Sunday, June 28, 2009

Building Reuse Warehouse is Ready for Your Stuff

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:33 AM


For years, other major metropolitan cities have offered warehouse space for building materials to be stored so they can be diverted from landfills and be used by non-profit building organizations. Well, better late than never because as of last Tuedsay, City of Houston will now take reusable building materials from anyone in order to divert material from landfills. Over 20 tons have been diverted already. The goal for this year is 150 tons. The building materials go to non-profit building organizations. After a few small kinks get worked out, donations will be tax deductible.
Plywood, lumber, glass, windows, doors, plumbing parts, electrical parts, shingles, bags of dry redimix concrete, nails, screws, cabinets, all that stuff . . . as long as it can be reused, bring it on in.

Location: 9003 N. Main at Whitney (The end of Main Street just North of Crosstimbers Drive in Independence Heights).

Moonwalking to the Afterlife

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:34 AM


What is a world without Michael Jackson? The man who moonwalked into our hearts when we were children. The man that is larger than Coca Cola. So if the world stopped spinning...it wouldn't surprise me. May your music live on for eternity.
We will miss you.

"He was a great challenged man who gave to the world everything he was. He lived on the stage his entire life and now only in death will the curtain be allowed to close. Rest in peace." - Eli Sebastian Brumbaugh (Art Storm)

"Total shock, and immediately saddening. Loved his music all my life and he's just gonna be celebrated even more now. He seemed everlasting. Damn shame. RIP." - Fat Tony

"I LOVE MICHAEL JACKSON!!!" - Andrew W.K.

"I felt like a big part of my childhood is gone" Carlos (Young Mammals)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pride 2009 Wild Fruit Tonight!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:56 AM

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hydrating the Homeless

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:10 PM


Beginning Saturday July 4th, 2009, the My Fellow Man Alliance homeless advocacy agency will partner with Fast Track Airport Parking in an effort to provide much needed relief from the heat to the Houston homeless community.

The plan is to provide aid during the hottest times and months of the summer.

This outreach endeavor entitled “Hydrating the Homeless” will occur between the hours of 12pm -4pm every Saturday (in the months of July and August 09’). Cold bottles of water, as well as sun visors will be distributed to the homeless in downtown Houston.

With the City’s temperatures swiftly moving into the triple digits, it is becoming dangerous to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. However, for men, women and children without permanent housing, it will become increasingly difficult to avoid it.

Although the very complicated problems of the homeless community will not be solved by a bottle of water and a visor, My Fellow Man Alliance and Fast Track Airport Parking is attempting to reach-out to provide just a little relief, while keeping the homeless cooler.

Both organizations are sending out a challenge to the Houston community to get involved.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Riverboat Gamblers added to Summer Fest!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 7:05 PM

Dinner and a Movie @ Sedition: The Edukators

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:23 PM


Dinner at 7pm: Vegan Spaghetti with a delicious sauce!

Movie at 8pm: The Edukators

Your Days of Plenty are Numbered!

Jan and Peter are a pair of leftist political activists who have their own ideas of how to strike out in the name of economic justice. Jan and Peter like to break into the homes of the rich, re-arrange their belongings, and leave behind a note crediting "the Edukators" with the invasion, satisfied that their efforts will teach their victims a lesson about the futility of wealth.

Peter's girlfriend, Jule, who has found herself homeless and deeply in debt after a car accident, moves in with the two friends and starts joining them on their periodic missions. Jule convinces Peter and Jan that they should hit the home of the businessman who caused her so much trouble.

$5 suggested donation (per person). Cheapest date in town!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Despite Israel’s efforts, Palestinian festival celebrates world-class literature

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:11 PM


By Sousan Hammad; Free Press contributor currently in West Bank town of Ramallah

For many Palestinians, the month of May is associated with the commemoration of the Nakba. But with the increasing popularity of the arts in Palestine, the second annual Palestine Festival of Literature harmoniously unfolded to the final days of spring, a time also for lavender and lilies.
Ahdaf Soueif, an Egyptian-born novelist, along with Brigid Keenan, a travel writer, and Victoria Brittain, a former editor of The Guardian, came up with the idea of having a world-class literature festival in Palestine.
“Last year we brought a festival to Palestine, and Palestine taught us so much in return. Palestinian cities – even under siege and a cruel military occupation – manage to produce brilliant art and top class education. PalFest aims to contribute to that rich cultural life,” Soueif said.
READ ON>>>>

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boogadaboogadaboogada!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:45 PM


