- Carter: “Wolves, Adler and Ely”
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
“Wolves, Adler and Ely”
Quite by accident last week, I discovered a new band that was more or less formed and located in Denton, and has roots in Bowie from the former lead singer of Memphis Mayfire, a band that used to come through Wichita Falls quite a bit. The former lead singer of Memphis Mayfire, which was quite excellent by the way, is named Chase Robbins. It also turns out he’s from Bowie, and it was White Knuckle guitarist Joey Kittrell who told me about the band.
Virgin Wolves is sort of like White Stripes, but musically I think they’re better… Robbins wife is the singer, and her name is Jaimeson Robbins and she has a great voice and some attitude (and that’s a good combination). They are on myspace.com/thevirginwolves, and the band is completely worth checking out. I hope to see them play in early July before they start a national tour. These guys are playing all of the right shows and look like they could seriously be going places.
There was only a little singing going on at the performance last Sunday at the Akin Auditorium when Barbara Feldon (most notably Agent 99 from “Get Smart”) came to town to help raise funds for scholarships for the forthcoming Opera Breve camp about to begin in Wichita Falls. Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was when she quoted the poet Apollinaire (and also some other very good poets that you don’t really read in university anymore). It was a most awesome performance, and at 78, Ms. Feldon stood right about 5’ 11 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds, if that. She looked like a rock star—just healthier than most considering she does yoga and was a vegetarian. If you’re going to age, that’s one smart way of doing it.
Locally, Minor Prophets did a show last Friday at the Pub to celebrate the release of their new EP and to celebrate drummer Mike Hardison’s ongoing 30th birthday. Next Friday, the enigma that is Slab Rat plays for the first time in two or three years when they play the Backdoor Theatre Band Night. I believe the show begins at 8 p.m., and they will be playing two sets. I heard that people were scalping tickets at their last show, so you might contact the theatre at (940) 322-5000 if you want to make sure and not miss them. Also the Blue Light Special band and Mr. Fairchild are playing Saturday night at the Office. I may hit that. Also, Steven Adler, formerly of Guns N’ Roses back during their glory days, will be playing with his band Wednesday night at the Iron Horse Pub.
Finally, David Grissom plays guitar for Joe Ely with a full band (for the first time in years in Wichita Falls) at the Kemp Center for the Arts on Thursday night. This could be the show of the year, and the best thing is you get to hear great music without having to deal without loud people or clouds of cigarette smoke. I am stoked and will definitely be at this show. Advance tickets are available at the Kemp and it’s general admission. I think it’s $25 but that’s a really good price for the talent you’re getting to experience. Did I say that the new Ely album is pretty good?
There’s word on the street there will be some new bands forming some time very soon that may be playing some great new music. More about that later.Share
- Oil Bowl lacked a little excitement
Monday, June 13th, 2011
After watching the 2011 Oil Bowl Friday night at Memorial Stadium I walked away a little disappointed.
Sure the Texas squad won the game against Oklahoma 17-14 in very rare overtime fashion, but the play on the field didn’t do it for me. I’ll blame it on the play calling and coordinating.
This might be the last time any of these recent high school graduates put on football pads and it didn’t look like a lot of kids on the sideline were having much fun after they were introduced on the loud speaker.
I’m glad to note there wasn’t a coach getting in the faces of the young men, telling them how they messed up. I just didn’t see a rally of enthusiasm.
I get that there isn’t much time to teach a group of young men a completely new set of plays, but throw in a wrinkle here and there.
Simple idea: Where are the trick plays, and where are the small experiments on the field?
The most exciting chances taken on the field were from the Oklahoma side when they let the 6-6 Devante’ Mccully run down the field on a go route to pull down the ball near the goal line for a 30-plus yard gain in the first half.
That was exciting. They tried to go to him two more times on an eventual touchdown drive and every time he made a move near the end zone I watched him.
The rest, ho-hum.
Texas ran something of a shotgun/pistol offense, and Lee Clubb saved his best for last when he helped Texas go down the field to tie it up before time expired.
Other than that this football game lacked “it.”
I hope “it” is found this time next year.Share
- Carter: “Rocking Music and Rolling Waves”
Sunday, June 12th, 2011
Rocking Music and Rolling Waves
So, last Friday at 6 p.m, I headed out to the Castaway Cove (on the way to Dallas) to hear friends of mine play a show at the water park. There, high above the pool with waves rolling along, Shantell was playing a set with all sorts of people listening to them.
It was actually a cool set up to be able to swim, wade or rest in an inner tube while listening to a live band. And for the live band, it was cool because it was a covered stage and the people seemed to totally be into them.
There were plenty of sight lines from around the park that were cool to check out the tunes and two high towers with slides and platforms where people could check out the band. I later talked to Guy McDonald from Shantell, and they had a blast playing the show.
