Monday, October 30, 2006

Ame Strasser Benefit 10/27/2006

If there is one thing that we know for sure it’s that Linus is not a weekday show kind of band. Add to that an early start time and you have the LP4 fighting an uphill battle. Nonetheless, given the fact that this was a benefit for Ame Strasser (a very dear friend of Shelley and Steve) how could we say no? The sad news was that Ame passed away just a week before. That really puts a damper about having a good time at a benefit. I mean, there is a small pang of guilt when you are planning of singing silly sings about Satan Eating at La Tapatia when you know there is a 4-year-old child who is now without a mother.

So with this baggage we headed off to Fitzgerald’s. Now have to say it’s been a really really long time since I’ve been to Fitz I really abohorred the downstairs. It was a cramped little slum for local bands to be hazed by the Fitzgerald’s schtick. Sure, they still haze the kids with bands with the whole Fitz “if you do well enough here you can play upstairs” routine but the good news is that the space was actually nice now. We dropped off our equipment in the small but adequate backstage area then watched “Young Frankenstein” on a DVD Projector from the comfort of some La-Z Boys. Between the lounging, snickering, and the bands admission that Teri Garr was actually a real cutie we came to the horrible realization that we were a bit too comfortable. Me I was almost ready to fall asleep there. Mercifully, the DVD started skipping which snapped us back to the Idea that we were about to play a show and, if we were ready for house slippers and PJs, we were likely not ready to rock. Cue in a few Lone Stars and the first band…

The first band was Slag. Now like I said I was a bit sleepy and for me when I’m sleepy the effect of metal’s harsh guitars and pounding drums is much the same a nice massage. So, I can’t comment on the music as my brain wasn’t working on the right level but I can say that Slag’s frontman was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Here is this big burly guy squeezing his face into these insane contortions that had everyone impressed. It’s that kind of Bruce Springsteen I’m-signing-like-I’m –taking-a-crap face BUT knowingly funny! The clincher that made everyone bow to his brilliance was when he unpacked this sheet, unfolded it, and, despite its inadequate size, draped it over himself. The sheet was so small that we half expected him to cut a hole and make a poncho out of it but instead the ghostly howl of “ooooOOooooOOoooOoo!” emanated from underneath as they went into some song about ghosts. It was fucking brilliant; I’m talking Daniel Johnson would have crapped in his pants great!

Whorehound followed and if you read my Houston Press awards blog you’d know that they rock pretty hard. Of course as luck would have it, Jon broke a guitar string on the best song leaving Trevi and Cory to continue on as a duo. Trevi dutifully carried on with a smile that said “Yeah, I’m signing – what if it?” and had everyone rooting for them. It was like rooting for the Ten Thousand in Xenophon’s Anabasis. [Ok, well, maybe not quite like that…I mean it was just a string change after all but just go with me because that’s the only simile I’ve got right now.] And much like the storied Greeks, Jon overcame his foe, vanquished it, and against bitter odds returned (to the mic). Ok I’m reaching but fuck it, they rocked.

Next up was Bowel. Now I’d heard a lot about Bowel and I was both excited to hear them and dreading the fact that we would be following them. Sure enough the band (playing as a Three Piece oddly enough) sludged through some metal that more than lived up to the bands name. By the overkill of two huge bass cabinets, Bowel succeeded in literally rattling your guts. A few songs into it I had to start getting ready for our set but from what I saw the band lives up to the hype in every way, shape, and frequency.

Clearly, if Metal is measured by the amount of people standing close to the stage rocking, then we clearly were about as popular as a bespectacled kid walking up on stage and asking if this was the room where they would debating the merits of the new season of Doctor Who’s David Tennant. I mean we performed well but when we began to play Southern Pine (our one song with a mellow part juxtaposed with a heavy part) you could feel the room collectively think “Dude, I could so kick their ass! There’s not a tattoo on the lot of ‘em!” Mercifully, ending with La Tapatia gave us a stay of execution. I’m exaggerating of course, I mean we did play a solid set and likely held our own but I did feel like we were the odd man out of the bunch.

