Monday October 24, 2011 – Alexis Marceaux & the Samurai * Elaine Greer * Day Sailor

Alexis Marceaux & the Samurai (New Orleans, LA)

From the ‘Orange Moon’ press release:

“It’s fitting you might have caught a glimpse of Alexis Marceaux on Treme, HBO’s pantheon to New Orleans musicians. The soulful young artist is a lifelong New Orleanian, with credentials that best that of the cast. Her father is a local musician, and Alexis not only grew up surrounded by artists via rehearsals and sessions in the house; she also attended New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (alumni include Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis), and sang in the St Bernard Parish Choir. Now, the 22-year old is releasing her second album, Orange Moon on August 23, 2011. Under the tutelage of Polyphonic Spree’s Rick Nelson and producer Sam Craft, Alexis drew an all-star cast, 25 of NOLA’s finest musicians of every genre, for an album that is big and lush — yet finessed with restraint and space.

This is the second album for Alexis, who also keeps a spot as a touring musician and vocalist with Susan Cowsill, playing guitar, piano and harmonica, and is part of the local indie-rock band Glasgow. She released Dandelion in 09, and its songs were picked up by various television shows, but with Orange Moon, she’s elevated from a singer/songwriter — to an artist that pulls more wholly from her city and life experiences.  “I was really green, I had just started writing songs at age 13, and recorded the first album at the age of 18. The material was very song-writerly and folky, before I began to turn to metaphor,” says Alexis. “With that, the instrumentation naturally progressed and got more a bit more complicated.” She makes that clear with the cinematic title track, a testimony to her friend Leila Foret’s battle with cancer. Alexis’ richly expressive and classically trained alto soars and dips with a brass section featuring Bonerama’s Craig Klein, Big Sam’s Funky Nation’s Sam Williams, and a host of other New Orleans horns, making it one part jazz, one part funk and indie rock. The brooding storm of disquiet that the combined textures create, parallel not only Leila’s fight to overcome her illness, but also the battle New Orleans waged to recover from the perils of Katrina.

Alexis’ family had long been ensconced in St Bernard Parish and lost everything in the floodwaters, sending Alexis further afield to SLU for vocal studies. Not long after she came back, St. Bernard’s and many other parishes’ prolific fisheries were crippled as oil from the 2010 spill washed ashore. The tale in “Wishing Well” is told from that heartbreaking perspective, but from the point of view of Louisiana’s state bird, the Pelican. “I just want to spread my wings and sing like a songbird sings, but suddenly I’m overcome with fear,” the Cajun descendant sings before caustically biting into, “Those suckers will be lucky if I ever come back.” The song’s message is translated into an indie-rock song, only slightly disguising its Cajun undertone complete with frottoir (Cajun washboard) by Russ Broussard (Terrance Simien, Zachery Richard and basically every major Cajun/Zydeco band of the 80′s/90s).  The last 60 seconds or so of the song features an anthemic chorus made up of a sizable chunk of the New Orleans music establishment (including Paul Sanchez, Susan Cowsill, and about a dozen others), banded together like an angered and militant crowd.

On “Fox,” a song that would fit snugly into a Decemberists album, she sings of the dangers of making hasty generalizations in an Aesop-meets-Orwell parable of clandestine love with a poppy guitar and whistles before swirling into a frenzy.”

Elaine Greer (Austin, TX)

