Archive for September 2011

You can laugh, but we swear they’re better than people…

You can laugh, but we swear they’re better than people (Taken with instagram)

30 bands in 30 days: #4 Smoking Popes

30 bands in 30 days: #4 Smoking Popes

I heard the Smoking Popes when I was going to a circle jerks show. No kidding. I was expecting a punk band. But I got… Smoking Popes. I’m glad I did. It was the 90’s I was having “love issues” and their brand of pop punk heartache was exactly what I needed. No kidding. The thing about Josh Caterer is that the man can write a song. The band was one of my quick favorites (c’mon man it made it to the top 5) and became a big part of my daily soundtrack.

Part 2 of the story is when I got married, I wanted to share this awesome band with my wife. She liked it… at least I think she may have… she probably just liked them because Bayside covered them and they were popular I’m not sure…. But I tried to really get her to like Smoking Popes. The joke was on me when we split up in 2008… The Popes were coming through on a reunion tour with a new album. I was so excited I got to go to this show, and meet Josh Caterer and the rest of the band, take pictures with them and tell them how much I liked the music. Later that night I looked out in the club and saw my ex there with a friend. *sigh* Sometimes I wonder if people actually listen to the words of these heartbreak songs. If they did would they realize that the person in the song was hurt by another and that it is almost exactly what happened in real life to me and her? If they realized that… would they realize they probably have no right listening to songs about all this horrible stuff… but I guess to some… it’s just a song.

It wasn’t to me. It’s a personal and private thing. The third part of the story is that 3 years later… I’m doing this killer podcast and we get to interview Josh Caterer. He takes us to the tour van and we sit in there and chat about everything I ever wanted to talk about. It was a pretty magical thing. I got to tell him how much his music meant, and I don’t mind saying I was more than a bit of a fanboy. I don’t care who likes them or not anymore. All that is important is that I like them and they keep playing.

From one Fanboy to another…

Taken with instagram

30 bands in 30 days: band number 5: The Exploited

30 bands in 30 days: band number 5: The Exploited

The Exploited was the first punk cassette tape I ever bought with my own hard earned money. I was a kid, and my friend Paul Nasty had made me a mix tape with a bunch of punk songs on it but no label to tell me what they were… so knowing I liked punk… I went to a Camelot music to look for some.

I picked The Exploited because of their logo. I figured they’d be pretty much what I was looking for. I wasn’t dissapointed.

I became infatuated with The Exploited. I couldn’t get enough of the “Punks Not Dead” album. The tape paved the way for me to check out other bands, and every band I heard I compared them to my first real taste of punk rock.

Over the years, my musical tastes have grown and changed. But I have never wavered from punk rock. It is a flag I will always fly. I have always felt a kinship with the outcasts… sometimes when I want to remind myself of that… or I just want to get in a car and rip up the highway at a ridiculous speed… I’ll put on this band.

30 bands in 30 days: BAND number 6: Airborne Toxic Event

30 bands in 30 days: BAND number 6: Airborne Toxic Event

I said I’m a sucker for a sad song and I meant it.

When I first heard this song… I actually saw the video on TV. This is a rarity in itself because 1) I don’t have a TV… and 2) No one airs videos anymore. How I saw it I have no idea but I know I caught the last bit of it. I liked it enough to scribble the band name down and the next time I was trolling you tube… I looked ‘em up. If I hadn’t… I never would have heard them. (no i dont listen to radio)

So when I saw this video… I was flabbergasted. When I heard the lyrics… it was… effin perfect.

The video has happened to me literally. (more than once I hate to admit) and I can totally identify with the aspect of trying to get over someone but they are still running around in your town or party area. I love the video… how she is sort of like a ghost, even to the point where her :ghost” helps him figure out a piano part.

I liked it so much I turned the video on to my friend Scott. I figured he would dig it. He did. That’s how I know it’s a sad song.

30 bands in 30 days: Noah And The Whale.. number 7

30 bands in 30 days: Noah And The Whale.. number 7

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a bad song. Noah and The Whale have that in spades. As a musician myself, I have made my bread and butter off playing sad heartbreak songs. It’s real. Almost everyone has gone through a really bad break up. It’s part of being human. Sometimes I think I’ve gone through more than my fair share… I realize that may not be entirely true, some have had worse, some have had less. I realize that being cheated on, lied to, and even losing a family happens more than I’d like to think about in this day and age. It is sad that with all the music out there that encourages love and tells of sorrow… we still have not learned how to stop hurting each other. So I may be like everyone else… but I write songs about my problems.

Enter Noah and The Whale. I’ve had a musical fascination with them since I first heard them. Just amazing.