If you want to check out some live music, covered in pool water, the schedule for Castaway Cove the summer is on their website, www.castawaycovewaterpark.com. Shantell will return and the local awesome band The Disco Rico will also be playing a couple shows. So, check it out. The water is cool, there’s tons of ice cream and cool drinks and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
After the show, I went to Neon Spur to check out White Knuckle setting up for their headlining show. The musicians were pretty relaxed and looking forward to playing a well-attended concert outside under the stars. My friend told me they had a great crowd and that the atmosphere there sort of reminded her of Stubbs in Austin. Back in the day, when the Spur used to actually serve bar-b-cue, it must have been Stubbs junior.
I’ve been told that it’s a pretty good bet that the Toadies will be playing the Spur before the end of the summer, and that Wichita Falls will be one of only three Texas places the band will play this year. Good for us. Could one of the other places be Possum Kingdom?
The other big news this week is that Ricci Amador, one of the founding members of twicebroken, is no longer with the band. From what I understand, their new drummer is former Roselawn and Down-Stares drummer Jessie Brashear. I haven’t heard who Roselawn’s new drummer will be.
The former drummer for Guns N’ Roses is Steven Adler, and he will be playing a show with his band Adler’s Appetite at the Iron Horse Pub on Wednesday June 22 starting at 9 p.m. I am not sure about the price or anything at this point, but I imagine fans of the band will want to check it out, regardless.
Adler was with the band from 1985 (playing on the band’s monumental first album) to 1990. He was also on Dr. Drew’s program “Celebrity Rehab” for season 2 and season 5. I honestly did not know there was a show called “Celebrity Rehab” until someone just explained it to me.
Area band the Minor Prophets will release an EP next week at the Iron Horse Pub and is supposed to be going into a major studio in the Dallas area to record and release a full-length CD in the near future.Share
- Carter: “Coffee shops and pizza places and stuff”
Sunday, June 5th, 2011
“Coffee shops and pizza places and stuff”
The open mic at the Spot last Thursday opened as well as it could possibly open. After Chris Roberson started the evening off with a gorgeous original, which he pulls out of a hat on a surprising basis, Cody Magana (formerly of A Formal Affair) played several songs. Anyone that had read this blog for any length of time knows that I always thought Magana was overlooked. Not only was he the promoter for the group, but he had a really good (and underused) singing voice and was a solid guitar player.
Now that he is no longer a member of said band, Magana has moved back to town, is hanging out and also entertaining offers to manage music and also to play. Whatever he chooses to do, I think he is going to do fine. But right now, we get to hear him do some songs and they are good. Seriously, I cannot imagine a better beginning to an open mic than hearing Roberson and Magana opening it.
Roberson’s younger brother also played and he has a real lyrical way of playing acoustic and has a nice smooth voice. Good voices run in the Roberson family, no doubt.
Despite the fact it’s summer, there was a good crowd inside and outside the Spot listening to music and hanging out. I understand with the full band open mic they are having on Tuesdays at the Pub, the Pub’s regular open mic, the open mic at the Spot on Thursdays and the open mics at the Alley Cat on last Saturdays (of the month) and anytime downtown Wichita Falls is having a special event there is no shortage of places for people to bring their guitar and play, or to just bring themselves and sing.
Anywho, I was in Denton the other evening and was on the town square. The square is gorgeous at night, and it’s always lively. There’s at least 14 clubs within a block either way but that magic to me really is about all the people hanging out and walking around or sitting on the lawn of the courthouse or sitting at tables at the coffee shop (Jupiter House) or liking the chill scene at the wine shop or whatnot. It’s an amazing area to hang out at night that’s not only scenic, but cool because it brings such a wide variety of hangers out as well as musicians.
I love the idea of walking into a coffee shop at 10 p.m. and sipping quality espresso and listening to a band play jazz standards from the ‘50s and ‘60s. That’s pretty cool and it’s not so loud that you cannot sit down at a table and talk with friends.
There is no similar geographic center to Wichita Falls, I don’t think, and it’s a shame because I think having one would be more commerce friendly (to the town) but would also inspire a fun and safe nightlife where people could just sit and sip and talk anything from the philosophy of Roland Barthes to the use of sequins in the music of Lady Gaga.
If we had such a square, perhaps we wouldn’t lose so many people in their late teens and their 20s and early 30s to larger cities?
It’s rhetorical, because there are no plans to create any such thing locally. So much of the entertainment locally is inside. The downtown culture crawls are cool and they bring a sort of hangout atmosphere to the area, but they are only twice a year, and no one would think to hang out downtown unless there were leaflets posted everywhere and there’s huge amounts of advertising.
On any given night, when there’s not something specifically going on, it’s quiet. More about this next week. . .Share