El Paso Music Scene
by Charles Hurley (Facebook)
E-mail: bigcheese AT El Paso Music Scene.com
Twitter: bullwinkle1960

El Paso Music Scene

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El Paso Music Scene myspace page

Booking Address: booking AT elpasomusicscene.com;


If you want to contact me, contact me via BIGCHEESE AT EPMS, facebook or the El Paso Music Scene myspace page.

- Charles Hurley

25 Musical Acts You Need to See Live Well, I can certainly agree with them that Rolling Stone is full of crap.

Rebirth For Music Retail? Negotiations Begin To Charge Stores Just 80 Cents Upfront To Stock A CD

6 Easily Avoidable Mistakes for a Band to Make at a Show

How To Actually Make $50,000 a Year As a Musician

Here is a story about a Washington, D.C. awards show that turned into a brawl. The show honors "local rap, hip-hop and R&B performers," and took place at the Crystal City Hyatt.

Rap has such a tie-in with the NBA. I wonder why no connection has developed for it with the NHL.

Hey, glad to hear about the King Octopus reunion! I still wear my K.O. T-shirt!

How Do You Sell Your Music When You HATE Selling?

Kind of interesting. There are slightly annoying ads for his free music marketing course (which probably leads to a paid course, or a paid something), but that's how marketers are.

Is YouTube Destroying or Saving Music?

Sell Sheet Music Direct-To-Fan with ZMX Music

Edan On How to Improve Your Live Hip Hop Show

How to Buy a Guitar

Lessons From Jac Holzman (or Respect Your Elders)

The Number of New Releases Is Suddenly Nosediving...

Just got a message from Theta Naught:


just wanted to say thanks for the website with list of EP venues. It's helped us get a gig in EP.


Theta Naught

Nice to be appreciated. I used to get stuff like this all the time. Little little, I'm getting the site built up to what it used to be, and much more. Stay tuned.

Why True Musicianship Is Key

Become a Student of the Music Business Knowledge is Power, eh? Well, either I have more power or less knowledge than I thought.

How To Recruit Band Members: Get Your Ad Headline Right 10 Tour Prep Ideas That ALL Musicians Should Be Taking Advantage Of Your Mastermind Group ¿ A Key Component For Your Future Success

Fan Fundraising Tips From Hard Lessons

British Bands Heading To SXSW

The Top 10 Most Annoying People at Gigs
This is a fun read.

Advice To Those Starting a Career in the Music Industry

Heather's Music Careers Blog: Getting Comfortable with Making Money

Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Why You Need to Learn the Music Biz

How a Publicist Builds Awareness of a Band in the Press and Public

New Media Pioneer: Michael Moss of Post It Cast

Why Artists Should Ditch MySpace For Bandcamp

Celebrate, then build ¿ Making the most out of opportunities

Why Do Songwriting Challenges?

Top Ten Tips: Live Performance

Play Cover Songs vs Original Songs? Two Schools of Thought on Performing

Attending Music Conferences 2/5: Pre-Conference Planning (Part 2)

Advice for Aspiring Engineers and Producers

Facebook Upgrades its Fan Pages, Good News for Musicians

UMG's Joseph: "Streams of Music are Eclipsing Everything..."

What Does a Publicist Do and How Does a Publicity Campaign Work?

31 Ways To Suck At Social Media Marketing

I was just watching the morning local news, and I noticed something about how they do it. You have the two anchors, one gives a quick intro to the weather guy, BOOM, we see him, he quickly says what he has to say, then BOOM, the shot is back to the anchors.

Sure, everybody has seen that a million times. That's how they do it. It's not like the shot goes to the weatherman's area, but he's off-camera eating a donut, gets on-screen, thinks for a few moments, then says, "OK, let's talk about this cold front that's coming through tomorrow.. no, wait, the day after tomorrow..."

No, they have their act together. They have standards. They want to keep the audience's attention. They do this right, every time - or at least, 99.9% of the time.

Contrast this to your garden-variety local band. After they set up their equipment, they fart around for a while, then decide they're ready to play, after babbling a few sentences about who they are and what their first song is. In between songs, more messing around. Maybe they have some things to say to one another that should have been straightened out a long time ago.

This is how to lose your audience's attention and interest. Imagine if they pulled that on the local news! Would you keep watching?

I have an idea from the Grammys: I'm thinking about buying five of those eggs like Lady Gaga used for her entrance, and renting them out to bands. Anybody interested?

ReverbNation is a good site to look at as a Myspace replacement. FB is great, but not so great for bands. Also, check out Bandcamp.

TrueDIY Biz: Ten Copyright Questions Answered

Musicians: 5 Reasons Why the CD is Still Very Important to Musicians

Stop Music Promotion and Start Integrating, by Jim Grobecker

Guerilla Music Marketing: The Smartest ¿Stunt¿ You Can Pull

PayPal Goes Live With Micropayments: Sell Digital Tracks Direct & Keep More $'s

The Blessing & The Curse That Is SXSW...

Facebook Updates Artist Pages

The Science of Becoming a Rock Star

Selling Out Your Shows Every Time

Live Performance: Give Them More Than They Expect

100 Artists On The Verge


Five Things Critics Do NOT Like

5 Improvisation Activities That Generate Song Ideas

ArtistDevelopmentBlog: Four Surefire Ways to Get Your Stuff Rejected

ArtistsHouseMusic: Songwriting/Producer Guy Erez on Music Production Equipment Essentials

KikAxeMusic: COVERED: WEEZER rework BARRY MANILOW's "Like a Good Neighbor" for STATE FARM..

DigitalMusicNews: It's Over! Activision Nixing Guitar Hero...

Gary Moore Dead: Thin Lizzy Guitarist Passes at 58

Reconsidering Physical Music Retail (Or Moving Past Chain Stores)

FanBridge: How can you turn Facebook ¿Likes¿ into actively engaged fans?

MakeItInMusic: Don¿t over play your local scene - or is that bullshit?

DIYMusician: Licensing Your Music Ain¿t Easy ¿ Be Cool

Finding The Best Place In The Room To Record

HypeBot: How Do You Treat Your Biggest Fans?

DigitalMusicNews: How a Little Hungarian Music Startup Scored $1.7 Million...

WaywardMusician: 5 Simple Methods To Market Your Music Offline

MicControl: Day Jobs Suck, But Being A Musician Will Help You Get Ahead

MicControl: How To Make A Band Mailing List Work Like Digital Telepathy!

Brand Loyalty: Can A Label Make You Listen?

DigitalMusic: Yikes: Is This Where Publishing Is Headed?

5 Ways To Manage Your Time As An Indie Artist

Tuncecore Poll Shows 44% Of Musicians Don't Copyright Their Music

The Case Against Artist Management

Are Fliers For A Show Even Worth It? Pt. 2

Top 10 Bands That Should Have Broken Up Instead of the White Stripes

Music Career Over? 11 Professional Skills You Have Gained In Your Pursuit.


I didn't think it was such a big deal that Christina Aguilera messed up on the National Anthem. With that kind of pressure, for a song that you don't sing all the time, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.

A few years ago, it happened to a 13-year-old girl singing the National Anthem before an NBA game. Trail Blazers' coach Mo Cheeks ran over and helped the poor girl out. Check out the video.

I wasn't sure what I thought about The Black-Eyed Peas when I was watching them on the Super Bowl, but this article really tied it all together for me. I hadn't thought much of their performance by itself, but it was interesting the way it was tied together with other things: Slash, Usher, and the Tron-like dancers.

The Orange County Register writer, Ben Wener, knew more about their past performances, and doesn't hesitate to pan their Super Bowl show.

DigitalMusicNews: The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living... .

DigitalMusicNews: 32 Different Ways Artists Can Make Money....

DIYMusician: Mechanical Licensing for Silly Love Songs: Public Domain vs. Copyrighted Works.

UltimateGuitar: HOW TO: Invest Tax Return Into Your Music Career.

10 Things Every Musician Should Do Online Every Day.

Sell More Independent Music Using My 2 Risk Reversal Methods.

Defining Success: What It Means To ¿Make It¿.

When Two Bands Have Exactly the Same Name....

How To Clear A Cover Song.

About.com: Music Promoter.

About.com: Booking a Gig - Gig Booking Step by Step for Bands - Music Promo Packages.

Musician's Homework: 10 Books That Will Improve Your Music Career.

Why Hyperlocal Music Blogs Matter [INTERVIEW].

HowToRunABand: 6 Tips For Touring That No One Ever Tells You.

Top 10 Ways To Break Up Your Band.

Please! MySpace Now Begging Its Users to Return....

The Spot, 9068 Socorro, is opening back up. They hadn't had any shows for quite a while.

Breaking News: The White Stripes Split Up.

DIYMusician: Seeing is Believing- Why Visual Presentation Matters to Your Live Show.

Heather's Music Careers Blog (about.com): The Dos and Don'ts of Contacting the Press.

MicControl: Song Endings That Make An Impact.

MicControl: Writing Music - Even When You Don't Want To.

DigitalMusicNews: What To Do When Someone Steals Your Song....

MicControl: 20 Alternative Ways To Create A Sustainable Career In Music.

A Day in the Life of a Transactional Music Attorney

How to Build a Band / Musician Website in 2 Hours for $23!

The Pros & Cons of Playing Cover Gigs- Pt. 2 (the Cons)

What Shopping is and How a Music Lawyer Helps You Do This.

8 Things That Will Go Wrong On Stage.

Top Twitter Tips for Musicians - Involvement & Music (part 5 of 6).

The Two Types of Music Attorneys and How They Differ from Other Entertainment Lawyers.

Understanding Image and Branding as a Musical Artist.

10 Expert Insights Into Great Music Marketing

15 Must-Have iPad Music Apps for the Career-Focused Musician.

Find The Right Blog To Promote Your Music.

The Central Role of Contracts and Agreements to Doing Business, and How an Attorney Can Help You Manage Them.

Advice from a Music Attorney on Protecting Your Intellectual Property.

Tony Robbins Quote: It's amazing what human beings can do with enough vision, hunger, guts, & unrelenting determination.

DIYMusician: The Pros & Cons of Playing Cover Gigs- Pt. 1 (the Pros).

ArtistsHouseMusic: The Single Most Common Legal Mistake Made By Performing Artists.

HypeBot: What Makes Facebook Fan Pages So Succesful: Lessons From Linkin Park & The Major Brands

HypeBot: BuzzDeck - Social Analytics For Bands & Managers.

MicControl: Aderra: Making Money For Touring Performers w/ Instant Live Recordings.

HeadAboveMusic: Eight Steps to Improving Your Composing and Songwriting Skills.

ArtistsHouseMusic: Finding a Good Music Attorney.

UnifiedMacturing: Indie Musicians: 5 Personality Development Tips for New Musicians.

MusicThinkTank: Avoid These Mistakes! 15 Critical Marketing Mistakes That All Musicians Need To Avoid.

PrefixMag: NPR Speaks With Indie Artists On Making A Living Without Going Major.

MicControl: How To Promote Your First Show in A New City.

ArtistsHouseMusic: Video: Managing Artists' Expectations.

MicControl: 3 Artist Link Building Strategies to Rank Higher Online.

HypeBot: Why The Decline of MySpace Is Great For Musicians

Do You Need a Manager?

LiveUnsigned: How long will it take to be build an audience?

ArtistsHouseMusic: What Does a Label's Sales Staff Do?

MusicThinkTank: How To Sell And Market Your Music Using The Latest Research

HypeBot: How Many Facebook Credits Is Your Song Worth?

MicControl: 10 Key To Dos for a Successful CD Release Party

Hypebot: "As Things Stand Now, Digital Music Has Failed."

Altpress: No Money, Mo' Problems: Why even successful bands struggle financially

I liked this paragraph:

THURSDAY vocalist GEOFF RICKLY is fully willing to admit that his personal income last year was less than $10,000. Rickly spent months of 2010 working a retail job in Brooklyn to make ends meet; and thanks partly to living in New York City, he hasn't owned a car in seven years. If that surprises you, you're not alone. "I saw something online once that said, 'Oh those Thursday guys don't care, they're driving their fancy cars and living in their big houses,' Rickly says. "I thought that was so funny. In our biggest year, when we were all over the radio and on TV, I made less than anyone with a desk job makes. It's a weird misconception. But I remember when I was a kid, I saw Snapcase; and they were the biggest hardcore band I'd ever seen at the time. They had a thousand kids piling on the stage, everyone was buying T-shirts and I thought, 'These guys must be loaded!' I think about [that now], and it's really funny."

Who Are You Comparing Yourselves To?.

Bands 101 - Running Your Band.

HypeBot: Why My Band Left MySpace & Facebook - For Good

MicControl: How to: Use Vinyl to Help Promote Your Latest Single.

15 Aspiring Musicians Who Found Fame Through YouTube [VIDEOS].

Ellen DeGeneres has a record label?

Aside from that, this article shows that you, too, can get discovered on Youtube.

Hypebot: Musicians Refuse To Play Longer, Get Shot & Killed. In Mexico.

PromoteYourBand: How to Be Your Own Publicist

ArtistsHouseMusic: The Benefits of Registering Songs with a Performing Rights Organization.

ArtistsHouseMusic: Teaching Students the Many Facets of Music Publishing.

MusicThinkTank: 10 Ways to Trade a Song for an Email Address.

From Damian Sandoval at Dominics, on Montana between Airway and Mavericks:

You can send jazz artists my way, we are looking for acts on mon, tues, wed, sunday nights. Thurs n Fri nights we have happy hour from 4-7 a duo on thurs from 7-9 n a pianist on fri nights from 7-9. Saturday nights we do live Salsa from 10 pm to 2am and includes salsa lessons for the first 45 mins. If you know of any semi big travelling acts we can do specific shows for them or have them on big nights like friday nights from 10 -2am.

Understanding The Right of Public Performance: What it Means and How it Generates Money.

MicControl: What Are You Up Against as a Musician - Being Ignored, Deleted, and Unnoticed in a Content Driven World.

PromoteYourMusic: Productivity Secrets for Highly Successful Musicians. One of the secrets is to learn to say, 'No.' I guess some people are too nice. If anybody needs lessons in being an asshole, my prices are quite reasonable. I am sure I can come up with lots of references, too...

ArtistsHouseMusic: How ASCAP Works with and for Songwriters (Video interview).

HowToRunABand.com: Are fliers for a show even worth it? Oh, man, don't get me started. Unfortunately, they don't really come up with an alternative. If you don't put out flyers, you get no crowd, but after that, they don't do much good.

MicControl: Don't Be Lost in a Crowd, Leave Digital Footprints

HypeBot: Why A Music Social Network Won't Succeed - Less Fan Interest Than We Imagine [INTERVIEW]. Yeah, I can vouch for this. Outside of the huge artists, it's hard to get fans interested.

ArtistsHouseMusic: Agreements Between Band Members: Dealing Fairly with Members Who Don't Write Songs. Simple enough if you're big - they don't get credit (and the royalties).

MicControl: 8 Things That Will Go Wrong On Stage.

I just read a Sara Bareilles tweet, asking if spiders poop. I know it's a rhetorical question, but I have a fascination for spiders (and no answer to the Q). I used to spend lots of time in Juarez, and they have lots of spiders over there, including black widows. Most spiders act like they're on drugs, until they get hungry. Then they go to the fridge, er, they see what food has been deposited in the web. Black widows, OTOH, will go after anything that touches their web; they won't wait to see if it frees itself. Keep this in mind if you ever shrink yourself.

Hypebot: Advice For Getting A Job In The Music Business. Here is an article on free, open-source mixing software (mostly on Linux).

Bands: Here is another place to help you book tours.

MicControl: 10 Ways For Musicians To Blog Without Being A Self-Promotional Douche.

Musicians/artists: Not only should you do blogging, Facebook, and Twitter, you should be talking to strangers at your shows. If they are interested in you as a human being, they will be interested in your art.

Hypebot: Sony, Universal Plan "Instant" Singles To Beat Pirates

How Technology Killed Rock And Roll.

About.com:Find Music Distribution.

About.com: Careful Spending and Your Music Career

What Nikki Lynette's friends who are signed to major labels are telling her about the music industry.

Who the hell is Nikki Lynette? (cont)

Dubbed by Lupe Fiasco as the Queen of Englewood hip hop/punk star Nikki Lynette is excited to release her latest studio project, The Strong Survive EP. With songs like Model in the Mirror The Strong Survive and Whatever I Want already licensed to MTV and creating the soundtrack to top rated shows like The City and Jersey Shore...

DoubleScope Films released "Behind the Scenes- Keep on Movin" on Vimeo, Facebook, and their website today. The video gives a behind-the-scenes look at Tommy Mora's new music video ¿Keep on Movin" which will be released nationally next week on TommyMora.com. The behind the scenes segment will also be featured as part of a new internet TV show Under the Frequency to be released early February.

Tommy Mora is a musician living in Los Angeles working for Dreamworks Studios. His album Keep on Movin' is available on iTunes. DoubleScope Films is an El Paso production company who work for national agencies such as AOL and Super Pages. They are currently in preproduction for a feature length film "Convention."

