YES! It is a real thing.
I speculated a couple of weeks ago, having taken note of this event on the CAM calendar.
Fonts and typefaces (there's a difference, but we'll get to that later) fascinate me as the standardized visual representation of language, letter by letter. Once when I was about 7, I asked my teacher what the little things at the ends of letters were called (answer: serifs). She had no idea what I was talking about, and, not for the first time in my childhood, I felt terribly alone.
Turns out though that there are other people FAR more obsessed by fonts/typefaces than I. I worked in the art department of the publishing division of a nefarious and slave-driving rapacious multinational corporation. I got to attend cover-art meetings wherein full-on arguments with raised voices developed between some artists in the art department, editors and production peeps about a book cover's proposed typeface seeming "argumentative," "sentimental" or "too mass-market."
There have even been movies about it. Here's a clip from Helvetica, a 2007 documentary that I've watched probably 5 times, enraptured every time*, because that's how I roll.
Heady stuff, no?
The mission statement for Fontmasters is:
Fontmasters is dedicated to establishing personal gain through font education in an ethical approach at the highest level.
(See my ironic use of the dreaded Comic Sans there? Nyuk nyuk!)
This mission statement makes Fontmasters seem like serious business, but also or alternately possibly a satire on serious business. I e-mailed organizer-mastermind Mary Cantu, and Ben Judson, listed on the CAM calendar as a "presenter" for this inaugural meeting.
Hi Ben and Mary--
For both of you, answer however'd you'd like, whichever questions, all or some or make up your own.
What the hell is this thing?
A dinner/reception discussing fonts as they relate to ethics?
Is that a euphemism for something?
...what is Fontmasters?
Is it a pre-existing club or is this-all somewhat satirical? Like a visual Toastmasters...?
Is this an inaugural event for Fontmasters? Also, why "Fontmasters" and not "Typefacemasters?"
what is the significance of the Chinese restaurant as locus?
(Note: the Fontmasters meeting was held at a Chinese buffet.)
Mary wrote back thusly:
Fontmasters was established this year (by myself and Cruz Ortiz) to
critically look at how we interact with fonts and how they affect us.
Fonts are a language in and of themselves and we look forward to this
exploration. After several conversations with colleagues and friends,
we realized there was a need to create an organization that tackles
issues related to fonts. This will be our first general meeting and we
hope to attract anyone interested in font education. We'll have guest
speakers (like Ben Judson) present on different aspects of fonts and
opportunities for community involvement. We already have someone
interested in creating their own font! Ultimately, directions the
organization takes are determined by the interests of its members.
China Harbor? I think we wanted to find a place with lots of variety
and has a dynamic atmosphere.
(Note: I put her in Times New Roman, designed in 1931 by Stanley Morison as an improvement typeface for The London Times)
Then Ben weighed in , too, including to this question:
As Neon Indian set up at the Emo’s Annex Pitchfork day party on Friday, people grew anxious. “We’re Neon Indian,” said front man Alan Palomo as he adjusted the microphone. Someone in the crowd yelled back, “Hell yes you are!” After all there is a giant billboard of Palomo’s face keeping it real on Red River Street.
Palomo is rumored to be responsible for leading the minimalist and lastest musical trend, chillwave or glo-fi, along bands like Memory Tapes, Toro y Moi, Washed Out and Small Black. According to New York Time's Jon Pareles, "It’s recession-era music: low-budget and danceable."
With a turn of a knob the show erupted into a series of noise and fury of electro pop distortions. Palomo was lively on stage, dancing and moving in his bright white shoes and bright blue sweater. His curls bounced as he danced along to Psychic Chasms, their debut album. Keyboardist and sometimes vocalist, Leanne Macomber, accompanied him by clapping and springing up and down at really high altitudes.
The crowd went especially wild, nearly elbowing me in my face several times, with singles like Deadbeat Summer, Terminally Chill and I Should’ve Taken Acid With You. Their dreamy bubbly sound, videogame 80s beats and sharp guitar aroused the need to dance or at least jump in the half drunken audience.
It was late April of 2009 when I first heard Neon Indian’s Deadbeat Summer off blog giant, Gorilla vs. Bear. I was quickly drawn by the band’s mystery. The track made my must listen list even though I couldn’t get a hold of Psychic Chasms until mid fall 2009.
Their show during ACL with !!! was a disappointment. I couldn’t even recognize who they were, they miserably failed to back up their blog buzz. I was crushed. I spoke to them shortly after their show, they admitted that it was actually the first time the band played together. Alan Palomo, the brains behind Neon Indian, enlisted the help of old friends from Denton to give Neon Indian a stage presence, Macomber and Vega band mates, Ronald Gierhart and Jason Fariesback.
I was so taken by their performance during the Pitchfork day party, I actually went to go see them again at Club De Ville later that night for the Green Label Sound party where Entourage star, Adrian Grenier made a appearance. Sorry, no pictures. I’m not the paparazzi. The crowd, however, acted a little like the paparazzi during the show, piling up on all sides of the stage. Palomo didn’t seem bothered by the constant flashing. Pop star fate? His dad was a Mexican pop star. Or maybe something to do with his extraterrestrial experience? He told Nylon TV that when he was five he saw a glowing alien that pointed at him and said, “You. You.” Whatever it is, after killer performances like those at SXSW, sold out shows in New York and a stellar performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, I’m sure there will be more flashing to come.
If you're like me, you enjoy good ol' fashioned internet meme (I still occasionally RickRoll my brother).
Like, here's Hitler reacting to something.
Here's a post with a bunch of meme-y youtube videos.
My favorite recent one, however, is this, brought to my attention by eagle-eyed friend Jennifer Marcha Allen:
by Jeffrey Wright
The SXSW festival has served as a prime opportunity for Latin American bands to gain exposure among US audiences, label execs, and industry scouts, and this year that tradition continued to build. The SA Current was on hand Friday, March 19 for the Gibson Latino venue at Austin's Opal Divine's Freehouse on 6th Street downtown, showcasing rockers Verona of Caracas, MegaRex of Sao Paulo, and, from Mexico, Yokozuna, The Hong Kong Blood Opera, Division Minuscula, and supergroup attraction Los Odio.
In the end, the star power brought to the evening by Los Odio, made up of guitarist and lead vocalist Paco Huidobro (Fobia), guitarist Jay De la Cueva (Fobia, Moderatto), bassist Quique Rangel (Cafe Tacuba), guitarist Tito Fuentes (Molotov), and drummer Tomás, failed to draw a large public. In fact, it failed to do much more than shine a spotlight on the egos of some talented musicians so intent on displaying disinterest in their star status that disinterest permeated their entire set. That apathy set the stage for Yokozuna and Hong Kong Blood Opera to steal the show.
Yokozuna, from Mexico City, comprises two brothers, Arturo and Jose Antonio Tranquilino – who, while mild-mannered backstage, belie their surname with their sweaty energy and talent onstage. They opened, Arturo on guitar and and Jose Antonio on drums, with "Drógame," a musically dense, relatively slow-paced and melodic piece that steadily builds into a Helmet-like chord-driven intensity which announced to the smattering of attendees that we were in for some highly original talent with this duo. But that hardly prepared listeners for the next song, "Crank," which exploded into a crushing Mastodon-esque juggernaut. It bowled us over as though we had stepped in front of an acoustic charge from Yokozuna's eponymous sumo grandmasters.
