Saturday, September 24, 2011

Not the best post, not the last post, but kind of both for a while

So the old Windfarm has been pretty inactive these days, for various reasons, among those chiefly the day job and living in a cultural desert. Thanks to both of my readers for hanging out the last 3-plus years. It's a bit sad to me that I have fallen off of writing so much in such an amazing year for new music (seriously, please check out Death of a Decade by Ha Ha Tonka). Nonetheless, rather than be that blog that just stopped abruptly, I wanted to put something up as a placeholder of sorts. I'll probably still post from time to time when Jason Aldean puts out a new country rap song, but otherwise, why keep just putting up music calendars in a place without music (Marfa excepted, of course)?

I still use Twitter under the Windfarmtx name, actually more lately than ever before, and you will no doubt find me talking an embarrassing amount about things like college football. I'll still tweet about the occasional good local show, but like everything else on twitter, each will fade into obscurity an hour or so after it is posted. For everyone's benefit, no doubt.

In the meantime, as I said, not the best post or the last post, but sort of, solely on account of this video. I'm not the first to tell anyone about it, but these three and a half minutes basically summarize everything that Windfarm was around for in the first place. Easily the best musical moment of 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

El Cosmico: Trans Pecos Festival of Music and Love

So it's probably a bit late for you to make a last second trip to Marfa for the music festival starting at El Cosmico tomorrow, but I had to post about it just because the poster is pretty cool. If you go, stick around for the Sunday charity breakfast benefiting Marfa Public Radio.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Mt. Inadale release & release show - ((sounder)) 7"

Austin based Mt. Inadale Records is pumping out the releases these days like mixtapes. Just a few short months after the Monahans/Sad Accordions EP, the label is introducing a 7" blue vinyl from ((sounder)), the music project of Mike Aho.

Track listing:
1. We'll Turn the Coffins into Gardens
2. Don't Bring it to Life

The release will be on baby blue vinyl with a limited pressing of 500 copies. The songs were co-produced and mixed by Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids). Art by Travis Millard. Pre-orders are going out this week!

This Saturday, 9/24, Austin folks should catch a Mt. Inadale deluxe release party, featuring both ((sounder)) and Sad Accordions, for a double release show of both the ((sounder)) and Sad Accordions vinyl. It's also a rare opportunity to see Sad Accordions in Austin. The show is at Mohawk. Doors at 9, show at 10 PM. Cover $6/$8.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Explosions in the Sky - Marfa, Sept. 15th (FREE SHOW!)

Austin instrumental rock band Explosions in the Sky will be making a long awaited return to West Texas this Thursday, Sept. 15th. The band will play a free show at Vizcaino Park in Marfa, with opening act Twin Sister. The band has been on tour recently supporting their latest record, the outstanding Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. EITS shows in west Texas are typically few and far between, so don't miss out on the opportunity to catch them this time. The show is free, and reports say "Doors at 7 PM" although, I'm not sure when the music actually starts.

Check out the recently released music video for "Be Comfortable, Creature," created by Paul Logan.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Music at the Permian Basin Fair

I really dropped the ball on promoting this, but the Permian Basin Fair this year (Sept. 9-17) is bringing in a couple of solid concerts this weekend and next.  Admission is $10 for adults.  Come out for some good music and stick around for a corn dog.

First of all, tonight, Sept. 10th, Turnpike Troubadours will be playing at 9:30 PM.  These guys are really blowing up all over the radio, and recently sold out their first show at Gruene Hall.  Plus, their albums Diamonds and Gasoline is a really solid listen.

Photo credit Jon Voight

Turnpike Troubadours - "Whole Damn Town" 

Next week, on Sept. 17th, Reckless Kelly will be playing the fair at 7 PM.  RK are long term stalwarts of the Americana/Red Dirt scene, and will be releasing their new record Good Luck and True Love on Sept. 13th.

Reckless Kelly - "Crazy Eddie's Last Hurrah"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

West Texas area music calendar - August-September

8/26 - Eli Young Band - Dos Amigos
8/27 - Jamey Johnson - Dos Amigos
9/3 - Charlie Shafter - Lone Star Bar
9/10 - Turnpike Troubadours - Permian Basin Fair
9/15 - Granger Smith - Rockin' Rodeo
9/17 - Reckless Kelly - Permian Basin Fair
9/17 - Dierks Bentley - Rockhounds Baseball Park
9/22 - Styx - Chapparral Center
9/23-24 - Lone Star Music Fest - Midland, feat. Cody Canada & the Departed, Wade Bowen, Kevin Fowler, Chris Knight, No Justice, & more
9/29 - Kyle Park - Rockin' Rodeo
9/30 - Stoney Larue - Dos Amigos
10/15 - Josh Abbott - Dos Amigos
10/16 - Darius Rucker - Dos Amigos
10/27 - Bush, Chevelle, Filter - Dos Amigos

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
8/25 - Deke Dickerson & the Ecco-fonics - Railroad Blues
9/2 - JP & the Gilberts - Railroad Blues
9/4 - Joe King Carrasco & the Crowns - Railroad Blues
9/9 - James McMurtry - Padre's
9/15 - Explosions in the Sky, Twin Sister - Vizcaino Park in Marfa (FREE)
9/22-25 - Trans-Pecos Festival of Music & Love - El Cosmico; feat. Patty Griffin, Barbara Lynn, Erika Wennerstrom, Adam Bork, Amy Cook, Ben Kweller, Tift Merritt, the Black Angels
10/8 - Del Castillo - Railroad Blues
11/11-12 - 1st Annual Jimmy LaFave Songwriter Rendezvous - Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa; feat. Jimmy LaFave, Sam Baker, Slaid Cleaves, Kevin Welch, Malcolm Holcomb, Gretchen Peters, John Fulbright, Ray Bonneville, Will Kimbrough

8/25 - Jason Boland - Blue Light
8/27 - Reckless Kelly - Wild West
8/31 - Thrift Store Cowboys - Blue Light
9/16 - Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - Blue Light
9/22 - John Evans Band - Blue Light
9/23 - Ray Wylie Hubbard - Blue Light
9/25 - Dirty River Boys - Blue Light

San Angelo
9/15 - Two Tons of Steel - The House of Fifi Dubois
9/22 - Turnpike Troubadours - Blaine's
9/24 - Los Lonely Boys - San Angelo Coliseum


9/21 - Mindy Smith - Moody Coliseum
9/23 - Guy Clark - Paramount Theatre

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Richard Buckner - Our Blood

Today marks the release of Richard Buckner's Our Blood, his first release in 5 years. Buckner has received a great deal of praise throughout his career, and the hiatus has no doubt been tough for his loyal fanbase.

