The Houston Music Blog section of the Free Press Houston.

Monday, August 17, 2024

Music With Jameson and Lone Star - Mathletes farewell show at Mangos 08/15/2009

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:17 AM

Saturday was one of those days where there were so many options of what to do that you couldn't shake a stick without finding a good show. Over at Indie Houston World Headquarters there was the Buxton/Robert Ellis tour kick off with Listen Listen, Super Happy Funland had a great evening benefiting the ever scrappy Sedition Books that included A Thousand Cranes, Anarchitex and Room 101, Dansparc over at Numbers was celebrating a 7 million years of bootie shakin', and Rudyards had the Hell City Kings record release going on to name a few.

Ironically, given all the things to do, it seemed as if I wasn't going anywhere and, thinking this, I left my camera at home (which is why the only image you'll see here is a poorly drawn picture of Joe Mathlete using MS Paint ). Thankfully, fortunes changed and, after considering all the options, I had to put my money down on seeing the final Mathletes show over at Mangos. I mean as great as the other shows were, this could possibly be my last time to hear songs about robots and unicorns performed live like the good lord intended! How could I miss out on that?!

So, off to Mangos we went and we made it just in time to catch the last few songs by Young Mammals. Bonus was hearing Andrew Ortiz playing behind the kit with all the fun and joyful fury he's known for. I'm still bummed about him leaving Wild Moccasins but seeing him behind the kit only reinforced why he'll be missed as he's one of the few drummers who can upstage the people in front of him. The Mammals themselves played with all the fun and hoopla you'd expect and closed with a guns blazing version of Dragon Wagon. Hooray! Glad we made it in time to see some of their set.

Afterwards, the The Mathletes, opening with a stellar Pinnochiobot, raged into a great jukebox set of some of their best songs. The crowd ate it up as the band played with the kind of friendly intimacy you'd expect at a house party where nobody is trying to impress anyone but are just there to have fun and celebrate a very talented and wonderful friend's music. Surprisingly, the spectre of this being billed as the final Mathletes show never hung over the evening. I don't think any of us really believe that The Mathletes won't return to the stage in some form or other; after all, Joe is the Mathletes and the Mathletes are Joe. So, instead of listening to the songs with a bittersweet ear, we in the audience simply smiled, hooted, cheered, and forced the band to play multiple encores until it was clear that the band couldn't play anymore. Hell, chaos is half the charm of the Mathletes anyhow and the fun sloppy unrehearsed encores were a blast. So for our efforts we got sloppy versions of a Smashing Pumpkins song; a mash up of the Velvet Underground's Sister Ray, Wire's Strange, and The Modern Lovers' Roadrunner; and a rip roaring version of my favorite Mathletes song Animals which was still great to hear even without Jenny (Robot McGee) on vocals. I can't ask for much better than that and, in point of fact, I'll take a fun unrehearsed encore by these guys over the most polished soulless Buzz band any day.

So, long live the Mathletes and all who sail with her and thanks Joe for 10 years of singular, quirky, droll, fun, and uncompromising music. I expect at least another 10 more.


Sunday, August 9, 2024

Rain 1, Summer Fest 2.

posted by Free Press Houston @ 4:58 PM

Hearts of Animals
Originally uploaded by Free Press Summer Fest

Okay, so yes. The precipitation did throw of the schedule, but things bounced back and the rain barely stopped by for a second visit.

What Made Milwaukee Famous is finishing up its set on the Main Stage and News On the March will take on Stage 2 soon with more harmonies than you can shake a staff at...Get it? Staff? Musical... Nevermind.

Just posted some new photos of Prince Paul, Hearts of Animals, Buxton and What Made Milwaukee Famous.

-- Dusti Rhodes

More Photos from the Frontline

posted by Free Press Houston @ 2:53 PM

Originally uploaded by Free Press Summer Fest

Just up: pics from Wild Moccasins and Sideshow Tramps. Currently posting these stage side as Prince Paul schools Summer Festers in the history of hip-hop.

Grandfather Child: Sweet Lovemakers?

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:17 PM

Originally uploaded by Free Press Summer Fest

"I want to make love to you while you whisper into my ear!" cried a male fan of Grandfather Child.

Unfortunately, singer Lucas Gorham didn't hear, as we're sure he would've had some clever retort. But instead the guys pushed through a 20 minute set with plenty of blues-infused rock, or maybe it's more rock infused blues. Regardless, the crowd was down for their six-minute-that-sound-like-three minute tunes.

