Archive for the music Category

remembering southmorehouse

Posted in band, bar, beer, blog, family, houston, life, love, music, passage, performance, review, southmorehouse, technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by tymora42

southmorehouse logo

Tooling around on the social networks that will remain nameless I saw a post onto a friend, the poet / musician Aaron Trumm’s wall (this may be a better link to him) from a guy I knew back in the southmorehouse days, Alex Wukman, another poet that frequented the community. He commented from his mobile on watching Marie Brown, a Houston slam poet, performing at Inprint! , probably for slam nationals, and remarked how great she was. “When Ruby do hair, Ruby do hair right!” I can remember her starting the rhythm. Alex said he almost forgot how good it was. So did I.

southmorehouse was an avante garde art space, sometimes called a venue, sometimes a gallery, sometimes a commune. Overall it was a loose knit community of outsider artists in many genres. As quoted from a lighter bearing the logo that I pocketed one night, it was a “home for the functionally insane.” The best summary of its existence from beginning to end was written by Buffalo Sean’s Art Blog. Sean would know. In the early days he would pass out drunk on the sidewalk and we would spray paint a chalk outline around him. In the later days he would pass out drunk and we would spray paint a chalk outline around him. Although the location changed, the outlines remained. After 7 years Sean had spray paint outlines of his body all over the city.

I snooped around Alex’s profile not sure if I should send him a friend request. We knew each other. I remembered him. Self doubt crept in and asked if I really thought he remembered me when I saw a link on his favorite movies, “Southmore House: the Rise and Fall.” Edd McCoy, president of the community in the last of its days and art coordinator for the three years prior, told me of a rumor he heard that this was being created. We both thought it was pretty bold for any movie to be made about the venue without consulting either of us. Now that I saw the title “Rise and Fall” it was downright shocking.

After I got over the elation of somebody actually wanting to make a movie about this piece of time that played a major part in my life, I began to notice discrepancies that unsettled me. The first was the separation of “southmore” and “house.” The second was that they capitalized it. Not being much for capitals I tried my hardest to make the lower case clear to the people who made the flyers, but they were making flyers so i was happy enough about that. One thing that did come across eventually was the lack of separations. Evidently not to these guys.

The next, and the biggest, was the lack of the logo anywhere on the page. That logo was a branded symbol encompassing the spirit of the (dis)organization. One part anarchist’s circled A, another part the chaotic randomness within the order of pi, a house with a swooping roof and arched doorway like the original when it was on Southmore street, simple enough to be drawn quickly with a paint can, encouraged to be done on as many occasions as would arise, yet flamboyant enough to be penciled with care and stenciled over with a sharpie there was never a set graphic style to the logo. It was made for everyone to use. It was trademarked and copyright free. But I still never saw it anywhere on their profile page.

So, I looked harder and realized from the photos and videos and comments posted that these were all the kids from the post founder days. These were the attendees that took it over after 2005 when it turned its focus to the hardcore scene. One friend that I do keep in touch with must have seen the “Tyson Moore likes Southmore House: the Rise and Fall” post on my page and went to check it out while I was still perusing for the logo. He seconded the comment Alex made about not focusing just on the music. Alex mentioned the poets. Doug Shields, an event coordinator at southmore, really jump started the slam scene in Houston at the space. Another guy brought up the theatrical production of “The High Elves Christmas Play” hinting at the other stage presentation offered in the pre mid decade years. Rob, the aforementioned friend, said he had the best birthday of his life there. He had pictures to prove it. Was that the night when Organ Failure from Super Happy Funland played Robot Parade and Muff of Amish Acid Dealer knocked over the cabinet? We could not get the smell of vinegar and mustard out of the floors no matter how much Terry, Wendell, and Guido tried. Yes, in case you were wondering, that is what that smell was. Armpits, ass, and vinegar. Maybe a little corn syrup dried up and leftover from the Halloween Blood Bath party. The good ole days.

These memories made me seek out pictures, videos, blogs, whatever would show up in the first couple of google pages. This was problematic. The version of the house that will be remembered by people who do not read will be the latter years when it ended. In 2000 when it started we were on the edge of social technology. Digital camera were astronomically expensive. You can imagine how much streaming web cams cost. You were lucky if your cell phone had color much less the ability to take images or, god forbid, video. Facebook had not even been invented yet. The documentary had 400 friends. I can only imagine how many friends the actual place would have had. For better or worse we touched many lives. If you go to the place our website used to be, southmorehouse.com, somebody bought it up and is selling painting on it.

My next favorite summary was from Loop Scoop in a nostalgic look back on Houston in honor of their 200th post. “#83: the southmorehouse for being whatever it wanted it to be.”