Richard Buckner - "Traitor"

The beauty of having a new release from Buckner is that we have the chance to hear from him in interviews. As an artist who rarely, if ever, talks while performing, it is fortunate that he has been quite generous with the interviews he has done leading up to this record. You can find a number of them out there, although this one from Magnet Magazine is one of the better ones I have seen. In it, you can find a brief summation of the reasons behind his 5 year gap between albums.

To put in perspective how long ago Meadow was released, the vinyl resurgence among indie labels was not yet very far along and it was available only on CD and mp3. Therefore, Our Blood is, to my knowledge, his first full-length album available on vinyl. It was worth the wait.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rodney Parker - Live in the Living Room

(photo credit Adam Neese)

Denton-based Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward have been gaining steam for some time now, touring the Texas circuit for a number of years, and as of late, taking over the airwaves as well. Parker's single "The Apology" is the latest to find its way into the Texas Music Chart, and follows on the heels of "Guitars," which has seen a tremendous amount of airplay in the past year.

Reports indicate that the follow-up to Parker's 2010 EP The Apology, Part 1, will see a release just before the end of this year, and Part 2 will reportedly be a full-length record. In the meantime, however, Parker is releasing a stripped down live record, Live in the Living Room. Spanning 13 tracks, this album was guessed the band's living room. Using no amplification, they played and recorded these songs in front of a small audience and, showcasing their strong musicianship as a touring band, the band chose to release the record as is, with no overdubs or alterations.

This record should provide an interesting contrast to the band's typically supercharged electric show and hopefully will tide fans over until the next installment of The Apology later this year. 50 Peso die-hards will also be pleased to find that material for this album stretches all the way back to the band's 2005 debut, Blow the Soot Out, and follows with select tracks from subsequent releases. In addition, the album features two unreleased songs, "Skin and Bones" and "Where the Bright Lights Glow Me." Parker & the Pesos continue to prove themselves as one of the top emerging bands in the regional Americana scene, and this release should do nothing but help their profile as they continue the drive toward greater notoriety.

Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - "Skin and Bones"

Track Listing for Live in the Living Room (Release date 8/2):

1. Firefight
2. Highway Blues
3. Guitars
4. Ghost
5. Where the Bright Lights Glow Me
6. Bring Me My Gun
7. The Ship
8. Atlantic City
9. The Apology
10. I'm Never Getting Married
11. Tell Me What It Is
12. Skin and Bones
13. 10 lb. Test

Pre-Order the record at or iTunes (or basically any other major retailer, for that matter).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sad Accordions/Monahans Split 12" giveaway

Austin based Mt. Inadale Records recently offered up its second release as a label, this time with releases from Austin bands Monahans and the Sad Accordions. The 12" vinyl split features two songs from each band. For Monahans, the release follows last year's 2010 Recordings, with the outstanding "Bridge Commander" and the instrumental "Stationed." For the Sad Accordions, this release follows on the heels of the band's 2011 digital EP the colors and the kill. The band's contributions to this release are the previously unreleased "Denial Takes the Train" and "Sweet Cocaine." The bands complement each other very well, and while their respective "sounds" differ to a reasonable extent, they blend together nicely on this record.

This release is an excellent listen throughout, and features the added bonus of a digital download of all four songs, which I appreciate, because my record player always skips when I try to use it in the car.

Mt. Inadale has been kind enough to provide me with a promo copy to give away through the blog. Follow the instructions below and, after the deadline, I will randomly select one winner to receive a free copy of this release.

Here is how you enter:
1. First, check to see if you live in the U.S. I apologize for the inconvenience, but due to postal fees, I can only mail within the United States.
2. Next, send me an email at windfarmblog (at) (of course, replace the "at" with @)
3. In that email, include your state of residence
4. Also in that email, tell me who is the famous country/folk songwriter that is from the town of Monahans, TX
5. I will close the contest at 11:59 PM on Monday, July 25th, so make sure to get your email in by then.

Of course, none of your personal information (not even your name), will ever be posted on the blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Preview: The Lusitania, Kentucky Knife Fight in Midland, 7/19

It remains rare that Midland/Odessa gets a quality indie-rock show through town. No offense to the metal or punk fans, as I do appreciate them supporting their own form of independent music, but it's just not my thing.

Thankfully, our all-ages venue in the area, The Pine Box (510 S. Big Spring St., Midland, TX), is fairly open to most any music style. This Tuesday, July 19th, brings an outstanding show through town, featuring El Paso band The Lusitania, along with St. Louis based Kentucky Knife Fight.

If you have followed this blog much in the past, you know I have long been a champion of The Lusitania's work. Their latest release, last year's Rain & Rivers, was an outstanding effort, and since its release, the band has spent a good deal of time out on the road supporting fellow El Pasoan Jim Ward, of At the Drive-In, Sparta, & Sleepercar notoriety. In fact, after a short run of their own through the Midwest, they will connect again with Ward for a few more weeks of shows.

Kentucky Knife Fight brings a style of music that combines a diverse array of musical styles. Their Facebook describes the sound as combining "bluegrass, blues, and punk," which actually all present themselves fairly clearly upon a few listens. I might have had difficulty singling out those three influences on my own, so it was nice that they did the work for me. Either way, definitely worth checking out.

It's a Tuesday night in Midland, folks, what else do you have to do?

UPDATE: Here is the facebook page for the event. Tons of bands playing. So many that I am too lazy to look them all up.

The Lusitania - "Your Style" (kinda sorta NSFW, just sayin')

If your geography is conducive to such a thing, you can also catch these two bands, plus Estelline, at the Blue Light in Lubbock on Wed., 7/20.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ha Ha Tonka - Mile Marker Session

One of the best albums of the year thus far has come from the still relatively unknown Bloodshot Records band Ha Ha Tonka, with their record Death of a Decade. The band will be headlining at the Denver Underground Music Showcase next weekend, which in my opinion is one of the better festivals around for discovering new talent without the oppressive crowds or horrible parking.

Of course, the UMS appearance doesn't do me a ton of good this year because I now live 12 hours from Denver. What is helpful is the fact that the Denver Post blog Hey Reverb recently posted a Mile Marker session with Ha Ha Tonka that includes live versions of three of the band's best songs for free download.

Go here to download the tracks. And if you like what you hear, check out the full album Death of a Decade, as I think you will be pleased at the strength of the album as a whole. And if you are in Denver, by all means, check this band out live next weekend.

Ha Ha Tonka - "Usual Suspects"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Texas Forever

Tomorrow night closes the book on one of the great network TV series of recent times. Friday Night Lights was fortunate to see 5 seasons, and tomorrow will be the series finale, and I think the expectations for this episode are fairly high. Many who have never watched the show may still think it is just a show about football, and while that is partially true, the football games have come to hold decreased significance as the seasons have progressed. Rather, it has been a show about small town life (including, of course, the dominance of football in said small town) with strong characters and largely realistic story lines. While it isn't possible to close out every story line, nor would that be what anyone wants, I think we're all hoping for some degree of closure.

