Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm at a Loss for Words

Yes, that’s right, “The Ghost” himself is at a loss for words. Last night’s showcase at Opening Bell Coffee was such a wonderful and joyous experience that I’m not quite sure what to say.

The best thing I think of to say is thanks, and there are so many people I have to thank. First of all, I thank every one of the fabulous musicians who gave of their time and their talent. Thanks to Blue Petal for opening the show, and thanks for the encore with extra special guest Isabella. Thanks to Rahim Quazi for playing a killer set and for taking requests from me (like "The Big Black Box"), even when they throw you for a loop. Thanks to Chris Holt and his fellow “Slackers” Steven Luthye and Eric Neal; you are easily three of the most gifted musicians in the area. Needless to say, you three were brilliant as always. Thanks to Keith Killoreen and Chad Stockslagger from The Drams (and from The King Bucks, Manya won’t let me forget that). It was a wonderful blend of cover songs and classics from back in the Budapest One days. Last but certainly not least, I thank Fishing For Comets. The music that comes from this band is like a ray of sunshine. Even on a heartbreaking song like “Lies”, the music feels like a best friend that knows just how to make you feel like everything is going to be alright. Oh, and extra special thanks for the cover of “Where the Streets Have No Name.” U2 is one of my all time favorite bands, and you did the song justice.

I must also thank Winston Edmondson, host of the Project Innovation radio show. Thank you for inviting me onto your show Saturday and letting me discuss my blog and the Opening Bell show. I also thank you for choosing to celebrate your birthday at Opening Bell with your friends. You are helping to give a voice to the local music and arts scene in Dallas, and that is something this city desperately needs.

Obviously, I have to thank Pascale and all of the wonderful people at Opening Bell Coffee for letting me host my showcase at your venue. When it comes to live acoustic music, no place in the metroplex holds a candle.

Thanks to Megan Cortinas for creating the awesome poster that I used to promote the show. Thank you for putting up with all the changes that I threw your way and for designing such an awesome poster. I could not have created a poster that looked that damn cool.

Thanks to Scotty Mankoff for dropping by and taking pictures. For the record, every picture you see in this entry is courtesy of Mr. Mankoff. As always, you do a wonderful job taking pictures. You’re also simply a cool guy who is always a joy to be around.

Finally, I thank every single one of you who came out to the event. Even though I’ve had bands play for my birthday before, this was my first genuine attempt at setting up a musical showcase. Without you, the show would have been a disaster. With all of you, it was an evening filled with good friends and awesome music. So thank you being there, for talking to me, for putting up with my lame speeches in between the bands, and thanks for the support.

Who knows, maybe with the success of Saturday night’s show, there will be more Ghost of Blind Lemon showcases. Here’s hoping that 2008 will have a few cool shows hosted by yours truly.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ghost on the Radio

That's right, "The Ghost" himself will be on the radio tomorrow afternoon. Listen to the Project Innovation radio show, hosted by Winston Edmondson. It airs on 1360 AM at 1:00 p.m. I will be one of his guests, and I'll be discussing tomorrow night's show and this blog, among other things. Rahim Quazi, one of tomorrow evening's musical guests, will also be on the show. So before heading to Opening Bell Coffee tomorrow evening, turn on your radio and listen to this fine show.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Screw Must See TV!

That’s right, NBC, you heard me. Look, people could either sit and home and watch a bunch of repeats, or they could get out of the house and see one of these four fabulous shows. Folks, this isn’t even a close call.

Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, Hendrick, ODIS, Greater Good (Granada Theater)
Haven't seen Hendrick or ODIS yet, but Greater Good puts on a show that is more great than merely good. It doesn't hurt that the band features the incredible Toby Pipes. Oh, and Jonathan Tyler is simply a force of nature. Will the Granada still be standing after this show? Only time will tell.

Somebody's Darling, Soft Environmental Collapse, Kristin Leigh (The Cavern)
Talk about a diverse lineup. The evening starts with Kristin Leigh, who fuses pop and folk/acoustic elements into her music. SeC follows, with an electronic sound that would fit better with Mom than these bands. Somebody's Darling ends out the evening, and once you hear lead singer Amber Farriss sing, it will make perfect sense why you came.

