A visual-intensive column on local music and other events of note by aerospace scientist and SCENE photographer Andy Eng.
Texas autumn has finally arrived and not a moment too soon. Food, fun, fine music, great weather and NO MOSQUITOS were in the air out and about on the SCENE. October went by in a flash and to wit…
PATIO SEASON – Is back and we were there with you at a few of the SCENE’s favorite patio spots. At T-Bone Tom’s, we took in two shows including Pee Wee Bowen, who has got to be one of the busiest big band acts going on in the region, and The Dreamsicles who sports perhaps the largest vocal line on either side of the Mississippi — Tremendous fun, super crowds, along with super service from Mindy and her team at T-Bone’s made these A+ nights. Also in the Lighthouse District, we dropped by Crazy Alan’s (who BTW whips up one incredible gumbo) checking out Last Hour, a band that’s been out and about though somewhat new on the SCENE circuit. This group gave us a treat bringing out big sound gear suitable for venues 5 times the size, the first time we’ve partaken of such sonic treatment on the Swampshack stage and WOW, was the sound BIG — Well below sound police concerns yet with the warm arena feel. It would be great if all bands were as sonically well equipped, Wood & Wind comes to mind. Back to food and gumbo, Lattitude’s seafood gumbo regularly gets many of my taster’s choice votes at the various area cook offs so with hearty appetites we headed down to get our attitude back in shape at Lattitudes. Aside from their fine food, these folks have the happiest bunch of servers happening (something you can’t fake) and amongst the happiest crowds to boot. Southbound was playing the stage and we were delighted hearing their new party songs, many of them likely inspired by some of you readers out there. Pretty cool, eh? Not exactly a patio spot but a favorite hangout amongst SCENE readers is Amadeus where Abel Salazar has been holding down the live music for us the past few months. We stopped by this finer dining hangout and caught up with our good friend, Claudio Sereni sharing the stage with Abel, in good health, and in good form. It’s all good…
WHAT’S NEW DEPARTMENT – We caught a couple of them (at Jackie’s Brickhouse, of course) when we checked out the Texas City band, Tantrum for our first time. Golfers out there when paired up with a player sporting a one-iron, deep tan, and squinting eyes knows they’re in for a match. Similarly strong are the members of Tantrum with their very well equipped stage, sound & light team, deep play list, and ability to take on the licks not often heard. We’ve Tantrum on our watch list of bands in the months ahead for straight up rock and roll. A HUGE turnout came to Jackie’s Brickhouse to attend the CD release party for Myrna Sander’s new self produced release, “Big Head Diva”. Opening acts this evening included Westbound, Cisco, and joining Myrna on stage was Lynn Raggio (lead guitar), Joann Stone (drums), and Greg Barr (bass). We’ve been catching Myrna since she first wandered onto the SCENE at the Heads & Tails Ladies of the Lake (a Tacl production) so having the release party at the Brickhouse made perfect sense. Listening close to her well assembled package, listeners can sense the wide span of influences in her arrangements, appreciate cleverly crafted progressions, and catch the full dynamics of relevant life matters in the content. Putting together good CD’s is becoming a lost art and Myrna does this one right. Cheers!
ALONG THE EGRET BAY CORRIDOR – We stopped in for a couple shows at the Cockeyed Seagull catching Zach Tate in super roaring form, the kind which grabbed our attention by the jugular when this music master arrived onto the local SCENE. Asking what’s ahead for the year 2013, we’re not totally certain but be assured it will along the lines of the reaching for the best! Speaking of the pursuing the best, we also caught Cisco at the Seagull open mic presenting four new tunes and four old tunes done up new. In the world of ever transitioning and moving on, this scores a +10 on our sheets – Looking forward to more good stuff from Cisco in the year ahead. Book him!
OFF-GRID AND NOW ON THE RADAR – Is where our Director of Growth and Development sent us this month. Our first venture was down to the Island and the Galveston Symphony Orchestra at the The Grand 1894 Opera House – Folks, if you ever get a chance to catch a gig here, do yourself a favor and give the place a try. Akin to and possibly surpassing Austin’s Paramount Theatre, this place is much much closer and every bit as classy. This month, we caught Guest Conductor, Dr. Dominique Royem, conducting Russian Fireworks-A collection of arrangements from Glinka’s Russian and Ludmilla, Glazunov’s From the Middle Ages, Op 79, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Number 4. If you’ve the moxie for music having intricacies, dynamics, precision and content, check out the Opera house and Galveston Symphony. Also this month in Texas City, we joined a full house for an evening with the Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo directed by Sparky Koerner at College of the Mainland’s Fine Arts Recital Hall. Many local musicians on stage out on the SCENE have studied music under Sparky. The next time you’re out enjoying live music, do remember that the quality musicians you’re enjoying don’t grow on trees but often students of music. And so with that, please thank a local music teacher this month and support local music education at a place near you. Your ears and your soul will love you!
“WE WANT TO CELEBRATE…” – “…and we begin by being grateful”, offered Elias Soriano, lead vocalist for Nonpoint at their Tourstop, Clear Lake show at Scout Bar. What he said made tremendous sense and with that, the stage erupted for an undeniably focused hard rock evening. Wow!!! Opening acts included Chrome 44 and Taproot. We’ll ‘fess… Last time Taproot came to Scout Bar, they started one doozie mosh pit and we were curious if they’d do so again. No mosh pit action but one powerfully raw performance. We’re good!
And with that, we say good bye to October, to the National League, to mosquitos, to ridiculous air conditioning bills and aim our sights to the holiday season where we’ve got Thanks on the agenda and Jolly around the corner – Catch you out there!