I'll be pulling for old No. 33.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

3 Albums with West Texas Roots That You Should Be Listening To

Amanda Shires -
Carrying Lightning

Amanda Shires' music career up to this point exemplifies the concept of "paying your dues." That is, she has worked tirelessly to establish herself as not only an outstanding musician, but also as one of the more promising songwriters on the Americana touring circuit. Simply put, her time to receive wider notoriety is now. Shires' musical background is widely available online, so I'll skip the recap, as her current album is really the element of interest here. Texas Music magazine recently referred to Carrying Lightning as the Car Wheels on a Gravel Road of Shires' career, a Lucinda Williams reference that carries some serious weight. The album has received additional praise from the likes of SPIN, The Wall Street Journal, and Texas Monthly, because, well, it is that good. Lightning finds Shires defining her voice as a songwriter and provides us with a first look at the great potential her musical career holds.

"Ghostbird" (feat. Neal Casal)

Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Explosions in the Sky is a band comprised of 3/4 West Texans, although in actuality the band itself hails from Austin. Nonetheless, the influence of the West Texas landscape in EITS' music is hard to ignore. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care finds the band in top form for their sixth studio release, and as an overall composition, is among the band's best work to-date. The single "Trembling Hands" finds the band introducing vocal loops into a song, a rarity in EITS' work, although they appear not as lyrics but as an additional layer of instrumentation. Another rarity for the band is playing shows in West Texas, yet the band is crossing that boundary as well, with a show booked in Marfa for September.

"Trembling Hands"

Estelline -

Among Lubbock's newest up-and-comers, Estelline have been establishing their name in the local scene for a few years now. This spring found the band releasing their first album, a self-titled effort that suggests that the legacy of great original music in Lubbock continues to grow. At 15 songs, the band lays everything out on the table, and by-and-large, they deliver with a very strong record. Among the strongest are "William Jones" and "Jaylynn," which perhaps best showcase the talent of the band and suggest the emergence of a sound that is their own. Future work will no doubt be the ultimate test of the band, but for a first album, Estelline has an excellent start.

"Jaylynn" (acoustic on the Todd Klein show, AM 580)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Old 97s: Hitchhike to the (2nd) Grand Theatre

In honor of the release of the Old 97s' ninth studio album tomorrow, The Grand Theatre, Vol. 2, I spent some time compiling my personal ranking of all of the band's studio albums. I have included the new album in my ranking, thanks to the availability of the full stream on

I liken my ranking all the Old 97s' albums to asking a parent of 9 to rank their kids in order. Not that the Old 97s albums are like my children, but I have a hard time talking poorly about any of them. And in that respect, being low on the list here doesn't really mean an album was bad, but rather, just not as good, in my mind, as the ones ahead of it. Thus, the lowest ranking album here ranks well above a great deal of other music for me. I made a concerted effort to have no ties, because if I did consider them, then why bother making the list to begin with?

For those of you already skeptical of my competency, credentials, or qualifications to rank the band's catalog, I can only say that I have been a fan since I was 16, which was some time ago (pre-Fight Songs, to be specific), and I have followed the band and its releases throughout that period. On that note, I welcome you to discuss/challenge/argue the rankings in the comments section below.

9. Blame It On Gravity

Somebody had to be last, right? I do not dislike this album by any means, but I simply do not go back and listen to it a great deal. I love "The One" and "Color of a Lonely Heart is Blue" as well as a few others. It was a close call between this and number 8, but my reasoning is explained below.

8. Drag It Up

"Won't Be Home" is easily one of the best 97s songs of all time, and even more importantly a staple of the live show. Other notable tracks include "No Mother" and "Valium Waltz." However, as an entire album, this isn't one I come back to.

7. The Grand Theatre, Vol. 1

The first installment of The Grand Theatre was hailed by many as the band's finest work in years. While I generally agree with that statement and enjoy the album, it has not become a favorite of mine. "Every Night is Friday Night (Without You)" and "Champaign, Illinois" are among the best tracks, and most definitely stand alongside the band's best work.

6. Satellite Rides
Here is where the rankings got a little tricky. What it came down to was a comparison of my personal favorites on this and the next album on the list. I still remember hearing Rhett play "Designs On You" solo at Trees in Dallas before the album came out, and that song probably remains my favorite on the album. Satellite Rides is a great record from start to finish, with other favorites being "Rollerskate Skinny" and "Up the Devil's Pay."

5. Hitchhike to Rhome
The record that started this whole thing. Pretty awesome the band is still around 8 albums later. The songs on this record are pure classics to me: "Hands Off," "If My Heart Was a Car," and "Desperate Times." I have told the story before, but a formative music memory of mine is the first time I heard Rhett play "Wish the Worst" in Dallas with the entire Gypsy Tea Room singing along.

4. Fight Songs
Fight Songs holds a place for me that is tied as much to the time of its release as anything else. It is one of the first new releases I remember being truly excited for. That is, I remember the promo for it and thinking how much I couldn't wait for it to come out, followed by making a special trip to buy it the first week it was out (pre-download days, kiddos). Nostalgia aside, it is a great album, although perhaps poppier than even the band wanted it to be. As much as anything, this album is #4 because of the fact that it has my two favorite Murry songs: "Crash on the Barrelhead" and "Valentine." Pure gold.

3. The Grand Theatre, Vol. 2
"Hey look, it's the new guy." Yes, it may seem a bit premature to rank the new album this high, but I think the songs on this record are incredibly strong. Maybe I do have a bit of "new car fever" over it, but by and large, I think this one is going to have great lasting power. The first three songs are near-perfect, and the rest of the album follows closely behind. I put it at #4 after a couple of listens, and a few more later, it moved to #3. This record stands as a real testament to the band's relevance in indie music, and I hope they see some great success with it. Perhaps it will vault them to the higher level of notoriety they have long deserved.

2. Wreck Your Life
In my estimation, this was the album that firmly established Old 97s' sound. I have to emphasize that this album's rank is not about nostalgia. It is simply a legendary album. Besides the obvious crowd favorite "Victoria," it is filled with amazing songs like "Dressing Room Walls," "Bel-Air," "Old Familiar Steam," and "The Other Shoe." Now out with bonus tracks as a reissue, this album is an essential for any fan.

1. Too Far to Care
I could go on forever about this album, but for the time being, I won't. Perhaps you can expect a more detailed exposition on it next June on its 15th anniversary. In short, Too Far to Care changed everything for me. Start to finish, I maintain it is among the best albums ever made.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ryan Adams & Mandy Moore Collaboration & more

I don't post a lot of breaking news type of posts because, well, why would I? Nonetheless, I was pretty excited about these songs. In their first official collaboration together, Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore have recorded the song below, "Empty Room" to go on a tour-only 7" with a b-side of "Nutshell," an Alice in Chains Cover. "Tour only" in this case means European tour, at least as of now, so I suppose those of us here in the U.S. will have to get by with the digital versions of the songs. Thanks to Stereogum for the heads up.

