Hog tying a person

“Hog tying a person” is a search term that led someone to my blog. Really. But that has nothing to do with the rest of this post, other than making an interesting and odd headline.

So, if you missed Grass is Green at Head on the Door Thursday or the Music Room in Atlanta Friday, then you missed out. They’re a really good band and nice guys. Elements of  the Refused and At the Drive-In mixed with an indie rock band. And Ricer rocked out Friday. That was my first time seeing them with their new drummer. They are very energetic.

There is a really good Jamaican restaurant about a block up from the venue. It’s a small, hole-in-the-wall looking place (which usually end up having the best food). There were maybe two tables and a counter to sit at, and they sold soap, toothpaste, spices, etc. But the food (I had the jerk chicken, but they also served curry chicken, goat, fried plantains and more) was excellent.

Columbus was a lot of fun. The Plug Uglies were really good to us. They care about music, and they care about their music scene. And it was great sharing the stage with Beyond Sorrow. We definitely hope to return soon.

The Plug Uglies are nice people. Don't steal from them.

…and I got to see some of a film called “Die Hard Dracula.” If the 1.9/10 star rating doesn’t give it away too much, it’s pretty cheesy and campy. I mean, Van Helsing and some other guy launch a grenade into Dracula’s castle window – with a slingshot – and after the explosion, Dracula, while holding the neck of a destroyed and fiery violin and bow, yells something like, “You destroyed my violin! You must get me a new one!” Yeah…

An update on shows tonight (Thursday)

A couple of days ago, I posted about two good shows that were going on tonight, but with new information and recent developments, there is no need to be in two places at once.

Grass is Green is playing at Head on the Door tonight. They’re on tour from Boston. I plan to be there, and I hope you will too. (And Hail the Titans is playing with them and Ricer tomorrow night in Atlanta at The Music Room at Pizza Vesuvius.)

The other show featuring Toy Devils (from Atlanta) and Grandfather (from Brooklyn) at It’ll Do Tavern has been canceled by the owner.

A local blogger posted on their Facebook page asking if anyone was playing this week’s original night, and their response was “No, taking a little break…” It’s just unfortunate that the “little break” happened during a Brooklyn band’s tour.

I hope that Toy Devils and Grandfather can return to Montgomery another time. In the meantime, check out Grass is Green tonight at Head on the Door.

Also, be sure to read Tuesday’s post about other events this weekend.

Stuff to do, 2012: “They came from the North” edition

“They came from the North edition” sound better to me than “Yankee edition” because as I’m typing this, I do not have a straw hat on, nor do I have a piece of straw hanging out of my mouth to pick “chew” out of my teeth.

But I digress…

The reason for the title has to do with events going on this Thursday, but let’s go on chronological order:

On Wednesday, The Great American Breakdown is playing at The Nick in Birmingham with Moonlight Bride and Young Orchids.

OK, now for Thursday:

There are two shows in town that night, so if anyone has found out how to be at two places at once, please share.

Head on the Door is hosting Grass is Green, a Boston, Mass. band touring through the area. You can hear their album “Ronson” here:

And just a few miles up the road at It’ll Do Tavern, Grandfather, from Brooklyn, NY, will be opening for Atlanta’s own Toy Devils. You can hear Grandfather’s demos and Toy Devil’s new album, “It’s Ugly… But Is It Art?” below:

Friday, Hail the Titans is heading to Atlanta to play The Music Room at Pizza Vesuvius with Grass is Green (see above) and Ricer.

Also that night, Head on the Door has Richard James and the Special Riders.

Saturday, the River Region Rollergirls are having a car wash in Prattville.

It’s from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Langley Automotive.

Also on Saturday, Distant Kin is playing at Head on the Door.

And that night, Hail the Titans is making our debut in Columbus, Ga. at the “Plug House,” which is the meeting place of the Plug Uglies, a club “dedicated to the advancement of our scene.”

So… go to a show.

I got Moonlit Sailor‘s “Colors in Stereo” album in the mail yesterday (all the way from Sweden). It’s pressed on blue vinyl:

It’s a really good post-rock album, released by Deep Elm Records. You can hear the entire album here:

Music and culture

After a primary election like the one we had on Tuesday, it may be hard for some people to believe that we, the people of Alabama, are not all married to our cousins. But we’re not. At least not all of us.

And there are even quite a few of us who appreciate things such as classical music, even if we don’t get the chance to see it performed live very often.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra‘s Fellowship Series on Tuesday night, held in the Wilson Auditorium at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. It featured performances by violinist Robin Scott and cellist Ahrim Kim.

