Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RIP Jeff Marx

I first met Jeff Marx in 1987, when I began studying Jazz Piano with John Esposito. Jeff and John, along with Jeff Siegel, Dave Douglas, Fred Berryhill, and Allen Murphy were playing in the group, Second Sight. With all of these guys being about 10 years older than me, and being very accomplished Jazz musicians, I thought of them as my musical, big brothers.

In addition to being a phenomenal Sax player, Jeff Marx was the consummate prankster. In another life, he probably could have been a stand-up comedian. You had to be on your guard around him, but he was never mean spirited. Most people found him to be very good humored, and it seemed as if he always lifted the spirits, of those around him. You had to work to be unhappy, when Jeff was around.

I last spoke to Jeff in '92, he was sitting in with a group of us at a Jazz workshop. We were working on some Coltrane, but didn't have a Sax player. He sat in on Tenor, and it was amazing. Afterwards, I can still hear him humorously quizzing me about moving to Texas, and what sort things went on down there.

About a year and half ago, I received word that Jeff was in bad health, and was fighting cancer. Today, I noticed a Facebook post by Jeff Siegel indicating that Jeff had finally succumbed to the disease, and passed away yesterday. I'm raising a glass in his honor, and spending some time listening to some of his recordings. Here are some links related to his life, and his art.

Rest in Peace, my friend!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Vintage Trouble and Govt. Mule at Stubbs

Vintage Trouble

I can't completely recall how Vintage Trouble first appeared on my radar. It may have been when they were featured on the iTunes store.

I do remember buying their album, giving it multiple listens, and noting that they were playing ACL Festival this year. Their retro, blues rock sound, reminded me of Storyville, and I enjoyed their music enough to also sign up for their mailng list.

Although I deliberately opted out of ACL for the second year thus missing both of their appearances, I discovered through their mailing list that would be returning to Austin one month later, opening for Govt. Mule. I was aware of the headliners, and liked some of their music, but honestly this was one of those cases, where I bought a ticket to see the opening band.


The band originally hails from Hollywood, CA, and the lineup is as follows:

  • Ty Taylor - Vocals
  • Nalle Colt - Guitar
  • Rick Barrio Dill - Bass
  • Richard Danielson - Drums

Vintage Trouble

They played a single set about an hour in length, and really knocked it out of the park. The lead singer is very energetic and dynamic showman, and has the vocal chops to deliver the sound in a live context. I ran into a former coworker (and fellow keyboard player), Todd Frenzel and his wife. Like me, they had come specifically to see VT, so there is a bit of a buzz about them.

Not being intimate with their music yet, I didn't capture a setlist, but did recognize songs from their debut album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions.

Govt. Mule

The headliners was Govt. Mule, a southern rock, jam band formed as a side project, by two members of the Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes, and Allen Woody (now deceased). Normally, I don't enjoy jam bands, but the Mule doesn't fit the typical prototype for the genre.


The current lineup of Govt. Mule is as follows:

  • Warren Haynes - Vocals and Guitar
  • Matt Abts - Drums
  • Danny Louis - Keyboards and Trombone
  • Jorgen Carlsson - Bass

Special Guest

In addition to the members above, there were two special guests who joined the band on stage. Hook Herrera joined the Mule on stage during their set, as well as during the encore, and played Blues Harp. In addition, Nalle Colt, Vintage Trouble's guitarist also joined the Mule on stage for the encore.


The Mule posts their setlists on their website, so you can find it here.

I estimate that that Mule played for close to two hours, with the show ending just before midnight. They are very tight, and everything was well done. If I had one criticism, it was that Warren Haynes is nowhere near the showman that Ty Taylor is. All in all, it was a great night of music on crisp, Fall night, in Austin.

Govt. Mule

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Steve Morse and Joe Satriani at ACL Live

The Steve Morse Band

While living in Poughkeepsie from '83 to '93, I saw Steve Morse perform at least 9 or 10 times with the Dregs, the Steve Morse Band, and Kansas. The Chance in Poughkeepsie was always a favorite stop for him. He always put on a superb show.

