Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paul Harvey 1918 - 2009

When you grow up in the middle of nowhere, it's the little things that connect you to the rest of the world that mean a lot. Paul Harvey was one of those things for me. Maybe it was just the fact that for some reason when we were out working on the ranch, Paul Harvey seemed to be the one excuse that always worked when you wanted to take a break.

I don't tend to be overly sentimental, but thanks for the years and the memories Mr. Harvey. Good day.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Something I learned today:

Ladyhawke is not the same as Ladyhawk. You've got to have an eye for detail in this world where bands use the same name with or without an "e." As a small bit of trivia, both bands are from Commonwealth nations.

If you didn't know:

My new band is called Smashinge Pumpkinse and I've got a side project called Arcad Fir.

Overheard on campus:

"Mom, if you did that, that would be so awesome. I would, like, come home every weekend if you did."

Overheard in the men's locker room (this is not a joke):

"Yeah, dude, I mean, like the point of ninja training is learn how to cheat without getting caught."


Prius with license plate "GAS LOL"

If you weren't paying attention:

There is a new unreleased Colin Gilmore song available for free download here.

True story:

Back when I lived in Yellowknife, I had a pet bear with diabetes. We had a heck of a time adjusting its insulin to the amount of caribouhydrates it ate.

If you hadn't figured it out:

Two of the above items are not true.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SXSW 2009 - Lubbock music showcase

(Picture courtesy of these guys)

Wednesday night, March 18th, Momo's will host an official SXSW showcase featuring bands with Lubbock connections.

The current line-up is as follows:

8 PM - Cary Swinney, Richard Bowden, Michael O'Conner
9 PM - Thrift Store Cowboys
10 PM - Texas Belairs with Ponty Bone and John X Reed
11 PM - Colin Gilmore
12 PM - Joe Ely and Joel Guzman with Special Guests

Follow the link here to get more details. Check out Colin's and TSC's band pages as well, as each has a free download. It looks as though Colin's song is a new one that he has not yet released.

Brought to you by Sandstorm Picnic.

The sad news is that since this is an official showcase, it's not easily accessible without a badge, which costs around $15,000,000. We'll find out for sure if there is any admittance to non-badge holders, as the policies vary by venue, but otherwise, we'll try and keep you apprised of any free shows these folks are playing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Facebook is too crowded

Remember when it was fun to post cynical and somewhat inappropriate things on facebook, both in your profile and when you updated your status?  Yeah, well those days are pretty much over if you hadn't noticed.  Every time I think of a funny thing to put on my status, I think of a certain subgroup who it will unnecessarily offend.  Now, I know, why should I care?  Well, partly because online it's easy to anger people without considering their position, and while I don't share a lot of views with the folks I went to high school with or who taught me in high school, I don't really have any underlying need to piss them off.  Also, inevitably some future employer of mine will find some status I wrote in 2006 and hold it against me, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

So there you have it.  I'm sorry I had to say it here, but seriously, facebook is everywhere now. It's about as popular as television, except for the fact that with facebook everyone is watching everyone else on facebook.  It's appealing to some underlying desire to snoop in everyone else's business, and also maybe to ramp up our self importance, from having our "own" web page.  I used to say that if my parents got a facebook that I was going to be done, but given the state that it's in now, it doesn't matter because I think I'm just going to end up using it less and less.  Things like this are the type of things that make sociologists crazier than a craphouse rat.

In other news, I'm starting a web cam service that will follow me 24 hours a day, and everyone that I've ever known in my life is welcome to watch it.

A little bird sent me this

At first I almost didn't post this because I didn't "find" it, but then again, there's really no original finds anymore in the interweb age.


If you read this blog, you've probably seen this.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm liking this

Finally got around to listening to Denton based Telegraph Canyon, and I have to say that I'm quite impressed so far. The incomparable Todd Pertll is listed as a band member, though not in the pictures. Todd, who you should know from the fabulous pedal steel (and other) sounds of Doug Burr, Kristy Kruger, Deadman, Thrift Store Cowboys et al. fame, doesn't really take on bad projects and this is no exception.

