Sunday, December 6, 2009

Manfest '09

So, this is how a centaur pees? Via Gary Gaston

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun Fun Fun Fest only a week away!

In less than a week from now, Fun Fun Fun Fest or the “Greatest. Festival. Ever,” as dubbed by credible music blog the Brooklyn Vegan will take over Waterloo Park. The ultra cool hipster’s wet dream features acts such as Crystal Castles, Of Montreal, Ratatat, Cool Kids, HEALTH, Atlas Sound and Les Savy Fav to name a few. This year’s highlights include Danzig, formerly of the Misfits, recently reunited 1970’s Detroit punk rock band DEATH and alternative rockers The Jesus Lizard, who originally formed in Austin back in the 80’s.

The fourth annual music fest which encompasses the notable genres of indie rock, punk, and hip hop has hosted performers Murder City Devils, Bad Brains, Dan Deacon, Cadence Weapon, MGMT and Atmosphere in the past. The brainchild of former Emo’s talent booker Graham Williams was actually conceived by accident. “I was booking for the club one weekend and a bunch of tours that were hitting Austin at the same time. We couldn’t accommodate them and neither could any other club in town it seemed, so I teamed up with my friends at Alamo Drafthouse, whom I'd done a few events at Waterloo Park with, and we rented the park to have a show...more bands were added and it ended up being a fest by default,” said Williams.

Since its beginning in 2006, the fest has added comedy, a fourth stage and tripled in artist count, bringing the amount close to 90. Also involved in the project are James Moody, owner of the Mohawk and Michael Terrazas of Club DeVille who are also partners in Transmission Entertainment, local music booking and promotions company. The trio met while Williams was trying to find a venue for a band that wouldn’t play Emo’s. He called around to a few places, including the Mohawk and the dialogue with Moody and Terrazas (who is also an investor in Mohawk) just grew from there.

“The partners of Fun Fun Fun Fest are me, Graham and Michael, but we involve everyone, from our stage managers and our bookers Joe, Rosa and Brendan, our sponsor guy---we all vote and talk about bands that would be good. Graham is sort of the final say so because he started it. He’s the founder, but we all work together,” said Moody. Transmission Entertainment was formed almost out of necessity, because the progressive underground music market wasn’t being serviced. “We started it as a market need for local bands and up-in-coming bands,” said Moody. “We wanted to service that market of really talented struggling musicians and no one was really doing it and that’s how we started.”

Before making his home Austin eight years ago, Moody resided in 15 cities. “My dad was in the Air Force and he kind of dragged me all over the world... Germany, Nebraska, South Dakota, California ( a couple times), four different places in Louisiana, lived in Seattle,” he said. Like Williams, Moody also began his music career route by booking gigs for a club in Ruston, Louisiana. “The owner kinda said, “what are the kids listening too?” so I booked some what they called at the time “alternative,” but we don’t use that term anymore.”

We had the chance to ask both Williams and Moody a couple of questions about the festival and here’s what they had to say.

CC: What is your future vision for FFFFEST?

GW: I don't know… the concept has to stay the same from the style of music we book and the mix of genres--the whole scene within a scene concept. I could see it growing a bit, but I know it'll never be TOO big...and I don't want it to be.

JM: To be great at the middle, like to be a solid-medium sized fest. We don’t ever want to be a sort of big, huge fest, because it’s already been done and it’s being done well. We want to try to hold on, as closely as we can to that intimate experience of seeing a really big and talented band in a relatively small environment.

CC: What are some of the highlights this year, which acts are you looking forward to the most?

GW: Man, that's tough. I don't mean to pat myself on the back to hard, but this year is pretty fucking awesome. I mean there are so many bands I want to watch and so many playing at the same the top of my head: The Jesus Lizard, Gorilla Biscuits, Destroyer, Crystal Castles, Pharcyde, GZA, DEATH, Mika Miko, Torche, Les Savy Fav, Buraka Som Sistema, etc, etc.... I'd say 75% of the acts I want to watch this year.

JM: Oh Danzig for me, just because I grew up with Misfits. Jesus Lizard getting back together is huge because David Yow is crazy and always puts on an insane show. Les Savy Fav, Pharcyde and one of the biggest stories, DEATH.

CC: How do you remain energetic throughout the weekend?

GW: I eat healthy; I try and get some sleep. I don't drink, so that helps. It's tough, because aside from all the set up and running the show, we also have all these big after parties at night during the festival, so we're out super late every night too and then back down there crack of dawn.

JM: I use a lot of tools, things like booze, Red Bull, gum, friends, popcorn, candy, coffee… Amongst all those things I tend to make it through plus we work all year for this, so the adrenalin alone gets me through the weekend, but I always crash real hard by the time Monday rolls around.

CC: Any advice for people who aspire to work in the music scene?

GW: You have to do it because you love it or want to do it, never because you think you'll make a ton of money. It's like playing music, being an artist, etc… if you do it right and because you want to do it and it's something you believe in, it usually works out. I think too many people go into it thinking it's going to be like any other job, but it’s not.

JM: You gotta fight for it; it’s a labor of love. You may never make money in it, but that’s not what it’s about. Those that make money in it are very few; but if you can make just enough money in it to make a decent living and pay your rent, then your blessed and lucky and that’s what you should fight for being able to do what you love and live in a place like Austin… those are my goals. Stay committed to it and it’ll happen, but also, make sure your goals are more around the music than around the business… then you’ll probably do well.

CC: What's currently rotating in your CD player? (What are you listening to?)

GW: I've been listening to DEATH a lot and that new Phoenix is the jam too. Been playing Negative Approach on my iPod a lot since they're playing a FFF afterparty and it's got me in the mood. And for some reason I've noticed me playing "Tim" by the Replacements a bunch these past few weeks. Not sure why, but it's been on regular rotation and all that. The Burn 7" I've played a good amt lately for some reason as well. The new YYY’s is underrated… Oh yeah, that Mayer Hawthorne record is really good too.

JM: I’ve been listening to Fugazi, School of Seven Bells….The new Dinosaur Jr. is amazing. I’ve been listening to the Junior Boys, Murder City Devils and rotating some more Danzig into my system just to get ready for November.

Tickets for the two-day festival are still available and you can purchase them HERE.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Dino Jr. & Built to Spill

Disco Doom, a relatively unknown band from Zurich, Switzerland was the opening band for Saturday’s 90’s indie explosion at Stubb's. The Swiss rockers were a perfect addition to the full lineup with their mixture of instrumental distortion, exploding atmospheric rhythm, mesmerizing guitar vibrato and down-tempo vocals. Second on the list were Dinosaur Jr.’s bassist Lou Barlow & The Missing Men, which were sort of a back-up band for Barlow’s solo stuff. Serving double duty, Barlow mostly played songs off his new record Goodnight Unknown which was released earlier in the month. Despite stopping and restarting the opening track twice, the rest of the set ran smoothly.