Since moving to Austin, I have seen Steve play once, with Deep Purple. I did happen to run into him and Dave LaRue in the Dallas airport, waiting at a gate back in '97, and begged them to play Austin. Oh well, you can't say I didn't try.

The Lineup

The band still has the same lineup that I saw, back in the early '90s:

Steve Morse Band

The band played about a 45 minute set. My only complaint was that the mix could have been better. It was very difficult to hear Steve's guitar. Several friends of mine, had the same criticism after the show.

I'm not really up on his new material, but I did recognize some of the older songs. He played 2 songs from The Introduction. I have post a partial setlist here, and am hoping the someone else will complete it.

Joe Satriani

The headline act was Joe Satriania. Like Steve, I had also seen Joe play multiple times. The last time was at the Austin Music Hall around 2000 or 2001.

The Lineup

There was a little bit of a sense of deja vu, since I had just seen 2 members of Joe's band perform with the Aristocrats.

Joe Satriani

I estimate that Satch played a single set with an encore that clocked in right around 2 hours. For some unknown reason (LOL), the sound was much better for Joe's set than Steve's. I will say that Joe's band is killer, but I already had much love for his rhythm section. This band was firing on all cylinders.

The setlist for the show is posted here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Austin City Limits taping - the Black Angels

Three years have passed since I attended one of the last Austin City Limits (ACL) tapings, at the old studio, for Spoon. For their next season, 2011, the ACL show moved into the Moody Theater. Although I have attended many shows there, including the first one, I had not attended an actual ACL taping at the new location.

Two nights ago, my friends Ron and Alissa called and informed me that they had won two pairs of tickets, in the lottery for local band, the Black Angels. I was familiar with the band, but can't really say I am a fan. I was more interested in seeing how the taping experience had changed.

As we entered the venue, I was surprised to discover that we had assigned seating, and that the entire theater was being used. Security seemed a little bit heavier, and they were cautioning people against any sort of camera use, which is understandable. As a result, I don't have any pictures of the band playing.


They played for about an hour, and came out for encore, which I didn't understand, because the show is edited to show only the music. The setlist was posted on the ACL TV Facebook page.

It was generally enjoyable, but the Black Angels aren't really my cup of tea. And, the experience is much less intimate with a theater that is 8 times the size and capacity, of the old KLRU studio.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Aristocrats at the Saxon Pub

Courtesy of one of the my fellow TOAPP campers, I became aware of a three piece, power fusion trio, the Aristocrats.

The band has the following lineup:

You may or may not recognize that two of the musicians, Marco and Guthrie, were members of Steven Wilson's band for the Raven that Refused to Sing tour. Marco was also in Steven's band to support Grace for Drowning, and has played with Adrian Belew, UKZ, along with many others.

I had never heard or seen Bryan Beller, but was aware that he and Marco had been touring in support of Joe Satriani. Clearly, he is no slouch, either.

Since the band came highly recommended, and I had already seen two of the trio members perform live, it was a no-brainer to buy their CD. I ordered the CD on-line, and was also able to digitally download the music immediately. I liked what I heard, they displayed a frightening level of virtuosity.

It was couple days later when I discovered that they would be playing a show in Austin, and at the Saxon Pub, no less. Even though the show was at 11PM on a Sunday, how could I pass up the show for $15?? The Aristocrats

Their set started about 10:55PM, after Bryan thoughtfully told the audience that he wanted to make sure that everyone had gotten into the club. They then began a 2 hour set that rocked the house. Fortunately, they introduced every song, and usually had an accompanying story for each composition. I was able to jot down this setlist, as a result.

The playing was incredible and terrifying. There were a lot of musicians in the audience, and I am certain that one or two probably went home and burned their instruments, after watching this band. Marco and Guthrie are indescribably good

I was really blown away, however, by Bryan Beller. I had a great vantage point to watch Bryan up close, and decided that he is right up there with Jeff Berlin. He has amazing alternating finger technique on the bass.

