Wednesday, October 04, 2006

'Member Me?!

I realize that even at my best I wasn't exactly lighting the blogosphere on fire, but I still feel a bit guilty about not posting for a looooooong time now. Sorry imaginary audience...and sorry to Andy, my older brother, and a huge influence on my life. How so you ask? Well, Andy was the one that set me on my path of obsession with art, music, and other forms of expression and/or pop-culture. Damn him!! But seriously, if it weren't for him I'm not sure what I'd be into today. It could have been ugly, though I don't think so. In the age-old nature vs. nurture debate( or most debates for that matter) I think that most of the time the truth is somewhere in the middle ; neither black nor white. I feel that I would have eventually gravitated towards what I now consider to be my primary interests even without the strong, and diverse influence that Andy had on my formative years, but I might have made a few more wrong turns along the way. While maintaining straight-A's in school, as well as being involved in numerous extra-curricular activities Andy still found time to indulge his other passions of music, comic books, theatre, movies, technology, and women. I received a fine education via an egalitarian gumbo of the golden-era of mainstream and underground comic books, horror/sci-fi/B-movies and television, and "pop" music ranging from Spike Jones, and Al Jolson to Plastic Bertrand, and Pink Floyd along with musical and movie soundtracks amongst other oddities. Thanks Andy! You are very appreciated for that reason and many more.

While my brother Charles was also an influence, primarily in the form of a surreal sense of humour, and his hard rock, and occasional new-wave records (Devo, Talking Heads), Andy was without a doubt the one that ended up making the most indelible mark on my soul. Just for exposing me to the Church of the Subgenius he should be either celebrated or damned depending on your perspective. After Andy I'd have to say that Scott Franzke and Colin Bolinger were the biggest influences, and later a revolving cast of characters from what would be called the punk/new wave/skateboarding scene, and of course Bob Hudspeth; David Breihan, and Mandon Maloney certainly get honorable mentions for the skatepunk trip. College brought a whole other cast of characters that will have to wait for now. But enough about people from my past that you don't know, let's talk about people from the present that you don't know either.

I can't go any further without acknowledging the life and passing of Freddy Fender who was part of the soundtrack of my childhood, and one of my musical heroes along with the rest of the Texas Tornadoes in my adulthood. Joe Belock of WFMU has put together a brief but effective tribute to Freddy on his Three Chord Monte program which can be found here(scroll down): http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/20755. Music has become an even bigger part of my life in recent months primarily due to the fact that my band is playing shows more regularly now with the new, solidified line-up. Saddle Tramp now consists of Chad Bennet on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Anthony Hernandez on lead-mandolin/accordion/bajo sexto/backing vocals, William "The Finger" Pollard on bass, and yours truly, the Pickin' Polack on lead guitar/backing vocals. It's really getting to be a lot of fun, and I believe we sound better than ever. William, and Anthony are both exceptionally good musicians and quite personable as well. They are the glue that allows Chad and I to justify having a band at all. Anthony plays in another band called Mule Dixon, that happened to be one of the bands we opened for at our recent show at Club Dada, and William is a veteran of many Denton-related bands ranging from the infamous Cornhole, to the recently defunct Budapest One. Mule Dixon is a very polished act comprised primarily of acoustic guitar, mandolin, hand percussion and of course vocals provided by Nick Ippolilitti and Anthony. Cool, gritty and folkish with a narrative bent. Definitely worth checking out. There were two other bands that played that night but for some reason the Places, which were scheduled to go on third ended up playing last but that seemed to work out for the best as they didn't quite fit in with the decidedly roots/folk/country/hillbilly vibe that seemed to be the common thread between the rest of us. Garland's Fish Fry Bingo rounded out the rural portion of the evening nicely with their stripped down, old-timey/bluegrass/folk sound. Stand-up bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals were all they needed to win over the sparse crowd( hey it's Tuesday night!) at Dada. That along with their infectious energy, quirky stage presence, and in some cases appearance (but hey look at me!) made for a memorable performance. Apparently they enjoyed our set as much as we enjoyed theirs as they invited us to play with them at Muddy Waters next month. The lead singer, whose name I believe is Daniel paid us a huge compliment by saying we reminded him of Doug Sahm, as well as the Flying Burrito Brothers. Now I'm going to take that with a grain of salt, but I did tell him that I could die peacefully after hearing it. Sadly, the Places came on to a very small crowd that had just been bombarded with three rootsy acts and though they were interesting and inventive I doubt it was one of their best shows. They would have faired far better in Denton, but they may already know that.