(Hypebot.com): As MySpace Falls, Where Will Fans & Musicians Go?.

Hmm. Smells like an opening for me, if I can get a massive amount of coding done in six months...

Top Ten Ways to Make Your Band an Epic Fail in 2011. Stuff that would seem obvious to me, but nearly all locals fail at these things, and I have seen plenty of serious road bands that fail at a few of things. In particular, it's not unusual for a road band to not have usable photos available that I can put in flyers.

The Importance of Having Your Song Lyrics Online

(NME Deputy Editor) Luke Lewis: "Streaming Will Stop Looking Like The Future" Which Means Piracy Will Flourish. The future of music streaming, downloads.

What's Greg Cropp up to?

Hey Charles...at the moment I am working on a new band that is an original project.. We have 4 songs done and should have another 6 or so ready by March. We will be looking to play live...

Five Star Promotions has Megafauna with Suite Unraveling coming into The Percolator on Saturday, January 15th at 9pm. ALL AGES, $5 COVER. Locals Jayden¿s Playground and The Kirk will open.

Murder FM will release a video for their song, "Machine Gun Kisses" on 1/11. They are apparently releasing the song itself January 24 on iTunes,Rhapsody,Amazon,Shockhound,Zune, kicking off their tour February 2 with Cage9 (members of Powerman 5000) & Beta Wolf. Murder FM is based out of Dallas, but is fronted by El Paso native, Norman Matthew, previously of Lylah.

Last night I saw Matt and Kim perform their song, Daylight, on Last Call with Carson Daly. Daly introduced them as, "Brooklyn-based, dance-punk duo, Matt and Kim..." I am going to book some shows this year of music like this. I guess I've led a sheltered life, but it's different to me.

I hate to say it, but my first exposure to most popular songs is through Weird Al Yankovic.

Frank Lara was telling me about Spanish-language music growing rapidly on this side of the border over the last couple of years, and how it is affecting the ability of his band, Outspoken, to get shows:

Some of the musicians I was playing with, like my ex-guitar player left the band because of lack of gigs, and he explained to us that all the new venues that are opening up are hiring bands that play Spanish rock. Many people from Juarez are coming to our bars for their own safety and they are the ones requesting it, and all the Juarez owners of clubs have moved into El Paso and have started opening many new bars and clubs, we are losing interest. Every time they open up a new venue, everyone wants to check it out, and of course we lose people in our venues, and they can't afford to pay cover bands any more, the competition is crazy.. East side has many venues for Spanish rock, La Barrita , On the rocks, 6 strings, Estragos, many more.... And no, I will not do Spanish rock, I have nothing against the music, I actually like to hear it once in a while, but it is not in my heart to do it....

So, how is this affecting Outspoken? What are you going to do?

Let's start with how Outspoken came together.I met two guys online who posted on looking for a singer. I decided to work with them, Erik (guitarist) and Manny (drummer). We shared the same vision as far as the style of music: we wanted to cover and to one day start originals as part of our dream. We worked really hard in a period of one month to get out there with thirty-five cover songs. Started gigging at The Bayou, Hot Rods, Mavericks, etc...

We lost our guitarist because he had to relocate, reason: his job. Then the bassist, then the drummer, had plenty of gigs lined up throughout the year and had to find replacements. To make the story short, I found a guitar player that on the same page as I am. We are working hard and been taking out originals and new covers, as well as a dedicated drummer and new bassist. We hope to stay together this time; only time can tell if they also share the same passion....

This about San Antonio band, Ledaswan, who comes through here regularly:


Heavy indie rockers Ledaswan are celebrating the start of 2011 with the release of their third album, NUM83R5 (Numbers).

Lead-singer Erica Monzon describes the album as playfully heavy, self-confessional pop-rock This is the follow-up album to the award winning 2007 Verse of Truth Trash and Beauty. The album was mixed locally, and in Seattle by producer/engineer Matt Brown from internationally acclaimed dream-pop band, Trespassers William. NUM83R5 will be released on January 21st in limited edition silk-screened eco-friendly packaging via Airport Good Bye Records.

NUM83R5 is a diverse collection of guitar-driven tracks, featuring atmospheric vocal melodies and subtle swirling filter effects. Recorded over a span of two years, the album includes songs written by Erica, and brothers/band mates Jaime and David Monzon, and is the first album to feature new full-time bassist Lalo Rodriguez. Erica Monzon is still the lyrical poet, however, Jaime and David Monzon helped to produce some tracks such as the opening dance-driven single Faulkner that initially began as a mellow-tempo acoustic song. Some of the songs were written on acoustic guitar and then reconstructed once brought to the rest of the band.

Ledaswan plan to release NUM83R5 Vol. 2 another collection of guitar-powered ambient rock in the spring of 2011. The band toured the West Coast and Texas that included dates with Girl in a Coma and Miss Derringer. Tour dates are in the works for the support of the albums.

Starr City Icehouse's marquee says, "For Sale." I guess they've shut down.

Issac Trujillo (Regicide) is leaving our area to move to Albuquerque. Good luck!

Alex Sandoval (Inline With You) is looking for bands that want to be recorded.

Last night, Aux.78 (Nicholas Matta) had his last El Paso show. He is relocating to Portland, having had enough of Apathy City. I wish him well.

Nick used to write columns for this site, followed by writing for The Border Observer, and most recently, Stanton Street, an online publication.

Saw part of a show at The Tap last night. I was sitting far away, and occupied with other things, so I can't say anything about the band. But as for the sound... The Tap is long and narrow, and they put the band in the middle, facing a small part of the crowd. Whenever you are in a room such that the band's speakers don't point at much of the room, you have to mic all the amps, and point the PA speakers at the room, not necessarily the crowd right in front of the band. When you don't do that, the sound for much of the room will be unbalanced. This is what I heard at The Tap last night.

When I did shows at Badlands Billiards, I had this problem. I didn't push the issue with the bands (and really didn't have enough amps - the more you push through the PA, the more amps you need, even if the SPLs, the volume, isn't especially high), and the people sitting at the bar, which is far from the stage, and to the left, didn't hear a good mix.

Phil Candelaria (Pony Productions) announces a Battle of the Bands, December 17 at Mikeys Place in LC:

Triumph Over Shipwreck, Barbarian, Emerson Grey, This is a Calling and Avindale vs Friday Nights, Harsh Words, Cadence, Terror Eyes!!! This is a $5 All Ages Event!!! Be there to have some fun and to support your local scenes!!! See Ya there at 6PM!!!

By rights, Donny Osmond should have long ago faded deep into obscurity. Not only has he not, but he has remained a star while sticking to his guns, and avoiding such desperate acts as porn flicks and dreadful made-for-TV movies. This is what personal power is all about.

Jake the Snake, guitar player of El Paso Band, tells me about a new four-piece (trumpet/keys, guitar, bass, drums. All four members sing) that he has, called El Paso Players. They've been playing at the Dome Bar lately, and they have a lot of fun with a Stump the Band thing. The fact that it generates a lot of tips also helps!

Nobody ever stumps us. The manager there really likes us. We have to keep the volume down, though. We used to play at Aceitunas, but it was too cold there, even though they built an enclosure.

I'm probably the only guy to call him Jake the Snake. I call him that because I saw him eat a live rat once. Hey, I can't say anything - I like Spam. Ramen, too.

I asked Silk Flamingo about their recent show at Ricky's Paintball on Zaragosa. I had always heard that it was very cold there in the winter.

You can check out the pics on our facebook it went pretty good it was a fashion show, so they had heaters up, but it got packed lighting was great stage was awesome sound was by our guy, it was cold in some areas lol

I was watching the Tonight Show last night. What was really cool was, Joe Satriani was playing with the band. They frequently have guest musicians, but Satriani is more exciting to me than the other ones I have seen there.

When Bill Cosby came out, he was clowning around, and pretended to sit in with the band. I don't know what the audience actually heard, but no keyboards, which is what he was supposedly playing, came through my TV speakers.

It reminded me of when I used to see Banda Los Latinos play, and they'd have somebody from the audience sing with the band. Sometimes they were really singing, but for really bad singers, the mic was cut, so the audience didn't have to hear their screeching.

If I were sure they'd cut the mic, I'd get up and sing with them. But alas, the cabrones would probably turn my channel up and just laugh behind me...

I used to see this Mariachi singer contest at a taqueria in Dallas (Victor's Taqueria in Garland, actually). When somebody really bad would sing, the band would be laughing behind him. I didn't really appreciate that. No, I didn't sing with them!

So Not Psyched will have their 3rd Annual Battle of the Bands Saturday, November 13, 2010, at 7:30 PM at The Percolator, 217 N. Stanton.

Frank Lara and Ryan Aloera (of Outspoken) will be releasing a CD of original material in March, 2011.

I'm listening to a couple of CDs of classical guitar player Peter Fletcher. Peter is appearing November 6 and 7 at El Paso High School. Try and catch his performance - the CDs are just heavenly. Makes me wonder why I ever decided to become a Neanderthal. Oh, well. What can you do?

Under the auspicus of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists (www.concertartists.com), Peter will be performing more than one hundred concerts this year and will be making his 5th appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall in Fall 2011. For more information, you can visit Peter's website:www.peterfletcher.com. There you can find samples of his Baroque and Classical recordings as well as photos, videos, and press reviews.

I just updated the band page for Captain Radio. This is something else I'm going to fix when I get time. Probably a few months before I do a total re-design of the site, though I'll be changing pieces as I have the time.

On November 4, 2010, at 6 p.m., at the Small gym of Jefferson/Silva High School, 1400 Alameda, there will be a Free, all ages show, ROCK THE STRINGS.

Jefferson/Silva High School Orchestra comes together with special guests, local band Jayden¿s Playground to offer an eclectic night of music by: Queen, The Beatles,Cold Play, Deep Purple, Bjork, Theme from The Godfather, and a special performance of their own original music: Jayden¿s Playground!

For information contact: 915-328-4445

Hey, I ran across an interesting radio program from Houston's KTRH radio: Texas Time, hosted by Michael Berry. The show is mostly about Texas country music artists, but I thought I'd pass it on. I'm going to look for more such shows on Texas music. They have podcasts at www.ktrh.com/podcast/texastime.xml, though only through 8/28/10. The show is on at 7-9 PM (EST) Saturdays, 5-7 PM (EST) Sundays. Of course, you can listen over the internet.

Congratulations to Nick Matta on his new column in the new online mag, The Stanton Magazine.com!

I was looking for a good article to link to about rappers being in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, but I didn't find anything I liked.

The big thing for me, really, has always been that they don't include Ritchie Blackmore or Deep Purple. Ritchie has pissed off too many reporters over here to get in soon, but I figured they'd have to put him in sooner or later. To be sure, there are many other artists that deserve to be in there, including Kiss, Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad, Nirvana, and Rush.

You have to figure that everybody that deserves to be in there couldn't be inducted in the first year. Every year, they add people that haven't been inducted, but should be. But hey, I'm getting pissed off that my heroes aren't in, but they're taking rappers. Rappers! Mind you, I think rap/hip-hop is great.. but it isn't rock and roll.

The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC are in. I believe LL Cool J is going in this year. I will say, whenever I see LL Cool J on NCIS: Los Angeles, I go outside and do a few pushups. But rappers shouldn't be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rap isn't Rock and Roll, and rock was not even derived from rap music.

I have seen arguments against pop music stars being in there, but to me, that argument falls apart. If you start taking Madonna and Abba out, you aren't far from having to remove Paul McCartney. If Sir Paul can't be in it, then it's really ridiculous. I think it's ridiculous now - but it's not REALLY ridiculous.

The former Chics building is now the home of Starr City Ice House. The sign out front mentions "New Owners." They are already booking shows.

Last night's show at Mulligan's North ended up being a local band show, but a decent one, especially for a Tuesday. It was Nick Williams' first show in about a year, and Descent into the Maelstrom was a pleasant surprise. Pretty decent vocals. I don't like the particular effect the guitar player uses, but that's just me. The seemed like decent ppl to deal with, too, which is a real big deal to me.

The last band of the night was Scordatura Vita. At the end of their set, there were calls from the crowd for another song. They kind of looked at each other, but just slowly made it clear they had no more material.

Now, I don't want to pick on them, because it is not unusual at all for local bands, and a few road bands, to not have great crowd-excitement skills. I.e., you have to manage how pumped the crowd is, and in particular, let the crowd know two, then one song ahead of time, when your set is ending. You want them to be wanting more, and it needs to be very, very clear when you have finished. There's nothing wrong with playing an encore if the situation requires it; indeed, you should strive to have the crowd clamoring for one. Being tight with how you end your set has a lot to do with it.

Scordatura Vita didn't play that extra song because they didn't have one. This, too, is an error. You should at least have one or two songs, maybe cover songs that you like playing just for the fun of it, just for an encore, or maybe because your promoter needs you to fill a few extra minutes (!). When the need arises, be ready! Alphabetter used to use Free Bird like that.

I have a quirky song suggestion for SV: Iron Man. Yeah, I know, all you young folks think such old tunes aren't hip enough for your peers in the crowd, but there have been many cool re-makes of old numbers. Besides, the Iron Man movies have rejuvenated that song, as far as public recognition goes. Just an idea.

One band that was very, very good at all this was the Cantina Flys. I don't know how their new lineup (new singer, bass player) is working out, but they always had all the details right, plus an awesome guitar player and drummer.

I asked Norma Barrera of Universal EP how the ENTER show went at Brick and Mortar, as well as what they have planned for future shows. The network of Universal EP, a media resource company, comprises over 400 radio, cable, television, print, outdoor, and internet entities.

The show was great!. We had around 650 people..

The guys played at the back patio that was closed all the way to where Vanilla used to be, which gave people plenty of space.

We normally do shows at different venues.. Right now we started working with Indie Speaks and Downtown Productions to bring bigger shows and of course always working hard promoting shows for local bands.

Hmm. I need to look into this.

In honor of October 23 which is: Make a difference day. Benefit concert for MADD! (mothers against drunk driving)

Making a difference for MADD!

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, The Percolator, 217 N. Stanton, 9 p.m. ¿ 12 a.m..

All ages show! $3 donation or $5 per couple. All proceeds go to the El Paso chapter of MADD.

Acoustic performances by Jamie Hernandez and guests: Angel Lechuga, Rafa Pistola, Preaching Machine (Mike Salcido and Eddie Tarin), and Jailbird!

Information: Carmen Hernandez 915-328-4445

Scordatura Vita, a band that sprang from the ashes of Dexima (before that, Ponderin Dexima), will be recording at Sonic Ranch in December. How are they paying for such expensive recording? First, they have a sponsor, Tom Foolery's Tattoo Extravaganza. Also, their friend, Chris Schoemann, will do the engineering for free. What's left, they're paying out of their own pockets.

I had forgotten, but Ponderin Dexima's third show was one of my Bring Back Vaudeville variety shows at the Hidden Hookah in April of 2008. Luis, their singer, was only seventeen at the time. After opening the show, they had to leave, due to being under-age. Luis remembers the belly dancers..

I have Scordatura Vita at three shows this month at Mulligan's North. Come out and see them!

International Songwriting Competition 2010. You have until 12/3 to submit your entry. Judges include Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Train, Regina Spektor, Timbaland, Kings of Leon, Terence Blanchard, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Harper, Rihanna, Joe Nichols, Ben Folds, Jeremy Camp, Chayanne, Jeff Beck.

Show tonight at the Bethel Temple, 6301 Alabama.Show starts at 6! $5 at the door. Pyro Productions is showcasing: Takes South By Storm, Emerson Grey, Avindale, Tides of Ruin!

These are the performers at the Amigo Airsho:

Fungi Mungle - Saturday and Sunday on the Main Stage at 4:00 PM.
The Royalty - both Saturday and Sunday, October 16th & 17th.
Dirty River Boys - Saturday, October 16th.
The Lusitania - Sunday, October 17th.
Afro Taxi - Saturday October 16th.
The D.A. - Sunday, October 17th.

I was just watching the video of Thirty Seconds to Mars with Ely Guerra at the MTV Awards. She'll be appearing at Nova Luna October 8. I don't know how this will do in Spanish, but it's hard to sell that kind of music in English. I've been trying to get that genre going here.

The current name of the big venue at 209 S. El Paso St. (recently known as The Vault) is The Reyn Theater. I saw a poster on the door advertising a November show with The Misfits. As soon as I have any money, I'm going to buy that place. Sigh.

Here's a venue to try: El Pisto, on Overland, about 40 yards west of Santa Fe. Bobby Griffin owns the place, a bar and grill; they tell me he's a great guy. I'm sure I'll be hitting him up myself, so say nice things about me.

I went over to the venue at the Bethel Family Ministries, 6301 Alabama, today. There are a number of positive things about it, but the lack of alcohol, and somewhat-restrictive rules are going to limit what kinds of shows go there.

