Friday, December 28, 2007

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Review

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:59 PM

By Tyler Barber



In his comfortable apartment an overweight man sips coffee in-between respawns playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare multiplayer. Perking up, fatty notices the appearance of a man in a business suit.

"Excuse me sir, but we've secretly replaced your testosterone-inflated shooter with a deep RPG experience."

Lowering his coffee mug, the well-gerthed gamer's face shifts. Perplexed at first, then slowly changing shape into an angry-butthole-scrunched face exclaiming, "you son-of-a-BITCH!'

With one swift movement his potato-sack-like arm flips over the coffee table along with the aforementioned coffee mug. The ensuing frenzy destroyed both the fat man's apartment and his macho facade. How could he admit to his buds that he's been playing a role-playing-game? That stuff's for pale losers who watch anime all day about blue-spiky-haired 15 year olds' inability to confess their love to red-spiky-haired 9-year-old-transvestites-with-double-D's.

Not to worry my rotund friend. Yes, we have been playing an RPG, but it's not the type of RPG that removes your testicles. It's the fucking Call of Duty 4 multiplayer RPG. Well, technically it's not an RPG, and no one's calling it an RPG, but if you look at its core: a persistent character that you level up, unlock new weapons, perks, and challenges, the lines start to blur.

Read the full review here.

Confusion surrounds Bhutto's cause of death

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:49 PM


Weird.
Benazir Bhutto is assassinated. The government of pakistan says she hit her head. The autopsy report confirms two bullet wounds. One of the doctors in attendance tells CNN she had symptoms of cardio pulimonary arrest. No one is sure who killed Ms. Bhutto. And absolutely no one knows what her death means to the upcoming Pakistani elections, Pakistan's nuclear arsenal or the 26,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Weird, I say.

read more

Houston Calling's Best of 2007

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:04 PM



Can't say we completely agree but great reading nonetheless. Let's just say they omitted Soulja Boy. Heaven forbid.

Faraway, So Close - the Greenway 3 closes 12/31

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:50 AM


How about an award of achievement to the Greenway 3 Theater, which will close its doors December 31. Not to the Landmark, its parent company (it was also run by AMC in the 80s), and not to the quality of the theater's projection, which had two houses that are like shoe boxes with projection that usually sucked. An award that says thanks for staying in the game for a decade after you should have died a respectful death in the 90s when everything went stadium. The Greenway provided quality art house fare in Space City for over 30 years. When I moved here in 1977 they were playing a series of Ingmar Bergman films, Hunter Todd had the best incarnation of his Worldfest film festival at that location in the early 80s, the employees ran trailers backwards to mess with your head and wore cool hats. How big an accomplishment is it that the Greenway continued to operate with its unique three-plex style while the world around it expanded to raked stadium design and as many as 30 screens in one location? Consider that the Cineplex Odeon owned Spectrum and River Oaks Plaza, both of which venues offered 70mm, opened and closed within a period of roughly 10 years (from the late 80s to the turn of the century).

Spot the local music crumudgeon - Last week of 2007 edition

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

-A weekly blog where I highlight at least one show I definitely expect to attend (see *) and throw in a few more that I'd like to and might see given the money and the time.-

RECAP

The JonBenet photo by John Van
Well, if you were to believe Keith Plocek's insipid whining in the Houston Press you'd think that We are The Hollow Men was a bust. Never trust a writer who says he couldn't make it through the door; last I checked you have to actually experience something to comment about it.

But enough about Plocek, his loss was everyone else's gain. I got there around around 9ish straight to about 2 am and had a blast. The vibe was generally so happy and cool that it didn't matter though, admittedly, we could all have done without the dozen or less meathead moshers. Still a dozen fools don't make or break a show. B. played a great set of proggy instrumental math rock (low-fi video) and even though it was early there was still an enthusiastic crowd. Grant Olney was somewhat of a surprise for me. Listening to a couple songs on-line, I found myself with non-existent expectations but live (and with most of Panic in Detroit backing him) the show was a set of very engaging of melodic pop. The Dimes ripped through a great set (low-fi Video) of their high energy pop which, when it's firing on all cylinders, is unstoppable. The JonBenet played an aggressive and heavy set (low-fi video) that had everyone in a frenzy. Points for having a droll frontman as well. The bands ended with a by the numbers Fatal Flying Guilloteens set (Low-fi Video) by which I mean shit got broke, bodies were flying, and you would likely find a bruise on you the next day. All in all a huge roaring success and the funny thing is, all I had was one cup of beer. Guess what? It didn't matter. Yes Keith, you can have a good time even when the beer runs dry.


THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT


Sunday December 30
@ River Oaks Theatre
(10 PM Upstairs)
Start you New Years party early. Two great bands playing at an unlikely venue but that's why we are psyched especially as I love the River Oaks Theatre [as well as its sister theatre the Greenway 3 which will sadly closing on Sunday].

With the old school punk of Dead Roses and the grandeur of Balaclavas (who will be featured in our January issue) this is going to be a sweet show and with films projecting behind the bands in the small upstairs theatres it's going to be nutters. Wanna take bets as to how long it takes for this show to reach occupancy?
[Photo Jim Parsons from Houstondeco.org ]


ALSO THIS WEEK

Fri., December 28
@ The Engine Room
The other show in an unexpected venue this time the cinder block box gets a dose of the old school punk of Dead Roses and the experimental improvisation of A Pink Cloud.


Friday December 28 Kill the Client, Tolar, PLF, 50/50, Dissent, Die Young, Pig Skewer, Humanicide
@ Southmore House on Nance Street

"Hardcore! Hardcore! Get your red hot hardcore right here kids! " Southmore House just refuses to die and we're all the better for it.


*Saturday December 29
Judas Bear, Bright Men of Learning, Che Arthur, Elaine Greer & Band

@ The Proletariat
(Attention visiting New York buddy, I'm dragging yr ass here.) It'll nice to close out the year with Bright Men of Learning's rootsy rock - always a good show. I'm also looking forward to seeing Elaine Greer's melodic folky songs on a stage. Bonus points it's at the Prolee. Which reminds me, Marshall Preddy of BMOL wrote a lovely little piece on the Prolee's closing on the band's blog (Link).


Saturday December 29
The Capricorny Show2Anarchitex, Sad Pygmy, & Bad Samaritans
@ Super Happy Fun Land
The Axiom reunion show is still raging with some excellent 80's/90's Houston stalwarts. The Anarchitex features Scott Ayers, Tory Mercer among others and Sad Pygmy are Rotten Piece is a more rock and roll permutation.

Saturday December 29
Grand Buffet, DJ Jester the Filipino Fist, Bring Back The Guns, Ceeplus Bad Knives
@ Rudyard's
Let's see Pittsburgh dance music, excellent DJ action, and Bring Back the Guns at Rudz. Sure, why not?

Saturday December 29
Secret Saturday Show
@ The Shady Tavern
(1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)
You know the score. Mystery bands, DJs, and it's free.



New Years Eve - Monday December 31st: There is so much shit going down on new year's that I am just going to throw it out here and you can figure it out yourselves:

American Sharks, Cop Warmth, The Wiggins, & O Pioneers!!!
@ Boondocks

Your awesomeness comes in a four pack!


Black Mayonnaise, Black Magic Marker, The Annoysters, Muzak John, Kairos, Chiasma, Douglas Ferguson, Bully Pulpit, Concrete Violin, Wall With One Side, Y2kazoo, Amputee, & more
@ Super Happy Fun Land

For those who want a gentle and melodic new year's eve or would like to celebrate Olivia Flores Alvarez's encyclopedic knowledge of the Houston Noise scene.

Golden Axe/The Squishees/Kvalla
Make your New Years metal and proggy. The Axe is unstoppable, the Squishees are unflappable, and Kvalla...well I don't know anything about them aside from the fact that Danny Mee (The Jonx) will be drumming - that alone is good enough for me!


@ Notsuoh
The Tontons may not be breaking any new ground but what they do, they do so well it doesn't matter. [Note to self: pick-up their EP at Sound Ex. tomorrow]. Alarma is this band that I just love. They put on a great show and sure sometimes it ends in disaster but you wish your disaster could be this cool.


T.H.E. Fly & Rooster, Lower Life Form, Spinnin' Kitties, Witnes, & Remix
@ The Proletariat
It's your last new years to spend at The Prolee. How could you not even think of dropping by?


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here Come the Thought Police

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:06 PM


With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman’s “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” passed the House 404-6 late last month and now rests in Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Homeland Security Committee. Swift Senate passage appears certain.

Not since the “Patriot Act” of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams’ suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn’t trust. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence not only proclaimed the right to dissent but declared it a people’s duty, under certain conditions, to alter or abolish their government.

In that vein, diverse groups vigorously oppose Ms. Harman’s effort to stifle dissent. Unfortunately, the mainstream press and leading presidential candidates remain silent.

Read more...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Let me sum up 2007 with one artist.