Academy Black closed the night with an hour-long set of fog and Metal. They were actually really great but, it being a weekday and my having burned every ounce of energy with La Tapatia, thirty minutes into their set, I was ready to go home, shower, and sleep. So despite my dread, it was a night of music worthy of Ame’s memory.

For you masochists who read my Blogs -

So I have a new blog with some old friends- The idea is simple - Music in Seven days from Seven Writers. Hopefully it will be lively, entertaining, and worthy of adding your RSS Feeds. Odds are, if you've been in Houston for a while, you may already be familiar with some of the writers: Heidi Bullinga (New York Office), Carlos Anaconda (Chapel Hill Office), John Cramer (Houston Office), Kilian Sweeney (Chicago Office), Doug Dillaman (New Zeland Office), and Justin Crane (Austin Office).

Anyhow, This will be our first week of publishing. After 48 hours I think I have been victorious in my battle the various quirks of Blogger publishing to FTP*, so pop on by and see what you think.

*FTP Broken Pipe errors = no fun.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You can learn a lot from just reading a frozen dinner...

Lean Cuinines are pretty cheap lunches so I sometimes try a new one just for grins. Today it was some pork and cherry sauce thing which wasn't great but it was passable. Now, you'd think that my not liking it were a matter of taste but, upon tossing the box, I noticed that my not liking it was not the fault of Lean Cuisine but was entirely my own.

You see, in the instructions there was a final step that I did not read carefully. The final step read as follows; "Let stand for 5 minutes in the microwave then enjoy." See, I simply let it sit for 5 minutes but I clearly forgot to enjoy it.

So listen up musicians and take a cue from me; from now on, when Linus plays, you will see instructions printed on a 4X4 card on every table explaining as to how to rock. The final instruction will be the crucial "Enjoy." If someone demands their money back, we will simply point to the card and tell them that they need to learn how to read directions first before they come whining to us.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How do I ask this nicely? Oh and Houston Calling Happy Hour Tonight.

Hey nothing against Studemont Project - admittedly this ain't my thing so I can't even attempt to make any judgments about their music - but what is it with the KTRU Presents Studement Project at Valhalla? Given the excellent local bands around, I'd think KTRU would be presenting something a bit more...ummm, you do I say this nicely...less bland? Hey, look, I'm just asking. No,seriously,I am...

I mean take a look at David Cobb's Houston Calling Happy Hour show tonight at the Proletariat with Something Fierce, Southern Backtones, and Brightmen of Learning. . Sure it's not perfect. Southern Backtones are not my bag and them being placed between Something Fierce and Bright Men of Learning is pretty annoying. Then I have the fact that the early start may make this show a bit tight for me to catch. Nevertheless it still sounds much more interesting and it's definitely a promising idea especially if Cobb does thing kind of thing in the future. So if miss it let me know how it goes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

LP4 show report.

Crap You'd think all I post now is just police abuse. Despite the thuggish cop at Walter's there were other shows of note going on over the weekend. Saturday was pretty tricky given all the good shows. Since, I was playing at Rudz I didn't catch Fallcore at the Meridian or The Porch Creeps at SHFL but I did get a chance to swing by The Proletariat and catch a bit of the PUSH fundraiser. Well, ok, I just caught one band Tambersauro who were really really good - the drummer was amazing. They've been around for a while but this is my first time seeing them and while you could argue that the Slint influence is a bit prominent, in my book, they definitely are worth catching again.

But after a quick "hi" and apologies to Sharks and Sailors for missing their set (and finally getting an explanation from Melissa as to what the hell a booby bib is) I was back to Rudz for our show.

The Rudz show was going to be laid back affair as The Paper South cancelled due to illness and there was so much going on around town that there was no way we could expect a huge turnout.