Elaine Greer’s interest in music stemmed from a variety of influences, ranging from her love for Broadway musicals as a child to her numerous attempts at punk rock bands as a teenager. Although she began writing songs at a young age, she was secretive about it for years before starting her first active band in 2005, The Bluebirds. The Bluebirds didn’t last long though, and thus Elaine Greer the solo artist was born. Years (and several line up changes) later, Elaine was playing regularly around Houston, where she drummed up quite a bit of local interest and opened for such celebrated acts as The Fiery Furnaces, Tilly and the Wall, and Tim Barry. At the end of 2008, Elaine realized that her lo-fi home recordings could only take her so far, and headed to Master Bedroom Studios to record her first legitimate EP, “Making Plans and Going Places.” The 6-song EP, described as a “distractingly pretty collection of folk pop songs”, was released in May of 2009. The EP featured a number of guest musicians and was mixed by Steve Christensen from Houston’s SugarHill Studios. Later on in 2009, Greer reunited with Christensen (who soon after won a Grammy for Steve Earle’s “Townes”) to begin recording her first full length album. The recording of this album stretched through 2010, taking place at Steve’s apartment, SugarHill Studios, and Elaine’s apartment in Austin (where she had decided to move at some point in all of this). A little over a year later, the album, to be entitled “Annotations”, was complete and sent to The Lodge in New York to be mastered. Set to be released in early 2011, this album melds the genuine feel of Elaine’s early recordings with that of a studio album throughout 9 intricately composed songs that are layered in vocal harmonies. Greer, now 22 years old, is currently still living in Austin, Texas and playing with a new band of talented individuals.

-Won “Favorite Solo Artist” in the 2008 Skyline Sammy Awards.
-Nominated for Best Female Vocalist in the 2009 Houston Press Music Awards.

Day Sailor – (Houston, TX)

Hailing from Houston, TX, Day Sailor is a breath of fresh air in the Houston music scene. The band has, in a few short months together, created a special breed of indie rock that can be defined as both introspective and sweeping, from climactic moments of layered guitar to quiet piano reflections. Since April, the band has played local Houston venues such as Continental Club, Fitzgeralds, Jet Lounge, Avant Garden, and Rudyards, and is currently underway with their first EP.

Friday October 21, 2011 – Morgue City * the Trimms

Morgue City (Houston, TX)

Morgue City is a band that has gone through many many changes in sound and personnel. Like any successful project in the entertainment world it must be made up of resilient and determined people. This is the case with Morgue City. The band that has a rock attack intensity as well as a more sinister edge as it delves into the darker realms of noiz and it’s concurrent drones. Some of the Morgue City sound is very pop rock oriented but there is always a deviant grind of sound laced in the song work. The band consists of two musicians with a very long history in the music business. Founder, SPIKE the Percussionist, is known from a long list of projects that include Astrogenic Hallucinauting, Childman, Doggebi, Delicate Terror and as the music director for the world renowned flesh suspension group Constructs of Ritual Evolution – CoRE. The lead guitar and vocals are handled by Raul who is a multi instrumentalist and has a long history of studio work and touring. Raul hails from such bands as M-87 and was the former bass player for Bozo Porno Circus. The result is a musical conglomeration both hauntingly familiar and refreshingly new as well as powerful and beautifully dark. Combine the likes of everything from classical to jazz and gloom to power noiz with catchy lyrics, sophisticated beats, and musically diverse melodies and the result is Morgue City.

The Trimms

(Sorry no details)

Thursday October 20, 2011 – Possessed By Paul James * Westbound

 

Possessed By Paul James (Austin, TX)

Possessed By Paul James is the stage name of multi-instrumentalist Konrad Wert. He was raised Mennonite with Amish roots in the swamps of Immokalee, Florida and presently resides with his wife and son in the Hill Country of Texas.  Wert’s performances are so energetic that he could easily be mistaken for a small crowd. His songs are very honest. Not only are they completely personal and sincere, but they transcend identity and touch on the human condition.  “Possessed is just… possessed by experiences and family (Paul and Melvin James),” Wert says. ”…I connect with that, with the beauty of the brokenness, innocence and/or ugliness.”
PPJ has been around now since 2006 touring domestically and internationally while finding a balance between family and the opportunities of music.  “The goal is to be able to share and benefit both my family and those willing to listen.  That is a success in my opinion and thus far it seems to be working it’s way out.”
In 2006 SYA Records of Milan, Italy pressed Wert’s first LP ‘Possessed by Paul James’ followed by his first European tour.  In 2007 while touring overseas the Rev. Beatman of Voodoo Rhythm Records came to a PPJ show and liked what he heard and saw.  Thus in 2008 ‘Cold and Blind’ was released, Wert’s second album.  Presently we are awaiting PPJ’s 3rd record, ‘Feed the Family’ this time with the intent of going completely independent, pressing both CD, LP and 7-inch.
Needless to say it has been a slow and steady road for the music of Possessed by Paul James.  As Wert likes to put it, “This isn’t a race.  No one is coming in first or last, it’s simply a marathon in the process of music and that feels best.”

