Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Houston Sports in 2008

posted by Mills-McCoin @ 12:18 PM

The Dallas Cowboys won’t be making a return to the playoffs this year after they were more than asskicked by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The game would later go on to be termed, “The most beautiful thing I’ve ever saw,” by everyone who doesn’t live in Dallas. Owner, Jerry Jones is definitely going to need some more shotty plastic surgery after this season; but his team that didn’t make the playoffs this year will start the regular season next year in a brand new $1 billion stadium. What a vain and disgusting existence Dallas is!

This, and other news from a year in which sports were awesome. I give you the 2008 FPH Sports Review.


Best Films of the Year re-cap

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:16 AM


Even though my secret identity as a super hero battling the powers of darkness leaves me sparse time, I took a few moments to re-cap my top picks of the year:

1. Man on Wire
2. Tell No One
3. Slumdog Millionaire .... (cont. in Film)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Brief and Incomplete Recap Of Houston Music in 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:25 AM

I'm still on a holiday break from writing about shows and music. (Instead, I'm brushing up on my Wii skills.) But my campaign to defeat the Sith was put on hold long enough to write up a brief and horribly incomplete recap of some highlights from 2008. (Link)

Monday, December 29, 2008

So much for media consistency...

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:02 PM


Look at the games the media plays: The BBC shows us here the difference between what the West sees and what the Arab world sees after the recent violence in the middle east. Pandering? Obfuscating? Scheizzer?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Super Happy Fun Land to re-open soon. Hopefully.

posted by Free Press Houston @ 2:57 PM


by Omar Afra
All the venue closings this past year has been hard on the Houston music scene. 2008 marked the demise of The Proletariat, Engine Room, and temporarily Super Happy Fun Land. To give you a brief synopsis, Houston’s favorite uber-eclectic outsider arthouse and music venue SHFL operated out of a house in the Heights for 5 years until the property owners squeezed them out. Well, the silver lining was that they found a new home in a gigantic warehouse just east of downtown that could facilitate larger shows, more art, and crazier antics. So we at Free Press Houston decided to have a giant shindig at the new venue to celebrate our 5th anniversary and the opening of the great new spot. The place was packed. Err, too packed. The fire marshals came and, lo and behold, SHFL did not have adequate occupancy permitting to permit such an event. They of course got ticketed out the watoozy and have since been jumping through all the municipal hurdles required to submit building plans, acquire permits, and such to open their doors legit. It looked rather bleak for a while as the city does not exactly get excited about doing what it takes to get outsider-art venues open. After having their plans denied several times and given the run around for nearly a year, the good folks at SHFL have got their chance. Their plans were recently approved and they are set for a final inspection in early January to get their occupancy permit. Problem is, they need help. They need help painting, laying gravel, and could probably use a donation or 2 to get them ready for this impending city interrogation. Brian, Olivia, and Louie at Super Happy have been hosting music and art for years on end now as a virtual philanthropy and surely deserve your help. Frankly, a community effort is needed here. If you have a shred of love in your heart, holler at Brian at 713.252.7706 or at info@superhappyfunland.com

www.superhappyfunland.com

Gaza massacres this morning: 200+ dead

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:26 AM

Palestinians carry the body of a victim of an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, 27 December 2008. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

Republished w/permission from www.electronicintifada.com

"I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel's latest massacres were broadcast around the world.

A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel's attacks, and others will follow.

Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels "terrorists" were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training. An as yet unknown number of civilians were killed and injured; Al Jazeera showed images of several dead children, and the Israeli attacks came at the time thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school.

Shmerling's joy has been echoed by Israelis and their supporters around the world; their violence is righteous violence. It is "self-defense" against "terrorists" and therefore justified. Israeli bombing -- like American and NATO bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is bombing for freedom, peace and democracy.

The rationalization for Israel's massacres, already being faithfully transmitted by the English-language media, is that Israel is acting in "retaliation" for Palestinian rockets fired with increasing intensity ever since the six-month truce expired on 19 December (until today, no Israeli had been killed or injured by these recent rocket attacks).

But today's horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel's method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the two year-old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Palestinians died silently, for want of basic medications: insulin, cancer treatment, products for dialysis prohibited from reaching them by Israel.

What the media never question is Israel's idea of a truce. It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce, Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonize their land. Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren.

As John Ging, the head of operations of the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), told The Electronic Intifada in November: "there was five months of a ceasefire in the last couple of months, where the people of Gaza did not benefit; they did not have any restoration of a dignified existence. We in fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure we ran out of food."

That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks -- whether peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank is met with bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel's attacks, killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel's demands, even assembling "security forces" to fight the resistance on Israel's behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel's relentless violent colonization. It did not save, for instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50 years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on 9 November, so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.