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

Given that Skyline Network's Skyline 50 made any other top lists redundant (See Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) , I thought it would be better to spend my time thinking of an artist that, for me, really summed up 2007 better than anyone. That wasn't an easy task given the explosion of talent in this town this year: the brutality of Insect Warfare's album, the pop perfection of the Something Fierce split 7", the laid back yet undeniably brilliant from start to finish Jana Hunter LP, the singular sound on the Balaclavas limited run CDs, the gorgeous prog of Tambersauro's split 10", all those great Grey Ghost CDRs at Domy Books featuring everyone and their mother (Blades, The Dimes, Mlee Marie, Ben Murphy, etc.), and let's not forget that we finally saw that Bring Back The Guns CD hit the shelves. That list could go on and on, yet, in the end, one name just kept scrolling through my head - Mlee Suprean (Hearts of Animals/Mlee Marie).

Every once in a great while we get a musician or a band that gives everyone a little shake-up - musicians whose talent, creativity, and style simply redefine the game - acts like Jana Hunter, The Dimes, and Dry Nod. When that happens, the ground shakes and you simply need a minute to get your bearings again. This year, for me, it was spinning the quietly released Lemming Baby by Hearts of Animals. Much like when I first heard the Dimes, it was apparent that here was something special and unique going on and before you knew it Suprean was everywhere - 002 Magazine, Houstonist, Skyline, Space City Rock, Houston Press, the KTRU top 35 playlist, and our humble little paper and blog. That explosion of coverage happened for one reason - a unique talent had landed.

I remember when I was a kid and I'd hear John Lennon's albums and some songs were just so personal as to make me cringe. For a kid, that was simply more than I needed to know. The thing is, as I got older, I came to really appreciate those songs because, in Lennon expressing and sharing these personal songs, he would in turn reflect our own foibles and humanity. While Suprean takes a more abstracted form in her lyrics, the effect is no less jarring. Suprean's songs are awash in the uncertainty of life. Nothing has a resolution and you are suspended in that moment of hope and fear. Make no mistake, that kind of material is pretty risky and it takes some serious guts to expose yourself to an audience like that. In the wrong hands it could sound as corny as some trope riddled high school poetry scribblings. Yet, in the right hands, like Suprean's, the material sounds adult - complex, conflicted, and human - and that takes some real talent.

The material is especially tricky because the music has to carry the weight of those lyrics. Approach those with anything less than great music and you are left with shrill self-absorption. Mercifully, Suprean is gifted with an inspired sense of the melodic and a sharp sense of arrangement and texture. When Suprean writes a song, she not only knows how to put it together but she's very specific about the context in which to present it. Hearts of Animals is a dense wash of crunchy garage guitar, Casio keyboards, and layers of harmonies and sounds while Mlee Marie presents more organic arrangements. Some oldsters often mistake the purposefully noisy sound of Hearts of Animals as some accidental amateur work simply because they expect certain rock clinches and without those they find themselves lost without a compass. But let me offer those oldsters a simple juxtaposition: take the clever second half of Noche De Paz from her Mlee Marie Xmas series - the guitars are clean, full, and pastiche of the "live" sound is simply droll. I highlight the production on this cover song because it is radically different in production than Hearts of Animals. The point being that the woman knows what she is doing and is in full control of the end result.

But getting away from the production, when you get down to the nitty-gritty none of this would matter if the songs didn't hum in our brain incessantly and the melodies do just that. if you want one examples of her melodic strength, take December (also from her Mlee Marie Xmas) which is a lovely example of Suprean's melodic fingerpicking playing off of her vocal melody. But while Mlee Marie's stripped down simplicity is no less intoxicating, it's Hearts of Animals that got everyone's attention this year with it's noisy take on pop music. The ragged density of songs like Underwater Staggie, Hearts Break, and Stars Say No may have confused some but I see it as part of a tradition of subversive pop (think Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy) where rich melodies are shorn of the glittery patina that so often surrounds them. It's pop that doesn't take the listener for granted.

Lastly, I think one thing that is refreshing about Suprean is that she is also enthusiastic and generous about the music of her friends. It's lovely to see someone ecstatic to help out her friends be it Oculous Sinister or Wols get some exposure. Yes, talent and an oversized ego need not go together - thank God.