I don't feel qualified to describe their music. (Here is where a normal blog would describe their music). Instead, I have to recommend that you check them out yourselves. So far, the songs I've heard hit on quite a wide range of sounds. I have a feeling that, come next paycheck, I'm going to be checking out their first album All the Good News, which apparently you can usually find here, except for the fact that so many people beat you to the punch and now CD Baby is sold out. You can either buy the mp3s or wait until it comes back in stock.

The good news on Telegraph Canyon is twofold:
1) The band is touring a good bit coming up this spring, which maximizes your chance to see them. Also, if they are working this hard it is a good sign that they'll be back again if you miss them this time.
2) They have a new album coming out this May, and by the time it comes out, you'll be foaming at the mouth to hear more.

(Here's where most blogs would end with a clever line)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

We're tweeting...somethinging

For both of you who read this blog, we're now on Twitter. If you're on Twitter, follow us and we'll follow you. I'm hoping that twitter will be a good forum to post information even less useful than we post here on the blog. Also, I'll probably forget to update it for months at a time, so don't expect much.

I don't know what else I can do to convince you other than to tell you that you won't miss anything important if you don't follow WFR on twitter. But you can follow some other cool folks that will give you breaking news and info about what the cool kids are doing.

Also, I can't really figure out whether there's any use for twitter if you don't have an iphone. Pretty sure my 3 year old Sanyo phone isn't really set up for this fast paced interwebbing.

3 More Hard-to-Find Albums You'll Wish You Had Someday

Colin Gilmore - 4 of No Kind

This first EP from Austin singer/rocker/songwriter/son-of-a-flatlander Colin Gilmore is an incredible collection of 4 songs that probably best reflect Gilmore's west Texas roots. Colin has recently made this album available on itunes, so it's not super rare, but I don't know that the hard copies are still being produced. I may be wrong on that, but I haven't seen any site selling new copies of the CD for some time. Whether he meant for them to or not, "Sunset" and "Winds of Heaven" sound like they were written by Jimmie Dale's son - trust me, you'll think the same when you hear them. Probably not that rare really, but for Colin and/or even Flatlanders fans, this EP is an essential.

Availability: A few used hard copies left on Amazon, and otherwise, widely available for download.

No River City - This is Our North Dakota

This first album from the (apparently) now defunct No River City is yet another casualty of the downfall of Miles of Music. That is, MoM has been the place to buy NRC's CD's for some time, and was additionally a strong champion of the band's music. Thus, given that No River City seems to be generally done as a band, their CD's are likely to become increasingly hard to find. I think a number of the guys from the band still play live shows together, but at least from the last announcement I heard, I think NRC is no longer in existence. That said, their two CD's are full of amazing songs, great vocals, and harmonies that fit the music perfectly. This first release is a great listen all the way through. I guess it falls in the vein of what you would call straight up alt country. I don't mean that in a bad way, by any means, but it's just a great collection of songs that don't need any fancy business to cover up various weaknesses that bands are wont to cover up with novelty sounds and the like. The entire album is a great listen, but "Corrinne" and "Last Thing I Remember" are a great place to start. You can download Corrinne here, and I've also found that various other blogs seem to have other songs of theirs for download if you look hard enough. Honestly, I don't know if there is an actual way to buy the music from them anymore so that they actually get the money for it, given that MoM was, as best I can tell, their exclusive seller (and who knows when the last time they got money from Miles of Music was). None of their stuff is available as itunes or amazon DL's either. My hope is that this album and their second album Wolves and Fishes, will not be the last we hear from the folks from NRC, whether it is under that name or another, as they have shown a great consistency for putting out great songs, and deserve wider listenership than they have.

Availability: Moderate - a few used copies up on Amazon, but haven't seen many others.

