Friday 10 August 2012 – Skillit

Skillit (Houston, TX)
http://www.facebook.com/SkillitRocks

Skillit is a right tasty little treat, kind of a mixture of all sorts of stuff, like thursday night goulash. Just goes with everything, ya know?

We’ve played with bands of all flavors, from the Toadies, Paw, and Course of Empire to Jazz Butcher and Havana 3am.

There’s this girl up front who sings, her name’s Renee Montgomery. And Chris Rogers and Dominic Taliaferro, they play guitar, see… then there’s these other fellas, Anthony Sapp and Joe Araujo, and they play bass and drums.

They’d like to play a little something for you, so why don’t you give ’em a call?

Renee Montgomery.. Vocals
Chris Rogers ……….. Guitar
Dominic Williams
Taliaferro …………… Guitar
Anthony Sapp………. Bass
Joe Araujo……………. Drums

Thursday 09 August 2012 – 4AM * Governor’s Chair

4AM (Sorry, No verifiable information on line)

 


Governor’s Chair (Houston, TX)
http://www.governorschair.com/

Like most worthwhile things in life, Governor’s Chair traces its roots back to that fertile and impressionable period: the nexus between middle school and high school.  Charlie Chavira and James Noles, Governor’s Chair dual guitars and vocals, were at Pershing Middle School, while rhythm section Charlie (bass) and Joe (drums) Earthman were at arch-rival Lanier.  First guitars were purchased and practiced, until finally Lamar High School brought both Charlies, James, and Joe together in Old Blind Shamus, a cover band that played keg parties and battle-of-the-bands.  After the glory daze of high school, Charlie E. and James moved to Austin for college and made up the dual guitar sound of the Rhythm Kitchen, a primarily original rock band, while Joe went to Loyola New Orleans and played with The Hoyts.  Charlie C. stayed in Houston and focused on blues, fronting the Boogiemen, Blue Inc., and Nothin’ But The Blues.

In 1993 the Earthman boys and Chavira had a short-lived band that went by a variety of names—Earthman Wind and Fire, Rare Earthman, and Manfred Mann’s Earthman Band.  Charlie E. moved to Moscow, Russia shortly thereafter and eventually ended up with Los Compadres, a reggae band based in Riga, Latvia.  James stayed in Austin and formed the original rock band Rainshine, after moving back to Houston, followed up playing guitar and vocals with Dreambreakers.  Charlie C. spent the second half of the 1990s with Aubrey Dunham and the Party Machine, a funky blues party band, and Madd Oxe, a power classic rock trio that tore up the Richmond Strip and ice houses all over H-town.

Flashing forward to spring 2006—the two Charlies bumped into each other in Austin and Governor’s Chair was born.  Early practices and a blast of songwriting carried the band to its first gigs later that fall of 2006.  Governor’s Chair continues to evolve, adding new material with each new gig.  Come on out, grab a beer, and say hello to the Governor.

 

Tuesday 07 August 2012 – Mugen Hoso (from Japan) FREE SHOW!!!

Mugen Hoso (Tokyo, Japan)
http://www.facebook.com/MugenHoso

 

Japanese 2-piece rock band ‘MUGEN HOSO’.
Very ROCK sounds is played by HIR0(Guitar and Vo) and TAR0 (Drums & Cho).
HIR0 and TAR0 plays over 25 years in some bands.
They usually play in Japan. And sometimes in overseas.
You can enjoy their music even if they sing the song in Japanese.

 

Sounds Like: The Who, The White Stripes, The Beatles, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Neil Young

 


Monday 06 August 2012 – A Couple Of Stand Up Guys Open Mic

A Couple Of Stand Up Guys (Houston, TX)
http://www.facebook.com/ACoupleOfStandUpGuys

Formed in January 2012, it is a rotating group of comedic talent from the Houston area set on revitalizing the local comedy scene with new talent featuring the best of Comedy and Music culled from the Houston Open Mic scene. Currently the group is performing Bi-Monthly shows within the Houston area.
Our Free Comedy Open Mic Show Opens At 9:00. Show starts at 9:30.

Sunday 05 August 2012 – Huntress

Huntress (Highland Park, CA)
http://huntresskills.com/

Huntress was birthed in the underground of Highland Park, California, clawing at the roots of heavy metal. Lead singer Jill Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of Huntress. In 2009 she met underground metal band Professor. The universe spread her legs and delivered Huntress to Janus, combining former members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch.