Tonite Tonite (Club Dada)
Since Andres Negrete reunited the band, you have another chance to see the band. Don't miss this opportunity; it happens Tonite Tonite. I know, that was lame.

The cut*off, Fate Lions
Yes, yes, I know, I keep raving about the cut*off. So I'll back off this time and just say that from what I've heard, the music of Fate Lions holds a lot of promise. I'd be highly curious to see them live. What about a Dallas show, guys?

So hold off on repeats of My Name is Earl and The Office. That's what repeats and DVD's are made for. Instead, go out and have some fun tonight. Not too much, though. After all, you don't wanna be all partied out for the show at Opening Bell Coffee Saturday night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Playing Santa

I've heard it be said that "it's the thought that counts". With my budget, I seem to have far more thoughts to spare than money. So what follows is a list of gifts that I would like to give if only I could. The list of people ranges from the naughty to the nice, but I believe everyone on the list deserves what I'd like to give them.

  • To Kate Mackley, I would give loads of itunes gift cards to help feed her "ipod of greatness" and make it even better. Wait, you can't improve on perfection. You can still try, though.

  • To Scotty Mankoff, I would give you a state of the art professional camera. You're already proving to be one of the better photographers in the area. With an even better camera, it would just take you to another level. In other words, you'd be off the charts.

  • To Camille Cortinas, I would give you a koala bear. Why? Just because.

  • To Eric Swanson, I would get you a new car to drive, and I'd get you your 1959 Gibson Discoverer back.

  • To the thieves who stole Eric's car, I would love to give you a new place to live. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a modest little jail cell.

  • To Tomcats, Club One, Monkey Bar, and any other clubs didn't get their SUP permits, I'd give you those permits and get you back in business. Admittedly, none of the three clubs I frequented, but the market should determine their fate, NOT the city council.

  • To the members of City Council who want to change the face of Deep Ellum, I would give you the gift of free time. I know that being a council member takes up a lot of time, so by taking away your positions, you would have all the time in the world on your hands.

  • To Beard (aka John Brewer), I would pay off any leftover debt from your hospital bills and make sure that there would be no return trips to the hospital. Oh, I almost forgot... I'd also leave Halle Berry under the Christmas tree for you. Have fun unwrapping that gift!

  • To Bill Holston, I would release Aung San Suu Kyi from her unrightful imprisonment. And then we could celebrate with a nice, tall pitcher of ice cold Shiner Bock.

  • To Winston Edmondson, I wish that every radio listener would turn their dials to 1360 AM every Saturday at 1 pm and listen to your show.

  • To all the bands that I love and adore, I wish you much success. May the world see what talent every one of you possesses.

And finally, to every one of my readers, I wish you a Merry Christmas. May this season be filled with joy and love. And music. Can't forget the music.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Doesn't This Poster Make You Want to Go to Granada Tonight?

Yeah, this poster isn't doing the trick for me either. I'm not sure why not. Regardless of your thoughts on this, uh, unique photo, there will not be a better show in town tonight. Tonight's show starts with a CD release party for Flat People. A friend of mine got me a copy of their CD, and I must say I have been impressed by the band. Get their early enough to check this band out.

Next comes Robert Gomez, after which Deathray Davies play their first show in Dallas in over a year. There have been some changes in the DRD lineup since their last performance. Andy Lester (who's in Dufilho's other side project, I Love Math) is their new bass player since Jason Garner has moved to drums. Shibboleth members Rich Martin and Don Cento round out the rest of the band. The setlist will be a half and half mixture of songs from the upcoming album and DRD classics. Word has it they may even bust out "I Got Coal" as a little Christmas treat for all their naughty fans.

Salim Nourallah and The Noise headline the show, but even Salim knows that tonight is all about Dufilho's band, Deathray Davies. I hope to see everyone out at this show. What, you have to work early Friday Morning? I'm sure John Dufilho would write a note to your boss, so it's okay to stay out late and party. Honest, it is.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I hope whoever is responsible gets a lump of coal for Christmas!