Rhett Miller - Mythologies

I'm just kidding about this one really. You are unlikely to find it anywhere except ebay, and even I cannot advocate anyone spending the kind of money this album goes for, no matter how big of a fan you are. This pre-Old 97s release from Rhett is more a novelty than anything. The songs are pretty good, but probably not worth paying $15 a song for. Only 1,000 copies were made, and apparently they are all signed and numbered, at least from Rhett Miller folklore that I've heard. Given how rough the economy has been, I think more than one of these may pop up on ebay, but you'll probably pay $150 or more for it if you really decide you want it. This is one on the list of albums that people like me dream of finding in a used CD store for $3.99, but the odds are heavily stacked against it now, given that most used sellers check their stuff on ebay now. Good luck, but this one has been essentially unavailable since shortly after Rhett became a 97.

Availability if you don't want to pay $200 for it: 1 in a million chance of finding it somewhere other than ebay.

In other news regarding hard-to-find music:
  • The Avett Brothers have recently re-released their early Country Was album for download on itunes.
  • I have been on a diligent search for an mp3 copy of the version of the Old 97s song "The Other Shoe" with Waylon Jennings singing the vocals. Apparently this recording dates back to 1997, in their days on Elektra, and was available for a short while on the Hit By a Train site as a real audio file (your grandkids will ask you about why anyone used real audio someday). Apparently the Waylon estate has not agreed to release this song yet, but from what I hear the band still hopes to make it an official release some day. Write your congressman about this one, because it will be more than worth it, 10 years plus after the fact, when it finally sees the light of day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remember that time...

when it looked like Jay Leno and his lack of being funny was going to be leaving late night TV and making room for someone who is actually funny?

and then they decided to give him an even earlier slot on NBC 3 months after he leaves the tonight show?  

As much as I don't care for Leno, I think that he taught Carson (and I don't mean Johnny) everything he knows, and for that I am eternally grateful.


There were no Ryan Bingham songs on ER last night.

Seven Signs that it's hard to find an entirely new perspective on the South

I hesitate to do much in the way of reviews on this site, just because I'm so indecisive in forming opinions on such things. However, I'd like to give a brief report on what I thought of the above Seven Signs movie.

The documentary is the brainchild/project of The Legendary Shack Shakers front man JD Wilkes. Format-wise, I didn't find it substantially different than Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus. I like both movies, and seeing one before the other probably influences how you perceive each.

By far, Seven Signs has it's strength in the stories told by the people that are interviewed. Similar to SFTWEJ, there are countless interesting "characters" and legends in the South and Wilkes does a good job of seeking out some interesting folks. Additionally, there is a strong focus on music, and the film includes performances from a number of musicians that claim some sort of Southern influence in their art.

One thing I was looking forward to was the inclusion of Slim Cessna's Auto Club in the film, as I'd known they were involved since I first saw the trailer. Oddly though, this turned out to be a portion of the film I didn't quite understand. The end of the film includes a live stripped down performance of "Children of the Lord," by Slim and Munly. The part that I didn't quite understand was the story that Munly tells in addition to the performance. While it was fairly characteristic of the Munly stories I've read, it just seemed an odd conclusion to the film, given that most of the earlier narratives were from folks from the South who were telling either personal stories or local folklore, and here is a Denver musician telling a story about "Döder made me do it."

It's almost an Andy Kaufman type of moment, where you don't know if the joke's on you or if you're just not getting it. I welcome interpretations from others.

The film is short, running at about 50 minutes, but covers a number of interesting subjects, has an intriguing theme running throughout, and is overall worth the watch. I think it is a good and honest portrayal of the South, although not a totally novel one. But then again, not many people can completely redefine the representation of a region or culture through art (unless you're Cormac McCarthy).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

John Braden

(Note: This is the original story, but I've posted an update at this link)

I've got somewhat of a mystery on my hands. Unfortunately, solving it isn't really going to benefit much of anyone, but it's piqued my attention lately.