Almost forgot to mention that we played with a cool band from Arkansas(Fayetteville I think) called the Saddle Burrs couple of weeks back at the Bar of Soap. It was supposed to be the Dallas premiere of a movie made by a friend, or indirect friend of both bands but due to technical difficulties the movie wasn't happening, but that didn't stop the "Saddle Gang" from making a ruckus. We might do it again but for real so I'll keep you posted. And now for some pathetic complaints to round out the post...I missed yet another Gonerfest in Memphis last month. This was the third multi-day concert put on by Goner Records, which might be the epicenter for the modern underground rock and roll/garage/punk scene. The best thing about these guys is that they don't forget their roots so local Memphis musicians, and international musicians that are only loosely related in style all share the same stage. I hear that much like the Ponderosa Stomp, Rockin' Enocki the one-man band from Japan was the star of the show in the opinion of many. This would be the reason that he is pictured at the top of the page. Well, that and the fact that it's one of my favorites from my trip to Memphis in May, and it prevents me from the shameless self-promotion of putting a picture of Saddle Tramp up there. But you just wait...
http://www.myspace.com/muledixon
http://www.myspace.com/fishfrybingo
http://www.myspace.com/saddleburrs
http://www.myspace.com/saddletramp

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lazy Lester, Lil' Buck Sinegal, and Barbara Lynn(above)!

I need to say that I don't consider myself to be (TOO big of) an expert on "popular" music by any definition. However, I am a somewhat obessive fan of that nebulous genre and in recent years my tastes have gravitated even more so towards what might be called "roots music". This would be the seminal stuff that is now considered to be the template for rock and roll. I say this to distinguish myself from the true authorities, some of which I met recently during an eye-opening set of performances. I got back from Memphis weeks ago now so I think my brain has had time to process the whole trip; particularly the 3 nights of incredible music known as The Stomp. I'm glad I went on this vacation all by my lonesome for multiple reasons, but the main benefit was only being accountable to myself. I'm the kinda guy that worries whether my friends are having a good time at a show, and that can hinder my enjoyment at times. As the only people I had ever approached some semblance of communication with previously were folks from the Garagepunk.com forums I was free of any interruption in my music-watching regiment. It was very nice to meet this group in three-dimensions, as opposed to a reconfigured batch of 1's and 0's. We seemed to have a bit of an instant kinship, or maybe they were just very cool and friendly people with somewhat similar interests. I guess I just don't meet people like this in Dallas much.

I'm a pretty open-minded fella when it comes to music but at the same time I do tend to filter things through punk if you catch my drift. What I mean is that I tend to like a live performance to be upbeat or at least heartfelt, and passionate. If you leave the edges slightly ragged and try to remember that fire in your belly, even better. With this in mind, and with the large amount of legendary perfomers on the bill I will attempt to mention the highlights of the show. Ironically, the first night of the three was in my opinion the best over-all, and the hands-down showstopper of the evening was Tammy Lynn's extended version of "Mojo Hana". If you witnessed this and were able to control your body then you might already be dead. Lil' Buck Sinegal and the Topcats, with Stanley "Buckwheat Zydeco" Dural on Hammond B3( with Leslie speakers) were the backing band I saw and enjoyed the most over the course of all the nights. They backed a rotating cast of front men and women that would make most records geeks shivver in their Beatle-boots. It was impressive to watch them jump right into songs they may or may not even know with the most minimal of instruction, and no rehearsal. Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics were the second most active backing band of the event and they did a great job too.

Al "Carnival Time" Johnson's signature song seemed to get people in good spirits, and Texas' own Roy Head was a particularly dynamic, and charismatic performer. I heard that after his Ballroom set he walked straight up to perhaps the only black dude in that audience and said "Pretty good for a white boy, huh?" Jay Chevalier, and what little I witnessed of vocal group The Climates were terriffic as well but the other first night performance that will stand out the most after Tammy Lynns's will be The Alarm Clocks. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that they were the only "Garage" group of the evening, but they did not dissappoint. Of all the garage bands on the bill they seemed to "get it" the most. The fact that they did some new numbers didn't distract from their blast of primal '60's punk. I might even buy the new album! The Bad Roads were in a tough spot following up the Clocks performance, and their standard bar-band set made me head to the Lounge stage to see what I was missing.

