cross-marketing your band to the other band’s fans.

Anyhow… I’ll jump off my soapbox. This week, I’m reviewing 2 EPS… the seven-track Long Overdue by .A Good Rogering and the three-track Synchronize by Fulton Read

Week 22 - A Good Rogering

“I’m riding a one track mind through a long time going to nowhere.”
- “Born To Follow”

A Good Rogering
Long Overdue

Suffering Dog Records

I first met Skunk Manhattan a few years back when he was playing with Austin’s Quartershackle (he still does). I never actually got his real name. Just “Skunk.” Of course the name was personified by his Mohawk w/blond stripe running down the middle. At that time I thought, he’d stand out in any band with that.

I ran into him again last March and he introduced me to his other band – A Good Rogering where Manhattan is the lead vocalist and guitarist.  In this outfit he is joined by bassist “Chef Bull R.D.”  who wears a plaid red oversized chef’s hat and a drummer that goes by the name Mr. Nub. So much for Skunk being the standout in the band.

Last week I got their debut CD Long Overdue in the mail. It’s going to be released this month. Coming in at just under 30 minutes, this seven-track debut album by A Good Rogering is really riding the cusp of EP vs. LP. It also begins with “Pilot” - a 40 second introduction to the band done in a 1970’s television theme-song manner. Pretty funny, and just what I was expecting from a band in costume.

When I didn’t expect was what came next. “Born To Follow” kicks in and it’s a fantastic Rob Zombie-meets-Metallica-meets Pantera rock anthem. The guitar-rock continues through “Never Miss” and “Salt & Rust” before slowing up for the 007-esque Bjork cover “Isobel.” Yes, they cover a Bork song. Well, I might ad. Once the Bjork-break is over the album ends on a brutal note with “Survey The Remains” and “Stop Scratching.”

You know.. sometimes a band has a gimmick to draw a crowd and can’t back it up with the music. I’ve got to say, A Good Rogering has something special. They may get your attention with the skunk stripe and chef hat, but once they have your attention, they’ll likely keep it with their talent. They can do in-your-face hard rock as well as pull off a technical and beautiful ballad. Heck.. I found a video on YouTube where they do a darn nice rendition of Digital Underground’s “Freaks of the Industry.”

Visit them online at agoodrogering.com to see where they play next. I know I’m going to try and catch them soon.


“Could never understand the notion of seeing what you want but standing still.”
- “I Want It All”

Fulton Read

On January 31, Fulton Read released Synchronize as a free downloadable EP on their website fultonread.com. This piano-rock band has a sound that is best described as Elton John-meets-Coldplay-meets the college-age lyrical wisdom of early Live.

Led by the unique raspy voice of Anthony Erickson, Fulton Read subscribes to the idea that music should be free. The idea goes something like this: You give away your music = people share said music = more fans= more people at your show  = merch sales = you get more popular = you win. They also try and make their live shows an event. Past ideas included “Fulton Read in 3-D” where there was a 3-D light show accompanying the music and December’s Christmahannukwanza show where Erickson dressed up at Santa Claus and Austin’s Annie Ray had a photo booth.

But.. on to the music. Synchronize is only three songs, but it’s a pretty impressive effort. Plus, the fact that they are giving it away for free was reason enough for me to include it in my 52 Austin CD Releases in 52 Week project (as my 22.5 entry.)

“I Want It All” is a full-on epic production with horns  and “Synchronize” is about creating a new paradigm by everyone getting in line with each other. 

The “single” from Synchronize seems to be “A Better Way.” It explores the question of what we’re missing in life. “There’s got to be a better way I know I’ve / Seen it linger in the haze of long nights / An image burned its way into my third eye / There’s got to be a better way to scale these heights.”

Synchronize is available for free from http://www.fultonread.com. Always going the extra mile, the band aligned the EP release with a creative challenge. They asked a plethora of people, artists, and fans to tag the word Synchronize somewhere on the release day. They’ll feature some of the entries on their site as well. Personally, I did some fridge art for it.

But, above all the hype, Fulton Read is a band that produces some really good and thought-provoking music. Do yourself a favor, check it out. You may discover a new band you’ll want to catch live.