So, I ask you who find this to tell me in the comments about your favorite show at southmorehouse. Make it as long as you want. Put it on your blog and provide a link for us. If you were involved in any way, put a link to yourself. Tell us what you did. Tell us what you are doing. Post those rare pictures and video. Especially the pre 2005 days.

Thanks to everyone who made up southmorehouse. You were the best.

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A Date, A Command, A Band – A Good Time

Posted in band, boulder, colorado, faeries, hula hoop, music, review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by tymora42

I spent the early part of the day making faerie wings for a friend who will wear them next weekend at the Gay Pride festival in Denver. They were not being made specifically for this event. The faeries told me he needed wings, so I started to make them for him. Most times you have to do what the faeries ask of you after asking yourself why you think they want you to perform such an action. In this case their advice was noble. I set myself to task. No sooner than I had begun in this fashion than they took over my body and hands, sewing dark pink sparkly spines into the shoulders and span, attaching ribbons, and ripping white fish net fabric only to reattach it with tattered love. Some like to make their wings pristine. I prefer the worn throughout ages look, much like the magic of the “used future” that Lucas experimented with in the original Star Wars. At the end of this day’s enterprise I was confident that I would be giving him the gayest thing he might ever own. There is a certain amount of pride derived from this for me, a predominately heterosexual male.

No matter how much I wanted to keep them for myself, I knew they did not belong to me. I was the vehicle for the faeries madness to supply him with a set of aviary devices. But these pixies and sprites did not leave me with nothing. They inspired a story, still in progress, about life choices and consequences that should be released on Stories of the Flea later this season. Jotting this down for editing was the next part of my day.

I called him after his own work day to stop by the house and take a look. He mentioned the style of the lead character in Were the World Mine, a movie about a homosexual boy who gets the lead faerie Puck’s part in a highschool version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. He finds a love potion hidden in the play and turns the whole town gay, including his school basketball star crush. My buddy also had my hard drive, that he was transferring 250 gig of music onto from his personal collection. He could also bring that by. He said he had to leave now because he was going to a concert with another friend being met there. Based on his description, a punk marching band at the Fox on the hill, I invited myself.

They were amazing. March Fourth took the stage with percussive rhythm, a vaudevillian circus of performers, men on stilts, a human puppet show rebelling against the authority of the stringmasters for a night of DIY chaos. Speaking with Joel, a trumpet player in the baker’s dozen or so carnival players, everyone makes their own costumes. Decked in tribal silver face paint, twirling Dali moustaches, black and beaded bodices, striped socks and sleeves, welded spikes on bass drum shoulder pads like something out of Castle Grayskull if Skeletor would have beat that pansy He-Man, hairs of every color, and a layer of that apocalyptic used future dirt that I mentioned before coating their sweat stained bodies I knew there were faeries among us. I was with my people. They had a tribal feel in the same vein as Crash Worship, a similar style group from the 90s, except with a little less darkness and no fire. March Fourth could use a little fire, but that was the thing that got the Worship banned from most places. It was either the torches or the shooting of Roman Candles off the stage that did that. Finally, they resigned to only play in spots that had some sort of horrible accident in its past, like children drowning in the river or the end of a dead man’s curve or next door to a building that burnt down. That was back in the days before ‘goth’ was a genre, people still made their own clothes to go to raves, and raves were non-elitist outdoor events for adults in the know instead of a bunch of kids wanting to experiment with drugs.

LaTisha Strickland, named after a character in a Russian spy novel and one of the energetic dancers, caught my eye before the encore begging for one more song with a single digit pumping the air. She followed suit with her own finger brandishing wind, enthusing the audience for the chant of another. Our sign language conversation went from one finger to two, asking for a second song to be added to the one that looked like it was about to start. She returned my query with seven fingers in the air and I thought that was appropriate, although probably unreasonable. During the movements of that encore performance, she brought out the feather to fan and blow on the audience, who might just as well been working as hard as the band, but still I thought she needed the air more than us. Half naked and dripping with my own sweat, the room cleared as the music finalized. I lingered for a moment, catching my breath, and saw Ms. Strickland sitting on the corner of the stage talking with a group of fans. I went to thank her for her portion of the performance. She mentioned the sweet deal the band got on a house through the International Hostel and that they would all be hanging out there later. Of course I had to ask how a fellow member of this family could get invited back to this Thanksgiving Dinner of sorts and she said I was invited with the tone of telling a brother he was more than welcome to join them on their excursion back to their mother’s place.

