Archive for June, 2011

Summertime! (And it’s time for surfin’)

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by 30daysout

When it gets warm here along the Texas gulf coast, it’s time to hit the water. Myself, I tend to stick poolside but many of my Lone Star brethren (and sister-en) like to head for the beach, were there is plenty of surfing to be done.

I can’t tell you for certain if the waves off the Texas coast are good enough for surfing, but I am fairly certain they are nothing like California or Hawaii. My surfing interest faded when I was about 12, when I took a sharp smack on the forehead from a beginner board at McFaddin Beach – I decided to become a ho-dad for life.

The closest I came to surfing after that was when I cued up a surf tune on the turntable. So, here are some surfin’ (and car ridin’ down to the beach) tunes.  The final song is a Beach Boys ringer from their final (terrible) album, tossed in here just as a goofy foot kinda thing.  Or something. (Those last two sentences recycled from last year, kinda like using the remnants of a 2010 bottle of suntan lotion.)

MP3: “Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen

MP3: “Devil Surf” by Chiyo and the Crescents

MP3: “Surf Beat” by Dick Dale & the Del-Tones

MP3: “Dr. Who Goes Surfing” by the Surfin’ Guitarist

MP3: “Muscle Beach Party” by Annette Funicello

MP3: “Malibu” by Bruce Johnston (pre-Beach Boys)

MP3: “I’m Surfing” by George Husak

MP3: “Bird Dance Beat” by the Trashmen

MP3: “Moment Of Truth” by the Surf Teens

MP3: “Tell ‘Em I’m Surfin’ ” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Secret Surfing Spot” by Dick Dale & the Del-Tones

MP3: “Stoked” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “California Street” by the Jalopy Five

MP3: “Surfer’s Stomp” by the Mar-Kets

MP3: “The Hearse” by the Astronauts

MP3: “Theme from Endless Summer” by the Sandals

MP3: “Jersey Channel Islands Part 7” by Bruce Johnston (still pre-Beach Boys)

MP3: “Surfin’ (1992 version)” by the Beach Boys

Live: Weezer, Austin

Posted in Review with tags , , on June 8, 2011 by 30daysout

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo keeps the Austin audience enraptured (Photo by Lily Angelle)

Editor’s Note: With no classes to attend this summer, our Austin correspondent Lily Angelle is finding more time to attend concerts – like the second night of Weezer’s two-night stand in Austin.

Many hardcore Weezer fans, myself included, gathered outside Stubbs yesterday as early as seven hours before the gates opened. With a cooler filled with water, I braved the 100 degree heat for a chance to secure a front-row spot to see my favorite band of all time, and I must say their performance was well worth the wait.

Some Weezer fans may disagree, but it seems that over the last few years Weezer’s music has become steadily less relatable and genuine. Diehard Weezer fans cling to their first several albums as evidence of their nerdy authenticity and blissful, relatable angst. That’s why, when Weezer launched their Memories Tour  and announced they’d play The Blue Album and Pinkerton, their first two albums, over the span of two nights and in their entirety, old-school Weezer fans went apeshit. Unable to afford to go to both shows, I was forced to choose. The choice was easy- Pinkerton, without a doubt.

After The Knux’s short opening set, Weezer humbly made their way onstage, opening with “Memories,” off 2010’s Hurley. Before launching into Pinkerton, the band did a little “time machine” set, starting from recent songs and working their way back to their very early stuff, circa 1996/1997. Rivers Cuomo knew how to pump up the crowd, stepping offstage into the audience, and even jumping from the speakers onto the roof of Stubbs.

The opening time machine set featured a song that Rivers said had never been performed live, “Longtime Sunshine,” which is on his album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. They also performed crowd-pleasers such as “Suzanne,” “Jamie,” and “Only In Dreams.”

After the trip down memory lane, Weezer left the stage to regroup before performing Pinkerton. During the intermission the band’s longtime friend and video/photo/website guy Karl Koch presented a slideshow presentation of old pictures, posters and set lists of Weezer, which was pretty cool.

