Saturday, September 29, 2007

Major oversight on my part


I forgot to mention a very important show in my previous entry. A Pacific Model are playing at Cavern tonight, and this may be their last show for quite awhile. This is a shame; when I saw them play at Club Dada, their set was one of my highlights of that day. If you're a fan of soaring melodies with great keyboard hooks, this is the band for you. The Last Gasp and Paul Banks open up for A Pacific Model.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Choices, Choices, Choices

Another weekend is upon us, and with it comes a multitude of cool shows. Check it out.

Friday:
Telegraph Canyon headline a Secret Headquarters show, with Slider Pines and The Felons opening. The only band on the lineup I haven’t seen live yet is The Felons yet, but this video shows definite promise. I gotta check them out… sooner rather than later preferably. While you’re at SHQ, pick up a $10 card that gets you into 4 shows there. It’s a great “buy two, get two free” deal, and it will help the venue through a rough financial month. If you’ve never been there, it’s a small but cool BYOB style venue, and it’d be a shame for Denton to lose this, so buy a card and support SHQ.
• Glen Reynolds is headlining a Double Wide show. He’s bringing his backup band, The Ted Danson Three. That’s right, Glen Reynolds and the Ted Danson Three. I wonder if Mr. Danson is in the band. Even if he isn’t, Glen’s worth the price of admission alone, so when you throw in Smile Smile and EyesWingsAndManyOtherThings, featuring members of Theater Fire, it’s an even better deal.
• The Tah Dah’s and Vaqueros Electronicos play at City Tavern. I haven’t seen Clay Pendergrass in action yet; that needs to change soon. Maybe they can play a show with The Felons so I can kill two birds with one stone.

Saturday:
• Spend a full evening with Fishing For Comets at City Tavern. Go there and you won’t need to take Prozac for the next month. That’s how much this band can cheer you up.
• Needing a Beatles fix? The Hard Night’s Day show at Barley House is just what the doctor order then.
• The Valentines give the Denton crowd something to do Saturday night. They headline Andy’s, along with Austin band Alpha Rev and Denton's own Villains.
• Here’s another great option for those in Denton. Red Monroe, Hogpig, The Angelus, and Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights bring their A-game to Rubber Gloves. I'm not sure if Jonathan Tyler is the headliner or not, but get their early in case he is. You don't want to miss him. Trust me.
• Fort Worth, don’t feel left out. Calhoun headlines a stellar lineup at the Aardvark, featuring The Frontier Brothers, Smile Smile, and Telegraph Canyon.
• Last, but definitely not least, Backsliders headline a Double Wide show featuring A Few Nice Things, Dragna, and New Orleans’ own Bones. By the way, have you voted for THe BAcksliders yet? If not, what’s wrong with you? Read my article "BAcksliders on the BAllot" and see where to vote!

That’s it. What, you wanted more? Come on, if you can’t find something on that list that you like, then your musical taste buds need therapy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BAcksliders on the BAllot

Ever since THe BAcksliders played my birthday show last year, I’ve become a fan of the band, and the new songs in particular are catchier than the common cold. If you haven’t heard their new stuff, go to their myspace and take a listen. Pay particular attention to “Fat Girls”, which I could see being a hit for the band. Once you’ve listened, if you like what you hear (which if you have good musical taste you will), then help THe BAcksliders out by voting for them.

First, vote here for THe BAcksliders as best band at the website Music Nation. If they win the competition, they get a record contract. It may be a long shot for the band, but it is still worth the shot, so sign up at Music Nation and vote!

Second, the band is vying for the title of KDGE’s “Band of the Week.” I’ve sampled some of the artists on the list, and with the exception of Johnny Lloyd Rollins, no one is even in the same LEAGUE as THe BAcksliders. Music Nation may indeed be a long shot, but I know that THe BAcksliders could win this, especially if everyone who reads this clicks here to vote for them. You can also listen to “Fat Girls” through the same link.

This is a great opportunity to help a great band get more of the recognition that they so deserve, so don’t put it off. Start voting dammit!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Feelin' naughty sugar?