The rest of their set maintained a relentless aural punishment all the way through to the climactic "Huevos Al Motor," a mind-bending instrumental duel between Arturo's ecstatic guitar and Jose Antonio's bruising drums. Against a backdrop of eerie howling, Arturo leaped from the stage and fell to his knees as he ripped through a wrenching solo on a guitar held behind his neck a la Hendrix (and Jimi's riffs were woven through the cacaphonous melody in tribute); without missing a note he finally regained the platform and released us to a ferocious drum solo from Jose Antonio, so thunderous it likely triggered tsunami alerts in the Indian Ocean.
Despite the obvious technical limitations imposed by a two-man act, the band has achieved notable recognition in Mexico over the past four years, opening for such giants as Bad Religion, NIN, Flaming Lips, and the more musically akin Mastodon. And in their first US tour, steeped in the fervor of the SXSW, Arturo disclosed to the Current — for the first time to a media outlet anywhere — that Yokozuna will soon be three: Famed Molotov bassist Miguel Ángel Huidobro (Pacos's brother) will join the band for their third full-length CD, due out in the middle of this year. That will likely launch the brothers into commercial success. But don't wait, especially if you missed Thursday's San Antonio performance at the SWC Club. Pick up their current cut, "Yokozuna II," on the independent Mexican label Intolerancia now.
Immediately following the brothers' act came the Hong Kong Blood Opera out of Hermosillo, a Sonoran desert city more known for its musica norteña and blistering sun than a youth underground with blistering hardcore. But, in fact, Hermosillo is producing some of the freshest hard rock bands in the country these days, including names such as Grito, Suciedad Discriminada, and most notably, Saturday's sensational guests, who have performed in venues throughout Mexico, Europe, and the United States. (This was HKBO's second appearance at SXSW.)
As HKBO assembled before the audience, it was hard not to feel a little skeptical: Anytime you see a guitarist wearing a Black Flag t-shirt with the 1976 four-bar band logo posing next to an afro-coiffed synth player, you have to wonder what kind of insipid second-wave screamo might be in store. But all doubt dissipated when the band, led by 22-year-old frontman Sebastián Samaniego, abruptly convulsed into a spasm of noise with its first song, "Heat Rises," off their outstanding 2009 album, Not For The Faint Of Heart (also on the Intolerancia label).
Sebastián describes the band as punk hardcore with an industrial edge (thus the synthesizer). The SXSW bio goes a bit further, listing hardcore-noise-punk, digital hardcore, hip-hop, trash metal, industrial, electro, tribal elements and “other” influences. At times this scattergun shooting misses the mark and Blood Opera's potent aggression cedes to a more diffuse sound with hackneyed electronica sequences. Luis Alvarez's synth works when it accentuates the band's punk rock roots with pounding bass underpinning industrial noise harmonies, such as in tracks "Fill Me Full Of Hate" or "Level 5 Song"; it detracts when it veers into exultant electro-pop, a somewhat cheesy style reminiscent of early Mr. Bungle.
Nevertheless, HKBO easily commanded the greatest crowd energy of the night with an in-your-face performance flushed out by mesmerizing guitar from Luis Andonaegui, frenzied drumming by Miguel Valdez, and screaming vocal and guitar backup by Memo Ibarra. “They have always known how to set the crowd on fire,” says Hermosillo native Faride, the hardcore ax behind the surging Tijuana punk band Verbal Desecration who grew up with HKBO band members. This is, indeed, a band you should see live at the next opportunity. But until then, Not For The Faint Of Heart is well worth adding to your collection.
Though Yokozuna and HKBO unquestionably stole the spotlight on Friday, Los Odio weren't exactly a tough act to steal it from. The supergroup plodded through a set of uninspired rock and roll compositions that literally brought nothing new to Mexican rock en español. That may represent a common supergroup pitfall, but Los Odio have tumbled into it hard.
Paco Huidobro crooned through the group's original songs – self-consciously irreverent pieces such as "Pelos en el Mouse" and "Superpompis" – while the other musicians strutted around the stage showboating their undeniably high level of technical musical skill. But talent aside, not only was Los Odio unable to break new ground beyond what the individual artists achieved in their hugely influential respective groups Fobia, Cafe Tacuba, and Molotov, the band doesn't even approach the originality of those original acts.
After the first three songs the Current reporter found himself thinking, “Why do I feel like I'm watching the Mexican dinosaur rock band El Tri?” On cue, Austin-based Daniel Schechter, a former SXSW stage manager who previously lived in Mexico City for nearly a decade, leaned to the reporter and said, “These guys are just like the El Tri. The singer [Paco] is like a young Alex Lora.” Ouch. That's the kiss of death for a new Mexican rock act, but that was the critical consensus. And aside from the front-row groupies lavishing “we are not worthy” bows on the band after every song, it was a consensus the largely unmoved audience seemed to share.
Los Odio's best performance of the night came at the end from a cover of The Beatle's "Helter Skelter." “We play this song mas chingón than they do,” Paco declared in his introduction of it. They then plunged into a lengthy, rousing guitar-jam rendition. It was pretty chingón, no doubt. But if the best a superstar rock ensemble can come up with is yet another compelling cover of a song that was groundbreaking more than three decades ago, it's a good sign the musical experiment has failed.
"I'm with the band photographer."
This statement alone may be your golden ticket to SXSW ecstasy. This is how our freelancer, Will Lee, got into some of the biggest shows without a badge over the weekend. So next year, pack up your fancy camera - or handcuff yourself to your friend with an equally fancy camera - and get in on the action.
Photos by Lauren Martin
Sonic Youth’s most-of-the-time frontman Moore, Thursty as I like to call him, climbs on the Red 7 stage carrying a 12-string guitar, exactly on time. “All right, let’s get started,” he says, and he’s only played a few full measures before it’s completely apparent he doesn’t really need anything else. Where many musicians seem to adopt a 12-string as an aesthetic choice — strumming barre chords on this one make me look all classically trained an shit — Moore’s figured out how to make his an orchestra. He creates discordant notes that find melody as they reverberate off one another and lets the instrumental opening swell.
The crowd lined up outside an hour or more before the show, and they’re crowded in close. Several of them are the kind who come right out and call the photographers assholes for holding their cameras above their heads — no one waited this long to watch Moore on someone else’s iPhone screen — but they’ve all grown quiet by the time Moore’s started singing. When he’s finished the song, he shuffles through a stack of lyrics printed out on computer paper to choose the next one. “Death Valley ’69!” shouts some asshole in back, requesting the brutal Manson Family inspired track Sonic Youth recorded with Lydia Lunch, a song released 25 years ago.