Here's the good things: 1) Very good-sized stage. 2) Ample parking. 3) Excellent acoustics, just going by what I saw: carpeted floor, what looked like acoustic paint on the ceiling tiles, walls that weren't "hot." 4) They have a reasonable PA! No compressors, only one 2x15 EQ, no monitors, only three microphones, but sufficient speakers, including smallish sub-woofers, and power amps of 270 w/chan @ 4 ohms and 650 w/chan @ 4 ohms for the subs - probably plenty for the room, if set up properly. They have a Mackie 12-channel mixer and dual CD players. 5) They aren't greedy at all. I told them they should take half the door, since they need more PA equipment, but I don't think they even want that much.

I think they will mostly get young bands, and small "mellow" shows, but they can do all right if they appreciate that they are going after a niche. They are mostly motivated by helping the scene. Nice to see somebody say that and mean it.

Good people there (of course!). Hit Jesse Nelson up at the Facebook link a few lines down.

I was told today that not all the members of Bless the Morning moved to League City. That doesn't sound good for them. Life, I guess.

Other venues that have recently closed: Hot Rods and Wheels, Chics, .. one more I can't remember..

I got a message from Jesse Nelson:

Hey Charles, my name is Jesse, A team of guys and I have a venue at 6301 Alabama, Bethel Family Ministries. Yes it is a church but that doesn't mean the bands that play there have to be Christians. All we ask of them is to keep it clean on stage and to watch their language. I noticed your website and was wondering if you could help us out with the venue in any way. I would love to see you stop by the venue and tell us what we could improve on also. Our next show is Saturday the 25th at 7. We will be showcasing indie and acoustic bands this show and possibly a metal band so it can be potentially a very mixed genre show. Add me if you would like to know more about our plans as a venue.


With the especially bad venue shortage, I think this might be God's way to get me to clean up my language. The Lord works in mysterious ways, you know.

The link above is to his facebook page; from there you can send him a message, if you would like to book there. You might not be able to add Jesse as a friend though. He has some restrictive setting on his account. Or maybe it's just set to 'Allow anybody but Charles.'

Bless the Morning is a band that I booked a few times, a couple of years ago. I always liked them. Their music is "Acoustic / Folk / Indie."

I hadn't been thinking about them, but they asked me to listen to a couple of their new recordings. That's remarkable in that reviewers of recorded music are generally sappy in their praise, like restaurant reviewers. BTM knows I'm not going to just gush about how wonderful they are, but they wanted to hear an unvarnished opinion. Good for them. Here goes:

Very pleasant music, but they're a little stiff, tentative; they need to loosen up.

BTM's vocals are quite decent, but for the songs that they play, the male lead should take the projection up a notch, at least on some songs. Not so much on "I dreamt (of falling)," though. The female backup singer should be a little stronger on some songs. I think a tiny bit of reverb, or something, should be added to her voice on some songs (like they do on "Brother Sun"). Even better would be more projection, again. The backup vocals on "Above, Below" were pretty good, if brief. I would re-do parts of the female vox on "Brother Sun," though. Actually, I think they over-thought all the backup vox on that song; kind of a mish-mash.

On "I dreamt (of falling)," the violin overplays the music a little, though it wouldn't be noticeable if the level were lower. Same on Snake Charmer. Overall, though, the violin is a definite strength to their music.

I would mention the singer's name (Matt?), but the names of the band members aren't on their myspace page. Another thing - it looks like they've moved to League City. Too bad for El Paso. Still, if they were going to move all the way out there, they should have just moved to Houston. "Please Sign Us!" it says. Hey, I think they have potential - if they're serious, why League City?

I hope these guys keep playing together; I think they will get better with experience. Not that they're bad now; not at all, they're pretty good. I think they have the potential to do much more, though. I could definitely see these guys on Austin City Limits in a couple of years, if they push.

BTW, before anybody else decides to send me a CD, keep in mind that 1) I'm not going to write a gushy review for anybody. It will probably be only a couple of sentences. I got carried away this time. 2) I listen to very little. If you aren't an El Paso band, and I don't owe you a big favor, it's not going to happen. I can't say the odds are high even if you are an El Paso band.

BTW, who else do I think could make it? Scordatura Vita. Aside from the chops, they have maturity. We'll see how bad they want it.

What other venue has closed? The Hideaway, apparently. Oh, The Tap is now doing non-Spanish-language shows, though it doesn't look like they're doing heavy music. Blues bands should look into it. The place next door to them, on San Antonio Street, Viva Villa, is booking some Spanish-language cover bands.

You know, I liked Jay Leno's previous band better, but Rickey Minor's drummer is very good.

Hey, Mesa Music is now at 6130 Montana Ave. Suite 113. El Paso Tx 79925, 587-7300. It is run by Cliff McDaniel, Danny's brother (of Danny's Music Box), who has a store next door to it. It is a little bit East of Geronimo, in the two-story strip mall behind the Arby's.

Jack Lutz is in a horror movie!

So, I asked a few questions online of Mr. Horrifying:

EPMS: Is this all part of your scheme to get your job back at KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: Yeah right! I'm way happier here!

Got a movie comin' out in the spring and I'm on two stations, Mr. Hurley. I'm pleased as punch.

I dunno. The words say no, but they way he typed them...

A couple of weeks ago, I had a show featuring Killola, as well as The Cliks and Hunter Valentine. This was my third time booking Killola. They are an incredible band, featuring an amazing singer, whom I had only known as Killola Lisa.

Killola is one of the entities (bands/people) that I follow on Twitter. I had seen Killola reference a movie, Girltrash: All Night Long, that Lisa was going to be in. I didn't really take it seriously; I had never heard of it, and figured it would be some B-movie (or even a C-movie, if they have those). Lisa lives out there, probably has connections.. it can't be too hard to get some acting gigs, right?

A few days ago, I saw Lisa say on Twitter that she was writing some screenplay. This got my attention, so I tried to see if she had written anything before. Problem was, I didn't know her last name. Well, I came across that yesterday, and looked up 'Lisa Rieffel' on imdb.com.

Well, FMTT!

Not only does she have 33 acting credits, going back to 1986, but she's been in a number of shows that I have seen!

NCIS, The King of Queens (4 times), Roseanne, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Empty Nest (14 times), and even Married With Children.

This reminds me of my surprise to see how many acting credentials Dwight Yoakum has, except Lisa is somebody I know. Well, I don't know her well - I get along much better with her drummer and bass player.

I guess you just never know.

Van Halen is coming out with a new album and tour in 2011. On the vocals? David Lee Roth.

The Pink Floyd rock music classic "Another Brick in the Wall" has been transformed by a Canadian band to reflect dissent young Iranians have for their government.

The song replaces the teacher reference with "Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone!"... Full story. There's also a youtube video.

Hey, I'm now an official Topix editor for the Ritchie Blackmore page! And my mother keeps telling me I'll never amount to anything!

I walked into the Santa Fe Grill last night, hoping to see Banda Los Latinos. I had seen their equipment in there earlier in the day. I always loved that band, and I hadn't seen them in years; they had been playing over on Alameda for a while.

When I got there last night, I found out that their long-time guitar player, Javier Garcia, had recently died. They were having a get-together in his honor, but not playing.

The funeral will be Sunday at Hillcrest. For more info, contact Adolfo, one of their keyboard players, at afo2570 AT yahoo DOT com.

Javier, who had played in both English- and Spanish-language cover bands for years, was one of my very favorite local guitar players, and a pretty cool guy. I can't believe he's gone. I'll miss him.

The NEW Dollyrots album "A Little Messed Up" is out Aug 17 but just went up for PRE-ORDER thru Best Buy!!

Zen-Meister's has closed? That's what I'm hearing. It seems like we've been here before. Uncle Paulies and Take II have also closed recently. It's an El Paso thing.

I got to see Frank Lara and Unspoken last night at The Bayou. Frank has a great voice, though he was using way too much reverb last night.

I'm not saying this is true about Frank; I just heard a set and a half, and haven't heard him in a couple of years, but he reminded me of something: many singers are self-conscious.

My point of reference is standup comedy. There, if you can't get over self-consciousness, you will flee the stage, or your nervousness will overwhelm your set. So, being comfortable with one's performance is something that gets solved at the very beginning, or you don't make it past the first show.

Singers, OTOH, want to hide behind effects, or maybe be turned down so you can hardly hear them.

It is frequently said that vocalists are narcissistic and think they are the most important element of the band. That may or may not be true, but I have found that they are frequently self-conscious about their voice. For instance, it is not unusual for them to want an excessive amount of effects added. To me, if they sing reasonably well, adding effects at best makes their voice sound as good as it would with no effects; at worst, it robs the audience of the enjoyment of the vocals.

Lots of times when I'm sound-checking a band, I ask the singer to sing a few bars, first to get the level, but also to set the EQ, especially the mids. They'll typically give the old, "check, check" thing. This isn't much help, since that's NOT how they're going to sing once the set starts. EQ'ing how they say "Check, check" isn't too helpful. I have to plead with them to get them to actually sing, and even then, they usually sing "Mary had a little lamb," or something else that is not like how they're going to sing in the set.

It's usually easier to get the whole band to play, at which time, the singer loses his/her inhibitions, but that runs the danger of having 5 minutes of sound check (in addition to their individual checks). To me, this detracts from the show.

Some beginning vocalists, after I set their level, will try and undo the loudness of their voice by singing more quietly. I don't immediately catch on to what is happening, so I raise the level again. They respond by singing even quieter. An old sound guy's trick is to lower the monitor to the point that they think they are too low, so they will respond by singing louder.

If a guitar player sounds like crap, it might not be him; it could be the guitar, or the effects, or even the song.

If a singer sounds like crap, it's much more personal.

Singers are well-known for being egocentric, but frequently, they are a little timid.

Jacob Stickle is leaving for Ruidoso. I bought a number of items from him through the years. He was also the singer for The Xit Wounds.

I ran into a member of Fungi Mungle yesterday. The guy was stunningly arrogant. I think, if he had had a minute to talk to me, he would have told me, "No autographs, please."

In stark contrast to this bozo, I had The Dollyrots last night at Bombardiers. These guys are real rock stars (Yeah, I know, there are rock stars, and then there are rock stars...), but about the nicest people I have ever met.

I already knew they were nice; this was my third show with them. They put on a really good show last night. I see so many shows, and I am frequently busy when they are my shows, so I frequently don't really get to watch the performances. I had not really appreciated what a good show The Dollyrots put on until last night. I hope they come more frequently.

Last night I caught one short set by El Paso Band at Bulldog English Pub. I didn't see much, but it was nice 70s pop/rock; enjoyable feel-good music.

In promoting my upcoming show with The Dollyrots, I stumbled across a couple of closed venues: the former Uncle Paulies and the former Take II. I'm not going to miss either one, but they were both at least good-sized for venues.

Take II was a joke, acoustically. The people running the place took pride in all the nice equipment they had there, and the stage was very nice, but the place was designed with glass windows all around it. Glass is what we call "hot." I.e., it reflects sound almost perfectly. That is not good; better would have been to have heavy curtains all around the place, to absorb the sound. The glass in the place made it a feedback hell, which resulted in the windows being opened almost all the time that music was actually playing. I don't know if this caused problems with the people that live near the place, but it's comical that they couldn't have figured this out before constructing the building.

Ronnie James Dio died today of stomach cancer. This is a blow to me, personally. I had a chance to see his band, Elf, when they played The Astrodome with Deep Purple in 1974, but my parents didn't let me go. Sigh. Really, though, I didn't come to know him until Ritchie Blackmore formed Rainbow with him a year later.

I didn't get to see him when Rainbow played Houston because, ironically, I was in El Paso. The first time I actually saw him perform was in a stadium show in Houston, when Black Sabbath headlined. Sabbath rocked, but so did Blue Oyster Cult. I think Sammy Hagar was one of the opening acts.

The guy was an awesome singer, as well as an incredible writer. It's too band that he was only able to team up with Blackmore, another song-writing genius, for three studio albums. Still, he did lots of awesome work with Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven and Hell.


Hey, check this out: I ran across a band on myspace, Close Your Eyes, out of Abilene, TX. What caught my eye was their record label: Victory Records, a damn significant label. I interviewed one of their clients, June, a few years back. Anyhow, Abilene is a tiny market an hour or two west of Fort Worth. I drove through it a number of times, going back and forth between Dallas and El Paso. It's a good place to stop and eat. I always avoid the fast-food places right on the highway; if they know their customers aren't coming back, they don't have much motivation to do a good job. Anyhow, I asked them how a band from such a small place made it onto a label like Victory Records:

Close Your Eyes: Hi Charles!

Thanks, we're all super excited to be on Victory Records! We actually didn't do anything to pull it off.....believe it or not, they found us! I got an email from one of their A & R reps and the President of Victory, both saying they found us on line and loved our music. They wanted us to go to Chicago and play a showcase for them, and they offered the boys a contract on the spot. That's the very very abbreviated version of what happened, but the long story is pretty interesting. Lots of twists and turns about how they found us (which I won't go into here). It actually wasn't just online. They found us playing on the main stage of a festival right before MxPx and Thousand Foot Krutch, had never heard of us and checked out our music. Looking back, it was definitely the hand of God that led the boys into that position. We're very awed at how everything worked out and how God has shown the band incredible favor!

Sharon Callaway, Manager
The Omega Agency
Close Your Eyes


According to The Orange County Register, AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer James Owen Sullivan (a.k.a. The Rev) was found dead at his home on Monday (December 28). He was 28 years old.

Sullivan appears to have died of natural causes, Huntington Beach police Lt. John Domingo told The Orange County Register. Police were notified by firefighters who had responded to Sullivan's home about 1 p.m., according to the report.

New Artists - Killola's Here are the top 5 Strategies that independent artists Killola are using to win over new fans.

For those of you that book tours, check out Indie on the Move. They have info on booking tours in each city.

No Mans Land has quit again; details on their myspace page:.

My understanding is that there IS a BYOB permit, though maybe it varies from city to city. Check out this explanation on the Texas state web site.

Last night I saw Ritchie Blackmore and his band, Blackmore's Night, in Orlando. I know, I shouldn't be spending money, but he only hits the U.S. every 2-3 years, and I hadn't seen him in 5 years (in Chicago last time).

The last time I saw the band, who plays a Renaissance-pop style, they really rocked. Not only did they mix in a lot of the classics Blackmore played (and wrote) in Deep Purple and Rainbow, but they even made their own songs rock. On the recordings, they don't, very much.

Last night, however, they didn't rock. They were just playing the soothing, pleasant music, with incredible musicianship. Along with most of the crowd, however, I wanted them to rock.

Worse, the showmanship was not there. That was eye-opening. Blackmore is a master showman, as you would expect from someone who's been in the business for almost 50 years. I couldn't believe the way they goofed off between songs. I know, it was the last show in their U.S. tour, but still...!

I did learn some things about sound, though. Though they had, I think, ten musicians on-stage, you could hear every note made by any of them, as clear as a bell. Also, I was fascinated the way they kept switching the effects on the drums.

Will I see Blackmore's Night next time? Well, since I won't get another chance for at least a couple more years, and Blackmore could completely retire at any time, I guess so. I just won't have such high expectations.

I saw Bash the Band at the Amigo Airsho yesterday. They're pretty decent for a high-school band, but as far as being a real band, they aren't there yet.

Sebastian, the singer has a nice voice. The songs seem decent. They have two huge problems, though: 1) No showmanship. They don't connect with the crowd at all. They fart around between songs, and they don't manage the crowd energy. Of course, you have to have crowd energy before you can manage it, but it's all connected. 2) The individual musicianship seems decent enough, but there's no contrapuntal interplay between the musicians. What do I mean by 'contrapuntal interplay?' Yeah, that's a term I made up. It's the best way I know to describe what I call movement, which is even more vague. I mean, it's good for the band to all be on the same page, most of the time, but you also need to go out on a limb here and there. Not the whole band out on the same limb; most of the band stays in one place, while one member goes out, just barely enough, on another limb. Just for part of a bar, or a few bars. Kind of like drum fills. The basic thrust of the song is still there, but one guy takes the crowd on a very brief ride, and almost - almost - falls off that limb.

BTW, what's my advice for Bash? Turn your back on the excessive promo and very expensive, ridiculously frequent, recording, and use your money to do heavy touring over half the region (Houston, San Antonio, Austin, DFW, and Phoenix, and all the smaller places in between). Your money should help you avoid the trap that all these El Paso bands fall into: becoming somebody in a small town that won't at all help you achieve any success out-of-town, and letting your ego keep you from doing the difficult job of playing in unknown places where you have no fan base. Once you fall in love with the small-town hero thing, you are finished. If you really want to be an artist, be a starving artist.

Note: The below comments on Live Sound will be moved when I start my Live Sound column.

The sound guy was probably one of those Sonic Ranch guys, and he's got a few more items in his rack than I have. I have wanted a DriveRack PA for a while, though my friend, Paul Rivera (who's going under the name Pablo these days - obviously part of the witness protection program), says they're junk. I don't know about that. I still want one.

Another thing I saw in his rack was a Presonus ACP88. I had to look that one up. It's an 8-channel compressor/limiter/gate. $900 worth. I'm not sure if I fainted or not, but I do have a bump on my head that I didn't have before. My shorts were also sticky, but that's another story. I sometimes get that same thing when I read magazines.

