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