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Upcoming Events

+ Thursday, 3/30 @ 5:30pm
BackWordz

+ Friday, 3/31 @ 6:00pm
-Wristband Meet & Greet- Trey Songz

+ Saturday, 4/1 @ 1:00pm
Merel & Tony with The Woe Woe Woes

+ Saturday, 4/1 @ 3:00pm
Mydolls

+ Friday, 4/7 @ 3:00pm
Mike Vallely

+ Saturday, 4/15 @ 1:00pm
The Cuckoos

+ Saturday, 4/15 @ 3:00pm
K-Rino

+ Saturday, 5/6 @ 1:00pm
Pearl Crush

+ Saturday, 5/13 @ 1:00pm
Tee Vee

+ Saturday, 5/13 @ 3:00pm
Genesis Blu

K-RINO – SATURDAY, 4/15 @ 3:00PM

There aren’t too many rappers in the game who can say they have stayed relevant and consistent for thirty years straight. But one of Houston’s most important pioneers can. K-Rino first started releasing music with his first group Real Chill in 1987. He was one of the first in Houston to release hip hop vinyl, preceded only by the LA Rapper in 1983, who alongside his band had a dance hit with the song “MacGregor Park,” and the original Ghetto Boys with their debut single, “Car Freaks.”

K-Rino hails from the South Park neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Known as one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city, it has produced some of the greatest rappers to ever come from the south. Many of whom are a part of the South Park Coalition, a group of rappers who worked hard independently to break out of their hoods and spread their music worldwide, with K-Rino and his one-time rival turned friend, Ganksta N-I-P leading the way.

“Back in the early days, if you wasn’t from the east coast or the west coast nobody believed that you had a shot,” K-Rino remembers. “We were young and innocent, and it was fun at times, but it was a learning process. We were on the job training at the time because there was no blueprint for us to follow. We were the guys who were blazing that trail and creating the way for the people to come after us. The SPC we were just street-oriented rappers. We battle rapped. We were caught in that culture in terms of trying to prove that we were the better rappers – skill wise, and lyrically. And we fought for supremacy.”

And that fight continues to this day. While so many rappers come and go, releasing flavor of the month styled albums and singles, one thing that can be said about K-Rino and his crew is that they have always remained consistent, putting lyricism, creativity and banging southern beats at the forefront, and eschewing trends in favor of keeping it true and real.

“Ganksta N-I-P signing to Rap-A-Lot and putting us (K-Rino, Point Blank and PSK 13) on his album, helped give the South Park Coalition a worldwide platform.” He explains, “Dope E and The Terrorists followed later signing with Rap-A-Lot, and then Big Tyme Records formed, and they signed Point Blank and PSK-13, and of course UGK.” But K-Rino always remained independent and put out an average of two albums per year on his Black Book International label.

Over the years K-Rino built his fanbase one listener at a time, and his independent approach has landed him tours in Europe, Australia, The UK, and Scandinavia. His catalog of solo albums is close to thirty releases, and he has been on projects with virtually all of the members of the South Park Coalition. Almost no one has done as much and reached as many people independently and to this day.

Now in 2016, he is set to do what no other rapper or even musician has done before. Before the end of the year, he plans to release seven distinctly different albums on the same day. “My view is that no matter what field you are in you should always strive to do something that no one else has ever done. Make history in some kind of way. And I know for a fact that nobody has ever done anything like this before, so that’s one of my motivations. Also one of the motivations is how rappers consistency falls off after a certain point. And this is just dropping one album every so often. My goal is to not just put out seven albums at one time on the same day but to put out seven quality albums at one time on the same day. And that’s the biggest challenge.”

Judging from his track record this far, K-Rino is one rapper who is surely up for this challenge.

