All Writing and Photography © Alex Livingstone/Owner's Closet

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gigs: Feb 16 & 19

The week of February 13-20 yielded two more gigs in two more of my bands. The first gig took place on Wednesday the 16th at The Ghostroom on 4th Street in Austin. The Ghostroom resides in the building that used to be The Gingerman. I never went to the Gingerman and I'm happy that it is now a quality, unaffiliated venue. Chris Payeur runs sound and really has the place dialed in. They have a great patio too, which is an attractive feature for me when it comes to live music venues.
The show started with Nic Armstrong who I haven't seen play in quite a while. Maybe even since the last Ripe/Grand Champeen show which I think was at Room 710, and 710 doesn't even exist anymore. Nic sounded better than ever, owing much to the addition of a drummer who accentuated his songwriting and gave it more punch. The second band was Beta Rhythm who were pretty powerful. The overdriven keyboards reminded me a little of the first Hot Snakes record, which is great in my book. There was also some Delta 72 in there and if you ever saw them, you understand what i mean when I say "driving."
The Past Prayers set was great. It was our second one and definitely better than the first. What more could you ask for, right? Oh, well, I'll ask for Chris mixing on a sweet Midas Venice.
Our set:

Own Yr Own
Hard Head

I have audio of this show and I hope to soon have video too. I will post as soon as I figure out how. Here's a few photos Jillian Schantz took during our set.

On Saturday the 19, The Bremen Riot played at the Hole In The Wall with Polite Society, Melissa Bryan and Sissy Spaceship (KS). When I walked in Sissy Spaceship was singing about Brit Jones. Right on. The NvsS tradition lives on. Not only did they have great energy and an excitable setlist, they made fantastic posters for the show. Melissa Bryan and Terri Lord rocked out as a duo, leaving the lowest of ends the only thing necessary to complete their punk/rock onslaught. The Polite Society gave a poppy, three-guitar assault with quality hooks delivered the way only a McCarthy brother can. Bremen Riot played fourth and ripped out a forty minute (tops) set comprised mostly of songs from our upcoming release entitled PM Magazine. Set list was as follows:

Top 5 American Rock and Roll Bands

After getting cut at the bar the other night, I sat down next to my friend Dom Aiello and enjoyed a cold beer. We got to talking about many things and as conversations go amongst musicians, we started talking about music. We were out back at the Hole and as many of you may know, the juke box out there is nothing if not eclectic. I believe a Creedence Clearwater Revival song came on and I declared that they are the best American Rock and Roll band. Of course, this isn't necessarily true, but it set the tone for the next 45 minutes.

I soon posed the Top 5 List subject: "Top 5 American Rock and Roll Bands."

We soon established that while many acts from the fifties who were responsible for Rock and Roll should maybe be on the list, their importance came more into play with how they affected young pale men in England. Dom sees a lot of that stuff as rockabilly anyway and I see it as lightweight. That "Bands" is in the title is important as well. This excludes the Bill Haleys, the Jerry Lee Lewises, the Elvises, and the Buddy Hollies. We're talking bands here. And we talked bands. I suprised myself by considering some bands who I would otherwise blow off, only because of their undeniable Rock and Roll aesthetic. And no, Cheap Trick wasn't even brought up.

We saw eye to eye on most every band that we discussed and found it really difficult to choose 5. While each of our Top 5's would have been different, we could at least agree on 14 to choose from. I don't remember who he chose aside from ZZ Top, which I agree with. Maybe we agreed on X too. Anyways, now that I've had a few days I'll try and pick.

ZZ Top
The Allman Brothers
The Doors

See, it's hard. Whatever. Of course it doesn't matter. It's fun is all. Here's the master, in my own hand.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gigs: Feb 11 & 12

Last night I played with Grand Champeen at the Elk's Lodge and then with Excited States at ND. While they were rather different shows, both were fun. The Elk's Lodge gig was a joint birthday celebration which allowed Grand Champeen some room to stretch out and play some fun covers. We also played some originals fairly poorly, but that's ok. Right? From what I can remember...