Here's how the story begins:

I was at the record store a month or so ago, looking through the country records, and came across a record in the bargain bin that wasn't in too good of shape. It was a self-titled release by a guy named John Braden, recorded in 1968 and released in 1969 I think. I had never heard of him, but it was from A&M records, the label co-founded by Herb Alpert, of Tijuana Brass fame, so I took a second look at it. Looking through the musicians that played on the album, I first saw Ry Cooder's name as playing guitar on a few songs, and thought, "hmm, might as well buy this (for $2.99) and see what it sounds like." I haven't mentioned yet, but the cover art was well done, and from the back cover, you can see that the guy just plain looks cool.

(I had a heck of a time getting a decent picture (where's Julie when you need her?), but you should be able to click these to see a bigger version of the image)

(And yes that is the LP itself poking out from the bottom of the sleeve - the whole thing is about to disintegrate)

When I got to the counter, a 40-something year old guy, who I think is a collector who just hangs out at the record store trying to get the inside scoop, asked me who John Braden was. I replied that I didn't know, but that I was buying it because Ry Cooder played on it and I wanted to check it out. He asked to look at it, and started talking about all the other "names" on it. I didn't recognize them at the time, but it turns out that Chris Ethridge (bass) and Sneaky Pete (pedal steel) from the Flying Burrito Brothers played on the album. I guess they played on the album just before they started to gain notoriety, as Gilded Palace of Sin came out just after Braden's album in 1969. Also, as I've come to find out, Henry Lewy, who also produced the aforementioned Gilded Palace of Sin for the FBB, was one of the producers on this album. The list goes on and on - also on the album are Paul Horn, a renowned jazz flutist, Bruce Langhorne, apparently a fairly well known folk musician, Richard Bell, a keyboardist/pianist for Janis Joplin and The Band, and a couple of other guys who I think were session musicians that have been on various and sundry albums of some import.

Long story, I know, but stick with me. So finally, I get home and listen to the record. Doesn't blow me away. It's not terrible, but it's got the 60s folky sound, mainly characterized by the high pitched voice. It's not quite falsetto, but just very high. However, the more I listen to it, it has grown on me, and as you might expect, the musicianship is really strong on the album. Whether John Braden knew it or not, he ended up with some of the best rock musicians of the era on his record. The songs are mostly originals, with Dylan's "I Want You" and the traditional "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" as the only 2 covers.

As it has turned out, I've developed a growing appreciation for these songs as I've listened to them, but even more so, I've become intrigued to find out more about where John Braden ended up. And this gets close to where my story ends. As best I can tell, there was a John Braden who was a lyricist and actor on Broadway, and a John Braden (a different one) who did some work in the TV industry and apparently put out some records related to the Atari gaming system and some generally kid related music on Kid Stuff Records. Kind of crazy, I know. Both are deceased, although both were born around the same time (around 1946 and 1949). From what I can find on either of them, there is no mention of a previous record release. The guy in the picture is clearly young, early 20s probably. The only connection I can make is that Arkansas is mentioned in one of the songs, and the John Braden that worked in TV and for Atari was born in Arkansas, but that's not really solid information to close this cold case.

Regarding the record, about the only mention I can find is on the discographies of some of the musicians (Cooder and Langhorne), and also one band called Autumn that covered the song "Song to Raymondo" and apparently named an album after the song, which was penned by Braden and appears on his album.

Otherwise, this record seems to have fallen into obscurity long before the digital age, and thus, there's almost nothing else around about it. I have seen one copy of the LP up on ebay for $40, but with no additional information, and I recently found that Braden recorded some demos (pictured below) in the early 1970s with A&M, and apparently they were never released. In demo form, they aren't as good as the album, and clearly don't have the level of musicianship as the LP.

Beyond that, I'm at a loss. I think the online search is almost exhausted. I don't know why I am so intrigued by this subject, but it's probably a combination of the obscurity of it and also how cool he is dressed on the back cover of the album. A&M Records was absorbed by Interscope, and I can't even find a place on Interscope's site to write them, much less ask if they still have any info on an A&M artist from 40 years ago. I wrote to the A&M/Ocotone (Maroon 5's label) subsidiary of Interscope, and they basically told me they are not really A&M, but some sort of branch of Interscope that I guess kept the A&M name for appearance sake. I'm coming up with dead ends everywhere. My hope is that someone who is smarter or more knowledgeable (or both) than me can help me fill in the blanks a bit at some point. I'm hoping to get the LP converted to mp3s some time to pass along just for history's sake, and while I know it's not that hard, I haven't had the time to mess with it lately and haven't wanted to pay to have it done either.