GENESIS BLU – SATURDAY, 5/13 @ 3:00PM

Genesis Blu, Best Rapper of 2016 in Houston Press, is a native Houstonian who exemplifies the heart and soul from the Golden Era of Hip Hop. Genesis has been taking the hip hop scene by storm since winning the Matthew Knowles artists showcase in 2014. As an emcee her lyrics are versatile, hard hitting, and smooth with swagger. Genesis’ recent performances include opening for Teyana Taylor at House of Blues along with being direct support for The Pharcyde, DJ Mannie Fresh, and Bun B from UGK. For her latest musical project, Genesis will release the much-anticipated Bluming Season EP in April 2017.

In addition to her music career, Genesis also devotes her remaining time to facilitating change in her community. In her endeavors to do so she is launching a campaign entitled Bluming Season.
Which has a mission to assist 1,000 people in achieving their goals by lending her skills as a licensed therapist to assist in these areas. She is also currently partnered with the Women’s March on Washington, where she will march not only perform songs from her new EP but also march as an activist for women’s rights.

TEE VEE – SATURDAY, 5/13 @ 1:00PM

“Tee Vee is the mind and memories of Houston native Teresa Vicinanza. Known for her work as a singer and songwriter, Tee Vee encompasses her work as a producer and artist. She experiments with elements of synth pop, art pop, and dream pop. Tee Vee uses sampling, looping and layering, especially with vocal melodies and harmonies, to create an ethereal sound.”

PEARL CRUSH – SATURDAY, 5/6 @ 1:00PM

Pearl Crush, the solo project of vocalist, songwriter, and producer Mandy Kim Clinton, is an exploration of identity and emotional expression through carefully composed pop songs. An intersection of dream, synth and baroque pop, Pearl Crush layers lush guitars, textural synths and intimate, catchy vocals over counterpoint drum beats and orchestral percussion MIDI instruments. Clinton’s self-recorded debut release, “First Blush” b/w “Semiprecious Stone,” came out on Poison Moon Records on February 18, 2017.

PRESS:
“‘First Blush’ bubbles to life with silvery strummed guitars and driving percussion upon which luminous synths, vocal harmonies, and more guitars are layered. The result is pristine, shiny pop…” – Impose Magazine
http://www.imposemagazine.com/reviews/pearl-crush-first-blushsemiprecious-stone

“…the two tracks rattle past with a wooziness that’s akin to simply living in the moment. Lead track “First Blush” is exactly that, the subtle electronica and C-86 glaze to the vocals mirroring some kind of heady first meeting that leads to infatuation, while the B-side, “Semiprecious Stone” is a more refined affair; a sugar-sweet vocal leading a more melodramatic journey than its partner.” – Gold Flake Paint Magazine (UK)

New Music: Pearl Crush – “First Blush b​/​w Semiprecious Stone”

“Clinton’s spectacular songwriting shines through the jangly, relatable pop tunes, and paired with lo-fi guitar and hopeful synths, the songs should be enjoyed again and again.” – The Grey Estates
http://www.thegreyestates.com/blog/7-first-blush-semiprecious-stone-pearl-crush

“This single somehow illuminates the whole room, washing over me with its goosebumps-inducing dream pop…The contrast between “First Blush,” with its lushness of The Cure, and the B side’s distorted guitars and sparse arrangement demonstrate Clinton’s range; this single is evidence that a full-length is the logical next step.” – Razorcake
http://razorcake.org/pearl-crush-first-blush-bw-semiprecious-stone-7/

“…it is absurdly catchy.” – Collective Zine (UK)
http://www.collective-zine.co.uk/reviews/?id=10738

Beautiful Freaks (UK)

5 Best New Songs of the Week – 22/01/2017

Austin Town Hall

Bright New Single From Pearl Crush

THE CUCKAOOS – SATURDAY, 4/15 @ 1:00PM

“Youth is wasted on the young” is a famous quote often attributed to George Bernard Shaw, or Oscar Wilde. It’s a bitter old saying, combining a bit of cleverly worded elder wisdom with a large dose of grizzled envy. Researchers have traced the quote all the way back to a newspaper published in 1931: specifically, writer Ted Cook’s syndicated column, “Cook-Coos.” Which is damn funny, considering that in this century, neo-Psych Rock crew THE CUCKOOS are smashing that famous quote’s premise with jubilant glee.