OK, I know what you’re thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter. That’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about the band Team Evil. Ever since I heard that John Jay (Happiness Factor, Crash Vinyl) had a new band, my curiosity was piqued, especially since I heard he actually sang in this band as well as played drums. It took me long enough, but I finally saw them several weekends ago at the Lakewood Bar & Grill, and I was not disappointed. Instead, it actually surpassed my expectations. Their set was essentially an auditory assault on the earlobes, and I mean that in the best way possible. I guess I’d classify the music as power-pop, except that in the case of Team Evil, 99% of the emphasis should be put on the word “POWER.” Not to worry though; for as much as they rock (and they definitely do rock), Team Evil still manages to write solid songs with solid hooks.

If you want to check out the band’s sound, turn up your computer speakers to 11 and check out this video of their song “Naughty Sugar.” Feel the power. Feel the music. Feel “Naughty Sugar.” Geez, is that all you think about?



Note: Team Evil prefers this live version of the song, whereas I think the sound quality of the former is better. So, I'm splitting the difference and featuring both.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

WSOF ’07 A.D.D. Style

When you have a show the size of the Wall of Sound Festival, it would be easy to write an excessively long review of the show. To discuss all the bands that played, it would almost be unavoidable. That could make for a painfully long read that could really tax one’s attention span. Not like that would be a problem for me; I show no signs of A.D.D. whatsoever and I resent anyone who would dare imply… ooh, shiny.

Where was I? That’s right. While I clearly don’t have A.D.D., I wanted to present my review in such a format that it’ll keep your attention. So what follows is a review of every artist I saw, with one catch. All performance reviews shall be 25 words or less. Here we go:

Daniel Folmer – Didn’t see much of his set, but it sounded promising. Worth a second listen.

Sarah Jaffe – Great acoustic sounds featuring Kris Youmans on cello. Sarah, you are a brilliant songwriter and wonderful singer. I think I’m in love with you.

Eleven Hundred Springs – One of the better country bands from around these parts. The perfect soundtrack for a day spent in Cowtown.

The Lemurs – New wavish style band from Austin. If you like Black Tie Dynasty, you’ll probably like this band too.

The Burning Hotels – I originally dismissed them as standard EDGE fare. Their songs are way too catchy and fun to put down. I was wrong. It happens sometimes.

Astronautalis – He performed the best rap I’ve ever heard about a girl in a hurricane. Honest.

Red Monroe – First curse to SPUNE: The 15 minutes I saw was not long enough. A great rockin’ set from a band destined for stardom.

Calhoun – Curse number 2: Scheduling conflicts only allowed me a mere two Calhoun songs. This band is a fine wine that gets better with age.

Pleasant Grove – Chillin’ on the lawn with DB and his buddies, listening to Pleasant Grove. Good times, good friends, good music. Pure awesomeness.

Ghosthustler – They could’ve been the soundtrack to a perfect dance party, if only it wasn’t too damn hot to dance.

Record Hop – A solid set by this great noise rock band. Ashley Cromens, you have one hell of a set of pipes on you.

the pAper chAse - fAbulous set feAturing pAper chAse's trAdemArk dissonAnt heAvy style. jAson gArner is A greAt Addition to the bAnd.

Black Tie Dynasty – Sound issues, allergies, and burning eyes tainted what should have been a highlight of the show. The band still played its ass off.

The Baptist Generals – I was sitting in the back of the stadium, relaxing to the pleasant sounds of Baptist Generals.

The Sword – They sounded as loud in the back as Record Hop did by the speakers. Too damn loud, guys. Way too loud.

Micah P. Hinson – His Springsteen-esque voice acted as a salve to my ears after the Sword. This is one talented dude.

Brothers and Sisters – Country/pop group from Austin reminiscent of the Byrds. This band knows how to write catchy tunes. Please, come to Dallas again soon.

Doug Burr – His perfectly written songs had the audience captivated. Hands down, this was the best performance I saw all day.

Alas, my friend was too tired to stick around later, so that’s all I can review. I regret missing Midlake and Explosions in the Sky, but I was also sunburned and exhausted and glad to get home to rest. Note to SPUNE: there’s something to be said for INDOOR venues. Still, in spite of sound difficulties during the sets of both BTD and Brothers and Sisters, scheduling difficulties on Stage 3, as well as the heat, it was still a wonderful concert. Let’s see what Lance Yocum can do to top this year. Again, might I suggest an indoor venue? Just a suggestion.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Do You Have a Phobia of Baseball Stadiums?

