Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Linus Pauling Quartet - Our Job Here is Done.

Yes, after 10 years we have finally received the kind of commentary that makes you wonder if it's not all downhill from here - I mean, can we ever get a better review than this?

As told to Lance Scott Walker by one of the editors of 002 Magazine as he was looking at pictures of the Linus Pauling Quartet:

"They look like, maybe I think, what the Goonies would look like today."

Monday, September 18, 2006

For hipsters only.

Right, so John Cramer recently blogged on some stuff he was listening to (Robbie Basho, Jandek, Radio Thailand, etc.). Naturally, being the hipster I am, I have to follow suit and blog the one thing that has been endlessly cycling in my head since Sunday.

Now what I present to you is not simply a musical construct but a meme that bores into your consciousness and never lets go. It is a biting and pithy commentary on our post-modern society that presents us with intricate modalities not simply lyrical but harmonic. Taken at face value it may seem a minor work but it's ramifications reach far and wide. Here is the opus of which I speak...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Frikkin Houston Curfew and Shows

Right so we really want to do an all ages show at the Proletariat with The Dimes and Gay Marriage but the Houston Curfew really makes it difficult. Consider the simple fact that 21 and up people don't want to get somewhere until at least 10:30 but if you are bound by the curfew, you have to be home by midnight. So that poses a problem. We have three bands with total estimated music of 1hr 45 min then add 30 minutes between bands and you have to have to allot for 2:45hrs which means that to end by midnight or 12:15am you have to start at 9:15-9:30pm.

Now I don't know how the underage crowd plays at the Proletariat but if the first band plays at 9:15 that means a lot of the non-curfew folks will miss out on the first band. We want everyone to see the two bands that are opening but we fear that if we toss 'em too early they may not have the crowd they deserve. I mean I want everyone to see the Dimes and Gay Marriage not just the 21+ or just those under the curfew.

Well the point is curfew is stupid and draconian. I know (especially during summer) I used to hang out at all hours of the night in Nassau Bay and Clear Lake. One night our goal was to simply to drive on our bikes until we found an open donut shop that had a Bear Claw . Now adays in Houston this would be a criminal act. And now City Council want to make it so kids have to get home even earlier: 11pm on weekends!!!! I mean what the fuck why not just lock them all up "to protect them"! I live in a city fears and hates it's own youth.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards - RIP

Well, it seems Ann Richards passed away last night which only goes to highlight how far the Governor's office has fallen since her time. Bush was pretty lame but Perry makes Bush look like frikkin' Sam Houston by comparison. While Richards (and yes even Bush) at least had some personality, Perry is so clearly a tool of big business that I don't see why the Republican Party in Texas doesn't just elect a frikkin chicken to office and just be done with it. Not only would the bird be more dynamic and interesting to voters, business interests in Texas could just forgo the problem of having to explain to another human being what it wants and just train the chicken to step it's little foot on ink and sign any bills that, let say, have the words "Tax Break" or "Grandfathered Pollution". I've never met one Republican who is enthusiastic about Perry - NOT A ONE! Isn't it about time we could hold up our heads again and say "Hell, yeah I'm from Texas!" and mean it? (Sigh) You'll be missed Ann.

[note- God knows that the LP4 is rarely political for a reason; lets just say there is strong political disagreement in the band. So just to be clear, I am speaking for myself and not the LP4. - Ramon

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Worst Poster Ever...

Oh my god, I can't believe I spent 2 hours on a poster and this is the result of my labor!
(click the image to enlarge)

By the way this artwork comes form a Conan the Barbarian story-LP I bought at Sound Exchange on Saturday. Oh no, I didn't buy it for my four year old. I bought it for myself Yeah, that's right. Here I am in my late 30s and what do I feel compelled to buy? A frikkin poorly produced kids album! My geek power is unstoppable!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Linus Pauling Would like to say Happy 40th Birthday to...

Hell Yeah! 40 Years ago today Star Trek debuted on NBC! Yea, for without this fine peak of American Culture Linus debates at rehearsal would be shorn of comments like..."Well, look Clinton, I know that's how you would handle the Middle East buy how would Kirk handle it?" or "Much like Kirk spared the Gorn, I too will not kick your ass right now.....if, that is, you make the beer run."

So Happy Birthday Star Trek.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thor and Zolar X - The Best Show You Never Saw.

Thor Gear

Well let me begin by saying that, yes, it is Sunday and, no, I am not at Brad’s benefit show tonight at Rudz - Rosa is representing tonight. So, I am just here in my Pajamas with CSPAN in the background. Maybe this is not what you would call an exciting evening but, given that the rest of my week (Labor Day included) will consist of working at my crappy job, I am not complaining. The good news is that we are pretty much past the month of being broke. Last week was a struggle as it was a week of stretching every penny until September. Despite my daytime diet of PBJ sandwiches and ramen – we pulled through and I even managed to scrape eight bucks to see Thor and Zolar X.