Ryan Adams & Mandy Moore - "Empty Room"

Ryan Adams - "Nutshell"

Old 97s - Lubbock, TX, 6/11/11

The Old 97s came to Lubbock Texas for (according to my records) only the 2nd time in their 18 year tenure as a band. Even more surprisingly, they came to the typically "Texas Country" venue, The Blue Light. Of course, they could not return to the venue they played the first time, Liquid 2000, as it closed long ago, and the building has since been torn down and made into the new Buddy & Maria Elena Holly Park.

The Blue Light is a venue that, to a large degree, has a built-in crowd, although not necessarily built-in appreciation of good music. That is, it doesn't matter what dog and pony show is playing on any given night, because everyone and their dog seems to show up and pony up the cover charge [you're welcome]. Thus, throughout the night, I watched as countless nightclub-goers came to the entrance with small-town-big-city hair and heels, or alternatively, pressed western shirts and belt buckles, only to be turned away because the show was sold out.

Speaking of the sell-out, the Blue Light is easily the smallest venue in which I have ever had the chance to see the Old 97s, so I won't complain. In fact, the sound was well done and the show went off without a hitch as far as I could tell. What was interesting was watching the crowd dynamic and trying to figure out in what capacity many of the attendees actually knew of the Old 97s. Were they huge fans of The Break-Up? Perhaps they got engaged using the song "Question" as a soundtrack? Maybe they thought Old 97s were a hack Johnny Cash cover band? The young demographic suggested that maybe some were Tech students originally from Dallas whose parents listened to the Old 97s when they were growing up.

It is hard to say where everyone came from, but the crowd produced an interesting evening of music for sure. Opener Brandon Adams & the Sad Bastards got an excellent response, and in spite of the odd choice of covering a Whiskeytown song when opening for Old 97s, it seemed many of the attendees were actually fans of Adams as much or more than the 97s. Sarah Jaffe was the second opener, and received a good response, although the noisy Blue Light was not exactly the ideal forum for her music.

Old 97s took the stage to an energetic crowd, quickly breaking into a couple of numbers off of their most recent record, The Grand Theatre, Vol. 1. [Stream The Grand Theatre, Vol. 2 at] What was unclear throughout the night was how many of the fans actually knew any of the music. Not that concertgoers are required to know the words to all the songs, but early on it was evident that the crowd was most responsive to the fast paced rockers. In that respect, long time fan favorites such as "Stoned" and "Wish the Worst" were met with little enthusiasm, whereas a Dallas or Austin show would have found a packed room vigorously bellowing "Picked up the phone book and called all your friends/I just wanna know where you've been.'"

In short, the band recognized that this was a "college town" crowd, and they went with it. Clearly they have learned to just go with the flow after 18+ years in the business. That is, they acted like they couldn't be happier to be there, talked about drinking, talked about West Texas, and overall kept the crowd interested. Less seasoned bands might have pouted at the crowd's lack of overall knowledge of their catalog, but the 97s showed no such lower lip. The band has tended in the past to pull at least a song from each of their albums, although I believe on this night they neglected the material from Satellite Rides on the setlist.

Rockers "Won't Be Home" and "Timebomb" drew the crowd into the scene most resembling a singalong that was to be found all night, the former of which I found odd because it is on one of the lesser-listened-to albums, although I suppose it is still among their best songs in its own right. Surprisingly, the show did not see Rhett or Murry play "Question" or "Valentine" acoustically, yet the band did a customary encore and promised to return to Lubbock in the future. You can bet I'll be there with all my bros when that day comes.

The Grand Theatre
A State of Texas
W. TX Teardrops
Lonely Holiday
Champaign, IL
Please Hold On While the Train is Moving
Crash on the Barrelhead
Big Brown Eyes
(new) Bright Spark (See What I Mean)
Wish the Worst
Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)
Won't Be Home
Four Leaf Clover

Barrier Reef
Dance With Me

Seriously, check out the stream of The Grand Theatre, Vol. 2 at KXT. The record will be out July 5th on MP3 and CD, supposedly to be followed by a double vinyl with both Grand Theatre releases at some point.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

West Texas area music calendar - July-August

Email me with corrections/additions if you've got them.

6/29 - Bart Crow Band - Graham Central Station
7/4 - Texas Tornadoes - Firecracker Fandango, Downtown Odessa
7/7 - Roger Creager - Rockin' Rodeo
7/13 - Bleu Edmondson - Graham Central Station
7/15 - Pat Green - Graham Central Station
7/19 - The Lusitania, Kentucky Knife Fight - Pine Box
7/20 - No Justice - Graham Central Station
7/23 - Jody Nix - Stardust
8/26 - Eli Young Band - Dos Amigos
8/27 - Jamey Johnson - Dos Amigos
9/17 - Reckless Kelly - Permian Basin Fair

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
6/30 - Follow that Bird - West Texas Utilities Building
7/4 - The Hickoids, Rice Moorehead - Padre's
7/8 - Cass McCombs - Crowley Theater; presented by Marfa Book Co. & Ballroom Marfa
7/8 - James McMurtry - Railroad Blues
7/15 - David Garza - Padre's
7/22 - Dale Watson - Railroad Blues
7/23 - Dale Watson - Thunderbird Motel
8/5 - The Resentments - Padre's
8/5 - Doug Moreland - Railroad Blues
8/6 - The Resentments - Railroad Blues
8/6 - Doug Moreland - Padre's
9/2 - The Warm Guns - Padre's
9/2 - JP & the Gilberts - Railroad Blues
9/9 - James McMurtry - Padre's
9/15 - Explosions in the Sky, Twin Sister - Vizcaino Park in Marfa

6/29 - Union Specific - Bash Riprocks
6/30 - Rod Picott - Blue Light
7/9 - Rob Baird - Wild West
7/20 - Lusitania, Estelline, Kentucky Knife Fight - Blue Light
7/28 - James McMurtry - Blue Light
7/29 - Turnpike Troubadours - Blue Light
8/25 - Jason Boland - Blue Light


9/23 - Guy Clark - Paramount Theatre

Gillian Welch - Conan O'Brien, 06/28/11

Great performance on Conan last night from Gillian Welch (accompanied by Dave Rawlings), performing "The Way It Goes" from her new record The Harrow and the Harvest.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bon Iver - Bon Iver

Similar to all the other music blogs, I don't want to make too big of a deal out of the first album from Bon Iver when talking about the new record. Let me sum up their reviews of the new album briefly:

Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Justin Vernon. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. For Emma. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Beards. Cabin. Winter. Snow. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Mono. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Emma. Wisconsin. Woods. Deer meat. Cabin. Winter. Beard. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Alone. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Beards. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Myth. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Mono. Wisconsin. Cabin. Eau Claire. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Deyarmond Edison. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Emma. Wisconsin. Woods. Deer meat. Cabin. Winter. Beard. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. For Emma. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Beards. Cabin. Winter. Snow. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Mono. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Emma. Wisconsin. Woods. Deer meat. Cabin. Winter. Beard. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Alone. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Beards. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Myth. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Cabin. Winter. Woods. Mono. Wisconsin. Cabin. Eau Claire. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Deyarmond Edison. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Wisconsin. Cabin. Winter. Emma. Wisconsin. Woods. Deer meat. Cabin. Winter. Beard.