Georgia's Horse was originally going to close but Houston bands fight NOT to play last - we prefer to play then drink - so they won the coin toss and opened and they put on a great set. Melly's cello made the sound simply massive while the rest of Georgia's Horse was exactly what I've come to expect - awesome. I'm just glad that they will continue as a unit but under a different name as they are just too good and unique in this town to break up. Georgia's Horse just show how much power a band can have without resorting to being heavy and loud; subtlety and nuance are great things to have on your side. I only wish I Rhonda Garner of KPFT's Radio Active could have been able to swing by and see them.

Linus of course knows nothing about subtlety or nuance. We casually played a set of loud dumb rock which clearly did not transition well with the Georgia's Horse fans. You could just feel this rush of air as people realized that these bands were nothing like each other; "Loud songs about Swords, Aliens, and Drunken Brawls? Who the fuck booked this show?" sometimes bands that sound different work well and sometimes it doesn't - here, it didn't. But we had fun and closed with a log-ass version of Hall of Mirrors just because we had the time. This was a horribly unprofessional show in terms of tuning and deadspaces between songs but, you know, that's not that bad every once in a while. Basically, people caught us practicing in our rehearsal space. If you are into that casual Porch Hootenany approach to a show, it can be fun and laid back. The important thing is it was fun.

I do have to concede that we may have hit that threshold of playing too many shows this year. It's clear we've started to test the patience of our fans. Perhaps after the Ame Strasser benefit (very sad but a good cause) and the December show (which will rule) we'll give H-Town a break and maybe try to plan some out of town shows. Hey I can dream can't I?

The rest of my rock and roll weekend consisted of cleaning the house top to bottom because when I have the house to myself on the weekend, I go WILD!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

HPD Part II - Additional Video

The Chronicle article states " [HPD's Sgt. Nate] McDuell said Stephens [the guitarist], whose guitar was hanging from a neck strap, then used a sexual obscenity and shoved the officer with his shoulder." You can clearly see from the video that the guitarist did not shove the police officer as per the HPD statement above.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

When HPD attacks- Video, Pictures, More- Walters Last Night

More at

Nothing more upsetting than waking up and seeing "What went down at Walters?" as a subject line on Hands Up.

Replies were as follows:

"the cop pulled out a tazer at some point and started wrestling people while the tazer was on. a fourteen year old kid got tazed but i spoke with him after it was all settled down. his parents came down and are going to press charges. this cop had an agenda and used brute force. up to this point there were hints of very small reasons of legitimacy to the cops aggression. he was out numbered, didnt know what was going on, ect. but what happened afterwards and in the parking lot was the one of the most ridiculous things i have ever seen. heres my favorite part, i was standing outside trying to see everything and understand because at this point i had no clue as to why the cop was even there. i asked another cop what was going on and he said to leave before i got hurt. i then told him i would not leave, because i felt it was necessary to stay and wait to give my account of the situation (because its my right isnt it?). he replied by saying that the officer who was there (the ONLY officer that was there) had given enough account and they didnt need my story or anyone elses. he then said i had until three to leave. ladies and gentlemen, i give you HPD."


"I wasn't there but i've gotten ten or so first hand accounts. This is pretty much exactly what I hear aside from one correction...
The officer never went to the soundboard. Instead, he told the door people to "shut it down". That, first, is never what goes down. Cops show up to Walter's from time to time and ask that it be turned down. Should someone not comply, then there's reason to demand a total end to the show.

This cop had a point to prove (with absolutely no other cops around, a sure sign of a cop being macho) and went STRAIGHT to the stage."


"I'm in complete agreement. I watched the car pull up and the officer come in and walk straight to the stage. He never talked to the sound guy.
He was looking for a fight. He made no attempt that I saw to do anything logical like talking to management.

I'm quite skeptical of whether any complaints were called at all. Seems much more likely he was driving by and decided he wanted a fight."

I wasn't there so I can't speak but I hope everyone who was there demands some accountability from the city! This is brutish thuggish behavior from one HPD officer who cannot be allowed to continue his job without proper review.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Making benefit a dirty word.