It dawned on me that some of my readers might have a fear of baseball stadiums. I googled the terms “baseball stadiums” and “phobias”, and did not come up with no one has come up with an official name for such a phobia. Nevertheless, such a thing may exist, and if it does, the thought of the Wall of Sound Festival at LaGrave field in Fort Worth must be causing some major panic attacks. Never fear, Ghost of Blind Lemon is here with some cool weekend options that do not involve being in a baseball stadium.

• The Chemistry Set will play at City Tavern, along with Irony and Vaqueros Electronicos
• Rahim Quazi will headline at Opening Bell Coffee. Kevin Carroll and Idgy Vaughan play as well.
Shibboleth, Shanghai 5, Colin Boyd, and the Zounds Sounds School of Rock (among others) will play at the Taste of Deep Ellum festival at Sons of Hermann Hall.
• Also, Car Stereo (Wars) and Astronautalis play the WOSF after party at the non-baseball stadium Wreck Room, although those who didn’t attend the festival have to pay a $10 cover charge.

If you do have the baseball stadium phobia, however, one common form of treatment is exposure therapy, where you are exposed to what you fear. This would be the perfect weekend for such therapy at LaGrave Field. So confront your fears and enjoy the show.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, September 21, 2007

20th Century Accident, 21st Century Greatness

I remember in the mid 90's when I first the discovered the sound often referred to as "alt-country." It was fresh and exciting, injecting the kick of rock and roll into the twang of country. Artists like Old 97's, Bottle Rockets, Earl C. Whitehead & Grievous Angels, and A.M. era Wilco seemed destined to me to change the direction of popular music at the time. Well time passed on, and the movement never caught on as it should have. Some bands (Old 97's, Wilco) changed their sound in time, and others faded into oblivion. It was as if someone sent a memo out: alt-country is dead.

Someone forgot to give Macon Greyson that memo.

Ever since the first time I saw the band in 2004, they have embodied the energy and passion that I felt for alt-country back in the mid 90's. Albums such as Uneasy, and even more so with 2005's Translate, have spent much time in my CD changer. For as good as the CD's are, you cannot fully appreciate the greatness of Macon Greyson without seeing them live. It is loud, it is fierce, it is solid musicianship, simply put, it is rock in the best way possible.

The ne'er do-wells at Macon Greyson are at it again. They are about to release their follow up to Translate, entitled 20th Century Accident. This album is showing more of their rock influence than has been shown on previous efforts, especially on tracks such as "John Q" and "Run for Cover." Never to fear though, Macon Greyson has definitely not abandoned the country. They're even trying to push the first single, "Right or Wrong", to several Americana style stations in Dallas and other areas. I'd give a full album review, but I haven't gotten a copy of the CD yet. The band promised me an early copy, but I suspect it just got lost in the mail. We'll go with that excuse for now.

The band celebrates the release of 20th Century Accident at Granada Theater tonight, as they open for Reckless Kelly. Tickets range in price from $15 to $20, and as far as I'm concerned, they're gonna steal the show, so get there early so you don't miss Macon Greyson. You'll thank me for this later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Victory Is Mine!

I managed to score myself a pair of tickets to the Wall of Sound Festival this Saturday. I was lucky enough to win these tickets thru Boca Tinta. Amanda ran a contest where you had to submit a schedule for the bands you wanted to see. My schedule was one of two winning schedules. Amanda was obviously impressed with the “wry commentary that accompanied my itinerary.” Thanks, Amanda. I return the love to you, so thanks for writing the second best blog in the city of Dallas ;)

If you’re hungry for something wry, along with some great suggestions on how to spend your Saturday, here is the itinerary that scored me the tickets:

11:00 a.m. Sarah Jaffe
11:30 a.m. 100 Damned Guns
12:00 p.m. Hogpig
12:30 p.m. The Lemurs
1:00 p.m. The Burning Hotels
1:30 p.m. Tacks, The Boy Disaster
2:00 p.m. Red Monroe
2:15 p.m. Calhoun
2:30 p.m. Pleasant Grove

Curse you, SPUNE, for making the 2:00 hour so difficult to decide. Some killer bands are gonna get shortchanged. Now, where was I? Oh yeah…

3:00 p.m. Ghosthustler
3:30 p.m. Record Hop
4:00 p.m. the pAper chAse
4:30 p.m. Black Tie Dynasty
5:00 p.m. The Baptist Generals
6:00 p.m. Micah P. Hinson

I’m not really sure in between Baptist Generals and Hinson if I should see The Sword, The Timeout Drawer, or if that’s a good time to stand in line for food and restrooms. Maybe I’ll do a combination of all the above.