The set ended shortly after 1AM, and I have feeling that this band will be back soon. Final Bow

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Living Colour at Emos

Hard Proof

The openers were an Afrobeat band, from Austin, Hard Proof. I think I recognized some of the musicians in this band from Black Joe Lewis. They played all instrumental songs, with a big wall of sound, and a heavy Afro-Cuban beat, driven by a drummer and 2 percussionists.

Hard Proof

Living Colour

My real reason for being at the club though, was to see Living Colour. Almost 4 years have passed, since I last saw the band. This was also my first trip to the new Emos location, next to Antones. The club had moved off of 6th Street about a year ago.

This tour is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the band's first album, Vivid. Even though I had jotted the setlist down on my iPhone, it was already posted when I looked.

If you look at the setlist, you'll notice that they also played 2 songs from Time's Up, as well as covers.

Vernon Reid

Vernon Reid

The sound was good, and the audience receptive. A very good vibe floating around the room last night. The Muse was present, and she rewarded us with a gift.

Post Show

After the show, I got to speak to Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish, while poor Corey was surrounded by fans. I couldn't find Vernon at first, but eventually spotted him talking to two other people. I got to reintroduced myself since we are connected by a mutual friend. We then had a little convo about the FNG Podcast. (You should listen to it, if you don't already).

Couldn't have asked for a better night.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Orioles vs. the Rangers

Busy Weekend

I had originally planned on going to the see the O's play the Rangers on Saturday, but that was before I realized that it coincided with the Lone Star Ruby Conference. After trolling around the Nest 512 group, I was able to cut a you buy, I fly deal, with my friend, Matt Sadowsky. He had 2 tickets, 28 rows back right next to the Orioles dugout.

This was my first trip to the new Rangers ballpark, having previously seen a game at the old one in '93. It was a bit of a drag, driving up with all the traffic and delays. We arrived just missing the first inning, but saw the Orioles complete their sweep, of a 3 game series.

Slowly closing in on the Bosox and Rays!

Panorama of Rangers Ballpark

Matt Wieters at bat

Orioles celebrate post-game

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Psychedelic Furs at Antones

New Location on Riverside

Several months ago, I was surprised to hear that Antones would be moving from the 5th and Lavaca location, to Riverside Drive. This is the third location for Antones, since I moved to Austin in '93.

Antones moved next door to the new Emo's location. Both clubs now sit in the same plaza that once housed the Backroom.

I arrived early and took a look around. To be honest, I wasn't crazy about Antone's new layout. It is two stories now, and feels a little a bit more cramped. I think it holds more people, but I can't say for sure.

By the end of the show Thursday, I was on the fence about whether I liked the new venue. The sound wasn't terrible, but it wasn't stellar, either. There were a limited number of seats and tables upstairs, but these appeared to be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The club is mainly a standing-room, GA environment. I ended up standing in front of the railing, on the first floor, right next to the soundboard.

The Technicolors

The opening act was from Phoenix, AZ. They were a Pop oriented Rock band, that I could best describe as Tonic, with Jeff Buckley as the lead singer.

They played a solid set of original material. To be honest, I may have enjoyed the opening act more than the headliner. I estimate the Technicolors played about a 50 minute set.

The lead singer was very talented, and had an impressive amount of charisma and stage presence. The band was very tight, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear more from them, in the future. These guys are definitely on their way up.

The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs

I've always considered the Psychedelic Furs to be one of the prototypical,Post-Punk, New Wave bands of the late 70's. I wasn't a huge fan, but always respected the poetry and lyrics of frontman, and singer, Richard Butler. These days, their shows are dangerously close to State Fair territory.

After a bit of a wait for the stage to be reconfigured, the Furs went on stage a approximately 10:20, if I remember correctly. I estimate that they played a single, 90 minute set.

The Psychedelic Furs


The only original members left in the band are the Butler brothers, Richard and Tim. The rest of the band were the typical young, musical mercinaries you hire to go on tour.

  • Richard Butler (vocals)
  • Tim Butler (bass)
  • Rich Good (guitar)
  • Mars Williams (saxophone)
  • Amanda Kramer (keyboards)
  • Paul Garisto (drums)

Set List

Not surprisingly, the Furs played all of their hits. By the time I had arrived home, I noticed that someone had already posted a setlist, here.