Finally after a wardrobe change, Weezer came back to perform the entire Pinkerton album, with few breaks in between songs for talking or pumping up the crowd. Pat Wilson rightfully returned to playing the drum set, although he played guitar throughout the entire time machine set. The songs transitioned smoothly, and I could see Rivers’ emotional attachment to the music.

The show closed on a quiet note, with Rivers performing “Butterfly” on an acoustic, backed by Karl Koch on the drum set. As the crowd roared with approval, Rivers flashed the trademark Weezer hand signal, and the crowd was quick to return the gesture. Even though the competition was fierce when it came to snagging a setlist, we were able to get the attention of someone on stage to hand us an unripped setlist, and then we high-tailed it out of there before someone could rip it from our hands.

Weezer’s Memories Tour is most likely one of the last times fans will get a chance to hear a good amount of their early stuff, so make sure that you check it out!

Tuesday night’s setlist:

40 Years Out: Celebration of Life, Louisiana

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2011 by 30daysout

Photo from the Celebration of Life in June 1971 (found on the internet)

The Woodstock festival in 1969 signaled a new era in the marketing of rock culture to the youth masses. Of course, before the first note of music was played Woodstock was actually a slick, professionally planned event – they had lots of publicity and even the foresight to hire a movie crew –  but it turned into something else once the fences came down. So after Woodstock every time somebody put a couple of bands together they called it a “festival” and any time four or more acts played together outdoors it was billed as the next Woodstock.

That was how they sold the Celebration of Life, an epic outdoor rock festival to be held in central Louisiana, in the middle of June 1971. Oh man, the lineup looked even sweeter than Woodstock: the Allman Brothers Band, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Canned Heat, Richie Havens, the Beach Boys, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Johnny Winter and many more over eight or nine days in a Southern paradise right at the summer solstice.

What it turned out to be, though, was a stinking mess. Many of the advertised acts didn’t show or refused to play, kids had to camp out for days before organizers even opened the gates and let anyone in, and once they did conditions were horrid at best and dangerous at worst. I know, because I was there. Unfortunately.

In June 1971 I turned 16 years old and I got my Texas drivers’ license. There was this one dude in our neighborhood who was older and he knew another dude who worked at the local newspaper Port Arthur News – they said they had some “press passes” to the Celebration of Life but no ride to Louisiana. Being young, stupid and in possession of a car, I volunteered to drive; they said they’d book a hotel so we would have some place to stay and they would pick up my food if I paid for gas. So I show up to pick up my two friends and magically there’s a fourth, some dude named Tommy.

This festival was in a place called McCrea, Louisiana, along the Atchafalaya River north of what is known as Cajun Country. Wow, I remember thinking, days along this lazy slow-moving river and nights in an air-conditioned hotel … it still sounded cool to me, even as we encountered the first traffic jam heading to the festival site. As we got closer I could see people everywhere – camped atop the big levees that ran along the river, shirtless dudes laying in the grass and smoking pot. A grim Louisiana state policeman pointed us in the direction of a huge, muddy field that was the parking lot. Kids were hanging out of minivans, sleeping in open car trunks and atop car hoods. We pulled up behind a naked dude taking a piss right out in the open.

Now this was Friday afternoon; the festival was supposed to have been going on for five days before and people there told us there was some kind of “hassle” with lawyers and promoters which kept the gates closed but music was supposed to start once it got dark. We made our way to the ticket booths, and my newspaper man walked up confidently to will call. He came slinking back shortly; “Our passes aren’t there, man.” So let’s go check in to the hotel, eh? Uh, man, we can’t leave … we’re here for the MUSIC. At which point I realized I’d been had. No tickets, no hotel … and no music. Just a long drive back to Texas.

We got back to the car just as the sun started to set, then this bearded hippie approached us. “When it gets dark, man, I’ll help you get in,” he said. This was beginning to sound like a bad idea. So a few minutes later we were following this dumbass through the swamp and we came upon a huge fence. Some shirtless redneck with no teeth was guarding the fence, or rather a large hole in the fence. The press entrance, I suppose.

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