If I know Pete, he's going to pay top dollar for his sound guy (as well as his yes-men), so I figure this guy must have tons more experience than I have. Nevertheless, I have some observations:

- There was way too much reverb on the drums, and too much on the vox, too.
- Aside from the DriveRack PA (which has a bunch of different tools, including a graphic EQ), he had a dual 31-band EQ, as well as a dual 15-band one, which had the sides marked A & B. The dual-15 had all the sliders at the same level; the dual-31 had only a few sliders moved-I guess these were used for feedback, and the DriveRack PA was used to shape the sound. Boy, I really want one of those!
- I could barely hear the cymbals, even though the drummer was banging on them a lot.

He had the hi-hats miked, but not the cymbals. These came across simply as noise in the FOH (Front of Hall), though I could hear them from the front sides of the stage. In front, they were overwhelmed by the guitar amps. What's so bad about barely being able to hear the cymbals? With good sound, you should be able to hear every specific note, if you listen for it. You know, like you can with a good stereo, but can't with a crappy one.

The hi-hats sounded ten times as good as the cymbals. I have seen other sound guys leave the cymbals un-miked in venues/situations where they were drowned out. The explanation is usually that the sound guy is sure that they would be loud enough by themselves. Well, this is the case in the venues that I use, but it isn't always the case in bigger places. I don't know why, but I think I might be the only guy here that knows this. It's probably because I gave up drinking before I started doing sound.

This thing about the cymbals has me thinking. If you mike the cymbals and turn them up loud enough to be heard when the band is playing loud, how do you keep them from being too loud when the band is playing quietly? There is a common compressor technique called 'ducking,' whereby one source is used to quiet another. For instance, when the bass drum is struck, the bass guitar should be quieted. You'd think so, but I listen for the kick drum on songs on the radio all the time (I have no life), and I'm here to tell ya, the bass guitar frequently steps all over the kick drum. Anyhow, this is the opposite of ducking - I want a soft source (the whole band) making another source (the cymbals) louder. I know there has to be a way to do it, but I don't know what that is.

I suspect this Sonic Ranch guy could tell me.

Jazz El Paso Connection, i.e., JazzElPaso.org, supports jazz in El Paso.

Hey, Frankies / Fiesta Lanes is looking for a "Resident Band for Mondays." Contact them for details.

Zeppelins has gone under. I guess now there's only one place in El Paso that I wouldn't enter for the world.

I see that Dexima has broken up. They seemed like they could do some damage.

Hilarious! Remember the 80s tune by Men at Work, Down Under? OK, ask your parents. Anyhow, check that one out, then compare it to a children's song that sprung from 1930s Australia, Kookaburra.

Larrakin, the music company that owns the rights to Kookaburra, is suing the writers of Down Under. If you check out the video on this site, you'll see that the flute bit, central to Down Under, is a direct copy from the traditional children's song.

Ashbridge explains in their blog that they have gained a rhythm guitar player, yet lost their singer, so they are cancelling all shows until further notice. Their vocalist, Gabe, had time conflicts between the band and his job.

I had been meaning to say something about Gabe as a vocalist. I mean this as a positive thing, though he might not see it that way: He has a very nice voice, and a lot of ability, overall, but he would really be helped by a voice coach. Most people would need that to improve their voice; in Gabe's case, I would recommend it so that he could learn to sing more exactly. I.e., he could stand to be a bit more precise in hitting his notes.

If he fixes that, I would say that he should quit his job and sing for a living!

The Hot Toddies tonight at Take II; FREE Memorial Day show, brought to you by El Paso Music Scene.

Hey, I checked out the Dillards restrooms; they ARE nice! OK, I'm awarding the decennial EPMS Best Restroom Award to Dillards' restrooms. I say, 'decennial,' because I'm too lazy to check this stuff out more than every ten years.

What's going on with The Lair? I've had bands tell me the place is cancelling shows. Stay tuned...

Hey, I'm re-starting the Events page. Currently, it only has EPMS shows, plus No Mans Land's shows. This page will get more and more fancy in the near future; I just needed to get it going. If you want your event listed, send me info similar to what you see there now. If you're sending a flyer, keep it small; I make mine 4.25" for myspace. If the flyer is huge, I won't use it. Also, don't tell me to go to your myspace page to find your info. Don't expect me to pull it off my myspace comments page. Send it to me, preferably by e-mail (see the e-mail addresses at the top of this page). If I have time to process myspace messages you send me, I will.

Hey, congratulations to Miranda Burning! They're playing the Kevin Says Stage at the Warped Tour in Las Cruces on July 1.

Last night, I had a pretty good band from Illinois, The Drama Scene. I also had Inline with You and Sweetest Downfall.

Sweetest Downfall, as well as Ashbridge for metal, is one of my go-to bands. They do everything I ask of them: they don't play too loud for the venue, they don't get mad when I make suggestions, they don't cancel shows, they try to come play when I need a band (even during the week), and they bring some kind of crowd for every show they do for me.

These things, plus the fact that they play great music, is why I give them some of my biggest shows. I have bands that think they should get the biggest shows when they don't do any of the things I mentioned above. I don't have any idea what these bands are thinking.

Hey, The Ringers are coming with Killola (date changed to 9/9). I clipped some interesting things about The Ringers off wikipedia:

The band moves were even captured for use in Guitar Hero 4: World Tour.

Joe Hursley (ed. note: no reslation), also appeared as Maurice in the movie Accepted. In the film, the band performed the song "Keepin' Your Head Up" from Tokyo Massage.

In April 2008, Joe Hursley played the coiffed, milk powered, faux rock God 'White Gold'. He wields a milk filled 'One Gallon Axe' guitar in the California Milk Processing Board's ad campaign.

Here is the video for that White Gold milk campaign. I don't really get it; maybe it's a California thing.

To my surprise, for the first time, this web site has been nominated for Best Local Web Site on 2009 What's Up Best of the Best Nominees. One reason I'm surprised is, this site was much better the first year, in 2005, when there were very few sites out there. Now, there's elpasomusicgene.com, which, frankly, is much better than this one is at this time. They haven't done anything amazing, but they've made many uses of state-of-the-art front-end Javascript. As soon as I have time, I'll get all that done, but I wish to salute them, once again. I guess longevity factors into this.

I'd better hurry up and get the re-design done!

I would think I would be a much better fit for Best Mischief Maker, especially when another site of mine, ElPasoLocalPolitics.com, is fully up to speed. Of course, I expect to find myself in jail when that happens.

Best Local HeroGood to see Jim Ward there, though I also have to give kudos to Paul Foster, who is saving some of our beautiful downtown buildings. I'm not sure if it's true, though, that he's going to turn San Jacinto Plaza downtown into some other business we don't need.

Best Lawyer to Get You Out of Trouble - I am SO copying that list down, though what I really need is, Best Affordable Lawyer to Get You Out of Trouble. BTW, I'm halfway kidding on this one - I've made it this far without getting into any real trouble yet.

Best Concert to Come Through Town I didn't see any of those, but what matters to me is, I didn't promote any of them. Don't laugh, but I expect to have half the list within a few years.

Best Restroom? I've gotta check out that list. I'll get back to you on that one.

Actually, I have been to some of them. I've been to the 2nd floor restroom of Camino Real, back when I would go there, before they sicced the cops on me one time. Now, it's one of the two places (along with Zeppelins) that I wouldn't set foot in if the rest of El Paso were on fire. The restroom was OK back then.

The restrooms of these places have no business on the list: I-Hop, Chico's Tacos, and Whataburger. I'm guessing the reporter was drunk when he hit them.

Dillard's? I didn't know they had their own restrooms, apart from the mall's, but I'll try and check it out this week.

OP: I haven't been there since I was selling flowers several years ago, but it was about the most interesting restroom I've ever been in. You get that or you don't.

BTW, I'm starting a new site, ElPasoRestrooms.com...

Best Men's Apparel-Only Store - good to see Old Navy on the list. I can almost afford that place.

BTW, I know that El Paso Magazine does their own such awards, but I want to stand up for my friends at What's Up. El Paso Magazine is so Good-Ole-Boys, where What's Up, though it has the backing of a big-time entrepreneur, has managed to stay a bunch of real people. Maybe it's because they've always had the ugliest offices you could imagine. The Good-Ole-Boys Club, which dominates in El Paso like in no other place I've ever been, is one of the main things that keep this city down.

Not a Job Opening (I don't think): Re-write the 92.3 FM The Fox's web page on their Battle on the Border results. Every week, they post who is playing that week, plus who won last week, and is therefore going to the Semi-Finals. To start with, they don't give the date of the week in question. They don't state when the Semi-Finals is, nor how many bands are going to be in it. I would think they would have already closed the list of bands that are in the first round, but you wouldn't know it from this page. Near as I can tell, Round 1 will go on for months and months, if not years.

Anyhow, the bands that have made it to the semi-finals, whenever those will be, are: Out of Element, Sweetest Downfall, Brown Betty, Downtown Gators, Remedy, and Jayden's Playground.

Congratulations to these and all the future unspecified number of bands that will make the semi-finals.

The bands performing week 4 (uh, Wednesday, 5/20?) are:
1. Bite The Bullet
2. Full Bloom
3. Blues Messiah
4. Wormhole

Bands will perform a 30 Min. set starting at 7:00 PM at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

Looky here! I have The Start coming back, Saturday, 8/22! Last time was a last-minute show; we should be able to pack wherever we have this one.

I hear that EPMS buddy Jack Lutz has been nominated for "Best Weirdest DJ" (is that a real category? Sounds like maybe Jack is pulling my leg...) in What's Up's annual poll. Seeing how he's actually on a Las Cruces radio station, he's gonna have an uphill climb. Maybe if he could just play the other guys in Five Card Stud...

The Fox radio is having a band competition. Each Wed. at 7 p.m., 4 bands will compete for Border Bash. 1st prize is $1000 and recording a demo cd and a spot on the radio show, 2nd place is $500, and 3rd place is $300. Jayden's Playground is performing this week. I had them at Nico Vega last night - the girl has a voice!!

Only 4 bands perform a night and each set is 30 minutes so it’s done by 9:30. Sunland has great drink specials and the show is free!

I think they send me that "drink specials" stuff just to taunt me... I have two and a half years sober, though I'm considering becoming a crack addict.

From Five Star Booking:

Now accepting booth & car show applications for Teenfest 2009 Carnival, Car & Bike show, Saturday, June 6th at Cohen Stadium. Teenfest is the Kick-Off event for the Summer Reading program at the El Paso Public Library. The event will be from 12 6 p.m. on June 6th and feature booths, a car & bike show, games, dance perfomances and live entertainment all day long. Space is free and advertising is available. Please contact Carmen Hernandez at 915-543-5479 or Debi Lopez at 915-543-5495 for more information or an application.

These are from No Man's Land. BTW, send short captions if you want, plus your flyers, and don't just tell me where I can go find them. I copy all flyers to EPMS space. We don't want any of that "Photo Bucket: out of space" crap here. Also, if your captions have a lot of spelling errors, I might not use them.

May 26th: The Vibrators from the UK. They have been in the Punk scene for like 20 years and have been on the UK Top 100. This will also be Med-X farewell el paso show.

June 4th: WitchHunt is a big Punk/Metal band with a great following here in El Paso.

June 9th: The Supervillains from Law Records. They're finishing the Jagermeister Tour with Pepper & Pennywise and will be stopping by. We're going to have 2 free kegs for those over 21. They're a great Reggae/Ska band.

June 10th: The Creepshow from Canada will be here with The Brains. Both great Pyschobilly bands with a large following. This should be a great show.

June 28th: Mary Magdalan is BIG electronica/rock group that will be performing. They are on the MySpace Top 20 Unsigned Artists and get something like 50,000 plays a day. We have people calling from Dallas/Austin who are driving in for this show as they won't be heading into Texas after El Paso.

Young Sweep Da Producer was telling me about his studio, The Chop Shop. I asked him what was special about his place, and this is what he said:

WE are the future of recording. We offer high quality recording at a affordable rate. We also offer 2 engineers one who is a graduate of the conservatory school of recording and is protools certified in Tempe AZ and Me I have over 15 years of music experience with a business degree we are both musicians our selves which helps. We run off of protools and offer mixing and mastering with waves which is a 100000 dollar program to get your mix up to commercial grade. We have recorded El Paso Magazines Band of the Year for 08 Radio La Chusma and are currently sponsoring the borderland bash at sunland park with 92.3 the fox. We are owned and managed by a Large marketing co in El Paso which helps our customers make connections and possibly get a record deal if they are marketable. We offer a great commercial location to create with pooltable bar and bigscreen tvs and internet so you have access to be working in the studio. To summarize everything we are the Future of recording. You will not have to spend 75 a hour or 1800 per day for a multimillion dollar studio when you can get the same result at The CHOP SHOP. What our goal is to make the product better and cheaper. Thanx let me know if u have any other questions.

I usually try and do basic spelling and grammatical correction, but I think he said it the way he wanted it.

In January, I did a show with Killola with The Action Design. FWIW, I also have them on September 8. Anyhow, this is from Killola's singer: I just landed the lead in the new GIRLTRASH movie!!!!! We start shooting in October. and... Killola was just offered our second record deal. What an awesome week. PS Thank you, God.

I keep watching Susan Boyle's incredible performance on Youtube.

The more I see it, the more it reminds me of Yoda. You know, you see Yoda walking down the street, and you just think he's a puppet that doesn't know how to parse his sentences. Then, he enters the local weight-lifting contest, and nobody takes him seriously. But when it's his turn, not only can he lift all the weights without exertion, but he's making them fly around the room, and all the other contestants that laughed at him suddenly fall on the ground, unable to breathe.

At Susan's Britain's Got Talent appearance, you look at her and you see somebody's grandmother. Not somebody's really impressive grandmother, either. Before she sings, Simon Cowell asks her a few questions, and she gives laughable answers. OK, Susan, sing your song, so we can get on with the show. She starts singing, and Boom! Everybody can see/hear in about a second that Susan's a ringer. You know, the pool hustler that misses the shots that nobody misses, until you've put your paycheck down on the table, looking to make easy money. Better yet, Woody Harrelson in "White Men Can't Jump."

Susan just lays the audience out. She takes the audience's lunch money, she does the cross-over dribble, breaks the ankles of everybody there, and tops it off with a no-look shot from half court. Nothing but net.

The difference is, while Susan has total confidence in her singing ability, the outcome is what knocks her for a loop. The judges' responses, and the whole experience, leave her barely able to stand up, barely able to talk.

They have an expression in sports, "Act like you've been there before." Well, Susan hasn't been there before. She's been Nobody, or maybe Nobody's really plain, untalented sister, for 47 years.

Of course, that's all going to change now.

Susan dreamed of being a professional singer. Well, she can't be one without her very ordinary existence being locked in the washing machine and spun around and around. It's not like she can just go back to Puppetland and watch The Price is Right and eat potato chips all day, or whatever Yoda does in his spare time.

I hope that Susan can stay normal through all this. For better or worse, she'll never again be Nobody's plain, untalented sister.

I got this reaction to my comments just below this from Carmen Hernandez of Five Star Booking:

I think there is room for both kinds of shows (full cover/little or no cover). Weekend shows are normally the shows we do with a cover, and weekday shows are the ones with no cover since they are the hardest to fill.

During the week I think people don't want to pay a cover except for well known bands.

As for the upcoming CD release of Jayden's Playground, which Carmen manages:

...the CD is getting close to being done. Vocals on a few songs and cello in others and then it's up to Mike (West) to do his magic. The unmastered versions are really great.

This got my attention:

Live Music Thursdays at Cincinatti Bar. This week, Low Luster League and Mexicans At Night. Pretty good for a free show.

Still, I am grumbling.

If this were a big city, things like this wouldn't warp the public's attitude about paying money for shows.

Here, however, we (venues / promoters / bands) don't have the public on our side. My theory is that the big problem is a lack of consistency, a lack of places like Lucky Devils / HORR / Zeppelins (when it used to be a good venue) / Chics (when Phil has been there) / T Lounge. If I have a great road band coming in that never comes to El Paso, unless they are big enough to be known here (The Start, Nico Vega, Five Finger Death Punch or bigger), they aren't going to draw. OTOH, if I were, say, Lucky Devils when it was open, people would give me the benefit of the doubt, and at least consider coming out. The lack of public support is why many road bands bypass us, but we'll get better whenever we get some stability in our venues.

I'm not suggesting that the venues and promoters form a cartel, because I know it wouldn't work. I'm also not complaining about bands taking money where they can get it. One of these days, I'm going to start making money promoting shows, and I'm not going to turn it down when I get to that point.

I'm starting to think that the best solution would be to somehow sabotage the music scene in Oklahoma, so coming here on the way to California would be a more attractive option for bands after playing the Eastern half of Texas. Or, maybe we could build up the cities between here and East Texas, like Abilene, San Angelo, Corpus Christi, Midland/Odessa... We actually only need one of those places to step up.

I'm just grumbling.

I had my first weekly Original Music Showcase last night at Badlands Billiards, after moving over from Bombardiers. Badlands lets us do 18-over shows, though they're a little nervous about that. Playing were Hereafter, House to Home, C.W.Ayon (he'll always be Coop to me), and Esperanto.

