Successfully shaking off the sophomore blues Belton/Temple Texas based hard rock band Flyleaf is making a stop at Stubb's BarBQ on September 26th.
Fronted by the diminutive Lacey Mosley, the band proved it was no one hit wonder with their second album 2009's Memento Mori with the monster single "All Around Me" surpassing even the growly, gravelly "Im So Sick" from their freshman self-titled release in 2005.
Our last chance to cover Flyleaf was at Antone's in Austin back in 1997. The lighting was terrible, the venue was packed, and getting into the photo pit was a nightmare, so I for one am looking forward to seeing them in a larger venue. With the "hometown" buzz this will be a great show.
Now that I have finished cleaning my memory cards and uploaded all my still photos, I can finally start working on all our video from SXSW.
Once again we filmed the Roky Erickson Ice Cream Social over at Threadgill's and this year we were invited to film the Dialtone Records blues showcase over at Lambert's BarBQ. We have close to 12 hours of raw video from 2 cameras to clean up, edit, and post. I started posting a few of the raw videos last night from our fixed camera at the soundboard. So far I have uploaded 4 videos of Roky Erickson and The Explosives with their special guest Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Keep checking back to see more videos from artists like The Black Angels, Little Joe Washington, The Golden Dogs, Orange Jefferson, The Strange Boys, Ray Reed, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Spot Barnett and more!!! Click on the "continued" link below to see more Roky and Billy videos.
When I was in junior high school, sometimes called middle school here in Texas, all the 6th and 7th grade girls were into reading magazines like Tiger Beat that were loaded with stories about pre-teen heart throbs like Donnie Osmond, Shaun and David Cassidy, Rex Smith, The Bay City Rollers, and Leif Garrett -- musicians of dubious talent, more known for their "feathered" hairstyles or lack of chest hair than their depth as musical performers. They would attract huge audiences of tweenage girls to their shows, but no self respecting music critic would be caught dead at one of their sets. These manufactured pop idols were good at separating the kids from their allowances, but left little of historical significance musically.
Jumping forward to today, these manufactured musicians still exist, playing to the pre-teens in enormous numbers, and generating millions in CD and ticket sales. Even Disney has jumped into the junior popstar making business, aiming acts like Hannah Montana straight at that tweenage crowd. The heartthrobs of the 70s gave way to the boy bands of the 80s and 90s like Boys to Men, N'Sync and The Backstreet Boys, and today have been replaced for the most part by a slew of Emo-Pop and Power-Pop bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Fall Out Boy.
The Rocket Summer - Do You Feel
It would be a mistake and a shame to lump Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer into that morass.
Though he draws tween and teenage girls in masses that can be scary, Bryce is a far more accomplished and seasoned musician than most of his peers. Releasing his first EP himself when he was only 16, this Colleyville, Texas native is now 25 with six releases under his belt. His last release, 2007's Do You Feel, was his debut under a major label, Island/Def Jam. On his new CD, like all his others, he plays all the instruments and does all the vocals. Guitars, drums, piano, brass, Bryce seems to have a natural affinity for music and an enjoyment that comes through in his songs. Bryce and his band The Rocket Summer have become a fixture on the festival circuit and their energetic music and uplifting lyrics have garnished a strong, if young, following.
Click Below To Watch The Interview
I saw Bryce and Rocket Summer perform at ACL Fest in 2006, and even during the heat of the midday sun his set drew so many people I found it impossible to get close to the stage. Then, as now, his high spirited performance, golden locks, and boyish charm had the girls screaming like they'd just met Elvis. I was glad to get a chance to talk for a couple minutes with Bryce when he came to play at Austin's La Zona Rosa last week, as well as to finally get a chance to get some good photos. For being the center of attention on-stage, Bryce was kind of shy during our interview but we got to talk about some of his touring experiences. He really is that nice kid next door.
Well, I survived my trip to Los Angeles, though I was only somewhat successful in accomplishing my goals. Unfortunately my hoped-for interview with Kerry King of Slayer didn't pan out, though he did stop by our booth at the reptile expo to say hello. I was able to shoot the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Kings of Leon at the absolutely stunning Greek Theatre on Friday.