So, all in all, when I think back musically to 2007 , I will remember it as the year we were introduced to Mlee Suprean's singlar talent and how Houston just became a cooler city for it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fek yes! Super Happy Fun Land confirms lease on new location on Polk St. in warehouse district

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:19 PM


Clutch indeed! Super Happy Fun Land is currently renovating their amazing new location at 3801 Polk Street that is a whopping 7500 square feet and has enough parking space to fit 60 cars. The huge new spot is far enough from disturb-able residents yet close enough to not make it a trek as it is just a few blocks from the Meridian and Warehouse Live. Congratulations to the fine folks at SHFL. We look forward to many more years of underground entertainment at the new location. What a dandy Christmas gift!

Hollow Men, Hell Yeah!

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 9:30 AM

Man it's pretty bleeding awesome to be connected with the Free Press when we co-sponsor awesome little warehouse parties like the one last night on Keene Street. Stuff got broken, people got hurt, and some moments were awkward but overall the vibe was festive and happy, you know, how the Holidays should be. I think even Jesus himself would say "Holy shit! Now that is how you throw a Christmas party!"



B. ripped it up for the early crowd.


Grant Olney brought his melodic pop with the able
assistance of members of Panic In Detroit.




The Dimes, likely playing for the last time under that
moniker, had an energetic show that only lost it's momentum
when a stripper joined them on stage (funny for, at most, one
song) and overstayed her welcome. Still, nobody does the
energetic happy pop as well as these guys.

The Jon Benet brought the unrelenting heavy.
Unfortunately, the band's pleas to the meatheads to chill
with the moshpit crap went unheeded. Thankfully, a handful
of dorks wasn't enough to ruin the band's brutal set.


The Fatal Flying Guilloteens of course
couldn't leave without breaking something. That fluorescent
light fixture you see in front of Eric Bogle was happily up in
the rafters before the Guillteens saw it fit to rip the place apart.
Would you expect anything less?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Free Press now taking local submissions for upcoming 'Worst of Houston' Issue

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:24 PM


The Free Press is currently taking local submissions for our coming annual 'Worst of Houston' issue. This is your grand opportunity to call out those local issues that pain you whether it be municipal issues, public services, cultural phenomena, whore-bitch ex girlfriend, whore-bitch ex-boyfriend, room-mate who fails to flush toilet, etc.

Please limit these to a paragraph and format as such:

Worst ____: Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

-Jimmy James Johnson the Third

Send submissions to:
editors@freepresshouston.com

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mass Effect: on your social life

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:41 AM

By Tyler Barber



Hello, my name is Tyler Barber and I am a Mass Effect addict. It started when I got my copy of ME early for review. That first day I thought, I'll create a character, dabble with the game, and move on. Little did I know that hours later, I'd still be tweaking my customizable character, yet to even start the game. I've had almost a weeks worth of nights where the rising sun would be a sobering exclamation of, "hey, it's 6 a.m. loser, go to bed already!" But I can't help it. I'm out of control. ME has a grip on my life, and I'm here today to take the steps necessary to rectify my addiction, and become a productive member of society.

Unsurprisingly, developer Bioware exceeds in creating believable characters in a universe that you actually care about. As in their previous RPG's, (Knight of the Old Republic, Jade Empire) ME lets you play as either an asshole, a push-over or as some moody-middle ground. My recommendation: asshole all the way. The dialog options only show the sentiment of what your character is thinking. What you actually do say can be very unexpected, and often times brutal.

Read the full review here.

Spot The Local Music Curmudgeon - Christmas Week Edition

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

-A weekly blog where I highlight at least one show I definitely expect to attend (see *) and throw in a few more that I'd like to and might see given the money and the time.-

RECAP

Wols Photo Courtesy John Van
Now I know what you are thinking. The big show last week was the big Texas Gone Garage festival, that's where the shit was going down. Well, I hate to break it to you but the world was brought to a halt down the ways at the Proletariat. Not by a bunch of guys soaked in sweat and beer playing rock and roll full of force and conviction but by four people doing something very simple - conversing. By this I mean a musical conversation where everyone is bouncing ideas, listening to everyone else, and adding to what is happening.

Wols is Amye McCarther who writes very skeletal songs with enough space where the players with whom she collaborates have ample room to move and express themselves and make her music their own. And what a backing band she assembled on Saturday: Mlee Suprean (Hearts of Animals), Will Adams (Black Snakes & Kangaroo), and Abe Houch (Hungry Villagers). The performance may have carried on for nearly an hour but it never felt that way simply because what was happening on stage was so engrossing. While Amye held the center with her vocals and guitar, the rest of the band was throwing ideas back and fourth. Abe would accompany with gorgeous acoustic guitarwork that was subtle and atmospheric, Will chose a more aggressive approach with his guitar that was the perfect compliment, and Mlee played everything from guitar to a cap gun.