Following were notoriously loud alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr. Fans unequipped with ear plugs found themselves covering their ears more often than not as guitarist J Mascis’ distorted sonic waves boomed loudly over the three Marshall quad cabinets behind him. Almost from the beginning, a rowdy mosh pit consisting of mostly younger men slamming and shoving into each other occupied the front of the stage. “Murph is sick, he has the flu” announced Barlow over the microphone which loud applause from the slew of varied demographic of younger-aged and “back in the day” fans. The crowd went wild when the trio played “Feel The Pain,” off their 1996 release Without a Sound, the band’s most commercially successful album. “I Don’t Wanna Go There,” off the new album Farm concluded the deafening performance.

Before Built to Spill, the evening’s headliners, came on stage, Chicago based poet Thax Douglas recited a few lines inspired by the band. Douglas is a notorious “rock poet” who has read poetry before other notable acts including Andrew Bird, the Arctic Monkeys, Guided by Voices, The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Wilco, The White Stripes and Modest Mouse to name a few. He has since moved to Austin and has been spotted around town reading poetry for acts such as Sunny Day Real Estate.

Several minutes later, Built to Spill emerged from the darkness and commenced with “Three Years Ago Today,” a track from their latest release There is No Enemy. They followed with crowd pleaser “Distopian Dream Girl,” which solicited dancing and singing from fans. Front man Doug Martsch uttered “thank you” almost after every song. Mid-set, guitarist Brett Netson went into a political rant stating that “tonight is the 80th Anniversary of the American Stock Market crash, we’re in the second” while he pointed at the apartment complexes around the venue. He then said, “the next two songs are for the Texas Liberals.” The first of the two was “Wherever you Go,” a very jam and spacey melodic track off their 2006 release You in Reverse followed by “Planting Seeds” off of recent album There is No Enemy.

“We’re going to have to skip a song,” announced Martsch before going into “Big Dipper.” After finishing and thanking the audience, the band walked off stage only minutes to return to a crowding chanting “one more song, one more song.” “Stop the Show” from the band’s third album Perfect from Now On was the encore. The distorted chord progressions, swirly-psych riffling and upbeat drumming were a wonderful exit piece for a night of mind-blowing and eardrum busting music.

All photos by Ed Lehmann. Go to to see more.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why There Are Mountains- Cymbals Eat Guitars

Why There Are Mountains is the independently released debut for indie rockers Cymbals Eat Guitars. Heavily reminiscent of Built to Spill, Pavement, and early Modest Mouse, Cymbals Eat Guitars encompass that familiar indie 90’s era with their slow disheveled strummed verses and loud boisterous choruses. Forming in 2005, the quartet hails from Stanton Island, New York and consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Joseph D'Agostino, drummer Matthew Miller, bassist/vocalist Neil Berenholz and keyboardist/vocalist Brian Hamilton.

The first track entitled “And the Hazy Sea,” erupts into an explosion of noise rock and screaming, but quickly defuses into a more passive melodic harmony only to skyrocket back into an outburst of guitar-saturated bombast. The song moves into a pattern of quiet, hushed moments followed by clamorous intervals. The back and forth bipolar rollercoaster ride concludes with an intensely layered concoction of distorted guitars, almost inaudible vocals and gentle cymbal tapping. This track is also the album’s debut single.

“Indiana,” features a Polyphonic Spree melody gracefully accompanied by D’Agostino’s nasally adenoidal vocals. This track is probably the most upbeat and “happiest” of the album with its poppy composition of soft piano and bubbly guitar.
Despite being engaging and convincing, transitions between songs of the album are seemingly non-existent. While many of the tracks sound like they’ll lead flawlessly into the next song, they usually don’t and are often followed by a track which is completely different from the preceding.

The album’s concluding track “Like Blood Does” starts off tranquil and slow-paced, but like most of the other songs mutates into an orchestration of loud vocal resonance, guitar distortion and prolonged reverberation. The crazy instrumentation lasts 40 seconds which is long enough to take someone for a ride mentally.
The band, which is currently on tour with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart played the Mohawk a few weeks ago. While we were unable to attend, we heard that they absolutely killed it!

Why There Are Mountains drops next Wednesday, October 14th.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The XX

XX is the debut album for The xx, a South West London quartet who aren’t even old enough to drink in United States. The four 20-year olds met at Elliott School in London, whose notable alumni include Hot Chip, Four Tet and dubstep producer Burial. The band consists Romy Madley Croft on vocals and guitarist, Oliver Sim on vocals and bass, Baria Quershi on guitar and Jamie Smith on sampler.

The album's opening number is a 2 minute instrumental prelude into this dreamy pop album. The song is reminiscent of something you’d hear on a Pure Moods CD commercial with its new age guitar riff, tribal drum beat and chanting. “VCR” begins with a toy xylophone melody which is quickly joined by a down tempo guitar rift. The album’s second single “Crystallized,” is undeniably the album’s stand out track; commencing with a gradually increasingly high pitch “oooh” sound which becomes almost uncomfortable until interrupted by an arpeggio of guitar chords. “Islands,” is the most upbeat track of the entire track which offers some sort of hope for love.

“Fantasy” is a sensual, yet disconnected reverb heavy track that seems to serve no real purpose other than an introductory to the sultry “Shelter.” The only thing perpetual about “Infinity” is Sim’s persistence in pleading Oliver to “give it up.”Oliver repeatedly refutes with a soft, almost desensitized “I can’t give it up.” The last track entitled “Stars” begins with a heavy bass line which seems like it’s going to go in the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” After a few strums, the beat is abruptly consumed by a sequence of three piano notes which play over and over throughout the song.

This overtly sensual and slow-strummed album encompasses a theme relating to relationships, feelings, and love, and has become a personal favorite. I look forward seeing The xx when they open up for Friendly Fires at the Mohawk on Thursday, November 19. You can buy your tickets at the door.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to the drawing board, literally.

I used to have my own comic strip in my hometown newspaper and in the college paper at Texas Stae. I kind of stopped drawing for a while because when it becomes a job it often isn't fun anymore. Anyhow, I've decided to start drawing again. I'll upload NEW and old in the coming days.

Monolith Festival-Sunday


The sun radiated through the early morning clouds and light drizzle for the majority of day two at Monolith, which hosted a crowd sporting more neon than an American Apparel display window.

Rahzel, virtuoso beatboxer and former member of The Roots began his routine at the Esurance (Main) Stage at 2 p.m.

A line of almost 40 people long formed outside the Woxy Stage set up in an interior room of the venue’s lower deck, in hopes of catching indie-electro duo Neon Indian---which filled to capacity 30 minutes before show time. The band originally hailing from Brooklyn recently re-located to Austin. They are scheduled to play an ACL after show at Emo’s and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

During that time, garage/prog-rock group Monotonix of Tel Aviv, Isreal rocked in nothing but 70’s short shorts and chest hair at the Southern Comfort Stage. The setup was one which took place within the audience. Even before finishing the first song, singer Ami Shalev stage-dove into the crowd and gauchely crawled and climbed on enthused hipsters. Banned in several venues around the world including Flamingo Cantina located here in Austin, the trio are notorious for their over the top antics which include setting things on fire, beer spitting, climbing on bars and over-zealous interactions with fans.