New update: Progress made, and updates will be posted soon. I'll leave this post as is. There was a blog with a link to his music, but it has since been shut down, so his work remains in relative obscurity at this point.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

3 albums that shouldn't fall through the cracks

Another installment in my series of paying tribute to lesser known albums/bands that have been good to me over the years.

Nels Andrews - Sunday Shoes
In terms of first albums, and also complete albums, Sunday Shoes stands at the top in my mind. This former Albuquerque (now Brooklyn) resident played and toured regionally around New Mexico for a number of years behind this album, although I think he has maintained a bigger fan base in Europe for most of that span. The weight of the songwriting on this album was apparent to me when I saw him open solo for the Magnolia Electric Co. a few years ago. The crowd was a mix of indie and alt country types, although in Lubbock those people are the same, but nonetheless, by the end of the show, he had everyone's attention and basically had the room silenced, which is no small feat at any show in Lubbock. This album is still fairly generally available, and you can download it off all of the major sites as well. I hesitate to pick stand-out tracks from this album, but "Jesse's Mom," "Weight," and "Petal to a Bee" are 3 tracks that should give you a good idea of the strength of this album.

Milton Mapes - Westernaire
Milton Mapes is somewhat of a quintessential Austin band, and I don't mean that in a bad way. They tour very rarely, but they continue to put out good music, and only tour when the opportunity is just right. For that matter, they usually only tour as a 2 piece, so you'll have to catch them in Austin or Dallas to get the full band show. I can't remember if MM is officially "broken up" or not, but they generally perform under the moniker of Monahans now, which I think has some inspiration in the duly titled song from Westernaire. They still play occasionally under the name Milton Mapes, named after the lead singer's grandfather if I remember correctly, so I think the different band names have more to do with artistic vision than anything else (remember when I said quintessential Austin band?). Westernaire is a solidly thematic album (whatever that means), and overall is a great listen, as is their first album The State Line. Standout tracks you might want to check out are "Maybe You're Here, Maybe You're Not" and "The Only Sound That Matters."

Deadman - Paramour
This album was a tough selection, and one that a number of people I know might not agree with, simply because the current incarnation of Deadman, i.e. Steven Collins, isn't really all that similar to the Deadman that made Paramour. This album has a quiet brilliance to it (once again, whatever that means), but very honestly is an amazing collection of songs with beautiful harmonies from Steven and Sherilyn Collins. "The Ballad of Padre Miguel" blends Mexican guitar and alt country/indie rock in as natural of a way as one could ever hope to put together, that is, it doesn't sound contrived or unauthentic. "Ghost Story" is another great track on the album, and the one that first drew me to the band at a live show in Fort Worth 7 or 8 years ago. I don't know that I can fully describe this album, but I think it was made at a point in time where everything and everyone came together with the right influences and just got it "right." Sounds cliched I know, but it's well worth it. I won't even talk about the latest releases from Deadman, because it's just going to take away from what I just said about this one.

Both Paramour and Westernaire are still widely available, either as downloads, or used on Amazon. Won't cost you much to check them out.

Just missed the cut:

The Court & Spark - Dead Diamond River EP
This now inactive, formerly San Francisco based band (i.e., another that may not have completely broken up, but you can pretty well count them as done) put out a number of good releases over the years. This is a good sampling of their music, with the undisputed highlight being "Lucia." Check it out sometime.