Check back soon for video of their closing number.

Elaine Greer Photos

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:13 PM

Originally uploaded by Free Press Summer Fest

Ms. Greer just finished a quick set that included two new, unnamed songs. Look for some video-action of one -- soon to come.

As promised, the Fest is still up and running. There have been a few schedule changes, so just get here. You don't want to miss your favorites. But if you do, you can check back here for updates on how they did.

Chatting Up The Eastern Sea

posted by Free Press Houston @ 11:57 AM

Originally uploaded by Free Press Summer Fest

So, how does it feel to travel from Austin to a festival in Houston?

Zach: I don't think there is a feeling, because we're all from Houston.

Andy: We're all staying at our parents’ houses.

Matt: (Laughs) The only reason we're on this bill is because somebody thinks we're from Houston.

Zach: We have much better shows in Houston than we do in Austin.

What has the band been up to?

Matt: It's been a slow summer. We haven't been doing much. We've been trying to finish up the second EP.

Are these songs that you guys have been playing or haven’t yet?

Matt: We've been playing it.

Zach: We’ve basically been playing the same songs for almost a year.

Matt: I spent the summer writing a whole new full length record.

Is that usually how the writing process goes?

Matt: Usually.

Andy: He writes the song, song and we write the arrangement.

Matt: It's a slow writing process..

Zach: And it takes a while because we're not afraid to stop and scratch it off.

Matt: There's been times when we’ve been writing a song and scrapped it.

The band then goes into a too-many-answers-to-type discussion about how they often play songs differently every time.

Does this translate to the live setting? Do you guys maybe play one song one way in front of one crowd and differently in front of another crowd and gauge the reaction?

Matt: Absolutely.

How does that balance come on stage? How do you guys just change up the arrangement but still manage to keep things tight?

Matt: It’s finding the right people. We share a lot of the same musical influences.

Thomas: [There were times when] matt would go extreme in one area, and I would go in the other and then Zach would just meet in the middle.

Matt: It's something good to give somebody a new way of listening to something they like.

What can we expect today?

Andy: Thomas is back.

Matt: Today, we're going to do short quick, really fast ‘cause we only have a 20-minute set. We're mashing our songs together. … Wham, bam thank you ma’am.

Andy: (Nods.) wham bam thank you ma'am.

Saturday, August 8, 2024

Photos on flickr

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:20 PM

Originally uploaded by Free Press Summer Fest

Hey Folks,
If you can't wait to start reminiscing about today's haps, then check out our flickr page with photos from the bands. Tomorrow, we'll be updating this site in real time, so you can follow along visually, if you're inclined to do so.


posted by Free Press Houston @ 2:54 PM

Muhamadali on Stage 2

Octopus Project: Currently in Session

posted by Free Press Houston @ 2:49 PM

Sitting side stage listening to the experimental pop stylings of Octopus Project. The wind continues to grace Summer Festers with its presence and the crowd continues to grow as more Festers file into the bowl. We apologize for the Internet difficulties, but we promise tomorrow's coverage will be more bug-free. With interviews, photos (crosses fingers) and more. Stay tuned for more news from the front and come out, it's not too late!

-- Dusti Rhodes

B L A C K I E Video Shoot Tonight!

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:41 PM

If you want to know where the after-after party is head to the Indie Houston House. B L A C K I E will be shooting the video for his new song "Lou Dobbs on My Knob." Anybody can come. "Everybody," says the man with all caps and spaces. The tape will start rolling 'round midnight, so be there. "Dress as slutty as possible," he says. Even the dudes? "Especially the dudes ... jk, no homo."

But seriously, B L A C K I E says it's set up to just be a house party. The idea is to get as many people there as possible, so don't be shy on the invites. Bring your friends, their friends and their friends. Who knows ya'll's mugs might wind up on video that might wind up all over the world.

Once again, here's the info:
Starts around midnight.
Indie Houston House, 1816 Calumet.
Bring lots of people.

Heat 0 Summer Fest 1

posted by Free Press Houston @ 1:05 PM

It might be hot, but that's not stopping Muhamadali, Los Skarnarles and Young Mammals from getting the crowds on their dancin' feet. By the looks of em, you'd think the festivalgoers all went swimming before they came here. But, hey, sweat is there to keep you cool. Fat Tony is about to take the Main Stage and B L A C K I E vs. Cop Warmth is prepping up the side stage.