This Austin, Texas based band isn’t wasting their youth, nor are they jettisoning the hallmarks of the greats who came before them. On the contrary, these four young men draw liberally from the deep well of vintage pop, heady psychedelic rock, sizzling hot funk, and even a bit of old-fashioned blues to create music that is at once classic yet forward thinking. Classic Rock Magazine rightly christened their psychedelic garage rock “spectacular,” declaring the band “hip young dudes who mine the late sixties acid rock scene for inspiration, but sound so authentic you’ll think you’re having a flashback.”

From Magical Mystery Tour to The Doors, from Velvet Underground to Jimi Hendrix, The Cuckoos roots run deep. Within the band’s swirling, trippy songs, there’s the magical alchemy of Pink Floyd, the stoic enigmatic melancholy of Joy Division, and the epic scope of Led Zeppelin. It’s all super-charged with the gritty energy of Nirvana at their most energetic. At times, one can almost feel the heat of Jimi Hendrix’s burning guitar, as the sonic vibes transport the audience to uncharted funky and jazzy dimensions. It’s all viewed through The Cuckoos young and constantly inspired lens, giving it a fresh feel.

Lead vocalist, songwriter, and keyboardist Kenneth Frost first taught himself piano to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” ignoring the recycled superficial fluff crowding up much of the modern music scene and diving headfirst into The Beatles instead. The sugary-sweet mop-top era of the band drew him in, ultimately leading the young songwriter on an evolution similar to that of the most famous lads of the British Invasion. His voice invokes the soulful baritone of Jim Morrison, with cutting edge modernity. Songs like “Run Away with Me” make magic with organ and guitar, with sinister dynamic energy.

Lead guitarist and backing vocalist David North began his journey with the sounds of later decades, soaking in the nineties punk song-craft of Green Day, then descending into the depths of vicious eighties thrash like Metallica and Megadeth. The blues came next, from Muddy Waters to Albert King, all coalescing into a young adult love for a diverse array of artists, including Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, and Nick Cave, as well as the psychedelic influences he shares with Frost. Together, North and Frost combine to make a brilliant chemistry, resulting in a continuously developing sound of their own.

The two are always making discoveries together, whether it’s a killer hook from a Steely Dan song, a rich groove from Vanilla Fudge, the exhaustive catalog of the legendary Prince, or any number of funky jams from Rick James, George Clinton, and Funkadelic.

“Once we started playing together, there are just certain moments in songs that strike a nerve in your core, which he and I really connect on…” explains Frost. North finishes his sentence as effortlessly as The Cuckoos make music together. “…Those moments we are able to really experience together and bring it onto our own plane,” the guitarist adds.

“We can just feel it when each of us locks into a certain groove.”

North introduced Frost to a pair of his longtime friends, powerhouse drummer Cole Koenning and bassist Eric Ross, whose personal transition from guitar player to bass player allowed The Cuckoos to evolve from their original three-piece incarnation (in which Frost hashed out basslines on the keys) to a more fully realized unit. Together, despite their young ages, the four of them are quickly amassing a body of work that’s truly awe-inspiring, bravely laying down a definitive pathway of their own choosing.

“New Sunrise” offers a great picture of the multiple textures The Cuckoos explore. It’s a bit of a breezy meditation on the post-party picture, the feeling of waking up after a long night of revelry to confront the bright open sky. Toward the end, there’s the heartbreak of a relationship gone wrong, and the promise that a “New Sunrise” brings.

“A Little Bit Funky” is exactly as described: a rock n’ roll song, to be sure, but with a tasteful amount of groove. It’s danceable, romantic, and joyous, like a Stevie Wonder song about new love, in stark contrast to the darker vibes The Cuckoos often conjure. A broken guitar pedal helps capture a moment of explosive intensity in the solo. North says that live, “It’s such an exciting song, I almost have to just let the tune play itself.”