I decided to show up late the 2nd night to conserve energy, and that turned out to be a mistake. I got there in time to see B.B. Cunningham backed by James (Telecaster-whiz) Burton which was very cool, but I had missed what was apparently a pretty smokin' set by Dallas' own Kenny and the Kasuals. Well Kenny and the boys are playing around the corner at their usual haunt tonight so I guess I finally need to go check them out. Lady Bo(to right), who was the female counterpart and partner to Bo Diddley was fun if not a bit reliant on the novelty people seem to enjoy when a woman plays guitar. She did look extremely cool! Novelty seemed to be the motivating factor behind the inclusion of Arch Hall, Jr. as well but I wasn't complaining. Arch is most famous for a handful of B-movies from the '60's, one of which was immortalized by the TV show Mystery Science Theatre 3000...EEGAH!! The stars of the night had to be Travis "Scratchy" Wammack(below left), and The Fabulous Wailers without question. Travis was a child prodigy guitarist from Memphis who started out a little bit Link Wray and ended up a lot badass. He looks like Kenny Rogers now but that didn't stop him from backing up many an artist at Muscle Shoals and many other fine recording studios, or from ripping it up at the Stomp. The crowd went nuts when we did his instrumentals, and even seemed to enjoy most of his stuff with vocals. The addition of his son "Monkey" on drums was a nice touch. William Bell was a veritable "how to" on stage presence and what a great singer. I nearly had tears in my eyes when he did "You don't miss your water." The Wailers headlined the main stage that night and I feel lucky to have seen these living legends. They were the inspiration for what many consider to be the first proper "Garage" group, the Sonics. The Wailers were known across the Pacific Northwest for their amped up shows and the young Sonics were inspired to take that energy to the next level in turn creating a template for future raw, rock and roll, and punk. That Hammond really paid for itself by the end of the night, and I was a bit jealous that I didn't get to see these cats in their youth, because if they rocked this hard as "senior citizens" I can only imagine the shows they used to put on.


On the 3rd night I was dissappointed to learn that Barrence Whitfield, and The Rebirth Brass Band had cancelled for various reasons but not to fear, Rockin' Enoki was near. I had actually already seen this wonderful man from Japan play twice in the past couple of days at in-store performances at Goner Records, and Shangri-La Records respectively so I didn't check out much of his last minute, fill-in lobby set at the Stomp. I guess I missed one of the highlights of the show but there was just to much going on so I headed off to check out what else was happenin'. I do think it was very cool for everyone, Enoki included, that he came to the event as an observer and ended up playing to a very receptive crowd. He's primarily known for his own band Jackie and the Cedrics, and stayed two doors down from me at the hotel...cool! Memphis' own (Monsieur)Jeffrey Evans was a lot of fun at Shangri-La as well. Backed by wisecracking Ross Johnson on drums he held the small, ethusiastic crowd captive. Corpus Christi's Zakary Thaks were a cool blast of '60's garage, but their singer seems to have forgotten that it's encouraged to move around in rock and roll. Still sounded great, though. Sleepy LaBeef, The Tennessee Three, and Fillmore Slim were enjoyable as well but the real standouts as expected on this evening were the sets by Barbara Lynn, Clarence "Frogman" Henry and Dallas' own Bobby Patterson. Corpus Christi's Barbara Lynn was only able to do a few songs due to arthritis but don't let that influence your mental picture of her appearance, abilities, or performance that night. I'm not sure how old she is but she looks great and I can only wish that I was half the guitarist that she is. I won't try to pretend that I could write or sing like her either. I'll go see her again anytime if it's within a couple hundred miles or so. It's really hard to describe the magic feeling that this type of performer brings so I'll just say she kicked ass. Lazy Lester( whose song Ponderosa Stomp was the inspiration for the events moniker)even sat-in with Barbara despite cancelling for mysterious reasons. The Frogman was literally infectious with his big, genuine smile and fun, friendly demeanor. He's getting up in years, needing the assistance of a walker but when he took to his feet for certain songs you would never know it. He almost looks younger than I do now, and he is one hell of an entertainer. Like at many moments during this show I felt like I was living a piece of history. I mean how often do you get to see the original artists do their own hit songs? He treated the crowd to wonderful version of "I ain't got a home" complete with his patented "baby-girl" voice and "Frogman" voice. Lots of Fun! Bobby Patterson closed the show with a very engaging performance and lots of down home asides and hilarious anecdotes. The guy was at home in his element and looking very dapper with his embroidered Tweety Bird vest. I hope he plays around here sometime, as he's a dj at local AM station Soul 730 KKDA (You've got a friend.)

