October 31, 2012

Halloween Playlist

I absolutely adore Halloween and dressing up. I don't know if it's because I'm an attention whore or I just like pretending to be someone I'm not (although the last few years I've been a hippie, a jailbird and this year, a gypsy - not really pretending on those) but I love everything to do with this holiday.

I was bored at work today so I made this playlist. It's full of songs that are either about Halloween-ish things like ghosts and grave-digging or they're just creepy like "The Armadillo Jackal" and "Coming Down." (And of course I had to throw in the William Clark Green one because it goes with my costume.)

Enjoy it and have a fun Halloween!

October 26, 2012

The Departed - "Set It Free"

The Departed released another song from Adventus yesterday. I think it's my favorite one so far.

18 days left!!

October 22, 2012

New-to-Me-Music - Whitey Morgan and the 78's

I love being Twitter friends with music fans from all across the country. I would never run into stuff like this if it weren't for social media. I know I sound like a loser for having imaginary Internet friends, but I don't care.

Thanks to Beth at Independent Sky and Baron at Twang Nation, today I was introduced to Whitey Morgan and the 78's music. This is real honky tonk. The kind that's few and far between these days. I've been listening all day and wanted to share it. I'm a big fan already.

October 19, 2012

Red & the Vityls - "East Side River Snake"

This song from Red & the Vityls has been on the top 5 most requested on the radio here in Lubbock every day for a few weeks now. For good reason! This guy's the next big thing if you ask me. Listen to the rest of his music and get hooked here.

I love songs that tell stories like this. This "East Side River Snake" just sounds nasty.

Warning: the recommended videos after this one are of real live snakes. Don't freak out like me.

October 17, 2012

Dirty RIver Boys - "El Pescador"

Last time I saw Dirty River Boys was right after I got their new album Science of Flight. Then I said something about wishing they would do "El Pescador" live because I thought it would be a big hit. Well.... I'm not taking credit for this, but they evidently have added it to their live shows. I know this for a fact because I saw them again two weekends ago and they did it! And yes I sang every word, because I know them all. Just kidding, but my friend Carter pretended to and it was hilarious, too bad the video I took of him got lost.

Here is the video I finally tracked down on Facebook from the weekend before I saw them do this song in Lubbock.

October 12, 2012

Erick Willis - "Landslide" and a song with no name...

So, Josh Weathers and Sean McConnell had a baby.

His name is Erick Willis.

I remember the first time I saw him. It was after an acoustic Jonathan Tyler show this summer and afterwards Erick, Red Shahan, and Brandon Adams did some acoustic song-swapping and I've been hooked ever since. I've heard him on Texas Red Dirt Roads and he's getting a lot of attention in Fort Worth and across Texas recently. My friend Carter is also a big fan so when we heard he would be doing a full band show in Lubbock we knew we couldn't miss it.

And thank God we didn't. I've never seen him with a full band, and as much as I love him acoustic, this just added to it.

Erick played lots of songs I've never heard as well as all the ones we downloaded off YouTube in the past few months that TXRDR added. I'm ready for his EP which I think he told me is coming out in the next few months but I can't really remember because I was too busy checking out his tattoos.

In the middle of his set he kicked the band off stage and did a few acoustic covers. Thank goodness because that meant my friend Carter could quit screaming "LANDSLIDE!!" He covered that one first, which I recorded on my iPhone because it is amazing and I want everyone and their dog to hear it.

(If you hear somebody cussing and singing along in the background, it's not me.)

He covered a few others like Ray LaMontagne and Red Shahan's "Broke Down Dreams" and did a really cool acoustic version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Then the rest of the band came up and they did what may be my new favorite song, but when I asked him what it's called, he said it doesn't have a name yet. But I will tell you it's badass and if I could play guitar and write a song, that's what it would be. Another favorite moment was when he did a duet ("That Makes Two of Us") with Tori Vasquez who opened for him. I had never seen her before, but I had heard a lot and I was not let down. She can play that guitar and is a powerhouse.

Here's my new favorite song, "The Song with No Name."

Check him out here, on Twitter and Facebook!