Outside I met Blake and Matt flirting with the stilt man, Aaron Lyon, and a cocompatriate, Christopher (not Chris), last name unknown but it might be Long, who has a wife that would happily pay big money for photographs of her hubby making out with another dude. We parted ways with the promise of return later in the evening. Despite work in the morning, Blake agreed to accompany me to the afterparty after a stop at home for a quick refresh, a beer pickup, and a hula hoop grab. LaTisha informed me that Amy was very particular about who played with her hoops so I figured I would bring my own.

We sat outside on the front stoop for a spell crafted of fresh Twilight beer from Deshutes Brewery in Oregon (the origination of this motley crew) and an American Spirit smoke from an African guy outside the Mountain Sun’s Fish Out of Water show a couple nights previous. Christopher joined us while we talked about tigers in the trap with Uranium bullet teeth and frickin’ laser beams. Rich Cawley, the metal worker who designed the M4 ninja star belt buckle, assisted the esoteric conversation out there on the porch and would be a major player in our later evening rendezvous on top of the bus.

Amy Hatfield, the focus of the front page ad and hOt.hOOps teacher, spurred conversation about the kinetic LED hoop I was building for my sister with her collapsible hula hoops. We played with the 40lbs force weighted neodymium magnets I had in my pocket to power the thing as I explained the design of tubes within tubes and coils and reflector sockets. Throwing the ball bearings at her broke one of the cylinders. I did not mind. She could break anything of mine I owned including my heart. She invited us inside to come check out their home on wheels in the back yard. It is nothing special from the exterior, but getting inside is another story. They had beds and seats for the bulk of them in a red tinted glamour of stow away compartments, iTunes flowing music provided by Sid Phillips, the Boone Fairy, and a no ladder entrance to the top, where the rest of the gang drank dangerously from the external sundry supply box seats.

Giggles, Jen Forti, People’s Republic of Portland (buy her stuff here), proclaimed she has been told that she laughs too loud by her fellow bandmates. She brandished this natural talent of amusement for us and still I thought it could be louder. Not that it was not enough to put smiles on our faces, but to be obnoxious it would have to sound more like a cheerleader through a megaphone huffing helium. Anyone who tells you that it is wrong, honey, is just jealous. Jen’s character was one of my favorites. With the spirit of a mime she tried to fit in with the cool kids a la a rope tussle and a stilt war. Constantly, she ducked under and hopped over members without a single place because her skills were too broad to be pigeonholed. Good for you. Keep on chuckling.

We also met Faith Jennings, another dancer of the macabre and hatmaker clothing designer. Utilizing my mnemonic devices to remember names, i told her I did not believe in her nor did I believe anything she would say based on principle. Her famous quote from the evening – “The best part about being in the band is not about the music. It is about making out with the groupies.” They debated about the usage of the word ‘groupies’ and concluded it for our benefit with the change of the word to ‘fans.’ Andy Shapiro, a newer member, who learned to play saxophone just so he could run away with the M4 circus, retorted, “You guys are fans for life. Right?” Sure, you guys are great, unless you do something stupid like go J-Lo ubermainstream and stuffy. I will tell you though, I am not rushing out to get a tattoo right away, buddy.
Even though it is a cool logo. Later he would end up with the perfect traffic cone and Katie Presley’s cell phone sized MP3 player pretending to be the modern punk rock equivalent of the RCA dog. Are those bugle boy jeans you are wearing?

We stayed on top of that bus most of the rest of the night. On a restroom run into the house, trying to conserve the interior traveling tank’s capacity, I saw LaTisha, the instigator to this journey, sitting on a vinyl couch with Luke Solman, trumpet player. She welcomed me, glad I made it, and I let them continue. Twos had begun to separate for the sake of intimate conversation time. Jenny DiDonato and a former member of the band who moved to Boulder a while ago talked on the stoop near the tigers with frickin’ laser beams while I hooped in the street to realign my bearings.

One member I would like to discuss is the bus driver, the Neal Cassady of the group, known by the crafted name of Bangkok, don’t ask him why, and better known as Alex. They have the categories of the Brass, the Beauties, and the Beats on their website, but not the vehicular counterparts that get them to where they are going. They are a valid an important part to the crew. They keep it all moving. They make sure everyone who needs to be on the bus is on the bus when the bus starts moving by taking off at scheduled times. At the very least he needs a spot on the web lauding his accomplishments and relationship with the craft affectionately known as the Razzle Dazzle, or Razz, or a number of other nicknames they declined to tell us. Razzle needs a spot in that category as well. We need the story of the name derived from the Hollywood Bowl and that ninety year old Broadway showtunes singer, who gave it her ancient energy, her blessing, through song to keep on trucking from town to town for the sake of entertaining these millions stuck in the real world.