But Moore appreciates the joke. “I don’t do covers,” he replies. “It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I don’t know how.” Then he asks if someone can turn the stage lights up because he’s having trouble seeing what he’s doing. “I really depend on the dots on the side of my guitar.” They’re turned as bright as they’re going to get, but Moore, who’s old enough to’ve fathered a good chunk of the audience, seems to get by just fine. “Fri/End” follows, and if you aren’t paying attention the “I’ll always be your friend/ At least just till the end” chorus might make you think Moore has mellowed too much in his old age, but “Blood,” which references a kidnapping and insists “blood never lies” suggests Moore hasn’t gotten any cheerier since Bad Moon Rising.
All right, I’ll do two more,” he decides after discarding to much disappointment a Woodie Guthrie song he brought along, but warns, “They’re both undone. It’s gonna be fucked up." “Without” describes finding a diamond in the gutter and melting it in your mouth, and the plight of a woman who wants only for you “to love her without shame,” and it’s about as close as Moore gets to sounding like the prototypical shaggy-haired guitar strummer Nick Drake. “Circulation,” which builds in intensity like a heart attack patient’s EKG until the chaos bursts and flatlines, is something else.
When it’s over, a fan asks for the setlist. “Are you kidding me?” Moore laughs, scooping up his stack of loose paper and attempting to make his way past the autograph seekers. As head of Ecstatic Peace, the label being showcased tonight, Moore seems content to let the kids (Black Helicopter, Awesome Color, the Entrance Band) make the noise for him tonight.
“My daddy was a rock ’n’ roller,” Ontario’s Collett proclaims in his inexplicable southern drawl to a largely indifferent crowd. A significant chunk of them are clearly just waiting him out till the better-known rest of Broken Social Scene shows up, and they’re chattering over his acoustic guitar, many not even bothering to use their inside voices. From where I’m standing it’s easier to eavesdrop on about five separate conversations than it is to hear Collett, but it’s hard to claim I’m missing much it seems. “Rave on Sad Songs” leave no real impression either. When he’s joined onstage by Zeus (who sounded a lot louder when they played by themselves beforehand) things pick up some, and they throw waves of guitar at “Love Is a Dirty Word” and “Long May You Love” until they’re musically complex enough to stick, but there’s not much to recommend, as far as I’m concerned, but to be fair this wasn’t exactly optimum conditions to see him in. It’s not hard to imagine someone really liking this, but I can’t say who or why, exactly. After the first few songs I was just waiting for BSS too.
Broken Social Scene
Kevin Drew’s first act upon taking the mic is to hand it off to a free-verse poet, a large older bearded man who may also be Santa Clause or a professional fly-fisher. “We’re about to do a two-and-a-half hour set” Drew announces, and asks for silence while the poet, didn’t catch his actual name, reads. Those continuing to talk are violently shushed by the rest of the audience.
“We’re Broken Social Scene,” Drew said before the set begins in earnest, “and we believe in all of you.”
The band, an impossibly large conglomofuck of basses, guitars, horns, and probably some cool shit I don’t even know about absolutely tears into “Superconnected” from their 2005 self-titled album, but it’s a little disappointing when Reverie Sound Revue’s Lisa Lobsinger, the band’s new go-to female vocalist, comes on to take Leslie Feist’s part in “7/4 Shoreline,” though she does a more than passable imitation. When the song’s finished, Drew insists the audience put away their cameras. “I don’t want to see anymore blinking red lights,” he says, and the crowd cheers, and as far as I can tell complies. “I just want you to experience tonight for what it is.”
“Texico Bitches, ” from their upcoming Forgiveness Rock Record (May 4), in my experience, is also a little disappointing. On first listen, it sounds like one of the of semi-ridiculous self-consciously course tracks (“Handjobs for the Holidays,” “I’m Still Your Fag”) BSS fans indulge between better, more meaningful songs, but first single “World Sick” is pretty awesome, if a little subdued by the band’s standards, and Lobsinger sounds fine when she’s not trying to sound like somebody else. Brenden Canning’s “Stars and Sons” is maybe still the best song they’ve got, though.
Matt Pond PA
You might mistake a Matt Pond PA song for an obscure but instantly catchy track from any number of more famous late ’90s/early ’00s alt-pop bands. They play the kind of music that people used to call “indie rock” before the largely meaningless term came to mean Auto-Tuned prep-school students playing disco synthesizers: likeable power-pop that was too literate or accomplished or something to really live up to the “pop” part of its name. “Spring will return again,” guitarist-vocalist-namesake Pond insists in “Brooklyn Stars,” “I’m not gone yet/ I want more of everything.” So does the audience, most of them college-age or just a little older, and they sway and sing along. “This is the best crowd we’ve had at South by Southwest,” he says, and he’s not pandering. “We don’t normally do so well here. There’s like 200,000 more people than usual he says. The Galaxy Club is pretty packed, but he’s exaggerating by at least like 199,700 or so.
They all groan when Pond announces they’ve just got one more song. “That’s how it is,” he says, sounding genuinely regretful. “It’s a business. There’s got to be a way to make some money off these guys.
I’m convinced there’s an alternate universe in which “Halloween” was a number-one hit and the Jonas Brothers are getting Cs in high school geometry. Shout out to the version of me there, you lucky son of a bitch.
We all know SXSW is the mecca of music. But what gets you to the show? Usually a visual. Flatstock is a rock poster show featuring original graphic art from more than 80 of the most popular working poster artists today. It's the mecca of visuals as far as music is concerned. In its 24th year, Flatstock coincides with the music conference week of SXSW. Best of all, it's free to the public. No badges, no hassle, no complaints. And if you're an artist or designer, you definitely don't want to miss this event next year.
The San Antonio Spurs entered their Friday night contest
against the Golden Sate Warriors sitting at 7th place in the Western
Conference standings. Despite a recent upswing in their on the court mojo, the
Spurs have been unable to gain much ground in the ultra-competitive West, but
don't tell that to the Warriors.
After the game, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili looked ahead to
the last 15 games on the team's schedule including a crucial gauntlet against the
Hawks, Thunder, Lakers, Cavaliers, and Celtics. "We basically have the tough 15,"
said Ginobili, who paced the Spurs with 23 points and 11 assists. "The last 15
games are going to be rough. It's good to get a win and have time to rest a
little bit. We have a really rough back-to-back coming up in
First up are the young Hawks with All-Stars Joe Johnson and
Al Horford, not to mention the explosive Josh Smith.
U.S. Social Forum Hip-Hop Fundraiser
Invincible + Anita Tijoux + Rebel Diaz
GI + Rodstarz from Rebel Diaz
Pedi Cab Bar
415 E Cevallos StDoors open
Cash only bar.
"One of the most talented MC's I've ever heard black or white male or female..." -
Invincible's spitfire wordplay has gotten her acclaim from Hip Hop fans all across the world, while her active involvement in progressive social change has taken her music beyond entertainment, and towards actualizing the change she wishes to see.
Anita Tijoux Chile
Anita -a socially conscious rapper that happens to be the daughter of a man who fled the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet- has been on the forefront of the movement since the mid-90's.
Rebel Diaz Puerto Rico-Chile-NY
With influences ranging from dirty south bounce to South American folk, Rebel Diaz combines classic boom bap tradition with Hip Hop’s global impact.
Fundraiser to travel to:
U.S. Social Forum
The U.S. Social Forum is more than a conference, more than a networking bonanza, more than a reaction to war and repression. The USSF will provide space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and bring renewed insight and inspiration. It will help develop leadership and develop consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world.