Playing guitar for Hereafter was John Lazz, whom I had not seen since he was playing with Insidious New World. He is also helping Abnik with their recording. Hereafter's chick singer has an excellent voice.

Esperanto will be playing in the Von Iva show June 2 at Bombardiers. I am pretty happy with the bands I have been having for these weekly shows. Aside from playing great music, they are good people to deal with. I love it.

Being a news junkie, I had been reading reports such as this about Susan Boyle for several days. Just by looking at her, you'd never suspect the enormous talent she possesses. Anyhow, I finally checked out on Youtube, her performance on Britain's Got Talent, their equivalent of America's Got Talent.

I had seen such things lots of times, in the movies. This was real.

Check it out. I cried when I saw it. You get it or you don't.

Oh, and the hot judge is Amanda Holden.

BTW, Badlands Billiards is located at 7792 Franklin Dr, west of N. Loop @ Yarbrough. Basically, go west on North Loop, a couple hundred yards or so past Yarbrough. Look to your left. The street sign that says, 'Franklin,' is up there with the street light. Of course, everybody should know how to use Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, etc. Here's how to use Google Maps: go to Google Maps, and READ THE DIRECTIONS.

Yeah, I was trying to be funny, but being too lazy to explain it had something to do with it, too.

I just got finished with the third of my weekly rock shows at Bombardiers. Beginning Tuesday, the show moves to Badlands Billiards. The problem with doing them at Bombardiers was that they want most of their shows to be 21-over. I had already scheduled the bands for the first three shows when they informed me of this, so I went ahead and did them. Predictably, the crowds were small. Such shows must be 18-over, if not all-ages, in order to draw a decent crowd. I am also starting to see the wisdom of charging more to the 18-year-olds than to the 21-year-olds.

Last night's show included three bands: Inline with You, Ashbridge, and Miranda Burning. Inline With You is a young punk band. Decent, and with a really nice between-song banter. This is probably the future of local standup comedy in El Paso: 90% music, 10% comedy.

Ashbridge features a new singer since I booked them last summer. Nice and heavy, lots of covers, and they brought most of the crowd that we had.

Miranda Burning, which is a band that I have playing with Nico Vega on May 11, is a band to watch. These guys can definitely become a touring band if they are willing to do what it takes. They also need to learn to turn down their volume. This is especially important for a band that isn't playing heavy.

What a lot of bands don't get is, if you play too loud for the venue, the sound reverberates off the walls, and collides with the sound coming out of the speakers, which muddies up the sound. While not so bad (though not so good) for a metal band, it is terrible for a band like Miranda Burning. If the crowd can't clearly hear what you're playing, it's hard for them to know that you are actually playing good music, and aren't just playing so-so music, loudly.

Speaking of metal, I know that a lot of people think that I don't like it, especially hardcore. Over time, I have figured out what the problem is. I like it just fine when I hear recorded versions of it. Live, however, just about all hardcore bands play so loud that I really can't hear what they're doing. I remember people telling me how good was. I would go watch Hector play his guitar, and I could see what he was doing, but I really couldn't hear him. It looked nice, though.

I am sure that, even for hardcore bands, the audience would actually appreciate them more if they could hear the music and not just the sound. Just my opinion.

Oh, about the Freaky Frog hip-hop show I did a couple of days ago: the Castle Records people were great. Absolutely. Of the other people that I invited, none of them performed. Faceless Entertainment had messaged me that their van broke down; the other two acts showed up, but flaked out. I am going to have to go slower on the hip-hop, until I can develop relationships with performers that I can count on.

I have been doing sound for about a year-and-a-half. I used to have a lot of trouble with feedback. At this point, I am amazed at how little I knew, back then, about it. Now, before the show, I ring out the feedback frequencies on the graphical EQ (monitors first). Also, for each band, after they have put the microphones in their final position, I adjust the frequency on the parametric mid for each mic channel. Outside of bands that try to play way too loud for the venue, or singers that try to stand in front of the main speakers, I don't have any more problems.

There are mixers with only two or three EQ knobs per channel. Sometimes, this is because an expensive brand is trying to cut costs. I would never buy a mixer without at least the four EQ knobs per channel, including the adjustable frequency for the mids. I'd rather have a cheap, or used, mixer with four knobs, than an expensive one with two or three. Or, maybe I'm missing something.

Another thing I saw at these last two shows: I brought my JBL 2x15s, instead of my Yamaha 1x15s. The JBLs weigh a lot more, and are harder to transport, but the difference in the sound, including the volume, is incredible. My friend Rod Yearwood, who works at Guitar Center, and in my opinion, is the best guitar player in town, had told me once that I could do sound at the huge Margaritas club, with just one pair of excellent speakers, plus a pair of excellent sub-woofers.

That guy knows his stuff.

Phil Candelaria of Pony Productions is announcing a new venue. It's called The Sanctuary, it's all-ages, and it's located right next to Clean and Serene, 3350 Wedgewood, close to Montana, between Wedgewood and McRae. Here is the myspace page for the new place. First show is May 2.

Here is the flyer for Cowboys from Hell Paso (Pantera tribute band), War Ensemble (Dallas, TX - Slayer Tribute), May 10 at Club 101.

Sometimes, I wish I weren't poor. May 1, An Evening With Jim Ward, at the Plaza Theater. This guy's a genuine El Paso rock star. If they'll buy my plasma off me, I'm going to go to this.

Here is the flyer for Vertigo Shock's April 18 show at Hot Rods and Wheels.

Art Assault 2 at Chics, May 30. Looks like about twenty different bands, plus art.

here 5-8 PM, Riverside High School Theater, Friday, 4/17/09, admission $2 or non-perishable food item. Benefit for local farm workers center and Tarahumara indians in Juarez.

I am starting a new series of shows called The Quiet Side. These shows will be for alternative music that isn't too hard or loud. I figure on doing about three a month, spread all over town. I'm not limiting it to acoustic music, at least not at first. We'll see how it goes.

After people start to know the name, they will know what these shows are all about, and will come out, if that's the kind of music they are looking for.

Contact me if you would like to take part.

Here is a San Francisco Chronicle article about how California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is trying to force all-ages music clubs to close.

The article states, "...the ABC rules have some in the industry worried about where local bands will get their first break and where young people will go to experience live music if the clubs cease to exist."

Like a lot of things, this goes back to politics. The anti-alcohol folks have power that they didn't have when many of these clubs opened. I guess you could say that they are drunk with power.

BTW, the name of the national head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is... Charles Hurley.

No kidding.

I may not have any more time or money for music, now that low-calorie, inhalable chocolate has been invented.

Hey, the Jack Lutz interview is up. As I mentioned, I am working on an interview of Bash the Band, plus one of Portland's Blind Pilot.

Atheria Wept needs a drummer and singer.

I interviewed Bash The Band yesterday. They are a bunch of nice kids; I had a good time talking to them. I wanted to see their sound check at Take II, for their show last night, but I had to leave before they did it. I had other business at Take II, anyhow.

Bash's dad (Bash, i.e., Sebastian, fronts the band), Pete Felix, is a very nice guy, too. He's the one with stars in his eyes, but that's understandable. They want to do a third CD. I suggested that wasn't such a good idea, but that's just my opinion, and you know about opinions and assholes.

I guess I should add this, for those that don't know what's wrong with doing a third CD: this is a band that is still in high school.

I found a couple of interesting links when reading sound reinforcement forums: Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim goes nuts over a severe feedback problem during a press conference.

Also, free software to train sound guys in identifying which frequency is feeding back. Pretty neat!

Sky is Night is looking for a vocalist.

Wow! I just saw this myspace posting that Phil Candelaria of Pony Productions made - apparently he has had problems with the security at Club 101:



I asked the Flametrick Subs about their connection with Johnny Hootrock, since I had been under the impression that they had disbanded, and Johnny Hootrock had formed in their place. This is their response:

Hi Charles,

Well, just a little off. Clem used to play guitar for the band, then branched off to do JH. The Flametrick Subs are still going strong as a 3-piece, and have no plans of throwing in the towel any time soon! Thanks for allowing us to clear up any misinformation, and please feel free to pass this along to anyone who may not be fully in the know!

Miss Fortune

Hopefully I can bring these guys to play here soon.

Hey, lately I've been checking out lots of Nico Vega, a really hot band that I've booked into Take II on 5/11, along with Jayden's Playground and Miranda Burning. There's a lot to like about Nico Vega (Carson Daly certainly thinks so, and the dirty old man in me likes the hot chick singer in the short dresses), but something that is really getting me is the drums. Dan Epand is just amazing. I know that Nico Vega doesn't exist just to give him a great band in which to show off his chops, but that would have been a good enough reason. You drummers out there need to check this guy out.

Hey, I have booked Johnny Hootrock, an Austin-based rockabilly band into Bombardiers on July 10. I remember seeing lots of great rockabilly shows at Lucky Devils a couple of years back. However, I have a problem. Since Lucky Devils has stopped bringing such acts in, our local rockabilly scene has almost disappeared. I am having a difficult time getting local bands to play these shows. I am also looking at a good rockabilly show in May, but I need at least one real rockabilly band to do this. If I get one, I can use punk bands to round out the show. I know there's an audience for this kind of music.

Ya know, without mentioning names, there's this guy that finally gets a break, gets to spend other people's money and all, and he has to try and mess with me and my shows. This guy has been spreading rumors, telling people that bands are dropping out of my shows, and that he is actually putting on some of my big shows, particularly the 3/21 show I did with The Start / The Action Design / Roxy Epoxy, instead of me. Well, people, be careful about believing what some people say. Consider the source, and if you need any info about what's going on with my shows, just ask me.

This guy needs to just do a good job with his new opportunity, and quit lying about people that are actually sacrificing time, effort, and their own money to help out the scene.

Here, here, and here are some photos of Jack Lutz in action. Barring any disasters, I'll have his interview up by some time tomorrow. I'll be doing a couple more interviews this week (though they won't be posted right away, of course), and very soon, I am going to re-do this site to include about an interview a week, mostly about bands that are passing through (and stopping to play!!) town.

Hey, Fatter Than Nancy's Andrew McMillian is now doing classical / flamenco music! This is the guy I first saw as an amazing fifteen-year-old guitar player (him, not me), playing that fusion stuff in FTN. Free investment tip: pay Andrew a few bucks to sign a hundred autographs for you. Boy, if he ever decides to play anything accessible, he's going to take over the music world. Hopefully eBay will still be around.

You can check him out on his myspace page.

No Man's Land has changed their policy; you now get 30% of the door, as opposed to the 50% that they had been doing. It is what it is. They seem like decent people, anyhow.

I talked to the owner of Bombardiers tonight. They really do want to be a 21-over place. So, I'm going to move some of my shows, but I'm going to do some 21-over hip-hop shows and some not-so-hard/heavy shows there.

Hey, I have Nico Vega at Take II on May 11. Jayden's Playground will open the show, and I have a couple of other locals that I will be adding. I expect to get such shows fairly regularly, so stay tuned.

Hey! There's an awesome, very positive article in Vanity Fair about the El Paso music scene. They talk about Sonic Ranch, Al Jourgensen, Jim Ward, the Marty Robbins song, At The Drive-In, Beck playing at The Percolator, etc.

They do also have this in there:

These days El Paso doesn’t attract many internationally known acts. It’s a place where tour-bus drivers take a mandated rest en route to bigger cities such as Phoenix or Houston, and many musicians find themselves stranded here for the night with no scheduled show to play. Agents and bookers tend to skip over the city, citing low interest and an insufficient audience willing to pay the escalating price of admission.

Warped Tour, July 1 in Las Cruces, Pan American Center

I'm working hard at finishing the Jack Lutz interview, I really am. Here is an excerpt:

Jack Lutz: I've got to tell you, when I was at KLAQ, I didn't drink. I didn't drink at all. It's a common misconception. I hated the tast of alcohol, I really did, and I honestly, I guess, I really looked down on people that drink, in the business, especially, people that work with me. And, I'm sitting here going, man "Who am I?" How am I any better than so-and-so that's drinking this or drinking that, you know? And, I guess, when they let me go down there, man... That's a story you've got to hear. When they let me go, I guess I learned how to loosen up a little bit, I actually, you know, I learned how to live a little bit more, you know?

EPMS: Why did they let you go?

Jack Lutz: Well, they fired me. They fired me. I mean, Charles, I was a young punk. I was a punk. I was a punk kid that, when I first got into radio, all I cared about was meeting girls and being locally famous. That's all I cared about, you know? Speaking on the radio came secondary, it really did, and I think toward the latter part, when I was at KLAQ, I started to realize that, but it really was too late, because, I think that having Courtney Nelson and Brad fire me was the best thing they could have ever done. At the end of the day, it was the best thing they could have ever done. I hated taking orders from people. I hated taking direction, you know? I really thought that my way was going to get results, and, LOL, ultimately it didn't, and it ended up with them letting me go. I guess, it took me - I must have been twenty-two at the time - it took me three years to find humility, three years to find out, to try and find, I don't know, certain virtues that would balance me out, you know, and humility was one of them. And, I just really didn't get along with my co-workers. They were great guys to work with. At the end of the day, these were some guys, that, they knew what they were doing. They had good heads on their shoulders, and I just didn't see things their way. I just didn't see things from their point of view. It's a huge regret that I have.

EPMS: They fired you for being a pain in the ass?

Jack Lutz: They fired me for being a pain in the ass. They fired me for a number of reasons, really, for not working well with others, for, you know, legal paperwork, logs and stuff like that. FCC logs, stuff that I would think was secondary, and one of the biggest reasons, too, was, I would look at it as a party. There would be people in the studio with me, and that's a big no-no. You can't have anybody outside in the studio, and Courtney would come in, and he'd see people in the studio, and he'd say, "What the hell's going on?" And I can't blame him for being vicious, you know, because anything could happen. Honestly, anything can happen, anything has happened in that studio, not only when I was there, but with past people, too.

EPMS: Like what?

Jack Lutz: Oh, I mean, parties and such. I don't want to get too much into it, but well, I guess I could get a little into it, LOL. I mean, there would be parties in there. People would abuse...

EPMS: While you're working?

Jack Lutz: Yeah, people would abuse, myself included, the studio... Again, because, I said, you know what, I'm on the radio, this has to be a party. I don't want to be in this booth by myself. Boy, let me tell you, that was a slap of reality, it was a great slap of reality in the face when they fired me, you know? And, I didn't get back into radio for three years, Charlie, three years.

EPMS: What did you do for the three years?

Jack Lutz: The only other thing that I knew how to do, at the time, was gamble.

If you can imagine transcribing that, that's five minutes of conversation. The whole interview is an hour and fifteen minutes, but I'm working on it, really I am!

Damn! I found a significant road band passing through town on a Thursday, no less, and they don't even want to talk about stopping here to do a show. It's bad enough that many of these bands route around El Paso, for instance going from Dallas to Oklahoma, en route to California, but some of them even drive right through! I can halfway understand that on a Monday or a Tuesday... We have to get our scene together. What we lack here is consistency. We used to have some venues of which people would check the schedules, in the real hope that there would be a good show there. Now, it's all hit-or-miss, and we've lost the public. That, plus high fuel costs and our isolated location, is costing us shows.

Some bands I am looking at gave me some links to music.aol.com. I didn't know how big of a deal that was, so I started searching for different bands that I have booked, then different local bands. I found a couple of local bands, besides Sparta and Sleepercar. Suffice it to say, it sure seems possible to get in there. Those of you that are looking for real publicity ought to explore this.

In a similar vein, check out Jaydens Playground on mtv.com.

Here and here are the flyers for Whiskey Dust's March 27 and April 4 shows at The Rock and Roll Bar and Mulligan's North, respectively.

Last night's show was awesome! From their myspace tunes, I had thought The Start was kind of mellow, but they really, really rock! I was talking to their guitar player, Jamie Miller, before the show. I asked him if anybody had ever told him that he looks like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. He told me he had no idea about any of that. Turned out that he was just playing with me; I asked Aimee Echo if she knew the program, The Big Bang Theory, and she burst out laughing. "Everybody says that about him."

If you check out this interview on Youtube, you can see what I'm talking about.

The Action Design was excellent, as usual. What's Up's Ryan Martinez is a fan; read his brief praise of them in this week's issue. I have them May 27 with The Dollyrots. That will be another awesome show.

Roxy Epoxy and The Rebound had had car trouble, but made it in time to close the show. We weren't sure if The Start should perform before Roxy Epoxy. Aimee was telling me that if she had just arrived after a long drive, she would need some time to freshen up. "But," she said, "that Roxy is a monster."

There is a new club in the location of the former Club Blu. The sign out front says, "The News - Drinks Inn".

Five Star Booking Presents Two Sheds, Jayden's Playground, Science Fiction Showcase at The Percolator, March 23, $3. flyer.

