Houston Calling

Weekend of rock

May 28th, 2004 · No Comments

Long weekend. A lot of shows. Here’s what’s going on this weekend around Houston.

Drop Trio (Funk Jazz Friday) @ Brasil
The Deathray Davies @ Rudyard’s
Arthur Yoria, Pale, Libra 3, and The Cameron Dezen Band @ Fitzgerald’s
Supagroup, Poor Dumb Bastards, and Ghost Shark @ The Axiom
Avendale, South 59, Black Box Originals, Barely Blind, and Sadbert @ Fat Cat’s
Marco V, Randall Jones, Kelly Hertz, and Sean Carnahan @ Clark’s
Element Eighty, Straightbent, and Sevrin @ The Engine Room
Todd Rundgren @ Club V (Verizon Wireless)
Honky Tonk Heroes @ Walter’s on Washington
The StoneKings @ Froggie’s Saloon (13845 Cypress North Houston)

Quintron + Miss Pussycat, Animals of the Bible, The Entertainment System, and Danseparc @ Fat Cat’s
Robb’s Metalworks Houston Showcase, featuring Tri-Seven-Kru, Yuna, Paegan, Full Circle, Shallow Grave, and Six Past Hell @ Cryolab
Satin Hooks, The Drunks @ The Axiom
A Perfect Circle and Burning Brides @ The Woodlands
Noise Ratchet, Squad Five-0, goneblind, and Firekills @ The Engine Room
One Umbrella, Chim Charoo, and Vertigo Blue @ Super Happy Fun Land
A Wilhelm Scream, Near Miss, and Latham @ Walter’s on Washington
Greg Wood @ Rudyard’s
Pilot Radio @ The SideCar Pub
The StoneKings @ Al’s Sports Bar

Scattered Pages @ The Ginger Man (in Rice Village)
Bonfire Madigan, Annie Lin & Henna Chou @ Aurora Picture Show (800 Aurora)
Nikki Texas-NTX, Dead Roses, and Organ Failure @ Super Happy Fun Land
Nimbus, Awake, Arizenme, Dark Flame, Outbreak, Makeshift, and Idleminds @ The Engine Room
Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Brightblack, and Black Nasty @ The Orange Show (2402 Munger)

Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Brightblack, and Black Nasty @ The Orange Show
Memorial Day Fest, featuring The Black Halos, Haste, Drunken Thunder, Calico System, and 1208 @ The Axiom

I watched a great show about the music industry on PBS last night. The Way The Music Died is an interesting look at how media conglomerates and big business have destroyed the integrity of the business and how it’s tougher than ever for artists to “break out.”

Basically, like everything else these days, it’s all about money. If you’re in a band on a major label, you have to bring in profits for the company or you’re out. It’s sad. It blamed a large part of it on the rise of CDs in the eighties. People started replacing their worn-out vinyl, which gave large companies and investors the impression the music business was booming. So companies invested, bought out the labels (many of which were started by people who actually loved and were into music). All of sudden, sales start declining (for various reasons) and the companies that own the labels now–in business to make money, not music–start looking for ways to get big sales.

The deregulation of radio, which gave Clear Channel the ability to become what it has, was also discussed. There was a time when you had a DJ somewhere would/could play new music by bands no one had ever heard of and the artists could sells records solely based on the results of one city. Now, DJs are told what to play and there is essentially no way a smaller, less-known artist can make it without the hype and major label machine of publicists, marketing, A&R, etc.

Musician David Crosby, who has nothing to lose at this stage in his career, had some interesting things to say. He said, among other things, that MTV ruined music by putting the focus on looks rather than talent.

“That was a terrible blow to music,” he said, “because now you’ve got all these people who look great and can’t write, sing, or play.

As her latest video clip was played, Crosby said, “It doesn’t matter that Britney Spears has nothing to say, and is about as deep as a birdbath.” It really drove his point home. It was classic.

I also found it fascinating that a guy from RCA said that in 2004, they have three records that they count as their big albums of the year. Three? Out of the hundreds of bands they probably have on their roster, they only consider three to be worth calling “big”? Pathetic.

One was Velvet Revolver, which is a “supergroup” consisting of former members of Guns’N’Roses and Stone Temple Pilots. Sad thing is, the record company doesn’t really care that these guys have sold millions in the past. That was then, this is now. RCA is gambling that this “project” (and yes, the rep called it a project) works for them. He called it the “most important” project of the first seven months of 2004 for the label. So if it bombs, I doubt they’ll get another chance.

Part of me wants to not buy the album just so the label won’t get any of the money. It’s a catch-22, really. Unfortunately, I respect the musicians (well, Duff McKagan at least) enough to contribute my $12 or whatever. I have enjoyed the music of both groups (especially GNR) over the years and am glad they are getting the chance to put out more music. I hope it pays off for them, although I wish they would have done it on their own. Maybe next time.

Here is a great interview with Duff and drummer Matt Sorum. There is a lot of great information on the music industry at this website. Very informative.

Also, tonight is the official opening of The Speakeasy, which is located at 110 Main Street. Enjoy.

Now Playing in My iPOD: The PleasedDon’t Make Things

Tags: Music