The moment I learned that Screeching Weasel was coming to town I set my alarm clock at 9:50am so that I could get my tickets when they went up at 10am. I bought 3 tickets for my two friends and me. We 3 were in a band in '97. Our only existence was because of Screeching Weasel. For one night I wanted to have us three together to reminisce the times we shared and the reason why we were involved in punk rock.
Joe Queer sings it best, Ben Weasel is an asshole. Without really saying hello or anything the band starts playing with an already aggravated look, but can you blame him? On the first song someone stole Ben's setlist, the mic wasn't working, and stage divers were in the way.
They played a slew of songs from each record. With short pop songs and playing them fast they must have played two hours worth of jams into one hour with a short encore.
Overall it was amazing. Screeching Weasel reunited so many friends together on this night. I saw many people hugging and saying how good it was to see them. I too ran into a lot of old friends from my Screeching Weasel days. I lost my shoe, my glasses broke, and my shirt was drenched in beer and sweat. It was perfect. I have now died and gone to punk rock heaven. I finally saw Screeching Weasel! Ben Weasel has been stated that there will be more Weasel shows in the future. So perhaps this is not just an exhibition. I'm happy to see that Ben is back at it again playing music. So now that I've seen this I am now expecting Jesse Michaels to go on tour with Rancid to play some Operation Ivy shows....please.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Punk This: Double Dagger at SHFL 6/23

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:56 AM


Brigitte B. Zabak

I know what all you folks out there in the Houston music scene must be thinking right about now. It probably involves something along the lines of – “What the hell does she know about punk music when all she writes about is indie this and indie that?” Well, while my knowledge of punk, post-punk, and pseudo punk is limited in scope, I am still fairly confident in my ability to know when music is good and when it ranks up there with American Idol rejects.

In recent weeks, I have had the good fortune of discovering the existence of a trio from Baltimore that makes lots and lots of noise without all the bullshit. Double Dagger is a three piece ensemble that utilizes drums, bass and vocals to create more volume than should be possible when using so little instrumentation. The nerd-centric crew has an impressive background in graphic design and has channeled their inherent visual creativity into its very geeky and loud auditory counterpart.
READ ON>>>>>

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interview: Chase Hamblin

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:49 AM


by Shelby Hohl

Chase Hamblin's debut release A Fine Time marks a prompt beginning for an aspiring singer-songwriter. Chase spent time in local Houston outfit Penny Royal, establishing a musical partnership with Derek Dunivan who would later help produce and arrange the album. The opening title track, A Fine Time bounces along a pleasant breeze of melody and beauty while carrying lyrical undertones hinting towards a great enlightenment of human consciousness, transcending the ills of society. The rest of the record touches on the golden era of rock and roll where multi-instrumental layers in well crafted songs reign supreme. We spoke with Chase recently and got a few questions out that Houstonians are DYING to know.

The opening song on your album , A Fine Time carries some pretty heavy political connotations. Do you mind elaborating?

A Fine Time is written from the perspective of the "everyman" who is idling along in the modern world and who begins to wonder if life was always so cold and disconnected. It was inspired by the state of being following 9/11 in which the average citizen, including myself, is lost in the rhetoric and fear of terrorism, while being offered only soul-less bureaucracy and fake religion as a solution. However, a collective memory, a spirit of inspiration, allows this person to access a distant time, Atlantis, the Garden of Eden, the beginning of our higher selves and consciousness itself, yet also a simpler time when the wonders of the natural world were enough to inspire the creation of meaning, when every word spoken was poetry. The song is about that memory, that spirit, that place of unity and unbound creation, which I believe we all have deep in our psyche. It is also a warning about fundamentalism, absolutism, commercialism, consumerism, and the destruction of our beautiful planet, to add a quick caveat.

What kind of records did you grow up listening to? Was there anything in particular that inspired you while making the record?

The first record I remember, which I made my parents buy for me, was Michael Jackson's "Thriller." My siblings and I would lip-sync to that album and put on little shows for my folks. They used to play us Neil Diamond's "Hot August Night," which I loved as a kid. I really started to get into music though when I heard a Doors album. It was so different from anything I had heard, but it was still catchy and melodic. Of course I was raised on lots of Beatles and Beach Boys as well.

As far as the album, we (engineer Josh Applebee, producer Derek Dunivan, and I) were mainly inspired by late 60's recordings by The Beatles, The Kinks, the Bee Gees, and The Zombies, and early 70's T-Rex and David Bowie. Those artists captured a vibe, in terms of arrangement, performance, and sound, that we were looking for on these songs.

How long did your record take to complete and were there any new sounds or instruments you got a chance to play with during the process?