Once again we are watching massacres in Gaza, as we did last March when 110 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed by Israel in just a few days. Once again people everywhere feel rage, anger and despair that this outlaw state carries out such crimes with impunity.

But all over the Arab media and internet today the rage being expressed is not directed solely at Israel. Notably, it is directed more sharply than ever at Arab states. The images that stick are of Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni in Cairo on Christmas day. There she sat smiling with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Then there are the pictures of Livni and Egypt's foreign minister smiling and slapping their palms together.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today that last wednesday the Israeli "cabinet authorized the prime minister, the defense minister, and the foreign minister to determine the timing and the method" of Israel's attacks on Gaza. Everywhere people ask, what did Livni tell the Egyptians and more importantly what did they tell her? Did Israel get a green light to turn Gaza's streets red once again? Few are ready to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt after it has helped Israel besiege Gaza by keeping the Rafah border crossing closed for more than a year.

On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people feel at Israel's renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to channel it into a political response that can change the course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.

But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them. Already I have received notices of demonstrations and solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the world. That is important. But what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?

Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it "called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it."

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine (http://www.bdsmovement.net/) provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to "another Gaza" ever again.

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).

Friday, December 26, 2008

This Week's Preview for the week of December 26th 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:51 AM

Well, you've played with your toys until you're pooped, fattened on huge dinners, and either had a blast with your family or are ready to kill at least one of your relatives. Now here it is the end of 2008 but you're not done yet - we have one last round of shows for you. So, enjoy and Happy New Year folks from all of us at the Free Press! (Link)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008 Sammie's Announced

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:45 PM


Our comrades over at The Skyline Network have announced the winners of their 2008 Sammy Awards and we are smitten with the fact that our beloved Westheimer Block Party has won Best Local Festival. Thanks kids! This photo is all we could find that listed the winners but looks like there were some pretty appropriate recognitions made: B L A C K I E, Elaine Greer, Wild Mocassins. Good on ya ADR. Also, We are working on a few massive belts and whistles for the next Block Party which is March 28th,2009.

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FPH Xmas Party Retrospective

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:42 PM

Marry Me
Nick Greer
Ozeal

photos by Marlo Weekly

Saturday night's party was as clutch as we could have ever expected. The place was shit-house packed and happy-happy-joy-joy pervaded the air. One of my favorite surprises of the evening was the performance by Marry Me which is a potpourri of members from Lisa's Sons, Eldridge, and The Sea Engine. Kind of a masculine St.Vincent, this band is surely one to watch with their unique arrangements and big-crunk band. It was a great time and by the end of the evening we were handing out 20 dollar bills and half the people there were naked. Anyways, if ya came out, thanks and we hope you had half as much fun as we had.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Avoid Colitis by attending this evening's FPH Xmas Bash!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:48 AM


9 out of 10 Houstonian's prefer the FPH Xmas Shindig over other events for December 20th. We have a solid,proven track record of clutchassclutch evenings filled with libations, music, and gyration of the lower abdominal region. We strongly urge you to attend our Xmas party tonight as medical experts warn anything else may cause you to get a wicked case of colitis. Know what colitis is? It is basically an infection of the butthole.
You don't want a butthole infection do you?

Marry Me
added to already real clutch lineup.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This Week's Preview for the week of December 19th 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:13 PM

Man, this Christmas week is pretty crazy with solid shows! So crazy in fact that we're posting this one day early for your convenience. Enjoy and Merry Christmas folks (link)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reminder: FPH Annual Celebration of the Christ on Saturday w/ Satin Hooks, Ozeal, Eastern Sea, Piano Vines, Chase Hamblin, Nick Greer,& Female Demand

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:14 AM

Just a reminder here that the Annual FPH Celebration of the Christ is this Saturday at AvantGarden (Helios) ! Our Xmas party is always oozing with awesomesauce and this year is no different. We have a mixed-shitbag of great Houston bands to help us celebrate including Satin Hooks, Piano Vines, Eastern Sea, Ozeal, Chase Hamblin, Nick Greeer, and Female Demand. Along side all this great music will be master of ceremonies Tim Dorsey. Show starts at 9 and it's 18 and up. See you there!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Review: Sleeping in The Aviary, Dizzy Pilot, Hearts of Animals at Walters 12/13/2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:43 AM

A brief "I forgot to bring my notebook" review of Saturday's show at Walter's with Sleeping in the Aviary, Dizzy Pilot, and Hearts of Animals. (link)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This guy is my new hero

posted by Free Press Houston @ 5:53 PM

"This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq."