 

Westbound (Houston, TX)

Westbound is a high-energy Roots and Americana band from Houston, TX, featuring Rebecca on lead vocals and John on acoustic guitar, banjo, resonator guitar, backing vocals, stomp-box percussion and harmonica. The band is on constant regional tour in the Southeast U.S. in 2011, in support of their album Blackjack Road. Westbound is recording their second album in late 2011 / early 2012, and on national tour of the U.S. in Summer 2012.

 

Tuesday October 18, 2011 – Bootown Presents: Grown Up Storytime #40

Bootown – (Houston, TX )

The Grown-up Storytime series is a late-night event that takes place the third Tuesday of every month at Rudyard’s British Pub, a bar and venue located in the heart of Montrose. You send us stories, we pick the best ones, and assign them to a rotating crack-squad of expert story readers who show up the night of and wow our socks and/or pants off. It’s on a Tuesday – what else are you going to do?

Interested in submitting a story or reading someone else’s story?!? Email us at grownupstorytime@bootown.o​rg

Saturday October 15, 2011 – Orange Is In

Orange Is In (Houston, TX)

Orange is in brings together a variety of disparate influences including ’60s pop, ’80s post punk and rootsy Texas rock that borrows from influences like Springsteen, Costello, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Wilco to create a sound that is uniquely their own.

The band, made up of veterans of the Texas music scene including George Kovacik (vocals), Jeff Balke (bass) and Chris Rogers (guitar) and Joseph Earthman (drums), prides themselves on bringing it live having performed from New York City to Honey Grove, Texas.

The band has released two albums, Another Lame Semi-Tragedy in 2006 and Come and Take in 2007 as well as the web-only single “Someone Came to Help Me” in 2010. Both albums were listed among the top releases of 2006 and 2007 by Houston music blog, Houston Calling.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 – Nia De-Bose Presents The Late Night Liquid Courage Comedy Showcase

Nia De-Bose Presents The Late Night Liquid Courage Comedy Showcase

There’s a new alternative to the Comedy Club. No drink minimums, and [relatively few] dick jokes. We get it; Airline food sucks, dogs are different from cats, and women love shoes. Moving forward, Houston Comedian Nia De-Bose is providing Houstonians with a new format for comedy. The Late Nite Liquid Courage Comedy Showcase will feature the city’s best and brightest upcoming and established stand-up Comics. Think of the Tonight Show, if it only featured Comedians. With the Average Black Band playing some mean 70′s funk, and libations abound it’s sure to tickle your funny bone and lure you into the Soul Train line! Local stand-up legend Ali Siddiq headlines.

Determination to succeed best describes Ali’s rising star into comedy, building an impressive resume in a short period of time. Ali has hosted and performed at several college campuses, participated in numerous celebrity events and briefly hosted his own radio show, “Tuesdays with Ali”, on KBXX 97.9 The Box. Ali began his comedy career in the penitentiary. Refusing to feel life had defeated him, he emerged from the dreary walls of incarceration as a man with a zealous mission; to become a professional humorist. “To me therapy is comedy, comedy is laughter, and laughter is happiness.” Ali’s hard work and dedication resulted in his swift and steady rise in the comedy arena. In his new life, he quickly took advantage of the opportunities given to him by the owner of the Jus’ Joking Comedy Café, in Houston, Texas. There he emerged as a weekly featured stand-up. Honing his comedic storytelling skills, building his name and quickly catching the interest of some of the most talented comedians in the industry. His off brand style of humor tickles the funny bone of audiences at every show.