This from Jack Lutz about how to behave at your shows:

Read some of your article about bands getting started. If I may add a few things, bands (and this goes to newbies and vets) must check their egos at the door when doing live shows. That and when you are doing local shows, make yourself accessible to the people that came to see you. don't be off in the corner with some groupie that you want to score with later on(if she really wants you that bad she WILL make herself accessible....trust me) and don't be all in the corner sippin' on your Doers being all, "Oh, I have to get in the zone before a show thing." That's bullshit, do that before you get there or go backstage. Now when you do make yourself accessible, keep in mind you are fair game to everyone at the venue, the fans the brothers the sisters,the moms and dads....all will that and more your going to have to face....so act accordingly you can still be the rockstar but like I said....ditch that ego at the door. Remember they came to see you guys play after all!!

Here is a flyer for a Music, Art Media Mixer for all local artists! that Carmen Hernandez is putting on April 9, 2009, from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at The Percolator, 217 N. Stanton.

I would go, but I have one of my weekly rock shows, the Original Music Showcase that night at Bombardiers. Doug Pullen from the Times, What's HOT, Fusion Magazine, El Paso Mag., and El Paso Music Gene have RSVP'd already. If you're not going there, and you can afford $2 cover, come over to my show at Bombardiers, where we'll have Nick Williams, House to Home, Alister M, and one other TBA.

This is weird. I updated my myspace profile, and included a couple of Star Trek movies in my favorite movies. So now, on all my myspace pages, there are ads for Star Trek dating services. Now, I like Star Trek itself, but I don't think I'd be looking for women for whom Star Trek was their primary motivation for getting out of bed in the morning. I just can't see being broken up with by a woman that said that I wasn't geeky enough.

About my advice for young bands, Carmen Hernandez of Five Star Booking added this: Up-coming bands that can't get a show should team up with a band that has a PA and offer to do shows at places such as Starbucks, Fuddruckers, anywhere there is parking lot and electricity!

I have seen a few bands that might have the talent to make it to the touring band level. In my mind, there are about eight that I know of. Most of those kill their chances with immaturity. Have you heard the expression, "Youth is wasted on the young?" It is very true. Think about it.

There is one band that I think should be beaten, they are so wasteful of their talent. Such a pity.

There are bands that are tight with KLAQ, that headline local shows with excellent crowds, but they have no chance of making it. Their egos won't let them. The shows they play bring them their adoring crowds, and decent money, but they aren't going to help them make it.

I received a message recently from a reasonably popular local band. They said, "We are at a point where we are looking to hit the road regularly this coming summer into the fall. Playing with national touring bands could expose us to what we would like to become including maybe showing us that we are capable and deserving to share the stage with 2 great bands."

They are exactly right on that. The other thing is, by playing with road bands, you are making contacts with important bands that you might be able to play shows with in other cities. Also, these bands can give you great advice, not only the first time you talk to them, but on into the future as well.

I told this local band that I give those slots to bands that play my local band shows. I reward loyalty. If you come to me asking for a show with a big act, but you've never done any of my local band shows, I'm not going to use you.

For a band to make it, they have to master their home town. This isn't enough, though. Enough will kill you. You get to where you think you're hot shit, because you do well in El Paso, and you stop pushing. You sell out.

There isn't any one person that you have to have in your corner, but it doesn't make sense to blow away somebody that might be able to help you, just because you are so sure that you have enough of what you need. If you're still stuck in El Paso, you probably don't. And, you probably aren't as big in El Paso as you should be.

I have a weekly show starting Friday, 4/3, at Bombardiers, then every Thursday. Through these shows, I will get to know who I should put on the bigger shows. I am looking for bands that can play, but that aren't rock stars. I don't need to deal with people that think the sun shines out of their asses.

One other thing, and this is a major secret: learn to control your stage volume. Many bands, especially heavier bands, play so loudly that they can't possibly have good sound. A pro band knows better. This takes discipline. It seems to be a very hard lesson to learn. A word to the wise is sufficient.

This Saturday, I have The Start, The Action Design, Roxy Epoxy and the Rebound, and Ralpheene at Bombardiers. It was supposed to be at Take II, but there was a problem there with the promoter, and if fell into my lap eight days before the show.

I don't know how much of a crowd we'll get. I have a quarter-page ad in What's Up coming out to support the show, so I know a lot of people will know about it, but only having seven days to promote a show that has had a venue change is quite a challenge.

The Start is a pretty popular band, nationwide. Their CD is doing very well on Amazon. Roxy Epoxy was the lead singer of The Epoxies, a popular band that started in Portland in 2000, and broke up in 2007. The Action Design is out of Arizona, and they have a growing fan base here. I had them at Uncle Paulies in January, and I will have them 5/27 with The Dollyrots. Also, they have been on AP Magazine's "100 Bands to watch" list for three years in a row. At the January show, a lot of people told me they came because they saw The Action Design at the Warped Tour.

Anyhow, at $6, we should pack the place. I hope so. Cya there!

I was talking online to somebody at a young band about how to get started playing shows. After re-reading my advice, I decided that I should share my wonderful wisdom with all such young bands out there.

  • Do a few of your friends' parties to get some experience. Alodex still plays house parties, though they have no problem getting gigs at regular venues.
  • Of course, get to know other young bands. Talk to lots of bands at shows.
  • I have seen shows with such bands from time to time. Carmen Hernandez used to put together shows outside the libraries. I saw a show of young bands in the parking lot of Andre's Pizza (now defunct). I don't know if there are any such shows these days, but why not talk to such businesses, and get permission to put your own little show in their parking lot? You'd want to finish before, say, 10 PM, so as to avoid noise complaints from the neighbors. I interviewed Med-X at such a show when they were still in high school.
  • Read under Interviews on this site, one called Promotion Round Table, which can get your band started on promotion. You can find other similar stuff on the internet.
  • Try to get in on the shows at No Man's Land or The Lair. This would be easier than at the traditional venues. Just check out who's playing there, get to know all those bands, keep bugging them to let you in on some shows. Just get in a few shows, then you can make deals that work better for you.

    Hey, I just saw Grey Godfrey on Channel 9 news! Grey used to be in the bands Whiskey Sour (I think), then Abinormal, then Camel Toe, er, Mooseknuckle. I recorded Mooseknuckle for my cable show, back when I had it. Anyhow, Grey is the soccer coach at El Paso High, which was what the news story was about. When I taped Mooseknuckle, their bass player was the guy in Fungi Mungle. I think his name is Dave Hamilton. I have run into him a couple of times at my shows over the last year. He told me he was in a band that got signed in to a significant deal, but I can't remember what the name was... Doh!

    I have a Facebook page now. It seems to be a lot harder to add friends than on myspace. We'll see how it goes.

    The former Lucky Devils location, 1510 Bengal, is back in the entertainment biz as Hot Rods and Wheels. They have a weekly karaoke night, and are starting with some shows by Big Dogg's bands.

    Speaking of venues that charge for their use, there's No Man's Land. They "Can fit 150 kids at one time," but I don't think that's their official capacity.

    They can handle " All different styles from metal to hip hop to reggae. For shows during the week that don't interfere with any of our shows were offering the venue for half of what comes through the door, and we'll provide the PA and take care of the door."

    From their myspace page:
    We're a new venue in Lower Valley El Paso. Our address is 9580 North Loop Suite B. Were located close to the North Loop/Americas intersection, Across the street from the Family Dollar. We share a buidling with Freds Auto Center so don't get scared when you see a mechanic shop. Our first show was on Sat. Jan. 31st, and we had an awesome turnout. We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us this far...this is only the beginning. We're here to promote the local scene as well as bring in some crazy bands from out of town. Anybody interested in playing or setting up a show message us. Were looking to change how venues work in El Paso and at the same time make our own mark in El Paso history. This is our scene...lets work on making it something we can be proud of.

    I've been getting a few queries about the Jack Lutz interview. It's at the top of my queue, except that I have to get a new show booked very quickly - the Start, The Action Design, Roxy Epoxy. I guess I'll have Jack's interview up by the middle of next week. Thanks for your patience.

    Here is a music-related Wizard of Id comic. Enjoy.

    Here is a blog about The Lair. Basically, their Rental Agreement. The Lair is a new all ages venue located inside chics..operated by two of the guys in Hank of the Destruction Moose.

    Here is the flyer for Zombie Fest at The Lair on 3/28.

    March 1, 2009 - Sunday


    What The Lair Provides

    Ø An open space for usage with sound equipment in working order
    Ø Sound engineer, beverage service, and one or more staff for event security
    Ø Merchandise table and rack provided for musicians with consignment contract
    Ø Outdoor smoking area
    Ø sound system (2 Yahama 15” speakers, 2 JBL 12” speakers, Behringer Xenyx 2442FX 16-channel mixer, Behringer Europower EP2500 2400W power amp, 2 corded mics w/ stanD
    Ø Online advertising (myspace and various websites)

    Set Up
    Client will determine their own set up needs and the number of their own staff members required. Set up will not begin without verbal consent and approval on all locations of set up. The Lair must be returned in same order it was given.

    Advertising and Promotion
    The Lair is able to design and print 600 black and white fliers at 3” x 5” for $30.

    Images and information (entertainment lineup, etc) must be delivered or emailed to The Lair no later than two weeks prior to the event.

    If the client opts to design and print their own fliers The Lair will require the shop logo, Website and address be printed clearly and with out alteration, files are available on our website in the photos section at www.myspace.com/thelaireptx

    Printed promotional material must be delivered no later than two weeks prior to the event

    Smoking is prohibited indoors. There will be a designated smoking area outdoors on the patio

    During all ages events alcohol will be available for purchase inside Chics Bar and Billiards but not allowed in The Lair. During 21 and over shows alcohol will be allowed in The Lair. No outside drinks. ....United States.... law requires us to ask for 1 pieces identification for anyone who wishes to purchase alcohol while on the premises

    Damage Responsibilities
    Client is responsible for all their guests during the beginning and end times stated in this agreement. Client is responsible for damage to walls, floors, ceilings, artwork, equipment etc.

    Client will hold The Lair and its employees free from any liability or claim for damages or suit for or by any reason or injuries to any person or property of any kind whatsoever from any cause whatsoever, arising out of the use and occupation of the premises by the renting party; and the renting party hereby covenants and agrees to indemnify and save harmless The Lair from all liabilities or damage on account of or by reason of any such injuries or damage.

    Any equipment brought in for the event may be loaded anytime after ..4pm.. on the day of the event and stored in the back until setup is permitted. All equipment must be removed from the premises immediately after the event ends, unless verbal permission to do otherwise is given.

    Event hours of Operation
    Standard hours for special events, private parties, and art show opening is between the hours of ..6pm.. and ..2am.. including setup and tear down, unless the client has prearranged an extended time with The Lair. People under the age of 21 must leave the premises by ..11pm...

    This agreement is revocable by The Lair and may be terminated at least two week in advance at The Lair’s sole discretion.

    Event and Reception Rates
    Weekdays (Sun-Thur) $100 day of week: ___ /___ /___
    Weekends (Fri and Sat) $200 day of weekend: ___ /___ /___

    Rental Fee Policy
    50% of rental fees are required to secure and event date at The Lair. This deposit is non refundable. Remaining 50% of the fees are due before the date of the event.

    I have mixed feelings about this. We need more venues, that's for sure. OTOH, we have seen a trend where some venues are charging people to play, whether they call it a fee for using the PA or something else. I don't really like this, but I have to say, I got my start booking at Lucky Devils, which charged me $100 a show, though they wouldn't charge me if I brought them enough drinkers. It didn't bother me at the time, because I got a PA, plus somebody to run it (more or less competently). Also, they had a built-in crowd, which is a VERY BIG THING that we are missing here in El Paso. People would show up at the door and ask who was playing, or they would check out the Lucky Devils web site.

    Oh my gosh! I checked out elpasomusicgene.com. That is such a cool site! I have to get on the ball. I am really curious how they did that stuff. I know how to program like that, using Javascript and the DOM, but I suspect that they didn't do that - probably used some toolkit.

    I have been meaning to get a lot of programming like that on other local sites that I am coming out with.. Anyhow, I'm impressed.

    New location for master class with Louie Speaking Eagle:

    2430 MCRAE BLVD. 79925

    SATURDAY, FEB. 28, 2009
    3:00 P.M. TO 5:30 P.M.

    Louie is a top jazz drummer in town. I interviewed him a few years ago. If you play drums, I'm sure his master class would be worth your while.

    According to Aceitunas' myspace blog, Wednesdays are available for bands that are interested in playing for free. Bring a PA.

    Hidden Hookah's re-opening has been pushed back to early May. 2037. Well, actually, I'm not sure on the year. This one, I guess.

    I interviewed former KLAQ DJ Jack Lutz at The Tap today. His story is very interesting. He was fired from KLAQ for being an asshole, basically. Oh, the folly of youth. He spent the next three years living as a professional gambler and doing a lot of soul-searching. He ended up doing marketing for a couple of Las Cruces radio stations, including The Rocket. Hmm. The same name that I use for my.. never mind.

    He says now that KLAQ did him a big favor by letting him go, and that they were 100 per cent justified, though it sucks that none of the people he knew there would talk to him after that.

    I thought his story was fascinating. It will take me a couple of weeks to get it posted - the interview itself took an hour and fifteen minutes. It's a lot of work to transcribe all that.

    As I was leaving, the guy sitting behind me, who turned out to be Beto O'Rourke, of our city council, stopped me to ask who I was interviewing. He said that it sounded pretty interesting, and that the guy I was interviewing looked familiar. Turns out that he used to work at KROD with Jack. Small world.

    I'm a pretty serious gambler myself. I buy ten dollars worth of scratch-offs every week.

    Hey, it's good to see Pony Productions back in the saddle, so to speak. They had cut way back on the number of shows they were doing, but they're running at full speed now. This is great news for the local metal scene. Phil is probably the best promoter in town, right now. And yes, I am definitely jealous.

    I asked Pony's Phil Candelaria about why the number of shows had been down, and he had seemed to be staying away from Chics until recently:

    Yeah, it's weird how that happened, but it was mainly 'cause Chics was trying to get away from the all ages scene. We worked out a deal between me and Ron that, as long as the all ages show ended before 11:00, that we could put some on. Also, the new Club 101 is HUGE, and it does not make sense to put bands that are not well known there. I still do shows with Joe at Club 101, but I keep them for the shows that I think will draw more people than Chics can hold. Nothing against anyone. Just trying to work with everyone.

    Ashbridge is working on a CD... they had broken up for a while. They say,

    Yes, we are currently working on recordings. I don't know when we'll have a CD, but when we take one out, we will let you know.

    I know I'm way late reporting this, but Margarita's has gone under. I first heard about this a few weeks ago, but it was somebody talking about new construction at the location, and that maybe they were remodeling. Turns out that, no, the place is just plain gone.

    It wasn't really a major place for live music, not at all. They did some live shows there, plus lots of dance music. The place was really big. I always had Margaritas as my goal as far as how powerful my PA should be (BTW, I'm hoping to be marginally at the Chics level by the beginning of April).

    Danny Joe's Music, the new version of Danny's Music Box, has apparently folded. After closing his location next to the Guitar Center, he had moved to Larry Mahan, near Barnes and Noble. The place has a "For Rent" sign on it. I haven't been able to get any comments from Danny himself.

    Danny was a pretty decent guy. I hope everything works out for him.

    Speaking of the Guitar Center, I bought a dual CD player there a couple of weeks ago, for a recent hip-hop show that I did. I got a Numark, probably their cheapest one. While it worked fine for about two-thirds of my acts, it wouldn't play all the CDs that the different artists brought. I'm guessing that a more expensive unit might have played more of the CDs, maybe all of them, but CD players generally say that they play all audio CDs, and some CD-Rs. As for my own shows, anybody that is bringing any kind of CD needs to get it to me a week ahead of time, so we can work through any problems before the actual show.

    The Red Line of Eden is doing a month-long tour, with stops in San Antonio, Dallas, Topeka, Denver, and others. They are currently looking to do some paid gigs to make it all happen.

    Simpson rattled in concert: Jessica Simpson did a show recently in Grand Rapids, MI, opening for Rascal Flatts. Unfortunately, she lost control of herself, forgetting lyrics, mumbling the words in other songs, claimed to have trouble using her in-ear monitors (ed. note: I've got to get those - some day), and even cried.

    Now, some people think that having a gorgeous body is a substitute for talent. Well, OK, maybe I'm one of those people, sometimes... But anyhow, there's no excuse for not being prepared for your show. I can see somebody forgetting lyrics, once in a great while, even when not under the influence of one chemical or another. This seems to have gone beyond that.

    I can't remember if it was Jay Leno or Conan that said this, but they said that Jessica's sister, Ashlee Simpson, told her, "See? This is what happens when you actually try to sing the words!"

    I'm pulling for ya, Jessica, but you've got to do better.

    The owner of the Hidden Hookah, Marvin, tells me that he won't be re-opening until late April, due to some permit problems. Can't wait! Marvin is one of the good guys at the venues.