Friday, December 12, 2008

This Week's Music Preview - December 12, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:38 AM

The holiday season seemed to kick off this week with a flurry of small ice crystals and, as if attempting to one-up mother nature, it seems that bands and promoters have booked some shows in the next couple of weeks that will make you giddy as well. This week we have some great Jazz, an unlikely venue for Metal, our favorite Compton film auteur, and a whole lot more. Check it in the music section. (Link)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Matthew Shipp Trio on Sunday

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:38 PM


One of the coolest things about all the Nameless Sound shows is that they are free to anyone under 21 as they recently did with their The Thing show. I like to guess this is because David Dove and the good folks over there are doing the Lord's work by encouraging the young whipper-snappers to come bask in the glory of what is musicians who study their instruments. Cause let's face it, that is few and far between these days. Anyways, this Sunday the 14th they host Matthew Shipp Trio at Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex. Shipp is the surely the Hogan of shredtastic avant-weird piano noodling and is a mind boggling sight to see. Better yet, here is how the equally esoteric press release describes his work:

"The premiere pianist in this generation of avant-garde jazz musicians, Matthew Shipp has forged a body of work that is a testament to the breadth and power of his vision. Shortly after his arrival in New York in 1984, he was working as a sideman with prominent musicians such as William Parker, Roscoe Mitchell, and David S. Ware. It wasn't long before Shipp established himself as a vital creative force in his own right. Shipp is obviously well-learned in the piano tradition (and piano technique), but his highly unique style resists easy comparisons. Patterns weave into dense textures until beautiful melodic lines are revealed at their core. Powerful clusters yield to surprisingly graceful and swinging rhythms. Shipp is a pianist (and improvisor) who brings a composer's understanding to the elements of music. Musical ideas may fragment into shards, only to be reconstructed and shaped into new material. Simple elements expand in multiple directions to become the basis for complex structure. Layers of sound and texture often suggest 20th century classical music, though Shipp always manages to unearth a swinging propulsion underneath it all. Shipp's clarity of vision is remarkable. Even more remarkable is Shipp's ability to expand that vision. Shipp has collaborated with most of the vital artists in New York City's Avant Garde jazz scene."

Sleeping in The Aviary

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:15 AM

Dig it, we hit Madison Wisconsin's Sleeping in The Aviary (who are playing this Saturday with Dizzy Pilot and Hearts of Animals) with five questions and discover that, beyond being a band that can lay some lovely low-fi folkie indie rock, they are also strident Weird Al fans. (Link)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow In Texas Causes Full Investigation

posted by Mills-McCoin @ 4:13 PM


During an earlier press conference in my head, Houston Mayor Bill White addressed the world concerning the attack of little white aliens around metropolitan Houston. "A full investigation is underway. I know that we are all a little on edge here; but please bear with us as we figure this out," Mayor White pleaded. "What I can tell you right now is that there are a number of factors causing the attack of the frozen, little ice creatures. But we still don't know what exactly we're dealing with."

Some experts in Weird Shit have come forth to share their findings and/or speculations. One popular explanation for the strange ice falling from the sky is that earlier yesterday when the U. S. Treasury Bill began trading at a negative rate some type of Idiot Alarm went off in outer space, announcing Earth's presence.

FPH writer Evan Dunivan was seen picketing in his front yard with a sign that read, "Blue Beam has begun." He was also yelling, "Hallelujah!" so HPD hauled him in for questioning.

The word "snow" has been thrown around in some underground circles. I still don't know what it means; but times are so dire that some Republicans are calling their religious leaders to find out what God thinks about Global Warming. My theory is that Global Warming got jealous of Bad Economy and decided to kick it up a notch. Cheers. All we can do now is have a few drinks and watch these adorable little Christmas aliens take over our city (cause this is obviously Jesus' fault).

Vote!

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 5:22 AM


2008 Sammies are here. (link)


*I voted ADR by the acclaimed 12th degree Photoshop Master Omar Afra

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fallout 3 Review | PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360

posted by Tyler Barber @ 2:48 PM




I'M A SLAVE TRADER.

I profit from kidnapping and imprisoning people for life. Doctors, security guards, shop owners... children, I enslave them all. My malevolence wasn’t inert though. It slithered out of me slowly, gaining strength from the toxic wasteland of Washington DC. But that’s skipping ahead. Nineteen years ago, in 2258, all I knew of the world was the sterile, but radiation-free under-ground Vault 101. I went to school and had friends, but when my father mysteriously left the vault — something that’s not happened in the 200 years since nuclear war ravaged the Earth’s surface — everything I’ve known to be true has become undone.

Fallout 3’s stage is a grim, and articulate one. The parable “it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters” aptly sums up the Fallout 3 experience.