I got the following MySpace bulletin from Eric Swanson, who plays bass in Johnny Lloyd Rollins' backup band, The All-Nighters:

My car was stolen last night. With my laptop. So, keep a look out for a green '96 Honda Accord with an Apple sticker on the back. Texas plates: Z26-RZH.

I guess you all know what I want for Christmas now.

But that's not all. Inside of his car was a ca. 1959 Gibson Discoverer, a small blonde tube combo amp that he rebuilt a few years ago. The laptop and even the car are replaceable; the Gibson is not so easily replaced. If anyone who is reading this blog has any information about any of these items (especially the Gibson), then contact the Dallas Police Department, contact Eric, contact anybody who can reunite this man with his stolen property. I'm sure there's nothing Mr. Swanson would like better this holiday season.

Oh, and if anyone knows the bastards responsible, contact the police so that whoever is responsible cannot do an encore performance.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Nites for Tonite Tonite

About a month ago, I reported about the breakup of the band Tonite Tonite. I am happy to tell you that Tonite Tonite is still alive and kicking. They played a show Saturday night at Fallout Lounge, and "tonite" lead singer Andres Negrete will play a solo acoustic set at Opening Bell Coffee. I still haven't seen the band perform live, but I have no doubt that will change and hopefully soon. Keep an eye out for upcoming shows on their MySpace page, as well as an album that will hopefully be released sometime next year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Only 13 more days...

Much thanks to the wonderful Megan Cortinas who designed the poster. She did a fabulous job in my opinion. Take a look at that lineup as well. Fishing For Comets, Keith and Chad (The Drams, Budapest One), Chris Holt, Rahim Quazi, and Blue Petal, all together for one great evening of music. There will be a $7 suggested donation, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a bargain. You could easily end up spending that much money to see any one of these artists alone. So come on down to Opening Bell on December 29th to see this extravazanga.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Never to be Forgotten

It was 27 years ago on this date that the world lost one of the greatest figures in popular music. It was an event that shook not only the music world, but the world as a whole. Some people felt that when John Lennon was murdered, the spirit of the 60's died with him too. I hope and pray that that's not true. In rememberance of the musician, the activist, and the man, I offer up a performance of "Imagine" by Dallas' own Hard Night's Day. Much thanks to Paul Averitt for agreeing to perform the song, and to my friend Amy for taping it.

"Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one" - John Lennon

Shows for the Rest of the Weekend…

Since I didn’t write my weekend recommendations yesterday, I’m starting with a list of bands that played yesterday that were worthy of write-ups. While it’s too late to see these particular shows, I would strongly encourage you to give these bands a listen and check them about the next time you get the opportunity:

My apologies to the following bands, particularly The Orange, a band I have yet to see live. It may take me awhile to see a show, but it will happen guys, I promise. Now onto this weekend’s shows. If I had to choose one show to recommend this weekend, it would have to be this:

Yes, that’s right, The Ghost is going to be attending a show held by a “rivaling” blog. Just kidding, Amanda. The blog is great, and I personally look forward to getting the opportunity to meet you. Oh, and damn, that is one impressive lineup you have.

In case that show isn’t your cup of tea, you need professional help. Just kidding. Sort of. Nevertheless, it’s only fair that I mention a few other fine shows around town tonight.

While I normally don’t mention Sunday shows, Art Con 3 is going to be such a big deal that if I didn’t mention it, I should have my blogging privileges revoked. The sights and sounds of that evening should be a sweet treat. Red Monroe, Sarah Jaffe, and Kristy Kruger will provide the music, and I don’t have the time to discuss all the artists that’ll be there. This event will also benefit St. Anthony’s Community Center, which helps bring art and music programming to underserved children in South Dallas. Hear good music, see and buy good art, and help others; this multitasking thing has its benefits.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Good Way to Start a Monday

Are you having a hard time waking up this morning? If this video doesn't wake you up, give up and go back to bed. It's from Pikahsso's upcoming album American Weirdo Pixtape, but you would've figured that out from the ad that continually pops up throughout the video. That's my one complaint with what is otherwise one of the most fun and creative videos I've seen in a long, long time. Makes you wish MTV still played videos.

Pikahsso - Faleyuh