The whole experience was too much, and certainly beyond description. Bonus photos of The Fabulous Wailers, Arch "Wild Guitar" Hall, and Jeffrey Evans with Ross Johnson at Shangri La Records, ...more to come!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Micro SXSW Review, and more...

If you're the obsessive music-freak that I am (and I can only pray that you aren't) then you're probably glad that people have stopped writing about the infamous South by Southwest Music conference/party/debacle. In that case I'll take it easy on you with my econo-review. I knew that I wouldn't get to see most of the bands I wanted to see, or even most of the bands that it would have been so convenient to see that it was stupid, due to the nature of the trip. I went with my bandmate and friend Chad and his wife Anne for the Roller Derby bout, so any live music would just be an added bonus. I'll admit that I was actually more interested in the music part but I think I was preparing myself for the inevitable dissappointment of being in proximity to SO many legendary, and future legendary performers without being able to see them. This was after all a casual affair.

The Derby itself was entertaining. It was held at the Austin Music Hall, and featured live performances by The Spits (Seattle), and The Motels (Hollywood?) with original singer Martha Davis. I pretty much predicted the way the Spits would come across in this setting...poorly. But that was through no fault of their own. They need to be seen in a cramped, sweaty, beer-soaked club or house to get it done right. They were on a fairly high stage at one end of the makeshift roller-derby track in a relatively empty, medium-sized venue, during the day with bad sound. Most punk(or other) bands would not have faired well under these conditions. I got as close as I could, swilling beer and trying to get into it. I thought to myself that I was lucky to be seeing them at all and consoled myself with the prospect of checking out more bands at Beerland later that day. The Motels played their two and-a-half hits(Eighties light-rock/alternative staples, "Suddenly, Last Summer" and "Only the lonlely can play..." I believe they're called) to a warmer reception after the competition was over. Her voice sounded good but I can't say the same for her band of young, hired-guns with the cliched modern, hard-rock, alternative sound.

I made it to Beerland in time to see the last two bands of the Contaminated Records showcase. I believe the label is run by Memphis musician Alicja Trout of the Lost Sounds and other dark, well-liked bands. I walked in to find out that Human Eye was about to take the stage. I really enjoyed the Clone Defects album but hadn't heard much of the new band, though I knew they were quite a bit more experimental. Timmy Vulgar came out and began to decorate the stage with tropical plants and other items, even hanging some from the rafters above him and the band. They then launched into a set of futuristic, oddly psychedelic, garage-punk, with nods to jazz and all kinds of explorers that would melt your brain under the right circumstances. This is pop-music in some alternate universe...heavily, analog-effects laden rock and roll, with lots of unexpected changes and an extra helping of angst. You'd have to hear it, and for those who might be unaware Timmy looks like a much cooler psych-punk Clint Howard. (Chad seemed to think he looked like a shaved Chewbacca...fair enough)

The Gris Gris came on to headline and even though I was even less familar with them, they( an obviously less-rockin' band in style) had no problem playing after and matching the intensity of Human Eye, albeit in a very different manner. Essentially a psych band with nods to progessive and garage rock, as well as the spooky feel of old scratchy, lonesome blues records the Gris Gris seem to be enjoyable by a diverse group of music fans. Obvious touchstones include the Velvet Underground, and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators but the instrumentation went beyond both of those fine, fine groups in a way. It's interesting to me that the two best bands I saw at SXSW both made use of a vocal effects, and other guitar-effects, and electronics as I have shyed away from that quite a bit in recent years...But the pendulum does swing. The Gris Gris's main accomplishment would seem to be overcoming the faults of many of their predecessors in this well-mined genre. Oh, and they DO rock, and will be performing 4/27 at Rubber Gloves in Denton. (above photo stolen from the Goner Message Board/posted by "Windy"/edited by me...)

One of the main reasons for the delay of this post has been my inability to decide just how personal to get with it. The past few weeks have been stressful, painful, and transitional in nature for my family as well as the families of others in my thoughts. I'll only say that our lives will never be the same but in the end peace and love shall triumph.

