Archive for April, 2008

Don’t Mess With Texas!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2008 by 30daysout

Surely you’ve heard that.  Any time a TV crew or New York City writer visits the Lone Star State you have to listen to them repeat that phrase.  And don’t get me started about coverage of sporting events, any time somebody has to play a team from Texas.  So they say that all the time: “Don’t Mess With Texas!” 

(Sidetracked: During the Texas primaries, many out-of-state reporters said this: “In Texas, they have a saying, ‘all hat and no cattle’ …”, using that to make reference to Hillary or Obama, or somebody.  Listen, folks, NOBODY in Texas says that.  Just those network TV types.  I think J.R. Ewing said it on “Dallas” once, and somebody in Hollywood came up with that.)

Anyhow, back to “Don’t Mess With Texas.”  For those of you not lucky (or unlucky) enough to be from Texas, or to have lived here for any amount of time, “Don’t Mess With Texas” isn’t a battle cry, it isn’t a statement of defiance from some idiot who is about to be killed in a battle.  It isn’t something associated with a sports team.

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Backyard Fireball: It’s BBQ Time!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 24, 2008 by 30daysout

The weather’s getting warmer and it’s about time to fire up the grill.  Soon you’ll be getting that whiff of charcoal (and charcoal lighter), and your stomach will say, “Ribs, sausage, brisket, chicken, please!” 

Ah, barbecue.  Barbecue is more than just tossing some wieners on a fire.  It’s smoking a succulent side of beef, making sure those pork ribs are just right, and poking a fork in a chicken thigh to make sure the juices run clear.  It’s real cookin’!

It’s also potato salad, watermelon, beans in barbecue sauce, potato chips, Big Red soft drinks and lots of cold, cold beer. And some great music on the patio: here’s a little starter sample.

MP3: Peace, Love And BBQ by Marcia Ball

MP3: Queen Bee BBQ ad No. 1 by Billy Gibbons

MP3: Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat) by the Detroit Cobras

MP3: Barbecue And Drink A Few by Travis Matte and the Zydeco Kingpins

MP3: Queen Bee BBQ ad No. 2

MP3: Hot Barbecue by Brother Jack McDuff

MP3: Rib Tips by Andre Williams

MP3: Queen Bee BBQ ad No. 3

MP3: Bar-B-Q by ZZ Top



30 Years Out: The Punk-est Punk Band

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 23, 2008 by 30daysout

Social critics and pundits have had their say, they’ve passed the 1970s along to the historians.  Punk rock came and went – many of the bars are now closed, somebody’s swept up the beer cans and wiped up the spit and blood.  But let’s look back once more … at a punk band that was perhaps more obnoxious, more reviled, more retarded and more wrongheaded but totally of their time and perhaps more commercially savvy than any other.

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Review: Classic Rockers, the Second Team

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on April 23, 2008 by 30daysout







When they don’t want to die, where do once vital rock stars go to burn out or fade away?  Or rust – whatever. Of course they burn out in plain sight.  Fading away is a lot uglier. 

Most do it by just hanging in there, plugging away with album after album until nobody gives a damn any more.  Or they do it by making a “comeback.”  Listening to their recorded output is often more painful than looking at a photograph of these aging forgotten rockers.

Now of course there are exceptions: John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and even Levon Helm put out excellent albums last year, all with their trademark sound.  And Robert Plant may have been the most successful by redefining himself as a roots-rocker alongside Alison Krauss.

We’re really talking about mainly journeyman rockers who at one point made it big, either as part of a band or as a solo act.  After 20, 30 or in some cases 40 years, the spotlight gets smaller and smaller and there’s room for only a few elder statesman superstars.

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Elvis is Alive: Costello’s latest released on vinyl

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 22, 2008 by 30daysout

Elvis Costello’s latest effort, Momofuku, is out on vinyl today. It will be released on CD May 6. Here is the track listing:

No Hiding Place/American Gangster Time/Turpentine/Harry Worth/Drum and Bone/Flutter and Wow/Stella Hurt/Mr. Feathers/My Three Sons/Song with Rose/Pardon Me Madam, My Name is Eve/Go Away.

