Archive for Houston

Curefest 2015: Humble, TX Family Raises Funds to Fight Brain Cancer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2015 by 30daysout






In September, 2011, then 47-year old Phil Baumann started experiencing severe headaches. Then he started getting into his car on the passenger side instead of the driver’s side. When he would talk on his cell phone, his arm would be stretched out to his side and not bent up to his ear. His family doctor thought it was a sinus problem that was causing the headaches and the odd behavior, but after a trip to the emergency room, he found out he had a large tumor on his brain. After an MRI, he found out it was malignant. Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4, one of the worst forms of brain cancer, was the diagnosis. This type of cancer is particularly damaging because it’s relentless. In other words, once surgeons remove the tumor, it keeps coming back.

This is what happened to Phil. Surgeons at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston took out his tumor and six months later it reared its ugly head again. But luckily, it came back in an area of the brain right above where the tumor was and this gave doctors a chance to treat it. Instead of opting for another surgery, he entered the Delta 24 clinical trial. The trial involves injecting a modified cold virus directly into the tumor. Since entering the trial in April 2012, Phil has seen his tumor shrink every 8 weeks to the point where it is now non-existent. Of the 29 people in the trial, only two others had the same outcome. Baumann feels more than blessed.

Most people who deal with a disease as devastating as this one would be happy to receive good news and move on with curefest-ft-page-fliertheir lives. However, you have never met Phil and his wife, Misty.  In 2012, they put on the first Curefest at the Humble Civic Center in Humble, TX, just north of Houston. The event raised more than $150,000 and helped fund nine patients in the Delta 24 trial at M.D. Anderson. The money raised at Curefest 2015 will go towards a new phase of the trial that is looking at the effectiveness of injecting stem cells directly into the bone marrow, and sparing patients the pain of a needle in the skull every 8 weeks.

This year’s event will feature games and activities for the kids, a silent auction, and a live auction. A slew of local bands will start at 11 a.m. with American Idol top 10 finalist, Sundance Head, headlining the 12-hour event.

My band, The Crashers, played Curefest 2013 and it was amazing to see how the community came together for this event. Friends, family and strangers from all walks of life donated time and treasures to help this family make a difference in the lives of people who are searching for a miracle.

“It takes your breath away when we see how the community has supported our family and our quest to find a cure for brain cancer. ” said Misty Baumann. “It’s going to be a great day.”

Like the song says…”take a sad song and make it better.” The Baumanns are doing just that.

What: Curefest 2015, featuring American Idol top 10 finalist, Sundance Head.
You can purchase your tickets here.

Where: Humble Civic  Center, 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy., Humble, TX

When: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

“Darlin’ Don’t Go” by Sundance Head


Get Down in H-Town

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on February 15, 2013 by 30daysout


Lots of fun stuff going on this weekend in our hometown, Houston. The NBA has its all star game on Sunday, and there are all sorts of celebrities and tall people walkin’ around the streets of H-Town.

There are some free things goin’ on with all the NBA stuff, but that’s nowhere near as interesting as the shindigs and soirees they’re tossin’ for the high rollers, slam dunkers and playas who are descending upon our fine city.

Sir Michael Jordan Air’d his way into Houston yesterday – on a baby blue private jet with his logo on the tail, no less – for a big birthday party someone is throwing for him and rappers like Sean “Diddy” Combs, Drake, Brian “Birdman” Williams, Fabolous, Rick Ross and Meek Mill all have events scheduled for the weekend.


Willie D, advice columnist.

But what are the locals doing? If they’re like me, staying away from anything NBA related.  Sorry – I don’t think I’ll be able to scrape up the $100,000 admission to get me and my posse into Jay-Z’s Celebrity Bash. We had some tickets to see Ellie Goulding and the recently reunited Fall Out Boy perform on Saturday for live TV, but they’re only doing one song each so it wasn’t worth the five-plus hours of time it will take to get herded in and out of the venue.