The powerful pentad signed to Napalm Records in November 2011. They unleashed their first music video for “Eight of Swords” in October 2011, directed by Simon Chan of Artificial Army. The song was produced and engineered by Chris Rakestraw of Sunset Lodge Recording in Silverlake, CA. Rakestraw will also produce their debut album, slated for release Spring/Summer 2012 on Napalm Records.

Saturday 04 August 2012 – Coathangers * Jaill

Coathangers (Atlanta, GA)
http://thecoathangers.tumblr.com

The Coathangers were a band before they were musicians. The Atlanta quartet started out as an excuse to hang out and play parties. Their jokey attitude ran deep, right down to their name—a self-admittedly crude abortion reference for an all-girl group. The whole knowing-how-to-play-an-instrument thing was just a minor hurdle in their musical mission. And to their credit, The Coathangers stormed onto the scene, regardless of the handicap, as a completely unaffected, unpretentious, deliciously sloppy, and totally infectious rock band. What they lacked in formal training they made up for in an innate understanding of how to craft a hook and propel a song forward on sheer charisma. It was impossible not to like them.

Despite the casualness of The Coathangers approach to making music, that devil-may-care attitude and rowdy house-show vibe resonated with folks across the globe. The band released two albums and toured the states with bands like The Thermals, Mika Miko, These Arms Are Snakes, and Young Widows. Five years later, that reckless energy from their half-serious roots is every bit as vibrant and rambunctious on their latest album, Larceny & Old Lace. But this time around we’re hearing a band that’s honed their trade and incorporated more stylistic variations. It’s also the band’s first experience in a proper studio; the album was recorded with Ed Rawls at The Living Room in Atlanta, Georgia. The result is a record that feels like The Coathangers we’ve always known and loved, but sounds like a band taking their trade more seriously. Where their past recordings were a mash-up of garage rock’s rough and loose instrumentation and no-wave’s abrasive tonalities, Larceny & Old Lace showcases a broader song-writing range. “Go Away” taps into a ‘60s girl-group sound. “Call to Nothing” employs the paint-peeling guitars, dance beats, and slightly ominous melodies of the early post-punk pioneers. “Well Alright” is reminiscent of Rolling Stones’ bawdy R&B strut. “Tabbacco Road” is perhaps the biggest leap for the band, completely eschewing their rabble-rousing strategy in favor of penning a pensive and somber ballad. Are we seeing a kinder, gentler Coathangers?

“Never!” is the response from drummer Rusty Coathanger. “We’re definitely in a different place creatively and personally. This album has songs that go deeper than on [sophmore album] Scramble, much more serious for us… say whaaaaa?!” Old fans needn’t worry though—lead single “Hurricane” is still a glorious, gritty garage rocker and “Johnny” is still a brilliantly noisy no-wave tune. The Coathangers are merely stretching their boundaries, as you’d expect any other act on their third album to do. “We wanted to try and write different styles of songs and push ourselves to really create something familiar
but still unique,” says Rusty. “Because everyone is into so many different types of music, you get a hodgepodge kind of sound. However different the songs we feel its still a cohesive album, as far as every song sounding distinctly like a Coathanger’s song.”

 

Jaill (Milwaukee, WI)
http://jaillonline.wordpress.com/

Jaill is a lot like other bands; they’ve slept on your floor, you’ve made fun of their pillow cases, they’re not nearly as good at Excitebike as they said they were and although they all say they’re cool with cats, no one’s excited about sleeping at the cat house. So it should come as no surprise that, as bands sometimes do, they’ve made a new record. And that record is Traps, their second for Sub Pop, but first to adopt the bold new marketing strategy of giving away a free pair of Nike cross-trainers to anyone who steals it on the internet. Take that, Radiohead. So, but, what is Traps?And what about it can best fill five paragraphs? Traps is pretty, it’s moody, it pops. It has the scrappy, vengeful enthusiasm of a puppy stuck under a blanket. It’s an adorably grumpy bear just awoken from his long winter’s slumber, with a mangy heart rarely found outside of the stuffed animal bin of a Salvation Army. It’s an album that expects to be taken seriously goddammit, even though it just puked on the bar.