You can preview the new release at and the find out more information about the CD and upcoming summer tour with The Police at Costello’s official website.

Elvis Costello Official Website

30 Days Out, 30 Days Old

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Uncategorized on April 22, 2008 by 30daysout

The blog turns 30 days old today, so to celebrate we have a special treat for you if you click on the link below.

MP3: 30 Days Out – Bruce Springsteen

Review: “Consolers Of The Lonely,” The Raconteurs

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2008 by 30daysout

Open the door on the second album by ad-hoc supergroup The Raconteurs, and you get a face full of blooze rock: opener “Consoler Of The Lonely” welcomes you with electric crunch and drum thunder.  Consolers Of The Lonely is, of course, a side project of the White Stripes’ Jack White, who is joined here by singer/songwriter Brendan Benson, drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence.  It’s just a big ol’ jam session with Benson/White referencing anyone from Led Zeppelin (“Old Enough”) and Bob Dylan (“Carolina Drama”) to Elton John (“You Don’t Understand Me”) and Ennio Morricone (“The Switch and the Spur”).  While this may look like a mess on paper, the sound really comes together here, much more so than on the Raconteur’s first album.  Consolers Of The Lonely is an enjoyable rock romp, a party album and a keeper.

YouTube: Salute Your Solution video

The Raconteurs official website 

30 Years Out: The Byrds, Houston 1969-1977

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 22, 2008 by 30daysout

Gene Clark, left, and Roger McGuinn at the Texas Opry House, 1977

The first time I saw The Byrds was in 1969, as part of this package called the Rock Jubilee.  In the months after Woodstock, everybody wanted to be a part of the rock festival “experience.”  Promoters noticed something in the air, and it wasn’t the odor of pot and unwashed bodies. They smelled money.  So they put on this Rock Jubilee in the Sam Houston Coliseum, which was basically a rodeo arena.  Even though it was an indoor rock “festival, ” the lineup was excellent — Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, Poco.  It was my very first rock concert.

In the Byrds, Roger McGuinn was the only holdout from the original group.  The rest of the group was Roger’s late 60s lineup, featuring flatpickin’ genius Clarence White.  They did their country-fied stuff like “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and relegated their hits to a terse medley.  “Eight Miles High” got an extended psychedelic jam treatment.  The rest of the night was OK, I do recall they turned on the lights in the middle of the Airplane’s set because they went past a 10 p.m curfew. Whatever.

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Review: Toto – Falling in Between Live/Live in Amsterdam

Posted in Review with tags , , on April 21, 2008 by 30daysout

Nearly every single person I know hates the band Toto. When I mention the band to one of my friends I get the “who farted” look. Is it just not cool to like Toto? Or am I not hearing what everyone else is “not” hearing? Personally, I don’t think so.


Okay, their lyrics are a little out there and sometimes make absolutely no sense, but when it comes to writing infectious hooks and knowing how to flat out play their instruments and sing…these guys have got it going on.


In the mid-70s while working on Silk Degrees with Boz Scaggs, session musicians David Paich and the late Jeff Porcaro decided to form their own band. Add singer Bobby Kimball, guitarist Steve Lukather, bassist David Hungate, and keyboardist and Jeff’s brother Steve Porcaro.

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Review: “Float,” Flogging Molly

Posted in Review with tags , on April 21, 2008 by 30daysout

Flogging Molly has positioned itself among the energetic rock bands that play the summer festivals, indeed they’ve logged some hours in the Vans Warped tour.  Their sound is Irish pub rock played with punk-ish speed, the band’s accordions and fiddles are turned up just as loud as the electric guitars and drums.  Think the Pogues, but without the bite and the bile.  Float, the fourth studio album for this L.A. outfit, is pretty much interchangeable with their other efforts.  “Requiem For A Dying Song” is fairly representative of this band’s sound.  Singer and lead songwriter Dave King keeps things fairly melodic and the band gamely keeps up with him on one uptempo song after another.  When they slow it down, as on “The Story So Far,” you realize Flogging Molly is capable of doing something downright purty.   I’d give this one three and a half beers.  

MP3: “Requiem For A Dying Song”

MP3: “The Story So Far”

Flogging Molly official website