Archive for September, 2010

“New” Song Alert!! “Houston Texans Number 1”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by 30daysout

The Houston Texans are 2-0 for the first time in the team’s history, and heading for 3-0 against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. I figured now was as good a time as any to pull out my Texans fight song. My musical partner (see Orange Is In), Jeff Balke, and I wrote and recorded, “Houston Texans Number 1,”  in 2000 before they even had the name “Texans.”

We had hopes that the team would adopt it as its fight song and we would all live happily ever after. However, they chose to go the route of popular country music star, Clay Walker (check out a sample). You win some, you lose some. Anyway, check out the tune and let us know what you think.

Lightnin’ Hopkins Marker Set To Go Up in Houston

Posted in News with tags on September 20, 2010 by 30daysout

Our friends at the Houston Press report that the Texas Historical Commission has created a marker for Sam “Lightnin’ ” Hopkins, the legendary bluesman who spent the majority of his life in Houston.

The marker is made of aluminum, and it was cast and forged by The Southwell Company in San Antonio.  It is more than nine feet tall, pole included, and weighs more than 75 pounds and stands about six feet tall.  It will be  installed on the grounds of Project Row Houses in Houston’s Third Ward, where “The King of Dowling Street” spent most of his time.

A dedication ceremony should take place in November.  You can make contributions to the Lightnin’ Hopkins Marker Fund by a direct deposit through any U.S. Bank of America branch, account number 5860-1320-5659 or a check made out to:

Lightnin’ Hopkins Marker Fund

501 E. 16th St.

Houston, TX 77008

MP3: “Mojo Hand”

MP3: “Automobile Blues”

MP3: “Mr. Ditta’s Grocery Store”

MP3: “Fast Mail Rambler”

MP3: “Lightnin’ Boogie”

MP3: “T Model Blues”

MP3: “Short Haired Woman”

YouTube: “Lonesome Road” by Lightnin’ Hopkins


Everybody’s Talkin’ About Harry Nilsson

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on September 19, 2010 by 30daysout

(Editor’s Note:  Our L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller covered a screening of the new documentary about Harry Nilsson – here is his report.)

John Scheinfeld’s documentary, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?), is currently getting a week’s screening in Los Angeles (through 9/23), with Portland (9/24 – 9/30) and San Francisco (10/1 – 10/7) to follow.   It’s a gentle and powerful film examining the life of the singer/songwriter through his music and the words of the people who were close to him. Those whose comments tell the story of Harry Nilsson include Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Jimmy Webb, Mickey Dolenz, Robin Williams, Eric Idle, Al Kooper, Randy Newman and a host of others.

Director Scheinfeld said after the film, in an in-person Q&A at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater, that his biggest disappointment about the film is that he could not persuade Ringo Starr to sit for an interview.   Scheinfeld said “There are three people Ringo finds it very difficult to speak about: John Lennon, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson.”

The movie has just been released after a period of at least four years of being tinkered with. The final cut comes in just under two hours long, down from a previous version that clocked in at three hours.  Scheinfeld mentioned that all that lost footage didn’t stay on the cutting room floor.  “A DVD should be out by Christmas,” he said, “and there will be about another 90 minutes of footage – almost another whole movie – as part of the package.”

In the film, Parks and Dolenz have quite a few stories to tell about Nilsson’s legendary spiral into alcoholism and, ultimately, self destruction.  One of Nilsson’s cousins who was close to him also gets a lot of face time and adds a more personal touch to the account.

Comments from Nilsson’s friends about how they never knew how many days they’d be gone when they agreed to get together with him made the crowd laugh, while accounts of ruined relationships with two of his producers – Rick Jarrard and Richard Perry – were sadly touching.

Continue reading

Live: Robert Earl Keen, Houston

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on September 19, 2010 by 30daysout

The Ground Crew Goes On Forever, And the Party Never Ends

When the baseball season goes south, it’s always a good idea to give the fans a little extra to keep ’em interested.  Of course, the Houston Astros have yet to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention (one or two more losses oughta do it, though) but they have been playing pretty good of late.  The team attracted about 29,800 to a game Saturday night against the league-leading Cincinnati Reds and although the homeboys lost a few hundred faithful fans got a bonus.

Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen offered a free concert after the game, and it was a perfect pick-me-up after a stinging 11-1 Astros loss.  Kicking off with “The Man Behind The Drums,” Keen had the crowd singing along from the start.  He dedicated a couple of tunes to the hapless Astros, including “The Great Hank,” a goofy parable about Hank Williams in drag and a certain Houston baseball team on the barroom TV.  Keen’s from Houston, and he commiserated with long-suffering Astros fans by offering up a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Keen’s wire-taut road band, led by sizzling guitarist Rich Brotherton, supported brawny new arrangements for Keen classics “Corpus Christi Bay” and “Dreadful Selfish Crime,” then slowed it down for a singalong version of “Merry Christmas From The Family.”  Then they wound up the short concert (about 35-40 minutes) with the one-two punch of “Gringo Honeymoon” and of course “The Road Goes On Forever.”

Keen tipped his cowboy hat to the crowd then retired to the concourse to sign autographs.  Nice way to the end the baseball season … that is, if network TV is the closest you’re getting to the playoffs.

Robert Earl Keen official website

40 Years Out: Jimi Hendrix’s Death

Posted in Rock Moment with tags on September 18, 2010 by 30daysout

Forty years ago today, we learned of the death of guitarist Jimi Hendrix.  One of the greatest of the great, Hendrix managed to make a monstrous impact on music during his short time in the spotlight.

The music he made sounds nothing like what had come before, and very little since.  His singing, his songwriting and his skills at arranging were eclipsed by his awesome talent on the guitar.  Listen to his music and you can still hear his genius, even four decades later.

MP3: “All Along The Watchtower”

MP3: “Foxey Lady” (live at Monterey)

MP3: “Little Wing”

MP3: “The Wind Cries Mary”

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock)

There is a great new book out on Hendrix – Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius.  Whew!  And that’s just the title …

Becoming Jimi Hendrix book on Amazon.com

“Austin City Limits” taking its studio downtown

Posted in News with tags , , on September 17, 2010 by 30daysout

Brownout, taping their "Satellite Set" (Photo by Lily Angelle)

(Editor’s Note: Please welcome Lily Angelle, who is our new Austin, Texas, correspondent.  She will cover the Austin live music scene, going to as many free and/or cheap events as possible, and hopefully finding a few minutes to attend class.)

UPDATE: Lyle Lovett tapes final ACL show in Studio 6A, 11/8/10

A fair amount of people gathered Thursday night (9/17) on the University of Texas campus for free beer and a chance to see the band Brownout for a taping of “Satellite Sets” in KLRU Studio 6, home for the past 35 years to the TV show “Austin City Limits.”

Eavesdropping in line, it was apparent to me that many Austin natives made a special trip to the west campus area just to get one last peek at the legendary studio before its move to Block 21 in downtown Austin.

Planned to open in December, the new ACL studio has much more seating to

Pearl Jam performs for "Austin City Limits" in 2009 (Photo courtesy of KLRU/Scott Newton)

accommodate both local and out-of-town guests.  The bigger venue is an opportunity that has opened the door to the possibility of another television series, or maybe even an ACL spin-off by host station KLRU.   The new property will also serve as a live music venue between ACL tapings.

Some say the move may change the magic and experience of ACL, but with elaborate plans KLRU has for the future of ACL, it appears the magic will only be amplified.

As one of the last performances in Studio 6A, Brownout definitely delivered, playing quick-paced dance numbers that had many people on their feet, dancing vigorously and in some cases, disturbingly.  The horn section blasted perfectly timed solos while the percussion section never failed to keep the Latin beat going.  They played  “Homenaje,”  which was featured recently on the season premiere of HBO’s “Weeds.”

The taping will be streamed online towards the end of the year.  There will probably be only a few more performances at Studio 6A before the move, most likely with acts playing the ACL Festival in early October.

“Austin City Limits” begins its 36th season on PBS Oct. 2, with performers including Jimmy Cliff, Spoon, Alejandro Escovedo, Cheap Trick, Sonic Youth and many more.


Brownout official website

Satellite Sets website

Austin City Limits official website

Video for the Weekend: “Whiskey River,” Willie Nelson

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags on September 17, 2010 by 30daysout

Well, it’s September and it’s football season and the weekend’s here.  So let’s have Willie Nelson singing his signature “Whiskey River” with “Stay All Night,”  from The Great Willie Nelson Commando Hoo-Ha and Texas Brain Fry – otherwise known as his 1974 Fourth of July Picnic in College Station, Texas.  We were there!