Stay tuned for an interview with B L A C K I E about his video shoot tonight. Details to come ...

posted by Free Press Houston @ 12:04 PM

I am Mesmer

I am Mesmer just got called off the Main Stage (They were over time.) The crowd wanted one more, but hey, that's the joy of festivals. Now that they know they want to hear more, they can go check out a future show. The Watermarks were holding it down on the side show playing to Summer Festers that looked pretty comfortable sitting in the shade and soaking up some late-90s style pop rock.

Los Skarnales are currently warming up on the Main Stage and we've still got a whole day left for Fat Tony, Young Mammals, Broken Social Scene and Explosions in the Sky (who early this morning were catching some extra zzzz's in the Artist Tent.)

More photos to come soon, if not later this evening.

- Dusti Rhodes

Tuesday, August 4, 2024

Matt Brownlie talks about H.U.S.H. - his new Happy Hour Music Series at Rudyard's

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:40 AM

“Dude, c'mon. It's Rudz, there's cheap and awesome food, beer and liquor. We're going to have tacos. The music's going to be good. We're giving the money to charity. Let's get together for happy hour once a month, huh?”

That’s Matt Brownlie of Bring Back the Guns fame practically shaking my shoulders off with enthusiasm over his new series at Rudyard’s - H.U.S.H. (Houston Underground Social Hour) – which is a monthly series of happy hour shows with the intent of showcasing some of the city’s best music. The kick-off begins this week with Benjamin Wesley, The Takes, and Muzak John and the $5 cover benefits Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. We were so intrigued that we sent him a round of questions and then thought that perhaps we should follow those up with some real questions. Here are his responses to both sets of questions:

FPH: Matt, what is your fucking problem?

Brownlie: My fucking problem is that I missed the show at the Double Dave's pizza joint up the street from my house last week. What the fuck, how did I forget that?! I've wanted to book shows there forever. I am stupid.

FPH: Why do you hate the music scene so much and why are you killing it?

Brownlie: Killing the scene jokes are killing the scene, Ramon.

FPH: Do you miss the funky smell at Rudyard’s?

Brownlie: I used to tend bar at this super fancy restaurant in River Oaks. Incredibly stark, minimal decor and Nouveau Comfort Food. Chic as fuck, right? About two months in, something went wrong with the sewer line and there was this persistent reek coming from one spot behind my bar. So you're sitting there drinking $12 apple martinis, waiting for your buffalo meatloaf or whatever, and constantly sniffing a port-a-potty. It was hilarious and torturous.

FPH: Yes or No. Is Rick Ross the biggest boss that you seen thus far? Why and if not, who is?

Brownlie: My personal motto is, "Every other day I'm hustlin'."

FPH: OK Matt, some real questions now. Give us the scoop; what brought about the idea and what is the goal?

Brownlie: The goal is to see some bands I've been meaning to see and hopefully get a bunch of people together for a fun happy hour. What brought it about? My lack of ability or desire to stay out late for rock shows. And how quickly that disconnected me from the scene. I've always thought that occasional early shows are a good idea and knew that I could book 'em.

FPH: Your kick-off has Muzak John. How well do you think people open up to experimental music after a hard day at work?

Brownlie: Dude, I have been asking myself that question from the get-go. I guess it's just that I love watching live experimental stuff and hope others feel the same. And maybe that sort of stuff goes down easier in a context where it's mixed with other genres? Anyway, it would be nice to see further scene cross-pollination, wouldn't it?

Either way, I'm just booking what I'm curious about or into. Hopefully others will be curious about or into it as well.

FPH: When you use the word Houston Underground, what are you including? Will we also be seeing Underground Metal, Hardcore, Hip-Hop, Rap, etc.? Or is this primarily geared as Underground Indie Rock?

Brownlie: Hip-hop definitely. I honestly know next to nothing about the metal and hardcore scenes, and that stuff is less my bag. But I want to stay open to good music from any genre. Anna Garza was throwing some good stuff my way just yesterday.

FPH: Looking back at Matinee shows their success seems to be mixed. What do you think makes one successful; and others less so?

Brownlie: I don't know. I guess I'm hoping that making these a regular deal will help them be successful. I'm hoping that the fact that they're cheap and benefiting local charities will put people in the mood to hang out.

Thursday, August 6
HUSH @ Rudyard's, 2024 Waugh Dr.
Food & drink specials at 5:30pm, bands at 6:00pm