October 11, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Michael Martin Murphey

This week's throwback is about a guy who you cannot put in any category.  He has span the genres: folk, rock, pop, outlaw country, & bluegrass!  Born in Dallas, he grew up on Cowboy songs, and that has been his staple throughout his 40+ year career.  An inspirational songwriter, he has written hit songs for Johnny Lee, The Monkees, Cher, Roger Miller, and many more.  He is also the author of the New Mexico state ballad, "The Land of Enchantment".   From his outlaw country days through his very popular pop country times to his most recent tributes to bluegrass, Michael has always done things his way.

The first video is Michael singing "Cosmic Cowboy," which was written and recorded in the early '70s when he was a large part of the Outlaw Country scene in Austin with Willie, Waylon, Jerry Jeff, and Gary P. Nunn.

The next song is from 1982, where he achieved mainstream success with #1 hits like "Still Taking Chances."

October 10, 2012

Billy Joe Shaver IS going to live forever.

Last week I got to see a true Texas legend. Billy Joe Shaver. I didn't know I loved him so much, but I do. I left wishing I could just adopt him as my grandpa. He is a phenomenal story teller, not only in his lyrics, but in between songs too. I had no clue he wrote so many songs that I have been listening to all my life and just assumed Waylon or whoever made them famous wrote.

The crowd was small - way too small considering the legend that was on stage. But I guess in a bar where the majority of the crowd is college students, that would be expected. The crowd was a lot older than normal. Probably the most people my parents' age and older I've ever seen at Blue Light. There was only a handful of the regular crowd there which was fine by me because for the most part, the people there knew and respected Mr. Shaver. There was even a mother and daughter I met in the bathroom on vacation from Sweden. I asked them why the HELL they came to Lubbock from Sweden and they said they wanted to see Billy Joe Shaver. Badass.

He strolled on out and hopped up on stage at a time most people his age have already been in bed asleep for several hours. It amazes me that he is still going strong after all these years and the life he has lived. He said at one point his family thought he'd be the first to go, but he ended up losing his wife, son and mother in the same year. I read several biographies since seeing him last week and was reminded about what all the people in his generation have seen and lived through. If you do nothing else, read this biography, written in his own words. No wonder his songs and stories are so incredible.

Billy Joe started off telling us that he wouldn't be playing guitar too much because he's got a messed up should but said he "don't play worth a shit anyway." I should have done my research a little more because I had no idea he wrote "Honky Tonk Heros," and "Black Rose," one of my favorite Waylon songs. He also played songs that I knew from dudes like Jason Boland, Reckless Kelly, and Roger Creager.

He played everything from his oldest hits to newer stuff like "Wacko from Waco," which he told the full story beforehand and it just made me love him more. (You can read about it here.) He played "That's What She Said Last Night" TWICE because some drunk dude kept begging him to so he finally said "if I play it will you get out of my face??" This song is hilarious. A 70-something old man saying "that's what she said..." solid gold.

After writing songs for 40 years, he is still relevant with his songwriting and his first hits are still played or even covered by people of all ages every day. But he is so humble. The stories he tells about his personal life and career show a side of him that you may not expect. I saw a picture of him in the latest Texas Music magazine and he was wearing the exact same outfit he had on last week. Denim head-to-toe and even the exact same belt buckle, I swear.

I had no idea how much I would love and respect Billy Joe Shaver after this concert but as far as I'm concerned he's right up there with Willie. If you can, get out there and see him. You never know which show might be his last! (Just kidding, we all know he's going to live forever.)

ps - please ignore the weird donkey thing at the beginning of this...

October 3, 2012

Lubbock Music Fest 2012 - The Departed

This past weekend was a pretty huge deal for Lubbock. I know that Lubbock has a rich music scene and has for decades, growing legends like Buddy Holly, The Flatlanders, and many more, but I feel like state-wide, Lubbock isn't necessarily recognized as the music mecca it really is. I guess you can't compete with Austin, but the kind of music coming from West Texas is it's own breed.

So what was the big deal with last weekend? They have done it before, but it's been a few years. So I guess it was the.... reviving?.... I can't say first annual because that is wrong, there is no such thing as a "first annual" anything (my news writing professor would be so proud). Anywho - 2012 Lubbock Music Fest was last weekend. It was Thursday-Saturday and featured bands from many different genres of music, not just Texas Country/Red Dirt. I went to the Damn Quails at the Blue Light Thursday night and then The Departed played Friday night.

