Shinyribs West Coast Tour

Shinyribs tour chart

When Tiger Anaya put this up, who is one half of the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns and who plays with me in Shinyribs, the first thing I thought was, “Holy fuck I am going to need to buy some more shit to do for 50 plus hours in a van!”  That route doesn’t even detail the obvious route home from our last stop to Austin, which is probably another 20 something hours.  I’m not used to seeing the whole route mapped out.

Anyway, I love the West Coast and I will be in some part of it or another for the next two weeks.  We head out for it tomorrow.  If you live there are would like show details go here.

Shows This Weekend and Books, Music, and Television Worth Checking Out

Shiny ribs Show Page

I’ll be performing back to back shows tonight at Strange Brew in Austin, Tx with Shinyribs.  The first one is sold out and I have a feeling the second one will be as well.  If you want to go, get your tickets now.  Tomorrow we are in the Fort Worth area.  You can get all the details up above.

Yesterday I watched the latest episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher.  I also finally viewed Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.  I was struck by how all three of these programs were more informative than anything on cable news.  They were also more interesting and entertaining as well.  The documentary was a serious piece by an award winning filmmaker, so it it is no surprise there. The other two are comedy shows that talk about current events.  Comedians are still our biggest mainstream truth tellers, even after John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have gone off the air.

I’ve been reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.  It is a murder mystery that takes place in an abbey in 1327.  But it uses the genre of the murder mystery, although with a historical twist, as a jumping off point for discussions on religion and philosophy.  It’s amazing the amount of visual and historical detail he is able to pack in, while still holding the reader’s attention throughout.

Next month features a host of records that I am really excited about.  New records by Darlene Love, New Order, Iron Maiden, and Public Image Ltd. all make appearances.

Shinyribs In San Antonio and Beaumont This Weekend

Shinyribs Shows

I’ll be on the road briefly this weekend, in San Antonio tonight and in Beaumont tomorrow night, with Shinyribs.  We’ll also be in Austin and Fort Worth next weekend.  All details up above.  I believe the Beaumont show is already sold out.

Here is us playing the cut Baby What’s Wrong from our newest album, Okra Candy, on The Texas Music Scene.   Funnily enough, the show’s host, Ray Benson, is originally from Pennsylvania, where I am also from.

Touring, True Detective, New Order

It is the second day of a Shinyribs tour that takes us From Texas to Idaho.  To see if we are coming anywhere near you check here.

I have brought my computer with me, to catch up on blogging.  As long as I have wifi I’ll be posting.

I have also brought with me a stack of books and albums to dive into.  I am hoping on my off day to finally catch up with the new season of True Detective.  I have only seen the first two episodes, but since I love noir in general and the films of David Lynch I have really enjoyed it.  I don’t understand the criticism as of yet that has been lobbed at it by many television critics.

There are many albums coming out in the fall that I am really excited about.  One of them is the new New Order album, Music Complete.  They just released the first single off it called Restless which you can listen to above.  Bernard Sumner, the singer of New Order, is one of the best vocal melody writers in pop music in my opinion.  He is now in his fourth decade of writing ridiculously catchy pop songs.

More Posts On New Order Include: Ceremony By New Order

More Posts On True Detective Include: True Detective Season Two Has David Lynch Influence

Playing 'She's About A Mover' With Shawn Sahm

Here is the Shinyribs band playing the Sir Douglas Quintet’s She’s About A Mover with Doug Sahm’s son Shawn Sahm.  Cheryl Sahm posted this on Facebook earlier today and it was actually the first time I have seen the footage.  It was a great night of fun.  Just thought I’d share it with all of you.

Shows, Recording, Joe, Stephen King, Voltaire, and Other Musings

It’s been another busy week here in Texas.  Last weekend was four show, this weekend there are four shows, and two of my three days off I have been recording.  Going on the road this week with the Shinyribs band:

Shinyribs Show Dates

I’m hoping to get a book worth discussing before I hit the highway.  Musically I have been living exclusively in the world of Jamaica.

Recording just a few songs with my good friend Mick Flowers who, aside from being an excellent drummer and producer, is also a prop master, and an amazing one at that.  I just saw the last movie that he did, Joe starring Nicholas Cage, and it was fantastic.  A gritty southern grotesque with a dark heart and an even darker sense of humor.  It’s on Netflix right now and it is worth seeking out if you like your movies jet black or if you are a fan of southern writers like Harry Crews and Flannery O’Connor.  It was filmed around Austin and apparently many of the people in the film, although excellent, are not trained actors, but regular people recruited for the film.