The USSF will take place June 22-26, 2010 at Cobo Hall and Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. The USSF will convene social movements from across the United States and globally.
People's Choice & Artists' Choice: cast votes by 5pm Wednesday March 24!
This CAM's closing party on Saturday March 27 will feature the CAMMY AWARDS honoring our artists and showing respect and appreciation for our home-base talent.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Now is your chance to have your say! Which San Antonio artist will be chosen by The People? You can cast a vote for the artists you like on the CAM website by going to the individual artist page & clicking on the voting box.
ARTISTS' CHOICE: You must be an artist officially registered in a CAM 2010 event to participate! Simply email your one vote to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A full list of CAM artists, with links to each of their pages:
Cast your vote no later than 5pm Wednesday March 24!
also, FYI, there will be approximately 20 awards named, selected, and presented by:
Blue Star, Artpace, SW School, McNay, National Alliance of Latino Art & Culture, Artlies, OCA, UTSA President's Office, Palo Alto, SAMA, Say Sí, Attic Rep, Buttercup, the Guadalupe, and more...
New Media Program / UTSA Art & Art History Department
New Media Caucus
Vice President / Exhibitions
Invited! The young poets from the Krier JCTC will read Friday,
March 19 @ 6:00 PM at Gemini Ink.
join us for this first reading and publication of their poetry
Push and Pull There will be a signing afterward and light refreshments
will be served. The event is free and open to the public. If you missed the SA Current story on the poetry
workshop - click on the link below. Please forward this notice to friends and students and
help support these talented youngsters.
Push & Pull
San Antonio, TX 78205
The young poets from the Krier JCTC will read Friday, March 19 @ 6:00 PM at Gemini Ink.
Please join us for this first reading and publication of their poetry chapbook.
Push and Pull
There will be a signing afterward and light refreshments will be served.
The event is free and open to the public.
If you missed the SA Current story on the poetry workshop - click on the link below.
Please forward this notice to friends and students and help support these talented youngsters.
A Current call for coffee critics! Join our crack team of café-culture investigators. We’re looking for five individuals who love coffee and, just as importantly, coffee shops, to review SA’s coffee-drinking universe. You’ll be paid beans (brewed, of course), but you’ll be (in)famous. Owners (and their family members and significant others) and employees of SA coffee shops and distributors are ineligible. Interested parties, please email a short paragraph describing your addiction and qualifications to email@example.com. Deadline: March 30.
On one hand, I feel like it sort of betrays everything South by Southwest is supposed to represent for me to spend my first night here watching Ray Davies and Roky Erickson
— two pretty safely established acts, I'd say, who probably aren’t in need of discovery or extra exposure, or much of anything really. (Though if you don’t know who one of those guys is, get to Wikipedia immediately, and I’ll pretend we never had this conversation.)
But on the other hand, fuck it. If Alex Chilton’s death has taught me anything this week, it’s that you have to see the legends when you get the chance, and I’ve never seen either of these dudes before. So after an extremely cramped shuttle ride with Snoqualmie Pass, Washington’s T-Bagging Bandits (sample dialog: “How come when you drive by a funeral home and they’re cremating a body it doesn’t smell like barbecue?”) and arriving at the Austin Convention Center just in time to get my badge before they closed, I hiked over to La Zona Rosa to go dancing with the Kinks. Davies opened with “This Is Where I Belong” and threw in a few Austin mentions, which I’m sure he’s totally never done for any other city ever. I expected a crowd of old farts, and there was at least one old guy literally farting non-stop directly in front of me. For the most part though, the crowd was pretty evenly split between grayhairs who’d probably bought Schoolboys in Disgrace on 8-track and 20-somethings who were texting the setlist to their parents.
Considering Davies was writing pleas for a return to the good old days of afternoon tea in the mid-to-late’60s, there’s something weird about people taking his picture on their smartphones. The mopey ass kicking of “Where Have All the Good Times Gone?” “Ape Man,” and “David Watts” transcend Twitter, Foursquare, Chatroulette and whatever the hell else you kids are doing these days, and the audience young and old responds accordingly. Davies tears through 25 songs in about an hour and the audience sings along with the songs they know, and cheers more than politely at the ones they don’t, of which there aren’t that many. Other than Waterloo Sunset, he plays most of the songs I wanted him to, obligatory (“You Really Got Me Now,” “Lola”) and those I’d assume are slightly more obscure (“Two Sisters*,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” “Celluloid Heroes”) but that the audience screamed wildly for. Guess I’m not such a unique snowflake Kinks fan after all.
Speaking of which, Davies has got to be screwing with the audience when he insists everyone sing along to the chorus of “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” but they do it anyway. Even though it’s most famously used in the Sopranos, the song’s part of a section of the show he dubs “Ray’s songs that have been used in movies,” which also includes “A Well Respected Man” from Juno and "Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" from Rushmore. He seems happy to play them, though he uses “Worryin’” to remind us just how long he’s been doing this. “I wrote this song when I was 17,” he said. The girl he wrote it for, he says, broke his heart. “But now I can’t even remember her name,” he says now, and it’s entirely plausible.
“Sunny Afternoon,” though he seems less fond of: “I wrote this song in a fit of depression,” he says. “And now I’ll probably have to sing it for the rest of my life.” He reads a short passage from his “unauthorized autobiography” X-Ray, and introduces “The Tourist” with a story about moving to New Orleans, which he jokingly calls a mistake. He impersonates a Cajun accent, imitating his neighbors: “You see that guy who moved next door?” he says. “You know who he is, don’t you? He wrote that faggot song Lola. Let’s shoot the motherfucker!” In NO, he says, he met Chilton, and the two recorded a duet of a Kinks song Chilton covered previously, “Till the End of the Day.” He sings it tonight in Chilton’s honor, and it easily takes on a greater meaning as a beautiful, unsentimental eulogy.
Davies’s voice has lost a little strength as he’s aged, requiring him to talk his way through some of the verses, late-period-Dylan style but he still has the energy to hop around onstage like someone who hasn’t been doing it for like 45 years, and the new songs he’s written sit comfortably with his older, better known compositions. “I like doing new songs,” he says before playing “Postcard From London,” originally a duet with Chrissie Hynde, which Davies says “you can download from space.” Must be working — tonight Davies looks like we’ll have the chance to watch him play for another 45 years.
*The video above was not taken by me and it wasn't at this performance, but it's the same tour and the same setup, etc. If you'd like to pretend I filmed it, just superimpose the back of former basketball player Gheorghe Mureşan's head over the bottom 3/4 of the screen.
Roky Erickson & Okkervil River
Former 13th Floor Elevator frontman Erickson played with psych-rock revivalists the Black Angels at last year’s festival, and that seemed like a natural fit, but the team up with not-exactly acid-washed Okkervil (the two have an album coming out April 20) could be pretty awkward. After 45 freaking minutes of setup, which included Okkervil’s Will Sheff checking every freaking microphone and monitor onstage himself, we finally find out that it pretty much works. Despite the fact that Erickson turned sideways to watch Sheff the entire performance, depending on him for the proper chord changes and the occasional whispered lyric, the two have found a common sound that shouldn’t piss off fans of either act. Erickson probably wouldn’t make the top 50 in a list of acts I suspected as Okkervil influences, but Sheff is clearly having a blast (something most Okkervil songs wouldn’t lead you to suspect he was really even capable of doing), rocking out with a hero on Erickson solo tracks “Two Headed Dog” and “I Walked With a Zombie.”
