Which Candidate Promising to "Fight Obama" Could Actually Beat Him (in a Fistfight)?

Categories: Noise, Trending

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Come and take Lt. Governor candidate Todd Staples' guns, Obama.
It's Primary Day! Will Senator John Cornyn avoid a runoff? Who will square off in the Republican race for attorney general? Will voter turnout surpass a whopping 12 percent?

The arrival of the primary also signals the end of campaign advertising. That's a real shame, because -- at least as far as the Republican ads go -- watching the candidates scramble to prove themselves the most concerned about border security and/or terrified of illegal immigrants is entertaining.

Most amusing to me was the number of candidates vowing to "fight Obama." Mostly they're referring to the Affordable Care Act, but there are also references to our state's unique "Texas-ness," and how each particular candidate will best resist the Socialist-in-Chief's infernal federal meddling.

But because political nuance is lost on me, I decided to see if I could figure out which of the candidates promising to "fight Obama" really could. Fight Obama, I mean.

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HSPVA Sends Out Jazz Ambassadors, Ready to Do Thelonius Monk Proud

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Photo courtesy HISD
From left to right: Adam DeWalt, 18; Jyron Walls, 18; Jalon Archie, 18; James Francies, 17; John Koozin, 17; Jeremy Dorsey, 17
A group of students from Houston ISD's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is now on a weeklong tour, representatives of one of only two schools in the country chosen as ambassadors of jazz and bound for the famous Jazz Kitchen itself.

Houston's own: Drummer Jalon Archie, 18; trumpeter Adam DeWalt, 18, guitarist Jeremy Dorsey, 17; pianist James Francies, 17, bassist John Koozin, 17 and saxophonist Jyron Walls, 18, are in the Indianapolis public schools this week, presenting "jazz informances." They'll play along their counterparts in the Indianapolis schools, both learning from each other.

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Brave New Waves Celebrates Electronica

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Distorted Light by cosmic_omar
If Brave New Waves were a picture, it might look something like this.
Whether you know it or not, Houston has a thriving electronic music scene. The fact that this genre is relatively unrecognized is what has been bugging composer Paul Connolly for a while. So, he decided to do something about it and that something is called Brave New Waves, which is a monthly music series focusing on electronic, electro-acoustic and other music forms, now in its third month.

We spoke with Connolly a few months back when the series launched, but it's gone through some growing pains with a new location and a brief hiatus.

Connolly is a music man through and through. Hailing from Calgary, Connolly has studied music composition and recording since he was just a wee lad. He traveled around much of the globe and eventually planted roots in Sugar Land. In his seven years in Texas, the rich and varied musical talent in the city has continuously blown him away, specifically pertaining to his own passion of incorporating technology into music.

"With electronic music," Connolly says, "the possibilities are limitless." He is a music-boundary pusher and enhances his compositions with modern-day techniques.

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Visual Mixtape: "Musical Moves" at Rice Media Center

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Christopher Wool
‚ÄčBecause Sonic Youth has a long practice of using the works of contemporary artists on their covers - think Raymond Pettibon on Goo and Gerhard Richter's photorealist Kerze ("Candle") on Daydream Nation - these visual artists have reached wider audiences. Meanwhile, the band has distinguished itself by championing living, working visual artists. A new exhibit, "Musical Moves," at Rice University's Media Center features works by Christopher Wool, who did the cover art for Sonic Youth's 2006 Rather Ripped. The show pairs him with German painter Arnold Oehlen and focuses on these artists' thick relationship with modern music as well as ephemeral forms like posters and cover art.

Since the opening reception last night was at Rice, we of course heard a brief lecture by curator John Corbett, whose slideshow offered us examples of what we were missing in this show -- namely original paintings by artists who self-identify as painters -- and what we were seeing instead, examples of ephemera that illustrate their thick relationship with contemporary music.

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Constantine Maroulis & His "Dude Musical" Rock of Ages

Categories: Noise, Stage

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Dan Lippitt
Constantine Maroulis in Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages has been a continued success -- beyond being nominated for five Tonys -- because it was able to overcome one of the toughest things that faces any musical, according to one of its stars.

"Musical theater is not something that most dudes just flock to. Well, we created a dude musical, basically. And that's been a big part of our core audience," says former American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis, who was among those Tony award nominees last year for his performance as Drew in the show that will be at the Hobby Center later this month.

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"100 Creatives" - Rodney Waters

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Rodney Waters at momentary rest
What he does: Rodney Waters uses a lot of the right or "creative" side of his brain. The Texan contemporary classical pianist has performed in major venues such as Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Japan's Asahi Recital Hall and New York's Weill Recital Hall and Carnegie Hall. Along with his musical talent, Waters applies that same creativity to his lesser known talent, photography. In doing so, Waters has award-winning images that were created for the AIDS Foundation Houston organization.

Why he likes it: "I do love photography, but at heart I'm a musician," says Waters. His musical interest goes beyond classical music. He feels that connecting his art to a social cause or to education allows him to remember that art is an important communication channel.

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How to Kill Off Classical Music

Categories: Noise

We're almost there, people! Your state representatives are working hard to make sure the Texas Commission on the Arts is eliminated so that sooner rather than later it becomes pretty much impossible for music organizations, orchestras, and chamber ensembles to fund anything beyond a season closer performance by an accordion player who does double duty making balloon animals.

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The resulting fixes to our economy at the state and federal levels thanks to recent cuts in arts and education should be clearly evident to everyone by now. But our duly elected officials, including our Governor and published author Rick Perry, still need your help. These folks can't wipe art out of existence, at least not entirely. But they can zero in on some specific genres taking them out one by one until the job is nearly done.

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The Off-Kilter World of Federico Fellini and Music

Categories: Film and TV, Noise


Opening nightmare from Fellini's 8 1/2.

When studying the films of the great Italian director Federico Fellini (b. January 1920, d. October 1993), composer Michel Chion, also a professor of film studies, believes "you can't separate out individual layers. Image, dialogue, music, they all work together." You'll get no argument from us. But Fellini is arguably best known for the fantastic even grotesque images in his films. Interestingly, musicians in all genres have appropriated his images for the visual presentation of their music.

Music video at one time did have pretensions of being an art form, whereas now the medium makes no pretense of being anything other than infomercials for what non-musicians and drug dealers like to call "product." But instead of dwelling on this unfortunate turn, let's take a brief look three great Fellini films, Amarcord, 8 1/2, and the epic La Dolce Vita. You may be surprised to see that some of Fellini's delicate as well as bizarre images found their way into a handful of popular music videos.


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