Houston Calling

God bless the Backtones…

October 31st, 2004 · No Comments

Last night’s show at Continental Club was one of a kind! Three great local acts–all very diverse, all very good. It was the Southern Backtones CD release party, and they should be commended for having Tody Castillo (and band) and Drop Trio open the show.

All three bands really put on great performances–the Southern Backtones, as always, delivered a great night of rock. You can pick up their new self-titled CD at local record stores. Drop Trio’s new CD, Leap, is now available as well.

Some little-known facts about the Southern Backtones (mostly nabbed from their site):

The Southern Backtones–Hank Schyma, vocals/guitar; Mykel Foster, bass; John Griffin, guitar; and Todd Sommer, drums–have reinvented themselves with each of their three albums. Let’s review their development:

  • 1998: Los Tormentos de Amor chronicles their nascent days: Clever ditties played with precocious passion, all owing allegiance to a strong “whatever-a-billy” influence in both writing and performance. Quite the classic, the album has become an underground jewel and sells for upwards of sixty bucks. [note: ’tis true: see here]
  • 2002: The Formula marks their adolescent rebellion: A furious denial and overthrow of the pearl button, greaser comparisons with songs of superficial lust gone wrong and a brazen mocking of rave-up rock conventions.
  • [note–this has a classic album cover as well]

  • Little Known Fact–Their single “Fallen Angel” was chosen by Levi’s as the campaign anthem for their Back to School campaign. The band and song appeared nationwide in television commercials and live performances throughout the states sponsored by Levi’s.
  • Their most recent album, the self-titled Southern Backtones, tracks their emergence into young adulthood: A mellowing of their roots-angst, leaving them ample energy to become who they were from the beginning–psychedelic savants who are constantly at risk of diluting their genius by over thinking their music.
  • So there you have it. Check out the Southern Backtones’ new CD–and Drop Trio’s Leap as well. Tody Castillo’s CD should be released in January 2005.

    The turnout at the show was spectacular (especially for a night typically reserved for Halloween festivities) and the crowd was very responsive. I spoke with several people (hi Jamie) who came to the show without hearing any of the bands before. That is what this city needs–people coming out to local shows and supporting local musicians, regardless of genre.

    I also met local singer/guitarist Carolyn Wallace [website]. I hope to have an interview with her sometime in the future.

    Shameless plug:

    The latest issue of Houston Press has an article on blogging that briefly mentions Houston Calling. It’s positive press, so that’s good.

    In case you’re too lazy to click, here’s what the article had to say:

    But there are also some more structured, focused local blogs. “Houston Calling,” for example, is about on the music scene here. It lists upcoming shows and includes entries in the journalistic “ten questions” format; the guy who runs it, David Cobb (a Houston Press contributor), has interviewed Tom Foolery and the Mistakes, Stiff Little Fingers and the Methods.

    Not bad…

    Now Playing in My iPod: Caviar — The Thin Mercury Sound

    Tags: Music