Maybe most locals will just watch all the events on TV. We might turn to the city’s newest advice columnist, Willie D, for some wisdom. Yeah, Willie D … Geto Boys, “Fuck Rodney King,” … that Willie D. He writes an advice column for the Houston Press now: as it says, “got some real-life shit bothering you? Ask Willie D!”

If you watch any NBA stuff this weekend, have a good thought for Houston. It ain’t so bad here (hint: it’s not fucking snowing!) and most of us who live here kinda like it. You can read more about our fair city at this blog post, it may even have some music downloads that still work. Come visit us when ya’ll get a chance!

YouTube: “Houston, the Action Town” by Juke Boy Bonner

Live: Ryan Bingham, Houston

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on February 3, 2013 by 30daysout

Ryan Bingham

Lots of fun Friday at Cactus Music in Houston, as Ryan Bingham dropped by to perform a handful of tunes from his latest studio album, Tomorrowland.  The acoustic set included the rollicking “The Road I’m On,” “Never Ending Show” and “Western Shore.”

Bingham 1

There’s Ryan Bingham in Houston, back there with the gimme cap.

Bingham is, of course, the Academy Award-winning writer and singer of “The Weary Kind,” from the movie Crazy Heart, and the latest in a long line of fine singer-songwriters of the Texas tradition. This was a bit of a homecoming for Bingham, because he spent his high school years in Houston before taking off to join the rodeo circuit.

Tomorrowland, Bingham’s fourth studio album, is a bit of a rocker that’s earned good reviews. At the in-store on Friday, Bingham stripped the songs down to their acoustic underpinnings but the boy’s a heck of a guitar player, so they rocked nevertheless. “Never Ending Show” is one of his many road songs, declaring “I don’t need the marquee lights/I don’t need my name in lights” while all he wants is to “hopefully make it home.”

“Too Deep To Fill”  is perhaps the album’s best song, Bingham’s mission statement of why he’s hitting the road again: “I’m going out to the country/I’m going to see if I can find out why,” while reminding the listener he will won’t stray forever with “I hope to be home by supper time.”

People in Houston kill me: this capacity show at the record store (complete with firemen on hand, ostensibly to prevent too many people breaking the fire code) required a purchase and a bit of trouble to enter. Still, there were pockets of people who’d rather stand and gab with their bros and ugly girlfriends, instead of relinquishing 30 minutes of attention to this fine artist. Bingham seemed to sense this, so his set at Cactus was a bit shorter than the one he performed the day before in Austin.

Bingham 2

Bingham took some time to meet the fans and sign autographs afterward.

The people who really were there for the music were early and up front, one even offered Bingham a swig from his whiskey flask which the singer happily obliged. The payoff was a rollicking version of early song “Bread and Water” with the lyric “Houston always brings me down” delivered with a big smile from Bingham.

We didn’t get the surprise treat that Bingham offered the Austin audience, a cover of Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road Goes On Forever.” But you can see it on the YouTube video below, at about the 36:30 mark.

If you want to see Bingham with his full band, he plays March 10 in Houston at House of Blues. Or catch him at another tour stop, click here for a list.

YouTube: “The Road I’m On,” live at Cactus Music, Houston, 2/1/2013

YouTube: “Keep It Together”

Videos courtesy of pokabeb

YouTube: Ryan Bingham plays an in-store at Waterloo Records, Austin, 1/31/2013. Thanks to Bob Knauf for the video.

Ryan Bingham official web site

Live: Paul McCartney, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on November 15, 2012 by 30daysout

Paul McCartney’s stage filled the outfield of Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Paul McCartney’s recent set of concerts on his current “On The Run” tour are epic, full of breathtaking singing and instrumental virtuosity on faithful renditions of some of the greatest songs in the rock and roll canon. His show last night (11/14) at Houston’s Minute Maid Park was exactly that.

