Tuesday, October 04, 2005

July 20th 2005
OK, so I'm starting to really figure out the basic differences besides the obvious funk, white and black, urban and Texas, etc between James Brown and Doug Sahm, my two favorite musicians of all time, most likely.
First and foremost, Doug Sahm is an alchemist of all musical styles of Texas music, which includes urban funk (not necessarily from Texas included). James Brown, for better or worse, is like an uncut commodity- an element on the musical Periodic Table- Like gold, arsenic, or mercury. there is no Doug Sahm in James Brown, but there is James Brown in Doug Sahm. James Brown is probably the most male man in the world, by the way
The Medecine Show, Helios 6/27/2005
So I went to Helios (formerly the Mausoleum) this past Monday night to see the Monday night "competition" since I'm off my regular Mondays for the summer.
I had heard many cool things about this band and actually caught a few minutes of them at the Continental Club about a year ago. I wanted to see them in their weekly residency element, plus I like Helios.
So the first thing I notice is the place is packed. As I walk up the gateway (the place is surrounded by handmade wrought iron) I see there's a line at the cover charge register. Helios often has a band upstairs and another downstairs and they ask you who you have come to see- that's how the bands get paid. You are welcome to watch all the acts on the bill one th cover charge is paid. It's always pretty cheap at Helios.I quickly notice that everyone in line is trying to scam their way past paying the cover. Luckily the doorman is not buying it, but it makes for a lot of congestion at the door. Most of these folks look underage and I'm old in this crowd. I muscle through the line and tell the doorman loudly that "I'm ready to pay" and not on some make-believe guest list. He thanks me and I let him know that I'm there to see The Medecine Show.
Well, The Medecine Show is not yet on- it's about 10:30 or so, so I head upstairs to see The Trade.
The Trade is a surprisingly legitimate jazz group with a couple of really good players and the rest of the guys are no slouches either. Young and not quite as young, they are very good. I was impressed and people were genuinely enjoying the music. I listened for a while and then decided to go back downstairs to get a spot to watch the Medecine Show.
By this time it's after 11:00 and the band has not yet started downstairs. The room is full of very young hippie type kids (like Agora coffeeshop) and their all drinking Lone Star tall boys. I can't help remember that when I was underage nobody but me would touch Lone Star, especially the gilrs I took out on dates. Here we are 15 years later and all these little girls are drinking Lone Star out of the can. Wow. I'd say 40% of the people here are underage, surely with fake ID's since the doorman checked mine.
So the band, after a long feedback filled soundcheck (this is a tiny room) finally goes on at 11:45 PM (!) This is on a Monday. Their fans are pumped up and pretty drunk already.The lead singer is dressed in raggedy clothes and wearing a tophat. Greg Harbar from the Gypsies (accordion) is sitting in with them and the bass player has a real washtub bass, skiffle style with a string that he pulls with a board as leverage to adjust the pitch. The banjo player is very loud through the P.A. and banjo is an instrument that cuts through a room without amplification. They go into their first song which is called "the Medecine Show Theme Song" and the crowd is dancing and clapping. I guess summer break from high school and college has made this the thing to do on Mondays. The dancers are a pretty varied cross section of folks and most of them seem to be dancing the fake square dancing that's popular with fratboys from A&M and Texas Tech. It's worth mentioning that the band is billed as sort of a bluegrass-retro experience and they are true to the stereotype of young rock and rollers playing bluegrass type country. The standards are there- "I Saw the Light", "Rocky Top", and some others. They go into the "Cotton Eyed Joe" and the dancers go nuts, flailing around the room. The cigarette smoke is starting to get to me, as it's very thick. Young folks who smoke smoke a lot. I've come to the conclusion that the band is fun, but fairly boring to me, as it's really sort of jus a jam session and party. The singer also sounds kind of like Robert Earl Keen, which is not a good thing and also these days is just a little too common amongst younger "Texas" artists. The coolests member of the band is definitely the washboard player, who has some skill, but but is having the time of his life. That's always cool. he's worth seeing alone, and this band is too, it's just not my bag. The string bass player is also interesting, mainly because of the challenging job of playing a one-string bass by ear. He's fairly in tune (impressive considering the noiseiness of the rest of the band), but he has the characteristic of reversing the one and the five of a country two-beat bass playing pattern. This was consistent for all five of the songs I witnessed, a short litmus test, granted, but I couldn't handle any more after spending 2 1/2 hours in the smoke.
Overall, if you like the young kids' party scene and dig kind of jammy bluegrass/country/rock you should go to Helios on Monday night. Otherwise the rest of us old folks can just stay home and listen to the records. - David
OK, change in plans- JMK doesn't have the Beasley Report up and running properly, and thusly, I've been neglecting to go out and review shows. The next 5-10 posts will be reposts of Beasley Report info I wrote earlier. Once I get these transcribed I'll start attending shows strictly for review purposes again.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Baby, OK, this blog is strictly now for overflow. Regular music blogs will appear at www.beasleyreport.com . That space is based out of Los Angeles and is in testing form, but figures to be permanent and a long term committment for me. Now that I finally have an Apple Airport WiFi card there should be a whole lot more posts overall.