The extended jam section in “Mind Breakthrough” offers a chance for discovery each time it’s rendered, with Ross and Koenning locking into trance-like steadiness that truly demonstrates their ability to maintain a strong foundation, even as a song threatens to destroy itself. Like the band itself, the song has continued to evolve. It boasts a bit of the spiritual shamanism of early Neil Young, in a hazy cloud of personal exploration.

Imagine The Doors, Joy Division, and Rick James writing songs with Tame Impala to begin to get the picture, but be aware, The Cuckoos are carving their own path, hungry to become more than the sum total of the music that has inspired them and to diligently add new elements that will inspire others. Art, after all, should be communal.

“We just want to make music that makes people feel good and feel bad,” Frost says. “We just want them to feel something, something that’s passionate and honest.”

– Ryan J. Downey

FROTH – SATURDAY, 3/18 @ 3:00PM

Froth formed in Los Angeles in 2013, Froth first garnered attention with their debut LP Patterns. Originally intended as a small-run cassette release, the album quickly became an underground sensation in the Southern California scene, catapulting the band to local fame and prompting a vinyl re-release in 2014. The following year saw the arrival of Bleak, a more dynamic, adventurous effort that matched lush shoegaze soundscapes with driving krautrock beats, and earned the band press attention from outlets including NPR Music, Noisey, Vogue.com, and Stereogum, among others. Froth toured extensively across the U.S. and Europe in support of the album, opening for acts such as The Drums, Pond, Tamaryn and Craft Spells.

The Thomas Dolas-produced Outside (Briefly) is the sound of a band that’s truly found their voice, and in many ways feels like Froth’s proper debut. Across the ten songs, the band dialled back the noise and psych-pop found on their previous LPs to reveal delicately beautiful melodies, intricately arranged instrumentals and some of their most experimental songwriting to date.

This evolution revealed new dynamics of Froth’s sound, resulting in a moodier and more atmospheric bend to their shoegazing melodicism and pop sensibilities, mixing the driving, tuneful drone of first single ‘Contact’ alongside the epic squall of the intertwining guitars and the more spare, meditative landscape found across the other tracks on the album. Lyrically, singer JooJoo Ashworth found the works of authors Richard Brautigan (the album title comes from a chapter in one of his books) and Haruki Murakami as a fitting inspiration for the dark beauty of Outside (Briefly)’s music. The result is their most varied yet cohesive work to date: a refined studio effort that no longer feels like a documentation of a live band of a collection of songs, but rather a complete, full-bodied album.

MIKE VALLELY – FRIDAY, 4/7 @ 3:00PM

The history of Street Plant begins in 1984. That was the year Mike Vallely saw Thrasher Magazine’s “Street Sequence” issue for the first time and began skateboarding. Under the influence of that magazine, skateboarding transformed from something Vallely fooled around with and into something he could take hold of and pursue on his own terms. Not long afterward, he saw Black Flag play for the first time, and the foundation stones were laid for an ethos of skating that would last a lifetime. It was all sealed together Christmas morning of that year, when Mike got his first skateboard: A Sim’s Jeff Phillips “Breakout” w/ Gullwing Trucks and Kryptonics Wheels. Naturally, Vallely decorated it by cutting Black Flag bars into the grip.

In 2015 [after] finally severing all ties with board sponsors, distributors, and other financial backers, Vallely launches Street Plant, a board brand 100% funded and operated by the Vallely family. Drawing on his own legacy for inspiration, and collaborating with legendary board maker Paul Schmitt in the creation of new designs, Street Plant is Vallely’s first endeavor with absolutely no outside industry strings attached. From creating the shapes to doing sales and packing boxes, Street Plant is about the Vallely family “Home Team” and their passion for skateboarding.

Two years ago my daughter Emily and I set out to create a Skateboard Company unlike anything we had ever seen or experienced before: One with a Positive Purpose, with an Optimistic Point Of View, one with a Backbone.
One that Believes in and Stands for Passionate, Creative, Expressive, Fun Skateboarding. One that is Product Driven, People Driven, Values-Driven. One that seeks Connection, Inspiration and an ongoing Positive Dialogue. One that, instead of just making stuff, seeks to make a Difference. And every day here in Garageland we put our Philosophy into Action.

