Archive for April, 2010

Astronautalis… white gangsta

Astronautalis – Secrets of the Undersea Bells

Astronautalis – Mr. Blessingtons Plot

There are good shows, there are great shows, then there are those shows that completely and utterly change your expectations for any and all future shows. Astronautalis was just that and for those of you who missed it…. well… you missed it. But if ever that opportunity arises again don’t miss out. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Walters was pretty empty still by the time Fat Tony Finished up his set which included a karaoke version of Rock and Roll High school, so naturally my expectations were kinda low. Little did I know that I was about to see one of the best shows I ever accidentally stumbled across.

It wasn’t so much the fact that it was skinny tall white guy doing gangsta rap or the fact that his free flow was dead on and about light bulbs , office furniture, nasal spray, zebras and of course lonestar beer, but more of the intensity of the performance and the ever changing architecture of the veins across his face. A very charming charismatic and pretty damn funny guy, Astronautalis, made me feel that it was ok to kidnap someone as long as it was done out of love cause as he noted “duct tape is the new engagement ring.”


Anders Oinonen at CTRL Gallery on Main

There is this strip of galleries on Main Street right on the outskirts of downtown that has been a favorite of mine for a while now.  I love this particular stretch of Main Street, not just because its whitewashed exterior reminds me of a spaghetti western, but because they consistently house some of the most relevant and exciting work that I see in Houston.

On what turned out to be a stunning day, I spent some time in CTRL Gallery lusting after something to fill my art soul. I was easily lured in by some extravagant uses of medicinal yellow, nuclear pink, and holier-than-thou violet.  I have to admit that I am a biased art viewer and undoubtedly always will be.  I am a sucker for anything bathed in over-the-top color, and its not because this obsession with the 80s refuses to go away, but rather because I think color is one of the most treacherous and unmerciful aspects of art-making.

Anders Oinonen is a painter’s painter disguised as some form of pop artist.  Immediately the formalist within is illuminated by his musical compositions of two-dimensional shapes like triangles, squares, stripes, and circles.  And in an instant they come together to form something completely different, something with dimension, proving Gestalt’s Principle absolutely intact: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

First Light, my favorite painting by Anders Oinonen, is forgiven for its awful name because the painting is just so delightfully sneaky.  The pared down shapes have been built up and then obliterated by a light purple curtain of fatty paint.  That enough would satisfy me, but when I stepped back from every single painting I realized that these seemingly classic abstractions were actually friendly cartoon faces emerging from underneath blankets, smashed under the weight of some reeling pain, or just eyeing the viewer.  That action alone squashed any residual feelings of pretension that I felt once I walked through the door.   This isn’t a gallery: its a window into another world.

When I became conscious of these faces I realized just how sad these paintings are.  Not bigger words like melancholy, depressive, or morose but just sad.  And well, that was even better.  The contrast of such sugary happiness as hot pink against the disintegration of a human face created an amalgamation of feelings so contradictory that I just had to laugh.  I am a fan of anything that can make me feel close to authentic, closer to truth, parallel to the human experience.


Past Shows: April 16th KTRU CD Release – Live Recordings from 91.7FM Local Show

KTRU Live Volume 2 is being released on April 16th. The collection of local music recorded live on the local show with Ian Wells first originated back about a year ago with volume 1‘s debut.  The Rare recordings feature intimate moments with Houston artists, many of which experienced for the first time the excitement of having their music aired live over the radio. The recordings from the first release were nothing short of fantastic and we expect the same from this one. The CD Release will be at Avant Garden on the 16th, from 8 PM with live music from a handful of the artists featured from the recordings.

Listenlisten, Sad Gorilla, Roky Moon and Bolt, B L A C K I E, Buxton, Fat Tony, The Literary Greats, Wicked Poseur, Homopolice, The Jonx, Astrogenic Hallucinating,…

And that’s just a sampler.  Whole CD consists of 26 artists, 26 tracks, 2 discs!


Hollywood FLOSS Presents: Mr. BIG STUFF

Now that SXSW is over, the Houston emcee wanted to jump start the promo for his upcoming mixtape (XP2) and debut album (House of Dreams). An ode to the folks that couldn’t reach the 5′10″ mark; produced by JohnDew.

Free Download of Mr. Big Stuff –


Past Shows: April 10th Holly Golightly w/ Wife @ Mango’s

She may be considered the “U.K. garage-rock queen” (SPIN), but HollyGolightly has always embraced the sounds of the American south. She followedthat muse to the dry, rural county of Madison, Georgia, where now she lives ona farm raising horses, chickens, and the curiosity of her neighbors. Golightlyand The Brokeoffs (a.k.a. one-man band and frequent Golightly collaboratorLawyer Dave) recorded their new album ‘Medicine County’ (March30/Transdreamer Records) in an abandoned, recently foreclosed upon churchnearby.

‘Medicine County’ features twelve new recordings, including eight originals byGolightly and The Brokeoffs, alongside traditional numbers like “Blood on theSaddle” and “Jack O’Diamonds.” While there’s a spectral quality to those traditional songs and others on the album, Golightly offers some levity – and asharp lyrical wit – on tunes like “Eyes in the Back of My Head” and the album’stitle track, a postcard from their new home (“100 miles from nowhere,everybody needs a drink”). It’s a testament to the caliber of Golighty and TheBrokeoffs’ writing that the trad numbers consort seamlessly with their originals.

April 10th they will be playing at Mango’s with opening band Wife. Definitely make it out there is absolutely no reason to miss this one.

*Tour Dates:

>> *04-06 Birmingham, AL – The Nick

>> 04-07 Little Rock, AR – Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack

>> 04-08 Dallas, TX – The Prophet Bar

>> 04-09 Austin, TX – Emo’s Alternative Lounge (Indoor)

>> 04-10 Houston, TX – Mango’s

>> 04-12 Tucson, AZ – Plush

>> 04-13 San Diego, CA – The Casbah

>> 04-14 Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland

>> 04-16 San Jose, CA – The Blank Club

>> 04-17 San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord

>> 04-19 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge

>> 04-20 Olympia, WA – Capitol Theatre Backstage

>> 04-21 Vancouver, BC – Media Club

>> 04-22 Seattle, WA – The Funhouse

>> 04-23 Kennewick, WA – Red Room

>> 04-24 Spokane, WA – BLVD

>> 04-25 Boise, ID – Neurolux

>> 04-27 Denver, CO – Hi Dive

>> 04-28 Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room

>> 04-29 Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar

>> 04-30 St. Louis, MO – The Firebird

>> 05-01 Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone Cafe

>> 06-09 Philadelphia, PA – M Room

>> 06-10 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory

>> 06-11 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

>> 06-12 Cambridge, MA – Middle East Upstairs

>> 06-13 Montreal – Il Motore

>> 06-16 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern

>> 06-17 Detroit, MI – Majestic Cafe

>> 06-18 Chicago, IL – Subterranean

>> 06-19 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry



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