Monday, November 22, 2010

Will Johnson - Marfa Book Company, 12/02/10

For obvious reasons, West Texas doesn't get the volume of high quality shows that one can find in Austin, but that's not to say that we don't get some amazing shows here and there that equal anything you might find on the I-35 corridor. Case in point, on Thursday, Dec. 2, Will Johnson will be in Marfa to play a show at the Marfa Book Company along with supporting act Candles (thanks to showlush for the heads-up on this one).

I started to say "Will Johnson, of Centro-matic fame," although these days I think it may be more accurate to say "Will Johnson, of Will Johnson fame." We've spoken previously of his live performances at the Ramble Creek SXSW party and his solo house concert tour with Anders Parker, both of which were simply awe-inspiring shows. In short, this is an opportunity West Texans shouldn't pass up. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Two Birds with One Stone: Fallon and Springsteen

Two thoughts to pass along. First, Springsteen was on Fallon last night. If you missed it, check out Hulu, because it was amazing. Not convinced? Well what if I told you that he played two songs with the Roots as his backing band? Yes, it was amazing. The interview was great. Hope you catch the re-run or the online version.

Secondly, through all the Conan/Leno business, a really funny thing happened. Jimmy Fallon became the best late night host on network TV. It's too early to compare him to Conan's new TBS venture, but the important comparison I think, is that his show is far more entertaining than Letterman now. His quirky humor has basically made it such that every night is like an SNL episode. Sure he cracks up at some of his own jokes, but that's what is so funny about Jimmy Fallon in the first place. Jimmy Fallon laughing in the middle of skits with Will Ferrell basically saved SNL in the 2000s in my opinion. I honestly did not think I would like him as a Late Night host, but I have been proven very wrong on that thought.

I don't know that he'll ever be in a position to take Leno's spot (and doubt he would want to), but as long as he can keep doing what he is doing in his current spot, I'll be more than happy. I used to love Letterman, but his humor is just a formula. Same thing night after night. What I love about Fallon is you just don't know what he's going to do or say next. I don't expect late night talk shows to be this funny, but he consistently is.

Here's, um, Neil Young performing Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair Back and Forth" with a very special guest from the 1980s.

Arcade Fire - Suburbs and SNL Performance

Well don't I feel uncool. It's taken me over 3 months to give the Arcade Fire's Suburbs a listen. This is a product of being busy and also not really ever getting into Neon Bible that much.

Apparently I just needed a little spark though, and this past weekend's SNL was just the thing. Check out the performance of "Sprawl II" below. Going back to the record, I can't believe how good it is, and to think, it's been sitting on my iPod for months. Nonetheless, I know there's also not much new that can be said about the album at this point, but you should definitely give it a listen if you haven't.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

West Texas area music calendar - 11/14/10

11/18 - Bart Crow - Rockin' Rodeo
11/20 - Casey Donahue - Dos Amigos
11/24 - Stoney LaRue - Dos Amigos
11/26 - Aaron Watson - Dos Amigos
11/26 - Bleu Edmondson - Graham Central Station
12/01 - Michael Martin Murphey, "The Murph" - Ector Theatre
12/03 - Jody Nix - Stardust Club
12/9 - ZZ Top - Ector County Coliseum
12/16 - Micky & the Motorcars - Rockin' Rodeo
01/07 - Thrift Store Cowboys and the Driftwood Singers - The Pine Box, 510 S. Big Spring St., Midland

11/19 - Ray Wylie Hubbard, Band of Heathens - Alpine Art Walk
11/19 - Ray Wylie Hubbard - Railroad Blues
11/24 - Sock Hop with the Royal Butchers - Ballroom Marfa
12/02 - Will Johnson - Gallery at Marfa Book Company
12/03 - Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - Padre's
12/04 - Soul Track Mind - Railroad Blues
12/18 - Max Stalling - Railroad Blues

San Angelo
11/19 - Charlie Robison - Graham Central Station
11/24 - Chris Duarte - Sealy Flats Blues Inn
12/17 - Max Stalling - The House of Fifi Dubois

11/19 - The Lusitania, Estelline, Colt Classics - Bash's on Main
11/28 - The Satin Peaches, Coppola, and Naked Pictures - Bash's on Main
11/30 - Birds & Batteries - Bash's on Main
12/09 - Thrift Store Cowboys, Brandon Adams and the Sad Bastards - The Blue Light

11/20 - Jamie Richards - Belle Opry House
11/26 - Mo Robson - Belle Opry House
12/04 - Paul Eason - Belle Opry House
12/10 - Blue Broussard - Belle Opry House
12/17 - Zach Harmon - Belle Opry House
01/01 - Jeremiah Houston - Belle Opry House

As always, send me show info if you've got it, with all relevant details. The above shows are basically just a quick sampling of what's going on. Call venues before traveling.

Mostly Texas country I know. That's why you need to email me with other events.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BBC Documentary - Hotel California: L.A. From the Byrds to the Eagles

L.A. music blog Aquarium Drunkard recently brought to my attention to a 2007 documentary done by the BBC that highlights the development of the Los Angeles music scene in the late 1960s. Hotel California: L.A. From the Byrds to the Eagles is currently available on Youtube, although I'm not entirely sure exactly how long that will last. In short, the film covers the early idealism of the country and folk-rock scene that emerged in Laurel Canyon, but which transformed into a corporate and money-driven scene in a relatively brief period of time.

I know what you're thinking after reading the title - "I hate the f***in' Eagles." Of course I can't argue about such an opinion. In fact, the documentary is very straightforward in presenting criticisms of the Eagles from a number of different musicians for their approach to music. Despite the title's mention of the Eagles, I should emphasize that the documentary covers a great deal of musicians before the Eagles, including Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (in various groups and solo), the highly regarded Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Gram Parsons, and others. In the style of recent documentaries on Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt, the documentary makes great use of many of the musicians and industry folks who were involved in the scene at that time. The result is a film that thoroughly documents an extremely fascinating time in American music. And as I always try to mention when applicable, the video even contains a bit of a West Texas connection in featuring J.D. Souther, who was raised in Amarillo.

The film is currently available on youtube in 7 parts, starting with the one below:

New Hayes Carll! KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) out 02/15/11

Great news! New Hayes Carll Album, KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) will be released Feb. 15, 2010. And no, I don't have any idea what the title means. Preorder is available now here (or click the image).

Friday, November 5, 2010

64 Years of Nix Music - Big Spring Stampede, 11/13/10

I wish I had more time to give this event a proper write-up, as it fully deserves it, but having had a number of things going on at work I wasn't able to do so. Nonetheless, I'll tell you what I do know:

This Saturday, November 13th, the Nix family celebrates 64 years of music at their very own venue, the Stampede in Big Spring, Texas. The venue was established by West Texas Swing icon Hoyle Nix, and is maintained today by his son Jody. Hoyle Nix may be best known to the mainstream for writing the song "Big Balls in Cowtown," which was recorded by Bob Wills and George Strait, among others. The family has quietly maintained perhaps the most important musical legacy in West Texas, so I must recommend you make the effort to check out Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys at the Stampede. Entrance is $15.00, and you can make reservations at 432-267-2060. Catch Jody Nix at one of his other regional dates if you don't live within driving distance of Big Spring.

Image Source: Vance Lane

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Oh My Sweet Carolina" - Ryan Adams w/ Mandy Moore

Apparently it's just a soundcheck, but still simply amazing. Not sure if it will stay posted forever, so watch it while it's hot. Via RodBlackhurst.