Loose Notes - August 2011
Aug 16, 2011 11:26PM ● Published by Andy Eng
BACK ON THE BEAT - The Tree House is back on the beat and this month, we decompressed to an evening of Phil Johnson and Daniel Rose playing set lists from big band Sinatra to 60's piano bar and easy listening Motown. With hurricane season upon us, a planned rendezvous hangout makes sense and the Tree House is on my list--As a round the clock hangout during Ike, they're proven so check them out, check them over, become a patron and jot in The Tree House into your plan!
HOT ROCKS - Cullen's Live is back on the SCENE beat and Satisfaction is what it be. That is, the Rolling Stones tribute band from Louisiana that came tumbling into town. The experience of catching tribute bands is always a hoot especially when it's for one of the greatest rock & roll bands in the world. Christopher and the staff continues dishing out ample measures of class Cullen's is known for. Get your yaya's over to Cullen's and we'll catch you there!
CLEAR CREEK VINEYARDS - We stopped in for their public grand opening from a live music point of view and at first glance expected little more than a place for soloists or possibly a duet at most. Boy were we fooled! Local jazz diva, Pasheen, was in the house in the third level listening room complete with her seven piece jazz band. No kidding! Full bodied articulations of character and nuances, pleasingly blended parts, and mastery of dynamics did this all together jazz group provide--Perhaps as good to the ear as a good wine is to the palate. Two thumbs up! Speaking of totally top ear candy, drum roll please...
OVER-THE-TOP - goes to Ashes of Babylon and the folks at the Texas Hippie Connection. Yup, you heard us right and so did the packed room hear it too. So when was the last time you heard a good crisp eight piece reggae band? Now imagine stirring in some rap for spice & tempo while mellowing the steel drum twang with pieces of big band brass. We honestly weren't sure how so many pieces would sound and boy, did these cats nailed it--Tight & bright with clean highs & crisp beats locking tightly onto your spinal cord and not letting go... Helping out the acoustics was a packed dance floor crowd and (dig this) no parents! Speaking of the crowd, think Haight & Ashbury back in the day only these vibrant souls clearly looked like they had daytime jobs, saw their dentists, and showered regularly -- The kind you'd have no problem meeting your parents. Nice job! :-)
WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND - Last month, we checked out The SCENE beat newcomer, Roadhouse 146, and figured a confirmation visit fitting. Greg, Michelle & staff has this place SCENE ready and firing on all cylinders complete with plenty of big screens, a spacious game room and a good lineup of live music with a rock & roll slant. We caught Cloud 9 for the first time on the beat and stamp these cats SCENE Party Ready playing gritty covers from the 60's, 70's & 80's (that would be Grand Funk, Doors, Ted Nugent & the Sammy Hager edge in case you ask). The Roadhouse 146 had a good crowd enjoying the show that evening meaning this place is either a great neighborhood hangout, or an easy to get to stop while out on the ride, or a place with good music. I'll check "all the above"... Onwards!!!
TIME WARPING - History lesson... Folks populating Friendswood in the early days were through & through friendly. Seems fitting that John, Tonya & staff have fine tuned this popular neighborhood outpost into a comfortable hangout for pretty much everybody. Country, UFC/MMA , reggae, acoustic, or rock, it doesn't matter cuz it's all good and it's all here. This month, we caught two long time local garage bands Motocyco's & Abraham's Tree. Life can sometimes be hectic but picking these two bands for an evening of old fashion rock is a no brainer--With great fans, super sounding stages, and powerful playlists of songs that have withstood the test of time, all's well at Dempsey's!
SO DON WAS A DUD - It's always good having a plan to hang out when the big one comes so we checked out Sherlock's and kept our fingers crossed. It's amazing how great minds think alike -- The place was PACKED! Or was it because KAOS was making their debut performance at this Clear Lake party megapolis? Either way, it was fun by the tons as you would expect at Sherlock's on a Friday night. The folks with KAOS has been adding a variety of sound & light crews to the team which is never a bad idea-- With compressors set at full and the crowd cooking past boil, the storms said "not tonight". And thus went Don...
DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY - The Jackie's staff pulled it off in the totally new department with the first ever Mid Summer Luau. Complete with David Schwope under the palapa, Drums of the Pacific on the indoor stage, and an entire afternoon of Polynesian fun including limbo dancing, flaming torches, & hula dance lessons. Congrats to Jackie's for scoring the first ever LOOSE NOTES OVER-THE-TOP awarded for food & fun category. Give me the lightning rod, I've something to say.... The Jackie's cooks and staff dropped our jaws serving up recipes not on their menu that arguably blew away some of our fine area bistros. There, I said it... Folks, we weren't sure if Jackie's was a restaurant with entertainment or a fun place with good food and now, add "culinary power house" to the choosing. Give this a try--Next time at Jackie's for dinner, ask them to whip up an off the menu order of their Teriyaki (beef, pork or chicken, doesn't matter) or their garlic shrimp--The kind they had a the Mid Summer Luau... It's the bomb! Okay? Earlier at the Brickhouse, we stopped by to pass our regards to Madigan's fine bass player, Mike Ambro. This September, Mike will be taking a sabbatical to star in his new role as Big Daddy. Congrats and all the best to Mike and his new family! Speaking of Big Daddy roles...
BRAVO - Is a word that used to be heard often in The SCENE and this month we took in a such a performance at the Scout Bar's acoustic night. Can you believe that? Earlier summer heat that day shortened our outing that night but not before catching Elysian with frontman Thomas (another area musician fixing to star in the role as Big Daddy) roaring forth acoustic interpretations of their electric loud & live shows. I'll forget their attempt at Hotel California (another Scout Bar first) since it *was* written before any of these guys were born. Props to the Scout Bar sound guys and staff for giving this type of music a try, best wishes to Thomas & family for their new adventure, and finally, call out a worthy "Bravo!" for one of the month's best sounding performances. If you missed it this month, keep your fingers crossed for hopefully another month of acoustic night at the Scout Bar. Cheers!
TOUR STOP CLEAR LAKE - In the ever something new department, the Scout Bar was the place when Hollywood recording rapper/poet, Mickey Avalon came rolling to town. We've gotten used to seeing all types of fan bases showing up at the Scout Bar and this night was no exception--Check off good, young & fun... Opening up for Mickey was Clear Lake's own CB Kings. We caught up with Brian (B.C.) Carrion & DeeWilla out in the parking lot shooting an interview for an upcoming video. From an area band to a regional presence, these guys are still on the up and out.
THE COOLEST SPORT ON THE PLANET - is found here in the Clear Lake area at the Space City Ice Rink and the game is called "hockey".... Yup, you heard that right! Now to be honest, we knew basically nothing of the sport until local restaurant owner, Barry Terrell mentioned it so we checked out his story and found a building where the indoors temperature is kept at a refreshing 69 degrees, the action fast, and the upstairs bar in working order. Folks, if you're looking for something to do to stay in shape or simply looking for a cool place to hang out, check out the action at the Space City Ice Rink. Cheers!
STS-135 CREW RETURNS TO HOUSTON - On perhaps the hottest day of the year, a packed Hanger 990 of family, ground crew, administrators and well wishers was The SCENE for the return of STS-135 & the crew of the Atlantis. Shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim wrapped up the work usually requiring a crew of seven--delivering spares and supplies to the International Space Station. Security was gracious allowing the crowds of onlookers into the hanger thirty minutes ahead of time to get out of the striking Texas sun. The VI of VIPS included Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Houston Mayor Annise Parker along with other Bay Area representatives & dignitaries. This final shuttle mission was not a certainty and required efforts by Senator Hutchinson to make this final flight a reality. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Visit Andy's website