6:30 p.m. Brothers and Sisters
6:45 p.m. Doug Burr

I curse SPUNE again, this time for putting Brothers and Sisters and Doug Burr at close to the same time.

7:30 p.m. White Denim
8:20 p.m. Pinback
9:00 p.m. The Books
9:40 p.m. Midlake
10:30 p.m. Spectrum
11:00 p.m. Explosions in the Sky (of course)

After that, I’ll go home and pass out from exhaustion and from the awe of the rock overload that is Wall of Sound.


If you plan on going to Wall of Sound, you might wanna make a copy of that schedule and use it for yourself. You can also look at the schedule yourself and make up your own schedule. If you’re not going to Wall of Sound, well what the hell is wrong with you? Go to the Wall of Sound website for all the ticket info, and then get your own tickets. This show is going to rule in a massive way, so don’t miss out on the rock!

Ryann Speaks Out

Last night, WFAA broadcast a segment about the drug Chantix and its effect on Carter Albrecht. In the interview, Carter’s girlfriend Ryann Rathbone talks about how the drug caused both her and Carter to have strange, almost hallucination-like dreams. When mixed with alcohol, it caused Carter to have what could best be described as waking hallucinations, which ultimately led to his untimely death.

I applaud Ryann for her courage in speaking out in this difficult time. She is helping to bring attention to a drug whose side effects are much more serious than drug manufacturer Pfizer has stated. What happened to Carter was a tragedy. The only thing that could be more tragic is if another human being lost their life because of the side effects of this medication.

If you haven’t seen the article, you need to click here and watch it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Digging Demigs

One of my personal missions as a blogger is to bring new and interesting bands to light that might otherwise go unnoticed. Easily one of the most interesting bands I’ve discovered this year would be the Denton group The Demigs. This band, fronted by Chris Demiglio, has managed to write some damn catchy songs that have set up permanent residence in my head. I wanted to do this interview last month, but alas, Chris was vacationing in Europe. My first reaction was to join him over there and write it off as a business expense. Hey, that could work, right? Alas, I don’t think the IRS would go for that, and since the Ghost of Blind Lemon expense account can’t quite afford a trip to Europe (or a stick of gum for that matter), I opted to stay at home and interview him over the phone. What follows is not exactly a traditional interview, but more like excerpts from a very long phone chat paraphrased by yours truly.

I started out with the most basic of questions: how exactly did the Demigs come to be? He told me about his two previous bands, the brit-pop influenced Wellwisher, and his next band Robin Goodfellow, which leaned more towards “post-punk noise and structure”, or at least that’s how they describe it on their last.fm bio. The original lineup of the band featured Chris, his younger brother Mark on drums, bassist Brad Row, as well as Annie Ramich on guitar, who also played with Chris in Robin Goodfellow. As Annie got further into her grad school studies, she found she didn’t have the time to devote to the band, and parted ways with the band, and Eric Lee took her place. Also, Brad was not happy in Denton, so he left the band to move back to Hawkins, Texas (where Chris came from as well). So now The Demigs are breaking in their new bass player, Sid Bledsoe, who previously played with Chris back in his Wellwisher days.

One of the bands that The Demigs get compared to most often would be Pixies. Not only do they sound like Pixies, Chris even has an uncanny resemblance to Frank Black. When I asked him how he felt about the comparison, he paused for a moment, almost as if to choose his words carefully. Originally, Chris avoided the American noise rock scene, and during his days in Wellwisher, his musical diet consisted of almost entirely Britpop music. After the demise of that band, he began to branch out musically and started listening to bands such as Sonic Youth, and yes, Pixies. But while he has definitely gained an appreciation for Pixies music, he also feels a need to distance himself from the band, in large part because of similarities in vocals and appearance to Frank Black. He is careful not to put too much of a Pixies influence on the album since he doesn’t want to appear like a Pixies wannabe. He says “maybe that’s just stupid vanity”, although I view it as a smart decision on his part, because it keeps the music fresh and it helps avoid the appearance of being a copycat band. Chris is more inclined to mention Pavement (and actually Stephen Malkmus’ solo stuff even more so) as well as eels as musical influences. The latter band surprised me, but he told me that his eels influence will probably be easier to hear on their follow up to their debut album Yardling.