...lame links for (and by) the lazy:
Gris Gris
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=44768578
Human Eye
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=10468971
The Spits
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=2602386

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

SXSW Madness!

The ebb and flow of insanity...

I've been even more neglectful of my blog lately. The two rules I try to adhere to are 1) Give the folks a purty picture to look at along with the post, and 2) Don't post unless you have something interesting to share. I would love to add more rules involving posting Mp3's and other tidbits, but I'm not there yet. Needless to say there hasn't been much going on lately that I've felt like sharing. I do feel myself moving into a new, and better phase of my life and that in itself is a double-edged sword. I'm ready to jump in with both feet but there are those pesky "loose ends" that need to be tied-up, and put behind me. I'm having a great time playing with Saddle Tramp, and hanging out with those guys, and it's nice to have some cool new friends with similar interests, and diverse personalities. In fact I feel like I'm getting a much needed creative boost that I plan to channel into my artwork. I can't begin to tell you how guilty I feel about not using my "gift". I hope that doesn't sound cocky, but I just know deep down that I am supposed to be doing some form of artwork. I just need to make it a part of my routine again.

In an odd turn-of-fate, all the members of the band will be in Austin for SXSW this week. Noah is probably already on his way, as he will be attending as a representative of the Dallas Observer, for which he writes about music (lucky bastard). Matt also works for the Observer but he's just going for the reasons's most folks are; to drink beer and watch great, live music. Chad and I are going to accompany his wife Anne to the big Roller-Derby competition which she is competing in. This should be a good one. The Spits are playing for pete's sake! We're going to try to go to a bunch of free shows (no armband/no problem) and be stupid in general. I've always been a little hesitant about attending this monster music conference, but as it grows in size the free shows seem to multiply like viagra-fueled bunnies. I just hope I don't get trampled by the requisite flocks of hipsters from across the globe. I'll let you know what happens...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

POISON 13!

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Off to a good start...

I really can't remember a year that has shown so much promise. It's a bit deceiving as most of the good things that are happening to me were set in motion long ago. But that does emphasize the fact that instant gratification is generally fleeting. But enough with the dimestore philosophy, let me elaborate. I played my first gig ever a couple of weeks ago at the Bar of Soap and I'm a little surprised I haven't blabbed about it sooner. It might have something to do with the fact that I didn't freak out like I thought I would. That's not to say it wasn't exciting, or that I wasn't nervous but it went well without any major flubs and people seemed to dig it. We (Saddle Tramp) did get asked to open again next month by Donny Ray Ford, so I take that as a good sign.

I was the first one there, and I'm not big on going to clubs, or bars by myself but I have spent more than my share of time at this notorious Dallas dive so I was pretty comfortable. I should have brought some laundry. (For those of you that might be unaware, the BOS is a bar/venue/laundromat that used to book really great bands and they are starting to again.) It's the place where people like The Reverend Horton Heat cut their teeth back in the dark ages, so even though I couldn't care less about him now it's still a pretty cool factoid in my book. Some of the best shows I've ever seen have been at this festering, watering hole, including: Gasoline (Japanese, soul-inspired garagepunk), The Briefs, The Riverboat Gamblers, The Marked Men, The Deadites, The Deadly Snakes, and a slew of others. I missed some great ones there too, like: The Spits, The Epoxies, and The Mooney Suzuki when they still seemed relevant. If I never play another gig at least I can say I played this one.

There have been a whole bunch of great lesser-known local bands that have played there over the years as well including (but not limited to): The Loco Gringos, The Potatoes, Stickmen with Rayguns, The Necrotonz, The Kickz, Power Squid (Austin), and many more I should probably remember. Speaking of criminally overlooked bands, I'm going to Austin to see the legendary Austin band Poison 13 in that wonderful town this weekend. They were just another great band featuring modern-day renaissance man Tim Kerr of The Big Boys, Lord High Fixers, and even Bad Mutha Goose fame among others. Tim is Austin punk, and soul incarnate and a real inspiration. From the beginning the Big Boys (R.I.P. Randy "Biscuit" Turner) sought to break down the wall between audience and peformer encouraging extreme examples of audience participation and a "We're the band/You're the band" attitude. They would end every show by yelling, "Now go start your own band!" at the sweat-drenched crowd. Poison 13 was a departure musically from the punk-funk of the Big Boys, and they couldn't have been more different than the other punk bands of the time with their slower pace and obvious blues influence. With covers ranging from Willie Dixon, to The Troggs, and The Animals they created the template for the many garage, and few mis-labled "grunge" bands to come. They obviously influenced a young man named Mark Arm, who would go on to form Mudhoney, and later play with Tim in The Monkeywrench. Keep in mind that this was the mid-eighties, not exactly a hot time for the currently en-vogue garage rock sound. They play a reunion show about every six years and this is the first one I've been able to attend so I'm stoked. The Austin premiere of Pot Zombies is earlier the same night, so I might try to swing by there too.