As you might remember Linus was going on a field trip to see the show as Thor is a lesson in how to rock. Given that Linus never historically goes anywhere, I may have had unreasonable expectations but nevertheless I saved my pennies expecting a posse and a great show. Then the usual drop-out e-mails hit when Clinton wrote on Saturday saying he had a cold and Larry said he had a project deadline. But to my surprise Steve and Charlie hadn’t bowed out. So, I went to rehearsal in time to hear Charlie laying down some sax parts. The sax parts for our swordmetal song were a bit controversial. I was somewhat opposed to sax on a swordmetal song as I felt it was an anachronism (and a bit too sophisticated an instrument for an Thog type Viking) but Charlie countered that electric guitars were hardly the order of the day. [I later had to concede the debate as the boards on Swordmetal.com seemed to agree with Charlie; it seems only the ukulele is considered anathema to the genre.] When 10PM rolled around, Charlie and Steve bowed out of the Thor show. So, I set off alone to the Thor show cursing New York City as I peregrinated though the streets of Houston.

When I arrived, I found the place deserted. It seems that no amount of goofy hype on myspace or Hand-up brought a single soul to this show - Stevie was the only person there I knew. I guess The Sword closing the Rudyards anniversary party on Sunday and the Fatal Flying Guilloteens playing the Proletariat on Monday likely killed off any people even remotely interested. I spoke with Thor, who was his usual jovial self, and I apologized for at the lack of attendance. He shrugged it off saying that he hoped it would pick up but that if not he was still going to give everyone a great show. That to me is what makes Thor cool. He really loves what he does and feels this duty to his audience no matter how small to bring the rock. I mean, how can you not love that?

Zolar X

Zolar X finally started off and to my surprise they were amazing. The drummer had this goofy “I am having the time of my life” look that was utterly endearing but more importantly he was this amazing engine driving the band. These guys may not be young but they are amazing live. Sure they dress like goofy Star Trek aliens and all but what do you expect from a band that started as a space glam band in 1973? I wouldn’t have been blown away of they were just shtick. The fact is the faster punkier stuff was just top notch driving rock and roll; if the Ramones were from space, they would have sung songs that sounded like Jet Star 19. What was great about seeing them play live was that these driving songs didn’t have any goofy studio effects (like the flanged vocals on the afore mentioned song) – here it was just the band and their instruments rocking in a way bands half their age wished they could. Maybe during the glam era of the early 70s this may have been the standard rock show but seeing someone do this now just goes to show those of us who were not there how that era was fun, witty, and a great musical experience. Quite simply Zolar X makes us all look lazy and unimaginative. Sadly, except for the lucky few, Zolar X’s performance was met with indifference by most of Houston who decided to stay home.


Mike Sims wisely cut the entrance fee to a few bucks between bands and mercifully Thor was able to get a small crowd (maybe what 20 people) from some curious people who had simply popped in to Rudz for a drink. Those people were of course treated to a brilliant show. My god, here is what people do not get. People think that because Thor has the Rock Warrior gimmick he can’t deliver the goods. The thing they don’t get is that this is the best rock show they could possibly see. Ask Shane next time you go see the Medicine Show play. He was one of the lucky guys who came up from downstairs. He like everyone else was screaming, thrusting his fist in the air, and singing along. Yes that’s right people who’d never seen Thor were singing along! Thor’s a smart guy and builds his songs with simple choruses that anyone can immediately pick up on. I mean when he began singing “We are warioirs of the Universe! We live by the sword not at the edge of the blade!” Everyone immediately picked up of the chorus and sang along. Here at Rudyards you had 20 people having what amounted to a great party where everyone sang “Thor!…Thor!…Tho-o-o-or Th-o-o-o-or!” as the band played their asses off. I mean who the hell does two encores for such a small number of people. I’ll tell you who – frikkin John M. Thor! You came to rock and he does not disappoint! You want to hear Let the Blood Run Red or Thunderhawk? Fuck yeah he’ll do that. Though the beast that is among you was spared by Thor this time, the crowd was not. One giddy person looked at me and said, “Man, I am so lucky I stumbled in on this show! This is incredible!” That to me is the problem - it’s not that the show isn’t great, it’s just getting people to forget their notion of cool and just come on out. Once there, nary a soul could disavow the greatness of Thor. Again Houston, you are not worthy of the mighty Thor but I vow that if Thor returns to Houston, Linus must open and we will lock the doors after we play until you concede to the greatness that is Thor.

Anyhow, even though you are not worthy, you can see some more pictures of Thor and Zolar X on my Flikr account.


Zolar X Photos

Thor Photos

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