And “True Love Cast Out All Evil” the title track from their upcoming collaboration is stunning. The key phrase is repeated like a hopeful mantra, first by Erickson affecting a gruff-and-lonesome Texas yelp, then by Sheff with the whole band coming in soon after, eyes closed, faces glowing like a gospel choir. The song clearly has a personal significance for Erickson and Sheff that’s more than the actual meaning of the words can account for, they’re both entirely too good at what they do to feel an emotion onstage without conveying it to the audience.
The collaboration looks to be another good career move for Sheff, who’s been nothing but awesome since 2005’s Black Sheep Boy, and a truly exciting development for Erickson cultists. Hopefully, seeing these seasoned artists in action will work as a calibrator for me for the rest of this week, helping me keep perspective on the overeager hosannas praising these flavor of the minute buzz bands, but also reminding me that, hell, some of those songs Davies wrote when he was 17 were absolutely killer. Tomorrow I’ll go see some bands with pimples on their faces, I swear.
With suggestive lyrics that would make your mom, or even your cool aunt, blush, all girl punk band the Coathangers barraged the 1011 with a highly charged performance. The Atlanta based quartet moved from song to song with the ease of a trapeze artist and the unadulterated precision of a stick of dynamite. Julia Kugel assaulted the mic with her fiery vocals, and shredded everyone’s ears with her catchy new wave punk guitar schemes, Meredith Franco kept everyone bouncing around with her catchy bass lines, while keyboardist Candice Jones filled in her own brand of synthesizer hooks, and drummer Stephanie Luke played her drums like a prizefighter pounding a featherweight. Everyone shared mic duties as they tore through crowd favorites like “Nestle in my Boobies” and “Pussywillow," and kept the audience a dancing sweaty frenzy while the band belted out each tune with the coolness of James Dean — a female James Dean who really doesn’t want you touching her shit. They exchanged instruments as if they were playing a secret game of musical chairs adding to the ensuing chaos. Catch them this year at SXSW, but be warned, they’re not for the faint of heart. Or your mom.
(You can find the previous volumes of this series here, here, and here!)
Libertarians don't play, y'all.
(That's Ayn Rand, a favorite thinker for many Libertarians, and she is NOT KIDDING WITH THAT HAT. She is also DEAD SERIOUS about the cigarette holder. Furthermore, she believed herself to have written COMPLETELY THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS and EXCELLENT DIALOGUE, DAMMIT, and don't you forget it.)
OK, here's the press release we got from the Libertarians today.
As always, bold portions are emphasis mine, with my comments italicized, and in parentheses.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Why do they always say that? I know it's for immediate release. I have yet to receive a press release that requested HEY, SIT ON THIS ONE FOR AWHILE, WE'RE KINDA NOT ALL THAT SURE ABOUT THIS THING YET.)
March 16, 2010
Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222
Libertarians oppose census questions
WASHINGTON - Libertarian Party (LP) Chairman William Redpath released the following statement today regarding the 2010 census:
(Data from which, by the way, is used in calculating the number of Representatives we get to send to Congress, in allocating federal funds for disaster victim relief, and to determine federal funds for infrastructure, such as bridges and tunnels, but also schools, hospitals, job training centers, and emergency services like emergency room resources and enough firehouses with enough firefighters to protect us from, you know, FIRE.)
"The Libertarian Party believes that the federal government's current census procedures are unconstitutional, unnecessary, and too expensive. We believe that the census is constitutionally limited to collecting only one piece of information about each residence: the number of persons living in it. We urge Congress to change the census laws to comply with this constitutional limitation.
"The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to provide for a census in order to apportion Representatives correctly. The Constitution does not empower Congress to use a census for any other purpose. There is no need for Congress to collect additional information such as names, races, ages, sexes, or home ownership status. Unfortunately, the federal government wants to use the additional information to fine tune its control over the lives and money of the American people.
(Dude. They're not asking us what we're reading, who we're hooking up with, or whether we're Communists (although Ayn Rand was totally in favor of that type of interrogation, having appeared as a friendly witness in front of the House UN-American Activities Committee in 1947). If "additional
information to fine tune its control over
lives and money of the American people" is required by the Census Bureau to determine, say, how many homeless people there are and how many of us aren't the assumed-default White Guy, that's cool by me.)
"The 2010 census is expected to cost over $14 billion. A recent report from the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce indicates that preparations for the 2010 census have already been filled with waste and bloat. A proper census, limited to just a headcount, would be far less expensive.
(...A "headcount?" So the Libertarians don't want the government to ask us any questions, but they think maybe we should all just gang up in some giant stadium or at the Grand Canyon and be counted up by somebody with one of those little handheld attendance clickers or something?
Bored census worker: "Three million seven hundred and thirty-six thousand four-hundred and twenty-one, three million seven
hundred and thirty-six thousand four-hundred and twenty-two ... we're gonna be here a while. You, behind the rock, would you move so we can see you? Are you the only one back there or what? Thanks. Three million seven
hundred and thirty-six thousand four-hundred and twenty-three..."
Because that, I'm not down for.)
"Many Americans fear that the Census Bureau will not keep their information secret, and might turn personal details over to other government agencies. The Census Bureau promises that they will keep everything confidential, but they have broken that promise in the past. As David Kopel of the libertarian (<--why not capitalized?) Cato Institute has pointed out, during World War I the Census Bureau handed over lists of names and addresses so the federal government could search for draft resisters. And, shockingly, during World War II, the Census Bureau told the Justice Department which neighborhoods had high concentrations of Japanese-Americans. The federal government then used that information to find Japanese-Americans and imprison them in concentration camps.
(OK, this is bad. Census data should not be used to persecute anybody, clearly. But the alternative to census data being taken is...what?)
"As Congressman Ron Paul, 1988 Libertarian candidate for President, recently said, 'If the federal government really wants to increase compliance with the census, it should abide by the Constitution and limit its inquiry to one simple question: How many people live here?'"
(But then, see, you're not actually counting people. Say you're a census worker — hundreds of thousands of short-term jobs will be created by the 2010 census, incidentally — You knock on a door, somebody answers it. Perhaps a burglar answers it! Then the census worker asks the burglar, who doesn't live there, 'how many people live here?' and the burglar answers 'just me,' slams the door and laughs her ass off as she continues burgling the home of A FAMILY OF TEN, who not only had their Wii and vintage Fiestaware stolen, but won't even be counted as human Americans in the census data.)
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive
Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
Oh, Libertarians. So are you planning not to comply? What's your actual plan for the census? Maybe address it through Facebook status update? ("Marvin Shoemaker is ONE WHITE GUY who lives ALL ALONE in a LIGHTHOUSE he inherited from his uncle, Census Bureau.")
Or give some misleading
answers on your forms?