Derek Dunivan and I played all the rock instruments on the album, so we had to take some time to track everything. We probably spent an average of three very long days on each song of the EP, with the exception of "We're Gonna Make It," which Derek and I did in one day at our old Penny Royal studio. We did all our parts over the space of a month or so at Sugar Hill, but then Hurricane Ike hit, so it was several months later before we could reschedule the horn and string sections. This was the first time Derek composed complete string and horn arrangements, so it was very excited to hear the players come in and bring it to life. We did get to do quite a bit of playing around with sounds. We used a vintage Space Echo on "Never Let You Go" to create really warped out effects and I play an African Mbira on "A Fine Time." We used this great overdrive called the Super Hard On for a number of parts. One of the coolest things was that Robbie Parrish brought us a bunch of his personal percussion items and he had meditation bell he claimed was kissed by the Dalai Lama. It happened to be in the perfect pitch to play the major third in "A Fine Time" when the song shifts from minor to major. That was quite nice. A lot of the experimentation was with getting tones just right in the room so that we didn't have to tweak anything in mixing.
Do you plan on touring behind the album once released?

Not yet. I have just got together an amazing All-Star band for my CD release (June 19th at the Continental Club) with my former Penny Royal bandmate (and "A Fine Time" producer) Derek Dunivan on keys, Geoffery Muller of I am Mesmer and Sideshow Tramps on bass, Corey Power of Ragged Hearts on guitar, and singer/songwriter Robert Ellis, also in I am Mesmer, on drums, and everyone is singing harmony. A small regional tour is a possibility in July, but we have literally all played together twice now and everyone has other projects as well.
Any chance you'll be performing with a full band any time soon? More often?

Yes. After the band debuts at my CD release I am going to stop doing solo acoustic gigs and only book shows with the band. Other than the CD release, we are also playing the Sugar Hill Sessions on August 6 and the Free Press Summer Fest.
Chase Hamblin's CD Release is June 19th at Continental Club.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The very un-Kosher Something Fierce video for Aliens.

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 8:26 AM

How better to say "Good Morning" than with Something Fierce's Aliens (love it!!) Mike Sims in a tour de force performance as a bartender at Rudz (Acting!!), and a steamy scene with Nikki making-out with a puppet pig (hot!!).



Labels:

Monday, June 15, 2009

US Airguitar Championships hits Houston, TX

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:33 PM


Air guitarists from all around Houston came to Warehouse Live to compete to win a chance at competing at the US Air Guitar finals in Washington DC. Saturday night showed that YOU can be the next air star. Joha Lopez came to support me, Jacob Calle (Golden Ghost) at the competition. After a few drinks Joha decided to sign up and went under the name, Mojo GoGo. She destroyed the stage and took it to the top with first place while I fell in 4th. "I have no idea what I was doing! I'm drunk!", says Joha. It is my duty to train Mojo GoGo to compete in DC. There she will compete up against the number one air champion in the world Hot Lixx Hulahan and along with Sparks fiend, William Ocean and more air guitar heroes. We two leave Aug 6th to DC along with supporter Emily Rose to get our airage on! Winner at the US Finals will be flown to Finland to compete the world finals. Good luck Mojo!

The link below is a video montage of air guitar, alcohol, and some beastiality with
Air Bear.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sem36DQVeAY

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Prince Paul and Devin the Dude added to SummerFest Line-up!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:35 PM

I mean, sure there is that Indian cat in Voxtrot and there is probably a Jew or 2 in Broken Social Scene but a void remains. We have filled said void with Hip-Hop legend Prince Paul and stoner-riffic rapper Devin the Dude. We are confident that these additions will round this festival out to be the clutchest thing Houston has seen since the Allen Brothers landed on Buffalo Bayou. Tickets for on $7 at www.freepresssummerfest.com

Friday, June 12, 2009

Out-Zoning Houston

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:52 AM


Buffalo Sean

Perhaps there is a cabal out there who would like to edit our Wild West urban landscape into a cohesive order. It is possible that the acceleration of Houston’s growth demands a stronger hand to guide the city’s coursing veins of concrete and commerce-pumping engines of steel and glass. Wild, unwieldy burgs have been tamed before and tempered into hardened tools of self-organization, and we’re unlikely to be an exception. The Contemporary Arts Museum’s current exhibit No Zoning: Artists Engage Houston may be a talisman of this emerging meme, but a cultural uproar threatens to derail this celebration of the city’s mélange.

READ ON>>>

Hot indie rock action with Andrew Lee

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 7:22 AM

Oh Damn, the temperature is supposed to be in the mid-90s today but thanks to Indie Houston, baby, it's gonna get hotter - much hotter.

No, you're not dreaming, the video for "Trash Town" has all you'd ever want: shirtless indie rockers, Andrew Lee doing some lip syncing on par with the finest Shaw Brothers film, and Andrew himself in his skivvies scratching his business! YESSS!!! Check it....



