Monday, July 14, 2024

Music with Jameson & Lone Star: The Young Mammals & Hard Place @ Artstorm 12 July 2024

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 5:19 AM

As if to counter the John Lomax's "our scene sucks" mantra, Saturday's Creature Comforts art opening at Art Storm (located within Caroline Collective) was a raving success. Unfortunately, the traffic from Galveston resulted in my arriving just in time to hear Wicked Poseur's last notes ring but, judging from the wild applause, they did pretty alright indeed.

I wish Wicked Poseur had traded slots with Hard Place because I honestly could have done without them. You know that Spongebob Squarepants episode where Squidward is assigned to lead the half-time ceremonies at a football game and the orchestra plays this terrible painful parody of an 80's song? Sure, the bit is mildly funny for its minute or so run-time but picture that for 30 minutes - that's Hard Place! Yeah, exactly! It's annoying as fuck. It's like a band that looked up every hipster cliche and decided to make that caricature real. Of course I know it's supposed to be tongue in cheek but to pull that off requires some wit and Hard Place displayed none though they clearly seemed to think they possessed it in spades.

The crowd may have dug Hard Place's set but, my irony meter reading in the red, I merely took the time to check out the art which was a much better use of my time. For a show like this, I like to just look at the art first then go back with a program and see who created what. The funny thing was that when I made the second pass with the program the same name came up again and again without fail - Eli Sebastian Brumbaugh (Link). On the right is Ezekiel 44:31, one of his paintings on display and it, like the rest of Brumbaugh's work, displayed wit, playfulness, and joy without a hint of smugness - a perfect antidote to Hard Place's set. Thank you.

The Young Mammals closed the night with their typical verve. The band is one of Houston's best and a perfect example of why those who decry Houston bands as mediocre need to get out more. Their songs and performances spring with energy and the band engages in the kind of jocular repartee during their set that is simply endearing. This was one of the band's last shows with their drummer Iram and I hope you savored his performance if you were there. Very few drummers can upstage their bandmates but Iram, though seated throughout, plays with the energy of a crazed trucker careening his 18-wheeler just to the edge of the cliff - sticks fly, he falls off his stool, and collapses on his kit as he drips in sweat from hurling every ounce of energy into his performance. Is it any wonder he'll be missed? Not to under-sell the rest of the band: they are just as much fun as they hop and jump like stand-ins for The Beatles in HELP! So, of course, people ate-up their performance. Be it alone or with guest Mlee Suprean (Hearts of Animals) on one new song, the band radiated everything that is so great about a summer evening in Houston.

Culture is alive and well in Houston folks so leave the wide-screen TVs and Wiis at home.

"Houston's drawbacks: mediocre bands,
terrible radio, second-rate venues,
poor public transportation, killer
sprawl and a diverse populace
of mildly paranoid, cynical souls. "
- John Lomax

"Sure, our local bands, venues and sound men
are not the greatest
, true enough, and cliques
can be off-putting to newcomers and less trendy
music fans." - John Lomax

Iram's drum kit sums up my reaction to Lomax's
obsession with the Two Gallants show from
two years ago. Any guesses as to how many
people stayed home or even thought of that
show Saturday night?
If you guessed one, that's too high.

"The minute people stop trying to figure
out what's wrong, they'll start to get it right."*
- Mlee Suprean

Yet another poorly attended Houston show.
Why was nobody there?
Just ask John Lomax and he'll tell you:
mediocre bands, a substandard venue, and a cynical populace.
Oh yeah and Two Gallants.


Wicked Poseur (Link)
Young Mammals (Link)
Hard Place (Link)
Art Storm (Link)

More Pictures on my Flickr (Link)

* regarding Lomax's article and the resulting Hands Up Houston discussion.

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At July 14, 2024 10:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When was the last time you actually saw Lomax at a show that was not at the Continental?

At July 14, 2024 11:33 AM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...


Yeah, I remember talking with John and telling him how he never goes to shows and he immediately corrected me and said "I never go to the shows you go to." which was pretty fair really. It could easily be countered that I've never covered a show at the Continental. So fair's fair but it's fun to give John some shit now and then. He's a good Joe. ;)


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