Back in MY day… old man ranting

Brea and I traveled to the Houston area this past weekend to do a special followup podcast on the “WHEN WE RULED H-TOWN DOCUMENTARY”. For those that don’t know what it is about, you’re in luck because the podcast just went live today and is in our front page ready to stream or download to the digital storage device of your choice…

The show hits home to me in a few ways. I guess it’s hard for me to truly “feel old”. I know it’s part of my moniker for the show. Being 35 is positively ancient in punk rock years. There is no denying my age (nor would I want to) I genuinely feel like kids today get the short end of the stick when it comes to music. I mean you guys “think” you have it. We try our best to bring it out for you… but it’s a far cry from the availability of indie music years ago when indie literally meant “Independent” and  not a genre for anything other than pop music. It’s not their fault. No one is mad at ‘em. It’s like your dad who drank Bud Light all his life not knowing that there was other, better beers out there than what Anheiser-Bush  shoved down your throat.

I was lucky to come into my love of punk rock and independent music during the 90′s. The internet was around, but limited. We still relied on finding our music in record stores and slow mail order from obscure record dealers who would photocopy catalogs and advertise in the back of Maximum Rock and Roll.  Music was plentiful but you had to look for the really good stuff. Our record collections were works of art as we tried to top our friends to find more obscure stuff… the shows in town were HUGE. I mean HUGE. Imagine Lomita Opryhouse on Goliad Highway with over 800 people to see local band RED ORANGE. I was there. it happened. Sell out shows at Sun Valley where it was standing room only as Gc5, Tanka Ray, Worm Suicide and The blacklisted played.  The Touring bands on the bill talked about that one for years. Shows were a community event based on our ragtag bunch of show goers, bands and others. Everyone went out because let’s face it, it was a show, you knew you were going to have a good time, and everyone was out.

I’m not sure where things went wrong. Technology plays a big part now days I guess. No one goes out looking for rare records or CD’s anymore. They download it or pirate it now. I’m all for saving a buck but it cheapens the music. There is no thrill of the hunt. There is no chase. If you don’t pay for the music you are more apt to listen to it once and toss it aside for your next thing instead of taking the time to savor what you got. Music doesn’t mean much to kids today. Back in the day A CD meant something, now, you can record an album in your bedroom, no talent required, and if you are attractive enough, you can pimp it on you social media and be famous in two earth days.

Since people aren’t out in record stores, they also aren’t out at shows. Social Media has it fixed so you don’t have to leave your house unless you know there is a big party going on. Guess what? 9 times out of 10 everyone stays home and no party goes anywhere. You know what happens? You get a facebook feed full of friends bitching about how they are bored, when everyone could have gone to a local show, hung out, talked and drank. It just boggles my mind.

With the death of the record store… we also see book stores falling due to online services like amazon and ebooks. As a bibliophile this scares me. It should scare you too… No open mic poetry nights and another nail in the coffin for literacy. We need libraries. We need bookstores. I am afraid that the very technology made to make life easier is ruining the good things of what made our modern day great.

At any rate… I’m happy for the people who are working on When We Ruled H-Town. They are passionate about what they are doing. They are telling a story that needs to be told. I remember attending some Houston shows in the 90′s and those bands were absolute kings. We started the podcast to promote music, talk about music, and be ourselves. There are some things that we are losing and can’t help.  All things will end. But there are somet hings that must be preserved. I like to think that’s what we’re doing.


30 bands in 30 days: Band 8: The Avett Brothers

30 bands in 30 days: Band 8: The Avett Brothers

A band that only in the last few years made my list of awesome. I don’t know who originally gave me this music, I think it was Scott. The lyrics are beautiful. They hurt in a sad sorrowful way. I wasn’t in a sad mode at the time, but it made me think of sad things. I’m glad I wasn’t.

Brea was in a bad spot. I brought her some of their music. The rest is history. Music heals. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people this or preach it. Musicians are doctors of the soul. They can pick you up… or if you want to stay sad (and I’m convinced a piece of us want that) it can do that for you too.

You wish you had it

You wish you had it (Taken with instagram)

30 bands in 30 days : Number 9: Misfits

30 bands in 30 days : Number 9: Misfits

I have two band logos tattooed on me besides my own… one is the Crimson Ghost known as the trademark signature of The Misfits.

I fell in love with them as a teen, never looked back. I’ve seen them play countless times since 1997 reunion tour. Yes… Glen was the best singer… but I enjoy them now too. Even a band playing misfits covers is a good time. The music stands the test of time. I guess it goes without saying they were a huge influence on me as a teen. One of my favorite in fact.

This story comes to a head a few years ago, when the Misfits came to Victoria Texas, a few local punk bands got to open for them. My band was one of them. I cannot explain how awesome this was and how proud I am. No matter what anyone says, I got my band’s name on the same effin’ flyer. I got to meet Jerry and Des and Robo from Black Flag (who were playing with Jerry at the time) I was stoked.