My Saturday plans, again not so successful. I had planned on connecting with my sister to catch a show at L.A.'s famous Troubadour. We were supposed to interview, film, and do stills of the band the Hymns. Unfortunately, as the opening act on a sold out three-band bill, they weren't able to get us press credentials or even tickets, though they tried. That's too bad, really, because I'd hoped to catch the headliner's show as well, Butch Walker, before he came out to Austin for ACL this week. It just wasn't meant to be. All was not completely lost, however, as we were able to sit down for a burger with the Hymns before their set, and we did come away with a pretty neat interview with the band.
It don't get much better than this. A full night of bands signed to or under the wing of Underground Operations records.
The Dungeon was packed with the temperature rising by the minute. club.kingsnake was there with video and still cameras blasting away. With it's low ceilings and stage it's tough venue to shoot, but we got some cool video. Stuart Aiken (These Silhouettes), Tony Davalous (The Holly Springs Disaster), and Rody Walker (Protest The Hero) even took some time to talk to our one-and-only Trash.
To your right (my left?) is the streaming video. You can also get these videos, with many more to come, in our brand spanky new Video Podcast.
Ray Wylie Hubbard is still touring in support of his last CD release Snake Farm, and we sat down with him and the band for a nice chicken fried steak supper an Austin's world famous Threadgill's. Known for it's chicken fried steak and it's "Janis Joplin started here" legacy, Threadgill's is an excellent place to grab a great big glass of tea and beat Austin's oppressive summer heat.
After their sound check on Friday, Ray divulged that he has plans in the works for a "live" snake farm release. He also chatted with us about working on the next studio album, sailing the high seas with Cross Canadian Ragweed, his son Lucas and his upcoming film work. Ray was gracious enough to let us interview him so check out the video, or if you would rather listen to the podcast. see the audio link under the page fold.
Jeff Barringer Interviews Paul Collins and The Beat
One of the world's great levelers is certainly the internet, and the music industry's great leveler has got to be MySpace.com. Forget all the high school (and junior high) hijinks and shenanigans, if you really look deep into its soul, MySpace is an incredible resource for the music journalist, whether they are writing for Rolling Stone or writing for their own blog.
In the old old days of music journalism, before the internet, to hook up with a band there were really only two ways to go: The front door, which meant tracking down publicists, promoters, or venue management, or the back door, which was literally the back door, hanging around at the clubs and venues until you could pigeonhole someone who looked important enough to get you in.
While I still use these methods, my most successful connections seem to be coming primarily from MySpace these days, and like as not with a MySpace contact I end up dealing with the artists themselves.
Paul Collins Beat - Rock and Roll Girl
Paul Collins Beat - Don't Wait Up For Me
A perfect case in point would be how we connected up with Paul Collins. When I tried to hook up with him 25-odd years ago at the Dillo when they opened for the Jam all my attempts to connect with him and the band failed, though I tried both the front door and the back door. This time, for his SXSW appearance, I contacted them through their MySpace page, and I'll be damned if Paul the man himself didn't reply. Because of that MySpace connection, I did a podcast interview with him, and when he and the band came over we not only filmed an interview, they invited us to film their whole SXSW set! Now, I'm not going to tell you if you run off to Slayer's MySpace site and send them a message then Kerry King will send you a personal reply, and Sting is actually unlikely to be the one approving your friend request on the Police's page, but for the other 99.9 percent of the bands and artists online, you stand a good chance of connecting some way.
My thanks go out to Paul Collins and the Beat for doing the interviews and letting us film. It really helped make our 2007 SXSW experience memorable.
Returning to SXSW for a follow up appearance this year at the Dirty Dog, the Zico Chain from the U.K. invited me to their soundcheck, and then later we went out for dinner at the Iron Cactus (I had the chicken breast and too many beers) and over to Stubb's to catch a bit of the show by the Automatic. It was great to get the chance to hang around with the guys, talk off the record about the music industry in the U.K., their career direction, making records and touring. I also got to spend a bit of time chatting with their manager, Matt Willis, and it was gret to find someone older, like me, who actually knew who the bands Camel and BrandX were.