The release of Yardling (which is easily THE debut CD of the year) was a path filled with twists and turns. The band originally started recording at Dallas Sound Lab with Channce from the band The Opposites Attract. Unfortunately, technical difficulties with their computers crashing and resetting were causing problems for the band. Around this time, Chris was on craigslist when he saw an ad for a distortion pedal. He contacted Chris Wilder about purchasing the pedal. Not only did Wilder sell him the distortion pedal, he let The Demigs use his home recording studio to record the album free of charge because Wilder believed in the music that The Demigs were playing. In fact, Wilder, The Demigs, and another Denton band The Grass Fight are in the midst of building a new recording studio. The tentative name of it is Shady Lane Studios (another nod to Pavement).

Speaking of The Grass Fight, they are one of the bands he mentioned when I asked him what local bands he felt were not getting the attention they deserved. Others included Record Hop (he believes that Ashley Cromeens is probably the best female singer in Dallas), the cut*off (through whom I discovered The Demigs), and Deep Snapper. We went on to discuss other frustrations about the local music scene, not only bands were not receiving the recognition they should be getting, but what both bands and venues are doing wrong. One problem he mentioned was that the people doing sound at shows are often interested only in making the headliners sound good. They set up the sound board and then walk off and aren’t there for further problems that might arise. Chris feels that promotion of shows is also an issue. Although he says that many bands don’t do enough to promote their own shows, he feels that clubs are equally guilty of lack of promotion. Another problem caused by venues is when bands are placed on a bill where they don’t make sense musically. He told me about one show where he played The Door in Deep Ellum, and he was on a bill where all the other bands were screamo bands. As a result of such mismatched lineups, The Demigs are more careful about who they play with now.

Fortunately, the band has not one, but two killer shows in store this weekend. First off, they will play Hailey’s on Friday night along with The Hourly Radio and Secret Annex. This is a free show. Yes. You heard me right. It is free, as in no cost to get through the door. If you live in Denton, then as far as I’m concerned, you need to be at Hailey’s. This goes double if you’ve never heard The Demigs. Boy, you’re in for a treat.

The second show is Saturday night at Wreck Room. The club won’t be around much longer, so enjoy it while you can. They’ll be opening up for The Drams and the cut*off. The last time I was at Wreck Room was in June for the exact same lineup. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You owe it to yourself to attend at least one of these shows. For those who haven’t heard the band, take a listen to the MP3 below of “Throw Me Overboard.” I can just about guarantee you that listening to this song will be the best 107 seconds you spend today.

The Demigs – Throw Me Overboard

Monday, September 10, 2007

Radle Returns with Rentals

A little over two years ago, Sara Radle decided to pack her bags and go west in hopes of bigger rock and roll dreams. I was a fan of hers since the first time I saw Lucy Loves Schroeder back in 2000. I loved LLS, I loved Fred Savage Fanclub, and I really loved her solo work. I missed her when she left for Dallas, but I hoped she would be able to do well for herself out there.

Sara Radle joined The Rentals in 2006. I'd say that she's doing quite well indeed. Tonight, Sara and the rest of the band will be in Dallas, headlining a show at House of Blues. So in honor of her return, I leave you with two videos.

The first, "Nobody's Watching", comes from her full length solo CD, You Can't Make Everybody Like You. Watch for the police helmet costume in the video. I own it now; I bought it from Sara at a garage sale. It's my own little piece of rock and roll memorabilia. The second video is the Rentals' "The Love I'm Searching For", recorded live this past August in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sara Radle - Nobody's Watching


The Rentals - The Love I'm Searching For

Saturday, September 8, 2007

One More Saturday Show Worth Mentioning

In just the past couple of days, I’ve had two people ask me if I’ve heard of Silk Stocking. Since I didn’t know anything about them, I decided I had to take a listen for myself. I hate to be clich├ęd and say that they sound like Tom Waits, since almost every review of the band posted on MySpace mention Tom Waits. Having said that, lead singer Liz MacGowan does have more than her share of vocal similarities with Waits. MacGowan and band mate Shawn Mauck, have managed to write songs of such a caliber that you’d think they were recorded by Waits himself during his Rain Dogs or Swordfishtrombones sessions.