Much Love and Thanks to ALL of our Friends, Family, and Supporters Worldwide: The Street Plant Battalion!

Thank You for being in our Dream and for letting us be in yours.

With Open Hearts, we Push Forward!

— Mike Vallely

MYDOLLS – SATURDAY, 4/1 @ 3:00PM

 

 

“Mydolls’ music is imaginative, political postpunk

that stretches the boundaries of what

most people consider “punk” and also challenges the status quo.” Osa Atoe, Shotgun Seamstress
Artpunk pioneers Mydolls were a core part of Houston’s emerging and fecund early

1980’s new music scene. As such, they eschewed typical rock’n’roll cliches and aimed for a

more cerebral meld of slanted guitar, bass driven tuneage, frenetic poetry, and tribal stomp

meets Latin style drumming.
Since they didn’t know the musical rules of any particular genre, they were completely

unconventional. One of their early songs, “Breaking the Rules,” in fact, was inspired by the

idea of “How can you break rules if you don’t know them?” Founded in 1978, two things

have not changed: the same founding members remain in the band, and their politically

charged lyrics, first penned and released on CIA Records, are clearly just as relevant in

this new era of strife.
Early on, Mydolls played live alongside other members of the now legendary Texas punk

scene: Big Boys, The Dicks, Really Red (fellow CIA Records recording artists), MDC, the

Degenerates, and Butthole Surfers. In Houston, they supported seminal touring bands,

including Minor Threat, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and one of the best conceived band

pairings ever Mydolls opening for the Cramps.

A band excursion to London included an onair interview with John Peel and a meeting

with Houston expat and musical influence Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola. Their

international experience didn’t end there. Shortly after their return stateside, they were

featured in German director Wim Wenders’ iconic road movie, “Paris, Texas,” which won

the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.
Mydolls’ stateside tours took them to college towns and small alternative venues. In 1983,

they completed a Midwest tour dubbed “The Dead Armadillo Tour,” which included

shows in Ohio, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, and Michigan and a 1984

Midwest/East Coast jaunt, dubbed the “Go to Fish Tour,” stopped in New York,

Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Several of the live recordings on

Mydolls’ E.P. “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” came from these tours.
In 2007, Grand Theft Audio released “A World of Her Own,” Mydolls’ complete anthology

CD, including two CDs and a 24page booklet of song lyrics, photos, flyers, and liner notes.

Houston music blog, The Skyline Network, remarked, “Listening to these tracks, it’s clear

that they accomplished the most important thing – making some great music that holds up

almost thirty years later. To everyone playing in bands today, we wish you equal success.”
In November, 2008, Mydolls reunited to play at the Noise and Smoke Festival in Houston,

Texas, and they have continued to play shows in Houston as well as regionally, including a

November 2012 wildly successful Island celebration show honoring the birthplace of punk

rock in Houston.
In August, 2013, Mydolls became one of only ten Houston artists to be inaugural inductees

into the newly established Houston Music Hall of Fame along with Geto Boys, Gene

Watson, La Mafia, and ZZ Top.

Recently, Mydolls traveled to California to play Fabulosa Festival and gigged in Oakland,

where they opened for the iconic year zero punks the Avengers. They have released their

new CD, “It’s Too Hot for Revolution,” a compilation of newly recorded and vintage works

remixed and mastered. This CD also includes the recently penned song, “Don’t Fucking

Die,” a song written for loved ones fighting the battle of cancer.

Mydolls are: Patricia “Trish” Herrera, Linda Younger, George Reyes and Dianna Ray.