It was very impressive, to say the least.

I believe the next performance in the series will be some time in May, and I would encourage you to attend.

I was able to capture a couple of very small clips with my phone (while trying to be very non-distracting about it). In other words, the video and audio below are cell phone quality, but hopefully it will give you a small taste of the level of talent that was shown Tuesday night.

Stuff to do, 2012: Green beer edition [UPDATED]

It’s almost that magical time of year where you drink too much and make bad (or at least questionable) decisions. Yes, it’s Alabama’s primary election tomorrow. Wait… I mean St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend.

Who was St. Patrick? What do the candidates in tomorrow’s election stand for? Who cares?! Hand me a beer and make it green! Amirite? (Be sure to read my article, “Countdown to apathy: 2012” at the Capital City Free Press.)

So what’s going on this week besides an election tomorrow?

The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship Series is going on tomorrow (Tuesday) night. It starts at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, located at the Shakespeare Festival.

On Wednesday, the River Region Rollergirls are having an open recruitment night at Looney’s. Starts at 8 p.m.

Friday, the O’Dudemen are at 1048 in Old Cloverdale. The same night, Head on the Door has Double Barrel Democracy and 82MM.

And on Saturday, the official St. Patrick’s Day, Banditos are returning to Montgomery, performing at Head on the Door.

And in non-event news, “Safe House” is a good movie. I mean, Ryan Reynolds looks like he’s about to cry for most of it, but he’s still a bad ass in it (although not quite to the level of bad ass he was in “Smokin Aces. What was missing? A beard.) And Denzel Washington is always good. I don’t remember him saying “My man” in this though.

[UPDATE] I just saw another event that is happening Saturday that I should mention: Distant Kin is playing at the Tipping Point in the Hampstead. Apparently, there are tickets being sold for this one.

A note about “the scene”

In just about every town I have played, it seems there is a group of people who genuinely love music and are always trying to build up “the scene.”

This is true for Montgomery as well.

And of course, to have a “scene” you also must have people who go to shows and support said scene.

There has always been a lot of talent in Montgomery, and there are some people here who genuinely want to see this town grow in every artistic way possible. And to give credit where it’s due, things are better than they were, say, five years ago. In recent years, we’ve seen art shows, international rock bands, celebrities and many musical performances.

I have bands contact me fairly regularly looking to play Montgomery. Many times, these are bands on tour (a recent one is from Brooklyn), especially this time of year as SXSW is happening this month in Austin, Tex.

This is the Capital City with a population of more than 200,000, not including the population of nearby Prattville, Wetumpka, Millbrook, etc. Yet, sometimes, bands perform for 20 people. For the record, 20 divided by 200,000 is 0.0001. There’s your statistic for the day.

So back to the point: instead of being able to help some of these bands secure a show and bring in some new talent to the area (with even a small audience), so many times it comes down to “sorry… this town is dead during the week.”

Try booking an original show on a Tuesday. It’s not easy. And it’s not about blaming venues – if they thought people would come out on a Tuesday and they would make some money, they would book it.

It takes people showing up.

So you can either support the things that are going on in Montgomery and support the growing number of artists and musicians, or you can stay at home complaining about how there’s nothing to do while some band down the street plays their latest rendition of “Brown Eyed Girl.”

Music I think you should hear, vol 4

You may have seen me post about the band Bearhead, but you may not already know that their front man, Justin Flave Turberville, has been writing great music for quite awhile – both in previous bands such as Giving Up The Ghost, Drive Fast Take Chances and Laylines and as a solo artist.

He had one official solo album release a few years ago (“Learn Not to Lie”), just prior to Bearhead’s beginnings, but in the last few days, Tre Brannum from BhamRocks.com seems to have convinced Justin to release at least some of those previous solo albums that very few have heard.

They’re available on his Bandcamp page.

“Learn Not to Lie”

“Counting on a Lie”

“The Devil’s Ocean”

“Strangling Cupid”

“Bad Pressure”

“Life is Golden, I am Brown”

New video stuff

So, awhile back, writer/director Jason Snellgrove asked me to write a really cheesy acoustic song for the Gut Munchers soundtrack. So I did. And he created a video for it that includes me walking. And walking. And looking around while walking. The song is called “Zombie Gingivitis.”

And my friend Hillary Andrews made a video recently as well. It was fun working with her, Sarah Ortiz and Tyler Caldwell on this project. She used the Hail the Titans song “Cesium” for it.