New James McMurtry Out Today

James McMurtry’s new album Complicated Game is out today.  McMurtry is one of the best songwriters in America.  I probably won’t be able to review the new album until next week.  In the meantime here is one of the tracks off of it.  I’m really looking forward to diving into this record when I get the time.

All ATX – The British Invasion and Weekend Tour Dates

All ATX – The British Invasion

Tonight at 9pm Central the PBS station in Austin will be showing the All ATX – British Invasion tribute show.  I participated in this event with Shinyribs and Shawn Sahm.  I also somehow got to sneak out on stage for the final number and sing backup vocals with Eric Burdon and The Animals.  (Try getting the words right, even to a song you know very well, when Eric Burdon is a few feet from you!  It was surreal.)  A multi-hour show was cut down to 56 minutes, so I have no idea what footage will even make the final cut.  I also volunteered to make some political phone calls today, so I don’t have time to research how and if this footage will be available to those of you not in the Austin area.  However, I thought I would at least mention that it is on tonight, because there were some really great performances at this event.

I’ll also be on the road with Shinyribs this weekend.  You can view the dates here:

Shinyribs Shows Page

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

On the Way by Eric Johnson and the Superficial Costumes of the Tribe

I really enjoy the above piece, On the Way, by Eric Johnson.  I’ve always loved, among a million other styles, fast, melodic, and clean guitar playing in the vein of early Johnny Marr.  Johnson shows on this piece, being a master guitar player, how easily he goes between that kind of British jingle jangle style and American country picking.  As well as being a bass player, I have always played guitar, so just the pure musicality of the piece interests me.  However, I think even as a non-musician there are things that one can find pleasurable and interesting about the piece.  One thing you realize playing music is how many various forms of music are really similar once you get right down to it.  It’s easy to turn a country song into a reggae song or to turn a reggae groove into a calypso by just slightly altering the accents of a rhythm.  I think in this piece it is really obvious how different forms of music are more interchangeable than they let on.  When the song starts out it is pretty traditional country in the chord progression and the note choice.  As it progresses the chord progression and melody get more complex and melodic, and it starts to sound more like something Johnny Marr would have played in The Smiths.  Music is often associated with different tribes within society, although this is less prevalent than in the past.  Country music is sometimes associated with rednecks, reggae with Rastafarians, soul music and hip-hop with black culture.  But really at its core music is just music, in the same way that we all share a common humanity when you look past the superficial costumes of the tribe.

New James McMurtry Interview In The Austin Chronicle

James McMurtry Interview

There is a new James McMurtry interview in the Austin Chronicle about his upcoming album Complicated Game.  McMurtry has long been one of my favorite artists to check out in Austin, and is really one of our country’s best songwriters right now.  The new album drops on February 24th.  I’ve posted the above video before, but for those of you that missed it, or have never heard McMurtry before, this is the single off the new record.

Live in Austin With Ramsay Midwood, Jan. 28th

I wanted to mention to any of you in the Austin area that I’ll be performing solo, with drummer/percussionist Alex Moralez backing me up, at the Google Fiber building tomorrow at 4:00pm.  (201 Colorado)  We will be performing before the great Ramsay Midwood.  There will be free food and drink at this event as well.  I have worked with Ramsay in the past and he is one of my absolute favorite acts to catch live.  Hope to see some of you there as this is a show that I’m extremely happy to be a part of.

Here is one of my favorite Midwood tracks and videos:

Dan Patrick Risks Creating Small Mushroom Cloud in Austin

“Is there an asshole convention in town?” – Richard Pryor in Moving

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If you see a small mushroom cloud in the city of Austin, it will be because my head has finally exploded.  Lt. Governor Dan Patrick looks to be well prepared to raise the bar for stupidity in elected officials.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuukkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just do some research on him…

“I could say more, but you get the general idea.” – Morrissey

Random Thoughts On Music Journalism, Politics, Ceder Fever, Television, and Greg Abbot’s Evil Face

I spent most of the morning working on interview questions for an interview that is coming up with one of my favorite bands.  I got burned once before by Kristeen Young, who committed to an interview and then vanished off of the face of planet earth, so I don’t like to announce things until they happen now.  To be fair to her it was right during the time that she was fired off of a major tour, so perhaps her world turned upside down.  I don’t pretend that doing interviews with this blog is a thing of major importance.   However, it is something that I would like to do in the future, to pay tribute to people that I respect, and learn more about them.  I feel that music journalism has gotten incredibly lazy, and it is so rare that I read an interview that goes into any kind of depth about the thing that most interests me, which is the actual music.

It is Ceder Fever time in Austin, Texas.  For those of you that are not familiar with that phenomenon, imagine if trees started pumping out Nyquil into the air in gigantic toxic amounts.  Nature hates our shit right now and everyone I know that is affected is hunkered down trying to escape it, though it is always a losing battle.   My dog is giving me the hairy eyeball for not taking her on any long walks recently.  If output is a little slow, trust me, walking across the room is a herculean task at the moment.  I have never done cocaine, but if it was presented to me at this moment on my kitchen table, I would huff it down in a heartbeat for energy.

As it gets closer to the changing of the guards in the political world, I am astounded at the amount of stories already showcasing the idiocy that is coming our way, both nationally and here in the state of Texas.  I shouldn’t be, I knew we were doomed, but I at least hoped the shitstorm would not start until the actual process of governing started.  Governor-elect Greg Abbot is a particularly evil fucker, and the sight of his face alone makes me want to develop a reality escaping drug habit for the term of his reign.

The Netflix show Peaky Blinders has been extremely entertaining so far.  I’m into season two already and I was surprised when Tom Hardy, one of the best actors around now, popped up for several scene stealing moments.  He knows how to punch through the mask to the world of insanity.  I want to finish this season before I comment on the show’s overall merits.  Visually the show is an absolute marvel.  If I had any criticism at this point it would be that the soundtrack bothers me on occasion.  There are are also moments of coincidence, that while not annoying, distract a little bit from the show.  It does seem as if they are done to move the plot along at a quicker pace, and aside from that the writing is really great.

That is all for now.  More to come…

Jeff