Traps is also, and confidently, a Jaill record. It’s an acerbic exercise in both humility and aggression. Lyrically and melodically it portrays the malfunctioning universe inside a home, taking into account the myriad ways in which relationships and responsibilities can destroy a person’s mind. “Gave myself a good grade on barely losing my shit,” sings Vinnie Kircher on “While You Reload.” His resignation to the failed road ahead is all over Traps, from the sarcastic slap of the drum-machine snare in “Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs),” to the recurring, sounding-like-a-broken-Slinky riff of album opener “Waste a Lot of Things.” In “House with Haunting” Kircher waxes philosophical on the pains of getting older, with a home still overrun with friends and houseguests. Yet on “I’m Home,” Kircher laments, “I have clown hands now, bowtie spins around,” whatever philosophies he had giving way to sardonic acquiescence.

But for Traps to sound like its subject matter was in a way inescapable, recorded as it was in Kircher’s crummy, poorly lit basement. Sacrificing most of 2011 to the album’s completion, with minimal gear and a control room of thrift store afghans, Jaill set out to create a record they thought would be worthy of appreciation, without much of a plan beyond that. This was a return to the in-home manufacturing process they honed back in the day, before big labels came along and started throwing their comically large bankrolls around. They started tracking in January, combing through well over a dozen songs, rerecording some, judiciously discarding others. The process became about self-awareness, scrutiny and a strong desire for inventiveness. By October, the band was in agreement: tracking for the lean, eleven-song album was finished. November brought them out to New York briefly, where Brooklyn’s most hilarious jokester, Nicolas Vernhes of Rare Book Room, mixed the band’s mangled masterpiece. He brought the ideas in line, keeping the sentiment true to its basement origins. Clownishly huge stacks of money were again thrown at various problems. High-fives were given, and deserved. Soon the album was mastered and aptly titled, Traps.

When Jaill nonchalantly stepped into the room with 2010’s That’s How We Burn, the group had already turned out a small catalog of self-recorded/released albums and EPs. Sub Pop first heard the band on an LP bought through the mail, the cover still hot from the Kinko’s copier. When it arrived covered in dog hair and finger smears they knew they were on to something. Here was a group of guys so focused on their metier; they couldn’t be bothered with the bullshit details like where not to set the can of La Croix. And as 2009’s There’s No Sky (Oh My My) (the above-mentioned, mail-ordered LP) demonstrated, Kircher is equally comfortable crafting songs that either amble up slyly, or tumble out pell mell, with lyrics that betray his English major background. That’s How We Burn only reinforced this. SPIN said of the album, “What elevates their debut beyond your average twee-punk rager is the gentle psych dabblings: extra delay on a guitar solo, an errant ‘ooh-ahh-ooh,’ a dubby Panda Bear flourish, and the swirling noise that murmurs through the background of the cheerful ‘Snake Shakes’.”

So in conclusion, even though you said you were ready to go like fifteen minutes ago, here is Jaill still ambling around the stage having loaded out barely any of their gear, and the merch is still sitting out everywhere. And although it would be great if they could just move it along a bit faster because, as you’ve mentioned more than a couple times already, you have to work in the morning, perhaps have work to do even now, you wait because you know deep down that you love these guys. It might take until three in the afternoon, and every last clean dish in the kitchen, but they will totally get you back the next day with some breakfast tacos and perhaps an LP. (At cost.) And besides, what else truly makes a house a home but having five vibrantly unwashed men sleeping on the floor of your living room? Traps comes out June 12th, 2012, on Sub Pop Records, not coincidentally six days following National Gardening Exercise Day. So cop a disc, get out there this summer and exercise with your plants!

Friday 03 August 2012 – Saint Motel * Races

Saint Motel (Los Angeles, CA)
http://www.saintmotel.com/

With sophisticated savvy and singularity, the Los Angeles quartet Saint Motel has built a formidable reputation on the back of inventive indie pop and wildly fun live shows. Mixing blistering pep with unique flair and rousing rhythms, Saint Motel’s aural catharsis is pure bliss with a twist of cynical humor. Once pulled in by the pulsating and joyous melodies, delight can be found in the surprisingly avant-garde lyrical subject matter. Stories reveal themselves through thematic twists and turns with a narrative voice both subversive and sincere. We find our contemporary hero assessing the world through a lens of poetic contrasts — running down the line of his modern concerns and realizing that a mangled face can be beautiful, that honest feedback can be as lethal as any weapon, and that one might be better off when he has nothing at all. With such honest motifs strung together by tongue-in-cheek notions, delivered with such charm, the band’s intentions are often left open to interpretation. And so, what might be easily perceived as sexy with one listen, with another might seem mean-spirited or flatly perverse. That is the flair of Saint Motel’s rapturous pop and the graceful dichotomy of its existence

 

Races (Los Angeles, CA)
http://racestheband.com/
RACES exists as a result of artistic rebirth and personal rediscovery, but it all starts at a point in Wade Ryff’s life where motivation was at its most scarce. Disillusioned with music, beset with the bitter ending of a relationship with a real life witch and faced with the overwhelming stagnation of being a 23-year old in the sleepy suburban outpost of Van Nuys, during that time, Ryff wrote the pleading lyrics of “Big Broom” in the bathroom of his parents house. He explains the song’s message as “accepting that every ending is a new beginning, and even if we may have no control over when things are given or taken from us, we can always choose how to respond.”

