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The SCENE Magazine

LOOSE NOTES - JULY 2011

Jul 01, 2011 03:42PM ● Published by Andy Eng

LOOSENOTES - One thing we can always count on here are Texas summers. Looking at the map the other day, it dawned on us what every grade school kid already knows, that desert countries of such as Egypt, Libya, & like are further north of the equator than Houston. Then why are we so hardy? Well, we've got the live music scene here of course & we've got the fun!!! Let's venture forth...

SEVEN NIGHTS A WEEK - Of live music is what we have on the SCENE at Sherlock's Pub, Jackie's Brickhouse & Katie's. Pretty cool, eh? Readers know these places pack a punch on the weekends so we thought we'd check the Monday through Wednesday stretch and found you folks already there. Figures.... :-) We really like the Sherlock's cozy setup to kick back, chat and decompress with friends & company. We caught Jack Trippers (Danny Lopez/percussion & Justin Roelant/vocals & guitar) for a few sets of acoustic music with splash of alternative country for kicks. Down at our Bacliff headquarters, Katie's has perhaps the area's longest running open mic series running with the Amigos on Sunday night and the Guacamole Gawds on Mondays. Readers know our fondness for the open mic event, where musicians hang out in their free time testing out new arrangements & collaborations. The Guacamole Gawds (Cisco & Raggio) have clearly whittled at it playing one of the more interesting acoustic cover arrangements happening. Catch the Gawds at Katie's on Mondays and during dinner at Jackie's on Tuesday's. On Wednesday nights, 2nd Wind will be holding the spot at Jacki'e's this summer. It's been almost two years since we last had this group on the SCENE. "Hollywood" Steve Rangel , Starr Jernigan and "Big" Ed Martinson (bass/vocals, lead/vocals & drums) play it well with a mix of blues, classic rock, oldies and R & B agreeing well with Jackie's dinner crowd. And that folks, gets us past hump day. On towards the weekend....

VENUS & MARS ARE ALRIGHT TONIGHT - Heads up, a new band alert. Remember the Beach Club? Remember all the fun? One of the house bands included Pro Combo & Danny Kristensen. The Beach Club paradise has since been flattened and not totally a parking lot yet the music plays on. Thank goodness! Kristensen's been continuing his solo gig in the region and recently organized a new band, Endless Summer. Sounds familiar? We caught a couple sets of Endless Summer at Crazy Al's Swampshack (which is still packing in a full dinner crowd, BTW) taking in a predominately Beatles & Elton John portion of their playlist along with the Friday night fireworks going off. Summer's here, Folks -- May it be endless...

ON THE FLIP SIDE - of The SCENE is the Cultural Arts Calendar. We checked it out with the Bay Area Bluegrass Association's shindig happening at the Johnny Arolfo Center. You folks know its more than a shindig--Along with the feature show, there are side room jam sessions galore that are a hoot! We've been spotted there enough that we've been invited to sit in a play a few next time. Who knows? Many players & singers probably include your neighbor down the street which makes sense. Before League City was an aerospace bedroom community, the region was a country village and bluegrass was the rage and like Beethoven, bluegrass will stand up to the test of time. Check them out! Also this month on the flip side, we mixed in with the patrons at the Texas Art Alliance Clear Lake center for an evening of jazz, South American style. The night featured Mundo Nuevo--A local group lead by six time Latin Grammy nominee and space software guru, Juan Manuel (guitar) along with Don Kelly (woodwinds, keys & percussion), Nathan Mays (bass), and Galveston music instructor Carl Napoli (drums). Put this group on your watch list, okay? Their music will take you places and the TAACL setting is Clear Lake's perfect place to make the trip. So what's new?

SOMETHING NEW - Mexas, Doyle & Thomas have concocted an interesting new event happening once-a-month at Scout Bar's Acoustic night. Believe it, it's real... Bands such as Led Zeppelin, Nirvana & Kiss has performed unplugged so what's new? Well, for one, this is... The evening line ups were (dig this) a mix and match collaboration of between musicians from area alternative rock bands (The Hunger, Saturate, IDR, Erase The Virus, Southern Reign, Elysian & guests), And It Works!!! The SCENE's omnipotent music reviewer Rhonda Merideth and I attended the June show. I enjoyed the evening and the Scout Bar crowds that night were very impressive. This show will be back in July, I plan to be back in July and if you haven't been yet, hope to see you there too in July. Moving on to stout & loud....

TUBE AMPS, St. ARNOLD'S WEEDWACKER, IRISH ANTHEMS & LOVE SONGS -The last time we hung out at Union Tavern, we scored a quality out of norm music experience with Come See My Dead Person and so in keeping our eclectic intact this month, we replaced the Guiness and Harp with St. Arnold Weedwacker and caught Blaggards on stage--An authentic Houston Stout Irish Rock band complete with tube amps, electric fiddle, machine gun riffs, pouring forth screaming medlies of assorted heavy metal Irish anthems and love songs. If you're into authentic Irish pub music, you possibly might know what we're talking about. The Irish probably never imagined their ballads & anthems played with the full Blaggards interpretations but then that's why we're Houston, and why we are the SCENE...

OVER-THE-TOP, MUSIC - There were no bands listed on the lineup for Bert Will's Benefit at Katie's. Simply a signup sheet for anybody in music land who shared a stage or studio with Bert wanting to play. Likewise, there were no playlists prepared beforehand. Yet throughout the afternoon, torrents of sizzling old fashion blues & Cadillac country music poured forth, easily recognizable as being played by inspired musicians in support of an inspiring musician. You don't often get to hear music of this caliber which to these ears, ranked along side with performances heard at memorials for Mean Gene Kelton, Butch Dempsey and Jim Shortt. Get the idea? My favorite was Texas Hall of Famer, Tommie Lee Bradley, spinning the sizzle knobs two twirls past "Bright & Tight, Heavy on the Mojo". In the crowd were friends & family of Bert, lovers of the Blues, and even people from other countries. Kudos to the Katie staff, all the donors, cooks musicians and supporters. The standing room only crowd and generous auctions were supremely organized by Ed (aka KPFT's Blue's Hound) & Cindy Nagle along with DJ Ron Swan (emcee at the Mean Gene Kelton Celebration). Bacliff's Master Minstrel, Benny Brasket donated the hottest auction item, a Bert Wills' dobro. Cheers!

OVER-THE-TOP, LOVE - For a fallen friend of the SCENE, Tina Montana. Leaving behind four children, a massive groundswell of area friends, networks & businesses pulled together an incredible effort of arrangements in one short week which included her memorial service and a Celebration of Life Memorial Fundraiser at the Admiral's Club, Endeavor Marina. We heard music from former Blood Sweat & Tears member, Bill Tilman; solo acoustic performer Tim Thomas, and members of KAOS together with Al Stephenson & Andy Upchurch sharing the stage. Magician, Tommy Blaze, entertained the kids young and old alike while Al "Sky" Saylor was the event's live auctioneer. This event was simply too big for this column to properly mention all of the volunteers, supporters, & organizers -- To say it was massive is an understatement. So would be to say we were privileged to have been touched by Tina's presence in our short while. If you missed the event, it's not too late to support the cause (tinamontana.com). We will miss our friend. Peace...

Andy Eng

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