November 12, 2012

Simply Charming Movember Fundraiser - Kyle, Texas

Did I get your attention?
We've decided to put the FUN in fundraising by hosting a Movember Fundraiser!
Live music by Austin, Texas' The Warhorses.
Silent Auction with several MANLY items.
Information about men's health.

Where: Milt's Pit BBQ in Kyle, Texas (directions)
When: Movember 24, 2012 - 6p-10p
Cost: FREE (It's a fundraiser)
Dress: Clothes... mustache optional (there's one below)

And yes... it's a BYOB event and there will be free beer while it lasts.

Who are we?
We are the Simply Charming Mo's of Kyle, Texas (Sean Claes, Bradford Johnson, Joshua Legare and Gregory Walters) and we've donated our faces to charity in Movember (the mustache growing month that is formerly known as November).

We are raising money and awareness for men's health issues because, face it, guys don't like talking about things like testicular cancer, prostate exams, depression, and doctor's visits. We don't like going to the doctor. We don't like to admit it when we don't feel good, and that might just be one of the reasons that many times we don't go to the doctor until it's too late and what may have been a preventable thing (if caught early) may result in a serious illness.

We thought the best way to do this was with a big 'ol free come-as-you-are party smack dab in the middle of Kyle, Texas. So... Milt's BBQ (newly located at 208 W. Center... on The Square) will host. It's going to be A LOT of fun... and who knows... you may learn a thing or two.

Meet your hosts:
Here's what we looked like on Movember 1.
2012 Kyle Mo's
Come to Milt's on Saturday, Movember 24 to see how we look now. It's MOtastic.

Again, it's free to attend, but we hope you bring some money to donate... as this IS a FUNdraiser.

In case you need a mustache, here's one for you. You're welcome.

October 30, 2012

12 Songs With Tuesday In The Name

Tuesday is the “forgotten day” as it’s not church day… not the typical first day of the work week, it’s not a day that signifies the work week is half over (and humping), it’s not the “hey, start the party because tomorrow is Friday” day, nobody Thanks God It’s Tuesday like Friday… and Hey it’s no Saturday.

But.. every day has it’s songs. So… here are a few songs that mention Tuesday.
Click the song name to go to a video on YouTube.

"Ruby Tuesday" – The Rolling Stones
"Tuesday Morning" – The Pogues
Love You Till Tuesday" – David Bowie
Tuesday’s Gone” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Tuesday Afternoon” – Moody Blues
"On Tuesday" - Men Without Hats
"Super Tuesday" - Vic Chesnutt
"Barely Out Of Tuesday" - Counting Crows
"Tuesday Night" - Adam Hood
"Church On Tuesday" - Stone Temple Pilots
"Sweet Tuesday Morning"  Badfinger 
"Tuesday Heartbreak" - Stevie Wonder
Do you know of any more?
Any obscure ones? Maybe a local band? Post them below.

October 3, 2012

Its Been A Long Road

Two Friends.
Two Roads Coming Together Throughout Our Lives.

NOTE: Written for a contest to try and make our roads cross yet again. Vote Here (A Facebook contest via Spirit 105.9) to help it happen. Voting ends 10/5/12. 

By Sean Claes

Trevor On Stage at Backwoods Bash.
 We were just kids in church, laughing during the sermons, singing “Amazing Grace” off-key and learning about the love of God, attending Boy Scouts together where his dad was an Assistant Scoutmaster when Trevor’s family decided to move to Tulsa. I didn’t understand why then… I was just 10 or so. Later I found out his father wanted to better their lives so he went to law school at Oral Roberts University (He just retired from his successful practice this year). For a 10 year old with a good friend, it marked the end. Long distance friendships hardly ever work out no matter how much you try. This was about 1985, before cell phones and Facebook so Tulsa, Oklahoma really was a world away from our home in Laredo, Texas - Especially for a pre-teen kid like me.

Anyhow, Trevor moved away… somehow we kept in touch over the years. I was 15 when I got to travel to Tulsa to visit. He was 17 when he came to Laredo for a stay. After high-school he’d go to Drake University in Iowa and serve in the military. After high-school I worked at the local newspaper and transferred to Southwest Texas State University. We kept in touch throughout the 1990s, but not close – a few phone calls, a visit or two.

During Christmas 2003 his little brother was killed. I’ll spare the details. I’ll just say a 22 year-old kid that was well on his way to becoming a great man was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

In the phone calls that followed, we rekindled the friendship. Over grief, over memories, over laughter, and over time we discovered that we chose a similar path in life. We were both professionals who chose the love of music as a main outlet. In our off-time he was promoting and producing music and I was an entertainment writer.