Following the energetic performance we sat down with guitarist Yonatan Gat, singer Ami Shalev and drummer Haggai Fershtman.
CC: What’s the origin of name Monotonix?
HF: Too long to describe it, it’s a very complicated story.
YG: When Haggai went to art school, when he was a teenager, everybody thought he was retarded... It’s just his lip went to the side a little bit. And he would say the same thing over and over again and everyone would say “you are very monotonic” and then we added the “x,” because he couldn’t say ‘x’.
HF: This is the real story.
YG: It’s the first time we tell anybody.

CC: How did you snap out of it?
YG: He got a chicken bone stuck in his throat once and Avi gave him the Heimlich and ever since he stopped being a “retard.”
HF: Monotonix! Monotonix… I could say the ‘x’.

CC: Where have you performed and what are your favorite and least favorite venues?
HF: Austin is one of the best!
YG: Austin is fun. We played good shows at a place called the Mohawk, we played SXSW. One of the venues we don’t like is Flamingo Cantina because we’re banned from there.

CC: How much lighter fluid do you go through in a tour? Usually you light your drums on fire.
AS: Depends. Sometimes if it’s too crowd, we can’t use the lighter fluid. We have to talk to the venues, fire is sensitive issue.

CC: What kind of access do fans have to your music?
HF: Combination of many things. Record company… iTunes, Myspace.. We have a Twitter that someone we don’t know is doing.

CC: Someone you don’t know is tweeting for you?
YG: We have a fan twitter.
HF: Yeah, he’s twittering! Haha…

CC: Israel is pretty far away. Do you have a US home base?
AS: We have friends that we love, they love us and we see them while we’re touring. But home is where the heart is, like Frank Zappa’s song.
Quite the opposite of their crazy, raucous stage personas, the trio was reserved yet charismatic. They are scheduled to play Emo’s (outside) Friday, September 25. You can buy tickets HERE!

Check out this amateur video we got of them at Monolith!

The Glitch Mob dropped dope beats on the Esurance stage while one of this year’s most anticipated acts Passion Pit rocked the Southern Comfort stage. The pavement slab in front of the stage vibrated and shook throughout the set, especially during the dance-y number “Sleepyhead.”

MSTRKRFT canceled their appearance at Monolith due to an untimely illness. Replacing them on the main stage were French alternative rock band Phoenix. They opened up with "Lisztomania,” the first single of their upcoming album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. In spite of the slow start, the band had the entire venue dancing with their jaw-dropping performance.

Concluding the evening were experimental-progressive rockers The Mars Volta. They commenced their powerful set with “Inertiatic ESP,” off their 2004 release De-Loused in the Comatorium. Their stage set featured an array of psychedelic colors and patterns on the rock wall behind them. They ended with “Wax Simulacra,” the first single off their fourth studio album The Bedlam in Goliath.

Monolith Festival-Saturday

The third annual Monolith Festival was this past weekend at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado. The two day fest was undoubtedly a hipster’s wet dream with acts such as Girl Talk, Passion Pit, Phoneix, M. Ward, Of Montreal, and Neon Indian to name a few. Despite a downpour of intermittent showers and temperatures in the upper 40’s on Saturday, indie-fans congregated for what has to be the biggest catalog of indie acts at one venue.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart played at the Southern Comfort stage amidst steady rainfall. In spite of the low temperatures and cold rain, they remained ardent and even joked that they were the ‘Rains of Being Pure of Heart.’

Ok Go played on the larger stage sponsored by Esurance. Mid set, Damian Kulash stepped over the railing into the rain with his guitar and told the crowd that this would probably be the only time they’d see him literally playing in the rain.

Meanwhile, Hamilton Leithauser of The Walkmen crooned tracks off the You & Me album on the upper level Southern Comfort stage. Almost like lightning the mellowed-out crowd broke into a dance at the start of “The Rat,” the hit single from the band’s debut album Bows + Arrows. Following The Walkmen on that stage was iron-masked DOOM, whose set up took longer than 30 minutes due to technical difficulties.

After a raging set, the masses made their way towards the main stage where Girl Talk, aka Greg Gillis remixed and mashed up samples ranging from Missy Elliot to Flashdance to the Jackson 5. Rain poured heavily throughout the set while presumably over 100 fans crowded Gillis on stage.

Ending the evening were the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. While the audience had thinned out to almost a 3rd of the seating due to weather conditions, the confetti, extravagant stage décor, and Karen O’s multi-color bell sleeve romper were more than enough to rock the house. Among the songs played were "Heads Will Roll," "Zero," and “Maps.” The encore was "Y Control.”

Here’s some amateur video we got of the YYY’s performing Black Tongue:

All photos courtesy of Mary Rehak. Go here to see more shots from the festival. We'll have a recap of Sunday at Monolith up shortly...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Find of the week

I came across a good find the other day. After a few listens I came to the conclusion that the four tracks were from a long lost Pink Floyd and Leonard Cohen collaboration. ...I'm just kidding. The artist solely known as Gary W. put forth 4 tracks from his debut album.

The first track commences with a futuristic sound which quickly dissolves into a soft tangy guitar riff. Gary’s, cigarette smoker vocals transpire an emotion of devastating lost love.

“Remember me,” exhorts the pleading question of recognition. The singer inquires “Do you remember, Do you remember loving me? Do you remember, do you remember me?” The slow pace track offers soft guitar picking and subtle cymbal tapping.

The third track, “Wonderful Things,” is the catchiest and more uplifting of the other tracks. It inhibits an almost innocent and juvenile attribute.

“You are you are,” reverts to the dark corner of a broken heart. The lyrics are admiring of the muse, but clearly express the singer’s distress. A Pink Floyd-esque electric guitar solo commences midway through the track and blends with the sorrowful vocals.

To listen to these songs, click HERE.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hot, hot, hot stuff...

I accidently ripped off Donna's face when I removed the price tag. Although I colored it in w/ crayon... You can barely tell.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From the Future- Lord Scrummage

From the Future is the first full length debut for experimental trio Lord Scrummage. The Detroit based band is made of Conor Edwards, Alex Lauer, and Ben Christensen, all current members of indie rockers Benny Stoofy.

The term “scrummage” stems from the genre which refers to a collective group of musicians in the Detroit music scene who share an underground experimental sound.

The first track entitled “W.W.D.D.” takes world music to a whole different level with its infused tribal drums and hindu sitar rifts over faint female vocals. Despite being a mere 2 minutes, the track proves to be an appropriate instrumental interlude into an experimental cough syrup world.

The melodic instrumental arrangements in “Clyd Moop How Did You Know,” further propel the listener into an abyss of laser lights and imaginative space rock.

“Abe Lincoln’s Skeleton,” is a mind altering substance in the form of 70’s science program keyboards and haunting vocals that highlight the plaintive psychedelia of the piece while remaining an organic layer in the fabric of submersive consciousness.

The track “Captain Rat,” begins with an ambient Final Fantasy piano riff admist lyrics about animals before transporting the listener to a simulated Rainforest Café experience topped with bird squawking, lion roaring, insect buzzing goodtime. Like many of the tracks on the album, the analog-synth clouds billowing around barely lucid vocoder vocals offers the listener an escape from the “real world.”