If you’re curious to hear them live, then go to Club Dada tonight, where they will be playing along with pAper chAse member Sean Kirkpatrick for the release of his CD Turn on the Interference. Will E Lee and The Great Tyrant are also on the bill. So now you have another option for something to do tonight.

As for me, you can catch me tonight at Lakewood Bar & Grill along with former Dallasite Darla Oates, Team Evil, and THe BAcksliders. Afterwards, I’ll probably swing by Barley House and catch the tail end of Sparklepussy Barbie. So if you wanna meet me or hang out with me, you know where to go. This week has been an awful week for everyone in the scene, and I would love to see some familiar faces and drink a toast to the life of Carter. Let the healing (and the music) begin.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Things to do Friday and Saturday

First and foremost, let me remind everyone that Carter Albrecht’s funeral will be held tomorrow at the Parkway Hills Baptist Church at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the Albrecht family asks that you make a donation to the charity of your choice in Carter’s name.

As for the rest of the weekend, I figure you can go one of two routes. Route number one is to sit at home and feel depressed. Heaven knows that would be easy to do. Route number two is to go out and see a show. While you ponder those two options, let me ask you this: which do you think Carter would do?

If you came to the same conclusion that I did, then check out your options:

Friday

  • Fishing For Comets (Al Amir)
  • Red Monroe/Sarah Jaffe (Good Records)
  • The Happy Bullets/The Peekers (Lee Harvey’s)
  • The Felons/Warm in the Wake/The Crashdown (The Cavern)

Saturday

  • 2nd Annual Dallas Observer Losers’ Award Show featuring Rose County Fair, Paul Slavens, Wanz Dover, Steve Austin, DJ Wild In The Streets, and Johnny Lloyd Rollins (Double Wide)
  • The Backsliders/Team Evil/Darla Oates (Lakewood Bar & Grill)
  • Red Monroe (CD Release Party)/Baboon/Saboteur/Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights/Odis + DJ sets by The Hourly Radio (Granada Theater)
  • Sparklepussy Barbie (Barley House)

Go out with your friends, have some fun, and hear some great music. While you’re at it, raise your beer glass and toast to having known Carter.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Carter's Rock and Roll Days

First of all, if you look above to the title of the blog, you may notice a slight change. As a memorial to Carter Albrecht, the blog shall go by the name of Ghost of Carter Albrecht throughout this coming weekend (the URL will obviously remain ghostofblindlemon.blogspot.com). It’s just my little way of showing respect to one of the finest musicians that I’ve ever had the privilege of watching play.

In last evening’s entry, I chose not to go into a lot of detail on the incident Sunday night/Monday morning, stating only that he was “fatally shot by a neighbor.” I was having a hard time reconciling the kind, fun, laid back Carter that I knew with the Carter that was being portrayed in the media. There seemed to be some major pieces in the puzzle missing. This morning, Danny Balis posted a message on MySpace which helped shed some insight on the situation. The following is only an excerpt from his post (to read more of his post, as well as comments from other friends, read Cindy's story at The Fine Line):

“we've all read the updated story in the dallas morning news, and it seems pretty accurate, according to the play-by-play of events she gave me throughout the night. what we don't know is why he ended up at the next door neighbor's back door, banging and kicking it at 4:06. nor do we know why carter acted out with his girlfriend in a manner that i have never seen in my near-ten years of friendship with him.

this was not the carter albrecht i knew. the police report failed to mention that for the previous week, he and his girlfriend were trying quit smoking with the prescription drug, "chantix". they had both started the program at the same time, and had been on it for a week. monday was supposed to be their quit day. carter had not slept much the night before, and had consumed approximately five cocktails in a two hour period on sunday eve. this was not unusual, as carter had a very good tolerance for the drink. chantix does clearly state on the box that it's drowsy effects could be intensified by alcohol. the two also complained of having crazy, insane, almost horrific dreams that week. they jokingly referred to them as "chantix dreams" when comparing them. i later learned through a close friend that he had firsthand knowledge of two separate couples who had tried to quit smoking using chantix, and in each case, one spouse had tried to kill the other with no previous domestic conflct. one was successful, and many refer to this drug as a psychotic.

was it a combination of sleep deprivation, booze, and the stop-smoking pills that sent him off? it's the only explanation i can even think of. what was described to me sounded like a walking black out. in my years of knowing him, and all the girls he dated, i have never once heard of him getting abusive or physical with them. it was not his character. especially with the woman that i know for a fact he loved dearly. unfortunately, the morning news story paints him as a batterer to the casual reader that did not know him. this, he was undeniably not”