It's good to know that the music writers of the world are so good at moving on. Pitchfork gave the new album a 9.5, which, to put that in perspective, compares to the 6.2 they gave Led Zeppelin IV, the 5.3 they gave Abbey Road, and the 4.0 they gave Nevermind. Further, apparently Stereogum loves this album so much they already named it the top album of the year (so far). Fleet Foxes came in at #19 this year. Really?

The fanfare surrounding this album is similar to the last National album, except the critics mostly slammed that album early on and then realized later how brilliant it was, and subsequently pretended they hadn't slammed the album. Hopefully it is not a bad sign for Bon Iver that the critics were fawning over this album before the cover art was released.

By the way, the album is really good.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cass McCombs - Crowley Theater, Marfa, TX - 07/08/11

The awesome folks at Ballroom Marfa and Marfa Book Company continue to promote great music in West Texas, this time bringing Cass McCombs for a show at Crowley Theater on July 8th. McCombs is a bit hard to classify, maybe indie rock singer songwriter? (Which of course tells you almost nothing about his music.) All you really need to know is that he's worth giving a listen. Austin artist Pink Nasty will open the show, which is only $10, so give them a listen and mark your calendars for the show.

Poster by Jillian Tamaki and Jon Han.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

West Texas area music calendar - June-July

Email me with corrections/additions if you've got them.

6/2 - Granger Smith - Rockin' Rodeo
6/3 - Dirty River Boys - Graham Central Station
6/16 - Thieving Birds - Rockin' Rodeo
6/17-18 - Texas Country Music Festival feat. Charlie Robison, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Roger Creager, & others - Graham Central Station
6/18 - Roy Orbison Music Festival - Wink, TX
6/29 - Bart Crow Band - Graham Central Station
7/15 - Pat Green - Graham Central Station
7/19 - The Lusitania, Kentucky Knife Fight - Pine Box
7/23 - Jody Nix - Stardust
9/17 - Reckless Kelly - Permian Basin Fair

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
6/2-6 Fest Out West - Lajitas, featuring Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada & the Departed, Butch Hancock, Hayes Carll, The Trishas, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Micky & the Motorcars, & John Evans
6/2 - The Lower Dens - West Texas Utilities Building. Presented by Marfa Book Co. & Marfa Public Radio

6/6 - The Lonesome Heroes - Padre's
6/17 - Doug Moreland - Railroad Blues
6/18 - Ghosts Along the Brazos - Thunderbird Motel
6/20 - Paleo - Padre's
7/4 - The Hickoids, Rice Moorehead - Padre's
7/8 - Cass McCombs - presented by Marfa Book Co. & Ballroom Marfa
7/8 - James McMurtry - Railroad Blues
7/15 - David Garza - Padre's
7/22 - Dale Watson - Railroad Blues
7/23 - Dale Watson - Thunderbird Motel

6/7-6/11 - Western Swing Festival feat. Leon Rausch, Johnny Bush, Jody Nix, & more
6/17 - Jake Kellen - Belle Opry House
6/25 - Brandon Adams and No Dry County - Belle Opry House
7/15-16 - Jody Nix - Scurry County Rodeo Dance

San Angelo
6/17 - Jody Nix - Stagecoach Saloon
6/17-18 - Texas Country Music Festival feat. Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Roger Creager, & others - Graham Central Station
6/23 - Pat Green - Midnight Rodeo

6/2 - Butch Hancock - Rockin' Box 33
6/3 - Coppola, Dry Heaves, Cleanly OHM, Ivory and Ash - Jake's
6/3 - Gary P. Nunn - Blue Light
6/4 - Blue Light Backyard Blowout - Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward, Brandon Adams & the Sad Bastards, Thrift Store Cowboys, Dirty River Boys, Red Shahan
6/7 - Jason Isbell - Blue Light
6/8 - Meat Puppets w/ One Wolf - Blue Light
6/9 - Patricia Vonne - Buddy Holly Center
6/10 - Patricia Vonne - Rockin' Box 33
6/11 - Old 97s - Blue Light
6/18 - JAB Fest - Josh Abbott, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Whiskey Myers, Charlie Shafter, William Clark Green, Daniel Markham - Lonestar Amphitheatre
6/25 - Collin Herring - Depot O Bar
6/28 - Okkervil River - Jake's
6/30 - Rod Picott - Blue Light
7/20 - Lusitania, Estelline, Kentucky Knife Fight - Blue Light
7/28 - Turnpike Troubadours - Blue Light


6/3 - Butch Hancock - Java Jax (Sweetwater)
6/10 - Cody Canada & the Departed - Lucky Mule
6/16 - Pat Green - Lucky Mule
9/23 - Guy Clark - Paramount Theatre

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nathaniel Rateliff - New 10" EP

Denver artist Nathaniel Rateliff appears to be gaining a good deal of notoriety in Europe, and as a result, seems to have spent as much or more time touring there as in the U.S. Find a recent interview with British blog There Goes the Fear here.

Since I have posted about 47 different youtube videos of him performing "Shroud," I thought it might be nice to post this clip of his recent performance of "We Never Win" on Later... with Jools Holland. Rateliff returns to the U.S. in early June for a string of sold-out shows opening for Mumford & Sons.

Word on the street (i.e., the internet) is that Rateliff will also be releasing a 10" vinyl EP of live recordings, half from the Daytrotter Barnstormer Tour in 2010 and the other half from the Notting Hill Arts Club in London in February 2011. The record is being co-released by Daytrotter and Communion Records. While Rateliff apparently already played a record release show for this EP in London on 05/26/11 (or 26/05/11, I suppose), no information has been released as to when/if it might be more widely available to those of us who do not live in London. Given that Daytrotter vinyl tends to sell out ridiculously fast, I expect the window for buying this record will be quite narrow.

UPDATE: Communion has a purchase link up here for the time being.

