El Paso’s Jim Ward, an excellent musician you may know from his work in Sparta, At The Drive-In, and Sleepercar, returns to Houston this Friday night (12.4.15) at play a solo show at Wonky Power Live.
I believe the last time Ward played Houston was at The Mink’s (RIP!) Back Room a few years back, and that was an excellent show. Ward’s latest Sleepercar release, the five-song EP Breathe and Count (out on his own Tembloroso label), is available for download now at www.Tembloroso.com.
I first heard The Ocean Blue when the band’s song “Between Something and Nothing” was included on Sire Records’ Just Say Mao compilation in the late Eighties. Being a huge fan of Echo & The Bunnymen, the song’s similarity (deep vocals and jangly guitars) instantly resonated with me. Their debut album was favorite in college, and the song’s drums are still among my favorite to play along to.
I haven’t followed the Pennsylvania band much since the early Nineties, but the band resurfaced in 2013 with a new album, Ultramarine, and also released Davy Jones’ Locker earlier in 2015 (which you can purchase on Bandcamp).
Here’s a few videos from the band:
You can purchase the vinyl reissues of The Ocean Blue, Cerulean, and Beneath The Rhythm and Sound from SHELFLIFE/Korda Records.
Local musician Cameron Dezen Hammon (most recently of The Rebecca West) needs your help. She is asking fans to fund her new album, which will be a series of cover songs from the Eighties. In exchange, she’s offering videos and other special items for pledgers.
Here’s the latest from Cameron on the project:
Here’s why you should pledge :
1.) Immediate free download of my acoustic covers of Don Henley’s classic “Boys of Summer,” AND Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” These are totally new arrangements and I think you’re going to love them. Preview it HERE.
2.) I’m choosing the songs based on requests from pledgers–that’s you– and I’m recording them as the requests come in. Pledge and tell me why I should cover your favorite song and I just might!
3.) You’ll get immediate access to exclusive live videos and behind the scenes footage. Videos for “I’m on Fire,” and “Boys of Summer,” are in production now and we will be releasing them to pledgers in the next day or two. Get in on this.
4.) I’ll write you a poem, send you a book, meet you for coffee, or play in your living room, depending on which level you pledge. You choose. I’m game.
Finally, pledge because it means that my record will get finished. 10 songs. Done. Songs you will dance, smile, cry, and laugh to. Songs that I know will become part of your favorite playlist. Help me make it a reality.
More information about the project may be found here.
In related news, you can also help Dezen Hammon’s brother, Alex Dezen, with his debut solo album. The Damnwells frontman has already surpassed his goal, but you can still pledge and get exclusive songs and other content.
Brother and sister will play a house show on 12.15.15 at a yet-to-be-disclosed location in Houston. Seating is limited, so be sure to get your ticket while you can.
Houston Whatever Fest is this weekend (November 21-22) in and around Warehouse Live. There will be more than 90 music and comedy acts performing on five stages, and also artists, vendors, and food trucks. Passes are available online at www.houstonwhateverfest.com.
HWF, now in its second year, is great about supporting local music, and this year’s event promises some great ones. Check out the daily line-up of acts below.
Ghostland Observatory, GWAR, Lil Flip, The Atari’s, The Front Bottoms, Born of Osiris, B L A C K I E, Fat Tony, Battlecross, Family of the Year, Def Perception, Ape Drums, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Vockah Redu, The Smith Street Band, Auto Fellatio Dreams, DJ Damon Allen, DJ Lacey Youngblood, DJ Fredster, Gio Chamba, We Were Wolves, Night Drive, Guilla, Satellite D’Homme, Second Lovers, MNYNMS
T.J. Miller, Doug Benson/Doug Loves Movies, Ian Abramson, Caleb Synan, Chris Cubas, Billy D. Washington, The Underwear Show, Chris Trew, Mathew Broussard, Andy Huggins, Dusti Rhodes, Andrew Youngblood, Dale Cheesman, Warren Wright, Stephen Brandau, Albert Deleon, Joe Bates, Nia De Bose, Bob Morissey, Justin Blandford, Zach Dickson, Kristen Lindner, Scotty Peterson, Zach Eaton
Metric, Saint Motel, Heartless Bastards, GZA, Grupo Fantasma, Shock G, Knox Hamilton, Elvis Depressedly, Kaleo, Catch Fever, To Whom It May, The Suspects, Black Kite, birdmagic, Dead To The World, Say Girl Say, The Dead Rabbits, Seldom, Brand New Hearts, Waterparks, Bang Bangz, K Dot, Sunrise And Ammunition
Brooks Wheelan, Ari Shaffir, 7 Minutes In Purgatory, Randy Liedtke, Dan St. Germain, Joe Pettis, Air Sex Show, Chase Durousseau, Bob Biggerstaff, Gabe Bravo, John Nguyen, Ku Egenti, Ashton Womack, Nick Meriwether, Brian Zeiolla, Victor Tran, Reed Becker, Chet Ranger, Zahid Dewji, Barry Laminack, Greg Deal, Rich Williams, Russel Simek
Single day passes are $45, and passes for both days are $65. There are also “Big Shot” and “Baller” VIP passes available. Get your passes to Houston Whatever Fest here.
This weekend (November 21-22), Houston’s The Center for Hearing and Speech hosts its annual Via Colori street-painting festival in downtown Houston. There are several bands playing throughout the weekend, including The Glass, Runaway Sun, The Mighty Orq, and Colonial Blue.
Via Colori is held in downtown Houston at Hermann Square at City Hall and the surrounding streets of McKinney, Bagby, and Walker. Click here for maps and directions to the festival.
While you’re there, visit the inaugural LB Lounge, which pays tribute to former event coordinator Lisa Benitez. During both days of the festival, Via Colori artists will stop by the LB Lounge and create a collage. Attendees will also be able to contribute to the mural. Lisa was one of the faces behind Via Colori for many years, and the lounge is held in her honor.
Former Southern Backtones frontman Hank Schyma (aka Pecos Hank) celebrates the releases of his debut album, El Reno Blues, with a free in-store performance at Cactus Music. There are sure to be a few guest appearances as well.
El Reno Blues is available at Cactus Music as well as at online retailers.
Vice‘s music blog noiseyreleased an article by Paul DeBenedetto on Houston’s DIY music scene this week. It’s a great read, and features music by Black Kite, Deep Cuts, Young Mammals, Hearts of Animals, Indian Jewelry, and more.
One of my long-time favorite local bands, Young Mammals, plays a long-awaited free in-store set at Cactus Music today (Saturday, 7.25.15) at 4pm. You can pick up the band’s latest release, Alto Seco, on CD and vinyl while you’re there.