Archive for December 2011

Literal New Year’s Eve Party Promotion of the…

Phase one Kaimal Mark II Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash

Phase one

Kaimal Mark II Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash

Want a MP3 of this song? email stoutcity@gmail.com and get this…

Want a MP3 of this song? email stoutcity@gmail.com and get this song free.

With all the crappy Christmas music out there… why not play something by some local heroes? This is a holiday classic that was given the “Loveletter” touch in 2009…

Some history on this track: Brea had just joined the band, we were coming off of our summer tour and unknowingly about to start our Winter tour in a couple of months, this is the first official thing Brea had actually recorded with us, Done with Neal at Skinny Hippo in his Goliad office, Neal also loaned background vocals.

If we were going to do  Christmas song, I wanted to do a serious one. At this point in my life I was nowhere near the burning ray of sunshine you see now.

At the end of the day, I am still Lydia’s boy I suppose. She loves Christmas more than anything. I guess she deserves to hear me sing something nice once too…

A fond farewell to Trent Jones… and the drummer thing

As far back as I can remember, every one of my bands has always had a “drummer thing”. I don’t know what it is, or if it is in other cities, but finding a decent dependable drummer in this town is harder than a German girl ordering Mexican food. It’s not like I can blame anyone… Being a drummer is hard. First, a drummer can easily own the most expensive gear in the band (especially a punk rock band filled with pawn shop guitars). Second, a drummer usually sits in the back getting little to no glory, but if he messes up, he is the first to be critiqued rudely. Third, unless he has roadies or a mega tight group, he will find himself the last person clearing the stage and tearing down.

Because of this, I have found most drummers to be unique people, playing for the love of music, loving their craft, and doing things that will make them stand out because this is the life they have chosen. I am proud to say this unique spirit has caused me to befriend most of my drummers in bands past to be great personal friends, of which I am pretty confident to say, I have maintained great friendships with.

When I started the Stout City Luchadores back up… I did so cautiously. I had to. The band was everything I wanted in a punk band when I started it. I remember my ex telling me she would leave me if I started a band with such a stupid name and idea (nope don’t miss that one) and the band went on to do some great shows. It was hard too, because when I ressurected the project, I found myself replacing the old members with new ones, and I was really good friends with all the old members especially my old Luchadore drummers Danny White and Chris Benson who became extremely close to my life in 2005-08.

Looking for a drummer was hard, my first choice was drumming ninja James Williams but he was busy with The Revival and Set Trip, I knew that his schedule wouldn’t allow for a third band that was going to have a tight schedule as well. I looked for others, Paul Nasty, Aaron Puffer, and even considered calling up Benson again, but knew that they were all busy with other commitments at the time, and while I really wanted to bring this awesome punk rock band back to life, I was worried that this would be the time the fucking “Drummer Thing” would finally beat me.

Then Trent Jones walked into my life.

I met Trent in college that year. We were both in the jazz combo. He talked to me as much as he talked to the others, so I thought he was a cool cat, but never really much of a close friend. One day in desperate need to fill this spot, I decided to ask him to try out, not expecting much or that he would even be interested. To my surprise he was, and he came to a practice.

Trent nailed practice, I could see Brea’s hesitation since we didn’t really know him and bands are usually close knit groups for us, but we took him in (or he took us in who keeps track) because we knew to get this project off the ground we needed a dependable drummer with his own gear and a sense of commitment.

Something happened in those last few months… The band started to click, and we began to play like the devil. The more we played and relaxed, the more Trent became etched into our group. His ability to fit in with any group of people, make them at ease and chillax attitude made him more than a likable guy, it made him a good friend.

We always knew he was going to leave. He put that out there since the start. He’s going to college to pursue his degree. We will miss him. He’s not just a great drummer, he has proven to be a great friend. He’s never missed a practice or a show, and he has never missed an opportunity to act out, become a spectacle, or have a good time. It would be selfish and greedy for us not to with him well (but we guilt tripped him as much as we could).

Aaron  from Poor Favor has agreed to step in for awhile until we can find a new permanent solution. Just like that, the “drummer thing” starts all over again.

 

Good Luck Trent.

Trent

Recording 1st luchadore song in 5 years

Recording 1st luchadore song in 5 years

James M Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash,

Jay Sattelite: James M Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash

Jay Sattelite

James M Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash,

The Season… Bah Humbug

The Holidays are upon us. I don’t really care for them.

 

When I was a kid. I used to like them a lot. There was a magic about it, my parents have always tried to keep that magic, I am envious of them for that.

 

It has become apparent to me in recent years, with all the trials and tribulations that I have gone through, that I am not in the same boat. I’m sure I could watch a movie or some network tv show about Christmas that is tailored to try to get some sort of emotion out of me, but it is hard when I know that that movie or television show is not really meant to do that, but for me to buy something.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the economy needs you guys to go out and spend money. But I just feel like this season is turning sour for all the wrong reasons. Businesses don’t care about us, they care about their bottom line. And the majority of people are only concerned with what they want and not what they need. I’m not talking about those people who bitch and moan about the vacuum they got over the flat screen they wanted (but I sort of am too) but I am also talking about the need of human kindness.