Whether he realized it or not at the time, it would serve as a mission statement for a handful of musicians in the area who were also idling through their 20’s and desperate for a new beginning. Breanna Wood, Lucas Ventura, Devon Lee and Oliver Hild knew each other prior to RACES’ first show, played in bands together, and oh yeah, either had dated or were currently dating each other. Still, nothing could anticipate it all coming together for Year Of The Witch, a life-affirming document forged from the pain of a time when life feels most uncertain and coming out of it renewed.

In regards to their evocative band name, Ryff explains: “I relate to the name in the sense that it seems like there is always something to be up against, and strong desire to overcome whatever it is.” Ryff had been quietly working on solo material, and in 2009, a friend asked him to open for a show he was booking. And he was up against the daunting task of stepping out of the sidelines as a bass player and putting his own untrained vocals to the fore. More than any singer, Ryff found his inspiration as a lyricist in the works of early 20th-century authors. But his musical heroes that were well-chosen too: Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Ladies Man for its integration of Brill Building sophistication and as a template for RACES’ use of backup singers and keyboards; Television for Ryff and Herberg’s ingenious, yet subtle guitar interplay which permeates Year Of The Witch.

In a mad dash, Ryff and Herberg got in touch with some of their old friends and bandmates and assembled a “dream team,” five additional musicians from around the area he admired, including Hild on bass, Herberg on guitar, Wood on keyboards, and Lee on vocals and percussion. Ventura would play drums for the second RACES show and they’d lose a backup vocalist who went to focus on her solo project (Ryff empathizes), but otherwise, RACES has remained exactly the same since that very first gig.

What sunk in was the effortlessness of it all: RACES never had to hustle to book their own shows despite living in Van Nuys, a twenty minute drive from Los Angeles that often feels hours removed from it all. Above all else was a chemistry that just couldn’t be faked or brainstormed during “band business meetings.” They attribute their work ethic to their humble surroundings, spending entire days honing their material in a Chatsworth studio because, well, what else are you supposed to do in the Valley? For the most part, RACES didn’t even see themselves as a “serious band” until local boutique imprint JAXART felt their demos were simply too good for a limited release, and label interest spread rapidly. The fit with New York’s venerated Frenchkiss Records was perfect – indeed, with RACES’ ability to derive such resonant and instantly ingratiating pop out of the relatable emotional turmoil of your mid-20’s, it’s no wonder the same label that houses Passion Pit, Dodos and Antlers were such ardent supporters.

At its core, there are plenty of sad songs and waltzes – “The Knife,” “Walk Through The Fire” and “All For You” all have a melodic and lyrical directness befitting their origins as Ryff’s solo work. But as Ryff admits, “I didn’t want to play music that’s just a sappy guy on an acoustic guitar,” and RACES flesh them out to swoon with dramatic grandeur and earthen rusticity behind Ryff’s plaintive words. It’s a startling show of sophistication from a band who has only been together for less than two years. The ornate orchestration and vocal arrangements on the female-led counterpoint “Don’t Be Cruel” in particular owe their origins to Herberg’s background as a composer – he’s the one who brings Ryff’s Leonard Cohen fantasies to fruition. Quoth Ryff, “he’s our Brian Jones.”

But even with the speed at which RACES are going forward, they haven’t gotten complacent in the slightest – they’re already working out new material for their next album, which they hope will integrate more of the electronic textures they’ve been experimenting with and won’t be so much “about a girl,” as Ryff jokes. But their goals are still modest – maybe playing the Bowery Ballroom in New York, getting better as musicians, the sort of things deemed worthy to a band that isn’t looking to piggyback on any sort of hype cycle. But what do they hope for most of all? Ryff puts it best: “I’d rather get dropped and start back at the beginning than not have fun with these guys.” It’s a fitting mission statement for a band for whom every show feels as exciting as that very first one.