Trash Town Andrew Lee of the Wild Moccasins from Christopher Patterson on Vimeo.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Interview: Room 101

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:57 AM



By Omar Afra

(7-Inch artwork by Winston Smith who is famous for album artwork for the Dead Kennedys)


Chicago-native Roburt Reynolds of Room 101 has been on the Houston music scene for a short time now but has quickly made waves with his dramatic performances and recent release of a stellar 7 inch record. Armed with just a guitar, mic, and backing tracks, this one man band has stirred local audiences with his performance arts shows, visceral elctro-punk (for lack of a better term), on stage projections, and quick tempo songs. Singing about topics ranging from privatized military to Orwellian humor, Room 101 is pushing the local envelope and definitely has a story to tell. He elaborated on this story for us recently:

You are a 'one man band' but your 7 inch sounds like a band co-operation rather than a singular execution. Any outside help? What kind of recording protocol?

No outside help whatsoever. I write all the songs. I play all the instruments. I dig up all the samples from various mediums. I program, sequence, and arrange all the drums, I record it all. I mix it all. I master it all. I didn't personally press the records. I designed the packaging layout (other than the artwork by Winston Smith). Then I put them all together by hand. I've been playing instruments since I was a little kid. Maybe that's why I hit the deck so much. Recording protocol is patience, spontaneity, precision, mic placement, ears, and heart...in that order.

What is the earliest influence you had on your performance laden shows?

They have all been significant in someway. Iggy Pop and the Stooges was the most incredible thing I've ever experienced in a concert setting. But earliest was realizing how many bands stand around onstage and are afraid to really delve into their subconscious expression, no matter how ugly it may be. I was probably 7 or 8 when that one happened. Got lucky.
So you are from Chicago and relatively new to Houston. Tell me what you miss about the prior and tell me what you love about the latter.

I miss Chicago architecture, the trains, the grime, the relentlessness and unforgiving nature of 'the metropolis', the urban decay, the graffiti, the history, the corruption, and the anonymity. You can get lost up there in the best ways-even when they are bad news. I almost got shot for knocking over a trash can once after a show.

Houston has been great to me. There are a vast array of hidden corners and freakish, secret enigmatic spots that make this place very intriguing and very fresh coming from such a different environment. It too is intensely grimy, which I love. The first night I was here I saw a car flip over. And the urban decay is still there, you never have to go looking too far to find that anywhere-except our gentrifying neighborhoods (and they won't be too far behind).

If Room 101 was a medieval weapon, what would it be?

Inquisition.

What are you listening to lately? Anything local?

Bellini's got a new record out, US Maple, Os Mutantes, Curtis Mayfield, OOIOO, BDP, MC Lyte. Localwise...Geto Boys, Anarchitex, Really Red, Verbal Abuse, DRI, The Delta Block, Cop Warmth, Happy Fingers Institute, and Jade Simmons has a dope new record out, too.

In 3 words, what is next for you and your music?

Be like water.

In 2 words, what is next for human civilization?

Kool Aid. Like Jim Jones. Sorry, is that more than two, now?

In 1 word, what are your 2 favorite words?

Dichotomy.

Room 101 plays at the Rat’s Nest June 13th for Gulf Coast Hardcore Fest at T.M.M.C. www.myspace.com/roburtreynoldswrap

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Animal Collective in Austin, TX at Stubbs June 5th

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:36 PM


Steven Walker (bassist of American Sharks) and I jokingly said that we should sell the tickets
for $60 each and review the show on celphone cameras on
Youtube. We didn't. We went inside and it felt like another hurricane
Houston evacuation. Houston left it's body for the night and drove to
Austin. Some of Riff Tiffs were there. Buxton was there. Mary Ocean (Houston's x-American Apparel employee)
was there along with everyone else in the 713. It was rather difficult
to pay attention to the band due to many "Excuse me's. and
"Hey Dudes!". It was a decent set with "Chores" being an encore
along with the Happy Birthday song to Reverend Green the sound guy. The highlight
of the night was "Daily Routine" and me finding a beer on a picnic table
while Steven was peeing. I told him I bought him a beer and he drank it.
"This is good beer.", Steven said. So if you're reading this Steven, HA!
Animal Collective - good band. People talking and asking you for a
lighter - bad. Next time come to Houston please. Thankyou Kara at
Motor Mouth Media for the tickets.

Why it's OK to steal from Central Market and Whole Foods

posted by Free Press Houston @ 10:07 AM


by Belligerent Me

" We throw away an obscene amount of food every day" says the adamantly unnamed employeee at Central Market. " They watch us like hawks when we dispose of food and it is a very regimented process." Despite their friendly facades of 'organic foods' , earth conciousness, and vegetarian friendly items, grocers like Whole Foods and Central Market make a large part of their revenue by serving prepared foods in a deli style atmosphere.