Matt Jostes, Trevor Lane, Damien Hartzel
and Sean Claes - at BWB 1.

So, when one day in 2004 it wasn’t that big of a surprise when Trevor called me and said he wanted to throw a benefit festival and he wanted to know if I could help. Not a show… a festival. An annual event to raise money for the foundation that was created in memory of his brother, the Make A Difference Foundation, and share the love of independent music, those who are out there making a difference for themselves.

The Backwoods Bash was born five years ago. The first year it happened… barely. One of my old bosses used to say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” I said “The only reason to have a First Ever is to have a Second Annual.” BUT, the music is what brought us together. This past year Backwoods Bash celebrated its 5th Anniversary. Due to financial reasons I’ve not been able to attend the last 3 years.

Trevor (center) and Sean (right) pose
at BWB 2008

When we do get together (which seems to happen about twice a decade), or when we talk on the phone, it’s like not a day has passed. We are both married and have children. Our parents are retiring, and we now find ourselves pushing 40. We’ve graduated from laughing in the pews to being active members of our churches. We’ve been through a lot in our lives, and together as friends.

I just made it through a major life change and he is about to have some serious surgery and perhaps enter into a life change of his own. We both have the love of Christ and we remind each other of this every time we talk.

I would love to have the opportunity to give him and his wife the gift of Spirit Fest… and bring them to Austin from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ve been friends for 30 years, and it would be great to be able to just sit back and enjoy music, friends, love, and laughter together.

Thanks for reading. De Colores.

NOTE: Written for a contest to try and make our roads cross yet again. Vote Here (A Facebook contest via Spirit 105.9) to help it happen. Voting ends 10/5/12. 

Trevor, Matt, and Sean end of
BWB Day 2 in 2008 (last time I saw Trev).

September 13, 2012

2012 Kyle Log House Fried Chicken Dinner 9/22/12

The Claiborne Kyle Log House is hosting their annual FRIED CHICKEN DINNER on September 22, 2012. Kyle Life interviewed Marilyn Beals to get a little information about the Log House and the Fried Chicken Dinner. Neat video.

The 2012 Claiborne Log House Fried Chicken Dinner will be held on September 22 (11a-2p). For $7 a plate, you'll get freshly fried chicken, beans, potato salad, bread, drink, and a dessert.

You'll also get great music from Bruce Curtis Fallgren (11-12:15) and Distant Cousins (12:30-2). For the kiddos there will be musical instruments, a tee-pee, a Bouncy House courtesy of Bounce Across Texas, and a few other surprises.

This is the major fund raiser for the year benefiting the Claiborne Kyle Log House (to pay for utilities, upkeep, and anything else).

Come out and enjoy the chicken, rub elbows with some of the folks who are involved in running and representing our great city, learn about the history of the Kyle Log House, and listen to some amazing music.

May 17, 2012



Every year for the last 11 years, the neighborhood of Plum Creek in Kyle, Texas has thrown a party lovingly referred to as “Front Porch Days.” This is a combination promotion / celebration for the neighborhood. It’s also FREE and open to the public.

Activities this year will include bouncy-bounces for the kiddos, face painting, informational booths, a washers tournament, a golf tournament, a pie baking contest, and much, much more… including the 7th Annual Front Porch Days Music Festival.

Although music has been a part of Front Porch Days in years past (The Derailers played it in 2005) In 2006, resident Sean Claes decided to add a music festival to the mix. Now, in it’s seventh year, the Plum Creek Music Festival is a force to be reckoned with…or at least a good time that is free to everyone in attendance and boasts a pretty darn cool line-up.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

MUSIC Line-Up:

Stage 1: Plum Kid Stage
12n - 12:45: Rockaroni & Cheese
1:00 - 2:00: The Biscuit Brothers
2:15 - 3:00 "Mr Will" Dupuy

Stage 2: Front Porch Stage
12:15 - 1:00: Bruce Fallgren
1:15 - 2:00: Will Porter
2:15 - 3:00: Relative Wednesday

Directions from Austin:
IH-35 Exit 215 (Kyle Parkway FM 1626) in Kyle, Texas.
Turn Right on Kyle Parkway/FM1626
Turn Left at Kohler's Crossing
Turn Left at 2770
Turn Left at Fergus
Straight Ahead: Fergus Park

March 26, 2012

Olympic Benefit - Kyle, Texas - 3/30/12

Benefit for Olympic Fencer March 30

Paralympian Gary M. van der Wege To Compete in London 2012

Gary van der Wege - Paralympian

Event Information:
What: Road To London Benefit for Paralympian Gary M. van der Wege
When: March 30, 2012 (6p-9p)
Where: Kyle United Methodist Church (408 W. Lockhart St. Kyle, TX) Family Life Center
Events: Dinner, Silent Auction, live music, and a fencing demonstration
Cost: $7/ person or $15/family (suggested)
Facebook Event:

The Kyle United Methodist Church (KUMC) would like to invite all of Kyle and surrounding areas to a benefit on Friday March 30, 2012 to help defray the costs for local Wheelchair Fencer Gary M. Van Der Wege to get to the Olympic Games in London this September.
This is a story of triumph. A story of willpower. Beating the odds and rising to the top of a sport. Not only is Gary van der Wege a highly decorated Wheelchair Fencer, at the age of 56 he is returning to the Olympic Games as a member of the 2012 US Paralympic Wheelchair Fencing Team.

The event will be held March 30 from 6:00 – 9:00p at the Family Life Center of the Kyle United Methodist Church (408 W. Lockhart Street, Kyle, TX 78640). Dinner will be a buffet-style pasta bar with several gourmet sauces from witch to choose.
Also, there will be a silent auction made up of a plethora of items that were donated by area businesses and individuals. Over 40 items, including gift certificates to several Kyle-area restaurants, an Olympic jacket donated by Gary van der Wege himself,  Autographed items from Aaron Watson, handmade items from the Kyle United Methodist Church Craft Group, gift baskets (including a Scentsy basket from consultant Katie Holcomb), various baked goods (including a years worth of peanut brittle), swim lessons (Hays Swim Club) and  Jiu Jitsu lessons (Dojo Kyle), jewelry, artwork, and much, much more.

PLUS, you are invited to try your hand at fencing during the Interactive Fencing Demonstration. How many times can you say you've crossed swords with an Olympian?

The entertainment will be as follows:
6-6:30p – KUMC Dulcimer Players
6:30-7:00 – Ting van der Wege and Friends
7:05-7:20 - Peter Tillman-Young
7:30 – 8:00 – Relative Wednesday
8:15 – 9:00p: Interactive Fencing Demonstration (Fence with Gary & Friends)

It is going to be a fun time for all ages, and it will help get van der Wege to London in September.

Facebook Event:
Event Information:
What: Road To London Benefit for Paralympian Gary M. van der Wege
When: March 30, 2012 (6p-9p)
Where: Kyle United Methodist Church (408 W. Lockhart St. Kyle, TX) Family Life Center
Events: Dinner, Silent Auction, live music, and a fencing demonstration
Cost: $7/ person or $15/family (suggested)

Facebook Event: 

January 9, 2012

I'm Going To Live In _________ for ________ months! (Facebook Thing)

I saw a couple people posting on Facebook that they were headed somewhere exotic for a weird number of months...

Here's the code breaker.

You use the month and day you were born in.

Write: "I am going to live in (month you were born [see below) for (day you were born) months!

January - Mexico
February - London
March - Miami
April - Dominican Republic
May - France
June - St. Petersburg
July - Austria
August - Germany
September - New York
October - Amsterdam
November - Las Vegas
December - Columbia

I was born February 5.... so apparently I'm going to London for 5 months.
You're welcome.

January 5, 2012

Week 52: Bands As Retail Stores

(This is Week 52 of my Fifty-Two Weeks of Music Do-It-Yourself advice)

Welcome to my final week of this journey.

Your Band As A Retail Store

A few days ago I was in Wal Mart and I checked in on FourSquare… mostly because I have delusions of grandeur and think two things:
  1. People really care about where I’m at all day long and it’s important to note that I’m looking for a winter hat for kickball; and
  2. That by becoming “mayor” of as many places as possible, it will somehow grant me better customer service and more friends than you… albeit all virtually.
Anyhow… I was at Wal Mart and when I checked in I read the “Tips” that people left. Every one of them were complaining about the service, the prices, the cleanliness, and other nit-picky things. I posted up my own tip, which reads: “It’s a Wal Mart… get over it. Complain all you want, you’ll be back.”

What does that have to do with DIY Music Advice? Has Sean finally lost his mind on the last entry of his 52 Week mission?

Rest easy, my pretty little ponies. I’m just as insane as I was on Week 1, and let me tell you how this comes back around to Music. You see, Wal Mart is Nickleback. They are Creed. They are the “goods and services” version of the band that is raking in millions of dollars and laughing all the way to the bank when people complain and cry about them. They are a joke… a multi-million dollar earning joke.

So, that made me think even more… every band fits into this category of different sized businesses. You’ve got the garage bands all the way up to the most legendary band ever.
If you’re a band, where are you currently? Where would you like to be? How do you get there?

With that mindset, think about this. If your band was a store, which one of these 7 would they be?