    Phil Candelaria of Pony Productions posted this on myspace:

    Tonight was interesting night to say the least. It made me realize a couple of things that I need to do as a promoter and to make sure that things like this never happen again. First off I would like to offer my apologies to the people that did not get to see Cattle or Psyopus because of a few idiots starting trouble. I realize that most of you guys were not involved but you all have to realize that all this bullshit fighting has to stop. It you got shit with someone then take them outside. Don't start fights in the bar. PERIOD. Shows are all going to start at 7 and will end before 11 from now on. I realize the bands took a lot of time setting up and from here on out I will make sure that all the bands stick to the timeslots that we designate for them. So remember this from now on. DOORS AT 6. SHOWS START AT 7. This will be the new letter of the law. If you have any questions or you want to talk shit to me about tonight then feel free to shoot me over a message and let me have it. I know I need to do better but you guys can help by acting better as well. We need to find some common ground.

    I asked him if this was at the new all-ages venue that he wants to open.

    Phil: Nah this happened at Chics man and the bands just dragged dick and the show kept getting later and later and then we had to kick the kids out for fighting and talking shit to one another. It was just fucking retarded lol.

    EPMS: I would think it would be hard to get people to show up so early.

    Phil: Well at Chics whenever I have an all-ages show the doors will open at 6 and the shows will end at 11. No show thats all ages will go past that time.

    If it's more than 5 bands then it may start earlier but it will never end later than 11. This will ensure that all the under-age kids get to see ALL of the bands that they paid good money to see. It was unfortunate what happened last night but I know I can do better as a promoter and make sure things run tighter during the show.

    It is really hard to do an all-ages show in El Paso. None of the venues want to do them, since they make their money off the bar. Phil deserves a lot of credit for making a special effort to put on shows that under-age folks can go to.

    Minefield has a new singer. Here's what they have to say about that, as well as their recording:

    As for the new guy, he used to be in a band called second cycle, he's a great singer too!

    Well our new singer is actually our fourth singer since 2005 when we started playing. It's hard to find a great singer that also has some good stage presence, that writes great lyrics, and is easy to work with. but this guys seems to fit real well and Julio is almost great doing all of that, I guess he just got a different way of working than us. he sees things different and i think it's because he has more experience and knows what works and what doesnt. i guess we fuck around too much LOL.

    Anyways, about our recordings, our engineer has just been through so much this past year, and he is great at what he does, so we've been really patient with the whole recording process, but since last year we auditioned like ten singers, till we got Julio, then this new guy, well we basically took it slow, making the album that is. But with this new guy, we are back on track, we'll be working on the album the next couple of weeks so it SHOULD be done in a month or so.

    The Lusitania, on their recording:

    We are trying to work out the kinks with two or three different studios, money and such. Album doesn't have a title yet, and it will probably a high quality LP of nine songs or so.

    Last night with Killola, TAD: The Action Design is a tight four-piece with an excellent chick singer. They play high energy alt-rock. The singer can sing in the upper registers, not just pick one note to sustain. Drums plays with movement; inventive counter-rhythm.

    Killola is another professional high-energy alt-rock four-piece, fronted by a sexy blonde chick singer. She has more of a full voice than The Action Design's Emily, with big-time projection. Killola is a more energy, harder rock band than TAD.

    Here's some news: Bless the Morning (who are playing in my show tonight with Killola, The Action Design, and Ralpheene) are recording a five-song CD. They don't have a name for it. I suggested 'Charles Hurley.' They're thinking about it.

    Props to Joe Dorgan People that know me will raise an eyebrow at that headline, because I don't really like the guy. I think he's a jerk, but then, I think most of the people running our venues are jerks.

    The El Paso Times has always sucked up to him, which happens because the good-ole-boy network reigns here, but I haven't seen him support local music. Yeah, I know, he used to walk on water ten or fifteen years ago with his original Club 101. Since the new Club 101 opened, he could have done a lot for local bands, but he has given them few opportunities. Compared to what Chics, HORR, and Lucky Devils did for bands, Joe has been nothing but a slacker.

    Well, I'm singing his praises today, because of the new club over on Airway. I really think this will do a lot for the local music scene. Not only are we going to be getting a higher level of road bands, but supposedly, we are going to get a lot more shows.

    So, were I still a drinking man, I would hoist one in Joe's honor. As it is, this glass of tea is for Joe Dorgan.

    I got this from Jack Lutz, DJ for The Rocket 99.5, plus oldies on 101.1:

    I'm on your website. How come you haven't done any new interviews?

    OK. Mostly, I've been busy. I have one or two that I'm working on. I'm close to getting things back to where they should be. In addition to this site, I have a local political site I'm bringing up (because I haven't pissed off enough people with this site), plus a few more web-based surprises. Once I get these going, plus my internet radio station, I guess I'd better quit with the occasional updates. Doh!

    I need to do another interview with Jack. I'll bet he has some interesting observations to make.

    I want everybody to watch this video. It is a well-done video showing a lot of stuff in El Paso's history.

    I get stuff from people all the time, asking me to check out their music and/or videos. But, I'm much too lazy and self-important (and busy) to watch/listen to most of it. However, I got an e-mail from the guys that made it that pointed out what a wonderful human being I am, so I watched their video. Hey, I appreciate people sucking up to me as much as the next guy.

    Here is their message to me:

    Some friends and acquaintances of ours in El Paso (our previous home town 30 years ago) held for a jam session called "Border Legends" in October 2008. Some of the results are posted on YouTube. No different than any "what did you play in the 60s & 70s ... what key is it in?" reunion or fund raiser jam you've attended.

    Living in Houston and motivated by missing the October border surprise, we decided record a "two old El Paso musicians" jam in Houston and post it as a music video rocumentary collage on YouTube. This is an El Paso-centric rocumentary.

    Charles, we found your site a enormous help. Almost a one stop resource for what going on now in El Paso del Norte. We haven't lived in El Chuco for decades and the musical residents we still know don't get around as much. You d'mann. You do a more inclusive job than your Houston counterparts.

    For something to jam on, we wrote a rhythm track for T-Kaos Kruzzial's a cappella track "El Estilo Es Kruzzial", which seems apropos for an El Paso jam. The live jam tracks were recorded at my home studio aka my desktop music computer. While Kruzzial is from Barcelona, Spain the vibe feels like El Paso.

    It's desktop slash and burn, low resolution, music & video technology in its banal glory but jammin' is should be quick painless for the players.

    Thanks for diligence,
    Electronico and ElRon Xchili

    I wonder what The Cantina Flys think of being shown (twice) in a hip-hop video...

    The Hidden Hookah Lounge is re-opening March 7, next door to where they were before. It will be bigger and better than ever - stay tuned.

    I just signed up with emusic.com, to download music. What is different about emusic is, it's focused more on independent music. They have stuff by name artists, but it's mostly older stuff. I know a lot of independent bands, so we'll see how much useful stuff there is. Anyhow, it's something that independent bands should look into; it might be a good idea to put your music there (hint, hint).

    Wow! I'm seeing on the news that the roof blew off Good Times Sports Lounge. We keep finding new ways to lose venues...

    Hey, I've changed the link for Forums. I had been linking to the Fishhook Records forum, but they gave up the ghost a few months ago. Please visit the new link, and make posts about shows you have upcoming, what you have going on, 'bass player needed' and 'gear for sale'-type announcements.

    Austin fights to keep reputation as 'live music capital', By JAY ROOT Associated Press

    The El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras (EPSYOs), under the direction of Benjamin Loeb, will present a Chinese themed Winter Concert on Thursday, December 18th, 2008 at 7:00PM at the Abraham Chavez Theater. The concert will include performances from seven different ensemlbes made of over 275 young musicians from the borderland region. Featured in this concert will be renowned violinist, Joseph Lin, in the Chen and He’s Butterfly Lover’s Concerto and the El Paso Youth Orchestra performing Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis.

    Joseph Lin, assistant professor at Cornell University, is an active solo and chamber musician. He has made recent recital appearances at City Hall in Hong Kong and the Salle Cortot in Paris, as well as recent concerto appearances with the New Japan Philharmonic, Taiwan National Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, and the Auckland Philharmonia. Lin has recorded two CD’s with EPSYOs Music Director Benjamin Loeb on the Naxos label.

    Tickets for the Winter Concert are $7 for students/seniors/military and $12 for adults. Concert tickets are available online (www.EPSYOs.org), from any EPSYOs member, or by calling us at (915) 525-8978. You may also purchase tickets at the door on the day of the performance. Additional information can be found on the EPSYOs website: www.EPSYOs.org.

    I just bought another voice recorder to do interviews with. As it is about the same size as a modern MP3 player, I can use it to do quick little interviews at shows.

    Oh My God! last night.

    Here is the flyer for the 10/18 Subrosa Union show at Take II.

    Hey, I'm filling in the stuff below. Yeah, I know it's a stupid way to do things.

    I just did an interview with Mike West of Dinnertime Records. He spends his time as a recording engineer, both here and in Seattle. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

    Recording is my work and my hobby and passion. I don't charge much, and sometimes I don't charge at all. I am soooo tired of local bands getting ripped off by un-named studios in the area. If a band is not signed it means they have little or no money. And, studios here charge too much, and ninety-nine percent of them are just a bunch of guys who bought gear and have no clue how to use it...

    Most people here just like to drink and go dance to techno. It's not a huge live music scene, at least not as much as it used to be. Everyone likes to go to the bigger shows, like Warped Tour and such, but they are hesitant to go to local shows. Out of everyone I talk to and ask why, the number one reason they say they don't go to club shows is because the sound sucks ass. I agree with them. I have not been to a local club show that sounds good, unless it is a touring band that brings in their own PA and sound engineers.

    It would be better if the bands didn't play so loud, even if the PA sucks. At least you could hear them then... The lower the stage volume, the better the mix... But, most bands think the amps have to be on full volume, and the PA will just pump the vocals louder...

    When I mix for live bands, I tell them first and foremost: If you want me to mix you, let me set the stage volume and set monitor mixes up for you. But unfortunately, in this town very few places have a passable PA... What they don't realize is that having killer sound would bring them more business and fans to watch shows. And now clubs like Zeppelins who don't even have a good PA system are charging bands to use the PA system one hundred bucks. How can they charge for a shitty sound system, when they don't even pay the bands that?

    I am working trying to get a few bands record deals with a few indie and one major label. Jaydens Playground... Once the demo is done, I have Bruce Pavitt from Sub Pop that wants to look at them, as well as Mercury Records. I think they have serious potential. Minefield is a really good band... A few definite hits on the CD... I also have Roadrunner looking at them.

    As for booking bands down here, it is very, very sad to see the lack of promotion I have seen in other major cities. The clubs and most promoters do a very poor job promoting. You actually are one of the few that promotes and does a good job at it. Most clubs in Seattle spend cash to promote shows and help the local following.

    Bands down here don't sell enough merchandise as well. They wouldn't be complaining if they got their shit together and sold shirts and stickers. I don't see many bands do that, and it's a shame. But, I would say if you have a problem getting people to shows, work with the clubs and turn it into a Pay-To-Play situation, and have bands pre-sell their own tickets. It has worked wonders for clubs in other cities, and actually has proven to help some music scenes.

    Boy, I hate opinionated people...

    I got this from Jack Lutz, who used to DJ for KLAQ. Definitely a very cool guy:


    This is a hello from the ghost of Christmas Past, Jack Lutz, one of your early interviews. Your a hard man to get ahold of so I hope this gets to you. Ive recently gotten back into radio with 99.5 the rocket in Las Cruces. I hope we can keep in touch as I've wondered how you have been doing. Hope to hear from you.

    -Jack Lutz

    Anybody up in LC, say hi to Jack for me. BTW, The Rocket is celebrating its 2nd birthday in June.

    Alfresco Fridays

    6 PM Fridays at the Arts Festival Plaza, betwen the El Paso Museum o Art and the Plaza Theatre.

    6/13 Captain Radio
    6/20 Border Roots
    7/11 Windy City
    7/18 Tejas Band
    7/25 Fixed Idea
    8/1 Dan Lambert
    8/8 Nando and the Lineup
    8/15 The High Society Orchestra
    more information: 581-4481

    Line up for the semifinals!! Three of the following bands will go on to the championship June 4th and will win at least $500 in merchandise from Hubbard’s Music and More.

    Turncoat, A.C. Slater, Out of Element, Groove Machine, Bite the Bullet and Kingdom Scab

    Hello all! It's Friday, so here is the latest lineup in the Rock and Roll Rumble. Out of these six bands, three will go on to the finals and one will be crowned our fourth year Rumble Champion. Past winners have been El Camino (now known as Radio la Chusma), Brown Betty and A.C. Slater. Response to the Rumble has been huge, with crowds of at least 600 every Wednesday night at the Franklin Lounge at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

    We believe this to be a very newsworthy event. This is the biggest battle of the bands in the area. And we do it every year. No other radio station provides such an outlet for our talented musicians in the borderland.

    Your continued support is appreciated!!
    Happy Memorial Day!

    Christy Caro
    XHEPR FM 99.1 the Eagle
    (915) 351-5400

    Rock and Roll Rumble IV: Round Two!!

    Grand prize is $3000 in merchandise from Hubbard’s Music and More in Las Cruces. First and second prizes are $1500 and $500 in merchandise from Hubbard’s Music and More.

    Weekly rounds of competition will be every Wednesday night in the Franklin Lounge at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino through June 4th. No cover. 18+

    Line up for second round competition Wednesday night May 21st:
    Six Pak, Bite the Bullet, Kingdom Scab, Whiskey Dust, Hettory Trio and Groove Machine

    tonight's Rumble: Line up for first round competition, Wednesday night, May 7th :
    Cowboy Floyd, Groove Machine, Hettory Trio, Sky Conspiracy Incident and A.C. Slater

    Here is the flyer for the 5/9 show at Code Red (Las Cruces), featuring An Unposed Portrait, Dorian Grey, Let them Fear Ruin, A Glare of Vanity Code Red (Las Cruces), 5/9.

    Saw another hot band on the Tonight Show last night - this time, El Paso's own Jim Ward, with his band, Sleepercar. They showed that they clearly belong at that level. One thing I was thinking while watching them was, one big difference between a pro band and a garage band is, the garage band overplays the music. I.e., they put too much in the music, thinking, I guess, that quantity makes up for quality.

    You listen to a band like Sleepercar, OTOH, and not only can you hear what everybody is playing, but people are actually saying something with their instruments, not just playing in the hopes that they are putting enough music in their music.

    Last night on The Tonight Show, I saw Natasha Bedingfield. I had never seen her perform before. Man! I am a big fan of projection by vocalists, and she is one of the very best at that. There are other singers that can belt out a note, but Natasha doesn't stop there - she can actually sing a melody with that power. Awesome!

    Line up for The Rock 'N Roll Rumble's first round competition, Wednesday night April 30th:
    Out of Element, Kingdom Scab, Clover, Whiskey Dust and The Town, The Crowd and Everyone

    For more information, click on Rock ‘N Roll Rumble IV at www.991theeagle.com The Rock and Roll Rumble IV is sponsored by Hubbard’s Music and More and Allstate Insurance.

    The Lonely H will appear May 3 at Kings X in support of their "Hair" CD. See their press release.


    Bands competing in the fourth annual Rock and Roll Rumble are:

    A.C. Slater (last year’s winners), Bite the Bullet, Cap’n Boozy, Cowboy Floyd, DBM, Groove Machine, Hettory Tio, Kingdom Scab, Klover, Out of Element, Six Pak, Sky Conspiracy Incident, The Crowd, the Town and Everyone, Turncoat, Whiskey Dust

    Grand prize is $3000 in merchandise from Hubbard’s Music and More in Las Cruces. First and second prizes are $1500 and $500 in merchandise from Hubbard’s Music and More.

    Weekly rounds of competition will be every Wednesday night in the Franklin Lounge at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino starting April 23rd.

    Line up for first round competition Wednesday night April 23rd:

    Bite the Bullet
    Cap’n Boozy
    Six Pak

    For more information, click on “Rock ‘N Roll Rumble IV” at www.991theeagle.com The Rock and Roll Rumble IV is sponsored by Hubbard’s Music and More and Allstate Insurance.

    La Razza Films is looking for your soundtrack. If you think your band has what it takes to make a film depute, please go to myspace and contact La Razza films or send your contact information to larazzafilms@yahoo. com- We will contact

    Two of Archer Avenue's songs "landed on-air during MTV's Real World Awards Bash." See the press release for more info.

    Here is the flyer for the Bangkok Tattoos show featuring The Surface, Imperfect, and The Cantina Flys. I haven't seen the Flys in a while. This show is 4/19 at Bangkok Tattoos, Gateway East at Trowbridge.

    Today on the front page of the El Paso Times, they're talking about how other cities are removing red-light cameras because they cause accidents, especially rear-end collisions with nitwits that don't want to get out of the way. For each $75 ticket, $49 goes to the company that installed the cameras, and $26 to the city. Hmm, I guess we can be sure that none of that $49 is making it back into somebody's pockets here in town?

    Speaking of that, there is an article in this month's Texas Monthly magazine, entitled "How Corrupt is El Paso?" And you thought the rest of Texas didn't pay attention to us...