Tracklisting for the EP (source):

Communion Side
Early Spring Till
Bumps and Bruises
You Should’ve Seen The Other Guy
Daytrotter Side:
Pounds and Pounds
Whimper and Wail

Finally, while the U.S. release of In Memory of Loss does not include "Shroud" or "Pounds and Pounds," both are available on the recent Record Store Day 7" from Rateliff. Should you be so inclined, you can still find a few copies of it for fairly cheap on Ebay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Preview: Old 97s - The Blue Light, Lubbock, 6/11/11

To my knowledge, Old 97s have only played Lubbock one time ever, and that was over 10 years ago at a birthday bash for KTXT radio, long before Texas Tech decided that Lubbock didn't need good radio. Please correct me if I am wrong about any or all of that information above, because I am quite literally just going by the seat of my pants on that info.

UPDATE: I found the link to a listing of that show - it was April 1st, 2000, at Liquid 2000, with a lineup of bands that are mostly no longer in existence. The venue is no longer in existence either, having been torn down to make a park for the Buddy Holly statue (which is controversial in and of itself, but not something I'll get into here).

What I do know is that the band is finally making a return appearance, on June 11th, at (I can't believe I"m saying this) the Blue Light. While the venue has a long history of catering to the fraternity and sorority crowds, which most often means Texas Country bands, I have to give the BL credit for keeping original live music going in Lubbock more consistently than basically any other venue. Further, they have been bringing in some very quality acts as of late, and in fact, will host Jason Isbell and the Meat Puppets, respectively, the same week that Old 97s are playing.

Enough about the Blue Light though, Old 97s are my favorite band of all time. By my estimation, I have seen them 10 times, stretching all the way back to August of 1999, which I know is less than 1 a year, but hey, I lived in Lubbock for 3 years, Boulder for 4, and now Odessa for 1, and they are not exactly regulars in any of those places.

The band will be releasing The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 on July 5th (New West), so I expect they'll be introducing some new material into the mix at the Lubbock show. However, if I know anything about the 97s, it is that there will be no paucity of the classics on the set list. The problem is really that they now have too many classics to fit into one show, but beggars can't be choosers. I am also excited about the fact that the Blue Light is one of the smaller venues I have ever seen the band play.

Lubbock, these opportunities don't come around that often, so don't miss out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Notable West Texas Musicians

I often forget just how many musicians originate from West Texas, although admittedly few stick around very long once they make it, leaving various places of origin to claim a piece of the fame because such-and-such went to 7th grade in their town. That is, it is difficult to define where people are actually from. Thus, I am working off of a fairly broad base in terms of establishing someone's residency in a town. Some of the following only spent time in West Texas, so yes, the list is fairly arbitrary.

Further, establishing the borders of West Texas are difficult to define. I define it here as a rough line from about Vernon to Abilene to San Angelo to Del Rio. No, it isn't exact, nor even straight, for that matter, but I am working off of my own general conception of what should qualify.

Please comment regarding additions/edits, and I will change the list accordingly. I know that "notable" is a subjective thing, but probably your cousin Billy from Sweetwater doesn't count. It gets increasingly tricky in regard to what is considered notable in this day and age, so I have been a bit conservative and haven't listed very many artists from the last decade or so.

You can find additional musicians at the West Texas Music Hall of Fame.

Terry Allen - Lubbock
Jerry Allison - Lubbock
Tommy Allsup - maintained a studio in Odessa
Ryan Bingham - Midland/Odessa
At the Drive-in - El Paso
Carl Bunch (drummer) - Big Spring
Guy Clark - Monahans
Sonny Curtis - Meadow
Mac Davis - Lubbock
Jimmy Dean - Plainview
Joe Ely - Lubbock (born in Amarillo)
Explosions in the Sky - 3 members originally from Midland
Radney Foster - Del Rio
Lefty Frizzell - Big Spring
Bobby Fuller - El Paso
Larry Gatlin - Odessa (born in Seminole)
Susan Gibson - Amarillo
Jimmie Dale Gilmore - Lubbock
Pat Green - Lubbock
Woody Guthrie - Pampa
Butch Hancock - Lubbock
Tommy Hancock - Lubbock
Micah P. Hinson - Abilene
Buddy Holly - Lubbock
Waylon Jennings - Littlefield
Virgil Johnson - Odessa/Lubbock
Bobby Keys - Lubbock/Slaton
Buddy Knox - Happy
Bob Livingston - Lubbock
Rob Lowe (Balmorhea) - Midland
Los Lonely Boys - San Angelo
Lloyd Maines - Lubbock
Natalie Maines - Lubbock
Delbert McClinton - Lubbock
Richie McDonald - Lubbock
Hoyle Nix - Big Spring
Jody Nix - Big Spring
Gary P. Nunn - Brownfield
Roy Orbison - Wink/Vernon
Lee Roy Parnell - Abilene
John Rich - Amarillo
Dan Seals - McCamey
J.D. Souther - Amarillo
Sparta/Sleepercar - El Paso
Ernest Tubb - San Angelo
Tanya Tucker - Seminole
Don Walser - Brownfield/Lamesa
Don Williams - born in Floydada
Bob Wills - Turkey

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong, 6/7/11

I am beyond excited for the new record from Dawes, entitled Nothing Is Wrong, set to be released on June 7th (ATO). I bought their first album North Hills on a whim about a year and a half ago, and while it was a slow builder for me, it has probably been the album I have listened to more than any other over that time period.

Beyond great songwriting, it is tough to say exactly what makes me love this band so much. They have definitely got the fraternal harmonies going for them, in a way that only people who share 25% of their DNA can. However, for me I think it is more of the mood that they convey in their music. They sing about home and the West and all of the things that I idealize excessively, so I suppose you could say that I am their target demographic.

Dawes - "If I Wanted Someone"

What I have not yet figured out is just how big these guys are going to get from this record. In a past decade of radio dominance, "When My Time Comes," off of North Hills, would have catapulted them to megastardom. However, in the oversaturated market of today, they remain a bit under the radar, but with a growing popularity, especially after the recent touring as part of Middle Brother. What remains to be seen is whether they will be able to crack the mainstream market with a few radio hits, perhaps becoming the flagbearers of American rock a la Tom Petty, or if they will rather take the path of becoming "indie big" a la the Avett Brothers or Wilco. Yes, I know Wilco seems more than indie big, but if you have doubts, I can take you to a room full of seventy-five 18-20 year-olds in Odessa, and you'd be lucky if 2 of them had heard of Wilco. Yet I digress...

You can find various tracks around the web from the new album, including a few free downloads. KUT recently featured "Time Spent in Los Angeles" as their free song of the day on iTunes. You can also get a free download of "If I Wanted Someone" off of the band's Web site, where you can also pre-order the new record. Don't expect for this to be the last you hear from me about this album.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Of course Odessa made the list

Just ran across this post from Buzzfeed, which compiles pictures of 75 abandoned theaters around the country. And wouldn't you know, Odessa makes an appearance with number 29. Also included on the list are theaters in McLean, Big Spring, and Sierra Blanca, TX. Noticeably absent are the Palace Theater and Texas Theater in Marfa, which according to this article, are still inhabited in varying capacities, but no longer in use as theaters. So I guess they are technically not abandoned, and thus, not eligible.