It was good night of music, but I found that Richard's vocal timbre starting to wear thin on me, at the end of the first hour. The only other downer was the two couples standing next me. They were drunk and stoned out of their gourds, and felt it necessary to regale us with their spastic, interpretive, dance routine. I wouldn't have noticed, if elbow room hadn't have been in such short supply.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Protomen at the Red 7

It's hard to believe that over 3 years have passed, since I first saw this band. I have blogged about the other occasions that I have seen the Protomen play live:

  1. Game Over Video Games in July, 2010.
  2. Emo's in August, 2011.
  3. Red 7 in August 2012.

Excluding SxSW, this was their second straight show at the Red 7. It is not exactly my favorite venue, because of the lack of air conditioning. Also returning was opening band, Urizen, from Dallas.


The Protomen went on shortly after 11PM, and played somewhere just shy of 2 hours. Although they are actively claiming to be working on Act III, they only played one new song, that I can recall. Other than that, the rest of the material came from their first 2 albums, Acts I & II. They did sneak in one cover, Queen's Don't Stop Me Now.

All in all, the Protomen still put on a great show, but the lack of AC, sucked. They're one of the best bands you have probably never heard of. Here's hoping for bigger, nicer, air conditioned clubs, in their future.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Grandmothers of Invention at Stubbs

Second Time Around

Fourteen months have passed since I last saw the Grandmothers of Invention. When I saw this show announced, I knew I had to go. After meeting the band last time, I feel like the members of the band are old friends.

The lineup

The membership of the Grandmothers has changed. The most noticeable departure being Tom Fowler, who is now playing with another Zappa Tribute band, the Band from Utopia. The current lineup consists of:

  • Napoleon Murphy Brock - Lead Vocals, Tenor Sax, and Flute. An original Mother
  • Don Preston - Keyboards. The other original Mother
  • Chris Garcia - Drums and backup vocals
  • Max Kutner - Electric Guitar
  • Dave Johnson - Bass

The Grandmothers of Invention


The band played two sets that were approximately 70 minutes in length. Unfortunately, I did not keep track of the set-list. The 2013 tour was being billed as the One Size Fits All tour, and they did in fact play every song from that album. The highlights for me were the Sofa No. 1 and No. 2, and San Ber'dino for the encore.

I do now that they also played selections like Village of the Sun from Roxy and Elsewhere, and Burnt Weenie Sandwich.

The Grandmothers of Invention

Prior to the show, Napoleon circled through the crowd, shaking the hand of anyone and thanking them for coming. My respect for this great artist grew exponentially. As always, his vocals and playing were amazing. In fact, the entire band was tighter than a whale's asshole.

Even though there was no VIP access this time, I got to speak to the drummer, Chris Garcia, between the sets. I was happy that he remembered me, from the previous show.

All in all, it was fantastic night of music.

RIP Alan Myers

I hadn't really thought about or looked into why Alan Myers was no longer playing with the Spud-boys from Akron. The reason is now obvious, and Alan is no longer with us.

You can read about it here and here. Sad news for sure.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Robert Fripp and the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists

Short (but timely) Notice

Around the beginning of May, a friend and fellow attendee of both ToAPP camps, Diego Lanz, sent me a Facebook invite. The event was a short, 3 stop, East Coast tour, by Robert Fripp and the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. Had I watched the North American Guitar Circle site more carefully, I would have known about it earlier.

As it turned out, Diego had joined a Guitar Circle back in February, and was actually performing as a member of the Orchestra. I have often wondered whether I should have enrolled in a course, despite being a keyboard player. I am still contemplating doing this.

Almost a Quarter Century Ago

I had seen Robert Fripp and the League of Crafty Guitarists perform at the Chance in Poughkeepsie. Three of the dozen performers that night would go on to form the California Guitar Trio, and eventual King Crimson member, Trey Gunn, was the opening act. That show was a once in a lifetime event, an experience that I will never forget.