Here is a new twist to the endless stream of benefits I see happening around town. A band has a benefit show for...Oh you take a stab at it. What would you think? Darfur? AIDS? Historic Preservation? No, you are not with the times; it's a benefit for the band's own album. Is it me or is charging $15 and calling it a "benefit" really gauche? We here at LP4 central make albums the old fashioned way, we save money from playing out and putting money from our own pockets into the pot. Hell, I don't know where the money will come from to make our next record so, yeah, it sucks - especially when Germans get testy - but that's how you are supposed to do it. Our audience has contributed enough to our albums by paying the door (which we split evenly with the other bands) so we would never dare have an overpriced door to "benefit" ourselves. It's just lazy, selfish, and insulting to the audience to do that.

To make my point let me point out two benefits worthy of your consideration:

My band is doing a benefit this month. It's not going to be convenient but it's for a good cause so we're glad to help out. It's for a woman (a single mother) who will likely be dead in a matter of months from cancer. We're charging $8 at the door.

Here is the poster:

This Saturday there is a benefit for PUSH with a lot of good bands coming together to benefit the community. Cost: $5.00.

Here is that poster:
In both of these examples, bands are playing for the benefit of others and the entrance fees are reasonable. So all I'm saying s that given that there are so many benefits already taking place, let's not add a new genre of benefits well call the "Benefit for Me" genre to our calendars. I suggest bands show some class and fans have enough self-respect not to be gouged at the door.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

This Saturday in Houston - Lots of Shows to see (including Ours)

===At Rudz

OK first off this my band is playing on Saturday at Rudyard's with Georgia's Horse and the Paper South. It's Georgia's Horse's last gig as a band which is a shame as they are amazing as a band. Shoegazers take note, The Paper South are from Austin and include our friends from American Analog Set and Winslow.

=====At The Proletariat

It's the big Push Fundraiser. Lots of great bands for a good cause...

====At The Meridian

I'm not a big Meridian fan (it's a bit impersonal for my tastes) but this has a lot of good bands like Insect Warfare and the Jon Benet. For a full line up click below:

====at Super Happy Fun Land

Rotten Piece is playing on a pretty cool bill.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Next Sat Oct 14th @ Rudz- LP4 * Georgia's Horse * The Paper South (From Austin)

Come Join us on this the 940th anniversary of the battle of Hastings!


You know us.

Highly recommended. One of the best bands in Houston. Theresa Maldonado's sharp personal song-writing and gorgeous voice are accentuted by the one of the most understated and atmospheric rhythm sections you'll ever hear. Now they've added a cello which should make even things cooler.

THE PAPER SOUTH (from Austin) -
DON'T COME LATE AND MISS THIS BAND! Features members of Winslow and American Alalog Set. Hey, when our good friend Justin Bankston joins another band it's always a treat. We've stolen tons of ideas from his former band (Winslow) and hope to do the same with this band. : )

British Pub
2010 Waugh Dr Houston, Texas, 77006


Monday, October 02, 2006

Re-Posted: Bright Men Of Learning

(This is a repost of a 10/2 Blog of KPFT's Radioactive show at Miller Out Door Theatre. I have simply removed any personal information from this blog)

I'd previously qualified the good things I had to say about Bright Men of Learning (ability to write a good melody and solid musicianship) with the thought that they sounded a bit too much like they had absorbed Pavement too well. Perhaps it was the ragged sound quality but from my vantage point the music was (with few exceptions) delivered with much more urgency and rawness than at the last show I saw. A good hook is nice and good musicianship isn't a bad trait to have, but Rock by nature should have some element of uncertainty and chaos. I'm not saying that Bright Men were some improv sponto act but that they definitely channeled some kind of energy that made you stand up and take notice. So, well done lads, I am officially eating crow.

The Dimes set sounded great but I had to leave pretty soon after they started so I can only report that the shoddy sound quality neither added nor detracted from their solid performance. If you love the Dimes like I do, then you know exactly what they delivered.