Collin Herring - Avoiding the Circus
The first release from this Fort Worth based singer/songwriter, which got him a good deal of attention at the time, is not a favorite of mine all the way through. However, "Train on Her Brain" is one of the best unknown alt country rockers that you can find. "Heaven Doesn't Work Out" is not too bad either. Both songs are worth checking out, although in my opinion probably stand out far above the rest of the album. He's got a new album out, his third - Past Life Crashing - which is really growing on me. He unfortunately lost probably the biggest champion of his music in Miles of Music, so if you like what you hear, he's a good guy and makes good music, so please check out his more recent releases. "Punches" from the new album is a great place to start.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm getting pretty excited

This DVD just came in the mail:

I'll let you know if it's better, worse, or as good as this one, as far as documentaries about the American South go:

Also, I had to post this just now because it was freaking me out going to my blog and seeing a picture of George Clooney first thing.

ERrrr... what?

I was watching ER last night (final season you know), minding my own business, of course, and they introduce a character who was at the ER to see his sister, who it turns out was raising his daughter.  Anyway, he was generally a hard life type of character, trying to maybe turn things around.  He is also the actor who played Rene in the HBO vampire show True Blood (although I won't tell you any more about that character, in case you haven't seen the series yet).  He's the one with the really strong cajun accent.

Long story short, most of that isn't important.  However, he was playing guitar in the doctor's lounge I think, entertaining the girl (his daughter) while the sister was being treated.  He starts strumming and singing, and I had to check my drawers.  Turns out he was singing "Southside of Heaven" by Ryan Bingham.  Then, at the end of the show, oddly they played more of him (the actor) singing the song.  I thought it was weird they didn't use the Bingham version at that point.  Either way, I guess having a fairly big time indie (edit: major label in sheep's clothing) label can help out your career pretty well.

(I picked the most ridiculous picture I could find)

I've had an ongoing like/hate relationship with Ryan Bingham for some time now.  He came up in the Texas Country scene (hate), but has largely made his way out of that scene (like).  He signed with Lost Highway (like), but his lyrics (at times), can be a bit cliched (hate).  Nonetheless, he is growing on me.  I can't deny that "Southside of Heaven" is a good song, as are "Long Way From Georgia" and "Hard Times."  (I can't believe I'm writing this.)

Apparently he's from Hobbs, NM, which also is allowing me to give him more of a chance, given the west Texas connection (kind of like I do for Joe Ely sometimes - remember "Nacho Mama"?).  On that same note though, I'm wondering why his line "I've been a desperado in West Texas for so long Lord I need a change" wasn't actually written as "I've been a desperado in Hobbs, New Mexico for so long Lord I need a change."  

Oh I'm just kidding around now.

On a completely, couldn't be more unrelated note, can someone please tell me what you think of this band Portugal. The Man.?  They are on tour right now, and I'm liking what I hear right now.  I mainly just need to find out if they have gotten recent attention because various members grew up in Wasilla, Alaska, or if it's actually because they are good.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This is probably not the last you'll hear of this

Just heard about a Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger. If this goes through, I would expect that concert ticket fees will become more expensive than the tickets themselves.

I'm going to have to calm down a bit before I write more about this one. 50 years and 9 days after the music died, I'm pretty sure this will ensure that music stays dead forever.

Monday, February 9, 2009

You say it best

I caught about half of the Grammy's on Sunday night, and given the fact that I was staying in a place with DVR access (i.e., not my house), I was able to watch the highlights in about 15 minutes. 

It was quite impressive to see Radiohead onstage doing their thing, even though 99% of people watching probably didn't get it.  (Not sure I even get Radiohead these days, but I still respect the hell out of them.)  And I'm guessing the USC marching band members are walking tall on campus today, at least if they made it out of bed this morning.  Rumor has it that there was a serious Dr. Pepper kegger after the performance, so it's likely things got a little crazy.  

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, with T-Bone Burnett, put on a pretty good performance as well.  Whatever you think about that pairing, the harmonies are amazing, and the Grammy performance was a perfect example.  And let's also not forget that T-Bone produced both Bringing Down the Horse, by the Wallflowers, AND August and Everything After, by Counting Crows, so he can still do pretty much anything he wants.