I have been looking forward to seeing The Departed at Lubbock Music Fest since I heard about it a few months ago. When I saw them back in June at the Blue Light, they put on an incredible show. It was the first time I heard any of their new music, but since then a little bit of it has been released with the recording of their new album, Adventus, that comes out in November, so I knew this show would be chock-full of new goodies.

Another reason I was so excited about this concert and the whole festival in general, is because Lubbock doesn't get stuff like this! Sure there's tons of music festivals all across Texas, but not within a 100-mile radius of us. I've heard rumors that "they" (I don't know who "they" is) are trying to turn this into Lubbock's version of SXSW. That's a huge task, but I'm just glad Lubbock is getting some attention.

Also, the last (or maybe second to last) time Lubbock had this festival was several years ago and Cross Canadian Ragweed played. I've written about it before, but it was my first non-arena concert and the best concert I've ever attended to date. It could/would/should have scarred me for life considering I was practically a kid in a swarm of drunk and/or stoned college students, but instead it opened my eyes to what live music is supposed to be and I haven't been the same since. I have always said that that was the concert that changed my life, so to speak, and made me realize my passion for live music at such a young age. So yeah, I was pretty damn stoked, not only when I heard that Lubbock Music Fest was coming back, but that The Departed was headlining.

But it doesn't stop there, my good friend/partner in crime, Skylar just so happened to win meet and greet passes and tickets to the show from 105.3 and I'll be damned if I didn't guilt trip her into letting me be her +1! So we went early and got to meet the band and take a few pictures. It wasn't anything phenomenal and only lasted about 10 minutes, but that's OK because the entire time I was trying not to be crazy Aunt Sue excited. I got the picture and that's what we came for anyway.

So the weather wasn't entirely desirable for an outdoor concert, but that wasn't stopping me. The crowd did kind of suck but that's because everyone thought it was cancelled. I just wore waterproof mascara and faced it. A little rain doesn't scare a few West Texas girls. It was totally worth it too because we had the full front row to ourselves and a handful of friends and devoted fans. Not that I would stand anywhere else if there had been 500 people, but it was a lot more comfortable. We watched Red and the Vityls play first (great band, check them out) then The Departed came on a little earlier than expected.

I'm so impressed that they will play in the rain to 50 people and put on as good a show as you'd expect for a packed crowd in perfect conditions. They started off with Rosalie, then they played a new one that I'm not sure what it's called, but it's amazing. Neely Yates from 105.3 told me about it at the meet and greet because they had played it in studio earlier. It's basically an in-your-face, shut-the-hell-up and quit requesting "Carney Man" and freakin move on song. I love it! They can do all the interviews in the world, but the best way to get their message out to their fans, ex-fans, and diehard-Ragweed fans is through a song and I think this one does it perfectly.

Then Seth played their new song, "Hobo," which I heard last week and already love. I tried to find it but those tricky people already took it off Soundcould. I guess they are pretty literal when they says "this week's preview." I think they played a few more new songs but I don't remember what they were. One of them I do remember Cody singing and he used that mic that makes his voice all cool... it said something like "she had flowers in her hair, she had darkness everywhere...." Yup, love it. They did a mix of old and new songs, with Cody, Seth and Jeremy taking turns. Everything new I heard I loved, and I wanted to hear more. It was all pretty rock and roll and a good change from the last album.

They even played a few Ragweed songs, the usual "Dimebag" and "Anywhere But Here," my favorite running/angry-driving song. And they wrapped up with "Skyline Radio" and "Time to Move On." I kind of think they did another encore song but if they did, I didn't write it down. I was too busy trying to help my friend Keely get a set list since her cleaning lady threw hers away.

The show was awesome. Even though it drizzled on us the entire time, it was never so bad we couldn't enjoy it. I would have stuck it out either way. If the band is willing to tolerate in the conditions and entertain you, why not let them? I've got nothing to lose. I was looking like a wet dog when it was over but I had a blast and I would do it again. I still went to Blue Light after for Rodney Parker and 50 Peso Reward, but half the people there were soaking wet too. To me the rain just added to the experience! Now I just need November 13th to get here so I can hear the rest.

This is one of my favorites Seth plays.

(Me and Skylar before and after.)