THE LUCKY LOSERS – SUNDAY, 3/26 @ 3:00PM

Danger meets sophistication in the soulful music of The Lucky Losers, San Francisco’s premiere male/female duet fronted band. Accompanied by a dynamic six piece ensemble, veteran Bay Area artists, Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz deliver a truly signature sound, layering elements of Stax/Volt styled R&B, electric Americana, and psychedelic rock atop a Chicago and Texas blues foundation. The Lucky Losers perform powerful original music about transcending the dark side of the American dream, the beauty and pain of being alive, and devotion in all it’s complexities.

Described as “the finest light skinned blues singer in the U.S.!” (Real Blues), fiery Dallas born entertainer, Cathy Lemons has a velvet voice with a gritty edge and the rebel conviction of a woman risen from the ashes. “Top-flight blues singer/harmonica player” (San Jose Mercury News), New Jersey native, Phil Berkowitz is The Lucky Losers’ mysterious leading man. Phil possesses a polished tenor that recalls legends of the past and his expert musicianship fuels the passionate dialogue with Cathy. The stark contrast between incandescent Cathy Lemons and elegant Phil Berkowitz makes for a captivating musical union, breathing new life into American songwriting tradition and the vanishing art of duet singing.

Since July of 2014, The Lucky Losers emerged onto the scene and have been entertaining audiences across America ever since. In June of 2015, Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz delivered an outstanding debut album, “A Winning Hand”, which was engineered and co-produced by Kid Andersen at his famous Greaseland in San Jose, California. The Lucky Losers recruited top West Coast players, such as Grammy award winning guitarist, Steve Freund (Sunnyland Slim), Andersen himself, and Ben Rice, who won the 2014 International Blues Challenge for “Guitar” in the Solo/Duo category, to make their dreams come alive.

Since it’s release, “A Winning Hand” peaked at #5 on The Roots Music Report’s “Top 50 Blues Albums” and reached #1 on Blues 411’s “A Baker’s Dozen of Blues”. Soon after, Chef Jimi Patricola nominated the record in the Jimi’s Award “Best Traditional Album ” category. Dan Akroyd (Elwood Blues) chose The Lucky Losers’ original song, “Change in the Weather” as “Bluesbreaker of the Week” for his internationally syndicated “Bluesmobile/Everything Blues” radio show.

“A Winning Hand” was featured in “On the Radar” from the globally popular “The Alternate Root,” and was recognized by Richard L’Hommedieu, king of the “Indie Blues” movement, on “Making a Scene”. The Lucky Losers landed the cover of the November 2015 issue of French magazine “Blues and Co.”. Living Blues, Elmore, Classicalite, Blues Matters, Blues Blast, Blues Bytes, and more agreed that The Lucky Losers were holding a winning hand. In fall of 2015, The Lucky Losers embarked on a 16-date national tour in support of “A Winning Hand”, performing for full houses in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Florida. It was a grand success.

At the top of 2016, The Lucky Losers returned to the studio to record with Kid Andersen, which evolved into “In Any Town”, their newest sophomore release on Dirty Cat Records. Inspired by music of the 60’s and true events from their beautiful, twisted lives, Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz serve up medicine for wayward souls, offering glimpses of paradise through a veil of tears. Featuring stellar musical contributions from Kid Andersen, Paris Slim, Terry Hanck, and Jeff Jensen, “In Any Town” is carrying The Lucky Losers on an epic winning streak. Within 2 weeks of its release it charted at #2 on The Roots Music Report’s “Top Albums/All Genres/ California” and #3 for “Top Blues Rock Albums.” Living Blues Radio Charts placed it at #6 only a month later. Eight songs from the album charted into the top 20 on The Roots Music Report “Top Singles”And the critics gave 5-star reviews from all over the world from France to Germany to Australia to The United Kingdom. The album recently made several “Top 10 Blues Albums of 2016,” critic’s picks, and Richard Ludmerer (of indie king “Making a Scene”) listed it at #10 in his “Top 50 Independent Blues Albums of 2016”!

Next up, The Lucky Losers will take “In Any Town” on the road, rolling the dice through first a festival at Baja, California, Mexico, then onto club dates and concert series in Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, New Orleans, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida!

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