...I also bought my first decent guitar; a Fender Telecaster, but I won't get all guitar geek on you about it. However, I am extra twangy now!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Life Intrudes...

You know that quote about how "life" is what happens to you while your making other plans? Well, if that's the case then I've been doing a whole lot of "living" lately. This might buy me back some points with you, my "readers", while I've been neglecting my blog. Sh*ts been crazy lately, but not all in a negative way...I'll focus on the goodness. And speaking of goodness, how about the one-two punch of beer and great music which is what I'm enjoying right now. I'm listening to my FAVORITE radio program, on my FAVORITE radio station, MUSIC TO SPAZZ BY with Dave the Spazz on WFMU.( I'm drinking Rolling Rock because it was on sale for those playing at home). Dave is an over-the-top DJ but in the best way, not like those schmucks you hate on the top 40 station with the "radio" voice. He's got a thing for chimps and the best "popular" music ever recorded. Everything from doo-wop, jump-blues, rock AND roll, vintage pop, old country, garage, punk and the occasional novelty tune plus some stuff I'm surely leaving out are represented. Check it out! You should also check out the podcasts at Garagepunk.com as they seem to be taking off like wildfire. They're even doing one that's available starting Thursday Feb. 9th for The UNDER THE COVERS comp. I'm on!

I'm thinking about changing the name of the blog to THINGS I MISSED since a re-occurring theme seems to be my complaining about all the great shows and stuff I somehow didn't, or couldn't make it to. Case in point, I'm not at the Texas Frightmare Weekend right now so I missed the world premiere of POT ZOMBIES in which I appear. Now I saw a rough cut of the thing recently so it's not like I really would have been missing anything other than the intense, gut-wrenching laughter of the crowd but I'll get my chance this Wednesday at the Red Blood Club. Another thing I missed this weekend was one of my only chances to see the Denton/Austin/Ft. Worth based "supergroup" THE HIGH TENSION WIRES at Rubber Gloves. They are a side project for members of The Riverboat Gamblers, The Marked Men, and some other extra-rocking bands. You can probably imagine what they sound like if you have heard the other bands they're in.

I did actually manage to make it MR. PEPPERMINT'S 79TH BIRTHDAY at the Granada Theatre the other night despite being sick. There was a semi-entertaining band called Merry and the Widowmakers or something onstage when I got there. They had been billed as "Soccer Moms do Ramones' Covers" and were comprised of women that looked like real-live Soccer Moms. The only problem was that I didn't hear one Ramones song. They did a couple of White Stripes songs, and some originals that all sounded better than I would have imagined but no Ramones!? Well, the unintentionally funny/lame stage show and banter helped make up for it I suppose, what with the singer throwing a laundry basket full of tube socks on the audience and other shennanigans. The performance by Mr. Peppermint and Muffin, and the Bloopers from his Dallas based children's show PEPPERMINT PLACE were worth the price of admission alone. For those unenlightened to the world of Mr P. he's basically the local Mr. Rogers, and the father of BUTTHOLE SURFER Gibby Haynes, whom helped fulfill a dream I've had since I was barely a teen...meeting him. He was very nice and not particularly frightening either even if he was a little more interested in talking to Kara than myself. But this seems to be the usual routine. The same thing happened when we met Jonathan Richman of The Modern Lovers, and Mick Collins of The Dirtbombs. Mr. P, aka Jerry Haynes, has had a long and successful career in both theatre, television, and the movies since the fifties..not to mention his cool trademark red and white stiped suit, hat and striped cane. The bloopers were a real revelation in that they were mostly off-color often with a sexual element to them. As this show is one of my earliest memories of Dallas you can imagine those seminal viewings contrasting with hearing Muffin, the buck-toothed, backwoods stuffed-bear sidekick say that someone told him that if he ate too much ice cream then his DICK would fall off. Great stuff!