Looking back, I think that performance had such an impact on me, because I was very receptive to the Muse, at that point in my life. I was in the middle of my own 5 year drive, consisting of Jazz piano study and practice, along with my first foray, into Chinese Martial Arts. To see a group pull off what they did that night, was both astounding and unsettling. Nothing has ever been the same with me, since that performance on March 30, 1990.

Off to Newark!

After receiving the invite, I quickly made arrangements to get my butt to the NYC show. I was able to score a relatively cheap flight to Newark, NJ on Saturday afternoon, and a reservation at an airport hotel. Bad weather in Dallas almost totally derailed the trip, resulting in a very late arrival on Sunday morning. Finally getting to the hotel at 3AM, I slept, had a late breakfast, and left Newark around 1PM, spending the next hour taking the PATH train from Newark, to 9th Street in Manhattan, then hoofed it the rest of the way to St. Mark's.

I arrived right at 3PM, and encountered the line you see here. I had purchased my ticket before even making travel arrangements. A good move, as it was sold out. Looking ahead, I saw another friend from ToAPP camp, up at near the front of the line.

St. Mark's Church in the Bowery

St. Mark's in-the-Bowery

The performance took place in the nave of the church. When we entered, there was no altar or pews, much to my surprise, since I think it is still an active church. There were doors in the front, which led to a sacristy, where the performers were prepping. There was also a second floor balcony, that extended along both the side and the back walls.

In the middle of the nave, there were chairs for the audience arranged in 4 large concentric ovals, with space in the middle. There was additional seating around the outside, with a structure that looked like bleachers covered with cloth, and on the dais where the alter should have been.

Soundscapes were emanating from the sacristy, as people chatted, and waited. The soundscapes suddenly stopped at 4PM. Immediately, all conversation stopped, as well. Five of the performers then walked out to the center of the floor, and issued a request to the audience in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English that there be no photography, and that no audio or video recordings made. They asked instead, that we give them our attention and our ears, for the performance.

Shortly afterwards, you could hear the almost inaudible sound of guitars. Slowly, a procession of guitarists emerged from a 2nd floor door on the right side, on to the balcony. The proceeded around all 3 sides, into a door on the left side, then down the stairs in the sacristy, before re-entering on to the first floor. They slowly circled the audience seated in the oval. I quickly counted and came up with a number of approximately 60 guitarists in total.

As they walked above our heads, it seemed like we were in a light, rain shower of sound. It was exquisite. Although this is not from this show, I did find a You Tube video of the Orchestra in procession, so that you might get a better picture of how it sounded.

For the first 20 to 30 minutes, the material appeared to have been improvised. With the Orchestra alternating between one large circle, and 6 or 7 smaller circles. All sorts of circulations were executed, including silence, single notes and chords.

After the extended improvisation, the playing stopped. Robert who had been standing quietly at the rear the church, walked to the center of the empty floor, with the Orchestra in one big circle, and sarcastically said, Don't you know any songs with a melody?. When Robert quickly exited, a small circle of 8 guitarist formed and played, Red.

More improvisation followed, as well as more songs. I did notice that the entire Orchestra played Eye of the Needle, and a smaller circle played 21st Century Schizoid Man. The 90 - 100 minutes flew by. I was very happy that they chose the very hauntingly, beautiful song, Asturias for their encore.

After the show, I caught up to Diego, but we had only a short amount of time to talk. Robert had the entire group on a strict schedule, so he had to leave to get back on the bus. (I only realized later that the tour was part of a week long Guitar Circle course, in Mass).

Fellow ToAPP Campers

It was a wonderful day of music, and I spent the rest of the day over in Hoboken, my old stomping ground, with a friend from college.


I found this picture on Facebook, by one of the members of the Orchestra. It shows the group preparing for the show, inside of St. Marks.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Legend, McCoy Tyner at the One World Theater

Originally, I had thought I had last seen McCoy Tyner in 2008. I did a double take when I discovered that almost 7 years had passed, since I last saw him play at Hogg Auditorium. Time sure flies.