This helps provide some answers, yet at the same time, I’m not sure it can “make sense of the senseless”, as I was saying yesterday. I don’t want to get too maudlin, however. In fact, Danny prefaced his bulletin by saying that “were [Carter] here right now, he would think this is totally fucking gay, and I would never hear the end of it.” The last thing that The Ghost of Blind Lemon Carter Albrecht wants to do is appear gay, so here’s what I’d like to do. In the comments section, I’d like for anyone who feels so compelled to share their favorite Carter story. I don’t allow anonymous posts, but for those who don’t have a blogger account, email me thru my profile and I will post the story for you.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by his death, but I would rather remember the joy he shared with others in his life. He had many great “Rock and Roll Days” (to steal the title of my favorite Sparrows song), and I think that’s a wonderful way to keep the spirit of Carter Albrecht alive.

Monday, September 3, 2007

How to Make Sense of the Senseless

I came home today and checked out myspace, reading messages and bulletins. I see a bulletin from a friend saying she "hates that for the first time in so long that she feels such a connection to so many people it is all due to being so shaken and numb with grief." I read another bulletin, and it all becomes too painfully clear.

Last night, Carter Albrecht was fatally shot by a neighbor. He was a member of New Bohemians, Sorta, and Sparrows. He was one of the most talented musicians I've had the pleasure to see. He was also just a nice guy.

I titled the article "How to Make Sense of the Senseless." When I figure out how to do that, I'll let you all know.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Me

I’ve wanted to do this post for awhile, but I’ve been waiting for video from my birthday shows to be uploaded. My friend Amy has finally uploaded her videos to YouTube, so now seemed like the right time for to reflect on the awesomeness which was my birthday weekend.

Friday night’s show at the Granada Theater started with Rahim Quazi. There was only one problem with the set: I wasn’t there for it. The good news is that I got to see him play Saturday at Barley House. The bad news is that I missed seeing him play live with Chris Holt. In case you missed it too, this it what it looked and sounded like:

Rahim Quazi - Coffeebreak


Next on the lineup was Johnny Lloyd Rollins. I don’t think I missed more than one song by him, and I was definitely there when he sang this little ditty. Props to my friend Amy for recording this:

Johnny Lloyd Rollins - Let's Be Poor Together

The Slack was next, and as always, he put on a great show. There’s a reason he keeps winning the “Best Musician” award at the DOMA’s. He’s just that good. I have a theory about Mr. Holt, however. I’m convinced he has no bones in his fingers. Next time you go to a Slack show, watch his hands. The only way hands can move that quickly is if there are no bones in them. He closed his set with “What’s to Come”, a song that got me dancing with the ever wonderful and beautiful Camille Cortinas of Fishing For Comets. I wish I could post that video, but since it wasn’t taped (or at least posted on YouTube), here’s another tasty Slack gem for you:

The Slack - Leaving Chicago


I’ve been watching Salim Nourallah perform for the past seven years, but never have I seen perform a set as good as Friday night at Granada. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he had an all star cast supporting him. Seeing Salim play with his former Happiness Factor band mate Paul Averitt was like being transported into a time machine to 2001 or so. John Dufilho (Deathray Davies, Apples in Stereo) managed to fill in on drums for a few songs, and anytime he’s onstage, the song is guaranteed to sound better. However, the real stars of the set were Salim’s songs. The new album, Snowing in My Heart, shows Salim at the top of his game. Here’s one of my faves from the CD:

Salim Nourallah - Erased


I felt badly for Radiant. I would absolutely HATE to have to follow the killer set by Salim. Radiant was unphased, and managed to perform a solid set of catchy tunes such as this (sorry, I don’t know the name of this song):




The following night, Barley House was the place to be. Rahim Quazi played a set good enough to make me forget that I missed his set the night before. He dug out several old favorites of mine like “Almost Home” and “Fallen Star” (where he was accompanied by Josh Hoover of Chemistry Set), and then played several songs of his upcoming CD, Supernatural. Based on the songs he played, the only reason I could see that CD not ending up on my 10 best of the year list is if it gets postponed until next year. Alas, no Rahim video from Barley House :(

The cut*off were next, and they rocked my socks off. If you were there and your socks weren’t rocked off, seek immediate medical help. As if that wasn’t cool enough, Jenn Nabb joined them onstage for “Shanghai-ed” and their cover of Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven”. The show had such a strong effect that one guy out in the audience felt compelled to jump onstage at the end of “Adults We Know” and burst into a tambourine solo. What can I say; weird things happen at my birthday show. And again, no cut*off video either. If you have video of either of these sets, please email me with the video or a link to the video (you can find my email addy thru my profile page here).