I've also been playing some country music with the fine fellers of SADDLETRAMP, as well as trying to learn the songs in time for next Saturday's show opening for Donnie Ray Ford on February 11th at the Bar of Soap. (Friday night they're showing Pot Zombies...so I'm totally RULING the BOS this weekend!)They play old-school country with a little bluesy influence thrown in comprised of originals written by singer and acoustic guitarist Chad Bennett and some cover songs by the likes of Billie Joe Shaver, Johnny Cash, and Neil Young as well as a few standards. Noah Bailey is on banjo, and lap-steel, Matt Powers plays the electrified bass, and I play the electrified six string. Everybody sings back-up vocals, but I'm just getting started with all that...

Here's the Myspace page for the band.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=47896432

Oh yeah, I also managed to make some use of artwork I've done for the LOOONG delayed Cornman Comic Book for the cover of the 7-inch Justin is putting out. (see top) And for the record that's me and Gibby Haynes to the left. Until next time, take care my fellow cretins...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Here tis!

Psychotic Infractions and Zombie Dung!

I'm listening to the completed "Psychotic Infractions Volume 1: Under the Covers" disc, that I just happen to appear on, for the first time... fresh from the mailman's hands. I'm about 2/3 through, and I can honestly say that this is a pretty great compilation, especially considering the way it all came together. (for details see previous posts) I'll admit that I've been checking the mailbox, and the thread this whole thing originated in on Garagepunk.com all morning, but morning is relative isn't it? Track 17, by Sir Maggot's band The Maggots is "Tomato Juice", a song originally by The Cardinals, and it's rocking my socks off right this second. The timing for the next song to appear (W.B. Vaughan's countryish take on Bo Diddley's "Roadrunner")is perfect to illustate the variety of musical styles represented here. There's everything from traditional, organ-driven garage-rock, to country/rockabilly, straight-up rock and roll, garagepunk, boogie, and the hard-to-categorize. Sprinkle in some soul, punk and mod-influence and you're pretty close. All done with the spark that's what made us all love this stuff in the first place. Now this isn't to say that every song on here is great, or in a lot of cases, listenable( to most average music fans). But since musical taste is so subjective I'll clarify this by saying that IN MY OPINION this disc holds it's own against many other established comps, and I can listen to this thing straight through and dig it all.

I'd like to eventually do a track-by-track review of the album but for now I'll just say it speaks for itself. The fact that I'm still unable to post audio on this here blog is frustrating since I'd love to share this with anyone who's interested. I'll go ahead and post this link to the thread on Kopper's site so that, if anybody gets the gumption to, a podcast or some other way to get the songs may soon be available...

http://www.garagepunk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=18835&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=225


Kudos to those who went for an "authentic" '60's garage sound. Some of these could pass for the real thing( from way back when). First-impression standouts include tracks
by : atvff (atvff), jprackets (Morey & The Amsterdams), MalThursday (Mal Thursday & the Cheetahs), Carpet Donkey (Trash Stranglers), K.F. (Daytonas), vonghouls (Von Ghouls), Spacerich66 (Spacerich66), Sir Maggot (Maggots), W.B. Vaughan (W.B. Vaughan), and Mr Pharmacist (Betty & the ID). An honorable mention goes to the ultra-raw cover of the Sonics' "Psycho" by rumblemoney (Damn Dirty Apes). Be sure to listen to the one by krakhaus( The Mahow Mahows) just because it's me, and please feel free to comment, complain or say "That only sucked a little!".

And while I'm tooting my own horn you can check out my big(ish) screen debut in Justin Powers' POT ZOMBIES at the Texas Frightmare Weekend horror convention coming up on February 4th and 5th in majestic Grapevine, Texas. My buddy Justin has been crafting this labor of love for a few years now and we finally get to see the results. In addition to portraying a redneck hunter with a weed-jones, and a pot-belly( hey, it was three years ago/no pun intended) in the film, I did some artwork for, and provided some props for this beauty. The convention sounds pretty cool too with appearances from special effects legend Tom Savini, legendary director Herschell Gordon Lewis, movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, scream-queen Linnea Quigley, and a performance from reunited local speed- metal heroes Rigor Mortis among many other notables.

http://texasfrightmareweekend.com/index.html


Here's the Pot Zombies Myspace page...

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=2942537


Oh yes, and DVDs are available!