Thursday, May 27, 2010

Glam Rock Revival

I was coming home from my friend's house in Cape Cod yesterday morning, a little hungover, a little sleepy, and I decided to throw some tunes on that I'd never heard before to wake myself up. I looked through my iPhone's library for anything I'd not listened to before and saw an entire, self-titled, 2009 album by the Smith Westerns. I'd heard their name before and honestly I can't remember how the album got onto my phone but it was early, I was groggy, and just wanted something to keep me awake. I could be my regular, picky, self later.

What I heard was some incredible indie-rock that sounded somewhere between the late Memphis, punk-rocker, Jay Reatard, and English, 70's, Glam musician, Marc Boland of T. Rex fame and I think I'm in love. Anyone who sounds like Marc Boland or David Bowie or Iggy Pop is extremely interesting to me because I love glam but am nowhere near old enough to have been alive while it was at its apex. Trust me, the Smith Westerns are a blast from the past but are strangely modern at the same time. Expect even better things from these guys in the future. I leave you with my favorite SW song: it's called "Dreams"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne to realease new album

You can already pre-order it on iTunes; I'm way excited about Ozzy's latest offering Scream. I'm not at all into new metal but I've always loved bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and Ozzy's stuff always remains grounded in an older, or at least 80s, hard rock tradition rather than the annoyingly, overwrought, self-indulgent, crap-metal, like Dream Theater or Avenged Sevenfold. The lyrics and style remain hard rock rather than the "I-take-myself-more-seriously-than-the-son-of God" metal style where everything must be "epic" and dramatic to the point of idiocy. Speaking of which, Dio died in my current city of Houston on Sunday and even though I hate his music when it's played for any other reason than parody, I do hope he rests peacefully and that he repented, before he died, for ruining Black Sabbath. I hope Ozzy follows this new album up with a tour. I'm sure he's a fucking bad ass on stage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Minus the Bear plus a little Caribou

Even though I'm not going, and I really do wish I was, Minus the Bear will be playing the House of Blues this Friday with Wisconsin musician Paul Thorn. I saw Minus the Bear last year in Boston and they are phenomenal. Lots of cool lighting, excellent stage presence, and some of the most amazing tap-lead guitar playing I've ever seen in my life. The band's new LP "Omni" came out on the 27th of April and can be purchased on the iTunes music store. Local indie-rockers and Summer Fest performers, Caddywhompus, will be playing Super Happy Fun Land Friday night. Omatai will be at Walter's that night too.

Saturday will be particularly kick ass with electronic musicians Toro Y Moi and Caribou coming to Warehouse Live. Caribou is the stage name of Canadian artist, Daniel V. Snaith, hailing from Ontario Canada; he takes various live samples he's recorded himself and arranges them into beautiful symphonies sometimes throwing in spacey, ethereal, vocals.
His latest album, Swim, was released in April.

Post-grunge rockers, one of the few really good bands in the genre, Blue October will be playing a show at the Sam Houston Race Track on Saturday. Toad the Wet Sprocket are playing the House of Blues on Saturday night and even though I originally believed that they kind of fell off the face of the earth when grunge eventually died, Houston will get a visit, at the scout bar, from nineties-rockers, Candlebox. Styx, Kansas, and Foreigner will be coming to the Woodlands Saturday night even before their usual appearances at the fall Arrowfest and Sunday we'll get to hear the sultry tones of R&B legend, Al Green. That's a pretty damn good showing for a single weekend: there's something for everyone.

-- Jack Daniel Betz