Friday, May 06, 2005

OK, well I tried to log in on myspace, but this computer has a dial up connection, so no luck. I do not have a replacement WiFi card for the missing one in my Apple yet, so I can't use the coffee shop method either.
Anyway, here's the results of this NYC trip thus far. Yesterday after driving back from Austin by myself at 2 AM I got into Allen and Andea's car at 7 AM to head to the airport. We got there o problem and easily checked in, even with oversized bags (Farfisa Organ, merchandise). Had some coffee in the airport and ran into a friend of my dad's from V&E whose name I should know, but there was no way I was going to pull that off at 8 in the morning. The plane trip was bumpy but uneventful. We flew Continental and made friends with the pilot after we landed in Newark. He was cool and a big pipe organ fanatic. He may make it out to Maxwell's on Saturday to see the band; he likes that place.
Todd from Maxell's picked us up at the airport and drove us into Hoboken where we dropped off what little gear we had carried. Maxwell's is a very cool club. Just how I like it with tin ceilings, tile floors and a great feel. It's sort of like a mixture between the Continental Club in Houston and the Braodway 50/50 in San Antonio. The room in the back with the bands is seperate and somewhat small but laid out very well and surely will be good for a wild show.
One we got settled in Hoboken Allen and I decided to walk to the PATH commuter rail to get into New York City. It took us more than an hour to get there, as the weather was greaat and we stopped to eat some pizza at a little Italian pizza joint then followed that up with a Yuengling beer at this Irish pub, which might have been a closet gay bar. We had directions to get into the city and to where we could meet up with my friend Drew, who lives in Brooklyn and with whom we are staying.
No real issues taking the train and subway, although I did manage to screw us up a little bit. We got into Manhattan and walked around, finally meeting Drew in front of a drugstore and planning to head to a party that my friend Ashley Woodson had invited us to. This would be a Cinco De Mayo party, something that I was surprised would be going on here, and was even more surprised when my other friend Nicki Ittner invited us to ANOTHER one.
We went, and on te way finally tracked down some RC COLA at a small grocery store. It was a madhouse, as we immediately accosted everyone around us and bought two 2 liters each for general use. Drew affixed a homemade "guerrrila warfare" RC sticker with the seventies logo to the display, whcih read "RCA Cola, $1.19". It was hilarious.
We wnet to Ashley's friend's party atop the roof of a nice upscale Manhattan high rise and began drinking the RC's. Ashley brought her friend and co-worker Jane,who was nice and we just shot the shit for a while.
I'll finish this popst later- we've got to go.

Monday, May 02, 2005

OK, you need to go to www.houstonsoreal.blogspot.com That's Matt Sonzala's blog and he is possibly the best and most legit independent, for the love of music, up to the minute, hip hop and more promoter herre in Houston. He hosts the local hip hop show on KPFT, I believe it's Wednesday nights, always with guests, interviews and new music. One of the few remaining great shows on KPFT since KPFT is so focused on freakin' Amy Goodman and all that horseshit.
Matt's site is great and he definitely takes the time to add to it things that are relevant and entertaining. I highly recommend it for all Houston musicians and for any hip hop lovers anywhere.
As for me, I got the tracks for the Big Robert Smith recordings we did last week and the raw cuts sound really good. Hopefully, we'll get some type of releaseable material out of it. There's a bunch of other tapes in the vault that I'll be tackling after this project, including the Banana Blender material for the box set. By the end of 2005 I hope to have several records coming out and then be able to ship in 2006 around the country under the David Beebe/ Secret Ingredient/ Freedom banner.
I booked a gig for Oct 9th as my first children's music show for my God-daughter Ellie Eikenburg's 2nd birthday party. That should be enough time to develop some good children's songs and learn at least some of them by heart. It's really right around the corner.
OK,yeah, I've been thinking about a no-holds-barred blog with names protected of only the innocent/guilty,implicating only myself. It may have to be an anonymous one since II haven't totally ruled out local politics, I guess. It may give me a little more insight on myself to do it, though. We'll see.
If anybody ever reads this, I currently have another more often updated blog on myspace under David. I will provide the link sometime soon. All of this should be moving to the Fredom website sooner than later, hopefully. See y'all later- David

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

BACK- I'm back- the myspace blog is going and so is this one until the Freedom Records weblog story begins. I worked out today- had a rough one with too much food in my stomach. We're doing the first edition of the Gong Show tonight- hiopefully it will be good. I'll be performing the Astrodome Scoreboard- 1st time since '88. Hope it goes well. I can't believe it's been so long sine I posted here.
Here's a bit of music related stuff- Joh Lomax wrote the article that came out today in the Houston Press about the Internatinal Festival's shoddy local stage bookings. Pretty good writing, and hopefully someone at the I Fest will respond. He's right- that festival is dying on the vine. Same crap, worse every year.
Let's see- We're backing up Big Robert Smith this coming Monday. Looks like a rehearsal with him may not happen. I think we'll rehearse anyway. It will be recorded live, so it needs to be hot. Hopefully I can put it out and he can use it as a demo.
More- got offered the drum slot for another Elizabeth McQueen gig today. Can't do it- already booked in Austin. Hopefully it will happen again. She just took the slot as female vocalist for Asleep at the Wheel and her album is doing great.
OK, that's it for now. I'm going to bookmark this spot and visit regularly. - David