I arrived at the One World Theater early, and was not surprised to run into many people I knew. One of them, Ric Furley, had mentioned that McCoy was looking very frail, and played a short set, excusing himself to rest between shows. Hearing this, I was anxious to get upstairs and get in as many minutes listening as possible, just in case he had to cut that show short, as well.

The Trio

The late show started on time, and as McCoy was helped out on stage, he did look very frail. Nothing like the man that I had a drink with at the Town Crier in Brewster, NY, back in 1990 or 1991. He seems unable to walk without assistance, and his speaking voice is very soft now. At times, it is hard to discern what he is saying, even with a microphone.

When he sats down at the Piano however, it's was a whole 'nother story, all together! It was like switch had been clicked. His playing is still very powerful, and fluid. Still, I am hoping that this doesn't end up being one of the last times I get to see him play.

The show lasted about an 70-80 minutes, and his band mates talked him into one encore song. In all, they played 7 pieces. They did play some Coltrane material, but none of the hits like Favorite Things. I actually thought he was going into that during the encore, since he was doing the E Dorian vamp, but the melody never arrived.

I must say the bassist and drummer were exceptional, and they both did an outstanding job.

Set List

Out of the 7 songs, I recognized these 3.

  • Blues on the Corner
  • Aisha
  • Duke Ellington's, In a Mellow Mood

Here's hoping there's more McCoy shows in my future.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dodgers at the Orioles

Baseball is Back in Baltimore

Most of my friends know me as a Ravens football fanatic. While this is true, my first sports love has always been the Baltimore Orioles. As a little kid, I was a Jr. Oriole. During my college days, I would average 20-30 games a summer. Now, I watch from afar.

Unfortunately, this once great franchise had slide into mediocrity. For years, I have been quietly watching my O's on MBL.tv, hoping that they would right the ship. (Preferably, with a new owner).

Two years ago, the team hired Buck Showalter as the new manager. Quickly thereafter, the team showed signs of turning it around, culminating in their first playoff appearance in 15 years, last season. Buck had this team advance into the 2nd round of the playoffs, so baseball was in fact back in Baltimore.

Planning a trip back home to see Steven Wilson, this weekend was also near my nephew Stephen's birthday. He is also a big sports fan, so it seemed only natural to take him to a baseball game, after the NFL game around Christmas.

After talking to my friend in Baltimore about getting tickets, we eventually had 9 people going, including myself, my brother in-law, and all 4 of my nephews. We sat in the Picnic Perch. It was basically a set of Club Level seats out in Left Field, accompanied by an all you can eat selection of hotdogs, popcorn, peanuts, nachos, and soda.


The game was a little bit of a disappointment since it was the O's only loss of the weekend. But the weather was nice, and I really enjoyed myself. I've already planned an trip back around my birthday in October, hoping that I will be able to catch the Ravens and an MLB playoff game.



On the way out, we stopped in the outfield plaza, to look at the newly installed statues of Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, and Earl Weaver. All players from my youth.

Brooks Robinson Statue


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Steven Wilson at the Howard Theater

The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)

Eighteen months ago, I was fortunate enough to have caught Steven Wilson's Grace for Drowning tour, in Philadelphia. After completing the European leg of that tour, and the Storm Corrosion project, Steven quickly returned to the studio to record his third solo album, The Raven That Refused to Sing, with essentially the same band.

Predictably, the tour announcement came in the wake of the album release, and once again was limited primarily to stops on the East and West Coast of the US. Looking over the tour schedule, I noticed this show on Saturday night in Washington, DC. It would allow me to head back to Maryland and see my family, and also catch an Orioles game.

I called an old friend and fellow musician, Joe Schaedler, and talked him into going. I was somewhat anxious to hear his opinion of the music, since it was new to him. I felt it was both Poppy and Artsy enough to appeal to him. My guess was correct, since he enjoyed it, and described it as Hannibal Lecter meets Sergeant Pepper.

After meeting my friend in Reston, at his place, we headed into town, arriving at the Howard with about half an hour to spare.

Howard Theater

The Sound System

As the crowd waited for the show, Bass Communion was being played through the Surround Sound PA. My friend noticed this immediately, and was blown away by the effect. He said that this show was forcing him to reconsider and think about the manipulation of the stereo field during a live performance.

