Houston music scene, please don’t get fractured. by José Pineda

taken from Facebook Posts by Jose Pineda : Wait… so there is MORE music OUTSIDE of Houston?

I didn’t grow up like most of you cool kids, and I don’t currently give a shit to be as cool as all you cool kids. I didn’t listen to 80’s punk bands. The only Ramones song I know is “I want to be sedated” and I can’t sing the full chorus of that song. No I don’t know that band from Omaha. I couldn’t sing along to Flaming Lips, and didn’t know Of Montreal last year either.I don’t own a record player. I grew up listening to the radio. Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, the Toadies, The Offspring, Green Day, the Cranberries, Alanis Morrs..uh… you get the picture. All my life I wanted to see live local music, but because I was a mama’s boy, wuss, didn’t have friends that listened to rock music, or whatever other lame ass excuse I could come up with, I didn’t. Not until like 2007. Ya, three years ago.

Apparently I had chosen the right time. The high school class of of 200x was blowing up the music scene. There was this festival on Westhiemer causing all kinds of traffic, and filling lovely little Montrose with beautiful noises. I went from being angry at the radio everyday of my life (the days of Nirvana and Co. were long gone…fuck the radio sucks now) to gleefully playing Giant Princess’ recordings of themselves over and over in my car. The Wild Moccasins released a 6 song EP. I looped that the CD for my three hour drive to Austin one weekend, and the three hour drive back. I bought two copies of Something Fierce’s “Come for the Bastards” and want to buy (or be given a third you lazy bastards!) because I gave away my first two copies to friends because “they just had to hear this”. One block party I walked into Mango’s and was greeted by a raving mosh pit being fueled by a bassist and drummer known as Female Demand. I have moshed to a rapper, and now feel like a I have done him a disservice because B L A C K I E (all caps with spaces) is so much more than just a rapper. I can never wait for the next Muhammad Ali show because those guys bring me back to my teenaged discovery of grunge music.

I had Free Press Houston, and the Mango’s staff to thank for most of this. If not for the shows they hosted and put together I would not have heard of any of these bands. I have gotten so utterly overwhelmed by Houston music, that my all ready lacking knowledge of music outside of Houston is basically non-existant. Houston truly is the center of the music universe to me. It’s almost the entire musical universe if you ask me.

So when I had a sudden stroke of luck and managed to form a band I was excited to be part of this scene. I couldn’t wait to play with the Caprolites, and Young Mammals on the same stage. I wanted to rock out with the Mathletes and Dissent. Or put together a house party with Caddywhompus and The McKenzies. What I would later find out, and am finding out more than ever is that these bands know of each other, and maybe even like each other… but they don’t seem to really work together. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely circles of friends that play together and support each other, but it is very obvious to me that these circles are, if even by accident, exclusive.  Promoters and Club owners also seem to have their favorites. One band can easily book Walter’s, but has a hard time at Fitz. The other band basically owns the Mink, but will never be seen at Notsouh. And it goes on.

As a fan, it makes it hard to choose sides because I love all these bands. As a musician, it is even worse. Being on the inside now I hear stories of bands being ignored or mistreated by clubs. I hear bands bad mouth club owners. I hear promoters bash bands, and on and on. We are entitled to our opinion. It’s okay to like club x over club y, listen to band b over band a. I constantly rank bands and argue with friends about the best Houston bands. At the end of the day though what makes the Houston music scene so great is it’s diversity of bands. Houston makes music like no other city in the world. There is more creativity and sheer musical brilliance here in our town than anywhere I have ever been.

I don’t really know what I am hoping to get out of this post, but I just want to say, please Houston, don’t become a glob of musical factions that don’t work together. Swallow your pride and realize that musicians need venues, and venues need musicians, and this city needs culture and music if it is to avoid burning to the ground. I will never judge anyone for their motives. If you like music because it brings you money, awesome, if you like it because it brings you love, sweet. No matter why you love it though learn to work with those that love it for different reasons. This way we just keep getting more and more music, and finally shut up that shitty excuse for a city Austin. Live music capitol of the world my ass. Austin pisses me off. The only way it will work though is if the scene works together. Most importantly if bands stick together. Please don’t become fractured Houston music scene. That is all.

Joes Pineda will be playing with his band Gnome Chomsky on October 30th


    1. dear jose. we share a practice space. our merch is in said practice space. open up the boxes and get a cd for yourself. also, take a tshirt .. because I love you.

    2. […] the Houston music scene so great is it's diversity … … Continue reading here: Houston music scene, please don't get fractured. by José Pineda … ← FurtherSound Artist Management » Blog Archive » FURTHERSOUND 11 … Shabazz […]


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