"We are five bobcats who live in a ravine, which we rent. Our names are Spivey, Trombone, Lunchmeat, Mark, and Mrs. Guerrero. Our ethnicity: motherfucking BOBCAT. We are BOBCAT-American."
Get more census material here.
Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux makes her US debut and brings a dire warning
By Enrique Lopetegui
Ana Tijoux in Texas
(Those born in 1977 enter for free)
@ SXSW (Austin)
Thu. March 18
515 E 6th St. (21+)
Sat. March 20
323 E 6th St. (21+)
Sunday, March 21
Pedi Cab Bar & Grill
415 E Cevallos
Doors open at 9. Invincible and Rebel Díaz will open. The show, titled "Road to Detroit," is a fundraiser for the U.S. Social Forum and is presented by the Southwest Workers Union and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.
Ana Tijoux was born in France in 1977 and started rapping in French, but make no mistake: She’s as Chilean as a cueca (the country’s national dance). Or an earthquake.
As a socially-conscious rapper that happens to be the daughter of a man who fled the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, it was inevitable to mostly talk about the economic aftershocks to the aftershocks of the Chilean earthquake, but her career can give you an idea of what she sounds like: After discovering French rap, she went on to NWA and Public Enemy, then back to Europe (this time rap from Spain, like Mala Rodríguez) and now “a little bit of everything, from Ryuichi Sakamoto to Chico Buarque.”
Nominated as Best New Artist and Best Urban Artist by MTV Latin America, and a guest in Latin alternative-pop superstar Julieta Venegas’ Limón y sal album, Tijoux’s second album (first in the States), 1977, comes out in the US on April 27 (Nacional Records).
On Friday, Ana spoke to us in Spanish on the phone from Santiago.
Where were you when the earthquake hit?
I was in the middle of a show. My colleague was onstage and I was waiting to go up there, and all of a sudden everything started moving. I thought it was the people jumping, but soon enough it was clear that it wasn’t the people. There was collective hysteria for a while, but fortunately the emergency exits were open and I was able to get out.
Unlike Cromañón… [a Buenos Aires rock club that caught fire during a concert in 2004, resulting in the death of more than 190 kids]
Exactly. That was a big lesson for all of us.
Much has been written about the fact that, unlike Haiti, Chile is better prepared to deal with an earthquake, as if an 8.8 quake wasn’t that big of a deal and the help wasn’t so urgent. That personally pisses me off.
Yeah, that’s been going on… And they compare how many dead, or how strong the quakes were. This is not a competition. Our earthquake was 8.8, and nothing can change that. It happened. It’s real. People buried underneath a building, that’s also real. And the people swept by the sea, that’s also real. Even if only one or two people had died, that’s important enough, isn’t it?
The earthquake happened days before MIguel Piñera, a right-winger, was about to take power after a very popular leftist government by Michelle Bachelet. Are you at all worried about the quake being used as an excuse to apply shock therapy in the economy to further screw the poor masses, as usual?
Of course! Like my friend in Twitter said when an aftershock hit during the presidential ceremony, “Not even the Earth wants them.” It was very symbolic. And when the looting started, they couldn’t find a better way to deal with it than sending the military, and now people want the army, and we’re back in a state of curfew, like during the dictatorship. It’s disgusting. The tragedy made it easier for them to turn us into a police state.
I was watching an Argentine newscast about the [Chilean] looting, and they were showing the military grabbing looters by the neck, throwing them on the ground and kicking the crap out of them, but all the anchors talked about was the looting, not the kicking, as if it were the most normal, understandable thing to do.
Yes, now violence is justified. They’re right-wing governments and anything goes in the name of “peace and order.” And don’t get me started on the economic violence… There’s an extremely dark era ahead of us Chileans. On the other hand, it’ll be interesting to see what will happen to a social and political coalition that should try to balance things out a little.
Have you ever been in the U.S. before? Who are you coming with?
No, this is my first time ever. I’ll have a supporting deejay and emcee and then in the last dates of the tour in New York I’ll have DJ Chela, a female deejay. And check this out: Those born in 1977 enter for free to all of my shows. Make sure you put that in your story.
Check her out on myspace.com/anitatijoux
Sordid admission number…well, never mind: I often cruise the cheese counter at Whole Foods for small portions of unusual examples I’ve never seen before. Yes, I know that Central Market has over 700 varieties, but you know what DeGaulle said about a country (his) producing that many fromages: It’s ungovernable. The smaller selection is actually easier to cope with—and it’s thoughtfully compiled. While doing the article on Luis Morales’s Camberti, I came across a mention of a similar French cheese in the New York Times, the Hervé Mons Camembert. It was said to be carried by Whole Foods, and despite my certainty that it wouldn’t be found locally, voila! They had it. Luis is a little less enthusiastic than I am, naturally, but I just bought my second, wood-encased round. $10.
This is a good cheese, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary—except in quality. Really out in left field is the Barely Buzzed wedge I recently purchased. It’s basically a simple, nicely aged cow’s milk cheese, but the kicker is the coating: coffee and lavender. Whoa, Nelly. You really can’t just eat this cheese on a polite water wafer; it literally shrieks for wine.
Of course I had some. Many assertive wines, both red and white would do, but the 2008 Roero Arneis from Cantine dei Marchesi Incisa della Rochetta I had just picked up at Saglimbeni’s (the producer was in town) proved every bit its equal. Lime peel, fig, green almond…this wine was anything but wimpy, brie-and-crackers white. (There are some
But equally of interest—with this and another Whole Foods find, the Tomme de Esplette, a sheep’s milk cheese enhanced with pimenton chiles—was a red: the 2007 Juan Gil Jumilla. This is a beautiful, appropriately Spanish wine—big, plummy, plush and spicy, yet with a good, cheese-and-ham- friendly backbone. It’s a steal at $18. Less on discounted weekends.
While I have your attention, I trust, I can’t resist mentioning another white I just came across: the 20078 Beckmen Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley (Gabriel’s at I 10 and Callaghan). Sauvignon blanc can so often be a breakfast bomb of grapefruit and grass (though, for all that, way more food friendly than many chardonnays), but this is unique from the moment you twist the screw top. White flowers, citrus peel, passion fruit (in spades) and maybe even a little ripe gooseberry—assuming you’ve had truck with gooseberries—all come across in a total package that’s immensely appealing. Maybe try it with the Hervé Mons: creamy versus tropical. Or with Luis’s Camberti—nutty played against floral. The trick is to try, regardless.
Anjelah Johnson - Our Family Wedding
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
Funny girl Anjelah Johnson (right) has been keeping busy in the entertainment industry for the last few years. From her performances as a stand-up comedienne to her short stint as an NFL cheerleader, it’s all been a natural progression for Johnson, who moved to L.A. in 2003 to pursue an acting career.
In Our Family Wedding, the second wide-release film of her career, Johnson, who is of Mexican and Native American descent, plays Izzy, the tomboyish sister of America Ferrera’s character who surprises her traditional Hispanic family when she tells them she is engaged to a black guy.
During an interview with me, Johnson talked about her time as an Oakland Raiderette, what kind of advice she got from Carlos Mencia, and what it means to “sleep like a princess.”