But there’s also a sense – certainly fleeting – of wistfulness and summing up of a brilliant, unparalleled career belonging to one of the greatest entertainers of all time. At one point of the show in Houston, Paul said “These events are so cool … I just want to take a moment for myself and drink it all in.”

Then he stepped aside from the mic and just stood there, surveying the nearly sold-out crowd (about 39,000) as it cheered him on.

He did that same thing when we saw him in 2011, at the beginning of this tour in New York’s Yankee Stadium. I can’t help but think this may be a victory lap for the 70-year-old ex-Beatle but who knows? He can keep this going for quite a while.

Because it’s obvious McCartney is clearly invigorated by staging these grandiose rock shows. He played for three hours in Houston, staying on stage virtually the entire time and never once sipping a drink of water or wiping sweat with a towel. It helped that the ballpark’s roof was open, and it was a crisp, cool Houston evening.

The voice is still there: on “All My Loving,” hitting the same notes he did in 1963, crooning on the goofy “My Valentine” and rocking out on “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “Paperback Writer.”

And the dude can play: he strapped on an electric guitar eight songs into the set to take the lead on “Let Me Roll It,” which morphed into an impressive instrumental rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady.” He pounded the piano keys for Band On The Run deep cut “1985” and the Beatles warhorses “Lady Madonna” and “Hey Jude.”

Video screens made the Beatle’s show feel intimate, even from the cheap seats.

McCartney has proudly accepted the mantle of keeper of the Beatles’ flame, and in addition to his own compositions he paid deeply touching tribute to his fallen fellow Fabs George Harrison and John Lennon. Harrison was remembered fondly with a great rendition of “Something,” which started out on ukulele and wound up with a full-on band treatment.

After that highlight, McCartney mentioned that George wrote that one “all by himself.” And he capped it with “Frank Sinatra once said that ‘Something’ was his favorite Lennon/McCartney song,” Paul shrugged.

Lennon’s tribute consisted of the acoustic ballad “Here Today,” written by McCartney after his mate’s murder in 1980. Then, later, Paul wound up with Lennon’s “A Day In The Life” appended to a singalong “Give Peace A Chance.”

Fireworks both figurative and literal peppered the homestretch: “Get Back,” “Helter Skelter,” “Let It Be,” and the James Bond theme “Live and Let Die,” punctuated by an impressive pyrotechnics display.

Say what you want about McCartney’s cute/pop/cloying tendencies over the past 50 years – in 2012 this is the Cadillac of rock shows. To steal from another James Bond song (not written by McCartney), nobody does it better.

Paul McCartney setlist from Houston Minute Maid Park 11/14/2012

Found on YouTube: “Paperback Writer” from Houston (thanks pokabeb)

The pyro goes off for “Live and Let Die.”

November 30, 1984

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , on November 30, 2010 by 30daysout

For thousands of fans who piled into The Summit in Houston to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Nov. 30, 1984 it was just another concert. However, for me, it was a night that changed my life. As soon as The Boss yelled “One, two, three, four” and went into a blistering version of “Born in the USA” I knew I wanted to be a singer in a rock and roll band.

The show was phenomenal. His energy was incredible. We heard everything that night; “Jungleland,” “Racing in the Street,” “Thunder Road,” “Johnny Bye Bye, “Cadillac Ranch,” you name any of his best songs and we saw them that night. I thought the roof was going to come off the building when they went into the “Detroit Medley.”  It was the best the concert I had ever seen.

The next day my brother and I were in the garage with a couple of other guys putting a band together. I was playing drums at the time, but one day I decided to try my hand at singing. The first song I sang in front of people was “Dancing in the Dark.” While it wasn’t even close to  great, it felt great. Since that time I have been in three different bands, and have been the lead singer for two. While I haven’t experienced 1/1,000,000th of the success of Mr. Springsteen, the experience of writing, recording, performing and singing has enriched my life in more ways than I can count. I thank Bruce for that night and for giving me the inspiration to do what I always knew I wanted to do, but never had the courage to try.