Steven Wilson

Band Members

The line up for this show was almost identical to the Grace for Drowning tour. The only difference being the guitartist.

  • Steven Wilson - lead vocals, guitar, and keys
  • Guthrie Govan - lead guitar
  • Nick Beggs - bass, Chapman Stick, and backing vocals
  • Adam Holzman - keys
  • Marco Minneman - drums
  • Theo Travis - flute, saxophone, and clarinet

Steven Wilson

The Show

The actual show started promptly at 8PM, a consisted of a single set lasting 2 hours, and an encore. The actual setlist was up and available within 12 hours of the show.

It was a wonderful evening of music, I am hoping that they may perhaps do a second North American tour before the end of the year.

Theo Travis - Good Night

Final Bow

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yes - ACL Live at the Moody Theater

First, RIP Peter Banks

Lost in my preparation for SxSW, I noticed but forgot to blog the passing of the original guitarist from Yes, Peter Banks.

The latest incarnation

Months ago, my friends Ron and Alissa, got me this ticket. I had always been a Yes fan growing up, and had seen them multiple times prior to 1993, the year I moved to Austin. In fact, this is the first time I have seen Yes, since the Union tour.

To me, it's not really Yes without Bill Bruford, and a lineup without Jon Anderson on vocals is at the very least, suspect. I didn't mind the Drama lineup, but I was never a big fan of the 90125 era.

Chris Squire

Band Personnel

For this tour, the Yes lineup would be:

  • Jon Davison - vocals
  • Chris Squire - bass
  • Steve Howe - guitar
  • Alan White - drums
  • Geoff Downes - keyboards

Jon Davison was the only newbie in the lineup, but all reports indicated that he sounded eerily close to Jon Anderson, when he sang.


Set List

The premise of this tour was for the band to play three Yes albums in their entirety. For our show they were played in this order:

  1. Close to the Edge
  2. Going for the One
  3. The Yes Album
  • Roundabout


The performance

Honestly, there were some problems with this band, particularly with the tempo. I'm not sure if the root of the problem was that the band was under rehearsed, or that there were monitoring problems. Throughout the night, it never seemed like Howe or Downes were on the same page as the rhythm section of White and Squire.

It seems I expected more from this show than the band was able to deliver. Hopefully they'll get this worked out before the end of the tour.

The night ended mercifully with Roundabout.

Final Bow

Sunday, March 17, 2013

SxSW 2013 - Day 10


Once again, I went to the BBQ on Sunday. It serves as a psychological anchor, letting me know that SxSW is over.

Having finished my 9th straight year of attending SxSW Music, and 5th straight attending as Platinum, I have managed to make some friends. Here are some pics of myself, and a few of my SxSW friends.



Saturday, March 16, 2013

SxSW 2013 - Day 9

A beautiful last day

As you can see in this picture taken from the fourth floor of the Hilton, the weather on the last full day of SxSW was fan-fucking-tastic.

View from Hilton Patio on 4th Floor

CLE: The Politics of Music and Future Copyright Battles

I sat through this panel wishing that Sandy Pearlman (Dr. Doom) had been present. Some of these people needed some sense slapped into them.

Canzoniere Grecanico Solentino

Walking by the stage in the convention center, I heard this wonderful band. They were from Italy and were playing some sort of folk music. The singing was partially polyphonic, and some of the stringed instruments were playing quarter tones.

My ears perked up, and I listened for a while. I found them very enjoyable, my non-musician friends would probably not agree.

Canzoniere Grecanico Solentino

So We Won SOPA

A frank discussion about what is next on the SOPA battlefront. There was an EFF lawyer on the panel. She convinced me that there is still a glimmer of hope. We can hold off the continual advances being attempted by old Turkey-neck, Chris Dodd, and his cohorts at the MPAA and RIAA.

So We Won SOPA

Good Ol' Freda

As the movie synopsis said, The Beatles were together for 10 years, Freda Kelly was their secretary for 11 years. A truely unique documentary, Freda Kelly has broken her silence after 50 years, and has the full support of the two remaining Beatles, Paul and Ringo.

