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The SCENE Magazine

Loose Notes - June 2011

Jun 03, 2011 05:55PM ● Published by Andy Eng

LOOSE NOTES - This month, yours truly took a week visiting friends & family up in Twister Alley. My notes are a bit scattered so hang on! First order of business...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - To the folks at Pier 27. We've enjoyed this south of the lake neighborhood dance bar hangout. With the heat of summer upon us, Pier 27 is on our list of cool places to be. We caught Fidelity Maxx heating up the full house this month... Cheers! While on the topic of cool spots, Sherlocks & Katies has it down with live music 7 nights a week. Stay tuned...

NEW SCENE STOPS - We stopped into Smokin' J's, an established neighborhood bar & new to the SCENE. On stage was Magazine whom we've frequently covered & reckoned we'd have this place figured out in no time but this time, Marty was packing along different pedals and pumping out a totally different sound with playlists we've haven't heard before. Figures... Smokin' J's? It's a great place with cold beer and where you can easily blend in -- A good thing... Heading east, we stopped in at The Roadhouse 146, the new SCENE stop finding a great staff, cold beer, plenty of games, David Schwope spinning the disks and The Sharks playing out the sounds -- A super place to get away... The Sharks was the first band I recorded live (at Smokin' J's in fact) and gotta say they sound as good today as they did back then, possibly even better with JZ on lead, which makes sense for this La Porte based outfit. Something about musicos from the Gulf Coast region that has a nitty and gritty integrity to them inside and out. If you're looking for a SCENE stop along 146, this is place is ready to go! Speaking of the nitty and gritty...

UNDER THE INFLUENCE - of the La Porte area that is... Up and down the 146 corridor is a nitty & gritty musical ethos you simply can't find anywhere else. We know cuz you've told us... From this musically fertile area comes David Hargrave who played in his first band at age 11 some 45 years ago. Playing out & about in the 80's, David took a stage hiatus while working as full time school teacher. Now retired, he's gigging regularly with Moondog--Holy Moly! Sharing lead guitar & vocals with Danny D, these two Guitar Heros (from Cold Feet days) are burning it up with Joann Stone free forming on the kit and Joe Hamilton providing adult supervision on bass--Word is they're keeping a spot open for Donny too... Put these together and you get yourself a fine "Mojo Sixties and Boogie Blues band" of old folks with young souls pour you the 50's, 60's & 70's obscure classic covers with an authentic surfer zest. And that, folks, is one tasty treat--Cheers to retirement! Moondog has been playing all around the SCENE & we saw them at Cockeyed Seagull where they just held...

THE COCKEYED SEAGULL 7TH ANNIVERSARY - Earlier in the evening we caught one of Jim Shortt's favorite bands, Ronnie Hall and The Green Onions at Jackie's Brickhouse. Jim would've liked Jackie's. After a fine set of of classic R&B, we roosted the rest of the evening at one of Jim's favorite hangouts, the Cockeyed Seagull to celebrate their 7th Anniversary complete with nonstop music from (to name a few) Greg Wappler (fresh from his recent Hill Country Tour), the Fenton Brothers & Marty Monte, The Edge of Texas, Rick & The Dones, Cisco and jammers. Also this month, we caught some underground tunes from The Last Cigarette & Grizzly. These two bands were playing a Marshall Tucker style of rockabilly with Led Zeppelin undertones overpowering the mural walls in every angle you could imagine. We've these two bands on our watch list and will try to see them again next time around. In a neighborhood where neighborhood bars are rare and those with a great live music SCENE a plus, the Cockeyed Seagull checks off both. Meanwhile out on the patio...