“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Hello from Our Hometown

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by 30daysout

Big fun in our hometown over the weekend: we went to the annual Art Car parade, which I’ve attended with my son for who knows how many years.  Just the other day the New York Times did a story where they spent 36 hours in our hometown, and needless to say they missed a lot of the good stuff.  How can you spend any time in our hometown and not mention the music?

Our little town is an American cradle of blues, country, folk, jazz and hip-hop, all seasoned by our neighbors to the south (Mexico), the east (Louisiana) and the west (Austin).   You can look up some of the cool musicians who have called our little town home, and the many more who recorded their hits here.  Of course the NY Times mentioned an art museum, some swanky restaurants and hotels and – naturally – a gay bar.

Screw the New York Times.  We still run that damn space program from here, and there’s still no better place to get your damn heart fixed.  And did I mention we have a lot of great music here: guess who was here over the weekend?  Elwood Blues.  Ha ha ha ha!

MP3: “Telephone Road” by Rodney Crowell

MP3: “Struggle Here In Houston” by Lowell Fulsom

MP3: “Orphan Of The Storm” by Mudcrutch

MP3: “Fannin Street” (live) by Tom Waits

MP3: “Houston” by Dean Martin

MP3: “Houston Is Hot Tonight” by Iggy Pop

MP3: “Seeds” (live) by Bruce Springsteen

MP3: “Houston” by the Deadstring Brothers

MP3: “Houston, TX” by Deer Tick

MP3: “Houston” by Bun B, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall &  Chamillionaire

MP3: “If You Ever Go To Houston” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Home To Houston” (live) by Steve Earle

MP3: “Heaven, Hell or Houston” by ZZ Top

The Houston Press‘ take on the New York Times article.  Nice photo!

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Lightnin’ Hopkins

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by 30daysout

Still flippin’ through the stack of records my sister’s boyfriend gave me … they all came from the radio station where he works.  Guess they’re not playing these albums if I have ’em!

Today I have a true rarity: Freeform Patterns, a 1968 album by bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins.  Hopkins, the Texas bluesman, spent most of his life living in Houston and often played nightclubs there as he came up in the late 1940s and the 1950s.  At the peak of the early 1960s folk revival, national audiences began to discover and dig Lightnin’s music, highlighted by his all-time classic “Mojo Hand” which he cut in 1960.

By 1968 Lightnin’ was playing festivals, folk clubs and college campuses around the country then would return home to play beer joints in Houston’s Third Ward.  The Houston-based International Artists label signed Lightnin’ to a contract and producer Lelan Rogers (yeah, Kenny’s brother) hooked him up with a backing band that included drummer Danny Thomas and bassist Duke Davis from the 13th Floor Elevators.  (The psychedelic 13th Floor Elevators were in a state of flux at that time, due to lead singer Roky Erickson’s drug problems.   In 1969, Erickson was committed to the Rusk State Hospital rather than face jail time for a felony marijuana charge, and the group officially broke up.)

The resulting album was Freeform Patterns, cut on one February day in 1968.  It opens with a long spoken word intro to the song “Mr. Charlie,” with Hopkins telling the story of a poor little kid who stuttered so bad nobody wanted anything to do with him.  The story had no punch line, other than the fact that the kid could apparently enunciate clearly only when singing the blues, or something.  Better, and more characteristic, is “Mr. Ditta’s Grocery Store,” about an apparently real store Lightnin’ frequented at the “corner of Bastrop and Hadley,” which is about a block west of Dowling Street, where Hopkins lived.