The interplay for me recalled that same interactive thrill of Jason Bill-era Charalambides, where by all accounts the band should completely careen off the cliff but the band is connecting and interacting so well that they keep it together and ride it through triumphantly. It's thrilling stuff to watch when bands take chances like this. I'm not talking some guy hanging off a rafter in a tired rock trope of feigned risk and energy but the real thing where you take a chance that could leave you looking the fool on stage yet somehow you pull it off. It's pulled off only with great songwriting, excellent musicianship, and a band that can communicate intimately without any grandstanding and as a collective whole. Kudos to Amye and her band for pulling off what was easily the best show I've seen all year.

That's saying a
hell of a lot given Mlee Marie's earlier acoustic performance where all of the bells and whistles that is Hearts of Animals are stripped away leaving her voice, her guitar, and her songs. It's the kind of performance that should have shut-up any naysayers who question her skills as a musician and performer. I said it earlier this week an I'll say it again these two women are making the most important music coming out of Houston hands-down.

The Mike Gunn
As for Texas Gone Garage, it was a huge success. I caught Sunday night which was excellent. Sew What was fine when she played by herself but her backing band, sadly, did her no favors. The Freed sounded much more cohesive than they did when I saw them at the Mink a while back. Hearts of Animals played another inspiring set which was all the more stunning given how many shows she's pulled off in a mere 3 days. The Mike Gunn reunion lived up to the hype with the band firing on all cylinders like I'd never seen them do even in their heyday and the crowd ate it up as much as the Sprawl crowd did back in October. The Mirrors reunion was as great with the crowd dancing, sweating, and drinking their way to the end of the night. Excellent!




THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT

*Saturday December 22 -
We Are the Hollow Men Art Show,
featuring Fatal Flying Guilloteens,
The Jonbenet, The Dimes,
Grant Olney and The Brokedown Gospel,
B, The Riff Tiffs and DJs Reverberation and Cee Plus Bad Knives
@ 1620 Keene Street Warehouse
(just N of downtown off Main; 8PM, $5/$7)

Well this is the one everyone is buzzing about and why not? The line up is nutters with great acts. Fatal Flying Guilloteens and the Jonbenet will bring the sweat and beer spit from the mouth. The Dimes will lay down the pop like Moses coming down from the mountain, Gran Olney will be dragging down 3/4th of Panic in Detroit with him, B will lay down the prog, and they even brought out those Riff Tiff kids. The stink of hipsters will heavy in the air, consider yourself warned.

(Note: I'm not sure which is the current line-up - the poster - which has been out for a while - or the listing on Space City Rock. You guys figure it out. Either way it's gonna be cool. )


Thursday December 20
Colour Revolt/ Buxton/ The Church of Philadelphia
@ Walter's on Washington
Mia Kat artist Buxton plays some lovely poppy stuff that you can't help but like. Whether it be the more sparse simple work of Hallelujah from the split they did with Oh Pioneers a while back or the fuller production of one of the newer songs like Flame the melodies always come through and swirl around your head like a swarm of very happy bees.

Thursday December 20
Austin Gibbs/ Bigfoot and the Bear/ Elaine Greer/ The Tontons
@ Super Happy Fun Land
Elaine Greer has been quietly making some lovely understated pop that highlight gorgeous melodies and simple yet effective arrangements that emphasize her lovely vocal delivery. Meanwhile, The Tontons have something seriously going on with vocalist Asli Omar where you think "Shit they are doing this whole bluesy 60's rock thing and getting away with it"! It's harder to pull off than she makes it looks!


Friday December 21
Free Press' Holiday Bash
Sideshow Tramps
@ Helios (Avant Garden)
Yeah it's our party and we'll drink if we want to. Sideshow Tramps bring their porch settin' beer howdown shit to Helios for all the good little boys and girls. Yes, there is a Santa Claus!


Saturday December 22
Secret Saturday Show
@ The Shady Tavern
(1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)
You know the score. Mystery bands, DJs, and it's free.


*Sunday December 23
Rick Smith Memorial Show
featuring Orouboros and Novox
@ Rudyard's
God Bless the Rick Smith and all that sail with her....er him. Not a week goes by where I don't hear his name uttered by someone still in shock over his untimely passing. It's crazy. Well, here is yet another chance to drink to his good name. It's been a while since I've seen Orouborus but if I recall correctly it was Bill Lamber behind the kit and Shawn and Carol Kelly among others improvising around his unhindered batterie - very cool. Novox also put on some lovely and expansive instrumental rock shows that are worth a Sunday night trip to the bar.



Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, December 17, 2007

Free Press' Holiday Bash this Friday at Helios (Avant Garden) featuring Medicine Show aka Sideshow Tramps

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:27 PM




Free Press will throwing it's annual Holiday Bash and Staff Infection at Helios this coming friday. Medicine Show (Sideshow Tramps) will be making crunk shit happen all night along with an ad-hoc throw down with many local clutchmaster performing holiday scheizzer. Come get swilly with us. Alex Wukman will be giving free hickeys till 2 AM.


411 Westheimer 9pm

Just 5 Bux

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wols and Mlee Marie at the Proletariat last night - This is as good as it gets.

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:31 AM

If there was any place you should have been last night it was the Proletariat. While the Wiggins and Wolf Explosions put on great sets , the earth really shook during the sets by Mlee Marie (Mlee Suprean of Hearts of Animals) and Wols (Headed by Amye McCarther with the more than able support of Mlee Suprean, Will Adams, and Abe of Hungry Villagers). The interplay between the players in Wols was the most expressive I have seen since Jason Bill era Charalambides and I simply loved how, within seconds of the start of Mlee's set, the chatter and noise from the audience dropped to near nothing. I'll go into the show in more detail for my Thursday recap but let me just say that Mlee and Amye just took every single performance I've seen this year and made them irrelevant. These two women simply ignore all the tired tropes we so often see and simply leave us with music and its raw emotions. There is simply no more important music happening in Houston.

Wols

Mlee Marie


Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Cold Outside

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:33 PM


Well, I guess I ain't telling you shit you don't know. It mau not be as cold as the above picture, but hey we were wearing shorts just 2 days ago. It is gonna stay like this through Tuesday then warm up a bit again. Till then, take this rare opportunity to sport that snazzy parka or that warm hat you have been dying to show off. Either way, enjoy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Excellent, if sad, interview of Denise Ramos by Chris Gray at the Houston Press

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:28 PM

Photo by Mayor Chris Hutto

Chris Gray at the Houston Press did a bang up job of an interview with Denise Ramos of the Proletariat where she discusses the venue's closing (link). Read it in sadness for the venues demise but also in appreciation for her years of hard work and dedication. Kudos Chris on a job well done.

Spot The Local Music Curmudgeon - December 13th Edition

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 5:17 AM

-A weekly blog where I highlight one show I definitely expect to attend (see *) and throw in a few more that I'd like to and might see given the money and the time.-
(Sorry no links at this time as I'm cranking this before I head to work - I'll add them later.)

RECAP

Well, circumstances were such that I didn't get out as much as I would have liked but the good news was that I was able to make my way to Sound Exchange last Friday where the Dimes told me about their having to change their name to some as yet undetermined name. No worries, as long as they get their follow-up album with all that cool new material they've been playing out sometime next year as promised they can call themselves Air Supply for all I care. Word of mouth had it that their set was, despite the ban, was indeed smoking. Despite my missing their set I was at least able to catch the Hearts of Animals set which only went to exemplify why Mlee Suprean's is such a singular and unrivaled talent. It's impressive to see a solo performer command a room like Mlee Suprean. It's nothing fancy - solid songwriting, great vocal phrasing, a brilliant ability to apply the tools at hand, and an ability to improvise when thrown a curve ball. She is very much in that very exclusive group of musicians who make any endeavor you do seem small and insignificant in comparison. If anyone had questions as to why she's been getting so much press this performance had all the answers. The crowd certainly ate it up.

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT

TEXAS GONE GARAGE
FRIDAY 14
SATURDAY 15
*SUNDAY 16
RUDYARD'S 21+
(with day shows at Walters - All Ages)
Too many Bands to list for more info see:
http://www.rudyards.com/TGG/

Ya gotta hand it to Travis of He Said She Said Productions - this is an impressive little festival highlighting three aspects of Texas Garage. Friday brings you the more traditionalist garage with firm roots in the 60s; the Ugly Beats sound like the 60's never ended and we still have scars from the last Born Liars, Monocles, Welfare Mothers show from a few weeks ago which played like the kind of teen party you used to throw when your parents left you alone in charge of the house. Saturday, the stage belongs to the more pop punk bands who are best exemplified by Something Fierce whose split 7" is hands down one of the best songs of 2007. Sunday night highlights the Texas Psych tradition with two notable reunions. First there is the Mirrors who, while channeling the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, have an organ fueled joy of their own and secondly there is The Mike Gunn whose psych sound is tuned to the looser definition of psych heralded in the UK's Ptolemaic Terrascope. Both bands haven't played in a while and this may likely be the only Mike Gunn show we will ever see in our lifetime. Oh yes and there is a band called Hearts of Animals also performing before the Mike Gunn whose brilliance you may have heard me go on endlessly about.