To finish off the festivities, Chemistry Set played some old favorites (“New Hope PA”, “Beautiful Tragedy”), new favorites (“World”), and turned old favorites into new favorites again (their new version of “I Do” puts the rock into the song, and it’s like hearing the song for the first time). They even busted out some Nirvana (again, video courtesy of Amy):

The Chemistry Set - Smells Like Teen Spirit


And so concludes this reminiscence of my birthday shows. Can’t wait for next year! Only 358 days until my next 25th birthday.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Things to Do tonight... If You Have a Car

Last night, as I was waiting at the traffic light at Campbell and Preston, my car dies on me. The good news is that I was able to restart the car. The bad news is that Meg (yes, I have a name for my car) was shaking and sputtering the rest of the drive home. Needless to say, I’m gonna have to take Meg to see the doctor (auto mechanic). I’m just recovering from the enormous amounts of money I spent fixing the AC in my car. I don’t know where I’ll be finding the money for this new repair.

This leaves me in doubly bad shape. I’m not only without a car for the evening, but I’m also going to have to pitch pennies in a major way in order to make it through September. So this weekend I’m probably going to have to sit out. That doesn’t mean you have to do the same. I’ve got four show recommendations for everyone.

The Red Herrings/The cut*off (The Moon)
I’ve never seen the Red Herrings before, though the stuff on MySpace sounds promising. Therefore, I’m recommending this show purely on the cut*off’s ability to put on a great live set. If you were at my birthday show last weekend, you know how good these guys are. If you weren’t there, then shame on you! In that case, there is NO excuse for you not being at this show. Except for if your car doesn’t work. I understand that one just a little too well.

The Chemistry Set/J.D. Whittenburg/Shibboleth (Hailey's)
So what's the deal here? the cut*off are playing in Fort Worth, and Chemistry Set (who also played my birthday bash) are up in Denton. Couldn't you guys play any closer? Oh, what does it matter to me, since my car doesn't work. Besides, Denton people need good shows too. I also saw a little of J.D. Whittenburg at the DOMA showcase, and would be very curious to hear more. Shibboleth kicks off the set with some of the finest instrumental music you'll hear in Dallas.

Boys Named Sue (Lee Harvey’s)
Tonight, Lee Harvey’s will turn into a hillbilly heaven, and Boys Named Sue shall be the choir you hear as you enter the pearly gates of Lee Harvey’s. OK, the gates aren’t exactly pearly, but you get my point. Boys Named Sue shows aren’t just shows; they are parties. Feel free to toss back a few PBR’s while watching the band, and grab your partner and do-si-do.

The Tah-Dah’s/Laura Palmer (The Cavern)
I’m going to let lead singer Roy Ivy explain why you should go see his show:

“it really will be the best show ever.

if i hadn't overslept (my dreams were very long and connected a few of the dots left floating in my mind after rivers of psychedelics), i would be writing the best bulletin ever.

if if you're the chosen few, then you know already to come to our show tonight. you feel it behind your ears, dying to replace the lesser music that's stuck in the wax.

You know, in this dimension, that The Cavern is on lower greenville, and that The Tah-Dahs and Laura Palmer are performers that are just on this planet for tonight.
You know that watching us won't make you jump out a window.
There are no windows.
There is music and love
and the patterns--the feeling through your body--it's so perfect and sensual.
it's a new womb.
and your crotch can be anywhere.

we hope to see your crotches tonight, and your colors, and your magic. it's okay, you can dance. it's okay, you can share your drugs.”


I’m not sure about the best show ever part (that was obviously my birthday celebration last Saturday), but The Tah-Dah’s don’t do near enough shows anymore, so it’d be worth checking out. Oh, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hear their brilliantly insane version of “Be My Baby”.

Oh, and if anyone is kind enough to be my chauffeur and pay my way, I’ll be your new best friend. Really.