Truthfully, Lord Scrummage is the equivalent of licking an entire LSD sheet and finding yourself sitting between Dan Deacon and Deastro at a Black Moth Super Rainbow show.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moondagger- Deastro

Moodagger is the full-band debut by Deastro, real name Randolph Chabot. Hailing from Sterling Heights, MI, Chabot began writing music at age 13 and recorded three previous albums in his parent’s basement. Now 22 years old, Chabot has become notable for his live performances.
The recently released album is a euphoric, synth-driven neon fantasia of swooning dream-pop fitting an epic videogame soundtrack category, particularly one which would incorporate or house a Final Fantasy or Space Harrier theme.
The first track entitled, “Biophelia,” commences with an 8-bit beat, similar to an old school Final Fantasy IV Super NES start menu loop. The ambient intro transforms into an electro-pop synth cantata permeated with incessant drumming and rocket blasting sirens. “Toxic Crusaders,” details the self-acceptance of a mutant do-gooder born with one eye who pleas for his love to be reciprocated. The track incorporates a toy piano whose simple melody conveys a juvenile innocence. “Pyramid Builders,” is a starry-eyed instrumental piece fusing an array of rhapsodic futuristic loops and beats. The eighth track
“Daniel Johnston Was Stabbed In the Heart With The Moondagger By the King of Darkness and His Ghost is Writing This Song as a Warning to All of Us,” remains to have the longest title ever, coming in at 29 words!
The 14 track album includes two bonus tracks, “The Shaded Forests (Gift Giver’s Version),” and “Tree Frog.” While “Tree Frog” sounds similar to the other tracks on the album, “The Shaded Forests,” stands out in that it sounds more fully constructed; created and performed by a band rather than just a keyboard and computer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Clues- Clues

“Clues” is the self-titled debut album for Montreal indie poppers Clues. Brain child of ex-Unicorn Alden Penner and ex-Arcade Fire member Brendan Reed, the quintet includes multi-instrumentalists Ben Borden, Lisa Gamble, and Nick Scribner. Forming in 2007, Clues has established a following despite the use of any social media promotion such as Myspace, Facebook and Twitter.

The album's opening track, entiled “Haarp,” is reminiscent of early Flaming Lips circa Clouds Taste Metallic. An incomprehensive lyric begins the song but is quickly disrupted by the clash of a sole cymbal followed by rumbling guitar distortion. Penner’s falsetto vocals peak in periodically throughout the track, setting a steady tone for the dense layer of guitars and drumming that saturate the album.

“Remember Severed Head,” begins with an almost robotic instrumentation subtly joined by a clanky marching band drum beat before churning into a very “Unicorns” sound lullaby. The lyrics “who here wants to sleep in the dragon’s mouth, who here wants to feel” are also sung on the album’s eighth track, “Cave Mouth” which sounds more like a refined version of “Remember Severed Head.”

A tedious piano riff formulates “Perfect Fit,” one of the album’s catchiest tracks. “Elope,” is the LP’s longest and softest track---a serenity level comparable to that when listening to Simon and Garfunkel is sure to transpire. Penner’s quiet vocal amidst soft organ and gentle guitar strumming is a change of pace for the album before resuming into the funkiest album track, “Cave Mouth.”

Clues will play in Austin on June 10th at The Independent, a new 300 capacity venue on E 5th St. and I-35. If these guys are as fun as their debut album, their live shows are not to be missed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Dancing Guy "shakes it in San Marcos

Todd Andrews, aka “The Dancing Guy.”

News Reporter

Sunglasses, visor and an iPod are a few of the tools of Todd Andrews’ trade, which consists of dancing for an apartment locating company on Aquarena Springs Drive.

Locally known as “Dancing Todd” or “The Dancing Guy,” Andrews began his dancing career at Liberty Taxes going on four years ago and moved to Little Caesar’s before he caught the eye of Jason Tarr, owner of Great Locations, the real estate company.

“I used to dance in front of Liberty Taxes and managers would drive up to me, give me their card and offer me jobs,” Andrews said. “The manager of Little Caesar’s came up to me and offered me a better paying job, so I started working there for about a year and then Jason Tarr got a hold of me and said he wanted me to work for him.”

With the incentive of more money and a flexible schedule, Andrews began working for the Great Locations in 2007.

Before moving from San Diego to San Marcos, the “Dancing Man” was involved in a fatal multi-rollover accident at age 16, in which he was pronounced DOA, dead on arrival. Resuscitated and revived, Andrews suffered full paralysis on the right side of his body, which he overcame through seven years in rehabilitation.

With a substantial insurance settlement in tow, Andrews moved to Texas in 2004 to find a home.

“I moved to Texas because the housing market was better and the cost of living was lower,” Andrews said. “I really love this town.”

While capable of driving back and forth to work and home, Andrews continues to visit a rehabilitation center in San Marcos.

“Basically I’m kinda still in one, in general,” he said. “I just go over to shower, eat and they take me home. That’s all I need them for and I drive to work and I drive to my house.”

With numerous commercials, interviews, YouTube videos, and even a larger than life billboard, Andrews is well known and recognized by San Marcos residents and Texas State students.

“I was standing in line at the H-E-B and this woman told me she saw me on TV,” Andrews said. “It’s pretty common that I get recognized. The students here come up to me and always say, ‘Hey you’re that dancing guy.’”

Texas State student Liliana Hinojosa recalled her early memories of moving to San Marcos and seeing the dancing man in action.

“I remember when I first moved to San Marcos, I saw Todd dancing on the sidewalk and I asked my friend what that guy was doing,” Hinojosa said. “She responded with ‘That’s Dancing Guy! He’s always dancing on that corner.’ It seems like that guy is always dancing. Besides on Aquarena Springs, I’ve seen him shake it at Nephews. He’s a San Marcos novelty. I can’t help but smile when I see him.”

Currently on repeat on the “dancing man’s” iPod is Country Singer Trace Adkin’s “Got My Game On.”

Said Andrews, “I’m a big Trace Adkin’s fan. His music makes me dance. So, that’s what I listen to when I’m outside shaking it for all the drivers.”

Great Locations Vice President of Operations Julie Hutchins said Andrews’ cheerful demeanor is consistent around the clock.

“Todd always comes into work with a positive, ‘ready-to-work’ attitude,” Hutchins said. “He’s just as energetic off the streets as he is when he’s waving to the cars. Since Todd joined Great Locations, we’ve provided him with outlets to grow his personal reputation while promoting our company at the same time.”

Said Andrews, “I enjoy this gig. I get a lot of respect from people. That’s what I do for a job. Who else would go out there and shake their thing?”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer for Animals- Swell (preview)

Prayer for Animals
…from the upcoming LP Swell

The four-track album is a preview of Prayer for Animal’s upcoming summer release Swell. Hailing from Mansfield, Texas (with the exception of the drummer) the band is now based in Austin and consists of Brent Sluder on electric piano/organ and vocals, Jeremy Jenkins on bass, Ryan Gitman on drums, John Pitts on guitar and slide guitar and Adam Brisbin on guitar and vocals. Both Brisbin and Pitts split lead guitar duties while Brisbin and Sluder split vocal duties.