Later that night, at their gig, we were able to do some filming. Unfortunately, we wouldn't have the trick mic setup for our HDR-FX1 until the following day, and so we have some awesome 1080i video footage of their set but the band's SPL (Sound Pressure Level) swamped the little built-in microphones and the audio was unusable. This is unfortunate as the band was hoping to use some of the footage for a live video. There was at least one other videographer at the gig. so we're hoping to track them down and get the audio. If you are that person or are have an audio copy of this show, please let me know.
On Friday, before the guys packed up and headed west towards their gig at the Knitting Factory in L.A. , and after the guys at B & H got our mic situation sorted out, we hooked up with the Zico Chain one last time and got to put a nice interview on film. Now that we have our sound, light and video issues resolved we expect to be doing a lot more of these video interviews. If you have a band coming to Austin and have 15 minutes to spare before your gig, look us up. And if you run a major TV network looking for some nice HD content, you can call me too.
SXSW is all but a memory, but here at club kingsnake we are still editing videos and uploading photos. It will probably be a week before we get all caught up, because we interviewed several performers and filmed several performances, and captured somewhere around 60 Gb of raw still images.
Hugh Cornwell was nice enough to do a follow up video interview to our audio podcast, and it turned out great. We caught him right after his SXSW panel discussion with other musical contemporaries like Kathy Valentine of the Go Go's, Michael Des Barres, and Marco Pirroni of Adam and the Ants, as well as a much older set of two Hanson brothers.
Hugh's acoustic set the night before was certainly one of my highlights of all of SXSW. I was really surprised to hear how well the acoustic arrangements of some of the old Stranglers' classics worked, and his new songs showed that he had lost none of his songwriting talents after leaving the band. I had a great time remincising with Hugh about the good old bad old days in the punk days of the 70s and 80s, and to catch up with his newer projects, like the new Dirty Dozen album. Thanks to Hugh for spending time for us, for the guys at his label, Invisible Hands, for providing me so much background material on his new stuff, and Jo Murray at Musebox for keeping us both on schedule and arranging everything.
Roky Erickson and The Explosives - You're Gonna Miss Me
Though not an "official" SXSW event, Roky Erickson's annual Ice Cream Social at Threadgill's is an Austin tradition that attracts not only SXSW badge and wristband holders, but SXSW performers such as Robyn Hitchcock, Spoon, and REM's Peter Buck. Essentially a day party that runs a little long, many special guests and performers have come to help fete Roky Erickson over the years. This year they came to help celebrate Roky being emancipated, becoming, for the first time in many years, legally his own man, not having to have a legal guardian represent his interests.
The line "What A Long Strange Trip It's Been" by the Dead could certainly be applied to the life and times of Roky. I was first introduced to the music of Roky Erikson and the seminal psychedelic band he co-founded in 1965, called the 13th Floor Elevators, by my high school english teacher. Long a proponent of marijuana and LSD use, in 1969 Roky was arrested in Austin for possession of one joint. Faced with the prospect of a 10 year prison term, Rocky made the horrible mistake of pleading insanity, and was sent to Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane where he was forced to undergo electroshock and Thorazine treatments until 1972.
His treatment changed him forever, both personally and musically. In 1982 he asserted that aliens had entered his body, and later was arrested for mail theft after it was found that he had taped unclaimed, unopened mail to the walls of his room at the halfway house. I remember him myself at this time best from a series of odd solo acoustic video performances that would appear very late night on Austin public access TV, where he appeared disheveled and disoriented, playing an acoustic guitar, sitting crosslegged at town lake.
In 2001 Roky's brother Sumner was finally granted legal custody as his guardian, and this year, 2007, Roky is finally a free man again. Almost 38 years after his arrest for a single joint, Roky's time has finally been served, and Roky, performing more vibrantly and clearly than I have ever seen him play before, is back. It's good to see you again, Roky.
Thanks go out to Troy Campbell, Sumner Erickson, Roky Erickson, and the Rocky Erickson Trust for inviting us out to film this year's performance. We couldn't get there in time for Spoon, Robyn, or Peter, but we got to see Roky and that's all I cared about.
Roky Erickson and the Explosives at Threadgill's - Photo by Staff Photographer Jeff Barringer