READ ON>>>

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mika Miko, Strange Boys at Mango's Tonight

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:25 AM

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cru Jones Vs. Bill Allen : The worst dream interview ever

posted by Free Press Houston @ 3:04 PM


Growing up kids watched TMNT and afterwards would go raid their dad’s garage and paint there selves green and tie colored bandanas around their eyes and fight. I know I did at least. I also watched the movie Rad and afterwards create my own Rad Team and race on our bicycles until our lungs had the equivalent amount of air as a chain smoker.

Cru Jones is the lead character in the cult classic BMX movie Rad. He was my idol. At the age of 10 it was destined that my child would be named Cru regardless if the child had a penis or vagina. Meeting your heroes was a kid’s dream. Imagine meeting fucking Jean Claude Van Damn! or Bart Simpson. That would be amazing. I had the opportunity to interview Bill Allen (Cru Jones), the star of Rad. I thought to myself, this is going to be the most amazing interview ever! Wrong I was. This was the most disappointing interview that I’ve ever encountered. Bill
Allen isn’t Cru Jones. No one is. Cru is a fictional dream character that all BMXers from the 80’s dreamt of. He had the
Talent, the girl, the money, his own BMX company, and everything else had they created Rad 2. Perhaps it’d be called Too Rad! And Bill Allen…just an actor
in his 40’s.



J: Hands down it is a fact that Rad is BMXer's Rocky Horror Picture Show. Do you still get attention from the cult classic movie.
B: Quite a bit. I get more fan mail now from more places than ever.

J: The movie Rad was based on pro BMX rider Eddie Fiola. Even though he was in the movie playing your
"girl friend" as a stunt double do you feel that the movie would have been more or less of a success had
Eddie played himself instead of you?
B: No it wasn’t. He didn't double for my girlfriend and Eddie acting would have worked as about as well as if I'd done all the stunts.
(Yes it was ya dumb dick! From your website it reads “The character of "Cru" was loosely based on the life story of "The King" Eddie Fiola.” “Eddie Fiola stunt doubles for "Christian". Christian was Cru’s girlfriend. So quit the horse shit and answer my questions correctly.)

J: In the movie your character's real name is Christopher. What's the story behind the nickname Cru?
B: The writer got it from the original THE LONGEST YARD, with Burt Reynolds, I believe.

J: Your movie mom was Talia Shire which is the mother of Jason Schwartzman. Was he on the set a lot during
shoots?
B: He was there the whole shoot, probably about 8 years old at the time. We used to ride bikes on weekends together.

J: And Laurie Laughlin as well. By any chance was John Stamos aka Uncle Jesse there?
B: No, neither was the Olsen twins.

J: Was Hell Track an actual track or was it built in sections?
B: It was built as one piece.

J: After people watching this movie do you know of anyone recreating Hell Track?
B: I believe at a recent X Games there was a track dubbed Hell track.

J: Bart Taylor's arrogance got the best of him when he waited for you on the final lap. Had he not done
that you would have placed 2nd place and the movie would have had a different ending. Even though Bart pretty much gave that last lap to you do you still feel full victory?
B: I gave him a lead to make it more exiting
(You did not give him the lead. You did not fall off your bike on purpose and let everyone pass you up. Quit blowing
Smoke up your ass BILL!)

J: These riders in Hell Track are real BMXers racing. To my knowledge these are planned
"stunt" crashes. Were there any serious injuries?
B: A couple of broken bones.Nothing fatal.
(Cool, thanks for being specific Dick Meat.)

J: What about the racer who landed on his head/neck while jumping out of the cereal bowl. I know for a fact that that was not scripted. He's okay right?
B: I think he was fine

J: Last question about Rad before we move on. I know that you and Bart had stunt riders, but on a normal track who do you think would win between the two of you in a real race?
B: At the time he could barely walk due to injuries, so I'd bet on me.
(Note: Bart Taylor is a professional world champion gymnast. I’m sure without that injury he would cream Bill.)

J: You’re an actor, fake bmx rider, comedian, an expert on weapons and jungle warfare, and now I
learn that you a musician! What can't you not do?
B: I'm not sure.
(I know what you can’t do and that’s give good answers to my awesome questions!)

J: You played a role in Astronaut Farmer. Do you feel that you will be playing in mainstream films in the future?
B: I worked recently on BROTHERS with Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllanhal and MY ONE AND ONLY with Renee Zelwegger

(Good one name dropper. Never heard of these movies. Did they go straight to DVD?)

J: What's next for Bill Allen?
B: sleep.

(note: Well it definitely isn’t another rad film!...Get it.)

J: Anything you'd like to shout out to your fans.
B: Keep an eye out for a sequel to Rad and get the official DVD from Netflix.

(BULLSHIT BILL! You know that what you said was a lie! Rad will always be bootleg and Too Rad will
never be created! So quit trickin’ us and go watch the special features to Astronaut Farmer!)