This film documentary has some astounding footage of the Beatles.

Cello Fury

Heading over to St. David's, the first band of the night was a trio of cellists and a drummer from Pittsburgh. Imagine Metallica with this instrumentation, and you'll get the basic idea.

Cello Fury

Here's a video of them playing:

Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed

Heading over to the Sanctuary at St. David's I caught what is apparently the new Hollywood Power Couple. It was well done, but they have invoked martial law in this room with respect to taking pictures.

George Clinton and Parliament

This was my main mission for the night. The venue was an old auto garage. I was secretly holding out hope that George Clinton would somehow get Bootsy and Bernie Worrell on stage with him, for a complete P-Funk reunion. Unfortunately, it didn't happen.

Have no fear, they still gave up the Funk!

George Clinton

Friday, March 15, 2013

SxSW 2013 - Day 8

Conversation: Bootsy Collins and Chuck D

What better way to start off the morning than an interview with Bootsy Collins? The man played with James Brown and George Clinton, what else do you need to know?

Bootsie Collins interviewed by Chuch D

Interview: The Zombies

The next panel was an interview with 2 more legends, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, about their band, the Zombies. In hindsigt, I really regret was not getting over to their showcase.

Zombies Interview

Iron and Wine

After two excellent interviews, I cruised by the day stage and caught a great singer-songwriter act, Iron and Wine.

Iron and Wine


Walking over to the International Stage, I caught a few songs from an excellent Argentinian band, Pulenta.


APIs: How Do We Foster and Support Competition In A Highly Competitive Sandbox

I wish I could say I heard some encouraging things at this panel. It seems however, that the music industry remains at an impasse.



Back to the day stage for a pop band with a Retro sound, and some very good keyboard work. They were from Seattle and were called Pickwick.


Shout Out Out Out Out

I didn't get to see Savage, a band recommended by Sound Opinion's, Jim DeRegotis. However, he also recommended this band, and their homage to Kraftwerk, among others.

Shout Out Out Out Out

Berklee Party

I stopped briefly by Brush Creek Park tent to catch some of the Berklee School of Music Party.

Brushy Creek Party

Twenty Feet from Stardom

This day went by fast, but it didn't matter, because it led up to the best Film of SxSW for me, as well as one of the finest musical experiences. Twenty Feet from Stardom is an unbelievably good film. Strangely, the Paramount was only 3 quarters full, but the people behind said, to trust them, something very wonderful was going to happen after the screening.

In a nutshell, this film follows the history and careers of several acclaimed backup singers. As the movie progresses, you realize that you have heard every singer in the film, and they have appeared on your favorite songs.

During the documentary, one of the singers noted that Most people sing along with the backup singers, when they sing along to their favorite songs. So true!

Twenty Feet From Stardom

After the screening was over, two of the stars of the film performed on stage at the Paramount. All I can say is that Judith Hill and Darlene Love knocked the audience on their collective asses. The took us in a musical rapture.

Judith Hill

Judith Hill

Darlene Love

Darlene Love

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside

Leaving the Paramount, I walked over to Antones to check it out for the first time during SxSW. Normally, I would have dug a roots rock effort like Sallie Ford and the Outside. However, I was still recovering from Judith Hill and Darlene Love.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outsdie

Charlie Mars

I decided to close out the night at the Central Presbyterian Church, another great listening venue. I had heard Charlie Mars last year at the same venue. I enjoyed him then, and this time.

Natalie Maines with Ben Harper

Staying put, I didn't realize at first that it was Natalie Maines (of Dixie Chicks fame), because she had her hair cut short and dyed black. She was joined on stage by a very good male singer, who also played lap steel guitar. It turned out that it was Ben Harper.

The set was a eclectic mix of things with a strong Americana feel. One of the highlights was her cover of Pink Floyd's, Mother, from the Wall. The other highlight was her being joined on stage by her father Lloyd Maines, pedal steel player extraordinaire.

I guess I lucked out on this venue choice.

Natalie Maines