Can you guess which is the Palace & which is the Texas?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marfa Public Radio internship opportunities

The good folks at Marfa Public Radio have recently announced that they are accepting applications for college interns. I have to imagine this would be a fantastic opportunity for someone so inclined to do such an internship, and you would get to live in an awesome area of West Texas. MPR done an amazing job reporting on and providing support for the recent wildfires, so you would no doubt be working for a fantastic organization with an eye toward issues ranging in scope from a local to an international level.

Check out the details here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Preview: Rodney Parker - Rockin' Rodeo, Midland, 05/12/11

This Thursday, May 12th, catch Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward at the Rockin' Rodeo in Midland. RP & 50PR is one of the better Americana bands around, with an ever-growing catalog of great original music, so don't miss out on the chance to see them locally.

I have not heard an official release date yet, but expect The Apology: Part II from the band in the relatively near future, which should stand a great chance of elevating their status even more, given the radio success they have had with "Guitars," off of the first Apology album.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

West Texas area music calendar - May-June

5/7 - Easton Corbin - Dos Amigos
5/12 - Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - Rockin' Rodeo
5/12-14 - Crude Fest - Midland - Jason Boland, Turnpike Troubadours, Josh Abbott, Chris Knight, Reckless Kelly & more
5/19 - Rob Baird - Rockin' Rodeo
5/21 - Los Lonely Boys - Centennial Plaza
5/21 - Jody Nix - Stardust Club
5/26 - Cory Morrow - Rockin' Rodeo

6/18 - Roy Orbison Music Festival - Wink, TX

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
5/10 - Butch Hancock - Padre's
5/14 - Turnpike Troubadours - Railroad Blues
5/29 - Bob Livingston - Railroad Blues
6/2- Fest Out West - Lajitas, featuring Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada & the Departed, Butch Hancock, Hayes Carll, The Trishas, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Micky & the Motorcars, & John Evans
6/17 - Doug Moreland - Railroad Blues
7/8 - James McMurtry - Railroad Blues

6/7-6/11 - Western Swing Festival feat. Leon Rausch, Johnny Bush, Jody Nix, & more
6/25 - Brandon Adams and No Dry County - Belle Opry House

San Angelo
5/7 - Mike McClure - Blaine's
5/13 - Jody Nix - Stagecoach Saloon
5/20 - Doug Moreland - Blaine's

5/6 - Joe Ely - Cactus Theater
5/14 - Thrift Store Cowboys/Estelline - Bash's in the Depot
6/7 - Jason Isbell - Blue Light
6/8 - Meat Puppets w/ One Wolf - Blue Light
6/11 - Old 97s - Blue Light
6/28 - Okkervil River - Jake's

Saturday, April 9, 2011

3 albums I wish you were listening to

Ha Ha Tonka - Death of a Decade

I've been interested in Ha Ha Tonka for a while, and have generally liked their stuff, but I have not owned a full album of theirs until Death of a Decade. This album brings it all around for me. Further proof that Bloodshot Records still knows what they are doing.

Songs of note: "Made Example of" and "Lonely Fortunes"

Dolorean - The Unfazed

For one reason or another, Dolorean fell off my radar the past few years. They are back. Al James is simply brilliant. Partisan made a great decision putting this record out.

Songs of note: "Thinskinned" and "Hard Working Dogs"

Middle Brother - Middle Brother

I approached the record as a big fan of Dawes & Deer Tick, but not a lot of familiarity with Delta Spirit. Thus, while the odds were in the record's favor, I still had reservations about how well they could pull off an entire record without drifting off into some John McCauley-led debauchery halfway through.

That said, I gave the record a couple of listens on the way down to SXSW, and while I liked a number of tracks, I didn't completely connect with the record as a whole. Enter the Partisan Party at SXSW, where Middle Brother & Johnny Corndawg brought the house down in one of the better performances of the festival, and I grabbed a spot on the Middle Brother bandwagon. This album is strong all the way through.

Songs of note: "Mom and Dad," "Blood and Guts," and "Someday" (and basically every other song)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SXSW 2011

Saw an amazing amount of good music last week in Austin (list of bands on my facebook). I won't be writing about the shows this year due to time constraints, but I can tell you that this picture below, taken at Auditorium Shores (thanks DP), explains basically everything you could ever want or need to know about SXSW. You should be able to click to enlarge it to take in the full greatness.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

West Texas area music calendar

3/18 - The Band Perry - Dos Amigos
3/25 - Josh Abbott - Dos Amigos
3/26 - Jody Nix - Stardust Club
4/8 - Stoney Larue - Dos Amigos
5/12-14 - Crude Fest - Midland - Jason Boland, Turnpike Troubadours, Josh Abbott, Chris Knight, Reckless Kelly

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
3/11 - Matt Skinner - Lost Horse Saloon
3/12 - Alex & Bonnie Whitmore - La Kiva
3/12 - Matt Skinner - Gage Hotel
3/15 - Fergus & Geronimo - Padre's
4/11 - British Sea Power, A Classic Education - Padre's
4/17 - Yacht & Straight Gaze - Padre's
4/24 - Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, & Old Crow Medicine Show - Railroad Revival at El Cosmico
5/11 - Butch Hancock - Padre's
6/2- Fest Out West - Lajitas, featuring Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada & the Departed, Butch Hancock, Hayes Carll, The Trishas, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Micky & the Motorcars, & John Evans

3/11 - Shawn Fussell - Belle Opry House
3/18 - Zach Edwards - Belle Opry House
3/25 - Jody Nix - WTC Coliseum Annex Barn

San Angelo
3/10 - Butch Hancock - Blaine's Pub
4/29 - Ray Wylie Hubbard - Angelo Food & Wine Festival

4/2 - Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - Blue Light
4/8 - Turnpike Troubadours - Blue Light
4/12 - The Felice Brothers - Blue Light
3/10 - Scott H. Biram - Jake's
6/28 - Okkervil River - Jake's

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Railroad Revival Tour in Marfa - 4/24

Continuing with the theme of Marfa having the best music offerings per capita in the state, or perhaps the country, a number of the biggest bands in the country will be stopping by next train.

Yes, the Railroad Revival tour will be making a stop at El Cosmico in Marfa on April 24th, Easter Sunday, in case you were wondering, with a show featuring Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show. The Marfa show will be the 4th of six stops on the tour, preceded by Oakland, San Pedro, and Chandler, and followed by Austin and New Orleans. Tickets are on sale today, March 9th.