We left the night with that song in our own hearts.We hugged you all. We never gave Aspen the whiskey, but he found it anyway. We hope you enjoy your travels not only when you look back after the time has gone, but while you are in the midst of it despite the strength of such magnanimous personalities because I know they can be oppressive. I have been there. Keep beating your drums. Keep blowing your horns. Keep on moving and keep on playing. As the command goes, “March Forth!”

Fish Out of Water

Posted in bar, beer, blog, boulder, california, colorado, music, review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by tymora42

Walking a friend home last night, involved in a deep conversation about the social stigmas placed upon the American culture regarding homosexuality despite the youthful curiosity of childhood, we passed the Mountain Sun, a brewery pub in Boulder with the best beer you cannot buy in stores. They were the only establishment rocking hard enough for us to take notice. Some funk band was jamming out inside with a small crowd of people dancing out front. When the population floods out of the hall where the band plays still grooving, it is always a good sign. We made the end of the block, gave our hugs, set our stage for the morrow, and parted ways. You bet I went back to see what they were all about.

The group was called Fish Out of Water from Mendocino, CA. They were kids wearing bellbottoms without shirts and I think they brought their own panties for girls to throw around. I only caught the last two songs and the encore, but it was enough. One song had two endings, the airplane, and the drown to stop. They thanked everyone for a good time. Everyone thanked them by yelling, “Its only one o’clock. Why the hell are you stopping?” So they brought out the little tykes xylophone keyboard and whanged away with the drummer on an instrumental. Two boys from Bongolov (playing July 10th at the Drafthouse) jumped on the mic for some ambient rhythm flow devoid of many real words or so it seemed. It was like Lisa Girard rapping to a George Clinton lullaby.

Fish Out of Water is playing again tonight (June 7) at the sister spot of the Mountain Sun, the Southern Sun. You should go.

Behind the Ogden and Over to the Cheeky Monk

Posted in bar, beer, blog, colorado, denver, music, review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2010 by tymora42

We set out onto the Denver night with the focus of seeing David Rhinehart at a house concert hosted by as place called, “Behind the Ogden,” which was by the plum de nom, behind the Ogden. The venue was not a real venue at all, meaning it was devoid of licenses or even chairs for that matter, but it had drinks, a performance space, and music. It also had a table of vintage, and soon to be vintage, americana materials neatly arranged around the CDs of the artists for sale. The centerpiece was a table diner style ketchup and mustard rack. Instead of the condiments there were, very confusingly I should add, a single bottle of Wonder Bubbles. This home did not look like the type of home that would be very accepting of some stranger walking in and blowing bubbles all over their wood floors. Believe me, I was tempted.

Recently, a girl my roommate invited over noticed my construction and decoration of faerie wings. They freaked her out. In a juvenile, third year psychology major mindset she rationalized the creepiness with mental disorders fresh from her most previous classes. One of those, among other upsettingly judgmental accusations, was that I had age identity issues. I accept the truth of this to an extent. Much of my writing has reflections of it. Daily I struggle with the modern quarter life complex of being an adult, yet maintaining a youthful demeanor and playfulness. In extreme cases it is difficult for me to find my fit. Tonight was no different. At the house concert I felt too young to be there. Passing the Ogden and the Fillmore on the streets I felt too old.

Eventually I could stand it no longer. I took the soap outside to play. The evening air had the right amount of humidity for bubble perfection. Surprisingly, I did not take their hula hoops for a spin. When the music started again, I laid out on the cool, soap scum free, wood floors. The atmosphere was very church like. Rhinehart slowly brought the energy up a notch, keeping it in the tolerable realm for the stoic audience, then back to comfort. He was holding back. Only during the “Murder Song” did he reveal his desires to cut loose a little more. The song was still slow but the content, a man who killed his wife contemplating the life taking of the widow next door, breached. I would have liked to see the same show with a rowdier crowd.

Afterwards, we crossed the streets of children at the Tech N9NE concert to the Cheeky Monk, a belgian style bar with Dubbels, Trippels, Saisons, Kwoks, and ales from left to right. I was not so much in the mood for drinking until I had the fried pickles. The waitress brought me a glass of sweet and sour cherry mash called Kasteel Rouge. It was good. Really good. I must also mention that they are the only bar I have ever been that had Delirium Tremonds on tap.

More than the street with the kids trying to be all grown up in their hot pants, dreadlocks, struts, and puking in corner trashcans; more than the adults trying to be kids with their do not disturb bubble containers, vintage paraphernalia, choral recital halls in living rooms, and sleeping in designer sheets; the Cheeky Monk was my place with my people. They served us quality. the wait staff stooped to our level of immature dialogue, and they let us make noise sitting outside on the patio. They would have had no problems with us blowing bubbles and nobody needed to puke in the waste bin.