The first track “Recollection,” contains a psychedelic Doors-y, Thirteenth Floor Elevators element permeated with vintage guitar tones. “Neutral Bees,” a melodic fusion of rock, blues, captivating vocals and poetic prose--- “Neutral Bees don’t sting unless they eat, heaven found a reason yet to sting,” is the probably the grooviest track of the album. The experimental guitar riff featured in the track compliments Sluder’s whiskey soaked vocals suitably and creates a 1970’s feel. The concluding track, “Brains,” begins slowly with a soft tambourine jiggling, slide guitar picking and progresses into an explosion of psychedelic rock.

This short preview sells elevated expectations of the full-length album which is set to release this summer- embracing a cool late 1960’s-early 1970’s epoch and being a perfect choice to put on at chill get together.

The album’s art is simple and consists of a coffee brown fabric decorated with flowery paisleys pasted onto the white surface of the case. The interior flaps include the band’s name in a bubbly design and the four track titles etched in back pen; the back is plain.

The Bright Light Social Hour-Back and Forth

The Bright Light Social Hour
Back and Forth

Back and Forth is the third EP release for Austin based rockers The Bright Light Social Hour. Like its predecessor "Love Like Montopolis," the album only consists of three tracks one of which is “Back and Forth-Part Two,” a catchy tune and undeniable crowd pleaser which even has its own video. Their first EP “Touches,” had five songs on it. Formed in 2004 with the inclusion of original and current members vocalist/bassist Jack O’Brien and vocalist/guitarist Curtis Roush; keyboardist and vocalist A.J. Vincent and drummer Joseph Mirasole have since joined the group.

The first track entitled, “Back and Forth-Part One,” serves mostly as an instrumental prelude to “Back and Forth-Part Two,” the EP’s standout track. The 2 ½ minute ambient keyboard line and soft cymbal tapping adjusts into the gateway bass and drum riff for “Part Two” two seconds before it ends. “Back and Forth-Part Two,” continues where “Part One” leaves off but manifests a polka-esque kuitar beat and rock guitar riff. A placid innuendo at the beginning, Roush sings “I’m going back and forth, been going back and forth, been going back and ahh I want you feel everything that I feel….” Only is it apparent what the song is really about when the song goes into the fourth verse--- “I’m going in and out, then going in and out, then going in and out, I just don’t know what to do—to move with you.” Midway through the song, O’Brien adds some Spanish lyrics admist Roush and Vincent’s soft “ooohh oohhhs,” which is preceded and concluded by the ‘back and forth’ chorus. The third track, “Rhubarb Jam” begins with a sound bite reasoning why the wind blows hard before a titillating bass riff commences a loud explosive jam which mellows out halfway into a cool jazzy groove.

The album art done in light and dark shades of yellow and pink features the image of female caricature demonstrating an expression of sheer pleasure-head titled back, eyes closed and mouth baring upper teeth. The band’s name and album title is printed on the lower left side of the cover.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Bright Light Social Hour

I was hanging out at my apartment after work yesterday and was watching ME television when The Bright Light Social Hour's video for Back and Forth came on---what an energetic fun song/video. So convincing that I decided to go see the BLSH at the Parish last night. I caught the last song of the second opening band, The Frontier Bros but didn't see much to form a complete opinion. I really dug BLSH's set; I'd classify it as electro jam if there is such category. The bassist Jack O'Brien reminded me of Earth, Wind and Fire's bassist Verdine White in that he had a permanent smile on his face the entire time. Regardless, here's the video to their catchy song Back and Forth:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Birds Barbershop "Comin' At Ya!" Grand Opening 3-D Party, May 8th!

Birds Barbershop is having a Grand Opening bash Friday, May 8th from 9 to midnight for their new location on 1902 S. Congress.

Free performances from indie hip-hop superstar Astronautalis, local boat party enthusiast Neiliyo and the Dj-ing skills of Andy (the Mouth) all night long.

Birds will also be providing a free 3-D photobooth, video installations and plenty of 3-D glasses to properly view the shop's mural by local artist Luther Himes.

Complimentary Drinks will be provided by Sweet Leaf Tea, Tito's Vodka, and Lone Star Beer. Visit or call 445-0500 for more details.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Toast - The Mad Science

The Mad Science

The Mad Science is the first full length studio album for progressive fusion band Toast. Hailing from El Paso, Toast relocated to Austin in an attempt to expand its fan base and venue prospects. Consisting of James Pate on vocals, guitar and samples, Vincenzo Loechel on vocals and drums, and Russell Dobda on vocals, keyboards, and saxophone, Toast is notable for live improvisational performances. Guest musicians on the album are John Brown on bass and mandolin, Leah Zeger on violin, Tony Alexander on tenor saxophone, and Lea Dobda on trumpet. Appropriately, Toast is very similar and evocative of Los Angeles based jam band Particle.

The album is an experimental journey encompassing a multitude of schizophrenic tempo changes, unbridled improvisations and themes including politics and philosophy. The first track entitled “Twilight Mischief,” is a hushed instrumental jam charged with Afro-beat rhythms and sporadic guitar riffs. The almost seven-minute track allows the listener’s brain to wander through a world of melodic jazz progressions and unsullied rhythm. The third track, “FroSho,” begins with former president George W. Bush stating that the economy is in the “midst of a major financial crisis.” A prevalent theme included on the track points blame on Wall Street for the financial collapse. Impetuous squalls of saxophone, busy percussion, whirling keyboards and vertiginous guitar digressions echo throughout this blame game of a track.

“The Dub,” embraces a world feel with its reggae influenced riffs and ambient guitar which dabbles and drifts into a funnel of drone effects. The track’s foundation is titular to the title of the song in that “dub” is a form of re-mixed reggae music. “The Joker” is a quick paced string ditty that differs from any other tracks on the album exemplifying the fact that Toast embraces a maniac diversity. The Mad Science is a conglomeration of rigorous talent, psychedelic euphoria and jam-tastic funk.

The album’s cover art is a myriad of layered guitars, flowers and trees atop of what appears to be surgeon dressed in a suit holding a martini glass or upside down Erlenmeyer flask. The light colors are almost translucent and create the layered effect. The foldout portion of leaflet includes the lyrics of several of the songs.

The Boxing Lesson-Wild Streaks and Windy Days

The Boxing Lesson
Wild Streaks and Windy Days

Wild Streaks and Windy Days is the first full-length album for Austin experimental rockers The Boxing Lesson. Initially formed in Los Angeles, the band’s frontman, Paul Waclawsky, relocated to Texas, where a new lineup assembled. The trio put out an EP entitled Songs in the Key of C in 2006. A lush psychedelic spaceship of rich synth and echoing guitar, the band consists of Waclawsky on vocals, guitars and triwave picogenerator, Jaylinn Davidson on synthesizers and vocals, and Jake Mitchell on drums and samples. After the completion and release of the album in 2008 Mitchell was sentenced to federal jail for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Kevin Sparks currently serves as touring drummer for the band.

The first track, entitled, “Dark Side of the Moog,” commences with a deep melodic guitar interlude that sets a tone of out-of-this world ambience and spiritualized psychedelia. Waclawsky’s vocal tone sounds almost forewarning or intuitive of something bad to come. He advises the listener to “face your fear before you turn out the light, come in darkness, kiss your kids goodnight.” Before the minute long experimental sound outro, Waclawsky wallows in ghostly vibrato vocal, that “on the dark side you can sell your sins, on the dark side you will never win.”