In Austin we went from last year, where you couldn’t swim because all of the swimming holes were dry, to not being able to swim this year because the creeks are overflowing due to an abundance of rain.  I know better than to substitute weather for climate, but the weather sure has been strange down here the last few years.

The more I think about it the more I am extremely happy that I read Voltaire’s Candide.  It is a satire of the human condition of the highest order.  You will never hear anyone say, “All is for the best”, or “Everything happens for a reason”, again the same way.

Been reading Stephen King short stories the last couple of weeks.  It is amazing how prolific he is.  I know there are some critics that criticize his writing style, but he has an ability to tap into the uncanny in a way that few other writers can.  I like genre fiction, or songwriting, or movies, as long as they are done well.  There is something interesting about taking a certain genre, trying to work within its limits, and deliver surprises along the way that is appealing.  I always believed that a lot of creativity comes out of limitations.

Anyway, I am off to enjoy some rare sunshine before I head into the studio.

In the future, when all’s well…


NPR's Wits Behind the Scenes and The Comedic Genius of Fred Willard

I did a taping of the NPR show Wits last night, playing bass with Shinyribs.  The other guests on the show were Carrie Rodriguez and legendary comedian Fred Willard.  There were two things that really surprised me:

1.  The first was how much work went into the show.  The show was supposed to begin at 8pm.  We showed up at 1:30 to soundcheck.  Now, that is pretty common in the musical world, to soundcheck hours before a gig.  However, we were the first of many things that needed checking and the staff that was there worked from before we got there to after we had left the theater.  (11pmish)  Now again, for sound guys, roadies, this kind of long hours is normal.  I had never seen it done for a radio show though, just the insanely long hours put in for a one off taping.  Also, once we were done sound checking Carrie Rodriguez had to sound check and then they did a two hour script run-through.  The script run-through was the thing that really surprised me.  Every radio show I’ve been on we show up, set up our gear, right before we play the radio personality enters, and we do the thing.  However, everyone that was on the air got up and did parts of all the script, at times doing whole skits. It again took close to two hours.  Even Fred Willard, who could probably do whatever in his sleep, was game and did the whole run through.  I’m not saying that one could not deduce that an NPR show would be professional, but actually seeing the amount of work put into it was surprising to me for some reason.  This was show business in the sense that it was entertaining and fun, but people were clearly putting in a lot of work to make something as good as they could.

2.  The other thing was how fucking funny Fred Willard is saying just about anything.  I’ve seen stand-up comedy shows, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this, which is partly scripted and partly off the cuff.  He could say just about anything and the crowd laughed.  This wasn’t because he was famous, or because he had writers who gave him part of the script, or because he had spent weeks and months crafting his material like many stand-ups do; he just had great instincts, impeccable timing, and a quick mind.  There is a clearly a reason someone like that has gotten so many roles in comedies.  I’m not saying that when he is in a movie or TV show that good editing might not help him be even funnier, but in the flesh, just shooting things off the top of his head, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

On Tour This Week

Tonight I’ll be in Lubbock with Shinyribs.  We play Amarillo tomorrow night and Wichita Falls on Friday.  Saturday and Sunday we’ll be at Old Settlers Festival right outside of Austin.  If you want the full details go here.  That will take you to the Shinyribs show page.

Our new album Okra Candy is coming out this week.  We should have physical copies this weekend and it is available online on the 21st.

Old School Austin Groove Premiere

Today the video for Old School Austin Groove premiered.  It’s a song that is part of the soundtrack for the movie Crazy Carl And His Man-Boobs: An Austin Love Story.  Both were filmed by Beef & Pie Productions and you can stream the movie in full for free here.  The song was written and performed by Shawn Sahm and Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell.  That is Keith Langford, of Shinyribs and the Gourds, holding down the rhythm with myself.  The Crazy Carl movie is actually a really great documentary about Austin, despite its seemingly bizarre subject matter, though the title character himself is an interesting character study with a lot of heart for anyone interested in the strange thing we call humanity in general.  A must see for anyone that has any interest in the city of Austin past, present, or future.

The recording session and the filming of the video were great fun.  If I said any more someone would kill me…