ALSO THIS WEEK


*Saturday December 15
Wols, The Wiggins, Terry Suprean, Wolf Explosion, Mlee Marie
@ The Proletariat
Were it not for Texas Gone Garage this would easily be my spotlight for the week particularly due to the fact that Wols head-honchess Amye is moving to the UK and this is likely your one chance to hear her music live. There is only one song posted on her myspace but I love how she uses a sparse arrangement to allow the song to breathe and take a life of its own. Given her bare bones solo work it will be fun to see how she translates her songs with a full band. Also, performing is Mlee Suprean in her acoustic Mlee Marie guise whose song "Broken Horse" has been cycling on my Itunes for the last week. Highly recommended.

*William Boone: A Man's House is His Coffin.
Friday, December 14
@ Domy Books
7 - 9pm
(Show runs through Friday, January 18)
Hey, William Boone isn't just all about LAWS he's also an artist. Come out to his art opening and see what else he does aside from scream and sweat in front of a microphone.


For more show listings I recommend you look at the calendar at Space City Rock

Full Disclosure: my band which will remain unnamed is playing at Texas Gone Garage. Normally I would by default not mention the show because of that but this is just too good a festival and the work behind putting together such an endeavor is deserved of my spotlighting it. I have engineered and performed on a few Mike Gunn albums.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Have Mercy! PETA spoofs Olsens: Friggin' Hillarious

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:44 PM


Dress up the Trollsen Twins at peta2.com!

Rudyard's Canned Food Drive Now through Jan. 1

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:30 AM



Montrose's living room, Rudyard's, will be holding a canned food drive through January 1st. What's the incentive? Well, not being a scumfuck is the incentive you opportunist bastard. Face it: That can of Bush's Baked Beans has been sitting in your cabinet before 9-11. Also, this Thursday Rudz will host a Tree-Trimming party. Bring some snacks, more canned goods, and get a free drink if you bring a decoration.

(What constitutes 'decoration' is the sole discretion of Rudyard's management.)

Skyline Network and Hands Up cold cocks us with sad news about the beloved Proletariat and Southmore House

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 5:58 AM

Ume at the Proletairat 2006

Leave it to ADR at Skyline network to ruin my morning...

WORST MONDAY EVER: THE PROLETARIAT TO CLOSE FEBRUARY 4TH

Meanwhile, a Hands Up Houston post today announced the closure of Southmore House III

Link

Gentrification 2, Culture 0
Enjoy your chain stores kids.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:05 PM


A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

Read the whole sick-fucking-story

Friday, December 7, 2007

A S.O.B. Story, The women of sexually oriented businesses and how we effectively pimp them

posted by Free Press Houston @ 7:00 PM

Houston has found the prostitution industry so profitable that you could say we’ve perfected the art of pimping the pimps

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/Child_Prostitute_-_1871.jpg/413px-Child_Prostitute_-_1871.jpg

by Andrea Afra

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spot The Local Music Curmudgeon - December 6th Edition

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

-A weekly blog where I highlight one show I definitely expect to attend (see *) and throw in a few more that I'd like to and might see given the money and the time.-

RECAP

Last Saturday was pretty hustle bustle. Sickish Fest 2 was quite nice. John Muzak kicked things off with a short and sweet set including a lovely deconstruction of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit. A brief trip to see the Mathletes over at Rudz was well worth the hassle as any Mathletes show is a living personification of happy. Returning to the Prolee for Vaarg - A corpse paint alter ego of Mlee Marie (Hearts of Animals) - performing what could only be described a fog filled set of pure silliness. Balaclavas (pictured) followed with an amazing an impassioned set. "Own Me" was pure fury and energy. Great stuff! Glad we're profiling them for January's issue. A Pink Cloud's set was kind of a wash and to be honest it was kind of a disaster. I've seen great shows from APC but this one was not one of them. The sound was fine but for some reason the players never seemed to connect. Oh well, everyone has an off night. No worries they'll come back in spades.

THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT
Friday, December 7
The Dimes/ ((Sunset))/ Hearts of Animals
@ Sound Exchange
(7PM; free)
Goddamn another great Sound Ex Free show! The Dimes!!! What can I say that hasn't already been said. They are simply the high energy pop gods of Houston. Did you get their Grey Ghost last week at Domy Books? If you didn't, you totally missed out! I've been playing it endlessly in my car! Austin's Sunset do some nice simple pop but honestly I can't quite give it my full attention simply because I'm diggin on Hearts of Animals' Mlee Marie's Christmas Myspace profile. I recommend downloading them all and burning them for endless play. If you got a chance to read November's profile of Hearts of Animals come out and see what all the hype is about - you won't be disappointed.



ALSO THIS WEEK

Thurday, December 6
Krampus Day Celebration, featuring Larry and his Flask, Sophia Relentless,
Caleb Fraid, Charlie McAllister, & Poopy Lungstuffing
@ Super Happy Fun Land

I'm recommending this totally on two acts - Charlie McAllister and Caleb Fraid. Charlie McAllister's "All the shit I dragged in" is glorious folky garage madness that I can't stop playing over and over again! Now if someone can tell me where I can buy his stuff I'd be ecstatic! Spring's Caleb Fraid plays some very clever indie catchy pop that has some potential.

Saturday, December 8 -
Secret Saturday Show,
featuring several mystery bands & DJs
@ The Shady Tavern (1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)

You know the score - bands, DJs, and it's free. This week though there will also be a Gear-age sale being put together by Ben Murphy and Erik Bogle.

Saturday, December 8 -
Two Star Symphony / The Invincible Czars / Golden Arm Trio
@ Rudyard's

If the $20 price tag of last week's St. Thomas gig was a bit steep for you then this might be a bit more reasonable - bonus you can get smashed! Plus, aside from the lovely work of Two Star you get the bonus of Golden Arm Trio who also do some exceptional nuanced music as well- an excellent pairing.

Saturday, December 8 -
Jack Rose/Donald Miller
@ Live Oak Friends Meeting House
(1318 W. 26th St.; 5:15PM)
For More information see Nameless Sound
(Free but donation's are suggested)
Ex-Pelt guitarist Jack Rose has been churning out some glorious acoustic guitar work that will make you dust off those old Takoma LPs you have lying around and remember why you bought them in the first place. Scheduled to coincide with sunset this should be a pretty amazing event. Bummer I have family stuff.

Sunday, December 9
Tom Carter / David Dove & Jawwaad Taylor / Eat Grapes
@ Notsuoh
(9PM; $6)
Tom Carter has been one of Houston's most respected exports and now is your chance to hear some of his amazing solo guitar work. Trombonist Dave Dove is and has been one of Houston's greatest improvisational musicians and his performances are always inspiring. Opening will be Eat Grapes which is Tyler of Balaclavas' acoustic band. I saw him at last years Noise and Smoke and immediately grabbed a few of his CDRs - choice stuff.

Thursday Afternoon Update:
(Some other shows just announced. Sorry no time for links.)

Saturday, December 8th
Sabra Laval & Basses Loaded
@ Kelvin Arms in the village
begins at 10PM (Free!!)
Damn, another free show of note. Sabra is another one of those singer song writers (yes, it's sucky short hand given what she does but I'm doing this on my lunch break what do you want?) that everyone just loves raving about and with good reason. Basses Loaded are more than just a gimmick (3 bassists and a drummer) they also rip live with great songs.

Thursday, December 6th
The Delta Block, PLF, El Desmadre, The Squishees, Cop Warmth, Santa Catacha, Jody Seabody and the Whirls
@ The White Swan
begins at 9PM (Free!!)
I don't know anything about the other bands but PLF, El Desmadre, The Squishees, and Cop Warmth are reason enough to get over to the East side of town and drink beer out of one of those funny little plastic bottles.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Montrose secedes from Houston

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:01 PM

Pimp C found Dead

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:16 PM



Shit. Piss. Crap.


If you were like me, you spent many a high school afternoon smoking blunts of crap weed dipped in sizzurp jamming out to UGK's Ridin' Dirty. Well, like many rappers, he left us well before his time and made true one of his songs : "One day your here, next day your gone." Pimp was found dead in his hotel and was like the sizzurp that killed him. Fuck, that shit ain't cool.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Watching this video will induce prophetic visions and help you transcend the physical form

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:31 PM

Sunday, December 2, 2007

UTMB considers no care for 'illegal' cancer sufferers

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:10 AM

UTMB, a state funded institution, is considering a new policy that would refuse medical attention to cancer sufferers who are 'illegal' immigrants. Is this just plain fucking cruel or am I some kinda bleeding heart? Either way, let us know how you feel and let the folks at UTMB know what it is all about.

public.affairs@utmb.edu