J: By the way, do you find it sickening or admire the fact that I have watched the movie Rad over 400 times.
B: You'll be fine with a little bed rest.
(Yeh, and I’d been fine without your shitty answers too!)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

You can have whatever you liiiiiiiiike!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:24 AM


Glasnost (CD release)/Motel Aviv/The Watermarks (CD release) @ Rudyard's
Belaire/The McKenzies/Ceeplus Badknives @ Mango's
Ryan Scroggins & the Trench Town Texans/Channel One/Trian Woodburns/Molly and the Ringwalds @ The Continental Club
Patrice Pike/Skyblue72/The Handshake @ Warehouse Live
Belaire/The McKenzies/Ceeplus Badknives @ Mango's
Au Revoir Simone/Oh No Oh My/The Antlers @ Walter's on Washington
Hafaza (album release)/Mic Skills/DJ Gonz/Krackernuttz @ The Mink (10PM; free!)
Robin Trower/Gary Clark Jr. @ House of Blues
Sir Richard Bishop And His Freak Of Arraby Ensemble/Oaxacan/Doggebi/Ether @ Notsuoh
Picardy Birds/Papercut/Better Off Dead @ Fitzgerald's
Flawlessly Inadequate/Antarctica/Ghosts of Rome/Monkeys Beat Jesus/The Red Waltz/ScoriaKnight Mare @ Javajazz Coffee House (16300 Kuykendahl)
Dirty Fist @ Super Happy Fun Land
Plump @ Last Concert Cafe
Sun Machine/SoulBound/Set Adrift @ Crazy Frog's (Spring)
Bachelorette/Springfield Riots/Benjamin Wesley @ Walter's on Washington

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free Press Summer Fest August 8th and 9th!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:59 AM


FREE PRESS SUMMER FEST
AUGUST 8TH AND 9TH AT ELEANOR TINSLEY PARK
12PM TO 10PM

Free Press Houston is proud to announce the 2009 Free Press Summer Fest. This music and arts festival will be held August 8th and 9th at Buffalo Bayou's Eleanor Tinsley Park and will feature more than 40+ national and local musical performers, visual arts, and games. Confirmed to headline are BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, OF MONTREAL, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, THE SWORD, WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS, OCTOPUS PROJECT. The park will host 2 stages, dozens of local artist booths, a craft beer garden, games, and several 'cooling elements' such as a misting tent to help attendees stage cool in the hot sun. Free Press Houston intends to make this greener than your average festival with a recycling program, carbon off-set credits, and a partnership with the Texas Campaign for the Environment. Participants are encouraged to wear bathing suits and loose fitting clothing. Free water will be available on site. Additionally, a portion of proceeds will go to Project Row Houses which is a community non-profit that is responsible for restoration restoration, art, and social activism in Houston's Third Ward since 1991. Entry cost for the event is only 7 dollars per day via advanced ticket sales at www.freepresssummerfest.com. For more info contact Omar Afra at editors@freepresshouston.com. For vending info contact Don Schwarzkopf at EWMedia@swbell.net.

Tickets available at www.freepresssummerfest.com and www.pegstar.net

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

White Lies Black Sheep

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:17 AM




White Lies Black Sheep is the second film from James Spooner, the mulatto punk rock documentarian behind 2003's Afro Punk, and will soon be shown in Houston on June 19th (better known as Juneteenth to us Texans; how appropriate) at the indiehouston.org house (1816 Calumet in Third Ward). The film tells the tale of A.J., a Black club promoter running rampant in the early 2000's era New York indie rock scene, and the tensions he faces amongst his peers. Soon as he begins to discover more about his own heritage, embracing it fully, he finds out his new interests aren't so accepted by his friends and co-workers who begin to think he's becoming “too black.” Self questioning, tight pants, unemotional sex with an average looking stranger, and lots of drinking ensue. A must see for all those who have shared A.J.'s dilemma and all those curious about the only Black guy at the indie rock show.

Organized by local chainsaw pop rap artist Fat Tony, the film screening will also feature performances by himself, the founder of U.S. Grime B L A C K I E, the soulful bedroom pop sounds of Austin's The Cocker Spaniels, and new Houstonian by way of D.C. Love Field.

Love Field is a solo project by Ryan Grimes, formerly of Cutlery and Downtown Singapore, which combines the lush sounds of ambience and electronics, with all the guitarmanship, whispers that shake buildings, and beautifully woeful bellowing of post-hardcore rock 'n' roll. Set your phasers on dream pop, Houston. Leave the kill mode for the next jerk off. Ryan sat down with me for a few a moments and graciously took some questions about the film, Love Field, Afro Punk, and the Houston scene.

How did you first get involved with WLBS? Tell us a little about the film
.