Though it may look like it from the back of the box, Fallout 3 is not a typical first-person-shooter. In fact, it doesn’t even play like a FPS (not in the beginning at least). Like developer Bethesda’s previous game, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3 relies on role-playing elements like skill-building and leveling-up to push the player deeper into its rich world. Roaming the massive wastelands, you’ll come across all manner of individuals that need help. It’s the typical questing for some poor sap, but it’s the context of Fallout’s world that sets it apart from other RPG experiences. For example, I happened across a Ghoul (humans horribly disfigured from too much exposure to radiation) that felt discriminated against. He wanted access to a town of “smooth skins,” but everyone inside was bigoted against his kind: Leaving me with a moral choice, fight for his rights, or exterminate his settlement. It wasn’t a necessary quest to complete the main story, but this, and many other side-quests like it, are too compelling not to see through.

Continue Reading...

LittleBigPlanet Reviewed | PlayStation 3

posted by Tyler Barber @ 2:47 PM



Growing up I always wanted to do two things: make my own videogames and build my own rollercoaster.

LittleBigPlanet (LBP) lets me do both. From the very beginning until the... well there is no end, personality gushes out of LBP that's not only charming, but inspiring. The mascot, Sackboy, too is the perfect avatar to match the whimsy, and downright enchanting allure of this beautifully realized game. Mario has never made me smile this big.

At first glance, the entire game looks like a Michel Gondry musicvideo. Every thing in the world has its curtain drawn back to show you exactly how it was made. Playing through the story mode shows you how diverse the physics-based platforming can be. Each stage engages even the hardest of hardcore platformer-fans, but is also accessible to those less-dexerous with a joystick. My girlfriend and I, for one, found no problem keeping up with one another, and even found the game a little easier when we playing together. Only phsycologically though, the emotive sackpeople bekon you on with their playful glare. The game sinks its hooks in you before you realize it, providing a muse for when you want to start creating yourself, by showing you how fun and simple creation can be.

Continue Reading...

Gear Stolen from TonTons Guitar player in Montrose (of course)

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:34 AM


I keep on saying the next person who I catch stealing from me is gonna get the beatdown for the last 10 people who jacked me. Well, If you needed another reason not to leave shit in your car in the Trose' then here is another outstanding reason. Our friend and photog Marc C. Austin just sent us this email explaining how Adam from the Tontons gear just got jacked last night:

"Hey all – Last night, Adam Martinez, the guitarist for The Tontons, had all of his gear and guitar stolen from his car while parked in the Montrose area. I know you guys are out and about. Please keep an eye and ear open for his stuff. He had a red Epiphone SG guitar and about $700 worth of pedals taken. Time can replace stuff like this, but these guys are in the middle of recording their first full length album and are serious need of this instrument.If you hear anything or have any advice to help, please let me know. Feel free to forward this email. "

Mark
713 456 9064

List of Pedals:
Boss digital rotary
Boss super shifter
Boss chromatic tuner
Boss dd-6 digital delay
Dunlop wah pedal
Dunlop fuzz face

Local albums make me happy. Mostly.

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:00 AM


READ!

D'OH! Tonight Beer, Bands, and Bonfire at Artstorm

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 4:24 AM

Whoops, I got my dates mixed up and so forgot to mention tonight's Artstorm show in Friday's preview. Check out the music section for more details on what should be the perfect show for the beer swilling indie rock pyromaniac in all of us.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Music review: Saturday Dec 6th 2008 - Noisefest and News On The March's record release.

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 12:01 AM

A night of hardcore over at the White Swan for Noisefest followed by a night of Pop over at Rudyard's for the News on The March EP release show. Talk about a night of extremes! But be in headbangers in one venue or cellos and flutes at another each was fun in its own way. Read it in the music section (Link).

Friday, December 5, 2008

This Week's Music Preview - December 5th, 2008

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:41 AM

Man, there are a lot of people sick this week. Hopefully you've avoided the cough cough and the sniffle sniffle that I've experienced this last week because this week has some pretty sweet shows. Take a look-see in the music section. (Link)

Tonight at Walter's. Gotta love this flyer.

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:16 AM

Prop 8 the Musical!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:13 AM

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

DEBRIS: View from the Window at Le Gras

posted by b.s. @ 8:46 AM

It is a holistic world today, but we are mostly unaware of making decisions without deconstruction. New relationships among physical science, biology, mathematics, physics, free will, determinism, and the character of intelligence have emerged. As organic systems demonstrate the irreducibility of complexity and chaos theories, things are going to change rapidly.

Frank Olson

Frank Olson, Net of Indira, 2008

MORE...

Monday, December 1, 2008

This Month In The Free Press - Wild Moccasins

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 3:42 AM

The dancing crowds, the ubiquitous high-energy shows - whose that leading the H-Pop charge? Why, it's the Wild Moccasins and this month (the month before their first full-length release) we sit and chat with them about their music, the youthful music scene, and how exactly one pronounces Zahira's name. (Link)