The album’s fourth track, “Hopscotch & Sodapop,” is an awkward, over-poppy, out of character, complete 180 from the other tracks on the album. Apart from that being the only track I’d skip, the only possibility is that Hanson and The Boxing Lesson were being produced with the same computer and the two band’s tracks made an accidental switcharoo. “Hanging with the Wrong Crowd,” begins with a quick drum cymbal tapping and integrates with 8-bit computer game samples before bursting into a heavy rock guitar riff accompanied by harsh accusations towards a “loose girl” hanging with the wrong crowd: “you get around, everyone knows you get around.”

Another track, “The Art of Pushing Me Away,” is a soft stratospheric spacey jam that exudes a melancholy theme of rejection. The concluding track, “Wild Streaks and Windy Days,” which also shares the same title as the album, encompasses a music box sound is reminiscent of something David Bowie performed in the movie Labyrinth.

Wild Streaks and Windy Days is a blissful album perfect as a chill at home companion.

AmpLive-March Murder Sampler 2009

March Murder Sampler 2009

Despite following the typical fashion of reviewing a local or Texas band, I received this cool four track CD sampler at a free SXSW party that the artist AmpLive was playing at. Impressed not only by his modesty and down to earth nature, I noticed that everyone in the room was dancing to his cool mashups and mix-ups. Better known for his Hip Hop project Zion I, the Bay Area DJ and producer has collaborated with Del the Funky Homosapian and remixed tracks by Radiohead and MGMT. The first track titled, “Gary is a Robot,” begins with 8-bit Nintendo beats accompanied by a robot voice declaring that “Gary is a Robot,” who’s got it all in the aspect of money, cars, girls, cloths, looks, and luck. The violin instrumentation at the end of the track sounds hauntingly like the theme of a Final Fantasy videogame. “Get Served,” features clever raps amidst over redundant beats and slow lean tempo “get, get, get served,” lyrics. The song features all sorts of samples and sound effects, which seems to offer a fresh angle every time you hear the song. Saturated with bullhorns and gunshots, “Lose Ya Head,” the sampler’s third track, is an upbeat dance version of a Zion I and Too Short track Amplive used in his remix of Radiohead’s “Nude.” The concluding track, “It’s On,” features female rapper K. Flay-a less street Americanized version of European rapper Lady Sovereign.

While the CD art is bland and came in a clear plastic, the twenty minute sampler is a fun album for rushed pre-gaming activities.

Future Clouds and Radar- Peoria

Future Clouds and Radar

Besides being the name of an Algonquin Indian tribe in the United States and largest city on the Illinois River, Peoria is the title of the Austin indie rockers Future Clouds and Radar’s sophomore album. The band is made of Robert Harrison on vocals and guitar, Darin Murphy on drums and vocals, Hollie Thomas on keys and vocals, Joshua Zarbo on bass and vocals, and Kullen Fuchs on trumpet, keys and vocals. The band formed in 2006.

The first track, entitled, “The Epcot View,” begins with a twangy guitar riff and transforms into a hypnotizing lure into the rest of the album. “Old Edmund Ruffin,” is a soft melody.

At the 54 second mark, the third track, “Feet on Grass,” —a whirlwind of instrumental “synthy” futuristic keys accompanied by upbeat drum beating — sounds like it should be on the Neverending Story soundtrack. “Eighteen Months,” is the album’s most upbeat track saturated with groovy go-go guitar and trumpet. More of a cheesy retro bar theme, Harrison repeats the lyrics “I spent eighteen months buried alive,” over and over throughout the song.

The concluding track, “Follow the Crane,” contains a romantic lounge element with its tap, tap, tap cymbal sounds, melodic drumming and cool jazz piano riffs. Midway through the track a mess of noise effects of sirens, sci-fi sounds, dog barking commences only to be silenced by Harrison’s vocals followed by a solo of eerie piano playing. The melancholy piano notes are accompanied by ghostly “ah ah ah ah” vocals at the posterior of the track. Truly a schizophrenic experimental mess of Oasis vocals, Beatles-esque ambience, and experimental Pink Floyd progressions, Peoria is a cool chill out album.

The album’s cover features three big stripes of an American flag with a large amp in the foreground and the band’s name in uneven lowercase font.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuen- The Living Sound

The Living Sound
Rosebuds Records

Tuen, roughly translated into “Love” in Vietnamese consists of John Holden Forrest on vocals, guitars, keyboards and percussions, Ben Belin on drums and percussions, and Kacy Ray on bass. The Living Sound released in 2005 is the first full length CD for the Austin alternative rockers.
The first track entitled, “Trying to Achieve,” begins a rhythmic guitar riff which is promptly interrupted by a whistle and joined by Forrest’s almost forced raspy vocals. Sounding like a dryer more alternative version of progressive rockers Umphrey's Mcgee, Tuen’s tracks encompass a funky jam element. The fourth track, “Friends,” is about Forrest’s kindergarten friendship with best friend Simon as depicted by the linear notes. A bass heavy song, the track is suggestive of a carefree juvenile experience---“I don’t care about tomorrow; I just want to stay with you and dance away all my troubles.” The track, “Beautiful Things She Said,” is a rollercoaster of down-tempo and upbeat progressions that range in both instrumental levels and vocals. Commencing in almost a whisper, Forrest’s vocal range reaches a plateau midway but quickly alters to fit the tempo of the song. The album features two bonus tracks which are not listed on the album’s track list and un-named due to a failure in my iTunes inability to connect to the internet. The funky alt album is great for a hang out at home with friends slinging beers soiree.

The album cover features vintage black and white stamps from all over the world varying in values; some of the stamps have been post-marked. Images of horses, athletes, flowers, old-fashioned buggies, multi-sail boats and Wright brother-esque airplanes make up the stamp designs. Most of the stamps include the name San Marino, the world’s oldest republic. The band’s name is displayed in small, red digital font on the lower right side. A picture of the band mates clad in long sleeve collared shirts graces the backside of the CD. Inside the insert is a black and white photo of the trio among two art pieces on the other pages done by Cray, a single name that listed on the outer left of the Thank yous. Song symbolism and meanings are included on the back of the second and front of the last page. A color photo of Forrest and Belin rocking out graces the posterior of the insert.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Robbie and the Robots- Todaysterday

Robbie and the Robots
Jacket Weather Records

Released in 2005, Todaysterday is the first and only full-length album (so far) for pop-punk alternative rockers Robbie and the Robots which consists of Robbie Doyen on guitar and lead vocals, Aphyr St. James on djembe and backup vocals, Levi Cory on bass and backup vocals, Jesse Hodges on lead guitar and backup, and J.R. “Mojo” Juica on drums. The 10-track album which centralizes mostly on relationships and partying encompasses a splash of genres from pop to punk to rockabilly to rock throughout. Incredibly witty, Doyen’s lyrics are clever, well-written and rhyme.