You were in one episode of Ugly Betty last year where you interview Betty about her blog. So, I’ll ask the same first question you ask Betty on that show: Who are you dying to bitch out?
Yoohoo! Man, nobody! I’m on good terms with everyone right now, so it’s all good. (Laughs)
What did you think about Ugly Betty getting cancelled?
I’ve been a fan of the show since the first episode. When I heard it was cancelled, I was sad. I’m friends with America and we talked about it. I told her it was a blessing that she was able to be a part of such an amazing show. I’m happy for her and the show because it did get to run for four seasons, but I’m sad to see it go.
Was it your idea to mention a manicure in one of your first scenes in Our Family Wedding since that is a big part of your stand-up routine?
When do I talk about a manicure?
At the beginning of the movie, you talk about someone getting a manicure.
Oh, when I shake Lance’s [Gross] hand I say he has soft girly hands and ask if he got a manicure. I didn’t even correlate the two! That’s pretty funny. (Laughs)
I thought it was a reference to your stand-up.
No, not at all. I try to veer away from that as much as possible.
I heard you say in a past interview that you’re a lot like your character Izzy. Would you consider yourself as much of a tomboy as she is?
(Laughs) Yes, I do, definitely. I’m not over-the-top to where it’s like butchy, but I’m definitely a jeans and tennis type of girl with my hair in a ponytail. But I don’t like to get dirty. I hate it when my hands are dirty. That’s one of my pet peeves.
What would you consider the girliest thing about you other than getting manicures?
The girliest thing about me is that I sleep like a princess. I have like seven pillows all around me in a big U shape. When I toss and turn I always have a pillow to hold onto. I have a huge king-size bed just for me.
Other than sleeping like a princess, you don’t seem to fit in that princess mold. But I read that you were a professional cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders. That, to me, sounds really girly.
Well, I grew up doing competitive cheerleading where it wasn’t so girly. It was more of a sport. We were competing and doing a lot of tumbling and stunts. We would get injured. We were tough cheerleaders. But when I went to the Oakland Raiders, that was a totally different story. It was very girly and showy. That was different for me. When my friend first asked me if I wanted to audition for the Raiders I was like, “No way. That’s so not my skill set.” But it ended up working out.
You only did the pro cheerleading thing for one year. Why did you stop?
Well, it was at this time in my life where I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to act, but I didn’t know how to get started. So, I used the Raiders crew as my sign. I told myself if I make the team I would use it to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. So, I made the squad, cheered for one year and went to the Super Bowl that year, and then came home at the end of the season and packed my bags and moved to L.A. and have been here ever since.
How did you and Carlos Menica get along since both of you come from a stand-up background?
He and I get along great. We’ve worked with each other before. We did a show together where it was me, Carlos, Cedric the Entertainer, and a lot of other comedians on the bill. He actually pulled me to the side and gave me a pep talk. My career in stand-up had moved so fast. I’ve gotten where I am in such a short amount of time. He gave me the heads up and told me, “You know, there’s going to be some haters…People are going to say this and say that.” It was almost like a fatherly-type talk. When we found out he was playing my father in this movie, it was an easy transition because we already established that relationship.
Speaking of haters, both you and Carlos have been criticized for some of your stand-up material. Some people say it’s racist. What do you think when you hear things like that? Are people being oversensitive?
I could say people are oversensitive, but to each his own. What offends me might not offend somebody else and vice versa. None of my material comes from a mean spirit or a mean heart where I’m trying to hurt somebody’s feelings. All my comedy is observational. I just talk about things that I see. A lot of the time it’s true and truth hurts. I guess that why people sometimes get upset.
Is film something you want to focus on now?
Yeah, I moved to L.A. to pursue acting and stand-up kind of fell onto my plate. It’s been a blessing and I enjoy stand-up, but acting is definitely what I love to do and what I came here to do. I’m looking forward to growing and flourishing in my acting career in film and TV. Stand-up will be there, too. It’s like a creative outlet for me where I can write my own material and perform.
Can you tell me about your role in the upcoming Marmaduke movie?
I play a voice of one of the dogs. She’s like the ditzy dog. It was a lot of fun for me. I was able to improv a lot.
On your website, you sell a t-shirt that reads, “I Have a Big Butt.” Can a guy get away with buying that for his girlfriend or wife or would you advise against that?
I’m sure they can if that’s a joke they they’ve talked about and laughed about. I’ve had a bunch of guys buy that shirt for their girlfriends. They’ll come up to me and say, “Oh, this is so perfect for my girlfriend!” I’m like, “Uh, well make sure she feels the same way!”
Jean Francois Poujol's re-imaging of the once-and -former Soleil Bistro & Wine Bar is now complete. We think. To get there, he took the "a" out of Toast to arrive at Tost. Tost Bistro Bar, to be precise. That was the easy part, assuming the name catches on. ("'Soleil' was intimidating to some as a name," says Poujol, reinforcing, perhaps, the trend started by Pavil when it 86'd the term "Brasserie" from its marquee.)
Poujol also began the transformation by contemplating a French-Asian fusion concept but now says "the execution was not there." Au revoir French altogether, then; hello "Creative American" cuisine--but with "European execution." We do not think he means burgers with foie gras, however.
In another change from the previous format, Poujol has also applied for a full liquor license, intending to play up the bar/lounge aspect of theplace. New lighting and sound system, new furnishings...more sex appeal, in other words. Though not quite as high-amp as Coco, he implied. A new pastry chef, with previous experience working with the ex-pastry chef of Thomas Keller's French Laundry and Bouchon, has also been hired to add allure to the menu. So far only dinner, but lunch is contemplated.
Lunch is still off the table at Poujol's downtown restaurant, Le Midi--at least for the time being. Just as San Antonians seem to be francophobes, they are also notorious tightwads at lunch, and there's accordingly some "restructuring" going on. "Nicolas [Lebas, the chef] needs to know downtown better," offered Pujol. He assures us that they're surviving on theater and convention trade, plus the occasional local brave enough to venture downtown in the evening for dinner. Consider this a plea for more brave locals. Oh, and for more downtown housing.
By Enrique Lopetegui
There are a lot more bands to watch (especially on the Brazilian side), but these are some of my recommended Spanish-language picks.
No Te Va Gustar (Uruguay)
Wed. March 17
708 E 6th St (21+)
Fri. March 19
515 E 6th St) (21+)
Banda de Turistas (Argentina)
Wed. March 17
708 E 6th St (21+)
Thu. March 18
515 E 6th St. (21+)
Wed. March 17
213 W 5th St. (All Ages)
Thu. March 18
618 W 6th St. (18+)
Bomba Estéreo (Colombia)
Wed. March 17
213 W 5th St. (All Ages)
Maldita Vecindad (Mexico)
Wed. March 17
213 W 5th St. (All Ages)
Wed. March 17
611 Red River St. (21+)
Fri. March 19
515 E 6th St. (21+)
Thu. March 18
Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Riverside Dr & S 1st St. (All Ages)
(full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes for Bajofondo’s first three albums)
Thu. March 18
Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Riverside Dr & S 1st St. (All Ages)
Ana Tijoux (Chile)
Thu. March 18
515 E 6th St. (21+)
Sat. March 20
323 E 6th St. (21+)
Grupo Fantasma (Austin)
Fri. March 19
217 Congress Ave. (21+)
Saturday March 20
Emo's Main Room
603 Red River St. (All Ages)
400B W 2nd St) (21+)
Glassjaw’s popularity peaked during my high school years. It is the soundtrack to my adolescence. Oh yes, I clearly remember hanging my arms out a friend’s car window as we drove around, loosing our voices to their last full-length album, Worship and Tribute. The album that also reminds me of frantically trying to hide my septum piercing from my mom every time I came home from school or being heartbroken over a boy with tattooed sleeves and large gages.