I guess I'm impressed that the aforementioned duo won Album of the Year, given that they are still on independent Rounder Records.  Rounder has been around a while and is probably one of the bigger independent labels (soon to be bigger with the press this win will get them), but nonetheless, they are independent.  Quite impressive really that you can take a 60 year old ex-biggest-rock-star-in-the-world, and a one hit wonder bluegrass singer and make them into multiple Grammy winners.  I have to ask though, did Alison have part of her body removed to fit into that dress?  And also, can someone tell me how they won Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammys for an album that came out October 23, 2007?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Twice the sin, 1/4 the time

I've found myself recently liking two songs, both titled "Sin City." One is by the relatively well known Flying Burrito Brothers, arguably one of the progenitors of alternative country, while the other is from Limbeck, a newer and maybe less relatively well known band.

The FBB's version is classic, and probably my favorite version of it is actually performed by Beck and Lucinda Williams. Limbeck, whom I might characterize as a decreasingly alt country band, clearly has a bit of a Burrito Brothers/Gram Parsons influence, and their Sin City song is probably just as good.

Here's what I'd like to see, in a live show, from some band willing to take on the challenge. I think these songs have a potential to be melded into one in a fairly cohesive way, maybe like when older bands put 3 or 4 songs into a medley, but in a more respectable way. The biggest problem is that one is in 3/4 time and the other in 4/4. Yes, quite a problem, but not an insurmountable one.

Be creative, be bold, but by all means, please do a good job.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I've seen it all and I don't want to see anymore

Above: Robert Frost statue after stopping by woods on a snowy evening

I was walking across campus today and saw an old man with a camera set up on a tripod, taking pictures near the Robert Frost statue. Hmm, I thought, wonder what this old bearded man is up to. As I neared him, I saw him down on his knees fitting a pair of Crocs onto Bobby Frost's feet.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  Not even that I consider Robert Frost some bastion of anti-capitalism or anything, but this was just pure Boulder ridiculous, plain and simple.  This is truly confirmation that capitalism is corrupting our elderly.

If Frost was still alive for this incident, I think he would have had to tack on a few extra miles before he slept.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Has it really been 50 years?

Kudos to a number of national publications for noting the 50 year anniversary of the "The Day the Music Died." Rolling Stone, Time, CNN, and Texas Monthly all ran stories with roughly the same theme, retelling the story from various accounts. Hard to believe that Buddy would only be 72 years old today. In fact, many people involved in Buddy's life are still around: Maria Elena, Tommy Allsup, his Brothers, and some of the former Crickets can all be seen around in various places.

While I understand all the nostalgia surrounding the Day the Music Died, it was more of a marker for when everything began.  He influenced so many in his short tenure as a recording artist and will forever hold a place in the progression of rock and roll from the 60s to today.  Lubbock may be the place most impacted by Buddy's death, because if Buddy had not passed away, he very well might have put Lubbock in the limelight in the long term.  Instead, Lubbock became a place where young musicians could make it as long as they moved away to L.A. or Austin.  And now it's a town where the biggest consistent draws are revue shows showcasing music of the 70s, featuring the same musicians who performed in the revue of Music of the 60s 2 months before.  

Finally this leads us to Tech's student run radio station KTXT, maybe the last major cultural force in the promotion of good music in Lubbock, and it's closing due to...well, no one is exactly sure why it was closed down still.   Lubbock is still a place where you can find great bands, but the problem is no one knows where to find it, at least not on a consistent basis.  The city exists in a self imposed music vacuum, where the only major media outlets cater to the news reading and watching crowd, i.e. the 40-70 year old demographic.  No alternative music newspaper exists.  No major blog covers upcoming shows.  No indie radio station exists to promote live music.

So there you have it Lubbock.  50 years later your claim to fame is a list of many respectable musicians who moved away and rarely came back, because there was hardly a place to play as much as anything.  Supporting local music isn't even that hard, but you've blown just about every opportunity you had to make it work.  Well, I guess it doesn't matter anymore.