NEW BAND ALERT - Last month, we suggested The Remedy and starting to see them appearing out on the beat. This month, we caught a Trip to Cascity on the Seagull patio and dig it. This duet of Tony Bastida and Lee Del Moral are no strangers to the music scene -- Tony is an instrumental piece with 94.5FM Buzz Texas Metal band of the Year, Metavenge while Lee operates Pyramid Studios in San Leon. Most duets hitting the SCENE have been going unplugged but Jimmy Page didn't on the MTV show and neither do these two cats keeping it totally electric *and* keeping it in the 75-80 db range making for an enjoyable tonal experience. We sat through a couple sets on the Cockeyed Seagull patio and the playlist never centered on a specific genre, rather the transcendental state of being there in a Jimmy Spheeris Isle of View (with a splash of metal) sort of way. Get it? We've Trip to Cascity on our watchlist -- Put them on yours... Down a couple doors...

TOUR STOP CLEAR LAKE - Last month right as the presses were spinning up, we get a call to checkout out two time Grammy nominee "Red", at the Scout Bar. What we found was not what we expected from a Nashville band, but better--Here goes... A heaping blend of alternative rock, Christian rock, hard rock (a Dove award winner), heavy metal, & post-grunge *plus* an arsenal of cool lights! Cameras love lights and our cameras stayed in total bliss all night long. We'll be dropping into the Scout Bar on Wednesdays a bit more often with Mexas putting together an acoustic night featuring some our local avant guard.

Readers know how we love checking out new acts from the garages of the region. What's interesting is how many of these bands mix & match the genres and how it actually works! From Santa Fe region, we heard Man Meets Fate for the first time. These folks are no strangers to the SCENE having opened for the likes of Head PE & Forbidden. We chatted with the two guitarists Ron & John and need to send Rhonda over for followup. They've a vocal presence much like Red and a "heavy & melodically friendly" instrumental foundation. Swap out the vocalist with an opera singer and you've got Epica. While Galveston deals with the sound police, we are rocking at the Scout Bar. And that folks is Tour Stop Clear Lake!

PROOF TEST - When we heard Madigan was stopping into Big Ben's for an evening, we simply had to check it out to see and pleased to say, "it worked!" Dale & Hector had the indoor stage looking & sounding great of course. Add to the set a well staffed bar, a full house, the band itself and you get "instant party". Pretty cool, eh? :-) We followed up with Melissa about her stay at the vocal spa and happy to pass word that her pipes are in utmost tip top form. We also got in some quality time with Bass player Mike Ambro who is looking forward to his upcoming role playing Cool Daddy, opening this September. Early in the month, we hung out with Maestro Dave & Hammer Todd along with a who's who of local musicians gather at Shawn Pritchard's birthday party featuring Six Car Pileup at Hugh & Jeff's. The winter Olympics may have Shaun, the Flying Tomato. We of the Bay Area have our Shawn, the Flying Vocalist -- We're good.... ;-) Speaking of birthdays, the who's who of local open mics pulled off a doozy of a surprise party for Bobbie of Wood & Wind. According to Steve, "She had NO idea..." Jammers being jammers jammed out on the pool until curfew. We've been catching the full Wood & Wind show recently at T-Bone Tom's where patio season is underway in full force. Also in full force on the patio was the Andy & The Dreamsicle's contingent for a Memorial Day blow out. Did we mention these folks like to party? Well that we did at the 9th Annual Oleanders party in San Leon. With over 500 people showing up throughout the day, this was a burner. Southbound and Funksion joined up with Andy and The Dreamsicles making for one over the top afternoon. Speaking of over the top, drum roll please....

FAB 40 ABBEY ROAD - Two years ago, The SCENE covered this all volunteer band with a full orchestra boasting members from around the entire greater Houston metroplex, including our beloved Bay Area, as they pulled off an over-the-top free show -- The complete Abbey Road album to a full house at Discovery Green.... Fast Forward two years later. The band has grown by at least 20 members, the full house turnout is now spilling around the entire block, and the show was followed with a loooong set "bonus encore". This was serious all age event shared with parents and children of all generations (a good thing mind you). Future shows are worth looking forward to--Says band organizer Dave Blassingame, "We want to be a little more ambitious next time!" Cheers!

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