It’s been six years since a combination of front man Daryl Palumbo’s Crohn’s disease and the birth his side project Head Automatica took the band on hiatus. The post hardcore band fronted by vocalist Palumbo and guitarist Justin Beck is back on tour after playing several scattered festivals around the U.S. They played to a sold out show Thursday night, on Emo’s outside stage, straight from a show they had in Perth, Australia or as Palumbo referred to it, “Austria or Australia, one of those.”
Palumbo’s distinctive aggressive vocal style was just as I remembered it but there was a notable difference in his stage presence. He was older, not less tattooed, but thinner and more homeless looking than the thick-framed glasses wearing homie I remember.
A sweating mob surrounding the stage swaying and moshing together like a wave out at sea during a hurricane. It was a scream-a-long event that included tunes off their only releases, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence, Worship and Tribute and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
It was hard to stay put as I tried very hard to concentrate on staying grounded and balanced while my camera pierced my chest. I spent the most of show suspended in air with both my hands up as people around me got to second base with me and traded sweat. It didn’t keep me from yelling along as confessions of love sprouted randomly through out the crowd. I closed my eyes and thought, ‘I feel you crowd, I love him too. You’re right, he is beautiful.’
This week I reviewed the Sandbar, still one of my favorite restaurants in town, despite a few grumbles about the new location. If I could afford to, I'd eat there at least once a week. Print means limitations, though, so as promised a few notes that didn't make it into the story:
• Sandbar serves an over-the-top iceberg wedge that is like a treasure hunt: Navigate around the fresh avocado island, through a delightfully light sea of dressing to find fresh cheese crumbles, plump and savory tomato confit, and tender hardboiled egg. Fresh chives, shallot, thin slivers of crisp bacon (note: we ordered extra) -- at our house we call iceberg lettuce crunchy water but it makes perfect sense here as the sturdy but unobtrusive anchor.
• Lobster-roll economics: Judging by comments at Urban Spoon, I'm not the only diner who misses the lobster roll at lunch -- in fact, it makes a lot more sense as a meal at lunch -- but not $$-wise, apparently, which is why it's currently regulated to evening-only. Chef Weissman is said to be considering installing a lobster tank, which I gather might make a difference, but in the meantime, if you care as I do -- please order it more often at dinnertime.
• The whole fried fish is served with an addictive sauce with the consistency of ponzu (and like a ginger ponzu, fresh with ginger, citrus, and scallion flavor), but clearly of a higher order. James Martin says it's made with, among other things, salted black beans, fish sauce, and fresh garlic, scallion, and ginger. Which sounds like it could be overpowering, but it's actually almost delicate. I love it almost as much as the fish itself.
• The hot plate: My biggest gripe will make little sense to folks who prefer their fish hot and cooked, but there are a few other places in town to get very good dishes along these lines (although as always, you'll find more attention to detail at Sandbar, and seldom will something be out of balance), while what was so exciting about Sandbar's debut is that it presented the opportunit to eat seafood like those lucky coastal bastards to the East and West of us. But to be fair, the new Sandbar has a full kitchen, which the original location did not and more seats to fill -- Current critic Ron Bechtol says they used to cook the whole fried fish at next-door Le Reve, for instance, as well as the unctuous (in a very good way) lobster bisque ...
• ... which James says is a classic French preparation that gets some of that rich flavor from Cognac, and takes something like 7 hours to prepare. I've noticed more complaints about this dish than any other in food-site user reviews of Sandbar (tastes burned, say some; no actual pieces of lobster, say others) and I sincerely hope Chefs Weissman and Carlson pay no attention whatsoever. SA could be on culinary maps for this soup alone.
While you're waiting for the latest issue of the Current (hitting newsstands tomorrow), and the Tim Burton Alice remake (opening Friday), check out the first filmed version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, courtesy of the British Film Institute. 'Preciate it, guvnah!
(Note: This will run in tomorrow's CAM guide, also.)
And you can check out the CAM Calendar all month long!
Special kudos to Kendra Curry who's helped to orchestrate this, and to Andy and Yvette Benavides and SMART for empowering this event!
CAM Preview Pick
Quick! Head on over to fundred.org and learn all about an
urgently innovative public art / public works / public health project goin’ on
across the nation. Thumbnail sketch: soil contamination is rampant in the US,
particularly in post-Katrina New Orleans, where it’s estimated that 30% of
inner-city children suffer from lead poisoning, a leading cause of lifelong
neurological and learning problems.
(slide of blood scan showing lead poisoning)
A team of scientists has come up with some very cool strategies to lessen soil lead levels by “locking” the contaminant into bio-unavailable ( i.e. “won’t contaminate people”) minerals, a system that could be piloted in NOLA then implemented in lead-affected cities everywhere (including our own!). Awesome — the only catch is, the estimated cost for “Operation Paydirt” is $300,000,000.
Ouch. This is where “Fundred” comes in; artist Mel Chin has
spearheaded a nationwide art movement wherein schoolkids and activists, artists
and dabblers and moms and dads and abuelitas and scientists and everybody and
anybody each creates an individual work of paper art based on the hundred
dollar bill (find some cool templates and instructions here.
Here are some examples:
This accumulated “creative capital” is being picked up by an armored truck
called “Sous Terre” from schools and universities and community centers and
arts institutions all across the country.
This Thursday, Sous Terre (which means “underground”) will stop in San Antonio. The already-made fundreds by SA kids and artists and those made on-site during the pick-up will be combined with fundreds from everywhere from LA to Marfa, then late this Spring, will be presented to the United States Congress with a request that lawmakers match this grassroots in-kind labor with some very real funding for soil contamination. Help New Orleans and represent San Antonio!
Here's Mel Chin talking about the project:
He don't need no water, just your vote in the Democratic primary. I had every intention of making fun of J. Xavier's hip-hop tribute detailing Farouk Shami's policies —officially released by his campaign, mind you — but after listening to it I'd rather wipe a booger on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
We don't care who you vote for, but we strongly endorse this song. Any candidate willing to embrace Auto Tune technology's got our — um — attention I guess is the right word for it.
Official press release reprinted below. Somebody record a Rick Perry endorsing hip-hop song, stat.
In a last minute push to win supporters and motivate Texans to go to the polls tomorrow, Farouk Shami has publically released the song "Farouk" from prominent hip hop artist J. Xavier. The song outlines Farouk's new solutions for Texas, including creating jobs and reforming the education system so it looks out for all Texas children.
"I thank J. Xavier for his support and lending his amazing talents to our campaign," said Farouk Shami.