    It focuses mostly on the FBI inquiry into bribery, but Paul Burka also writes:

    I went to El Paso recently to write about the corruption that reaches into every area of local government, not to muse on the city's alienation from the vast territory that lies to the east. But I realized that the two are related, that there is a sense here that no one is watching, so why not line your pockets? This attitude is accompanied by another: that El Paso has missed out on the prosperity enjoyed not only by other Texas cities but also by Phoenix and Albuquerque, so why not indulge in some easy money if the opportunity presents itself? Which it always does to those willing to look for it.

    To me, a lot of the problem is that the media here is just cowardly. What the FBI did would have been done by the newspapers and TV stations in other cities.

    Back to music: I have had Nick Williams, a local acoustic singer/songwriter, on several of my variety shows, Bring Back Vaudeville. I know that the bigger he gets, the harder it's going to be for me to book him, but the guy is awesome. I just love that singing voice. I also kind of dig that Arkansas accent he talks with, but that's another story.

    I'm trying to push him to do bigger things, because he deserves to be big. Mostly I'm just pissing him off, though. I have that effect on people.

    Hey, So Not Psyched Studios has put out a compilation CD of the artists that they record. I'll have more to say on it when I finish listening to it a few times, but there's some good stuff on it. And I really like what they are doing to support the scene.

    Here is the flyer for the Bangkok Tattoos show featuring The Surface and Imperfect. Show is 4/12 at Bangkok Tattoos, Bangkok and Dyer.

    I did an interview with Louie Speaking Eagle, a local jazz drummer, a couple of years ago. Anyhow, he's telling me,

    "I just got back from giving a drum clinic in Albuquerque, and I'm looking to accept a limited number of private students. I will make house calls so if you know of anyone who might be interested please let us know."

    Good thing about that house calls thing. I'm having a little bit of ringing in the ears. Where does that come from?

    Anyhow, Here is his myspace page.

    Here is the flyer for the Battle of the Bands at Hanks High School on 4/11.

    I just saw a bulletin on myspace from Pony Productions. It is apparently a just-organized show, since there wasn't even a flyer prepared. What got my attention is that it purports to be a benefit for a new venue.

    The bulletin reads, in part:




    So, I messaged Pony Productions' Phil Candelaria:

    EPMS: u opening a venue? or are they moving chics?

    Phil Candelaria: I am opening up my own venue and Ron from Chic's is helping me start it up. I am still in good standing with Chic's but I want an alcohol free enviroment to do most my shows at and I will still be helping him out with shows that are more alcohol friendly if you know what i mean lol...

    EPMS: Wow! Talk about going against the trend! There are no all-ages venues around, any more.

    Is this a secret?

    Phil Candelaria: Nope not really. I am leaving with Ron's full consent and we are helping one another. I want to let the location stay a secret until I have signed the lease for it which will be June 1st. but i will let you in on the fact it will be on the east side.

    The show will have 10 bands, and a $7 cover.

    Hey, The Eagle, 99.1 FM, is having their fourth annual battle of the bands for cover bands. At least, for bands playing cover tunes. $5000 in prizes! Anybody need a kazoo player?

    The Rock and Roll Rumble IV is sponsored by Hubbard’s Music and More and Allstate Insurance.

    Here is the flyer for the Arkham show at Chics, 4/12.

    Q8 closed its doors yesterday. Sigh.

    Had a show last night. It was supposed to include a bunch of SXSWers, but none of them showed. I guess they all appeared at the bar, but none of them stayed until I got there about 8:00. I had spoken with three of the bands by phone, and told them that I was coming.

    Anarbor and The Summer Set were really only playing for food and a tiny amount of cash. It was unprofessional of them to leave, as they told me, because they were tired and wanted to come home. GBL was getting decent money, enough to pay them for stopping. I got a message from their manager a couple of days later, asking why I had cancelled the show. I had to tell him that his band was snowing him.

    Peachcake, a band that has played El Paso many times, is another story. They didn't call me at all, I never heard from them until I saw their blog a couple of days later. Supposedly they were hassled by the EPPD. I can certainly believe that, but that doesn't explain them not calling me, the promoter, to explain why they weren't going to appear. I have to say, though, I had already heard of their reputation for cancelling shows, so I wasn't surprised.

    If you read their blog, you will see an example of using five words where one will do. If any of you are learning how to write, don't write like what you see in that blog.

    As for our heroic locals, Atomic Pink and Trinova, those were the professional bands that night. I will book these two bands as often as they will let me.

    Hey, Hidden Hookah is back! I have a show there (my variety show, Bring Back Vaudeville tomorrow.

    Hey, here is a story about KDBC and KVIA news vans drag-racing at a strip, the day after a fatal drag-racing crash.

    I think this was insensitive because it happened the day after somebody got killed drag racing, but, aside from that, I think it's as funny as shit. Disciplinary action? Only because it was politically incorrect.

    Here is the Youtube version.

    Last night, I got a call from Adriana Chavez, who really needed a PA, like, immediately. I guess somebody got sick on her, or something, but anyhow, I agreed to pack up my gear and head over to Good Times to run sound for her show.

    I really like doing sound, although doing it at Good Times is going to hurt my reputation. By that, I mean that it is very difficult to avoid feedback there, especially for bands that want to play loudly.

    The floors are hard, the walls are hard, the ceiling is hard, and most bands that play there, at least when I am running sound, seem to be trying to burst ear drums. I carry ear plugs, but I am usually too busy to put them in my ears. Dealing with the feedback problems there is probably helping me to learn some things, anyhow.

    Adriana is a very nice person. While I don't myself understand being nice, I have heard that it is a good thing to be. I don't, of course, think that hanging around people like Adriana will actually make me nice, but I think it likely that people will mistakenly think I am nice if I am seen associating with known nice people. I can't prove it, but it makes sense to me.

    I didn't get there until 10:20. All I could think of was getting things going as quickly as possible. When I walked in, Mexicans at Night was playing. I looked around and picked up a table. I then walked it past the band, in front of the crowd, to where I was going to set up. This, of course, was quite inconsiderate. I wasn't meaning to be rude, I just have a talent for being an asshole. Everybody has to be good at something, I tell my kids. This is my talent. When I was a kid, I was good at making farting sounds with my armpit, but I have long since forgotten how to do that, so I'll just settle for being a pretty darn good asshole.

    After Mexicans at Night finished, I apologized to them, because I have heard that nice people apologize for things. Turned out that the guy I was apologizing to was Rafa Pistola, whom I hadn't seen in a couple of years. Rafa is one of the coolest guys in the scene. While I don't think that hanging around people like Rafa will actually make me cool...

    Rafa is an excellent musician, but I can't help thinking that MAN was there so Rafa could counter-balance the attractiveness of the hot chicks in the other two bands...

    I also saw Ralpheene for the first time in a couple of years. They sure seem older. Ray has this haunting voice - too bad I couldn't do it justice. If I had arrived a couple hours before the show, I would have been prepared.

    The headliner of the show was Goodbye Gadget, from Oakland, a nice band with a couple of decent-looking chicks. The singer had a lot of personality, and was very nice. The other one, whom I shall call "Legs," wasn't so nice, but GG is a fairly decent band that I wouldn't mind seeing again, especially if Legs doesn't wear pants.

    Very shortly after leaving the show, at 1:30 in the morning, I got stopped by a police officer. He said that he stopped me because my stickers were expired.

    One of the things I really hate about the EPPD is, they are such pathetic liars that they don't even care how obvious it is that they are lying. They don't care who they are talking to, or whether their hand is on the Bible. They just lie.

    The truth is probably that he stopped me because I came out of a bar at 1:30 in the morning. I don't know. What I do know is, this bozo did not read my sticker in his rear-view mirror at 1:30 in the morning.

    Saw the Boss Martians last night at Good Times. Actually, I ran the sound and was officially co-promoter. The locals were Cars Collide and The Kirk. I have always said that Cars Collide could become a touring band if they made up their mind to do it. They hadn't played much lately, but they were on their usual game.

    I hadn't seen The Kirk before. They kind of remind me of a 70s jam band. Cool guys; I am going to try and book them this summer.

    The Boss Martians actually pissed me off. They are an awesome hard rock band, to be sure, but they insisted on playing so loudly that almost everybody had left the venue five minutes after they started. Let me tell you something, if your playing makes everybody leave, you're doing something wrong.

    They seemed pissed at me. There's something that a band with their experience should know, which is, the FOH sound is not the same as what you hear coming out of the monitors. In this particular case, there weren't even monitors, because the people that brought the speakers didn't see the need. I had an amp for them; they just weren't there. The FOH (front of hall, i.e., what the audience hears) was pretty decent, though I was struggling with the feedback. The first two bands played at reasonable levels, and there was no problem. Oh, well.

    Recently, I saw a myspace bulletin by a band that basically said, "Hey, sorry to our fans, but we skipped playing last night because we have a tour coming up, and we wanted to spend more time practicing."

    I'm not going to name the band. They aren't the only band to do something like this, anyhow.

    This might be a good reason for not accepting the gig, but cancelling one show so you can practice for other shows is about as unprofessional as you can get. This band isn't one that I would book, but they just gave every promoter in town a good reason not to book them. I know they don't care about that, though, because Zeppelins will book them whenever they want.

    Last night, I went to Chics to see Arkham, put on by Sociopath Promotions. I used to promote shows at Lone Star Lounge at the same time that Sociopath were doing shows there. Knowing Adrian's affection for hardcore music, and the goriness of the Arkham flyers, I'd always assumed that Arkham was a hardcore band. Come to find out, it's really a gothic DJ show, featuring two members of Cat as Trophy. They had lots of people there. Adrian was telling me that Arkham was a show that used to be done at The Peanut Gallery on Pershing, a few years ago.

    Here is the flyer for Arkham at Chics on Saturday, 3/8. Also on the bill are DJ Vurkolak and DJ Lady Die.

    Here is the flyer for Peachcake / Get Back Loretta / Anarbor / Atomic Pink / Trinova / The Summer Set at Good Times on 3/16. Here is the flyer for The Boss Martians / The Kirk 3/11 at Good Times Sports Lounge. Here is the flyer for Scary Kids Scaring Kids, March 12 at Chics.

    Last night, I did the sound for the Sorin / Fate Denied / Ayatollah show. After Fate Denied's set, the singer asked me what I had thought. I told him that I really hadn't paid attention to how they were playing, since I was pre-occupied with doing the sound. Good Times features hard floors and hard walls, and it is hard to handle the feedback when the bands play loudly there. Anyhow, he didn't believe me - he thought I was saying I didn't like them, or that I didn't like metal. As far as metal goes, I'm not really into heavy growling, squealing, etc., but I grew up on heavy metal.

    Actually, though, I have seen so many shows, a lot of times it is hard to pay attention anyhow, even if I'm not busy doing sound or shooting video. I don't mean to be disrespectful to anybody; that's just how it is. Actually, I noticed his singing, which I thought was pretty good. I didn't really notice what the rest of the band was doing, but I would have noticed if they were playing badly.

    Last night, I arrived at the Hidden Hookah Lounge to get ready for my variety show, Bring Back Vaudeville. I found out that the place had been shut down by the city for permit-related problems. Something about smoking and food not allowed to be sold at the same place, or having to make it a club with members. I'm not sure. I have to say, though, the city's really pissing me off here. They spend lots of money on Parks and Recreation. Shows are entertainment, i.e., recreation, for at least a segment of the local populace. In addition to the Hidden Hookah, the city also recently shut down The Brick House. Mayor John Cook always likes to call himself a musician. Why can't he get his people to come up with ways to help keep clubs open? The venues here are dropping like flies; why can't the city take a positive role in what's going on? The crappy politicians we always get are only interested in getting their names on plaques, and they don't really give a damn if they're helping or hurting. I don't know how anybody here ever gets re-elected.

    District 10 DECA is going to be holding a three-round battle of the bands to raise money for Covenant House, an organization for at-risk kids. The first round will be held at Hanks H.S. on March 14th, So far, they have eight bands, and need about ten more. The entry per band is fifteen bucks, which goes to the first prize of the last round, which is 200 dollars. as getting first at the hanks level, Tony, the manager from Sonic Ranch, has agreed to give the winner of the first round a tour of the studio. The 2nd and 3rd rounds are still being planned...

    For more info, call Nick Tamez at 760-1741.

    BTW, since I have accumulated enough PA equipment, I am starting to do sound at some other folks' shows. I'm pretty cheap, especially since I'm still having a good time doing it.

    I saw This interesting article in the Houston Chronicle about what bands can do to make money in the biz.

    I, meaning El Paso Music Scene, am doing a big weekly hip-hop show with Nine1FivePromotions every Tuesday at Good Times, starting 3/25. It will include a major DJ, as well as being promoted on 102 FM. Stay tuned for further info.

    On 2/20, the show that had been at The Brickhouse, will take place at Zeppelins, as a benefit to for The Brickhouse: "...portion of proceeds will be going to help brickhouse get licenses and permits and all that shit we didn't want to get until we got cited for it..."

    I understand that Jokers is closed. The previous owner has left town, probably for job reasons. The new owner will open as a beer place only again.

    Every once in a while, I get a CD in the mail. I usually don't get around to listening them very quickly, but I do try. Sigh. Anyhow, I just listened to a couple that have been sitting on the shelf for a while: Archer Avenue's We Watched the Headlights, We Watched the Stars, and A Main Street Marvel 's Exclamation! Concentration. A Main Street Marvel is soft rock; Archer Avenue's is kind of country-pop. Both CDs are the kind of fare that you kick back and listen to on a Sunday afternoon, preferably on the swing of a porch, with your dog at your feet.

    AA is a cross between Tom Petty, The Monkees, and Buck Owens. The drums and bass stay at home most of the time, with the departure from formula coming from the vox and guitar. The guitar player, Marc Sauceda, is a professional that eschews the flash-bang style in favor of pure style. If he wanted to, he could easily be a full-time country or pop music session player.

    AMSM raises a couple of questions: how did this come out of El Paso? What I mean is, you just don't hear this style of music here. You hear it coming out of Austin all the time, but not here. Another surprise is that the music was mostly done by one guy:

    "Alls songs written by Jetho Gaglione. Vocals, guitar, bass, and synth written and performed by Jethro Gaglione. Drums programmed by Omar Villezcas / Jethro Gaglione."

    Anyhow, because you want to know (OK, let's pretend), I did a short interview.

    Hey, Nine1Five Promotions has re-done their site 915promotions.com, and it looks pretty sharp! These guys do a good job helping promote the local music scene; they list DJs, Hip-hop, Reggae, Rock, and Worship music, in that order. Check them out!

    Here is the flyer for Memento Mori, Tony Acoustic, and Nay & Mike at the Hidden Hookah on 2/9. Here is the flyer for Sorin, Red Eye Factor, and Fate Denied at Good Times Sports Bar on 3/1.

    According to their myspace bulletin, The Brickhouse was raided this past Friday and Saturday for noise, the building not being up to code, and not having a "dancing permit."

    Fortunately, none of the event-goers were ticketed for dancing without a license; just the venue. There are unconfirmed reports that one of the bands was cited for failing to signal a key change. They are cancelling all shows until they get it all straightened out...

    Project Bundy is in need of a drummer for a June tour they are taking with the Burnside Fountains. This is the first two bands to be sent by So Not Psyched Records

    Here is the flyer for the L.A. Guns / Cantina Flys show at Take II. The show had been scheduled for The Storm, but they folded.

    Here is the flyer for The Enigma Live, 2/22 at Margaritas.

    MARDI GRAS Celebration @ Antoniette's Café
    Open Mic-for singers, poets, & musicians
    Tuesday February 5, 2008 – 6 pm – 9:00 pm....
    Antoniette's Café – 716 ....Montana.... at Ochoa and Virginia 915-351-9959
    We know ....VIRGINIA.... is for lovers…but
    ..Virginia.. and ....Montana.... Is for "ROMANCE."....
    We know "CALLE OCHO" is for parties...but
    Ochoa and ....Montana.... Is for "FUN."....
    MARDI GRAS EL PASO, TX Feb 5, 2008....
    .. ..
    5 PM starts....
    a. Parade from Plaza de Lagartos to Antoniettes Café
    6 PM starts....
    b. Caricature portraits – for modest donation....
    c. Mask making – for modest donation....
    d. Beads and liaise sale at the restaurant ....
    7 PM starts....
    a. A King and Queen selection of those present....
    b. Poetry – Open Mic....
    c. Singers and musicians parade ....
    8 PM starts....
    a. Costume contest....
    Jumbalaya, Gumbo in a cup ....
    Apple Cider "Alligator Hurricanes" and Grape Cider "Katrina Hurricanes"....
    French truffle oil menu will be available

    Hey, we generally only post flyers, but here are a couple of events:

    Friday February 1st
    Worm-Hole (rock) with The Ground Beneath (rock)
    The Rock Inn
    (915) 564-5700
    3315 Dyer St
    El Paso, Texas 79930
    Music starts at 10pm
    $3 at the door

    Saturday February 2nd
    Worm-Hole (rock), The Ground Beneath (rock), and Spacetruckers
    The Rain Forest
    (505) 524-8591
    1765 S Main St
    Las Cruces, NM 88005
    Music starts at 10pm
    $3 at the door

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