Continue reading

Rock Star Sighting! – Elvis Costello

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2009 by 30daysout


In 1994, Elvis Costello and the Attractions came roaring into Houston (actually the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands about 40 miles outside of the city) on the Brutal Youth Tour. Costello had been one of my heroes for years, but I had never seen him live. Somehow I got fourth row tickets and the show was incredible. The hightlights included (but not limited to) “13 Steps Lead Down” into “Radio Radio,” and “Alison” with “Tracks of My Tears” and “Tears of  A Clown” tacked on at the end. Costello was clicking on all cylinders and, in typical Houston fashion, few people saw it.

A couple of days before the show, a guy who worked down the hall from me at KLOL Radio said “I have a couple of backstage passes, do you want to go?” Let me think about it for a half a second. Oh, okay.

Being in a band at the time, I figured I would make Elvis a “tape” of my latest project. My brother and I had just put out a CD titled No More Milk under the name The Surrealtors, which featured a song called “Tell Me Why.” It was my attempt to write a “Costello song.

We get backstage meet drummer Pete Thomas and then Costello comes down. We make some small talk, he signed my copy of Brutal Youth, asked me how I liked the show, and then I told brutalyouthhim “I’m in a band and I wanted to give you a copy of my tape.” He couldn’t have been nicer. He said “we’ll listen to it on the way to New Orleans.” Whether he did or not, I’ll never know, but at least he said he would, which was good enough for me.

I’ve included The Surrealtors version of “Tell Me Why” and the current version from my band, Orange Is In.

MP3: “Tell Me Why” – The Surrealtors

MP3: “Tell Me Why” – Orange Is In

Elvis Costello Official Website

The Surrealtors MySpace page

Live: Madonna, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on November 17, 2008 by 30daysout


Like a herd of cattle, thousands made their way through a small door on the side of Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros) to see the one and only Madonna on her “Sticky and Sweet Tour.”  Some women were dressed in the “Like A Virgin” wedding dress, others in the “Desperately Seeking Susan” get up, and many donned short black skirts, long black boots and showed lots of cleavage.  Some MILFs, others I wouldn’t touch with yours.  The men, well, lets just say they were “colorful.”

The show was supposed to start at 7:30, however, she didn’t grace us with her presence until almost 9:25.  For the next two hours, the baseball stadium turned into one big, thumping multimedia disco.  Three huge video screens, and three smaller ones featured different images, including Justin Timberlake, all night long.  At times it looked more like we were watching an Imax film than a concert. She did have a full band, but I think they only played on two or three songs the whole night. Most of the tunes were programmed, and many were lip-synched.

Continue reading

Rock Star Sighting: Sterling Morrison, Velvet Underground

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 30, 2008 by 30daysout

I used play in a band called The Surrealtors. Back in 1990, we had a semi-regular gig at a Houston taqueria called “La Jaliscience” in the Montrose-area of town. We called this place “the wall of cheese.” Put it this way, if you ate there late at night, not only would you not be able to sleep, you would probably spend much of the next day in, lets say, severe discomfort calling out for Mommy. 

Anyway, The Surrealtors used to play stupid covers. “Come on Get Happy” (yes, the Partridge Family song), YMCA, at times, it was brutal. However, we did do some pretty good tunes every now and then like “Can’t Get it Out of My Head” by ELO. One night we were coming to the end of another long night when this tall guy with food hanging out of his mouth said “Man, you guys really nailed that ELO song.” “Thanks,” I said. “Would you like to be on our mailing list?” He said “Sure, my name is Sterling Morrison.”

All three of us looked at each other like “that name sounds familiar, but where have I heard it?” Once we figured he was one of the founding members of the Velvet Underground, he was gone. He was working as a tug boat captain in Houston and why he picked that place to eat, I’ll never know. He never did come to a gig, but it was cool to have someone of his stature say “we nailed” something. You just never know who is watching.

MP3: “All Tomorrow’s Parties” by the Velvet Underground & Nico

MP3: “I’m Waiting For The Man” by the Velvet Underground

Sterling Morrison Tribute Page

YouTube: “Sweet Jane”  by the Velvet Underground