 

We need that more than ever. More suicides happen this time than any other year, and your worried about your flat screen TV or new electronic Nook you want as a gift. You go to the malls and literally fight traffic and people for the biggest deal. And then on Christmas, you give these gifts out and secretly judge others on what they give you. Do things change? No. Is the world a better place? No.

 

I used to have really high hopes for people. Now I see I live in a world where they complain what is on cable and how their favorite sports team is doing…. and people wonder why I like punk rock so much or will spend so much time trying to buck the system. Why I would rather spend my time making music, or writing sad dark stories about people in awful situations. It is a reflection of what is around me. The more I learn about others, the more turned off I am. I’ve worked retail, and seen both sides of the customer (having been one as well) I’ve seen the perfectly nice housewife turn into a psychotic when it comes time to shop for others. I’ve seen parents so afraid if their child will reject them for not giving the right gift.

How do we change that? How do we change the reasons for what we do? I have. I choose not to participate in this celebration of human greed, cruelty and menace. It is a shame no one else does. People talk about doing good. No one can walk the walk. So I say… Scrooge was right in a sense. Only this time, I am Scrooge.  But I am not the greedy evil man. Everyone else is.

Chew on that.

Anti Santa James M Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash, Taken with…

Anti Santa

James M Lens, Rock BW-11 Film, No Flash

Zombies and Line Dancing

Brea and I took the trek up to College Station this weekend to attend an after hours after party. After eating and boozing in a restaurant and a pub, we joined the rest of the group in a night club that tried to look like a country dance hall, but played a mix of top 40 rap music in it’s playlist This is nothing new, we’d both seen it a hundred times in clubs and tourist bars (that’s what I call bars you have to pay admission to) before.

T hat night ended with Brea almost decking some broad in a conversation over music (Brea: these songs are stupid they’re all about cheating and money and cars people don’t have. Woman in bar: well what else is there to sing about?) The creme de la creme though, was when the line dancing started. The whole place looked like it was doing one big choreographed nightmare… Brings me back to my first experience with it…

 

It was like 2003 or maybe 2002. I was talked into going to this birthday party at a local bar/club. Well, I wasn’t really talked into going, you see there was this girl who sat in my cubicle row at my job at the time that I wanted to seal the deal with. She was cute, bubbly, talkative, a little too good to be true, but I knew she had a flaw, mostly because she was so into going into this local bar/club. The place was not my cup of tea, as a matter of fact, no self respecting punk rocker would be caught dead in there…. but hey, she was cute right? So I go to this party

 

The first thing about this club I notice is that, well there’s a dress code, I can’t stand dress codes. I didn’t like them in school and I damn sure don’t like them in my adult life. Why should I have to dress to someone else’s standards to drink or try to get laid? It makes no sense. I am a fan of getting what you pay for, if I pick someone up in a bar, you kind of want to know what you’re getting into. That means, I don’t think I should have to put on slacks, tuck my shirt in or not wear a cap backwards.

 

Bars are a beautiful thing. They are social gathering places. Every band I have ever had has been thought of and recruited in bars, most great revolutions have come from bars, hell the podcast was created after a night out at a show… so why would I bother to go to a place where I have to change my style of clothes and actually pay to get in? As PT Barnum said… “There’s a sucker born every minute”

 

So I pay my way in, before looking for the birthday group, I stop at the main bar. It’s a nice looking place (it better be for the price I paid to get in) so I saunter up to the bartender who is a good looking gal in a bikini top, and ask her for a Guinness. She laughs “We don’t serve GUINNESS here sir, this is a country bar.” So, I say “OK can I get a Lone Star?” she laughs again. “No sir… this is a nice bar.” Turns out “nice country bars:” only serve Budweiser, Bud Light or Miller Lite… in other words… shitty beer. So I ask for a Jack Daniels on the rocks. She says… “nothing to mic it with?” “No ma’aam… I’m a a man”

 

I finally get to the party area. They are all there… people are actually surprised to see me… things are going ok. The girl I was talking about was there. She says hello, we talk and drink, I finish mine and have another… letting the alienation I feel either settle for a bit, or drink until I don’t care…

 

Then… It happens.

 

There’s this song… it comes on. All the girls squeal like banshees and run onto the floor. Some guys do to… and they all start dancing. Let me rephrase that…. they all start dancing the SAME. I swear I feel like I am in the ending of “Encino Man” and  I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I’m looking at the party, the tables are almost empty everyone is on the dance floor and doing this horrid dance. They girl I was talking to… she doesn’t look so attractive to me anymore. No one in the bar does, and this whiskey starts to taste like poison. I fear for a second, that a spotlight is going to come on me, and I will have to solo… yes… that’s what’s going to happen… the beat will stop the spotlight will shine, and I will have to exress myself a la Corey Feldman in dance.

So I left. Didn’t say a word. I have a habit of doing that at bars when things go awry.

 

Flash back to present: There is a dude who has been buying me and Brea drinks all night, he’s a cool cat, likes his motorcycle and calls himself a “country bumpkin”. After my 4th Lonestar… and this second line dance the fella looks at me and says “I’m not much of a dancer really, but this line dance stuff is bullshit” I like that guy. We make sure to get him a shot.

Early Christmas gift from Brea, my first classical guitar, who…

Early Christmas gift from Brea, my first classical guitar, who knew this was all I needed to practice hours a day? Can’t put it down