White Lies/Black Sheep is a “documentary” about a young black party/concert promoter in the New York punk scene and his journey to essentially find himself. He feels betrayed by his desire to enjoy the scene when he starts to realize that not everything around him is clear cut and black and white. I first got involved with the film when James Spooner asked my old band Cutlery to do the score. We had been playing Afro Punk shows and the annual festival for a few years and we grew to be friends. Our music fit the overall feel of the movie and it was just natural for us to work on it with him.

What's your background with film? Have you composed for films prior to WLBS?

My experience in film amounts to that of simply having a Netflix account. I had never scored a film before and neither had Branden [Funkhouser, Cutlery guitarist and producer] but we just at down and remixed our songs and came up with new material for the film after watching it probably around 45 or 50 times. One of the other guys in the band Chris Marrow had a background in television production so that helped.

Have you performed as a solo artist or in bands outside of composing?

Yeah, I before Cutlery I was in a band called Downtown Singapore which was also a blast. Right now I’m writing and performing under the name Love Field.
Were there any outside influences that inspired the sounds presented in WLBS? Were you aiming for a particular tone for the film?

Yeah, we were always a cinematic, like, almost epic sounding kind of band. Everybody knows about teen angst and heart break but a lot of the stuff I was writing at the time mirrored the main character’s dealings with punk scenes and being black and feeling at home yet still detached.

What's the importance of WLBS as social commentary? Do you feel Houston's indie audience will appreciate it?

I think any community can appreciate the film. I’m from Washington D.C. and, like, it’s weird how seemingly the rest of the country really overlooks Houston and what this city has to contribute to art, punk rock, etc. Houston is home to some of the coolest, most innovative bands and artists I’ve ever heard so there’s defenitly a place for this film. A culture and audience for it. But the thing is, I hope not just the Montrose/Poison Girl crowd checks out the movie. Ideally, I’d like to see 3rd ward come out to experience a kind of scene that’s, in theory, open to all people.

How connected are you to the Afro Punk movement? What does it's growth and expansion mean to you?

Um, I suppose I’m just connected to it through the shows I was able to play and the film. But I guess like, on a deeper level I’m connected to it in the sense that it means the world to me. You know. I’m incredibly proud of the movement that James and Matthew [Morgan, Afro Punk producer] have built from the ground up. From Brooklyn to Chicago to L.A., there’s an afropunk crowd and now Houston is going to be a part of it. Actually, I shouldn’t say that – in all honesty any city or town with two black kids blasting Bad Brains from a car stereo like it’s Jay-Z has an afropunk scene.

Musically, what are you presently preparing? Do you have any projects in the works?

Yeah, I’ve only played a handful of shows under the Love Field moniker, so I’m working on expanding that to a full band. Some friends of mine are interested so we’ll see. Doing the solo act is tough for me because I’m used to having like, at least four other people on stage with me but it’s been fun. The songs are pretty cool thus far, so I’m excited about it.


Would you consider during any future film work?

Oh, of course. It was so much fun and a lot of things we didn’t get to try because of our budget and everything so yeah. I’d love to give it another go. Any chance to create something is a good one right? I think so, especially if the project fits.
I'm a Spike Lee fan and I've always taken note of the soundtracks associated with his movies. They've always been powerful and totally intertwined with the themes presented in his films, such as Public Enemy's socio-rap-noise-bomb "Fight the Power" as the theme of Do The Right Thing; or the bellowing horns that portrayed the lustful indecisiveness of a jazz musician in Mo' Better Blues.

With WLBS being a film quite rooted in depictions of Black social commentary, are there any films along the line of WLBS' content that inspired your work on the score?

Certainly, yeah. You’re 100% right about Spike Lee’s careful protection of the score and soundtracks to his films. Like he seems like a really meticulous type dude so I suppose you could say that we just wanted to be as sure as possible that everything fit, especially with the last scene in the movie.

Do you see any similarities between your experiences and the character A.J. from WLBS? Might you have friends that relate to it?

Of course, of course. Everything from dating and relationships with women both white and of color to getting stared at because of how you’re dressed on the train to being told that I “speak so well”. It’s all there you know. And yeah, the vast majority of my friends are black or a member of another minority group so they’ve spoken to me about similar situations they’ve had that are also represented in the film. Honestly, I even think that white kids will see things in this movie they can identify with and learn from. Though I’m not going to lie – if you’ve ever touched a black person’s hair with out at least asking first – things might get a little awkward for you during the screening. [laughs]

Have you come across any artists or bands here in Houston that embody the Afro Punk aesthetic or experience?