The album’s first track entitled, “Symbiosis,” is a soft ballad with a repetitive “na na na na na na na,” chorus. Commencing with a psychobilly guitar intro “Drug Free Sabbath,” is an album anthem which evidently gets its name from Doyen’s professed lyrics- - “I don’t smoke crack on the day of the Lord, I don’t smoke crack on the day of the Lord.” The track is a dancey number which is likely a crowd sing-along favorite with its upbeat tempo and easy lyrics. “Naked,” focuses on the joys of being young, dumb, and driving “naked with the top down.” There’s a notable rockabilly feel and Chuck Barry-esque guitar amidst the lyrics “drugs are better than people. Take a pill, take a hit, take a puff, take a sip, yeah, drugs are better than people.”

The album art, which appears to be a drain of some sort with the album title trailing in a downward spiral motion, was created and designed by Doyen. Created on a grayscale, the design is bland and simple. A female robot caricature also created by Doyen is featured in the insert. A picture of the band taken by Sarah Grace Lanz graces the back of the insert.

If Robbie and The Robots are as delightful and fun as their album suggests, the results are undeniably a rockin’ good time.

SMTX 78666- SMTX 78666

SMTX 78666
SMTX 78666

SMTX 78666 is a 19-song compilation featuring original songs from local bands The Jared Francis Band, Scott Biram, Robbie and the Robots, Eleven Fingered Charlie, The Cari Hutson Band, Kallisti Gold, The Jocks, The Subtle Creeps, The Word Association, The Wailing Walls, The Hatchets, Grant Ewing, Bernie Calcote Blackwater Gospel, Rockus Circus, The AK47’s, Chancla, Fambly and Apse Affinity.

Intended as a charitable cause and the brainchild of Robbie Doyen, lead singer of Robbie and the Robots, SMTX 78666 includes a variety of genres, including bluegrass, rock ‘n roll, hip hop, ska, punk, metal and blues. Partial proceeds of the CD go to AFFTER (Advocates for Fibromyalgia Funding Treatment Education and Research) in an attempt to fight the disease that afflicts Doyen’s father. Fibromyalgia is thought to be second most common rheumatic condition in the United States, affecting two percent Americans, according to John Hopkins University research.

The first track “Texas Beer” by Jared Francis Band, recalls the greatness of living in Texas - the best part being Texas beer. Comparable to American rock band O.A.R, the Jared Francis Band reminisce about their time in Texas and refute the experience of moving to Oklahoma - “Gray skies, Texas Rain - ain’t nothing better to ease my pain. Oklahoma is fading fast. San Marcos, Texas, you’re right on track.” The upbeat guitar and funky bass make the track one of the more jammy tracks of the album.

The foot tapping track entitled “Whitehouse Blues” by Scott Biram characterized by fast riffs and Biram’s rye soaked vocals is a banjo-picked yodeling good time. “Up in the Scene,” the Hip Hop Remix by Robbie and the Robots begins with emcee Omari Kamua laying down rhyme atop funky electric guitar and pounding bass. After a minute, Doyen begins with the lyrics “my favorite band is playing up in Austin and I’m going to go.” The poppy garage Texas country band’s lyrics are simple but clever.

Another standout track is “Snake Eyes” by the hip hop group The Word Association. The down tempo groove contains some profanity but keeps a perpetual harmony in its looped bars and numerous singers dropping rhymes. The track begins with a sole member rapping the lyrics “if you take a young man, put a microphone in his hand and push him as hard as you can - you have an artistic weapon. We have ten,” and concludes with several of the members chiming in “no surprise, you rolling dice with snake eyes. No surprise, you rolling dice with snake eyes.”

“All Night Ramblin” by Grant Ewing is a notable blues track featuring soft cymbal tapping, rolling guitar riffs, and the theme of drowning the blues with a night of alcohol “slamming.”

“Misguided Confidence” by the AK47s begins with ravage raucous screaming and Hot Topic-esque metal rock guitar riffs and drumming. While most of the lyrics in the song are difficult to understand, the track further proves that there’s something for everyone on the compilation. “Chancla” by Chancla which translates into flip-flop depicts the story of a boy disciplined by “number one tool of Latina mothers for discipline.” Featuring a few words in Spanish, the comedic song tells the story of a young boy being asked to make a chicken pot pie and throwing out the “basura” and getting lost in playing “Pacman” instead of doing his chorus.

The album artwork done by local artist Bonner Fowles depicts a laid back river floating experience on the San Marcos River which folds out into three part gatefold. The inner sleeve is simpler with tree leaves adorning the upper outer corners encircling the artist names, song titles and band website. The inner back tray features a girl tubing with a beer and cigarette in hand encompassing the overall theme of the album - river floating and house parties.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Birds Barbershop is hosting a FREE party Cut Off Your Hands, King Khan & The Shrines and NASA, among others.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frisbee Dan: A San Marcos treasure

Frisbee Dan is out at Sewell Park just about every day, decorating the sunlight with his singular Frisbee technique. Photo by Christina Zambrano.

News Reporter

Through numerous interviews, YouTube videos, a handful of commercials and even a t-shirt, Dan Barry, known to most as “Frisbee Dan,” has risen to San Marcos celebrity status throughout the years as a fixture at Sewell Park.

But Dan Barry’s true hook is his finesse with the Frisbee, a flair for teaching his craft to the young, and his useful presence in the park as sort of an unofficial guardian of the peace.

Every day, without fail, during prime hours in the scorching daytime, Barry can be found at the park tossing his customized Frisbees until sunset. Clad in black short shorts, a white sun hat, rec specs and close to half a bottle of sunscreen, Barry has played Frisbee at Sewell Park for almost 20 years.

Barry jokes that he’s more of an “eye sore” than an “icon.” Regulars at the park enjoy that humor, to say nothing of the show he puts on most every day.

“I think he has great technique, and I’ve never seen him drop a disc or miss a catch,” Texas State student Vanessa Monahan said. “Frisbee Dan is an icon. He’s like the Leslie Cochran of San Marcos, minus the drag.”

Hailing from Akron, OH, Barry arrived to San Marcos in 1986 as a rehab therapy patient at Tangram Rehabilitation Center after suffering a severe head injury from jumping out of a moving truck.

Excelling in horticulture, he was released from Tangram four years later and staffed at the facility for eight years, helping to treat other injured patients.

“I was trained by a horticultural specialist who got their horticulture degree from A&M,” Barry said. “I was really good at it and I sifted through recovery period quickly, and now I’m a certified licensed landscaper. The only reason my parents chose Tangram was because it had nursery work or landscaping, and they knew I enjoyed to do that kind of stuff, since I had already been doing that.”

Even before his accident, Barry enjoyed playing Frisbee, a hobby he and his brother shared during their years as landscapers in Ohio. With more than 35 years of Frisbee playing experience, Barry said he can “can hit a walking person yards away without any effort on a windy day.”

Sharing his throwing method with numerous Texas State Ultimate Frisbee athletes, Barry has developed a more efficient technique.

“Stance, grab, wrist release, quick release,” Barry said. “Pop it quick. The slower you throw it, the worse it flies. Some people don’t have any eye-hand coordination. You have to have some sort of hand-eye coordination. If not, you won’t be able to do it. If you have a boyfriend and don’t have a problem backhanding him, you’d be great at Frisbee playing.”