I can only wish them the best of luck, as I once took the same train line from California to Texas, and what might have been a 24-hour drive by car turned into a 58 hour trip by train. Yes, you read that right - fifty-eight. That was from the Bay Area to San Antonio. Long story short, passenger trains on this line must yield to freight trains, who own the tracks, and so at various times we had to take a side rail and wait for a freight train to come through. At certain points, I recall sitting on a train going nowhere for upwards of 2 hours at a time in the middle of the New Mexico desert. I can only hope that the logistics of this situation have been accounted for.

Perhaps they are buying supremacy on the tracks, as tickets for the show will run you between $55 and $203. Sure, it's a real privilege I suppose to see these bands in such a small place, but folks, that's pricey. Let's remember that when Bon Iver played Marfa, tickets were $2.

Then again, if you hadn't heard, Mumford is about the biggest band in the country following their Grammy bump. If you haven't checked out their record Sigh No More, you probably should. It's brilliant. Maybe we should consider $55 a deal.

(UPDATE 3/10: Marfa sold out already. Guessing the Marfa show is going to be a lot of Austin people who couldn't get tickets there.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Butch Hancock West Texas shows

West Texas music ambassador Butch Hancock will be playing two area shows this week. Having just had the chance to see him play with the Flatlanders earlier this year, I can assure you that seeing Butch live is an essential for any and all west Texas music fans. Hancock is of a songwriting pedigree that many songwriters aspire to, and while he has avoided the spotlight for the most part over his career, his craft has not dulled over time. Rather, he remains a productive and relevant songwriter, and perhaps most importantly, maintains a consistent presence in West Texas.

See him in Alpine and San Angelo this week:

Railroad Blues, Alpine: Wednesday, March 9th - 8 PM, $10
Blaine's Pub, San Angelo: Thursday, March 10th - 9:30 PM

And while we're on the subject, here's Butch's cover of Townes' "Dollar Bill Blues."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

2011 Ramble Creek Day Party - 03/18/11

Perhaps my favorite day show from last year, the amazing folks at Ramble Creek Recording Studio will once again be providing a fantastic lineup for their 2011 day party. This year's show includes the talents of a diverse group of bands, including west Texas' own Thrift Store Cowboys and One Wolf. Last year's party was the model of a perfect SXSW day show -- great atmosphere, great music, and great people. See the schedule below and see you there!

The Ashes (Austin, TX) - 12:15pm
One Wolf (Athens, GA/Lubbock, TX) - 12:55
The Georgian Company (Austin, TX) - 1:25pm
Collin Herring (Austin, TX) - 2:05pm
Thrift Store Cowboys (Lubbock, TX) - 2:40pm
Graham Weber (Austin, TX) - 3:25pm
Seryn (Denton, TX) - 4:00pm
Brian Martin (Hot Springs, AR) - 4:55pm
Monahans (Austin, TX) 5:30pm
Telegraph Canyon (Ft Worth, TX) - 6:15pm

Find all the information you need about the show at the Facebook Event Page.

Show poster by Greg Vanderpool.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monahans - ACL Satellite Set

Last October (2010), Austin-based Monahans performed an Austin City Limits Satellite Sets session at the now-former ACL studio. Sources in attendance reported that it was an amazing show, and now, we can all see and hear it ourselves, as KLRU has posted the performance online. Below are the performances of "Diamonds" from the 2010 Recordings and "I Run to You" from 2009's Dim the Aurora.

Check out the main page for the session here to find video of additional performances.

Please note that videos may not play in Google Reader or other blog aggregators.

Watch the full episode. See more ACL presents Satellite Sets.

Watch the full episode. See more ACL presents Satellite Sets.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Turnpike Troubadours interview & Midland show preview, 2/24

One of my favorite new bands to emerge last year was Oklahoma-based Turnpike Troubadours. I was first drawn in by their first radio single, "Every Girl," but have since come to appreciate a good deal of the band's catalog. The good news is you can give their latest album, Diamonds and Gasoline, a listen free of charge, as the entire record is currently streaming in full on the audio section of their Web site.

Picking right up where "Every Girl" left off, the band's new single "7 & 7" is all over the airwaves right now, and I also recommend "1968" and "Whole Damn Town" for new listeners. Perhaps most importantly, Turnpike Troubadours seem to keep their focus on the songwriting, such that the song itself stands as the central element in their music, with just the right instrumentation backing the tracks. The band has clearly benefited from the Texas and Oklahoma music scenes opening up more diverse sounds, as they are by no means your run-of-the-mill bar band. Rather, I expect to see a lot of great things to come from them as they continue to pick up steam.

While I missed the band the last time they were in town, they'll be returning to the Permian Basin for a show at the Rockin' Rodeo in Midland on Thursday, Feb. 24th. The information I have about the show is limited, partly on account of the fact that the Rockin' Rodeo isn't well known for keeping their Web site or their Facebook or their Myspace consistently up to date.

The band was kind enough to take a few minutes to do an email interview with Windfarm. Check it out under the video below:

: Can you describe the Turnpike Troubadours sound for readers?

Turnpike Troubadours: I think of it as singer/songwriter music that spent too much time in the Honky-Tonks.

WF: Artistically, who would you cite as major influences?

TT: There are hundreds of people, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Band, Old 97's, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, The Great Divide, and Mike McClure just to name a few.

WF: What can a listener expect from a Turnpike Troubadours live show?

TT: We always have a good time on stage, there are nights when the crowd is dancing on the bar and being rowdy. We are pretty accustomed to the road house kind of environment and love it when people have a good time.

WF: As a band that spends a good deal of its time on the road, what are your favorite venues to play?

TT: Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Iron Horse in Wichita Falls, Wormy Dog, Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, Gruene Hall, Roxie's Roost in Tahlequah, Cheatham Street, the ones that have a story or two behind them are always the best.

WF: Where do Turnpike Troubadours fit in regard to the Red Dirt music scene?

TT: If you are our age and from Oklahoma you can't help but be influenced by the Stillwater guys. Its nice to be included. We are trying to do our own thing now and just hoping its on par.

WF: Your song "1968" references an important time in our country's history. Would you be willing to talk about the significance of that song?

TT: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy both were assassinated that year. The song is about the idea of someone else coming along in present-day with their regard for the common man, hopefully it happens.

WF: What can we expect from Turnpike Troubadours in 2011?

TT: We are booked up solid throughout this year and I plan to do another album by this summer. We have new songs and are ready for it.

WF: What albums (recent or older) have been on your playlist the past few months?

TT: Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues has been stuck in my player for 5 months. My stereo literally won't eject it.
Also, check out:
John Fullbright- Live at the Blue Door
Jason Eady- When the Money's all Gone
Rodney Parker- The Lonesome Dirge/ The Apology
The Felice Brothers- The Felice Brothers
Corb Lund- Losing Lately Gambler
Mike Mcclure- Halfway Out