That’s easy, yeah. The TonTons come to mind first. Those kids are easy people to hang out with and love making just, like some of the most bad ass, heart felt rock and roll out there. B L A C K I E is another artist that’s got it down. I was riding around with Matthew Morgan before the afropunk SXSW show with Big Boi and had B L A C K I E’s record in my car and Matthew was like, “who is this?! I love it!!”. I’m pretty sure B L A C K I E will be playing at this years AP festival in Brooklyn as a result. And Fat Tony embodies it too. He’s probably the best EmCee I’ve heard here in Houston – easily. You wouldn’t think Tony would be like, “afropunk” or whatever since his show is for sure hip-hop through and through but he gets it. Like, his hustle is totally DIY you know? He transcends like the whole notion that the rest of the country has about Houston hip-hop as being only UGK and nothing else which is cool. I feel like it would have been real easy for him to just rip off Bun B, one of the people I know Tony looks up to, but he didn’t which is rad. Plus, I know for a fact that next to his UGK, records are a stack of My Bloody Valentine and Ramones CDs.

How did you get involved with the organizer, Fat Tony, of the Juneteenth showing of WLBS at the indiehouston.org house? Did he approach you? Did you approach him?

I’ve known Tony for a while – first online like most black punk kids meet each other. There was this Livejournal community called negroclash where I’ve met a ton of cool people. When I moved here to Houston he came to see the first Love Field show at Notsuoh and told me he and Chanelle were trying to bring WL/BS to the H and I told him I’d love to help and be a part of it.

Screens Friday June 19th 6-8PM at IndieHouston House 1816 Calumet

Monday, June 1, 2009

Battle Royale: Seger vs. Cocker: Round 1

posted by Free Press Houston @ 3:01 PM



Recently, we at the Free Press held one of our weekly, quasi-hypothetical, death match, musical, face-offs in the form of Mr. Bob Seger aka "The Silver Bullet" aka "Mr. Jet Airliner" vs. Mr. Joe Cocker aka "WhaaaaatwouldzuudooifIsannn....attitu?" aka "Youahhhhhsoooobeautifoooo".
The debate raged on for many fearless nights, pitting Shelby Hohl against Omar Afra in an endless quest for knowledge that would drive a stake through the heart of the endless question: Bob Seger vs. Joe Cocker -- Who's Better?
Omar pulled out the big guns almost immediately in the form "Unchain My Heart" and the classic, Beatles cover, "A Little Help From My Friends". However Shelby was quick to dare Omar to find anymore singles, thus giving him the footing he would need in his argument. We should probably note that Omar voted Cocker and Shelby voted "Like a Rock". So, after endless hours in front of pie charts and venn diagrams, Shelby and Omar started calling out to friends both international and local to reinforce either positions enough to verify who actually is, better.
Here are the results:

Shelby Hohl - Bob Seger. More accessibility through his vocals.

Omar Afra - Joe Cocker

Tyler Barber - Joe Cocker. Seger is the obvious answer

Jody Worthington - Joe Cocker. Wonder Years.

Brian Jackson (Black Congress, Cop Warmth) - Seger. Cuz he's got nightmoves

Christian Larson (Hell City Kings) - I would have a preference towards Joe Cocker since his music has been revamped through hip hop so its like a double thing.

John (HEALTH) - Shit thats hard. Seger. Way more hits

Shelby's Mom - Bob Seger.. by FAR!! Bob actually sings.. no grunting

Eddie (An Albatross) - Seger. By far, check out the albums, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", "Noah", "Mongrel" and "Smokin OP's". It's late 60's & 70's Detroit Blue-eyed Soul Rock. I feel he is equally as good as The Stooges, The MC5 and the like..

Roky Moon (Roky Moon & Bolt) - Bob Seger! Silver Bullet band 4 life!!!

There you have it folks, at 4 votes to 6, King Seger takes the throne and sends Cocker off to the pigs! In the event that you feel your opinion would weigh heavily on this debate, we will honor a "Round 2" of sorts, and actually encourage folks to jump on this. This decision will determine who headlines the next Block Party....

Harptalicca at SHFL

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:37 AM




Tonight at Super Happy Fun Land
1308 Polk

The Swappiest Swap of Them All

posted by b.s. @ 8:01 AM

Photobucket


By Jacob Mustafa

Everyone can appreciate a little distortion, the need for chaos. Turmoil lends itself to the breeding ground for peculiarity that is the annual A/V Swap, Houston’s very own Exquisite Corpse. In a flurry of creation that leaves behind the usual anxiety of collaboration, the A/V Swap allows talented filmmakers, regardless of practice or method, to work with musicians who want to score their films-- albeit in a roundabout manner. Essentially, the swap fosters strangeness for whoever wants a little.

...

If you’re wandering this gigantic, grey stew of a city and wondering who the hell all of these people were, the A/V Swap would not be a bad place to start. Represented by a small group of people using their fantastically particular skills to do such different things, it’s a special event that weirdly yet accurately portrays the beautifully mixed bag Houston can be.

READ MORE