A Website with a phone number to order:
You think you’ve got a good idea so you make a few things, set up a Website and wait for the world to discover you. You don’t really tell anyone about your store except family, because you think if it’s good enough SOMEONE will do that for you. (Example: Your sister/aunt/cousins/nephews tchotchke site)

Band equivalent: You never get out of your garage or backyard unless your Aunt hires you to play her kid’s birthday party. You’re not a band; you’re a hobby with a name.

Mom & Pop Convenience Store: You have a neighborhood appeal, there are millions of you, you’ll never make it rich, but you’re happy doing what you’re doing and are used to the same 100 people knowing who you are. (Example: Austin’s Whip-In)

Band Equivalent: Every band beginning to play clubs at local venues. 

Chain Convenience Store:
There are still millions of you, but you’ve got a little name recognition and people in several cities know you. Still, you’ll never be the first band on their mind, but you’re comfortable knowing that they know who you are, where you’ll be, and they can rely on you being there when they decide to stop in. (Example: Diamond Shamrock)

Band Equivalent: These would be bands that play the circuit, have been on a “national” tour where they play some major cities. In between sleeping on couches, Ramen noodles, and meager gig wages they will survive to do it all over again. For the most part, we’re talking about an unknown band on a “road show” night.

Regional Grocery Store:
You’re big in Texas. People relate to you in that aspect. You’re not “too big” to be called a sell-out, but you’re a pretty big blip on the radar for your region. You’re less a specialty shop and more a one-stop experience (Example: HEB)

Band Equivalent: Bands have actually made a decent living at this level. They won’t be rich, but they are able to be full-time musicians and support themselves on their music. They won’t sell out stadiums, but they can sell-out 200-300 seat venues on a regular basis. You’ve heard them on the radio and seen them on TV; maybe you’ve downloaded a song or two.

Big Box Store:
You’re a sell-out. Don’t let that bother you, because it’s all those punks who are loyal to their “Mom & Pop Shops” that call you a sell-out because you’re “stealing their customer.” They secretly wish they were you, but they’ll never admit THAT. People all over the nation know who you are and most have visited once or twice. (Example: Wal Mart)

Band Equivalent: Really popular bands that people like to make fun of. This is the slot for bands like Nickleback. They have good company on this level too. Creed, Korn, Poison, Jonas Brothers, Avenged Sevenfold, Queensryche, Bon Jovi, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow… I could go on.

A Major Draw:
You’ve surpassed sell-out and become THE meal ticket. There’s only a handful of you in the country, and as long as you keep doing what you are doing, and doing it well, people will come from hundreds of miles around just to see you. You own your marketplace and everyone who is anyone knows who you are. (Example: IKEA, Cabela's)

Band Equivalent: This is where every band hopes to be someday. Internationally recognizable and loved (for the most part) AND banking hardcore. These are the ones you will travel 100 miles to catch live, and when you get there you have to get a t-shirt and some other swag to prove you were there. Bands like Metallica and KISS are the two that I happily spend too much money whenever I go to their show.

Legendary: You carved your own path and created something that only you can own. Sure there’s going to be copycats, but they pretty much named the category for you. Universal appeal, everyone has heard of you, and by everyone I mean everyone from kids to grandparents have uttered your name. (Example:

Band Equivalent: There are very, VERY few who reach this category, and for those The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was created. You know the words to several of their songs by heart and when you’ve had a little too much to drink you sing them at the top of your lungs. The Eagles, Elvis, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan are examples.

So, where are you in the mix? Where would you like to be? What is your plan to get there? I’ve given you 52 individual blogs containing advice… have you taken it in? If so, please let me know how it’s working (or not working) for you. If not… well… thanks for reading the last one and I invite you to read the others.

The Wrap Up
I began this journey in September 2010. My original intention was to wrap it up in 1 year, one a week for 52 weeks. I got sidelined along the way with life, but I persisted and wrapped it up on 1/5/12. It was a personal challenge, and I hope some of what I have said in the last year or so has helped encourage you that you’re doing the right things or pointed you in a good direction.

I’ve completed this, but please know that if you have any questions on which you’d like advice, first, take a look at my offerings here... and if the answer isn't there, I’ll happily lend an ear, and try and help you out. Just leave a comment or shoot an e-mail to me and I’ll do my best to respond.

Thanks for reading and now I’ll move on to my next 52 Week Project, which I’ll unveil soon.

Sean Claes is the owner of Austin's INsite Magazine and has been a freelance entertainment writer since 1996. For an introduction to his "52 Weeks of DIY Music Advice" visit this link - If you like what you read... please share. To visit Claes' homepage, go here -