Wounded Eye
You May Be Right (BJ)
Records & Tapes
And Your Bird Can Sing (Beatles)
Get Back To The Quiet
Hey Tonight (CCR)
Winterlong (Neil)
Foreplay/Come On Come On (Boston/Cheap Trick)
Root and Branch
Radio Radio (Declan MacManus)
Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown (Neil)
Can't Hardly Wait (Westerberg)
Paid Vacation
Just Want To Get You Alone
Another World, Another Planet (Only Ones)
All The Young Dudes (Bowie)
Walk Of Life (Dire S.)

At 10pm I hauled ass over to the ND, found a parking spot right outside the door, and walked into The Decade Show's third to last song. They have really spruced up that venue since the last time I was there. I feels like a real club now. Right on. Excited States went on second and delivered a searing set of catchy, angular, rock gems. That set went a little bit like...

The 15th (wire)
Found Some Tapes
New Song
Pretty Little Cages
Slow Cooker
Feel The Sting
New Song
Under The Weight
Look What the Wind Blew In (Thin Lizzy)

The next evening, Grand Champeen shared the "middle" stage at the Hole in the Wall with Pink Nasty, and The Mother Hips from California. Jack Wilson played short sets between acts on the front stage and helped make a great night all around. Pink Nasty delivered a solo set that was full of good songs and an endearing, stark honesty. Grand Champeen played second and tore the room apart, leaving a splintered stage for the Mother Hips to repair with a couple of hours of smooth Northern California tunes. Despite the nearly unrecoverable state in which we left the room, they managed to put on a great show. Perhaps it was their creative songwriting that displayed their mastery of mid-song tempo changes. Or it may have been their outstanding musicianship and singing abilities. The loyal and excited crowd was a no doubt a big help. I don't know what happened on the first night of the Hips' two-night stand when Smoke and Feathers and December Boys opened, but I hope for them that it went as well as our night did. We did something like this:

Join Us
Good Slot
Diff Sort
Records &
Get You Alone
Root &
Get Back TTQ
Death Of
One &
Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown
Rest Of
Fakin' It

Or at least I think that's how it goes. Some fella who flew into town to see/bootleg the Mother Hips recorded us as well. I want to find this guy and get a copy. He said he'd give us one. If the recording turned out, it should be a good snapshot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Upcoming Gigs!!

I am in, like, five bands and it's starting to get busy around here. Here is my schedule for the upcoming month or two. I'll be updating as I find out more, especially regarding SXSW.

Feb 11 10:30pm
Excited States @ ND w/ fivehead, The Decade Show, Militant Babies

Feb 12
Grand Champeen @ The Hole in the Wall w/ the Mother Hips, Pink Nasty

Feb 16
Past Prayers @ Ghostroom w/ Nic Armstrong, Beta Rhythm

Feb 19
Bremen Riot @ Hole in the Wall w/ Polite Society, Melissa Bryan, Sissy Spaceship

Feb 23 (11pm)
Excited States @ Carousel w/ Why Not Satellite

Feb 25 (9pm)
Grand Champeen @ Club Deville w/ Lil' Cap'n Travis, Boxcar Bandits

Mar 4
Bremen Riot @ Bryce Clifford's House; House Party!!!!!


Mar 15 (8pm)
Grand Champeen @ Hole in the Wall w/ Glossary, Romantica, Vulture Whale, Lil' Cap'n Travis, The Mighty Deerlick/Militant Babies, Bremen Riot

Mar 16 (2:15pm)
Freelan Barons @ Treehouse (501 E. 6th street)

Mar 17 (3pm)
Freelan Barons @ Threadgill's

Mar 17 (5pm)
Grand Champeen @ Trophy's; Ballard day party

Mar 17 (7pm)
Bremen Riot @ Dog and Duck w/ the Minus Five

Mar 18 (7pm)
Freelan Barons @ Taproom @6th w/ Madison Square Gardeners

Mar 18 (10:30pm)
Freelan Barons @ The Treehouse; "We Are Columbus" showcase

Mar 19 (9pm)
Freelan Barons @ Lustre Pearl; official SXSW Showcase

SXSW is over

Mar 31 (12:30am)
Past Prayers @ Hole In The Wall w/ Right or Happy, Austerity Measures