Barry, who customizes his Frisbees with colored duct tape embellished with a star logo, says the process is tedious and time consuming but worth the effort.

“It takes me three hours to set all the tape, but doing this will reinforce the center to kick it, tip it or do whatever to it without it breaking,” said Barry. “I have guys come back here five or 10 years after getting a disc from me and they still have them intact.”

Texas State Graduate Assistant for Outdoor Recreation Steven Campbell, whose workplace is on Sewell Park, sees Frisbee Dan on a daily basis.

“I think he’s a San Marcos legend, a staple part of the atmosphere at Sewell,” Campbell said. “He’s a friendly character and gets along with the students well. He watches out for the folks in the park - reports anything detrimental.”

Local progressive fusion band Ars Poetica pays homage to Barry with its track entitled “Frisbee Dan.” The 2:15 minute song is an upbeat orchestration of jazzy piano, happy guitar riffs and whispery brushed drums featuring the lyrics, “All the grass in the park, from the day to the dark - he’s no ordinary man, Frisbee Dan. And when you ask why he do what he do, he says ‘I love it,’ why don’t you love it, too.”

Olive Street-Review

Olive Street
Olive Street
Beginning as house mates in San Marcos, Olive Street formed in 2006. The inspiration behind the band’s name came from their living location’s side street name. The band consists of Kyle Mylius on keyboards, Lindsey James on vocals, acoustic guitar, organ, Jah Wilkinson on drums and Bel Stuart on bass guitar and backing vocals.
The self-titled EP, which was released earlier this year, features four tracks. Bringing a new detail to folk-rock, Olive Street’s front man Lindsey James sounds hauntingly like Connor Oberst while the band’s resonance is reminiscent to that of the Counting Crows.
The first track entitled “Dealbreaker,” is a soft tune resounding guitar pickings, slow drumming, and melancholy piano haunting through the quaver of James’ voice. The pain behind James’ voice is not only evident in the quivering of his vocals but through the thoughtful lyric writing---“I didn’t know what I was putting you through... I don’t think I could be with you, it was a dealbreaker baby.”
In the EP’s second track, “Sea of Mesquite,” James’ tone is more aggressive and mildly suggestive of Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas husky voice droned with background guitar and a piano suggestive of a lounge theme. “They Grow Like Weeds,” includes more upbeat piano, easy drumming, and solemn guitar lines hemming the underlying theme of solitude for the characters in the song. The album’s concluding track, “Shapeshifter,” cultivates a sorrowful mood and incorporates an unnamed female vocalist echoing on some lyrics. Towards the end of the song however, the song becomes faster paced and louder only to return to its slow, dawdling pace in the last 50 seconds.

Henry & The Invisibles-Review

Henry & The Invisibles
Henry & The Invisibles
More notable for his live performances, Henry Roland, front and sole member of Henry and the Invisibles produces live loops on the spot to create a soulful, funk-tastic experience that guides the crowd through an orchestration of electronica and fusion. The one man band’s Prince like vocals suit the incorporation of looped guitar, bass guitar, percussion, keyboards, and household items such as pots and cans, coffee-cans, and water jugs well. With serviceable falsetto funk and glassy-eyed soul rock, Roland’s unhinged 1970’s nostalgia meets with non-stop dancing and grooving.
The self-titled 6 track-EP featured on Roland’s site,, Sounding almost identical (with a more down-tempo element) to Jack Johnson’s intro to “Upside Down,” Roland’s “Power of Ten” transforms after a few bars of the recognizable beat into something more funky and fresh with Roland declaring that “it’s getting funky, it’s getting funky, it’s getting mother funky.” The second track entitled, “How You Livin’,” is a slower tune which recalls the ‘Purple One’s’ sexy sultriness. Roland’s originality and experimentalism entwined with a rhythmic element becomes more and more prevalent throughout the progression of the tracks. “Only Humans,” is resonant of alternative rockers the Pixies in its down-tempo alt. guitar riffs, vibrating bass and echoing vocals. “Sing a Song,” the standout track of the bunch is a live performance which includes tambourine jingling and soulful cooing. Almost like church, “Sing a Song,” list life’s importance’s “one world, one heart, one love” and asks, “If we can all sing a song, then why can’t we all get along?” Midway, Roland rips into a funky bass guitar solo. The last track, “LoveJam A.K.A. The Gospel” is also a live track and the longest at 8:21 minutes. The encompassing theme of Love is ubiquitous and central not only through Roland’s repetition of the word, but in the lyrics.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Okkervil River to Play Free Show at St. Edwards

Start Time:
Monday, March 2, 2009 at 7:00pm

In front of main building

3001 S Congress

More Dan Deacon news

The King of the Hipsters will be playing a show Friday, April 17 in Burnet, TX at Longhorn Caverns. The showcase will be in a cave, as confirmed by the man himself via facebook.

Tickets are only $15! Click here to score!

Dan Deacon's Bromst

I've been hearing a lot of buzz around Dan Deacon's forthcoming album Bromst, the followup to 2007's Spiderman of The Rings. While the album art has been compared to Phish's Round Room the album's mp3 content is described as “much darker” “mature,” and “organic," also definitive of the cover art. The album drops March 24th.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Clay Nightingale-The River and Then the Restless Wind

Clay Nightingale
The River and Then the Restless Wind

The River and Then the Restless Wind is the first self-released EP for local folksy Americana act Clay Nightingale. The band consists of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Daniel Schaetz, Barry Walker on guitar, Jeremy Whiteon on keyboard/ glockenspiel/percussion, Joe Trent on pedal steel/guitar/percussion, Drew Schaetz, drums, vocals, and Dave Yelacic on bass.

The symbolism behind the album’s title refers to the San Marcos River popular in many recreational activitiesm, and the oldest San Marcos bar, The Restless Wind, which is located right off the square on North LBJ. Titular to the album’s title, the theme of all the songs on the EP include the subject of drinking or floating on the river. Sounding like a puree of the Silver Jews, Townes Van Zant, and The Hold Steady, Clay Nightingale embodies and exudes a timeless alt-country sound.

“Eureka” features soft percussion, doo-wop guitar, a rich country twang and a church bell sound effect. Schaetz vocals, mildly sprechgesang with a down tempo rhythm may suggest that he is unable to hit high notes. However, it remains essential to the entirety to the album. Missing Missing sweet, sleepy and indicative of a broken heart throughout. Schaetz is accompanied by female vocalist Stephanie Briggs, who chimes in on certain lyrics to show mutual emotions.

The duo croon in harmony, “I sure miss missing somebody, I sure miss missing somebody. If I could only miss you,” in the last stanza of the track. “The Bar is a Wonderful Place” is a playful ditty about the joys of hanging out at a bar personified by country riffs and a drunken circus-esque drum rhythm.

The album art is plain and brown, with the band’s name and album title printed in front. The back features a snapshot of two individuals who are most likely in the band clad in hair-rocker garb.

Clay Nightingale is currently working on their second album, which is set to be released mid-year. The River and Then the Restless Wind is the perfect album to hear at a dive bar which believably can be found on the jukebox at the Restless Wind.